Category Archives: resistance

Yom Yerushalayim, 50 Years

50 years. It’s been 50 years since Yerushalayim, Jerusalem was reunited. This city so rich with history of the Jewish people is mentioned over 627 times in Torah (none in the koran) has been the center of Spiritual life for thousands of years. How can it not be? The place that G-d will choose?

Throughout it’s history various and sundry groups have tried to deny the Jews access to the Holy City and Har HaBayit, The Temple Mount. Romans, Greeks, Muslims, various and sundry Arab groups, the UN, some former U.S. Presidents. And, all have been successful for a time. For a time. But many of those that tried to prevent them from being in the place that G-d chose for them to worship have faded away. To take their place new enemies arise. It’s as though there is evil that absolutely fears that Jews will pray on the Temple Mount. What are they so afraid of? Most of them say Jews are sub-human, and/or they don’t believe in the G-d of Israel anyway. And yet the fear remains doesn’t it? Those that hold control over the Temple Mount now, claiming it as their “holy site” show their reverence for it by turning their asses towards it when they pray. To Mecca. They play soccer and have picnics on it. They store rocks and firework with which to attack the Israeli police and Jews and Christians that try to visit in the “holy” Al Aqsa. Not how one typically treats a holy site I would say. Countless artifacts have been discarded by them into a trash heap over the walls into E. Jerusalem where Arabs have used ancient timber for firewood. The list of abuses goes on and on.

Looking back at the Six Day War that reunited Yerushalayim, here are some quotes to give you an idea of the mindset Israel was facing. It also might be helpful to remember, the Falestinian Liberation Organization didn’t exist until 1963. It was created by the Arab league.

As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. We shall not complain any more to the UN about Israel. The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence.~~Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Egypt

Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united….I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.~~Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad

Yeah, pretty much like the “peace partners” Israel has today. Israel never intended to retake Jerusalem during the war. They asked King Hussein of Jordan (who was illegally occupying Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem) to stay out of it after the war started. But Hussein feared the PLO. He was afraid they would try to depose him.

King Hussein of Jordan signed a defense pact with Egypt on May 30. Nasser then announced:

The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel…to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations.

President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq added his two cents to the rhetoric:

“The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear — to wipe Israel off the map.”

On June 4, Iraq joined the military alliance with Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

Some of this came from a really good overview. You can read all of it here. And it has maps. Lots of maps.

This is what the tiny, new nation of Israel faced.

I like this video, it shows a lot of pictures of what Jerusalem was like before Israel was re-born.

Then, the battle for Jerusalem. I like this video. Alot. It has scenes and commentary from THAT day, as well as a lot of modern video towards the end showing many places in Jerusalem. I recognize many of them, and have walked the streets, shopped in the shops and gawked at all of it. And am quite sad I am not there at the moment.

And I will admit, my tears fill my eyes when I hear Mota Gur saying “Har Ha’Beit B’Yadeinu!” The Temple Mount is in our hands. Then to hear Shlomo Goren blow the shofar? Look at what Israel faced. Not only did she win her survival, she regained land, and Jerusalem. You will notice that people of all faiths are allowed to practice their faith in the areas Israel controls. But only in those areas. The areas muslims control? No. Not even safe. Sadly not everyone realizes the Holiness of The Temple Mount and control was given back to Jordan. I really think we would not being seeing a lot of the problems we see now if that hadn’t happened.

What does the future hold? I don’t have a crystal ball. There is much unrest in the world, and evil is everywhere. Do I have all the answers? No. In fact, I don’t even have all the answers I need. But I do think a good start would be returning Jewish prayer to the Temple Mount.

If you want someone who may well have a crystal ball, or at least a plan, you can watch a fascinating webinar I just saw with Moshe Feiglin of Zehut. Not only will he tell you some behind the scenes info going on now, he will tell you some interesting history.

For today, just for today, I will savor the miracle of G-d, the return of a reunited Jerusalem to Israel.

יום ירושלים שמח

Happy Jerusalem Day!

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Something Wicked This Way Comes

I’ve watched the antifa (anti-fascist) movement with a combination of anger and concern. During the election they formed their crowds, blocked roads, surrounded cars terrifying their occupants, rioted, burned cars and stores, attacked people physically either due to their race or because they were conservatives, Trump supporters or had shown up to a political rally to hear what was being said because they were undecided.

During the elections no one in authority, it seems to me, really came out and strongly spoke against it, except maybe Sheriff David Clark. I had hoped after the election that perhaps this would go away and we could return to more or less, being a country of rules and laws. Meaning if you vandalized, looted or attacked someone and you got caught, you are going to jail. You burn stuff down? You’re going to jail.

But no, no it hasn’t died down. In fact, with the encouragement of their college professors, George Soros and I’m sure a few others, perhaps even failed politicians it has continued unabated. Left wing colleges have prevented conservative speakers such as Milo and Ann Coulter from speaking. Several “universities/indoctrination centers” have prevented conservatives and pro-Israel speakers from coming and sharing a different point of view while allowing Hamass to speak freely and often.

Then there was the Battle of Berkeley. This is a snippet with some explanations and context. The part towards the very end is pretty interesting. When they ask the police where they were and why the didn’t intervene when the pro-Trump people were being violently attacked. “That would be a question for the chief of police”? Seriously. Well, apparently the mayor of Berkeley supports Antifa too.

The big irony in this is that “Antifa” is suppose to stand for anti-fascist. Now let me see if I understand this. You don’t like what someone is saying, so you think the correct response to this is to call it hate speech (despite not having heard it, or allowing anyone else to) is to attack the people that came to listen and call them “haters” and say you are “saving your community”. I think I fell down a rabbit hole, stepped through a looking glass, or had too much fried okra for dinner. Reminds me of reading about the Missouri Highway Patrol MIAC report controversy. Christians and conservatives were labeled a threat. Wonder why the SPLC some state hasn’t labeled Antifa a threat?

The insanity is so noticeable that a popular article going around now is from a former liberal saying why she is no longer one. And this woman was WAY far left. It’s actually quite a good article.

The ever brilliant Daniel Greenfield says the civil war is here and The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule.

But as ugly as this is, and it is ugly. I think it’s fixin’ to get worse.

Antifa is angry that they lost the fight. Not the battle. They have looked at what shortcomings they had and have decided what they need is, mixed martial arts training and guns. The following videos were posted on Facebook and youtube. They are actually talking about killing people, apparently this doesn’t violate Facebook’s community standards. Huh. Is it possible that because the “nazis” they are talking about killing are conservatives because they disagree with their point of view, and because they might say something they don’t like? Why, I believe it is.

https://www.facebook.com/TacticalOutfitters/videos/1284890328274665/

https://www.facebook.com/TacticalOutfitters/videos/1288977471199284/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXO8n2ZE2fo

Ok, this one is funny, I think, but maybe it was suppose to be serious.

https://www.facebook.com/comradespaceunicorn/videos/1526757734024881/

But this one? This one is serious. Now there are a few things that are ironic to me. One is the “bluegrass” music in the background. Most hillbillies I know, already know how to shoot just fine and they don’t put cartridges in the “hole”, they know what iron sights are and are quite adept at using them. While they may not have a huge love of government, I’m pretty sure they would not embrace the “big government” of communism, and that’s what antifa wants. Along with their way, about everything. And in the places where there are no grown-ups in charge, things are going to get much worse. Because the children have found that throwing a hissy fit gets them everything they want along with the participation trophy.

