Thursday, February 10, 2005


I originally started this thread on on 8/9/02. The first post was one I originally posted on an AOL forum sometime between 1996 & 1998. Realistic training is very important. Especially when dealing with edged weaponry.


This thread is not directed at anyone in particular. It's just that I have seen a lot of misconceptions about dealing with a blade showing up in different forums and felt I should throw this out for people to consider.

IMHO, one of the many problems that many martial artists face is learning knife techniques from instructors that don’t really understand the realities of dealing with someone with a blade. I have to admit that in previous arts that I had studied (before I got into the Filipino arts and a couple of real life situations) 98% of the knife disarms and counters that were taught were unrealistic (to be nice) to say the least. Even deadly if you happen to be facing someone who really knows how to use a blade.


I recently met a person who has been an instructor for 20+ years in an art that you would all be very familiar with (I will not name the art or the person). He is very good at what he does hand to hand. He had developed his own set of knife disarms and counters that he taught to his students. About 8-9 years ago one of his better students was killed in a knife fight in a bar. He felt somehow responsible for his students death (whether he was or not …?) and quit teaching his blade techniques. About 4 years ago he totally revised his techniques (he felt for the better) and started teaching the blade again. About two years ago, one of my former training partners started working in the same company where this instructor works. They started sparring regularly on their lunch breaks and comparing notes. Guess what? When they started doing blade work, most of his techniques failed, taking kill shots or nasty slashes to vital points on his way in. One of the differences was that he was used to practicing the old --- person one thrusts or slashes and freezes. Person two works his technique. Once he tried in a flowing manner where the opponent isn’t going to freeze for you but instead is going to flow and try to take you out… a whole new world was opened up to him.
The point of my rambling here is that it took a lot for this guy to realize how dangerous dealing with a blade wielding person can be. Even after the death of a student, he still didn’t quite get it. I only bring this up because it troubles me to see some of this kind of mentality showing up here. It’s just that television and movies always portray knife fighting in an unrealistic manner, which many people see and believe to be true. There are also (IMHO) a lot of instructors out there who teach blade work who really have no business doing so. In essence they are teaching students how to kill themselves.
Take time to really look at and question any blade technique you have been taught (or came up with yourself). Work it in real time with someone who is of equal or greater abilities than your self and objectively evaluate how effective it really is. Consider a slash or a stab a kill shot and try again. Try it squaring off. Try it with your partner in your face as if he is coming up to ask you for a cigarette and suddenly whips out a blade and tries to stab you when you are toe to toe.

Consider the following:
A sharp knife will cut through the skin as easily as it will through a hot dog. Many arteries and tendons are just below the skin. If a major artery is cut, you could bleed to death (suffocate) in a matter of seconds. If a tendon is cut, that limb/appendage is rendered useless. And in a REAL KNIFE FIGHT, the winner is the last person to die.

Food for thought.

Excellent points by everyone so far.

Footwork is absolutely critical in any type of combat oriented training. It
is you first method of protection and is the key to offensive and
counter-offensive maneuvering. As Chalambok pointed out, a lot of people get
stuck in the training mode of standing toe to toe and working counters and
flow drills and not breaking out to include footwork (ranging and bridging
tactics). Don't get me wrong
here, working these types of drills have there place. But eventually you
have to move to the next level and break out of the set patterns and use
these skills in conjunction with footwork.
As my Pekiti-Tirsia instructor Mataas na Guro Tim Waid has pointed out (from
GT Gaje), "you have three strikes to enter and control/quarter/terminate
your opponent or you should range back out again". Essentially, "get in and
get out". You can't stand toe to toe in a knife confrontation and expect to
come out unscathed.
Also, I agree with Steve L. Very good points.

AWU wrote:
I don't agree with you, if you step back out of range, you are giving your
opponent a chance to carve you a new ass hole. You want to be in as close as
possible with tactile sensitivity, because the hand is faster then the eye
(you obviously know that). You don't want to give your opponent the
opportunity to come at you again or even to have a second to think. If you
step out of range after the third strike, you are giving him that chance.


That's ok. Sounds like you are talking open hand vs knife. But, I was talking about knife to knife. If you haven't controlled/quartered/terminated your opponent/attacker within that very quick 3 beat time frame, you had better get back out. The longer your in corto range, your chances of sustaining a hit go up dramatically ( I like the two cats in a box analogy). And, as Brokenmace said, you attack on your way out. Now we get back to footwork. In Tirsia-Largo footwork, you back out on a left 180 degree angle (180 degrees from a right forward 45 degree angle), slashing as you move out. This moves you away and to the outside of their weapon arm. Without giving away to much detail, this gives you a brief advantage for a counter-attack.

If a man fails to repel an attack or fails to connect with his own attack,
he should slash out to largo and attempt to slash up the attacker's weapon
hand, preferably upon the assailant's attack.

Exactly my point.

Now, I agree that in America, knife to knife fights/challenges are not common place. But don't forget, we are studying a blade oriented combat system that comes from an area of the world that has a more blade oriented culture. So, knife to knife happens. Training knife to knife (esp when you get to working live blades) really enhances your blade awareness and reaction time/reflexes which in turn gives you a greater chance of success in the types of encounters we've been discussing here.

On open hand and knife, I agree with both of your arguments.

Morne wrote:

>>>Knife fighting there is no second chance as the chances are good for
a fatal slash or thrust to be executed within first contact.>>>

William reply:
This was one of the main points of my original post. When working with an
uncooperative training partner, consider any hit fatal and try again.
Whether your going OH to knife or knife to knife (and work both).

>>>Saying all
this i would like to address a few concepts in realistic knife fighting.
You need to distinguish if you are studying knife fighting for the
art/beauty or for a street encounter.>>>

William reply:
I didn't realize there was a difference. I have always considered the knife
to be a down and dirty weapon that requires the utmost respect and wariness.
I never thought of it "for the art and beauty" of it. But I get your point.
Being able to flow with the knife through a multitude of patterns and drills
doesn't necessarily make you a good knife fighter.

>>>If it is for street encounter/self
defence you need to train in a certain manner. It doesnt help you waste
allot of training time studying useless dead patterns, forms, drills etc. I
must stress the word dead as there are very dynamic methods in how you can
make all these dead patterns 'alive' which will give you that realistic
approach to your training.>>>

William reply:
Another good point that was touched on in previous posts.

>>>We need to realise that we all have limited time
studying the Martial Arts or knife fighting if you like and that the Martial
Arts or knife fighting offers unlimited amount of techniques. So what we
need to do is prioritise our training and concentrate on those techniques
and training methods that will enhance our abilities as quick and dynamic
as possible.>>>

William reply:

>>>Referring especially to the Knife & Stick fighting arts, there seems to be
too many techniques compared to realistic training methods & strategies. If
you look at a realistic weapons group such a the Dog Brothers you will see
there is limited techniques compared to the dynamic training methods and

William reply:
I believe it was Guro Inosanto who said something like; "I would rather know
one technique and a hundred ways to get to it, then a hundred techniques a
few ways to get to them" (or something close, but you get my point). Too
many folks concentrate on technique accumulation instead of underlying
principles and strategies. Most seminars that are put on are structured this
way. Work a technique for 10 - 15 minutes, and then throw out another
one...for 6 - 8 hours. Most people walk away remembering little or nothing.
Not enough seminars are taught with an underlying principle or strategy that
links the presented material.

>>>Too many instructors and schools get into the habit of using the
amount of disarms or techniques they know to establish their level of

William reply:
Run away. Far far away.

>>>Another concern is that allot of the techniques that are taught are aimed
just for standard size knifes. There are various natural weapons out
there that can be used for slashing & thrusting,>>>

William reply:
Ah yes, the basic tenants of the FMA. Being adaptable and having the ability
to apply what you know to a multitude of bladed and impact weapons
interchangeably. You should be applying what you know to things like pens,
screw drivers, umbrellas, kitchen utensils, various hand tools, weed
whacker...ok, I digress (but you get my point). You should be able to
transfer your methods and skills from bladed, impact and other edged weapons
to empty hands combat and directly back to weapons.

>>>allot of these amazing disarms will never
work against your $2.99 market fold up>>>

William reply:
Or work period. Which again points back to my original post.

Thank you, good points

Chalambok wrote:
Ah, this is some great stuff, real discussions from real people. Just a couple of things I would like to address/state.
THE MOROCCAN SHIFT This is absurdly simple, hence it works almost every time you first use it, even against supposedly trained people. You stand with your weapon arm back, then rapidly shift the knife to your front hand and thrust. Just give it a try and you might be surprised.

Secondly, someone referred to the realistic training of the Dog Brothers. If you notice, in their early years they mostly stood toe to toe and slugged it out, so to speak. Then they started finding out the larger opponent had a tremendous advantage during a charge. And then, starting in '95, graduates from the Buddhai Sawan started playing and the dynamics of their game totally changed, with the introduction (finally) of footwork and the delivery of bodyweight power. Please don't get me wrong, the Dog Brothers are very definitely a proving ground, cutting edge (forgive the pun) group of dedicated martial artists, to me showing the very strength of the American martial arts scene. Also please note that when they gather there is one weapon they do not allow, the mai sok (arm protectors) which is the preferred weapon of the true Krabi-Krabong expert, viewed by most Thai as the ultimate weapon. Why do you suppose that is? I don't know, I have my suspicions, but maybe one of them will see this post and reply.
chok di makh

Chalambok wrote:

Also please note that when they gather there is one weapon they do not allow, the mai sok (arm protectors) which is the preferred weapon of the true Krabi-Krabong expert, viewed by most Thai as the ultimate weapon.

