Monday, December 31, 2018

Xmas Guntalk

By the Numbers

Image result for 2018

Annual by the numbers recap ( Since 2013 anyway)

Running, Hiking, Martial Arts

Participated in a Charity Challenge this year and got a dog so that helped me almost double my miles from the previous year.

421.55 miles ran and rucked

Continued to attend Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Currently on a 72 week attendance streak

97 days attended

Approximately 190 hrs of training

Average 1.73 days training per week

Races and Competitions

2 BJJ Competitions

3 trail races 25K ,10 Mile and 4 mile

I plan on doing more competitions in 2019 and ramp up the races as well

Classes attended

2018 was another great training year for me personally

Classes attended- 9

Shivworks Craig Douglas Edged Weapons Overview x 2

Resilience Development Precision Rifle

Government Training Institute Rescue Task Force-Hostile Event Interdiction Course

NAEMT Advanced Medical Life Support

Shivworks Chris Fry Practical Pistol 1

Shivworks Chris Fry Practical Shotgun 1

Dark Angel Medical Direct Action Response

EMSLRC Critical Care Paramedic Refresher

Axon Taser X2 Certification Course

Classes Taught and Seminars or Talks Given

2018 also a great year for me teaching

Tactical Medicine Seminar taught- 2

Immediate Casualty Care 1 taught- 10

Immediate Casualty Care 2 taught-1

Active Shooter Response Course taught -3

Active Shooter Response 1 hour Seminars -24

EMS Conferences spoken at - 4

Paramedic Courses Co-taught -2

Emergency Medical Technician Courses Co-taught -1

Emergency Medical Responder Courses Co-taught -1

CPR/First Aid/AED classes taught - 4

Concealed Carry Classes taught - 2

Defensive Firearms Coaches Certification Courses Co-taught -1

Fundamentals of Home Defense Courses taught -1

Fundamentals of Concealed Carry/ Introduction to Defensive Pistol Courses taught - 3

Intuitive Defensive Shooting Courses taught- 4

Intuitive Defensive Carbine Courses taught -2

Gunshow/Industry events attended or volunteered at -3

Writing,Podcasts, and Instructional videos

Posts on Personal Blog - 40

Posts on Professional Blog - 48

Articles Published -1 ( Named one of the Top 3 Articles of the Year however)

Instructional Videos published - 2

Podcast episodes broadcasted - 9

EMS and PD

190 hours worked as a Reserve Police Officer

300 calls ran as a Paramedic

Still doing what I do

Random Numbers

Daughters that got married -1

Years since Army enlistment- 36

Years since Army Retirement -14

Years since Ranger School Graduation -30 ( wow I still remember the suck everyday)

Years since Special Forces Qualification Course Graduation - 28 ( SF in large part made me who I am.)

Years Married- 31

12 Pictures 12 Months

As this blog heads into its 9th year I though I would close out with a visual of 2018













Friday, December 14, 2018

Blue Belt

 A few days ago I was promoted to the rank of blue belt in Brazilian  Jiu Jitsu. BJJ is a martial art that has become extremely popular since the advent of mixed martial arts fighting and the UFC. BJJ concentrates on grappling, ground fighting and submissions/chokes to subdue your opponent. The BJJ lineage starts with Japanese Jiu Jitsu through Judo to BJJ. In UFC 1 Royce Gracie showed the world the effectiveness of BJJ against other fighting styles and now BJJ is one of the dominant disciplines in the sport. No serious MMA fighter gets very far without a basic knowledge of BJJ or grappling.

BJJ is an extremely complicated and complex martial art. It is not uncommon for individuals to take 10-15 years of consistent training to achieve black belt status. No juvenile is eligible for black belt status . Blue Belt is the first rank that signifies you are no longer a beginner. Stripes of tape are used by some academies to denote intermediate proficiency within each belt. 