The thing is, some of the comments under the video are making fun of these fools, and frankly, it’s easy to do. But understand, I truly believe when they talk about wanting to kill someone, they do. While we want to carry to protect ourselves and our families, these people are talking happily about shooting random strangers because they hold a differing political viewpoint. Something to think about the next time they swarm a highway and shut down traffic. All those people trapped in their cars? These people are talking about “declaring war” and a “revolution”. And in some parts of the country? The police will stand by a let it happen.

I wonder if Shannon Watts or Mikey Bloomberg have told them how very dangerous it is for them to have a gun? These are people on the left, 3 months ago they were anti-gun. They have not changed their belief system so much as are trying to add elements for control. So much for tolerance, eh? A friend of mine of Facebook asked if they knew they were 47 times more likely to get shot with their own gun. I love snark, speak it fluently. All manner of frightening things await them according to Shannon.

Everytown fibs in every town

It seems I’m not the only one to think along these line. Some of the comments under some of the articles I read were more along these lines.

Don’t sell them short. I remember the Viet Cong. They started off this way, too.

I’m old enough to remember how this goes. They won’t stand up and fight, they will slither in the night, planting bombs and shooting the unsuspecting.

I’m of the opinion they’re correct, something wicked this way comes.

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Yom Ha’Atzmaut Then and Now

Yom Ha’Atzmaut, I think this year I’ll do a little media round-up for ya’ll for Yom Ha’Atzmautיום העצמאות. I spent the day making balls and frying falafel for an impending big party that night. As I fried I had a plenty of time to reflect on the miracle of the nation state that was born from the ashes in a day.

A day when an ancient people, the Israelites declared to the world “We’re Home”. Thanks to the work of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda the Hebrew language had been revived. Some words were borrowed, especially technical terms, but many are pretty much the same. Modern Hebrew really caught on during the Second Aliyah, from 1904-1914.

So what had gone on before the Nation State reappeared?

Well, the Allies knew about the concentration camps far earlier than has been thought.

The Allied Powers were aware of the scale of the Jewish Holocaust two-and-a-half years earlier than is generally assumed, and had even prepared war crimes indictments against Adolf Hitler and his top Nazi commanders.

Newly accessed material from the United Nations – not seen for around 70 years – shows that as early as December 1942, the US, UK and Soviet governments were aware that at least two million Jews had been murdered and a further five million were at risk of being killed, and were preparing charges. Despite this, the Allied Powers did very little to try and rescue or provide sanctuary to those in mortal danger.

But they weren’t the only ones who more or less sat on their thumbs. One of my favorite writers, Jack Engelhard points out that while 400 Rabbis marched to Washington to talk to FDR about helping the Jews, the majority of American Jews sat on their thumbs. FDR by the way, couldn’t be bothered to meet with the Rabbis, he went golfing.

Eventually the war was won, and the camps were discovered and the prisoners were freed. Ohrdruf was the first camp freed by the Americans. Dwight Eisenhower, George Patton and Omar Bradley were there. The entire army present was shocked and appalled at what they found, what the reality was. If there had been any question in their minds as to why they were fighting, it was gone.

This is part of a cable he sent to George C. Marshall, the part in bold, I bolded.

… the most interesting—although horrible—sight that I encountered during the trip was a visit to a German internment camp near Gotha. The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.’

He then made the townspeople come view the camp, and help assist in burying the bodies. The townspeople all claimed they had no idea what had been going on, despite the smell that had been noted in the town. He also ordered many photos be taken of the camp to prevent people from being able to try to deny what had taken place. Doesn’t seem to have stopped them though, does it?

I would say the hope of Israel was beating in prisoner’s hearts. This is a recording made IN Bergan-Belsen after it was liberated. The BBC was there, and the prisoners knew they were being recorded. They asked to be allowed to sing on the recording. They are singing Hatikva, the national anthem of Israel, it means “The Hope”.

And so Jews then began making their way to Israel, they were going home. They began to work the land which had been let go into desolation and turn it in to a vibrant living land again.

This is a song I learned in school, my teacher says they sang it in the Kibbutzim, it’s called Boker Boker http://www.zemereshet.co.il/song.asp?id=337 it’s an actual recording and they are singing about different times of the day, but it all involves going to work. And she explained that they were just so happy to have a home and land to work, that they woke up happy to work the land and have their own, new lives. Something I should remind myself a few times. But it’s a very happy song.

And then in 1948, Independence was declared after the United Nations voted to partition the land. A scheme known today as the “Two State Solution”. It was rejected by the arabs, and they were much more honest about their motives then. They said they would drench the land in blood, and no compromise.

The Declaration, and I’ve been in this very room when they played a recording of the speech. I could not help it as I felt my eyes fill with tears. I have a copy of the Declaration in Hebrew. I’m such a baby I can’t quite read it without the vowel points though.

The Aftermath

Here’s some rare combat footage

The Davidka mentioned

Israellycool has some excellent old photos like this one.

A TRUE Feminist

But it’s all different now, isn’t it?

Turning once again to Jack Engelhard, I see that the German ambassador was in Israel recently. To meet with Bibi? No, he chose to meet with Israel’s enemies. Jack has informed Mrs. Merkel that today Germany’s actions will not be buried on the back pages of the paper, they are front page.

These days Israel celebrates the 69th Anniversary of its Independence. The Jewish State is not to be trifled, as were the Jews in the good old days.

Back then when you kicked us around you managed to get the cooperation of The New York Times and others to hide your dirty work.

The papers – led by the Times – let you off the hook as you rounded up, shot and gassed millions of our people.

They buried the news on the back pages.

Speaking of everyone’s favorite puppy pee pad, the New York Slimes, all the news that’s fit to lie about, they have changed so much! They recently ran a op-ed from Marwan Barghouti, a convicted terrorist guilty of murder, serving five life sentences. The Slimes didn’t find this information relevant as they ran his op-ed about why he was on a hunger strike in an Israeli prison. They listed him as a “Marwan Barghouti is a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.” You can make this stuff up, but in the case, I’m not. Remember, we’re talking about the Slimes. After the outcry, it was added why he was in the slammer. Honestly, I’m kind of shocked there was an outcry. I didn’t realize anyone actually read the Slimes, I thought they just bought it when they were teaching puppies to piddle in a certain spot. So no, the Slimes is still/always evil.

To put things in perspective, Israellycool did a similar column from Charles Manson, yes, that one. He is listed as a “Singer-Songwriter”. And it is well worth the read. Actually, if you’re only going to read one of the columns, make it this one. You’ll know what Barghouti wrote and Israellycool does a good job of showing both.

And today, do all American Jews stand up for their kin in Israel? Um, not so much. Alan Dershowitz supported hillary, who would have continued obama’s anti-Israel policies. He recently talked with Moshe Feiglin about the future of Israel, as a Jewish state. The two had very different ideas. To Alan, Jews living in the Biblical heartland is a problem, and it being a Jewish state is kind of a problem.

If any nation ever was a living breathing symbol of “fastening upon the minds of the American people the belief, that ‘the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.’”~~ author Thomas Charlton it would be Israel.

I look at Israel, her people, the land, and the miracles that have happened there and it really makes me think about something I heard on one of my favorite radio shows recently. On Temple Talk they were discussing Pharaoh’s army chasing the fleeing Hebrews across a large strip of land that only a few hours earlier had been a sea. There are a couple walls of water on either side, your country has had frogs, locust, hail, darkness, boils, wild animals and all ya’lls first born is dead. The G-d of Israel said “Let them go”, you didn’t so you got all that and more. Now you think it’s a good idea to chase them across the strip of land in between two walls of water? Good idea had nothing to do with it. It was a deep hatred of the Jews. And it drives the enemies of Israel to do very stupid things, that oft times leads to their own demise. Germany has replaced six million Jews with how many muslims? And how’s that working out for them?