William reply:
I have had the privilege of experiencing Chalambok in action with the Mai Soks. He had me attack him with two Krabi-Krabong swords which he was able to deflect and counter-attack with ease. They are truly formidable weapons. Just think about fighting MT with these on, they translate directly.

Now that I have access to a shop, I am going to make myself a pair. Thanks for reminding me.



Ok, since I was on the subject of unrealistic knife disarms, I'll throw one
out for you.
One of the first UR disarms that I can remember learning was from a
"traditional" Kung Fu school. It went something like this:

Opponent: Thrusts low line toward your stomach (saber grip) and freezes.

You: Side step to the right and pivot on the ball of your right foot and
turn toward the weapon (which just missed you)simultaneously raising your
left knee and grabbing the weapon hand with your right. Roll it as you pull (chin na style)
it towards you so that when you pin their arm
against your knee, the back of your opponents weapon hand is facing you. Now
knuckle punch the back of his/her hand with you left hand and...Wallah! The
knife drops to the floor.

I realized right away that this was BS but there were guys in the class who
ate this stuff up and really thought it would work. The techniques were taught with your attacker freezing for you, and we were told that THIS WILL WORK. They never work against an opponent who would flow and resist and was really trying to take them out.

Any one else care to share/un-cover a bogus tecnique?



Airyu wrote:
Hello Everyone,

A great thread continues! Although many tactics are taught(especially disarming) not all would be pulled off, in a given situation. This is not to say that they might not be pulled off, just that the perfect scenario as taught in a training hall, may never occur. But, if you are intent on learning disarming techniques, I suggest you dress in street clothes and practice with realistic attacks in a variety of "real world" environmental conditions. These would include in between cars(simulating an attack in a parking lot), stairways, phone booths, from a seated position, seated position with people on both sides of you, while your hands are slippery(simulating blood or being wet), from the prone or on your back positions etc, etc. Film all of your scenarios and review them later to see what did and did not work.

Now the above section was really one sided, your opponent was armed and for whatever reason you were not. Now add both people are armed and go through the same scenarios. Keep in mind that the attacker has usually already deployed his weapon and you must now react to his attack and then deploy your own.

Let's make the scenarios even more interesting: add two on one, three on one, two on two etc drills to the mix and see if you are intent on disarming any one person in the scenario.

A final note: add live blade training to your mix. Start slowly and see if your tactic will get you cut. [This type of practice is not recommended for anyone without supervision, first aid supplies and a nearby hospital or 911 on the speed dial] This type of practice can be done while wearing various protective gear to minamize any accidental injuries.

Train Hard, it is the Way!
Guro Steve L.

Hello Crouton,

I'll have to get the tape in the near future. What is interesting in many sytems of blade fighting is the lack of scenario based drills. Most will start a dueling/sparring session, thinking that will teach them all there is to know about knife or blade fighting. The Dueling methodology ingrains good attributes but also forces the two(or more) players into a sparring engagement. Both opponents know that the other is looking for the kill or point or hit (whatever) but without the real world conditions such as low light, fear, tunnel vision etc. These elements are what someone who is serious about protecting themselves should also be sure to be practicing for. Dueling is a good tool, just as any other form of sparring is, but it should not be confused with the "way", only that is a part of the whole process of preparation.

Train Hard it is the Way!

Guro Steve L.
William wrote:

I'm glad to see this thread continue to take a very constructive path. Great
I am a big fan of scenario/environmental based training. Working different
confrontational situations by moonlight in parks, parking lots and school
yards* can be very effective. Also, confined areas like hall ways, door
ways, and small cluttered rooms should also be utilized because there is no
guaranty that an attack will happen in a setting that will allow you the
luxury of mobility. Setting up a scenario like going to your car after dark
when there are a few shady looking guys close by. Don't tell the subject
whether they will attack or not. And don't always make the attacker
"obvious". Play it out a number of times. Mix it up with a lone attacker who
comes from a different direction than the three trash talkin gangers. Have a
lone attacker hit the three while they are harassing the subject at his car.
The point is, mix it up so they will have to learn to react and adapt
quickly to an unknown and uncontrollable stimulus. Do you have time to draw your blade? If not, can you react and defend against the attackers blade OH? Work them and see, I can be a real eye-opener!
Another key is mental training. Use visualization to put yourself into a
dangerous situation and imagine how you would react to come through alive.
Develop the attitude that you will not stop/give up until either you can
escape or take them to the point that they're no longer able to continue the
attack. And last resort: Imagine that you have no way to escape, and even
though you might not come through alive, you are going to f*** them up as
bad as you can before you go out. Be realistic about it (your not superman)
and come to the realization that you might have to take someone out to save
your self. When I think of this type of training, this vision of a "real
life" news video captured from a helicopter a number of years ago comes to
my mind. A guy is chasing (with a metal pipe) a women down a street/alley
and she runs into a fenced area with no way out. When she realizes she is
trapped, she turns around and drops to her knees and starts pleading. As the
guy walks up, he winds up and caves her head in with the pipe. Personally, I
can't understand just giving up like that. But I know not everyone thinks
the way I do. But I think visualization and mental conditioning (with
scenario/environmental based training) can help people retain better control
in these type of situations. I could go into a lengthy but perfect example,
but it's not FMA/MA related so I'll refrain.

Keep a good thread going! Great points everyone!!


*School yards can be a tricky area to train. We actually had someone call
the police one evening while we were training. We were way off in one corner
in a stand of trees just after dark. Three officers approached us, two
circling one way, the third circling from the other direction. We noticed
them a ways off but just continued to train, I felt it would be suspicious
if we all of a sudden stopped and started hustling to put our gear away. The
two approached us first and once they found out what we were doing they
relaxed and started asking questions about the type off training we were
doing. Shortly there after the third officer came out off the brush behind
us and joined in the conversation. After about 20 minutes of talking MA they
apologized and suggested we might want to find another place to do this
since apparently we were making some of the neighbors nervous.


Just out of curiosity.
How many of you REALLY emphasize footwork, beyond the basic male & female triangle, in your training? Do you work ranging tactics or do you stay in the medio range and work your drills?


Hello William,

In Sayoc Kali there are a wide range of tactics employed to either enter on the opponent, or range away for escape. The outside range is not usually covered in many arts as it is not where the action is occurring. Therefore the emphasis on the medium and close range drills.
As for footwork, the basic triangle drills (forward and reverse) only begin to open the door for effective footwork. Beyond footwork is the intergration of the striking methodology with your footwork. Then of course putting this all together in some type of attribute enhancement drill such as sparring, or scenario defense help to bring it all together.


Guro Steve L.
William wrote:
I bring it up because I still come across folks who haven't worked much beyond the basic triangle footwork. They get very used to working striking drills in medio to corto range and not really integrating mobility beyond that. Even one of my first FMA instructors who specialized in Corto range didn't teach much beyond that. Then again, if you think your are going to stay in that range and be successful, what's the point of ranging and bridging tactics...right? Well, I did learn a lot of good Corto range skills, but I realized then that it was pointless to think you could stay in that range at all times. With heavy armor on they would just stay in that range and duke it out. Take the armor off (go lite armor), and all of a sudden they would try to range in & out, but not emphasizing that type of foot work, they were haphazardly successful at best. I was lucky to have another FMA instructor who was visiting pull me aside and give me some valuable pointers on the importance of foot work. He liked the way I moved and saw something in me that motivated him to help me out (Thanks again Leonard). He emphasized the importance of angling, ranging, and mobility. It was a short discussion but opened up a world of possibilities to me. I essentially came up with my own style of foot work that emphasized ranging, side stepping, false stepping and angling patterns. Basically, what felt natural to me. Soon I was cleaning up in the school light armor stickfights (for light armor we just used rattan wrapped in one layer of pipe insulation and duct tape with foam head gear--you can still feel the stick through that stuff).
My later instructors were/are more versed and have a HEAVY emphasis on drilling and fighting with proper footwork, ranging , and bridging tactics (Pekiti-Tirsia). And, as you described, the three phase process of footwork, weapon striking, and then combining footwork and striking technique are:

Footwork: (Executed with/and concentrating on the following attributes)
1.) Speed
2.) Timing
3.) Power
4.) Fluidity

Weapon Striking:
1.) Proper chambering/striking positions
2.) Blade Orientation
3.) Precision in form & movement.
4.) Slow execution
5.) Fast execution
6.) Repetition.

Combining footwork & Striking.

If you aren't working much footwork in your training, you need to ask your self why? IMHO of course. Footwork is your first line of protection and provides/creates opportunities for offensive and counter-offensive maneuvering and quartering.

Keep the great comments coming folks!

William wrote:
I am going to take a slightly different but related tack here. A few of you
will recognize these postings I put on the DB forum from about six
months or so ago. I will post them here because I believe that adding this
type of training to your program is VERY effective at developing, speed,
offensive, counter-offensive reflexes and blade awareness to a very high
degree. Also, the ability to track the blade becomes very acute as well.
This is so very important in dealing with a blade from an offensive
and counter-offensive standpoint. This is an off-shoot of our regular
training but have found it to be highly effective...and it's a great aerobic
work out as well.


