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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Training vs fighting

A karate black belt shares his thoughts on my recent observations concerning the distinction between training and fighting.
"Training is not fighting. Training is learning how to do things. Fighting is learning how to defeat the opponent who has a vote."
- Vox Day

 Everyone knows that training is important. Without training, success is a dice-roll, and failure is likely. Even if you get something right, it is easy to mis-attribute your success to one thing, when in reality something else entirely won the day. Only those with training know what to look for.

Through volume of repetition, training gives you the speed and instincts to do the right thing, whether that is resolving an argument, building a house, or coming out on top in a bar-fight.

But training isn't enough. All the training in the world isn't enough without experience.

In order to be confident in himself, a man has to know he can physically protect himself. It doesn't matter if this is rational in the modern age. It just is. If wealth, charisma, or social connections are the measure of power today, physical fitness and skill in fighting still dominate how men evaluate other men, and how they think of themselves. It's primordial.

Today's generation half-understands this. They've seen Fight Club. They understand the attraction of being dangerous. They sign up in herds for Karate, Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the works. But they mistake training for fighting. They mistake the tools for the finished product. The finger for the moon.

I received my black-belt in Shudokan karate when I was sixteen years old. By the time I had received that supposed sign of mastery, I had heard three fight stories involving black-belts.
Read the whole thing there. And then reflect upon the confidence and resilience that I exhibit, that some people despise and others admire. Even if you believe the confidence is a sham, or that it is delusional, from whence does the resilience spring? Why is it that I am so able to bounce back so quickly, so automatically, from the sort of attacks, expulsions, and deplatformings that others find so debilitating?

It's just experience. It's from the certain knowledge that you can get up and get back into the fight after you get knocked down. And the only way to acquire that knowledge, the only way to acquire that resilience, the only way to acquire that confidence in yourself, is to take the shots and face that moment of truth that no amount of self-deception can ever disguise. It's a moment that observers can often see too.

That's why real fighters often admire each other even if they actively dislike each other. That's why boxers often hug with genuine affection after beating the hell out of each other. That's why two men who get into a fight not infrequently become friends. Because the nature of the combat relationship is such that it often gives a man a glimpse of his opponent's soul, and it is not uncommon to see something admirable there.

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86 Comments:

Blogger Ken Prescott January 10, 2019 10:36 AM  

When the Marines formally adopted combatives training in 1990 (before MCMAP aka Semper Fu or McSlap), we managed to generate more medical discharges and TDRL retirements in three months than we had in the previous year.

Combatives were suspended with indecent haste.

Blogger Bogey January 10, 2019 10:42 AM  

I like your any given Sunday comment.


The documentary "One Killer Punch" is sobering, and it's available Youtube.

Blogger D Zniger January 10, 2019 10:47 AM  

Because the nature of the combat relationship is such that it often gives a man a glimpse of his opponent's soul, and it is not uncommon to see something admirable there.

Very nice written. Too late for me to learn martial art and get into fights, but I guess I will recommend it to anybody suitable, if the occasion arises.

Blogger Paul Sacramento January 10, 2019 10:56 AM  

You train to develop the tools.
You test the tools ( fighting).
You go back to the drawing board and improvise, adapt and overcome.
Train again.
Test Again.
Fill in the missing pieces that the testing shows you are needed.
Train again, Test Again.
Lather, rinse and repeat.

Every fighter, every Martial artists has know this for centuries.

Blogger Sterling Pilgrim January 10, 2019 10:58 AM  

Bogey wrote:I like your any given Sunday comment.

The documentary "One Killer Punch" is sobering, and it's available Youtube.


Looks like a bunch of rhetorical knuckle-rapping of masculinity.

Blogger Pat Haney January 10, 2019 11:00 AM  

Two of my kids took Karate. One went with me to krav maga for a trial few lessons. The one impression that I left with was that the women there were kidding themselves. Body mass, strength, and attitude trumped whatever skills they were learning. If I got a paw on them, they were done. I'm not bragging, since there were far bigger, stronger dudes in the class that mauled me. I came away from the whole thing convinced that a carry permit was a better use of my resources.

By the time my kid got his black belt the karate business seemed like a joke to me. The competition meets seemed more like gymnastics, complete with music. Sparring was stupid. You were slapping for points.

I told all my kids, having been on more than one actual fight, that it's all fun and games until those knuckles smash into your face.

Blogger dc.sunsets January 10, 2019 11:07 AM  

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Blogger dc.sunsets January 10, 2019 11:17 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Elijah January 10, 2019 11:44 AM  

This is one of the hard truths that come back to bite the narrative fantasy pushers. One such story was of a professor that studied karate for 15 years, He got bored with training and went out to a rough bar to see if his training would help him defeat a "ruffian".

one of the bar patrons took him up on the offer and not only did the professor suffer a beat down, the bar ruffian bit off his ear.

they don't teach that in the super female self defense classes.

