$1 Million Legal Defense Fund

With all the brouhaha currently going around in the “self-defense legal fund/insurance” world, I thought it was worth noting a significant milestone.

The Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network now has $1,000,000 earmarked for the legal defense of members after a self-defense incident, as well as helping with bail, if needed. As well, they have upped the initial-representation deposit from $10,000 to $25,000 (if needed).

You can – and should – read all the details here.

Congratulations to Marty, Gila, and all those who worked to bring the Network to this significant milestone. 🎉

(Disclosure: I am a member of ACLDN and have utilized their legal services. I receive no compensation or anything for mentioning this; I’m just a “satisfied customer” who by his own free-choice wishes to promote an organization he strongly believes in.)

KR Training 2017-04-22 – BP2/DPS1 Quick Hits

Saturday April 22, 2017 was another fantastic day at KR Training. On tap: Basic Pistol 2 (our Defensive Pistol Skills Essentials) and Defensive Pistol Skills 1. These are two of the core – and arguably most important – classes we teach. It’s here that students go from casual plinking at the range to starting to acquire the skills and understand the realities involved in using a handgun for self-defense.

We had a good turnout, with over a dozen students in the morning, and over half staying for the afternoon class. For those all-day students it’s a long day, but one packed with learning and growth.

A bit of an interesting day too, as the weather took a “pleasant” turn. Instead of the warm weather we’ve been having, a cold front blew through just as class was starting. Sure 60º–ish all day isn’t that cold, but the wind was strong and bitterly cold; not all students were prepared for it. I can’t totally blame folks, but now instead of my usual “wear sunscreen” I’m going to have to start suggesting to people to ensure to always bring clothing/gear to mind the weather – even if it doesn’t make logical sense, because days like today apparently do happen. 😉

As well, I was the Lead Instructor for this day. Karl was off at the annual A Girl and A Gun Conference, so I held down the fort. I had capable assistants in Larry, Brett, and Justin. We had a mix of students: young and old, male and female – we ran the gamut. Again, I always like to point out demographics because there are people who think they know who and what gun owners are, but really have no clue.

John Daub, instructing students on the range during KR Training’s Basic Pistol 2 class.

As for some quick take-homes:

  • Trigger press. Remember? Prreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssss. Apply smooth pressure. Yes the pressure will and must increase, but keep it smooth (not sudden).
  • Grip should be strong (“Homer choking Bart”), and consistent. When you are holding the gun in the ready position, be gripping HARD – don’t tighten up when you get the gun out and in response to pressing the trigger.
  • Going fast is important, but not at the expense of accuracy. At this stage I’d rather you work on good mechanics, establishing good technique, and working to get acceptable hits. Speed will come.

One other thing.

For some, it can be a hard day. Not even so much on the skills and direct learning aspects, but what you go through, what you put yourself through. There can be a lot of emotions, a lot of discomfort. These two classes are filled with novel experiences, and sometimes uncomfortable experiences.

But guess what?

You made it through.

You are more aware.

You are stronger.

You are more capable.

And that smile on your face tells me, it was a good day.

Thank you for coming out and training with us. Thank you for putting your faith and trust in us, to help you learn and grow in such an important aspect of your life.

Practice well. Train hard. We’ll see you out on the range.

BART takeover robbery

BART police are beefing up patrols at Oakland stations after dozens of juveniles terrorized riders Saturday night when they invaded the Coliseum Station and commandeered at least one train car, forcing passengers to hand over bags and cell phones and leaving at least two with head injuries.

The incident occurred around 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Witnesses told police that 40 to 60 juveniles flooded the station, jumped the fare gates and rushed to the second-story train platform. Some of the robbers apparently held open the doors of a Dublin-bound train car while others streamed inside, confronting and robbing and in some cases beating riders.

Full story

Shocking and scary.

You’re just trying to get home on the train, when your train car gets flooded with a mob of teenagers. They rob you, they beat you, and within seconds they’re gone.

You’re trapped, because there’s only a couple of exits and they’re all blocked by these criminals, these predators.

It’s crowded, and there are superior numbers.

Trost said police arrived at the station in less than 5 minutes, but that the robberies took place in just seconds.

When I read the article last night, there was a quote to the effect of “we’ve hundreds of miles of track and dozens of stations – we can’t have police everywhere”. The article seems to have been updated to remove that quote. Whatever the exact wording was, the message was clear: the police cannot always be there to protect you as there’s just no physical and realistic way.

Your life is in your hands. It’s well-worth acknowledging that reality.



2017-04-25 training log

Made a last minute decision to NOT go to the gym.

It’s bench day, and my arms are not feeling it. There’s just enough ache/pain, and it’s been here for a couple days. I’ve been massaging and stretching.