Image result for bjj rank system

I am affiliated with the Ribiero Bros BJJ Association. Saulo and Xande Ribiero are multiple time world champions and are known for an aggressive and dominating style of BJJ focusing on pressure. 
Image result for ribeiro jiu jitsu

The academy I train at is Iowa City Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Professor Jason Clarke. Jason is an extremely dedicated and knowledgeable instructor. I appreciate the fact that he concentrates his instruction on self defense applications and has taught/hosted multiple seminars integrating weapons based grappling techniques. Check out his website, Instagrams and Facebook feeds.

My journey in BJJ started 2.5 years ago. I never considered myself a martial artist prior to my retirement form the military. I had wrestled in high school and been a wrestling official. Wrestling was and is my favorite sport. I also had participated in the hodgepodge of hand to hand combat and defensive tactics training during my military and law enforcement endeavors. However no formal sustained training. But prior to starting BJJ I had been taking Commando Krav Maga for a little over a year and had made some progress. However I attended a weapons based grappling seminar and found the techniques difficult to apply under actual pressure. The instructor mentioned that if we were serious about self defense we should take Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) or BJJ for a year to get the basics. Since Muay Thai was not readily available in my area I settled on BJJ. ICBJJ was recommended to me by some mutual friends.

ICBJJ is a fantastic place to learn. The people are welcoming and great training partners. Jason and his instructors will guide and mentor you in the art of BJJ. Pushing you while making it a safe, and an environment conducive to learning. Initially I was not committed as I should have been to the process. I would find any excuse not to go to practice because lets face it BJJ is hard. However eventually I committed to attending training at least once a week, no excuses. Since that time I have completed, to date, over 70 weeks of uninterrupted training.

One thing that separates BJJ in my mind from other martial arts is that there is hard contact live sparring occurring on a regular basis. You find out very quickly if you are doing something correctly one someone is trying to keep you from doing it. One of my challenges as an older guy is managing injury while I continue to train. Sometimes it is quite the challenge. On a regular basis I experience soreness and fatigue. I am easily 20 years older than the majority of students at the academy ( I may be the oldest student, not sure on that). I have also experienced a broken finger and some severe toe injuries during the course of training. However lots of tape and being selective with how hard I spar when injured has helped me to continue to train as I heal.

2-3 years is the average time needed to qualify for blue belt in the Ribiero system. My 2.5 years puts me solidly in the middle of that demographic. Professor Clarke has a simple standard for his blue belts. " My blue belts should be able to survive for 5 minutes with any untrained person in the world." I like that he is not saying you will win, he is not saying if the other person has any training you will even survive 5 minutes. There are no guarantees. What he is saying, however is that if in a fight, with the majority of human beings you will have the skills to survive at least 5 minutes. This gives you options, and options are always good when your life is at risk.

As a blue belt candidate I had to pass a test consisting of demonstrating over 50 individual BJJ techniques followed by a pressure test with a committed attacker punching me a grounded weaponless fighter. Worse case scenario. The test was difficult,as it should be, Since I was the last one in our group of candidates to take the test I was solo and got all the attention. This was good and bad. Lots of test anxiety but I also got some individual  correction and instruction as well. The test did not go 100% flawless. I had some issues. Jason corrected those issues and had me re-perform the technique correctly if I would stumble. The test also turned into a great learning experience as I picked up some small details throughout that will make me more dangerous.

I mentioned after the test that knowing my resume and history that some may find it odd I consider this one of my life's significant achievements.  The hard work and dedication I put in, the grind and the hard sparring sessions. Making it to class 2-3 times per week around a insane work schedule. Physically competing against much younger opponents on a regular basis. Finally becoming more immersed in The Way. The Way in my mind being a lifetime habit of fitness,knowledge,learning, character development and  humbleness. All these things make me proud of this accomplishment.

