Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring PatCon: Be There or Be There

To quote Yoda, "Do or Do not, there is no try"

Do not "try" to make it.  Just simply make it.  It will be worth every penny.  It will be worth the trip.  Why?  Because I have done it 3 times now.  This will be my fourth.  Going to the NC PatCon reminds me of something my LTC told me years ago.  "You only get out what you put into the corp son."  This Patriot thing, these PatCons.  You only get out what you put in.  If you are going to continuously put off the best PatCon this side of the Mississippi making the claim that you will get there some day, then make this May 2014 that some day.

DEADLINE is April 18th!!
Your info for the PatCon HERE

As my friends in the South call us "Good Yankees", we are coming with a convoy this spring.  We had a CTX today and let a few others know.  I personally will have another great Patriot riding shotgun with me on the way down, Major Wolf.

This caravan of mine will arrive Wednesday May 7th and depart Sunday May 11th.  I will be taking the III CQB class agian and lending a hand as Sam allows it.  Look at the link above folks.  Look what is available to take advantage of.  There are a lot of good people coming, good training, great prizes and great speakers.

See you there!
In Liberty,

Friday, January 3, 2014

You Could Go Hard, Or You Could Go Home

I know, I know it has been a month.  Between Krav, my new job, traveling with my new job, being a husband, a father, the holidays and so on and so on I must admit The Steel Ibeam hasn't had much love for a month from me.  I meant to write at weeks end right before Christmas and that didnt happen.  So, since I can breath a little, I figured I would shed some light on a recent Krav Study.  

The definition of the word "Perseverance" above was something that I didn't come up with in labeling my efforts.  It was not until we were at Church on the Sunday before Christmas and one of the women in our tribe asked, "What happened to your knuckles?"  Before I could answer, she already knew.  She said, "Is that from Krav?"  Then her son said, "Why would you continue to do that?"  She replied to her son, "It's called perseverance."  

Now before you ask, yes I was wearing gloves.  Remember, the title of this post is "You could go hard, or you could go home".  Home wasn't in my vocabulary the week of December 16th through the 20th.  My fingerless gloves gave me an awesome split blister between my ring fingers and my pinky, while all other knuckles were exposed and blistered by the heavy bag.  You see, repeated contacted against a surface in the form of an abrasion will eventually make a blister.  So this started my week of Krav on Monday December 16th.  If I wanted to continue Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I needed a plan and need one quickly.  My answer was $10 Krav wrist wraps and some tape from the drug store.  This would ultimately save my knuckles from further damage, but it would not let them heal any time soon.

Perseverance, yeah it is worth it sometimes.  This week of December went down as one of my most grueling weeks in Krav.  10 hours at the studio between Monday and Thursday.

December 16th, 2013
    Krav Maga Level I, 6 - 7:00pm
    Kickboxing 7 - 8:00pm

  • Run for 2 minutes, Jumping Jacks 30 seconds, Push ups 20 seconds, crunches 20 seconds Jumping Jacks 20 seconds,  Push ups 20 seconds, crunches 20 seconds
  • Stretches
  • Pair up shoulder touches
  • Pair up tombstone mats work on strikes
    • jab cross (punch)
    • palm strikes
    • elbow strikes
    • hammer fist
      • SIDE NOTE (Keep elbows tight for more power)
  • Straddle Tombstone pads
    • Instructor calls out strikes as listed above
    • Yells "RIGHT" or "LEFT" to grab the mat and roll with it to continue striking
  • Groin kick strong foot
  • Groin kick weak foot
  • 3 circled on 1 calling your name for groin strikes 30 seconds
  • Side head lock, Step forward and with outside hand perform upward groin strike and with inside hand reach back  hook the nose with index finger and thumb under chin and collapse the attacker.  If you cannot get the nose and chin, the artery on side of neck works with two fingers driving in and hooked, or pull their hair or finger in the eye socket.

Kick Boxing
  • Run around the room touching ground with lefts and rights and then touch both hands and turn around followed by sprints
  • Stretches to warm up
  • Planking, to spread legs back and forth while planking then low plank.
  • Paired up with partners to push/pull while standing on a square and not come off the line
  • Legs spread, bend down touch ankles.  Grab ankles and perform a squat for 30 seconds.  X3 with 15 second breaks
  • Legs spread, hands behind head with elbows out, try to touch your elbows to your thigh for 30 seconds X3 with 15 second breaks
  • Heavy bag
    • Jab cross hook
    • Jab cross hook slowed down to pay attention to body motion
    • 30 second light jab cross followed by 15 second burst of attacks.  X3  Learn to breath while moving
  • Plowing: A belt was used to go around a persons waist that would be hitting the bags.  The person holding the belt would pull back and apply resistance to you trying to hit the bag.  45 seconds, 15 second break, 45 seconds then switch.  (I wanted to puke after plowing)

