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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

What Is Your Primary Objective When Training Self-defense?

There are new, heavily marketed self defense styles out there that have "revolutionary" advice to offer the public: that you need to "injure the attacker."

New? You could get a 1960's-era Bruce Tegner book that says the same thing. Since before World War II, Col. Rex Applegate, Fairbairn & Sykes and Brad Steiner have stated in one form or another that life-and-death combat is about nothing less than "Kill Or Be Killed."

The trick: how to AVOID being penetrated as well as DELIVER your weapons against a non-compliant aggressor who is ALSO trying to defend himself. It is all about adaptation and improvisation. Train only to hit and you can't adapt to a changing defense. Train only specific defenses and you will be overwhelmed. Train primarily to blend, flow, improvise and adapt--and you will be able to adapt.

That is the key to surviving violent chaos and that is the gift GM Perkins offers.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

GCC Manual available now in 2 versions

Full color pdf with enhanced formatting plus a 40 minute chunk of the Companion 2 DVD

Amazon Kindle version in black and white with simplified Kindle formatting:

Monday, July 12, 2010

2 Florida Officers Die After Traffic-stop Shooting

2 Florida Officers Die After Traffic-stop Shooting
[Sent courtesy Bradley J. Steiner, President International Combat Martial Arts Federation]

Tragedies such as the one reported below can only be prevented by EXPECTING TROUBLE whenever a suspect is being interfaced with. NO EXCEPTIONS. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "ROUTINE" STOP. Please study and consider the implications of this catastrophe so — God willing — future events like this will be avoided by other officers. You should scrutinize the teletype sent to your department.

By the CNN Wire StaffJune 29, 2010 10:10 a.m. EDT(CNN)

-- A second Tampa, Florida, police officer shot during an early-morning traffic stop Tuesday has died, authorities said, as a massive manhunt was under way for two suspects.

"Doctors have pronounced Officer David Curtis deceased," Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said in a statement. "His family has chosen to harvest his organs so he will remain on life support for the next couple of hours while that takes place.

"Officer Jeffrey Kocab was pronounced dead at a Tampa hospital after the incident about 2:15 a.m. ET Tuesday. Both officers were 31, according to the department.

Kocab's wife was due to give birth next week, while Curtis leaves behind his wife and four sons, ages 9, 6, 5 and 8 months.

Curtis had pulled over a vehicle and found its male passenger had an outstanding warrant for "minor violations," Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor told reporters Tuesday. Kocab responded to back Curtis up, and "as they put their hands on the suspect, the suspect spun around, pulled a firearm and shot both police officers," she said.

Curtis pulled the car over because it had no license plate, authorities said in a statement. "Officer Curtis determined the passenger was wanted on a worthless check warrant" out of Jacksonville, Florida, the statement said. He called for backup and Kocab arrived. Both officers approached the vehicle on the passenger side.

Officers responding to a 9-1-1 call from a witness found both officers on the ground and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, police said. Both were taken to Tampa General Hospital. Kocab was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, while Curtis was put on life support and later pronounced dead.

Both Curtis and Kocab were shot in the upper body, Castor said. They were shot at close range, she told reporters, and body armor would not have helped them avoid injury.

Police dogs had tracked the suspect to a location, she said, and door-to-door searches were under way.

"We haven't positively Identified a suspect, but we have a very good suspect in this situation, and there's probably a great deal more to it than just that misdemeanor warrant," Castor said.

"This is an unbelievable tragedy for these families, and for the larger family of TPD, and for the larger family of the city of Tampa," Mayor Pam Iorio said. "Our hearts are just breaking."

Kocab had been with Tampa police for 14 months, police said, and moved through the TPD's training program at an accelerated pace "because of his outstanding police skills."

Castor said he previously was with the Plant City, Florida, police. Curtis has been with the department for three years and eight months, according to McElroy. He previously was a jail deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Castor described both men as "solid police officers and outstanding individuals" who both worked the midnight shift. Kocab, she said, was "looking forward to being a father," and Curtis was devoted to his wife and sons.

Police were searching for a red 1994 Toyota Camry connected to the shooting and an African-American male and female, McElroy said. The male was described as being in his mid- to late 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing about 150 to 170 pounds. He is thought to be wearing brown shorts, a white T-shirt, a black vest and white sneakers, police said. No detailed description was available on the woman.

The officers' deaths come nearly a year after Tampa police Cpl. Mike Roberts was killed in the line of duty last August, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said in a statement."

The safety of Tampa residents was the first priority for Officers Kocab and Curtis, and today they selflessly made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their city," the attorney general said. "They will certainly be missed not only by their loved ones, but also by the city they worked to keep safe."

Authorities set up a perimeter around the shooting scene and were conducting "an extensive search for evidence," police said. "The search for the suspects extends statewide. The suspects are considered armed and very dangerous."

