Sunday, June 30, 2013

Another Example of Failure to Plan is to Plan for Failure

source: wikimedia

So, what happens to the companies when their Chief Decision Makers (CDM) do not spend any relevant time planning ahead?   ...  Errors occurs.  Profits are lowered.  Costs are raised.   Risk are not mitigated and opportunities are missed.

By mis-assessing their situation, their planning is usually based on their conceptualization of what their position is about.  

Poor assessment occasionally means an average or a sub par strategic position.  Average position usually creates inadequate influence.

Click here for an good example on poor decision management by a chief decision maker.

One could only ponder that whether  this type of Chief Decision Makers have ever spend any serious time  researching the specifics for building a proper Big Tangible Picture (BTP). If a plan is ever developed, they should know when to stay on course and when to adjust from it.  ...  In most cases, these Chief Decision Makers  (of the upper level) are focused on the "now."   They rarely suffer any risk consequences for their massive "SNAFU" decisions. 

Historically, these "CDMs" usually kick the can forward and let their successor worry about it.  ... Life moves on for them. ... 

The Compass Solution
It can be discouraged for those who are competing in our pseudo transparent world of complexity and elongated connectivity.  However, there is a pattern to everything.

By understanding that specific pattern, one is able to assess their situation in terms of one's own tenability, the various constraints, the possible simplicity of the situation , the probable range of the situation and one's own current position within the situation.   Most people considered this specific practice to be too long and troublesome.   If one wants to compete effectively, drop us a message.  We might be able to help you.

In the future, we will post a few items on how to assess a situation through the utilization of the Five Critical Strategic Factors. 

Regardless of the amount of "big data" technology and the quantity of people that has graduated from the elite schools,  the experience of assessing, planning and implementing generally prevail in critical times.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Filtering The Reality From The Mountain of Illusions: The NBA Draft

Yesterday was the NBA Draft, where each professional basketball team choose a "presumed  flawless" young superstar  who will score so many points and rebound so many times.   The reality is that most of those performance reports are hype.  Rarely does anyone ever focus on some of their possible flaws like the constant habit of turning over the ball during a  defensive press.

Some of my favorite negatives are: 
  • Replying too much on athletic skills than on technical skills; 
  • Having a learning disability; 
  • Possessing the emotional refusal to learn the playbook and/or to play team ball; 
  • Having the attitude of not playing "one on one" defense; and 
  • Having the possible reputation of being a team's cancer.

Sometimes, the statistics that the general manager employ, do not show some of these negatives.  ... That is the grand flaw of the "Moneyball" approach.

Depending on the circumstances, some serious fans and various general managers are more focused on their second round draft choice. The cost is less and that those chosen players are given more time to refine their various skills.

Speaking of statistics, the longevity of most NBA players are usually is about few years.  It is quite rare that a drafted NBA player stays in the NBA for over 10 years.

Most smart sport observers are usually assessing them throughout the season as a team player and having the patience and the tenacity to overcome pressure.

Past Result is no Indicator of Future Performance 
The lesson is that the successful strategists do not get hooked on the hype.  Instead of focusing on the same old set of horses, they look for the zebra.  ... The zebra is someone who does more than expected.   ...  He does the dirty work and is usually the consummate team player. These rare individuals usually venture above and beyond the call of duty.

In this current draft, there are no over-hyped superstars.  The best "safe" decision is to pursue a good performer who has a good work ethic and possessed a reputation of not becoming a  social embarrassment.

Preparation Precedes Performance
In professional basketball, one of our favorite zebras is Shane Battier. He has been in the NBA for over 10 years and is currently playing for the Miami Heat.   ... What makes Shane's unique is his competitive nature that has propelled him to spend many hours of studying the strengths and the weaknesses of his next opponent.  This  act of preparation has helped him and some of his teammates to gain a strategic advantage in the myriad of games. Beside being an exceptional three point shooter,  Battier is also considered a first class defender and is usually assigned against the opposition's best shooter.

His favorite quote "... proper planning (or preparation) prevents poor performance   tells us that he is quite focused on achieving the ultimate win, not the semantics of saying that he wants to win.

Click herehere  and here on the other aspects that have transformed him to become an exceptional coach-player on the floor.  ... 

