500 Times

Growing up as a “Gun Guy”,  remember hearing Instructors – especially LEO Instructors – always say that you need to practice your Draw 500 times with your gun and your holster.  They would continue to preach this for years.  500 Times.  500 Draws.  And if you changed your gun or your holster, or changed where you wore your holster, you had to start over.   500 times again.

Later instructors were talking about “Muscle Memory”.  Which is an incorrect term, but it illustrates the principle.  Many people these days always like to point out that Muscles don’t have Memory.  And as this has come about, the old idiom of 500 Draws has gone out the window.  Why bother with the repetition if Muscles don’t remember?   They say, “You are building a Habit, not a Memory.  And you only need to do things 26 times to develop a habit.”

I think because of this, something is lost.  The Shaolin Monks practiced repetition like Machines.  This reminds me of a story.

A young boy in China left his poor village in the country to apply to become a monk at the famed Shaolin Temple. After the long and arduous journey he was turned away at the gates of the temple. Knowing that his perseverance and patience would be tested, he sat outside the gates. Days went by and then weeks until at last one of the older monks let him in. He was interviewed and tested by the senior monk and was finally accepted as a junior monk. He was elated, and when word got back to his village everyone there was elated. The Shaolin monks were famous for their skills at martial arts, and no one from any nearby village had ever been so honored as to be accepted at the temple.
His first night at the temple the boy could hardly contain his excitement. He dreamed of learning fabulous sword forms and acrobatics…he couldn’t wait for his first lesson the next day. When the next day finally arrived, he was ordered by the chief instructor to carry a large wooden pail down the mountainside to a stream, fill it with water, and bring it back up to the temple. The boy did as instructed, but it was a huge struggle for him to drag the heavy bucket all the way back to the temple.
When he arrived much of the water had splashed out. The instructor poured out the remaining water and ordered the boy to return, this time with the bucket full. The boy again filled the bucket and managed to get most of the water back to the temple.
“Good,” said the instructor. “Now stand beside the bucket and with your palm slap the surface of the water. Repeat that until there is no water left.”
The boy again did as instructed. He felt perhaps he was being punished for spilling the water, or further tested to see if he had the perseverance and discipline to train as a Shaolin monk. After just a few minutes his palm was red and burning from slapping the water but he continued until all the water was gone.
“Good,” said the instructor. “Now go get another bucket of water and do it again.”
This went on all day, and to the boy’s horror the next day, too. Then the next day, and the next… and soon weeks and months were going by and all the boy did was carry the big bucket of water and slap all the water out of it. Often the boy felt he was being made a fool of, sure that he had done something terribly wrong to make the instructor hate him so much. But there was no one to complain too – all the older monks were busy practicing their fancy spear forms and sword forms and acrobatics.
After a year the Buddhist holidays arrived and the head monk called the young boy into his office.
“Young man, you’ve been here for a year. Now I want you to take a break and visit your family for the holidays. I’ve notified them that you’re coming, and I’ll expect you back here in two weeks to resume your training.” When the villagers got word that the young Shaolin monk was returning they were overjoyed and decided to hold a big celebration in his honor. When the boy arrived at his village he discovered a huge banner over the main road welcoming him home, and he found that the villagers had roped off an area in the village square for a celebration in his honor. His pride at returning as a Shaolin monk quickly faded as he realized they wanted him to demonstrate his martial arts skills in the roped off area.
He told the excited villagers that he preferred not to but they insisted and wouldn’t take no for an answer. The humiliation grew in the young boy. Indeed he had been made a fool of by the head instructor. In a whole year he hadn’t learned any martial arts at all. Now he was about to lose face in front of his entire village.
The villagers dragged him to the head table and yelled and shouted and urged him to show them some real Shaolin kungfu. He stood motionless with tears welling in his eyes and his face reddening, ashamed to tell the villagers that he had learned nothing. Finally the frustration grew to be too much.
“Leave me be,” screamed the boy as he slammed his hand down on the table. Everyone stood silent and wide-eyed for several moments… and then they all broke out into a loud applause. When he slammed his hand down, he had broken the thick stone table right in half!
And then the boy and everyone in the village knew the power of the Shaolin.

There is something to this story for us today.   Patience in training is no longer the vogue.  Few classes want to spend time in the actual repetitions required in many of our techniques.  The Draw.  The Speed Reload.  The Malfunction Clearing.  The Reholstering.  I see few people at the Range ever just practice their draws and reloads.  You don’t want to spend 200 to 800 dollars for a class from a big named trainer just to stand there and repeatedly draw and reload and reholster without firing a shot.   But perhaps we should.
Each one of these things requires massive amounts of repetition to develop into a smooth movement that you don’t have to think about it.  It’s become a force of habit.   Instructors used to say “500 Times”.  How many times did the little Shaolin Boy slap the water?

So many Shooters want to be so Ninja that they practice the “high speed, low drag” things and argue the merits of where to put your support hand on your rifle or where to position your thumbs.  But they do not talk about how many times you need to practice the core fundamentals of your draw, punching out to the target, reloading, and reholstering.   This stuff isn’t Ninja enough.  No.  It’s more Shaolin.  We need to be more Shaolin.  We need more patience.  The more we learn, the more we know we need to learn more.

A new student has his first private meeting with the master. The student asks, “Master, how long will it take me to learn your wonderful art?”
The master gives some vague answer, so the student presses further.
“Can’t you give me some idea of how long I will need to train?’
To quiet the student, the master replies, “Ten years.”
The student reflects on this a moment, and then says, “I’m very smart and talented, and I’m going to be the hardest working, most disciplined student you have ever had. In that case how long will it take?”
The master replies, “Twenty years.”

Never Stop Training.

