Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Marine stabbed in the back on Black Friday


Shoplifting suspect stabs Marine, police say

A Marine collecting Toys for Tots donations at Augusta's Best Buy was stabbed in the back Friday while helping to subdue a shoplifting suspect.
    Tracey Attaway  Richmond County Jail Photo
Cpl. Phillip Duggan tried to stop a fleeing suspect at Best Buy.

Fellow Marines identified the injured man as Cpl. Phillip Duggan, 24, who spent part of Black Friday recuperating at Eisenhower Army Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Tracey Attaway, 39, of Waynesboro, Ga., was jailed and charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a knife in the commission of a crime.

Orvin Smith, a sales manager at Best Buy, said the incident occurred about 1:15 p.m. when a man was seen on surveillance videos placing a laptop under his jacket. Store staff asked Attaway to return the merchandise, and the situation began to escalate.

"He was really irate. A whole lot of energy. ... he finally let go of the laptop, ran out the front door, knocked one of my employees down and pulled out a knife so he could make sure he could get out the front door," Smith said.

Outside the door were four Marines and seven volunteers collecting donations for Toys for Tots.
"(Duggan) clotheslined him, and after that he kind up got up and started swinging a knife around," Smith said.
Gunnery Sgt. Robert Richie said Attaway "came over the top and got (Duggan) in the back."
Attaway ran again but didn't get far before Richie, several other Marines and members of the store's loss-prevention team tackled him in the parking lot and held him until deputies arrived.
Gunnery Sgt. Sherry Barrera, who also serves as the Toys for Tots coordinator, opted to close operations for the day.
"When a Marine gets injured, we just shut it down, go to the hospital, make sure he's OK and make sure he gets proper treatment," she said.
Barrera said Duggan joined the unit about three months ago. Although she has had the opportunity to drill with Duggan only a few times, she said she had heard wonderful things about him.
"My boss, who has served with him before, did say he was an outstanding Marine," Barrera said.
According to Richmond County authorities, Attaway also tried to steal two digital cameras, an Xbox game, a PS3 game and a PS3 game controller with a combined value of $1,365.

A couple lessons we can learn from this story.  Again before I start, as I have writen in other blogs I'm not second guessing or critizing the Marine.  I'm just using this story to illistarte some basic principles we can all benifit from (So our Marine's stitches won't be for nothing)

This scenario sounds like every brown belts wet dream.  In the right place at the right time with Righteous Indignation you pull your best spinning round kick.  Knock the knife out of the criminal's hand see his eyes widen in terror of your supreme skills.  Kiss the girl and ride off into the sunset.  Sadly that only happens in Hollywood and in the imagination of the uninformed or inexperienced.

Here are some ways you can stop a violent criminal in the real world and not get stabbed
Call 911 get professionals (see also carry guns) involved as quickly as possible
Be a good witness

If you feel you must do more
Follow at a safe distance
    Direction of travel
    License Plate

Get all this information to the professionals as soon as possible.  Stay on line with dispatch.  You just became a great source of real time intelligence (you are a recon scout Yo Joe!!!!)  Recon does not directly engage the enemy.  They call in the artillary to blow the hell out of the enemy.

Edged weapons defense
Ok severel topics to study here

Awareness - Threat assesment scanning
According to the article Attaway brandished the knife and was threatening employees inside the store before our Marine ever saw him.
  Hands - is he holding a weapon should part of every threat assesment scan.  Very helpful for tatical decision making.

If you do see the knife is it worth your life to stop this guy?  Even a short pocket knife to the kidney can bleed you out in seconds.

If you haven't followed the previous advice and you engage a fleeing criminal armed with a knife
Use a tool you're not an ape - (Thanks Marc)
Folding chair
Any improvised weapon that provides distance amd can absorb damage from the blade.  Keep him at bay, delay him until professionals with guns can show up.

If your still not listening to me and your intent on your brown belt wet dream of disarming a knife weilding criminal with your bare hands, end violence quickly - IT HAS TO BE OVER IN 3 MOTIONS OR LESS- if you don't have the skills, competence, and confidence to do that.  Then don't do it
You have do disable the attacker not the knife.  Something along the lines of;
Motion 1 - Get off line
Motion 2 - Destroy balance
if you are really good, mation 1 and 2 happen in just one motion
Motion 3 Smash to ground or otherwise disable attacker

It much easier to take a knife away from a broken arm or an unconsous criminal.

Now you may be asking your self why a trained Marine didn't follow my advice, which leads me to my Brazilian JuJitsu (BJJ) taught to the Military rant.

