Archive for the Training Category

10 Questions with Nick Evangelista

Posted in 10 Questions, Fencing, Martial Arts, Swordsmanship, Training, Weapons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2017 by Combative Corner

Everyone in the fencing world should know who this guy is.  I came across him when I first took up fencing and although I’ve never had the opportunity to be taught by him, his teachings, description of fencing history and theory, and vision of what fencing is and should be have stayed with me through his books; The Art and Science of Fencing, The Inner Game of FencingThe Encyclopedia of the Sword and others.  For his more recent writings and for more information on the man and his thoughts, visit his fencing school’s blog; EvangelistaFencing.com.  Now, without further ado…

How did you initially get drawn into fencing?

When I was growing up in the 1950s, fencing always seemed to be in front of me. In movies and on TV, and in books. When I was around 14 years old, The Three Musketeers was my favorite story. Any and everything with swords got my attention. Fencing seemed so exotic and otherworldly. I thought it was the most amazing thing in the world, and I wanted to learn how to do it. I didn’t have any idea how this would come about—I didn’t know any fencers, or where there were any fencing schools–but somewhere in the back of my brain, I had a feeling I would one day fence. In the end, many things conspired to lead me to fencing. Actually, I sometimes think fencing chose me rather than the other way around. I should add, though, that it was not an easy union. I had to work hard for everything I’ve accomplished.

People don’t often talk about injuries in fencing, but have you sustained many injuries and if so, how have you dealt with them? 

I’ve been fencing for 47 years, and I have never had a serious injury. Nothing beyond the normal bruises, welts and scrapes. When I was learning to fence, I was taught balance, timing, and distance. Basically, I was taught to control my actions. My background is a traditional fencing game. Falcon Studios was peppered with former champions. No one gave an inch. Everyone fenced hard. It was very competitive. But it was fencing, not the running, poking school of bipedal joisting. The fencing I learned is the same fencing I teach my students, and in 43 years of transforming everyday people into fencers, I have never had a student injured beyond the aforementioned bruises, welts, and scrapes.

I have been injured by everyday life, though. Broken body parts, and the like. And I have most certainly had to adapt my fencing to these hurdles. One of my most challenging injuries was having my right hand—my fencing hand—crushed in a car door ten or so years ago. I remember the sound of crunching celery as my metacarpals were being reduced to puzzle pieces. How did I deal with this intrusion to my fencing? Actually, I just kept teaching, because my fingers weren’t broken, and that’s all I needed to maneuver my foil. With every personal injury I’ve had, I just keep teaching, adapting to the situation, until I heal up. Fencing is what I do. Of course, I do not recommend this regimen to anyone else. Today, for me, old injuries regularly suggest impending bad weather.

     Side-question: what are the most common injuries that you’ve seen fencers come across?

Outside my own fencing sphere of influence, the injuries I see most in modern fencing are to the knees and ankles. To me, whatever the level of the fencer injured, these problems imply poor training, a fencer lacking proper balance. For all outcries to the contrary, there is something to be said for good, old-fashioned fencing form: an attack with a straight arm, measured foot work, timing flowing from the fingers, the free arm being employed for balance. No silly leaping, no over-extended lunges, no toe-to-toe jabbing, no feet going in ten directions at once. It doesn’t surprise me that so many fencers are being injured in the modern fencing world. The only place where chaos turns into order is on page one of the Bible. Everywhere else, it leads to serious problems.

Your books are a staple to any fencing library… however, it has been a while since you’ve published.  Will we see you authoring more?  Or are you switching to articles and blogs?

I published my last book in 2001. At the same time, I was the Fencing History editor for Encyclopedia Britannica. I also published Fencers Quarterly Magazine. Since that time, I have gone to college, earned a BA in History, and am now in the process of finishing my Master’s in History. Lots of writing there, but on topics dictated by educational requirements. More fencing books? I have at least five in my head. Plus, I have my website, where I can pursue short term fencing ideas that interest me. I have a number of options, but I need to get my Master’s Degree out of the way first.