But, we’ve had Yom Ha’Atzmaut, and Am Ysrael Chai עם ישראל חי

The People of Israel LIVE!!!

Thank you G-d, for all your miracles and your love.

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The Path

Disclaimer: The following are my opinions and information. Any errors are mine alone, Joe had nothing to do with it, except for the graphics I stol borro appropri , um, asked nicely if I could use.

So why did I do this series? Because as I get older I realize I am not exactly as ten foot tall and bulletproof as I thought I was in my 20s. Honestly in my 20s and 30s people were different. I think there was more respect for life, liberty and property. When I was growing up the sight on hundreds of people pouring on to a highway with the purpose of shutting down traffic and terrorizing drivers was not called a “peaceful protest”. It was called what it was, a riot. People flooding through a town burning the shops of people who had worked hard all their lives to build their business, attacking police, firefighters and people of a different color was not called a “peaceful protest calling for justice”, it was called a riot. The Governor would not have sided with a criminal over the police without having a clue about the facts. And no one race was elevated over another, ALL lives were to matter, we were humans, part of mankind. Did all people subscribe to that philosophy? No, but that is what I think the majority of us wanted and worked towards. I remember the riots of the 60s, my Dad went down into the city to get his Mom out of downtown Riotsville. I was a little kid, and I was scared to death till he got home with Ma (my grandma). The media did not portray this as a peaceful protest, nor did they glorify the burning and looting.

I’m a lot older now, but I still have my Mom and an Aunt I like to do things with, I have sisters and we like to do things when we can get together. I like to go visit places where I know I will be disarmed and there are attacks on even people that are armed. That was how I got started in this, covered in The Warrior’s Path, Systema Part 1. Actually, you don’t even have to leave your neighborhood. It’s not so much that I would choose a knife for my primary defensive weapon, but if someone came at me, or someone I love, I’d dearly like to know I’ve taken at least some steps to have some kind of operating options as what I can and should do.

These articles all refer to the U.S.

NEW TERROR TACTIC: ISIS orders Western jihadis to become SERIAL KILLERS to spread fear

ISIS Forum Urges ‘Lone Wolf’ Attacks in US

ISIS Calls for Random Knife Attacks in Alleys, Forests, Beaches, ‘Quiet Neighborhoods’

After the bladework class, and the weapons of opportunity class I realized the martial arts training I had done in the past might not possibly help me all that much. Sigh, and I really liked Katas.

Knife vs. Kata?

I was under no illusion that I was Chuck Norris, or that I would have a handy pair of Sai or Kamas right there. Not to mention that was so long ago, who knows if I’d be able to remember anything.

Attending the classes did spark how I think about things though. I need to train my mind to look at a can of peas differently, along with kitchen implements. Not for competition or points, for life, to live. For my life, and the lives of those I’m responsible for.

It’s part of the “Warrior mindset”. I do what I need to do to take care of those I’m responsible for, without emotion, as a professional. The skills I need should become a part of me, as automatic as making coffee and driving. Yes, I need to pay attention, I need to be aware of everything that is going on around me, I need to be aware of things that seem out of place. But if I am hyper-focused on these things it leaves little resources to allocate to other things. Do you have to give full attention to putting your foot on the brake or the clutch? If you do, will you see that car coming into your lane without signaling? That’s my point.

What about breathing? Yep, it’s a good idea for all of us, it definitely prolongs life. Trust me, I’m an expert, those that don’t will not be around for long. But remember seeing people on TV, or in real life,  how women breath when they are having a child? They change their breathing pattern. One of the things I learned in Systema is that if we change our breathing pattern it can help us cope with fear and pain. There is a certain way to do it. I observed that in the last class. I didn’t understand exactly why Joe’s son Joseph would breath the way he did during demonstrations. I mean I’m sure what Joe was doing didn’t feel good, but the way Joseph was breathing was very purposeful. There are instructions in the book about Systema breathing and now I have the DVD on breathing and fear. I also have one on knives. I know, I’m a strange girl, my idea of popcorn and a movie could be a little different from some folks. The DVDs are done by Vladimer Vasiliev and available from his online store. They also have downloads. This isn’t like trying to learn Karate from a book like in the Karate kid, Mr. Miyagi. This is actually from the DVD.

Fear, fear can be deadly. And really it can have such an impact on our lives. Not just in life threatening situations either. From The Systema Warrior Guidebook,

3. Fear is always about loss; loss of life, loss of wealth, loss of security, loss of comfort, etc.  The fear of loss is directly proportionate to the intensity of the attachment you have.  Dissect your fear or worry down to what you fear will be lost and ask yourself, “If this fear came true, what is the worst thing that can happen?”  Often you will find that your worst-case scenario is a long shot and your fear can be easily overcome with the right plan of action.

4. Fear is present only when there is a desire.  Fear arises only when there is conflict between what we want and what we think “might” happen.  We build up expectations around life and come up with a concrete picture of how our lives “should” turn out.  This inflexibility forms a strong foundation for fear.  If we are open to new possibilities and a new vision of safety, comfort and success, we can be courageous.  When we flow with life, fears dissolve.  When you find yourself wracked with fear, ask yourself, “Why should I resist this?”  You may find the strength to let go and flow.

But is fear always wrong? No, for me it’s why I wear a helmet when I ride, buckle up in my car and stay out of places that I know probably aren’t safe. I’m not saying things can’t happen even in “safe” places, they can. But if Roosters bar & grill is known to be frequented by members of MS-13, I’m not a-goin’. I don’t need french fries that much.

Fear is like injury

Defeat the Fear, courage from G-d

The Philosophy of Violence, I haven’t been able to watch all of this one yet, but the part I saw is very good.

But the book and Systema are about life, with a instructions for dousing (brrrrrr) harmonizing your life, and fasting which does a lot more than I realized! Joe talks about Humility and becoming human and this is something I myself need to work on. Theres a recipe for meditsina, along with how and why, and a chapter on Russian penicillin, and if you’re so inclined, a bit on vodka.

Now you understand what I mean when I say there is way more to this than a book about how to block a punch?

I think most readers of The Zelman Partisans intrinsically have a martial mindset, we tend to be the warriors. But we are human, we age, we sustain injuries and things that used to work well for us may not work so well anymore. I recently read a column about The Psychology of Previous Investment it talked about how people buy guns that don’t really work that well for them and the things they go through trying to make it work for them. Rather than just admit that they made a mistake and that something will not work for them, they continue to throw money and try to force it to work. It will not work. So as warriors, rather than keep trying to force things that should work, could work, used to work, why not add some tools to our bag and perhaps get something better? Why not learn new practical ways of doing something, or doing something new and become even more effective because now we have more resources? We all want to be the best we can for ourselves and those we care about, be they human bipeds, or furry or feathered friends.

The Systema Warrior foundation is to me, chesed חסד kindness, or loving kindness, part of Tikun Olam, repairing the world. It is a good and noble thing, and I thought perhaps others would want to learn about it, as I did.

Whether we pick up a gun, a can of peas or a tactical pen (they do so come in hot pink) our mindset is going to be the same. And in our mindset and our breathing and our movements, we need to be the best we can. Because we are warriors, and we take every advantage.

