Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Violence Dynamics (learning lessons about real world violence from the news)

The three attempted sexual assualts happened on Friday and Saturday, police said.
Last update: October 25, 2010 - 8:48 PM
Minneapolis police warned on Monday of three attempted sexual assaults against women in south Minneapolis since Friday, saying that in each case the women were walking or jogging alone when a man approached them.

One incident happened early Friday, the other two on Saturday. The department urged people to stay alert, avoid traveling alone and call 911 to report any cries for help.

Police gave these accounts:
A woman said she was near the 2100 block of E. 37th Street at 4:30 a.m. Friday when a man grabbed her from behind and molested her. The suspect was described as a Hispanic male in his early 20s with a slender build, inch-long black hair spiked up in front and a faint moustache.

Another woman said she was near the 1700 block of E. 33rd Street at 2:30 a.m. Saturday when a man made "lewd comments" and then grabbed at her body.
The women in both of these attacks fought the suspect until he fled, according to police.

A third incident took place at 9:25 p.m. Saturday when a woman jogging past the intersection of E. 51st Street and Woodlawn Boulevard was grabbed from behind. When a vehicle drove past, the man ran away.

Anyone with information about the crimes is asked to call Sex Crimes Unit officers Sgt. Brian Carlson at 612-673-3064 or Lt. Nancy Dunlap at 612-673-3790.

Before we disect the news article let me state I am not second guessing the victims.  They survived.  Their tactics worked what more can you ask?  Second I am not blaming the victims.  Blame and responsibility are two very different things.  These events can serve educational purposes - learning from how violence actually happened in the past to prevent it from happening in the future.

- Violence happens in places -
2100 block of E. 37th Street at 4:30 a.m.
1700 block of E. 33rd Street at 2:30 a.m.
Do you really need to be out from 2:30 - 4:30 in the morning?  If so, you need to understand that is dangerous and raise your level of awarness.

These color codes help recognize, evaluate, and avoid potential threats. They are used to measure rising threat and make most situations avoidable. The following are the colors in ascending order of awareness of danger: white, yellow, orange, and red.

Code White

  • You feel secure, whether or not you are actually safe.
  • Awareness is switched off.
  • You are unaware of your environment, its inhabitants, and their rituals of attack.
  • All attackers look for victims in this state.

Code Yellow

  • You are cautious. You should spend most of the time in this state.
  • Awareness is switched on.
  • State of threat awareness and relaxed alertness.
  • You have a 360-degree peripheral awareness of such environmental danger spots as secluded doorways, entries, and alleys, as well as such psychological triggers as adrenal dump and attacker ruses. Be aware of people, vehicles, behind large objects, dark areas, etc.

Code Orange

  • You are in danger. You are aware of a potential threat.
  • State of threat evaluation.
  • Specific alert. A possible target has been identified. A particular situation that has drawn your attention and could present a major problem. Someone may be giving oral indicators such as direct threats or using suspicious language. Focus on the potential attacker.
  • Check to see if there is an avenue of escape, potential weapons available, and if others around you are friend or foe.
  • Decision is made to take action.

Code Red

  • You are in conflict.
  • State of threat avoidance.
  • Fight or flight. Flee, defend, or attack. You have evaluated the situation, and if there is a threat, you prepare to fight or run.
  • Never stand or fight if there is a possibility of fleeing.
  • Carry out decision to act made in Code Orange. You don't have to think; no indecision on the course of action; you are prepared.
  • If use of physical self-defense techniques is necessary, use the level of force appropriate to the threat. E.g., don't treat someone who pushes you because he is rude like someone who is trying to stab you with a knife.
- Asocial violence -
Asocial violence does not see the victim as a person but rather a resource (a different species to be hunted). By the time you face a predator attack you must understand that the predator has decided what ever you
have (or the attack itself) is more important than you.
When a vehicle drove past, the man ran away.
One of the biggest paradoxes about de-escalation and violence prevention is the willingness to commit sincere violence often means you don’t have to.
If you convey to him that you know what the stakes are and you’re willing to go there (physical violence) just as fast as he is, then it is NOT safe for him to attack.
A predator will use tactics he has developed to get what he wants from you in the safest surest manor.
The women in both of these attacks fought the suspect until he fled, according to police.

Are you training to deal with real violence?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Road Work

Ok so cardio training sucks.  Have you ever been on a tread mill just watching the seconds on the clock tick by wishing you were anywhere else?  I think we can all agree that cardio vascular fitness is a key element to surviving violence and just general wellbeing.  Running is a martial art that has been taught to every military - ever.  Running to the battle.  Running to safety (cover – concealment).  So if we can agree that running is a necessary evil, how can we make it more necessary and less evil (relevant to close quarters combat / self defense)?

Road work is what you sometimes see boxers do.  Boxers practice throwing combinations while they run.  That’s great for boxers but how does it improve quarters combat / self defense  and making cardio suck less you ask?  Well, you will have to customize things for the style you train but this is how I do it.

