Monday, 22 November 2010

Charity Self Defence Course


My little boy Eli is Autistic & has epilepsy. He goes to a riding for the disabled centre called 'the Brae', & he is NEVER happier & more content than when he's on the back of 'Roley' the horse, & his laughter when he gets to trot would make the most miserable of days sunny. The Brae gets no government funding, & exists purely from private donations & grants; so we've decided to put on a self defence workshop in aid of 'The Brae'.


The workshop is open to women of any age, & you don't need to be physically fit or strong to be able to do the workshop. We'll be teaching you how to counter some of the most common methods of violent assault that you encounter in the UK. No rubbish that just doesn't really happen (wrist grabs & all that sort of unrealistic garbage taight by instructors who have NO actual experience of violence or conflict) just common methods used by criminals & thugs in the real world.


The workshop is running from 2pm - 5pm on Saturday 11th of December, & costs only £10. Think about it, £10 for insurance that could just save your life; & it goes to a worthy cause that brings a MASSIVE amount of joy to disabled children. It really doesn't get much better than that does it?

ComTech Bowie Knife Combatives Workshop


Hi folks, sorry for the silence again. It's been BUSY around here. I've been off doing seminars in England, taking Tactical Edge & ComTech to Manchester, Stratford upon Avon, Cambridge, Wellingborough, Crowborough, & Cambridge. Andrew Niven had me over to Leipzig in Germany for two days of seminars, & I've been back at Combat Ready in Edinburgh for my 2ic Marcus Houston.


Our Christmas seminar this year is going to be exploring the combative use of the Bowie Knife using the ComTech American Bladecraft developed by my friend & teacher Master at Arms James A Keating. The ComTech Bowie system is THE MOST EFFECTIVE method of Bowie training available, I've seen them all; & there's NOTHING comes close to MAAJAK's system. This is probably due to his encyclopedic knowledge of both Eastern & Western blade systems, & his experience actually applying that knowledge & training. The ComTech Bowie system is comparitively simple compared to the SE Asian blade systems, but the two methods compliment each other beautifully. The Bowie is a very easy system for someone with no prior bladecraft training to pick up with relative ease compared to the Oriental systems.


Our yearly Christmas seminar is a little something we do to thank our students & friends for their support, & it's completely free. So if you'd like the only opportunity to learn ComTech Bowie from Master at Arms Keatings European Representitve & Affiliate you'd be more than welcome to come & join in. The workshop is at 'the BEST defence', 6 Guthrie Port, Arbroath, DD11 4AP from 12 - 4pm omn December 12th 2010.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

The SARcomb


My friend Spencer Reiter (SAR Knives/SAR Global Tools) sent me a couple of his Titanium Combs to play with. These are functional combs for those of you with hair, but they're also excellent adaptive defensive tools.
The two that arrived are his 'Hornet' comb, & his Ringed comb. The grip on the Hornet comb is based on the grip & hilt of his Hornet knife. The Hornet comb is very effective in a front grip, with the 'tail'on it causing an immense amount of pain with very little effort. When applied with a pinch grip it causes an great deal of pain as its dug into flesh. What most folks won't appreciate without seeing is just how effective this would be using the teeth to rip against bare flesh. I started playing with them against a tough cardboard box, & they ripped through it like it wasn't there! I'd hazard a guess that they'd be VERY effective against hands & face!
The Ringed comb is particularly comfortable in a reverse grip, & the tail on the ring is very effective as a thrusting device, & the teeth can be used for 'cover & slash' type movements.
The combs come with kydex sheaths, & I really can't recommend them enough. If you're concerned about your personal safety, but live in a 'non permissive environment' they'd be right up you alley. Spencer can be contacted via his blog http://sarglobaltool.blogspot.com

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Tactical Edge Battle Camp


ITS HAPPENING.....THE FIRST TACTICAL EDGE BATTLE CAMP!


I've had a few students & instructors speak to me over the past couple of years about the possibility of doing a camp. They had heard about the legendary 'Riddle of Steel' in the USA, of which I'm delighted to have been a part of, & wondered if we could do something similar.


Well our first one isn't going to be in the middle of the wilderness, its going to be in the middle of Edinburgh; hosted by Marcus Houston at his gym 'Combat Ready'.


This is going to be a packed weekends training. We'll be working through a massive amount of material from Tactical Edge & ComTech, working through Unarmed combatives, Drawpoint, Bowie, Asian Bladecraft, Single stick, Double stick, Stinger, Short stick, Cane, Bandanna, Weapons defence........a tactical buffet from which to stuff yourself silly.


Combat Ready is in central Edinburgh, & is about a 5 minute walk from the city centre. The course is residential, we'll be staying in the gym so we can train late so you just need your training gear & sleeping bag. There are hotels & B&B's nearby for those wanting more creature comforts. All are welcome, the camp is open to anyone; & its the perfect chance for Tactical Edge students from our Tactical Edge classes around the UK to get together for some training under the founder of Tactical Edge & some of the first & second generation Instructors. Contact Marcus Houston at enquiries@kravmagaedinburgh.com for booking details. The camp is £100, & includes a Grading at the end.

Tactical Edge Counter Knife Seminar- after action report


This seminar was a follow on to the last Counter Knife seminar we did in Edinburgh for Marcus Houston. The last seminar we worked on situationals, & we concentrated on 'threat positions'. This time we worked soley on skill development to work against the 'active attacker'- that is someone who is actively stabbing or cutting. We started off using Hubud as our base of movement. For training purposes Hubud is a great 'fight simulator' & allows us to train our applications in a matrix of movement. We went through how we could aquire the knife hand reliably, & then through our 'quick strips'. We then added in strikes & takedowns to complete the mix.
We then looked at using the same movement to 'strip & retain' & bring us to a position of negotiation. One thing to bear in mind is that the strip & retain movements you see on dvd's where the weapon is stripped & then used against the attacker would in reality see you charged & very probably convicted. Once the weapon is out of the attackers hand the "immediate threat to life & limb" has ceased, so in most situations you would not be justified in using the weapon to fillet your attacker. Hence the reason we were emphasising the use of negotiating positions where we can stop the attack, or take a human shield if there are multiple attackers.
After this we moved onto using the same techniques as a 'returning blade' where the weapon is retained in the attackers hand. We changed the base drill to power passing as we changed to low line thrusts, & looked at how we could aquire the same techniques in this drill. We looked at some use of the environment around us, & how it could be used to enhance our techniques.
Our next Counter Knife seminar will take everything we've covered & work purely on situational training, so keep up the drills & develop those skills!

