A Martial Arts Moment:
I was thinking about some knife based Martial Arts, mostly Filipino based, that entertain the concept of “biomechanical cutting”. There can be some confusion with the term depending on the art or the practitioner, but the essence of the concept is the intentional cutting of muscles and connective tissues in the limbs so as to cause loss of function. Some artists have taken the idea as far as employing a blade as an almost “less than lethal” tool in a self-defense situation. They think they can use a knife to disable limbs while not killing…or intending to kill…an opponent.
In theory, I have nothing against “biomechanical cutting”; if your defensive techniques feature limb attacks and those cuts actually do disable limbs in a self-defense situation so much the better. But I question it’s efficiency as a “primary technique”…I will cut up his limbs so I wont have to kill him. That seems to assume an almost “fantasy level” of technical and physical dominance in a fight where you felt you had to employ a knife.
If you are going to argue that you were in such fear for your life that you had to draw a blade and you then went on to fillet the guy at will….I could see an attorney attacking that.
I see stabs as the analog of center of mass firearms hits and “slashes” like limb hits. Sometimes you may shoot at a limb intentionally because that’s the only target you have. If you are shooting from under a car and disable a guy with leg hits great…it was all you had and it worked. Developing a firearms technique that intentionally focuses on limbs as a “less lethal option” is fraught with issues. A gun is NOT a “less lethal” tool no matter where you shoot someone. Think otherwise and I think we start to wander into the “why did you kill him? Couldn’t you have shot him in the leg or something?” territory.
A knife is a deadly force weapon. I don’t know if I’d be willing to be a test subject for a legal argument that it can be employed as a “less lethal” tool. Even limb slashes can kill via exsanguination.
In conclusion, my personal opinion on knives as a “defensive tool” is that if I have to use one its going to be in a “kill or be killed” situation, and the best way to survive such a threat and sustain a legal defense, is to employ it as such.
I have mentioned in previous posts that I subscribe to the idea that:
A man’s ordinary life at peace reflects his courage or cowardice just like a mirror…Having the least bit of spare time, he will put his mind to Learning, and not be negligent in his practice of the martial arts…He will protect his health fully and will keep in mind the desire to perform at least once in his life a great meritorious deed.
It’s my opinion that a person should, on occasion, test themselves. Large, life altering tests are not as necessary as frequent, smaller tests. These “little tests” can be as simple as; speaking up when you see something wrong, being the person who takes the lead when it’s obvious that everybody else is looking for someone to make the first move, making a public speech, etc.
In this day and age there are…
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Departing a bit from the usual stuff I post here, but bear with me.
Something that I have issues with in the online community and in the real world is the anti-cop/anti-soldier crowd. Some people are just outright contemptuous and name calling…jackboot, babykiller, pig, etc. etc. Then there are the “I respect soldiers/cops, I really do, my brother is a cop, BUT…..” people who corner you with stories of beatings, abuse of authority, how some cop was “rude” to them on a traffic stop, how being a soldier or a cop is no more dangerous than being a cab driver or 7-11 clerk, why a cop can get out of a speeding ticket but they cant and on..and on….
Something I have always noticed is how predominantly “male” all these types are. Yes you do find the odd woman amongst the crowd, but by and large it seems to be guys…
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Just came across this little nugget:
In the description it states:
Abduction is rampant, even in America. According to the FBI, Sex slavery is now the 2nd highest grossing criminal enterprise in the world (after Drugs). Watch this video to learn what to do and what not to do to avoid falling victim to this social epidemic. For more information, contact us at
Rampant eh? In his book Protecting the Gift, Gavin De Becker states that compared to a stranger kidnapping, a “child is vastly more likely to have a heart attack, and child heart attacks are so rare that most parents never even consider the risk.”
And juvenile kidnapping is a larger percentage of kidnapping statistics as a total than adult kidnapping.
The vid flashes up an assortment of crime statistics implying that you (the woman in a parking lot) are at a dangerous risk of abduction into…
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I was raisedon the belief that “if you have to tell someone how good you are, you’re probably not that good.”