I’ve read that you’ve always been against the pistol grip, however, in looking at pictures of your personal foils, I’ve noticed that your grip is heavily taped. What is the purpose behind it?

Since you mentioned pistol grips, no, I don’t like them, and I don’t let my students use them. They are incompatible with the requirements of the traditional French School of Fencing. Also, I should mention, for those who are too young to remember the 1980s, that the FIE medical board recommended in 1982 that pistol grips be banned from fencing as dangerous. But that is neither here nor there, so I will now jump off my soap box, and return to the subject of binding French grips.

When I was l learning to fence, French grips were wider than most of the French grips I see today. Hence, they were easier to hold onto. So, I build mine out with three or four winds of sports tape. I would not call this “heavily taped.” It does not change the shape of the French grip in any way, nor does it change its intended usage. It merely makes the grip wider and, hence, as I said, easier to grasp. This, in turn, substantially improves the fingering potential (doighte), which has always been the hallmark of French weapons. The sports tape also provides a superior gripping surface than plastic, rubber, or even leather. Some fencers do not like having their leather-bound grips covered with cloth tape, but I believe that function always, always, always takes precedence over esthetics on the fencing strip. Just the same, I do not force this onto my students.

Do you still compete?  If not, do you still fence “hard?”

No, I have not competed since the 70s. My business is teaching. My fencing master once said to me, “You can be a great teacher or a great fencer, but you can’t do both at the same time. I teach because that is what I enjoy the most. But I do fence with all my students who have graduated to bouting. I fence with students who come to me from other salles, as well. I do not hold myself aloof from the world. And, yes, I fence hard. You never let anyone win. Acting as a brick wall is the only way to pull the best out of a student. Anything less than that is a lie, and gives the student a false sense of confidence. They have to earn their touches. Mastery is forged in opposition. Skill is earned under fire. I learned this at Falcon Studios more years ago than I care to think about.

What training aides and/or specific exercises have helped you or your students best?

I think what helps my students the most is continual one-on-one lessons with me, which includes mechanical lesson and regular bouting. There is always a continual dialogue that runs through these sessions, which allows the student to apply critical thinking to their situation. My ultimate goal is to produce creative, independent fencers, who can easily function in any fencing situation without my assistance.

I also employ aspects of Behavioral Psychology in my teaching. Let’s face it, when you teach someone to fence, you are obviously attempting to modify their behavior. If you know specific techniques, this can make the procedure much easier. When I was an undergrad in college, and minoring in Psych, I wrote a 56 page study on the use of behavioral techniques in training fencing students. By the way, they work well.

When picking a weapon… how do you know which weapon is for you?

My recipe for knowing which weapon is for you: Start with foil, and fence it for a year. Foil will teach you the fundamentals of fencing thought and behavior, which are embedded in its conventions. Year two: add epee, which will hone your timing, point control, and judgement. During this time, shift between epee and foil. Year three: Add sabre. Sabre always comes last. It is the most divergent from the other two weapons. But, here, you can easily integrate the point control of foil and epee into sabre. In this third year, fence all three weapons. At the end of the third year, you will not only have a solid grounding in each discipline, but you will also know which weapon speaks the loudest to you. Unfortunately, many students coming to fencing want instant gratification, and immediately pick the weapon that seems the coolest to them, and many coaches will let them do this. I say, “Oh, well…!”

There has been a lot of talk between French vs. Italian methods.  What (in your opinion) are they talking about and is there any advantages or disadvantages choosing one over the other?

The two traditional schools of fencing are the Italian and French. The Italians began developing systematic fencing systems first during the early 16th century. This, to take the place of armor that was being abandoned in the wake of firearms. The French became serious about establishing their own approach to fencing during the 17th century, chiefly because they liked neither Italian fencing masters, nor their theories of swordplay.

