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HomeOff Grid & Self SufficiencyRaul Martinez Jr. Highlight: Rogue Strategies

Raul Martinez Jr. Highlight: Rogue Strategies

Hard occasions create sturdy males — this adage rings true for most of the instructors and subject material specialists we’ve got interviewed in RECOIL OFFGRID, and Raul Martinez Jr. isn’t any exception. Rising up as a first-generation American alongside seven siblings in a low-income house, life was by no means straightforward. Compounding this, his house was situated in Chicago’s Decrease West Aspect. Internal-city gang violence was pervasive, and quite a lot of of Raul’s childhood mates ended up in jail or lifeless consequently. To interrupt free from this vicious cycle, he joined the Military, which quickly uncovered him to a brand new sort of violence in Iraq. Years later, his path got here full circle as he returned house and signed as much as be a patrol officer with the Chicago Police Division. Paradoxically, most of his days had been spent coping with the identical hodgepodge of low-level gang members, drug sellers, and misguided youngsters he grew up alongside. A subsequent promotion to the undercover narcotics process power allowed him to pursue probably the most ruthless and well-funded echelons of Chicago’s felony hierarchy.

Photo of instructor Raul Martinez Jr. demonstrating with an AR 15.

Immediately, Raul has blended classes realized from his time in legislation enforcement, the army, and rising up in one in all America’s most harmful cities to create his personal coaching firm, Rogue Strategies. His programs cowl a seamless mixture of hand-to-hand defensive expertise, edged weapons implementation, capturing, and medical coaching, all inside the context of a real-world, no-holds-barred battle. He has additionally partnered with instructors equivalent to longtime RECOIL OFFGRID contributor Ed Calderon for joint courses. Ultimately, his targets are easy: to inspire everybody he meets to turn into higher ready for a violent altercation, and to supply them with the information and expertise to come back out victorious.

After attending a latest Rogue Strategies class, we took the chance to talk to Raul about his upbringing, profession path, and ideas on the self-defense coaching panorama.

RECOIL OFFGRID: Inform us about your upbringing. Which a part of Chicago did you reside in?

Raul Martinez: What can I say about Chicago that the information hasn’t already? Like most main cities, it has a extremely numerous inhabitants. I used to be lucky sufficient to be born and raised in Pilsen, a predominantly Mexican neighborhood, again within the ’80s. We had been surrounded by Polish folks, Italians, People, and African People — all of us blended in neighborhood and generally utter chaos. Peace was usually depending on surrounding gang rivalries and their enlargement for territory. Fistfights, shootouts, automobile chases, and a bunch of mothers peeking out from their first-, second-, and third-story home windows yelling for his or her youngsters to come back inside, now!

Photo of Raul Martinez with his platoon in Iraq.

Above:The signature platoon photograph whereas on Iraqi soil, the crossed sabers of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, Iraq, circa 2008.

Residence-cooked meals had been the very best, from conventional Mexican dishes to pan-fried bologna, generally pizza and tacos, perogies, and hotdogs. The ’80s and ’90s in Chicago had been an superior time, with and with out the violence. Later, we moved to the north facet of town earlier than I made my solution to Arizona.

You talked about one in all your childhood mates ended up in jail for homicide. What led you to flee that life?

RM: I’ve to credit score my loving mom for this resolution. She will need to have seen the writing on the wall and made the required strikes to shift our house base north.

Being that we had been decrease revenue, the identical issues laid in wait, simply in a brand new place with new faces. From gangster rap to punk rock and all issues Rage In opposition to the Machine, then again to gangsta rap. Mixing in grew to become a ability. Interested by it now, this ultimately helped me navigate higher in different international locations and as a cop.

I want nothing however the very best to all my outdated mates. Might life deal with you effectively in all of your days …

What did you do within the Military? How lengthy had been you in?

RM: Initially I needed to be a Marine. On the time, the tattoo rules had been stiff. I went so far as getting laser removing on one neck tattoo, and it nonetheless wasn’t sufficient. A brief stroll over to the Military recruiters, and I used to be in — signed and able to turn into a 19D Cavalry Scout. Reconnaissance was my objective. Coaching was unbelievable, an important change of tempo from metropolis life. A number of awards and management positions later, and I used to be hooked — army life was the life for me.

