Monday, November 07, 2011

ECQC Los Angeles 2011


So, made it back alive from Extreme Close Quarters Combat. And just like last year, I had the goddamn time of my life. Even better, I got to go with my "little" brother, the monster. The picture above shows one of the two-on-one evolutions from the last day. You can see the guy on the ground has managed to access his clinch pick trainer to try to even the odds a little bit, but with two guys on top of you, it's really difficult to get anything done at all. He's already lost his protective helmet and eye protection that everyone starts out with. In most classes that would be the end of the drill, but Southnarc does an outstanding job of monitoring what's going on, and he keeps the evolution going as long as possible as long as everyone is respecting the spirit of the fight and not taking cheap shots or shooting a guy in the face who has no protection. He steps in and calls it as soon as things begin to fall apart, but he keeps it going long after you've gassed and wish you were dead. He lets you get in the deepest of holes and makes you keep fighting, working, struggling, trying something, anything, to stay alive a little bit longer. He won't let you quit, and that's what we all love about training with him.
No matter how deep the hole, you have to keep fighting.


The Brave One at the start of his two-on-one. The little guy in the shades is SouthNarc, our sensei.


That's my bro up above, wearing his training company T-shirt ( Spartan Training Resources.) This was his first time at ECQC, and I was excited to be there for it. He's got a good base in striking, ground grappling, muy thai, and, of course, firearms.

It showed.

Getting rounds off in the fucked up tangle

Here he's lost his helmet and eye-pro, he's getting dragged to the ground by one assailant while the other guy is wrapping up his legs, but he managed to shoot bad guy two twice in the head on the way down.

Then it was time to solve the other problem with a little over the shoulder head shooting.

The guy is a little bit of a handful.


The Dishwasher dancing with his assailant.

The Dishwasher getting rolled.

I learned a lot in my evolutions. The shot above is me in the one on one with my assailant. In real life he is an active duty Marine in a special operations group with ten years of downrange experience. He schooled me but good.

The thing about these things is that you really do learn a lot more from your failures than you do from your successful outcomes.

Things are falling apart for me here.

Here he's got me on my back with my dominant arm pinned behind my head. He's reaching for his weapon behind his hip. 

I'm entering a world of pain.

Now I'm being gut-shot by my new friend.

I'm on my back, my arm pinned over my head, getting crushed and gut-shot by a Special Forces Marine. So, end of evolution, right?

You know better than that.

The fight for control of the gun.


The slide is pushed to the rear. It won't fire like that. I've got a slim chance.

He's got the gun, and he's a lot stronger than me, and in better shape. I'm gassed bad now and I can't out muscle him. I've got one hand on the gun and I've got the slide run back so he can't shoot me, and I'm grabbing his gun hand wrist, which he's trying to pull off. I'm not going to get the gun from him like this...

Getting my knee to help me out.

So I manage to bring my knee up. Now I can break his grip on the gun using the leverage of my hips and the strength of my legs against his arms, a better deal for me. This worked for me, and I managed to get the gun from him. But it took so much out of me that I quickly lost position. I threw the gun away so at least he couldn't keep shooting me, but I wasn't able to take the initiative back. I knew I had to do something, but for the life of me, I didn't know what that could be. All I wanted was for this shit to stop. I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. I was completely helpless and getting run like a fucking sock puppet. There was no way out.

back in a bad place.

He's crushing me now. I can't breathe, I'm all out of gas, and flat on my back.

Keep fighting.

Southnarc kept me fighting long past the point that I could do anything effective, but I grunted and screamed and thrashed long enough that he took pity on me and finally called it.

Out of gas, game over.

So, other than getting stuffed, pinned on my back, arm pinned over my head, and gut-shot, I think I did pretty good!


I did better in the two on one, going up against the same Marine and another great guy who is a full-contact stick fighter from the Dog Brothers. Managed to stay on my feet for a long time (also known as running away!) and got some shots on both assailants before I got my shit stacked again. I also dominated the car-jacking evolution, where you fight inside a car against a guy who's got a gun to your head. I got the muzzle averted, drove hard against him as I raised my hips up to the ceiling and crushed him down into the corner of his seat and the passenger side door. I got a knee on his belly and braced my back against the roof, then stripped the gun from him and fed him a couple of head shots. 

It were more fun than losing, I noticed.

Plus, it didn't hurt nearly as much.


I didn't get a lot of pictures of the last day because we were up there in the foothills, fighting in the mud in the pouring rain. Then in the rain and hail. Then in the rain, hail, and lightning. 

My brother and I were rolling around in the mud, getting pelted by driving hailstones, fighting over a gun in a lightning storm, and he pauses in the middle of the fight and looks at me, grinning, and says, "Well, it's official. This is the best fucking training ever!"

Then he kicked my ass, took the gun from me, and shot me in the face.





Blogger Sarcastic Bastard said...

Maybe this would be something I could use my recent extreme anger for, instead of smashing dishes into the damn sink, like I did on Saturday night.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

I don't know. Sort of makes my stomach hurt REALLY bad.
But I'm glad you had a great time! (Did you get that note of false cheerfulness there?)

12:59 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Yeah, it's pretty damn good therapy for me. I hardly feel like breaking anything right now!

I'm more of a punch the wall guy than a smash dishes in the sink guy, but at least smashing dishes doesn't break your hands as often.




12:59 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Ms. Moon-

It made my goddamn stomach hurt pretty bad, too! Something about having a yard ape jumping up and down on it, I think.

I really, sincerely, truly had the time of my life.

It was such an honor to train with the guys in that class. A lot of top tier special ops guys, lots of stick-fighting martial artists, hard-core SWAT cops, even a super-spy Italian Navy Seal badass. It was like getting to fight with sixteen real-life Jason Bournes. And you never in your life met a nicer bunch of guys. Strong, skilled, dedicated, humble, and crazy as shithouse rats to a man.

