Monday, December 11, 2017
Friday, November 17, 2017
Seems simple enough.
We often hear BJJ guys contemplate if their deep half will work "in da streetz" or how effective their guard game will be once strikes are introduced. Its not often though that most people (current company excluded!) get the gloves out and get at it. Sometimes the step between pure grappling and dropping bombs on a dude is just too big of a gulf.
This is but one more expression of the core art that is Jiu Jitsu. I often have discussions about what people prefer. Wether thats GI or No GI, points, sub-only, MMA, wrestling, playing guard vs passing, and so on. Personally I love it all, and I like to be well rounded and able to thrive in any rule set. At least that's the long term goal. My rules, your rules, his rules, or no rules at all I'm down! I want to be free to experiment, to be curious, to adapt, and to feel out those core principles that tie it all together.
Friday, November 10, 2017
As a good general rule, if its in the fundamentals curriculum trust the technique and try to get all the details correct over a period of time. Like a long period of time. Like years.
Friday, October 6, 2017
I believe reality is more random than most people are willing to get comfortable with. Its a core tenant in my personal philosophy of life. Bad shit happens to good people, and the inverse is also true. There's no rhyme or reason for it, and there doesn't have to be.
The human animal is a pattern recognition machine. Its a survival instinct and it serves us well. If the brush starts moving and we hear a growl its a good idea to wonder why, not just to say well shit happens as a lion sneaks up on us. If clouds form overhead we should recognize rain is likely. Finding reasons for things correctly and navigating through the chaos is how we steer ourselves through life and survive.
But this positive impulse can lead us astray as we search for meaning where there is none and grasp at incorrect conclusions just so we can have an answer.
Time and again we see the safety theater in our society. We put up more metal detectors, hire more screeners, place more cameras, and over and over we respond with more and more reactions to the last event. Always behind the curve, always just trying to make people feel better or look like we did something, anything, even if its senseless. It's an act and its useless at best.
There are things we can do, within reason, real reason. Things that can extend our quantity and quality of life. We can not text and drive, we can lose fat, live an active healthy lifestyle, sleep enough (my big deficit), we can learn to better manage and control stress. Of interest to the readers here we can study firearms, learn to use and own them safely, we can train in fighting arts, we can get first aid and medical training. These things make us safer and more capable for those items that we can respond to, but to be clear, not everything is in our control.
I caution against the notion that I can ever prepare, or even that I want to prepare, for everything. I'd like to spend my time living my life, loving my friends and family, and making sure I am enjoying the process. If someone decides to drive a bomb into my building, starts to fire from an elevated position into the crowd I'm in, or just falls asleep at the wheel of a semi truck while I'm driving there is very little I can do about it. Carrying a tool for self defense, keeping some medical gear like a tourniquet in my pocket, maybe an emergency bag nearby, and spending a little time training seems reasonable to me.
I'm not paranoid, I'm not scared, I'm just a little prepared as I embrace the chaos that is this short ride we get in the universe.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Its 5AM and my alarm is going off. I don't feel particularly inspired. I don't feel motivated. In fact I feel sore as fuck from last nights training. If I "listened to my body" I'd lay back down. If I listen to my mind I'd take a rest day. It would be reasonable, rational. It's hard to get out of bed. That little voice in my head is pretty loud right now with YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS. Its true, I don't have to. YOU NEED MORE SLEEP, yeah that's prob true too. I've splashed some cold water on my face, brushed my teeth, and grabbed the tea and honey I prepared last night from the fridge. I've gripped the hand rail and slowly gotten down the stairs. I look at my phone and its 5:07. I wasted too much time fighting this I think, I can get down here faster, I can get out of bed faster, I look at the squat rack and it's time to start warming up.
― Steven Pressfield,
Friday, June 9, 2017
In this post we are going to focus on agility, specifically making hard turns at speed in tight spaces. AMIS grads will be familiar with the need to be able to take corners hard, change directions without losing speed, and keeping our footing. In Part 1 while the movements did include turns the space to do so was large and the focus was more on absolute speed with large areas to accelerate into.
