Friday, April 28, 2017

Violence Dynamics Washington D.C.

I was jotting down blog notes on "The wrong side of 40 - Goal Setting".  I was going over my schedule and available time and decided I wanted to accomplish certain things before I left for Ashburn, VA in June.  Then I thought to myself, hey why don't I  use the next blog post to talk about...

Washington D.C.

I define Operational Disciplines as skills people need to make their previous training and attributes viable for personal protection and professional use of force.


Nearly a decade ago now I hosted the first Violence Dynamics seminar with Marc MacYoung and Rory Miller.  Ever since then we have been  refining the Violence Dynamics Seminar Series to provide the best possible training in those necessary operational disciplines.

It has been an extremely challenging and rewarding process.  Through that process I have had the good fortune of meeting and training with extraordinary people. 

I have also come to the realization that for this to be the best personal protection instruction available we need to provide input and instruction from varying perspectives and life experiences.

So we started developing a network of Instructors

So now... in June 2017 if you are in D.C. area,  if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them (which isn't hard the link is right HERE)

....maybe you can hire

Dr. Tammy Yard-McCracken (Code Name: Mind Bender) 

Tammy is our gracious host. Lead instructor at Kore Krav Maga, head of Krav Maga Global's women's division and experienced trauma counselor.

Tammy also holds the world record for striking me in the face with  boxing equipment

Rory Miller (Code Name: Old Skool) (Code Name: Whispers)

Former jail guard, wrote a book or two, and apparently a cowboy.

Rory has earned college varsities in judo and fencing and received a mokuroku in jujutsu. He has drunk chichu with reformed cannibals and 18-year-old scotch with generals...and loves long sword fights on the beach.

Terry Trahan (Code Name: Red Hood)
Terry personifies combat as weasel-craft. The thinking man's bad ass.

Having spent many years dealing with violence, various subcultures, and street life gives Terry Trahan a unique view on life and the dynamics of violence.

Having a strong interest in efficient answers to violence, de-escalation, urban survival, and escape, Terry’s focus is more on the civilian end of dealing with violence, covering armed, unarmed, improvised weapons, threat assessment, awareness, and unconventional strategies.

Terry has years of training in SouthEast Asian Martial Arts, heads the Kapatiran Suntukan Martial Arts organization, and is the lead instructor for WeaselCraft, his non-traditional approach to personal security, and specializes in all aspects of knives, from use, to design and function.

International man of mystery Unnamed Schmoe (Code Name: Secret Squirrel)
If you were supposed to know who this guy is, you already would.

Having said that, Some Unnamed Schome is in a unique position to give a short but very current brief on terrorist threats.

Kasey Keckeisen (Code Name: Shogun)

You guys know me, this is my blog.  

Traditionally, VioDy includes a special day for special students. People who have attended before, in other words. The OGs. {Original Gangstas}You know who you are. In Minnesota, we have access to a SWAT unit, and playing with SWAT is the bonus day.

For this Viody, we're in Virginia. And we have access to a range. So Wednesday, 07June2017 will be a handgun day. Beginners welcome, but not idiots. If you sign up for this, please give us your experience level. Depending on numbers and range of skills we may break this up into sessions. Some weapons will be available for rent at the venue.

* I will not conduct live fire exercises with people I do not know or that have not been vetted by people I trust.  If you are eligible to participate in Day 0 you will be contacted

DAY1. Thursday 08June2017
Session                        Title                       Time       Instructor
1.1            Introduction/ Safety Briefing   1 hr         KECKEISEN
1.2           Context of Violence Talk          1.5 hrs    MILLER
1.3           Introduction to the drills           1hr          YARD-McCRACKEN
1.4           Violence Dynamics                   1.5 hrs    KECKEISEN
1.5           Basic Power Generation            1 hr        TRAHAN
1.6           Leverage and Leverage Points  1 hr        KECKEISEN

DAY 2. FRIDAY 09June2017
Session                           Title                    Time       Instructor
2.1                            Daily Brief                .5hr         KECKEISEN
2.2      Conflict Communication              3.5hr         YARD McCRACKEN
2.3                          Targeting                    1 hr         TRAHAN
2.4                          Cool Stuff                   1 hr         UNNAMED SCHMOE
2.5      Close Quarters Edged Weapons  1.5 hrs       TRAHAN

DAY 3. SATURDAY 10June2017
Session                           Title                   Time       Instructor
3.1                            Daily Brief               .5hr        KECKEISEN
3.2                 Logic Of Violence                1hr       YARD McCRACKEN
3.3                 Counter-Assault                   1hr        KECKEISEN
3.4                 Force Law                          1.5 hrs    MILLER
3.5          Last Ditch Unarmed Defense   1.5 hrs    TRAHAN
3.6          Ground Movement                      1 hr      MILLER
3.7          Environmental Fighting               1 hr     ALL

DAY 4 SUNDAY 11June2017
Session                           Title                   Time       Instructor
4.1                            Daily Brief                 .5hr       KECKEISEN
4.2          High Speed Decision Making      1 hr       KECKEISEN
4.3                      Plastic Mind                     1 hr       MILLER
4.5-4.8    Advanced People Watching        5 hr       ALL

OG Break-Out Sessions

The other perk of being an OG: If the main session is something you've done many times before, feel free to grab one of the sidelined instructors for a chat or a little one-on-one training time.

