Archive for Opinion

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

Luke Holloway. Here’s What I Really Think

Posted in Fighters, Martial Arts, Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , on August 14, 2013 by hybridfightingmethod

holloway profileA lot of people are interested in Luke Holloway these days?

As much as his royal manhawk is conquering the world right now on and off the internet, I see no legitimate reasons, from my perspective, to try and discredit him or otherwise publicize what negative things I feel about his character.

That being said,…

Here is what I really feel and think about Luke Holloway.

But who the fuck am I and what the fuck do I know about Luke?  I have had the pleasure of meeting Luke his first time to Canada. I picked him up at the airport in a borrowed car to accommodate for that man’s mammoth frame and cranium. He’s a big man, at 6’4″ and somewhere around 250-260 lbs.  Seeing him walk out of the terminal with his earbuds in and constant surveying gaze (he has cat-like awareness of the surroundings), our eyes met, smiles ensued, and we never stopped laughing since that moment years ago.

I will get to professional opinions in a moment, but my personal feelings about Luke are important to note, as well.

10 QUESTIONS WITH LUKE HOLLOWAY

luke and tj 2I think he is a wonderful human being.  I think he is funny and I think he’s energetic, charismatic and fun to be around.  He is also super smart.  That’s why I hang out with him and why we get along so well. I find his worldview refreshingly flexible and his mind open.  He has become as close as a brother and if everyone treated others the way he treated me there would be a whole lot more respect and peace in the world (not the least of which is the martial arts world).

Professionally, he was in the industry for some years before me and so serves as a blueprint for success to me.  Many people try and tell me how to run and market my international combatives company.  Luke is one of the few who are fully qualified to actually do so, and yet, he doesn’t unless asked.  He is a humble individual who’s level of respect for people is perfectly at home in Japan, where he spent many years.

Kennedy & Holloway Video

Kennedy & Holloway Video

Training with him, I find that he is open to learn and open to teach. a great partner to exchange ideas with. his mind is sharp and able to multitask well. the ability for complex and original thought means more to me, personally, than credentials, but Luke has some goddamn credentials. I remember being with my country’s national police heads (RCMP) in London, England watching the riot police (public order) train in 2012. I have many memories, some tangible, that will never be publicly seen or talked about. I’ve seen some of Luke’s, and he trains some serious dudes (and dudettes, too).

LUKE RETURNS TO TORONTO – AUG 31st & SEPT 1st

I can appreciate Luke’s system, also because I am a student of movement. I love studying movement.  With the southeast Asian kinetic contribution to RAW Combat, mixed with kinetic influence from tai chi, it is a system that really teaches you how to use your body as a weapon.  That is the same goal of the Hybrid Fighting Method that I teach – and that’s why I can confidently endorse his system to my students and instructors to broaden their knowledge.

holloway gunAlso keep in mind that he is the alpha (leader) of his organization (and an alpha in his day-to-day) and it’s in our evolutionary makeup as men to challenge the alpha for status within our social hierarchies.  This happens all the time, and Luke takes it with grace.

Outside of evolutionary psychology with respect to group dynamics, complaints he has received from within his organization can, in my opinion, be chalked up to personality differences and other personal schisms.  Something you must keep in mind with Luke is that he is still a young buck.  What I mean is he is a young guy full of testosterone and he likes to let loose.  This exciting, take-no-prisoners attitude often gets misunderstood as egotism.  If Luke does have an ego larger than his own head…..which, by the way, have you seen his fucking head?!..  I haven’t noticed. I have been surprised before by guys I called ‘brother’ who ended up being total dicks.  I haven’t yet witnessed that with Luke.

My experience has been nothing but positive.

All in all, Luke is a great guy, great martial artist, and a great instructor… and one helluva dancer!