Police were asking to be contacted by anyone who witnessed the incident, has information on the suspects or spots the vehicle.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

GCC eBook

Coming Tuesday...

Point Shooting IS Combat Shooting!

by Bradley J. Steiner, President International Combat Martial Arts Federation

WEAPONS are and have always been integral to martial arts.
The weaponry of the time always dictates what will be included in a
realistic, practical program of training, and thus antiquated weapons
(i.e. sai, sword, tonfa, nunchucks, 9-foot poles, etc.) must be relegated
to classical/traditional studies, and abandoned when considering what
a combatant must learn in the 21st century. The premier self-defense
weapon of today is the handgun that has been designed and intended
for anti-personnel use.

While few rational individuals will dispute the handgun’s status as
the “ultimate weapon of self-protection”, there is some question —
unfortunately lingering from the halcyon years of that wrong turn-off
taken when the late Jeff Cooper introduced what he called “the new
technique of the pistol” — about what exactly constitutes the best technique
of employing the handgun in close quarters battle

The proper technique for real world close range, quick reaction combat use
of the one-hand gun was developed and initially wrung out by the late
William E. Fairbairn when, as “Officer in Charge of Musketry” in the Shanghai
Municipal Police Department
during the early years of the 20th century, this incredible
close combat master used actual gunfight experiences (plenty of which were
his own, and all of those of dozens of other officers, shopkeepers, and criminals,
who had engaged in handgun battles, and whose experiences were documented or
personally observed) to formulate doctrine. By actual record, William Fairbairn
personally participated in more than 600 violent encounters with lethally
dangerous felons! More than 200 of those encounters involved combat
use of his sidearm!

During the 1940’s, when Fairbairn was called out of retirement to train British
secret service personnel (SIS or MI6), commandos, and operatives of the
wartime Special Operations Executive (SOE), his methods of armed and unarmed
combat were further refined. Seconded to the American Office of Strategic Services
(OSS), Fairbairn became mentor to then Capt. Rex Applegate. Applegate, eventually
to become Fairbairn’s opposite number in the States, contributed his own research
and his terrific teaching acumen to train more than 10,000 fighting men in
the legendary Fairbairn methods of both armed and unarmed combat.

The Shanghai experience, the countless experiences of the second world war,
and post-war experiences with law enforcement, intelligence, and military service
organizations — all of whom received extensive training in POINT SHOOTING
(the Fairbairn/Applegate Method) proved beyond doubt or question that proper use
of the fighting pistol for close range engagements is UN-sighted, natural,
“instinctive” or POINT shooting.

The unfortunate advocacy of always concentrating on the front sight and always
using the handgun’s sights is the byproduct NOT of combat experience, but of
competition experience. And yes, certainly, as a sporting/competitive way to use
the pistol at a range, in competition, in events set up to require use of the sights
by establishing unrealistically long range targets
, the newly introduced “technique”

We wrote about all of this in enormous detail and at great length for nearly
ten years, every month, in a Column that we contributed to a mainstream
gun magazine. And while many of that publication’s readers took issue
with that which we presented, 100% OF THOSE WHO READ OUR COLUMN WHO WERE
agreement was total, enthusiastic, and based upon

Point shooting is not theoretical. It is a simple, basic method of utilizing
the handgun when the circumstances of actual combat impinge upon the shooter,
and when his ability to focus on sighted shooting becomes impossible. It is easy to
demonstrate the “superiority” of focusing on the front sight and hitting targets
conveniently set up at a shooting range. However, the shooting ranges that most
competitive shooting aficionados do their live firing at are wholly unrealistic.
Not only are the shooting distances generally ridiculous (more than 50% of
all encounters occur at distances of FIVE FEET OR LESS; and nearly 100% occur
well within a 20-foot range — usually no further away than about ten or twelve
), but the range environment does not produce the stress of combat, and it never
triggers the involuntary psychophysical reactions in the shooter that a real battle
At the range — whether the target is three feet away
or thirty yards away, you always can use the sights — rather easily, too, if you’ve
spent time practicing the so-called “new technique”.

Sadly, the recent experiences of police officers, federal agents, and others
who have been trained in and who have attempted to rely upon the “new technique”
have all too often resulted tragically. The California Highway Patrol is only one
law enforcement agency that has abandoned the “new technique” and — wisely! —
gone back to point shooting for its officers.

We bring all of this up because we appreciate that our visitors will in many cases
wish to avail themselves of modern weapons in their quest for realistic and total
preparedness. Know this: it is point shooting that you want to learn and rely upon
for close range lethal emergencies in self, family, and home defense, if and when
you need to employ a pistol.
Waste no time or money on competition methods.
If you ever need to use your pistol for real it will not be very sporting.

The fabulous Kimber Company (a weapons manufacturer that everyone considering
purchasing a sidearm for social use should check out!) has come up with another
classic winner! It is a concealment handgun without fixed sights.

