Wednesday, December 16, 2020

This is the way part 2 - Training

Last blog I said I would explain what I have been doing since May in a series of blogs.
Train - Lift - Shoot - This way

This blog lets focus on TRAIN

What have I been doing since May?


By pushing the limit of what was "allowed" I was able to train with #500 Rising and graduate from the first ever Instructional Foundations - Women’s Self Defense (500 Rising Instructor Course)

The 10th Anniversary of Violence Dynamics had to be changed drastically and often, and then changed again with mere hours notice, but I was able to train with brave, like minded people, and had a great time.  

Mostly, I spent a lot of time being frustrated as fuck.  I spent a lot of time not being "allowed" to train. 
It got to the point I nearly broke.  It was a very low point for me.  I thought if I, Kasey "Fucking" Keckeisen, someone who is so obviously addicted to training, has lost passion for this, who the fuck is ever going to want to come back and train? 

Then I was inspired.  Cobra Kai never dies!  I can't give up!  Mostly because I don't want to see who I might become if I don't have the outlet of regular training to keep my head straight.

So I turned the set back of not being allowed to train into an opportunity to reimagine what I want to do.  How do I want to train?  How do I want to run the Dojo?

The Dojo is allowed to run relatively overhead free because of the Police Activity League which is geared toward youth 14-21 years old.  The current student list has very few members in that demographic. 

I decided to embrace the fun of Sport Jujitsu to provide a reason for young people to train.  

I also felt that Sport Jujitsu  / Para Jujitsu would be an excellent way to provide people (especially veterans) coping with disabilities a long term means to overcome their challenges through training and competition.

People practice Jujitsu for many different reasons.  However, if you ask most people why they train they will say because it is FUN!
How is recreation a legitimate use of force?  All contact sports are an agreement between the participants to the level and type of force that will be used for the fun of the game.  A contact contract if you will.  The sport aspect of Jujitsu is no different.  The Keishoukan Dojo plays with many different rule sets with varying levels and types of contact including Freestyle Karate (Sabaki Challenge), Freestyle Judo, Combat Wrestling, and USJJF Sport Jujitsu, USJJF Para Jujitsu

What if I lose?
The Dojo is a safe place to do physically dangerous things.  It is a safe place to lose.
Confidence is built through competence. Competence is built using modern sporting methods to prepare practitioners for the situations they may face and train them to deal with those situations in the most realistic manner safely possible.
Mutual welfare and benefit is a major tenant of Judo (a modern form of Jujitsu).  The emphasis of these drills is placed on making each other better, as opposed to defeating your partner.  Your brain can’t trust what it has never tested.  Some things can only be tested against a resistive partner.  You might not always “win” but you will always learn.  Failure is a necessary step in the path to progress. At the Keishoukan, you are encouraged to test your limits, find them, struggle, and exceed them.  

Won’t I get hurt?
Any contact activity has a chance of injury.  So does getting out of bed or crossing the street.  Nothing worth doing can be made 100% safe.  However, our training is very 40 plus friendly. It makes no sense to train in order to protect yourself against injury from an assault, only to  injure yourself at practice. Our training is designed to be safe, and fun for people of all ages and abilities.  Games are structured so that you will be able to decide the intensity level of your training.

Recreation, the sport aspects of Jujitsu provides a means to learn through play, and to pressure test skills.  Maintaining the traditions of the past while utilizing the best training methods of today.  Martial art, especially martial sport is not self defense, however it provides a laboratory to experiment with physical confrontation and a means to develop endurance, strength, agility, and courage.

Finding a way to provide Sport Jujitsu for youth without taking away from the personal protection curriculum took all summer.  As much as I was pissed that we were not "allowed" to train I was thankful for the time to plan.  Because I am very proud of the end product.

The panoply of Jujitsu is too large to teach parts of every aspect every class.  I had to find a logical way to simplify.

From my experience as a parent of athletes, long late practices suck - they add a lot of undue stress on the athlete's family.  I figured the youth class should only be an hour.  The adult class can continue as necessary.

