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For Writers

KN, p. 200 “200 Ways to Die an Unnatural Death”

 

Thanks to the readers around the world, we have reached another milestone. This is page # 200 for Kerrian’s Notebook.  🙂  Hear Hammett barking? And the shovels clanking?

 

When Kerrian’s Notebook came into being, Charlie and Sheila Kerrian never expected to be around for 200 pages, not counting the additional posts devoted to our famous (or is that infamous?) Visiting Detectives. That’s a ton of cases, a ton of fun, facts, and a few dead bodies.

 

In honor of that milestone, we have come up with a few more ways to die an unnatural death, bringing the total on our deadly lists to a lethal 200.

 

Unnatural death is a category used by coroners and Medical Examiners for classifying human deaths that can’t really be described as death by natural causes. It might cover events such as accidents, homicide, clueless behavior, being attacked by wildlife, or even war.

 

Keep in mind that law enforcement personnel only investigate these deaths if foul play is suspected. Criminal intent is not always apparent, and autopsies are only conducted when suspicious circumstances surround the corpse’s demise.

 

Many thanks to all of you that contributed to our earlier lists. It wouldn’t have been as much fun without your (sometimes nefarious) methods of offing some unlucky souls.  🙂

 

Take a look:

100 ways to die an unnatural death

 

50 more ways to die an unnatural death

 

30 more ways to die an unnatural death

 

and now… 20 more ways to die an unnatural death.

 

  1. Broken neck – pitching over the handlebars of a bicycle without a helmet on

 

  1. Broken neck – diving into the shallow end of a pool

 

  1. Death by handheld fireworks

 

  1. Electrocution while storm chasing in a paraglider

 

  1. Death by coyote while hiking

 

  1. Death by spotted eagle ray – it leapt out of the water & struck a woman in a boat in the face. She fell and struck her head on the boat. The ray died as well.

 

  1. Crushed by a dumpster
    1. Death by a rolling bale of hay

     

    1. Impaled by the horn on a statue of a bull

     

    1. Death by flying manhole cover

     

    1. Death by colliding with fire hydrant and drowning

     

    1. Death on a golf cart – woman fell on the broken glass from the wine glasses she had been holding

     

    1. Death by selfie – maybe that should be: death by standing too close to the edge

     

    1. Death by asphyxiation while hiding in a cupboard

     

    1. Drowning – in a vat of wine

     

    1. Drowning – in a cat’s water bowl

     

    1. Water hammer explosion

     

    1. Death by prop gun on a movie set

     

    1. Smothered by clothing and gifts tossed from balconies onto the person onstage.

     

    1. Death by extreme sports – B.A.S.E. jumping with a parachute from fixed points (Buildings, Antennas, Spans (bridges), the Earth (top of cliff))

     

     

    All true, folks, but #194?  Maybe that explains all the Hallmark TV episodes where the good guys are hiding in closets with LOTS of air holes.

     

     

     

    The real question: Do you have friends that will help carry the shovels and pitchforks?  😉

     

     

     

    If you are a writer and have used any of the ‘200 ways’ in your work, let us know in the comments and you can plug your book here.   🙂

     

     

    *Photos by Patti Phillips, but nothing dastardly happened while she took them and no bodies were left behind. Promise.

     

    *Kerrian’s Notebook, and all of its content, is intended for entertainment purposes only.

     

     

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KN, p. 199 “Krav Maga, Self-defense for the Real World”

 


One of our Texas friends could write a manual on how to live life to the max. She is whip smart, stays in top shape, participates in some extreme adventures, is a fabulous cook, and enjoys the great outdoors in all its glory.  She’s not a big fan of gyms with weights and machines and would rather keep herself in condition by participating in activities with a physical endurance component – like frigid overnights on a mountain after trekking a few miles over challenging terrain to get there.

 


We chatted over dinner and she mentioned that she was enrolled at a local Krav Maga place, then invited us along to see what it was all about. She wanted Sheila to join in the class, but Sheila only had golf clothes in her suitcase, no workout gear. “Bring your camera,” she said.

 


Krav Maga (translated from Hebrew) means contact combat. Yup. That’s what the classes involve. It’s a fusion of techniques from boxing, wrestling, and judo, developed for the Israeli Defense Forces, and combined with fight training – with the end goal of self-defense.


The focus is on real-world situations and learning efficient methods to fend off attacks from the bad guys and take control of the direction of the attacks. Originally developed by Hungarian-Israeli martial artist Imi Lichtenfeld in the 1930s, Krav Maga became a practical way to combine other fighting styles (including street fighting) and teach them quickly to the Israeli military. As time passed, other techniques using elbows and knee strikes, low kicks, Aikido and Jiu-jitsu were also included under the broad umbrella of Krav Maga.

 


Krav Maga has a philosophy emphasizing aggression, and simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers. Variations of Krav Maga are now being used by military, law enforcement, and intelligence organizations around the world. The Brits and the US Marine Corps teach their own versions to their recruits.

