Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Beyond Batman

Batman by 40 one year later

What have I learned?

Batman by 40 was a peak, an apex.
An apex by definition is difficult, if not impossible to maintain.

To get there you have to want "it".
"It" has to be more important than instant gratification.
A double scoop of blue moon ice cream sure would be good right about now.  But I really want to run 3 miles at an 8 min pace next week.  Which one do you want more?

Once you have achieved "it" you are no longer hungry.  Unless you find new ways to become hungry again.

Working hard to become Batman is satisfying.
Being Batman is gratifying
I used to be Batman - sucks balls!

I tear on Ninjas on this blog from time to time.

However one thing I like from Ninja philosophy is turning a weakness into a strength.

Getting old is a side effect of survival.

The results of getting old can be a weakness. (accumulated injuries, deteriorating health, etc...)

Turning that weakness to a strength -

As you get old you, you also become an adult.
As an adult you have a certain degree of stability in your life.
That stability is a strength that allows adults to plan long term.

1,5, 10 years out.

As an adult you also have learned from your mistakes and know yourself well.

Ebb and Flow
Batman by 40 worked for me by slowly boiling the lobster

I know my self well.  The Batman By 40 goals were a daunting task.  So I broke them into small manageable increments.

I gave myself time (18 months)

I increased the small manageable increments.every week. (Slowly boiling the lobster)
Just one more rep
Just 5 more pounds
Just .01 mph faster
Just 1 minute longer
Just 1/8 mile further
I got this,
That is nothing I can do this...I can do this

Just keep on keeping on until you are at Batman  / Special Forces standards

Event                                             Min. Standard                                      Grading Scale for Min. Plus
1 Minute of Pushups                      40                                                        +2 Pts Each Rep Above Min
1 Minute of Situps                         40                                                        +3 Pts Each Rep Above Min
Pullups                                          6 - Not Timed                                      +3 Pts Each Rep Above Min
Dips                                             6 - Not Timed                                      +2 Pts Each Rep Above Min
Bench Press 80% Body Weight    6 - Not Timed                                      +3 Pts Each Rep Above Min
20 ft. Rope Climb in Body Armor 
or Weight Vest - 25#                    1                                                           Pass / Fail
1 Minute Kip-ups                         6                                                          +2 Pts Every Rep Above Min
4 x 25 M Shuttle Run                   Max 24 Secs                                   +2 Pts Every 1/10 of a Sec Under
5 Mile Run                                   Max 40 Mins                   +2 Pts Every Full 15 Sec from 35 to 30 Min

If you do not meet the minimum standards in EVERY event you will fail the entire test. The least you can score is 900 points.  By adding your extra repetitions / time per exercise you can create a team competition or have a way to grade prospective candidates seeking to enter these Special Operations Teams. A good score is considered 1300 and above with some scores getting about 1500 in many of the Spec Ops units.

Ebb and Flow is using that slow boil method over the long term 

Incorporating weeks for rest and recovery

Unlike a sport, Crime Fighting has no off season, which makes periodization more difficult.

And you can only maintain that peak for so long before you burn out, or get hurt.

Project - Beyond Batman peaks four times a year while making consistent long term progress.
Each peak is a little better than the previous one.

Slow boil extended over years.

Some simple math that has been working for me
52 weeks in a year
12 week training cycle.
Small manageable incremental increases every week until you peak at Week 12 (Batman / Special Forces standards)

1 week rest or rest and test
13 weeks total

Repeat 4 times per year
4 X 13 = 52 works out nice

10 steps back
12 steps forward
Consistant forward progress.

Knowing you can't maintain peak allows you to use it to your advantage, not get bummed out by it.

Enjoy your victory and celebrate with a week off to recover *or test
(*Rest and test will be explained in a future blog)

Start again

Back 10 (where you were to start week 3 of your last cycle) should feel good  / easy.  You know you can make the progressions you have set, you've done it before.

For some expert advice on the subject (especially focused on the strength goals) check out

“For the next forty workouts, pick five lifts. Do them every workout. Never miss a rep, in fact, never even get close to struggling. Go as light as you need to go and don’t go over ten reps for any of the movements. It is going to seem easy. When the weights feel light, simply add more weight.”

You stay hungry because a new personal best apex is just 11 weeks away, and again the following week.

