You’ve probably heard about the word Trifecta (three-bees,) but how about QUADfecta (four-bees?) Yeah. It exists in the Fourth Dimension, no big deal according to Dr. Strange.
Beyond the interview, beyond the avoidance, past the de-escalation, when push comes to shove, etc., in reality we struggle-fight the big three: criminals, enemy soldiers and our “drunk uncles” (a nickname I use for all those relatives who act up.) In researching solutions, I investigate the Martial Quadfecta:
2: Ground n’ pound
3: Wrestling (I prefer Catch)
4: Weapons (modern – sticks, knives, guns, not ancient stuff).
What if any, can I use-adopt from these sources for fighting crime and war, not mirror images of one’s system in arts and sports. Some people like to say “steal” from these sources, some say “take” or “co-op.” “Borrow?” “Adopt.” Whatever. I am always on the hunt, keeping it checkers not chess. “Do it Fit – Don’t it fit?” Running it all through the “Who, What, Where, When, How and Why questions” to embrace or dismiss. Picking and choosing should be debated by people with a high 4-D Martial I.Q..
4-D? Any one of those categories alone is one dimensional. Two are two dimensional. Three? Three dimensional – and most old science discussions end with 3-D, huh? BUT we are now in the Multiverse says Dr. Strange (and so do MANY leading scientists by the way!) so we enter the FOURTH dimension, so to speak. The Quadfecta.
Lots of folks like being in their one or two or three dimensions. Great. I’m happy if you’re happy. All I ask is don’t be ignorant about it and know where your limited dimensions fit in the Multiverse, which I reckon is another way of saying “stay in your lane?”
Me? I hunt on a four-lane highway.
(I wonder if anyone will ever call their new school “Quadfecta Martial Arts. You can! I haven’t copyrighted it.”)
- “Okay, now…where will SWAT park?”
- “Where will the response team stage?”
- “Where will the Bradley stage?”
I stumbled upon yet another character on the web that criticizes knife instructors (in general) and their various titles. I was not mentioned and someone else was the real, make-fun-of target. How dare we teach knife tactics and not be Jim Bowie? How dare you call yourself a knife “expert,” is the theme.
Lots of titles in topics, basic, advanced, expert, subject matter expert, master (lots of pros use that acronym “SME”– I do) etc. The complainers like to ask, “how many of these guys have ever been in a knife fight?” Many of these complainers also like to say that knife trainers are not needed. “Just stick the pointy end in. Ha-ha.” This ignores the myriad of laws, situations and skills. I am reminded of some of the 1960s and 1970s police ground fighting training we received that was summed up with,
“Tackle. Punch. ‘Swim’ to a choke. Handcuff the unconscious suspect.” Oh, it’s just THAT easy? Then why all the time and grade training. That’s like the “just stick the pointy end in” easy?
Anyway, frequently these “pointy-end-in” complainers are so often dedicated gun guys, who should then be content with just “sticking the pointy end of a bullet in.” Right? But instead, they spend fortunes on never-ending, redundant before-during-and-after shooting courses from…instructors who have never been in any gunfights either. Famous yes? Maybe? Close – but no real-world, cigar. Then they get certified from non-gunfight teachers. People think of the title master as a martial arts rank only but there are gun programs that create gun masters, gun experts and even gun grandmasters.
Which is my point (pun intended). Declaring that all knife instructors must have been in numerous knife fights to teach, is like asking the same of gun instructors. Same-same, yet the U.S. is chock full of very busy shooting instructors who have never been in gun fights. Chock, chock full. What about all these combatives and “Kuraty” black belts and instructors who have never been in so-called “real” fights (not talking about ubiquitous, average tournaments here. If you want to be a sports champion, there are many experienced sport champs around to learn from). But, the “must have been in” rule is either a broad rule for all, or not much a rule.
In the big picture, not many people have “been in” anything they teach. For example, we know that many business expert, college professors and economists have never run a single business. There are many trained expert astronauts that have never been in outer space. There are many trained Chinese history experts who’ve never step foot in China. Should I go on and on with this never-ending list? You know what I mean.