T.J. KENNEDY
HYBRID FIGHTING METHOD
LUKE HOLLOWAY WORKSHOP (TORONTO) – AUG 31st & SEPT 1st.
Contact T.J. Kennedy via Facebook or website
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Roundtable Discussion 017: What is a “Fake”

Posted in Discussion Question, Miscellaneous, Philosophy, Roundtable Discussion, Teaching Topic with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2012 by Combative Corner


There always seems to be controversy, not just on the campaign trail, but in the dojo. On the internet, it’s an epidemic. And although this is a subject that may get pushed under the rug by most, none-the-less, it is an important subject to tackle. So, consider this tackled.

[related article: Wretched Hive…]

What makes someone a “Fake” and another person “Legit?”

JOYCE:  Alright “McLovin”, organ donor from Hawaii.

So you’ve sold yourself as another.  Whatever it takes to get ahead right? We all need to make a living or it’s all for the greater good, right?

Well, we know in our heart-of-hearts that this isn’t so.

In our lives we have choices.  We choose who we are, we are not just “what we are.” I honestly think that many people have a problem with this.  Perhaps they made a choice to be a person that they aren’t, perhaps they padded their resumé, they misled someone or allowed another person to get the wrong idea.  Whatever it was, deep inside yourself they know it’s wrong.  Now maybe they’ve left that in the past and decided not to dwell on the poor, immature or wrong choice.  We are imperfect.  Many of us are improving.  Let’s cut some people some slack.

In the world of Martial Arts, the term “Fake” gets thrown around a lot.  Some people go right into fact-checking (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), however the quality of a martial artist can never be (and should never be) attributed to his or her bloodline, martial art lineage, or popularity – but rather by their dedication to the art and practice and the content of their character.

Recently, there have been many comments that (as website founder & moderator) I had to delete due to meanness and vulgarity.  Other comments, although very negatively directed to certain individuals, I’ve allowed to be posted.  People have the right to make up their own minds about people, and although here in West it is customary to have a certification, I don’t hold any of this mandatory.  I’ve seen plenty of martial artists who have learned from books and tapes.  I’ve seen others who have learned from someone else of no particular lineage and who has not garnished the least amount of fame.

Not all of the forum and YouTube “Haters” are bad.  I DO believe they could be doing something much more constructive with their time, however, I believe that some -not all- all genuinely trying to warn others.  But learning is a process and if the falseness of the teacher is not blatantly apparent, someone may make the mistake of learning “wrongly”.   On the other hand, blame and ridicule is a process also and as Morihei Ueshiba 植芝 盛平 said,

“As soon as you concern yourself with the “good” and “bad” of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weakens and defeats you.”

My opinion may seem to be too lenient or forgiving for some.  But this is just the truth of who I am.  Take it in and accept it, or leave it and move on.

KENNEDY:  To me a fake in this context is someone who claims to be someone.or something they are not.

If they make objective claims that can be objectively measured, then “fake” or “legitimate” can be determined.

If their claims are subjective, even if outlandish, they cannot be measured and are a matter of perception.

For me, the issue is integrity. Just tell the truth about who you are and where you came from – and let your skill do the real talking.

VAUGHN:  To me a “Fake” would be someone that passes himself off as being well knowledgeable in a certain discipline or field but doesn’t have the credentials to back it up (e.g., certificates of rank, instructor certification, military experience, etc.) Having said that though, I would like to add the stipulation that what ever training or certifications held must be current.

If you know for a fact that a particular martial artists or so called self defense expert is holding seminars promising to turn people into unstoppable forces of nature with the ability to protect themselves and their families, all while not having a shred or documentation or real world experience to back up his claims, then yes by all means call that person a fake. However, if you simply don’t like his style of self defense, method of application or particular way of teaching, then that seems to be more of an issue with yourself then with the person you are calling a fake.

Are we allowed to do disagree on which style or technique we think is the most effective? Yes, and I think we should, that’s part of what makes the martial arts/self defense fascinating for me, but do so in an open discussion and with an open mind. If you do feel the need to label someone a fake at least be willing to back it up with some “proof” before you just throw it out there for everyone to see. Even better, take your complaints directly to the person in question and give them a chance to defend themselves if they are “legit” or stammer and stutter if they are indeed a “fake”.