Let me start by saying that I like BJJ.  It is a fantastic sport.  I also enjoy wrestling.  The difference is no wrestling coach ever advertised wrestling as the be all end all answer to every self defense situation.  You see examples of BJJ instructors teaching women rape prevention by throwing themselves on their back and putting their legs in the air.  Now I've never raped anyone but it would seem to me that getting a woman on her back with her legs in the air is the goal of the rapist rather than a deteriant.

As examples of the all purpose efficacy of BJJ these instructors use the UFC, and more recently that BJJ is being taught to the US military.  What they refuse to see (or admit even if they do see) is that 90% of BJJ will get you killed in close quarters combat.  So why is BJJ being taught to our troops?

1) A generation of fat soft spoiled kids who have never been in a contact sport let alone a fight.  BJJ like high school wrestling is a fantastic way to get into shape and to help develop character

2) Social violence ritual combat is genetically designed NOT to be life threatening.  You have 100’s of late teen early 20 something males all in close proximity to each other pumping with hormones and the vigor of youth.  On top of that powder keg are you going to throw the match of effective close quarter combatives ( see also maiming and killing the enemy in 3 motions or less)?  BJJ allows these young men to play dominance games and establish a pecking order with out injuringing each other.

Effective close quarter combatives look nothing like BJJ.  If you are interested in CQB check out the writing of W. E. Fairbairn, and Rex Applegate.  Guess what their 2nd rule of close quarter combat  is

Granted if you find yourself on the ground you better know what to do.  BJJ can be fantastic for that.  Just remember in the world there are no rules or time limits.  You don't have time to lesiuerly set up a joint lock or choke.  If you find yourself on the ground get up as quickly as possible.

So, God bless the Marines.  God bless a man willing to stand up and do what he believed was right.  Lets be inspired by his example.  And lets learn from this incident in case we ever find ourselves in the right place at the right time.

Train hard - Train real - Stay safe 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

After Thanksgiving blog

Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. George S. Patton

That’s just what I did last Tuesday with the Police Department.  I have made revisions to the basic control tactics class I teach to my police department to reflect the training I have received from Steve Jimerfield, Marc MacYoung, and Rory Miller.  My goal was to take a more principle based individualistic approach to training.  Making the officers better operators instead of trying to make them carbon copies of me.
The class followed this basic format:
·         State Statutes governing use of force
·         Department use of force policy
·         Ethics – your capacity for violence
·         Physical and psychological effects of combat stress.
Taser refresher practical
8 points of motion (taisabaki)
Escort / Control
Standing cuffing
Ground control / cuffing
Counter Ambush
Weapon Retention
Ground Fighting

The morning was spent with fundamentals which can be applied to many situations and simple gross motor skill techniques proven to work in the field for over 30 years.  The afternoon was primarily spent taking those basic fundamental motions and crafting them into individual counter ambush responses.  I wanted to take a principle based rather than prescriptive approach.  Prescriptive is very much like traditional martial arts training.  If they throw a hook with their right hand you do this block (that block is the prescription for that punch) if they throw a left jab you do that block.  That forces you to teach many different blocks for every different possible attack.  Forces students to try to mimic exactly their instructor / sensei instead of moving / fighting the way that suits them best.  Principle based allows for greater retention in less time.  I only get 8 hours a year to work with these guys I have to give them the most bang for the buck.
The principles I insisted on were:
Move (Enter, Open, Circular, Lateral – Choose the one that works best for you)
·         Improve your position
·         Worsen their position
Protect from damage
·         Protect Head
·         Protect Low – groin / ribs
o   All at same time
Allow For Follow Up
·         Control
·         Takedown
·         Transition to higher level of force / weapon
Sounds familiar right?  Time to stress test the fundamentals.  I had the students pair off.   Group A was instructed to attack their partner any way they would like / could imagine from the front.  Group B was instructed not to get hit, then to take their partner to the ground for cuffing.
Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.
Wow, I couldn’t have been happier with the results.  Officers would avoid / block whatever came at them, get caught up with or ahead of the attacker in the ooda process then do the takedowns we worked in the morning.  Or guys like Ben (one of my Black Belts and a One On One Control Tactics Instructor himself) put on an Aikido clinic.  I think he pulled sankajo from every possible attack.  Everyone passed the stress test with flying colors and solid fundamental techniques.  They looked fantastic, very professional, the best I’ve ever seen them perform.  They were being their best, not being their best imitation of me.
Some of the feedback / course evaluations validated this training method.  One Officer stated (others chimed in / agreed) that he felt so confident in the training he almost hopes someone tries something on him.  The one course evaluation that stuck out read: This is a great class and improves every year.  This is the best the class has ever been.

So in this Thanksgiving weekend post I am very thankful to Steve, Marc, and Rory for helping me bring my game to a new level.  I hope I can do the same for those I train and those of you who read this blog.  I am especially thankful for all of you as well.