So, what about the “Next Best Thing” rule? Most of the world has never “been in” a hand, stick, knife and gun fight. Most of these other topic instructors never have either. And folks do like to learn from those that have been “in.” But such sources and contacts are hard to find and expensive. So instead, most of the world meet downliners and this is where we get the titles “first generation, second generation” instructor nomenclature and why such designations might actually be important. And folks learn from researching the field. After a period of time of one or both study sources, these thirsty downline folks can become smart, subject matter experts. Oops, there’s that “expert” word again.
I myself have spent a lot of time and money traveling far and wide to train with really experienced people. I see and feel the experience. The advantage. The military and policing life have offered up these connections to me. But I would NEVER automatically belittle anyone who has never “not-been-there, not-done-that.” Some of the smartest people I know have never “been-there, done-that,” yet have the intelligence IQ and emotional IQ to excell, and are even smarter than the original, real-world experienced pros. Oh, yes. It’s like a genetic crapshoot, a macabre dance with nature-nurture and chance. That whole topic is called, “picking the right instructor!” (Find someone smarter than you.)
So why just pick on knife teachers? As I suggested I often waste my time by looking these knife complainers up. This particular aforementioned chap, works in a bread company, a bakery-factory. Oh sure, he has the prerequisite long beard and covered in tattoos for sure, but he makes bread. And…yes, he is a gun instructor. According to his resume, he’s never been a cop or in the military and I would bet, odds are then, never been a gunfight. Otherwise, he looks to be a great guy and a patriot and dedicated family man. Thumbs up, dude. And he might be, could be still be a fantastic gun instructor, even sans a gun fight – yet still an expert handler of the material. But he is exactly like that knife instructor, sans a knife fight, he throws stones at. The saying “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” comes to haunt.
How important is “Have Been In?” How important is “Been-There, Done-That?” How important is the “Next Best Thing?” Well, source-important is vital, yes, but the sources are a tiny minority in all fields and they’re hard to find and usually expensive. You learn from the best you can find and the majority of the time, it’s from those first, second, third or more generation sources. Let’s not be ignorant complainers and loudmouths living in glass houses about these first, second or thirders. They might be smarter than you. You “learn up the ladder.” Life, learning and skill is lot more than just sticking the pointy end in. Learn up.
Coming soon from Piccadilly Publishing in Great Britain…
Force Necessary: Hand Level 6 Strike: The Elbow Strike
Yes, the popular elbow strike is number 6 in the strike list. Not that it is 6th in importance, it’s just that everything cannot be number 1, and things need to be stretched out for digestion. Remember our mission is not to create champion kick or Thai boxers, but develop self defense, survival skills.
The elbows are very close quarters strikes. Sport applications can easily be confused with survival applications by naive instructors within the spinning worlds of self defense and sport. I have heard various self defense system instructors regurgitate a lot of sport doctrine. Survivorialist borrow (some like to say “steal”) from sports and shouldn’t automatically, completely replicate them. So what’s different?
Cutting AND Smashing? Take for example the generic instruction that the elbow is used for both cutting and smashing. Suffice to say that the best smashing impact deliveries are the striking surfaces just a bit below and above the elbow.
The Striking Version. Many experts suggest incorporating your big bones as much as possible. You might say, “elbow-area” striking for self defense and elbow tip striking possibilities for sports cutting. It’s more than semantics.
The Cutting Version. Hitting with the very tip of the elbow may cause pain and bone chipping injury to the striker (and yes and damage to the receiver). Ever walk through a doorway and nick the tip your elbow? Your elbow tip is nicknamed the “Funny Bone,” but the sharp pain comes from the Ulnar nerve that is near-surface at the hard elbow tip. This hurts in an odd way. Merely cutting the opponent’s face with your elbow tip is a sports assignment to mostly cause bleeding. Such is a “clock move.” A street survivor cannot, should not count on, or watch the clock tick-tock away for debilitating bleeding into the eyes. There’s no time for that. And also there are no refs studying the intensity of medical injuries to call the fight. I believe if you took a survey, Thai fighters would probably be hoping for, working toward smash hits and not little, superficial cuts when striking the head zone. Cutting is an after thought when a full smash failed. (Also, classic boxers will try to “cut” the face with twisting boxing gloves and maybe illegal, sneaky elbows to cause bleeding. Once again in boxing the clock and rounds and refs count for a lot strategy.)
