Thursday, January 12, 2017

USMAA North Central Regional Training Camp

Six to eight weeks out is when people really start paying attention to an event.
I am starting to get very excited because we are 7 weeks out from the USMAA North Central Regional Training Camp.

I have written about national camp several times on the Budo Blog.  This is the second time I have had the honor of hosting a regional camp, highlighting local talent and bringing in big names that were kind enough to travel for the seminar.

The seminar will be held at the  Mounds View Community Center
5394 Edgewood Dr, Mounds View, MN 55112

Friday 02/24/2017
An introduction to Visayan Style Corto Kadena Escrima (VSCKE)
"Sword Dueling"
With Dillon Beyer

Dillon has been travelling back and fourth to Oakland to train with Maijia Soderholm
If you are a regular reader of the Budo Blog (and you should be) you know how much I admire Maijia.

Plus every time I have had an opportunity to play with her she has cut me to shreds.  Driving home just how scary edged weapons should be, and just how irrelevant size, strength and youth can be against a blade.

My favorite Maijia quote " Yes come wrestle me monkey boy"

Maija Soderholm​ was a long time private student of the late Filipino sword master Sonny Umpad, and an official inheritor of his system.  

Visayan Style Corto Kadena
The style emphasizes dance-like flowing movements, speed, elusiveness and explosive power. The art is based on the blade, although sticks, empty hands and kicks are also used.

Dillon Beyer's study group is the only (VSCKE) training available in the upper Midwest.  I am very excited that he and Maijia are willing to share the art with a larger audience at training camp.

Saturday 02/25/2017
Strikes for Standing Grappling (Hits for Jits)
With Dillon Beyer

Dillon starts things out for us Saturday morning.  He will hit you so hard you will shit out your skeleton. He is also very good at helping you develop that power as well.  I always like to have Dillon's class before mine so I can seem smart by referring to what he just said.

Logic of Take downs
With Kasey Keckeisen

This is one of my favorite classes to teach.  A style free principle based approach to the practical application of takedowns.

Counter Assault
With Randy King

Randy is the one on the right

This class is one of the highlights of the Randy King Live Tour.  The highest compliment I can give some one is to steal his stuff.  I steal stuff from this class all the time.

If you want to do more than pay lip service to escape and evade you need this type of training

Fighting Principles of Western Wrestling
With Eric Holien

The second highest compliment I can give someone is to seek their input / advice on things I am working on.  I ask for advice and bounce ideas about the martial aspects of Wrestling with Eric.

Eric's class at the national camp last year was one of my favorites, and I'm glad this regional camp gives us another opportunity to play together.

I reserved Sunday for the big guns.  Both in experience / name recognition and bicep size.

Sunday 02/26/2017
Combat Wrestling
With Omar Ahmad

Katamedo translates as the way of grappling.  Embracing all grappling has to offer.  As such Omar has been heavily involved with the USA Combat Wrestling Team.

Katamedo Jujitsu practitioners have won 4 world championships in various grappling competitions in 2016

Omar will be sharing some of the most successful competition proven grappling principles in his Combat Wrestling class.

I am hard to impress.  Omar continues to impress me.  I am honored that he is willing to come to Minnesota and share some of his awesome with us

Last, but clearly not least...

Neck Cranks and Spine Controls
With Steve Jimerfield

I started listing off Jimerfield Sensei's accomplishments, then I realized this blog is going to be too long for anyone to read.  So,if you don't know who Steve is click Here

In retrospect stealing stuff isn't the biggest compliment I can give.  I believe you can learn from anyone.  At the very least you can learn how not to do something.  Although you can learn from anyone, there are very few people I am willing to call Sensei.  Steve Jimerfield is one of those very few.

If you can't tell, I am stoked at the line up I was able to put together for this seminar.  Having said that being able to train with Jimerfield alone is worth the price of admission.

Speaking of the price of admission...

Entire Seminar $200
$150 for USMAA members
Free for graduates of the O3CT Instructor School (more on that to follow)

$75 per session
Pay Pal registration page will be up HERE next week

Any questions please call Kasey Keckeisen at 763 360 7200

Train hard, Train smart (train with us), Be safe.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Why don't we have more women at our school?

I have been working hard to provide fresh and timely content on the Budo Blog
Second week of the new year and I have 2 blogs out already!!!

Well, to be totally honest this installment didn't take a whole lot of work on my part.

I have quoted and referred to conversations I have had with Anna Valdiserri on the blog several times


I have also said, if you teach personal protection or professional use of force to women you need to buy this book:

Trauma Aware Self Defense Instruction

This installment of the blog was easy for me all I had to do was post a picture and type read this

Anna's blog

So go read Anna's blog and enjoy.
Also be sure to go HERE and like the page

Dillon Beyer and I will be doing a Facebook Live discussion Saturday 01/14/2017 focusing on the upcoming USMAA North Central Regional Training Camp

Train hard, Train smart, Be safe

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Improving the hand you are dealt

Wow, it has been a long time since I rocked roll.  No excuses, the time pressure of end of year training and added responsibilities of the holidays are over.  I'm back.  Back to writing projects, back to Dojo business, and back to the Budo Blog.

Sometimes all of those things cross over.  For example I have been developing a student handbook for the Dojo.

As I was working on that, I was discussing applying martial arts for self defense with Jeff Burger (

Someone asked him in an interview "What are your 10 Commandments for Self Defense?"

 #1 Don't be an asshole. Don't be someone people want to beat up.

#2 Don't be a target. If you a 90 year old, 90 lb little old lady you're a target.  However, we can all be aware of our surroundings, how we carry ourselves ....