Train Hard – Train Real – Stay Safe  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lessons learned from recent SWAT training

In many recent posts I have discussed developing an Operator mindset, and my utter distain for posers who sell nonsense tactical training to wannabes.  SWAT training Thursday was very productive.  Many of the topics I have been blogging about recently either came up organically or were intended to specifically be trained.  So I thought I would share some of some the concepts we worked on.  Feel free to adapt these ideas to your own needs and incorporate them into your training.
Note:  for operational security specifics will be omitted and some concepts will be left purposefully vague.   The basic concepts however are more important anyway.

The class room portion of training started with a presentation by Cabot Welchlin (more on him in future posts) on the Terror in Mumbai.
The discussion that followed revolved around our general preparedness.  Then transitioned to specific threats.
Besides Bret Favre’s weiner, what has Minnesota been in the news for recently?
Cops getting shot in the head
If not for the shooting in Washington State, we would be leading the nation.
Minnesota has also been making the news for events in our Somali community.

Recently in the Twin Cities metro area over 200 young Somali men (either volunteered or were forced) were sent to Africa to go to war, for jihad.

Now potentially combat trained war hardened Somali men have formed gangs in Minnesota and are running national prostitution rings.  Forcing teenage girls into “the life”

After arrests were made the Somali gang leaders were enraged that Law Enforcement would dare arrest them.  Not because they were innocent but they were pissed that Law Enforcement wasn’t afraid of them.  They made statements that they need to start killing cops so they will be respected.
Remember this it will come up again later

I was the next presenter for the classroom portion of training.  My presentation was on weapon retention, offensive edged weapons, and edged weapons defense.
I started the presentation with a quote I paraphrased from Rory Miller’s “Violence - a writer’s guide”
It takes years to learn how to fight with a knife.  I can, and later this morning will teach you how to ruthlessly and efficiently end a life with an edged weapon.
It takes a certain mindset to end another life.  If you are on an elite tactical response team you need to have this mindset.  It is a prerequisite of the job.
A fighter wants to fight.  For lack of a better term for someone who has developed a mindset capable of ending another life – a Killer just wants to get a job done
A killer will beat a fighter every time. 
A killer with the discipline to train is a god of war

Then I got into the how’s and why’s.  Mike Dugas a Kick ass team leader who is also a tactical medic helped me present an anatomy lesson for the where’s.
When I present this class there is a contact wound power point presentation I like to use as a transition between offensive edged weapons use and defense against an edged weapon.  The power point is full of photos of corpses created from edged weapons.  I use this to illustrate how easily it can be done.  And make the point of how easily it can be done to us.   During this a slide of some flayed fingers labeled defensive wounds came up.  Cabot made the statement “you will always get cut in a knife fight”
If you know me, or have read /trained with Marc MacYoung you can imagine this started quite a debate.  It went something along the lines of:
 I humbly disagree.  You know how pissed you get when someone uses the phrase weak hand or reactionary hand as opposed to other shooting hand in reference to shooting?  (Cabot was the team’s primary firearms instructor for years, he is best known for two catch phrases: other shooting hand, and if you can see it you can shoot it) You get so pissed because those phrases subconsciouncly train you to be a bad shot with one hand.  We use the term other shooting hand because I am just as good with both and will not expect performance to drop just because I’m not shooting with the hand I write with.  Saying you will always get cut in a knife fight besides being blatantly wrong also trains your brain that if / when you encounter a knife in combat you will be injured.  I will not allow that.   Cabot and I had some playful back and fourth until we defined our terms.  Cabot was taught at the Minnesota Kali group that when you have a knife and fight another man with a knife both of you are going to get cut.  I agree, but that is not knife fighting that is dueling and hell yeah your going to get cut, then go to jail or the morgue.  I am not talking about dueling, I am talking an Operator about being attacked with a knife.  One of two things should happen.  1 there is room and time to shoot and you end the threat, 2 there is not.  If there is not when threat attacks Operators will be behind the threat and the threat will be bouncing off the ground before anyone even noticed there was a knife. (Over in 3, thanks Marc) Cabot agreed.
Point illustrated to me is what “knife experts” are teaching the public will, get them cut, killed, arrested, or some combination of the above.  Think about it critically.  You are attacked by a knife, what makes more sense to draw your own knife, plant your feet in front of the attacker and duel him or get somewhere he can’t cut you and end the fight?
A killer will beat a fighter every time.  
The next classroom topic was Officer Rescue.  The discussion lead to Operator self care.  If you get shot you are not a victim you are still an Operator.  Drag yourself to cover, get that tourniquet on, and kill that fucker that shot you.
If you don’t die right away you will be fine.  Your injury will not kill you shock will.  You can fight off shock with purpose.  I suggest getting pissed “mad dog mean” as the Outlaw Josey Wales once said, and focus on killing that fucker that shot you.

