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    Fighter's Blog: Table of Contents:

    Posted 15/04/2018: Racks n' Wrestling by John McKean, American Combatives Association Instructor and USAWA Weight Lifting, Holder of Multiple World Titles  Read

    Posted 27/09/2017: The Short Answer to, “How does the Human’s Ability to Survive Physical Damage Work” by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H   Read

    Posted 18/07/2017: The Legend of William Ewart William and the Ghosts of Achnacarry by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H   Read

    Posted 15/05/2017: Evaluation, A Fool's Contemplation by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H   Read

    Posted 28/03/2017: A Brief Discourse on the Historical Evolution of Close Quarter Combat By AnDrew Soldier* from http://andrewsoldier.blogspot.ca. At the end of his article, we include a link to his book.  Read
    Posted 13/03/2017: Montreal's Mecca of Martial Arts by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H   Read
    Posted 31/01/2017: Overwhelming Force By Barry Drennan, Founder Fairbairn Protocol H2H   Read
    Posted 16/01/2017: Holding Ladders By John McKean, of the American Combatives Association   Read
    Posted 17/08/2016: Self Defense is unlike Martial Arts By Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn protocol H2H   Read
    Posted 28/04/2016: Introduction: A Pugilist's Tale By John McKean, of the American Combatives Association   Read
    Posted 24/02/2016: The Knife (Practical & Tactical) by Michael Blackgrave, Founder of the SEAMOK method of combat   Read
    Posted 09/01/2016: How Predator Mindset Works by Ashtad Rustomji,Owner and Instructor at Street Self Defense   Read
    Posted 23/10/2015: Demilitarization of the Martial Arts by Andrew Soldier   Read
    Posted 12/09/2015: Self Defense is unlike Martial Arts by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H  Read
    Posted 16/08/2015: Combat Dating by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H   Read
    Posted 28/06/2015: Evaluating your Opponent by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H   Read
    Posted 25/05/2015: Eyes Wide Shut by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H   Read
    Posted 20/04/2015: Design your own Self Defense Program by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H   Read
    Posted 23/03/2015: Specialized Self Defense by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H   Read
    Posted 13/03/2015: The Three by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H   Read
    Posted 20/02/2015: Awaken the giant within... by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H   Read
    Posted 20/01/2015: Two Big "Bullcrap" Flags by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H   Read
    Posted 07/01/2015: World War Two Combatives by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H   Read
    Posted 17/12/2014: Law and the Ineffective Handling Practices of "bullies" by Barry Drennan   Read
    Posted 13/12/2014: The Story Behind the Fairbairn Protocol H2H Logo by Barry Drennan   Read
    Posted 07/12/2014: Why did Fairbairn Protocol H2H choose the Fairbairn Method for its combatives core by Barry Drennan   Read
    Posted 03/12/2014: About Barry Drennan, the Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H by Barry Drennan   Read

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    Racks n' Wrestling by John McKean, American Combatives Association Instructor and USAWA Weight Lifting, Holder of Multiple World Titles

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  • Racks n’ Wrestling
  • Posted 15/04/2018
  • "Working the Iron for Wrestlers and Martial Artists".

    Huge delts, sloping traps, perfectly full biceps, etched ham-sized triceps, and thick, well-defined thighs characterized every athlete in the competition. A major weightlifting event or possibly a “natural” physique contest? Nope, I was watching with considerable interest the recent 2018 National Collegiate WRESTLING championships!

    And why shouldn’t these top-level grapplers be the best-built group of athletes among any sports; after all, much of the daily training consists of their own unique brand of ISOMETRICS. Yep, their enduring holds, vise-like grips, controlled pushes, and slow steady power pulls have them already training in the best manner possible! But, I contend that even these sturdy men can benefit from a huge STRENGTH boost supplied by even better Isos those we in weightlifting know as limited movement power rack holds, or “Isotonometrics”.

    In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, the importance of Isometrics max strength for college wrestlers was tested and strongly advocated. So why didn’t wrestling programs everywhere jump on this?? Beats me, although the really proven and correct power rack Iso routines seemed to have gotten “stuck” in the 1960s. I searched the net for current strength routines for wrestling and was aghast to find that it was one “3 sets of 10” beginners BODYBUILDING program after another! It seems these days only Eric Fiorillo and I are actively pushing middle hold, short-range rack movements (ISOTONOMETRICS - a term developed by the late, great Dr. Len Schwartz of “Heavy hands” fame)!

    So, what should be done to strengthen our country’s wrestlers, to add to their present well-tuned Iso-built bodies? Simple, just have teams acquire (or build!) a power rack (steel poles or heavy wooden posts), iron pins to place thru drilled holes for the holds, and a modest weight barbell. Then figure out maybe 3 favored total body exercises that involve a push, a pull, and a squat! Check pin heights for each individual to train a mid-position, and search, through experimentation, for initial poundage’s to CYCLE up these lifts.

    From All-Round weightlifting, I feel that a straddle deadlift, a bent over row, and a standing press are ideal, although there are many other similar exercises that can fit the bill. Each lift should begin at a low-middle (from the full motion exercise) position off pins, pushed or pulled for 2-3 inches, then strongly forced &held against top immovable rack pins. These holds are done as powerfully as the athlete can muster, for SIX seconds. And, yeah, one set of one for each Iso-ton lift. Not counting warmups this routine will take a mere 18 seconds of actual training time, twice per week – wrestlers are certainly busy enough without wasting hours in a weight room!

    The barbell involved is essential to supply the much-needed PROGRESSION of resistance. Isometrics on their own rarely work well, as there is a tendency with a static hold to only THINK one is using peak force, but actually not really going all out. However, if, like my 12-year-old grandson, you see your bent over row moving from 80 pounds to 165 within a few short weeks, great confidence and self-inspiration drive you to ever increasing “limits” (yet with Isotonometrics there are no limits!)!

