Thursday, February 25, 2016

I used to do a little, but a little wouldn't do it, so a little got more and more

A conversation I had with Anna Valdiserri from God's Bastard Blog got me thinking and sparked this week's post.

The conversation went something like this...
Sadly there are plenty of people in the world that won't listen to a guy like Marc (MacYoung) because he is not an elite level BJJ champion. If a Gracie said the same thing word for word it would be gold.
There are equally as many RBSD guys that train in self defense maybe like once a month that totally ignore solid info from an elite champion because they are from a sport art. If Marc said it however it would be gold.

Randy King ranted about it

Plus check out that sexy ass T-Shirt

Which brings me to the topic of this weeks post - How often do you train?

Before we dive deeper into that question let me ask you ask you some other questions to set a baseline.

Why do you train?
If you train simply for the pleasure of it, then the amount you train is irrelevant.
Let me state there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  Train when you feel like it because it is fun.

If you train in martial arts of any kind you can watch the UFC with buddies that don't train and know a little more than them.  You can tell them all about your Jits or Muay Thai.  Your stand up game and your grappling.

If you are a self defense / RBSD guy you can give your opinion about military and law enforcement tactics on the Internet :)

I literally just wrote if you want to train just for the fun of it there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, then I spent the next paragraphs ripping on those guys.

I can kid because I am also both of those guys.  And those last two pictures make a good point regardless of your position on firearms or the police.

Ultimately, you and you alone, are responsible for your own safety.

Ok back on point why do you train?

If you train simply for the pleasure of it, then the amount you train is irrelevant.

If you want so see a steady increase in your skills, clearly more and consistent training is required.

If you are preparing for a competition it stands to reason that you will need to add even more training specific to the event.

If you are training because your life depends on it, how much training do you think you need?

If  you are training in personal protection, then by definition aren't you training because your life may depend on it?

Yes, but personal protection is multifaceted.  Good personal protection places physical skills as a last line of defense.  Things like avoidance, escape and evade, awareness, boundary setting, communication and deescalation have a much greater effect on protecting yourself.  These things actually don't take much training and can be applied / practiced every day.

So with all of that in place, who is left that needs to practice the physical skills of personal protection on a higher basis?

People who have a:
  • High risk life style
  • High risk profession
If you have a high risk life style the time you would allot to training might be better served getting out of the life.  Whatever life that is.

If you chose not to, or can't, if you have a high risk profession, or you just really want to get good at the physical aspects of personal protection,  how often  / how much do you train?

Is going to a weekend seminar enough?
I know there is high end training that runs a couple thousand dollars for a weekend.  No matter how good that training is, are those skills going to be available to you under stress a year later?

How often to you train?

What is ideal?
Most would argue 2 to 3 times a week
The standard for most Judo schools is to measure time in grade for promotion as two two hour classes per week minimum.

Jigoro Kano suggested that one should train in Judo every day.

Ok Kasey, so how much should I train?
I have found that I am too biased to answer that question.  I love training, you could argue that I am addicted to training.

So asking me that is like asking a crack addict how much crack should some one do
All of the crack!!!

The other side of the spectrum is the idea that if you can't make it to the Dojo at least twice a week you are wasting your time.

Any Judo (anything you wish to get better at) is better than no Judo.

To answer how much should I train, you have to take a serious look at your life.
Grab a piece of paper, or use a spreed sheet.
Days of the week across the top
Hours of the day from wake to sleep down the side

Here is a small portion of what I use as an example

Block out the things that absolutely have to be done at certain times on certain days.  Crazy things like work, school, pick up your kids from day care, sleep, etc.  Those are fixed points in time to you, can't be moved, can't be changed.  Everything else is fair game.
The blocks that are open give you an idea of how much time you actually have.

How bad do you want it?

A conversation I had this winter -
 - Hey man you are off tonight are you coming to the Dojo?

 - I was thinking about it, but the Wild are on

- They have these things called DVR's, you could come to training and then watch the hockey game        when you get home.

- Yeah we will see

That guy did not come to the Dojo.  Now months later I bet he doesn't even remember the score of the game.  Months later I know I am better now than I was then.