A year later you should be 8 units better

Remember turning old into an advantage.  Whatever you are measuring should be small reasonable increments.
.01 Mph faster
1/8 mile further
5 lbs heavier

Steady progress over years.
Enjoy your victory celebrate with a week off.  Get your head right to get back at it again.

 All while having fun, staying hungry without burning out.

All things in moderation, including moderation.

Life is too short not to indulge now and then

If indulgence is part of the overall nutritional plan.
Eating clean becomes difficult if it is an all or nothing type of thing.  As mentioned you can only "stay hungry" so long.

However, if you allow your self 1 cheat meal a week, eating clean every other meal becomes that much easier.  

Life is more fun and if life isn't fun what is the fucking point?

So that is what I have learned since the Batman By 40 project.  By the time I post this I will be 41.
Stealing an idea from Omar Ahmad, at 42 I should be twice as good as I was at 21.

This is not last year
And I am not done here

Now begins the next project -  The New 42 (Beyond Batman)

The New 42 (Beyond Batman) Goals:

Body Weight     205 lbs (Looking to add 10 lbs of lean mass)
5 mile                39 Min (7.7 mph 7:48 minute mile pace)
1 mile                5:53 (10.2 mph)
Pull Ups            35
Push Ups           65
Sit Ups              70    
Dips                  35


This is not last year
And I am not done here

I have one year to get there.  Plan the work, work the plan.

50 is the new 25

At 46 Jim Gordon is the "New Batman"

Steve Jimerfield is one of the toughest men I know.  He didn't even really start working out until he was 50

Jimerfield set a standard that I strive to achieve.  
To be more fit when you retire, than when you were hired.

From the picture above you can see that it shouldn't be that hard to retire fitter than that.  

Looks more like Bullock than the Batman

But that is the point of this blog, if I can do it, anyone can do it.

The Other Part
Retiring at your peak, because you choose to, not because you have to (can't do the job anymore) is one part of the Beyond Batman Project.

The other part is being emotionally / psychologically able to retire

The name of the project came from the television series (which is now a comic book) 
Batman Beyond 

Part of  being emotionally / psychologically able to retire is to find a replacement/s

Why?...Gotham (the world) will always need a Batman

People have worked hard to help you develop your skill

The Universe seeks balance
You have an obligation to pass on what you have learned

Giri (義理) is a Japanese value roughly corresponding to "duty", or "burden of obligation" in English.

You have an obligation to replace yourself before you leave

Work -
Cabot groomed  Mike and me to replace him as training coordinators and team leaders before he left.

Cabot - Me - Mike
(Mike cried because I didn't give him a shout out last blog - here you go big baby)

Ginyu Force

Cabot wasn't going to leave until he was sure his responsibilities were passed on to some one he had faith in to carry on.

Our jobs as students, as people fortunate enough to have a mentor put time and effort into making us more than we were, are:

  • To learn all we can 
  • To make it our own 
  • To eventually surpass our mentors.
  • Mentor someone else

You owe it to them to surpass them.

I feel confident that we (Mike and I) have.  With Cabot's help and enthusiasm.

I still have a good decade of decadence or more left in me.

However, there will come a time for me to be done.
Knowing that, now is the time to start choosing and mentoring my replacements.

I can't leave until the infrastructure to surpass me is in place.

Then I can let go.

That will be a jagged pill to swallow.  However that pill will go down easier if the team, and my department are in good hands.

The armor never gets lighter.  One day I will have to set it down

But today is not that day!

This is not last year
And I am not done here

The Keishoukan - 
With the martial arts side of things, I have more time.
I can do it just for the fun of it.  Lives are not on the line.  I'll be training until I can't move
Then I'll be coaching from a chair in the corner of the Dojo.
Then I'll be ashes in an urn in a corner of the Dojo.

I also need to find a replacement for myself there.

Those of you that know me, or can infer from reading this blog, might ask what About Dillon?

I would be proud for Dillon to take over for me after I am gone.  But Dillon is not my protege, he is my training buddy and partner.  I steal as much or more from him than he learns from me.  He is not going to take over the mantel of the Bat because he is already The Wolverine.

When we first met it was like this...

And then it was like this...

So we will be working to further develop the school and pass it on to another generation together.

we have time...

Train Hard, Train Smart, Be Safe

Heroes serve to inspire.
Thank your heroes
Be a Hero to someone

The Budo Blog will return in...
USMAA National Training Camp 2015

Friday, June 12, 2015

What did you see, what did you learn?

