If you like this try these:
|Japanese Donut Heads||Cute vs Sexy||The best Star Wars behind the scenes yet||Making Friends in Japan||The architectural greatness of Watanabe-San|
August 31, 2014
August 28, 2014
Reading is really great, even for warriors. Aside from really upping your chances of passing the ASVAB or puzzling over the ingredients in your MRE entree for the hundredth time while on fire-watch, it also gives the warrior (or wanna-be-warrior; it’s all good; Own it.) the ability to read the tales of other badasses. This is good; this is basket leave good. We gave you the required reading list before here, but now it’s time for an update. So dig up that Amazon.com gift card your ex-girlfriend gave you on that less than momentous birthday which you then callously threw into your junk draw and prepare to get your sweet revenge; you can finally stick it to the woman who made you a cuckold (probably with an operator, by the way) using the one tool she would least expect from you: LITERACY. Prepare for Man books.
Although he’s a medical doctor and a good one at that, he easily could have been a Russian commando or a professional MMA star. These seemingly mutually exclusive personality types are what most attract me to his character and have made THE OATH: A SURGEON UNDER FIRE something I had to pick up over and over in the last six years.
Both a sambo world champion and a black belt in Judo, Baiev was born in Chechnya in 1963. Influenced by his father who was a Soviet Army veteran and a herbalist and his sisters, all nurses, Baiev turned his back on a promising sports career in Russia to follow his dream of becoming a doctor. He eventually became a successful plastic surgeon. Although his motivation here was to help children with birth defects, defying his Muslim upbringing, he had a wildly successful practice based around elective cosmetic surgery.
His resolve and his commitment to his oath, the Hippocratic oath, were then tested beyond all comparable measures. Shit got real, real quick and Baiev found himself operating on anyone and anything put in front of him in some incredibly harsh circumstances. The Soviets (I just like calling them that) destroyed the hospital he was working from in Grozny and then in his home town of Alkhan Kala he founded a clinic out of his own pocket and quickly found himself to be the only doctor for the 80,000 residents of five villages and over 10,000 refugees as the war raged on. At one point, this man performed 67 amputations and 8 brain surgeries all within a 48 hour period.
Built Hard. Western surgeons perfect their rhinoplasty; Khassan Baiev perfected performing limb amputations via arm bar.
The Oath is a deep look into the Chechen conflict from a different point of view, something fresh and untainted by the Russian propaganda spin portraying every Chechen as a Kalashnikov toting terrorist. It’s a very serious story about a man who did all he could and kept the one thing that matter most to him; his word. That and amputations.
These days the SEALs are the darlings of the Liberal media and I get it. SEALs and the whole image is sexy: forever on a beach, jumping out of a plane or just generally hanging around Hollywood. Naval Special Warfare has bedazzled the American public with books, websites, movies and more. We get it: SEALs are “Special”.
So, why then do I have such a painful boner for 1st Special Operations Detachment Delta (or is it CAG, I mean ACE no, no I think it’s “The Unit”?) Why indeed. Is it biased from my family lineage? Maybe. Is it the lack of media coverage surrounding Delta? Could be. Is it that Chuck Norris is somehow involved in all this? Surely. But there must be more. Perhaps the “more” has to do with some basic cultural difference that exist between the Navy elite and Army elite.
What are the cultural differences? Well, first off let’s be clear, I was a Marine so I am talking out of my ass. I have never been in a Tier one unit although I have friends who have/are. By chance and proximity, the people in the community I met during my time-in were all SEALs and I had a decent look at what they generally are about (Sleep Eat And Lift anyone?). Here’s a hint: they’re not fuckin’ around. So, I have had very little exposure to, aside from some training with the Rangers, Army Special operations. But that’s the point. Haney does a really good job of explaining his move from the 75th Ranger regiment to Delta and the entire selection process required. As opposed to the SEAL’s “Hooyah!” team-building BUD/S gut-check style, selection for “The Unit” is modeled after Britain’s SAS. Nobody tries to pump you up yet, equally nobody is trying to fail you. You are just a number in the system;you’re a nobody until you’re a somebody; just some digits. The training evolutions and challenges are designed to isolate the candidate and force him to tap deeply into his own reserves; you haven’t slept for days, you’ve been ruck marching alone for 12 hours and you have no idea how far you have to go or how quickly; do you quit?
This kind of quite torture and the self-reflection it forces appeals to me big time and impresses me to no end. Haney manages to get into your head while explaining what was going on in his. It’s intense.