Blogger Christian Schulzke January 10, 2019 11:46 AM  

One of your best posts ever, Vox.

Blogger Drake Stake January 10, 2019 11:48 AM  

Not sure why this is such a shock to people.
Also not sure why VD is wasting his time on it. Trolling? Or just like ruffling the feathers of fan boys?
People who believe that their opponent is going to come at them like the highly controlled environment of martial arts sparring are delusional or just naive.
Most people's first fights are grade school tussles or a high school slap fight. In the real world dont be surprised if your opponent's buddy tries to sucker punch you out of no where.

Blogger JohnofAustria January 10, 2019 12:05 PM  

That last paragraph encapsulates why I loved my school's club boxing team, and why we were a tight group. It wasn't because we were the best at the skill sport, but because we tested each other and ourselves through pain. And that creates a bond.

Blogger JohnofAustria January 10, 2019 12:06 PM  

I would never depend on my skill with fisticuffs to save my life though, but rather my weapons.

Blogger Doug Walker January 10, 2019 12:08 PM  

And no amount of training (of which I completed a bunch in my youth) can answer the one big question every man needs to answer about himself: "Can I take a punch?"

Some guys just can't, for whatever reason, and some guys can. Everyone has his limits, of course, but in general, training or no, if you can have your bell rung in a fight and still return fire, well, that right there is part of that "seeing into your opponent's soul" Vox referenced.

Blogger The Redactor January 10, 2019 12:18 PM  

Vox, was the guy in your picture yesterday "Little Brute" Krulak, and if so did you ever meet Col. Jeff Cooper?

Blogger Patrick Kelly January 10, 2019 12:19 PM  

Anyone know the truth about the whole "hands registered as lethal weapon" claims?

I have a CHL, but I've never been asked to register with any gov't or leo re: my martial arts training.

Sounds like urban myth bs to me, but maybe other states are different.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan January 10, 2019 12:21 PM  

Speaking of Colonel Cooper his threat awareness/readiness scale would be half the battle for the vast portion of men these days.

Blogger VD January 10, 2019 12:23 PM  

Vox, was the guy in your picture yesterday "Little Brute" Krulak, and if so did you ever meet Col. Jeff Cooper?

Yes. I don't believe so, but it's possible.

Blogger VD January 10, 2019 12:24 PM  

Also not sure why VD is wasting his time on it. Trolling? Or just like ruffling the feathers of fan boys?

I spent nearly six years doing martial arts almost every day. And you're surprised that I remain interested in it?

Blogger HMS Defiant January 10, 2019 12:30 PM  

Every single one of my friends started with a rock fight. We did it lot moving around as we did and yeah, the rock fights started on day 1. All of them were my best friends.
We're talking under the age of teen. It was how we introduced ourselves to the hooooood. Back in the day, play was rocks, getting to know you and you still weren't 10. I don't think it works that way anymore.

Blogger Scott January 10, 2019 12:35 PM  

This week in VFM News: Vox gets bored and pokes the Rogan beehive. A gamma flood warning has gone out for the next 72 hours.

Blogger Meanoldbasterd January 10, 2019 12:35 PM  

I have a 1st gup in Hapkido, a 6th gup in tae kwon do, army combatives level 1, and a smattering of Aikido. Plus have trained with/against guys who know BJJ, kenpo, karate, judo etc.

I have only been in a handful of,real fights and all of them were in high school and college and all were over in seconds. I dont think I was the clear winner in any of them. In fact, in one real fight, I had my ankle broken AFTER getting out of an arm bar by hoisting my (smaller) opponent up and dropping him on his back TWICE.
Now I'm 42 and have been threatened with a beat down in bars twice about a year and a half ago. Both involved drunks and or bikers. Both cases I remained calm, stared back, continued to sip my drink and calmly gave them the option to jump of they were feeling froggy.... They didn't. However, even with my extremely limited fighting experience, (ive had three or four dojo "sparring matches" that devolved into brawls that had to be stopped because people were getting knocked down, knocked out, slammed into walls etc) I KNOW that fighting is FAR different than training...

Blogger Salt January 10, 2019 12:46 PM  

A guy in town, who's now passed away, was known for his fighting ability. No training, none whatsoever. He would just get so mad he'd not stop till you were trashed.

Blogger Guitar Man January 10, 2019 12:47 PM  

This was an excellent article. I actually started training AFTER being in a number of street fights. My old late teens/early 20s hot headed days are well behind me, and I have no desire to go find trouble as an almost 40 year old man, but I really enjoy the comradeship and challenges that come with training.

Blogger Charles Carlson January 10, 2019 12:51 PM  

Totally agree with Vox. I used to wrestle in high school and was decent at it. Wrestling or BJJ is good for getting in shape and staying in good shape. Wrestling and Martial Arts in general help build mental toughness as well. But the reality is that wrestling and BJJ are not fights, they have rules where fights don't. Some of the moves and holds from wrestling or BJJ do transfer over in an actual fight, but it is far less useful then many would imagine. "Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth."