Sorry for the silence

Sorry for the silence of late, it's been a while since I posted anything. Things have been very busy with work & family stuff. I'm back from my latest training trip to the USA. I went for a week but then the trolls under Iceland decided to start shoveling coal on their fires & I ended up with two weeks training with Unkle Jim.

Having the two weeks made a MASSIVE difference to me. The week where I got stuck Jims student Jay very kindly put me up at his house, & I have to give out a massive thanks to Jay & his tribe for looking after me & making me so welcome.




Jay has been a long time student of Jim, & he now teaches Kung Fu from his home to a hand picked tribe. I had a great time meeting his guys & doing a little training with them. The next time I head over Jays Kung Fu Temple should have been built outside his house, which will be very impressive. Jays tribe are a great bunch, & the training is very relaxed; & everyone stays after for good food & good times. Jay & his brother are Tattoo artists & run a Tattoo Studio in Walla Walla- http://www.tatmandu.com/ - & Jay very kindly slotted me in to get some work done; so I finally got my Tactical Edge logo done on my back. These guys do great work, & I'm delighted with my new ink.

Having two weeks training with Jim made a massive difference to how much I got through & retained. We spent a lot of time working on double stick in the developmental & attribute building mode; & the relationship between double stick & empty hands, knife, single stick etc.

Jim is an absolute devil when it comes to the use of trapping in close range engagements, he can tie you up like a pretzel as he beats on you, & then shoot you out in a crumpled heap from some weird angle. So it was great to have extra time to work with him on trapping skills, as thats a personal area of interest for me that I want to develop more.

A treat this trip was to make the Oregon Knife Show in Eugene. Jim, myself, Big Jay & Dan left Walla Walla at 4am for the looooooooong drive to Eugene. The first part of the trip was stunning as we drove down the Columbia river. The knife show was a hoot, & it was great to meet Sal Glasser & his wife Gail from Spyderco; who's knives I own a bunch of. I met some great knifemakers, & bought about a ton of sharp pointy stuff. I also met some of my USN bretheren from across the pond which was really nice. We're hoping to make the Oregon show a yearly thing now.

All in all, it was the best training trip I've made yet.........absolutely fantastic. Thanks to Jim, Jay, BJ, Frankie, Ryan, Randall & the rest of the crew for a GREAT trip.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

The dreaded kubotan

The Kubotan is an effective & simple impact tool. Unfortunately for Darren Day it's also got him in trouble with the law.

Darren Day apparantly had a Kubotan in his possession when searched by the police, & the constable searching him had a martial arts background & charged him with possession of an offensive weapon.

I am generally a huge supporter of the police. They have a difficult job to do which is often thankless, & much of what they do goes unreported & is done without fanfare leading people to think they're 'not doing anything' at times. In this instance I think they've made an error in judgement for a number of reasons.

One thing that British Police have always had, & in the past used to great effect was 'Discretion'. Unlike some countries they wouldn't just rack up a huge list of small charges on anyone & everyone just for the hell of it. If you were obviously a decent person & not a local scally they would often let you off with small misdemeanors with just a warning. They'd save their time & effort for people more deserving. This seems to be something that is sadly changing.

The newspapers have as usual hyped the Kubotan up to be some evil form of deadly ninja fang of death, & this does no-one ANY favors. The reality is that Tak Kubota originally marketed the Kubotan as a NON LETHAL SELF DEFENCE TOOL......not a 'weapon that is lethal with the right training' as one of the papers reported. The Kubotan training manuals I have entirely consist of control & restraint methods, with escape techniques added in for civilian use. Can the Kubotan be used to apply lethal force? Of course it can, but so could a sturdy pen, or short piece of wooden dowel, or cigar holder, or flashlight........anything shaped like a short stick. The Yawara used in some Japanese Bujutsu systems has both non-lethal & lethal applications; but lets be honest & realistic, if a bad guy wants to cause serious harm to people there are MUCH easier ways to do it than with a Kubotan.

I personally think that the officer who charged him is being a little over-zealous. The Kubotan is singularly ill conceived as an 'offensive' weapon, it would be ineffective as a muggers tool. If I wanted to mug someone I'd rather have a pool ball in a sock, or a proper baton, or a knife! The police officer could quite rightly point out that under UK law there are no provisions for 'defensive weapons' & thus all weapons are offensive, so he was simply applying the law. I just think that a bit of discretion should have been employed, & a simple 5" plastic rod on a keyring should have been overlooked or a warning given. It wasn't like they were dealing with a local chav with a long history of muggings & violent crimes.

I think its time that the government in the UK realises that the decent law abiding people in the UK should have the right under law to carry something to defend themselves with. It seems to me that politicians find it difficult to use logic, & have no knowledge of the real world. In the real world criminals & societies predators are very often armed, & they hunt in packs. An impliment like a kubotan is a 'force multiplier' that allows someone with a small amount of training to have at least a small chance of avoiding injury & escaping from predators. In the real world it is unreasonable to tell the public to just hand over their valuables in the hope that the bad guy just goes away, because often they don't! Your capitulation leads to an escalation, & turns into a beating, rape or murder anyway. In the real world you don't have your own personal policeman to look after you, & when you're attacked & you call 999 you're going to take a hammering while waiting for the cavalry. In the real world we need to wake up & give the decent law abiding people the right to carry something simple & suited to defensive use like kubotans, stingers, DTL's etc.

Remember though, its the mindset & training that is important- NOT THE TOOL. So as much as you can be charged for posession of a Kubotan (my god, that piece of plastic rod on your keyring looks SO frightening, better ban them before there's a kubotan massicre somewhere) remember that you can use a good sturdy pen, flashlight, piece of wood.....or a zillion other things in the same way.

Please though, if anyone from 'the powers that be' reads this- lets have some sanity. Lets look at modern society in the UK realistically & give the decent folks here the right to carry something to protect themselves with without the fear of arrest.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

British Airways & the strikes

I'm flying off to visit my friend & teacher Jim Keating in April, so I'm watching the whole BA debacle with great interest. I have to say that the morons in the union 'Unite' make blood squirt out of my eyeballs.

