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Dear Grumpy Advice on Teaching in Today's Classroom War

The $$$$$$$$$$$ Cost of the US Wars

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To all the hard working folks out there!

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Dear Grumpy Advice on Teaching in Today's Classroom Well I thought it was funny!

Teacher Stuff

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Dear Grumpy Advice on Teaching in Today's Classroom

Back in the days, when We as a United People dared to do great things. God how I miss that time!

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Dear Grumpy Advice on Teaching in Today's Classroom

Is it Summer yet!?!

 

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Dear Grumpy Advice on Teaching in Today's Classroom

Some more stuff for the Teachers Morale out there!

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Dear Grumpy Advice on Teaching in Today's Classroom Well I thought it was funny!

Getting old means having No Fear anymore!

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Dear Grumpy Advice on Teaching in Today's Classroom Fieldcraft

How to Find Water in the Wild

man in woods looking for water illustration

In any survival scenario, water is by far your most important resource. You can easily go a day without food, and usually don’t need shelter right away, unless you’re in freezing conditions. Not having any water for 24 hours, however, while survivable, depletes both your physical and mental strength, making it more difficult to perform the tasks necessary to making it out the other side. And after just three days without hydration, your body will shut down, and it’ll be lights out for you.
With about two liters per day your body will be able circulate blood, process food, regulate body temperature (which prevents hypo- and hyperthermia), think clearly, and successfully carry out a host of other internal processes.
You can see how crucial water is to your survival. Luckily, with just a little bit of know-how, water can be found relatively easy in almost any environment on the planet. In today’s article, we’ll walk you through several methods for finding water that will work for temperate climates and a variety of others, as well as methods that are particularly suited for tropical, freezing, and desert regions.

A Note Before Starting: Always Filter

Any survival expert will tell you that no matter where you find water in the wild — be it from streams, lakes, condensation on plants, etc. — it should always be filtered or purified before drinking. Now, in many cases this isn’t possible, as you may not have the right supplies on you. Just know that any water you ingest without purifying could carry harmful bacteria, and is a risk on your part. If your choice is life or death, that’s a risk you’re most definitely going to take. Some water collection methods are safer for straight drinking than others; we’ll outline those below.

General Methods and Tips for Finding Water in the Wild

The following tips work especially well in temperate and tropical areas, but many also apply to other climates too.

Start With the Obvious: Streams, Rivers, Lakes

These are your most obvious sources of water in the wild. Clear, flowing water is your best option, as the movement doesn’t allow bacteria to fester. This means that small streams should be what you look for first. Rivers are acceptable, but larger ones often have a lot of pollution from upstream. Lakes and ponds are okay, but they’re stagnant, meaning there’s an increased chance for bacteria.
Now then, how do you go about finding these bodies of water? First, use your senses. If you stand perfectly still and listen intently, you may be able to hear running water, even if it’s a great distance away.
man watching bird flight path in forest illustration
Next you’ll use your eyes to try and find animal tracks, which could lead to water. Insect swarms, while annoying, are another sign of water close by. And in the mornings and evenings especially, following the flight path of birds may lead you to your much-needed H2O. Watching animal behavior is especially important in the desert. Animal tracks will be easier to spot in the sand, and they’ll almost always eventually lead to water. Birds will also especially flock towards water in dry areas.
Also just scout the environment you’re in. Water runs downhill, so follow valleys, ditches, gullies, etc. Find your way to low ground, and you’ll often run into water.

Collect Rainwater

Collecting and drinking rainwater is one of the safest ways to get hydrated without the risk of bacterial infection. This is especially true in wild, rural areas (in urban centers, the rain first travels through pollution, emissions, etc.).
There are two primary methods of collecting rainwater. The first is to use any and all containers you might have on you. The second is to tie the corners of a poncho or tarp around trees a few feet off the ground, place a small rock in the center to create a depression, and let the water collect.
tarp collecting water into container forest illustration
You can combine these methods and make your containers more effective by tying the poncho or tarp to funnel into your bottle or pot or whatever you have (as long as it doesn’t overflow and waste water!).

Collect Heavy Morning Dew

Looking for a way to collect up to a liter of water per hour? Tie some absorbent clothes/cloths or tufts of fine grass around your ankles, and take a pre-sunrise walk through tall grass, meadows, etc. Wring out the water when the cloths are saturated, and repeat. Just be sure you aren’t collecting dew from any poisonous plants.

