Sunday, 7 July 2013

Ground fighting and dealing with conflict in "The Street"

This thread on Bullshido has a string of great responses to the "NEVER GO TO THE GROUND IN TEH STR33T" philosophy. I'll post the best bits here. 

The OP:

Don't ever take a fight to the ground or willingly allow yourself to be put onto the ground.
For me it is the golden rule of streetfighting.
You don't know how many buddies this guy has around the corner just waiting for you to hit the concrete.
In toxteth in Liverpool it is practically a death sentence to take a fight to the ground, because guaranteed there will be 15 - 20 guys who will jump in and stomp the crap out of you, whether they are anything to do with the fight or not.
Keep to your feet in case you need to take to your heels.
Of course if you get taken down hard you need good ground game, but only to get them off of you so you can get back up.

The first response:

Streetfighting... you've done some of that then ?

Given it's your "golden rule" I'm gaining the impression from that, that this is something you're actively involved in.

Give me an example, if you'd be kind enough to indulge me when...

The last occasion you were required to street fight, and the circumstances of that situation where you'd found yourself unable to avoid it. 

I ask because having spent a number of years employed within a role which required conflict resolution dealing with people whom, some of which, had little to lose from inflicting serious bodily harm, if not death on others, EVERY encounter ultimately ended up on the floor no matter how many people were involved.

There are three types of control mechanism which resolves human conflict.


- Avoidance is by far the best option but isn't always 100% in your control

- Physical Restraint requires you (or someone else) to retain a hold of some description but will often require that person to be prone for the restraint to be fully effective for any period of time.

- Incapacity of your opponent by KO

You're able to hit/kick or choke-out your opponent to the point where they have nothing left.

Now, unless we're training regularly in a system which is proven to fully function against opponents who are actively resisting what we wish to do to them, options 2 & 3 are actually incredibly difficult to achieve with any degree of consistency. Being able to choke-out means you're likely not being on your feet when you do it - so we're on the ground, high kicking is a risky option in many respects and you're not always in an environment where you can effectively do it. Finally, hitting a moving target whilst under stress and doing so effectively and hard enough within the first few seconds of conflict is likewise very difficult to achieve - more to the point you have no idea until you actually hit the individual for the first time, how they're going to cope/compensate your attempts at a KO strike.

What I've driving at here is there's no single solution at dealing with conflict.

In some respects I'm agreeing with the sentiments of your original post however, learning how to effectively deal with being taken to the ground, obtaining positional advantage, then being able to fight or flight from there is far better than just learning a stand up game... Because, every cuntfuck who looks for trouble of this sort will want to put you in, what they will inherently see as a position of disadvantage, by taking that shit to the floor. They may do this intentionally or subconsciously but in a game with no rules the floor provides the ideal place to stop someone from easy escape.

And a few other great posts:

You'll have to tell us how you manage to deal with 15-20 people joining in while you're still on your feet. 
Maybe you need more friends? It always seems people are worried about the other guy having friends. My friends usually spend 3-4 days a week punching, choking, and slamming people. You should probably be worried about my friends.
Okay, now how do you avoid being taken there unwillingly if your opponent(s) are practised and experienced in takedowns and you're not practised and experienced in defending takedown attempts?

Entire thread:

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Illustrations for essay by Damon Young published in Meanjin

Damon Young, the erudite and dapper young philosopher from Melbourne, has once again been gracious enough to commission some artwork from me. Here are a few words from the beginning of the essay:

A blond, square-jawed man is splayed on the stone steps of the New York Federal Courthouse. Blood runs from his mouth. The white star on his chest is spattered. He is muscular but limp. Two figures crouch over him: a man in a black leather jacket, sunglasses and a baseball cap, and a woman in a black and white paramilitary uniform. The first swears. The second cradles the downed man’s head, screaming ‘no’ and whispering, ‘Oh God, Steve.’

There is no divine miracle for Steve Rogers. He dies of gunshot wounds, still in handcuffs. Placards are on display nearby: ‘Free Captain America’ and ‘Cap Traitor’. Captain America is arrested by his own government and assassinated outside an iconic house of law.

It is testament to the power of contemporary superhero comics that this scene, in Ed Brubaker’s Captain America no. 25, actually moved me. I was surprised.

Read the rest here:

And here are the pictures I drew'd:

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Why the ignorant, unskilled and inept over-estimate their abilities

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.

Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University conclude, "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others".

Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill.

Meanwhile, people who find tasks to be relatively easy erroneously assume, to some extent, that the tasks must also be easy for others, and so under-rate their own abilities.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

A music playlist

I started making a youtube music playlist. 3 hours later I've had to force myself to stop adding tracks... Hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Hot cross buns contain palm oil

Hot cross buns contain palm oil
I first noticed a few posts on Facebook about palm oil, then today I saw it on the news - hot cross buns from Woolworths and Coles contain palm oil, sourced from growers who destroy the habit of Orangutans.

To me, the real news was how few people actually knew about this. They also don't seem to realise that about half the products available at any supermarket contain palm oil, it just happens to be that Coles and Woollies decided to label this particular product as containing palm oil specifically. They absolutely could not have predicted the public reaction.

So now some people are boycotting these buns, and in some cases the supermarkets. I really think this is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. In a sea of lava. Populated by fireproof sharks.

It's simply guilt mitigation.

The problem isn't farmers in Indonesia, or Coles or Woollies. It's the fact that you exist.

You're reading this on a computer which is connected to the internet, so I'm going to make some assumptions which should be pretty accurate for the majority of you.

To eat, you have to damage or destroy multiple ecosystems. Industrial agriculture is about commandeering land and replacing it with food production for humans. You have to mine Phosphorus from places like Morocco, and transport it to your country to manufacture fertiliser. Both the transport and the creation of fertiliser requires massive amounts of fossil fuels. Farming requires lots of fresh water, which comprises about 1% of the total water on the planet. No matter what you eat, even if you're vegetarian, you're funding this process.

The plastic in every object in your daily life comes from petrochemicals - oil. Once used they go into landfill or wreak havoc in ecosystems.

The phone you own contains at least a percentage of conflict minerals from mines in Africa.

The electricity you use is mostly derived from fossil fuels.

The building you live in sits on what was once pristine habitat.

The car you drive. The road you drive on. The clothes you wear. The meat you eat. Everything you depend on.

It's systematic. The very systems we depend on are not sustainable. Every time a new human is introduced, the resources must be found to sustain them, and those resources must be commandeered from non-humans.

For us to exist, to maintain our modern lifestyle and grow the population and it's wealth, we have to remove ecosystems and take their resources for ourselves. That's just how it is.

This isn't by design. No one made a choice for the world to turn out this way. No one can predict what is going to happen, just as no individual neuron can comprehend the emergent behaviour of the brain.

Rather than starting from a position of certainty and Googling articles which reinforce your decision to boycott buns, you should be completely fucking confused, bewildered and at a loss as to what to do. And then, if it makes you feel better, boycott the buns anyway.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Vegetarians can't survive on grassland, cattle help restore it

This is the best TED talk I've seen for a while. I totally agree with Savory.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Philosophy in the Garden published

Click image to buy the book
After a couple of years chipping away at it with Damon Young, I'm very happy this book is finally on the shelves. My illustrations appear throughout the book. Visit Damon's blog for more info: