30 October 2008

Overseas Travel Dangers - Know Them, Heres How

Many people travel to all types of different countries with various levels of policing, safety and security with little consideration to the threats. There are some truly fantastic resources out there at the tips of your fingers and this post will highlight these and how you can do some basic research of the security risks and threats for whatever country you are going to or maybe plan on visiting.

Indeed, it is best to factor security considerations into y
our travel plans at an early stage so if you determine that a country has a level of threat you weren't previously aware of, you can change destinations relatively easily and hassle free.

What can I tap into?

There are four primary resources for doing this research and it will not take long to do, as these organisations have done all the work for you. All you ne
ed to do is tap into it. These four resources are the CIA, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the International Crisis Group (ICG).


CIA - Although not widely known for it, the CIA produces and maintains an excellent resource for the general public, titled 'The World Fact Book'. This is a free online resource where you can find all sorts of information about almost any country you could think of going to.

It contains information to make your travel much easier and smoother such as data on geography, people, government, economy, communications, military and transnational issues. All of these factors may impact on your ease of travel w
hen overseas and in particular, may effect your safety and security.


British Foreign and Commonwealth Office - Information on the FCO site has useful travel advice on matters such as safety and security like crime and terrorism, natural disasters, local laws and customs, political situation and health system and issues among other areas. It is targeted for UK citizens but is still a relevant resource for all travellers.


Smart Traveller - Smart traveller is a resource provided by Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It is designed to provide travel advice for Australian citizens but is again, relevant for all travellers. Smart Traveller provides advice on safety and security matters such as crime, political tension and terrorism, local laws, entry and exit requirements and health issues.


International Crisis Group - The International Crisis Group is mostly concerned with producing reports on places of actual unrest and violence so it is unlikely that there will be anything of value on a modern stable country such as Italy for example.

However, for those planning on travelling to a third world or developing country, it is worthwhile checking out what the ICG has to say about it. This will likely involve sifting through reports or alerts but is definitely worthwhile if you plan on going to a country covered by these people.

Give me the Links

CIA This link will take you to the main page of the World Fact Book, where you choose your country of interest and away you go.

FCO This link will take you to the main page where again, you simply search by country.

Smart Traveller This link will take you to the Smart Traveller home page where you search by country as well.

International Crisis Group This link will take you to the Crisis Watch area where you can view the 12 page monthly bulletin highlighting all of the current events. Areas covered include developments in current or potential conflict zones, assessments of the overall situations and whether they have improved or deteriorated and it alerts readers to particular risks of new or significantly escalated conflict. There is much information throughout the entire site.

Use the Vast Resources of the Intelligence Agencies!

Remember, three of these above links harness the full resources and capabilities of their respective countries Intelligence agencies for advice and guidance when producing these travel advices so a lot of work, knowledge, money and thought has gone into them.

All of these links have valuable information not mentioned here as well as valuable links to even more information. Checking these places out before departing on travel whether it be for enjoyment or business is definitely worthwhile and recommended.

Don't lose this page

If you would like to find these resources again, you can bookmark this page now so you can come back to it again in the future and find them all in the one place. If you think the information contained here is valuable, let your friends and business acquaintances know of it or use the social network button below to digg or stumble it or whatever you want.

I hope you found something of value here. Leave your comments below.


Sydney Self Protection Solutions

One of the best Self Protection resources on the net has recently been freshened up. It is a GREAT source of lots and lots of interesting videos and quality information on the much neglected area of Self Protection.

I highly recommend it to all to pop on over there and check it out. Once there, have a little dig around as there is a lot of great content.

The following video is just a small sample of what is there. It covers one aspect of that time immediately prior to an encounter going physical. Good stuff.



Check out Sydney Self Protection Solutions here!


28 October 2008

UFC 90 Photo Gallery

Didn't get to see UFC 90? Me either. The official UFC site now has 138 high quality images available to view in a slideshow. The following link will open in a new window.

Check out the Photo Gallery now.

Enjoy.


Maintain Your Security!

The following news story (which can be read in full below) highlights the need to maintain your basic security practises. A man followed a resident through the apartment blocks security entrance and into the lift. Once inside the lift he pulled out a knife...

The main point I want to highlight here is that the only way the attacker got inside is because he was let in! Now I live in an apartment and have seen this same thing happen. It is quite common. People think they are being helpful by holding open the security doors for people.

DON'T DO IT!!!