Fruits/Vegetation

Fruits, vegetables, cacti, fleshy/pulpy plants, even roots contain a lot of water. With any of these, you can simply collect the plants, place them into some kind of container, and smash them into a pulp with a rock to collect their liquid. It won’t be much, but in desperate situations, every little bit helps.
This method is especially helpful in tropical environments where fruits and vegetation are abundant. Coconuts can be an excellent source of hydration. Unripe, green coconuts are actually better, though, as the milk of ripe coconuts acts as a laxative, which will just further dehydrate you.

Collect Plant Transpiration

collecting water from plant transpiration illustration
Another easy option for water collection is taking advantage of plant transpiration. This is the process in which moisture is carried from a plant’s roots, to the underside of its leaves. From there, it vaporizes into the atmosphere; but, you’re going to catch the water before it does that.
First thing in the morning, tie a bag (or something you can make into a bag; the larger the better) around a leafy green tree branch or shrub. Place a rock in the bag to weigh it down a little bit so the water has a place to collect. Over the course of the day, the plant transpires, and produces moisture. Rather than vaporizing into the atmosphere, though, it collects at the bottom of your bag. Never do this with a poisonous plant.

Tree Crotches/Rock Crevices

Like with fruits/vegetation, this is another source that won’t provide all that much water, but again, it’s definitely something when the straits are dire – particularly when you’re stranded in a desert. The crotches of tree limbs, or the crevices of rocks can be small collecting places for water. In an arid area, bird droppings around a rock crevice may indicate the presence of water inside, even if it can’t be seen. To remove water from crotches and cracks, stick a piece of clothing or cloth in, let it soak up any moisture, and wring it out. Repeat if you can, and return after a rain for a fresh supply.

Dig an Underground Still

The benefit of creating a still is that it provides a reliable, fairly substantial source of water (compared to other methods), and you know roughly how much you’ll be getting, which helps you plan and ration better.
There are aboveground and underground varieties of sills; the underground is your best bet as it collects more water, but the aboveground variety can be useful if you’re extremely energy-depleted and can’t dig a large hole. Click here to see instructions for doing that (page 58).
Directions for your underground still:
Supplies

  • Container (the largest you have)
  • Clear plastic sheeting
  • Digging tool
  • Rocks
  • Optional: something to act as a drinking tube/straw (CamelBak straw, bamboo/other plant)

Instructions

  1. Find an area that gets sunlight most of the day.
  2. Dig a bowl-like pit 3’ wide by 2’ deep. Dig an additional small hole within that for the container.
  3. Optional: Attach the drinking tube to the bottom of the container. If you don’t have one, skip this step.
  4. Place the container in the pit, and run the tubing up out of the hole.
  5. Cover the hole with plastic, and use rocks and soil to keep it in place.
  6. Put a small rock in the center of your sheet, so that it hangs and forms an inverted cone over the container.
  7. If you have a tube, drink straight from it. Otherwise, collect the container from the bottom, and replace it when you’ve stored the water elsewhere.

There’s almost always moisture in the ground at that depth. That will react with the sun’s heat to produce condensation, which will collect on the plastic. The inverted cone forces that condensation down into your container. You can expect to gather .5-1 liter per day, so you’d need more than one (or another source) to account for an entire day’s supply.

Cold/Snowy-Specific Tips

Melt Snow and Ice

Especially in the mountains, snow and ice are abundant well into the summer months, and sometimes all year round. If you’re by or on the ocean in a polar region, look to icebergs for a source of fresh water and for “old ice” that has been through rains and thaws. As opposed to salty ice, which is opaque and gray, freshwater ice has a bluish color and crystalline structure, and splinters easily with a knife.
If you’re in a boat and surrounded by salt water, capture some in a container, and allow it to freeze. The fresh water will freeze first, while the salt will accumulate as slush in the middle. Remove the ice and discard the slush.
While snow and ice provide an excellent source of water, it should always be melted and purified first. Eating straight snow/ice will lower your body temperature, which dehydrates you because it forces your metabolic rate to speed up in order to keep you warm.
The best way to melt snow/ice and make it actually taste good is to simply mix it with other water you may have, even small amounts, and slosh it around until the snow melts. If you are heating it, add a little bit of other water to it; heating snow/ice directly can actually scorch it and produce a foul-tasting drink.