#3 Mindset. Read some books on the subject, start with Meditations on Violence" by Rory Miller

#4 Cardio / Anaerobic Conditioning Most people, even those who are in shape are going to be out of gas in less than 1 minute. If you can last past that you have a big advantage.  Then there is just being good at running away.

#5 Strength Training. Being stronger helps in giving and receiving and a visually fit person is less of a target.

#6 Boxing or grappling ( Judo, Wrestling, BJJ, Sambo )

#7 Boxing or grappling ... whatever one you did not do for #6

#8 Other striking arts that have elbows, knees, kicks ( Muay Thai, Kali ....)

#9 Weapons. Use with and defense from.stick, knife, gun, improvised. This needs to cover empty hand vs each weapon and each weapon vs empty hand and each weapon vs each weapon

#10 Multiple Opponents

Jeff asked me what I thought.  I told him I liked it enough to steal it.  Highest compliment I can give

#'s 6-10 we address at the Dojo on a regular basis
#'s 1-3 we address at Violence Dynamics

I'd like to use the Budo Blog to address:

#4 Cardio / Anaerobic Conditioning
#5 Strength Training

You may be asking yourself - Kasey, you run the world famous (hey if I say it enough it has to be true, right) Keishoukan Dojo.  Why don't you address strength and conditioning there?

I have a couple of pet peeves, so take this next bit with a grain of salt.
I dislike:
Martial arts classes that are over 70% conditioning.
Martial arts classes that use intense conditioning to sell a belief that the training is somehow more real.

I have had a lot of fun, and the Dojo has enjoyed increased success playing with the idea of - how would I train my 13 year old daughter to end me.

Being stronger, faster, and better conditioned than me are not options that she has. (Not yet anyway)

She has to play the hand that she has been dealt.  We all have to play the hand we are dealt.  So classes focus on principles - leverage and lever points, use of gravity, two way action, maximizing athleticism, breaking a threat down.

Then testing these principles under increasing levels of resistance.  Confidence through competence.

That takes up a lot of training time.  Not much time left for strength and conditioning.

The thing is, although you have to play the hand you are dealt, you can always be working on improving your hand.

You have time.  Your own time outside of the Dojo.

Strength and speed are fickle gods.  Don't depend on them, but if they are with you, you'd be a fool not to take full advantage. do you get those gods to be with you?  Just like any good pagan with sacrifice (time, effort, sweat)

This blog will be the first in a series covering -  improving the hand you are dealt.
Time Management (not even the best training program in the world will work for you if you don't have time to work the program)

At the same time I was writing this, I was discussing similar related topics with Nathan Corliss from the St. Louis Katamedo Dojo.

So I decided to kill a couple birds with one stone.


First and foremost clearly I am not a Doctor nor a Dietitian.  At best I am a guy who was pretty fat, busy with a family and a demanding job, who found ways to be less fat by trial and error experimentation on myself.  A Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde if you will.

I also write a blog and am willing to share what worked with me.  I'm nothing special, if it worked for me it can work for anyone willing to put in the work.

The point being it worked for me because I adapted basic concepts to meet my needs.  On this blog I will share general ideas that can be adapted and applied to any one's specific needs.

My discussion with Nathan brought up the idea of - Carb Cycling

The following article contains the basic concept
5 facts you should know about carb cycling and fat loss

Why carb cycling?

I lost a bunch of weight on a carb free diet.  I also think that was a contributing factor in rupturing my bicep

With Batman by 40 I was able to hit my goal weight by more strictly watching my caloric intake and the timing of carbs.

For Beyond Batman I wanted to get stronger.  That entailed a bulking season and a cutting season.

However, life circumstances changed.  I no longer had access to the training facilities and times I had previously enjoyed.  Bulking and shredding no longer made sense.  I had a bulking season then I was stuck with no shredding season.

Also, Crime Fighting / Personal Protection has no season and as such no off season.

In retrospect it doesn't do me any good to have peaks of strength, but can't chase down a criminal, or run to cover.  Nor dose it do me any good to have peaks of conditioning, if I can't lift and carry a downed officer to safety.

I need to be strong and conditioned year round, every year.

Myron Cossitt delivered an excellent presentation at Viody 16

In it he outlined a cycle

My Goals:
Strong and conditioned, improving both slowly / consistently over time (you have time)

Making sure I have the calories / nutrients I need to fuel the training of the day while avoiding excessive caloric intake.

Carb Cycling

As I mentioned earlier this will be the first in a series of blogs.  As such I won't get too in depth on other topics here.  However, they all work together so they need to be mentioned.

First and foremost - Time management.  Making sure you have the time in your life to do the things you need to do to achieve your goals.

Strength Training - I have the time to strength train twice a week
Conditioning - I have the time (and need) to run once a week
Rest - I have to (can't get to the gym) have three rest days a week

How I use carb cycling.

I eat six meals a day everyday.  Again time management - even on rest days I have to wake up early enough to get all the nutrients I need.  The first two meals every day have carbs.  Carbs are necessary for fuel and recovery so I try to eat them early so I have all day to use them and they are not stored as fat.  On running days the first four meals have carbs.  Finally on lifting days all six meals have carbs.

An often repeated phrase at the Dojo is - for things to work under pressure they have to be stone simple. 

The more complicated something is the more likely it is to fail under stress.
Nutrition is no different.

How to keep things simple - start with your goals, then do the math.

I want to maintain my body weight at around 220lbs.
I can do that by consuming roughly 2250 calories a day

The general guidelines for endurance and strength-trained athletes suggest consuming between 1.2 and 1.7 g/kg of protein for the best performance and health.

