19 Jun 2020


Post by Barry Nalley
I've learned that...
staying away from trouble
is far better
than Praying when I get into trouble

So… I’m sitting in my ‘Coffee Nook’ this morning, chatting it up, with my “Barista” son, who is ‘laid off’ because of the virus.
As I was sitting and enjoying coffee, while he was preparing ‘special breakfast for Dad’, he mentioned how much he hated waiting around for the Coffee Shop re-start, even though the Federal aid, with the State’s unemployment check, was nice.
Nanny-state money aside, he still wanted the “stability and independence that comes with making my own way”, as he put it. Go figure…

As we talked, and I drank my coffee, we discussed our training and practice at one of the local Shooting ranges; as a family we believe it’s important to be prepared.
As a family, we do this because :
A. If trouble comes to our household, we want to take proper actions to increase odds that we will be ‘okay’… and good Teamwork isn’t just good; it’s vital!
B. If we run into trouble, we want to understand, either how to get away from a situation, or, what to do if we can’t. Most generally, we try to recognize when trouble is brewing and move away from it.
C. We, as a family, don’t try to compare the size of our… , don’t brag about what we think we can do with strangers OR friends, and generally keep quiet about our level of knowledge… We’d rather NOT be noticed.
D. Being Prepared, having a quiet Self-Confidence, and never allowing ourselves to become arrogant in our abilities is paramount

An Martial Arts Instructor I studied under, James Kuiken, taught me some important lessons, about how to handle a hostile, aggressive, and imminent threat. I was still a young ‘stud’ Marine SSgt., and never minded a good bar fight!      I thought I was good, but Jim took me to a whole new level.   Gunnery Sergeant (at that time) James Kuiken and one of his Law Officer friends bailed me out of jail (for me beating on a couple of jerks at the same time), so I could make muster the next morning.
I’d guess Jim also saw how good I wasn’t and decided to take me on as a student.   As friends, we occasionally went drinking together, and I learned how Jim handled the ‘potential’ of drunken brawls.
FIRST, I never once saw Jim get ‘drunk’, and that alone taught me a good lesson!
Secondly, I watched him handle a ‘cowboy’ who really wanted to fight someone; the cowboy approached Jim with a drunken challenge, saying, “Hey bud! Ah Kin WHIP your AZZ!” Jim’s response? “Well, my friend, perhaps you can… Let me buy you a drink on that!”, and “poof” …no fight!
Jim understood how to become a ‘non-target’. He also showed me that a single finger in the eye, is waay better than a dozen punches, blocked or thrown!
First, don’t become a target, and IF you do, act to end it quickly!

Before I’d met Jim, whenever anyone told me they were gonna beat my ass, I was always hitting them before they reached the “ass” part. After all, I reasoned, a fair fight was a risky proposition, and I had developed an ingrained preemptive strike philosophy.
Jim and I eventually parted ways, but have always remained friends!   I believe he’s a retired Master Gunnery Sergeant.     I credit Jim for setting such a good example for others, like me…

After Jim, well… I realized that sitting, and enjoying a fine Scotch, meant, being prepared, not drinking too much, sitting innocuously, not becoming a target, and enjoying the ‘Show’, was Waay better!!

I went on to become a recognized Airman of the year, and twice recognized First Sergeant of the year, and after spending many years in the Middle East, am both a Military and Federal Service retiree.

Be peaceful, greet all strangers politely, and always be prepared…
Thanks Jim, for setting the bar high, and being such a good leader and friend!