Classes break down like this  
Warm up                20 Min
Topic 1 for all        35 Min
Youth class ends - Adult class continues
Topic 2*                35 Min

Each week focuses on one aspect of Jujitsu needed for competition and an additional topic for more advanced competition (techniques reserved for adult competition) and personal protection.

Weeks 1 4 7 10 13
Strike First - Hits for Jits

Atmei Waza - Striking (This will look a lot like a Karate / Bareknuckle Boxing class)
Similar to WWII combatives, Atemi Waza (striking) builds the foundation of what will follow.
Bogyo (Defense) - Defense pfft - More Offense!  Blocking is reactive at best and passive at worst.  We will focus on strikes that also defend.

Shime Waza*
The strikes (hits that stick) practiced this week will be used to apply Shime Waza (strangles) for the adult class

Weeks 2 5 8 11 14
Strike Hard - With the planet

Nage Waza - Throws (This will look a lot like a Judo / Wrestling class)
To throw someone you must:
1 Move or grab
2 Grab or move     *the order of move or grab is interchangeable
3 Off balance
4 Fit in
5 Execute  

The strikes (hits that stick) that were trained in the previous week will be used to grab then move, and the defense (Bogyo) from the previous week will be used to move then grab to set up the throws that will be trained this week.

Kansetsu Waza* Join locks - (This will look a lot like the unholy union of a Catch Wrestling and  Aikido class)
The strikes from the previous week will be used to attack joints 

Weeks 3 6 9 12 15
No Mercy - Finish it

Katame Waza  - Grappling Techniques (This will look a lot like a Wrestling / BJJ class)
Although this may look like a BJJ class we do not start on our back.  So guess what?  Groundwork will start with strikes that set up throws.  Throws will be used to put them on the ground.  Only then can ground work begin to gain a submission.

Buki Waza* Weapons Techniques (This will look a lot like a CQB / control tactics class)
The adult class will work combatives including the use of and defense against Stick (Hanbo), Knife (Tanto), and Firearms.

This training also gives me an opportunity to provide supplementary training to Law Enforcement (Taiho Jutsu) as part of the Transformative Justice Institute (much more on this in future blogs) 

I hope to have the school open in January.  I hope there are brave, like minded people willing to train again.  I also have plans in place to be able to train even if I am not "allowed" to re-open the Dojo.  I won't become the version of myself that doesn't train.  Cobra Kai never dies!

The Budo Blog will return in This is the way part 3 - Lifting

Saturday, December 5, 2020

This is the way

 Hey everybody, it's been too long since the last Budo Blog.  May 23rd feels like years ago.  I had a nice roll going...then riots.  It's been a crazy couple of months.  However, excuses are like assholes, so instead of crying about the past, it is time to roll up my sleeves ands get back to it.

What has reawakened my passion?  Well, plenty.  Honestly, more than I am comfortable sharing with the general public.  However, recently I have come across a mantra that has helped me focus on what I can control, and place what can't be controlled out of my way.

Train - Lift - Shoot - This is the way.

That phrase really resonated with me.  I train, I lift, I shoot, I am a huge nerd so you know I am down with the Mandalorian.  I also really like this group that sells stuff for you to train, lift, and shoot in.

Train Lift Shoot Facebook Link


Train Lift Shoot isn’t just a product. It's a Way of Life. This is The Way.  

That phrase served as a reminder.  A kind of gut check I guess.  Am I following the way?  Is what I am doing right now the way?  And if not, what the fuck am I doing?

Yeah...I'm thinking I'm back

You may be thinking  - Cool, you are back -  whoopty fucking doo!  What have you been doing since May?

Great question, let's break it down into Train - Lift - Shoot.

It has been near 7 months so this will be a couple of blogs.  Why don't we start with shoot


In these times of turmoil I took time to reflect. I thought to myself... 

My skills and training are worthless if I don't carry the tools necessary to be useful in a crisis on me.  So I have taken a much more serious approach to my everyday carry. (More on that in future blogs) 

Covid shut most SWAT training down
Covid shut most patrol training down.

 Focus on what I can control, and place what can't be controlled out of my way.

I shot on my own at the lake.  I shot on my own at the harm farm during Violence Dynamics.  I was very fortunate to have those opportunities.  However opportunities like that don't come along often enough to maintain tactical proficiency.

