Archive for law enforcement

Use of Forcillo

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

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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

Gracie Survival Tactics – The Inside Scoop

Posted in Jiujitsu, Martial Arts, REVIEWS, Safety, Self-Defense, Teaching Topic, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2016 by bradvaughn

The Non-Lethal Techniques Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know

by Brandon T. Vaughn  01/06/16

GST - Group Pic GJJ

Over the years my position/role/career as a martial arts instructor has offered many opportunities and experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. The most recent of which took place last month, November 16th through the 20th, and took me back to California, a place I first had the pleasure of visiting two years ago when I participated in the Gracie Academy Instructor Certification Program in 2013.

My second visit to California would also be connected to the [Gracie] Academy, only instead of Torrance, this time I would be going to Pleasanton, a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area approximately 25 miles east of Oakland, CA. I decided to take advantage of a formal invitation to all CTC Certified Instructors to assist and participate in any upcoming Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) Instructor Certification Courses. Eager to get an inside look at this program only available to active or retired law enforcement and military personnel, and in desperate need of a vacation (even if it would be a working one) I jumped at the opportunity. I’m glad I did. It was an incredible opportunity to learn the GST curriculum first hand, meet some of my fellow CTC Instructors, and get some “mat time” with Ryron Gracie himself.

 

Adapting To Meet A Changing Climate

GST - Vaughn teaching 2For those of you who aren’t familiar with the program, Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) is the Gracie Academy’s Defensive Tactics Program for Military & Law Enforcement Personnel. Created by the Gracie Academy to meet the ever changing needs of their clients, the GST program is itself an amalgamation of two earlier combative/defensive tactics programs. Gracie Combatives, an intensive course based on the most effective techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu developed for the United States Army, and G.R.A.P.P.L.E (Gracie Resisting Attack Procedures for Law Enforcement), a non-violent and court defensible program developed for police officers. Both of the aforementioned programs were originally developed by Rorion Gracie, eldest son of Gracie Jiu-jitsu founder Helio Gracie, and creative mind behind the UFC.

Since it’s inception Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) has been taught to countless Federal, State and International military and law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service and the US Border Patrol. During my five days assisting with the GST Instructor Certification Program I was able to meet men and women from a wide range of agencies and hear many of their first hand accounts of situations that they have found themselves in while on duty. As well as some of their concerns with the level of self-defense training that their agencies currently have in place.

 

The Road To Certified GST Instructor

For law enforcement or military personnel (active or retired) wishing to learn Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) for their own continuing education, the complete 23 lesson course is available on www.GracieUniversity.com via online streaming video. However, if you are an officer wishing to implement the GST program at your department or agency the only way to do so is by completing the GST Instructor Certification (Level 1).

The Gracie Academy teaches anywhere from 5 to 10 of these instructor certification courses a year varying by location. Some are hosted by the Academy itself  at their main location in Torrance, CA while others are hosted by various agencies around the world or by individuals within those organizations. The particular course I volunteered to assist in was hosted by a member of the Pleasanton Police Department with the actual training sessions taking place in the gym of a local high school.

The week long course began at 8am Monday morning and started with Ryron Gracie giving a brief history of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, including its creation, their work with the US Army and the development of Gracie Combatives and how working with the military and law enforcement over the last 20 years led to the creation of the techniques that we would be learning over the next five days. He then moved seamlessly into the first of eight techniques that we would cover that day, setting the pace for the rest of the week. Ryron would teach a technique, using either myself or one of the other four instructors that were there to assist in the course, then when he was sure that everyone understood the technique he would release them to practice the technique with their partner. At this time the assistant instructors would walk around and observe the participants doing the techniques, offering feedback and making any necessary corrections.

Day two and three began with the class reviewing all the techniques that they had learned the day before while. After the review period, which lasted anywhere from 10-15 minutes, we would move on the block of techniques that would be taught that day. The training sessions ended with a series of fight simulation drills in which the participants would combine several techniques from previous sessions with the ones that they had just learned, thus building their muscle memory and making them more familiar with how the individual techniques can be used in any possible combination.