December 17th, 2013
    Krav Maga Level I, 6 - 7:00pm
    Kettlebells, 7:15 - 8:00pm
    FTGU (From The Ground Up), 8 - 9:00pm 

  • Started out with trying to lock on a persons arm and pull in to lock onto their neck from the front
  • This also turned into trying to lock onto the trunk.  Swim out if you got locked up.
  • Focus mitt holders were allowed hits while a person was striking them.
    • The pad holder would begin to swing mitts at head or ribs or chin and the defender would just raise or lower elbow in a defense manner.
  • Spear one attacker, then go to defending against another attacker going for your leg.
  • Chokes from front, side, and rear. 
    • Front single pluck other hand comes up for a throat or palm strike to the jaw. OR double pluck with groin strike or head butt to sternum
    • Side, single pluck from away hand, bend knees, strike groin with close hand then bring elbow up to the chin
    • Rear, double pluck, step forward, bend knees, hammer fist to the rear to groin, elbow comes up to underside of jaw
    • 3 on 1 - the 1 had eyes closed and would receive a series of chokes from front back or side.  The was also someone coming in yelling HEY and swinging causing the person to "spear" and then grab the back of the neck to distance the defender from the other attackers.

Partner night
  • Warm ups
  • 10 swings with 15 lb, partner does the same after you, then 10 swings with 25 lbs, partner does the same after you X4
  • 10 double clean and press, plank on kettle bells while rowing a side at a time, 10 suit case (one foot in front of the other
  • Rear heel comes up as you squat down and then stand up), pull backs (Swing up, then elbow comes back then push the bell forward
  • 4 stations setup
    • Bend over with two kettle bells, one leg to the rear 5r/5l: Press, lay on back with kettle bells up and bench the kettle bell alternating each side 5r/5l
    • No hand push up, push up and when you come down you pick your hands up then push up: Two kettle bells bring up to chest and squat, let KB come down between knees and bring to chest and squat 10 times
    • Clean pull up and hold in front 5r/5l
    • 30 mountain climbers: sit up with KB over head, kettle bell comes up and you situp to it, then return to ground 10 times

  • Locking the arm up.  Attacker puts hand on right shoulder, my left hand comes up grabs wrist and begins to pull the arm across toward my left hip while bringing my right arm up under and locking their arm up with my right hand behind my head. Step in behind with my foot behind them and squat to apply pressure on their arm
  • Ghost: On the ground, attacker is perpindicular to me with arm under my neck and other arm under my armpit with hands locked.  My closest knee is up with shoe on other knee.  If attacker is on my right, I would use my left to wrap around his right arm and my right arm would go under him and grab his rear torso.  I then take my legs and pendulum motion them toward him then away allowing me to slip out and end up on top with an arm lock around his torso.
  • Arm Bars
    • Person is on top, arm comes up to strike.  If right arm comes up, I take my right and bring the arm in while cross facing the person on the ground and turn my body facing that direction while getting onto my right foot.  I then fall back to the side swinging my left leg around over the persons head and plant the foot on the other side of their head using their arm to slide my butt closer to their shoulder.  I then lock my thighs on the arm, making sure they have their thumb facing up and begin to lean back while pushing hips up causing the arm to break.
    • Person is on the ground locked with a perpindicular lock around the neck and under the arm.  If on right side of person, I would take my right arm, hook under their leg and roll them to their side and bring my right knee up to their rib cage to keep them on their side, I bring their right arm  into my chest with thumb up, swing my left leg over their head, slide my butt to their shoulder and fall back breaking their arm.
 Wednesday December 18th, 2013
    Kickboxing 6 - 7:00pm
    Krav Maga Level I 7 - 8:00pm

  • Run for 2 mins
  • Stretches, neck rolls, touch toes, lunges
  • Pair up with kickshield
    • Front kick strong leg & front kick with weak leg & knees on kickshield then switch
    • Line up on wall, pad holders get knee'ed back and forth across the gym
    • Free for all, pad holders call out the strikes FRONT or BACK or KNEE, when knee the person strikes 3 times
  • Heavy bags brought out, jab cross jab, jab cross hook cross, jab cross squat with a jab 
  • Standing: cross, jab, cross 3x
  • Standing: 2 side hits each side, jab cross, switch foot jab, then explode in with cross
  • Standing: Jab cross, switch foot jab, then explode in with a side kick
  • Standing: Jab cross elbow
  • Warm ups running, jump rope, stretches
  • Pair up with tombstone mats, jab cross, groin kicks, jab cross groin kick
  • Line up on wall, pad holders get jab cross groin kicked back and forth across the gym 2 x
  • Inner defense
    • Hands up out in front, shot comes in for the chin and forearms are used along with head movement to deflect
    • Hands up out in front, shot comes in to ribs elbows brought down to block
  • Front choke
    • Pluck (grab them thumbs!) while doing a groin kick, while retaining one hand to shoulder punch or elbow attacker
    • 2 on 1, get out of choke hold with above, then 2nd person comes in saying HEY! throwing a straight punch to block
Thursday, December 19th, 2013
    Krav Maga Level I, 6 - 7:00pm
    Kettlebells, 7:15 - 8:00pm
    FTGU (From The Ground Up), 8 - 9:00pm


