Thursday, December 17, 2015

Will of Iron: Understanding the Fighting Spirit

Under the Chinese Zodiac I am a Metal Monkey. Monkey is one of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac but each animal has a Element of Five Natural Forces. So this, zodiac has inspired me to write the title Will of Iron (as the Movie/story Iron Monkey is based off my Zodiac persona). I was having a discussion with a friend of mine about what it takes to be a real fighter... He had read my interview with Cult of Ninzuwu and he had questions, those questions and the discussion that evolved from them inspired this blog...

First off, let me tell you all something... I am not an impressive person, I'm short and I "don't look like a martial artists" (whatever that means). I'm not going to wow with modelling good looks or intimidate you with size and inhuman amounts of muscle. What will do is surprise you. It is this reason and this reason alone, I often speak of my own exploits.

Secondly, I don't have much respect for the "martial arts" community that has proven itself to be a bunch of whiny punks behind a computer screen. I have respect for fighters, and no I'm not talking about Ronda Rousey or Fabricio Werdum. I'm talking about real fighters (not saying they aren't), about people who suffer, sacrifice and just don't give up even when they fail (and especially fail repeatedly). May be coming up those champions did but being a fighter (at least to me is a mindset).

See I can tell you about the time I fought for money, when I was homeless and 15 to 16 years old. Everyone makes a big deal out of kid fighting drunks and addicts with no training and skill or the experience to back it up. Whoo Hoo I beat up scrubs! (There should be some dripping sarcasm there if you hadn't noticed.) Because, fighting for money was better then robbing people and I didn't have the money to buy drugs to re-sell them. Oh and I was 15 so I couldn't get a job. My fight, was simply dealing with being poor... at 16 I got a job at Wendy's and made more money then I did fighting for it.

Does that make me better then Rousey or Werdum? No... but some troll will say I said I was better. You see we love watching MMA, boxing and martial arts movies because they are about people facing adversity. We love war movies because its about someone rising to the occasion and overcoming. In the military, they taught us "No One rises to the Occasion, they Just Fall back on Training..." And the Military is 100% right, but we have been trained by life since we were born. How our parents raise us and teach us (train us), to treat the world and others is how we will react in world.

Let me clarify this for you a bit, if your parents teach you its acceptable to quit, give up and let people walk over you. You will allow that to happen... But, if your parents teach you to stand up for yourself, to accept failure but, not to accept not trying and to see yourself as someone of value. You will do that as well...

I can't wait to see this new Rocky Movie, Creed... Because so many people loved Rocky so much they don't even remember he lost in the first movie. The whole theme was explained in the Rocky Balboa movie (2006) when he said "It's not about hard you can hit. Its about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward." The same theme is expressed in the Creed movie preview, because the theme of the Rocky movies has always been about overcoming.

I think it is the perfect way to end the franchise by passing the torch but, my point is people can talk trash, they can sabotage your goals and belittle your dreams. In the end, it is simply whether you give up or give in. Fighting spirit is about the will to take your hits, to be beaten down and get back up. Not every fight is about hitting people or waged against another person but, all fights are waged against life, a world full of people and countless hardships and problems. Too many people don't have the will to fight, because the will to fight is the will to live...

As I said, I can only speak for myself but, I can say this... What I did, anyone can do. They just have to know how. It is not about winning or losing it is about being willing to fight. Fighting battles you can't win means that winning means nothing to you (you can't win anyway right?) but, the fight has meaning. It means you can, take the hits, get knocked down and get back up again. While everyone is pointing to what I was charged with and what was claimed they haven't seen the evidence or the facts...

Here is the arrest warrant, Case Number 13F-1026...

Here is the Psychological Evaluation by Dr. Miller that lists the evidence given to him by the State, AKA Christen Keller the Raleigh County Prosecutor.
This clearly shows that Kristen Keller, never supplied the evidence in regard to my case she was required to do so by, West Virginia Code: 27-6A-2 (b). Which goes to show you the issue was that I stated a clear and legal argument justifying that anyone call defend their self against false arrest, if they can prove the officer acted in "bad faith." It also makes any warrants issued by the Raleigh County Prosecutor against seem suspect and issued by means of political goals as opposed to lawful interests... Otherwise, why bothering to attempt to try to suppress lawfully required evidence and make Dr. Miller an unknowing (?) accessory to fabricating evidence?

So while I chose to fight, knowing I couldn't win a "war of resisting arrest" (My second Amendment Right) without being labeled a "terrorist," I knew a battle fought in court (over my First Amendment Rights talking about my 2nd Amendment Rights) could be won. I just had to take the hit of being arrested falsely, yet again and, fighting the winnable battle in court. Which the court dismissed without reason on September 11th, though we had already agreed to their capitulation prior to that outside the court and the media's eyes. Though I am still curious about if the case was before Judge Burnside because, he was once married to Kristen & far from impartial?

Regardless public information is admissible in court and, so I leave Beckley (and all of Raleigh County) an early Christmas present. Proof of prior bad faith actions, by the state police and prosecutor in conspiracy with each other. This is grounds to showing why one should have an evidentiary hearing and question any discrepancies in statement and warrants of any trial until the State takes action concerning it. To see more publicly available information on police misconduct, the states use of informants & police misconduct is all inside Never Back Down: The True Story of Ron Collins, with recordings on YouTube. See it is not the whether you can't the fight, it is winning the fights you can win and being willing to get knocked down, and get back up to fight until you can win. Heart is not something you can teach an adult or a teenager, it is something you teach your children. You don't learn you have heart by quitting, by taking the easy road. You do it by leaping without looking and trust God (or whatever you believe in as a higher authority, for me it is Yahweh or Jehovah, which ever name you prefer for God) to give you wings... So I fought to give everyone the tools to fight back, the question is who is going to fight and who is going to lay down?

If nothing else, you go numb from getting hit and keep getting hit as you move forward...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Travelling During SHTF: Tactics and Techniques to Save You

Not long ago, I read a article called How To Travel When SHTF by Prepper's Will. I don't think its a bad article but I think it needs to provide some information about how to just that. So I've decided to write a blog explaining such tactics and techniques that should have been in Prepper's Will own blog.

While the cited article was focused on general information it was more like generalized things to do without much discription on how to do them. Many things addressed like securing you vehicle was covered in Poorman's Guide to Prepping: Economical Doomsday Survival available from Shadow Warrior Publishing for $14.95. Knowing what to do is only part of the solution, knowing how to do it is just as vital. As they say in G.I. Joe, "Knowing is half the battle." but they don't say doing is the other half.

Rule Number 1: Know your Area!
Terrain dictates tactics, so if you know your terrain you know know what tactics you are going to be dealing with. Terrain is not just about hills and valleys, swamps and deserts, urban or rural but who is in your area. Many Americans live in rural areas where the prepping lifestyle is a way of life and moving to these areas your "Prepping" is just a funny city-slicker way of say Red Neck Ingenuity or Common Sense to a Hill Billy. Some places in the woods locals don't go because they know there are pot fields, meth labs and people who will kill you to protect their supply. Police won't even go into those areas without going in force, having back up ready and air support. So know not only the hills and valleys but the people you are dealing with.

Travel on Foot:
Travel on foot may be unavoidable and while I somewhat agree with Prepper's Will about travelling at night, night time is more likely to get you shot for being mistaken for a looter or burglar. In some cases you may need to travel alone, car breaks down and you have to stash or abandon your gear and just travel with a bug out bag, a state of martial law is declared for a localize emergency (Hey I was 13 when the Governor of West Virginia declare a State of Emergency and put National Guard on the Streets because an ice storm knocked out power and people started breaking into drug stores and looting, it is not as strange or as dramatic as Hurricane Sandy or Katrina was.).

There are debates online about whether to be a Grayman or go all paramilitary when SHTF. This all depends on what and how things are breaking down. Now yes, police and those in authority will treat a individual in paramilitary garb as a threat but statically speaking criminals will leave you alone. This is based on a Department of Justice Survey cited in the U.S. News & World Report story titled Open Carry Deters Crime so even you are walking up the road with a backpack, your hunting rifle and a handgun on your belt, you are a less likely target to criminals then someone carrying concealed. Now whether you are a target for some Rambo-wannabe Barry Fife is a different matter. I always suggest someone getting starting with a bug out bag and working down from there.