So, after telling everyone how much I prefer to swing on Delta balls next we have….
Say “Seal Team Six” in a crowded bar and ten people will probably tell you they know a guy who knows a guy who is “with six”. They probably also know a guy who has been in 100 street fights and once got hit by a truck, and I sweartogod, flew 200 feet. But that is the popularity that has come to surround the once clandestine unit within the unit, SEAL TEAM Six. With more merch available than Fubu and more media coverage than the Oscars, “Six” has become America’s go to glory boys and we’re all gorging on the tanned and toned freedom buffet.
Howard E. Wasdin is a former member of “Six” and a sniper to boot. I like this man already. Part of the old breed, he goes into detail in SEAL TEAM SIX talking about both his time in training, selection and in combat. Wasdin graduated from BUD/S class 143 and what’s more, he attended Marine Scout Sniper school. Kill?
Aside from all the moto flying all over this book, what really did it for me was the fact that Wasdin was not only involved in “Operation Gothic Serpent” or “Black Hawk Down”, but was a damned hero. One of only four navy SEALs involved in the operation, Wasdin received a Silver star for valor and a purple heart after being wounded three times and nearly losing his leg.
If you’ve read BLACK HAWK DOWN or even just seen the film, this book really expands on that bit of military/world history with a very keen and well detailed perspective courtesy of Wasdin and his co-author Templin.
What is most boner inducing however, is the fact that these days he owns and runs Absolute Precision Chiropractic. So, he can align your spine or he can turn your head into a canoe before you hear the round go off.
It’s the total package really.
Sometimes the balls are so plentiful and the Testosterone so piquant it’s next too impossible not to become pregnant with war-hammer triplets. This is what happens to me every time I hear the name David Goggins, but it also happened when I read Dick Couch’s book Chosen Soldier: The making of a Special Forces Warrior.
I here you asking yourself “How is it Dick Couch can so effortlessly have sex with my mom?” Well, first of all, his name is Dick Couch; as in, “Yeah baby, sit on my….”; It’s a no brainer. Second, he’s a former Navy SEAL himself. In this outing, Couch (DICK COUCH, BITCH) ventures balls deep (I can’t help it!) and reports on, in detail, what it takes to be an Army Green Beret. Low and behold; it takes a lot. These guys go into places you and I can’t find on Google maps and they spend a long time there teaching other people how to war.
Chosen Soldier is full of lingo and names and places that will resonate with someone who has either had experience in the SF community or has simply spent enough time in its periphery. I grew up in the same house with a Green Beret and although much changes in the way of lingo, much does not. In addition, Couch has a very particular style of writing which seems appropriate for the topic: MANLY. However, one review, here, choose to describe it as follows:
Macho prose full of praise for would-be warriors and the men who train them, seemingly designed to enthrall young men, boost recruitment and please the army.
His name isn’t “Adrian Sunset”; it’s Dick fucking Couch. This is a man who impregnates all your female relatives every-time he shows I.D. at the liquor store. A man who skips “morning wood” and wakes up your wife at 0500 with Morning Steel. How was he supposed to write a book about warriors who perform C-sections with survival knives in order to give birth to freedom and McDonalds in every shit hole the world has yet to produce?
This isn’t a baby shower; it’s the fucking Green Berets. Act accordingly.
Yes and no. This time, I’m mostly going to nut hug the author, Brandon Webb.
The Red Circle is a pretty good book. But it isn’t on the top of this list because of that. It’s here more because as an individual, I just like Brandon Webb. The guys life story is not what I think most people would guess if all one knew is that he was a Naval Special operator. In addition to that I’m a member on SOFREP (comped, didn’t pay. Ha.) and I listen to the SOFREP podcast every week and have commented on some of the content they have posted over the last few months. I don’t agree with everything that goes up on there however, compared to other “veteran community” sites like Havok Jounal for example, I think SOFREP is a bit more balanced and takes various factors into their reporting and conclusions. Less “Fucking kill them all now,” and more “We’ll kill them if necessary but perhaps there’s a better solution because we can’t just keep killing everyone?” Webb’s conclusion that America is in a much worse position now than before the Iraq invasion and the fact that America’s stock around the world has dramatically decreased is intelligent and shows incite a lot of military personnel seem to not employ, unfortunately. I have been watching the free fall from outside of the USA for over ten years and Webb’s assertion is dead on target.
