How to survive a home invasion: a practical guide

A little while ago, the police released this video of a home invasion in Milburn, New Jersey. It shows a man brutally attacking a woman in her home in front of her three year old daughter and with her one-year old daughter upstairs. This footage is explicit and acts as a reminder of something I’ve written about often: only you can protect yourself when violence comes your way. To do that, it is important to have practical information and that’s why I wrote this “How to survive a home invasion” article.

This topic is disturbing for many people because first of all, they rarely (if ever) come into contact with violence. It’s just not a part of their lives and they no longer have the knowledge or skills to handle it. But more importantly, this is a scary topic. Not only does the invader come into your house, he also threatens you or actually does harm you. At worst, he takes your life or that of one of your loved ones.

It’s human nature to want to stick your head in the sand and pretend this problem doesn’t exist. Human nature, yes, but it doesn’t help you survive a home invasion. So the first step in securing your home is accepting that bad things can happen to you there. If you can accept that at a gut level, you’ve taken the first step towards a solution.

Before we go on, take a look at this video so the rest will make more sense. It is explicit and not suitable for work or children.

 

They caught the bastard, so there is some good news here but even though this is a graphic example of a home invasion, it isn’t the worst one that ever happened. Some are less violent than this one but others are much worse. Please read this last sentence again. It illustrates one of the fundamental aspects of violence:

It’s unpredictable.

Sure, there are patterns to recognize and predictions you can make but when that thug enters your home, you don’t know what he’s going to do to you. Nor do you know how he will react to whatever you decide to do. Or how far he’s willing to go to get what he wants.

You just don’t know.

You can’t know.

If you can’t know how it will play out, then I believe it is only sensible to gather as much information as possible, think it through, talk to experts in various fields and form your own conclusions. You might decide that some of the advice I give here below doesn’t apply to you. Or you might tweak it a bit to fit your specific situation. Either way, you can only get to that conclusion if you do some serious studying of the problem so you can decide on a reasoned and thoughtful course of action.

So by all means, don’t look at what I write here as a definitive guide on to how to survive a home invasion. Instead, consider it more as a source of information to get you started on keeping yourself and your loved ones safe in your own home. [Read more…]

How to have a successful martial arts blog

This post is going to be a little different from what I normally write about but after checking with all of you on my Facebook page, turns out you wanted me to post this so here goes.The biggest part of this post comes from something I wrote in response to a friend of mine (famous author and expert) who has an ongoing argument with his wife: she thinks he’s wasting his time on the internet (primarily on Facebook), he thinks he’s not.

I disagreed in part with both of them and will explain below why.

If this isn’t your thing, don’t bother reading any of it; I’ll resume my normal posting after this one.

 

Some background

I made my first martial arts website in 1999 with a state-of-the-art piece of crap software called AOL Press. Since then, I’ve made all of my sites, as I’m a bit of an IT geek who enjoys this stuff, and have used a bunch of technologies. I also did lots of research on how to go about it all. Now I have no illusions of grandeur but I do have a bit of experience with both. Also, I started blogging in 2008 and have seen my blog here get an increasingly large audience, for which I’m very grateful. It’s amazing the support I have received from all of you so thank you for that.

Back on track: I started blogging in 2008 after reading this article from Yaro Starak and listening to the podcast. I thought it was a bunch of nonsense. Making thousands of dollars a month by writing about stuff you’re interested in? Without the support of traditional publishing or media? Ha! But for some reason, I decided to investigate some more to see if this was just another of those internet scams or if there was something to it. Turns out the site was legit and the story accurate enough. It also turned out a bunch of other people were doing similar things.

Being interested in on-line ventures by nature, I started doing the research to set up my own blog. A few months later, I did just that and here we are now in December 2012.

I didn’t have any aspirations of becoming a millionaire with my blog for two reasons:

  • I doubted it would be possible in my niche; martial arts and self-defense.
  • I refused to do some of the things needed to gain a lot of traffic fast.

I didn’t spam people. I didn’t infest the forums with my presence, baiting everybody to come check out my blog. Nor did I write typical short “link-bait” posts to make sure I’d get those coveted back links. I also refused to do black hat or use borderline methods to rank well in the search engines.  I think all that stuff is bullshit. [Read more…]

How to get fast hands for martial arts

I wrote about some of my training a while ago and in the comments section, I received this reply:

Hi Wim!

Thank you for this Post that shows that sometimes Hard work beats natural Talent.

I have almost the same problems with Flexibility and Speed as you in my Martial Arts Training (Taekwondo).

Can I ask you what was or is your specific Training to get your Fast hands? Tubes? Lots of Push ups?

Greetings from Stuttgart Germany
Tino Carta

 

I think this is an interesting question so instead of writing a quick comment in reply to Tino, I made this “how-to” guide here so all of you can use it. There’s a lot of ground to cover so let’s get started.

 

 

What are fast hands?

Well, obviously that means you can move your hands quickly. Which is true enough but there’s more to it in my opinion, especially in the context of martial arts.

These are the goals I had in mind when I started training to get fast hands:

  1. Be able to move my hands with as much speed as possible.
  2. Be able to go from one technique to the next as fast as possible.
  3. Be able to do this with accuracy. 
  4. Be able to do this with power. 

Other people will have a different definition and that’s fine; this is what works for me and I think it covers the most important aspects for martial arts. But you are obviously free to do things differently if you have different needs.

Let’s take a look at each of those points in a bit more detail before I talk about the drills and exercises. [Read more…]

How to Increase Your Punching Power in Five Minutes

I wrote this “How to Increase Your Punching Power in Five Minutes” article as a guest post over at the Paladin-Press blog.

In that post, I explain the reasoning behind this type of training and how exactly to go about it. This video is meant as a visual aid to help you put into practice the guidelines I described there. I’ll go into a little bit more detail here below but please read that blog post first and then watch the video:

Here are some more thoughts about this type of training:

  • It only takes five minutes. You don’t have to spend hours on end on this, five minutes is plenty. However, you need to focus intently on the task during those five minutes. You’re looking for micro-movements and that’s more difficult than it seems at first. So spend a little bit of time on this and then file all the corrections you find away for future training.
  • However, you need to ingrain the corrections for them to work. If you only do the slow, searching for those parasite movements without ingraining the corrections, you can forget about making any progress with your punching power. As with anything, the real work is in the repetitions. Not mindless repetitions but targeted ones, repetitions that have a specific purpose every single time.  [Read more…]