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Showing posts from 2018

Warrior Awareness: The Killing Hand by Mark Hatmaker

There is a 90% chance that you, Dear Reader, are right-handed.
Left-handedness has an approximate 10% distribution in human populations.
Some research shows there is an approximate 30% of us who delegate tasks between hands, so called ambidexterity. But if we dig deeper on this mixed-handedness, it is not true even-handedness. This 30% still shows a hand preference on fine motor skill work.
Disclosure: I am a righty who boxes southpaw, signs my name with my right hand, works the Bowie knife and tomahawk with the right hand, but finds that my left hand is more facile in gunwork. I’m in that 30% twilight zone but…when confronted with a new task or as skills deteriorate under stress-drills [extreme cold et cetera] the right-hand dominance manifests more starkly. So, keep in mind ambidexterity is not a true 50/50 proposition.
For my boxing Brethren out there, even the “ambidextrous” Marvelous Marvin Hagler was not truly so. When it hit the fan we see the shift to the preferred side.
For our co…

Training for Courage: Part 3 Two Approaches by Mark Hatmaker

Do you consider yourself courageous?
Now, whether you answered that question in the affirmative or the negative or in the “Well, maybe, a little” let’s now answer this…
Would you like to be more courageous?
That question will usually reap a universal “Hell, yeah! Who wouldn’t?
Now, here’s the important question: Is it possible to train for bravery? To increase courage?
Is it possible to train an ineffable virtue?
The answer just may be yes.
[If you have not consumed the prior two articles in this series, might I suggest you do that now so what follows has the appropriate framework.]
First, it is helpful to wrap our heads around the concept that our bodies perceive like states as fact.
What I mean by this is that when the human body is in an arousal state, whether that arousal be sexual, response to a perceived threat or mere interest as in “What kind of animal is that over there behind that line of scrub?” our physiological processes behave as if the arousal state is the true state.
Let’s …

Flehmen & Your Possible 6th Sense by Mark Hatmaker

[The below is a brief sample from the The Warrior Awareness ProgramEkasahpan’a Tebunit’u Nahep’u—Comanche, for roughly “Awake Warrior Tradition.”
It will begin rolling out in 2019 as an adjunct curriculum for RAW Members if they choose and made available for purchase to fellow travelers who are intrigued by auxiliary skills in the various warrior traditions. The Program will provide dozens of exercises, drills, solo and partner practices, and personal experiments to allow Awake Warriors to explore adjunct skills, full-sensory awareness, stalking, skulking and other allied arts culled from Indigenous Warrior practices and traditions world-wide.
The Program will provide in-depth description of the practice, its use in cultural context, and how it was originally trained.
We will follow each practice/exercise with detailed personal experiments with a series of step-by-step drills/tests/templates that allow you to bring a bit of this lost wisdom into your own lives. The templates allow you …

Rough & Tumble Grinder: Thor's Twins by Mark Hatmaker

Oh, Brothers & Sisters if you gave a shot at Thor’s Hammer and survived that fun, I offer you this variant.

Grab TWO War-Hammers [dumbbells or kettlebells will do.] As for weight, make them half of what you ran The Thor’s Hammer Challenge at.
For example, I ran Thor’s Hammer with a single 50#er, so for Thor’s Twins I used two 25#ers.
Sound slim? Hold your horses.
Hit 10 Overhead Walking Lunges
·That’s full lunge steps where the knee just kisses the pavement and…
Both DBs extended overhead.At the bottom of each lunge—freeze AND hit one strict press with both DBs.Once the weight is back overhead, take your next lunge step.You got it? Weight overhead, lunge step-freeze-strict press—repeat for 10 steps and 10 presses.
Then anchor the feet and while holding BOTH weights aloft, hit 10 Sit-Ups.
• Again, this is weight extended overhead with arms-locked and not merely clutching them to your chest.
Hit this circuit of 10 & 10, 7 times for a total of 70 reps of each mov…