Josey Wales: Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is.
That is why it is so important when we train with sims or airsoft, that if you do get shot you fight through that and end the threat.  That way you are training your brain that bullets don’t kill you.  If God forbid you do get shot your brain will reference this training and regard it as no big deal.  If however in training if you get zipped and you stop and yell ouch and think,”oh drat I’m finished” you are training your brain that bullets kill you instantly.  This will cause you to go into shock if ever shot in the field.

After that it was off to the mat room to put my money where my mouth is.  I started the team with some basic strikes.  Then how those same motions are used for take downs.  The team was looking good.  Then only Operator having some issues was because his partner was resisting very hard.  I brought the team together and made the point that any asshole can resist when he knows exactly the technique his partner is going to do.  SWAT works because of surprise, speed, and violence of action.  So do these techniques.  That worked for awhile…  I started working those same strike / take down motions for weapon retention.  Again the team was looking good.  A different Operator who was high speed before was having some issues now was because he was stuck training with “Resisty”
So I brought the team in again.  I said that just like quitting when you get hit with sims teaches you to die.  Resisting your partner because you know exactly what he is going to do is training his brain to lose in actual conflict.  In conflict losing = death to him and the team.  Good martial art / close quarter combatives techniques will kill or maim your opponent.  If we trained “at speed” injuries would be inevitable or we would have to train in techniques that are proven not to injure (see also proven not work).  Why would Operators practice techniques proven not to work?  In order to work Operational techniques without killing each other something artificial has to be introduced.  When we trained strikes, we used striking shields so we didn’t knock each other out.  In order to work these take downs we have to practice at a slower speed, and without resistance.  If you resist one or both of you will get hurt.   We transitioned to using basic motions as defense against unseen edged weapons.  I look over and my “Resisty” is on the mat wrestling with his partner.  Note; we were not working ground fighting.  So I watch the next rep.  “Resisty’s” partner is sick of getting beat up so instead of doing SWAT tactics he resorts to patrol felony stop (STOP) being the operative term which will get the team killed on an operation.
Like Popeye once said, “I’ve taken all I can takes and I can’ takes no more!”
The following tirade went something like:
Why the fuck am I having this discussion for the 3rd time, was I somehow unfucking clear the first two times?
Your nonsense has forced your partner to do tactics that will get us all killed.  Stop fucking around.  Your partner is supposed to go through you so the rest of the team can get in and clear the house.  If he stops and clogs we all die.

So I made “Resisty” play the role of the bad guy, his partner on point, and 5 guys stacked behind him.  His partner did the technique right.  “Resisty” was knocked on his ass and the 3rd operator saw he had a knife and ended the threat.  That’s what I’m talkn ‘bout!!!  We repeated that drill over and over to help further instill confidence.
Later many Operators came up to me and thanked me.  They said “the dressing down” needed to be done, and wished it would have been done earlier (like years ago).  Also after lunch “Resisty” came up to me and apologized.  He said he believes in and respects the training so we are all good.  Thing is I was never mad at “Resisty”.  I found I can be aggressive without being emotional.  Very important in my line of work.  As I was yelling at “Resisty” I could feel the effects of adrenalization as they were happening to me.  I have felt them many times before and recognize them.  The funny part is I kinda like them.  There is a distinct buzz.  There is a reason for the term adrenalin junky.  As I was discussing my training philosophy with “Resisty” I wasn’t getting mad I was getting aggressive.  It’s hard to put into words but there is a distinct difference.  Mad is better than afraid but you make a lot of stupid mistakes when you’re mad.  Aggressive is a whole other animal.  I wasn’t yelling because I was mad I was yelling because I’m kind a loud guy to start with and adrenalin makes me louder.  During the confrontation and throughout the afternoon I felt great, excited, alive.  About 3 o’clock the parasympathetic backlash hit me and I really wanted a nap.  But I’m a professional so I finished the range training J
Training point - if you don’t recognize the effects of adrenalin on your mind and body they can be very scary.  It is important to incorporate methods of inducing stress hormones into your training.  You don’t want the first time you or your students experience them to be in an actual conflict, verbal or otherwise. 

