Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Future of Air Warfare is Upon Us

And that future is apparently going to involve less manned aircraft.

As technology moves forward and the uses to which a drone can be put expands you can bet your ass that the number of manned combat aircraft will decrease. Drones cost way less than a fighter aircraft (and my guess is that even an F-16 or F-35 will cost less without having to configure it to accommodate a human pilot) as well as the reduced cost of not having to train fighter pilots will merely make it easier to convince the powers that be (as well as the bean counters) that unmanned fighter aircraft are the way to go. Especially as it reduces the potential loss of an American life.

There are downsides to this, but I won't even bother to list them because my opinion doesn't mean squat. Time and technology will continue to march on regardless of what people like me think.

And so it goes

Unmanned Drone Air to Air Kill

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Review - Basic Manual Of Knife Fighting by William Cassidy

Originally published by Paladin Press in 1978, and recently reisssued, the book purports to be the style of knifefighting taught by W.E. Fairbairn to the SMP as well as the OSS and SOE during WW2.

Somehow, I don't see any Police Force (even the Shanghai Municipal Police during the 20s and 30s) teaching their men how to "knife fight".
As for the contents of the manual itself, I will gladly state that there is nothing wrong, stupid or flashy about what it teaches. Basic cuts and thrusts, footwrk, grips, vital targets etc. All are quite simple, direct and, dare I say it.. correct!

There are however several points that must be made. Most important of all is simply that this book is really nothing more than a basic compilation of the knife methodology shown in Fairbairns GET TOUGH and Rex Applegates KILL OR GET KILLED. It even looks like Mr. Cassidy got a look at Applegates BOOK OF DOUBLE EDGED KNIFE FIGHTING years before it was even published by Paladin!
He even appears to have taken several illustrations (line drawings) from the above mentioned books.

The book is 40 pages long, but could easily have been done in 20 if the illustrations had been put on the same pages with the written material.
So, to conclude, am I saying that you shouldn't buy this book? Actually, not at all. If you don't currently have the books I referenced above, and would like to get the knife fighting methods in them for a bargain price (the book is currently retailing for a mere $6.00) then by all means, buy it.

But if you already do own the books that Mr. Cassidy "borrowed" from, then don't bother.
Because there's nothing in it that you haven't seen before.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Another Great Image That Would Make A Good Logo

W.E. Fairbairn with a Thompson SMG. A combination you can't beat with a stick!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Book Review - The Yawara Stick For Self Defense by George Wallace.

Not a lot is known about George Wallace. In the early 70's he wrote several small yet very practical Manuals about Self Defense. The subjects included the use of Sticks, Batons, and Knives. There were several books about different aspects of Stickfighting and the Yawara (or pocket stick) was one of them.

That book is the subject of this review. In a time when more localities are restricting or even banning the carry of purpose designed tools of Self Defense, the ability to improvise with common articles for protecting yourself from criminal assault is something that more people should be aware of. The Yawara stick has been both maligned as ineffective, and touted as being better than a .357 Magnum.

The reality is that, as with any other tool, it's effectiveness lies somewhere in between, and this little manual gives a practical account of it's actual abilities and how to put them to use.

by George B. Wallace

In the early 1970's, George B. Wallace wrote a series of small, pamphlet-sized manuals on Self Defense. They were simple, no-frills affairs that covered straight forward, direct methods of Self Defense that could be learned by the average person without the need of years of study and practice. They covered the subjects of Unarmed Combat, Knife Fighting, Stick Fighting (two volumes), and the subject of this review, the Yawara Stick. Very little is known about Mr. Wallace himself, although it has been suggested that he was a student of the late Bruce Tegner.

Call it the the Yawara, Kubotan, Koga, Koppo, Olisi Palad, whatever you will, the pocket stick cannot be beat for simplicity, economy, accessability, or ease of learning. It’s also a personal favorite of mine.

The book starts off with some basic, common-sense information about self defense in general, and then goes on to cover a little history about the Yawara. The next few sections describe typical Yawara construction and dimensions. Essentially, any short, solid cylindrical object in the 5" to 6" length with a diameter of ½" to 1" will fit the bill. Mr Wallace devotes several pages to improvised Yawara-type weapons such as (but not limited to) a pen, a ruler, or a small flashlight.