I have an autographed copy of the book, it says “To Sheila, Always fight the good fight! G-d Bless, Joe Mayberry”. And we ARE warriors, all of us at TZP are warriors, we are all fighting the good fight, the righteous fight, in whatever way we are blessed with ability. My hope was to bring us all some insight and tools a bit off our usual path, because as warriors? We want to be our best.

I want to thank Joe for the generous gift of his time (and graphics), to thank the other students in class who knew a lot more about what we were doing and trained with me anyway. I want to thank Scott “Buzzkill the safety squirrel” Van Kirk, for introducing me to Systema, Joe and my Systema “Happy Place”. Scott told me he was passing it on, and now, I am too.

May G-d bless us all as we fight our good fights.

Fight like a warrior, live like a warrior

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The Path of the Systema Warrior, Compassion

Mitzvahמִצְוָה A commandment, a commandment from G-d, there were originally 613 of them. There are 248 positive and 365 negative mitzvot מצות that would be the plural of mitzvah. The Jerusalem Talmud commonly refers to any charitable act as “the mitzvah.” They are actually eternal to be carried down through every generation. Interestingly, one of them on Page 20: Building a Sanctuary for G­-d from Sefer H’Mitzvot. Okay, I’ll quit. But the point of this is that some of the commands are acts of kindness, acts of goodness and charity. From Psalms תהילים, Tehillim 10:

10 The helpless are crushed, sink down,and fall by his might.

11 He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

12 Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;forget not the afflicted.

13 Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?

14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,that you may take it into your hands;

to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless.

15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none.

16 The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land.

17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear

18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

One rather gets the idea that abuse of the poor, helpless and vulnerable is frowned on wouldn’t they? By G-d, and he commands us to have the same standards, as we are to be a reflection of him. We are to have compassion on them, not abuse them.

And yet.

More than one out of every 5 students report being bullied, 64% of children who were bullied did not report it; only 36% reported the bullying and, more than half of bullying situations (57%) stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied.

While only 10 U.S. studies have been conducted on the connection between bullying and developmental disabilities, but all of these studies found that children with disabilities were two to three times more likely to be bullied than their nondisabled peers. The National Autistic Society reports that 40 percent of children with autism and 60 percent of children with Asperger’s syndrome have experienced bullying. When reporting bullying youth in special education were told not to tattle almost twice as often as youth not in special education. Students with disabilities or special education needs are twice as likely to be identified as bullied targets and as bullies when compared to peers without disabilities.1

The results of being bullied are diverse. The victims may be:

depressed, lonely, and anxious, have low self-esteem,experience headaches, stomachaches, tiredness, and poor eating. Be absent from school, dislike school, and have poorer school performance, and think about suicide or plan for suicide.

Some children with disabilities have low self-esteem or feel depressed, lonely or anxious because of their disability, and bullying may make this even worse. Bullying can cause serious, lasting problems not only for children who are bullied but also for children who bully and those who witness bullying.2

While doing research for this column I found several government web sites dealing with bullying. They contained facts, figures and government programs. The government has been trying to deal with it.3 They have sent no less that four “Dear Colleague” letters, in 2000, 2010, 2013 and 2014. Just in case you want to read it yourself. There are lots of acronyms, and lots talk about individual plans, and that sort of thing. But what it amounts to, to me, is they don’t really have any real world answers beyond saying if the parents yank their kid out of your public school, you lose tax dollars.

I find it interesting that 57% of bullying stops when a peer intervenes on behalf of the victim. But what if the victim were empowered? No, I’m not talking about shearing more of the poor pink sheep to knit a bunch of hats to plop down on kids heads. I’m talking about an amazing program. I told you to hang on to the horn for this final part of my interview with Joe Mayberry, author of The Systema Warrior Guidebook.

Joe had been training in the martial arts since 1974, but he hadn’t really been teaching. But he started hearing from people he knew who had children that wanted to take lessons, of some rather despicable business practices in some of the area martial arts schools. And it was happening far more often than he would have thought. Joe decided that he would open a school and quit saying “NO” to those who had wanted him to teach. After the school had been going for a while, he got a email one night that became a turning point. He said it was on a Thursday night, and he had to wait about four days before he could respond to it, because he wanted to think it through, he was both mad and sad. The email was from the mother of a little six year old boy who wanted to learn martial arts. The little six year old boy was blind, he wanted to learn to defend himself. The mother had contacted other martial arts schools, some had flat out refused to teach him, others told her they would have to pay for private lessons as he would be unable to learn in a group. I believe Joe said they also told her his guide dog wouldn’t be allowed on the mat at the dojo. I opined that the dog was possibly better behaved than some kids, he would be the least of my worries. Joe kindly overlooked that remark.

The little boy came to Systema St. Louis and started classes, in a group. In his group classes Joe has trained not only blind students, but students with autism, deafness and one who has an eye missing. Students that other schools were unwilling or unable to train have learned and flourished. From this the Systema Warrior Foundation was born.

Because Systema looks at each child’s strength, they are able to help them develop actions and defenses that they are realistically able to use. Shamelessly swiped from the web site:

In Systema, the synergy of three components creates a TRUE WARRIOR – Combat Skill, Strong Spirit and Healthy Body.

Our goal is to strengthen those abilities that are already present in each child, no matter what disability they may have. We show them that everyone can be strong, confident and empowered.

​When Systema Founder Mikhail Ryabko created the foundations of Systema, he noted that everything that happens to us in life; good or bad, has one ultimate purpose, that is to create the best possible conditions for a person to understand him or herself. Our goal is to grow on that philosophy and to share it with others.

Since the Systema Warrior Foundation started at Systema St. Louis, Joe has trained around 2,000 children with disabilities. TWO THOUSAND, in the United States and Canada. Did I mention, he does this free of charge to them? Yes, he does. The cost of teaching them is covered by donations (just in case you wanted to) to the Systema Warrior foundation, and some of the things that Joe does, he donates the proceeds to the Systema Warrior foundation.

As Joe said, no matter your age, shape or abilities, you have a G-d given right to life and defend yourself. And his actions back up his words.

It seems so perfectly fitting that a Systema school would have a Systema Warrior Foundation when you consider that the original Systema warrior was Ilya Muromets. And Ilya has quite an amazing story. I really prefer the version in the Systema book as it gives you more of a spiritual side. That’s Ilya in the first picture with the little girl.

I just can’t help but love the school motto: “Doing bad things to bad people since 2010”. Just kind of fits with my world view.

So, if I were a kid, and I had a choice of having a knitted pink hat plopped down on my head, or a government program that says it’s illegal to bully children or learning skills that have been taught to me, for my level of ability? I know which one I would go for. I think the Systema Warrior Foundation is a great example of a mitzvah, don’t you?

The Systema Warrior Foundation
http://stlsystema.com/systema-warrior-foundation.html

 

1Bullying Statistics http://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/stats.asp

2Bullying https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandsafety/bullying.html

3Bullying of Students with Disabilities Addressed in Guidance to America’s Schools https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/bullying-students-disabilities-addressed-guidance-america%E2%80%99s-schools

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The Warrior’s Path, Systema Part 3

Philosophy and Psychology

When we left off in Part 2, we were talking about what holds people back from having a “Warrior Mindset”, and Joe was telling me about fears, and people not seeing their own possibilities. We continue from there.

Joe: Most people don’t want to get hurt.

S: Where is the switch between the head and the heart that prevents knowledge from the head from getting to the heart?

Joe: The challenge is in getting them to get their mind out of the dojo and in a dark house at 0200 where there are no rules. That is normalcy, that is how real life works. They have to let their minds go into those dark places and most people don’t want to do that.

