Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The world needs a hero

One of the bullet points for the Violence Dynamics mission statement is :
- Build strong people

As altruistic as that may seem, it is actually very self interested.  Strong people are fun to be around.  If we can't find can't find strong folks to play with, we will have to help develop them.

- Build strong people is a bit of a misnomer.  Humans are the apex predator on the planet.  People are already strong.  However, strong people can be scary.  Especially to those who seek to control others.  So some forms of social conditioning have developed to put limits and governors on that strength.

-Build strong people, is more accurate as, help people overcome social conditioning.(But that might put us on a watch list)

You may be asking, why is this necessary?  Why is this so important that it is part of the mission statement.  

Take a look at this article from the news.
I cut and paste the report here so you don't have to leave the Budo Blog

No heroes allowed: 
Calgary student, 13, reprimanded for defending his classmate against a knife-wielding bully
After Briar MacLean instinctively pushed a knife-wielding bully away, his mother was told her son had decided to ‘play hero’ and the school did not 'condone heroics'

Briar MacLean was sitting in class during a study period Tuesday, the teacher was on the other side of the room and, as Grade 7 bullies are wont to do, one kid started harassing another.

“I was in between two desks and he was poking and prodding the guy,” Briar, 13, said at the kitchen table of his Calgary home Friday.

“He put him in a headlock, and I saw that.”

He added he didn’t see the knife, but “I heard the flick, and I heard them say there was a knife.”

I heard the flick, and I heard them say there was a knife
The rest was just instinct. Briar stepped up to defend his classmate, pushing the knife-wielding bully away.

The teacher took notice, the principal was summoned and Briar went about his day. It wasn’t until fourth period everything went haywire.

“I got called to the office and I wasn’t able to leave until the end of the day,” he said.

That’s when Leah O’Donnell, Briar’s mother, received a call from the vice-principal.

“They phoned me and said, ‘Briar was involved in an incident today,’” she said. “That he decided to ‘play hero’ and jump in.”

Ms. O’Donnell was politely informed the school did not “condone heroics,” she said. Instead, Briar should have found a teacher to handle the situation.

“I asked: ‘In the time it would have taken him to go get a teacher, could that kid’s throat have been slit?’ She said yes, but that’s beside the point. That we ‘don’t condone heroics in this school.’ ”

Instead of getting a pat on the back for his bravery, Briar was made to feel as if he had done something terribly wrong. The police were called, the teen filed a statement and his locker was searched.

Calgary Police Service confirmed there was an incident at Sir John A. Macdonald junior high school Tuesday: a third student intervened in a fight between two others and a knife was involved.

The incident is being investigated and no one has been charged.

Ms. O’Donnell said the bully had since been suspended.

Sitting in their northwest Calgary home as Briar’s younger brother played with Buzz Lightyear action figures, Ms. O’Donnell said this isn’t the first time her child had been in trouble for confronting bullies, either.

She teaches her son to stand up for others, and for himself. His heroics were featured on the front page of Friday’s Calgary Sun. His mother had obtained several copies she stacked on her coffee table.

“We used to get phone calls home from the elementary school saying Briar’s been in a fight, but he was always defending someone,” she said.

“He stuck up for himself with a bully one time and they actually gave him heck for that, too. He had a friend stick up for him in that situation and I’m taking the two of them to Disneyland in two weeks. Because if you stick up for my kid, I’m going to treat you right.”

The mother says she understands the school’s desire to keep students from getting hurt, but fears it is teaching the wrong lesson.

What are we going to do if there are no heroes in the world?
Running away, tattling usually just make things worse. Students need to learn how to handle bullies on their own and how to help each other.

“What are they teaching them? That when you go out into the workforce and someone is not being very nice to you, you have to tattle to your boss? You’re not going to get promoted that way,” she said.

Most of the time bullies back down when confronted, she added.

“What are we going to do if there are no heroes in the world? There would be no police, no fire, no armed forces. If a guy gets mugged on the street, everyone is going to run away and be scared or cower in the corner. It’s not right.”

The Calgary Board of Education did not respond to a request for comment.

National Post

• Email: jgerson@nationalpost |

Big government has no need for brave, independent, free thinkers.

More and more often, government run schools vilify these traits.  Putting even stronger social conditioning on the human animal.

There has to be a way to counter this.

That is why pursuing ways to maximize human potential will always be a driving motivation for Violence Dynamics.

I have faith.  I know it is possible.  I have had the good fortune to attend the USMAA National Training camp for the last 6 years. 

