Hock Hochheim teaches hand, stick, knife and gun combat to military, police and savvy citizens in 11 allied countries each year. He's the author of more than 100 films on self-defense and more than 12 fiction and non-fiction books, 5 of which are on how to protect yourself. His products sell in more than 40 countries.
Just a short history about the evolution of courses I teach concerning the stick/baton//impact weapon. I started out with the police baton “back in the day” the early 1970s, when there was almost a “no-holds-barred” with wooden stick, police use (especially in the military police.) The police baton was used to hit, block, shove and capture/grapple with. I was certified in the old 1960s -1970s, Los Angeles Police and Los Angeles County baton courses and much of this material was excellent. In the 1980s I became involved with Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) , as I, like so many others, was on the hunt for any and all martial arts.
The FMA stick, which was supposed to replace the FMA machete/sword for training is 3/5ths of a comprehensive FMA course, the 5 being-
(2) single stick,
(3) double stick,
Note – FMAs will always have an assortment of other trick weapons to fool with, powders, whips, etc, but they are of “minor league” interests,
The “stick” appears in three of those 5 FMA subjects above.
* Single Stick
* Double stick
* Espada y Daga (stick and knife)
The single stick category seems to get all the shine, attraction and interest, which to me (and Ernesto Presas teachings) is an imbalance of FMA study. Next the puzzling and fun, addiction of double sticks, and then last, the often ignored Espada y Daga or stick-and-knife.
But I always knew from a practical, reality standpoint, a self defense survival standpoint, I would not be single-stick or double-stick dueling with criminals in an alleyway somewhere. As I like to remind people, how likely is it that you will be in a stick fight with your 28” stick, fighting another cat, coincidentally holding another 28” stick, down on the corner of 8th Ave and 4th Street? Statistically unlikely to none. Why do this then? Mostly fun/ Mostly hobby.
So, through time I had to pigeon-hole, classify “the stick” as in hobby, as well as workable, common sense arenas. The progression was as follows –
In the 1980s and early 1990s while doing karate, jujitsu and Jeet Kune Do, etc, I also worked on and taught just FMA materials like “stick” material, like a hobby, for fun, with abstract benefits. I went to several FMA “colleges” and have a 2nd degree black belt directly from Remy Presas, and a 3rd degree black directly from Ernesto Presas. Around 1995, a bit frustrated with this FMA stick-versus-stick duel only and complicated double stick drills, (cops would often leave the classes and seminars when the rattan sticks came out) I decided to develop something not so FMA-ish.
I started up a course called S.D.M.S. – Single and Double Manos (Handed) Stick. I used the word “Manos” as a culture bridge for hand, but dropped all esoterics and lowered the emphasis on the least-likely-to-happen, stick duel. So, for a number of years, I taught S.D.M.S. along with, here-and-there FMA. I also knew that two-hands on a stick, (dos manos), was big in old school policing, and was horribly ignored in FMA. Still, a little bit of impact-weapon versus impact weapon was exercised because in real life, ax handles, ball bats, crowbars, tire irons, etc are used in crime and war.
By the 1990s, my real goals were manifesting, my real interest and pursuit of all these other systems was just about “mixed-weapon, self-defense, survival, combatives” – all these overused terms, but you know what I mean. I had to be “hand, stick, knife, gun” comprehensive. That is what crime and war is about in a closer quarters range. (we will NOT be covering surface-to-air missile trajectories!)
Tim Llacuna and me with padded sticks.
I was challenged with – how do I collect this, disperse the information, in the best, smartest way? I fly no flag, so to speak. No established system name that garners automatic recognition and students, which is a terrible deficit in the martial “arts.” For business examples, look at the automatic, purchased appeal of “Krav Maga,” or “Tae Kwon Do,” (or Walmart and Domino’s Pizza). But the process starts with a clever name, and I first wanted it to be “When Necessary? Force Necessary!” But it was too long a title, and a bit clunky, not too sexy, and it quickly de-evolved from 4 words to 2 words, down to “Force Necessary.” Using only that force necessary to win and/or survive.
It then made sense to make 4 courses, Force Necessary: Hand, Force Necessary: Stick, Force Necessary: Knife, Force Necessary: Gun.And, it must have within them the “hand, stick, knife, gun “versus matrix,” so the Force Necessary: Stick course must contain –
Matrix Mix 1 – Impact weapon versus hand.
Matrix Mix 2 – Impact weapon versus stick (just a realistic bit, and there are smart times in training, when both partners hold sticks, not to develop stick dueling but rather to develop and speed up certain skills.)
Matrix Mix 3 – Impact weapon versus knife.
Matrix Mix 4 – Impact weapon versus gun threats.
Matrix Mix 5 – Impact weapon while standing, seated, kneeling and on the ground, stress draws, blocking, striking and grappling.
This is how the Force Necessary: Stick course and title was constructed. Police no longer leave the class or seminar anymore. Actually they seek it out, in as much as batons and expandables are used today. Police batons are not popular with many agencies fearing public perceptions.
And in the context of the Pacific Archipelago Concepts/FMA course, I still do FMA stick stuff when asked, when planned and when I spot a high interest clue (one interest-clue – when a preponderance of attendees show up with Filipino stick bags. THAT’s a clue! ) We do them for fun, exercise, culture, history, hobby and abstract benefits. I also use a very combatives progression, a “fight-first, systems-second” mentality I picked up from Ernesto Presas.
The martial arts and systems I have worked in are to me, like colleges I attended. My beginning interests and end-goal, obsession always was and is the seamless transition of hand, stick, knife, gun.
I really enjoy the numerous youtube videos of people being attacked and the victim unleashes a smart boxing combination and the badman drops like rock. The smart integration of boxing, kickboxing, Thai combinations are worthy studies in self defense combatives, not the whole systems remember, mind you, just what’s smart. Just what applies. (Untrained people – mostly everyone – respond differently than trained people, but we can’t go off on that whole topic here.)
“There is no second round in the street,”might be an old and corny expression for some, but some folks need to hear it once, or once in a while, to get them back on track for what they want, and what they are forced to do in classes and programs.
Attrition is defined as – “the action or process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure.” It’s a word used in military battles and war, and here in sport fighting “physical attrition” is a strategy.
In sports, it is indeed the coaches job to map out a strategy to your first or next fight, give you a game plan. You know that in amateur and pro fights, where a history and film exists on your next opponent, these histories are studied and strategies evolve. A properly prepped, fighter, MMA, BJJ, UFC or otherwise needs to walk in with a strategy, a plan. And in this process, the plan is made and you might hear from your coach, “Do this, then do this and this, and the fourth round is yours.” “You…make your move,” Kind of talk. Or ideas about tiring him out in among the battle plan. “First round? Check him out, probe. Probe with the jab. See how he reacts. Second round do ‘this or that’ with the discoveries from your probing. Third round is yours, as you will…”
Coaches say – tire him, move around, also deliver body shots too and kicks too in kickboxing, to weaken and confuse the opponent in round one and round two for the theoretical victory in Round 3.
In one example of body shots, there were numerous successful (and unsuccessful) boxers who spent rounds pounding the upper arms of their opponents so that eventually their guard, through multiple rounds, would eventually drop, their beaten arms down for their eventual, head shots, so that the… ” ______ (fill in the blank) round is yours.”
I think it would be odd for a coach to simply say, “knock him cold with a head shot in the first two seconds. That is all. Now go jog and hit that bag.” Fighters do indeed knock people out quickly, but aren’t they always handed an overall, planning, staging, strategy, etc.? Despite the delaying plans, bingo!
For many fighters, this plan is laid out in the first meeting for training for a specific fight. This fighter then and quite possibly gets this message buried in his head for months, “Third round is mine. Third Round is mine.” Even in the first round, he is fixated on the third round, deep in his head.
This type off delay-progression, advice was advice I had been given for decades by various boxing, kick boxing, and even Thai boxing coaches.
The transition of these delay ideas and advice can get blended over and into, for lack of a better term, “self-defense-street-fighting” courses. Training by short-sighted, self defense course trainers and coaches can, have and will get these borders confused. I was told these off-mission tips at times in several self defense courses that included boxing, kickboxing and Thai methods. For examples:
I was in a very, popular, modern, street-fighting system back in the 1980s, in a course considered a pioneer program back then, that emphasized, “the probing jab.” In fact, the association newsletter was called “The Probe.” The head guy would often take months of money from certain “monied” people and make them study the jab only…for four to six months. The…probe. Yes, jabs only for many months? Imagine that. Then you graduated to the cross punch – for who knows how long – $$$$? People did not stay with him for that long when he tried that approach. Yet, he did many other things too, effective things too, but some of his people got caught in this “jab scam.” Once again that odd mix of overdoing some boxing strategies in with some survival strategies.