Blogger Longtime Lurker January 10, 2019 12:54 PM  

When you woke up that morning, you didn't expect Trouble. You certainly didn't ask for Trouble. But Trouble found you anyway.

You warned Trouble to get lost. And sometimes Trouble will beat it after a firm warning.

But not today. Shod with steel-toed boots and sporting a longer reach, Trouble had found you. And worse, Trouble blocked your only obvious exit to safety.

But you've dealt with Trouble before. You know that Trouble always makes mistakes. And today, Trouble briefly took its eyes off you. Cleared hot, you landed your first strike fast and hard, closing one of Trouble's eyes.

That pissed off Trouble, but your swarm of punches and kicks rendered Trouble incapable of continuing the fight. The outcome was anticlimactic.

Defeated from the top of its head to the bottom of its heart, Trouble was reduced to a bloody, barely conscious, twitching mess on the floor.

And the engagement lasted what? All of 20 seconds? Maybe 30? Hell, you didn't even skin a knuckle. Talk about walking away in peace!

It's not like you scored the touch down that put your team in the playoffs, but it sure as hell felt like it. It took days for the euphoria to dissipate. That helped you to grasp why some men develop addictions to combat. Key insight that.

Then came the melancholy: Men must be at their best in order to do their worst. Fallen world indeed.

Blogger Doktor Jeep January 10, 2019 12:56 PM  

Right Wing Fight Club when?

Blogger VFM #7191 January 10, 2019 1:00 PM  

Scott wrote:This week in VFM News: Vox gets bored and pokes the Rogan beehive. A gamma flood warning has gone out for the next 72 hours.

Every ideological movement and internet clique has some version of "Everyone I don't like is ______"

Blogger pdwalker January 10, 2019 1:01 PM  

As a long time practioner of martial arts, I’ll tell you it’s useful against someone who plays by your rules or knows nothing at all.

If they are skilled in their own regard and they refuse to play by your rules, then you’re going to get you ass handed to you.

Blogger Warunicorn January 10, 2019 1:02 PM  

The one thing people need to know:

Flesh and bone always gives way to flying metal. Your enemies aren't Neo from The Matrix. (lol) This isn't hard. The only practical thing I can see in sparring/martial arts is maybe camaraderie...bettering yourself, that kind of thing. To be sure, there are ways to try to disarm/stop an opponent who's trying to kill you but that's assuming a one-on-one situation in close quarters, unlike the situation Chris found himself in with the Anitfa goons training as Nazis. Chris makes the mistake of calling them "misguided college kids." They'd love to see him dead if they could get away with it.

I'm no Bruce Lee but I sure as hell can shoot a gun quite competently. Try to f*ck with my life and you're certainly gonna get the pointy end of the "stick". (That's not bravado; I really mean it. You have to in this day and age.)

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelpia January 10, 2019 1:08 PM  

From time to time, I lurk on some soccer boards, and why I find both fascinating as well as infuriating is the way posters discuss tactics and formations as though the opponents were phantasms that you could dance around.

You opponent ALWAYS has a say in ever sport -- soccer, football, martial arts, bar fighting. In team sports, as well as fights, better tougher and more determined players generally beat weaker players, though not always.

In rules based sports, tactics and techniques refined by training are important, but always secondary. When teams are evenly matched, the best coaches find the weakness and attack it mercilessly, while avoiding exposing your own weaknesses.

Blogger Joshua_D January 10, 2019 1:11 PM  

Saying "training does not equal fighting" is like saying "water is wet." I would think that all reasonable people would read either of those and just nod in agreement. Another reminder of MPAI.

Blogger VD January 10, 2019 1:18 PM  

The one thing people need to know

No one needs to know that. Everyone knows it. And the facts are that fists and feet are ALWAYS available. They kill more people every year than "flying metal" does. Your comments are both pig-ignorant and unnecessary.

Blogger VD January 10, 2019 1:19 PM  

Right Wing Fight Club when?

Never. We're not gay. The whole thing is a metaphor.

Blogger Zaklog the Great January 10, 2019 1:19 PM  

As someone who has neither trained nor fought, I'm curious from your previous comments. As a practical matter, if someone had to choose between preparing themselves to give a punch or take a punch, which would better prepare them for a real fight?

Blogger Guitar Man January 10, 2019 1:20 PM  

@35 Nothing prepares for you for a real fight like a real fight.

Blogger Longtime Lurker January 10, 2019 1:23 PM  

@35: "As a practical matter, if someone had to choose between preparing themselves to give a punch or take a punch, which would better prepare them for a real fight?"

Give a punch. It's always better to give than to receive. That said, in reality, defensive technique is a must. You have to take away the obvious stuff. Otherwise you'll get clocked.

