Sunday, March 31, 2013

Shooting & Easter

This particularly for my friend, Right Minded. How many Easter peeps will a .50 BMG shoot through?

Answer is here:


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easing off a bit

For nearly 18 straight months, I have made it a point to have a blog post every day.

It is not easy, but it was fun... mostly.

I've decided to ease off a bit. I will not self-impose a post every day - at least for a while. Most of my traffic comes via specific Google searches anyways, and not through a chain of gun blogs to which I subscribe (it used to be that most of my traffic came through those... not anymore).

Still gonna tackle the tough subjects.
Still gonna do a blog post if requested by you, the reader.
Still gonna ty to piss off Calvinists, Liberals, and other group that need to be PO'd.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Financial Advice

Dave Ramsey: Good Stuff or Fraud?

Google that and you find all kinds of things. I've been sitting on this one for about two years. At one time, I had all kinds of links to things. As people get better with Google, I find that's no longer necessary.

To the point, Dave Ramsey - particularly his program "Financial Peace" which is marketed through his "Total Money Makeover" program - is a controversial topic and he is a controversial person in the financial world. Without a doubt, he is an expert self-promoter and a fantastic salesman. But what about the product he sells - is it good or not?

I say, within the scope of whom it was intended for, it is better than average. Outside its scope, the program suffers a bit.

The program seems geared toward those who have a higher than average income and who also have a fair amount of debt. Financial Peace meets its kryptonite when you have:
A) A person with below average income - regardless of amount of debt.
B) A person with little to no debt and a higher income.
C) A regular person who needs insurance or investment advice.

- Christian based principles.
- Simple, almost slogan-like, guiding concepts. Only 7 "Baby steps."
- Getting out of debt is good.
- Saving money is good!
- Not spending frivolously is good (can you hear that, Congress!?).
- Working on a budget (a plan) is very good.
- Communication with one's spouse on all things, including financial, is very good!

- Dave himself really has a kind heart. You can tell when he talks to people.
- Dave has a way of boiling things down to very simple principles when looking at options. Great idea for "should I buy/sell."

The investment advice given by Dave Ramsey is simply erroneous.
Most investment advisers (including a number of his "ELP's") simply do not agree with Ramsey.
Main thing here is that Dave's suggestions are based on the market of the early 1990's (when he began teaching this program), as well as the old Primerica system of advisement - which was good for one thing: making Primerica rich. Today, the government has enacted more stringent controls and has drastically devalued the dollar in recent years. This changes the landscape dramatically. Some are not as kind, and some say Dave is outright misleading or naive.

Dave's advice on insurance is sometimes spotty.
For example: Dave always wars against "whole life" insurance. Always. Problem is, there are some people that do not qualify for cheaper term life, and can only buy whole life.

Dave seems out of touch with reality on some things. 
Back in the early 1990's, it was easy to buy a good used car for $1000 that would last several years and get you "from point A to point B." Thanks in part to inflation, and in part to "Cash for Clunkers" those days are gone. The car Dave talks about is really going to cost about $5000, and Dave appears to simply have no clue. Some have said that it has been too long since he has had to buy one.

Dave's advice on jobs is overly simplified.
Dave often advises that some people simply get a better job or otherwise raise their income. Some people, due to a combination of parts of 1) ability (or lack thereof), 2) initiative (or lack thereof), 3) intelligence (or lack thereof), and 4) location - simply cannot get a better job. This is the Achilles heel of the Dave Ramsey plan - the low income family. For them, debt may be necessary for certain things.

Dave's advice on credit is really spotty. 
Certainly, one can get a home loan without a credit score if one shops well, but it will not be a good rate.

Again, briefly, many people will point out that Dave hasn't had to apply for a job in over 20 years, and just cannot see that having good credit is needed for some things.

And this is the third main area that Dave's credit advice really fails so many people.

Dave never went through the plan himself.
Dave filed bankruptcy and started over, based on what he states on his radio show. He never paid off all the old debt. He advises people do what he himself did not do. He advises people avoid what he himself did.

Show me someone who got rich on Dave's Plan. 
Now there are many who worked their way out of debt, but where are the millionaires? Oh, yeah, millionaires get that way by hard work and starting companies themselves. The only people who have made themselves rich via investments are those who made a business of investing. Nobody following Dave's advice and putting money into a Roth IRA did so to the point that they got rich. Nope - they got rich first, then set aside investment money.

