TRADECRAFT/OUTLAW SKILLS Feed

All fighting men recall Bruce Lee's famous line in Enter The Dragon. "Like a finger pointing at the moon". And then Lao gets a Di Nozzo right across the back of the head for focusing on the finger and missing the point. The American gun community is like Lao, Bruce Lee's wayward student. Some one told them to be wary of placing the finger on the trigger at the wrong time and like Lao, they missed to point and grew into a trigger-fearing mob of liability freaks wanting 20 pound trigger pulls. If only we could give them all the old Di Nozzo (see the show NCIS) across the melon. By fearing the trigger, they develop a fear of shooting, and then a fear of everything. One wonders if the look under the bed for errant triggers before they go to bed. I want to examine this finger-trigger fear and shed light on the matter. My focus is simple…to win my gunfight and to help my good guys win their gunfights. A department’s liability averse policy is not even of... Read more →


Short Circuiting The OODA Loop An illustrative story: The call had come in of a trespasser using the laundry at an apartment building. It was the sort of call we all rolled our eyes and cursed the ever liberal city council of Santa Monica for drawing all the stinking bums from Los Angeles county. Regardless, patterns of movement established through years or knowledge tended to keep you safe so bullshit call or not, I parked my war wagon a few doors down and walked up to the laundry room adjacent to the alley. He was standing there washing his clothes. A typical LA street dweller…but something about him was different. I could not put it into words if you had frozen the frame and asked me to describe it. It was the way he moved maybe…or his build – not overly muscled, but not malnourished. Something told me at the instant he turned to look at me that I was in serious danger. The transient was in his mid thirties, and walked over to me, hand out stretched as if... Read more →


We have all felt it at some point, as we turn to see what it is we have felt. It is difficult to explain as it tends to drift into areas that western science cannot fully explain. The eyes of another upon us. Surveillance guys know the phenomena and try to not look at their subject directly, using glass reflections or some other manner of indirect observation rather than a direct gaze at close range. A direct gaze is not usual in western society so when someone is looking “right at you”, you take note. Why is that person focused on me, you ask. To look at a stranger intently causes alarm and concern. Not a problem most of the time, but there are times when doing that may not be wise. The African White Hunter Capstick wrote about the phenomena in his books and tried to cultivate an indirect observation method so as not to spook large animals. I bring this up for discussion as one of those specialized points that has nothing at all to apply in a... Read more →


In a visionary article in 2004, William S. Lind wrote Distance from Disorder, an article about Fourth Generation Warfare. He noted about the modern war against "terrorism", and about the rise of world tribalism - The loss of the state’s monopoly on war and on the first loyalty of its citizens and the rise of non-state entities that command people’s primary loyalty and that wage war. These entities may be gangs, religions, races and ethnic groups within races, localities, tribes, business enterprises, ideologies—the variety is almost limitless; A return to a world of cultures, not merely states, in conflict; and The manifestation of both developments—the decline of the state and the rise of alternate, often cultural, primary loyalties—not only “over there,” but in America itself. I think that twelve years later, we see that rather than limiting the scope to "warfare", the things Lind noted are applied to life itself in what may be called the post-nationalist world. The concept of "tribe" is human nature. Most people want to be a part of a like minded larger group. That has... Read more →


I am sometimes astounded at the fools that are charged with running the most powerful countries on earth. Well...OK...more than sometimes. They keep making the same assumptions and the same mistakes. The issue of the moment of course, is ISIS. The "Jay-Vee" team as the ridiculous president so foolishly called them. One wonders if the USA had acted otherwise, and followed a more "distance from disorder" mode, if ISIS would have ever come to be, but that is for debate another time. The debate is now about the ISIS/Islamic Jihad threat to the western world. Here is what we know. 1). The existence of Europe and the USA is always going to be the motivation for the terrorist to conduct terrorism. They see the world in two distinct sections. Ours incidentally is the world of the infidels and its their job...if they believe what they are told by their leaders...to make war upon us. Whether for political reasons, religious reasons, or a combination of the two, it is clear and has been since the fifth century - we can't get... Read more →