While the first three days were dedicated to the learning of the GST techniques, day four was dedicated to instructor training, where the participants learned the most effective ways to teach the GST techniques to their colleagues when they return to their individual agencies/departments. The fifth and final day of the course consisted of a final evaluation to test the participants overall comprehension of all the material covered during the previous four days.

The GST Advantage

GST - Vaughn teachingWhat sets Gracie Survival Tactics apart from other defense tactic programs currently being taught to law enforcement and military personnel is it’s lack of reliance on striking techniques (ie. punches and kicks) which may not be effective against an assailant who may be physically larger or stronger or who may be under the influence of a substance that dampens their ability to feel pain. Instead, all the techniques in the GST program are based on leverage, timing, and efficient use of energy. This means the techniques can be employed effectively regardless of gender, size or athletic ability.

With the number of fatal police shootings reported to be nearing 400 nationwide in 2015, and allegations of excessive force at an all time high, GST provides law enforcement officers with a much needed alternative to relying solely on their firearm or secondary tools (ie. baton, stun gun, pepper spray) in situations where the use of deadly force could have possibly been avoided. The GST curriculum also address the high rate of instance where law enforcement officers are shot in the line of duty by an assailant using the officer’s own firearm by including weapon retention techniques in the curriculum as well as a variety of effective techniques that allow an officer to get back to their feet and create distance in the event that they end up on the ground underneath an assailant.

 

A Fear Of Change

With a seemingly endless list of benefits and advantages, it’s hard to imagine that all law enforcement agencies aren’t already taking part in the Gracie Survival Tactics program.

From conversations I had with some of the men and women participating in the GST Level 1 Instructor Certification Course, I learned that one obstacle the newly certified instructors will encounter when trying to implement the program in their own department may be the very officers that they are trying to help.

Whether it stems from an over reliance on the tools they have at their disposal or the lack of continued fitness requirements after they graduate from the academy, some officers seem resistant to any self-defense training outside what is mandated annually by their state. When you consider that 40% of officers that are shot in the line of duty are done so with their own weapon, it would seem that all law enforcement officers would be eager to learn any technique that, would not only teach them how to retain their weapon, but also how to subdue a suspect without the use of their firearm or auxiliary weapons.

Another obstacle that new GST Instructors may have to deal with is a natural resistance to change. Either from the administration or from their department’s defensive tactics instructor, in the event that the GST Instructor doesn’t also serve that role. Strategies on how to address these and other common concerns are included in the support materials that each course participant receives on the final day of training.

GST - Group Pic Sm

 

Final Thoughts

Gracie Survival Tactics is quickly proving itself to be not only a valuable resource for law enforcement officers, but to military personnel as well. As I am writing this article, the United Nations Security Service has become the most recent agency to adopt Gracie Survival Tactics.

My experience at the GST Level 1 Instructor Certification Course in Pleasanton, CA was like nothing I have experienced before and I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to not only assist, but to participate in the training as well. As a martial arts instructor I’ve had the opportunity to teach students of all ages how to defend themselves. Even if learning self-defense was not their primary reason for enrolling, it was still a skill they acquired while working towards whatever their personal goals were. Having said that, I have to admit that there was something exceedly rewarding about working with individuals that will most likely be using the techniques you are teaching them a regular basis.

Brandon Vaughn

Certified GJJ CTC Instructor

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10 Questions with Samir “Sandman” Seif

Posted in 10 Questions, Jiujitsu, Martial Arts, Mixed Martial Arts, MMA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2015 by hybridfightingmethod