Lets apply a bit of logic to this. We're in the middle of a financial mess at the moment, & its pretty much global. British Airways has been losing money hand over fist. & is not doing particularly well financially. Now you have cabin crew wanting better pay & conditions........while their company isn't doing very well in the middle of a financial crisis. Their Union is guiding them to strike.........while their company isn't doing very well in the middle of a financial crisis. From my humble viewpoint the people striking should just be happy to HAVE A BLOODY JOB at the moment. How intelligent is it to put a company that is already fighting to stay afloat in even more difficulties? Are they just morons? How happy will they be when their actions sink the company & they don't have a job & millions of people end up losing money on tickets they bought from BA, or stranded abroad? How happy will they be when they have NO pay or conditions because they have no jobs? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what the potential ramifications could be.

I don't have a great deal of time for unions. I have been a union member in the past. I was a member of a union when my employer wanted to change everyones pay & conditions, remove shift enhancements, & generally rape us. I am absolutely CONVINCED that our union rep sold us down the river after receiving a large fat brown envelope. I didn't like or trust him from the second I met the little fat slimy man, & he advised us all to just roll over & give everything up. I think unions tend to be amongst the most corrupt institutions on the go. I find it strange that the government has the power to introduce legislation that will intrude into our internet surfing. They can introduce legislation to remove any rights that they think we don't need. They can introduce legislation to give them additional controls over banks & other businesses. But they say they CAN'T interfere in the BA / Unite debacle & the impending strikes that will cause misery for so many people. The more sceptical amongst us could be forgiven for thinking that this could just be because of the amount of money that Unite throws at the Labour party! Personally I think that it should be illegal for political parties to be given donations from ANY unions or lobbyist groups; that would stop shenanigans like this. I also call upon politicians to make it ILLEGAL for unions or employees to perform strike actions which stop travel & business in this manner; the misery & trouble it causes a massive number of people can't adequately be put into words. Ordinarily I'm a firm believer in 'small government' but there are certain things that I consider to be vital, & the ability to travel & conduct business without being held to ransom by unions is one of those things.

I had to listen to the head of the union on TV & Radio yesterday, the guy sounded like a walking talking stereotype; I had an image of 'Wolfie Smith' in my mind. I hope someday I see him in an airport when he's flying to a meeting somewhere to stir up more trouble...........I wonder if I could fit him in a suitcase & get it lost in Terminal 5's baggage system for a few years, hehe.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Bootleg ComTech DVD's

Jim has been having problems with this cockroach selling bootleg ComTech DVD's on Ebay & Amazon. If you've bought anything from him can you PLEASE contact Jim on comtech@bmi.net as he's looking for ammo for a lawsuit. He's Jims original post-


This guy has been bootlegging my videos for years now. He is on Amazon and Ebay, selling DVDs as "used" but not our labels or laser engraved originals, bootlegged. Please report any sales to me. LAWSUIT is upcoming and I need Ammo = evidence. Help is needed and rewards for help in swift, sure prosecution as well.

R gurro
4532 Whipping willow
Woodlands TX 77380

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Some thoughts

I was reading an ancient copy of a martial arts magazine that I dredged up in my gym, & while I was reading it I saw a letter on the letters page from a reader. The letter was from someone who basically said that he thought it was nonsense that so many RBSD instructors were ex-doorstaff or had some sort of military connections, & that it didn't make any odds to what they taught. After reading this I thought of a 'video blog' sort of thing that my friend from Edinburgh Tactical Edge showed me because it made him cringe. The video on youtube was by a guy he used to work with. He's a doorman (or maybe ex-doorman now) & he had worked with him in the past; He said he was the doorman that was always 'in the toilet' if anything serious kicked off. I've met a few in my time, & sacked them all (its amazing how many of these paper tigers you meet working the doors, & generally they're the ones who are the first & loudest to pontificate about their experience & knowledge). In his video this gentleman is pontificating on RBSD as if he's some sort of authority on it; when in actual fact he hasn't got the martial arts or combatives pedigree to allow him to open his mouth & have an opinion worth listening to.

The gist of his video was off the back of the Bob Spour debacle, & how people should 'be sceptical' about their instructors claims & credentials. He goes on about instructors that claim to have worked 'heavy doors' but no-one has heard of them, etc etc etc. The trouble I have is that very often the people who come out with this stuff are the LAST people who should be! Now, I agree...........people should question things more; lets face it, it's how fighting systems evolve. Not all fighting systems want to evolve- & that is perfectly ok by me. If you practice a fighting art that preserves methods that are hundreds of years old as a warrior tradition I don't want people to go messing about with it. The Tenshin Shodan Katori Shinto Ryu don't need to be thinking about 'evolving' their material- it's perfect the way it is for what it is. If we're talking about something that claims primarily to be a self defence system it has to evolve with the times to be most effective. Lets face it, we're constantly learning more about the way the human body & mind works, so if we incorporate these new discoveries into our training we become more effective. Also, the 'methods of attack' change subtly over time with different trends coming to the fore, so we need to keep on top of that to be really effective also.

The trouble is, that we now have a situation where people who are to my mind inexperienced & underqualified to comment on things presenting themselves as 'experts' & setting themselves up like they're some sort of authority on whatever they're wanting to be 'experts' on. For example, the bloke pontificating on RBSD really has very little in the way of a martial arts or combatives pedigree. Is he a senior dan or degree grade in something? No. He's a no-body who has what seems like an over inflated ego & sense of self importance. Some of what he has said makes sense, but in the back of my head is a niggling little voice saying "how dare YOU be doing the questioning about people who have a damn site more experience than you". I have to say, as someone who is a trainer of SF I have very little time for Bob Spour after what he did. I think his RBSD material is terrible, quite honestly its some of the worst I've seen. But, I don't know the guy as a person, so I'm not going to start calling him names; & his pedigree in Muay Thai is a damn site deeper than many of his detractors can claim to have.

