Friday, September 28, 2012

SELF-DEFENSE: Southnarc (aka Craig Douglas) - Managing Unknown Contacts

Managing Unknown Contacts
by Southnarc (aka Craig Douglas)

I’ve been on the road now teaching citizen self defense courses for about a year, and it’s been very educational for me. I’ve been able to improve my own course work based on student feedback and more importantly I’ve been able to prioritize the presentation of my material.

As everyone probably knows at this point I’m a fanatic about contextually underscored training. We should always be examining the problem and focus our solutions accurately.

Tactics, I’ve come to realize in the citizen self defense world are more often than not, merely paid lip service to. Most training focuses on technical development of motor skills whether that’s shooting, blade work, or empty hand skills.

So what we’re going to focus on in this tutorial are tactics, particularly pre-engagement tactics. I teach this block of instruction first in every class I do, regardless of the particulars of the skill-set, and I feel like it’s probably the most important.

Lee has already written an excellent piece on stranger confrontations, and this material is very in-line with his thread. This is just my take on the subject matter.

There have been several threads in The Codex already which cover the Criminal Assault Paradigm and it’s important that one study that material first. After all we must understand the problem, before we can discuss solutions.

SELF-DEFENSE: Southnarc (aka Craig Douglas) - The ConditioningCorollary and Victim Selection

The Conditioning Corollary and Victim Selection
by Southnarc (aka Craig Douglas)

Slowly but surely the gulf between various unarmed camps is steadily decreasing. Traditional martial artists, mixed martial artists, and so called "reality based self defense" trainers (I've come to dislike that word) are taking tentative, small steps towards each other.

One of the major issues that abounds is the role of conditioning in combative outcome. I think we all agree that it's important, but the major disagreement seems to be on how important it is.

Matt Thornton, who has taken and given back his fair share of criticism on-line, has postulated that a formative process which transforms the individual into a superior physical specimen, combined with good awareness will probably be enough to preclude the "necessity" of carrying weapons.

Now what's interesting about his thesis, is that in a self-fulfilling way he's probably right.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

SELF-DEFENSE: Southnarc (aka Craig Douglas) - Training Structure & the Criminal Assault Paradigm

Training Structure & the Criminal Assault Paradigm
by Southnarc (aka Craig Douglas)

Today, self defense and protection training is more prolific and available than ever. It seems that on every street corner there’s a school that teaches self defense and in every magazine there’s a new ad every month for the ultimate protection system.

With this market saturation how does the concerned citizen make an informed decision as to what school or instructor offers them the best and most appropriate product?

One area to pay attention to is how the training is structured. More specifically does the instructor have a grasp on, and always keep his material relevant to, the context.

If we are to seek solutions the first thing we have to do is understand the problem.

Most citizens are concerned about the problem of criminal assault and what solutions are the most appropriate for managing this issue.

So with that said, let’s look at the problem of criminal assault and more importantly how training is historically structured.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

SELF-DEFENSE: Southnarc (aka Craig Douglas) - The Myth of Proportional Armament

The Myth of Proportional Armament
by Southnarc (aka Craig Douglas)

Usually when one takes training or instruction what they are receiving is an instructor’s vision of a confrontation and the means to prevent or manage such. A lot can be gleaned about someone’s reference points to the realities of self defense, by examining the methods they espouse. This is important from the standpoint of insuring that you are indeed training in a system that matches the realities of the way life or death struggle flows.

One of the biggest areas that I see instructors lacking is in their belief that two individuals in a confrontation will be equally armed. They may acknowledge that disparate force confrontations are common, but does their instruction reflect this? An example:

Many proponents of knife work teach a system that is predicated on maintaining range and cutting an appendage as it comes into one’s protective circle. The next thing that follows is usually a statement such as “If you can maintain range, you should since you don’t want close with his blade”. Now let’s stop right there and think about that for a moment.