    As many young athletes will be new to these programs, I can offer some rather solid proof concerning their results. Back in the early 60s, the Isoton basics were devised by Dr. John Ziegler, a brilliant researcher who lived and loved strength training. He had 2 average weightlifters follow his power rack program.

    One, Bill March, soon was setting world press records, won a Mr. Universe title, and came within an eyelash of making the Baltimore Colts pro football team! The other, Lou Riecke, past his prime at 36, began destroying local weightlifters in meets, made the U.S. Olympic team, set a world snatch record, and was one of the first NFL “strength coaches” (he helped convert a then mediocre little team, known as the Pittsburgh Steelers, into winning 4 Super Bowls!).

    Teen 60s athlete Gary Gubner used Iso holds to acquire births on both weightlifting and track and field Olympic teams.

    The late Stan Lampert was very in tune with Iso weight work and established an early national shot put to record- later he trained his teenage son to state shot and discus records on exclusive power rack work.

    So, WRESTLING COACHES, I CHALLENGE YOU – can you possibly sacrifice 36 seconds per week to REALLY strengthen your charges (despite what you have been lead to believe, the NFL’s ridiculous “rep bench press test” won’t even begin to do it for your team -come to think of it the last place you want to train your wrestlers is to be on their backs!!)?

    The Short Answer to, “How does the Human’s Ability to Survive Physical Damage Work” by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • The Short Answer to, “How does the Human’s Ability to Survive Physical Damage Work”
  • Posted 27/09/2017
  • If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

    To serve your turn long after they are gone,

    And so hold on when there is nothing in you

    Except the Will which says to them,"HOLD ON!"

    - A selected quote from British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling's poem “IF”

    In order to give a solid, factual, but short answer to how does the human’s ability to survive physical damage work, we need to avoid many specifics and speak a more general manner. Therefore, in that pursuit I will restrict specifics to only upon those elements which are both important and key to the understanding that this ability.

    In short the human’s ability to survive physical damage is a crossroads between sheer will and evolutionary physiology.

    It is important that contrary to what many preach and believe, physical conditioning within the constraints of aerobic fitness, flexibility, and muscle attributes has little to do with the human ability to survive physical damage.

    Outside of these we must understand the fact that any one person’s tolerances to trauma and pain will be automatically modify simply by an increased physical exposure to activities that are “rough” by nature. This comment recognizes the fact that once these tolerances and limitations in any one person have been exceeded we arrive back exactly at our original question.


    In terms of “Will”, two studies immediately come to mind. Both are offer keen insight into this question.

    One of these studies focused on the question of why, when shot with the same round (a .380 was the example), in the same anatomical location, in the same manner and under the same conditions (etc.), do some people go down while others continue to fight.

    The second study focused on a similar concept but varied in that the trauma was induced via a blunt force impact to the testicles (e.g. the old kick in the balls).

    Both came to the same conclusion.

    Mental Conditioning and Attitude.

    The concept of Mental Conditioning was determined to comprise the following elements

    - Subliminal training with specific regard to a person’s perception of the extent of associated injury

    - Mental toughness with regard to adaptation to pain and physical duress

    - The ability to retain focus and concentration

    - And “Attitude”.

    Subliminal Training Examples and Outcomes: Here boys and their testicles, offer and excellent example. For their entire formative years, they have protected their testicles. Subliminally they learned that testicles were highly vulnerable to trauma. In association when “little Johnny” got tagged; he went down!! However, we all witness others that did not. We must accept that within groups some simply follow example, while others do not. It is that simple. An in like manner when shot with the .380 round some men’ subconscious simply said “I’m shot, I’m out of it”, while others refused. Again, it is that simple.

    Mental toughness with regard to perception to pain and physical duress simply serves to lessens our psychological interpretation of the seriousness of the event. Thus, within a certain sense of proportionality, a person who psychologically interprets the duress as less, respond with less.

    The ability to retain mental focus and concentration, resides simply our ability to remain cerebral, versus emotional.

    And finally, Attitude. Herein Attitude is simply an inherent mental resistance to the act of submission. Some you will recognize this as the good old “Fuck You Attitude”. LOL


    Understanding that human anatomy and physiology in the form of “physical, respiratory, muscular, and neuro systems” can vary across the from one human compared to the next, the physiological aspect of human survival of damage in its basic form is cut and dry. Too much damage and that particular system becomes inoperative. Anything less than that results in proportionally lessened operational ability.

    In all systems can have conditions where the whole system go down, thus we die, or we can have portions of a system go down or remain operative however impaired. In these cases, depending on the system effected, we can sometimes “trade-off” between systems and stay in the fight. Examples are any when operating once wounded.

    In cases such as respiratory where we cannot trade-off systems, we can trade off time versus oxygen expenditure. Here others systems are employed to “buy time to recover”. Now, luxury of circumstance, time, specific strategy, and tactics, and even technique enter the equation.


    The final conclusion is that with regard to the ability to survive physical damage every case is “Individual Specific”. Even specific to the mental state of anyone person on a given moment. Each case comprised of a complicated personal blend of the adore-mentions factors.


    The takeaway if this is that we can train to enhance much of this. Mental toughness can be indoctrinated and ingrained, Attitude can be adopted, nurtured and developed, and bodies can be conditioned to have higher resistances and higher efficiencies. Psychological interpretation of elements such as pain tolerance and oxygen usage can be effectively educated and modified.


    In understanding the total equation we must realize that it is, of course, much more complex, as for example I have not gone into gone into “Psychological Perception Trade-offs with regard to Quantified Adrenaline Releases”, or the actual “Physiological - Psychological Effects of the Adrenaline Reaction”.

