STRESS TRAINING

I’ve blogged about putting whatever you are learning for self defense under stress and exhaustion before and how if you aren’t training that way you are learning self defense techniques…not self defense. When I first went to Krav Maga training back in ‘98 I was blown away by the drills they put us through. They were rough, exhausting, vomit inducing and yet…the coolest thing I’d ever seen. It was an epiphany for me to see the way the Israeli’s were training for real world violence. At the time I was a 4th degree black belt in an Asian martial and thought I was training self defense. What I was doing wasn’t even close. Why do we need to put techniques under exhaustion, stress, run scenarios and learn to do things when we are terrified?

Our brains have 3 basic areas. The cognitive is the logical thinking part of our brain. The Middle brain is the emotional part. The Reptilian brain is the lowest, the part where our fight/flight/freeze responses lie. Under stress, exhaustion and fright our brain functions decrease a bunch. We get put into our Reptilian brain because this is where we need to be…deciding whether we need to fight, beat feet or freeze. All we are capable of at this time are gross motor/whole body motions. Everyone, from those who have never trained to combat vets, will freeze when stress overwhelms us. The difference is those who have never trained will be stuck there and those who have trained will have a plan surface quickly.

The U.S. Rangers and other special forces soldiers do this the best. These soldiers in combat will lose function like the rest of us under stress but they will regain function much quicker because they train correctly. They are stress inoculated. In their training to ready them for combat they have had all five senses assaulted under stress. They are torn down and made to fail. After they have failed up front (the beginning of their training) the trainers now have their undivided attention. Most are tough guys who win at everything and thought they would eat the training up. They are brought to failure, every one of them, then they can be rebuilt. The next thing the trainers will work is muscle memory. When they are put under stress in real life or death situations their blood pools to their core and they will lose fine motor skills, finger movement, vision, hearing, etc. just like the rest of us under stress. They have worked their muscle memory and mental memory skills so many times that the functions of fighting, loading and firing weapons, etc. will still be able to be performed. Their formula is 1) fail/frustrate with scenario based drills, 2) slow muscle memory drills and 3) scenario based drills mimicking actual combat and the jobs they must perform.

This is what we do in Krav. We learn gross whole body movements by the numbers, slowly and precisely. We then work them with a partner slowly, then faster as we get better. Lastly we put them under realistic attack scenarios and stress inducing drills. Studies shows that a person’s brain doesn’t recognize the difference between training and real attacks when it is under stress, exhausted and in a frightened state. So it goes to reason that if any one of our gym’s members are attacked, say by a choke from behind, their brain will think they have done this for real hundreds of times and they will react. There will be no thinking or freezing, what they have done so many times before will come out of them. They will get rid of the hands on their throat and beat the attacker into the ground…without thinking. This is what they trained for and what their brain thinks they have done for real hundreds of times!

Again, when someone comes to you for self defense training they are literally putting their lives in your hands. Don’t’ teach crap from a system just because it’s your system. Train them right, put them under stress & exhaustion and let their brains live “the fight” so that if it happens on the street they have “been there and done that”. BE SAFE!

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WHAT THE HECK IS THE USKMA?

I get asked about our organization quite often. What are we, what do we do, etc.? Well, here goes. The mission statement of the United States Krav Maga Association is:
Our only reason for existence is to help people become healthier and safer. We will strive to spread Krav Maga throughout the United States by offering real world self defense training with superior customer service.

