The AR15 is the Patriot Rifle of Choice. That said, there are many configurations out there. Which one is right for you? Here are some considerations to help you make your build or modifications wisely:
There are many common lengths. However, the most common are the 16" and the 20." Of the others, 14.5" (with pinned muzzle device to bring overall barrel length to 16" to meet ATF requirements) and 18" are the next most common.
Simply put, a 20" barrel gives more velocity, but also weighs more. Velocity cannot be understated. Especially with a round in the 5.56 mm that depends on high velocity for maximum effectiveness.
16" barrels are lighter than the 20" counterparts, but also produce reduced velocity. Since most uses of a Patriot rifle would take place inside of 200 yards, the difference is minute.
Heavy barrel, pencil barrel, and government profile barrels are the most common. Of the heavy barrels, one can get the barrel fluted, which reduces weight without sacrificing much of the barrel's stiffness (and, therefore, accuracy).
Government profile is OK in a 20" barrel. For the 16" barrel, the heavy profile is a much better choice.
Chrome lining resists wear due to heat when shooting many rounds in a row ("mag dumps").
Stainless steel and Chrome-moly (aka "unlined") barrels are more accurate.
Barrel Overall I would choose either a stainless steel heavy barrel in 16" or a chrome-moly government profile barrel in the 20"
Basically, there is the flat-top, and the carry handle. If you go with the carry handle, there are "A2" and "A1" variations. I suggest a flat top. You can always add the removable carry handle.
There are many variations in stocks, but the two broad variants are fixed and adjustable. Adjustable are clearly more versatile. However, if you have really long arms, then a fixed stock would be fine. Similarly, if you have shorter arms, and never extend a collapsible stock, then a fixed carbine length stock ("shorty") might be just fine for you.
Fixed stocks are good for 20" rifles. That said, the Canadian "A7" look (20" barrel, collapsible stock) is pretty useful. Some people use a fixed stock on a carbine. That is OK, too. Collapsible stocks offer the versatility for most people.
There are many types of handguards on the market. Regular handguards are just fine. There are many aftermarket drop-ins that are equally suitable. I like the Magpul handguards. Some handguards are free-floated - greatly assisting in accuracy.
Of all the types, I suggest a free floated handguard. LaRue and Daniel Defense make a lightweight, easy-to-install variation that is not too thick to hold. I also suggest the rifle length handguard, though midlength and carbine length are acceptable for specific needs / wants.
Of drop-in quad rails, I suggest KAC. They are lightweight and slim enough to handle well. They are neither cheap nor really easy to install, but they are worth the extra money and effort because of weight and thickness. I suggest a LaRue or DD 12" free float quad rail.
Get a trigger upgrade. Geissele and Rock River Arms make good, relatively inexpensive drop-in replacements.
Optic 1st choice - ACOG.
It offers magnification for rudimentary scouting / reconnaissance. It offers a Ballistic Drop Compensator (BDC). This not only helps you to know where the bullet will strike at a given distance, but also to measure that distance, too. An ACOG is rock-solid, and can even be used as a red dot, utilizing the Bindon Aiming Concept (BAC). In a pinch, the ACOG can be used as a hammer.
2nd choice - Red Dot
The red dot is the fastest optic available for close quarters action. When zeroed at 50/200, the red dot can be used effectively out to 300 yards (one dot hold over). Red dots are generally used with both eyes open.
3rd Choice - Multiple power scope
Some call these hunting scopes. Can be used successfully on an AR15, however, this is not the most useful for the American Patriot in defense of liberty. Still, scopes are better than irons for many people, so it is a valid option.
4th Choice - Irons
To be sure, Iron sights are needed for backup with all optics. For fixed sights, I suggest a 50/200 zero.
On the whole, I suggest either a "RECCE" (sounds like "Becky") build or an M16A4. Second-tier, but very useful builds include:
- M4 series (will be range-limited and accuracy is the worst of the bunch)
- M16A2 / A1 (length and weight are a concern, as are the fixed iron sights)
- MK12 Mod 0 / SPR (again, length and weight are a main concern)
The moment you filed for divorce, you were saying that you didn't want to live in your house anymore. Crying to the judge because he orders the sale of the house doesn't change that.
YOU stated you didn't want to be a stay-at-home-mom.
YOU stated you didn't want to stay in the same house.
YOU stated you didn't like your life the way it was.
YOU stated you wanted to now be forced to either get a job or live on welfare.
YOU were the one that asked for it all.
Don't go crying, acting like you didn't want this. This is what happens when you file for divorce.
