Monday, July 30, 2012

Playing in the park (and other random thoughts)

This weekend we went down to Mankato for my wife’s 20th high school reunion.  So to get my workouts in I packed my gear and hit the park / playground near my parent’s house.    I love working out out side, but park training has its downsides too.

I tend to scare soccer moms. It’s not that bad when my daughters go with me and play with my Dad while I work out.  But a 250 lb guy doing prison exercises on a kid’s jungle gym sends out some creepy vibes.  I try to be as unobtrusive as possible.  I usually find a swing in the far corner away from the other play equipment to set up my gear.  

I mind my own business, I don’t say boo to anybody.  I even have my ear buds in so I can pretend to ignore everyone completely.

It usually goes one of two ways
  1.   )      Mommy what is he doing?

Don’t go over there, he is a stranger
Good response, you don’t know me.  Like the song says – tell your children not to come my way.  There are plenty other swings away from me you can play on

  1.  2)      Kid walks up – what are you doing?

`               I ignore the kid
                Kid keeps asking
I tell the kid to move along or the parent finally realizes that Jr. is chatting up the large scary man and the kid goes on his way

It’s really no big deal to me, I don’t care, but it can be distracting.  And if you are going to take your kid to the park, how about you spend some time playing with your kid.  If not at least pull your nose out of your I-phone or your novel and watch your fucking kid.

Side note – there is a large trend I martial arts / self defense to teach children stranger danger, and anti abduction techniques.  For anyone teaching this take a lesson from the Logic of Violence.  Make sure you are not retro fitting techniques you know to fit how you think an attack of this nature might happen.  

I’d also suggest you check the statistics for stranger child abduction.  They are actually very rare.  Children are much more likely to be abducted by a parent / close family member.  

So ask yourself if you were in a bad divorce how would abduct your own kid?  How could your kid stop you?  

Might not be as easy to advertise as a weekend seminar but it will be much more useful.

Other things I learned at the park
The park is covered in woodchips for safety.  Remember when kids played on concrete?  I wanted a really kick ass workout but I didn’t want to roll around in / get covered in woodchips.  So I had to adapt my work out (on the Gorilla Ladder 5000) to be all standing exercises.

Challenge accepted, that is another great part of working out in the park, just playing.  Playing with a concept until you figure it out.

A handstand push up is a great overhead pushing motion, but you have to get on the ground and push up.  Ground = covered in woodchips, so how do you do an overhead pressing motion with the ladder without getting on the ground. 

I found that you can also work your overhead pressing muscles by pushing down.  Kind of like a dip but an isometric push so you never push yourself off the ground.  Imagine a variation of an Iron cross from gymnastics.  That worked great.

Kind of like this but more of an angle with the arms like a lambda /\

Same question for a leg curl.  I discovered standing on one leg, bent over at the waist other leg in the bottom strap and curling back against the ladder in a sort of hooking kick uchi matta hybred.

So necessity being the mother of all invention gave me 2 new exercises to add the tool box

When I was done with my work out a guy came up to me and asked about the ladders and how I made them.

I told him about the blog and where to find more info.  I might have made my first ladder sale

I have been writing a lot about strength training and physical fitness lately.  I want to make sure I make some points very clear.

Whatever martial art / self defense / combatives program you use it should never be dependent on being physically superior to work.  

I'm not saying size and strength don't matter.  I am saying you can't ensure that you will always be bigger and stronger than your attacker so you can't depend on size and strength.

Again look at the logic of violence and understand what victim profiles you fit.  Criminals / Predators do not attack victims that are bigger and stronger than them.  Nor do they engage in social violence "sparring" type of attacks.  It simply makes no sense for them to do that.

So if you are depending on being bigger and stronger than your attacker you are have a rude shock coming your way.

Having said that, remove yourself from as many victim profiles as you can.

You have to play the hand you are dealt, but you should always be working to improve your hand.

I strength train because I enjoy it, and it is a requisite of job.  I need to be able to pick up a 250 lb operator with 50lbs or more of gear and move to the nearest cover as fast as possible.  I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I failed because I was too lazy to train hard on a regular basis.

But my Operational method is not dependent on physical strength. 

I’d much rather talk someone into cuffs.  So if that same vibe that scares soccer moms away at the park "intimidates" a subject into doing what I ask them nicely to do that is a win for me.

I can’t bet on size and strength in physical confrontation.  They are fleeting.  If it doesn’t work for Lise against me, then it simply doesn’t work.

This is a difficult lesson to learn.  Even harder to actually know.  But once you know this you will be opened up to an entire new level.

Case in point, and I've told this story before on this blog, but on an academic / mental level I knew Marc MacYoung was a very skilled fighter.  In fact I worked very hard to arrange opportunities to learn from him.

Looking back now I realize that I was just paying lip service to size can’t matter small folks just have to fight different / smarter.

I mean look just look at him

It wasn’t until he threw my fat ass clear across the room that I stopped thinking about physics on an academic level and truly knew applied physics work.

Solid physics (building codes) are in every martial art.  They may have been lost or watered down over the years but they are there if you know what to look for.  It doesn't matter what you call them, and nobody owns them.

Here is the sneaky little secret, if a big guy can learn to use physics like a skilled little guy.  Plus add all their additional mass to that equation.  You become a very powerful big guy, that does not depend on strength.

Just be careful because when it becomes effortless it will feel fake.  Another processes in knowing is believing.

You will throw someone very hard, or lock a joint very hard because you don’t yet know your own “new” strength.  You won't believe it can be this easy.

This true strength, this applicable strength should be the goal of combined strength / skill training
So go to the park, and play because it is fun and you owe it to yourself.  