Guro John
Daniels, Guro Preston Boyd and myself, have been researching and comparing
Western bladed arts to the FMA for over a year now. We have mainly been
using heavier practice Sabers/Rapiers and daggers (Espada Y Daga, Daga Y
Daga)) with fencing masks and street hockey gloves. Just wearing regular
work out clothes, you'll now real fast if you've taken a hit. You can end up
with some nasty welts and bruises. The blades are heavier and a lot less
flexible then your standard (whippy) Epee blades. It's not fencing in the
classical sense, not at all. FMA footwork and striking techniques combined
with a little of what we have researched about Western blade techniques. It's still FMA (because of our backgrounds) but with added WMA offensive,
counter-offense, and evasive techniques. It has definitely changed the way
we apply our bladed techniques. If you play it realistically and consider
the lethality of the hits, it really advances your blade awareness (which
translates to baton as well) and evasive & offensive reflexes (by light
years). I was a little skeptical until I tried it. As ******* said, I was
also very interested to learn of how extensive the WMA bladed arts were (but
I'm still FMA at heart).

...We seem to be having a bit of a difficult time getting people to play.
The fencing folks aren't sure what we're doing because we don't stay on the
straight forward attack & retreat linear lines and we allow any targets. The
HACA folks don't seem interested in comparing/testing styles. Some of the
other FMA folks seem a little skeptical until they try it. After their legs
are taken out, or they take a thrust to the face/neck, or they get their
weapon hand/arm lopped off (figuratively speaking of course), the mask comes
off and their eyes look like saucers. Either the adrenaline is pumping and
they want more, or they leave and don't come back. We actually had a former
Green Beret come play a while back who took a Saber/Rapier hit across the
face, took his gear off and said he didn't want anything to do with it. But
he came back a week later and has been playing ever since. He considered the
hit seriously and realized that would have probably been it for him if it
were for real. And that's the whole point of doing this. In FMA, the stick
is supposed to represent the blade (many people don't make the connection).
But sparring this way, with blades, you realize real fast that the sticks
are slower and less maneuverable then the blades. Don't get me wrong here, I
love to stick fight, but it just doesn't develop the speed, offensive, and
counter-offensive reflexes and blade awareness like sparring in this manner
does. Also, you find out real fast the importance of thrusting. Guro Crafty
can correct me if I'm wrong here (and he did), but I don't believe that they
allow thrusting in the gatherings, and if they do, you don't see it happen a
whole lot. Slashing/caveman type movements are a whole lot harder to pull
off when you have an opponent who is using thrusting techniques (with a
blade). Its not impossible, but your footwork and angling have to be right
on, and again, that's the whole point of doing it. These attributes develop
a lot faster training in this manner. If you play it this way, and
realistically (and you'll know if you've been hit) consider the hits and
what they would have done to the body (arm/hand lopped off, thrust to the
face, to the biceps, the midsection, groin, or hamstringed....) you come
away with a whole new view of appreciation for the effectiveness of the
FMA's. Again, if anyone wishes to train or spar with us please
drop us a line....

...A little over a year ago, Guro Boyd brought some fencing
gear with him and convinced us to "play" a bit. The increased tempo and
speed, as well as being able to track the blade were quite difficult at
first. Also, it was immediately apparent where you took a hit because of the
welts that were raised. We realized very quickly the effect that training in
this manner had in developing our speed, offensive, and counter-offensive
reflexes, footwork and blade awareness. These attributes are developed at a
much faster rate then what we had experienced before. We immediately went to
the heavier and less flexible training Saber/Rapiers and daggers. We started
training Espada Y Daga, but quickly branched into single sword, double
sword, Daga, and double Daga. More recently we have been experimenting with
sword and shield. We will also match up different pairs of weapons against
each other to test effectiveness and our abilities.
We also started researching what we could on Western/European bladed arts
and begun to test principles and techniques that we found in WMA manuals. We
found that we could effectively work a lot of the WMA techniques from our FMA
base. Through our consistent training we also re-discovered the importance
and effectiveness of thrusting techniques. Yes, thrusting techniques are in
the FMA. but very much underutilized today (as Crafty has stated).
Slashing/caveman type movements are more natural movements where as
thrusting is more of a learned technique. Once the ability to thrust
effectively has been acquired, slashing movements are harder to pull off
consistently ( if you play it realistically). Especially if your playing
Espada Y Daga where the incoming slash can be jammed/deflected with the Daga
and a thrust delivered simultaneously. With developed timing, thrusting
behind the slashes can also be quite effective. The thrust is quicker and
has less distance to travel to the target. It also cuts down on the
willingness of an opponent to try and crash in (if they spar looking at this
from a realistic stand point of using bladed weapons). Now, with that being
said, in order to counter effective thrusting techniques, you have to
develop your footwork, angling, and timing (and parrying and deflecting
techniques) to effectively counter with slashing movements.
Basically, in sparring in this manner, developing effective offensive and
counter-offensive thrusting techniques, timing and footwork force you (and
you opponent) to improve your offensive and counter-offensive slashing
techniques, timing and footwork. Which in order to counter, will force you
to further improve your thrusting abilities, which in turn will force you to
improve your slashing....on so on. This is why we feel that training in this
way improves your development at an accelerated rate. Our speed, offensive,
and counter-offensive reflexes , footwork and blade awareness were markedly
improved in a short period of time. And it immediately transfers over to
knife, stick work and open hand as well. As I stated before, If you play it
this way, and realistically (and you'll know if you've been hit, also see
side note below) consider the hits and what they would have done to the body
(arm/hand lopped off, thrust to the face, to the biceps, the midsection,
groin, or hamstringed....) you come away with a whole new view of, and
appreciation for the effectiveness of the FMA/WMA bladed arts.
If anyone is interested in training or getting together to spar, please drop
us a line. Your always welcome.

BTW, we are in the process of video taping so we hope to have visuals
available at a later date.

Side Note: (I believe we have this one on video. It's from earlier in our
study) We had an SCA guy come and play with us one day. A very aggressive
fighter who liked to crash in. Really more in the manner of "running amok".
Once, when he was able to parry one of my strikes, he crashed in and I did
my impression of a Singer Sewing machine with my dagger to his midsection.
Realistically, we probably both would have died, him being disemboweled, me
possibly bleeding to death (I deflected his sword which became pinned flat
between us and I had jammed his dagger hand). If he wanted to commit suicide
by running amok. he was successful. But most people want to live to battle
another day. And trying to get into a standing grapple is not very smart if
I have a dagger waiting for you when you get in. He was used to wearing
heavy leather armor and exchanging blows. We train to hit without being
hit. And we know real quickly if we are, instant feedback. I look at this
the same way the DB's look at wearing heavy armor and how it causes some
people to take shots to get in. Use as little armor as possible. You will
get bruised. You will get welts. But those represent where you took a
thrust, or a slash. That is your feedback and you warning to change your
tactics and improve your game.
Hope to hear from, or see some of you in the future.

Guro William


Do you know what length blade you can legally carry in your state or country? Do you know what constitutes a "concealed" weapon as it pertains to knives?

I did some studying up and found some interesting information for the laws as they pertain to Rhode Island. Much different and quite a bit more stringent then where I just moved from. I would certainly recommend that you become familiar with your local laws/ordinances, fines and jail time can be quite steep.

Food for thought.


Hmm, 3" blade length. I foresee a trip to the "hardware" store in my future.

I have to agree with Chalambok on this one. I know Al and he is right. You absolutely have to deal with the first attack(if you don't the rest is moot) and quite honestly most people cannot deal with a serious attack (not the crap attack most people practice) and draw their own weapon. In my opinion if you do have the time to draw your knife, then it wasn't really a serious attack. William is also correct in saying you've about enough time to make three strikes and then you need to get out. Two reasons 1) if your three strikes work (and every instructor tells you that their's does) then that is sufficient to end the encounter and "staying in" and continuing to fight will only land you in jail (but the bright side is you'll be able to get lots of practice there)...2) the longer you "stay in" (regardless of what the instructor says)the greater the chance of you getting killed. Remember? ....if you can touch him, he can touch you.....
And by the way....footwork is the key!

and quite honestly most people cannot deal with a serious attack (not the crap attack most people practice) and draw their own weapon. In my opinion if you do have the time to draw your knife, then it wasn't really a serious attack.
William replies:
This is something that I posted over on Burton's section that I think has some relevance here:

I prefer to think counter-offensively. I tend to walk around in yellow alert mode in public areas (and my own home after I've been gone for a while). Experiences in my life have led me to operate in this manner. I don't walk around thinking someone might jump out of every dark corner, it's second nature now and I don't stress over it. If you were walking with me and didn't know me real well you wouldn't even know I was doing it. I can carry on a conversation with you while I check out who and what is around me or coming up as we move about. I make mental notes about possible ambush areas, people or places that would put me at a disadvantage in a confrontation. In some situations one of my weapons will already be deployed ( as a precaution ). One example: as I exit my car (our art studio was in a very industrial part of town with many homeless, train hoppers and druggies around) when arriving to work at 5:30 a.m. A number of times I have had people hop out from behind train cars or dumpsters hitting me up for money or chattering nonsensically (BTW, I've seen many of these people down here with a wide array of weapons that run the gamut, from metal pipes to box cutters). I give these areas a wide berth and my blade is already deployed as I approach. I haven't been attacked down here yet, but I am ready to go at all times. People who don't train weapons all that much always chirp in that you won't have time to get your weapon out. In many situations, that is true. But, guess what, chances are...mine is already out & ready to go.
Once I get into the studio and scan the area, I forget about and go to work. Once I lock up at the end of the day and walk out, I'm back into yellow alert mode until I get home. As I said earlier, I don't stress it, it's just what I do - second nature.