Samir Sandman Seif

Take a moment to tell us a bit about your training and professional backgrounds
My professional background began at Red Lobster, ironically enough. I was working tables, washing dishes and cooking, trying to pay off my Police Sciences degree – that course now is called Police Foundations.  I had done some “bouncer” type stuff at parties for cash, on account of my martial arts background, yet nothing too serious. One day as I was serving a table, a man named Randy introduced himself to me, and complimented me on my people skills. He asked if I had ever thought of doing security.  I told him I wanted to be a cop, and he said this would be a perfect start.  That was the start of my security education and the end of me ever being a cop.  I worked the hardest, grimiest bars in Hamilton for 2 years.  It was a security temp (Ranton Security) agency, so I was sent to the bars no one else wanted to work.  In 1993 two things happened, I began training in wing chun and I met a bartender who introduced me to the Canadian Division head of Griffon Group International who trained and hired me.  I went from being a bouncer/martial artist to a professional in executive protection, close protection, and casino security.  Training took place in Toronto and Windsor Universities.  These were my formalative years transitioning from a martial artist into a professional Law Enforcement/Security specialist trainer.  Working the travelling casino’s, protecting clients and training correctional/Law Enforcement in baton, handcuffing and pepper spray use-of-force programs.  The training was based on effective communications, prevention and prediction.  That lasted until 1997 where I went on my own and began training people under the Samirs Combat Reaction name. I continued training in Pain compliance and control systems under Stay Safe President Steve Summerville.  I learned how to be a true professional and legally articulate use-of-force.  That brought me to the next level of teaching and applying Law and Security in my professional capacity as a trainer and operating in the field.  I was hired on full time as the use of force trainer at a large security Company in Hamilton.  Doing work protecting Liberal assets (insured persons), fleshing out RCMP details, and running large security crews for multiple night clubs.
Who have been your major influences in training and teaching?
Major influences in my training and teaching has been Wayne Wells of Griffon Group International.  If you look him up, he has a long line of martial arts qualifications himself.  Ironically he was the first that treated my black belt in jiu jitsu and black sash in wing chun as only a small part of the greater subject when it comes to combatives, close protection and security/law enforcement.  His socially acceptable techniques, politically correct nomenclature and proper training heavily guided my own hand when I began designing programs.  His experience also played a factor in my development as he had committed so many years of his life to training trainers as professional, with himself having trained with the best in the world.  For locks and holds- specific to control and restraint, and with corrections experience my next major influence would be Master Robert Krantz and Master Alex Andrews.  I was a member of the CJC, and CJA during the 90’s.  Master Alex taught me small circle ju jitsu and Judo that would work specifically for Corrections and Law Enforcement.  The timing was perfect, as I was able to apply my skills as a trainer for Wayne’s company and use the skills myself as the head doorman at several clubs.  Master Robert actually graded me in one of my jiu jitsu black belts under the WKF.  He has a no-nonsense style of locks, and with his correctional back ground his method was invaluable.  Between the two, I tightened up my physical locking game, and brought a very high level game to handcuffing and grounding subjects.
The greatest striking influences was Master Chris Hader for giving me the gift of wing chun.  The only martial art that allowed me to assimilate every physical course I have learned and apply it within a solid theory and concept.  He was an old school, hardcore Sifu that put his stamp..and his foot on my spine.
The last phase of major influence in training and teaching has been Grandmaster Bram Frank and Shuki Drai.  As much as I had been doing weapon training throughout my entire professional and martial arts life, a fundamental and moral pillar changed. From a young age I trained with known weapon experts like Grandmaster Rudy Timmerman, Master Robert Doiron and Guru Brian ‘Buzz’ Smith.  All three are traditional martial artists.  Gifted,respected and in the Kuk Sul Wan, Hap Ki Do and Kuntaw world very well known.  They trained me to strike to kill.  In the sense, how most martial arts train..the kill shot.  Meaning that my use of weapons was literal, with no thought to the law and the consequences of armed combat.  I was a martial artist ,with a martial artists mindset.