How to Calculate Your Protein Needs
1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg
2. Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg = protein gm.
Use a lower number if you are in good health and are sedentary (i.e., 0.8). Use a higher number (between 1 and 1.8) if you are under stress, are pregnant, are recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.
Example: 154 lb male who is a regular exerciser and lifts weights
154 lbs/2.2 = 70kg
70kg x 1.5 = 105 gm protein/day

220lbs is roughly 100kg.  I try to consume at least 200 grams of protein every day.
That is my baseline.  200 grams 2250 calories divided over six meals

Rest Days / Baseline
2000 calories in general + 250 calories roughly 100 grams of carbohydrates.  The carbs to be consumed before noon if possible.
Caloric Intake:
40% Protein
30 % Carbs
30% (or less) fat

I have three to four rest days per week.  I understand academically that these are necessary.  That they are good for me, and allow me to grow stronger / repair damage.  However, they tend to drive me crazy.  I feel like I should be doing something, even if doing something is counter productive to my goals.  I also have a history of over training / under recovering leading to injuries.  Having nutritional goals / benchmarks to meet on rest days give me something active to do, keeps me in the grind.

I have to force myself to remember that I am on the wrong side of 40.  I may want to train 7 days a week, but I can't.  Being disciplined with my nutrition allows me to be active all week with out over training.

To keep things simple I try to have the same source of protein for each meal then add carbs as necessary to compensate for increased work load.
For example I like grilled chicken and veggies for an after noon meal.  On days I need more carbs I still have grilled chicken and veggies, I just add brown rice or a sweet potato.

Running Days
2000 calories in general + 500 calories roughly 200 grams of carbohydrates.  The carbs to be consumed before 3pm if possible.
Caloric Intake:
35% Protein
35 % Carbs
30% (or less) fat

Strength Days
2000 calories in general + 750 calories roughly 300 grams of carbohydrates.  The carbs to be consumed before 6pm if possible.
Caloric Intake:
30% Protein
40% Carbs
30% (or less) fat

I understand that was a lot of writing for something that is supposed to be stone simple.
Bottom line, find sources of protein you like to eat, can afford, and can cook
Same goes healthy sources of carbohydrates.
Lastly learn how to make decent meals / snacks out of these different building blocks.
Stay tuned here for a special guest blog by Lise Steenersen on how to do just that.  The kickass cook book

Nathan asked me - Noticed any differences yet? Or still playing with it?
I have no objective means to measure, such as body fat calipers or the like.  However, my body weight remains the same while I have had significant strength increases, I can run a mile in under 7 minutes, and I like what I see in the mirror.

I'm nothing special, if it worked for me it can work for anyone willing to put in the work.

It worked for me because I adapted basic concepts to meet my needs. 
Don't copy me, if you want try carb cycling or any of the ideas I share here take what you find useful and adapt it to your needs.

Train Hard, Train Smart, Be Safe

Happy New Year

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

VioDy Prime After Action Review

Violence Dynamics Prime 2016 was the largest seminar we have put on so far.
I also feel it was the best product we have ever provided.  I am very happy with how things went.  Having said that there were things I learned as an Instructor, a manager, and just as a person / friend that will make future endeavors even better.

In years past I have written lengthy after action reports.  Mostly to help me better process the information.  Secondly to showcase all the cool stuff someone might have missed if they didn't go to the seminar.  A type of advertising for the next year if you will.

If you are regular readers of the Budo Blog, you know my take on Violence Dynamics.  Also I am very close to it, so logic dictates that you take my opinion with a grain of salt.

So this year instead of sharing my post VioDy processing I am honored to be able to pass on two debriefs that some participants were kind enough to share with me.

The first one, I am allowed to share on the promise of anonymity.   So names have been redacted to protect privacy.
Plus it sound cool to say redacted like an intelligence agency.


Been slowly processing VioDy over the past week...of course, thank you for your excellent teaching and encouragement during the seminar! 

But beyond that, I especially appreciate how patiently and thoughtfully you've taught me over the past months. One of the best long-term things that came out of last year's VioDy was joining your regular classes (thanks to you and other instructors encouraging me to try that!) 

I'm still in the early stages of learning, but one great surprise at this year's VioDy was how much tangible progress I found in the 1-step drills. Despite my struggle to remember how to do particular techniques, somehow enough of the principles have seeped in that I can nonetheless be more effective than I'd realized, and I'm definitely FAR less disoriented and overwhelmed than last year--even when I'm learning without winning, lol, and even when dealing with grapplers. You made that happen. THANK YOU.

The second will not be anonymous, because I want to promote the source

To the best of my recollection I have never had a guest blogger on the Budo Blog.

So it is with great pride that I present the first post of a new blog from Mary Kogut  - Lifeing Realizations

Monday, October 31, 2016
Starting Over
   I can't believe that VioDy, (my reason for this blog), has ended over a week ago, or how life altering it was again, or, or..
   My life was a mess. For years. "Sucker," "doormat," "people pleaser,"... pick a noun or pick them all. A coward deathly afraid of confrontation, (or a voice raised a few decibels higher), I swayed in whichever direction I was pulled. Others benefited from this type of cowardice, even as I often felt  miserable. I had met: an individual that should've been jailed, one that had been, repeatedly, and a few "friends who weren't," among only a handful of people I thought were decent. Generally, people sickened me; I sickened myself. Over a decade and a half passed in nearly a blur, punctuated by too few wonderful memories interspersed throughout. 

