Late last year I was interviewed for a martial arts book, and they asked opinion questions to a series of traveling martial-seminar guys like me. There was a series of standard ones and then some “different” kinds of questions that we were asked.
And one question was (and I can’t remember the wording exactly) what was the greatest or a great catastrophe in the USA in our lifetimes. It would be easy to spit a few common ones, Twin Towers, Pearl Harbor, (a bit before I was born).
But I have thought a lot about this and very quickly answered, “the assassination of Martin Luther King.” An answer I think that was off most people’s charts. But, I think King’s universal message is/was vital, and the perpetuation of him alive and over the decades would have added a great benefit and value to the country.
I know some “but” people who like to say “but he…” did this or that bad thing. He did. BUT…I am thinking the “BIG-picture,” not the “but-picture.”
Years ago I was asked to protect and set up security for Coretta King on a college tour, along with that great kid, the first kid who memorized the “I have a dream” speech. He always performed it perfectly. It was nice group of travelers and I simply did the usual “hotel, eating, appearance” standard, until they all were whisked off to another state. It was great to meet her (and that kid!).
I hate to let a King birthday go by without mentioning him and this loss to the USA and probably the world. Of all the “big” assassinations in my lifetime, I find this one the worst of all, for all we lost. In fact, heartbreaking.
And the best book on the assassination I’ve read would be “Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin.” This is the deepest of dives into the despicable James Earl Ray you’ll find anywhere and it is an unusual, engrossing tale, which reads more like a true-crime, police procedural and not just a history book. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7624086-hellhound-on-his-trail
The tabulators tell me that 2022 this will be my 50th year doing martial arts – having started in Parker Kenpo in 1972. I’ve always been looking for the best most realistic arts and systems through those decades, hunting for the next best thing, but for the first half of those 50 years, for about 25 years, I’ve done so rather poorly and confused. Mixed up.
From the 70s on I was working out with what was available, old school jujitsu, boxing, karate, police judo-defensive-tactics. Then in 1986 I starting with the Inosanto Family systems (Thai-JKD-Silat-FMA-Shoot fighting) and Presas Arnis. In 1990 I started Aiki-Jujitsu with a professor in Oklahoma. I guess I was spinning a whole lot of plates? But on some level, despite the differing outfits, patches and the nomenclatures, many times I noted I was often doing the same basic, good moves in different systems, despite the change of systems with a tweak here and there. Sort of a name-game change.
Makes me think of the Bogey movie song, “You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is…” But you really must remember that a “punch is just a “punch,” a “kick is just a kick? I recall Bruce Lee doing some Zen paraphrasing from the famous Zen Buddhist – “ Qingyuan declared that there were three stages in his understanding of the dharma. The first stage, seeing mountain as mountain and water as water. The second stage, seeing mountain not as mountain and water not as water. And the third stage, seeing mountain still as mountain and water still as water. Bruce modernized the phrase a bit, then replaced the nouns with “punch” and “kick.” He did this name-game switch often from Buddhist sayings.
I see my martial life that same 1, 2, 3 way that Mr. Qingyuan suggests, which leads me to my mixed-up-martial arts phrase and phase. Bear with me. You might see yourself in this dharma-dilemma-development?
For quite some time I played a name-game switcheroo. I changed clothes and mindset with various martial art class scheduling. Often in the same night! I can best describe this with two quick stories.
Parable 1: Years ago in the late 1980s and early 90s, one of my favorite instructors was Terry Gibson, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I would host him in Texas, attend his seminars up there and also visit him for multiple day private lessons. At the time Terry was considered one of Inosanto’s top five instructors (Terry has since passed). He was terrific. When there for privates in the daytime, one could attend all the night classes for free. There was a battery of them, an hour of this or that, JKD, FMA, Thai, Silat, etc. And I stayed for all of them from about 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night. Different students came in and out for their flavors and I recall the change of mindset and clothes for each one, even with the folks attending two or more of them each night. Me? FIVE of them. All the classes were mixed with careful instruction and some fighting. The Thai Boxing (in traditional shorts, etc.) was particularly rough and it was suggested that Thai sparring be limited in class to prevent statistical injuries and therefore it was mixed with lots of choregraphed Thai drills on pads. Yet two hours later, the Jeet Kune Do class (this one in gym clothes) sparring was wide-open, and anything goes. Same kicks, elbows, strikes, just not “Thai” in Thai clothes and no “shwoshing” mouth sounds, stance, etc.
