Thursday, March 15, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Am I a Martial Artist?

I was coming back from BJJ the other day and started day dreaming on the drive. I started thinking about martial arts in general and what it meant to be a martial artist. I have never considered myself a martial artist and frankly it has some negative connotations for me ie.. Master Ken and the McDojo scene.

If we look at the definition of martial artist as some one who practices martial arts and if we further define martial arts as various sports or skills that are forms of defense or attack then I have been a martial artist my entire life.

My first venture into martial arts was folkstyle wrestling starting in junior high. Wrestling or grappling type sports are some of the oldest martial arts. To this day wrestling is one of my favorite sports and the techniques I learned in practice, the hardships endured and mental toughness built have been a positive force on my life well after I finished my high school wrestling career.

Image may contain: 1 person

Moving on to a 22 year military career it goes without saying I practiced many forms of martial techniques. Firearms,hand to hand combat training,parachuting,winter operations,patrolling survival. All these things contributed to my offensive or defensive skill set.

 It has been after the military where I have ventured into traditional martial arts. Since leaving the military I have striven to be a better individual defender of  myself  and my family. I aspire to be as good an individual defender as I was a team defender during my military service. I have trained firearms and knife defense, grappling, Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I have trained on entangled fighting with weapons and spree killer defense. I will continue to improve my skill set in the hopes that I never have to use it. If that makes me a martial artist I suppose I am.

Train hard. 1 percent better

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

El Rancho Teacher and Councilman Calls Military Dumbshits-2

I originally was going to ignore this as just another example of internet idiocy. But then I thought it would be a good opportunity to highlight the continued cultural divide between the current military and the general public.

I believe this gentleman may have a different opinion if he actual interacted with and knew more military members. I am just guessing he has no contact with any current or former members on a personal level. His comments are an example of what we get when .045% of our population decides to serve.

I am against a draft. However the widening divide between civilians in military are a result of lack of common ground. Lack of common experience. Organizations like Team RWB and Team Rubicon are making great strides in connecting the community with veterans through physical and social activity.

I am a free speech advocate however it doesn't mean I don't think he shouldn't be fired for misusing his position. Teachers should be politically neutral. Free speech allows you to say what you want but you should be ready to deal with the consequences.

Finally my 4 college degrees including a Masters disagree with your comments sir.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Xande Ribiero BJJ Seminar

As a lot of you know I have been studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the last 20 months or so. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art and combat sport system that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. I try to attend practice at least 2 times a week, sometimes I get more sometimes less. Yesterday I was fortunate to attend a 3 hour seminar taught by one of the founders of our school. Xande Ribiero is a multi time World Champion in both the Gi and No Gi disciplines. I learned a lot and had a great workout.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 by the Numbers

Image result for 2017

The annual by the numbers post. Been a good year if somewhat transitional. A lot less running, more rucking. Lots of EMS and grappling.

Running,Hiking, Biking, Martial Arts

241 total miles mostly rucking

I stopped Krav Maga as I didn't have the time and I felt it wasn't what I needed to concentrate on. I have consistent attendance at BJJ however and am currently riding a 21 week attendance streak where I have attended at least one session during the week. I was awarded my Green Belt in December. 

I also finished a Charity 10,000 flutter kick challenge and a 10,000 push up challenge for the Green Beret Foundation


Still not back to speed on the race front

Indoor Triathlon x 1
Go Ruck Light x 2
Trail Races x 2

Yup that's it but better than zero


I have always been a reader but I noticed I had fallen off a bit I made an effort to read at least a chapter a day this year. To keep my mind active.

Audible books finished-10
Books read-13

Mostly non fiction with an emphasis on biography,shooting and philosophy. There was a sprinkling of science fiction in there though. Always going back to the roots.


I managed to write and podcast during the year as well

Posts on Professional Blog -51
Posts on Personal Blog- 39
Published articles on independent sites - 2
Podcast Episodes broadcasted-11

Teaching and Learning

I taught multiple Emergency Medical Responder, Emergency Medical Technician, and Paramedic class sessions during the year. I also taught Pistol,Carbine,Lay person Medical,Active Shooter Response Courses.

I attended training as well, to include Critical Care Paramedic,shooting,knife and grappling classes.

Number of adjunct EMS instructor positions-2
Number of classes I took -14
Number of classes I taught-28

Agencies worked for -3
Calls participated in -304

Had a few significant calls last year. I keep on honing my craft. 