Desert-Specific Tips

In temperate, tropical, and frozen/icy climes, finding and collecting water is likely to happen within your 3-day window. Your primary concern is going to be collecting, storing, and purifying it. In desert environments though, simply finding a water source can be enormously difficult. Here a few tips specifically for arid environs:

Dig Wells

Start digging. Anywhere you see dampness on the ground or green vegetation, dig a large hole a few feet deep, and you’ll likely get water seeping in. The same is true at the feet of cliffs, in dry river beds, at the first depression behind the first sand dune of dry desert lakes, and in valleys/low areas. You may not be successful, but you just might. This water will of course be rather muddy, so it will especially need filtering/purifying, but you’ll have a water source nonetheless.

Collect Condensation from Metal

Extreme temperature variations between night and day can cause condensation on metal surfaces. Before the sun rises and vaporizes that moisture, collect it with absorbent cloth. This also means you should be placing your metal items in the open rather than stored in your pack.

Beach-Specific Tips

Dig a Beach Well

If you’re stranded on land near a body of saltwater, you can still attain fresh water by digging a well on the beach. Behind the first sand dune — typically about 100 feet from shore — dig a 3-5’ hole. Line the bottom with rocks, and the sides with wood (driftwood, most likely). This allows the well to fill up without collapsing or having too much sand in the water. In a few hours, you’ll have a well full of fresh water — a combination of collected rainwater (which runs down the dunes), and sand-filtered ocean water. If it tastes salty, you simply move a little further away from shore.
A variation of this method is to let the water seep in, but then heat some additional rocks and drop them in the water. This will create steam, which can be collected by holding an absorbent cloth over the well. Wring out the cloth and repeat. This ensures that your water is free of all salt and other contaminants, but you will yield less.

Avoid Water Substitutes

In any desperate survival scenario, you may be tempted to try non-water liquids as a substitute for the real thing. In all but the most dire of situations, these should be avoided. In general, non-water substitutes only worsen your heath and vigor. These substitutes, and their harmful characteristics below:

  • Alcohol. Dehydrates and clouds judgment.
  • Urine. Contains harmful body waste and is about 2% salt.
  • Blood. May transmit disease. Also has high salt content.
  • Seawater/Sea Ice. Contains 4% salt. It takes more water to rid your body of the waste from seawater than what you get from it. Just depletes your body’s H2O supply.

Of course, if you’re a Bear Grylls fan, you’ll know he famously drank his own urine while in the Sahara Desert. Is this safe to do, or was that for entertainment purposes? If you’re down to your very last resort, drinking your urine can keep you alive for another day or two. It’s 95% water, but that other 5% is comprised of waste products that will ultimately lead to kidney failure if subsisted on for more than a very short period of time. And of course as you get more dehydrated, this method becomes even more dangerous.
Before you resort to drinking your own pee, exhaust all the methods outlined above first. With a little effort, knowledge, and ingenuity, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find genuine H2O.

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Dear Grumpy Advice on Teaching in Today's Classroom Fieldcraft

How to Survive a Mountain Lion Encounter

mountain lion on the trail illustration diagram

Spotting large predators in the wild is a thrill for any hiker or outdoorsmen, but coming face-to-face with a 220-pound cat can turn a walk in the woods into a fight for your life. Also known as cougars in some parts of the country, mountain lions tend to attack when cornered, or when they believe you might be a reasonable piece of prey. The key to avoiding a deadly encounter on the trail starts with a calm reaction.
Like this illustrated guide? Then you’re going to love our book The Illustrated Art of Manliness! Pick up a copy on Amazon.
Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

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Dear Grumpy Advice on Teaching in Today's Classroom

