Thursday, May 23, 2013

What Makes a Climate for Learning?

I hope you'll enjoy this witty and engaging presentation on creating a learning environment.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013


How do the principles of the sword connect to the rest of your life?


Monday, May 20, 2013



Champion, advocate, mentor, cheer-leader.
I wish I'd had a teacher like this when I was a kid.

I hope I am one.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

What is Good Teaching?

What bad teachers think good teaching is. 

                   What good teachers think good teaching is.

                                                          What good teaching actually is.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Who WAS that Masked Man....?

Clayton Moore.
The Lone Ranger.
And his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, played by Jay Silverheels.
With their horses, Scout and Silver.
And, even now, I can never hear the finale of Rossini's William Tell Overture without wanting to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear.

As a little kid, I always liked it that the Ranger wore a mask, so that his good deeds were anonymous, and that he never stuck around for a "thank you" after saving somebody's grits.  I admired that he used bullets made of silver to remind himself that life was precious -- even the bad guy's life -- and that he didn't shoot to kill, but to disarm, a practice that may be of extremely limited tactical utility in real life.

Funny thing, Moore and Silverheels apparently came to take their parts --- and their position as "role models" for us kids -- very seriously.

Three parts of the "Lone Ranger Creed" that stuck with me:
  • that all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
  • being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.
  • that all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.

 Like the Lone Ranger, I sometimes wear a mask.
Unlike the Lone Ranger, I am sometimes, of moral imperative, an outlaw.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Character is Destiny

The psychopath is incapable of ever becoming a person of character. It isn't their "fault." They just don't have the tools.

Most people, though, can become a person of integrity, worthy of respect.

It's a matter of practice,


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Multiple Opponents

Just as I'm prepping to teach BLUE SUEDE SHOES: Womens' Basic Self-Defense Awareness, I had a chat with a dear friend and colleague on the matter of multiple opponents.  So I thought I'd share something from the Blue Suede class.  The illustration captures, I believe, the spirit of it.  May you never know first-hand what this is like. 


It ain’t like the movies. Fighting multiple opponents is extremely dangerous and no matter how good you think you are, there’s a point where many becomes too many, and it’s a losing battle. Here are 10 good rules to maximize the odds of minimizing the damage to yourself.
1.            Avoid the Situation.
Always the best option. Here’s where situational awareness and early pattern recognition come into play.

2.            Run like hell.
Assuming you can get away safely and you’re not leaving somebody behind who can’t run with you.

3.            Have a weapon and know how to use it.
No doubt about it 3 or 4 unarmed attackers (or attackers armed with knives or clubs) against 1 unarmed defender is a one-sided affair. Same 3-4 attackers against a defender with a firearm and suddenly the odds have changed.

4.            Target the Leader.
Quite often the biggest, nearest, and has the loudest/foulest mouth.

5.            Line ‘em up
Avoid being surrounded. Move to one side so that they become obstacles in each other’s way. Use the nearest as a shield.  
6.            Strike First, Strike Hard Take the initiative, “attack on the preparation.” Avoid making meaningless movements that waste energy; take simple, devastating action instead. Get the first lick in and make it count.

7.            Fight Dirty.                                                         
         Use knees, elbows, teeth, head butts and attack eyes, throat, groin.

8.            Use the Environment.
Take advantage of chairs, tables, walls, trees, cars, etc as obstacles and as possible weapons.

9.            Keep Moving.
A moving target is harder to hit and harder to surround.

10.       Hit and Run.
As soon as you can safely do so, disengage and retire.

The first one dies, the second one is maimed, 
the third one runs away.