While I agree with Prepper's Will about not travelling but you need to a) understand your environment and b) know the people you are dealing with. Night time travel in a cold environment is not suggested and if you must evacuate (that's what bugging out is) you need to know not only were you are going but have worked out several alternate routes. A substitute for foot travel is using a smaller vehicle such as a bicycle, moped, dirt bike (motor cycle) or ATV. However, these things are limited by what kind of terrain they can be used one, and the need for fuel. An electric motor can be charged using a small solar kit but that effects travel. Regardless you need to practice said hike before you attempt it in a emergency. Even then, just avoiding the interstate isn't enough because many people will risk it, even not knowing the area just to "follow the locals" hoping to avoid a traffic jam and many local may be trying to use the same paths and trails you are. So again you need to know your area, physically and socially.

Basic Tips for Travel On Foot:
  1. Avoid Traveling Alone: If at all possible avoid traveling alone but, lets assume you can't help it. Great either try to blend in with others if you are in a crowd or try to find a place to lay low to evaluate the situation and figure out your next move. If you have to travel alone make sure to use the proper tactics, be the gray man with authorities and present a hard target to criminals. 
  2. Noise and Light Discipline: Noise and Light Discipline is military term for "shut up, tie down, dirty it & no Light." Shut Up, is the very simple concept of don't speak unless you have to and speak quietly (whisper when you do). Tie Down, is the simple concept of tie down any loose straps, clothing and so on, so as not to create a snag or brush against something when moving. Dirty it, is the basic concept of using dirt to cover the shine of skin, metal or plastic items and any bright clothing. This is basically camouflage. No Light, doesn't mean not have a flash light, it means not to use it excessively. If you use a flashlight put a red lens on it and even then cover it. This a) protects your night vision and b) makes a you less visible to other. So if you are checking a map, cover you and map with your coat while using the light.
  3. Camouflage, Cover & Concealment: This is pretty simple, camouflage is any clothing pattern and movement method which allows you to go unnoticed. Many "survival experts" call this being the gray man and treat the tactic of camouflage as if it is a survival strategy, it isn't. You don't need to wear BDUs or MarPat to be camouflaged, right now its fall I live in West Virginia which means there are no leaves on the trees and everything is brown. So wearing Tan and Khaki clothing will allow me to blend in better then a pare of BDUs. Cover is an obstacle that prevents contact with the enemy (anyone who threatens your life and safety) and obstructs said enemy's view of you. A sheetrock wall is not cover, if your enemy is armed, bullets will pass through sheet rock. This makes sheetrock concealment, concealment is anything that obstructs sight with the enemy but doesn't prevent contact. 
  4. Travel Along Cover & Concealment: Don't avoid roads, just avoid traveling on them. You can travel along a road but approximately 30 to 50 yards to the side of, off the road. This allows you observe the road and follow it but allows you remain concealed so as to avoid an trouble on the road. Do not walk on the tops of ridges or hills so as not to silhouette yourself, instead travel along the side of the hill.
  5. Camouflage your Camp Site: If you have to lay low or shelter in place, you need to camouflage your area. This means avoiding the usual camp site activities like camp fires or building shelters. Even if you do build a shelter you need to make sure it's hidden from view and preferably between two larger objects with a limited area of approach. If you have to build a fire us a Dakota Fire Hole.
  6. Learn Individual Movement Principles: Learning basic skills like individual movement techniques for sneaking about. You never know when it will come in handy. When in doubt, freeze or just drop to your stomach and low craw to cover. To get a basic idea just watch the video below...
  7. Post Watch/Traps/Alarms: When camping or rest, set a few small noise traps, or even defensive traps to cause injury if you travel alone. This allows some small amount of protection, though travelling with someone who can keep watch while you sleep and you can watch for them while they rest is the best bet.
  8. Always Be Armed: You don't need a AR15 with all the latest tacticool gadgets or a AK47, anything will do as long as you have some means of self-defense. Even if you are carrying a hastily made spear out a butcher knife, duct tape and an old broom stick or just old broom stick. Having some means yo defend yourself is critical.

Travel in a Vehicle:
Vehicle Travel is a pain in the ass, because you either have to be on the road before traffic turns the interstate into a parking lot or you have wait until after all hell breaks loose and its safe too travel afterward, which puts you in the "storm" when shit hits the fan. In either case you need to have extra fluids, gas for your vehicle and still have to sport room for you preps. If you have more then one vehicle remember the slowest and least off road capable sets the pace. Then there are security issues... Look any jack ass with a chain saw and a gun can rob you by putting trees in the road and car jacking you. Some small towns with little to now law enforcement presence will have a Bubba or group of Bubbas who will set up their own check points in a Doomsday scenario. Some of these small towns will then cut off routes through rural America, so taking the back roads can and will be more dangerous then we think. Same can be said for some urban and sub-urban neighborhoods. This happened during Katrina and Sandy in the US.

So lets look at the most likely scenario, a father of 2 children (a 14 year old argumentative drama queen brat of daughter who thinks the world revolves around her & a 7 year old son who has spent more time playing video games then playing outside) are forced to evacuate. The family mini van is packed with essentials, and they have to travel 47 miles to Aunt Marta's house during a mass evacuation.

But what are the essentials? To the son its a PSP and an MP3 player... The to daughter its her cell phone and facebook which is now down. To the wife its all the canned goods and everyone is packing a lot of cloths. To daddy, John Doe its his .380 and 12 gauge shot gun. This nightmare scenario becomes so much worse if we are talking about a single mother or just a single person.

So lets discuss those basics shall we, what do you need for your car-kit?

  1. Cloths are fine and all but you need no more then 5 pares of cloths, per person. But, you also need to think Hygene as well, Antiseptic Wipes or Antiseptic Soap and a wash cloth, Tooth Brush, Etc.
  2. The Bug Out Bag, there are different builds and each person should build there own to there needs. Bug-Out bags are the basic foundation. Most of the essentials should be covered here and a little extra in car, like matches and lighters doesn't hurt.
  3. I suggest at a minimum two 5-Gallon Gas Cans, jumper cables, Jump Starter, extra fluids (all of them) at least 4 bottles and 6 for oil, spare blankets, flashlight, socket set, spare fuses, car jack, lug wrench, a case of water and some emergency food (trail mix & jerky will do) and that is for everyday travel. And that is not counting the spare tire or tire chains if your location requires them and oh yeah a can of fix-a-flat or 4, just in case. Don't forget your first aid kit either.
  4. A fairly medium tent would be a good addition. Your vehicle is made of glass and steel and those things trap heat but also transfer the cold temperature will make your car a freezer in the winter. A good tarp is also recommended.
  5. Then you can start looking at Food to take, other things... of that nature. As for guns well, that is on you but I think the pioneers had a good system. You need only 3 three at a minimum. A shotgun for utility and a handgun for close in defense. You need a rifle for long range shooting and don't forget to buy a big freaking knife and a hatchet or tomahawk. For rifles I suggest a AR15 or AK47 style rifle as it is good for general defense. Also take a tactical class and learn to use it effectively.
  6. Now what are the special items you need, after all I just covered the basic above... Lets start out simple, maps... GPS is fine but paper maps don't need batteries and if you are going to Aunt Martha's you need to map out back roads and main highways to get there. You can get local area crime stats at your police departments and mark danger areas you want to avoid. Some people suggest having cache's along the way and you can do this along those routes but, a cache can be found and looted by others. So do so at your own risk. A pioneer's kit is also recommended, a axe, shovel and pick or matic is recommended at a minimum.
  7. Now if you have your family of 4, you need security... Mommy and Daddy need to be packing. With that family of 4 daddy needs his handgun handy for a right hand draw, and mommy needs to be sitting in the back seat middle with the shotgun. Grocery bags filled with dirt (i.e. sandbags) can be used to line the back of mini-van and placed long the doors on the inside to provide some ballistic protection (hey if it works for the US Army it will work for your family). That single parent needs to sit in the driver seat with a shotgun across their lap to cover the right side and that handgun at a right hand draw to cover the left side. 
  8. If you are traveling by convoy (3 or more vehicles together), the fastest vehicles needs a flare gun and too travel about 1 to 3 miles ahead of the rest, with two people inside. This allows for a forward observer in case the road is blocked or a situation arises. In case the radio can't reach you, I live a state where mountains can block cell phone and even CB reception, the flare provides an emergency warning. All non-combatants (injured, women and children; Note: I'm not saying women aren't capable for defending themselves I'm saying they are the last line in defending the children and we all know that saying about mother protecting her young... Oh and I'm sorry men should be men and fight to protect their families!) need to travel with the supplies. The "defense forces" or IRF (instant reaction force) needs to have all the fighters in the group. Order of travel is simple, Scout Vehicle, IRF and Non-Com (Non-Combatants). If the threat comes from behind, the IRF can provides a defensive position to engage while the Non-Coms advance past them to safety or advance while the Non-Coms halt should the Scouts encounter anything. More so, just because they are non-combatants doesn't mean the Non-Coms should be unable to defend themselves. 
  9. DO NOT Pick Up Strays... By Strays I mean anyone not in your group. I don't care if it is women and children if you don't know them personally, you are best to avoid them. Look criminals use kids all the time to run drugs, steal and commit other crimes. They also use them as decoys, so don't take the risk.
This is very loosely based on US Army doctrine and convoy SOP. Ideally, if the scouts encounter a potential threat they call in IRF as support and investigate one scout providing over-watch with a rifle and allow the other to advance. A Bubba checkpoint might only seeking to keep out trouble or it could be a ride side robbery waiting to happen. The last thing you want them to know is that you have a combat capable IRF on standby. Basically, it is a very simple matter of using this as recommended for basic tentative plan and adjust were you need to. Two vehicles don't need to send a scout element because that splits the force in half.