1) Run outside
  • Learn to adapt to the weather
  • Learn how different conditions effect movement
  • Learn the terrain around where you live
  • Active Threat assessment training
  • Much greater freedom of movement to do more than running (Road Work)

2) Activity Specific Performance Enhancement
What I mean by this while you are running also periodically do fundamental motions or skills of your close quarters combat / self defense style.  For example every 3rd step I’ll do one of the four basic motions I teach (Irimi, Tenkan, Hiraki, Yoko Sabaki)
  • Plyometric – explosive power training along with cardiovascular training
  • Opportunity do move outside the Dojo in the real world
  • Fun

3) Keep a recordEvery road work session try to go further, or faster (not both be careful not to over train) than the last one.  If you have a gps enabled smart phone there lots of free apps that allow you to do this.  Or a simple stop watch for you low tech off the grid types (how are you reading this?)
  • Stress inoculation - Competition, even just with yourself increases hormonal stress.  Learning what that feels like and how to deal with / overcome it
  • Pride – Steady progression encourages you to go out there and get on it even when the devil on your shoulder says “It’s too hot, it’s too cold, it’s raining, it’s snowing, your bed is so comfy”

I train this way twice a week with 2 or 3 days rest in-between.  Give it a try, even if for only 20 minutes before work and you’ll never run on a treadmill again. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Social skills (Charm) used to set up asocial violence

'Hiccup girl' is among 3 charged with murder after fatal robbery in Florida

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A woman whose uncontrollable hiccups brought her worldwide attention is charged in the killing of a 22-year-old man during a robbery.
Jennifer Mee, 19, of St. Petersburg and two others are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Shannon Griffin on Saturday
Sgt. T. A. Skinner of the St. Petersburg Police Department says Mee lured Griffin ( Predator charm tactics )to a home ( isolated secondary crime scene) where the others robbed him at gunpoint. Police say Griffin was shot several times.
Skinner says Mee and the others admitted their involvement.
Mee was being held without bond early Monday. Pinellas County jail records did not show whether she has an attorney. Telephone numbers listed for Mee's mother have been disconnected.
Mee's hiccups — up to 50 times a minute for months — gained notoriety in 2007.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sacred Geometry or grown men in pajamas with sticks

Seeing shapes.  The above chart is how I integrate Kenjutsu into Tai Jutsu training.  In Aikido everything comes from the sword.  Teaching sword work to improve modern close quarters combative skills may seem a contradiction.  Until you start seeing the shapes.  Kenjutsu (all Budo) can be broken into four basic motions:
Irimi – Entering (Diamond or Square)
Tenkan – Circular (Circle)
Hiraki – Opening (Triangle)
Yoko Sabaki – Lateral (Line)
Teaching Kenjutsu is kind of like Danielsan painting the fence.  It might seem silly at first but it ingrains quality techniques.  Kenjutsu helps students recognize the shape patterns.  Instead of having to learn 1000’s of moves (Aikido is said to have 3000 + Judo + Karate + Taiho Jutsu) from which to choose (causing a freeze under pressure) you need only learn four motions.  Of those four motions you pick the one that best fits your:
  • Body Type
  • Personality
  • Capacity for violence
  • Unique traits
That one motion that suits you is your counter ambush.  Take that motion and train it to reflex.  So teaching Kenjustu trains students to delineate 1000s of techniques into one basic motion that handles the majority of what happens in the world (outside the dojo HARDER,FASTER,CLOSER,BY SURPRISE/RANDOM).  High speed low drag perfect for modern close quarter combatives. 
Another major reason for Kenjutsu (all Buki waza) training is to understand the concept of fence.  If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.  If you can avoid getting your skull cracked by a bokken (wooden training sword) you can avoid most any attack.  I can’t do justice to fence in one post and most of it would be plagiarism anyways so for in-depth information of fence read Marc MacYoung's “Ending Violence Quickly”.   Basically the way I teach fence is “Get someplace safe”.  Homma Sensei says open your umbrella under a roof, before you walk into the rain.  You are not fast enough to block a sword (rain), and Japanese swords aren’t really designed to block other swords anyway.  Better to move (under a roof) then open your umbrella (block, counter attack).  Kenjutsu is much more akin to cowboys quick draw first shot to hit wins then say what you see on Highlander re-runs.
Training only in Tai Jutsu (empty hand techniques) it is easy (especially for strong / fit men) to develop habits of taking damage (strike or two) then over powering their opponent (usually smaller / weaker).  Now put a 3’ hard oak bokken in those smaller / weaker opponents hand and see how many shots (how much damage) tough guy wants to take before they move in such a way that more shots / damage is impossible. Pain is an excellent educator.  High speed low drag perfect for modern close quarter combatives 
Yet another reason to train Kenjutsu in 21 century America is that it’s fun as hell.  Buy a couple of pairs of action flex swords (do I really need to explain why you don’t spar with hard oak bokkens) or if you suffer from too much money some kendo gear.  Kumi Tachi (sword sparring) is an excellent force on force training drill that increases good habits:
  • Improving your position
  • Worsening their position
  • Protecting from damage
  • Delivering damage to the opponent
It is also fun cardiovascular training.  Competition helps induce hormonal stress allowing students to learn how to deal with stress (stress inoculation)
Okuden (secret teaching) practice your counter ambush with a sword in your hands and see what happens J

For detailed information on Kumi Tachi check out the International Shindudo Association website.

