We recently had the opportunity to chat with best-selling author Joseph Simonet about his video series The Art and Science of Mook Jong, and you can listen to the interview here. Some of the topics we discussed include:
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
We recently had the opportunity to chat with best-selling author Joseph Simonet about his video series The Art and Science of Mook Jong, and you can listen to the interview here. Some of the topics we discussed include:
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Alain Burrese, author of the videos Streetfighting Essentials: Combining Western Boxing and Hapkido into an Unstoppable Self-Defense System, Hapkido Cane: Big Stick Fighting from the Dojo to the Street, and Hapkido Hoshinsul: The Explosive Korean Art of Self-Defense, will be interviewed on Wednesday, June 24 at 9:00 PM Mountain Standard Time on Bob Glass's radio program Radio Free America.
If you live in the Boulder, Denver, or Longmont areas, you can listen to the interview on AM 1060. It will also be simulcast on AM 1580 for the Colorado Springs and Pueblo listeners. Alternatively, you can listen to the interview live on the internet by going to The Big Money Station.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Learn all about the favorite tools and techniques of James Ballou, author of the recent best-seller Makeshift Workshop Skills for Survival and Self-Reliance. In the wide-ranging interview posted here (to open the interview, click on the author’s name in red), James discusses the difference between homemade and commercial tools, the top five tools he looks for at garage sales and junk shops, items no makeshifter should be without, and much more. If that’s not enough for you (and if you want to learn how to get a 10% discount on Makeshift Workshop Skills), listen to this podcast interview (Episode 12), where James talks about the new workshop book, his previous Paladin title Long-Term Survival in the Coming Dark Age, and his plans for a follow-up makeshifter’s handbook that will include, among many other fascinating topics, the results of his experiments with homemade manually operated machines.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
As you wait with bated breath for the next Ken Gross update, take a look at the new clip of the Tony Cecchine Catch Wrestling video, Snap, No Tap! Catch Wrestling for Streetfighting and Self-
Defense Volume Six: Groundfighting. In this short clip, Tony teaches proper hip heisting, a vital counter-grappling technique. No one wants to stay on the ground for long at all in a real-world combat situation, and a good hip heist can mean the difference between getting back on your feet or being kicked in the head. Tony has been teaching catch for decades, and knows exactly what works and what doesn't: you don't need a thousand ground techniques to prevail in a grappling situation. You need good fundamentals, and this video will teach them to you.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
As each update enters my inbox, I am reminded of that travel segment from the Today Show called “Where in the World Is Matt Lauer?” As of late, I’ve found myself asking, “Where in the world is Hawkeye?”
To bring you up to speed, Hawkeye and Barry reunited in London and spent some time tooling around and got the auxillary tank removed in Oxford, England. After that, the two spent some time in Caen, France, touring the World War II battlefields of Normandy. Their next stop was Cannes, located in the south of France. They tried to reconnect with an old friend, Mike, who lives in Italy, just along the border of France, but unfortunately Mike wasn’t around this trip.
Currently, Hawkeye and Barry’s location is up in the air (pun intended). But according to their wives, they have planned a lovely jaunt to Nice which will be followed up with a stop in Pisa, where they want to walk the Cinque Terre trail along the Italian Riviera. I’m sure the weather is wonderful this time of year. My excitement continues to grow as they near Amman, Jordan, where they’ll be faced with their next big obstacle: flying over Saudi Arabia or Iraq? Stay tuned to this site!
Taking a break from our regularly-scheduled coverage of Ken Gross's historic flight to the Middle East, filled with tales of danger and derring-do, Paladin Press is pleased to report that Melissa Soalt, author of the Paladin video Fierce and Female, was recently profiled in The Hindu, the national newspaper of India:
When “Dr. Ruthless” answers the phone, it’s a sweet voice with an even softer disposition that I encounter across the line. I’ve read about her, and the website of this women’s self-defence expert is dominated by phrases like “fierce and female”, “Neander babe”, “beast girl”, “go ballistic”, “use dirty tactics”, “take control”. I’ve seen fighting pictures of her and does she look formidable! And then when I meet her, I’m stumped by the contrasting package that Mellisa Soalt is. She’s about five feet tall, has a petite yet sinewy frame, and is quite comfortable kicking ass and wearing jewellery.