In a nutshell, if you keep to what he says about debt only, it is a good plan. Otherwise, keep a good credit score, get investment advice from a professional, and get your insurance advice from a professional, and just skip over parts where Dave talks about that.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fun Day

Several months ago, I had a really fun day. Here's how it happened:

My daughter's best friend in the whole world is Nicole. I was told that at Nicole's school, there would be a "daddy-daughter" doughnut day (or daddy-son, depending on the child, of course). Nicole's father is not in the picture. Nicole's guardian asked me if I would mind stepping in for the day.

Of course! I'd be happy to!

So a few weeks later, the event came and went. It was a fun hour in the kindergarten class. They sang a few little songs, danced a little dance, and had an info sheet and a paper neck tie the kids had made during craft time the day before. I wore the tie, watched the songs and dance, and we all had a doughnut.

The funniest thing to me was the worksheet. Nicole knows me from Taekwondo, as well as a few times from social functions as my wife and her guardian are close friends. But I am not her daddy. So some of the answers on the sheet were totally hilarious:

Here is the sheet:
- At the time of this event, I was 37, not 30. lol
- I have blue eyes, not black. Nicole was referring to my pupils, though. lol
- My favorite color is green. Nicole had never asked me that question. lol
- I do enjoy pizza (though I do not eat it often), and I dislike dirt. Those are totally correct.
- I do work when I'm at work, and I enjoy playing with my kids at home, so again, she got it right!
- Of course Nicole's favorite time with me is at Taekwondo (listed as "Karate") because that's the only time she really sees me!  lol
- Nicole does not like it when I "push her up" - that is 5-year-old speak for making her do pushups. That's what I make her do when she is out of line in the Taekwondo lobby.
- I do tell her to be good, and she knows I want my Blackberry back. more funny stuff!

I thought it was sweet. What do you think?


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why I Chose Radical

I get back from work today and see Facebook plastered. At the heart of it is that the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard today arguments on California's ban on same-sex marriage.

From my LGBT friends, and those who support them, I see tons of pictures like this:

What they have right:
Gays are not harming another person, so let them do what they will, with regards to marriage.

What they have wrong:
Do you really want the government telling ANYBODY whom they can or cannot marry???

From my conservative Christian friends, I see lots of pictures like this:

What they have right:
Marriage, as defined in the Bible, is one man and one woman.

What they have wrong:
Do you really want the government telling ANYBODY whom they can or cannot marry???

From the Libertarians, I see a picture like this:

What they have right:
Pretty much everything.

What they have wrong:
Still trying to determine. Gonna go with

From a guy who lost a lot of weight, I see this:

What he got right:
I mean, come on! it's bacon!

What he got wrong:
It's bacon!

And finally, I see a picture that describes me perfectly:

It is a square root symbol. Also known as a "radical" symbol from mathematics.
I made this my picture on Facebook for today. It is because I am radical on this whole idea:

- Because I am not gay, I do not get married to another man.

- I believe that the Constitution is silent on the issue, and therefore government has no jurisdiction to dictate to me or anybody else what is marriage and what is not. That is between me, my spouse, my God, and whomever I choose to perform the ceremony. 

- I believe the government screws up EVERYTHING it touches. That is a radical notion... because it is true.
I believe that because the government screws up everything it touches, then both the LGBT community, and the conservative Christian community would be wise to approach this issue from a completely different angle.

- I believe that when something is regulated by the government, We the People are stripped of our rights.
That is a radical notion... shared by our founding fathers.

- I believe that if I don't like gay marriage, then I should not should not get married to a gay guy.
That is a radical notion. It also fits my beliefs on other things (I.E. - If you do not like guns, then do not buy one).

- I believe that if a gay person does not like straight marriage, then they should not marry a straight person of the opposite sex. That is a radical notion.

- I believe the government has no right to tell me what I can and cannot do, so long as it does not prevent another person from his/her right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness.

1. One more right stripped, reduces all of our freedom.
2. I have a lesbian friend, who reads this blog. If the SCOTUS rules against her, it strips her freedoms. If the SCOTUS rules in her favor, it strips her freedoms, too.
3. I have a transgendered friend - this person was born male, but now identifies as female. This person is married to a woman. This ruling could affect my friend's ability to continue to be married.
4. I know a guy from high school who is gay. A ruling by the SCOTUS is not going to be in his favor - either way!
5. If the ban is upheld, then it means that state governments may strip freedoms from people by simple majority vote. That, my friends, is democracy. We are not a democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic. There is a difference. The difference is that in a Constitutional Republic, the rights of the individual are protected from the mob of majority.
6. If the SCOTUS makes a ruling in either direction, it is more evidence that a court can decide what you may and may not do, outside the realm of the deprivation of others from life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness.