Yes, we're on the same frequency. I don't think that someone will walk up and say, "hey let's duel". It's the guy/guys who pop out of nowhere when your just diddy-bopping down the street (to shank you), our the one who inches closer flapping his mouth ( not showing a weapon) before he launches the attack that you have to look out for. It boils down to being aware of your surroundings and taking pre-cautions. As I said, if things don't seem right, or I know it's a bad area/situation, chances are that it's out (blade may or may not be deployed).

I'd rather know it and not need it,
then need it and not know it.

A variation on my mantra:

I'd rather deploy it and not need it,
then need it and not have time to deploy it.

William wrote:
Gaining contol of the weapon hand is vital in an attack, but, consider the following (something I posted elsewhere but is very relevant here):

BTW, as far as gaining control of the blade hand, remember that nothing is
certain. A relative of one of my instructors, a Native American and very
familiar with Penitentiary tactics, has an interesting way of setting people
up (one of many). He'll pull back his jacket exposing a shoulder rig with a
fixed blade (handle down) under his right arm. Standing right foot and
shoulder forward, body turned slightly away. He'll inform you that; "if you
can get to it before I pull it out, you might have a chance". If you go for
it, he's already got the blade out of his left shoulder rig, (which you didn
't see him un-sheath under his jacket when he turned and showed you the
right side blade) ready on the blind side for you to come in and get pumped.
He's betting you'll try to pin/grab/contol his right arm before he can pull
it out.
Yes, I know most blade confrontations happen without the victim ever seeing
the blade come out. But, there are some folks out there who don't give a
rats-u-know-what whether you see it coming or not.

As I said, nothing is certain. Just train realistically against skilled
uncooperative opponents (hand to hand and weapons) to better your odds.


Disclaimer: Do not try the above-mentioned maneuver without consulting a
physician and your local police department first.

Hello Everyone,

This thread continues! Great work, it's great to see everyone sharing their information.

William: Awareness is the key! As Jeff Cooper stated in Principles of Self Defense(way back!) most people are just to "blind" to be aware. That would take work and responsibility for their own protection. I fully agree with you that people who only practice infrequently or not at all with weapons, will always pop up and state that you won't have the chance to deploy your weapon. It could happen, but is highly unlikely if you are aware of your surroundings and are prepared. I also work early (5:30am) in Boston near a large homeless shelter, so I have been approached on several occasions, never mind the slightly crazy people who have forgotten to take their Med's in the morning. Each time I had already deployed, either in a closed position(for my folder) or rear open position behind my leg. Always ready, even if not needed.

Train Hard, it is the Way!

Guro Steve L.

How is awareness taught? Here is a simple drill(one of many) it is currently being utilized by Tony Blauer, it was also used by Jeff Cooper and many others,

"What would I do if..." The underlying principle to this drill is to take a moment and determine a path of action "If" something happens or someone is to attack you. Is there a way to escape, is there a way to avoid the attack completely, if they attack am I able to access my weapon?, etc. etc. It starts a student thinking about awareness, and being in the "yellow zone".
At my school this drill is practiced as an introduction to "awareness" not an all knowing method, but a tool used to stimulate a student to start the process.

A bad awareness example: walking one day with several friends of mine, here in Boston, I noticed that directly in front of us was a drug bust in progress, 2 LEO's stepped out of a van weapons at the ready, trained on an individual. I went to stop the 2 individuals I was walking with, but they walked right through the middle of the whole thing, I quickly went around the officers and stopped my friends and said didn't you just see that? See what? they replied, The drug bust you just walked right through! Being in their own world they put themselves in direct harm, and didn't even know it.

Veynn, I fully agree self- preservation and paranoia!!

Train Hard it is the Way!

Guro Steve L.
>>>Veynn, I fully agree self- preservation and paranoia!! >>>

William wrote:
I second that!!!

I have always told my students that I am slightly (Slightly being key) paranoid. As I stated earlier, it's second nature now. It feeds off the "what if" that Airyu mentioned. I also touched on it briefly back on page three of this thread. I'm also a sneaky bastard so I look at it from both sides. If someone wants to hit me, what would they do? On the flip side, If I wanted to hit someone, what would I do? By looking at both sides, I may notice something I might have missed from a one sided viewpoint.

The underlying principle to this drill is to take a moment and determine a path of action "If" something happens or someone is to attack you. Is there a way to escape, is there a way to avoid the attack completely, if they attack am I able to access my weapon?, etc. etc. It starts a student thinking about awareness, and being in the "yellow zone".

It's all about mental preparation. If you've already mentally considered that someone might be behind that dumpster, with a possible plan of action, your less likely to be surprised and more likely to flow into a proper mode of action (not be caught off guard). If you do this enough, it eventually becomes second nature and you do it automatically.

Back on page three I mentioned visualization exercises. If you visualize different dangerous situations (Not when your walking down the street) that you could encounter and work a mental plan of action to those scenarios, you'll be more likely to follow that successful plan of action if something similar happens. Of course you can't predict all outcomes, but you'll still be better prepared mentally to handle a situation if it happens then someone who hasn't (can you say: deer in the head lights?).

Elite athletes use visualization exercises to help prepare for competition. They visualize themselves performing their race (what ever it may be) succesfully and winning. Sometimes you see downhill skiers at the top just before their set to go, crouched in a tuck, eyes closed, swaying back and forth as they visualize going down the course. They are visualizing a "successful plan of action". These same types of techniques can be utilized for confrontational situations. There are probably some good books out there on the subject.

A related story:
Back when I used to race competitively, I was sitting at home one day and started thinking about: What would happen if I had a tire blow out at 55-60 mph flying down a hill? What would I/could I do? I went through the scenario, what I thought I could do to keep from getting myself killed. You know what, two days later I was ripping down a decent and my back tire blew out completely. I'm on my back rim at 50+ mph. I did exactly what I had visualized two days before. It wasn't thinking back at the moment, I just did it. I had burned a neuro pathway in my brain when I visualized the scenario, and just reacted when it happened. It's worth thinking about.

How? As I said previously, Use visualization to put yourself into a
dangerous situation and imagine how you would react to come through alive.
Develop the attitude that you will not stop/give up until either you can
escape or take them to the point that they're no longer able to continue the
attack.(look again at what Airyu posted above)

I came across this article about Fred Perrin, the French knife maker and combatives instructor. I thought I'd post it here because he covers a number of points that myself and others have presented in this thread.

And all things aside, I really like the weapons he comes up with, several of which I employ myself.


During my stay in Paris Fred was kind enough to spend several days showing me around as well as discussing the state of violence and self-preservation in Paris. He takes this subject matter very seriously because he's exposed to the problem day in and day out. Fred's opinions are based on first hand knowledge.

*On criminals:
Fred says, "there's a commonmis perceptionn [everywhere] that criminals are stupid, they're not, a good majority are very capable. That's theirfull timee job; they don't do anything else all day except dream up ways of taking your money and hurting you when you resist." Some of them have access to guns and knives, but the majority of criminals have makeshift weapons that are just as deadly. At a minimum every criminal in Paris is carrying a box-cutter, and civilians are completely unprepared for sudden assaults by these thugs, the majority of which are scared to carry even a penknife.

* What gangs do
Gangs run rampant in Paris, it's very similar to the '80s in the U.S. where there were car jackings, gang warfare, home invasions and hard-core criminal activity. Gang fights within the confines of Paris are almost a daily occurrence. And the first course of action is not to ignore it but to be aware of it and prepare yourself.

A favorite weapon of gangs is super glue. The run up to go, squirt it into your eyes, then roll you and do whatever they want.

They often put OC spray on the car door handle, follow you by car then attack you when you stop to take care of the problem. A major concern for criminals in France ID checks by police. Since so many aliens are illegal they don't wish to be stopped. As a method of escape they attach one or two razors on the edge of the passport of credit card, and if stopped they swipe the officer.

Just like in the U.S. years ago, criminals in France train attack dogs to do their work for them, but here it's done in a special way. The dog is trained with a laser pointer, so whenever the light beam hits the victim, the dog attacks that area of the target. You can't pass without giving up your valuables.

Many gangs use fishhooks and weights in caps, they slap their targets then hook them on the head and pull them down. They also smash victims with weighted sap caps, then slash the throat with a penknife. Criminals also wear bandanas with heavy metal bands hidden inside which can open large gashes in the face and head. Screwdrivers, table knives, and simple tools from hardware stores are all used in sudden attacks in Paris.

* On martial arts
Fred is not connected to the mainstream martial arts in France because they are still not able to face reality. The philosophy and attitude towards martial arts here is at the same stage it was in the 1980s in the America. People pay too much attention to the movies for their examples of real fighting. If the arts are not exotic people think they're automatically ineffective; if it's simple and works, they couldn't care less. Western fighting is not respected in the least, and forget about cross-training, the majority of martial artists are quite content studying and teaching one style for life. Like everywhere else, traditional martial artists don't practice for reality. If most martial artists [in France] were attacked with a knife, ice pick or a razor blade, they wouldn't know what to do.

* On Reality Defense
One of the renowned pioneers of self-defense in Europe is Charles Joussot. An experienced silat and edged weapons instructor and designer, Charles created FISFO, an organization dedicated to teaching civilian as well as police defense. Charles has taught many police agencies in Europe as well as the U.S. But besides Charles and Fred, there still isn't that much interest in reality-based defense.

One good sign is that during the last decade, mixed martial arts have been attracting interest. Things like the UFC, Vale Tudo and even combatives, vis-à-vis krav maga is getting attention. The topic of grappling vs. standup has also been making the rounds. In France 70% of altercations with the police end up on the floor.

