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Violence happens.

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Violence happens. The United States is at war. Even if it wasn't, the fact is bad things happen to good people all the time. More often this is by the actions of other people than the environment, unfriendly critters or happenstance. That's why we carry a knife or a gun, train on soft skills and maintain a situationally appropriate level of awareness. It's also why we should read and discuss, in order to learn. One of the sites we read here at RECOILweb HQ for information and discussion is Ed's Manifesto. Here is is an example of why. This was a recent post on EM social media.

“Most times the difficulty of an exercise is all in your own head. Pushing through a barrier of the mind is a life long achievement. Once that mental block is down, you will no longer have to worry about that particular obstacle. It's better to achieve this in training than in the middle of a shit storm. Become a criminal of purpose.”

Ed's Manifesto 2 - training soft skills anti-kidnapping situational awareness in non-permissive environments

This of course echoes the advice written by Miyamoto Musashi in the Book of Five RingsDo not sleep under a roof. Carry no money or food. Go alone to places frightening to the common brand of men. Become a criminal of purpose. Be put in jail, and extricate yourself by your own wisdom.

It's a great reminder that training should take you outside your comfort zone, that it should be predicated on reality rather than what's the most fun on the range. You don't have to be a sadomasochist to attend, endure and benefit from good training.

“Ed” of Ed's Manifesto does more than just post good information on social media. That information appears to come from his background and experience, which he uses to conduct training courses. That background is described as “…over 10 years experience in public safety along the northern border area of Mexico.”

His classes are occasionally attended by people outside of Mexico, including some from the USA, Europe and Asia. However it is “…not for everyone and very grueling.” Training includes everything from fighting with improvised or unconventional edged weapons to soft skills like anti-abduction and what he calls “escapology.” Training is conducted under harsh and realistic conditions (such as an urban movement course recently taught in the so-called “Barrio Bravo”, or “Fierce Neighborhood” of Tepito.) He is the director of Libre Fighting Systems in Mexico.

Ed's Manifesto in the Barrio of Tepito

He teaches things that are by no means the norm for those of us here in los Estados Unidos. Garroting techniques, for instance.

Ed's Manifesto - garrote and garroting techniques

In some classes he and his crew use organic mediums (like pig parts, the same way a medic would in a tissue lab) to create realism and verisimilitude in the student's experience.

Ed's Manifesto 1 - organic mediums for training in knife fighting and gunfighting

Ed's Manifesto 2 - organic mediums for training in knife fighting and gunfighting

If you're wondering what happens when training is concluded, it depends on what tests or specific training they do and how long it's out of cold storage. If the time allows, then yes — carnitas.

Now, we read Ed's Manifesto as much for the knowledge he imparts as for the witticisms that frequently emerge. Of course, most of those are as instructive as the full articles. They're just shorter and pithier.

“Really.. All you need is for it to have a point and a handle, and to have it in your hand when you need it. Anything else is just sprinkles on a cupcake… A very sharp deadly cupcake.”

Ed's Manifesto - knife fighting skills and tools

You can check out more online here at Ed's Manifesto. Just be aware ahead of time he's a smartass and he frequently posts graphic material when necessary to make his point.

Ed's Manifesto is also online on Facebook ( and on Instagram (@edsmanifesto). Learn more about the Libre Fighting System here:

Hat tip to Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training for turning us on to Ed's Manifesto last Spring.

All images herein sourced from Ed's Manifesto social media outlets.

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