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W.E. Fairbairn's Combative Concepts

Illustration from Denis Martin's CQB Services. VEHEMENCE. Definition: The Oxford English dictionary defines vehemence as showing a strong and intense feeling of demonstrative aggression. This has also been referred to as your killer instinct or the Gemini principle and Sigmund Freud called your 'It' Factor. This intense source of energy exists in all of us and is indeed an essential piece of the puzzle that goes hand in hand with the combative mindset that then create the WILLINGNESS to step up and do what ever it takes to win the fight. Everyone's access point is set at a variable level. What may trigger this instinct in some people may not be enough in others. There is a documented case that illustrates this to good effect. The incident involved an aggravated robbery that turned to a brutal rape after a man broke in to the house of a single mother. The woman was unable to find within herself what was needed to fend off her attacker, and instead gave in without a fight in the hope that the ordeal would be over quickly. For whatever reason this lady gave in with out a fight or struggle was unclear but as soon as her attacker had finished and decided to turn his attention to her eight year old daughter, everything changed. As soon as he made his way into her room, within literally several seconds of opening the door of her child's room, the attacker slumped to his knees clutching his neck in a desperate attempt to pull out a pair of scissors that were rammed into his neck full force by the child's mother. In this example it is clear that the threat to her child was indeed enough for this lady to access her vehemence to a high enough degree to protect her own. This is of course an extreme example, but such an example is necessary to illustrate the first point that killer instinct does indeed exist in every body and secondly that most if not all of us can relate to the fact that we would indeed be prepared to do whatever it takes to protect the life of our own child or loved one. Once we can acknowledge the fact that this powerful resource of energy exists within each of us, we must then decide how best to make use of it in a combative situation. The ideal goal would be to fine-tune this energy into an on and off switch that we can control. If all options to avoid and escape, verbally dissuade, loop-hole or posture, fail and the situation is now about to become combative, then as Den says your initial introduction into


the altercation must be significant. It must make use of the 3 essential elements of speed, surprise and aggression. These elements combined with the WILLINGNESS to do whatever it takes to win the fight are what make up the essential core or power base of our vital pyramid {MIND SET}The next element we need to add to this equation, once the decision has been made to attack, is our {TACTICS} which in this case are preemption, continuous attack with forward pressure. This is the exact point where the switch is flipped and vehemence is bought to bear. {SKILLS} are the physical tools that we employ to end the combative situation and terminate the threat quickly and clinically. We can use training drills that make use of the basic gross motor strikes that we all practice as examples that will allow us to put all these elements together; all that is required is a piece of impact equipment such as heavy bag or a pad/shield held by a partner and our imagination. All drills should consist of basic gross motor strikes. Here is an example to use that takes the Combative attacking sequence that was used in the opening scenes of Kelly MacCann's Combatives 3 tape series. Here MacCann starts by using two Cycling hammer-fist blows then flowing into a flurry of elbow and Ax hand strikes. Vehemence Presentation Here is an illustrated example of a continuous attacking drill that can be used to practice switching on short bursts of controlled aggression. Add visualisation to the drill and try to muster as much emotional content as possible.


From a non aggressive fence throw two Cycling, off hand face smashes to hammer-fist strikes.


Using the same open hand strike, flow straight into a sequence of elbow to Ax hand strikes.

Using maximum aggression and forward pressure. Understand that this is merely an example that I have taken to illustrate the concept of what I'm talking about, once you have that you can apply it to any technical sequence that you favour. This is merely a drill that will allow you to practice flicking the switch on and off. For those who have difficulty in switching on their aggression, you will need to add the most powerful resource at your disposal, and that is the use of your mind through visualization or mental imagery. Bruce Lee summed up the Combative mindset when he said ''If you just heard that one of your friend got badly beaten up, you would probably sit down and have a think about what you are going to do about it. If however you came home one day to find that


someone had beaten your grand mother senseless for the price of her pension, then something inside you just goes BAM!! There is no thought you just want to destroy the mother f**ker!". So use this example, close your eyes before the drill and imagine whatever it takes for you to flick on the switch then blitz the pads with your continuous assault for no more than 3-5 seconds with as much vehemence as you can possible muster, then switch it off as you finish. The object is to create a controlled explosion of anger. ARTIFICE. Pronounced (ar-ti-fiss) Defined in the English dictionary as trickery, a clever trick intended to mislead someone. This is a method of deception that can create the opportunity to eliminate a threat pre-emptively, thereby putting an end to a potential altercation quickly and clinically. There are two main ways that we use artifice/deception and they are by either misdirection, in order to create a distraction or through brain engagement, where we ask our aggressor a brain-engaging question just before we strike. The latter method was favoured by Geoff Thompson who would line up his opponent by using the fence and then he would say something like '' so what you trying to say?'' he would follow this an instant later with a well practiced right cross/hook punch to the jaw that would put a clinical end to the situation. This method can be applied to any favoured pre-emptive strike that you choose, as long as you stick to the main principles of controlling space with your fence, talking with your hands whilst using deceptive dialogue.

It is important that we ask a question that requires a response, such as ''what's this about?'' Why you picking on me?'' at the end of the day it doesn't really matter whether the question is relevant to the situation at hand or if it is totally abstract, so long as it makes the aggressor think of a response, regardless if he intends to reply or not is unimportant. What we are looking to do here is to engage his brain for a split second so that he is not thinking about his intention to attack but instead what you have just said. This will create the window of opportunity that we need to strike. This will also act as an action trigger for our attack that will take away any indecision on our part of when to attack. To train this response we need to associate our selected question with our favoured strike/s and bring it to play each and every time we practice on the pads, bags and with our training partners. This then becomes part of our practiced game plan (see volume one.) The other way we use artifice is through


misdirection. This has been around for many, many years and has been used by everyone from WW2 veterans to East end gangsters. The notorious Kray twins were known to offer someone a cigarette and then a light then as they lean forward to light it they would punch them hard in the jaw which was by now slightly open, and knock the individual completely unconscious. A similar method was use by special operatives in WW2 when most people would carry a metal cigarette case, which would be held flat in the palm of the hand and then rammed hard into and through the jaw, chin-jab style as the recipient leaned in for a light. Here are a few excellent methods of deception through misdirection that were shown to me whilst on a Dennis Martin training course, by my good friend and training partner, John Deacon who has a thirst for anything combatively functional. The first was discovered by accident whilst practicing chin-jabs with a partner. One of them needed to cough to clear their throat and put out his hand onto his partner's chest and said ''hold on'' as he turned away to cough. John then took this idea and turned it into an excellent deception technique. The hand to the chest acts as a fence that will give you tactile awareness of where your aggressor is and what his intentions are, the slight turn away is done whilst still keeping your opponent in view and is used to set up your strike from an open or closed hand held in front of your mouth to cover as you cough before exploding forward and through the opponent's face with your strike. The next one makes use of misdirection by engaging the aggressor's attention in the following way. As the verbal argument starts to escalate make a quarter turn away from your opponent as you place one arm across your chest as if pointing to a rip in your shirt by your shoulder, this is a discreet way of chambering for an Ax hand strike, as you do this say something like ''What do mean? Look what you've done to my shirt.'' From here drop step forward and explode into an Ax hand strike to the aggressor's neck area. One final method is to use vulgarity, as the argument starts to escalate take your hand up to your nose and blow snot into your hand, from here make a motion as if to flick the snot at your aggressor's feet as he reacts in disgust to your action explode into and through him with your main artillery strike. This could also be used to buy you just enough time to draw an improvised weapon such as a pen or a mobile phone etc.


FORCE. The force aspect of Fairbairn's concepts is simple enough we must deliver the maximum amount of impact to our aggressor's body through our strikes. W.E Fairbairn understood the mechanics of the drop step and body torque as a means to increase impact force as do the modern combative Instructors of our period. The following are five principles of power development it is theses principles that will make your technique an efficient means of employing FORCE. An Instructor from the Combatives group G.H.C.A by the name of John Watson came up with the acronym S.W.A.M.P that is used to define the five principles of power development or generation of force that is now being put into practice by students of Combatives the world over thanks to the teachings of Kelly MacCann and Bob Kasper. S - Stay relaxed W - weapon first A - acceleration M - move in the direction of the strike P - plunge your body weight into the technique.

Stay relaxed. Staying relaxed is essential for your body to move swiftly and economically. For explosive movement you need to stay loose, the more relaxed you are, the faster your limbs will move and the harder your strikes will be. Concentrate on being relaxed before you explode into the technique. Weapon first. We want to move the weapon first in order to deliver the strike without telegraphic intentions. As Bob Kasper says ''Let him feel the technique before he sees it''. This is especially applicable to our main artillery pre-emptive strike, which is of course what we should always seek if we have no alternative left but the physical. Forget chambering for a strike and avoid facial expressions, just throw your blow from wherever your weapon/tool happens to be. Acceleration. Accelerate forward off the back foot for a fast delivery. Once your body is moving, continue moving as fast as you can and don't stop until the man is down. Remember that tense muscles move slower so stay relaxed and accelerate through the target. When you throw a technique, throw it fast. Accelerate, and keep accelerating until it's over. Move in the direction of the strike. In order to put your body weight into a strike you must move in the same direction. Your


body weight at speed will create power and force through the target as long as it is moving in the same direction. Plunge your weapon/tool into and through your target accompanied with your full body weight behind it. In order to do this you must be applying two other principles: Moving the weapon first and moving in the direction of the strike. To plunge means to throw all of your body weight directly into the strike before your mass settles. SHOCK. Shock relates to the effects of our impact delivery to the aggressor's body and the effects this will cause to the Central Nervous System (CNS) as well as the damage caused to him physically, mentally and emotionally. Our aim should be to create complete sensory over load to the recipient through our own body dynamics, mental and physical commitment to put the man down by striking continuously with bad intentions.


Understanding fear and the Survival Stress Response ‘'Fear is your best friend and your worst enemy, control it and win.''

In times of danger each and every one of us will feel the effects of the Survival Stress Response this is triggered into action via the security control centre of the brain which is called the AMYGDALA. The Amygdala is basically the threat detecting organ of the brain. During stress such as that of a violent confrontation the Sympathetic nervous system will take over and a neural surge will cause an increase in heart rate that will in turn raise our blood pressure. This results in blood being withdrawn from our extremities in order to be pumped to our vital inner organs. Blood is also drawn from our brain cortex for the same reason; the result of which impairs our thinking, in particular our decision making abilities. Due to this restriction in blood flow to the brain the Neo-Cortex or higher brain is gone, and the Limbic System which is the part of the brain that is responsible for emotions will now take prominence, making all complex decision making impossible. The result is that we are now reduced to the intelligence of a dog. In addition to this is what's known as adrenal dump this will create a release of endorphins that will make you stronger, faster and more resistant to pain and shock. The flip side of this coin is the mental implications that will also have to be dealt with. These include auditory exclusion or impaired hearing, tunnel vision where our peripheral vision closes down (hence the need to actively scan) amongst various other effects. For the individual the most important aspect when dealing with any potentially violent confrontation will be his/her understanding of the fight or flight response. Your ability to cope with adrenal stress when a situation ‘kicks off' will make all the difference to how you handle the situation. The fact is that knowledge is power and if you understand what is happening to your own body under the effects of adrenal stress then you are more likely to gain control over yourself and the situation and less likely to freeze up or over react. The body responds to danger by secreting adrenaline this is what we often mis-interpret as fear. If you do not understand this simple fact, then what you are more likely to encounter, especially if you are startled, is the ' freeze' response. The


only way to lessen the effect of the startle reflex and prevent freezing up is through awareness, ( Being Switched On ) good threat assessment abilities and the anticipation of the adrenaline sensation. Knowledge and understanding: We must learn to understand what is going on inside our mind and body when we are faced with danger. If we have this understanding then we will be better prepared to move past the mental and physical sensations of adrenal release so we can physically function effectively. Expectation: First of all expect to be scared, because no matter how experienced you are that is how you will feel. Fear is the natural feeling prior to confrontation. When it 'kicks off,' the feeling that you would rather be anywhere else in the world other than where you are at that moment is a common feeling to all. If you feel like crapping yourself, just be aware that you are not on your own, we all (with out exception) feel these effects, they are a natural product of adrenal release.

