Episode-1084- Follow Up on Martial Arts and Simple Burials with Caroline Vuyadinov — 40 Comments

  1. Good work, Jack. This is something the prepper community needs to face. “Systems of support” also include morticians and funeral homes, and we may be faced with a situation where neither are available. My grandparents’ generation buried their own dead, and this is something we can adapt and learn to do.

  2. 100% Right On about the ground fighting thing. I am a Krav Maga instructor and we stress this all the time with our students, Many of whom believe BJJ is the end all-be all. One of the other KM instructors I train with is also a high ranking BJJ instructor and he stresses the same thing. GET UP. Running and movement are key components of self defense and survival. You can’t do that rolling around on the ground.

    • Krav and Sytema are the two most real world systems of training I have ever experienced. Both have many strengths and both are very similar and very different at the same time. In systema a “fighting stance” in scratching your ear and looking almost bored with hope the conflict will NEVER escalate.

  3. Re: burial expenses, many say not to pre-purchase caskets as you never know if the company will be around when you finally need them. I’d say the one exception to this is Catholic monks who build caskets. Even if the SHTF they will still be around. They’ve rode out many a mess over a few thousand years. You’ll get your casket. It’s a good way to buy at today’s cost.

    Or build your own!

  4. The methods you describe as neccesity for self defense what I have found to be inside two of my favorite systems of teachings. Gracie Jiujitsu (not BJJ) the teachings of Grandmaster Helio Gracie are on spot with your topic of self preservation. The Krav Maga system also brings to the table the MINDSET over technique, attitude. Survival is the game of life especially in an attack scenario!


  5. Do not stand by my grave and weep
    I am not there. I do not sleep
    I am a thousand winds that blow
    I am a diamond glint on snow
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain
    I am the gentle autumn rain.

    When you awake in the morning hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circling flight
    I am the soft starshine at night
    Do not stand by my grave and cry
    I am not there…I did not die.

  6. On the martial arts issue… If we are going to base everything on “The Will To Survive” which martial art is there where you are going 100% with a variation in take downs, striking, takedown defense, grappling, submissions, submission defense, conditioning, and over all heart? There is clearly a best style for hand to hand combat. Now, does that mean you will kick anyones ass? But it will clearly prepare you for not only being able to take a shot someone else might not be able to but also get back to your feet quicker.. Being “tough” means shit when your life is being choked out of you much less receive a leg kick to your unconditioned thigh.

    I here what your trying to say Jack but the top of the food chain MMA fight would rape any other martial art discipline which would make it the best to know..

    • Keep believing that man! Honestly if you want brutal real world reality, Krav is the most realistic. If you want something you can learn very fast and be very effective with it is Systema. MMA again isn’t even a system, it is just more then one art. There is no set MMA ratio, 10% Krav, 20% Wing Chun, 50% Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 10% kick boxing and 10% Kempo is as much MMA as is 25% Boxing, 50% Greco Wrestling and 25% Muai Thai.

      And this is “the best”, really who says so, how do you quantify something like this? Frankly MMA is NOTHING but Jeet Kune Do philosophy. Take what is best ACCORDING TO YOU from each and leave the rest behind.

      MMA just isn’t a “system” there is no structure to the concept it is nothing but what it claims to be mixed martial arts. Frankly any person who has studied more then one style is technically a mixed martial artist. That would include me.

      • Not sure if you have ever trained MMA at all or rolled with a killer who is not going to just stand there and let someone have their way with them or throw all their weight off balance in a single punch and not follow up with a combo but MMA has evolved into a style with in it’s self. It use to be where you went to jiu jitsu class, boxing class, wrestling class and so on and then put it all the MMA class encompass all of it and throws out the things that don’t work against a skilled fighter.
        Bottom line..A skilled Krav guy will get his ass handed to him against an good MMA guy or the Krav will resort to a more “MMA” style of fighting because the fake shit does not work against someone with a good base and balance. Don’t get me wrong Krav will work against a normal person on the street but I don’t think people really understand what killers MMA fighters are.
        Now..Are you seriously trying to tell me that this flashy shit is the best?
        And a Karate/Kung Fu guy can call himself an MMA fighter but he won’t be very effective once someone gets a body lock on and dumps them on their head.
        But your right, MMA is NOTHING but Jeet Kune Do philosophy but you do understand that Bruce Lee would not stand a chance against Benson Hederson right?