I deployed with the third Infantry Division to Iraq from 2007 to 2009. What a wild and memorable expertise that was. Foot patrols to mounted actions, single constructing CQB to clearing villages, small arms gunfights to Bradley combating autos and their 25mm hailstorms. Assembly with native Sheikhs and coaching the Iraqi military and police forces. What a time to be alive. Shout out to all my outdated army mates, I miss you guys.

Photo of Raul Martinez working with the Iraqi army.

Above: With a gaggle of trusted native fighters earlier than one in all many operations, Iraq circa 2008. These guys had been laborious chargers.

After all of the fight jazz and unimaginable classes realized, I signed on to turn into a Drill Sergeant. I reclassed into the Infantry as an 11B after which went to Drill faculty, what an honor. I wrapped up my service time of eight years in a mix of lively responsibility and reserve time. Ending all of it with a double MOS qual of 19D/11B-30X, fight deployment, a coronary heart stuffed with patriotism and love for our fellow countrymen. It’s a service I’ll encourage my youngsters to be part of.

We’ve heard the tongue-in-cheek nickname Chiraq used to match the roughest components of Chicago to a literal struggle zone. How a lot of an exaggeration is that?

RM: What an acceptable title for a metropolis like Chicago. The nickname Chiraq could be very a lot a matter of time and place. I say that as a result of it does really feel like a struggle zone each once in a while, particularly for these caught within the combine when gunfire rages. The violence, nonetheless, isn’t widespread throughout the entire of town. It’s remoted to sure neighborhoods and areas. If violence breaks out downtown, it’s both as a result of two rivals bumped into one another and, effectively, what higher place to indicate dominance than the right here and now? In any other case, it’s an organized occasion that’s being tracked each on-line and by the legislation enforcement avenue groups.

Photo of Raul Martinez behind the wheel of a car.

Above: Patrol work throughout a saturation initiative on Chicago’s South Aspect. Round this time, 4 individuals had been gunned down by unknown shooters who fired roughly 200 rounds of seven.62 right into a automobile. Nobody survived. Nobody was caught.

Many of the locals know the unhealthy areas and keep away as greatest they will. The violence is actual, but not directed at random residents. It’s largely rival gangs that lack management and group. As soon as upon a time, gang leaders had their very own codes, guidelines, and even ethics. Most of these guys ended up in jail or lifeless, and all of the wannabes took cost. No management and no course — chaos grew to become the brand new norm for the streets.

After leaving the army, did you go instantly into legislation enforcement? Give us an outline of your LE profession path.

RM: Not instantly. I had some enjoyable for some time as a personal investigator, operating surveillance jobs and monitoring of us who didn’t wish to be discovered. I loved studying the PI craft because of a superb buddy in Illinois. Cheers Craig, I hope all is effectively.

I additionally spent a while contracting right here within the States, largely the coastal ones. We jumped round from the Caribbean to Australia and again once more. There was a superb mixture of dudes in that element — an American, a New Zealander, a South African, and an Australian. There was loads of driving, advance planning, and surveillance work for me on that staff.

In between journeys, I completed the hiring course of with Chicago and have become a Chicago cop, one thing I by no means thought I’d be till it occurred. Most officers develop up eager to be one — not me! I nonetheless bear in mind having to run full tilt to get away from them, being caught a number of occasions and being held at gunpoint throughout visitors stops. I understood the sport then and much more now.

Raul Martinez geared up to execute a search warrant.

Above: Equipped and minutes away from a search warrant, monitoring down a critically unhealthy dude. The staff and I labored by way of the evening and approached at first gentle. The masks had been to guard our id for continued work within the space, nothing extra.

So, there I used to be, dressed within the well-known gentle blue uniform of the Chicago Police Division able to do my half and mix my avenue smarts and army coaching to catch some precise unhealthy dudes. I did my greatest to keep away from creating criminals from on a regular basis of us. I wrote extra warnings than tickets and dismissed numerous those that needed to be written. I instructed extra individuals to throw stuff away than most coppers discover of their careers. There have been greater fish to fry, and time was by no means on our facet.

I labored patrol each on foot and in autos, and likewise labored plain garments on a tac-team. I hung out alongside some actually nice dudes on an undercover narcotics staff — true professionals that confirmed me the ropes and actually invested in my growth. There I realized loads concerning the significance of mixing in and “figuring out the enemy.” It was a fantastic and effective line being a superb man with the facility and connections of either side.

Raul Martinez posing with cheerful citizens at a parade barrier in Chicago.

Above: Chicago Cubs victory parade. This was an enormous occasion that referred to as for all items to indicate up in uniform and crown caps.

