Ryan Atkinson (FLDWRX) - The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 417)

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Ryan Atkinson (FLDWRX) – The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 417)

Ryan Atkinson, FLDWRX, joins Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco on Episode 417 of The Knife Junkie Podcast. Atkinson is a VIP security specialist who has been protecting A-List entertainers for 20+ years — in more than 50 countries around the world — including such stars as KISS, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Motley Crüe, and Depeche Mode.

He runs High Visibility Protection courses, and trains with retired U.S. and Mexican Special Forces Team members in Advanced Carbine/Combat Pistol and Counter Custody/Urban Movement applications. Ryan is also a knife enthusiast and collector, (including a collection of high-end self-defense knives) and set up The FLDWRX project when he was on tour outside of the United States with a famous group and unable to carry a firearm.

Growing up in Los Angeles County, Ryan was an avid athlete, earning a football scholarship to the University of Kansas. At age 22, he began working for a security firm that specialized in world touring musical acts. His first full-time security job was with Pearl Jam.

Ryan has accumulated lots of skills from fellow professionals around the world, and from criminals too, developing street smarts and a course to teach it. He teaches students in his seminars how criminals think and target victims, how to escape, evasion if kidnapped, and many other modern survival skills.

Ryan Atkinson (and his knives) is on Instagram at www.instagram.com/FLDWRX, and you can find his artwork designs at www.FLDWRX.com.


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VIP security specialist and knife enthusiast and collector Ryan Atkinson (FLDWRX) is my guest on episode 417 of #theknifejunkie #podcast. Give a listen! Share on X
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The Knife Junkie Podcast is the place for knife newbies and knife junkies to learn about knives and knife collecting. Twice per week Bob DeMarco talks knives. Call the Listener Line at 724-466-4487; Visit https://theknifejunkie.com.
©2023, Bob DeMarco
The Knife Junkie Podcast

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Announcer [00:00:04]:
Welcome to The Knife Junkie podcast, your weekly dose of knife news and information about knife and knife collecting. Here's your host, Bob the Knife Junkie. DeMarco.

Bob DeMarco [00:00:18]:
Welcome to the Knife Junkie Podcast. I'm Bob DeMarco. On this edition of the show, I'm speaking with security, an executive protection expert, Ryan Atkinson. I first came across Ryan on Instagram, where, posting as fieldworks, he showed off his connoisseur's collection of small, high end self defense blades and other persuasive implements of interest. I quickly realized that Ryan isn't some suburban dad knife collector such as myself. He actually needs these specialized tools for work. See, he's an alist bodyguard, a subject matter expert in escape, evasion, and kidnapping, and he'll train almost anyone who wants to learn. We'll meet him and find out more about his fascinating career. But first, be sure to like, comment, subscribe, and hit the notification bell. Also, share the show. That really helps. And as always, if you'd like to help support the show in a more monetary type way, you can do so on Patreon. Just go to theknifejunkie.com patreon or scan the QR code. That's junkie.com patreon. Ryan, welcome to the Knifejunkie podcast. It's great to have you here, sir.

Ryan Atkinson [00:01:40]:
Hello. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it. Sorry, I'm looking at my screen at all the things. I'm trying to figure out what I'm supposed to look at. How are we? I'm doing well, thank you.

Bob DeMarco [00:01:50]:
Well, I'm glad to have you here. And like I said up front, like I first got wind of you from your amazing knife collection. I was going down the PICAL rabbit hole, and a lot of your knives have those qualities, and I was definitely searching for that. But then I kind of got hip to a little bit more of you and what you do, and it is more than fascinating. And I had a guest on recently, Tomas Alas of the Tactical Tavern, and he mentioned you in taking your class, and I said, I got to talk to you. Well, let's start with what you do. Where did you just come back from? What's your day to day?

Ryan Atkinson [00:02:30]:
My head is a million different places. First of all, I love Kamasa Lost. We tease and we tell everybody he's my oldest son. And usually people believe it because he kind of could be age wise. So it's kind of funny. Anyway, I just spent five out of the last eight weeks in South America, predominantly Brazil and all kinds of weird places that I hadn't been to before with a couple of different acts. So I'm stateside for a couple of days at home, and I head back out in a couple of days. I'm back and forth. I'm pretty much out on the road all summer, so I have a 16 week run coming up.

Bob DeMarco [00:03:06]:
So you say acts. What type of acts are you talking about?

Ryan Atkinson [00:03:11]:
My specialty are artists that are on the move on tour. So I travel around with artists that are performing for large audiences. So the last eight years I've been around the band Kiss and Gene Simmons, paul Stanley doing all their tours. And right now I'm working for a major hip hop artist that I won't talk about my name, but he's a major artist, one of the biggest in the world. So we'll be doing that this summer and we'll see how it goes.

Bob DeMarco [00:03:41]:
That is pretty cool. I mean, executive protection, I'm not sure if that's the exact word, but this sort of personal security and bodyguarding, so to speak, is fascinating to me because inherent in it is a huge dose of sacrifice. How did you get into this job? And what about it really drew you in?

Ryan Atkinson [00:04:07]:
It's funny. It's the number one question I get everywhere I go. Usually other security people that I'm working with will ask me how I got into the business and how the can do what I'm doing. And it always looks sexy from the outside looking in. But no one really can gauge the amount of hours, days and energy put into it on the road living at someone else's speed and pace and at their liking. And it takes a certain kind of personality to do that. A lot of the guys that have these A type personalities can't adjust to that sort of lifestyle. I got into it a long time ago, 21 years ago. I was playing football at the University of Kansas. NFL wasn't going to work out, so I was big for no reason with a college degree and a guy out of Kansas City found me. He was looking after a lot of the touring acts in the world and he said that he heard I could hold my own physically, I've always been a big physical guy and that I had a college degree and if I used my brain more than my muscle the I'd have a job. And I said yes. And he said, Get a laptop and get ready to move the rest of your life. And I got the phone call and a couple of weeks later I was out on the road with Pearl Jam. And I knew very little about the concert business or the band itself or really what I was doing in general. And I just learned on the road. I got thrown to the deep end and I survived. So I had never really gone to shows or been around a fan of anybody, really, my entire life. And I was kind of an outsider and everyone knew it. It's very apparent. I knew nothing about the industry and everyone loved it. I was this big, goofy dude that was really strong but intelligent, and I was there to learn. I soaked it up like a sponge. And 21 years later, I think I've been there and done that in this world.

Bob DeMarco [00:05:52]:
Do you think that whole aspect of you not really knowing who the artists were or not being really hip to the scene, so to speak, do you think that gave you a level of detachment that was helpful for your clients?

