Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
The Woman Marine Pilot?
The teacher gave her fifth grade class an assignment: Get their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The next day, the kids came back and, one by one, began to tell their stories.
There were all the regular types of stuff: spilled milk and pennies saved. Then it was Janie's turn.
“Janie, do you have a story to share?'
''Yes ma'am. My daddy told me a story about my Mommy. She was a Marine pilot in Desert Storm, and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory, all she had was a flask of whiskey, a pistol, and a survival knife.
She drank the whiskey on the way down so the bottle wouldn't break, and then her parachute landed her right in the middle of 20 Iraqi troops.
She shot 15 of them with the pistol (that's a big clip!), until she ran out of bullets, killed four more with the knife, till the blade broke, and then she killed the last Iraqi with her bare hands.
''Good Heavens,' said the horrified teacher. 'What did your Daddy tell you was the moral to this horrible story?
"Stay away from Mommy when she's been drinking."
Thus endeth today's sermon...
Bless God, God bless.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
First, let me discuss what I mean by solo training. I'm defining solo training as someone who took a class/seminar and is working the skill set. They may have started with a video and found that they were not getting some of the intricacies of how the skills flow. So, they make the jump and get the training. Here they will hone what they learned in the video and take it to a deeper understanding. The small things that may not come through on the video come alive when you are there practicing timing, distance and pressure. On the flip side, the video is a great way to refresh after a course. Sometimes we get caught up and only really pick up a few nuggets while in class. A quick review of a video will trigger things you may have almost forgotten by the time you get home.
Here are a few examples from my own experiences in the last few years of how working with someone can make a difference in the efficiency of the learning curve. First, Richard Coplin worked me through a Murphy T-shirt drill. With out his guidance and working the small details, I probably would have destroyed half of my wardrobe and spent countless repetitions and ammo flailing about trying to figure out how to best work though this wardrobe malfunction. Second, a small adjustment to my understanding of how to use a live hand from Mike Janich to sweep an arm through when you are caught inside. I'd seen it, practiced it on my own solo but, did not have true understanding until working it with someone live. I've also experienced these eye opening moments from Tom Sotis, Roger Phillips and Gabe over the last few years.
Self taught would be how I would describe much of my early "combat shooting." I see a lot of it when I'm at the range now. People who want to buy a gun and go out and just fling lead until they hit something. I was mediocre at best and like many, was willing to settle at that. Later as I discovered videos and other people who had skills I wanted to emulate, my understanding and skill set began to grow by leaps and bounds. Do I still try to be self taught? At times, yes. But, to become truly efficient, I find spending time with someone who understands more makes me better.
Being self taught is better than doing nothing at all. Start with the video. Find some friends who want learn and spend time with them. Watch the video all the way through. Go back and freeze frame and move it forward slowly to get the footwork or body mechanics. Then, get off the couch and do something. Try out the new stuff.
Intensity and Visualization
Situations will arise which are not of your own choosing.
You must be fully prepared to meet them with confidence.
No matter what they may be..." Leonard Hector Grant-Taylor
How do you build confidence and know you can handle whatever threat might turn your day upside down? Practice! Too simple right? Part of the practice should be as hard and intense as you can make it.
Many times our friends, families and training partners are just not available to practice so we have to do some solo training. Katas? Kinda. The trap many people fall into with kata and solo training is lack of intensity and visualization. We just walk through the steps. We give no thought to what we are actually trying to accomplish. It's just a bunch of moves that we do because we were told to do them. Some of our skill sets allow us to train with better visualization and intensity because we know the goal of our training is to destroy our foe. Come on John, how do you solo train with intensity? Ever looked at photos of Gabe when he is teaching and training. You would have a hard time telling there wasn't someone there he truly disliked and had intent on killing.
Your visualization and intensity should include shooting at life like targets. Sure, bullseyes will let you work on the perfectly pinpointed shot; but, will it help you move past the mental barrier of drilling a human being between the eyes when the need arises? Will you be so ingrained with the idea of shooting little circles that you loose focus because there is no X to focus on in the center of mass?
