A Scientific Digression

Skip forward to around 6:10 in the video above to the start of Adam Gazzaley’s (MD, PhD) talk on his quest to optimise the human mind using advanced tools of cognitive neuroscience.

Gazzaley’s lab at UCSF is working to enhance brain function using sophisticated technologies capable of observing the brain at work, and of helping individuals to achieve more with their brains than they currently can do.

The lab designs video games that are based upon real-time neurofeedback. The player’s brain reacts instantly to events in the game — and the game reacts to what is happening in the brain. Gazzaley describes this videogame neurofeedback learning process as a “closed loop system” (see image below).

Closed Loop System Adam Gazzaley UCSF
Closed Loop System
Adam Gazzaley UCSF

Much of the experimentation with these neurofeedback videogames has focused on combat-oriented training, being funded by the US Pentagon. But a moment’s reflection suggests that this “closed loop neurofeedback videogame” approach to brain training could be readily applied — with appropriate adaptation — to humans at almost any age, for multiple purposes of enhanced development, enhanced performance, rehabilitation after injury or disease, or for mitigation of the effects of ageing and neurodegeneration.

Gazzaley’s published efforts are so far still quite primitive, but the possibilities for the future are impressive on many fronts.

Modern societies have grown stagnant and corrupted by a widespread philosophy of rent-seeking, of minimising risk for the sake of long-term security. This philosophy is the opposite of what we at the Dangerous Child Institutes train and teach. We train contrarian thinkers to develop a broad range of skills and competencies which build self-confidence. This self-confidence fuels innovative thinking and risk taking — which are what drives societies to be great.

We are on record as opposing passive popular entertainments for children such as mainstream television and cinema. The developing mind has enough to do without being stuffed full of the low-quality nonsense that movie and television producers crank out for popular consumption.

We are also not enthusiastic about most popular video games and the modern obsession with electronic social media, which takes away from time that would be better spent developing competence in movement, music, language, pattern, and practical skills of all kinds. Electronic gadgets also tend to alienate children from their immediate environments, which can be a deadly failing in many situations.

But real-time EEG and MRI neurofeedback — particularly when combined with sophisticated virtual reality — is different, and holds the potential for enhancing brain function for general learning and for perfecting specific types of tasks.

The brains of children are naturally attracted to play and games of all kinds. The danger that the child will become lost in some types of game-playing is quite real, in the modern age of abusive commercial and ideological child baiting. But if game-playing is used to drive learning and competence-building, the natural child’s drive to play can be used to motivate him to build parts of his brain that can bootstrap later learning which might have otherwise been very difficult to achieve.

Again, even videogames that are used in training skills and competencies should be used sparingly, so as not to create barriers between the child and the real world around him. The competence and confidence for working within the real world is what Dangerous Child training is meant to build.

Teachers, parents, mentors, and coaches cannot ignore developments in advanced applied cognitive neuroscience. Every child runs up against barriers to some subject area of learning or another. Clever and timely use of closed-loop videogame training can help move a child from one learning plateau to a higher plateau — enabling a new and higher world of competence on the road to mastery.

More on applied videogames

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The Dangerous President and His Dangerous Children

The children themselves are as cunning and good as possible. Ted is nearly as tall as I am and as tough and wiry as you can imagine. He is a really good rider and can hold his own in walking, running, swimming, shooting, wrestling, and boxing. Kermit is as cunning as ever and has developed greatly. He and his inseparable Philip started out for a night’s camping in their best the other day. A driving storm came up and they had to put back, really showing both pluck, skill and judgment. They reached home, after having been out twelve hours, at nine in the evening. Archie continues devoted to Algonquin and to Nicholas. Ted’s playmates are George and Jack, Aleck Russell, who is in Princeton, and Ensign Hamner of the Sylph. They wrestle, shoot, swim, play tennis, and go off on long expeditions in the boats. Quenty-quee has cast off the trammels of the nursery and become a most active and fearless though very good-tempered little boy.

__ Theodore Roosevelt Letters to His Children

The Roosevelt children learned to swim, shoot, wrestle, box, boat, rough camp, and go on tough outdoor expeditions on their own at quite an early age.

Theodore Roosevelt and Family Pinterest
Theodore Roosevelt and Family
Pinterest

The Roosevelt household was famously rambunctious…

All the Roosevelt boys learned to shoot from a relatively early age, and they became better shots than their big-game hunting father…

The Roosevelts were literary as well as outdoorsy. Father and all his children, if they were not gripping reins or a rifle, hiking or running, swimming or boxing, were probably reading…

… with the US declaration of war in April 1917… Roosevelt himself tried to [join the army] … every one of his sons took a commission. __ The Yanks are Coming

Two of the Roosevelt boys were seriously wounded in WWI, and the youngest, Quentin, was shot down and killed in an aerial dogfight, receiving the Croix de Guerre posthumously. Quentin had been fearless from his earliest childhood, and retained great courage and flair to his death at age 20.

The Cspan video below goes into more detail about Quentin and the Roosevelt children:

https://www.c-span.org/video/?413749-1/theodore-roosevelt-children

The three surviving Roosevelt sons also fought in WWII, with only Archibald surviving to see the final defeat of the Axis.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth was an ambassador for her father and later in life, a colorful Washington, D.C. doyenne who earned the moniker, “The Other Washington Monument”;
Theodore “Ted” Roosevelt, Jr., born in 1887, was a noted political and business leader who fought in both the World Wars and posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions on Utah Beach during the D-Day landings in World War II;
Kermit Roosevelt, born in 1889, was an explorer, soldier, writer and businessman who joined his father on African safari and on the fateful River of Doubt expedition in Brazil;
Ethel Roosevelt Derby, born in 1891, was a pioneering World War I nurse and Red Cross volunteer who later led the successful campaign to preserve Sagamore Hill;
Archibald Roosevelt, born in 1893, was a distinguished Army officer who was seriously wounded in battle during both World Wars and also was a successful businessman;
Quentin Roosevelt, born in 1897, said to be the child most like Roosevelt, dropped out of Harvard to volunteer as a pilot during World War I, and died heroically in battle at age 20. __ The Dangerous Family Man

The Dangerous Roosevelt Children died young and died old, happy and sad — just as the masses of humans die. But during their lifetimes they packed their time full of accomplishment and principled risk.

Were the Roosevelt Children Really Dangerous Children?

Perhaps it would be better to think of them as Dangerous Child prototypes, much like the real world heroic figures such as Davy Crockett, Ernest Shackleton, Sir Richard Burton, or Roald Amundsen. Such men lived in different times and faced different sets of challenges than will face the modern Dangerous Child. But they were made of similar grit, wit, and resilient toughness.

A thorough study of the lives of such men is an integral part of Dangerous Child training, from before the time the child takes his first step or his first leap off into the deep water. Such early immersion in real world courage will serve the child far better in the quest to find his own inner strength than the farcical “superhero” characters and magical mentors of childhood fiction that lead the delicate snowflakes into an extended “make believe world of perpetual childhood.”

Important Note:

Throughout the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, the type of child-raising described above was rather common in Canada, the US, Australia, and other parts of the Anglosphere among almost all economic classes. Despite a growing prosperity, the pioneering spirit was still strong throughout most of these societies. From the lowest to the highest in society, a rough and ready — while also literate — upbringing was not considered out of the ordinary.

That is one reason why German military and political leaders were so surprised at the aggressiveness and effectiveness of the soldiers and marines from the Anglospheric diaspora, when they attacked German positions in large numbers in 1917. Although these youngsters had not been raised in the regimented Prussian manner of the German troops, they took to battle quite naturally and surprised the well-entrenched enemy with their fearlessness and deadly accuracy of aim.

The modern Dangerous Child requires more than the physical toughness, sharp mental independence, and broad range of knowledge and competence displayed by the Roosevelt children. He must know how things work at the deepest levels, and how to reach into the workings so as to make crucial changes at the proper times. The election of Donald Trump as US president-elect gives the rational world a bit more time and several less drastic options than would otherwise have been the case. But some difficult choices are coming for those with the will and the way to open pathways to a more abundant and expansive human future.

Unconscious Learning

Some readers question whether very young children can truly learn simple rudiments of The Dangerous Child Method well before they are able to talk or form verbal concepts. This betrays a society-wide “tyranny of language” which has held human societies back for so long. Today we will begin to scrape the surface of concepts in pre-verbal, unconscious learning.

In Lower Animals, All Learning is Unconscious

The same is true of most learning in infants and toddlers. Children are born with instincts and rudimentary mental mechanisms, but these are unconscious. Before conscious awareness can develop, a scaffolding of unconscious learning must be built, at the same time as the brain itself is going through critical and sensitive periods of development. Young humans must undergo similar forms of early learning as animals — such as lab rats or pigeons — experience. This type of early unconscious learning is often referred to as “conditioning.”

Unconscious Conditioning

Behaviourist Psychology dominated the field of psychological research and theory during the first half of the 20th century. Behaviourists felt that animals — including even adult humans — were largely unconscious, and their minds a jumble of conditioned reflexes and automatic responses. Two different — but related — types of conditioning were devised by Ivan Pavlov and BF Skinner.

 

Classical Conditioning

  • First described by Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist
  • Involves placing a neutral signal before a reflex
  • Focuses on involuntary, automatic behaviors

Operant Conditioning

  • First described by B. F. Skinner, an American psychologist
  • Involves applying reinforcement or punishment after a behavior
  • Focuses on strengthening or weakening voluntary behaviors

___ Source

Importantly, classical conditioning creates a paired link between an artificial stimulus and a preexisting innate response — bypassing the original natural stimulus. A good example of classical conditioning is Pavlov’s experiment pairing the ringing of a bell with the exposure of a dog to appetizing food. Soon, only the ring of the bell was necessary to make the dog salivate.

Operant conditioning seizes upon a particular behaviour (such as an animal exploring part of a maze), and either rewards or punishes the behaviour, depending upon the response the experimenter desires.

Consider “The Little Albert Experiment” and decide which type of unconscious conditioning is involved:

The Little Albert Experiment

Before the experiment, Albert was given a battery of baseline emotional tests: the infant was exposed, briefly and for the first time, to a white rat, a rabbit, a dog, a monkey, masks (with and without hair), cotton, wool, burning newspapers, and other stimuli. Albert showed no fear of any of these items during the baseline tests.

For the experiment proper, Albert was put on a mattress on a table in the middle of a room. A white laboratory rat was placed near Albert and he was allowed to play with it. At this point, Watson and Rayner made a loud sound behind Albert’s back by striking a suspended steel bar with a hammer each time the baby touched the rat. Albert responded to the noise by crying and showing fear. After several such pairings of the two stimuli, Albert was presented with only the rat. Upon seeing the rat, Albert got very distressed, crying and crawling away… In further experiments, Little Albert seemed to generalize his response to the white rat. He became distressed at the sight of several other furry objects, such as a rabbit, a furry dog, and a seal-skin coat, and even a Santa Claus mask with white cotton balls in the beard

… Albert’s conditioned fear was never extinguished. Although he probably continued to fear various furry objects for a time, he would likely have been desensitized by his natural environments later in life… __ Wikipedia “Little Albert Experiment

The experiment described above is often described as an example “classical conditioning” or Pavlovian conditioning (see Wikipedia article above). More rationale attempting to describe this experiment as classical conditioning.

Cognitive scientists at the Al Fin Institutes assert confidently that Little Albert is actually an example of operant conditioning, with the loud clanging used as an aversive stimulus or a form of punishment used to influence behaviour. The logic behind this claim is much cleaner and simpler than the convoluted argument in the link above.

Enough About Conditioning

Unconscious learning is far deeper and more complex than the elementary forms of conditioning introduced by Pavlov, Skinner, and Watson. Conditioning is about programming reflexive and involuntary behaviours in animals. But unconscious learning goes far beyond, involving complex cognitive mechanisms that the behaviourists could not have imagined. Example:

Here is a typical experiment that supports Reber’s theory of implicit learning. It comes from Dr. Pawel Lewicki of the University of Tulsa. He had volunteers try to predict where an X would appear on a computer screen, selecting one of four quadrants. The subjects pushed a button corresponding to the quarter of the screen where they predicted the X would appear next. The X followed a pattern determined by 10 simultaneous rules.

Lewicki offered $100 to anybody who could report the rules (after the experiment was over) but nobody could specify them. However, the volunteers became more and more successful with their predictions as the experiment went on. They sensed the pattern, whatever it was. Their predictions became more accurate until Lewicki suspended the rules and moved the X randomly, whereupon their performance dropped to pre-learning levels again (Goleman, 1992).

How did brain scans change as people practiced a simple motor skill?

At some point a person may grasp a pattern or make it conscious. This process can be traced in brain scans. Pascual-Leone, Grafman, and Hallett (1994) used a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to study this. They used a motor (movement) task and looked for changes in the motor cortex as subjects practiced.

The transition from unconscious knowledge to conscious knowledge and then automaticity showed up as a progression of changes in the brain scans. Initially, while subjects tried to figure out what they were supposed to do, cortical areas devoted to the task grew larger. The enlargement of these “output maps” increased until subjects achieved explicit knowledge of the task, becoming conscious of the pattern. After this, their reactions became more automatic, and the areas of brain activity shrank so that only a smaller area of cortex was active. __ http://www.intropsych.com/ch03_states/unconscious_learning.html

Implicit Learning

The more common term used for unconscious learning is “implicit learning.” Learning to speak one’s native language — at least in the early years — is an example of mostly implicit learning, as the basic “rules” of language are internalised without conscious intent by very young children. More:

Examples from daily life, like learning how to ride a bicycle or how to swim, are cited as demonstrations of the nature of implicit learning and its mechanism. It has been claimed that implicit learning differs from explicit learning by the absence of consciously accessible knowledge. Evidence supports a clear distinction between implicit and explicit learning; for instance, research on amnesia often shows intact implicit learning but impaired explicit learning. Another difference is that brain areas involved in working memory and attention are often more active during explicit than implicit learning.[4] __ Wikipedia Implicit Learning

Note: The distinction between “consciously accessible knowledge” and “unconsciously accessible knowledge” is not always so clearcut, leading to intense but often meaningless arguments between psychological researchers.