    The Legend of William Ewart William and the Ghosts of Achnacarry by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • The Legend of William Ewart William and the Ghosts of Achnacarry
  • Posted 18/07/2017
  • "To walk the fields that words long left".

    There have been many great articles written about "Dangerous Dan", "The Shanghai Buster". Yet the story of this "old English Schoolmaster" look-alike, has never been touched upon as the superb epiphany that he was.

    Epiphany is a word probably ill-used within these lines, yet I find myself lacking a better term. Just the sheer volume of his contributions to the fields of police work, weapons development, and close quarters combat, seem to defy any other capture. Each an unique product of an exceptional convergence of nations, persons, and times.

    This is the story of a truly crucial man, who found himself uniquely positioned within this rare crossroads of world events and changing eras. An age of revelations; much of which can be singularly sourced back the this very man, this legend, this William Ewart Fairbairn.

    Alone or in association with other greats such as Anthony Sykes, Rex Applegate, and Dermot “Pat" O’Neill, this man more than any one person, is responsible for devising of some of the most successful methods of close quarter combat that the world has ever witnessed.

    Much of this accreditation revolves around his highly touted system of hand to hand combat, "The Fairbairn Method".

    His fighting methods are some of a select few that can rightfully claim the title of being a "full spectrum combat system". In further validating this title, his system bore ground breaking developments in unarmed combat, stick fighting, Spring Cosh ( a type of sap ), knife use, and with pistols and sub-machineguns.

    Renowned for their simplicity and ease of acquisition Fairbairn's unarmed methods are effective and absolute. His unarmed repertoire emphasised crippling edge of hand blows, stunning chin jabs, blinding tiger claw strikes and destabilizing pneumatic percussion strikes. Vicious kicks delivered with the tip, heel and edges of the boot, joint articulations, chokes, throws and takedowns further sealed an opponent's fate.

    The Fairbairn unique methods of armed fighting were equally devastating. Whether it was his edged weapon methods which addressed the use of the now famous Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife, his "Smatchet" Fairsword, or "Cobra" knife design. He also fielded a method of shooting which he called "Point Shooting". His method of shooting pistols and sub-machineguns with or without the use of sights gave a person the ability to effectively engage an enemy regardless of the environment or its ambient conditions.

    He is also recognized for the development and employment of breakthrough concepts such as bullet proof riot shields, Quick Reaction Forces and S.W.A.T. teams, the "Killing House" training Facility, and the use of "pop-up" targets which when later employed in Vietnam singlehandedly changed the face of modern warfare.

    Within a few short years, in some form or another, Fairbairn's methods were globally adopted by almost the entire Allied forces. There they held a particular reverence within the elite forces such as the legendary Commandos from Achnacarry House. Who exploits fostered fear even into the heart of Adolf Hitler himself, resulting the release of Hitler's infamous "Commando order".

    In some manner everyone of his developments remain in use today! The FS knife is found globally, an enduring trademark of elite forces.

    Consider the following as viable determinants of such an unique convergence and occurrence:

  • At the core of it all we find Fairbairn himself, both a gentleman and a warrior who for whatever reason had within himself such natural combative talents; history supports this.

  • As a young man he convinces a recruiter to falsify his age and he enlists as a recruit in the Britain's Royal Marines Light Infantry at 15 years and 10 months old, giving him a military foundation, and personal experience in shaping men.

  • Then in 1907 he is posted to Shanghai which even today is recognised as being the most dangerous and corrupt city in the world of its time, quite possibly even up until today.

  • In Shanghai leaving the forces he becomes involved in police work and martial arts training.

  • Directly or indirectly Fairnbairn is influenced by the teachings of a jujutsu instructor by the name of Jigoro Kano; his certificate bearing Kano's mark. Kano, the same famous Jujitsu master who created judo; who taught a young Vasilii Oshchepkov who returned home to Russia to create Sambo; who taught Esai Maeda who later moved to Brazil and taught a man named Gracie.

  • While on police patrol Fairbairn is ambushed by gang members, savagely beaten he was left for dead. He required months to recover. This is what today's psychologists call a "life altering experience".

  • From here he returns to the police force where he works with the likes of Dermot “Pat" O’Neill, and Anthony Sykes, as well as other people of other nationalities and their cultural inputs.

  • He rises within the Shanghai Municipal Police Force becoming the man behind the S.M.P.'s training and tactics development. This provides him a live fire laboratory in which to develop, test, and fine tune his theories.

  • During his time with the S.M.P. documents record that he is personally involved in some 200 to 600 reported violent armed and unarmed conflicts, often involving various scenarios of multiple combatants.

  • Then in 1942, with a world at war. The Nazi war machine has crushed all of western Europe and is on the brink of overrunning England itself. London is enduring the brunt of the Luftwaffa's "Blitz" England, a nation intolerant of its state of desperation, is willing to do anything.

  • The United States is equally concerned. On its western shore, "Pearl Harbour", and Nazi U-boats just off its eastern shores.

  • Fairbairn and Sykes return home to England where they join the S.O.E. and charged with the job of training Britain's commandos, "Special Operatives", and the older men who made up the "Home Guard".

  • Hidden away they were first and mostly stationed at Inverailort House, the first STC ( Special Training School ), and later at other centres throughout Scotland and the UK. Here Fairbairn is free to implement and further develop the Fairbairn Method, while Sykes teaches his own but similar methods.

  • The effect of the Fairbairn Method upon the average Nazi trooper is fear. On 18th October facing elevating fear of England's commandos and much deliberation by German High Command lawyers, officers and staff, Hitler issued his infamous "Commando Order", the "Kommandobefehl". This letter ordered that any captured British commando is to be immediately executed, thus proving that they were just men, not demons, devils, or ghosts.