Monday, October 18, 2010

How violence happens (Violence Dynamics)

Man killed off-duty officer over parking space

18-year veteran struck in the head with concrete object

October 17, 2010|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun
A 25-year-old Southeast Baltimore man has been charged with fatally injuring an off-duty Baltimore police detective by throwing a piece of concrete at the officer's head during an argument over a Canton parking space, according to police.
Detective Brian Stevenson, an 18-year veteran and married father of three, had gone out to have dinner on the eve of his birthday when he and Sian James got into an altercation in a private parking lot in the 2800 block of Hudson St. about 10 p.m. Saturday, police said. James was charged Sunday with first-degree murder.
James struck Stevenson in the left temple with a "fist-sized" concrete fragment, according to court records. Stevenson suffered "massive head injuries" and was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he died about an hour before he was to have turned 38.
Colleagues who investigate violent crime in the city — much of it over petty disputes and perceived slights — were struggling to cope with Stevenson's death and were baffled by the circumstances.
"All of them are terrible," Detective Thomas Jackson said of the city's killings. "But a parking space?"
Stevenson, who lived in Gwynn Oak, grew up in the city and as an officer investigated shootings and robberies in the Northeast District. He is the first city officer to die at the hands of another since Jan. 9, 2007, when Officer Troy Lamont Chesley Sr. was fatally shot during a robbery while he was off duty in Northwest Baltimore.

"It's an incredible tragedy for the family, for all of us," Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said outside the hospital, where he and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake met Stevenson's relatives. "The city's losing a fantastic detective who worked to make people safe in this city. It's just senseless."
Stevenson was out having dinner with a longtime friend near Canton Square, and the argument broke out in the parking lot of an eye care clinic. Residents said the neighborhood is typically packed, with some area bars offering valet service and drivers jockeying for parking spots.
Acting on information from witnesses, James was tracked down by officers at a club in Power Plant Live and taken into custody. He was formally charged Sunday afternoon.

1st let me state again that I am not 2nd guessing the actions of the Officer.  His death is a tragedy.  However the circumstances of his death can be studied to prevent similar outcomes in the future.

Bad things happen in predictable places.  If you avoid the places you can avoid a huge percentage of the violence in the world.  What are those places?
·         Bars – Parties – Anywhere people get their minds altered
·         Anywhere that young men gather
·         Where territories are in dispute
·         Private Places
·         Limited mobility or escape routes 
Monkey Dance (MD)
·        Hard, aggressive stare
·        Verbal challenge – “What are you Looking at”
·        An approach, with signs of adrenalization  - gross motor actions arms swinging, chest bobbing skin flushing
·        Squaring off (hey diddle diddle right up the middle) and contact chest bump – push / shove
o       Repeat as necessary until…
·        Big Looping over hand punch (almost always right handed hey maker)

Thousands of generations of man have been conditioned to play this game.  It is very easy to get sucked into and very hard to walk away from.
Important elements about a Monkey Dance. It is between near equals to establish dominance.
No mater who said what, who made contact first or who threw the first punch with all the opportunities for preclusion (leaving) there is no self defense here.  This is a mutually combative situation and most likely both of you are going to jail.
Serious injuries are rare in the monkey dance and usually occur by accident a broken fist or someone slipped and hit there head.  The social violence ritual combat is genetically designed NOT to be life threatening.  Elk “fight” for mates head on antler to antler (damage unlikely) Elk drive off predators by goring their antlers into the sides of the predator puncturing organs (potentially fatal).

When it is injurious as in the story self defense is an option you will be charged with murder.

When two tigers fight one is killed the other is injured.
If you feel yourself being drawn into a monkey dance you must ask yourself
  • Is this worth killing for?
  • Is this worth my life (ending or being spent in jail)
Unless the monkey dance is being used as a pre-attack interview by a predator the answer is no.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