Train hard, Train smart, Be safe

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Violence Dynamics Seminar 2012

Hey everybody!  It's been far too long since I've updated the blog.  I won't make excuses that's just how it is.  However, I have been working hard to set up the 2012 Violence Dynamics Seminar with Marc MacYoung and Rory Miller.  The logistics just got hashed out this morning so now I can post the details

Those are last year's dates, but I just like that picture of me kneeling on that guy's head

Violence Dynamics Seminar 2012

The Violence Dynamics seminars will consist of four training tracks
Track 1 – The first weekend
Track 2 – Law Enforcement
Track 3 – Evenings
Track 4 – The second weekend

Track 1 – The first weekend
Saturday 9/8                Con Com Civilian Focus                     8-4
                                    Martial Mechanics                              5-8
                                    Welcome back to MN party               8-???

Sunday 9/9                  Logic of Violence                                8-4
                                    Rory’s stuff                                        5-8

Track 2 – Law Enforcement & Track 3 – Evenings

Monday 9/10               Con Com                                            9-5

Tuesday 9/11               Force Physics                                      9-5
                                    Marc stuff at the Dojo                          7-9

Wednesday 9/12         DT Instructor Development I                 9-5

Thursday 9/13             DT Instructor Development II                9-5
                                    Rory Stuff at Dojo                                7-9

Track 4 – The second weekend
Friday 9/14                  Marc and Rory                                      6-10

Saturday 9/15              Kasey Stuff                                           10-4
                                    Good Bye party                                    4-???

Tracks 1,3,4 – Keishoukan Dojo 425 Railroad Dr,  Elk River MN, 55330
Track 2 -          Minneapolis Police Department Special Operations Center, 4119 Dupont Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN

$75 per class or $250 for the entire seminar
(That is crazy cheap)

20930 135th Ave North , RogersMNUS, 55374

Class Descriptions;
I'm not trying to be secretive labeling the classes Rory stuff, Marc stuff it's just that the classes at the Dojo are subject to change.  Also I doesn't matter what I list the class as those guys just teach what they want anyways.

However, the Law Enforcement classes will follow this format

Violence Dynamics

Conflict Communications

Conflict Communication Improves understanding of violence, and interpersonal communications.
Increases verbal skills and helps to make use of force less necessary (lessens the need)
If you're emotional and caught up in the default human conflict behaviors, the best de-escalation training in the world (Verbal Judo, C.I.T., etc) is of no use to you. You're not going to be able to do it.
The essential message of Conflict Communications is –

De-escalation starts with You

The goal of Conflict Communications is to teach you how to prevent conflict whenever possible and to minimize its impact when it is unavoidable.
Most conflicts can be successfully controlled by using the principles of this system. This is not specialized education only a select few can master. The program is designed so anyone can use it to prevent a conflict. And we do this by teaching you to de-escalate yourself first.
Originally designed for law enforcement  to be used when confronting violent felons, the principles of this program also work in business, social and familial situations
By understanding how and why confrontation occurs, Conflict Communications will show you conflict management, de-escalation, situation resolution and, if necessary, articulation of why action was both necessary and reasonable.

For further information click here

Force Physics

To improve Officers’ ability to successfully apply their defensive tactics system by fixing the holes in movement that rob Officers of power

  • Officers will under stand the power chain
  • Officers will show proficiency at delivering effective force into a control subject
  • Officers will demonstrate increased efficiency by ending confrontations in three motions or less

Training Topics Include
    • Misconceptions about force
    • Recap of social and asocial violence
    • Social violence reaction patterns
    • Rooting
    • Triangle of power
      • Body movement
      • Structure
      • Range
    • Full weight transfer vs. lean
    • CoDPITT
    • Offense does NOT mean pain
    • Line of stance integrity
    • Twists and pulls
    • Gaffing vs. grabbing
    • Drives vs. impacts
    • You are NOT adrenaline’s punk
    • Muscle memory is a lie
o       Defensive/entering hand work
    • Defensive/entering handwork
    • Hard and soft take downs
    • Overcoming resistance
    • “Faith” in your tactics.
    • Effective movement doesn’t feel like fighting
    • Effective tactics do not rely on muscle, they relies on movement
Force physics is not a defensive tactics system or a “martial arts” style.
Force physics is a training method developed to enhance your ability to use the defensive tactics or martial arts system you are trained in more efficiently.

Increasing your competence, and confidence in your existing training.

Force physics will not only make you better at applying force to a resistive subject, but will help you understand the fundamental principles that make the application of force possible.
Force Physics will increase your ability to:
Articulate your use of force
Instruct others in the application of force
Repeatedly attempting to apply ineffective tactics on a resisting subject:
1) Creates hesitation to engage
2) Causes fear of committing WHEN engaged
3) Results in excessive use of force
Force physics enhances your ability to successfully use departmentally approved tactics against an actively resistive subject, increasing officer safety and decreasing use of force complaints

Use of Force Instructor Development

Violence happens by surprise - closer, harder, and faster than in most training. 
Instructor Development focuses applying your defensive tactics skills under those dynamic situations
Instructor Development Integrated is non-system specific training to adapt to emergency applications of force and be able to effectively train others in those skills
Instructor Development teaches:
  • How to choose, apply and justify an appropriate force response.
  • How to articulate your force response

Topics covered will include:
  • Context of violence
  • Efficient movement and evaluating efficiency
  • Violence Dynamics (Types of violence)
  • Use of force law
  • Improvised weapons training
  • Use of environment / terrain
  • Force Articulation
  • Action Debrief
  • Peer feed back / counseling
This training will improve the student’s ability to improvise effective joint locks, move a larger threat on the ground, and demonstrate effective weapon retention.

Instructor Development further develops conflict communication and the force physics skills.

I hope you can all join us

For up to date information on the seminar or if you have questions check us out on Facebook

Train hard, Train smart, Be safe