Christian folks: do you really want the government to establish what is marriage and what is not???
Really? Do you? What will you do when folks get in to government (or appointed to the SCOTUS) who do not share your views on marriage?

LGBT folks: do you really want the government to establish what marriage is and is not???
Really? Do you? What will you do when folks get in to government (or appointed to the SCOTUS) who do not share your views on marriage?

Get the government out of marriage - 
gay, straight, polygamous, etc. 

I believe that the concept of marriage 
is just too important to be regulated by
(read: screwed up by)
the government.


What is not Sin

We have already discussed what sin is. However, there are many "gray areas" out there. The confusion is 100% because of man. People twist scriptures to mean whatever they want, then go around talking about their perversion as if it were gospel truth.

Spreading manure.

Law of Moses
The Law of Moses is fulfilled. So what are the sins a Christian might commit? Simply put, a Christian sins when he/she fails to show love to God, or to his/her neighbor.

Similarly, Christians are not required to live according to the Law of Moses in order to show their obedience. Since Christ fulfilled those requirements, they no longer apply. For example, Christians are not required to offer sacrifices in order to wash away their sin - Jesus did that on the cross.

The Law of Moses did not apply to the people who lived for many years before Moses. The Law of Moses had a distinct beginning point - when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments (which determined what is sin and not sin for all mankind), and then later when He gave what is known as The Law of Moses. The Law of Moses also had a distinct endpoint - the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

The Law of Moses was finite - it had a beginning and an end.

Because it is finite, it is not a measure of sin, but rather, a set of guidelines for the Jews - God's chosen people. God set forth the Law of Moses so that the Jews could be set apart - distinguished - from the other peoples of that time and the nearby areas. 

Because the Law of Moses was fulfilled, it does not apply - even in part.

In fact, most Jews say that Gentiles should not attempt to keep the Torah, as it was only given to the Jews for the Jews to demonstrate how they are set apart by Adonai (God)!

Other commands & suggestions that are not law
God gives many commands & suggestions in the Bible that are not "law" - in that, when broken, one has not sinned. On the contrary, these are character-building activities and good rules to live life by. For example:
- Tithing is not a sin / salvation issue. It is a character-building issue.
- Owing money (debt) is not a sin / salvation issue. It is a a good rule to live life by.

This list is way too long to go into great detail on. Suffice it to say that for the modern Christian, the "Greatest Commandments" as stated by Jesus in Matthew 5 mark the definition of sin or not sin. The Ten Commandments surely elaborate. Going any further than that is wide open to debate and opinion.

Commonly stated as being "sin" without Biblical support:
- Drinking alcohol. Even "in excess."
- Smoking or otherwise using tobacco.
- Use of marijuana, narcotics, or other mind-altering substances.
- Gambling.
- Anger.
- Being uncircumcised.
- Sex before marriage.

The ones on alcohol and drugs actually make me laugh - because these same people think it perfectly OK to take prescription medications that accomplish the same thing. (Funny story: my own mother was strongly against cocaine, yet was administered cocaine by a doctor during a medical operation).

To be clear, it is good practice to avoid allowing any of these, or the dozens of commonly misconstrued-as-sin activities from dominating your life. Similarly, if one were to be doing one of these things, and as a result, harmed another, then that would have been a contributing factor to the sin. 

I was once of the opinion that all of the things on this list were sins. Now I know that many are simply like the life advice given in Proverbs: good advice.

Seven Deadly Sins
What about the list of so-called seven deadly sins? This list, more commonly kept by Catholics, is an intriguing one. Let's examine in light of the Two Greatest Commandments (as stated by Christ Jesus in Matthew 5) in light of the Ten Commandments:
Lust (A type of Coveting)
Gluttony (shows a lack of self control, but not a sin)
Greed (Love your neighbor)
Sloth (a character issue, but not a sin)
Wrath (love your neighbor)
Envy (Covet)
Pride (Love your God, love your neighbor)

Not all sins, but not a bad list to live by.

The Seven Laws of Noah
Sometimes these are called the Noahide Law or Noahide Code, sometimes they are referred to as the Noachide Law or Code. According to Judaism, the keeping of these laws is for all children of Noah - all mankind. According to religious Jews, any non-Jew who adheres to these laws is a righteous Gentile.  Are these laws indicative of sin?
1. Prohibition of idolatry (Love your God)
2. Prohibition of murder (Love your neighbor)
3. Prohibition of theft (Love your neighbor)
4. Prohibition of sexual immorality* (Love your neighbor)
5. Prohibition of blasphemy (Love your God)
6. Prohibition of eating flesh of a live animal (cannot classify as either, but maintains humaneness)
7. Establishment of justice systems to enforce 1-6 (again, cannot be directly classified, but is directly related to the others).