  • Fairbairn is sent to on special order to Oshawa Canada, STS-103, "Camp X", where he teaches spies and resistance operators.

  • On loan from the British, at the OSS’ secret Training Area-B facility in Catoctin Mountain Park in Maryland, Fairbairn meets U.S. Colonel Rex. Applegate works with Fairbairn to teach the Fairbairn methods to elite elements of the American Armed Forces.

  • All the while in the field Fairbairn's methods are being battle tested against whatever the German and Japanese combatants had to offer. Subsequently the Fairbairn Method is constantly refined. Tuned by soldiers reporting back in from the battlefield.

  • At the end of the war at the specific request of "Wild Bill" Donovan, founder of the O.S.S. the predecessor of today's C.I.A., Fairbairn receives the United States "Legion of Merit". America's sixth highest award, it is only awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.

  • After the war he continues to be engaged by various governments to teach the Fairbairn System.

  • Even though Fairbairn continues to train and review other improvements there are no modifications to his method published or publicized.

  • Fairbairn continues teaching the Fairbairn Method until he retires and eventually passes away in 1960.

  • If we now review these events in retrospect, "Are they not milestones suggestive of an unique person forged in an exceptionally rare convergence of nations, persons, and times"? If not then I would suggest that it would be very difficult to ever recognize what might well be.

    Inexcusably the totality of these notable developments, have repeatedly been allowed to drift back into the quilt work of conflict and combat. Now, more often than not, the name Fairbairn falls unrecognized upon the ears of modern martial artists.

    Regardless of however often his name is evoked, or how consistently his developments, methods, and teachings experience rebirth, only but a few carry forth his methods, his name. The martial art world continues to focus on the glamour, melodrama, and sensationalism of Hollywood's martial illusions and artistic fantasies.

    Today across the globe we can still find his ruminants of his work. Scattered piece meal, as part and parcel of another program they survive, to carry on. A handful remain who knew his mark first hand. His methods refuse to pass on, instead finding life in the legend of William Ewart Fairbairn and the ghosts from Achnacarry.

    Evalation, A Fool's Contemplation by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Evaluation, A Fool's Contemplation
  • Posted 15/05/2017
  • "Stripped bare and cast into the street, the time for words has gone".

    It is my opinion, that evaluating your opponent is better left for competition. It has little, if any value in the street.

    After almost 5 decades of formal and informal fighting; I can truly say that I can't distinguish a fighter from a non-fighter by first glance looking at them. Or second glance for that matter. Same for skilled versus non-skilled, vicious versus non-vicious, or any other X versus Y talented comparison you would wish to drag out into the cold evening’s light.

    I have seen “book reading, spectacled, introverts” hammer the living snot out of tough guy big in a space of seconds right in front of bedazzled same type guys. I have seen a boxer come into a club who walked like monkey and then literally danced in the ring. You wouldn’t have thought he could have knocked two coconuts together let alone sequential flurries of skilled combinations. I have seen tough guys shut up and stay sitting down, and mice who you would never suspect talk up, stand up, and put “the problem” down to silent rest. Not one of these soldiers was I able to pre-judge.

    Nowadays with the world a theater and every asshole on the stage dressed up to look like a gangster, biker, or tough-nut, looks mean even less. Scraggy beards, Mexican mustaches, long hair and bald, tattoos from here up to a needle’s depth up their arse!!! These indicators may have spoken volumes at one time. Meant something! But they sure don't anymore.

    Loud mouths are tolerated till some back down, while other’s take a well-deserved beating, but we couldn’t have told before that they were posers. And guys, some who say nothing. I mean zero. Nothing! Out the blue, stand up and go physical in a well-rehearsed one-two step boot dance.

    Poor kids used to fight more than rich kids and that too is no longer even remotely true. Although I still think you can still find a fight quicker in a Country & Western bar than in a dance club. But you can get your ass kicked in either one.

    Stop to shoot the shit with a group of hard looking bikers; three are accountants, one's a lawyer, and the other two are business owners. Looks don't mean crap when push goes to violence. I’ll take Chuck Zito in a suit over Liberace in biker leather any day of the week.

    On the underside of this ponderance, lies in the reality of violence and capability. When things go bad, it doesn't really matter who or what the assailant is, or what their capabilities or experiences are.

    Why? Because as I said before once you're in the fight, things are what they are. They are either going to beat the crap out of you, or you are going to beat the crap out of them. One will stand, one will fall. It's that simple.

    So, wasting time on evaluating is stupid. A wasted effort. When the fight is on you thrown down your best card and hurt someone. Your time is best spent on getting ready if you have been afforded a few seconds, or if you're already in it, “getting it done”, “A.S.A., Double F, Fucken P”!!

    And there it stands the game of skills. Stripped bare and kicked out into the street for all to see. It does one better to worry about what they are doing to the assailant, to put him out of commission than evaluating what your assailant is or may, do to you. More is gained my speed of engagement than flashes of the eyes.

    Non-competition evaluation has lineage to modern interpretations of martial arts. It lives in the fantasies of people who have little experience void of the safety net of referees, bells, towels, or placing a knee to the floor. And thus, this fantasy world lives on in their mind and in the minds of those who have heeded the words. Versions of imagination, more often than not taught with a defensive spin. Frames of pictures that have never seen the light.

    Look in his eyes and evaluate. Step back and evaluate. Take a stance and evaluate. Evaluate, deter, verbally disarm. Evaluate, block, and only then counter. Keywords heavily used, are often found in these same sources.