The military police academy boxing coaches, assigned to create a fighting spirit with a boxing program, taught off-mission, sport boxing concepts and strategies that weren’t the smartest things for street survival. I am convinced these instructors did not understand what I am saying here. Despite the generic “toughness” mission, they were immersed in boxing, taught boxing only, with boxing strategies. Wrong place. Wrong time.
Martial arts can get easily confused, innocently blending sport strategies with self defense themes, and vice-versa as self defense courses can get sporty-artsy.
The “who, what, when, where, how and why” questions arises again.. Briefly, as these questions run deep…
Who am I, who is teaching and who am I really going to be fighting?
What do I need to learn? What are they teaching here? What do I really want? What are my real goals? What are they turning me into? What am I wearing? What happens when I am not fighting a mirror-image of myself and regular thug?
When will I use this? When is this legal?
Where am I going with this course? Where will I use this training?
How will it work?
Why I am doing this in the first place? Why are they telling me and making me do these things?
I called these off-mission, missteps – “sport cancers” to be on the lookout for in all transitions from sports to the non-sports world. This is actually quite hard to dissect, especially buried within small steps. Even after 40 years I STILL spot things that I, or we, should not be doing. Enlightened coaches look for these, but I must tell you I don’t find many such enlightened coaches. Many are so immersed in what they do systemically, via their mindset, via hero or system worship or franchise dues, they will not or can’t detect the discrepancies and will not or cannot rebel against them.
“There was no second or third round in the street fight,”…to use a corny phrase. These street fights/arrests I was in and ones I had to break up and later investigate had little time for the experimental probing jabs, trick footwork or secondary blows to wear an opponent down through time, and other “second-third-or-more round,” ring sport, strategies.”
Upon self-examination, be happy with what you do and know why and what you are doing. I want you to be happy in your pursuits.
Physical attrition. We don’t have time for physical attrition. I hate to use the over simplistic term “street fight” because real encounters occur inside and outside of homes and businesses in rural, suburban and urban locations. But these so-called “street fights” were almost always hard, fast, crazy and over quickly. You were bum-rushed, or wild-man-tackled and, or sucker-punched, hit with chairs and lamps, etc…I was attacked once by a man with a big ax. No time for several probing, experimental sport jabs versus the swinging ax man.
As the policing systems in the USA and around the world seem to be under a microscope in 2020, I am not sure that complainers know that so many of the reform policies they demand have been underway for years, decades even. Outsider citizens would be ignorant of these inner workings. One long term reform topic is the systemic, racial diversity programs and laws in the USA (and around the world).
For example, the mission of Affirmative Action, and this certainly includes policing, has been around for 5 decades. In the 1970s I tried to get hired by several police agencies in Texas. Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and surrounding cities and was told that the recruiting efforts were geared for minorities. One Houston PD black recruiting officer confessed to me that my break would have to come way later, as their mission was to hire black officers. Even after my stint in the military police, some cities would not take me for the same AA reasons.
My retired, cop friend Arlie Everett for one, had the same problem back then, but did eventually get hired in San Antonio, but the academy was postponed for quite a while until they achieved a 51% black attendance, as was their on-going rule. As my friends exited the army military police, this was a common new-job, police, problem.
Now, some might call that reverse discrimination, and that I was a victim of that. But for some, there is no such thing as “reverse discrimination.” But you know, I persevered, and I am not bitter about the delays. It was just a fact of life back then and now too. Just life. I and many others know this was and is still also true and not just in policing but in many other businesses and in colleges and college scholarships, etc. Through the years and police contacts I’ve heard this same story from officers all over the USA, Canada, England and Europe.
My British friend David Robert Giles reported, “I was turned down by the UK Police 3 times because the emphasis was on women & ethnic minorities. Broke my heart at the time.”
There have been major priorities to hire Blacks first, then Asians and Hispanics. There was also a huge movement for women of any color going on, but hiring minority women counted as a “two” or the nickname “two-fer,” in hiring quota stats. I am not sure these newby, mostly young, citizen reformers know anything about this 50 year history –
***** “Police departments have experienced some of the most aggressive affirmative action programs ever implemented in the United States (McCrary, 2007; Miller and Segal, 2012). Beginning in the late 1960s with a number of employment discrimination lawsuits, federal courts began mandating affirmative action plans with the intended effect of increasing the shares of nonwhite and female police officers. Court-imposed affirmative action plans often take the form of hiring quotas, but also may affect standards for promotion. Some police departments are still under affirmative action plans today , often from court-imposed plans going back to the 1970s. The justification.” – Estimating Effects of Affirmative Action in Policing: A Replication and Extension, by Maryah Garner, Anna Harvey, Hunter Johnson NYU Scholars
***** “America’s police departments have become increasingly diverse since the late 1980s.” – Bureau of Justice Statistics.
***** “Many businesses have invested hundreds of millions of dollars on diversity initiatives each year. “ Harvard Business Review
And probably now, more than ever, police agencies are trying ever more to dodge that perceived “whitey reputation” and seriously pushing all kinds of minority hires. Biased or ignorant outsiders have no idea how important this movement has been and is, within federal, state, county and city police agencies (and big business).
I still think that Affirmative Action needs to stay around a little while longer, despite my being “bumped aside” in various endeavors. In the big picture, like I said, I am okay with that. It is and has long been, a “norm” white people know and kind of groan about, but we just live with. And, this is complicated issue, to be looked at on a job-by-job” category investigation especially in policing (see more stats below).
Asians? Hispanics? It seems the young adult, screaming public that wants so to segregate us and race-bait us, doesn’t care about Asians that much? Asians are officially diminished by them, discriminated into the “white adjacent” category. Yes, that is their chosen political correct discrimination for Asians. “White Adjacent.” Like…like co-conspirators. I still haven’t figured out how the radical regime feel about Hispanics yet, other than “open borders” and “no deportations.” I have read some hate-speech from them that Hispanics are also belittled with the nickname “white adjacent,” and “white or light-skinned” and “Hispanic Adjacent,” or “Latin Adjacent.” Here’s a winner I read on social media the other day,
“white women of color,” – this probably from a woman who wants everyone unisex, yet spins the color wheel like a roulette wheel.
(I do think Dr Martin Luther King would absolutely turn over in his grave to hear all this skin color crap.) I don’t know how involved in this “socialist revolution,” Hispanics and Asians are with this destructive, anti-capitalist, anarchy stuff. Seems like they or their very recent relatives escaped from all that to come to North America. And now here it all is again.
I know, trained and trained with, and have worked with and for, for many years, numerous blacks officers and agents already in place, trust them, and African-American personnel growth in police would help shut racial, perception problems down when human mistakes and messes happen. And mistakes will be made. Forever. It is the human condition. (In Texas in the past few years, there have been a few black officers shoot black and white people – a few unarmed ones! -…crickets in the news. The arrested cops in the George Floyd death were Black, Asian and white. Humans are humans and all humans screw up.)
I do expect the police of all races to at least try do their jobs, but when they are forced to work under delirious liberal politicians like the mayor of Seattle for example, who called the recent CHOP/CHAZ fiasco just a “patriotic block party,” life for the police can be really tough. I would like to take a moment to support Seattle police chief Carmen Best. If you are religious, please say a prayer for her. I have been watching her and she has been wrung through a wringer of liberal idiots, walking a tightrope as she tries to save her city. Defunding her agency she says-
“…cutting the budget by 50 percent would be “catastrophic for public safety” in general. And, Seattle Chief of Police Carmen Best warned activist groups and council members alike that the department’s “newest, most broadly diverse officers on patrol” would be the first employees they are “forced to terminate” under the proposed budget cuts. Best wrote a letter to Mayor Jenny Durkan Friday cautioning that at least 50 percent of BIPOC (minority) officers would be the first people fired, as these newer officers are in patrol and labor laws have a say who is let go. She’s trying, but…(here’s the story) https://www.newsweek.com/seattle-police-say-most-non-white-officers-will-fired-if-city-cuts-budget-1517188
And in the photo spread above , I just love our new Dallas Chief Renee Hall. She put up with one night of rioting and looting and hit the streets the next night. Hundreds have been arrested. (She recently “told off” liberal reporters in a press conference and on another day repelled off a 15 story building, just cause she could.) And a special shout-out to Chicago police superintendent/chief David Brown (formally, once our popular Dallas PD Chief down here in Texas.)
To play the “race Numbers Game,” critics and social experts have to prepare some sort of standard or reference and usually that is a race-per-capita chart. If 10% of the population is Hindu, then 10% of the police force MUST be Hindu. At a shallow level this seems fine, but if you have a fantastic and successful police department that is 100% Hindu, or 100% black, leave them alone. Why screw that up just to play this appearance-perception numbers game? Good, smart people are good, smart people. Remember that 88% of local police agencies in the United States are staffed with fewer than 100 officers. 88% percent. Most of the agencies with the biggest perceived racial problems are actually in the 1.2% category of departments, agencies with 250 or more officers. Even before all this recent, riot mess, only 40% of the New York City Police Department was white. 58% of the Atlanta Police Department is black. Chicago PD has 904 Latinos, 902 white officers and 443 African Americans. 47.7% of the local police agencies in the country have fewer than ten officers. Fewer than ten! What are their race populations? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 14.6% of the U.S. population is black. Or, they say “Black Alone” and not in combination with any other race is 13.4%. (https://blackdemographics.com/) And 12.5% is Hispanic.