 


For the average person off the street, Krav Maga teaches street self-defense using:

  • Punches, elbows, knees, and kicks.
  • Defenses against various strikes, chokes, and weapons
  • Realistic training drills.

 


Krav Maga also promotes awareness, strength, and self-defense skills specifically for women. Some locations have classes that focus on rape prevention techniques and tactics, to build both inner and outer strength. Women can learn to spot danger signs, but also learn how to defend against common chokes, grabs, bearhugs, and other attacks, including fighting on the ground and when confronted by a weapon. This allows women to leave class feeling safe, strong, and empowered.

 


The instructor for the class we attended, Nick Delgadillo, emphasized to the Level 1 group that the aim is to “defend and then attack.” As the class continued and various moves were practiced, the mantra, “As I’m striking, I need to improve my position,” became internalized.


Krav Maga is designed to be practical and intuitive for people of any age, shape, or size.

 

Tips and reinforcements are delivered in a positive way throughout the class:

  • If you’re pinned against a wall, the goal is to get away from the wall. Your hips have to move away from the wall.
  • If you’re being choked while shoved against the wall, break the choke and get away from the wall.
  • If you are being pushed backwards, keep your chin tucked.
  • Plan for the opponent to fight back. If they are trying to rob or hurt you, you being a nice person won’t stop them.

The Course

The progressive curriculum covers the most common types of attacks and threats first, to make students comfortable with using basic blocks, punches, chokeholds, and strikebacks. In later classes, students focus on more violent situations involving weapons, multiple attackers, and ground fighting. Krav Maga students work with each another in reality-based exercises, and the ambience is usually very supportive, yet goal-oriented.

 

 

What To Expect

Fully certified instructors guide training sessions and make sure that the environment is open and positive. Krav Maga is designed to teach students self-defense techniques in a short amount of time, with the goal that you should start feeling safer and more confident almost immediately. Students are taught how to react to the initial shock and paralyzing fear that comes with a sudden attack.

 

 

A quote from Nick’s website:
“Defending yourself requires that you are able to make an aggressive and violent counterattack.  This is one of the ugly realities of self-defense and this is the truly hard part for nice, normal people living in the real world.  Come train with us and we’ll teach you how to make an ugly face, hit hard, and go home safe.”

 

Defense Krav Maga is located at:

4036 Kemp Blvd. Wichita Falls, TX  76308

As of this writing, classes are held:

Krav MagaMonday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 5:30 PM.

Precision StrikingTuesday and Thursday at 6:30 PM

They’d love to hear from you.  Visit the website, www.defensewf.com  to check them out.   🙂

 

Nick Delgadillo is a Starting Strength Seminar Staff Coach, Krav Maga instructor, and Muay Thai and Brazilian JiuJitsu practitioner.  He’s been teaching people of all walks of life how to fight and lift for over 10 years.  Nick is highly effective in preparing people both mentally and physically for sport, combat, or the game of life.

 

Notes from Patti:
Nick’s class was astounding in its content. I came away with a sense that this should be the type of self-defense class for me. If I still lived there, I would sign up in a New York minute! Bravo to Nick Delgadillo for empowering the class members, and to V. for taking me to the class.   🙂

 

The Kerrians are a fictional couple, but the class (V. included) and photos are real.

 

Photo credits:

Banner and Nick’s photo at the end: courtesy of Defense Krav Maga, Wichita Falls, Texas.

 

Photos of the class members in action: Patti Phillips

 

 

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KN, p. 194 “Training for An Garda Siochana, the Irish National Police”

 

Thinking of moving to Ireland?

And you think joining the Garda might be a good idea?

And you think you’re in great physical shape?

 

Consider this: before any candidate can be included in the final group of applicants, he/she must pass a test for physical endurance, known as The Physical Competence Test, in addition to the Shuttle Test. As I mentioned in the previous article, “An Garda Siochana, the Irish National Police,” there were recently over 60,000 applicants, so competition is tough. To give you an idea of the requirements, the Garda website provides this chart for the Shuttle (also called Beep test) so that you can compare your capabilities to the expected norms:

 

MINIMUM Standards for the Shuttle Test (running back and forth in a gym – 20 meters (about 65 feet) in each direction – the levels indicating how many round trips you should make within a set time)

Age Males Females
18-25yrs Level 8.8 Level 7.6
26-35yrs Level 8.1 Level 6.6

 

MINIMUM Standards for the ‘Sit Up’ Test (one minute) 

Age Males Females
18-25yrs 35 30
26-35yrs 32 27

 

MINIMUM Standards for the ‘Push Up’ Test (no time restriction)

Age Males Females
18-25yrs 25 20
26-35yrs 22 18

 

Physical Competence Tests –

This part of the physical test demonstrates whether the candidate is capable of chasing after a suspect, and then, once the suspect is caught, struggle with him/her in order to make the arrest. Because, trust me, if you can’t do this part of the test, you won’t make it as a street cop.

