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Friday, September 10, 2010

So closed fist is bad?

I find it funny that all the"combatives" guys spend so much time trying to convince people that relying on closed fist striking for self-preservation ALWAYS leads to shattered hands. It is one of their most cherished mantras.

Yet, one of the heroes of the combatives/RBSD guys is now coming out with his latest DVD series and - SURPRISE! - it is all about closed fist striking for the street! LMAO!!!! What is really great is the guy has little training in it (and believe me, it shows in his movement from the promo clip), but that doesn't seem to mean that he thinks he is not a subject matter expert. Sheesh.

I wonder how the RBSD people will spin this.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Managing Training Time

Trying to fit in training time might be the most difficult part of training. Unless you are a professional athlete, independently wealthy, or young and without ties, it is tough to manage all the things you need to do while going about your life with family, work, and social obligations. Add in a multi-disciplinary approach (S&C, BJJ, striking, clinch, MUC/awareness, handgun, carbine, knife, stick, etc...) and the problem expands exponentially.

I wrote about one way of dealing with this on my blog back in November of 2008 (No Time). This trick is good for fitting in something, but not the bulk of the work you need. For myself, I need to be more organized and focused.

What I do is use a large desk calender from a office supply store and I write, in advance, what my workouts will be on what day for the next 1-2 weeks. Sounds simple, but I have found most people don't really plan that way. They "know" what they are needing to do, but forget to plan around the things that pop up in everyday life.

For example, it's easy to say you will go to MMA class M-W-Sat, but what if you have a business dinner meeting that you forgot about on Wednesday? How do you compensate? Do you try to push back the schedule? Do you just miss the class? Or do you try to squeeze in multiple workouts on the same day (say the MMA class and a heavy strength session)?

IMO, it's easier to do this ahead of time. If I can see my schedule for two weeks out, I can plan around business commitments, holidays, kid's doctor appointments, etc. If there is a conflict, I can work around it ahead of time, rather than scramble and stress out, or beat myself up for missing a workout.

I like a having a plan. It helps me to focus on the training itself, and not about the when.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I love predictions by stupid people

Here are some quotes by scientists and other experts on the occasion of the first Earth Day in 1970.

Notice that every single prediction is wrong, and even more amusing is that many "experts" say the same things right now about our current situation.

“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
• George Wald, Harvard Biologist

“We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
• Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist

“Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
• New York Times editorial, the day after the first Earth Day

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
• Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
• Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
• Life Magazine, January 1970

“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

Stanford's Paul Ehrlich announces that the sky is falling.

“Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”
• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones.”
• Martin Litton, Sierra Club director

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

“Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
• Sen. Gaylord Nelson

“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

Monday, February 01, 2010

You better rely on yourself

Some people will look askance at the idea that you have the right to self-defense. They will say that we can rely on the Police to help. Those people need to read the following news story and take particular note that the victim had NINE orders of protection, for all the good it did.

Note: this is not a slam in anyway against law enforcement. They have a tough job, but even the best of them CANNOT always be there.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Reading comprehension

My new pet peeve is the apparent inability of people to simply comprehend what they read. It seems to be rampant on the internet.

I just had an interaction with a semi-well known Martial Artist who, regardless of his education, cannot understand the written word. It left me feeling icky. The fact that there are some people out there who think this guy has a clue about combat boggles my mind. It is especially bad when he posts video or DVDs of himself trying to perform something. He sucks, hands down. But I have to keep my mouth shut because of good friends of mine who like him (not because they think he has anything worthwhile about fighting, but as a person). Too bad, because I would like to expose some things about him he would prefer stay quiet.

Being polite sucks sometimes.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Dredging up the past

Here is something for anyone who read MMA/grappling-centric magazines and internet discussion boards in the late 90's.

Those of you who did might recall there was a debate between BJJ people and Catchwrestling people (most notably Matt Furey and Karl Gotch) about whether submission holds could actually break bones. The catch guys spoke long and loud on how it was impossible. The BJJ people brought up a lot of actual facts that never seemed to penetrate the Catch guys brains. Ithink the debate has long been won, but this past New Year's Eve in Japan serves as a reminder. On a big televised MMA event, Shinya Aoki broke the humerous of Mizuto Hirota with a kimura. If he wasn't so irrelevant to real combat today, it might have been interesting to hear Matt Furey try to justify that one.

I know this is kind of immature to bring up the past like this, but sometimes I can't help it. Plus, I don't want someone stumbling on that drivel and EVER trying to pull the wool over people again.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Three Fallacies of "Don't Go To The Ground"

Many so-called combat authorities like to tell you not to go to the ground in a "street fight". They generally cite things like weapons involvement, multiple opponents, no soft mats to land on, while you are submitting him others will stomp you, etc. as their reasoning. I say B.S. What they are really saying is ""Don't go to the ground because I don't know how to do it myself, and therefore can't teach it. And since I like having my ego stroked with people referring to me as a real world expert, if I can't teach it but tell you it is important, then I lose some standing as a badass. Especially since I am too afraid of testing myself in a grappling environment where I could get my ass kicked". Why do I say that is what they actually mean? Because the reasons they espouse are so easily refuted, they must have a hidden agenda.

I will break this down into three parts to answer the "experts" lies. Here is the first one:

myth: Don't go to the ground because there will be more than one opponent
fact: Really? Where are the numbers to back this up? The RBSD gurus say this all the time. I am trying to figure out where they are getting this. Now I am not saying multiple opponents when you are alone does not happen, just that they are statistically rare. I have gone through a ton of research into this and I just can't find too many instances where an individual 1) is by himself, 2) does not violate the rule of 4 S's (don't go to stupid places at stupid times and do stupid things with stupid people), and 3) manages to get into an altercation with multiple opponents.

Do the research. The RBSD guys (especially in the UK) love to talk about being a doorman and using that as their experience, and they usually cite Geoff Thompson as their touchstone. Well, unlike many of them, I have some grasp of reading comprehension, and I read Thompson's work, including his book that started it all Watch My Back (a really good and valuable book BTW). If you look through, even when he is working in the most violent of bars, it is rare to go against more than one person when he is alone. As a matter of fact, those instances make up less than 20% of his stories. And that number generally holds up across the board when you look at other reports of documented fights/attacks.

And, apparently, most of the RBSD guys have no friends. I don't know about them, but when I go out on the town for the night, I do it with friends, so I have someone to help me. I guess I can only pity some of these "combat gurus" who envision themselves stumbling through this world totally alone. I can't do much about that. I can't teach them how to be social!

Do multiple opponents scenarios happen? Sure, but in statistically small numbers, and even smaller would be the times it is one against the many (outside of Conan movies). So, we should prepare for it and train to deal with it, but don't base everything you do on it.

And in the following two parts, I will show more of how insipid it is for someone to parrot "don't go to the ground in the street".