32 Strength Contests from the WWII Era

 Maybe a teacher could use these during PE?
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Editor’s note: FM 21-20 (1946) was the Army’s field manual for physical training, and consisted of exercises and fitness programs developed during World War II, which were then codified after its conclusion. The focus of the recommended exercises was getting men who had been living a fairly cushy lifestyle hardened up and ready to battle the Axis powers. We’ve highlighted many of these WWII-era workouts before, and today we’ll take a look at another aspect of GIs physical training: combative contests.
Combative contests were all-out, rough-n-tumble matches that tested a soldier’s strength, stamina, and “will to win.” They were designed to add some fun leaven to the more routine workouts the GIs did, like calisthenics and running, and to build the men’s competitive spirit. As FM 21-20 observes, “Because of this competitive factor, men will put in more effort than they ordinarily do in conditioning exercises.” Engaged in mano-a-mano or between teams, such contests develop “many valuable character qualities such as initiative, persistence, cooperation, confidence, [and] physical courage.”
The next time you and your buddies get together, try out some of these contests — go toe-to-toe with your bros, find out if you’re as tough as a WWII GI, and see who comes out the victor!

The Value of Combative Contests

This type of activity consists of individual and group contests of a rough and strenuous nature. The purpose of such contests is to develop aggressiveness, initiative, and resourcefulness in personal combat; to develop proper footwork and weight control; and to train the men to react violently with a maximum of energy for the purpose of overcoming an opponent. Regardless of previously developed habits in maneuvering in such contests, the men should be instructed to attempt to over-throw the opponent at once. Hence, in these contests, every man is trained to give his all. Defeats suffered in early practice will be compensated for by habits of aggressiveness and by the quick and adaptive thinking which grow from such practice.

Contests – Individual Competition

1. Pull-Hands

wwii strength and conditioning exercises pull hands illustration
Establish three parallel lines 10 feet apart. The men are paired so they face each other about 3 feet apart, both equally distant from a middle line. They grasp each other’s wrists. At the starting signal, each man attempts to pull his opponent back across his base line. Any contestant pulled across his opponent’s base line is loser. After a predetermined time, any player pulled across the middle line is also the loser. If the hands become separated, they are rejoined at the point of separation as in the beginning. The contestant who first wins three bouts is the winner.

2. Hop and Pull-Hands

wwii strength and conditioning exercises hop and pull hands illustration
The men are matched in pairs. Each man grasps his opponent’s right hand, and hopping on his right foot, attempts to pull his opponent over the middle line. Either contestant automatically loses if he touches his rear foot to the ground. The contestant who first wins three bouts is the winner. On successive bouts, they alternate hands and feet.

3. Back-to-Back Push

wwii strength and conditioning exercises back to back push illustration
Two contestants stand back-to-back with elbows locked. Each contestant has right arm inside opponent’s left arm. A base line is established 10 feet in front of each contestant. At the starting signal, each, by pushing backward attempts to push the other over his (the opponent’s) base line. The contestants are not allowed to lift and carry their opponents. Pushing only is permitted. A contestant pushed over his own base line loses the bout. The contestant who first wins three bouts is the winner.

4. Back-to-Back Tug

wwii strength and conditioning exercises back to back tug illustration
Two contestants stand back to back with both arms linked at the elbows. Each contestant has his right arm inside opponent’s left arm. A baseline is established 10 feet in front of each contestant. At the starting signal, each attempts to drag the opponent over his baseline. Lifting and carrying are permitted. Contestants must maintain original positions with arms linked. Either contestant carried across his opponent’s baseline loses. After a predetermined time, the player carried the farthest is also the loser. The contestant who first wins three bouts is the winner.

5. Back-to-Back, Arms Between Legs

wwii strength and conditioning exercises arms between legs illustration
Contestants are paired off, back to back. A baseline is established 10 feet in front of each man. Each bends forward and, extending his right arm between his legs, grasps his opponent’s right wrist. At the starting signal, each attempts to pull his opponent across his baseline. After a predetermined time, any player who has pulled his opponent over his baseline or over to his side of middle line is the winner. Repeat with left hand and then both hands. The contestant who first wins two bouts is the winner.

6. Knock Them Down

At starting signal, each man attempts to knock opponent off his feet in any manner he chooses. He may tackle, push, pull, lift, or wrestle. First man who has any part of body except feet touching ground loses.

7. Step On Toes

wwii strength and conditioning exercises step on toes illustration
The men are paired off. At starting signal, each man attempts. to step on toes of his opponent. Activity continues until the stop signal. This is a vigorous activity if continued for about a minute.

