What up?

I haven’t felt like posting much this week. I was a bit under the weather earlier in the week, just really tired. I have a bunch of 5GW posts I want to make and other business and security posts. Looks like Milwaukee is going to get snowed in again this weekend, so I may just go nuts with the postings. Also, the Clausewitz Roundtable begins next week. It appear my workplace is blocking the ChicagoBoyz blog, so that sucks.

For now this morning, I need to get this ear virus out of my head.

10 Responses

  1. Great idea Dan! I know the idea has been rumbling around. I will post chapter ideas later to your blog.

  2. I was wondering, purple, but did you apply any military doctrines and tactics to hand to hand combat?

    Are you a student of any particular school, methodology, or style in that field?

  3. The answer to both questions in no.

    My hand-to-hand training consists of things my dad (a Korean War Marine Corps Sergeant) taught: a bit of Judo (trips and throws), how to throw and take a punch, some dirty boxing, some limb and joint manipulation, and some low kicks.

    I got into fights often as youth (never as the aggressor though) and used what I learned from, what I had picked up in prev fights, and eventually takedowns that I mostly learned from playing football.

    I used a bit of psych warfare (my mouth and quick wit) to further put my opponents on tilts. I wasn’t past screaming noise or crazy words in the ear of an opponent to freak them out if we were clinched. I didn’t mind if they thought I was a bit crazy. I wanted them to think that I was willing to take alot of pain for the opportunity to dish it out – more pain then my opponents wanted to take.

    As an adult, I would certainly like to pick something up more formal. I have been considering study Judo or Krav Maga. This would be as much for exercise and self-discipline then as for self-defense skills.

  4. I’ve looked at the Krav Maga instruction tapes. I’ll write some more on that later.

    Look up the video and the audio link for TFT’s throwing DVD

    I use TFT, personally. Or rather, the first and only formal system I studied under was TFT.

    I got into fights often as youth (never as the aggressor though) and used what I learned from, what I had picked up in prev fights, and eventually takedowns that I mostly learned from playing football.

    You’ll probably like this take down, then.

    Joe Theisman

    I wanted them to think that I was willing to take alot of pain for the opportunity to dish it out – more pain then my opponents wanted to take.

    That’s similar to the philosophy I adopted before TFT: whatever damage they do unto you, reflect unto them a thousand fold. The principle behind willing, then, means to absorb more damage but to also inflict more damage by ignoring that little facet.

    TFT fitted my personal philosophy like a glove. Even in Krav Maga, which is billed as an instruction program for Israeli army, commando, spy agencies, the key emphasis was still, in the video at least, incapacitate/disarm/knockdown the target and then run away.

    I preferred TFT’s methodology which trained you to always seek for more targets, rather than to ever think about running away. If everybody has been neutralized, then you can simply walk off, but there is no need to run from other assailants. Unless you want to space your attackers out a bit by going into a narrow alley, that is.

    I mention this topic, purple, because there’s quite a lot of things I was able to connect with what TFT taught me. Aside from the methods and options of fighting, there were utilizations of Colonel Boyd’s OODA cycle, the inclusion of some of Clausewitz’s “friction” concept in warfare as well as the Fog of War. There was also a lot of sociology and political relationships which you could derive from some of the TFT’s descriptions of asocial violence.

    I’m not sure I can cover all of them in depth, so I’ll start with the fighting system and take it from there.

    TFT is based upon the Unholy Trinity, which is something I found rather amusing when they first mentioned it: Injury, Penetration, and Rotation. Every violent act has those components. If you look at the Joe Theisman tape, you will see where the injury happened: injury as defined by an objective medically diagnosed problem with your body that is not just a “pain reaction”. You will also see where the penetration came in, when the body weight came down, way down, on the bone and it snapped at the point of least resistance (which would be where the normal force of gravity would be pushing it up against the forces pushing it down) and rotation. Lawrence wasn’t just penetrating into Theisman’s leg, he was Rotating into there. In boxing, the simple rotation of your torso will impact more force, but rotation is only one of the three. And that’s why people don’t usually die from a torso assisted punch.

    I’ve tested these principles and they are true. They do exist in every act of violence, in one way another. Both the bullet and the methods used to disarm a gun armed opponent both utilize penetration and rotation. Any effective application of violence will use and produce the Unholy Trinity.

    So now we get into the sub-fields of fighting.

    Multiple opponent fighting.




