Friday, November 23, 2018

Thank God for unanswered prayers

This week was Thanksgiving in America.  A time to take a pause and show appreciation for all that you hold dear.  Then, if you are religious to thank God for those things.

The holiday, along with some projects I am working on, and conversations with friends I am truly thankful for, got me thinking about giving thanks for things one is not grateful for.

Awhile ago I had a Paul Harvey – the rest of the story, type conversation with someone.  It was brave of them to share that part of their history with me.  Especially because it involved a significant traumatic experience in their life.  As I was listening, I was hit with several thoughts:

  • Wow, I’m glad they feel comfortable enough with me to share this.
  • This person is even more amazing than my original assessments because they came through that experience.
  • Anger - I want to kill the mother fucker that caused this pain,
  • If I could go back in time I would.
But the thought that hit me hardest, and inspired this blog was…
If I went back in time and killed that mother fucker would the person sharing this deeply personal account with me ever come to exist.  Would they still be able to become the amazing person I have come to know?



In the animated film "Teen Titans: The Judas Contract" Beast Boy (Garfield Logan) is being interviewed by Kevin Smith after the apparent death of a team mate.  He says,"There are a lot of people who have been handed a rough life.  They never asked for it, but they do what they can.  Many of them can’t rise above the hurt it’s just too hard.  All that pain, the pressure crushes some of them to dust, others it turns into diamonds"

While my subconscious has been letting that cook, I have been working with a crew of outstanding individuals that I am truly thankful for on a Women’s Self Defense class for the high school I am a resource officer for.

Part of the O.D.I.N. (Network) mission statement is getting good information out to those that need it most, especially those that might not seek out this training themselves.

What better opportunity to walk our walk?

One of the things that this crew I'm working with excels at is helping me present the good information in a manner that those that need it most are capable of receiving.

A lot of - the point you are making is important, what if we presented it like this.

Besides being useful to others this corroborative process has helped me identify my own blinders, and is making me a better instructor.



As I was examining those blinders I came to realize that my discussion on "after" was very tough guy tacticool, and not as valuable to those that need it most as it could be.

Operational Disciplines:

  • Legal / Ethical
  • Violence Dynamics
  • Conflict Strategy (Avoid/Escape/Tactical Communications)
  • Counter Assault
  • The Freeze
  • The Fight
  • After

I have blinders, but with help, they are getting wider, I am seeing more.

After action Kata - get some place safe, check for injuries, get medical treatment if needed, call the police.

However, in the after many may face or have already faced a scary aspect maybe getting medical attention and calling the police:

  • Dealing with a SANE nurse
  • Receiving a post sexual assault exam 
  • Talking to Law Enforcement (signing HIPA waivers)
  • Retelling the incident 
  • Telling you parents

A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is a qualification for forensic nurses who have received special training to conduct sexual assault evidentiary exams for rape victims. SANE nurses are specially trained in the medical, psychological, and forensic examination of a sexual assault victim.

I have blinders.  I've only been on the Law Enforcement side needing information, and the biases that can be ingrained with that.

I was thinking something like what Terry Trahan presented as an OG track at Violence Dynamics Prime this year this could be helpful.
You can do everything right and still be arrested for using force to defend yourself.
Especially because so many times when the Police do show up, the person still standing was not defending themselves, but the aggressor.  What is the first thing this aggressor says to the first responding Officer?  It was self defense, I swear.

Terry taught a class that detailed what happens after you are arrested.  Knowing what to expect can make something that sucks less scary.

Maybe a class that details what happens at the hospital so it is less traumatic if it ever happens.

What would I want my daughters know?  What would I want my daughters to do?
Holy shit that is an eye opener for you, starts to peel away blinders



What would I want my daughters to do?

It occurred to me that there may be undue pressure on my daughters. People joke about how tough they are, growing up around this, having Violence Dynamics Instructors, Tactical Operators, and Martial Arts experts that are like aunts and uncles.



I mean how many times have I bragged on them?  How many times have I used the image above?

Does this place a false expectation of "toughness" on them?  Too "tough" for bad things to happen to?
If something bad happened, would that self perceived expectation add additional pressure?




"There are a lot of people who have been handed a rough life.  They never asked for it but they do what they can.  Many of them can’t rise above the hurt it’s just too hard.  All that pain, the pressure crushes some of them to dust, others it turns into diamonds."

At one time the Federal Trade Commission defined a diamond as a natural mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon crystallized in the isometric system.

(FTC) has expanded its definition of “diamond” to include those grown in a laboratory.
Technological advances have made it possible to create diamonds in a laboratory. These stones have essentially the same optical, physical and chemical properties as mined diamonds. Thus, they are diamonds.

Why do I mention this?

I need my daughters to know, I will do everything I can to create the laboratory conditions to make them hard as diamond.



I know they will be exceptional.  Sadly in this world sometimes bad things happen even to exceptional people, due to no fault of their own.

Even Amazons can get hurt. They can die. Even the most well-trained person can get surprised. People die in combat - and not because they're idiots. They are highly trained "tough" people. It happens.

The trick then, is to balance training for the highest standard (lab grown diamonds)and knowing I have their backs No Matter What

As exceptional as you are you are still human and allowed to go through human healing processes.
I will be there for you then too.  There is nothing you can tell me that will drop my esteem for you.
If you are alive to tell me about something terrible that happened that means you survived - you did what was necessary, you did the right thing.

I hope the world never dumps additional undue pressure on you, if it does know that you don't have to be crushed to dust, you can become an even higher carat diamond.



I am thankful for all the people in my life that push me to be better.  I am sorry for the pain that life may have handed them.

I am not thankful for that pain.  However, I am grateful these people found the strength to come through the other side and use their life experience to help others.

Recently I too this picture of my computer  - this is my life now, kick ass women and tactical operations


Yeah it's pretty cool - it's a good life - good enough.





Train Hard, Train Smart, Be Safe
Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one




The Budo Blog will return in -  Friends don’t let friends squat on the smith machine.

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