Ryan Atkinson [00:06:08]:
I think so. Sometimes it's good to do research. It's good to have a general background. I mean, if it's threat related or beef within the industry or discrepancies with other artists or musicians or actors or whatever it could be, you should know about that. So you could round the curve. But as far as watching every episode of that show you did ten years ago or some reality bit you did, it really has no bearing on what your job is day to day. For example, I've been around Gene Simmons for eight years and I never watched one of his TV. I don't even know what it's called. I never watched 1 minute of one episode. And it doesn't really matter. It makes no difference.

Bob DeMarco [00:06:48]:
I know Gene Simmons is quite an intelligent guy. I think he went to Yale or something like that. I bet you guys had some amazing conversations on the road.

Ryan Atkinson [00:06:59]:
Yeah, Gene's an interesting guy. Interesting guy. The conversations are very much like dudes have behind the scenes. It's not very intellectual between us.

Bob DeMarco [00:07:17]:
So what in your personality do you think makes you good for this job? And not just good for the job, but made you someone who has excelled and grown in the job?

Ryan Atkinson [00:07:33]:
I think the willingness to be able to make a few mistakes and be able to brush it off and not take things personally, that's a big deal. Learning fast on your feet is the biggest thing. It doesn't really have to do with security. Nine times out of ten, it could be just you as a person and the environment and the setting and fitting in. I'm not always around secret Service dudes and FBI dudes I'm around hairstylists and publicists and lighting guys and audio dudes and whatever it is. Wardrobe chicks and whatever you want to call it. So I have to blend in with this environment and be part of this bigger function. Right. You're just a little piece of this whole puzzle. So understanding that having a grasp of a bigger picture will help you more than being able to roll jiujitsu at a certain level in most instances. So being a good communicator and being able to adjust on the fly, but just about anything is the talent you have to have.

Bob DeMarco [00:08:32]:
So you use the term pardon me, looking around the corner, seeing around the corner, how do you keep abreast of emerging threats and how things are changing with the way people are trying to get at your clients?

Ryan Atkinson [00:08:51]:
A lot of people, when they think of threats, they think of a threat in a static sense. So Threat X is here, and it's going to happen here at this location at this time. But everything's very fluid. And when you move like I do with the people that I work for. We move so fast that we often run into the threat or we pass by it often, or our baselines of anomalies, they change. Because if we see the same people over and over, it's very apparent because we're moving fast. So to see the same person on your neighborhood, it's normal. But the speed and the distance that we travel, it's almost impossible around to the same face. So people pop up. They stick out very clearly. And especially when you're in different parts of the world, you can see what belongs and what doesn't belong. A Kiss fan in America looks much different than a Kiss ban in Argentina. So just understanding that and being around the world in different environments in different locations, you could see the differences pop up right away. So much like a pilot getting ready to take off in an airplane, pushing all those buttons, right? I always tell people that they're doing bang, bang, bang, bang, all these switches. The must be some kind of wizard up there. But you do the same thing when you get into your car and press the defrost and windshield wipers and the rear view mirror and everything else. It's just a matter of repetition and doing it. So my skill comes from just doing it over and over. I talk to people. I'm engaging with people 20 hours a day on work days or non show days, and I'm just communicating constantly. I'm not watching TV, I'm not taking breaks. I'm just running into humans and making plans. And people just pop up. You could see them like a light bulb. In the environment we're in, it's very easy to see who doesn't belong.

Bob DeMarco [00:10:35]:
Interesting. So is that usually indicated by behaviors? Or is it how someone might be dressed? Or is it all of these kind of things?

Ryan Atkinson [00:10:51]:
It's all context, right? I hang out with weirdos. The people that I put on stage for almost a decade wear costumes like a clown. Giant hair and the flames everywhere and confetti cannons. I mean, it's literally the circus. So you would think it'd be hard to stick out around a bunch of clowns, but it becomes a lot easier. Yeah, I mean, it's a very specialized environment. So the baselines are there. You just know what it's supposed to look like. It could be anything. Context is everything, right? Where are you at? What are you doing? The people I work with are very controlled with what they do. And you're going to an interview, press junkie. You're going to a location. You know who you're speaking to. You know the timing down to the minute. You're doing a 15 minutes chunks with 15 minutes breaks. You have a lunch break here. And it's like, if anything interrupts that motion, that train that's running, it sticks out to everybody. So you don't really have to be the security guy in these environments to understand what's wrong. A lot of times people tell me when there's a threat. I've had fans tell me, hey, this guy over here is weird. And I go, okay, I'm going to go check it out. If we call it pulling the thread, right, you get the little thread in your clothes, you pull on it, and the whole sleeve fall is off. So you go pull the thread. That's my job. That's what I'm there to do. I'm not inconvenienced by having to look at something, just go check it out. I go talk to people. I'm friendly with everybody until there's a reason not to be. And you go ask questions, and the answers are pretty straightforward. In my world, I know a bullshitter when I hear one. It's just what it is. I've done this a long time. Not to sound like the old adage, but it's true.

Bob DeMarco [00:12:29]:
Well, it's funny because as a layman, I imagine this kind of work. I imagine the physical force part of this work. But in hearing what you're saying, it's so much about your social skills and about your ability with people and to observe.

Ryan Atkinson [00:12:49]:
Yeah, absolutely. And a lot of times, the people that are a threat to the folks that I look after, their goal is always to get closer to the artist or to the performer. It's not to stay away. Otherwise it's not a threat. Right. So they're trying to get closer, and to get closer, you have to be seen. So a lot of it has to do with some kind of displaced need for attention. So you learn with dealing with folks that are a little out of hand. Fan is short for fanatic, right? So keep that in mind. Some people take it too far, and they feel like they know the person, right? And they want to be seen. They want to be heard, they want the attention. So they're going to throw themselves at you in some way or another. Right. So finding them and tracking them down, it's not very hard when they're coming right at you. Some people just know when to peel off, and some people don't. And then some faces show up over and over, and then fans usually click together. They like to get close to one another and create these little groups and clans that travel around, and you'll always spot the loner or the outsider or the other groups will point them out. This guy's weird. And it's pretty easy when you just listen to the people that are around you. But keeping an open mind is a big deal. Yeah.

Bob DeMarco [00:14:03]:
In your day to day work, in this kind of going up and pulling the thread, does that kind of questioning normally send someone packing? Or do you end up having to pull the thread more and more and more, which happens more often?

