Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sarajevo: A Street Under Siege (MUST WATCH VIDEO)

This is one of the best videos I've seen in a long time. Full of gems of knowledge.
Trust me on this one, it is worth your time.
Please watch and leave your comments, I'll follow up with some thoughts tomorrow.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Knife Disarm Technique: What Worked 200 years ago still works Today

Dear Ferfal,
I had a little previous traininig in knife fighting (using the knife and disarming it) via Kali and combatives. However, I am skeptical of how well most of those techniques work in knife disarming, especially those that rely on wrist manipulation.
As mentioned in your book, a good idea is to have a non-cooperative partner test out a technique. This is where most disarming techniques fail when the attacker (myself or my partner) becomes more aggressive aka stitching machine mode or shifts the knife to the other hand.
I am interested in the disarming technique mentioned in your book and would like to try it out. Do you know a good video clip showing what you described? Or at the very least, photos showing the same technique?
Thank you and keep up your good work!

Hi! What I explain in my book is based on an old book called “Esgrima Criolla”. What worked for gauchos fighting with knives for hundreds of years isn’t that different from what the US Army teaches in its combatives FM 3-25.150 manual. Check the video below for more on this.

Trying to explain defense drills against a knife attack is like trying to find a way of dodging a bullet, and to be honest in confined spaces or within close quarters or contact distance, I’d rather take my chances with someone with a gun rather than someone armed with one of today’s folders along with serious intent on using it.
The knife cuts everything in its path, doesn’t jam (and you cant make it jam like a gun) and it doesn’t run out of bullets. 

Also something that never gets mentioned, is that there’s been a revolution in the world of knives which has an impact, not unlike when autos dethroned revolvers as the most popular handgun: A couple decades ago quality tactical folders were rare and expensive. You had Cold Steel and a few others, but they weren’t common, they did cost a lot of money and if you found a criminal using a knife it was most likely a cheapo folder or a poorly sharpened kitchen knife. These knife would sure cut you, but it wouldn’t go through tissue like soft butter, as it happens today with most quality, commonly available and affordable folders that come hair splitting sharp straight out of the box.

I actually have a good example of this. It happened during a training session just a few weeks before leaving Argentina.  I was with a police officer friend of mine and his partner. So we set the interlocking foam mats and start jogging around in circles, warming up and flexing. Right after doing that my friend asks if I have a knife on me. I say yes, I had my Spyderco Resilience with me. He asks me to pull it out and I do so. He says we’re practicing some knife disarm drills and I warn him “look, I appreciate the realistic training but this is very sharp”. He says something like what good would it do if it wasn’t and we start doing some of the typical knife disarm drills. You know, the kind that doesn’t really work but we still practice them. So soon enough we end up on the floor and thanks to my cooperation my friend has me on a wrist lock even if I had to be careful not cut him during the entire drill. Once he had my wrist locked he applies pressure and I feel I have no other choice but to let go of the knife. My friend sees my trying to resist and says “Fer, let go”.  I couldn’t hold it any more so I try to shift the Spyderco with my finders so that at least the spine rather than the edge is pointing towards my friend’s back. I let go and hope for the best…

 The knife drops, skips down his neck and back and sticks tip first half an inch into the matt, sticking out in a perfectly perpendicular angle from the floor. My friend lets go and brings his fingers to where the knife touched him. There’s a bit of blood. The knife’s edge barely made contact sideways bit it still cut a shallow but long line. Had I not placed the edge up before dropping it, it would have been a much more serious cut, not to mention, I could have cut up my very well trained, martial arts expert friend a dozen times during the disarm drill. Maybe with a typical, poorly sharpened knife it would have worked better because it would have been harder for me to stab him, but with a knife that cuts flesh like butter with a slight flick of the wrist you can’t afford that.