This last week I had a cool opportunity to work on environmental training and one steps with the Maplewood Police Department

If you are unfamiliar with one steps you should probably plan on attending the next Violence Dynamics Seminar November 19th - 22nd 2015.

Until then you can buy Rory Miller's book "Drills: Training for Sudden Violence"

We have done this training (using one step drills for environmental  / situational training) at the Violence Dynamics Seminar for the last several years.

We usually set up several stations / scenarios to offer specific challenges
  • On a stairway
  • In a booth
  • Around a pool table
  • Around a vehicle
  • In a bathroom
During the seminar we usually have a "SWAT day"  It gives tactical teams an opportunity to train with Marc and Rory (and me).  It also provides a unique opportunity for students to train with SWAT teams.

Last week was the first time I have presented it with out at least 24 - 32 hours of fundamental training immediately prior.

A couple of reasons why we present the basic foundations first.

As instructors we chose to put this later in the week in order to stack the deck in favor of the students (against my SWAT buddies).
1) So they have a sound understanding of principles and improvisation
2) To shown them they can hold their own against trained professionals
3) To open the eyes of professionals that don't train on their own - they are getting their ass kicked by civilians with 30 hrs training.

We throw the SWAT guys into the environmental training "cold" if you will.  But those guys have all been through Operational Foundations or SOCT with me before

Last week was the first time I presented environmental training / one steps to Officers with no previous training with me.

One of the coaching tips for this drill is, after they have been going for awhile break and ask them What did you see / What did you learn?

I thought I would use this blog blog to share what I saw and learned from the different approach to last weeks training.

Before we get to that, there were things I learned form last time I did this drill that I wanted to implement this time.

Fight to the goal
When you have two cops in their gear set up to do one steps there has been confusion in the past.
Are we just brawling?
Why are we fighting?

So I wanted to directly address that ahead of time.  Implementing some of the principles of the plastic mind training.

Addressing the reasons force is used:

  • Escape
  • Control
  • Disable

You are both wearing your gear to become more comfortable moving / fighting in your gear
A) - Your job is to escort B from the room (control)
B) - A is attempting to take you to a secondary crime scene to do horrible things to you.  Your job is to escape
Everybody understand their jobs?
A) gets the 1st move  - go!

What is one move?
Generally I demonstrate what one move (motion / idea) looks like
You can't block and punch at the same time because your brain is incapable of aiming and hitting two separate targets simultaneously.  If you cover while you strike you get the same effect, and practice something you are actually physically capable of doing against a determined adversary.

I also demonstrate the opposite which I call bad Karate.
A gets one move from far outside of range
B (me) blocks it even though it it no chance of reaching me, then B continues 3-6 additional strikes while A stands perfectly still like a statue.

Unless you are the Flash you will never fight anyone you are 3-6 times faster than.  No one will stand still for you.  For every move you can do they can also move

To help address this the first few reps I had everyone move on my count
A's one move, B's one move

Negate competitiveness
To keep from going fast or getting competitive I make bionic man noises

Dillon makes puns, before a throw "How about a nice trip to Disney World in Floor -ida" - takes you to the floor
"They were closed let's go to Disney Land in Cali -Floor -nia" - takes you to the floor - again

Make sure they understand / are safe

I had them run through 3-4 one steps on my count.
As they got better at the drill, the drill became more challenging.

I found that incorporating force articulation as part of the debrief, making them explain why they used the force they did worked much better than academic use of force and policy training.
It became something they could use as opposed to something they had to memorize.

As mentioned before another part of the drill debrief is to ask what did you see, what did you learn?

So, What did I see?

First I am impressed with the Maplewood Police Department.  In a time when many departments are cutting back on training, they are expanding with programs like this in addition to their basic defensive tactics.  Maplewood consistently pursues the best training and equipment available.

Responses started social / technical and became more efficient as training progressed

The training was developed to address higher end use of force, assaultive and lethal threat assailant actions.

The pretraining brief contained a discussion on mindset quoting Rory Miller's work and adding my own perspective.

Nothing about survival or self-protection is difficult or unnatural. This is exactly the problem we were evolved to solve. Not being a victim is part of our deepest wiring.

