Functional vs Improvisational Training

articles podcast Mar 16, 2020

Let's talk about understanding the difference between improvisational training and functional training and how we should approach working with our children to give them a clear understanding and skill set of for personal protection.

How can they really take ownership of the lessons you teach them, and do so in a way that they don't get discouraged?

Training by nature comes with risk, and the risk exists in both functional and improvisational models of training. Understanding that first, (before I get into the differences between the two approaches to training) is important.

Danger exists physically and mentally in training. Mentally can be space or experience where someone gets discouraged iand they quit. We don't want them to do that, we want them to stay motivated, to enjoy the experience.

But we also want the experience to be garnished with reality. We want the experience experience to be at sometimes shocking, but of course not traumatic.

We want them to...

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The Jiu Jitsu of Stress

articles podcast Mar 06, 2020


Reflections on creating space, recovery and combat tricks from a century ago. 

We can empower our kids with the best techniques to stay safe if someone grabs them, or teach them how to prevent a bully from hurting them 

… or we can show them what to do if a group of kids tries jumping them 

… or we can even show them how to get out of the trunk of a car they're locked inside.

The scenarios go on and on.

But the reality is, if your children don't know how to manage and cope with stress properly, they will be at much greater statistical risk throughout their lives, to encounter suffering or self imposed violence. Read that again.  

In a previous episode I shared some basic exercises, tools and discussions we can have with our kids about stress and anxiety. 

I think even more important is making sure they model how you manage stress, as that's what it's going to come down to. The are watching how you manage it, during each stage of their...

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My Son Wants Revenge, Reflections on Friends Getting Jumped

articles blog podcast Feb 13, 2020



Over the last few days, I've been handling a situation with my oldest son. He's 18 years old and he's dealing with a fight that happened here in our community that involved his friends.

My son called me from somewhere in about 12:30 am the other evening and explained to me that a group of his friends had been jumped.

I dug into the details a little bit more.

His friends had gone to meet a another group of kids to watch a one on one fight to settle something that had escalated at a McDonald’s parking lot earlier that evening; one of these stupid teenage dramas that sadly escalated to a point of no return.

His friends showed up at the designated fight location, and apparently all of them ended up getting jumped by a large(r) group of kids.

The situation turned pretty bad.

A baseball baseball bat had hit a kid’s head, a knife was involved in a stabbing, someone got hit with a hammer with the claw side of a framing hammer and these boys got...

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Reflecting on nature in martial arts, not so much a secret

articles podcast Dec 22, 2019

As a professional martial artist, I've made it a career for more than a decade to teach people from all walks of life, young and old, how to remain safe.

Discovery of self preservation and safety is not merely about learning a technique to apply against a bad guy, although most martial arts systems today are systemized like this.

This type of approach is shortsighted at best, lacking the critical principles of escalation and de-escalation, both of which rely on the practitioners deeper understanding and exposure to reality based training at many more levels than is what is popular in most academies today.

Easy to teach techniques make money, but very, very rarely equip a student to survive.

From my perspective, the study of true martial arts has nothing to do with sport.

It even has little to do with neutralizing an enemy combatant in the field of battle.

True martial arts has everything to do with developing the skills to remain in control especially under dire...

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Teach Your Child to be Found Part 1

articles podcast Dec 14, 2019

In this video, I challenge you to ask your child a question. Try it out and see what they say.

I discuss some first steps you can teach your child in case they become separated from you or a group they may be with - and suddenly find themselves alone and lost.

This can be the scariest situation for parents, so it's up to us to make it a priority to gain the knowledge and skill, so that we can pass it on, and make sure our children know what to do should they become suddenly lost.

So, what was their answer? Please share.

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How Far Will You Really Go To Survive?

articles podcast Sep 29, 2019

Let’s have a discussion and explore some thought exercises around your own personal capacity when it comes to survival and reality.

The other day I was overhearing a discussion between some colleagues, they were talking about how ‘they would kill in a situation where their children were starving and needed to get food for their children’.