Travel Alone:
Travel alone is not recommended. But its say it unavoidable well that video on basic individual movement will provide some basic techniques for you. Some additional information for those travelling alone...

  1. Always assume the area is under enemy observation.
  2. Move slowly. A sniper counts his movement progress by feet and inches.
  3. Do not cause overhead movement of trees, bushes, or tall grasses by rubbing against them.
  4. Plan every movement and move in segments of the route at a time.
  5. Stop, look, and listen often.
  6. Move during disturbances such as gunfire, explosions, aircraft noise, wind, or anything that will distract the enemy’s attention or conceal one's movement.
  7. Avoid known enemy positions and obstacles.
  8. Seek terrain that offers the best cover and concealment.
  9. Take advantage of difficult terrain (swamps, dense woods, and so forth).
  10. Do not use trails, roads, or footpaths.
  11. Avoid built-up or populated areas.
  12. Avoid areas of heavy enemy & criminal activity.
  13. Avoid conflict when possible but, if you have to fight... go all out and take no prisoners.

Travel by Day or Night:
While I somewhat agree with Prepper's Will, I don't think night time is the only option. If you are in difficult terrain or a rural area with large predators. Travel at night might not be advisable, so when moving through difficult terrain day light hours are your best bet. There is no single answer and each situation is different so do what is best for you, when you feel you have to.

Know Your Environment:
I know I've covered this already but you need to practice you drive or hike out of dodge and practice the alternate routes at least twice a year. You need to know of if not know, everyone in your area. The social landscape can be just as dangerous as the physical one and will impact the physical landscape in an emergency.

Types of SHTF:
Different type of SHTF events require a whole different set of tactics. The basic idea here is simple, you are bugging out for a reason. Regardless of whats happening you are leaving your home and have to assume none of your stuff will be left behind because it is better/safer for you to leave and not stay put.

Martial Law:
Many people talk about the government coming for you or America becoming a police state. Well guess what, too late we are already there... suck it up "Tinker Bell" and deal with it. There are several situations in which martial law can and will be imposed. In small areas like we've seen in the past covered by the mainstream media with its government funded propaganda. Like Hurricane Katrina, Boston and Hurricane Sandy, now here is the thing...

Lets say your area has been placed under a state of emergency and the police are coming door to door taking your guns and other preps. You have three ways to handle the situation. 1. Start shooting, likely to get you and others killed. 2. Bug-out and 3. Accept it.

Now if you accept it the government will cart you off the a FEMA camp or some location like the Super Dome, with a bunch of other people. And well it took FEMA how long to get water there and if you haven't heard the stories about the rape gangs that was in the Super Dome and how little protection people had... well google it. Or just read this story from the LA Times.

You could resist and that is going to do three things, a) get you killed, b) get you arrested and c) cause the powers that be to put more trigger happy and paranoid jack-booted thugs on the ground to terrorize you. Then there is bugging out.

Our middle option is to sneak out the area of effect and get on to your BOL (Bug Out Location). You can't just drive through a check point with a car full of gear and guns go to Aunt Martha's. You will most likely have to hike out on foot carrying your gear and dragging your family with you. Like's a bitch but hey get to walking...

Natural Disaster:
Travel during or after a major natural disaster is a different scenario. Remember what happened in LA post hurricane Katrina with the localized martial law was due to a sudden up-shoot in crime and looting. Not keep this in mind because a natural disaster caused massive civil unrest and civil unrest lead to martial law. So lets look at the Natural Disaster angle for a minute...

A natural disaster causes a breakdown in social order and most likely economical and utility service in an area. This causes civil unrest or those of malicious intent to act maliciously. Either way, weather or flooding or earth quakes have all cut you off and you need to get out the area. You might have to accept a few things, first is that certain roads may be impassable and second you might not know it until you are on said road. You can map out and mark locations likely to suffer landslides, flooding and so on. But if you are home you are home and if you are leaving home there needs to be a major reason why...

Civil Unrest:
This is the bitch issue, asshole breaking stuff and robbing people. Looting is a criminal act of stealing things you don't need to own or sale for profit via breaking and entering. Savaging is taking things you need via theft because it's an emergency. Both are illegal and both can get you killed. When the police are arresting people and breaking up riots they don't care what you are doing, if it look illegal, it's illegal. If you are breaking down my shop door, I don't care if your daughter is dying from a bad asthma attack or your trying to get a free TV. I'm going to shoot you if not shoot at you...

This is where people skills and de-escalation are handy for dealing with people & why I teach it in my Street Focus Jujitsu course. Now lets talk the major issue, civil unrest brings the authorities to re-establish order. You don't want to be on the road when this happens and you could have no other choice. If possible get away from the conflict zone and wait it out in your car. If you are forced to evacuate an area under civil breakdown or, just drive through Detroit, its best to travel in the day where you can see a threat a long ways off and be armed.

I remember reading a person's account of evacuating during Katrina. The truck ran out of gas in bumper to bumper traffic on the interstate that was going at a snails pace. As one person began filling the truck from a gas can, other people started demanding gas for themselves. Well three younger men were going to take the gas, until the older gentle man in the truck brandished his handgun. Imagine the effect of those three attacking other drivers and looting their vehicle. It would have spark additional unrest and violence in an already heated situation with people's emotions running high.

These are the three main scenarios for a SHTF event and that is leaving out terrorism or other massive breakdown events. The focus is travel in an event of emergency and dealing with possible risks.

Summer Travel and Winter Travel:
Not every crisis will occur during the summer or in warmer weather. So you need to have certain gear for winter travel when bugging out in colder weather. Colder weather brings a whole catagory of risk few preppers are really prepared to face. This is especially true of travel

Travelling during SHTF:
The basic focus has been in evaluating the situation and various methods. Its important to know the difference between a survival tactic and survival strategy. This is basically the difference between a tactic and strategy. Strategies are a series of overlapping plans that direct one to reach the ultimate plan, tactics are pre-planned responses to an event. You need a plan a strategy but, you also need to know some basic tactics to make that strategy work.

I hope you never need this information and that if you do, this blog as been of some help. I'd also like to think Prepper's Will for the inspiration to write this blog. Be safe everyone and thank you all for helping this blog reach 30,000 viewers.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Way of the Warrior...

This blog varies between survivalism, prepping and martial arts, to just the insanity of my life... I live an interesting life but we live in interesting times. The world is changing around us and following the ebb and flow of nature is impossible in a convoluted mess of information and personal drama, our world presents. We all feel something is about to happen but it will not happen suddenly, there will be warning signs and watchers who will see the coming changes and will seek to warn others but, many will not listen.

What we need are warriors, I don't care were you call you faith from or what culture represents your warrior image, Viking, Knight, Spartan, Samurai or Shinobi these are all names but for what is the Warrior Achetype. Simply put the world is changing and, change brings conflict. Honor, Courage and Codes of Morality... The warrior knows he will die and death is accepted for it is better to to die then live as a slave. Death is better then submission for we all die but, to live is a struggle and a war we face daily.

I know not the day nor the hour, but do know something is changing we all feel it, even if, we do not see it. There are so many possibilities and we are so caught up on preparing for the what we see. Economic collapse or war, terrorism and on and on we go... but where are we going?

This is the nature of the warrior, you are a shield to the weak and a sword to those who are an enemy. The enemy is anyone or anything that seeks to do you or yours harm. My interest in martial arts is only in what tools it puts, in my tool box. I don't care for style or lineage. I care about what what works... It might shock people but, I hate fighting. Why? Because I am good at it. Violence and bloodshed are things that come naturally to me but, they are not what I am about.

Remember I'm the guy who stood alone without any weapons and who used internet trolls and haters to manipulate the government at the state level to draw out these hilly billy blood feuds for some unknown purpose. The simple fact is, it is just insane to dismiss Terroristic Threats  charges.... without trial. And if, some form of violence where ever called for, imagine how that would look?