LEE:  When you speak about the Martial Arts, it is an Art, in order to understand what is fake & what is not fake in the realm of Art, you must have an understanding of what Art is. Art is creative self-expression. 2pac was an Artist, Bob Marley was an Artist, they create something original. If you copy them, you are a fake. If you are not original, you are a fake. If you follow any system in the Martial Art & you are not self-expressive, you are a fake. If you plagiarize, you are a fake.

If you develop your own from your inner heart, you are real. Being fake is any expression that is not your expression. There are very few that are real, that is why the real stand out from all the rest. In Art, being real has nothing to do with certifications. Vincent Van Gogh may have painted something original, somebody that creates a carbon copy of his painting, is a fake. There is fake jewelry & there is real jewelry, an experienced jeweler will know the difference.

In order to determine the difference between fake Martial Arts & real Martial Arts, you must know what real Martial Arts is, if you do not know what real Martial Arts is, you will not know what is real & what is fake, what you deem as real may actually be fake. The stunts and “Martial Art” actors in the movie “Matrix” are fake, they do not live the Martial Way, they are practicing it for the time being for entertainment purposes. Bruce Lee & Jet Li are two individuals who lived & breathed the Martial Arts, it is their way of life.

All “Martial Arts” that do not involve the integration of the “Spirit” is fake. A certified Police Officer who is corrupted, is fake. He may have the badge, the gun, the vest, the car, & his police buddies backing him up, but he is still fake. All corruption of the pure is fake.

A real human being is hard to come by, most of what we deem as real, is actually fake. Most human beings are carbon copies, they are machines, they are not real, they are fake. If you are a fake human being, you cannot practice real Martial Arts. You can only practice real Martial Arts if you are a real human being. Being a real human being is not easy in modern society. The school will turn you into a fake. Your friends will turn you into a fake. Your girlfriend will turn you into a fake. Your employer will turn you into a fake.

You are afraid to express yourself, you are afraid to be yourself because you seek the approval of others, anytime you seek the approval of others, you are being fake. Being real, is just expressing yourself truthfully from within as is. Few people in this world will ever have the courage to express themselves truthfully. For the most part, when they do, they will be attacked by the society, because the society in itself is fake, all the fakes will greatly despise those who are real, they will seek to kill the real.

That is why Jesus, Socrates, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, 2pac, Bruce Lee, Gandhi, John Lennon, JFK, etc. were killed. The society hates the real, they want to kill the real, they want to turn everybody into fakes, & that is why you will rarely ever encounter a real Martial Artist, most of all of them will be fake.

LARA:  Making false statements. Having no traceable lineage. Claiming it is secret and such actions show a “Fake.”

I have respect for all arts.  I do not have any respect for “Fakes” as they do nothing but spread misinformation and run a cult of ego to fool others into some kind of hero worship.

For me this is simple. No real rank. No lineage. No good.

KUO:  Fakes are people who represent themselves as being more of an authority than they really are. They do not have the training or experience to back up what they are teaching. The worst type of fakes are those who knowingly disguise their lack of credentials and still pass themselves off as an authority. The less nefarious (but still problematic) fakes are the unwitting fakes: these are the people who don’t know that they can’t back up what they are presenting. The unwitting fakes are at least forgivable if they attempt to rectify their errors when they are called out.

The word “fake” gets thrown around a lot in the internet age. This has been both a good and bad thing. On one hand, the truly erroneous stuff gets shot down quickly. But on the other hand, the veil of internet anonymity draws out some people’s inner jackass. Without full perspective and substantive evidence, they make accusations against other people’s legitimacy and then interleave their accusations with personal attacks and insults. The keyboard converts people who might otherwise be civil and more reflective in a face-to-face interaction into quick-draw internet mud-flingers; in this manner, the attackers are themselves acting as fakes.

That we are even having a discussion about fakes is a reflection of a basic human failing: an inflated ego. For people to want to teach something that exceeds their competence levels means that they feel a need to stroke their egos and sense of self-importance. Likewise for the vitriolic keyboard warrior, accusing someone of being a fake without evidence or civility is akin to strutting around and beating one’s chest in the safety and comfort of one’s home; it’s a useless activity that only reinforces the attacker’s ego, but contributes nothing useful for anyone else.