Blogger Crew January 10, 2019 1:40 PM  

I think there is another way in which 'experience' applies as well.

Never trust a politician who has no children. They are unlikely to have the same outlook as us normal people. They do not have many experiences in common with us.

Blogger Warunicorn January 10, 2019 1:40 PM  

VD wrote:The one thing people need to know

No one needs to know that. Everyone knows it. And the facts are that fists and feet are ALWAYS available. They kill more people every year than "flying metal" does. Your comments are both pig-ignorant and unnecessary.


I'll have to remember this when war finally breaks out here.

Blogger Dirtnapninja January 10, 2019 1:44 PM  

"He is not fit for battle that has never seen his own blood flow, who has not heard his teeth crunch under the blow of an opponent, or felt the full weight of his adversary on him" - Roger of Hoveden

Blogger Blaidd January 10, 2019 1:52 PM  

@30

What do you do when you get sucker punched while your gun is in its holster? Will you have the wherewithal to react quickly or at all in such a situation? Not every interaction with someone trying to kill you will be on a battlefield where your enemies are wearing distinguishing marks. You can't be on high alert at all times.

Blogger VD January 10, 2019 2:04 PM  

if someone had to choose between preparing themselves to give a punch or take a punch, which would better prepare them for a real fight?"

Take a punch. No question. Most people go into mild shock the first time they get punched in the face. Get it over with.

Blogger Dirk Manly January 10, 2019 2:10 PM  

@16

"Anyone know the truth about the whole "hands registered as lethal weapon" claims?
...
Sounds like urban myth bs to me, but maybe other states are different."

Ask a professional boxer.
If such a law exists and applies to anybody, it would be them.

Blogger Dirk Manly January 10, 2019 2:21 PM  

@39

"I'll have to remember this when war finally breaks out here."

A state of war is the exception, not the rule.

If it were not the exception, very few government officials in my state would be enjoying the high life they have now.

Blogger justaguy January 10, 2019 2:22 PM  

Maybe I've mellowed, but every fight in some bar with people who are not my friends is a possible chance to be crippled or killed. That has always been my view and I avoid them like the plague. Too many end up in the ER or in jail from fights gone bad. That guy you didn't see who hits you with the pool ball could easily kill you by mistake (or maybe not). In today's environment, there are too many and growing no-go areas with the police not being bothered (if you are there you deserve it).

For a brief time we had active policing and attempts to civilize most of the areas in our country. Today--what happens to the wrong police officer who ends up in a viral video-- demonstrably affects the level of policing. This also affects how many people end up in the ER every weekend. Once you can lift your own weight-- something that happens quickly to most teens before 20 if they exercise/lift at all, fighting becomes very dangerous whether to stay out of jail or out of the ER.

Blogger Kettle January 10, 2019 2:44 PM  

Guitar Man

Hey, I see we train in the same Gym.... Andy Main. Its a small world

Anonymous Anonymous January 10, 2019 2:48 PM  

@12

it's not only testing yourself, it is also improving yourself.

The more pain you experience, the more you can withstand, and still function. Also, like any such biochemical reaction, the more stimulus it takes to elicit the same level of response. In other words, pain doesn't hurt as much when you experience it regularly. You become inured to it. You harden up.

The sudden onset of unanticipated pain incapacitates those who have not experienced it. It floods the body with adrenaline and other biochemical fear reactions that shut down the higher thinking capacities - just when you may actually need them most.

Viktor Frankl famously wrote that the difference between a man and an animal is that BETWEEN the stimulus and the response a man has a choice.

Being a man involves exercising a kind of temporal relativity that enlarges the range of choices you have between the stimulus of being smacked in the face and the response you decide to make to it.

And you do that BY inflicting pain on yourself, deliberately.

When I was 23 or 24 a friend of mine, a smaller guy, was once being pushed around by a half-drunk idiot in the street. I just happened to be passing, saw it, and walked over and stood beside him. Didn't say anything, didn't make any aggressive moves, just folded my arms and stood shoulder to shoulder with him. The arsehole turned on me, put a reasonably good right hook into the side of my head (I slipped it a little (but not enough) so it didn't get me in the cheek but up on the temple) and just kept looking at him with some mild contempt.

He turned and walked away, realising that he was making himself look like an arsehole in full view of the public.

But I had 3 older brothers and I'd been hit in the head many times by then. The pain of it was of little consequence. Yes, it hurt. It just wasn't that consequential that it hurt.

Blogger Warunicorn January 10, 2019 2:56 PM  

Blaidd wrote:@30

What do you do when you get sucker punched while your gun is in its holster? Will you have the wherewithal to react quickly or at all in such a situation? Not every interaction with someone trying to kill you will be on a battlefield where your enemies are wearing distinguishing marks. You can't be on high alert at all times.