No, I don't mean to make or imply anything threatening only to show were the state of West Virginia (those in power under the cloak of the states authority) failed to prove anything and then just dropped everything after I manipulated them into even more corrupt practices. Besides my "threat" (actually a hypothetical legal argument) was simply a basis for using the Standard of the US Supreme Court in Bad Elk v the United States & Mapp v Ohio which I mistakenly called Brady v Ohio, to publicly address the corruption in the Raleigh County and West Virginia State Government.

Know this, I'm calling all warriors to stand ready, to build your tool boxes and dig in deep. This going to be a long slow burn before the big plunge. Also know this, I did nothing of my own power the whole time I was fighting "my war" God was fighting for me, with me and everything happened according to his plan. I did nothing he did not do through me. As I said, everything was dismissed & I've had time do something if I had decided to do anything... but what I did was not about violence or threats of violence it was merely a stratagem of "painting them" into a proverbial corner. Of allowing corruption to run it course and then stand secure behind my line in the sand.

For a while this blog has remained idle while I have been engaged in the real world doing the thing I wanted to do from the very beginning. Living a quiet and simple life. There is a saying Si vis pacem, para bellum, If you want peace, prepare for war... When engaged in a war you must first decide the kind of war you wish to fight. For me this was a legal and political war... What are the results of little endeavor? Well there is solid proof that Kristen Keller lied and falsified evidence in court. Combined with the false statements of Trooper in "investigated" my statement, we can show a pattern of falsehood and corruption to cover up past falsifications of evidence and well... justification for the hypothetical legal argument is again supplied by the state. It invalidates the "good faith" of any "investigations" or "warrants." It establishes a pattern and long standing history of corruption that Christopher Dorner did not and unlike Dorner, I am not so filled with hate I wish take anyone's life or so desperate as cause chaos were innocent people (I'm talking about the civilians shot by scared LAPD cops and not the cops the themselves) are harmed. I have no intent to harm anyone and never did, like David coming out the cave with a strip of Saul's skirt in hand to show that he could have harmed Saul but did not wish to, I sought to point out I could do so but had no intention to do so. I did so at a time when police informants were working extra hard to entrap me and anyone associated with me, with the full sanction & protection of the police. The same informants who sell drugs, shoot up people's homes, break into people's homes and steal their cars all with the protection of the police who are charged with protecting our society.

West Virginia is a micro-cosmos for what is happening throughout the US. And while many want to to latch on to labels to blame others like racism, class-ism and so on. They are neglecting the core element, simple human ego and greed. At the core of all such "-ism's" is the simple belief that one is superior by reason of class, race, religion, position, status or size of one's bank account. There will be those who try to excite the masses and spread chaos but remember the simple truth... puppet masters are always behind the curtain. Violence only sparks a violent reaction, even when that violence is justified. I am suggesting to all who wish to stand up and fight to do so, but to do so with a calm mind and a light touch. Educate yourself, educate others, gather your information and fight a non-violent battle just as I have done. I'm am not speaking as someone who spends his days preaching propaganda but as someone who has done it.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Tonpo: Counter-Tracking

This article was inspired by something I saw posted on the blog. While bioprepper is a prepping and survival site, the issue of evading someone following you has many self-defense applications. The article How to Escape Your Tail And Avoid Being Followed can be viewed here & its fairly basic...

You need to understand basic tracking to understand how to avoid being tracked. The first step to this is understanding mental conditioning of the tracker. Trackers need to pay attention to details and to know their environment and terrain. This is required to find spore & spore is more then just foot tracks... and following spore is called Sign Cutting. Sign Cutting is simply the process of following one spore to another, literally cutting a trail from one sign of a person or animal's passage to the next sign.

Types of Spore:
  1. Tracks & Foot Prints: Anyone can follow tracks in the dirt or mud, that is easy... but what about on hard ground? A person crossing a stream by stepping on rocks will leave a trail of damp or wet rocks. A person travelling on hard packed dirt will leave a diminished or partial print more visible from a lower position to the ground. Soft soled shoes without heels such as tennis shoes, kung-fu shoes, tabi boots and moccasins leave less of an imprint the heeled or hard soled boots like combat or hiking boot. 
  2. Waste & Trash: Animal or human waste is a good indicator of one's passing. This why burying or bagging said waste and transporting it with you is used to conceal one's presence.
  3. Bedding & Camp Sites: Fire provides light and can be seen at a distance, even a cigarette "cherry" can be seen from over a mile away at night. Even if one uses a fire pit, the digging and burying the pit leaves disturbed ground. Fire is should not be used except at mid day to cook and using only dry hard woods to produce as little smoke as possible. Many animals will dig dens and gather grass to make bedding for their rest. Some will eve preserve food by burying it to return to later.
  4. Movement, Shine, Color, Sound and Scent: Drab clothing and gear is best, too dark or too brightly colored clothing can make you visible. Tans are an almost universal color for going unnoticed, it will often blend with sand or stand stone perfect for urban and desert environments and match dead foliage on the ground in most forests. You do not want loose items or clothing to be snagged on objects or make extra sound. You also want to conceal scents such as cooking by boiling foods & not using spices or sweat by "dry washing" regularly or using scent blockers such as animal urine and smoke to cover one's scent. 
  5. Disturbed Ground: This applies to tracking by looking not tracks but spore produced by attempting to hide spore, such as disrupting one's tracks by brushing over them with branch (a favorite of cowboy movies and spaghetti westerns), this leaves an even straight line pattern which is actually unnatural and this creates spore.
  6. Broken or Bent Branches & Grass: Broken branches and bent grass can show were wieght has been applied or where someone has passed. Many times this includes snapped fabric or fur from whatever passed by. A ninjutsu technique called a sweeping cat step, is intended to prevent such spore but it is not always possible and a mistake can leave spore at sporadic locations while cutting sign.
A person learning to track must first learn to pay attention to details and to always scan their environment for details.

Take deer for example (I am a hunter), they are creatures of habit and will use the same paths and trails. Stags will also leave rubbings on trees from rubbing the Velvet off their antlers. Deer also hang around watering holes to drink and to eat the plants. Deer are common known to bed down on high ground to see or hear a possible threat at a distance and avoid it. So even you aren't following Spore (Tracks) you know a water source is a likely starting point and so is a high point like a hill top in the predawn moments.

Tracking people is often easier then tracking animals (cops do it without any specialized training), human's are the only animals that move in a straight line from point A to point B barring terrain obstacles. We are also creatures of habit and social animals. So if a person is moving say South West, you don't have to "track them" you just have to know locations associated with them, basic habits and general places they would provide shelter and/or resources. Police use this method by staking out the "hunting grounds" of criminals. The criminals move into those zones to commit criminal activity maintaining their habit and needs... Like a deer returning to the same pond to drink and eat or a wolf pack staking out the trail of said deer to ambush the deer for food on its way to said pond.

Avoiding being tracked is also simple, 1) exercise noise and light discipline, 2) avoid high points, 3) maintain a 360 degree view of your environment (this is where a ninjutsu pivot step applied by the individual comes in), 4) travelling in a round about manner (S-pattern) and staying off trails and roads, 5) doubling back at regular intervals, 6) bury trash and waste, 7) use fire pits and only with dirt walls to conceal the glow, 8) use a turning step to obscure and confuse one's spore, 9) as a last resort use an ambush with the goal of injuring and slowing down your tail, 10) pay attention to animals around you they will alert you to others in your area, 11) Do not travel in valleys  as this can be used to predict your path of travel (the sides of hills just under the ridge line is best), 12) do not cross rivers or streams at regular fords, 13) use decoys to draw attention and divert those tracking you, 14) scent can be concealed with smoke or used to lead a false trail, 15) if being tracked by dogs ambush the dog handler first this will confuse the animal, ambush the animal second, 16) booby traps can be used to slow down a trail as well (even if it is noticed the psychological effect will cause delays and 17) when crossing stream move down stream and double back to cross at another point & 18) apply all individual stealth walking methods.

As a group, 1) travel one behind the other stepping in each other's foot prints to hide numbers, 2) spread out on soft group to obscure the trail, 3) maintain all the individual skills. 4) In urban locations you can use things like glass and polished vehicles to look behind you, 5) stop and prepare to defend at potential ambush sites. 6) cross roads and trails at bends in the trail & 7) cross roads by posting a 360 security on onside and crossing as individuals maintaining 360 degree security.

