Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Shopping Tips

From 'Muay Thai: Beyond the Ring"  - a look at holiday shopping and parking lot safety.

Many good points brought up, many applicable to all parts of our lives - not just during the holiday season.

One point to add  -if caught up in a flash mob of sorts, you may have to act the part of a mob member, to go with the flow of the crowd. Then move to the side and disengage from the flow of the crowd. Use guile and deception to get yourself to a position of safety.

Be safe this season, and always.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Empty Your Cup and Fill Your Tool Box

From the blog of SEAMOK: I have taken several of the parts out for inclusion here. For the whole article, please visit them at

"Within the world of self preservation through the usage of force you will find various opinions stemming from the many characters that make up this realm. On one hand you will have the firearm guys, on another you will have the martial arts guys. Both will come with a plethora of reasons why what they do is best.....

I am a firm believer in the tool box mentality when it comes to self preservation, the right tool for the right job. Where the problem lies with both the afore mentioned mindsets is in the lack of well roundedness. One must be able to perform at a high level in all aspects of self preservation through force continuum. For example, how does the individual with no empty hand combatives experience or training obtain his firearm (pistol) under duress? ....

"The rules of street combat apply here.
  1. The attack is ambush oriented
  2. The attackers intent is violence first
  3. The attacker is not alone
  4. The attacker is potentially armed
  5. The attacker will not stop
If one truly understands these 5 rules he or she will be able to construct an empty hand curriculum to help complete their toolbox, giving them a better chance of survival when it all goes south.

To fix this mess one must have the ability to shelve ego and start anew. I have done it as have many of my piers. To me it only makes sense. We are living in a time where people fly planes into buildings and attack innocent people just to build their credibility within their own ranks. 

Whether your a gun guy, an empty hand specialist or a knifer you owe it to yourself and to your family to build a better you and by doing so you will find that in essence it is all the same, just a different tool. The truth lies in the understanding and training of principles over technique. If one truly understands the principles of movement and motion technique will become infinite.

Do yourself a favor, become complete in all avenues of combatives (Edged, Impact, Projectile and Empty Hands) doing this you will find that no matter where the fight may go you are ready and by being ready survival now becomes a much easier task to fulfill.

Survival, its your right!

Mike Blackgrave
SEAMOK Tactical Solutions

Simplicity With Intent'

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Targeting, revisited

From the Self Defense Company - a short primer on targeting.

Basically, one of the aspects of self defense (or offensive actions taken in defense of self) is to hit hard and the strike vulnerable areas of the body.  You don't have to be a brain scientist or a rocket surgeon to figure this out.

If you are going to study to be a 'Master', then the knowledge of how, what happens and why medically of the target is important. For usage right now, a basic level of knowledge will suffice. It is more important to put the time into learning how to deliver the strikes to the proper areas with effect, and that is best done with actual practice time - time on the mats (ala the Target Focus Training methodology), banging at the Mook Jong and heavy bags, Muay Thai and Boxing pad work, etc.

In depth study (correlating acupuncture points to nerve plexus' and such) will enhance your knowledge and may  enable you to converse with like minded friends - but the bottom line is to hit the vulnerable areas hard. And as often as necessary.

I have been neglecting my Internet research as of late - no cool target graphics - so I'll leave you with this photo...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Omei Bak Mei DVD 1 now available!

From the folks at YKM Sweden in conjunction with Sifu Garry Hearfield. Saw the preview, and it looks good. Will review it here when I get a copy.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Improvised Weapons

Improvised Weapons: Rethinking the Paradigm for Improvised Defense

An article by George Mathies, posted on

One notable quote - "My thought was that too many people have watched the Bourne movies."

Almost any item can become a weapon, although some items (say jello, for istance) maybe not as effective as others (a hammer). The real heart of the matter comes down to mindset and will to use whatever is at hand to prevail. Think a mom in defense of her kids will hesitate to use the nearest object to pummel the attacker?

With improvised weapons, before actually picking up a hairbrush and practicing with it, take a look around. What items do you see, and how can you use them? How accessible are they? Would it be more efficient to attack the asshole/criminal with your natural (fist, forearms, feet) weapons first, and then try to access the comb you have shoved deep in your pocket for defense?

Just suggesting that the subject can be deeper than 'how can my credit card be used to disable the attacker'?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

2 interesting articles

Cleaning up my computer, here are two blog articles I bookmarked om my Google Reader.