Although there are today structural similarities between the two fighting systems–the Italians having borrowed from the French at the end of the 19th century to establish a more cohesive method of operation–the philosophies of the two remain widely separated by temperament. The Italian system primarily stresses the dynamics of strength, speed, and aggressive manipulation. To physically dominate opposition is its goal. The French approach, on the other hand, is built on finesse, economy of motion, and strategy. The well-versed French fencer looks for ways around his opponent’s strengths, rather than meeting them head-on. To my way of thinking, this makes the French school more flexible and creative than the Italian, which tends to be more dogmatic. I might also add that the French school, with its non-confrontational approach, easily fits a wider range of physical types and demeanors. This means, you do not have to be the strongest, or the fastest, or the most aggressive fencer in town to win.

In order to bring hits back to a more realistic place, some classical schools have used point d’arrets.  What are the pros and cons of using these? And are these something you’d ever recommend for your students?

When you have the proper spirit and training, fencing is fencing. The best fencing is an internal expression. As far as I’m concerned, the point d’arret is a “classical” affectation. Period.

If you had a moment to recollect your favorite on-screen sword fight (of all-time!) what would it be and why?

This is an easy question to answer. My favorite movie duel of all time is from the 1940 Mark of Zorro, between Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone. To me, it is the most balanced and cleanly executed sword fight ever produced. Also, it is carried out without any background music, something of a rarity in filmed action. But you don’t really notice this lack, because the sharp ring and changing tempo of the clashing blades more than fills the gap. It is a wonderful sword fight.

Runner up: The final duel between Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). If the Zorro duel didn’t exist, I would pick this one. In all other aspects, I think Robin Hood is the superior film.

One more plug: I also recommend the fencing in the French movie, On Guard. It is one of the best modern swashbuckler films I know of. All the sword fights are superior, the story, based on an 1858 French novel, is interesting, and it even has a wonderful, though anatomically flawed, secret thrust. A good movie to own a copy of.

Bonus question

If you had the chance to train with one Maestro, living or deceased (besides ones you’ve previously trained with), whom would you choose and is there any particular reason why you’d choose him/her?

Maybe Madonna as the fencing master in the James Bond movie Die Another Day? Why? She dressed well.

Actually, I’d choose Domenico Angelo. I would just love to pick his brain, and find out what made him tick.

Harry Angelo, Domenico’s son, would be my second choice. Same reason.

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10 Questions with Hoch Hochheim

Posted in 10 Questions, Self-Defense, Training, Violence, Weapons, Women's Self-Defense with tags , , , , , , , on January 6, 2017 by Combative Corner

hoch-hochheim-profile-pic

What got you into the martial arts?

That is a very long story, but even as kid, I was always interested in tactics and fighting. Maybe movies and TV spurred my interest? The how-to tricks. A vehicle to learn this stuff was martial arts, which I started in 1972 with Ed Parker Kenpo. I was about 18 years old? No kids back then. But martial arts were never my end goal, just a ways to learn those tactics and tricks. I personally find martial arts themselves to be distracting. All sorts of biases and things happen in this training process that gets one off the path of clean, unarmed and mixed weapon, generic fighting.

Incoming mob/crowd, you have 30 mins to teach a complete novice how to fight. What do you teach them? 

The suggestion in the question is – me and a group are about to be bombarded by a mob or group? My questions to best answer that question is who, what, where, when, how and why? The answer has to be customized for the situation. Who is the mob? What do they want? Where are we? When is this happening? How specifically will it happen? Why? If IO knew that? I could answer something.  It is so, so situational.

Short times? Generally, I almost never, ever do short, self defense training classes. I have to be really be pushed, coerced or “guilted” into doing one. Fighting info is too big and too perishable as it is for people in regular training. I know some people that like to do that but I don’t for that reason, I am just not geared up to cover short segments/deals. I do have do a speech on “Who, What, Were, When, How and Why,” though. A speech, nothing physical, that is pretty important for all to know and that speech can be squeezed into all kinds of very short or longer time frames.