Even if they look nice and friendly, do not let people inside the building. If you have to, just explain that for security reasons, you would like them to use their key or security device to get in. If they are a resident they will understand and probably be satisfied that other residents are not letting strangers inside the building. Whatever, just don't give people free access inside. Be rude if you need to!

Security is one of the main benefits to living in an apartment complex. Do not jeopardise this and let unknown people gain access. Even if they do not attack you, they may attack someone else and it will be your fault. It is a simple little thing but it is quite important.

Do not let people follow you into your apartment building!!!

The full news story can be read at the following link,

See the news story here.

It is a very sad story that offers a reminder to all of us.


Funny Martial Arts Video

This video has been around for a while now. I just recently saw it again and it still made me laugh.

Here it is for those yet to see it.



Nice one yeah?


26 October 2008

Great Female Self Protection Interview

Over at the Facebook group, Australian Personal Protection, Clive has posted up a video interview with a leading female self protection specialist, Mitra Castano. It is in 2 parts. If you use Facebook, it is definitely worth dropping in and having a look.

Mitra Interview part 1

Mitra Interview part 2


UFC 90 Results

Here is a quick rundown on the results from UFC 90 which was held over the weekend.
  • Anderson Silva Wins by Technical Knock Out at 0:39 in the 3rd round
  • Thiago Alves Wins by Unanimous Decision at 5:00 in the 3rd round
  • Gray Maynard Wins by Unanimous Decision at 5:00 in the 3rd round
  • Junior Dos Santos Wins by Knock Out at 1:20 in the 1st round
  • Sean Sherk Wins by Unanimous Decision at 5:00 in the 3rd round
  • Thales Leites Wins by Submission (Choke) at 1:18 in the 1st round by rear naked choke
  • Spencer Fisher Wins by Submission (Choke) at 3:56 in the 3rd round by triangle
  • Dan Miller Wins by Unanimous Decision at 5:00 in the 3rd round
  • Hermes Franca Wins by Unanimous Decision at 5:00 in the 3rd round
  • Pete Sell Wins by Unanimous Decision at 5:00 in the 3rd round
For a full LIVE blow by blow account of the event, check out the page featuring all of the news on UFC 90 at MMAMania.com.


24 October 2008

When is a Martial Artist complete?

I guess it comes down to how long one has been training. Once you begin, the first priority should be to learn how to defend yourself against an unskilled attacker as that is the most likely threat.This can take some time depending on natural skill and talent and any relevant experience. It took me some time when I began on this journey as I had no idea whatsoever.

Most Likely Threat First

This involves both the physical aspect such as punching, pushing, evading, throwing etc as well as having a basic knowledge of the two types of threat being the Alpha Male and the Predator so strategies for dealing with each can be applied through avoidance and de-escalation.

Once proficiency has been gained here, what is next? Once we can defend ourselves, isn't that it?

More Advanced Combative Skill

  • Fight skills are more advanced that simply defending and countering an attack. This involves being able to go up against a skilled fighter in a one on one fight. This is much harder than defeating some scum bag on the street. This is the next step up the ladder. During this phase of training, principles such as 'Aliveness' will be core with things such as alive drilling and sparring.
  • Stress testing of all learnt skills is done through advanced sessions which on the surface look like the above but much more pressure is applied both mentally and physically. Its one thing to spar in a relaxed learning environment but another thing altogether to spar when under hard pressure against one fresh opponent then another fresh opponent and so on. It involves stepping outside your comfort zone or being pushed out of it. This is just one example of stress testing.
  • Scenario training is a form of more advanced stress testing. In a way it is more specific. It aims to more closely replicate the environment and situation that a likely encounter will happen in. It involves role players and starts at the pre-attack stage of an encounter. Much training neglects this fundamental aspect of combat. What happens during the pre-attack determines what happens in the attack stage, much like the real thing.

