Knives

Off The X Training Concepts Announces 2017 Preparedness, Self-Protection Classes In Glenview, Illinois

Any Chicagoland readers familiar with Off The X Training Concepts in Glenview, Illinois? I’ve mentioned the north suburban preparedness/personal safety training outfit before on Survival And Prosperity, but never really dedicated a full post to them. From their Facebook page:

Off the X Training Concepts was created to offer an extensive selection of training opportunities in the areas of preparedness and self-protection. It was founded on the belief that every individual should have access to information and training, better preparing them to take ownership of their personal safety and the safety of loved ones. Unlike many training schools and programs, OTX does not promote or teach a specific school of thought or discipline, but instead acts as a hub for a variety of training platforms and instruction. This allows the individual access to a variety of philosophies, which enables them the ability to find what works best for them…

The reason I bring up OTX, as they’re also known by, is that I spotted the following post this morning on their Facebook page regarding upcoming training opportunities:

WE ARE BACK!! OTX is pleased to announce several upcoming training offerings for 2017!!

In March and October we will be hosting Craig Douglas / Shivworks for their EWO and ECQC classes.

Also in March we will begin offering monthly boxing/conditioning groups instructed by Fernando (Beast) Rivera.

Beginning in April, OTX will be hosting an Illinois concealed carry class every other month.

In June we are super excited to be hosting a combined two day training to be taught by Cecil Burch of Immediate Action Combatives, Larry Lindenman of Point Driven Training and Paul Sharp of Sharp Defense. The course is entitled Dominating the entangled fight.

In July we have several course offerings to include a two day medical class being taught by Caleb Causey from Lone Star Medics, a firearms skill building class and a firearms home defense class.

And this is just the beginning. We look forward to introducing several new weekly and monthly training offerings. Specific event postings will follow in the days to come!!!!

(Editor’s note: Bold added for more information)

Sounds terrific. For more information about Off The X Training Concepts and these opportunities, head on over to their website here and Facebook page here (much more info on their Facebook page).

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Posting of information about any instruction is not to be construed as being a recommendation from this blog and its editor, unless specifically indicated. I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 Health, Knives, Preparedness, Self-Defense, Training No Comments

Advertiser Spotlight: Blade HQ

I’ve owned knives since the 1980s. My first one was an official Boy Scout Knife, which I still have and which has seen a fair amount of wear and tear over the years. My second one was a Swiss Army Knife I received as a “best man” gift. I still own that one too, and it’s proven to be quite handy around the house and in the outdoors. I’ve acquired a few more blades over time, each serving as a tool to tackle some specific task (maybe several). As with any tool, shoddily-constructed ones are to be avoided. Knives in particular for obvious reasons. Enter Blade HQ, “Gear Up For Adventure.” The Lehi, Utah-based vendor of knives and other outdoor products helps steer customers away from crap and towards quality. From their Facebook page:

Gear up for adventure at www.BladeHQ.com! We love knives as much as our customers do. Knives make up the bulk of our store, but we also carry a wide variety of other outdoor products to help you gear up for whatever adventure is coming your way.

Founded in 2003, Blade HQ boasts a large number of knives in its inventory. They carry well-recognized brands like:

• Benchmade
• Boker
• Buck
• Cold Steel
• CRKT
• Gerber
• Kershaw
• SOG
• Spyderco

In addition to a number of other blade makers I’m not familiar with.


“Blade HQ Shop Tour- Where knives come from”
YouTube Video

Besides knives, BladeHQ.com sells:

• Knife Accessories
• Outdoor & Survival
• Multitools
• Pocket Tools
• Axes
• Throwing
• Saws
• Flashlights
• Keychain

Prospective customers can search products by:

• New Arrivals
• Exclusives
• Coming Soon
• Brands
• Designers

In addition, there are “On Sale” and “Closeout” sections on the website.

Blade HQ does offer price matching. According to their site:

BladeHQ will match any competitor’s price on identical “in stock” products from competing online stores at time of purchase.

For all domestic orders over $99, shipping is free.

The Blade HQ gang even buys rare knives and knife collections.