At lunch because I work hard to maintain my Operator mindset and because I may have been a little hyper vigilant due to the adrenalin.  I sat facing the door (a hard seat to get when dinning with other Operators – My fellas must trust me) and played the threat assessment game as we ate.  Cabot made a creepy mmmmmmyummy type moan.  I asked him if he was enjoying his pasta or if in the course of his threat assessment scanning he happened to notice the two hotties that came in the door.  He assured me it was the pasta, but I have my doubts.
After lunch we were on the range.  Cabot had us do a specific drill he has been developing.  I won’t give it away here but it’s kind of like Danielsan painting the fence.  It seems ridiculous at the time and you don’t realize you learned something until after it is over
The moral of the story / drill is that there are people who want to murder cops.  The only way to go out in the public safely is to maintain awareness (Yellow) and actively asses everyone in a 50’ radius. (I guess I passed lunch, also I knew he was checking out those hotties) 
Training point - Even Operators need to be reminded to be Operators all the time.  Even Operators need to actively develop / maintain Operator mindset.
I went home snuggled the kids and crashed.  Woke up and went to the Dojo.  Enjoyed a cigar with Lise and reflected on the day (those thoughts became this blog).
 OK so that was a day in the life of your favorite Operator.  I hope you read some things that will enhance your own training

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The A.M. experiment.

A couple times recently my workouts have been rescheduled or had to be missed because of life stuff (family things, SWAT call outs, etc…).

Life happens, I figured that maybe if I did my workouts first thing in the morning before life starts happening I could get them done and out of the way.  That way no matter what happens after that I won’t miss my training.  No excuses bitches. 

I am very fortunate that I am allowed / encouraged to work out at work (over my lunch break).  I am also very fortunate that my Dojo is close to work.

So moving all my training to before work frees up time for extra credit training for lack of a better term.  If time allows I can go hit the heavy bag or swing some swords around.  If time is too tight, it’s no big deal because I already got my primary training in for the day

On the days I don’t work I don’t have to wake up early.  I do however, have to work out first thing in the morning.  Like the old military cadence song
 - Up in the morning I’m out if the sack, God only knows when I’ll be back. –

So, what have I learned from the experiment?

I have been running and core training in the mornings for awhile now, but I haven't done strength training first thing in the morning since high school.  I was afraid I would be way weaker training that early, but no real diminishment in reps.
I also get some stress inoculation and cardio benefit because I play “beat the clock”
- I have to get the entire whole body work out in 30 min or less - so I’m not late for work

I have been loving it, great way to start a day.  All of my training is specifically geared to make me a better Operator.  Looking this sexy is just a side effect.  I get excited about it and look foreword to the training.  Some days are harder to crawl out of bed than others but either way I have a sense of pride and accomplishment for having achieved difficult training while most mere mortals are still comfortably asleep in their bed.  Then I’m free the rest of the day to spend more time as a father, fight crime or just veg out guilt free and watch sci fi movie marathons.

Is this whole blog Kasey bragging about how awesome he is again? What is the moral of the story?    

Ok, a couple of things:
Time management. 
Body Weight calisthenics can be done anywhere, are free, and you can get a killer work out in a short amount of time

This is the schedule that works for me.  My suggestion is to find physical activity that you can be excited / passionate about and find a way to work it into your schedule every day (note appropriate rest is part of smart training) as if your life depended on it.  Because it just might

No excuses bitches

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Last night at the Dojo

I'm working on a fairly lengthy blog on how to train professionals.  But I know you all are just begging for another budo blog so here is an oldie but goodie
Last night at the Dojo
by Kasey Keckeisen on Friday, June 12, 2009 at 10:52am
The Story

1) I am not bragging
2) There is no honor in picking fights
3) There is no honor in picking fights with people ½ your size
4) There is no honor in picking fights with people ½ your age (until your 50)

Having said that here is a humorous event that happened at the Dojo last night

We are doing test prep for the big test on the 27th. Senior students working together in one group, junior students in another. The junior students were by the back door which was left open due to the heat. A group of about 5-6 teen age skateboarders stopped at the back door and started watching. No big deal we have giant windows people can watch if they want, that is one way to generate interest. Then one kid starts running his mouth to Jeff about being a yellow belt and some other stuff. You can watch but don't interrupt / distract from my class. So I talk to the kid. I said, “Hey, are your guys interested in learning martial Arts? Every Thursday we have Randori”. He asked what is randori?
I replied ,“Frees style, where I kick the shit out of you. Wanna give it a try?” So the wise ass who was teasing Jeff says no but points at this other kid and says he does. The other kid asks what do I have to do? I told him all he has to do is take off his shoes and come on in. He takes his shoes off. I’m thinking are you fucking nuts a 215 lb shaved gorilla who happens to run his own martial art school invited you to get the shit kicked out of your self and you are excepting the invitation. He steeped on the mats. I shove him back out side. I told him he has to bow before he can step on my mats ( I know very Rex Kwon Do right). He bows with his fist to his palm like a kung fu movie. He comes in and we bow to each other. I ask are you ready, and he says yes. So with an open hand I smack him on his fore head 2 times real quick (That is Japanese sign language for I just broke your nose but I’m being nice). His eyes get kinda big and he backs up. So I mae geri (Sparta kick) him and clinch around his waste into Koshi Nage (hip throw) of course followed by a hold down (kesa gatame). I very politely told him if any things feel uncomfortable to please tap. He said he understood. I replied because that is about happen now. I sank all my weight into his low floating rips and cranked his neck.
Tap! Tap!Tap!
I let him up. We bowed to each other. The wise ass kid from before said, “Wow!, was that Jui Jitsu?” I told him yes, it is a form of Ju Jutsu. I told them all If they really wanted to learn martial arts we train Mon- Thurs 8-930 If they wants to run their mouths they should find some where else to do it. The wise ass and the kid I tapped asked about the times and dates again and then they left.