It has been neat opportunity because I get to observe the growth of the youth in Omar Ahmad's program one year at a time.  In that time I have seen dramatic change.  Young men and women not only developing into champions, but also, and more importantly quality human beings. 

Strong people.

Unfortunately not everyone has opportunities to participate in things like Omar's Katamedo Jujitsu Click HERE for more information.

Or things like Randy's new youth program at KPC
Click HERE for more information.

Some people may reach adulthood without ever having a positive outlet to break free of that social conditioning.

There has to be a way to counter this.
What are we going to do if there are no heroes in the world?

That is why there is ODIN

At Violence Dynamics the concept of learning through play is highly valued.
People are wired to learn through play.  As we get older we get “too cool” to play anymore and learning becomes a chore.  Exercise stops being fun and becomes work.

One aspect of ODIN is to give adults an opportunity to play again.  Giving themselves permission to be special agents. 

Because, of course, ODIN is also the code name for the world's daring, highly trained special mission force.  An independent international intelligence service
ODIN’s purpose: to develop human potential.  Recruiting and training operatives to use their inherent abilities to defend human freedom.

ODIN is a fun way to develop yourself, and help others.  It is in no way an actual independent international inelegance service hiding as a training program or a game.  Because that would be ridiculous.  Nothing to see here, NSA, Move along.

The world will always need heroes.

Where are they going to come from?

Be the hero that you once needed.

Hopefully if you click on the image above you can see a larger version and read text.  That panel comes from "Batman: I am Suicide"

It is a retelling of the pledge Bruce Wayne made at his parents grave.  The difference being, 10 year old Bruce was going to kill himself.  He prayed for someone to save his parents and on one answered.  He prayed for someone to stop his suicide attempt, to save him, and no one answered.  So Bruce pledged to become the thing that answers the desperate prayers of others.

The world will always need heroes.

Those who seek to control others vilify heroic traits.

So, where are these heroes going to come from?

You may not be the hero the world deserves, but you can help develop the heroes the world needs.

Train Hard, Train Smart, Be Safe - Be BOLD!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Time Management

Over a year ago, I  promised future blogs on:

Developing an action plan to reach goals

Work / Training / Life Balance

Time Management

I am working with Myron Cossitt on co-authoring blogs on those  first two topics, based on classes he has developed for Violence Dynamics. (Life Dynamics)

Which leaves ... Time Management.

Why time management?  Also, why write about time management before those other two?
They are all interrelated.  Regardless of what your goals are, you will need to develop a plan in order to achieve them.

You may come up with a fantastic plan, but it will be of no worth if it is impossible to follow.

Similarly, if your plan makes you, or your loved ones miserable, chances of success drop greatly, and really if that is the case, what is the fucking point?

So, why am I writing about time management?  Well, a couple of reasons.  

First, I've been on the planet for a few rotations and I have learned a thing or two through simple trial and error.

Mirmir's well is a term often used in reference to the steep price required for certain knowledge. 

One should always learn from their own mistakes.  However, it is even better to learn from the mistakes of others.

I have had to have long uncomfortable talks with my wife about priorities.  I am stubborn.  I didn't want to hear her "bullshit".  But, I needed to hear it, and I am better for it.

You can learn from my mistakes.  Maybe you can skip Mirmir's well

If you justify the purpose of your intense training is so that you return home safely to your wife and daughters, but that self same training doesn't allow for you to spend any time safely at home with your wife and daughters, what is the fucking point?

I had to learn to better balance things out.  Time management is crucial in order to do that.

Secondly, my day job is developing plans for tactical operations.  Logistical planing.  Assuring that the people and equipment needed to achieve the goal are at the right place at the right TIME for the plan to succeed.

Regardless of what your goals are, you will need to develop a plan in order to achieve them.

Building your plan based on the time you have available to expend on it has a higher success rate than trying to cram a plan into your already busy life.

Time management is a super power

If you have talked with me for more than five minutes, or read more than one of the blogs, it is clear I am a comic book nerd.

Comic book nerds are known to argue about which characters could beat which other character in a fight.  
The ongoing joke is, Batman, despite having no super powers always wins.

The other part of the joke is that Batman always wins because of one of two reasons.





Batman is known for beating the odds through the use of prep time...and he is super rich so he can obtain or create those wonderful toys.

The clock king is a super villain who's only power is excellent time management skills

None of us have super powers, so in order to stand a chance we have to take advantage of prep time.  In order to take advantage of prep time we have to set aside time to prep.

