Thursday, September 24, 2015

Swords and Smokes, Coffee and Kung Fu - Maija Soderholm is comming to visit

Hey everybody, I am excited to announce that Maija is coming to the greater Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area.

Who is Maija Soderholm?
Author of the Sword and Circle Blog
Author of The Liar, The Cheat, and The Thief

Maija is a student of the Visayan Style Corto Kadena and Larga Mano of Maestro Sonny Umpad

Sonny's method encompassed empty hand, feet, short and long blades, sickles, projectiles as well as sticks and canes. Though primarily an edged weapons system, the cane and the Bogsai are also considered vital parts of understanding the whole.

One of the most interesting elements of the system is learning how to use short weapons in the manner of long weapons, and longer weapons at very close range.

Maija is in the Cites to work on, and I quote "A super secret project".  Her days will be filled with what ever she crossed state lines to accomplish and does not feel comfortable discussing with a Police Officer.

Luckily for us that leaves her nights free to play.

The following is a fairly laid back schedule and subject to change.

Wednesday 10/7/15
7-9 PM
Jujitsu at Allegiance Fitness.

One of the cool things about this trip is getting to see how the things that Maija does and the things that I do work together.  What aspects are the same , where are they different and why.  To get that ball rolling I figured a good start was for her to see a basic Jujitsu class.

Thursday 10/8/15
7-9 PM
Play time at Allegiance Fitness - Kung Fu

I know Maija has a Tai Ji teacher who lives in Minneapolis she wants to meet up with.
Dillon won't shut his yap about how he wants to steal as much of Maija's Kung Fu as he can.
So I figure we can use Allegiance Fitness as a centrally located training facility and just play.

Play, but with the vibe of Kung Fu.
I'll also use this opportunity to introduce some fundamental motion exercises that relate to the fire arms training we will be doing later on.

Friday 10/9/15
7-9 PM
Play time at Allegiance Fitness - Tacticool

One of the things I would like to work with Maija on is deployment of an edged weapon at close quarters.  So if you carry a blade regularly as part of your every day carry, bring a training version of it and we will play.  I also invite all Law Enforcement and Military reading this to bring in their kit and trainers (if possible) to see if they can get to their blades under pressure.  I'll be bringing my gear and rigging equipment (Molle / Tie Downs) if I or anyone else needs to re-rig their kit after the experience.

I will also use this opportunity to further explore how fundamental motions of empty hand martial art apply to fire arms skills.

Saturday I don't have to work, and Maija's super secret project should be wrapped up so we get to play all day

Maija's primary purpose on coming to Minnesota is the super secret project.
Having a martial arts seminar is secondary to that, but can also help off set her costs.

So we are going to have a seminar.

The folks at Q Fitness stepped up.  They wanted to host the seminar.  Cool, one less thing I have on my busy plate.  All I have to do is show up and train? - Fantastic!

I started planning, they started planning.  They didn't know I was planning the same thing.
Hey, that is a snake.  No that is a tree.  Wait it is an elephant.

I take full responsibility for any confusion, that is on me, but it actually turned out pretty cool.

The seminar is to off set Maija's costs.  Maija likes to keep the numbers down for more one on one instruction.  Both Q and I planned seminars.

So guess what?
2 seminars on Saturday!!!
Double the opportunities to train

When: Saturday 10 / 10 /15
10 - 1 (or earlier so we can eat and get to the after noon seminar)
The after noon seminar can pay for Maija's travel expenses
This money can pay for scotch, cigars,admission to the SPAM museum, and bail money depending on how the super secret project goes

Where: Allegiance Fitness 2240 Woodale Dr Mounds View MN 55112

I want to thank Anna Valdiserri for making this poster for me.  If you don't already, you should be reading her blog God's Bastard at

When developing this seminar with Maija I figured I am pretty confident in the edged weapons skills I am most likely to ever have to use.  However, I have old shit knees from Football and Wrestling.  It is not outside the realm of possibility that I may need a cane some day.  It would be really cool to be able to pound the piss  (justifiably and within state statute of course) out of some one with a cane.

Fast foreword to about 2:48

So for Maija's part, the workshop will focus on power generation at short range and give a glimpse at the incredible versatility of the cane as a weapon. In a way it is even more complex than the sword, having 3 distinct ranges, 2 ends, and the ability to switch right and left hands.

