Monthly Archives: June 2009
Not sure what gives, but something’s hoarked with t3h int3rw3bz for me today. Looks like something in one of Time Warner Cable’s backbones or maybe GBLX is failing. Something up in the DFW area, from what diagnostics I can run.
Of course, trying to get a hold of someone with a clue at TWC is impossible. Stupid voice response menus that navigate you to nowhere useful. The constant drone of “sorry, this department doesn’t handle that; let me transfer you to the department that does” and repeat that about 5 times and 20 minutes before I decide to just hang up. Be a sucker for punishment and try again (thank God for my office phone headset), and get the same clueless runaround.
Even getting to Google is a challenge.
It’s been too damn painful to be online all day. Not going to keep hurting myself with it tonight.
Going to go do something novel, like read a book.
I just got back from my first “stand up” session from Warrior’s Edge Martial Arts. On Monday night’s it’s 2 things: first class is “stand up” MMA with Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, Kali, Silat sorts of empty hand skills and drills; second class is western boxing.
In a word: awesome.
So far, this feels like what I’ve been looking for.
The first class was taught by Guro Ray. We worked on various drills, working on getting inside and what we can do from there. For instance, right haymaker comes at you, shoot in and block, and from there various things could happen: a chicken-wing arm-bar, a bent-elbow shoulder lock, or other sorts of arm bars and locks. And as I’m doing this all I can think to myself is: ah, that’s Ki Bohn Soo #3, oh, that’s this other Kuk Sool thing. The key is that the body moves in only so many ways, so there’s only so many things you can really do. My Kuk Sool knowledge isn’t discarded; in fact, it came in quite handy in performing the locks, sweeps, and takedowns. Didn’t hurt my kicking skills either. But the key difference? Learning how to apply things.
I’ve always felt that the library of “techniques” you learn in Kuk Sool isn’t necessarily meant to be a literal library of movements. Sure the constant execution of them does teach you things, does teach you how to move, but it’s static and not very alive. I’ve always felt that what the “techniques” are more doing is teaching you a concept, teaching you about some way to move the body be it your body or more importantly your opponent’s body. So you’re being given an abstract notion. Trouble is, in most all of my 6 year Kuk Sool history, it never really went beyond that. There was never really any application, any “let’s get in there and work it”. Sure I attempted to do it now and again on my own, but in terms of it being a good part of how things were taught, it just wasn’t there. That was one reason I left. I’d say that tonight I got a good dose of how to actually apply and get in there and take the abstract knowledge of the body and work it from there.
Then the western boxing class.
It was drills. The teacher was a gentleman name Abel, and he took as a beginner and taught me accordingly. The drills? Good grief. I am in good condition and physical shape, but I am not in good condition for that particular activity. My triceps, shoulders… they were truly exhausted by the end of the class. But I got a good intro to western boxing, now I just need to practice and continue to apply. This was a nice start.
In the end, I walked out of there after 2 hours just drenched in sweat and thoroughly exhausted. It was awesome. This is exactly the sort of thing that I’m looking for. I feel safe in saying that Warrior’s Edge Martial Arts will be my new home for the next however long.
Good stuff. Good stuff. Happy me.
Exodus (Dock) over at 2AMusing is making lemonade, metaphorically at least.
He’s got to sell some stuff. I saw a preliminary list and there’s good things to be had. Read his post and follow his instructions.
The Rangemaster July 2009 Newsletter has been posted.
Amongst other things, it contains an article about child abductions. If you’re a parent and/or work with children, take the time to read this article. It gives a better perspective about abductions. Teach your children well.
Just stumbled upon a great collection of videos by YouTube user “billardjay”. Lots of western boxing, a few other things, but mostly with an eye towards instruction. Good stuff.
What a week.
But wait, there’s more…. TV pitchman Billy Mays.
Man. What a crazy week.
It’s not a bad piece. It appears his effort was to speak in some generalized terms about your popular choices, because not every town has accesss to more esoteric arts. So he examines popular/common arts such as Karate, Taekwondo, BJJ, Boxing, etc. and how applicable they could be to survival/defensive use. I’d also throw in Krav Maga as that is geared as a “no-nonsense self-defense” style, but you have to be careful as some Krav studios tend to be nothing more than “martial aerobics”. “Brick” wrote up a decent piece and I don’t disagree with what he wrote.
What I would like to do is add to what he wrote.
The trouble with studying these arts is they take time and dedication to gain proficiency. If you’re taking this from the angle of “survivalist” you may not have years to dedicate in study to get you where you need to be. Plus if your desire is to just deal with an “unarmed” situation quickly enough to escape or perhaps transition to a firearm or other weapon, you may not need years of study in some traditional sort of martial art to get you there.
There are groups out there such as InSights Training Center, Blauer Tactical Systems, special classes from Rangemaster. There are certainly others. These are more focused courses that aim to provide some sort of empty hand skills to help you survive an encounter (or avoid one before it ever begins) but not necessarily be caught up in kata and rituals and so on. Of course, the downside of these groups is it may be difficult to obtain that training as they aren’t as available. Nevertheless, look around and see what is around, and don’t discount having to travel some to get that training.