Side effects of adrenaline:

Expect to get a fluttery feeling in the stomach, even a little nausea. This is the body's way of helping you to eliminate any excess weight you may be carrying from an earlier meal, in order to allow you to move faster and more efficiently, this is the same reason that you may also feel the need to urinate or empty your bowls. You may also start to sweat, and your heart rate will increase. A common symptom is the leg shakes some get this worse than others this is due to the adrenaline surging through your blood stream at high speed. A loss of skin colour may also occur this is nature's way of protecting you. The blood leaves the surface of the skin so that you bleed less should you get cut. This is also because the blood is being pumped to your vital organs (heart/lungs) where it's needed most. Our ability to use our thought process will become less rational leaving all decision making abilities a lot more difficult. This is due to blood leaving the brain to be put to use else where. Your eyes will become wide and staring in an attempt to take in more information; this is due to the effect of tunnel vision, which will make your field of view like as if you were looking through a toilet roll tube. This can make you vulnerable to an attack from the side if you are focused on a threat in front of you, try and keep your peripheral vision open by looking around often. Your hearing will also become


impaired due to what's known as auditory exclusion in an attempt to tune into the threat. Your ability to perform fine motor skills or complex actions will become seriously reduced leaving you with only gross motor ability. On the positive side adrenaline will make you stronger, faster and more resistant to pain. As you can see all these effects have a purpose and are in fact essential to our survival. Try and gain an understanding of adrenaline, so you may use it to your advantage. De-sensitisation: These are all very strange feelings that most people have little experience of. People whose jobs put them in harms way on a regular basis (Firemen, Police Officers and Security people, like Door Staff, Bodyguards etc.) become better able to deal with the effects of adrenaline. This is due to the fact that the repeated exposure to situations that cause adrenal release gradually desensitise you to the intensity of the same. The main reason individuals can act in the face of danger is because they anticipate and expect these feelings of adrenaline. When you have experienced them before and know they will occur again under similar circumstances you will not be caught off guard. Therefore you will need to expect and accept the sensations of adrenaline, as they will always be present in any confrontational situation that you may find yourself in; the feelings will never go away and are essential to our survival. Thus, with an understanding and regular exposure we can become very capable of using adrenaline to our advantage and function effectively. In the interview stages of a potential confrontation you must strive to control your self by taking a deep-breath and relaxing your shoulders. Slow your body movements down so that you don't look guarded or jumpy. Your demeanour should be natural, smooth, and controlled. This does not mean you should not use an aggressive approach, because in some cases strong, assertive communication can be effective. But if you stay cool, the subject may doubt his ability to fluster you and question whether he has chosen the right person to attack. He may wonder why you are so calm and imagine you have backup or that you are more streetwise than he is. Scientific research into the adrenal state also referred to as the Survival Stress Response (SSR) carried out by a scientist in this field called Bruce Siddle, has indicated that our ability to function under the effects of adrenal stress is directly related to an increase in our heart rate. At 115 beats per minute (bpm) most people will start to lose fine motor function. Skills which involve hand and eye co-ordination or finger dexterity will become difficult to perform. As the heart rate increases to 145 bpm and beyond our body will start to reduce the efficiency of certain bodily functions that it considers to be less essential to our


survival during this time of stress, these include effects to both our visual and auditory systems as well as temporary impairment to certain areas of the brain. The thing to remember is that in combat, our heart rate can go from 70 bpm to 220 bpm in less than a second such a case can trigger a state 0f hyper-vigilance or the dreaded freeze resp o nse . At the very least our decision making abilities can become severely impaired. Further research by Siddle suggests that the ideal heart rate for a functional combative response allowing maximum reaction time and maintenance of gross motor skills will fall into a range between 115-145 bpm. The key factor lies in our ability to remain within this ideal range. This can be attained through certain training drills that will allow you to de-sensitise to the effects of adrenaline. Aggression Therapy drills; Simulation and Scenario training in a controlled environment using body armour, role play and aggressive dialogue can take you a large part of the way towards de-sensitisation to the effects of adrenaline, and will develop your ability to remain calmer in such situations thereby reducing the increase in heart rate. Another critical factor towards this aim is through controlling your breathing. In stressful situations such as a potentially violent confrontation there is a tendency to take a shallow breathe in, followed by the action of holding your breathe or to continue breathing at a very shallow rate, both of which only serve to increase the anxiety of your situation. Instead we should aim to feed our lungs with oxygen by breathing in through the nose, taking the air deep down into the lower abdomen, holding it briefly before expelling the breath out through the mouth. 0f course we would need to make such a practice both habitual and natural looking in order to appear in complete control. This is more applicable during the verbal interview part of a confrontation or if you have some kind of pre-warning that a situation is developing, as good awareness will allow. Then you will have the chance to gain such control over your breathing. A good method of practice when you find yourself becoming adrenalised or even slightly agitated is to take 3 deep breaths. Breathe in for 3 seconds hold for 3 seconds and breathe out for 3 seconds repeating until you achieve a calmer and more controlled state. I used to practice this method whilst working on the door. When ever I was called to a situation over the radio I would use this technique on route to the scene. The lower you can keep your heart rate the more control you will have. Although the adrenal conditioning developed through the proper use of Simulation and Scenario type training drills can help you de-sensitise to the effects of this essential biochemistry, they can never completely duplicate to the same degree of intensity as that of a real life or death


situation. They will however allow you to reduce the reality gap between the dojo and the street. You should learn all that you can about the workings of fear and adrenaline, understand the importance of breath control in order to help lower the heart rate, but de-sensitisation can 0nly take place through repeated exposure to those feelings. This falls in line with what I said at the beginning about people working in high risk jobs and learning to control them selves and function under pressure, due to the repeated exposure that their working environment has to offer on a daily basis. You would be amazed at what you can get used to.


The Axe-Hand Blow

Also know as the edge of hand blow and the chop. This is another major weapon used in Combatives and can also be found in traditional karate and some styles of Chinese kung fu amongst other martial arts.

From a natural position explode forward trapping the arm as you strike your target with out chambering your hands in any way. Follow up with further strikes as shown turning your body into each one.

Method Of Practice


To create an Axe hand simply extend your fingers keeping them together, then extend your thumb as this will prevent your hand from cupping on impact. The Axe hand employs the entire surface area from the edge of the hand along the ulna edge of the forearm to just below the elbow as a striking weapon. It can be used to strike in a variety of ways to a variety of targets, primarily the throat the sides and back of the neck, under the nose the bridge of the nose as well as the forearms and wrists. The beauty of this strike is that you can throw it from any where standing, seated even from a lying position.

Here is the axe hand applied from a seated position up under the nose.


Chin-Jab: This was one of the primary attacking tools of WW2 Combatives. It is similar to the palm heel strike found in many Asian martial arts. The difference with the chin-jab is in the formation of the hand and the body mechanics with which it is delivered. The correct hand position is made by imagining that you are holding a grapefruit in your hand with your fingers spread apart and curled inwards this makes the hand into a platform for your target which in this case is the chin and jaw bone. The strike is delivered straight up the centre line of your opponent, impacting directly under the chin with the heel of your hand from underneath his peripheral vision.

Method of practice: The strike is performed in much the same way as a boxing upper cut. Keep a slight bend in your legs as you drop step forward and slightly to your opponent's side, at the same time you check the back of his upper arm for control and explosively straighten the legs as the chin-jab is thrown. Your striking forearm is kept close to your own body as you strike. The step, arm check and strike are performed simultaneously as your foot lands delivering body weight behind your strike. As with all the strikes you aim to deliver the impact through your target.


Š Lee Morrison : No text or images may be copied without prior permission of the author.


Face Smash This is basically a clawed hand palm strike and is also known as the Tiger's claw. The hand is held as if holding a grapefruit and the strike is delivered in one of two ways. Method Of Practice The first is straight into the face in a piston like fashion off the lead or rear hand, as if throwing a straight left or right punch as a boxer would. This was the original method that was taught by W.E. Fairbairn who said that when facing a frontal attack, your best option is usually the Tiger's claw. The strike is combined with a forward drop step allowing you to put your body weight behind the strike. The second method is best used from a hands held high submissive looking fence. The striking hand is held with the fingers spread as if holding a grapefruit and is delivered straight down into the face as if throwing a baseball. At the same time, you vault forward off your back foot to propel your body forward and into the strike, driving your hand through your target as if trying to touch your own knee. In both cases the aim is to smash the palm into the attacker's face with your fingers curled and spread to maximise the chances of reliably impacting the eyes. Face Smash/Tigers Claw

The lead hand straight piston-like strike, similar to Fairbairn's method.

The straight down, throw the baseball method with arm check.


Note; both methods are accompanied by an explosive forward drop step. Although this strike is intended for the facial area you need to understand that the idea behind it is simply to deliver the maximum amount of impact to target area in order to shake the brain and produce a knockout therefore the target area for the head is generic meaning any where that you strike the head as long as you accompany it with sufficient impact, will do the job as the example below will show. Push/pull to face smash & grab:

Use a fast push/pull to spin your opponent whilst keeping a hold of him and placing your arm horizontal with the point of your elbow in his back.

From here grab the scruff of his neck and rag him backwards as you push with your elbow to break his structure. Drop your head and control his exit.


The option is open to use a face smash or Tiger's claw strike to the back of the head if the threat dictated such action.


Tiger's Claw Module For CQB Services

Introduction: The two common variations of the Tiger's claw strike are the piston like motion similar to Fairbairn's method who was quoted as saying that, as a frontal attack the TC is the most logical strike ever worked out. Fairbairn also understood that it was difficult to attack the eyes directly due to our natural flinch response. The speed that the eye will close will in most cases happen before, for example a technique such as an eye jab could reach the eye/s therefore if the aim was to attack the eyes they must be targeted indirectly as is the case with the chin-jab which hits the jaw bone first leaving the option to attack the eyes as a secondary target. The same holds true for the TC strike in as much as the target for this in say a frontal attack as suggested by Fairbairn, is the general jaw and facial area, impacting hard with a clawed palm heel leaving the eyes as an incidental secondary target and a reliable chance of impacting an eye. With that said our goal for this piston like strike should be to simply shake the brain through maximum impact, therefore any where around the head and skull will make a suitable target area. The second method that is worth a mention here is Kelly MacCann's method of striking from a hands high kind of fence using a whipping motion as if throwing a baseball. Simply drop your body weight forward and whip the hand straight down and through the target whilst maintaining a clawed palm formation. The target here is the facial area using the face smash to plunge through. Both methods have merit but I personally like the piston style better and I like to use it as a multiple strike by first striking with my strong rear hand and following up by closing on my opponent in order to clinch with him using my off hand so that he can't get away from me. This is then followed by pumping 2-3 further strikes into my target whilst maintaining my grip and using forward pressure. My thinking here is to hit hard, harder, hardest as I move forward replacing my aggressor's foot steps with my own. As far as clinching is concerned it really doesn't matter what I grab, his shoulder, the back of his head, even his clothing all work fine so long as I can get a grip of him and prevent his retreat. This is a great method to use as a pre-emptive attack that will only cease when the man is down or as a reaction to say a straight punch where you would strive to cover, clear his arm and counter with multiple piston strikes whilst maintaining your grip on whatever's available. It also works well when grabbed on say your upper arm sleeve or lapel where you can trap his limb to keep him close and smash in with your free striking hand until the job is done. Drill 1: For our first drill we will practice with a partner using control, the aim here is to strike with the TC off your rear hand as a starter for ten followed by closing on your aggressor and


grabbing hold of his clothing in order to prevent his retreat, and firing in 3 further strikes to whatever head target that is available. Here your follow up strikes will depend on the energy your opponent gives you; for example if the first shot hits the face driving his head straight back your next target would be multiple chin-jabs straight up and under his jaw. Or as another example; let's say that as your first strike goes in he turns his head away slightly so that you impact the side of his head, that's fine now as you close and grab your next target area will be the side and back of his skull as this is the energy he has given you. In this case you will notice how you will have to articulate your elbow slightly outward in order to clear his shoulder and to allow maximum impact to and through the target area. Again remember forward pressure is the key. Have your partner vary his response to the first shot and adapt your follow up strikes based on that. Drill 2: After controlled partner practice it is important that we train for impact, after all we want to train our muscle memory to go with the majority and for Combatives this must be maximum impact through our target. Have your partner hold a single focus pad and hit will your best shot off your rear hand, from here close on him and grab the back of his pad holding wrist, from here fire in 3 further TC strikes using the concept of hard, harder, hardest making sure that you use forward pressure and drop step for each of your strikes. Remember you should replace your partner's foot steps with your own. A good gauge is if you start at the front edge of a mat you should finish at the back of it. Debrief: I will finish by showing you a method that I have used on the door a couple of times in live situations both times called for a slight hold off in power due to the fact of striving for damage limitation but worked real well none the less. This method entailed using a push/pull motion on my aggressor's shoulders so that I could get behind him to control his exit leaving perfect opportunity to use the TC to the back of the head should the level of threat dictate that level of force. This method was shown to me by a JKD instructor by the name of Tim Tacket and was in turn shown to him by an ex-Marine Raider from WW2 called Bert Poe. I mention this in order to demonstrate the versatility of this most basic and functional of Combatives strikes the Tiger's Claw, indeed a worthy addition to your tool box. Peace‌


Cupped Hand Blow: This is basically an open hand slap that can be used in a variety of ways. There is a slight cupping of the hand that is achieved by allowing the fingers and thumb stay together in a relaxed curve. This cupping action magnifies the impact of the strike. The target area is the entire side of the head. The ear and the side of the neck are particularly vulnerable but any where on the side of the face with produce a deep shock force to the central nervous system. This is due to the impact received by the large number of nerve endings in the facial area.

