Guro Dan on Stick Fighting

I cannot recall the show from which this clip was derived (maybe Human Weapon??).  Regardless, here is our Kali instructor talking about stick fighting.  I was in the mood for another video clip on Filipino Martial Arts.  How about you?


Thunder Band


Okay, this is so cool.  I posted on Dave Schmitz the other day.  He is going to offer resistance bands that can be stretched up to 5 yards, which opens up a lot more exercises you can do, and you don’t have to link bands together anymore.  If you have never experienced resistance bands, you will be quite surprised the first time that you do.  Most people are flabbergasted that a simple rubberband kicked their tails.

Check out Dave’s post and videos:

You can purchase bands from Dave here: Performax Resistance Band Training

Identifying Vulnerabilities

If you are going to be more aware while moving around in your environment, it makes sense to take stock of areas where you are more vulnerable and your mind is otherwise engaged.  I recall Hock Hochheim saying in our seminar recently that it is impossible to be on high alert all the time because you would completely burn yourself out.  He said that you have to have a place you can go to let your guard down and recharge.  I do agree with this, though I sort of agree with Al Peasland when he says that you have to be in Condition Yellow (360 degree awareness at all times) whenever you are awake.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, awareness does not have to be a state of paranoia, though some folks can and do take it to this extreme.  Learn how to tune into the world, being in the here and now, in a relaxed state.  Ensure that your area is secure before going into a profound state of quiet reflection.  🙂 

Back to taking stock (and I got a lot of these ideas, again, from Kristie Kilgore’s Eyes Wide Open (she got them from security specialists and bodyguards).  Can you think of times when you are distracted or at a disadvantage?  Keep in mind that criminals will strike when it is most advantageous for them and the least advantageous for you.  Here are some possibilities, and the list is by no means exhaustive: 

  • Running or walking with an mp3 player
  • Running or walking in a wooded park in the evening hours
  • Visiting an ATM, especially at night
  • Making overnight deposits at the bank
  • Outdoor recreation in a public space
  • Walking with your hands full from a store to your vehicle
  • Talking on your cell phone
  • Moving into a low light area
  • Going into an area where the entrance and exit are the same (funnel)
  • Riding in elevators or using stairwells in public buildings and parking decks, especially at non-peak hours
  • Unlocking a door
  • Traveling in unfamiliar territory
  • Whenever you are in a stressed state
  • Very noisy environments
  • Crowds
  • At the gas station pump
  • Entering a convenience store
  • Stopping your car in a high-risk area
  • Securing a child in a car seat
  • Entering or exiting public restrooms 

What precautions might you take during these moments to be more aware of your surroundings and to make yourself a harder target? 

I’ll go a little further.  When you return home, do you secure the premises and look around to see that everything is as it should be?  Do you maintain good security while you are home, both day and night?  How visible are you and your loved ones at night, looking in from the outside?  How visible are the contents of your home during the day, or whenever you are away?  These are all very reasonable considerations that many of us overlook because of our psychological-barrier notion of security—home should be a haven for us to get away from the world and bring down our defenses.  It all kind of reminds me of my cat.  It runs halfway under the bed, with its hind end visibly sticking out, and it thinks it has made a slick, safe escape from the world.  Poor thing has the brain the size of a walnut, so I guess it is not such a great comparison.  But the point is this: we have to make the extra effort to go beyond the veil of security and physically batten down the hatches. 

Consider times when you go into high-risk environments.  Perhaps you have not really considered what these might be, and you might even be surprised.  This is also not an exhaustive list: 

  • Wherever competition is high for resources and/or women
  • Wherever people have reduced inhibition through use of alcohol or drugs, like a bar or party
  • Places of known terrorist activity
  • Places with a high volume of drug trafficking
  • Airports, airplanes, travel (either foreign, or to any unfamiliar place)
  • High crime areas
  • Places where large sums of money are exchanged
  • Convenience stores
  • Funnels (one way in or out) 

By the very nature of the opportunistic and/or volatile personalities that frequent these environments, you are immediately more vulnerable upon entry, hence the name high-risk.  We all have to accept a certain degree of risk in our lives, lest we adopt a lifestyle that keeps us hunkered down in an underground compound waiting for the apocalypse.  But again, we can take precautions and be on the lookout for breaks in the pattern.  I recall talking to a woman a few months ago who worked security in a bar AND drank alcohol at the same time.  Not really a recipe for success when the drunk (or buzzed) are called upon to deal with the drunk and disorderly.  Very risky business!  

One time, a few years back, I was taking a class in the Buckhead region of Atlanta.  Parts of this area are high-risk, especially at night, and I tend to be on my guard whenever I go over there.  But on this particular afternoon, I tread mindlessly out of the class and down to the convenience store to grab a soft drink and a candy bar.  I was on a mission and in a fog, because I walked right into an altercation between a customer and the clerk behind the bullet-proof glass.  How could I have missed the shouting on the way in?  The argument escalated, and yet I stood frozen, torn between a sugar fix and the exit.  Indeed, it was not one of my finer moments.  The customer punctuated his angry tirade with this sentence: “I will f****** blow this place up!!!”  Luckily, he stormed out and went away.  It could have been much worse, and I am glad it was not.  Lesson learned. 

I encourage you to look for your blind spots.  Be HONEST with yourself.  Predators look for us in a state of cluelessness or weakness, and the perps hope to gain the upper hand while we are fumbling around in oblivion.  Check your six!

Dog Brothers

At Combat Hard, we love our Filipino Martial Arts. Ahhh. Here are the Dog Brothers doing some full-contact stick fighting. Enjoy!

IKFF Military Advisor

Steven Mosley

We are very pleased to announce that Combat Hard’s very own Steven Mosley was recently invited to be the North American Military Advisor for the International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation, Steve Cotter’s kettlebell organization.  This is a tremendous honor, as we have learned so much about kettlebell lifting from Cotter.  IKFF tirelessly travels the globe, sharing their knowledge with the world, and we are so excited for Steven to be affiliated with this organization.  Congrats Steven!


Interesting Post on Threat Recognition

One of our blog readers sent me this link to an interesting blog post on threat recognition.  It discusses the predatory mindset of criminals.  There are great analogies to other predators in the animal kingdom to help flesh out these characters.  We talk all the time about becoming the predator.  This does not mean you prey upon weaker people, too.  Criminals have a very restricted view of the world, and you possess higher ideals.  No, you seek valuable insight about how these predators  operate so that you become the superior predator in the landscape “with another purpose.”  Read on, it is great stuff:

Hock Hochheim Seminar

Holy smokes!  I am thumbing through this giant tome we purchased over the weekend while attending Hock’s seminar.  The manual is on Knife/Counter-Knife Combatives.  There are at least eleventy-million pictures and diagrams in here and plenty of stuff derived from military manuals.  I’ll have to let you know what I think of it later after I have had some time to really go through it.  The dude is prolific, without a doubt!  I was looking at his vast collection of DVD’s for sale and he has been busy.

The seminar was interesting.  Hock is quite a character, and he draws some interesting characters, as well.  He has a lot of stories and by my estimation, he has seen plenty of action and knows a lot of stuff.  Hmm.  Still processing. . .