As an organization we have a few branches & a few different jobs. Here is what we offer:
-SEMINARS: We offer seminars to the general public. We travel across the US to martial arts gyms, community centers, crossfit gyms, etc. to teach people how to become safer. We offer anything from 2 hour to weekend training on: Womens Self Defense, Home Invasion, General Krav Maga, Handgun Disarms, Edged Weapon Disarms, Blunt Object Disarms, Mob Violence, Active Shooter, Confined Space Defense (bus, plane, etc.), etc.
-LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING: We teach 40 hour basic Krav Maga Law Enforcement Instructor courses as well as 40 hour advanced Krav Maga Law Enforcement Instructor classes to departments across the country. We teach weapon disarms, weapon retention, arrest and control techniques, etc. Attendees of these courses can then teach and certify officers on their own staffs.
-INSTRUCTOR TRAINING: We go to gyms across the country to certify gym staffs in Krav Maga to be USKMA affiliates and offer Krav Maga in their facilities. We have around a dozen affiliates as of now with calls coming in every week. We are known for not just teaching good Krav techniques but for showing gyms how to run a business. We teach them everything from how to answer phones, how to run classes adults will love, how to run intros, we give lesson plans, monthly newsletters and conference calls, test materials, marketing materials as well as offer the best affiliate web site in the business….a one stop “how to run a program and make money” site!

We strive to keep the USKMA’s Krav techniques as up to date, battle tested and as effective as possible. We believe that when people come to us for seminars or instructor training that they are truly putting their lives in our hands…and we take this very seriously.

We have a world class staff who love teaching and making people safer. Krav Maga is known world wide as being easy to teach, easy to learn and as a highly effective real world self defense with no BS! BE SAFE!

HOME INVASION

Notes from home invasion lecture from our Spring Camp

A few facts and stats:
-1 in 5 homes will experience a break in in the US.
-47% of home break ins will produce physical injuries to homeowners.
-38% of all reported assaults and 60% of all reported rapes occur during home invasions.
-8,000 home invasions occur per day in N. America, that’s 3,600,000 a year.
-30% are “no force” entries…they come in through unlocked doors
-50% of the time a weapon is used, most common is an edged weapon

This epidemic is under reported because nationally the vast majority of law enforcement entities don’t track home invasions as a separate crime. Most agencies statistically list home invasions as burglaries, rapes or robberies.

Burglars are more apt to break into a home during a week day when nobody is expected to be home. They are looking to steal property as quickly and quietly as possible. As banks and convenience stores become harder targets (security cameras, safes, etc) drug addicts and other criminals in need of money are striking softer targets like homes.
What can we do?
– Don’t “show off” what you have. Don’t park your Porsche in the driveway, don’t have your big screen tv visible through a window.
-When you buy something like a plasma tv don’t put the box out by the trash but shred it and put it in a bag.
– Make your home a hard target. Lighting, big dog, signs for alarm co. as well as an alarm, very good locks on doors, etc.

Home invaders are a different breed. They will break in at night or weekends because they want people to be home. They are looking for privacy and time with their victims. Statistically most will be working in pairs. There is almost a 100% chance that they are recidivists. They get off on torture, rape and seeing others in pain. They do not see their victims as human beings. No reasoning or begging will help as they want their vicitms to beg for their lives as they feel power having life or death in their hands. They know that their victims will do anything they ask if they threaten their spouse or child.
This is not a crime ridden neighborhood or a rich neighborhood problem. Every home is a potential target.

Ways they get into a home;
-“no force” because people didn’t lock their doors.
–Waiting outside or in your garage for you to return home and then force you inside.
–Break down a door or break a window.
–Ruse; Delivery person, a utility worker checking on a gas leak, Law enforcement, Someone saying they just backed into your car or hit a dog in the neighborhood and want help, collecting for charity, etc.

Why answer your door to anyone you are not expecting? It is better to look over cautious or offend people than to be a victim of home invasion. By the way, 32% of the time the home invader or burglar has been in your home before. They were the person who delivered your washing machine, a repair man or a utility co. worker or the actual home invader was tipped off by one of these people.

For both burglars and home invaders always be on the lookout when you are out. If someone is paying close attention to you take note of it. These criminals are known to simply scout victims at malls, restaurants, etc. and follow them home. Always keep an eye out for a vehicle following yours.
In a horrible case in Cheshire Connect. in 07 this is exactly what happened to a Dr’s family. They were followed home from a supermarket. The scum bags returned back at 3 am and tortured and raped the wife and two daughters for hours and beat the father nearly to death. After forcing the Dr. to go to a bank to get them money they poured gasoline on the wife and daughters and attempted to burn down the house, killing all three females.