Modern educational systems tend to focus on verbal learning styles, at the expense of visuo-spatial, musical, physical kinetic, pattern maths, and other forms of learning that can often lead to more innovative and disruptive destinations. It is no accident that female humans tend to — on average — do better at verbal tasks than do the masses of male humans. This is not true at the very highest levels of accomplishment, but that is another story that goes beyond the simple statistics used in modern educational research.

Dangerous Child Training Focuses on Pre-Verbal and Non-Verbal Forms of Learning

Much of the difficulty in explaining The Dangerous Child Method consists in the challenge of using words to describe non-verbal phenomena. Each child is unique from the outset, requiring much variety, careful trial and error, and close personal observation in the training of Dangerous Child foundations and skills at different levels of development.

To be continued . . .

Resilience by Eric Greitens

Former US Navy Seal Eric Greitens wrote a series of letters to a former comrade, on the topic of resilience. The letters were later collected to form a book: Resilience – Hard-won Wisdom for Living a Better Life. What does Greitens mean by “resilience?”

Resilience is the virtue that enables people to move through hardship and become better. No one escapes pain, fear, and suffering. Yet from pain can come wisdom, from fear can come courage, from suffering can come strength — if we have the virtue of resilience.

… To master a skill, to build an enterprise, to pursue any worthy endeavour — simply to live a good life — requires that we confront pain, hardship, and fear. What is the difference between those who are defeated by hardship and those who are sharpened by it? Between those who are broken by pain and those who are made wiser by it?

To move through pain to wisdom, through fear to courage, through suffering to strength, requires resilience.
__ Eric Greitens

Eric Greitens in Iraq http://startingmind.com/2015/navy-seal-resilience/
Eric Greitens in Iraq
http://startingmind.com/2015/navy-seal-resilience/

Greitens’ book is one of the sourcebooks for the course, “The Psychology of the Dangerous Child,” and is mandatory reading for prospective parents of Dangerous Children, and for Dangerous Children in training. From time to time we will publish short excerpts from the book to illustrate important concepts for use in assisting the blooming of the Dangerous Child’s mental and emotional habits.

A quotation that Greitens uses in his book comes from an Anonymous source, but illustrates the importance of “habit-formation” in child raising:

We sow a thought and reap an act;

We sow an act and reap a habit;

We sow a habit and reap a character;

We sow a character and reap a destiny.

__ Anonymous

The human brain is shaped on a day-by-day basis, from the moment of its fetal formation to the moment of death. The most rapid brain development and plastic change takes place in the first and middle trimesters, in infancy and early childhood, and in adolescence and early adulthood. But the brain never stops shaping itself on the basis of brain activity — sensations, thoughts, emotions, actions. That is why we say “It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.” Because you can always move toward the state of being a Dangerous Child, with the right thinking and action.

More from Eric Greitens:

Every time you act, your actions create feelings — pleasure or pain, pride or shame — that reinforce habits. With each repetition, what was once novel becomes familiar. If you are cruel every day, you become a cruel person. If you are kind every day, you become a kind person. It is easier to be compassionate the tenth time than the first time… it is also easier to be cruel the tenth time than the first time.

When a habit has become so engrained that actions begin to flow from you without conscious thought or effort, then you have changed your character __ Resilience “Habits” Eric Greitens

The same processes of brain-shaping and habit formation take place every day, with repeated choices that we make on what to do, what to think, how to feel/react, and which doors we choose to open or close to the future.

If we avoid strenuous effort, hard work, all potential pain, we close off many of our most promising avenues into the future. If we go further and blame all of our problems and weaknesses on others, we make it almost impossible to achieve any kind of resilience — much less the graceful and ultimately near-effortless resilience that comes from constant practise and intentional habit formation.

We will continue to provide short excerpts from Eric Greitens’ book to help illustrate many of the foundational concepts that underpin the Dangerous Child Method. As mentioned above, the book is mandatory reading for parents of prospective Dangerous Children, and for Dangerous Children in training. But you can read it too, if you are interested in that sort of thing.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.

Why the Dangerous Child Will Never Join a Mass Political Movement

If You Think I'm a Blank Slate, Think Again! Image Source
If You Think I’m a Blank Slate, Think Again!
Image Source

A child is born with innate reflexes, instincts, predispositions, aptitudes, and limitations. When confronted with the outside world, the child begins to assimilate experiences of the world into his internal milieu — and he is permanently changed, every single day.

What Does That Have to Do With Dangerous Children and Politics?

Consider how a child’s experiences combine with his innate dispositions to create knowledge, science, and wisdom — leading to philosophy:

Experience is the first and basic level of knowledge. The Greeks called experience empeiria, which is at the basis of such English philosophical terms as:

empirical: which means based on the data of the senses, especially if that data can be presented in a quantifiable manner.
empiricism: the philosophical doctrine that knowledge consists primarily (or only) in sensations, and that ideas are sophisticated combinations of sensations stored in memory. The most radical and thorough empiricist was probably David Hume (1711-1776)
empeiria or empiria: sometimes used to mean sense experience in general…

Science is the next level of knowledge. This is a knowledge that does not consist in a store of facts, but in general principles of cause and effect…

Wisdom, which the Greeks call sophia is a knowledge of causes and principles as is science, but it differs from science. Science looks for general principles in a certain defined domain. Every new law that a science is able to understand in turn is treated like a principle (a starting point in explanation). However, the scientist is a specialist. His expert knowledge of principles applies within a certain domain. One reason for this is that different sciences apply different methods, and the same methods cannot be used to answer every sort of question. Wisdom is as knowledge of first principles of all being…

Philosophy is the search for wisdom, the discipline that cultivates wisdom, as the knowledge of first principles known by the natural light of the intellect… __ Philosophy and Wisdom

Politics Falls in the Realm of Ideology, Which is Quite Different from Philosophy

The difference between philosophy and ideology is a crucial distinction, for anyone who wishes to understand the world and the best way for him to live in the world.

There are very fundamental differences between philosophy and ideology. Ideology refers to a set of beliefs, doctrines that back a certain social institution or a particular organization. Philosophy refers to looking at life in a pragmatic manner and attempting to understand why life is as it is and the principles governing behind it.

http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-philosophy-and-ideology/

Philosophy tries to understand the world, and to find good ways of living in the world.

Ideology underlies the construction and propagation of organisations for change, such as religions, political movements, and all types of activist organisations. Look for instances of war, genocide, terrorism, enslavement, and mass murder, and you are likely to find an ideology behind them — for purposes of justification if nothing else.

Not all ideologies are put to bad purpose, of course. But because ideological organisations are put to the use of a small number of controlling elites, they can be easily turned to corrupt and cruel ends.

The Dangerous Child Method is Applied in Unique Fashion to Each Child

The purpose of Dangerous Child training is to facilitate the unfolding of the potential of each child according to his aptitudes, inclinations, and the wisdom he is able to develop. Each Dangerous Child will “go his own way,” according to a unique combination of several individual factors. Networking and cooperation with other Dangerous Children and with Dangerous Communities, will usually be ad hoc in nature, for purposes of establishing critical infrastructure which suppports the building of an abundant and expansive human future.

This is quite different from “saving the world,” which is the oft-stated aim of many ideologies. When an ideologue talks about “saving the world,” he is talking about forcing the world to conform to the strictures of his own ideology.

Each Dangerous Child Builds His Own Unique Ideology

The Dangerous Child “philosophy” can branch and morph to take many forms. But when appled to the world in the form of “ideology,” the philosophy builds a unique ideology of action suited specifically to the one child.

Dangerous Children are contrarian in nature when it comes to established modes of thinking. They are allergic to pre-fabricated thinking systems such as established ideologies, and reject them out of hand. Any attempt to indoctrinate, brainwash, or “consciousness raise” a Dangerous Child is apt to be met with polite dismissal, at first. Continued attempts at programming a Dangerous Child are likely to be met with progressively firmer signs of rejection — and any would-be indoctrinator would be wise to desist before the attempt reaches a certain level.

Dangerous Children Do Practise an Ideology, But it is Unique to Themselves

Because they have so much energy, competence, and aptitude, Dangerous Children are moved to act in the world in such a way as to change it in ways that they see as “better” — creating a more abundant and expansive human future while at the same time building a successful base of operations. Each Dangerous Child has his own ideas for going about this task in a peaceful and generally non-confrontational manner.

Remember, by age 18, each Dangerous Child will have mastered at least three ways of supporting himself financially, and will be more than prepared to face the world on his own psychologically and emotionally. And he never stops learning and developing new skills and competencies. This type of independence inevitably generates a certain attitude toward life, an attitude of confidence built upon multiple strong competencies.

And so, other than for purposes of building critical infrastructure of independent living, Dangerous Children do not often bind themselves together for purposes of “change action.” They will cooperate in enterprises of business, research, exploration, and innovation. But they tend to move and grow far too quickly for any currently known political, religious, or activist organisations and ideologies.

The Life of A Dangerous Child Involves a Unique Lifelong Packing and Unpacking of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Philosophy

Think of it as being analogous to the way that DNA is constantly being packed and unpacked in the cell nucleus, to support all the functions of living. Each tissue type enlists different sets of DNA “competencies,” depending upon whether it is liver, brain, heart, bone, etc. In the same way, each Dangerous Child will combine a unique set of competencies, inclinations, and wisdoms to generate his own way of acting in the world — his own unique ideology.

It is not the same, of course. We are born with our DNA and it functions more or less independently of our conscious control. But a wise parent will begin packing a Dangerous Child’s experience and inclination from before birth — even before conception. And the work begins in earnest at birth. But it is happy work — although intense and unrelenting — because each Dangerous Child is learning to pack and unpack his own experience, knowledge, and wisdom in order to find his own best way of living in the world. And that is something that no one else can do for him.

Nature of Basic Philosophy and Beliefs

Reactive vs. Proactive Strategies and Tactics

Reactive vs Proactive

The word “reactive” implies that you don’t have the initiative. You let the events set the agenda. You’re tossed and turned, so to speak, by the tides of life. Each new wave catches you by surprise. Huffing and puffing, you scramble to react to it in order to just stay afloat. __ ActivePause

The default state for most humans is the “reactive state.” Coasting in cruise control, people typically spend time waiting for something to react to. This can be true for the surgeon on call, the soldier on sentry duty, the fighter in the ring, the cop on his beat, or students in a classroom. Waiting, reacting, waiting, reacting . . .

When I started out fighting professionally

, I was a very reactive fighter. I used to get beat up a fair amount in the first round, and then typically come back to win in the later rounds (or, I’d just lose, ha).

Chad Hamzeh.com
Chad Hamzeh.com

I was known as a “slow starter”.

So, in a fight, I was reacting more than anything. I’d react to my opponents punches and takedown attempts, then later try and mount my own offense.

I did this because in the back of my mind, I didn’t want to get tired early on, then pretty much be a punching bag in the later rounds due to fatigue. __ Chad Hamzeh

What Chad learned as he progressed in fighting, was that the right kind of proactive exertion in the beginning rounds of a fight can pay dividends toward the middle and the end.

Most “self-defence” training is oriented around reacting to an attack. By honing the reflexes, one can react far more quickly, appropriately, and effectively, than if one does not train his rapid subconscious reactions to unexpected provocations. And there is no getting around the fact that the unexpected happens — life is full of surprises!

On the other hand, taking a broader, more aware, less emotion-laden, and more “proactive” approach to potentially hazardous situations, can deliver results that are closer to optimal.

. . . the image we associate with “proactivity” is one of grace under stress. To stay with the previous analogy, let’s say you’re in choppy waters. Now, you look more at ease. It’s not just that you anticipate the waves. You’re in tune with them. You’re not desperately trying to escape them; you’re dancing with them.

It would be great to dance with the rhythm of life, using the ebb and flow of events as a source of energy. __ Proactive vs. Reactive

This is the essence of Dangerous Child training for dangerous jobs and environments. Not only is the Dangerous Child better prepared for the situation, he is using broader and higher forms of dynamic thinking and moment to moment planning — before things start going sour.

What I call the proactive mindset is the human ability to engage the more evolved neural circuits, and perform a sort of due diligence to improve the quality of the information that we get through the reactive mindset. I am not talking about ignoring our more primitive reactions, far from that. I am talking about building up on these primitive reactions. Instead of reacting impulsively, we use the reactive impulse as a starting point for a more sophisticated process that helps us respond more effectively to a given situation. __ Beyond Reactive

Here is the idea of “proactivity” as described by author Stephen Covey:

Underlying the Habit of Proactivity according to Covey are:      

  • The ability to set goals and work towards achieving them.
  • Creating opportunities, not waiting for them to come your way
  • Taking conscious control of your life
  • Understanding the choice you have in engineering your life
  •  Applying your own personal principles and core values in making decision
  •  Having imagination and creativity to explore possible alternatives
  • Realizing you have independent will to choose your own unique response.

___ Stephen Covey quoted in Lifehacker

Do not mistake “proactivity” with a constant wild flailing around merely to have an impact. That is mindless dissipation of resources and potential. Sometimes proactivity takes the form of quiet contemplation and resolution. Sometimes proactivity involves beating the crap out of someone who has long deserved worse. It depends on the circumstances — and having the savvy to know what is best at the time. And, once knowing, then doing.

Proactivity and Reactivity are reflected in both strategy and tactics. The “element of surprise” is often a result of the conversion of proactive strategy into proactive tactics.

We will be looking at proactive tactics and strategy from the standpoint of education, child-rearing, local defence, regional defence, networked defence, politics, innovation, and more, in the future.

The modern bureaucratic mentality — which rules most governments, universities, media, government lobbies, NGOs, and other cultural institutions — is largely reactive in an opportunistic, knee-jerk way. It is important to learn how to anticipate and take advantage of this tendency in most large institutions.