Their sentiment is certainly in the right place and I think any father can relate to that feeling, but realistically I question these men and their own personal capacity and understanding what it is they were talking about.

Given the circumstances of extreme poverty, of economic collapse or society breakdown, as crazy as it may sound, let's reflect on our own capacity as men and have some internal dialogue about whether or not we would have the capability of going to that extreme.

If you're part of my Close Quarter Dad Program, then you've already been introduced to the principles of Decision Skip and the Ethical Freeze. The...

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How to speak with your kids about violence

articles podcast Sep 09, 2019

Are you having discussions with your children about the topic of violence and where violence is may happen in their life, how they're going to be able to manage it, what happens when they see it, how to make basic sense of it?

Well, in this episode, I will introduce you to a couple of tactics you can use to have those very important discussions with your children about violence.



Let's get started.

First, why is it that we don't have those discussions with our children about the topic of violence? Meanwhile, violence is all around them, whether it be in entertainment, in media, at school, in music…  they're constantly exposed to high, high levels of violence all around them.

How often do we have those discussions so they make sense of it and they're able to manage it inside their heads for the rest of their lives?

Let’s look back at when we were kids. When I was a young child, the actual discussion of emotional-based topics such as sexuality...

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Why every parent should share a path with their kids

articles podcast Sep 02, 2019

And stop yelling from the sidelines 

Let’s discuss an observation I've made over the last 20 years of teaching martial arts, engaging with parents and working with their children; the massive impact a dad has on their child when they actually participate in that activity.

It doesn't necessarily have to be martial arts. It can be any sports activity, artistic program or challenging interest your child has. But you can no longer stand on the sidelines, barking commands. I am challenging you to actually sharing the path they are on.

Whether it's at a coaching level, or it's actually participating in classes with your child, actually ‘doing the work’ makes an incredibly huge impact on how they view you.

Now, while some great fathers drop their kids off at sports or activities, football, baseball, soccer, wrestling, taekwondo, jiu-jitsu … others stay and sit on the sidelines. If there's one thing that has always really bothered me, (and I’m a...

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My Top Book Recommendation, Meditations on Violence

articles podcast Jul 21, 2019

Today I want to share with you an answer to a question I get asked a lot; can I recommend a book that would help immerse myself into the study of self-defense and personal protection?

Oftentimes I might get asked by a parent who doesn't want to get himself involved in martial arts. Whether they don't have the time or the interest, but they still want to be able to equip their self, armed with good information, so that they can pass that information onto their children.

They can help strengthen their children, give them a better understanding of personal protection and safety, as well as family protection.

One of the books that I couldn't recommend more, whether you're a martial artist or not, is the book by Rory Miller called Meditations on Violence.

This book, for me, it was life changing.

I've been doing martial arts almost all of my life. I've been teaching martial arts pretty much my entire adult life. I know it pretty well.

What I can tell you is that this book...

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Stop telling your kids this, Make them FAST instead

articles podcast Jul 07, 2019

Let's have a discussion about something we say to our kids all the time.

I want to reframe this for you, help you to look at something that's so common that every parent, especially dads, say to their kids. Whether it's when they're learning to become better at sports, or whether it's something to do with academics - any life skill for that matter that we're trying to teach them, and it takes a certain amount of effort, and a certain amount of repetition for them to be able to capture what it is that they're trying to do, and to be able to develop that skill set, and to work themselves towards some degree of expertise or excellence at it.

It's most commonly used in sports, it's used in academics, used in all sorts of life skills.

I'll share with you the three reasons why you should not say this to your kids anymore then you'll be on a whole new path to helping your kids achieve success.

The saying is,

practice makes perfect.

How many times have you said that to...

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JUNE 28TH, 2019


I discovered a critical weakness that 82% of fathers have after training over 5,000 children, over 20 years.

And the 8 actions that every Dad can use to transform their power in tactical parenting.