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Thursday, October 27, 2011


The power steering pump went out on my car. While it’s technically drivable, it is a bit, more difficult as there is no power steering available. This may really date me but when I learned to drive, power steering was still a luxury option on cars. So I thought I could handle it. Driving was not that bad, a little more muscle required, a heavier hand on the wheel… easy peasy. The problems started when I parked in a grocery store parking space. I had to back out eventually. Going from zero to moving and having to turn at the same time was a challenge. Keeping the car moving while turning is easy, turning a car from a parked position required a lot more muscle. Hey…. I am a physics major… how does that go again…. “An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest, tends to stay at rest.” There could not have been a better way to demonstrate than to remove all the cheater tools that makes a car easier to manipulate. While driving down the road at 40 all it took was a wrist turn to go around a curve. From a complete stop, I needed some serious muscle.

Where am I going with this…. You probably saw this coming…. When you are being attacked, trying to move a large man that is just standing there will be near impossible for most women. But to keep him moving is so much easier. We need to take advantage of the motion he gives us, even if it is scary to see a punch or any attack coming at us. Get out of the way and let him keep moving, re direct him, use his own strength against him. Use all the “cheater tools” that will him easier to manipulate. You will look and feel like Batman. Just don’t let it go to your head and try to butt head with him…. Trust me, that WILL get you hurt.

Be smart, stay safe.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Multi Dimensional Paradigms of Self Defense

Erik Kodo has come up with a multi-dimensional explanation about WHY self-defense is not just about studying an ultimate fighting style or scenario based training.
This blog is brilliant. A must read

Monday, October 24, 2011

Self defense or not?

Just because you call it self defense does not necessarily make it so.
KNOW the law!!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I am an avid reader of the Game of Thrones, fantastic book series. In the story, the Greyjoys have a saying about “Buying with gold or buying with iron.” The tradition is that men get their jewelry, decorations or treasures from the people they slay at war, they bought it with iron…. their swords. Girls, ladies, women and dandies buy their jewelry, decorations and treasures at the market using gold coins. I find this awesome. Not that you had to kill someone to get what you needed/ wanted, but you had to pay a price of the flesh, of the mind. You had to earn it, work for it.

Same goes for good training. You can’t buy it; you have to pay for it with sweat, blood and tears. And same as those warriors who fought the most and had the most “treasures”, the more hard work you put in your training, the more benefits you will reap. But instead your treasures will be good health, great fitness level, confidence in time of conflict, victory in battle……. whatever your battle is. And don’t fool yourself; we are ALL fighting a battle of some sort.

Be smart, stay safe

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Wow… what a week. There is something to be said about being surrounded by the best of the best. And not only are they the best but are all too willing to help us learn, grow, improve and become the best we can be.

A great teacher cannot help you transform yourself into a duplicate version of him but his glory lies in his ability to help you become the best “you”.

Kasey beat me to an awesome re-cap of the entire week so I will avoid the repeat and just throw in what I have taken away from those amazing teachers.

It is going to be hard to describe what we did without giving away any of the actual class contents. If you want that… attend the class… there is no replacing it.

Here are the major highlights for me.

· Solid structure. Hitting someone with a brick wall has a lot more effect than hitting them with a feather pillow. If your body is well structured, your arms and legs will not collapse on you and you will be able to hit with a lot more power than if you let your arms turn into spaghetti. Speed is nice but structure gets the job done. And with my size difference, I NEED all the structure I can muster. I have taken away some good exercises I can do by myself to test out my structure. Kasey's sword class only re-enforce those lessons. It’s much harder to control something that is far away from you. If your structure is sound, it can be done without breaking a sweat. We can all take a lesson from architecture. If the structure of a building is not sound, it will collapse.

· Subtle movements that pack a lot of punch, minimum effort vs maximum results. Check this photo of the hole in the wall that was created when I “sneezed” a big guy in the wall…. Call it what you want but a rose by any other name would be just as awesome.

We worked on power train, continuity of movement… never break the chain. Another thing that is extremely important for smaller people. When I keep the power train intact, I can be one step ahead of my opponent. I can “feel” what he will do next and it makes me look like The Flash. I never allow a break in the control I have and give him a chance to re-coup. A break in the chain may mean my collapse

· We worked on drills, boy did we work on drills. It was awesome… loved them. It is a great way to reinforce the principles what we were working on and to ingrain new concepts.

· We learned about conflict communication, how to avoid or recognize traps and pitfalls into every communication: be it a relationship, work, professional, social. A must for everyone!!!!

· We learned about the dynamics of violence: how bad guys act, how and why violence happens, how to recognize and avoid most of it. If you are going to spend any time learning to defend yourself, you NEED to start here!!!!

· My favorite lesson was to learn to shut off my thinking pattern. One of my biggest draw back has always been to try and plan ahead: if he does this, I will do this , then he will react this way and I can counter with this. This does not work unless you outweigh your opponent by a good 100lbs then you can use your strength to patch up the mistakes. But if you get in that habit, there will come a time that it will not serve you well, I don’t care how big and strong you are. Forgetting to "do" martial arts freed me to finally do the martial art I had in me all along. I started to look for “gifts” instead of pre-planning. There is always a gift handed to you somewhere… find it. This was wonderful. The Plastic Mind drill….. totally rocks!!!

In this golden age of “Combat system” and “self-defense gurus”, it is refreshing to talk to people who are not learning their trade through Hollywood bull crap but through actual real life experience. They know the difference between …. “Hmmmm… that looks cool so it should work” and “Dude… you try this and you will get killed or go to jail”. They have seen it, tested it and refined it.

If you can’t take care of yourself after this clinic, you slept the whole way through.

Be smart, stay safe!