There is no such thing as a fair fight, especially when a small bunch of mice are in conflict with mad herds of rhinoceri. Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late (or early) to have a Dangerous Childhood.

Educational System Now a Wrecking Ball Destroying Children’s Minds

How can you possibly expect someone who has spent most of his or her life in a educational system that discourages risk and critical thinking, and which teaches them to stick with the crowd, to exit college with any meaningful advantage?

__ Source

11 year old Means to Climb Tallest Mountains http://www.people.com/article/tyler-amrstrong-climb-worlds-seven-summits-cure-duchenne
11 year old Means to Climb Tallest Mountains
http://www.people.com/article/tyler-amrstrong-climb-worlds-seven-summits-cure-duchenne

More on global mountain climber Tyler Armstrong, now 12 years old.

Armstrong lives in Yorba Linda, California, with his father Kevin, mother Priscilla and brother Dylan. He likes playing his guitar, soccer, flag football, video games, swimming, laser tag and is a member of the boy scouts.[15]

Children are individuals, unique to themselves. Treating them as lumps of clay to be shaped just as the lords of society wish, is a recipe for disaster — a disaster that has been in the making for decades now.

Assembly line education is simply not working out for young people any longer, and ironically, many of these kids are so ignorant they actually think their problem is that they need even more “education.” In reality, the dumbing down of their minds with indoctrination and a focus on political correctness has made them grossly unprepared for life outside the sheltered cocoon of formal schooling.

… To summarize, our schools are training children to become followers instead of leaders and critical thinkers, and it’s going to take some dedicated parenting to turn things around for future generations.

__ Dissident Dad

Death Comes to Us All — The Importance of Careful Attention to Detail

People are living animals, subject to dying. When people — including children — take risks, the odds of death can rise appreciably, depending upon a number of factors. The child pictured below — Tito Traversa — fell to his death at age 12 due to equipment malfunction / inadvertent rigging error. The cause of the accident is analogous to a mistake in parachute packing, or a pilot error in judgement leading to a crash. Such accidents could happen to persons of any age, but are particularly tragic when they involve children and people who are involved in the training of full-spectrum children.

Without Risk Human Life is Meaningless http://www.rockandice.com/lates-news/12-year-old-tito-traversa-dies-in-climbing-fall
Increased Odds of Accidents Accompany Risks
http://www.rockandice.com/lates-news/12-year-old-tito-traversa-dies-in-climbing-fall

Not all children are born daredevils. Those who are innate risk-takers need to be taught utmost attention to detail, and extreme care in following best procedures to minimise and mitigate inherent risks in their activities. Although we incorporate play into learning of all kinds, life itself is being played for keeps.

Do not push them beyond their ability, but do not hold them back — when the proper training can empower them to expand their competence and skillful autonomy.

The misguided attempt to eliminate all risk from the lives of all children, is the far more salient danger to the future, rather than the disciplined training of Dangerous Children to manage risks.

Single Moms Can Raise Kids for Adventure

Is This Russia’s Version of The Dangerous Child Method?

In a playground outside a shabby warren of cinder-block apartments in north Moscow, children play on swings and climbing bars as Stepan Zotov instructs a squad of teens in knife-throwing nearby.

Thirteen-year-old Andrei Polivoi is aiming his knife at a foam cushion about the size and shape of a human chest that’s propped up on a metal stair landing. Four of his five throws miss and clatter noisily onto the stairs.

“Not bad for your first try — attaboy!” Zotov proclaims with an encouraging clap on the disheartened boy’s shoulder.

It’s been five years since Zotov founded Our Army, one of thousands of “military-patriotic youth organizations” answering President Vladimir Putin’s call for preparing the next generation of Russian soldiers as the Kremlin flexes its military muscle abroad.
__ http://www.latimes.com/world/great-reads/la-fg-c1-russia-patriotic-youth-20151023-story.html

President Putin has been preparing for confrontation with the west for several years — long before his impulsive invasions of Crimea and east Ukraine. His call for youth paramilitary clubs was just one part of the preparations for what he considers a likely war against the west.

Inside the apartment complex, the five other members of the club gather unsupervised in a back room to practice breaking down and reassembling an AK-47.

“One minute, 32 seconds — ha! I beat you by one second!” a triumphant Margarita Maluchenkova, an 18-year-old with crimson-tinted hair, proclaims after timing the last of her male club mates with the stopwatch on her smartphone.

Maluchenkova — decked out in a green camouflage jacket, a sailor-stripe tank top, purple leggings and suede boots with 4-inch heels — says she joined Our Army in hopes of gaining an advantage in the stiff competition to get into fighter pilot training.

__ http://www.latimes.com/world/great-reads/la-fg-c1-russia-patriotic-youth-20151023-story.html

Russia now boasts a wide range of youth clubs. Some of them resemble patriotic clubs such as the Young Pioneers which were so useful to the Soviet Regime for recruiting the elite of the KGB, the Communist Party, the military, and national sports teams.

Others remind one of an Islamist terror training camp, meant to train wielders of destruction and mayhem.

And then there are those in-between, which combine patriotic indoctrination with useful weapons training.

It is a motley group, all in all. But the one thing that unites these clubs of Russia’s young, is their love of Putin, and their deep feelings of “us against them.”

Clubs such as Our Army have been cropping up across Russia at a fevered pace amid heightened tensions with the West and with former Soviet republics that have defected from Moscow’s orbit. In just two years, the loosely aligned groups have grown to involve hundreds of thousands of Russian youths between the ages of 13 and 18, their organizers boast.

At weeknight drills and weekend field trips, the teens undergo fitness training and instruction that give them a taste of military regimen as they prepare for armed forces careers or, for 19-year-old men, their year of compulsory military service.

So how do these clubs compare with Dangerous Child groups and communities? In terms of training in weapons, military skills, and physical fitness, there is a superficial resemblance.

A crumbling stucco building stands at the edge of what used to be a paratrooper practice field, now hosting a soccer stadium and a thicket of billboards. Inside the headquarters of the 88-year-old Volunteer Society for Cooperation with the Army, Air Force and Fleet, Igor Filimonov describes the ascendant youth clubs as a revival of proud tradition.

… At the former Young Pioneers Palace in the Sparrow Hills on Moscow’s southern flank, Olga Korovatskaya schedules facilities for 80 youth groups vying for use of the gyms, soccer fields and running tracks.

The after-school training three nights a week is a sort of dues to be paid before weekend visits to a shooting range or an airfield for parachute practice.

__ http://www.latimes.com/world/great-reads/la-fg-c1-russia-patriotic-youth-20151023-story.html

And yet, we see the same weaknesses in these Russian clubs which are so transparent within Russian society, culture, and national character.

Only about 30% of Russian kids are healthy enough to actively serve in the armed forces, according to pediatricians who have studied the issue. This deficit of healthy kids begins at birth and continues through adolescence. Physical training for teens is likely to help somewhat, but it cannot erase the problems of contaminated water, air, soil, poor nutrition, and very bad lifetime habits that begin at a very young age.

Next, focusing on Putin as a national idol, and instilling an “us against them” paranoia in the young ones, is not healthy psychologically. It harkens back to the Hitler Youth phenomenon, and the militarism that penetrated 1920s and 1930s Japanese society throughout.

In addition, this refurbished “Young Pioneer” “Hitler Youth” trend fails to prepare young Russians for their likely future of economic decline — caused by their very own national idol.

There is no training in business, entrepreneurship, basic economics and trade, and in creating healthy communities and societies. None of the more productive aspects of The Dangerous Child Method would be in keeping with Russian national character under Putin. In fact, independent initiative that is conducted outside of Kremlin auspices and approval is strictly frowned upon — if not outright forbidden.

And so we see the fatal shortcomings of Putin’s intolerance of a healthy and independent private sector and civil society — which he and his crony cohorts in the Kremlin feel would be too threatening to their control over the flow of wealth in today’s Russia.

There is no cure for these — and many other — shortcomings in today’s Russia. Any change whatsoever is likely to bring about an even more fascist and totalitarian mafiacracy than currently exists.

Dangerous Children are certainly taught military teamwork skills, and undergo intensive physical training. But they are also taught how to start a new business by the age of 8. They are required to master the skills to support themselves financially by the age of 18. They are trained in local, regional, national, and international trade. They are expected to become fluent in two additional languages besides their native tongues. They are trained to form Dangerous Communities of like-minded persons, and how to internetwork with other Dangerous Communities on various geographical scales.

The training of Dangerous Children focuses on a balance of competencies of the physical, emotional, social, technological, spiritual, and community skills. Dangerous children are well educated, mostly self-taught, and capable of taking over their own education at the same time they become financially independent.

Despite all of these differences, Putin’s youth indoctrination and military training clubs do present an interesting phenomenon, which are likely to leave an indelible mark on Russia’s turbulent future.

More on Putin’s attempts to organise Russia’s youth

Saving Boys from Skankstream Culture that Alienates Boys and Men

Denying essential human nature — that men can be powerful and dangerous and this should be harnessed for good — is a recipe for tragedy. This is why some of us rail against feminism so much. We don’t hate women. We don’t care about “manspreading.” We care about this.

Underemployed, disrespected and frustrated men drive terrorism, mass shootings, gang warfare, you name it. But railing against guys for “toxic masculinity” clearly hasn’t worked. So why not try something new? Why not celebrate what makes men unique instead of trying to turn boys into girls? Why not harness that power and set men back to work? To make America great again, we need to rescue our lost generation of young males… __ http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/02/how-to-stop-mass-shootings/

Humans are natural born killers. Why? Because in order to survive, their ancestors all the way back through the mists of time, had to learn to kill. They killed in order to eat, in order to keep from being driven off their hunting grounds and water supplies, to keep other tribes from stealing their women and children, and to protect themselves agains predators — human and animal.

Suddenly — according to skankstream culture — men are supposed to forget that they are men. The feminised, dumbed-down skankstream wants boys and men to behave like castrated eunuchs, to abandon their natural and healthy, survival-supporting Dangerousness.

… Men must be allowed to compete. To fight. To shoot things. Today’s man-punishing, feminised culture is creating killers by suppressing these urges. We have to stop it.

The confusion and alienation that so many young men feel today drives some to drop out of society completely and to retreat into pornography and video games. But others — the less stable, less supported, less able to cope with their natures — become progressively more angry until they explode in rage and pain.

The media trash-talks everything men love: guns, booze, boisterousness, drugs, sex and video games. Economic pressures are relentlessly stripping away male spaces like the traditional pub, where blokes can drink and bond. Social pressures are opening up male-only golf and social clubs to women, destroying what made them precious and essential. __ http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/02/how-to-stop-mass-shootings/

The author of the excerpted piece above, Milo Yiannoupolos, is openly gay, but still a staunch defender of men and manliness — against the destructive and relentless attacks by the skankstream culture, the consensual delusion.

The black man who killed 9 students in Oregon, and the white boy who killed 9 Christian worshipers in South Carolina, were alienated by skankstream culture, and left no healthy outlets to express their normal male aggression. And so their aggression became twisted in paranoia and foul ideology until they themselves became twisted puppets and caricatures acting out other people’s misplaced aggression.

Whether it is possible to save a person from the deforming effects of the skankstream culture — once they have been so badly twisted and bent — is debatable. What is certain is that boys and youth should never be allowed to fall under the influence of such perverse cultures as the skankstream cathedral — or the Islamist abomination. Otherwise, one must expect a certain number of mindless killers to emerge.

The Dangerous Child method is designed specifically to channel normal male (and to a lesser degree, female) aggression into healthy and constructive channels — the way human aggression was always meant to be channeled.

Children must learn exquisite control and inner discipline, as they grow and develop. The practise requires daily mind-body training that becomes ever more sophisticated over time. The training is intermeshed with play, from the beginning. As the child’s aptitudes and healthy inclinations emerge, training is increasingly individualised.

Dangerous Children are filled with purpose from their earliest moments — as are all children. But Dangerous Children are not stripped of their purpose by the skankstream, as most children are. As a Dangerous Child develops, his purpose grows more tangible and actionable.

Dangerous Children are the opposite of the neutered drones, the perpetual adolescent incompetents, that skankstream schools, media, governments, and other cultural institutions tend to spew out on a daily basis.

Dangerous Children know that they are Dangerous. They know that they can kill — if necessary. But they are too busy building their lives, building networked Dangerous Communities, building foundations for a more abundant and expansive human future. They have no need nor desire to spread chaos, sorrow, and hardship across the landscape out of some skankstream-induced misshapen compulsion to relieve their own inner pain by causing pain to others.

Dangerous Children are not destructive. It is the ordinary human cannon fodder — constantly spit out by the broader skankstream — that is allowing the human future to be destroyed by a dysgenic Idiocracy as well as a “democratic” idiocracy.

The human future can only be created and protected by something that stands apart from the skankstream mainstream culture. The framework for networks of internetworked Dangerous Communities and Dangerous City-States requires careful — but expeditious — assembly.

Shadow economies, shadow infrastructures, and shadow governments of a relatively ad hoc nature must be devised, capable of hiding in plain sight — but ready to emerge should disaster and widespread catastrophe strike. And at the rate the skankstream idiocracy is going, such catastrophes could happen unpredictably and chaotically at almost any time.

Resilience, anti-fragility, competence, broadly-based skills, and the purpose of working toward an expansive and abundant human future, must be integral to the Dangerous Child project.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too early or too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.

Why Do Dangerous Children Study Crime and Criminals?

Kids With Grit http://dailyfig.figment.com/2011/11/05/girls-with-grit-showdown/
Kids With Grit
http://dailyfig.figment.com/2011/11/05/girls-with-grit-showdown/
We don’t want Dangerous Children to be sitting ducks for predators. We teach them self defence in order to be able to defend and fight back. We teach them situational awareness so that they can avoid predators and anticipate when a predator might strike.
Teens With Grit http://dailyfig.figment.com/2011/11/05/girls-with-grit-showdown/
Teens With Grit
http://dailyfig.figment.com/2011/11/05/girls-with-grit-showdown/


But we also teach Dangerous Children how criminals think and behave, so that they will be able to pre-empt the criminal before he strikes.

