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Freddie Welsh's Pinpoint Jab by Mark Hatmaker

[Excerpted from the book Boxing Like the Champs.] We already know that the great Freddie Welsh had stamina to burn, but when it came to power, that was another story. Out of a 168 bout career he only scored 32 knockouts; even a ringside account of his decision victory over Willie Ritchie in 1914 to win the lightweight title gives tale to this lack of power, but also allows us to glimpse at what he was a master of. The following is from a ringside reporter’s view of the bout.
“[Welsh was able to] bounce three or four thousand light jabs off of the anatomy of Willie Ritchie and dance away. Satisfied to clinch, flop a right to the kidneys, grin, and do it all over again, his punches were harmless as the drop of a butterfly.”
Not a terribly inspiring account, unless one reads more into that three or four thousand jabs remark, and trust me, there is much to read.
Welsh, realizing his power deficit decided to make up for it with an active (very active) jab. What’s more he made a conscious effor…
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A Conversation with Dr. John Huth author of The Lost Art of Finding Our Way, Part 1. w/ Mark Hatmaker

Dr. Huth is Donner Professor of Science in the Physics Department at Harvard University. He is also an historian and resurrector of primitive navigation skills. The below is the first part of a lengthy and fascinating discussion on not just primitive navigational skills, but the consequences of allowing human skills or abilities to lie fallow. This conversation goes deep and is all the better for it.  Dr. Huth, thanks for taking the time to have this talk, but first, I must ask, considering what your day-job is, how do you go from particle physicist to primitive wayfaring?
This comes from two incidents that happened in 2003.The first was in August. My wife and I had rented a house for a week on Little Cranberry Island off the coast of Maine.I’d rented a recreational kayak.I sort of knew the area from the year before when I’d also kayaked there.While I was crossing a two-mile wide embayment, a thick fog started to roll in.I realized I would be hosed if I couldn’t keep my bearings, so I h…

Apache Running by Mark Hatmaker

Of the many Native American tribes of the southwest United States and Mexico the various bands of Apache carry a reputation for fierceness, resourcefulness, and an almost superhuman stamina. The name “Apache” is perhaps a misnomer as it refers to several different tribes that are loosely and collectively referred to as Apache, which is actually a variant of a Zuni word Apachu that this pueblo tribe applied to the collective bands. Apachu in Zuni translates roughly to “enemy” which is a telling detail that shines a light on the warrior nature of these collective tribes.
Among the various Apache tribes you will find the Kiowa, Mescalero, Jicarilla, Chiricahua (or “Cherry-Cows” as early Texas settlers called them), and the Lipan. These bands sustained themselves by conducting raids on the various settled pueblo tribes, Mexican villages, and the encroaching American settlers. These American settlers were often immigrants of all nationalities with a strong contingent of German, Polish, and …

Self-Protection Without Effort by Mark Hatmaker

[Excerpted from our book No Second Chance]
We’ve already established that predators of all species seek the path of least resistance when selecting prey. That rule hold true whether we are discussing victim selection or property selection. To further illustrate this point, place yourself in the predator role momentarily and answer the following questions honestly.

You decide to steal a car and are presented with two vehicles sitting side-by-side. One is locked and appears to have an alarm system activated, the other is unlocked and the keys are in the ignition.
Which do you choose?

You are walking through the mall and decide a little extra cash would be nice. You start scanning people in your immediate area and notice two women waiting at a counter, their backs are turned. One is holding her purse to her side, the clasp is closed, the other has her purse slung towards her back, the mouth of the purse is wide open with contents easily in view and easily accessible.
Which purse do you …

Hacking Visual Acuity the Sea-Gypsy Way by Mark Hatmaker

How’s your eyesight? Good? Fair to middlin’?

How’s your eyesight underwater with no diving mask on?

How about if I told you there may be a way to gain a bit of improvement in both above-water and below water environments?

An improvement that calls for a remarkably short time investment on your part?

Stay with me as we learn a thing or two from the Moken.

The Moken [literally “sea people” or “sea nomads” or “sea gypsies”] are an Austronesian people that inhabit the 800 some odd islands of the Mergui Archipelago that are claimed by both Burma and Thailand.
The Moken garner almost their entire livelihood from the Andaman Sea. You may have read about them in the pages of National Geographic or seen them in videos making lengthy hunting dives free of breathing apparatus, diving fins, or diving masks. Images of them moving agilely about on the sea floor are beautiful and inspire wonder [and a bit of envy in this viewer.]
The human eye has evolved to be a rather delicate and precise viewer of the…

Losing Our Way in the World

In a few weeks we will be posting a lengthy interview with Harvard University's Dr. John Huth regarding his work in Primitive Navigation and more than  a few observations on automation bias. His editorial from The New York Times is a nice appetizer/warm-up to the in-depth discussion we'll be having.

Humans As Prey Animals by Mark Hatmaker

You want a quick and easy lesson in how to navigate in a world that contains predators? Well, turn on the TV and find Animal Planet or any channel featuring non-interference nature-documentary programming. We’re all familiar enough with the sort of programming I mean that the following example will be immediately familiar. Picture the arid plains of the African Serengeti during the dry season. The landscape is one of various shades of tans and deep browns. The sole watering hole in the area is trafficked by a wide array of species, both predator and prey, that one does not usually see in such close proximity if the need for water didn’t hold precedence.

Now, picture a herd of gazelle or springbok navigating towards the watering hole. We, the TV viewers, have been shown that there is a stalking lion in the area but the herd, not having paid their cable bill, are unaware of this fact. While unaware of the definite presence of a major predator they still do not make a blithe approach to t…