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.

Before


After
"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


Locations:
Day one and all morning sessions:
The Mermaid Entertainment and Event Center
2200 County Highway 10,
Mounds View, MN 55112
763-780-2900

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

Food
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.

 6-8
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...

9-11
Booze


That was a rough first night.  Canada is WILD!












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

Repeat.

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?
50%
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.


C.A.T.C.H.

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.
Usefulness
Safety
Fun

Useful:
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”

Safe:
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.

Fun:
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”

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Back in the saddle (Part 2)

Previously on The Budo Blog...
Back in the saddle refereed to being on the road again.  Travelling cross country with Gary Rudenick.

This time it will refer to being in a gi.



Back in the saddle part 2 - back in a gi

I don't usually wear a gi.  To some folks that may seem at best nontraditional at worse heresy.
However, non traditional is actually more traditional.  Huh?  is that a Zen koan?  What do I mean by that?

What became a gi was just what was convenient to train in at the time.

Look at some of the first photos of Judo / Jujutsu (at the time interchangeable terms) being practiced. A jacket for some throws and tights, with what looks like wrestling shows (Kind of like modern Sambo)





These guys just wanted to train comfortably and not wreck their regular clothes.



I just want to train comfortably and not wreck my regular clothes.

So we (my school) usually roll in gi pants and a rash guard.  Throwing on a jacket when needed for some throws and clothing chokes.

Like this.  So this picture clearly shows gi pants and a rash guard.
But honestly I just like the goofy expression on my face and how big my arm looks in the picture :)

I was traditionally trained, and as such I wore a gi for much of my training.
Smell has a strong memory trigger.  There is a distinct aroma to a sweat soaked double weave Judo gi.  If you know it, you know what I am talking about.  If you don't I can't put it in words.
Being in a gi, smelling that smell again, brought back fond memories.

Why I was in a gi again?  I was part of the board for a formal test.
I have written about the testing process at camp the last few years, you can review my thoughts here if you like
2015
2014

I was very impressed to say the least.

There are too many martial arts schools with "self defense" portions of their testing process that have no idea about self defense.  Lots of retrofitting situations to fit skills that their art practices.  As opposed to working on principles applicable to how criminals actually attack.

You also see a lot of lip service paid to running away.  Yeah you should run away, ok that is done, gather around and watch how to hit them with a snapping back fist.

If you never practice escaping, if you never practice moving around another human body and running away.  How do expect to do it when it counts?

This skill is difficult enough that people that can do it well make millions of dollars doing it in the NFL



You think Defensive Linemen talk about moving past someone that is trying to stop them?  Or do they practice it a lot?

Even for those rare places that actually practice this skill for self defense.  Have you pressure tested it?

If you don't, if you haven't you should play with it.

How you might ask.  That topic deserves a blog of it's own, and honestly that is information that I don't just give away. So....

Blatant self promotion warning !!!!

Violence Dynamics Next Gen  - Edmonton Alberta Canada - 07 / 28 - 31 / 2016
Violence Dynamics (Prime) - St. Paul Minnesota America (Duh) 10 /20 - 23 / 2016



The people at camp had clearly played with it and they were tested under pressure.

It was great to see counter ambush and goal oriented fighting (in this case fighting to the goal of escape) directly incorporated into their regular training.

For this portion of the test I ran one line and David Bleeker ran the other


Dave is one of my favorite people and I don't like many people.  I try to steal as much Judo from him every chance I get.  That is him between Gary and I.  As you can see he is a big dude.  He is also a multiple time National Heavy Weight Judo Champion.

The people testing had to work their counter ambush against us, fight to escape, and yell fire as they were running away to bring attention to the situation.

If those three things were not accomplished they failed the entire test that they had been preparing for for a year.

Dave and I had the advantage of size, strength, initiative, experience, and intent (we can both be kind of mean) over everyone testing.  Awesome you don't get to pick your assailant, and if you can make it work on us, it works.  Confidence through competence.

Some of the people testing had trouble with the idea and tried to have a Judo match with us.  They got slammed until they realized they had a far higher chance of slipping past us and escaping than they did trying to win a "fair fight".

Shows the importance of practicing this under pressure.  Best to learn these lessons here with Dave and I, who can be mean but genuinely care for the people we are working with, as opposed to someone trying to take them to a secondary crime scene.