Here in Part 2 we will be focused on clean cornering, restricting the room to move within, and acceleration in short bursts. The set ups are built to focus on this.
Our first set up.
The small white barrel to the left is Position A, and the end of the row to the right is Position B. The white fault line on the ground represents the limit of the shooters movement (over penetration). The steel target is slightly inboard from Pos B, such that you cannot see it immediately when taking the corner and it does not become visible until you are 3/4 of the way down the line of travel.
Friday, June 2, 2017
These are presented devoid of context, do not read into them as situational training. They are for the express purpose of isolating specific key attributes. The marksmanship required is not a high standard, do not try to make them harder just for the sake of making things harder, we want the focus to be on the skills as presented. If you need to fix your accuracy issues go shoot bulls, seriously.
This set up allows the most variety of use and me and the crew work this heavily.
Position A is the white barrel furthest up range, near the camera from this picture. Position B is the white barrel to the left, and C is to the right.
A is 20 yards directly in front of a steel target , B and C are 11 yards to the front of the barrels from the target measured on the diagonal. B/C steel at 12 yards (rough shooters position behind barrel to target) is aprox to A zone USPSA hits at 7 yards if I recall my math correctly. If you need to change the distances due to range limitation or targets available keep in mind the focus of the exercise. There needs to be enough distance between positions for you to get into a full on run, and the target should be such that you can hit it at speed but not sloppy (from the near barrels think A zone at 7 yards).
If you do not have barrels to use a target stand with cardboard targets attached to the outside left and right and one low in the middle for stability will work just fine. I really prefer to use steel B/C size targets for this or large pepper poppers. Immediate feedback and less time to reset lets me get my reps in efficiently. If your going to use paper I suggest using a negative target by cutting out the A zone of a USPSA target and reducing the range to a level that is appropriate to your skill level. If you need to stop dead in position and take careful aim to make your hits your not going to be working on the attributes we are focusing on here. If you cannot yet make the hits at all without either dramatically reducing range or stopping completely to take your time to shoot then the fundamental marksmanship issues need addressed first. We cant race before we can drive. this set up works exceptionally well with .22 conversion kits as we are not placing multiple hits on target and the focus is on the vision and movement.
Starting at Position A, hands relaxed at sides, on start signal draw and hit target once from each station in order A-B-C-A , ending where you started.
You must hit from each position before you can hit from the next one. The only metric we care about here is total time.
What I am looking for is muzzle and gun orientation appropriate to direction of travel, ability to dig down and gain traction to accelerate with maximum effect, and ability to switch visual focus as needed and index as we move into position.
Notice specifically as I move from B to C how I am looking first at the spot I will stop on the ground, then my head finds the target, I am looking THROUGH the barricade as I enter position and drive the gun. The up and down range movements allow me to practice both muzzle front and rear techniques, this is not just an artifact of a "180 rule", I do want to practice from both positions. AMIS students will note that the up range movement mimics bypassing the "don't shoot yet" and looking back while the forward movement will resemble the chase exercise that leads to port and bypass.
Starting in Position C on start signal draw and hit once from stations C-B-C-B
This is the same focus as 1-1 but here we have made shorter lateral movement and we we get both left to right and right to left practice. As we have removed up and down range movement and only have the shorter range shots I expect extreme focus on absolute speed and agility. You should be panting for air after you run it a few time in a row.
Starting at location B on start signal we will draw and hit from the left side of the barricade , then middle, then right.
These movements should be less than 2 full strides but more than 1, the shooter should have limited space to move back so that he cannot keep the gun at extension. I want the gun to have to move in and out on the horizontal plane into each space. This gives us good visual practice of losing sight of and then regaining visual on the target as we drive the gun from a compressed position. I am hyper focused on the gun firing as soon as possible as it is presented and staying high through the movement.
Starting at location B center on start signal draw and hit from center, then left, then right.
This is not just a variation on 1-3, the one movement to the left is identical, but the key movement is from the left to the right. This is a short movement but long enough that the shooter can break off the gun turn the hips in the direction of travel and accelerate violently only to stop again while picking up the target. I'm looking to see the hips turn aggressively to the right then re-square as we present and the head to be up and looking for the target before the barricade is passed.