It is easy to get caught in a monkey dance and hard to back out of. Being polite is not fun, it is not natural (100’s generations conditioned to monkey dance), and that is exactly why we must train how to fight without fighting. Being polite is not fun. People are polite (follow the rules of their society) because even though it is difficult it is better than the consequences of violating those rules. How much better would you feel if you told your boss to fuck off? But the consequences of losing your job outweigh the temporary gain of telling your boss off. The further a society gets away from the realities of violence, the easier it is to forget the consequences of violating the rules. In feudal Japan, a society that fully understood the realities of violence, developed reigei (not Bob Marley) which roughly translates as etiquette art. In a time and place where accidently bumping into someone (touching saya) could mean a fight to the death you better understand the rules. Reigei is a means to teach the rules and is a part of traditional Japanese martial arts. The way you enter the dojo, the way you bow, the way you address your seniors, the way you address your subordinates are all reigei. They were ingrained into Samurai from day one and remain to this day because a violation of reigei would at the least earn a beating (Educational Beat Down) up to forced ritual suicide (Seppuku).
When two tigers fight one is killed the other is injured
The more you understand about violence the easier it is to be polite. Inversely the less you know the easier it is to be an arrogant asshole. America in the 21st century has for the most part forgotten the realities of violence. Hence we are plagued with a generation that can say and do pretty much anything they want without consequences. No reigei no etiquette. Do you want go to jail to teach them a lesson? Being polite, avoiding senseless conflict is not weak; it is the mark of a professional (a big dog does not bother with nipping puppies). Reigei is an essential part of Bushido the way of the Samurai as important today as it was then. Just as Keishoukan Budo is the practical application of Japanese Martial Arts for modern close quarters combatives, the art of fighting without fighting is a way to practice the practical applications of etiquette in 21st century America

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New study tests officers' endurance in fights

Dr. William Lewinski was my advisor at Mankato State University.  He is an Excellent Goju Ryu Karate Instructor and a good friend.  I came across this article about his research group that I thought I should share. 

A Force Science research team recently conducted unique tests with police volunteers to determine how long officers can typically endure in all-out fights with suspects and how a desperate struggle can affect memory. The results are expected to have important legal implications regarding the use of force.
Administered under the guidance of Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Institute, the tests involved 52 officer volunteers from the Winnipeg (Manitoba) Police Service in Canada. A detailed report on findings should be completed in about three months, Lewinski told Force Science News.
Lewinski had been contemplating research into officers’ capacity for sustaining a physical fight-for-life since he was consulted months ago in a case in which a West Coast cop was overpowered and handcuffed by a violent EDP. He decided to push ahead with the project after Cmdr. Jeffry Johnson of Long Beach (CA) PD published an article questioning just how long the average officer can fight to control a combative suspect before succumbing to fatigue.
During a certification class in Force Science Analysis, trainers attending from Winnipeg volunteered their academy facilities and assistance, so Lewinski decided to conduct the research there across 3 long days earlier this month.
The testing, funded by FSI, was “very simple yet complex,” Lewinski says. “The goal was to see how long it took an officer to drive himself or herself to exhaustion and to measure the physiological and cognitive consequences.”

Bag Beating
First the street officers who volunteered to participate — male and female, with a spread of ages and experience — were divided into subjects who would initially be “exerted” and a control group.
During an introductory briefing by Patricia Thiem, the Institute’s chief operating officer, all were given a crime report to read. This included details about the MO and descriptions of an armed robbery crew that had attacked a bank, an armored car, a jewelry store, and possibly a private residence — later, the officers would learn that this information was part of a memory assessment.
One pair at a time, a control subject and an exerter next went to a gym, where both were fitted with heart monitors and the exerter also was equipped with a VO2 mask to measure oxygen consumption and gas exchange. The activity there was supervised and monitored by Justin Dixon, an exercise physiologist with the London (England) Metropolitan Police.
The exerter was told to beat full-force on a 300-lb. water bag with fists, palms, elbows, and knees until he or she no longer had enough energy to continue or until told to stop because the officer’s cadence had become so slow and weak as to be ineffective. The control subject stood by and observed the process, which was timed and videotaped by two high-definition cameras.

Unexpected Stimuli
Once maxed out on hitting, the exerter then had to sprint upstairs and outside to a trailer positioned nearby. En route, the subject passed by a male (Cst. Dave Blocksidge of the London Metro Police) wearing a “shockingly bright” European rugby shirt and holding a bright yellow cordless drill — another stimulus for which memory would later be tested, although the participant did not know that at the time.
Upon entering the trailer, the volunteer was confronted by an angry and profane occupant, role-played by Lt. Lee Edwards of Minneapolis PD who has portrayed bad guys in previous Force Science experiments. Edwards verbally berated the test subject for 5 seconds, with an array of weapons, ranging from knives and pistols to an automatic rifle, plainly visible in the immediate surroundings.
Once the exerter left the trailer, the control partner went through the same gauntlet, then was brought back to the gym for his or her own fight-to-exhaustion turn at the heavy bag.
Blood & Memory
After a three-minute rest, Dixon drew blood samples from participants to measure the lactic acid levels produced by their exertion. Memory tests were also administered by Dr. Lorraine Hope, a leading memory researcher and cognitive psychologist from the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom.
Participants were tested to see how much — if anything — they could accurately recall about the initial crime report descriptions, the struggle against the heavy bag, the male worker encountered on their run from the gym, and the confrontation with the suspect in the trailer, among other things.
Finally, the test subjects were debriefed by PoliceOne Columnist Scott Buhrmaster, vice president of operations for FSI, and awarded certificates of appreciation for their participation.

