21 February 2013

A Jiu Jitsu Brunch: Advancing Positions, life on the mat:

(In advance I want to thank Paul Gorman for his insights during this conversation, as well as Jay Jack for insights on this subject in other conversations about the following, I'm sure their insights probably show up below.)

Sport vs Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for self-defense?

One of the great, and often neglected training tools in any martial artist’s tool kit are the post training conversations.  These can cover a wide range of topics, and leave the realm of Jiu-jitsu altogether but they generally have some kind of jiu jitsu focus at some point. Even when they do veer off the topic of BJJ, these conversations bring us closer together as teammates and make us more open to sharing our techniques, and asking each other questions.  So talk people.

Today as we shot the breeze about training, someone posed a question to me that I think led to a useful framework for thinking about sport BJJ and BJJ as self-defense.

The question that provoked my thoughts was this. “Now you are more into Jiu Jitsu as self defense and don’t care so much for the sport aspect right?”

It’s a valid question and one I think betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of what sport BJJ should be as opposed to what it sometimes is.  Or maybe I should say, what sport BJJ can be.

Sport BJJ evolved from a specific set of strategic goals found in sound self-defense oriented BJJ.  The problem immediately arises though that once you set your art into a gaming model, people invariably become concerned with winning that game. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but if we think of our art as also martial, it is important that we start forming these delineations, of sport only technique/strategy, vs any situation technique/strategy in our minds in an honest way. We also need to be able to communicate these differences in equally honest and well-defined ways. Keep the context straight.  I want to avoid thinking I can fight and defend myself just because I have an excellent sitting guard. I’ve actually seen people who think they can fight because of this attribute. I think this must be a mistake.  Self-defense begins with sound BJJ, not the flying triangle, or the latest turtle attacks. 

For the record, I love sport BJJ and all the sport specific games that have evolved within that context. It is easy to admire skill, dedication and effort. However, tournament glory isn’t for everyone. Some players (most?) are in a BJJ academy to learn how to defend themselves not win medals. There is some potential for confusion though as the training for both sport BJJ and self-defense BJJ is essentially the same. Rolling. This is the secret of BJJ’s success as an effective martial art of self-defense (the same is true of wrestling and Judo). Rolling is just sparring for grapplers.  We try, at nearly 100% power and effort, to apply our techniques against resisting opponents who are trying to do the same thing to us. Grapplers have a lot of experience dealing with live, resisting opponents.  This makes translating training hall skills to real world situations pretty easy. We train how we fight, and that makes all the difference.  But how do you know you are doing well in training and affecting good BJJ strategy beyond submitting your opponent?

BJJ strategy is based on a system of positional hierarchy.  Strategically there is a worst place to be, and a best place to be, and a sea of better than positions in between.  The points systems of BJJ competition evolved from this positional hierarchy and the point system was designed to encourage competitors to use good BJJ to earn points and win time limited matches.  In BJJ we want to win the take down, failing that we want to escape from the bottom, stay on top, pass the guard, work to submit an opponent etc.  That is BJJ strategy. That is what the point system of sport BJJ was meant to encourage. If you were earning points in a competition you were doing good BJJ, the whole point of which is to control your opponent’s movement through positional dominance.  And positional dominance is important because it is the pathway to submitting your opponent with high percentage techniques, or beating your opponent with strikes (on the street obviously) from a position of safety that can itself lead to high percentage submissions, or more beatings. That is the inherent logic of BJJ and what the point system was meant to reinforce.

The game of BJJ went the way of all games.  Rules evolved, competitors started to forget why they do what they do (what they do became the goal of winning matches), and what was once a great training aid became something of a fantasyland (at least as it relates to martial skills). It’s a really fun fantasyland, but its still a fantasyland.  Consider some greats of sport BJJ, guys with unique games like Eddie Bravo, or Marcello Garcia.  How many times have you seen them just sit on their butts and win a medal with awesome BJJ sorcery?  I’ve seen it happen a lot. It isn’t sound self-defense BJJ. I’ve seen competitors given fits by opponents who essentially adopt downward dog (a yoga pose) and back into them.  In a sport context this is really fascinating, fun to watch, and as a competitor provides a neat puzzle to solve. Again isn’t self-defense.  Sitting down in an altercation, or backing up, butt in the air, hands on the ground, in a combative downward dog are likely sure fire ways to lose IQ points and whatever else your assailant was wanting to take from you.  When you turn any practical combative art into a game, you will create a system wherein people will become obsessed with winning that game. There will also be rule changes that come from attempts to make the sport entertaining for fans.  This is not just a BJJ problem, but a problem with all combative sports.  Boxers and kick-boxers no longer know how to punch a person without gloves on, without breaking their hands.  The quality of ground fighting among judoka has deteriorated because their competition focuses on a narrow subset of the Judo arsenal (on the part that can earn them an instant, dramatic win).  And in sport BJJ, people concede takedowns, pulling guard, competitors are content to fight from a variety of guards.  That is to say they utilize strategies that are not sound self-defense BJJ to win points and competitions.