Ronda Rousey won her MMA bout this past weekend. That is not surprising. What is surprising is that in 10 MMA bouts (3 amateur, 7 professional) she has won them all in the first round and all via juji gatame - the straight arm lock (or arm bar in some circles).
Now, the funny thing is that there are a number of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners out there that are whining that Rousey has yet to meet a real Black Belt (I guess they forget that Rousey's first professional win came against Ediane Gomes, a BJJ black belt. Gomes' fate was the same as the others, thus far... juji gatame, first round.
I have seen a number of posts by BJJ folks saying that Rousey is "sloppy" on the ground, and makes mistakes. This is true in the sense that we all make mistakes.
I cannot count how many times I've seen BJJ people write things about how Rousey does juji gatame incorrectly by crossing her feet. That argument is actually getting old.
Of course, a lot of the vitriol is due to the fact that Rousey's primary martial art is Judo - and not BJJ.
It seems to me that these BJJ enthusiasts are starting to sound like the karate guys did in the days of the first few UFCs. Again, more proof of the McDojo tendencies these days in BJJ.
How about this as a possibility?
Rousey is a world-class Judo player that has transitioned well into MMA. She trains better and is a better fighter than anyone she has faced yet. It is not about the art primarily, it is about the fighter. When someone decides to train harder than Rousey, then she will be able to defeat Rousey - just that simple!
I am easily amused. For one, I find odd people to be strangely fascinating to watch... for me it is similar to watching animal behavior on a nature-based TV show, or maybe even a silly animal clip from AFV. Indeed, some people are so insistent on being as strange as possible, that it is actually very humorous to me.
Couple of years ago, I was teaching a Sunday School class. Among the verses covered was Romans 8:28-30. I took the opportunity to state that although many people who want to believe in predestination will point to this passage, it is an exercise in futility as the passage clearly talks about God's predestination of what (namely that Christians would be made righteous and glorified through Christ), and not whom is predestined for salvation (a concept never mentioned in the Bible).
One of the people in class, who was visiting with his wife, stated that wasn't true, and further stated that was not what the verse said. I let him have his say, and then I continued with the lesson using the published material.
Thanks in part to his liberal views on the topic, I decided to make a blog post about predestination as a whole. Of course, as would be true with a person who needs to twist scripture to actually believe in predestination of the individual, he twisted my words to take personal offense. They always take it personally, because it's always about them.
He called me out of class the next Sunday and directly verbally assaulted me in the hallway. For a moment, I thought I might have to defend myself physically. lol at that thought (400-pound guy vs. taller 245-pound-at the time multiple black belt). He told me never to mention him online again. Of course, I mentioned in a comment on the blog post that I had walked in those same prideful shoes, and wished him well.
That didn't go over so very well:
Dude called me nine times on my personal phone while I was in a visit with a client.
When I got out of my meeting and returned his call, he got very angry at me "spreading dirt about him all over the internet." He threatened me, directly and indirectly. I guess it is easier and more comforting to level threats from the safety of a phone, as opposed to a church hallway where others might see you get your butt handed to you.
What is funny about all this, is later, the same guy tweets and blogs that he was the one who was attacked by me - during the Sunday School class conversation and via this blog.
Again, with having to twist things to fit one's agenda.
The projection was strong with this one. He would actually give SILlie a run for her money. Actually, I'd like to observe them from a room at the same time to see who could project more.
To tie it all together
So the guy has to twist reality to have a feud with me.
He also has to twist the scriptures to get his doctrine.
Now, he levels "counter-attacks" - all based on falsehoods.
That is one worth laughing about. I know I am laughing. It's flippin funny!
Per reader request, some of my favorite funny moments on TV. Warning, might be offensive to some. In no particular order:
- Whose Line is it Anyway? Clip with Richard Simmons. If you can keep a straight face through this, you weren't really watching. Really NSFW.
- Carol Burnett Show Clip with the elephant story. Tim Conway is quite possibly the most hilarious ad-libber of all time. He used to take pride in getting his co-stars to laugh so much they could no longer perform.
Dishevelment - the state of being untidy or disordered.
A funny thing I have observed in 30+ years of the martial arts is students (children most notably) in various states of dishevelment. Understand: after a good workout, the participant's uniform will become somewhat disheveled. But that is easy to fix right up.
No, I'm talking about when people show up to class a mess. As I often remind students: the point is not to show up as tacky as possible. Still, I get "surprises" from time to time. Usually, the kid has something on his gi (uniform) from a spill. Sometimes, though, it is worse...