Map out a time management matrix.  Free up time to train.  Find balance.  I doesn't do you any good to be at training 5 times a week and become truly formidable against any threat, only to be murdered in your sleep by your spouse because you left her / him to deal with all the adulting (you know like raising your kids, cooking, cleaning, laundry, what not) 5 times a week.

I think 2- 3 times a week will have a great impact on your training and is not unreasonable (especially if you have a high risk profession).  Sit down with your significant other and explain what your goals are, why they are important to you and the entire family and how much time is needed to achieve those goals.

Wine, chocolate and a foot rub might help this conversation as well

Ok so you really want to train, you have mapped out your time but when you can train and when training is available don't line up very often, or at all.  Now what?

Any Judo is better than no Judo

Go to training when you can.  When you are there maximize your training.

  • Bring a note book to class and take active notes during breaks and immediately after.
  • Every phone has a pretty high quality video camera these days.  Check with the instructor first, if it is cool film the instruction and film yourself.
  • Active participation visualization.  McClure Sensei used to say life is short.  You only get so many training opportunities, only so many reps, so you have to make the most of them.  Don't just wait for your turn to do the technique.  If it is your job to attack, practice attacking as perfectly and as intently as you can.  When your partner deals with your attack practice ukemi (falling, receiving their response) as if your life depended on it.
  • Volunteer to be demonstrated on.  I have learned many things being a sucker for punishment Uke, that I never would have if I just watched a demonstration of the technique or drill.  Feeling is believing.

When you can't go to training, train yourself.

This can be very fun.
This can be very productive.
However, you want to take steps to prevent ingraining bad habits.

I would suggest going to as much training as you can to get a solid idea of how to work the skills you are trying to gain / improve before you attempt to replicate that training on your own.

Bad habits creep in easier than you might think.  A story I use to make this point comes from when I was cross training in Goju Ryu Karate back in college.  There was a kata we were working on, a portion of which was a kick followed by a punch.  When I would throw that punch I noticed that my wrist was "broken".  Meaning my arm was pointed at the target but my knuckles were pointed at the ground.  If you are at a Karate school and you see this in the senior students or the Instructors you are at a bad school.  It is a clear sign that they never hit anything.  Because if you hit anything like that with any power at all you would break your hand and or wrist.

I knew better than that, and I only did it when we worked this kata.  Days later I was driving, I noticed that when I pushed down on the accelarator my hand broke on the steering wheel the same way.

You see around this time, one of the Batman movies that had recently come out featured a Bat-mobile that had a accelerator handle almost like a Jet Fighter.  So when I would push on the gas with my foot I would pretend to use that lever with my hand.  Every single time I pushed on the gas.  Well guess what?  Pushing on the gas is a lot like the foot position of a front kick.  I had accidentally developed a neurological pathway to making that gesture with my hand every time I moved my foot that way.

If I can ingrain bad habits pretending to be Batman when I drive, it is safe to assume that anyone can ingrain bad habits training themselves.

I'm not saying not to self train, I'm just saying be careful and check for unintended consequences.

Self training, especially for self defense, what should you train?

Part of the conversation I had with Anna that sparked this blog was about her take on the last blog. She was kind enough to share it, and this is what she wrote about it...

I LOVE this, and not just because there's so much handsome in it.
What helps with self-defence? People seem to forget so much that people may start at different levels.
For someone who is completely paralyzed by the thought of touching another person, BJJ may help with self-defence. For someone who was raised not to say "no", ever, learning to tell telemarketers to fuck off may help with self-defence. For someone who has the posture of a wilted flower, freakin' flamenco can help with self-defence, because it makes you stand up straight.
One of the ladies we saw when we were up in Scotland with Rory couldn't get me to stop walking towards her because she couldn't say no to me. Highly intimidating me. In the middle of a class, in a safe space. She just couldn't do it.

Self training allows you to build  / customize your own method.  What works best for you.  In order to do that you need building blocks.

Rory Miller defines building blocks as the sets of basic skills you need to be competent.
Some examples include:

Counter assault
Neck manipulation (strangles and breaks)
Ground Skills

Rory has a much more in depth list, but I feel these skill sets are the core.  Personally, that is one of the reasons I really enjoy training Jujitsu is because it covers those building blocks.