Based on what I learn playing with her Thursday and Friday, my part will cover the similarities of stick and knife with Jo and Ken and how those fundamental similarities apply to effortless / combat effective throws.

Sounds cool right?!  I'm excited

Saturday After noon will be hosted by Q

<< Sword/Play :: Exploring Human Movement with Maija Soderholm >>

Join us in welcoming Maija Soderholm to Minneapolis! She has graciously offered to share her expertise in the pursuit of self mastery through the lens of martial studies--mostly Filipino style weapons, and sword play specifically. Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to experience excellence in teaching, learning and movement.

The weapon is said to be an extension of the body, and in this Sword/Play workshop we will look at how different weapons demand different movement paradigms depending on their usage. Form follows function, and in this case, the function is defined by the weapon and the opponent.

WHEN: Sat., Oct. 10
WHERE: St. Louis Park, MN
WHAT: Maija Soderholm teaching in MN!

There are only 10 spots for this seminar! Registration will be first-come-first-served, pre-paid (by credit or debit card), and online. Registration will open at 3am (yes, 3AM) on Friday, September 25th.

*** Email @ querenciafitness .com with subject "a minute with Maija" to receive the link and instructions to register. ***

(photo credit:

Looks like we are keeping Maija very busy on her trip to "The North"

There will be some down time as well.  One of the evenings after training I plan on having her over to stately Keckeisen Manor for some steak, scotch and cigars.

It has become tradition for my daughters to try to "assassinate" any instructors that visit the house.
They have earned the collective code name  "Gungnir" because they have never missed.  They have "killed" them all.

Gungir was Odin’s own spear.  Its main ability was that it hit whatever you threw it at. It didn’t matter how strong or how skilled you were, whatever you threw Gungnir at, you hit.

Around the fire over scotch and cigars is actually where I've learned the most form folks I've invited to come teach.

So I figured it would be cool if I could re-create that environment for the readers of The Budo Blog, which leads me to ...

5 questions with...
Clearly the first instalment will be 5 questions with Maija Soderholm.
In the comments bellow write a question you would like me to ask Maija.  Top 5 questions make it into the interview.  Interview will be posted on YouTube, and this blog.

Maija warns, "People may not get the answer they want if they ask boring/obvious questions ...."

So ask good questions and make me look really smart.

Last but not least Sunday 10 11 15
Just as Q is experimenting with hosting a martial arts seminar, I am experimenting with presenting tactical fire arms training to the public.

As this is a trial run it is by invite only.  If things go the way I hope this will be a regularly offered ODIN presentation.

The effective use of firearms is the logical “next step” in martial arts weapons training.  Certain forms and principles remain the same.

I am excited to establish these forms and principles early on in the play and see how they manifest on the range.

Helping me with this is Cabot Welchlin

Who is Cabot Welchlin?

Cabot Welchlin retired from a 33 year law enforcement career that included employment in both police and sheriff’s departments.  He functioned in many capacities, but most notably the past 21 years as a use of force instructor; serving as Lead Instructor, SWAT Team Leader and SWAT Training Coordinator.  Welchlin and Chameleon Survival strive to provide instruction and insight for both law enforcement and the ordinary people of their communities.  Lessons and course work are flexible and will seldom be considered repetitive, boring, or run-of-the-mill; constantly changing and adapting …….. Chameleon-like.

Check out his website here Chameleon Survival

Cabot was the SWAT training coordinator before he groomed Mike and I to take over for him

Regular readers will know I don't give out compliments easily, nor will I call just anyone Sensei. Cabot is my shooting Sensei.  As confident (cough, cough, arrogant)  as I am with my skills.   There is a reason Cabot will be the lead Instructor for this training.  Clearly, he is a good shot.  But I have never meet anyone who is as good at making other shooters better than Cabot.

I have been talking about making this presentation a real thing for a couple years now,  I am excited to finally (pun fully intended) pull the trigger on it.