Another way to think of it is the way that isolated homesteaders learn to understand predators in order to avoid being at their mercy. A homesteader can devise defences for the cabin or compound, and can adapt their behaviours to avoid deadly predators on most occasions.

But there is another variety of Dangerous Child — usually one that is fully grown — who learns to understand predators better than the homesteader, and more like the hunter. A hunter must understand the predator at a higher level of thought and action, in order to successfully stalk and kill the threat.

We do not encourage the hunting of human predators or other criminals, in the Dangerous Child Method. And yet, the training of such skills is an option that is available to those who have the proper aptitude, competence, and motivation. Many of these hunter-stalker trained Dangerous Children will tend toward military careers in special units. After they resign or retire from the military, private contractor, or law enforcement, they will tend to make themselves available to train particular Dangerous Children in their turn.

But that is all beside the point. All Dangerous Children must study criminals and criminality before they are ready to move to free-range learning, outside apprenticeships, and business startups — to say nothing of going to university (a particularly criminal environment).

Asset protection — preserving life, health, property, and loved ones — is ingrained into the Dangerous Child from an early age. Understanding the criminals who would take their precious assets away — whether white collar crime, orange collar crime, blue collar crime, cyber crime, or all out mob-level crime — is the first step toward protecting his assets and loved ones.

The Dangerous Child must understand criminal methods in order to know how to prevent himself becoming a victim, and to understand what paths he might take when it is necessary to recover stolen assets or to exert minimal prophylactic retribution.



There is yet another reason to teach Dangerous Children the ways of crime. From time to time, government sets itself up as the enemy of law-abiding, peaceful citizens. In some cases, it may be necessary to break a number of laws in order to keep the government from exceeding its mandate. In such cases, the better one performs in preventing the government from committing crimes against oneself, the less likely one is to end up in confinement — and to find it necessary to escape.

We are only talking hypothetical situations here, and would never knowingly encourage breaking legitimate laws set down and prosecuted by legitimate government.

What sort of crimes are Dangerous Children taught to perform — but forbidden to execute? We will not go into all of that here. We have given some hints in the past, and will continue to do so. But we will do all we can to avoid creating habitual enemies of the state — while also doing what we can to immunise Dangerous Children against being victimised by individuals, gangs, or institutions.

Why Dangerous Children Learn Mindfulness — On Top of Situational Awareness

As a child, my parents always taught us to consider our surroundings. I grew up in Alaska, the child of two parents who’d served in the US Army. Part of our summers involved going fishing, camping, and the occasional hunting trip. In the wilderness, we were taught to always watch, listen, and be very aware of potential danger. The threats included bears and moose or the more frequent fishing hook being cast by a sibling! When we came home from these wilderness outings, my parents didn’t stop their lessons in situational awareness. They reminded us (both myself, sister, and 2 brothers) to be aware of what neighborhoods we drove through and to look a stranger in the eye as we walked past them on the sidewalk. __ Dr. Yolanda Evans

Situational Awareness
Situational Awareness

Situational Awareness vs. Mindfulness

Situational awareness involves keeping track of where you are, who is around you, and what is happening in your surroundings. It is oriented toward the outer world, while keeping your own capabilities for reacting to environmental changes in mind.

Mindfulness involves paying attention to what is happening around you, as well as maintaining an awareness of what is happening inside your mind and body.

More schools are beginning to teach mindfulness to children:

Schools in the USA are using mindfulness practices to help students succeed. ref:http://www.mindfuleducation.org/

A randomized-controlled study done during the 2011-12 school year demonstates the social and emotional benefits that occured over a 6 week time period. Children showed an increase in attention, calmness, social compliance, and caring towards others.

Research has found that Mindfulness Training for children increases attention and social emotional awareness.

Students are able to stay more focused and pay more attention in class.
Awareness of their body, thoughts, and emotions increase.
They experience less test anxiety.
Classroom management improves because mindfulness improves impulse control and interpersonal skills.
Executive function increases, a key predictor of academic success. __ http://mindfulnessforchildren.org/research/



Below is an excerpt from a study on the teaching of mindfulness to children. Notice that besides learning a heightened awareness of one’s surrounding and oneself, the practise of mindfulness meditation is also introduced.


Mindfulness 1

Mindfulness 2

Mindfulness 3

___ http://www.gisc.org/gestaltreview/documents/teachingmindfulnesstochildren.pdf

Bubble Consciousness http://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/5-drills-for-situational-awareness/
Bubble Consciousness
http://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/5-drills-for-situational-awareness/

Both mindfulness and situational awareness should be practised regularly. Situational awareness can help keep you alive. Mindfulness can help maintain balance in body and mind.

Here are a few drills that you can do to improve your situational awareness skills.

1. Identify all the exits when you enter a building.

2. Count the number of people in a restaurant, subway or train car.

3. Note which cars take the same turns in traffic.

4. Take a look at the people around you and attempt to figure out their stories. Imagine what they do for a living, their mood, what they are focused on and what it appears they are preparing to do, based merely on observation.

5. Next time you’re in a parking lot, look for – and count – the number of cars with people sitting in them, whether you’re walking to the storefront, or coming back to your car, or even driving through. __ http://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/5-drills-for-situational-awareness/


Situational awareness is rough and ready. Mindfulness is smooth and steady. Dangerous children learn to merge one with the other, for a more complete awareness of both inner world and outer world. This makes sense, because if one does not know himself, he is unlikely to be able to choose the best action option under a very wide range of circumstances.

Panic is not helpful in dangerous situations. Both the conscious and sub-conscious minds of Dangerous Children require training from the earliest ages, to develop the type of balanced harmony of thought and instinct that are required to live the Dangerous Life.


More on situational alertness

Mindfulness training for children with ADHD

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/24/teaching-kids-react-active-shooter/

Children should learn “street smarts” at a young age

Adjuncts to Dangerous Child Training

Ideally, parents can provide essential training through the age of 8 or 10. But every parent or community will not have all of the resources needed for broad-based skills and competency training of Dangerous Children past the ages of 10 or 12. For that reason, it is important for parents and Dangerous Children to be aware of adjunct programs and organisations that may be available to them, to round out their training.

Vocational and apprenticeship training for the homeschooled

Broad-Based Competencies

Boy Scouts of America Merit Badges
This list of merit badges offers an idea of the range of skills training available through the American Boy Scouts, and other similar organisations.

Teens – Civil Air Patrol
Learn to fly, learn about aviation and aerospace, outdoors skills, get in shape, be introduced to a whole new world in the sky.

US Naval Sea Cadet Programs
Learn basic seamanship, leadership, and if you persist — be exposed to the rigours of a military training program.

Young Marines
Self discipline, leadership, team building, plus a range of skills and knowledge

US Army JROTC
“…capacity for life-long learning, communication, responsibility for actions and choices, good citizenship, respectful treatment of others, and critical thinking techniques” . . . a multi-year training during high school years.

Wilderness Leadership

NOLS
A wide range of outdoor wilderness training skills up to guide and expedition leader level

Similar to NOLS for college level +

Youth Firearms Training

4-H Kids ‘n’ Guns

National Shooting Sports Foundation Programs & Events

Front Sight Children & Youth Programs

Combat Training for Youth

Against Bullies

Warrior Kids by Tim Tipene
Self-defence and anti-bully training, plus peaceful avoidance of violence where possible.

http://lovejudomag.com/2013/09/12/why-judo-benefits-children/

More:

Construction Careers for Kids
Almost 3 dozen links

Remember: The most important core training for the Dangerous Child takes place between conception and age 7. The transition years between age 8 and ages 10-12 are also important for training basic competence-based confidence.

For it is around the ages 10-12 that the Dangerous Child begins to add dangerous skills to his now-innate skills of self-teaching, self-discipline, and self-directedness.

Few parents, family members, and close friends and associates possess mastery of skills ranging from flying to global navigation to advanced seamanship to steel/concrete construction to welding to hunting/fishing to masterful cooking to basic homesteading to combat, escape and evasion, scuba diving, and a broad range of vocational, professional, and wilderness skills.

Given the wide range of skills mastery required, Dangerous Children often need to undergo multiple apprenticeships, vocational trainings, advanced workshops, and other hands-on training — in addition to his free-range self-directed learning and multi-dimensional planning.

It is not difficult for a Dangerous Child to master at least 3 different means of supporting himself financially by age 18. What is difficult is to keep the DC on track after he discovers how much fun it is to spend his own money on Dangerous Activities.

DCs have lifetimes of learning ahead of them. There is plenty of time for fun and play. But the deeply serious reasons why DCs are needed in the first place must always be kept in mind. No one stops learning.

What Can Peter Diamandis Teach the Dangerous Child?

Advice on Child-Raising from Peter Diamandis

Peter Diamandis To An Abundant Future
Peter Diamandis
To An Abundant Future

Physician Peter Diamandis is best known for his involvement in futuristic projects such as X Prize, Planetary Resources, and Singularity University.

He is the co-author of the books: Abundance, the Future is Better than You Think, and Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World.

Diamandis is the type of wise futurist who understands that the future will be built upon today’s generations of children. If we do a poor job of raising them, the future is unlikely to be optimal.

Here are 5 critical ingredients that new generations will need, according to Diamandis:

1. PASSION: You’d be amazed at how many people don’t have a mission in life. A calling, something to jolt them out of bed every morning.

For my kids, I want to support them in finding their passion or purpose. Something uniquely theirs.

For me, it was exploring outer space. I LOVE space. Apollo and Star Trek ignited my flames. As much as my parents wanted me to become a physician, I was truly (and still am) a space cadet.

My goal for my 4-year-olds is to expose them to as many ideas as I can, and then fan the flames on whatever they want to do. (One of my closest friends loved playing video games in high school. Today he’s one of the world’s top video game designers. You can create a career from any passion!)

2. CURIOSITY: The next attribute that is critical during exponential times is curiosity. It is something that is innate in kids and yet something that most people lose over time.

In a world of Google, robots and A.I., raising a kid that is constantly asking questions and running “what if” experiments can be extremely valuable.

This is mostly because running constant experiments is fundamentally necessary on the path to success.

As Jeff Bezos said about success and innovation: “The way I think about it, if you want to invent, if you want to do any innovation, anything new, you’re going to have failures because you need to experiment. I think the amount of useful invention you do is directly proportional to the number of experiments you can run per week per month per year.”

I constantly ask my kids “what if” questions.

And if they ask, “What if…?” encourage them. Help paint the picture… And try to help them create an experiment to test that hypothetical situation.

3. IMAGINATION: Entrepreneurs and visionaries imagine the world (and the future) they want to live in, and then they create it. Kids happen to be some of the most imaginative humans around… it is critical that they know how important and liberating imagination can be.

Imagination goes hand in hand with curiosity and passion.

Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group, writes: “Imagination is one of humanity’s greatest qualities – without it, there would be no innovation, advancement or technology, and the world would be a very dull place.”

To my kids, the world is certainly not a dull place.

4. CRITICAL THINKING: In a world flooded with often-conflicting ideas, baseless claims, misleading headlines, negative news and misinformation, you have to think critically to find the signal in the noise.

Critical thinking is probably the hardest lesson to teach kids.

It takes time and experience, and you have to reinforce habits like investigation, curiosity, skepticism, and so on…

5. GRIT: One of my favorite phrases these days is from Ray Kurzweil: “You’ve just got to live long enough to live forever.” Though I take it quite literally, it’s also a metaphor for persisting through challenges until you succeed.

Grit is seen as “passion and perseverance in pursuit of long-term goals,” and it has recently been widely acknowledged as one of the most important predictors of and contributors to success.

… much of my success comes from not giving up. I joke that both XPRIZE and Zero-G were both “overnight successes after 10 years of hard work.”

You have to make a conscious effort to encourage your kids to keep trying, even if they mess up. ___ http://scienceofsingularity.com/2015/07/27/what-the-next-generation-needs-to-thrive-in-exponential-times/

These are good tips for raising any child. A Dangerous Child will be given the opportunity to experience life a bit more intensely than most of the children that Diamandis has in mind, but Diamandis is immersed in the future.

The present for many children and adolescents lacks the glitter and radiance that Diamandis imagines for everyone — in the future. For that reason, Dangerous Children must go beyond the pleasant dreams of Diamandis, and prepare themselves for a wide range of not-so-radiant possible experiences waiting in their futures.
Situational awareness is another crucial skill which Dangerous Children must learn early, and reinforce on a daily basis.

The future will not be “pure doom” nor will it be “pure cornucopia.” It will be a hazard-filled mix of dizzying sci-tech advances, dysgenic demographic change, a chaotic re-grouping of coalitions and allegiances, and horrifying examples of hate-fueled violence and cruelty on a large scale. Above all, it will be an epic battle between the forces of Idiocracy and those who are working to create an abundant and expansive human future.

Everything depends upon building a prepared human substrate, and supplying this group of humans with the skills, competencies, technologies, and systems of organisation that they will need to prevail over the groupthink Idiocracy of progressive decline.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood. But the earlier one begins, the better.

The above article is adapted from an earlier posting on Al Fin the Next Level

A Society of Chumps vs. a Society of Dangerous Children

These days, a chump is anyone who believes what government, media, and “experts” in academia tell him — without checking the facts for himself. A Dangerous Child always checks the facts, and understands how to interpret them in a valid manner.

Consider US unemployment numbers, as provided by US government officials:

Image: The Federalist

A shrinking labor force… can completely mask a serious job shortage by excluding those who stop looking for work altogether from the calculation of unemployed persons. _The Federalist

Currently a record 91.8 million Americans are no longer looking for work. That’s almost one and a half times the entire population of France. _America is Going Galt

In other words, the US employment (and economic) picture is so abysmal, that almost a hundred million working-age Americans have given up looking for conventional forms of employment.