   Violence Dynamics is an amazing seminar, whether or not one is new to self defense. My first time there last year, I was struck by this group's uniqueness.  And yet, amidst techniques being practiced, law and self defense being taught, and criminals being deconstructed, a different, consistent picture emerged of  the instructors and of  the entire group:

Kasey Keckeisen -  When Kasey asked for thoughts or opinions, he actually LISTENED to the responses he received.
Dillon Beyer- Dillon's  teaching and advice on how to "people" at work was invaluable.
Randy King- Randy is hilarious, and somehow removed the intensity of moments by making people laugh.
Rory Miller-  Rory offered the best large group support and kept you "in the game" emotionally.
Marc MacYoung- Marc offered the best behind the scenes support and can essentially explain.. you to you.
The entire group-  Everyone was knowledgeable, helpful, and kind. There was something to learn from every person in the room.

What became obvious was the fact that these people all CARED. They showed more kindness to me, a stranger, than I received from some individuals within my own, inner circle.

   Returning to VioDy this year allowed me to strengthen previously formed bonds, meet more people, and experience the same, non judgmental kindness from some of the most wonderful I had the honor of meeting.
   Through this blog, I intend to document what I learned from, or because of, these amazing people...

Wow, for once the very loud guy is speechless.  I have nothing to add..
Who am I kidding it's my blog of course I have something to say about it.

Seeing things like this is a bold reminder that all the effort put into making these seminars happen is totally worth it

"We make strong people" - Looks good on a poster or a business card.  The truth is when we are at our best we simply remind people they were always strong and help them realize they can become even stronger.

Violence Dynamics will return this spring in the Washington D.C. area.  Stay tuned for details.

Train hard, Train smart, Be safe.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Violence Dynamics Prime 2016

Hey everybody!  It is that time of year again.  Pumpkin spice everything is back in stores.  Kids are picking out their Halloween costumes.  And....It is time to congregate in the greater Minnesota metropolitan area for arguably the best personal protection training seminar available.

OK I might be a little biased on that last part, but give me a break I am excited for Viody Prime!
I'm excited that we call it prime to differentiate between the different Violence Dynamics Seminars we held this year.

I am confident this will be the best Violence Dynamics yet.

I read an online forum last year.  Someone was considering coming to the seminar and posted a question asking if  anyone on the forum was familiar with the instructors, and if it was worth it.  One of the responses was something like -  their bios seem like they are trying too hard to be cool.

What?  Like Babe Ruth said it's not bragging if you back it up.

So this year Rory Miller wrote the bios..

VIODY PRIME, the first and original.

What happens? A bunch of pretty good instructors get together and give you a crash course on the violent world.

Rory Miller:
Former jail guard. Wrote some books.

Kasey Keckeisen:
Your host and MC.: Kasey is a multi-belted martial artist, SWAT member, sniper and training coordinator and a nerd.

Randy King:
Randy runs KPC Self-Defense in Edmonton, Alberta (that's in Canada).
Smart, personable, skilled and experienced.

Dillon Beyer:
Dillon's the kind of martial arts junkie who will eventually grow a beard and living on a mountain. Now he's just playing wandering monk. But for real. Because he's that kind of martial arts geek.

Myron Cossitt
Myron's my poster-boy for the transformative power of training. He'll help you be better, and without all the injuries the rest of us have.


"Nuff said

The Violence Dynamics seminar takes principles and concepts that usually take professional users of force years to comprehend and provides a common language for dealing with violence.
More than any other skills understanding how violence happens, how your body deals with violence, and how to articulate the force you used to others is of paramount importance.
Real violence happens faster and harder than most people's training takes into account.
If you want realistic training that answers the problems of today, then this is the seminar for you!

Here is the line up:

Day 0: Wednesday, 19OCT2016
Not open to the general public. Sorry. This is the day we play with Kaey's "special friends" aka SWAT.
OGs and ODIN members, contact Kasey directly and see if you can play...

* If you have successfully completed a Violence Dynamics Seminar you are welcome to attend training with the Ramsey County SWAT team.

Day 1: Thursday, 20OCT2016
0900-1000 Introduction, Safety Briefing, Admin Stuff
1015-1145 Context of Violence Lecture
1145-1245 Lunch
1245-1345 Introduction to the Drills
1400-1530 Violence Dynamics Lecture
1545-1645 Basic Power Generation
1700-1800 Leverage and leverage Points

Day 2: Friday, 21OCT2016
0900-0930 Daily Briefing
0930-1250 ConCom
1250-1400 Lunch
1400-1500 Targeting
1515-1615 Preservation and Restoration
1630-1800 Takedowns
1800-2000 Optional working dinner: Martial Arts Marketing

Day 3: Saturday, 22OCT2016
0900-0930 Daily Briefing
0930-1030 Logic of Violence
1035-1135 Counter Assault
1140-1320 Force Law
1320-1420 Lunch
1420-1550 High-end Use of Force
1555-1655 Ground Movement
1700-1800 Environmental Fighting

Day 4: Sunday, 23OCT2016
0900-0930 Daily Briefing
0930-1030 High Speed Decision Making
1040-1140 Plastic Mind
1140-1300 Drive and Lunch
1300-1400 Advanced People Watching 1
1400-1500 Advanced People Watching 2
1500-1600 Advanced People Watching 3
1600-1700 Advanced People Watching 4

Day one and all morning sessions:
The Mermaid Entertainment and Event Center
2200 County Highway 10,
Mounds View, MN 55112

Afternoon sessions of days two and three:
Mounds View Community Center
5394 Edgewood Drive
Mounds View MN 55112

Location of the APW on day four will be announced in class.

Spaces are limited and filling up fast.  SIGN UP today!!!