    “Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate”; as opposed to “attack, attack, attack”. In reality the words are “Stay safe”, “Hope it goes away”, “Don’t commit”, as opposed to “GET MAD”, “TAKE THE INITIATIVE”, “FORCE THE WIN”.

    The reality with evaluation, is that it actually means don't act, which quickly translates into giving your assailant time to seize the upper hand. In real violence that means handing the edge to your opponent. And that is a gourmet’s recipe for receiving a severe beating.

    A Brief Discourse on the Historical Evolution of Close Quarter Combat By AnDrew Soldier*

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  • A Brief Discourse on the Historical Evolution of Close Quarter Combat
  • Posted 28/03/2017
  • "Beneath the coat, colors, and skin,... lays the truth".

    Personal experiences growing up in a lot of violence and being very small for my age taught me that my training in the martial arts was not preparing me well for unorthodox, bigger, stronger, and violent multiple attackers.

    So I began examining nature’s most fierce and lethal animals to see what makes them combat effective. A wolverine is only 3ft long and 35lbs max but is feared by the mighty Grizzly bear and is known to take fresh kills from a pack of timber wolves, each weighing over 200lbs. I discovered the most effective and ferocious creatures, aside from the venomous, almost always go after the throat, eyes, testes, or utilize constriction methods around the neck. Also I noticed that some will attack the legs to bring down adversaries yet always finish with an attack to the throat.

    Nature's most vicious creatures very often utilize a primary attack to their prey's structure that culminates into a secondary attack to the airway or the cardiovascular system. Combining this wisdom with redirection, trapping, unbalancing techniques, structural attacks, evasive footwork and fluid hand movements created for me simpler and more efficient method which later brought me notoriety both among peers and later within my military unit.

    The knuckle brawling, kickboxing, and closed hand punches above torso are not ideal - as many well know - in real world combat situations. A lot of great martial arts I've both researched and trained in have excellent 'defensive' techniques against strikes, yet they drop the ball when they utilize counter-attacks.

    They quite often counter attack using closed hand punches, sport-boxing styled strikes, or execute effective takedowns followed by an attempt to beat out a grounded adversary with bare knuckle fists, MMA style ground & pound. Or they may teach a single finishing punch as if that will always end a determined attacker: I/E, a punch to the nose, jaw, or temple.

    Well, if they had engaged in very many violent street, or prison, altercations experience would have taught them better. Most martial arts in their oldest form knew this but over time they became De-militarized due to civil laws which forced the masters to modify them for civilian self-defense so everything lethal became a less than lethal, or more sporting, closed hand punch to targets above the torso.

    Some traditional martial arts (T.M.A.) masters today still do not know this and believe they are practicing the 'original' combat art.

    For instance, the original Wing Tsun’s boxing method would not use closed fist punches to the face but open hand finger jabs to eyes often followed by heel palm, open ridge hand, knife hand, or forearm and wrist strikes to the trachea and neck nerve plexus as the head retreated back from the eye jabs.

    In its original application this was a very lethal boxing art for close quarter combat. First created by a female, it had to be efficient and could not rely upon powerful fist strikes to the hard bony facial targets considering the metacarpal bones in a woman's hand are even more delicate than a man's.

    The hands were later closed during sparring for safety among beginning students. The masters often held the key to the actual striking methods for combat until students proved themselves both loyal and honorable after sometimes years of training. In later times masters only taught the actual combat applications to their most loyal protégé. This is why students whom trained with their masters a very short time before going off to start their own schools, particularly in the Asian schools of combat, much like Jun Fan 'Bruce' Lee, often unknowingly had never received the keys to their master's science. And thus generations after who trained under particularly gifted athletes whom had trained a relatively short time within a combat science school learned a bastardized method which continues to propagate itself with each generation. Not to mention with the advent of Hollywood action movies which have greatly done more harm in misrepresenting actual martial science in the minds of viewers than good.

    Once again the idea of Wing Tsun's finishing techniques, for instance, was to either stomp a downed attacker in the floating rib, liver, throat, nape of neck, or to drop both knees into their ribs or solar plexus and deliver a punch or chop into their throat during a time when lethality was legally more acceptable in self-defense across most of Asia.

    With the more feudal times giving way to increased civil laws, in order to survive many masters modified the original methods and intent of their combat science to create a more legally acceptable 'civil' self-defense. While others almost completely forsook the original intentions and methods, thereby modifying their science into a combat 'sport' or an historical art form to preserve some similitude of their history's more feudal times. Still in some places under colonial rule combative sciences had to go completely underground or were hidden within innocuous dances.

    The original Western Fisticuffs, bare hand boxing, in the western countries didn't use bare knuckle strikes to facial targets. In its origins it applied fists to the torso targets and cuffs (open hands) to the facial targets, as well as finger jabs. The primary targets were cuffs to the ear drums, heal-palm strikes to chin, tempro-mandibular joint or bridge of nose, edge of hand 'chops' to the neck nerve plexus and finger jabs to eyes.

    As one's adversary reflexively reacted to such strikes this opened up the torso targets for a knockout, fight ending, shot. Traditionally that is a conditioned fist strike to the Solar Plexus, liver, kidney, spleen, floating ribs, or testicles.

    They also would open handcuff the steno mastoid with heel palm, radial bone, or ulna bone strikes to facilitate a knockout. Sometimes using open hand or wrist chops to the back of the neck we'd call rabbit punches, which are considered lethal strikes

    This was a very effective & lethal form of boxing with minimum risk to one's hands. Later for gentlemanly 'sport' fights they modified it to all closed hand strikes, both above and below shoulders. This made it less lethal and more bloody for the spectators, while allowing the fights to continue longer for entertainment. Unfortunately many fighters, particularly in the Americas, retired with terribly injured hands preventing them from engaging in a trade or working in the industrial revolution.