You don't have to be an expert tracker to prevent being tracked and maintaining certain actions and tactics means that anyone can prevent or delay being tracked by anyone short of an expert tracker. Even then an expert tracker can be delayed but not prevented. There are few expert trackers in the world... technology and the use of blood hounds makes sign cutting a dying skill.

Here are some basic Shonobi Aruki methods from an older youtube video I did back in 2010.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Warrior, Predator & Healer... Archetypes of Omoto Ryu Budo....

In Black Dragon Ninjitsu we use these three archetypes to reflect the mindset of the practitioner of martial arts and ninjutsu. The term predator is not the original term, since the original term is "Hunter" but we are taught that a hunter should reflect the attitude of  a "animal on the hunt." These three archetypes reflect the essence of Omoto Ryu Budo, three paths that one must walk...

The journey is the destination... or as Tolken wrote "Not all that glitters is gold and not who wander are lost..." You live, you do stuff and you die. The End... Everyone's life story summed up in a very small sentence. That is the simplicity of life, what you do between birth and death is all that matters. No one gets out of life, alive but, that does not mean our lives are without purpose or meaning. This is the nature of the first path, one must be a Warrior...

The Warrior, is first phase of one's development. Taking responsibility for one's self, striving to better one's self in all ways and at all times, maintaining faith in one's beliefs and respecting one's self. The warrior not merely someone who fights but someone who is willing to lose their life for something greater. A future... the future. The warrior is were one learns to embrace hardship and forges themselves like steel. Each day for the warrior is competition with one's self. Competition with others only allows one enjoy their success in forging themselves but the goal is always in bettering themselves.

The Warrior, is a learning and exercising of the traits of Courage, Personal Honor, Loyalty to one's beliefs, Self-Discipline and Duty to one's higher power. There will always be those who see the Warrior as "hero" or "villain" but the warrior does not concern himself with such labels. The Warrior, does what he (or she) much because they can. Warriors do not call the call 911 to save a child in a burning car, they rush into flames because they are there. The Warrior must defeat their greatest enemy, their only enemy; themselves...

Self-Discipline is the core of the warrior's personality. They are in control of their emotions, they do not let fear, anger, sympathy, lust or love sway them. It is not to say that do not have such emotions, it is to say strive to control them, to do the hard right over the easy wrong. The warrior is not cold nor is he out of control, the warrior is logical and purpose filled. As I said this is the beginning of the path.

The Hunter is the next path. This is beginning of the path which leads to understanding tactics, strategy and in fact human psychology. The hunter studies his prey, manipulates it's habits and actions. The Hunter, requires all the Self-Discipline & Courage of the Warrior but adds the quest for understanding the nature & methods of their prey. A Hunter must be cautious not become the Hunted, as is the case when dealing with any dangerous animal.

The Hunter, shares traits with Carl Jung's Trickster & Magician... The Hunter baits, traps, ambushes, hides and stakes out the goals of the prey. The Hunter also lives with nature and uses the ebb and flow of nature; seasons, tides, etc. to bring about their end goal.

The Healer is the final path of the ninja, it is the path of learning to undo damage. Healing isn't just treating physical injury but, mental and emotional pain as well. The Healer is a storing force, a truce maker and teacher. This is were the traits of forgiveness, benevolence and mercy come in. The Healer's first patient is himself (herself). Such things are a manifestation of the complete circle of following the three paths.

Note: Image from, it seemed most appropriate...

The Warrior is disciplined and fights to preserve that which he loves, the Hunter is cunning and uses his (her) enemy against themselves (We are our own worst enemies after all...) and the Healer mends our wounds and seeks to help let go of old grudges. These three archetypes guide and manifest the nature of Omoto Ryu Budo...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Secrets of Budo: Esoteric Philosophies in Martial Arts

Budo, the warrior's way, often promises to teach one the secrets to the esoteric universe... But, what is it? Many times people mention their martial arts passing on "esoteric secrets" but what does that all mean? First off let say this, I can sum up what Budo is and what it is meant to convey in very plane simple American-English. I will save my take on Budo for the end and you can skip to it if you don't want me to explain the nature of Esoteric Philosophies.

Now the word Esoteric gets thrown around a lot in the martial arts world. Many people don't even know what the word esoteric means. So lets start there, generally speaking the term esoteric is related to religion, specifically speaking the Greek Mystery Religions. Esoteric generally refers to Private or Secret Knowledge belonging only to a select few. Now in the "ninjutsu world" this gets broken down in to two things, 1) strategy and philosophy that address incites into human nature and/or 2) religious mysteries and philosophical incites into human nature.

One good example of such case is the often debated Sakki element of martial arts training. Now Sakki is literally translated as "Air of Murder" and refers to the uneasy feeling one gets when danger is close by. Now there are multiple explanations of this, ranging from "guardian angels" and mystical powers gained through meditation to the subconscious mind and psychic powers. Now guardian angles is a general term for guardian spirits & not specifically limited to Judaeo-christian or Islamic mythology. Sakki can best be summed up in modern terms as a kind of "Spidey Sense" that warns of possible threat.

It is actually interesting that the scientific community has attempted to investigate and examine this phenomenon. On multiple occasions, and science has explained this (at least in part), psychologists and other researchers have found that the subconscious mind seems signs of a threat and relays this information to the conscious mind as "feelings." So what is such a mystery concerning this matter? One study conducted back 2008-2009 produced this result:
The characteristics identified as beneficial to IED detection came as little surprise to JIEDDO’s command sergeant major, Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Burnett, USA (no relation to Dr. Burnett). Command Sgt. Maj. Burnett has extensive in-theater experience, including performing route clearance missions, and he says he expected the person who would be best at finding the devices would be a little older and have hunting experience because that involves the ability to remain still and take in a 360-degree view of the surroundings.

So is hunting an esoteric practice? In ninjutsu there is a term Haragei which literally means "stomach art" and it is the Japan practice of reading (between the lines) non-verbal ques. It is not specific to martial arts but Japanese culture. You see the Japanese are very polite people and rather risk offending someone with direct response that would be viewed as negative, they give indirect responses that basically conveys the negative response in a less perceived offensive light. So must have a Haragei "gut instinct" for what is meant regardless of what is said. Understanding a true meaning through implication. This also means the Japanese deal more with reading body language and what isn't said as much as what is said... This not secret art form but a common cultural aspect of the Japanese culture.

In martial arts there is also the term Mushin which means no mind, and this has a simple meaning of acting without thought. Mushin is gained by developing one's Kan or intuition. There is a story in Shotokan of how the founder of Shotokan Funakoshi Guchin asked his students to attack him at random to develop his skill in Karate as a form of training. Following modern studies into soldier's Combat Intuition this a simply building said intuition through experience. This is good training and not some "secret" known only to a chosen few. It develops Kan or Intuition.

Now most often the "esoteric" teachings come in the form of quasi-mystical semi-religious thought, what child psychologists call "magical thinking." Now magical thinking is basically counter to any religious belief system, and I don't want to be accused of picking on anyone's religion so I will leave my religious beliefs to be addressed by addressed below. I will state religions are like relationships and so can be toxic, misleading and abusive. I know a great many people who have done more harm to themselves using the religion of Wicca to try to force things to happen or the reading of horoscopes and tarot cards to convince themselves of lies. It is of course not the fault of the Wiccan religion that they used "magical thinking" to deceive themselves.

The five elemental philosophies of Taoist Alchemy and Shinto are a philosophical approach to nature science from a far older time. Thus they approached the elements of nature at basic levels, water, fire, earth, air & nothingness. These elements became expressions of energies, ideologies, personality types (archetypes) and motivations. They are elements of an ancient science and part of cultures and religions. Like the Ten Commandments, they do not have to be linked to religion to have value. You do not have to believe in the Judaeo-Christian God or Jesus to believe lying, stealing and murder are wrong. Nor do you need to worship the gods of Buddhism and Shinto use the ancient science within the religion. You don't have to believe in "Ki" or "Chi" (a manifestation of the void) to believe in Sakki or develop Kan. Often times these practices are used to entrap the weak minded and those who feel powerless by offering a "secret power" or Red Badge of Courage to feel special.