Whether you select the new Kimber as your personal carry weapon or not, is a choice
that only you can make. We certainly think highly of Kimber’s products.

What we wish to stress is that, so long as your objective is learning how to employ
a pistol in actual combat, against living, armed, dangerous enemies, it is
POINT SHOOTING that you want to rely upon as your technique.

This is the terrific ULTRA RCP II concealment handgun from Kimber.    It is, as all Kimber products are, beautifully made, rugged, utterly    reliable, and a weapon that you can stake your life on, if you know  how   to use it! The wisdom of eliminating fixed sights and engineering  the   pistol for the inevitable point shooting that its close quarters    employment will necessitate, shows that the shooting world is regaining    some good sense!Two chapters in Applegate’s KILL OR GET KILLED will teach you the method. Or, you can check into SHOOTING TO LIVE, by Fairbairn, or the classic QUICK OR DEAD, by William Cassidy. There are other sources, as well as a few teachers who are fully qualified to train you in the method (without side-tracking you into competition shooting). Mark Bryans or our self can train you — or, if you can read and are disciplined — you can likely train yourself. We obviously caution that you obey all laws regarding firearms ownership and use, and that YOU GET PROPER INSTRUCTION IN SAFE GUN HANDLING AND THE FUNDAMENTALS of handgun use before you actually purchase any firearm. On the left is the terrific ULTRA RCP II by Kimber. The encouraging fact that — finally — the uselessness of sighted firing at close ranges is being acknowledged in a modern pistol made by a top, premier manufacturer, is very gratifying to us.

We hope that you have found this article helpful.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Courtesy John Farnam's DTI Quips
2010 by DTI, Inc. All rights reserved

8 June 10

Last Friday, an off-duty LAPD officer was washing his car
in his own driveway. Fortunately, he was armed with his G23 (concealed).

A van pulled up, and the driver exited. He had a pistol in hand as he
approached the officer. He said to the officer, "Where are you from?"
This LA street-slang loosely translates to, "What gang are you
affiliated with?" The officer was alert and plainly saw what was happening.
He knew that, after asking this question, the interrogator customarily
shoots the interrogatee. But, in this case, the suspect wasn't fast enough!

The officer quickly moved off the "X" as he drew his own pistol and fired
at the suspect, striking him multiple times. The astonished suspect fired
at least one round, but the officer was not hit. The badly-injured suspect
limped back to his van and drove away, but he didn't get far! He soon turned
up at a local hospital. He, and two additional suspects, were arrested.
Suspect's condition is currently listed as "stable." No one else was injured
in the incident.

Lesson: Any place! Any time! Any occasion! You're either ready,
or you're not. These VCAs are not playing games, and you won't get a second chance!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


"Two questions:
1) I have a duffle bag stuffed with rags in place of a heavy bag. I have no
place to hang it from where it can swing freely. It is hung up against a
wall. Will striking it when it has no place to swing backwards, hurt my
joints? If you strike a heavy bag properly, that swings freely, there
should be very little swing of the bag, anyway."

A. I can't tell you exactly without feeling the bag but probably not.
Remember that old time karate men would beat their fists on solid
makiwaras and wind up with calluses and lots of arthritis later in life (or earlier). As
long as you never feel you're hitting concrete you're probably ok. You
should try and save up to purchase a BOB; they're better than heavy bags
in many ways: no swing, greater realism, improved targeting, etc.--MK

"2) In the attackproof book, there seems to be
no emphasis with rotating your hips with the
strike and no emphasis on the sharp exhalation of breath with the strike.
Should'nt both of these techniques be used in conjunction with
dropping when you strike? Looking forward to getting the paperback of the
GC Combatives book when it comes out. Thanks for your time."

A. You do use your hips, it's just that it's only a PART of the chain of
power, not the whole enchilada, like in karate. That's why we stress body
unity. As we say in the book, the origin of your power is your feet which
is then threaded through all the joints, including the hips. Focusing on
just the hips (which are in the middle of the body) is akin to holding and
snapping a whip from its center instead of the handle: you won't get the
full benefit.

Exhaling on strikes is important, and we do stress it many of our drills
but again, it's only part of the formula.--MK


"I have been practicing Guided Chaos for several years now, and even mixed
in the better aspects of Jeet Kune Do, a few Filipino Arts, TFT from Tim
Larkin, and Vladimir Vasiliev's Russian Systema. However one question
still remains in the back of my head. Most Krav Maga practicioners I meet
are closed minded and believe their system alone is the best on the
planet. While I know it's the fighter not the system that makes
effectiveness count, and I am never one to show what I know or "share my
secrets" I do wonder what is the difference in an overall perspective
between GC and Krav Maga? I have never had any interest in it, nor do I
plan to, so I do not know much about its tactics or methods, but I thought
I would consult you as an expert source and expert GC instructor."