From a natural position that allows you to control the space between you and your potential aggressor, simply throw the cupped hand blow from the side of your hip straight to the target allow your body to move in the direction of the strike by whipping in your hips just before the blow lands.


Double Slap

This shot is best set up by using dialogue to ask a question with the hands held as if talking in exclamation; such as '' look mate are you gonna calm down?'' BANG! Method of practice: This is also known as the double ear box or the thunder-clap. This strike is thrown from hands down by your sides, straight to the target which includes both ears and both sides of neck. If you throw the strike from a fence you will need to cock yours hands slightly before you strike. The best way to disguise this set up is to turn your palms out slightly as you ask your opponent a brain engaging question this will also act as a trigger for your attack which will eliminate any indecision of when to strike on your part. This is a good tactic to use with all your strikes and should be bought into play any time you practice your basic strikes on impact equipment such as the heavy bag or the focus- pads. Double cupped hand blow


Jamie O'Keefe's preferred method is to strike both sides of the neck simultaneously.


The Swivel Punch This is a punch delivered with a vertical fist accompanied by momentum and full body weight. This punch was developed by U.S. Marine Corp Close Combat instructor Charles Nelson. Charlie who weighed no more than 130lbs was known for his powerful swivel punch, one time he dealt with a 220lb plus karate man who came to Charlie's school in New York and challenged him to a match fight. Charlie gave him a NY telephone directory and asked the man if he could first demonstrate his swivel punch, the man agreed and held the phone book against his chest as Charlie proceeded to punch him clear across the room. The man picked himself up, bowed graciously and left.

Here is the legendary Charlie Nelson following up with his swivel punch after preceding the punch with a chop up and under the nose. Method of practice: This punch can be used as a pre-emptive strike by itself or in combination proceeded by a chop to the bridge of the nose, swivel punch to the heart/solar plexus it's primary target, followed by a sharp knee to the groin. This could be used to a frontal assailant or to someone slightly to your flank as if you were approached from the side.

In this example I am punching with my left hand and my right lead foot is moved in a circle to the out side of your opponent's right foot as you


swivel your hips around in the direction of your punch transferring your entire body weight onto your lead leg. Punch with a vertical fist as if punching through the centre of your opponent's chest. The sharp swivel of the body and the snap of the hips a split second before the punch is delivered off a recoil from the shoulder allows the full transference of body weight through the target. The mechanics of the punch are quite similar to Peter Consterdine's double hip vertical punch.

Here are a couple of examples of the swivel punch in application the first as a pre-emptive strike and the second as a reaction to a double grab by seizing one hand and punching the solar plexus with the other.


Shin kick

Here is an example of the shin kick used to counter a hair grab, place both hands on top of the aggressor's hand to trap it in place from here smash the inside edge of your boot straight into his shin bone being sure to drop body weight and stomp through the target.

Method of practice: The shin kick is delivered by taking a slight step forward with your non-kicking leg followed by stomping forward and slightly downward with the inside boot edge of your kicking foot. The kick is aimed at the aggressor's shin any where from just above the ankle to just below the knee cap. The purpose of the slight step preceding the kick is to allow you to get body weight and momentum behind it. Performed correctly the shin kick will quite literally either blow the aggressor's legs out from under him or severely hyper extend his knee resulting in a fight stopping injury.


Cycling: Use your lead hand as an off hand face smash straight into any available target followed by a hammer-fist strike, followed by another face smash and another hammer-fist. Both hands are sent out in a piston like fashion. The off hand is striking and manipulating the head as the hammer-fists hones in for the strike. An example might be that your first strike hits the face making your opponent turn away or bend over in which case you're off hand face smash would go straight to the back of the head allowing you to manipulate him into place for a strike with your hammer-fist to the back of the head/neck, kidney or spinal area.

Here is an example of cycling, shoot in an off-hand face smash to a hammer-fist strike then continue striking in a multiple fashion. Your off hand manipulates the aggressor into position for your hammer-fist blows.

Mobile phone sequence 1: In this example an aggressor has encroached on our space, we have a phone in our hand and


the threat is imminent. From here we are going to use a little deception by asking the aggressor a question as we open the hands as if talking in exclamation. From here we explode forward with exactly the same motion as for the double slap only this time we are adding the top edge of the phone to strike one side of the head whilst simultaneously slapping the other side of the head with the other hand.

As always, keep the aggressor at bay with your fence.' What, you want this?''

BANG! Mobile phone sequence 2: In this sequence we are taking our basic gross motor strikes and applying them to an improvised weapon. In this case we are using a continuous attack using the bottom edge of a mobile phone for a series of cycling (Hammer-fist) strikes until the threat is eliminated.


Continue Cycling until he's out of the game.

Š Lee Morrison : No text or images may be copied without prior permission of the author.


Failed Fence Attack Sequence

Here I am controlling space with my fence but have suddenly felt my aggressor crash forward in an attempt to close me down; my lead fence hand acts as a sensory antenna and in this case collapses into a cross cover as I fire my chin-jab straight up his centre line. The cross guard has also placed me in a chambered position for the Ax hand strike to follow as I flank my opponent.

From here I maintain a grip on my aggressor as I finish the altercation with hard multiple Tiger's claw strikes to the back of his skull. Job done!


Pre-Emptive Attack Sequences

In this sequence demonstrated on a Spar-Pro dummy by CQB instructor John Deacon; John starts with a chin-jab then in one motion he rips down on the lip and throws a lead elbow strike.

From here John continues his attack with a short Ax hand to the throat followed by a long Ax hand and a wheeling elbow strike to the neck/shoulder area thrown a half beat later. Notice how all strikes are powered by correct body mechanics employing drop step and hip torque. Here we can see the same sequence in application with a partner.

Note that no sequence attack is ever set in stone. They can all be equally as effective used in part, as in the top three photographs or as the whole sequence as depicted here.


Each of these attacks are simply random sequences that flow together in a logical way how you continue your attack after your initial pre-emptive strike will depend on the energy you receive from the recipient.


Pre-emptive attack sequence two: Here we see my student Neil working a nice little pre-emptive flow on one of our home made training dummies. Neil is working from ECQ (Extreme Close Quarters) from a hands held high kind of fence;

Neil's starter for ten is to flank, checking the shoulder as he strikes up under the chin with a vertical elbow strike; this chambers nicely for a Kelly MacCann/John Kary style whipping face smash straight down and through the face; which then sets up the final blow a full on chin-jab smashing the head back.

Usually I like to check the arm on the chin-jab but with this example I found it works better to slap the off hand into the lower back to help break his structure. This was similar to the method taught by Drexel Biddle.


Pre-emptive attack sequence three: Here we see Daryl working at Close Quarters from the Jack Benny position. From here he drops steps violently forward and throws a sharp, snappy downward hammer-fist strike to the high line off the lead hand.

(I got this from Richard Dimitri who said that one of his students had broke a guy's nose to great effect with this little shot) certainly good enough for our starter for ten).

From here I found that a wheeling elbow with the opposite arm flows real well as a follow up. Note; that if after the first shot your aggressor starts to stumble back out of range; then you must step forward to catch him as you elbow, so that now you land with the same leg forward as for your elbow strike. From here flank with an off hand tiger's jab and finish with cycling.


The Combative Use Of Trapping By Lee Morrison First off let us define what trapping actually entails; from a traditional MA perspective trapping is basically immobilisation of one or both limbs/arms or in certain circumstances i.e. a grappling situation it is the immobilisation of part/s of the torso and body. In other words you are going to trap, jam or seize the said part of the body in order to prevent it being used against you in a Combative sense. Or as a means to remove a temporary obstruction. In traditional systems this is often practiced from a reference point or from within the confines of a sensitivity drill such as chi-sau or Hubud. Such drills along with reference point trapping are very useful for developing the attribute of tactile sensitivity. Just take a look at some of old Chinese or Filipino masters whose speed and strength has long since left them and you will see that the attribute of tactile awareness has stayed with some of these guys into their 90's. This is of course completely secondary and irrelevant to the importance of gross motor Combative skill. With that said I personally found tactile awareness extremely useful on the door particularly if I was working off the fence in a tactile way or actually escorting someone out in more of a coaxing manner with light touch. From here if they started to walk most would simply just keep walking, but if the subject decided to become Combative I would instantly feel their intention and more often than not found I was one jump a head of them, in terms of response simply because I was hands on. Don't misunderstand me if the threat was high enough it would rarely get to the point of getting hands on in a tactile sense. In such a scenario I would make sure that my first touch to the recipient was significant, so ballistic striking was the order of the day there. In terms of actually trapping or immobilising the individual, anytime that you stifle someone's movement you are trapping. Inspite of the fact that trapping is often ridiculed and dismissed as impossible to pull off in a live situation you will often see examples of the same in real fights. If someone punches someone else in the face and the shot has not put them down, then out of sheer desperation and instinct to prevent getting punched again the pair will quite often clash. This is an attempt to stifle movement which will often unknowingly trap limbs. You can see similar examples in the ring every time two boxer's clinch they do so in an attempt to stifle the action of getting punched. In a live confrontation such a clash is only there for a


split second and as a consequence is often mismanaged and then ends up on the ground. Trapping can work in such a situation where a punch has been momentarily met with a flinch response, in other words the arm comes up and there is this co-heision for a split second. This signifies about 2 percent of the confrontation, in other words it may or may not happen. If it does and you have tactile awareness down as a developed and instinctive attribute then this is the point that you might pull off a trap. Bearing in mind of course the objective is not to trap, the objective is simply just to hit; but in such an example you may have to remove a temporary barrier in order to do so. Another example may be during the interview/dialogue stage of a potential confrontation where for example the aggressor might give you a prodding/pointing finger gesture as part of his threat display. If you practice good situational control i.e. the use of the fence (which of course you should) then this may cause an accidental or intentional co-heision which can then be immobilised and worked off as part of your pre-emptive response. We often train this in class along with aggressive role play and the response is usually to power slap his arm clear and explode into a continuous attack off that. I have pulled off something similar on the door and quite literally blasted the guy clear off the entrance step and shut the door on him so yes trapping can work under certain conditions. A less common example although I have seen it; is when two guys are still in the verbal stage of a potential confrontation and one of them will put up his fists in a kind of boxing guard and say something like ‘'come on then!'' Of course this is the act of an amateur as it shows the aggressor's hand and intention but it does happen more often as an act of intimidation than anything else, again providing you with a good opportunity to slap the hands down and strike or flank, trap and strike. Example one:


In this example Simon is using a pointing finger gesture and his body language is aggressive. This kind of threat is often used as a probe preceding an attack; in this case a punch off the right hand. My hands are up in a natural non-aggressive fence which will allow me to operate before things escalate. My first motion is to slap Simon's hand aside momentarily trapping it to my shoulder; whilst simultaneously throwing a cupped hand blow to his right side high line, as I flank to avoid his right hand.

From here I snap him toward me into a tight clinch by pulling sharply from where my hands are. In this case my left is behind his neck and my right is in the crook of his elbow. Now I am in a strong position to control him and finish with my Close Quarter tools in this case multiple knees. Note that right from the off; my response is instantaneous and immediate for the simple reason that from this pointing threat display things can progress to the assault in a heart beat. Therefore as soon as the barrier is cleared my only objective is to rag him into the clinch and strike. Example two: Here my aggressor has suddenly thrown up his hands into a guard after my attempt to diffuse the situation has failed.