So, I wont disrespect any of the instructors that spent decades training. Just look it up in youtube, search for “knife disarm”, and those of you that are knowledgeable about knives tell me if it would work or not. In 99% of the cases it just wont. Your fingers, arms, face, legs, they would all get seriously cut when trying most of these drills. What about that 1% that would work, we all want to know that one right, the super secret technique only tough to ninjas, special forces or that some guy sells online for only $19.99.
There’s no such thing. Some of these disarm drills could work when used against the right guy holding the right knife. By this I mean an less than determined attacker using a less than ideally sharp weapon.
You will get cut, it will hurt, and if the other guy wants it bad enough and you have nothing but your hands to defend yourself you’ll get cut to pieces. No matter how much you train a razor sharp folder does not discriminate, it will cut the martial art expert as much as it will cut average Joe. Sharp steel doesn’t discriminate. To a knife, it is all soft flesh.

The best advice I can give you is to work on your Speech Kung fu. Avoid the knife fight entirely. If you’re getting mugged, then your cell and wallet isn’t worth getting stabbed, or even the hassle of killing someone over them. Even if you can win, its just WAY cheaper to get another cellphone and ID rather than hire a lawyer for your defense.
Learn to defuse violent altercations. Insults, taunts, it all means nothing, just learn to ignore them and walk away. If you have to defend yourself and you happen to be unarmed the use any object you can between you and the attacker. Umbrellas, chairs, anything you can use for defense and to keep the distance should be used.
If you have no other choice but to fight unarmed, then go for control of the arm with the knife and grappling, using and arm bar to disarm or break the attackers arm. The Army Combatives FM explains how to do this depending on the angle of attack but in reality a knife attack is awfully unorthodox and hard to predict. Its about speed and strength. Getting control of that arm and disarming the opponent as quickly as possible.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fish Antibiotics at camping Survival

I’ve often mentioned the importance of having antibiotics at hand. While antibiotics are not some magical cure-all pills, If you do need antibiotics then there’s really no other thing that will do nearly as good in spite of all the natural remedies available. The simple matter is, if you need antibiotics and don’t have them, the infection spreads and you can end up losing a limb or downright die. At the same time and due to needing a prescription for them, people rarely have antibiotics in their first aid kits in countries where they are not available over-the-counter.

Right after mentioning this the next question is “Where can I get antibiotics?”.
The first thing to keep in mind is that antibiotics sure aren’t candy and you should only take them when you need them, in that case a doctor will write you a prescription for them, so first read as much as you can about antibiotics and when you actually need to take them. Here’s a good start.  *Link*
Remember that overuse of antibiotics is the reason why infections keep getting harder to fight because bacteria adapt more and more to them.
Unfortunately, in most countries only a doctor can prescribe antibiotics for you, so check with your doctor about that.

On the bright side, if you have fish, you can stock up on antibiotics for them!
Warning: These are not for human consumption, but just in case your fish needs antibiotics our sponsor Camping Survival has a good variety to treat your fish. 
Check with a doctor before using any medication. Check with your vet before medicating you fish. Always follow FDA regulations and recommendations.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Dual-Fuel Converted Vehicles that run on CNG

  This is my BOV
2007 Ford Expedition 3" suspension lift 35" tires.
Converted to natural gas. So it's dual fuel system now.
I fill it up at my house. It cost me around $0.6/ l on natural gas. Regular gas is $1.27 today. 

Nice! I used to have a dual fuel car as well when I lived in Argentina. Very cheap to run, and gasoline prices in Argentina are just impossible for middle class, let alone poor population. Most cars in Argentina run on CNG, over 75% of the vehicles on the streets. It’s safe too when done properly and keeping up with maintenance. 

Dual fuel vehicles have the advantage or having more fuel with both tanks full, it saves money and soon pays for itself, and you have the flexibility of using either fuel, so if there are gas shortages you can just as well keep running on NG. A truck like yours is ideal because a common problem with CNG in smaller vehicles like the one I had is that it ruins the suspension system due to the extra weight of the tank and it leaves you almost no space in the trunk, so a truck is the best vehicle for CNG conversion.
Warning though!

NG dries up the engine a lot. Dont try to save too much money and put some normal gasoline through it once a week, maybe just 10 minutes but do run it some on gasoline to avoid serious and expensive problems on the long run.
A common problem with injection engines is that since NG goes through injector sprays easier than gasoline they eventually get clogged or restricted by a buildup of fuel varnish deposits. Its like a wax or paraffin deposit that eventually restricts the injector entirely so one day you find that maybe one cylinder isnt working at all, or working poorly.
To avoid this put some injector cleaner in your gasoline and as I said before, run it for 10 minutes once a week or so, which also lubricates the otherwise dry engine.
Take care!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Toy Story's Sheriff Woody has a Gun!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Survival Food: Cooking with your food supplies, Lentil Stew!