In conclusion:
1) I hope that kid comes back
2) I hope they don’t egg the Dojo
3) I hope I don’t get sued
4) Wouldn’t this be a great opening to a 80’s martial arts movie?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

History lesson I should have known.

What is practical Budo?  Why do I do put all the effort into writing the practical Budo blog?  I define practical Budo as the adaptation of Japanese martial arts (Budo) for use by professionals (military / law enforcement) who’s life and the lives of others depends on the quality of their training.  The integration of firearms, edged weapons, and empty hand skills into a cohesive principal based method.  I write the blog because I feel this area of study is fairly cutting edge and needs to be shared with more people.  Other professionals, Trainers, and people who want to learn methods proven in the field to protect themselves. 

So what should I have known?

Apparently there was a British fellow by the name of W.E. Fairbrain.  Fairbrain was a police officer who practiced Jujutsu and other martial arts.  Fairbrain combined that knowledge with what he learned actually worked on the streets (he worked a major metropolitan seaport with high crime) into his own unique fighting system.  Sounds familiar right?  He described this system as primarily based on his personal experience, which according to police records included some 600 use of force incidents (fights), by his retirement at age 55 from the position of Assistant Commissioner.  This system and Fairbairn’s training methods were so successful he was recruited by the British Secret Service as an Army officer to train UK, US and Canadian Commando forces, along with Ranger candidates in close-combat, pistol-shooting, and knife-fighting techniques.  In that capacity he trained Rex Applegate.  Together these gentlemen devised training and tactics for military and law enforcement special operations teams. 

Very cutting edge right?  Exactly what I am striving for with practical Budo.  Oh, did I mention that Fairbairn and Applegate were doing this in……1943!!!

I’m so ahead of my time almost 70 years later.

I just started reading some of their books

Must reads for anyone who enjoys reading my blog.  The section on room warfare and raids was written 20 years before SWAT existed but reads like a text book for police special operations.

Here is some video of their training

Funny side story.  This is what I have always been looking for in martial arts.  In 1984 when I was a young lad of 10 on Sunday mornings after church USA network had Kung Fu Theater which I watched every week.  And after school everyday I got to watch the adventures of America’s highly trained special mission force code name – GI JOE.  All of the Joes were martial arts experts and one of the commandos (Snake Eyes of course) was even a ninja just like on Kung Fu theater. 

I was under the impression that all military people were trained this way and I wanted to learn.  I talked to kids I knew on the civil air patrol and they sent me to a guy in the Marine Corp youth auxiliary.  I asked him; if I joined would I be trained in hand to hand combat?  He looked at me like I had “special needs”.  I guess teaching kids how to maim and or kill with their bare hands was frowned upon.  So moral of the story: interest in Commando style hand to hand combat got me started in martial arts.  A life long journey in martial arts has lead to the development Keishoukan Budo (see also practical Budo).  Which I find out is really just a different name for Commando style hand to hand combat that has been around for over 70 years.  At least I know I can provide my students with the training I was always looking for….and knowing is half the battle  - Yo JOE!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cato training


The Kato - Cato Experiment

Last post I mentioned some exercises you can do to help develop operator mindset.  Today’s blog is an experiment I did 13 years ago that helped me start to understand some concepts about how violence happens in the world and how to adjust training methods to compensate for the difference
The Kato - Cato experiment.  I call it that because it happened in ManKATO and it reminded me of Cato from the Pink Panther movies

