Thursday, March 31, 2016

Black Dragon Ninjitsu Course Available Today!

The Black Dragon Ninjitsu video course is available for sale as of today... I thought against the April 1st release Date cause well April Fools Day. Thought that time I tricked Phil Elmore into openly committing a felony was fun, its why Phil doesn't bother to push too far in outright lying, as opposed to concealing the truth, unlike the other two butt pirates Barron Shepherd and Don Roley... The April 1st Date was kind of a throw back to that time and that stunt... Phil Elmore is quite aware I can drag him into court over it any time and ruin his floundering business of harassing people online to push Paladin Press and the reality self-defense companies to fat out of shape Man-Boy wannabe tough guy geeklings... That is just the blunt truth of it.

I have certain amount of respect for RBSD crowd were you see effective and common sense courses. I honestly believe that in any martial arts or self-defense course you get out what you put in. You don't have to be a "ninja master" or black belt in martial arts to defend yourself and even if you are, you can't "karate a bullet." Video Courses come in three basic types; Rank by Mail, Distance Learning & Combination Courses...

Type I: Rank by Mail...
This is nothing new to martial arts. Count Dante had so little respect for the real abilities of martial artists compared to the urban legends of their skills he sound a pamphlet which included the Kata Dante and a few other 1 to 3 step drills. The basic idea was provide knowledge and make someone an "instant black belt." Why? Because martial arts in the 60s was a huge joke... Most Karateka in the US in the 1960s studied kata and were "too deadly to spar" so they didn't engage in contact sparring but point fighting were contact could disqualify the fighter... So Count Keehan, sold rank and membership in an attempt to make fun of "average martial artists" of his day. When you look at the idea of Karate in the 1960s; no contact sparring, heavy focus on kata and "tradition" we come to understand the meaning of Count Dante/ John T. Keehan's words in his essay Karate is for Sissies
"It is indeed unfortunate that many of the martial or fighting arts of today have become no more than form practice or ineffective movements. This does not just refer to karate, but also to most of the other sport, fistic, grappling or self-defense arts of the East and West. It is common knowledge of those "in-the-know." even though they rarely admit it, that the present-day karate, judo, gung-fu, boxing, wrestling, aikido, ju-jitsu, etc., as taught today, are not really geared for practical application on the street. The effectiveness of the present-day fighting arts is too cramped because of the many unnatural controls the Orientals exercise over the politics of these arts." -John Keehan 1970

Since then, people have all launched various courses in rank by mail. I had a friend who engaged in a Jujitsu by Mail Course were the student gained rank by buying courses for each rank. When you completed the courses and the written work sheets you were given a certificate for each rank. Sadly my friend couldn't fight his way out of paper bag. Oh he knew history, the Japanese terms and the names of a few hundred techniques in Japanese and English. I tried and quit a VHS Karate Course back in the 90s, 97 I think, which was basically American kick boxing and Shotokan mixed. It focused on knowing Kata and a certain amount of techniques for each belt level. To be honest, there wasn't much difference between the Karate in a Dojo, were we did some work on the heavy bag, learned and practiced kata. Oh yeah, there was a big difference sparring...

Rank by mail courses don't account for the actual training you need to do to develop yourself as a fighter... and it takes more the a "judo chop to the side of the neck" to defend yourself, certainly more then just knowing how to do it. Even grappling arts have done this, the Gracie Combatives and Gracie Jiujitsu video course the most well known. A friend of mine in high school, had a Greko-Roman Wrestling Course but it didn't rank you. Since Greko-Roman wrestling is a sport the end goal was developing knowledge and we'll talk about this in the Type II breakdown. So what does one get with rank? The Prestige of having a rank certificate to wave around... No one gives a damn about your martial arts but you. If you start bragging you know Karate your gonna get challenged and called out to fight by someone. So welcome to the real world, it doesn't matter what style punches you in face. It only matters if you can take or not.

For the many martial arts schools full of "too deadly" to spar arts, you are going to be in a world of hurt outside your comfort zone of the Dojo. For people who attend schools & gyms were you are in a world of hurt inside your comfort zone, well outside your comfort zone is a world full of hurt for you... You are just better prepared to deal with it. If you want rank and bragging rights, you have a world full of people trying to sell you rank by mail... just be careful who you brag to.

Rank is only as good as the person wearing it, a General who can't lead an army worthless... Yes even if he is a General. A Private who can shoot a rifle and follow orders is always gonna have a place, even it is as a hitman for the mob. Meditate on that for a minute, rank is meaningless.

Type II: Distance Learning Courses...

Distance learning courses reward you for your knowledge. They certify you for knowledge gained by you presented by them to you. This isn't limited to martial arts but various online and by mail courses such as art classes, college courses and vocational training. The idea of certification for learning the trade or skills is not a certification on how well they can perform them. Time and experience cannot be learned in a school from a book or DVD course. But you can gain knowledge, how you train (a process of trial and error) is just practice for those skills...