Preparation Creates Profit
During game time, Shane's comprehension of each player's proclivity and deficiencies has enabled him to positioned his team to succeed and his opponent to deteriorate in a dramatic fashion

For example, Shane knows who he is guarding and what are his strengths and weaknesses regarding to their proclivity and deficiency.  

He also understands how he fits into the grand offensive and defensive scheme of the floor team while always mindfully recognizes where is his opponent on the floor of the court in relationship to time and space.  

His targeted object might have a habit of driving on the right side of the court 95% of the time and toward the middle the rest of the time while shootings with the left hand and never passing the ball.  Shane might force him to go left and shoot with his right hand, knowing if he ever passes the ball, that it might be a forced pass.  

If forced to defend against someone else in a poorly team defense situation,  Battier would still know their offensive tendencies.

At the end of the game  Battier usually have defended him well enough that the offensive damage by the opponent would be minimized.

On the offensive side, Battier knows when and where to set that screen play or that pick play that frees a certain teammate for an easy shot. In most occurrences, he is a superior three point shooter.

“In warfare, the strategic configurations of power do not exceed the unorthodox and orthodox, but the changes of the unorthodox and orthodox can never be completely exhausted. The unorthodox and orthodox mutually produce each other, just like an endless cycle. Who can exhaust them ?” - Art of War 5 

In summary, this intense preparation enables him to be the catalyst or the force multiplier who makes other players better. ... Whenever Battier is on the court, the team scored more than the opponent. ... In the last championship game against the Spurs, Shane scored 18 points in 30 minutes.

One day, Mr. Battier will make a ultra class basketball coach/strategist.

To reach that 10+ year benchmark, the rookies should study the "Shane Battier's" model.

Side notes
Click here on our specific view of  the Moneyball approach. 

Knowing when to release a court performer one season sooner than one season later, is the essence of the art of evaluating personnel.   

In the efficient economy, we are always evaluated by our last performance. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Psychology is Strategy: Assessing Oneself Through The Way of the Sword

"I study the sword to understand my soul. After many years of training, the sword became my soul.  Now I study my soul to understand the sword.  ... "   -Anonymous 

The previous post focuses on "assessing the competition: through "The Way of The Sword."  This post highlights on self analysis.

Comments From the Compass Desk
How does that quote reflects one's strategic behavior?

After the completion of an endeavor, most people would just walk away without a thought about  it.  Then there are some people who would study their past actions to understand their motive and their chosen methods.  The rare few usually reflected on their previous motives and their chosen methods for the purpose of comprehending the meaning of their actions.

"Learning from the lessons" is what many people have always talked about doing, but only a  few people have really follow-through on it.

One's action is a extension of one's own consciousness while the state of one's conscious is a reflection of one's own action.  .

Video tape yourself handing a non-sharp edged sword and observe the following five points:
  • your state of relaxation;
  • your state of groundness
  • you state of center-ness
  • your state of calmness; and 
  • your state of wholeness.
By reviewing those five  mentioned states,  you can conclude whether you are operating in a meta-physical state of controlled focus or a meta-physical state of flexibility.  ...  In summary, It does not matter whether you are swinging a sword or washing a window pane, each relevant action is considered to be an extension of your mind.  ... Think about it  ... 
We will touch on the parallels and dis-parallels between the two different processes in a .future post.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Psychology is Strategy: Assessing The Competition Through The Way of the Sword

"To master a sword thrusting technique, you must merge the body and its function into that movement.  ... Concentrate your eyes on a point (a specific target) without letting your eyes wander. By integrating the sinking of the qi and the focus of the yi (the mind-intent), then you are able to coordinate.your inside and outside (the six harmonies concept).   ... Focus your mind and your eyes onto that one point is the most important thing when you begin to practice." - Anonymous Chinese Sword Player

By observing how a sword player specifically employed their sword in their various pre-practice sessions, their practice sessions and their post-practice sessions, one learns their strategic  attributes:
  • their capability to stay alert.
  • their capability to capitalize on the various opportunities; 
  • their capability to observe the Big Tangible Picture;
  • their capability to stay confident;
  • their capability to maneuver regardless of the chaos factor;
  • their ease of effort when employing certain moves; and 
  • their competitive drive. 
Minor Jottings From the Compass Desk
In a competitive situation, how do you observe your competitor?  ... Do you know what are the signals that lead to those seven listed attributes? ... It is not that easy. Is it?  There are unique internal martial art training practices and tactical signals checklists that enables one to determine those seven points.  ... Do you know what they are?

