…AND THAT WAS JUST A DEER!

I’m not a big deer hunter but I’ve gone a few times this week with my brother in law. When we were sighting in the rifles I could hit a dot on a paper plate every time at 200 yards. Just put the crosshairs on the dot and pull the trigger, piece of cake. Today I had a buck in my sights. He was walking away so all I saw was his butt & didn’t really have a shot and that’s probably a good thing…because the crosshairs were jumping all over the place. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t aim. Aftewards I realized that my hands and forearms were aching. I was evidently squeezing the rifle so hard that I couldn’t hold it still. Stress had effected me to where I couldn’t do what I had trained to do…and that was just a deer!

It was just a deer that I was hoping to shoot. It was no threat to me, it wasn’t attacking me, it wasn’t scarey and yet, adrenaline dump and stress. Imagine the stress of someone trying to slash you with a knife. Knowing that you may be dead in the next few minutes, fighting for your life, worried about what he does to your family if he gets through you. I have blogged a lot about real world violence and how stress effects our bodies. Blood pools to our core making our limbs heavy and numb, hearing and vision get messed up, odd thoughts enter our mind, we can get stuck in a loop where we keep doing the same technique over and over even when it’s not working, time can distort, we’ll probably lose bladder and bowel control, etc, etc.

You can probably guess where this is heading. Those who teach self defense have got to train everything they are showing others under stress and exhaustion. There are a lot of cool looking things taught in martial arts and self defense classes. Cool doesn’t translate to being able to pull the same technique off when it’s for real. Krav Maga teaches aggression, gross motor skills, whole body movements and to go forward with all you have and end the attacker any way possible. Any techniques that relies on joint manipulations, fine motor skills and precision will fall apart in a real attack. Those fancy, complicated defenses just don’t work under stress.

I once saw a handgun defense taught that included sticking your finger behind the trigger, between the trigger and the trigger guard. Yes, technically that will keep the gun from being able to fire. This worked for the instructor as he demonstrated it with his assistant who stood there like a statue. If done in a real attack with the stress involved the chances of this defense being pulled off is right around zero. Trying to hit that small target while not being able to judge distance, hands shaking and arms feeling heavy is an impossible task. Yet, it was taught to others by a “professional”. This kind of thing pisses me off to no end! This “professional” instructor is teaching things to people that will get them killed. Not realizing the effects of stress, exhaustion and adreniline while showing people “gym techniques” is unexcusable. If it’s your job to show people how to be safe you had better study this subject ad nauseam. BE SAFE!!

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MASS SHOOTINGS

I have had a couple of people hit me up with “what would you do” questions about the Connecticut shootings this week. This tragedy is being politicized by all sides to the point that it’s sickening. I’ll give ya my advice on how I’d take care of it…then I’ll give you more realistic advice that anyone can implement.

I like what Texas is doing…arm teachers. Taking guns away from everyone will have only the psychos and criminals having access to guns. They will still get them because they ignore the law. Schools are “no gun” zones…that law didn’t stop the scum bag. If a few teachers were highly trained and had access to guns in the schools these psychopathic idiots wouldn’t have free access to roam the halls and shoot for as long as they want. “But that isn’t the teacher’s job” is what I hear. Well, the principal and a few teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary rushed the scum bag empty handed. They weren’t going to let anyone harm their kids. They were killed in the process because a rifle beats empty hands every time. The point is, these heroes wanted to do something and they did do something. They just had the odds stacked against them.

Now advice for if you are ever in such a situation that is a bit more realistic. The best thing you can do is to have thought about it before hand and have a plan in your head. I have written about stress and mind setting in previous blogs. Under the stress of someone shooting at you it is impossible to come up with a plan. Your brain will go to “mid brain”, which is also called the “animal brain” under this stress. This is why you hear stories like that of Luby’s restaurant in Texas where people sat at their tables frozen as the gunman walked around shooting. Under that stress your brain is scanning to see if anything like this had ever happened before and how you got out of it. With no plan in place, no practice and no experience the brain will not come up with a plan but will continue to scan, freezing you in place.

What plan should we have for these mass shootings? I have a very good friend who is a cop that tried to get into his local school system a few years ago with plans/drills for the high school students. The administration wouldn’t even sit through the video of Columbine that he had with him, yet alone talk to him about implementing the plans he had. Their heads were buried in the sand, they couldn’t possibly implement such a thing.