Fred states that the most important component of self-defense is not technique at all, but the mind. Your awareness, your state of mind and how you deal with the situation comes before everything else. The second thing is technique, but with the use of "very few - simple techniques," because you can remember them at anytime. Most people only use 10% of what they learn anyway. In real situations, people respond with rapid reactions and movements, there will be lots of mistakes, but it's much better to employ a few effective techniques now, than too many later. And don't use only one approach; constantly practice at all distances using all styles. You also need to practice many different scenarios with and without weapons. Don't move too much, it's not necessary, 80% of self-defense is good footwork. People who have a gun don't move around like rabbits.

* On Knife Fighting
The mental attitude is much more important than great technique. For those who say fencing is completely different than knife fighting, Fred disagrees, he says, "fencing and knife fighting are really the same, except for the gap. In fencing you can use kinesthetics for feel, but for knife it has to be sight." Fred states, "the goal of knife fighting is to cut and not be cut, but the reality isn't so. Be prepared to get cut, but don't rush into it either."

When fighting with a knife, the first target should be the hand and forehead. You want to attack their vision, stop their mobility and cut their breathing. Fred often uses a training knife (a drone with a dull blade) to fight because it can still do extensive damage without cutting someone open. Fred says, "how can you tell the judge you were only defending yourself, when the guy has more than 40 deep cuts on his body?"

Many people learn to use a knife but very few people understand what to do when they're cut. For this Fred carries around his own survival kit, with antiseptic bandages, medical stapler, clamps to hold arteries, and other life saving tools. "It only takes a two-centimeter cut in the right place for a person to bleed out, and that only takes two minutes."

* On all-out fighting
Just like Kelly McCann and James Keating, Fred is a firm believer that the mind is the most important self-defense tool. "Remember to use your mind first, then use any tool around you, use the environment." Anything can be used as a weapon, a chair, a pen, a rolled up magazine or newspaper. One of Fred's favorite weapons is a medium size rubber snake. At first I thought he was joking, but that thick rubber snaps like a whip and you can easily entangle someone in it. Don't forget about throwing objects either, they don't have to land, they have to distract, so you can branch off and use other weapons. Some favorite objects he likes to throw are credit cards, small sharp objects, anything, these are meant to give you time.

Fred also believes in body protection whenever possible and when I met him he had shin and arm guards (with metal corners) under his clothes. This is necessary in Paris, especially when you enter dangerous neighborhoods. Muay Thai is very popular with much of the youth and you need that edge to survive.

Finally, the most important factor is awareness, that is, knowing where you are, your environment, checking your surroundings, being aware if someone is following you, not flashing your wallet or money around, checking for exits wherever you go. When in a hotel, using a rubber wedge in addition to the lock on the door. And whenever possible at least carry one type of weapon.
William wrote:

I have been playing around with Fred Perrins LaGriffe knife for a while now. I have to say that I really like it as a back up blade. The cost was a bit high so I purchesed a CRKT Bear Claw which is very semilar in design and at $25.00 dollars it's a steal.
It has a slightly different feel than the LaGriffe. The Handle is a bit longer so it sits a little deeper in the palm. It has the same type of finger hole that gives it that passive grip that I like so much (as opposed to the active grip of a standard type blade). This is one nasty little blade.
The passive style grip allows the ability to grab cothing, hold a flash light etc... while still holding the blade. Essentially you can open and close your knife hand and not loose the blade. In the reverse grip with your pinky through the finger hole, it's a bit more stable than the LaGriffe due to the slightly longer handle. Hitting a hard target in this grip could still be a bit problematic, but not as much as the LaGriffe.

Bottom line: at $25.00, it's a great deal.

I am going to try cutting the handle down just slightly. Due to a baseball bat smashing my right hand in a local turf war incident when I was younger, the top knuckle of my pointer finger is fused which makes the reach to the finger hole slightly uncomfortable. Shortening the length slightly should alieveate this and give it a little more of a "LaGriffe" feel.


The following article was posted on the Dog Brothers forum. I found it quite interesting, especially from a CQC point of view. I brought it over since it's relevant for what we train and touches on a few topics in this thread.


It's a bit long, but well worth the time.


Got a Second?”
Boyd's Cycle - OODA Loop
June 2000
by Ken Good
Director of the Sure-Fire Institute

Because all tactical operations are dynamic, they are also time sensitive. Decisions and actions that are delayed are often rendered ineffective because of the constantly changing circumstances. When an adversary is involved, the operation is not only time sensitive, but also time competitive. Time or opportunity neglected by one adversary can be exploited by the other. Recognizing the importance of this characteristic, Napoleon said, “It may be that in the future I may lose a battle, but I shall never lose a minute.”

A useful tool for understanding the importance of this concept is the OODA Loop. The OODA Loop, often called Boyd’s Cycle, is a creation of Col. John Boyd, USAF (Ret.). Col. Boyd was a student of tactical operations and observed a similarity in many battles and campaigns. He noted that in many of the engagements, one side presented the other with a series of unexpected and threatening situations with which they had not been able to keep pace. The slower side was eventually defeated. What Col. Boyd observed was the fact that conflicts are time competitive.

According to Boyd’s theory, conflict can be seen as a series of time-competitive, Observation-Orientation-Decision-Action (OODA) cycles. Each party to a conflict begins by observing themselves, the physical surroundings and the adversary. Next they orient themselves. Orientation refers to making a mental image or snapshot of the situation. Orientation is necessary because of the fluid, chaotic nature of conflicts makes it impossible to process information as fast as we can observe it. This requires a freeze-frame concept and provides a perspective or orientation. Once we have an orientation, we need to make a decision. The decision takes into account all the factors present at the time of the orientation. Last comes the implementation of the decision. This requires action. One tactical adage states that, “Decisions without actions are pointless”. Actions without decisions are reckless.” Then, because we hope that our actions will have changed the situation, the cycle begins anew. The cycle continues to repeat itself throughout a tactical operation.

The adversary who can consistently go through Boyd’s Cycle faster than the other gains a tremendous advantage. By the time the slower adversary reacts, the faster one is doing something different and the action becomes ineffective. With each cycle, the slower party’s action is ineffective by a larger and larger margin. The aggregate resolution of these episodes will eventually determine the outcome of the conflict. For example, as long as the actions of the authorities continue to prove successful, a suspect will remain in a reactive posture, while the commander maintains the freedom to act. No matter that the suspect desperately strives to accomplish, every action becomes less useful than the preceding one. As a result, the suspect falls farther and farther behind. This demonstrates that the initiative follows the faster adversary.

Written by Ken J. GoodObserve, Orient, Decide and Act. OODA
The acronym is easy to remember. The cycle itself is absolutely crucial to understand if one is regularly in harms way.

In order to consistently and effectively defeat opponents, you must sequentially move through the OODA cycle whether you are aware of it or not. It is model that can be used to dissect compressed timeframes in a logical and sequential manner. All engagements whether they are air-to-air dogfights or an up close and personal, hand-to-hand confrontation, conform to this simple, powerful, and insightful model.

I have noted that by studying and learning to apply this cycle, one has a effective way to segment, analyze, and improve human performance in confrontational situations. It is a gemstone to be admired and constantly examined.

Recalibrating the Internal Clock
The first issue is our perception of time itself.

I often illustrate people’s perception of the time by walking to the back of the classroom and then back to the podium while elucidating some tactical point. While the class is still trying to digest the point, I then ask several students, how long did it take for me to walk to the back of the room and return to the podium? Typically I get a few turned faces, questioning looks and frowns. They are non-verbally asking me, what difference does it make how long that took?

The answers I do receive will typically range from 2 seconds to 10 seconds, a substantial variance. Some will argue that I did not give them any preparation to ready their internal stopwatch. But this misses the point. No one in a rapidly developing engagement is going to stop and remind you to calibrate your chronograph. The point is, using recall alone, the same event witnessed by trained observers is perceived to have taken place in different universes where physical reality moves at different speeds.

The other interesting thing to note is that I will never get an answer like 3.345 seconds.
Why is this so? True sometimes I get an answer of 31_2 seconds, but that’s as fine a gradient ever expressed. Our everyday existence does not require a division of time any closer than seconds for most events, in terms of verbal articulation. But in the world of close quarter engagements, using only full seconds to measure time is like using a sledgehammer to fine cut a diamond.

Tremendous and significant changes can happen in one second. A proficient adversary can fire three rounds out of a semi-auto shotgun while passing by an open doorway, horizontally and vertically changing position in relation to you in under a second.

To further illustrate the calibration point in the classroom, I ask someone to stand up and I give this volunteer a “red gun”, an inoperative hard plastic replica handgun. I tell them to put it in their waistband, and I do the same. I tell them that they are now part of a futuristic new game show that pits one man against the other in a six-foot gunfight. The participants face each other, winner to receive one million dollars. Both are wearing metallic braces on their wrist and ankles and are held in place by a strong magnetic field. Both will actually be using real, perfectly functioning firearms. When the green light is observed, you will be free to access your firearm and dispatch your opponent as required.

Now I throw a twist into the scenario. I tell the student, that he was smarter and more cunning than I and he offered 1_2 his winnings to the operator of the magnetic field, if he would release his magnets 1 second earlier than mine. The operator says no, because one second was too obvious and the producers would have him executed for this breach of the rules. So the negotiations continue.