We have too many people with little experience or knowledge setting themselves up as experts, & I guess this is the curse of this interweb thing. Trolls are everywhere. Take for instance the people on a Filipino Martial Arts forum who were slagging Jason Gibbs & Jim Keating over 'The Battlescarf'. They seem to be a bit thick, because they don't slag Tarani or Baliki for their Sarong material, & it's the same thing- a flexible weapon. They did it when Jim first released the Bandanna material. Once again, it's people who don't have the brain cells to conceptualise things or think outside a very narrow alleyway of thought pontificating- & making themselves the arses in the end.

In Arbroath I have people setting themselves up as Martial Arts instructors who have no business teaching. I have one guy who has opened a kickboxing club after joining an organisation that is headed by someone that I consider the second biggest cowboy & purveyor of rubbish in UK Martial Arts. This guy teaches & actually grades his own students WEARING A BROWN BELT! The organisation he belongs to will turn you into an instructor after a short 'boot camp' as long as you're ex military & have a little self defence training; you don't even need to be a black belt! I've already inherited four of his students, because he is so unprofessional & he can fool some of the people some of the time but he can't fool them all all of the time! I have also got a 'Grandmaster in Ninjutsu' spring up. One of my students tore his poster down from the shopping centre notice board he thought it looked so 'cowboy-ish'. It was like a nightmare poster from the 1980's before desktop publishing. The guy had the class location down as a residential address, & worryingly had it down that he taught adults & kids. I checked with someone in the Bujinkan & this guy is an unknown! It looks like someone has decided that they're a Ninja, & felt like a Grandmaster of their own Ryu that day!

So whats my view on RBSD & some of the comments that have been raised? Well, firstly having worked a door does not an RBSD instructor make. A good instructor is NOT just someone who is good at what they practice. I know some elite level sports martial artists, world champions; but they're lousy instructors because they have terrible interpersonal skills or are more concerned in their own ability than in their students. I know a kickboxing instructor who was a pro boxer, but he is a terrible instructor. With RBSD just because someone is able to fight it doesn't mean they have a great deal of knowledge, professionalism, or the ability to impart knowledge & develop ability in students. So what advantage does doorwork give the RBSD instructor over an instructor without that experience? Its actually not really to do with fighting. My 19 years in nightclubs & pubs gave me a deep understanding of how interpersonal conflict really happens. Over 19 years I saw literally thousands of violent incidents, so I have an understanding of the reality of what we're needing to train the student to operate against. In my case I did doors where there was a great deal of trouble, & got involved in other stuff that put me in harms way a great deal; so I got to 'field test' what I teach too. My experience & knowledge wouldn't mean squat if I couldn't get it over to my students though- & I think I'm quite good at that actually.

What about ex military instructors? The guy who wrote the letter into the magazine felt that they had nothing they could really offer RBSD. In truth, military combatives DO NOT make better civilian self defence systems! Military systems by their nature tend to teach skills that are 'too hard' for the street- the methods are high up the force ladder & would often result in the defender in legal trouble after using them. For instance, use a Fairbairn 'chin jab'. Its a great technique, but when your opponent (who has just swung a drunken punch at you, or grabbed you & is threatening you) has their teeth chipped & splintered, jaw broken, bites their tongue off, or dies because the back of their head hits the tarmac; you'll be seeing the wrong side of the justice system yourself. So just because a system has been taught to the military doesn't mean it's going to be a good civilian methods of self defence. Also, military systems are meant to be able to be taught in a VERY short period of time to the densest squaddy. The WW2 combatives needed to be capable of being quickly taught to some farmers boy from the highlands who had half a brain & too much affection for sheep! The methods work, but if you have a bit more time to devote to training there are more sophisticated options that you can learn (note- 'sophisticated' is different to 'complicated') which give you better options when you are needing to defend yourself in the civilian world. My Tactical Edge system for example originated as a method of combatives for SF use. Over the years a civilian syllabus developed that keeps the concepts developed in the military system, but has expanded greatly upon the syllabus & has geared what we do to the different 'role' of the defender.

What the military or ex military trainer brings to the table is an understanding of how people act under extreme duress. They should know how to train people to operate effectively under severe stress, & they should have some good basic fighting skills that they can conceptualise into effective methods that can be lawfully performed by a civilian. Being ex-special forces doesn't mean the person is going to be an amazing instructor though, for the same reasons given in the 'doorstaff' paragraph.

Now, I'd like to put my 'tuppenceworth' in. I have a guy here in Arbroath who advertises himself as a 'self defence specialist' even though he's got no combative experience. The guy has never worked a door, so he's not really seen how violence happens in any depth. He's never had to deal with violent situation after violent situation, so he doesn't know if what he teaches really works or not. He's never found out whether his tactics or mindset will disolve in the 'fog of war'. So how can he be a 'self defence specialist'? Ask yourself a question. If you had to get an operation done, would you allow someone who had never performed surgery to do it? They've read all the books, but they've never cut up a cadever or done any time in a hospital. They've read 'Greys Anatomy' & seen ER plenty of times though. Comfortable with that? I thought not. How about the next time to fly off on your holiday? Would you be happy if I stuck someone in the pilots seat who had never actually flown an aircraft, but had a couple of thousand hours on Microsoft Flight Sim? Once again, I thought not. I think personally that anyone who puts themselves up as a 'self defence specialist' at a high level should have a great deal of martial arts experience & lots of real life knowledge & experience. It might be that they did doors for a long time, or were active military & had instructional duties in a specialist unit, or were law enforcement in a place where they were very active dealing with violent crime for several years. At the least they need to have been trained DIRECTLY by someone with this knowledge & experience, so that it can be imparted to them in a meaningful way. Most of all, they need to be able to impart this knowledge & experience into their students so that they don't have to go through what their instructor went through; & that brings us back to simply having good instructional abilities & interpersonal skills.