The plan is that in a crowded room when someone starts shooting everyone throws whatever they can get their hands on at the scum bag (books and laptops if you are at school, dishes and glasses if in a restaurant, etc.). As these objects are striking the shooter everyone then rushes him and dog piles on top of him. He may get a couple of people but these twenty and thirty person mass murders wouldn’t happen. Such a thing would take training, which is exactly what we do at our gyms. We actually sit people at tables with plastic plates and cups, have someone come in firing a blank gun and have at him.

These tragedies are horrible and, instead of knee jerk reactions and blaming everyone and everything except the psycho who pulled the trigger, we need education. If every school had active shooter drills where the above plan was practiced the students would be safer. Schools have fire drills several times throughout the school year but don’t practice for active shooters (correctly anyhow). There have been more school shootings than deadly fires in schools over the past fifteen years, by far. BE SAFE!

THE THREAT OF VIOLENCE

“No intelligent man has ever lost a fight to someone who said ‘I’m gonna kick your ass’.” SGT Rory Miller

The threat of violence is a gift. The scumbag doing the threatening is giving us time to react. Sudden violence is a hit in the back of the head or a knife in the gut before we even knew that there was trouble around. The threat of violence is an idiot giving us the gift of time. With this gift we should either be moving or attacking.

If someone says “I’m gonna ______ (fill in the blank)” to you, why wouldn’t you believe it and act on it? Law enforcement and military units would love to have this kind of advance intelligence! When a threat tells you that they are going to punch, kill, beat, kick your ass or anything else believe it and act on it…do not wait to see if they were telling the truth! “Threats of violence” aren’t always verbal. Be on the watch for anything telling you that trouble is coming. Is he reaching behind his back (for a weapon in his belt), reaching for his pocket, taking off his jacket, walking straight at you with his eyes burning a hole through you, picking up a bottle, pool cue or similar? Act quickly and decisively, he gave you the clues that he meant you trouble. Also pay attention to his body language. Are his shoulders rising, neck veins bulging, teeth clenched, hands clenched and or is he shaking? Again, act on this threat of violence.

Think about the “monkey dance” bar fight scenario. It starts with one over testosteroned dude looking at another. Words are passed. They both puff up and chest bump for a bit. Then a punch is thrown and the fight is on. Ego pulled them right along the same path that has been travelled many, many times. The problem is that one is expecting the other to know the rules. Many have died thinking they were in a fight only to have the other believe that they were in combat. When we do this “monkey dance” we don’t know what the other is thinking, if he has weapons, if he has killed before.

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.

If these young men used the threat of violence tactically there would be more of them around. As soon as someone is looking at us funny, says something threatening, is heading for us, etc. we should be doing something besides going into a fight. We need to create distance, pick up something to defend ourselves with or attack the attacker before he gets a punch in. This is what keeps us safe. Standing there waiting for a fair fight against someone who we cannot possibly know wants a fair fight is stupid, and can get us killed. If you are in a fair fight, your tactics suck. When it comes to protecting yourself and your family be proactive, not reactive. BE SAFE!

MUST READS

If you have a Krav Maga instructor or student on your Christmas shopping list I have some good books to recommend! Of course, I believe anyone who teaches self defense should absolutely read the list below. I’ve said before, if you teach self defense to others and don’t read these books it is like learning history from a history professor who has never read a history book! The list (in order of my recommendation);

Meditaions On Violence by SGT Rory Miller. An amazing book. Learn about real world violence from a guy who’s seen a bunch of it.

Facing Violence by SGT Rory Miller. Goes over everything you could want to know about having to face real world violence. Talks about how to spot potential conflict, body language to look for to tell you an attack is coming, what stress and adreniline will do to you, how you will feel afterwards, what the police will want to hear and what they will do, what the court system will do to you, etc, etc. A must read!

Strong On Defense by SGT Samford Strong. A tough read but a must read for those teaching self defense. Several interviews with people who have survived crimes.

The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker. Another must read. Will have you listening more to those voices in your head.

On Killing and On Combat by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. Shows us what BS the movies have told us about killing and violence. Studies how stress, adreniline, etc. will effect us.

Blink by Malcom Gladwell. Ever just had a feeling about something? This book explains why and will have you listening to those feelings from now on!

Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales. Why do some survive an incident while others perish during the same incident? Cool book.

The Survivor’s Club by Ben Sherwood. Very similar to the book above.

