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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 ABC/123 logical manner with no skipped steps. To my mind it’s the ideal way to assimilate but…there are a few aspects that have always been held back. Why? Home-court advantage, and all that jazz. I love you all but those who stand side by side with you get a bit more hands on, if you will.


Over the years kind folks have often asked one of two questions.

QUESTION ONE-“Mark, you have a boatload of material, where do I start?” My answer has always been, stepping into the river anywhere will get you wet and over time the strokes blend together and we’re all swimmin’ and having a fine time. There is truth in that answer, but perhaps an insufficient tack for those in a hurry.

QUESTION TWO-“Mark, if you had to boil meanness down to the marrow bone, trim the fat and leave all the Parisian filigrees behind what would that black box of mayhem look like?”

THE BLACK BOX PROJECT is the reply to those two questions.

Beginning today [August 1st, 2020] and starting with RAW 214 and moving forward each monthly RAW DVD will open that Black Box and offer tools that…

1.      I guarantee will put the hurt on from the word go.
2.      Most of which we’ve never offered before [our home-court advantage tools if you will.]
3.      Are the result of all the accumulated years of combat archeology.
4.      Each volume will feature 3 Units: Striking, with Old School Boxing & Frontier rough ‘n’ tumble as its base.
5.      Grappling with Old School wrestling as its base. And crew, I guarantee that this new direction is new indeed as it tilts from mat-approved competition tactics to the unkind. [Many of these tactics are quite harsh, part of the reason I never really featured them as friend-utility is low.]
6.      Frontier Weaponry, primarily historical tomahawk and trade-knife. We will be using the full head weight protocol and not modern lighter head tactics.
7.      We will also occasionally feature a sidebar for an old school conditioner that has caught my eye and seemingly fallen off radar screens.

Most of this material being kept close to the vest for so long will also mean that some of the freebie video will tease more along the edges. I will transfer this home-court advantage to paying customers and likely leave more than a few key details off the freebies for both safety and home court reasons.
Having communicated with so many of you I can almost guarantee that historical mavens, the  street focused, the hardcore cadre will enjoy this new stew.

I can also almost guarantee that those looking for kinder, gentler subs that are kosher for almost all rule-sets, well, we’ve got over 200 back volumes that will cover those bases. The Black Box Project is for the wicked at heart.

Every volume of RAW comes with a Targeted Syllabi, and The Black Box Project is no different. To give an example of how dialed in on devilish details and a waypoint to where we are heading I offer RAW 214’s syllabus in full.

Trust me, do not assume that a familiar term or tactic listed is the same-o, same-o. Indeed, it is not.

The Black Box Project: Street-Dentistry 1, The R ‘n’ T Double Wristlock, Tomahawk Bone Kindling, & an Old School PT Challenge
Mark Hatmaker

Street Dentistry Lesson One
What is a “Dentist” in Mob Parlance
Dentist vs. Leg-Breaker
The Boxing & Mob Connection
Street-Dentist Punching Surface
Excision of Falling Step
Horizontal vs. Vertical Fist? [4 out of 5 Dentists Agree]
  • 2 Wall Tests
  • 3 Push-Ups Tests
  • 2 Defensive Coverage Tests
Dentist Jab Mechanics
  • Relaxed Tool Grip
  • The Turn-Over
  • The Shoulder Touch
  • The Pipeline
The 3 Jabs of Street Dentistry
  • The Speed Jab
  • The Chop Jab
  • The Heart-to-Heart Jab
    • This is the Power Blow.
    • The Dip
    • The Knee as Tank Turret
The R ‘n’ T Double Wristlock [DWL]
Warning: This is no hyperbole, please, please proceed with caution with your training partners. The adjustments made to the R’n’T version of the DWL may look like a standard DWL or Kimura but, this is a totally different animal in feel and execution. Do not take this warning lightly, you will injure your partner or be injured yourself with a zealous partner. Learn the evil but play nice. Mark now ends his Dad moment.
The Standing DWL
  • The Gambino Grip [aka The Godfather Grip]
  • Advisory Against Hand & Finger Grips
  • Killing Thumbless Grips
  • “Dust the Knuckles”
  • The Off-Hand Slice
  • The Connecting Hand Position [Wrist Placement is Key]
  • Connecting Arm Position [Crook to Twin Fossa]
  • [Outside-In] The Single Gooseneck
  • The Elbow Clutch
  • Opening the Angle
  • Advisory Against Acute Angles: Flexibility & Counter Opportunities
  • The Arch & Step-Away
The Cross-Body DWL
[Vertical vs. Horizontal Mechanics]
  • The Gambino Grip [aka The Godfather Grip]
  • “Dust the Knuckles”
  • The Ease of Entry vs. Standard Cross-Body Bottom Safety
  • The Off-Hand Thumb Slice
  • The Connecting Hand Position [Wrist Placement is Key]
  • Connecting Arm Position [Crook to Twin Fossa]
  • [Outside-In] The Single Gooseneck
  • The Elbow Clutch
  • Opening the Angle
  • Advisory Against Acute Angles
  • The Arch & Cross-Body Float
Tomahawk Bone Kindling
Woodcraft Kindling & The Power of the Wedge
Bone Kindling
  • Proper Off-Hand Placement
  • The ¼ to Midnight Attack Face
  • “Pohbit’u” or “Jumping Attack”
The Reverse Pump for Hard Retrievals [i.e. “Hawk to Marrow” Returns]
Old School PT Gut-Check: Snap & Rise
We will provide a single PT Challenge per volume that you can use to spice up training or benchmark yourself to. They all emphasize minimum equipment in these “different” times. If you choose to participate to measurable standards…
  • Use your first session to record time and/or repetitions.
  • Hit the given challenge 2-3 times per week over the course of a month.
  • Re-test on the last session of week four for comparison with Session One.
This month’s challenge is an old school grappler’s couplet The Snap & Rise.
Set your timer for 5-minutes and…
  • Hit 3 All-In Bar Snaps on the Pull-Up Bar then…
  • Hit 3 Breathe-Ups as smoothly and easily as possible.
  • Repeat.
  • Continue for Max Rounds in 5m.
  • Or until your Bar Snaps lose power. As soon as they lose power you lose the benefit of the exercise. We are striving to build 10

    0% Head-Snapping Power, anything less than 100% is going thru the motions, mark your Rounds and call it a day.
  • If your Breathe-Ups lose smoothness, continue all the same, here we are building balance and fluidity, a stumble here and there is not uncommon in the beginning.

ESP RAW 214 can be had this month for $32 (S & H included--Domestic & International) at the end of the month the price goes to $42 Domestic/$52 International.  (Of course, it's only $26.50 for the RAW Crew-- Join the Crew and save some moolah!)

To pay only $26.50 for this DVD + receive 3 other RAW DVDs for free and gain free membership to the Vale Alliance, subscribe to our ESP RAW DVD Service.


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