The indication is clear that my aggressor now wants to fight. Working from my same hands high fence I have taken a movement from Wing Chun called Jut Sau where I make a small and explosive slapping motion with both hands to take his guard hands down.


This acts as a momentary distraction whilst clearing the high line for a Thunder clap to both ears. From here I can clinch knee to the groin and snatch my opponent to the ground if the appropriate. Example three: Again here my aggressor has suddenly thrown up his hands into a guard after my attempt to diffuse the situation has failed. In this example I flank my aggressor by slapping his lead hand aside as I step forty five degrees to his flank.

If facing him puts me at 12 O'clock then I am stepping to 2 o'clock in order to flank him. This method of using your foot work was a favourite of Charlie Nelson as was the follow up I am about to demonstrate.

From here I maintain control of his arm and expose his flank and rear line for my attack. Which in this case; is a Tiger's claw to the side/rear of Simon's head and a knee strike to his thigh.


Conclusion: So as you can see, possibilities for trapping or immobilising part or parts of your opponent's body do exist. But in conclusion I certainly would not prioritise training it as a priority over my basic hard skills and developing the ability to hit hard. Gross motor movement under pressure is where it's at. Anything else is incidental if not accidental so look at trapping as a small part of the equation but where possible always stick to your game plan; if you can't avoid, escape or de-escalate then hit the bastard first and finish it before it begins. Peace‌


Dealing Wth Multiple Assailants. A CQB Presentation by Lee Morrison. The priority in any potentially violent situation is always to avoid and escape. Being switched on and aware will allow you to spot most confrontations before they start. In a multiple assailant situation where escape is not available your only option is to be pre-emptive. If you wait to be attacked in the hope that you will be able to defend and then counter you will end up hospitalised or worse. Every second that you delay you will end up fighting on more than one front. When they attack, it will be all at once and it will be ferocious. Your only chance is to hit first and to keep hitting until there is no more threat. You need to be single minded in your attacks and target selection, attack the eyes, throat, jaw and groin with viscious intent. Though the odds are stacked against you, don't succumb to negative thinking, determined tenacity is the order of the day. Remember as a group, numbers alone give them the advantage that they need to over come a single defender. The overall confidence of the pack/group mentality can be destroyed when you effectively incapacitate one or more of the pack very quickly. Using your options: Awareness is the greatest Self-defence tool that we have at our disposal. As said before your best option is always avoidance and escape. You need to be street smart when you are out and about. The following scenario will give you a good idea of how being aware and street smart could really save your tail in a mass attack type of situation. 路 Picture yourself in a crowed, noisy bar. The first intelligent thing to do is to position yourself where you can only be approached from the front an example might be to place your back to the bar or seat yourself with your back to the wall in a position where you could see a potential threat ahead of time. 路 The next thing is to know where your exits are as they offer you an escape route. 路 Make a mental note of who is with whom. A casual glance over a rowdy group of people can tell you a lot about their body language, who a potential threat could be and who is with him/them. 路 Also make a mental note of the location of anything that could be used as an improvised weapon. An ashtray, a bottle, chair or bar stool all make excellent equalisers should such a desperate need arise. Here's the scenario; You've just witnessed some bloke head butt another patron


unconscious at the end of the bar. As soon as he hits the floor the attacker and his mate proceed to kick the man senseless and the whole affair is over in seconds. From here the initial aggressor starts to look around the room to see whose looking and just happens to make eye contact with you. He now considers the fact that because you have had the audacity to make eye contact with him that you are now a suitable candidate for a second victim. He makes his approach which can only be frontal as you have positioned yourself with your back to the bar. After what you have just witnessed, you are aware that this is the start of a potentially violent confrontation. No dialogue is necessary. You must act now! You have already scoped the exit, if you can escape then now is the time. If not, act as soon as he approaches. Most fights will start with talking, as soon as he is in range he will be running his mouth off just before he attacks. Whether this is the case or not, don't talk, yell, cuss or push, just attack and hit first. In this case you smash him in the face with the heavy ash tray that you noticed earlier placed next to you at the bar. This was a good shot. The first bloke is completely out of the game. Now if his mate starts, the encounter will now be a one on one, much better odds than the earlier two on one option. In this case you have managed to catch a hold of ash tray face before he hit the floor, using him as a barrier between you and his mate you ram him straight into the second aggressor shoving him backward into the nearest sharp edge. From here you do a 50-yard dash straight to and through the nearest exit to make your escape. This is only possible because you were aware and street smart. This scenario was fictional, but a plausible account of how having a game plan can save your hide in such a situation. We're not talking about being paranoid here, just street smart. If you practice this line of thinking when you are out and about it will soon become a habitual and natural part of your behaviour just like relaxed awareness.


Practical drills : two against one In any situation where you are facing more than one individual it is absolutely vital that you gain a priority position. In the early interview stages of a confrontation (those vital few seconds before the physical starts) it is most probable that one of them usually the mouth, will engage you with some kind of introductory dialogue from a frontal position while his accomplice will move out to your flank in an attempt to blind side you with the classic sucker punch. 0nce you add the side effect of tunnel vision bought on by adrenal stress, you won't even realise this is happening until it is too late and you have been punched. From here the second aggressor will join in almost instantly and the situation will quickly become critical. The obvious answer is to control both of them by using your fence. Understand that when doing so your fence is now divided and is only fifty percent as effectual due to the fact that you are now controlling on two fronts. This is why the need to be pre-emptive is so vital, every second that you delay you risk fighting on more than one front. Fighting two people at the same time is very difficult even if you possess the skills needed to do it. But fighting one person twice, by taking each one out with a clinical pre-emptive strike is relatively easy if you have the minerals, i.e. the confidence and aggression to be first and hit hard.

Priority positioning drill: The ideal when dealing with two individuals is to keep them in front of each other so that you are all positioned in a single line. You do this by positioning yourself to the flank of your frontal aggressor just as the second individual attempts to move to the side of you. This will allow you momentary control of the one in front whilst allowing you to keep the other one in plain view. 0f course this movement for control should only happen once, before action is taken, that being to either posture aggressively in an attempt to end the situation without violence or to hit first and follow up as needed before making your escape at the first available opportunity. The first drill that we practice with this aim in mind involves three students, one playing the defender against two potential aggressors who will use verbal role play with frequent attempts to get to the defender's blind side as the defender counters this with the above mentioned method, accompanied by strong verbal commands in an attempt to create a verbal boundary. No physical contact will take place other than an occasional shove if one of the aggressor's touches your lead fence hand. The sole purpose of this drill is to develop this priority positioning that will allow you to take pro-active action to control the situation. The student's would then switch roles so that they all get to practice.


Figure 1. Shows the defender engaged from the front as the second aggressor makes a move to his flank for the blind side attack.

Figure 2. Shows the defender after the adjustment in positioning that will then place all three individuals in a line, giving you just enough time to deal with them one at a time. Clinch & relocate position drill 1 : footwork only This drill again requires three people and is worked from the same starting position as our last two on one scenario. This time you have not had the chance to be pre-emptive by attacking first instead one of your aggressor's has made the first move against you. This may be by either of them and their aggressive action might be an attempted ambush in the form of a shove, grab or sucker punch, the thing to bear in mind is that as soon as the physical starts the second aggressor will attack immediately, therefore your response should be to drop your head and cover by raising your arms as you rapidly close with him tying him up in a Thai style neck clinch. The clinch may be on the one that has made the move toward you or you might clinch the other guy, whoever you can get hold of first is fine. From the clinch you will now zone away from the second aggressor again placing you in a position where you are dealing with one whilst watching the other. This drill is performed as a progression by first practicing the foot work by clinching and zoning away from the second guy who pursues you by moving around in an attempt to get behind you. Zone away from both positions shown then switch roles with your partner.


Working off the fence, clinch the neck of whoever is closest to you and zone away from the second aggressor so that you are dealing with one whilst looking at the other.

In reality as soon as you zone to relocate your position, you would head-butting and kneeing the guy you are holding but for this drill just zone away from the 2nd man as he tries to close in on you 2 or 3 times just to get the idea of positioning. This drill should be worked from the two positions shown below.

Clinch & relocate position drill 2 : Add striking It is from this zoned position that you would be mauling your clinched aggressor with rapid head butts, knees and elbows the whole time that you have him in the clinch. From here you would shove him into the second aggressor in order to escape or reengage. The pressure is added by having the aggressor throw all out punches at your head wearing boxing gloves or whilst wearing a pair of focus pads, as you cover your head and close for the clinch. All the while you should be throwing rapids shots into your clinched body armoured aggressor. Zone away 2-3 times as you


practice your verbal boundary and posturing skills such as ''STAY BACK, STAY WHERE Y0U F**KING ARE!! '' Then from here you shove one into the other and make good your escape. 2 on 1-impact drills : Here we are practicing our basic strikes on impactive equipment in a pre-emptive fashion with two partners, one in front and one off to the side. Assuming that we are in the dialogue stage of those vital few seconds just before the physical starts and have already worked out who the immediate threat is, we will now strike him first with a single clinical pre-emptive strike before immediately turning to attack the second aggressor following with further strikes if needed. It is important to remember that you will only have an instant in which to take control of the situation therefore you only have only one shot to spend on the first aggressor before the second guy makes a move. So the deal is that you go from this first strike straight into the second aggressor with a continuous attack until the threat subsides. Work with your partners attacking the one in the flank first then attacking to your previous front and vice versa. Use the following examples to get an idea and feel free to interchange whatever your preferred main artillery strikes may be.

From the above position turn to your flank with an elbow strike to the first assailant then turn back to the one in front as you fire in with multiple Ax hand strikes to the head and neck area.

In this example the guy in front is taken out with an elbow strike then you turn to meet the second aggressor with a face smash and follow up with cycling hammer-fist blows into the second pad.


Sucker punch drill For this drill you will need three people, two of which are pad holders the defender is told to close their eyes as they are turned in a circle ten times until they start to feel dizzy, this action simulates instability and disorientation similar to the effects of being sucker punched from behind.

From here the defender is let go of as he tries to clear his head, as the feeders attempt to close on him with the pads. The defender strives to respond as best he can with single impact strikes and again priority positioning. Be sure to have an extra person available for safety just to catch the defender should he fall over. If he does fall the drill should continue and the defender must now fend from the floor and strive to get up on his feet quickly.

Gang simulation drill: This drill requires a minimum of 7 people and a maximum of 15 all wearing focus pads, the defender is in the middle of the rest of the group who strive to keep the defender closed in from all directions. The objective of the defender is too continuously move and cover his/her head so as to present as little target area as possible, the method used to do this is what we call the wash your hair defence. Simply place both open hands on your head and raise your elbows then move your arms and hands vigorously over your face, head and neck in order to protect this vital area from a continuous assault from the entire group who attempt to slap you from all directions with the pads. The idea is to keep damage and blows to your person to a bare minimum and your sole objective is to escape. Find a gap and blast through it verbalising and striking out as you go. Once you have been through once switch roles and let some one else have a go. This drill will quickly show you just how limited your options are in such a situation. Damage limitation is the key as you prioritise your escape. This is the only sensible decision in such a scenario.


Here we see a number of feeders holding the pads as one defender covers and move until he finds a gap to escape through.

Just cover your head and keep moving. Focus on any gap you can find and escape through it.


The use of Improvised weapons. In America unarmed Combatives are really only considered for use as a last resort, for example if you have no weapon or less than lethal option available then unarmed Combatives may be used as a transition to gaining a weapon or a less than lethal alternative. Look at law enforcement and Close Protection Operative's abroad and you will find that the first line of protection is a chemical spray or a baton unless circumstances dictate the threat or use of lethal force in which case a firearm would be drawn. During WW2 unarmed Combatives were designed for those who were foolish enough to be caught with out a weapon. For the civilians in this country where the rules of engagement are very different, in that we are not allowed to carry any weapon by design or anything adapted to be used for the sole purpose as a weapon. With that said in dire circumstances where you feel that you are in danger for your safety it is perfectly acceptable to use anything to hand as an improvised weapon in the event of an emergency. The key factor here, if this is to be your decided course of action, is that any improvised weapon will only be of any use to you if the item is already available to you for use in your strongest hand accompanied by an alert and switched on state of awareness and the intention to use it. A set of car or door keys can and should be held ready to use in your hand in preparation to enter your car or house as quickly and efficiently as possible accompanied by a good sense of awareness. This is simply habitual street smart Self-Protection. If a woman is returning to her car after a hard day at the office and the environment has now changed in that it is now dark and some what deserted compared to how it was when she parked earlier in the day, then it would make sense that her keys were ready for use in her strongest hand in a manner that would allow them to be to be used for effective slashing and stabbing. That is, if an attacker approached her, her first response would be to use the keys as a weapon. There are many everyday items that could be used as an improvised weapon. The main items we are going to cover here involve the use of keys, a pen and a mobile phone any of which could come in very handy if we found ourselves needing an equaliser. The thing to remember about the items mentioned is that they are not weapons by design nor have they been converted in any way to be used as one but could be should the need arise.