What this implies is that he has a knife and you have a knife, and both of you have been able to get said knives in hand and are at range. How often does it really happen this way folks? In my experience, not very often.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SELF-DEFENSE: Southnarc (aka Craig Douglas) - Battle Glad and Strife Eager

 Battle Glad and Strife Eager
by Southnarc (aka Craig Douglas)

In the June 2002 issue of Soldier of Fortune magazine an article by Bill Bagwell titled "The Blade in War", was published. The piece is a historical overview of bladed combat over the ages. Bagwell begins with a look at how many casualties were inflicted in various battles over history in his treatise on the lethality of edged weapons, and moves from there into some thoughts and suppositions on the kind of men who waged primitive warfare.

It was this portion of the article that peaked my interest as Bagwell has some very insightful things to say about the generations of yore and what it took to be a warrior. What I've done is to cut out that portion of the article and let it stand alone. What follows are Bagwell's words and I think that he really hits several points home that the student of modern combatives would be wise to heed.

Monday, September 24, 2012

SELF-DEFENSE: Southnarc (aka Craig Douglas) - A "Systems" Approach to Building a Profile

“SouthNarc” is the on-line pseudonym for Craig Douglas.  He worked in a multi-agency drug unit, in the southern United States, hence "SouthNarc." He has served in Law Enforcement since 1990 and has held line assignments in corrections, patrol, narcotics, and investigations.

SouthNarc has over thirty+ years background in Phillipine, Indonesian, Brazillian and Japanese martial arts and is a veteran of the U.S. Army. He has been conducting training in the private sector in the U.S. and abroad for the past 5+ years.

IMO, he is one of the top-tier instructors teaching Self-Defense currently. With his kind permission, I'm posting some of his articles/pieces.

A "Systems" Approach to Building a Profile
by Southnarc (aka Craig Douglas)

Often in the self-defense community we hear the word "system" used to describe the eclectic education that many have accrued over a lifetime. "System" sounds less martial-artsy than "style" and I think that that's one reason that many prefer the term. System just sounds more serious.

What exactly is a System? A lexical definition of a system is "an arrangement of units that function together". Following this line of logic, we would assume that when we call the data in our profile a "system" then all of it would function together. But does it by definition or even in reality?

How often have you heard someone say "Well I do a little grappling…a little stand-up…and I incorporated some FMA for weapons work"? My question is usually "Well that sounds great but does it all work together"? The person in general is somewhat nonplussed and doesn't really know how to answer.

For what you do to truly be a system, as per Webster, your "units" have to work together, or more importantly be common. The movements to deploy tools, strike, etc. need to be as close to one another in execution as they can efficiently be. Why, and moreover why should one strive for systemization?

Friday, September 21, 2012

MENTAL EDGE: Mental Training by Xen Nova

My friend Xen Nova is training to be a MMA fighter. He was asked: "When did you know you were ready to fight?"

Below is his article-length reply lol. 



This is entirely based on your psychology and what you need to do to prepare yourself. 

You say you're former SpecOps, did you see any action? Have you been in very high stress situations before? Most people haven't so the jitters are very new to them. If you're familiar with it then you know what to expect and how to prepare. 

The thing is there is always a moment where you DON"T WANT TO BE THERE... Where you wonder "What the f@ck am I doing!", but that is the point that decides whether you're a man or a b!tch and it's hard to replicate this in the gym. 

If you bust your nose the sparring stops you call a "chill-dog" rule, go clean up, and you're fine. But in a fight, you're going to get hit pretty f@cking hard and you NEED to know if you can just mentally carry yourself through that. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thoughts on "Techniques" vs "Fundamentals" and "Reading" by Joe Silvia

Techniques can only ever be the assemblage of principles. They are slaves to the fundamental principles. However, in this day and age instead of looking for the triangle point, the locking arm, power transfer, disrupting structure and posture, and reading your opponents intent and momentum, people force a technique on reality. The reality is a QB on a football line will give you the feedback and data you need to create a SPECIFIC solution to that SPECIFIC moment in time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

MMA: 2 Concepts for Throwing/Sweeping - "Locking Arm" and "PowerTransfer" by Joe Silvia

Exceprt from Spladdle Forum's Epic Clinch Thread:

UFC130 Frank Mir X Roy Nelson

Mir's throw was a Whizzer with a leg reap. He did not actually have two overhooks, but an overhook with elbow control.

