Detective Danny Acuff, and the art of Karate and the Makiwara Board

As many of you know, in my detective books (Take Down and Gravel Road), Danny Acuff does quite a bit of hand-to-hand fighting. As an author, there’s almost nothing I’d rather include in my books than an incredible hand-to-hand fight scene.

And this probably results from my long history (addiction?) of training and studying martial arts of various styles.

In the Detective Danny Acuff books mentioned above, I refer to the Makiwara Board and how he trains with it. I know many westerners are not familiar with it, so I wanted to share a video about it so you can see for yourself the kind of results you can achieve through diligent practice with it.

I’ll paste that video below, but for those who don’t know, both Take Down and Gravel Road have some pretty amazing fight scenes in them. (And I’m not even talking about the gun play.)

In Take Down, Danny has to fight four men outside in a parking lot. And then later, he ends up in a brutal fight with one of the main bad guys: a retired Special Forces badass.

And then in Gravel Road , I may have taken it a step farther. I won’t give away how it happens, but Danny may end up in a 12-on-1 fight, that spans multiple chapters. He’s fighting brutal, tough felons, and in my opinion, this drawn-out fight (war?) is worth the price of the book alone.

Okay, if you haven’t checked out the two Detective Danny Acuff books (Take Down and Gravel Road), give them a try. I think you’ll enjoy them.

And here’s the video I promised:


And here’s another one if you thought that one was amazing. This is technically the first one that was filmed prior to the video above.

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell


About me: If you like Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, or James Patterson, then I’m your man. I write exciting, fast-paced thrillers. Both military action and mystery whodunnits. Ten books penned. 70,000+ sold. I also try to only write about positive things on my blog, so please consider subscribing. Or, you can sign up for my new release mailing list, where I will literally only email you when I publish a book. And obviously, if you’re looking for a quick, fun read, then click the link to check out my books. #USMC #SemperFidelis

An administrative note on my blogs

Okay, guys. As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been struggling of late with my focus for this author blog of mine. My numerous competing passions have been pulling at me, and it’s probably shown.

Sometimes, my posts have been inspirational. Sometimes, they’ve been military/foriegn policy in nature. Sometimes, they’ve had something to do with Eastern Philosophy or living in the moment.

SO, to cut down on this lack of focus, I’ve made a decision to restart an old blog and start a new one.

Now, there will be three options for you to choose from.

1) On this current site ( that you are already subscribed to, I will continue to post about things that motivate you, inspire you, or make you laugh. My efforts are paying off, and I intend to inspire, drag, or shame as many of you as possible into your own dreams. So, if you need the motivation or inspiration, or just want to keep up with me as I continue to pursue my author career with everything that I have, there’s no need to do anything. Please, stick around. I love having each and every one of you.

2). If you care about military matters, I am relaunching Marine Watch, a blog on American foreign policy, national security, and all things Marine Corps. If this is something you’re interested in, please go there and subscribe.

3) Finally, I’m launching a new blog on one of my other lifelong passions: martial arts and Eastern Philosophy. My search for the way will be about martial arts, physical fitness, and ESPECIALLY everything that goes with Eastern philosophy — mindfulness, living in the moment, and eastern philosophy. You can read about why I’m launching the site here, so if you’re interested, please subscribe for email alerts and join me there.

I hope having more specific blogs will lead to greater focus and community for each of the sites. Thanks for everyone’s patience, support, and friendship. I hope to catch you all at one of the sites — or even multiple ones.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m an action fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things that either motivate you, inspire you, or make you laugh.

Improving the U.S. military. Some thoughts from two vets…

Being a prior enlisted member of the military, it’s quite common to spout off your views on all things military. From playing Monday morning quarterback regarding current combat operations, to discussing how the Army or Marine Corps could do things better, nearly every enlisted member that I’ve ever met complains and gripes, while also suggesting how things could be better.

I’ve learned this doesn’t end when you get out, and I’ve of late been increasingly talking all things military with a guy I’ll just call “Lee.”

Lee served four and a half years in the Army, with most of his time in the 75th Ranger Regiment. Lee served two combat tours during that time and he knows about ten times more about weapons than I do, and well, that’s saying something.

Several times in the past six months, we’ve talked about things we’d change if we were in charge and we finally decided it’d be fun to throw these things out there for discussion purposes, and even better, to hear all the other ideas floating around out there.

Here were some ideas we had…

Continue reading “Improving the U.S. military. Some thoughts from two vets…”