Blade HQ has been an Better Business Bureau accredited business since 2006, and is rated “A+” as I type this.

Interested in purchasing a knife or outdoor-related products soon? Check out Blade HQ via the banner ad below and see what they can do for you. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale.

(Editor’s note: Blade HQ is no longer an affiliate marketing partner of Survival And Prosperity)

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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SP Intel Report- October 26, 2015

Welcome to the inaugural post of the “SP Intel Report.” On October 15 I blogged big changes were coming to Survival And Prosperity starting October 19. I wrote:

Each day will begin with an “SP Intel Report” (if it’s warranted), where I’ll be focusing on current events locally (Chicagoland area), nationwide, and overseas which I think readers should be aware of…

As luck would have it, my computer crashed October 19, delaying the implementation of these changes.

One week later, I’ve managed to repair my laptop, and I’m back in the saddle again.

So off we go then…

Chicago

“If City Hall ‘loses’ downtown to the bad guys… you lose the tourists, their money, revenue… you get the point.”

Survival And Prosperity, May 4, 2011

The Chicago news media is reporting that two tourists from Minneapolis were robbed at knifepoint by three men near Oak Street Beach late Saturday evening. The male victim was stabbed during the holdup while trying to protect his girlfriend. Two of Chicago’s more upstanding residents have been charged with the crime (police are still looking for a third individual).

The last time I blogged about a tourist getting knifed downtown was back during the 2012 holiday season. Even though it’s been a while, I fear we’ll be hearing of similar incidents with increased regularity as the city’s financial health deteriorates and the Chicago Police Department keeps receiving lip service but not bodies (meaning manpower).

There will probably be plenty of the other based on recent trends.

Note to self. Study up on defense against knives.

Illinois

Speaking of deteriorating financial health, the State of Illinois was hammered by two of the major credit rating agencies in the past week. On October 19, Fitch Ratings announced in a press release:

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the rating on $26.8 billion in outstanding Illinois general obligation (GO) bonds to ‘BBB+’ from ‘A-‘.

In addition, the ratings on bonds related to the state based on its appropriation have been downgraded to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+’…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Three days later, Moody’s Investors Service stated in a release:

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the State of Illinois’ $26.8 billion of general obligation bonds to Baa1 from A3, while also lowering ratings on the state’s sales-tax (Build Illinois) bonds to Baa1 from A3, and on the state’s subject to appropriation bonds (issued by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and for the state’s Civic Center program) to Baa2 from Baa1. The outlook for all of these obligations remains negative…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Keep in mind the following observations by Karen Pierog over on the Reuters website on October 22:

Both general obligation bond ratings are now just three steps above the “junk” level… The downgrade by Moody’s marked the 17th by major credit rating agencies for Illinois since 2003… Even before this week’s downgrades, Illinois had the lowest credit ratings among the 50 U.S. states. Ratings histories from the three major credit rating agencies indicate few states have ever had their GO ratings fall below the A level…

Faced with a $105 billion unfunded public pension liability and a bill backlog of around $7 billion, I suspect Illinoisans will be on the hook for some sort of tax hike(s) in the near future.

International

Any Survival And Prosperity readers skeptical about the future existence of the Internet? Personally, I won’t be surprised if it goes kaput one day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m somewhat of a techie (driven by needs, not wants) and love the Internet. But I’m not sold on its staying power due to frailties with its infrastructure. A couple of years ago I remember reading about an elderly Georgian woman accidently cutting off neighboring Armenia’s access to the World Wide Web for up to five hours- using only a spade. And now there’s this from The New York Times website this past Sunday. David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt reported:

Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some American military and intelligence officials that the Russians might be planning to attack those lines in times of tension or conflict.

The issue goes beyond old worries during the Cold War that the Russians would tap into the cables — a task American intelligence agencies also mastered decades ago. The alarm today is deeper: The ultimate Russian hack on the United States could involve severing the fiber-optic cables at some of their hardest-to-access locations to halt the instant communications on which the West’s governments, economies and citizens have grown dependent

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So the Russians could switch off the Internet. Or a rogue Uncle Sam could do it and blame the Russkies.