Again, I want to say, there is nothing wrong with sport BJJ.  It’s a fun game. It develops quality attributes, like strength, endurance and sensitivity. But if you want to say you also have sound self-defense BJJ, then you need to understand the strategy of BJJ and utilize it often while rolling.  You should also be able to explain both approaches to BJJ to the general public as well as the people you teach and train with.

It is also good, I think, to remember that sound self-defense BJJ is also good sport BJJ.

See you on the mat!

Set against the plight of the so-called traditional martial arts, we grapplers don’t have it that bad.  Consider the following vignette and then be glad you train in the era you train in. 

In the 1960s and 1970s a sport full of dedicated, and very skilled martial artists evolved called point Karate.  To win a match you had to get three points before your opponent.  Only clean techniques could earn points.  The contact was pretty light, but the technique was sharp, and crisp.  A sharp punch or a kick or knee would earn a point, the ref would yell break and the competitors would reset, do it again until the match was over. The logic of this scoring made a certain amount of sense. Who ever gets the first clean shot will probably win in the real world. A moment of reflection reveals that this is actually a fairly useful training tool, teaching useful skills like non-telegraphic movement, and encourages the development of speed, and good technique. Anyone who has seen point karate of late will see how badly making a game of martial arts can damage the practice of those arts. Decades of rule changes and whining on the part of competitors, has changed point Karate into a mockery of a combat sport. It has ceased even to develop combative attributes. A point, once earned only by clean technique with controlled contact, can now be earned with any old contact.  Now the most common technique in point Karate is the jumping hammer fist. To say this is a useless technique in self-defense, would be to understate matters by quite a lot.     

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18 February 2013

The Good News Clubs...they ain't so good.

The Good News Clubs represent yet another nefarious (a word I generally reserve for super-villains) step in their ever damaging culture wars.  Since they cannot hope to win young people who reached the age of reason with their Bronze Age methods, they increasingly try this tactic of accessing kids in the public school. They want your kids.  They don't care a whit if they create a divisive rift in the school community (which they reliably do), they don't care if you would rather your kids not be bullied with another religion while at a public school.
So read The Good News Club by Katharine Stewart.

And watch this:

After that, share the links, join the fight where you can.

17 February 2013

A Brunch Movie Review: Batman: Year One Plus a bonus review

Batman: Year One
A film by DC Animated Studios

Bryan Cranston....Jim Gordon
Ben McKenzie.....Bruce Wayne/Batman
Eliza Dushku.....Selina Kyle/Catwoman
Complete Cast list here

A synopsis:
Batman: Year One tells the story of two men who collide with Gotham, and each other. One of them stands outside the law, one of them is an officer of that law. In the city, and its people they both find purpose, and through them the people of the city find their courage to stand up. There is also a cat-burglar. I see you nodding out there, but trust me, you don't really know the story, you only think you do....

It would not be hyperbole to say that DC Animated Studios film, Batman: Year One is a perfect adaptation of a perfect Batman story written by the once great Frank Miller. Miller penned perhaps the two greatest Batman stories every told (debate rages to this day).  The story of Miller and Batman would take us too far a field, but after penning the omega of the Batman character arc in the ground breaking, industry changing The Dark Knight Returns, Miller was offered a chance to write a Batman origin story, an update on themes and events that hadn't really been tackled since Bob Kane imagined them three quarters of a century ago.  Miller along with the gifted David Muzzacchelli, and inker Richmond Lewis, redefined the core figures that lie at the heart of the Batman mythos (with the exception of the Joker). That it did this this in four issues of economic, taut, noir story telling is a testament to the efforts of that team of artists and the writing an undeniable example of how great Miller really was. For good or for ill, every Batman writer, including Christopher Nolan, lives in the shadow the Miller of 1986 (TDKR) and 1987 (BYO).