As a self-protection expert, what do you consider to be under-taught or under-appreciated concept in the self-protection field?

The seamless mix of hand, stick, knife and gun training is way, way and foolishly under-taught. No matter where in the world you live, no matter the laws and rules, criminals and enemy soldiers use knives, sticks and guns. You fight them, you pick up their weapons. “We live in a mixed weapons world” is one of my opening mottos.

It is commonly taught that if someone demands your wallet or purse, you should throw it to the ground and run. Is this good, universal advice? If not, are there cues as to when we should do this or not?

Many instructors just say “always run away, which is “simpleton” advise. “Simple” better advice is “run away, if you can.”  Based on military and police history as in crime and war, you should pick and choose and gamble with just “turning around and running away.” Sometimes the mugger wants your watch and ring too, not just the wallet. They chase you. Then, they also chase you out of a predator instinct. The military once called it “The Caveman Chase.” And remember, you are easier to kill from behind, another long known concept that goes back as far as Alexander the Great. Easer to kill, not because you can’t see the attacker, but the attacker can’t see your face, doesn’t personalize you. Much more about this in my knife book. The goal is an “orderly retreat,” as a method to leaving, whatever that is situation-by-situation. Also, who are you leaving behind when you run? How fast and far can you run? How fast and far do you think the attacker can run? What clues do you have that you can run? Maybe the physical make-out the robber? I can’t answer that with any certainty.

A common argument in the self-defense community is that if you really want to protect yourself, buy and carry a gun. What are your personal thoughts on guns and conceal and carry?

Oh yes, on the handgun. But you just have to figure out and be trained on how and when to use it. Well, the whole who, what, where, when, how and why to use it. That goes for  any weapon for that matter. But I use the breakdown for training.

  1. There/Not There – why are you “there” in the first place? Why can’t you leave?
  2. Pull/Don’t Pull – When and if do you pull the weapon out?
  3. Point/Don’t Point – Is the weapon out, or ready in some way and concealed in some way? Bladed body, etc. Or, do you point it at the enemy?
  4. Shoot/Don’t Shoot – All of these require an essay to dissect.

If you look at the entire self-defense community, the majority of people learning to defend themselves are men. Men with little or no fighting experience are often concerned (apart from being harmed) with defending themselves and getting sued, taken to court and/or arrested. What do you tell your students/clients who are concerned with this issue?

In the end, remember that for citizens in modern times and civilizations, your willingness to fight, no matter how righteous and defensive your actions might be, may often end with you going to jail, with considerable legal fees and maybe with some added doctor bills to boot. You may well be vindicated later but at a physical, emotional, and monetary loss. You can very easily be arrested and you could be sued. Violence sucks. It’s a negative experience. But you are stuck in that nasty  vortex.

Regular people should fight criminals to escape (and a criminal could be your drunk Uncle Harry. Once he attacks you he is officially a criminal). So, winning for most, regular people is just fighting to escape. No over kill, no maiming, no killing unnecessarily. (My courses are called “Force Necessary”) You fight to win, but what is winning?. There are 5 ways to “win,” or to “finish” a fight, whether soldier, citizen, security or cop.

  1. You leave. You escape from the opponent (using the “Orderly Retreat” concept), with no physical contact.
  2. He leaves. No physical contact. You use threats, demands and intimidation to make the opponent desist and leave.
  3. He stays. Physical contact. You inflect less-than-lethal injury upon the opponent. Injure and/or diminish to a degree that the opponent stops fighting and won’t chase you.
  4. You and he both stay. Physical contact or verbal control. You control as in arrest, contain and restrain. You capture and, or escort the opponent. Or, you detain/capture the opponent and await the proper authorities.
  5. He dies. Lethal methods. We fight criminals and enemy soldiers. Sometimes we kill them.

I get concerned that so many systems teach fighting like everyone you struggle with is a Nazi commando doomed to a neck break or scooped out eye balls. The system you train in, the things you say on the web, the tattoos you have, the names of the weapons you carry, your associates, everything can be used against you in court. I can tell you story after story about this.

