Spotting A Phone Con

Hello all, this is Coach Joshua. This just happened to me today and I just wanted to send out a quick warning. I just got an automated call from “Card Services” telling me that they were going to lower my interest rates. One of my cards does use “Card Services” when they contact me so I thought it was legit and pressed 1 to be connected to a human being. So I get a lady who proceeds to tell me that they are going to lower my interest rates on all of my cards, Visa, MasterCard, etc. So I start to wonder, how are you going to lower interest rates for cards with two different banks? “Who is this?” I asked. “Card Services, we’re going to lower your interest rates.” she replied.

So then she says “I need to know that you still have the card and didn’t cut it up or anything, so I just need you to verify the expiration date.” So I said “For which card? I’ll tell you what, you tell me the expiration date and I’ll tell you if that’s it.” So she asked “for which card?” And I replied “Exactly. You never told me which card either. So why don’t you tell me which card you wanted the expiration date for and what it is and I’ll tell you if it’s correct.” So she said “The Visa card, it expires in 2014. We just need to verify that you still have the card. So please verify the expiration date” So I told her, “yes it expires in 2014 and I still have the card, I’m looking at it right now.” So she tells me the first four digits of my card and asks me to verify and I told her that they were correct. So then she says she needs me to read off the whole card number to verify it. I told her “Not gonna happen.” So then she asks “If you’re not interested then why did you stay on the phone? Just to waste my time?” So I replied, “Thank you, good bye.” And that was the end of that.

There was a little more back and forth during the conversation but it was just more of the “Who is this? And why do you need me to give you my information?” type back and forth, so I condensed a longer conversation for quicker and easier reading. But you get the idea.

If somebody calls you wanting you to give them your credit card number, or any information from your credit card, bank account, social security number, etc. don’t give it to them. If they want you to repeat it to verify it, let them know that they called you not the other way around. If any verifying is going to be taking place, they can tell YOU what it is and YOU can verify it. If they start to try and bully you into giving them your info, hang up.

Con men (or “Confidence Men”) have been around for a long time and are very good at gaining the confidence of honest, trusting people and then separating them from their hard earned cash or belongings. Always be wary when people ask you for any kind of personal or account information, just because they sound official doesn’t mean they are. And remember this, if they are calling from your Credit Card Company or bank, they shouldn’t need you to tell them any pertinent account information, they should already have that. If they insist that they are your creditor or bank, then let them know you will call them back and give them the information and call them back using the number on the back of your card, or the number on your banks business card or letterhead. If they really are who they say they are, they won’t have a problem with you being secure with your information, it’s important to them too.

Keep it real and stay safe.

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For belt or knowledge?

While I understand the need for a ranking system in the traditional martial arts, allowing an instructor to know where each student is in their training, I think sometimes it might be a little misunderstood. As a society we are all about instant gratification; we want our meal now, if we buy something online we want it here tomorrow and when we train we want accolades now. The problem we can run into with this, is that we lose focus on the why and put all of our focus in the when. If your intent is only to get to the next belt or grade, then you will only focus on the belt and any of the knowledge you could be learning will mean nothing to you. It’s like the age old joke “I have a black belt!” If your entire defensive plan is predicated on your belt level then your focus is in the wrong place. Any time you decide to train in any discipline it is important that you focus more on the training itself and don’t worry so much about the belt achievements. If you focus on the training, the level promotions will happen by themselves, but if your focus is on the promotions you will be sadly disappointed when you really need the skills only to find out that the belt isn’t going to defend you from anything.

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Angles of Attack: Two Handed Cane Defense

In this video, Coach Kenny continues on “Angles of Attack: Training for Zone Defense” and uses a cane to demonstrate a two handed defense utilizing the angles of attack. Remember, this will work with just about any long object like a pool cue, etc that you can improvise into a weapon. Once you are done and have opened an avenue of escape, take off. No reason to stick around and see what other options your attacker has brought with him.

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No Holiday Excuses: Keep Training

Hey crew as the holiday season grows near there are many excuses to not train right? Too busy, too much food and drink etc. You should ask your self do the bad guys take the holiday off? I expect not in fact, shopping and eating out go along with the holidays, which could make your situation more vulnerable. There are so many reasons to keep your guard up this time of year, way more than the excuses no too. Enjoy your family time and eat great food, but keep on training. The bad guys still do muggings, car jack, and invade homes. Besides do want to give up all the gains you’ve made and get rusty, because you’ve decided your feeling too lazy.TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN.

Keep it real and stay safe.

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Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot 2012

Predator Profiles : Joseph Edward Duncan

Joseph Edward Duncan III watched and stalked the Groene-Mckenzie home and family for days, planning his dreadful deed. Duncan entered the home duct taped and zip tied the Mother, 13 yr. old son and Boyfriend. He bludgeoned these three victims with a claw hammer. He also kidnapped the 8 yr. old Daughter Shasta and 9 yr. old son Dylan. He held them for weeks in a secluded campsite repeatedly rapeing and torturing both children. Weeks later Duncan was spotted with Shasta at a Denny’s, after his capture and with Shasta’s recollection of very good details they found Dylan’s body. He has been shot to death and the body burned. The police then put together the pieces of who Duncan was, he had a long history of sexual assault and murder. He was in and out of Juvy and Jail.
The cops found themselves wondering why Duncan had ever been released from prison. He was clearly an example of a habitual offender who had managed to slip through the cracks of the system.

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Training to be Compliant.