    Okinawan Toudi, in similar fashion, originally used no fist strikes to facial targets either but later was demilitarized by the Japanese for athletics, sport, and civil self-defense. Some of the Okinawan masters today teach two methods for fist striking to the facial targets to somewhat reduce risk of serious injury to the metacarpals in the conditioned hands of the karateka. They teach a four quarter twist punch, palm facing down, to beginners for both torso and facial punches in order to prevent serious injuries in training and sparring. While they teach the seasoned black belt level students the more combat effective and structurally sound three-quarter twist punch. The first person to bring this pearl of pugilistic wisdom to my attention was Coach Daniel Sambrano, whom in my humble opinion is one of the world's most knowledgeable masters of bare-knuckle combat striking.

    When we examine many of the closed hand techniques still practiced in Asian arts like Kali and Silat we find that they were meant to be used with a short hardwood weapon, a knuckle duster, or a small Ker ambit blade, and not the bare knuckles as we see in beginner level training and public demonstrations. Some instructors still teach that the closed fist punches meant to be used with a hand weapon can be used in unarmed combat utilizing the same Kali or Silat methods.

    Well, any bone doctor will tell you that the little finger knuckle used as point of impact in a hammer fist strike is the most delicate bone in the human hand.

    The hammer-fist strikes mimicked in some Japanese Jujutsu schools' curriculum were originally used with the hardwood yawara stick. Many practitioners don't know this today as they practice closed hand punches to facial targets in their templates or sequences.

    Does years of training in a traditional martial arts school or commercial sport based martial art adequately prepare anyone for the dynamics of real world close quarter combat while giving them a huge advantage over individuals whom have never earned the Asian black belt and have never competed in an organized combat sporting match?

    Many of the most dangerous killers in prison have no training but rely upon the power of intention while utilizing the weapons of speed, surprise, and violence of action (as taught in the armed forces' infantry) to overwhelm their intended victims. They don't rely upon training but rather experience from a history of violence.

    Often criminal gangs will utilize superior numbers as well to insure victory. The U.S. Marines teach the rule of no less than three to one and many civilians utilize this very unsporting concept to enact violence upon others in a similar fashion. So a survivor must consider all of this in any altercation that can’t be avoided or escaped. Traditional martial arts and sports based commercialized martial arts do not address this adequately in their training. When we do see them teach some form of combat science against multiple attackers quite often even at the highest levels we see a well-choreographed sequence of multiple attackers engaging one at a time rather than all at once as they would do in a real-world combat situation. And they attack either in a very traditional martial art manner or in contrast attack in a very unlikely manner

    Real world attackers often attack in multiples, using very unorthodox strikes, very aggressive and dynamic holds, and are never fixed still during an attack awaiting their victim to counter their hold or engage them all one at a time. That is fantasy bravado being sold as self-defense.

    Sport based striking methods we often see do not always neutralize an aggressor as rapidly as would be necessary in a multiple attacker or edged weapon attack situation. This can be witnessed in the ubiquitous MMA and UFC matches where two very hard hitting men with the aid of taped, wrapped, and gloved hands smash each other in the face, head, and body for what can sometimes seem like an eternity before either quits or a referee stops the fight. We sometimes witness the one punch knockout by some of the more gifted fighters like Anderson Silva and Chuck Lidell but this happens less often than the full scale brawl. And throw in multiple attackers in a street situation, no hand protection, and each man has a different tolerance to physical trauma, maybe they are hyped up on drugs, and that is where things get dangerous and sport based fist fighting becomes less optimistic.

    Once attacked it's always a kill or be killed mentality. Every stabbing I have witnessed either 'personally' or on a security camera the victim didn't know he was being stabbed but rather thought that he was being punched, until he saw his own blood or just collapsed. And I almost never saw the knife until after the attacker was finished stabbing his victim.

    During one incident I stood a few feet away while a group of criminal gang members stood security while their gang brother attacked a smaller man with a knife. The attacker wore thick work gloves with a knife tied to his right hand and he attacked like a sport boxer using the left fist as a jab and his right hand (power hand) to stab with. His victim the entire time while trying to cover up kept calling out, "Why are you hitting me Billy." After the attack was over and the gang members dispersed the man left dying on the ground while men walked over his body had never known he was being stabbed to death but had thought he was in a fist fight. Sitting here writing this today I only remember that man by his nickname, 'Guitar-man', because he was a gifted guitarist. He is only one of several I've seen stabbed to death. And like him most thought they were in a common fist fight. "The greatest danger of a blade lies not in the sharpness of its edge but rather its concealment."

    That is 'reality', and not the dojo scenario of the static one-armed knife attack. In fourteen years’ experience within the C.C.A. private prison system I have witnessed more stabbings, killings, swarm attacks, and rapes than I care to recall while getting a good education in sophisticated criminal ambush tactics.

    It's an art that these criminal gangs practice in killing and kidnapping. To make matters worse some, unfortunately, have a military background with combat experience and more than a few I have witnessed having MMA training.

    Criminal gangs are getting more sophisticated yet many instructors teach that thugs and criminals are unskilled cowards. In fact if we study U.S. history we will see that during the age of prohibition many of the gangsters and bank robbers were in fact military trained and often combat veterans who used their training and experience for criminal activities and left the police force completely outmatched and outgunned. This later led the F.B.I. to evolve from strictly a kidnapping investigative branch to a more paramilitary federal law enforcement agency.

    When we look at the history of Shanghai we see that there were criminal gangs of armed and martial arts trained gangsters and thugs infesting the city. Municipal police were outmatched so they had to evolve in methods and combat skills to counter these vicious criminals. This era gave birth to such legends as Eric A. Sykes and William E. Fairbairn whom were later called upon to train Allied Forces during WWII in close quarter combat methods which had proven effective in countless close combat situations against armed and traditional martial arts trained gangsters on the vicious streets of Shanghai China.