Around 1997 – 1998 I was going to Mankato State University, I was a black belt in Aikido cross training in Goju Ryu Karate and Judo.  I had just read “Autumn Lightning: The Education of an American Samurai” by Dave Lowry.  In the book there is a story of a young Samurai who seeks out training from a sword master.  After the master finally accepts him as a student he begins a series of grueling and unusual training methods.  One of these methods was that the master would wait until the samurai was engrossed in one of the many menial tedious tasks (cooking, cleaning, gathering firewood, daily life, etc…) required of an apprentice, then jump out and whack him with a bokken.  At first the samurai would get knocked out.  Then he would barely get out of the way but spill all the food or firewood.  Eventually the samurai would evade or block the bokken with the lid from the tea pot or the kindling he was carrying continuing on about his business.  Only then would the master start allow him to pick up a sword.
I decided that I needed to recreate that training experience for myself.  At that time I was living at the fraternity house with 20-30 some odd guys.
I chose 5 guys that lived at the house, had classes with me, and knew my schedule.  Basically they had access to me 24 hours a day.  I gave these guys a big piece of neon colored chalk (the kind kids use to write on drive ways) roughly the size of a tanto.  I made a bet with them that if they could leave a chalk mark on me in a vital area (not just counting coop or point sparring) I would buy them dinner and they could sign the clothing they marked and I would have to wear it for 24 hours letting everyone know who “killed” the great and power full Kasey.   They got one chance for a lethal attack.  I had one chance to block / evade.  I promised I wouldn’t lock,throw, or strike them – just block / evade
Some lessons that stuck with me:
  • Awareness
  • Reading Terrain
  • Improvised weapons
  • Threat Assessment
  • Counter Ambush
  • Mid- Brain or Monkey brain  - My Kryptonite
  • Violence Dynamics
I didn’t have terms to express the lessons I learned until I started reading and training with Marc and Rory.   Many professionals have experienced these concepts and reality for themselves.  However, it is difficult to express in words and even more difficult to convey to others.  Luckily Marc and Rory have been developing a common lexicon of terms to express the realities of violence.  Like Syd Hoar’s book the A-Z of Judo where he lists all the different names the same technique go by.  When I read that book I was like I know that technique only I call it x.  With the realities of violence its like, I’ve experienced x only I call it y.  I played this game in 97 but I will use terms I’ve recently adopted into my teaching method to convey the lessons I learned
 In the following Budo blogs we will tackle each topic individually but for now as Paul Harvey used to say here is the rest of the story.
Just playing the game improved my awareness.  Again, Becoming actively aware that you are looking for anomalies in pattern makes a tremendous difference in the identification and assessment.  First I was looking for those five guys which was fairly easy.  Then those guys would give the chalk to other guys I didn’t know were playing the game.  However, unless you’re a sociopath hunting and killing people even just playing at hunting and killing people is hard.  There are telltale signs.  Subconscious weapons checks, hiding hands, target glances.  They came at me when I was sleeping, they came at me when I was eating, they came at me at school and I was very successful at detecting and deflecting their attacks.  How was I killed you ask?  A lot of these attack prevention skills are used by your forebrain.  I was killed when I was forced into my Mid Brain or “Monkey Brain”.  Monkey brain is where the term monkey dance comes from.  Basically your monkey brain is concerned with the f’s.  Fight, Flight, Freeze, Feed, and Fornicate.  I used fornicate because my Dad say I use fuck too much in my writing.  I hear you thinking Kasey you didn’t answer the question how did you get killed?  Ok, so my buddy who is beautifully devious was dating a very attractive girl.  She reminded me of Nev Camble and she had a belly ring (this is back when belly rings were new and exotic and only for women who had nice tummies).  So he gives her the chalk.  She blatantly flirts and uses her feminine whiles.  All my Samurai skills awareness, threat assessment etc...(fore brain) turn off.  Monkey brain takes over.  All the monkey can handle is Fight, Flight, Freeze, Feed, and Fornicate.  So where my Fore Brain should have thought:
  • I have a girl friend
  • She has a boy friend (my good buddy)
  • Why is she acting like this?
  • Basically looking for anomalies in pattern
My Monkey brain thought:
  • Boobies
  • Tummy
  • She totally digs me
  • Ouch how did I get stabbed with chalk?
Good thing I had an understanding girlfriend (she eventually married me)
The “temptress” used social skills to commit asocial violence.  That’s how I got killed
And now you know the rest of the story.
So how can I prevent getting killed in this manner?  Learn how to prevent or delay the monkey brain from taking over.  Next blog will focus on tactical breathing / practical meditation

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Commando style training.

