October 30, 2007 by Chris Ranck-Buhr
It may seem a strange idea, a contradiction, that knowing how to tear people apart can bring you peace of mind. But that’s exactly what it does for those who secure the skill of violence for themselves. You know that no matter what happens, you have a skill that can’t be taken away like a knife, never runs out of ammunition like a gun and is with you and ready to go no matter where you are or how long it’s been since you trained last.
There’s an old saw that says those who know how to fight have food on the table no matter what–in good times, they train. In bad times, they do.
Learning the skill of violence is an investment in yourself, your family, that is yours for the rest of your life. Time and again we hear back from clients we trained years ago, some so long ago that we have to be reminded of who they are. Invariably they’re contacting us to tell the tale of an awful situation they got to walk out of alive.
All because they secured the skill for themselves, never knowing if they’d ever even need it, but damn glad they had it on that one bad day.
October 16, 2007 by Chris Ranck-Buhr
People often ask why we insist they start with slow practice when everybody knows that *real* violence is fast. One way to answer this is to think about firearms training, especially your first day on the range. If yours was anything like mine, you started with the firearm in a hip holster and a paper target some distance away. The instructor yelled, “FIRE!!!” and you whipped the gun out as fast as you could, looked away from the target and emptied the clip as fast as possible, spraying lead everywhere.
And then you checked and saw that you only put one bullet through the paper–out near the edge.
“Hmmn,” you thought, “Looks like I need more practice.”
So you did it again: whipped it out, looked away, and blew off as many rounds as fast as you could.
Of course, the problem here is that no matter how much of this kind of ‘practice’ you get, you’ll never be able to put a bullet through the bullseye, repeatedly and reliably, every time you want to. Or need to.
With firearms, being precise and correct gets you the desired result–put the bullet through something important and you put the man down. Miss and you get nothing.
Because the principles of violence apply no matter what the tool, we’re stuck with the same truth when it comes to using a knife, or a stick, or bare hands: precise and correct gets you the desired result. Put your boot through something important and you put the man down. Miss and you get nothing.
Slow practice is target practice–it gives you the time to get it done right, as well as the time to be aware of your mistakes so you can correct them, learn from them.
In the end, the person who gets it done right gets to go home. Taking your time with slow practice makes sure that’s you.
Target Focus Training
October 10, 2007 by Tim Larkin
Last night, during our monthly conference call between Master Instructors and Mastery Program members, a question came up: “How do I tell someone about what we do in such a way that it doesn’t sound crazy? In order to get them to want to train with me.”
We have no shortage of material that talks (and shows) all about what we do–hundreds of hours of video, whole novels-worth of text (seriously–the TFT SourceBook alone is more than 60,000 words), not to mention 1,000-word Internet posts for our Mastery clients every week over the past three years.
There is no shortage of material, and that’s the problem… what we really need is a ‘shortage of material’, something small and pithy to get the point across. After talking about it a bit, here’s what we came up with:
TFT in a Nutshell…
- We teach people how to use violence as a survival tool.
- The person doing the violence is typically the one who survives.
- The person getting it done to them, not so much.
- There are elements present in every successful use of violence that are always the same no matter who’s doing the violence to whom or with what tools, knife, stick or gun.
- When someone is injured in violence, that injury is a direct result of those elements. When those elements are missing, the results are ‘fuzzy’ or haphazard. Or just plain nonexistent.
- These ‘base principles of violence’ get you the results you want, every time.
- Target Focus Training is the training methodology designed to teach you these base principles so you can own them, as the skill of violence, for yourself.
- Our training is cooperative rather than competitive–it’s not a ‘last man standing’ contest, but rather an educational training environment in which you can learn to use the tool of violence.
- Everyone in that environment–from the oldest Master Instructor to the newest person there–is there to help you get it right. Period.
TFT Master Instructor
October 5, 2007 by Chris Ranck-Buhr
The first piece of actual (as opposed to pretend) violence instruction I ever recieved came from an elder stevedore named Don. Don was built like a couple of barrels of beef jerky lashed together with steel packing straps. Solid, gnarled, experienced. He was one of the black belts at the karate school I attended as a teenager. We were in the entry area getting a drink from the fountain after a particularly rousing sparring session involving leg sweeps; Don looked around and motioned for my brother and I to come closer. Satisfied no one else was in ear shot, he leaned in and said:
“Now you boys listen to me and you listen good–if you’re ever really in the EXPLETIVE you forget everything we’ve been doing here and you just stomp his EXPLETIVE knee has hard as you EXPLETIVE can. You got that?”
My brother and I went pale with shock.
“Don’t screw around with that leg-sweep nonsense, you just stomp his EXPLETIVE knee. Got it?”
We swallowed and nodded.
Needless to say, I was stunned. Everything up to this point had been about technique, coordination, timing and so on. This was the first time I’d heard anything so direct, stupid-simple and obviously awful. I mean, stomping on someone’s knee as hard as you can? That can’t end well… for him.
As it turns out, Don was right. It works great. And it puts him, an injured man with a broken leg, in the perfect position for a kick to the head. As hard as you can.
That’s how easy it is to do violence. Stupid-simple easy.
I spent a decent chunk of my hour mat time yesterday doing nothing but
1) stomp to the knee
2) kick to the head
It turns out that not only are there lots of ways to get that done, but it’s deeply satisfying to boot. (Pun intended.)
At the first sign of trouble you simply stomp the nearest knee into the dirt, tearing it out and putting the man down. Then, as if continuing to walk forward, you simply kick him in the head as hard as you can. You want to get the maximum acceleration of the head (for concussion) and bounce it off the pavement to keep him down.
The ease, effectiveness and satisfaction of ‘stomping through him’ by stepping twice really wrecks the idea that violence is challenging, takes coordination and training to do.
(I suppose the opposite of ‘style’ is ‘pure ugly’.)
I’m afraid to say that the way it felt, looked, and ended with so little effort will be what I’ll think of from now on every time someone goes on about technique, this or that style, countering, etc. In other words, anyone who wants to build violence up to be only for the elite, fit, coordinated and highly-trained.
I think the Ol’ One-Two would make a great ‘Ultimate Self-Defense’ pamphlet… or a sign posted in areas where violence may occur, much in the same way they put those Heimlich maneuver posters up in restaurants in NYC.
Target Focus Training
October 5, 2007 by Tim Larkin
Miami’s the last stop for live training in the US this year.
A cool new site… and a first time in this city!
Even better, since it’s the last one of the year, we’re throwing in a 5-pak of special bonus gifts worth $831.
- 17-DVD Seminar Series, “Surviving the Most Critical 5 Seconds of your Life”
- 6-DVD “New York” Series
- Dr. Eric Cobb joint mobility training DVD
- TFT “Leg Dynamics” DVD
- Pre-training teleconference call
This combination will NOT be offered at any other class at any time… and is good only until Oct 15 for this first-time venue.
You can see the details here.
Or read more about TFT live training here.