View Full Version : Modern Combatives

Glenn E. Meyer
September 10, 2008, 09:59 AM
To restart the topic in an informative sense - there is a trend for H2H training that is not sport or intensive style oriented. It is not oriented for long drawn out fights but to escape, free yourself, and/or disable an opponent so that you can extract yourself from a bad situation. It is not based on cliches like kick him in the nuts (as in many circumstances, the physics of the situation precludes that).

A good example is


This not an ad for them, I do know the outfit well but have no interested in whether they make a buck.

If you read the description, you will see what I was talking about in the closed thread. Other outfits offer such and IMHO they give a solid base that is probably better for practical usage than classic martial arts.

Given that such techniques have worked, one would think it would be realistic for folks to know such. They have worked for men and women.

It is also the case that you may not have to get your gun out or have to be in a work environment that precludes carrying a firearm. It is also defensible that a person does NOT want to carry a gun. That is their choice and easy to posture about on a gun list.

At the last NTI, I went to - we were explicitly thrown into a good many situations where you did not have a firearm - no Green Lantern's power ring for you.

If you take such classes, you also realize that a disarm is a scary thing to do but it can be done if you know how. Is it better to know how? What do you think?

September 10, 2008, 10:07 AM
Yup....even the military is serious about combatives. I have been tasked by the boss to get some of our people to be certified as instructors

September 10, 2008, 10:42 AM
Ive takin martial arts since I was 5 (im currently 21). Akido, Kendo, Iaido, Kobudo, Ho Shin Sool, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing, you name it... I can tell you now that I would most definitely not want to have a gun in my face, unless it was about half a foot away (in which case my chances of survival go from nil to slim)...

But I also believe that the mindset of being trained in self defense as well as the reflexes and physical improvements you get when taking martial arts classes cannot be beat... Self defense is all about being prepared, and that 5% chance I have of saving my life from 2 armed gunman is much better than that 0% chance I have without taking classes... Life is never fair, but why not try and improve the odds? The point is that there are so many benefits from taking such classes that anyone with the time and money would be wise to take some... Just stay away from competition styled classes and stick with true self defense...

And if I may make another point, the self confidence you get from self defense classes can also get you out of a jam by just being assertive... Most bad guys wont mess with someone they think will put up a fight, preferring to stick with weaker targets... One of the assistant instructors at the last place i took classes from was this 90lb 5'2" woman, and she scared me more than most of the 6' 200lb guys did...

September 10, 2008, 11:05 AM
I'll still maintain the worst gun is still much better than the best martial art, unless, as KLRANGL said, the attacker is in just the right place.

Also, the mindset of the martial artist MUST be to destroy. They must stop the threat long enough to get out of range. That means kicking testicles, gouging eyes, chopping the throat, and breaking bones (over and over if need be). It's an all-or-nothing deal. If you decide to fight, it's all the way. Keep in mind, if you make one mistake, miss one punch, or hesitate a split second, you're dead.

Martial arts MAY get you out of a situation when the BG is unarmed. If the BG IS armed, the chances go down exponentially with the level of weapon.

Remember the scene in Indiana Jones in the town square? The BG swinging that sword all around, obviously an expert with it. Indy takes one look and simply draws and shoots the guy from 20 feet away. Now I know movies aren't even a bad representation of real life, but I can see this scene going down for real in a dark alley.

I'll repeat, never bring a fist to a gun fight.

Glenn E. Meyer
September 10, 2008, 11:13 AM
Yes, I suggest we all watch movies to decide our level of training and what techniques are appropriate.

I post for the realist, not the posturist.

September 10, 2008, 11:17 AM
If someone advocates using a martial art against a drawn gun, then THEY have been watching too many movies.

September 10, 2008, 11:25 AM
I hear you people over and over say "never bring a fist to a gun fight"

How about "when someone brings a gun fight to you, and all you have are your fists, will you be ready?"

Glenn E. Meyer
September 10, 2008, 11:29 AM
So, I imagine all the classes in disarms and retention drills are not worthy of consideration according to your analysis. Might you document your research and/or training that would negate the need for such besides watching Indiana Jones?

September 10, 2008, 11:58 AM
How about "when someone brings a gun fight to you, and all you have are your fists, will you be ready?"

That works for me. I am in favor of martial arts training. If a fight comes to you, and your fists are all you got, if you think they will save your life, then use them. If you think surrender will save your life, then use that. Each situation is different. The bottom line is: stay alive.

All I'm saying is the best martial art will never equal a gun, unless conditions are EXACTLY right, and the martial artist is VERY good and totally ruthless.

September 10, 2008, 12:14 PM
Glenn, Keltyke: Stop, you're both right. ;)

Having done some degree of force on force with trained and experienced shooters, both with paint guns and with plain dummy guns, I've a couple observations.

