Posts byCJ Kirk

Checkmate: Parent Your Kids

My youngest son was asked to memorize a poem for school, and I thought this assignment would be a great opportunity for us to work together. However, the school made the requirement that the poem must be a published poem not written by the students. Not allowing the assignment to derail my…
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Paper Tiger

When I grow up, I want to be a Paper Tiger – said no one ever. Yet, there are some – at least within the Houston area – that are on track to be exactly that. I recently received a report written from one of my newer instructors – after he had…
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Power Up: Krav Maga’s Lego Analogy

I decided to post a video this week of “Liz” – a MASTERCLASS student at Krav Maga Houston – who has been actively involved in this specialized class format for a couple months now. I started Liz (and her cohort) with inside defense to a right straight punch – lots of them…
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Happy Easter & Required Reading

Happy Easter to everyone. This Easter I’m reading a fascinating book by Timothy Keller entitled, Hope in Times of Fear: The Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter. Some have called Keller the C.S. Lewis of our time, and this book (although I’m only half through) is more proof of this claim. Whether…
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What a TURD!

I never wanted to be known for coining the acronym TURD, even in a self-defense context, yet here we are. Violence seems to be normalizing in first world, digital economies, where it has been more recently seen as a viable means to display one’s displeasure (or commitment) – depending on the context. …
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Master the Basics

Moving quickly, I continued prepping for a 12-student carbine class on a crisp, sunny February morning at a private shooting range tucked in somewhere between Austin and Houston, Texas. The class was set to launch in approximately 45 minutes at 0900 hours sharp. Time was not on my side. With staple gun…
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What is a Life Well Lived?

Shifting gears this week…here is something on which to think. A life well lived is a life filled with purpose and meaning. Did you know that a single human cell contains more instructions than all the books in the Library of Congress? To put this into perspective, that’s over 39 million books…
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The Three Fundamentals of Power Striking

A student asked me last week about the fundamentals of striking. My responses surprised him in some respects. What about you? Platforms – your platforms (and how you arrange them for optimal collaboration) create the basis for developing speed and power in a combative. Essentially, your shoulders, hips and feet must support…
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Five Skills That Save Lives

While there are many skills and intentions that can save your life in a violent encounter or scenario, these five skills reign supreme. Situational Awareness: Training your mind to observe your environment, the context of the world around you at any one time, and what seems out of place can save your…
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Black Belts Build Good Habits

I have been researching and writing about habit formation for my students for nearly 12 months now. And, one of the most interesting things I have found is the idea of environment being a primary driver of habit formation. In essence, your environment determines what you pay attention to (by default), and…
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Success is an Insistence of the Mind

As we start the New Year, 2022 holds more promised than ever. What do you want for yourself this year? I hope your intention is filled with self improvement ideas, layered with self awareness and self management efforts that allow you to truly choose your path – and no longer be held…
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Holiday Safety Rules

This holiday season, stay safe with these suggestions that cover both online and physical shopping, and remember to rely on Krav Maga Houston for your gift giving. Nothing says love like the gift of personal safety, confidence and community. Contact James for our Top 10 Holiday gift giving ideas at [email protected] Only…
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Kids: The Words, Warning, Whomp Protocol

One of my sons had come home from school recently after being pushed repeatedly on the playground during a soccer game at recess. He disengaged and withdrew from the situation, which seemed like a fine choice to me. But he knew – even at a young age – that this (or something…
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How to Get Shot (and How to Avoid it)

I hosted another Simunition event last Saturday, and I was working with a highly diverse group of Kravists in terms of age, sex, and training experience. For those of you unfamiliar with Simunition – it is a set of self-defense and training products that includes a specialized barrel and slide that fits…
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Learn Differently-Reverse Engineering

I recently began teaching my Master Class students various weapon threat defenses by starting and focusing on the “break & take.” To my surprise, the students appreciated the detail often developed around the addressing of danger being applied to the break & take technical aspects of the defenses. My surprise was more…
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Reach Out to Veterans Now!

I’m calling on our entire community to share this video – as much as you can – to reach out to veterans throughout our country. As Afghanistan crumbles into disarray and our government bungles the U.S. withdrawal, calls to veteran hotlines are at an all-time high. We need to reach out and…
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A Vision for Violence

It never fails. Every time I bring up the concept of having a “vision for violence” in my Krav Maga classes, I get some pretty confused looks. And it’s no doubt, the idea is (on its face) foreign and even uncomfortable to consider. But I’m not referring to a vision for how…
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Krav Maga Sticky Hands?