Sure you can make unemployment look better by not counting people, you can claim the economy is growing by ignoring inflation, you can argue that inflation is low because you don’t count food or energy, but the reality is that all of these arguments are grade “A” BS.

We are now five years into the “recovery.” The single and I mean SINGLE accomplishment from spending over $3 trillion has been the stock market going higher. This is a complete and total failure. Based on the business cycle alone, the economy should be roaring.

… The media is lying about the economy. They have been for years. Even the BLS now admits that its methodologies are either inefficient (read: DON’T work) or outright wrong.

And yet alleged “adults” continue to believe this stuff. I don’t get it. Is it mass delusion or are people really willing to believe a lie rather than what their own eyes tell them?_Zerohedge

America is undergoing a massive, engineered social transformation. Not only are all American population groups being dumbed down by government schools and media, but in addition, the least intelligent populations are given preferential treatment for hiring, contracts, school admissions, and whatever other goodies their redistributionist government is doling out. Here is one way the process is taking place in academia. But the same process is in full swing in Human Resources offices across the land — including fire departments, police departments, and all federal agencies.

I will leave it to your imagination as to what happens to a society that promotes its least qualified at the expense of better qualified individuals.

This phenomenon of designed societal decline is not new. Destructive nepotism and corruption is as old as humanity. Most intelligent persons in possession of historical perspective are probably wondering why it took the US so long to regress back toward the mean.

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.” _Robert Heinlein quoted by Instapundit … More Robert Heinlein quotes from the notebooks of Lazarus Long

Anyone who has read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” is already familiar with the phenomenon of top-down decline, which Obama has merely shifted into a higher gear. But society is largely full of people who have accepted groupthink as the proper cognitive style, so they will never stop to think or doubt what they are being told.

Groupthink is very prevalent in low-IQ populations. Drug use, criminal violence, low achievement, and STD prevalence is likewise quite high in such populations. And yet these are the very populations to whom US government gives special privileges for hiring, contracts, school admissions, and much more — at the expense of statistically better qualified and more competent populations.

It should be obvious to more intelligent and competent individuals, that their future well-being will not be assured in government, media, academia, or any other large collective or corporate enterprise over which government exerts appreciable influence or control. In essence, the government has become their enemy in everything but name.

Some parts of the US, such as Wisconsin, have experienced a limited success in turning back some of the dysfunctional policies which the US federal government is attempting to press on all state and local governments. Working from within the political process to reverse some of the more destructive government policies will be successful in some regions and locales — and unsuccessful in many others.

What should intelligent people do — who live in perennially dysfunctional societies with no hope for beneficial policy changes in the near term — to try to assure opportunities for their children’s future opportunity and prosperity, besides moving to a place that offers more opportunity for self-determination?

First of all, understand that “Your Children are not Your Children.” They are themselves, and you are obligated to help them develop into the best selves — the most skilled, competent, clear-headed, independent, dangerous, resilient, and wise — that they can be. That is your duty, and it is not optional. If you think that day care, pop culture, peer pressure, and government schools can do your job for you, think again.

Most of you live in societies that are filling up with indoctrinated chumps. Perhaps it is not their fault that they are chumps, but all the same, their gullible chumpiness is making life harder for you and yours.

A Need for New Meme-Paradigms

Humans think in terms of narratives (stories) guided by meme-paradigms. If you have a talent for art, music, innovation, and narrative — and understand how the mind works, you may be able to help create positive alternative memes, paradigms, and meme-paradigm vectors, to help replace the destructive meme-paradigms that belabor our societies.

One example of a destructive meme-paradigm vector is gangsta rape-rap, cop killa, violent hip hop that holds a large part of black populations in thrall. As a vector, rhythmic hip hop is a powerful learning tool which could as easily be used to teach Shakespeare for grammar school students, or human anatomy for nursing students. Instead it is a river of decay and violence for a growing permanent underclass.

Dangerous Children are beneficiaries of ample early childhood exposure and training in music, art, movement, creative thinking and language, and narrative drama — otherwise known as multimedia creative storytelling and constructive acting out. They learn to mentally dance from paradigm to paradigm before they know what it is they are doing, which makes them infinitely tougher against indoctrination.

Practical skills, entrepreneurship, invention, etc. are added later, after the child has learned to draw his “self portrait,” dance his own dance, and write his own story and song. By learning who they are on many levels, Dangerous Children learn to direct their own life trajectories to match their inner inclinations and aptitudes.

Due to increasingly dysfunctional policies, most modern societies — previously known as the drivers of this affluent high technological era — are now sinking into a corrupt and nepotistic decay. For many such societies, only portions of their homelands will be salvageable for those who believe in individual self-determination.

The above posting is re-published from a 2014 article first published on Al Fin the Next Level

The Dangerous Child: Making Government Superfluous

Most of us enjoy living in prosperous and harmonious societies. We want to believe that we can sleep soundly in our homes without fear of being invaded and brutalised — and that our automobiles will still be where we left them last night, ready to take us to our pleasure and our business.

Gods of Creation and Fertility
Gods of Creation and Fertility

In ancient times, the gods were credited for harmony and prosperity — or blamed for poverty and unrest. Later on, the people blamed or credited kings, rather than gods. Modern people tend to credit or blame their governments for the good or bad times, respectively.

At the Al Fin Institute for the Dangerous Child, we look to the human substrate of society to explain each society’s success or failure. While huge and corrupt governments such as we see in the US, Russia, China, India, and the EU can restrict opportunities and make excessive demands on their peoples, it is the people themselves who are responsible for allowing such governments to come about and continue to exert control.

Most people in such societies live as if they are unaware of the pivotal role they play in the existence and nature of their governments. It is in the interest of governments, established media, academia, and popular culture to keep the people in a state of ignorance and quasi-helplessness.

“What can I do, I’m just one person?”

The answers to this question are many, varied, and lie deeply beneath multiple layers of concealment. Taking the time required to sort through these obscuring layers would be worthwhile for bright and curious individuals who want to learn to play their own game, rather than the game of the schemers who often operate at higher logical levels of influence. Dangerous Children are brought up to play the games within games that help to reveal reality’s interleaved logics.

What Allows Complex Societies to Work at All?

System: a coordinated body of methods or a scheme or plan of procedure; organizational scheme: __ reference.com

The key words in the definition of “system” above, are “coordinated,” “plan,” and “organizational scheme.” Most modern people believe that for complex societal systems to work, they must be guided by a strong, organised government — much as a locomotive is guided by its strong and fixed rails. The larger and more complex the society — it is believed — the larger and more powerful the government that is needed to keep society “on track.”

But this is all contingent upon the nature of the people who make up the society, isn’t it? Intelligent, organised, hard-working, orderly, thoughtful, and broad-visioned people are less likely to need either “the guiding hand” or “the helping hand” of government — making significant portions of modern governments somewhat superfluous. Law enforcement and welfare bureaus, for example, are of much less importance in societies of competent, responsible people. Departments of Education, likewise, are quite superfluous when families educate their own into a broad-based competence of multiple skills mastery.

Governments do not need to perform every single role in a society whose people are bright, creative, ambitious, honest, law-abiding, and having strong executive functions.

Governments stagnate, while private enterprises in competition tend to innovate. (One view of this dichotomy of state vs. private enterprise)

The brighter the citizens, the more self-starting, the better their impulse control and attentional control, the more focused on plans and goals — and the more competent — the less governmental oversight and control that is needed.

If a society finds itself with a relatively homogeneous group of peaceable, intelligent citizens with strong executive functions, it is in the interest of such a society to maximise the value of its citizens, and to limit the influx of less intelligent people with poor executive function and stronger tendencies to violence. And yet we see in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, the UK, and other formerly promising nations exactly the opposite trends.

Larger, more mixed nations such as one finds in the extended Anglosphere, India, France, Spain, Brasil, and elsewhere, are beyond the point of controlling demographic decline, and must take stronger — but more subtle — steps to achieve a better result in the long term.

The US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and several nations of Europe and Latin America find themselves in this predicament: declining demographic quality, but lacking governmental or societal will to reverse the decline.

It is for such cases that The Dangerous Child Institute developed its extended nations programs. If a dysfunctional alliance between government – media – academia – culture – and societal institutions in general militate against an abundant and expansive human future, then it is up to those who are capable of envisioning such a future to plan around the many obstacles.

Doomers, survivalists, preppers, etc. tend to restrict their vision to short and intermediate-term survival. That is not good enough. Wisdom requires thinking and planning at all time scales, for a broad range of contingencies — far beyond what doomers can envision.

The Dangerous Child will naturally form communities of Dangerous Children. Communities of Dangerous Children will naturally network, trade, and share ideas and technologies with other communities of Dangerous Children.

Such networks — and networks of such networks — will eventually constitute shadow economies and shadow infrastructures, ready to assist in disasters and to pick up the pieces after significant catastrophes.

Shadow governments — which will eventually make conventionally corrupt and wasteful governments superfluous — will take a dynamic and fractal form which might be impossible for most conventional thinkers to imagine, without a lot of help.

But here at the Institutes, we are not planning to give up. Our purpose is not to convince, persuade, or convert. It is rather to inform and provoke thought. Anything else is up to you. Unless, of course, you intend make Dangerous Children of your progeny. In such a case, more in depth exchanges of ideas may become necessary.

For now, think about it.

Dangerous Children Often Learn to Swim Before Learning to Crawl

Dangerous Children are trained to feel at home in the water, on solid ground, high in the air, and in other environments that would frighten most “ordinary” children — who naturally pick up the fears of their parents.

Infants Take to the Water Naturally, if Taught https://www.infantswim.com/
Infants Take to the Water Naturally, if Taught
https://www.infantswim.com/

The image above illustrates infant swimming and infant self-rescue.

… “self-rescue,” [is when] babies are taught to hold their breath underwater, kick their feet, turn over to float on their backs and rest until help arrives. The technique … was pioneered in the late ’60s by Harvey Barnett, who at 18 became determined to teach infants to swim after the drowning of a neighbor’s child. His methods have spread around the world — taught in clinics and imitated widely. “It gives the baby the best possible chance,” he says. Julie Bosman

Residential swimming pools in the U.S.: 10.4 million

Accidental, nonboating drownings of children 14 or younger in the U.S. every day: 2

Babies who have been taught ‘self-rescue’ technique through Barnett’s infant-swimming program: Almost 300,000 __ NYT

There are plenty of techniques and schools for teaching infants to swim. Before the age of 6 months, children possess a “diving reflex,” which causes them to hold their breaths automatically, when submerged. More

Here is one mom’s experience of using the Doman method for teaching her baby to swim.

Basic Safety Rules:

1. Always, always, always supervise your baby. It doesn’t matter how good of a swimmer they are – they need adult supervision at all times. Do not become complacent thinking that your baby can save themselves if they fell in. Ever. You need to have the same (or more) vigilance as if they had never seen a pool a day in their life. Drowning is a leading cause of death in young children and 85% of these deaths were completely preventable with proper supervision.

2. Strongly emphasize from day one that baby may never, never enter the pool without you first giving the signal and being right there. Be consistent and they will learn.

3. Be joyous in your teaching! Your baby will pick up on your attitude. Always be enthusiastic, happy, and full of laughter and excitement, even if your baby might be timid. Babies will feed off of your composure.

4. Watch your baby carefully for distress, and never push him beyond slight discomfort. The key is to be gradual and patient. If he does not like something, do the exercise for just a split second and then praise him profusely. Hug him, kiss him, tell him how wonderful he is, and celebrate his accomplishment. Perhaps repeat one more time, then go onto something else. A little bit every day leads to substantial progress over time.

5. If your baby does not enjoy the water at all, do not try and do these exercises until he is comfortable in water. Start small, just by getting him used to walking around in the water while you hold him. Encourage him to splash, watch you get your face wet or blow bubbles, or play with toys. Once he is comfortable, gradually build in more exercises into your routine. The bathtub is also a great place to introduce splashing, bubble blowing, floating on back, and getting their faces a little wet while you rinse them off.

6. Try to swim at least three days a week to achieve the best result. Swimming every day is ideal!

As some encouragement for you, here is a video of my baby I took two days ago of him swimming underwater. If it makes anybody feel better, just a few weeks ago he hated putting his face in the water and would often swallow water whenever I put him under! Now he swims with great joy and even since this video, he has progressed! He now kicks his little feet and swims farther and longer underwater, and he also no longer nose dives to the bottom of the pool but stays relatively near the surface! __ DomanMom

Amazing baby swim videos:

The idea is not to make children so fearless that they will take ridiculous chances. The idea is instead to build a child’s confidence through accomplishment and guided challenge.

Dangerous Children are not meant to spend their lives sitting at a desk like a wage slave, or lounging on a sofa like a couch potato. They are meant to move through water, over land, into the sky, and beyond.

To that end, they should be packed along with parents when backpacking, sailing, skiing, and other outdoor activities. They should learn bungee jumping and bouncing at an early age (with professional assistance), as well as zip lines (video).

Pregnant mothers are encouraged to stay active, while observing safe limits — no high dives off Acapulco, no fast downhill skiing on ice, no frozen waterfall climbing free solo, etc. Dancing, swimming, brisk walking, and low impact aerobics are fine. Babies like to move — even before birth.

Babies can hear spoken language and music while in the womb. They learn to adapt to a mother’s style of movement and voice tones before birth. An active mother is more apt to birth an active child, via both nature and nurture.

Dangerous Child training is all about giving the child an early start, then building up from there — with everything geared toward the child’s aptitudes and personality type. For the early years, playfulness is key, along with love, honesty, and close watchfulness.

Early years foundational training provides a solid base of competence and confidence on which to build. Playful movement, music, language, and art are accessible to babies and extremely potent for brain-building and brain-body coordination.

What Happens to Children Who Are Not Taught to Look After Themselves?

