New S.O.B Website!

New School of Budo website up!



I’ve actually been writing quite a bit, if not posting so much. I’ve found lately that nothing I write is all that different or special compared to the usual blogosphere blather. I’ll be expanding on this as more thoughts strike me:


Beware of group think. Beware being involved in a group where one person spouts a debatable point but no debate is tolerated, or it is argued down. It’s amazing how many groups start acting like this. It emboldens people who don’t really have a complete understanding into thinking they do have understanding.

For when debate is stamped out, or when the arguments grow too tiresome, people stop questioning. When people stop questioning, if then questionable statements arise, there is no one there to question them.

And they are accepted as undebatable. These then become truth, when they are nothing of the sort.


Yet another video of a street fight. Two shirtless males squared off, surrounded by people with their phones out, duking it out and rolling around in the grass.

But why in the world is it being conflated, mistaken for, and used as a measure of the effectiveness of a method of self-defense?  By people who should know better.

They are completely different things. A self defense encounter is not “MMA-for-Da-Streetz. ” Are you training your students to be like this? Are you teaching them self defense based on this kind of encounter?


Straw men are easily constructed, and readily torn down, particularly when our only understanding is through a combined platform of a computer screen, a dojo mat, and a square range.


Take a minute to check yourself before you teach others something you have never actually done. You’ve only ever trained it, you have no direct knowledge of the thing itself.

Personally I don’t know how people can actually be comfortable in doing this, but I am not them. To each his own.

And take a LOOONNNGGG minute to check yourself before you lecture others on teaching something they have done, maybe a lot, when you have – again – never done anything.  Never been tested. Never been proven in the eyes of your peers.

You haven’t earned the right….


Maybe it’s me, but I don’t trust when people have only a few years in an armed profession then left, and then have spent the last two decades teaching the very things that they could have continued to do for real in the profession.

If they were that interested and invested, why’d they leave?

Of course the answer could be completely innocuous. But often, it’s not. There is another reason. I know several examples of well known trainers that fit in this latter box.

If they left in disgrace, I have a problem with that. I also have a problem if they chose not to continue to field test, prove themselves, and perfect their craft because it was easier – and less risky to their person, their ego, or their reputation – to step aside and sell their craft on those few years of experience alone.

Then again, we have the twenty or thirty year experienced “veterans” teaching tactics, firearms, combatives, whatever. But twenty or thirty years of what kind of experience?

Because in many cases these people have worked the last decades behind a desk.

That’s a different thing. Especially if it was purely  administrative positions they moved into. In the latter case, basically they are among those that  “left” the profession after only a few years…


Some people just can’t teach. Regardless of experience or skill level.

Some people have skill but no experience. If they can teach, learn skills from them.

Some have experience but no skill. Learn – something  – from them.

But can you tell the difference?


EVERYONE is off duty some time.

The more serious armed professionals carry concealed, off duty, and at times are concerned about people they have arrested or been involved in taking down coming after them and their families.

So, to dismiss what some “spec ops commando” has to offer for concealed carry self-defense because he “only works with a long gun and in a plate carrier and with a team,” or what some cop brings to the table because they have only worked “in uniform” and “under color of authority,”” is to make a grave mistake.

First of all, you have no idea what they actually did or do on the job if you think that is the only way in which they work. We do know what spec ops actually does, right?

And second, even when off duty, and carrying what every other concealed carrier out there does, working under the same laws, they also carry with them their brains. Their knowledge, their ability to assess a tactical situation when real shots are fired (not simunitions, which alone cause most people to freak out when they are introduced in training), to be decisive, and to do so many other things that people without the same experience cannot do with composure.

So fine, don’t take the rifle and plate carrier, running-and-gunning class. But use your common sense as to what those may have people have to offer.


If all you’ve ever done is look at porn, you won’t know what you think you do about real sex.


Is it odd that we all decry the low level of training and standards in the law enforcement world, and yet when we talk about individuals, we make sure to point out either that they were in law enforcement for some period of time, those that were list law enforcement teaching credentials, or at the very least, people make sure to note in their bios that they trained law enforcement officers.

Shock and Old

picture-41_LI (2)

War on the Rocks has this article on the diffusion of basic infantry tactics, and how that, more than technology – or at least integrated with technology – is the more telling marker for success on the modern battlefield.

To quote:

“The historian David Edgerton authored a book entitled The Shock of the Old in which he argues that our society’s collective obsession with rapidly changing technology often blinds us to the older tools and techniques that actually drive most of what we observe around us. We believe this logic can be applied here. The diffusion of 100-year old combat techniques, coupled with readily available technology, may create serious threats that are not currently being considered.”

(emphasis mine. And it’s not just 100 year old combat skills, try 1000s of years old!)

This is so very true, and so very dangerous.