Frontier Blade Musings by Mark Hatmaker

[I offer the following in advance of our addition of Frontier blade, tomahawk, and like weaponry to the RAW Program beginning 2019.]
Much advice on early frontier blade work [Bowie knife, dirk, tomahawk, etc.] is speculation. In some cases, good speculation, but in execution it appears to be a variation of some eastern blade work transposed with alternate terminology to give it a patina of New World verisimilitude.
If one takes a deep enough historical dive there are enough resources to give a more accurate eye as to what may have actually occurred with early continental edged weaponry. References buried in contemporary letters, journals, archives and the like abound regarding such things as “bad doin’s with Kansas neck-blisters.” [Knife fight using bowies.]
Many of these refences make no mention of tactics or strategies just as most of today’s blade [and gun encounters for that matter] have little to do with skill and more to do with willingness to engage or respond with deadly force.…

Patton's Two-Cents by Mark Hatmaker

The following is a tack-on observation to the prior post Fightin’ Words: Clausewitz & “Suspicious” Discipline.

Battle is an orgy of disorder. No level lawns or marker flags exist to aid us strut ourselves in vain display, but rather groups of weary wandering men seek gropingly for means to kill their foe. The sudden change from accustomed order to utter disorder—to chaos, but emphasizes the folly of schooling to precision and obedience where only fierceness and habituated disorder is useful.”-General George S. Patton, from his lecture “Why Men Fight,” given on October 27, 1927.

It is with the above in mind that our “THE OUTER LIMITS: Chaos Drills for Street-Survival” & our No Second Chance Program was constructed.
70+ Drill templates to run any curriculum through to see what shakes out in the mix.
If it survives contact with the chaos drill—That is a tactic or strategy that is good to go!
If it crumbles or decays more than 20% under an Outer Limits drill, also good to know. You …

Fightin’ Words: Clausewitz & “Suspicious” Discipline by Mark Hatmaker

Let’s ask a question about your local martial arts school, MMA club, “combat hard” discipline du jour. Hell, you can even ask this question of yourself, and that is likely the most valuable subject to ask it of as you can alter course in a heartbeat if you don’t like the answer and get on the path to truth not theory or supposition—or mere show.
We will look to the answer in the great unfinished work Vom Kriege [On War] by the acknowledged brilliant military mind of the Prussian General Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz. In the below passage he is referring to peacetime armies in comparison with combat-hardened troops.
One should be careful not to compare this expanded and refined solidarity of a brotherhood of tempered, battle-scarred veterans with the self-esteem and vanity of regular armies which are patched together only by service-regulations and drill. Grim severity and iron-discipline may be able to persevere the military virtues of a unit, but it cannot create them. These f…


Drop your gonads and grab your socks, Crew, as this one is a bear.
It is a combination of movements that was formerly used to make puddles of men used to humping logs around like matchsticks, so why not grab a little old school logger brawny goodness?
Used, was a log with two driven “U-Irons” for hand-grips. We’ll substitute an Olympic bar.
If you are a Rookie I’ll suggest the empty bar.
Stout-hearts and Foolish minds load her to 65 pounds, or 95 pounds if you have nowhere to be for the next 3-days.
Mark off around 100 yards headed uphill. [The hill is specified.]
Grip the U-Irons [O-Bar] and hoist her to hang at waist level.
Swing-Snatch that thing overhead 3 times.
On the 3rd rep—Lock her out and take 10 walking lunge steps up that hill. Kiss that rear knee to the ground with each soon to be quaking step.
After the 10th step—drop it back to hang at the waist.
Repeat until you top that hill.

Turn around and repeat to the bottom and…this portion is godawaful! That downward stretch on…

Fightin’ Words: Robert Southey by Mark Hatmaker

Robert Southey was a poet of the English Romantic school. He is considered one of the renowned Lake Poets, the other two notable Lake Poets being William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Mr. Southey recorded his thoughts regarding prize-fighting in 1807.
When a match is made between two prize-fighters, the tidings are immediately communicated to the public in the newspapers; a paragraph occasionally appears saying the rivals are in training, what exercise they take, what diet—for some of them feed upon raw beef as a preparative, and the state of the bets appears also in the newspapers; not infrequently the whole is a concerted scheme, that a few rogues may cheat a great many fools.”
Aspects of the above remind us that there is nothing new under the sun.
For a view of Mr. Southey’s versifying I offer the following. It has nothing to do with combat, but I do love my hound dog.
On the Death of a Favourite Old Spaniel
And they have drown'd thee then at last! poor Phillis!
The bur…