 

Part 1 – the Obstacle Course

You have three minutes and 20 seconds to get around the course three times. Go!

After a running start,

  1. Weave through cones
  2. Walk along a balance beam
  3. Lift a car wheel and carry it 3 meters (about 9 feet)
  4. Go underneath a barrier
  5. Jump over a mat
  6. Drag a 45kg (about 100 pounds) mannequin 2 meters (about 6 feet)
  7. Run up and down stairs
  8. Climb over a gate
  9. Sprint 10 meters (about 30 feet)

Slower than 3:20? You fail.

 

Part 2 – the Push-Pull Machine Test

What’s the maximum force you can muster? This test indicates how strong you are when you’re battling against a suspect who doesn’t want to be caught – after you’ve chased him/her for several minutes through the alleys.

  1. Stand on platform, gripping handlebars at chest height, with feet apart and one foot in front of the other
  2. Push and pull the handlebars through the required stroke continuously for 20 secs using entire body to push and pull as hard as you can.
  3. The force you exert is measured and recorded on the computer system


A video detailing the Physical Competence Test can be found here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXo3roYoCUw&feature=youtu.be

 

Assessment Process

Get past this pre-screening stage and there are a number of tests to eliminate the possibility of the unqualified becoming a Garda Trainee. If you pass each of the interviews, psych evaluations, personality questionnaire, language proficiency assessment, report writing tasks, written tests, medical exam, and physical tests, (and anything else the powers-that-be deem necessary) and rank high enough on the list of qualified applicants, you might become a Garda trainee. If so, you would attend the Garda college to complete the first 34 weeks of your training. After that, you will have both supervised and unsupervised field training, with periodic rigorous testing along the way. It will take about two years to finish, but at the end, you will attain a BA in Applied Policing.

Garda College

The Garda College is the national center for police training, development and education within the Irish State. The coursework is divided into two major sections, Operational Training and Crime Training.

 

Operational Training consists partly of: 

Driver Training

Candidates learn to drive the official vehicles and based on operation needs, may also learn to drive vans, 4×4 vehicles, motorcycles, and H.G.V.s

Firearms Training

After initial firearms training, if hired, the candidates permitted to carry  firearms must take refresher firearms training three times a year. They are checked for Range Safety, Weapon Safety and accuracy. They also receive tactical training, as well as how to use non-lethal weapons such a tasers.

 

Constitutional, Human Rights & Diversity Office

Candidates become familiar with the proper way to handle incidents that may involve human rights, diversity as well as any possible constitutional violations.

  

Communications and Information Technology Training

Candidates study:

      A.F.I.S. (Automated Fingerprint Identification System)

      A.V.P.L.S. Automatic Vehicle Personnel Location System)

      C.A.D. (Computer Aided Dispatch)

      CCTV

      I.C.C.S. (Integrated Communications Control System)

      MOS computer Program skills

  

Rannóg na Gaeilge

If needed, candidates learn and become proficient in the Irish language.

 

Crime Training consists of:

Foundation Training

Students learn in small groups with realistic policing re-enactments and must use the group discussions to solve the problems, just as would be done in actual policing.

 

During this basic training, candidates would:

 

  • Improve overall knowledge of the crimes committed in their jurisdictions.
  • Gain practical skills to manage crime and policing incidents.
  • Learn to police a diverse bilingual community

Develop skills needed for traffic issues (checkpoints, drink/drug driving etc.)

  • Train in Garda station duties, including prisoner management
  • Learn practical skills with retractable baton, hinge handcuffs, pepper spray, and self-defense tactics

 

Crime Training

Crime Training used to be known as the Detective Training School. These days it incorporates the Garda Technical Bureau, the Forensic Science Laboratory, and even some outside agencies. Also studied: Basic Fire and Arson, Money Laundering, Financial Crime, and Drug Awareness.

 

Additional course work or refresher courses are available for the police after they have served in the field for three years (or if the local station has a need for it) in: Fingerprints, Photography, Forensics, Ballistics, Documents, Mapping, and Forensic Law.   

 

Investigative Training

Special Investigative Training is handled here for Family Liaison Officers as well as for the Road Security Criminal Interdiction Awareness Program.

 

Interview Training

The Garda Síochana Interview Model has four different levels, ranging from basic questions of witnesses, to serious and complex investigations, including those involving sex crimes. 

 

After a fairly rigorous combination of classwork, supervised and unsupervised field work, along with continuous testing during the two years, graduating candidates are able to work in Community Policing, Traffic Control, Public Order, Detective Duties, investigating Organized Crime, Fraud and Drugs Offenses.

 

 

“Crime prevention is everybody’s business,” a quote from the Garda site, is a motto they promote to all the candidates, as well as the community at large.

 

How does this training compare with that of your local law enforcement agency?

 

 

*All photos from www.garda.ie

 

 

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