Many self-protection specialists say that self-defense is more of a mental game than a physical one. Is this your opinion? Why or why not?

That is one of those intellectual hair-splitters that I don’t care to hair-split. I guess you need both but to what “exact” percentage at any given time, I can’t say. 50%-50%? You could be mean as hell in your head, but gas-out in 40 second fight. Then your mean/tough mind is in a skull on the ground getting bashed because you didn’t physically train enough. It’s both sides seamlessly working in unison. Why split it? Some folks got it, some folks can get it, some folks never will.

Women and children are the most victimized individuals in any society. Should women and children be taught differently than men? Why or why not?

“It’s a mixed person’s world” is one of my mottos. In many ways everyone should be taught differently. Every person is a different size, shape, strength, age, fitness level, job, situation, etc. with weak spots, ailments and laws to work around. There is no cookie-cutter fight system for all. In the end, it is the responsibility of each person to find their favorite things they can do well, for facing the problems they most likely will face. The instructor is supposed to facilitate that process, not make cookie-cutter robots. At some point you can teach statistically high “blanket” items like “hand striking” of course, especially in the beginning, but we can’t forget the eventual, necessary customization. And customization and prioritizing shouldn’t ignore lesser, probable events. Crazy stuff has  and can happen.

Another big concern and why so many people are doing jiu-jitsu now is the perpetuated line that “most often the fight will end up on the ground.” In your experience, do you find that this is true? Either way, what traits/abilities are essential in someone to adequately defend themselves?

Well, for starters, when I did jujitsu it was a different time. Lots of standing solutions and takedowns. Judo was the ground wrestling arena. Today, the Brazilians have utterly redefined the term, as well as advanced the ground chess game.

But I think that everyone should be able to up, down and fight everywhere. I don’t like to see Billy Bob’s Kick boxing school on one street corner, and “Big Ralph’s Wrasling” school on another corner. Fighting is fighting and you fight where you fight. Seamlessly. Standing, kneeling, sitting and on the ground. You fight where you fight, with and without weapons. That is the end goal for me and what I teach people to pursue. But, in order to amass an education in these subjects we must meet experts in each of these fields. Again, all sorts of biases and things happen in this training process that gets one off the path of clean, unarmed and mixed weapon, generic fighting.

A collaboration of criminal justice colleges years ago came up with the four common ways we hit the ground, as best they could from research.

  1. We trip and fall
  2. We are punched down (usually sucker punches)
  3. We are tackled down
  4. We are pulled down

The very fact that you can often land on the ground, is reason alone to worry about it. I am a big fan of generic, MMA-ish, fighting with an emphasis on ground and pound. MMA has become very clean and generic for it does. It wants to win and system borders be damned. Plus, nothing replaces ring time -to quote Joe Lewis.

We are now in the New Year. What resolutions do you have and/or goals for the year?

I am supposed to be retired, you know. HA! I hope to trim my seminar schedule down to one USA city a month, one international city a month and one Sunday a month in the Dallas/Ft Worth area where I live. Technically, this means I am home two full weeks a month, but I can already see this is stacking and packing up differently than I planned for 2017 already. But, I would like to teach way less, write way more, and just hang out with my wife most of all.

Bonus Question What book or resource (besides your own material) have you suggested or gifted most and why?

Oh man…DON’T get me started on THIS list, as I recommend a different book in every one of newsletters every three weeks for years, but here are just a few.