Look at this in a more digestible “list formatting.”
88% of local police agencies in the United States are staffed with fewer than 100 officers.
47.7% of the local police agencies in the country have fewer than ten officers.
Most of the agencies with the biggest perceived racial problems are actually in the 1.2% – agencies with 250 or more officers. I think you will find all these agencies are run by the Democratic party, and for many, many years.
Only 40% of the New York City Police Department is white.
58% of the Atlanta Police Department is black.
Chicago PD has 904 Latinos, 902 white officers and 443 African Americans.
According to the recent U.S. Census Bureau, 12.3% of the U.S. population is black, and 12.5% is Hispanic.
Then inside this 14.6%, how many of the 14 or 15% Afro-Americans in the USA want to be cops? Very few people in general, of any race, want to become cops as. It is hard to recruit black officers to the high percentages the public demands or perceives. The numbers tell you this as well as my friends in recruiting and police academies through the decades. It is hard to hit quotas!
I was talking with a friend recently, in the command staff of an agency, regretting the retirement of their favorite police chief.
“I wonder who we’ll get next?” he said.
“Probably a black female.” I said.
The future of the police business for a while is in black police chiefs and certainly black, FEMALE police chiefs. If they are good, righteous, cop-hearted folks? I’m all in. Good, smart people are good, smart people. Chiefs (and Sheriffs) of all colors will be liked and disliked inside and outside their departments, because it is a TERRIBLE, often no-win, job. But we need them now. It may be a necessity for police, law and order, survival in these times of defund, disband and abolish.
Pew Research for one, has identified numerous opinions and surveys revealing bad opinions and troubles with police in general from small interpersonals to big problems. Some of these opinions are based on hearsay and media-driven-pounded perceptions. The elusive and sought after COPs program (Community Oriented Policing) also around since the 1980s and not at all new, recognized this and is really based on perception-handling. Advertising. The opinions, mixed with perceptions, mixed with realities are a problem. All the more reason to have a preponderance of good, smart, black officers. This is an over 50 year goal of major police agencies in the USA.
For the young and/or uneducated, great unwashed out there – this “new” police diversity you seek has been a systemic, police diversity mission for over 5 decades. But today is a new day. It is that time again to plead – so here goes the 53-year old sales pitch yet again. More smart black people need to become cops. And then they need to get promoted. Study! Test! Let’s get over this bad time now when police are used as pawns, in race-baiting politics, in riots, and a hoax and a trick to instigate white and black people toward Marxism and anarchy. Build not destroy. I still believe in the famous dream…
And a sad story addendum to this message…
Award Winning Atlanta Police Investigator Leaving Law Enforcement…...
“We’re one bullet away from death and one mistake away from an indictment’– Tyrone Dennis. An award wining Atlanta police detective is walking away from law enforcement. His reasons are similar to concerns that are reverberating throughout the industry. Detective Tyrone Dennis is calling it quits. He’s leaving the Atlanta Police Department due to the dramatic change in American perceptions and treatment of law enforcement. Sadly, “he’s the kind of officer people are clamoring for in these challenging times,” reporter Mark Winne said.
“Policing now is almost like rolling the dice with your life.” – Dennis spoke to the news organization and expressed sentiments that are being felt by cops throughout the country.
“We’re one bullet away from death and one mistake away from an indictment,” he said during an interview with WSB TV.
Nevertheless, he’s humbled by the lives he’s changed as an Atlanta cop.
“As a police officer, God put me in people’s lives for a reason,” Dennis said. Yet after 16 years, the police veteran is walking away since so much has changed in a combustible year.
“2020 has changed everything about policing; about my life,” he said.
Dennis is proud of his professional achievements, including being recognized, along with his partner, as the 2015 Investigators of the Year; the 2017 U.S. attorney’s Award for Community Service; the 2019 City Council proclamation; and APD’s Commendation Award for his creation of “Clippers and Cops,” which is an internationally recognized barbershop based bridge between police and the people they serve, WSB-TV reported.
Dennis said he isn’t going to judge either way the officer charged in the death of Rayshard Brooks last month, but “we are all demonized like we physically did it.” He also said that two of the officers recently charged in the tasing of two college students at a recent protest were his friends. “That could have been me,”he said. “It could’ve been anyone of us.” Dennis said he returned home after working during protests one night, and his daughter said, “Daddy, I don’t want you to be police no more.”
The veteran detective discussed the lack of value officers feel. “We are damned if we do, damned if we don’t.I pray for our city. I pray for my police department,” Dennis said. “I pray that we can work together. It takes everybody. … God guides my steps everyday.
Interim Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said he is sorry to see Dennis go. However, he claims recruiting in the city is going remarkably well considering all the strife that is occurring in our country.
“In Combatives, self defense and Krav Maga we should not spend exorbitant amounts of time hitting bags and mitts with big boxing gloves. It is ‘off-mission.’ We need to take things from boxing, but not with ‘big-boxing-gloves.’ When we fight crime and war we will be bare knuckle. Our bare hands and bare wrists will be unprepared. At very least train with MMA gloves.” – Hock
Any time this boxing glove topic comes up. I always wait for the comments on the open hand versus closed fist punching, etc. Closed fist punching and hammer-fists can occur on the torso, on the arms, on the neck on the lower jaw (because the jaw “gives” and the head can “give” on the neck. The danger zone is really, consistently the general, bicycle helmet area of the head/skull.
And heads drop when one detects an incoming blow. But, history is replete with successful bare-knuckle punching. Even my history (except for an uppercut once to a pointy jaw which led to a small hand surgery years later. Open hand strikes and elbow strikes are not without injuries also.) The sole point of this meme/photo being, when you train with big boxing gloves, you lose and miss a lot of important survival, experience, info and preparation. (Unless you are a boxer-boxer who boxes-boxes. Then the boxing gloves are very important.)
I know people with “cinder-block” hands. Let them hit tanks. I always think it is important for instructors, a system, to examine the hands of a practitioner and make an evaluation of “should they even punch? Should they be much of a puncher?” Rather than throw folks indiscriminately, small and fragile hands alike, into a crowd to punch away with everyone else, like I have seen in many martial arts. Most have no regard for the their student’s hands, and never looked at them, and never mention what might happen where you hit bones/people with them. Just punch, punch, punch away in the air or on soft things. Or, under the guise of self-defense, wrap and strap big gloves on them and let them for 5, 10, 15 minutes a class, let them mindlessly pepper away on a heavy bag, or…or have them hit focus mitts in endless, endless “show” patterns that don’t or won’t remotely match the actual responses of a real opponent. (People who teach kids can’t make these hand-fist assessments because their hands aren’t formed yet.)
You can work on punching impacts for survival short of having hand tumors and arthritis in your old age. Does punching hard things make your hands stronger? “Punching walls could theoretically improve hand strength by increasing bone density over time, but the chance of breaking your hands is extremely high. A better alternative would be to practice hitting the heavy bag bare knuckle, and increase the force over time.” – CombatMuseum.com
Hit smart things. I have come to appreciate these water bag options. To me, they have a “fleshy” feel. Different sizes available.
Boxing gloves are for boxing, but I also use them as a tool to hit-on/distract practitioners while they are doing chores like pulling weapons, be they standing or on the ground, etc. under stress. Specific things like that. They are handy to have around for specific assignments.
MMA gloves are fine. Especially for extended use (and their open fingers allow for grappling). Big-ass boxing gloves are perfect for big-ass boxing. Even “official” bare-knuckle fighters still wrap their wrists. Sometimes I see them run a layer over their knuckles too, but mostly their wrists.
But my mission, the mission of combatives, the mission of self defense and Krav is NOT to create competition boxers or MMA fighters or bare-knuckle competitors. Nor do I make wrestling-only champs. I am not making pro boxers or pro kick boxers, people who square off and exchange blows in multiple timed rounds. In our world, we also kick a few nuts, face maul and hair pull too and throw chairs.
There are seriously off-mission, misguiding doctrines/schools out there. Be what you are supposed to be and not what you are not. For example, I know a quite famous combatives guy, who spends a few hours covering boxing with big gloves in his combatives seminars. Attendees mindlessly do and accept. Not good. It’s only good if in his fliers, his ads for those seminars, he advertises-
“Self defense combatives AND a very special session on sport boxing.”