        • Lionel the attitude you have is exactly the problem in the entire martial arts community today, not just MMA but all of it. I have plenty of experience with MMA, we worked with some hard core MMA folks in producing the Val Riazanov videos, every single one was skeptical when we started, they then went through a bit and were instantly converted to believers. None were going to take systema as the end all be all and throw away what they knew but none could really even get their heads around the power of the striking. We are taking serious guys with excellent records in the ring.

          Each came to a realization that a guy using these techniques may very well take them out in a real world scenario primaryaly due to three things

          1. They all realized the fight would never happen unless they were the aggressor

          2. The techniques were very effective and very simple to learn

          3. As the assessor about the time they were convinced they had an easy victim that wouldn’t even really fight back would be about the time they would end up getting hit. That they would never even see the attack until it was over. That there was NO INDICATION that a blow was coming. They called this things like “fighting dirty” or “a sucker punch” until it was pointed out to them yet again from point one, “They all realized the fight would never happen unless they were the aggressor”

          When you say shit like “A skilled Krav guy will get his ass handed to him against an good MMA guy” you are just saying my penis is bigger then the next guys and you don’t even know that guy.

          The reality is simple, many (certainly not all) of you MMA folks think you are better then others, you have convinced yourselves that only others in your particular club are worthy opponents. You come off like total jerks and you certainly will not really attract as many people as you could with this approach.

          The attitude pervasive in MMA is “we can beat people up” and that is just about bravado. Many of you point to the best there are at what you do AS IF that has anything to do with you personally, it doesn’t.

          Again I am not saying MMA isn’t a good sport, I am not saying it isn’t worth doing for those that want to. I am not saying you don’t become a good fighter doing it. I am just saying this crap about it is “best” shows the attitude problem and is completely blind in that it presumes to know what is best for another human being. Frankly neither you nor I nor anyone should be making that choice for another person. MMA isn’t the only place with this elitist BS attitude, it is just currently the worst offender.

        • All things ( skill, attitude, etc) being equal, size does matter.
          Therefore, make sure all things are not equal!

    • Jack, I’d say you’re pretty unaware of your own attitude… Saying that you have “plenty of experience with MMA” because you worked with Systema for a couple days (if that) while some MMA guys were in the room is hilarious. Start MMA training on a daily basis for a few years and maybe then you’ll be entitled to say that.

      Secondly, many in MMA do have elitist attitudes…many in life do, also. You come off as an elitist quite frequently. It is not objectively wrong to be an elitist. Your moralizing is nauseating. Check out any martial arts video on Youtube and you’re going to find people arguing about “the best fighting style” or “who’s tougher” or “who’s better” etc. We’re animals after all, and chest-beating, tribalism, and territorialism come with the DNA.

      • @Pete you come off like an uninformed person unaware of who you are talking to, completely unaware of my history. I described one event, what would lead you to believe that is my sum total experience with martial arts training or even MMA? I am not the one claiming anything is superior to anything here, that is elitism, my entire point the entire time is there is no best, there is only what is best for each of us based on our needs, desires, goals, etc.

        If MMA is best for you, fine have at it. If it makes you think you are a bad ass frankly I hope you never learn how foolish that is because it can be a really hard lesson to learn.

        All I am saying is it isn’t for you or me or anyone to tell anyone else what is “the best” for that other person. That is actually the polar opposite of elitism.

        You want to believe something, I want to believe nothing, I just know what I know. I have watched people over and over very sure of what they know face a reality and learn it was never true. I know that one day a Wing Chun guy can get in a ring with a kick boxer and get his ass handed to him, I know also very well that Wing Chun guy may very well take the same guy out in 1 second in a different situation, specifically if he has the goal of avoidance and the other guy is an idiot looking for a fight.