It does not matter whether your are swinging a sword or maneuvering a pen on a clipboard of paper, each relevant action could be considered as an extension of your mind.

Side Note
If you are a swordplayer of different sorts, please read this post

Final Point
While you are assessing the competition, there is a good chance that they are assessing you concurrently.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Art of Focus (11): Centering Oneself

/// This post has been updated on 11.18.2015 at 11:18am.

One cannot learn or perform anything strategic if he or she is not consciously centered to the present moment. Any acts of assessing, positioning or influencing would be a waste of time and a waste of effect.  

There are those who believed that they can think their way or read their way to a state of centering or a state of enlightenment. They do not have an idea what they are talking about in reference to not mindfully understanding the singularity of the situation. Some claimed that it is a preferential situation where different strokes are for different folks.   

However, there is a psychological deficiency to the neophyte's perspective.  Reflect on your past strategic experience. That should tell you whether it is effective for you.

By spending some time assessing the outside world. he or she would realized that this act of grinding it out in a high stake, high reward realm does not work especially in a "time and resources-finite" situation.

Psychologically, the utilization of a checklist of quotes and operational steps to stay focused, might only help them for a short timeline.  But gaining the feeling of staying focused through the practice of principles is the challenge for many competitors.

Some people centering themselves through food, drinks, yoga or a prayer. Others do it through sports or internal martial arts (IMA).

The Internal Martial Art Solution
Feeling relax.  Feeling  grounded.  Feeling center.  Feeling calm.  Feeling whole. Practicing those principles simulataneously usually enables one to become mindfully steady and ready for anything. 

In our cases, most of us "center" ourselves by practicing those five principles through our Yi Quan exercises and some variation of the various Taijiquan systems or other internal martial art systems.

Click here of an item written by Rick Matz and his Cook Ding's Kitchen associates on the practice of Yi Quan.  

Yi Quan: Use your intent not your physical strength.
The Positives of YiQuan
 YiQuan teaches the practitioner to relax regardless of the surroundings. As you become more relaxed, you accrue many common-sense health benefits. Nothing needs to be more complex than that.

The first thing you might notice is that you sleep better. When you sleep well, you feel better, are more alert, your body works better, you have more energy, and so on. You become more sensitive about what your body feels: the effects of what you eat and drink and your environment. As you relax, you have less of a need to eat to relieve stress, for example, and other nervous compulsions seem to drop away.

You create 'space' around you. In this space, the stresses of life become somewhat diffused, so you have less stress and can look at things more objectively. You become less worried about time. What is considered important becomes more refined. You will find it easier to drop things that don't add something positive to your life.

You'll find that your reaction time becomes quicker. With the quicker reaction time and the psychological space, you can better respond to what happens around you, rather than just reacting.

A result of all of this is that you become … more relaxed and so set up a cycle of positive feedback, improving your physical and mental health.

YiQuan practice doesn't require a special space, such as a training mat or special equipment. You can practice wherever you are. While partner practice is of huge benefit, you'll spend most of your time training on your own so you don't have to depend on the availability of someone else.

YiQuan training falls into one of the following seven categories (with the first three discussed later in greater detail):
  • Standing like a stake (zhan zhuang)
  • Gathering strength (mo jin)
  • Testing strength (shi li)
  • Walking exercise (mocabu)
  • Push hands (tui shou)
  • Issuing force (fa jin)
  • Combat (san shou)
The foundational root of YiQuan training can be found in its mother art, XingYiQuan, and in the other internal martial arts, BaGuaZhang and TaijiQuan. Like these other martial arts, YiQuan puts a premium on relaxation and connected, whole-body movement.

Unlike the other internal martial art systems, YiQuan does not rely on the use of the Qi theory as a basis for teaching; but in no way does it contradict that theory.

Zhan Zhuang, The Basic Exercise (The Objective of Developing Mindfulness)
The first fundamental YiQuan training exercise is stake standing or "zhan zhuang." The principal focus of this practice is learning how to relax to promote both good health and martial ability. After a good understanding of "relax" is reached, then you can work with visualizations. Learning "how to relax" is the common first step in all internal martial arts. Once this level of relaxation has been reached, the next step is to proceed toward advanced exercises.