Random Numbers

Years since Army Enlistment-35
Years since Army Retirement-13
Years Since Ranger School Graduation- 29 (Holy Hell has it been that long?)
Years since SF Q Course Graduation - 27 ( Ditto above)
Years married - 30 ( yes to the same person :) )

2017 was good. I have some goals for 2018 that I will outline in another post.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Level Up

Proud to receive my Green Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Professor Jason Clarke of Iowa City Brazilian Jiu Jitsu . The journey continues

CVO Guntalk Episode 023

Firearms training in the Military and other issues

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2017 Training Schedule

As I was doing my review for the knife training I just attended I started reviewing my training for the last year. For not really concentrating on my own training I had a pretty successful year. I attended both personal and professional development classes. These are all interspersed around the large number of defensive handgun, defensive rifle, medical/emergency medicine, and active shooter response classes I instruct myself. If you count teaching as learning, which I do, then I really learned a lot this year. Below is the training I personally took this past year. Covers a wide variety of skills.

2/4 Cedar County EMS Fest
Tipton, Iowa Various presenters

2/18 Landing the Plane
Marion, Iowa Michael J Anderson

3/4 Iowa County EMS Day
Williamsburg, Iowa Various presenters

3/11 Code 1 EMS Conference
Cedar Rapids, Iowa Various presenters

4/29 EMS Instructor Development Conference
Des Moines, Iowa Various presenters

5/1-10 Critical Care Paramedic Course
University of Iowa EMSLRC Iowa City, Iowa
Various presenters

6/9-11 Extreme Close Quarters Concepts
Faribault, Minnesota, Shivworks Craig Douglas

6/19 Armed Defense Around Vehicles
Central City, Iowa, I.C.E Training Company Rob Pincus

6/22 Advanced Pistol Handling
Central City, Iowa, I.C.E. Training Company Jamie Onion

6/24-25 Citizens Rules of Engagement
Central City, Iowa, Mas Ayoob Group Mas Ayoob

7/29-30  Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT)
Independence, Iowa,  ALERRT Cadre/Independence PD

9/22-25 Combat Focus Shooting Instructor Conference
Faribault, Minnesota I.C.E Training Company CFS Leadership and Cadre

11/4 Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Patrol Rifle Operator Course
Vinton,Iowa ILEA Instructor/Vinton PD

12/2-3 Practical Small Knife Skills 1 and 2
Jordan,Minnesota MDTS Chris Fry

If you say you don't have time to train you are wrong. #onepercentbetter #relentlessforwardprogress

MDTS Practical Small Knife Skills 12.2-3.17

In what was planned as my last training event of the year I journeyed to Jordan, Mn to participate in MDTS  Practical Small Knife Skills 1 and 2. The training was hosted by my friends over at Short Barrel Shepard and conducted by Chris Fry. Chris is a member of the Shivworks Collective and based in New York.

I had not taken any edged weapons training since I took Alessandro Padovani's Safer Faster Knife Defense Class back in May 2015. I decided I needed to fix this gap in my training.

Chris is very adamant about not letting details of his instruction get in the wrong hands. So I will not be getting into too much detail here. Suffice to say Chris is an outstanding instructor and you need to get to a class of his if available.

Chris divided his weekend of instruction into Practical Knife work and Technical Knife work.

Day 1 was all practical as we learned techniques and principals  using edged weapons to essentially get someone off us or create space to escape. We talked about equipment,techniques, targeting and gear configurations. Then pressure tested these different configurations to see if they actually worked. As with all Shivworks material, pressure to validate the training is a huge component. I think it is the most valuable component.

Day 2 was technical, more "martial artsy" blade work. Primarily using a fixed blade, we talked about jabs,cuts,point driven methodology and guards/parries. This day was spent drilling at low pressure to practice these techniques. This day was full of a ton of information. I learned a valuable instructor development lesson as well. About 1400 I became so overloaded with information that I couldn't even remember whose turn it was to run the drill. This was powerful stuff. It reminds me in my own instruction to look for these signs of overload in my students and to pace the course accordingly. Both days ended with a debrief and emphasis of key points.

Things I learned or that were re emphasized from earlier training

1. I will not be carrying a folding knife as a primary defensive tool if possible. Ease of access under pressure is just not there.

2. Small knifes can be very effective and may leave a better "impression" during the legal aftermath.

3. Everyone gets stabbed in a knife fight, how much and how badly is up to you.

Enjoy some pictures