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To Be a warrior is to be self-possessed, centered, acutely aware, and empty. It is a very particular state of mind, one which focuses on the moment, free of doubts and idle speculations. "In a world where death is the hunter, my friend there is not time for regrets or doubts. There is only time for decisions".

                                                                                    - Via Uncle Jim

I Do Not Choose To Be A Common Man

By Dean Alfange
I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon— if I can. I seek opportunity not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.
I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, "This I have done."

“Cogito, ergo armatum sum.”

Dogma be damned. The relentless will drop what's not working, while the weak-willed have to fit into cliques, label themselves, and adopt cult-like thinking

                                    Dani Shugart via T-Nation

I’ve said many times before that for creatures in Nature, getting through a day is very much an exercise in energy management. Investment measured against return. The Way of the Wild doesn’t hold it up as a good idea to expend valuable energy and expose the self to risk of injury or immediate death by attacking and killing out of such base sentiments as boredom or sheer malice, and defensive measures offered by the presumed “prey” are what hold potential attackers in check. Nothing in Nature meekly submits. It’s flight or fight, all the way! 
                                                                                            ~ In Ferro Vertas – Chapter the Third

“When a nation forgets her skill in war, when her religion becomes a mockery, when the whole nation becomes a nation of money-grabbers, then the wild tribes, the barbarians drive in... Who will our invaders be? From whence will they come?” 
                                                             Robert E. Howard 

Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn....... 
                                                                           - Miguel de Cervantes
The 8 S's of Martial Success

1. Strength
2. Speed
3. Stamina
4. Skill
5. Strategy
6. Suppleness
7. Sensitivity
8. Spirit
Focus on your fight. A man’s life is incomplete without conflict; he becomes weak, soft and submissive once he’s been seduced by the allure of everlasting peace. Focus on what’s incredible in your life, on what excites you, makes your blood boil and heart race. Disregard your imperfections. We’re all scarred, scuffed and damaged in one way or another. And that’s okay. Waiting for perfection before taking action is murder.

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If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.

                                                                                        — Bruce Lee

Discipline is a skill, learn to be more disciplined
Settling is another word for surrender - DON'T SETTLE FOR MEDIOCRITY .
“When men evaluate each other as men, they still look for the same virtues that they’d need to keep the perimeter. Men respond to and admire the qualities that would make men useful and dependable in an emergency. Men have always had a role apart, and they still judge one another according to the demands of that role as a guardian in a gang struggling for survival against encroaching doom. Everything that is specifically about being a man—not merely a person—has to do with that role.”                                                                                           

                                                                                                          ~Jack Donovan

"Don't count on motivation; count on discipline." - Jocko Willink.
 "You need to get the fundamentals right. Fun wears off, cool wears off... useful never wears off." - Jason Fried

Every time you train, train with the motivation and purpose that you will be the hardest person someone ever tries to kill.

                          — Tim Kennedy. Get Fit or Die, my friends.
You’ll go back to your old habits once you meet a little resistance. You need the samurai’s desperateness and his insanity. Burn the bridge. Nuke the foundation. Back yourself up against a wall. Have an opinion one way or the other, get off the fence and rip it up. Cut yourself off so there is no going back. Once you’re committed the truth will come out. You ask about security? What you need is uncertainty. What you need is confusion; something that forces you to reinvent yourself, a whip to drive you harder.

— Marl Twight: Twitching with Twight
Something Uncle Jim has taught on a lot, the difference between martial art and martial science
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Commentaries on the Gallic Wars," Caesar writes: "The immortal gods are wont to allow those persons whom they wish to punish for their guilt sometimes a greater prosperity and longer impunity, in order that they may suffer the more severely from a reverse of circumstances."
Some of the good stuff here, Guro Dan on the Wing Chun/JKD connection
Sometimes you don’t get closure, you just move on.
Be courteous to all, but intimate with few; and let those few be well-tried before you give them your confidence. - George Washington

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“If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.” 

                     - Adm. William H. McRaven 

“Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”                        
                    ~Robert A. Heinlein

“I had to get personal with my demons before I could kill them.”

“Adversity introduces us to ourselves.”
"A nation that forgets its past has no future." 
                            - Winston Churchill 

​“Pain doesn’t matter, the mind does the work.”
Fear Aggression and the Fight
“All door-ways,
 before going forward,
 should be looked to;
 for difficult it is to know
 where foes may sit
 within a dwelling.” 

— Hávamál (“Sayings of the High One”) 
C.S. Lewis wrote the famous essay on Men Without Chests, it ain't about having a good bench press
Tiger, one day you will come to a fork in the road and you’re going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go. If you go that way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments. Or you can go that way and you can do something — something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. If you decide you want to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won’t have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference. To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?