As I was getting ready to go, I was just thinking to myself how to modify the session to not make things worse, e.g. I wasn’t going to superset in pulling work. As I kept thinking, the best solution? Just rest.

We’ll see how the rest of the week fares.

2017-04-24 training log

Nose bleed while squatting – achievement unlocked?

Yup. Squatting, then I feel something running out of my nose, then the distincting taste of blood. Alas, it’d mean more if this had been achieved under some heavy load, but it was nothing glorious. I had blown my nose to breathe better, and I guess while doing so I popped a bloos vessel. So, nothing glamorous. 🙂

In fact, the whole session was nothing glamourous.

I just felt off with every rep. Not getting depth, falling forward, all sorts of things. 😦

Top set, 4th rep, and I just racked it. Every rep had some problem with it, so I just racked it. As soon as I did tho, I felt I should have at least gone for the 5th rep and tried to push through.

Did pause squats because I needed that reinforcement: hit depth, clearly. It was good work. But after that, just packed up and went home.

Why? Not sure. I did have a LONG day teaching on Saturday, and spent most of Sunday sleeping/resting; so maybe I’m still just off from that. I also did have my mind on some other things, so that probably played a part as well.

Not the best day, but it’s a day. Moving on.

  • Squats
    • bar x whatever
    • 140 x 5
    • 175 x 5
    • 210 x 3
    • 245 x 3
    • 280 x 3
    • 315 x 4
  • Pause Squat
    • 245 x 5
    • 245 x 5
    • 245 x 5

Sunday Metal – Keel

I was listening to Apple Music’s “Classic Metal” radio and this song came on.

It took me right back to my teenage years, and finally I was able to know who the artist was!

I recall hearing this song a bunch, and I believe I had it on some mix-tape and really loved it. But I never knew who the artist was. But now I know.


“Tears of Fire”

(Shut up, BH)

2017-04-21 training log

It was a day.

On Pressing, the top set was the same weight as the “5” week from last cycle. I hit the same reps, which straight-up isn’t progression, but given the work-up was more than last cycle I consider it progress. It’s not a lot of progress, but it’s progress.

I did press the work sets using wrist-wraps, given my experiences and thoughts from a couple days ago (bench pressing day). It actually threw me off some because it does put the bar in a slightly different position and thus the bar path is different. The first set was actually really screwed up because the path was unfamiliar. I don’t feel I NEED wraps on pressing day as press doesn’t seem to cause me issues, but if it is wrist extension issues that put some stress on everything, it isn’t a bad thing.

Overall I felt kinda weaker today, but when I think about it I really wasn’t. I pushed the pressing pretty far, leaving a “maybe 1 more” in the tank, so I just didn’t have a lot left for the rest of the session. But then all “not-pressing” movements I did better on, so I think I was overall stronger, I just pushed hard. Whatever. It was what it was.

Dips are interesting to me. Every time I do them (since I started doing them again), the first couple reps are hard. My body feels unstable and doesn’t like it, taking me the first 2-3 reps to actually find a groove. Unstable, shaky, can’t go all the way down. But then by rep 3-4 I’m going just below parallel. I reckon it’s just from being “tired” and I have to get things into it, but as well the body feels…. loose? Not sure how to really describe it, because I’m not really sure what it is yet. Today I thought about scrapping them, but no, it’s really a sign that I need to keep doing them to suss out what the problem is and get better.

Otherwise, today was… a day. It’s technically cycle 5 so things SHOULD start to get tougher. It is what it is. I felt it was an OK day, just not a great day.

  • Press (superset with pulldowns)
    • bar x whatever
    • 75 x 5
    • 90 x 5
    • 110 x 3
    • 120 x 5
    • 140 x 5
    • 155 x 5
    • 140 x 8
    • 120 x 10
  • Lat Pulldowns (pronated grip, to chest)
    • 110 x 12
    • 120 x 12
    • 130 x 12
    • 140 x 12
    • 140 x 12
    • 140 x 12
    • 140 x 12
    • 140 x 12
  • Dips (superset with shrugs)
    • BW x 8
    • BW x 10
    • BW x 7
  • DB Shrugs
    • 85e x 15
    • 85e x 15
    • 85e x 12
  • Front Plate Raises (all the way above head)
    • 25 x 30
    • 25 x 15
    • 25 x 11
  • Skullcrushers
    • 70 x 12
    • 70 x 12
    • 70 x 8
  • Hammer Curl
    • 40e x 10
    • 40e x 10
    • 40e x 10

2017-04-20 training log

I felt out of groove today, but I’m not sure if it was just the day or the minor change.

