1 of 2
1
Food for thought
Posted: 13 November 2005 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  14210
Joined  2004-06-18

That long thread about Aikido got me thinking about the assumptions that we make about our potential opponents when we enter into any kind of “self-defense” training. I suppose that virtually any martial art or fighting system will work if your opponent is a moron, but how does it fare when you have to go up against the rare “black swan” event—-the perfect storm opponent situation?

Since you cannot control who you will run into, maybe it is prudent to create a template for a worst case opponent and assume that is who you will have to face in a fight for your life? Let’s call him “Todd.”

Physical fitness? Discipline? Motivation? Todd is a former Division I-level athlete. He benches over 350 and runs an all-out quarter-mile in just over 50 seconds. Todd spends his mornings pounding out miles of hard roadwork, pumps iron like a maniac in lieu of eating lunch, and spends his evenings dry-firing his EDC handgun, studying ways to hurt people, and beating the hell out of his Spar-Pro and heavy bag. He maintains an extensive library of books and videos on combat and survival-related topics.

He goes to bed tired but satisfied every night, satisfied because he has no other hobbies and because he looks at training as money in the bank—-he will cash in his full paycheck on the fateful day that he faces you in a fight.

Todd spends his weekends doing strenuous physical activities and competing in IPSC Limited or IDPA matches. He spends his vacations going to places like Crucible, the Rogers Academy, and BSR. Todd has no other hobbies and he is not really concerned with being a “weird, paranoid freak” in the eyes of many normal people. Todd does not really hang out with “normal” people, anyway—-he prefers to hang out with people like himself.

Warning of an attack? Deception? Good luck trying any Jedi mind tricks on Todd: he studies NLP and evolutionary psychology. Todd does not dress like some kind of thug, either: he knows that a clean-cut appearance increases his time/distance window of opportunity to ambush his prey. Pay very close attention to Todd’s choice of boots, belt, and watch—-they may be the only warnings that you get.

Todd knows that anonymity is the most important weapon in his formidable arsenal. He does not threaten, he does not warn, he does not talk shit or insult—-those things take time and telegraph intentions. Todd just makes a binary decision and then acts.

Training? Background? Todd trains in the most effective fighting and survival techniques that he can. He is open-minded and non-judgmental, caring only that techniques fit within an overarching framework of logic and ruthless pragmatism. He lives his whole life this way—-it is his structure, his discipline, his religion. Todd may have a black belt from Rickson Gracie, may have been a Golden Gloves boxer or a freestyle wrestler or a linebacker, may have trained in the famous Muay Thai gyms of Holland, maybe a student of WWII Combatives or battlefield jiu-jitsu methods. Maybe—-and now the plot gets chilling (as Marcus Wynne describes in his books)—-Todd has been the recipient of millions of dollars in government-sponsored training…money that was specifically spent to turn him into some kind of professional shadow-warrior badass, like John Macejunas or Kelly McCann.

Maybe Todd is all of the above: operator, martial artist, fighter, contact-sport athlete.

It does not really matter where he got his start, because he has synthesized his approach into a combination of very destructive, attack-oriented techniques that he can perform with maximal effort without much fear of hurting himself in the process. He can strike and he can grapple, and most importantly he always tries to hit first.

Weapons? Equipment? This is the best part: trying to beat Todd in an unarmed fight is largely an academic exercise, because you will never, ever catch Todd unarmed. He carries a Glock or 1911, Fox OC spray, and a fixed-blade with him CCW every single day of his life. Todd is not interested in hitting you with his hands or feet—-given even the slightest provocation, his opening gambit will be to present his handgun from the holster and to demand that you remain very still and quiet. If you then try to disarm Todd, strike Todd, or reach for your own weapon to attack Todd, Todd will not hesitate to shoot until slide lock.

Todd also trains in ways to use his knife to great effect—-maybe pikal, maybe more of a Kni-Com technique, maybe both. Names like James Keating and the Dog Brothers are very familiar to Todd.

Todd will run you over with his SUV if you give him reason to. If you are more of a distant problem, he keeps an M4 or a DSA FAL in a Pelican case in the trunk, next to his trauma med kit and bugout ruck.

Forget trying to get to Todd at home: his place is like a fortress, complete with crazy locks (Todd studies B&E, too), a large dog, and the ubiquitous Scattergun Technologies 12-gauge with Sure-Fire light.

Remember that Todd likes to move first—-his first move is to draw a weapon on you. Todd is not stupid. This isn’t Bloodsport or a Sho Kosugi film. Todd wants to win…period.

Todd sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t he? Well, let’s all take heart—-while we cannot control whether or not we will ever have to face a Todd, we CAN control our own training and preparation. We can become “Todds” (!). Many of you probably consciously found similarities between your own lifestyles and habits and the ones that were described above. I think the idea is to imagine the most ferocious and skilled opponent that you could face in a nightmare, then try to become that person (within whatever constraints that you face). If you are not willing to become a Todd, then you need to ask yourself who it is that you believe you are training to face.