    Joint Breaking

    And then there’s the mental stuff that isn’t composed of physical principles, but just the way we think and act: sociology and psychology.

    Even though the TFt instructors never mentioned Boyd, what they were telling me was exactly the same. They were telling me to bypass my opponent’s decision making ability by injuring them, by forcing them to react to me and not the other way around.

    In Joint Breaking, they gave me the knowledge of how it works. Not just a bunch of techniques, but the reason why those techniques, any techniques, will work to break a joint. It broadened my target selection options by orders of magnitude. Joint Breaking is just setting up rotation inside a joint and then using penetration to force that joint past its pathological limit, past the point at which it was designed to function, thus causing injury.

    And every joint in the human body can be broken any of six different ways, producing almost an infinite number of techniques. That means every joint on the human body has become as valid a target to me as the classics, the throat, knee, temple, and solar plexus. At least, that’s what I call the classics. The portions of the human body that aren’t armored by muscle or much of anything else.

    Krav Maga certainly requires a lot of aerobic work. They, like most other martial arts and self-defense courses, use muscle memory training and repetition. Slow at first and then building up to speed later. TFT utilizes a completely different training methodology.

    I tried out some exercises in Matt Furey’s Combat Conditioning, and they rather nice on the lower back and on the flexibility issue, which is something weight training reduced in me. I, for example, never got neck pains until I weight trained with the dead lift and the shoulder shrug thingie, which built my shoulder muscles up but also tended to produce muscle tension pain there if I snap my neck too quickly. The upper spinal and lower back works out from Furey really helped.

    He’s also nice if you don’t have any equipment at home.

    I’ll tell you one question TFT answered me. The second fight I got into was the fight that I decided that I needed to keep my balance and block any shot the opponent sent my way. While I was able to deflect the punches, I noticed that my main worry was not moving. And when he did a medium height kick to my ribs, I could have grabbed his leg but I never thought about it because all of my attention was focused on keeping my balance, not getting knocked down, and maintaining my defense. After the fight was over, due to the fact that it was drawing too large a crowd for some reason or other, I realized that unless I moved forward, my punches couldn’t even touch him.

    So that brought up some fundamental questions that I had to answer. How to move into range, how to defend, and how to break out of the turtle syndrome.

    Since my aggression and pain threshold increases by orders of magnitude when I am angry or if I feel enough pain (endorphine+adrenaline mix), they naturally tended to block my worries about defending and not moving. When you are feeling aggressive, you tend to move forward, in order to get the enemy in range. But I didn’t want to depend upon some kind of emotion in fights, given that that emotion doesn’t come on demand and it takes more than 30 seconds for the hormones to really kick in.

    I wanted something with more tactical flexibility.

    I actually learned about TFT, which answered all of these questions and so much more, from Matt Furey’s newsletter. Weird how that worked. The reason why I started up Matt Furey, after all, was because the only way I knew how to increase my basic fighting prowess was to build muscle, work out, and such and such. But since TFT doesn’t require muscle strength at all, I no longer need the fitness for that simple reason. Although there are other reasons, such as power acceleration ratios for my legs. That’s always important in closing the distance to an opponent.

    A nice concrete technique I remembered concerning exploiting people’s OODA cycle is to simply, when they have you cornered, striking one guy and then using his back as a platform so you can just swing around him. Thus puts him between you and his buddies. His buddies will now have to figure out how to get past their friend, thus initiating a whole new set of OODA loops. The time they take up thinking that line of thought through is going to make my options much easier to implement.

    That’s the same principle as the distraction you provide to people by screaming or yelling or introducing new factors for them to consider. New factors equal “they ain’t thinking about attacking me”. Which is good enough. By keeping the opponents forever in an OODA loop short of the “action” part, they are essentially stunned and helpless. Just as Colonel Boyd demonstrated with his EM theory and his F-15 in actual warfare.

    Last, although not least, is TFT’s focus on making sure that their “clients” (which is another funny thing, they don’t say students but clients) clearly understand that TFT is solely for asocial violence, not social violence, bar fights, or anything you choose to get into to “teach” the other guy a lesson. This would actually negate all of the school fights, since those are elected, for one reason or another.

    But when terrorists come acalling, like in Mumbai, then you don’t have any choices. Or rather, your choices become “kill or be killed” instead of bar fights where it is “leave and have your social status knocked down a peg or fight”. The choices in asocial violence becomes the little choices, the tactical rather than strategic choices such as the police in mumbai firing or not firing. The citizens in Mumbai fleeing or not fleeing. Barricading the doors or not barricading the doors.