From the folks over at ITSTactical: a nice article on getting the ladies in your life prepared.

And from FerFAL - a nice set of tips to help prevent crime (rather than react to it).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reality Check

Reality Check -, from the Expat Daily News blog for Aug 18, 2011.

Good article, along the same lines as what we try to stress here and at Yacht Security - be aware of your surroundings, don't succumb to paranoia and quit living.

Not much more needs to be said - but plenty more needs to be done.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Situational Awareness

Came across this post about Situational Awareness on Stratfor.

If the examples given in the article help you understand the concept better, or allow you to explain them to loved ones, it is well worth the re-posting.

Self-protection is not just fists, feet and conditioning the body. Mindset plays a very important part.

As an added benefit, if you are more aware, you will discover more wonderful things about the world around that you may have been missing.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The No Bull**it Guide To Self Defense For Ladies

The No Bull**it Guide To Self Defense For Ladies

Found this today, and feel it is quite to the point. Not just for ladies, either; for all who may feel the need for self protection.

He has written a companion piece (more for the boys out there) about fist fighting.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Been a while...

Sorry for the long time between posts here. Been busy with a new job, and all that stuff.

Still training, still doing TacFit Commando (just started the second month of my second run through). Seems to hit all the areas i want, just need to add in kettlebell work or pullups now and again. One of these days, I'll start in on the TacFit R.O.P.E routine - maybe in 8 months :-)

Feel free to email me at - let me know you are reading these random thoughts....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Two more posts from YKM Sweden

Actually, I think it is Warrior Body Buddha Mind, but I want to put in a plug for Christer.

First link is for the YKM lion dancers in Sydney

Second link is for a DVD release they are planning shortly - I recommend getting it (I will) as it will include some very fundamental aspects that pertain to YKM (Float, Sink, Swallow, Spit) and other Hakka arts.

Golden Praying Mantis Kung Fu

For the entire interview and the photos, visit the blog at Warrior Body Buddha Mind

Golden Praying Mantis Kung Fu
Interview with Sifu Garry Hearfield about the Golden Praying Mantis Kung Fu system

The following interview conducted with Sifu Garry Hearfield via e-mail and online chats sheds some light on the very rare Golden Praying Mantis Kung Fu.

Chris: What is the Golden Mantis?

Sifu Garry: The name is called Gum Tong Long meaning Golden Mantis or Golden Praying Mantis which is an internal martial arts system that seems to be of Buddhist faith according to Grandmaster Doo Wai. Gold in Chinese belongs to purity and is spiritual in essence, such as how alchemy turns lead into gold, this is what we are trying to perfect within ourselves in the Golden Mantis System.

Chris: What is its origin?

Sifu Garry: Unknown, only that it was handed down inside the Doo family and belongs to a Buddhist temple somewhere in China. I believe he said Goddess of Mercy or Kwan Yin temple in southern China but don't quote me on that. Possibly 200 - 300 years old, it has some characteristics of both the Nam Tong Long and the Bak Tong Long southern and northern Mantis.

Chris: What does Golden Mantis contain?

Sifu Garry: This mantis is very internal, uses the elements just like the insect itself connected to the earth but uses the sun and moon for its rest and feeding habits. It has a morning practice at sunrise with seated meditation and energy exercises and the Golden Mantis Hei Gung which has been closely guarded. According to Grandmaster Doo Wai this set contains many secret keys for health and internal power.

It also contains one long hand set with over 150 moves that is broken down and developed individually to express each hand or force. San Sau is broken down with pad and hanging bags to condition and understand the style. Two-man drills and body conditioning is trained also along with rolling bar and claw bags. It also has a healing side with its energy and Chinese Dit Dar therapies.

Chris: Does Golden Mantis have any weapons?

Sifu Garry: We teach two weapons, the staff and the double butterfly knives, it’s a small system but less is more in this case. I like smaller systems, means I can tear it apart and it’s not redundant in its forms!

Chris: What type of healing does it use?

Sifu Garry: It uses traditional Chinese medicine - Dit Dar but also has its own energy work that is unique to this mantis style.

Chris: How did you learn it?