The first step is to perceive your time.  There are 168 hrs in a week.  No matter how many goals you are pursuing.  No matter how many responsibilities you have, that is actually a lot of time.  However, like affordances, which you have to see in order to use, you have to be able to see your time in order to use your time.

Otherwise it becomes all too easy to "accidentally" binge watch an entire series on Netflix and wonder why you never have any time.

So to start chart it out.
Click HERE to visit the Violence Dynamics Facebook page to get a google sheets time management template.

Then prioritize, you will need to start with your have to do's.  Things like work, school, eating, etc.  From my life experience you are also going to want to block out time for other things that can only happen at a particular time.

For example, hanging out with my girls doesn't make a ton of sense at 10:00 pm Sunday night.  They have school the next day and that is past their bedtime.  There are only certain times during the week that all of us have no other have to do's.  So, I need to reserve that time for hanging out with them.  I can do other stuff at 10:00 pm Sunday night.

After that block out sleep.  It may sound silly, but I have found that good sleep is the poor man's steroids.

For example, let's say that the only time you have to work out is 5:00 am.  Ugh, that is tough, God bless you.  Waking up at 5:00 am to train sucks.  If you get up that early to work out to improve your fitness, but you are only getting something like 5 hours of sleep, you will quickly become catabolic.  Catabolic is detrimental to your fitness making the time and effort you put into those early morning workouts worthless.

So if you are training at 5 seriously consider going to sleep around 9.

Batman is only human, he takes down gods with prep time.  However, we have to remember Batman is HUMAN.

We have to give ourselves permission to be human.  We have to set aside time to just be human.

For example, let's look at waking up at 5:00 am again.  As I said that is tough.  However, if you set aside say one morning every other week to sleep in, it sucks way less.  If it sucks less, the chances of sticking to it increases.  Ugh 5:00 am again this sucks, but man sleeping in tomorrow is going to feel extra good because I got this done today.   That is how winning is done.

As opposed to Ugh 5:00 am again this sucks, my life sucks.  If that is the case, what is the fucking point?

For me, I have what I like to call fuck off Friday's.  Every other Friday I have off from work, I have off from the Dojo, and I have off from training.  A whole day to just be human and recharge the batteries so I can spend the next 13 days trying to be more than human.  

Once have to do's, can only be done at certain times, sleep, and time to just be human are blocked out, the rest is what you have to work with.

Regardless of what your goals are, you will need to develop a plan in order to achieve them.

Building your plan based on the time you have available to expend on it, has a higher success rate than trying to cram a plan into your already busy life.

Once you know the time you actually have to expend, you can customize your plan to fit that schedule, increasing your probability of success.

Because knowing is half the battle.

Train hard, Train smart, Be safe

Plan the work, work the plan.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Broken Bat Challenge

Wow it has been a whirlwind.  Viody Prime, Jeff’s death, Thanksgiving, Viody Vancouver.  Then making sure everybody got through all of the mandatory qualifications before I left for vacation, making sure I got through all of the qualifications before I left for vacation, holiday celebrations.  Now, finally I have some time to put my thoughts down on paper.

As I write this, the one year ago today feature on Facebook showed me this blog
Improving the hand you're dealt

Jeez, its all but the same blog I’m writing now.  Super Soldier Project, Batman By 40, Beyond Batman, bump the fucking record.  So, what is different?  Am I going to be writing the same thing in 2019?

What is different is seeking help.  If I could do it by myself, it would already be done.  I might not be able to do it by myself, but that doesn't mean I am unable to do it.

So, let’s go back a few months.

When Violence Dynamics Prime was over there was some time that I got to just hang out with Myron Cossitt and Randy King before getting them to the airport.  When we were just killing time I showed Myron some episodes of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge that I had saved on the DVR.

One of the aspects that I really love about the show is that it embraces so many aspects of physical culture.  For example on a show like American Ninja Warrior if you have good grip strength, like that of a mountain climber, you can probably do pretty well.  A 240lb fullback isn’t going to do that great.  However, that full back is arguably the better overall athlete.  On broken skull challenge, there are several rounds of head to head competition to establish who even gets to run the obstacle course.  Embracing strength, endurance, power, will, mental toughness, and to some extent combatives with some variation of wrestling games.

I mentioned to Myron that the conditioning needed to be successful on this show is exactly what I need as a Police Officer, SWAT Operator, and Old Man Judo guy.

To be able to wrestle someone, sprint to to the next challenge, lift and carry something heavy, then perform a skill is exactly what I am trying to achieve.