In adapting this work, DC Animated set for themselves a tall order.  Bringing, perhaps, the most beloved Batman story every told, and arguably the best, to the screen in a way satisfying to both fans of the original work, and people with no experience of the original must have seemed daunting for an animated feature.  Its a complex story and animation is hard work, and cutting corners, simplifying character designs, and effects are all ways in which animators cut cost, reduce labor and turn out products on time. Luckily the folks at DC are serious about their feature length animated projects and opted not to use any of the tricks of the weekly animated trade.

While all animation must, in some ways, simplify the design of any character, or place (the nature of having to have numerous illustrators draw the same characters, with some speed) the look and feel of Batman: Year One very closely matches quite closely the art and designs, lighting and color of Muzzacchelli and Lewis. Gotham is the color of Tammany Hall, and its architecture the texture of old crime shows from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Gotham is not a clean city, the social contract is completely broken.  It is city of survivors, and victims, of the powerful and the powerless. It is a place of almost, but not quite, brazen corrumption.  DC Animated really captures the scope of Gotham as imagined by Miller. Without this context its hard to imagine that twin stories that unfold could be believable. This is Batman as believable as it gets, Batman by way of realism.

More than Marvel Animation Studios (also a great house by the way) DC Animated tries to get A or B list vocal talent for their features.  Batman: Year One may be their most successful marriage of vocal talent to date.  Bryan Cranston's vision of the young disillusioned Lt Jim Gordon is nothing short of brilliant. What is Gordon to do in a department where corruption is the norm than the anomaly?  He is a good cop, but also a cop who works too much and never sees his pregnant wife. Being a cop with integrity is dangerous in a city like Gotham. It is especially dangerous for the loved ones of such a person. Cranston manages to bring every bit of that confusion, of those temptations to his performance of James Gordon. The greatness of Batman: Year One lies, in no small part, to this exploration of Gordon and his humanity.  He isn't just a guy who picks up a red phone and calls the Batman.  He is a flesh and blood human being who hates the thought of shooting someone.

What of Bruce Wayne? He is a man in search of a method. He has all the tools, the education and the resources. He has no idea how to apply them.  Batman: Year One explores how Bruce did it and explains how he came to use his fears to scare his enemies. It is the story of how he came to know the city of Gotham.  He might have been from Gotham, but it didn't raise him. During this year, he meets the key figures that will come to define his future, his failures (Harvey Dent) his love (Selina Kyle) and of course, his partner in reformation, Jim Gordon. As the tag line from the first issue said of Wayne's journey toward becoming the greatest detective, "It won't be easy."

Having a great voice cast is more or less useless if you haven't got the script to utilize that talent well.  The writers have managed to pull so much from the source material that the film seems vastly deeper than the typical DC animated film.  They managed to import so much of the inner monologues of Gordon and Wayne (described by Miller's text boxes-these are not thought balloons, or dialogue balloons, but rectangles in a portion of a comic book panel where narration of some kind occurs).  These elements of character narration are crucial to both of Miller's great Batman stories. Including as much of them as possible in this film was integral to preserving the depth of Miller's characters. Without them, the film would have fallen incredibly flat. Like the muscular prose of Dashiell Hammett, part of the punch and the pace of noir/hard-boiled literature is the dialogue, but it is also the first person narration.

In all the crucial ways, and even some of the none crucial ways, the team at DC Animated have captured the look, feel and depth of the source material. If you like Batman see it. If you liked Miller's book, give it a shot.  If you like hard boiled fiction give it a shot.  Give it a shot even if you aren't that into animated films (and definitely read the original work).