Awareness and Control
If a child has never learned to look out for herself, she is likely to find herself at the mercy of Muslim rape gangs, violent bullies, and all types of other predators.

In the short video clip to the left, we see a teenage girl walking through a veritable minefield, seemingly unaware of her predicament. Instead of moving away from the blow, she actually walks right into it! Then she proceeds to turn an oblivious back to further attacks! Whatever are they teaching children in schools these days? Very little that they need to know, apparently.

Dangerous Children learn to be “attack-proof.” Attack-proofing is a method of combined situational awareness and self-preservation. Here is a YouTube clip providing a few examples:



More video clips
Attack Proof Home

Attack-proofing school provides a full range of skills, including how to avoid the attack in the first place through awareness and maintaining a safe distance from attackers.

The “American Combato” system is another good system for Dangerous Children.

The main idea is to avoid and escape potential attacks. But if a Dangerous Child is caught in the middle of an attack that she cannot quickly escape, she should know how to control the situation as best she can, until an opening for escape reveals itself.

Too many modern children are like the girl in the top video clip: at the mercy of any predator who comes along.

Who is to blame? Obviously our entire politically correct culture is to blame, which denies the very real threats that are faced by young and old alike. Mainstream media, academia, governments at all levels, and popular culture are all oriented toward denying the threats which anyone with eyes can see.

A Dangerous Child is the mildest of the mild as long as allowed to go their own way. Would-be bullies, rapists, and “knock-out artists” will receive an unexpected surprise: Dangerous Children start out dangerous, and become more so the longer they live.

If you value political correctness more than your lives and the lives of your loved ones, simply accept things as they are. Otherwise, consider going Dangerous.

It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood. But the sooner you begin, the better for everyone.

Rites of Passage I

Dozens of Rites of Passage On the Way to Adulthood

The long transition from the incompetence of infancy to the competence of a skilled, well-rounded, and confident adulthood, should provide many opportunities for demonstrating personal competence while discovering one’s own pace and direction of discovery and mastery over challenges. If a society — such as ours — is profoundly neglectful and negligent in providing for these successive rites and opportunities for competency acquisition and confirmation, it will be rewarded with lifelong adolescents who lack both competency and confidence.

Although it may never be too late to have a Dangerous Childhood, it may be too late to learn competencies at your peak learning window. That is a pity, but only one of many, and not to be cried over. If you are 30 or 40 years old or more, and still trying to find your “vision quest” or “rite of passage”, you have been ill treated by well-meaning parents and society. Do what you can to make up for it in yourself, but try not to perpetuate the crime on future generations.

Think of this analogy: Baby birds have to first crack their way out of their hard shells. Then they have to learn to leave the nest without killing themselves. They have to learn to fly, feed, survive. Then they must find mates, raise their young, migrate with the seasons, over and over again. In the same way, baby humans have a lifetime of competence learning and testing ahead of them.

Modern humans of affluent societies wish to spare their young from all of those difficulties. That is the worst thing they could do. Modern college professors too often tell students what to think rather than preparing them to competently mind-wrestle all comers. Such indoctrination — a hallmark of a modern university education — is likewise the worst possible approach. And so it goes, as the mass consensus culture takes the place of parents and schools, creating an artificial layer of delusion and “protection in numbers” around the citizen.

As new generations of incompetents work their way further into the control rooms of government and society, expect things to get harder for almost everyone. These are the times when you want maximum competence for yourself and those around you. More

It is easy to see that the numbers are against those who wish to bring about a Dangerous Society of Dangerous Children. For the Dangerous Child, there is no end to learning and the development and practise of competence, from birth until death. It is exactly that type of mindfulness to a child’s upbringing that most modern parents rebel against.

A brief hint of what we are talking about can be seen in the experience of the Robinson children. Arthur Robinson homeschooled his six children as a single father, using a self-teaching method of homeschooling that he devised himself. The children first taught themselves to learn, then taught themselves difficult subject matter — achieving college level mastery of calculus and physics by the age of 16.

But more, the Robinson children mastered the art of self-sufficiency in performing vital tasks on the family ranch/farm. Teaching themselves to be responsible for livestock and important household functions was likely as important as any part of their academic curriculum.

As the children aged, their level of responsibility for the household and ranch grew, along with their level of sophistication in study topics and materials. __ https://alfinnextlevel.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/who-stole-our-rites-of-passage/

Most parents who wish to raise Dangerous Children could glean a lot of good ideas from the Robinson experience, and the Robinson Curriculum.

As we wander more deeply into the theory and practise of The Dangerous Child Method, it will become clear that something more is involved than simply leading the child into self-teaching and self-development, and preparing him for professional, occupational, intellectual, and financial competence and self-sufficiency.

Dangerous Children are skilled in ways that most modern parents and educators would never imagine or think necessary. This is because most parents, educators, and other moderns suffer under the tunnel-vision delusion of the mass consensus culture. They cannot imagine a future for children that involves the transcending of the mass consensus. The very idea would frighten not only parents and educators, but anyone with a stake in modern media, academia, government, and popular culture.

To develop and maintain these many skills, Dangerous Children must undergo dozens of successive rights of passage, in every stage of his life.

We will look more deeply into the staging of competence rites as we look more closely at the curriculum concept, and how it applies to Dangerous Child training. It will quickly become obvious that once the child achieves a level of mastery in particular areas, he will be inventing his own curriculum — with assistance — for the rest of his life.

Children and Firearms

Firearms are dangerous. There are roughly 3,000 deaths a year in the US from firearms for children and youth between birth and the age of 19. Most “child” homicides are among youth between 15 and 19. Next are suicides among youth between 15 and 19. There are only a relative few accidental firearms deaths in children in the US every year, around 200. And those could be prevented.

Where does most gun violence occur?

“… high rates of poverty, illicit drug trafficking and substance use all increase the risk of becoming involved in gun violence. In addition, “criminals often engage in violence as a means to acquire money, goods or other rewards.” … law-breaking criminals are the ones most responsible for gun violence, not law-abiding citizens…

… “Unintentional firearm-related deaths have steadily declined during the past century.” Accidental deaths resulting from firearms accounted for less than one percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.

when guns are used in self-defense the victims consistently have lower injury rates than those who are unarmed, even compared with those who used other forms of self-defense. __ Guns.com from a CDC study

All Dangerous Children develop mastery in firearms safety, maintenance, and use. But not all children will become Dangerous Children. How should parents of ordinary children approach the issue of “children and firearms?”

For young children, below the age of 7 or 8, the firearms avoidance method taught by the Eddie Eagle program of the US National Rifle Association is reasonable: Eddie and his friends teach children that if they ever come across a gun in an unsupervised situation, they need to STOP! Don’t touch. Run away. Tell a grown-up.

Eddie Eagle video

This simple approach teaches the child to be wary of firearms, to stay away from them, and to notify an adult if they see a firearm within reach. Safety training becomes more difficult if the child has been exposed to a lot of firearm violence on cartoons, television shows, movies, and video games. This is particularly true for younger children, for children with lower IQs, and for those with poor executive function.
Parents must be strict with themselves about the safe storage of firearms and ammunition (PDF). The safest firearm is one that is unloaded and stored safely out of the reach of everyone but authorised users. Ammunition should be stored in a safe and separate location.

Child Skills Training at Frontsight https://www.frontsight.com/courses/child-self-defense-training.asp
Child Skills Training at Frontsight
https://www.frontsight.com/courses/child-self-defense-training.asp

Famed firearms training institute Frontsight offers many training programs for youth and adults. Programs offered for children provide training in wall climbing, rope work, unarmed self defence, and firearms training. Think of it as a very expensive introduction to limited aspects of Dangerous Child training. 😉

Frequently, police or sheriff’s departments will provide firearms safety training for youth. The NRA offers several youth programs for firearms safety and training.Crickett Firearms safety resources

Laws restricting availability of firearms to the public do not appear to reduce rates of firearms violence. It is possible that a “waiting period” before purchasing handguns may slightly reduce rates of suicide by firearms, in some jurisdictions.

How was Al Fin trained? When Al Fin was 10, his father would take him out in the open range to set up targets for practise with a .22 calibre rifle, progressing from there. The training was strict and thorough, and no loaded weapons crossed the threshold into the home, after shooting sessions. No weapons — loaded or unloaded — were ever pointed toward another person. Safety on and finger off the trigger, until ready to fire. etc etc etc.

In the Dangerous Child Method, children are first trained with air rifles. When the child demonstrates proficiency and responsibility with air rifles, they can progress to low calibre firearms. Progression to larger rifles and handguns is not recommended until the youth has demonstrated years of proficiency with smaller weapons of lesser recoil — and has had a chance to grow more padding and stronger bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons.

Children under the age of 8 do not have well-developed executive functions, and children below the age of 16 are still undergoing significant brain development in regions involved in judgement and perspective. Just as importantly, most of today’s youngsters have grown up exposed to heroes who frequently shoot bad people, and have played first-person shoot-em-up computer games to exhaustion. Unfortunately, they have absorbed a lot of bad programming before they ever get their hands on a firearm. Any instructor of child firearms safety and training must keep all of that in mind.

Some scientific studies suggest that children under the age of 7 (before executive function development) may not benefit appreciably from firearms safety training (see references). It is likely that children who do not watch television, violent films, nor play violent video games, will pick up firearms safety training more readily. Unfortunately, such studies do not usually control for important variables such as prior exposure to violence, race, neighborhood type, marital status of families, level of supervision, etc.

One child may find a loaded firearm belonging to his mother’s boyfriend, and take it over to a friend’s house to show him, for playtime. In some neighborhoods kids will frequently see gang members carrying and displaying firearms, sometimes noticing the admiring glances thrown at the homies by teenaged girls. Some of the young kids will have even witnessed shootouts between rival gangs, or drive-by shootings. And sometimes the child will use a discovered firearm to even a score on his own.

The common denominators include lack of supervision, lack of positive male role models, frequent exposure to real, play, or portrayed violence, and lax control of loaded firearms by “grownups” in their immediate environments. Throw in life-long child-level intelligence levels and poor impulse control, and you have the recipe for an early start of life-long senseless violence.

Statistics for child firearm violence include accidents, suicides, and homicides — in ages up to the age of 19. Not much can be done to keep gang-bangers away from firearms, so a portion of those statistics should be seen as a given for inner cities and other ganglands of youth. For some of the others, stricter parental and adult control over firearms and ammunition would help.

The 3,385 firearms-related deaths for age group 0-19 years breaks down to:

214 unintentional
1,078 suicides
1,990 homicides
83 for which the intent could not be determined
20 due to legal intervention

Of the total firearms-related deaths:

73 were of children under five years old
416 were children 5-14 years old
2,896 were 15-19 years old

__ U Mich. Gun Safety for Kids

The above statistics are from 1999. You are welcome to guess how many of the 15-19 year old firearms deaths were gang related.

US Child Mortality Trends http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/14/theres-never-been-a-safer-time-to-be-a-kid-in-america/
US Child Mortality Trends
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/14/theres-never-been-a-safer-time-to-be-a-kid-in-america/

US child mortality rates for children of all ages are trending downward — by almost half since 1990. This is true for accidental deaths, homicides, and disease. Even child “disappearances” are down. Most child disappearances are runaways, with most of the rest due to custody disputes. Roughly one in a thousand “child disappearances” are from actual kidnapping by strangers.

Firearm violence, violence against children, and violence in general tend to concentrate in particular places. You may not realise, for example, that:

Blacks are seven times as likely as people of other races to commit murder, eight times more likely to commit robbery and three times more likely to use a gun in a crime. __ Patrick Buchanan on The Color of Crime

Besides the close supervisions of firearms and ammunition in the home, the next best preventative against being injured or killed by firearms may be knowing which countries and which parts of cities to avoid.

Global Homicide Rates
Global Homicide Rates

Violence — by firearms or other means — tends to cluster in particular populations and regions. This is partly due to genetics, and partly due to culture.

Whenever you travel outside your own neighborhood, it is important to understand where and by whom violence is likely to erupt. Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. Sooner rather than later.

Teach Them to Teach Themselves

The key to a better future is new generations of dangerous children who have learned to teach themselves. We expect adults, graduate students, and more mature university students and adolescents to be able to teach themselves. But we do not expect younger children to know how to teach themselves — and that is one of the biggest mistakes we have made over the past century and a half.

We can no longer afford to make the expensive mistakes of the past, not if we want new generations to have a future worth living. The excerpts below are borrowed from Dr. Arthur Robinson’s website, provided with commentary:

Learning is not a team sport. Learning is an activity that involves solely the student and the knowledge. Everything or everyone else that may become involved in this process is essentially superfluous—and is potentially harmful as a distraction from the fundamental process.

Dr. Robinson home-schooled six young children on a ranch in Oregon. Most of the Robinson Curriculum was developed after the untimely death of Robinson’s young wife and mother of six.

Adults ordinarily do not have special teaching aids and dedicated teachers available to hold their hands when they need to acquire new knowledge. Usually, they have only books. When the knowledge comes directly from other repositories such as computers, people, or other sources, that knowledge is seldom tailored for spoon—feeding to an unprepared mind.

Robinson is referring to the self-teaching that adults do to improve themselves, at all hours, around the world. Most effective learning is done for oneself.

Since certain skills need to be acquired at an early age—particularly mathematics and reading, writing, and thinking in one’s native language—it is sensible to arrange the homeschool so that learning these essential skills will automatically lead to the development of good study habits. This is one reason that self—teaching homeschools have a special value.

Dr. Robinson is referring to sensitive periods of development for a variety of important areas of learning. If this time is dithered away on cartoons, video games, or other frivolous play, the child will not have learned either the knowledge, or how to teach himself for learning future knowledge.

Consider, for example, the teaching of math and science. Many homeschools use Saxon Math. Although produced with teachers and classrooms in mind, this series of math books is so well—written that it can be mastered by most students entirely on their own without any teacher intervention whatever. This self—mastery usually does not happen automatically, but it can be learned by almost any student with correct study rules and a good study environment.