Substances I've seen on the gi:
Soda (of all sorts)
Mud (of course)
Kool Aid (and other assorted juice-related drinks)
Non-spill related dishevelment:
Jacket not folded
Belt not tied Gi still wet (not fully dried from the wash)
Pants on inside-out
Pants on backwards
Pants on inside out and backwards
Pants on sideways (I cannot figure out how this actually happened)
Jacket on inside-out
Forgot pants (!)
This is a special category. What would be normal is a person's normal undergarments. Perhaps a t-shirt. In the grappling arts, it is common for a rash guard style shirt and shorts under the gi. In most arts, an athletic supporter or sports bra (depending on gender and "equipment," of course) is standard. A pair of athletic shorts under the gi pants is not unusual - similar to the t-shirt. Here are some of the more unusual things I've seen under a person's gi:
Sweat pants (looks really tacky)
Long sleeve polo shirt None (not acceptable!)
I did this article for a Martial Arts Periodical some time back...
started in the martial arts at the tender age of seven in 1982.
Ironically, that same year was the first time my father ever took me
shooting. For many years - even past the point when I got my black belt,
I considered the two activities mutually exclusive.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
most people think of a firearm in the home for self defense, a pistol
or shotgun immediately comes to mind. While there is nothing wrong with
either choice, the point of this article is to expound on the virtues of
the rifle as a legitimate and viable self defense tool in the home.
Why a rifle?
are far more maneuverable, even if they are noticeably less powerful.
Shotguns provide more power than a pistol, but have less risk of
over-penetration than a rifle. So why use a rifle for home defense?
There are several reasonable answers:
- Some people might not own a pistol or shotgun.
- People in rural areas will benefit from the multitude of uses for a good rifle.
- Rifle projectiles are more powerful than shot from a shotgun or a bullet from a pistol.
there are some people out there that will say that a shotgun can be
loaded with a slug for self defense. This is true, and that is often an
excellent choice, but the fact is that a slug has the same, if not
greater risk, of over-penetration as a rifle does.
main factor to consider: when our military or SWAT teams are armed in
expectation of confronting the enemy, they are overwhelmingly armed with
rifles. Pistols, if issued, are used as side-arms. Shotguns are rarely
issued. The rifle is the firearm of choice for those who knowingly step
into harm's way. There is a reason for that: they work.
first thing the reader needs to be aware of is that the rifle you
already have is infinitely better for self defense than some ideal rifle
you haven't yet purchased. If the reader does not currently own a
rifle, and wants one for self defense - read on, as suggestions will be
A self defense rifle is ideally going to be
semiautomatic (one shot fired for each time the trigger is depressed).
If the reader has a bolt action or lever action rifle (or the rare
pump-action rifle), take special note of reloading and cycling the
action. Single shot rifles may be used, but reloading and getting off a
second or third shot becomes problematic. Be mindful selecting larger
calibers for home defense.
The AR15 is the patriot
rifle of choice for those of us blessed enough to call the USA our home.
While a handful of states have restrictions on certain features
associated with the AR15, it is still the most popular rifle for a
reason - it is effective. Other excellent choices include, in no
- M1 Carbine
first, most basic skill with any firearm is proper handling. Col. Jeff
Cooper advocated four basic rules of firearm safety. These were
developed with the battlefield in mind, but are equally effective for
the shooting range or at home:
1. All guns are always loaded. (treat them as such)
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you are ready to fire.
4. Identify your target, and what is beyond it.
most fundamental skill one should acquire after learning proper gun
handling, is to learn how to operate the rifle. Refer to user manuals if
you are unfamiliar with how to operate part of your rifle. Broadly
speaking, you will want to know how to:
- Load the rifle (and unload).
- Put the safety "on" (and off).
- Cycle the action (if necessary).
- Clear malfunctions. (more on this later)
comes the idea of how to hit a target with a fired bullet. There are
many marksmanship classes all over the United States. Some deal with
pistols, some with rifles. Nevertheless, there are a few fundamentals
that apply no matter what kind of firearm, which can be called the "3
1. Sight alignment
- Lining up the sights with each other.
- Lining up the sights with the target.
- Focus the eye on the front sight (NOT the target!).
- Focus the mind on the target.
2. Steady hold
- Proper breathing
- Proper body positioning
3. Squeeze the trigger
- Maintain a steady hold with sights lined up and on target.
- Depress trigger in one smooth motion in such a manner so as not to disrupt the sight picture.
- Make a mental "snapshot" of the sight picture at the moment of firing.
a person can hit a target (the author recommends being able to hit
targets all the way out to 300 yards or so before moving on), then the
next step is to learn how to fight with the gun. The main techniques for
a gunfight are listed below:
no one article can cover every aspect, it is the author's desire that
this be a good broad overview of the facts of using a rifle for personal
self defense. With a decent rifle and ammunition, combined with proper
gun handling, and topped off with some quality training, a person can
defend himself'/herself as well as their family with far less of an
investment and to much greater effect with minimal training when
compared to the empty handed arts.
