Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

WIPEOUT-Charlie-Hebdo-shooting“We heard two pops … we all wondered what it was,”

 “He said ‘Don’t move’. I threw myself on the ground … I knew it wasn’t firecrackers.”

 Vinson crawled towards some offices when the door of the editorial office burst open and a man cried: “Allahu akbar … where is Charb?”

 “I heard gunfire. I didn’t look back, I didn’t want to stare death in the face and I was sure I was going to die,” she said.

 She joined other staff hiding in a colleague’s office where they could hear but not see the killing spree.

 “They didn’t fire in bursts, they shot one bullet after another. Slowly. Nobody shouted. Everyone must have been taken completely by surprise,”

 Vinson heard footsteps and more gunfire. One of the gunmen, later identified as Saïd Kouachi, looked around an office wall and took aim.

 “I looked at him. He had big dark eyes, a gentle look. I felt he was slightly troubled, like he was searching for my name,”

This is the chilling account of Sigolène Vinsonh from the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris.

Even with data showing that there are less deaths in modern day conflicts compared to the past, the psychological impact on normal citizens is very different.  In the past, there were front lines, rules of engagement, young men made up most of the casualties in those conflicts and, if it was not a total war, home was a place to de-stress and be relatively safe from attack.  Now, all rules are off and everyone and anyone can be a target in any place.  Terrorism is nothing new in modern history.  From the religious radical, leftist movement to separatism, few movements can claim that they have achieved their goals though terrorism.  However, the frequency and randomness of what we are seeing in the Western world is a completely new threat.

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What happened in Paris and Sydney is merely a start.  We will face more and more attacks like these in our streets, coffee shops, theaters and schools.  There is no front line and radicalization will only get worse as time progresses.  Terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al Qaeda, with its own online publication such as Daqib (struggle), have successfully “inspired“ young people in the Western world to commit atrocities like attacks on Charlie Hebdo.  This magazine’s quality of images and arrangements can put most commercial publications to shame.  Articles on how to make car bombs and justifying the killing of innocent people can provide tools on both the spiritual and tactical level for radical young people. Now anyone with the will can be a terrorist and this is why this new type of terrorism is abhorred and feared by all. In the past, you could stop a terrorist organization by killing its ringleaders, bomb makers or suppliers. Now, anyone can be a ringleader, bomb maker and executioner all at once, and the time from planning to execution is very short.  The authorities have very little time to gather evidence and arrest suspects with no past history or connection until the attack has already happened. These types of attacks do not have to be specific.  The murder of British soldier Fusilier Lee Rigby in 2013 is an example of these types of random terror attacks.  Two of the attackers, Michael Olumide Adebblaio and Michael Oluwatobi Adebowale, pulled off the attack with only cars, knives and a meat cleaver.  A terror attack does not have to be on a massive scale like 911 but simply needs to strike fear into the general public’s psyche.

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Solution:

There is not much we can do regarding radical ideology.  Radical ideology is radical because it is based upon emotions instead of logic.  The root of these emotions can be traced back centuries.  What we can do is for everyone to be mentally ready for the attacks and be prepared to handle them physically.

  1. Mentally Ready

Since the dawn of the age, men and women understood that they need to defend themselves from other humans, natural elements, etc.  The right to defend one’s life is as inherent as life itself.  The right to defense of self is as natural as breathing; however, in the modern day with all the comforts and security of Western civilization, people tend to forget their duty and their right.  We’ve become comfortable and we’ve become complacent.  Western society takes a much more liberal approach within its own society and castrates our ability and mentality to fight for our lives.  Ironically, Western society has a very different approach in its state-to-state affairs.  This diverse difference domestically and externally of Western society gives us the Wolf, Sheep and Sheepdog.  In this society, you are either a Wolf (bad guy), a Sheep (civilians who cannot fight back), or a Sheepdog (police and military).  This idea creates two different classes within a country’s citizens: Sheep and Sheepdog.  An average untrained civilian (Sheep) relies on the professional (Sheepdog) for his or her life, safety and well-being and, in return, the Sheep pays taxes and becomes a good citizen. This type of system was only made possible in the last 30 years because we were not in any major conflict, our society was not under constant threat, and we’ve had a relatively low crime rate. This was not always the case.  After all, nations did not mobilize Sheep in the last two major world wars, but strong proud citizen soldiers. In addition, nowadays, Wolves are hidden among the Sheep and they strike whenever and wherever. The very idea of Sheep and Sheepdog is a very lazy way of thinking.  We do not entrust others to eat our food or drink our water for our own bodies, so why would citizens rely on others to protect their own lives.  One may argue that it is because a Sheepdog has training, etc., but that’s the key point – the only difference between an average citizen and a professional is “training“ and “will to act.“  The second should be inherently built into our human DNA.  When our ancestors picked up the first stick, they made the conscious decision that they wanted to live and that’s the “will“ itself.

sheep-wolf-sheepdogIn almost every terror attack in the past few months, there were instances when untrained and unarmed citizens seized the chance to fight off terrorists, and some perished during the process, such as the two people in the Sydney cafe shop in December 2014, and one man in the Kosher Supermarket in Paris in January 2015.  These instances prove that ordinarily citizens will act in extreme circumstances.