If you have previously studied Gung Fu (Kung Fu) or Silat, you may have trained a skill-based drill often called “sticky hands.” And while the application in defense (and eventually as a trapping mechanism) may not be the Krav Maga approach, adapting (not adopting) the skill itself in specific circumstances (defenses) may…
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Self Defense the Three Ps

People frequently ask me about Krav Maga as my choice of martial discipline and more specifically, self-defense. I have rank in several arts, including Gung Fu, Jujitsu, Balintawak, and Moo Do Kwon – and dabbled in several more disciplines. Frankly, I love them all, and they all have a place in the…
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Krav Maga Perfection

Through the years, students have asked me what it is like to perform a perfect defense – and/or to have mastered Krav Maga. This type of question typically comes up during the first few months of training. The short answer is…I have no idea. I’ve never performed a perfect defense, nor do…
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Top Krav: The M/O Matters Most

THE AWAKENING Something spooked the gunman. He spun back around at me in the midst of his retreat with a sense of urgency. He again raised the pistol – leveling it at my chest from no more than 30 feet away. And then…nothing…nothing happened. The gunman turned the pistol slightly in his grip and looked…
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ALL STRIKER – Your Personal PhD

This coursework has been a long time in the making. And, as I look over the landscape of how self-defense is being taught, I believe the need for this course (as a powerful supplement to self-defense training) is long overdue. Before I go on, each of you reading this article can do…
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Effective Striking for Self Defense

Join Kravoloy’s first ever online class taught by Chief Kirk – All Striker! Learn the most powerful and useful striking combinations for self defense in Kravology’s first of several personal PhD programs! Don’t miss this! To be blunt, there is much more than subtle nuance between the proper and effective approach to…
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Review: Never Split the Difference

The book, Never Split the Difference, written by Chris Voss (formed FRI International Kidnapping Negotiator) is a compelling and entertaining read. Voss is part instructor, part storyteller – and he certainly has more than few stories to tell. Along his storied career, Voss learned and developed (with his FBI resources) a system…
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MURPH

I’ve never completed or attempted a MURPH before. The workout named in honor of Mike Murphy (known as his favorite workout), Medal of Honor recipient and one of several SEALs killed in action during operation Red Wing (and brought to world wide attention through the story told by a surviving teammate, Marcus…
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Optimize Your Krav Maga Training

Over the years, I have expanded my thinking and approach to Krav Maga – both teaching and training. What was once a simple physical expression of aggression is now much more. As you consider your own Krav Maga training, ask yourself these questions and seek the answers over a period of weeks…
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Emergency Alert Update

I’m unhappy to report that the suppositions made in the March 26th Kravology article “Emergency Alert” have come to fruition, and as states everywhere continue to reopen (creating more mass gatherings) – the attacks on innocent Americans will continue. Increase your awareness now! The COVID lockdowns have done nothing but exacerbate the…
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The Most Basic Basic

Fundamentals are the foundations of nearly everything we do, and in Krav Maga this holds true also. In fact, the most basic fundamental in Krav Maga (and many other movement disciplines) is weight transfer. Without this skill set, the best you can do is hop on one foot. But proper weight transfer…
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Stress Changes Everything

The seminar last weekend started out light…dry work and then some slow partner work to acquaint the class with the defensive movements that would be required later in the day. It seemed simple enough. However, when stress enters the equation, the entire dynamic shifts – in three words…stress changes everything. I had…
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Stuck Defending the Knife

So…I rant and rave a little in this video from the inane, “hold my beer” comments that we have received on YouTube in the past few weeks. I was unaware of the depth and breadth of the YouTube trolls – mainly folks living with their parents lipping off about things they clearly…
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The 80/20 Rule

Pareto’s rule – 80/20 – suggests that there is a division of labor (and/or production) in the natural world where 80 percent of the output (production) is achieved by 20 percent of the input force. And while the 80/20 rule has little to do with Krav Maga, the rule can be utilized…
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A Stoic Response to Easter

(Reprinted form the Daily Stoic) In the year 33, a man was put to death in a way that expresses the full cruelty of Imperial Rome. He was beaten. He was killed—on full display, after being forced to carry the weight of the tools of his annihilation to the site of his…
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Tim Larkin: The Most Dangerous Martial Artist

Despite my attempts at entirely avoiding any comment on other martial systems, or sub-par Krav Maga instruction for that matter, it has become apparent this year that my goal simply will not be achieved. My frustration with elements of the martial community stem from various segments offering self-defense that is demonstratively unsafe.…
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Emergency Alert