  1. Smarter Faster Better : by Charles Duhigg. Tremendous, enlightening, myth-breaking into on performance
  2. The Talent Code : by Dan Coyle
  3. Streetlights and Shadows : Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making by Gary Klein
  4. Anti-Fragile : by Nassim Talib
  5. Bounce  : by Matt Syed

For more information on Hoch Hochheim and Force Necessary please visit his website.

http://www.forcenecessary.com

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Crash, Smash, and Dash – KTC

Posted in Self-Defense, Teaching Topic, Training with tags , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2016 by hybridfightingmethod

Kennedy Tactical Concepts LogoIn a modern day attack, we have no control over any of the variables, except one; our own response. But even that is impeded because of our limbic system, thrusting us into a mode of “fight or flight”, causing adrenaline to course through our bodies, making any sort of complex thought or movement extremely difficult. If you were ambushed from behind, and turned to find three attackers and one of them with a knife coming at you – your own biology would make it next to impossible to formulate a plan in that moment. It is because of this that we created a 3-step physical roadmap to follow in just such a situation – CRASH, SMASH, and DASH.

It is this skeletal frame that we attach all of our physical tactics to. Through our drills and simulations, we apply this roadmap to several different contexts, hardwiring us to respond in this way regardless of the stimulus.

CRASH

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-8-42-59-amIn most modern street attacks, when the assailant actually INTENDS to hurt or kill the victim, the assailant does not allow the victim to see the attack coming. This is called an ambush. The assailant has a significant advantage at this moment, and it is at this moment that it is crucial for the victim to remove further opportunity from the assailant to cause continued damage.

Author and self-defense instructor Rory Miller suggests a “golden standard” for a response to this type of attack in his book “Meditations on Violence,” which would:

  1. Improve the victim’s position
  2. Worsen the attacker’s position
  3. Protect the victim from damage
  4. Allow the victim to damage (or control) the assailant

In Urban Defensive Tactics, we have developed our “Trinity Block” (based on instinctive movements under threat) into a multi-tool that meets all of the criteria in the “golden standard,” allowing the victim to weather incoming attacks while crashing into the assailant, thereby beginning to flip the script in the situation.

SMASH

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-8-43-12-amUsing the Trinity Block to crash into the assailant and close the gap, we then utilize Urban Defensive Tactics’ uniquely applied Combative Controls as a means of gaining anchor points from which to apply our close-quarter offensive tactics.

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DASH

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-8-43-53-amWhen sufficient damage has been done to the assailant such as to create a legitimate opportunity for safe escape, we run to a safe place where we survey ourselves for physical damage and contact the appropriate emergency services.

T.J. Kennedy

Kennedy Tactical Concepts

The Ground Attack Posture from OutFoxxed

Posted in Self-Defense, Techniques, Training, Uncategorized, Women's Self-Defense with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2016 by chencenter

Since many of the attacks on women are of a sexual nature, we have to know how to fight back from different positions, including from our back!

The “G.A.P.”…

or Ground Attack Posture, is our favorite way of delivering a powerful attack and helping to create space for escape.  Take a look at this short and informative video that we made for you guys and gals!  If you have any questions, please comment on the video or visit our website (blog) for more details.  We have write-ups on each movement/technique we teach in order to improve your understanding.

And if you haven’t already, please subscribe, like and share.

[OutFoxxed Program on YouTube]

Brought to you by: Michael & Jennifer Joyce

Head instructors at the Outfoxxed Program

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The Art of Aikido in these Modern Times

Posted in Aikido, Martial Arts, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2016 by Combative Corner

Gary Boaz

Over the last several years I’ve talked a lot about how I believe that the way aikido is taught falls drastically short of modern practicality. This has led to many misunderstandings. I’ve been accused of saying that aikido doesn’t work in modern times. That’s ridiculous. I wouldn’t waste 25 years of my life on something that doesn’t work. What I am saying is that I believe in the principles of aikido. Where today’s teachers fall short is in the presentation. If aikido is to survive, even to evolve we have to address the modern fighter. We have to train against hooks, jabs, uppercuts, knees, elbows, the groundfighter as well as modern weapons. I recently dug up an article discussing this and these next video clips will go along with those themes. 

If you want more examples of aikidoka doing this, check out Lenny Sly A former Tenshin practitioner, Sly is advancing his own aikido with what he refers to combative concepts. It’s great stuff. A word of warning, his videos aren’t always safe for younger ears or if you are at work. Regardless, his stuff works.