That's a good start!
I will continue with more exercises to address other aspects of the shooting problems presented in further posts.
The exercises I am outlining are not ground breaking or new, they are just specially tailored to the specific demands of the environment. The core of practical shooting, Diligentia Vis Celeritas, keeps a strong focus on the base attributes so we have a strong delivery system in place when we need to apply them in context. For a great guide to this type of practice specifically tailored to practical shooting and dry fire I highly suggest Ben Stoeger's books.
Part 2, click here
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
There are plenty of accessories, just like with lifting. Maybe my main lift is the dead lift and after that I do some Romanian variations, rack pulls, reverse's , whatever. Sure , that's cool, that helps, it gives me volume and variety, but if all I do is the accessory work and never hit my main lift, never perfect that form, never push it? I've heard it said not to "major in the minors".
I've been pulled that same way shooting too. There's a challenging test or drill and I would shoot it over and over and over until I could rock some real impressive score, and sure it helped my shooting some and got me some trigger time, but the kick ass score on that one drill wouldn't translate to every expression of the foundation. Shooting one classifier until I can shoot it at Master level doesn't turn in a Master level match performance.
And so it is with "this thing of ours" , there is no good enough. There is no if your a B class uspsa shooter, a blue belt in bjj, and can squat your body weight for reps you automagically can use those skills or better yet combine them under duress in a chaotic and ambiguous real time event.
But here's the crux of the thing. If we want to be able to be multidisciplinary, we do need to have multiple disciplines we can base off of first! You cannot work application with no delivery system, and the foundation must be strong, stronger than whats needed in application I believe, as base skills will degrade under ever increasing layers of complexity.
So how much is good enough? I don't think that matters. Good enough for what? We cant predict precisely what our needs might be. We might be able to make some generalizations of risk profile based on profession and environment, but beyond that, esp for the armed citizen, sometimes just being aware and willing are enough, and sometimes the boogeyman comes knocking.
I stay hungry, I'm always pushing for more. Why? Its not cause I'm concerned about the boogeyman, it's not because I don't feel I'm "good enough" or any other sort of insecurity and fear. No. I keep at it because I keep getting better. Because this puzzle is deep and fights you back. Because I'm a better person for it. And because the better I get at understanding the paradigm the more able I am to help you down that path and be a part of good people taking self ownership, finding confidence, and overcoming adversity.
If you want to walk that path you know where to find me.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Something is better than nothing. I have friends who never got past just getting started, who ask about how I train so damn much. I wish they would just show up two days a week. Over a year or so that's better than nothing, and its better than the inconsistent three days this week , no days the next and so on. When I started two or three days a week kicked my ass! I couldn't get out of my car when I got home, everything hurt every day. Over time it got easier and easier to do more. But it started with just something, with just two days. I imagine if I was convinced it had to be all or nothing I would have gotten nothing, never gotten started, and never had the opportunity to enjoy training like I do now. This is where it starts, taking that first step, doing as much as I can, and giving it a chance.
Tuesday: Drill before open mat (light) , open mat (med to high), Fundamentals class (light)
Wednesday: Open mat (high) drill an hour before I teach (light) , after my class try to get a couple rounds in if I can with whatever I left in the tank sometimes mma rounds rolling with little gloves (high)
Thursday: Shooting day (rest)
Friday : Advanced Gi class (high)
Saturday: Early morning with the killers open mat(HIGH), drill (light), then teach
Sunday: Back at it with open mat early (High), or lately if I’m shooting Sunday I try to also schedule some drilling at home (light)
www.iacombatives.com , Cecil Burch
https://pointdriventraining.com , Larry Lindenman
https://sharpdefense.blog , Paul Sharp
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Last Wednesday nights class was focused on using a small knife to keep an attacker off of you. As with most of the curriculum its mainly sourced from my mentor Craig Douglas aka southnarc , and its tough, demanding physically, and ultra-violent.