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Showing posts from 2009

A loss in the fight

The AP has learned that seven CIA officers and/or employees have been killed in a suicide bomb attack on FOB Chapman in the near Khost City (in the Khost Province).

While Hollywood and conspiracy theorists like to paint C.I.A. "agents" (which they are not called agents btw) as evil, the truth is that they are some of the hardest working men and women in the game. They endure hearing publicly about their failures that are well known and allow their victories to be credited to other people.

I am deeply saddened to hear about this. It's a horrible way to start the new year. We often as a society elevate our men and women in uniform to a hero status, and we are right to do so.

However their job would never go wheels up if it were not for those who work behind the scenes sometimes months and years in advance to build relationships, cultivate assets, and gather viable intelligence.

We have suffered a horrendous lost and tonight families and colleagues will mourn the loss of loved …

Too big of a toolbox ?

When I started writing the "Dark Arts" series I knew that it would set some people on edge, and understandably so I suppose. And I knew there would be detractors and critics, which to be honest I'm okay with I've got a rather thick hide.

So it came as no surprise when one reader pointed me to a forum where one of my recent posting was being discussed. One gentleman who conducts Self Defense training took um-bridge with me personally (ironic since he doesn't know me and lives in another state) and my advice simply because he had never "heard" of me (whatever that means).

I found the statement somewhat quizzical, yet for all of his critiques there was one statement I found to be a little ridiculous.

It went something like...."some of these guys like to overburden their students with so many tools that the toolbox is too heavy to carry. When I teach I focus only on the basics."


Well that's a first.

I will say…

Dark Arts For Good Guys: Think Fast!

There is a problem we (society in large) face in trying to thwart,fight,and kill the badmen of the world.

As the "Good" we have concluded that there is unofficially mandated fair play and ethics into trying to fight off those who commit evil.

When I teach on how to defend against mass shootings I tell my students that they have to get their head around shooting an attacker in the back. And turn the targets around for them to do so.

Being in a prolonged gunfight with multiple attackers is not the same fight as with a home invader. You shooting a man in the back as he runs for the front door is at best manslaughter. Understanding that firing into the back of a gunman as he walks around executing people lying on the floor is called tactical advantage and justified. Just as it is for any S.W.A.T and HRT Sniper.

The same holds true for taking a hostage. We have ingrained into our heads that those who take hostages are the bad-guys and the hostage the victim. Always.




My plane leaves in a few hours and I'll be off the grid for a bit, so my apologies for not further exploring this.

But it does appear that Major Nidal Hasan was in fact participatory as an adviser for the Presidential Transition Team.

For the sake of transparency it should be noted that the task force was started seven months before the November Election.

The article (hyper-linked below) is from The George Washington University's Homeland Policy Institute titled "Thinking Anew-Security Priorities for the Next Administration" part of the Presidential Transition Task Force from April 2008-January 2009.

Nadal's name is on page 29 and he is credited as a "Task Force Event Participant"

Homeland Policy Institute Presidential Transition Task Force

Guess I've got my light reading for the plane ride.

Be Safe out there.

Real Quick

I apologize for the severe delay between postings. The whole Dark Arts for Good Guys series stems from a mid-summer slow down in my consulting work and since my mind runs a million miles an hour most days and I found myself sitting on my hands I needed something constructive to do (idle hands and all that).

Fall arrived and people apparently began having problems in their lives and I'm back at it. But the other half revolved around after writing Non Permissive Environment Pt I I was struck by writers block for part II. To the effect that are twenty something rough drafts of it floating around on my hard drive.

But the writers block seems to have departed (I hope) and work is not at DefCon 30 so postings "should" return to normal. Including that elusive part II.

Thank you for your continued encouragement in writing here and hopefully you enjoy the latest post below.


Change your mind and the rest will follow

On a regular basis I am interjected into the lives of others. Often enough this comes from when their life hits the fan so to speak. Occasionally I have the time to train others in shooting and what we would generally recognize as self defense. Having myself gone through a fair amount of training in many different aspects there is one thing that I have noticed that escapes most instructors.