Fantastic test and the participants did well.

 I can sum up how good a test it was and how well the participants did with one story.

On the other line a 100 and nothing lb,  5 foot noting, teen aged young woman slipped past Dave.  We don't give anything for free.  Somehow Dave caught her as she was running away and now she was stuck in front of this giant. I'm not sure how she did it, it looked like a Ko Soto Gari (minor outside reap) but she threw Dave, then completed the drill running away and yelling fire.

There was kind of a hush.  (You are not supposed to applaud during the test)  No one knew what they were supposed to do exactly.

Dave got up with a slight smile on his face, nodded at me and went back to work. (One of the reasons I love Dave).

Under pressure this young woman used very basic principles to throw a larger, stronger assailant all but effortlessly.  Probably the coolest thing that happened at camp.

Just so you can fathom how cool that was, understand that I have never seen Dave thrown.  No one throws Dave!  Omar doesn't throw Dave, I don't throw Dave, but a 100 and nothing lb,  5 foot noting, teen aged young woman threw Dave.  And Dave was happy she did.  Too cool!



One of the great things about camp is there are multiple classes going on at the same time.  The classes are very informal, you can come and go as you please, and you can switch between the martial arts and law enforcement classes throughout the training camp.

However, because of this there are times when two different classes I wanted to attend were happening at the same time.

As problems go, that is a good problem to have.

How does one choose?

Giri 義理  is a Japanese value roughly corresponding to "duty", "obligation", or even "burden of obligation" in English.

There are people at camp that I have obligations to.  People that have worked hard to help me.  I don't get to see these people as often as I would like, and I miss them.  As much as camp is about training, it has also become a kind of family reunion for me  So as much I'd like to be in two places at one time, the choice was easy and I spent as much time as possible with the people I drove 10 hours to spend time with.

Day 2 of training camp started with  Marine Combatives taught by Alex Hendrix.
The next class was Judo with Gary Rudenick.  After watching the ne waza randori (ground skills freestyle) portion of the test last night Rudenick Sensei noticed some things he wanted to work with the next day.

Gary's class was some fundamental ground skills.  Very basic, but it is mastery of these basics which causes growth to mastery.

Gary also worked on a variation of Ude Gatame that he noticed lots of people could have hit in randori if they could have seen that the opportunity when it presented itself.

Seeing the same thing from different perspectives is one of the best parts of training camp and vital to sustained progress.

This is true for martial arts and tactical teams.  If all your training is in house.  If all your information is from one source.  You run the risk of becoming incestuous.

Why do you do things this way?

  • That is the way we have always done them
  • That is what the Instructor told us to do
  • Its has always worked

Who have you fought?  How has it been tested?  What are the best practices - how do the best in the world do it?

You don't know what you don't know.  Receiving training from outside sources broadens your perspective to things you haven't considered, and may never have considered with out that exposure.

The next class was Systema with Dennis Maginn, followed by competition Jujitsu with Omar Ahmad.

Omar discussed how many of the people that were successful at the USA Combat Wrestling national team qualification won with knee and ankle locks.



Knee and ankle locks, oh great, my favorite! (That was sarcasm)
Surgically repaired knee, surgically repaired ankle.

Most classes that I am not teaching I take ukemi for the instructor, because I am good at it, which means they can pound on me, with out breaking me so the students can see the application, and for selfish reasons because as Uke, I learn a lot by feeling things that can not be seen.  This was not the case for this class.  Primarily because I tap to these locks far sooner than most.  So the students don't really get to see the application very well

Kurt (I do the splits) Valdez took the thumping this time around.


Trent Williamson was my partner.


Trent is tough, and an intense competitor.  I let him know, hey man my old shitty knees don't bend all the way they are supposed to, be gentle with me.

He replied, they will now.

Trent was very cool.  He and Dave took a lot of time to work with me on the knee and ankle locks.
Truth be told I was a little scared, but doing things you are afraid of is important and necessary mental training.