A. Great question. The original Krav is actually derived from
American/British World War II Combatives. The first level of Guided Chaos
(Guided Chaos Combatives) is also derived from World War II Combatives.

From there though, there are many differences. Most Krav you will find now
is a mish-mosh of MMA, Muay Thai, JKD and whatever other TECHNIQUES
(specific-patterned movements) the school mixes in and may bear little
resemblance (or efficacy in some cases) to the original functional Krav
(but of course every Krav school is different).

GCC has the original simple striking tools of World War II Combatives but
with some Guided Chaos motion principles (not techniques) added for power
and balance improvement.

As far as Guided Chaos itself (the mother art) and Krav, they couldn't be
more different. GC in principle is much closer to tai chi and bagua but as
you probably know does not teach techniques. It focuses on free-form,
spontaneous, UN-choreographed adaptability using nothing but motion
principles. No one that we've ever come across (and believe me, we've
worked out with many practitioners, from MMA to Systema) trains the way we
do. GC has a unique feel that is different than Systema and must be
experienced first hand. Once you feel it, all questions fall away.
Nevertheless, we encourage our students to work out with everyone from
every style they can find to improve their adaptability and keep their
minds open to all forms of movement to enhance adaptation.
If you can, try to get to a class or
seminar on the road. Subscribe to our newsletter and forum to see if one
is coming to your area.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Guided Chaos & Body Building: Do They Mix?

Can You Do Both?

I'm often asked if Guided Chaos and Bodybuilding are compatible and if
developing large muscles interferes with GC development.

Body building and GC are not mutually exclusive in any way, shape or form.

As I have often said, weight training is a good adjunct to training for GC.
While stimulating the full gamut of muscular contraction during weight
training may, at first, get in the way of fluid, sensitive movement,
it does not have to remain that way.

By carefully stretching before and after body building or strength training
you can, in time, add the attribute of muscular weight to your arsenal.
It takes more time to control the extra muscle and strength but it can have
some possible advantages for some folks.

What's Your Body Type?

If you are an ecto-mesomorph (small bones/large muscles) like Bruce Lee,
then weight training is a plus right at the start.

If you are an ectomorph (skinny) then some form of strength training will help.

If you are a true Mesomorph (Hercules type) then you can do anything to
stimulate your muscular strength but may wish to hold back on too much

An endomorph (naturally heavy) person will gain calorie burning potential by
weight training because the more muscle you have, the faster you burn calories.

When GC and Body Building Mix Right

As you can see in these photos, Mesomorphs look scary--and they are.
Michael (on the right in the top photo) displays an arm that most bodybuilders
would be envious of. He is a 6th degree Master of GC and has integrated both
disciplines into his everyday training with great results. Nick, the other highly
developed Mesomorph (bottom photo) came to me after decades of real street
fights, most of which he easily won. He wanted to get more efficient in his ability
to take out an adversary with far less energy than he expended in the past.

He now is far more efficient and if anyone got into a close combative situation
with him they would rue the day they crossed his path. But now Nick can do
what he must with more aplomb, making it far less necessary to hospitalize
an attacker.

Michael is a living legend among GC practitioners as well as his many patrons
who find it very safe to eat, drink and make merry at the various establishments
he protects as a nightclub security person. He is the epitome of what nature can
produce when a strong frame and especially strong muscles are combined with
natural athleticism. He is to me the Sir Lancelot of our round table, to coin a phrase.
A gentle giant. Not really as big as the 400 pound giant bouncers I've worked with
in the past but even more dangerous. No kidding. Many stories could be told of
Michael's exploits.

When GC and Body Building Mix Wrong

I want to point out though that one should not seek to use bodybuilding as a crutch
to cover for a shortcoming in Guided Chaos skill development. Although in my youth
I was athletic and an accomplished power-lifter, various medical ailments
as well as injuries from my years as a street cop have greatly reduced my physical
abilities. Yet because of my devotion to the art and superior Balance, Body Unity,
Looseness, Sensitivity and Adaptability, I can still easily hold my own with these
two Samsons.
Everything else being equal, skill still trumps strength. Strength can
be an insidious trap that stifles your development of Sensitivity because you will
be tempted to block a strike with power instead of absorbing and eluding it while
simultaneously and efficiently bringing your own weapons online. Similarly, you may
try to bull your way through your opponent's defenses instead of "ghosting" around

This "power" trap is not unique to bodybuilding and GC. Tai Chi is filled with
practitioners who have lost the essence of their art, reducing the game of push hands
to what essentially amounts to a Sumo contest. We have seen this scenario played
out even among National Champions. Is it any wonder that some Tai Chi schools will
teach push hands as a form of sensitivity drill but then turn around and put gloves on
to teach "boxing" as the art's combative component? Something got lost in the sauce.

To sum up, weight training is not a detriment to GC training. However, there ARE
other ways to develop strength via Guided Chaos exercises alone. We will explore
some of them in future Newsletter articles.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Gun is Civilization

--By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.

