Saturday, February 13, 2016

Is It Saturday Already?

Seriously swamped with work, which I seem to be doing at about 3/4 speed. I meant to blog…honest.

We're filming for both SHOOTING GALLERY and THE BEST DEFENSE, plus a day of scouting locations for the "Mass Casualty Event." BTW, if you live in the Denver/Front Range area, we'll have a notice up in a couple of weeks on how you too can be slaughtered by blood-thirsty terrorist. Tentative primary filming days are March 24-26.

If you're like your daily dose of outrage, consider that FaceBook, apparently under pressure from the White House, is arbitrarily shutting down firearms' oriented pages. This, however, is A-OK:

So it's okay to call for the death of people on FaceBook, as long as it's the right kind of people.

Always nice to be the right kind of person, I say! 

My friend Dave Spaulding, one of the truly great law enforcement and civilian trainers, penned a bit of a controversial article that is worth your time to read. Here's the link to the article and to my FaceBook comments on the article. 

I think the concept of training, regardless of what you might be training for, is and should be evolving. I am reminded of my friend Michael Menduno, who ran the tech diving magazine aquaCorp back in the day. I believe I'm correct in saying that Michael came up with the idea to not only report on dive accidents (and dive "accidents" in caves or on deep wrecks tend to be fatal), but to dissect what happened with the intent of discovering what, if any, part of the diver's training failed.

I saw the same thing when we studied accidents on big mountains…it wasn't enough to say someone died climbing a mountain, but what series of events lead to the death. And once the series of events was established, was there a flaw in or a different technique in training that would have averted the disaster?

I note that my friend Michael is getting back into diving, and I thought one of his comments in a recent interview particularly applies:
What are the most important attributes of a tec diver for this type of diving? 
I think attitude is really important: self-discipline, staying cool under pressure, being flexible, curious, always trying to learn from your mistakes, having good teamwork skills, humility (leave the macho at the car), a sense of wonder and a strong sense of self-preservation.
Seems like good advice for a student of self-defense as well. Every trainer has a different philosophy, a different style of training. different strengths and weaknesses…a world of differences. We couple that with the fact that each student is a singularity…he or she learns at a different pace and in a different way, has different goals and expectations, brings different skills to the table.

As I noted in my FaceBook comments, there is a flood of new instructors from a number of different sources, and they are competing for the students' dollars. One of the truisms of competition is differentiation…how is the service or product I offer different from the service or product my competitors offer? And there's the rub.

Compared to training people in self-defense, training for cave diving — which is indeed grueling, dangerous, at times terrifying and expensive — is a snap. There are quite simply fewer variables to deal with. And cave diving, like most risk sports, has what amounts to a self-selecting process…if you read, say, David Poyer's DOWN TO A SUNLESS SEA, are smitten with the idea of diving in deep scary places. If you go down to your local dive shop and say, hey, I'd like to sign up for cave diving lessons. No, I'm not a diver…never even been snorkeling…can't swim…but here's my check. Here's a hint…they won't take the check. You have to work your way up to a point of competence where you are able to appreciate the higher level training that will hopefully keep you alive.

That self-selecting set doesn't exist in self-defense raining. Students run the gamut of serious students of self-defense to newbies who's whole range of experience is Tour of Duty. And Dave Spaulding is 100% right…there's everything from instruction in bullseye to storming ships at sea or retaking Fallujah.

Of course, I don't have any solutions for you. I can tell you what my first cave diving instructor told me before I made my first cave dive, my first real trip into the dark: "Just keep hammering the basics over and over and over until when you go to sleep at night you dream about them, until your hands can do the things that need to be done without using your head at all, until you can do what you need to do when you're so sick with fear that the animal in your head is shaking the bars and screaming and you know — you know! — you're going to die in that cold dark space.When you can do that, then you know you're a cave diver."


_DonWorsham_ said...

I don't go any place where I have to depend on a breathing device. No outer space or under the sea for me. Did I mention I'm afraid of snakes?

Publicola said...

Mister Bane,
I heard your latest podcast & for the halibut I googled sumfin, expecting to find a few humorous entries on forums. But lo & behold - Tactical Crutches!

Pricey, & not enough dead tree for my taste, but still, it looks like a neat little concept. I'm thinking it wouldn't be tricky to add some picatinny rails,& they already have a cup holder on the accessory page...

Anyway one thing I've noticed is that in any type of training, the perspective of the student is important. When a student says "I'm gonna take this class & it'll make me better at X" then maybe that'll happen, maybe not. But when a student goes into it thinking "I'm GONNA get better at X & this instruction will help me to do that" then usually they'll get better at X, even if the instruction left a little to be desired. Good instruction is a beautiful thing, but that desire to learn matters just as much. & sadly there's no way to figure out who has it & who doesn't.

Obiwan said...


I thought you weren't filming in Colorado after the passage of those "goofy" laws?

Anonymous said...

The incident analysis you describe has parallels to aircraft incident investigations.
The goal is to try and make the system better for the next time incl addressing equipment, training and system flaws.


Anonymous said...

"Hunting Hunters" is OK as is "Bee-Yawn-See" air-humping a cop-killer themed half-time show at the Super Bowl. I refused to watch it. I hope the "league" understands that. It was impossible not to catch images and videos of it on the news though, along with credible commentary. Her Fascist-themed jack-booted thug clones, all clad as she was in ammo' encrusted uniforms reminiscent of Hitler's "Elite" were OK too! I didn't see "The Administration" call for Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to censor any of that either. But "hickok45" was blown off YouTube, twice because he "features guns"!

Today, I was glad to hear that the police union has announced that "The Finest" will not be volunteering to provide "guards" for her up-coming (up-chucking?) show. That is good.

Gird Your Loins!

Life Member