This is not about forging warriors, this is about rehabilitating predators.
There is a reason we are the dominant species on the planet.  We are the apex predator on every continent on the globe.  We are not the strongest or fastest.  We don't have claws or fangs.  We are smart, we use tools, and we work in groups

The ugly truth is almost all of society is set up to perpetually brainwash you so that you never remember your own power.

Social conditioning gets in the way. 

Today’s training is to break through social conditioning and give yourself permission to do what is necessary to get home to your loved ones at the end of your shift.

Use the appropriate force and articulate why that force was necessary.

You go home, bad guy goes to jail, hospital, morgue or some combination thereof.
All without being sued…successfully

Even with that discussion and all of the scenarios being assaultive and lethal threat assailant actions, the Officer's responded with much lower levels of force than they were justified using.  The responses also tended be attempts at specific techniques they had been taught regardless of the circumstances.

This is where the "stop go back one" coaching method of the drill really helped.  Not only with finding more efficient solutions but in mindset, and being able to use policy and statue (as opposed to memorizing them).

Stop go back one
You are on the ground
A larger, stronger assailant just tackled you and pinned you on your back
What level of force are you justified in using?


Then why are you attempting a joint lock?


What tools do you have available to you?

My gun

From this position can you draw your weapon and deliver accurate fire to end the threat in one motion?

On the spot force law, totality of the circumstances - Officer / Threat Factors, Influential Circumstances training.

Then the drill continued.

As the training continued the Officers became much more efficient.

Perception and adaption are the two most important qualities to train.  Officers became faster / more fluid at perceiving the situation using the appropriate level of force and adapting to the unique circumstances dictated by the environment.

From this position can you draw your weapon and deliver accurate fire to end the threat in one motion?

If the answer was no...

What other weapons do you carry with you?

I carry a knife

From this position can you draw your knife and deliver disabling damage to end the threat in one motion?

Impromptu offensive edged weapons instruction

Then the drill continued

People that were not knife guys quickly became knife guys.
Knife guys that carried folding knives quickly became fixed blade guys.

What other weapons do you carry with you?

If the answer was none...

From this position what can you do to deliver disabling damage to end the threat in one motion?
Impromptu high end use of force training

Then the drill continued

Officers stooped trying to do "techniques" and started using what was available to them in the unique situation they found themselves in.

Arrogance of size and strength

There were several instances where larger, stronger, more experienced Officers ineffectively attempted to use far lower levels of force than they were justified using.

What level of force are you justified to use right now?


Why are you attempting a joint lock?

I felt I could handle the situation with (insert what ever here)

Is she in cuffs?

Well no

Is she capable of and attempting to injure you?

Well yes

Are you some how impervious to harm and or are tougher than every other human ever?


Ironically enough that arrogance (which I have been guilty of myself in the past) dissipated as smaller structure officers stopped fighting and started hunting.

What other species goes big game hunting?

What else did I see?

Role playing the bad guy made it easier for good guys to more efficiently use justifiably higher levels of force.

If the bad guys are capable of over ridding / disregarding the social conditioning that gets in the way of using our natural capabilities to hurt people we better be able to do it to protect people, including protecting ourselves.

The key is getting the good guys to start to give themselves permission.
I am in no way advocating excessive, or unnecessary use of force.

Extended hand to hand combat increases the risk of injury and death for the control subject and the Officer.

Professionals need to give themselves permission to use the most efficient means of ending the conflict quickly.  Minimizing the probability of injury and death for both parties.

Determined adversaries are like water.

What do I mean by this?
Someone that does not want to be controlled is like water under pressure.  That pressurised water will radiate out in all direction until it completely fills the vessel that is holding it.  Water can not be compressed, If there is a weakness, flaw, crack in the vessel that is trying to hold that the pressurised water will break through that weakness.

Don't believe me?  Try to hold a 50 lb or greater Pit bull that doesn't want its claws trimmed, while your wife attempts to clip them.

Where am I going with this?
I saw Officers playing the bad guys submit to cuffing when there were easy avenues of escape.

This is one of the negatives of technique memorization based training, especially in Law Enforcement.

You have heard me bitch that cops don't get enough training, and they rarely train on there own.
When DT day comes around they are not super hyped about it.  They just have to get through it so they can check off that box.

So A puts B in the Department approved (insert name of DT system of the week here) armbar takedown into ground pin.