So what are you saying Ron? What about what all those people who learned taking Martial Arts by mail courses, is their knowledge of no value? 

What I am saying it to keep all things in context... Yes and no, to the second question. Yes...  if you have no ability to fight (i.e. Defend Yourself) when you are basically hold a certificate that means you wave it around to feel good about yourself or maybe justify opening a school, like the many other dojos and dojangs were people do the same. If you make an effective business out of these types of martial arts, most effective for teaching children in a form of "karate themed daycare" (no one calls it this but, that is what it is) then... No, the knowledge has value.

My friends VHS collection of Greko-Roman Wrestling Techniques provided knowledge which served him to both wrestle in high school and to fight other kids. However, the wrestling practice in high school served him more then just the knowledge alone and we all used to wrestle each other in the back yard. The knowledge it provided gave us a chance to practice and build on it, many technques were added to our skill sets for Wrestling in High School. Which ranked us solely on our ability.

Type III: Combinations...
There are of course good distance learning courses that provide rank as well, as a combination of both Rank by Mail and ...

The Black Dragon Ninjitsu Home Study Course is intended to be a combination course. One that provides ranks to you and that provides knowledge. The whole of the first DVD is based on the idea of ranking you solely for the introduction knowledge it provides.
The 10th Kyu Promo deals with the basics of physical exercises, meditation, kamae (stances), ukemi (falling and rolling), basic punching mechanics and requires both this knowledge and a physical fittness test of 25 Push-ups, 25 Sit-ups, 3 Pull-Ups and Running in Place for 2 Minutes. This is required to gain the rank of 10th Kyu... Yes, I require you to earn even the rank most schools give you for just showing up and paying for lessons. Traditionally, this was a common practice in Karate and Judo (especially judo) where a person started of at the rank of Mukyu which basically means "No belt."
Here the 10th Kyu video in the course is built on the basic ideas of first Video for 10th Kyu. The idea of blocking and striking in one fluid action, the rope drill used to practice this automatic response. The two different stances tachi kamae and fudo kamae to practice slipping or dodging a strike, the application of double blocks to get in close and gain the clinch, the concept of moving within an opponent's guard and using both movement, positioning and the wrist escape. All these things are hinted at but even attempted to be explained in the promo video as they are in the course. Why..?

Because the basic focus of the course is based on the evolution of one's fighting skills... We begin at Striking Range where distance, ukemi and the need to develop and understanding of distancing, speed, power and core techniques matter most... Here one earns the rank Jukyu or 10th Kyu and becomes a "white belt." Then one learns basic striking techniques, the basic concept of blocking and counter-striking (counter punching) in one motion fired out from the hip rotation of the core of the body, the concept of double blocking a 1-2 punch combination so that you can use a double ear slap or double knife hand strike to the side of the neck to gain head control in clinch. All of which sets you up for learning infighting techniques like elbow strikes at clinch range. This all builds up for you to learn to position yourself inside an opponent's striking range. So that you are acquainted with the concept of moving from striking range to infighting range as well as, the basic strikes such as punching and kick. Allowing you to become a "Yellow Belt" at 9th Kyu. At 8th Kyu you are only learning basic open hand strikes, for which striking techniques like Koshi Tsuki, Kata Tsuki and Tai-Tsuki are only a delivery system for the open hand strikes, the basic 55 Target points of the Body. The basic idea of escaping a wrist grab, combined with movement and positioning yourself behind an opponent has nothing to do with How to Choke someone out. It is all about how to use movement and positioning to benefit yourself... All this is a foundation, for gaining knowledge and developing a means to put that knowledge into practice. It becomes more complex and difficult as you progress...

By 7th Kyu, you would be in a position to start sparring and would need someone to train with to learn the basic grappling techniques, throws and (yes) choke holds. At this point, simple sparring would be the focus and so I offer anyone the opportunity to enroll others with them (no Course purchase required) and establish training groups (limit 4 persons, including whoever bought the course) all they have to do is pay the Monthly $25 Membership Fee, submit the weekly "testing videos" and $50 Rank Processing Fee when promoted. So friends can enroll in the same course, chip in money to buy the DVDs and even sell their DVDs to others who can use them gain knowledge and rank. Of course, a sub-forum of the Shadow Warrior Publishing has been set up for those in the course to discuss and work with other distance learning course students... and myself.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Black Dragon Ninjitsu Course: What can you Learn from a DVD Course?

What can you learn from a video course? Well what can you learn from a book? The idea of a video course was something I played with tested and worked on in comparative but independent study. Ideally speaking you will get nothing out of the course which you will not be able to put into the course...