2.Physical Training:

1. Physical Fitness

Physical fitness is the foundation of everything, including your mental health.  The fitter you are, the quicker you can react and the more stress you can handle.  Fitness is directly related to the fight or flight response.  The relation between fitness and fight is self-explanatory and, of course, the fitter you are the faster you can run away from danger.

2. Hand-to-Hand Combat

Here I mean a hand-to-hand combat discipline and not a martial art.  Such disciplines include boxing, Muay Thai, MMA, grappling and, of course, Krav Maga (if taught in the right way).  There is nothing artistic and spiritual about conflict and violence.  It is both physical and emotional.  A lot of hidden emotions; fear, anger and regrets will surface in a fight.  A good hand-to- hand combat training session will help you reveal , and then condition, those feelings and thoughts.  Physically, you will be bruised and injured.  Last, but not least, you will be punched in the face.  The training is tough and unpleasant, but this type of training will condition both your body and mind to be tough in response to dangers.

3. Technique

As time progresses, after you have a strong base of rigorous training, it is time to learn techniques.  Of course, these techniques have to be relevant to real life situations and be practical.  Many systems like Krav Maga, Defendo, Systema, Combat Sambo and even modern Kung Fu has great techniques if you can find a legitimate school with qualified and progressive instructors. 92162eaff8560ed6a3bc7eb6476239c1

4. Firearm Training

Whether or not you are allowed to carry firearms within your country, learning about firearms is vital when it comes to dealing with the type of terror attacks seen in Paris.  In both Paris’ Kosher supermarket and Sydney’s coffee shop attack, hostages attempted to take terrorist’s firearms out of their hands or out of secondary storage.  In both instances, unfortunately, the hostages failed and paid dearly with their lives. The Kosher supermarket was especially tragic when the hostage failed to fire the terrorist’s pistol.  Like it or not, firearms are something people need to understand and have training with in the event of terror attacks.  First of all, not all firearms are the same.  It is not like the movies, when a good guy can simply pick up guns off the ground and start firing.  Western Bloc and Eastern Bloc weapons have different safety switches on the weapon’s body.  For example, a semi-automatic pistol works slightly differently from a revolver.  Knowing how a firearm functions and the ability to potentially use it will ensure your life and others.

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Secondly, the sound of gunfire is something one needs to understand in order to survive active shooter types of terror attacks.  This part of firearm training is neglected by both government and civilians.  Gunfire sounds different up close, far away, outside a building, inside a building, etc.  By knowing the differences in gunfire sounds you can potentially determine the distance of gunman, how many of them there are, and maybe, the type of weapon they are using.  All of this information can help you escape in an active shooter type of terrorist attack.

  1. Defense Shooting Training

Here, defense shooting training means the actual shooting portion of firearm training, whereas, firearm training itself does not necessary need to involve shooting. Whether or not to allow citizens to arm themselves with firearms is debatable, but many experts such as secretary general of Interpol would agree that armed citizens do have the ability to prevent further damage from active shooter type terrorist attacks. The Canadian Parliament Hill attack was a successful case of a determined person with a firearm stopping further slaughter.  After shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who had already shot a soldier outside, broke into Parliament Hill in an attempt to commit further killing inside, Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers was able to prevent further attacks.  Mr. Vickers was an RCMP police officer for 29 years before accepting the ceremonial position of Sergeant-at-Arms. At the time he was not entitled to carry a duty firearm and Mr. Vickers had to retrieve his pistol from his office to engage the shooter.

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The idea of conceal-carry and open-carry frightens common citizens and excites those who are pro-gun and self-defense right folks.  However, the key lies within training and regulations.  The “average” avid shooter’s shooting training is not comparable to the military and law enforcement’s.  Some States like Iowa have slightly stricter training standards when it comes to getting a carry license, but one always wants to ask oneself, “Do I have enough training to use this firearm and am I confident to defend myself and others under pressure.“   The answer to the first question should always be “No.“  There is never enough training to prepare a person for a gun fight.  Shooting in a range, inside a facility with ear plugs on is very different from being scared and pressured while engaging potential enemies.  Well-known firearms instructor Chris Costa and Travis Haley once said “Amateurs train till they get it right, Professionals train till they get it wrong!“  Professionals like the police or military (combat arms) train and train until they experience all kinds of failure (muscle, mechanical , etc .) and when it comes to defense shooting training you need to be a professional for the sake of both the public and yourself.