Each of the classes definitely had a different mission, feel and goals. I’d got the vague idea back then that these things could be blended, especially via the Bruce Lee ideology I was trying to grasp, but they were not. I was also a PFS Paul Vunak instructor back in that day and Paul was very much on mission for the one blend idea. He only used FMA for skill developing methods, but he was trying to blend everything into one thing, one approach. Vu was a pioneer in his own way, a real shock treatment to late 1980s martial arts. I was all in.
By the way, this division of subjects is a martial arts school business model. More classes. More themes. More students. More money. Nothing wrong with that – just saying. With many other instructors and schools in this business model, we studied to become one system-artist when doing that one system-art. MMA, the evolved business model became a study to learn different things – yes – but, inadvertently, keep them separate. Divided. Which, whether I fully realized it at the time, was NOT what I wanted, but I wasn’t quite “martial-mature” enough to realize it. I had no “eye” for it. (More on “eyes” later…)
Parable 2: I was kind of trying to blend, but I was really off-mission. Mixed-up. Not clear. In my Texas classes that I taught from 1989 to 1994, I started out running the same multi-theme format on weeknights. Man, it was fun! People had fun! I had fun doing such a variety of martial arts too. Playing around with all kinds of stuff. I continued to see more of the basic similarities when organizing the class outlines. So much good stuff was the same wrapped in a different packages and lingo. Parts of the karate class looked like parts of the JKD class. What? As they say, you don’t really know something until you teach it. Some customers were in and out doing the mixed subjects, some stayed for all theme classes. Some customers got confused back then too. One lifelong karate student who sought me out only for self defense survival, asked me why did I show a complicated Judo Gene LaBelle wrestling move for a sport tap-out. These little situations were popping up, things that belonged in one umbrella were popping up under another umbrella. And not the umbrella I really wanted. So, I wasn’t doing mixed martial arts really. I was doing…all mixed-up, martial arts. I was all mixed up (All this while I was a cop making arrests and realizing that fighting was more like checkers and way less like chess). In late 1993 I started organizing my mission better. I really started to recognize the off-mission sport material, the off-mission art material, the hypocrisies between the arts, and unnecessary, artsy editions. I’d been right on target with FMA since 1992 thanks to Presas Arnis, but these other topics? No. So, I worked on the blend. The REAL mix. (Oh, and by the way, this work is a never-ending assessment of search and destroy.)
I used the Who, What, When, Where, How and Why questions.
Who was I? Who is the student?
What was I really teaching? What did they really want? Really need? What is the generic, simple good in all of them?
Where should I teach and what? Because differing places want or need different things.
When should I teach and what? When do they understand what I am saying?
How will I best organize all this? How will I teach it?
Why am I teaching what I teach? Why are they here?
While turning the all-mixed-up to the mixed-blended, I have a lot of teaching stories for each “W and H” question from these last 26 years, the second half of the 50. I believe these to be informational, entertaining and educational stories, but book-length, and not good here for a short blog.
It should come as no surprise that in the big training picture, modern MMA (as in a blended “UFC style” With ground n’ pound, and I repeat WITH ground n’ pound), Combatives or Krav Maga formats evolved to fill in that anxious, wandering market place of folks like my early self, seeking the stripped-down blend, the best mix. It’s just business and filling the gaps.
Something much bigger is going on though. In the history of mankind, its overall DNA, a small group of people – us – struggle to keep fighting skills perpetuating, alive, for the drastic times that come and go, and keep us all alive. This genetic drive manifests in many different ways, like karate or combatives. It’s that big picture, so big we don’t see it, down to the smallest of pictures. You. You and the quizzical questions and choices in your head. Why do you do this stuff? Well, I just gave you one big DNA reason you might not have thought of. For some of us? It’s our inherent duty to mankind. We are the odd, weird ones, keeping this alive.
I certainly don’t regret all the mixed-up, past exposure, the blood, sweat and cussing since 1972, even though I wanted simple, generic hand, stick, knife and gun. But still, the background-depth, time and grade, experience is irreplaceable. Mike Gillette said once, “you are really paying Hock…for his eye.”