The minor change was my deadlift setup. Long ago my setup put my feet and the bar at “the 3rd eyelet” on my shoes. Then some time ago I moved it to the 4th as that felt “more correct” to have the bar in so closer. But today for some reason when I set the bar down after the last rep of the first set, I opted to pause and look down at my feet to see where the bar was — it was at the 2nd eyelet. So I kept working from there. The change was the bar didn’t start as close to my body, but it did go straight up instead of a little out then up (gravity recentering things once the bar broke ground). I think that’s better, but at the heavier weights it felt more like I was starting out of balance, since the bar was a little away from me.

I’ll just keep playing with it.

On hypers, I played around with foot angle. So with my new approach it has the feet pointing outwards at around 45º. For sure I feel it more in my glutes than my hams. I tried straight, and I also tried pointing my feet inwards as much as I could. The more inwards things went, the more I felt it in my hams. Whatever I did, of course both glutes and hams were working, but it was interesting to see how the foot angle did play a part.

Another play around was the leg curls. In the past I’ve tried to keep my feet loose, and then found when things got tougher my body naturally wanted to flex my foot, so I tried to shy away from that because I didn’t want things to become easier. Well, watching a video the other day, apparently flexing the foot takes the calves out of it, so I tried that today. Of course, I was stronger. So… could it be that I’ve been more dealing with my calves and they’ve been a weak point and holding things back on working my hamstrings? Could be. I’m going to keep playing with this as well.

  • Deadlift
    • 170 x 5
    • 215 x 5
    • 260 x 3
    • 280 x 5
    • 325 x 5
    • 365 x 8 (8 rep PR)
    • 325 x 7
    • 280 x 10
  • Hyperextensions
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
  • Leg Curls
    • 40 x 12
    • 40 x 12
    • 40 x 12

“But he was unarmed!” – Maybe so, but he could still kill you

It’s a widely held misconception that an “unarmed” person – someone with only their hands, without tools (gun, knife, baseball bat, hammer, 2×4, etc.) – is not dangerous, is not harmful.

Robert A. Margulies, MD, MPH, FACEP speaks with the ACLDN about blunt force trauma lethality.

A blow to the temple area where the skull is relatively thin can actually cause a fracture in that area and tear the underlying artery. This can produce permanent disability, and can cause death.

A blow to the back of the neck can dislocate the spine and cause paralysis or death. These are things that one does not really have to be a trained martial artist to do. Blows to the nose, to the back of the neck, to the throat are examples of “empty hands” that can produce disability or death.

Head and face trauma has an interesting aspect to it. It is not just that somebody has been hit in the face, but bleeding and swelling of tissues can also lead to airway blockages. Bleeding in the mouth can lead to swallowed blood, which is very irritating and can cause vomiting which puts somebody at a disadvantage, but also leads to the risk of aspiration. That is, the vomit is trying to come up and out, and you’re trying to breath in, and you suck some of this stuff down into your lungs. All of these things can become fatal, even though this was just a broken jaw and a little bleeding.

A blow to the ribs can cause injury to the liver or the spleen, both of which, in the vernacular, bleed like stink. Surgery is extremely difficult because the liver and the spleen are not like muscle where you can isolate a blood vessel and get control, they’re spongy and trying to suture is like trying to sew gelatin—it is difficult! It requires a highly trained team to be able to salvage somebody who has a shattered liver or spleen. Spleens can be removed and the patient can survive. Humans do not do well without a liver.

Dr. Margulies continues:

Unequivocally not. I consider hands and feet, knees, elbows and shoulders, to be deadly weapons. Once that first blow is delivered and once you go to the ground, the kick to the head, the knees in the chest, may produce permanent injuries and fatalities. I’m going to give you a reference to an article in the Journal of Head and Face Medicine, published in October 2005 (see http://www.head-face-med.com/content/1/1/7 – B10). One of the comments in it is that as of 2005, we in developed countries have a level of facial injuries caused by interpersonal violence exceeding those from motor vehicle crashes. This is not a new concept or a new problem.

I won’t question the fact that tools enable us to do things more efficiently, more effectively – that’s why we humans are tool creators and tool users. However, the lack of tools does not preclude a human from inflicting deadly harm upon another.

Please understand this.

2017-04-18 training log

Because of my continuing arm/elbow issues, this cycle I’m changing up a few things. And today, while I planned a couple changes, there was also an unplanned change that I think made the biggest difference.