    So the point here is to show that historically not all criminals are a bunch of bungling idiots who have no combat skills as I've heard many martial artists often say.

    The dojo clowns who teach that criminals in the street are untrained and unskilled haven't had much contact with criminals these days...I've seen triangle chokes and anaconda chokes used in prison by gang members and thugs. The rear figure-four choke is a favorite! And they use it quite often in the streets to rob and assault the unwary.

    They condition their knuckles, as in Okinawan Hojo Undo training, while lifting heavy weights or doing military style body weight training all day long. They study Grey's anatomy books, practice MMA takedowns with submissions, train on the heavy bag, run around the ball field, do thousands of side straddle hops to build cardio, learn numerous ways to fabricate weapons and study to be deceptive tacticians. I've seen knives made from paper that are hard as steel and will penetrate a torso or neck with ease. On the streets some criminal organizations have instructors whom train other members in close quarter combat, martial arts, weapons, tactics, and even law so that they can utilize legal loopholes to get reduced sentences or plea bargains should they ever be caught.

    Too many martial artists are walking around poorly prepared for a life or death situation while engaging in ego masturbation which leads to an inflated sense of one’s own abilities and an underestimated view of one's enemies.

    To those that say that unprovoked violent attacks will rarely ever happen, I've been unfortunate enough in my personal life to have faced such situations more often than I'd like to recall...So for some people, it rarely happens but for others it can become a perpetual cycle.

    It depends upon where you live, economic status, and where you work or find yourself having to travel. Also one's physical appearance, build, racial appearance, and how attractive one appears to others can attract unsolicited predators in the most unlikely time and place.

    A man or woman never knows what the future holds for them, even if they're law abiding citizens, so it's best to train for worst case scenarios and not need it than to train for mild scenarios and then suddenly finding oneself in a nightmare. Because before you can process what is happening to you it's over and you've been traumatized, or you're dead.

    Martial arts and any form of close combat training are meant to be insurance policies in case of violent confrontation or a worst case scenario. And unarmed methods are meant to be developed through training and pressure testing as a last ditch effort in the advent that one is caught unarmed or has lost their weapon. They are not meant to be just an athletic activity, a sport, spiritual path to nirvana, or a flowery dance to impress onlookers.

    If real-world combat experience is the greatest teacher, as opposed to classroom theory, sparring, and regulated 'sporting' matches, then how can so many peddle their flowery, overcomplicated, impractical 'Life Insurance' to naïve students without ever having actually experienced and tested what they claim will stop or neutralize an attacker, disarm an intently armed attacker, or is the best method for defending against multiple attackers in an unarmed situation?

    Not to propagate any one art over another since one can find good things in every art, though sometimes we must cannibalize the art to extract what is practical and useful under the duress of combat and what is efficient against single or multiple attackers, but when we compare what is being today taught in so many commercialized martial arts with what was taught and trained one hundred to five hundred years ago we will see a drastic difference.

    What was once extremely simple and practical, but quite vicious, has evolved into something overcomplicated, often impractical, and less efficient under the duress of adrenaline fueled combat against violent attackers.

    Originally all martial arts were weapon's based and the unarmed hand to hand techniques were meant as a last ditch effort should one's weapons be dropped or one be attacked before drawing one's weapon. Some grappling techniques were trained for subduing prisoners or effecting arrest while other grappling with a handful of striking techniques were meant to cripple or kill an attacker on the battlefield.

    If one considers pre-Edo period Japanese Jujitsu the grappling techniques were designed to disarm and take down or immobilize an opponent on the field of battle so one could draw a short sword or dagger to finish them off by piercing between the folds of their battle armor

    After the Edo period samurai later began performing more as law enforcement officers against unarmored civilians so more strikes using the handheld yawara stick or even the empty hands were incorporated into Jujitsu or Taijutsu methods of application. Closed fist strikes were utilized against the atemi torso targets while open hand strikes were delivered to the Atemi targets above the torso area. A samurai relied upon his hands to master his weapons: Katana, wakazashi, tanto, spear, and archery bow, as the primary tools of his trade and he could not jeopardize the integrity of his hands which he needed for his livelihood, much like a professional soldier today.

    When we look at ancient Greek Spartan Pankratia as the hand to hand combat system of the professional Greek Spartan soldier’s history tells us they were actually forbidden from competing in the ancient Olympic Games in Pankratia competitions because they were conditioned to fight for real combat and not sport. They approached hand to hand with the intent of snapping a leg with a knee or ankle lock, taking out an eye, seizing and crushing the trachea, rupturing the eardrums, using lethal neck cranks/neck locks, and lethal chokes. They killed or permanently maimed and crippled their opponents because they never trained under sport applications but rather actual (efficient) combat applications, so they were banned from competing in ancient Olympic Pankratia matches.

    They didn't fist brawl or even use conventional competitive wrestling techniques for their hand to hand combat methods because their intent was to kill or cripple an opponent in battle should they need to silence a sentry during a commando raid, were ever caught foolishly unaware, or disarmed in battle.

    They didn't train to punch their opponents to death with fists as that would be too time consuming against a battle-hardened enemy soldier and too self-destructive to one's hands when their survival relied upon how well one could wield a Spartan spear, sword, and shield.

    More recently let us look at WWI and WWII to examine world wars where hand to hand combat was most prevalent in the trenches, house to house fighting, and the dense jungles. Both American and allied soldiers and marines met fierce hand to hand combat against traditional European and formal Asian martial arts with the intent to kill or be killed. Can one imagine a more fierce proving ground for the martial arts than both World Wars?