For self training to have the most bang for the buck it has to develop the fundamentals that make the building blocks work.

For example if you want to work on takedowns as a building block of your self defense method, you will need to understand what fundamental physical motions make takedowns possible.  Then develop training that improves your ability to perform those physical motions.

Remember earlier when I wrote you can help maximize your training time by using your phone to video it?  I thought I'd put my money where my mouth is and have my oldest daughter film an example of what I am talking about.

You want to keep this training as simple and basic as possible.  Like a pianist working the scales.  Very basic, however, that mastery of the basic is what allows the concert pianist to have the freedom to express himself freely with great skill.  As opposed to some chump just hitting keys and trying to call it jazz.

When you can't go to training, train yourself...unless you can find buddies to train with.
Form a play group.  Find like minded people that also have free time when you have free time and beat the crap out of each other.  Like Rob in the video.

How much should you train?
Easy answer -
If you are training for fun as much as you want
If you have a more serious need as much as you can.

I used to do a little, but a little wouldn't do it, so a little got more and more.
Just kept trying to get a little better, a little better than before.

Just a little better than before
The original intent of Budo was to kill with one stroke.  In times of peace it is easy to lose that intensity.  So focus on killing who you were yesterday.

Because if you are not training to kill who you were yesterday, know that somewhere someone is training to kill who you are today

Train hard, Train smart, Be safe
Train as much as you can.

Winners find a way to win

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Finding the edge

My first cop gig was in a small town up north.  I remember the regional SWAT team up there had a T-shirt that read  - If you aren't on the edge you are taking up too much space.

Rory Miller often says the first 2 things a new SWAT team does is make a patch, and make a T- shirt :)
That tends to check out.

That phrase -  If you aren't on the edge you are taking up too much space, has stuck with me all these years.

Which brings me to today's topic - Finding the edge

Pun intended and shameless plug for SOMICO Knives

Finding the edge can have multiple meanings:
The boundary line / boarder
An advantage

The boundary line / boarder

Finding the edge of working / training hard enough, with a restive opponent to achieve the positive results only that type of training can provide.

There are somethings that can only be learned this way.  Somethings about yourself you can only come to know this way.

My oldest daughter has been reading the Harry Potter series.  As soon as she is done with a book we watch the movie.  Recently we just watched "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Without going into a movie / book review, Harry finds himself competing in the prestigious Tri- Wizard Cup.

While we were watching this my oldest asked me, "Can you imagine what it must be like waiting while one by one your friends leave, then it is your turn to face a dragon, alone."

I told her I didn't I didn't need to imagine it, I wrestled.  I know exactly what that is like.

In Harry Potter a dragon was used as a metaphor for overcoming your fear.  Being able to perform under pressure.

There are somethings that can only be learned this way.  Somethings about yourself you can only come to know by "facing a dragon"

Later this week an article exploded on the Internet.

Royce Gracie believes competitive jiu-jitsu doesn't help with self defense

Clutch the pearls!!! How dare the master say such a thing!

It is actually a pretty decent interview.  However, almost like a religious or political debate the article triggered a lot of monkey brain responses which blocked out good information from differing perspectives.

Competitive Jujitsu doesn't help with self defense?
Competitive Jujitsu that has evolved to game unique rule sets does not improve performance in anything out side those rule sets.

Boot scooting, guard pulling, "donkey" guard, stalling for time.  These are things that are likely to get you killed

Gaming the rules (I hope this video works it is from Face book, I could not find it on YouTube)

Competitive Jujitsu doesn't help with self defense?
Yes it does:
Any competition, regardless of the rule set, in which you stand alone against a restive opponent intent on defeating you, helps prepare you for self defense.

I would go so far as to say that someone with no self defense training, but sport competition experience against someone who may be willing to hurt them in order to win has as good if not better chance at surviving a physically violent interpersonal conflict than someone that has excellent self defense training but has never been tested.

Clutch the pearls!!! How dare Kasey say such a thing!