On the next episode of the show, the woman that made it to the final obstacle course collapsed about half way through.  She was just done.  Nothing left, despite her will to overcome.
This lead to an interesting conversation with Myron, with charts and everything

The chart shows how Myron explained the energy expenditure of the woman that collapsed.  She was able to explode (reach 90% of her maximum potential effort quickly) for a brief time, then drop rapidly.  Every time after that initial spike she took longer to get to her maximal output and the max dropped every time until she literally had nothing more to give.

Myron summarized that what the people that succeed on The Broken Skull Challenge can do, and what my training should strive for is to be able to get up to something like 80% of maximal potential effort quickly, and be able to maintain that for 8 to 10 minutes.

Something like this

I was pretty excited about this idea, so much so that we kept talking about it non stop until Myron left.  The three of us were at a restaurant when some things started falling into place.

Myron stated that he would develop a program for me.  I was excited and a little scared.  Scared because, I’ve always done my own programming.  Excited because, well, as I mentioned if I could do it by myself it would be done.

As some of you know Randy King won the Katamedo Jujitsu Training and Nutrition Challenge at the United States Martial Arts Association national training camp last July.  Stripping me of my title.

So as he heard this conversation he was like - hey wait, if you are going to build a program for Kasey you have to make one for me too!

Myron owes us plenty of payback for all the shit we have given him through the years.  So he summarized ...OK, operation brutalize the bats activate!

Thus, the “Break The Bats Challenge” was born.

Myron asked for a couple of weeks and some specific details.

In those few weeks I was like a kid waiting to open Christmas presents.  Bugging Myron nearly daily.

I got to start playing with the concepts in late November.  Then I was off to Vancouver for Violence Dynamics.

Vancouver was great!!!

One of my major takeaways from the seminar was that no matter how different I may seem to be from the people I am training with, I have more in common with people who enjoy physical culture, people who like to box, wrestle and fence, than I do with 90% of the population.

Some of the most fun at these seminars is the social aspects after training.  At these events I try to sit in the middle, away form the other Instructors for the opportunity to interact with lots of other people.

As loud as I am I try to just listen.  I've been talking all day, enough about me, it is nice to just listen.  What are you bringing to the table?

I knew I was going to get along with the Valkyrie crew just fine when I over heard this conversation at the table.

Valkyrie is known for  the practicing modern arts of swordplay, boxing, and wrestling, and supporting the performance of those arts with a solid strength-training foundation.

They have received grief from others in the Western Martial Arts for focusing on human performance with conditioning and not spending "adequate time" memorizing which plate from an ancient manuscript a particular technique was retro engineered from. 

These people, which I refer to as martial necrophiliacs, went as far as to say with proper technique conditioning is unnecessary.

I wear armor and carry weapons on a regular basis.  Just bearing the load of that equipment takes a physical toll.  Much less moving in it, or engaging in combatives against a determined restive opponent.

I'm no historian, but I am fairly certain that throughout time, any human that made their living through the use of weapons did everything they could to gain every possible advantage.  Including some form of conditioning.

The Valkyrie folks continued the conversations with something along the line of ...
I doesn't mater where a skill or technique comes from, it has to work , and you have to test it. 

Well I knew I was going to like them after that conversation...and because one of their crew, a 5 foot nothing on her tip toes,  100 and nothing pound soaking wet female I called Squirrel Girl  challenged me to fight.  After I picked her up over my head and power bombed her into a couch.  She popped right up and came back after me.  Later she asked for a proper wrestling match, and although I weighed nearly more than three of her, and that I've been wrestling for roughly twice the amount of time she has been on the planet, she was game and made me work.

You don't judge a school by their teachers, you judge teachers by their students.  Valkyrie is a good school

Since I've come back from Vancouver I have had a solid month to work the Broken Bat Challenge and play with some ideas with my crew at the Keishoukan.

We've been having a blast playing with some things that look a lot like professional wrestling.  Not for their practicality in personal protection.  Rather, just for the fun of moving your body .  Hitting a trick if you will.  Getting your body to do exactly what you want it to do.

I doesn't mater where a skill or technique comes from, it has to work , and you have to test it...
Also it has to benefit other aspects of your training.

I found that through physical culture, focusing on the connections in human movement, conditioning has improved my technique.

Understanding structure in order to move a maximal weight with out hurting yourself directly applies to understanding the structure required move a larger, stronger, determined, actively resisting opponent.

Or pick someone up and spin them around your head just for funsies.