Okay then. Explained. Couple that with an intro reminder speech before the boxing session. Then he is on-mission. No mixed doctrines. Or say the lesson plan calls for “classic boxing applications for self defense moves” (in which case, take off those damn big gloves!) Back on mission.
I have attended a few Joe Lewis (the kickboxer) seminars and he has a great line, “Nothing replaces ring-time.” Which I repeat. Getting in there and kick boxing a bit (not just boxing alone) and I agree with this experience. We do that as part of every Force Necessary: Hand test, but again, I am not making pro kick boxers. I don’t expect to see an Olympic sports performance. (I suggest people fool around with MMA over just boxing alone and just BBJ alone. MMA is bigger and better and does both. Take tips from it.)
Worth saying twice, there are seriously off-mission, mindless, misguiding doctrines out there. Be what you are supposed to be and not what you are not. Who, what, where, when, how and why. It is a hand, stick, knife, gun world, inside and outside of buildings in rural, suburban and urban environments.
Popular Science wants to inform you on how to properly, bare-knuckle punch Click here
How to condition your knuckles: A guide to harden your fists for fighting. Click here
Since the 1980s I have been training police, rookies as well as “in service” officers in the “mechanics of arrest.” Not just in the USA but as far away as the UK, Europe and Australia. I’ve seen numerous things come and go, in and out, accepted and outlawed. And a big outlaw has been, the “choke.” I was asked this question the other day about…the “police choke.”
“Hock…I had the feeling when I initially saw the Atlanta situation that if the cop behind wasn’t afraid to use some type of choke/neck restraint…the guy might still be alive. Thoughts? I feel like they’re limiting police officers in a way that makes it more dangerous for certain people. If a cop is forced to pull and fire his weapon 10 times, it’s likely that 7-8 criminals will die. If that same cop chooses a blood choke 10 times (currently seemingly banned), it’s unlikely that any of the 10 would die. Again…thoughts?” – Joe Thoele, USA.
Well, yes, Joe. Chokes were a go-to move in my day, when times got tough. But, I have only completely choked out maybe…maybe 10, 12 maybe, 15 people in 26 years and hundreds of arrests. The restraint, capture alone worked many more times, especially when help arrived. The classic rear choke with leg wrapping “grapevines” is worth a million bucks to me. Only one of those times did I do a choke in a lethal force, self defense situation, when a guy was grabbing for my pistol. We were fighting on top of furniture, horizontal, but not an official “ground fight.” He passed out from the choke after I tried to knock him out and just couldn’t knock him out. It was a blood choke. When they go spazzy and-or drop-out limp, let them go, (and by the way, that is one, “street” counter to a choke. Fake unconsciousness.) He, like the others, woke up in handcuffs.
You have, as I like to nickname them in courses. “Electricity, water and wind” attacks to the neck.
* Electricity: Strikes to the back and side of the neck to upset the “electricity” to the brain. No choking. * Water: blood chokes and strikes to the sides of the neck. * Wind: air chokes and strikes to the front of the neck (that might crush body parts.).
So far, forearms and hammer fists to the back of the neck are still taught in most police training. Striking the sides and certainly the front of neck are now officially problematic and for most agencies, a “no-go.” This might crush the windpipe or loosen and free up vein plague and send it in the blood vessels to the brain. (This has rarely happened, but rare is enough in paranoid, police work). But police chokes, not police strikes are today’s topic!
We can get kind of sloppy taking about the word “choke.” It means different things to different people. Let’s look at some official definitions…
*Chokehold: a tight grip around a person’s neck, used to restrain them by restricting their breathing.
*Carotid restraint, an officer applies pressure to vascular veins to temporarily cut off blood flow to the brain, rendering the person unconscious. The carotid technique is different from a chokehold, in which pressure is put on the front of the neck and throat, cutting off air.
*Neck Restraint: “Non-deadly force option. Defined as compressing one or both sides of a person’s neck with an arm or leg, without applying direct pressure to the trachea or airway (front of the neck).” A blood choke. (In some places a forearm placed upon the lower neck, high chest, holding someone back, or pulling them back, or taking them down to the ground would be considered a neck restraint.)
*Positional asphyxia, also known as postural asphyxia, is a form of asphyxia which occurs when someone’s position prevents the person from breathing adequately.
Words, huh? Terms. I am reminded that in the old Army basic training, these were all called “strangles.” A few months later in the military police academy these same things were all called “chokes,” as strangles were too rough a term for policing. Now we see the word, “neck restraints” as chokes are too rough a term. But, I think many people just think of and call all of these events, simply, “chokes.” A sloppy, loose nickname for chokes can cause arguments. But fights/arrests can get sloppy, with all the wiggles, waggles, twist and turns of an arrest, wrestling match your neck restraints can accidentally slip into official chokes. You first meant to do a neck restraint/control, you were trying to, but with twist and a waggle, you’re on his windpipe, then you are filmed on the nightly news doing a wind choke. Then it’s…as we use to say, a “Dear Chief” letter, explaining why you air choked someone on TV or phone video on social media, against department policy. Nowadays, you might be fired within 24 hours.
People in martial training like to remind and complain about restrictions by saying that “chokes” are done “all the time in class” without problems. But, remember that martial students (that includes all systems, citizens, police, military) usually acquire the choke positions without truly crushing the neck. It’s practice on friends! Secondly, students in practice feel the capture, a little pressure and “tap-out” before they pass out. Actual, full unconsciousness is not achieved regularly in classes, certainly not anymore, unlike the crush of a real fight or an arrest. Even in UFC fights, the captured frequently tap-out when they know they are caught. (Since the 1970s while I have been knocked out in classes, but I have never once been fully choked out in any JKD, jujitsu or Shoot class or seminar. People around me have, usually accidentally, and they were quickly “slapped” awake.)
Positional asphyxia has also been a well-known in martial arts and in modern, trained police work, for I’ll say, 25 years now. I worked positional asphyxia cases as a detective and private investigator as early as the 1990s. It is surprising to me that police officers anywhere are not aware of these problems. I did a police presentation on chokes once on the growing limitations on police choking, and one officer shouted that his agency still allowed chokes and therefore my whole premise was wrong, as if the Podunk Police Department was the end-all to policing.
“We still choke!”
I quickly checked the web on the next break to find that his department was quite small and quite “country,” and was recently sued THREE times for choking people, one a school cop choked out a teenager. Each involved big, news scandals in the area, especially the teenager incident. Just wait, Podunk. But…so… I am sure there are pockets of the country and pockets of police officers untrained and unaware of the problems with asphyxia, chokes and restraints. Sad. Shocking to me. But so.
Allow me to add one more definition here. Excited delirium is “broadly defined as a state of agitation, excitability, paranoia, aggression, and apparent immunity to pain, often associated with stimulant use and certain psychiatric disorders. “These folks, once arrested have a tendency to die later, in custody. Officers are immediately questioned about what horrible thing did they do to cause the death? “Did you dare choke him? Did you crush him at any point? Are the questions usually asked of the arresting officers.They are usually cleared by the autopsies.
So, worth mentioning, drugs, alcohol, medical conditions, poor health, being overweight contribute to bad results combined with “choking,” Officer Brett Gould reminds us that, “The issue is not just the vascular restraint. The 14 percent of the population that fight the police, thus composing a high percent of the prison population coincidentally, also has the highest rate of alcoholism, substance abuse, high blood pressure and diabetes.“
This news doesn’t really help the “choke” cause for decision makers these days, but rather hurts it. Police admin, lawyers, politicians, insurance backers and media must think, “If that’s who the cops are fighting? Then it’s no wonder they die from chokes. We can’t have all that choking going on.” (I know how they think.) Look at this negative with tear gas –
“Military studies performed in the 1950s classified CS as nonlethal. But experts today say these studies had limitations in design and applicability and should be treated with some skepticism. “Tear gas is designed to disperse and irritate. But it was designed and first used in an era when it was assumed it would be used against healthy, working-age males,” says Dan Kaszeta, who studies protection against chemical and biological weapons and has spent some of his 30-year career in the U.S. Army’s Chemical Corps and the Secret Service. Lab studies have not revealed the effects tear gas can have on other demographics or people with preexisting conditions.
So you see, tear gas, like chokes, suddenly becomes a political “no-go.”
And still, “chokes” are not COMPLETELY taboo and illegal. What is still legally mandated, even in President Trump’s recent June, 2020, “no-choke” order, you will read that a choke, air or blood, can still be used in lethal, threat, self defense, as I did with the guy trying to get my gun. “Fear of life” kind of deal. All those other chokes I did that I mentioned above were not done in such dire fear, just arrest routine versus the resisting, and today’s modern admins would expect me to not choke out them and do something else, something which may be more time-consuming and even dangerous. But we’re cops, life is supposed to suck.