What’s Ahead
In the months ahead, the data gathered will be meticulously analyzed at Force Science headquarters in Mankato (Minn.) and at Dr. Hope’s facilities in England.
“In the end,” says Lewinski, “we should have some important base-line measurements of how long a typical officer can maintain an intense physical struggle before reaching a point where his muscles simply no longer are capable of responding. Once exhausted, of course, an officer is perilously vulnerable.
“Knowing how long it is likely to take to reach that point may help guide and explain an officer’s decision to escalate the use of force to end a physical struggle against a powerful and persistent suspect. And the fact that exhaustion appears to occur in a very short period of time should remind officers of the importance of pre-contact assessment and tactical decision-making.
“The findings may also influence the expectations regarding officers’ memories in use-of-force investigations. To what extent does the intensity and physiological effects of a protracted fight impact the ability to remember important details of what happened before, during, and after an encounter? We hope to provide fresh documentation that extreme stress does adversely affect memory.”
With the volunteers’ permission, a production crew from the Canadian Discovery Channel filmed some portions of the testing, which will be televised on a date yet to be announced.
Also present and assisting with the testing were: Bill Everett, a Minnesota police attorney and charter member of FSI’s national advisory board; Christa Redmann, a researcher from the FSI staff; Long Beach’s Cmdr. Johnson; and a coordinating team from the Winnipeg academy, Sgt. Jason Anderson and constables Steve Davies, Sami Haddad, and Julio Berzenji.
After the testing, Lewinski conducted a special 4-hr. session on Force Science research for the command staff and investigators from Winnipeg Police Service, in appreciation of the department’s cooperation and support.
"The commitment, dedication, and all-out effort by everyone involved was a credit to the law enforcement profession,” Lewinski says. “The results will potentially benefit officers worldwide.”
You can contact The Force Science Institute with questions about this study by emailing

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bodyweight strength training

Here is my workout for the next 6 week cycle.  Video to follow

Legs    Tenkan (circle) / Dempsey Drop Step Squat
            Turn 90’ Squat repeat. 

Push    Incline Push-Up and twist
                        Put your feet on something higher than the ground.  Do a push up, then twist and reach one arm to the sky
                        Reps to failure, then just push-up.  Reps to failure then “girl” push-ups

Core    Crunches

Pull      Chin-ups (Lats)

Legs    Irimi Hops – Plyometrics
                        Zig / Zag one lag hops 3rd base to 1st base

Push    Isometric shoulder raise & plyometric shoulder push off
                        Stand in a door way.  Push wrists against door frame as hard as you can for 30 sec
                        Stand on one side of door way.  Fall sideways into the other side.  Catch your self and push back to original position

Core    Guard sweeps

Pull      Pull-ups (Bi)

Legs    Osoto Gari

Push    Bench Dips

Core    Flutter Kicks

Pull      Reverse grip (palms away) finger tip pull-ups

Reps to failure, repeat 3 times

Practical Adaption part 2 (The Empire Strikes Back)

Ok, so you’ve read the post about counter ambush.  You took what you know and adapted it for real world violence (faster, closer, harder, and by surprise).  You’ve tested it out with training buddies and now you have a few simple conditioned responses.  So now what? 
Now you need to end the violence quickly.  The longer a violent confrontation goes on the more your chances for survival diminish.  Not only are you taking damage from the threat but your own ability do respond degrades as the confrontation is prolonged.  10-15 seconds into the confrontation your physical abilities have decreased by 10%. 30 seconds into it, you are down to 55% of your capacities. In 60 seconds, you only have 35% of your left.  So…GET IN SHAPE!!!  Train so that your capability at 35% is better than most at 100%.  I also suggest you read Marc MacYoung’s “Ending Violence Quickly”. 

Just remember it ends in THREE.  Not three techniques, but three motions.  Again real world violence is faster, CLOSER, harder, and by surprise.  Add to that, in order to end the fight in three motions (or less) you are going to have to get in close.  You simply cannot end a confrontation quickly at distance.

Let’s take a look how the golden move and over in three work together
(blogger’s note the golden move is the intellectual property of Rory Miller stolen and quoted often with his approval)

1 – Counter Ambush or Torite (preemption)
            Improves your position (move dumb dumb), Protects you from damage
2- Kuzushi (unbalance) – This is where you take what ever was “gifted” from step one and destroy the threat's structure (ability to deliver force into you)
            Worsens the threat’s position
3 – End the conflict
            Inflict damage

When you adapt what you know to work against real world violence these are the “building codes” your techniques must meet.