Overheard in a courtroom. Situation: wife is suing for divorce. She has not worked outside the home in several years. Wife's attorney is questioning husband, who at one point had to take a second job to pay legal bills in addition to the steep alimony, child support, and mortgage (over $3500 per month combined). Husband no longer had the job.
Wife's Attorney: So, isn't it true you could work some more?
Husband: Before you go about obligating me to a second job, let's talk about how your client needs to get her FIRST job!
Calvinism is not Biblical Doctrine. It's a human
philosophy that appeals to proud-minded individuals.
Perseverance of the Saints
This is a dangerous one that Calvinists believe. Make no mistake - once a person is saved, he cannot lose that salvation, nor will God change His mind about His gift of grace. However, this is no perseverance of the saint (believer). This is eternal security of the believer.
Semantics? Possibly. But Calvinists are most guilty of semantics in this and other topics (coming soon). To be sure, there is nothing the saint does to retain salvation.
I put off posting my thoughts on the 9th annual Winter Battle because I wanted to make sure my mind was calm and collected first. I also wanted to gather some information.
This one was busy, and it was a bunch of interesting factors that combined to make the experience unique. The action was fantastic. The competitors all fought well.
However, the tournament was not without its issues. Most issues I can overlook, as they do not drastically effect the outcome. This tournament had several factors that contributed to the results, and these must be mentioned here.
Mr. Kemp, the organizer of Winter Battle, does not sanction this event through the AAU, even though the sparring is done under AAU rules. Why he does not sanction is beyond my understanding and I will not speculate - because it is irrelevant with respect to what happened. What is relevant is that the AAU, seemingly on purpose, announced a judges meeting for the same day in a nearby city (Nashville, TN). This drew away from the judging and refereeing talent that normally would have been at the Winter Battle.
I smell an argument over money.
So with a makeshift judging crew in place, the tournament happened. Spirit Martial Arts - my kids' Dojang - was represented well. Most of their competitors won a medal. For the record, medals awarded were Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Bronze medals were awarded for 3rd and 4th place due to the double-elimination nature of the pairings.
My daughter entered. She was the youngest and smallest in her division. She fought with more heart than I had expected. She did not win a match, but received a Bronze because there were only four competitors in her division. Ironically, the winner of the division was the oldest and largest. He was 7, and none of the rest of us can figure out to this day how he was pulled from the 6 & 7 division and entered into the 5 & under division. My daughter's best Taekwondo friend from SMA, Nicole, was in the same division and won 3rd place.
Cali and Nicole got to match against each other. It was the best match of the division.. and not just because I am biased. Cali worked herself into the lead, and maintained the lead halfway through the second period. Nicole roared back, and tied the match with only seconds to go. Overtime was needed, and Nicole scored on an exchange where Cali landed the first kick, but it was obscured from the judges' vision (we have it on film). Nevertheless, Nicole was awarded the point she scored and named victor. The girls loved getting to compete against each other of all people.
In the kids' divisions from ages 7-10, the average score for novice matches (white - yellow - orange belts) was 11-7.
In Intermediate matches (blue - green - purple belts), the average score was 14-11.
In advanced matches (brown - red - black belts), the average score was less than 2-1 when the 3-point head kicks are disregarded.
In the advanced division, head kicks scored 3 points this year compared to two points in years prior and in the novice and intermediate divisions. Trust me when I say, these players did not have a huge jump in defense, so much as there was something fishy on offense.
The main difference was the "e-hogu" used. An electronic sensor pad is on the hogu (torso pads). The players wear special socks that are hypothetically designed to activate the sensors. This data was supposedly carried to a computer nearby to register points scored to the body. Head-kicks were still determined by the three observing judges.
We should have known something was up when the hogus all had trouble registering kicks. Prior to each match, the competitors were to give a free kick to one another so the officials could determine that the hogus were operating correctly. Never did the hogus work from the start. Much tweaking was needed. When they finally would start working, the only way to get them to register a kick was for a full-grown man to strike the child full force in the hogu - sending the child stumbling back 6-10 feet! While this does not harm the child due to the nature of the way the hogu is constructed, I would challenge anyone to find an 8-year-old child who can repeatedly kick that hard.
In my son's division, in a total of 8 matches, there were a total of 11 body shots scored. My son has done that by himself in previous tournaments.
