Monday, February 4, 2013

Price to pay for these skills

There is a price to pay to gain the skills necessary to be an effective Operator / a well rounded martial artist / to kick ass like Batman.  Obviously there will most likely be a financial exchange for training, and a time commitment as well, but that is not what I mean.

One night after a particularly long day of training, some people I respect deeply and I were sharing some scotch and cigars around a bon fire.  We were also popping essential fatty acids, imflatone, and ibuprofen like pez while trading stories of all our injuries and scars.  

One of these guys who has a penchant for mythology told me the fable of Odins eye. 

For those of you not from Minnesota, or if you dont read Thor comics here is some back ground.

Odin is a major god in Norse mythology and the ruler of Asgard.  Odin is a principal member of the Æsir (the major group of the Norse pantheon) and is associated with war, battle, victory and death, but also wisdom, Shamanism, magic, poetry, prophecy, and the hunt. Odin has many sons, the most famous of whom is Thor.
{from Wikipedia}

So back to the fire side story
Odin knew about a well of wisdom.  In order to be able to drink from this well he had to pay a price.
Mimer the giant who protected the fountain of knowledge asked What will you pay for a drink from my well, and why do you wish it so much?"

Odin replied "I can see with my eyes all that goes on in heaven and upon earth," said Odin, "but I cannot see into the depths of ocean. I lack the hidden wisdom of the deep, the wit that lies at the bottom of your fountain. My ravens tell me many secrets; but I would know all (Odin wanted the ability to see into the future)

Mimer told him If I grant you a draught from my well, you will become as one of us, a wise and dangerous enemy. It is a goodly price, Odin, which I shall demand for a boon so great."

"What say you, then, to leaving one of those far-seeing eyes of yours at the bottom of my well?" asked Mimer, hoping that he would refuse the bargain. "This is the only payment I will take."

Odin hesitated. It was indeed a heavy price, and one that he could ill afford
But he glanced at the magic fountain bubbling mysteriously in the shadow, and he knew that he must have the draught.
Odin thought merely of the wisdom which was to be his. He seized the horn eagerly, and emptied it without delay. From that moment he became wiser than any one else in the world except Mimer himself.

Now he had the price to pay, which was not so pleasant. When he went away from the grotto, he left at the bottom of the dark pool one of his fiery eyes, which twinkled and winked up through the magic depths like the reflection of a star. This is how Odin lost his eye.

You may be saying to your self, wow that is cute Kasey, your bard must have rolled a natural 20 in charisma, (that is a Dungeons and Dragons Joke for all you too cools) but what does that have to do with training?

Recently several guys I work and train with have had problems with their knees.  In fact one guy's doctor told him human legs are like tires, good for about 20,000 miles.  He went on to say that my friend (in his late 30s) has put 100,000 miles on those tires already.

We all have a use by date on us, we only have so many miles on our factory warrantees, and just like squad cars we get driven harder and used up  faster.

I believe that is one of the reasons why most department approved admin favored dt doesnt work.  

Sadly, on occasion no matter how many safety precautions you take, training in effective systems will cause injury.  There are far too many administrators that view defensive tactics / police combatives simply as liability insurance.  Our department gave the Officer the minimum hours required by the state so if he gets hurt on the street we are not liable.  It doesnt really matter to them if that minimum training is worth a shit or not.  

But, if an Officer gets hurt in training and Admin has to pay workman's comp and overtime to cover that Officer's shifts while he heals that training usually gets squashed.  

Then it is replaced with something that never results in training injuries.  

Unfortunately the reason the newly approved system has no or lower injuries is not due to better safer methods of training efficient techniques but rather because the techniques now being taught are inefficient and could not hurt anyone even if that was the necessary and justified intent.

The key is , the moral of the Odin story is losing one eye but not your sight.  Training hard enough to own the necessary skills (wisdom of the fountain) will take a toll on your body (lose an eye).  .  If you have to, lose just one eye, but not your ability to see.  Make sure that you pay that price with out rendering your body no longer capable of being an Operator.

Knowledge / skills that can not be used for the benefit of others is wasted.

Just like squad cars because we get driven harder we need regular maintenance more often to keep us in the fight.

So take care of yourself, keep yourself in the fight Train hard – Train smart – Be safe


  1. I am an old man with injuries ... with an interest in finding out more about HGH.

    I guess that makes me extremely interested in finding out more about hormones in aging and recovery. The old adage of being "over the hill" is a wicked cruel reality -- things really do change dramatically when one gets on the back side of 45 or 50. It happens at different times to different men, but it can be a tad unnerving.

    My level of physical activity changed relatively dramatically after I entered my early 40s and that sort of coincided with the big drop in HGH that happens to males in their 40s. Actually two are not entirely unrelated. In my case, I became less active as it became more and more of drag getting up in the morning and recovering from injuries and [out of necessity] I chose to work with my head and found that I could advance professionally by doing less and attempting to build businesses [rather than smash things].

  2. Once again... another great blog!
    "Anything in life worth having is worth working for."

    Some good reading on the subject of HGH

    Keep it up Batman

  3. "It's not the years, honey. It's the mileage."
    -Indiana Jones

    It will be interesting to see the long-term medical effects of the heavy ground-n-pound intensive MMA training that's becoming increasingly prevalent in our society. It seems to me that the implicit or explicit encouragement of strength > technique is a recipe for very bad things, especially given the nature of joint injuries.