You have to be situationally aware if you're carrying, especially in a situation where someone could be close enough to take the weapon away from you. (Once they know or if they know you have it.) E.g., If I'm out and about while shooting (pictures with my camera), I'm fully conscious that I have a loaded weapon on me that can potentially kill someone and will always watch my back. I don't take it lightly. I tend to avoid crowds as if they had the plague as a result.

Usually, people approach and ask what kind of photographic equipment I'm using, and that's fine. I still eye everything around me even while talking to them. The whole point behind concealed carry is that they don't know I'm carrying in the first place. But now that I mention it...they'd probably go running and screaming if they did know...note I live in Massachusetts, the Land of Lieawatha. xD

Blogger Ingot9455 January 10, 2019 2:56 PM  

The Yellow Jackets aren't shooting. Yet.

Blogger chronoblip January 10, 2019 3:04 PM  

Rogan is a literal cuck, he has a stepdaughter that is his "wife's child".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6pnRZu-h_s

That would explain why he's little more than controlled opposition.

Blogger Ivan Throne January 10, 2019 3:08 PM  

Again, I will say the only thing that needs to be said:

Vox is correct.

Regards,

Ivan

Blogger Guitar Man January 10, 2019 3:45 PM  

@46

Small world indeed!

Blogger dvdivx January 10, 2019 4:20 PM  

I think people underestimate the effectiveness of learning how to fight with a knife and how good a knife is in close combat. Cops don't as they just shoot knife holders. Plus they get to see what a knife is capable of.

Blogger Dirk Manly January 10, 2019 4:34 PM  

According to studies done by, I believe it's Massad Ayoub, letting a man with a knife get any closer to you than 7 yards is foolish. That's the MINIMUM distance to draw your weapon and fire before knifeman sticks you.

I think 7 yards is dangerous.... a man rushing at you at full speed with a knife has momentum good for at least another 3 feet, and unless you hit him in the face, neck, or the shoulder or arm of the knife hand, he's still going to stick you. For safety's sake, be ready to draw at 10 yards (9 meters). By the time you actually fire, he'll be within 3 meters. If knifeman is slowly advancing on you, then slowly retreat, to keep the distance.

A friend's gf was having issues with a guy in her apartment building being ... overly social when she would come back from her work (self-employed, cleaning offices), trying to start a conversation in the parking lot at 3:30 AM.

My friend loaned her a pistol, which she put in her purse. Sure enough, neighborguy, right on cue, "just happens" to be leaving for work, or whatever his excuse is. As soon as she saw him, she casually pulled the pistol out. Foolishly, he asks, "What are you doing?"
Her reply, "Making sure it's loaded."

Neighborguy never talked to her again.

This was a semirural part of Indiana in the early 1990's. Today, she's probably get arrested for brandishing at the very least.

Blogger Patrick Kelly January 10, 2019 5:36 PM  

Knives viscerally scare me more than guns.

There are seminars and classes using both knife and gun replicas training and drilling retention, deployment, and defending having combinations of both or none. I have only observed so far.

It's eye opening to see what it's like to draw, retain, and deploy a gun or knife in close quarters once the violence starts. When someone is trying to deploy a gun after the other guy is already attacking with a knife it gets real interesting.

So far I think it's better to make a best effort at defending or disarming against the knife before drawing the gun. I'm a beginner, I may learn a better way and change my mind. Either way, you're likely to be in bad shape even if you "win".

Blogger Meng Greenleaf January 10, 2019 6:36 PM  

I did mixed MA from 13 to 18. I've been in fights since I can remember. Not out of choice, but growing up with a single mother in a trailer park meant finding your place in the pecking order. For example, that winter game of take the little kids hat and toss it back and forth was always met with a look of shock/horror/disbelief when I slugged the first kid to take my hat in the stomach. I'd always say, you can keep the hat. And keep wailing. Also, my step brother beat the crap out of my ever second weekend. We were friends, but he let me know I was littler. I've KOed two guys. One who attacked me at a party (upper cut to the nose), and a guy at a bar overseas who was showing off to his girl. I said, you touch me, I'm breaking your nose. This idiot waltzes right up to my face, like he's going to kiss me, touching my nose with his. What did he think he was in a movie?!
LOL

The resilience I developed as a child, years of overcoming obstacles, made a world of difference. I developed quite a lot of the Americana Can-Do Spirit and a decent amount of confidence.

Blogger Ibelin January 10, 2019 6:36 PM  

Krav was such a joke that I stopped taking it after getting my orange belt. It seemed like they were trying to get as many women as trainers as possible and the training itself was terrible.

When training in anything with partners you can really only be as good as the person you're partnered run so if you're always paired with incompetent people you'll be SOL. That's what I ran into with krav. Classes of 30+ people in which half were women that thought they were badasses and a 1/4 of the guys were guys thinking they were going to be ninjas after taking the class.

