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Showing posts from 2018

Patton's Two-Cents by Mark Hatmaker

The following is a tack-on observation to the prior post Fightin’ Words: Clausewitz & “Suspicious” Discipline.

Battle is an orgy of disorder. No level lawns or marker flags exist to aid us strut ourselves in vain display, but rather groups of weary wandering men seek gropingly for means to kill their foe. The sudden change from accustomed order to utter disorder—to chaos, but emphasizes the folly of schooling to precision and obedience where only fierceness and habituated disorder is useful.”-General George S. Patton, from his lecture “Why Men Fight,” given on October 27, 1927.

It is with the above in mind that our “THE OUTER LIMITS: Chaos Drills for Street-Survival” & our No Second Chance Program was constructed.
70+ Drill templates to run any curriculum through to see what shakes out in the mix.
If it survives contact with the chaos drill—That is a tactic or strategy that is good to go!
If it crumbles or decays more than 20% under an Outer Limits drill, also good to know. You …

Fightin’ Words: Clausewitz & “Suspicious” Discipline by Mark Hatmaker

Let’s ask a question about your local martial arts school, MMA club, “combat hard” discipline du jour. Hell, you can even ask this question of yourself, and that is likely the most valuable subject to ask it of as you can alter course in a heartbeat if you don’t like the answer and get on the path to truth not theory or supposition—or mere show.
We will look to the answer in the great unfinished work Vom Kriege [On War] by the acknowledged brilliant military mind of the Prussian General Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz. In the below passage he is referring to peacetime armies in comparison with combat-hardened troops.
One should be careful not to compare this expanded and refined solidarity of a brotherhood of tempered, battle-scarred veterans with the self-esteem and vanity of regular armies which are patched together only by service-regulations and drill. Grim severity and iron-discipline may be able to persevere the military virtues of a unit, but it cannot create them. These f…


Drop your gonads and grab your socks, Crew, as this one is a bear.
It is a combination of movements that was formerly used to make puddles of men used to humping logs around like matchsticks, so why not grab a little old school logger brawny goodness?
Used, was a log with two driven “U-Irons” for hand-grips. We’ll substitute an Olympic bar.
If you are a Rookie I’ll suggest the empty bar.
Stout-hearts and Foolish minds load her to 65 pounds, or 95 pounds if you have nowhere to be for the next 3-days.
Mark off around 100 yards headed uphill. [The hill is specified.]
Grip the U-Irons [O-Bar] and hoist her to hang at waist level.
Swing-Snatch that thing overhead 3 times.
On the 3rd rep—Lock her out and take 10 walking lunge steps up that hill. Kiss that rear knee to the ground with each soon to be quaking step.
After the 10th step—drop it back to hang at the waist.
Repeat until you top that hill.

Turn around and repeat to the bottom and…this portion is godawaful! That downward stretch on…

Fightin’ Words: Robert Southey by Mark Hatmaker

Robert Southey was a poet of the English Romantic school. He is considered one of the renowned Lake Poets, the other two notable Lake Poets being William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Mr. Southey recorded his thoughts regarding prize-fighting in 1807.
When a match is made between two prize-fighters, the tidings are immediately communicated to the public in the newspapers; a paragraph occasionally appears saying the rivals are in training, what exercise they take, what diet—for some of them feed upon raw beef as a preparative, and the state of the bets appears also in the newspapers; not infrequently the whole is a concerted scheme, that a few rogues may cheat a great many fools.”
Aspects of the above remind us that there is nothing new under the sun.
For a view of Mr. Southey’s versifying I offer the following. It has nothing to do with combat, but I do love my hound dog.
On the Death of a Favourite Old Spaniel
And they have drown'd thee then at last! poor Phillis!
The bur…

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 …