Moving quickly along, he goes on to cover proper grip and targets on the human body that are the most vulnerable to Yawara strikes. One of the things that I like most about this manual is that, unlike most other books and/or tapes on the Yawara stick, Mr Wallace focuses solely on striking with the Yawara, and does not even mention using it for joint-locks or pain-compliance techniques. For me personally, one of the beauties of the Yawara is that if you have practiced basic hand to hand Combatives, and are familiar with hammerfist or edge of hand blows, the Yawara is just an extension or enhancement of these basic, proven strikes.

The manual continues on with specific scenarios in which the Yawara can be used. Defenses are covered against boxer type attacks, bull-rushes, kicks, clubs, and knives. One of the more noteworthy points he brings up is the integration of using your Yawara stick with your empty hand skills. Such as using your off-hand, or more importantly, using low-line kicks to help defeat your attacker. He also covers two areas that are usually never found in any of the other reference material on this subject.

Firstly, he talks briefly about practicing your draw. Every other manual I have seen on the use of the Yawara always shows the person using it as already having it in their hand. Mr Wallace recommends carrying it in the same (hopefully accessible) spot on a regular basis so that you won’t fumble for it if you have to get to it in a hurry. Secondly he covers what should be a no-brainer for any hand-held weapons use, but I have never seen it mentioned in any book or tape on the subject of Yawara or Pocket-Stick use.

Grip training!

Mr Wallace devotes several pages to improving your grip so that you can deliver strong, effective blows with the Yawara without having to worry about the stick either flying out of your hand, or just sliding through it and thereby reducing the effectiveness of the blows. The number one thing he suggests is simply taking tour Yawara and striking a wooden board with force so that you can learn to maintain a strong hold, and deliver strong, forceful blows.

Over the years I have read or viewed a close to a dozen different books and tapes on the subject of Yawara/Pocket-Sticks, but in my opinion “The Yawara Stick For Self Defense” by George B Wallace is simply the best, most well rounded and practical manual on the subject that has ever been published. Out of print now for almost 50 years, it is VERY hard to find, and despite being only 32 pages long, it usually commands a fairly high, but not outlandish price. Accordingly, if anyone reading this review should ever come across a copy, I would strongly recommend that you try to pick it up.

You won’t be disappointed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Review of Steve Maxwell Gracie Self Defense Jiu JItsu Seminar

The review below is from a seminar I attended in May of 2016. I originally wrote it for a small forum I belong to. Lately I have made a decision to start putting up some of my other articles, reviews, etc., on the Blog for general perusal by the public.

I'm putting this one up as a sort of follow up to my Blog post about how some instructors whose self defense programs have previously been based heavily on their students becoming near full time BJJ students, but have recently realized that not everybody looking for some sort of self defense training are actually interested in the Martial Arts per se. In short, they are not looking for a new addition to their lifestyle.

Some people are, but from my observations over the years after being involved in Shotokan Karate, Muy Thai, Doce Pares Escrima and Combatives, some people do develop an interest. However a very large percentage do not.

Having said all that, time to get to the review.


Steve Maxwell Gracie Jiu Jitsu Self Defense Seminar

So May 1st, I drove into Brooklyn for a 3 hour "Brazillian" Jiu Jitsu seminar with Steve Maxwell. This was not your sport or MMA oriented type of seminar. This was the original self defense material that the Gracies originally taught when they came up to the US. This was supposed to be stand-up and grounded defenses. However due to the fact that Mr. Maxwell felt the matting in the gym was inadequate and that there might be injuries he decided to just do all stand-up.

Considering my shitty lower back, I was actually quite happy with his decision.

To get right to the point, the material he showed was quite in line with older style Jiu Jitsu techniques along the lines of what I had been trained in for years by the late Carl Cestari, as well as material from older Jiu Jitsu manuals. The escapes from wrist grabs, throat/collar grabs, two hand chokes both against the wall and free-standing, etc. were in some cases slightly different from what I had previously trained, but they were close enough for me to have no trouble keeping up. The biggest difference was in the area of mindset/mentality in that where I had been trained to be quick to use strikes to injure my attacker, these older style methods were geared more to just getting the guy off you while doing a minimum of damage.This isn't to say that some of the techniques didn't involve strikes, because they did. It's just that there wasn't quite as much emphasis as I was normally used to.