Visualization can be used in live fire or dry fire. Either way picture yourself winning. Make yourself angry. Get primal. These people are here to kill you and rape your child/wife/girlfriend! Still willing to walk through your training?
Yes, basics come first. You must learn the techniques/mechanics. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. But, if you stop there you will never realize your full potential. Now do it as fast and angry as you can. Work some over-speed training into it. Now you are angry/intense and fast. Cold War Scout generously shared an article with me on visualization (NAME OF BOOK) It uses the term "Crisis Rehearsal." It discussed how visualization can be like a small movie in your head. This is similar to how athletes use visualization to walk through a course or plays etc. They cited an example of a Vietnam POW that played 36 holes of golf in his head everyday while in captivity. He played better after his return than before he left.
From the article:
Visualization and mental practice allows you to
- Over learn tactics and techniques so they become second nature
- By familiarizing yourself with the look and feel of a crisis situation, it diffuses the impact of the stress-shock phenomena. And
- it imprints learned response patterns on your system so that under pressure they guide your physical reactions instantly and successfully without conscious thought.
Practice multiple scenarios with the outcome of you always winning. Visual the perfect draw stroke, the perfect index of the gun, how the recoil feels, ingrain it into your mind.
Visualization is not a substitute for practice and role playing or force on force. It is will supplement it and put you ahead of someone who finds themselves in the middle of a stressful situation with no prior practice.
Knife and H@H
These skills cross over to knife and empty hand as well. Walking through techniques and mechanics will work the same. Use the same targets as mentioned above to give you a visual target to work angles etc. Now do it fast with intensity. Get the basics down and move on to working strikes on bags, training dummies etc. Go as hard as you can. As Mike Janich said, "Careful, this might feel like exercise." Again, solo training with visualization will not replace working on a resistant opponent that will change distances, speed and timing but, it will help you be better at it.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Ralph, My neighbor is a "lefty" of sorts (Obama bumper stickers, gung-ho socialized medicine, "guns should be banned", etc.). So last week I put this sign up in my yard after one of his anti-gun rants at a neighborhood cocktail party. The sign wasn't up more than an hour before he called the police and wanted them to make me take down the sign. Fortunately, the officer politely informed him that it was not their job to take such action without a court order and that he had to file a complaint "downtown" first, which would be reviewed by the city attorney to see if it violated any city, county, or state ordinances, which if there was a violation a court order would be sent to the offending party (me) to "remove the sign in seven days". After several weeks he was informed that the sign was legal (by a quarter of an inch) and there was nothing the city could do, which obviously made him madder. I tried to smooth things over by inviting him to go shooting with me and my friends at the hunt club but that seemed to make him even more angry. I then asked him if he wanted to go to a Tea Party rally but again he declined my outreach efforts to bring about a better understanding between political and social opponents. I am at a loss how to reconcile our long relationship (notice I did not say friendship), any suggestions would be welcomed.Anyway, that's life in our neck of the woods, how's about yours?
Friday, April 16, 2010
"Obama skips out on boisterous rally" reads the WaPo headline... but we know better. He didn't 'skip'. Like the coward he is, he ran out of town on the pretext of chatting with NASA 'employees'- none of whom were present at the fund-raiser dinner.
"...Among the thousands of "tea party" protesters that gathered Thursday at Freedom Plaza, a stone's throw from the White House, were dozens of signs directed at President Obama, some demanding "Listen To Me!" others asking "Why Can't You Hear Us?"..."
What it was about and who was in attendance.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
From the Gabe Suarez 4.7.10 Newsletter...
I want to introduce you to a hypothetical man named John Smith. John Smith is a private citizen. That means that he is not hampered by political directives or policies at federal, state or local levels. But John thinks he is "just a civilian". John has sought mediocrity his entire life. John was bred to be mediocre from the time he was enrolled in first grade. It is what he was trained for since birth....don't make waves...be a nice guy...you can't do this...you can't do that...do as you are told and be a good mediocre civilian citizen.