While I tell her that it is reassuring to see that such a tiny woman has become emblematic of physical power, she gives me one of her favourite lines: “It is not the size of the woman in the fight, it is the size of the fight in the woman!” Melissa’s approach to self defence is really about breaking stereotypes. That women are small, defenceless, don’t have it in them to put up a fight…
“It goes against the grain for most people, especially women, to resort to violence. The trouble is also the hesitation that comes from fear. I am a non-violent person and believe in the least harm. But if you are attacked, you have to become a savage beauty,” she tells me at some point in the interview. “I take the cringe response out of you. Everyone has the killer instinct in them. I believe that half the population in the world should not live in fear of the other half.”
Click on the link to read the rest of the article.
Friday, June 12, 2009
For those of you who have been following Hawkeye’s flight path on FlightAware.com – he is NOT stuck in the middle of the ocean as FlightAware might have you believe. Hawkeye’s flight from Goose Bay to Iceland was dropped because the website can only track flights within its specified service area. The good news though is that Hawkeye is safe and sound and just touched down in Scotland – he made it solo across the Atlantic! However, there was definitely some excitement along the way. Let’s rewind to Hawkeye’s departure from Boulder Municipal Airport and get everyone caught up on his adventure.
So, after their ceremonious sendoff at the Boulder Municipal Airport, Hawkeye and Jeff were only in the air about thirty minutes before they touched down to get “cheap gas.” In an effort to expenses down, they plan to go out of their way to find locations with the least expensive fuel. After refueling, they blasted off to York, Nebraska, and refueled yet again. During this stop the gruesome twosome found a place to eat, Chances R Restaurant and Lounge, where the average weight of most of the patrons was about three hundred pounds. The slogan at the restaurant, a classic small-town diner, is “Try us once; Chances R, you’ll be back!” Being the “particular” and conscientious eater that he is, Hawkeye requested that he not have any cheese on his CHEESEburger and no onions on the plate. I can only assume Hawkeye was concerned about watching his weight to make it across the Atlantic!
After taking off from York, the two made their way to Knox, Indiana. There wasn’t a whole lot happening in this neck of the woods -- or at least they couldn’t get themselves into any trouble, so the plan was to try to make it Buffalo, New York, to see Niagara Falls at sunset. They ended up catching some major tailwinds -- about 155 to 175 knots, so that’s about 50 additional knots of tailwind. Needless to say, they were cruisin’ through the sky! They were about 100 feet above the clouds and observing a gorgeous sunset, but a storm brewing over Lake Erie threw a hurdle in the flight plan to get to Niagara. The storm, according to Jeff, who was flying this leg of the trip, was “beautiful and scary at the same time.” Lightning, rain, and thunderstorms filled the sky and shook the Cessna. Fortunately, the plane is equipped with a state-of-the-art radio that costs about $150,000, so they were able to see the storm “painted” on the screen. Jeff and Hawkeye radioed to “Flight Watch,” which gives pilots advice on the weather conditions, whether they should continue on their scheduled flight path or divert elsewhere. Based on the high tailwinds, the guys and “Flight Watch” thought that they could beat the storms to Buffalo, but just as soon as they had decided to navigate through, the storm worsened. As a result they dropped down and diverted to Erie, Pennsylvania. Despite the storm, the wheels touched the ground and the poor kid on the ramp looked both “petrified and impressed” given the flying conditions and the quality of their landing. I’m picturing the look on his face…jaw dropped and knees about to buckle on the ramp.
They checked into a hotel in Erie and then walked around in the rain for about an hour and half looking for some sustenance. With nothing else in sight, Hawkeye and Jeff found themselves sitting in an Arby’s at 11:00 p.m., scarfing down roast beef sandwiches. They hit the rack for the night and woke up around 5:30 a.m. After taking off at 7:30 a.m., they were finally able to circle Niagara Falls a few times. They sent an aerial photo of the view that was awe-inspiring to say the least. A room (in the sky) with a view!