Ryan Atkinson [00:14:23]:
It depends on who you're dealing with. I've had extreme cases, and most cases are not so extreme. They're just people that are excited and just don't know when to stop. Maybe there's alcohol involved, whatever. But on the extreme side, you're talking about mental illness, so it really has nothing to do with me or the artist. You could Google some of the stuff that I've done in the past, if you dig deep enough, but we've put people behind bars, into prison, actually, from repeat offenses and terrorist threats and trying to carry out threats, you know, and getting caught with firearms and plans and everything else. So I've gone down that hole, and it's not great. Once you live in that environment, your whole world just kind of comes to a halt. It's just exhausting when someone's out outside your house at night and they're going to have plans to kill you. Right. So if it's plans to kill the girl that I was looking after, who is a very famous pop star, I lived with her, so it's like that's me too. You're trying to kill me. So you take it very personally. It's just one of the things where you make all these considerations that you never did before, like how you move anywhere, the routes you take and what you're going to do before you actually move, and what you would do to yourself. And you start talking to friends about what they would do and start red teaming each other and trying to figure out what your weakness is. And then it becomes a money thing. And how much money can I spend on the lasers that go around this house? And that's a real thing. It's a hole that you could deep dive into electromagnetic locks on your safe room and false safe rooms behind the curtains. It's a never ending thing. You got to know when to draw and draw the line and when to become offensive rather than defensive. You can only hide so much, especially if you're a public figure.

Bob DeMarco [00:16:16]:
That's interesting. It's something I think about all the time, having a family and having a house and just being kind of a normal guy. I still have people to protect and a house to protect. And there is that question where to draw the line in terms of we could spend every paycheck on security and end up with Fort Knox, but how much is that going to help? I think a lot of it has to do with mindset and training. How do you approach training? I know you have a physical aspect that you have to approach, but you also have a much larger sort of figuring out the street smart angle of everything. So how do you approach your training?

Ryan Atkinson [00:17:08]:
Yeah, you know what's funny is that all the guys that do what I do, they come from such different walks of life that there's really nothing, no specific kind of training, I think that makes a person like me go to their job. A lot of it is personality, to be honest, and then jumping into different parts of training. We'll just make that we'll accentuate that, right? So if you're a physical guy and you're in good shape, of course that's good for the security guy. If you're a conversationalist you can carry on with any crowd in any former situation, then that's great too. What did you ask me? Sorry.

Bob DeMarco [00:17:45]:
Well, just kind of how you approach your training because it occurs you're kind of moving all the time too.

Ryan Atkinson [00:17:50]:
The training is a funny thing. If you talk to people that do what I do, is what I was going to say. Most of the guys that do my job don't train a whole lot, believe it or not. They just do the gig. They gig a lot, so they're on tour a lot and they're good at their job because they move people constantly and they're solid, you can trust them and they're just not very physical. Or they haven't taken Ed Calderon's latest urban movement class or the fieldworks situational awareness workshop. They're really good at moving Madonna to the Four Seasons into her jet. They're really good at that. So the training thing gets disregarded by a lot of people that are in the security profession. It's shocking for a lot of people to hear that, but it's the truth. I try to be the well rounded guy. I consider myself the hybrid. I'm a big physical guy, but I also don't beat on people. I don't go around mugging people. I use my words and I stay calm at all times. The look to me for leadership when it comes to the panic button and evac stuff and emergencies. So I'm always cool, calm, collective. If I freak out, you better freak out. So everyone that knows me in the work capacity knows that they see me moving fast, they start moving fast real quick. But the training thing, I've always wanted to be good at different skill sets. And the gun stuff came from what I was just talking about, what I just touched on with the people that were outside trying to kill me for whatever reason was in their head. I realized that they had firearms and they had access to more firearms and that I wasn't really highly trained with guns. So I set out the best instructions I could find and I found some really great guys to train with and they showed me a whole lot and that just took me down another rabbit hole. I leave the country and no matter what anyone says in the US, if you're doing private security, you're not taking your gun out of the country. It's not happening. This is not Hollywood movie stuff, this is reality. You hire guys on the other end that are from that country to be your arm detail and you direct them. So when you're in environments like that, maybe depending on where you're at, you can carry a blade or carry a knife with you. So that's your best level of a weapon available to you, right? So why wouldn't you carry that? And then I found myself with a band or a group that was hugely popular outside the US. But not really popular in the US. So I spent all of two years outside the USA, which means no gun for Ryan. And so that's when I deep dove on the blade work and defensive stuff with edge weapons was when that was all I had. Why wouldn't I? So it's kind of out of necessity that drove me into the non permissive stuff. I was constantly moving into all these studios and these facilities, government buildings, everywhere I went where the weapons weren't allowed. But you didn't really trust the people around you either. You get in this weird situation sometimes where you're around government people, but you don't trust anybody when you get into certain countries. So it's just a really creepy feeling to have. And you're the last line of defense in this situation, and it's yourself you're protecting, too.

Bob DeMarco [00:21:08]:
So that is how you got into Knives. Being in a non permissive environment for two years, how did you approach training and kind of getting your feet wet?

Ryan Atkinson [00:21:21]:
Well, when I started the firearm stuff, I looked out, I reached out to Johnny Primo. He goes by courses of action online. Primo is a former team guy that has done a lot of work. I don't think there's anyone out there that can deny the stuff that he's done. So shooting people is a specialty, and he breaks it down into a form where you can really grasp it, understand it, and repeat it over and over. Primo was the first person that sparked the interest in working out again and becoming physically fit again. I played football on university level in Division One when I was 1921. But I'm now in mid thirty s or early thirty s, and I've fallen out of shape. It happens to the best. You get comfortable doing your job, you're busy, you have to start a family, this and that. You get older, the testosterone drops off or whatever. It just happens. So I kept the size and the muscle had kind of transformed into other things. So when I went to train with Primo, he told me, hey man, I had some body armor with me and some other stuff. And he said, you need to get in the gym, dude, and not wear body armor. If I can put you on a couch and have you eat nachos and then shoot from the couch, that's what I would do right now. He just leveled my brain. My ego is just barely fit into the shooting range, and he just squished me. And I needed that. I needed that reality check. Your physicality is going to carry you through more shit than the shooting skill that I'm about to teach you. So I got on it. This is years ago, so it's been a journey. Five years later, I just turned some cardio monster throughout the path. But along the way, I sought out different instructors. I like to learn from everyone I can. I show up, and anyone who's been my instructor in the past will tell you that I show up. I do the full thing. I want to be a student. I'm not looking for anything other than to take notes and to get tortured. Whatever you want me to do, get gassed out or smoke, whatever you can do, I want to do it. I want to do it first. So I don't want to see other people fail and stuff. I want to go out there and mess up in front of everybody. I just set up the best instructors out there, like Bill Rapier, amtech Shooting, former field team six team leader. Just one of the most solid Americans you'll ever meet. I mean, the guy is just a monster. Yeah, he changed the way my thinking is as well. And I fell into Ed Calderon with the blade stuff, and then I learned a lot more about Ed and what he's into, and that the image online really doesn't describe him. So people that have hung around Ed Calderon for a long period of time can tell you a lot about dad that has nothing to do with instagram replace. The guy is a fascinating man. He's a fascinating storyteller, and he's lived a crazy life. So he put a light in my direction that I'd never seen before, which was awkward for me because I thought I had seen everything. I had this weird issue with ego and everything else that everyone, I think, works on some degree, but I'm still working on. But he helped me wrangle that in a little bit and kind of understand different things about deconstructing environments and creating baselines versus anomalies and understanding context and stuff. And it's stuff that I already knew, but you put it into a formula, it's like giving you four balls, tennis balls. You understand that you have four balls. But if I teach you two plus two, you can put that together faster. Right? So it's called shortening the chain. You create the shortcuts for all these things that you already know, and it helps you think faster and deconstruct faster. So I thought the whole thing was fascinating with Ed. So I deep doe with Ed for a couple of years during COVID and we did all kinds of stuff around the country. And I started instructing myself.