I'll go out on a limb here. Given the observation of the Talmud to the specifics here, particularly with definitions of sexual immorality, and insistence upon being humane (Laws 6 & 7), I'll say that this is a very good list of sins to avoid. In my opinion, it is a stronger statement than the one made by the apostles in Acts 15...

What the Apostles had to say about New Covenant and sins:
From Acts 15: 28-29 -
The Holy Spirit has led us to the decision that no burden should be placed on you other than these essentials: refuse food offered to idols, blood, the meat from strangled animals, and sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid such things.
Again, these are not listed as being sins, but as common sense things to avoid. Clearly also, the Apostles wanted Christians to show love for God and for other people.


Monday, March 25, 2013

What is Sin?

What is sin? 
According to the Free Online Dictionary, the definition is:
A transgression of a religious or moral law, especially when deliberate.
That link also has another good statement of what sin is: "Deliberate disobedience to the known will of God."

Ways to sin:
Broadly speaking, there are two ways to sin:
- Sin of omission: failing to do (to omit) what one should do.
- Sin of commission: doing something that one should not do.

What did Jesus say about sin?
Matthew 22:34-40 -
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had left the Sadducees speechless, they met together. One of them, a legal expert, tested him. “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
 Naturally, Jesus had a lot more to say on the issue, but this summed it up well. To sin would be to violate either of these two concepts.

Ten Commandments
Many feel the Ten Commandments outline sin as per God's design. This is certainly true. Let's compare the Ten Commandments to the two greatest commandments according to Jesus Christ:
1. Have no other gods before God. (Love God)
2. Do not make idols or graven images. (Love God)
3. Do not take God's name as if it were of no significance. (Love God)
4. Remember the Sabbath Day. (Love God)
5. Honor your parents. (Love your neighbor)
6. Do not murder. (Love your neighbor)
7. Do not commit adultery. (Love your neighbor)
8. Do not steal. (Love your neighbor)
9. Do not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Love your neighbor)
10. Do not covet. (Love your neighbor)

Note 1: Those of the Talmudic persuasion feel that God saying "I am the Lord, your God," is the first commandment. They subsequently combine commandments 2 and 3.

Note 2: Those of the Lutheran and Roman Catholic persuasions combine the first and second commandments as listed, and split the covet commandment into two.

The Law of Moses
A significant portion of the Pentateuch following the Ten Commandments, as written in Exodus 20, is dedicated to the giving of the Law of Moses. This Law is predominantly viewed as being there for Jews to live by so as to distinguish themselves from the other peoples of the time.

The Law of Moses has been fulfilled. Jesus Christ did not invalidate the law, but He fulfilled it as He said in Matthew 5. 

Some people try to attribute selected parts of the Law of Moses as still being applicable for today.
Some people claim that some parts of the Law of Moses are sins - even for modern Christians.
These people have an agenda and distort the scriptures for their own purposes... more on this to come!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Vacation fun

Some time back, during my kids' spring break, I took some days off. We went to the western part of the state and had some fun.

The first day, we went to the range and saw some wildlife at a TWRA refuge area.
The second day, we went to my father's farm area and also saw some of my dad's side of the family.
The final day, we drove by Tennessee Safari Park - an attraction we will have to visit with full admission in the future.

Some photos I snapped:

My newly-built RECCE shoots accurately:

 Some more accuracy from the RECCE:

At the farm, a young calf had fallen, probably to coyotes:

 An older cow had also fallen, several months prior by my estimation:

Near the farm is Highway 223 (lol):

A five-year-old doesn't get hair and ear protection:


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saved out of Calvinism

Came across this video of a man who was saved out of Calvinism. Powerful stuff!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Take this quiz

Calvinists - take this quiz to see how Calvinist you are.

Christians, take this quiz so you can elaborate on your doctrinal principles.


Tell me how you rank?

(If this link ever expires, please write me, I have saved the text... as this is an important subject).


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Taking it to the Streets

Recently, some men from Global Vision Bible Church volunteered to experience life as homeless people for a time. Story about it in the Tennessean. (link has been taken down by the Tennessean)

Here is a new link from the church itself. I know Pastor Locke personally - great guy! It was cool to see the tweets and Youtube videos from him and others while they went through with their plan.