    It is no longer a choice of social solutions and asocial solutions. It is the same as the difference between war and peace. Just as you can’t jump from peace to war whenever you feel like it, at least without dying, you also can’t jump from asocial violence to social solutions whenever you want. You can always jump from social solutions to asocial solutions, however. Nothing stops a person from going Columbine or Virginia Tech, for example, except their common decency and the Social Compact between Americans (you know, the one that says I don’t kill you so you don’t try to kill me). And the same is true for war and peace. Any nation can jump from peace to war by launching a strike at another nation. The other nation can refuse to say that it is a “state of war”, but that’s not going to change the fact that the first nation has struck and is now mowing Georgia or whatever down.

    That was a nice lesson on sociology and human psychology, in my view.

    And just like in war, you fight to win, because anything else tends to produce little things as avoidable fatalities. If you play around with serial killers by not bringing your full potential to the fight, he may get lucky and off you. And then you won’t get to do anything except die.

    Just as the Left likes to say that we need to be “restrained” like Israel needs to be, in war, so do pacifists or others look at life and death fights with criminals as something that requires “proportionality”. Look at British or Australian self-defense laws for what I’m talking about.

    It’s all connected Purple, and one reason I love TFT is how their curriculum on principles is truly that, principles, no matter whether the topic is individual self-defense or national self-defense.

  5. Just as you can’t jump from peace to war

    Sorry, that should be jumping from war to peace. Something a lot of people argued about for Iraq I recall.

    “Why can’t we declare peace and Honorable Victory and just leave Iraq?”

    And we said, “you can’t just declare victory by yourself”.

    If you want to read more about TFT, you can subscribe to their RSS blog feed.

    There’s a lot of good stuff there

    From a purely mechanical point of view, in social and antisocial situations he gets to choose whether or not a technique works. All of your sundry come-alongs, pain compliance, joint locks and submission holds fall into this category. If he decides you ‘got him’ and gives up, all well and good. If he decides the pain in his wrist doesn’t matter, well, now you’re stuck holding the tiger by the tail. And your Plan B better be really, really sharp. Especially if the choice he makes is to take it into the asocial and get to the work of injuring you.

    Machiavelli knew it when he told us not to give our enemies “minor injuries”. Meaning, don’t just insult the man and expect him not to strike back at you in some future inconvenient time. You want to inflict Major Injuries on your enemies, that way They Can’t strike back at you, even if they wanted to.

    So let’s see here:

    Multiple opponent fighting.




    Joint Breaking

    Multi, check. Joint Breaking, check. Still striking to go, weapons, and throws.

    Since you have heard about Krav Maga, Purple, I’ll use that as a comparison if you don’t mind.

    Krav Maga’s strikes, at least the ones in the basic instructional videos I saw, consists solely of your regular boxing strikes. A little bit of penetration power, what they call “bursting”, but they don’t have a very specific target line up.

    For example, the front part of the human body has an incredible array of targets that you can strike and produce injury with. Krav Maga does not mention any of them, specifically, in their striking video. They only mention that it is an instinctive strike or defense. In fact, a lot of their video was on blocking, not striking. They focused somewhat on kicks and punches, that’s about it.

    Compared to TFT, that’s about 10-20% of the strikes you could be doing with your body.

    Hell, Lawrence broke Theisman’s leg by accident. And he definitely did a strike. TFT is designed to produce such injuries from Strike number 1, not 30 seconds later.

    Krav Maga also has a basics video for knives. That bit about knives is wrapped up in the Nuclear Weapons package for TFT, which consists of firearms, blunt force instruments, and edged instruments, both in disarming opponents with them bare handed and in the basic principles to use such tools effectively. (It’s not a marksmanship training, of course, but they do mention some things like adrenaline producing incorrect handgun grips and various things like not holding the knife hard enough).

    KM’s gun disarms are probably the closest to TFT’s. The same element of penetration and rotation (you can see some basic KM disarms on youtube) are present. But the injury component is not. KM focuses on mechanically manipulating the arm that holds the gun and then rotating the gun (breaking the trigger finger if it is in the guard) out of the assailant’s hand.