"If your sword is too short, add to its length by taking one step forward"- anonymous
Put up or shut up

If you can't muster the courage to engage in a sport competition you know when and where and how (the rules) is going to take place, how in the hell are you going to muster the courage to counter an ambush attack?

I'm not talking about a typical monkey dance meet me after school / lets take this out side macho bullshit fight.  That is not self defense, that is mutually combative assault, and really just lame.

I'm talking about actual self defense.

The key is to find that edge.  The ideal ratio of resistance to potential injury.

If you are looking to compete, let me take a minute to drop a shameless plug for USA Combat Wrestling

USA Combat Wrestling offers a rule set that that allows you to gain the positive self defense aspects of competition without ingraining dangerous habits that would get you killed outside of competition.

Even more important than that, USA Combat Wrestling is run by, and filled with good people.

If you are not interested in competing, that is fine.  It does not change the fact that there are somethings that can only be learned this way.

So, restive drills, games and pressure tests have to be part of training to induce the "facing a dragon" learning.

We train to protect ourselves from being damaged by an enemy. Statically, if you train on a regular basis, there is a way higher probability of being damaged in training than by a criminal attack.

That is pretty dumb.

That can be mitigated (for the most part*) by slowly boiling the frog.  Gradually increasing the intensity of the drills.  Building a rapport with the crew you train with.  Until you can go hard at full speed and everyone goes home with all their parts working the same way they were before class started.

Again, just like competition the key is find the edge, that ideal ratio of resistance to potential injury.

Don't roll this way with people you don't know and have not developed trust with.
That is why I made a point to mention the good people at USA Combat Wrestling.

It wouldn't be February if I didn't share this picture from 2008 of my broken leg and dislocated ankle

If someone is willing to maim you using a technique that is illegal in the rule set you agreed to before hand to win a "friendly" roll at practice, they are not good people.

That is the wrong side of the resistance to potential injury ratio.  It is much harder to protect against a criminal attack from crutches.

If a school has an institutional culture  that results in this type of injury on a regular basis, that is not a positive environment to learn anything.

I steal this quote from Rory Miller a lot.
"First, you have to make an emotionally safe place to do physically dangerous things.  Then you have to make a physically safe place to do emotionally dangerous things."

If you aren't on the edge you are taking up too much space.
Find good people you trust.  Find the edge of the active resistance to potential injury ratio.  Bump up against it and push it further (safely, intelligently) every chance you get.
Then you will find an edge over everyone that has never had to "face a dragon".

Along those lines I will leave you with this.  My sophomore year of Wrestling was rough.  There is a phrase used in Judo, you win or you learn.  Let's just say that that year I learned a lot.  For Christmas that year my Dad typed this, had it framed and gave it to me.

 “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

Train hard, train smart, be safe.
Find the edge

P.S. Even when you find good people and develop a rapport and positive training environment, sometimes shit just happens.  Usually right after you give the speech about being smart and safe :)

You don't know the edge unless you push against it.  Sometimes it pushes back

Friday, February 5, 2016

The shield gets heavy

Ever since I was a little kid I loved old Popeye cartoons

I especially loved when things were bad, our hero was at a low and it looked like all was about to be lost.  He never gave up and somehow found a way to win.  

With Popeye it was usually through spinach.  Then boom! - Que theme song.  Our hero kicks the crap out of the bully that has been tormenting him.

I always had to be Popeye when we played Popeye

That was one of the things I loved about Star Wars.  The Rebel base is about to be destroyed by the Empire. Then boom! They blow up the Death Star- Que theme song.

I always had to be Luke Skywalker when we played Star Wars.

That was one of the themes I loved from the movie "300".

The narration makes it seem as if Leonidas is giving up.  He takes off his helmet, he sets down his shield, it looks like he is about to bend a knee to Xerxes.

Just as it looked like all was lost the narrator explains - 
"His helmet was stifling, it narrowed his vision. And he must see far. His shield was heavy. It threw him off balance. And his target is far away.

Then Leonidas throws the spear that strikes Xerxes and shows all that a god king can bleed.

The shield gets heavy has become a theme for me.  When the profession becomes difficult (wearing a shield gets hard) I remind myself that I have the strength to lift it up.