Webb is a keen business man as well. He saw an opportunity to create a platform where civilian cake eaters, me included at this point, can come rub elbows with SF guys from all services and get that vicarious hit off that association and it seems to be wildly successful. Not unlike the success of things like SEALFIT, GORUCK and EXTREME SEAL EXPERIENCE, SOFREP and it’s satellites allow that glimpse into a subculture that most people would never otherwise be privy to. The thing that seems to make SOFREP doubly successful though is the sites ability to drum-up support for veteran related issues as well as being entertaining, even to the layman.
Who would have thought some fucking Canadian raised by hippies would have done all this, made it through BUD/S, gone to war and trained some of America’s most infamous marksmen?
Yes, he was born in the land of Pepporoni and Moose; Québécois and Trailer Park Boys. And raised by hippies to boot! Thing is, it’s hard for a misfit to not like a misfit and Brandon Webb seems to surely be that. After moving to the USA he spent years living on the family boat until his father kicked him off some place in the south pacific. Yes: his old man just kicked him off the boat in the south pacific.
After making his way back to the USA he eventually got into the Navy and after a few long years in the fleet, some of you have been there, he finally got his shot at BUD/S.
This is where I really started to connect. Webb shows up at BUD/S and is immediately singled out as “that guy”. As he explains in the book, in the teams, being “that guy” means you are the fuck up. Pure and simple. You’re the guy who can’t hump the weight or the guy who can’t account for his rounds or the guy who didn’t dummy cord his NVGs or the guy who can’t get up the rope. You’re the weak link, the fuck up, the one who the boys in charge are going to give hell to. I’ve been this guy more than once and somehow I absolutely revel in it; nothing motivates me like people assuming I’m going to quit. Webb seems to be the same way. He got immediate and intensive negative attention from the training cadre at BUD/S that didn’t let up all through first phase. Yet, he refused to DOR and ring the bell. He pushed through and made it work. And that’s just the first quarter of the book. Get it in print AND get the audio book as Webb did some cool stuff here and added commentary about himself, the book and some famous operators you likely will never hear any place else.
Fuck yeah. Makes me hot like Eastern-block medical procedures or an autographed Polaroid of Dick Couch banging Hillary Clinton.
While Bill video tapes it.
|7 Books for Warriors||Enlisting||The American Occupation of Okinawa||Cute vs Sexy|
July 27, 2014
|Japanese Donut Heads||Cute vs Sexy||The best Star Wars behind the scenes yet||Making Friends in Japan||The architectural greatness of Watanabe-San|
July 23, 2014
The Japanese do not handle the rain very well.
“It’s going to stop.”
“The rain. The rain’s going to stop. Any minute now.”
A thunder-clap absolutely rolls across the dark grey sky covering Tokyo and I look up at it from my seat on the balcony.
“Maybe you should say that again. I don’t think it heard you.” Another bolt of lightning and the sudden thunder; right above us but a little south.
“Well, we need to get something to eat anyway. And it’s going to stop any minute now.”
So we put on shoes and go out.
The rain clearly intensifies by the time we are street level and I hold the big black umbrella over my head and step over a large puddle in the middle of the street. The big main street, Gekijo, is oddly empty with just a few people walking alone huddled underneath umbrellas at four in the afternoon in the rain.
A girl in a light white skirt and loose-fitting orange t-shirt hurries by me on my right just as more thunder booms and she physically flinches as if shoved by someone. She hunkers down even more against the rain and the empty street and continues walking.
I stroll ahead and see a small group of people, all young women, trying to wait out the rain under the awning at the 7/11. It’s going to stop, right? Then I catch the glimpse of cat eyes from under a small car and suddenly the cat bolts out from under the car and goes tearing down the wet street.
My shoes are soaking wet.
We pass by a liquor store and down the alley is another young woman. Maybe she is 25 or 26. She is soaking wet. Her black jeans and white T-shirt are soaked through and her black hair, neck length, is dripping. She has no umbrella and is staring into the glowing screen of a smart phone as she hides under an overhang on the side of the booze shop. She’s typing “It’s going to stop soon. Any minute now.” But she’s already soaking wet.
People are crowded under empty shop fronts and in front of the entrances to grocery stores and fish mongers and an empty cafe and there are a lot of people under the pavilion in front of the hotel where a woman was shot in the face two weeks ago.
In the snow this place looked clean and transported. In the rain it looks appropriate. The sewers and drains were designed poorly and they over flow easily. Nothing is washed away, in fact, it all pools and gathers and collects. People get cut off and can’t move anymore. They can’t make decisions; they just stand there, uncomfortable and silent. People just standing there held hostage waiting for something to stop.