Blogger Unknown January 10, 2019 7:02 PM  

I always have to laugh when I hear the oft-told comments about how trained people get taken out easily by nobodies. Having had plenty of fights as an adult while most folks were home minding their business; I can affirm that the untrained person will usually LOSE, badly, and that even an experienced street thug--if the intended victim has been trained CORRECTLY--will usually fold when confronted with someone who is physically superior or has a superior skill set. The idea of the suckerpunch (or surprise attack, weapons or not) will take out ANYONE who is aware enough and gets caught by it. Hint: you can do it to someone too, but being a law-abiding regular Joe, you probably never felt the need to predate your neighbor.

Blogger Al Du Clur January 10, 2019 7:30 PM  

"It's just experience. It's from the certain knowledge that you can get up and get back into the fight after you get knocked down"

This is why I don't take the right wing calls for fighting back seriously. The right never fights back except at the ballot box so it doesn't learn how to bounce back and charge strategy. They keep retreating and just buying guns. Sure some of them are trained in military combat but it didn't instill a sense of standing your ground or going on the offensive in any way, shape or form. It has just turned the right into considers (of guns).

Blogger Dirk Manly January 10, 2019 7:42 PM  

@55

"Knives viscerally scare me more than guns."

In Iraq, controlling newly captured enemy combatants was MUCH easier if the soldier or two selected to guard them mounted their bayonets on the end of their rifles.

Bullets are kind of abstract, and besides that, they're small. Bayonets are huge, and there's no way you can stick someone with one and NOT hit a major blood vessel, besides making a nice, 4-inch or larger wound.

Blogger Doktor Jeep January 10, 2019 8:09 PM  

I have been pondering what martial art Gammas would be into, and I think I found it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzh9koy7b1E

Blogger Peter January 10, 2019 8:29 PM  

"I came away from the whole thing convinced that a carry permit was a better use of my resources"...100% agree... studying all types of martials arts from the time i was 14 and i honestly still dont beleive i should/could depend on my martial training to save my life.. thats why i carry a pistol, have shotgun by the bed, a bat by the door and always have a knife handy... for me, the use of my martial arts is a last resort and as i get older and slower, a last last resort. :) theres is always a big, stronger, younger, faster guy.. but hopefully i can be smarter and a better shot.

Blogger Arthur Isaac January 10, 2019 9:38 PM  

An interesting form of grappling I discovered a few years ago is Glima. I actually think from what I learned that it was practically developed alongside the use of melee weaponry. One of the tenants was to grab the opponent in such a way as to prevent the drawing of a sword.

Blogger Dirk Manly January 11, 2019 12:36 AM  

"One of the tenants was to grab the opponent in such a way as to prevent the drawing of a sword."

And while that one was obstructing the drawing of a sword, what did the other tenants do? Or was this a single occupancy sort of dwelling?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Blogger Arthur Isaac January 11, 2019 1:03 AM  

Glima is about a throw, like Judo. Think grab the guy before he could draw and smash him against a rock. It's not at all about going to the ground. There are videos.

Blogger Arthur Isaac January 11, 2019 1:04 AM  

Tenets. Autocorrect $hit.

Blogger Thad tuiol January 11, 2019 2:48 AM  

When it comes to street fighting in UK/Europe, I learned early on that blacks and Arabs (especially Turks) all carry knives and all have little compunction about using them. They also only fight in groups where they have massive numerical advantage, and never one-on-one following some kind of Marquis of Queensbury rules.

Blogger Jack Amok January 11, 2019 4:07 AM  

Through volume of repetition, training...

I certainly believe in training, but you have to be a little careful about the repetition. In the Joe Rogan video Vox darkstreamed, Vox mentioned the tells when Joe was going to kick - the front toe-tap for instance. I noticed that too, and my thought was... he's dancing. I don't mean that in a derogatory effeminate way - I mean he was doing everything in a rhythmic pattern. His strikes were as predictable as the steps in a ballroom dance. Ah one and a two and a three and a...

He was executing sequences he'd learned as part of his "training." That's awesome if you're a stunt fighter in a kung fu movie, it's what allows you and the other fighters to choreograph your fight scenes without actually hitting each other.

But you don't want to do that in a real fight. And it takes some conscious effort to avoid developing predictable patterns in your moves. Training emphasizes the moves and it's easy to turn them into dance steps.

Blogger SciVo January 11, 2019 4:32 AM  

Drake Stake wrote:Also not sure why VD is wasting his time on it. Trolling? Or just like ruffling the feathers of fan boys?

I think it's process, not goal. He says something true and it ruffles some feathers. He elaborates and explains, and maybe it stops there. Or maybe the hens keep on squawking, and lead him down one or more rabbit holes of widespread delusion and cogdis (to mix metaphors), and next thing we know there's a book.

Blogger SciVo January 11, 2019 4:46 AM  

Basically, I think that his process of finding a market for a good explanation (that he has the interest and ability to provide) can be summarized as, "The stuck pig squeals."