Sifu Garry: I studied this through Grandmaster Doo Wai and he has allowed me to release certain information at certain times, this is the time for Golden Mantis. This system can be learnt very fast, only a few years, to be very efficient and will bring healthy results. Only took me two years to get it down due to my training in Yau Kung Mun and Bak Mei Pai so was an easy transition. I’ve been doing this system now for the last 6 or 7 years with other information that he has selflessly shared with me, he is a man of much knowledge indeed.

Chris: What would you like to see happen with the Golden Mantis System?

Sifu Garry: Well I would love for it to live on and never die, it’s a true treasure with all my Kung Fu systems I teach, of course, but right now I want to push and promote this very rare style. It’s hard to find dedicated students, even harder to find dedicated and respectful students. We’d rather it not be taught at all to people that will bring it shame or disrespect than to have it out bastardized so to speak. I guess sooner or later it will happen regardless right?? Hahaha sad but true!!! If we can get a nice following and later teachers out there teaching this healthy martial art system with quality and not so much quantity I think there is a chance this system may survive.

Chris: What fighting methods does it contain?

Sifu Garry: It is a close to middle range system, that uses the phoenix-eye fists, claws, elbows, knees, forearms, finger strikes, like most fighting systems. Also has clinch and standing arm locks and submissions. Does not contain ground fighting but added to would make a super MMA system. It uses many trapping and sticking, smashing and destruction techniques.

Chris: What is it you the love most about this system?

Sifu Garry: The Golden Mantis Hei Gung, it’s a real treasure, the core of this system hence the name, very basic set but powerful with its symbology and meaning, breathing patterns and understanding of Yau Kung forces within the body. The set helps cultivate energy through its standing practice which alone is excellent for health regardless of system. It distributes the energy through blocking of energy points in the body with certain postures and movements that resemble the insect itself. To wake up to the sunrise and embrace the force that gives life to all living things on this planet makes this system worth more than gold or wealth. This system is a spiritual path of a warrior monk and I can see why!

Chris: Is there anyone teaching this system?

Sifu Garry: To my knowledge, no, it is only because of my training over the years with Grandmaster Doo Wai that I was picking it up and never spoke of anyone that I know of in BFP family. Although I could be wrong!! He appointed me the BFP representative as well for other Doo family treasures such as Omei Bak Mei Pai, Omei Fo Jeung (Burning palm) and many more methods. I still have a lot to master myself but rather than keep this secretive, he has asked for me to release it to the public now. I know you have been doing this for some years now; maybe you like to share some of your own views on Golden Mantis?

Chris: Thank you very much for taking the time to answer all these questions Sifu!

Sifu Garry: Your welcome brother, we all here for a good time and learning the ancient ways can only make us better human beings. Kung Fu is a life style, not a wishes to the family!

Colour Codes of Awareness

From the folks at Low Tech Combat

'The Colour Codes of Awareness can be used as a model or system for conceptualis just how we should actually apply awareness. Many people espouse that we should always maintain awareness of our surroundings and be on the lookout for warning signs and indicators that warn of a person about to possibly attack. But it can still be unclear as to how we should go about being ‘aware’.'

'All you need to do is start off at yellow and avoid white. Its that simple.

Yellow then orange then red. Hopefully that is all. That is how awareness works and how awareness equals avoidance.'

It is ironic, the more aware we are, the less likely we are to use the skills we have developed over the years. Ironic, but in a good way.

Train hard, train smart, but do train.

How to deal with Flash Mobs

Some great words of advice in this article from The Modern Survivalist -

'The two most common rules, the ones that people that get hurt or killed by them fail to remember are 1) Don’t get involved with them! 2) Get away from them as fast as possible.'

Sometimes even a Master of Kung Fu needs to know how to beat a tactical retreat.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dojo Rat

Just a quick note - fellow blogger Dojo Rat has written a piece on the ComTech Stinger, wel worth the price of admission (follow the link).

Stop by his site and do some reading, always a pleasure.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

TacFit Commando

Just finished the ninth month of TacFit Commando - a fitness routine developed by Scott Sonnon and the folks at rmaxinternational.

Ii was initially a bit put-off by the advertising campaign, but with a little research decided to give it a try. There is an excellent primer on the programs at Herman Chauw's blog.

I stuck through the program through last years Holiday season, a bit of traveling and have come out the other side feeling fit, more agile, and lost a couple of inches around the waist. A friend has lost 40 pounds since starting in January (although he also watches his diet much better than I and runs quite a bit).