How about .9 seconds? How about .8 seconds? How about .4 seconds? How about .2 seconds? The operator finally agrees to release my opponent’s magnets .125 seconds prior to mine. At this point in the discussion, I then ask the student, would you take this time advantage if given to you, even if you had to pay $100,000 for it? The answer is inevitably, in the affirmative! Any sane person would take any and all time given in a gunfight, no matter how small the increment.

We zoom back out. How important is time? How important is learning to perceive time? How important is it to re-calibrate our internal chronographs? How does one get better and more efficient at anything?

A familiar shooting drill that many trainers use to roughly gauge a shooter’s proficiency is the ”El Presidente”.

The shooter starts out back facing to the target with a loaded and holstered handgun. At the sound of the buzzer the shooter spins to face 3 targets, 10 yards away, equally spaced 1 yard apart. The shooter is required to fire 2 rounds into each of the targets, reload and fire 6 more rounds, 2 in each target, attempting to hit the “A” zone of a standard IPSC target.

When you ask a new shooter to perform this drill you are not even looking for a time hack, but are more concerned about weapons handling and overall safety during the entire process. If the shooter safely completes the drill under 15 seconds, everybody is happy.

Give that same shooter some solid instruction and a few hundred rounds of practice and he or she should be hovering around 10 seconds consistently.

How does one go from 10 seconds to low 4-second runs? What should be examined is not how fast the shooter is shooting. But one should examine closely by what process did this shooter eliminate so much unnecessary motion and negative mental distractions in order to consistently repeat this performance?

For the remainder of this discussion, let’s assume that we are talking about split seconds of time to move through the OODA cycle. Let’s enter into the matrix.

Observe – The Starting Blocks - The First Quarter
This has to be your highest priority, find the threat before he or she finds you. An insight on the obvious you say! There is more than meets the proverbial eye!

Evaluating the modern battlefield, one should note that an enormous amount of effort and resources have been dedicated to “seeing” or observing the battlefield in real time. The investment in these resources has paid off handsomely during recent conflicts. The U.S. military exploits a tremendous satellite network, flies high altitude reconnaissance missions, deploys airborne and ground based radar systems, runs patrol operations, gathers real-time intelligence from a variety of sources, all in an effort to gain an overwhelming advantage as hostilities unfold. At this point in our military development, if we can see it, we can destroy it.

If you place yourself in the cockpit of a modern fighter jet, your prime directive is to find your opponent first and deploy your weaponry in a firing envelope advantageous to you before your opponent even knows your are there, just as it was when aerial combat first unfolded.

It is no different in a close quarter battle situation using handheld or shoulder-fired weapons. You must first find the threat through your main “radar system”, your eyes, deploy your weaponry in a firing envelope advantageous to you before your opponent even knows your are there.

Zooming back in, let’s examine some areas that can cause a degradation of our “on board radar system”.

Placement of the Weapon. Under the duress of searching for armed threats, we have noted that even very experienced operators have a strong tendency to place the weapon in the visual cone before they have located the position of the threat. (More often than not their finger is on the trigger, a well-known unsafe practice) The weapon, arms, and hands are now blocking out vital visual information.
This would be exactly like a fighter pilot placing a 3” by 5” note card over part of their radar display and putting their finger on the missile release button, all the time believing they are somehow more ready to defeat their unseen opponent or opponents.
Body, Head, and Eye Movements. The body obviously carries the head, and the neck articulates the head, and eyes are directed from within the head. This body movement coupled with head articulation, eye direction, angle, and focal placement allows for an almost infinite number of possibilities for employment your main sensor system, your vision.
This freedom can lead to large “gaps” for potential threats to move through unopposed. You must understood this and deal with it through proper training. An easy way to visualize this is to imagine watching a home video a friend filmed. You sit down and have an expectation that you are going to receive good visual information. As the videotape is played you soon become agitated because the camera operator was inexperienced and out of control. The recorded images are jumping and jerking all over the television monitor. Important details of the dynamic situation are lost and undistinguishable. Lot’s of good intent, energy, and activity, but unfortunately the most important aspects of the event go unseen.This video camera example illustrates the body, head, and eyes moving without intelligence and efficiency. To make matters worse, the individual who was operating the camera was using the zoom feature in and out with completely random patterns. This illustrates an individual improperly setting the focal length of his or her eyes while searching for an unseen threat. I have noted that individuals and teams have a strong tendency to tune their “radars” to one distance and angle and leave it there. This is especially true when the first threat is located and identified. Tracking one target, and one target only could spell death to a fighter pilot over the battlefield.


Since our visual sensors do not obtain data like phased-array radars, we must constantly change the distance and elevation of our vision, in a systematic manner.

One must relegate this cycling of the vision to the sub-conscious mind through proper training and experience.
A famous German Fighter Ace was asked, what is your secret?
Answer: “I have an acute awareness for the back of my neck”.

He was also asked what he thought about the P-51 Mustang. He response: “Three of the four that I shot down today did not even know I was in the same sky with them”

Notice he did not talk about hardware here. He drilled down to the inner man.

As our eyes are set in the forward area of the skull, representing an approximate 210 degree field of view. This leaves us with an additional obstacle to overcome, a large area unseen directly behind us.

What is the optimal sequence for establishing the best direction, angle, focal length, body speed, and timings to use the vision properly in a tactical environment? This is the art and science of using your vision to properly observe. This is where the inner man reigns supreme over the external tools deployed in the environment.

This is an area of combat that begins to immediately separate a highly proficient shooting sportsman and a combatant on the modern, urban battlefield or street.

Orient – Establishing Reality - The Second Quarter

Once you have obtained good visual data, ideally before your opponent has, you must orient yourself to the overall situation. You must put things in proper perspective based on real time input, previous intelligence, and generated assumptions. You are not processing in a linear sequential manner; you are processing in parallel. If you had the opportunity to freeze frame these moments and ask yourself, what data are you considering at this moment, the list would grow quite long as the subconscious is probed with the conscious mind.

To help illustrate the concept, imagine a personal computer with an outdated central processing unit, a few megabytes of memory, not enough data storage, a black and white 10” monitor all controlled by an antiquated operating system. Now try and run a sophisticated software package that requires significant resources. You will be immediately frustrated with the result.

When I was in the military, I had the opportunity to free-fall parachute out of a perfectly good airplane. When I immediately recalled the first jump experience, it appeared to be a virtual slideshow. Only key images where etched into my mind. I remember checking my altimeter numerous times, verifying the location of my rip-cord (this dates me!), seeing the beauty of an inflated canopy and finding the “T” and then contact with the ground. The entire event was 5-7 minutes long. After 60-100 jumps the staccato slideshow morphed into a streaming digital video. Same timeframe, but now my brain did not have to spend precious resources finding a “spot” to burn the information in since it was no longer new information but familiar territory. I could now casually see everyone exit the aircraft, immediately place myself in proper perspective to all jumpers, the aircraft and the ground. I was spending plenty of time doing relative work with other jumpers, flying my canopy and landing extremely close to the desired target. I was now able to assimilate huge blocks of visual data effortlessly, as well as recall them with great accuracy and clarity. I was now “oriented” to this somewhat stressful event.

The brain has an amazing capacity for data storage, recall, and decision-making, provided it has some meaningful reference points. But when we are presented with a totally new set of circumstances, with no prior reference points, we become disoriented. I.E., when is the last time your brain had a threat with a loaded firearm swinging in your direction displayed on its internal movie screen?

Hence, the need for realistic training that creates these movies and turns them into valid reference points. High quality training paves a new and much needed information access road to a now cached experience. The experience will be real enough to prevent disorientation when actual combat is faced.

Consistent with the personal computer example, you are giving your brain upgrades specific to orientation. A larger cache of stored experiences on the hard-drive, a faster CPU, memory, and data transfer rate, greater display size, resolution and color. You now have a greater probability of arriving at a sound solution in a shorter period of time.

I have spoken with numerous law-enforcement officers and military personnel following firefights on the street and in combat who have participated in good force-on-force training prior to the real thing. They were not disoriented, quite the opposite. They could articulate the details of the engagement and followed a logical and effective sequence of events during the engagement.

Since all participants in the engagement must move through the OODA cycle to achieve consistent and repeatable results, you must strive to disorient your opponent. Note I did not say, out shoot, out run, out shout, the prime directive is to disorient your opponent. Once in this state, he or she should be overcome by events as you move smoothly on to the next phases and around the clock again and again. The opponent’s perception of time becomes distorted, incoming data is dismissed, decisions are irrational, and actions become erratic and ineffective. This is an immensely powerful and often overlooked tactical tool.

You should have no sense of hurrying or waiting. You should be in harmony with what is actually happening.

Decide – The Pipeline - The Third Quarter

Practical decision-making can easily divided into two basic paths. The subconscious mind which can process hundreds of variables simultaneously, in parallel and the conscious mind which works in serial or sequentially, handling seven plus minus two variables before disregarding or misinterpreting incoming data.

Any process that must be accomplished in a compressed time frame should be relegated to the powerful subconscious mind, through training.

“If you consciously try to thwart opponents, you are already late”
- Miyamoto Musashi
Japanese Philosopher/Warrior - 1645

Subconscious decisions are decisions arrived upon based on what we perceive, how we orient that perception and the time allowed to make the decision. If the threat is close and the time frame compressed we will automatically default to the sub-conscious pipeline. Whatever we brought to the situation, genetics, personality, training, assumptions, tools available, will pour out of us without conscious thought or effort.

I frequently use an example based on a real world incident in Southern California. A police officer has pulled over a motorist on the roadway to issue a traffic citation. Starting off, the officer does everything correctly. He finishes his initial assessment and begins to approach the vehicle to make contact with the driver.