Practice with focus mitts.  Jab, cross, elbows, hook and upper cuts.
Practice with kick shields with a cross to the solar plexus and a groin kick.  Pad holder held at chest, then held the pad out for a groin kick


12 Days of Christmas
Look at the list as if singing the 12 Days of Christmas and that's how this list was conducted.

  1. Burpee
  2. Straight Arm Pullovers
  3. Double Press
  4. Double Clean
  5. 5r/5l High Pull
  6. Squat
  7. Double Row
  8. Figure 8 to Hold
  9. Pushups
  10. Reverse Lunge
  11. Hand 2 Hand Sumo Dead Lift
  12. 12r/12l - Single Arm Swings

  • Warmups, Krav get up, Shrimping back and forth across the gym, bringing legs up above head and crossing them
  • Shoulder touch, drag to you, place head on the back and pull their hips in.  Leg behind them and sit back to drop them.
  • Ghost from a side grab.  See Tuesday above
  • Americana while in a mount on top, one of the arms is isolated. If I reach down to isolate the left arm, I am pushing the wrist down with my left, going under the persons left tricep and grabbing my forearm.  Once locked, drag the knuckles downward along side their head/shoulder while prying up with my right forearm. (Not comfy at all)
    • Escape from American into Arm Bar, When person reaches through the center to get a hold of his hand that is in the Americana, grab that arm and pull it in. Perform a arm bar from there.  See Tuesday above
  • Escape from a rear seat belt - Attacker is behind you trying to get a choke on you.  They call it the "seat belt".  attacker is seated behind me, legs hooked around into mine, one arm over my right shoulder and one arm under my left arm firmly grasped in the front of me.  Then I push back to essentially place my head beside his and begin to shrimp to get out.  Once out, get on top, run, etc.
So that was my week before Christmas.  The week of Christmas and this New Years week I have actually been working from home.  I did however go out and get my knuckles a Christmas gift.

After having Major Wolf out last weekend, not sure if me having that gift was such a good idea as his son became fond of it and now appears he wants one.  (Sorry Wolf :) )  None the less, this bag allows a myriad of strikes for me as well as grapples, tackles, and knee strikes.

 Happy New Year Patriots!  May this year be prosperous for you all!  If it happens to be "that" year, then I will see you at Fiddler's Green.  Keep your sights clean, your wits about you, your powder dry and prepare for glory!

In Liberty,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Broken, Beat & Scarred

"You rise, you fall, you're down then you rise again
What don't kill ya will make you more strong" ~ Metallica

It is now my 3rd week of Krav classes.  I am beaten.  I am torn.  My body has let me know I am human and sustained an injury that is called an intercostal rib injury.  That happened during week one during ground fighting when I got rolled over as per class instruction.  The problem was the guy that rolled me was supposed have his forearms against me, but instead his protruding elbow dug into my right side rib cage as I got rolled.  If you have ever had this injury or a turned rib, it is not pleasant.  Every deep breath, every sneeze, every laugh, cough ANYTHING that cause you to take a breath lets you know "HEY!  YOU!  I am HERE!"

The smart thing to do when this injury is inflicted upon you is to rest.  This is an 8 week injury that will eventually go back to normal.  Unfortunately I don't have 8 weeks to heal.  I am on a time schedule and that time schedule has me going hard and taking advantage of every damn class I can withstand at this Krav studio until I work from home.  Then its no more Krav.  At least in the studio form that is hence the reason I am keeping a journal.  Keep in mind of what I have shared thus far.  When going hard for 30 seconds with a 10 - 20 second breather before you go 30 seconds hard again you are gasping for so fucking much air that you feel that you can not get enough and may even feel as if you are suffocating.  My point?  I have an injury and I am taking as much air in as possible.

You can feel free to leave a comment on how I should stop or maybe I should take it easy.  If you know me, I don't take it easy.  Once I set my mind to something its not all or nothing, it is all and everything.  I will post your comment should you try to write common sense into my brain, but I am telling you to save your keystrokes cause it aint gonna help.  Besides my sister Pandora has already warned me in regards to "our bodies needing rest and time to heal".  I get it and I respect Pandora a lot!  She is highly revered in my book.