So, I've been doing a lot of dry firing.  Like a lot, a lot.

If you are interested in seeing what I have been doing, or better yet would like to train with me, a unique opportunity is available starting 12/7/20

Form to Flow is a group of folks on Facebook.  All are someway involved in physical culture.  All, like me are making due with what they can during the time of Covid.  The group started off as a platform to share ways to make solo practice more interesting, but has since evolved a bit. 

The format works like this -

I will be presenting information all week from Monday through Sunday.

Sunday, is a Zoom meeting with Q and A and solo exercises

Here is the outline of what I plan on presenting:

Monday 12/7/20

Intro Document (Who is Kasey, why should I listen to him?)


  • How Firearms function
    • Semi Auto
    • Revolver
  • How to determine your dominant eye

Tuesday 12/8//20

Stance - Movement to stance

Connect to counter assault




Clearing clothing

Connect to threat assessment  - face it, name it (loop to Rory Miller’s intuition training)

Wednesday 12/9/20

Meta Reps  movement into stance 

  • Add forced inhale connect to breaking the freeze
  • Add beginning of one hand alignment 
    • Use resistance of retention to set up structure
    • Radial Bone alignment

Clear leather - (link to Jelly)

  • CQC

Transition to aimed shooting - connect to hikite - Karate

Plant seed for sight picture - threat in sharp focus can’t fight nature

Thursday 12/10/20

Meta reps on movement to stance & one hand alignment 

  • Add marrying up 2nd hand
    • 80/20

Friday 12/11/20

Meta reps on everything we have done so far

  • Add breathing
    • Incorporate breathing in 360’ scan
  • Add securing the weapon
  • Add self check

Saturday 12/12/20

Meta reps on everything we have done so far

  • Add trigger press
    • Two points of reference for finger
    • Trigger pin - why it is safe
    • Trigger reset

Sunday 12/13/20 11- 1230

Zoom Meeting - Basic Dry Fire Drills - Putting it all together

Anyone interested in joining PM me for details.

Train hard, train smart, be safe

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Compared to who - Part 2 How?

Compared to who - Part 2 How?

I was Teaching Assistant to Dr. William Lewinski at Mankato State University for two years.  When we would conduct standards testing, each category was a separate test.  Each test was graded on a steep curve based on the performance of previous students.  For example let’s say some guy back in 1990 did 55 burpees in one minute.  55 burpees = 100% = an A.  The amount of points were then converted into A-F grade scale

A 4
B 3
C 2
D 1
F 0

The letter scores are averaged out to give you your overall score.  So say a bench monkey could knock out 60 push ups in a minute (A) but his mile and a half time sucked say like 18 minutes (D).  Easy math A =4 + D= 1 is 5 divided by 2 for the two tests gives a score of 2.5 or a C+

Inversely a student on the Cross Country team ran her mile and a half like in 10 minutes (A), but could only do 10 push ups in a minute (F).  A=4 + F=0 divided by 2 gives a score of 2 or a C

Remember the idea of chasing perfection to catch excellence.  The goal is steady observable progress.  That is not possible without an object measure of your fitness.  In the example above I’m sure the both the bench monkey and the cross country athlete each thought they were pretty fit, until they were exposed to an objective test that showed them areas of their fitness that needed work.

I have found that the fitness industry uses a five level scale like this

  • Elite or Superior
  • Professional or Excellent
  • Expert or Good                                   
  • Collegiate
  • Intermediate or Fair

Combining my experience at MSU, running testing for Police Departments, and Law Enforcement Tactical teams with industry standards / best practices I have developed the Keck -O- Meter Scale. 

What is the Keck-O-Meter Scale you ask?
Violence Dynamics has many international clients.  As such an ongoing joke developed about English (American) and Metric measurement conversions.  How far is it to the restaurant? Oh that's about 17 Keck-O-Liters.  How much whiskey did you put in this drink?  Approximately 1.75 Keck-O-Grams etc…

Keck-O-Meters became a thing during the logic of take downs class.  We were discussing the importance of off balancing someone before you attempt to move them.  To make an example I used Myron for a demonstration.  Myron as you may know by now is an impressive physical specimen.  

