T Nation

The Tactical Life

Ha! Love it. I was raised by Appalachian coal mining people. “Whittling,” and trading pocket knives was a form of recreation, but knives gotta be sharp. Soooo, at a young age, I learned to use a whet stone and oil.
Later on, different grades of stones…
Files much later - don’t like them for a blade except for a repair.
Have NOT used crossed diamond sticks.

A leather strop is a good finisher after a smooth stone in stones sharpening process…

I’d readily bet $100 cash that my 78 year old mother can sharpen a blade using a whet stone better than 95% of American men. Hell, she can probably shoot straighter than at least 70% :wink:

This question of the Day made me smile with memories :smile: Thx Idaho !

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No problem with that bet, I know she could based on the current state of the American male. Appalachian coal mining people were raised hard and tough, and a day in the mines or a day strip mining would kill most males today. A poor, but, mainly a self sufficient group, with every family having a small garden of potatoes, green beans and tomatoes. Canning was as important as saving money for the winter months.

Thought for the day:


Or, in my little world: You never know someone until they are promoted.

Yesterday’s work:

Conventional deadlifts.

Single arm deadlifts (suitcase lift)

Rope pulls ( heavy rope with a heavy kettle bell tied on the end)

Chin ups


Krav Maga training.

Question of the day:

(I am not talking about desert or very arid conditions)

Ok, you suddenly find yourself flashed into the Bob Marshall Wilderness wearing only your ranger panties and suffering from extreme thirst.

Do you know how to find water?

Some suggestions:

Start by finding some high ground and listen for the sounds of running water. Sometimes it really can be just that simple.

Keep your eye out for animal tracks that converge on a trail. That’s a strong sign that the trail itself leads to a ready water source.

Head downhill. Water pools at low points between elevated areas and always flows downhill. If you’re on sloped terrain, follow it downward until you find where water may be collecting.

Use mosquitoes and other insects to guide you. They are almost always more plentiful near bodies of water.

In a jam, dig into muddy ground using a tool or your hands until the hole pools with water. You’ll want to remove as much sediment from the water as possible in your filtration process.

Just about any water source you find in the wild today will require filtration or purification before it’s safe to drink

  • read the last one again. Never leave home for the hinterlands without a purification system, they are plentiful and inexpensive in most outdoor retail chains.
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Being an MT native I love that you used the Bob in your example, ha!

Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I love Montana and I hope you are still there, it’s just a bitch trying to make a living there, especially in my line of work.

Yup. When I was a boy, at harvest time, we’d gave F’n 3 foot piles of string beans on the back porch and my sister and I would sit out with my mama stringing the damn things hours on end. I had nightmares about those F’n things from picking to stringing even to the whistling of the pressure cooker on the stove when mama was canning them. But by God that winter they sure tasted good with some white onion and sometimes a bit of pork in them.

And FTR, it’s “maters” and “taters” ya all :wink:
An aside, there was always a 12 gauge handy for the damn snakes in that garden - mine, from age 12, kept loaded in my bedroom.
Also had instructions from my father who worked nights to kill anyone who broke in while he was at work…wonder how people view teaching a 12 yo boy that nowadays?
I don’t give a shit, I’m just curious.

In Chicago, he would be considered a late bloomer.

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:wink: Yeh. U funny.
I went to Chicago on purpose once. Wife wanted to go shopping.
Been through O’Hare multiple times not so intentionally.
Can’t say I much care for the city, hate the state’s firearm laws - kinda understand y so many ppl shoot so many other ppl tho. I’d stay mad as hell if I lived in that city … :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

If was a very rural area in a very rural state, you may be ok, rural values and norms are different. Place yourself in a metro area and if the media gets the info, you will probably face criminal charges like: Conspiracy to commit murder, terrorist threats and acts, Reckless Endangerment, Child Abuse and whatever else they can throw at you.