Further Skills and Areas

Once proficiency has been gained in direct low tech combat skills, supplementary skills should be learnt:
  • Advanced first aid is a priority. If you can cause damage, you should be able to treat damage. I guess it is the TMA past coming out here but it is very Yin Yang. It is also a good balancing skill to have. Advanced first aid includes treating burns, fractures, bleeding as well as resuscitation methods. You never know, it may just save someone's life one day.
  • Home security and home security awareness. Do you have the numbers of utilities and the local police station up on the wall near the phone or on your mobile? Do you have a peep hole through your front door? What will you do if someone claims to be from the electricity department and wants to talk to about some matter relating to the electrical supply and wants to come inside? Where is your home most vulnerable to forced entry? Do you know where that is and what have you done to strengthen it?
  • Awareness and the 'soft skills'. Do you know what the threats are when you are out and about? What would be the physical indicators that may give early warning of such attacks? Do you know the colour codes of awareness, as these are a good place to start?
  • Security when overseas. What is the threat in the country you are going to? Who are the main groups and what are their goals? How can you limit your attractiveness to these groups and fly under their radar? Simple things like not wearing your expensive watch and other accessories, not flashing a lot of cash around at shops and toning down the clothing are all universal tactics to limit the attention of a countries underbelly.
  • Your Health should be looked after. Why go to all the trouble to learn how to defend ourself for years and years, in order to live a long and drama free life, when we let our health deteriorate and die at the age of 45 from a heart attack? Pointless. So how healthy are you?
The above examples are not exhaustive. There is a lot to learn for a martial artist. Learning how to defend ourselves is really only the beginning. Once direct combatives skills have been attained, for sure, we continue the training, but other so called 'softer' skills come into development and action as some have been mentioned.

Security Principles?

So when is a martial artist complete? Are we ever really there? Probably not. I think at some point these soft skills actually blur into the arena of Security Risk Management. Except it is being applied to our own activities and our own facilities (our home).

On top of the above the domain of weapons use has been omitted. As has been seen in previous articles regarding the most likely attack on street, weapon use and in particular the knife, blunt impact weapon and in the U.S. the handgun, need to be trained for as they are a very relevant threat.

Another area left out here has been multiple attackers. And keep in mind that you are more likely to face three attackers than two!

There is a lot to learn...


23 October 2008

Intimate MMA - Great Pride Video

This video is one of the relatively newer videos to come out of the now defunct Pridefc shows. It is a quite close up and intimate look at MMA from the perspective of the ref INSIDE the ring with the fighters! Its definitely worth a look if you haven't seen it and of course if you have seen it before, you will likely have another look now.

I think this video really highlights the commitment it takes to step inside the ring or octagon in an MMA bout and put it all on the line. This video is quite different from all the other MMA videos kicking around the internet.

Here it is.



Its a nice one.


21 October 2008

Home Gym - For Apartment Living

A home gym is SO convenient! All you need are a few basic tools to develop functional strength and conditioning. The house dwellers have a massive advantage here with having surplus space. We the apartment dwellers do not have the luxury of space so have to make the best out of what we DO have.


This is a photo of my humble little set-up I have at home. It has pretty much all I need. I can do heaves (any grip and also throw a towel over the bar and do towel heaves aka MarksTraining and Straight to the Bar), its got dip bars which are the perfect width for me, a kettlebell, fast skipping rope, gloves and pads, training knife, and home made parralettes and a Polar watch which does Interval Timings. And a bbq for that all important post workout meal! hehe.

About the only thing I don't have is Olympic bars and plates and power rack which I have to venture off to a gym for. Apart from that, it is pretty much all I need. I can pull, push, swing, skip, punch, stab, gymnastic holds like L-Sits and the enormous number of bodyweight exercises like burpees and handstand push ups.

The space is fine. I can move stuff around depending on what my workout is going to be. If it is raining I just move what I'm going to use into the middle of the lounge room and crack on with it. Where there is a will there is a way.

So what set up do YOU have at home? Is it a humble set up or totally complete?


UFC 90 'Silva v Cote' Oct 25

UFC 90 Will feature Anderson Silva versus Patrick Cote for the main event.

Silva hasn't lost an event for 8 fights. He is definitely a formidable fighter with awesome and sometimes unorthodox striking skills.

Cote appears quite confident however. An exclusive interview with Cote can be found over at MMAMania.com which is definitely worth checking out.

The Main card is as follows:
  • Thiago Alves (15-3) vs. Josh Koscheck (11-2)
  • Fabricio Werdum (11-3-1) vs. Junior Dos Santos (6-1)
  • Sean Sherk (32-3 –1) vs. Tyson Griffin (12-1)
  • Gray Maynard (5-0) vs. Rich Clementi (32-12-1)
The Undercard which may not be broadcast is:
  • Thales Leites (14-1) vs. Drew McFedries (7-4)
  • Spencer Fisher (21-4) vs. Shannon Gugerty (11-2)
  • Dan Miller (9-1) vs. Matt Horwich (23-10-1)
  • Hermes Franca (18-7) vs. Marcus Aurelio (16-6)
  • Pete Sell (7-4) vs. Josh Burkman (9-6)
Looks like its gonna be a good event. More can be found out about the event by going to the official UFC 90 page.