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In today’s world, attackers come from within the people and the solution lies within the people as well. Normal citizens have to take on the responsibility to protect themselves against dangers in the immediate proximity. The luxury of having “sheepdogs“ risking their life is no longer viable against random terror attacks. Some people might say it is not possible to have the normal citizens be prepared and ready for such attacks, but there are plenty of cases when normal citizens stand against criminals successfully. Israel as a nation has been doing this since its creation in 1949. In this new world, people need to use their free time to exercise and train for possible threats, instead of  sitting in front of the computer and watching the latest reality TV show. This might come as a tough pill to swallow, but after all, we all know vegetables do not taste the best, but are surely good for you.

For those who make a claim to pacifism and take a very liberal approach regarding self defense, this is all I will say to them: “A pacifist is just someone who has not had someone they love or care murdered in front their eyes“. We are all capable of using force (violence when it is unjustified). Here in the western world, we have become soft and complacent because of modern technology; whereas in many parts of the world people live by a more original rule of humanity. As the world gets smaller and smaller with due to improvements in global transportation, people with different upbringings and beliefs live alongside each other. Believing we should not solve problems with violence may be a noble ideal, but not prepare for a potential fight is naive and to believe you are not responsible for your own safety is a lazy and irresponsible way of thinking.

Reference

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/london-attack-lee-rigby-identified-british-soldier-hacked-death-article-1.1352671

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/14/charlie-hebdo-killings-survivor-story

http://10news.dk/interpol-allowing-citizens-to-carry-guns-in-public-is-most-effective-way-to-prevent-terror-attacks/

http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/iowa.pdf

Written by: Borky Y

Edited by: Warren C & Josh H

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Florian Garel is an old friend and training partner of mine.  He is a seasoned Muay Thai, grappling, karate practitioner, instructor and active MMA fighter signed under “One FC“.  Before you step into the dojo you can see the classes though the clear glass. You can see either a bunch of little kids doing kicks and punches alone with Florian in a Zendoaki Karate gi, or you will see a bunch of MMA fighters boxing each other and doing take downs.

In truth, I have rarely seen any dojo  has such an open view to the outside world as Florian’s gym. Many times people will stop and just watch the practice in amazement, especially in Taiwan, a society that values harmony and peace over aggression and prowess of fighting. Children were often taught not to be physical with each other and keep their hands to themselves. Wrestling with friends in mud is an image that only exists in Hollywood movies, but the society is changing. More and more of these audiences are jumping into the practice of MMA and Full Contact Karate.

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The dojo is not big and is about 1000 square feet. There is no lavish equipment but only the necessary gear such as mats, punching pads and other important stuff. It reminds me of the old school MMA gym, and people are here to train and to fight.  Florian’s regular MMA class is not big, generally 5 to 8 people, but many local Taiwanese Pro and Amateur MMA fighters train there with Florian. This speaks to the quality of Florian’s teaching. I participated in several of Florian’s MMA classes and I have to say that Florian has excellent instruction when comes to takedowns. This might surprise you, but the first time Florian and I fought was in 2008, and I was the one taking him down with my superb Judo skill. Now, after years of Sambo and pro-MMA fights, I am the one who can benefit from Florian’s teachings.

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Florian’s take down and grappling style is based more on Sambo and wrestling instead of grappling. It is more active and focuses on getting on top of the opponent. It is also a very MMA focused type of grappling instead of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that I practice and see. The tempo is much faster and techniques are less refining but brutal – Russian style. This is the beauty of Taiwan. It seems to attract styles from around the world instead of limiting to one style.

The teaching style of Florian’s class is considered as Linear Teaching. Florian would teach one technique and then the modification, defense, and so on and so on. From my experience this is the best method of teaching, and Royce Gracie used the same teaching method at the seminar where I was his assistant. Students spar and perform takedowns against each other using the right amount of force and technique and no one has an ego there. Students’ behaviors in sparring reflect the instructor’s attitude and ego, and I have to say Florian does a better job than me.

It is a true United Nations at Florian’s school. You will spar with Pilipino migrant workers in boxing, roll with Canadian MMA fighters, and do ground-and-pound with local Taiwanese students. Martial Arts truly bring people together and bridge the gap of language.