My final cease with Chicago PD was within the firearms coaching unit, I used to be grateful for the chance at such an early stage in my LE profession. Efcharistó, LT!

Was the gear and coaching you obtained ample for the job you needed to do? If not, what had been the largest deficiencies?

RM: The division had customary gear and coaching that each one officers wanted to have and take part in. I’ll say this: these of us who took the time to check our gear and hunt down particular person coaching all excelled and located ourselves on groups and specialty items ahead of a few of our friends.

The largest deficiencies had been in hand-to-hand coaching, largely because of the nature of extra lifelike/aggressive coaching and the potential for harm. I believe you may accomplish sturdy and protected coaching if the instructors are excessive stage coaches as effectively. Some positions are laborious to come back by, and as soon as acquired dudes have a tendency to remain there even when they aren’t the proper match anymore.

Actually, we prepare individuals more durable in our two-day courses than a few of the coaching introduced within the academy. It’s all the time attainable to get good coaching, and I hope youthful officers get their probability to make some modifications. I consider in you!

How did your time as a child on the streets put together you for undercover work?

RM: What higher academics than these actively dwelling and thriving in felony life? These guys had figured some stuff out, they usually had been completely satisfied to share with these they trusted. Possibly that is another excuse why I take pleasure in educating. I had some superior academics, even in that section of my life.

Raul Martinez resting during combatives training.

Above: Catching a breather after some laborious sparring rounds throughout battle camp for the 2019 MMA battle. Native fighters Danny and Kevin had been introduced in to assist put together.

Time on the streets taught me about patterns of fine guys, unhealthy guys, and junkies. Combating, operating, hiding — basically parkour earlier than it was a factor, solely with weapons, medicine, and the potential of getting caught and beat up (once more). I bear in mind taking a sawed-off double barrel shotgun, its deal with wrapped in duct tape, and a rusty wheel gun with electrical tape across the grip from a hidden crawl house in an deserted constructing. I packed them up and carried them with a buddy to the ditch spot at Lake Michigan. Their providers had been now not wanted.

All of those experiences helped me higher perceive who I used to be coping with whereas working within the metropolis — artistic and crafty of us on the flawed facet of legislation. A dream I usually have is that of a foot chase. I’m each the one operating and the one chasing. I’m each younger and outdated, operating from myself, one laughing and one scowling. I awaken and suppose, preserve operating little sh*t, life is way from over!

Had been there any particularly harmful conditions you skilled throughout that point?

RM: There have been loads. Sufficient that even now, as I actually suppose again, I’m flooded by reminiscences I had saved away and haven’t visited shortly. A mix of car pursuits resulting in foot chases, drawing a gun and placing it again in its holster to maintain transferring quicker. Working into buildings marked condemned and clearing rooms swiftly. Looking back, that will have been silly, however I’m undoubtedly completely satisfied to nonetheless be upright. Combating to restrain somebody in awkward areas — inside automobiles, housing items, and out within the open city terrain, generally alone, different occasions with a companion. Recovering weapons, medicine, and the individuals who possessed them.

Raul Martinez overseeing combatives training.

Above: Head-to-head grappling drills with college students at Protector Symposium 5.0 in Tucson, Arizona.

Wrestling for management of each the person and my very own feelings. It’s an fascinating swap to go from predator to protector within the blink of an eye fixed. All these classes had been of fine worth, they usually have made their approach within the applications we educate at

How lengthy have you ever been coaching in martial arts, and what types have you ever studied?

RM: I used to be 8 or 9 after I had my first fistfight … effectively, extra like a swinging arm session whereas making an attempt to keep away from being hit. We’d collect round and simply get after it. Nobody was mad about shedding then, it was extra of an I’ll get him subsequent time type of angle.

Formal coaching began round age 12. I grew up within the karate and taekwondo period. In early 2000, I began Brazilian jiu jitsu, Krav Maga, wrestling, boxing, and catch wrestling. MMA got here to me later in life, although it made sense having skilled for therefore a few years. It was an incredible expertise coaching and making ready for a battle.

Raul Martinez demonstrating off-body holster method.

Above: Demonstrating an “off-body holster” methodology to guard and management a firearm for those who understand a hands-on battle is imminent.

I carry these classes with me each day. I proceed to hunt out seminars on weapons and knives. It’s been a lifetime of curiosity, which has but to fade. I continuously hunt down coaches that I discover fascinating and take a look at my greatest to maintain lively and able to battle. Top-of-the-line coaches I’ve had is Ryan Hoover of Match to Struggle. Test him out when you will have an opportunity.