If you teach a sport, be proud of it & teach it for what it is. Don't tell people its self defence, because it isn't. As a rule of thumb, if it involves punching people in the head & face it's not ideal for self defence. Go down to the local A&E dept at around 3am on a Sunday morning & you'll see why, as all the chavs roll in with broken fingers & knuckles from punching people in the head. Those little piggies don't stack up too well against that thick skull. Now, I know you maybe do zillions of knuckle press ups, or use a forging post & can punch a brick without damage. Remember, a brick is sitting still & your opponent is trying not to get hit. I've seen very skilled boxers & high grade martial artists break their hands in real life when their opponent moved & they didn't hit quite right. Punching works well then the target doesn't move, or if you're wearing gloves. Otherwise, use something more resilient. If you're in military combatives then it becomes more critical. If you're on a four man unit behind enemy lines, & you break your fist on some hard jihadists head you are now a liability to the rest of your team. Servicing weapons is now a pain, loading magazines, working with explosives or detonators, or using comms gear is now very difficult. If you're law enforcement punching to the face & head is not ideal either. Using the fist to the face has a real risk of splitting the thin skin across the knuckles, & getting blood on blood contact with a smackhead that is HIV positive isn't good. I personally know of someone who this happened to & he spent a year taking anti-retrovirals & shitting himself! In TaeKwon-Do we see classes that basically just teach 'sport TKD' having 'Korean Art of Self Defence' on all their posters & flyers. Like I say, be honest about what you teach. I tell anyone who comes to my classes that we don't do competition, so if they want sport or to compete they would be best going somewhere else. If you teach sport be honest with yourself & your students, & don't kid them that their sports martial arts is going to work against a chav with a crow bar.

So finally, I'd like to say that the martial arts is a HUGE world with a MASSIVE amount of great stuff out there from some great teachers. It's a shame that there are some cowboys & trolls that inhabit the same space & time, but it's the same in any endevour I guess. Be honest with yourself, & be honest with your students & you can't go wrong. If you train in sports martial arts be proud of it. If you train in 'Traditional' martial arts be proud of it. If you train in RBMA be proud of it. They're all great until people start trying to make them into something they're not. Don't listen to every pedigree-less troll on the internet, don't waste your time. Go out & make up your own mind.

Limb Destructions- 'Breaking the four corners' workshop


My 2nd in command in Tactical Edge, Marcus Houston, has booked me to perform a workshop purely on the combative use of Limb Destructions. Tactical Edge uses Limb Destructions as its primary method of intercepting an attack. This is for several reasons. The closest vital areas to you when an attacker is trying to hit you are usually the parts of the body they're trying to hit you with. If you block the attackers limb then you've stopped it from hitting you but not much else, but a limb destruction will cause pain & trauma on the first beat, re-set their 'ooda loop'- & if they're armed blow the weapon out of their hand or at the least weaken it so it is easier to strip or disarm. Because it 'resets the ooda loop' it gives you a far safer entry into striking & takedowns, & causes cross extensive reflex action to take the opposite limb offline for a short time too.

When we use a Limb Destruction we're either targeting motor nerves or joints. When we target a motor nerve we're striking deep into the muscle & inhibiting the release of acetycholine, this means the limb & the brain are no longer communicating! Targeting joints we're destroying the skeletal structure of the body; either way we're taking the fight aggressively to the bad guy, & counter-offense beats defence!

We'll be looking at different methods of destroying an opponents limbs, some of them scalpels & some of them sledgehammers. We'll explore how they can be used against different methods of street attack, & how they allow you to bridge into striking & takedowns; & also how they allow you to more easily effect techniques such as 'returning blades' or 'strip & retain'.

Tactical Edge Founder Mark Davies has used these techniques numerous times against both unarmed & armed opponents, this isn't theory- it's been field tested!

Contact Tactical Edge Senior Instructor Marcus Houston for booking details. www.kravmagaedinburgh.com

Tactical Edge Unarmed Combatives & Basic Impact Weapons Seminar


This Saturday (13th April) GMac Martial Arts in Livingston is hosting me to perform a workshop on unarmed combatives & basic combative baton. We're going to work on entry techniques against striking attacks, using limb destructions, passing techniques & trapping to enter into a range where we can use close range striking & takedowns. We're then going to use the same concepts with the baton. On this course we're going to leave the valuable 'attribute building' side of single stick to the side, & concentrate on how it can be used to defend ones-self. Think conceptually, what we do with a stick can also be done with a rolled up magazine, a large flashlight, a walking cane, or even a ripped off car aerial at a pinch (think of a sjambok). Contact John McIllvaney at GMac Martial Arts http://www.gmacmartialarts.co.uk/ for booking details.

Friday, 5 March 2010

MP's get pay rise while our military suffers


So our MP's have received a 1.5% pay rise, & predictably there is somewhat of an outcry. The unions spokesmen are slating it, & I would imagine that the tabloids will be stirring the pot of public indignation over the next few days.


Now, I am in NO way a socialist. I have NO problem with people earning good wages, & I absolutely hate concepts like 'wealth redistribution'. We own our own home, which we work VERY hard for running our own business; & when I go across the road to the council flats where my brother lives at the moment I see scores of professional dole scroungers- people who don't WANT a job. They are happy as they get money from their benefits, they get their housing paid for & council tax paid for. When I see them they have enough money to be out of their faces on either booze or drugs. I'm sorry, but I'm not warm & fuzzy about society. How you are is a CHOICE! I know many people who had an underprivileged childhood, & came from the wrong side of the tracks; but they CHOSE not to live that lifestyle & are now real achievers! I want a small government that does its job of running the infrastructure of the country & stays out of my life for the most part. I don't want to be taxed to death like we are, & consequently I don't expect the government to wipe my backside & do everything for me, or pay me so I don't have to work & can get smashed on white lightning cider (apple free) or smack!


Sorry, rant over people. I appreciate that there are some MP's who are VERY hard working, & who genuinely work very long hours helping their constituents. I have to admit though that I'm a bit irritated to see their pay rise & the size of their wages. I'd like to put this into perspective for everyone. I have a friend who is a serving member of our Special Forces, a genuine hero in the 1st degree! He was wounded terribly on operations, & spent some months in hospital as they put him back together again. The 'big man' as he calls him (Gordon Brown) visited him & sat at his bedside. He asked him if there was anything he could do for him (& I have to admit, as much as I pretty much despise the Labour Government as it stands Brown went up slightly in my estimation there) & my friend thought "sod it, what can they do to me for speaking my mind?". This is what he pointed out to 'the big man':


Our Special Forces are out there putting their lives on the line all over the world. In Afghanistan they are fighting & dying along with regular 'green army' & reservists every single day. Yet these warriors are earning less than some of the 'coalition' soldiers who never go outside the wire because their governments won't let them! This is absolutely wrong! Mr Brown tried to tell my friend that the government had done this that & the other with their taxes & stuff, but my friend wasn't having any of it- & pointed out that soldiers in some other countries units don't pay ANY tax while they're in Afghanistan; & that it seems very unfair that our guys are still paying tax while they're already earning less than soldiers from other countries who never go beyond the wire surrounding their compounds. When MP's are now earning well over £60,000 per year (plus expenses) this situation seems a little obscene to me.