Meeting GM Bram Frank and then continuing my work with Shuki taught me a new world of reality. How society views weapons of gun, stick and knife. How I view it as a tool like any other item you might find in a tool box. Knowing case law, applicable law of use and defense.  My teaching ability and success by using GM Bram’s “train the trainer” methodology and gross motor skill progressive training under pressure has swelled the curve of skills and attributes.  I can teach and learn new skills or refine old skills in 1/10 of the time it used to take me.  Thats how we get our troops ready-in months not years.  My understanding of anatomy, nerve systems and use of modern day weaponry (firearms) has made me a much more evolved combatives instructor and practicing combatant.  Bram in particular introduced me to many men and women that either had seen or yet remained in active duty in the war theatre, active duty as a police officer or form of duty that included weapons.  It forced me to reevaluate my martial arts training, and get to the range ,and work with skilled shooters.  The impact of reality training, experience in the field coupled with my own experiences has made me search and continue to develop realistic skill sets for modern Combatives.
Lastly the literature of Bruce K. Siddle and Lt.Col Grossman along with the translation and interpretation of Book of 5 Rings by Steven Kaufman have influenced me since I was old enough to pick them up and study them.  They are constant companions to all my combative efforts.  Their work is influential and in my personal opinion iconic.
What systems have you trained in that you find applicable to the kinds of attacks you see in your profession?
The systems that I have trained in that have been most applicable to the kind of attacks in my profession as a security specialist, and close protection specialist has been Wing Chun, Kali, Muay Thai, wrestling and Jiu Jitsu.
Wing Chun has allowed me to deal with the conversation that goes bad.  Most people speak with their hands.  They point, they grab and push.  Welcome to hundreds of hours of chi sao (sticky hands).  If it’s standing and arms are in the touching or within the intimate zone of personal space wing chun has been the answer.  Then the use of KALI becomes equally important as weapon sense from bottles, ashtrays (back in the day), stantions and anything else a person could grab comes into play.  The relationship between wing chun and Kali is synergistic and they complement each other in the CQC area.  If wing chun didn’t have the answer, my Kali filled in the blanks and vice versa.  When it comes to subjects that are actively resisting and striking back, I have to say Muay Thai is the most applicable and has been personally the best “show stopper”, in the arsenal. The neck-tie up (plum), and the devastating elbows conclude any form of aggression very quickly. I have personally had great success with single strikes to assaultive subjects using the elbow, the knee and the round kick. Wrestling tie ups and takedowns go hand in hand with Muay Thai clinching skills; its never my first choice to fight on the ground, yet it’s my first choice for anyone I’m trying to control.  Wrestling allows me to apply that pressure when number of people, size and strength come into play.  A hard head snap or duck under and boom down they go.  Saying that, brings me to the last art I find applicable to my profession.  Bjj/Jiu Jitsu.  Grounding a subject and skillfully lifting them back up with minimal effort and damage to oneself and them.  The controls gained by vascular restraints, joint-locks and come-a-longs are invaluable.  When it comes to mitigating collateral damage, liability and negligence the system of Jiu Jitsu is hand crafted for my profession.
What role does MMA play in your training?
It’s the pressure tester of the weeks drilling, training and specific sparring.  MMA training allows for learning, growth and adaption under real or closely simulated combative pressure.  Resistance to submission attempts, and being stuck in a pound-and-ground position.  Basically have full resistance with protective equipment to see how everything works, and improve the next weeks drilling where the holes were found.
Does MMA prepare someone for street violence?
 