— Colonel John Boyd

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August 11, 2019

Morning all, I've been making reference, off and on, to changes we're making  on the homefront.  Thought I'd finally fill you in today. We are in a rural area, however, the land and terrain are definitely not optimal for our purposes. After a lot of thought and prayer, we decided to apply that principle from the Aiki arts, if you can't move your opponent, you move. The deal involves several more moving parts than we've had in the past. However, if it works, we're looking at 11 acres with good southern exposure, and a solid barn. After reading Glubb's The Fate of Empires we decided that being more self sustaining was a good idea.  Even if Glubb's wrong, it's a better place for us and the extended family. Speaking f which, in a ridiculous example of bad planning, we have several of our grandkids with us for a month, while we prepare to move. It does give us more hands with things, I'm focusing on that.

They are city kids, so naturally, we took them camping. It was a soft camp, we drove up to the site, but they slept on the ground, we fished and cooked over the fire or with a mountain stove. We don't get much time with them to pass on lessons and legends, but we do what we can.

August 5, 2019

I was going to go in a different direction today, but with the events of the past weekend and the inevitable slew of questions, I will shift gears and address some of them.

The most common one was 'What can be done? or What can we do?'

As a society? not much, until we are willing to fix the root problem. I am not talking about gun control. Punishing people for the actions of others isn't justice, it's tyranny. The issue, to put it in geek terms, is a software problem. Shallow thinkers and those with an agenda will seize on the gun, a piece of hardware, and try to solve the problem by removing the hardware. This approach has never worked. Mass murder has been committed for as long as man has walked the earth. The problem is one of morality, a devaluing of innocent human life and an increased isolation that is self inflicted via electronics.  This is a long term fix and will take at least a generation to resolve. Considering the instant gratification society we live in, I doubt we have the courage to face and fix the problem. 

Individually, you need to develop two primary physical skill sets. One, obviously, is the ability to make  precision shots both proactively and reactively with a pistol carried concealed. (shoot the bad guy in the face) The second is treating penetrating trauma in the field, (stop the leaks). Secondary are, hand to hand and edged weapons skills along with the requisite physical conditioning to make it possible to solve the problem if you are caught without a gun or don't have time to access yours. Mentally, first and foremost, you have to be willing kill. Not shoot, not challenge, kill. Remember, we aren't talking about a methhead holding you up for money for his next tweak. We are talking about an active murderer. Next , have the necessary coolness of mind to see the situation as it is and make the correct decision using the flow chart taught by SI.  A big part of this is deciding now what you will do and having the moral certainty that you are doing the right thing. Napoleon was right, the moral to the physical is a factor of 3 to 1.   

Another thing I got asked was what I thought of Dr. deGrasse Tyson's comment on Twitter. 

First, I'm not on Twitter. I did see the drummed up outrage in the news.  Second,  he was right. You may not like what he said, you may think him insensitive, but, his figures are correct. More importantly, his call to think rationally and not emotionally is critical. If you allow yourself to get carried away emotionally, you're a fool.

'I don't think I could shoot anyone, how could someone do that?'

They are evil and need to be stopped, preferably permanently. Welcome to life on planet earth. Second, if you are not willing to take responsibility for your own protection, at least learn to apply trauma care and carry the tools to do it. Oh, and if you're near me when a shooting occurs, get out of my way.'What do you do when you go to places like this? 'I avoid them like the plague.  I've never suffered fools gladly, it hasn't gotten better as I've gotten older. It's not terrorists or lunatics I'm avoiding, just grade A a-holes. 

'What do you do when you go to places like this? '

I avoid them like the plague.  I've never suffered fools gladly, it hasn't gotten better as I've gotten older. It's not terrorists or lunatics I'm avoiding, just grade A a-holes.  If I am somewhere that I cannot be armed it's not much different than if I was. I'm aware of the heuristics of the room, the exits, cover and concealment and I have a plan to escape for me and mine. 

Alright, I'm going to the gym.

July 29, 2019

One of the most important things you can do in life is stay on task. This was reinforced to me recently by a youtube video of all things. I worked a detail last year. The advance agent is a tactical paramedic. Part of his kit was an ankle medical rig in which he had trauma gear and a few items that were principal specific. I had seen these rigs before and had mixed feelings on them. I was looking for some more information on them when I found a review of one on youtube.  The reviewer started off okay and then went off the rails, because he forgot to stay on task.  After showing the trauma items, he then showed how he had placed a multi-tool, an E&E kit and probably a Snicker's bar. All of this added bulk, which caused the rig to print on his pants. I have an issue with his for two reasons. First, if you are carrying  a kit dedicated to trauma care, throwing extra things in it muddies the waters. Second, an E&E kit?  Even if you were wearing pants that would cover it, if you get rolled up, the kit would be found by even the most cursory pat down. Counting on your enemies to be idiots is not a strategy for success. So, the moral of the story is, stay on task, remember your mission and win. 

July 22, 2019

This one's going to be stream of consciousness, you've been warned.