First off, Omoto Ryu Jujutsu is not so much a fixed art. It was taught differently under Sensei Martin then it was under Sensei Omoto. One focused on Kata (non-resistant training between Tori & Uke) and the other on Randori (free sparring). The Course starts out with baby steps and then throws you into the deep end of the pool...
10th Kyu: Focuses on Atemi, Taisabaki, Ukemi, Kamae & Taiso building up your body and requires a physical fitness test to begin this course...
9th Kyu: Focuses more on Atemi-waza punching and kicking techniques & Taisabaki body positioning... as well as closing the gab to get into infighting range.
8th Kyu: Focuses more on Atemi-waza for infighting knees and elbows, as well as defensive use for the knees and elbows. As fell as a much more difficult PFT (Physical Fitness Test)
7th Kyu: You learn to penetrate the guard move from striking range, to infighting range and then begin to study basic stand up grappling, choke holds, throws and joint-locks.
6th Kyu: This knowledge is expanded on and one now includes ground fighting and Ne-waza (ground techniques) for the standing joint locks and chokes.
5th Kyu: By now everything is a matter of pressure testing and simulated self-defense situations. Mixed with meditations, philosophy and strategy... Here a student is incouraged to begin to develop their own fighting styles and is competent at all three basic ranges of fighting; Striking, Infighting & Ground fighting.
4th Kyu: One polishes their jujutsu techniques adding handgun disarms and begins to get into the area of intonjutsu, hiding and escaping, basic survival skills like navigation by the sun or stars, making one's own compass, making shelter, trapping food and similar.
3rd Kyu: Again involves area of study such as handgun and knife disarms. Yogen, making pyrotechnic devices and formula, herbal medicines and so on. As well as expanding on one's jujutsu/taijutsu skills and training.
2nd Kyu: Draws us into the first two of the fundamental weapons shuriken and bojutsu. Here the student learns striking with the bo, jo, & hanbo as well as grappling and throwing weapons.
1st Kyu: Addresses the other two fundamental weapons, of tanto (knife) and kusari (chain). Expanded weapon disarms and the five element philosophy in regard to psychological manipulation and emotional weaknesses.
1st Dan: This is a very special rank only given at the end of the 3 day Boot Camp and a 24 hour, 25 mile survival evasion course. But one learns an expanded Kyusho Chart, the use of the Katana in Kenjutsu, Yarijutsu spear work and Kyujutsu the art of archery. Including principles of leadership and espionage.

So while this course is still in the works, the 8th Kyu will be ready by mid April, with the 7th Kyu out soon after... The basic principle is teach and demonstrate at the level I want to student to learn. It is one thing to copy route form via a DVD course and gain rank by remembering these forms. It is quite the other to teach principles and concepts as segments of a movement and polish them as the rank becomes higher... It is vitally more important, a student, for example, develop explosive power at the 9th Kyu stage of training and have imperfect form, then its to try to develop perfect form and not be able to generate the power explosively.

What you will get in this course is listed in a small part above... But what you take from is what you put in with hard work and desire to gain momentum for your own personal growth. The grade of Kyu literally means boy, these are the ranks and lessons of childhood in the tradition. At the grade of Dan literally meaning Man, one is considered an adult in the tradition. Here one moves beyond "basic techniques" just as an adult already knows the basic skills of childhood, tying one's shoes, reading, writing, math and history and is now seeking to apply that knowledge to one's life...

In time, I plan to develop a teaching course available to Shodan and higher belts. A 1st or 2nd Dan could promote students to the grade of 1st Kyu (and licensed as Assistant Instructors). At 3rd Dan they would be able to rank to 1st Dan running their own Boot camps and licensed instructors. 4th Dan would be licensed as Senior Instructors. Godan or 5th Dan would have full transmission of the art would be Masters or Master Instructors. But, all of this begins with hard work and firm resolve to practice and train alone... motivating yourself to be better and try harder then you did before.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Black Dragon Ninjitsu Home Study Course

So I have had a few questions asked of me concerning the Black Dragon Ninjitsu Home Study Course... Here is a basic breakdown of the training. Like in a dojo you only get out what you put into it. So the focus for this course up to, about 5th Kyu is going to be Jujitsu/Taijitsu, at 4th Kyu you start to get into some aspects of stealth, escape, evasion & land navigation.

One of the unique functions of this video course is that while I have been out of training for something close to 3 years, those who use the course will get to see not only how the course works for them but for me as well. So while I already have skills I need I am working to build myself into a fighting fit conditioning.

Prospective students will find that some of the drills and exercises resemble MMA style training. That is because physical fitness and general health are elements we must embrace. There are elements of training from competition styles that are superior to the training methods used by Koryu systems & "traditional" gendai arts. This is based on two key factors...