That really depends, as does the last question on what you define as MMA and how it’s being trained/taught.
If your “MMA” training does not include the following variations of multiple opponents, weapons, hostile environment and role playing I do not believe it will fully prepare you  for street violence.  An example is on several occasions I personally have taken out high level MMA fighters, and watched even my own staff of guards take out good  level MMA fighters for drunken and disorderly.  Their mindset prepared them for the one-on-one, and in that they won hands down.  It was the follow-up of hostile environment, tables, people, hard surface, wet surface and multiple opponents that quickly overcame them.
MMA only prepares you for resistance and pressure. Cardio under battle stress, elevated heart rate and blood pressure.  Exertion and blunt force trauma.  It does not prepare you for pre-indicators of violence, violent confrontation through words. Threat cues, prediction and prevention.  The anatomy of violence and street confrontation can be markedly absent from MMA training.  For the record I would put my money on a well trained MMA fighter to survive a confrontation better than a traditionally trained martial artist.  That being said, as the variables increase, so does the MMA fighters advantages decrease if he is trained in MMA rules, single opponent training.
How can martial artists alter their training to make their system suitable for the street?
 
As previously mentioned I believe to street-proof any system the following fundamentals must be included.  Multiple opponents, weapons (stick,knife,gun), hostile environment and role playing.  Then all of these need to be trained with progressively increased pressure of resistance.
This is just the physical aspect.  One needs to learn the physiology and phycology of violence to oneself and to others.  The ability to prevent, predict and proactively train.  Confrontation does not just happen.  There are cues and steps that are not part of the regular martial arts training program.  These have to be taught and trained.  It’s a science and must be treated as such.
What are some common traits you see among unprovoked attacks?
The common traits I have observed that unprovoked attacks carry are the attackers are 99% male and under the age of 40.  My reports and court cases would average late 20’s.  They include intoxication or drugs.  They involve criminal elements, meaning that person or persons doing the unprovoked attack have either been through the criminal system or associated with a criminal element.  The person being attacked almost always have their hands down, and are not in control of their intimate zone. It’s like they don’t realize they are in an argument or that the other person could actually hurt them.  The number one has been the attacker was prepared to fight or attack, and the victim or victims were not.
Among the ambushes you’ve seen, what tactics have the defenders employed successfully, and what tactics have they been unable to employ successfully?
I have seen many ambushes via cctv in my years of working security. Among the ambushes the defenders have had success or failure dependent on the reaction to the attacks.  I use the  3F system (First,Fast,Furious) to measure success or failure.  If the attack is first, then the counter-response must be fast and furious.  In all cases of success the reaction time from the subject not simply becoming a victim is they retaliated fast and furiously.  They grabbed a weapon and closed the distance instantly.  If no weapon was grabbed they gave up no room and instantly grappled.  The most successful move is to crash the attacker, hug and hold the attacker and not allow for repeated blows of the dominant hand.  They also covered up initially as they moved forward, blunting whatever attack was coming in.
The reaction that failed almost every time was moving backwards or away.  The environment did not allow for unimpeded movement.  That means they tripped or fell and damaged themselves more on the way down, were continued to be attacked and mounted in most cases.  Ironically it’s not the first reactive block that fails, it’s the fact that time and time again the victim has continued to try to block without any counter.  In one case I watched as the first block worked to stop a knife, and that the person being stabbed had not realized they had been ambushed with a palmed knife.  They continued to back away from “punches”, and was stabbed 3 more times still trying to block the same angled attack in the same manner.  They at that point collapsed, and the ambushed escaped.  In another example, the ambush happens perfectly, but someone behind the ambusher flinches and the victim reacts by putting out their arms.  The knife is blocked barely and the victim slips to one knee, where they are “nicked” in one artery and nicked in a vein,they barley survive and take 6 months to come out of serious condition.
Blocking and not moving forward, blocking and repeating the same block allowed for the ambusher to gain momentum,timing and distance .
Successful defense against the ambush has been that the reaction has not only been fast and furious,but also that the furious included striking and defending.
Failure has come from being slow to react ,creating too much distance that allowed the ambusher momentum and increase in number of attacks.  They also were not being struck back, as the victim was too busy concentrating on defense and not counter attack.
The ambush attack in all cases was missed,as it was clear watching the videos that all threat cues are missed. Clenched fists,blading of the body, puffing of the chest, lifting of the chin..all for naught.  In one case I remember watching in awe as a male takes their jacket off and makes like he is turning away.  He takes off his jacket..how does one miss this..??!!
If someone could do only one thing to defend themselves successfully from an attack, in your opinion what would that thing be.
Be First, Be Fast, Be Furious.
That’s my one thing.  You feel it coming, you see it coming, you predict it’s coming..Doesn’t matter.
Be FIRST!  Thats a concept and that’s a technique. Eyes, Groin and Neck.
Smash it, bite it, kick it, slap it, stab it, bring blunt force trauma..Just make sure your FIRST.
Being first makes you FAST. You will be at the right place, at the right time to bring on maximum force, with minimum effort.
Which brings you to a place of momentum.  When the engine is rocking and rolling, it brings a furious energy.  Chain your attacks until no one is standing.  Bring an element of controlled passion and anger and rage and even cold tempered steel.  BE FURIOUS.
No matter what reaction you have, nor the style you train you need one method to withstand a seen attacker and the unseen ambusher. BE FIRST, BE FAST, BE FURIOUS.
Where do you see the martial arts as a whole in ten years?
In ten years I see the same evolution of what UFC did for martial arts, blending and merging the best techniques and concepts to create the MMA era happening in the Reality Based Self Defense and Combatives.  The difference will be the best technologies will be brought to simulate weapons of modern and traditional origins.  We will see swords, knives, bats, guns, explosives and multiple persons.  We will have simulated gang attacks, and small armies battling.  We will know how the sword works against the axe, and crossbow against 45 pistol.  The martial will be brought back, and it will become an arena for true to the death combat between not just two dueling combatants, but a plethora of situations that will include multiple simultaneous attacks.  They already have multiple opponent MMA in Russia.  They have prototype weapon and at our dueling in Australia.  A decade from now we will simulate injury, pain and trauma to find the essence and truth of combat which is death on the battlefield without actually killing anyone. That is I’m sure until someone wants to try it for real.  Then we may even return to gladiators and the true arena.
– Interviewed by: T.J. Kennedy
Hybrid Fighting Method
Samir Sandman Seif