My next 'exploration' will be TacFit ROPE - but I'll wait a month before starting. Some schedule changing days/weeks ahead next month, so I'll train the exercise techniques from ROPE and have them down pat prior to committing to the course.

In sum, I feel the TafFit Commando routine will help any martial artist, with your specific art's conditioning exercises incorporated into the training schedule.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Been busy with work, travel, this and that.

Just finished the 8th month of TacFit Commando, starting the 9th (and last) iteration later this week. After that, I may try to incorporate TacFit ROPE into the training routine.

Still reviewing my sets, training some combative drills with friends. Hard to find the time to train with others; training solo I can make the time (somewhere).

A good friend has been doing TacFit Commando, and he has lost about 35 pounds - but he also runs like a fiend, has been eating good diet, etc. I have lost about 10 pounds, but mostly have lost about an inch and a half around the waist.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hotel Security

Hotel Security - a post on FerFal's blog by Rick Davis. Lots of common sense advice.

An additional item that I consider good to have for hotel rooms is a fairly cheap motion sensor, battery operated, that provides either LED or LED with a loud doorbell type chime - I picked one up for less than $20. It provides just a little bit of warning and distraction to an unwelcome guest, and will wake you to deal with the problem.

Stay safe.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Re-post from James Keatings pages..

Mr. Keating has posted a nice observation on his nearly daily updated page MAAJAK World
the following -

"Have you noticed a near complete BLACKOUT of news from Japan? Why do you think this is? Have you noticed the news that does exist is always double-talk, confusing and difficult to really grasp? Vague bullshit is what it is. Things are very, very bad in Japan - Beyond what any of us can comprehend. Because this involves the future of life on this planet it falls beyond our chronistic vision capabilities (aka "short sighted assholes that we are). Time is truly a slippery slope when one is focused only upon the present. The terror of today shall soon enough turn into to the sorrow of tomorrow. By then too late to shift the flow of evil things and they shall have their way on this plane of existence.. Have ya noticed the blogs, websites and articles that have all suddenly popped up? Each and every one appears to be of help, claims to be Connected. How so? Mostly psy-ops, mostly its the fabled THEM of screen and legend. To THEM this is all an interesting science experiment. Dis-information and fear is their trade. There is this one Youtube cat called "Dutch".. man, what a scammer, look at the comments.. pleas from reader-believers to give them the real info, real help.. but that DUTCH he just keeps them on a string and watches'em dance while he claps his hands. Otherwise he WOULD help those who ask by providing real data-help over the shit he spits forth. The list of these game playing attention seekers is too long to note. Just be aware of their presence and agendas... take their crap w/ a grain of salt... disbelief has power - just as believing does. Just Tools / use'em."

I feel that a large part of self-defense/self-protection/self-preservation involves using our intelligence and intuition to guide us away from hazards in life - use the gift of discernment, and research your subjects well. Don't take all information from one source as the only 'facts'. Avoid the lazy road of 'cultism' - you are your own leader. As President Reagan famously put it - 'Trust, but verify'.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why are more Police being killed

Excellent article from George at MerCop

Why are more police being killed?
from Modern Combative Systems Blog by George

Over the last several days, I have seen this question posed on TV and the Internet. What follows is my opinion on the answer.

Many things have changed in law enforcement over the years, but one thing has remained the same. At some point the officer has to put cuffs on the bad guy and take him to jail, and some will kill to keep themselves from going back to jail. Of course for some, it is a premeditated conscious decision that they are willing to kill an officer. But in most cases, I believe, it is just a spontaneous violent reaction, in a long, long line of them. Our bad guys still grow up in a violent world where you fight for everything. On the other hand, more than ever before, we are getting officers who have never been tackled, punched in the face, or even had the breath knocked out of them by another human. This lack of inoculation to violence is coupled by the strick guidelines for people who wish to pursue a career in law enforcement. These days a defending of yourself in middle school will likely get you suspended or worse. More suppression of the natural reaction to defend yourself even when attacked.

Fast forward and the same person decides a government job would provide a decent pension after 20-25 years of age. Being free of anything in their background that would lead anyone to believe they have a violent streak, they are hired and sent to the academy.