First, many modern schools teaching Koryu systems, even in Japan (mainly in Japan) exist to pass on a tradition rather then let it die because it is no longer essential. So while Taiso, Body Exercises, were used to strengthen one's body many warriors also engaged in hard manual labor (a standard for getting things done at the time) and did not need such things as weight lifting or cardio training. While training attributed to the Ninja such as hanging from tree limbs by one's finger tips, running so that a rice hat was held to one's chest by the force of wind alone, drawing a bow and so on were also common to the samurai and in fact originated with the martial training of the samurai as at young age about 3 to 5 years old.

Here it is important to make a distinction in the Samurai class, there were Samurai who served a Shugo (a governor) and under each Samurai were smaller domains managed by Jizamurai or country samurai, each having a set number of Ashigaru (literally translated to mean "light feet" a term for infantry) under them. Some Ashigaru had jobs with their domain, as did the Jizamurai they served such as merchants, farmers, fishermen, etc. Many ashigaru were trained in a school of warfare under a Jizamurai who was trained under a Samurai over his domain. This causes some confusion about the Sengoku period where the classes were more fluid, as a Samurai or Jizamurai could have both a position in local government, a domain's military structure and still have a regular side job. The more urban samurai were dependent on taxes they gained from ruling an area, were as the poorer country samurai or Jizamurai had to be engaged in local commerce. This meant going to war, took men away from tilling fields and commerce to fight.

As Japan, was forced into a colonial government that used Western style conscripted soldiers for a central federal army and local military factions disappeared so did many of the local martial arts. Following the Tokugawa Shogunate to the Meiji Restoration (when the colonialism was forced on Japan by the US). So elements of Japanese martial arts found a use in the new government, though generally limited. So many martial arts started a slow decline and that after the relative peace of the Tokugawa shogunate many martial arts became more side show akin to pro-wrestling then combat based skills. This became even more so after the Meiji Restoration, while firearms existed prior to this period the concept of providing Basic Combat Training to conscripted soldiers, rifles and Western tactics was changed much of the concepts of warfare. Local domains were protected not by local armies but a central imperial government and army.

Though it should be noted, that a ninja named Sawamura Jinzaburo was order to sneak aboard  Perry's ships to find evidence of the American's intentions, thus showing that until 1853 (say about 30 years would put it about 1883) and perhaps a generation afterward & perhaps much longer, Ninja and Ninjutsu still existed in Japan. In fact, according to a Japanese individual I have spoken with Ninjutsu is much more common in Japanese culture then we would like to believe. That in Japanese pop culture Ninja are seen as mystic-warriors but, seen as criminals, assassins and thieves in historical context taught in Japanese public schools. Much of the idea of the Samurai is akin to the Western Idea of Knights culturally and no Japanese really wants to see the Ninja as job performed by those iconic Samurai.

The second issue goes with many martial arts being deemed as unessential. So the focus is not on what makes them work in combat or for self-defense. These arts have been regulated to tradition, like flower arranging or tea ceremonies or, sports like Karate & Judo. In general they have become Budo (Literally Military or Martial Philosophical Ways) that seek to use strategy and military discipline for reaching goals and self improvement, an aspect linked to both sport and the traditional expression of an arts.

Looking at it through the eyes of a U.S. Army Veteran and as someone thinking in a military mindset. We need to develop our bodies, condition ourselves to push harder and further through physical conditioning. I am sure that the Samurai and any Bushi, engaged in their own methods of physical development. Martial arts should be about self-defense and, yes, with the self-discipline and self-improvement do comes with that, not by lax training to maintain a spirit of a tradition. However, the spirit or idea of the tradition should be an element of how one views one's goals.

In truth, this course is designed more for the paramilitary types; veterans, servicemen, militiamen, preppers & survivalists. Yes, Japanese culture is an aspect of the training course, primarily through the study of the Bansenshukai and the related Chinese Military Classics. It covers things like land navigation and herbal medicine, basic tactics and in order to earn your shodan, you have to take part in a 3-Day "Ninja Boot Camp" here in West Virginia ending in a 24 hour combat survival course. Basically, you have to evade people tracking you and try to infiltrate the camp site.

Why this standard? Because, no one else has it... I have a video course where a Physical Fitness Test (PFT yes its a military term) is involved. In getting myself back in condition, I am showing you how this training works to build yourself up and how the develop the skills and abilities you need to survive. Survive what? A mugging. A bar fight. Getting lost in the woods. Riots and Civil Unrest like Baltimore and L.A. Natural disasters like what we saw with Hurricanes Katrina & Sandy. Public utility failures like the water catastrophe in Flint Michigan or the collapse of the power grid on the East Coast in June of 2012. We live in an age of Global Terror Threats and psychological harassment and abuse through the world of electronic social media which lets the haters and bullies come right into your living room. Identity theft and the exploitation of information in our age of information are also concerns and by embracing ninjutsu espionage and psychological manipulation principles we can see the need to apply this level of knowledge to our self-defense tool box.