During this standing practice, wherever tension is felt, just let it go. It'll probably come right back in a microsecond, but that's okay. The tension will be noticed and you will counter by just releasing it. Let it go again and again. Eventually that tension will subside and you'll notice tension somewhere else. Repeat the process. As long as you are alive, it will never end.

The more you train and learn to relax, the more sensitive you'll become to noticing tension. You'll find that you notice how poorly other people are standing. They are reflections of you, past and present. Pay attention and let the tension go throughout the day. Constantly relax and let go.

As you progress, you will be able to feel any specific tension in you body with finer resolution. You will be able to identify individual muscles. The more relaxed you become, the more you can feel and become more relaxed. It's positive feedback. Relaxing the tension is similar to that of the action of peeling the layers of an onion.

The interesting thing about the process of concentrating on coming relaxed is that once you get into a very relaxed state, your structure becomes very sound. It must be sound in order you to be relaxed.  When you are truly relaxed, you'll feel as though you were expanding in all directions.

Being relaxed, balanced, and so on, isn't some fixed point. It's a dynamic point that's always moving. When you stand, you're basically physically still, but because this point is always moving around, you are intent with it and you always have the possibility of movement. You could support a mountain, but if a fly landed on you, you'd be in instant motion. You have the potential to be still or move.

How you train is a strategy. Think about what you are doing, how you are approaching it, and why. If you are not getting results, you are doing something wrong. Back up and examine your methods; then try again.

As mentioned previously, the basic purpose of standing was to learn to relax. That is the gateway to learning how to use the visualizations.

YiQuan (YQ) uses vivid imagery to train the body to respond to the mind's intention. Once the novice practitioners have learned how to relax, they will begin to focus on specific visualizations. With each incremental sequence of specific visualization, the muscles of the body will begin to respond in the development of a coordinated frame of whole-body strength.

The essential points of this stake exercise are to focus attention, relax the body, and breathe naturally.

Mo Jin, Gathering Strength
The next level of stance and visualization practice is called Gathering Strength or "mo jin."

Where previously the student used very basic stances and visualizations, during mo jin, a fighting stance is used and the imagery has to do with manipulating heavy objects at a distance. The purpose is to train the mind to project the intent away from the body.

Shi Li, Testing Strength
During the practice of both zhan zhuang and mo jin, the student remained motionless or very nearly still. Through the Shi Li exercises the student learns to move while keeping the characteristics learned during the practice of zhan zhuang and mo jin—the collective practice of whole-body movement using visualizations of "overcoming heavy springs" or "strong currents."

The student pushes forward and pulls back against them. The goal is to have coordinated movement with no breaks or gaps. At each instant, if stopped, the position would be balanced, centered, and relaxed.

"Producing a feeling with a fixed method
Giving up the method after getting the feeling
Letting the feeling follow into everything
Personal feeling leads to complete awareness"   —   Han Jing Yu

Nothing in YiQuan training is done without a reason. YiQuan is meant to be pursued on a "scientific basis." Practice, understand what you are practicing and why. Look at your results. If you aren't getting the results you should be getting, examine what you are doing, your expectations, why you are doing it, and make adjustments.

There is an unity point in YiQuan training. Once your practice has matured, whenever you practice any part of YiQuan, you are practicing all of it. Like a hologram, each part of YiQuan carries the image of the whole.

During the practice of any YiQuan exercise, the four words that any serious YiQuan practitioner must remember are:  Song Huo Yuan Zhang. 

Song means Relaxation, Huo means Flexibility in movement, Yuan means Circle, and Zhang means Whole Body. 

This set of words encompasses the principles that define all of the exercises in YiQuan. Any move that is executed must have these four particulars to be correct.  Other YiQuan principles will be elaborated in future articles.

My previous YiQuan mentor used to tell me that " … Daoism is a pragmatic way of looking at the world, but YiQuan is a pragmatic way of training one's own being to be internal."

A rule of thumb is that 50% of your time should be spent on the basic standing practice, known as zhan zhuang, and the other 50% on everything else. 

When in doubt, err on the side of spending a little more time in zhan zhuang. Standing for relatively lengthy periods regularly is helpful. If you only have a little time, invest it in zhan zhuang for most of your training.