A pen, a key and a mobile phone are all legal to carry and make excellent improvised weapons in certain circumstances Keys: The keys can be used in a variety of ways, they can be placed between the fingers so that you can punch out to facial targets especially the eyes, they can be attached in a bunch to a Kubotan type key ring and used in a slashing manner, but we are going to use a single key in a simple manner in order to keep things easy. This method of using a single key came to me from Combatives expert and Security Specialist Kelly McCann. This method requires a single car key or Yale type door key that is held along the index finger of your strongest hand with no more than half an inch of the end protruding this is then trapped in place with the thumb. From here the weapon can be used in a slashing and stabbing fashion to the soft target areas of the face, throat and groin. Key sequence:

Hold a single key as shown along the index finger and trap it in place with the thumb leaving about half an inch protruding for slashing and stabbing. The following sequence makes use of a short sharp slash to a soft target area on the face followed by a drop stepping thrust to a facial target.


Pen & Mobile phone: The pen and the mobile phone are two items that are carried by the majority of the population both of which could come in very handy as an equaliser. Both items can be used in a pre-emptive manner or to force an escape in the event of you being seized or grabbed in some way. Simply apply force with the point of the pen or tip of your mobile phone's Arial into the pressure point cavities of the exposed head/neck area. Strikes can be made behind the ear, up under the jawbone or in to the jugular notch to name just a few. The mobile phone can be used in a variety of ways with and with out an Ariel as can the pen. The method of use will depend on how you grip them. The following pictures will show various methods of employing these items as weapons according to how they're held. The pointing grip and the hammer grip apply to both the pen and the mobile phone, where as the pinching grip and the across- palm grip (developed by Self-Protection expert Jamie 0'Keefe) apply specifically to the pen. Various grips:

The hammer grip applied to the mobile and the pen.


The pointing grip using a pen. Using the pen: The pen can be applied in various ways for striking and creating intense pain using either the pointing or hammer grip, below offers several examples.

Hammer style grip into any soft target on the facial area. The pointing grip applied by ramming the point straight up the nose

Stabbing the pen sharply down onto the hand to release a grip. Mobile phone sequence 1: In this example an aggressor has encroached on our space, we have a phone in our hand and the threat is imminent. From here we are going to use a little deception by asking the aggressor a question as we open the hands as if talking in exclamation. From here we explode forward with exactly the same motion as for the double slap {Thunder clap} only this time we are adding the top edge of the phone to strike one side of the head whilst simultaneously slapping the other side of the head with the other hand.


As always, keep the aggressor at bay with your fence.

''What, you want this?'' BANG Mobile phone sequence 2: In this sequence we are taking our basic gross motor strikes and applying them to an improvised weapon. In this case we are using a fast downward Hammer-fist strike using the bottom edge of the phone straight down onto the face then continuing the attack using the bottom edge for a series of cycling Hammer-fist strikes as you close and grip hold of your aggressor's neck, shoulder or clothing as you keep striking with forward pressure {blast right over him} until the threat is eliminated.


Work from a hands high non-aggressive posture as you explode forward with a fast non-telegraphic Hammer-fist strike then continue Cycling with further strikes until he's out of the game. Another way we can use improvised weapons is by using what is available in our immediate environment here we can see how a chair can be used as a barrier against an attempted edged weapon attack this could be a knife or a broken bottle. The legs of the chair can be thrust at your attacker's throat and groin by angling the chair accordingly. Using a chair as a barrier between you and an edged weapon by angling the chair or stool and thrusting out at the attacker if he attempts to close on you.

The use of an umbrella: Here is an exerpt from Fairbairn's book ''Hands off!'' from 1942 relating to Self-defence for women. The advice offered in this example is just as applicable today. The present day umbrella is around 18 to 20 plus inches in length and is an ideal article to be used as an improvised weapon for the purpose of defence and students are advised to study and make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the application of the various blows that can be used with such an item. This sequence drill was developed by Close Combat legend W.E.Fairbairn (pictured below) in 1942 for use with a stick or cane for soldiers and members of the home guard during World War 2. At this time it was depicted in two of Fairbairn's Close Quarter Combative manuals one called All-in Fighting, a manual published in 1942 for members of the armed forces and another that adapted the same sequence for a common household umbrella as shown in the pictures illustrating it here for his book ''Hands off!'' Self-defence for women also published in 1942. Here is a classic example of a method of Close Combat originally designed for the Military after having been adapted for civilian use and applied to the common umbrella.


Here the umbrella is held with the point facing toward her left hand side with the palm of the left hand facing up and the right palm facing down. Using a fast push/pull motion from both hands the point is point sharply across the aggressor's stomach. From here the point is driven straight up under the chin and then straight down onto the face.

The sequence is continued by bringing the handle end up and across the face finishing up by driving up and under the chin aiming to strike your aggressor's Adam's apple with the centre of the umbrella.


There are a couple of things to bear in mind here the first is that any object that resembles a stick can be used in the same way. The umbrella is but one example, the same could be applied to a rolled up magazine, a length of pipe or the straight branch of a tree all of which incidentally make a good bludgeon type weapon. The second point to understand is that the drill as it is depicted here is just that, a sequence drill designed in the pattern shown in order to teach the student several skills that flow together in a sequence. This method was trained in this way in order to condense and shorten the learning period so that the several skills can be learned quickly. It is not a fixed pattern that should be performed in this way only. Indeed any move from this sequence will be found effective as a pre-emptive attack but if there is an opportunity to string two of more methods of attack together then it will be made doubly effective. NOTE: It is illegal in the United Kingdom to carry anything made as a weapon by design or anything that has been adapted in any way for use as a weapon. With that said literally anything available for use as a weapon at the time and in the event of dire emergency can and should be used.


Improvised Weapons Part Two Improvised weapons: (Pen) Access and deployment from a confined/seated position: Here you are employing your access and attack, from a seated fend position. The aggressor has attacked you from the passenger side seat of a car with a grab and punching attack. Quickly fend your head as you access your weapon. From here stay tight and low as you regain the initiative and counter with your immediate assault.

Position of pen and application of access note; this is depicted with the car door open to show clarity of position. Be sure to practice in the confined environment of a closed door position.

Once access is gained, maintain cover and stab out to whatever target presents itself, in this the groin area.


From here seize the initiative using forward pressure and multiple stabs to the head to finish your opponent.

Attack sequence one (pen): A potential threat is close by standing to your left hand side you have already perceived the threat and have covertly accessed our weapon, which is now held in your dominant right hand and is completely hidden and covered by our left arm in a natural arms folded but non interlocking position.

Our first motion is an Ax hand strike to the facial/throat area of our aggressor using our free as we draw the weapon. Immediately from here you close and grab your assailant's clothing as you pump in multiple thrusting attacks with the pen from low to high line targets, maintaining grip and forward pressure throughout your attack.


Attack sequence two (pen): A potential threat is close by; standing to your right hand side. You have already perceived the threat and have covertly accessed your weapon, which is now held in your dominant right hand under your left arm pit and is covered by your left arm in a natural arms folded but non interlocking position.

Attack on the first motion with a diagonal hammer-fist strike to the jaw with the pen bearing limb followed immediately in the same motion by a cupped hand blow to the back of the aggressor's head which is now caught and bought forward onto multiple stabbing attacks from the pen bearing hand to the face and body. The last photo shows attack from the opposite side.


Iso-Defensives ( ID) John McKean Due to the level of excitement generated when I recently taught protective tactics to airline personnel around the country, many participants have expressed interest in continued self training despite having to work around a great deal of travel. As an instructor of WW2 hand-to-hand maneuvers, I've developed a perfect supplementary training system that not only teaches the important motor skills of these highly evolved hand strikes, but also offers a combined aerobic/anaerobic training system of the highest order. Based on the extensive, well-tested work of exercise pioneer Dr. Len Schwartz (author of the immensely popular HEAVYHANDS), this non-equipment method simultaneously develops strength, endurance, and flexibility in a simple 15-20 minute daily training regimen. For those so motivated, this mode of exercise solves all fitness needs without any requirement to ever visit a gym or perform outdoor activities within unfamiliar locales. Although nothing replaces actual striking, with its required snap and speed, on a spar mannequin, the "Iso-Defensives" workout aids greatly in developing proper balance, timing, and explosive power. Very importantly, regarding actual hand to hand tactics, our ISO procedures educates the TOTAL BODY to deliver maximum striking force through coordination of major muscle groups. Toward the delivery end, this high repetition exercise perfects ideal body, arm, and hand positioning. And, hopefully, during the time involved a trainee will practice the all-important VISUALIZATION of deploying the techniques during actual situations. Dr. Schwartz's revolutionary "moving isometric" system is very adaptable to the five hand strikes as taught in our ID airline & home security (very close quarters situations) program. One merely has to strike in perfect form with one hand while resisting with the other. Tension and speed can, and should, be varied. Of course, as taught in my seminars, a trainee must learn to thrust the entire body into each strike, generating from the hips and even pushing off the toes. All five movements should be performed in a stationary position and also while advancing. Let's now consider the performance mode of each strike. First is the "shot put jab." Starting at center of chest position as in the first photo, one hand checks the speed of the second while a slightly leaning back upper body rocks forward. The hand, in "tiger claw" configuration, propels forward, not fast-not slow, under a "moving isometric" form of pressure. None-the-less, try to always "jump start" your strike and let it terminate at full strength, only being stopped by the resisting hand. Do several with one hand, then switch, or alternate every strike between right and left. After some moves in-place, advance forward striking with the same hand as the foot advanced. Envision an attacker in front and take out his eyes, nose, and chin in one deft movement!


Next is the "thunder clap". Make a narrow looping swing (remember space limitations within an aircraft, office, or even a closet!) while providing hand resistance. As in the third and fourth photos turn the body in the direction of the swing, keeping the whole body in alignment. Shift the feet and generate power through the toe on the striking side. This move is best done while standing in place, alternately working from side to side. This is an excellent exercise for the waist, while you imagine popping an assailant's eardrum!!

The "front hand edge" advances with the forward thrust of one's upper body and resistance on the key area of the strike (remember any section of the entire forearm bone can hit-I like to place my resisting hand at the base of the throwing hand or even on the wrist area). Don't forget to begin with the striking hand in a "pledge" position on the chest (and keep the elbow up). This is a wonderful strike to move around a room or through the hallways of a house; I enjoy turning corners, quickly pivoting to face an imaginary bad guy and firing the "weighted hand" into that throat! Look down and keep the head under your chopping hand.

A vertical hand edge is resisted at its bottom. Start with the hand in tight and very near the ear with the elbow up and forward. Chop down and sink the legs to deliver maximum force, and to get good thigh exercise! Picture snapping his


collarbone! A great total body exercise is the devastating forearm/elbow thrust (last photo). Resist near the center, but recall that the entire forearm bone is your weapon. Keep the upper arm/forearm in a rigid "L" position and deliver with a turn of the hips and power generating at the conclusion with the toe. On this blow the opposite foot is advanced in coordination with delivery. Another super maneuver to bounce around within a multi roomed dwelling! You'll feel, and develop, the upper lat muscles of the back, the sides, hips, and legs all coordinating for delivery of maximum power with this major blow. When this one lands, with your newly acquired strength, a potential mugger is history!

Don't hesitate to put several of the "Iso-Strikes" together to generate more excitement and your own measure of creativity. Remember, in actual use you never want to rely on just a single blow. Find ways, even in the slower Iso mode, to develop flow patterns with various combinations. Also, you can perform this exercise system practically anywhere, even while seated. Keep your mind active during Iso-Defensives, and these maneuvers will quickly become instinctual if ever they're needed! A word about "ownership." PLEASE develop your own Iso moves, based on need or simply your own instincts, as Dr. Schwartz and I do practically every day! Those in other branches of martial arts can quickly come up with effective, fitnessproducing Iso applications dictated by their particular hand and foot movements, as can those who participate in almost any sport. Above all, I challenge you to THINK!!

