Jasper Roberts - Blog

Friday, January 16, 2015

2015-01-16 A Rant About Self-Defense

So mostly I blog about calisthenics and strength training, etc. However, for 25 years I've been in martial arts in some fashion or variety, and for the past several years I have studied the psychological, ethical, tactical, and most importantly- legal aspects of self-defense. Just today I was dismissed from jury duty on what would have been a lengthy manslaughter case involving the fatal shooting of a man. The defendant is claiming self-defense of course. In some ways it would have been interesting, but I'm happy to return to work next week. It did get me thinking...a lot.
First of all, my stance is that if you defend yourself in any way imaginable- there will be some sort of negative repercussion for you. Any way imaginable. So consider even telling someone that it is not cool to let their dog shit on your driveway. Right away you're pretty much an asshole for telling the offending party that they are wrong somehow. Might as well write of that neighbor because they ain't gonna like you for standing up for yourself amid their douchebaggery. Far over on the other end of the scale, if some scumbag ex-felon drives up onto your lawn in a drugged up stupor at 3:30am and bashes down your door looking for money or God knows what- the law will require of you a sequential battery of events to take place under your control in order for you to NOT go to jail for shooting the shithead. What do I mean? Read on.
First of all, does the offender have a MOTIVE to do you harm? Sure you're scared as hell because your wife and kids are (or I should say WERE) asleep upstairs with you. But is this guy alone? Does he have weapons? Is it an accident? Did he explicitly SAY he was gonna do you harm? How the fuck should you know? Well, you're gonna have to ask him before you blow him away or before you use your ninja skills to dispatch the person(s). Assuming you can even see in the dark and don't trip over toys or whatever, you'll need to establish some sort of MOTIVE that this individual is indeed intending to do you harm. Ok- he yelled he was gonna "Kill all you mutherfuckers!", so maybe that's good enough, who knows. That's your problem to figure out, cuz t ain't obvious to the prosecution or the jury. Why didn't you tell the guy to get out first? Why didn't you try to de-escalate the situation first, you know maybe by asking him if he'd like some tea and crackers? You just blew him away! You need to make it damn clear with words exactly HOW this individual was intending to mortally wound you and yours.
Ok, Now that that's taken care of you'l need to go about discovering what his (their) MEANS are as you rub your eyes to continue waking up. Yep, gotta make the rational decision of how exactly you foresee this individual doing you or your family harm. Can they do it? How are you so sure? See, if it's just a guy with MOTIVE saying he's gonna kill you, he might be a scrawny dude. You have ninja skills so the prosecutor will argue that the man was no real threat to you Mr. Blackbelt. Hell you could probably fight off ten angry dudes with knives as far as they know. Guns are serious business, so you're gonna have to almost hope that the guy has some sort of weapon if you did end up discharging a firearm. So does he have the means to do you mortal harm? Well, hard to even imagine what that means sitting comfortably in your chair, huh? Well, you'll need to figure that shit out in a fraction of a second under extreme stress in the dark, scared as hell. Good luck.
Ok, Now that THOSE are out of the way, let's also take some time to see what sort of OPPORTUNITY the intruder has.  Is there a barking dog sort of preventing him from edging his way around your sofa? Well then, maybe his opportunity isn't so clear, see? He wasn't completely a threat my hair-trigger. Yeah, he's supposedly verbally threatened you and has a knife, but he's kind of a small guy and he'd have to come alllll the way up those stairs. That's a long way isn't it? Is that really the OPPORTUNITY to kill you? Hmmm.
Yeah, and while we're at it, depending on what state you live in, you know, you really had the obligation to retreat somehow. Yeah, see that PRECLUSION thing, where you can't just go around blowing people away- especially enraged druggie psychopaths who kick down your door. Yeah, you're gonna have to somehow get yourself (and your loved ones of course) out of there. Away from the threat. That's your obligation, and if  you're gonna sit there and say you were in "fear for your life", then you'll also need to show the court why you couldn't just somehow escape if PRECLUSION is a self-defense requirement in your state. "Fear for your life"....please Mr. Martial Arts expert!
You will now be a criminal for executing violence on this scumbag, er I mean "young man" and the burden of proof will essentially be completely on YOU to explain why you should not STAY in jail. Yeah, yeah, presumption of innocence and all that. Good luck.
I used somewhat of an extreme example to prove a point here. In reality, reality is never so simple and rarely as extreme. Self-defense is almost always something you have't considered completely. It's "new" ground in some strange way.  Ask people who have been held up, attacked, or abducted. If there are ten thousand ways to block a punch, then there are one hundred thousand ways to get punched. All of them are punches, so just understand a few basics and then practice the full activity of the APPLICATION, and don't get so hung up on the ten thousand WAYS of punching.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015-01-15 What is Truth?

I came across an article on CNN today and it was interesting. It made me think about how elements of life are presented and how they are interpreted. For example, take this short story about the original Marlboro man. He died at age 85, and though there was no report on the cause of death, you could conclude that regardless- 85 is old enough. We know he was a lifetime smoker from the article, and some might conclude that smoking didn't have an adverse effect. Maybe he was lucky. They said that four other actors who also played the Marlboro man DID die of lung cancer, so there's that
But one could interpret the story in different ways. My point is that no matter what the story, thee will be more than one way to look at it. And forget about cognitive biases- then you can be virtually guaranteed that the objective truth will be unattainable.

There has been a lot of adaptation lately. My training locations are typical gyms with tons of machines and very little floor space. If you do bridges or pushups you look like a weirdo. God forbid you try to do handstand work, because there's no wall space anywhere and it's crowded in a gym. Let's say that I face challenges. And speaking of challenges, I have jury duty now. For how long I don;t know yet, but this could set me back another month perhaps. I know some will say I should just train outdoors, but that's not really a option. My time is extremely limited so I have to make due with what is available. Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome,

I have yet a new training regimen. I'm still on a sort of A,B,C and continue to focus on two of the big six each training day. I focus more on specific goals than necessarily on each of the big six because it's more interesting to me, but this is the basic idea. I also started to work more toward completing a certain number of reps by utilizing however many sets are necessary. I am hopeful of this new technique. I'm a little bit sore today, but I' easing into my new training approach.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015-01-11 The Old Man Can Still Snowboard

Get out there and vary your workouts. Have some fun outdoors from time to time. Use what you've worked hard to build up...otherwise, what's the point?