People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.

The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation... and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

By Maj. L. C audill USM C (Ret)

So the greatest civilization is one where all citizens are equally armed and can only be persuaded, never forced.

Saturday, June 05, 2010


Learning vs. Competing

It seems that a big challenge for many in contact flow is the idea of MOVING WITH your training partner, rather than AGAINST him.

While there are many ways to do contact flow, with many respective benefits, moving slowly WITH your training partners pays big dividends in terms of sensitivity and subconscious knowledge. Don't try to thwart, oppose or stymie your training partner, simply move along with him, allowing his movement to move your body with no resistance. To the greatest extent you can, do not judge, anticipate or look back on motion. Remain passively in the moment. Don't worry about "hitting" him or not being "hit" yourself. You already know how to hit people, this is about subconsciously absorbing the subtleties of human motion. If you keep trying to stop or thwart that motion, how will you ever feel it and learn about it?

The Rewards of Patience

Lots of people seem to want to jump the gun and impose their own will on training partners without ever understanding what the training partner is doing. In combat, this can work IF you always manage to get the jump on the bad guys, if you're never surprised (by e.g. hidden weapons, unseen bad guys, etc.) and if you're bigger, stronger, faster, meaner, etc. than all bad guys combined. . . . If you're lacking in any of these, you'll need to learn how to adapt, and in order to learn to adapt, you need to MOVE WITH your training partners, rather than AGAINST them.

Power Through Visualization

Here's yet another mental image that might help you to advance in GC. I'll write it the way I'd explain it in person:

Yank on my arm, nice and hard. See what happens? My arm gets yanked, and it affects my body a bit in that my shoulder is pulled forward and I get a little off-balance. That's normal, and that's how most people respond if they're being "loose." (If I were to tighten up and resist the yank, I'd get tossed and/or injured.)

Now, I'm going to imagine that my body has almost no mass--it's nearly weightless, like a small feather floating on the wind. If you touch one part of that feather, the whole feather is moved.

Yank on my arm now. See how my whole body is now slammed into you???

Try pushing straight back on my arm. See how my whole body whirls around, steps in and cracks you with my other arm? I'm like that floating feather. If you give me the slightest impetus, I can't HELP but be moved, as I can't resist even the slightest pressure. My whole body gets launched into motion. Now, the fact remains that I actually DO have mass, which drops with a lot of impact as I come to "rest" from the motion you caused. And my motion always tends to bring my center of gravity closer to yours than it was before you moved me, as if there's some gravity between our centers. In this way, I can be completely passive, but ANY impetus from my training partner launches my entire body into loose, united motion. The launching and movement are very "light," as if I were weightless, but the landing is HEAVY (but still loose) as all my actual mass comes down in the new location. In this way, I always move WITH what's going on, not against it, as I have no "mass" with which to resist my partner's motion. His motion simply moves me. No need for the motion to be large, just responsive and effective.

Play with it, see if it helps. Periodically review other such mental tricks in this blog and in the newsletters, as different ideas can help different people at different stages of development.

Some other recent discoveries/observations:

Play with objects that could be used as weapons, e.g. sticks/canes. Yes, practice the basic combative movements with them (e.g. strikes and thrusts with all parts of the objects), but also just toss and twirl them around to get a subconscious feel for their balance, inertia, etc. John "plays" with the cane free-form very creatively, NOT with an eye towards intentionally DOING any fancy flips or twirls in combat, but just to have a better feel for the cane and how it moves. This improves his facility with the cane in any combative situation.

Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously

A sense of humor in training, not taking yourself too seriously, seems to be an essential ingredient for advancing in GC. You should certainly take the ART and the TRAINING (and safety) seriously, but have fun with it and don't be afraid of looking foolish. I've noticed that ALL of the higher level GC black belts are a riot to hang out with outside of class, and are often nearly as funny during training, when appropriate. Some may be quieter and more reserved than others, but all have a great sense of humor about themselves and about life in general. John models this himself. He's very down to earth to the point of being the goofy "class clown," even while behind the facade it's obvious to those who know him that the gears are turning and he takes self-defense and survival VERY seriously. (It's too bad John's sense of humor doesn't usually come through on video.) I've seen folks who take themselves more seriously come through class, and they usually don't hang around for long. Maybe some people confuse the militaristic outward demonstrations of "discipline" common to conventional martial arts with real inner discipline, or warm bawdiness and self-effacement with foolishness. It's their loss. Remember not to take yourself too seriously and to HAVE FUN in your training. Not only is the mind most receptive to learning when it's in a state of "play," but the fact is that life is too short to spend too much time doing things that are no fun.

In other news, "on the road" seminar scheduling should heat up starting late summer, so make sure to get in touch if you think your area can provide enough bodies to support a GCC/GC seminar.