Sensei Gary Boaz

Reposted with Permission from Facebook

The other side of the coin to the traditional munetsuki kotegaeshi. Please don’t think I’m saying that kotegaeshi doesn’t work. That’s not what I’m saying. Quite the opposite. Apply the principles to a modern attack and see what happens. Get your butt outside the freaking box folks!

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Use of Forcillo

Posted in Crime, Miscellaneous, News, Training, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2016 by hybridfightingmethod

FullSizeRender

photo credit: The Toronto Star

I have so much to say since Toronto Police Service’s Constable James Forcillo was convicted of attempted murder in the 2013 shooting death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim.  I’m prepared to be a pariah, as I may be seen that way after expressing my opinion.

A quick history

Yatim was on a Toronto streetcar, high as a kite, and whipped his penis out and started masturbating in front of a group of women in the back of the streetcar.  He then took a switchblade (illegal in Canada) and attempted to slash one of the girl’s throats. She managed to block the attack with her purse. Moments later everyone from the streetcar emptied onto the street, leaving Yatim on the streetcar pacing back and forth alone, still with knife in hand.

When police arrived, Yatim was screaming things at them, like “pussies” and “pigs”, while the responding officers repeatedly commanded him to drop the knife. Instead of complying Yatim, advanced on the officers, and was subsequently shot 9 times and killed.

There are a few sticking points that I’d like to talk about, as this situation has caused significant public outcry in defense of Sammy Yatim and criticism of Toronto Police – specifically James Forcillo.

Some of the things that the public say were uncalled for were:

  1. Shooting Yatim in the first place instead of many other force options (eg. bean bag shotgun, tazers, riot shields, etc.)
  2. Shooting Yatim several times after he was already shot and downed.
  3. A reminder that James Forcillo had drawn his firearm 12 times while on duty in the last 3 years.

I would like to suggest that unless you’ve had a knife pulled on you or seen what a knife can do, you have no clue what you’re talking about (and the jury probably also had no clue). You don’t grasp the magnitude of danger a knife-wielding assailant poses; Nor how much that danger can be enhanced when the assailant is drugged or mentally ill.

Mental illness and substance abuse make someone unpredictable. Think about how you might react to a situation like this if you were the first office on scene.

You’re responding to a call about a knife-wielding attacker on a streetcar. When you arrive the attacker still has his knife in hand, taunting you while your firearm is drawn and pointed at him.  Every command you issue to drop the knife is met with “fuck you pussy”, ” fucking pig.” Then he advances. What would you do?

A knife is lethal force. Yatim demonstrated intent and ability to kill (again, knife still in hand while advancing).  Because of this, after 5 days of jury deliberation, the original charges of 2nd degree homicide and manslaughter were dismissed.  As Forcillo did, however, get convicted of attempted murder – and due to the severity of this charge – the lesser charge of aggravated assault was dropped.

Security camera footage from the streetcar now released to the public shows police entering the streetcar after the shots were fired, and kicking the knife out of Yatim’s hand. This occurred after the extra shots were fired once Yatim was already downed.

Excited delirium is a condition that has allowed many criminals to have superhuman strength, and in some cases take shotgun blasts or multiple revolver shots and still fight until they bleed out. If Yatim was down, but still had a knife in his hand (again, the officer kicked it away upon entry), he could have potentially stabbed an officer, possibly in the femoral artery. A stab wound to the femoral artery has the potential to be fatal in minutes. This isn’t a far-fetched conclusion.

Ontario Use of ForceUse of Force

For those that say that the officer was too quick to shoot, should have backed up and increased the distance, don’t understand real violence and intent.  You advance on a threat, removing their capacity to attack. Giving them more space is irresponsible, as it gives the assailant more opportunity to attack.

The chances of a bullet passing through and hitting a bystander increases if Yatim was let out of the streetcar.