I switched gears for a second and asked Joe how he came to work with Scott “Buzzkill the safety squirrel” Van Kirk who taught me about my “Systema happy place” which is where a person would need to be in that dark house at 0200.

Joe: Scott had heard about me through the grapevine. He showed up for a basic seminar about 6-7 years ago and we became good friends and now work on these projects together.

S: So, the warrior mindset, born with it or can you develop it?

Joe: It’s very individual. It depends on where a person comes from. It’s not just about picking up arms. It’s a whole mindset. It’s being able to fight for and defend things of value when it comes down to it. This can also be manifested by working extra to pay the utility bill, to buy good shoes or even to put food on the table. It’s not just physical. It’s about fighting the good fight, it’s bigger than any fight with your two fists. You pull into that, the warrior fights to protect everything they hold dear. It’s about being willing and able to do whatever is necessary to take care and protect those people and things of value.

S: So how prevalent is that mindset now?

Joe: It’s very diminished. People expect someone else to pick up the blade. You have parents that call 9-1-1 and say “My kid doesn’t want to go to school”. Physically, mentally, morally and spiritually no one wants to fight their own battles.

I admitted I was shocked about the parents part. If I had refused to go to school my parents wouldn’t have called the Police, they might have wound up calling an ambulance, but not the Police. Well, ok, they weren’t that strict, but I might have had trouble sitting for a spell.

S. In the book it talks about “Ten wounded is better than one dead”. That sounds very much in line with the Israeli code of “Purity of Arms”.

Except Joe was talking about our side, and I took it as the opposition side.

Joe: Well, if I’m wounded, I can still recover. I can still go on and have a life. For the opposition, you wound as much as you can without taking a life. But just because you are wounded doesn’t mean you are out of the fight.

Then I brought up a line from the book, The Systema Warrior Guidebook :

“An aggressor can only be overcome by one who is strong spiritually.”

I said that the spiritual component of Systema resonated strongly with me, it’s part of why Systema feels like it fits. What percentage of Systema would you say is made up of the spiritual component?

Joe: It comes down to this one thing. We don’t fear death because we are spiritually sound. When you’re good spiritually, you know whatever comes after is going to be good. You have to be one with your maker. You can be dangerous, but still be good, not evil.

Fear The One With No Fear

S: So let’s talk about acting vs. reacting. In the book it talks about different situations, from a fight to losing a job, these came from different sections in the book:

“Acting is what makes you happy. Reacting is what makes you miserable.”

“Acting is independent of the context; reacting is totally dependent on the context.”

“Acting is rewarding, reacting is frustrating.”

“Action creates results, reaction creates excuses.”

Acting vs. reacting. This applies to many things in life, But to me, it seems if you add in the spiritual component that they sometimes merge. The job example, let’s say you are due for a promotion or raise. In your mind you’ve thought it through. You like the job, but unless you advance you’ve hit the ceiling. So you decide based on the next review, if you are not promoted or given a raise, or whatever, you will leave to gain a better opportunity. If you are promoted, you have the opportunity where you are. Or it could be some decision you are unsure of, so you wait and be quiet until you feel G-d guides your step. Rabbi Lazer Brody in The Garden of Emuna says if you’ve prayed, and nothing in your circumstances has changed, it is time to be quiet and listen, guidance will come. Is that still reacting or is it choosing your path and acting?

The chapters on fear, pain control, and trusting our intuition, to me, make this book a good guide book for life, not only in Systema, but in all parts of our life. Was it written with that intent?

And yes, he stayed on the phone for the three minutes it took me to ask this one question.

Joe: It’s about the space between action and reaction, the longer you take for the action to start, if it is a violent encounter it will become more violent. We are either going to act or react. Acting is you digest the action of the other person and then act upon it. Action is always seeing the writing on the wall and being preemptive. The longer we sit there it is going to be a reaction. In situational awareness reaction takes time and thought, whereas action is instinctual. We react too much, acting is opening up to the environment. When you only react to situations you lose some of the options you would have had if you had chosen to act instead.

S: The part about “preemptive striking”, that’s tough for someone my age. I was always told by my Dad as a kid “Don’t you start anything, but if someone starts it, you finish it.” I can’t be the only one in my age group that grew up like that, do you find that mindset common?

Joe: Reacting is more common. Sometimes we must act on preemption, it’s better to apologize later than tell my family I messed up and I’m hurt and can’t work, or they get hurt. We struggle inside with denial and it prevents preemptive action, those are things that hold us back from making a correct decision in time.

S: I saw a video on Missouri’s concealed carry laws where an attorney named Kevin Jamison was talking about when you were justified to use deadly force and it stuck with me because he used the acronym J.A.M. Is your life in jeopardy, do they have the ability and the means? He said those elements needed to be present for justification, will the same apply?

Joe: It still applies if you are using preemptive strike. In some situations if you do not utilize a preemptive strike you are not going to get another chance. It’s about how you are before and after the event. How you are before, during and after the event is key. It can’t become emotional. It’s all over and done with if we become emotional. Remember, professional, we just do the job, breathing smoothly is key.

S: If people haven’t added something like martial arts or blade work to their bag of tricks, how would you advise them to get started?

Joe: If they are not doing anything martial arts related they should know that awareness is paramount, 95% of crimes could be prevented if people were more aware. People put their awareness down, they lower the standards of awareness. When you walk to your car do you carry your bags in your dominant or non-dominant hand? If you stop at Wal-Mart late at night, when you leave the store to go to your car you see that the parking lot is mostly empty, but parked right next to your car is a van, what do you do?

I wanted to say “Shoot the hostage in the knee” but thought I might be pushing my luck, since I hope to attend another seminar some day.

S: Your book, how did that happen? What was the impetus?

Joe: It started as a manual for the students. I started it 7 years ago and I just kept adding things to it. I kept adding things as people kept asking questions. The more questions they asked, the more information it stimulated. A lot of the same questions kept coming up, so I wrote out the answers to the most common questions. Then 2-3 years ago people started asking me to publish it. It was something I wanted to tell people and what I wanted to do, was tell people it’s about living life as a person of dignity, honor and courage.

S: You have a new book coming out in May of 17, what the title and what will it cover?

Joe: The Bodyguard Enchiridion It goes deeper into the aspects of bodyguarding, a bit like what we did at the end of your last class.

The Bodyguard Enchiridion- Coming in 2017

S: There is a whole chapter on “Fear” in the book, and it covers a lot more of life than physical fights. It is absolutely excellent.

Tidbits from the book:

Fear is a very powerful emotion. It has a very strong effect on the mind and body because it is one of our natural survival responses. It tells you what to do in an emergency, like a fire or if you are being attacked.

We can also feel fears when faced with less dangerous situations, like exams, public speaking, a new job, a date, or even a social situation. It is a natural response to something that a person feels are a threat.

In this chapter he goes through things that can help you deal with your fears, such as the segment on knowing yourself, and that faith and spirituality can help you cope. But there’s more in it than these two things, though these stuck with me. He talks a lot more about fears, their genesis, their impact and practical ways to deal with them and choose empowering beliefs instead. Now you see why I said it is much more a book for living life?

And this ladies and gentlemen is where we will end up for this section. I have one more section to come and I can about 99.9% guarantee you that you that it will be coming from a completely different direction than you expect, and it is absolutely heart-warming. So hang on to the horn.

So for your movie clip this portion, I took one of those name quizzes on Facebook. Turns out I’m Eowyn of Rohan. Huh. Well, the name does mean “horse lover or horse friend”. According to the youtube clip, I think I should probably ask for a class in defense against the mace and other medieval weapons of war. Maybe he could do one this summer?