His eye? Eye? Look for a moment at my Australian friend Nick Hughes, currently in North Carolina, USA. Yeah, he teaches Krav Maga, and yeah, so does every Tom, Dick and Henrietta these days, every six city blocks, some at worst from just very quick certification courses. But Nick Hughes is a lifelong, skilled, multi-system trained, articulate, former military Legionnaire, international body guard, very smart, talented and also a champ kick boxer and boxer. He can teach any martial subject very, very well. All this wisdom and experience is the real deep foundation of his version of…Krav Maga. All this time and grade makes him irreplaceable. Depth. He has…an expert’s “eye.” and is several cuts above almost all the rest. I have often said, “If I ever had to build a Dirty Dozen? Nick Hughes would take up two slots.”
I often peruse the internet martial arts pages and I read stories of 25, 30 to 45 year old martialists and martial artists and their compulsion to publicly write – as one might in a personal journey or diary – about this or that small martial epiphany. Been there, done that, kid, and I quickly get impatient and bored which is my flaw, because I have to remember everyone is on their own splayed and fileted journey. Their mission, however on or off it might be.
What is your mission in this dharma-dilemma? Are you…”martial-mature?” How’s your “eye?” Look, I want people to be happy. Do what makes you happy, sports, art, combatives. Mixed? Mixed-up? Fun? Comradery? Whatever. People even like all kinds of mixed-up, martial arts to fool around with! Just know where it all fits in a big picture. Your big picture.
You can use your mature eye to take the “mixed-up” out, and to leave “mix” in. You can take things from a martial art that has a high percentage of success and NOT take the whole damn system. Or not? Just don’t be…off-mission, off your personal mission. In the mixed up, forked roads of martial dharma – the “eyes” have it.
A lot of American football coaches and players watch game films. I instead, have watched hours of football “how-to” training films to see how these players TRAIN. If you have ever spent time with me, you’ve heard me brag for years, decades even, on how American football training methods can be diced and altered to enhance, inspire and supply power-contact exercises for martial fighting. You’ve heard me say that a knife fight might not look like a movie duel, but might instead look like “football with a knife.” Same with sticks.
Hand fighting! Lord knows football takes from us and you’ll see Chinese, JKD and Filipino hand drills are used to develop what football already called “Hand Fighting,” (To the left, Tim Tackett is showing Cowboy great Randy White some classic hand drills decades ago. Tim is one of the earliest martial artists showing the NFL these types of work-outs.) You’ll also recognize some of the hand drills in the below videos I’ve listed. There’s also a drill in Football called by many, the Karate Drill, where one player tries to strike the chest at random of another and the other guy tries to slap the attempt away. One or two hands.
To me the offensive and defensive line of scrimmage, football battles cover some Aikido (because they are dealing with real powerhouse collision energy) on up to the UFC and MMA…and…yes, within it, ”trapping hands.” Trapping exists. I get a kick out of a lot of people dissing trapping because I guess they watch too many Jackie Chan movies? I don’t know. But the pinning, passing, pushing and pulling of trapping exists and I look for it in Football, boxing and MMA-UFC world. It might only go “one deep,” as in one beat trap clearance so to speak, maybe two. Three? Three might be pushing it. I started trapping in 1986 with the Inosanto family of instructors and FMA, but through the years I look to combat-contact sports as a foundation for reality trapping. What works? What can work? Boxing, Football, MMA-UFC. Fast, Short. Furious.
As with Football, line collisions are violent, with very quick trapping hands within. In the boxing, MMA-UFC world there are arm clearance, raw, ugly traps. Since I am obsessed with mixing-blending hand, stick, knife and gun wherever possible, I prefer to call them “invasions,” or invading____ . Like, “Invading Hands,” “Invading Sticks,” “Invading Knives” and, “Invading Guns” ( pistol and long gun). What pinning, passing, pulling or pushing of arms work in those realms. How are they alike? How are they different?
So, I take a hard look at football, hand drills-methods that enhance all that. The of quality football players, starting at college on up, is record breaking incredible now. These increases come from several methods, but two methods are clever drills and exercises for functionality.
