Sunday, July 12, 2020

Spy Game S01E09 - "Lorne and Max Drop the Ball" (Jul 12, 1997)




Posting the 9th episode of Spy Game which premiered 23 years ago on this date of July 12th. Enjoy!



Summary


It is not a good time if your chosen profession is spy. The Cold War has ended, and spies are no longer in high demand. While ex-Secret Agent Lorne Cash is trying to determine what to do next, he is requested by the President to assist the Emergency Counter Hostilities Organization. A young rookie member of ECHO, Maxine 'Max' London, is assigned to be his partner. This late era spy must now become accustomed to the modern era "Spy Game".




Synopsis

Lorne and Max are tasked to deliver the nuclear football (briefcase used to launch the nukes) to POTUS but Tony Poll's bumbling gang ambushes them and steals it.








Other Spy Game episodes posted:





Sunday, July 05, 2020

Spy Game S01E08 - "And That About Concludes Our Session" (Jul 5, 1997)




Posting the 8th episode of Spy Game which premiered 23 years ago on this date of July 5th. Enjoy!



Summary


It is not a good time if your chosen profession is spy. The Cold War has ended, and spies are no longer in high demand. While ex-Secret Agent Lorne Cash is trying to determine what to do next, he is requested by the President to assist the Emergency Counter Hostilities Organization. A young rookie member of ECHO, Maxine 'Max' London, is assigned to be his partner. This late era spy must now become accustomed to the modern era "Spy Game".




Synopsis

Dr. David Lynk, a psychotic former psychiatrist with a multiple personality disorder, breaks out of the lunatic asylum bent on murdering his former patients.








Other Spy Game episodes posted:





Sunday, June 28, 2020

Spy Game S01E07 - "What Family Doesn't Have Its Ups and Downs" (Jun 28, 1997)




Posting the 7th episode of Spy Game which premiered 23 years ago on this date of June 28th. Enjoy!



Summary


It is not a good time if your chosen profession is spy. The Cold War has ended, and spies are no longer in high demand. While ex-Secret Agent Lorne Cash is trying to determine what to do next, he is requested by the President to assist the Emergency Counter Hostilities Organization. A young rookie member of ECHO, Maxine 'Max' London, is assigned to be his partner. This late era spy must now become accustomed to the modern era "Spy Game".




Synopsis

Lorne and Max escort half a billion dollars in relief funds to an earthquake disaster area. Lorne's traitorous brother, Jim, turns up with plans to steal the money.








Other Spy Game episodes posted:





Sunday, June 21, 2020

Spy Game S01E06 - "What, Micah Worry?" (Jun 21, 1997)




Posting the 6th episode of Spy Game which premiered 23 years ago on this date of June 21st. Enjoy!



Summary


It is not a good time if your chosen profession is spy. The Cold War has ended, and spies are no longer in high demand. While ex-Secret Agent Lorne Cash is trying to determine what to do next, he is requested by the President to assist the Emergency Counter Hostilities Organization. A young rookie member of ECHO, Maxine 'Max' London, is assigned to be his partner. This late era spy must now become accustomed to the modern era "Spy Game".




Synopsis

When Micah is fired for leaking top-secret military technology to arm dealers, Lorne and Max can't believe the charges and investigate. They discover that Micah has gone undercover to learn the identity of the real traitor.








Other Spy Game episodes posted:





Thursday, June 18, 2020

How Bruce Lee Trained His Quick Kill by Badger Johnson



I've had another new insight into Bruce Lee and his ability and training.

If you want to be the 'best' at the one thing that martial arts is supposed to be able to do, what three things would you spend time developing?

And it's not 'movie martial arts' I'm talking about.

The one thing that martial arts is supposed to be able to do is to kill someone rapidly. The truth is Bruce Lee trained SPECIFICALLY to be able to kill someone in 1-2 seconds.

1. Having specific targets and apparatus that allow one to explode full power into them and generate the real ability to do a shock-power kill shot. James Yimm Lee built him these gadgets.



Very few people train exactly what is needed to do a quick kill AND test it out on specialty equipment.

People hit things, hit other people but there is gear, rules, non-specific stuff. You need super feedback. Just how hard does that hit? How fast? How easy to block? Can it penetrate or are you guessing? Gotta take all guesswork out and make it 'sure'.

Bruce Lee training on a gadget James Yimm Lee built for him.

Obviously you can't actually kill people but you could come close with specific gear as to what is needed.

Lee's method was to overtrain. Dan Inosanto has said that Lee was training to poke his fingers through a thin steel drink can so that he can puncture a person's body, eyes, neck, etc.