Global Vision is just up the road from my house, and has been growing like nobody's business in the last few years. They have a ministry for homeless people, and things like this are why they have great success with their ministerial outreaches.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Review

Just finished reading the book Winning On The Ground by Dr. Anna Maria DeMars and Jimmy Pedro Sr. Being the first martial arts related book I've purchased in a couple of years, it was a refreshing read. DeMars contributed the lion's share of the text, and Pedro seemed to play the role of contributor / editor / spoiler / technical consultant.

Among the most notable persons posing for the photos in Winning On The Ground were:
Ronda Rousey - current UFC women's bantamweight champion and Judo Olympic medalist.
Kayla Harrison - Judo Gold Medalist in 2012 women's 78 kg.
Travis McLaughlin - MMA fighter

The theme of the book was simple - how to win on the ground. Not surprisingly, the methodology had a distinct Judo flair. The main difference between Judo groundwork and Jiu-Jitsu (most notably, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or "BJJ") groundwork is that Judo groundwork is more explosive, whereas BJJ groundwork is more laborious in the sense that it is really stretched out. First, a word on this:

These are my thoughts, not those expressed in the book:
Explosive groundwork:
Just because I say that Judo style groundwork is explosive does NOT mean that it is always lightning quick. What it does mean is that Judo-based groundwork has far fewer techniques. The concept is that the player attacks immediately once she realizes where she is at. Also included is the idea of attacking the transition - before a set position is established. This applies to escapes as well as finishes from dominant positions. 

Laborious groundwork:
Just because I say that BJJ groundwork is laborious does not mean that it is always long and drawn-out. What is does mean is that there is a more well-defined progression through a series of escapes and passes and on to dominant positions and then to submissions. Because of the road map of positional advances, there are MANY options for attack and defense at each position.

As they apply to MMA and Self Defense
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Self Defense are similar in that simplicity is the key. One only "needs" a few options from each position. When done correctly, the practitioner will attack with option A. If that fails, the practitioner will transition to attack with option B. If that fails, it is on to option C, or back to option A again. No need for hundreds of positions and permutations.

Back to the book review:

All of the techniques shown were immediate attacks from specific matwork situations. Almost all were applicable in Judo, submission grappling, or BJJ. About 1/3 were immediately useful for MMA or Self Defense. A clever coach could apply about 2/3 of the book to Self Defense or MMA.

DeMars' writing style is very down-to-earth and should be easy to understand for all skill levels as well as intelligence levels. You can see her years of teaching and coaching come out in the words.

My takes
No new techniques (been a while since I've come across something totally new). However, some really good drills. More importantly, some REALLY good hints on how to get better. I particularly liked the part about drilling your main attack 1000 times. The point was moving toward simplicity - mastery of a few techniques as opposed to passing knowledge of many techniques.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Took my daughter to the range...

Actually, I took the whole family. However, at one point, I told my kids to put their "ears" on. My son yells to get my attention and says: "look at Cali!"

The hair!!!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Much Success

This past weekend, my student, Sarah, competed in the Louisiana State Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu championships. Though prior obligations rendered me unable to attend, I was certainly there in spirit. Through the magic of Youtube, we happen to be able to view the matches that were filmed any time we want.

Here was Sarah's First match in the gi division:

My thoughts as a coach / instructor:

Nice tomoe nage (circular throw) in the opening. Most BJJ players pull guard. Those of us with a Judo-inspired background will try to take someone down, as it leads to a dominant position.

The juji gatame attempt from guard was good. You can hear the coach yelling for the opponent to pull her elbow out slow. That was good advice, and in direct contradiction to what he coached next...

You can hear the opposing coach yelling for his player to go "fast fast fast!" in her guard pass attempts. "Fast" may win positions at this level, but is an unsure strategy for a more advanced player. We train to do things "better" - not "faster," "harder," or "stronger." Sarah demonstrated excellent patience, and did eventually win by her favorite movement, juji gatame.

This competitor was a three-stripe white belt at the time... not far from BJJ blue belt. Sarah dominated the match. It is my speculative opinion, based on this match as well as the results of Sarah's matches the past few months that if she were to train under a BJJ instructor, she would almost immediately be ranked a blue belt. Probably with several stripes. Outside chance that some BJJ instructors might rank her at purple.

At this tournament, Sarah won Gold in both divisions - gi and nogi. At NAGA last fall, she won gold in nogi and silver in gi... competing with the same opponent in the gold medal match both times. At this tournament, Sarah also won Silver in the absolute (no weight limit) division... only loss of the day was to a competitor her same rank and 60+ pounds heavier.

Given her performance, as her coach, I will advise she enter future tournaments in the next higher skill category.


Quote of the Day


If you've ever watched Black Hawk Down and thought: "I could live there!"


