Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Thank you to all Veterans

To my men who bear arms for our country ... many thanks to you on Veterans Day. Even today you are working hard to keep us safe from the evil bastards out there!

People today are so self-centered that soldiers are very rarely thought of. Instead, we have 1/2 off sales at department stores, offering people deals on things that have nothing to do with appreciating our veterans. Apparently there is a segment of the population who feels that bargain prices on retarded crap is more important than teaching our children the importance of respecting our men and women in uniform.

Well, I want you to know that D&S Girl hasn't forgotten you. There are a few of us decent Americans left  who have respect for the troops. You are the heart and soul of our country, but yet so few stop and give a simple "thank-you" to show their gratitude for the freedoms you have given us.

I thank you  every day I wake up a free woman. I thank you for putting your lives at risk for all of us, so we can pursue our dreams and live our lives in peace and beauty should we choose. I am forced to recognize the price for my dalliances, the price for my happiness, the cost for my unrealized potential, and the terrible thing that is traded for my love and my friendships in a world where I can be anything I choose to be.

I know that price, that cost, that trade. I've always known it: Your life for mine.

If you die for me, I will carry you in my heart, where you may still live. If you return battered and scarred and disabled, I will look for you and see as we look into each other's eyes that truth ... your life, your loves, your body and mind and soul, all traded away - ripped away from you - so that I could carry on day to day.

Remember us - the people who love you. Remember and never feel alone.
And when your job is done - and you return to all of us, we will be waiting at the end of that long journey, to welcome you back and remind our fellow countrymen who failed to keep watch while you were gone of the one important thing. Instead of criticizing and complaining and proclaiming things they do not and will not ever have the experience or understand themselves, they can get to work getting the word out .... that you have saved us.

How many times?


NOTE: A new photo shoot with D&S Girl will be posted on this blog very soon. Keep your eyes on this space - and on  ......  we make gear for legends.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tactical etiquette

When I was 12-years-old I began training in Traditional Aikido. For those people who don’t know what Aikido is – shut up. I’m not an encyclopedia. Go look it up. For those not taking the off-lane on the information super-highway to study martial arts, let me advise you on the following: Manners and good etiquette get you places. Bad manners just end up getting a shinai wrapped around your head.

Don’t know what a shinai is? You will, when it’s wrapped around your head.

In fact, the mat was where I learned that there are some times when you need to keep your mouth shut. A story about bad etiquette, loud mouths and how they relate to a shinai will be provided. Now sit down and shut up.

Manners are absent everywhere if you look. You have cackling idiots and early morning zombies shuffling through the day everywhere you go. There’s loud, messy monkeys stuffing their face and talking with their mouth full, there’s parking-lot pinheads who can’t drive or park, but always aim for the pedestrians, like they’re some kind of magnets for behind-the-wheel jackasses. And of course, you have the really impolite terrorists. Terrorists are not polite, because they are assholes. And an asshole only poops in one direction and pays no attention to the rest of the world.

And of course, they are also impolite, because they walk around stoked on drugs or religious fervor, believing their way is the only way – and everyone should be like them. Like bad department store denizens, these creatures crash through the world as if they’re pushing some crazy battering ram, exploding cart. No etiquette. A shinai is required - or in the case of terrorists – a good, solid knife, a serviceable firearm, a Predator drone, or other even more imaginative things.

That’s often the problem with the world – there’s usually not the appropriate attitude-correction tool within reach.

But every now and then, situations line up the way they should, and the old adage “hammer the nail back into the board, or it will cut everyone else’s feet,” can be seen. In a traditional Aikido dojo, as I well know, that is hardly ever a problem. The nail will go back into the board. And herein lies the “tactical” part of today’s post. If you are going to prepare for war – you must train appropriately. The warrior is not concerned with life or death. Nor are they concerned with real-world or training. To a proper warrior, there is only one way. It is always the same. In the Hagakure, it can be seen that appropriate behavior – measured and consistent and correct, is the true way of the warrior. A well-balanced, well executed response in a case like this, is not reactive at all. It is pro-active.