Master of Goshin Ryu Seif Jiu Jitsu

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10 Questions with Steve Kardian

Posted in 10 Questions, Self-Defense, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2011 by Combative Corner

Steve Kardian is, perhaps, the nation’s most sought-after expert in the field of women’s safety, crime prevention and risk reduction.  Michael Joyce of the CombativeCorner got to sit down with Steve (via Skype) and ask him the questions that YOU wanted to hear.  For more information on Steve, visit his website by clicking on his picture above.  For his Youtube Channel [click here] Twitter [here].  Watch the full interview (below) or here.

BONUS QUESTION

“A predator has a gun on you, what model should you follow (look away/comply/etc)?”

The worst thing you can do is make eye contact in such a way that the predator perceives it as a challenge.  Remember, you’re dealing with a different element… someone’s got a weapon on you or if robbery is their motive you’re making a business transaction.

If you show fear and he picks up on that fear, you’re in deep trouble.  I’ve interviewed murders; people that have killed people because thy have begged for their life.  They see it as such as weakness.  In prison it’s a badge of honor to kill – in their mind ‘some weak punk’ that begs for his life.  So every situation is different.  It’s hard to give a general answer, but I’ll give an example of what I tell the women –

They’re like, “Well, I know I’m walking down the street” and “I know I feel that somebody’s watching me.”  And we know it only takes 7 seconds for a predator to come on the scene and identify his soft target.

So as you walk by, give him a glance, NOT a stare.  It could be perceived as a challenge.  By doing so, you eliminate about 50% of his game, which is the element of surprise.  And then, when you walk past, just glance back – you don’t even have to look at him, just let him know that you know he’s there.

Again, every situation is different.  If he’s in front of you, make it a business transaction.  It’s a robbery, give him your money, but never ever, EVER allow him to buy you or take you to a secondary location.  The results are unforgiven.

FULL INTERVIEW

For more on this question…

look for our Roundtable Discussion coming in March!

 

 

GUNS: A Tool For The Weak?

Posted in Crime, Discussion Question, Safety, Self-Defense, Violence, Weapons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2011 by chencenter

Gun-related homicides have slightly increased each year since 2002.  People between the ages of 15 and 24 are most likely to be targeted by gun violence as opposed to other forms of violence.  Intimate partner violence can be fatal when a gun is involved – from 1990 to 2005, two-thirds of spouse and ex-spouse homicide victims were killed by guns* (usdoj.gov).

In a 2002 crime study* (UN/OCJS) the United States ranked #4 (behind South Africa, Colombia & Thailand) in gun-related homicides [#8 per capita].