Worse than this is the current training situation for our reserve units. I'm truly concerned about the operational safety of our reservists now, many of whom are in combat supporting the regular forces & are taking casualties alongside them. Many people don't realise that we have Special Forces reservists, who do high risk operations alongside their regular counterparts. Our MP's have seen fit to award themselves a pay rise, yet the MOD has cut funding for Reservist training. The TA have had their drill nights cut, & training weekends cut. The powers that be have decided that to make up for this they'll double the time of pre-deployment training for soldiers going on operations. The thing is, this JUST DOESN'T CUT IT! Heavily committed & specialised units need 'unit integrity' & the MOD has just booted unit morale square in the 1%! As someone who trains people on a professional level I can tell you that you can't just let peoples training levels drop off & then hope to pick it up properly by giving them extra training before they go on operations, it doesn't work like that; & I truly believe that this penny pinching is going to result in casualties. If this happens I hope that the Labour government realise that those deaths or serious injuries lie at their feet, as they enjoy their extra pay!


Major Seb Morely very publicly resigned his commission some time ago over the equipment being issued to Special Forces in Afghanistan. He felt so strongly about it that he felt he needed to make BIG waves about it. The government spouts on about how much they've increased the money going towards new kit for the guys at the sharp end, but the reality is different. If it was true where are the helicopters, why have the guys been using unarmoured land rovers in places where IED's are as common as potholes? The main reason training has been cut for our TA units is despicable.........apparently its all over travelling expenses! Some more specialised TA units have members who come together from all over the country, & these members get travelling expenses for the miles they have to travel to drill nights or training weekends. The government can up the wages for already wealthy & well paid MP's, but they can't pay for the training of people who volunteer to serve in the TA & THEN VOLUNTEER AGAIN to go on operations to fight at the behest of those politicians. Those bean counters involved in this absolutely reprehensible penny pinching should hang their heads in shame. The same politicians who threw millions at propping up the same banks that screwed up our financial markets (only to see those banks handing out huge bonuses again) should throw some more money at the people who are dying for them in their wars!


I hope they enjoy their pay rise..........

Monday, 15 February 2010

Freedom of speech & expression

The reason I started the TE blog was that I wanted an outlet for some of the things I wanted to say that fell outside what I felt should be on my websites. The blog is more for my personal thoughts, feelings & interests. My friend & teacher James Keating's website, MAAJAK World is an amazing compilation of links to articles about a huge range of things that interest him, martial arts take up a tiny part of MAAJAK World. Anyone who knows me can tell you I have a real interest in politics, though I have a very dim view in general of the political animals that we seem to have been saddled with.

One of my friends became a local councillor with Angus Council. I've had experiences working around some 'prominent local councillors' that would make your toes curl! Some of them don't have enough brainpower to tie their own shoe-laces; & they REALLY bring to mind the old Billy Connolly joke "don't vote for them it only encourages them". Jim is unusual in that he is a genuinely intelligent, witty, & well meaning person. He is a realist, & hates political correctness; which often sees him beating his head off a system that drives him pretty well nuts. We share a similar view on many issues, & both of us are pretty conservative in our views.

Jim has been attacked over the past week or so in the press. The local SNP 'righteous squad' have been calling for him to resign/be dismissed/executed/stoned/hung from the yardarm/boiled in oil/burned as a witch etc etc. Now, I'll let you into a little secret, I worked in the licenced trade for many years, first on the doors & then in management; & some of the SNP councillors have VERY LITTLE to be self righteous about! Jim has had his career attacked by a reporter from a paper 'up north' of us who decided to play somewhat 'fast & loose' with the facts (ok, I'll say it straight- he lied his ass off), & the local paper this week had Mike Weir spouting self righteous drivel about a video clip on youtube that was humorous & satirical. I have a message for Mike Weir- SHUT UP YOU HUMOURLESS WIND BAG!!!!!

I have a very libertarian outlook on things. I want a small government that interferes in my affairs to the most minimal amount. I want politicians to remember that they work for us- not us for them. I want to be able to speak freely without fear of reprisal- & that is exactly what Jim Millar has been basically told he cannot do. Believe it or not, as a Councillor he is not allowed to publicly criticise a council employee!!!!!!! Now it seems that he is not allowed to speak his mind about political matters, & if he upsets people from other parties then rather than them 'growing a set' & just saying "I don't agree with you, & will disagree with you to my last breathe" they start screaming for his removal/burning at the stake/decapitation. It really is pathetic!

So I'm afraid that Jim somehow comparing Alec Salmond to Hitler in what I thought was a humourous & satirical way to get a point across has got them somewhat stirred up. Well, I'm going to add my little bit in. The people who are calling for Jims resignation are telling us that in this lovely warm & fuzzy politically correct country we live in we're not allowed to say anything THEY disagree with, we must conform. We're not allowed to be in anyway politically incorrect (well, better ban Monty Python & most of their material). What this says to me is that these people think that the Chinese Communist Regime is just damn fine. They must just love the Iranian regime, as they don't like anyone disagreeing with them either. Why don't they just move to Saudi Arabia, they'd love the political system over there. I believe the Taliban didn't much like people disagreeing with them much either! The progressives that seem to have come to the fore in parties like Labour, Lib Dems & the SNP (I'm sure the Con's have some too) have eroded our rights to free speech. They have created laws that ban us from saying certain things or expressing ourselves in certain ways. We're not allowed to hurt another persons feelings anymore. Sometimes things NEED to be said, & sometimes it isn't pleasant. I'm a firm believer that we need to get back to the old ideal of "I may vehemently disagree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it".

