Thursday, February 4, 2016

More Deescalation Skills...

PERF, a respectable police research group has issued a report (see link below) and within, these suggestions pushing for more police deescalation skills.

Force Science (a different college group) sums it up this way: 

"Among other things, PERF urges that agencies nationwide adopt policies and practices that would:

• Hold officers to a more stringent standard for using force than the "objective reasonableness" test of Graham v. Connor.

• Require officers to "ask themselves, 'How would the general public view' their actions in a threatening encounter.

• Strictly prohibit "shooting at or from a moving vehicle unless someone in the vehicle is using or threatening deadly force by means other than the vehicle itself."

• Explore the use of a Critical Decision-Making Model based on practices in the United Kingdom for determining an appropriate force response.

• "Eliminate from their policies and training all references to the so-called '21-foot rule'" regarding suspects armed with an edged weapon.

• Train officers that "automatically moving to their firearm" when an electronic control weapon fails is inappropriate.

• Make de-escalation "a core theme" of training.

Applying its recommendations across the board "in a comprehensive manner, and not in a piecemeal or haphazard way," will be costly, PERF says, but will "increase officer safety, as well as the safety of community members."

Click here for the PERF report

I have not scrutinized each point one by one. But this drum beat is a never-ending drum beat. ALL cops since before I started and when I started in 1973, and every day since, were always supposed to be  nimble, super, psychologists. We are supposed to work communication miracles. I think I could probably write an essay on each PERF point, though, as many ideas flashed through my head as I looked over each suggestion.

One interesting point? -  
"Eliminate from their policies and training all references to the so-called '21-foot rule'" regarding suspects armed with an edged weapon." 

This is interesting conclusion and has a debatable effect on all training programs that love to flag the "21 foot rule." (I personally think each knife confrontation is situational)

Another interesting point -
"Explore the use of a Critical Decision-Making Model based on practices in the United Kingdom for determining an appropriate force response."

The U.K. does not live in a gun-filled world like the USA does. But, the circle-jerk, rat race continues. Australia just adopted a less tolerant, USA police policy of "pull and shoot faster" when police are confronted by weapon-bearing situations. See the circle-jerk. 

Force Necessary TV! Many video clips 

Knife Stress Quick Draws

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Five Minute Rule for Learning

The Five Minute Rule
Have you heard about the Five Minute Rule? It goes like this. 

     "If someone shows me a fighting tactic or technique, and I can't learn it in five minutes. Its worthless to me. Or, if I show someone something and they cannot learn it in five minutes, its worthless." 

     It is a rule that declares if a move is too complicated and too hard to learn it should be forgotten. We do have a 2 minute egg and 4 minute mile and now a five minute fight technique.

      This often gets quoted and I mean to say, I agree with the idea in general, conceptually to some extent. I get the premise. In the same way that I think and say "fighting is more like checkers and less like chess."

     But, it is situational. For example, there have been times I have shown to a group, say, a jujitsu-like move and the group, as though it was struck with a contagious brain disease, simply failed to "get it." A move all others get pretty easily. I scratched my head watching them struggle, while for years other groups have caught onto the idea and movements very quickly. So the five minute rule depends on the person? And, or then the individuals in the group? Perhaps a new "Group-Dependant, Five Minute Rule" is in order? Perhaps?..

     Learning, grasping it and then using it is different, in this world of perishable skills. Being "good" at doing something is different than seeing and "learning" it's concept in 5 minutes.  

     But I do sometimes wonder. Who came up the "five-minute" part. Why FIVE minutes? Why not 10? Or 20? Is it just a casual expression? An arbitrary figure? Surely there is no cognitive science, neurological and biological to that selection. Maybe some of the best stuff may take all of six minutes and 14 seconds?

     That is why I never use a 5 minute rule, or any rule in any discussion.  I prefer -

"fighting is more like checkers and less like chess,"   To sum such things up. 

Minute watching? Not so much.

Force Necessary TV! Many video clips 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Who, What, Where, When, How and Why.” Part 1 or Level 1

     This blog itself is called “Who, What, Where, When, How and Why.” The phrase was first presented to me in the Army military police academy in the early 1970s. It was a checklist on how police officers should write a report. Answer those questions, big and small. But later I learned that a detective must further answer these questions, and a prosecutor must delve even deeper. You never know what weird little thing becomes vitally important in a trial. 