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Zendokai Karate Association in Japan was founded in 1999 by a great Karate Master Mr. Takashi Ozawa. Zendokai Karate is a type of sophisticated Multi-Martial Art based on Japanese Karate that includes punching, kicking, grappling, throwing, and joint locking techniques, while standing and fighting on the ground.  The easiest way to describe Zendoaki Karate is that it is MMA in a gi with some karate moves.

1147749_613530242023622_1767328248_oAt every Saturday Open Mat you will see guests from other dojos coming to train at Florian’s school and he would train with other gyms as well. This is Taiwan. It has a small population when it comes to Martial Arts and even a smaller population when comes to MMA and grappling, but the people are really close and there is a brotherhood among everyone and seldom will you will see rivalry between gyms as you sometimes see in North America. When the community is this small people need each other to survive. For Taiwanese people, it is a far cry from “don’t make physical contact with others”, to rolling on the ground trying to tap each other out. A lot of things have changed and, in my opinion, for the better. I hope…no,I know Florian’s MMA and Karate dojo will prosper in Taiwan because this is what we need.

Written By: Borki Yony

Photo By: Zendokai Karate ( Taiwan ) & Florian Garel

Zendokai’s website & facebook : https://www.facebook.com/taiwan.zendokai?pnref=lhc

If I say Urban Tactics Krav Maga is one of the most diversified and dynamic Krav Maga schools in North America, I think there would be very little dispute. Other than having been certified under 4 International Krav Maga Federations, one of our specialties is firearm training and Krav Maga techniques related to firearms, from firearm disarms, tactical shooting to military Krav Maga. We are privileged to have extensive knowledge from our military background as combat arms soldiers and shooting instructors in the Defense Industry.

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50 cal, the author’s favorite gun during his service with CDN Army

However, sometimes when we ask our civilian students at our Krav Maga school here in Vancouver if they would like to participate in some of Krav Maga seminars related to firearms or Firearm Possession Course, some of them ask “Why? What’s the point to learn about guns ? I will never use it.“  ” what’s the point of using guns as cold steel weapon? I will just shoot the guy. ”  Many Vancouverites do not own firearms nor have an interest in it. I was amazed with these students’ response that they do not want to participate because they think any form of firearm training is not useful in a real life threat.

Let us be clear about something:

  1. Armed robbers or other bad guys do not attack their targets with their bare hands. They always want to achieve superiority by having either a knife or a gun; only honorable people fight in equal amount of forces and let their skill determine who the winner is. Bad guys are not looking for a fair fight; they are looking for an easy pay day. If, unfortunately, you end up at the end of barrel and you faint at the first sight of a gun, the chance of you acting calmly is pretty slim. Knowledge is key to calmness and being collective under pressure. To know what type of firearm and the condition of the firearm is vital to survival in dealing with an armed assailant.
  1. If you disarm someone‘s firearm you need to know how to use it, even if you want to disable the gun to prevent the bad guy from using it again. You need to know how to do so fluidly and accurately under stress. Over and over again I see Krav Maga schools or other Krav Maga instructors teach people how to disarm attackers with a gun, but their immediate actions after the disarm makes my heart skip a beat.  Most of them clearly do not know how a real firearm functions, different functionality between a revolver and semi-automatic pistol, nor how to point the gun at the person if they chose to take lethal action. Just because you point a gun at an attacker does not magically make this person stop from taking the gun back or to attack you again. Do you have the will and skill to fire a gun if you chose to and, if you can hit accurately the bad guy, without hurting the bystanders or yourself? If you do not wish to shoot someone, how do you use guns as cold steel weapon and combine with Krav Maga moves ?
  1. Since almost most Israelis have served in the IDF; firearms have always been part of general Krav Maga curriculum from Day One in Israel. After all, almost every 18, 19 old Israeli youth can take apart, put it back a M-16 and be confident with it on the range. Most North American Krav Maga students and instructors cannot rival Israeli Krav Maga student and instructors’ firearm experience. Nonetheless, In order to learn the full system of Krav Maga, you better be good at firearms. You need to learn how to shoot it, disassemble it, then finally disarm it if you have to. Firearm training is a serious issue and takes lots of training time; more so than any other aspects in Krav Maga. People generally need lots of range time with guns to eliminate the fear of the “Boom Stick“, but also be confident that guns are merely tools and be comfortable with them as extension of their limbs.
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Are you Ash or Villagers ?

Last but not least, we do Krav Maga for a reason. We do it not for fitness or completion but to protect our lives. My friend, you want to ask yourself: Is there ever enough training when it comes to protecting your lives, especially about the most efficient killing tool created by man?