If you are in the area next week come and play
If not write a question for me to ask Maija

Stay tuned for here for future training opportunities

Work Hard, Work Smart, Be Safe

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Violence Dynamic 2015

It is that time of year again.  Time to start promoting the Violence Dynamics Seminar

We strive to refine the product and improve the training every year.
This year we changed the seminar to a four day format to make attendance more viable for everyone.
We chose to break down the massive nine day format into three different four day seminars.  Each focusing on a different aspect.  Rotating the focus between the three every year.  This allows for more time and in depth training.
Some new instructors are presenting material from different perspectives.  We are also alternating between physical and academic to help participants stay fresh and promote a more sustainable learning environment.
Additionally the Q-Crew from Querencia Fitness (Check out their Facebook page here) will be presenting principal based movement to help us all move better in the long run and survive the physical training in the short run.
Classes fill up quickly and capacity is limited so be sure to sign up soon
You can sign up now by clicking the link to Randy King's KPC Self Defense web site (Click here to register)
I am very excited for this new format.  This seminar has traditionally been very successful, and I feel this is the best version of it yet.
All the fundamental things that make Violence Dynamics unique and necessary are covered, plus new twists and deeper training variations for the OG's (Original Gangstas - Participants that have attended multiple Violence Dynamics Seminars and lived to talk about it).
So, if you haven't already clicked the button to reserve your spot, let me further entice you with a brief run down of the seminar

THURSDAY 11 / 19 / 2015
The Mermaid Convention Center Atlantis Ballroom 2200 County Road 10 Mounds View MN 55112
Introduction to Violence Dynamics
Class Description
  • Welcome to Minnesota
  • Introduce Instructors
  • Get to know participants
  • Introductory Paper work

Kasey Keckeisen
9 – 9:45
Introduction to basic drills
Every year at the Violence Dynamics Seminar there are basic drills we run.  This class will be an introduction to those drills, safety briefing for training, and serve as a "pre-test" to help individually customize training.
Taking a note from the Q-Crew's book, the "pre-test" also serves to show the participant how much they have progressed when we revisit these drills through out the seminar.
Kasey Keckeisen

10 – 11:45
Social Violence 
Class Description
Students will demonstrate an increased knowledge of violence as it relates to interpersonal conflict
Course Objectives:
At the end of the course students will understand the different types of common violence; the motivations and patterns and be able to distinguish physical and de-escalation tactics appropriate to each type.
Training Topics Include:
Maslow’s Hierarchy and Types of Violence
Patterns of Social Violence
  • Monkey Dance (MD) 
  • Group Monkey Dance (GMD) 
  • Educational Beat Down (EBD) 
  • Status Seeking Show (SSS) 

Distinguishing Social and Asocial Violence 

Marc MacYoung & Randy King

1 – 1:45
Striking Power Generation

Class Description

Students will demonstrate the ability to apply power without relying on strength

Course Objectives: 
At the end of this course, students will understand the elements of delivering power in a strike and will be able to effectively demonstrate three ways to apply power that do not rely on size or strength.

Training Topics Include:
Using gravity as a force, speed and range multiplier
Power Generation
Combining all these factors

Dillon Beyer

(I think this was his Kindergarten ID photo)
2 – 2:45
Striking Targeting

Class Description
If the last class can be summarized as how to hit hard, this class can be summarized as where to hit and with what

Dillon Beyer

3 – 4:45

Asocial Violence 

Class Description

This class is the sister to the Social Violence class and completes the understanding of Violence Dynamics.  The ability to recognize the violence you are facing and the skill to deal with it appropriately.

Training topics include:
Patterns of Asocial Violence
  • Panic / Primal
  • Resource
  • Process
Distinguishing Social and Asocial Violence 

Marc MacYoung & Randy King

That is quite a day, I'm sure you are scrolling back up to the top to hit the register now button.  But wait - there is more 
Day 2 - FRIDAY 11 / 20 / 2015
8 - 8:45
Counter Assault A
(Discussion and principles)

9 – 9:45
Counter Assault B
(Application and drills)
What is Counter Ambush?
Counter Ambush is about the first contact of an assault.  The critical quarter of a second.  
When a threat attacks you, he has a plan and is counting on surprise.  He is expecting you to freeze, allowing him to succeed.  An operant conditioned response will kick in before that adrenalin dumb.  At the speed of nerve.  It will give you one technique with all your speed, power and precision before your fight or flight response kicks in and robs you of your fine and complex motor skill.  An operant conditioned response will mess up a threats plan, especially if it causes him damage.  It will force the threat to reorient and have his fight or flight response kick in.  It doesn’t guarantee victory (nothing can) but it sure helps level out the playing field
- Rory Miller (Author of Meditations on Violence and Scaling Force)
Training Goal
Students will display the ability to recognize pre attack indicators, prevent opportunities for assault, and recover form ambush attacks to regain the initiative.
Specific performance objectives
Students will be able to:
• Understands what victim profiles they may fit
• Recognize where / when they are most at risk
• Recognize the conditions necessary to launch an ambush
• Protect themselves from violent attack by mitigating those conditions
• Understand the physical and psychological factors involved in high stress human performance
• Develop conditioned responses to sudden violence
• Follow up with tactics and techniques to quickly end the confrontation
• Prevail in violent close quarters confrontations