If your training is primarily tournament sparring (at a distance) you need to take what you know and find techniques that can deliver force into the threat at close range.  Effectively ending a violent conflict quickly

For help in doing that check out:

O Soto Gari (Instruction)

Notice the irimi (entering) and Hiraki (opening) set ups.  Both of which move him out from in front of the opponent, making this technique ideal for adaption to practical application.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Violence Dynamics

Follow up on a previous post

A man accused of repeatedly stabbing an 8-year-old boy playing video games at a restaurant arcade had spent weeks stalking potential victims at area shopping malls, police said Monday.
"His intent was to kill a child," Nassau County Police Sgt. Vincent Garcia said of 23-year-old Evan Sachs.
Sachs was arrested Friday night, moments after police say he plunged the 4-inch blade of a hunting knife five times into the boy's back.
The child suffered a punctured lung but was expected to survive, said Nassau police Lt. Ray Cote. The stabbing happened at about 8:30 p.m. as the boy was playing in an arcade that is part of a Dave & Buster's restaurant in Westbury.
The boy's parents were only several feet away, but Sachs apparently waited until they were momentarily distracted to begin assaulting him, Cote said. A person who witnessed the attack told the boy's father; they quickly confronted Sachs near a restaurant restroom and held him until police arrived.
Sachs, a Merrick resident, has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, assault and weapons charges. He is being held without bail pending his next court appearance on Wednesday. Cote said it does not appear Sachs has a criminal record.
Police said the suspect was carrying a typed note indicating his intent to kill a child; the victim was chosen at random. "Anyone of that age and sex would have been suitable," Cote told reporters.
The note also indicated that Sachs had spent several weeks trolling area malls in search of the right victim.
"He's been scouting locations in the area to find an appropriate place to kill a young boy," Cote said.
Defense attorney Eric Sachs, who is not related to the suspect, declined to comment on reports about the note.
"I haven't seen it, so I can't comment on it," he said. "The main focus of my client and his family has been on the little boy. They are more concerned the little boy has a full recovery."
The suspect's mother, Randi Sachs, told 1010 WINS Radio on Monday that she was grateful that the boy was going to survive. She said her son was under psychiatric care at the time of the stabbing.
"We're very sorry for what happened," Randi Sachs said. "My son is very sorry. We hope this young boy is going to be fine."
Of her son, she added: "He needs more mental health treatment."
Sachs graduated in 2004 from Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick and later from the University at Albany, according to Newsday. He was employed as an usher at a Farmingdale movie complex.
(Copyright ©2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Asocial Violence
Asocial violence does not see the victim as a person but rather a resource (a different species to be hunted)
·         Resource
·         Process

Sachs didn’t want the boy’s money, or to have sex with the boy (resource) he wanted to hunt and kill "Anyone of that age and sex would have been suitable,"  He “enjoyed” the process of planning and stalking.

The boy was ambushed from behind and was stabbed with a 4-inch blade hunting knife five times.

Are you training for how violence actually happens?

Monday, October 11, 2010

This is not counter ambush training. This is grown men playing dress up and being physically abused

Counter Ambush Training

In a previous post I mentioned I would share tips on how to adapt martial arts training (dojo) to deal with real world violence.

Please read the article above for an example of real world violence

Do you train for attacks from the rear (I know that is illegal in competition)?
If so do you practice against ambush attacks? (the way attacks happen / knives are used in the world)?
Or do you only work defenses against attacks in your kata after your partner announces exactly what attack he will do?

I don’t care if you are a 15th degree black belt in Ninpo (that’s ninjutsu [art of the ninja] for you civilians), A Jedi knight or a level 7 laser lord, you cannot predict an ambush attack especially form the rear

Violence happens harder,closer,faster, than in the dojo and by surprise
Action is always faster than reaction.

An attack (action) is instant.  A defense requires:
Observe – Your senses perceive an attack
Orient – Your brain has to take the information from your senses and recognize that as a threat.  Oh he is throwing a punch
Decide – Your brain has to search through al your training to pick the best block for that specific attack
Act – actually do what you decided

To get caught up, get ahead in the OODA loop you need to ingrain a counter ambush response

                        Threat                                                  You
                        Attack                                                Observe
                                                                                  Act(ingrained counter ambush)
                        Observe                                             Take what ever is “gifted”
                        Observe                                             End confrontation(It’s over in 3)
                        Orient (What the fuck just happened?)

So how do you develop your own counter ambush training?  Let’s start with counter ambush from front attacks.  Take your favorite / best block or evasion from an attack from the front kick, punch, grab, whatever. The technique should protect your head, ribs, and groin.  For example if the move is a kick defense make sure your head is protected as well.

Make sure it meets the “building codes” of delivering force into your attacker

Then make sure that technique meets Rory Miller’s Golden Standard.  The technique should
Improve your position (That means you have to move dumb, dumb)
“Best way to block, no be there” Mister Myagi
Worsen the their position
Protects you from damage
Allows you to damage them.