Rory Miller writes in his book "Drills - Training For Sudden Violence"

One of the most catastrophic failures in self-defense is to do nothing.  There are many ways to freeze, many reasons that people take damage or acquiesce to attackers.  Sometimes they feel they need a plan.  Sometimes they are in denial that the event is happening.  Rarely the victim doesn’t know what to do.  Often, the victim does know what to do, but can’t seem to make him or herself do it.
Fighting is unpleasant.  It hurts, for one thing.  You have to get very close, touching close, to people you would normally avoid.  It can smell bad and there is the definite possibility of messy spills.
You won’t enjoy defending yourself from an assault.
Make it a habit to do the things you don’t enjoy.  Immediately, efficiently and without hesitation.
If you are going to jump in the cold water, jump.  Don’t work yourself up to it.  As long as it is safe (the water is deep enough, no rocks…) jump.  Jump with your whole heart.
If you study martial arts and think that there is an aspect of training that is useless or that you hate, do it.  Do it until those feelings go away.  If you think that kata is useless and boring, excellent.  Facing that boredom is the center of self-discipline.
If the very idea of competing in a tournament makes you nervous, you must do it.  That is fear, a low level fear, and facing fear is the essence of self-defense...

As you do things you are afraid of, maybe even your own taxes, you will learn and see how little there is in the world that is actually dangerous.
Not only does this drill make you tougher, it also makes you smarter, and in the end, wiser.  The person who acts when everyone else hesitates is a hero.  



Omar put on a great class and I'm excited to incorporate more leg attacks into what I teach

After lunch Michael Abels taught some Kenjutsu aspects of Aikido



The day ended with JKD taught by Richard Bustillio one of Bruce Lee's original students.



Another great day.  I was exhausted and my gi was soaked.  I spent the day doing what I love with some of my favorite people in the world.  Another great opportunity to spend time with, learn from and get beat up by Steve Jimerfield Sensei.  Fantastic day, well worth the trip




As is tradition when we got home to my Sister's house Gary and I had a cigar and "Marky Mark" and debriefed the day.

If you find your self in a seminar learning environment I suggest writing down the one best thing you learned from every class and find someone to talk about it with after class.  This helps process the information better and makes learning easier.

After we debrief we usually check in with our loved ones back home.
This is what I read on my wife's social media

July 8 at 9:59am ·
People often ask me how I do it, how are you able to be a police officer's wife? Up until this year it was easy, I know he trains hard to be able to come home to us and I pray everyday for his safety. I'm not sure how to make it through everyday now. Officers are being ambushed and murdered for doing their jobs! People are quick to judge cases of cops killing people without all the facts or proof of what actually happened! If you weren't there you don't know what really happened. Then when the truth finally comes out they deny it!
We have 3 girls who adore their Dad!!!!How do I help my girls understand people HATE their Dad because he's an officer? They want to kill him! How do I tell them they can only tell people we know & trust that he is a police officer and they can't proudly yell it from the rooftops? How long can I keep them from hearing the news of another officer shot?
Please help me continue to pray for Kasey and all of our friends who are fellow officers everyday! It's the only way I can make it through these tough days.
We are a Blue family, that means we stand with every officer, everywhere! 💙 If you can't support us please unfriend me

I'm having a blast, and my family is having a hard time back home.
To be continued...

Your friendly neighborhood Silverback Samurai will return in "Back in the saddle part 3"





Thursday, July 14, 2016

Back in the saddle

So, anything newsworthy happen since the last blog post?

I don't mean to make light of recent tragedies, it is just sometimes if you don't laugh you start to cry.

Clearly many things have happened locally and across the nation since the last Budo Blog.
Also the last Budo Blog was like "War and Peace" long.

Randy King gave me some good advice along the lines of - no one besides people that already know you and like your blog are going to read your posts if it takes them 45 minutes to read it.

Too long didn't read  - can keep good information from getting to folks that may need it.

Clearly many things have happened, this blog helps me process those things.  It also has to be of use to everyone that may read it, and presented in a way that can be more easily consumed.

So, this will be "Back in the saddle" Vol 1

I spent a lot of time in the saddle last week.  Driving from northern Minnesota down to Mankato (southern Minnesota) to pick up Rudenick Sensei.  Then continuing on to St. Louis for the USMAA National Training Camp.

I had my phone plugged into the radio playing every Metallica and AC/DC song there is or listening to classic rock radio on Pandora when Rudenick Sensei had clearly had enough of the deep cuts of Metallica's early work

Driving cross country listening to classic rock with an old bearded guy....reminded me of an episode of Supernatural.

Clearly I am Dean


I love training camp.  It is a great opportunity to see old friends and spend time with family.  Both the family you are born into and the one you chose.

