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Showing posts from November, 2018

The Utility of Gang Pride by Mark Hatmaker

California courts have been wrangling with a case regarding the legality of police ripping the “patches” off of the jackets of a particular motorcycle “gang.”
The “gang” in question prefers to be called The Mongols Motorcycle Club and to keep matters simple I will refer to this group as The Mongols from here on out.
We will not delve into the murky legal waters that led to the “powers that be” thinking this strategy a good idea, instead we will address the issue on broader terms that may have actual impact on ourselves—gang affiliated or not.
First, let’s get the free speech and property rights arguments out of the way. For a thought experiment, let’s say that you are a Mongol member in good standing.
A law-abiding Mongol at that. Anyone denying your right to wear the emblem of your club would be seen as a villain, let alone armed officials who were allowed/instructed to remove your property [the patch] from your person.
I daresay you would see such a governmentally sanctioned stance as b…

How to Bet on a Cat Fight by Mark Hatmaker

If one is serious about conflict and combat studies, it is instructive to open the examination to other species. Such studies allow us to see the myriad similarities in aggression, stand-down tactics, flight behavior, et cetera and allow them to inform our own game.
We humans often get a bit “theory-blind” and fail to see the biological laws before our eyes that will corrode misplaced tactical theory like rust through formerly thought impervious iron.
Such interspecies observations can make us better at our own game, or at the very least knock us off of our “human high-horse” so to speak.
Today, let’s have a look at our feline friends and what they have to teach us about ourselves.
Anatomy of a Cat Fight
·The dominant cat or Aggressor will begin a stretch-legged “tall walking stalk” to appear larger.
·The Defensive cat will display full flattened ears. This is preparation for battle, but not necessarily aggressive. Torn ears are common in cat battles and the full flattened ear is usually…

Fightin’ Words: “Gangs of New York” Edition by Mark Hatmaker

A few choice tidbits from George, W. Matsell’s, Vocabulum, or The Rogue’s Lexicon (1859.) Keep in mind these are underworld terms from the New York area, we see a different vocabulary in other regions of the US of A.

Anointed-Flogged or beaten. “I anointed that Addle-cove.” “I beat the hell out of that ‘foolish-man.’
Fibbing-Punch or strike with the fist in general.
Flimp-To wrestle or grapple, all-in, not the sportsman version.
Gigg-Nose. “Snitchel the bloke’s gig.” “Bust the man’s nose.”
Gutter lane-The Throat. “Slice gutter-lane.” That means exactly what you think it does.
Hackum-One who specializes in slashing assaults with knife or razor.
Nope-Any blow be it punch, kick, elbows, knee, head-butt.
Rabbit-A tough athletic man who can take care of himself in a melee.  [Coming to the RAW Program in 2019--applications of "Hackum" and a Savate-American Indian Hybrid of "grapple-stomping" that reared its head in the Kuskokwim River region of Alaska. Much…

Black Friday & FINGERHAKELN by Mark Hatmaker

T’is the Season for such commercial offers, so celebrating in the mercantile spirit—
Every order in our store gets 1 free RAW DVD with each $10 bucks spent.
Your order of $10 to $19 bucks earns a free RAW DVD,
$20 to $29 two freebies,
Et cetera.
The Deal expires midnight [sounds ominous, don’t it?] Monday, November 26th EST.
To snag your freebies, first place your order-hit me with a message saying, “Captain Mark, I want the following RAW DVD[s] on the house!”
[BTW-I am a Captain, says so right on my unwisely issued sailing license.] You can access the store via this here linky-poo.
And we will make it happen.
Three More Things—
ONE-Whether you buy or not, thank you for your friendship and go enjoy your family and other loved ones!
TWO-To a stellar year for each and every one of you.
THREE-So it ain’t all commerce, here’s a mini-bit of historical fun:

Fingerhakeln (also: Hagglziegn and Steirisch-Hackelziehen) was an Alpine wrestling hybrid that seems to have been competed primarily in …