My son lost his first match by a score of 12-1. His opponent landed 4 head kicks. I was surprised that my son only scored one body kick! I watched intently at a few more matches, and immediately noticed the trend. My son's coach was trying to pull double-duty, so I told her to coach the other child, and I'd coach my son.
"Cael, body kicks are just not scoring. Use body kicks to set up your head kicks. Two head kicks scored will win you this match. Keep your hands up high so they do not score a head kick. Don't worry about his body kicks, they will not score - lure him in with free body kicks and kick him in the helmet." Was my advice.
Cael did just that. He won, 12-1. A complete turn around.
By that time, most of the rest of the coaches had figured out the same idea. My son went on to place 3rd in his division.
As you can see, I have no sour grapes on the e-hogu. However, I did a Google search. These things are terrible! And everybody knows it! They are calibrated to a 150-pound man. What's more, the traditional Taekwondo defintion of a scoring kick was one that delivered a "trembling blow." These only register the "slap" type kicks.
I decided, and my son agreed, that we would not enter him into any further tournaments that require the e-hogu.
I shall also call for a boycott of any and all companies selling these devices until they can get their collective acts together. That said, I've heard that Adidas makes a good one. Too bad it is over $600 per hogu (a regular hogu is $40-$60). That is another reason to avoid these things. The cost. A regular set of sparring equipment can be had for under $100. The socks alone to this crazy setup are $65+++.
A few days ago, Ron Paul said some really stupid things. A friend saw this, as well as my statements on the issue, and asked me if the Libertarian Party is done for after these statements.
My answer: No way. Not even close.
Ron Paul retired for a reason. He was a man whose popularity peaked way too late. He son has a better chance of a large scale political win. Paul has long been touted as being crazy, this was just the most recent episode. Paul is not the voice of the Libertarian Party nor of the movement toward personal liberty.
Besides, every day a Republican or Democrat says far worse. You don't see people flocking away from either party.
Watched the State Of The Union address last night. Instead of a blow-by-blow, thought I'd do a summary instead.
The President wants:
- To increase by 29 new government programs.
- To somehow not spend any more money (how with all the new programs?).
- To take your guns away, but not his.
- To complete taking over your healthcare, but not his own.
- To control big businesses more.
- To crush small businesses more.
- To allow illegals an amnesty program.
- To allow illegals to vote.
- To raise your taxes, even though he just did that five weeks ago.
- To complete the conversion of the USA to Socialism.
Now, he said he wanted a lot more things, too. However, i will not list those, as they are just not realistic. For example: he said he wished to overhaul entitlement programs and reduce spending there. We all know that he has no such desire.
A number of people have asked me this question a number of different ways. So here is my thoughts on the quintessential gun collection that every American should own.
Every collection should have the following at a minimum...
A) .22LR Rifle
D) Centerfire Rifle - semiautomatic, external box magazine fed Medium-level collection:
I think most people would be well served to add...
E) A revolver
F) .22LR pistol
G) Bolt action centerfire rifle
Beyond these items, a more advanced collection would simply include backups to the aforementioned, as well as the gun owner's personal preference of collectibles.Here are some details on each item:
A) .22LR Rifle
OK, it is hard to go wrong in this category. There are many others that would also serve well.
Pump or semi auto is preferable. Any action will do.
12-gauge, 20-gauge and .410-bore would be your best choices.
Sig-Saeur, GLOCK, Smith & Wesson (M&P model), and Springfield XD are the makes.
9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP are the calibers.
D) Centerfire Rifle
AK47 / AK74
M1 / M1A
Also, get plenty of mags (clips for the M1 and SKS) and ammo.
There is a photograph making the rounds on the internet showing President Obama shooting an over-under shotgun. It is causing quite the stir.
Conservatives, Republicans, and gun-rights advocates are often going on record as critiquing the President's form. True, the photograph demonstrates clearly that if that moment was not the very first time the man had shot a gun, it was certainly one of the first times he's ever gone shooting.
Liberals are screaming that Republicans who see the picture will be frightened for seeing a black man with a gun. Truth is, most Republicans, conservatives, and shooters enjoy seeing all types of minorities on the shooting range.
Fact is, I'm just glad the man has actually gone shooting. I wish he would go shooting more often. I wish he would shoot an AR15. I wish he would try to preserve the tradition for his daughters.
And for the fun, here are some of the more hilarious photoshops that can be found on Facebook:
New series... Things That Make Liberals Wet Their Pants. (TTMLWTP)
Left to Right: Target / Match AR15
AR15 with Heavy profile stainless steel match grade barrel - 20"
Free float quad rail from YHM
Magpul carbine stock, pistol grip, backup sight, and 20-round magazine.
