Hollywood BS!

Some of my blogs are informational…some are just me railing on something. This one is in the “railing” category! My wife hates watching movies with me. I am constantly pointing out the improbabilities, the impossibilities and the down right stupid stuff that movie makers want us to believe. They must think that we are stupid! Most people want to be blissfully ignorant and be entertained I guess but it drives me crazy. The stuff you see in movies that just don’t happen in the real world:

-In the movies guns are magic. Watch how many people in the movies who have a gun pointed at them just freeze. The gunman has the gun pointed at their head from a foot away and is looking somewhere else yet nobody ever thinks to grab the gun and beat the bad guy into the ground. Duh.

-The bad guy can hit a running target from fifty feet away. When someone asks me what my defense is if the gunman is ten or twenty feet away I tell them I’d use the Nike Defense. Friggin run! Even a trained shooter has a very hard time hitting a moving target.

-Ever see someone get shot in a movie and they go flying off their feet? It’s physics. If a projectile has the force to send someone flying it had to send the person who fired the projectile flying as well.
-Those little bitty silencers on handguns? No such thing. The silencers would have to be much larger and the gun use sub sonic rounds…usually a .22 round. There is no such thing as a silencer on a revolver. The gas (and noise) escapes around the cylinder.

-Hollywood must have magic bullets. People seem to drop every time a bullet hits them. In the real world people take full clips to their mid chest and still keep trying to slice or otherwise beat on the person with the handgun. I read of a criminal who took four .357 magnum rounds to the mid chest, another round that went arm pit to arm pit through the dude and several more in the arms and legs and was still fighting the police officers who shot him. If you have ever gone deer hunting you know that shooting that deer with a slug doesn’t drop him right there…and we’re talking about a huge slug! You have to track the darned thing for miles afterwards.

-One last observation on guns. How many movies have you seen where a car blows up because someone was shooting at it? Supposedly they hit the gas tank. This is an impossibility. Even with phosphorous tipped rounds shooting a stand alone gas tank (no other metal to penetrate) it is virtually impossible to blow that tank. Sheesh.

-Kids and small women can whoop on trained fighters. In the real world size and strength matters. A good big guy will beat a good small guy most of the time. I want to puke when a 60 pound kid kicks a 200 pound adult in a movie and the adult goes flying. This ain’t happening. As good as our female Kravists are, they know to hit vulnerable spots and to be looking to escape. All my female instructors would kick the crap out of those female movie starlets yet those starlets somehow can stand toe to toe with a large, trained fighter and kick his butt. Stupid!

-The hero takes knives away from dudes in a fight and never suffers a cut. Even when successful with knife defenses you rarely come away unscathed. The writers must have never heard the old adage “the winner of the knife fight is the one who dies tomorrow”. This is why we train knife defenses with KY jelly slathered on our arms. A lot of the joint locks and grabs just don’t work when there is a slippery substance involved. Guess what? Blood is pretty friggin slippery!

-The hero takes on 3 and 4 attackers all movie long and wins every time. BS! I don’t care how good you are you cannot see behind yourself. If even two guys get you between them you are in trouble. You can’t block 8 appendages with 4 consistently, especially if you can’t see them because they are coming from behind.

-Those witty one liners and smart aleck comments that the hero makes during and after fighting…wow. In the real world with an adrenaline dump, stress, etc. due to someone trying to kill me I’m going to be lucky if I even remember my name!

-Unbeatable heroes. I wish. No matter how bad you are there is always someone badder. Anything can happen. I was told of a special forces soldier who had seen combat in Afghanistan who was finally home. His first week at home he was in an altercation in a bar. He was punched once by a regular looking guy, fell back, hit his head and died. This was a tough dude, a real fighter and a hero…and he died that quickly.

-The hero takes a bunch of damage and bounces back to win…and in the next scene he doesn’t even have a limp! Bodies are fragile. To be taking a whipping and then catch a second wind isn’t going to happen. Broken bones, punches in the head and kicks in the groin aren’t something that you’ll be recovered from mid-fight. Those long choreographed fight scenes only work if the fighters don’t take damage. Real violence is fast, terrifying and devastating.

-In Lt. Col. Grossman’s book ON COMBAT he interviewed several WWII combat vets who stated “I won’t watch any WWII movies until they show them boys pissing their pants cuz that’s what happened to almost all of us.” Fear, adrenaline, exhaustion, etc. do some amazing things to our bodies. “You fight like you train is only true if you train clumsy, dumb, blind and deaf.” SGT Rory Miller

-Why doesn’t the bad guy ever kick the good guy in the groin? Watch an MMA fight. Those dudes are tough as nails but they drop in a hurry when they get kicked in the groin. The ref has to stop the fight and let them recover.
OK, I’m done railing. Go enjoy your movie. BE SAFE!

“I’m gonna kick your ass!”

“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!

Get Pissed!

“the problem with most martial arts is that they take a logical and cerebral approach to a chaotic and visceral situation ” SGT Rory Miller in MEDITATIONS ON VIOLENCE

“When things are at their darkest and it seems like there’s no hope of surviving, well, that’s when you gotta get mad dog mean” The Outlaw Josey Wales

Different “arts” and systems seem to take different approaches on how they view emotion. In sports fighting we are told that you can’t fight mad, that you must be under control. Most martial arts preach Zen-like attitudes and to be calm under pressure. We root for the martial arts hero in the movies who seem calm and at peace as they whoop butt.