When did you begin working full-time as an teacher? We recall you had been the director of coaching at Fieldcraft Survival for some time, after which branched out to start out your personal firm, Rogue Strategies.

RM: I had by no means heard of Fieldcraft or its proprietor till I met them in Prescott, Arizona, again in 2018. Once we met, we sat down and had a few lengthy conversations. We chatted about targets for the way forward for the coaching division. It was two courses a month then. After I was entrusted with its development, I took them from two courses to about 14 to 16 a month. We had a number of courses in a number of states occurring each weekend. It was an enormous success, and I attribute it to the staff I had constructed. This was a really precious expertise for me, one I’m grateful for having and ending on my phrases.

The rise of Rogue Strategies got here to fill in a lacking ingredient within the coaching house. An concept of empowering others — from novices to professionals — in a blended type of hand-to-hand fight coaching and the instruments all of us carry for self-defense. Related coaching already existed; this was simply my tackle the right way to do it greatest.

Each program we provide has a medical and a self-defense part, even when it’s a capturing particular class. That was one thing I observed was lacking within the coaching I had seen. The true problem was in ensuring we may switch as a lot retainable info as attainable in our one- and two-day programs. I embraced the duty of chopping out the pointless fluff that I used to be uninterested in listening to and seeing in some shows. (Extra on this in my favourite quote part of the article.)

Raul Martinez demonstrating gun retention techniques.

Above: Raul and Rogue Strategies Coach Dan M. demonstrating one in all a number of gun retention methods from exterior the holster throughout a Shut Contact Gunfighter class.

Rogue Strategies coaching is an expertise like no different, and it belongs to you the second you permit, after which return once more, as most of our of us do. The coaching helps you join concepts to your bodily physique and helps you perceive your capabilities. Does it require you to spend money on your self? Completely. Why wouldn’t you, particularly now that you simply perceive that a bit of time and observe can go a protracted solution to preserve your security and the security of these round you. Be it within the type of consciousness or the flexibility to deal with a confrontation, you’ll be higher outfitted to make these selections for your self.

Shout out to my staff for his or her professionalism and dedication to the work that we do each day for our battle tribe/legion. Dan R., Dan M., Hunter C., Dillon V., Mark O., and Joel M., you guys rock!

Primarily based on our time coaching with you, you’ve acquired a novel method to mixing hand-to-hand expertise and capturing expertise. How probably is somebody to wish each in an actual self-defense scenario?

RM: Hopefully you’ll by no means end up in a scenario requiring you to make use of any of the talents you be taught with us. Although for those who do end up having to go hands-on sometime, and it escalates to a firearm or a knife, then at the very least you will have a reference file to faucet into.

We prepare in medical, putting, protection, and offense. Weapons retention and restoration, power on power, and the de-escalation of all of it in reside observe. Look, most conditions can and needs to be prevented by taking the excessive street if attainable.

Raul Martinez overseeing a student during a low profile carbine class.

Above: Observing a pupil to supply suggestions throughout a Low Profile Carbine class in Phoenix, Arizona.

There are of us who selected this life-style as a career, and I’ll all the time be pleased about my brothers and sisters in blue — thanks for doing what you do and for conserving our communities as protected as attainable. I do know higher than most concerning the limitations which are imposed on you by each command employees and the media. Sustain the great work.

How does your Shut Contact Gunfighter curriculum differ from a conventional capturing class?

RM: The Shut Contact Gunfighter program focuses extra on constructing combating expertise. There may be some capturing within the class, although it’s largely to drive confidence in key combating expertise equivalent to capturing one handed and transferring whereas capturing.

I consider this class has loads to supply contributors — all the pieces from staff constructing to medical, putting, wrestling, knife protection and offense, capturing, gun retention and restoration, reality-based eventualities, force-on-force coaching, and hours of sturdy repetition. It’s an total nice expertise for everybody.

The suggestions and opinions from of us who’ve skilled with us has been optimistic and motivating. This class is actually one in all a form.

We think about you encounter some college students with numerous capturing expertise however minimal martial arts expertise, and others with the other. What “coaching scars” does every excessive create, and the way do you overcome them?