I said that a Keck-O-Meter is the measurement that N.A.T.O. uses to determine the physical capability of combat troops.  Their toughness or “Power Level” if you will.  I assumed everyone knew I was making a Dragon Ball Z Scouter joke.  I said that Myron was 10 Keck-O-Meters and that I wasn’t what I used to be, so maybe I’m like 7.5 Keck-O-Meters.  Quick Mankato State math 10 is greater than 7.5 so I probably can’t throw him.  However, if I take his balance away and twist him up in such a way that he can only access 6 of his 10 Keck-O-Meters then clearly 7.5 is greater than 6 and throwing him is easy.  Seeing Myron being unable to resist and be thrown with minimal effort is a great visual reinforcement of a principle based approach to take downs.

After that class people came up to me to ask about where they can learn more about the Keck-O-Meter scale and wanted to know if it was named after me.  Apparently If you seem sincere enough and appear to know what you are talking about you can bullshit folks fairly easily.  I explained I was just making a joke, but a seed was planted that perhaps a Keck-O-Meter scale should be developed.

How do you find your Keck-O-Meter score?  Remember this is for your fit for.  That is specific to you, so you should choose objective measures of the attributes you require.  However, we can use fit for personal protection as an example.

Fit For What?...Personal Protection / Professional Use Of Force
Define that (what does that mean?)

  • Strong
  • Moves well 
  • Technically skilled
  • Endurance / gas tank 

What does that look like?


  • Power (1 Rep Max)
  • Muscular Endurance (Max reps in one minute)
  • Functional strength (ability to transfer these attributes to practical skills)

Power (1 Rep Max)

  • Push
    • (Away) Bench Press
    • (Above) Over Head Press
  • Pull
    • (Toward) Row
  • Hinge
  • Dead Lift
  • Squat
    • Some variation of a squatting motion (I like Zercher Squats)

Unless you are actually training for a power lifting competition (power lifting is is your fit for).  You don't have to kill yourself finding your one rep max.

Basic formula to calculate one rep max is:
(Lbs X Reps X 0.0333) + Lbs

That gives you a fairly reasonable estimation of what your one rep max is.  You can use that to help gauge your progress with less potential for injury than actually lifting a weight you can only move for one repetition.  

The tests should be specific to you.  For example the standards on the above tests are for a male my age and my body weight.  

You can and should scale the tests specifically to you as well.  For example my knees are fairly shit.  So to test the power of my legs I prefer to do Zercher Squats as opposed to more traditional barbell back squats.  To test my cardio vascular fitness I prefer to row as opposed to run.

Breaking yourself to see how fit you are really doesn't make much sense, and ultimately makes you less fit.  Regardless of what you are training to be fit for.

I have included a link to the sources I use for standards so you can customize your own tests if you would like.

Click HERE  for your customizable Keck-O-Meter testing matrix.
Please make your own copy and alter to meet your needs.

Determining your Keck-O-Meter score

Step 1 - The math.  The Keck-O-Meter scale is based on a 5 point grading system.  You can see from the test above I had a one rep max on over head press of 192 lbs which earned a 3 points.

192 (3) - OHP
385 (2) - Dead Lift
291 (3) - Bench Press
204 (1) - Zercher Squat

On my power attribute testing I earned a 3,2,3,1 respectively on each test.

Averaged out that is a 2.25 score for power.  I wanted to make sure that anyone using this uses multiple tests, and tests multiple attributes.  It would be easy for the bench monkey from MSU to just test bench press.  

 How much ya bench?

So I included a modifier.  +.05 bonus for each test with a max of +.25 per attribute.

For example, testing just bench press receives no modifier.  Testing bench and squat receives .05 per test resulting in a .1 bonus.

You can see from my scores that my squat needs improvement especially compared to my bench press and over head press scores.  The testing process points out an imbalance, that I can work on now, because I can see it (affordances).

I took four tests to determine my power attribute so my 2.25 gets a .2 bonus for a score of 2.45

Step 2 take your 5 point scale score and multiple by 5 to get your Keck-O-Meter score for that attribute.