One Quick Observation in and around on this subject. Australian football – or “Footy” is tough as hell, and like Rugby, sort of like soccer, are “chase-games” without the consistent line of scrimmage collision battles that can be reminiscent of, and can resemble a common collision in a fight, crime or war. Every football play starts with what a chiropractor might call, a small car crash.
Speaking of chases, I might add here that a high percentage, arrest-fight problem for law enforcement is chasing. Foot chasing suspects and tackling them down. Virtually no police academy or training covers or practices a Footie-Rugby-USA Football, chase and tackle. In my Defender-Police Judo course I do, but rarely because I need a matted runway and the “suspect” suited up for safety. And still, chase tackles are crazy and it is not very safe, especially due to the lack of conditioning and physicality missing in today’s new or even established police officers. Cops who’ve played, and still play with contact sports are better cops at this.
Second Quick Observation in and around this subject. A fad move today is teaching an arm drag to get outside of an opponent’s arms and then pivot around them to get a rear bear hug. In demos and seminars, many “show-ers” just…just end right there with the rear bear hug. They show no more. Huh? They stop there, as if, with the bear hug it’s…over? Nope, it’s just getting started. Yet naïve rookie, seminar attendees (usually gun guys exploring unarmed combatives) think its manna from heaven. Some instructors will show a follow-up. They demo a bear-hug follow-up solution and they will lift up and body slam the opponent to the ground, of course falling with them too, to enter into the world of non-stop, one-dimensional wrestling. Such is their brain-washing. Usually both these demo people are 30ish-year-old athletes. But when we look around at ourselves, at each other, differing sizes, ages and strengths, is a 150 to 250 pound body lift and body slam of the enemy practical for the masses? Hell no. I can’t pick up, least of all, body slam a 175 or 200 pound person! And anyway, I want to remain up as much as possible.
When pivoting to the rear, one could pass on the ubiquitous rear bear hug. Instead maybe try a whole variety of rear hits, kicks or takedowns where we might remain standing or at least knee high. I bring this topic up here because there are great, rough defensive line drills that use things like the “D-Line Chop,” (a trap) instead of a grabbing arm drag. In the movement there’s a follow-up shoulder hit, and quick pivot to the rear. And these are practiced in football-game-“hike”-tough drills that martialists should investigate. And, batting, zipping past, and around folks are also handy skills versus multiple opponents, where I add “imagine you are a running back” advice…(okay, okay, enough on rear bear hugs, that’s another big subject…)
A Third Quick Observation in and around this subject. American football obviously deals with face-to-face, frontal to frontal tackles, and not always chase tackles. They also cover power drills with pads to counter tackles, done in clever ways that any citizen should try and would enhance the subject, beyond typical martial arts classes.
In Summary, The Problem Is, His Arms! They are almost always are in the way. And they have muscles and seem to have a “mind of their own!” Here is a fast, short list of some football training drills I have collected on trapping and the “Football-Hand-Fight.” I can’t put videos in a book so I have to share them here. They incorporate Stop 3 Forearm Collisionmaterials, and Stop 4 Shoulder Linecollisions. Would you watch them for training ideas, adaptations, and inspirations?
For more diverse training…
Top 3 Exercises To Improve Hand Fighting For Football Lineman -video Click here
Football Drills – Defensive Line Workouts and Technique – video Click here
Don’t be Afraid to Teach Your Defensive Linemen the Chop-Spin Trap Block – video Click here
Growth. Finding new information and ideas is a never-ending, quest-job. Makes me think of the old line I never liked,
“Keep it simple, stupid.”
It’s a shallow line. Stupid really. (Usually known as the K.I.S.S. method) Simple and stupid are not synonymous. To me, that means “I am stupid, you are stupid and we shall remain stupid.”
Einstein had another angle, saying once, “Keep it simple, but not too simple.” Still, as the “master brains of relativity,” he knew that simplicity…simple…is different to different people. It’s…relative.
What is complicated for some, is simple for others, perhaps too simple for the occasional advanced mind or advanced athlete? This then is a challenge to the teacher-coach. You must let “advanced” people become advanced, do and think advanced things to reach their…”simple.” This might mean passing practitioners off to other coaches.
YOU grow by understanding and living this concept.
THEY grow by…growing. You are vehicle, a vessel of growth. (But never let them forget the basics!)
If you aren’t a vessel of growth? If you don’t, then you are standing still. Staying stupid. Keeping all the people around you stupid. I think we need to kiss off the KISS method.