One of the hardest parts for me, considering my age and chronic injuries, were the drills for getting up off the floor. They were similar to what Carl and Clint have shown for years. One of the drills involved delivering a kick to your attackers knee and then getting up. The difference was that Steve Maxwell had us using the leg closer to the ground for the kick instead of the top leg. When asked about it he explained that the thinking was that because the top leg was higher off the ground it would be easier for your attacker to catch it or knock it out of the way because he wouldn't have to bend over as far to grab or deflect it.

Overall I enjoyed the seminar and got a chance to work some material that I hadn’t had the opportunity to practice at a seminar for a few years. In the 3 hours I was there I got to do plenty of drilling on the material he showed. The price was only $80 because it was basically a 1/2 day event and I feel it was well worth it. Steve Maxwell in person is exactly like he is on his DVD's. Friendly, personable and a good instructor. An interesting thing I think I should mention is that Steve actually lamented the fact that the most BJJ schools weren't teaching the actual original Self Defense material these days and were concentrating too much on the BJJ Sport competition and MMA programs.

My only complaint is that my hips and glutes were not happy for the next few days. However that really just shows what parts of my body aren't getting worked out the way they need to be. Oddly enough though my lower back hardly bothered me at all.

All in all, a good day of worthwhile training.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Components Of A Criminal Assault

* There is usually the presence of disproportionate armament and unequal initiative. This means that the bad guys have more (or better) weapons than their victims, and they have the advantage of knowing when the assault is going to take place.

* Criminals are not interested in a contest of skill, they’re interested in getting paid. If criminals wanted a challenge, they’d start a business, join the military, or become professional athletes. They will almost always be lazy enough to not want a job, yet sociopathic enough to be willing to hurt you and take whatever you possess if you present a soft enough target.

* They understand the value of an ambush. Successful violent criminals do not telegraph their intent. By the time they show their intent, you’re already getting a gun pressed to your head, a blade placed on your neck, or your teeth knocked down your throat.

* Employing a firearm on your part, early enough in the encounter, can be a deterrent. This goes to the aforementioned “wanting to get paid”. For a criminal, getting shot does not constitute a good days work. For the intended victim, this means being aware enough to realize what’s about to happen as early as possible in the encounter.

* Criminals have to get close enough to you to employ whatever their particular choice of physical intimidation in order to take your goods. Generally speaking, most handgun schools will give lip service to the fact that you can’t get mugged from across the street. However they will then proceed to conduct shooting drills at ranges of anywhere from three to seven yards and believe it is a reasonable method of training for an actual situation. The truth unfortunately is that most attacks will occur at conversational distances of 3 feet or less.

* There is usually more than one assailant. Criminals may be bad guys and not rocket scientists, but they certainly understand the value of strength in numbers. Multiple assailants are always bad news.

* Last but not least, there will almost always be a weapon involved. Whether it is a gun, a knife, or a beer bottle, you can expect something will be used to either put a hole in you or beat you down.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Levi-Strauss Jumps On The Anti-Gun Bandwagon

Who gives a fuck? I stopped buying their overpriced, poorly (no longer) Made in America jeans years ago.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Andrew 'Angry Eyes' Cuomo Violates Federal Law And Gets A Pass Because, Well, He's a Governor

And believes 'ignorance of the law' is a valid excuse.

For Him at any rate, but not for approximately 6,000 New Yorkers who get arrested for having regular pocket knives that he, and NYC Attorney General Cy Vance Jr., think should be classified as 'Gravity Knives'.

Despite a bill to repeal the law that has passed both houses of the State Legislature twice, with almost unanimous support, he has refused to sign it into law. And neither time did they have the balls to override his veto.

And now he has the unmitigated gall to talk about any politicians who oppose him as as violating the Rule of Law'.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018