Also since I may be allowing Shodan to teach and rank up to Ikkyu, I want people at least skilled in using the art. Many times people say that the Black Belt is the beginning and not the end. I say instead there is no end... You can go further into a tradition or system of martial arts or not. Ultimately, you need to create your own way and not be fixed by the ideas of tradition. What happens if you learn all a teacher or master can teach you? What happens if you know every technique and part of a tradition, where do you go?

You live, your life... While a Black Belt is only the beginning, I have taken to training in different styles and what ended as me getting a black belt as a child (yes... It was a McDojo), I grew up in a way that required me to use what I learned and even then in the late 80s and early 90s, awarding me a black belt was one thing and allowing me to become anything more then a shodan was something else. Regardless, what happened when I got a black belt in Karate, I studied something else... I lived my life and progressed and cross trained with as many people are systems as I could. Somethings, many things cannot be taught and can only be learned from experience and life.

A Soke is the head of tradition, they are also the head of economic system within a particular tradition. There are Hanshi (grand masters) and shihan (masters) below them, all basically different grades of a Sensei (teacher) and each is over a group of deshi (students). A Soke in Jujutsu is not a Soke in Karate. A Soke in one school of Koryu arts is not equal to a Soke in another school of Koryu. That rank, any rank is just a standing within a tradition or particular system of martial arts. On the Battlefield of ancient times one Shihan might be killed by a lowly student of another tradition. In life a highly ranked martial artist can be beaten by an untrained or self-taught fighter because rank is only good for the tradition of the system and nothing more. The rank whether it is a 1st Dan or 10th Kyu is unimportant. What matters in knowledge, skills and how you use them.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Paper Tigers & Ducking Dragons 7: Ruckus in the Cage Tomorrow Will Barron show or No?

Well we've had a small blizzard, snow storm nothing major, and Ruckus in the Cage in Charleston WV is tomorrow... And well I am too fat and lazy, not ready to get into the cage. So I am going to Charleston and watch the fights... Unless Barron Shows up, I ain't going to fight. I ain't ready to get in there with those boys. Barron I just want fuck him up, I'll risk it for the shot. Course Bannon has already said he won't fight me in the cage.
 Here Barron bitch titties blusters about come and seeing me but not at an MMA event. In another words, the little bitch is barking but has no teeth (just talk shit online). Then claims he signed up, after I called him out for being a bitch and trying to duck out the fight by blustering that he wouldn't fight me.

Course I know Barron ain't gonna show up but hey... What is better then having someone bitch out like a punk in black and white online. And tomorrow I am going to rub salt into the wound, I am going to post small update videos to YouTube throughout the day. I am going to remind Barron about the day I played him like a fiddle.

A Little Secret: We all know my story and the stories about me... I have laid out an open offer to present all the evidence & paperwork to Barron. To be honest anyone who wanted it had to do but ask and even then I have posted paper work online multiple times:

Ok so I have issues with the state representatives, I've proven where Kristen Keller lied and were Barron lied in the same shot. I've proven issues about evidence that never gets brought up. These were the possession of child pornography charges which were dropped. We know about the Terrorist Threats charges were I allegedly threatened to kill a cop and, got away with it. All that police misconduct and questionable acts, friendly associations and criminal connections tied together through me. I even wrote a pretty scandalous book on the matter;

And the more lying little punk like this keep talking smack online, they more people look at the evidence and more people get to see the facts. This makes any actions taken against me by the courts here questionable and drags anyone involved into the spectral that is my life. Not every cop is a corrupt asshole and not everyone will risk getting tied in with that bunch of corrupt assholes, some are  like Troopers Duckworth and Palmateer tied to the murder of Theresa Bowling. Others, just want to help people and it is a chore to try figure out which within a few seconds. Some cops are good guys and understand dealing with me is an issue for them. But, you have to understand there is a difference. So there is the other possibility but that is the legal argument they tried to suppress Bad Elk v US and Mapp v Ohio. So while I have been charged with the crimes their is proof I was maliciously charged and so any feelings of self defense is understandable.

When people forget the facts, I could get disappeared but when these idiots keep stirring the pot they keep making themselves look petty and most of all go back to them being proven liars from their own words online. And the more they keep the idea fresh in everyone's minds, the more it makes it harder for me to disappeared. Why will they keep digging their own graves of credibility? Because they can't stand being played.

So I will Keep you all posted about Barron's Bitching out... Unless he shows... he won't show will he..? Guess all he would have to do is come to WV and post a picture of tomorrow's news paper to she he was here and prove me a liar, could do it at the state capital with tomorrows paper to prove he came to Charleston, WV. Could step into the cage with me and prove it too.. but he won't?