20 October 2008

U.S. Assault and Robbery Stats Analysis

This is a follow up post to What is the Most Likely Attack on the Street? which used data gathered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This post concentrates on the US using data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the The U.S. Department of Justice.

Once again, Assault and Robbery will be seperated to highlight the differences between Alpha Male and Predatory type of attacks. The statistical data is also begining to form patterns which support this difference. Perhaps the biggest diferences here, is in the use of handguns which is not so surprising. Lets get into it.

Location of Attack
  • Assault- Close between in or near home and on street away from home.
  • Robbery- By far most Robbery was done on the street/highway, followed by in or near the home.

Victims Activity at Time of Incident

  • Assault- Most victims were doing some activity at home, closely followed by some leisure activity away from home then working or on duty,
  • Robbery- Most victims of Robbery were on the way to or from some other place, followed by a leisure activity away from home.

This is handy data which is not available to my knowledge about Australian statistics.

Weapon Use

  • Assault- 22% of Aggrevated Assaults offenders used weapons compared with,
  • Robbery- 48% of offenders used weapons. About half.

This supports the fact that Assault is more about posturing and just fighting where as Robbery is more cold and inpersonal with a more violent intent behind it.

Type of Weapon used

  • Assault- Almost the same between a firearm (6.8%) and knife (5.6%) being most common folowed by a blunt instrument (4.4%),
  • Robbery- By far the most common weapon used is a firearm (21.7%) followed by the knife (8.2%) then blunt instrument(5.8%).

Numbers

  • Assault- 17.8 incidents per 1000 persons and,
  • Robbery- 2.6 incidents per 1000 persons.

Clearly, one is more likely to become involved in Assault than Robbery in the U.S.

Did Offender know the Victim?

  • Assault- Just over half of the Assault incidents were between people who were not strangers,
  • Robbery- By far, most incidents of Robbery were between who did not know each other.

These stats again indicate that Assault is more ego based with 'Alpha Male' type activity and Robbery is more impersonal with the victim being de-humanised by the offender and the likelihood of more serious violence increasing.

Summary

These statistics highlight some broad general trends and points regarding the nature of both Assault and Robbery. They are also beginning to add some statistical weight to the fundamental types of attack being the 'Alpha Male' and the 'Predator'.

These issues will be explored in a later post so stay tuned to this blog! Subscribe or bookmark us now.

The next post in the series looks at the statistics from the UK titled UK Assault and Robbery Statistics Analysis. Check it out!


19 October 2008

Wanna fight Fedor Emelianenko?

Donald Trump, Affliction and M-1 Global announced recently that they plan to begin filming a reality TV show called 'Fighting Fedor'.

They are taking a leaf out of the UFC book but with a twist. The show will centre around a 16-man heavyweight MMA tournament with the winner getting to fight Fedor himself!!!

Now who in their right mind would do this unless you have already competed a few times and have a lot of skills already? Fedor is arguably the best MMA fighter of all time.

Fedor has beaten such names as:
  • Semmy Schilt
  • Heath Herring
  • Rodrigo Nogueira
  • Gary Goodridge
  • Mark Coleman
  • Kevin Randleman
Trump says the show is going to be 'spectacular, unique, and is going to be a special event.' The show will be filmed in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Here is a look at Fedor in action.



Would you want to step up and have a crack?


Low Tech Combat-Revamped and Blitzing it!

Its been a busy week here with the blog being overhauled with a new look!

There is a new header (which took me a long time on Photoshop...), a new Footer section and a new colour scheme plus more as well as continuing with postings. I think I am finished with the design now for a while. If you want to know the main sites I used to learn how to modify this site, drop me an Email.

What are your opinions on the new look?

Also, Low Tech Combat is beginning to make a bit of an impact on the martial arts and self protection blogging world with this humble young blog being featured on TDA Training's Blitzing wrap up for the week at number one! Head over there and have a look. There are LOTS of great posts to read! Great blog Nathan, well done!


17 October 2008

Alpha Male v Predatory Threat

There is a common phrase which to me is so true,

'Dumb people make simple things complicated,
Smart people make complicated things simple.'
I've seen a lot of conflicting theories and approaches for a whole range of 'attacks' somebody may use. It seems that there is a different counter required for every possible technique an attacker may come at us with! If this were true, it would make the area of Self Protection a very complicated field... Luckily, there ARE some smart people out there who simplify things and make them more likely to succeed under pressure. I have been lucky enough to learn from some of these people.