I told my girlfriend her brilliant nephew should get into the BBS game. Wave of the future?


“Apple II on a BBS in 2014!”
YouTube Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Sobol, Rosemary Regina. “$500K, $950K bails set for 2 accused of robbery, stabbing near Oak Street Beach.” Chicago Tribune. 26 Oct. 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-police-2-held-following-armed-robbery-stabbing-near-oak-street-beach-20151026-story.html). 26 Oct. 2015.

Pierog, Karen. “UPDATE 2-Illinois bond rating cut again over budget impasse.” Reuters. 22 Oct. 2015. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/22/illinois-downgrade-moodys-idUSL1N12M2L120151022). 26 Oct. 2015.

Sanger, David E. and Schmitt, Eric. “Russian Ships Near Data Cables Are Too Close for U.S. Comfort.” The New York Times. 25 Oct. 2015. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/26/world/europe/russian-presence-near-undersea-cables-concerns-us.html?_r=1). 26 Oct. 2015.

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Paladin Press 45% Off Everything Sale Ends Tuesday Noon ET

Boulder, Colorado-based publisher and affiliate marketing partner Paladin Press (blogged about here) is having a 45% Off Everything Sale until tomorrow at noon Eastern Time. From their website (down the left sidebar):

Paladin Celebrates Its 45th Anniversary By Offering 45% Off Everything
Use Code PALADIN45 At Checkout.
Now Thru August 25, 2015, At Noon ET.

Cannot Be Combined With Any Other Offer
Not Available To Wholesalers

Congratulations Paladin!

FYI, I took advantage of this huge sale and placed my own order at lunchtime today. A two-book set that would have cost me $62 with shipping came out to only $36.35 with shipping after that generous discount was applied.

Interested in saving some big bucks? Head on over to Paladin Press ASAP (remember, the sale ends tomorrow at noon Eastern Time). If you buy anything, don’t forget to use that code at checkout.

Please note I receive a commission on every item purchased via the above link.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Project Prepper, Part 36: New Gear For Around The Property

Getting back on track with the “Project Prepper” series of posts, I want to talk about some new gear I’ve picked up. As a somewhat-new homeowner, I understand there will be times when I’m forced to investigate God-knows-what around the property, day or night. And as my girlfriend and I have come to discover, we have quite the wildlife refuge going on outside our house. As such, I’ve acquired some items in case an encounter with a four-legged (or two-legged) creature isn’t exactly a “pleasant” one:

Outdoor Security Final

Maglite S6D015 6-D Cell Flashlight (Amazon.com, $24.88)

Some specs compiled from Amazon.com:

• 163 lumen Krypton 6-cell bulb
• 19.5 x 2.9 x 2.8 inches
• 2.8 pounds
• Machined aluminum
• Self-cleaning rotary switch, 3 position, On, Off and Signal (manual momentary on-off)
• Spare lamp safely secured in tailcap
• O-ring sealed for water resistance
• 1/2 turn, cam action focus, spot-to-flood

A favorite among old school cops/security guards. After popping 6 D cell batteries into the flashlight and wielding it for the first time, I now understand why. This 19.5-inch machined aluminum device is a beast, and bright to boot. No creature (two- or four-legged) in their right mind would want to mess with this thing.

I also picked up an accessory pack (Amazon.com, $8.68) for the flashlight, and have already affixed the terrific anti-roll device.

Tact Gear Tactical Vest (Sportsman’s Guide, $26.99 with member discount)

From the Sportsman’s Guide website:

16 pockets for mags, radios, flashlights, pepper spray and more.
Rugged 8 1/2-oz. 60/40 Poly / Cotton blend with DuPont™ Teflon® fabric protection
Concealed crossover backup gun pocket with VELCRO® brand closure
Brass zip front
Brass D-ring
Badge tab.

I don’t know if it’s possible to ever run out of pockets with this vest. I’ve treated it with water repellant and have it hanging in a coat closet for fast, easy access. The last two items are contained in the vest.