Thought for the day:

One man with courage makes a majority." Andrew Jackson

Some new tools on the market:


“There are just some daily tasks that you won’t subject your EDC folder too. As a general knife rule, you pretty much never want to use your knife blade as a pry bar. It’s a no-no for any experienced knife user. Not only is a knife blade’s heat treat hardness not suited for prying, using it as such is a quick way to a broken tip. Like our Ti Dog Tag Tool, we developed a smart Universal Wrench that works on both metric and SAE hardware. Most other pocket pry bar tools in this genre have only a few pre-determined hex sizes and far less capable. The cat’s paw detail on the pry tip works well on carton staples to small nails, carpet tacks. For our users who are EMTs, the oxygen wrench is always a good feature to have as backup. The PB&J Tool also has other useful common-standard features and is rounded out by the unique wire spring gate to easily clip to anything it can fit on, and at the heart is its make in 6AL4V titanium. This is a pocket tool developed with clear focus on purpose driven design, no-nonsense and excellent quality of make.”


The Gerber Empower is one of Gerber’s newest American-made additions to the automatic knife market. It is rock solid, has S30V steel and doesn’t scream tactical. It weighs in at 4.6oz and has an overall length of 8.4” when opened (blade length is 3.25). Best part, it’s priced at right around $100

Yesterday’s work and Skills:

Incline treadmill with plate carrier
Sandbag over the shoulder farmers walks
overhead plate raises
tennis ball throws with punishment push ups.

Question of the day:

Getting very close, can feel it now: Who is ready for some college football?

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In a metro area you probably couldn’t own a gun in the first place. When I lived in Jersey I went to the local pd to get the forms to buy a firearm. The detective I spoke to laughed and said good luck. It was easier to get a security clearance from the federal govt, I got it on two separate occasions, than getting a permit to purchase a firearm.

Time to come clean:
I do not like, watch, or keep up with organized sports!!! The ONLY exception is I like to go to a Major League Baseball game live at the ball park. However, since I can’t legally carry at those, I don’t have much interest even in that now.
I feel like an anomaly, but it is what it is…I don’t care. There I said it :blush:

I am glad you were able to leave. I consider Jersey to be a Communist state, where the State and local politicians have stripped the rights to defense of self. You are an American citizen protected by the Constitution and Bill of Rights, yet, when you decide to provide yourself with the proper weapons for your protection, an arm of the Jersey government laughs in your face. The 2A means nothing to a Communist government. I also have a TS and I know the extensive background check they do on you, just to qualify for the interview, yet, Jersey says “fuck you”.

Imagine some nerd being told " you cannot use Twitter anymore or you cannot take selfies at Starbucks", they would be screaming about their 1A rights. Yet, the 2A is trampled on every day and no ones gives a shit.

Jersey has done everything it can to strip its populace of self protection, even passing the stupid 10 round magazine law.

What’s amazing to me is why the populace is allowing this to happen, why don’t they vote these Communist slime out of office?

Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

John adams

Well, I am close to you in that regard. I only follow MMA, College Football, and Hockey a distant third. I use to watch the NFL, but them pissing on the American Flag ruined that for me. All the other profession sports bore the hell out of me. I don’t consider martial arts, shooting in all disciplines, hunting, fishing, rucking, and kayaking sports, but a way of life.

Motivation Monday:


There is no humiliation worse than the consciousness of a wasted life. It stains the spirit, forestalls hope, and destroys any motive for action or change.

Yesterday’s work and skills:

Went to a local high school track, did walk / sprint, walk /sprint for 5 miles. Practiced kettle bell grenades, using traffic cones for targets.

Question for the day:

We have been discussing survival issues on and off for a couple of weeks. I want you watch the video and place yourself in this situation. If you survived the crash, could you do it?

On July 27, pilot Matt Lehtinen found himself living his worst nightmare. While flying alone in his single-prop aircraft over the remote Quebec wilderness, the plane suffered a mechanical failure that put it into an unrecoverable descent. After crashing into the dense forest (using parachutes to slow his fall), some people might have taken a moment to lament their luck — but Lehtinen instead pulled out a camera and set to work putting on a clinic on how exactly to get rescued.
First, he sent out an SOS distress call, then immediately set to work trying to locate his First Aid kit and signal flares. Then, he started a fire to mark his location with smoke. It’s worth noting that he started the fire using a Bic lighter he had in the console of the aircraft. All too often, people tend to overthink fire in a survival situation, opting to carry and use elaborate fire-starting gear while utterly forgetting about readily available sources of fire we often have handy.