Bear with me, as this little concept will deepen one's understanding of wrestling in specific, and grappling in general....whether standing or on the ground sweeping.

Your arms when throwing or sweeping (when on the ground) share one of two jobs. If you grasp this concept you will see that there really are only two set-ups/tie-ups for throws:

1. Locking Arm
2. Power Transfer

EVERY throw and sweep should have these and you'll notice when a throw/sweep fails, ONE of the reasons will be one of these elements is missing, as it they are FUNDAMENTALS. The other reason could be you ignoring what your opponent is doing or you aren't utilizing the triangle point. That's another thread.

One arm/hand is to LOCK and the other arm or hand is to transfer the power. It doesn't matter whether you are locking his wrist, elbow, shoulder, head, etc. It doesn't matter whether the arm transferring the power is using his wrist, elbow, shoulder, or head. They are ALL fundamentals. Of course, there is an hierarchy. A lock on a wrist won't be as secure as a lock on his shoulder (underhook) and transferring power using his wrist isn't as good as using his head (collar tie).

Whenever you are watching a throw, watch for the locking/securing and the power transfer. In the Mir GIF he has secured or locked Roy's left elbow with his torso and upper arm. He has "secured" Roy. His left arm is the power transfer and in this case he is using the whizzer. These two ARE NOT SEPARATE, but are one "entity." They are a union. A throw's chances of success are greatly lessened if one of these is missing.

The other FUNDAMENTAL aspect while you are jockeying for locking arms and power transfers is to use his momentum and draw him into HIS triangle point. You will notice Mir PERFECTLY pulls Nelson into his own triangle point. By using the leg reap/block, he does another FUNDAMENTAL: breaking an opponents structure. By having his upper body or "solar plexus" continue it's momentum, but bring Roy's "lunar plexus" or lower body to a stop, he disrupts Roy's structure.

The reason Roy didn't go heels over head is because one of Mir's fundamental's was missing: proper head position. He allowed Roy to win the battle of forehead position. It was a small sacrifice since he had the locking arm, power transfer and triangle point covered. However, if Mir had forehead position, Roy would have had his posture disrupted and went heels over head.

This little mini-seminar is what I teach people in their first week or two. I don't teach them techniques. I teach them the triangle point, locking arm and power transfer. I give them 2-3 examples of each and let them explore on their own. Within a week you will see a MASSIVE variety of throws. ONE WEEK. As opposed to hand feeding them a technique or two.

For other Roy Nelson-related posts, please check out:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

MMA: The Clinch - Fundamentals and Drills by Joe Silvia

Excerpt from Spladdle Forum's The Epic Clinch Thread:


I have generalized the clinch into a Fibbing Clinch & a Grappling Clinch. Generally speaking you are either holding and hitting or working for a takedown/sub. BOTH begin with the base camp philosophy....posture, facing, spacing, breathing, head position, etc. Let's merge these. With ANY tie up, you can either grapple or fibb. What do both have in common? Tie ups. So in essence, there is one clinch (tie ups).


Forehead position: Notice I don't say HEAD POSITION....if you say head position, fighters will use the top of their head.

Your forehead position is CRUCIAL for defense AND offense. EVERY position has to have a congruent forehead position (or more accurately a wedge).

  • Forehead to forehead (defensive)
  • Forehead to temple
  • Forehead to under the ear (pocket)
  • Forehead to sternum
  • Forehead to ribs or stomach

Monday, September 17, 2012

MMA: Guide to the MMA Shoot by Joe Silvia


A proper "shoot" in MMA seems to be a rare creature. I think I saw one of them on the Sci-Fi Channel's paranormal shows. :)

While I am just kidding, it does seem that the success of shooting has dropped considerably...and/or never was that high to begin with. A few of the reasons in my opinion, are that the shoot is being done by people new to wrestling and that wrestlers haven't modified the shoot for MMA. What we are seeing is people shooting that have recently learned the wrestling version or people shooting using the setups that have worked for them in Wrestling.

In addition, the separation of training into an antiquated 1 hour of Kickboxing/Muay Thai, 1 hour of Wrestling, and one hour of BJJ method, instead of stand-up, clinch and ground, is insuring that the "shoot" remains a Wrestling technique, since the setups don't involve striking. This method of training completely ignores the fundamental skillset of shooting within a striking environment. Setting it up from striking and while being struck at is a darn important skill.