Tonight's Class

December 3, 2013 (3 hour ass kicker)
  • Krav Maga Level I, 6 - 7:00pm
  • Kettlebells, 7:15 - 8:00pm
  • FTGU (From The Ground Up), 8 - 9:00pm

Krav Level I was a small class tonight.  It started off with 2 and eventually became 3.  It was a slow paced class this evening and we got a very in depth class of a myriad of techniques and their application. 
  • Sprawl - A person comes in at your waist to tackle you.  You use this to your advantage by putting all your weight with your forearms down on their shoulder blades while kicking out your legs behind you and spreading them.  You then take a hand and firmly push down on the back of their head controlling their face to the ground as you position yourself perpindicular to their body where you can hammer strike their neck, or knee their rib cage, or elbow strike or essentially "Go To Work"
  • Cross face -  Person comes in and tackles one leg, head is on the outside of the leg.  The leg being attacked is the arm you use to essentially drive your forearm down and strike from their ear by your leg out across their face and simply push outward twisting their head away from you while pulling your grappled leg back.  
  • Inward Cross face - Person comes in and tackles one leg, except this time the head is on the inner side of the leg.  Same premise applies as the Cross Face, but your position will be parallel to them once applied.
  • Whizzer - Deviation to the Inward Cross Face in that you end up driving your arm down and producing somewhat of an arm bar that takes them to the mat quick.  Realistically, out of the 3, the Cross Face is the easiest to pull off.
  • Spear - Haymaker or a trunk tackle coming at you is met with and explosion of force by driving into the attacker by going for toward one of the shoulders.  My elbows are out, hands open like making a triangle with my forearms.  If I were going at your right shoulder, my right forearm would strike into the side of your neck and grab your lat at the same time while my left forearm blocks the arm swinging at me.  The spear is VERY effective against a fist, knife or club as in the example of me going to your right, I simply drive the blade of my forearm into your attacking arm, then wrap my arm around yours, grab my shirt and now I have your arm firmly in my armpit and the groin strike happens followed by a series of other blows.
  • O'Neil - Distance to attacker is about 5 feet.  Attacker is spouting off and you simply bring both forearms up in front of you parallel to the ground with enough space between them to see the attacker but tuck your chin down and drive forward.  As you explode to your target your forearms guard against attacks until you are very close to be devastating with blows.
  • Marine Climb - Person has their guard up and this move has almost a music beat to it.  Boom, Boom BAP.  My right to their left, My left to their right and then a side strike to their neck/jaw.  In real time motion my guard is up and I swat down their left, immediately swat down their right and strike.  VERY effective.
  • Chokes - Front choke you learn what is called plucking.  My hands turn into curved rigid hooks as I reach into your forearms and pluck both hands and apply a groin kick.  A deviation would be I pluck one hand and palm strike your throat to the back of your head.  Side Choke is done a little different.  My furthest away arm comes up and across my body and plucks the hand away that is on my throat.  While doing this I squat and drive a side fist into the groin followed by and upward elbow to the underside of the chin, followed by an arm lock where my free hand goes to work as does my knee.
Kettlebells was a small class of 4, but with this instructor the curriculum is what it is.  She will list out 45 minutes of constant kettlebell moves that within 20 minutes the sweat will begin to pour.  Your target heart rate will be hit and you will begin to find out how weak your core truly is.  I am not going to list out what we did, but I can tell you it is an over all body work out.  Forearms, grip, triceps, biceps, lats, back, abdomen, glutes, quads and calves will be burning and fatigued when done with her class.

FTGU is where my intercostal injury finally reared its presence at the tail end of class and I sat out the last 10 minutes.
  • We paired up and while standing we performed a move that when someone puts their hand on your shoulder, how you can simply take them for a ride.  If you left hand goes to my right shoulder, my open right hand comes up on the inside as a sweeping outward motion.  I then hook that arm and feed it downward to my left hand where I grab your tricep underneath and pull you past my left as I step right and then apply and elbow strike to the side of your face.
  • Deviation to the move above is a counter move to that attack.  As I go to pull your arm down the attacker would simply grab my underside of the tricep and pull me through to their side and strike.
  • Falling down - How to properly fall down with one leg bent with that foot planted near my butt, while the other is up ready to kick if necessary.  
  • Falling down/kick/return to feet - fall down as stated before, I kick and with the opposite hand of the leg I kicked with I simply post, turn my hips inward toward that hand and bring the other leg that was planted back through under my body and stand into a fight stance.  We practiced each leg 5 times.
  • Mount with grapple - person lays on ground with legs wrapped around the other who is knelt in front of them.  Top persons hands are on the defenders abdomen.  Defender plucks hands out and at the same time pulls with their legs inward causing the person to come forward.  My left arm goes out and around the persons arm and back in toward my chest and grabs my shirt while my other arms swings out and around their neck and brings their face over my right shoulder 
  • After doing the Mount with grapple, we began transitioning to what would lead us to what was called a Spider Guard.  That is when my rib injury came back.  Doing that much with my abdomen muscles inflamed the injury so I did the smart thing and called it.  I still watched, but its not the same and I cannot really get the details.
So that was it for the evening.  Tomorrow will be my day of rest and Thursday will be the same 3 hours of classes listed above.  This will give me 7 hours of training this week.  To date, I have 12 hours of classes. At the end of this week it will be 15 hours of classes in 2 1/2 weeks.  Take the above for what its worth.  For me its a journal for me to remember what I learned.  For you its a list of whats to come should you step foot in a studio or go toe to toe with me.