        I have watched people knocked out flat the hell out by people that could never beat them in a “match”. I know you do not wish to accept that, so fine don’t it doesn’t change reality. Yet NOTHING about any of that is elitist.

        If a systema practitioner wants to get into an MMA ring he will have to add to his knowledge and handle himself differently then he would in a real world conflict, as the two are vastly different. Each has strengths and weaknesses, different learning curves, etc.

        That said I can teach a person to hit harder then they ever have (no matter their skill level) with systema in about a day. No other art can do that but as you know hitting hard isn’t the end all be all, plenty of people can hit hard, the key is what happens when that hard hitter learns something like systema?

        Again all these arts have their place, your vaulted MMA would not even exist with out the other arts that are its core right.

        Jeez you find this attitude elitist, perhaps you should open the dictionary?

  7. The information sheet at is indispensable. We should all include these items in our preps and print out the sequence of tasks so the deceased’s clothing and face look seemly for the wake. I did not realize it would take 16 man hours to dig a grave. In a SHTF scenario, a funeral would be a tremendous chore, so it’s good to know the excavation can take place over 3 days, in most instances. Hope all the listeners from Illinois sign your petition. Thank you, Caroline!

  8. Good stuff today. I have battled this mindset for years and is the reason I drifted away from the enjoyable game of point/kata karate tournaments. Two people gave me a paradigm shift:

    1) a fifteen year old Vietnamese kid that kicked my 6’3″ butt… Thankfully, he continued to train wih me and we became good friends – he later explained that “when the BA men came down from the mountain to steal your food, you learn quickly to fight or you don’t eat.”

    2) and old school Tang Soo Do black belt, golden gloves boxer that did a 7 year stint in prison.

    I had skill when I met these people (and others) but they connected reality to the (useful once applied with a proper mindset) training I had spent years developing. Every continent has an indigenous martial “art” – some are more art than martial but each were developed through necessity.

    I have discovered that many True Masters studied the martial end extensively only to discover that the Art portion is the most helpful part. (Of course, they all could still kick my but!!). One learned quickly not to shake hands with Prof Jay but to only offer deep bows of respect… From about 10 feet away! 🙂

    • Well it does and it doesn’t in some ways. This guy was willing to go outside and have a fight in a foreign country. So while I am sure he is a great fighter he is also a complete dumbass. The biggest similarity is that what saved his ass in the end was running the hell away.

  9. Great show today Jack. I think that a lot of people are conditioned to think that “combat” is what you see in the ring but what your buddy went through is the real deal. Like someone said above true combat occurs when you’re fighting for your life or for your food. To a certain extent, everything else is just an orchestrated dance.

    This isn’t quite the same thing but I remember talking to a guy from Chicago once and he remarked that criminals that steal from you (and sometimes costs the victims their lives) don’t care about killing necessarily since you’ve got something they want. He said that in the criminal mind, life is cheap – a means to an end so to speak. It really brought home to me the innate brutality of others and how societal norms are very thin indeed. I was reminded of that conversation when you had Rory Miller on a while back. Great (but scary) stuff.

  10. I think when we say “best art to study,” it really means, or should mean, the most effective for most situations. As you said, “best chance of survival.” One cannot realistically train for all situations. One can always give examples of “5 guys” or “ten guys” attacking you and defeating you. This does not mean dismissing the whole concept or effort. As you said, “martial arts play a role in survival.” We agree that it is very important as a preparation. In addition, the training is excellent physical conditioning (another important prep). For me, it is a fun way to get in and stay in-shape: learn something useful while you are losing weight and building endurance.

    Realistic training is the key. We should ask, “is it realistic training?” For example, early UFC showed us that the traditional arts lacked realism. As a result, the Karate, Kung Fu, etc., guys got killed. We saw and learned that the kick boxers and the ground fighters survived and prevailed. In my view, the bottom line comes down to these basics:

    • Realistic, not sporting.
    • Stand-up skills (punching, kicking).
    • Ground skills, if you end up on the ground.
    • Improvised weapons, as in sticks, clubs, edged weapons.