Nothing is going to stop. Just get on with it. This shower has cleansed nothing and we realize this and go home.
July 19, 2014
Lately I’ve been getting into the Game of Thrones (GoT) Universe. I love the intrigue and scope of the series and more and more people seem to be catching on. The growth and popularity of the show is incredible with the amount of legitimate viewers increasing each episode. In addition to people watching on HBO, Game of Thrones is also the most torrented show in history.
Recently I started to get into the geography of the show so I started collecting maps mostly created by fans of the show. I came across an interesting theory that the weird multi-year winters in the Game of Thrones universe is because they don’t live on a planet but rather a Dyson Sphere. Made famous in the Halo or Larry Niven’s Ringworld Universe Dyson Spheres look like a thin strip or ring that surrounds a Sun.
Look familiar? Well it should as Dyson Spheres look very similar to the graphics of the opening sequence of the HBO TV Show:
However the writer of Game of Thrones and the TV show producers have all confirmed that the story takes place on a “normal” world much like ours. The coolest map would have to be the totally interactive map of all the Houses and characters via http://quartermaester.info/. If you want to know what the political situation in Westeros after book 5 you can look at this map. The most detailed static map of this world was made by GoT fan Ser Mountaingoat, and you can click to get more detail here:
To wrap this post up I’ve added a visual history of GoT maps created by Reddit user hotbrownDoubleDouble:
June 11, 2014
Japan has a long history of capital punishment and thousands of people were put to death usually by beheading but they were also big proponents of death by fire and crucifixions. According to the Japan This blog the areas where the executions took place are now cheap to live because they are associated with the angry spirits of those that were killed there.
Of course Tokyo is a giant graveyard as hundreds of thousands were killed all over the city during the great American bombing campaigns of World War II. In just one night, March 9 1945, incendiary bombs caused multiple fires that killed over 100,000 people. That’s more dead than either of the two nuclear strikes.
However the execution sites are concentrated places of death as well as former established living areas for Japan’s version of the untouchable class, so if it is cheap to live there that’s probably the reason. Japan This talks about three killing grounds in Tokyo:
They go into great detail about each place but they don’t talk at all about locations. So here is a break down:
Suzugamori Execution Grounds are very close to Ōmori-Kaigan Station which is also the station you get off to go to the Shinagawa Aquarium, fun for the whole family! Voted one of the Top Hundred sites to see in Shinagawa, it is famous for people being burned at the stake. You can still see the stone post hole where the wooden stake, the victim was tied to, was placed before being set alight.
The Kozukappara execution grounds are near Minami-Senju Station (南千住駅). Most of the killing grounds are now covered by the Minami-Senju rail yards but sandwiched in between two tracks is the 延命寺 Enmei-ji Temple. Next to the Enmei-ji Temple is the 首切地蔵 Kubikiri Jizō, a Buddha statue that criminals were knelt in front of just before they were killed. For thousands it would have been the last thing they saw.
Denma-cho execution grounds are located close to Kodemmachō Station (小伝馬町駅). Denma-cho Prison was a famous prison and execution site for the upper classes of Tokyo.
Shut down by the Meiji Government in 1871 … little remains of the site today, but the few bits and pieces that are still extant can be seen at 大安楽寺 Daianraku-ji Daianraku Temple and 十思公園 Jisshi Kōen Jisshi Park. The actual site encompassed those locations as well 十思小学校 Jisshi Shōgakkō Jisshi Elementary School.
Of course Japan still has the death penalty and ever since the end of the war they execute their death row inmates by hanging. The last time a death sentence was carried was on December 12, 2013.
Japan does not tell death row prisoners that they are to be hanged until the last possible minute. This has been condemned by the international community. The failure to give advanced notice of executions is incompatible with articles 2, 7 and 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Human Rights, according to the United Nations Human Rights Committee … Amnesty International says the inmates live under “a harsh regime and in solitary confinement with the ever-present fear of execution. They never know if each day will be their last.” — BBC News
|7 reasons not go to the clink in Japan||7 Books for Warriors||Enlisting||The American Occupation of Okinawa||Death Row Survivor|
May 19, 2014
One of the staples of kickboxing is the low round house kick to the opponents leg. It hurts. Man, it really hurts. This is why it’s so often employed and has been used to topple many a would be boxer turned kickboxer.