And it’s not just for our soldiers fighting overseas. We are seeing these tactics applied in criminal and terroristic events in the Western world domestically, and when they are employed, the danger level for our police officers rises considerably. Even a solo actor, using fire-and-manuever tactics and weapons skills wrought havoc in Dallas. When applied by trained pairs or groups, they were devastating in France. And while we have yet to see a Beslan or a Mumbai here in the States, it’s coming.

Historically, when criminal actors have used tactics, firearms and fighting skills, and a willingness to close with the enemy (i.e. the police), they have done a great deal of damage.

Today, when some law enforcers seem to have difficulty isolating and closing on even a disturbed kid with a rifle, what is going to happen when they are faced with a trained adversary?

Some companies do offer training to law enforcement for this kind of thing, which though it may be disturbing for some, is more and more necessary. That training should include force-on-force fire-and-manuever tactics, immediate action drills, hand-to-hand combat (both barehanded and with edged weapons from a grappling platform), and tactical casualty care. Most of these skills go back millennia, and some methodologies even hundreds of years old contain elements effective for training the body and mind for exactly the kind of “closeness” with the adversary that is demanded.

But very few officers receive this kind of training.

Instead many agencies are fearful, sensitive of “militarization” accusations and worried about the “warrior” label – until something like Parkland occurs and there is a hue and cry for more cops that should have “closed with the enemy.”

Can’t have it both ways.

Unfortunately, we also see a proliferation of trainers and commentators (I readily admit myself included!) more than happy to publicly disseminate information, tactics, and training advice on exactly how to get better at the very things that make one effective in these kinds of situations.

Like the world isn’t watching.

And most of that is us simply saying “Look at me! Look at what I know! See how Tacti-Kool I am!!”

With plenty of eager Tacti-Kool-aid drinkers lapping it up. Most of them NOT in law enforcement.

This state of affairs is concerning.














Fear and Weakness and Fortitude

Due to recent events, this older post is topical once again…

Despite political grandstanding from both sides – a politician police officer on the one hand and a reality TV politician on the other – talking about what ‘they’ would have done. The fact of the matter is they don’t know.

No one knows what they will do when they are first faced with that moment, when they must walk toward Death to preserve life, risking everything, to get the job done.

It can be an enlightening experience. And what we do in that moment – or fail to do – can literally define the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, the rest of many others’ could be defined as well – or simply cut short. 

This is what you get when you stop training your cops to be Warriors…


“Death fear and Death weakness hit the boy, shutting off his breath, stopping his blood.”

William S Burroughs, Naked Lunch

Fear exists at the core of so much of  human concern. Most in our modern society will have little need to summon the physical or moral courage necessary to address matters when the consequences are truly meaningful: death, or serious injury, or the loss of livelihood for doing what we must; Or social status and support systems (like our jobs)  for standing up for what is right.

And when that need arises, some will find themselves lacking. Hopefully without  the kind of devastating consequences we see in the news today, on a number of levels.

Two books addressing the development of the kind of courage needed to do these things, particularly in soldiers and “other professions that go in harm’s way” are:

Conquering Fear – Development of Courage in Soldiers and Other High Risk Professions


Power of Courage in Combat and Danger

both by Halim Ozkaptan Phd, Gen. Crosbie Saint (Ret.) and Col. Robert Fiero, (Ret.).

Actually they are the same work, the latter an expanded version published later, with Appendices and more background information. It is specifically addressed to Army leaders interested in fortitude, and instilling, developing, and maintaining it in combat troops.

Essentially it boils down to Character and Courage – the “strength of mind allowing one to endure pain or adversity courageously,” which of course applies to anyone hoping to manifest these traits in times of danger. Liberal use is made of historical quotes providing examples to help define the topic, offering perspective and wisdom from times past, and confirming that we have known for a long time how to develop fortitude in people…

It’s just that the prescription is hard to swallow.

The book breaks it down into leader training, individual training, and collective training. Specific to military applications, most of what is discussed is universal. There will be nothing groundbreaking for those in the Interdisciplinary tactical training world, spanning as it does the elements of sound character traits and actions of the leader, inculcated personal ethics and knowledge, and skills and physical attribute training.

All are spoken of in general terms, though a few specifics are mentioned in passing: targeted symbolism, rites of passage, and esprit de corps; the difference between leadership and management (spot on, this bit!); combat sports and games (“boxing, judo, wrestling and pugil sticks”…sense a theme?); maneuver training, etc. Each is attached to a particular realm: leader, individual, and team training, and all are geared toward allowing the individual to manage fear under duress, as well as just going about everyday life with integrity and resilience. The effects of military life and of managing fear over time and with repeated exposures are addressed at length.

As a collection of general principles on developing fortitude through constant attention to training the inner self as well as developing leader and warrior skills, this book has much to offer. It could stand some editing, and once again, while nothing earth-shattering is presented there is often some value in having our belief systems – and life path – confirmed.


Instilling Anxiety

Posted these on some forums – about instilling anxiety in our training. That is a must to get the most out of training: injecting opposing will, a pain penalty, ambiguity, and decision making.

It’s not just about – can’t be just about – training technique.