Written By: Borki Yony

Edited By: Warren C

Ottawa Shooting 20141022For those who do not live in Canada, last week there were two separate attacks against Canadian soldiers in Ottawa and Quebec. The one in Ottawa especially hit home for me. The death of Cpl Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, Hamilton upset me deeply.

I have worked in a similar position as Cpl Cirillo at Parliament Hill from 2005 – 2007 as I was a member of the Capital Ceremony Gun Detachment. We provided ceremony gun salutes for diplomatic occasions and important events such as Police Memorial day on the right side of Parliament Hill.  For three years, I did that about twice or three times a month on top of my regular army duty as an army reservist. All of the soldiers who work at the Parliament were unarmed and the most dangerous thing to us was the chilly wind of Ottawa during the winter, or the hot sun during the summer. Life was good and peaceful. You felt pride and sense of duty wearing your uniform representing Canada. The dying and pain of our brethren in Afghanistan seemed very far away from where we stood.

The death of Cpl Cirillo changes all that.  A terrorist hits home and we were not prepared; not at our home, not at our nation’s capital. Canada is one of the most peaceful countries in the world. Except for the War of 1812, almost all of our military operations were launched on foreign soil instead of against foreign invaders on our soil. We Canadians do not know what the meaning of being scared is. We do not worry if the bus is going to blow up or if there will be a rocket landing on our roof. We are naive and innocents We live our lives not worrying if someone will deprive us of our lives in the next few seconds. Canadians who dare to venture outside of our comfortable nation know that we Canadians are fortunate and blessed. We live in Elysium.

Everything has changed now, and I have to admit that I am scared. We are facing a new type of enemy who do not wear uniforms and they live among us. They are not criminal. They are not cowards and they have very little regard for other people’s lives. How do you combat that?

 By not giving in, we can be fearful of the events but we do not fear those who wish us harm. If we are fearful of the event then we are aware of the situation. Emotion is normal and those who say they have no fear are either ill-informed or lying. As living creatures we fear death, but that makes us more careful or  allows us to cherish our time on Earth more. Those who train will train even harder and be thankful for everyday we have on Earth. Now we have a purpose for why we train Krav Maga. We do not rely others to protect us and we are the guardians of our safety and captains of our fate. We are not lambs but lions. We fear for our lives but fear will only drive us to move faster, scan wider and punch harder. We want to live, and we want to save lives. That is why we will triumph over terrorism by doing exactly what terrorists expect us not to do; to live under the sun with our chin high. 

Written By: Borki Yony

Edited By: Warren C

In this video there are four of my buddies from Military Krav Maga Instructor course. I have to say this is probably one of the best demo video I ever seen. The quality is superb.

You guys can read about my Serbian adventurous at here.

http://urbantacticskravmaga.com/2013/09/17/from-serbia-with-love-military-krav-maga-instructor-course-in-belgrade/

By: Borhan Jiang

Leon: A Soldier’s story

Posted: March 18, 2013 by urbantacticskravmaga in UTKM Student Corner
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I’ve been in the army for a bit over 10 years and in that time I’ve had very little training in close quarter combat. It seems like a skill set that would be highly valued within the forces given the nature of our work but from my experience it is largely ignored. That is why I jumped on the chance to learn Krav Maga when Jon and Borhan opened their school. It’s true that very little of the fighting that takes place in modern conflicts in hand to hand but the possibility is ever present. While deployed overseas many of the patrols and operations take place in built up areas where the local population are all around  you. Should you find yourself in conflict with an individual or group responding with a firearm while in a crowd could be dangerous. Deadly force is not always desirable and with firearms comes greater risk of wounding or killing someone other than the aggressor. This sort of incident can turn the will of the population against you and an be very detrimental in a low intensity conflict like Afghanistan. Collateral damage aside, sometimes in a confined space firearms can be rendered useless and soldiers could easily find themselves engaged in a hand to hand struggle where failure is not an option.
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There is an increase in confidence that comes from the knowledge that should you be attacked you will be able to handle yourself. This confidence goes beyond a military context and can have equal effects while at home in Canada. Even in a safe city like Vancouver the ability to defend yourself can be an asset. I also really like that the class has brought me back into a culture of fitness. Not only have I been more active because of three Krav Maga classes per week but I’ve also been roped into a lot of running and other “extra curricular” fitness activities. I look forward to continuing my training with Jon, Borhan and all my classmates. I’m still pretty new to Krav Maga but this is my first real foray into self defence and I think I’ve come a long way from when I first started the class.
Written By: Leon U