Wednesday, 29 April 2020

14 - One threat - multiple reactions

By Jethro Randolph/ April 2020

This video was taken a recently during lockdown.
It appears that people are queuing waiting for the store to open or that the store is limiting the number of customers inside.

The subject kicking the doors appears drunk though possibly there may be other factors driving his behaviour. The blocking of his wish to enter the store possibly for more alcohol is triggering typical scripted posturing type threats such as:
You don't know who I am!”
You don't know who you're messing with!”
Usually used by frustrated people wishing to make themselves and others believe that they are a more potent force than they really are.

Tesco staff here are following retail policy which is to “Lock 'em out and wait for the cops”.
This will be accompanied with the hope that the damage to the doors will not be so bad that they have to stay after work and wait for emergency glassiers/repairs.
Any store security (unlikely in smaller stores) will not usually engage and for good reason as they run the risk of losing their jobs if litigation ensues.
It's also not worth being stabbed in the neck over a customer kicking off.
So retailers will seek to limit liability as much as possible and leave it to the police.

The person filming on the phone is very close. Watching events through a screen can fool the brain into thinking that you are somehow removed from the threat you are filming.
Filming an aggressive person is raising your risk level by attracting their attention onto you especially if they are close. Your brain is divided between decision making and phone operation.
The aggressive subject's tantrum/ power display is rewarded with the capitulation of the camera man who shows perceived fear when he's approached for conflict and he now moves on to the other members of the audience he is playing to.

The next person is sitting on a wall and like camera man is caught out by how quickly someone can reach you if they are close by.
Motivations to not have moved away when the trouble started would include:
I'm at the front of the queue and I'll lose my place.
It's my right to sit here and I'm not moving
If I pretend to not notice he won't see me
Look at my phone and hope it will end

As soon as the person becomes closer you will be in a sitting position with an aggressive person very close and in a standing position above you.
You will increase your interest to them if you attempt to move while they are close, so the time to do that is now gone.

As the aggressive subject approaches the two men at the end of the path, the two men change position.
Two completely different reactions:
One moves quickly back and out of punch/ kick range.
The other who is already very angry at the situation now starts to challenge unconvincingly and moves forward.
Exchanges threats – conditional aggression.
Voice changes – sign of adrenaline.
This tactic doesn't work as the drunk goes for the challenge and moves forward.
The man's adrenaline has probably dropped just a little as rather than striking – he's now remembering “social distancing” and is now backing up into the street to get away.

As soon as the police arrive the drunk is docile and obedient.

Points to consider -

Don't film close.

Don't remain sitting close by – as soon as trouble kicks off , move away , that person will be coming your way and that may be your last chance. Don't worry about face, place in queue – this WILL be a hassle.

Aggressive fence/ bluff is a high risk tactic.
Don't issue threats unless you're ready to fight right now.

Background circumstances will drive people to aggression FAR quicker.
Threats to well being, resources and possible ability to feed family WILL trigger people to aggression far quicker.
Don't issue threats on camera and make any possible altercation like a fight rather than an attack.

Think ahead of time if you're willing to get assaulted for a video, fight a stranger, possibly contract a virus, get arrested and have no food because he angers you.

Friday, 24 April 2020

13 - Kicking while grappling

Here's a quick snippet from the W.Hock Hochheim training weekend back in March.

This clip shows the beginning of a skill development drill - in this case, kicking one subject at your six o'clock while grappling with a second.

Get's harder from here - pressure here is low.

Defender: Slavisa Mendebaba (Serbia)
12 O'Clock: Jethro Randolph (UK)
6 O'Clock: Simon Loveland (UK)

Monday, 20 April 2020

12 - New research on fight or flight response.

New research may cause a rethink of how the stress response is understood - Jethro Randolph

"The fight or flight response is thought to be triggered in part by the release of the hormone adrenaline.

But a new study from Columbia researchers suggests that bony vertebrates can’t muster this response to danger without the skeleton. The researchers found in mice and humans that almost immediately after the br
ain recognizes danger, it instructs the skeleton to flood the bloodstream with the bone-derived hormone osteocalcin, which is needed to turn on the fight or flight response.

“In bony vertebrates, the acute stress response is not possible without osteocalcin,” says the study’s senior investigator, GĂ©rard Karsenty, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Genetics & Development at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

“It completely changes how we think about how acute stress responses occur."
“The view of bones as merely an assembly of calcified tubes is deeply entrenched in our biomedical culture,” Karsenty says. But about a decade ago, his lab hypothesized and demonstrated that the skeleton has hidden influences on other organs.

The research revealed that the skeleton releases osteocalcin, which travels through the bloodstream to affect the functions of the biology of the pancreas, the brain, muscles, and other organs.

A series of studies since then has shown that osteocalcin helps regulate metabolism by increasing the ability of cells to take in glucose, improves memory, and helps animals run faster with greater endurance.

Why does bone have all these seemingly unrelated effects on other organs?

“If you think of bone as something that evolved to protect the organism from danger—the skull protects the brain from trauma, the skeleton allows vertebrates to escape predators, and even the bones in the ear alert us to approaching danger—the hormonal functions of osteocalcin begin to make sense,” Karsenty says. If bone evolved as a means to escape danger, Karsenty hypothesized that the skeleton should also be involved in the acute stress response, which is activated in the presence of danger.

If osteocalcin helps bring about the acute stress response, it must work fast, in the first few minutes after danger is detected.

In the new study, the researchers presented mice with predator urine and other stressors and looked for changes in the bloodstream. Within two to three minutes, they saw osteocalcin levels spike.