Karl Gotch said,"Conditioning is your best hold"
I don't think he meant exactly the same thing.  I feel he was expressing a thought more along the lines of General Patton's  "Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All"

Regardless, the connection between physical conditioning and technical ability become apparent to anyone who has tested their technical ability against resistance.

That can be very scary.  Remember this blog Finding the edge

It may be scary, but it is also necessary, and if done right can be the most fun and rewarding aspect of training.

So that is kind of where my head is at ending 2017 and going into 2018
The interaction of different aspects of physical culture.
Between conversations with my new friends in Vancouver, playing pro wrestling at the Dojo, and working Myron's programming with my nephew Ben.  Everything brings me back to physical culture.

I am excited about and looking for ways to bring the positive aspects of physical culture ( Box Wrestle - Fence - Shoot - Physical Conditioning) to others.  Especially those that may feel intimidated or turned off by it, and those that maybe enjoy one aspect and have yet to discover the connection to other aspects of physical culture.

So, what is different?  How is this going to be different than 2017?

Primarily,  staying in my own in my own lane and seeking help from others.

Staying in my own lane.  I am not a fitness expert, nor do I want to turn this into a wannabe fitness blog.

So, instead of follow up blogs tracking my progress that I may or may not ever remember to do, to help me, and anyone else that is chasing goals we have started a group on the Violence Dynamics Facebook page.
Life Dynamics

Step 1 - Like the Violence Dynamics Facebook Page
Step 2 - Join the Life Dynamics Group
Step 3 - State your goal/s
Step 4 - Share your plan
Step 5 -Accountability, check in with your peers, share posts of yourself working your plan

Seeking help from others.  If I cold do it by myself it would already be done.  Just because I can't do it by myself doesn't mean I can't do it.

Stay tuned for future co-authored blogs from Myron Cossitt regarding Life Dynamic topics:
Goal setting and planning
Work / Training / Life balance - the other 96%

Also be on the watch for the Violence Dynamics Web Page featuring weekly content not only from me but also Randy King, Tammy Yard-McCracken and ocassionally Rory Miller.

Train Hard, Train Smart, Be Safe

Happy new year

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The blog I'll probably never post

This blog started as a discussion of the practical application of Japanese martial arts.  Since then it has evolved into other things.  Sometimes it serves as a place for me to work out some things running through my head.  If things go my way that process can be worth reading to other folks.  This will be one of those blogs, and I don't really care if it is worth reading.  I feel it is worth writing.

I lost a friend last week.  We didn't "break up".  We didn't get into a fight.  He didn't move far away.
He suffered a tragedy, then killed himself.

Boom kick in the balls.  Right in "the feels" as the kids say.

I am thankful for the training I have received, especially things like Conflict Communications that inform you of the effects of emotion, and prepare you to "ride that wave" for lack of a more eloquent term.

In Rory's big seven from "Facing Violence", what I think of as Operational Disciplines, the seventh is AFTER.  Now here I am in the after.

One of the most powerful lessons, is that it is ok, to be ok.  If you are ok don't let anyone talk you into not being ok.  If you are not ok that is equally as natural a reaction and there is nothing wrong with that.  You are not weak.  Ok and not ok are not fixed points.  Sometimes you are ok until you are not, and you have to work back to ok.  Sometimes you are not ok, until you are.

I was at work, my phone was blowing up.  I looked it was Facebook messenger requests from Denis Long.  Ok, Jeff's dad you can be my friend, just later I don't have time for that now, I'm at work.

My phone continues to blow up.  Lise is calling me.  If it is important she will leave a voice mail.  I'll look at it later.  I am at work.

Later I needed to use my phone for something.  It has this feature where it translates voicemail to text.  So when I grabbed my phone I read:
Denis Long, Jeff's dad is trying to get a hold of you.  Jeff was napping with his daughter, somehow she suffocated.  When Jeff realized he could not revive her he shot himself.  Denis needs your help contacting Jeff's friends and letting them know.

Holy Shit!

Take a breath do something to affect the world around you - that is how you break a freeze, that is how you mitigate the effects of emotion.

I still couldn't really process, but I had a job to do, and I am the guy that gets things done...
Jeff's little girl is dead...Jeff is dead...

Boom kick in the balls.  Right in "the feels" as the kids say.

In law enforcement one of the duties you have to perform is death notifications.  Like all parts of law enforcement the training for that duty is inadequate.  However, I recall it is inculcated into you that you are of no use to the grieving family if you are a bundle of emotion.  Be hard, be a rock, be the strength that they need while the world is breaking apart.  You can cry and drink when no one is watching.