 Signature 

All of life’s problems can be solved by heavy deadlifts.

Follow us on Twitter:
@TheBrandXMethod
https://twitter.com/TheBrandXMethod

M/54/5’11”/190

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 November 2005 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Big Dawg
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  472
Joined  2004-08-24

:shock:  :shock:  :twisted:

 Signature 

If it looks like a bear…and grumbles like a bear…it must be a BEAR!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 November 2005 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5197
Joined  2004-06-22

Tod.  Only one D.

 Signature 

“No man who refuses to bear arms in defense of his nation can give a sound reason why he should be allowed to live in a free country”  T. Roosevelt

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who are not.”  Thomas Jefferson”

“History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid” - Gen Eisenhower.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 November 2005 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Top Dawg
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2570
Joined  2005-10-27

I must be learning. As I was reading, I caught myself thinking…Todd is the one I’m preparing for. An unusual thought process for me.  :D ? :twisted: ? I’m not sure what to think.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 November 2005 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Big Dawg
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  347
Joined  2005-10-27

:!:  Wow. Just…wow.

I’ve heard of the principle of training to become stronger than your own “Todd” before, but I’ve never seen it put so vividly. It really makes you think about what you will accept as “good enough” in self-defense training or just everyday life. I’ll think about this.

 Signature 

Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.
~Bruce Lee

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 November 2005 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  14210
Joined  2004-06-18

What level of mediocrity are you willing to accept?

 Signature 

All of life’s problems can be solved by heavy deadlifts.

Follow us on Twitter:
@TheBrandXMethod
https://twitter.com/TheBrandXMethod

M/54/5’11”/190

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 November 2005 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5197
Joined  2004-06-22

Be unwilling to accept mediocrity.  Strive for excellence, you may not always achieve it but try all the same.

 Signature 

“No man who refuses to bear arms in defense of his nation can give a sound reason why he should be allowed to live in a free country”  T. Roosevelt

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who are not.”  Thomas Jefferson”

“History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid” - Gen Eisenhower.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 November 2005 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4864
Joined  2004-08-27

I wish I had seen this last night, because my first words would have been “I do not accept mediocrity” I have tried and failed a thousand times, and I’m sure I’ll do it a thousand more, but I try all the same and that’s what separates me from the sheep.

 Signature 

I hate burpees
I hate box jumps

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2005 03:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Top Dawg
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  846
Joined  2005-11-13

Amazing thread.  I have my own ideas about “Todd’s” training and philosophy, but the end result is the same.  My “Todd” is about 17, with no job, money, real home to speak of, or prospects for a brighter future.  Looking for guidance and meaning, he turns to the charismatic local (or visiting) Imam, who explains this is not Todd’s fault, or the fault of Todd’s family.  Nope, it’s Isreal’s fault, and by extension America’s fault.  He further explains that as long as America intrudes on “holy soil,” there will be no relief from his and his family’s suffering.  There is an option, however - Todd can sacrifice his earthbound life for the greater good, killing any number of the occupying infidels in one bright flash of holy vengeance, and in doing so Todd will be catapulted straight to heaven instead of waiting for judgement with the rest of those who died “natural” deaths.  Also, as a martyr, Todd will ensure his family’s current well-being, as the family of a martyr receives care, food, and housing from the community in recognition of Todd’s sacrifice. 

Fast forward a few months of basic training, and Todd is making his way to a checkpoint manned by young men not much older than Todd himself.  They have to decide, on the spot and correctly EVERY time, whether Todd is just making his way from A to B or has already reached his final destination, whether Todd’s car is packed with explosives or with goods from the local market.

Or perhaps we’ve identified Todd and have gone to the house he is staying at in the middle of the night, hoping to capture him before he can carry out his final “holy” act.  As we burst through the door, we have to assume that Todd has heard us approach and is waiting in one of the rooms in this home, prepared to take as many of us with him as he can.  He’s already decided he won’t become a prisoner. 

Or we’re patrolling a generally quiet city street.  Todd, who may or may not have about 50 pounds of explosives strapped around his waist, runs toward a group of us with his arms open.  Is he attempting to embrace us out of gratitude for ridding his homeland of a family of tyrants, or will this hug be the last for Todd and anyone close?

All of these situations have a couple of things in common.  Todd usually won’t telegraph his intentions early enough for us to act to prevent the inevitable.  If we’re lucky (and observant enough) we can merely ensure Todd is the only person mourned that day.  Also, there are NO second chances, no “resets,” no opportunity to think about which move will work best.  We have enough time to act, and act ONCE. 

Why do I train?  So I can hopefully see those early warning signs, and act before Todd does.  So when I DO act, it’s instinctive, fast, and efficient.  So I don’t waste precious seconds trying to remember the exact body position and combatives necessary to save myself and my comrades - I’ve already trained my body to do what’s necessary without having to think and remember. 