2. Having the ability to generate 'kill intent'. This is key and is where I failed until I made myself a 'kill word'. Lee specifically trained with a hypnotist (interestingly James DeMile) to develop a self-hypnotic kill word such that when he thought it he could go from 'sitting on the couch mellow' to wanting to rip your head off and drop kick it out the window. A kill word is ESSENTIAL and anyone who plans to do hand-to-hand self-defense (which I don't) should have one and have practice calling it up. We see Lee doing this on screen when he goes from normal to demonic.

Badger Johnson:  "You can see him go from near-peaceful
to sudden rage right on screen and you can't fake that."

3. The ability to stage or set things up so that you are in charge of the situation and can put the opponent in the least favorable position. Lee was a master of staging things from having a lot of charm and being able to lure you in to his paradigm, to being able to hold back until the last minute making the opponent think they are safe and then suddenly hitting demonic mode and exploding into them so they have no chance.

Smiling with charm to disarm and then suddenly explode in demonic mode.


He did these three things which I don't think anyone else did (besides Sonny Umpad - which people talk about his 'dark side').

Now, going back to what I said, NONE of those people specifically trained to have a 1-2 second kill capability, which included developing a 'kill word', and having machines specifically built to allow him to train those skills, which nobody else was doing. He also understood how to set things up to his benefit and he knew how to lure people in with charm and personality. He also had a temper, which he knew about, and he had some trouble controlling it.

None of these other people worked with a hypnotist to develop a kill-word. None of these people trained to kill their opponents in a matter of an instant. But you have to have the right venue and that is not an octagon and padded gloves. It's not a large area where people are surrounding someone in a circle.

What Lee could not do was the majority of things we saw in his movies. He couldn't fight 10 guys in a circle (realistically) and beat them all. He couldn't jump up into trees. He had little to no acrobatic skills (that was his stunt double Yuen Wah), and he didn't train to kill or hit people (realisitcally) with things like the nunchuks. That was all stage fighting.

Yuen Wah doubling for Bruce Lee's acrobatics in Enter the Dragon.

Most of what he did in his movies was stage fighting, just like when you see old time fencing movies, that's all stage fighting.

Chuck Norris was good, but he was not Bruce Lee good. But he did do a lot of tournament fighting and he might have been able to outpoint Lee in a more-or-less friendly sparring match.

So there it is right out there in plain sight. And for years people missed it because...well because they're not homicidal maniacs.

In other words, Chuck might have been a good kicker, a good tournament fighter and even served in the military but he did not train to be able to really kill someone, with very specific methods in 1-2 seconds. Lee did.

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."
~Bruce Lee
Again, amazing how most of the stuff is right out there in plain sight but we were not seeing it. Same thing with the comment that Jesse Glover and others had made that when someone showed Lee something and he came back in a day or two, having done 10,000 to 100,000 repetitions of that move and he was better at it than the guy who showed it to him. We only see him in kind of posed, passive looking pictures of him throwing a finger jab. But in reality in demon mode working that machine which James Lee built would look quite frightening.


© Badger Johnson



Please check out Badger Johnson's other essays:


Sunday, June 14, 2020

Spy Game S01E05 - "You Just Can't Trust Anyone These Days" (Jun 14, 1997)




Posting the 5th episode of Spy Game which premiered 23 years ago on this date of June 14th. Enjoy!



Summary


It is not a good time if your chosen profession is spy. The Cold War has ended, and spies are no longer in high demand. While ex-Secret Agent Lorne Cash is trying to determine what to do next, he is requested by the President to assist the Emergency Counter Hostilities Organization. A young rookie member of ECHO, Maxine 'Max' London, is assigned to be his partner. This late era spy must now become accustomed to the modern era "Spy Game".




Synopsis

When a four-star general hypnotizes Max, turning her into an assassin, Lorne and Micah must prevent the President's murder, capture Max and save her.








Other Spy Game episodes posted:





Monday, June 08, 2020

Fighting Fit Part 2 - The Seven Essentials by Badger Johnson



This essay is about the seven essential abilities (plus intangibles) of being fighting fit. It is a follow-up to Not Martial Trained, But Fighting Fit.



Consistency, Frequency, Duration, Intensity, Sustainability, Specificity, Adaptability plus Intangibles 


Consistency
Including the ability to have enough interest and ease that it can be done as a daily activity and not lose appeal.

Frequency
Including the ability to recover and do active recovery such that taking days off is not really necessary. In addition the ability to do it twice a day (such as riding to work, or doing two-a-day workouts) is easy and interesting.

Duration
Within a range duration can be as low as 30 minutes, and as long as 90 minutes but after about 45 minutes, there are diminishing returns with regard to training effect and recovery, as well as risking becoming a chore or onerous.