Similarly, the researchers found that osteocalcin also surges in people when they are subjected to the stress of public speaking or cross-examination.

When osteocalcin levels increased, heart rate, body temperature, and blood glucose levels in the mice also rose as the fight or flight response kicked in.

In contrast, mice that had been genetically engineered so that they were unable to make osteocalcin or its receptor were totally indifferent to the stressor. Karsenty says. “Without osteocalcin, they didn’t react strongly to the perceived danger,” Karsenty says. “In the wild, they’d have a short day.”

As a final test, the researchers were able to bring on an acute stress response in unstressed mice simply by injecting large amounts of osteocalcin.

The findings also may explain why animals without adrenal glands and adrenal-insufficient patients—with no means of producing adrenaline or other adrenal hormones—can develop an acute stress response.

Among mice, this capability disappeared when the mice were unable to produce large amounts of osteocalcin.

“This shows us that circulating levels of osteocalcin are enough to drive the acute stress response,” says Karsenty."

Link to study paper here:
Info, quotes from Columbia University Irving Medical Centre
Stroud, UK

Sunday, 19 April 2020

11 - Hock Hochheim: Fighting, is checkers not chess.

Hock writes:
"Fighting, is checkers not chess.
(Lessons learned come from arts, sports, war and crime. Decipher. Filter. Cleanse).
Lessons learned come from arts, sports, war and crime. Decipher.
It's hard doing these "one quote-one photo" things. But I would like to add, if you love doing an art, and you know it's an art, you know where it fits in the big picture, and you are happy? I too, am very happy for you. Have fun. Just...just...know..."

Monday, 13 April 2020

09 - Violence and Virtue Signaling by Jackie Bradbury

"What happens when we start mixing virtual signaling with the real (or imagined) risk of violence?" Jackie Bradbury.

 We've spoken many times in workshops about the dangers of intervening in violent or aggressive situations - here's an excellent article by Jackie Bradbury from her martial arts blog: "The Stick Chick"...

Jethro Randolph

Click here to go to Jackie's article

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

06 - Fighting for your life: Sport vs survival

Thanks to FN practitioner Toby for sending this in.

MMA fighter Anthony Smith descibes a violent home invasion that he and his family survived.
There are many learning points here as he describes very honestly the huge difference in fighting someone in a sporting context as opposed to fighting for your life against an unknown person/ persons in the middle of the night who may or may not be armed.

05 - Igor's Full-Body Functional Workout

Great 5 min full body workout from FN: Serbia instructor Igor Grujic with an emphasis on fist alignment for bareknuckle striking - Jeth

Igor writes:
"You don't need a gym filled with equipment to build serious muscle, strength, and conditioning. All you need is a plan. The workout is tough and intense, but it’s also efficient. 
Go hard for five minutes straight. 
This workout is good for improving the performance of the whole body,people who want to improve their appearance and for people who deal with Self-Defense and Combat. 
 Complexes are great because they force you to complete a high-volume workout in a short amount of time. 
No rests until you’ve finished a Circle! 
If You want, You can Rest 2 minutes and repeat 1 more Circle. 
Workout Structure: 4 exercises in 1 Circle: 
The Gorilla Crawl 
Monkey Burpee 
10 Punches Maximum Repetitions in 5 min"

 SOKO Website: 

Friday, 3 April 2020

04 - Lun's 8 Count Drill

Lun's 8 Count Drill

Here's a UC skill set from our friend and Force Necessary practitioner / Martial (FMA/ JKD) veteran Lun Lok.

It consists of:
Left jab,
Right cross
Left uppercut
Right cross
Left knee
Right knee
Two hand shove
Rear roundhouse kick

You can develop this into a great 15 mins conditioning workout by working it to 3 minute rounds with 1 minute rest breaks, adding work as you go:

General 5 – 10 mins warm up
3 mins jab cross
1 min rest
3 mins - jab/ cross/ left uppercut/ right cross
1 min rest
3 mins – jab / cross / left uppercut / right cross/ left knee / right knee
1 min rest
3 mins – jab / cross / left uppercut / right cross / left knee / right knee / shove / rear roundhouse.
Cool down

During rest periods DO NOT STOP MOVING – jog or walk on the spot. 
If you feel out of breath, use your breath pattern (burst pattern) until breathing and heart rate slow.

This pattern can be used as:

A partner drill – with or without mitts. 
The shove gives the partner time to place the mitts/pads for the kick.

A solo drill – throw the strikes into the air.

A heavy bag drill – the uppercut might be replaced with another strike – eg an up jab – play with it and see what works for you.

BOB Dummy – play with different entries to knees – centre neck clinch or side clinch.


Check out Lun's blog here:

Contact Jethro Randolph (Stroud, UK) at the website below:

Thursday, 2 April 2020

03 - Get Up Drill - part two.

Are there any exercises that mimic this skill

 Yes, a resistance exercise called a “Turkish Get Up” ( from wrestling) trains similar muscle groups and can be used for either fitness or, with the addition of heavy weights, for strength.

It's fantastic for pretty much the whole body and will hit the core muscles and shoulders really well.

Here is an example of this movement. Kettlebells are great for this but a dumbbell works 2nd best – or a backpack with some bottles of water will do if you have neither – try it out and see what you can do – as always remember to train right and left side!
Idea: Alternate days of training just the skill (drill 2) with days of Weighted Turkish get ups.

Idea: Alternate a week of Drill 2 for fitness/ flexibility with a week of Turkish get ups for strength.

59 - Mindset - On winning

  - quote from Bob Knight. It's always great to get mail from a trainee that has the dedication to train on their own and really commit ...