Finally, thanks for all the congrats regarding my becoming a certified GCC instructor. Be sure to extend at least as many congrats to all those who will soon do the same, especially seeing as it'll be a tougher test for them as they did not get "sneak previews" of the instructor manual by assisting with the editing!
--Ari Kandel

Thursday, June 03, 2010


From the desk of ICMAF President Bradley Steiner

The following report from "out there".
The Officer shall remain anonymous. Apparently, our tactics work!

During early-morning hours, in a hotel lobby in TN last week, a police officer who was armed, but not in uniform, was confronted by three masked, armed, robbery suspects.

The robbery was already in progress when the unsuspecting officer walked in on the scene!

At gunpoint, the officer was confronted and ordered to prone-out on the floor. All three suspects, although only in their 20s, were already multiply-convicted, violent, career criminals.

The officer, started to comply, but then suddenly drew his pistol and fired, striking all three astonished suspects. The injured trio immediately fled, but were apprehended shortly thereafter. Two are 'critical," one " stable." The officer was not injured, nor were any other innocent parties at the scene. Not one of the suspects ever fired a shot!

This question comes up often: When thus confronted at gunpoint, or, when a VCA is in the process of taking a family-member hostage, how long do I wait before taking unilateral action?

The answer is, as always: It's your call!

But, here are some things to consider:

Your attackers are at their weakest and most disorganized at the beginning of the ordeal. As the confrontation goes on, they will increase their control, as your options dry up, one by one. When you assume the posture they demand, allow them to search you, allow them to tie you up, et al, in the end you'll have no options. Likewise, when you allow them to escape with a family member under their control, you'll likely never see that family member alive again!

A student says, "... when someone has me at gunpoint, if I move, they'll likely shoot!"

There is no satisfactory, nor comfortable answer to that. All I can say in reply is, "You're dead anyway!"

When you act with precise, but overwhelming, force, you may yet prevail. When you dither, there is little hope for your survival.

Everyone wants the "no-risk" solution. This is fantasy! There is no such thing. "Doing nothing" is never risk-free, nor is any other solution you're contemplating.

The officer in the case dared boldly, and he snatched a stunning victory from the jaws of certain death.

Good show!

The rest of need to think about it. As I've made it a habit of saying, your Test is coming!

Who are not armed, trained, ready, and courageously prepared to act decisively, right now, have surrendered most of their options before the fight even starts!

Using and defending against a gun is even more important than target practice. A great source of info is the Bare Hands to Handguns DVD.
--Matt Kovsky

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Developing Balance, Looseness, Body Unity and Sensitivity By Yourself

Think about how you might approach dealing with multiple assailants
and what you need to emphasize in your training. One suggestion is this:

Hang 3 small bean bags from a ceiling. Each bean bag should hang
at a different height. One could be at head height, the second could
be at shoulder height and the third at chest height. They should encircle you.

Next, push each one around with various hand weapons slowly and don't
let any one of them touch you.

Next, touch each one as they come into range lightly, causing them
to move even more erratically. Don't let any bag touch you. Step up
the speed very slowly and keep moving and ducking so as not to be hit
while simultaneously lightly striking the bags. Be conscious of where
all 3 are at all times. Remain very loose and pliable.

Next, repeat this while standing on a wobble board. Go very slowly.
Keeping a slow pace will develop your balance more than going fast.
Balance and body unity are the goals here as well as accuracy.
Speed up only for fun; don't thing negative if hit or if you lose balance.
Just say, "Oh well" and continue for a comfortable time. If you feel
frustrated stop and relax. Start again when relaxed. After a good while
we can add the feet to this. Hope you enjoy this exercise.
--Grandmaster Perkins

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Gun Fighting Learning Explosion! And Other Amazing Stuff

First blog post in a while. . . .

Not that a lot hasn't been going on. Lessons with John, Tim, Al and others have yielded tips, tricks and breakthroughs too numerous and, in some cases, "deep" to enumerate and explain in a blog post. Suffice to say that the more experience you gain in GC, the more you realize you have left to learn, and then some.

Some recent random thoughts:

Knife "fighting" (i.e. using a knife to protect yourself):

While there are general guidelines, strategies and tactics that can help, it really comes down to Balance, Looseness, Sensitivity and all other standard GC principles and subprinciples, whether standing or on the ground. Plus, of course, being able to consistently access your knife while under attack and keep the damn thing in your hand no matter what happens!

Free-form or Sloppiness?