2.45 x 5 = 12.25.  12.25 = Expert / Good for that one attribute

Step 3 average out the scores from testing all of the attributes required for your fit for.
Here is an example of attribute testing for personal protection 

The Keck-O-Meter scale works like this
Elite /  Superior [21 - 25]
Pro  / Excellent [16 - 20]
Expert  /  Good                        [11 - 15]
Collegiate (SWAT Qual Min)   [6  -  10]
Intermediate / Fair [1  -    5]

Elite /  Superior is the ranking for 21 - 25 points.  This intentionally set very high.  This level is an extremely lofty goal.  This is the level of fitness of a professional athlete at their peak.  Pro Bowl  / All Star caliber.  This is as close to Captain America as reality can come until the invention of the super soldier formula and vita rays.

Pro  / Excellent 16 - 20 points.  Also very difficult.  This is roughly equivalent to a professional athlete.  Hawkeye / Black Widow.

Expert  /  Good  11 - 15 points  Clearly this is no joke either.  This would be similar to entrance requirements for Special Forces.  Agent 13 / Maria Hill

Collegiate (SWAT Qual Min) 6  -  10 points.  This is right about what is required for collegiate sports.  This would be similar to entrance requirements for Law Enforcement Tactical Teams.   

Intermediate / Fair 1  -    5 points.  This is roughly equal to the level of fitness required to pass a Military or Law Enforcement PT test.

Make this process your own:

  • Pick the attributes you feel are important to your fit for
  • Test those attributes in ways that meet your needs (don't break yourself testing yourself)
    • What was your score?
    • What was easy?
    • What needs work?
  • Develop a plan
  • Work the plan
Are you more fit for your specific fit for, than you were 6 weeks ago?  
That is called winning!!!

You may never score that 5 star 20-25 Keck-O-Meter rating but that was never the point, in the attempt you caught excellence.

So ultimately the answer to the question compared who, is you.  You now compared to you then, compared to where you want to be. 

How do you get to where you want to be?

The Budo Blog will return in - Develop a plan part 1: Time Management.

Until then...
Train hard, train smart, be safe

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Compared to who - Part 1 Why?

Compared to who - Part 1 Why?

Asking fit for what helps narrow the field.
Asking what does that mean will yield specific attributes.
Asking what does that look like should provide specific obtainable skills and abilities.

The next question then is compared to who?

Why ask compared to who?

Asking compared to who helps provides an objective means to determine if you are becoming more fit.  Regardless of what your specific definition of fit is.  This will be a key stage in setting reasonable goals and developing an action plan to reach those goals.

This is your “fit for”, so obviously very specific to you.  However we can use a general “fit for” personal protection as a template.  I will include worksheets you can adapt to your needs.

Bench pressing your body weight doesn't necessarily make you better at personal protection, and you may never reach that goal.  However, consistently striving to achieve that goal will make you stronger than you were before and strong people are generally harder to kill.

You can not obtain perfection, but in chasing perfection you can achieve excellence.

There are a few basic human motions required for any athletic endeavor.  Whatever your fit for is.


Looking at your fit for through the spectrum of basic motion makes quantifying your fit for easier.

It might look something like this

Fit For What?...
  • Personal Protection / Professional Use Of Force

Define that (what does that mean?)

  • Strong
  • Moves well 
  • Technically skilled
  • Endurance / gas tank 

What does that look like?

  • Strong
    • Power (1 Rep Max)
    • Muscular Endurance (Max reps in one minute)
    • Functional strength (ability to transfer these attributes to practical skills)

Power (1 Rep Max)
  • Push
    • (Away) Bench Press
    • (Above) Over Head Press
  • Pull
    • (Toward) Row
  • Hinge
  • Squat
  • Core

Knowing how much weight you can move in these fundamental motions for one repetition is an objective measure of one aspect of your fitness.

Clearly the percentage of your body weight you can move through these motions has different importance based on your goals.

Anything over 5 reps is cardio.  If that is your fit for that is fine but more than likely you will need a more well rounded athleticism to accomplish your goals.  How long can you sustain effort?