And with the optics, the lawsuits, the media, training officers to choke/restraint will disappear, even if legal in lethal force situations. They probably just won’t know how to choke anyone. No will will want to teach the subject. Oh, there probably will be rare, “certified” courses in “Last Resort Choking,” but who will get to go? And, maybe it can “secretly” be taught in official “Escaping Choke” classes? Because after all – to escape chokes you have to learn what chokes are and how the “bad guys” use them? (We have long tricked police admin with this bait-and-switch approach, trick.) I don’t know how it will all work out?
I have been paid to write reports and studies about chokes and restraints for admins through the years. And the end conclusion of chiefs, sheriffs, directors and command staffs is – “any squeezing (and striking) around the neck” sides and front, is already taboo, or rapidly becoming taboo. Media nightmare. It’s just too hot a topic. It’s a no-go. In the end, police agency insurance companies and lawyers really call the real shots. They are always paranoid and timid. They dictate and influence the politics and police leaders. Management fears being fired. Sued.
Decades ago, my agency and a new police chief instituted Community Oriented Policing. It was all based on public perceptions and therefore public relations. Whatever the public perceived is what we had to tackle. It didn’t matter what the real crime rate was, if the perception of crime was high we had to manufacture programs to ease their mind. It didn’t matter what the real safety was, if the perception of safety was low we had to manufacture programs to ease their mind. These same issues count too. Things like “police racism” and with…chokes. Its all about perception. Not reality, just perception. So often junked up by the thinking disorder minds of the media, the unscientific, the emotional and the immature. I am pessimistic now and have been, about perception and police “choking.”
This essay was about police. This has not been about the civilian world…yet. I don’t want to argue with anyone here about air, blood chokes and neck restraints. I will always teach them. Every martialist needs to know them and know how to escape them. I think they are very handy, but they will go away in official, police training and use. Make no mistake, if retired, 67-year-old, civilian me gets into a fight tomorrow that I can’t talk my way out of? Or get away? One thing I will seriously be looking to do is choke the bastard out. Especially if fallen on the ground. I’d like not to kill anybody and the choke is over when the resistance stops, like I was taught about 50 years ago in the first police academy I attended.
Martial Arts School Names, Death Cults and Bad Business. (Palace Intrigue Report # 386 or “How I shot myself in the foot with a bad name.”)
For 30 years now, and 24 of those under my own namesake, I’ve been in the business of teaching martial material and once in a while official martial arts – as people like to know and do the arts I have studied, and they ask me about them. I have spent, I think, disproportionate time in Chinese, Japanese and Filipino systems. Through a microscope, looking glass, I’ve spied on the connection of “businesses” and “hobbies” and “arts” and school names.
I am a traveling circus. I have stumbled upon the business-school names around the world that are…well…not wise or good. They might well have been passable in 1960s or 70s or maybe the 80s. Some schools and systems have been named after the worst historical things. Lord knows in the modern times of today, the tiptoeing around everyone and everything can multiply bad names and bad ideas into even worse problems and failures.
It always surprises me to see certain school and system names, and logos modeled after the worst choices. Like crazy death cults or negative things that just a moment of research would uncover. Things like…
Juramentado,in Philippine history, refers to a male Moro swordsman who attacked and killed targeted occupying and invading police and soldiers, expecting to be killed himself, the martyrdom undertaken as a form of jihad, considered a form of suicide attack. For generations warlike Moro tribes had successfully prevented Spain from fully controlling the areas around Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, developing a well-earned reputation as notorious seafaring raiders, adept naval tacticians, and ferocious warriors who frequently demonstrated extraordinary personal bravery in combat. While Moro forces could never match opponents’ firepower or armor, such bands used intelligence, audacity and mobility to raid strongly defended targets and quickly defeat more vulnerable ones. One extreme asymmetric warfare tactic was the Moro juramentado. A Moro might be said to have “gone juramentado” or be “running juramentado.” This is not a good name for school or system. Or, like the next one – Amok
Amok or Running Amok, sometimes referred to as simply amok or having gone amok, also spelled amuck or amuk, is the act of behaving disruptively or uncontrollably. The word derives from Southeast Asian Austronesian languages (especially Malaysian and Indonesian), traditionally meaning “an episode of sudden mass assault against people or objects usually by a single individual following a period of brooding that has traditionally been regarded as occurring especially in Malay culture but is now increasingly viewed as psycho-pathological behavior”. The syndrome of “Amok” is found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR). The phrase is often used in a less serious manner when describing something that is wildly out of control or causing a frenzy (e.g., a dog tearing up the living room furniture might be termed as “running amok”). This or something like it, is not a good name for school or system.
Beserkers. “In the Old Norse written corpus, berserkers were those who were said to have fought in a trance-like fury, a characteristic which later gave rise to the modern English word berserk (meaning “furiously violent or out of control”). Berserkers are attested to in numerous Old Norse sources. To “go berserk” was to “hamask”, which translates as “change form”, in this case, as with the sense “enter a state of wild fury.” For example, the band of men who go with Skallagrim in Egil’s Saga to see King Harald about his brother Thorolf’s murder are described as “the hardest of men, with a touch of the uncanny about a number of them … they [were] built and shaped more like trolls than human beings.”
I’ll ask of the berserks, you tasters of blood, Those intrepid heroes, how are they treated, Those who wade out into battle? Wolf-skinned they are called. In battle They bear bloody shields. Red with blood are their spears when they come to fight. They form a closed group. The prince in his wisdom puts trust in such men Who hack through enemy shields.
This name, or something like it, is not a good name for school or system.
The Boxers of the Boxer Rebellion “In 1900, in what became known as the Boxer Rebellion (or the Boxer Uprising), a Chinese secret organization called the Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fists led an uprising in northern China against the spread of Western and Japanese influence there. The rebels, referred to by Westerners as Boxers because they performed physical exercises they believed would make them able to withstand bullets, killed foreigners and Chinese Christians and destroyed foreign property. From June to August, the Boxers besieged the foreign district of Beijing (then called Peking).” – History.com
Kamikaze. [kamiꜜkaze]; “divine wind” or “spirit wind”), officially Tokubetsu Kōgekitai “Special Attack Unit”). I add this here because it is like a death cult, and I have actually seen it used as a course name years ago. It’s gone now in its own self-fulfilling, prophecy . In WW II, they were a part of the Japanese Special Attack Units of military aviators who initiated suicide attacks for the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, designed to destroy warships more effectively than possible with conventional air attacks. About 3,800 kamikaze pilots died during the war, and more than 7,000 naval personnel were killed by kamikaze attacks. Kamikaze aircraft were essentially pilot-guided explosive missiles, purpose-built or converted from conventional aircraft. Pilots would attempt to crash their aircraft into enemy ships in what was called a “body attack” (tai-atari) in planes loaded with a combination of explosives, bombs, and torpedoes. Accuracy was much higher than that of conventional attacks, and the payload and explosion larger; about 19% of kamikaze attacks were successful. A kamikaze could sustain damage that would disable a conventional attacker and still achieve its objective. The goal of crippling or destroying large numbers of Allied ships, particularly aircraft carriers, was considered by the Empire of Japan to be a just reason for sacrificing pilots and aircraft. This name, or something like it, is not a good name for school or system.
Forgive me for cutting and pasting and for not listing references. These are just a few collections of sources. If you are really interested in any of these topics you can search the internet and easily find articles and books on the subjects. I just did a quick “catch and release” for a fast tour, fast reading here. Do look it all up.
As for system and course names, I always imagine a worst case scenario where you are on the stand in a criminal trial against you and the prosecutor asks you what martial art course you study, and then for the jury, you have to name and define it.
“Well, it’s about going crazy and killing everyone, even yourself…”
You might chose to remain silent of course, but rest assured, the police, the prosecutors and the grand jury have heard all about your hobbies and associates. It’ll get into the trial, one way or another.
This names, or some names like them, are not good names for schools or systems.
The business, name-game is tricky, tricky, tricky. I am well aware it might even be harder in the martial business. I notice that many store fronts these days just say “martial arts.” Decades ago, it might have said only, “Karate.” Safe. Boring, but safe. To get past boring, sometimes you think you are representing coolness, counter-cultures, fads and ultimate macho-ism, but your business, club, and hobby names may get you on a government watch list.
Don’t pick a bad name. Don’t join a bad group. If you have? Change it. (I myself am inching away from the word “combatives.”) Change it. If not? You are shooting yourself in the foot, as they say, or you might start a new gun group called “Foot Shooters Anonymous.” You can use “anonymous” in the title because no one will know who you are or what you do. And, you’ll also have a limp.
I do try not to pontificate here on passing politics. I am nearing 70 and I have seen many outrages come and go. Worse times? 60s and 70s Race riots and Vietnam riots. These times take a back seat to then, however, the insanity seems to continue on. I have attended military riot training. Elements of which appear in my Force Necessary: Stick course. As a military and Texas cop, I was in two small riots and “held the line” in various demonstrations.