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ooooh Lawdy!

If you are from TN, you'll get this.
If you have visited TN, you'll get this.
If you don't get this, then simply understand that Memphis is a different country. Period.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Calvinist Corner - March 2013

Calvinism is not Biblical Doctrine. It's a human philosophy that appeals to proud-minded individuals.

Verbal Gymnastics:
Calvinists will say that though God predestines some for Heaven, that does not mean that He predestines the others for Hell. How can that be?

They will say that God shows grace and mercy, and try to change the focus and point of conversation. But these are age-old tactics used by a party whose argument is baseless.

God created the concepts of light and dark, up and down, front and back, left and right, etc. He created the positive and the negative. What he didn't do is some odd predestination of some and judgment of others, and use verbal gymnastics to explain why He did it that way.

He gave us the choice. Why? Because God seeks glory and our worship. What good is worship when we are unable to voluntarily give it?


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Oh, the irony

It seems that those with a degree in Chemistry can not only have a successful career in sales, they can also become Pope one day, too.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Juji Gatame from Where?

Juji Gatame - the straight arm lock (also called arm bar in some circles) is the most widely used arm lock in the martial arts. One of the reasons that juji gatame is the most widely used arm lock is that it can be applied from virtually every position.

While I personally do not advocate taking a juji gatame from a pin such as Mount or Side, it can be done. The reason I do not recommend it is simple: I teach with an emphasis on self defense. From Mount or Side, one can strike and use ude garami ("Americana" arm lock) without as much risk of losing the position.

North/south (we call it the Wedge) and scarf hold positions also have several setups for juji gatame. Positional holds such as modified mount, guard, and back mount also lend themselves well for transition into juji gatame.

Juji gatame can be secured when your opponent turtles up, or when you sprawl to prevent a take down. It can be used when your opponent is face down, even when he is completely flattened out. It can be used against a standing opponent.

Generally speaking, there are three parts to a juji gatame: 1) secure the arm, 2) move into a spider-web position, and 3) peel the arm out for the submission.

Of course, we have multiple options for each step.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Good Eats

A while back, work took me to the Tri-Cities area. One of my favorite restaurants there is Cootie Brown's:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Quote of the day

"I have a job. I exchange hours of my life for money. In that context, the government is literally taking my life. Taking the life of another is the most heinous crime.

The founding fathers had it right. The federal government was to be supported solely by import and export duties. The income tax and federal reserve are the original sins that grew our government into what it is today."

- E. G. 
(Friend on Facebook, and in real life, too)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Arm Locks

Arm locks come in many varieties. Broadly speaking, they are leverage holds which attack the joint of the elbow, or, less commonly, the shoulder. Locks that attack the wrist joint are often referred to as wrist locks in common parlance, and will not be discussed in detail in this article.

Juji Gatame
The most common arm lock is juji gatame - the straight arm lock or arm bar. The only positions from which one cannot apply juji gatame would be under a number of pins or otherwise inside of a hold such as guard or back control. Even still, one can apply juji gatame from under the side position (yokoshiho gatame).

Opportunities and setups for the straight arm lock are as numerous as the stars in the skies. It combines well with virtually every other major submission hold.

Ude Garami
The clear second most common arm lock is ude garami - the arm lock, shoulder lock, Americana (when performed up, or North), Kimura (when performed down, or South), or key lock. Ude garami has applications from Mount, Guard, Side (2), North/South, and Scarf hold.

Ude garami combines well with juji gatame and vice-versa.It can be applied from within a sankaku jime (triangle choke) attempt.

Other Arm Locks
There are a number of other, more situational arm locks. All combined, they are not as common place as either ude garami or juji gatame. Here are the more major ones, and their situational opportunities:

Ude gatame - the elbow crush. Used from side, guard and spider-web (juji gatame attempt) positions.
Sankaku garami - triangular arm lock (or omoplata). Only real application is from the guard.
Hiza gatame - knee arm lock. Similar to juji gatame in appearance, it can be applied from the guard.
Waki gatame - arm pit arm lock. This can be applied when the opponent is face-down (flat or turtle).
Kannuki gatame - the Elbow lock. It has a standard and reverse option.
Standard option is only really used from mount and guard and is easily escaped.
Reverse option is used from mount and side and combines well with ude garami.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Cool Thing to find

Things Found on Side of Road:

Bristol Motor Speedway

For the record: I made sure there were no cars coming, and came to a complete stop to safely take this picture. I liked how large the stadium looked, even from nearly a half mile away. I really liked the clouds on that day. Thought about taking pictures up close, but will save that for next time. :)


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Good News - Outstanding Source

My son recently earned his red belt in Olympic style Taekwondo from Mr. Smith at Spirit Marital Arts. Ironically enough, not long ago, Mr. Smith earned his 5th Dan black belt in same. That said, my son, as well as some other boys at the Dojang are nearing black belt level. One is a brown belt, two are red belts, and one is at the "last" step - red belt with black stripe.