Update Videos Coming Tomorrow:
11:30 AM On the Way to Charleston

Stopped on the way... Pretty spot beside. About 12:15-ish AM

I'm in Charleston 12:37AM

12:43 AM I'm early...

5:07 PM Wiegh ins and Barry is a No Show...

Barry Never Showed...

Then I saw this posted at about... Shadow Warrior's Facebook Page it says 6 hours and at the 10:42PM that would put about 4:45-ish Before the Weigh-in video.

So either Barron is trying to set me up through another "third party" a Raymond Locktoolz 2.0 (what I am thinking) or devert attention from the fact I made Barron look like a lying bitch who is scared of me. I mean this came about for all the BS games that started the Paper Tigers & Ducking Dragons series of blog posts dedicated to making Barron Shepherd look like a bitch.
First it was the attempt to get me to go to Florida for an Unsanctioned event, then it was claiming I never spoke to Christopher Smith promoter for Ruckus in the Cage until I showed we had a 6 minute conversation, then Barron said he signed up to fight online and all he had to do was show up and weigh-in. But he didn't wiegh-in. So now its go to Kentucky in October for Don Roley's event to face Barron there...

So its one of two things, either Barron & Don Roley are conspiring to set me up or Don Roley wants to see Barron get his ass kicked... I have heard nothing from Barron Shepherd... yet.

What is a Bug-Out Bag, EDC, a Survival Kit & a Never-Coming-Back Bag

I was asked to build a Bug-Out Bag for a friend of mine, a 110lbs (give or take about 10lbs) female who is 5'2" and of slim build. I posted the results below in the images and got some interesting responses from people on a Prepper Forum. Now we can't predict how an event will happen, this is West Virginia so geographic terrain tends to be hills and mountains, with shar contrasts from urban to suburban to rural and wilderness within a matter a miles, so times less then a mile.

One of the things I noticed was that a lot of online preppers don't have a clue, about gear or thinking... Now this is a semantic argument but its an important one.

What is a Bug Out Bag? How is it different then EDC (Every Day Carry) and a Survival Kit? How are those different then a NCB (Never Coming Back or Never Coming Home) Kit? If you don't know there is a difference you aren't a prepper, you are fad hobbiest. If you don't know what the difference is, you are about to find out.

Now I grew up in and around the Survivalist movement & Militia movement of the 90s, I am 36 years old (in June) and by rough estimates that gives me 24 years of experience. I learned real fast as a teenagers what these things were and why they exist...

Lets start with the terms...
Bug Out Bag: A bug-out bag is also called a 72 hour bag. It is an evacuation kit, meaning you are coming back home or are leaving an area and getting home. Since a bug-out bag is only intended to last 72 hours, you are not trying to go for long-term survival. You just need to make it for 3 days, going from point-A to point-B.

Minimum Gear:
1. Water: We all here the 1-Gallon per person per day equation. The reality is that is not realistic. Try humping 3 Gallons of Water just 10 miles. You don't need a gallon of water a day, that is not realistic in a survival situation. There are countless articles on the health benefits of drinking so much water a day... But the "experts" say 7 glasses on average. But what is average? Average male of 5'6" and 150lbs? A gallon a day of water is just a healthy living standard... What it is not is a must live standard... The baseline figure for water intact needed a day is 32oz for a male of roughly 150lbs. check the links below. 32 ounces for 3 days 32 x 3 = 96 ounces of water or 0.75 (3/4) of a Gallon. 

2. Food (Nothing That Needs Cooking Preferred): Ok if you are going Point-A to Point-B, you are gonna burn calories and need food. Actually, you are gonna need something other then calories you are going to need nutrition. Whats the difference, one is units of energy used by the body (calories) and the other is vitamin, minerals, proteins and amino acids that keep your body running. Look your car may run on gas, but it still needs anti-freeze, coolants, oil, lubricated joints and a battery to work. You need more then just calories to function... I love the Mainstay Rations for this reason... However, trail mix, dried fruits, jerky and multi-vitamins are also great.

3. Light: I am not a fan of the we must have light scenario... 1. Not you don't... and 2. Why? Realistically speaking a water purification system, purification tablets or Life Straw is great, but you are better off carrying it on you then trying to survival off the land. Why do you need a flashlight? The idea of a bug out bag is to pace yourself, not break your leg trying to run ahead of the "gold horde" by night. And if you are worried about Mutant Biker Zombies getting you, just remember noise and light discipline means not being heard or seen. How easy is it to spot a light in a dark... anything? But if you must a zipper light, or key chain light is fine.

