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Showing posts from October, 2018

Define Your Threat: What is it like to Drown? by Mark Hatmaker

In our reality self-protection unit, we use unsanitized Predator Profiles to define the brutal “why” we advocate so strongly for preparedness, flight, or if retaliation is a must, why our responses are based only in savagery and never “martial arts coolness.”
Gorgeous fluidity has zero place in real-world application—I have never come across a story of “rubber meets the road” response that didn’t reek of chaos. We train for perfected fluidity so that situational degradation will allow some training [hopefully] to persist. For more on the NoSecond Chance Street Program see here.]
In the same sprit of “confronting reality” I offer the following “What is it like to drown” snapshot to cast a light on why we give so much thought to aquatic preparation in both this blog and in our upcoming book on Indigenous Ability. It is excerpted from Sebastian Junger’s superlative The Perfect Storm.
“The instinct not to breathe underwater is so strong that it overcomes the agony of running out of air. No …

Rough & Tumble Spotlight: Fire-“Fighters” by Mark Hatmaker

Firefighting is a dangerous job—no doubt about it. But with the advent of better safety equipment and better and safer structure design, thankfully, the dangers of the job become less with each decade.
The undoubtedly dangerous job has benefited so much from such safety measures that it has not appeared on The Top Ten Most Dangerous Jobs list for decades.
That is a mighty good thing.
To be clear, firefighting IS dangerous, but statistically speaking we have made great gains here. If you are on the personal side of one of those statistics then no list in the world will change the perceived danger, nor should it, vigilance is key in all risky endeavors.
Let’s turn back the clock to early America when practically all dwellings were made of wood, patched with pitch, lit with open flames or rickety vessels of coal oil.
Let’s add cigarettes and cigars and pipes and a lucifer [striking match] in most every hand.
Let’s add open flames being the primary source of warmth and illumination.
With all…

Pankration: Myth-Busting Edition by Mark Hatmaker

Pankration, or sometimes pancratium, the Ancient-Hellene version of 21st-century MMA is often touted [rightly] as a forerunner of a sport so many of us enjoy today. Careful studies of the past can allow us to glean wisdom, both tactical and strategical, to be applied to our own game in the present.
It has been said many times, and in many versions, that there is nothing new under the sun, or that often our “newest discoveries” are but re-discoveries.
Or as two ancient texts would present an idea that was already ancient at the time of their writing:
The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”- Ecclesiastes 1:9
Truly it has been said that there is nothing new under the sun, for knowledge is revealed and is submerged again, even as a nation rises and falls.”-Paracelsus
Past is forerunner et cetera et cetera…
But…if we are to learn from the past it is wise to make sure we are certain of our…

Cognitive Preparation vs. Physical Preparation by Mark Hatmaker

As we so often do, let’s start with a quote:
“Chance favors the trained mind.”-Louis Pasteur
Oh, that’s a good one, one so worthy of repeating that we all have heard/encountered some version or variation of it in this or that business office or sundry Facebook status update. The truth of it is so obvious that it needs no explaining, but…I’m going to all the same; let’s make sure we make a distinction here, one that adheres to what Dr. Pasteur intended.
In his domain(s) of chemistry and bacteriology his “training” was not simply his “book learning” so to speak. His training was his use of the experimental method to continually refine, confirm, and most importantly disconfirm any and all ideas pertinent to his field of study
Pasteur’s training lies in what he did via experiment and experience (mighty close words, huh?) and not what was read or pontificated upon in the classroom or textbook. Yes, book learning and lectures can act as aids/assists but if we do not act upon what we encounter i…