"HAND" RULES (Mannequin & Enemy) · Speed-snap strike (like cracking a towel) · Relaxed power - hand should slightly "bounce" off target to deliver full energy and shocking impact · Generate power from mid body (think hips!) · Keep elbow up - hand edge and forearm blows · Center other hand for follow up strike - launch from position without chambering · Do not immediately withdraw striking hand - leave it where damage can be applied · Eyes looking downward (watch enemy's hands) - do not target strikes


· Maintain close and closer distances - go in to your attack, never back away · Tip of tongue on roof of mouth while striking · Forward movement and sink legs on impact · Visualize actual scenarios - train with intent, ruthlessness, and rage · Pre-empt strikes - use verbal action trigger · Practice often - strikes should become automatic · Explode on the first strike, don't sacrifice power to get to the second · Keep striking until a threat is completely nullified


Martial arts & Combatives

What is the difference? By Lee Morrison Most of us within the combatives fraternity have heard the quote from Kelly MacCann where he defines the above question by saying something along the lines of ''the difference between martial arts and combatives, is that martial art is something that you do with someone, in other words there is this reciprocal exchange of movement going on where he does this and I react by doing that, whereas combatives are something that you do to someone or on someone. In other words I am going to take this sack of potatoes and just beat on it!'' There is no sparring, fencing or reciprocal exchange of blows the physical action on your part is completely one sided. I think Kelly's statement sums it up very well. It points to the mindset and well defined goal of the combatives trainee; that is to be single minded in your objective to defeat the enemy. Combatives were born out of real experience and designed purely to counter violence. Any method that worked by doing just that, was considered combative. I would like to touch on the subject in a little more depth. Let's start by looking at the martial arts as they are practiced today both in the traditional sense and within the field of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and combat sport. The latter has produced athletes of amazing levels of physical and mental prowess, nothing can be taken away from these modern day warriors who practice Vale Tudo, NHB and cage fighting extreme, they are truly immense within the field of what they do. But what they do is in one way or another governed by certain rules pertaining to certain dos and don'ts that define a sporting spectacle. Such matches don't include the pre-conflict 'interview' stage, which


consists of conflict indicators and possible criminal acts. When one person scores the final point or the bell rings, the fighters are automatically separated, therefore the match will also lack the post-conflict stage, in which an escape, citizens arrest or police involvement may take place. The outcome of the match will dictate a winner and a loser, but this is not a life or death struggle nor is it a matter of self preservation. Real fights unfold rapidly and offer virtually no preparation time, over loading the mind with information requiring split second decisions to survive. They often include multi tasking such as protecting others, defending against a weapon, deploying your own weapon, communicating with others and so on. This is miles removed from the sporting arena. Looking at the martial arts in the more traditional sense; practicing martial art for arts sake will in my opinion have a lot to offer the trainee. Most will give you a solid foundation from which to build along with teaching you physical aspects such as correct body mechanics, natural bodily weapon formation, physical conditioning, attributes of speed, balance, co-ordination, and power along with discipline and self confidence etc. If your aim is to practice for fitness and recreational activity they are a perfect choice. If your aim is to gauge your own progress and development then most traditional systems will provide you with a yard stick in the form of a grading system. If competition is your thing then most traditional systems can offer you that aspect also. Not forgetting also that most systems will also make mention of the self-defence element that their system as a martial art contains. So it would appear that the martial arts are indeed multi tasking activities that have a lot to offer any trainee prepared to put forth the effort and time that it takes to learn them. The problems arise when an individual who has no experience of real violence finds him/her self in a potentially violent confrontation for the first time in their lives and then tries to bring to bear the said self-defence element; out from the traditional dojo setting from where it was developed and into the harsh and unforgiving realities of the urban street setting. Only to find that what they have simply doesn't work. The reality gap between the street and the dojo environment is simply too vast. That's not to say that the skills of the martial artist won't work against the potential street aggressor, they can, have and will, just not without first having been adapted to meet and cater for the conditions of the urban setting. Take a look at W.E. Fairbairn's research he looked at all of the Eastern systems available to him at that time (during the 1920's in Shanghai China a time when Shanghai was considered to be the most violent City on earth) and he took the time


and trouble to study whilst adding certain elements from street fighting and Western bar brawling along with some dirty tactics all of which he took out into the field in order to pressure test exactly what worked and what didn't. After doing this for a period of time he came to the conclusion that there was a need to taper and whittle away the unessential parts of what he had learned, a need to compress the curriculum to a few basic methods that would consistently work under the stress of fear, disorientation and confusion and a need to become as he himself said; ''Attack minded and dangerously so!'' These conclusions were born out of real experience. The reason that the self-defence element fails in most cases is three fold. First and foremost if the trainee has never been in a real violent confrontation before, chances are that he or she will never have experienced the adrenal stress that accompanies the same. Bearing in mind that the training methods presented by most martial arts instructors are ninety nine percent technique and skill based, there is a good chance that the adrenal stress part of the equation will not even have been addressed in passing conversation let alone replicated through scenario training. The next thing relates to the actual physical skills or the techniques employed most of which are designed to be used against a practitioner within the same style or system and have in no way been adapted for use against an unpredictable and non-compliant street attacker. Finally there is the most important mental aspect that of MINDSET, which sits at the core of any functional combatives program of which will consist of ninety percent ATTITUDE, INTENTION, and the WILLINGNESS to step up and do whatever it takes to win. This is for me the essence of what combatives are all about and this is where the main difference between martial art and combatives lie. But as any look into history will show, it has not always been this way. Just take a look at the meaning for the word Martial; it is a warring term. Indeed martial arts were designed to be used in war. They were designed to be very much combative. Take a look at the Samurai warrior. Look at the writings of Musashi; a true martial artist in every sense of the term in his classic text the book of five rings you will see examples that will lead you to the conclusion that Musashi's martial strategy was about as combative as it gets. Look further into some of the documented evidence of the old Filipino masters of Escrima and Kali who would fight in challenge matches to the death with the tools of their trade a stick or a bladed weapon. Here evidence clearly shows how a warrior who was capable of the most flamboyant visual display of his art


would have compressed his curriculum to a few basic methods of employing their weapons such as cutting or striking their opponent's hand to defang the snake and disarm their opponent of their weapon followed by a strike with the stick or a thrust with the knife which would in the majority of cases, ended the encounter right there. This came from the single minded combative purpose; to defeat the enemy (MINDSET). So at what point in time did the martial arts that we see today become less combative? Well post World War 2 society were for good reason, sick of war and violence and a lot of the tried and tested methods of Close Combat started to become obsolete, put away out of sight and out of mind. Other changes came to the fore when for example; the father of modern day judo, Jigoro Kano introduced a stream lined and adapted form of his art to be introduced as a sporting activity to Japan's school curriculum later to become the Olympic sporting games event that we see today. Previously judo was a lot more combative, with it's emphasise on blow before throw and the heavy inclusion of atemi waza (striking techniques.) Pre-war judo and jujitsu were indeed brutal arts before the sporting aspect was introduced to Japan and the rest of the world. That's not to take anything away from the art of judo as it is practiced today. The combative aspects are still within, just take a look at the methods of strangulation, and imagine some of the bone crushing throws taking place on a paved or cobbled street instead of a mat and you'll get the picture. Further examples include the art of karate-do that has been practiced in the West since before the sixties. As much as this fine art has to offer in terms of traditional foundation it is miles removed from the karatejitsu, one strike, one kill methods of the old Okinawan masters as many of the true applications of kata (Bunkai) have revealed through recent research. Through out the decades we have seen various phases within the martial arts media rise and fall. Kung-fu of the 70's, ninjitsu of the 80's along with kick boxing and sport karate in various forms. Taekwondo was drawn into the Olympic games and the 90's saw Brazilian ju-jitsu and grappling take the world by storm this along with the introduction of NHB competition continue to be major pioneers for cross training and practitioners of the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) still popular today. All of these things have had their place in time and all of them have had something to offer but they are still not combative in the true self-preservation sense of the word. It is true that Self-defence (a term I dislike) does come under the same umbrella as the martial arts, but true Self-Protection skills are miles apart from martial art in the traditional sense and combatives are at the extreme end of the Self-Protection scale, though all


are interrelated in some way as we have seen. So what makes a system combative? How will such a curriculum differ from its traditional counter part? A modern combative system should consist of two parts; a competent instructor and a functional pressure tested curriculum. The following points are indications that you are moving in the right direction. · An emphasis on avoiding confrontations an option made possible through the development of a heightened state of awareness. · Pre-emption in the form of a continuous attack using gross motor strikes that will eliminate the threat if avoidance is not possible. · An emphasis on natural every day positions as a fighting stance from where you can control space and become ballistically offensive in a heart beat. · Emphasis on MINDSET and the WILLINGNESS to do whatever it takes to win. · Basic strikes that will work both pre-emptively and as well as reactively. · Skills and tactics that will work under the stress of disorientation, confusion and fear. · Plenty of ATP anaerobic and task orientated fitness training in order to develop mental toughness. · An understanding of adrenal stress and operational performance under stress. · Discussion about the moral and legal use of force. · An emphasis on heavy impact and contact to train muscle memory. · Simple effective counters to common street attacks. · Brutal ground fighting techniques. · An emphasis on dirty fighting and tactics. · Regular practice of improvised weapons · A curriculum that can be adapted for use for a real world Operative such as a law enforcement officer and Close Protection Operatives as well as for civilian SelfProtection.


路 Regular simulation and scenario stress training using protective equipment and realistic role play. What can the combatives trainee expect to gain from such a system? A complete novice training within a good combatives program with a competent instructor and a good curriculum, containing all of the said elements, will become a capable individual within a relatively short period of time depending upon the individual's capacity to learn. Combatives were designed to be easy to learn, workable and retainable under the symptoms of stress, fear, and confusion. To quote Kelly MacCann again, who said; ''what you learn in the afternoon must work for you that evening in the parking lot.'' All actions are simple gross motor movements learned through repetition to a point of unconscious competence. Therefore a complete novice without any previous training or live experience of violence will still become functional in combatives within a short period of time. If you are lucky enough to find an instructor that applies modern learning technologies such as NLP to his instruction then you will compress the time it takes to become proficient even further. Then there is the kind of trainee who comes into combatives from a previous martial arts and/or a combat sports background. In such an example, he or she will already have a good foundation from which to build and will, due to the attributes already acquired, also become adept over a short space of time. Add to this some real world experience of violent confrontation either from encounters during adolescence or from experience working within an environment common to aggressive behaviour, working the doors for example. Then the said student will now through real experience, have already covered a lot of the psychological side too. In my opinion such an individual will bring a lot of talent and ability to his/her combative table. I'm speaking more in the sense of attributes developed as opposed to techniques collected. Please understand that I am by no means saying that a complete novice must first have such a foundation in order to become adept in this game. As I have already said the trainee will achieve a fair degree of competence over a short period. This is after all, how combatives of WW2 were taught i.e. to make the operative completely operational in a very short time period, sometimes a matter of mere hours. What I am saying is that if the trainee has built previous foundation upon foundation coupled with the active learning from real experience (even replicated scenario training will count as real experience to a fair degree) then such a trainee coming into combatives will without doubt, be on the road to becoming the best they can be. From my own experience


based around twenty five years of training in an array of martial systems both Eastern and Western along with the experience gained from working the doors for over a decade and from the regular pressure testing of the combatives training that I practice, I can tell you that I am more proficient as both an instructor and a student as a result of that experience. In the big picture of things I know personally that I am still travelling the journey of my learning curve and still have much to learn. But in my humble opinion I feel that such foundation obtained by the trainee who now practices modern day combatives will bring the combatives fraternity into the new millennium as pioneers for the future.