B is just waiting for his turn to do the move so he can get it over with.  He doesn't give A any feed back.  It doesn't hurt, it wouldn't really stop him, but it is pretty close to the technique the Instructor showed, so he tapes, or gives his hands to be cuffed.  

But cuffing is uncomfortable so they just mimic the cuffing.

Then it is B's turn.

A leaves believing he can hold down a criminal with this pin, but in truth the only people he can hold down are people that are being compliant with him, like his training partner B.

If/ when A tries this on a non compliant control subject he is going to have a rough time of it.

The non compliant subject is like that pressurised water, he/ she will squirm, wiggle, fight until it finds an avenue of escape.

Officer A never knew there was a weakness, doesn't know what it feels / looks like when it is being tested, and doesn't know how to adapt when it breaks.

What I learned

This drill works perception and adaptability.

Different skills at different levels of force are required.  You have to have something to adapt to, you have to have skills at all levels of force in order to effectively scale force.

I learned how to condense principle based training for those skills set so that I can teach them during the drills.

And thus, learned how to better incorporate play into regular Dojo training

Edged Weapons
On many knife drills not knife guys did as well or better than knife guys
Justifiable offensive use of an edged weapon is physically relatively simple.

  • Pointy end towards enemy
  • Disable motor function - muscles / ligaments / tendons
  • Start the bleed out clock - large wound channels organs /  arteries

The psychology and legality are the difficult bits.

The split
Maybe I already knew but found a way to articulate it.
Lower levels of force can be "technique" based.  For use in an academy setting.
They are primarily used on compliant and "semi compliant" control subjects.
This training should focus on physically preventing control subjects opportunities to escalate to higher levels of force.  Physical control leads to psychological control

Officer's abilities are greatly enhanced from principle based training at this level as well, however, Any DT  system can work here.

After the Academy PBT should be implemented.

Skills needs to be safely tested to see holes and know when to scale force upward

High end use of force has to be addressed and should be principle based.

Worked to reflex / instinct.

Articulation of Force

When the drill was done
What did you see?
What did you learn?
Articulate your use of force.

The Instructor running the station would often fill the role of the Officer's advocate.  I would take up the role of an attorney for the criminal.  After awhile of both of us asking specific questions the Officers got very good at articulation.

This is the stuff that I want all Officers (in Minnesota) to know 

Levels of Resistance
Verbal resistance
Passive resistance
Active resistance 
Ominous threat  / Assaultive Subject
Lethal threat

A citizen not breaking any laws, not hurting anybody and following your lawful orders is compliant.  
These are the good guys.  
We took this job to protect people like this.  
No force necessary, for that matter, be extra nice to them

Verbal resistance
Doing what is necessary, but being verbally abusive or threatening.  
Unless you can clearly articulate that this was about to incite a riot (and even then only in corrections setting in most jurisdictions) verbal resistance does not justify hands-on force.  

Always look at the actions, not the words
Threats + compliance = Compliance.  
Just as noncompliance + nice words or excuses is still noncompliance

Passive resistance
Not following lawful orders, but not providing any physical resistance either, like a sit-down protester. 
Generally justifies pain compliance

Active resistance
Any threat using non-dangerous force to resist you.  
Grabbing door jambs.  
Running away.  
Turtling to keep from being cuffed.  
Pulling away from an escort hold.

Ominous threat 
Ominous threat is trying to hurt or injure you.

Lethal threat 
Lethal threat is trying to kill you.

Generally the level of resistance dictates or greatly influences the level of force appropriate.

The Supreme Court has explicitly stated that courts are not required to take an agency policy into account when deciding if force is appropriate

Reasonableness standard
The United States Supreme Court, in the case of Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, (1989), held that when engaged in situations where the use of force is necessary to effect an arrest, or to protect an officer's life or that of another, a law enforcement officer must act as other reasonable officers would have acted in a similar, tense, rapidly evolving situation.[41] Such situations, once known as use of force incidents, are now commonly referred to as response to resistance incidents, because a law enforcement officer must respond to resistance offered by another. 

In the Graham case, the Court instructed lower courts to always ask three questions to measure the lawfulness of a particular use of force. 
What was the severity of the crime that the officer believed the suspect to have committed or be committing? 
Did the suspect present an immediate threat to the safety of officers or the public? 
Was the suspect actively resisting arrest or attempting to escape?