(Another quick point in the blood vein –
“The exercise you hate the most, is probably the one you need to do the most.”– me )
I tell everyone that when I am evaluating a martial move for myself or others, in one filter I consider a two prong question.
Have I seen it done in the UFC? (or similar venue)
Should I even consider the UFC with this move?
Which leads me to the blocking naysayers. Once in a while you will run across an internet expert who declares “you can’t block” in a fight, you have to just wrap your head up with your arms, or your forearms, because it is impossible to block in a real fight or an MMA fight. One such expert actually declared a challenge in a youtube video that that there is NO, ZERO blocking in fights, and NONE in MMA/UFC fights. Just head covers by forearms. He claims that you therefore must ALWAYS opt for a forearm on the head, or some sort of “turban” head wrap as the only option. He dared anyone to send him a film clip of successful blocking.
So, In 15 minutes I found 26 photos (not videos) of successful blocks versus punches and kicks in the “UFC-ish world.” I just don’t care enough about the subject and about him to bother looking up film clips for him. Blocks that worked are failed strikes and are boring. Such video clips (and photos) are not plentiful because blocks are boring and who films and spreads just them? Who takes the time to cut successful block footage into film clips? There are many, many unsuccessful punches, the ratios are high. Rather they film clip and upload, successful and interesting punches, kicks and knock outs. Cool moves are in film clips. Exciting things are made into video clips. No failed ones.
But some random photos tell another story about the success of blocking, even though they are taken and spread inadvertently.
Despite the fact that Bas Rutten, who I trust WAY more for advice, has said publicly and on film multiple times that blocking punches and kicks is an important skill and to ignore people who say otherwise. Bas is not the only vet-champ to say so.
I will continue to teach blocking methods. There are plenty of photo examples of successful, boring blocking in all kinds of fights. There are successful and unsuccessful blocks. I just don’t need someone telling me (and us) to FORGET them all, and erase the idea from training. To me, this is a thinking disorder.
In the world of “block-don’t block,” what about “over-blocking when it’s not needed or dangerous? Yes, this is sold to you too. Briefly on the Batman-turban-head-wrap-block. While there is a “doomsday block” as a last resort move, reserved for the cornered, or the floored pummeled. Sure. But, must you constantly wrap your head like a turban versus every strike? And 98% of the time, who has the time and skill to spot an incoming fist and wrap their arms around their head, (losing much vision, exposing their torso, also allowing the enemy to step closer in, etc.) then unwrap their arms to strike back. Who has this in-and-out, wrap-unwrap arm speed? If this is an overused go-to, mainstay of a system, then this is a sales gimmick, ad fad. To accept this idea as main response is shallow thinking or a thinking disorder.
I might add that a few of these turban practitioners have been struck on their hands while on their heads and have suffered some broken metacarpals. Military, martial and police vet Loren Christensen adds, “And head shielding hurts the arms when the puncher isn’t gloved. Get punched bare knuckle a few times in the forearm and one or more strikes a nerve(s), the shielding arm becomes useless.” If it were so wonderful you would see it more among the trained. Most of the time it is not needed, nor efficient. And good martial system doctrine is about efficiency.
Anyway, back to “block-don’t-block,” the main event of this essay. I am a little pissed that I now have to load, one-by-one, some of these successful blocking photos. But, for your entertainment I will include just some of the them as a sample collection to file away in your brain and in your notes, or to show naysaying idiots. I have many, many more such photos. How many do I need to show?
Okay, okay, I’ve had enough loading. I am through. I have many more. But I am through here.
The “corporate” name for what I’ve been doing for 26 years this 2022, the big umbrella name is the “Scientific Fighting Congress.” Under that umbrella are the 7 martial courses.
1-Force Necessary: Hand
2-Force Necessary: Stick
3-Force Necessary: Knife
4-Force Necessary: Gun
5-Close Quarter Concepts group (the above 4 combined)
6-Defender: Police Judo (The top 4 with added police material)
7-Pacific Archipelago Concepts (fun & on request)
I chose the word “congress” back in the 1990s because we are a congress of martialists, free to express, but yet connected by a very basic must-know, core I have constructed from 5 decades of training, the last 4 of them I must confess, a rather unhealthy, daily obsession.