Doing otherwise violates the training law of specificity. See the Spladdle's article on the training principle of specificity here.

So what is needed, is a shoot that is adapted, modified, altered to MMA. In other words, the shoot needs to evolve. It needs to be practical, and of a high enough percentage to be considered useful.

Friday, September 14, 2012

MMA: Utilizing Triangle Points when Striking by Joe Silvia

While many of you are familiar with using the triangle point in the clinch and the ground, you also can use it in the stand-up. If you have an opponent who is walking you down, if you strike his body INTO his triangle points, your punches will have slightly less power, but will have an off-balancing quality to them since you are projecting power into his break in balance. The possible outcomes of hitting into his triangle point:

  1. Stops him in his tracks momentarily. He needs to restart his momentum allowing you attack or evasion opportunities.
  2. Knocks him off-balance momentarily, and he needs to get back to base camp and renew his attack. A greater attack or evasion opportunity.
  3. Knocks him down, even if he is not hurt. This opens up a can of opportunity worms.

A way to amplify your damage is to strike AGAINST his triangle point at up to 90 degrees. This is where his balance is strongest, but it's also where he is most rooted to the ground. This means his body will absorb ALL the power being transmitted without moving. Lastly, the triangle is 3 dimensional. This is why uppercuts and knees are so damaging (or a schoolyard kick to the crotch)....because a person's head was being hit AGAINST the triangle point. Also, why we promote proper posture over being bent over. So to mix and match these with an opponent, you need your footwork. Don't just look at footwork as something you "do." It should have a purpose, a plan. One of the uses is to get an angle to strike into and against triangle points. In this GIF of James Toney vs. Roy Jones you see a fine example of punching INTO a triangle point.

Thanks to the unknown GIF maker.

In this image of Rocky Marciano vs. Jersey Joe Walcott you see a fine example of someone who was great at punching AGAINST triangle points.

Photo credit:

If you would like to learn more principles of striking, grappling, and wrestling as it applies to MMA, inbox us or come by the next work out. The first week is FREE!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

MMA: The Jab's Role in MMA by Joe Silvia

The jab is perhaps the most important tool in boxing and in MMA, however the set-ups, function and objectives with a jab are 180 degrees different.

The distance that is just right for you depending on your height, limb length and style and not so good for "him" is called a measure. In boxing you use two limbs and two tools to attack, however in MMA you have four limbs and have eight tools to attack with so the measure is different. In the street you have a ninth, the head.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Added an Email Subscription Option for my Readers


*Bows deeply*

I have been jammed with Real Life and had various computer issues, therefore, I've not posted in a timely fashion like I used to. For what it's worth, I'm getting back into the groove and hope you join me in my Sojourn in the Martial Arts, Self-Defense, and Life.

On the Sidebar to the right, you should see a widget "Subscribe by email". I figured providing this option may be better time management for you. Clicking that will bring you to a screen looking like this:

MMA: Some Stand-Up Fundamentals by Joe Silvia

My friend Joe Silvia is a MMA coach who wrote a series of articles. Joe is better known by his screenname of  "Ausgepicht" on a few Martial Arts forums. With his kind permission I will be putting his articles up on my site.

Without further ado, here is the first of his articles:  Some Stand-up Fundamentals.

I hope you find it useful in your training!

MMA is a game of inches and mistakes and never more so in the stand-up range. Because of this you MUST abide by your fundamentals. So what are some of the fundamentals when you are punching, kicking, elbowing and kneeing?