All kinds of people are stupid. They think stupid, ignorant, short-sighted, immature, emotional things and do stupid things. Which is another reason I sit back and let the throngs pontificate on the social and unsociable media. One fact remains that while there are some stupid cops, there are millions and millions of safe, successful interactions between police and people every year in the USA. And billions of interactions among regular people.
While we had a few incidents in nearby downtown Dallas, 20 minutes north of where I live, life rolls on as usual. While going for coffee this morning, I saw white and black bicyclists on expensive bikes wave and smile at each other as they do each day. If you don’t recognize these normal realities? And the successes from the 1960s? You’re stupid. Ignorant. And by the way, for the small minded? Geographically, if you look at a USA map, the riots are NOT occurring in about 99.999% of the physical country. Everyone else is tongue-wagging at rare stupid cop incidents and looters, and cussing in the air about cop-shooters and poor business owners beaten on the streets. Once again the media, like with Covid, scares the crap out of you like it is happening coast-to-coast. Makes you small-minded, and divides your brains into hapless idiots.
Trying to remain non-political, I would still like to relay a lesson I received in policing that might be to some benefit to the rookies out there, and maybe for a few folks with just one or two, hash marks on their sleeves (it took me this long) about the current mess. To start, for me, growing up in the New York City area we were in a very, lower-class, multi-cultured neighborhood, you might say. (Also, my dad fought Nazis in WW II right beside many “Negroes” as the title was back then, and was totally balanced. I get the idea they saved each other’s lives a few times, but my dad wasn’t much on details. I remember my step-grandfather used the “N” word only once in our house and it didn’t pan out well. Even for way back then. As for me, as a child, I knew Superman and Batman and the Lone Ranger weren’t prejudiced! Heroes are not prejudiced. Heroes solve problems. I never read the Bible, just comics.)
Anyway, New York City area cops were very neighborhood conscious, and normally quite friendly. Back then, there were almost two schools of policing, as I have written about many times, the east coast friendly, and the west coast “robotic” – with dark sunglasses and rehearsed lines. Meanwhile the “friendly cop” system was often accused of corruption possibilities, but the overall style, the concept of knowing people in your beat, your “community” never left my thoughts. East or west.
Being a patrolman, even an investigator in the Army, with giant, revolving populations, and world-changing assignments, getting to know “the local people,” the rotating “community” was difficult for both the police and the people.
“Hochheim, guess where you are going next month! Korea!” Or maybe…BumFuck, Egypt! (No one wants to go to the proverbial, Bumfuck, Egypt or otherwise.)
Later, as a patrolman in Texas, I subconsciously, perhaps haphazardly still tried to carry on that sort of New York City friendly approach to my job. Back then, there was no official police lesson about this friendly approach. Years later, I was accepted as a detective again, this time in Texas, not the Army. It is a different kind job. I like to say that a patrol officer worries more about the windows and outside walls of things – the streets – while a detective worries more about what goes on inside those windows and walls. The more intel you know and have, the better job you do.
The lesson. My old detective Sergeant, Howard Kelly made a passing remark one time, early on. A lesson. (Everyone on the planet has seen the TV show NCIS and I can best describe Howard Kelly as a “cowboy Jethro Gibbs,” in my life.)
(Me and Howard Kelly, an old newspaper photo, circa 1983)
Howard’s remark? “You’ll see these people again and again.” The people of your city. Good guys and bad guys, and he was remarking more about the bad guys. Do not mistreat them. Treat them fairly. Don’t hurt them unnecessarily. Because, you will indeed see them again and again. You might not like them – as I have arrested serial killers and rapists, and you still must do your job straight up. But say, more with your common everyday suspects like thieves, burglaries, forgers, simple assaulters, etc. This fairness, this connection, will absolutely breed confessions and intelligence information for years to come.
Stay with me now, as I am walking a fine line. There are weird exceptions to this rule of thumb of course, which are stories in my true crime books. I have numerous stories about thugs and burglars and so forth that I and detectives on my squad got to know really, really well. We saw them, over and over again. And we actually liked many of them. This can’t be faked by the way. People read the fake. But I like people in general, I find all kinds of people interesting, as did some of my best, most successful, detective friends.
Howard Kelly continued, “They get probation. They get short sentences. They get parole. We’ll see them over and over again. You will have to deal with them over and over again. Treat them fair. Treat them right. They won’t forget.” And we did. For decades. Two more rules of the Road? Problem-solving rule and viewing things on a case-by-case basis rule. Those are other stories.
As an aside to these police-people relationships and which I don’t want to get into great detail about chokes or anything about the neck/throat attacks or holds. They have virtually been banned in law enforcement for decades. I was of the prior, choke era. We choked a lot of people. In 26 years though, I have arrested hundreds of people but I have only choked out about 10 to maybe 15 or so people. (One time when horizontal atop some furniture, while a robber was trying to get my gun.) All the suspects quickly recovered, but the edict came down about chokes, and we all quit choking. Police still try to stick with and argue for “neck restraints,” however a simple wrestling wiggle-and-a-waggle and it easily slips into a taboo choke. (And as when with me about to lose my pistol, there are obvious, lethal force situations that are situationally legit for desperate officers to choke people.) Nowadays this breathing worry has evolved to positional asphyxia concerns – something every MMA person knows of. Compressed chest, etc. I cannot grasp how ANY police officer in the last fifteen years isn’t aware of these neck and chest breathing problems.
Okay, off that and back on “the lesson” track – In recent years, the grand, friendly, law enforcement experiment was Community Oriented Policing, (C.O.P.) a set of rules demanding and forcing friendship.
“There will be a mandatory picnic at 1400 hours, Thursday!”
How do all forced relationships work out? Ask a psychologist. People “read” the fake. Meanwhile, old timers said that C.O.P. was nothing more than old-timey policing. But C.O.P. can get misconstrued. I recall one year, there was more police work put into running the annual Easter Egg Hunt, than on a professional burglary team operating in my city. A few of us detectives had to set all night for about a week, unable to cover all the target businesses, but the egg hunt was splendid.
And thus we have George Floyd. I have not taken a deep dive in the George Floyd particulars. Why was he kept on the street/traffic side? This is never done. Cops themselves are always worried about being run-over. Why was he not cuffed and back-seated? Was there a white cop, a black cop, and an Asian cop there? What was his initial crime? Counterfeiting? It seems to be minor crime, but it’s hidden away in the follow-up, media outrages. Seems he was on an array of drugs, which screws up a lot things. He did resist. But, lots of people being arrested resist. We both get beat up a little. Life sucks. “Cop-life” sucks. “Thug-life” sucks, But, you don’t usually DIE. In a very odd, bizarre way? We’re both in this together. We’re both in this mess together. Playing out the parts. Running the dialogue lines. The good guys are supposed to win out.
Heroes are not prejudiced. Heroes solve problems. Be the hero. So, to you rookies out there, since Howard isn’t around to preach, don’t be stupid. You don’t treat people this way. You don’t man-handle them this way. Black, white or whatever. Like Howard said, “You will see them over and over again. Treat them right.”
But…we won’t be seeing George Floyd anymore, will we. Howard Kelly would not at all be pleased.
(Me and Howard, almost 35 years later, both retired.)
Hock’s email is HockHochheim@ForceNecessary.com
Coming very soon from Wolfpack Publishing, the ebook set in a fantastic sale. Get the paperback books here – True Crime
(For starters, police work was a little different 5 decades ago…)
Back in the 1970s I wanted to finish college, so I reluctantly requested a transfer into what was called the “relief patrol shift.” I say reluctantly because I enjoyed my time with my regular rotating patrol shift, led by a Lt. Gene Green and Sgt. Eric Jackson. While I really, really liked these guys, and liked working for them, college loomed. The relief shift had the same hours each week, was partially created for police college attendees, and was mathematically inserted inside the oddball eight-hour, rotating-shift openings.
But the relief-shift math wasn’t completely perfect. There were shifts and days each week that had no personnel gaps, and we of the relief outfit were just added to the manpower of rotating shifts. Week after week on certain nights, the regular rotating-shift Sergeant would look at us relief patrolmen and wonder what in hell to do with us.
We would often be assigned in the same cars as partners. Thus, for quite some time on Thursday nights, I was partnered with Sal, the barefoot policeman. Sal and I always had a blast every Thursday night on the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift. Sal was already a vet at the police department, and he was a hysterical fellow with a great sense of humor. He was a little bit buck-toothed and a real country boy. He was kind of shaped like John Wayne and would often wear his revolver like the Duke way back on his belt near his back pocket. He would casually rest his forearm or hand on his gun handle like Wayne did, which really stretched the leather holster through time. Eventually, it sort of flapped around back there when he walked.
Quickly, before we get to the barefoot angle of this tale, one of my favorite Sal stories, is when he and were patrolling one night. He spotted a U-haul, rental truck on the highway without rear tail lights. This was a pet peeve of his. He said,
“Pull that son-ma-bitch over.”