I train because I know Todd is out there - I’ve seen him and quite a few just like him.  And I know there are many more Todds waiting to take his place.  I’ll see Todd again, and when I do mediocrity will be fatal.  I train because “good enough” means I write condolence letters to parents or spouses, or pin Purple Hearts on the chests of young men who learned too late that “good enough” - isn’t.  I train because I have to be better, stronger, faster and smarter than Todd, every single time. 

And on that happy note, I will head down to San Diego tonight to celebrate 230 years of refusal to accept mediocrity.  I’ll toast my fellow Marines, wish them a Happy Brithday, and smile as they dance with their spouses and sweethearts, and know we’ve beaten Todd this time.  Then I’ll be back in Brand X Saturday for Krav and Painstorm, because I know Todd is training right now and I’d better be training harder and smarter than him, because I want those boys to be able to dance with their sweethearts next year too.

Semper Fi,
Brian

 Signature 

"Xerxes does not want your lives, sir" the emissary called.  "Only your weapons."

Leonidas laughed.  "Tell him to come and get them."

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2005 03:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  14210
Joined  2004-06-18

“More than 200 years ago when the United States Marine Corps was being formed, much consideration was given to selecting a motto. They finally chose the Latin semper fidelis, meaning always faithful.

Of those two powerful words, the first is most important, for it explains how a marine is to be faithful—not only when it’s personally convenient, or when the circumstances will guarantee his personal happiness.”

Thank you.

Not just for your service, but for this post as well.

 Signature 

All of life’s problems can be solved by heavy deadlifts.

Follow us on Twitter:
@TheBrandXMethod
https://twitter.com/TheBrandXMethod

M/54/5’11”/190

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2005 03:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  942
Joined  2004-06-30

Ditto on both remarks!

 Signature 

He was just a man doing a job.  A job whose primary attribute was self-restraint and self-composure, not for his own sake, but for those whom he lead by example.  A job whose objective could be boiled down to the single understatement, as he did at the Hot Gates on the morning he died, of performing the commonplace under uncommonplace conditions. 

Description of Dienekes, a Spartan warrior at the Battle of Thermopylae

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2005 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5197
Joined  2004-06-22

Wow- Brings it home to the here & now.
Thanks for what you do Brian.

 Signature 

“No man who refuses to bear arms in defense of his nation can give a sound reason why he should be allowed to live in a free country”  T. Roosevelt

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who are not.”  Thomas Jefferson”

“History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid” - Gen Eisenhower.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 November 2005 08:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  8613
Joined  2004-07-08

Great post Brian, and thanks. Being prepared for Todd, you picked the right place to train.

 Signature 

In God we Trust all others we monitor

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 November 2005 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Top Dawg
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  846
Joined  2005-11-13

Amen to that, sir.

  As I plodded through painstorm today after an hour of gun takeaway drills, I accepted every ache and pain to come with a smile, knowing full well the other guy isn’t working nearly this hard to be ready. 

  Thank you everyone at Brand X for providing us the training, both physical and mental, that will prepare us for that “perfect storm” opponent, whatever form he might take. 

Semper Fi,
Brian

 Signature 

"Xerxes does not want your lives, sir" the emissary called.  "Only your weapons."

Leonidas laughed.  "Tell him to come and get them."

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 April 2006 03:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  14210
Joined  2004-06-18

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uGV630x1vI

 Signature 

All of life’s problems can be solved by heavy deadlifts.

Follow us on Twitter:
@TheBrandXMethod
https://twitter.com/TheBrandXMethod

M/54/5’11”/190

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 April 2006 06:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
Big Dawg
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  389
Joined  2004-07-20

twisted AHHHH YES! SEE WHAT A CHANGE OF LIFE STYLE OF A LONG PRISON SENTENCE AND A DAILY DOSE OF STERIODS CAN ACCOMPLISH IN REHABILITATING OUR INMATES? now im being silly here cause i dont know they fine upstanding gentlemen and im sure they all have responsible jobs and are upstanding family men raising their children in a godly manner. then again maybe im just envious eh? certainly dont want to sound spiteful just wondering if they learned this in the marine corps or crossfit classes. maybe its the thug attitude im resenting, since ive seen 3x’s better body control in gymnastics (rings) or the cirgue la france or chinese circus performers. now if the point is, i dont want to go against these thugs, then your right, i dont but if i had to i would probably need to call in the marines or smith and wesson. and if murphy has anything to say about it survival of animal instincts of krav and anything else ive forgotten and need to remember immediately if not sooner.  if these are the people your afraid of encountering then either carry a white flag or TRAIN HARDER. they scare me and i aint afraid of nuttin.

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1
 
‹‹ spousal abuse?      The mask comes off ››