Let’s compare that with our neighbor to the north, Canada.

United States- 9,369  ¤  Canada- 144

In Detroit, a US city fairly well-known for its crime, recorded 308 criminal homicides in 2010 (a 15.4% drop from 2009) (DN).  However, a tweet from director Michael Moore alerted me to the fact that Detroit’s city across the river, Windsor, had a total of ZERO gun-related homicides.  Whether you are a fan of Moore or not, you have to ask yourself a question, what is it about us that drives us to kill one another?  Is it because of our gun laws?  How about our access to guns?  Is it just our American nature?

I posted a video on my facebook page on Monday that featured musician Henry Rollins in a 1994 MTV ad on violence (the video).  In this clip, Rollins proclaims, “…The strong don’t need guns.  Guns are tools of the weak.”  I got a fair amount of comments on this video, and I’m glad it attracted the attention it did.  This topic has gone on time and time again, and yet, gun-related homicides continue to rise.

My (personal) stance on guns?

Guns serve little purpose in today’s society other than: getting people hurt, creating accidents (many-times harmful and fatal ones), and killing or maiming innocent animals for sport (which I’ve always been against).  Guns, to me, are relics of a by-gone era.  While I understand that our military and law enforcement may need the protection of a ballistic weapon, our “every-day-citizen” does not.

What about my Second Amendment right?

Yes. This Constitutional amendment “protects” the right of the people to bear arms.  But with this, I think back to the words of comedian Chris Rock that said, “You could drive a car with your feet if you WANT to, that don’t make a it a good &%# idea!”  What are we scared of that we need a gun around for?  Le révolution?

Ok. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.  So there’s a revolution.

My next question would be, “Who do you think you are?”  Am I trying to be funny by asking this question? Well, yes AND no.  While it may be exciting to think that we’re a Clint Eastwood character, it’s humorous to believe you’re going to “Make someone’s day” without first getting yourself killed.  Your best bet will be to drill for oil/”juice” and barricade yourself in your fort (see film, The Road Warrior).

What about hunting?

Too cruel for me, but if that’s what you enjoy doing…and if you’re like Dexter and you need to exercise that need to kill something (or you’ll just blow your top), then go right ahead.  I can’t stop you.  But why not try to wrestle an elk down with your bare hands?  Why not learn to spear fish?  Give the poor animal a fighting chance, by God!  Don’t just dangle its food source in front of him with a hidden spike in it!  Wow, you out-smarted a fish!  Wow, you sniped a deer as it was walking through a meadow (which was probably the only natural clearing available with all the nearby freeways).  I might be impressed if you smeared yourself with dung, crept within range and used a slingshot or bow and arrow to bring the animal down, but that’s just my opinion.  Whatever you do though, don’t display the animal’s head on your wall and grin with pride.  How barbaric… but then again, somewhere inside of you you must feel that it is too.

Additional Note

If you do plan on owning a gun, make sure it is stored in a safe place and you educate yourself properly on the care, use and handling of the firearm.  Understand the state laws and keep in mind that injuring and/or killing (even a criminal or attacker) may like hold with it a prison sentence for you.

Suggested Reading:Facing Violence” by: Rory Miller.

We’d love to you what you, our readers, feel on the subject.

The underlining question IS, however, “Are guns needed” and “Are guns the biggest problem with America (when it comes to violence)?”

Sources:

United States Department of Justice, The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends &, Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002), The Detroit News. January 2010 (Hunter)

Improving Self-Defense, Add Violence

Posted in Crime, Self-Defense, Training, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2011 by chencenter

The highest concern for me as a self-defense instructor is to properly facilitate and encourage (by way of writing, coaching, lecturing, etc) practical, safe and effective training methods; period!  Not ones that effect a person superficially, but ones that cut deep to the marrow of reality; the very real world in which we live.  To be honest, we (for the most part) live in harmony.  We go to work, we come home to our family, or we go out to dinner with friends.  Most people don’t even concern themselves with the very real possibility that a vicious assault lays just around the corner.