It is a great opportunity to get away from it all.  Molly's description of Valhalla.  For the next three days all I am going to do is fight and feast.  Turns out it was a good time to get away from it all.

On the road, busy training, disconnected from media I had no idea what was going on.

Things have been going really well for me on the Beyond Batman training project.  I did not want travel to throw a monkey wrench into those gears.  So I started camp at 0500 with a sandbag strength workout.

{Sand bag product review to follow}

We made it through St. Louis traffic and road construction just in time to get a coffee at the hotel coffee shop and get our gis on before camp started.

The camp started with an opening ceremony and this year an awards ceremony.  Awards from the Katamedo Jujitsu Training and Nutrition page.  Omar Ahmad started the page as a place to share nutrition, fitness, and training information with the purpose of encouraging members to strive to be their best and in doing so inspire their students and others that observe their efforts.

I won the award this year.  Not so much that I worked harder or had better results than the others.  I think I won on the sheer volume of selfies I posted


Here is a screen shot of the photos from that page, except for Omar's giant calf they are all me

I was honored to be recognized for my efforts.  Now I have to work even harder to hold on to the title
"This is not last year and I am not done here" - Rob Bailey

Training camp started with Kurt (Barnacle Boy)Valdez teaching Tae Kwon Do in the main room 


Here is a picture of Kurt getting whooped by his lovely wife.  
The couple that throws together grows together

On the other mat Steve Jimerfield Sensei was starting his Talon class



 Nothing brings back the PTSD... I mean memories like taking ukemi for the Talon class.

After that Omar Ahmad was up for self defense, and I got to switch from being beat up by Jimerfield to being beat up by Omar.

Great class!  The focus was on counter ambush from behind and follow up.  Fighting to the goal, in this case the goal was escape.  Also addressing situational awareness and the need to keep yourself from being buried in your phone when you are out in public.

This would come up again in the Jujitsu test and in the Violence Dynamics class I presented later in the camp.



Omar's class worked great to set up mine which gave me more time to play.
I was very pleased with how the class went, everyone worked hard, and seemed to learn something and have fun.  It seems arrogant to review my own class so instead I'll give you part of the lesson plan to review what was covered

Training Goal:
To use Aikido as a mechanism to play with fundamental principles that are useful to all participants regardless of their primary training system

Learning Objectives:
Participants will demonstrate proficiency in:
Oyo Waza Practical Application
Kansetsu Waza Joint Locks
Nage Waza         Takedowns
Osae Komi Pins
Atemi Waza         Striking
Jyu Waza         Free Style

Timeline
Discussion 5 Min
Hinge Joints – Hiji Hishigi (Elbow Crush) 5 Min
Takedown (2 variations)       10 Min
Pin         5 Min
Gliding Joints
Pressure Test and Jyu Waza 5 Min
Tomiki Aikido / Judo Discussion

Ball and Socket Joints – Ude Garami 5 Min
(Arm Entanglement)
Takedown (2 variations)        10 Min
Pin         5 Min
Pressure Test and Jyu Waza 5 Min

Debrief
What is your take away?         5 Min

Discussion

Aikido is a form of Jujutsu.  When you break it down Aikido is primarily:
Joints Locks – Kansetsu Waza
Throws – Nage Waza
Pins – Osae Komi
Striking – Atemi Waza
Practical Application – Oyo Waza
Ahmad Sensei just did a fantastic class on self defense.  Which makes my job easier.  We will work everything from counter ambush or from offense covering Oyo Waza and Atemi Waza.
From there we will work the fundamental principles of how locks work.  That way you won’t have to memorize any techniques, rather you will be able to improvise locks when the opportunity presents itself.
That is known as Takemusu Aiki or spontaneous technique.
That is regarded as the highest level of Aikido.  That is also the concept I believe Makoid is referring to when he speaks of “Old Man Judo”.

From there we will use locks to take Uke down covering Nage Waza.  Finally we will maintain the locks to pin Uke on the ground covering Osae Komi.

I have found people learn best through play, and feeling things for themselves.  Feeling is believing is an old Aikido maxim.  So we will play with these ideas through several different pressure testing methods and freestyle variations.