The parent who wishes for his children to self-teach is not alone. Many decades of work have been put into devising ways of building young minds to higher and higher levels of self sufficiency in learning and action.

While the subject matter [ed: Saxon math], can be mastered with or without a teacher, the student who masters it without a teacher learns something more. He learns to teach himself. Then, when he continues into physics, chemistry, and biology—which are studied in their own special language, the language of mathematics—he is able to teach these subjects to himself regardless of whether or not a teacher with the necessary specialized knowledge is present. Also, he is able to make use of much higher—quality texts — texts written for adults.

Robinson points out something that should never be overlooked: children need to teach themselves to read and communicate on an adult level. This will open many doors of opportunity.

Besides the great advantage of developing good study habits and thinking ability, self—teaching also has immediate practical advantages. Many children should be able, through Advanced Placement examinations, to skip over one or more years of college. The great saving in time and expense from this is self—evident. These and other comparable accomplishments await most children who learn to self—teach and then apply this skill to their home education.

With the cost of university these days, it is important to develop ways of reducing costs — and of raising funds, something that is emphasised in The Dangerous Child Method.

Even children of lesser ability can, by means of self—teaching and good study habits, achieve far more than they otherwise would have accomplished by the more ordinary techniques.

This is a crucial point to get across in this new age of a dawning realisation that “all men are NOT created equal.” Although some will not achieve as much as others, it is important to help as many as possible to achieve as high a goal as they are willing and able to aim for.

Self—teaching is an “extraordinary” technique today, but it was ordinary in the past, when most of the great scholars in human history learned in a similar way.

This is an excellent point, which is made very clear by John Taylor Gatto and Joseph Kett (Rites of Passage).

Self—teaching, excellent study habits, and a well—disciplined approach to independent thought are characteristics of these people… These are skills that can be taught to any child. When your eight—year—old child is all alone at his large desk in a quiet room with his Saxon 65 book and has been there three hours already—with most of that time spent in childhood daydreams —and says, “Mommy, I don’t know how to work this problem,” give him a wonderful gift. Simply reply, “Then you will need to keep studying until you can work the problem.”

How else will you teach your child self discipline? The child must learn to do things for himself, starting with learning.

For a while his progress may be slow. Speed will come with practice. Eventually, he will stop asking questions about how to do his assignments and will sail along through his lessons without help.

These study habits can then spill over into the other subjects—with astonishing results.

The above excerpts were borrowed from “Teach Them to Teach Themselves,” contained in The Robinson Curriculum. Much more information at the website.

The Robinson Curriculum is several giant steps above government schooling. It should prove useful for many parents who are struggling to come up with an alternative approach to learning, other than the government approach that too often leads to drugs, delinquency, teen pregnancy, lifelong incompetence, tons of disinformation that will be difficult to unlearn, and a perpetual tendency toward groupthink dependencies.

Government schooling can be supplemented at home using creative exercises, tutoring, and a gentle correction of disinformation and bad — or non-existent — learning methods. In that sense, one would be using government schools as a risky type of daycare. If the child has already learned to be dangerous, that might work.

Making Your Sons and Daughters Strong and Independent

No one wants their daughters to be victims of gang rape / beating, or their sons to be bullied and beaten by thugs of any culture. No one wishes a lifetime of drug addiction or cult conformity for their children. Unfortunately, children and teens in Europe and the Anglosphere are at higher risk of abuse by gangs, cults, and extremists — because the internal habits that allow children and youth to reject harmful conformity and victimisation, were never cultivated.

Just how do you keep your sons from converting to fanatical Islam and marching off to be a suicide bomber? How do you prevent your daughters from becoming sex slaves to muslim predators or other rape gangs? Even more relevant, how do you make sure your children grow strong and independent, without sliding into a meaningless life filled with nothing more than empty diversions? More on the superfluous life.

Children do not fall into destructive patterns of belief, behaviour, and co-dependency unless they have never been given the means to construct their own strong internal frame of personal character and independent choice. Good habits of thinking and acting will tend to last a lifetime, once they are instilled and properly reinforced — particularly if the child becomes a youth with a wide range of competent skills and occupational choices.

Below is a list of useful habitual behaviours which will stand a child in good stead as he grows older:
Habits of Mind

http://www.chsvt.org/wdp/Habits_of_Mind.pdf%5B/caption%5D
More

Good habits cannot be forced from outside. They must be learned by the child at the proper time, when his nervous system has developed far enough to learn the particular beneficial habit.

Remember: The teacher does not teach. Instead, the learner learns. If the learner’s mind is not structured and ready to learn the concept for the day, it will not matter how well the teacher has prepared his lesson.

The learning mind must be “empowered” from the earliest age, and continuously reinforced — until it is the child himself who is doing the reinforcing. This self-reinforcement occurs at different ages for different children — even under the most ideal conditions. Young Mozart, for example, required much less external reinforcement to achieve a given level of mastery than did young Salieri.
__ Original Al Fin blog

If a child’s mind has learned to work along positive and productive pathways — in his natural way and in the form of play, at least in the beginning — his mind is resistant to obviously destructive outside suggestions.

In other words, don’t allow your child to grow up with a gaping void between his ears. Help him to grow a strong, functional, goal-seeking mind — a mind that is truly his own. And give him a range and depth of skills and competence that allow him to move boldly confidently through the obstacle courses and minefields of dysfunctional modern societies.

The Dangerous Child curriculum begins at birth and never fully completes. While Dangerous Children are expected to master at least three different ways of supporting themselves financially by the age of 18, a Dangerous Child never stops learning new skills.

Dangerous Child: Basic Self-Defence

When is the best time to begin training a child to defend himself and his loved ones? Before he is born. But for now we will focus on when and how children should be trained to be ready for combat, when the real world crashes through their bubble of protection.

Here are a few viewpoints on the question of combat training for children:

How early is too early? My answer is, if they can walk, they’re ready. My 2 year old loves tumbling and climbing games. If I’m dancing to some music, he’ll come and join me. If he can squeeze his way in, he’ll help push the wheel barrow every time. When we go for walks, he likes to walk the tops of the paving stones that line sidewalks in some yards. By encouraging these he’s learning a lot about balance and how to control movement. Fitness and combat training are habits, just like work ethic and decency, your kids will follow how you lead. …

Training with children should be focused on the basics. General flexibility, stamina, healthy habits, and proper form for things like body weight exercises, and self defense. …

I’ll recommend you wait until the child in question is responsible enough for a weapon, be it knife or gun or bow. Then introduce them to the weapon under supervision to ensure they know how to safely carry and deploy it. My dad is a hunter, so we always knew the basic rules of gun safety, he would even bring us with him if he was headed out to shoot some clays. _Calamity Jane

Jane brings up an interesting point: Each child is different, and will reveal his readiness for more advanced weapons training in his own time. It is the parent’s and trainer’s responsibility to pay attention to what the child reveals.

The kids in Krav Maga classes learn about two-handed chokeholds, going for the eyes and how to cause the most damage with a hit to the face. Why do elementary school kids need these skills?

To use on strangers of course. The dangerous kind, that might pop out from behind any given shrubbery and attack you.

Teachers stress that the kids should never use these skills unless they are being attacked by a stranger. _Babble

Krav Maga is a pared-down method of martial arts/ personal combat similar to “attack-proofing,” which is similar to the Bradley Steiner system. Take martial arts, remove the ceremony, and keep only what is effective on the street.

The media never tires of telling us that our children are at risk. But the very thought of teaching our children to be dangerous enough to both avoid threats and to deal with unanticipated threats, gives mainstream intellectuals a horrific case of the heebie jeebies.

Modern children are typically pampered and sheltered from most of the harsher realities of life. This is a relatively good thing for infants, toddlers, and most kindergartners. But as a child grows older and more independent, he will spend more and more of his time outside of direct adult supervision. If he does not learn to develop situational awareness and how to protect himself as he gets older, he becomes a sitting duck for bullies, predators, spontaneous flash bashes, and accidentally stumbling into other bad situations.

Besides Krav Maga, what are some of the best martial arts to teach young children?  In our opinion, Aikido, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, and fencing. Here are a few ideas for teaching martial arts to children:

Aikido:

I think if I were to teach a class of kids aikido, here’s some of what I’d do to avoid chokes, joint locks, and etc…Mobility games
Ukemi – lots and lots of ukemi [ed: the art of falling safely and smoothly]
Walking kata
Evasion drills with partners
Brush-off and escape
Wrist releases

Cool ki tricks (mind games, concentration, etc…)
Talk about how to deal with interpersonal conflict
Situational self defense

So, there’s still a lot of aikido and pre-aikido that we could do. Much of the pre-aikido stuff is identical to the pre-judo stuff we do in kiddie judo. _Aikido for kids

Judo:

For a while, young kids should play a games-based judo approach. Fun preparations that build strength and coordination and familiarity with judo. But then at some point they have to move to “real judo.” I’m not talking about adult judo – we start kids in regular adult classes at about age 13, depending on their physical size and maturity. I’m talking about an intermediate level between games-based judo and actual judo technique.

.
One indicator that they are ready to step it up a level from games to real judo, is that they understand and can abide by the gentleman’s agreement at the heart of judo. I’ve mentioned this Judo gentleman’s rule before.

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The most central rule to judo practice is that if I am going to allow you to use my body to learn to throw hard and fast then you must save me at the end. You can throw with force, but you must support me and help me get into the proper landing position.
.

Without people abiding by this rule, judo falls apart and cannot be practiced. When kids are progressively demonstrating that they can take better and better care of their ukes, they can be taught progressively more vigorous judo. _Judo for kids

Jiu Jitsu:

After teaching my own children and many others basic self-defense, I realized that children should first concentrate on a safe foundation system of self-defense based solely on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Only given solid aptitude of this system, at an intermediate level, would I then teach the striking techniques of Thai Boxing. The rationale for this is manifold:

Only a more advanced student will learn techniques that are inherently more dangerous (striking). This way, I will assure that only children who are mature enough to understand the safety issues will learn the technique.
In a fight, position is more important than pure striking ability. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gives a greater ability to control the position of your opponent than Thai Boxing. So, I want the student to know how to control their opponent long before they learn how to punch, elbow, or kick them. With positional control, punching and kicking can happen with relative leisure!
Beginners may get confused if they have too many techniques to focus on. After they have the fundamentals of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu “wired in,” they won’t get their mind as cluttered with dramatically different techniques of Thai Boxing.

Core Concepts

Safety first.
Understand the difference between causing pain and causing harm. Never attempt to harm a fellow student.
Avoid physical conflict.
Work out conflict with words. If you can escape a situation without physical harm to you or a family member, don’t fight.
Words are never a reason to fight. Children are rewarded for avoiding fights.
Because of legal and school disciplinary issues involved in fights, the children are taught that in a situation where a fight is unavoidable, the words spoken and attempts made to dispel and avoid the situation beforehand can make a great difference.
Challenge the student to work hard.
The only true rewards in life come from hard work, dedication, and consistent practice.
Fitness through aerobic conditioning
Self defense in realistic situations
Have fun, but be serious enough to make solid progress every class!
Share techniques and learning with fellow students only.
It is important that they understand that this is a fighting system that should not be casually shared or demonstrated anywhere but in class with the instructor, unless self-defense calls for it. In other words, it would be very bad if they demonstrated a choke on a friend at the playground or kicked the family dog!
Don’t advertise yourself as a martial arts expert! Many children take a few classes and think they are Bruce Lee reincarnated. A bigger bully will go out of his way to pick a fight with someone like this. Sun Tsu said, “All warfare is based on deception.” Don’t let them know what you know. More importantly, as a beginner, you don’t know much, so don’t pretend to know more than you do! _Jiu Jitsu for kids

Wrestling:

Find a TeamDepending on your child’s age, there are several different options for the types of teams you want to sign him up with. The most popular choice for parents with children under the age of 10 is to start them in a freestyle/Greco-Roman wrestling club. These clubs typically practice folkstyle, the same style of wrestling contested in high schools and colleges across the United States.

Wrestling clubs are typically not affiliated with any specific school or organization. Rather, they are private organizations geared towards teaching children the sport of wrestling. However, many clubs may practice at a school and have the same coaching staff as a school’s regular team — but the club will not be related to the school in any other way.

Essentially, you want to look for a team that focuses on fitness and technical development, rather than competition. This is especially important for younger wrestlers. For more information on what to look for when choosing a wrestling club, check out iSport’s guide, _Wrestling for kids

Wrestling has traditionally been a male sport, but it is becoming more popular among females. It can be extremely strenuous, so children should have good health and fitness levels before beginning training. Most of all, choose a coach who is skilled, patient, a good teacher, and emotionally mature.

Martial arts training for children can be useful for many reasons, but the training needs to be age appropriate, and geared to the individual child’s needs and maturity level. Basic training to develop respect for instructors and classmates as well as disciplined habits of practise, should precede more difficult and complex skills training. Early training should focus on fitness, mobility, escape, releases, balance, situational awareness and response, and the mental aspects of physical training and confrontation.

Fencing for Children:

Dominion Fencing (my club) has experimented with programs for very young children…. We found that what worked best was a program of running, jumping, “gross motor skills” games, and playing games with foam swords. In short, we were charging parents to do what any kid is going to do on a playground when left to their own devices. I would be surprised if any club accepting children below the age of 8 is doing anything much different than we were.

To actually learn fencing as a sport takes a considerable amount of motor coordination, higher level reasoning functions, and the ability to understand some complex rules (rules many adults don’t ever understand) — which is why every expert in the field usually recommends taking up fencing between the ages of 8 and 10. _Fencing.net (forum)

Fencers learn good sportsmanship, self-discipline, gain quick reflexes and how to compete independently. They gain a sense of accomplishment when winning and learn to profit from their defeats. They learn to make complex decisions, analyze problems, and think fast on their feet. These ideals help children reach their potential in many areas other than fencing.