As he makes visual and verbal contact, the driver reaches down between his legs to grab a handgun, with full intention to shoot the officer. The officer has just entered the OODA cycle in terms of this particular engagement. The suspect has already started cycling. As the officer reads the body language then moments later actually sees the handgun coming into view (Observation), he begins to orient to the situation. It is not something he regularly witnesses. During the orientation phase, he concludes that this is really a handgun, this threat is real and imminent and he must decide what to do. As the threat is relatively close and the time frame is compressed, the sub-conscious immediately dominates the decision phase and the officer is now on autopilot.

The officer is driven backwards by the pressure of the moment and rotates 90 degrees to his right and begins to accelerate and run to get back to his vehicle. The vehicle represents everything that is friendly and safe. It embodies familiarity, cover, concealment, communications, and additional weapons with which to neutralize the threat with.

Simultaneously, the suspect, attempting to engage the officer, immediately creates a decision-action by the officer to turn and leave the immediate vicinity, a subconscious decision he is now exploiting. The suspect continues to move through the OODA cycle again arriving at the top to observe. The suspect now exits the vehicle and observes a police officer with his back turned, essentially attempting to outrun super-sonic projectiles.

Let’s get back to the police officer. Where is he in the OODA cycle? He is in the unseen third O as in “Oh Sh#@”. He can no longer obtain any good visual information in relationship to the moving, now firing suspect. Only the grace of God can help him now. How did he find himself in this situation with little prospect of successfully overcoming the circumstances? A virtually instantaneous subconscious decision compelled him to arrive here.

Could it have been avoided? Most certainly it could have. How? Through well directed “Force-on-Force” training. Training that would allow an officer to observe this situation not for the first time while under extreme duress. These observation opportunities should be given progressively and repeatedly. This observation process starts creating a cache that ends up becoming a reference point from which to properly and efficiently orient. All the non-verbal cues, timings, the bio-mechanical possibilities and constraints of the combatants are now identified, sorted, stored and are ready for retrieval by the powerful subconscious mind. New courses of action will be discovered and can be experimented with.

The subconscious now has new experiences from which to draw upon. This creates an improved matrix of actions, increasing probability of success in the future.

Act – What we Dream About - The Final Quarter

We have finally arrived at the phase where most spend the majority of their time practicing and from my perspective the least significant in terms of what is really required. This is where you pull the trigger, push the button on your pepper spray, call for back-up forces, or any number of actions. Don’t get me wrong! You must be able to act powerfully. You must develop a smooth, accurate look-down, shoot-down capability with your shoulder-fired and hand-held weapons from a variety of positions and circumstances.

Let’s put this in perspective. If you were given just enough instruction to successfully fly an F-15 Strike Eagle off the runway and around the sky, and you also received good instruction on how to release a missile, by simply pushing the red button on the joystick, would you consider yourself ready for aerial combat? Combat taking place in 360-degree battle space flooded multiple threats, while sorting critical information and dealing with the physiological and psychological factors associated flight in combat.

To increase your chances of survival in this complex environment, you might construct a mock joystick at home and practice pushing the button really fast, over and over!

Operators love to show others how well they see the relationship of two pieces of metal and pull a lever. They will run down range, carefully pull their target and hold it like a newborn. They will cherish it and show all interested and non-interested parties, including their neighbor’s dog, their prowess at pulling a lever (pushing a red button). It’s comical sometimes.

If you simply learn to properly release a tiny metal missile from your handheld or shoulder-fired missile launcher. You are no more ready for combat on the street or the battlefield than your newly found piloting skills.

It is all that leads up to the point of missile release that ultimately matters. Your observations, orientation, and decisions are what allows a relatively minor action on your part define the difference between success or failure, life or death.

Whether you are in an F-15 or controlling a firearm, once you push the button or pull the trigger you are not going to make any difference on where that missile is going to strike. It will conform to its “programming” and the immutable laws of physics.

If you talk to the Gracie Brothers, you would find out that their best selling Brazilian JuJitsu videotapes are the submission tapes, the last in their comprehensive series. This hunger to learn submissions (pulling the trigger) is enormous. Nobody is saying submissions are not part of the total package and skill set, but the Gracie’s will tell you, “Position before Submission”. Prior to submitting someone a sequence is in effect. You must maintain proper distance and balance relationship to your opponent, close the distance with your opponent at the proper time, take your opponent to the ground, establish a dominant position over them, then submit them (force them to give up, damage them to point where they can no longer fight back or choke them into unconsciousness).
If you watch the greatest submission fighter in the world, Rickson Gracie, you will notice that he does not vary his routine by much. Rickson more often than not ends up choking out his opponents using the same dominant position and the same finishing hold. Why is he undefeated after over 400 plus no holds barred fights? Why can’t his opponents just counter the strategy employed time after time?

I believe it is his total mastery of the time and space prior to the relatively simple position and finish. It is the game within the game. The OODA Cycle in action.

I have had the opportunity to work with quite a few shooters that have the action phase of their personal development honed razor sharp. Their ability to shoot a handgun, shotgun, and rifle at paper and steel is literally world class, far outpacing anyone on our training staff if the only measuring stick is speed and accuracy on non-threatening targets. This is certainly not a negative, but can lead to a false sense of security and accomplishment.
When weapons are out and everybody is carrying lethal force at the push of a button, the proverbial wheels fall off the chariot until all phases of the OODA are understood, mastered and consistently applied.

A smooth running OODA cycle translates to good situational awareness. Situational awareness is the ability to collect, collate, and store data in a fluid, dynamic environment, accurately predicting future events based on that data.

Predicting future events in a tactical environment is a potent asset to have in your personal arsenal.


Ken J. Good
Director of the Sure-Fire Institute
714-545-9009 FAX
18130 Mount Washington
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
William wrote:
There is a wealth of information in Ken Goods OODA Cycle (see above). One point is something that was touched on constantly by my Krabi-Krabong instructor Chalambok (AKA Ajarn Wilson) is what's called the Tachypsyche effect.

Basically it is controlling/preventing tunnel vision during a confrontation by raising and lowering your line of sight
while fighting/training. In effect, it prevents you from getting tunnel vision during a confrentation and reatain the ability to focus on multiple factors/opponents.
Quoting Chalambok:
"Krabi-Krabong, though centuries old, had an early and unique view of what is
currently called the Tachy-Psyche Effect. The Tachy-Psyche Effect is a kind
of mesmerization that occurs under extreme stress, such as in mortal combat,
i.e. gun battles or knife fights. The fighter becomes fixated upon a visual
point of stimulus and seems to have tunnel vision. This is actually our
raptor vision (a remnant from our early evolutionary, predator stages)
coming into play, where we focus much like a predator intent upon our victim
to the exclusion of everything else. This causes a lack of outside
perception. As martial artists this is usually when the action begins to
play out slowly. This can be a good thing when you are attacking, but must
be taught out for defensive purposes. The ONLY way to break this effect is
to change one's horizontal plane of vision, by moving up and down".

In the OODA Loop by Ken Good (article above), you can see he is touching on this very same subject.

"Body, Head, and Eye Movements. The body obviously carries the head, and the neck articulates the head, and eyes are directed from within the head. This body movement coupled with head articulation, eye direction, angle, and focal placement allows for an almost infinite number of possibilities for employment your main sensor system, your vision. This freedom can lead to large “gaps” for potential threats to move through unopposed. You must understood this and deal with it through proper training. An easy way to visualize this is to imagine watching a home video a friend filmed. You sit down and have an expectation that you are going to receive good visual information. As the videotape is played you soon become agitated because the camera operator was inexperienced and out of control. The recorded images are jumping and jerking all over the television monitor. Important details of the dynamic situation are lost and undistinguishable. Lot’s of good intent, energy, and activity, but unfortunately the most important aspects of the event go unseen.This video camera example illustrates the body, head, and eyes moving without intelligence and efficiency. To make matters worse, the individual who was operating the camera was using the zoom feature in and out with completely random patterns. This illustrates an individual improperly setting the focal length of his or her eyes while searching for an unseen threat. I have noted that individuals and teams have a strong tendency to tune their “radars” to one distance and angle and leave it there. This is especially true when the first threat is located and identified. Tracking one target, and one target only could spell death to a fighter pilot over the battlefield. Since our visual sensors do not obtain data like phased-array radars, we must constantly change the distance and elevation of our vision, in a systematic manner. One must relegate this cycling of the vision to the sub-conscious mind through proper training and experience. "

This could spell death for the fighter pilot or to the Combative artist dealing with multiple opponents. Chalambok and Mr. Good are both touching on the dangers of tunnel vision. This tends to be an area that is overlooked by many Instructors and practitioners.

Pekiti-Tirsia has many drills that touch on this concept. Even basic transitory footwork drills will touch on this effect in the transitions from light, rapid movement to a power base and back to light, rapid movement.

Is this emphasis present in your system? If so, did you realize it? Just knowing can make a big difference.

William wrote:

Live blade training: A great motivator for heightening your awareness as well as getting students to see the point (pun intended) of the principles being taught.

Flowing and moving full speed with a live blade is not the same as flowing with trainers. The physical movement is the same, but the mental component is not. Being able to Flow with trainers is beneficial (but they also allow you to be sloppy), but you will find out real fast that a live blade changes the dynamic dramatically. I’ve seen people fly with trainers, but hand them a live blade and many look like their learning all over again. You need to be able to over come the fear of cutting yourself, and develop the heightened confidence, awareness, and skill to avoid doing so.

