Monthly Archives: March 2009

If You Aren’t Training Force on Force….

(written by Ken Good)

If You Aren’t Training Force on Force….

I don’t care who told you what. If you are not doing FOF, you are playing games and not really training for the gunfight. Here is an article I wrote a year ago.  It bears revisiting.
Imagine for a moment if you will, a class of students attentively studying the art of swimming. The instructor, ostensibly an expert swimmer with vast and honorable credentials, certified by the international swimming associations and such, calmly walks up to the class wearing an impeccable gray business suit and begins lecturing on swimming. The environment is totally business-like, clinical, comfortable and dry. the students are clothed in similar business attire to the instructor, doing their very best to emulate him, and notes are being taken as they sip water or coffee.

The renowned lecturer goes on to describe the need to float, and to move the arms and legs in unison, this way and that. He discusses in passing how to breathe and what water temperature may do to the technique. He discusses warm water and cold water swimming methods, and he shows films of swimmers, and analyzes their techniques.

Finally, after discussion groups and several written tests, the class understands the concept of swimming.

Then they retire to their respective swim couches and practice their strokes carefully and incessantly. After a while they very good at this and can whip out a back stroke or breast stroke or even a dog paddle like the expert in class. They are given Swimmer Diplomas and sent out ready to swim, or teach others how to swim….should the need arise.

Eventually these would-be swimmers begin discussing the merits of pumping the arms more than the feet, or of holding the breath or the theoretical need to get the head up out of the place the water would be, if in fact they were actually swimming in water, in order to breathe. Minutia upon minutia are analyzed and discussed to perfect "the couch swim".

But the problem is that nobody ever gets into the water. You see, the water is a fearful place. One actually gets wet. "There be dragons" seems to be the attitude. "The water is not safe", some say. Others say that the mere suggestion that one would have to test the Master Swimmer’s Theory Of Swimming, by actually swimming, to be a disloyal and unfaithful act.

"Analytical swimmers do not need to get into the water", others murmur as they grind through their swim kata every day.

The discussions on minutia and the unanswered questions persist. Yet if one of them dared to wander into the murky wetness, all the questions that they have spent hours and hours bemusing would be answered in one instant flash of sudden understanding.

I’ll let you in on a secret. It is a dark and ugly secret that has been kept hidden like a national security issue for decades.

The master swimmer does not, in fact, know how to swim.

(be sure and click on the link below to read the rest)

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One Minute

By Scott Meredith

The new best-selling book The Survivors Club : the Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life by Ben Sherwood does not mention Ryabko-Vasiliev Systema even once. It’s not about martial arts. And it isn’t published by Systema Headquarters. But never mind all that – It’s going to be one of the most compelling, motivating, and informative books you ever read about Systema or martial arts. If you do read it, that is. I’m betting that by the end of this piece, you’ll be running out to get it. If not, I’ve failed you as a writer, but more importantly, you may have failed yourself, at your most important task – staying alive.

‘The Survivors Club’ explains why some people live through things that creep your flesh even to read about – mass drowning events, horrific fiery infernos, metal spikes through the heart, and beyond. Sherwood makes the crucial distinction between “surviving” and “living”. The idea being that you need to apply the same calm awareness and rational sensitivity which have probably served you well in the calmer waters of your daily life, to the maelstrom of a life-threatening emergency. He thoroughly explains all the recent cutting-edge survival research, and spices his narrative with incredible anecdotes that will make you proud simply to count yourself one of the same species as these “ordinary” people who walked (or swam, or fell…) through hell and back again.

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