It is said that more people quit BJJ after achieving blue belt status than possibly any other belt. The "Blue Belt Blues" is a common phrase thrown around. Many hypothesize that people quit at Blue Belt because they believe they have made it or that once reaching this initial goal they are not sure what is next. Since my goal in BJJ is to strengthen my ability to defend myself my goal continues. I am not sure how long I will be actively practicing BJJ. Age is a factor no matter what people say. On average to get to the next level of Purple belt I need to spend 4-5 years more on the mats. This will put me at close to 60 years old. Will I physically be able to handle the rigors of training? I think so, there are BJJ practitioners into their 80's. I will just keep going to practice and try to get 1% better everyday.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Puck Controversy and the DERP

A few days ago ABC News posted a news article about Oakland University in suburban Detroit handing out hockey pucks to help counter an active shooter. You can read the original article here:

From the article the purpose of this initiative is "circulating hockey pucks around campus in case of a dire situation, and raising funds to retrofit the school's classroom doors so that they can be locked from the inside."

Predictably the usual suspects in the "shall not be infringed/guns are magic talismans crowd" chimed in making snarky comments, calling people snowflakes and other helpful suggestions. Even Rock and Roll icon and outspoken meat eater Ted Nugent chimed in on his Facebook page "And yet more mushybrained freaks plummet further into the abys of politically correct numbnutness. The desoulling of America on the fastrack to hell. "

The DERP and ridicule was thick. But really what are all these folks upset about? Are they upset that the University is a "gun free zone"? Probably. Are they upset that someone had an idea that didn't involve a firearm and a lethal response? Maybe. Are they sadly living in an open carry fantasy land? Yup

The problem with making fun of initiatives like this is it stifles efforts to promote an aggressive mindset as well as denying reality. Here is a reality check for you. SOMETIMES I DON'T CARRY A GUN. I carry where ever I can legally however If you are promoting breaking the law by carrying in prohibited places as your defensive strategy you are the problem. If your only plan is to shoot something and suddenly you are deprived of the tool you can use to do that then your plan is not a plan at all. Sometime even if you have a gun you shouldn't use it.

Early in my military career I learned about an acroynym PACE. Primary, Alternate, Contingency, Emergency. As in have a plan for all those things. So why not give folks hockey pucks to distract the bad guy and potentially escape or divert attention while someone else tackles them to the ground and beats them senseless? Are we so tied to the gun agenda we can't have backup plans?

Sun Tzu in the Art of War said this "

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

During my decades in the US Army Special Forces I was taught to know my operational environment. Should we be working towards changing schools from gun free zones to a different status? Absolutely, but until then we must operate within the constraints placed upon us. That's reality, not cowboy shoot em up fantasy camp.

Additionally the entire second objective has been missed in all the hoopla. The University is trying to raise money to become a harder target. They are actually raising funds to increase security. Are we so tied to an agenda that we can't see the forest for the trees? The ultimate goal is to keep people safe. You do that by education and infrastructure improvements. Training and mindset cultivation. The gun community needs to quit being assholes and get on board.

Friday, November 30, 2018

IEMSA 2018

I was invited to speak at the Iowa Emergency Medical Association Annual Conference. I talked about the Role of Research in Traumatic Hemorrhage Control and 5 EMS different refresher topics. I also got to audit some other speakers and network with peers. Was a good time.

CVO Guntalk Episode 36


Been out pheasant hunting  for the first season sense I was a kid. . Has been a great time and I got a couple of birds. Hope to get Mel out later this season.

November 11th 2018

I was deficient in not posting this earlier. But Vweterans day 2018 was quite busy for me. I joined some friends for a USMC birthday run follwed by Beverly Park Trail Race with Mel followed by a Workout for Warriors with Team RWB. Good day honoring our nations Veterans by getting after it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Time To Stop The Bleeding

This is the best most articulate response I have seen to the NRA tweet debacle

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Doggone Tired 10 Mile Trail Run 10.27.18

Been a long time since I blogged about a trail race but yesterday I finished my first race of any significant distance in about 2 years. This was a very small race held to benefit the hungry. I ran the 10 mile version which was one loop but there was also a 50K option. There were only 7 of us running the 10 mile so I declare myself Age Group Winner!!! Here are some pictures of the beautiful day.