    That, by itself, isn’t bad. What is bad is that KM doesn’t teach you to injure the target first. TFT teaches no blocks and no defenses precisely because once you have injured a man, he can neither attack nor defend. That’s when you finish him, when he is helpless.

    What Km teaches is the “counter-attack”. They have one of your hands blocking the knife/gun arm and the other hand throwing a straight punch towards the enemy’s throat/face etc.

    This is actually a multi strike (something in TFT where you strike with more than one attachment at a time), but it isn’t designed to create damage, but to simply produce an external stimuli so that the target doesn’t keep stabbing you or resisting your attempt to manipulate the gun out of his hand.

    In TFT, once you crush the target’s wind pipe, it don’t really matter what you do with his hand that is holding the gun. You’ll probably want to take it away to prevent accidental discharges or maybe you want to use it on another guy.

    The bio feedback system in TFT for judging whether you have injured a person or not is also pretty nice and not something I’ve seen anywhere else.

    There was something Miyamoto Musashi wrote in the Five Rings concerning when it is appropriate to attack.

    The three he talked about was “attack before he is ready”, “attack just as he is starting to attack”, and “attack as he is attacking”.

    I believe that Number 2 utilizes the OODA cycle. Because the opponent has launched on a decision to attack, any thing else you do will have to be processed by another OODA loop. This means he either hesitates or he continues the attack. Which means he can’t block and if your attack strikes him before his strikes yours, then he is dead, if you have made a cut rather than a slash.

    Number 3, though, is what is weird. It would seem like it is almost the same as number 2, except MM gave it its own category.

    Hrm… I guess you could allow someone to attack you and then use an attack that just reaches him plain faster. Something to do with penetration I would presume. Or you can let the enemy attack you, step out of range, and then penetrate into his space and cut him, but that seems more like Number 1 than number 3.

    Well, regardless, Miyamoto Musashi certainly learned the principles behind violence and applied it, whatever he may have written into his books and regardless of whether the rest of us understand it or not.

    In conclusion, Krav Maga’s a pretty good system for the average civilian that just wants a set of very simple techniques to practice over and over again. TFT, though, is more about making your entire body into a lethal weapon and that isn’t just the advertisement.

    Before TFT, I never would have considered simply landing on a person as a “strike” but it is. Just like Lawrence used a strike on Theisman. The principles are so clear. It is not murky like violence was before.

    To most people, violence and war is sheer chaos. There is no order to it. No purpose. Just one nation blowing up another’s civilians and infrastructure. But there is order, for those with the eyes to see and the will to seek it out.

  6. I am not ignoring this. It is just a lot to digest, and I have little time today!

  7. Don’t worry, I already suspected something of the kind.

  8. Link

    Here is an example of a Base 1 break for the knee.

    The knee is most of the time broken in Base 2. Meaning it bends forward until it looks like a dog’s hind leg. But, it can also be broken the other way. And this is one technique to do it, but it isn’t the only technique nor is it the most effective.

    This is covered in the second technique you see in the vid. The first technique produces a Base 3 break in the leg-hip joint, I believe. Rocking to the Left. But I don’t see the necessary leverage for the break in that technique, since all that is being used is upper body strength, not gravity or leverage. I guess someone of sufficient upper body strength can do it, if he can prevent the opponent’s body from rolling his hips. Although it won’t be a full break. It can be a sprain, but not a full joint break.

    The knee can bend your leg back a full 90 degrees. These aren’t hard facts, just approximations, btw. It is physically impossible to make the knee behind anymore back than that, because the back of your thighs are in the way. However, if you put some obstruction in the back of the knee joint, like your foot or your forearm, then the range of motion for that knee just got a lot shorter. Any further motion back in that knee and a base 1 break happens. The same way if you put your palms down, fingers straight forward, and you bend your wrist downwards.

    When someone takes your forearm, and snaps your wrist down past the pathological point, that is a Base 2 break in the wrist. When your fingers touch the underside of your forearm.

    The same will apply to your knee in technique shown number 2.

    Leverages, leverages, leverages. Most people aren’t taught why joint locks work or the basic principles behind it. Either because they weren’t taught themselves or because tradition simply mandates passing on the techniques, and not the reason why they work.

    This is something you find in anatomy texts or medicine, not martial arts. Another little side benefit to TFT.

  9. Here is an example of a Base 1 break for the knee.

    Need to correct my numbers here. That’s a base leverage 2 break.

    The knee is most of the time broken in Base 2

    And that would make that BL 1, not 2.

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