In Liberty,

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Full, Half, Quarter, Empty, Fumes.....

I stated that I would probably create a menu item for Krav Maga posts, but then I thought, "Why should I when I already have a "SiteMap" as a Menu item.  That being said, Folks if you want to follow any III CQB or Krav Maga posts here at the Steel Ibeam, you can simply go to the Sitemap and scroll down to III CQB as that will be the way they are going to be tagged.  Now you can handle that right boys and girls?  I knew you could.

December 2, 2013 - Kickboxing 7 - 8:00 pm

This is by far the hardest post I have ever written.  Not because of the topic, but because I am thoroughly beaten.  Two things to notice here so far.  The gas gauge above and the date/time/class.  That one single hour class was the hardest workout I have EVER done in my entire life.  I used to scoff those on the TV show "The Biggest Loser" when I seen them throw up from working out.  I now know what it is like to get to that point as I fought the remaining half hour of class to keep that which wanted to come up down.  I have blisters on my knuckles and not because I fucked up lighting a cigarette or had to fix my muffler on my jeep, that would be yet another first EVER in my life these blisters being in the placement they are.  I have bruises between my knuckles and as I type this, my forearms and hands are burning.  The image above is EXACTLY and THOROUGHLY to the point.  I am training, however if I had to endure in the real world what I just went through?  Yeah I would be fucked.

Remember my post the other day about being completely out of gas?  That was a walk in the park compared to tonight.  I have never taken the Kickboxing classes this studio offers until tonight.  Depending on your stature, it's either a really good move or a really great move.  For me, it was FANGREAT!  Yeah I hurt.  Yeah it sucked, but damn I did better than I thought and literally fought through it.  Tomorrow will suck cause I will be beyond sore.  I stated about going hard on focus mitts for 30 seconds straight in my last post.  Yeah, thats childs play compared to this evening.  Why?  Because we went hard for 30 seconds, rested 20, then 30 with something different, then rested 20, then something different for an hour.  One hour folks.  60 minutes.  The longest hour of my life ever.

Tonight's Class

The room is about 15 yards by 30 yards.  The whole floor is matted.  We began warming up with running.  We ran "the square" around the room.  The instructor would yell "RIGHT" and we were to reach down with our right and touch the ground while running.  He did the same for our lefts.  He also would yell switch to which you would take both hands, touch the ground, and change direction.  He would yell tag and you had to sprint to the person in front of you and catch them, once caught you could go back to your run pace.  We then formed up what I would call a Squad PT formation, and we planked.  Oh how we planked.  For 15 fucking minutes of taking your body weight and making you realize that you don't need weights when you are the fucking weight.

I have never planked in my life.  I aint gonna sugar coat it, it down right fucking sucks!  Is it effective?  Yeah, it is definitely effective.  We started with what I would call the front leaning rest position as if I was preparing to do a pushup, but there was no push up.  Just there in the front leaning rest position (High Plank) for a minute.  Then the instructor yells out, "OUT" to which you spring your legs apart, then he yells "IN" and you bring your legs back in while still planking.  Then he yells in repetition "OUT, IN, OUT, IN, OUT, IN" for 30 seconds and yes you are still planked.  We then go to a side plank where our right arm is still down and our left reaches up.  Think of a cross that has fallen to its side.  30 seconds later, we switch to the other side.  Then we learn Low Plank where you drop to your forearms resting on the floor.  That is of course until he yells "High Plank!" and you go back to front leaning rest, but then he yells Low, then High, then Low, Then High and so on for 30 seconds to maybe a minute.

We then get to stand and shake it out, but immediately go into tiny circles with our arms out.  Then big circles, then opposite direction, then out in front as if I am using both hands to command you to stop except they are still circling.  We did this for 30 seconds per each direction and type of circle excercise.  After planking and doing this, my pecs, deltoids, triceps and biceps were on FIRE!  It fucking hurt.  And that was the first 20 - 25 minutes of class.

We then paired up for the next wave of "how to learn how to regret your decision for the evening".  One person had a Tombstone Pad and the other was to apply 1 groin kick with strong leg, then weak leg then do a squat, then 2 groin kicks with each leg and a squat, then 3 groin kicks with each leg and a squat until we reached 10 kicks with each leg.  This went on till you were done.  Then 10 second rest and now we were to do 1 jab, 1 cross then do 1 push up, then jab, cross, jab cross followed by another pushup.  Then jab, cross, jab, cross, jab, cross and a pushup until we reached 10 jabs and crosses.  We then pulled out the heavy bags.  We were given 30 seconds to towel off and get some water.  I was thoroughly convinced that my dinner was going to come back up at this point. 