My Take on Budo: Warning you may not like this...
Budo doesn't and shouldn't be seen as a mystical philosophy. Quite the opposite, the Way of the Warrior is very straight forward, although the methods are generally not. The Samurai often wrote poetry and examined or expressed philosophies. Reading the Hagakure: Book of Hidden Leaves we see that certain Shinto religious philosophies are carried over and defined Yamamoto Tsunetomo, a Tokugawa Era Samurai. It has many comparable philosophies to the Go Rin Sho (Musashi Miyamoto's Book of Five Rings). While the standardized Bushido is a more modern construct based on historical philosophies the oldest of which was the Kojiki, dates back to 8th Century and is mostly a collection of old myths and stories, the story of Prince Yamato Takeru provides a basis for early warrior standards based off his live and exploits.The Gunki Monomatari or War Tales puts a particular focus on warrior ethics and calls lists them as Loyalty to one's Lord, Courage in the face a certain death, Alliance to Family and Personal Honor tied to Loyalty. Other, such historical accounts such the Tale of the Heike (Heike Monogatari) focuses on a fantastic and romanticized view of the Genpei War (a 5 year war between the Taira & Minamoto Clan), these same virtues of Duty, Loyalty,  Selflessness, Courage & personal Honor are focused on.

The term Do is the Japanese way of pronouncing Tao. Do is also linked to the Buddhist Sanskrit word Marga meaning Path. This frames the understanding of the meaning of Budo, as opposed to Bujutsu. Bujutsu is quite literally Military Art or War Art and Budo meaning  Military Way/Path or War Way/Path. While art is generally a reference to the methods of war, techniques and strategies used in battle, way or path often speaks of spiritual, religious or philosophical path. So if we leave out the spiritual and religious path we are left with a simple philosophical path. A way of thinking and acting in accordance with a non-religious philosophical values system. This makes the value of Bushido (The Warrior Way/Path) and Budo (The War Way/Path or Way/Path of War) basically the same in concept.

If we apply religion, it is the religious interpretation of the warrior's path. Looking at history and Shinto is especial true in the case where the Imperial bloodline is said to be derived from the Kami. Loyalty to one's lord is essentially loyalty to the Imperial family and to one's divine  beings of religion. Other virtues of the religion would of course also be associated with the virtues of a warrior. Certainly Shinto and Buddhism aren't the only religion to express this, even Christianity has it interpretation of the warrior's path. So what is so secret about the Warrior's Path that it conveys esoteric meaning? Does Honor, Duty, Integrity, Courage & Loyalty has some secret that only a chosen few can understand or is it just the quasi-religious cult following a martial arts cult?

The way of the warrior is straight forward, to charge headlong into adversity, conflict and hardship (combat both physical and mental) and the Way of War is embrace the Warrior mindset and character in mundane life and technical elements of military or paramilitary conditioning (martial arts) to develop the warrior character and teach warrior philosophy. In this way, Budo can be applied to business strategy and other aspects of life like other society interactions, not just a strict adherence to warfare.

Sometimes (more times then we would like to admit in the martial arts culture), Budo is used to teach and encourage Asian religions and other practices. This is often an interesting question when embraced by Atheists, Judaeo-Christian believers, Muslims and others who do not wish to stray from their ancestral or chosen religion. As it is a bit like tricking someone to converting to another religion, and many practices seen in martial arts training, like bowing a picture of the schools founder, then clapping and chanting a mantra are characteristic of said religious practices of Shinto and worshiping the "divinity" of said founder. This the problem with esoterics in martial arts...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The 102 families of Iga & Koga Ninja

If you are wondering the 102 families are the 49 Iga families and the 53 Koka/Koga families. Actually, there are less then 102 families, since some of the Iga & Koga families are the same, According to the Bansenshukai the Iga & Koga, translation by Anthony Cummins & Yoshie Minami The Book of the Ninja page 25; "The people of Iga & Koka had never had a shugo governor and each clan was self-governing; they constructed small castles in each estate independently and had free rein. As having no shugo or a lord. there was not a governor to oversee them. There were numerous instances of them fighting each other to take away the other's land. Therefore, their main concentration was set on battles, each morning and every evening, and their life revolved around armament and defence. They would search for a gap within each other, send shinobi to infiltrate and set fire on each other's castles, get inside information on the enemy, interfere with the enemy's plans of alliance by disinformation, carry out raids or night attacks, and conduct strategy with innumerable changes to catch the enemy of guard."

Clearly, this destroys the myth of the Iga being a republic of freedom and defines Iga & Koka as a lawless land of chaos and constant warfare. It is comparable in modern terms to living in Afghanistan or Syria, or Yugoslavia between the years 1989 to 1992. Being in the eastern Ukraine right now or for my survivalist & prepper mates the US when society breakdowns happens.

This provides a great deal of understanding into where it was created and what ninjutsu is. In fact, the translation from The Book of the Ninja goes on to say starting on page 25 and ending on page 26: "Therefore, the result was that they thought that, in order to defeat the enemy's greater forces by using a small number of people and defeating the heard and strong, it is best to use the flexible and supple, and nothing is better than the use of the shinobi to do this. Therefore, they had every samurai hone himself with the skill of the shinobi and the lower people or genin [kanji] learn in-nin or 'stealth' techniques."

A footnote on page 26 says that " appears that high-ranking people performed predominantly yo-nin as it required a high level of education; however, it is difficult to assess how much of each discipline the different classes learned."

In Volume Eight, titled Yo-Nin (Page 100 of Book of the Ninja) the Bansenshukai says "Shinobi no jutsu consists of yo-jutsu and in-jutsu. Yo-jutsu in to infiltrate the enemy in plain sight with elaborate plans of ingenuity, while  in-jutsu is to 'steal in,' hiding yourself from people's eyes. In this volume are written the techniques to infiltrate by inventing innumerable plans which should be ever changing according to the situation, and finding and taking advantage of any gap within the enemy while you are in plain sight - that is why it is titled yo-nin."

So we know now that Yo-nin and yo-jutsu are the same things, its just logical to assume (correctly so) that in-nin and injutsu are the same. What is of great importance is in understanding the text I've cited on a deeper level. When you hear about "high-ranking" and "low-ranking" here they are talking about social status. The genin were therefore criminals or other low-ranking people in society. So even if one was a high-ranking member of society they were required to know certain things like burglary, pick pocketing, forgery and so on.

Even when discussing "low-people" in modern society, a modern shinobi should be aware of and/or experienced with the methods of criminals and other unsavory types in "the gutter." However, yo-nin is what I wish to focus on, the to infiltrate the enemy in plain sight with elaborate plans of ingenuity. There are a list of skills and methods for doing so both within the Bansenshukai and within Black Dragon Ninjitsu. It is unknown if the Iga and Koga shinobi had different schools and traditions with a variation of ninjutsu techniques but clearly Fujibayashi who compiled the information in the first place traced ninjutsu back to one point. So we are found with a quote from Fujibayashi that he attributes to the Dialog of Tai-Zong, in which Li Ting says:
"Zhang Liang learned the Six Secret Strategic Teaching and the Three Strategies of Huang Shigong written by Jiang Ziya. Also, Han Xin learned Sima Rangju and Sun Tzu."

However, Fujibabashi goes on to state "However, it was limited to the Three Focuses and the Four Schools. One of these three focuses is about ninjutsu." on page 24 of The Book of the Ninja.

Well first off Sun Tzu (the most well know eastern strategy doctrine in the West) was not as widely available then at it is now. In fact, many people who had access to the information did not openly share it. Some of those who who had it had incomplete copies of the iconic text. Also, only when one has studied the text multiple times and in depth does one find those brief passages repeat a theme within the text. These general themes are never openly explained and are therefore considered "secret" because you have to read, study and meditate on the text to understand these themes.

But, Fujibayashi is not speaking of Sun Tzu instead his is speaking of the Chinese treatise on civil and military matters title the Six Secret Teaching by Jiang Ziya but also connects the strategic principles to Sun Tzu. The Six Secret Teachings is important because it is the only one of the seven military classics that is written from a revolutionary prospective.

The Six Secret Teachings is organized into six chapters:
  1. The Civil Strategy: Is focused on organizing the state to support military action and the importance of alliances and diplomacy. 
  2. The Military Strategy: Is a continuation of the concept of using alliances and diplomacy, as well as the focus on what we call "winning hearts and minds" today. A concept that historically allowed us to win every battle but lose the war in Vietnam.
  3. The Dragon Strategy: Is a chapter focused on core basic military matters ranging from general maintaining military moral, order and discipline, to basic tactics and use of unorthodox thinking and flexibility between commanders and leaders "on the ground."
  4. The Tiger Strategy: Focuses on tactical principles and military equipment. Tactical principles are focused around ambush and withdraw under assault, favoring speed, maneuverability and  misdirection.
  5. The Leopard Strategy: Is focused on using terrain to one's advantage, use of strategic forces and tactical thinking deployed against a stronger force by targeting strategic weaknesses.
  6. The Dog Strategy: The dog strategy contains a lot of miscellaneous material, for the other chapters on weakness to exploit within the enemy, the use of selecting soldiers for elite infantry units for special missions, training those soldiers, as well as detecting enemy moral and a warning against attacking when moral is high.
This is a huge difference in how strategy is view by Jiang Ziya and as it is presented in the Bansenshukai is that Iga and Koga. Fujibayashi's statement about clans (families) of Iga & Koka being without a Lord and so engaging in various and constant internal conflicts shows were ninjutsu moved into specifically Japanese context. These internal struggles would require an indirect method of using small teams of soldiers as opposed to sending whole armies (which would very small compared to a formal armies under shugo made up of several clans) to commit to direct battle.