So I became hard.  I was ok mostly because I couldn't comprehend it yet, and I had work to do.
However, "being hard" apparently took up most of my cognitive capacity, so I laid a lot of that burden on my wife Jes.

Jes was a champ!  She started a contact tree, and soon everyone that should know, knew.  Without a spectacle.  Without involving people to whom this was non of their business.

My Chief had overheard some of my conversations and called me in to see how I was doing.  He earned a lot of respect from me that day from that conversation.  That conversation is for us.  However, I will share that talk ended along the lines of I think I'm ok to finish my shift today, but I realize I might not be ok and I might not be able to recognize that I'm not ok so, I'm going to take some days off starting tomorrow.  He made that happen.

Greg taught Judo that night.  Many times the Judo fight club works as therapy, but I felt that I needed to be with the girls that night.  Also, someone had to tell them what happened.  Jeff was like an Uncle to the older girls, and misinformation about the incident was already spreading in the media.

We went out to eat.  It was snowing and the day after Halloween so of course we listened to Christmas music.  When we got home we sat them down.

Fuck this is hard, what am I going to say?...you are of no use to the grieving family if you are a bundle of emotion.  Be hard, be a rock, be the strength that they need while the world is breaking apart.  You can cry and drink when no one is watching.

Guys, a couple of things, first there is nothing you could possibly do that is so bad that you can not be forgiven for.  Your mother and I love you very much and we will always love you no matter what.  Second, sometimes I joke about the stress of the job, just know that I will never leave you.  No matter what happens to me, even if I become broken I will never leave you, I will find a way to become whole again.
The reason I am telling you this is...
Fuck this is hard, what am I going to say?...you are of no use to the grieving family if you are a bundle of emotion.  Be hard, be a rock, be the strength that they need while the world is breaking apart.  You can cry and drink when no one is watching.

You guys remember Jeff, you were flower girls in his wedding.  He was napping with their baby Aubry, and she suffocated.  Jeff tried to revive her but he couldn't.  When he couldn't save her he shot himself.

Tears.  Lots and lots of tears.

My daughters and I have a lot of fun and we share a lot of interests.  Sometime I forget that they are not also crusty old cops, with decades of training and life experience, but very young girls with no training and still capable of the full array of human emotion.

So many tears.

The next day we played hooky and just spent time in each other's company.  That helped.  Me probably more than them. 

Through the contact tree Jes made people started coming together.  Friends I haven't seen in years were all gathering Friday night.

Friday morning I had a chance to hit the gym
Heavy Metal
Heavy Weight

Burning some of the angries off felt good.  But, I was not ok.  Things had started sinking in, I was no longer in shock, I was angry.

I'm not sure the source, but I remember back in the day at Mankato State Dr. Lewinski discussing grief saying - pain shared is pain divided.  Joy shared is joy multiplied.

That night we gathered and divided our pain.  You can cry and drink when no one is watching.  This was the time and place.

In the garage smoking with Jimmy away from other friends we were able to say things we couldn't say anywhere else.  Divide our pain.

I can't imagine waking up to a dead child.  I can't say I wouldn't do the same thing in his place.  But....
But, as much as I love him I am pissed at Jeff for leaving his wife not only to grieve for their child alone, but to have to grieve for him at the same time.  There I fucking said it.  I'm not proud of it but that is the thought screaming in my head.

I love you, I forgive you but I am angry with you.

Sharing that felt good.  But, I was not ok.  I was angry.  Sometimes angry is useful, or at least more useful than other "negative" emotions.

Emotion is just the firing of synapses and the release of hormones and chemicals into the blood stream.  How we perceive this process leads us to label the result negative or positive.

Being angry is more useful than being sad or afraid.  For me being angry is like wearing a well broken in shoe.  I am familiar.  So I embraced being angry.  I can be angry so I don't have to be sad.  I can hide angry.  I hide angry all the time.

Saturday was the funeral.  Saturday was rough.  I was a pallbearer, and honored by the sentiment.  As a pallbearer I was allowed and expected to spend time with the family in the private viewing room.  I wasn't sure where to go and somehow unwilling to find out.  Because I knew that the baby would be in there.  I knew when I saw her I would lose my shit.  Because then it was real.  It wasn't a sad story I had heard.  It wasn't a call I went to at work, then just turned it off - updated my facebook status or figured out what 90% of my one rep max for deadlifts is for tomorrow's workout.  That is the corpse of your friend's infant child right fucking there...Next to your dead friend.