    If we can train in these above areas, we will have accomplished the unarmed defensive tactics skill goal. A prepared fighter should be able to effectively fight from the standing, on the ground, and with readily available (improvised) weapons. This is a realistic and practical goal. This may require training with several systems and different instructors. All is doable and only takes some simple research and effort. Why are so many people set on one school for all? I learned ground fighting from Rickson Gracie, knife and stick from a Dan Inosanto Black belt, and now muay thai kickboxing from yet another instructor. Each provided realistic training for the areas of concern, meeting the well-rounded-fighter goal. When it comes to “the best,” I say the “best” is a well rounded ability.

    With firearms training, there are different disciplines, shotgun, pistol, sniper rifle, and carbine. Most would agree that it is wise to be proficient with all. Hand-to-hand fighting is very similar. Therefore, let’s learn each basic discipline to be as well rounded as we can. For example, a shotgun shooter should also know how to shoot a pistol, as a stand-up fighter should also be able to handle himself on the ground.

    I speak from the experience of working for years in a maximum security jail, Marine Corps, Police Work, Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other worldwide hot spots. I lost count of how many fights I was in during my six years in one of the most violent jails in the country. These experiences guided my focus: realism, stand-up, ground fighting, and improvised weapons.

    I was compelled to write this piece due to my extensive knowledge on the subject and, like Jack, my own frustration at hearing the same old unrealistic advice that is so prevalent in the community. In addition, like many, I have greatly benefitted from Jack’s SP and wish to give something back. I humbly wish to pass on some of what I have learned through my many years of hard learned lessons. Preparing the good guys to fight the bad guys is always a noble effort.

    Thanks Jack for your noble efforts!

    Newport, WA

  11. These shows were great. I think a bit of what you said about fighting can also apply to concealed carry.

    Excellent on the burial info. much needed and way over due. People just don’t like to think about it. But like pooping we will all do it. We always try to keep an area of ground pre dug incase an animal dies. Our ground gets very hard at certain times of year so just in case. We learned that lesson the hard way. I guess in worst case it could work for me or hubby too. Then of course there is always the worm bed. LOL. Sorry to morbid?

    The only reason I don’t like the idea of thinking about my death is I have to much stuff I want to do. Oh well guess there is the after life. If my ashes or compost is spread on the garden then I can work the grounds/gardens for all eternity.

    Thanks again may we all live long happy healthy wealthy lives.

  12. I loved the interview on simple burials. My wife and I have something deep to discuss now. You both mentioned that you wondered the reason for burial in the Christian tradition. The reason behind it is that we don’t have a Platonic view of the physical being evil and only the spiritual being good. Instead, the hope of the Christian faith is not heaven, but resurrection and life everlasting with God. The reuniting of body and soul eventually in the afterlife. So, the body is not to be held in dishonor but that it is going to be redeemed in a glorified body, Jesus being the first fruits to receive a glorified body. Burial is a way to show respect for the body that we have received from God as a gift but understanding that it will pass away and we’ll eventually be given a new gift of a new body. The analogy of the caterpillar going into a cocoon, dissolving away in a death like state and then re-emerging with a new glorious body is one image of this transformation. I hope that helps.