Blogger Xellos January 11, 2019 6:59 AM  

Dirk Manly wrote:unless you hit him in the face, neck, or the shoulder or arm of the knife hand

You shoot center-of-mass. One reason is that it halts part of that momentum, another that it's easy to hit for a practiced shooter even under stress, the third is that it's decently lethal. Standard lesson.

There's a decent chance an attacker who takes several bullets in the chest even at close range won't kill you. If he leaves horizontally and you vertically, even with a stab wound, that's still better than getting killed due to pussying around - and letting your gun get taken.

Blogger Dirk Manly January 11, 2019 7:13 AM  

@71

"You shoot center-of-mass. One reason is that it halts part of that momentum, another that it's easy to hit for a practiced shooter even under stress, the third is that it's decently lethal. Standard lesson."

Exactly. Which means that if you do hit someone charging at you with a knife, it's unlikely that you're going to hit him in one of the few places which will INSTANTLY stop the threat of the stabbing. Hit a man in the chest, and it might be as long as .2 seconds before he even reacts in any meaningful way. And if he's on certain drugs, might not react to the wound at all for several seconds.

So, you need more distance than "I got a bullet into him when he was 1 foot away" because in that instance, you're still gonna get stabbed, and probably pretty badly, just as long as he continues to hold onto the knife.

Blogger Rory January 11, 2019 7:22 AM  

Not a fight story, but I know what you're talking about here about resilience from adversity. I was involved with a think tank, with the purpose of spreading their ideas into academia and influencing politics. Long story short, I became aware of the leadership acting in a... perfidious way. I called it out, which led to reprimand and expulsion. I lost a lot of friends and received a lot of disparaging comments which made me question myself and the choices I'd made, and I found myself for years wondering if I'd made the right decision.

Ultimately I think I was in the right, but I came away from it pretty shell-shocked and upset. But it's made me far more confident as a result. I'm less anxious about my position within organisations. More sure of myself, and focused on my own internal sense of right and wrong.

I've also been fired from a couple jobs, or come to an agreement that it would be best if I left at the end of my probation. And quite rightly. I was either a bad fit, or performed poorly. And each time was shocking and painful, but less so each time, and each time made me more confident going forward (as well as more prepared, in terms of what would happen if I lost my job, and in choosing where to work and what roles to accept).

Blogger Avalanche January 11, 2019 9:15 AM  

@55 ""According to studies done by, I believe it's Massad Ayoub, letting a man with a knife get any closer to you than 7 yards is foolish. That's the MINIMUM distance to draw your weapon and fire before knifeman sticks you."

Tueller Drill. Police Lt Dennis Tueller, teachers new cops on the range. One of the asked about 'how far' -- when do you draw, how far away is the knife or bludgeon wielder before he could legit draw."

Tueller didn't know. Since the range floor was marked at 7yards; the set up drills with the trainees. Plastic knife, plastic gun in cop-holster. At a moment chosen BY the attacker, attacker would charge, future-cop would draw and 'shoot.'

On average, it took 2 seconds for the knife wielder to stick the cop. On average it took the new cops 2 second to draw and shoot. For a couple years, Tueller kept trying these drills: even old gimpy guys, 2 seconds; a guy in a toes-to-knee cast, 2 seconds..

The biggie is: draw-and-shoot ONLY works if you actually manage to drop the attacker! A shot to the gut? He's got a good 10-12 second before he loses enough blood to be incapacitated: shooter be DEAD!

Thunder Ranch has a fantastic vid on how to survive a knife attack:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEf9Gm8R5GY

And Mas Ayoob on the Tueller Drill:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og28YV8DUxw

Short Tueller interview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxeTNnEWmbY

(And oh yeah, poor Tueller is swimming upstream against common usage -- it is SO not the Tueller RULE! It was and is the Tueller DRILL -- cause here is no rule in it!

Blogger Miguel January 11, 2019 9:25 AM  

"That's why real fighters often admire each other even if they actively dislike each other. That's why boxers often hug with genuine affection after beating the hell out of each other."

Just like Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran.

Blogger HMS Defiant January 11, 2019 9:40 AM  

It was how my brother and I made friends every time we moved while my dad was in the Army. Fight, then friends forever.

Blogger Avalanche January 11, 2019 11:42 AM  

@68 "And it takes some conscious effort to avoid developing predictable patterns in your moves."

Especially when you're not even aware you're training those in! Old tai chi tale: some Brit instructor took some of his students to a competition ... and to his amazement and horror, they would be doing the form for grades, and when they came to a certain move, they stopped, backed up about 10 feet, and then continued their form. Turned out: his back yard was too small to fit the whole form in, so they had to stop at the wall, back up, and then continue -- and THAT was how they did tai chi!