Intensity
It’s well known among bikers and joggers that there is a ’no-man’s-land’ in training intensity where you are working too hard to allow good recovery and enjoyment or progress that isn’t available through frequency and duration (long, steady distance), and an optimal point for improving VO2max or burst which only needs to be done at infrequent (but consistent) intervals. In addition there is a ‘pacing’ component where intensity and recovery are modulated. Burst, recover, burst, recover while trying to decrease rest and increase tempo or intensity or speed. Various tricks you can do on a bike are things like moto-pacing where you ride behind a car and then break out and try to keep up that speed. This is something you can’t really do while jogging and it allows you to adapt to the higher workload by gaining experience and increasing expectations.


"One of the most important things ... is that an activity has to be sustainable." 


Sustainability
One of the most important things that allows the above attributes especially consistency and frequency is that an activity has to be sustainable. There is the short term sustainability of an activity often perceived as fun, and the long-term sustainability which includes the ease and enjoyment and lack of injury periods.

Some people have good sustainability in jogging but if they are not biomechanically able to do that over a long period without breakdown of joints and connective tissues, and the pounding of the feet take in this medium impact activity, it can’t be sustained well into advanced age as well as cycling or circuit training or even swimming. Interestingly swimming, though of high value in many areas has some downsides with repetitive injury and various issues with swimmer’s ear and problems with chlorine eye problems. In an ideal setup, a routine which included an indoor private pool without other people using it, a jogging track with high tech materials and a bike riding course without the problems of cars or other foot traffic, one could do 30-40 on the bike, 30 minutes of light jogging or maybe repeat intervals for 15 minutes followed by a swim of 300 meters and have a great sustainable routine that might not take more than an hour a day, where the intervals and swimming are only done 3x a week with biking being the mainstay.

Just like cardio-dancing an activity with high sustainability in the short term, it draws you back in so that you're eager to sweat and get over the burn and keep doing it. So Sustainability has two or more components. Short term, means compelling, joy producing and long term means you can recover and do it again every day. I talk abut how you should measure your activity in terms of 'sessions'. So I could do 330 sessions per year easily which is 26 days a month plus three weeks of two a day and barring weather, get almost twice as many sessions than a 3x a week faithful weight trainer, and weight training day after day is boring over 10 years.

Specificity
One of the important things about sustainability might be that it be tied to a sport or a fun activity such that they interconnect and support each other. If you have a favorite sport such as martial arts, tennis, handball, basketball, skiing, horseback riding or even group games, and you find it is improved and enhanced with some base training it adds to the ability to sustain it over a lifetime.


Photo credit:  Shutterstock/Active Stock

Adaptability
The activity has to be something that can adapt to your lifestyle, your time constraints, availability of the activity (good roads or good skiing slopes or good running areas) and have that important element of safety. It’s important to consider that not all people thrive at the same level at an activity or at base training in general. Some people live to surf and will do everything and anything to get out there on that wave. Similarly some will find that downhill skiing gives a similar impulse or drive. Some of that might be due to biochemical differences or genetic gifts. (See the essay, The Safecracker and the Fighter, on high risk activities and being dopamine-based receptors vs serotonin-based receptors.)



Intangibles and essentials - by intangibles I don’t mean hard to define but things which are part of a support system, helping recovery and defining motivation and mental aspects.

Motivation - training partners. Drive, energy, urgency, payoff, high risk/low risk individuals.

Diet and tracking - diet requires good food selection, a purpose and plan and that requires some tracking of foods and bodyweight. Along with this comes intelligent use of vitamins and supplements.

Belief in your system and yourself - part of stress reduction and also motivation is that you have a belief in the efficacy and value of your training systems, while at the same time being able to move and transition as required. Obviously going out and doing someone else’s system is not as beneficial as being able to design and understand your own system. Part of this and of motivation is learning how to self-coach, learning what motivates you and what is de-motivating.

Mental aspects - moving meditation, breathing and self-affirmations.

Non-injurious - one of the most important parts of an activity has to be a low potential for injury.

Low, high and no-impact activities - due to the importance of maintaining bone density, we must include some medium impact activities and not focus only on low impact, like cycling and swimming and rowing and doing an elliptical. Sometimes one’s sport serves this purpose sometimes a fun activity can help, and sometimes you have to be creative or just find it in walking or stair climbing.

Photo credit:  Shutterstock/BigFootSLV

Rest and sleep - we improve with rest and the output of human growth hormone comes during periods of 45 minute naps in a dark room.

Research and development - keeping up on the research available to allow improvements in routine, rest, nutrition or equipment. It’s important to know when you should replace your equipment (shoes) and have the right fit in things (bike fit).

Cost - the best activities have low cost or one time costs. Some, such as gym memberships, fees, lift tickets, expensive gear can have an impact.

Breathing - one of the crucial aspects is the ability to breathe. You can use nose only breathing to center yourself and improve positive affirmations, you can use breath-hold methods to rapidly improve and test cardiovascular ability.