Randy King

10 – 11:45
Logic of Violence 
Class Description
This is an advanced class.  It isn’t about escaping from a wrist grab or what to do when menaced with a knife. From the very ground up, we are going to use the tools of disaster planning to create and evaluate self-defense systems.
Does it require advanced martial knowledge? No.  But it will require attention and creativity.  If you are still collecting techniques or stuck in the belief that self-defense is primarily a physical skill, this class isn’t for you. 
If you already feel that you know everything and the answers you have been given by some higher authority are unimpeachable, this class isn’t for you.  If the deep purpose of your instructor or system is to make sure you always have an answer and never have to think for yourself, stay home.
If you want to explore and experiment with the subject of violence; if you want to engineer your own high-end self-defense plans; if you want or need skills in understanding violence, predicting violence and articulating your decisions; if you are a creative professional who wants your characters and worlds to ring true... then this class just might be for you.
Topics Include the goal,parameters,victim profiles, and locations of different types of violence
Rory Miller

(Look at all that hair, and all those working joints)

Allegiance Fitness (Judo Room) 2240 Woodale Dr Mounds View MN 55112
1 – 2:45
Mechanics of Throwing 
Class Description

Judo is best known for its spectacular throwing techniques.  However, in sport Judo these throws work because of a “gentlemen’s agreement” not to hit or kick each other, to follow a specific set of rules, and competitors are separated into different weight and gender categories .

Practical applications of throwing principles have to work without such an arrangement, against a hostile aggressor that will attack you in any manner available to them.

Training Goal
Participants will display proficiency in taking subjects down and controlling them on the ground

Specific performance objectives
Participants will be able to:
Understand the principles of what makes a takedown work
Takedown and control larger stronger Subjects
Improvise takedowns under pressure
End violent confrontations quickly 
Avoid unnecessary force

Training Topics Include
How to fall
Maintain Your Base 
Fundamental Motions
Getting a Grip
Off Balance - Destroying their base
Delivery Methods
Area Denial
Remove Structure
Body Throw / Sacrifice

Kasey Keckeisen

The Mermaid Convention Center Atlantis Ballroom 2200 County Road 10 Mounds View MN 55112
3 – 3:45
Force Law (Pre-arrest)
Class Description
A break down of the common elements of use of force law, state statutes, and policy.
The goal of this class is to escape from legal jargon and give participants a functional usable understanding of use of force law.
Go home safe
Don't get sued...successfully or for civilian personal protection, don't get arrested.
Dont't end up on you tube
Kasey Keckeisen

4 – 4:45
Force Law (Post-arrest)
Class Description
What to do if/when you are arrested for using force in a self defense scenario
Learning Goal -- Citizen interface with investigating officer
Course Objectives -- At the end of this course students will demonstrate an understanding of assisting an officer in his/her investigation over a use of force incident.  As self-defense is an affirmative defense articulation of circumstances that justified the use of force must be clearly conveyed.
Topics Include
Self-Defense -- affirmative defense
Justification -- The act by which a party accused shows and maintains a good and 
legal reason in court, why he did the thing he is called upon to answer.
Officer's job:
Personality test: 
Initial contact:
Making a statement: 
Marc MacYoung

5:00 – 6:00
Principle based movement
Q Fitness
Operational security alert
The folks at Querencia Fitness asked me not to give away their lesson plan on a open intel source.  (Julio wouldn't even tell me his real name for 2 years).  So if you want to discover what they have in store for us you are going to have to come and find out first hand.  From the training I have received from them previously, I know it will be outstanding.
Plus there is a high probability you will get to see Dillon wearing lululemon (lady's lululemon)