Ballistic Theater

Ballistic Theater.  A live Spreecast discussion of movies and TV for gun guys by gun guys.  Wednesday nights at 8pm EST.   Daniel Shaw, host of Gunfighter Cast and head of Paratus Academy and yours truly, George “The Mad Ogre” Hill.
First episode:  Getting To Know Your Hosts – Our Favorite Gun Movies.

This has been two years in the making.  Daniel had to move from Japan to the East Coast.  George had to move from Utah to the East Coast.  No excuses.  No quarter.  No Editing.  No missing this…  We’re not Pod Casting This… We’re doing this Live.

A couple things I want to talk about briefly.

First off, congratulations to the UK for the birth of a potential new Monarch.  The little bundle of blue blooded joy is 3rd in line.  Tremendous national adoration for a Bronze.  Thankfully the Royals no longer play by the Richard III rules.  Even though that would be entertaining.
Just saying.
Because I’d put my money on Royal Ginger that drives Tanks and Apaches and shit.  He’s awesome.  Whoops it up in Vegas “Hangover Style” then goes off and kills shit with high tech weapons of awesome destruction.

Okay, no, really… In all seriousness…

He should do that.  Fight his way to the Crown.  Take over England and rule it with an Iron Fist.  Remove all Gun Laws and Traffic Laws and let Health And Safety have a permanent Holiday.  Then the entire UK can run through the Darwin Filter so the only ones left are the Brits with Big Enough Balls.

Now, if that works in the UK.  We do the same to Washington DC, New York City, Chicago, and Southern California.  See if things level out.  Give it a couple years.  If that doesn’t work, re-institute Dueling.  It used to be legal way back when and we didn’t have half the problems we have now.  I think the nation started to go down hill when we outlawed it.  I think if we had Dueling, CSPAN would be Pay Per View and the Democrats would become the minority in this country.


I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. And it always impresses me that even in the oldest books about shooting, trigger control is always mentioned as being critical. It was every bit as important “Back Then” as it is now. The only difference is that back then, they didn’t have trick sights with illuminated or fiber optic sights. They didn’t have mini red dots and lasers. What they had was Trigger Discipline.
Another thing they didn’t have was any form of decent technique or tactics.
But don’t think for a minute that if you were to go back in time you would be able to clean how.
Because back then ammo was cheap. Even by today’s dollars and their income levels back then, ammo was cheap. While they may not have been much on the Art of the Dynamics… They could hit. And no matter then or now, Hitting is Winning.
And here’s the deal… I bet you could take your Great Great Grandpa and give him your gun, and he could hit with it. But he gives you his gun, you would be hard pressed hit the black.
Today we’ve been very spoiled with good triggers and CNC Machined actions making everything much more consistent. So he would think your trigger was awesome. You, might not think the same of his. Not that his was bad… just different.
But the one thing he had that I bet most guys don’t… He knew what a good trigger pull was. Not the trigger and the mechanics of it, but the biometrics and the technique to have a good pull.

Server migration done.

I’ll work on MadOgre.com’s theme later. I’ve played with a few things but not digging any of them at the moment.  This may take the rest of the week.  I’ve got many things on my mind other than art and layout.  Any art you see here now is just a place holder because I’m just screwing around and eventually just got up and left.
Thank you to Steve Ting and Terry Hernlund for their expert assistance. These guys are super awesome.

All the MadOgre.com data is here as well as OldMadOgre.com… Nothing is lost!  Woo-Hoo!  A million internet years worth of my ramblings is saved for posterity and mockery.  It’s all good.  The one thing that I am missing though… is my Blog Roll.  Huh.  I’m going to have to redo that whole list.  Which is fine.  But I’ll work on that later.

Mrs. Ogre as been upset with me about the idea of selling MadOgre.com.  She insists that I keep it for some time longer.  Just as well.  Best offer so far was for a pair of Berettas and an FN SCAR rifle.  Which is nice, but not nice enough to have me let go of this.  That and I’m not all that interested in the SCAR.   You get the point.


Thinking about selling MadOgre.com

I’m going to be moving MadOgre.com to a new server to save money.

At the same time, I’ve taken into consideration the selling of the MadOgre.com Domain. (Not the IP) And I reserve the title as “The Ogre” for my own use.
I’m open to reasonable offers. I once turned down $6,000. So any offer would have to start out there, but I feel it should be worth a great deal more.
Make your offer to me via email, or message me on facebook. Any offer accepted, I’d expect payment within a matter of a few days. And I’d expect payment in cash or money order before I transferred the domain. PayPal is not acceptable by any means.


I’ve not talked much about the Zimmerman Trial here.   But I feel like I want to vent my spleen about this.  Please bear with me here.

The prosecution has turned this into a huge clusterfuck, obscuring Florida Law and interjecting race as an issue to pander to the media hype.  In the prosecution’s argument they railed that Zimmerman wasn’t afraid when he got out of the car because he had a gun on him.  As if there was something wrong with that.  Being Afraid isn’t a condition that shows premeditation to murder.  Being afraid was what happened after Travon started bouncing Zimmerman’s head off the concrete like he was dribbling a basketball.  And according to Florida Law, that’s all Zimmerman needed to legally justify his use of deadly force.  The fact Zimmerman had a legally carried and conceal pistol on him did not justify Travon for ambushing and attacking him.

Travon was a drug using thug and attacked Zimmerman.  Zimmerman exercised his human right to self defense.  Travon died not because Zimmerman had a gun and had murderous intent.  Travon died because he was a violent thug that attacked another human being who in this case, was able to use lethal force.  The violent thug got what he deserved.  Simple as that.

The Race Card being thrown out by the Media and the Prosecution is disgusting.  They took a simple case according to Florida Law and turned it into a pathetic media circus.