• They are active and doing something, not being
passive receptacles for programming beamed out from
the TV.

• Fencing helps children get fit – you can’t “sword fight”
without a good bit of movement!

• Educators are discovering that fencing can enhance
mathematical performance.

• Fencing helps children learn to pay attention and to
develop their decision-making abilities.

• Fencing helps people with ADD and ADHD to focus.

• Because fencing is an individual sport, the fencer is
solely responsible for their success or failure, which
becomes a great lesson in responsibility. _Swordsmen101

Martial arts skills should be introduced in a graded fashion, as appropriate for the child’s age, level of physical and emotional maturity, and the ability of the child to progress and integrate new skills into the total skills set.

Most training in strikes, kicks, weapons, choke holds, joint locks, etc. should be withheld until the child is mature enough to learn and practise them with proper restraint and respect for classmates and instructors. This should usually only occur after significant time (years) in training, under close observation, and only with other students who are prepared for such training.

Every dangerous child should be able to sense potentially dangerous situations and avoid them when possible. But he should also be physically and mentally prepared to deal with situations which occur outside of his ability to predict or prevent.

Dangerous children are by definition not helpless. This should be true physically, mentally, emotionally, and in virtually every aspect of his life.

So ideally, martial arts training will be just one aspect of a dangerous child‘s training in not being helpless. This is a different attitude toward child raising than one typically finds, but it is necessary.

All aspects of childhood learning begin with play. Learning to fight is no exception. Begin early, with play fighting and wrestling on soft surfaces. Older children who are emotionally mature and competent in basic fighting skills make excellent instructors for children just learning the more disciplined forms of mock combat.

For grownups who want to learn situational awareness and various combat skills, consider beginning with “attack-proofing,” and branching out from there.

Life is dangerous. So should you be. It is never too late to have a dangerous childhood.

 

Adapted from earlier material published on other Al Fin blogs

 

Dangerous Child: The Road to Mastery

We talk a lot about competence in the dangerous child, and certainly competence is crucial when dealing with dangerous (and valuable) skills. But on the road to mastery, competence occurs somewhere near the half-way point.

In 1980, Stuart and Hubert Dreyfus described A FIVE-STAGE MODEL OF THE MENTAL ACTIVITIES INVOLVED IN DIRECTED SKILL ACQUISITION (PDF). In the document, they describe 5 steps, or stages, in the growth from beginner to master:

  1. Novice
  2. Competent
  3. Proficient
  4. Expert
  5. Master

Since then, the Dreyfus and Dreyfus model has been altered so that the 5 stages are now:

Novice — Advanced Beginner — Competent — Proficient — Expert

When reduced to just 3 stages common to both ancient and modern guilds, we would describe the model as Apprentice — Journeyman — Master.

Slideshare presentation of the Dreyfus & Dreyfus model

The road to mastery is a long one, which modern western educational systems are reluctant to follow. The resistance to mastery learning among modern educators is extremely strong, perhaps due to the time and effort required of both teacher and learner.

Famed psychologist of expert learning, K. Anders Ericsson, says that world class mastery requires at least 10 years of directed practise by the most gifted, and more like 15 to 25 years of hard directed practise by the merely elite (PDF).

In Ericsson’s view, it is the duration and quality of practise which determines who will master the skill, rather than innate talent or IQ. Perhaps it is best to adopt that view, and teach students to enjoy the hard effort required to achieve mastery, even if it is not entirely correct.

After all, even among the elite, there are those who are clearly superior, who took much less time and practise to achieve higher levels of mastery than the masses of those who are considered “expert” or “master.” But again, perhaps it is best to focus on teaching students to enjoy mastering challenges, and solving difficult problem after difficult problem. Students who incorporate persistence and grit along with expertise, are more likely to succeed.

But each child is different, with different propensities and likelihood of achieving mastery, for a wide range of skills and practises. Some children are more likely to be happy as specialists, while others are more naturally generalists. Not only must we provide the child with a likely path to mastery in his general field of choice, we must also learn to gauge his optimal balance of depth vs breadth.

For students who wish a shallower level of mastery for a large number of different fields, the mastery of “heuristics” in each field is likely to be very important.

For those who wish to master a smaller number of fields, the utilisation of customised “mastery learning” should take them to a deeper level, as appropriate.

And for those who are compelled to take the field or profession beyond the level of its current masters — to achieve creative innovation and genius level work — a working through the entire 5 stage Dreyfus and Dreyfus model is required, plus just a little extra.

When a master is doing genius level revolutionary innovation, he is working at a hypothetical “level 6” or higher. He is devoting his entire being to the problem, over an extended period of time. This is something that is not easily taught — if it can be taught at all.

Daniel Kahneman’s book, Thinking Fast and Slow, illustrates some of the problems in making decisions and judgments at different stages from novice to expert.

Typically we think of the early stages of mastery as involving more conscious and deliberative thinking, while the more expert stages involve more automatic and intuitive types of thinking.

But if experts and masters cannot “keep their hand in” with the earlier skills of deliberative and conscious thinking and fact-checking, they may be at a loss when entirely new problems arise which do not succumb to their intuitions and learned automaticities.

Early stage learning — before the ages of 12 or 16 — will provide the child with a wide range of competencies and mid-level skills which fall far below mastery. But if sometime between the ages of 5, and 12 to 16, the child experiences a special affinity to and talent for one or more skills, he should be encouraged along a road that might lead to mastery of the special skill or skills. The more high quality directed development time the child can put in for a particular skill, the closer to world class mastery he can come.

Early stage learning focuses upon heuristics and rules of thumb. These are practical and easy to remember scaffolds of learning, for building more detailed structures of learning later.

Many people go through their entire lives without ever going beyond the early heuristic level of learning for any given field. And some do not even get that far.

For those who wish to raise truly dangerous children, it is important that you learn to provide the important heuristics which will keep the child safe even in a dangerous environment. And should the child show a marked preference for any particular dangerous environments, the child should not only be given the crucial heuristics to keep him safe, but should also be helped further along the road to mastery so that he can shape both himself, and the environment itself to his own advantage.

Finally, a caveat: IQ and innate ability do play an important part in the road to mastery along with innate inclinations — despite what well-meaning experts such as KA Ericsson may claim publicly. Pay close attention to cues which may indicate an especially fulfilling direction of development for a particular child.

Children can become infatuated with a particular field without understanding the incredible amount of difficult work that is necessary for mastery of it. It is important that children be given a chance to prove themselves, but in a realistic — not pampered or sheltered — way. Force them to see what the thing really is, and what it will take to achieve it. Be brutally honest here, or you may do far more harm than you realise.

The child does not have time for a large number of abortive attempts at mastery, if it takes between 15 and 25 years for him to achieve top level mastery. And most parents don’t have the time, patience, or the money to support multiple failed attempts.

Yes, you want the child to aim high. But: Do not pamper. Do not shelter. Do not encourage fantasy dreams which are without realistic possibility. Make the child prove himself each step of the way, but be sure to provide the opportunity for him to do so.

More: We have pointed out in previous articles that dangerous children should be able to support themselves economically — in multiple ways — by the time he or she is 18. This is due to the multiple skills and competencies which the child will have learned on the path to becoming dangerous.

This is a very good thing for parents, who will no doubt have their own uses for their hard-earned wages. A widely-competent dangerous child should be able to finance his own long experimentation into mastery over the decades of early to middle adulthood.

Dangerous children typically remain dangerous over entire lifetimes. They are far less likely to sink deeply into time-killing entertainments and mind-wasting amusements and intoxicants. Parents give dangerous children their start, but it is the children themselves who must find their own way.

Who Will Educate the Dangerous Child?

The answer to the question, “Who will educate the Dangerous Child?” contains one of the reasons why the Dangerous Child is so dangerous: The Dangerous Child will educate himself.

Until the child becomes interested — becomes motivated — there is little likelihood that he will ever grow to become a Dangerous Child. And in the typical government school classroom environment which primarily utilises the teacher : student relationship as the pathway to learning, there is little likelihood that the student will grow motivated in the self-directed manner necessary for Dangerous Child development.

In a traditional teacher : student classroom, a dependency relationship between the student and the teacher tends to develop — and is in fact encouraged to develop. The student is expected to approach learning via the teacher, and is encouraged to comply with the teacher’s preferences in a wide variety of ways — both explicit and implicit. This pathway leads to a greater dependency which makes the development of motivation and self-direction more difficult, the longer it goes on.

This implies that those who wish to raise a Dangerous Child need to find ways to fire the flame of motivation and self direction in the child from an early age. This is not generally difficult, given the normal hunger for learning exhibited by the typical child from infancy onward. In fact, it is often the artificial approach to learning and teaching forced onto young children which tends to destroy that natural early flame of motivation and self-directedness.

The field of Adult Education has developed quite differently from the field of childhood education, and understandably seeks to place more control over the student’s learning in the hands of the student himself (PDF). More (PDF)

Most adults would not tolerate the dictatorial environment of the traditional classroom, nor the relatively low quality of education typically provided in K12 through university. They would particularly object to the indoctrinating nature of much of what passes for “education” in modern classrooms.

But many younger children and adolescents would also be more self-directed, motivated, and particular about the nature and quality of education, if they were given a choice. And suddenly, it seems that a number of choices are springing up.

A rapidly blooming area of learning at this time is online learning, which is coming to take on some of the self-directed and self-paced characteristics of adult learning.

Characteristics of Adult Learners with Implications of Online Learning Design (PDF)

Traditional educators are beginning to perceive a threat to their livelihood in the growing number of alternatives to traditional teacher : student dependency learning. And yet it is clear that the traditional pathways to education are leading modern societies to a dangerous impasse, where the quality of graduates has declined alarmingly. This leaves societies without the type of strong, independent, and objective sort of problem solvers which they so crucially require.

The way beyond this impasse is to grow ever larger crops of Dangerous Children, because independence and self-directedness, as well as problem-solving ability, are some of the key characteristics of the Dangerous Child.

It is not particularly helpful to directly import the techniques of Adult Learning wholesale into infant and early childhood learning. Rather, it is crucial for parents and those responsible for the child’s education to aid in the development of the child’s particular tendencies and competencies which grow the child’s competencies and motivation to the point that he can pick up the self-directed learning methods developed in the field of Adult Learning on his own.

Make no mistake: The conflict between the advances in Adult Education and the regressive traditions of so-called “progressive childhood education” forms a deadly pivotal battleground which may determine the futures of several modern societies. The covert war is not so much between the political right/libertarian and the political left/socialist. Rather the war is between persons with a more expansive and dynamic view of the future, and those with a more static and “imposed” view of the future.

It is not my purpose here to convince readers of anything. My only purpose is to suggest that things might be done differently, should the reader see a need for that to happen.

More Basic Concepts for The Dangerous Child

The main purpose of this blog is to lay out my ideas for “The Dangerous Child Method of Education and Child-Raising.” This posting may help to create an early outline of what I hope to present more fully in the future.

First of all, the word “dangerous” should not be taken to mean “violent.” Rather than being a violent child, a Dangerous Child when allowed to go about his business is peaceful in mind and body.

Here are some recent popular books which use the word “dangerous” in ways that overlap with The Dangerous Child concept:

The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden

50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Child Do by Gever Tully

The idea in the two popular books above is to safely acquaint children with activities that contain at least a modest amount of danger. Both books hit back against the over-protective nature of modern approaches to child-raising that have been adopted by societal institutions. When children are sheltered from all sources of danger, they tend to be unprepared to face the real world. This lack of preparedness places children and youth in much greater danger than if they had been exposed to a wide array of dangers, in a reasonably controlled fashion.

But I would be less than honest if I were to claim that the Al Fin Dangerous Child Method of Education and Child-Raising is on the same level of political correctness and societal acceptability as the listed books above. Dangerous Children, as envisioned by the Al Fin approach, will be truly dangerous to individuals and institutions which mean to do harm to them or theirs.

Ideally, Dangerous Child training commences before conception, continues through gestation, and begins in earnest in the neonatal period. But not every child is planned, and not every parent is expert in The Dangerous Child Method at the time of a child’s birth.

A child will be able to enter into The Dangerous Child Method at any age, including any point in adulthood. The training will be more effective, however, the earlier it is begun.

The main reason that earlier training is better, is due to the many “critical periods,” or “developmental windows” which young minds pass through between the uterus and the end of adolescence. The mind is more trainable at certain ages, for particular skills.

The Dangerous Child Method incorporates training in language, music, mathematics, science, art, thinking skills, interpersonal skills including people-reading and situational awareness, basic economics and trade, and a range of physical skills including methods of self-defense and many means of sustaining the human body in a wide range of environments.

Some of the early ideas on The Dangerous Child can be found at: The Dangerous Child Category in Alfin2101

and at “Survival” also at Alfin2101

A number of other articles at Alfin2101.blogspot.com also contain material reflecting The Dangerous Child philosophy.

It must be stressed that The Dangerous Child follows a broad and flexible philosophy, rather than an ideology. Ideologies tend to be mass movements with dogmas that are devised, interpreted, and revised by inner circles. These ideological dogmas tend to be unfalsifiable tautologies, not subject to outside challenge or argument.

A Dangerous Child will be the opposite of a typical indoctrinated university student, eco-fascist, or other brainwashed ideologue. A Dangerous Child will be educated in the best way possible: he will be self-educated, teaching himself as he climbs from each hard-earned learning plateau to a higher one. The wider universe will be his classroom, library, and playground combined.

Dangerous Children are acutely aware of the limitations of the human sensory and cognitive toolkits, and will learn to work within those limitations while exploring ways of transcending them.

And to close on a high note, Dangerous Children will be able to support themselves financially at least three different ways by the time they are 18 years old.

Can there possibly be enough time in a short childhood to make a child truly dangerous? There had better be. The alternative — the way western societies are drifting into decayed dysfunction — simply will not do.

Republished from Al Fin Next Level