First change is while I’m keeping the 5/3/1 progression, I’m adopting Paul Carter’s rep scheme: 5/4/3/2/1. Then on the top set, it’s 1+. The intention is to keep intensity but reduce volume at higher intensities, which seems to aggravate the pain. Hit a single at the top, and if I’m feeling OK give it a little more – but I don’t have to set a record here, just get SOME work in, whatever I can do with the pain. After that, an AMRAP set plus a 50% set, again to get some volume at a reasonable intensity level, but again here I don’t need to push it to death; mind the pain and don’t make things worse.

Second change was not using elbow sleeves. I started using them when I had my first round of pain because some suggest it helps. Does it help? I don’t know. For sure knee sleeves make my knees happier when I squat and deadlift, but the jury is still out on the elbow sleeves. Part of the answer will lie in working without them for a bit, then with them, then without, and just alternating for a bit to see how things go. The other factor here is I have wondered if the sleeves contribute to the pain, given how they add bulk in the “elbow pit”, so when the elbow angle grows more acute, there’s some lever compression from the sleeve material and it adds additional pressure to the tendons in there. I’ve felt this, but hard to say if the sleeves are causing it or just happen to be there. Still, worth trying without sleeves to see how things go.

I wanted to make a third change: wrist wraps. I generally don’t use them, but I know they add rigidity and stability to the wrist area. Given all that I’ve experienced, I wondered if they might help. But I’m already changing 2 factors, no need to add a third.

But that said, it still came into play.

As I was setting up on my first set, I found myself clenching the bar. I mean, I normally grip the bar, but now I was really crushing it – like a grip where the bar should start to ooze out from between my fingers. Of course, that’s how you SHOULD bench, but it’s something I tend to overlook. But today, I really focused on that, and I think that above all things helped me out. I’ve been noticing how the pain exists, and there’s a lot in my brachioradialis and brachialis. The flexed wrist seems to play into this, given how it causes the muscles and skeletal structure to have to then support things. I also think about how the pain existed when I squated under similar form. It’s making some level of sense here. So the rigid wrist? Helped a bunch.

Now, when I got to 225, my wrists couldn’t support it alone. So yes, I’m thinking always crushing, but bare wrists on the work up, then heavier weights get the wraps. I’ll be curious over the next 2 weeks (3’s week and 1+ week) how it goes.

As for the other two changes, I will continue without sleeves to see how it goes; jury still out. And I do think the reduced reps should help for a bit as well. I should be able to still make progress. Hitting 225×8 today wasn’t a PR by any stretch, but all things considered it’s acceptable.

As for other things…

I am wondering if a bigger part of the problem is rowing. Maybe not rowing directly, but for sure I find myself more irritated after rowing. One thought I have is to stop supersetting pressing with pulling. Yes I know that’s stricter 5/3/1, but I’d rather work pain-free. My thought is to stop supersetting, focus on solid pressing work, which I expect might go better without rowing contributing to arm issues. Then do back work but bump it up a bit. Like right now since I rest so long between sets, I’d be curious if I dropped the weight and rest interval down (e.g. drop 10-20% weight, and no more than 60 seconds between sets). That would bump up the work, but drop the intensity, which may be better for me. I don’t want to change this JUST yet because again so many factors already in flux. But it’s on the brain.

DB benching I am trying to change slightly as well. I found I was keeping the DB’s closer to each other, which was a nice range of motion, but then a more acute elbow angle in the bottom position and pain, stability, etc.. So now I’m keeping them further out, with the outer edge of the DB touching the outer edge of my pec — keep the DB’s fully outside the body. That seemed to help, but of course weight and reps had to go down due to the leverage change, but that’s fine.

Kroc rows stopped short, just irritation.

Other things were what they were, but the one notable change was instead of normal BB curls I switched to reverse curls. Again, if my issues are with brachioradialis and brachialis, might as well work to get more blood into the area AND do some more direct work to strengthen them.

We’ll see how this plays out over the coming weeks.

  • Bench Press (superset cable rows)
    • bar x whatever
    • 105 x 5
    • 130 x 4
    • 160 x 3
    • 170 x 2
    • 200 x 1
    • 225 x 8
    • 170 x 15 (AMRAP)
    • 170 x 5 (50%)
  • Cable Rows
    • 105 x 12
    • 115 x 12
    • 125 x 12
    • 135 x 12
    • 135 x 12
    • 135 x 12
  • DB Bench Press (superset with Kroc rows)
    • 75e x 10
    • 75e x 8
    • 75e x 8
  • Kroc Row
    • 50 x 10
    • 50 x 10
    • 50 x 15
  • DB Upright Row
    • 30e x 15
    • 30e x 15
    • 30e x 15
  • Overhead Rope Extensions
    • 60 x 15
    • 60 x 15
    • 60 x 11
  • EZ Bar Reverse Curl
    • 45 x 15
    • 45 x 15
    • 45 x 15