King Leonidas: Raise your shield as high as you can.
[Ephialtes tries to raise his shield; he cannot as his physical disability prevents it]
King Leonidas: [calmly] Your father should have taught you how our phalanx works. We fight as a single, impenetrable unit. That is the source of our strength. Each Spartan protects the man to his left from thigh to neck with his shield.
[Leonidas takes his sword and shield to demonstrate]
King Leonidas: A single weak spot and the phalanx shatters. From thigh to neck, Ephialtes.

King Leonidas: I am sorry, my friend; but not all of us were made to be soldiers.

Xerxes:Unlike the cruel Leonidas, who demanded that you stand, I require only that you kneel.

I will never give up, I'll find a way to win.  It may be heavy but I will lift the shield.  I will protect my brother, I will not yield.

As I get older I have come to realize that the burden of carrying that shield is also born by those around me.

More than a wanna be tough guy, comic book mantra is needed to help them.

I first encountered this a few years ago with my oldest daughter and wrote about it here.

Fear of death from a different perspective

I should have expected that when the middle child got to an age where my job isn't just an abstract concept (somewhere daddy is when he isn't at home) I'd have to have a similar conversation. Somehow I didn't see it coming.

I guess I assumed because I had the conversation with the oldest  the middle one somehow knew.  I assumed wrong. 

It happened on Friday

The girls got out of school early on Thursday and didn't have school on Friday.  Which means they got to go to the Dojo Thursday night.  Thursday nights at the Dojo are open mat / VPPG (Violence Prone Play Group).  That is nothing new, the girls regularly come to the Dojo on Thursday nights.  I have been working on the Violence Dynamics curriculum with them.  Learning through play.  I'll play a game or go over a drill with them.  Then I'll go work with the adults and Lise will come over and work with them.  Then I'll work with Lise and the girls are free to play among themselves.

What made this Thursday special is with no school Friday morning the girls could go upstairs to the VFW post after class and enjoy free popcorn, jukebox, and pool.     

It was a slow night and we had the whole bar to ourselves.  So the girls learned to play pool and we had impromptu lip sync and air / pool stick guitar competitions.  I was undefeated in all the previously mentioned events.

We closed the place down.  Don't get crazy we closed it down at 10pm.

The next day we all went to go see Kung Fu Panda 3


Then we went out to eat at Texas Road House.

I am a fortunate guy.  Where I am going with this is we were having a very cool weekend enjoying the company of family.

When we got home we settled in and started watching a Justice League DVD we have been meaning to get to... When the pager goes off.  OK, that is an outdated phrase.  I got a text alert on my phone.  The SWAT team is being activated.

I told the girls I had to go to work.
The youngest one said what do you mean you have to go to work, it is night.  
I've worked days her entire life.
I explained that there were bad guys doing dangerous things and I have to stop them.

The page was like the Bat Signal

She asked how I was going to stop them.
The oldest responded matter of factly - how do you think he is gong to stop them?, with guns duh.

As we were having this conversation, my wife came down and asked if I got the page.  The paging system goes to her phone as well in case I'm asleep or my phone is dead
The weight of the shield bears on her as well.

I didn't have any more time for talking I had to get going.  
As I was getting dressed I heard crying

I assumed it was the youngest one
I assumed wrong

"Goodbye my love." He doesn't say it. There's no room for softness... not in Sparta. No place for weakness. Only the hard and strong may call themselves Spartans. Only the hard, only the strong.
 - Dilios "300"

I arrived at the staging area and was put in charge of a team, made up of some of our newest guys.  I was also responsible for Officers already on scene.  I tend to lead by coaching.  So I explained to my guys what  I was doing while I was doing it.  One so they can help me see if there any holes in the plan I may be  missing from my perspective.  Two to teach them how to do it when they are in my position.  Standing by to stand by can be tedious, having something constructive to do is a benefit. 

So we established an arrest plan.  Coordinated with the other teams. Developed alternate plans based on how other similar calls went.  With the conversation I had with my daughters still freshly in my mind, it occurred to me that these guys might be nervous.  There is a guy in there with a gun who tried to murder someone hours earlier.

