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A Rough & Tumble Duel by Mark Hatmaker

The following is from The Sioux City Journal circa 1880s regarding a “Rough & Tumble Duel” that took place between two farmers, Duggan Points and Will Moss. At the heart of the duel, the charms of one, Miss Sallie Craig.
The vicious character of the duel is part and parcel of the rough and tumble tradition. I warn, the account is violent and the character of even witnessing such spectated murder is questionable.
Keep in mind, this was a planned for rough and tumble duel, the accounts of impromptu duels are far more dire.
“The place of the fight was agreed upon as halfway between the respective residents. A man from Loveland seconded Moss, and Point’s brother acted as his second. The fight was not to be conducted to any specified rules, but in the most approved rough-and-tumble style. About sixty people were on the ground, among whom was the girl over whom the contest was caused, to witness the brutal affair. The seconds stood with cocked revolvers in hand and warned no one to interfe…

In Reality, Heroes [Wisely] Opt for Flight Over Fight by Mark Hatmaker

[This essay is excerpted from our book No Second Chance: A Reality Based Guide to Self-Defense.]


You wanna be a hero and help others facing a violent predator? Then run away.


You and a friend are walking down a street and are suddenly confronted by a gun-wielding assailant, what do you do to help them? Wrestle the weapon from the attacker? Leap in front of your friend shielding them with your own body? No, you simply run away.


You are attending a lecture in an auditorium, suddenly shots are fired, do you stop to formulate a plan with the other attendees on how to best gang-up on the attacker? Hide behind a row of seats? Again, no, you run.


If the behavior I am describing strikes you as not quite heroic, please consider the herd mentality of human beings. Human beings are social animals and though we like to think of ourselves as individuals, in certain situations we behave as a single entity. Studies of crowds/mobs show that individuals, in certain circumstances, begin to behave as one, …

SURVIVING FLOODS/RIVERS, & SAFE FORDING by Mark Hatmaker

I compose these brief notes while the unfortunateness of Florence takes aim at the East Coast. I offer it in the hopes that we may have it at the fingertips of our minds for as Seneca reminds us “What has befallen one man may happen to all” or as the Boy Scouts would say “Be Prepared.”
The following ideas are gleaned from naturalist studies in river-dynamics, the frontier scout tradition, and an American Indian tactic or two. Keep in mind when we discuss river-fluid mechanics these same mechanics will hold for “concrete rivers,” that is, streets turned to river by flood.
Rivers basically have two broad aspects to their composition Upland & Lowland. In the Upland portion the land is steeper and we find more energetic water. In the Lowland phase, it flattens out and at times we may see only a yard drop in elevation in a ½ mile of travel. The idea to keep in mind is that the faster or more energetic the flow the closer to the source we are, and the more care we must exercise when enter…

A Brief Rough & Tumble Lexicon 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 areas of the US of A.


Anointed-Flogged or beaten. “I anointed that Addle-cove.” “I beat the hell out of that ‘foolish-man.’
Barking-Irons—Pistols.
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.
[For Old School training practices subscribe to thisblog, the RAW Subscription Service and our upcoming book Rough & TumbleConditioning.]

Profile in Situational Awareness: Jim Bridger by Mark Hatmaker

The following is an account regarding the observational prowess and situational awareness of the legendary frontiersman, Jim Bridger. Keep in mind, this is not legend, this account comes to us from a military man, Captain H. E. Palmer, of the Eleventh Kansas Calvary. This account is found in another work by a military man, Biographical Sketch of James Bridger: Mountaineer, Trapper, and Guide (1905) by General Grenville M. Dodge.
After you have a read I’ll ask a few self-assessment questions. Again, ponder long and hard, these are pragmatic military men relating what they saw as observable fact and not some campfire tale or jejune super-hero story.
Captain H. E. Palmer, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, Acting Asst. Adjt. Genl. to General P. E. Conner, gives this description of the Indian Camp on Tongue River, August 26, 1865. "Left Piney Fork at 6.45 a. m. Traveled north over a beautiful country until about 8 a.m., when our advance reached the top of the ridge dividing the waters of the P…