Once you have a technique that does all the above and can be done in one motion (thought).  You need to test it.  Have a training partner stand closer than you are accustomed to and attack with out warning any attack from the front.  As soon as you perceive his attack do the move.  It won’t be perfect but it should defeat the majority of what ever they throw at you.  Train for what happens most and you can handle most of what happens.  This technique has to work with out modification to any specific attack because you won’t know what they are throwing at you. 

Now do the same process for an attack from the rear.  Yes you may get stabbed in the back like the kid in the story.  But it is better to get stabbed once and put the threat down than to get stabbed 5-8 times in a blitz attack because you did nothing.

After you have adapted the technique that works and passed the tests you need to condition yourself to respond that way automatically to any front attack stimuli.  And to respond  automatically to any rear attack stimuli (effectively narrowing down your response choices down to 2) But that is a blog for another day (or just read Rory Miller’s “Meditations on violence”)

Boy attacked at random with edged weapon

Please check out the above link for the video.

It's supposed to be a place to play. Instead, a child became a victim of violence at a Long Island Dave and Buster's. Evan Sachs, 23, of Merrick was arraigned on charges that include attempted murder Saturday.

Police say Sachs attacked an 8-year-old boy with a hunting knife inside a Dave and Buster's restaurant in Westbury, Long Island.
It happened around 8:30 Friday night.

Witnesses say the boy was stabbed while playing a game at the restaurant.

Authorities say the 23-year-old attacker picked the boy out at random and stabbed him five times in the back.
"The boy staggers away from this man back towards his mother and says that someone just hit or tapped him on the back and then he collapses," Lt. Kevin Smith from the Nassasu County Police Department said.
The boy, who is from North Hempstead, remains in the hospital with stab wounds and a punctured lung. Police say he is in stable condition.
The boy had been at the restaurant with his father.
Police wouldn't immediately say what provoked the attack.
At Sachs' arraignment, prosecutors said he confessed and even had a note on him Friday night describing how he intended to commit the crime.
Sachs' attorney says his client was on at least five different medications and needs psychiatric evaluation.

Dave and Buster's said in a statement that it is cooperating with investigators regarding the incident.

(Copyright ©2010 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bud Light™ The Raid • Here We Go 2010 This is an example of not covering your areas or responsibility

Different perspective

Today's blog I'd like to discuss some training concepts that have worked for me with the SWAT team.  For operational security I can't get into specific drills or tactics but the general training concepts can be applied by anyone interested. 

On Thursday I had the team break up into three groups.  Instead of having each team work different scenarios or a specific critical skill I had all three groups working the scenario.  Team 1 as operators, Team 2 on deck / recovery.  Team 3 were to be the physical representations of an unknown threat.  I told team 3 they were not role players per say.  They would not be arrested nor were they to attack the Operators.  I told them play the role of a former SWAT Operator, or returning military vet.  For what ever reasons the SWAT team was called to arrest you.  Knowing what you know about urban combat tactics how would you kill a SWAT teaming coming into your house.

This is where operational security kicks in ( guys on the team tend to get pissed if you give explicit instructions on how to defeat their tactics and kill them on the interwebs :) )

The training effect was that things became more "real".  If an operator didn't cover an unknown threat in his area of responsibility there was an a teammate there ( physical representations ) to tell him dude, you're dead and so is he because he counted on you to clear this area.

The scenarios were ended with a peer review de-brief.  Instead of me correcting the new Operators, the observation team and their own team gave feedback.  If necessary "ground hogs day" was conducted (the exact same scenario again right away) to eliminate negatives from training and inculcate successful responses to that scenario.

Training went very well and good progress was made.  It was also very helpful to have lots of senior Operators at training to role model good tactics and act as mentors.

So how is this applicable to you good reader???

A couple drills / training concepts you can take from this:

How would you fight you?  Ever play one of those fighting video game where eventually you have to fight the character you are playing?  That has all the same moves, powers, and knows all your tricks, that round always sucks right?  So play that game with yourself - AND BE HONEST.  How would you beat you?  Your thought process might go something like this :
A) My kicking is really strong to to beat myself (if you just made a masturbation joke please grow up :) ) I'd need to get in close where my kicks don't have room to generate power.

B) My grappling is really strong, I'd never want to get into a wrestling match with me so I would try to keep distance and end me with striking

C) I have never trained on the ground ever If I had to fight myself I'd put me on the ground

That exercise will expose your weaknesses.  It is your responsibility to strengthen those weaknesses.  If your school /Dojo doesn't train in the area you have weakness you will need to supplement your training.  If your Sensei / Instructor does not allow that seriously consider a new Dojo.  Also remember this is 21 century America not Japan 1890.  Your Sensei is not your  master nor your feudal lord.  Your Sensei has no control of you outside the time you spend in the Dojo.  If they try to extend that control outside the Dojo something is wrong with that relationship.

I'm starting to creep off topic here.  I promise I'll get back to what you can learn from SWAT training but 1st an important distinction.