After circling Niagara, they encountered some more thunderstorms and were instructed to perform “mountain obscuration” around the Adirondack Mountains. As defined by the FAA, “the term Mountain Obscuration (MTOS) is used to describe a visibility condition that is distinguished from instrument flight rules (IFR) because ceilings, by definition, are described as “above ground level” (AGL). In mountainous terrain clouds can form at altitudes significantly higher than the weather reporting station, and at the same time nearby mountaintops may be obscured by low visibility. In these areas the ground level can also vary greatly over a small area. Beware if operating VFR-on-top. You could be operating closer to the terrain than you think because the tops of mountains are hidden in a cloud deck below.” The Aviation Weather Center identifies MTOS areas every day. You can visit its website by clicking here.
About 50 nautical miles west of Niagara, Hawkeye and Jeff thought it would be a great idea to “test” the plane by taking it through some storms in the area; for approximately 45 minutes they were flying under IFR (instrument flight rules). This is where the pilot can only refer to the instrument panel for flight navigation -- particularly if nothing is visible outside the cockpit windows. As the two were navigating through this storm, ice began to form on the wings and the struts. But this is what they wanted -- to test how the plane handled during icing before Hawkeye embarked into the cold and icy weather en route to Greenland. Fortunately, the Cessna made it through the test like a champ. The storm ended, and they popped out of the clouds and found themselves above a classic Maine scene: robust, green trees, parted by what looked like an old World War II-era airport, perfectly cut out of the forest.
Welcome to Norridgewock, Maine. Their landing was a bit bumpy as they encountered some strong crosswinds, but they landed safely and met a group of “old guys, talkin’ about fuel prices and the government.” Again, a classic scene. They were hoping to find cheap gas there as well, but after they landed, the fuel prices suspiciously went from $3.45 to $3.95. No cheap gas for them. After filling up, Hawkeye and Jeff headed for their final stop in the United States, Bangor, Maine.
In Bangor, Jeff flew back home to Boulder, and Hawkeye began his solo journey. The auxillary ferry tank and high-frequency radio were also installed at this location (note the writing on the tank, "NO SMOKING"). The HF radio will allow Hawkeye to communicate in some of the most desolate areas of his flight path. Every hour he is required to report his location for precautionary measures. Because of the danger involved, there was a possibility that Hawkeye could go down, so Jeff and Hawkeye discussed survival tactics, what he would do in several different emergency situations -- a difficult and eye-opening conversation to have, I’m sure. Hawkeye made his way over the Atlantic wearing the survival suit he picked up in Goose Bay. Along with him were his life raft and a survival kit. One survival scenario was that if the plane is going down, Hawkeye would open the door and position himself in such a way that he could maneuver the raft toward the outside of the plane and inflate it just before crashing. The door must be open in order for Hawkeye to swim out. However, if for some reason the airbags in the
Hawkeye was actually stuck for several days in Goose Bay, Newfoundland waiting for optimal weather conditions. Ironically, the Paladin author had to pack lightly and therefore had no reading material. With no bookstore in sight, Hawkeye was left to his own devices to find something to read. Peder Lund, founder and owner of Paladin Press, suggested that Hawkeye take a jaunt down to the docks where the sailors were coming off the ships and see if he could get some books off of them in exchange for his story. Whether or not he did that is unknown, but I’ll be sure to ask him over a beer once he is back in the States. Finally, the weather cooperated and he jumped into the Cessna, making his way across the Atlantic. He had the option of touching down in Greenland, but in typical Hawkeye-fashion he cruised right on by, landing in Reykjavik, Iceland, on Tuesday, June 9. Fortunately, he was able to take off the following day to Wick, Scotland, where he anticipated having the auxillary tank removed, but after some complications he opted to remove the tank in London, where he will meet up with Barry Barnow.