I would also add that if you have to go the “traditional” route but find time to be short, consider focusing on something. Often a martial art has some degree of breadth in what is offered. They might provide kata/forms, some striking with hands and feet, maybe weaponry, maybe other things offered too. When you have only a certain amount of time to train, if your training is divided across many things it will take you longer to gain proficiency in all of those things or any one thing. If however your training is focused, you’ll get up to speed in that one thing much faster but of course the trade-off is that you’re only trained in that one thing. In a survivalist sort of situation, something like western boxing could be very useful as it is very focused (hand-based striking primarily, tho of course there’s physical conditioning (good thing!), footwork, and other things).
In the end, it all depends upon your goals. In my own martial arts study, my goals have changed. Because my goals changed, I’m taking a different approach. You just have to determine what you want and what’s available around you that will be best towards helping you achieve your goals.
Remember how before he became President, Mr. Obama promised transparency in government? I guess it was a 7-Up promise: never had it, never will.
I’m not saying things were peachy before him, but he promised change and we’re not getting it.
My rainbow-farting unicorn still hasn’t arrived.
Man, it’s been hot the past some days… 100+ degree temperatures. But that didn’t stop me from wanting to go hunting and put some more piggy parts in the freezer.
Earlier this week I called DB Hunting Ranch again, just on a whim, to see if I could do another walk/stalk hunt. They called me back and I was able to go almost immediately, so I booked something and was ready to go. A few hours later I got a callback saying that a friend of mine, Charles, called and wanted to book a walk/stalk hunt too. In the call my name was mentioned, and so they called me back mentioning this and asking if I wanted to change my date so we could hunt together. Sure! This was a complete coincidence because while Charles and I had been exchanging some emails talking about hunting, neither of us knew the other was calling DB. We both just got an itch and decided to individually scratch it, and it came together like it did. Glad it did too, because it was most fun.
So we headed back out and once again Jake was our guide. He’s got an eye and did a great job at spotting. On this hunt I saw a lot more variety than I did on the prior hunt to DB. Saw a lot of whitetail, a couple axis does, black buck, aoudad, rams. Jake kept trying to offer us some of the rams at a reasonable price, but while it would have been a quick and simple kill I didn’t see the point. I’m not going to eat the rams. I’m here for meat, not trophies. Still, it did sow a seed for the future. In fact, during the hunt we were talking about future plans for DB, things that were coming in, and it sure gets me itching for future hunts. Jake knows how to keep business rolling, which is good for him.
We did see a couple trophy hogs on the hunt. One was sleeping under a pile of brush and Charles was able to get maybe 10 feet from him before the hog took off. At that time we weren’t going to shoot the trophy hogs because of the cost. But later on as I was looking for my second pig, I was riding in the bed of Jake’s pickup leaning on the roof and Charles riding in the passenger seat (he had gotten 2 already). Jake stopped the truck and down a road were 3 pigs: 2 small ones and 1 trophy. I shouldered my new hunting rifle and tried to get a bead on the pigs but because I was so high up in the air a tree branch was obscuring any sort of shot. Damn it. Charles had leaned out the truck window and said he had a perfect bead on them but was giving me the shot. Unfortunately the pigs moved and that was that. Thing was by that point, we had decided that we’d go ahead and take a trophy pig if the opportunity gave itself again (it didn’t) and just split the cost and the meat.
In the end, we each got 2 pigs. The new Savage hunting rifle performed great and I’m pleased with it. The Federal Premium Vital-Shok .308 Winchester 165 grain Barnes Triple-Shock X-Bullet (load P308H) bullet is simply devastating. Charles was shooting a similar Federal load but in .223 55 grain Barnes bullet and had similar results. I put the crosshairs on the shoulders, hit ‘em where I was aiming. So the hardware portion of the hunt was better than last time. Since I have more confidence in both my hunting skills and the hardware, I’ll go for the “behind the ear” shots in the future to help preserve the shoulder meat better.
One thing I learned from this hunt is that I need to spend more time on my rifle skills. I spend most of my time focused on handguns, and when I do spend time on rifle it tends to be more slow paced stuff often because that’s all the gun ranges will allow (e.g. shooting rifles from the bench). With these hogs, you do have to be able to move quickly. They are always on the move and you may only have a window of a couple seconds to take the shot. I need to work on that, being able to shoulder the rifle and peel off a “bullseye shot” within 2-3 seconds. I obviously shot fine, but finding ways to practice with a little more speed would be good.
Only real question this morning is what to do with all the meat. Smoke it as is, take it to Johnny G’s to make sausage. Throw a ham in the crock pot. So many choices.
Good time had. Got another hog hunt booked for next month. This one will be a night hunt.
Updated: Charles posted a write-up and a picture.