I'm sick of all the politicians who whine & behave like little girls as they try to score political points & hurt 'the other parties' at any opportunity. Here's a newsflash for the people involved- SO ARE ALL THE OTHER NORMAL PEOPLE OUT HERE! We're not stupid. We don't think for a minute that you're genuinely all upset when something like this happens. Jim Millar has done more for the normal Joe Public in the short time he's been a councillor than many of your SNP cronies have in the many years some of them have been infecting local politics. And by the way.......stop telling us what we're allowed to say & how we're allowed to express our views- & to my mind this is doubly important for people involved in politics (especially in opposition parties) to be able to do. If you're offended by something, grow a pair & stop crying like a little girl!

Nothing to do with martial arts? How long is before these same people start telling us we're not allowed to practice sword arts, or knife arts. There was already a memorandum passed around parliament after a particularly awful Channel 4 programme on kids Thai Boxing, telling everyone that they should notify certain people if they find out that there were kids Thai Boxing competitions being run. How long is it before these people who believe that we shouldn't be allowed to speak out or express ourselves in ways they don't like start carving up other things they, in all their great wisdom, think we shouldn't be doing? Just a thought.......

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Bowie Knife Instructors Course



There are still spaces available on Europes FIRST ever ComTech Bowie Knife Instructors Course. The ComTech Bowie method created by Master at Arms James A Keating is as far as I'm concerned THE MOST EFFECTIVE & easily learned of the Bowie systems available today; & yes I HAVE looked at them all.


This is the first time that the ComTech Bowie Knife Instructors Certification has been available outside Jims own gym in Milton Freewater, USA. The course has been approved & accredited by Master at Arms James Keating, & the certification will be fully recognised by him & ComTech Inc. The great thing is, this course is open to instructors & blackbelts with NO prior weapons training! Unlike the FMA's the Bowie system is VERY simple in comparison. Don't mistake simplicity for meaning its inferior though! The Bowie system is a truely effective battlefield system for that reason! I know that the famous bladesmith & Bowie expert Bill Bagwell has stated several times that in his opinion (& I hold Bill Bagwells opinion to be VERY much worth listening to) a good Bowie practitioner would make mincemeat out of a good practitioner of oriental arts. I personally think that a blend of Western & Easter methods makes for a VERY effective & well rounded bladeart practitioner. On its own though, the Bowie is a simple, direct & brutally effective method of combat, full stop, the end!


The thing I totally LOVE about the ComTech Bowie System is that like EVERYTHING that Jim created, it is CONCEPTUAL. Now, if you carry a 14" Bowie knife around in your normal everyday life in the UK you will be going direct to jail without passing 'go' or collecting £200! So what use is the Bowie syllabus? Well firstly, it really is damn good fun. It is easy to learn, & has different aspects to it, including sparring for those who enjoy a sporting side to things (there are actually bowie competitions in the USA where people spar in tournaments). You might be someone who travels to some of the worlds less pleasant places, where you can lawfully carry a large knife as a bush tool, or actually as a defensive weapon. But in places where you can't carry a Bowie, almost everything in the Bowie system can be conceptualised & used with other improvised defensive tools. For instance, in the video clip I posted on youtube you'll see me performing an application with the Crossada, then the same application with a rolled up magazine (this could also have been a stick, flashlight, up-turned bottle etc), & finally with a small folder. This conceptualisation that runs right through everything in the various parts of the ComTech family of methods is what makes Jims teachings so valuable; & it's one of the things that keeps me going back to learn from Jim time & time again.


So, as a UK based instructor of martial arts learning the Bowie system gives you- 1/a great weapons curriculum to teach your students that is interesting & fun, 2/an effective combative method that can be utilised by military personell who need something that is quick to learn but absolutely deadly, 3/a weapons method that can be easily applied with other improvised tools making it a viable self defence method in countries where weapons cannot be carried lawfully.


If you're interested there are still spaces on the course. Email me on mark@blackbeltacademies.com or call me on 07740 982508. The course is on the 27th & 28th of February so don't leave it forever.

video

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Hell Yes!!!!!!!!!

My friend & teacher Jim Keating posted a little 'rant' on his website that caught my eye this morning. His student Jay had been selling something he calls 'The Battlescarf'. It looks like some of the trolls on one of the FMA forums have been slagging it down, which I find kind of strange, as arts like Silat have a long heritage of using flexible weapons. Many of our martial systems have some form of flexible weapons. Japanese martial arts have the manrikigusari, kyoketsu shogue, kusuri-gama etc etc. The chinese arts have the meteor hammer, steel whip etc. The Korean arts have something similar to the manrikigusari in Po Bok Sul, a weighted rope.

I have seen several high level FMA instructors teaching the use of the Sarong as a weapon. Jim had an experience a while back with trolls on the same forums decrying his Bandanna tapes, & probably becoming quite embarrassed when it was pointed out to them that Inosanto, Tarani, Sulite etc, were all teaching flexible weapons in the shape of the Sarong. The thing was, how many guys in the west (apart from David bloody Beckham) wear a Sarong? So conceptualising those methods so they're used with a bandanna makes sense, as a bandanna is a bit more realistically carried by people. The same can be said for the Battlescarf. So I have this to say to the trolls, do us a favour & shut your stupid whiney little mouths! Try to step outside of your obviously small intellects & try to think conceptually. All the flexible weapons material can be done with ANYTHING. If you want to wear a Sarong (try this walking through most towns in Scotland & I'll be laughing my tits off at the number of times you take stick) then fine, but isn't a bandanna or a scarf a bit more practical?

This same bunch of whiney little cretins did a flame job on me a couple of years ago. A friend of mine alerted me to a thread where a some little bitches who had never met me or contacted me were questioning one of my qualifications 'because they had never heard of this system'. I don't think thet expected me to pop up in the thread & politely correct them, pointing out that the martial arts world was quite big & that the potential of running into instructors they didn't know & offshoots of systems in other countries was quite high; & tell them that if they had any doubts I was happy for ANY of them to visit me & first hand see what I teach. Haven't had any takers yet!

I'll say this. In the past 30 years I've trained in more martial arts systems than these little girls have probably even heard of, under some of the best teachers in the world. I've been blessed with the opportunity to experience many different systems, & sub-systems; some good, some poor. Out of ALL the people I've trained with in the years I've been training, including some VERY highly regarded FMA instructors & masters; James Keating stands head & shoulders above any of them! His personal skill has to be experienced to be believed, & his teaching style makes him by far my favorite person I've trained under! One thing these trolls should remember is that unlike ANY of them, Jim has actually USED what he teaches. Jim has been a bit of a 'bad boy' in his past, & he's seen the elephant! They might be able to do a nice pretty 600,000 count sumbrada, but my guess is that they have probably never faced the things Jim has faced & actually had to use their skill-at-arms! They really should just shut up.