Urban Survival Modern Combatives has many influences both Western and Eastern. In some cases it may be a technique or a concept in others it may be a mentality or a way of thinking that together will make up the whole. No one system will ever hold all the answers, so you must keep an open mind and try to stay on the cutting edge of progress. With that said there is nothing really new in the field of reality combat, sometimes someone will come along and try to reinvent the wheel, but most of it has been done before. The thing to understand is that good Self-Protection is all about having a few sound personal security concepts in place, such as the development of good awareness skills that cover 360 degrees of your environment including everyone and everything within it. Add to this an understanding of your enemy, including any body language, attack rituals and dialogue he/she may display, and finally gain an understanding of fear and how you will feel and react under pressure. The physical side of the equation is pretty simple, just develop 2 or 3 effective strikes that you can hit hard with and that work well for you. Drill them until you reach a level of unconscious competence, this comes by practicing the said strike/s for several thousand reps on the heavy bag until they become a part of you. Then take your said artillery, put on some body armour, work with non-compliant training partners in your class environment and put it under the pressure of dynamic simulation and scenario or 'Animal day' type training. Do this until you know what works for you and are confident in what you have. Develop this as a bare minimum, for this will form your main game plan, everything else that you look at and practice are contingency plans for that. So the idea is not to accumulate techniques just find something workable for you. My biggest influence here comes from; Western Combatives. Particularly from the Military Close Quarter Combat instructors of WW2 the likes of W.E. Fairbain (1885-1960) who served as a Constable drill instructor and firearms trainer with the Shanghai Municipal Police (SMP) during the 1920's at a time when Shanghai, China was considered the most violent city on earth. Fairbain and his noted collaborator Major E.A. Sykes (1883-1945) together developed their


system of 'Defendu.' Their approach evolved from practical experience. Fairbain trained and organised riot squads for the Shanghai Police and developed what he called 'Gutter Fighting' a system of fighting born out of methods that got real results. Fairbain's methods went on to be taught to British Commandos and Parachute troops during WW2 and became a major influence to the hand-to-hand combat training of the U.S. Marine Corps through Col Rex Applegate. Other great instructors of this period include U.S,M.C's John Styers, Dermot O'Neill and Charles Nelson. The latter went on to teach hand-to-hand Combat after the war, in New York City for nearly 50 years. (See Profile) Charlie now 88 years old, is one of the only living representatives of Close Quarter Combatives left alive today. The successor to his street proven system is a man named Robert Spiegel, a 6th Dan in karate and a student of Charlie's for the last 15 years. Mr Spiegel continues to represent the Charles Nelson Defense System in New Jersey USA. I am pleased to consider myself one of Rob Spiegel's students of the C.N.D.S. Another Combatives group that I am very proud to be associated with is CODA (See- Profile) this stands for Combative Oriental & Defendu Arts, this group is the only British representative of Fairbain's Defendu system, and was founded in 1993 by Peter Robins, Paul Child and Dave Smithers in Essex, UK. We are also lucky enough to get instructional visits from some great overseas CODA hand-to-hand combat instructors such as Bob Kasper and Den Brinkley of The Gung-Ho Chuan Assn. The lineage goes from W.E.Fairbain, to our mentors Bill Pilkington and the late Les Martin then on to the founder instructor of the CODA group the late Peter Robins and so on. After WW2 people were fed up with the violence of the war and training in C.Q.C literally stopped. A handful of men continued in the techniques but as time went by it was pushed aside because of the influence of the Eastern martial arts. Today there are literally only a handful of small groups around the world, whose goal it is to keep the skill and knowledge of these Western Combative methods alive. More modern links to C.Q.C come from former U.S Marine and Vietnam veteran John Kary who is the founder instructor of American Combatives, a very effective system based on the principles of Fairbain, with instructional options available for law enforcement, the military and civilians alike. Also, I must make mention of a former Major in the U.S.M.C by the name of Kelly McCann also known as Jim Grover, who is a Security adviser for America's CNN News and a Security Specialist and Combatives instructor for Crucible Security and a group known as the Gung Ho Chuan Assn. (GHCA) this is an organisation that was formed in 1992 and is dedicated to keeping WW2 Combatives alive today. Kelly McCann is probably amongst one of the most influential people for me. He is considered to be a real world operator who knows what works and what doesn't from violent personal experience. His vicious system combines the best elements of combat proven Military Combatives, hardcore street fighting, and McCann's distinctive in your face


attitude. The result is an easily learned, exceptionally brutal fighting system that really works. Another influence from Combatives comes from Defensive Tactics and chief instructor of his C.Q.B. Tactical training programme Dennis Martin. Den is well known within his field and has written for various martial arts magazines for years. I started reading Den's articles relating to realism in training from when I was a teenager having trained with Dennis and studied nearly all his written word I can tell you that this man knows his stuff. I will end this discussion on Western Combatives by quoting two of the most respected Close Combat instructors in the world today. 'Although they come from a dominate Military background, the most important elements that Combatives have to offer civilians are, simplistic effectiveness that is easy to learn, easy to execute and easy to retain.'' Bob Kasper, G.H.C.A. "The main difference between martial arts and Combatives is that martial arts are something that you do with someone, where as Combatives are something that you do to someone or on someone." Kelly McCann, CRUCIBLE SECURITY. Another huge influence for me comes from one of the best Reality SelfProtection instructors in the country, top martial artist, veteran ex-doorman and best selling author; Geoff Thompson. This man should need no introduction to anyone involved in martial arts today. Geoff has written literally dozens of books, relating to the field of Self-Protection and his unique 'Real Self-Defence' system. Geoff opened everyone's eyes during the early 90's with his revolutionary ideas and concepts including the introduction of the fence, his controversial 'Animal days' and the content of his famous book Fear; The friend of exceptional people. Since then he has written a few positive thinking, Selfhelp type books, and gives frequent inspirational talks at his book signings and seminars. Geoff is a true example of someone who has reached the summit of his martial arts journey. We have all read how, through adversity we can transcend the physical until we reach a spiritual plane, where we truly know ourselves and are free from ego. At this point we strive to give back to others and become truly humble, Geoff is all that, he is like most of the truly dangerous men that I have met a real gentle-man. His influence within my training, comes from his teachings regarding, understanding the enemy of today and his modus-operandi, use of the 3 second fight 'sniper option' and gaining an understanding of fear and techniques of fear control along with the importance of pressure testing what you have. Also the importance of line-ups and pre-emption, philosophy and self-belief. I am proud to look upon Geoff as both my friend and teacher. Other influences come in the form of techniques, training methods and concepts from some of the other systems that I have trained in over the years. Jeet Kune Do; Like most individuals who have spent the last twenty plus years training in the martial arts, I have always been both fascinated and impressed


with the late great Bruce Lee. It wasn't until the last few years that I managed to train in his self developed method of combat of Jun Fan JKD. The two current trains of thought regarding Bruce's system are the JKD Concepts approach and what's called Original JKD, the first looks at what was known as Jun Fan Gung fu which is pretty close to what Bruce was doing in the 60's along with additional added Concepts from Thai boxing, French Savate, and an added influence from the Filipino and Indonesian arts along with some Brazilian Jiujitsu. The Original JKD approach pretty much sticks with the entire curriculum just as Bruce practiced it up until he died in 1973. Having trained with some top individuals from both methods, I can see the pros and cons of each. I am not at all interested in what has, now become a political left and right issue between the two groups. I'm only interested in adding what's functional for use in a 'live situation.' To that end the best instructor that I have come across is with out doubt one of the top men in within the JKD Concepts and head of Progressive Fighting Systems, Paul Vunak, he is responsible for the development of the Navy Seals programme called Rapid Assault Tactics (R.A.T.) This is a programme designed by a martial artist for the average person, so that they may have a fighting chance against a bigger and stronger opponent. It is one of the most aggressive, 'in your face' continuous attack methods that I have ever seen. Although I am not certified by Sifu Vunak and therefore do not teach the R.A.T method. I have after training with Paul Vunak taken what he taught me and adapted it to fit into my own functional little box. For example I have eliminated his methods of entry, which I feel are more applicable to a match fight scenario preferring instead to strike pre-emptively off my fence from a talking range of two feet or less and then I will close into a Thai boxing neck clinch and make use of the finishing tools that are considered to be the most destructive weapons on the body our head-butts, knees and elbows. What is ironic to me, is that after twenty plus years of JKD, Kali and Silat, Vunak has without realising returned to what one of Fairbain's instructors Dermot 'Pat' O'Niell was teaching as hand-to-hand Combatives during WW2. He made the same use of the head, knees and elbows as finishing strikes with the same 'in your face' style. For instance, in the termination phase of R.A.T you clinch onto your opponent's neck and head butt or elbow his face following this with a sharp knee/s to his groin, the latter was a favourite of O'Neill's and was often referred to simply as an 'O'Neill to the nuts'. This is a classic example of two great minds coming to the same conclusions through similar experience. The pictures on the next page show the similarities between Vunak's R.A.T and what Dermot O'Neill was teaching the British Commandos and U.S Ranger's during WW2 some six decades earlier. Both methods emphasise effective use of the body's most destructive weapons to your opponent's most vulnerable targets combined with tenacious in-your-face aggression.


The first picture shows Dermot O'Neill in the background observing his recruits during one of his Combatives sessions. The second picture shows Sifu Vunak in the termination phase of the RAT note the same destructive knee strike to the groin from the clinch. Western Boxing; This is considered influential, because Boxing has everything from fine body mechanics to the mental toughness that you can develop from the progressive sparring and toe-to-toe 'milling' type drills. Boxing offers an extreme level of fitness to those that take it seriously, as well as the ability to give and take a punch. Add to this a couple of lessons learned from old time champions Jack Dempsey for his 'falling drop step' a concept that allows you to focus all of your body weight behind your shots and the inspirational, unshakable self-belief of the great Rocky Marciano. ''Boxing is the revealer of character and the unveiler of truth.'' One final element of influence comes from the Wrestling and grappling arts both Eastern and Western. Grappling is considered as a support system from a street perspective. Although the foundational pins and escapes of Judo are practiced, the main tactic if you have ended up on the ground with your opponent is going to be biting and gouging to affect a fast release and return to your feet as quickly as possible. I have also taken a couple of takedowns from the Greco-Roman style of wrestling, in particular the Snatch, which I have found to be effective in live situations on more than one occasion. A lot of what I would call functional Control and Restraint or subject control that I teach to doormen and security


people, come from a variety of sources, from modern day combative groups within the field of specialist security right back to the 'Defendu' and Charles Nelson Defense systems of old. These were essentially Jiu-jitsu based from the old days when all holds were preceded by a strike or a distraction of some kind such as the methods used by the law enforcement officers in Shanghai and also by soldiers during WW2, if the softer option of prisoner escorting was called for. The only other included aspects of grappling, are some of the old-time wrestler's conditioning drills, such as The Hindu squat or the Baithak and the Hindu push up also called the Dand. These will be covered in detail later in the section on conditioning. Some of the old-time wrestling greats, such as George Hackenshmidt, Frank Gotch and Farmer Burns were absolutely amazing combat strength athletes even by today's standards. A lot of these conditioning methods have been re-introduced by a great American combat conditioning coach by the name of Matt Furey. I highly recommend his books relating to such methods. This concludes the influences for Urban Survival to date, but like any good student I remain open minded and ever prepared to learn.


The Nelson System Revisited By Lee Morrison I arrived in New York City on the 24/2/04 this was my third time over in the U.S with the purpose of furthering my studies in the Charles Nelson system of Self-defense. On my last visit I was fortunate enough to meet the great man himself Mr Charles Nelson on his 88th birthday in Arkansas where he lived with his family up until his recent passing this year. Charles Nelson taught his system of Self-defense in NYC for fifty years, Charlie was one of the last remaining links to authentic WW2 Combatives. Here is a brief background history of Charlie's entry and contributions into the martial arts and the world of Close Combat.