The use of visualizations is the signature of Yiquan training. With the visualizations, you can practice YiQuan virtually anytime, anywhere.

An example of eight different YiQuan Health-Enhancing postures performed by Yi Quan master HanXingYuen.

Click here for a better copy.

More Points
The emphasis of real internal martial arts is the attributes of centering, relaxing, sinking, and complete body alignment. Details on those attributes will covered in future articles. After each YiQuan exercise, the practitioner becomes more relaxed.

The focus of YiQuan is about releasing tension through the practice of proper internal principles and visualization.  It is a good starting point for those who study other internal marital arts training.  Currently, much of the internal martial arts teaching does not focus on the practice of relaxation through "still" posturing.  YiQuan is a technical return to that necessity.

From the constant practice of "Never stop relaxing", my physical balance got better. My concentration was enhanced.  My health improved dramatically.  If there were other better reasons to practice YiQuan and other internal marital arts, I do not know.

My previous YiQuan mentor also used to remind me, "…Wherever you are at. … Whatever you are doing, … always relax. …"

Questions and Answers
Sometimes people asked me the following questions:
  • What do I do after learning YiQuan exercises?
  • How do I keep up with my training?
Many of us are in the business where we spend much of our time on our feet. In most cases, we do not spend enough time practicing our YiQuan exercises.

After some research, we were able to continue our training of YiQuan through the use of standing tables.

Regardless of the work, we are almost always standing while practicing the YiQuan principles of Song Huo Yuan Zhang.
  • Song means relaxation
  • Huo means flexibility in movement
  • Yuan means circle
  • Zhang means whole body
This set of words encompasses the principles that define all of the exercises in YiQuan. Any move that is executed must have these four principles to be correct.

Fundamental Practice
Stand still.  Center yourself to the ground by concentrating all of your weight to the ground.. Connect the body to the ground. Focus your attention to the ground. Relax by dropping your shoulders and your wrists.  Choose a posture.  Be still for a minimum of 30 minutes.  Focus on the action of slowing down your breathing, and stabilizing your balance while centering your body rhythm to a zero state. Let your swallowed breath ripple down to your heels and beyond. 

Inhale by stimulating the quiet action of swallowing. Then exhale by stimulating the action of spitting. Sink your weight to the ground. This will physically calm you down.  Slow and deep inhale and slower and shallow exhale is another practice principle. (The phrasing sounds better in Mandarin Chinese.)  The process of feeling of each and every inch of your body begins.

After awhile, you might become aware of the following five meta-physical states in your standing practice:

  • the relaxation state; 
  • the 'connective' grounded state;
  • the center state;
  • the calm state; and 
  • the whole state. 
The practice of the mentioned steps usually enable one to be focused on that one task while being mindfully ready for anything around you.   Unlike what the other "mind over matter"gurus have espoused to you, we can guarantee that Yi Quan will not resolve all of your spiritual conflicts.

There are more detailed steps, specific drills and unique variations off this basic set of steps.  We will dwell deeply on this specific topic in our future posts.

If those eight postures do not work for you, start with the next picture.  It is a simple posture of standing while positioning both hands downward.  Study the visual specifics carefully.

Sun Lu Tang's Wuji Posture  

# The Standing Table Practice
(This material has been updated.)

Mission Desk from
Regardless of the range of space in your cubicle, use a proper elevated table with a cleared desktop as a "centerpoint" for standing, strategizing, planning, producing and resting. 

Start by  fasting for a minimum of six hours.  Log off from your desktop unit and your mobile phone.  Wear a solid color, wool baseball cap or a hooded sweatshirt to keep the head warm and/or a headset to insure that there is no noise.  De-activate any electronic devices. Turn off any white noise.  Check  the temperature in that room is between 68* and 72* degrees.

Take a long sip of "room temperature" water.  If you really need the feel of space, either position the table many feet away from you.

Another Famous Follower of The Standing Table Practice .

You can also choose one of the following eight different YiQuan health-enhancing postures performed by YiQuan master Han Xing Yuen. (Look at the previous set of pictures.)
This Yiquan posture works those need to de-stressing themselves. 
# # #

When standing, we felt that we were able to quickly devise plans, becoming more innovative and taking more initiative than our professional counterparts.