Bob DeMarco [00:25:17]:
I want to get to your instruction in a second, but I want to understand the shortening the chain of concept. So in your reasoning, you're cutting out things that you know I'm sorry, can you just repeat that concept for me?

Ryan Atkinson [00:25:32]:
Yeah. So if you have a chain, it's like your start to finish. When you start an action, when you see something, you decide to act, right? So you're loop, so to speak, right? Observe, orient, decide act, right? So that's your chain. When you see something and you have a file folder for what's happening in front of you, there are certain things that you know from your past experience that you're supposed to do. Hey, there's a fire there. That thing might be hot. I know because I've burned myself before. Not to touch that. That's the chain that back and forth between whatever you're looking at in your brain. Shortening that chain is just creating acronyms or something like that. So if you've ever done any kind of medical training, ABC, airway, breathing, circulation or if you're doing smart scene safety massive hemorrhaging, airway, respiratory circulation, head injury, hypothermia. So it's stuff that you know, but you're creating this shortcut PBC, s. March, whatever. You've been trained to do different acronyms for going into different environments. There's all kinds of stuff that you can do to shorten that chain to help you remember things faster, to access it. So you don't go into what's called Condition Black or Suspension of Disbelief, where you see something and there's no file folder at all. So you just stop. Your mouth draws open, right?

Bob DeMarco [00:26:58]:
When I imagine different scenarios, that is the worst thing that I imagine, is that is seeing something that I can't understand or that is so shocking that it puts me in that state. That is something that I feel like pressure testing in training might do great things to solve. How do you feel about pressure testing? And tell me about the teaching you do.

Ryan Atkinson [00:27:28]:
Yeah, so the pressure testing, I think, is a great thing for whoever wants to do it. I know not every family is filled with people that want to do this sort of thing. We've got a saying find the others. Don't go telling everybody what you do. Maybe Aunt Rosie and Granny don't want to hear about you and your friends tasing each other in the nuts. But there's a lot of people out there that want to better themselves and create a better skill set when it comes to possibly terrible things happening, because terrible things happen all the time. But to pressure test, something is everything to me. Everything else is just theory. It's just people talking on the Internet. So we say, Come out to a class and show me. And if you show me something I didn't know, I'll say, hey, you get credit. We're all just standing on the shoulders of other people. I didn't invent anything. I will never claim to have invented anything, and neither will anyone that's around me. So we're all in a learning circle. We're here to learn, share stories and experiences, and help other people create folders that maybe weren't there before. When I teach classes, I say, if you leave this class 1% better, if you learn one thing, then to me that's success, man. Because if you were to go outside and get into an altercation, a fight with somebody, and you could. Reverse time and say, hey, you can be 1% better. You want to do it? You're like, yes, every time you'll take that 1%. So there are no silver bullets in this kind of work. There's no one shot, one kill. It's constantly doing it. It's drilling, it's learning from different people and just rounding the edges out. Do you have to just learn from more people? I'm not a fan of getting stuck in one circle. I train with everybody. So I live in Boise, Idaho. I don't think there's anyone in town here I've been shot with. I'm not the best shot. I never claim to be. I don't show I'm not a trick shooter and an instagram shooter and that stuff I shoot well. I know what I'm doing, but I'm proficient, but I still have work to do. It's a perishable skill and I understand that. And I think that everything is that memory fades over time when other things fill your mind. Whatever it is, COVID or politics and other crap that fills our skull these days, you have to constantly put that in. And pressure testing tells you the truth. It tells you that people are different. A lot of the stuff with weaponry, it doesn't work for everyone. So we grab things and we try to teach everyone. It's the Indian, not the arrow. So don't get too physically attached or emotionally attached to these items. If you don't have to, it's just stuff. You are the weapon. So picking something up, weaponology classes that we do and making weapons out of things quickly, and identifying weights of things in the structure and the wood grain and how to sharpen plastic on carpet and use Kevlar string to make to cut someone's head off if you had to. It's just all these weird little skills that kind of put these little pieces together, this giant Rubik's cube that's your mind. You can start figuring things out and then you get in these classes around a bunch of other weirdos that are brainstorming the same crap as you and it just turns into this beautiful mess and it's just the things that come out of it are brilliant.

Bob DeMarco [00:30:46]:
Please allow me before I get more details out of you, because Tomas Alas had some really cool details from the class and I want to get a little more specific, but before we do, I just want to show you. My family just went to Jamaica for a wedding, and so I have my little ventilator pen because they're very strict about no knives there. And I have my magazine and my daughter's hair ties. So I have a little collie stick here. And then the last thing I did was a heavy nut on a small piece of paracord as a flail. I saw that on the internet. It all made me feel better. I am a knife collector and I've been doing knife related martial arts for a long time to sort of justify it and justify the expense and all the other stuff. And I love it, but I've never used any of that stuff. It's all been in a training and experimental sort of atmosphere. So that pressure testing is the last bit that I guess I would like to embark on. Tomas related. There are aspects of it where the lights are off and there's yelling and there's people throwing you down to the ground and you're being handcuffed and they're screaming and lights going on. I mean, like chaos. When you're in a normal training situation in a martial arts studio, you got your friends around you, you're all there doing fun stuff. No one wants to hurt each other. You might want to best your friend, but you're not trying to kill each other. It's a totally different environment than, say, getting kidnapped or mugged. Tell us a little bit, some of the details. Paint a picture for us. What it's like?