The Chinese states that influenced ninjutsu were in many cases the size of Japan's main island or, larger then Japan's main island of, Honshu. So they had more resources and larger forces, they could expend the waste of man power in open war. Even then much of Chinese thought was conserving resources more so then throwing resources at the enemy recklessly. The Three Strategies of Huang Shigong are an extension of Jiang Ziya's original Six Strategies. Jiang Ziya is credited with being the first person to write a doctrine on military strategy in China, predating Sun Tzu and believed to have been studied by Sun Tzu as well... 

In the 3 Strategies of Huang Shigong, we taught that the 3 strategies are fixed to each of the three styles of government, the importance of Generals being unquestionable once they assume command & that attacks are to be swift and deceive guided by strategic goals. More so, the principles are laid out that should be mastered are;
  1. To alternate between hard and soft approaches, with a leader being both awe-inspiring and  benevolent as the situations calls for it.
  2. Act according to situation and avoid habits, patterns, similarities to other events or one's desires. Judge each situation with perception, observation and be willing to adapt. 
  3. Offers insight into others, and warns to use only the capable.

Han Xin, is a historical figure in ancient China (birth date unknown but died 196BC) who was a brilliant military leader. Sima Rangju, a powerful general and author of The Methods of Sima, another of the seven Chinese military classics.

"Zhang Liang learned the Six Secret Strategic Teaching and the Three Strategies of Huang Shigong written by Jiang Ziya. Also, Han Xin learned Sima Rangju and Sun Tzu."

When Fujibashi goes on to state "However, it was limited to the Three Focuses and the Four Schools. One of these three focuses is about ninjutsu." we are left with an unclear understanding of the Three Focuses (without studying said Chinese Military Classics), which Anthony's notes at the bottom of page 24 that explains what these three focuses are; Strategy, Troops and Resources. The matter of four schools Anthony cites as "Strategy & Tactics," "Circumstances & Developments," "Yin and Yang" and "Techniques and Craft." According to Fujibashi only one of these skills focuses on ninjutsu.

Allow me to show you were this all going...

The above graph is hopefully able to get you to understand where ninjutsu fits into the world of warfare, in the Asian mindset. The four schools, are schools of thought concerning assessing & evaluating the situation, while 3 focuses are the foundations of directing forces; strategic goals, man power and supplies. Ninjitsu is not only the methods of psychological manipulation, strategy and tactics, infiltration and disguise but it heavily tied to the study of military strategy at all levels. The 49 Iga families/clans and 53 Koka families/clans applied strategy to "Economy of Force" (to borrow a martial arts term) with a lawless land of social chaos and constant infighting.

Note: Anthony's translation said Yin & Yang and I don't know if the Bansenshukai originally said this but, assuming it does, anyone familiar with Taoist philosophy know that Yin and Yang are two halves of the Tao. The Tao is a reflection of balance and acceptance of positive and negative, give and taken, loss and gain. A manifestation of the polar opposites that presents an ebb and flow to existence.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Investigating Fujita Seiko leads to more Takamatsu conflicts with his Ninjutsu/Ninpo claims

This was brought up in a forum and I'm going to put the information right here to be saved for future reference. This whole affair started off as a debate as to whether Fujita Seiko was the Soke of all Koga Ryu Ninjutsu or just Koga Ryu Wada-ha Ninjutsu/Wada Ryu Bujutsu. Now this came about from a translation of Fujita Seiko's autobiography by Don Roley...

Anyone who knows Don Roley knows he has an agenda of trying to push the Bujinkan and the Takamatsu-den arts as the only legitimate sources of ninjutsu. Mr. Roley is also a high ranked Bujinkan member, or so he claims. Now if might come as a surprise but the portion of the translation by Don Roley I don't really have any problems with except at two minor points which have been brought by fellow "ninja-geeks". The image of origional Japanese is below...

And this is what Mr. Roley stated...
Ok, so I have been told that there are accusations against me regarding my translation of Fujita Seiko's biography. People are trying to say I am making stuff up and that Fujita never said that he was the last, etc.
Well, here is a picture of the page from his book in Japanese, along with my translation. I do tend to edit things so the story flows better without need to keep checking footnotes to understand things, but those who can read both languages can tell that the information about the history is intact.
Here is the English translation. Parts in brackets are from the prior page.
("My family founder, Wada Iga-no-kami.
Today we know of the Iga ryu and Ko)ga ryu, but these were not names used for the schools originally. The birthplaces of ninjutsu are Koga in Shiga prefecture and nearby Iga in Mie prefecture. The area is composed of sharply rising mountain ranges and in their narrow valleys are the remains of fortresses and strong points cover about 1000 meters. While trying to continue their lifestyle, they kept themselves sharp, preparing for conflict and searching out any piece of information they could on possible enemy moves. Thus, in their precarious position, they were well placed to put great importance and research into developing the skills of espionage and scouting.
And, in 1487 when the Ashikaga Shogun Yoshihiki attacked Sasaki Kourou the Iga and Koga served him a defeat so spectacular that their name and the skill they possessed became known and sought after among the various warlords in the nation and the Iga and Koga traditions were born.
In the times that followed, with the nation plunged into war the skills of the ninja became more and more into demand and the traditions extended into schools such as the Akutagawa ryu, Negoro ryu, Mafuu ryu, Ninkou ryu, Kouyou ryu, Kishu ryu and others. About 25 schools of ninjutsu came into being.
But, all these schools came from the two main sources of the Iga and Koga. And even when talking about the Iga, they themselves were composed of 49 traditions while the Koga had 53 families passing down their skills.
My family was one of those 53, and more specifically part of the 6 families of Minamiyama, also known as the six great names of Koga. From Wada Iga-no-kami 14 generations passed down. In olden days this was how important ninjutsu was, but today it has all but died out and I am the last."

Now the issues my "ninja geek" friends addressed was that
a) Mr. Roley's translation refers to 49 Iga traditions. Anyone who knows Japanese history Iga ninjutsu was traced to 49 families of kokujin or Ji-Samurai (country samurai) and Koga ninjutsu is traced back to the 53 families of Kokujin. So their arguement is that Mr. Roley is in fact suggesting/implying that the 49 families of Iga were in fact a seperate tradition  and the 53 families of Koga had only one tradition.
b) That Mr. Roley was excusing his implied difference in the tradition/family by posting the origional Japanese when he said "Ok, so I have been told that there are accusations against me regarding my translation of Fujita Seiko's biography. People are trying to say I am making stuff up and that Fujita never said that he was the last, etc."

The issue is simple, anyone who is seeking to do legitimate historical research on ninjutsu doesn't discount that Seiko Fujita said he was the last. The big debate comes over whether Fujita Seiko (proper Japanese, with the Surname first) was the last of the Wada line or all of Koga Ryu.

Now the issue rests on this matter, Fujita Seiko had no proof he was Soke of Koga Ryu Wada Ha ninjutsu. As Fujita clearly states in the translation provided by Mr. Roley, his family was one of the 53 families and his line began with Wada Iga no Kami. You'll notice first that Seiko states that "Today we know of the Iga ryu and Koga ryu, but these were not names used for the schools originally. The birthplaces of ninjutsu are Koga in Shiga prefecture and nearby Iga in Mie prefecture."

Now to any ninjutsu researcher, we understand that Fujita Seiko was explaining that Iga Ryu & Koga Ryu is a blanket term for schools arising from those areas. And many feel that Don Roley is translating the text to account for why there are multiple ninjutsu schools in the Bujinkan that would be referred to as Iga Ryu: Togakure Ryu, Gyokushin Ryu & Kumogakure Ryu. However, Koga Ryu in Japan only goes so far as Fujita Seiko's Wada Ryu.

A very in depth article on Koga Ryu Ninjutsu by the Shuto Karate Club, the article notes that there is a mention of 3 Wada schools in the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten, a listing for Koga Ryu Wada Ha on page 273, a mention of Wada Ryu on page 921 & a mention of another school called "Wada To" on page 273. Watatani Kiyoshi stated in the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten he believed Fujita Seiko was only expertise extended only to Koga Ryu Wada Ha. Meaning it is possible for other Koga Ryu Ninjutsu lines to exist...