Fundamental Difference

You see, there are only two types of attack. That is all. One is an 'Alpha Male' and the other is the 'Predator.' F
orget about the technique of an attack for the moment. Think beyond techniques, think mindset. All aspects of an encounter are affected by the type of attack it is. A previous post, The Full Spectrum, briefly touched on Alpha Male v Predatory threats and this will now be discussed in more detail here.

Both groups target their victims differently. They are looking for two very different types of victims. Two very different situations lead up to the attack. It requires two very different approaches immediately prior to the encounter going physical if de-escalation and avoidance is going to be achieved, and it requires a different mindset and commitment if it does go physical.


Alpha Male Behaviour
by NeonMan

The Differences

The 'Alpha Male' is typically an intoxicated male who wants to prove either to himself, his friends, a girl or a combination of the above, that he is the top dog. He can beat anyone. He is a hard man. This type of person will often pick the biggest guy around to fight for no other reason than he is the biggest. HE wants to be the biggest, strongest and fastest male around!

The 'Predator' is very different. He wants to choose a weak victim. He wants someone who will not fight back. The 'Predator' may simply want to take something from its victim such as a wallet or money. Kidnapping is also something a 'Predator' engages in as is Rape. They will avoid the strong and go after the weak.

It is generally only crimes labelled Assault, which are 'Alpha Male' activity. The rest are generally 'Predator' type attacks such as Robbery, Break and Enter, Motor Vehicle theft and as mentioned above, Kidnapping and Rape.

The Approach

Events leading up to an encounter going physical are quite stark in their difference. For an encounter involving the 'Alpha Male', there will generally be some p
osturing much like what is seen between animals of the same species on wildlife documentaries. Chests will be puffed out, loud voices used, maybe some chest poking or pushing and aggressive body language and gestures.

The 'Predator' will be silent. He will stalk his proposed victim and asses his chances of success. He will choose the weakest in the pack. Again, to use the wildlife documentary analogy again, the 'Predator' is like the big cat stalking a group of its prey. It looks for the weakest victim. It wants the maximum chance of success with the least likelihood of s
ustaining an injury in the process.
Stalking its Prey
by griangrafanna

So What?

Understanding these fundamental differences between the two different types of threat will give you a better chance of avoiding them. The following points will act as guidance for strategies in dealing with each of these threats:

Alpha Male

  • Do not appear as a threat
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Do not get sucked into an argument
  • Have thick skin
  • Do not get baited by verbal slurs and challenges
  • Leaving the bar or walking away may be the only option
  • Leave your ego at home
  • Avoid going to places where young males drink excessively
Predator
  • Be aware of the threat
  • If you detect a possible threat, get eye contact
  • Let them know you have 'busted' them by the above
  • Avoid areas where 'Predators' lurk
  • Do not fall for distracting questions (this is designed to drop your guard)
  • Walk confidently and with purpose
  • Do not slouch and walk with your hands in your pockets
  • Do not stare at the ground, be aware of your surroundings
  • Know when you are in a higher threat environment such as a car park at night
Summary

These points will assist in avoiding becoming involved in these encounters. Having an understanding of both the 'Alpha Male' and the 'Predator' will greatly aid in using the appropriate strategy for the appropriate threat.

There is an excellent article over at the International Hoplology Societies website titled The Two Faces of Combatives which is a more in-depth analysis of the two types of threat from a human combatives behaviour viewpoint. The 'Alpha Male' and the 'Predator' are basically directly related to both intra-species combat and inter-species combat. I recommend the article to everyone interested in Self Protection.

If you enjoyed this post, why not check out,
TMA v Modern Systems or
What is the Most Likely Attack on the Street?


15 October 2008

Protect Your Privacy with a Shredder

As practitioners and students of various areas of Low Tech Combat, we aim to protect ourselves, our family and our friends. As well as physically protecting ourselves, today, we also need to protect our personal information.

Credit card fraud and the use of stolen identities is rapidly on the rise. One often overlooked area which is a major vulnerability lies in the very personal and private paperwork we throw into the bin and give little consideration to once it is out of our sight.

Sensitive Information

We throw out old vehicle registration papers, utility bills, old loan applications and documents, receipts from major stores which often have detailed personal information on them and invoices from items paid for by credit card through mail order or online.