1) If you're out of range for a disarm, it's a bad idea to go for a disarm. Disarm distance is close arm's reach, not three feet away.

2) In some specific circumstances, it's better to "use martial arts" on a drawn gun (disarm the assailant) before you draw your own gun. But see #1.

3) If you are within disarm range when someone begins to draw, you're better off smothering his draw than you are to go for your own gun. That's because ties really suck.

4) Even a girl (okay, an overweight and out of shape middle aged woman) can use the elements of surprise, distraction, leverage, joint locks, and pure unadulterated sneakiness to win against larger and stronger opponents. Even if the opponents are armed. Flip side, if the larger and stronger opponent also uses the same elements, she's hosed. The more highly trained the opponent, the more difficult it becomes to use the skills you have against them.

5) Even when someone knows it's coming, some techniques can't really be countered effectively if both participants are trying to stay realistically within the scenario.

6) A WIN is defined as getting away so decisively that the assailant cannot follow you. Whether that is accomplished by putting bullet holes in him or by breaking his joints or by knocking him into unconsciousness is really immaterial. Corrolary: You haven't 'won' if you simply manage to get him off you once, or even if you hurt him badly enough to drive him to his knees without disabling him. Those are both first steps, not the end of the fight. You have to make it so he cannot follow you when you get away -- or you haven't won. You've only delayed a loss. (Incidentally, that's why "kick him in the nuts and run" is such bad advice ... pain is a poor substitute for really disabling someone, and pain compliance is an uncertain master at best.) The further away safety is, the more thoroughly the attacker needs to be disabled.

7) Humans are tool users, and few environments don't have potential tools that you could use to defend yourself -- if you know the sorts of things to look for and how to use them effectively.

8) Nobody in their right mind is going to go for a disarm unless they think they are going to die anyway whether they go for the disarm or not. If you're going to die anyway, you might as well die on your feet as on your knees. And who knows? You might win.

Finally: unpopular as it is to admit, not all scenarios are survivable. That doesn't mean you give up. If I'm going to die anyway, I'm going to die trying. I'm not going to go out groveling and sniveling and whimpering for my mama -- I'm going to go out cussing and spitting and fighting and doing my damnedest to take the other guy with me or better yet to send him on ahead of me. I want my honor guard in Valhalla. (Or as Tamara said: "I ain't goin' out like that." (http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2006/09/i-aint-goin-out-like-that.html))

Given that I want that honor guard, it only seemed smart to increase my odds of getting it by learning how to do this stuff. That I can't do everything is no reason at all that I can't learn to do some things.


September 10, 2008, 12:25 PM
I have to agree with the comments made by Pax. A violent encounter is an incredibly dynamic and fluid situation. Any GOOD training is an advantage is such a situation. It puts tools at the disposal of the defender.

My personal opinion is that training should emphasize de-escalation, if possible, and explosive, violent, and damaging tactics if the situation progresses beyond salvage. I think it is foolish to think that a defense class lasting a few days, or even martial arts training over the course of years, truly prepares you for a violent encounter, but I also think that the more options you have at your disposal, the better the odds are that you will prevail. Ideal training would be as violent as real life encounters, but this carries it's own risks to safety. We can only do the best with what options we have. More options are better, as a general rule.


David Armstrong
September 10, 2008, 12:41 PM
If someone advocates using a martial art against a drawn gun, then THEY have been watching too many movies.
It all depends. Distance, size, and a host of other factors come into play. Certainly the gun is right at the top for a distance weapon, but for up close situations, while it is always an option it is not always the best option.

September 10, 2008, 12:57 PM
At the local pub,there was a situation where a guy just wanted to fight people.There was couple,an alcholic drunk cook,and a 120 lb bartender.
The guy offended the couple,a rumble happened.
I stayed out of it a while,the guy from the couple was willingly participating.
And,the police were only minutes away.
At some point I hollered "Stop it" and the guy threw a punch at my head.I moved my head,so it slid off.
I'm 6'3" and 280 lbs.Not rock hard,but I've worked jobs like logging,tire busting,and working with steel.I'm not a marshmallow.I'm not a martial artist,but a brother is.I've been shown where the power in a punch is,and worked a heavy bag a little.
I figured I'd try to take his wind.From my back foot ,hip rotation,driving up and in I hit his solar plexus and tried to drive into his spleen.I did it three times and he just looked at me.I saw a small reaction in his eyes.He certainly was not disabled.
I had long hair and a long beard.I did not want to close with this guy.We mutually disengaged.He ended up with 7 misdemeanors and a felony.
Those pride fighting guys on TV know how to knock the stuffing out of each other,and they go on and on.
I am suggesting that if you think you can throw three or four moves and disable someone you may be disappointed in the real world.