Hornady steel match 75-grain ammo
Leupold 2.5-10x Mil Dot scope
Del Ton barrel and bolt
RRA match trigger
30-round magazines (x2) with M193 clone ammo
20" heavy barrel from Bushmaster
SAA complete lower
Flat top with detachable carry handle sights
30-round magazines (x2) with M193 clone ammo
I recently finished watching all of the episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on Netflix. Here are some thoughts:
This series is certainly a dichotomy. Almost could be called the schizophrenic series of the Star Trek universe. The first three seasons were very "blah" - certainly the worst three seasons of the Star Trek universe. The fourth season showed promise. The final three seasons were the best three seasons of all Star Trek.
Captain Sisko was the best Captain of them all, except maybe Captain Archer. He was not afraid of a fight, was not overly stuffy, and certainly had his flaws.
I wasn't a huge fan of the Kira Nyrese character, but she made sense in the series.
The addition of Worf was timely and an excellent choice overall.
Jadzia Dax was a great character. Ezri Dax was totally different, but also worthy.
Quark was good comedic side relief.
Odo was a great security officer.
O'Brien is endearing when he is not made to suffer.
Karate is one of the most popular martial arts in the world. There is much confusion with parts of karate, reasons for the way some things were done, and true history and traditions. I'll elaborate on a lot of these in this post for the sake of clarity.
As with most cultures, Okinawa had local self defense arts based around grappling (Tegumi) and striking (Tode-jutsu). The striking arts were heavily influenced over the years by the occupying forces of Japan and China. Specifically, Chinese Kung-Fu was integrated into the Tode-jutsu. In the late 1800's and early 1900's, several main traditions started in Karate.
Though some karate exponents will claim that some karate kata (forms) are hundreds of years old, the fact is that there is no known documentation of kata existing prior to the 1850's. Gichin Funakoshi - the man who brought karate to Japan from Okinawa - brought a number of kata to Japan. Many of these he changed, and some he created himself.
Kata were primarily created so that people could practice karate legally while the controlling Japanese had banned the practice of martial arts. Kata disguised the movements as a dance. Cultural dance was not forbidden.
Indeed, Funakoshi's instructors, Itosu and Azato, taught few kata. Itosu is credited with breaking Naihanchi (a once large kata) into three smaller parts. Given Okinawan honor codes, it is unlikely that a man of honor would alter a kata that drastically, unless he had created it in the first place.
The history of the Pinan / Heian kata is a bit more concrete. They were created either by Funakoshi or Itosu. Those who trained with both men seemed to favor the hypothesis that Funakoshi created these kata. These kata were created in the early 1900's.
In fact, the only kata for which a history can be documented prior to 1880 are Kushanku, Naihanchi, Seisan, and Chinto. Today, there are dozens of kata, and many are called traditional.
Each of the three villages had its own take on the kata, to be sure. And this further confuses things.
Styles - Original
Originally, there were three "styles" of Okinawan karate - Shuri-te, Naha-te, and Tomari-te. These styles were formed more or less due to differences in training styles and kata execution between three villages - Shuri, Naha, and Tomari.
After Funakoshi brought karate to Japan, there was a natural separation of styles. Many advanced practitioners reverted to the more traditional methodologies, as opposed to Funakoshi's adopted changes. Four main styles emerged: Shotokan, Wado-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, and Shorin-Ryu. Today, there are multiple associations branched from each of these four styles, as well as other styles largely influenced from one of the main four.
In a broad sense, the four styles can be linked to the three village styles.
Shotokan - mixture of each of the three. Shuri-te dominant (80%), with a reminder of Tomari-te and Naha-te.
Wado-Ryu - Tomari-te dominant.
Shorin-Ryu - Shuri-te dominant.
Goju-Ryu - Naha-te dominant.
Styles - Modern
Today, there are almost as many styles of karate as there are black belts. So many, particularly in America, have mixed and matched different things from here and there. It used to be that one could tell the dominant influence after seeing only a few kata... but that is no longer the case. Things have become homogenous in a watered-down sense.
A distinct factor in people wanting to create their own style was the fact that the post-WWII Japanese were very angry with having American occupiers. They withheld rank. They acted racist. Americans realized they were deserving of more, and either self-promoted to higher rank, or formed groups that would facilitate such promotions.
Enter the capitalist. Other Americans, eager to capitalize on money-making opportunity, organized karate into something that could be bought and sold. More and more styles were created, as these opportunists felt a need for anonymity.
Also enter the lazy. Many people would not want to put in the hard work and dedication, and would leave a school, self-promote to black belt, and then start their own style.