The Brunch Verdict: 10/10  (that is high praise by the way)

Bonus review: Catwoman an animated short film

This was a bonus feature on the Batman: Year One disc.
1. It is glorious to look at. Excellent animation.  Fluid. Just freakin' gorgeous.
2. Catwoman is very hot.  Too hot, I mean on a stripper pole hot.  DC animated, breasts cannot stay in an outfit like that when you add all that activity.  Maybe that is her unknown super power, magical no nip-slip. Before you pull that DC animated, put a parental warning on it.  It was a bit odd to watch with my daughter.
3. Come on DC animated, Catwoman has no powers. She can't do much of what you had her do. Dopes. Do you know what happens when she falls off of a car moving 50 or 60 miles per hour? The same thing that happens to me, best characterized by the phrase, "HOLY FUCKING SHIT, I'M ALL DEAD."
The Brunch Verdict:
10/10 Animation
22/10 Crazy cleavage
-1/10 Boob physics
3/10 Catwoman story, understanding of character, general physics

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16 February 2013

Gun Advocates, make it hard to respect them.

Recently a friend, himself a very serious gun advocate, posted, the following picture to his Facebook status update.  (Click it to bigger it)

He must have found it compelling. I certainly did not. What follows is my response to the argument advanced by this info-graphic Facebook meme. Feel free to pick either apart, and add your own commentary below.

This is easily the most misleading info-graphic I have seen in a long time, and very revealing of one of the deep problems of letting advocates, with no grasp of statistics, and little regard for fair analysis loose in Photoshop.
Lets begin with top half of the info-graphic: Guns per 100 people. 

This tells us precisely nothing about how these guns are distributed across a country.  For all we know all those US guns could be held by 10 guys in Jacksonville Florida.  The schematic assumes that gun ownership is more or less even across country.  This is a serious problem for any future analysis. It also makes a nonsense out of the conclusion that the author intends the reader to walk away with.

In the US we know, for instance, that gun ownership is not evenly distributed across the country, that it is patchy with regard to density. The first half of this info-graphic is a coarse grain analysis at the very best. We would want to know this information for any later comparison of gun ownership to crime stats.  Without this we don’t have much to go on.

Another reason why this average number of guns per one hundred people is a useless metric, is because it leaves out the crucial detail, that is to say the laws that govern the sale, and regulation of firearms. Without that what can we really say?   [EDIT: For instance what good is it to tell us the number of firearms in, say, the Scandinavian countries, with out telling us how those guns are regulated.)

Also, there is a suspicious problem of intervals.  The first interval is 0-10, whereas the remaining are all in larger intervals (10-30, 30-50, 50-75, 75+) There may be sound reasons for this. But as this is clearly advocacy research, based here in the US, I am deeply suspicious that the intervals were chosen to make some rhetorical point that cast the US in a more favorable light (this will come up again in the second half of this ridiculous graphic, and precisely to mislead).

Looking at the second half (murders per 100,000) we have, again and more dishonestly, a problem with the intervals. Setting the lowest intervals at 0-5 murders per 100,000 persons artificially allows the US to look as if it is as safe as Western European nations (who have some of the strictest gun laws) with regard to homicide rates.  In any event the intervals invite a host of strange conclusions, and clearly tell us, despite what the designer of this info graphic would have us believe, that guns ownership is not the best predictor of homicide rates. 

Consider: The average murder rate in the US is something like 5 per 100,000 (4.8 according to UNODC), whereas the murder rate for the United Kingdom is a whooping 1.2, our northern neighbor Canada has a murder rate of 1.6, Sweden, 1, Norway, .6, Switzerland .7 Japan .4. That is just small sampling of the murder rates from other industrialized nations.  The situation is the same everywhere you look among developed nations.  The US ranks pretty poorly by comparison when looking at homicide rates. But just looking at the US as a whole is also misleading, because the US is not uniform as any average might suggest.  New England’s murder rate is much more like that of Western European industrialized nations.  If you look at violent crime generally, it is much greater in the Southern US than it is in the Northern US.  It would be interesting to see a map of gun ownership by concentration placed over a map of violent crime in the US. Given the tendency of honor culture that permeates the South (where most of the violent crime lives) I would be surprised if the gun ownership was equal between northern and southern US regions. Having artificially large intervals allows the US to seem like a reasonable country with respect to murder rates, instead of being an outlier among developed nations. And an outlier it really is.

The author, or perhaps authors, of this atrocious info-graphic want us to draw the conclusion that more guns means greater safety from murder. This is such an ill-conceived hypothesis as to not even be wrong. Even a cursory examination of this info-graphic should reveal this.