Totality of the circumstances
In regards to use of force decisions totality of the circumstances refers to all the details that might influence what makes a safe and effective minimum level of force.
They are usually divided into Influential Circumstances and Officer /Threat Factors.  

—The factors and circumstances, with the exception of gender, work both ways.  
You will need more force against a big, strong threat. 

Conversely, if you are bigger and stronger you will likely need less force. 

Influential Circumstances
  • Inability to disengage
  • Proximity to weapon
  • Injury or exhaustion
  • Hazardous environment
  • Special knowledge
  • Surprise
  • Ground level

Officer / Threat Factors
  • Skill
  • Size
  • Strength
  • Numbers
  • Mental state
  • Gender
  • Sometimes age
  • Disability
Reasonable force may be used upon or toward the person of another without the other's consent when the following circumstances exist or the actor reasonably believes them to exist:

(a) in effecting a lawful arrest; or

(b) in the execution of legal process; or

(c) in enforcing an order of the court; or

(d) in executing any other duty imposed upon the public officer by law; 

Generally, Presence, Verbal and Directional Touch are the maximum levels of force an officer can justify when dealing with compliant or verbally resistive people.

Passive and active resistance generally justify “Physical Control” techniques.

Ominous resistance justifies disabling techniques / “Hard hands” or impact weapons.

Lethal resistance justifies deadly force.

‘Commensurate harms’ doctrine
The above general guidelines appear to mirror the ‘commensurate harms’ doctrine.  
If nothing but your feelings can get hurt, you cannot escalate it to pain.  
If no injury is offered, but there is a duty to act and lower levels will not work, ‘commensurate harms’ allows pain, but not injury.  
If injury is offered, injury, but not death, is the answer. 
If death is threatened, death is on the table.

A peace officer making an arrest may not subject the person arrested to any more restraint than is necessary for the arrest and detention
If the arrested person so requests the warrant must be shown to that person as soon as possible and practicable. A peace officer may lawfully arrest a person when advised by any other peace officer in the state that a warrant has been issued for that person.

If a peace officer has informed a defendant that the officer intends to arrest the defendant, and if the defendant then flees or forcibly resists arrest, the officer may use all necessary and lawful means to make the arrest but may not use deadly force unless authorized to do so under section 609.066. 
After giving notice of the authority and purpose of entry, a peace officer may break open an inner or outer door or window of a dwelling house to execute a warrant if:
(1) the officer is refused admittance;
(2) entry is necessary for the officer's own liberation; or
(3) entry is necessary for liberating another person who is being detained in the dwelling house after entering to make an arrest.

As charming as I am, going over this material through power point and lecture gets dry. And memorization wires the information to parts of your brain that are harder to access under stress.

Most professionals are very good at using appropriate force.  They get into trouble when they try to explain how and why they made decisions faster than conscious thought.

This drill helps Officers consciously explain subconscious decisions .

Why did you lay hands on my client?

The bar management asked him to leave and he refused.

So you were executing your duty as a public officer law

Yes, I placed my hand on his arm to escort him off the premises and he pulled his arm away

He was actively resisting arrest or attempting to escape?

Yes, so I told him he was under arrest.  He tackled me and went for my gun

A larger and stronger assailant took you to the ground and attempted to use deadly force against you by grabbing your fire arm.

And so fourth.

Working the academic material with the scenarios and drills worked much better.
Slipping force law , and department policy into scenarios (play) is much more effective in learning actual application of the law.

The most succinct summary of what I learned would be that this drill with out previous principle based training enhances perception and adaptability.  It also showcases a need for skills at all levels of force in order to effectively scale force.

Shameless self plug #2 - those topics ( skills at all levels of force) will be  covered at the next Violence Dynamics Seminar November 19th - 22nd 2015

Counter Assault
Mechanics of Throwing
Striking to Disable (Power Generation and Targeting)
Edged Weapons 
High End Use of Force (Carotid Restraints and Cervical Vertebrae Locks)
Force Articulation

As I was preparing the lesson plan Rory posted this blog

Check it out for source material on predator rehabilitation.

In a world that appears to hates cops we have to be able to fight now more than ever.  

At the same time, as I was writing down notes for this blog the guys at the booth next to me at RJ's bought my breakfast.

Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated 
Be nice until it is time to not be nice

Train hard, train smart, be safe