Then John realized he'd better buy a pistol and carry it because his neighbor was robbed, beaten, raped or brutalized, and the police did not come in time for anything but the report. Being a father and a husband, he did have a glimmering of the understanding of responsability.
So he went to the local gunstore and allowed the patronizing oversized cigar-smoking salesman to talk him into buying a double action only Smith and Wesson because it had several safeties and a real heavy and long trigger pull. "It is great for a mediocrity-seeking civilian like you John", announced the salesman as he wiped doughnut juice on his dingy Local Police Revolver Club t-shirt.
John asked about the Glocks and XDs and M&Ps that looked so modern and cool, and about how many bullets the clip held.
"Oh no...those are for professionals son....you are a civilian...you don't need anything like that. And why do you need more than seven rounds son. You're not gonna go commando on us are you?". Being a mediocrity seeker, and not wanting to be guilty of the sin of arguing, John blushed and chuckled nervously. He bought the Smith and Wesson and went home. He did go to a free handgun clinic at the local range taught by an ex-security guard after he passed his CCW class. But all the guy talked about was how he would get sued if he ever shot anyone so not to shoot anyone. John went to that range a couple of times and shot one round per second like a good mediocre citizen.
Someone told him about more comprehensive classes teaching gunfighting, but John laughed nervously again. Shaking his head he told himself, I am not a gunfighter...I am just a civilian...what do I need to do with gunfighting?" He was a civilian and did not need to go to one of those "commando schools", or learn how to kill like that crazy ad said. He didn't like carrying a gun in the first place and was beginning to convince himself to just leave it at home. That is what his wife would want even though she had allowed him to buy the gun in the first place.
So John went on with his life doing his best to avoid bad things, bad places and bad people. But one day, as much as he tried, as much as anyone tries, trouble came to him. He found himself at church when some crazy terrorist decided today was going to be Judgement Day. After shooting the pastor in the head, he began shooting people in the crowd. The congregation was also full of mediocrity seekers, and those that did not get shot outright, ran away like properly conditioned civilians are trained to do.
But John was torn about running with the rest of the herd, or fighting. He drew his pistol and tried to aim it but it felt strange in his hands....after all civilians did not need to train like Delta Force so John had spent his free time playing tennis and watching television instead. He wondered if he was ready to do what he was thinking of doing. At that moment a round from the terrorist caught his frozen wife right in the face and dropped her dead at his feet. As he turned open-mouthed, to see her die, three rounds hit him in the chest, two piercing his heart.....and the last thought that he had before he faded into blissfull unconscious death was,
"......but I am just a civilian".
If that is what you seek for yourself, do not let us interfere with your quest for mediocrity. But if that is not what you want, we can help you to be the best warrior you can be.
Monday, April 5, 2010
TV comedians are increasing their Obama jokes as he falls further out of favor...
The liberals are asking us to give Obama time. We agree . . . and think 25 to life would be appropriate. (Leno)
America needs Obama-care like Nancy Pelosi needs a Halloween mask. (Leno)
Q: Have you heard about McDonald's' new Obama Value Meal?
A: Order anything you like and the guy behind you has to pay for it. (Conan O'Brien)
Q: What does Barack Obama call lunch with a convicted felon?
A: A fund raiser. ( Leno)
Q: What's the difference between Obama's cabinet and a penitentiary?
A: One is filled with tax evaders, blackmailers, and threats to society. The other is for housing prisoners. (Letterman)
Q: If Nancy Pelosi and Obama were on a boat in the middle of the ocean, and it started to sink, who would be saved?
A: America! (Fallon)
Q: What's the difference between Obama and his dog, Bo?
A: Bo has papers. (Kimmel)
Q: What was the most positive result of the "Cash for clunkers" program?
A: It took 95% of the Obama bumper stickers off the road. (Letterman)
Friday, April 2, 2010
Read, comment, think about it... then find the spray paint and magic markers and... let them know your displeasure. Show what "Affirmative Action" really should be.
Bless God, God bless.