In Memory…

Anyone Murphing today?


For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This holiday is not about parties and barbecues…well, it is, but we have those things because other people no longer do.

Through a physical challenge like Murph we, maybe, share a bit of their experience: the hard work and preparation they undergo in order to ready themselves for the fight.  And we memorialize those who entered or had visited upon them the fight of their lives. The fight with their lives.

Today I’m Murphing for Ryan…





It’s hard to do, but much of the time we should put the tactical swagger aside and engage instead through the ancient Daoist (Taoist) concept of wuwei – non-doing,  or non-action. Paradoxically, perhaps it’s better thought of as the “action of non-action.”

Too Zenny for you?

I hope not, because often the more we can do by “not doing,” the better.

From the self defensive standpoint, this could mean having enough awareness of the situation and surroundings that you have an inkling something is “up,” say spying a pair of sketchy dudes further down the block that seem to be paying you inordinate attention, or noticing an aggressive panhandler at the entrance to the Safeway when you pulled into the lot, that you avoid any issue by not dealing with it to begin with – crossing the street, or going through a separate entrance.


“What??” Some might say…but I have a RIGHT to walk in this world, to go down the street or into the store, unmolested and unintimidated!  And if anyone tries anything I will make them wish they hadn’t … or beg for mercy…. Whichever comes first!

That’s fine and all, and if you choose to go through life this way you likely will need the self defense skills you so carefully cultivate at some point. Too often, we seem to concentrate more on the Action part. Tactical thinking – and common sense – sometimes go out the window in the interest of a kind of tough-talking self righteous “I will assert myself” mentality.

In the cop world we derisively refer to it as the “contempt of cop” mentality.

This is bad habit, and bad practice. When you start to look at and cast self-defense as some kind of contest, or some kind of proving ground, the creep is complete and you’ve missed the point altogether.

This is by no means “go along to get along.” It is not “hug-a-thug” nor is it conflict avoidance at all costs.

It is simply choosing one’s battles, and between what should be let go, what we are willing to let go and what we know needs addressed

Non-action requires a lot a confidence. In one’s skillsets, so that one does not feel the need to be “proven,” and in our decision making, so that we can rest easy knowing that not acting was the right call. It won’t always be, but you won’t always know…

If you reasonably believe violence is imminent, you may – very often should – make the decision to act. If not, non-action is usually the best course. Of course, not acting could include lots of action – observing the scene and the facts and circumstances, paying attention to description and cues that might cause action to become reasonable and necessary, “standing by to stand by” so to speak, minding your own business while simultaneously alert and minding the situation.

This takes composure and self-assurance, and a lack of the perceived need to prove oneself.







Police Judo

From Police Judo:  

“The goal of developing a combat mindset is to do the right thing, in the right way, for the right reason under extreme stress. Physical training and ethical clarity support a mindset that identifies and deals with danger in an effective and dispassionate way.”

Not sure this is a Kano quote as the site seems to imply, but it states very well the ideal we should be striving toward, instead of tough talk and tactical swagger.

Some interesting applications:


Own It


Jocko owns it in this powerful talk.

The Tactical Professor Claude Werner is one of the few (only?) people who has addressed the concept of Negative Outcomes in defensive shooting situations – well they loom in combat and tactical situations as well.

And what do you do when something like that occurs? Many people would take the path Willink rejected – to freak out, blame others, or shirk responsibility to protect their own egos and positions; still others would fold within themselves, spiral downward into panic or inertia because what had happened was not what they thought, until that awful moment they realized it.

Ever had that moment? When the stakes were high, the consequences very real? It is not a pleasant experience and I can see how some would freak or fold. But in those moments, and in the aftermath, is where we find out true mettle, resilience, and leadership, as Willink did.

Feel his emotion here. He owns that as well.