As of the posting of this blog we were at 70% capacity.  So if you are thinking about going sign up today classes are filling quickly.

Train hard, Train Smart, Be safe

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The wrong side of 40 part 1 { Introduction }

Greetings true believers.  If you are regular readers of The Budo Blog you may have noticed it has been a while since I have posted a new installment.  It is not that I haven't been writing one, however, the post I was working on expanded to the extent that it became far too long for one blog.  So, "The wrong side of 40" is going to be a multi-part continuing blog as I work my way through the process.

A few months back I wrote this blog Improving the hand you are dealt
In it we discussed:

  • Goals
  • Plan 
  • Adaptation
  • Assessment
  • Adjustment (if needed)

To get to where I want to go with this blog series, lets take a look at where I have been

Goals - Batman by 40 (You can read the specifics HERE)
 - Although the plan worked, that level of of training is not sustainable over time which lead to...

New Goals - Beyond Batman (You can read the specifics HERE)
New Plan
 - I hurt my knee running
 -In August I sat in my garage icing my knee, smoking a cigar and washing down ibuprofen with bourbon as I had a conversation with Myron Cossitt (subject matter expert).
He helped me reassess my goals and come up with a sensible program to reach them.

Well it has been over three paragraphs without expressing my self through popular culture.
So, to explain my goals lets look at a couple of pages from one of my favorite comics - Frank Miller's "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" (click to enlarge if you need bifocals)

This is how Batman describes the Mutant Leader in the comic, "He's got exactly the kind of body I wish he didn't have. Powerful, without enough bulk to slow him down. Every muscle a steel spring ready to lash out. And he's young. In his physical prime. And I honestly don't know if I could beat him.

 - Power with out excessive bulk
- Move well (a steel spring ready to lash out)
- Clearly I am no longer in physical prime.  However, I can mitigate previous injuries to be as close to prime as possible

And I honestly don't know if I could beat him.
I have to find out if I can still beat him

- Training injury free, getting stronger.  Putting on weight - muscle and fat (bulk to slow me down)
 - Less lifting days more running days

 - In Feburary I hurt my back lifting too much with imperfections in form.
 (You can read the specifics HERE)
- Cut way back on weight and focus on form

 - In March I hurt my knee running

Oh for fuck sake!!!!

I sat on my couch, icing my knee, and washing down ibuprofen with bourbon.  But the swelling did not go down.  I made an appointment with the Doctor.
He helped me reassess my goals and come up with a sensible program to reach them.

My goals are the same.  However, the means in which I achieve those goals clearly need to change.
More lifting days, and as hard as it was for me to come to this conclusion ZERO running days.

Just like good old Rocky my knees can't take the pounding.

Running / continuous impact is just too hard on my knees now.  I had to remind myself I train to be a better fighter I don't fight to be a better runner.  I have missed Judo classes because I hurt myself running.  I have not missed running because of Judo...

Well except that one time

But ever since then I have found ways to mitigate the risks inherent in martial arts training.

I have to condition in a way that mitigates previous injuries to be as close to my physical prime as possible.

In the previously mentioned "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" when Batman attempts to find out if he can beat him, the Mutant Leader kicks the crap out of him.

Batman was still thinking / fighting like a young man although in the book he is way on the wrong side of 40.

There is only a brief window any of us are in our physical prime.  However, with age comes learning.

And I honestly don't know if I could beat him.

Amatures look at someone and wonder if they can take them.
Professionals, those with life experience look at some and devlop a plan on how to take them. 
(Spoiler warning: it is not in a fair fight)

When Batman accepted that he had to operate differently now than he did in his 30's he found a way to win.

(click to enlarge if you need bifocals)

Fight smarter not harder.
Train smarter to achieve your goals with out injury

The wrong side of 40 blog series will follow my adventures training smarter to achieve my goals while developing a template readers can customize to help them achieve their own goals.

Topics to include:
Time Management
Developing an action plan to reach goals

  • Strength 
  • Conditioning
  • Mobility


  • How do you objectively assess your progress


  • Staying on course

Harley Davidsons are cool.  However, as I understand it, if you want to ride a Harley you better learn how to fix and maintain a Harley.  Because they tend to rumble themselves apart.

Training after 40 is cool.  You just have to learn how to fix and maintain a 40 plus body.

Train hard, Train smart (smarter than me, how many God damned times do I need to hurt my knee running before I see running might not be the best conditioning choice for me), Be safe.