Also enter the deposed. Some legitimate black belts lost their up-lines due to death, falling-out, or other circumstance. People in this position were almost forced to adopt their own style.
Enter the Koreans (Taekwondo and Tang Soo Do), the Okinawans (Kenpo / Kempo), and others who wanted to create their own style for other reasons than have been listed already. To be sure, there were some motives that have already been covered, but let's give the benefit of the doubt and say that they had their reasons, too.
There are many old stories floating around about the different colored belts in karate. One, more common story goes like this: the karate student got a white belt with the uniform, and was instructed never to wash the belt. Eventually, the belt was soiled and got darker and darker.
That story is just that: a story.
In addition to lacking hygiene, that story also lacks facts. Karate students did not have a designated uniform (gi) until the 1920's or so. Funakoshi borrowed the idea from Jigoro Kano, founder of Judo. Kano had seen swimmers divided into competition categories based on sash color, and adopted the idea. Plus, a uniform was required for Judo, given the holds taken that use the collar and other parts of the gi.
Karate adopted the uniform and the colored belt system in the 1920's, at the earliest.
The original Japanese systems used white, brown, and black belts. Europeans added the yellow, orange, blue, green, and purple. Eventually, the Japanese adopted these colors, too.
How does one acquire a skill without actually doing the specific activity? Well, it is hard to do so. However, many karate schools engage in little if any free sparring. They do not test their hypotheses. They do not get hit. They do not hit others. They do not sharpen real skills against resisting opponents.
Earlier today, Ron Paul tweeted a very disrespectful statement about Chris Kyle, the US Navy SEAL sniper who sadly died this past weekend. I couldn't believe it when I heard it, so I followed Paul on Twitter, and took this screen capture on my own iPhone:
I've said many times that the problem with Ron Paul was his Paulbots. I do not know if Paul himself tweets, or if he has one of his followers post for him. Either way, he just never seemed quite right. Now we have proof.
There have been a string of really disturbing things associated with the martial arts world lately. I was reading a forum where a newly minted Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt hanged himself. People close to the situation say he was very dedicated on the mat, but had serious issues off the mat. Not too long ago, two high ranking students of a noted BJJ Black Belt raped a girl and it was caught on security camera.
For several years now, such delinquent behavior has been increasingly associated with MMA schools and participants, and it certainly bleeds over into the BJJ community - no doubt due in part to the close ties between the two sports.
Some time back, I called out BJJ as being the McDojo of the 21st Century - a claim I still stand behind 100%. The one main difference is that a number of McDojos do actually teach a bit of character development. Not many BJJ schools or MMA gyms do that at all.
Instead of simply calling BJJ and MMA out on their failures here, which are quite evident, I am also going to implore instructors associated with both sports to do the right thing: start emphasizing character building aspects - which have long been a part of the martial arts.
Not really, but that's how it turned out. In Seattle,WA, police held a "gun buyback" - offering $100 for handguns, shotguns, and rifles; and $200 for "assault weapons."
Local gun enthusiasts parked near the entry points, and offered more reasonable amounts for guns they desired. Local passersby also offered amounts for desired guns, probably both from the gun enthusiasts as well as those selling.
The police were offering gift certificates,the supply of which was exhausted by 11 am, prompting those selling the guns to turn back to the enthusiasts in an attempt to make a cash trade.
Funny part: at the end of the article, the quote: "Now the only question is, when will the Seattle Police department stage the next gun show?"
To quote Jihadists: "only Americans and women use sights."
So as not to "offend" our Muslim enemies, lets delve into the concept of sights. Specifically, lets talk about sights for the Patriot Rifle of Choice - the AR15 and its variants. This will not be a comparison, per se, but a simple discussion about different sights one might choose.
In a broad sense, there are two types of sighting systems - irons and optics. Irons are not necessarily constructed with iron, but the concept is the same: they are metal (or plastic) and provide a rear sight and a front sight for the shooter to line up - often of the aperture variety. Optics require no "lining up;" as a rule, one simply looks through the optic and uses the reticle to indicate the point where the bullet will strike. Optics come in magnified and non-magnified varieties - and each has its advantages and drawbacks.
The most varied of the group. On an AR15, the iron sights might be a fixed carry handle like the old M16, or it might be a metal and plastic flip-up sight. It might be an iron sight designed to give the function of the old carry handle (elevation knob as well as windage), without taking up as much space on the flat top of the rifle - YHM makes a good one.
As for the flip-up sights, these can be used as a primary sight, but are more commonly employed as a backup - in case a primary optic experiences some sort of failure. As such, it is common for the flip-up sight to have a small profile when stowed.
