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Showing posts from 2019

A Conversation With Craig Gemeiner & Mark Hatmaker

In this conversation Craig Gemeiner and I talk about his domain of expertise, Savate.

Craig Gemeiner began his martial arts training in 1975, and began coaching in 1982.He specialises in the study of traditional Western fighting arts, particularly Savate and its associated disciplines, and adapting them for modern use.Craig was a founding member of the Australian Savate Federation Inc., which was recognised by the Federation Internationale de Savate, and served as its first president and technical director from 2002 to 2010.Craig won a gold medal at the 2005 Asia Pacific Open Savate Championships, captained the first Australian team to compete at the World Savate Championships in Paris in 2008, and won a gold medal at the 2016 Savate Open Tokyo competition at the age of 53. Gemeiner holds the rank of Silver Glove Technique Level -1 in Savate -French boxing.

He currently coaches Savate on the Gold Coast, Australia.

Gemeiner Academy of Savate Website--

Human Prey Animals Make Better Predators by Mark Hatmaker

Today’s sermon will weave a tale of housecats, early American colonists’ observations regarding battle-prowess in Native Americans, gang-bangers, good ol’ boy hunters, fox-hunters in the Old West, gamers and screen-users, Afghan Combat studies and, if we’ve done our job right, make a case for making risk part and parcel of cogent combat training.

Let’s start with the adorable housecat, Felis catus. Study after study has recorded that outdoor housecats are responsible for an astonishing amount of depredation. Any of us who own one of these “awesome prowling machines” [tip of the hat to Les Claypool] is aware that they can go through chipmunks, field mice, and birds like nobody’s business but…the story is deeper than that. For every kill you see, there are likely a double handful that you were not privy to witness. 

If you want the skinny on just how serial-killer-esque the common cat can be, Pete Marra, head of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center authored a book on this topic titled Ca…

A Conversation with Michael Janich & Mark Hatmaker

This following is an interview with a damn fine martial artist and, more importantly, a man I call a friend. Chances are you know the man, but for the uninitiated.

Michael Janich has been an avid student and instructor of self-defense for more than 40 years. He has an extensive background in the martial arts and military combatives and was inducted into Black Belt magazine’s prestigious Hall of Fame as Weapons Instructor of the Year in 2010. Janich is also one of the foremost modern authorities on handgun point shooting and is one of the few contemporary instructors to have been personally trained by the late close-combat legend Colonel Rex Applegate.

Janich served nine years in the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, including a three-year tour at the National Security Agency (NSA). He is a two-time graduate with honors of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California (Vietnamese and Chinese-Mandarin) and a recipient of the Commandant’s Award for outstanding linguist…

Jack McCarthy’s “Chin Hook” Clinch by Mark Hatmaker

This lesson is not from a champ.

Nor is the “Chin-Hook” an actual punch per se.

Let’s set the stage.

Heavyweight champion, Max Baer, wasn’t champ for very long. His fun loving, playboy habits often got in the way of diligent training and his propensity for clowning showmanship, on occasion, cost him ground in the midst of tough battles.

What was never in question was Bear’s punching power, particularly that right hand. The Ring magazine rates him #22 in the 100 Greatest Punchers of All-Time, and he had the unfortunate specter of two ring deaths tagged to his name.

Max had power even if he didn’t always use it.

This lesson comes from an early Baer match in which he lost [on a DQ.]

So why do we do we include it here?

His opponent in the bout in question was Jack McCarthy, a bit of a journeyman fighter, but undeniably tough. Mr. McCarthy had a method of controlling the clinch and delivering punishment that has been used by many fighters but an observation from boxing journalist Jack Kofoed writi…

Tactical Night-Vision, Pt. 1: Torpedo Boats & Subtleties by Mark Hatmaker

[The first in a series on Tactical Night-Vision that will take us from nautical warfare in WWII, thru optical anatomy and capabilities, and wind up with deliberate night-vision training from indigenous cultures.]

Mark Opens with Four Obvious Statements 

One-Awareness is the key to survival.

Two-The key to awareness is willful directed use of the senses.

Three-The primary sense in the curious biped called humans is sight.

Four-Human sight does not operate at optimum capacity under low light conditions.

But…we can use a series of tactical hacks to improve low-light acuity.

Let’s delve into a bit of wisdom from Captain Peter Dickens, D.S.O., M.B.E., D.S.C., of Britain’s Royal Navy.

Captain Dickens commanded an MTB [Motor Torpedo-Boat] during WWII. MTBs were small craft [70 footers] and mighty primitive…no radar, and, get this, no voice-radio. These wee boats were essentially electronically blind and had to rely on good eyes and unflagging watch-discipline. 

These boats were easy prey for the larg…