These things just don’t transfer to the real world. Fighting mad in sports makes you go hard and wear out…and you have several rounds to get through. The not fighting mad makes sense in that arena. The magical martial arts and their Samurai code are cool to study, great for self-discipline, fairly good exercise….and are fairly worthless when it comes to real violence.

When attacked on the street by a couple of scum bags who want to do you and your family harm going off with all the rage and hatred you can muster and fighting like an animal is the best chance you have of surviving. In SGT Samford Strong’s must read book STRONG ON DEFENSE he interviews dozens of people who have made it through horrible, unimaginable crimes. His main points that come through again and again are that the people who survived these horrible attacks had two things in common. 1) they worried more about the crime being done to them than they worried about injury. They accepted injury and pain and decided to pay it back to the attacker ten-fold. 2) the ones who consistently fought back and won were those who went off with anger, hatred and rage.

The thought “how dare you think you are going to harm me, I will tear you apart” and then attacking like a wild animal has a much greater impact on survival than any techniques, system or art. We cannot worry about staying fresh for a prolonged fight as we want to destroy the attacker as quick as we can and get out of there. We certainly can’t live by a “never strike first” or chivalrous code because the attacker’s don’t.

I tell student’s all the time that Krav Maga will not save you, it is not magic. Mixing our techniques (which are easy to learn & remember, use gross, whole body motions and are designed to do as much damage as possible) with going off like a bomb brining out all the anger and rage you can muster is the best chance you have of surviving violence. Ask any law enforcement officer whom they would rather face; 1) a very proficient and talented martial artist or 2) some crazy who wants to claw off their face and chew on their eyes. They would much rather face the martial artist. If we can be both the crazy person and be proficient with our techniques we will be a scary opponent indeed.

We bring this out in our classes by not just learning techniques but by putting what we learn under stress and exhaustion. We run drills in our class that wear people out and make them want to quit. At that point it is all heart that gets them through it and heart on the street is worth more than any technique or system. We encourage people to yell and cuss during these drills. Not the “hiiiiii yaaaa” of those oh so controlled martial arts but we call the attacker a “son of a bitch”, etc., etc. This may sound over the top but if we can see the scum bag in training, yell at him and hate him we are much, much safer on the street when it’s for real and we have that “been there, done that” feeling.

The scum bags use violence as a tool, we must perfect that tool and wield it better than they do. If your butt is ever on the line get mad, get mean and fight with rage and hatred. It’s the best chance you have. BE SAFE!

Mindsetting and Training!

“After initial contact all plans go to hell.” Gen. Patton

I am kinda anal about a few things when it comes to self defense. I just saw an ad for a two day seminar on what to do when you are bound (how to break zip ties, how to get out of the trunk of a car, how to escape and fight with hands bound, etc.). I have seen Home Invasion seminars that take an hour or two to work on this same thing. This, to me, is a fairly worthless thing to train. If I were at a seminar where they started working on this I would step out. You see, I have already made up my mind that I will never be bound. This is one of my “go buttons”. To work on this would put it into my mind that it could happen. I refuse to think of this as an option. If I have the choice of going against ten guys with machetes (or guns…make up your own worst case scenario here) or to be bound I will go forward like an animal even with slim odds of surviving. The other choice is to be bound…and then options and decisions have been taken away from me. I would only survive if the scumbags decide I will survive…I would have no say.

Now I have been asked “Well, what if you get knocked out and wake up bound”. This kinda goes against our “target principle” of training. I must spend most of my training time on what is likely to happen (the bulls eye). When I get really good at defending the most likely attacks I can move out a ring (train the next most likely attacks). The “wake up bound” is way out there on the outer rings…it just doesn’t happen. If you were to get a newsfeed on all of the violence that happens in this country for the next month you would read about a lot of beatings, stabbings, shootings, etc. but I doubt you would find one case of someone getting knocked out and then waking up bound.

Two scenarios where this may happen would be sexual assault and home invasion. Let’s look at violence to women first. It is a major rule in self defense to never be moved to a secondary location. If you are going to be bound and moved you must take your chances and fight back now while you aren’t bound. Things don’t get better as you wait. There is no “better” time to react so waiting for that better time will get you into trouble. You certainly don’t stand a better chance after you have been bound and moved. In fact, things have just gotten much, much worse. The scumbag now has privacy and time. As I say during one of my lectures “if a group of terrorists busted into this room right now the only chance any of us would have to escape is this very second. We would scatter and go out doors and windows. If we wait one minute they have us surrounded, another minute we are all sitting with our hands bound…waiting takes away options.”

The home invasion scenario is where it is most likely that you will be bound. These scumbags use threatening your family to get you to comply. Again, I have made the decisions beforehand that I won’t let this happen. If the scumbag has a gun to my child’s head I will go forward and fight. This sounds horrible but I see only two scenarios. One is that I fight the idiot now and hopefully he aims the gun at me instead of pulling the trigger. The other is that I get bound and watch my family be tortured for hours and killed before my eyes. Yep, this is why I will refuse to be bound.

Think about what you are training and always mind set. If you have thought about what you are going to do in any given situation you won’t freeze and hesitate. Your plan will come out of you. BE SAFE!