Since the 1970s, I was a street cop, a detective, a soldier, a black belt, a bodyguard and a private eye. I’ve never taken a promotional exam and remained in line operations, I’ve put plenty of people in jail in 26 years, from rowdy punk fighters to serial killers. I have been put in the hospital and I have put people in the hospital. Such are the ups and downs of this kind of life I chose. But, I am not a tough guy! NOT at all, I’m a nice guy, a mediocre athlete, a normal, good guy and I just know some things about fighting and violence you might not.
Everyone is different and I work off of the “who, what, where, when, how and why” questions to win and-or survive, and-or problem-solve. The big 4 groups…
martial arts and the
…are my sources, as each group knows things about fighting, crime and war the others don’t. I pull back the curtains until I find the back, brick wall of truth.
While any idiot can kick and punch, pull a trigger and stab, I know a good fighting system is based on doctrine, doctrine, doctrine. This is what I have tried to amass. You won’t find anything artsy or sporty in what I do. I truly believe “real fighting is more like checkers and less like chess,” (another motto).
“Inspire not confine” is one of my main mottos. I hope this little speech might inspire some of you in some way?
The talk of the town right now is the Kyle Rittenhouse situation. This onion has many layers to peel. You think about one layer and you have to think about other layers. I try to warn my weapon practitioners that every shooting is a drama and a trauma. A story. As Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch says every bullet that comes out of a gun is a potential lawsuit (or arrest).
To counter many shooting mistakes, many people emphasize “shoot/don’t shoot” training but I emphasize a bigger five point, decision-making progression:
2-Pull/Don’t (getting hands on your weapon)
3-Aim/Don’t aim (or point)
Number 1 is a big deal. There or not there! I also rely heavily on the “Who, What. Where, When, How and Why” questions for… well…EVERYTHING in life, but certainly violent situations. In this case, WHY are you there? WHY are you still there? So, the first Rittenhouse hurtle is…the kid going there., and the kid staying there. That onion layer. But then, why were ANY of them there, especially those white, criminal thugs? Okay. But. So. They were ALL there, and this crap happened. I will say this though, that when the authorities won’t go get Frankenstein, soon the villagers pick up their pitchforks and go after him. Protest all you want, but when you burn, loot and destroy, you’re Frankenstein.
The onion starts stinking when we pull off more layers to see the real core, undercurrent movements that float the stinking corpses to the surface.
As I have worried about and written about for years, I fear the relabeling of self defense as vigilantism will evolve, all nicely interwoven with anti-gun people. I guess two recent poster boys in the corrupt, bias news media for these movements are Texan Beto O’ Rourke (whom I nicknamed “Pancho O’Malley” to remind people the white-Irishman even starts-out/introduces himself with name-game scam to trick half-wit voters.
“Hello, I am Beto, a fake half-Mexican”). Pancho declared he will “Hell, yeah, go after AR-15s and AK-47s”. Pancho is like a bad penny that won’t go away in Texas.
Then we have the airhead, late-night waste, Stephen Colbert who wants to change the self defense laws.
How about that Kyle prosecutor Kraus who suggested – sometimes, you just have to take a beating, – in final arguments.
Take a beating. This way, in liberal la-la land, more and more self defense citizens get prosecuted and persecuted.
Speaking of idiot prosecutors, part of this relabeling is manifested by district attorneys at all levels. We have to watch out as airhead leftists win district attorney (oh, and mayorals too) elections in counties across the United States, as they have doing, confirmed to be financially supported by foreigner, international, buttin-ski, billionaire and Darth Vader lookalike George Soros. (Soros has been falsely accused of many things, but not these donations.)
I understand that people in other countries scratch their heads at the “America and Guns” issue. But, as I said while in England in a pre-Covid 2019 , BBC interview, “We have 320 million people and some 350-400 million guns. If we believe the media, we should all be dead by now.”
But folks in other countries live in a different world, different cultures and therefore imagine fairly-tale solutions and improbable opinions that cannot be blanketed upon the USA. We’re big and can get a little rowdy.
As an old Texas, ex-lawman, redneck-hippy, my two responses remain…
1) You ain’t collecting 350-plus million guns in 3,531,905 square miles of the USA, most of it rural. It is physically impossible on several levels.