One (of many) training method I like to use, and advocate for advanced students is to practice being able to flow at full speed with live blades (single and double of varying sizes). You start out going slow working through movements from various drills and gradually speed up to full speed. Then just start free flowing while moving around utilizing footwork and simultaneously changing the height and angles of your attacks. Your awareness becomes much more heightened and tuned with the added danger of the live blade.

I’ll also practice this with different blade types and sizes which force me to be able to modify my technique to make the most of the weapons capabilities. Another variation is to add in moving targets (that I hang from the ceiling…or trees if I’m outside) that help me develop my targeting and hand eye coordination as well.


BB Wolf:
Very well put William.
Live blade training is extremely important. It teaches you real fast the importance of consentration and the reality of the blade (I've got the scars to prove it). Learning to fight with a knife without at least sometimes training with a live blade is like going to the firing range, pointing a dummy gun at a target and yelling "BANG!", and convincing yourself you're becoming profficient with a firearm. For safety's sake, a trainer is sometimes needed. To not do so in certain instances would be foolish. But sometimes you just gotta handle the real thing.

Learning to fight with a knife without at least sometimes training with a live blade is like going to the firing range, pointing a dummy gun at a target and yelling "BANG!", and convincing yourself you're becoming profficient with a firearm.

Great analogy!

And obviously I agree with you 100%.

I would also add that practicing quick draws with a live blade is important as well. Practice drawing from different positions/angles and from the ground as well. See how fast you can deploy it and launch into a free flow attack. You can even have a training partner knock you down from behind...see how quickly and effectivley you can access and deploy your blade.

You have to pratice with the real thing (at least occasionally) or...refer to the analogy at the top of this post.


Disclaimer: Please remember that you are working with a real, sharp blade in the above scenarios. Proceed with caution and at your own risk.

BB Wolf:
Originally posted by adam

>>I am concern with learning more about how to defend myself against a knife. I've been looking around but in my opinion alot of stuff doesn't work very well. My main problem is in bridging/ touching the attacker's knife arm. I know about programing against different angles until it is unconcious and i feel that works fairly well eventually against random attacks that are real. But when someone comes in with small frame movements , and broken timing, i find it very hard to track and bridge his knife arm. HELP! Any info will be great, thanx. --adam >>

Train with a partner who will come at you with small frame movements and broken timing until you feel comfortable (a dubious term considering the nature of the beast, as it were) dealing with this. Work reaction and aggression drills while you are in passive mode and being forced to react very agressively very quickly. Defending a knife attack is more than just deflecting or controlling the knife hand. You must aggressively counterattack until the subject is no longer a threat. That, or aggressively run away. Work on retaining contol of the weapon limb and/or disarms when you opponent is resisting. Learn to work your ranges, to be either be out of reach or too close for your opponent to use his weapon very effectively (the latter is risky, but sometimes nessesary ) Finally, learn to use the knife as a weapon. Its not only a 'know your enemy" sort of thing, but you may end up with it and the guy might want it back.

Hope this helps.
William wrote:

I still come across people with the flippant attitude that defending against
a blade is as easy as just kicking it out of someone's hand. I always
remember the TKD instructor who proudly claimed that his 15 yr. olds could
accurately kick a knife out of the hand as a realistic reliable defense.
This type of attitude is the very reason that I started this thread in the
first place. People who think that dealing with a blade is so easy, or just
a matter of doing technique A, B, or C. You have no margin for error in
going against a bladed attack. The bottom line is that you have to train the
best you can, as realistically as possible to increase your %'s of
successfully countering an attack. There are no certainties. One thing that
really helped open my eyes a long time ago was seeing a Coroners book that
had hundreds of pictures of people that had been killed with different types
of edged weapons/tools. Seeing what a sharp implement, even a small knife,
can do to the human body is an eye opener. Slashing attacks can be gruesome
and open up ghastly wounds immediately. Thrusts often just look like little
slits, but do major damage internally.
When I come across this type of attitude, I'll casually ask them if they
want to try kicking the blade from my hand. I'll start out with my blade
hand forward and let them try. Of course I don't just hold it still out
there for them to target, I use my footwork to move, feint, and gain angle
on them all the while keeping my blade moving in changing patterns. At first
I'll just stay outside and try to get them to kick. Every kick the comes
into my range is either slashed our stuck with a thrust. After I have
tenderized the leg a bit, I'll move in behind a kick and close to finish.
Sometimes I'll get the response, "well, you know how to use a knife, the
average person doesn't". To which I say; "Ok, this time I'll attack in the
way that you'll most likely encounter out in the real world". Then when they
turn to go back on the floor I run up behind them and "shank" them a bunch
of times on the back and sides of the body or neck. Not scientific, but a
knife attack your most likely to encounter. This usually throws them off and
they start thinking that I'm crazier than I really am...almost.
After they have re-gained their composure, I'll also show them that not all
knife attacks come with the blade held out front. We will go again and this
time I have my live hand forward and the blade to the rear and close to my
body. This doesn't present a weapon for you to target or to immediately try
to gain control of. You have to get past my live hand which will be
sweeping, grabbing, trapping, gouging, or eye jabbing as I enter to distract
and/or clear the way for my blade to come pumping in.
My point is that I want them to start looking at the knife in a more
realistic manner. Not just some innocuous implement that they think is so
easy to knock out of an attackers hand.
I pulled this (blade to the blade) on a Shoulin/Mantis BB
co-worker a few years ago. He was so fixed on the blade that I just reached
up and put my live hand in front of his face blocking his vision, and then
hit the vitals.

Again, the point is not to demoralize them, but to get them to start
thinking realistically about facing bladed weapons.

Quote by william
"I recently met a person who has been an instructor for 20+ years in an art that you would all be very familiar with (I will not name the art or the person). He is very good at what he does hand to hand. He had developed his own set of knife disarms and counters that he taught to his students. About 8-9 years ago one of his better students was killed in a knife fight in a bar. He felt somehow responsible for his students death (whether he was or not …?) and quit teaching his blade techniques".

First I would like to address William. I am very sorry to hear about the student who was killed what a terrible tragedy.

I also have a question, would the student have been better off if the instructor had not taught any knife techniques at all? What I’m asking is do you think that his training gave him a false sense of security and he thought he could take the perp with the knife? Or do you think if he hadn’t had any knife training at all maybe he wouldn’t have had any false confidence and he would have found a better alternative to fighting like running away?

I think that many instructors do not apply the science of knife fighting correctly or just give their students a few drills to perform and then say you are good knife fighters. A lot of instructors do not have any real experience and just buy into what their instructors told them good or bad.

I have received some knife training in the military albeit a one-week course it wasn’t much. Some of that training has been reinforced in some combative courses I have taken since. Some of this training has been very good, but I have to admit I have received what I now know was some bad training (I didn’t know any better at the time).

I want to tell you a story about what one of my more imaginative teachers did.

In our class one day each week was devoted to weapons (knife and stick), the rest on other skills and sparring.

We would practice disarms, then do drills and at the end of each class we always did free knife or stick, or mixed sparring. After 3-4 months we all thought we were pretty good.

One day we had some guests show up at our school, nobody knew who they were. We all had to go out into the hall way and wait until we were asked to come in. One by one we all went in. As we entered the floor from the hall way one of those strangers was standing there as we neared he would quickly pull a knife from his belt and wham, one by one we all fell victim to a knife that the stranger stuck in our bellies or sliced our necks.

We would try to ready our knives but usually we would be nailed before we could do so, or those who were able to ready themselves were cut during an onslaught of stabs and slices.

It turns out he brought some friends in to demonstrate to us how dangerous, sudden and explosive a real knife fight could be. Not one of us was successful at defending ourselves. Boy was it a blow to our pride and egos.

My instructor then got up in front and said, “none of you used your best weapons, your legs”. We asked you mean to kick with? “He said no to run”! We all tried to stand toe to toe with the attacker and fight.

My philosophies about knife defense are this (in order of importance).

1) RUN!
2) Use an obstacle to keep between you and the attacker (Table, car, desk, etc.).
3) Hasty weapons: Weapons that gives you better distance like a chair (you can swing it or throw it at the attacker to give you an opportunity to escape), Pool cue, beer bottles (beer mugs), end tables, etc can all be used as weapons to keep distance and, or provide time/opportunity to escape.
4) Knife: If you are armed with a knife use it but be fast, and strike to cause damage. * Dueling is very bad!
5) Kick- kick to cause damage. This also helps to maintain distance.
6) Unarmed techniques: All the above has failed perform unarmed against armed techniques.
* If you were armed with a gun, I would still attempt escape first, if there were no practical escape then shoot.

First off you need to be honest with yourself and your students about the realities of a knife fight (good chance at death or severe injury). Training needs to include drills, work on footwork, sparring against uncooperative opponents, and the practice of realistic scenarios using props, actors, and scripts.

Knife fighting is a serious business the best advice I can give anyone is not to do it. Last resort only! Use common sense to keep yourself safe and for god sake leave your egos at home.

I tell people all the time that no matter how much you train there are no guarantees that you will win against a knife. Knife training will help you to be more likely to be successful, but don’t think for a second you are invincible. I think training with knives shows you just how easy it is to seriously hurt, and if that make you realize that you best not do it, then that alone is worth the training.

Emphasis needs to be placed on how to avoid being victims of violence in the first place through intelligence, situational awareness, threat assessment, escape and evasion and so on.

Keep in mind your training needs to be kept up continuously to maintain your skill level. When it comes to knife fighting: skills, reflexes, and mindset diminish quickly if you let you training stand idle.