Ryan Atkinson [00:32:26]:
Yeah, chaos. Chaos is a good word for it. Controlled chaos. The whole time we do these classes, we warn everyone. We say, hey, look, this is going to lead into something. This is good. It's not a surprise. We don't throw water in your face right away. It's a build up. Everything is optional. You don't have to do this stuff. You're here on your own. So all the waivers and stuff, that's one thing. But just understanding that you don't have to do anything you don't want to do is like number one rule, right? So there's always a way out of this. It's going to be fine, so just take it easy. But you should know a few things. We're going to stress out all of your senses. Like, it's going to be sensory overload to the max. And you learn right away that cardio is the killer. You make anyone suck wind and everything else sucks. If I make you winded right now, everything else is terrible. Yeah. Your hierarchy of needs, you know, I need oxygen right now. I don't care what's for dinner tomorrow night, I need air. Right, so you don't know what color your couch cushions are going to be next year if you can't breathe right? So it's just one of those things where we make sure that you can't breathe when you go into this whole thing, the just forgot 50% of what you just learned is gone. So that's all the stuff that you've repeated over and over, it's going to stick. All the shortening, the chain acronyms, where it's going to stick. So attacking everyone's senses, their sight, their hearing, sense of smell, tactile things, getting your hands put in ice water, being barefoot on uncomfortable surfaces, within reason, we have little tasers that we use. They're not going to hurt you, but they could leave little marks, little love marks. But we show everyone in evolutions all these things. We don't put it all together just all at once. All of a sudden, everyone knows these elements are around. It's introduced to you beforehand. You know what it is. We talk about allergies and previous injuries and stuff. We're not there to kill each other. That's not the point of training. Right? So Bill Rape here told me training is only training if you don't get hurt. Okay, that sounds like he's still team Six, dude. He's like, we train to do a job, not to get hurt here. Right. So let's push each other, but not just take it easy. We're all friendly here, and that's the vibe going in. But then everything just changes when I say it's going to change. And then it's fully immersion, and we try to give an experience, and everyone understands that going in. It's like going into a 3D movie. It's not real, but it's just going to be a little bit more painful than the movie theater.

Bob DeMarco [00:35:08]:
It is a different experience being yelled at in the face if you've never been yelled at in the face or to be ordered around or to be thrown on the ground on your face and all of that stuff. Like you said, in this situation isn't going to kill you, but it's going to get your attention, and it's going to test and see how you react. And see, like you said, how you can recall stuff. I know you do this organic medium testing, especially for blades. You're talking about Bill Rapier. My dad got me this awesome northman for Christmas. Love you, dad. But the organic medium testing, where you get to try out, I suppose, different knife techniques in a pig carcass. But I know that it's a very you were talking about, don't get attached to things, especially these expensive knives that I have arrayed around me. That's for something else, but for the kind of work you're doing here, it's what's effective and it's what you're not afraid to use, and it's what doesn't damage your hand. Tell me what your experience is in testing knives, and I also want you to tell me your opinion on ringed knives and how they work out in this scenario.

Ryan Atkinson [00:36:24]:
Yeah, the blade testing has taught me a lot about edge geometry and how it affects organic medium or a person. And the pig is as close to a person as you're going to get without going to jail. Right. And then, first of all, with the pig, we always in any class you've been to of mine where a pig has been hung from the ceiling, gutted and stuff, so we don't get the weird smells in class, but is that the pig is teaching us something. We didn't just go out there. We're not out here just whacking animals for fun. This is not the idea. This is training. This is something that we thank the pig. Everyone thanks Mr. Piggy for his life, and we're learning something that could save our lives. Right. So a lot of people in our classes come from heavy trauma. And there's a reason they were pushed to a class like mine. They've gone through something. I mean, I could share examples with their permission, but people that could barely leave their house and show up to one of my classes and now they're a monster in the best way possible. And it's really something that I hold close to my heart, is changing someone's life like that, but being grateful for the stuff that we're doing and not just being terrorists to the farm, the pig farm, it's not what we do. So everyone's got we're not there just to mutilate stuff and be a jackass. We're there to learn things that can save human life in context. Right? Yeah. It teaches you a lot about edge geometry when it comes to hitting skulls and shoulder blades and spinal cords and what it means to hit a spinal cord and hitting different limbs of the body that have two bones in different consideration. Fighting is dynamic. No one's going to stand there and let you put holes in them without moving. Right. Unless they don't know what's going on. So we show what it does to the blade deformation, what it does to thinly tipped blades and why that could be good or bad, and show people that even if you break half of your blade off, you could probably keep stabbing that person with that blade. So breaking the tip off really doesn't mean a whole lot when it comes to stabbing somebody. Very little, actually, unless there's heavy clothing involved or some kind of jean jacket or kevlar in there where you need extra penetration. But stabbing through clothing and what that means to your blade design, what are snag points on your blade? These are lessons written in blood. So there's people that tried things with blades they shouldn't have. Generally, ring blades are frowned upon in the reverse edge community or the tactical fighting community because of the possibility of degloving your finger or sleeving your finger or taking the meat off of the bone around your finger. A lot of the ring blades are made incorrectly. If you want a ring blade, the ring should be smooth and you shouldn't be able to skin a carrot with it. If you can skin a carrot with your corround it, you should probably chamfer those edges a little bit more because that's what's going to get bound up. When you in a dynamic situation, you're moving your blade stuck in a spinal cord and now that person is doing a roll on you with your finger in there. Your finger is not that strong. As the two grown human men wrestling around, it'll come right off. Right. Sometimes we explore hand passes or we change the blades to different hands, and there's a lot of examples of that. And with recent instructors doing it, a lot of jiu jitsu guys are jumping in and the hand pass is huge. I mean, it gets used constantly with skilled guys. So that's another consideration. You don't want to be attached to your weapon. I guess the ring on a gun would be the trigger guard. I'm not sure.

Bob DeMarco [00:40:07]:
Yeah, that's right. That's the only one you want your finger through. Yeah. I did recently get a ringed knife that I really love, that aligns my knuckles and everything really? Well. It's a T. Kel Knight stalker, but it's been a long time since I've had a ring to anything. When I had Ed Calderon on this show, that was one of the main takeaways from his experience that it can be very dangerous to the user. And a lot of that comes out when you're doing the testing, that dynamic testing on a carcass that's swinging around. Again, it's not a colleague class where your friend is going to stand there and allow you to make sure it's not that it's holding onto your blade and swinging around and your hand is attached.