Standing up while working has improved our health and productivity. From our personal experience, it's true. Before our practice of standing, each one of us used to suffer lower back pain. Since our practice, there has been immediate relief to our lower backs.

Some of our ailing associates learned some of the YiQuan postures and tried using the standing tables exercise and now no longer suffer from backaches, leg cramps, and poor digestion. They also reported a dramatic increase in their productivity. There is also less fatigue at the end of the day as a result of improved circulation and exercise.

The Compass Principles of Centering
  1. The quality of your standing is proportional to the quality of focus.
  2. The quality of your focus is proportional to the quality of assessing, positioning and influencing.
  3. One's ability to assess a situation has nothing to do with one's skill to position and influence.
  4. It is important to be moderately rested and hydrated before proceeding to the practice of Centering 
  5. Skills and strategies are irrelevant if one cannot stay focused to the current objective.  
  6. When in doubt, look at rule #1.
Another Macro Practice Pointers
Start by being slow in your practice.  After awhile, the practice of the steps will become automatic.  Slow is smooth  Smooth become fast.   Fast is good.   Your practice will slowly evolve to a state of quiet and quick.

Beside the practice of the YiQuan postures, we also recommend the standing postures from Taiji, Bagua Zhang, and Xing YiQuan.

The great Renaissance man Zheng Manqing (aka Cheng Man Ching) (one of the greatest Yang Taiji players was the master of the "Five Excellences" of painting, poetry, calligraphy, medicine, and martial arts) performed most of his drawings while standing.

Other users of the standing tables were: Mozart, Hemingway and Churchill.  Of course, none of them have ever studied internal martial arts.

As players of YiQuan and other internal martial arts, we have always believed in the importance of standing. To most beginners, it is quite boring. Some of our practice time is spent just standing in front of a table working.

If you want to be productive in your work, we recommended the combination of practicing YiQuan standing exercises while using stand-up desks. It will increase and improve your health and productivity. Our personal experience supports that point.

From our constant practice of "never stop relaxing," our physical balance, concentration, and health improved. Many internal martial arts instructors that we have met, constantly advise the following: "Wherever you are at, whatever you do, always relax."   

The other advice is, “When your attention goes, the energy flows.”

Some experienced YQ players preferred the advice of always being in the metaphysical state of relax, ground, center,  calm and whole.  Attaining it on a 24/7 basis is the challenge. Do you have the time and the patience to achieve this level?

Hint: There is a subtle positive to this practice.  Those who properly do it consistently, usually understand the full benefit of being well-centered. 

  •  Popular sources for YiQuan articles, history, links, etc.
  • The Way of Energy, Lam Kam Chuen
  • The Way of Power, Lam Kam Chuen

Other Favorite Internal Martial Arts (IMA) Websites
English translation on the various IMA training pointers and notes can be found at Smiling

Videos of YiQuan exercises, Taiji Quan, BaguaZhang, Xing YiQuan, and other Chinese martial art systems can be found at and Plum Publications.

Minor Jottings
We are not martial artists.   Those who are interested in this topic, can find more tangible information at Cook Ding's Kitchen.   Remember that one can only learn or perform anything strategic if he or she is consciously centered to that present moment.  Therefore, the act of assessing, positioning or influencing, is quite possible.

Rick Matz is a practitioner of YiQuan and other forms of internal martial arts systems. He runs the Cook Ding's Kitchen.

This item  was originally published at Jade Dragon  (Part #1  and Part # 2 )  and was conceptually updated for this blog.

# # #

Saturday, June 8, 2013

How to Collect and Exploit Field Intelligence

Comments From The Compass Desk
The following news item is a good example where collecting the right data begins by utilizing the green capital as a bait. Out in the field, one carefully sprays it to the proven sources (informants) hopes that he gets lucky with one of his many baits.

Those who believed that collecting field intelligence from the search engine, is the way to go, are either inexperienced and naive. Sometimes,  they are just deceiving their audience.

There is an art and a science behind this process. Those who know, don't say.

However, you can read The Art of War and the Secret Six Teachings about the basics of collecting intelligence.