Attention to detail: Because GC places no emphasis on standard "form" for form's sake, some people assume that GC is "sloppy" and they need not pay attention to detail in movement. Well, this ain't the case! While GC shuns standardized fighting techniques and positions independent of combative context, precision WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE FIGHT is most certainly important! Moving precisely with what's going on will defeat moving "generally" or "approximately" with what's going on. I've often demonstrated this to students by taking a position during contact flow, then changing my center of gravity by just an inch or two, and showing how this completely changes the possibilities in the movement (spelling the difference between life and death for the student). Tim showed me this on a far more precise level when he took the time to break down and explain what his body was doing moment by moment during a contact flow session we had. The subtlety and deceptiveness were mind-boggling. Slight rotations of the forearm, tweaks of the finger
s and complete loosening of the wrist (allowing the hand to drop), for example, at the precisely correct times and places, spelled the difference between deadlock and my losing my head (literally). Tim suggested increased use of the wobble board and wooden ladder during contact flow, as they force more concentration (conscious and subconscious) on exactly what's going on, and are less forgiving of bad movement. In regular contact flow, if your training partner is not skilled enough to punish every mistake (like Tim!), it's easy to ignore (due to ego) or miss mistakes and hence set back your training. With the wobble board, if you're not reasonably "on" in terms of the principles, you know it, because you fall off the board. Similarly, with firearms, you know when you're not spot on, because your shot misses its intended target. Firearms and wobble boards don't have complex emotional stuff going on and will not lie to you. They'll do what they're designed to do and if something messes up, it's on you, and you can't deny it. . . .

A Gun Fighting Learning Explosion

. . . Which brings us to a "new beginning." I recently had my first firearms training session with John. I had many years previously received a session of standard target handgun training from a range officer, and had done fairly well by his standards. Since then, though, I'd been able to practice only about once per year (average), and had never received any combat-applicable training. (Let's make it clear right now that "front sight focus, slow trigger squeeze, follow through, repeat" is NOT typically applicable to the split-second close quarters reactive combat that civilians interested in self-defense must deal with. Sorry to burst any bubbles. . . .) I had read a lot about training methods used by various trainers, including those with a lot of gunfight experience and including various point shooting and target focus systems. I expected, however, that John's approach would be different. . . . And I was right!

Can't go into too much detail in a public blog, but suffice to say that John has some ingenious methods for training a student's mind to "trust" its ability to shoot accurately by feel and subconscious peripheral visual weapon alignment. I consciously used my sights for only one shot during the whole session, yet in retrospect I consistently made very accurate shots, many at speed and all without conscious aiming. I don't think I realized how well I was doing during the session because I basically just did what John said, not concerning myself so much with the results. I think there may be a lesson here that transfers over to general GC training. . . . (Between the two of us, with John demonstrating the drills before I ran them, we went through 100 rounds of .40 and 100 of .22.) This from a guy who previously got frustrated at every annual self-directed "practice" session at his inability to shoot consistently no matter how hard he concentrated on the conventional fundamentals of shooting. I was getting far better results using John's combat-applicable point shooting methods, in my very first training session! Note that I'm NOT talking about mere "on the paper" accuracy. I'm talking about target areas ranging from six inches down to an inch across, just like what you need to hit to achieve reliable stopping power with a handgun. John mentioned that as with the GC unarmed training, with practice, combat shooting ability will absorb into the subconscious to the point where I'll be able to pick up any reasonable handgun and place bullets exactly where I need them without conscious effort, and with additional training, while moving dynamically and shooting dynamically moving targets (i.e. aggressive people). Looking forward to more training!
--Ari Kandel

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


In the 4/5 blog post "Winning a Bar Fight" we told you how moronic it can be to defend your ego in a drinking establishment.

Well, to REALLY drive the point home, we received this terrific but utterly tragic response from one of our readers. Read it and remember. [Thanks to David B.]

"Right ON re: stupidity of friends getting into bar fights!!! Very sad to say that I know someone who TRASHED a BRIGHT medical & military career (was a Captain in the US Army Reserve on active duty) lost their house, entire retirement package, family's entire future, his entire weapons collection, hunting/fishing gear-boat, etc. and is now doing a 12-13 year stretch in the state pen ALL because of a STUPID, IDIOT friend's BIG MOUTH, testosterone driven ego and TOTAL lack of judgment due to way too much booze (beer).

Had the chance to avoid (get away) from the situation but idiot friend just HAD to go back into it instead of getting out of there. Was attacked by assailant w/chukka sticks; penalized person went to rescue of said idiot friend, shot assailant who died later but was revived.

Worst part: IDIOT got free, NO penalties and rescuer (I know personally-close) essentially dumped his entire life, wife & kid's lives & future down the crapper!!! ALL for NOTHING!!!!

And if any of you readers think this can't happen to you, listen up!

He too thought he was in the right but the jury didn't!!"

UPDATE: Re: BAR FIGHT tragedy may I add: The penalized person I told you about just lost his 2nd appeal. BTW: I understand that the Bar Owner hid the chukka sticks from the Sheriff's investigators, at least that's what I was told.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


There's close combat self defensea lot of bad information floating around the web recently about what it takes to hit hard and effectively in a fight for your life.

Some styles are advocating hitting with everything you've got and blasting through the target, even visualizing sticking to and coming out the other side.