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The Warrior’s Path, Systema Part 2

The Background on my experience and reasons for learning about Systema in Part 1

The Background, on Joe and Systema.

First, a little bit about Systema, from the ever popular Wikipedia.

Systema (Система, literally meaning The System) is a Russian martial art. Training includes, but is not limited to: hand-to-hand combat, grappling, knife fighting, and firearms training. Training involves drills and sparring without set kata. In Systema, the body has to be free of tensions, filled with endurance, flexibility, effortless movement, and explosive potential; the “spirit” or psychological state has to be calm, free of anger, irritation, fear, self-pity, delusion, and pride.

Systema focuses on breathing, relaxation, and fluidity of movement, as well as utilizing an attacker’s momentum against him and controlling the six body levers (elbows, neck, knees, waist, ankles, and shoulders) through pressure point application, striking, and weapon applications.

From Systema St. Louis:

Our training philosophy is not to be confused with any traditional fighting arts and/or combat sports fighting systems. We are not in the business of taking years to teach a client how to incapacitate or eliminate even the most basic fighter, but rather months, comparable to the time a special ops soldier has to prepare for an operation.

There are just too many aspects of traditional fighting arts and sports-based fighting systems that are life-threateningly impractical and inefficient for the street and actual brutal violence.

Okay, so we’re good on what Systema’s purpose is? It is not about fighting for sport, it is not about scoring points. It’s about surviving, it’s about respect for life, even that of your attacker. This is something you might not be aware of, in the 1960s and 1970s if you were attacked and handed over your wallet or car keys, there was a 65-70% chance they would take the money and go away. Now, the odds are flipped in that if you hand over your wallet or your car keys there is a 65-70% chance they will assault you anyway. There is a huge lack of consideration for life these days. And that nugget my friends, came straight from a St. Louis police detective I know. A good guy, a warrior, you should get to know him. Let me see what I can do about that. He’s a United States Marine, State Department Diplomatic Security, St. Louis Police Department, and also owner of Systema St. Louis, who travels to teach and lecture. I think he has a pretty cool dog too.

I didn’t ask him, but I’m guessing he once in a while sleeps and eats. He will tell you that you don’t let fear dictate the outcome. What? You had in mind more detail than that? Well, I’m your girl, pick me, let me see what I can find out.

S: How did you come to be in the Marines? Was this a goal growing up, did you always feel the need to protect people?

Joe: I come from a family of proudly serving in the military. My Grandfather was in WWII, in the first wave to storm the beaches that had to clear the mess, and my father proudly served his country in the Marines in Viet Nam in the early 1960s. After his time in Viet Nam he continued to serve his country by training the young men going over, teaching them the valuable skills they would need to come home, alive.

It seems preserving life runs in the Mayberry family genes.

After the military, my Dad became a welder. I was blessed when I was still young by being able to spend a lot of time with Dad.

It sounds like a Dad he admired, was proud of and was close to. I can relate to that, I felt the same about mine.

S: So, you were that kid on the playground always protecting the kid that was getting picked on?

Joe: Yes.

S: You were stationed in Israel at the Embassy for three years. You really don’t speak ANY Hebrew? You just forgot? I admitted my astonishment, I’m always trying to learn more Hebrew and get better at it. LIVING there for three years? I’d have been eating that up with my falafel and Israeli salad.

Joe: Well, I might remember a few words, I knew a little back then.

S: Did you ever feel you were in danger while you were there?

Joe: Yes, I did. But I learned to deal with it in a way so that it didn’t affect me negatively. I was there in the late 1980s and it was about protecting good from evil. I saw first hand that if nothing opposes evil it will absolutely succeed. I saw it, up close and personal. While I was in Israel I got to know some Israelis and I had the opportunity to train with the IDF who use Krav Maga. I trained 6 days a week with them, including in the desert. That was real Krav Maga, not Krav Maga for sport or fitness.

Sheila provided links

Chronology of Terrorist Attacks in Israel Part III: 1978-1985

Chronology of Terrorist Attacks in Israel Part IV: 1986-1992

S: So after you were out of the Marine Corp and back in the states, what did you do?

Joe: The State Department, in Diplomat Security. You got to see more of the world while protecting people and their secrets. You might be standing in the hall by a doorway for 8-12 hours at a time. And while you were standing at that doorway, you are protecting whomever is behind that door. It was after the wall came down, and we began to see people down the hall who had been behind the wall. The Russians began showing up in front of doors in the hall as well. When you’re in those hallways for 8-12 hours you begin to talk to each other. You talk about common interests, things you both know.

(I figured this meant horses of course, apparently, to my shock, no).

Joe: We began talking about martial arts, I had been involved in the martial arts since 1974, long before my Krav Maga education. We discussed each others forms of martial arts and that’s when I began hearing about Vladimir Vasiliev. That would have been around 1994, 1995. Shortly after that I got out of the service. I was very interested in what I had heard about Vladimir, but I couldn’t find anything about him really. Then I picked up a copy of Black Belt magazine and in the back there was an ad for his school in Toronto. I called and talked to Valerie, his wife, and made an appointment to go. The first class with him was very humbling. He just mopped the floor with me. I have been in martial arts since 1974, trained with the IDF and he mopped the floor with me. It was a turning point. And I learned don’t forget the past, utilize it. Begin to think conceptual. There will always be chaos, and your best advantage is to be prepared. My role as an instructor is to help someone develop a useful, workable response to the chaos.

S: How good of shape do people have to be in to learn and do Systema? This had been one of my fears when I went to the first class, that I wouldn’t be in good enough shape.

Joe: Nobody has to be “fit” to be able to defend themselves. When I came back to the US after several years I saw Krav Maga really take off. It had turned into a fitness ploy. It had gone from being military training into martial arts fitness. It was attractive to those not in shape that wanted to learn to be safe. I really didn’t like that fad. They were telling people that if they weren’t in shape they couldn’t defend themselves. They made levels and added a fitness routine giving an illusion. It’s a sport now and not practical. I’m telling you no matter your age and shape you have a G-d given right to live, and to defend yourself.

S: When Scott (Van Kirk) worked with me he taught me about my “Systema happy place”. This involved keeping my energy low and a very neutral demeanor. It’s kind of what you use when working with horses, but does this just come with time and effort?

Joe: Energy, that happy place, has got to be professional to work. It’s about it becoming an ingrained, routine. Like when you get up of a morning, you go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, have some coffee. You can do these things calmly, without great thought and a minimum of effort, it just flows. When you are working Systema it needs to be 100% professional for it to become a smooth pattern with an economy of motion and thought, so much that it almost happens without awareness. Our subconscious takes over with the awareness of patterns. Systema strives to become the smooth pattern of economy of thought and a large part of instincts. The concepts of usage are universal.

S: What do you think is the biggest impediment to that is?

Joe: Internally people have fear. They don’t see their own possibilities. They allow their limitations to stop them. With conceptual martial arts it’s all within the person. If they realize what fears hold them back, they are free to do what they want.

Part 3 will pick up with more on the warrior mindset. Stay tuned, same bat time, same bat channel.

Early weapons of opportunity training, but no cape required.

 

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The Warrior’s Path, Systema Part 1

Let me give you a hypothetical situation. Let’s say for example you were going to a foreign country. A foreign country, so you are not allowed to carry concealed, can’t carry your beautiful TZP Custom Kershaw folding knife , but a knife quite possibly could be used against you. In fact, there was a epidemic of people being attacked in that county, often by women and children. A tactical pen is a possibility. Maybe. What do you do? What do YOU do?