We all lack confidence, just in varying degrees.

As we “free climb” upwards from where we currently are [self-protection readiness] we must have a strong and sturdy grip [abililty] to change our state to one of: high intensity, strong-willed, 100% determined.  Our foothold to this climb is our confidence.

Believe me or not…it does not matter.  Somewhere within that skull of yours you understand that in order to effectively conquer a violent aggressor, the modern man or woman must find it within themselves to not only reciprocate the violence being done to them, but to break rules, to go against (in most cases) their religious/social/cultural beliefs.  What is right?  What amount of violence is right, if any?  At what cost?  What must be at stake for us to act in such a way?  All of these (and more) are important questions to ask yourself.

Most people (including myself) have a natural aversion to violence.

As a kid I trained in the martial arts so that I wouldn’t have to win through violence.  Everything was properly planned out, and when needed, I would respond with the same energy, skill and grace that my heros displayed on television and film.  I would always be in the moral right.  I would always be merciful.  I would always beat them with a calm, collected mind.  And I would walk away from battle without a scrape or bruise.  The sorry chap would never seek revenge or vendetta because of the fear of being humiliated twice over.

Luckily, I grew into a man.  And although I can still hold a smile to my “invincible youth,” I can easily decipher fantasy from reality.  Reality comes into play when play is wild and spontaneous.  Training for real world violence, therefore, should be conducted with as much zestful aggression as one wishes to have in the moment.  Punching a bag for the sake of punching amounts to very little.  It’s as if you were trying to drink up a lake with a fork.

I leave you with this question…

When violence becomes necessary… by this, I mean, when there is no other recourse but to fight for your survival, how might we know if we have what it takes?

My belief is that it rests on two key components: how you change your entire physiology to aid in your survival, and how we build our confidence through proper, situational, and realistic training methods.

Many martial artists insist on fighting fire with water.  But I strongly believe, and it is essential to know, that there are times when you must fight fire with fire!

¤

Please give your thoughts below.  Let me know if you disagree, and/or if you have something to add.

Michael Joyce

His Combative Profile

»»» click the picture above to visit a short interview of Coach Joyce in this month’s Skirt Magazine (Jan. 2011).

Our “Meditations On Violence”

Posted in Discussion Question, Products, REVIEWS, Violence with tags , , , , , , on January 20, 2011 by Combative Corner

A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence

Sgt. Rory Miller’s book (his website ), has been a popular read for those of us in the martial arts world.  Particularly those of us that teach self-protection and seek to understand the reality of violence (at least on an intellectual level) without having to seek the hazardous (potentially deadly) real-life experience of violence in-action.  While it is very true that many martial artist today (especially those teaching people how to survive) need a reality check.  Katas, technique, and even trying to condition ourselves for the “unknown” may be vain attempt to (as I put it) “feel comfortable in our own skin.”  While there are lots this book that I liked, there were some parts that I, still, am a little unsure about.  Below are three examples from the book that I would like there to be a discussion on. [click on the pic to find it on Amazon]

Please offer your comments below

(from pg. 6) –my comment in brackets

They (martial artists) teach self-defense and sparring and streetfighting and fitness and personal development, as if they are the same thing.  They aren’t even related.

[Not even related?]

(from pg. 66)

– When the physiology is kicked into higher, more animalistic ranges, the trained fighter is often unprepared. –

[Compared to an untrained fighter? Just because a trained fighter has “more to lose” I don’t personally believe (0r should I say, I’m not yet convinced) that an untrained person is “more” prepared.  I say this is highly individual.]

(from pg. 81)

-If you get an opportunity to leave, leave.  EVEN IF IT MEANS LEAVING YOUR FAMILY BEHIND.  Your information from the inside may make a huge difference in tactical operations.-

[To me, personally, leaving IS a good idea… if this is an episode of 24 and CTU has no leads.  The need to protect (especially in males) is software that cannot be overwritten (in most cases).]

What are your thoughts everyone?  The Lines are open….

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