The goal of a police academy, in theory, is to teach the police officer everything they need to know to be effective and to defend themselves and others. The reality is that they have dedicated themselves to protecting themselves from liability, instead of protecting the officers from the dangers they will face. It is not the fault of the academy staff, but rather bosses and politicians.

Firearms training is vital to the police officer, but the vast majority of situations begin with physical contact between the officer and suspect. Most systems for arrest & control or defensive tactics taught in academies become inside jokes due to their lack of effectiveness in real situations. Much of this training relies on pain compliance which is all but worthless on people under the influence of drugs and alcohol, or even against someone with an adrenaline dump. So now they bring no skills with them to the academy, and pick up techniques. So what happens is that they become dependent of things like pepper spray, the Taser, and the gun. It is no wonder why most allegations of excessive use of force involve the use of weapons besides firearms. None of which they are likely to have in their hands when inside grappling range with a suspect. Then one day they encounter a suspect who fights to kill them so they can walk away, instead of all the others who fought so they could run away.

These problems are best dealt with in in-service training, but sadly much of that time is taken with courses on cultural diversity or how to use the new computers in the car. To the bosses who are reading this, you need to also understand that realistic training for your officers will result in loss time injuries. Common sense and prevention will keep these to a minimum. But you cannot prepare for combat without incurring some bumps and bruises.

The other side of the coin is that good solid police who meet confrontation head on and don’t hesitate to use appropriate force, sometimes faster than their peers, are singled out by supervisors. Sooner or later even the most dedicated officer cannot ignore the fact that every time they use force it brings criticism. Eventually this leads to hesitation, and hesitation kills.

So to all those who are wringing their hands over why police are being killed, spare me. Just accept the fact that police need to know how to be effectively violent in the blink of an eye. This officer is not a danger to the citizen. He is an obstacle to the criminal who wishes to harm him and those whom he protects.

Self Analysis by Chirontraining

Here's a great piece, summing up a few thoughts I have nicely:
Self Analysis
A quote - 'So what are the stupid life choices? Almost all social violence happens in four kinds of places:...'

Just started (on another long flight) a book by Mark Hatmaker - No Second Chance. He also stresses awareness and attitude as keys in avoiding the use of violence in your defense. I will review it later (probably next month).

Until then, train hard and train smart.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Stinger post

Comtech stinger

A useful 'pressure point massage' tool, relatively innocuous, low profile (esp. the clear version in low light) - I recommend getting a few for friends and loved ones. The Stinger also helps to keep those pesky keys from going missing. A great alternative to holding keys in the fist (which can damage your hand as much as an attackers face).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Long time between posts...

Been busy with career change, studying, home stuff, training, etc., etc.

Here are a couple of cool links for you.



From a YKM brother in the Philippines - with the world situation, maybe we need to look at 'self-defense' in a larger light. I do, some people I look up to do (thank you, Mr. Keating) - it's a dynamic, changing world. Don't be afraid to expand your mind, do some research. The old ways work, and can be adapted to modern times.

Drop me a comment, let me know what you would like to see here on the blog.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Sorry for the sparse updates - been a bit busy (as always).

Just finished up my 6th 28-day cycle of TacFit Commando, a bodyweight program from Coach Scott Sonnon and the folks at Rmaxinternational. Three more to go, then I will probably re-start the program, incorporating the TacFit ROPE program into it.

The program has worked well for me, and also for a friend that started about three months ago. I feel it has focused my training, helped me to keep motivated, and works most of the fitness/health areas I need. I will add the ROPE program to ensure the 'pulling' muscles get worked, which is absent most bodyweight only programs. Or I could just go do more pull ups....

Here is a blog I ran across extolling the virtues of the Circular Strength Training (CST) - If you stop by, let him know how you came across his site (that would be because I linked you to him).

In the latest Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine, there are two articles of note - one is about how Hung Gar was used to form the basis of the Nan Quan Wu Shu set (forgive my spelling), and an article on Hakka family gung fu styles, which form the basis of much of Yau Kung Mun.

If you are interested in learning Yau Kung Mun, drop me a line and we can start a discussion regarding the issue. I am looking for serious students.

And a belated Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jack LaLanne

Eight Lessons from the life and work of Jack LaLanne

Jack was an inspiration for all involved in the fitness world. Sad to see him go.

There are numerous sites covering his life and passing, I thought the one linked above was very good, humble and to the point.