The answer to this will likely be different for everyone. For me, this was not a hypothetical situation last spring. It was exactly what I was facing, and I was feeling very vulnerable about the whole thing. I hate that feeling, vulnerable is rotten. I also hate inadequate, it’s right up there too, as is ancient. When I was younger I had perhaps capabilities I no longer have. So, what do you do? What do you do?

I think G-d stepped in on this one. A post by a buddy from the Second amendment arena, Scott Van Kirk, showed up in my Facebook time line. It was about a class that was coming up, a class on knife fighting, blade work if you will. I thought, hmm, perhaps? I asked when and where? The class was going to be close enough I could drive there, but it would be too late to help with the trip. The conversation came off Facebook and became emails. Scott talked to his instructor Joe, and explained the situation, he asked if Joe thought there was anything he could do to help me out. Scott said Joe told him to teach me, that Scott was certainly capable of helping me. So this good man offered to come help to help me learn enough to perhaps keep me alive should such a thing happen. There were a few things we talked about, there were considerations. One is I wasn’t traveling alone, the same girlfriend I had been in Israel with the last two years and I were traveling together again. And yes, I believe something I would try, was to ensure both of our safety. He also had a very honest talk with me about if this happens. Meaning if I’m attacked, I’m going to get cut, I’m going to get hurt, and I’m going to lose blood and quite possibly, likely will not look the same again. Sobering, very sobering thoughts. He stressed my goal, my objective is to live, to survive. That’s it. I will have scars? Ok, scars are tattoos with more interesting stories, but I am to come back, and come back in one piece (pretty much) and alive. And then we worked on tactics and techniques. With knives, pens, magazines (printed) and what I would call a kick pad. I finished up with some bruises and feeling awesome. Not bullet proof, not like I was Chuck Norris, but at least I had a few operating options. Bless that man, bless that man!!

Fast forward to fall of last year.

The blade work class was offered again, and it was in a place I considered close enough to drive. I bought a ticket. I had a lot of concerns.  I was too old perhaps, and my physical condition was certainly not what it had been when I was younger. But I was still game, I still wanted to give myself that chance, so ticket it would be. Besides, it gave me a chance to deliver to my erstwhile mentor the only thing he had requested besides me returning alive. A nice big fat magazine that I was going to carry in my purse with me everywhere.

And that is how I came to meet Joe, Joe Mayberry. Joe is the instructor of the blade work class and Scott’s instructor.

Class was unlike about anything I expected. I found I was perfectly capable of doing the things we were taught, if unable to do them perfectly. Yet. We learned about how to move in such as way as to be less likely to be perceived as a threat while sensing others that may be a threat to us. Fabulous class, I soaked up what I was given like a little sponge.

After class I got up my courage and asked Mr. Mayberry if he would consider doing a interview with me for The Zelman Partisans, because this system was so different from anything I had been exposed to. He listened, asked a couple of questions and then agreed.

And then there were riots in various and sundry cities around the U.S. that weekend. Honest to goodness, some people have no consideration! I had an interview scheduled and they riot. How rude! My interview went down the tubes and for various reasons didn’t get rescheduled.

Fast forward to late winter of this year. There is another class, a yummy class on “Weapons of Opportunity”. Who wouldn’t want to take that class? I did, very much. It was coming to a location close enough for me to drive, so ticket it was.

Another wonderful class. Everyone in class is amazingly nice! The other students I work with are wonderful. I perhaps have a slightly skewed view of people. For example, a comment I made to a girl friend after the class was “oh, and then this one super nice guy Lon, taught me how to do a sleeper hold to neutralize someone unless I needed to do more!” And then “I accidentally stabbed this one really nice guy in the web of his hand because I let my adrenaline get out too high. But he was really nice about it. Luckily he didn’t bleed, much, a lot”. I later apologized to Karel about that. He was very, very gracious about it. And one nice young man, Alex, taught me that there is likelihood that someone with a tattoo will be protective of that area. Hmm, good to know!

The other women I trained with were awesome, as we poked, prodded and stabbed each other with various weapons and learned what did and didn’t work well. They generously shared knowledge of things they knew with great kindness, many of these women I think train in Systema on a regular basis. Throughout the whole class we had Scott “Buzzkill the safety squirrel” circulating making sure we had safety goggles on, and utilized safe practices. Yes, as we stabbed and tried to attack each other. He and Mr. Mayberry moved amongst us offering advice and ways to improve. We were all trying our best to duplicate the damage Mr. Mayberry had demonstrated inflicting on his willing victim, his son Joseph. Tough kid!

Do you have a cellphone, a comb, car keys or better yet a Mayberry key? You have a weapon.

I tell you these stories so you know I’m not just telling you about something I read, but something I am experiencing, a path, a whole path. It encompasses more than just a method of self defense, although that certainly is a huge component. But the path is Systema, the Russian martial art of self defense, and a philosophy of living.

I survived class, again. This time with a slightly ripped shirt, some blood on it, mostly mine I think, and elated. I again asked Joe, who kindly remembered me, for a interview. He again agreed if I would give him a riot free weekend. We got the riot free weekend, and I got my interview.

Ready to meet Joe? Because there is a whole lot covered in the first book by author and teacher Joe Mayberry.

Systema Warrior Guidebook

Yep, it’s available on Amazon.com

The Systema Warrior Guidebook: A Systema Guide to Life

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Cutting Calves

So in this weeks Torah teaching Mishpatim, I learned a lot of things when I listened to this weeks Temple Talk radio show. This is probably no news to those more learned than I, and that probably doesn’t take much. But here’s what really struck me.

After the Ten Commandments are given, G-d asks one thing. That an alter be built for him out of earth. Because Adam rishon, Adam the first man, was made out of earth. The alter represents man, made of earth, because man was made of earth. And then it talks about the sacrifices of animals. Now here is where my thinking got a big wake up call. I’m human, human foibles, and faults there is no denying. I’ve never easily understood why innocent animals had to die because I made a mess of things. So the next part really was a light bulb for me.

Man had been making alters to G-d since Adam. Cain and Abel הֶבֶל ,קַיִןQayin, Heḇel. Noach נח also made an alter. All these people, and this is not the whole list, made alters to G-d before Mt. Sinai, הר סיני, Har Sinai. What G-d was saying after he gave them the commandments, and the instructions on how to live good lives in a community was not some new thing. The people had already been building alters and sacrificing animals. Not because G-d had told them to, but because it was their attempt to reach up to G-d, their attempts to reach out to him. And it pleased him and basically he was saying “That thing ya’ll do? Yeah, I like that, you’re reaching up to me. Keep on doin’ that”. WOW. I’ve read that so many times, so many times and I’ve never put that together! I need to hear someone kind of put the pieces in place for me. It was there all along, and I just never thought of it like that.

Now, hang on to the saddle horn, the calf is fixin’ to cut to the right.

Not only in the movie, but in the topic. But it all fits together like the horse and rider.

How did the horse know the calf was going to cut to the right? It is part training and part instinct. The horse is reading the calf. You thought the rider was simply using the reins? Look how loose they are. Now I will be honest, I like cutting, it is as much fun as it looks to be. But it’s not my first choice of sport. But oh yes, it is a LOT of fun. You use your legs, but your horse is your partner, and they certainly do read the calf. As well as using their G-d given, man honed instincts. What can interfere with that? A rider holding too tightly too the reins, not a loose enough relaxed body, a rider who wants to micro-manage. A situation of not using the things already there, just waiting to be utilized. Horse, rider, calf and instinct. The calf’s to go back to the herd, and the horse and riders to cut it away from the herd.