Clausewitz wrote about it as "The Fog Of War". SunTzu wrote about it as "not knowing yourself or the enemy". It is a lack of certainty. It comes from a lack of information about what is actually at hand. Without information, accurate decisions are very difficult to make. What happens is you get a bunch of educated guesses and then a tentative decision based on those guesses. That is why military planners spend more on gathering intell than on the weapons to exploit that intell. How does that play out for the individual operator? Quite simply, if one is denied the suitable intelligence to make a decision, no decision will tend to be made. And at such a time, unless there is an ingrained, and trained default response, the subject will likely freeze in place...as if he is on pause waiting for more information. One example is the shooting at the nightclub in Orlando by Mateen. Put aside the 4S issues of a midnight drink in a questionable hood for a moment and follow the discussion. Think of the circumstances... Read more →


In a recent intelligence paper, I read that it is common for terrorists to stake out and study a target before committing to action. And if such surveillance is not detected, their plans continue unabated. So in the hope of keeping you more alert, and safer, lets look at this topic to detect and then evade the surveillance team. There are two parts to this discussion. One is identifying a tail, the second is eluding them. A big part of this is daily preparation to make yourself difficult to track and to facilitate eluding any tracker. First consider equipping yourself in a way that you do not stand out in a crowd. There is a great scene in the movie "The Thomas Crown Affair" where every "suspect" is dressed the same way, facilitating Pierce Brosnan's character to elude the police. Obviously you can't cause 1000 guys to dress just like you, but you can dress in a way that you look like everyone else. Your vehicle should be fairly common if this is a concern. Keeping track of the red... Read more →


Continuing with the "More Guns = Less Terrorism" series, and having shown that the vast majority of so-called gun crime are thug on thug, or thug on citizen. And that the majority of these murders and assaults take place in cities with a high population of low income, racially diverse populations, and high incidence of gang and drug activity. Those are facts. The reason of why those facts exist is for another time and others to discuss. That being the case, why does it rail the socialist so much for a man in Texas to have an AR-15...or for a woman in Arizona to carry a pistol on her belt? Why do they want such people, in fact, ostensibly, "everyone" disarmed? Read carefully my historically challenged, Pokémon-chasing American as you are about to get an education. Firearms and other weapons convey to the wielder the ability to magnify his will. In and of themselves, weapons are benign artifacts. Give a good man a pistol, and it is the pistol that saves life. Give a bad man a pistol, and it... Read more →


I learned it way back in a past century at the L.A. County Sheriff's Academy. I had been exposed to chokes before in my martial arts training, but not the finely developed nuances that the Drill Instructors showed. It was a great technique by which a smaller man...or woman, could best a bigger and stronger adversary. In the subsequent years I spent in police work, I choked out many combative suspects. Back in that era, we had Mace or OC Sprays (which rarely worked, and subsequently got over everyone and everything...including you), sticks (the PC Crowd called them "batons"), or our fists. There were no Tasers on everyone's belts and you either took care of business...or you did not. I recall one guy that I choked. He was a big wrestler, clearly on "crack" (the popular version of rock cocaine in certain social environments), and probably on Dianobol as well. He had tossed aside a couple of officers already and with a running start from the shadows I lept on his back and applied the "choke". I hit it right... Read more →


I think by now, most of us are on the same page about always being armed with something no matter the social rules to the contrary. And even if that means you will only have a knife, at least you will have something. And something is better than nothing. When I teach knife, my students realize that inside of ten feet, a knife man is on even ground with any other man regardless of size or weaponry. Big guy versus small guy is not a problem for the small man with a knife. Gunman versus knife man is not a problem if the knife man takes the initiative. It is understood that the knife man must have a certain level of animal violence to call up as killing that way is very personal. But we move on. When do we rely on the knife? 1). Primarily, you use the knife when you don't have your pistol available. This may be that you simply could not bring it with you, or because it was lost or disabled. It is always easier... Read more →