Jes helped me find the room.  She asked me if I wanted to go in.  I was like a petulant child.  In my mind I was yelling "I DON"T WANNA!".  What the fuck fella?  I am Kasey Fucking Keckeisen.  How many times have I been the first guy through the door?  How the fuck am I afraid to go into this room?  Jes was strong for me when I could not be strong.  She knew I didn't want to,  but she also knew I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I didn't.  So she took me by the hand and helped me get into the private viewing room.

I didn't want to be sad so I put on angry like an old shoe.  I can hide angry.
I continued to be angry until I saw Jeff's wife Andrea.  She was holding the baby.  I can barely hold my shit together.  How is she not a puddle sucking her thumb rocking back and fourth in the fetal position on the floor?

She placed Aubry next to Jeff and we moved them into the chapel for the ceremony.

I was numb.

There was an opportunity to tell stories about Jeff.  They were passing a microphone around.

I thought maybe I could talk about that time at the dojo, Lauren patted Jeff on the stomach and said your tummy is just like Kung Fu Panda.

I started to raise my hand.  I got a lump in my throat.  Nope, no fucking way.  I was terrified.  Kasey Fucking Keckeisen, host, M.C., and one of the founders of Violence Dynamics.  Kasey Fucking Keckeisen who wants to have a retirement gig traveling the world public speaking and teaching large crowds.  Kasey Fucking Keckeisen who has never seen a microphone he didn't pick up and start rapping or doing wrestling commentaryinto.  That guy was afraid to speak.  That guy hid afraid by being angry.  Angry is easy.  Afraid feels weak.

Andrea was brave.  Andrea was strong.  Andrea stood in front of everybody and told her story.

She said that she knew that Jeff could not go on with out their daughter.  She also said that he knew
she could handle it.  Jeff knew she would be ok.

As much as I love him I was pissed at Jeff for leaving his wife not only to grieve for their child alone, but to have to grieve for him at the same time.

I was angry, then I was ok.

Earlier, I was ok until someone asked me how I was doing, then I had to focus on not crying
[Be hard, be a rock, be the strength that they need while the world is breaking apart]
So, clearly not ok.

After seeing Andrea and listening to her (pain divided) people asked how I was doing and I was ok.

Ok is not a fixed point.  Sometimes I am not ok.  Apparently I have... lets call it an emotional control reservoir.  When every thing is honky dory it is easy.  When things become more difficult the reservoir gets used up.  If I use up that reservoir forcing ok, I get mean fast.  Mean Kasey is far from the best version of Kasey.

Sometimes I am not ok, but getting back to ok becomes easier. 

What is done can not be undone, but we can learn from our experiences
I was afraid to go into a room.  I was afraid to talk.  I am not afraid to write.  I hate keyboard warriors but I see how one can be braver from behind the protection of the keyboard.  I hope none of you reading this experience the loss of a loved one.  If you do I hope having read this can help you in some way.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A rose by any other name

Violence Dynamics Prime 2017 just wrapped up. 

 To use terms from Myron Cossitt's presentation, I have been running catabolic for over a week.  So when all my responsibilities were complete I kind of got hit like a ton of bricks.  What ever cold  / flu that has been floating around kicked me right in the crotch.

But now it is time to straighten up in the saddle.  I can finally get to putting some of my thoughts from the week "on paper".

So (pause) first and foremost.  {Because apparently that is how I talk :)}Fantastic week!  
The best we have ever done.  
With out dislocating my shoulder to pat myself on the back, I would argue that anyone can teach martial athletes.  It doesn't take much to spoon feed tacti-nerd wannabes exactly what they want...but will most likely never need.  It takes something special to deliver this material to the people that need it the most in a way that doesn't turn them off, make them feel less than, or ostracized.

I am proud to say we have created something special.

WE being the most important word in that sentence.  I can't do this by myself.

I can't list everything that made me think, smile or on the rare occasion put dust in my eye.  So the challenge to me is to use this blog to noodle out what affected me the most in a way that is beneficial to read for anyone.

What "clicked" for me this week can be summarized as - Affordances and the power we give things

As the program has developed I have noticed a tendency to "fail up".  Meaning something incredible came about organically, or just happened and we have been able to capitalize on it to give the appearance that incredible thing was the intended outcome the entire time.  Then incorporate that something incredible into all future seminars

Tammy used the term turning subconscious success into conscious success.