     Then I learned I could really apply all the questions to training objectives, and then…to ALL phases of life. Yes! I could certainly apply it to self defense, training and protection. And also…to buying a house. Getting married. Even trying to get to and use a neighborhood ATM safely. Even planning a military invasion like D-Day. Body guarding the president? Answer these W and H questions as a framework.
     I have used this Ws and H idea for about 25 years now as a spinal cord and mainstay of my personal protection jobs and my training courses. I introduce the Ws and the H in level one of all my training programs to set the stage for all subsequent levels. Others have gotten on this “Ws and H” band wagon too, certainly everyone I have instructed. But some believers I haven’t instructed personally, but have read me or seen my films - so - some were inspired by me. Some were inspired by me and just won’t admit it. Others found it by themselves. You know who you are. Still, few beat this important drum hard like I do. I didn’t invent it. I just use the hell out of it. You should too.
     Using it really takes about three rounds, three passes though, to really cover the questions well enough, because you realize you need to jump back to a previous W to answer the next W and so on. And, you certainly need the latest, unbiased, solid intel to evaluate your answers.
     With the who, what, where, when, how and why, survival and preparation questions, two variations are important to consider.  First, all have “duality” answers. 

By duality I mean a “you” and “him” duality. Or an “us” and “them” quality. The classic idea of dualism is really a two-fold division in several spiritual, religious, and philosophical doctrines. Confusing sometimes, but at times this idea is the best way to properly explain the diverse aspects of complicated life.
     Take the duality of first “Who” question for example. You must answer “who are you?” and “who do you think you will be fighting?”
Macro and Micro/Big and Small
The second variation covers micro and macro answers. The answers can be big as in concepts or small as in very detailed and specifics. An example of that? “What” will he do? He will rob you. “What” will you do? Stop him, for the macro, or big plan, big picture. Then move down on to smaller specifics such as if you move here, precisely what will he do next? The micro.
     Another example is - when I ask you the big questions like, “when do you think you might be mugged?” You might answer with something big like, “at the ATM.” Good answer. Big answer to the big question. But the “when” question has many little ‘whens “ to it also. Little whens that are important to counter-tactics and survival. Like - when does he step in too close to you? When does he actually pull and show his gun? When does he actually turn to leave?
      Why are the little questions also worth mentioning here? All fighting is situational and positional. The big "when" question is the situational part. The little "when" questions are the small positional parts. A lot of fight training starts with the situational and then eventually concerns itself with positions. These precise answers, the small and little physical steps of the enemy are important when planning to fight or run for your life.
     All these “who, what, where, when, how and why” essays to follow are about getting a working knowledge of problem solving.
Coming soon… The "Ws and H" part 2: The First W Question – The Who?

The Ws and H are discussed in this set
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Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Quiet Gun

    I get a little sick of this short sighted, bias, meme going around, regurgitating by flippant little, half-baked, emotional, detached from reality airheads. Saw it again this morning and it caught me at a bad moment, I guess. Here's the one that fired me up a bit today.

     Recently in the USA, in Indiana, two dudes home-invaded a residential house and raped and murdered a pregnant wife. Much scuttle passed around the the next few days after the arrests about how we all wished that the wife was armed with a firearm and could have killed these bastards. Wishful thinking.

     Then, along came some little dip-shit, English crank with long hair and a hippy attitude who broke into the conversation to report that

"if the wife had a gun in her home, she would probably have 
killed herself before the crime"

     Because? Because of the the above stupid stats he fell instantly for in his own bias brainwashing. You know what, bubba? The woman was actually killed. She and her unborn baby were brutally murdered anyway. Without any fighting chance. Even this English crank would like a gun in that last moment if this were happening to him or his wife. If he wouldn’t? He would be a complete idiot.     

      I only mention this Brit here because these study numbers have reached the rest of the world, further black-balling USA gun people us crazed lunatics. So, much of the world has been subjected to this little study. I wonder...

       - precisely define "likely."
       - precisely define "acquaintance."
       - what are the exact years of this study? Since the dawn of man? 1999 thru 2002?
       - does it include gangland, inner city violence, which distorts everything?

     Lets see some facts now.

       - 340 million people in the USA.
       - Over 320 million guns here.
       - About 140 million households, guess the 2015 US Census for 2015.

     Lets do the math on are we all not dead yet? How? Shouldn't half of us be dead by now? Ohhh, wait, there's that word "likely."

       Likely? I do think the New England Journal numbers are correct too, but In a very small "snapshot" way and in an incomplete way in terms of the big picture. If these numbers were extrapolated out to the entire country, over many years, half of us would be dead, or nearly all of us. But then, we fall back to the word "likely."