4. Heat: This is a must, staying warm is serious. So yeah have a lighter or 3 and some storm proof matches. Now some people confuse heat with shelter, shelter blocks the elements. So while I agree you can stay dry with a poncho, it won't keep you warm. You can save room and weight with a space blanket, just drap it over your head and the plastic and Mylar will keep you dry plus reflect body heat back at you...

5. Shelter: The best part about those space blankets is that you can use them to build a lean-to. All that carrying a tent is not practical. You are not going camping.

6. First Aid: I'm not going to give a first aid kit much thought, 1. there isn't much you can do with it without the proper training. 2. If it is serious a broken leg, arm or a fever or serious illness nothing you get over the counter is help and even if you had something for serious pain relief, opiates for example... it will diminish your mental capacity. So being realistic, suck it up cup cake.

7. Maps, Compass and Navigation: Again I find myself in a bit of a WTF? train of thought here. Do you not know where you live? Where your friends and family live? Maps are great and if you are travelling long distance to Aunt Edina in another state that's all good but, why do you need maps and a compass in a bug out bag?

Seriously, I want you to consider something here... Let's play stawman for a second here, let's pretend work is 50 miles from home, you make the commute everyday and now the "shit has hit the fan." But what's the scenario aliens, nuclear war, terrorists or rioting in the street?

We will say rioting, looting and general mayhem. Boss tells you all to go home, your route is blocked by rioters clashing with police. So you go around and you have your handy dandy map... What your map won't tell you is other places riots have broken out, which neighborhoods have put themselves in community lock down (happened in both the LA Riots and During both Hurricane Sandy and Katrina. In the army we had what we called Map recon, which was looking at a map to find areas to cross rivers or get a general fix on terrain. We also had a leaders recon where the platoon sergeant and/or squad leaders went and checked out the area we looked at on the map. Why? Because shit happens... You don't need a compass to drive home, and if you have to bug out you won't need a compass to walk home either.

8. Knives: This I endorse whole heartedly. You need a knife, it's a basic tool and can be used to defend yourself. Multitool knives are good two, hollow handle survival knives are well known to break, full tang knives are your best bet, half tang survival knives are ok...  But a hatchet or camp tomahawk can do basically everything a knife can and a few things like chop wood or can't.

9. Saws: I don't get the need for chopping wood when living out a backpack for 72 hours. Don't much see the need in carrying saws either. Of you need to build a fire, you are not building a bonfire.

10. Guns: Yes... I think a concealed handgun is a good idea. No, you don't need to roll out like Barry Fife meets Rambo. If you need to defend yourself, and this is true in a normal day. You need to be calm and discrete about it. A cheap .38 will do the job you need it to, which is protect you from an attacker. I'd also suggest martial arts or self-defense classes to boost your odds as well.

In closing the more gear you carry the more energy you burn, carrying that stuff with you. You don't want to hike out with 35lbs of gear and only use 5lbs of it. That gets us to the more common sense preppers and the classic survivalist mindset of EDC. Generally, most civilians go to civilian sources of information, like FEMA or 10 Essentials used for hiking. The reality is if you have a bug out bag and need to use it, you are not hiking in the woods on a Boy or Girl Scout Jamboree but are moving to a safe place, either home or a friend or family members. Even if a map tell you a route you have no way to know if the route is passable, safe or needs to be avoided. So you need to think in terms of Point-A to Point-B only for your bug-out bag. Its not hiking and while some elements are similar, remember you are just trying to get home safely...

Every Day Carry: EDC or Every Day Carry is a simple, light weight kit that a person wears on them, everyday. My own EDC is a simple kit, one 20oz Water Bottle, 3 Sweet and Salty Granola bars or a couple packs of peanuts, water purification tablets, 2 Lighters, space blanket, pack of cigarettes, pocket knife (varies in style), 2 gallon zip lock freezer bags, Paracord bracelet and it's all in a jacket or sometimes my trench coat.

If I have to walk home. I can make it, carrying the lightest possible load. I honestly don't need to eat and can afford to burn a few calories. Water is my primary concern, which I have the ability to purify a gallon in a freezer bag with a tablet per and as recorded above, I only need a minimum of 1 gallon for 3 days. A 20oz bottle is enough to get me started, plus the freezer bags can be used to get clean water from green leaf plants.

I have a friend who's EDC consists of a tactical folder, handgun, flashlight, lighter and fero rod, water purification tablets, gallon freezer bag and a life straw. Like myself, if he has to bug out, he is moving light and fast.

Compared either of us, humping our kits that weigh less then 10lbs and someone with a 20 or even 50lbs pack. Also we don't look like people with things worth taking if social order breaks down. I promise you, will need to think fast and have a plan. A BOB or EDC kit without a plan is just gear...