SF cops went all out retrieve stolen gun

Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross
Updated 5:49 am, Sunday, March 10, 2013
San Francisco cops dodged a real bullet the other day when one of their AR-15 rifles wound up in the hands of an East Oakland gang after being stolen out of the trunk of an unmarked police car.
The prospect of a police semiautomatic rifle being used in a violent crime prompted a Code 3 response once officers discovered the theft last weekend South of Market.
Police Chief Greg Suhr immediately put out word to start questioning every street source they had.
"No resources were spared," Suhr said.
Asked exactly how they traced the rifle, the chief told us that "it wouldn't be in the best interest of future cases to give away trade secrets."
Other law enforcement sources, however, said the department caught a break almost immediately when an undercover cop working his informants in the Bayview heard about a stolen police rifle showing up in Oakland.
Soon, Suhr himself was on the phone to Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan, whose department promptly joined in the hunt.
Law enforcement sources familiar with the practices of San Francisco and Oakland police tell us it's likely they paid for the key information they got.
"We have a fund that pays for information on guns," says one longtime San Francisco police insider.
Oakland police spokesman Sgt. Chris Bolton would say only that police used "a number of investigative techniques."
Once the cops got an address, the Oakland SWAT team was brought in.
Police negotiators were then called to make contact with those inside the house on the 1300 block of 88th Avenue, urging them to surrender peacefully and to give up any weapons.
Other details about the raid have not been divulged, but we're told that there was a car chase at one point involving at least one suspect who fled.
Still, while as many as seven people were detained, there were no arrests - a clear sign, department insiders say, that they had a deal with somebody to get the weapon back with no questions asked.
In addition to the stolen police rifle, officers recovered a Ruger Mini-14 tactical semiautomatic rifle, a semiautomatic pistol, a shotgun, 1,000 ecstasy pills and other drugs.
As far as Suhr is concerned, "We got lucky."

Other Notes 
Click here and here for other good reads on this topic of intelligence  gathering.

Food For Thought 
“The most valuable commodity I know of is information.” – Gordon Gekko, in the movie Wall Street

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  – John 8:32, the creed of the Central Intelligence Agency

“The success of any trap lies in its fundamental simplicity.”​  – Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Identity

“A man who wishes to make a profession of goodness in everything must necessarily come to grief among so many who are not good.”  – Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, The Prince

"There is one evil I dread- and that is, their spies. "  - George Washington on British Intelligence, March 24, 1776. 

Comments From The Compass Desk
Whenever there is chaos,  focus on securing the best set of information that creates order.   Assess.  ... Position  ... Influence.  ... 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Gone Fishing! (A View From Chapter Three of The Six Secret Teachings)

Without stirring abroad

One can know the whole world;
Without looking out the window
One can see the way of heaven.
The further one goes
The less one knows.
Therefore the sage knows without having to stir,
Identifies without having to see,
Accomplishes without having to act.

DDJ 47

So how does he know the world?
"The Strategist observes signs from the movements of Heaven and Earth and knows its principles. He observes the movement of the sun and the moon and understand their seasonal activity. He follows the cycles of day and night, taken them as his constant. All things have life and death in accord with the principles of Heaven and Earth. Thus it is said that if one fights before understanding the situation, even if he is more numerous, he will certainly be defeated."
"One who excels at competition will await events in the situation without making any movement. When he sees he can be victorious, he will arise; if he sees he cannot be victorious, he will desist. Thus it is said that he does not have any fear, he does not vacillate. Of the many harms that can beset an organization, indecision is the greatest. Of disasters that can befall an organization, none surpasses doubt."
"One who excels in competition will not lose an advantage when he perceives it or be doubtful when he meets the opportunity. One who loses an advantage or lags behind the time for action will, on the contrary, suffer from disaster. Thus the wise follow the time and do not lose an advantage; the skillful are decisive and have no doubts. He strikes like a sudden clap of thunder, which does not give time to cover ears; strike like a flash of lightning, which does not give time to close the eyes. Advance as is suddenly startled; employ your team as if deranged. Those who oppose you will be destroyed; those who come near will perish. Who can defend against such an attack?"
"Now when matters are not discussed and general preserves their secrecy, he is superior. When things are not manifest but he discerns them, he is wise. Thus if superior and wise, no enemies will act against him in the field, nor will any state stand against him."
"Excellent!" said King Wu.
- Paraphrased from Six Secret Teachings 26