     Likely? Here's a stat. The quiet gun stat. We are a gazillion times more likely not to do anything at all with a gun we have in our home. 300 plus million guns - guns and guns and guns sit quietly in a million and a half of homes, of hundreds of millions of people, every day, year after year. Years. Lifetimes of quiet. Generations of quiet. Ever think of that gigantic stat that doesn't fit into short-sided, liberal bias? Its called...the big picture.
      Also, no one can? Or cares to? To fully count the times the presence of guns have stopped crime. How many crimes? How much violence will "likely" be stopped? Since the dawn of man? 1999 thru 2002? Remember that the US Department of Justice put out a stat a few years ago that the presentation of a gun, or knife, scared criminals off about 67% of the time. 67%! I believe there are many more. You can't successfully record all the stopped crimes. Interrupted crimes. Scare-offs. A "get lost."

     Oh, I could go on...don't get me started. But anyway...Chris Reinholt reminds us that this study is:

"the famous Kellerman study. This picture cites the New England Journal of Medicine to give it an air of authority, but it's actually a study of only King County, Washington, using data from 1978-83, published in 1986."

     Somehow it has become a hippy favorite to distort reality and push their limp cause.

     Dear Cupcakes. I hope someday you realize how tiny and off-base this little study is in your desperate arguments. Take on lung cancer and car crashes.

Force Necessary TV! Many video clips 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Back of the Head and Neck Strikes

     Cracking somebody on the back of the head or neck. We all, by some instinctual common sense know that smacking somebody with really hard blasts on that area has a stunning effect. I knew this. But many years ago, for some reason it came home to me more at a Tim Tackett JKD seminar, when Tim highlighted this strike, stopped and talked about how it was used in a Marine Corp fighting course, etc. Nicknamed the “Gerber Strike” (because you would be eating Gerber Baby Food for a week or two after being seriously hit there) it seemed to sink in for me at that moment as a serious tool to use. You know - those “aha” moments.

      So, aside from the Austin Powers Judo Chop, the Napoleon Solo Judo Chop and the infamous internet "Ninjer Judy Chop," what of the power and the glory of the “Gerber Strike?”

      When I evaluate a move, I run it through two filters, and I am being very generic here and not splitting hairs.

Filter 1: Have I seen it in the UFC? This is important. These folks are going full bore, full bear, evolved to win (yeah, there are rules, more on that next) and if you see it done successfully several times, with full out hate and speed? That matters.

Filter 2: Should I even use the UFC to evaluate a move? Sometimes the UFC kinda doesn’t count in an evaluation.

      Which leads us to the old UFC rules thing, "legal/illegal" debate, which I do not want to tear that crap-storm open. I do not. Overall, I did find it interesting that the UFC grapples with the legality “back of the head” area strike. It is so serious that they worry about this strike, even just sneaking it in or doing it by accident. (see below link with some interesting definitions. Oh, and in boxing, striking the back of the head is also illegal and one definition of the term "rabbit punch" (see "protest" link below). But the MMA/UFC and self defense world, sans the bulbous boxing glove, have palms, topside hammer-fists and the top and bottom of forearms to consider.

      Then, check out this Bas Ritten’s video dissertation in the link below for use.

      I have decided that the back of the head and neck shot, the “Gerber Strike” is a major self defense tool, standing, kneeling and on the ground. More on those applications in the usual seminars I do. Years ago, I have put this strikes in the Hammerfist and forearm strike modules.
And, just as an aside, this part of the head often hits furniture and the ground, etc, when a person is knocked down. They may not be knocked out from the blow, but may be knocked out (or killed?) when their heads crashes into the next thing.

Check out these (rather subdued color, but really here!) links:

 To be or not to be, the UFC and the back of the head and neck strike, click here 

The Bas Rutten Favorite Hits Video Clip, click here

Boxer protests rabbit punch, click here

Michael Keller checks in: "It's a great strike and one I favor if you can get it. An instructor of mine years ago demonstrated it on me with probably 10% of his power and it brought me to my knees and caused a stunning effect. I can imagine a full power shot would be devastating. The target area was the base of the skull between the spinal cord and ear. I like it."

Sifu Tim Tackett at work

Email: Hock at 
Force Necessary TV! Many video clips

Thursday, December 10, 2015

This 2016 Will Mark 20 years for the SFC

20 Years.

Did you know that 2016 is the 20th anniversary of our SFC – the corporate name Scientific Fighting Congress? The umbrella in which the Force Necessary courses, etc are under?