But wait there is more.  Special offer - bring 3 you train for free.  If you run a school and bring three of your students you train for free.  If you are a police department and send 3 officers, the fourth one trains for free.  If you just happen to have a lot of friends interested in personal protection and you talk them into coming to the seminar with you, you train for free.

Train hard, Train smart, Be safe

I hope to see you in October!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

"The King In The North"

I've been doing a lot of traveling lately.  This has been a very exciting year.  Taking Violence Dynamics on the road.  First to Oakland, then to Edmonton

I've been very fortunate that every time I do something like this I learn something new.  Something that I may have never learned with out going on these adventures.

This week's blog will focus on what I learned in Edmonton and some of my experiences there.

Playing your people
On the tactical team, Mike was usually the strategists.  All the team leaders were good at strategy and knew the principles of planning an operation.  However, Mike usually took point in that area.  Donny handled reconnaissance and intelligence gathering.  Everyone knew how to scout a location, but Donny seemed to be the guy on the spot getting it done.  We all had confidence his information was accurate and timely, so Donny took point in that area.  More often than not Jim handled logistics.  Making sure we had the equipment and vehicles that we needed.  Making sure we had a place to stage and brief.  All these guys were / are great at their jobs.  What did that leave me?  How can I contribute?  My niche was personnel.  Playing your people.  I knew my guys, and made sure that their assignments matched up with their greatest skill sets.  I also checked them the day of, to make sure they were on their game.  Your best shooter isn't your best shooter if they are hung over, sleep deprived, have the flu etc.  Then they get assigned van security or some such, and your next best shooter is put on  point.  Maximizing their performance.

Edmonton was the first time I applied this idea to the teaching staff of Violence Dynamics
I have had plenty of opportunity to compare and contrast past Violence Dynamics Seminars and I wanted to try something different this time.

Also Edmonton was a unique experience in that I was "The Talent"

Look at that.  Top billing.  Picture prominently displayed.  Kasey "The Talent" Keckeisen.

I set out to maximize my performance.  Making sure that I was presenting the best possible version of myself to the students.

 The talent isn't the talent if they are hung over, sleep deprived, have the flu etc.

How does one go about maximizing their performance?

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Know yourself.  We set up the schedule in such a way that allowed me to do what I needed to do to be at my best.

We woke up early enough for me (all of us) to get decent work out in, and to eat a good breakfast before class

Boom! I am feeling great

Train for a couple hours during which make sure to stay caffeinated.
Remember know your self.
I love:

  • Diet Mountain Dew
  • Coffee
  • Whiskey

So make sure I am also drinking a lot of water so my kidneys don't shrivel up and turn to rocks.
Train all morning

Make sure healthy food is available and can be consumed in the time allotted for lunch
* logistics - none of this would have been possible with out Amy, Sam and Michele

Train all after noon
Make sure I am drinking a lot of water so my kidneys don't shrivel up and turn to rocks.

Immediately after training debrief in private away from students.  Have a social gathering they can enjoy while we knock out business

What went well?, what needs improvement?, can we fix it tomorrow?  Even if it went great what would you change if you had to do it over again?

Any peer arguing  / come to Jesus talks done here in maximum 2 hour time limit.  No 6 hour up all night deep life discussions while shit faced after everyone else has gone home.

8 - 9
Meet up with students
Socialize / eat, make sure healthy food is available and can be consumed in the time allotted for dinner.  Make sure there is a place big enough for all of us.  Some of the best learning, most fun is had in these informal social gatherings.

All work and no play make Kasey something, something...


That was a rough first night.  Canada is WILD!

11 - 7
SLEEP!!!  at least 6 solid hours


I feel the plan worked well.  I was at my best and this was the arguably the best VioDy I have been part of.

The feedback from students also seems to reflect that idea

I have to imagine that not many little girls have their father's quote Sun Tzu to them.  However, besides changing my approach to Viody, that particular quote has come up a few times this summer with my daughters.

So please bare with a few proud dad stories, I promise they relate to the rest of this blog post.

We took the girls to Valley Fair (An amusement park in Minnesota) for the first time this summer.  They were very excited.  So excited in fact that the oldest wrote up a contract.  Very professional looking.  It read something along the lines of :

We the undersigned do here by pledge to ride every ride we are tall enough to be allowed on, no matter how scary it may appear.

If I recall correctly there was also a sub-clause about keeping your hands up.

The girls and I signed it, and we kept to our word.  We pushed hard through the day and hit every ride.  Every ride except the tower of terror because cousin Ben said NFW (no fucking way).  That was fine by me, I'm not a huge fan of that one either but I wasn't going to back down to the girls.

It had been a long day, we were tired and about to leave, but there was one more ride we had to hit.  We waited in line, finally it is our turn, we were strapping our selves in when Lauren looked at me.  She said Dad I don't want to ride this and walked off to the exit.

The ride cranked up, and it was pretty scary.  (See pictures below)

Afterwords I asked her -  what about the contract?  She replied she didn't want to be a wimp, but she didn't feel comfortable.  She doesn't like feeling weightless and watching the ride while we were waiting in line creeped her out.

I told her if you know the enemy and you know yourself you need not fear the outcome of 100 battles.

I explained that I was proud of her.  That she knew her self and was brave enough to do what she felt was right for her even though I might call her a wimp for backing down.  I encouraged her to trust that gut instinct.

When I got back from Edmonton we took the youngest to the Mall of America to make a teddy bear at the Build -A-Bear workshop for her 5th Birthday as is tradition.  Just by chance that particular day it was buy one bear get one free.  The middle child spotted a Wonder Woman bear.  Hey, it's free, it's Wonder Woman, why not?

