Starting Along The Way Of The Gun

For all the talk of physical training, there’s one thing that can’t be escaped. Sooner or later, if you’re serious about keeping you and yours safe, you’re going to have to buy a gun.

If you’re like a lot of people, most of what you know about firearms came from movies, which tends to be a horrible place to learn how to fight with a gun.

Horrible.

So, here’s a quick guide on what to look for in a first firearm. Also, understand this is one guy’s take on what to look for. It is not the One True Way or anything and shouldn’t be taken that way.

This primer makes the assumption that you’re only really looking to buy one gun, not an entire arsenal. Continue reading “Starting Along The Way Of The Gun”

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The World Of Pain

The first day back to training after a hiatus, regardless of why you’ve had a hiatus, can be exhilarating. The feel of iron in your had, the tension in your muscles, all of those things make always make me feel alive.

Then the next day happens, and…OUCH!

Right now I’m sore. Sore as hell. Walking is painful, to say the least. My lats are sore from the negative pull-ups yesterday as well. I can deal with those. But my poor, poor legs…

Oh well. Continue reading “The World Of Pain”

Back In The (Kettlebell) Swing Of Things

Last week, I didn’t get much working out down for a number of reasons. One of which was feeling like crap. Another was having workmen in our home to do a number of things. I hate working out with an audience, after all, and when I feel like crap…well.

No excuse, though.

There can’t be any excuses. Not anymore. I’m trying to stay alive in a world where there are a large number of people who want me dead. Yes, some include people who want me dead personally, most likely. Others just want me dead because I didn’t vote for the right candidate or I support the wrong policy. Still others want me dead because I live in the U.S. and am happy to live here.

They won’t delay because I didn’t feel good one week.

That meant it was back into training. No, I didn’t do any DDP Yoga. Not yet, anyway. I’ll probably do some tomorrow for stretching purposes, but I didn’t do it today because I love lifting stuff. Period.

So that put a kettlebell back into my hands. Continue reading “Back In The (Kettlebell) Swing Of Things”

Two Experts On Situational Awareness

Tim Kennedy is a U.S. Army special forces sniper and a fighter in the UFC. Mike Simpson is an emergency medicine doctor are former special forces soldier. Both appeared on the History Channel’s “Hunting Hitler” and both know what they’re talking about on a lot of things.

Well, a while back they spoke on their podcast about situational awareness, and there’s some awesome stuff to think about. Continue reading “Two Experts On Situational Awareness”

Bringing In The Kettlebell

I’ve had kind of a crappy week this week. Yes, it’s because of what happened in Las Vegas. Yes, I will talk about it here at a future date, but not right now.

For what it’s worth, as a gun writer in my daily life, I’ve been writing a lot about what happened, and it’s impossible to cover a topic like that and an event like that and it not take a bit of a toll on you. Nothing like what those who were there experienced, mind you, but a toll none the less.

And the thing I noticed is that the one thing that really got me stoked was thinking about my kettlebells. Continue reading “Bringing In The Kettlebell”

Beware The Snake Oil Part 2

Please check out Part One of this diatribe before continuing. 

There are people in the world of fitness and personal defense that seem to enjoy notoriety more than anything else. They seem to advance ideas and take a tone that makes them seem gruff, no-nonsense kind of guys. Manly men.

What these guys often do is create cults of personality surrounding them, filled with adoring sycophants who want nothing more than to emulate their beloved leader.

These are what I refer to as Fanboys.

Fanboys are people who embrace the snake oil so completely, any and all skepticism or criticism of the snake oil is perceived–and not entirely unjustly so–as an attack on them and their decision-making abilities. After all, they reached a different decision than you did, thus you not accepting their decision as the right one means you think they’re a moron.

Of course, in many cases, it’s because they’re morons.

Anyway, the Fanboys will brook no criticism of their beloved icon, but what is it their beloved icon is selling them? In some cases, it’s nothing particularly new. Instead, it’s usually some older snake oil with a slight twist. Occasionally, it’s something legitimate with a snake oil twist that the huckster will claim makes the whole thing work.

Either way, those who buy into the snake oil become convinced by their Alpha-Male leader that this works so well that they can’t even listen to outside criticism without finding a way to dismiss it.

I’m not talking about all rival approaches to fitness. I’m not claiming there’s a One True Way, either. While I do think there’s an optimal “way” to achieve any goal, that way is probably different for each goal and each person. I’m also not arrogant enough to think I’ve discovered it. Not yet, anyway.

Mark Rippetoe proposes gaining strength by lifting barbells with certain lifts at certain times. Louie Simmons has a much different approach to gaining strength.

Who is right? Damned if I know.

What I do know is that both have proponents primarily because both have shown their systems work. Yes, Rippetoe thinks his system is best. I’m pretty sure Simmons does too.

Where they diverge from the Snake Oil Hucksters is in the fact that they can defend their programs with real-world results. I’ve seen many proponents of each comment that the other system does indeed increase strength. In other words, neither man has really gone about putting together Fanboys.

In short, they sell something that clearly works. Further, they don’t attack skepticism as if their lives depend on it. They respond with a measured approach with a factual defense of their system.

Not only that, but neither man presents his program as the greatest thing since sliced bread. At least, not that I’ve seen.

Instead, they present it as a proven system to get stronger. Both can show you the proof.

BAM!

The difference is that most hucksters know they can’t present evidence. They don’t have a long track record of proven results.

Further, most hucksters have had to create something so radical, something so very different from the norm, all so they can be the One True Way. That makes it virtually impossible for them to show results except for the tainted, manipulated results we’ve come to expect from the fitness industry.

 

Then, if that’s not enough, the huckster will further try and manipulate things to make them look like the One True Way. Take the guy who triggered this whole, two-day rant. Blowing up at someone who admitted skepticism but was still open-minded to his approach wasn’t enough.

No, yesterday he started offering a giveaway to those who reviewed his book. In other words, he’s bribing people to leave a review of his book…but we all know it’s only for a good one.

I may be cynical, but it’s a cynicism born from experience.

Unfortunately, it becomes very difficult to differentiate between the huckster and the guy with a devote following if he’s just that different. Take Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple. He takes a very radical approach to fitness and health, very different than what most experts are saying. His fans love him, and many are truly Fanboys.

However, I’ve never seen Mark cultivate this. What he’s proposing makes sense, and while he advocates it as the best way to get fit, he doesn’t feel the need to tear people down over it. He appears to prefer to let the results speak for themselves.

And therein lies the difference.

If there’s one thing that separates the huckster from the radical thinker, it’s that the need to destroy criticism. They can’t trust science to back them up, they can’t trust results to back them up, they can’t trust anything except their own prowess with…well, whatever.

So please, do beware of these people. They prey on the desperate, those who want nothing more than to get healthy as quickly and easily as possible. They prey on that desire and really don’t care about getting people healthier.

Don’t get suckered in.

Beware The Snake Oil

Regardless of where you are with your physical health, there are people out there who claim to know the secret. They swear up and down that they and they alone know the path to a healthier you.

Yesterday on social media, I encountered one of these guys. He’d made a joke and, though skeptical of what he was selling, it was the kind of joke I respect. As a result, I mentioned being skeptical of the program, but jokes like that made me really want to give it a try.

After all, I tend to believe there’s more than one way to the Promised Land. Continue reading “Beware The Snake Oil”