We will be using Aikido as a mechanism to play with fundamental principles that are useful to all participants regardless of their primary training system

Nathan Corliss was nice enough to take Ukemi for me

That is him working his way out of a choke with a Talon

We discussed camp afterwards, the following is a paraphrased version of what he had to say

Many have  commented to me they make the effort to attend yours and Gary's classes. It's some of those little details and variations that help adapt to our differences.

I know that's the case for me too. I had specific people I wanted to attend, You, Gary and Jimerfield.

Its the body mechanics work and methodology of teaching technique that appeals, Its broken down well and helps me to pass on techniques to others who don't train.

I'm also glad you discussed the basics of social and asocial violence. Important topic for others to think about levels of force to apply when necessary and how avoidable some are.

Kurt was going over it in class last night. Working the ambush getting to that dead angle then, do what you wish. At least you know its being passed on.

After my class Ron Treem taught a Karate class while I continued to get beat up by Jimerfield Sensei

The next class was taught by Michael Makoid Sensei.

I enjoy Makoid Sensei's instruction especially "old man Judo".  This was one of the best classes at camp. The focus was principle based Judo.  Specifically structure and power generation.  Makoid Sensei had different Instructors show their favorite version of Tai Otoshi (Body Drop)

Using Tai Otoshi as a delivery method Makoid Sensei demonstrated that no matter the variation of the throw, the principles that made Tai Otoshi work were the same.  

That is a tough act to follow.  Following that act was Eric Holien



Getting to know and roll with Eric was one of my favorite parts of camp this year.
I recognized his name as a Facebook friend, but I guess a part of my brain didn't put it together that he was also from Minnesota until I saw he was scheduled to teach martial art aspects of western wrestling.

Martial art aspects of western wrestling?  Hell, those are a few of my favorite things.  Who is this guy that they have teaching that?  So I looked him up.

He is not all that far away from me.  It would be great to set up training opportunities.  I hope he is cool.  Please be cool

Eric was on a Military Wrestling Team while he was serving over seas with lots of competition experience, especially with Eastern Europeans.  (If you don't know Eastern Europeans have a well earned reputation as very tough grapplers)



What did Eric teach?  Principle based Wrestling (are you starting to see a trend here?)

That is the core of Katamedo Jujitsu.  The principles of the grappling arts are common, only the rules differ.  Whether the rules are department policy or rules of engagement for professional use of force, state statutes for personal protection or sport rules for competition in any grappling or mixed martial arts setting.

The most confident fighter is one who can compete on equal ground no matter what the rules.

For personal protection and professional use of force you have to be able to compete on equal ground no matter what the rules. Confidence in this is built through competence. Competence is built using modern sporting methods to prepare practitioners for the situations they will be called upon to face and train them to deal with those situations in the most realistic manner safely possible.

Eric had a great class.  Again I don't want to sound arrogant writing that I liked Eric's class because it is a whole lot like what I teach.  However, as I have written several times - If you use the chisel of successful application to remove everything that does not work what is left regardless of it's original source material is going to look pretty similar. Clearly there will be some variation do to different application and plain personal preference, but you will find similar forms to provide a specific necessary functions.


COOL! We can be friends


We can set up cross training and represent the north central region.

I guess I need to start taking some ginkgo biloba or start doing Sudoku or something to help the old memory.  It turns out that Eric is also in Law Enforcement and we actually competed against each other in a 2007 Jujitsu tournament.

That tournament is no longer held.  However, with Eric's competitive experience, if things go my way with the C.A.T.C.H. project maybe we will host a tournament to replace it.

Much, much more on that to follow.

The day ended with the testing board.  The test deserves more time than I have left in this blog.  So like a Quentin Tarantino flick I am going to go out of chronological order and come back to the test later.

After a long hard and fun day I was treated by my Sister Kay and her Husband Jim to a wonderful meal.  Then, as is tradition Rudenick Sensei and I enjoy a cigar and a "Marky Mark" in the back yard debrief the day and prepare for tomorrow.

On the road, busy training, disconnected from media, getting away from it all.
Good day, time to enjoy the Budo Buzz

My phone started blowing up with texts from friends on the tactical team.  Especially from one buddy in particular.  One buddy who's previous job was with the tactical team in Dallas Texas.

Now I knew what was going on...

Ok, so as promised I will break this blog into segments.  I will leave you with this dramatic cliff hanger.

Until next time

Train hard, Train smart, Be safe!