The missus and I had an opportunity to work at expanding our circle and developing Frith. I come from a long line of hillbillies, so I learned of kith and kin while still in the womb. I first learned of it described as Frith from John Mosby's Forging the Hero and Reluctant Partisan series. We had gotten to know a couple who's business we frequent. They have some skills that we would like to learn, but the husband is old school, meaning he doesn't let folks into HIS circle lightly, you really need to earn is trust.  The missus has volunteered to work part time for them on an as needed basis. They finally took her up on it during my birthday test. I ended up there after the test, tending bar (which answered one of my questions, would I be worth a damn afterwards). They asked us to work a side job at a local concert venue. In addition to what I mentioned earlier, it also gave me an opportunity to watch people. Most looked like they had been subscribing to the party hard mentality for the past 30 years. Overweight, some morbidly, trying to recapture the years of their teens and early 20's.  A few stood out, one in particular, an old biker who was the spitting image of MAA James Keating. Appearance aside, the guy moved like Uncle Jim, fluid, relaxed and confident. He glided through the crowd. A truly dangerous cat in the midst of overfed sheep. This led to a conversation between me and the missus on life priorities. 

After the article of the month went up, some have asked about my every day carry. I noted in the article that in addition to my get home bag I had what I normally had access to for the exercise. I have not done an EDC 'pocket dump' article before. My needs and priorities are different from yours. Enough people have asked, that I'll give you a quick profile of what I carry and why. My process for deciding what to carry is based on need, not want, fashion or what's the latest in the blogosphere. What I carry is mission dependent. Some things will vary depending on what I'm doing and where I am. With that in mind, what I carry when working on my property will be different from what I carry on an EP detail or when I'm overseas. 

Generally, I'll have the following on my person:  Glock 19, lightly modified with Heinie Straight 8 sites and a Suarez Face Shooter trigger. This is carried in a Suarez AIWB holster and is backed up with at least one Glock 17 mag, either OEM or Magpul.  I always have something sharp and pointy on me. Usually a Cold Steel large Voyager that has traveled everywhere with me for the past 10 years. I will, at times, switch to a fixed blade, normally either a Bud Nealy Escort or the excellent SI Gang Unit. The more time I spend doing chores around the homestead, the more I gravitate towards a fixed blade. Fire making is handled by the ubiquitous Bic lighter. Yes, I have and can use ferro rods and other types of fire starters, but if I need something in flames, I'm not looking to show off my mad fire starting skills. I just want the damn thing lit.  To stop leaks, I carry two chest seals in my pocket next to a RATS tourniquet, and a bandanna.  I know the RATS is one of those no middle ground items. People either love or hate them. I've tested it enough that I will carry one, 'Nuff said. 

That takes care of necessities. In the nice to have category are my wallet with cash, chapstick, Wiley X's and keys with a photon microlight on the keyring.  My watch is either an Invicta dive watch or a G Shock. Belts? I currently use ones from Aker Leather or a riggers belt.   

July 17, 2019

Ran a little self test last weekend, the write up and pics are up on the article of the month page. It took a little longer than it used to. Writing is kind of like PT, if you don't do it regularly it's tough getting back into it.  Things are leveling out here. Still moving at a fast pace, but I think there's light at the end of the tunnel and it's not an inbound train.

July 6, 2019 

Good  morning, Some of you have been asking where I've been and what I've been doing. Things are changing on the home front. Good things all, but it's been a marathon run at a sprint pace for the past few months. There's been little time for the cyberworld other than answering some emails and checking the news. 

 It's the middle of the Independence Day weekend. Hope you've had some time to reflect on what it is and why we should celebrate it and the ideals of the United States.

I started hiking as part of my PT routine. I used to do a fair amount of hiking and backpacking. I don't run distance anymore, but for various reasons that I will share as time goes on, I started again. July 4th I had the day off, got up, had coffee with the missus and headed out. Note I don't use the word ruck or rucking. I know, it's popular these days. My opinion, is if you didn't serve in the military in a unit that required you to get from point A to point B with a heavy pack on your back and a rifle, you aren't rucking.  My loadout was about 20 pounds and I wasn't carrying a rifle. Part of my PT nowadays includes one day of a grind, which is where the hiking comes in. The grind days have a couple of purposes. One of which is to develop strength. I know, I know, hiking won't improve my deadlift, it will improve my mental strength and toughness though. Like speed, there is more than one kind of strength. 

My plan was to go as far as I could in three hours., I was shooting for 9 to 10 miles.  It was hot where we live, high 80's and humid. I was running on black coffee and water.  I don't take any entertainment with me. I want time to think and explore. The quote from Reagan that freedom is always one generation away from being lost came to mind.  We are allowing ignorant tools to rewrite our history. We are losing our ideals because we are buying into the idea that this country was never great. We forget, or never learned, of the things that we have done as a nation. We have stood up to tyranny and won multiple times. We defied the greatest national power in the world at the time of our revolution and won.  Now, we have let a spoiled child of an athlete and a company that seems hell bent on forgetting one of it's founder's sacrifices during World War II tell us that the original flag of this nation, that is still part of the current flag, is a racist symbol. That is complete and utter bullshit. 

Are we perfect, no, never have been. We have made mistakes, but we have also worked to correct them, most of the time at the cost of our own blood. We need to teach our children that. They aren't getting it in public school.  We should celebrate our history. 

I'm done ranting for now.

In case you're wondering, I covered 9 1/2 miles in under three hours.   
A little Freedom Fuel to start the day!