Although this does emphasize the kind of destruction you need to cause to your attacker, and although it is better than playing the game of "scoring points" with so called "surface" strikes, it has a dangerous flaw: a little thing called "over-commitment."

Power generation is vital but when it sacrifices your balance in the super-high speed chaos of a real fight you can wind up on your ass if you miss by even one inch, or you slip on blood, or your attacker eludes you. In fact, you can hit dead-on, but because of the looseness, reactivity or defensive skills of your attacker, the expectation of impact and that his body will support your balance is a recipe for disaster.

The trick is to be rooted, balanced and hit with full body unity but to rely on YOUR OWN balance. If you assume the enemy will "be there" when your super-duper John Wayne haymaker connects, you're finished.

The way you do this is by developing Dropping Energy. Your target is the center of the mass you intend to hit (for example, approx 3-6 inches deep to the liver or kidneys, 2 inches to the neck, or 1-2 inches to the arms). Developing Dropping Energy allows you to develop power without chambering, winding up, over-committing your balance via over reliance on pure muscle but, most importantly, by "Containing the Over-travel" and redirecting your power back from the weapon to your root. You instantaneoulsy drop your body weight and then halt the drop, reflect it off your root and channel into whatever eapon you're using. This plyometric rebounding further reinforces your balance and reloads your weapons for further strikes with full body unity. It is the "mystical secret" behind the power of temple-trained tai chi masters (of which virtually none remain alive) that anyone can learn with practice--because it's really nothing but simple physics and body mechanics, made even simpler and more effective by John Perkins' Guided Chaos principles.

But can you really hit hard this way? Ask again after John Perkins has "tapped" you with a completely neutered Drop Punch.

be the one who feels "neutered."

Monday, April 05, 2010


The Answer Is Not What You'd Think...

QUESTION: Bar fights
Here's a question that came from my past. I was at a bar with friends and one of my buddies got into a fight with one of the locals. Knowing that the confrontation had a very slight chance of inflicting deadly blows (I know that there's no certainty in a fight), if my buddy needed my help, either he was getting whooped or his buddies got into the fight, how would you respond with Guided Chaos without using deadly force?

Don't let it happen in the first place! Experience shows that 99% of all fights that occur in "bars" are a result of sheer stupidity.

Don't go to bars, or don't go to questionable bars; leave when things begin to feel wrong (all judgment of which of course is impaired by alcohol).

That's the main principle in GC. Now if you have to fight to save your life or a loved one's (is a friend a "loved" one? Often it's the idiocy of a "friend" that sucks both of you in to senseless situations)your GC training allows you to pull back on "deadly" strikes. Using so called "less-than-lethal" techniques will only get you into more sh#t if it doesn't work and thesituation gets uglier (which it almost always does).

Q: Two questions for John Perkins:

1) What do you feel is the best non-firearm weapon for the home?

2) Do the skills of close combat and guided chaos require continual training or would they remain with you such as the ability to swim and ride a bike?

For the home there are a number of OK weapons that are not firearms. I would have a spear gun or short compound bow of at least 45 lb draw weight. These pull at about 45 pounds at first and hold at about 25 lbs which helps keep you on target without much trembling. A spear gun is trigger activated much like a cross bow.

Back this up with a long handled tomahawk or 10-12 inch butcher knife. They are fast for follow up strikes or stabs or slashes. For less blood you can use a piece of steel tubing about 2 feet long heavy enough for you to wield quickly and heavy enough to break bone. A baseball bat made of aluminum and short like a kid would use is not bad either.

As far as combatives goes you need to practice combatives at least once a week to keep proficient. If you trained in Guided Chaos for a year you usually don't lose much at all and can get back to it in minutes.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

U.S. Census SCAMS by Criminals

The information provided by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) (Better Business Bureau website) while technically correct was not totally accurate when it came to the Census employees canvassing door to door. I contacted the US CensusBureau who stated that the Census Dept is not sending anyone out door to door until the period May 1, 2010 to July 10, 2010. If anyone approaches your door before May 1st, stating that they are representing the US Census Dept., my suggestion would be that you DONOT open your door but politely excuse yourself (by telling them astory like you are getting dressed and could they come back in about10 minutes and immediately report them to the police) hopefully, theywill still be in the area when the police arrive.

After May 1st, if you question the legitimacy of someone identifying themselves as a census worker and they present a Census ID (how many people actually know what a legitimate Census ID looks like???) you can ask them to show you another ID to make sure the names match up on each. All workers will have a census Dept ID and since most people will not know what a legit census badge looks like it may be prudent to ask for the 2nd ID.

The 3rd check is that the census worker at their door should have a telephone number with them to provide to the homeowner to verify that they actually work for the census. The verification numbers are based on where you live so they would be too numerous to place here but for those numbers and general census information call 1-866-872-6868.

[Thanks to Kevin for the info.--former Federal Law Enforcement Officer]