Ryan Atkinson [00:41:00]:
Yeah, it should be said when a pig CARC is a 400 pound pig swaying back and forth, you don't have people holding it for you. And you start hitting it with the crombit. You start to see what it really is. Especially if you put clothes on that pig, your damage level goes way down. It's kind of terrible. Right? So you want penetration. You want that ripping effect is why the piccal we use that reverse piccall. We use all of our back muscles in it. Right. But with the ed called our own stuff. It's funny because when Ed first popped up and he first became this Mexican taco ninja on Instagram, I shit on the guy. I was like, what Mexican cop is going to tell you what? And I had worked professionally with Mexican police my entire adult life, and I have a very low view of most. I've never been shy about that. I've been messed with in Mexico so many times. I've got great friends there, too, don't get me wrong. But there's a lot of shitheads there. So when I heard there was this Mexican cop talking about any kind of weaponry or training, I was like, you got to be kidding me. And I just went right after right after him. And I remember making fun of the hand slapping, all the hand slapping he was doing to his weapon holding hand. It's not until you do things a lot, you realize why that's there. So if you see somebody doing something, especially in the circles that I try to hang out in, there's a reason for that. It's not just not knife karate. We joke that we call it knife karate. It's like, me, we call each other Rhodey's when I'm I'm at work. We're not. Rhodey's. Hey, Rhodey. You know? But yeah, knife karate. We're doing some knife karate in the garage. You know, it's like we just dumb it down like that. But there's a reason for that. That blade gets stuck a lot in a body, and it sounds weird that your hand won't pull off, but if you do that with your other hand, somehow it comes right out of someone's skull. I don't know what the wizardry is there, but I've done it a million times and I could tell you it's true.

Bob DeMarco [00:42:59]:
Wow. Yeah. And it's not the flowy, beautiful kind of dueling that you might want to hope. It looks like that's. The other thing that took me a long time to realize is that no one's getting in knife duels. That's not happening. And I love, I think, for self perfection purposes and for fun and for exercise, all of that is so good and so great. But I also think in all sorts of training, especially in knife training, you have to have a real self preservation outlook, too.

Ryan Atkinson [00:43:35]:
When I played football, I took yoga and ballet, but whatever. Right? Yes.

Bob DeMarco [00:43:39]:

Ryan Atkinson [00:43:40]:
But the libre stuff and that reverse edge stuff, it all comes from Scott Babb. And I don't know if you know Scott Babb's story, I don't. Scott how he got hooked up with Ed Calderon. He was Ed's instructor for Blade work, and it became a subcommander for a unit in Mexico. And he hired Scott Babb to come down because these guys were carrying Rambo knives and you name it. A lot of K bars around the streets of Tijuana. Right. And Scott came down and taught him his method. And the method was created from real life stabbing data. So people that had been in incidents involving blades and there's video evidence of it, he dissected all of it, everything the can get his hands on by region, by date, what the customs, cultural stuff. He just kind of broke down the whole thing into a martial arts system and a science. And Ed was so interested in it that he brought the down. And Scott taught Ed's guys this libre fighting system. They were like the first ones to go out and pressure test things. So things got physical. And let's just say that Tijuana is not anywhere in America. It's not like it is here, especially when it comes to cartel cops and their adversaries. My understanding is that the system was pressure tested in the streets of Tijuana. So it's not a matter of this might work or this is what might happen, this is what happened, what happens when you do this. So it's very a matter of fact. And it was actually employed.

Bob DeMarco [00:45:14]:
Well, that's cool to know. Bittersweet, I guess. But it's good to know that these things work. And especially that, because I have put a lot of time and thought into that kind of fighting, that pecal style of fighting. And I can't say I've taken libre, but I've kind of incorporated in with the kind of stuff I know. And it just makes sense with all the different arcing of all of your joints and like, you said, pulling with your back and everything. And to me, especially, given the heightened sense of your heightened senses from adrenaline and everything else.

Ryan Atkinson [00:46:00]:
Yeah. I mean, we all have that response mechanism that we carry from the time we're born. This whole bowling pin thing where we do this, that blower spear system, we do this by reflex, by instinct. We don't have to be taught that to put our hands in front of our face. And if you watch babies fight, or people that are completely untrained or anyone else that just freaks out, everyone fights like this. It's that monkey instinct you have, is to just do that stomping thing. When UFC fighters get that final blow, they come down with the hammer fist. Yeah. That's the nail in the coffin that's going to kill you. It's like the footstomp. So that's what we're going for, is that I'm trying to end you. This is not some kind of delicate thing happening. This is going to be a brutal altercation that I need to finish now. So that's all there is to it. There is no defense in the system. You're going after someone with such speed and violence that you overwhelm them and take them down.

Bob DeMarco [00:47:01]:
Yes. Not fighting, but fight stopping.

Ryan Atkinson [00:47:04]:
Basically, just ending that person, ending the threat. Yeah. With as many holes as possible. You're emptying that jug of milk. Not through the same hole. This is people that have been stabbed 30 times and walked away. I don't think you're going to get a Libre student and get hit 30 times and walk away. It's going to suck for you. Because targeting is everything, right? You don't have that ballistic advantage of a bullet or something coming out of a firearm. It's just that hole or that split going in. There's a little bit of compression there. But you're not talking about ballistics, like from a nine or a 40 or 45. Right. So it doesn't have that stopping power. So it's not like the movies. You got one stab and it's over. It's. Very few incidents end that way, so it's usually a few more seconds involved. So you got to keep putting in work. You've already made that decision, right?

Bob DeMarco [00:47:52]:
And we know from prisons and from untrained killers with kitchen knives, that's usually how it works. I want to get some tips from you for just kind of regular people for travel and for home. But before we do, let me ask you, in your training, besides your incredible knives, the knives you have in your collection I keep talking about, what have you found works best in a pig carcass? Is it the Victorinox fruit knife? Is it the Pioneer woman pairing knife? What is your what have you found?

Ryan Atkinson [00:48:35]:
That's funny. What's the blade? Oh, gosh. It's a Swedish blade. What's it called? It's in every store. The most common blade ever. Oh, my God. It's one in my garage. Anyway, Ed calls it the AK 47. Of knives. It's like this one's got more bodies on it than any of your fancy Instagram shit.

Bob DeMarco [00:48:54]:
Are you talking about the mora?

Ryan Atkinson [00:48:58]:
And then that's the blade. And I take one to every one of my classes, too. And I say the same joke here's, the AK 47, the one you haven't seen on my Instagram yet. I think I used to post pictures of it. And the fruit knife, I've never broken one. I've broken all the cool guys stuff that you could buy from whatever website your favorite knife maker sells on, but eventually they break down. It's a tool. At some point, your knife gets pointy and thin, and that part is going to get degraded, right? So if you hit it with enough things and enough force, it's going to deform. But the moron knife doesn't. For whatever reason. It's 1299 down the bass pro shop. So we joke about that. But as far as geometry, when you start making these large processing cuts on a carcass, you'll notice that bird's beak curvature works best, or something that matches human anatomy. If you're going to put your forearm out and it kind of rounds your forearm like that, usually what does best, we always raise the tip. So if your palms here and your thumb caps here, you want to put your thumb on top. That tip is raised up slightly above your knuckles for point of a and point of impact. Because if that tip rounds down too curved or too bird beaky down here, you start hitting like this against the flat tip of the top on your blade. So you want that tip up a little bit. So when you get to someone's face or heart, you can move down. You can go straight in and move down, right? But that curved blade does the best over rib cages and spinal cords and all kinds of weird ligaments and stuff. That curvature in the blade, for whatever reason. I'm not a physicist or anything, but it works better. And you get longer, deeper cuts on a carcass.