Many times these listed items contain very useful information to somebody wanting to use credit fraudulently or the 'identity' contained in these papers. Often, the actual full credit card details, including the actual number are on some of these! Besides credit card details, other personal information such as names, dates of birth and addresses can aid dodgy characters in building a complete other identity which becomes their 'persona' for that person when engaging in fraudulent or other illegal activities.

Source of ID
After all, don't bills and bank account statements form part of the ID required to start bank accounts and for identification purposes when we have no license for the relevant road and traffic authorities?

One of the very best things we can do is to ensure none of this information leaves the household in a readable state. An efficient way of doing this is by purchasing a paper shredder. They are very cheap. I recently bought one for $58. It was a long time overdue. With a paper shredder, all sensitive paperwork goes through the shredder on its way to the bin. It is a much simpler and cleaner method than burning it.

Shred it!

Fraud will continue to rise. Don't let yourself become a statistic. Don't re
ly on THEM not to target YOU. You will then be at the mercy of another persons actions. Take responsibility for it. Be proactive. It is so simple to stop.

Many people, previously myself included, are unaware just how sensitive some of the paperwork is that we throw out. Have a look at some of the paperwork a normal household generates and how this could be used by somebody for illegal purposes.

Protect you privacy. You can have a look at a Sexy Black Paper Shredder from Amazon here now. Shred all sensitive documentation on the way to the rubbish bin. It is a small, simple step to ensuring the integrity or our personal information.


13 October 2008

I saw Cirque Du Soleil recently, WOW!

I recently saw the Cirque Du Soleil show Dralion in Sydney. The physical ability of some of the performers is truly amazing. The one arm handstands, the in air acrobatics and strength feats are truly awe inspiring.

On top of these performances, the show itself is flawless. From the costumes, lighting and the various sets, Cirque Du Soleil is simply the best by far at what it does. To me, it is the pure, true definition of what a 'show' is and should be.



As can be seen on the video, the show is class all round. I will be making an effort to get to as many Cirque Du Soleil shows as I can. Unfortunately, it won't be for a while as they have recently left Sydney. But I will go again when they come back. I remember seeing the IMAX movie 'Journey of Man', and it too was truly amazing. The video below is a scene from it.



I guess I am really raving about them but I am a big fan and am really impressed after seeing Dralion live.

Highly recommended! For more visit Cirque Du Soleil.


10 October 2008

Global Personal Protection E-Zine

Clive Girdham has recently released the first edition of the FREE Global Personal Protection E-Zine. It is Clive's attempt to put together interesting and practical articles and information about Self Protection that most Martial Arts magazines seem to neglect.

As well as articles on Self Protection it also has video and an audio interview with one of the legends of Self Protection, Geoff Thompson.

So check out the Global Personal Protection E-Zine!

If you liked the E-Zine check out Clive's Australian Personal Protection Facebook Group as well. It has lots of good videos and pics and news about Self Protection which are difficult to get anywhere else. If you are on Facebook, it is highly recommended.



Vladimir Putin in new Judo DVD - Video Post

Vladimir Putin has been doing Judo since he was 13 years old in St. Petersberg. Now im no Judoka but from the video footage I have seen, he seems to be quite competent in what he does. Below are some videos Ive gathered for your viewing pleasure.



and



and this one has some repeated moves but also some new ones,



and finally,




What do you think? Are you going to purchase the video?


09 October 2008

Low Tech Combat Google Gadget Out Now!

Low Tech Combat now has a google gadget and widget! If you use iGoogle or Orkut or other related homepage, you can now add Low Tech Combat to them or to your own website or blog!

The gadget appears in iGoogle as seen in the image to the left. You can customise how many feeds you want displayed at once. It doesn't have to be 6 as is shown. Posts can be viewed inside the gadget by clicking on the little + expand button on the left of each post title.

Click here to get the Low Tech Combat Google Gadget for your own home page.

Or click here to add a Low Tech Combat Widget to your own Blog or Website.

The set up screen is shown on the left. You can customise the colour of the border and the size of the widget and more.

Let me know here if you have any problems or suggestions or questions at all about how to use them or anything else. Enjoy!


Best Quotes and Passages of All Time!

There are a few quotes and passages from books regarding combat that I have been able to remember for many years, some of which I could never remember which person they were from. Recently I went back to these older books to find out and found many more quotes and passages that I just love. Some of these are listed below...