A simple stew using lentils, rice, canned tomato and vegetables, some frozen pork, a bit of oil and white pepper.
Lentils are a great source of protein, they have twice the amount found in wheat. Lentils go very well with rice, also tomato sauce and potatoes. Basically you can throw in there any scrap meat or leftover you may have. Lentils cook pretty much the same as rice and they dont require soaking before cooking.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Food Stamp Glitch Leaves Walmart Shelves Bare: ‘Like a Tornado Had Came Through’

Shelves at Walmart stores in Louisiana were cleared in a shopping frenzy over the weekend after a glitch in the Electronic Benefits Transfer system allowed government food stamp recipients to make purchases without spending limits.
For two hours Saturday night, customers rang up overflowing cartloads of food at stores in Springhill and Mansfield, La., after cashiers allowed them to use their EBT cards anyway despite not showing limits, KSLA-TV reported.
“It was worse than any Black Friday,” Springhill police Chief Will Lynd told KSLA.
Food Stamp Glitch Leaves Walmart Shelves Bare: Like a Tornado Had Came Through
Government food assistance recipients poured into Walmart stores in Louisiana after a system glitch allowed them to make purchases without spending limits. (Image source: KSLA-TV)
Police were called in to help manage the chaos, but no arrests were made and no one was unruly, Lynd said. Mansfield police confirmed officers were called in for crowd control but no arrests were made there, either.
After the system came back online, customers abandoned their carts and left the store, leaving a huge mess behind.
“It was like a tornado had came through,” O.J Evans, who took cell phone video of the aftermath at the Mansfield Walmart, told KSLA.
The glitch occurred when the EBT system went down in several states during a routine backup test, KSLA reported. The system came back up Saturday night, but was apparently not working properly everywhere.
Food Stamp Glitch Leaves Walmart Shelves Bare: Like a Tornado Had Came Through
A Walmart customer captured the aftermath following a glitch in the EBT system. (Image source: KSLA-TV)
A Walmart spokeswoman told KSLA the company was “fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage.”
“We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards (and purchases on WIC and SNAP) during the outage so that they could get food for their families,” Walmart spokeswoman Kayla Whaling told the station.
Walmart shoppers Stan and Judy Garcia said purchases made without appropriate funds was the same thing as stealing.
“That’s plain theft, that’s stealing that’s all I got to say about it,” Stan Garcia said.
Whaling declined to specify whether Walmart would take the financial hit on food purchased without card limits or on the perishable food left behind.
A spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services said they were aware of the situation and investigating any potential fraud.

Anyone expecting to rush to the nearest store to stock up as a disaster unfolds should pay attention to this article. There’s no last minute trip to the grocery plan. It’s not safe and you wont find much anyway.

Take a look at what’s happening in Venezuela right now with food shortages:
Just a few weeks ago young woman in Venezuela kicked her own 18 year-old pregnant sister in the belly, killing her baby, after arguing over a 1kg. pack of flour.
Just a few days before that, a man was killed in Venezuela for trying to jump queue in a line of people waiting to buy food. People naturally behave the way the article above explains. The majority of people will steal if they think they can get away with it. We’ve gotten to the point where most don’t consider it a morally reprehensible thing to do anymore. 

People will steal when they feel they can get away with it, and in a similar way they will have no remorse in killing when they even just start to feel hungry. Instinct kicks in, and combined with the almost complete lack of moral standards we have in society these days, that same mass that ravages a Walmart at the first opportunity will crack your skull after skipping just one meal. We have seen such a thing happen after disasters in different countries, and the ongoing crisis in Venezuela is a good example of what to expect from most western nations when things heat up just a bit. 

People, we all know the essentials. Food and water first, fuel and gear after that as well as some emergency cash at hand. You have to understand the importance of having these stocked up and stored before the actual crisis or disaster takes place. Knowledge sure is important, but no amount of knowledge will materialize in front of you the supplies you failed to stock up ahead of time.