Never an elbow tip? In being comprehensive, I would be remiss not to mention this “blocking” move. Some systems suggest stopping-blocking an incoming face punch with an elbow positioned in front of the face. Very Filipino. Standing or on the ground, this involves raising your bent arm up quickly, getting your elbow aimed at an incoming bare fist. Yes, this can damage the incoming fist. Some people have the wrong impression about hitting the incoming fist with one’s elbow in general – they think it’s like hitting a bullet with a bullet. “Chasing the fist.” The supporters say the attacker is punching your face, and your mission is to position your elbow up into the line, the punch’s common path. You are not chasing anything. You are placing not chasing. But, when upright, standing there are a lot of ancillary skills like prediction, athleticism and situations involved with this whereas simple dodging and blocking basics might be way more reflexive, comprehensive and simpler. And actually it’s easier on your back, on the ground. Less…”geography.” We report. You decide.
Better to Give than Receive. When in elbow delivery range, you are in elbow reception range, a common Thai Boxing theme. Where does your support hand and arm go? Inexperienced practitioners, especially those who have played American football often innocently go fist-to-fist, or fists-near-fists, striking in what sometimes looks looks like an overly-done torso upper body pivot. This is an unsafe in that it leaves the head exposed. Elbow striking Thai boxers usually put their support arm forearm up and somewhat straight up. Some Thai systems will place the back of their thumb on their the top of their foreheads as a matter of routine, creating a vertical “bar” in front of their face.
Catching-Trapping. Then at times the support hand might be used to capture targets like the head, and even the arms. And the thrusting elbow can be used like a strike for elbow hyperextensions and for shoves inside takedowns.
Note: Thai boxers often deliver horizontal and near horizontal incoming elbow strikes with that arm’s wrist bent and hand pointing down. This allows for the deeper range and penetration of the strike, whereas the straight wrist and hand inhibits that deeper strike because your hand hits your torso. In big gloved Thai fights, this hand position is hard to observe. The bent wrist might not matter much. This is just what I was taught in the Master Chai Sirisute Thai Boxing system. We report. You decide.
The Basic Elbow Smash List: The old saying is, “if you have a good hook (punch) you have a good elbow (and vice-versa), as the body dynamics are somewhat similar. The combinations seem endless and class time should be spent working on them. Do these standing, kneeling and on the ground (as in top, bottom, right side, left side), all where feasible.
Horizontal or mostly horizontal elbows.
– right traveling left.
– left traveling right.
Vertical or mostly vertical elbows.
– mostly downward direction, including diagnials.
– mostly upward direction, including diagnials.
– to the front, sides and back.
– mostly horizontal.
– 1/4 or 1/2 or 360 spins. Requires some foot and torso set up that at times can be similar to spinning kicks.
– should you feel uncomfortable spinning, you still need to see them used on you and defend against it.
This Level 6 Elbow Module includes all this and elbow scenarios, tricks and skill drills, all too much to to list here. Level 6 also includes the Level 6 kick – the Thrust Kick Module, the Level 6 Emergency Medical Module, and the 6th Stop of the Stop 6 Program which is the survival ground fighting module. Ask for the new and improved Force Necessary: Level 6 Requirements Outline. It’s free and available after 15 February, 2024.
- Is the core movement-mission subject important enough? and,
- Do not over-drill and become mere “drill-masters” unable to freestyle fight. (This is important)
- Pre-Lap: You might stretch a bit? Warm-up speed. Up to you.
- Lap 1: Regular running with a warm up in mind.
- Lap 2: Side-to-side pendulum-style footwork, facing out.
- Lap 3: Regular running.
- Lap 4: Side to side pendulum-style footwork, facing in.
- Lap 5: Regular running.
- Lap 6: Run backwards.
- Lap 7: Regular running. Start incorporating segments of wind sprints.
- Lap 8: Moving forward with “zig-zag” footwork, (Do you have painted lanes on your track? I usually use them to guide control my zig-zag forward stepping)
- Lap 9: Regular running, with some wind sprints and now some shadow boxing.
- Lap 10: Moving forward with zig-zag footwork, leap-step and turn in (with a hop) with each advancing step and shadow box a punch (one or two?) when facing inward. Very practical.
- Lap 11: Run backwards with shadow boxing.