Every experience in a traditional dojo builds on very simple rules. Follow them precisely and an individual develops the right attitude, the right composure, the right discipline and the right capabilities to meet the challenges they are preparing for, off the mat.

One day, Sensei had a headache, and ordered absolutely no speaking on the mat – not that there was much, anyway. But some of the senior students with an eye toward helping those more junior, would jabber mindlessly on occasion. Sensei promised he would hammer anyone if they said a single word. I noticed my brother, Victor was still talking, so I cautioned him, being wise to Sensei’s demeanor that day.

Victor was unwise.

Seeing this, Sensei simply picked up his shinai, and calmly walked up behind Vic, waiting a moment, perhaps to see if Vic would have the presence of mind to either shut up – or the situational awareness to notice Sensei’s reflection in the mirror just a few feet in front of him.

Neither proved to be the case. Vic was oblivious to the workings of his mouth, the whereabouts of his teacher, and apparently, the way a mirror can exhibit someone quite clearly, who is standing behind you with a massive piece of bamboo. Apparently Vic had also lost the ability to understand English, because he just kept talking with everyone else silent and looking on, and Sensei standing behind him like a huge, dark storm.

As was said by the great teacher, Kenshiro Abbe Sensei, “a shinai speaks perfect English.”

And so, the shinai crashed down on the top of Vic’s head – because in a traditional dojo, the shinai always strikes the offending part. As Vic’s mouth was on his head, logic demanded that the strike would come there – as it did, in fact. It hit Vic so hard, that it wrapped around the top of his head and struck the front of his face.

Now, you gentle types out there with your soft, mewling words like “blend and cooperate – and all that ridiculous pap, may believe that this correction is not equal to the offense. To you, I can only say, Vic did not speak again during that practice, and so etiquette was restored and lessons were learned – even by those of us who’s heads didn’t have a vertical stripe on them.

But I can also say this: “Shut the Hell up.” Train as you plan to fight. Fight to live. Even the smallest lessons on the mat are not divorced from this.

And if there are no men or women of the mat – then they will not exist on the battlefield either.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'm here.

A good solid piece of steel is better than some punched-out piece-of-shit any day of the week.

I’m attacking low and fast. There’s no backing off or backing down. You just get in there and get doing some business. That’s my take on things. You may be able to do it with a piece of glass – maybe a piece of wood – but glass is for looking through, and wood is good for fires and furniture.

So shut up while I’m talking.

What you need for the job is not some cheesy art-bullshit. If it gleams, it reflects. Reflections are good for mirrors – and mirrors are used to signal search aircraft – and for revealing your location, if you’re a jackass. Sometimes, if the event requires a slinky dress and a polished look, you can use your mirror for make-up. But your knife you won’t be able to see shit in – because it’s black as sin.

For this first foray into the blogosphere, I would like to express my thanks to all department store commandos and mall-emporium geeks, for supporting the paychecks of so many hard-working folks by buying knives that suck.

And may I just also pass on a big single-finger salute to those prissy, prancing babies at so many of these tactical snob websites. Hey! Jackass! Yeah, you – the one playing with his multi-tool. Put the POS down, and step back. Show me your damned palms.

Yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. You see, I have learned from some tough suckers – and being the only girl in a whole room of tough suckers for many years, I’ve learned that form follows function. You don’t get all serious with a Leatherman, ratbrain. You get something with some serious lines to it – kind of like myself: Curvy, but sharp; well-made, but damned dangerous.

That’s why I’m the poster-child for D&S Tactical – because the gear is practical. Even when it’s pretty, it’s practical. No, don’t go all misty-eyed on me because you screwed up and bought some damned toy from the sporting-goods section. Pull your head out and breathe.

There. Isn’t that better?

Now, get ready for an education. Because it’s coming. In the upcoming weeks I am going to talk to you about all things tactical – from blades to boots, baby. I have some new gear coming in the mail, which I’m going to try out. And when I test stuff, you can bet on one thing:

It’s solid – and that’s that.

-D&S Girl