Now as a person associated with Frank Dux and Ashida Kim, both claiming Koga Ryu lineages what I feel about Fujita Seiko being the last of the Wada line and last Soke of Wada Ryu could be seen as my own bias. But, what about Watatani Kiyoshi who has nothing invested in any such systems? More so, it is my belief as an amateur researcher & "ninja geek" that Fujita Seiko may have been the last ninja period... end of story. We all know I think Takamatsu made up his ninjutsu and when I got into researching Fujita I found some interesting facts...

1. Fujita Seiko's first book on ninjutsu in 1936, during Japan's own Ninja Boom (50 years before America's 1980s Ninja Boom) in pop-culture.

2. That Takamatsu's claims in China cannot be verified, most of his claims in Japan cannot be verified. However, Takamatsu's autobiography states on interesting things.

First, that Takamatsu wrote this brief autobiography in 1955, nearly 20 years before his death...
Second, that Takamatsu claims to have learn ninjutsu from both Ishitani and Toda Shinryuken. However, Takamatsu only lists Ishintani Matsutaro Takekage as him teaching Kuki Happo Biken no Jutsu (this is a reference to the Kuki family's art of Kukishin Happo Biken Jutsu). He attributes Toda to teaching him Koto Ryu and Togakure Ryu and Koshijutsu. With no mention of the other schools...

This is mainly irrelevant except when you look at the claim to Takamatsu learning ninjutsu from both men. Why is this important? Because Takamatsu was never known for ninjutsu in his early days. Takamatsu had a hand in creating a Japanese Martial Arts Organization known as the Minoku Seinen Botoku-kai but he was known as a master of Jujutsu & Bojutsu not Ninjutsu...

Now according to Takamatsu's Autobiography which can also be found here & here... He didn't open his private dojo: Sukisha Dojo until after he came back from China. The Biography at states Takamatsu spent 10 years in China & left when he was 20. So lets assume he was 29, for a man born in 1887 + 20 years... is 1907 and 10 years in China would put his return at 1917. A Genbukan site states Takamatsu returned from China in 1919 but says he started his personal school in May of 1950. Which means Takamatsu would have been 63. It is important to note that Takamatsu's ninjutsu legacy rests mostly with Masaki Hatsumi as Takamatsu was not known for ninjutsu previously... His first published article on ninjutsu was in the later 1960s and the article on Fujita cites his displeasure at Hatsumi and Takamatsu for openly teaching ninjutsu, but this was in 1967.

Now let us compare dates... Hatsumi and Takamatsu hold public demonstrations in the 1960s, I'll even offer the 1950 date. Takamatsu's first private Dojo (Sukisha Dojo) was opened in 1950 & before this he was know as a Jujutsu and Bojutsu master. His first, written article came in the later 1960s (1967 perhaps?).

The Historical Ninjutsu texts of the Bansenshukai, Ninpiden and Shoninki were translated in the later 1930s, Fujita Seiko had already written 3 books on ninjutsu by the time Takamatsu made his first appearance and already stated he was the last of the Wada line of Koga Ryu Ninjutsu.
Ninjutsu Hiroku 1939
Ninjutsu Kara Spy Sen He 1942
Saigo no Ninja 1954
Plus the entries in the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten as earily as 1963 (1st Edition)...

Fujita Seiko was ninjutsu researcher and known as the "last ninja" 11 years before Takamatsu formulated his own scrolls and claimed to have learned Ninjutsu. With the historical text being translated in the later 1920s and early 1930s, Japan's pop culture ninja boom occurring in the 1930s, Takamatsu's claim is suspect. This doesn't account for the pattern of behavior concerning his "theft" of the  Kuki families art and lineage or other claims which cannot be proven that sound very much unlikely and grandiose.

The problem with legitimately researching history, is that you have to work with the facts and not try to present facts to protect your own bias & opinion. The fact remains, no evidence of an existing ninjutsu school from history being in existence today exists. At best they are all modern creations, except where proven Koryu schools such as Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu have it as part of their kuden (verbal teachings) usually only passed down to from Soke to Soke.

So my addressing the information about Takamatsu I seemed to ruffled some feathers. As it turned out I was arguing with Don Roley's troll account Simon Edwards. Who (being Don Roley and Bujinkan member) was trying to declare all Koga Ryu extinct because Fujita Seiko was the last know practicer to come forward, apparently Don does not count Americans who claim Koga Ryu or Kawakami Jinichi. I was waiting on Don to make a few more argument before addressing a final trump card I had been holding.

You see there are 2 distinct points I chose to withhold both come from an older article written by Don Roley entitled: History of the Koga Ryu...
First someone letting it slip Simon Edwards is Don Roley:

Now comes the important points that reinforce my earlier statements concern the issue of Mr. Roley's translation. In Mr. Roley's article using the same material he translated from Japanese to English to argue that all Koga Ryu died off with Fujita Seiko, Don Roley explains Fujita Seiko own worlds stating that Iga & Koga Ryu were not part of a formal ryu or school like classical Koryu martial arts where.

So here Don Roley explaining that there was no formal schools of ninjutsu and that they were all associated by families. Don Roley states they would have names like Iga Ryu (family name)-ha or Koga Ryu (family name)-ha but notes these names didn't exist until after the warring states (Sengoku) period.

This brings us to my points; first there was no formal school of ninjutsu and by Mr. Roley's own statements how does the Bujinkan claim three distinct Ninjutsu Ryu; Togakure Ryu, Kumogakure Ryu & Gyokushin Ryu?

Now why does Don Roley say this, you might ask but answer is because Fujita Seiko said as much and Roley was quoting Fujita. This is reinforced by Bansenshukai who Don Roley's troll account Simon Edwards refers to as a "notebook" and I feel down plays the historical text conceal information that conflicts with his claims (but thats just). On Page 25 of the Bansenshukai translation by Athony Cummins and Yoshie Minami title The Book Of The Ninja states "The people of Iga and Koka (alternate spelling of Koga) had never had a shugo governor and each clan was self-governing; they constructed small castles in each estate independently and had free rien. As having no shugo or a lord, there was not a governor to oversee them. There were numerous instances of them fighting with each other to take away the other's land. Therefore, their main concentration was set on battles each morning and every evening, and their life revolved around armament and defence."

The second issue, is with each of 49 Iga families having a tradition and each of the 53 Koga families having a tradition, Fujita Seiko was only one line. Now I will say he never had a proven lineage, yet in the case of Mr. Kawakami he was historically correct. A big glaring issue here is not only later time in the 1960s of Takamatsu claiming a ninjutsu lineage, he also claims "ninjutsu ryu." So our second issue is the huge hole in the information Don Roley is presenting. Remember Takamatsu's own friend Watatani Kiyoshi said Takamatsu made use of modern information availabel on ninjutsu at the time.

Finally, because I will be called a liar by some concerning Don Roley's gaps in information, here is the entire article, via screen shots from the article at beginning with a close up of Don Roley's name as the author of this work...

Fujita Seiko was the last Soke of Koga Ryu Wada-ha Ninjutsu, he left no successor to his art. However if he was the only/last of the Koga families to practice ninjutsu or if more survived, I do not know. If his grandfather lied to him or if he himself was lying, as Mr. Roley addresses in his article, I do not know. Fujita was sometimes called a mere researcher and other times a ninja. You can believe what you like, I am merely presenting evidence for my belief that Bujinkan members readily run about internet calling out others as frauds, real and imagined because their own art is fraudulent, the pot calling the kettle black kind of thing.

What I do know is that Fujita Seiko, was a researcher and an author, an instructor at spy school and had a hand in making a partial translation of the Bansenshukai. He was Soke of Taien Ryu Jojutsu (short staff art), Shingetsu Ryu Shueikenjutsu (throwing blade art), Ichiden Ryu Toritejutsu (restraining or escaping from restraint by an attacker art) & Naban Satto Ryu Kenpo (lit. "Foreign Killing School" Kenpo) in addition to Koga Ryu Wada Ha Ninjutsu.

Seiko Fujita was also taught at the following...
  • Kokumin Seishin Bunka Kenkyusho (Cultural Institute of National Spirit)
  • Kobo Kinmu-in Joseisho
  • The Nakano Gakko/Espionage School
  • Toyama Japanese Army Academy
  • Rikugun Shikan Gakko/Military Officers Academy
  • Instructor in Police Bujutsu at the Tokyo Headquarters of Regimented Military Police
  • Educational Facilities of the Japanese Navy (existed from 1888 to 1945)
  • Adviser to Nihon Kararte-do Kai
I'm ending my updated information here. I more then doubled the length of the origional blog post.