View Full Version : Unarmed Skills, What, Why & How

May 27, 2002, 03:25 PM
What do you see as the goal of unarmed skills in your defensive arsenal?

What do you study & why?

How do you study, train, etc?

For me, unarmed skills along with everything else are simply tools that I have available to allow me to extract me and mine from a situation that I'd rather not be in, while having negative harmful impact on me and mine. Given that most fights happen in "the space of a phone booth", to quote Tony Blauer, I realize that accessing a physical tool may not be initially viable. Having unarmed responses to allow me to dominate the opening engagement will either preclude the necessity of my having to access a tool, or allow me the space/time to do so.

I'm also a big beleiver in "less is more". If I can accomplish 90% of what I need to in the unarmed arena with 2 tools, this pleases me. The fewer decisions that I have to make in the heat of battle, the better off I am. (Hick's Law & OODA loop wise) To that end, I work the tools that I learned in the Insights Training Center unarmed program and tools drawn from WWII combatives training and a few other sources. A lot of the sports pyschology, physiology consepts and ideas, and drill-designs from Tony Blauer and from Scott Sonnon have had a strong influence on what we do too.

Me and my associates [about five guys who show up with any regularity] train every Wednesday evening from around 1900 to around 2300. We work static drills and sequences on Spar-Pros, we work fluid drills with each other. We do as much scenario-based/Dynamic stuff as we can. We do what we can, with what we have, to get valid reps on a limited range of skillsets to allow us, theoretically, the greatest likelihood of accessing the tools we need under duress. It looks like our next step will be to acquire a FIST suit of our own and really work the Dynamic scenarios.

May 27, 2002, 10:17 PM
Wow, you actually get five guys to show up every week to get beat up. I'm seriously impressed. Very few people are inclined to put in the work to develop and maintain unarmed physical skills. As opposed to the twenty or so guys that show weekly up for an IDPA based league . A friend and I used to practice defensive tactics every week, untill he broke his finger durring a simmulated gun grab, ooops:rolleyes: .
Good luck with that FIST suit idea. From what I've been told they are the best hand to hand suits on the market. They are a bit pricey though, like $700.

May 27, 2002, 10:44 PM
"What do you see as the goal of unarmed skills in your defensive arsenal?"

learning enough to keep me from getting my ass kicked on the street. I would like to compete in grappling and MMA/NHB competition also, at least once.

"What do you study & why?"

Goshinbudo Jujitsu. I study it because it is the best MMA oriented integrated art in the area ( striking, standup grappling, ground grappling). I am thinking of also studying boxing and amateur wrestling, although the style contains those arts as components. I also buy some instructional tapes now and then, right now I have Bas Rutten's Extreme Pancrase series and an Empty Hands vs. Knife video from Hock Hockheim.

I study MMA stuff because it is fun, good exercise, and because it is very practical within it's limitations as long as you know what you are doing and what it's limitations are.

"How do you study, train, etc?"

We do throwing drills, live throwing practice with judo and wrestling-style throws, we do ground grappling randori, we do submission grappling randori from standing, we do striking practice standing on bags and against each other doing MT style stuff, we do submission grappling with strikes on the ground, and finally we put it all together in MMA-style randori.

we also do a fair amount of plyometric and bodyweight exercises. I personally also do a bodyweight exercise routine outside of class, along with yoga for flexibility.

We also do some aikido style stuff for restraining drunks and the like, and sometimes we use a makiwara to toughen our fists. It's not a main focus of our training though.

May 27, 2002, 10:50 PM

Seeing as I'm a product of the south Louisiana skul system, I don't always count so well. I always have one other fellow show, most often have two more and occasionally have the three show up at the same time.:) [That really does make 5 counting me.] I've got about four more who claim interest, but never show.

FIST gear rocks. It's way better than Redman. Tony Blauer's High Gear is very neat, but it's designed to let you feel some pain and when you're doing full-force stuff with several different players, it'll get old real quick.

May 28, 2002, 08:58 PM
What do you see as the goal of unarmed skills in your defensive arsenal?
My personal goal for my very limited unarmed skills is to buy me enough time and space to activate my NIKE(tm) self preservation system. If I can Stun, Stagger, Stop an attacker long enough to disengage and escape(read run) that is my goal. To that end I prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

What do you study & why?
The term study might be to much for what I tend to do. I primarily count on my build and posture to project presence. If that fails I run. If I can't run I have some defensive tactics training from a very good instructor to fall back on. Mostly traps, wrist locks, come alongs, deflection and some preasure points. If that fails there's always good old fashion bare knuckle brawling and ground fighting learned in my not so distant youth:( (boy I hate it when it gets that far)

How do you study, train, etc?
I do try to train once a week on the DT stuff with my buddy. We now try to do all the traps locks and take downs and take aways at half speed to get the form right and not permenantly dammage ourselves;) . Working on striking is tough with out a bag at home so I try to get to the gym when I can. I also practice front and rear breakfalls. I figure if its going to wind up on the ground I better know how to get there safely.

Gomez I see your an OPS guy. I wonder if you know a good friend of mine? He is the OPS adjunct for the north-east he is out of Poughkeepsie NY.

May 29, 2002, 12:26 AM
yeah, using unarmed skills flowing into Nike-Fu seems like the way to go. If you're unarmed in an unhappy environment, the best thing to do seems to be GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE!!!

June 1, 2002, 01:54 AM
I recommend the Insights Unarmed or their Close Quarters Confrontations courses. If you can't get to the courses, get Jim Grovers Unarmed Combatives video series.

Krav Maga is also worth studying if there is school in your area.

David Blinder
June 3, 2002, 12:18 PM
Although I spent many years developing martial arts skills, I've spent the last several working only on techniques that work in reality and not just in a dojo. The Insights Training is excellent and is in fact a model for what I teach. The thing to remember about martial arts is that a moron with a knife can generally handle a martial artist with 10 years of experience and if the guy with the knife has any skill at all, it won't even be a contest. That's not to say that martial arts are worthless but their worth degrades in a no rules street fight.

June 3, 2002, 10:54 PM
G3 & blunder:

I wholeheartedly concur. If you have the opportunity to train with Insights Training Center, take it! Both the 2day Unarmed Self Defense and the 5day Close Quarters Confrontations are excellent. Their Defensive Folding Knife classes are also a blast, and with John Holschen having retired from the Army and teaching full-time now, I'd expect even more non-gun classes from them.

The Insights "Technique" is one of the core pieces of my defensive repetoire [sic]. It's been so ingrained that it comes out, under stress, when I'm "supposed" to be working other techniques. I had one instructor so P.O.ed because he wanted me to do a clothesline takedown once I had moved past the padded agressor, and everytime that I ran through his scenario, I'd launch into palm heels and drive his badguy into the deck. He kept saying, "why would you want to use face smashes? They don't have any power," but everytime his badguy was driven into the ground.

Paul Sharp
June 7, 2002, 10:38 AM
1) Another tool in the tool box.

2) Mixed Martial Arts, covers all the bases of Standup, Clinch and Ground games. Best way for me to stay in shape and kill my ego.

3) Six days a week, at least 3 hours a day, more if I have guy's coming in for individual coaching. Always with Aliveness.