Mace Brand Pepper Spray Police Strength 10% Pepper Foam (Amazon.com, $14.19)

From Amazon.com:

• Compact yet powerful model is a convenient size for carrying.
• Flip Top Safety Cap
• 10% Foam Spray
• Contains UV Dye for marking assailants for easy identification

I bought a two-pack of Mace Pepper Foam some time ago for potential use indoors (supposed to reduce chance of area contamination). This is one of those canisters. Since the device may have to be deployed in close quarters, I’m sticking with the pepper foam outdoors for now.

Enlan Bee M024A Folding Knife (Ebay, $10.61)

From vendor hellogiftshop’s web page:

Producer: Enlan Cutlery Co.,Ltd
Model: M024A
Blade: 8Cr13MoV (58HRC) stainless steel
Handle: Aluminium+ Stainless Steel; Money clip
Size:
Whole length: ~170mm(6.7″);
Blade’s length: ~71mm(2.8″);
Closed Length: ~100mm(3.94″)
Liner Lock
Net Weight: ~99g

I was on the look out for a good-yet-inexpensive knockaround folding knife that wasn’t “scary” for these parts to keep in the vest. I’d heard decent things about Enlan Cutlery out of China, and came across model M024A (drop point, dual thumb studs, liner lock, realistic-looking wood grain, legal in municipality/Cook County/Illinois) for a measly $10 and change. Like every other piece of gear I talked about in this post, I still have to put my Enlan knife to the test. However, my first impressions of the folder are positive. I would have preferred to buy American here, but was unable to tick all the required boxes.

More next time…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Items added to “Gear And Supplies” page)

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Intro To Sword, Knife Forging Class To Be Held In Chicago On May 8

Since first blogging about a local introductory class to sword and knife forging in January, I’ve noticed subsequent sessions fill up real fast. Yeah- they’re that popular. For Chicago-area readers interested in the receiving this instruction from Chris Mayor, founder of the Chicago School of Wilderness Skills (first blogged about the two back in February), Dabble.co (not .com) indicates there’s a knife/sword forging class scheduled for May 8 in the city. From the Dabble website:

Intro to Forging: Swords and Knives with Chris Mayor
Metalsmithing Classes in Chicago

Class Info

You’ve marveled at the craftsmen (and women) who can bend metal to their will. Now you’ll have a chance to learn the basics of forging and try it for yourself!

In this class Dabblers will learn proper tool use and shop safety, as well as the principles of design and fabrication of the forged blade. We will show examples of proper heat treatment, hammering and shaping of steel, grinding and sanding, handle attachment, buffing and finishing work, as well as sharpening.

The class format is both lecture and demonstration, however students will be able to get some hands on practice with the forge, hammer, and grinder at the end of class. Students will also receive handouts detailing the process and will have the option of registering for the full blade forging class where you will forge your own knife or sword.

The session is scheduled to take place on Friday, May 8, 2015, from 7 to 9 PM at the Cornelia Arts Building (1800 W. Cornelia Ave., Chicago). As I type this Wednesday morning, there’s just 6 spots left. Cost is only $30 to attend.

For more information about the class and to register for it, visit the Dabble website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Paladin Press Spring Sale: Save Up To 40% Until Noon Monday

Boulder, Colorado-based Paladin Press (reviewed here) is holding a Spring Sale on its books and videos until noon (ET) Monday. From their website (left sidebar further down):

Dig Yourself Out Of Winter With Paladin’s Spring Sale.

Save 30% on orders of $40.00-$74.99
Save 35% on orders of $75.00-$99.99
Save 40% on orders over $100.00

Sale ends April 13, 2015, at 12 PM ET.

Use code SPRING15 at checkout.

Cannot be combined with any other offer

Not available to wholesalers


“FIGHTSTOPPERS- Lee Morrison’s One Strike Stop”
Warning- Language
YouTube Video

Paladin’s postage and handling rates are very reasonable. At the time I type this, domestic U.S. standard shipping for 1 item is $5.00. Add $1.00 more for each additional item shipped this way on the same order.

Interested in saving some big bucks? Head on over to Paladin Press ASAP. Sale ends tomorrow at noon ET- and be sure to use that code to get the discount!

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Survival And Prosperity
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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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