2) I want to live in a world where criminals are plain scared to death of normal people (and I might add, world history tells us governments should always be a little intimidated and scared of their people).
The COPS TV show is coming back to television in the USA, recovering from the ignorant cancel culture removal last year.
Pondering the COPs show reminded me of a long-term teaching gig I had in the thrilling days of yesteryear. I started teaching in Texas Police Academies in 1983, guesting for three topics for each rookie class session.
1) “Introduction to Criminal investigation.”
2) “Mechanics of Arrest.”
3) “Introduction to Search and Seizure.”
Each a one day course, so every academy class I boogied off to the academies for 3 days, about every 5 to 6 months. Back in those days we had little if any media to help teach with, to show cadets. Oh, there were a few 16mm films from LAPD, old black and whites from the FBI, and for some comic relief, the Buck (Dave Smith) Savage films. Once in a rare while I’d find a police-crime documentary on the newly invented HBO I would video tape that might fit one of the three categories.
A new police admin decided in 1993 that I shouldn’t dedicate such time “away” anymore, (about 6, maybe 9 days a year sharing knowledge and experience) and a dunce of a new detective sergeant flat out ordered me to quit going.
Then-abouts, the TV show COPS eventually came along. This was a show where police, on their very best behavior because they were on television (!) tried to solve everyday citizen crimes and problems. This was an EXCELLENT laboratory for rookies to see the daily chaos, craziness, tribulations and bewilderment of the job.
I thought in 1990s how I wished I had those COPs episodes all those years, or how I wished the police academies had them and if so, should-could show one episode a day, sans the commercials – then only about 20 minutes each, for the cadets to see and learn from everyday, best-behavior, cop-life. Play one a day!
COPS is coming back, and for training purposes alone, this is a good thing. Ignorant snowflakes complained that the show was racist, but to my memory there were an awful lot of stupid white people screwing up on the show. I recall one night arresting a guy, and the guy was cuffed in the back seat. He was singing and humming the Cops theme song. I later learned this was not uncommon.
In 1986, I became fascinated by the Bruce Lee’s essay on “the stance of no stance,” idea. Whether hand, stick, knife or gun, I opted for the loose “ready stance,” and the “balance and power in motion” concept, a motion-picture-idea rather than a still-photo-idea.
Thanks to Bruce Lee, the Inosanto Family (and Ed Parker) when teaching since the late 1980s, I organized and demonstrated the Ten Probable Position-Problems to prepare people for the full spectrum of mixed weapon fighting possibilities. I was a cop then and we had to fight on the ground periodically, so even before the BJJ madness-fad, many of us trained in a diverse Police Judo, later re-named Police Defensive Tactics (both very incomplete). And, I was deeply involved with the Inosanto Family and they were deeply involved in “shooto” – “shoot wrestling.”
One might say there are three generics in “street fighting-survival” challenges. 1) standing, 2) kneeling-seated, 3) floor-ground. But inside each there are differing heights and needs, making up the ten. For me a system-art that spends too much time in one of the categories is forgetting the importance of the others. In any fight you may well transition through some of these ten. Investigate them through the Ws and H Questions, the who, what, where, when, how and why questions to best explore combatives. One such “Where” question is…”Where are you?” Standing? Kneeling? Seated? Floored-grounded?
Problem 1a: Unready Standing unprepared – the “stupid bus top.” This is a concept I learned from Ed Parker Kenpo karate in 1973. You are standing normally (like waiting for a bus). You are probably zoned out and unprepared.
Problem 1b: Ready Standing Ambush – the “prepared bus stop.” You are prepared but don’t look so to an opponent. (Think sucker punch approach, concept.)
Problem 2: Ready Standing – “Weapon” Forward or as in a right side lead. (Weapon as in hand, stick, knife, gun.)
Problem 3: Ready Standing – “Weapon” Neutral or as in hands-torso showing no lead. (Weapon as in hand, stick, knife, gun.)
Problem 4: Ready Standing – “Weapon” Forward or as in a left side lead. (Weapon as in hand, stick, knife, gun.)
Problem 5: Knee Height (or seated,) versus Standing.
Problem 6: Knee Height (or seated,) versus Knee-high or Seated.
Problem 7: Knee Height versus Someone Below You. This is the top-side of a floor-ground fight. (Might be two knees down, right knee up or left knee up.)