8. Arm Lock Wrestle

The contestants sit on the floor, back to back, with legs spread and arms locked at the elbows. Each contestant has his right arm inside his opponent’s left arm. At the starting signal, each endeavors to pull his opponent over to the side so that his left arm or shoulder touches the floor. The contestant who first wins three bouts is the winner.

9. Wrestling from Referee’s Hold

wwii strength and conditioning exercises wrestling illustration
The men assume what is known in wrestling as the referee’s hold. Each contestant grasps back of opponent’s neck with left hand and opponent’s left elbow with right hand. In this position each man attempts to pull or push his opponent across a line or out of a circle.

10. Bulling

The men assume the referee’s hold, each grasping opponent’s neck with left hand and opponent’s left elbow with right hand. Each attempts to force his opponent to move one foot by pushing, pulling, or otherwise manipulating him.

11. Rooster Fight

wwii strength and conditioning exercises rooster fight illustration
Each contestant, with arms folded across chest, hops on right foot. He uses right shoulder and right side of chest to butt his opponent. The object is to make his opponent lose his balance and fall, to unfold his arms, or to touch his free foot to the ground. The contestant who first wins three bouts is the winner.

12. Rooster Fight (Alternative)

wwii strength and conditioning exercises rooster fight illustration
Each contestant grasps his left foot with right hand from behind, and right arm with left hand. He hops on his right foot, and by butting his opponent, or by feinting and sudden evasions, forces him to let go of foot or arm. (The name is derived from the position of left leg.)

13. Stick Pull

Three parallel lines are established 10 feet apart. Two men grasp a wand, stick, or softball bat with both hands. Starting at the middle line, each man attempts to pull his opponent over his base line. The contestant who first wins three bouts is the winner.

14. Pull-Stick Tug-of-War

wwii strength and conditioning exercises tug of war illustration
Two men are seated on the ground with soles of feet in contact. Each contestant grasps a stick or softball bat so that it is directly over their feet. At the starting signal, each contestant tries to pull his opponent from sitting position to feet.

15. Stick-Twist

With right palms upward and left palms downward, both contestants grasp a wand or softball bat. Upon the starting signal, the contestants try to twist the stick to the left, or counter-clockwise. After several bouts of this nature, the position of palms is changed, and the stick is twisted to the right, or clockwise. The contestant who first wins three bouts is the winner.

16. Stick-Wrestle

With right palms upward and left palms downward both contestants grasp a wand or softball bat. At starting signal both wrestle for the stick, attempting to take it away from the opponent by any means.

17. Wrist-Wrestling

Two men lie on backs, side by side, and head to feet, in such a position that the insides of right (left) elbows are side by side; fingers are interlocked; feet are spread and other arm is by side. Each man tries to press his opponents’ wrist down over against his own side. The contestant who first wins three bouts is the winner.

18. Hand-Wrestling

wwii strength and conditioning exercises hand wrestling illustration
The men stand facing each other. Right feet are forward and braced side by side. The men grasp right hands on the first bout (left in second bout, etc.), with little fingers interlocked. Each attempts by pulling, pushing, making a sideward movement, or otherwise maneuvering to force his opponent to move one or both feet from the original position. The contestant who first wins three bouts is the winner.

19. Harlequin Wrestling

Each man stands on his left (right) foot, holding his opponent’s right (left) hand. The object is to overbalance the opponent or to force him to put his free foot to the ground. Pushing with shoulders is not permitted. A modification of this contest is to hold free foot with free hand.

20. Indian Wrestling

wwii strength and conditioning exercises indian wrestling illustration
Two men lie on the ground, side by side, with heads in opposite directions. They link right elbows. Upon the signal of the instructor or by mutual agreement, each man raises his right leg, with knee approximately straight, far enough to engage heel of his opponent. To time the contest, each man usually raises his leg three times rhythmically, and the third time engages the opponent’s heel, attempting to roll him over backward. The right leg is used for three bouts, then the left leg for three bouts.

21. Wrist Bending

wwii strength and conditioning exercises wrist bending illustration
Opponents pair off and face each other; raise arms forward; and with palms up, lock fingers. At the starting signal, each man attempts to bend his opponent’s wrist. The hands are brought downward between contestants. The man winning three bouts first, is the winner.