Michigan license plates. We hit the lights and did so. He stopped. We strolled up to the drivers door of the truck and Sal took his Duke pose, hand resting on that gun far back on his hip. This poor driver was a hippy looking sort for back then, long hair, beard and all. He was scared to death when he took a look at us, stopped in the dark, by us two rebel, redneck heatherns…
“Wha…whaa…is…is there a problem, officers?”
“I’ll say there’s a problem,” Sal barked, “problem is…you ain’t got SHIT fer lights!”
And this poor kid, you know probably use to professional police jargon – “Good evening sir, may I…” just stuttered, babbled and just melted away in shocking fear. And of course, we let the kid go with just a “be safe” warning. We are not savages!
They say that Sal started out a very gung-ho officer, but after being unfairly (his version) bumped off a sergeant’s exam list, his spirit was broken. Since then, he just wandered through his 40-hour workweek barely getting by and irritating supervisors and citizens alike. He left our agency for a while and worked in Colorado. But they fired him.
“They told us to leave the tourists alone,” he told me of his Aspen days. “Tourism was their bread an butter.” But, one night he beat up a drunk driver, tourist and was fired. We hired him back anyway. Cuz…well…this was Texas. Sal explained to me what happened his last night in Colorado. “I arrested a tourist for DWI. Drunk as a skunk. I had him at the jail house and that son-a-bitch kept reaching over and tearing up the DWI report I was writing! I’d get half finished with one of them, and he’d lean over, make a face and grab it and rip it up. Sheeet. I did it over. Rip. I did it again. Rip again. You can’t pull that shit back here in Texas!” Sal told me. “So I hit him. I mean, that’s what we’d do here. Hell, those Colorado pussies fired me.”
That was one tale rehashed on many a Thursday night as Sal and I patrolled. It was not uncommon for Sal to ride shotgun and let me drive. In fact, I cannot recall a time when Sal ever drove. Too much work I think. It was almost a weekly routine for him to buy a big over-sized bag of caramel-covered popcorn. He’d open the bag and start eating. Sometimes he’d eat Doritos, but usually it was the sticky brown popcorn. We would drive around; and if we had a break in calls, eventually Sal would remove his cowboy boots. One at a time to let his feet…breathe. Often, next off came his white socks. I don’t know why? Pick at his feet? He would commence to pick his toenails, preen, and massage his feet … and eat popcorn from the big bag. And, yes, absent-mindedly he would sometimes offer me some popcorn, which I would decline. Toe fungus, ya know? It spreads. He would sometimes produce silver nail clippers and with great intent carve away at his feet.
Meanwhile, I was still young and in my gung-ho stage and would aggressively patrol. Sal would curse at every call and gripe every time I dared initiate some action, especially once early in an evening shift. Just before sunset at rush hour, I spotted a car bust through a red light in a hurry. I accelerated after it, and Sal started in with his usual gripes,
“What? Whatcha’ doing, man?” he asked.
“They ran a red light. Big time. That Chevy almost hit him.”
“So what? Oh, come on!”
This was work, and he did not want to work. He wanted no part of it. I wanted to get into something. It wasn’t the ticket I was after, but rather “what kind of shit I could get into” (as the common phrase said). I might not write him a ticket at all. Just check things out.
I had to blast the siren to let the driver know I was serious, because he seemed to ignore me at first. In the front seat next to him was a woman and another male at the passenger-door back seat. When the car finally pulled into a business parking lot on Dallas Drive, I got out and approached the driver’s door. Sal, barefoot with his bag of popcorn on his lap, remained in the squad car.
I collected the driver’s license and returned to our squad car to run wants and warrants.
“What he say? Huh? What? What?” Sal was always over-curious and eagerly interested even though he took no action.
“Oh, nothing much,” I told him. I started running the guy’s name and DL on the NCIC. I sat in the driver’s seat with the door open and one foot on the ground.
“Sixty-one,” came the dispatcher.
“Go ahead,” I said.
“The subject is wanted in Dallas for burglary.”
“Damn!” muttered Sal. This meant work.
After getting some of the details from the dispatcher, I walked up to the car and asked the guy to get out and talk to me, which he did. I told him the bad news, and he started declaring that the system had made a big mistake, etcetera. I honestly cannot remember the guy’s name and what he said. It’s been about 45 years now. But what happened next? I couldn’t forget.
When the driver complained loudly about the arrest warrant, the passenger door flung open. And the other male passenger got out. Sal popped his patrol car door, as like it or not, he was a vet. The guy took a few steps toward me, and Sal got out, boot and sockless. Then the passenger turned and ran like hell across the business parking lots.
I itched to chase him, but what could I do about my burglary suspect? I couldn’t leave him here. Just as the instant the quandary hit me, here ran Sal right past us… barefoot … in hot pursuit of the passenger. He was after all…still…a vet.
“Goddamn! Ya-little-mother-fuckin’-stupid-shit-son-a-bitch, I will shoot yer ass down, ya.…” Sal emitted in one long, cussing stream.
Did I tell you that Sal loved to play golf? Total addict. Daily. And he really wasn’t in too bad a shape. He hotfooted, barefooted across the A-1 Cleaners, Dallas Pawn Shop, and the 7-11 parking lots after this kid. The lots were too full of customers for Sal to shoot at him, which I know he had a hankering to do at those chase times.
“That…that officer has no shoes,” the burglary suspect said calmly to me, as we watched him run by.
“The pay ain’t much around here,” I told him as I cuffed his hands.
Off in the distance, Sal had caught the kid by the 7-11 gas pumps, had shaken him around a bit, and then cuffed him. He marched the kid back with a hand on the scruff of his neck. Of course, many people on the lots, stared in amazement at…the barefoot policeman.
This second kid had drugs in his pocket. LSD. We arrested both of them. I searched the car and found nothing illegal. The girl had no record, and I let her drive the car off. On the way to the jail, Sal put his socks and cowboy boots on. He appeared in complete uniform at the station book-in room.
The next Thursday night? We had a few laughs, patrolled around town, stopped at a Gas-N’-Go, and Sal bought himself a big bag of caramel popcorn. Two hours into the shift he was happily munching away and picking at his bare feet.
And all things were right in heaven…
(P.S. Sal eventually left and became a golf club salesman.)
Hocks email is HockHochheim@ForceNecessary.com
This is an excerpt from the upcoming Wolfpack Publishingcollection, Dead Right There
“I think people need to learn how to hand, stick, knife, gun fight first, then dive into your bobbies, sports and arts later. Get the pure protection, combatives done as a priority.” – Hock
Doing the training process in order that I mention in the above photo and quote has become much easier now than in decades past when a person (such as me) had to slog through 6 or more arts and systems to filter out the real core, generic survival, offensive/defensive material, while adorned in a bevy of different uniforms, rules, hero worship and system worship. Wants and needs. It comes down to a series of “who, what, where, when, how and why” questions.
Whose the best on the subject and will teach you?
What materials? What do I REALLY need? Want? Art? Science? Both?
Where can I go to learn what I want?
When are these classes and courses available?
How will I filter this?
Why am I doing this in the first place?
Wrong place? Wrong people? Wrong mission? In the late 80s, Steven Seagal burst on the scene and broke a guy’s arm in the first few minutes of a movie. I saw “Above the Law” in a theater and knew that very instant that Chuck Norris and Claude Van Damme were done. Chuck went straight to TV and Claude disappeared for awhile to reemerge in B and C movies.
The movie changed and -or motivated a lot of minds. One old friend named Ted for example told me back then, “I wanted to fight like Seagal. I turned my car into the first martial art school I drive by every day and signed up.” But, Ted pulled into a Tae Kwon Do school and very quickly realized he was financially contracted to the wrong place with wrong people, the wrong system for his mission. He had no “who, what, where, when, how and why” going for him. No one there was doing this…this …”Seagal-Fu” as in Aiki-jitsu- Aikido. My point being is that he started something out of an ignorance. What did he want, anyway? And what did he need?
Though I’d been in Parker Kenpo about a year before I went in the army in the early 1970s, the military and police experience really forged my who, what, where, when, how and why mission needs. I needed stuff. Needs that I never saw efficiently fulfilled in one, two, three or more arts. It was a long, hard slog back then to filter. It still isn’t easy really and truth is a daily investigation. But I WANTED what I NEEDED. Not needed to do what I wanted.
Today, Krav Maga is everywhere, though I am not always happy with many versions. It was the genius of Darren Levine who resurrected it into an international business back in the 1990s. He soon lost his “shirt and pants” doing it with insane over-pricing, and he has regrouped a bit since, but you can thank him for your local Krav school, and Krav notoriety, as Krav splintered and splintered and splintered away from him. And, It seems that “combatives” can be found here and there, though again, I am not always happy with the many versions. But, these are groups of folks that have already tried to filter the generics of established systems for you and save you time.