Survival Kit: Survival kits are small gear kits that are intended to be used to boost your odds of survival. These vary between airplane and life raft emergency survival kits, which can be adapted to suit your car. At the basic level you need some shelter, food, water, something for heat and a means to acquire more food, fishing kits and snare wire is often used. A Bug-Out bag is an example of one type of survival kit, so is a EDC kit.

Never Coming Back Kit: Now I have one of these, its also called an INCH (I'm Never Coming Home) bag. Remember when I talked about pioneers and such? Ok... It is a basic set of supplies, gear and tools that will allow you to build your own civilization in the middle of no where. If you look at the California Gold Rush, the Alaskan Gold Rush, the Settlement of the Old West and even the Western expansion from the East Coast colonies, pioneers, trappers and woodsmen carried a lot of supplies by cart, wagon and mule, as well as on their backs.

A Bug Out bag won't be useful to you as a means to evacuate your home, and lets say you do?
Do you have a plan? At the end of the Day all you need for a Bug-Out-Bag is water (a 1 Liter bottle filled with tap water will do), food (such as Emergency Ration Bars, MREs, DIY MREs, jerky, trail mix, peanuts, granola bars or cliff bars) that you can eat cold and don't have to cook, a mylar space blanket or 2 for shelter, some rope or twine for cordage (doesn't have to be paracord and a lot of paracord doesn't meet military specifications) and a means start a fire, matches, lighter etc. Congrats you can Bug-Out... but if you don't have a plan, you just have gear.

Everything should have a use and every use should be part of your plan. Don't pack an inflatable raft if you are not crossing water, don't pack a saw if you live in a desert with no trees. Don't worry about maps and compass if you can read a map and know how to use a compass. Many times, you can just get by with stuff you can carry on you.

Lets look at my EDC, in depth...

1. 20oz Water Bottle: I know there are steel water bottles, but I have cases of bottled water at home. So I generally, bring one of those with me. Nothing special and usually a non-name brand much cheaper.
2. 3 Sweet and Salty Granola bars or a couple packs of peanuts: Nothing major and basically only providing me with only about 170 calories per bar, 510 calories total. But, like I said food isn't a priority for me for 72 hours. It is motivation.
3. Water purification tablets: I don't even carry the whole bottle, just a small resealable baggy with 5 purification tabs and 5 tablets that clear up the task.
4. 2x Lighters: Fire is more important then food, I plan in accordance to what can kill me first... 1. Security against People with ill intentions, 2. Injury 3. Weather exposure, 4 Thirst/Dehydration can kill me in 3 days. 5. Hunger can kill me in 2 weeks. For a 72 hour plan (I plan 3 to 5 days), I'm not going to starve to death.
5. Space blanket: Ok, I don't carry a space blanket. I carry two but you get the idea... The space blanket doubles as shelter from rain, can be used as a poncho, can be used to make a temporary shelter, and I can use it to signal for help.
6. Pack of Cigarettes: Yes, I smoke, well I quit smoking which means I smoke about 3 to 10 cigarettes a day a day. The fact is I can light a cigarette, "hot box it" and use the "cherry" to build a fire from the ember as opposed to wasting fuel from my lighter.
7. Pocket knife (varies in style): Ok, I said I vary the style of the knife I carry... Sometimes I carry a multi-tool, sometimes a good fixed blade hunting knife and sometimes a tactical folder. Why the difference in knives? Knives are tools and they have a specific job. So if I need or feel the need for a certain type of knife I carry it and sometimes... I even carry two.
8. 2 x 1 gallon zip lock freezer bags: Now I know you can spend $10 on a collapsible canteen. These came in a pack of 10 and holds all the water I need for the 3 days minimum to survive on.
9. Paracord bracelet: Ok, this is only "survival gear" I pack. Its a simple paracord bracelet with a compass I don't need, a whistle I probably won't use and ferro-rod for back-up to my lighter. It is cordage for building a survival shelter with my space blanket. My water bottle goes into a pocket, my space blankets, freezer bags, lighters, purification tablets and granola bars go in another pocket of my jacket, coat or hoodie. My knife & cigarettes  is in a pants pocket & I wear the paracord bracelet.

All I need to do... is start walking home. I have a plan & everything I carry has a use. I've hiked with my INCH bag and know I can make 10 miles in about 2 and half hours. Not even pushing myself thats roughly 15 minutes a mile walking (actually far less). With my EDC I can jog a mile or so at (let's say) 8 minutes a mile, how fast are you jogging with a 30lbs BOB. Assuming I have to walk and not driving some of that distance. Even then my 15 minutes a mile compared to your 15 minutes a mile, with less weight means I move with less energy.

The semantics of the argument are simple, know the difference in gear sets to fit your goals. If I am home I rarely travel outside of 50 miles and if I do I have an emergency for my car. If I'm within my 50 mile home range, I can risk the walk and I may only need to get to a friends house a lot closer then my own home.