There was a problem looming, according to Mr. Smith. I agree 100% with him on his analysis. Though Olympic TKD allows for youthful black belts as it is part of the sport, Mr. Smith clings (bitterly? - lol) to the notion that a black belt means a little more than proficiency in an athletic endeavor.

The problem is immaturity. 

Of the handful of boys at or near the same rank, my son is but 8 years old. He would turn 9 just before the black belt test, though. All of the other boys in question are older. Therein lies the problem. Each of the older boys demonstrates a deeper level of emotional immaturity.

Whether it be manifest through crying when things do not go their way in a sparring bout or forms contest, or through inability to actually tie one's own belt, or through immature behavior toward one's parents, or even through avoiding sparring night so as not to have to participate in the light contact; they have all shown that while the skills are there, the mind and emotions need to ripen more.

The funny thing is I overheard Mr. Smith speaking to another person about my son, and saying my son does not have these issues, despite being the youngest in this group. The funnier thing is that I would not permit my son to exhibit these emotional issues.

Nevertheless, he is but 8 years old. 

So Mr. Smith reluctantly decided to add back in the poom belt. In Taekwondo, the poom belt is half red and half black. It is awarded to youthful participants who demonstrate black belt skill levels, but who are not yet mature enough to wear a black belt.

Mr. Smith was worried. He feared I would feel betrayed at the lengthening of my son's time to black belt. He feared that he was punishing the child who did not deserve it. He feared my son would lose interest and no longer wish to participate.

Despite being only 8, my son is made of sterner stuff. 

Being a black belt myself, there was no way I would disagree with Mr. Smith publicly, even if I held a different opinion. It is his Dojang, and he has every right to run it the way he wishes. Similarly, I do not promote kids to black belt. I suppose if there was a talented 14-15 year-old, I might consider it, but that hasn't happened yet.

In other words, we are on the same page. 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March Pants Wetting

Bushmaster M4 profile Carbine.
7 magazines - 30 rounds each magazine.
55-grain M193 clone ammo
Cav Arms pink handguard, pistol grip and stock
Primary Arms micro dot
DPMS backup iron sight

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Joke of the Week

Hugo Chavez must be dead... he just registered to vote in Chicago.


Positions 3

There are three main types of positions in the ground grappling game: Pins, Holds, and Transitions.

Transitions, or transitional positions, are positions that offer a slight advantage to the practitioner. Typically, these are more difficult to keep than Pins or Holds. Also, submission opportunities are more severely limited. 

Half guard - note: the half guard is its own beast, more to come.
Side port / starboard - you had a side pin, but the opponent rolled onto his side, either facing you or away.
Turtle - opponent is curled into a ball on all fours.
Sprawl - opponent shot, you sprawled, now he is turtled up.

With the exception of half guard, all of these Transitions offer opportunities to catch one's opponent in a submission hold. Most notably, all of these positions offer an opportunity for juji gatame. Here are some other opportunities:

Side port - ude garami
Side starboard - hadaka jime
Turtle - waki gatame, ushiro sankaku jime, hadaka jime
Sprawl - (mae) hadaka jime, yoko sankaku jime

Transition to other positions
All of these Transitional Positions offer the practitioner opportunities to move to other positions.
Side port - modified mount
Side starboard - back, modified mount
Turtle - back
Sprawl - back

Half Guard
The half guard is best looked at from its two inherent iterations: top and bottom.

Objective on the bottom is to escape.
Common positions to end up from escaping half guard bottom include guard, mount, and back.
Ude garami and juji gatame are possible from bottom of half guard, but is very situational. 

Objective from the top of half guard is to pass to a dominant position.
Common places to end up include mount and side.
Juji gatame is possible from top, but very situational.
Striking from top of half guard is common and effective.

Sportive collar chokes
Okurieri jime and kataha jime are possible from side starboard, turtle, and sprawl.
Sodeguruma jime is possible from half guard top.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Positions 2

There are three main types of positions in the ground grappling game: Pins, Holds, and Transitions.

Like a pin, a hold provides the practitioner with a superior position. However, the main difference is the ability to strike the opponent. While some strikes can be used in some holds, they are much less effective when compared to strikes delivered from a pin. Necessarily, most holds offer more submission opportunities than pins.