To systematically ingrain into students to think positive and to react in a manner that invokes a positive/winning/I-will-feed-you-your heart attitude.

And while it may seem obvious it is not a given teaching method. The truth is it's very easy for all of us to focus on the mechanics of drilling,drawing, and defense that we don't think WIN.

hmmm I hear snickering.

Think for a second of this scenario whether you are a man or woman.

You come home late at night through the front door, pull the key out of the lock, and walk to the other end of the house. Something doesn't seem right and you loo…


currently working on part II of non permissive enviroment, and should be posted later today. My apologies for the recent delays in posts.

True Story

The original email was sent to Sheriff Glenn Boyer on Thursday, August 27. Below is the citizen's email followed by Sheriff Boyer's response.

I tried to call you earlier this morning, but was unable to obtain your extension from the voice mail system as I was not sure of your first name or correct spelling of your last.

I was inadvertently in this procession as I was leaving work on 270 from Creve Coeur and proceeding on Hwy. 30 West. I have some issues and complaints. I called the Sheriff's office last night, but the officer in charge would not speak with me. His name was Corp. Curtis. I am in no way complaining about your officers. I, however, was not treated very fairly when I called last evening because I wanted a ticket/complaint/or at least a slap on wrist for the people involved. Let me explain:

1) This procession should never have been held during rush hour traffic! Hwy. 270 is dangerous and people drive way too fast and there is too much traffic. This soldier's c…

Dark Arts for Good Guys: Non Permissive Enviroment Part I

Sometimes being morally right and legal do not coincide. Especially abroad.

Killing in self defense (or in some cases just physically harming the attacker) can find you on the wrong side of the law. And if you are arrested you may be executed (at best) or kept jailed indefinitely (at worst) in a foreign prison. Involved in a post violent conflict over seas can leave you in the sticky spot of either notifying the local constables or getting the hell out of dodge.

It may sound cowardly to up an flee, but you need to weigh your options immediately. I have a standing policy with my clients when traveling abroad that if I become involved in a use-of-lethal-force situation the next stop is the airport in many cases. Yes it can depend on the country, the political climate, witnesses, etc. no doubt. But when you are left standing over one or two dead attackers from a street situation you have to make a judgment call immediately that can in many respects change the course of your life. And the …

voicing your concerns

In the Self-defense community there tends to be two unofficial schools of thought. That an individual should either avoid or non-verbally deter a situation before it starts or go straight to a full bore gun fight. We tend not to talk about the weird middle ground where walking away may get you attacked and the situation doesn't constitute the drawing of a firearm on your part. I suspect this lack of discussion stems from one of two points of instruction.

One is the police officer who also teaches CCW classes on the side. Typically he/she is use to large amounts of conflict and confrontation on the job. Yet they bear one distinct advantage over the civilian. They have the law on their side automatically, and they have the benefit of rolling back up. Understand this is not a side glancing judgment on my part, rather a police officer's confrontation with an unruly-to-violent individual ends in the arrest. Rarely can a miscreant confront a police officer in a highly aggressive mann…

Do your damn duty!

I was visiting here (a very good blog by the way if you don't frequent it) and he posted a link on jury duty.

I went into the comments section to post my thoughts when I read another blogger's comment about not getting paid to serve and what he thought was an otherwise waste of a day.

It causes me no small amount of anger when I hear of people doing their best to avoid jury duty in general.

It's especially irksome when it comes from fellow Concealed Carry License holders or others who like myself who have strong conservative leanings and will go to great ends to write and talk about the sacrifice of our soldiers and tell us their feelings towards Liberty and Justice for All.

How many blog posting have we all read where a fellow CCW holder was either involved in a justifiable shooting (or was simply and rightfully carry their arms) only to find themselves arrested and charged and headed for court. Civil or Criminal. The comment sections are filled with angry rants towards Law E…

Dark Arts for Good Guys: Break on Through to the other side

One of the best weapons for getting out of a crisis isn't necessarily a gun. A decent size vehicle, even one that may not run so fantastic has more versatility and overall practical use than a pistol...not that you can't have both of course.