  13. Thank you, Jack and Caroline! I’ve been wanting to hear someone discuss this topic for a couple of years, now. I asked Selco to write something about his experiences with that in war, and he said he would put together something. Still waiting. I have lost a daughter and daughter-in-law to car accidents. Without warning, the shock keeps one from thinking clearly, and there’s to rush to do everything you think the deceased would want. That is not easy. I thought long ago to do a video to play at my own funeral to talk about myself instead of having people tell only that part of me that they know, and maybe lie a little, too. I thought to hand out balloons to celebrate, but now that I’m 75, that seems frivolous. I now want a simple funeral, with lots of flowers and crying. I hope family and friends will grieve losing me. Anyway, I still am planning my funeral, so I spent a few hours with a local mortician, not being delicate, but straight forward. I asked about a coroner, and he said all paramedics are deputies, and if there is no sign of foul-play, they can sign a death certificate. I got free coffin plans from the internet, and plan to make my coffin myself, if I should last long enough. I wish there was a maker shop nearby. I will make the box and put removable shelves in it, and use it as an upright cabinet, and put my final wishes and shroud (which I will also make) in there. My family knows about this. The family need only take the shelves out and put me in. I want a Jewish burial without embalming , but have no one locally to clean me, so the funeral home can do that. The man I talked with discussed that, too. Counting every thing he would do including providing the hearse would be about $2,000. If I can get my daughters to wash me, and they use a pickup truck, I don’t think it should cost anything extra to put me away. I have no money saved for this. The man said no need a vault and our community cemetery is free. Jewish burials are within 24 hours usually, so I do need to have the box and shroud prepared. My bigger interest in the process is in the event we find ourselves with dead folks around us, in a world with out rule of law. We can’t let bodies stack up. Having burned dead animals, I know what Caroline said is true, it takes a long time, lots of wood, and stirring the fire and remains….not good. Thanks for the check list! and thanks for talking about this. I’m so pleased.

  14. I will throw my 2 cents in on the subject of Martial Arts training. I have worked in corrections for 26 years, been in the martial arts for 31 years and been a defensive tactics instructor since 1998. Most people think of violence or a violent encounter to be what we would call social violence. MMA, boxing or a bar fight would be social violence and for the most part no one is seriously hurt.

    Asocial violence is when someone walks into a restaurant with a baseball bat and starts smashing heads in with it, or when 2 guys are in a fist fight and one of them starts stabbing the other repeatedly with a knife.

    I have seen both sides of violence and I have to tell you that if you are dealing with an asocial violence it will be the most brutal event of your lifetime (unless you work in law enforcement or are extremely unlucky).

    The problem with martial arts training is two fold. Most instructors have never been in a serious violent event. So its like someone trying to teach you how to swim who has never been in the water him/her self. Then if you are going to train people for violence how do you do that effectively without risk of injury? I leave that up to my students-how far do you want to be pushed or how serious do you want to be in your training? For Law Enforcement you dont have a choice-I want you prepared and you are going to be pushed hard. Even then they usually have to have one good knock down fight to truly have an understanding.

    You can describe a sunset but unless you see it-its just not the same. Once you see a truly violent event then you will understand. Thats my 2 cents.

  15. Well said Jack! I agree wholeheartedly. Two quick things I want to follow up with.

    1. MMA is for lack of a better term is a “system” now. There are dozens of gyms out here in Southern California that train this way.For example my gym on Mon, Wed, and Friday is stand up (Boxing/Kickboxing) and Tue, Thu, and Saturday is grappling (Jiu Jitsu/Judo).

    2. I don’t know much about “Systema” or Val maybe you can have him on the show, I would love to learn more about it. If not him maybe Matt Larsen of the Army Combatives system. I don’t know him personally but I hear he is more than willing to talk to anyone about his system.

    • Rolando,
      Great clip. It shows that the Army has taken an excellent/realistic approach toward their combatives training. The speaker made excellent and obvious points that most miss.


  16. Great explanation of the strengths and weaknesses of any martial art. I wonder, do you think it would ever be possible to get Val on the show as a guest interview? We’ve heard so much about him over the years, I kind of get the impression he’s a guy you could listen to for hours and get a huge amount out of, and not even just on fighting/personal defense necessarily.

  17. As a long time martial artist (from grade school) with time spent in wrestling, Judo, Jujitsu, TKD, Shorin-Ryu, Mo Duk Pai Kung Fu, Wushu and Tai Chi Chuan, I am in pretty full agreement with there being no one best style.

    Different things work for different body styles, personalities and abilities.

    Wrestling in high school made me comfortable with being on the ground conceptually, but from a combat perspective, not where I wanted to be.