Go ahead and read that a couple more times and let it soak in.
If you are a veteran prone to what I like to call IVS, also knownas irritable veteran syndrome, you might just want to stop reading now. You will undoubtedly be butt hurt by the time I finish.
I am going to start with the old saying “if the shoe fits” and you can decide if I am out of line, dead wrong, or speaking about a truth we have lost sight of. I will be completely honest. I am ashamed of the veteran community as a whole when it comes to how we have been behaving. In the age of social media I cannot go throughthe day without seeing a viral picture or video passed…
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I have been considering all of the changes I have seen in training and philosophy regarding law enforcement response to active shooter situations and Boston Bomber/Mumbai style terror attacks over the course of my career. I recall that the Post Analysis of the Boston Bombing response was critical about Command and Control and the fire discipline of the officers involved in some of the shootouts. In a nutshell, there was an implication that LE responded in more of a disorganized “swarm” than they did a nice…orderly… “OP”.
Well, from an LEO response end of things, I’m tending to see a successful American LE response to “shitters” like Boston or Mumbai being more of a “swarming” than an organized “operation”.
I once sat through a debrief of the Navy Yard Shooting (the real one) and the critique was that tons of cops from everywhere swarmed the area (like in Boston) with little coordination or communication. Nobody responded to staging areas, nobody awaited orders, most responders “self-deployed”.
I say…that’s why a days long Mumbai event won’t likely happen here. Sure cops may wind up shooting in all directions, but to some extent that’s going to be the reality of an effective response. Cops are going to respond from everywhere, with guns, and things are going to resolve in relatively short order. Certainly, it’s not going to look like a cut-scene from Call of Duty, and there will most likely be some stray rounds and friendly fire incidents. Smooth and organized rapid deployments are things of TV…not reality.
I make an analogy to the para-drops on D-day. Cops will likely self-organize into small units and go hunting. That’s what ultimately happened at the Navy Yard. It took some time and wasn’t pretty, but a small mixed unit finally hunted the shooter down and killed him.
Sitting around waiting for it all “to go as planned” ain’t gonna happen.
And that isn’t a “failure” IMO.
What I think law enforcement planners and trainers should start doing is “planning for imperfection”. Instead of insisting on more and more exercises and tabletops expecting cops to respond to staging areas to await deployment in “real world”, they need to start considering what is most likely going to happen in reality and develop tactics and strategies accordingly.
As James MacGregor Burns taught in his classic 1978 text, Leadership, the practice of leadership is not the same as the exercise of power. If I put a loaded gun to your head, I can get you to do things you might not otherwise do, but I’ve not practiced leadership; I’ve exercised power.
True leadership only exists if people follow when they have the freedom not to.
Jim Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors
As Collins points out leadership is not about power.
Leadership is about influence, inspiration and motivation.
Leadership is about service.
Leadership is about developing people.
Leadership is about doing what is right even when it is not what is popular or expedient.
Leadership is about modelling desired behaviours.
Leadership is about respect.
Leadership is about action.
Leadership is about humility.
If you have the power, you are likely in a leadership position. Position, rank…
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If you are ever confronted with a situation where you have to escape from a kidnapping attempt or vehicular ambush, and backing out of the killzone is impossible, a simple rule to keep in mind is….
….consider the size/weight of your vehicle and the size/weight of the vehicles blocking you in.
Regardless of that comparison, you do not want to impact the engine end of a vehicle with yours. Most of the mass of a vehicle is in the engine and you don’t want to strike the heaviest part of their car with yours.
If you absolutely have to push your way out of a roadblock, pick the car that is as close to or smaller than the size of yours and aim for the back end of it.
You do NOT want to hit the other vehicle at a high rate of speed, 20-25 MPH is the sweet spot. Do not hit the brake as you push through, remember to keep your foot on the gas and accelerate through. Be prepared for airbag activation, but do NOT stop. Recover from the impact and drive away ASAP.