Sharpening The Warrior’s Edge by Bruce Siddle. Scientifically explains how we should be training for life and death situations.

Training at the Speed of Life by Kenneth Murray. Similar to the above book.

Combat Focus Shooting by Rob Pincus. Takes the no BS approach to shooting that Krav Maga does with self defense.

Inside the Criminal Mind by Stanton Samenow. A bit dry but you’ll understand the scumbags better…and quit feeling sorry for their poor childhoods.

The Truth About Self Protection by Massad Ayoob. An expert in the field.

-Mark Slane has a couple of books that are definately recommended by…Mark Slane. Be Safe, Self Defense For Women in the Real World and Krav Maga for Law Enforcement. Available on Amazon or on uskma.com.

-Probably should have been at the top of the list but the Bible. Cool stories of dudes taking on long odds and kicking butt. Even one about a guy who took the jaw bone of an ass and killed 1,000 heathens!

BE SAFE!!

LIVE LONG!

“Eat organic food, or as our great grandparents called it…food.”

This is only the second time in two and a half years of blogging that I am writing about health instead of self defense. The fact is the number of Americans that die each year due to violence is infinitesimal compared to how many die from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. What got me on this subject today is that I have yet another relative who has been diagnosed with cancer. When I was a kid people dying of cancer was so rare that they made movies about them (Brian’s song, Bang the drum slowly, etc, etc.)!

So why is cancer so rampant? Is it just something that happens and there is nothing we can do about it? Well…did you know:

-Almost all lunch meat (including those fast food subs and roast beef sandwiches), hot dogs, bacon and other processed meat contain nitrates? Nitrates have been absolutely linked to cancer. We still eat the stuff daily, and worse, feed it to our kids.

-The U.S. uses more sunscreen than any other country in the world. The U.S. also has more skin cancer than any country in the world. Studies show that vitamin D keeps certain cancers away. The best source of vitamin D? The sun we’re told to avoid!

-It seems like high fructose corn syrup is in about every pre packaged food made by man. Google that stuff some day (along with aspartame and flouride) when you’re bored. Our great grand parents didn’t eat that stuff…and that generation had a fraction of the cancers that ours does.

-When you watch those goofy commercials for persciption drugs listen to how many have lymphoma or other cancers as a possible side effect! I’ll take the flippin itchy skin or dry eyes over cancer anyday…duh.

-Women apply deodorant to their armpits (which contain lymph nodes) at least once a day, every day. Do you know that several ingredients in most deodorants are known carcinogens…that you’re rubbing daily at the edge of your breasts? But we accept that breast cancer happens just because. BTW, most shampoos, perfumes, lotions, etc. have known carcinogens in them as well.

-Another breast cancer thought; doctors are taught to handle tumors very gingerly. Two absolute no-no’s are radiation and pressure. Both of these are used in mammograms! Look in to thermography ladies. It involves neither pressure nor radiation and detects problems earlier.

-A slice of chicken breast has the following ingredients: Chicken. The nuggets that fast food and school cafeterias feed our kids instead contain: chicken; modified cornstarch; mono-, tri-, and diglycerides ; chicken broth , modified cornstarch, cornstarch; vegetable shortening; partially hydrogenated corn oil; and citric acid as a preservative, wheat and on any given day the hydrogenated oil could come from soybeans, canola, or cotton. Nuggets also contain several completely synthetic ingredients that ultimately come from a petroleum refinery or chemical plant. Sodium aluminum phosphate, mono-calcium phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and calcium lactate, “anti-foaming agents” like dimethylpolysiloxene and dimethylpolysiloxene is a suspected carcinogen and an established mutagen, tumorigen, a reproductive effector; it’s also flammable. But perhaps the most alarming ingredient in a nugget is tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ. TBHQ is a form of butane.

-Most of the conventional fruits and vege’s we eat are irradiated and, as they are growing, drenched with pesticide. Pesticides are found in nearly all tumors when they are removed and studied.

-Almost ninety percent of all corn and soy in the U.S. is GMO. Look up the studies on the tumors and reproductive problems GMO corn and soy are causing in lab animals. Yet we keep eating (and feeding our kids) the cereal and pre-packaged snacks that are made with the stuff.

Evidently the medical and diet advice from the experts is failing us. If what we were told by the system was true would cancer, diabetes, etc. be at epidemic proportions? I challenge you to research and study these things…to think for yourself and not blindly follow what the media, any government agency, doctors or other experts tell you to think. BE SAFE!