- Lap 12: Regular running, with some wind sprints and shadow boxing.
- Lap 13: Three lane leaps. Traverse-hop three lanes while still moving forward in a bigger zig-zag, right to left, left to right. You may turn (or hop) inward and punch again, (I’m not to sure how practical the turn and punch is after a THREE lane advance, but you can still do it. The two-lane, turn-in seems to be more practical in a fight.)
- Lap 14: Regular running with wind sprints and shadow boxing.
- Lap 15: Run heel-to-toe on one painted stripe to build agility and balance.
- Lap 16: Experiment with some kicks while moving forward, even if you have to stop for a second to do it. See which ones work or don’t work on the mover.
- Lap 17 and Beyoooond. Continue on and create variables for your laps or segments of your laps. Some people add hand weights. Whatever. Review your footwork drills and see you can do them on the move. Experiment. Customize. Improve. Swing sticks and knives on the way. Try a few steps drawing out pistols, or carting long guns. The world is your violent oyster. Just don’t get arrested running with weapons in your hands, bubba! You will freak out onlookers.
I have been in court a lot, military, state and federal, helping prosecutors win cases I brought forth, for three decades. I even worked for defense attorneys in the subsequent years as a private investigator. This process was an incredible legal education. I came to believe that the best patrol officers are former detectives. The best detectives are former prosecutors. The best prosecutors are former judges (especially appellate). Of course, this reverse engineering ladder of sorts, this learning curve is impossible to officially implement.
But, I feel lucky to at least have worked in these worlds. Back then, District Attorney Jerry Cobb and his top assistants were better than most investigation schools on what details gets convictions. (Two such great and dedicated staff minds were Alan Levy and Lee Gabriel.)
(Me atop the Denton County, Texas Court House, circa 1980s. In the distance is the original courthouse on the classic downtown square. )
The law makes you think about all things big and small. The who, what, where, when, how and why. A police officer asks those questions for the crime report. The detective digs deeper. In the grand jury and trial stage we must dig even deep – deeper because you never what what tiny problem might arise in court.
Law school should export critical thinkers. All lawyers should be critical thinkers. They are often not. But they should be. I know lawyers who are doffusses and some think like criminals.
Juries and Jurors: And Lord knows common jurors… your wonderful peers… have no training in critical thinking. It’s the pot luck, roulette wheel of your freedom and fortune.
When I was an investigator in the US Army and in those court martials, the juries consisted of officers, usually college grads. No guarantee of critical thinking, but on paper at least they appear probably smarter than civilian “Joe-Shit-The-Rag-Man,” juror, often was-is someone who was never taught civics in school, the law or government or unbiased history. Often was-is someone that when questioned think Abe Lincoln was the first president. Often someone who failed to avoid jury duty and sometimes even fall asleep in the jury box. (Oh yes, I could tell you stories – well, I have, in my book below, actually. Judges are supposed to “wake up” jurors. Naps never happens in military tribunals. Oh no. And in federal court the judges are VERY powerful and sleepers are awakened by “thunderbolts” from the bench. But in state and county courts, not always. To counter the snoozers, I would sometimes fake a loud sneeze into the microphone when testifying and coming to a vital speech point. I would watch the nappers’ heads bolt up. I would wait a few seconds for them to come to their senses. Everyone in the court knew what I was doing, but it was a Oscar-level, sneeze performance with which I could contest any objections.)
One of the many things I learned that for the colonel, the scientist or the carpet-layer to totally draw conclusions, they need to hear and analyze total evidence. Thus…the “Total Evidence theory.”
“There’s a crucial principle in probabilistic reasoning known as the ‘total evidence requirement’. This is roughly the principle that we should always use the most specific evidence available to us. Suppose the prosecution tells the jury that the accused always carries a knife around with him, neglecting to add that the knife in question is a butter knife. The prosecution has not lied to the jury, but it has misled them by giving them generic information – that the accused carries a knife – when it could have given them more specific information – that the accused carries a butter knife. In other words, the prosecution has violated the total evidence requirement.” – Phillip Goff is professor in philosophy at Durham University, UK. Writing in Aeon Magazine
(My book covers much police action and many issues like this. The title was invented by the publisher and not my choice. When you sell a book, titular things like this are out of your control. Ebook or paperback. Click here. )