The oldest got kind of mopey.  Mom asked sarcastically - you are going to be 13 and go into 7th grade soon, do you really want a teddy bear?  Lauren answered, well there is a pretty cool Bat-Girl bear.
It's Bat-Girl why not?

As we were getting ready to check out Lauren kind of sheepishly asked me if it was lame that a 13 year old wanted a Bat-Girl bear.  I told her that she was asking the wrong guy.  I am 42 and currently wearing Batman underwear.  I reminded her of our conversation at Valley Fair about knowing yourself.  I told her that I am of the school of thought that if you do know yourself, and you are confident in yourself, that what ever you like, no matter the opinion of others, is automatically cool by the simple fact that you like it.  If other people disagree they can eat a bag of dicks.
That at least got a smile.  I told her that I was happy she was in here having a moral dilemma over a toy as opposed to down the hall a few stores trying to decide if she should buy sexy under wear because society pushes 13 year old girls to act like 31 year old women.

This is form a Victoria Secret ad campaign targeted at 11-14 year old girls

I told her to enjoy being a girl.  Don't be in any rush to grow up, or be cool, and if need be to keep her out of Victoria's Secret for a couple more years I'd buy her every god damned bear in that store.

Know your enemy, know yourself, be true to your self.

OK - Off the proud Daddy soap box back on point.

I usually write up an extensive after action review.  However, Randy "Multi Media" King is the entire Internet.  So here is his Talking to Savages Podcast featuring an after action review from all of the Viody Next Gen Instructors

Pod Cast

What else did I learn and experience in Edmonton?

KPC is great!  Clearly I knew the instruction would be outstanding because I have known and worked with  Randy King for years.

The facilities are very cool.  Every thing you need for this type of training, nothing you do not.  I took some notes for the Skill Mill and Harm Farm projects.

As good as the instruction is, and as cool as the facility is what really stands out at KPC is the people.
I mentioned it on the pod cast.  I don't like many people.  Also, invariably at a seminar of this type there is always "that guy".  As in fuck that guy.  Ugh, I've had enough of that guy.

Maybe because of "playing your guys" I mentioned to start this blog, I was in a better head space, and generally more patient.  Maybe Myron and Randy know me well enough to see when I am getting inpatient and intervened, but there was really no "that guy".  Everyone was very cool.

There are a few of those cool people I want to mention specifically.

Amy - The hostess with the most-ess.  Was very gracious in letting me stay with her and Randy and was very valuable making sure I was comfortable and fed.  Only down side was she forced me to watch "The Vampire Dairies".  Ugh, so lame who would ever like that show?

Michele - The Hand of the King.  Everything that needed to get done for this to run smoothly.  Every thing I do in Minnesota but say wow I wish I could just show up and teach, Michele did.  All I had to do was show up and teach.  That was fantastic

Myron - I have written about Myron before.  I have acquired his assistance in some up coming cross over blogs.  We will be discussing Life Dynamics.  Training to make your life more enjoyable, and to perform better at what you enjoy doing, and being the best version of your self.  Stay tuned.

Myron turned on a light bulb for me when I was in Edmonton.  Or more accurately gears clicked together.  I saw mobility work as a bridge between what is achieved in the gym to what can be accomplished on the mat.

Myron is opening a gym in early 2017 everyone should check out what he and his partner are putting out.

In keeping with the King in the North / Game of Thrones motif...
The night is dark and full of terrors.

Sometimes those terrors have names.

One of those names is Thor.  A coach at KPC.  Another is named Heath.  I called him the mountain that rides.

The good folks at KPC simply call him the nightmare.  Thank God they are both actually really nice guys.  But they are tough guys.  They opened my eyes a little bit.

It is very easy for me to say don't rely on size and strength...when I am the biggest and strongest guy in class.  It is very different when your size and strength don't really mean anything.

Who is your nightmare opponent?
 - Bigger
OK, how much bigger?
– 3 weight classes up

UFC weight classes:
Heavyweight               - Over 205 lbs. to 265 lbs.
Light Heavyweight      - Over 185 lbs. to 205 lbs.
Middleweight              - Over 170 lbs. to 185 lbs.
Welterweight              - Over 155 lbs. to 170 lbs.
Lightweight                 - Over 145 lbs. to 155 lbs.

So 60 to 100 pounds heavier

 - Stronger
OK, How much stronger?
For the sake of argument let's say you weigh 200lbs and can bench press your body weight.  The nightmare would bench 300lbs.

 - Meaner – disregards the rules, wants to hurt you.
Will never surrender, may not recognize signs of surrender in others (won't stop fighting until you are broken or worse).
Fighting this guy would suck!

Now let’s give him the 1st attack by surprise from behind.

Do you have anything that can handle this nightmare?
Playing with Thor and Heath refined my nightmare tool box.  Things I thought were my top notch stuff they laughed off.  I had to rely on stuff that I usually don't teach any not named Keckeisen.

Bottom line is...This nightmare is what women face every minute of every day.

If you don’t have anything that can beat that nightmare opponent, what are you teaching as women’s self defense?  What are you teaching cops?

Reminds me of this clip from the show "Banshee"

This whole clip is entertaining, but the part I am talking about starts around 2:35
"You are trained, but are a woman, so not dangerous"

To all the female readers -  don't get pissed at me, I didn't write it.  However, I think it does illustrate issues women have, no matter how well trained.

Do you have anything that can handle this nightmare?

If you want to see what worked for me.  Come to Viody Prime in October

There we will discuss operational disciplines.  Training required to make your skill sets and previous training viable for personal protection and professional use of force.