Muscular Endurance (Max reps in one minute)

  • Push
    • (Away) Push up
  • Pull
    • (Up / Climb) Chin Up / Pull Up
  • Hinge
    • Toe Touch
  • Squat
    • Air Squats
  • Core
    • Sit Ups

Knowing how many repetitions of these fundamental motions you can achieve in one minute is another objective measure of your fitness.  Giving you a broader perspective of how fit you are.

If you can dead lift twice your body weight but you can't do 3 pull ups that should probably be addressed in your action plan.  Same goes if you can knock out 15 pull ups but can’t pull your body weight dead lifting.

So let's say you can dead lift twice your body weight and do 15 pull ups.  That is pretty kick ass!  However, if you can do those things but you can’t bend over and tie your shoelaces, are you fit for whatever your fit for is? 

Moves Well (Mobility)
  • Push
    • Shoulder Movement
  • Pull
    • T Spine Rotation
  • Hinge
    • Hamstrings
  • Squat
    • Quads
  • Core
    • T Spine Extension

What do those exercise names mean? Myron Cossitt of THE MOVEMENT LAB has developed a mobility testing method and training program for the Life Dynamics project. Those terms are short hand for the ideas Myron has shared with me, which I will share in depth in future blogs

Knowing how well you can move through these fundamental motions is yet another objective measure of your fitness.  Giving you an even deeper perspective of how fit you are.

OK, so now you can dead lift twice your body weight, do 15 pull ups, and you can place your palms on the ground with out bending your knees when you bend at the waist - Awesome!!!

Next question...
Can you apply those attributes that you are kick ass at to the skills / abilities of your fit for?

Functional Strength (ability to transfer these attributes to practical skills)

  • Push
    • (Away) Medicine Ball Throw - shot put
    • (Away) Sandbag accordion press
    • (Above) Over Head Press rope weighted drag
  • Pull
    • (Toward) rope pull weighted drag
  • Hinge
    • Sandbag power clean
  • Squat
    • Sled work - weighted push  / pull behind
  • Core
    • Sandbag shoulder and slam
    • Thor’s Hammer

Functional strength is general physicality as opposed to specific muscle groups.  Compound motions.  Not skill specific but should have a direct correlation to enhanced skill performance.  This should incorporate strength, strength endurance, mobility, and include the use of different cardiovascular energy systems.

What motions mimic / are related to the physical skills required for your fit for?
What motions mimic / are related to your physical personal protection skills?

Technically skilled
  • Striking
  • Take downs
  • Ground Skills
  • Counter Assault

Alright, you can dead lift twice your body weight, do 15 pull ups. You can also place your palms on the ground with out bending your knees when you bend at the waist, and throw a punch that would knock out a bull.  Very impressive!!!

However, if you have to run a block you feel like your heart is going to explode and you want to die.

Next question...
Do you have the stamina to apply the skills / abilities needed for your fit for, for the amount of time your fit for requires?

Endurance / Gas Tank
  • ATP / Max Effort : 30 seconds to 3 minutes :                                                          
    • Ability to recover and buffer the shutdown point.
      • 500m Row For Time
      • 800m Run For Time
  • Glycolytic / Hard Effort : 3 minutes to 15 minutes :                                                  
    • Ability to hold under the failure/shutdown point. (Get there fast and hold it)
      • 2000m Row For Time
      • 1 Mile Run For Time
  • Oxidative / Sustained Effort : 16 minutes plus :                                              
    • Ability to hold a steady and consistent pace and come as close to recovering while moving as possible
      • 5km Row For Time
      • 5km Run For Time

At my oldest daughter's Volley Ball try outs they ran a timed 2 mile run. That fits in the oxidative / sustained effort : 16 minutes plus category. However, Volley Ball primarily consists of sprinting 2-5 yards to return the serve, and a lot of explosive jumping. Volley Ball's primary skills fall into the ATP / max effort : 30 seconds to 3 minutes category.

The fit they were testing for had very little to do with what they needed to be fit for.

To help avoid these type of pit falls...

The Budo Blog will return with "Compared to who - Part 2 How?"

Until then - train hard, train smart, be safe.