With the weather delay in Goose Bay, Barry has been laidover in London longer than he expected, and according to his wife, “Barry has been busy doing laundry.” Hopefully, he’ll help the travel-weary Hawkeye wash his clothes once he arrives! I also received a voicemail from Barry two days ago, in which he described Hawkeye as “having a blast.” He mentioned that he might have found someone to clear them into Qatar, but we’ll have to wait and see if that comes to fruition. Barry closed his message to me by stating, “Skies are clear, over and out.” Pilot lingo always sounds so cool, doesn’t it?
So, after some much deserved stretching and a couple of days of relaxation in London, Hawkeye and Barry will make their way to France, sans the auxillary tank. Continue to read this space for the latest on their continued journey across the eastern hemisphere. All in all, the U.S. and Atlantic leg of the trip was a success -- full of adventure in the sky! Hawkeye, Barry -- we’re all rooting for you. That’s all for now -- over and out!
Friday, June 5, 2009
Paladin Press is pleased to announce the first volume of a brand-new series of videos focusing on the real-world skills you need in today's uncertain times. Titled Kelly McCann's Crucible High-Risk Environment Training Volume One: Kem-'ba-tiv Knife - A Minimalist Knife Curriculum for Defense Under Duress, this video has captured for the first time in its entirety Kelly McCann's street-proven knife fighting program. Simple, straightforward, and lethal, Kem-'ba-tiv Knife isn't based on complex trapping and locking, unrealistic flow drills, or overengineered knife dancing. It is easily recalled under the stress of imminent danger, fast, and potentially deadly to an attacker who offers you lethal force. McCann wouldn't teach it if it hadn't proven itself time and time again in real-world circumstances. If you're truly interested in what really does work, this video is vital to your self-defense.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Michael Morse, the author of the Paladin book Rescuing Providence, is the winner of second annual Excellence in EMS Award contest, sponsored by EMS1.com. A panel of industry judges, including EMS1 columnists Mike McEvoy and Kelly Grayson, chose the winners. Michael’s entry, “Here,” tells how the Providence, Rhode Island, Fire Department works with others in the community to make their city a better and safer place to live.
Michael is a firefighter in Providence, Rhode Island. He has worked on engine, ladder and rescue companies during his 16-year career. His current assignment is Lieutenant, Rescue 1. For more information or to see more of Michael’s excellent writing samples, check his blog.
This is an adventure straight out of the pages of The Paladin Book of Dangerously Fun Stuff—For Boys Who Never Really Grew Up. Saturday morning I made my way to the Boulder, Colorado, Municipal Airport, where K. Hawkeye Gross (who contributed a chapter to the Dangerously Fun Stuff book and also wrote the Paladin books Reefer Warrior, Tales from the Joint (both of which are currently out of print) and Drug Smuggling) took off on the most exciting travel itinerary I've ever heard of: his flight will take him across the United States; over the North Atlantic to Scotland; across Europe with stops in France, Italy, and Switzerland; and on to his destination in Qatar—in a single-engine piston Cessna-172! While driving to the airport, I found myself daydreaming of having the chance to embark on such a dangerously fun adventure myself.
Like any good story, there is a fascinating back story. So, allow me to fill you in.
Barry Barnow, of Boulder Valley Aviation, brokered the sale of the Cessna for a friend whom he taught to fly in the aircraft when the latter purchased it brand new. A sheikh in Qatar purchased the plane for his own training purposes and wanted an aircraft with a top-notch GPS system (the 172 has the Garmin G1000) and air conditioning. Anxious to begin his flight training, the sheikh asked if Barry could coordinate having the plane flown over as opposed to shipping it, which would take approximately six months. Barry knew that his longtime friend Hawkeye was just the man for the job (Hawkeye had been an Air Force pilot during the Vietnam War and has maintained his flying skills and license since then). And Hawkeye, eager for his next big adventure, was ready to sign up.