Anyhow, I'm going to paste in Jims little rant below-

The other day I saw on a popular FMA forum site where some idiots were dissing the Battlescarf. Those type did the same thing when I put out my Bandanna Fighting DVDs.
Then after they found out that Edgar Sulite did it first, well hell, then it was ok-official. Fuuuggg - how sad, racist, biased and short sighted, what haters and losers... What they do not get is that there is a STRONG body of work already out there in the silat world and kali too - where one uses a SARONG to defend oneself. Yeah, sorta like a giant bandanna, heh. Well, the Battlescarf is just a cold weather sarong. We love the sarong stuff, but where we live no one wears them and its too cold anyway. We chose a logical alternate and made it available. So once again the FMA forum idiots have shot themselves in the foot, they demonstrate their own ignorance of the conceptual side of martial arts. They deny the entire flexible weapons curriculum (scarf, bandanna, sarong, belt, whip, buntot pagi, etc etc.) What have any of those maggots ever done to add to the betterment of the arts? NOTHING! Just shit talking maggots that run their forum mouths like bitches in heat without doing any background work, any questioning ... just hate. Jealous fucks who daily beat down anyone on their way up. Beat down on anything positive. Well fuck those ignorant pricks. Their mocking bullshit is always the same. Birds (turds) of a feather really do flock together. Ignorance guides ignorance


I stand behind Jim & Jay. Jay's dvd 'Fat Jays Drunken Backyard Kung-Fu' has to be seen. Its a dvd where Jay is quite 'big', they are drunk, & it is filmed in his back yard. Its VERY funny, but it has good stuff in there as well. When I first heard about it I thought that just the title would ruffle the feathers of those in the Chinese arts who take themselves a little too seriously. Jay is a good guy, & a very able practitioner; & I would pay to see some of these little trolls locked in a room with him for a very short while, hehehe:o)

Friday, 22 January 2010

A Salute to our troops

When I'm in the USA one thing that always brings a lump to my throat is that everyone shows their uniformed services so much respect. When you're in an airport you'll see people going up to uniformed servicemen & shaking their hands saying "thank-you for your service". I just think this is wonderful, & I wish we did this more in this country. In Tactical Edge we do our little bit to say "thank-you for sticking your life on the line to keep us safe" by giving serving military free training in our classes.

I just received this email, & rather than forwarding it via email I thought I'd stick it on my blog & website.


Last week I was in West London attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.

Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their uniforms, as they began heading to their gate everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering. When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red blooded Briton who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families. Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work, and enjoy our home without fear or reprisal.

Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He knelt down and said 'Hi,' the little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her. The young soldier didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. Suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.

The mother of the little girl, who said her daughters name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Corporal and had been in Afghanistan for the last 5 months. As the mum was explaining how much her daughter, Courtney, missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up. When this temporarily single mum was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it.

After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, 'I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you. He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying 'Your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.'

The mum at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet he saluted Courtney and her mum.

I was standing no more than 6 feet away as this entire event unfolded.

As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.

We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be British.

RED FRIDAYS

Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? British men and women who support our troops used to be called the 'silent majority'. We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions. Many British people, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of Britain supports our troops.

Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that every Briton who supports our men and women afar will wear something red.

By word of mouth, press, TV; let's make Great Britain on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football team. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family, It will not be long before Britain is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once 'silent' majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.

The first thing a soldier says when asked 'What can we do to make things better for you?' is...'We need your support and your prayers'....

Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear something red every Friday.

IF YOU AGREE , THEN SEND THIS ON

IF YOU COULD NOT CARE LESS THEN HIT THE DELETE BUTTON.

IT IS YOUR CHOICE, but let me know your choice.

THEIR BLOOD RUNS RED, SO LET'S WEAR RED!


Lest we Forget.


I just think this is bloody wonderful!!!!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Big Jays Battlescarf

I'm a big fan of flexible weapons. I'm a big fan of 'grey' or 'improvised' weapons. My friend over in Walla Walla, Big Jay, has brought out his own take on flexible & covert weapons- The Battlescarf.

I really enjoy working with flexible weapons. Some folks get a little too flowery with the stuff they do with them for my taste; I think thats maybe because they haven't really had too much real life experience of just how insanely fast & frantic real combat can be. However, using the right simple base of techniques they can act as a great force multiplier. I love Jim Keatings Bandanna material, & I always have my 'loaded' bandanna with me. With a couple of £1 coins in the corner it'll take teeth out when it's used like a whip. It works like a shorter version of a manrikigusari, & it's damn effective. I have a couple of James Pioreks V-Gar's. These are fantastic. Its a plastic coated steel cable with a loop at one end & a titanium impact tool at the other. It can be swung to keep someone at distance, or when held between two hands you can still strike with either hand, use the impact tool, or use the wire to trap, crush, or constrict. When you use the 'overhand loop' to snap down on the arms with the bandanna it really hurts. People on my seminars very often just can't believe how 'hard' a piece of cloth can become. When you do it with the V-Gar is HUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRTTTTTTTS! I demo'd it to a guy in SF a while back who wondered how it was used, & he had a beautiful black & blue bruise across where it got snapped for about 2 months!

The Battlescarf looks like a great bit of kit. Jim Keating said to me that he really likes it, & that is REALLY WORKS. I'm ordering one (perfect when its -a zillion degrees outside like it is in Scotland just now- Scotland is a wonderful country, but they forgot to build the greenhouse over the top of it; bring on global warming, who gives a shit about polar bears anyway!). Jays dvd- 'Fat Jays Backyard Drunken Kung-Fu' is an absolute hoot. It is filmed in his backyard, & they are drunk! The dvd is actually really good. The Battlescarf comes with an instructional dvd which looks pretty good too. Check out the videoclip on the website, for some reason it reminds me of the video for the song 'My United States of Whatever', hehehe. Anyway, I'm buying one, & if it sounds interesting to you check out his website www.battlescarf.com