The field of practical application of martial art is very narrow. I define this field as the martial skills used by professionals in the field. Professionals who's life and the life of others depend on the quality those skills and the quality of their training. This field integrates firearms, edged weapons and empty hand skills and has zero tolerance for nonsense. I pursue this field of study because I am a SWAT Operator and Police Officer. I also see the value of teaching skills proven to work by professionals to civilians interested in self defense as opposed to sport or maintaining tradition.
 However, recently it seems to me a lot of instructors are getting paid playing of the fears and fantasies of the uninformed. There are people who are afraid of violent crime that are willing to pay lots of money to learn the “secret techniques” of professionals. There are also lots of people who want to be Jack Bauer / James Bond who are willing to pay lots of money to be trained / treated like an elite paramilitary operator. I am not dissing these people, I understand being afraid of violent crime, and I want to be Jack Bauer / James Bond. I get it.  The cause of this rant is Instructors who exploit this fear / fantasy for fun and profit. They offer fear management as opposed to danger management and wish fulfillment instead of quality training.
It seems there is a simple formula. 
Step 1) be somehow affiliated with or claim to be trained by an:
v  Navy Seal
v  Russian Commando
v   Israeli Commando
v   WWII Era Commando
Step 2) Take whatever martial art you know, add rubber knives and toy guns, and lots of pushups and sit ups
Step 3) Come up with some sort of acronym to separate your super elite system from all the other just ok commando styles.
Step 4) have a "special" seminar every weekend to make lots of money
The inspiration for this blog is every week my facebook account gets filled up with invitations to the next big greatest kick ass high speed low drag commando type training only $750 for the weekend.
People send me videos of "tactical training". My favorite one so far depicts two lets use the term wannabes driving their personal cars recklessly into the parking lot of the commando school. The wannabes bail out of their cars and make entry into the school with airsoft pistols.  They address and shoot paper targets as the "clear" the building.  Let’s put aside the quality of these tactics for a second and ask the question?
 If you have to drive to a building, break into it, seek out and shoot armed threats (and you are not on a SWAT team) that is not self defense that is murder.  That is fanboy wish fulfillment bullshit. If you want to protect yourself from violence why would you go somewhere you know armed violent and dangerous people are?  That is just irresponsible teaching.  Pandering to base human needs.
To further make my point lets swap military / law enforcement for firefighting.  Imagine someone claiming to be affiliated with or trained by someone affiliated with an elite fire department.  This person is getting paid a lot of money to teach fire safety to a group of uninformed citizens that are either afraid of being burned or are fireman enthusiasts (they all have Dalmatians and model fire trucks at home).  Now this guy teaches the wannabes to fill their car with buckets of water kick down a door and run into a burning building.  That guy would get laughed out of the fire fighting community.  If we can apply common sense to one why can’t we apply common sense to the other?
We can.  Here are some suggestions how.
Developing operator habits.  You want to be a commando? then act like one.  Fake it until you make it.  The following are legitimate skill sets and knowledge that every operator needs. 
(If you have trained with me or have been following my blog you will know that the following information is largely borrowed from Rory Miller and Marc MacYoung with their permission)

Rules of engagement
                Understanding laws regarding self defense and use of force
                Knowing your capacity for violence
                Threat assessment scanning
                                Consciously seeking out anomalies in pattern and discovering why things are different
                Reading Terrain
Escape and Evade
                Where are the exits
                How could I get out of this place?
                How would I attack this place?
Violence Dynamics
                Understanding social and asocial violence
                Understanding how violence actually happens
                                Harder,faster,closer, and by surprise
                Understanding / Controlling yourself
                Controlling / Manipulating the situation
Jack Bauer / James Bond does not bring unwarranted attention to himself.  Nor does he blow a mission be getting arrested for doing something stupid.

Fighting Skills
                Counter Ambush
                Ending Violence Quickly
                                Over in three motions
Physical Fitness
Strength and conditioning designed to specifically enhance your performance of fighting techniques.
Go muscles vs. show muscles
Body weight calisthenics and running are free. 
Operators don’t need someone to hold them by the hand through a fitness program.
Operators don’t waste dojo time with boot camp nonsense
So you want some Commando training?  Let me set some up right now
1) I am a team leader and training coordinator for a major metropolitan tactical unit (see also urban warfare commando)
2) I’ve spent the last 18 years of my life refining Japanese martial arts (Budo) to be applicable to CQB.  I bet my life on the efficacy of these techniques every day I go to work / every time my pager goes off.
3) Commando
4) Here is the best part kiddos.  The majority of this training you can do on your own for free.
To get you started here is a fun exercise to develop operator mindset
The next time you go out to eat (this really helps pass time while you’re waiting to be seated)
Locate all the exits, avenues of escape
Scan every one up and down once break sideways (don’t bring attention to yourself)
                Where are their hands?
                What is their physical description?
                Are they a threat?  Are they sending a creepy vibe (trust your instincts)
                How would you take them out?
How would you hold up the restaurant?
Is there anyone in places or doing things you would need to be / do to hold up the restaurant?
Is that weird?
Make a game of this every time you go somewhere.  Take pride in it.  After a month it will become habit and you will start doing it with thinking about it.
That is useful, legitimate, and legal Commando training all for free.  And I didn’t even fill up you facebook inbox.  If you feel guilty you can send me a check.