From Sun Tzu's Art of War

Conflict is essential to the development and growth of man and society...If there is no conflict-internal or external-there can be no growth...However, conflict does not always mean physical combat. Being prepared for any eventuality by understanding the controls required to develop your own particular agenda are essential...
and,
To properly defend, the attitude must be that of a thorough attack. To depend strictly upon defence means that there is not enough strength of purpose in your heart. To gain victory you must be assured of yourself and attack with all your heart.
and,
Fierceness is essential in mortal combat. It is never dependant on the amount of destruction you wish to bring upon the enemy. There must be no hesitancy in using any method to bring about the complete and utter destruction of the enemy. It is the only way to ensure victory of a lasting nature.


From Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings
No man is invincible, and therefore no man can fully understand that which would make him invincible. Even with complete and thorough study there is always the possibility of being defeated and although one may be expert in a particular form, mastery is something a man never stops seeking to attain.
and,
In all accomplishments of war the warrior understands that the only real measure of his ability lies in being able to beat men in fights regardless of their nature. Failure in any other area is not to be construed as a true test of a warriors mettle...The development of warrior consciousness is an ongoing thing. Each new experience continually leads to new challenges.
and,
There are good times and there are bad times-for everything. When you understand timing, then you also understand rhythm. Timing and rhythm-they are one and the same thing, yet they are different. To understand them both as one, you must understand them individually...Timing can be altered. Rhythm can be altered. They can be altered individually or in unison...You should always train with timing and rhythm uppermost in your mind, and realise that there are different types of timing and different types of rhythm.

Every time I re-read the above books, I get something new out of them. If you don't have them, you can have a look at The Illustrated Book of Five Rings and The Art Of War at Amazon now.

There are sooo many quotes and passages in the works of both Sun Tzu and Miyamoto Musashi that it is tempting to just rewrite the entire books! They are truly timeless. This will be the first in a series of great quotes from all over regarding Low Tech Combat and the Martial Way.


08 October 2008

Unbelievable Strength Video!

Oh my...

Check out this video I saw over at Ross Enamait's blog entry which has 2 other strength training compilation videos. Absolutely fantastic videos. Great for getting ready to go to the gym!

Makes me feel week as a kitten...



What do you think?


07 October 2008

10 easy steps to determine how healthy you really are

Most people know how healthy they really are but are uncomfortable with acknowledging it to themselves if they know that they are not as healthy as they should be. No-one else needs to know. However, YOU need to acknowledge it to yourself!

Here are a few simple questions which can highlight your true health. What you look like or what your waistline is often has little to do with your true health. And sometimes, fitness has little to do with health...

  1. How often do you go to the toilet to do a number 2? A healthy individual goes on average, once a day at around the same time each day. If you go every few days or once or twice a week, it is a sign of internal problems or dietary issues.
  2. What is the texture of the above? If it hurts coming out or explodes or is otherwise loose, it too is a sign of internal problems or dietary issues.
  3. How white are the white parts of your eyes? Are they always bloodshot or glazy? The healthier your body, the whiter and clearer the eyes. Take a look next time you use the bathroom.
  4. Do you regularly or even periodically get headaches? And if you do, do you take prescription headache tablets? Headaches are not normal. A normal functioning human body should not get headaches. It is truly amazing how accepted headaches are today.
  5. Do you consume enough water? Everyone knows they should be getting a lot of water but most people do not worry about it.Water consumption can help greatly by flushing out toxins and rubbish from the human body. This is especially important if you follow poor eating and drinking habits and is of further benefit to those that do eat well.
  6. Do you regularly experience stomach discomfort? Do you often feel bloated, unsettled and suffer general pain in the stomach? This is not normal for the human body and again, are signs of internal problems or dietary issues.
  7. Do you get enough sleep? Humans generally operate at their peak at around 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep is a major contributing factor to many illnesses and ailments and may be a major contributor to more serious diseases and the bodies ability to fight them.
  8. Do you smoke cigarettes? There is no escaping this one. Again, everyone knows what these do to the human body.
  9. Do you generally feel good and full of energy or regularly feel tired and run down? This is a good indicator of overall health and well being. Only you can honestly know how you feel. Make this judgement away from other people and be honest to yourself. Feeling tired and run down is a sign that things are not how they should be. Many factors are involved in your general well being and it is up to you to determine what aspect of your lifestyle or habits needs to change for the better.
  10. What is your body mass index? There is no ignoring the costs to human health from obesity. You do not have to be of a large size to be affected by this. There is what I call, 'skinny-fat' people. These are overall 'thin' people who have little to no muscular development but who have for their size, a large amount of soft, excess fat. Although they on the surface are thin, they are also fat. This still affects the healthy functioning of the human body.
These 10 questions will go a long way to acting as a check-list for how your health truly is. Only you will ever truly know the answers to these questions and some will raise points which you try hard to avoid acknowledging because you know it is a problem but don't want to deal with it.