Do not be a Jack of all trades master of none.  To play the how would I beat me game you need some frame of reference.  If your answer to that question is I have no training I'd fight me.  Your answer is to do research on the different training available in your area, test out those schools and see which one you like.  Spend 3 years training regularly.  Then play the game again.  You can't address your weaknesses until you develop some strengths.  What I mean by  Jack of all trades master of none is a guy who takes a month of Tae Kwon Do, thinks he knows every thing about it then moves on to take a quarter of Judo at the community college, thinks that makes him Kano jr so goes on to yet another usually the buzz word art of the month that is far superior to every art he has spent 30 minutes mastering.  Jack is way different than someone who finds an art that fits their body type, personality, and they enjoy doing.  (Side note when people ask me what is the best art my 1st answer is Keishoukan Budo / Taihojutsu because that's how I roll - then my more honest answer is any art you will enjoy training in the rest of your life)  After training in that art for years then you can make an educated decision about supplemental training.

OK back on topic
Predator vision
In the movie Predator or many other horror movies sometimes you get to see through the killers eyes.

The drill  - go where there are lots of different people.  Ask yourself who would you attact? why?where?

Then practice doing the opposite of the whys, and avoiding the wheres.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Real World Violence - Why we train

‎"I'm going to kill you, you're gonna die today" - Cop Killer
Hear that voice every time you don't feel like:
Going the range
Going to the Dojo
Working out

Real World Violence

Before I get into today’s Budo Blog let me start by stating that I am not second guessing, judging or questioning the victim.  I was not there, I received this information from a news article.  I don’t know the whole story.  I hate when people second guess cops and I will not do that to others.  Having said that please read the following article from the New York Times

There are questions you must ask yourself

Are you training – Avoidance, Running (Escape / Evade), De-escalation?  Or only how to fight, and if so do you consider earning points in a tournament fighting?

Are you training how violence actually happens?  Or are you training only attacks from with in your system that you have defenses against in your kata?

Are you training in the world?  Or does all of your training take place in a Dojo, on mats, barefoot, and in a Gi?

If the answers are no, then what are you going to do about it?
If the answers are no, do you believe you have done any better? 

Would the headline read: “Martial arts super hero kicks ass and gets laid”?

There comes a time in the life of every martial artist when these questions must be asked.  More than likely the answer is going to be no.  That is fine, but it is your responsibility to change those no’s to yes’s.  There is no one superior art.  I am not telling you to abandon what you have learned.  I am however, saying with out a doubt you need to adapt what you know to work in the “real world”

Having said that, my next several posts will be on how you can make those adaptations to your own training so you meet the “building codes”

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The art of fighting with out fighting

I had the honor of reading an early copy of Rory Miller’s book “7” (I think it has a different title now).  Fantastic book, which really got me thinking about how martial art is taught.  I want you all to buy the book when it comes out and I don’t want to give anything away or step on Rory’s intellectual property.  But as the name of the book indicates there are seven basic principles to dealing with violence.  As I see it most training programs (mine included) focus almost solely on one and pays only lip service to the other six.  Again not to give anything away, lets use an often quoted verse from “Meditations on violence” to make my point.

“It is better to avoid than run, better to run than deescalate, better to deescalate than fight, better to fight than die”

Good programs spend a lot of time on fighting and not dying.  But what about the rest?  I have quoted that line above 100’s of times but I have never had my students practice avoiding, running, or de-escalation.  It goes something like this:

“It is better to avoid than run, better to run than deescalate, better to deescalate than fight, better to fight than die…O.K. so when you get into a fight you do this, that, the other  - Hiyaa JUDO CHOP!!!!”

If we tell our students to Avoid, run, deescalate, but never practice avoiding, running, or de-escalation and we teach them they shouldn’t get into fights but spend a ton of time teaching them how to fight are we really giving them permission to run?  Are we conditioning them to see fighting as the only option?  People will always believe actions over words.  The way I see it, that is like talking to your daughter about abstinence, then handing her a condom and some KY.  “Have fun on your date be home by 10, I love you honey.”

Well that is about to change.  I am developing a series of 3 seminars using “7” as a text book.  The goal is not only to have a better understanding of the seven concepts academically, but to actually practice those concepts tactically to supplement regular Dojo training.  While not a prerequisite for training at my Dojo, knowledge of the material will be on all kyu / dan tests making it mandatory.  Although geared for my students I will make these seminars open to anyone who wants to attend.

I have included two you tube videos for illustrative and entertainment purposes.  The first, Bruce Lee is a true pacifist.  He chose not to fight in order to spare the other dude’s life (when two tigers fight one dies…the other is injured).  The second, Johnny is forced into pacificism because if not he would get his ass kicked.  In the web, whom does God favor more the spider or the fly?  Who really needs to master the art of fighting with out fighting?  Bruce Lee or Johnny?  We all need to master that art but I would postulate that it is even more critical for beginning  / inexperienced students.  The art of fighting with out fighting will allow them to live long enough to avoid violence because they want to not necessarily because they have to