How much would you pay for this seminar? $1000, $2000?
But wait there is more!
Day 3 SATURDAY 11 / 21 / 2015
The Mermaid Convention Center Atlantis Ballroom 2200 County Road 10 Mounds View MN 55112
Con Com A
Conflict Communications presents a functional taxonomy to see, understand and manipulate the roots of conflict. If you have ever wondered why your boss ignored a suggestion that could save millions of dollars, or why you have the same argument again and again with your spouse, the answers are here. As well as the tools to do something about it.
This is one of my favorite classes we offer and has served me well personally and professionally.  Saturday will be heavily focused on Con Com with every academic training block dedicated to it
9 – 9:45
Con Com B
1 – 1:45
Con Com C

2 – 2:45
Con Com D
Instructor Dillon Beyer
To help prepare for this class you can click here (Buy Rory's Book)

10 – 11:45
High End Use of Force 
Course Description
Students will understand when the use of high levels of force is justified and have the skill sets necessary to end violent confrontations efficiently with or without weapons, regardless of size, age or gender.
Students will demonstrate basic understanding of how human anatomy can be exploited to end violent confrontations.
Students will demonstrate skill protecting themselves against lethal threats

Allegiance Fitness (Judo Room) 2240 Woodale Dr Mounds View MN 55112
3 – 4:45
Ground Skills 
Students will show proficiency in moving a opponent on the ground
Course Objectives:
 At the end of this course, students will understand the elements of balance as it applies both standing and on the ground and will be able to demonstrate an ability to manipulate those elements.
Topics Include:
Elements of balance:
Finding the most efficient line:
Manipulating the base:
Manipulating the Center of Gravity (CoG)
Ethics and application of pain:
Integrating all elements:

Instructor Rory Miller

(Guys that work over nights hate it when you try to take off their satin sleepy time mask)

I know you want to scroll back up to the top to click the buy now button, but wait there is still more!

Day 4 SUNDAY 11 / 22 / 2015
Basic Drills Post Test

8:45 – 9
Conclusion paper work
(Course reviews)

9 – 9:45
Mall Training Brief
The rest of the day I am going to play close to my chest.  I know Rory has some surprises in store.  Also we are going to be in an open public location, so more specific details will only be reveled to participants with confirmed course reservations.

That is the most in depth course description I have ever provided for VioDy.
If you are a Law Enforcement Officer Minnesota POST credit is available.
Along those lines I read some feedback on facebook I wanted to address directly
The description on the website is preaching to the choir. I want to attend because I know Rory, etc but I also want to share this with an audience that doesn't know your instructors and doesn't have a clue what the abbreviations on your schedule mean. 
It would be great to see a description that your mom could read and understand. 
I get that it's lots of fun to play with the same people all the time but this information is soooo important and useful for people outside of your usual audience. 
Here's hoping we can make it from Alaska.
Other feedback included
Learn how the bad guys think and how to avoid them and/or defend yourself from them.
This training is going to be amazing! I took a class from Rory Miller 2 weeks ago entitled Ambushes and Thugs. It changed the way I look at the skills I need to defend myself and those I love from a threat.
Don't be intimidated by the instructors or description. All skill levels will get something from this class.

1) I hope this blog can serve as a description my Mom can read and understand
2) I am proud of the high level teachers we have assembled for this.  However, these guys have the smallest egos, and are some of the easiest people to work with I have ever encountered in the field.  Everyone there is interested in making the participants the best versions of themselves they can be.  As opposed to creating flawed imitations of the Instructors for personal gratification.

I can see how coming into this from outside the "tribe" can be scary.  However there is no reason to be intimated by any of these guys.  They are very inclusive, even if you have never trained with us before.  Just ask my wife who ends up cooking extra food for rando strangers that get invited to our house after training every year.  (Seriously stop inviting people my wife doesn't know to our house, she knows where I sleep and where I stash my weapons)

So now you know all about the training.  You know that it is for all regardless off skill level or physicality.
How much would you pay for this training opportunity?  $1000?, $2000?

We probably should ask for that much, but all involved are passionate about getting the information out there.
So we offer this seminar for the low low price of $425 for the entire seminar or $160 per day 

I am attaching a poster for the event.  Please post in your school, place of employment, gym, Police Department, any where you think people likely to be interested might see it
If you bring three, you train for free.
Meaning if you bring three people with you, your registration is free.

Train Hard, Train Smart, Be Safe
See you in November