Kamishiho gatame - commonly called the north/south position. My dojo calls this the Wedge position.
Modified mount
Back control or back mount

Nomenclature note: kamishiho gatame is a recognized pinning move in Judo - meaning a practitioner can win if she holds her opponent in this position for 25 seconds. However, for self defense purposes, I classify it as a Hold, since there are few good striking angles in the position. It is a position much better suited for seeking a submission or transitioning to back control.

All Holds listed offer excellent opportunities to apply juji gatame - the straight arm lock.  Additionally, each Hold position offers alternate opportunities to submit the opponent, either with other arm locks (most notably, ude garami) or with chokes (most notably, sankaku jime). Some alternatives:
Kamishiho gatame - ude garami
Back control - hadaka jime and ushiro sankaku jime
Guard - ude garami and sankaku jime

Without a doubt, there are many other opportunities from these positions to submit one's opponent.

Transitional Opportunities
The Guard offers several opportunities for the practitioner to reverse the position and end up top. Depending on circumstance, the practitioner might wind up in mount, side, or scarf hold pins.

The modified mount offers several ways to take the back.

Back control offers some methods for taking the mount.

Kamishiho gatame offers several methods of moving to modified mount and back control.

Sporting chokes
All of these Holds offer opportunities for collar chokes:
Kamishiho gatame can be used to secure katate jime and juji jime.
Modified mount can be used to secure okurieri jime and kataha jime.
Guard can be used to secure sodeguruma jime and juji jime.
Back control can be used to secure juji jime, okurieri jime, kataha jime, and jigoku jime.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Positions 1

There are three main types of positions in the ground grappling game: Pins, Holds, and Transitions.

This set includes the three main positions from which one can a) keep a dominant position and b) strike one's opponent (MMA and self defense). From a pin, the main offensive option is to strike the opponent. A backup option is an arm lock. As always, the practitioner must be prepared to transition to other positions in order to maintain control in the fight / match.

The pins are:
Tateshiho gatame - Mount
Yokoshiho gatame - Side
Kesa gatame - Headlock or scarf hold
Face down mount - opponent is face down, spread out on ground.

Face down mount note: this is not a pin that can be used to win a Judo match by being held for 25 seconds, as are the other positions. However, it falls into the category of pin, as when applied properly, the opponent will have great difficulty in getting up or escaping. Also, the opportunity to strike is clearly present.

As mentioned, the primary objective in a pinning position is to strike the opponent.
The secondary attack method is to use an arm lock. Ironically, the main arm lock to be used is ude garami ("Kimura" or "Americana" depending on angle) in three of the positions - mount, side, and scarf hold.

It is possible to secure other submission holds from these three positions. Among the possibilities are:
Juji gatame (straight arm lock) - possible from all of these positions.
Hadaka jime (rear naked choke) - possible from face down pin.

Sportive collar chokes
Juji jime (cross choke) - possible from the mount.
Katate jime (paper cutter choke) - possible from the mount and the side.
Yoko sankaku jime (side triangle choke) - possible from the scarf hold.

To be sure, there are many other possibilities, however, these listed are the most common historically. However, the true caveat is that these are all used only in sporting competition: Judo and BJJ most notably.

From a strategy standpoint, in self defense, it is enough to strike, arm lock, and move in transition from a pin position.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Guns Gone Wild II

Colorado is trying to pass a bill to restrict certain types of guns, ammo, and magazines. Of note here, is major gun accessory manufacturer, Magpul, which is currently located in CO. Magpul has sent a letter in open publication to the legislature in CO, advising that if such a bill is passed, then they will leave the state and take the jobs with them.

Hey Magpul - good on you!
PS - you are welcome here in TN!!!  :)


Friday, March 1, 2013

Guns gone wild

New York passed a very strict gun control bill. Basically, it is a near total-ban on most models and magazines.

In response, several major gun manufacturers and gun accessory manufacturers have responded by stating they will not sell to Law Enforcement in New York. Most have similar policies for other states with draconian regulations (IL and CA, for example). Yay for these guys:
Olympic Arms
LaRue Tactical (I bought a ff quad rail from them as soon as I heard of this move!)
Cheaper Than Dirt
Barrett (Ronnie Barrett did the same thing to CA a few years back)
... and several others!

On the other side of the fence, Armalite issued an announcement designed to look like they were going to do the same, but in fact, it had no teeth, and they actually promised to still sell to law enforcement agencies in New York and other states!

Armalite wants some people to have guns, but not others!