Testing - testing would include having an event, such as timed course, a fun run, a race, or an activity (such as swimming underwater for distance). It’s important to explore periodic testing as well as learning how to taper an activity so you can experience supercompensation.

Photo credit:  Shutterstock/Rey Borlaza

An aside about cardio, when I was in my late teens and was in good cardio shape, and worked at a pool, I would test my ability to swim laps underwater. The best I could do without training it (just tried it a few times) was 2.2 laps in a 25 yard pool. Olympic pools are 50 meters or 162 feet, versus about 165 feet with two turnarounds (which uses up energy). In my 60s I did another test, coming off of a lot of biking and elliptical work, and I did repeats of two laps in a pool or one lap of an Olympic pool we have here in Westmoreland. I was happy to see I could meet the kind of aerobic ability I had (relatively) as a kid. Of course aerobic and anaerobic and burst are used in fighting/rolling/sparring, so on the bike, with hills and sprints you get both types.

Base-building - why? - Base training gives you the energy, the biochemical traits, the drive and motivation to pursue all other activities. It gives a sense of well-being partly due to reduction of rumination and use of moving meditation and partly due to the release of good neurohormones. The best way to assure motivation is to have the energy to get up and go train and that comes with base building.

© Badger Johnson



Please check out Badger Johnson's other essays:



Sunday, June 07, 2020

Spy Game S01E04 - "Dead and Gone Honey" (Jun 7, 1997)




Posting the 4th episode of Spy Game which premiered 23 years ago on this date of June 7th. Enjoy!



Summary


It is not a good time if your chosen profession is spy. The Cold War has ended, and spies are no longer in high demand. While ex-Secret Agent Lorne Cash is trying to determine what to do next, he is requested by the President to assist the Emergency Counter Hostilities Organization. A young rookie member of ECHO, Maxine 'Max' London, is assigned to be his partner. This late era spy must now become accustomed to the modern era "Spy Game".




Synopsis

Lorne and Max investigate when two dead former agents are found with all their molars removed. They are assisted by retired agent Honey Trapp who teaches Max the art of being a sex kitten to extract information from distracted male targets.








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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

What is Mobile Kicking? by Badger Johnson



What is Mobile Kicking?

The main difficulty in landing a strike, getting an entry, and even getting a takedown is the ability to quickly close the gap between the attacker and the opponent.

To do so is also an opportunity for the opponent to increase the gap as they sense an attempt. The opponent can do one of three things. He can jam, he can lean back, or he can sidestep. He can also block which is less reliable since it requires almost perfect understanding of the angle and attack being attempted.

This essay will describe the method of closing the gap known as ‘mobile kicking’.

The components of mobile kicking can be broken down into a few components:

  1. The dynamic chamber
  2. Unweighting
  3. The subtle skip step


The purpose of the dynamic chamber is to begin the attack in a non-telegraphic manner, while not disclosing the exact target of any subsequent kick or other attack. The chamber may result in a subsequent kicking attack or it may involve a fake which is followed by a hand strike or even a penetration step to a takedown.

Unweighting is the movement involved in reducing the friction with the ground by slightly lifting the weight either by a slight dip or a slight rise in the body’s center of gravity. It’s most often seen in skinning as the skier will unweight to get the body weight off of the turning ski, allowing carving a turn.

In sparring it reduces the friction with the ground of the standing leg allowing a sliding forward which is impelled by the motion of the dynamic chamber (lifting the lead knee).

The skip step happens not as a conscious movement but as a result of the dynamic chambering and the unweighting, and allows the standing leg to slide forward very quickly in either a straight line or a vector off of the angulation of the body, and causes a near instantaneous closing of the gap, disguised behind the subtle distraction of either a hand feint or fake and the dynamic chamber (which can be a fake or a feint as well).

You can most easily see the procedure by watching the GIFs of Michael Jai White:

Sidekick realtime

Slowmo sidekick

Spinning back kick realtime

Slowmo spinning back kick

Above GIFs made from "Michael Jai White on Covering Distance (part 2) full frame and slower"

You can also see it in the below 2 GIFs from this video of Raymond Daniels:

Realtime

Slowmo

and an early version in these 2 GIFs (1st, 3rd and 4th kicks) by Bruce Lee against Bob Wall in Return of the Dragon:

Real-time of the 4 kicks in this scene

Slow motion on the initiation of the 1st, 2nd and 4th kicks


Now that you know what mobile kicking is, the next time you see it used you will be like:





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Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Happy New Year 2020!





Happy New Year my Friends!

May you and your loved ones find Health, Happiness and Wealth in 2020!

Any resolutions for 2020? Please leave a comment.


Very truly yours in the MA and SD,

~ Stickgrappler

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