Now, hang on to the horn, the calf is fixin’ to cut to the left.

It is the same with us. IF we have the chance to have someone lay out things we knew, but in a different way.

I was blessed recently by being able to attend a class. A class on weapons of opportunity. Let’s say you are in a situation where you are disarmed by law, or a bad person. You have to go to the hospital, or a doctor’s office. Yes, you can carry concealed. But if you have to don a gown and go for an x-ray, you have a problem. Or any other situation you care to come up with where you are attacked. What do you have on hand you could use to defend yourself? Can you think of anything? You probably have your car keys, a credit card? A comb? You probably wish you had a Mayberry key, if you know what that is. Could you defend yourself with a can of peas? Do you have the instinct to see a potential threat? Are they honed, have you trained yourself what to look for? Do you know the things that can interfere with your instincts? What part does fear play in dealing with these situations? Fear is always bad, right? No.

Does spirituality enter into the equation?

I heard a story recently in this class. The teacher related going to the store with his kids, he was looking at kitchen implements, like for a spatula. He was standing there regarding the choices and his son commented, “Dad is figuring out how to kill someone with that spatula”. And he was. It’s not about killing, it’s about being aware. It’s about being aware that if you needed to, you would have things available you could use to defend yourself and others you care about, and how you would go about that. What would you do if a bad person was holding someone you cared about by the neck with a knife to their throat? Could you intervene? Would you?

Curious? GOOD! Stay tuned because I plan to shed some light on these questions and the person who teaches the class, along with a whole lot more about an amazing system of defense. If we can have a riot free weekend!

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Your Call

I ran across a story talking about  women who use guns to defend themselves, it was written by a woman. She seemed to be no big fan of the notion. Her complaints are that women are at greater risk from former partners and spouses than they are strangers. She feels gun rights groups only get the “Stand Your Ground” laws passed by emphasizing “strangers lurking in bushes”, and that since most of the attacks against women are from known people this is a false argument. She quotes Mary Ann Franks, the anti-gun law professor who wants you to take her karate classes instead, if this give you any idea about the author. She says guns are the weapons of choice for batterers, so she wants women armed with what? Hairspray? The website the story is on has helpfully placed a related story on the sidebar about “12 Facts That Show How Guns Make Domestic Violence Even Deadlier”. I’m thinking this web site reeks.

She does however, rightly point out that women have gone to prison for defending themselves against a violent attacker. I did an interview with one many years ago. It was when the case for Castle Doctrine was being heard in several states. One of the legislators said if anyone had ever gone to prison for defending themselves with a gun it was an “anomaly”. I heard this story from attorney and author Kevin Jamison who said he informed the legislator he called them “people”. This story got me to thinking about a case I had read about a woman who had gone to jail for defending herself with a gun. I wondered if I could find her, by now the Internet had come along. For some reason I remembered her name, and with some help and passed on messages got in touch with her. I won’t republish the whole interview but heres the Sheila’s Notes version, like Cliff’s Notes, only provided free here.

This was a woman who had a profession that was all about saving lives and intervening in a medical crisis. She attracted a stalker without even knowing it. He stalked her for a while before she even met him. He would break into her house, move things, move things in her yard, and she raised dogs. He killed twenty-one of them, twenty-one innocent dogs killed because this ass-wipe wanted to scare her. And he did. She did all the right things, called the sheriff, reported everything. They would come out and take pictures and that would be the end of it. One day he left her a note telling her he was coming that night. She called the Sheriff’s Department to let them know, to ask for help. They said they would have two deputies right up the street, so when he came, they could arrest him, or remove him. The stalker came, the deputies didn’t. He forced his way into her home, she RETREATED, she RETREATED the length of her house, 60 feet I believe she said. She RETREATED to the last room in her house, the bedroom, where she had an old shotgun. He followed her, he followed her the whole length, and when he had her corned in her bedroom, he pulled a knife on her. She had followed all the rules, she had called the Sheriff, she asked for help ahead of time, for a year and a half this man had been terrorizing her without consequences, and now he threatened her life. She was all alone. She grabbed an old shotgun and took aim, the first round was a misfire. He LAUGHED at her and advanced, he said “What are you going to do? Shoot me?” She tried again, at first she didn’t think the second shell was going to fire, but it did. She thought she missed him, he turned around and left, going toward the end of the hall, where he knelt down, and dropped the knife. Then he continued on out of the house, with her following at a distance. She was telling him to lay down & curl up in a ball. He finally collapsed and she immediately called the Sheriff’s Department and THEN the deputies came.

From there it’s a tale of corruption, evidence disappeared, people that knew what was going on wouldn’t talk. Why? Oh, did I forget to mention the stalker was the sheriff’s nephew? Sorry, is that germane? She went to prison, for six years. Six long years for a woman who had dedicated her life to saving lives. The author of the story would say this is a failure of stand your ground laws, and that women having guns isn’t helpful because she went to jail. I think it is too, because she should never have gone to jail, though perhaps the sheriff that covered for his nephew should have.

We’ve heard of the Colorado Demoncratic state Senator Evie Hudak who told a rape victim, Amanda Collins:

that a gun would be useless in her defense because “statistics are not on your side, even if you had a gun.” Senator Hudak tells Ms. Collins in so many words that there is nothing a female can do during a rape except be a victim. She even states that martial arts are a useless pursuit as a women are likely to be overpowered anyway.

So there Mary Ann Franks, your class is always useless as well. Katie Pavlich wrote about the victim, Amanda Collins who had a concealed carry license when she was raped. She of course wasn’t carrying when it happened because she was in a “gun free zone” a campus. She was within 50 feet of the campus police department. She had left with a large group of people, and was a second degree black belt and was in a “safe zone” whatever the heck that means. She was raped.

At the hearing another Colorado Demoncrat, Rep. Joe Salazar’s helpfully commented about call boxes and rape whistles being sufficient self defense for women on campus, while another Demoncratic Rep. offered ballpoint pens should be used to defend against a attacker with a gun. The Colorado legislature passed four more gun control bills to disarm victims.

Amanda followed all the rules too.

So I was thinking about this story, and the women who have gone to jail for using a gun to defend themselves, legislators that condemn women to being defenseless victims, the media who lie regularly about self defense stories and writers who twist facts to suit their agenda and I’ve had a glorious idea. I had lunch with a good friend today and while we were talking she commented about someone having to walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins. BINGO.

I have an innovative plan to help sort these thorny issues out. For every legislator that wants to legislate women into defenselessness, for ever media moron, for ever prosecutor that dislikes guns and so goes after someone who uses one to defend herself, they get a minimum one hour virtual reality experience. At some point, they are taken to the best virtual reality technology center and given a one hour experience to allow them to experience what they have legislated others to, what they have presented to the public as truth, knowing it was a twisted lie. For ever celebrity that has sanctimoniously lectured how evil guns are while making money in action movies, virtual reality gets to slap them upside the head. Now if I was really evil? I would figure out a way to do it without them knowing they were dealing with virtual reality. Then the terror, the helplessness, the consequences really will have the impact on the elite decision makers and those that have paid protection. But that would be mean wouldn’t it? Almost as mean as telling women rape whistles, call boxes and telling your attacker you have a disease or are menstruating will keep you safe.

Pick one, your call.

The ever powerful pink pussy power hat

 

Taurus .38
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