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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    NW Florida
    I boxed as a kid and teenager, was never very good at it, but I could take a punch over and over again. I joined the Marines at 17, became an infantryman, machine gunner specifically, and I deployed at 18 to the Helmand province. I was one of the lucky guys that got to do a lot of fighting there instead of just guarding a base. Deployed again on a MEU to support the Arab Spring and do anti piracy stuff, but saw no action. Trained a ton of European and Middle Eastern forces.

    Shooting has always been there for me. I came from a family of people who were big on self-reliance and shooting was just part of that. After the Marines, I started to apprentice as an instructor at some local tactical training schools, but my career took off and now I'm happy being a student.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    I was the sickly kid everyone picked on until I learned what an equalizer was. My temper got me in trouble more than once.
    Playing baseball one day when the pitcher nailed me in the balls on purpose and everyone laughed until I laid him out with a baseball bat.
    Never had much trouble with bullies after that. Funny thing, that kid became one of my best Friends.

    Started shooting with my Grandpa when I was 7-8, by 12 I was hunting every chance I got. The neighbor (WWII Vet) that shot with Grandpa noticed that I had trouble with open sights and taught me to point shoot. Learned later that he had been a range instructor in the Army.
    He helped me build my first muzzle loader and loaned me the first center fire rifle I shot. A Winchester lever action in 25-20.

    Started lifting weights when I was 15. Never could do more than 150-160lbs, but could throw 100lb bales of hay all day long.
    Was on the cross country team in high school. Not fast, but good endurance.
    Studied Shotokan in my teens and gravitated to the boe staff and the Sia. Learned to control my temper.
    That instructor introduced me to an Turk who taught knife fighting. Spent two years learning the art of the knife from him.

    Summer of '81 I did an early enlistment to the Air Force Reserve and was washed out in the medical exam.
    Went back to what I knew best, Farming. Always had an off farm job. Part time truck and bus driver, heavy equipment operator, etc.

    In '84 I started working private security. Have been with some great companies with good training, and some that I wouldn't let watch my dog.
    My appearance lead me to learn covert security. I don't look like what most think of a security guard. The addition of the cane following a car accident just added to the harmless bystander look.

    Went back to college in the early 2000's and had the good fortune to work at the Simmunitions range at the LE Academy. That was a true blessing and gave me the chance at some intense training. A couple of the instructors there helped tailor training to take advantage of my physical limitations. Got to be the adversary in many of the LE exercises. It was also where I first heard of Gabe.

    I don't post often because my experience is in a very limited area. I much prefer to listen and learn from those with more experience than I.
    You guys help keep my head right.


  3. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    NE FL
    I grew up in NY and NJ. Grandfather was NYPD, Dad was a WWII vet. They taught me to cover and hit back. Had some scuffles from 5 to 13 years old. Sometimes I bled, sometimes the others did. There was no stigma against you for fighting back and defending yourself. More or less a "come back with your shield or on it" mentality. Somewhere along the way they introduced me to the concept of "there is no such thing as a fair fight."

    In college i took two semesters of boxing and what we called hand to gland. USMC infantry, TBS and IOC, Grenada and Beirut. I struggled with shooting, only qualifying as sharpshooter and an occasional expert score. The Corps sent me to see a man in Arizona to learn to shoot and pass it on to my Marines. Never had any trouble shooting expert after that... Aside from a massive dose of practical techniques, I learned about mindset and the color code and began networking with folks with much more knowledge and experience than me.

    Homeschooled four kids and enrolled them all in TKD. Taught them to shoot rifle and pistol. I am a follower of the school of the three stupids: Don't go stupid places, with stupid people or so stupid things. I have been successful in imparting some wisdom to my kids.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Somewhere in the Appalachians.
    I come from a long line of tough men. Some murderers and moonshiners, some vets. I learned the basics of shooting and fighting as a kid.

    I started studying Taekwondo at 13, as it was the only thing available in my rural area at the time. When I got my drivers license, I started driving an hour away to begin studying Kung Fu, and I studied that until I joined the Army.

    The Army taught me their system (MACP), I made it to skill level 3. The system itself is good, but the biggest problem is that its badly taught in most places in the Army, and most soldiers don't get much if any practice. Otherwise, it's a pretty decent all-around system. I also attended a Squad Designated Marksman course, some handgun and sub-gun courses taught as a courtesy by some of our customers, SERE school, and a terrorist interdiction driving course. I was an expert aerial gunner, but other than hog hunting once in texas from helicopters, that probably won't ever do me any good anymore haha

    I'm retired from the Army now, and my wife and I just moved back to the region where I grew up. As soon as we get our farm and my auto-restoration shop set up, I'll be looking for a good dojo... karate or JKD would be my preference I suppose, but I'll take what I can get. Martial arts schools are still fairly sparse in the local area.
    Last edited by H60DoorGunner; 08-28-2019 at 09:43 AM. Reason: spelling
    Isaiah 54:17

    Deus dea traballo, dixo o enterrador.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    I grew up wrestling placing 5th,3rd,3rd at state in high school. Always worked out on a heavy bag in the garage. Joined the Army after high school. Trained with Matt Larson at Ft Benning in the MACP program. Got to teach combative and shooting as my time as a Drill Sergeant at Benning. Did a tour in Iraq. Just finished my 20th year as a prison guard! So I guess I’ve been around violence most of my life! Wouldn’t change a thing!

