Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Thoughts on integration of skills

First, I apologize for the rambling nature of this post, but I am having one
of those epiphany/muse moments, and want to get it down.

For many, many years, I have been involved in the modern martial arts/combatives
arena, and in the survivalist field as well. The reason for this is that I see the whole issue as having one goal, keeping my butt safe and alive.
I have many approaches to this, and have spent alot of time trying to tie
them all together into a cogent whole. If they are all covered under one umbrella,
it makes categorization easier, and it makes communication and teaching easier.
Since everyone loves labels these days, I had a lightning bolt hit me about what to call my approach to learning/training. As we all know, as evidenced by the title of my blog, what I do is called WeaselCraft. But what I do to integrate things into it is G.O.S.T. The purpose of this is not to have a cool sounding name, but
to have an easy way to explain the whys and wheretofors. G.O.S.T stands for Goal
Oriented Self preservation Training. That is the purpose of this whole exercise.
The goal is to stay alive. The ways to achieve this goal are many and varied.
It includes such things as EH combat, knives, impact weapons, guns, flexibles,
survival, E&E, trauma first aid, etc...
What we need is an over arching framework to fit all this into. I have heard this approach called eclecticism, modernism, or(one of my faves) Integrationalism.
The point is to have a way of looking at life, and skills, that makes it easy
to categorize the skill you are learning, and fit it into your framework.
We will have skills that are frontline, like the post I wrote previously on Congruency. Then we will have skills that are secondary. This means that they are important, but not as reliable, or are for specific instances. Then, we have the skills that don't seem to have any tangible, immediate payoff, such as primitive survival skills, or Tactical Medicine. Even exercise, which for me is the RMAX
approach, I highly recommend it, fits into this outlook/framework.
What we need is to integrate all our skills into our lives, and minds. It
shouldn't be a list. An example, instead of "I'm working gun now, next I'll work
on my first aid skills. Tomorrow will be my knife day, followed by my striking and grappling training", what we should try is to integrate all of them into one training package. Obviously, we need to work on individual skills, like shooting, but in our minds, we can link them, and then, take a training gun, and integrate knife work into our gun retention, and then simulate getting hit, and having to care for ourselves in a Tac-Med situation.
Like I said, this is rambling thoughts right now, but I would like some feedback, and I will rework this into a more manageable and readable article.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Well, I tried to teach myself how to do my own links,
and copied what had been put in my links for me, and it worked.

I had a lot of links to some really cool places, but then I changed my background, and lost the links. Now I don't have a way to copy them, and can't remember
how I did the linking. So to all my friends, I will try to get them back up soon.

Oh yeah, Mushtaq, HELP!!!!!!!!

Congruency in training, and building blocks

In my opinion, training must take different forms depending on the
goals of the group you are teaching. If the group is long term martial arts students, you have time to go into more of the details of the art you
are teaching. But, if it is a short term combatives/self defense type
course, everything you teach needs to be simple, to the point, easily retained,
and, if the student wants to pursue further training later, in line with the
base art that you teach. There should be as much congruency in the movements
as possible, as well as commonalities with the art you got your material from.

My WeaselCraft is basically a stripped down version of the Silat I have learned,
and mixed with various influences, such as input from the Filipino Martial Arts.
These two dovetail very nicely, because the base of the movement is similar,
so we are less apt to get confused in the movements than is we were mixing say,
Judo and Capoiera.
We must also make sure that each movement, or concept builds upon the one before it. A good example is the first installment of the WeaselCraft package. In attempting to have congruency, I hook together the basic movements that would flow from the primary cover/defensive reaction. From a "flinch", we flow into an edge of hand blow, followed by an elbow. Why does it go in this order?
Well, From the flinch cover, the EOH blow is the easiest, most efficient,
and powerful blow we can make. But, the main reason is because we can link many
things to the motion in an EOH blow. First we can turn it into a hammerfist,
which opens different targets, and can be used with more power. Then, we can add tools to the mix, without having to learn a different movement base.
From the EOH/Hammerfist, add a knife in reverse grip edge in (RGEI), and
the motion now becomes the pikal/reverse edge methods we espouse on TPI.
Exchange the knife with a flashlight or a koppo stick, and the motion remains the same, only now, it is with an impact weapon. This brings knockout power
to the fold really quickly. And the reason I add the elbow, in case a blow misses,
the logical follow up, based on position, tools available, and direction of power would be a basically horizontal elbow, which then gets you back to the beginning,
as the termination of an elbow blow is the start of a powerful EOH. I tie this to
the basic triangle footwork, both for evasion/power generation, and also because the next step from there would be to teach sapu and beset, which happen to work off the Tiga, or triangle langkah.
So hopefully through this small explanation, you can see the logic of linking
what you teach to a common base, and then, having time later, you can add to it.
Thanks for reading.


Your Quirk Factor: 80%
You're so quirky, it's hard for you to tell the difference between quirky and normal.No doubt about it, there's little about you that's "normal" or "average."
How Quirky Are You?

See if this one works

I have tried to post a couple times recently, and knowing me,
I did something to lose them. So, I am trying a test post.

But, there are some links I'd like to put up in here to make it worthwhile
as well.

My friend Bobbe has a blog at www.currythief.blogspot.com
A really good martial artist, and all around good guy, Jay Carstensen, has his blog here
at www.ksma.blogspot.com for info on his system and group of Kapatiran Suntukan Martial Arts.
Noah Walt, publisher of Thrust Magazine, and a friend of mine has a blog at
www.thrustmagazine.blogspot.com and you should check it out.
Noah has some great knives available for sell, and his magazine is one of the best tactical
publications available.
Don Rearic, as usual has the best survival/SD info going, at www.donrearic.blogspot.com
For the internet forum activity, both Don and I moderate over at www.totalprotectioninteractive.com and it is the site for no BS street survival, or at least we try.
I have a couple silat posts almost in the can, and will try to have them up here in the next couple days, if this post works.
Take care, and thanks for reading.