22. Wrestling to Lift Off Feet

wwii strength and conditioning exercises wrestling illustration
The contestant maneuvers to grasp the opponent with front or rear waist-hold, and to lift him off his feet.

23. Wrestling

Each man tries to force his opponent to touch the ground with some other part of his body than his feet.

Contests – Group or Team Competition

1. Bull in Ring

No equipment needed. Group forms in a circle holding hands. One man, termed the “Bull,” is placed in the center. If there are more than 20 men in the ring, there are two “Bulls.” The “Bull” tries to break out by charging the ring so the clasped hands are forced apart. If the “Bull” gets out, he immediately tags another player who becomes “Bull.” This game may be played by two teams, each of which forms a circle. An opposing player is the “Bull” in each circle. At the starting signal each attempts to break out by going over, under, or through. The first man to break clear wins a point for his side. The contest continues until each man has been a “Bull” in his opponents’ circle.

2. Ring Push

wwii strength and conditioning exercises ring push illustration
Players are divided into two clearly designated teams, both of which enter a large circle. At the starting signal, players of each team attempt to push all opponents out of circle. Players forced from the circle are eliminated. All players must keep arms folded across the chest throughout. The contest continues until all the members of one team are eliminated.

3. Ring Push (Sitting)

This activity is performed in the same manner as #2 above. However, all men are seated on the ground, back to back.

4. Line Charging

wwii strength and conditioning exercises line charging illustration
Two teams form lines facing each other about 1 foot apart. The players of each team are 1 foot apart. A line is established 10 feet behind Team “B.” At the whistle, team “A” attempts to break through the line of team “B.” Team “A” may use its hands; team “B” may not. The players of team “B” usually assume a crouched position. After 3 to 5 seconds (usually 3 at first, 5 seconds later), the referee blows his whistle and counts the number of men who have broken through the opponent’s line and reached the baseline. The team which has the greatest number of contestants reach the baseline in three attempts wins. Indoor competition may be conducted on a string of mats.

5. Island

The players are divided into two distinctively marked teams. The teams line up on opposite sides of an area approximately 10 feet square. At the starting signal, all players rush forward to the middle of the area where they attempt to remain. The players attempt to throw their opponents out of the area. If a player is forced from the island he may return if he can before the contest is terminated. The team having the greatest number of players on the island at the end of 2 minutes wins the game. Indoors a mat may be used as the island.

6. Catch and Pull Tug-of-War

wwii strength and conditioning exercises tug of war illustration
Two teams line up on either side of a line on the ground. The men attempt to grasp an opponent’s hand or wrist and pull him across the line. Two or more of one team may gang up on one opponent. When an individual touches the ground on the other side of the line, he retires to the rear of his captor’s territory as a prisoner. The contest continues until all men of one team have been pulled across the line. If any men refuse to approach closely enough to engage their opponents, the referee declares them defeated. Such practices should be discouraged, however. As a variation, those pulled across the line may join with their opponents in attacking former teammates continuing until no one is left on one side.

7. Goal Line Wrestling

wwii strength and conditioning exercises goal line wrestling illustration
This activity is performed similarly to #6 above except that a line is drawn 15 feet behind each team and when a player is carried or pulled across line behind his opponent’s side, he is declared “dead” and out of competition.

8. Horse and Rider Fights

wwii strength and conditioning exercises horse fights illustration
Players are divided into two teams and paired off. One player of each pair sits astride the hips of his partner and locks his feet in front. At the starting signal, the “horses” move forward so that the “riders” can reach each other. Each “rider” attempts to overthrow an opponent. The “horses” are not allowed to help the “riders.” The “riders” are allowed to use all fair wrestling tactics; they are not allowed to interfere with the “horses.” The “rider” who touches the floor in any way, either forced down from his “horse” or overthrown with his “horse” first loses. Last team up is the winner. This contest should only be conducted where it is not dangerous to fall.

9. Human Tug-of-War

wwii strength and conditioning exercises human tug of war illustration
Two teams line up in two columns facing each other. Team members stand close together. Each man places his arms about the waists of the men in front of him (grasping his own left wrist with his own right hand is the strongest grip). The leading man of each team grasps his opponent about neck and shoulders. The team breaking first or having one or more men pulled over the line separating the two teams after 30 seconds is the loser.