    One of the best things for my martial balance was TCC. You learn balance and how to sink your weight and energy and not get taken down.

    In the school the TCC focused people drove the Kung Fu people crazy while sparring because they didn’t bounce around and could better deflect an attack. The (usually younger) Kung Fu people often ended up bouncing off the walls.

    Variety is the spice of life and the key to a well rounded person and martial artist.

    • I could do it but I don’t know that it would be a good as some seem to expect. Val’s first language is Ukrainian, his second Russian, English is a distant third. There is no problem understanding him in a class or anything like that but he doesn’t excel at say an audio only format, mostly due to his accent and that English is a third language.

      The reality is I am not 3% of Val in a classroom, more like 1% when it comes to phyical instruction but when it comes to a verbal explanation I can explain the concepts far more clearly IN THIS FORMAT then he can.

      There have been plenty of times where students had their heads sideways listening to him like confused German Sheppard dogs and I stepped in and said, what Val means is _______, the students get it and Val says something like, “Yes, yes, Jack that is what I am trying to explain”.

      I’ll see what I can do, just prepping you in advance. What might be even better is getting Neil on if he will do it, Neil is a serious student who has trained a lot more with Val then I have. He also has about 25 years of serious training prior to meeting Val, thought the whole thing was nonsense, got hit and well, decided to get real training after that. On his first “training” Val told him, “you are too stressed to train right now” he then put Neil “to sleep”.

      Neil woke up about 30 minutes into the class and Val tells him you are now relaxed and ready to train. Training with these guys is different for sure.

      • Ok, gotcha, that makes total sense regarding the language barrier, hadn’t realized that of course. Neil would be awesome to get on as well if he’s game. I actually wanted to ask about him also, but figured I’d limit myself to one request. Sounds like he indeed might make for a better show, if he has any interest in it!

  18. This is the simplest video of ‘real’ self-defense I have seen. From watching a bunch of his videos and listening to him he has tried lots of different styles and boiled it down to the most simple moves that anyone could use. He has talked about how with the initial adrenaline rush you get, your fine motor skills disappear, especially if untrained. For anyone who has never done any training I think this is a really good place to start. He considers the brain the weapon and knives, guns, bats, etc. the tools. As well as to always assume multiple attackers. I hope

  19. I would be very wary of teaching most of that to a ‘white belt’ for the simple fact somebody’s getting hurt(or worse). That being said, I am a Kajukenbo bb and several techniques are on my short list of favorites.
    Realize that you are going to hit, so get some work done in a discipline where there is contact(better to be hit by your buddy than some stranger) I would not spend that kinda time between anyone’s feet. Groin shots are not an end all be all, however they are encouraged!
    Knowing where targets are is vital, it’s called reference. If you know where his head is, you can find groin, feet, etc. and the comments about worst case scenario, multiple attackers, others being with you, and follow thru are spot on. If you take away nothing else, heed those words! Almost forgot, the part about stepping thru and not advertising the knee strike is very good!(rewind that part, it’s important)

  20. Maybe, I’m lucky and every instructor at my MMA gym came through a traditional martial arts background, so there is none of that macho posturing you associate with stereotypical MMA “bro” type guys.

    They also have years of teaching self-defense. We also have students that have trained in Krav Maga and cops who work in the roughest parts of Chicago (so they have real life experience, no BS with them, they do what works). They all tells us the same thing, that MMA in the ring and self-defense are two different things.

    But the groundwork aspect of MMA does teach one thing very well…it teaches you how to dictate where the fight is going to take place. It doesn’t only teach you how to tackle someone and take them down, which has it’s obvious downsides on the street. It teaches you how to avoid takedowns.

    If the average person tries to tackle you, you learn instinctually how to block it. You basically spar with people who were good HS and college wrestlers and you learn how to stop takedowns and fight to stay on your feet at all costs.

    Outside of Judo and Sambo, I can’t think of many martials that stress staying on your feet much as wrestling and fighting for position for it. I’m not familiar with systema, but if it’s influenced by another Russian art, Sambo, then they have a similar mindset most likely.