September 10, 2008, 01:43 PM
Akido, Kendo, Iaido, Kobudo, Ho Shin Sool, Tae Kwon Do,


September 10, 2008, 04:24 PM
A small man was in the bar. A big lout picked a fight with him and they went out back. Soon, the small man came back. The bartender asked, "How in the world did you whip that big guy?"

The little man replied, "Kung Fu, from China."

Another rather large man, a friend of the first, also picked a fight with the little guy. They went out back. Pretty soon, the little guy walked back in.

The bartender inquired, "OK, what did you use this time?"

The little guy answered, "Judo, from Japan."

A smallish man had been watching the goings on, and HE picked a fight with the little guy. They went out back and soon the third man came back.

"Wow," the bartender exclaimed, "The little man just whipped two men much larger than you. He said he used Karate from China and Judo from Japan. How did you beat him?"

The third man smiled and replied softly, "Monkey wrench, from Sears."

September 10, 2008, 05:02 PM
Haha good call Keltyke

Dont worry, I was just showing off... thanks though :p

September 10, 2008, 06:30 PM
I remember pulling guard duty during Basic Training, and being issued a baton. One of the trainees asked the Drill Sergeant what to do if they had a gun. The Drill looked at the Private incredulously and said, "Son, if they've got a gun, you help them load the [sic] truck..."

Good advice, generally, but I still say it depends on who's holding the gun, and how close they get to me.

Martial arts training should be fundamental to any self-defense plan. Using a firearm is a martial art, too, but unarmed combatives should be trained.

No one is advocating "bringing a fist to a gun fight", but some times a gun is not available.

If someone sticks a gun into my face, or makes a mistake, that gun is mine. If they stay several feet away, use a close-quarter hold and generally look like they know what they're doing, I help them load the truck...

September 10, 2008, 09:53 PM
I'm a modern combatives, to use a term as good as any, advocate. Because sometimes the fight will be what it will be despite your best intentions, and things will require a bit of striking, breaking, stabbing, and other techniques before you can employ the shooting ones, the running ones, etc, assuming they're still necessary at that point.

September 11, 2008, 06:21 AM
Don't get me wrong, I'm a BIG fan of martial arts training for PD. It will work against a lone BG, or maybe even two. Against a gang? I dunno. This isn't like a Bruce Lee movie where the gang of 20 BGs attack one at a time. All I'm saying is you gotta be good, AND lucky for it to work against a gun. I believe your average "martial artist" walking the street doesn't have enough training to disarm a BG with certainty. Keep in mind, this is something that HAS to work! As some have suggested - help him load the truck!

We got people in this forum recommending we carry two spare mags for your main carry piece, and a backup piece with a spare mag or reloader for that. Two fists, elbows, knees, and feet sound a little under-gunned to me. :)

(Run Like Hell, Fight Only If Cornered)

Glenn E. Meyer
September 11, 2008, 10:39 AM
I think we have a consensus by most that combative training is useful for men and women.

We don't need to sputter about that anymore or come up with reasons why women are helpless against men or gorillas or that in some scenarios H2H may not work.

Modern courses focus on the utility for such in close quarters or when you don't have a gun.

The difference between combatives and 'martial arts' has been pointed out.

Is there anymore to be said?

September 11, 2008, 11:24 AM
this topic has not mentioned the ooda loop. If you don't know what it is, do a search for john boyd ooda loop and fighter combat.

You can get the other guy disoriented enough by "acting" along with his plans and then changing direction radically. This will buy at most 2 seconds, maybe only a fraction of a second but you can get off the line of most guns. This is not a safe plan of action but you will most likely end up alive.

dropping your wallet while fumbling can cause the bad guys eyes to drop long enough for you to run, draw your weapon or grab his.

I am not going to use this unless I am pretty sure the guy will kill me anyways, but it does work in force on force with airsoft and rubber knives against trained assailants.

As mentioned, once you go on the offensive you cannot doubt yourself or stop until the threat is eliminated. This may mean you keep running or it may mean you have to draw a lot of blood. Poking eyes, ripping skin, getting shot, fighting thru pain. It ain't gonna be pretty at that point.

I have always adhered to the "no fair fight" adage. If I am using physical force, it is because physical force has already been used or threatened on me or mine. Not in retaliation for verbal insults.

And if someone has attacked or threatened me (6'4" 245#) they probably have some clue how to fight or are pretty darn big themselves.

September 11, 2008, 12:18 PM
This will buy at most 2 seconds, maybe only a fraction of a second but you can get off the line of most guns.
If you're 100% SURE you can draw and get a COM shot off within 2 seconds or can get out of range in 2 seconds - then go for it. You MUST be ready to act 100% the split-second the BG's attention is diverted.

I am not going to use this unless I am pretty sure the guy will kill me anyways,
That's a good point. At this stage - it's a last stand, all or nothing effort.

It ain't gonna be pretty at that point.
There should be one thought in your head - STAY ALIVE!

I have always adhered to the "no fair fight" adage.