It was like a PhD in getting monkey-stomped!

I think I'm all better, for a little while at least!



1:06 PM  
Blogger Sarcastic Bastard said...

Just so you don't feel alone, I ALSO punched the wall, after smashing the dishes. My knuckles are still slightly purple.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

This looks like so much fun. I had a black belt in Aikido my son also but he had six degrees. I was training in ballet seven days a week. I was really strong. And fast. The Aikido was a piece of cake compared to the ballet which I suggest for everyone. I lost a lot of the training except for my speed which as stayed with me so if you offer me a fork you might accidentally find it in your eye. And my son? He won an international competition at 14 years old. He flew to Philadelphia by himself to earn it. You can't even get close to him. He has also surfed all his life. There is something so peaceful about knowing how to protect yourself. Too bad I didn't have a gun when I got raped. I would have used it without blinking. He overpowered me but he was not without his bruises when he was finished no indeed. Still why the fuck am I writing all this here? I admire you so damned much. And really this does look like fun to me but so does skiing at night in the bad part of the woods.

I thought about you all weekend because you mentioned a broken rib and your brother. I had a broken rib once. It hurt for two years. Seriously. Also one of my proudest moments was at karate and knocking out cold a preening black belt while sparring with a swinging back kick.

Rebecca 100% girl
(from the bad side of town)

1:45 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Well you have set me back on my heels.

I think the thing is that we are entangled on some quantum level. I am unbearably sad to think of what happened to you, and wish that you had had a gun, or a bazooka, or a flying guillotine, or a goddamn fork to stick in his eye.

I guess we none of us escape this place without our scars, scars which run deep and true and right down the goddamn middle.

Honestly, I don't know what the fuck is going on here, with any of it.

I will tell you one thing, though. When we was in our fighting class this weekend, and it was hailing and throwing lighting off like mad, this guy come over to me while I was shivering and bleeding and he says, "Hey, lets roll out this tarp I got and we'll make us a little bitty old house out of it, and we can stand in the lee of it and gain us some shelter from the storm."

Which we did.

And it was good. And there was a brother on the ground who stood up with us, and next to me I could feel him shivering and his teeth chattering, and I stood as close to him as I could so he could feel me there, and soak up some of the heat I was throwing off.

And if that is not the purpose of being a living fucking human bean, I don't know what it is.

And that is who you are, and who I am, and I venture that all who come this way and read here are of the same ilk.

We can see each other even in the darkest night, which is the great gift of our compassion.



1:58 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

ps. I just realized that was confusing. My son was 3 when we both started Karate together then when he was 5 we both switched to Kokikai-Ryu Aikido which was way less martial and more art and I didn't get beat up so much. I took ballet the whole time for years the entire time I took Aikido with my son. We did this instead of TV and I walked up the big hill Genesee in my tutu and down the big hill Geness in my tutu to our house. The Aikido and ballet were in the same building. Our Sensei was Jonathan Bannister. Jonathan Bannister Sensei
I got very good with the long and short swords but my son hoo boy he is excellent with long and short swords and knives!


I do ramble.


1:59 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Violence and music, art and poetry, despair and airplane making, vegan goodness and hookers, johnny cash psychiatrists and duck blood stores, salmon and scary clowns, painting and panicking, well....

you've got the goddamn market cornered.

I got this feeling of love, getting pulled out of me, threatening to embrace all of this madness without discrimination.

what the fuck.



2:08 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Ah, I had a feeling you were punching walls too!

It ain't all that smart, but it sure seems like the right thing to do at the time, don't it?



2:09 PM  
Blogger Sarcastic Bastard said...

I guess it's better than punching another human being. I just wish to hell I could figure out WHY I am so goddamn angry. Have been all my life.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

Well shit. First time for everything. I'm sitting here bawling my eyes out from reading these comments. I can't even verbalize the overwhelming things I'm thinking and feeling. No fucking words.

I'd be honored to huddle shivering under a tarp with any of you, feeling human.

I have to go cry a bit more, and ponder all this so I can process all these wabi sabi emotions.

The word verification is mutshe. I kindof feel that way right now.

You are all rare and precious gems, that much I am sure of.


10:16 AM  
Blogger 21k said...

Wow. And ditto to the dialogues that followed your post.

I'm on the sidelines with my hand over my mouth, gasping in admiration.

No wonder they say

Don't f.u.c.k. with the l.a.p.d.

or ballet dancers.

what a ride.


10:32 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I feel the same way. I am blessed to know each of you, and to share this humble tarp to hide from the storm.



6:01 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Seems like we're all of us on one hell of a ride.

I like this fire going in this trash can, and all the bums who've come to stand around it and warm their hands, maybe pass a bottle around.

fucking cool is what.



6:03 PM  
Blogger Petit fleur said...

Sounds like you got just what you needed. That's a happy thing.

Sorry you got shot in the face by your bro! yikes! But the crazy part is I am sure you are so proud of him! This is one of several qualities that I believe your gender embodies, and which mine does not... and one I admire.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Petit fleur said...

Ps Here's to mud in your eye.
(Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

10:22 AM  
Blogger barefoot muse said...

Now that's what I call giving fear the finger as you exorcise the darkness; making more room for your light to shine brightly on the rest of us. Thank you!

9:29 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Yeah, I am super proud of my brother. Tough, driven, hard-working, smart, brave, humble, loving, just a wonderful human being. There's no one I'd rather be shot in the face by!




1:12 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Barefoot Muse-

Thank you!

And you are welcome.

I like giving fear the finger, it's fun!



1:13 PM  
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7:26 PM  

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