Mas Ayoob also mentions the cops practicing "twisting and grabbing the gun away from the perp" -- and one guy who actually got to use the technique on the street did **as he had trained** -- and grabbed the gun and then turned it around and handed it back to the perp!!

Blogger Avalanche January 11, 2019 11:43 AM  

@69 "next thing we know there's a book."

oh YES PLEASE!! That would be the bestest book ever! Vox Day on fight training!

Blogger Kudos The Lexecutioner January 11, 2019 11:44 AM  

This is one of Vox's best posts, which says a lot given the quality of all of his other posts.

The only time I got hit in the face as a kid was in middle school, popped in the mouth in a spat that lasted all of five seconds. As an adult, I trained for years with my kids in Karate. The only lasting value I got from it was in free sparring (not point fighting). While fighting a black belt once, I got too cute by half and tried to stick my glove in his face while coming behind it with a punch. I planted my face squarely on his rising uppercut, which I didn't see because of my target fixation.

As Christopher Walken noted in The Sicilian Scene from True Romance:

"Smarts, doesn't it? To get slammed in the nose. Fucks you all up. Get that pain shooting through your brain, your eyes fill up with water, that ain't any kind of fun."

Absolutely true. That punch rang my bell and completely disoriented me. I had enough presence of mind to roll away and come up into a fighting stance, but I was in no shape to continue sparring. The black belt rushed over to me, mostly to ensure that I would stop bleeding all over his new mats. That was truly an eye-opening experience.

Although I still train in a different martial art in late middle age, I harbor NO illusions that I could adequately defend myself against one - much less several - younger, stronger attackers. As the saying goes: "Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance." In other words, cheat your ass off and fight dirty as hell, then run away. Real life is not Pay-Per-View. Hand-to-hand combat will be the last, last resort for me, after the slide is locked back on an empty chamber.

I like to say that Colonel Colt is my sensei. As attorney Andrew Branca says: "Carry a gun so you're hard to kill. Know the law so you're hard to convict."

Learn some combatives so that you're not left with only your dick in your hand if it all goes sideways. And Vox is right: find a way to get punched in the face to learn what it feels like.

Blogger Kudos The Lexecutioner January 11, 2019 11:46 AM  

@77

I also read about a cop who was shot dead AFTER he shot a perp with a perfect double-tap, then reholstered his weapon, because that was how he trained on the range.

Blogger Bufface January 11, 2019 12:23 PM  

No one needs to know that. Everyone knows it. And the facts are that fists and feet are ALWAYS available. They kill more people every year than "flying metal" does. Your comments are both pig-ignorant and unnecessary.

Beatings only constitute 7.1 percent of homicides in the US.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/05/07/poison-is-a-womans-weapon/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e661d5560c81


In the UK, where gun ownership is more restricted, the metal of knives are the most common murder weapon.

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/scourge-of-the-most-common-murder-weapon-478909.html

Blogger SirHamster January 11, 2019 12:48 PM  

Bufface wrote:Beatings only constitute 7.1 percent of homicides in the US.

There is no "in the US" qualifier in the statement.

In the UK, where gun ownership is more restricted, the metal of knives are the most common murder weapon.

Vox said "flying metal", not "metal".

Sloppy.

Blogger Bufface January 11, 2019 2:58 PM  

Beatings are not the most common means of murder in the world.

Blogger SirHamster January 11, 2019 4:14 PM  

Bufface wrote:Beatings are not the most common means of murder in the world.

"And the facts are that fists and feet are ALWAYS available. They kill more people every year than "flying metal" does."

"fists and feets" != beatings
"kill" != murder
"more" != most common

Still sloppy, and now you're not even backing up your assertions.

Blogger James Dixon January 11, 2019 9:53 PM  

> Take a punch. No question. Most people go into mild shock the first time they get punched in the face. Get it over with.

I've seen that happen, so on this matter I least, I can back up Vox's assertion.

Blogger Tom Terrific January 12, 2019 2:57 AM  

My son was in a terrific fighting school for about five years that included sparing during every class. He sometimes trained six days a week. His instructor liked him but we couldn't afford private lessons, so she'd bring him on as a sparing partner for the private students she took on Saturday. Hence, six days a week of training. He was on the award-winning demo team and also attended a number of tournaments through the years, although his instructor felt students learned the wrong lessons from tournament fighting.

I say all that to say, he did not become a true fighter until one day on the way home from school he was jumped by another kid, demanding money. Initially his arms were pinned by his backpack full of textbooks. But once he got free, everything changed.

"It was just like when you used to tease me, dad," he told me later. "Wax on, wax off? I didn't even have to think about it. My hands just blocked his swings and he couldn't touch me. Then I got kinda bored so I hit him with a heel thrust to the chin and he went right down!"

From that day forward, my son was a different kid. A different fighter. He took something more out of his training after that and turned him into a confident, almost cocksure, teenager at the age of 15. Transformed by a real fight!

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