Including high end use of force.  Side note - The slang term for this class is wreck - a - neck.  However, no department is going to send it's people to a class called wreck -a -neck.  You go to fire arms training, not shoot a fucker in the face class.  So pro tip when you are introducing the class and you say to yourself don't call it wreck-a-neck you might accidentally call it high end wreck a force.  Which sounds cool but doesn't make any sense.

Regardless high end use of force and force law / force articulation are vital operational discipline classes that were refined in Edmonton and are part of the upcoming VioDy Prime in October.

That is a good place to find your own answers to the question - Do you have anything that can handle this nightmare?

Because the night is dark and full of terrors, there are nightmares out there.
It is up to us to find the best way to deal with them.

Until then...
Train hard, Train smart, Be safe

Friday, August 19, 2016

Back in the saddle part 3

I left you with a cliff hanger.  Then I left you hanging for a long time.
I've had lots of adventures lately, but now I'm back and on track, so it is time to get the blog caught up.

Back in the saddle part 3 - The Journey Home (Sounds like an 80's sci fi flick right?)
Part 1 was being on the road again
Part 2 was being in a gi again
Part 3 is getting back to "normal"

If you recall from "Back in the saddle part 2" I ended with a social media post from my wife expressing the difficulties she was having with the perceived hatred of Law Enforcement she was experiencing on the news and in social media.

Her worries were not unfounded.

The now well known shooting of Philando Castile happened only 15 miles from my Police Department and in the County I work for.

That same night I read my wife's post I had two texts on my phone.  One from my PD asking for Officers to work patrol in St. Anthony so that the St. Anthony Officers that were receiving death threats could spend time with their families.

Another from the County telling me to be on standby to provide tactical support to the mobile field force in case of riots in St. Anthony

Instead of protesting the St. Anthony Police Department, (which would have been my responsibility) the protesters decided to to stage their rally on a portion of I 94. (Another department's responsibility).  Sadly an Officer from one of those other Departments was struck in the head by a cinder block and suffered a severe neck injury.

So my wife's fears are not unfounded.  There are people out there that hate cops.  People that want to hurt / kill cops not based on any particular misdeed that individual did, but simply because of their profession.

That is the new normal.

However, as scary as that seems.  As many news papers as that sells (do people still buy news papers?)  That hatred is a very small minority.  They just happen to get a lot of press.

The next morning before camp David Bleeker and I were discussing what has been happening and what I had waiting fro me when I got home (the title of this blog is making more sense now isn't it?) while we were waiting in line for coffee.

The guy behind us must have overheard us.  I am not known for the quietness of my voice, especially if I am passionate about what I am discussing.  He offered to buy our coffee.  We made it clear that was unnecessary.

The guy was adamant and insisted.  That is cool, thank you.

When I did go back to work, I went to my favorite breakfast place J.R. Riche's
RJ's is the best restaurant no one has ever heard of.  They are known for their generous portions. These pictures don't even really express how large these meals are.

Small Omelet 

Child's pancake

If you ever find yourself around Mounds View you have to try this place.  Anyway back to the point. When I got home I wasn't able to buy a meal at RJ's for like two weeks.  In fact arguments broke out over who was going to pay for my meal for me.

So am I some slob living off the tragedy of others?  The point I want to make is yes, there are people out there that hate cops.  People that want to hurt / kill cops not based on any particular misdeed that individual did, but simply because of their profession.

However, That hatred is a very small minority.  They just happen to get a lot of press.  There won't be news articles on folks that go out of their way to make Law Enforcement know that they are appreciated.  The people that come up and shake our hands or hold signs on the corner that read honk if you support the police.  Most likely you will never see these people, but they vastly outnumber those that just want to watch the world burn.

Despite the narrative being pushed by the media,  folks have been very supportive.

The last day of camp I worked on some high end use of force options and a basic understanding of Violence Dynamics.  The difference between social and asocial violence.

We discussed "othering" and how professionals other by behavior.  Criminals (assholes) other by race, creed, color, religion, sexual preference, Pokemon team, profession.

It is easy to hate a generalization, it is easy to hate a stereotype (othering) it is hard to hate Larry the guy I see every day at the Coffee shop.

Now more than ever we need to increase positive regular / every day interactions with Law Enforcement.

At the same time Cops need more and better training.  Greater hiring standards.  Higher fitness standards.

This is all happening at a time when no one wants to become a Police Officer anymore.  Who in their right mind would?  You can click the link below for an in depth article on that.
Post Policing Era in America

So what?  Is there nothing that can be done?  Is this entire blog Kasey being a cry baby?

C'mon guys it's me

For the last 8 months I've been working on a project to increase positive regular / every day interactions between civilians and Law Enforcement.  Increase the amount and quality of training Law Enforcement receives.  Improve the physical fitness of Law Enforcement and American youth, and encourage youth to become Law Enforcement Officers.


Control and Arrest Tactics, Captures and Holds (CATCH)

Mission Statement
CATCH is an objective defense tactics qualification process for Police Explorers and Law Enforcement.
The purpose of CATCH is to help build strong people by providing a safe, positive, and energetic environment for youth and adults to enjoy training in personal protection skills.  Fundamental control tactics skills are tested against resistive opponents using different competitions on a graduated scale of contact and resistance appropriate to age and experience level.

Police Explorers is a branch of The Boy Scouts of America for young men and women ages 14-21 that have an interest in Law Enforcement.