Recently, however, there has been a lot of speculation about the use of this technique in the light of two high-profile injuries: the Anderson Silva leg explosion in UFC and the Tyrone Spong bone implosion in Glory. See below for details….
The ole “snapping shin” injury is written off generally as a fluke or a freak occurrence. The reality is that it’s no more of a fluke than a broken nose or some cracked ribs. Not in kickboxing anyway. And as the dominance of kickboxing not only in its pure form, Glory-type-events and Muay Thai, but also in MMA, rises we are going to see more of this.
Good question and I will speculate. Anderson is not a kickboxer. He’s an MMA fighter. The range is different. Due to take downs the low kick can be used by the wrestler as in for a single leg take down. Also with the small gloves the risk of someone catching a low kick and belting the attacker in the mouth with a straight whilst he balances on one leg is a big higher. This is why so many MMA fighters throw a very quick and shallow low kick. The hip never turns over. This is harder to read, it’s a bit faster and it allows one to be in a slightly better position to deal with punches. It also means that your kick is moving UP into the impact area instead of parallel to or down into it. This in turn means that when you connect, there is a good chance that instead of hitting with the hardened and sharp part of the top of your shin bone, you are actually hitting slighting off of that on the flatter and weaker side. Add in an aggressive leg check with forward momentum and we get SNAP CITY.
Spong is an amazing kickboxer, but who has he been training with lately? Correct: MMA fighters. If you watch his video, notice the shallow low kick he throws. The kick happens around the 30 second mark.
When Silva got snapped up it was even worse in terms of hip position and shallowness.
But we can write these two off as flukes, right?
Maybe not. In 2008 Corey hill had a similar injury in the UFC. Ray Sefo sustained a fractured shin in 2002 fighting Hoost. And then there is Nicholas Pettas and his horrific self KO.
5:35 into this and Pettas again, steps in with a shallow rear leg round house kick to the side of the knee. Gur is moving slightly forward and the shin is gone.
You might have noticed that Gur did not even check this. Pettas simply through a shallow kick at a less than optimal angle and the target happened to be moving forward at that moment. SNAP CITY 2: THE REVENGE OF SNAP.
It seems this injury is probably, and I am making this up, 60% bad technique, 10% pre-existing injuries or over trained contact surfaces with 30% wrong place/wrong time. The kick is thrown in all it’s incorrectness as the opponent checks hard with upper shin or knee or moves the knees into the kick or checks hard while moving forward in the case of Saki/Spong.
Pain and hospital bills.
The first thing to do is to step forward with your lead leg. Imagine you are standing in the middle of a big clock. You should step to about 10 o’clock with your lead leg. This is not a big lunging step. It’s a reasonable step to 10 while maintaining your balance. In combat sports balance is everything. Balance is Jesus. Balance is Cuban cigars. Balance is hard assets.
Balance matters so be balanced.
Next, immediately after stepping your read leg comes around the outside arc of the clock (5,4,3,2). This is a whipping motion accompanied by your hips switching position. Before the kick they will be facing your opponent. As you kick, your hips will turn over and face 9 o’clock, almost with your ass turning over to the opponent.
As the kick is arching and the hips are turning, your lead foot should be pivoting on the ball and your heel should come forward. The knee of this leg is slightly bent. The lead hand is up, tucked tight to your face in the guard position and the rear hand and arm should whip out to the side of the clock, in the opposite direction of the kick in order to maintain balance and maximize torque and force on impact.
The target for the kick is the TOP of the opponents lead leg. Not the side. This is a common point of contention in the kickboxing universe but based on personal experience alone, being kicked hard on the top of the leg hurts much more, so much so I became nauseous. Contrast that to the hundreds of hard side leg kicks I have eaten; there is no comparison. There is less muscle there and it seems like there is no place for the kinetic force to go but directly into the leg muscle and bone, where as a kick to the side often lifts the leg or pushes it. Force is lost.
Rob Kaman, world-renowned for his leg kicks, demonstrates perfectly in the video below.
Not only is this kick much more powerful, it’s thrown at an angle which would minimize the risk of a shin injury to the attackers. Another point to consider here is how upright Kaman’s body is when he kicks. It’s a bad habit for fighters to lean back and away while low kicking in order to “sneak the kick in”. This causes the shallow hip position and the flat part of the shin to make contact. It’s more dangerous for the kicker and it’s less powerful.
That’s it for now. Possible video coming on this in the future and other techniques as well.