Charles Nelson USMC


Charles. C. Nelson was born in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York on the 1st of March 1915. At the age of three Charlie's parents separated and he was placed in an orphanage under the care of Catholic Nuns. By the age of eight he was sent to another home, run by Christian Brothers. It was here that Charlie planted the early roots of his Close Combat career when he was taught how to box. If the kids in the home ever got into a dispute, the Brothers would have them put on the boxing gloves and settle it. By the age of fourteen Charlie was sent to a farm in upstate New York, he lived on several farms, running away a few times. Then in 1934 at the age of nineteen he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served his term through boot camp at the Parris Island depot in South Carolina. During the initial eleven-week training period Charlie was given his first introduction into the U.S.M.C method of Close Quarter Combat. This was based on Ju-jitsu and what was referred to as 'dirty fighting' and Hand-to-hand methods. Charlie was transferred to Quantico in Virginia for further training. It was here that Charlie met and had the opportunity to train with Colonel. A.J. Drexel Biddle, a teacher of Close Combat in the Marine Corps and also to the F.B.I. Biddle was and still is to this day, considered to have been a major authority of the Combative methods taught from WW1 right through to WW2. Author of the now out of print classic text 'Do or Die' which was first published in 1937. Col. Biddle's instruction was based on his extensive knowledge and experience of various fighting systems throughout the world, including Western boxing, fencing, Ju-jitsu and the Defendu system that was developed in Shanghai by the legendary W.E. Fairbairn. Charlie discovered that he had a natural talent for all methods relating to Close Combat and was before long, coming up with his own variations. Charlie went on to study and train in various other systems including Chinese and Western boxing, becoming one of the Corps light weight boxing squad in the latter, at a body weight of around 135lbs and at a height of 5'9''. Charlie was eventually appointed the position of an instructor to his fellow Marines. It was around this time that he met his bunkmate, yet another Close Combat legend, John Styers who was also a student of Drexel Biddle and author of the classic text 'Cold steel'. Another pivotal figure toward the development of what was to become the Nelson system some years later was Sgt Kelly who taught Charlie various aspects of Mongolian wrestling, the point of which was to kill or cripple. Sgt Kelly had done much of his training


with a certain Dermot ''Pat'' O'Neill who was a former Detective Inspector with the Shanghai Municipal Police (SMP) and a protĂŠgĂŠ of W.E. Fairbain. Charlie was still an active part of the Marine Corp when the United States entered into WW2. He saw action in the Pacific when he landed with the 1st Marine Division in the first amphibious assault for the Americans. Their target was Guadalcanal, a small Island that was part of the Solomon Islands only ninety miles long and twenty five miles across, Guadalcanal saw some of the bitterest fighting of the Pacific theatre, taking some six months to remove all Japanese occupancy. Here is a Marine Corps verse written after the assault on Guadalcanal:

''And when he gets to heaven to St. Peter he will tell: ''one more Marine reporting sir, I've served my time in Hell!'' ''Hell", Nelson exclaims, ''I was with the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal and


do you know what? None of us ever saw any Ninjas.'' When the war was over Charlie received a medical discharge after having acquired malaria, an eye infection and an ulcer after which he returned to New York retiring on a disability pension. Charlie soon became restless and took various jobs such as selling doll's carriages and music boxes and later a job as a cook at the hotel Biltmore. Around this time Charlie decided to start teaching. He started with just a few people teaching out of his living room from a small studio at 1509 First Avenue this was around 1946. Around this time there were only two other martial arts schools in operation, one was for Judo and the other for Jujitsu. Before long People started to hear about Charlie's expertise as an instructor and larger premises were required in order to accommodate his accumulating students. In 1949 Charlie found suitable premises at 151 West 72nd Street where he continued to teach until his retirement in 1996 when a real estate company bought the building and terminated his lease. Charlie then moved to Jacksonville in Arkansas so he and his wife could be closer to their daughter Carol. During some five decades teaching Self-defense in NYC Charlie taught literally hundreds of people from all walks of life including martial artists, boxers, wrestlers, police officers, bouncers, stunt men, Government agents, body guards and movie stars to name just a few. In that time Charlie accumulated an abundance of real world experience from challenge matches at his school to side walk brawls in the street. Charlie would collect a library of news paper cuttings that he would post all over the walls of his school, incidents of muggings, murders and the victims who should and could have survived if they had a little knowledge of workable Selfdefense. Charlie would quote: ''The best defense of all is to avoid trouble whenever possible. But an increasing number of people are discovering that trouble finds them.'' ''If these people had taken my course, they would be alive today'' ''Ok. So it's dirty fighting, but when a guy has your head to a wall and a gun to your neck, you're not gonna start no fancy stepping karate. You're gonna defend yourself the best you can.''


Charlie's goal was to teach ordinary everyday people how to defend themselves from the violent element that plagued the streets of New York City. Charlie had a knack of taking a scenario, say from a newspaper cutting or from an example that may have happened to someone else, and finding a practical solution to the situation right there and then on the spot. His training course consisted of fifteen lessons and cost anything from $200 or more. He would only train a maximum of six students or less at one time this way he could give them his complete attention. The students would work together in pairs. There were no uniforms, belts or rituals. He believed in teaching only that which worked well and worked quickly. Charlie would teach from example of a real scenario, he emphasised the point of reacting or moving from a natural position and not from any particular stance that would indicate that you had any knowledge of combat. In fact he could hit with deceptive power and speed from any position or angle. He would also emphasise the point of not showing any aggression but rather luring the attacker into a false sense of security by acting innocent and curious before attacking him with full intention until the threat was dealt with or no longer interested in continuing with his original intention. Charlie also offered his services to Mayor Kock in teaching the NYPD but was politely declined as his system was deemed too brutal for the boys in blue to use on the street. Over the years Charlie collected many letters of gratitude and written testimonials stating how effectively Charlie's methods had worked for some of his students. These are letters of gratitude and commendation for the very useful knowledge that Charlie had passed on to people of all ages, sex and levels of experience. Here are a few examples: A middle aged man who had just returned home from his first free lesson with Charlie was threatened by a man with a knife on a stairway the attacker was quickly knocked down a flight of stairs resulting in a complete adjustment of attitude. In 1982 a nineteen-year-old girl, who had taken a course of lessons with Charlie Nelson when she was ten years old, found herself some nine years later, confronted with a six-foot tall attacker who had grabbed her in her motel room. The young woman broke free of his grip as she stepped back and elbowed him in the solar plexus and stomped on his foot allowing her to make her escape and call for help. What makes this incident interesting is the fact that after her course of lessons with Charlie at the age of ten, the girl had had no further training from that point to the incident in the motel room. She had simply retained what she had learned


Charles .C. Nelson U.S Marine Corp Instructor 1915 to 2004 May he rest in peace. My visit continued : I have been studying the Nelson system for the last two years and I have integrated various aspects of it into the Combatives that I teach at home in England. My experience as a student and an instructor is based on 24 years of training in various combative systems and martial arts as well as 12 years working on the doors as a night club bouncer. I have always had an interest in the Western methods of Close Combat from the 1930's Shanghai period through to the methods taught during WW2 right up to the modern day influences of great people like Kelly MacCann, Carl Cestari, Bob Kasper and John Kary to name just a few. For the last five years I have ate slept and drunk within the world of Western Combatives. I had the pleasure of training during those years with the late great Pete Robins who was without doubt one of the most knowledgeable people within this field that our generation has seen. It was Pete who introduced me to Charlie Nelson and his senior student Bob Spiegel, who was made the main successor to the Nelson System after Charlie retired in the Nineties. Since that time I have studied Charlie's work with a relentless ambition hence the purpose of my latest trip to New York to train with Bob. Unbeknown to me I was being tested with the view of becoming a potential certified instructor in the Nelson system from the moment I stepped off the plane. Apparently this had been discussed with Charlie and his daughter Carol after my last visit to the point where Charlie himself actually signed a certificate which was to be given to me once I was deemed worthy of it. I spent every day of the following week training and studying for the majority of the


day. The rest of our time was spent photographing the entire curriculum for a future book project to be named "The Full Nelson" that will provide as complete a history of Charlie's life and methods of Self-defense that he taught over five decades. The book will bring the entire curriculum up to date and will show how it was adapted to the point it is at now as the current Nelson system. This book is being prepared with full permission from Charlie's family and will be written with the aim of honouring Charles Nelson and as a means to help preserve his life time's work. Whilst in the big apple myself and Bob took a visit to Charlie's old school on West 72nd street the original building was still completely intact. We even went to the local coffee shop a few doors down where all the patrons remembered Charlie with great fondness. It was here that I obtained a photo that depicted Charlie's school of Self-defense as it was back then, complete with the original sign on the wall of this multi story apartment building :

Here is a Picture of Charlie Nelson's School of Self-defense located at 151 West 72 St New York City. Note the original sign on the second floor of this apartment building.


Here I am outside the same apartment building in 2004.

This the Mongoose and the Cobra sign used to advertise Charlie's school of Self-defense.

On one of the days Bob Spiegel held a seminar at his Green St School where I had the opportunity to train with a State police officer who was formerly a member of the Special Forces. This guy had trained with Charlie himself back in the days of Charlie's old school. He remembered the effectiveness of some of what Charlie had taught him back then and was now eager to continue his training. His son accompanied him who was a young Army recruit, who was getting prepared to go over to Afghanistan. Both of these guys felt slightly better equipped for their duty with a little effective combative knowledge under their belts. After five days of intense training my trip was nearing its end and I was very pleased to learn that I had passed the level one Tier of instruction in the Nelson System. This was to make me the only Instructor in this system outside of the U.S. Needless to say I was very proud to accept and made a decision right there and then that I would do all that I could to uphold Charlie's good name and help in any way that I can to help preserve Charlie's work. Although I am considered a U.K based Combatives and Self-Protection instructor back home, I will certainly integrate elements of the Nelson System into my own teaching method and will also offer bonifide instruction in the Nelson system as is was taught to me should anyone suitable come to me for that purpose. Basic principles: The Nelson system contains a small variety of strikes within its current curriculum; the entire system incorporates the use of a small number of attacking tools that can be applied to a multitude of situations. These include chops with the edge of the hand, punches with the vertical fist and second knuckle joints as well as open hand palm strikes and finger


tip strikes to the eyes. The rest is made up of various armbars and sharp low kicks to the knees and shins. Over the years Charlie adapted and updated his system. Some of his students from say the 60's and 70's have said that the curriculum during that time was often more striking orientated as compared to say the early 80's where Charlie was starting to adapt his system slightly incorporating more of the arm-bar kind of subject control, which incidentally was always, always preceded by striking or distraction. An example of this was the elimination of the groin kick in favour of the even lower kicks to the knees, shins and ankles. Charlie would always say ''its all about the angles.'' He was a firm believer of the ''give way'' principle which he slightly modified by calling it the ''revolving door'' instead of just going with the force, Charlie added a slight body spin which causes him to glance off his attacker, much like a rock thrown at a revolving door would. Charlie advised against exerting strength against strength being small himself, Charlie was well aware of the outcome of such a contest. He preferred instead, to remain just outside of his opponent's reach, but close enough to strike out at targets of opportunity. He would say ''ever see a mongoose fight a cobra?'' ''The mongoose evades just far enough to avoid being bitten, then while the snake is off balance, the mongoose rushes in for the kill.'' Footwork is the basis for evasion and Charlie made evasion a bedrock principle of his system. He incorporated the slipping and footwork from Western boxing along with his lightning fast side step to confuse his attacker. He always preferred to step or duck out of harms way, then either use his opponent's momentum against him with a foot trip or immediately launch as many hand and foot blows as was necessary to end the situation. Charlie was an intelligent man so of course he had a back up plan, should he have found himself backed up to a wall or cornered and denied of his evasive footwork, unable to avoid close contact here was his answer; ''move in on the guy with everything, including the kitchen sink,'' ''when on the offensive you're harder to hit. The other guy doesn't have a chance to put power into his punches, or even think about hurting you, as General Pattern used to say, ''to hell with protecting your flanks. Let the enemy worry about protecting his flanks.''


Gun threat from behind

Assuming that your aggressor has not just walked up and shot you but is instead, holding a gun to your back in a threatening manner you therefore have a chance at going for the disarm.

Make a fast turn off the firing line of the weapon towards the inside of the weapon bearing limb. The arm is wrapped quickly and held firmly in place under your armpit until the situation is over.

Using the momentum gained from the turn go to immediate strikes to vital targets; in this case a hard knuckle punch to the throat or a chin-jab could be used following up with a knee to the groin.

Straight arm-bar


A straight arm-bar can be taken from a variety of positions; examples include as a reaction to wrist grab by reversing the hold to your dominant grip and striking the back of (the ulna nerve situated just behind your assailant's straightened elbow joint with your opposite arm. Or the straight arm-bar could be used as part of a counter to a lapel grab and also works nicely as an initial pre-emptive action. Remember any hold is always preceded by a strike or a distraction. As an example lets say you are going to apply a straight arm-bar on someone's right arm using your left. Charlie would throw a short, fast chop to the throat with his left hand whilst simultaneously grabbing his aggressor's right arm at the hand and wrist. The place you are aiming to grasp is on the back of the hand just above the big knuckles. From here the arm is turned in order to expose the back of the now semi straight arm at the elbow joint. This will allow you to smash down hard onto the said target with your left forearm, making use of the sharp radial edge of your own forearm and wrist bone. The foot work should place you in a side on position to your aggressor taking one step back as you apply the arm-bar and if necessary one further step back to place the aggressor face-down on the ground. From here you can finish with your feet, escape or take the aggressor into another hold to bring him back up on his feet. The following sequence of photos illustrates this :


Lee Morrison receiving certification in the Nelson System from Robert Spiegel on the 29th Feb/04

Urban combatives  

A bunch of borderlines showing you how to 'defend yourself'