I have said many times”it’s not what you train it’s how you train it”. We all know if you want to improve a technique that repetition is the key. We know that to enforce into muscle memory that repetition is the key. This same concept can also be bad for you depending on how your training. I have noticed even in myself many many times that I’m being a bad ‘BAD GUY”. What I’m saying is if you train in a system that teaches a specific Reaction for a Specific action not using resistance or aliveness then you could be training yourself to be compliant. Yes I know there could be a pain factor or injury factor because your system is “Too Deadly” to train like that, but please keep an open mind. Example: Bad Guy grabs Good Guy’s wrist, Good Guy then puts an awesome lock on the Bad Guy, down goes Bad Guy screaming like a girl. Whoo Hoo! Good Guy way to go. Lets break this down a bit, for as many times as I’ve trained to be the Good Guy I have also trained to be the Compliant Bad Guy, which is bad for our training. We need to keep in mind that the “Real Bad Guy” isn’t going to be compliant and therefore don’t train yourself to be compliant.

I have noticed myself doing these things in my own training and even in some of my vids. We are all in a constant evolution of training and sometimes we need to go back and remind and refresh what we are doing.

Keep it real and stay safe.

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Combative ATAX: ATAX vs. Close Quarters Rifle

A.R.S. Knives Review: Dog Tag Knife

This is our latest video review, reviewing the Dog Tag Knife by A.R.S. Knives ( In this video, Coach Joshua demonstrates building an expedient urban survival shelter using the Dog Tag Knife. As you watch the video please note that in a real situation you should build the shelter next to the wall. In this video I built it out away from the wall for better viewing.

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A.R.S. Knives Review: Shanghai Shank

This is our latest video review, reviewing the Shanghai Shank by A.R.S. Knives ( In this video, Coach Kenny covers the excellent aspects of this knife along with some different carry options and presentation in a combative situation.

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Self Defense 101: Combative Focal Points

I have heard time and time again that during an aggressive conflict watch the eyes, because if you watch his eyes you’ll know where he is going to strike next. I’m sorry, but I have to disagree. His eyes are darting all over the place; you’re not going to be able to get anything from that. Not to mention, if I’m looking at his eyes way at the top of his body, I can’t see anything lower down towards the bottom of his body. I want to see everything.

I will often look towards the center of his torso. This way I can see his head, both hands and both feet, there won’t be any surprises. But even then, it’s not like I just pick a spot and stare at it; my eyes are moving around too, checking every movement and scanning for targets and opportunities to enter. The torso is just a good focal point where I can see everything if nothing is happening at the moment (and don’t expect that to last for too long either).

Also, by watching the torso, I can be looking for tell-tale signs of a weapon. If his arm is straight down to his side, but his hand is tucked slightly behind his thigh, he probably has a knife and is getting ready to start jacking me. Or, if I see his hand come straight up his side to his hip, then he is getting ready to draw something like a knife or gun. I want to know this immediately so I can do whatever I can to foul his draw. If I’m looking at his eyes I may not see that movement. And believe me, he can draw without having to look, offering me no indicator if I’m staring at his eyes.

The eyes can be good indicators of an attack, which I will write about in another blog. But don’t focus so much on them that they distract you from the real threats; hands, feet and potential weapons.

Keep it real and stay safe.

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Self Defense 101: Everything is a Target.

We all know the vital targets to attack right? The Groin, shins, eyes and throat etc. What if these targets don’t present themselves easily? What if in your training you do a specific reaction for a specific action and OH CRAP! it didn’t happen like that? What then? A large portion of training should be spontaneous and not preset, which is why I always say “EVERYTHING IS A TARGET” you will never know what will present itself along with this thinking “EVERYTHING IS A WEAPON”. You should give this some thought and play around with it. Things like, if your in a clinch situation drive your shoulder into a nose or cheek. Kick the shins, but also think of other targets like the inside or outside of the ankle right on the bone if you can hit it. Man that hurts! Use your knuckles on the back of someones hand or fist, elbow to the biceps and triceps and so on. A lot of these will not end the attack or fight, but it may help lead to that vital target that will.

Keep it real and stay safe.

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Angles of Attack: Training For Zone Defense

Training with defensive zones will help you to be able to quickly assess an attack and based on its zone, develop an appropriate response. In this video Coach Kenny describes the angles of attack and how to number them to get the most out of training with your partner. As he states in the video, you can get as elaborate or keep it as simple as you want, it is all up to you.

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Self Defense 101: Kicking, Shoes or no Shoes?

Well here’s the deal, it’s no secret that I believe in training athletically and by athletically I usually mean Combat Sports again that’s going to be Boxing-Pugilism, Judo, All-In-Wrestling, BJJ, and Muay Thai. Essentially Mixed Martial Arts. Yes there is much more to self defense than this kind of training, but it’s still important and still useful.
Now to today’s questions. Why would I train for self defense not wearing any shoes? Should I practice kicking with or without shoes? Won’t I be wearing shoes in the street? The answer is yes you most likely will be wearing shoes in a street, Law Enforcement and Military self defense situation, but you should train both.
There are many situations you may find yourself in that you would not be wearing shoes. One situation would be if you were at home at night in bed and needed to protect yourself or your family. You may not have the time to put shoes on. I never thought of no shoes training as realistic, then my change of thought occurred. I was visiting some family at their lake house and we all went up to the local Tiki Bar to have a Burger and some cocktails. I was wearing Flip Flops, which many people do nowadays, there was a couple of guys being stupid and confrontational. Things didn’t get to out of hand, but it made me think what if I would’ve had to protect myself or family what kind of movement and footwork would I be able to do with Flip Flops on? I would’ve had to take them off. Hmmmmm! light bulb!

Keep it real and stay safe.

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Combative ATAX: ATAX vs. Close Range Pistol

In this video we use the ATAX to deal with a pistol at close range. Whenever dealing with a firearm use extreme caution and opt more for staying out of the way of it over fancy techniques. That way, if the fancy technique doesn’t work and the gun goes off, you are less likely to be hit by it and you can continue to deal with the situation.

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