Most people are familiar with the name Charles Lindbergh, "Lucky Lindy," who flew the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight from America to mainland Europe (Long Island to Paris) in 1927, which won him the coveted Orteig Prize. Get this—the dangerously fun flight that Hawkeye is embarking on is three times that distance! Insane, right? Kind of, but ridiculously riveting to boot.
While I was observing the pre-flight preparations, Hawkeye arrived with his wife, Karen, and German shepherd, Wrigley (named after Wrigley Field, of course, since Hawkeye is from Chicago). What a great trio. This was my first time to meet Hawkeye, and I was amazed at how tall he is. Now, I'm 5'10", so I'm no small-fry and rarely the short girl in the crowd, but standing next to Hawkeye and his flying partner, Jeffrey (who is just as tall), I felt a bit "vertically challenged." Then, I immediately wondered if they could even fit in the small plane. A tight squeeze to say the least!
Hawkeye's weight is even more of an obstacle than his height when crossing the Atlantic. The Cessna only has about a 400 nautical mile fuel capacity, and the plane is going to have an FAA-approved auxillary ferry tank installed in Bangor, Maine. The auxillary tank will add 110 gallons to the 50 gallons that is contained in the wings, which more than doubles the plane’s flying distance. But it also means MORE weight, putting the plane at approximately 30 percent over gross weight. Hawkeye hopes that the auxillary tank will be sufficient to get the plane over the Atlantic on his solo leg of the trip. So, could it get any more dangerous? With Hawkeye in the picture, absolutely.
After taking off from Bangor, Maine, with his new fuel tank, Hawkeye will fly to Goose Bay, Newfoundland, on to Greenland, and then to Iceland. This entire route is over the North Atlantic. The catch here is that the plane is not equipped with de-icing equipment. This means that if ice is in the clouds, the plane will take on even more weight. Knowing the risk of the journey, Hawkeye will acquire a water survival suit, life raft, and survival kit before beginning the transatlantic leg. The objective, of course, is to get Hawkeye and the Cessna-172 safely across the Atlantic, so he will only fly on a day that is forecast to have optimal weather. (All of this fun has given me the itch to get my pilot's license!)
After his stop in Iceland, he'll stop at the Shetland Islands before traveling to Wick, Scotland. After Wick, Hawkeye will arrive in London, where he'll hook up with Barry Barnow. The two comrades, each of whom has been a pilot for almost 40 years, will then begin a three-week odyssey with stops in France, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, and Jordan before arriving in Kuwait. The last—and perhaps most dangerous—obstacle in the flight plan will be how to get from Amman, Jordan, to Kuwait. The options are Iraq (and the possibility of being shot down by an American A-10) and Saudi Arabia (and being blinded by one of those legendary sandstorms), neither of which gives out tourist visas. Once in Kuwait, they fly to Qatar and deliver the plane to the eager sheikh. No word yet on their plans for the return leg!
Stay tuned to this blog to see how this grand adventure unfolds. I'll continue to update the blog as more information is available. I have created a map showing Hawkeye's various stops along his route which you can view by clicking here. You can also follow along by logging on to Flightaware.com and entering tail number N443SM.
All I can say is, what a ride.
We're rooting for you.
Between skyrocketing unemployment rates and major American companies going bankrupt, almost everyone's still suffering economic woes. At Paladin, we feel your pain, and we're going to do what we can to lighten the load.
Summer's right around the corner, and that means that it's time for some outdoor fun. With that in mind, we've reduced the price of Ralph Thorn's groundbreaking video, Combat Knife Throwing, to $29.95. A knife-throwing expert with decades of experience throwing everything from knives to swords to railroad spikes, Thorn teaches you how to take any kind of knife and get it to stick consistently and accurately at virtually any distance from any angle and any position. Whether you're interested in knife throwing as a self-defense skill or just to amuse yourself and your friends, this video has the skinny on weapon throwing without the myth and hokum. So get outside, grab your favorite pointed implement, find a decent target, and start throwing!
And, for just $10.00 more, you can include Thorn's best-selling book Combat Knife Throwing: Revised and Updated, for a grand total of $39.95!