Though, still a police detective, I started helping out and sometimes teaching classes in 1989. It was the big mix of classes. JKD. Filipino. Thai. Aiki-Jitsu. But in 1990, I inherited the “school” from a disappearing partner. But, I didn’t really start officially traveling and doing seminars until about 1996 under my own and new official name. The official kick off year for the SFC program was 1996. By 1997, I closed the local school. Too busy! In 1996 we were down to one local, Denton, TX class on Wednesday nights. Being gone on the weekends, which required traveling on Friday and sometimes Monday, and with international gigs, racing home and teaching on Wednesday nights was just too much. It became all too consuming. 20 years later, I still have no school. I just travel to about 13 countries a year.

So, next year, in a week, is the 20th official year of the SFC. I am hoping to hit some of the 20 year-old locations with a party hat. The first being with Dave Roth in:

Vero Beach, FL on January 9, 10.

Then official 20ths in

Jim McCann’s in New Jersey in March 5,6 . 
Bryan Stevenson’s in Missouri on April 30, May 1 .
Raffi’s in Rhode Island later in the year.  
Los Angeles.

Denver, CO.

(Florida - 1996. Dave to the right. Steve Vaughn of Michigan to the left.)

The 1990s with Roth's Florida Karate Academy. They would rent out the Rec Center in Vero Beach. Now Dave's school is giant and we all fit in there.

There has been some talk about one BIG 20 Year bash somewhere in Dallas/Ft Worth, but you know, we are all so spread out around the world, I can’t imagine pulling one big one deal off. Best I travel. I am feeling kind of retrospective about it all, so I might write a few pieces about it all next year. Waxing nostalgic (and what an odd phrase that is.)

So far since 1996, I have taught in, and probably each one way more than once in:
South Africa
England/Scotland/Ireland (the U.K.)
New Zealand
Qatar ( and in "southwest Asia")
The Philippines

Force Necessary TV! Many video clips 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

"Fight Athleticism" - To Fight Criminals and Enemy Soldiers

     One thing I wrestled with my whole “martial” life, starting back in 1972 with Parker Kenpo on up to today to some extent, is the very question of why exactly do I do martial stuff at all. What was the reason, “THEE” reason I did all that? Because, whether I fully realized it or not during those beginning times, there was always a sense of discomfort. A lack of reality focus. A misdirection in the systems I studied. (And by the way I was no little kid back then. I was like eighteen or nineteen years old. Back then, there were nary a child allowed to do this stuff.) I asked myself, "is this really, real fighting?" I was assured it was and the demonstrations looked rough. But the whole motif confused me. 

     My first, real taste in trying to understand this confusion  was when basic training, US Army instructors in 1973 would say, “this is how they will try to kill you.” Then, the  military police academy had similar phrases and one time, one instructor said, “this is how they will try to kill you Saturday night.”

     Saturday night? You mean this Saturday night? This really caused me to pay much closer attention to the instruction. And in both courses, they taught actual attacks used by the local enemy or the local criminal. They advised us that when we got to our assigned stations there would even be more training on how the locals worked and assaulted us. It was also the first time I heard the phrase “who, what, when, where, how and why,” in conjunction with police work. Who is coming after me on Saturday night, anyway? What will they do exactly? Etc, etc  on the ”Ws and H” questions I still use today. And what about Wednesday nights too? Can’t forget them.

     But, I found that most of my martial arts life, martial arts in general, minus this clarity and full of one-off materials I did not really need on the Saturday nights of my life. There was plenty of extra stuff, trappings so to speak, dogma. Rules. So much…snatching of the pebble. And system worship and system-head worship.

     I kept studying different ones. Many martial artists back then were also looking for the next, best thing. Searching. I was. Trying to find the closest thing to reality. We jumped ships, we looked around. I am not really interested in self perfection as a main motive. I am not interested in “art for art sake” as any main motive, nor other esoteric and abstract pursuits. I was interested in those Saturday and Wednesday nights, first and foremost, especially as a cop looking to survive and win.

     This dissatisfied feeling kept on. But, in the mid 1990s, I started defining my problem, my neurosis, my dysfunctional family relationship with the martial arts. I decided that:

     “We really fight enemy soldiers and criminals. Sometimes we escape. Sometimes we contain them. Sometimes we injure and maim them. Sometimes we kill them.”