Bob DeMarco [00:50:53]:
Nice. Well, okay, good. So I've spent a lot of money on those knives. Hopefully I have one on me when I run into a pig carcass. So, like I mentioned before, going to Jamaica with my family. I've got two beautiful young daughters, and on the way I had to have an emergency contact. I contact my brother, who's a very world savvy guy. He gets right back to me and says, reconsider your travel to Jamaica. And he sent me the State Department's warning. And while we were the I was aware that even though we were on one of these all exclusive resorts for this wedding, the walls are easily scalable. It's easy to just walk on the beach and get in and also travel in the airports and that kind of thing. What kind of tips do you have for people whose livelihood is not wrapped up in this kind of thing, but still has a lot to protect.

Ryan Atkinson [00:51:53]:
Well, it's funny, because when I talk from my soapbox, you got to remember that when I travel with artists, specifically with the a group or with the artists themselves and I'm not on an advanced team or a production team, we don't just roll into countries and get off the ship or whatever or get off the plane and walk into a taxi. That never happens that way. So we make great plans. There are big plans to travel around with police escorts and armored vehicles, et cetera. And we're insulated, so to speak. We have armed guys at our hotels, and we don't go anywhere by ourselves, et cetera. So it's a little bit different for us. So 1 second, Dimmer was going to die.

Bob DeMarco [00:52:45]:
Oh, good. No problem.

Ryan Atkinson [00:52:48]:
So it's a little bit different, but I've been on production teams and different film crews and whatnot. That go ahead of talent, and you're on your own as well. But when you look at State Department info, they're always going to err on the side of caution. They're not going to say, yeah, good to go, even if there's a little bit of disturbance. I was just in the Amazon in Brazil, and you can get robbed for your air pods or your phone, but you can get robbed like that in La. It's just about being aware and not flashing things around. Everyone's going to know you're not from there because of your clothing. Just like you could spot a European dude in the mall shoes of those I've never even seen those shoes in my life. You just look different. Your haircut different. Your shirt isn't made the same, different fit. You have different haircut or something. So your clothes are going to tell on you right away. That's the person that people spot. Even if you think you're wearing plain clothes, you're not. You look like an American dude. You have to know that about yourself. But also don't become an easy target if you're just paying attention. You're not being flashy, and you're moving with a purpose. Nine times out of ten, that'll save you. A lot of the people that get rolled are just aloof and not paying attention. I was just in Sao Paulo, Brazil, about a month ago for La Palooza, and there were a bunch of Americans there was like 400 Americans staying in one hotel or something, and just the bad guys came out of nowhere on motorcycles, and they were just lurking around the hotel. And people ended up getting robbed with famous crews for their cameras. They're walking around taking pictures with giant Canon cameras around their neck and just being stupid. So they just didn't know it was their first time. So they learned the hard way, but just being smart and just paying attention. And most of these countries are good to go. If you have local contact, that's the best thing to do is have a local friend to show you around.

Bob DeMarco [00:54:51]:
What about in general? You have a gut feeling? Say you're out with your wife for the evening, or you're with your kids at the movies or something. You have a gut feeling. Have you ever had some sort of gut feeling that you followed and you were glad you did?

Ryan Atkinson [00:55:07]:
Yeah. You'll understand the more you talk about gut feelings. You're accessing folders in your brain that you've already seen, whether it was in a movie, whether it was a story that someone told you when you're six years old, there's something in there that's making your hair crawl. And it's not just because you stayed at a Motel six. It's because you've seen this before. I seen this movie before, and it makes and you start pulling it apart a little bit, start deconstructing what's happening. You start looking around for other actors or other anomalies in the environment. Like, what else? Did the temperature drop? Did the lighting go up? Are people moving in one direction? Whatever it is? But then you start to finish the story, don't you? That's what we're all guilty of. You say going, well, this guy's probably homeless. Well, this guy's probably knocking on my door because he wants to sell me something. You have no idea. And it's not your responsibility to finish someone else's story. That's what I always tell people, that's not your job. I always tell my kids, everyone does it. I do it too. And then I laugh about it immediately because I catch myself every time when you see somebody, oh, that guy must be he must be renting the house. Why do we do this?

Bob DeMarco [00:56:21]:
So are you saying, don't do that because you might be judging someone unnecessarily? Or are you saying, don't do that because if you write the end of the story, you might be blindsided by what the story actually is?

Ryan Atkinson [00:56:32]:
Nine times out of ten, we write it off as probably just something that's what we want to do because we want to finish the story. And if we can't finish the story, it'll just bug us, right. So it's okay to move off out of your environment. If something doesn't feel right, we should go. I do it all the time. I mean, I'm the worst, and it's inconvenient for some people in my life because I'm not staying here, dude. And then it becomes like, oh, Ryan's doing his thing again.

Bob DeMarco [00:57:00]:
But now his feelings again.

Ryan Atkinson [00:57:02]:
But most of the time, the people that actually know me really well go, I'm out of here too. Because if you're not comfortable, then I'm not comfortable. So I'm not the kind of person that's easy to scare. So when I say that people just get up with me, if you really know me, you're going to stand up too. Even the hardest customers are like, yeah, I'm rolling out. And that's a hard skill to learn with clients, because you're dealing with egos. Aren't you? So it's like, well, you work for me, right? And I want to be here and I have to do this, and this is what I'm supposed to be doing. And you're like, well, now you have me around to show you that to stick around longer and do what you're doing. You should probably start taking cues from some people that are paying attention to your best interest.

Bob DeMarco [00:57:47]:
All right, before we close, do you have a story, a good time that you foiled something or where your 6th sense, your gut told you something and you saved the day?

Ryan Atkinson [00:58:00]:
There's a lot of that, man. There's a lot of that.

Bob DeMarco [00:58:04]:
Anything weird or unusual?

