Tactical Tani-O

A foray into video demonstrations with the Tactical Tani-otoshi…

This variant avoids the “sag and drag” style which drops to the floor and pulls the subject down with you –  instead, it is more a back foot sweep that allows putting the opponent to on the ground first, with the thrower on top for control, and hand control.


For the blog followers here, let me know of there are problems, my tech-fu is limited…


You’ve just picked up your coffee at the drive up, and headed onto the Interstate for the morning commute. It’s a slog…

You’ve made it to the fast..well, faster.. lane and finally you’re putting on some speed. Talk radio, or faves from your morning playlist are waking up your brain. The routine has begun.

You reach for your coffee and start it to your lips when “AGH!!” the lid not-so-securely placed by that barista with the cute eyes at the drive-up pops off. Hot (why do they make it sooo hot?) coffee spills onto your fingers and spatters your khaki clad thigh…

You shift your gaze but momentarily: cup, lid askew, brown liquid spotting your pants. And then look up to see brake lights coming on FAST!


You slam  on your own brake to stop – just in time – for the traffic that has come to a dead halt.

Feel that?

It’s a stress spike. What would have normally been a routine traffic adjustment eliciting no autonomic nervous response has suddenly become, perhaps literally, life and death. It’s made worse because it was so sudden, even if only because of the momentary shift in attention created by the spilled – hot!- coffee.

Now, what can you do with that?

In that moment you saw the brake lights, can you report the license plate number on the car you are about to hit? Why not, it’s right in front of you!!

How about the color of the car in the lane next to you. How about the hair color of the driver?

Were you, in that very second you saw the brake lights, able to check rear and side view mirrors to make an emergency lane change? Did you have the time?

And how long after the event is your heart still racing? Some will return to stasis almost immediately. Others will need to breathe to calm their heart rate, and may still be feeling the after-effects and replaying it in their mind as they walk into their workplace.

Still others will be laying awake at night tossing and turning with an uneasy feeling over what could have happened.

What part of your driver’s education prepared you for that very moment when your stress spiked and you were still behind the wheel?  Was it even mentioned? Or did you just focus on the rules of the road and the skills of driving safely?

Now, imagine instead of brake lights what you suddenly see is the muzzle of a gun coming up toward your face, from ten feet away…

How “tactical” are you going to be? Like the license plate, are you going to be able to say what color the gun is? How about the shirt of the guy with the gun? How about his age or facial features? Why not, he’s right in front of you!

Are you really going to be able to check right and left and look for cover? Really? Because in that twinkling moment in what is a routine situation on the road you did not have the time or attention-space to change lanes….Think about it.

Were you even able to get to your gun? Manipulate it properly for accurate rounds on target? Have you ever done so during a moment of spiking stress? How about a prolonged or repeated stress spike: that same feeling but sustained over a period of time?  How many times have you done it under that stress?

Can you make decisions during that stress? To change lanes? To go one way and not the other, to close on the threat or back off or seek that cover you’ve been told to look for on the range? Can you make that kind of decision for other people, directing their response?

It is said that we do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. This is not true. We rise or fall to the level of our preparation.

Semantics, perhaps. Some will say training is preparation. But I have seen many instances of trained people, even well trained people, who were simply not prepared to deal with something when it was very real. Training that does not provide the spike that will occur when its most needed is simply not full preparation. It might be necessary to achieve performance, (skill drills, etc.) but it does not reflect actual conditions where stress, apprehension, mental alacrity and hesitation, and force of will (one’s own and the Opposition’s) are the programs running alongside stance and breathing and draw stroke and grip and trigger press.

This is hard to talk about in depth, which is again why virtually all discussion you see in the blogs and forums and pages is on gear and gadgets and courses of fire and workouts.

That is all well and good for training. It is not always preparation.



MTI Newsletter

Latest issue of the MTI Newsletter has some interesting stuff…

Updated to add:

There is a lot of meat here, particularly for LE awareness and training.

The NY Times pieces are ones I had just sent out to our team as the discussion is a good one, and these articles represent the perfect storm of shaking the head at what some of these teams were thinking, and rolling the eyes at the naive bias and educated ignorance of modern popular media journalism.

Terrorism is a current topic inside the community as well. We will see more of it: we need to be training to deal with Active Threat events that embrace elements of active shooter/stabbing along with vehicle borne attacks, IEDs, etc.

“Don’t Die Today, Daddy”

The other day I  sat with a friend, coworker, and fellow trainer and he spoke of an encounter one of his children had at school.

A young classmate asked his girl if her dad was a police officer – something already known to most at school. When she said yes, the classmate retorted “How come he’s not dead yet?”

The things kids say.

It turned out it was more a lack of sensitivity than it was any political statement, it was particularly rough for this particular child of his, who was quite sensitive when dad promoted out of a long term training position where he did much good, and went back to “the road” because of what she had seen and heard.

Of course, newly promoted, he was also headed back to “graveyard shift,” a turn of phrase not lost on his young daughter.

The things we say, not thinking.

The next day, without knowing the above tale my own daughter, upon saying goodbye to me as I was heading out and heading in to work, left me with these words:

“Don’t die today, Daddy.”

I’m thinking she was just not paying attention to her words. Normally she leaves me with “Be Safe,” the common language used in the profession as a farewell.

But as she has before been at my hospital bedside as I lay there with a bullet in my chest, there may have been something deeper in it.

After a wild night with a pursuit of an outrageously drunk driver (who also happened to be a felon with gun in the car) and a later response to a mentally unstable man with a gun (who also just happened to be a self admitted gang member flagged for his violence and hatred of police), in which there were tense moments where a possible hostage situation was thought to be in the making, there is always something deeper in it for me.

For many this study of tactical and combative subjects is an avocation. Perhaps a way of delving deeper into some forgotten animus, some vital principle now so foreign to our daily lives that it has taken on a glamour of sorts for those men sidelined by a culture that not only no longer celebrates that vitality but rejects it pejoratively.

This is of course a good thing. An enjoyable past time that strengthens body, mind, and character and imparts skill and resilience can never be bad.

But for some it really boils down to four words…

“Don’t die today, Daddy.”

I’ll do my best, baby.


Seven Exercises for Martial Training

Al at Modern Kogusoku sent this to me the other day – it presents a fascinating perspective on the approach to martial training:
Seven Exercises for Martial Training
1. Experience cold, heat and rain by climbing high mountains and crossing deep valleys.
2. Rest in open fields and sleep in mountains.
3. Never carry money or food on your person; never wear warm clothing.
4. Travel everywhere by engaging in contests.
5. Reside in graveyards, haunted houses, or among savage beasts.
6. Associate with dangerous criminals.
7. Live off the earth among peasants.
Bukyo Goden Ryu
Al didn’t have the source of this in his notes – anyone who is familiar with it please chime in.


Welcomed David T to our little group for this Friday’s session – we really enjoyed it, man, you are good to train with and fit right in. Love to see you again for the Oly ECQC.

We worked clinch and hand control and then devolved into a discussion of articulation of lethal force, why it is so difficult a subject because it is so much based on the specific factors of a particular situation, and why “pat” answers (“I was in fear of my life”) simply do not suffice when talking about thresholds for use of force. This is, I believe, the area most ready for development in the training community. It needs more cultivation in those of us who routinely carry blades and firearms and have any thought toward actually using them in personal protection versus taking training as simply an avocation.

Done some re-arranging and editing here at Harm’s Way as well.