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Showing posts from January, 2018

What's Your Noyau?: Territory & Human Aggreression by Mark Hatmaker

If you’re like me, that word “noyau” may be as unfamiliar to you as it was to me a mere six months ago, but once we understand the word and its wider meaning we begin to recognize its explanatory importance in global and everyday matters, not to mention conflict resolution.
Before we get to the definition of the concept let’s first ponder this quote:
Antagonism must have some value to living things: why otherwise would evolution have tolerated so much of it?”-Robert Ardrey The Territorial Imperative
Keep that thought in the back of your mind as it underpins the noyau concept.
In 1944 a German ornithologist by the name of Dieter Burckhardt offered up the observation that each species of bird seems to have an “individual distance.” That is, a territorial divide within a larger shared territory.
A beach seemingly crowded willy-nilly with swarming emperor penguins is actually adhering to species-specific rules regarding nest position and permitted distance between individuals; what appears t…

Kid McCoy's Corkscrew Punch by Mark Hatmaker

The man born as Norman Selby in 1872, who later becomes Charles “Kid” McCoy (another fighter’s name that he casually adopted as his own,) who later took on the nom de ring “The Corkscrew Kid,” and then eventually, and simply, “Kid McCoy” was not a good man. He was a con man, a thief, a cheat, and a hustler. His out of the ring exploits could fill a book of nefarious deeds, but despite all this thuggish and disreputable baggage you can’t take away the fact that he was one of the slickest boxers to step into the ring.
Selby, McCoy, or whatever name he was going by on any given day won the vacant middleweight title with a knockout in the 15th round of Dan Creedon in 1897. He never bothered to defend the title, but don’t let that winning of a vacant title and lack of title defense allow you to assume McCoy was inactive or yellow. On the contrary, he was active as hell, and seemingly fearless. Consider the following.
In 1896, the year prior to picking up the middleweight belt he knocked out …

"Hand Scalping" A Digression on Combat Hair-Pulling by Mark Hatmaker

There is a surprisingly long history of hair-pulling in combat history, both sportive and on the battlefield. Today we’ll confine ourselves to sportive instances of what we now perceive to be unsportsmanlike behavior.
Combat hair-pulling, or pugna capillos trahens, if you’d like to gussy it up a bit with Latin, or get a bit more primal with the Comanche tso’ya naraut’u [literally “hair fight”] was permitted in more than a few organized endeavors, and in some cases, out and out encouraged.
Before we continue, if anyone doubts the efficacy of hair-pulling in sportive combat, please stretch the memory back to UFC 3 with the iconic match between the up to that point mighty dominant Royce Gracie and the pony-tailed behemoth that was Kimo Leopold. Royce gamely takes the “W” in that match, but if anyone thinks that would have been the outcome had not that handy pony-tail been available, I suggest a second look and re-evaluation of opportunistic handles.
It seems the early Greeks prohibited hair…

A Conversation with Master Bladesman, James Keating by Mark Hatmaker

For those not in the know…
James Albert Keating: Master at Arms - Astonishingly good with all small weapons. A graduate of the ESI Bodyguard academy. A knife designer of note. A writer of poem, prose and storied tale. Four books to his name so far. Currently residing on a large Arabian horse ranch in the mountains of Oregon. Keating is the owner and operator of the Comtech Training Studio known worldwide as home to a vast array of fighters, fencers and fast guns. Keating has operated the training hall since 1972 when he first began teaching publicly. James Keating has trained in various combative systems since age 10. Just shy of being sixty years of hard work in the martial arts and tactical fields. His 2018 season of training seminars looks as strong as one of his hand made Bowie knives. His beliefs are as follows: "We advance together into the unknown future with the strength of our abilities sustaining us through thick and thin. Skill banishes fear. Skill is the secret, otherw…

"Training Scars," Task-Saturation & Comanche "Becoming a Stranger" by Mark Hatmaker

Let’s start with a couple of definitions.

Firstly, “training scars” are not the casual war wounds incurred in the day-to-day bumps and bruises of combat sports training and street-operative preparation. Those bumps, bruises, scrapes, abrasions, busted noses, lost teeth, et cetera are collateral damage, accidents, part and parcel of the fun.

Training Scars refers not to a physical phenomenon that you can point to for bragging rights in your own version of the USS Indianapolis scene in Jaws, but to a cognitive quirk of the human mind.

Training scars, aka path-dependence, refers to bad habits in training [for our purposes combat training] that will carry-over from training to real-world application much to our detriment.

Training scars does not specifically refer to bad habits in the bad-form sense of the actual training of your chosen combat endeavor. That is, you “swimming your jab” [leaving an open line as you fire or retract the jab], “Sweeping out of plumb” [paying no attention to eye-…

Indigenous Water Survival by Mark Hatmaker

Human beings have an intimate relationship with H2O.
65% of our bodyweight is water.
The salinity of human blood is remarkably similar to the salinity of the ocean.
The human animal possesses the Mammalian Dive Reflex which can be triggered by merely plunging your face into a sink of chilly water. Once the face is submerged, signals travel along the trigeminal and vagus nerves to the central nervous system spawning a lowering of the metabolic rate. The pulse slows and blood rushes to where it may be needed most-the heart and brain.
The mammalian dive reflex is responsible for our ability to hold our breath and swim readily in our infant stage.
We flock to beaches, rivers, lakes, pools, recreational waters of all kinds to relax, refresh, and to, well, recreate.
The vast majority of human societies sprang up along shorelines, in fact, a quick look at the globe shows that even with the ability to open a tap and get water practically anywhere you live, the vast majority of humanity still clus…

Quantifying Grace Under Pressure by Mark Hatmaker

[This offering is an excerpt from the No Second Chance Book of Drills available only to RAW Subscribers.]


Mark Hatmaker

HOMEWORK PROTOCOL: Upon the completion of each written-assignment, simply email it back. Drills requiring video evaluation can be sent via Private YouTube Channel link. We will provide an evaluation (and follow-up assignment if need be) before proceeding to the next assignment.

“FIRE DRILLS” There is a Special Ops axiom that we need to keep in mind at all times throughout our training: “Never do anything for the first time in combat.” In other words, no passive consumption of the material; everything (everything) must be drilled, drilled, drilled.

It is with the above mantra in mind that we approach all the drills and exercises in this material.

Quantifying “Grace Under Pressure” Stage 1

As good self-defense practitioners, as effective human beings, and as good animals effective coping strategie…