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Prepping Portland Joe
Yeti Waters Relief Society HQ: 12/11/21
Life intervenes.
The Captain is extracting me from Portland in eight days, I realize. This gives me two sessions with Portland Joe, lone Agonistics practitioner in an increasingly violent city—moreover, a zone of strong arm low level violence, rather than the bogus gun violence as depicted on reports.
I rolled over, heard the rain gushing and the wind howling and texted him an hour before training time: We will do bag and snake work. Bing our self defense weapons and gear.”
“Roger that,” returned the preparing man. He knows he will have to defend himself and his family and has trained diligently, actually improving since our training last March.
Into the garage he came, placing his coats by the drum set and his gear nearer the engine hoist. I had already set out the training sticks.
He began: “I met a Kali man at a gun and knife event and he knew who you were. I bought a pair of sticks for $15 which I thought was pretty good.”
We discussed that Kali style. I have known four disciples of that form of escrima used by the Filipino Marine Recon, developed by the same man who helped Inosanto develop the 21-foot rule for cops and knives. I also trained with two of these men and find the style functional and also compatible with agonistics training—which is to say sparring and striking equipment with weapons.
I told him, “If we met up with Dan and Sean and some of the other guys I have trained with and we begana sparring rotation, you would do fine. You are almost relaxed, mostly fluid, have good time and measure and good hand discipline. So, you have to develop the ability to read more experienced fighters. So, we have sparred a lot, for 15 hours now I think. If you said, ‘Hey, James, lets fight, all out, and gave me the chance to win one more stick fight, how would I conduct myself once we tapped up?’
“You would circle a lot, cut the circles, to to induce anxiety in me and the wear me down.”
I informed him, I would definitely try and induce anxiety and use it to break you, hopefully in ten seconds. I would walk up to you, let you hit me, take it, and then hit you harder—a lot harder. You described how I would have fought six years ago. As I age and lose options I fight more like a goon. When we spar, I am role playing a lot, trying to fight like a half dozen other guys, including my former self, in two version.
‘So, next week I want to do quick but not hard sparring. Before that, I want you to work on power on the snake and bag so that you will be able to put our quick sparring in better context for your training between next week and March.
‘More importantly, its just you and this shithole world. So we need to increase your power and get you on that progression, which basically means forearm development that takes six months or so.
‘First, we review your weapons on the snake with a focus on retention.
‘Second, stick work on the snake and the bag, progressing to stick conditioning drills on the bag.
‘Third, knife defense drills, including a kali drill.
‘Third is boxing fundamentals, starting with slapping and finishing with punching the bag.’
The training went well and was standard except for two elements, the weapon review and the and the crash course in boxing.
I gave him a brass letter opener, since he is a desk jockey and it will go in.
Also, I gave him that half inch copper conduit of 8 inches that I found such a handy carry option in Portland until things got so lawless that I decided that disembowelment would be my first line of defense.
The snake is the perfect improvised and blunt extension weapon training tool.
The copper conduit was hightly functional.
The windshield scraper was marginally functional and not too durable.
The half inch by ten steel pipe, was just sick and needs to be within reach from the driver’s seat.
We transitioned upward to the sand hammer and practices using it in three ways:
-Stabbing with the head to the face and the haft to the ribs and neck,
-Using it as a hand stick, just like the pipe and copper, which was a real ergonomic success,
-Using it like a war hatchet. For the last, short X strokes and lateral back hands to the lower ribs and knee made for nice flow.
We transitioned up to the aluminum bat, which is my favorite one-handed weapon and sued that to demonstrate forearm conditioning and a tactical flow based on the hammer fighting, mainly leftward triangle with a diagonal forehand to a lateral back hand, to a shoulder load and check. The knee was the preferred target for the lateral back hand.
We then transitioned upward to the all purpose tire iron, a 24-inch stainless steel shoehorn for cars. It works best when gripped with the pinkie 2.5inches from the bottom lip, with the bent tongue of steel set so it curves back against the pinkie. This think is a full eight of an inch thick and cut right int the snake. We developed the tactics more on the hammer than the bat, as this thing will deliver 1-shot kills to the head. I recommended using it like a bat against a predatory group and like a hammer against an individual. This thing is an automotive gladius!
The two patterns below were used with inside and outside reverse triangles and with a simple pass lunge to the outside.
The basic is tight X-strokes forehand to backhand to the shoulders and neck, to simply break the shoulders.
The more evasive method is a forehand to the face [#1] to a lateral back hand to the knee, with the backhand rising without turning back over with the hand to the arm pit, and then stabbing down into the guts in pronation while checking the foe.
I am in love with this tool and do not even have a car. Maybe I can pass one off as a geriatric shoe horn?
In Part 2 of Prepping Portland Joe, I will describe a boxing crash course.
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