More than gun ownership, this info-graphic tells the tale of dependable governments, stability and the opposite, instability as the best predictors of homicide rates, not how gun ownership leads to lower homicide.  Note that large swaths of the 0-10 interval of gun ownership are also possessed of low homicide rates (fine grain analysis-which we have sampled- demonstrates much lower rates of homicide than the gun loving US for these 0-10 countries). Why should this be the case?  We know that almost all the developed nations have a considerably lower murder rates, lower rates of violent crime than the US, and they possess fewer guns.

The countries with the highest murder rates, are also the countries that are the least stable and dependable, shall we say least healthy,  by every metric. This conclusion must not be a welcome one for most people who fancy themselves second amendment defenders and think guns are the game changers.  But the implication is clear, its stronger governments, better social services and safety nets, the perception of sound state, and local government that are the best predictors of murder rates. That is what seems to be the key difference between states with high murder rates and those with out, not gun ownership.

Look at the most murderous lands and the feature that most characterizes these lands is deep instability, corruption, and crappy organs of state.  China, India, South Korea, Southeast Asia generally, Japan, UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal, Germany, even Italy all have low murder rates, low rates of gun ownership.  The US has high rates of gun ownership among industrialized nations, and has the highest murder rate among developed nations.

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09 February 2013

Sunday Seoi

Here is Mike Swain breaking down Ippon Seoi Nage.

Richard Dawkins demonstrates a problem

Dawkins on homeopathic dilutions:

Podcasts I think you should listen to.

Hey readers.  I've discovered podcasts.
Here is what I am listening to regularly.  You should do the same.
Don't be Inkredulous: 
Inkredulous is a satirical panel show, very much like Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me, but with a far more arbitrary, some might say non-existent, scoring system. Several funny guests, a few too many puns, and a hilarious host make for an entertaining 45 -60 minutes of podcast. Its run by the splendid Merseyside Skeptic's Society. They also run the Skeptics with K podcast.  You can find them here and from there you can find the shows and also enjoy their relentless attacks on homeopathy.

Its not really about Cognitive Dissonance really: 
Cognitive Dissonance is a news review podcast by two guys from Chicago who cuss a lot, and make a with the funny.  Its not the best, but it isn't the worst either. Find them on iTunes or at Cognitive Dissonance the Podcast.

To talk of, and to Stars: 
Star Talk with Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a an oft interesting show about numerous topics in science. It also addresses the place where science and culture collide. Neil is not the best interviewer, but he has fun, and he gets good guests. Find the show at iTunes or here. Enjoy.  He does.  Neil get Michael Shermer on your show!! (I know he reads this blog).

Brain Droppings about Fundamentalist dogma

Much of fundamentalist Christian theology hinges on the idea of free will. This is especially true of the modern evangelical brand of Christianity found in the United States.  Spend any amount of time getting to know this brand of theology and the dependence on free will is pretty hard to miss.  God doesn’t send anyone to hell we are told, people choose to go their of their own free will.  People choose to reject God/Jesus. People chose not to believe.

Some of this strange idea we must lay at the feet of St. Paul.  It was he who taught that people had an innate feeling of God (and specifically the Christian God). Paul thought that people who professed an honest unbelief were engaged in a kind of dodge and that deep down people just know there is a god. Unbelief was not so much being a person unconvinced by he and his church’s stories. It was not an active and thoughtful stance. It couldn’t be that someone had a look at the evidence and the arguments and honestly came away unconvinced of the case for God. To reject Christian doctrine was rather a rebellious rejection of the God that deep down all humans know exists (strange that no missionaries found thriving Christian Churches anywhere upon their arrival- this knowledge doesn’t seem too useful). Many modern Christian apologists adopt some form of this idea.  Its threads are fairly obvious throughout the fundamentalist movement.  You can find it in the ideas of William Lane Craig, Rick Warren, and many Southern Baptist traditions in the US.