With the heavy bags, yep more of the same, for 30 seconds, jab, cross, jab, elbow.  So if I stood with my left foot forward, I would jab with my left, cross with my right, then step in to apply a left jab and finish with an elbow strike with my right.  10 second break and we switched feet and punching for 30 seconds.  After that, we were to perform low leg strike kicks.  Knee comes up as if for a groin, or forward kick, but instead we turn our hips and planted foot as we come in from the side at about calf/knee level from the side.  We do this 1, then 2 strikes, then 3 and so on till you hit 10.  Then switch feet.  Making sure you are making contact with your shin against the bag.

As a cool down, we were to split in A and B pairs.  I didn't have a partner so I had to push through.  While "A" kicked the bag, "B" did situps for 30 seconds.  Then While "A" alternated an onslaught of jabs and crosses, "B" did pushups for 30 seconds.  Then while "A" did kicks again, "B" held a squat for 30 seconds.  Then we switched roles.

TIME!  We bowed and were done.  If you ever do the above, I want to remind you that whilst doing so, you keep your guard up.  Yeah, good luck with that.  Your hands should be up by your head as if trying to protect the side of your head/face while landing hits.  Remember folks, when you run out of gas and your guard lowers, Yup!  You're fucked!  Just like the pic of the gauge at the beginning.

My final thoughts for the eveing, I will be acquiring a heavy bag for my home.

In Liberty,

Friday, November 29, 2013

Pain: Weakness Leaving Your Body

Those that have indulged in Sam and Holly's III CQB class understand what it is like to pay for knowledge in trade for bumps, bruises and maybe some blood, sweat and tears.  If you took the class in and truly understood its purpose, I am happy for you and will gladly stand beside you.  When a portion of my Tribe took the class at the 2013 Fall NC PatCon, we were instructed to further our skills by finding a Krav Maga Studio and spend 6 months in that studio.


If you know me personally, you know I lost my job in August this year.  You also would know that I have recently taken a job and during that wonderful blessing for me and my family, I found a Krav Maga Studio through my brother Lewis that just so happened to be near my place of work.  The only issue is once I am trained in my new employment, I will not be able to attend the classes any more at that studio.  So with that in mind, I am taking advantage of every class I can get my hands on as a level 1 Krav student.

Some items available are:
  • Krav Maga Level 1
  • Kickboxing
  • Kettlebells
  • FTGU (From The Ground Up - Ground fighting)
I have been going to this studio now for over a week and I will continue to take advantage of the time I have to keep going until I am no longer able to due to circumstances that surround my new employment.  None the less, just in a week and a half, the knowledge I have learned about myself and those that I go up against while sparring in practice with moves we are taught is indeed liberating.  Going hard at focus mitts for 30 seconds will be the longest 30 seconds you have ever endured.  The person holding the mitts calls out your hits and moves around while doing so.  Left & right punches, uppercuts, elbows and knees will make you realize that if you had to go that hard for one minute, you better be the last one standing cause I can guarantee you wont have the gas to continue unless your cardio/aerobic is beyond average.  The kicker?  That's only against one person. 

We have trained in many facets and I started to keep a journal of the exercises we performed.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are my ass kicker.  To put it into perspective for you here is what I am doing in my leisure time on those "ass kicking" days.

  •  6-7:00 pm Krav Maga Level 1  This will be what ever the instructor comes up with.  We have a warm up usually of stretches and Mild PT followed by pairing up and trying to get a grapple on one another's forearms or touch the shoulder or touch the knee.  Then its onto pairing up with certain Krav attacks and defenses.
  • 7:15 - 8:00 pm Kettlebells  If you have not trained yet with Kettlebells, you do not know what you are missing.  I am convinced my female instructor is trying to kill me.
  • 8:00 - 9:00pm FTGU  We begin with a warm up, followed by some "on the feet" drills, then go down to the mats for instruction based ground fighting.  Learning ways that when someone is on top of you of knowing how not to be and how to be when possibly being taken to the ground.  Defense is turned into an attack in a myriad of ways.  An excellent addition to the afore mentioned Krav Level 1 class.
I have found that during these classes when a bruise or occasional lip split happens, I don't notice it till later.  Matter of fact, its fuel for the fire.  I do not retaliate against my sparring partner ever, but I
do smile and laugh it off because its practice.  In my mind though, I know when it is not practice I know I will not be smiling and laughing.  I will be focused and determined.  This past week was an ass kicking experience in Krav and FTGU.  I was 100% exhausted at the end of my 3 hour tour.  When I got home, yep that's when I noticed my beauty marks as seen in the pic on the left.