Ryan Atkinson [00:58:07]:
Yeah, one of my favorites is actually I was working for a pop star, and a lot of people don't know, but I was a security person, turn assistant, turn manager. So the big pop star females with for eight years, that my role shifted into this management position. So at that point, I was hiring assistants and security people. So I've kind of seen different parts of the spectrum that most security guys had never really gone into the management world. And then I came back, so I have this different vibe. But I was working for this pop star, and I was out of La. For the better part of a decade, working from Beverly Hills and doing my thing. And I had a friend that was still on the move with a female artist that he had tried to get me to work with on a project, a band that had popped up really big. And they're still pretty big, but the female artists got a lot of attention from weirdos. There's all kinds of people sending weird emails and mail to the fan club and all this other stuff. Like I said before, a fan had pointed out to some weird person online in a group name, chat room or whatever. And this person said that he was going to show up to a concert in Texas and blow everyone away with this gun. There's pictures of him and his nuts. I mean, he's fully new. It looks like Buffalo Bill. The looks just like that from Silence of the Lamps. I got photos. I'll send the to you after this. But it's like this weed on the table with pentagrams and then the shotgun and then more weed and then it's nuts. And you're like, this guy is out of his mind. And my friend was moving with this female artist and he couldn't deal with the police in this guy's neighborhood. He didn't even know where he was at. He was just on Facebook, and all the fans were trying to figure it out. And sometimes fan groups, this buzz can grow so big in the fan space that it becomes news before it's news to you. So it doesn't necessarily have to be 100% true or legitimate if everyone's talking about it. That's what it is that's what's on your plate right now? So when TMZ picks up a story, you better be ahead of that one, so you have to investigate and look into it. But my buddy was moving too quick with her. They were in a different city every day, literally. And so he asked me to look into it because I had some downtime working from an office, and I just started ripping his social media apart, creating fake accounts. I played all kinds of games with this guy, but I literally would stay awake all night and just mess with this guy just to try to push him into this uncomfortable space where he would say something and just try to start dialogue so he'd just have to talk. I didn't care what he was saying. Just talk to me, because you're going to give up some sort of information along the line. And I just started posting pictures like I was him. I pretended to be this guy, which prompted him to post more pictures like, no, this is me. You see me? I'm here.

Bob DeMarco [01:01:10]:
My God.

Ryan Atkinson [01:01:11]:
And in one of those pictures that he posted, there was a car with a license plate in the back, and that was it. So I ran the plate through a friend in Texas and got the address, called the chief of police over there, ended up speaking to a sergeant. And he's like, I tell him the whole story, who I am. I offer any kind of validation. How would you like to go about verifying I am who I say I am? And he just gets cold feet at the last second. He's like, I don't even know who I'm talking to on the phone right now. Have a good day, sir. He tells himself this is some sort of prank. This is too weird. So I ended up calling the news station local to the police department and gave him the story and said, hey, look here's what's going on. There's a concert tonight. Biggest thing in town. Cesar sergeant so and so hung the phone up on me and said, have a great day. So I wanted you guys to be there to record the whole thing because it'll be win an award for it or something. And then the called the police station, and then my phone rings right away. Chief of police, right? So, long story short, they go over there, they grab the kid. Yeah, he had the car loaded. It was his mom's cars, his mom's shotgun. He did have a shotgun obsession. They didn't think he'd actually do it, but everything was pointing that direction. So that was one of those things where it could have been one of those life changing American tragedies where you just try to use whatever kind of creativity pops in your head. There's really no manual for that. You're just trying to trick someone into doing something from a different state. So that was one of the more interesting deals that I think we had and a group deal, too. So there was a couple of us working on it, which was pretty cool.

Bob DeMarco [01:02:49]:
And again, that's like a situation where it was social skills and the ability to manipulate someone emotionally, socially. That one out. It wasn't you stalking around trying to find the guy and beat the crap out of him. It was getting them with your brain. Ryan, I want to thank you so much for coming on. How can people get in touch with you and find out about your courses and how they can take the right.

Ryan Atkinson [01:03:17]:
Now, Instagram seems to be the best avenue. I had a website set up for Coursework alone. Now it's a T shirt. Mark fieldworks.com $5. So there's T shirts up there right now, but through Instagram, I answer everyone's messages. I'm pretty good about it. If I'm busy, I'm busy. I have notifications turned off. I'm so sorry. I don't spend my entire life on Instagram, so be forewarned and don't have your feelings hurt, don't get back to you in a timely manner. But I do get back because generally everyone and I think everyone could tell you that I'm pretty good about it. There's two kinds of people in the world, right? I don't have any red dots on my phone. There are no messages or unread emails on my phone.

Bob DeMarco [01:03:57]:
Oh, my God, I think I'm the other guy.

Ryan Atkinson [01:04:01]:
I'm zero guy. It'll drive me nuts. It's that weird constructive ADHD or whatever that I have. So Instagram is the best way right now. Fieldworks@gmail.com as well. Fldwrx@gmail.com is an email if you don't have Instagram, but it looks like the rest of this year is pretty busy. I'm out with this RMB artist for the next four months, and then I hop back to Kiss for two months to finish their career over at Madison Square Garden in December, December 2. And then I'm going to probably fly out to Hawaii after that because it's going to be a long year from here on out. So I'm hoping next year, if I don't get picked up right away, I've got this contract that's kind of looming around. I don't know when it starts, but I'd like to have a couple of months off where I do a few classes around the country.

Bob DeMarco [01:04:50]:
Great. Well, everyone keep your eye out on FLD, WRX Fieldworks on Instagram, and keep your eye on Ryan. And I know you're all knife junkie out there, so you got to take a look at this page because, man, your collection is beautiful. And I love your photographs, too. They're just really well done. And not for nothing, your T shirts are awesome. All this artwork you have kind of based around your little character and your sort of myth is really awesome. I love the look of the artwork. So definitely go check that out. Ryan, thanks again for coming on the Knife Junkie podcast. It's been a pleasure.

Ryan Atkinson [01:05:30]:
All right, great. Thanks for having me. I appreciate you.

Bob DeMarco [01:05:32]:
My pleasure.

Ryan Atkinson [01:05:33]:
Don't take dull for an answer. It's the Knife Junkie's favorite sign off phrase. And now you can get that tagline on a variety of merchandise like a t shirt, sweatshirt, hoodie, long sleeve tea and more. Even on coasters tote bags a coffee mug, water bottle and stickers. Let everyone know that you're a knife junkie and that you don't take dull for an answer. Get yours@theknifejunkie.com Dull and shop for all of your knifejunkies merchandise@theknifejunkie.com. Shop.

Bob DeMarco [01:06:06]:
There he goes. Ladies and gentlemen, Ryan Atkinson. Fieldworks such interesting information to me. I could talk about this stuff for a long time. As a matter of fact, I'm going to be talking for another 15 minutes with Ryan. If you are a patron, you'll be able to hear that some very interesting stuff. But even if you are not, I hope you enjoyed this interview. I think this would make a great companion piece to the interview with Ed Calderon. Be good to get an update from him as well. So. Ryan Atkinson. Thank you very much. And thank you for watching the Knife Junkie Podcast. Be sure to check in with us next Sunday for another interview with a fantastically interesting person. My name is Bob DeMarco sane for Jim person working his magic behind the switcher. Don't take dull for an answer.

Announcer [01:06:56]:
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