Explaining what  I was doing while I was doing it  also helps to assure my guys, that although we are doing a dangerous thing, we are doing a dangerous thing in the smartest / safest manner possible.  I am doing everything I possibly can to bring them home safe.

Bad guy gave up and was taken into custody.  The house was cleared.  The team was debriefed.
Although it was late, I always call my wife when it is over to let her know I am safe.

The weight of the shield bears on her as well.

Hey, its me.  Bad guy in jail, no one hurt, no one killed, be home in about an hour.
OK, you are going to have to have a talk with your daughter when you get home.
( I saw this coming)

She was inconsolable after you left
Yeah, she had some questions when I was leaving.
No not that one, Sydney

I didn't see that coming.
Not Sydney.  Not my Wonder Woman

I guess I assumed because I had the conversation with the oldest the middle one somehow knew.  I assumed wrong.  

The weight of the shield bears on her as well.

Early the next morning I was awoken by her failed attempt at stealth as she she came in to check in on me.  Did Dad make it home last night?

I got up and asked her to come down stairs and help make breakfast.

After we scrambled up some eggs I let her know that Mom told me she had a rough time last night. 
I could see her struggle to control her emotions.  My eight year old daughter got up from the table and went to the bathroom so I wouldn't see her cry.

There's no room for softness... not in Sparta. No place for weakness. Only the hard and strong may call themselves Spartans. Only the hard, only the strong.
 - Dilios "300"

Fuck she is hard.  An 8 year old little girl refuses to cry in front of me.  I was a huge crybaby as a kid. Hell, I'm trying not to cry while I type this.

When our hero was at a low and it looked like all was about to be lost.  He never gave up and somehow found a way to win.  

When she came back I had her put on my plate carrier.

The shield is heavy.  The armor is heavy.  The weight of the armor bears on her as well.   The armor is heavy, I explain it has to be heavy it has to be to in order to protect me.  I explain that although I do dangerous things, I do them ithe smartest / safest manner possible.  I do everything I possibly can to come home safe.

*Preemptive arrogance trigger warning.  Give me a break I'm reassuring my little girl.  Also if you don't have confidence in yourself bordering on arrogance you shouldn't be kicking doors.*

I'm the best there is at what I do.
I explain to her why I lead teams in situations like this.  I explain why other teams hire me to train their guys.  I explain that all the time I spend in the Dojo, in the gym, on the range is fun to me, but ultimately is to help me to get home safe to her.

I remind her that we are a self selecting team.  Only the best of the best, that want to be there.  I remind her of guys she knows from the team and tell her about how good they are and how we make it a priority to look out for each other.

She takes the armor off and smiles.  I have a silent sigh of relief.  The shield is a little lighter.
The weight of the shield bears on her as well, she takes some of it off of me.
It may be heavy, but it has to be.  She will lift it. She will not yield.

There's no room for softness... not in Sparta. No place for weakness. Only the hard and strong may call themselves Spartans. Only the hard, only the strong.

Not everyone reading this has a high risk profession.  Good I'm glad the blog has a broader appeal. In order for this post to be more than just an outlet for me to get some thoughts out of my head it has to be useful to anyone reading this.

So how can this be useful?

No matter what your job, eventually you will have to have the talk with your kids.  Not the birds and bees talk, but the Mr Fishy, Fido, Grandma, eventually everything dies talk.

This Christmas we visited Grandma Great in Arizona.  She loves the Hallmark Chanel.  The Hallmark Chanel had a non stop Christmas movie marathon.  Not good Christmas movies like Die Hard, but romancy schmaltzy crap.  Anyway every commercial break Shriner's Hospitals had a commercial.  This commercial featured sick and dying kids.  Our four year old came to a rough realization that if little kids can die, then anyone can die.

Merry fucking Christmas little girl.  What am I supposed to tell her?

Well, truth be told Mom handled that one.
However, I feel that when you have to have this talk with anyone regardless of their age it is beneficial to steer the conversation away from the fear of death and to an appreciation and zeal for life.

In that vein I'll leave you with this - 

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.
When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”
~ Chief Tecumseh

Train hard, train smart, be safe.
Protect the man to your left from thigh to neck