     That was that. Bingo. A motto. Mission statement. A commandment I could live around. Work around. Fit it all together in. I could build a mission around. I could build courses around. And, if you or I messed around in other martial arts? Found a hobby? I could place it in a proper “support’ perspective. Plus, I still am hunting around for good stuff I could use and stuff worthy of teaching to other people on this same path. Drills, exercises, fighting, whatever.

     The MA world also matured around me too. Mixed martial arts. And now the MMA of today is better than yesteryear, better than the MMA of recent decades where people just kept adding on full arts like suits in a closet. I mean the UFC’s version of MMA today, I guess is the best way to describe it. There is much material and experience that is useful. UFC/MMA has evolved beyond the collection of complete, individual martial arts, and I use the word evolved in its truest sense. Evolved to survive!

     The most modern, evolved MMA can’t and don’t and won't waste much time doing abstract things. If you are going to study fighting for survival or otherwise, time and grade spent in today’s MMA (boxing, kick-boxing, ground WITH ground n’ pound) is a good idea. Boxing is great, but it can’t exist alone. Kick-boxing is great too but it can’t exist alone. BJJ wrestling and Catch is great but they can’t exist alone. Not in theory. Not in practicality. The big picture is the smart mix. And the survival mix of “hand, ”must also include “stick, knife, gun” as primary, platforms. Oh, but need I add - overall athleticism too! Sheer athleticism can solve a lot of problems and cover over some technical mistakes. Let's be even more specific about this - Fighting Athleticism.

Here is a collection of definitions for athleticism:
“Athleticism” (Noun) The state of being an athlete, or of taking part in athletic events. A show of athletic prowess, physically active and strong; good at athletics, involving the use of physical skills or capabilities, such as strength, agility, coordination or stamina

Let’s add the term “fight” or “fighting” to the above description of athleticism and see what it sounds like:
“Fight Athleticism” (Noun) The state of being a fighting athlete, or of taking part in fighting athletic events. A show of fighting athletic prowess, physically active and strong; good at fighting athletics, involving the use of physical fighting skills or capabilities, such as fighting strength, fighting agility, fighting coordination or fighting stamina

     Sounds good to me. Building time, grade and athleticism. You know, I don’t regret my time and grade experimenting too much through these years since 1972. An old Green Beret I know once said, “most real bad asses have a black belt in judo or karate hanging in their closet. Hidden away.” And, if you study military and espionage history, you will find that all the major Cold War agents and spies had mentions in their dossiers that they took boxing, or karate or jujitsu, and had “good pain tolerance.” (Remember years ago Jujitsu was a much broader study and involved a lot of stand-up fighting too, not the wrestling of today. Karate was different also. Judo remains Judo.)

     When I see something complicated in the martial arts today, as in silats for example, or other systems, too much flash, even some super-complicated BJJ - as it too sometimes flies off its rocker, I know I can’t and shouldn’t be doing that or certainly not showing that. I mean, I can appreciate the skill level. Wow! Amazing. I might even get on the floor and mess around with it for fun. But can I, can we, really use that on Saturday night? I really don’t mind people doing all that stuff in classes for fun and exercise, just as long as they know, and still can retain the simple, “muscle memory” of what little really goes on in a fight. But, can they tell the difference? Problem is…sometimes I really don’t think so. Do they have ‘the eye?”

     My friend, Mike Gillette once advertised, “What you get with Hock, what you are really paying for, is his 'eye.' His filter.” Which I appreciated the remark. My job is to show a lot of good, trusted stuff, for you to work on and pick your favorite 6, 8, 10 things. It really is a customizing job. You learn from the experimentation. The experience. That is great for the self defense seeker. But then, future instructors need to know all the good, solid stuff because they have the responsibility of helping people get down to their smaller collection of needed favorites, as well as creating other instructors. But in the end, knowing how to do 6, 7, 8 things or so, depending upon the person, will never really replace full-on, fighting athleticism. You know this right? My job is also to really encourage, push and enforce fighting athleticism, as defined above. You can't go wrong doing modern, evolved MMA as a big part of fighting athleticism.

     People really do ask me a lot, (and I paraphrase here) “you have done martial arts for decades, and you have arrested a lot of people. What have you used?” They expect an exciting, thrilling answer.

     Used? Well, very little really. My few favorite things actually. What? Just 6? 8 things? 10 maybe? Over and over and over.

And now, for you? 
Here’s how they will try to kill you. 
Who? What? Where? When? How? And Why?
What are your favorite things for this next Saturday night?
Then, do you have the fighting athleticism to really do them for real? Really?

Two great training books in this batch.

Knife Counter-Knife

Impact Weapon Combatives