Problem 8: Floored-grounded On Back. This means fighting standing, kneeling and grounded enemies. Full spectrum, head to toe (think north-south-east-west).
Problem 9: Floored-grounded on Right Side. Usually this means fighting enemies that are knee-high or grounded too. Full spectrum, head to toe (think north-south-east-west).
Problem 10: Floored-grounded on Left Side. Usually this means fighting enemies that are knee-high or grounded too. Full spectrum, head to toe (think north-south-east-west).
YOU WILL BE FIGHTING “HERE”… In many a fight, certainly an ambush, you might never get a chance to strike up a defined “stance.” Still, this study reminds everyone that fighting includes all these up-and-down height categories and they should not be ignored or forgotten.
EVERYTHING you learn, must be experimented through these 10 position (stance) problems. Every strike, kick, lock, etc…can you do it there? Can it work here? There? Up and down? Yes or no? This is the goal of the seamless survival fighter. You fight where you fight, where you are. A true fighter-survivor, so-called “combatives” person, fights standing, kneeling-seated and on the floor-ground, in and out of buildings, in rural, suburban and urban areas. Dissect, identify and discard sports and artsy cancers. A combatives fighting system is about doctrine-doctrine-doctrine, the training skeleton which recognizes chaos, crime and war and best prepares people to respond.
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Too young to join the Army during the Vietnam war itself, I joined later and I wound up assisting in the evacuation of Vietnam in 1975. We got the very first plane full of refugees out and into Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.
There, we, several small Military Police platoons, then had to set up the “abandoned,” infrequently used “on-again-off-again,” dusty base for police operations (police station, jail, force protection, police patrol, clean guns, WW 11 jeeps to fleet cars, etc.). And, we were quickly met with an anti-war protest at the front gates, dodging a few rocks.
Army engineers quickly built a chain-link, fenced-in, refugee “quarters” which looked just like a POW camp. As a young, stupid “man-child” that I was, they all looked like Martians to me captured in a compound. (Years later I was stationed up north in South Korea and while living there in a village, I realized that I was indeed…the Martian.)
I have zero cool stories to tell about the whole “Fall of Vietnam” episode, as I was a young and foolish kid, but years later when the bestselling book was published, I devoured this Fall of Saigon book that fully described the surrounding chaos of the fall. Wow! Another one came out, different author with a much longer title and more of an overlook history than just the “Fall” itself.
I recommend both books. Perhaps there will be a similar book on Afghanistan coming out? Same sad story. As they say, history repeating itself, repeating itself.
Afghanistan, Vietnam, (and others locales) these are all complex situations, full of human error and the curse and lessons of “mission creep.” Trump should thank his lucky stars he didn’t have to “execute” his operation as he had planned to do his version. It would still have been a bit messy. And now we have the addlepated Biden has with his ass-backwards, slipshod version. The initial “Oh, no worries” expectations of this August, 2021 Afghan pull-out was deadly idiotic. Of course the country would “fold like a cheap suit,” as many boots-on-the-ground-level predicted. The results were and are obvious.
As a combat vet Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill recently said, “name any general and he will be surrounded by 15 ass-kissing, yes men.” Career generals with…careers. REMFs (rear echelon M__F__s) leaders and detached civilian politicians live on another planet.
Where is Mars and who are the Martians anyway?
More history and photos on this…
On again, off again? Chaffee was busy through the years. Elvis Presley was once processed in Chaffee.
This is not me on the stairs. There were many planes coming in after our first plane. This is a news photo of our MPs helping folks.
Our MP contingent (just a few platoons) did all this, and were replaced within weeks by a whole MP company from Fort Hood, Texas. We had to return to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. The relief from Ft. Hood arrived! A whole company of MPs, with gear and equipment in a long convoy. This is a news photo from there and this is also exactly how I remember their arrival.)
Through the following years, many refugees were processed though Chaffee and condition improved as they were quartered in the old Army style barracks as seen in this photo. According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. From 1975 to 1976, Fort Chaffee processed 50,809 Vietnam War refugees, including Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian and Hmong people. Many were granted permanent, legal residence in the United States as political refugees. One story on this… https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2019/jun/20/44-years-later-refugees-revisit-1st-u-s/