Flip-up sights like Troy, YHM, and Magpul are excellent. These types do not have elevation settings, and so they are often sighted in at a common distance - 50/200 yards is most common. This allows the shooter an easy to remember ballistic - within 2" of point-of-aim (POA) out to 250 yards, and only 7" drop at 300 yards.
Flip-up sights like KAC and MATECH offer the slim profile when stowed, plus elevation settings for shooting out to 600 meters.
Probably the most common optic these days is a red dot. Many manufacturers make them, but only Trijicon, EoTech, and Aimpoint have had any significant military use. Consequently these makes are often the most expensive.
Alternately, many other manufacturers make quality red dots for far less money. Most notably, Primary Arms and Vortex.
Red dots also come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Micro dots are most in demand at the time of this writing, but many others are popular, too.
Quick-detach mounts are available so the optic can be removed post-haste in the event of failure at a critical time.
Just like traditional hunting rifles, an AR15 can accommodate a scope. Scopes can have fixed magnification or variable magnifications.
Quick-detach mounts are available so the optic can be removed post-haste in the event of failure at a critical time.
This scope gets a category all its own. The ACOG is in common use by the USMC as well as the US Army. It offers magnification and it also gives a Ballistic Drop Coefficient (BDC) so the shooter can not only range a target out to longer distances, but also know where the bullet will impact at that range.
ACOGs are built tough. There is a running joke that they can double as a hammer if needed. This is uncommon among scopes.
ACOGs have one of several different types of reticles, including crosshair, horseshoe, and chevron. These reticles come in several different colors.
For up-close, the ACOGs using horseshoe and chevron reticles can be employed using the Bindon Aiming Concept (BAC). Alternately, an ACOG can be fit with irons atop or even a small platform from which to mount a miniature red dot.
Quick-detach mounts are available so the optic can be removed post-haste in the event of failure at a critical time.
1 - 4x Scope
This scope, too, has a category all its own. Offering most of the advantages of the ACOG, as well as a red dot, a 1-4x scope fits many uses. Made by many popular manufacturers, including Leupold, Burris, Vortex, and others, the 1-4x also can be found in multiple price ranges. The 1-4x scope also has many different reticle types.
Quick-detach mounts are available so the optic can be removed post-haste in the event of failure at a critical time.
Budget Compact Scopes
The Burris 332 and AR-536 fall into this category, as does the Primary Arms PAC3X. These scopes, like the ACOG, have their own category. This is because they do 90% of what an ACOG does, but at half the price, or less.
Both Burris models offer a small section of picatinny rail along the top so that a miniature red dot can be mounted. All three can also be mounted just like an ACOG, so a quick-detach mount is possible.
Also similar to ACOGs, but also multiple times more expensive than a Burris, would be the Leupold HAMR and Elcan Spectre. These both offer BDC aiming as well as low magnification in a tough shell.
The mainstream leftist media tries to paint all of politics as either left or right. They are effective at it, as many"conservative" friends actually thought Mitt Romney was conservative!!!
What troubles me with any characterization is that they can be so misleading. And this is true with the concept of progressive vs. conservative. Also known as leftist ideology vs. right wing.
Throw into the mix the ideas of the Constitution party (which I will refer to as Constitutionalism) and the ideas of the Libertarian party (Libertarianism), and things really get muddy.
Or do they???
This includes the Libertarian party, and other parties whose platforms are mostly free of more government control. The Green party would probably find itself in the lower left side of the libertarian quadrant. From what I can tell, the Justice party would be in this quadrant - likely at the lower right corner.
This would include the Constitution Party. Reagan would have been in the lower left corner of this quadrant. What I think is the best named party ever - the Rent is Too Damn High party - would likely be in the lower left part of this quadrant, too.
This would include Christofascism as well as Islamofascism. Even among the minor American parties, it is hard to find too many that would be solidly in the middle of this quadrant.
It is worthy of note that crony-capitalism, specifically right-wing crony-capitalism, would be in this quadrant. Some call this corporate fascism, and that term is accurate.
A small part of the NeoCons - the "establishment" part of the Republican party exists here. Only a small part.
- Socialism (duh!)
- American Progressivism.
- Democratic Party (USA)
- Leftist crony-capitalism
All of these are solidly in this quadrant.
Much of the modern Republican party finds itself in this quadrant with regards to how they vote. Here is how it breaks down:
The red is the Republican party.
Purple is most independents who vote one way or the other, but not 3rd party.
Blue is the Democrat party.
Yep, I just called the American Establishment Republicans a bunch of fascists, which they are.
Yep, I just called the American Democrat Party a bunch of leftists, which they are.