RM: We do usually see the disparity in expertise from instruments to hands-on talents. Except you’re within the army or legislation enforcement, there are restricted coaching choices for folk who carry. Once more, a serious motive we’re so proud and honored to have the ability to share the Shut Contact Gunfighter program with everybody.

On the shooter’s facet we’ll discover an over-dependence on the gun for all issues protection. On the martial arts facet, we see an amazing emphasis on controlling the individual and shedding the instruments, be it a gun or a knife. Shut Contact Gunfighter helps you discover and stability each to your profit.

Raul Martinez self-applying a tourniquet.

Above: Self-applying a tourniquet. All Rogue Strategies courses incorporate a component of first assist coaching, since Raul believes it’s a necessary ability for anybody who expects to outlive a battle.

The category is predicated on small group coaching. Not more than 14 individuals, so I’m able to customise many of the class to assist particular person wants. Coaching scars and all are damaged down, and new habits begin to kind. We obtain a lot suggestions about how the category has motivated of us to proceed to coach on their very own. I’m grateful to be a coach and buddy to all those that have skilled with us, and I look ahead to assembly and coaching with these of you who’re studying this now.

Your private pistol and carbine setups are each fairly minimalist by right now’s requirements. What’s your motive for conserving it easy?

RM: They’re fairly bare-bones, now that you simply point out it. Coaching has all the time been a precedence for me over devices and equipment. What and the way I carry is predicated on how I’ve skilled the environments I lived and labored in.

Easy works. Iron sights work. A powerful retention holster and a stable sling will aid you preserve your gear from getting taken. A handheld flashlight and a superb blade will prevent in a pinch. Depend on your palms and your wits however know that doing so requires you to deal with strengthening your bodily talents.

The gear you carry ought to merely be an extension of your capabilities, not the explanation for them.

Individuals are superior, they simply must be reminded generally, so right here it’s. Go prepare your physique after which add within the instruments. You’ll shortly see how helpful and easy all of it turns into. Belief and consider in your self!

If there’s one lesson you possibly can educate everybody in America about self-defense, what would it not be?

RM: In the event you haven’t began coaching in some type of contact sport, begin now. Wrestling, boxing, BJJ, kickboxing — get a heavy bag and go to city on it. Discover some coaching companions and mess around. Something the place you’re working with a dwelling, respiration, and considering coaching companion goes a good distance. It will aid you fast-track your studying, though there is no such thing as a shortcut to combating and battle coaching. Some good teaching and the proper stimulus will assist transfer issues alongside quicker. That’s why I’m pleased with my staff, applications, and firm. We’ve got a components that helps individuals get higher the second they resolve they need it.

Raul Martinez just living life and learning new skills.

Above: Simply dwelling a wholesome life and persevering with so as to add new expertise. Lake browsing in Dallas, Texas, with some superior mates.

Raul’s EDC Gear

  • S&W J-Body Mannequin 442 revolver
  • Cor-Bon Pow’RBall .38 Particular ammo
  • HeadHunter Blades “The Rat” knife
  • Ray-Ban Justin shades

Raul Martinez's EDC gear.

About Raul Martinez

Portrait of Raul Martinez posing with his low-profile carbine.

Age: 40

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Household & Pets:
A loving and affected person mom; a stern but truthful father; seven brothers and sisters; unbelievable aunts, uncles, and cousins; a most attractive and provoking spouse; six youngsters; and two canine that resemble their proprietor’s construct — quick and stocky. I really like you all!

Folks Who Encourage Me:
Christ Almighty, my grandfather, all of the individuals taking motion and changing into the leaders they had been meant to be (preserve going!)

Favourite Motion pictures:
Gladiator, Struggle Membership, The King, The Ardour of the Christ, Braveheart, King Arthur (Antoine Fuqua)

Favourite Quote:
“They muddy the water, to make it appear deep,” – Nietzsche. It applies to so many points of life. Folks are likely to complicate easy issues in an try and make themselves appear extra essential. You’re by no means extra essential than the individuals you serve.

Favourite Locations to Eat in Chicago:
Tacos: Atotonilco in Little Village, unbelievable al pastor and steak tacos
Pizza: Villa Palermo in Rogers Park, an old-school Chicago pizza joint

Beneficial Studying:

  • The Reader’s Digest Bible
  • Breathe: A Life in Circulate by Rickson Gracie
  • 48 Legal guidelines of Energy by Robert Greene
  • The Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee
  • To Trip, Shoot Straight, and Communicate the Fact by Jeff Cooper

Instagram: @rogue.strategies

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