The most important part of his effort, however, came by way of his satellite communicator (he used a Garmin inReach), which he was able to use to communicate with his family and coordinate a rescue response.

This video offers a number of important lessons, like the value of carrying a satellite communicator — but unlike so many guide books, how-to’s, and pamphlets, it shows how keeping your head and relying on your training can help get you through an actual bad situation. Lehtinen didn’t offer up hypothetical solutions, he got to work and made his own luck. More often than not, that’s exactly what it takes to survive.

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All of my strength movements are paired with some sort of ‘conditioning’ movement.
Rowing, sprinting, burpees, box jumps etc.
If you stop moving, you die.

But they weren’t defenseless; they were defended by the police.

What would having armed citizens in this instance achieve? Wouldn’t it simply lead to greater confusion for the police on who the actual threat is?

Stuff like this make me consider on the nature of luck- no matter how well we think we’re prepared… we’re not. We can be in an accident and face life-threatening situations at any second.

I had two such incidents happen to me today, both while driving.

The first happened as I backed out of a parking lot. I stopped because I saw a car coming rather quickly on my rear-view camera. I’m not sure if he would have hit me, but it sure looked closed from what I could see.

The second happened as I exited from work. There are a lot of cars that park on by the side of the road, so it’s incredibly difficult to see incoming traffic. I deal with this by basically peeking my car forward for a second or two so that the incoming traffic can see me and slow down- worst case the front of my car gets hit and the passenger area does not.

This nearly didn’t work today. I did my normal peeking thing and started to go out when suddenly a car appeared and stopped about 5 feet from my car. This was sheer luck in my opinion- I had no real control over this situation. Given how angry the driver looked and acted, I assume that he had no idea that I was coming out either. So… we avoided an accident only because he bothered to look at the last second.

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to judge people for what happened to them, simply because I’m starting to think that luck plays a large part in our lives, and because so many of the events that happen to us are, in reality, out of our control.

In the case of this festival- there was a fence surrounding the premises and visitor had to have their stuff checked. There was a clear armed presence through the entire area. The gunman got in by evading security and cutting through the fences. I’m sure the police considered this possibility, but it happened anyways. The only possible way to have possibly prevent this is to post security near the fences so that all parts of it are visible to someone.

Perhaps that is what the Gilroy police should do for next year’s festival.

This one weighs heavily on my mind because I’ve actually considered going to the festival for once on the very day this shooting happened.

Edit- I don’t mean to imply that we shouldn’t be prepared. We should always try our best to prepare in a sensible manner.

I’m more wondering whether our preparation matters much against the sheer randomness of things. We can only prepare for things that we think are possible.

Thank you for the post and your thoughts. You are spot on about luck because anyone who has ever been in true combat knows that it is the luck of the draw whether, you get through or not. No matter how well trained you are, a 12 year old kid can still shoot you in the back ( happened, Iraq 2009). I could list many examples, including me surviving helicopter crash, which doesn’t happen often.

No one can wipe out the fact we really cannot control much of life, but, my “message” is the more you train and be aware, the more luck may fall on your side.

One final thought: Yes, the police responded with excellent timing and training, did what they had to do. Being a agent, I can tell you this, police are reactive and unless they are on the scene, you may need that weapon to defend yourself and your family. However, good awareness of exits, entrances, and solid structures in the scene are just as important as the weapon.

Don’t see you often, enjoy your posts, don’t be a stranger.

Thought for the day:


Yesterday’s work and skills:

Spartan 300 workout
Krav Maga drills

Question of the day:

Do you know if you are right or left eyed dominant?




Cross-Eye Dominant Shooting Options

When it comes to eye dominance, you have a few options:

If your dominance is not a severe case, you can train your strong-side eye to be dominant.

You can choose to shoot on your dominant-eye side, which ever that is. This would mean shooting left-handed, even if you are right handed, while using your left eye, or vice versa.

You can learn to shoot using your cross-dominant eye, with your strong side. This requires a little more effort and training and can only be done effectively with pistols. When it comes to long guns, you’ll need to pick a side to shoulder the gun on — left or right — and that has its own set of challenges.

I thought about this a lot after my daughter was near the Dayton shooting. It occurred to me that they didn’t have this sort of thing happen in the Old West did they? Y do u reckon that was?