  • Stance (Posture) & Motion.
  • Base camp: centering with posture, alignment, movement, spacing, facing, etc.
  • Using a defensive motion (footwork, parry, cover, or head movement) after you are done punching.
  • ALWAYS stepping....when on offense and defense and with each strike.
  • ALWAYS moving your head and covers. Don't wait and try to time them with your opponents attack - it'll be too late.
  • Use your measure: know when to steal, leave, or gain it.
  • ALWAYS set-up your leg kicks with hands.
  • Always strike from where the tool is (Don't telegraph)
  • Power rises from the feet and waves to the hip. The hip acts like a tank turret and explosively twists. This COMPOUNDED power is then delivered to your strike and THROUGH the target. It doesn't start from the shoulders or you'll be an arm puncher. To make your strikes even more powerful, use your footwork to add your forward momentum. Also add the drop step. Time your opponent so he ADDS his momentum to the power. Lastly, strike INTO or THROUGH the triangle point. Don't let anyone tell you power is from the hips or arm muscles. Power isn't important. DAMAGE is. Use these principles to compound damage.
  • For someone who has excellent footwork or a lot of head movement, strike to where he is going or where he will be not where he is AT.
  • Throw punches in bunches.
  • Hierarchy of strikes: retroactive is when he strikes and you get hit or you successfully cover, parry or move your head THEN attack. Counteractive is when you parry or move your head AND attack at the same time. Pro-active is when you attack his preparation to attack you. As you gain more experience, awareness and skill you'll be able to use the last one more and more.
  • Fake shoots often. Keep him worried about throwing his hands.
  • Observe his ignorance of fundamentals and what he does wrong. People establish these in patterns and habits. Bringing a punch back slow and/or not back to guard. Throwing a right hand over your jab EVERY time. Kicking without setting it up. Standing still. Throwing "ones." When he establishes a pattern, make him pay for it.
  • One of the best times to strike is during transitions. After a failed shoot, after you break out of a clinch, or when he is in between beats in a combination. Use the Duck & Chuck or Bendo & Hendo for those guys who are avoiding your shoot or clinch.
  • If you throw a combo on someone they will attack right after. So one of the best times to shoot or get to the clinch is when you throw you last punch. You know he is going to throw a combo right after. To do that he has to plant his feet. Just what you want. This is called "Sticking the 'Possum."
  • ALWAYS step laterally after one step backward. You can't move backward faster than he can move forward so don't move backwards more than one step.
  • In mismatched leads, you want your foot outside your opponents and you want to jab with your back hand.
  • If he is reluctant to strike, or is a potshotter, or is super aggressive attack his limbs, nerve bundles and muscle bellies.
  • If he is a counter puncher, draw his counter with fakes and feints.
  • A tank or slow, powerful fighter can be beat by using speedy footwork and strikes. A faster opponent can be beat using timing.
  • ALWAYS break the rhythm and pattern of your footwork, combinations, and vary your attack. Establishing a pattern gives him the information he needs to successfully hurt you.
  • The jab is one of the best tools in boxing. However, in MMA you must be careful. The range or measure is different. Make sure you are NOT in long range when you use it, but in middle to close range. Closer the better.
  • Off-balance your opponent that is walking you down by hitting into his triangle point.
  • Be deceptive. Always hide your intentions.
These are SOME of the fundamental tactics. Don't worry about the information getting "out there" since it's the training method that makes these fundamentals autonomous that matters. Besides this is the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Notice everything is mentioned in a positive manner. The worst thing a coach can do is tell you a bunch of "nevers" and "don'ts." That puts you into a state "OK, I shouldn't do what am I supposed to do." It adds an EXTRA step in the thought process and if it's in a match or sparring, while you are thinking you will be looking up at the ceiling. A good coach will remind you what to do, not what not to do.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

IN MEMORY OF: Joe Lewis (March 7, 1944 – August 31, 2012)

Source pic:

Joe Lewis, a legend in the Martial Arts, passed away 8/31/12.

From Wiki :

In July 2011, he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Doctors told him that if he did nothing, he’d have six to eight weeks to live. On July 18, surgeons removed the tumor. “He had the best doctors, and they think they did a good job of getting it all out,” said Dennis Nackord, Lewis’ senior black belt.

Lewis died one year and forty-five days later, on the morning of August 31, 2012.

Voted as the greatest karate fighter all-time, he was a student of Bruce Lee's briefly. Truly a legend.

My sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and students. May he and Bruce be united and discussing the martial arts.

Here are some highlights from his fights:

And here is his fight vs Bill "Superfoot" Wallace, both in their 40's:

And his fight vs Chuck Norris:

For further info:



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