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Leg-Breakers, Street Dentists & Enforcers by Mark Hatmaker

Let’s say you run a small-scale loansharking enterprise. Nothing big. You’ve got a territory of 3-4 city blocks.Having such a small territory, welshers, [those who don’t pay back] can really eat into your profit margin. Money ain’t free and those who come to you agree to your off-the-books terms. If they welsh, you the loaner, have no recourse to legal action. No garnishing of wages, no extended court wrangling, all you have recourse to is… A] Chalk it up on the loss column or… B] “Enforce” the debt, that is, collect and/or encourage a non-welshed payment plan.The common knowledge is that welshers will be visited by enforcers [those who collect and/or inspire adherence to terms.] These enforcers became known as leg-breakers, and we all can imagine where that rep came from. It plays out in numerous gangstery scenes in celluloid “history” as in the following…Enforcer: Tony, says you been duckin’ him?Welsher:No, I was…I was just away for a while that’s all, I mean I got the money, it’s j…
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THE BLACK BOX PROJECT by Mark Hatmaker

Just what is The Black Box Project?
I’ll turn 55 just over 30 days from now and I have put out a boatload of material over the years—I’m mighty proud of the work but I’d be a liar if I didn’t ‘fess up to three things.
THING ONE-Some of what a young man does in practice, tactics and strategy is just that, what a young man does. One with vim, vigor, speed, around 300 less injuries, and far less experience. If we are playing the Game of Life right, the older we get, the wiser we get, and in this particular case the meaner we get.
THING TWO-I am a far better archeologist now than I was decades prior. Oh, I’ve always been not too shabby in the research, test, trial and error department, but, again, that age thing leads me to believe that I’ve only gotten better at my obscure digging for old school combative gold. Hell, I never would have thought that I’d learn the Comanche language simply to dig even deeper under layers of wicked dust.
THING THREE-We have always presented our material in an AB…

Formal Combat & Rough ‘n’ Tumble Equalizers: Macro to Micro by Mark Hatmaker

The following missive can be applied to not merely frontier trade-knife, bowie knife, tomahawk, foils, sabers, epees, but also to “schooled” unarmed combat and precision military maneuvers.
The informed among us are already quite familiar with the fact that some of the best troops from Europe fought in Early America. These crack troops were schooled by some of the best military minds that Great Britain and the Continent had to offer, and yet they encountered more persistent and baffling resistance than they expected and/or had confronted in warfare in the Old World.
The early colonists [some were schooled in the European military tradition, many were not] took their cue from what they encountered in the Indigenous Tribes of this new land. This new warfare if it can be encapsulated at all might be expressed in a proverb originating in the Northeastern tribes that can be loosely translated as
Advance like foxes, fight like catamounts [panthers], and fly like birds.”
For an observation of …

Mark Hatmaker Demos Tomahawk Punching

Tomahawks, Trade Knives, & Tools by Mark Hatmaker

A thoughtful question from Affiliate Rough ‘n’ Tumble Coach Mitch Mitchell prompted me to offer the following advice regarding these two common items of frontier weaponry.
First, the part of Coach Mitchell’s Question/Observation that prompted what follows. “Am I on the right track or holding my danged knife wrong? 
Bowie designs are manifold. My personal preference falls toward a flat spine knife with a half-guard because a spine-side guard or broken spine jams up my thumb on a sincere stab in sabre grip.  For me anyway, a nice, straight, full-power stab with a hammer grip on the high line is impossible and anyway it's is a wrist killer.”
His observation/complaint is common and one that leads to wisdom.
I will also point out that to discover that certain tactics and grips are wrist killers can only be garnered via experience, that is, hard post training.
If we stick with mirror play, shadow play, or tit for tat [zumbrada] flow drills with a partner using mocks we would likely never stum…

Course Corrections & How to Consume Non-Fiction by Mark Hatmaker

A preview of what follows to see if this is your cup of pragmatic tea.
·The difference between course, heading, and bearing.
·The vital importance of course corrections in physical life and cognitive life.
·How to test non-fiction for utility.
·I emphasize, how to test ANY non-fiction book from physical geography, to the latest super-duper diet to philosophy. It is a vital time-saving hack to know when to keep a book always on your desk, in your mind, or when to toss it on the garbage heap.
·And we end with a mini book-review.
First, let’s give the stage to author and amateur pilot Rolf Dobelli. This is from his volume The Art of the Good Life.
“You’re sitting on a plane from London to New York. How much of the time is it sticking to the flight path, do you think? 90 percent of the time? 80 percent of the time? 70 percent of the time?
The correct answer is never. Sitting beside the window, gazing out at the edge of the wing, you can watch the jumpy little ailerons—they’re there to make const…