CATCH is a fun way for youth interested in Law Enforcement to learn personal protection skills, and be active through play.
Explorers train and compete against other troops in many different facets of law Enforcement. Explorers receive training in arrest procedures and defensive tactics but there is no competition system for these skills.

Although CATCH was originally developed for Police Explorers, it can also be used by any Law Enforcement training program to make sure Officers can apply fundamental skills under pressure.

In order to do this three criteria had to be met.

Traditionally every Military and Police Academy had boxing, wrestling and fencing clubs.  These clubs encouraged physical fitness, camaraderie, and to help develop useful skills.  The need these clubs fulfilled still exists, however there are very few, if any agencies currently providing opportunities to engage in healthy competition.   Any competition, regardless of the rule set, in which you stand alone against a restive opponent intent on defeating you, helps prepare you for self defense. There are many different combative competition systems out there.  All are good at what they are designed for.  There is no competition system designed specifically to meet the needs of Law Enforcement.  CATCH is designed to meet these needs.

Law Enforcement has never been under stricter scrutiny at any time in history.  Any competition system used to test fundamental skills under pressure has to be within departmental policy and non-obtrusive to the public.  At the same time providing officer safety and giving the officer maximum control without causing injury to the suspect or to the officer.
Skills tested have to work in the environment Officers will be in and be justified under state law, both proven to work in the field and stand up in court.

A competition system used as an objective defensive tactics qualification process must develop confidence in hand to hand confrontations both standing and on the ground.  Confidence developed by successfully applying these skills under pressure against a resistive opponent.

"An individual can test the efficacy of any combat method by asking himself this simple question “Will this work so I can use it instinctively in vital combat against an opponent who is determined to prevent me from doing so, and is striving eliminate me through means fair or foul?”
- Col. Rex Applegate “Kill or be killed”

No department is going to want to incorporate a system, or let their Officers go train in a method that lowers available manpower and increases workman’s compensation due to injuries.  No parent is going to allow their Explorer to participate in something likely to physically damage their child. Therefore,  a focus on injury free training is paramount.

No full contact sport can be made 100% injury free.  Part of the benefit of the competition is it provides a place to face your fears.  The reality is you might get hurt.  This rule set represents the safest way to accomplish force on force training in a manner that makes sense and provides the training effect, results, and life lessons we are trying to achieve.

Law Enforcement does not need to, nor should they practice dying.
Tapping prevents injury by submission.  However, "on the street" to Law Enforcement submission is death.  If a cop quits he or she dies.
A competition system used as an objective defensive tactics qualification process must incorporate the idiom - you win or you learn - directly into the rule set.  Ingraining a never give up attitude and inculcating when it is necessary to ramp up to higher levels of force in the most realistic way safely possible.

Close quarters physical contact, controlling a resistive opponent can be a scary thing.  CATCH accustoms participants to physical contact by providing different competitions on a graduated scale of contact and resistance appropriate to age and experience level.

There must also be buy in from the participants.  If training is fun, people will want to train.

“Generally speaking, if we look at sports we find that their strong point is that because they are competitive they are interesting, and young people are likely to be attracted to them. No matter how valuable the method of physical education, if it is not put into practice, it will serve no purpose — therein lies the advantage of sports…
Serious consideration must be given to the selection of the sport and the training method. Sports must not be undertaken carelessly, over-zealously, or without restraint. However, it is safe to say that competitive sports are a form of physical education that should be promoted with this advice in mind—to develop a sound body that is useful to you in your daily life “
- Jigoro Kano (Founder of Judo)

CATCH is a fun way to enhance any training program or Explorer Post.  The more fun Police Explorers is, the more people will participate.
The youth of the nation are woefully unprepared for the realities of life in general and more so in regards to violence.
The best way to counter act this trend is to engage them in positive activities when they are young enough to develop lifelong habits.

People that start training from 14-18 years old have a higher tendency to become lifelong martial artists.
Explorers my never go on to careers in Law Enforcement or the Military, however, their experience with CATCH can help to make the world safer by becoming hard targets.  Building stronger people

“By training you in attacks and defenses it refines your body and your soul… In this way you are able to perfect yourself and contribute something of value to the world. “
- Jigoro Kano (Founder of Judo)

“By educating one person and sending them into the society of his generation we make a contribution extending a hundred generations to come”
- Jigoro Kano (Founder of Judo)

I hope to host the 1st ever CATCH games Sunday February 26th 2017

It is easy to hate a generalization, it is easy to hate a stereotype (othering) it is hard to hate Larry the guy I see every day at Judo.

That is my big picture goal.  My way to make the world slightly less crazy

What can I do to set my wife's mind at ease?   Small picture stuff to be safer
Well, I’m in a tough spot.
There is Kasey Fucking Keckeisen the product.  The personal protection instructor.  The Judo guy who loves travelling the world rolling with cool people.  Who has to be well known and accessible so he can make money travelling the world rolling with cool people.
There is also Officer Kasey Keckeisen who doesn’t want anyone to know anything about him and has to be inaccessible to protect himself and his family.

So I have to separate those two guys meaning that there will be some changes to the Budo Blog and my social media presence.  Stay tuned.

I have been blessed with a family and community that is very supportive.  I thank you.  Know that I will do everything I can to maintain the highest standards and hold my brothers and sisters to the ideals we pledged to uphold with our oath of office.

On my honor,
I will never betray my badge,
my integrity, my character, 
or the public trust.
I will always have
the courage to hold myself
and others accountable for our actions.
I will always uphold the constitution
my community and the agency I serve.

I will do everything I can to keep myself and my family safe

I will leave you with this thought.

Train hard, train smart, be safe

The Budo Blog will return next week in “The King of the North”