(Observe the look of joy on Tammy's face as Randy suffers at Terry's hand)

However, because of this appearance we project, sometimes silly or trivial things become  heavily weighted - unintentionally.  Like code names.

The code names came about because I am a self actualized comic book nerd and I really like G.I.Joe...in case you couldn't tell

So code names were just a goofy thing I do because I'm a nerd.  However, they are fun, and started a bonding process, so they became part of the program.

If I take pride in delivering  this material to the people that need it the most in a way that doesn't turn them off, make them feel less than or ostracized, I should have been aware how powerful a name could be.  Especially if given to you by people you respect.

At Violence Dynamics we discuss affordances quite a bit.
An affordance is a quality of an object, or an environment, which allows an individual to perform an action. For example, a knob affords twisting, and perhaps pushing, while a cord affords pulling.

Being able to see past the obvious, to discover other qualities is a useful skill.  Because you can't use what you can't see.

I couldn't see the names as anything but a goofy thing I did because I'm a nerd.  I had blinders on.  I should have seen it.  Rory Miller is the star of the show.  I gave him the code name Whispers.  1) because I think it sounds cool, and 2) because he has a notoriously quiet speaking voice.

Rory preferred Old Skool for a code name.  So he is the only Agent of ODIN with two ID cards because Lise was nice enough to make him another one.  That became a ongoing joke between us, like the video above with Fumbles.  "Whispers, it was always Whispers".  Which is now his Fenrir code name so it works out for everybody.

So if Rory Fucking Miller wants a name he better self associates with, how much more so, someone who traveled across the country to train with him.  To train with all of us

You can't use what you can't see.  Now I can see.

Conscious success, to help address this, one of the questions of the day was,"If you gave yourself an ODIN code name what would it be and why, or if you already have one would you change it and why"

Some of the answers made it far too dusty at the Community Center.  Something I did because I am a nerd had profound effect on people.

Now I can see.  I see that if unchecked I could inadvertently turn people off to this type of training, make them feel less than, or ostracized.

No one wants to be code name: Huge Forehead, or code name: Acne Scars

Therefore my goal is to consciously succeed in this aspect.

Affordances - you can't use what you can't see.  A perceived flaw / weakness can be made into a strength if you allow yourself to see it.  If you help others see it in themselves.

Sometimes silly or trivial things become heavily weighted.  Like code names, or self depreciating humor.

I received a couple of awes, and some people asked me if I was OK.

Apparently I referred to myself as old, broken and fat quite a bit last week.

First and foremost I am confident to the point of arrogance.  I mean look at the picture above, clearly I am sexy as fuck.

I use self depreciating humor, to not come off as a prick.  You can take the job seriously or yourself seriously  - never both.  I take the job very seriously.

When I feel like I am slumping in the saddle my self talk is to call myself  old man, or fat boy.  Because I'm competitive.  I'm competitive with everyone, but no one more so than myself.
Old man / Fat boy are the enemy that must be defeated.

But believe me...that is not my name...

There is a reason I wear those stupid shirts

Affordances and the power we give things.

Along those lines, I spend a lot of time on training programming.  I give that a lot of power.  Another thing I couldn't see was as much effort and planning I put into that, it is only 4% of my day.  Thanks to Myron I now realize that the most bang for the buck comes from the 96%.

I'm tempted to type up my notes from his presentation.  However, I'm learning not to give it away for free.  Come to Viody Prime 18 and experience it for yourself.

I have plans, we have plans.  Lots of people are working very hard to get the Violence Dynamics team in front of as many people as possible.  I am very blessed to be surrounded by these people.  I owe it to them to be the best version of myself. Hell, Jimerfield didn't even start working out until he was 50 and he didn't have professionals that knew him well customize training for him.  You haven't seen anything yet...

Ok, no one wants to read a blog about how bad ass I think I am.  I just wanted folks that were concerned to know that I feel good now, very smart people are helping me train smarter,  and I will be doing this for a long time to come

Thanks to everyone who attended Viody Prime 17 you were a joy to spend a week with.  Which I don't say lightly because I generally don't like people.

As easy as it is to slip into a fuck the police attitude if you don't know any cops, it is equally easy to slip into a fuck humanity attitude if the only people you see outside of your family are on calls for service (when no one is the best version of themselves).

Thank you for reminding me that people can be very cool.

Also, thank you for your effort and consciously pushing your boundaries.

One of my favorite things I heard this week came from Tammy I believe
"This is safe place to practice dangerous things - that does not mean it is a comfortable place"

Train hard, Train smart, Be safe