Kravist everywhere must be on alert. The COVID lockdowns have done nothing but exacerbate the mental illness that often accompanies mass shootings – or more accurately mass killings (clarifying that guns don’t kill people, people kill people in a host of malevolent and calculated ways). Specifically, mental illness, anger, and mounting frustration…
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The Power of Persistence

Krav Maga Houston hosted its first test in approximately 12 months last weekend – albeit in a COVID minded format. What stuck me about the level one and level two testers in the first 45 minutes of the testing was how sharp both groups looked. The instructors/test graders went on to again…
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Turn Down the Sound

It’s really frustrating that so many people are taken in (that is, fooled) by fast talking martial arts instructors. I should know; I’ve met my fair share of these folks over the past 23 years. Their stories are more varied than you can imagine, but they all have one thing in common.…
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Mask Mandate Quandary

Here in Texas, the COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted this week. As martial artists and instructors, specifically in states currently lifting mandates, we must thoughtfully consider our response. No matter how you respond, there are large segments of your student base that will be upset. That’s what leadership is…making difficult decisions based…
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Caveat Emptor

The term “caveat emptor” has never been more aptly applied than to the self defense industry – where fly-by-night outfits and instructors try to convince the unknowing public that they have the solution to all their safety needs. The problem is…very few of these people have the background or knowledge to really…
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Krav Maga Master Class

As Kravists, we often correctly spend significant time training and focusing on the Krav Maga principles – particularly as these principles directly relate to making self-defense. Specifically, it is my experience that Kravist focus on (1) Addressing the Danger, (2) Counterattacks, and finding (3) Control. However, few focus on the connection between…
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Weak Krav Maga

This year, I have decided (after much internal debate) to call out weak Krav Maga posted on YouTube and other channels. The downside to this approach is the potential to discourage others or otherwise confuse the viewers of these videos (should they stumble across Kravology). And, while I cannot point out every…
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Deep Krav Maga 2021

We start 2021 with this singular ideal in mind…to understand the Krav Maga system itself as a powerful means of unlocking the code in each defense therein. The article below is required reading. Admittedly, this is a voluminous subject, and my condensed summary in the video below (along with an elementary demonstration), simply…
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It’s nearly Christmas…

Yes, the holiday season is upon us. This year, I’ve updated the Holiday Survival Guide to include even more ideas to keep the peace and enjoy your family and friends. To do so, I must first address the issues that arise as families gather together and celebrate the holidays. Often, quarrels break…
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Failing Forward Fast

As you shift your perspective around failure, you will come to see that failure really is the Father of Success. As warriors in this life, we must seek out worthy goals, be prepared to apply effort in seeking success by learning from failure, and (above all) must create the emotional space (by…
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How Warriors Use Failure to Succeed

Last week, I posted an article on the subject of failure and its link to success. This week, I’m extending the idea of failure as a path to success. Warriors seek out failure during their training (in everyday life) as the critical feedback necessary to move ever closer to lasting and repeatable…
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Failure and the Path Forward

Failure is feedback. It’s really that simple, despite the warped meaning being ascribed to failure by prevailing social and cultural norms. The scarlet letter of failure is so pervasive throughout our social fabric that the fear of failure often corrupts any attempt at success for many in our world. More deep-seated personal…
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Field Strip Your Life: Part II

In the first installment of this series, I described the process of field stripping a handgun (essentially the disassembly and cleaning of a firearm to protect or correct performance) as a metaphor for a limited scope, targeted reboot of your life. I also promised that I would subsequently cover three critical, game…
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Handgun Defense: Shot by a Sim Round!

Recently, black belt elements of my instructor cadre and I completed a Simunition-based handgun defense seminar. And while there were many lessons learned, one in particular really stood out to me. But before I outline that critical lesson, some background is appropriate. The seminar started with 18 students, ranging in experience from…
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Field Strip Your Life

Most of you know what the term “field strip” means, but for those unacquinted with the term, “field strip” refers to the basic disassembly of a firearm for the purposes of cleaning the weapon to enhance or re-establish service. In other words, field-stripping is a quick way to address the basic issues…
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Self Defense with a Pistol

Historically across this nation, scores of pistol packing gun owners have visited their local shooting ranges to practice “shooting.” And, many are proficient – even excellent – at consistently hitting a paper target in a controlled environment. While this is an important part of learning to safely handle a pistol, there is…
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