Training for “Courage” [Anticipatory Stress]: Part 2 by Mark Hatmaker

Are you, or are you not a coward?
That is a question that we would all love to answer with a hale and hearty “Of course, I’m no coward!” 
But…the answer is often less confident than that, despite whatever boasts we may make to the contrary. 
At our core, in the very construct of our physiology we are seeming binary creatures.
We are fight or flight, approach or avoid in our behaviors.
There is wisdom in this binary schema in times of stress. As options multiply, the ability to choose wisely and well begins to confound and overload the system, slowing down vital decisions at the worst possible moment.
Chances are our early ancestors had less confounding multipliers to add to the choice mix. At times of peril it might be best to return to binary simplicity as other species do. 
When a loud unfamiliar noise occurs my dog either growls and investigates based on the timbre or caliber of the noise, or bolts immediately.
She [my dog Tu’Sarri] is not observed to slow her flight checking for her purse…

Lessons from "The Open Boat" by Mark Hatmaker

Sometimes the misfortune of others provides hearty fodder for reflection in those of us in more fortunate circumstances. Wisdom that we can use to avoid our own calamities, or sage signage as to how to comport our own selves when neck deep in treacherous waters.
In 1896, author and journalist Stephen Crane, recived a commission to be a war correspondent. He was directed to ship to Cuba to cover the hostilities there. His transport ship the SS Commodore sank en route and he and a handful of others were left to chance in a wooden dinghy.
Once ashore he turned this harrowing and uncertain experience into a story, “The Open Boat,” that is deeply infused with trenchant insight.
Often when we hear of another’s plight or dire circumstance, we imagine ourselves in that same predicament and begin the hypothetical role-playing deciding what we would or would not do. The very basis of my main line of work, preparing the self and others for conflict is just this sort of hypothetical hair-splitting …

Fightin’ Words: “I’m Gonna Clean your Clock!” by Mark Hatmaker

To our ears quaint, in a former time formidable, the expression “I’m gonna clean your clock!” was not a mere amusing gibe heard bandied about in a 1930s film but a bondafide threat with a meaning well understood by all.
Until the 1940s the pre-dominant mode of mass-transportation in the United States was via railway. Indeed, America had embraced the automobile, but railroad tracks spanned and spider-webbed the nation whereas roads, while plentiful, were not quite what we may expect.
In 1927 the first transcontinental highway in the world, Lincoln Highway, was only continuously paved from New York to Iowa. From there paving was intermittent, signage rare, roadside markers almost nonexistent. In the words of one contemporary user of the road, the highway was “largely hypothetical.”
So, while the automobile was on the rise the railroad dominated. Everyone knew railways, had some experience with them and to an unusual degree the railroad was held in a bit of romantic regard as it was the bes…

Training Anticipatory Stress: Part 1 by Mark Hatmaker

Today’s offering will start with a quote from American literature and a word or two as to what that might have to do with our own combat training, then proceed into the physiology of how your body reacts with ZERO training in the shadow of physical confrontation; we will ponder how those evolved reactions are the height of wisdom—and how they can go horribly wrong. 
Next, we have a look at a piece of fascinating research in exercise physiology from the domain of competitive running and offer the mighty interesting implications of how it is most likely a vitally useful attribute to hack our own combat-training and increase our own ability to bear anticipatory stress and to wield mid-conflict stress with greater aplomb. 
We’ll end with two prescriptions for Anticipatory Stress Hacking: The Scheduled Red-Line and The Derring-Do List.
Quite the menu, huh? Let’s get started.
First, the American literature reference, the following is from Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage. Here we have o…

Scoutcraft Notes: Insects & Cold Weather by Mark Hatmaker

A brief series of notes and tips culled from the historical record, indigenous wisdom, and the accompanying science. 
As you read, ask yourself two questions:
One-How much of this have I seen with my own eyes given that I have had ample opportunity over a lifetime?
Two-How much of this wisdom would have been noticed or remembered if the smartphone had been invented 300 years ago? 
Eyes down on screens large or small is a rather limited view of the universe.
To paraphrase a Comanche Warrior teaching, “We must be awake to everything. The good, the bad, the small, the large, if we give only lip-service to spotting the “bad element” in the world we A) Cut ourselves off from the majority which is good and interesting and B) Likely not as aware as we would like to think.”
Kehena ekasahpana punit’u o’yoko.” [“The wise warrior sees everything.”]
·Insects are more sensitive to the sun’s rays than is the human animal [The Heliotropic Scale.] Bees become torpid as the temperature drops and go comatose…