Ultimately, the question of whether or not someone is a fake is not the most important consideration. Information is being freely shared. To borrow a Bruce Lee quote, we can “adapt what is useful [and] reject what is useless.” We can draw upon shared material to find resources to build ourselves up. Or we could make a choice to use the material as a source to tear others down. Personally, I prefer the constructive approach.

– Combative Crew

Israeli Defense Force Sergeant Praises HFM

Posted in Krav Maga, Miscellaneous, Styles, Videos with tags , , , , , , , on September 5, 2012 by hybridfightingmethod

In a recent interview with former Israeli Defense Force 1st Sergeant Naama Budin, T.J. Kennedy talks with her regarding Krav Maga and the Hybrid Fighting Method.  Listen to the interview below and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

“On the street, you’re on your own.”

T.J.Kennedy

Founder/CEO of the Hybrid Fighting Method

Sifu Lee on East vs West

Posted in Day's Lesson, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2012 by Sifu Freddie Lee

In the West, people love striving towards goals. The West is very extroverted. An entrepreneur can become rich simply by setting up goals for others to achieve. In the West people love to feel that inner pride for what they do. The organizer for the Chicago Marathon may not even be able to run the marathon himself, but he set up the event with the goal, he provides the medals & the money rewards. Now thousands want to join to try to reach the goal he has established. The organizer of a certain ring fight may not know how to fight himself, but he has arranged an event & established goals to achieve. Now thousands want to achieve this goal & even more are paying to watch. People will pay another person money so that, that other person will create a goal for him to achieve. That is what tournaments are all about.

Now in the East, we set our own goals to achieve, we do not look towards another to set a goal for us. When you come from the East to the West, you can then become the leader that sets the goals for those in the West to achieve. There is a lot of yang energy in the west, all they really need is to be guided in the proper direction. People simply have a strong wish to be recognized for doing things that they are good at. The West is not the way of the Tao, but the emphasis on Tao reminds the man with the Western mind to not forget, when you do not forget, it is much easier to come closer to a balance. It is interesting when you come from the east & you start to understand the Western mind. It is a mind with constant activity, constant movement. It does not want to sit still. Rather than forcing it to stay still, many times it is best to simply guide it towards a healthier direction & set it free.

Sifu Freddie Lee

[via FMK’s Facebook]

Roundtable Discussion 016: Favorite Videos

Posted in Discussion Question, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2012 by Combative Corner

For our 16th Roundtable Discussion I asked our Combative Crew,

“If you had to choose, what’s your favorite online video?”

Brandon Vaughn  |  Sanshinkai Karate

(Part 2) & (Part 3)

Johnny Kuo  | I Liq Chuan

Michael Joyce  |  GTS  / ChenCenter

Robert Lara  |  Four Winds Aikido

Freddie Lee  |  Freddie’s Modern Kungfu

T.J. Kennedy  |  Hybrid Fighting Method

-The Combative Crew

Sifu Lee on Giving & Pain

Posted in Day's Lesson, Miscellaneous, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2012 by Sifu Freddie Lee

I love giving, but the problem that I constantly encounter is that it teaches a person to become spoiled. For many years I have always had a problem with spoiling others. If you spoil others you do not teach them. They never learn how to wash a dish b/c you always wash it for them. They never learn to do their own laundry b/c you always do it for them. They never really learn to be self-sufficient b/c you have always babied them. People have a very hard time going backwards in life. You give them something they like, they will become very upset if you then take it away.

If you never gave it to them in the first place, they would not know how to be upset b/c they have not become attached. If you have never smoked before, it is easy to stay away. But if you have been smoking for many years, it will be hard to let go. We have all been so accustomed to the internet, if they take it away, it will cause pain for many. Understanding both sides is not easy. A child may have to go through many decades of life before he understands the actions of his parents in the past.

Sifu Freddie Lee

[via FMK’s Facebook]

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