I suspect this doctrine helps many Christians sleep at night. It lets their God off the hook for heinous crimes.  After all it couldn’t be that their omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent deity would send someone to hell, that is to say to eternal punishment and torture over something like an honest mistake. It has to be some basic depravity (which also isn’t our fault). Calvinist tradition, myopic and parochial in the extreme, states that humans are totally depraved. Calvin would be happy to hear that many leaders of modern US Christianity adopt his theology, assuming Calvin could be happy about anything. But that is getting a bit off track. The point is that according to many fundamentalist Christians,  people who profess unbelief are, and they wouldn’t use this phrase, full of shit. Deep down we unbelievers are just denying the “God conscious” we are all endowed with.1 This is a neat maneuver, though wholly immoral, which absolves believers of any guilt they might have over the actions of a monster.

However this guilt absolving picture believers have created begins to fall apart when you add the curious character of the Holy Spirit. Say I am in a state of disbelief. Further imagine that I am curious about this Jesus fellow and the adventures he got up to in his short 30+ years. Perhaps I am even interested in the history of his ancestors (such that they are).  My logic is, more or less, unassailable. What better way to be convinced, or begin to be convinced of the reality of Jesus than by the book dedicated to him? Let’s leave aside any question of whether the bible represents actual history and assume it is all true.  Can this account convince me, the unbeliever? The answer is, surprisingly, no. Unless I first accept Jesus, unless I make a statement of belief in advance of evidence, I cannot discern any of the truth that the bible is allegedly littered, positively dripping with. Accepting Jesus, is also to invite the Holy Spirit into your life, and only with the help of this character can I discern the spiritual awesomeness of the bible.

"But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." (1 Cor. 2:14)”

“THE FIRST KEY FOR INTERPRETING and understanding the Bible is the supernatural key. You use this key when you approach the Bible by sincerely believing that it was supernaturally produced and preserved. It was inspired or breathed out by God who used holy men of old to record his words. While these men used their own languages and were influenced by their own cultures, the end product was the eternal, infallible, inerrant, and authoritative Word of the Almighty and all-wise God who created the universe in which we live. Without this recognition of the Bible as a supernatural book one could never learn to rightly interpret what God has said in it.”
-George M. Bowman (http://www.graceway.com)

This is a severely problematic way to approach any historical text. Historians have a technical term for this approach: fucked up.  But it is particularly problematic, fucked up, for this text which I have to believe in order to get into heaven and avoid oodles of torture. However I can’t believe it, or understand the source material –the evidence, unless I believe it first? How does that work? How can I be convinced before I have been convinced by evidence? It seems like a good question to me. It also seems like a prescription for disaster. Not so to believers apparently.  Any perusal of fundamentalist Christian Broadcasting demonstrates this, its a pillar of their faith.

According to Dan Popp, an apologist at Renew America, claims that God actually “hides his message from unbelievers.”2 He justifies this with bible verses as you might expect.

“And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" And He answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. ..."Therefore I speak to them in parables, because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, "You will keep on hearing, but you will not understand; And you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive." (Matthew 13:10,11,13,14)”

As systems go this one seems incredibly crappy.

This leaves me wondering how I can be personally responsible for my belief in God at all.  To start, I cannot choose to believe in anything.  I believe in things because some element of evidence plus experience, compel me to find some position consistent with reality.  This seems like the experience of many, most people.  I cannot choose to believe in the Christian message unless I am compelled by evidence. This is quite terrible if the Christian dogma is correct.  It renders the idea of missionary work more or less pointless. If God is going to key someone into his message, he is going to do it, is the only one who can do it, regardless of the effort of missionary minded believers.  No one can examine the text of the bible with an open mind and expect to comprehend it.  To get the message of the bible, I have to believe it (on some level) first, but how is that possible? How is this just?  I don’t think free will is a real thing, but imagine it was, how could it possibly fit in this system? We didn’t choose to be “totally depraved.’’ How does free will work in the action of belief? Can you choose to believe something?

Imagine this system of “logic” applied to any other question of fact. Apply it to the idea of bigfoot, UFOs, Ivory-billed Woodpeckers for a start.  Does any step above work? It seems unlikely.  Why should it help out in matters of religion? If I told you that you had to believe in bigfoot, before you can begin to understand the signs of bigfoot, you would think I was crazy, or at the very least a very poor scientist. Why is it acceptable in the realm of Christian religion?

1.     Graceway Bible Society, is a fairly representative web-site, though its production values are lower than others.  But hey they say you can trust them.  www.graceway.com
2.     Renew America has higher production values, and is also representative of the fundamentalist Christian thought.  Its no more credible though. www.renewamerica.com