In the same vein, I find the modern-day, MMA of kickboxing, and ground fighting WITH strikes and kicks on the ground, to be diverse, superior and way more on survival mission. No frills. Just winning and what works. Money is at stake! Reputations! It is better than boxing alone. It is better than wrestling alone. But then, still, they have some sport rules and no cheating, no sticks, no knives, no guns!
The overall, international success of Krav, combatives and MMA tells me that a whole lot of people did not, and do not want, to get bogged down in arts, uniforms, abstracts, and that otherwise long slog of off-mission, distracting requirements. I have seen this is the disappearance of, and the slow decline of, old-school, martial arts schools around the world.
Hand. Stick. Knife. Gun. Standing through ground. The laws of your land. Savvy. Awareness. Studies of crime and war. It’s been an evolution I too have been part of, evolving and teaching for 24 years now. A movement. My personal suggestion and advice is one of common sense. Try and get those foundational defense, offense survival stuff first and then move off to more confining hobbies later. Needs first. Then wants.
“Fighting first first, systems second!” Remember that quote? I have used it for 24 years since I emancipated myself from all systems. But, like a college counselor ordering a college kid to take all the college courses in precise order – 101, 102, 103 – and then they simply can’t do that because of filled classes and scheduling, a student takes what he or she can at the time. You too, may have trouble completely doing all unarmed and mixed-weapon combatives first and then arts second. While it is easier these days for you to get right to what you want than in the past, you may have to do this training side-by-side? Generally people are busy with life and can only chip away at this stuff, anyway. Do something rather than nothing. Get off the couch.
Do something. Again, I always say I want people to be happy. Just know where you fit in the big picture. If you told me,
“Yeah Hock, I completely understand what you are saying, but I just want to do traditional ______. I just really love the culture and the country of _______. ”
I am thumbs up with you. Or, one might add to that “love” list,
“Hock, I get it, also just enjoy developing the overall personalities of children.”
Go for it. How about,
“I agree, Hock, but for me, my dream is to be a champ in the UFC.”
May your dream come true! You already know the high regard I have for modern, clean MMA. Unlike the aforementioned Ted, you all get the big picture and can articulate about it. Just know the big picture of “needs and wants.” All martial arts do have abstract benefits. And there are some established, “martial-artsy-named” schools that really try to get survival materials in the curriculum.
So…dance in some kung fus? Throat punch in some combatives? Art? Science? Nuts and bolts? Investigate and figure out what you really need and what you really want to do. Use the “W’s and H” questions. The choices and opportunities are more clear and obvious than ever before.
Finally, a litmus test question – look at it this way. Speaking of college, If you were sending your daughter (or son) off to a big city, college, would you want her to know, so-called “traditional karate?” So-called “Brazilian wrestling?” “Stick versus stick dueling?” Or, so called “unarmed and mixed-weapon, combatives?” What does she really NEED to know, first and foremost? What do you want her to learn, first?
(In my true police/detective books, I wrote an essay called, “Most Dead Ever,” a compilation of the calls and cases I went on where the tally was high to horrific. Here is one…)
1970s. North of our Army base in the U.S. was an enormous artillery range. Troops were constantly blowing up all kinds of big and small ordnance. For those not familiar, “ordnance” is defined as:
“All munitions containing explosives, nuclear fission or fusion materials, and biological and chemical agents. This includes bombs and warheads; guided and ballistic missiles; artillery, mortar, rocket, and small arms ammunition; all mines, torpedoes, and depth charges; demolition charges; pyrotechnics; clusters and dispensers; cartridge and propellant actuated devices; electro/explosive devices; clandestine and improvised explosive devices; and all similar correlated items or components explosive in nature.”
A Dud defined: A dud is all of the above that didn’t go boom. Now, enter the ordnance, the grenade. And enter then, the dud hand grenade story. Officially also – “DUD-a thrown grenade that failed to detonate after the expected fuze time has elapsed.”
As I said, artillery troops were always out on the northern ranges, blowing all kinds of stuff up. And a small percentage are duds. As the later investigations discloses – One fine morning, out on a said field, a young private stumbled upon what appeared to be a very old hand grenade. He closed in on it and looked it over. No pin. No lever. Hmmmm. A dud, he presumes. What fun!
He threw some rocks at it. His buddies giggling nearby. Nothing. Deadness. He hit it with a stick. Then he kicked it and jumped back. It bounced across the rocky, dry terrain. He picked it up, tossed it up and down a few times and then stuck it in his jacket pocket. What a coup. What a toy.! A dud grenade!
The unit took a long, one-hour bouncy ride in the back of a deuce-and-a-half truck. The private pulled the grenade from his pocket and declared to those around him, “Look what I found!”
The others leaned away, aghast. But it became clear by his manipulations and juggling, it had to be a dud.
Once at their multi-story barracks building, they bailed out of the trucks, unloaded and hit the showers. The private went to his multi-person quarters and tossed the grenade on his bunk. He combed his wet hair, got in casual clothes – civvies – picked up his dud grenade and walked to the day room (TV, pool tables, a rec room, etc.) for some fun and games with his new toy.
He got to the day room door and peeked in. He saw many of his friends day-rooming about in there. Some were with him on the training day, and some not.
“GRENADE!” he yelled. He tossed the dud grenade into the middle of the room, then he ducked back into the hall, just for effect. Big joke.
The so called dud hit the floor and exploded. It blew with all its originally designed and planned intent. BAM! In the middle of the day room.
Our private and other nearby troops in the hall and other rooms ran to the door. The room was a bloody mess. Shreds of the room still floating in the air, they said. One or two seemed dead. Others wounded. Dying. Splinters everywhere. Lots of blood and guts and whines, yells and screams. The first instinct of bystanders was to call for an ambulance. Someone did, and the hospital called the police.
I was one of the units dispatched. I was assigned that day to the patrol district next to this one, or maybe as a rover? I just can’t remember. When I arrived, I was not the first. The district police car and the patrol sergeant’s car were there and several ambulances. At the moment, I was not clear exactly what had happened, nor was our police dispatcher clear either. We only knew that some kind of a “bomb” went off on the third floor.
A sample photo of the actual building, another day.
Hearing of a possible “bomb,” as I parked, I looked up to survey the building. I didn’t know what to expect. Was the huge barracks building bombed? By whom? By what? I saw broken glass in some third story windows and curtains flapping in and out with the wind.
Soldiers were standing outside, looking up too. As I got close to the main doors, someone told me a grenade touched off up there. I entered the building, climbed the stairs to the third floor, and saw the commotion in the hallway.
When I stepped in the room, it looked like some 8 or 10 guys were pretty hurt. Another two or three were slightly hurt. Some laid dead still, mashed and abandoned. The room looked like, well, like a small bomb went off in it! I wandered around and tried to help out where I could, but the paramedics had done their triage assessment and were hard at work. Plus, some of the unit cadre were Nam vets and were already pitching in with the EMTs.
I walked out of the room and asked some Sergeants in the hall what had happened. They pointed to the kid who threw the “dud” in. I spoke with him. Our patrol sergeant walked up and listened to us talk it out. The kid was practically crying and in real shock. The district MP (military police) came over to us.
The Sarge pulled us aside and told the district MP to arrest the kid. “For what Sarge?” the district MP asked. “What charge?” “I don’t know. For something. Charge him with something,” he said. “We have to arrest him for this. Manslaughter. Something. Negligent something.”
Then the Sarge’s portable radio announced that, “CID was in route.” “Ten-four,” he said into the radio, and told us, “Good. Okay. We’ll let CID decide what to do with him.”
We stuck around until two CID investigators (our FBI, more or less) arrived. We filled them in and pointed out the kid. They looked around and marched the kid off to one of the nearby offices. And we were ready to leave. As the Lone Ranger would say, “Tonto, our work here is done.” A few hours later I had to go and give blood at the hospital. Three or four troops died, best I can recall.
I have thrown a few grenades. I have even qualified as expert on the old Army, grenade throwing range. I got the targeting knack quickly. It was like throwing a football only heavier, so I aimed higher than the target to offset the weight, be it a window or whatever set up we were supposed to blow up. I always joke about how cavalier vets and movie actors are about these small bombs hanging off their uniforms, in comparison to the very first ones they hand you and you baby them like they are nitroglycerin.
But they are certainly no joke. Very generically speaking, the grenade kill zone is 5 meters or 16 feet. The injury range is 15 meters pr 50 feet. Shrapnel can go even further. A hand grenade, especially an older one, ’70s and pre-’70s had a varying reputation back then. Some called them as devastating and some didn’t. There are lots of fascinating, jaw-dropping stories. They weren’t all always perfect like the distances above. I guess it was situational.
But that “dud” took a toll on the day room and the unit that late afternoon, and also took a toll on my memory.