If you feel that you are unsure of where to begin when trying to get truly healthy and not just appear healthy, an excellent online resource can be found at the PaleoDiet website. It is a massive resource of links with information about nutrition, health and many many other aspects relating to healthy living and eating. I highly recommend it to anyone.

I am not a doctor or nutritionist or anything else of the sorts. I am however a human being that actively practises healthy living as well as maintains a moderate to high level of fitness. I try to live by example and generally eat 'Paleo'. I am not fanatical about it but stick to it about 90% of the time. I enjoy real food, not man made rubbish. When someone speaks about the 'food pyramid' and the benefits of grains I wonder if they are getting paid to say it and I look at their body to see if they live the way they preach...

I hope these 10 easy steps puts you on the path to healthier living. After all, learning about self protection is all about prolonging life and well being, lets not ignore our health in the process.


03 October 2008

What is the most likely attack on the street?

What is the most likely attack going to be on the street? That is the big question. And do you practise counters to it? In theory, you should spend the greatest amount of time training for the most likely attack you may come up against rather than less likely attacks.

The last poll that was held here on this blog was titled, 'What is the most likely attack on the street?' From the Poll,
9% said edged weapon, 18% said multiple attackers and both King Hit and Blindside had 36% a piece. This Poll and the mixed responses was the catalyst in starting a series utilising statistics from large bodies of people.

Use of Statistics

The following will be the first in a series of a close look at statistics from around the world and what they can teach us about what is happening out there. This information can assist us in having a realistic perspective on threats and higher threat environments.

This first post in the series utilises statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The ABS is a government body that collects statistics from
a wide range of economic and social matters, serving government, business and the general population. It is Australia's premier statistics body.

I
t is likely that results from one western country will be similar to others. However, in future posts, statistics from other countries will be used and comparisons made.

Differentiating Assault and Robbery

Separate results will be shown below for both Assault and Robbery in order to differentiate between these two very different threats. See my previous post on the Alpha Male v Predatory Threats for a more detailed explanation of the difference in Alpha Male v Predatory attacks and how that ties into human combative behaviour at a fundamental level.

All that is needed to know at this stage, is that Assault and Robbery are two very different things generally committed by two very different types of people.

Most victims by age group
  • Assault, 25-34yrs,
  • Robbery, 15-19yrs.
So already, we can see that younger, easier prey, are targeted in Robbery, whereas the older 25-34yr olds, are more likely to become victims in Alpha male, or Assault type encounters.

Did offender know the victim?
  • Assault, 47.3% of offenders did not know the victim,
  • Robbery, 70% of offenders did not know the victim.
A clear distinction here. It is quite possible to know your attacker in some way in the event of Assault whereas in the event of a Robbery, you most likely will not know the attacker.

Multiple Attackers?

For both Assault and Robbery, you are most likely going to be attacked by just one person.

However, of interest, for both Assault and Robbery, you are more likely to face three or more attackers than just two attackers! Something to be aware of for sure.

Location of Attack
  • Assault- Pretty close for location of assault being between work, home, place of entertainment (including car park) and on the street,
  • Robbery- By far, the most likely location is on the street or other open land.
Assault doesn't just happen on the street or at a night venue. It is just as likely to happen when you are at work or even at home. That is, unless you spend a lot of time at night venues or places of entertainment. It is important to take this on board so as not to be surprised by it happening in other places. No real surprises here regarding Robbery.

Weapon Use

For both Assault and Robbery, mostly no weapon is used though it is trending more towards weapon use each year. Of all weapons being used, the knife is the most likely.

Summary

The weakness with using statistics lie in the fact that they are taken from a wide range of people. Like has been mentioned, if you spend more time than is average at entertainment venues and go out regularly on weekends, your chances of becoming involved in either Assault or Robbery go up.

On the flipside to that, we can actively do things to minimise our chances of becoming victims of crime. That is what Self Protection is all about and these statistics can ensure our understanding on what is happening out there is based on reality. Statistics is but one way of doing this.

The second part of the series is about U.S. Stats on Assault and Robbery and touches on the similarities noted between the two continents. At this stage it appears that Assault and Robbery have some common fundamental aspects to them. Check out the above link.

What are your views and opinions on these statistics? Are there any surprises? Comment below.


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