As for tazing him, only police supervisors are equipped with Tasers. Forcillo is not a supervisor; a Taser was not an immediate option.

Wait for riot shields and board the streetcar?  Haven’t seen the movie 300 have you?  The first officer through the door is the first casualty, usually suffering the first stab or slash wound.

Bean bag shotgun?  Knife is lethal force.  And Forcillo didn’t have one at his disposal.

“Police in the UK don’t shoot and take threats down with pepper spray.” Because they don’t have guns, and I bet your tune would change when UK cops get mowed down by semi and fully automatic weapons that criminals don’t seem to mind using.

As for Forcillo’s history of pulling out his firearm, let’s look at this logically. If an average police officer works a 40-hr. week (likely probably more), and responds to 3 calls a day, that means in a 5-day work week an average officer responds to 15 calls a week. If you take two weeks out for vacation, that’s about 750 calls a year. In three years that’s 2250 calls. This is an conservative estimate. So, Forcillo drew his firearm 12 out of 2250 times.  That means his gun came out in 0.5% of his calls (we already know this is a conservative estimate).  With the increase in Toronto gun and knife crime, how unreasonable does that sound to you?  In my view, it sounds very reasonable. Trigger happy?  I think not, for a frontline officer.

Final Thoughts

I don’t care about bleeding hearts and compassion here. The fact remains that a disturbed person tried to sexually assault, injure, or kill another human being.When told by police to drop his weapon, he taunted them and advanced, leading to his death. To be sure he was no longer a threat, Forcillo shot him (as the first responder, Forcillo was lead officer; he was on point and everyone else was to follow suit) several more times. Again, the onus was on Forcillo to act, and he did for his own safety, for the safety of his colleagues, and for the safety of the public waiting on the street.

On top of all of this, we have to remember that police are not immune to the shitstorm of a limbic system “fight or flight” response; causing loss of logical thought, and loss of a large portion of motor skill.

I believe James Forcillo acted appropriately, even if a judge and jury didn’t come to that conclusion.

It’s a sad day for justice. In fact, there is no justice here. The only justice occurred in 2013 when a young monster was stopped before he had a chance to became an older monster.

I know most will still be critics and use of force “experts” from the comfort of their couches and office jobs, while police will still go out every day and face the risk of death to protect those critics. That is why they are heroes.

Below are video links and the Canadian National Use-of-Force Model you can observe to help you make up your own mind:

https://youtu.be/dx2iQnYMQfM

https://youtu.be/xyMUyv_vf1k

https://youtu.be/89VWeqSKPcU

https://youtu.be/-jP96xewXDI

https://youtu.be/FGvdnPow1oE

Attachments:

Sammy Yatim’s chilling final moments released

Preview YouTube video Toronto Streetcar shooting July 2013 CCTV Security Footage Sammy Yatim

Toronto Streetcar shooting July 2013 CCTV Security Footage Sammy Yatim

Preview YouTube video Toronto officer’s trial sees video of Sammy Yatim shooting

Toronto officer’s trial sees video of Sammy Yatim shooting

Preview YouTube video Sammy Yatim Shooting – TTC Streetcar Audio and Multiple Video Views – Const. James Forcillo Trial

Sammy Yatim Shooting – TTC Streetcar Audio and Multiple Video Views – Const. James Forcillo Trial

Preview YouTube video TTC surveillance camera 4

Controlling Your Attacker [Video]

Posted in Safety, Self-Defense, Training, Women's Self-Defense with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2016 by chencenter

In the Outfoxxed Program we have a technique that literally, “Keeps our attacker at arm’s length” – which is okay, as long as we have him under control.

If you haven’t seen, read or heard,… my wife Jennifer and I created a YouTube channel especially for the ladies out there in order to give them some strong tools, methods, and motivation.  Learning self-defense is important, especially for those most victimized [women].  If you like our channel, message and/or videos, please share.

Outfoxxed Program with Michael & Jennifer Joyce

Michael Joyce : CombativeCorner Founder

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