Next weekend I intend to "weigh in".  I have a number in my mind I would like to be at.  If I am near that number, that means I lost 30 lbs of dead weight since last January.  I am calling this my fighting weight.  Once I start to get my journal in order, I may create a Krav Journal here at The Steel Ibeam.

I took Sam and Holly's advice.  I now can see how using the III CQB training in cohesion with Krav Maga will work if someone got to close and personal.  Am I where I would like to be?  Hell NO!  But I am eons ahead of where I was prior to the NC PatCon this year.  I encourage you to do the same. 

Get fit.

Learn to fight.

Learn to live!

When it happens, I wont be smiling ;)

In Liberty,

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Apples & Trees

As I look around people in public or even at events in my life I see parents and their children. I am not judging these parents or children, but I am analyzing them during my situational awareness process. The answer?

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I see more and more children becoming complacent and even worse I see them becoming "self entitled" as their daily mantra. Just like their parents. It truly saddens me as a Patriot to see this because on one hand I have the FSA and the other I have the SEF.

YEP!  You guessed it, Self Entitled Fucktards! SEF!

So it saddens me because why do you, or you, or you or even I fight for the Republic?  Why should we care?  Why should we even try to go further when we are few and they are so many?  Wouldn't it just be easier to put our heads in the sand?  Wouldn't it be easier to not give a fuck and throw morals to the wind as we carry ourselves around as if we are the only one in existence?  Wouldn't it be so easy to just say, fuck this Individual Liberty shit and put our efforts in sucking on the gubbamint teat?

Your answer Patriot should be "FUCK NO!"

Our path is not easy for our path is not beaten down, theirs is. This path our forefathers laid out has been overgrown with disease and weeds. The infestation that has taken place is one that needs pruned. It needs cleaned. Years ago when I was a garbage man for 5 years here in Western PA, I recall a conversation with my uncle. As I climbed in the truck from picking up a stop in the winter with my second set of leather gloves soaked from the slushy cold fucking mess outside, he said something to me that we can apply everywhere, any time.

"The good days out weigh the bad days"

That day was a fucking bear. I even recall my warm wet gloves sticking to the 'Mon Back handles on the packer it was so cold. Looking back my uncle was right. The good days always out weigh the bad.  I witnessed something today while immersing myself into public.  The current hustle and bustle and ignorance is not what I noticed.  It was something my daughter did. We split when we got into Walmart as we both had objectives and we were on a time schedule. When we reconvened, that's when it hit me. She had a basket of items. A lot of items.

The typical parent  at this point with their 11 year old would be like, "I AM not buying all that!"  But not me. Not today. You see I don't question my daughters actions until she states her purpose. Her purpose today?  Get some things for herself and to buy people Christmas gifts. Some of these people aren't even family, but she still thought enough and made it personal enough to pick items out.

The kicker?  She is paying for it by herself.   She makes Duct Tape wallets, purses, hair bows and many other items. She has her own business cards. She taught classes this summer and currently sells her items at three stores.  She takes custom orders. She is 11 and does all this and for that I give thanks to God for blessing me with her.  She is my good day that out weighs the bad ones. In other words, she is the 1 in many children that I fight forth as a Patriot and why I prepare mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually to defend this republic for her future and for others potentially like her.

In public she is polite as she has been taught. I never have to correct her, sometimes I just guide her.   If in public out of all the SEF and FSA if we as a society could just say please a little more or say thank you a little more or hold the door open for the 1 in a 100 person who actually says thank you or smile and make eye contact with strangers when shopping then that 1 in 100 chance may happen where it means something that day. Maybe not to you, maybe not to the recipient, but someone you didn't see as a bystander. Maybe that just made their day.

Maybe, just maybe, that just made their good day out weigh the bad one.

In Liberty,

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bartering: Bubble Bubble, Toil and Trouble

Well those that have been blessed and cursed to see me at the NC PatCons know that I am a proud of my accomplishments when it comes to brandy.  Technically it's brandy-wine since brandy requires some fucking ATF seal of approval due to distillation processing which in my case, I don't have cause it is created in a "beer" bucket. 

Brew Buckets or also known as "Beer Buckets"

Brandy Lesson:  To make Brandy, you would make brandy-wine, then run it through a still.  The alcohol content would then be higher like that of a liquor store.  In my case, it is made like wine, except the process and yeast I use results in a 20-25% alcohol content.  Not bad for a mere bucket eh?

Saved Glass Liquor Bottles

Anyways, since I have taken my Grandfather's recipe and modified it, I like to share with my fellow Patriots when the day is done.  I also like to use it as a bartering item.  I have been saving my glass liquor bottles and since I started making brandy-wine, I have asked others to do so as well.  I give them a fifth for their assistance in the matter.  It is good to have a stash cause you never know what conversation you may strike up that allows you to trade X for Y, which is precisely why I am posting this.