Faced with breaching a road block made from stationary vehicles a car makes a very serviceable battering ram. But like everything, there is a right way and a wrong way. Do it the right way and you not only surprise everyone, but you may also disable a few of the bad guys cars along the way. It just won't won't be in show room condition afterwards.

Do it wrong and you're gonna have a bad case of whiplash from the impact and a bloody nose from the airbag for the next thirty seconds until someone rearranges your school girl beauty with a magazine full of copper.

So first things first: Hands on the wheel. Just like the old man said, hands at ten and two or at nine and three.


Should the airbag deploy while you ram through the barric…

Failure to Comply

Last night the Wife and I went to our local gym to work out and as I rolled into the weight room I saw a bright pink flier on the community bulletin board that read :


It's being offered by a gal who titles herself as a thirty-year martial artist, and gave a brief course outline. All par for the course stuff, but there were two things that left me shaking my head. One was a cute little Charlie Brown/Lucy-esque cartoon at the bottom with the girl standing over the boy while his head swirled from being knocked out.

Seems innocent enough.

The other was "How to be more aware of your surroundings and avoiding dangerous places!"

I don't know the instructor, nor her course so this is not intended to be a "puff my chest out piece" about what I know over her. But there are weakened, albeit good intentions, set sub-consciously into the flier.

I had the opportunity last week to see a guy get cut off in traffic and proceed to verbally berate th…

Dark Arts for Good Guys: When No One is Coming

There may come a point when you learn that no one is coming to help. Not from out of or in town. No local security spooks or your mother. Sometimes its because there is no money. It can be as simple as that, sadly enough. Other times (think Katrina) due to weather, communications can break down or can be completely absent.

And there you are.


Being left in the wind can drive you into a panicked state. Or.... it can be liberating.

In a live or die situation there can be an amazing clarity received, burdens that can be lifted, because here there is only one thing. Live.

Mentally, you apply a liberal dose of Rule #25 and you do what it takes to keep it.

So if you're cut off and the Calvary ain't coming then you go to them. That means getting mobile. Sooner or later you're just going to have to, and better to go by your own volition.

While there is never a clear cut answer to anything a mob or civil unrest does to a city, there is one thing you do know. Mobs are made up of ind…

Dark Arts for Good Guys: Where there's smoke

Despite what you may think about evacuating out of a city that has erupted into chaos there is actually a lot of waiting. Hours of it. The world is crashing down. Except where you are. Down the street people just like you are running for their lives while you sit in your room on the sixth floor drinking coffee. Waiting for the right time to bug out.

While thoughts of leaving the room under the cover of darkness hoping to knock someone with a gun in the head with that crowbar may dance in your head, the odds aren't in your favor.

That doesn't mean be idle. When you are outgunned you have to out think them. Thinking tactically is constructive. It keeps your mind from running wild and going into a panic mode. It also gives you a creative outlet to incite fear into your enemy. There comes a point when your defensive thinking has to become offensive thinking. Sometimes that is with a gun, but first and more often its with your head. A defensive mind set tells your soul "just le…

Dark Arts for Good Guys: Flight Plan

When the brain kicks into the Flight or Fight response (i.e. from an environmental stressor) your sensory cortex sends a signal to the brain stem. The instant your brain kicks out of homeostasis and into high gear, your alertness to the situation and the environment are more attuned than previous.

The longer or more intense and prolonged the situation is causes activation in the sypathetic region of your autonomic nervous system (This is how adreneline gets dumped into your system).

When this occurs your body physically responds in several ways. Pupils dialate, digestion of food in your stomach slows down or stops, there is an acceleration in your heart and breathing rate. Skin can go pale, flush or bounce back and forth. The mind and eyes get tunnel vision. This is why we threat scan. Rotating your head left to right pulls you from this and can save you from being blind sided.

The same holds true for not having a good plan to get out. While it may be very exciting to rush from the hote…