What can we do?
-make your home a hard target. Look at your locks, lighting, etc. and get a professional to look at your home for you as well.
-Keep your eyes open when you are out. Don’t be afraid to eye ball someone right back or ask them what they need. When they know they are discovered they usually look for a less confident victim. If followed drive to a police department or fire department.
-Have a plan….that already puts you ahead of 99% of people in the US
-Practice the plan. Have “home invader” drills.

Almost everyone with children practice home fire drills. We are told by authorities to have smoke detectors, fire ext, etc. in our homes. The schools practice fire drills and get our kids to bug us about checking batteries in smoke detectors. There are 1,100 reported fires a day…..compared to 8,000 home invasions a day. Don’t ya think that needs addressed even more so?

DRILLS: Everyone scatters, gets out and notifies neighbors. Break windows, scream, DO NOT obey or even listen. Plan before hand what can be used as a weapon.

Dads….there is no way you are gonna leave your kids or wife, is there? This is what the scum bag plans on!! Whatever they can do to your family in the five minutes they have if you leave is WAY better than what they will do over the next several hours to your family in front of your eyes. Anyone who can get out and get help must do so.

I’m not gonna lie, you are in the most crappy of situations imaginable but think before hand what your plan is and what your go button is. If I am about to be moved and tied up & two of them are standing there with guns I may have an 85% chance of dying if I act…..100% if I don’t. I’ll rely on God and my hands instead of God and the scum bags mercy every time!! BE SAFE!

WHAT YOU BELIEVE…

What you believe can get you killed!!
On September 28, 1994 at around 1 a.m. the cruise ferry Estonia became one of the worst maritime disasters in history. 852 out of 989 passengers and crew members died in the Baltic Sea. There were many things at work against the passengers. They were far from shore, there were very rough seas, the water temperature was cold enough to cause hypothermia quickly and rescue took a long time to arrive.
The cruise ferry Herald Of Free Enterprise sank as well just outside the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. 193 of the 539 crew and passengers on board perished. Experts and rescuers were baffled by the number of dead. The water wasn’t that cold, the seas were fairly calm, it happened in shallow water just off shore and rescue helicopters arrived within 28 minutes. The leading expert in the field, John Leach, believes these people died because they believed they were supposed to. They had heard of other large ships capsizing and knew there was always a huge death toll. They believed that they were doomed so they were!

In August of 2004 a thirteen year old inner city youth was at a summer camp for underprivileged kids in New Hampshire. The youth and a counselor came across a black bear and took off running. Soon the counselor realized the youth was no longer with him. When he found him the poor kid had said he was too scared to run, soon developed breathing difficulty and died. The official reason for death was stated as basically scared to death. The youth believed he was a goner…even though a bear had not killed a human in New Hampshire since 1784.

If you have followed these blogs you know where this is heading! What we believe about self defense and fighting can get us killed as well. I was told about a tragic incident in a club in Florida. For some reason this club decided, on the same night, to have country and western on one side and hip hop on the other. One of the good ol boys was stabbed and killed by one of the hip hoppers. It turns out that the good ol boy was known for bar fights. His fun was going to the club on weekends and getting into a scrap. He started a fight with a guy and believed that everyone knew the rules to a bar fight. It was just two guys having fun and beating on each other a bit. The hip hopper came from a different society. A fight to him was combat and somebody usually got killed….he was gonna make sure it wasn’t him. The man who died believed he was in a bar fight with the usual “monkey dance” rules and his opponent believed he was in a fight to the death. Only one of them could be right.

There is a famous martial artist who is teaching a handgun defense as a forward roll towards the gunman to come from underneath the gun and twist it free. This instructor is teaching his students something that will get them killed….and they believe in his technique becaust he is an “expert”!