Hornady Case Prep Trio Reloading Tool

I ran into a friend and through talking ammo and reloading, he mentioned something about being a Hornady rep at one time.  I told him I love the little "case prep trio" tool made by Hornady and I would love to have one some day.  He said, "Well I do have one and I don't use it any more."  I asked, "Well are you interested in getting rid of it?" and then it hit me.  We were just talking about brandy-wine and I had a sample to give him and then the barter chip was played.

I said, "How about I trade you one half gallon of Strawberry and one half gallon of Blue Berry Pear brandy-wine for your case prep trio?"  He thought about it and said, "Alright." We meet tomorrow to exchange our goods.

Now when it comes to bartering, the sky is truly the limit.  With the future looking the way it does, I say start thinking outside the box folks.  I don't want to take away from the intent of this post which is primarily based on brandy-wine, but addiction items will mean everything to an addict.  Things like tobacco in all its forms and of course alcohol.  I have shared my brandy-wine with others and once they took a sip, the following question occurred.  "Can you give me the recipe?"

Brandy-wine requires very little to set up.  The most involved is patience.  I would like to make the following disclaimer.  "I have been making this for well over a year now and have had no problems.  Hang overs are not problems, they are a reminder that you are an asshole which I have been an asshole now and again. :)  That being said, if my recipe didn't work for you, don't blame me cause it works for me every time, all the time.  Just ask those at the NC PatCons. :)"

The Recipe

Majority of the items can be acquired at a brew shop (beer store) and the super market.  When it comes to fruit, I use fruit from a farmers market.  I WILL NEVER use frozen fruit as there are preservatives that can kill the yeast.  Wash your fruit accordingly, in other words use common sense or just leave the brandy-wine making up to me and we can barter. ;)

- 3 gallons of water
- 10 pounds of sugar
- 4 quarts of fruit
- two lemons
- yeast (I use the liquid yeast WLP-099 which yields a higher alcohol around 20%, if a yeast nutrient and a simple syrup is added on the 6th day, you could get closer to 25%.  You could use champagne yeast and the result would be around 14%.  Cake yeast or Baker's yeast will be the lowest percentage which I do not use)
- 4 boxes of Golden Raisins
- Brew bucket, with lid and breather

Start by boiling the water.  Your container should be big enough to hold 3 gallons of water with the addition of 10 lbs of sugar.  Once the water is close to a boil, begin dissolving the 10 lbs of sugar into the water.  Once dissolved, remove from heat immediately.  Let the mixture cool to around 75-78 degrees.  To hot of a mixture will kill your yeast. 

While the sugar is cooling, prepare your fruit.  Wash all fruit thoroughly.  Lemon rinds should be scrubbed and ends cut off.  Discard ends and then thinly slice your lemons.  Your 4 quarts of fruit should be chopped up well.  Think of the yeast as a bunch of piranhas without teeth.  The easier you make the sugar in the fruit available to them, the easier the process in producing your brandy-wine and flavor.

Once the water is cooled down to 75-78 degrees, dump the water into the brew bucket.  Add your 4 quarts of fruit, lemons and yeast.
SIDE NOTE:  The liquid yeast WLP-099 is a refrigerated yeast and requires 6 hours at room temperature before using.  Take the time to learn about brewing with yeast before just jumping into it like a Betty Crocker cake mix.

Consider this Day One when all ingredients are added to brew bucket, ingredients are stirred and the lid with breather is added.  Keep in a place that retains an average temperature of 75 - 80 degrees.

Now stir once every day at the same time, for 7 days.

On the 7th day, add the 4 boxes of Golden Raisins.

Let set for 21 days without moving or stirring or peaking.

When finished, use a screened ladle to strain off fruit and discard into your compost heap or garden.  Siphon out your mixture into another brew bucket.  It is a good rule of thumb to have extra brew buckets and even a bottling bucket for ease of bottling.  Also, a cheese cloth or synthetic brew bucket screen will help siphon out particles.  The more meticulous you are with this process, the clearer the brandy-wine will be.  Depending on the fruit used, I have siphoned up to 4 times from on bucket to another during a one week process as the small particles will need a day to re-settle to the bottom. 

Fill your bottles and Wha-la!  Done.

Wild Strawberry Brandy-Wine bottled 11/12/13

The only difference I do now in my process above which is a little more advanced is I give the yeast a little "oomph" on day 6.  On day 6, I make a simple syrup of 10 lbs of sugar in very little water.  Let it cool and add it to my bucket along with a brew shop nutrient known as Di-ammonium Phosphate to "jack" the alcohol content.  I do this strictly because of the yeast I use.  If I were to use bakers yeast or champagne yeast, I wouldn't bother.

Good luck and have fun!

In Liberty,