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You, The Auto-Didact by Mark Hatmaker


Now, there’s a title that needs some explaining. Sounds like I’m way off track for Western combat study and, perhaps, being a bit pretentious but, due to a bit of creative bankruptcy I can think of no better way to label what it is we do as Western combat enthusiasts. Eastern arts, for the most part, have a built in hierarchy of adherence to lineage traditions.

In other words, “My Master was taught by this master and he was taught by…” and so on and so forth. Don’t get me wrong, direct lineage can be an excellent index of quality information transference but, it is not a guarantee of excellence. (Recall Joe Frazier’s son Marvis. Marvis’s boxing career seemed to be helped neither by the genetic lineage of his legendary father nor his father’s hands-on coaching.) Read More

There are so many examples of blind training, or blindfold training that the paltry examples below don’t even scratch the surface. Blindfolded Chi Sao [“Sticky Hands”] training among Wing Chun practitioners. Blindfolded disassembly and re-assembly of the M-16 by armed forces cadre. Blindfolded judoka and jiu-jitsu practice. Emperor Joseph I, challenging the young Mozart to Read More

So, my wife enters some paintings in the Country Fair and I’m flipping through the brochure and see among the Fair’s offerings a Demolition Derby, and right there in the small print is “Wanna drive?” The idea had never crossed my mind, but when the curiosity-devil beckoned my answer to “Wanna drive?” was a hale Read More

“The only fights you truly win are the ones you don’t have.“-Lee Child Keeping the above quote in mind, along with the fact that crime is a product of opportunity, we go a long way towards being “masters of self-defense” if we simply remove as many opportunities as possible from our behavior.

Today let’s have a look at a partially-discredited theory of crime-prevention that was proposed to work on the large-scale (cities, etc.) We’ll discuss the aspects that did and do, indeed, work. We’ll briefly ponder the unintended consequences of following “broken windows” to the extreme. Then we’ll wind this whole thing down discussing how the “broken Read More

When I was an Air Force Office of Special Investigations Counterintelligence Agent, I was stationed in Turkey for two years. While there I was performing what is called HUMINT which is Human intelligence or intelligence gathered by means of interpersonal contact, as opposed to the more technical intelligence gathering disciplines such as signals intelligence (SIGINT), Read More