In SGT Rory Miller’s book Meditations On Violence he talks about a time he was sparring a black belt at a school he was visiting. When this person delivered a backfist to SGT Miller’s nose they stopped and yelled at him for continuing. He didn’t understand so he asked the black belt what it was that he done wrong. The black belt replied “If I would have broken your nose for real the fight would have been over.” SGT Miller told the black belt “I have had my nose broken three times in fights and I can assure you that I never stopped, I kicked the guy’s ass”. This black belt’s instructor had his students believing that breaking an attackers nose would end a violent altercation. If, in the real world, his students would have delivered a hard shot to the nose they would have stopped because they believed the fight would be over…and they would have gotten hurt.

I recently heard of a person who got into a fight at a bar. He went to a gym that taught BJJ “for the street”. He took the guy to the ground and jumped guard as he had been taught….and was stabbed several times with a knife. The only reason he didn’t die was that none of the stabs hit anything vital….grace of God.

I’ve said many times that when someone approaches an instructor to learn self defense they are literally putting their lives in that instructors hands. To teach crap from a system because it’s your system is pathetic. If someone gets to a place where they need what we taught them to save their lives and their families lives it had better be the best, most up to date, most battle tested tactics and techniques that we can find to teach! I’m all for pride in a system but if you are claiming that your system is the ultimate in self defense, it had better be. The only reason a person believes what he is teaching is the best is because he is teaching it. If fate would have had him in another system he would think that’s the best. Don’t let your pride get people hurt! BE SAFE!

THE GREAT KRAV – MMA FEUD

I didn’t know there was one! I was on the west coast recently and heard talk about the big MMA and Krav Maga feud. I don’t know if this was a local thing or a west thing but it perplexed the heck out of me. Most people I know who are in Krav or MMA know what they are training for. They realize that MMA training is the best thing you can do for the ring and Krav training is the best thing you can do for the street. Is one better? Yes…MMA is better for the ring and Krav is better for the street. This is common sense to me. MMA has some use on the street, it would be better than no training. Krav has some use in the ring, it would be better than no training.

How would a Kravist do in an MMA event? Not any better than anyone else coming from any other background. The ones who win MMA fights are the ones who are excellent athletes, have chins of granite, have out of this world cardio and train stand up, take downs, take down defenses and bjj. Krav does teach and practice all of the above but the practice for a ring fight would be training these things exclusively.

MMA for the street? The big problem is that MMA is training for one kind of violence and one kind only….a fairly evenly matched fight against one unarmed opponent in a fight with rules. If the MMA fighter got into a street fight with one guy about his size with no weapons and nobody else jumping in he would do fine because this is what he has trained for. He has to hope when violence finds him this is what it is. Add a blade, three on one, fighting in a crowded bar or bus isle and things get tricky because this is not what he has trained for. The big problem is that there are rules in his fighting. There can be no rules in protecting ourselves from real violence. Whatever is against the rules in the ring is exactly what we want to do on the street. If an MMA fight was treated like self defense you would bring buddies with ball bats to the opponents locker room before the fight….taking care of a threat with no damage to you is the goal! Really, the things that are against the rules in MMA are against the rules because they are too effective…they would end the fight to soon. An eye gouge, kick to the groin, elbow to the back of the head, etc. would make for quick, one sided fights so they are against the rules. Quick, one sided fights are what we want on the street!

All that MMA ground training (BJJ) is counter productive to self defense on the street. BJJ’s philosophy is to patiently control an opponent until that opponent can be submitted. This is not a good philosophy for self defense as every scumbag has a scumbag friend nearby! Ever do BJJ on concrete or blacktop? Neither have I but I have a psycho staff member who did. He assures me that there is no good position to be in. The bottom gets you ground into hamburger. Being in side control or guard scrapes your knees to the bone. Having the opponent mounted isn’t any good either, when they buck and move your knees slam into the ground over and over. Add another attacker, a blade, being on concrete, etc. and the ground becomes a bad place to be.

Similarities? MMA gets the fact that you have to be good at everything. Imi was ahead of his time as he preached this in the 50’s! You have to be well rounded, in shape and ready for anything. MMA practitioners get this! They are the most in shape people I know, which is what we aim for in Krav. They train hard and are bad dudes….just like us Kravists! BE SAFE!