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    New Jersey
    Just noticed this post.
    My father doing a little foray into amateur boxing and a lover of the sport taught me the nuances of it since I was a little kid. Started formal training in martial arts in 1984. Okinawa Karate (Chibana-ha Shorin Ryu) was my main art while I also dabbled in Judo, BJJ, and Kali. While I'm no longer under my instructor I still work all my karate and kobudo kata.
    For the last five years I've dedicated to BJJ.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    I qualify as a lifetime ago for most formal training.
    My introduction into MARTS was Aikido under Robert Danza back in the 60's, I wanted karate but my Dad did not want me to hurt anyone.
    Played at Tae Kwoon Do for awhile until I realized the spinning was just not for me.
    Studied Ryu-Kyu Kempo under several instructors, like the style, first I found to explain kata and its original applications
    From the kempo it got me interested in other Chinese styles; Studied Kwong Sai Jook Lum under Martin Eisen and Master Mark, eventually led me to the last style I spent anytime in and that was Wing Chun under Keith Mazza and Master Cheung.
    Most recently I have been doing WWII combatives and concentrating on getting good at a few moves, rather than learning a system.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    The first Style of Karate I trained in was called Kushido and I grabbed the first opportunity to train I could at age 24. I believe the fact that I wanted to do Martial Arts from a very early age but having to wait until my early 20`ts helped to prepare me mentally to grasp my chance with both hands when it presented itself. It also helped that I was familiar with Martial Arts at that point, understanding the language if you will. As well as appreciating the opportunity.

    I still remember the first night clearly. A Brown Belt had donated blood earlier in the day, preventing him from training and he was therefore designated to show me the basics.

    The experience was overwhelming and confusing but despite this I knew instantly that I would be training for the rest of my life. Ignoring people`s advice not to commit myself-Signing up for the year and buying a Gi-So I would not be disappointed and waste my money in case I could not do Karate because of my chair.

    Having that first red stripe on my White Belt was the proudest moment of my life. Symbolizing to me that I have achieved something using my body,my muscles. That my desire to test and push myself physically is normal,proofing to me that I am not just a brain, only useful for typing on a keyboard.

    That I have accomplished something that nobody can take away from me. And from that point on when looking in the mirror I did not see disabled body but instead I saw a person staring back at me that I could be proud of.


  9. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    I was privileged to spend time with my instructors outside the Dojo driving back and fourth to training. Our chats helped to form a lot of my Martial thinking earlier on. For example when I noticed that they all carried and answering my question was told that they realized even being highly trained and with years of experience there may come a time when their Karate training alone will not be enough. This opened my mind up early in my training to the carrying and use of weapons.

    Following their example I started carrying a Blade/Blades. Learning from then that I did not need to justify my reasons for carrying a knive to anybody, even 2 knives. And that my decisions should solely be based on my needs and training experiences.

    When Kushido closed town I moved to the other Dojo in town called Samurai Karate. Their training only focused on Hard Sparring and Conditioning. It was something that I needed at the time because Kushido concerned themselves only with perfect technique and character building.

    The training toughed me up, made me harder and got me in much better shape.

    Sensei Chris Enslin the Head Instructor was the first person who was brutally honest with me.Telling me quite bluntly that I will never be able to knock an attacker down/out without the use of my legs and hips. But at the same time pointing out to me that if I focus on my strength`s my arm and grip strength I can still be effective-Pulling the attacker closer and then squeezing, and ripping all the soft targets within reach.

    When the Casaku ended he told me that the next time we met he wanted to see a major increase in my grip strength and I had to be able to demonstrate the spots on the body I had decided to target as well as to being able to explain to him clearly why I chose those targets.

    By doing this Sensei Chris taught that an instructor can teach and guide you but cannot do the training for you. That if I wanted to be effective I needed to put in the hard work and time, adding Solo Training to my Dojo workouts.

    When the sole focus of Samurai became competition I joined Tenshinkan. Here I made really close friends and experienced a sense of Tribe. I could just be myself and express myself freely. Forgetting for those 2 hours week that I use a chair-People seeing me first, my spirit, before my chair.

    All together I trained in Karate nonstop for 19 years from 1996-2015, with one private training session with Mark Human thrown in.


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