    The method which proved to be most effective was not exactly a traditional European or Asian martial art. It was a simple, efficient, and brutal approach developed by martial arts experts and venerated combat veterans of the brutal streets of Shanghai China. The city of Shanghai at that time was the most violent city and murder capital in the world. Criminal gangs ran the city and freely controlled the streets with brute force and terrorism.

    One of the men who served as a street law enforcement officer in Shanghai at the time was a British fellow named William Fairbairn. He studied and earned ranks in western martial arts such as boxing and wrestling as well as various Asian martial arts such as Chinese Kempo, Jujutsu, Judo, and even had trained under a famed Imperial bodyguard. Despite all of his training and the side arm he carried Fairbairn was almost murdered when he was clubbed and knifed by multiple attackers during one of his patrols. In other instances many of his fellow officers were not so fortunate.

    After such experiences William Fairbairn re-evaluated everything he had trained in contrast to his vast personal experiences with life and death close-quarter-combat while enforcing law and order on the world's most violent streets, outnumbered, against gangsters who were trained in traditional Asian martial arts and armed with weapons. He came up with an approach for close combat which utilized simplicity, the most efficient tools of the human body, targeting the most vulnerable anatomical targets, and using natural body movements which could be executed under the duress of intense life or death hand-to- hand combat. But most of all he stressed the importance of 'vicious intent' and directing that intention toward one's attacker or enemy. I believe it was Bruce Lee the actor and martial artist who said he feared not the judo, karate, or gung fu man but the untrained man who would not quite until you killed him.

    So Fairbairn's approach to close quarter combat was battle tested and more often than not proven superior against classically trained and armed street fighting veterans of the Shanghai criminal syndicates. He simply called his method of close quarter combat 'GUTTERFIGHTING'

    After the outbreak of war the Allied forces saw a real need for close quarter combat training for soldiers and marines. The enemies had proven to be formidable adversaries when confronted in close quarters due to their classical martial arts training. Allied forces had relied upon miscellaneous military men whom had trained in western or Asian martial arts to share their knowledge with troops within their respective units and that had to suffice at first. But later William Fairbairn and his comrade from the Shanghai police, Eric Sykes, were called to share their vast close combat experience and methods with Allied forces.

    Allied military leaders discovered that official investigations of many documented reports of close quarter combat engagements on the battlefield showed that the personnel whom had trained in Fairbairn's simple, efficient, and vicious method of 'Gutter-fighting' consistently achieved more success and close quarter combat kills than personnel classically trained in European or Asian martial arts. This was no small feat since particularly the Japanese were skilled in judo, jujitsu, and karate while the Germans trained in European wrestling, boxing, and Japanese jujitsu

    William Fairbairn taught British, French, and American personnel that only a fool resorts to unarmed GUTTERFIGHTING and one should never be caught without a weapon, be it a rifle, pistol, knife, or club. But that wasn't always possible in the fog of battle, so if one had no choice but to resort to hand to hand combat than the methods he taught them and had used himself would give them a greater chance of prevailing over a trained adversary in combat...Records proved him correct.

    Fairbairn never taught closed hand punches to the face or head for the same reason the old methods of other martial arts originally did not. To damage one's hands in battle could mean death if one could not operate weapons, radio, demolitions, a vehicle, or climb up a rope or an obstacle.

    He taught open hand strikes targeting primarily the chin, jaw, eyes, throat, neck, ears, vulnerable torso targets, attacker’s limbs, and testicles. He only taught punches to soft torso targets and kicks were never above the waist of standing attacker or were delivered to a downed attacker as finishing kill blows.

    Though he was a renowned grappler in western and Asian grappling arts, holding black belts in judo and jujitsu, he advised strongly against going to the ground or remaining there should one end up there in close combat because the enemy is never alone. Although in competitive martial arts against a single opponent, where taking it to the ground has its advantages, on the battlefield, or streets, where weapons and multiple opponents are prevalent it's often suicide to go to the ground.

    German soldiers trained in boxing, wrestling, and jujitsu consistently fell to the hands of Allied forces trained in Gutter-fighting. As did Japanese soldiers trained in classical Asian martial arts such as jujitsu, judo, and karate. This was the biggest proving ground for unarmed martial arts/ close quarter combat the world had ever known, during the world wars.

    It had been established that a few, simple, efficient, gross-motor techniques are more effective under the duress of real combat. And that fist strikes/punches to the targets above the shoulders are not as prudent or effective in real combat, without hand protection, as open hand strikes, gouges, and chokes. However fist methods are very effective and safe for striking torso targets to break floating ribs, rupture internal organs, or attack nerve plexus to take an opponent out of a fight. Then a killing stomp, chop, choke or lethal neck crank would be applied to finish the opponent so he's no longer a threat. The universal rule to empty hand striking has always been hard to soft and soft to hard.

    The irony of all of this valuable martial arts/close-quarter-combat experience is that after the world war era came to an end once again the lethal and most effective methods were forbidden to be continued for safety purposes and thereby were no longer taught to future generations of soldiers due to its lethality and because there were incidents during peace time when such trained military personnel had used such training against civilians during bar room brawls and caused serious injury and even some deaths.

    Thus military close-quarter-combat training became relegated to the purpose of fostering warrior ethos, a willingness to close with the enemy in battle, and develop an assertive personality. It was no longer primarily focused upon survival in the kill or be killed world of combat. Military units also began permitting service members who demonstrated martial arts skill to share their knowledge within their unit.

    Some branches had special infantry units whom trained in sports based grappling arts such as catch- wrestling, judo, and later Brazilian jiu-jutsu. Some of the special operations groups also trained in Filipino martial arts such as kali/escrima because such arts train in both edge weapons and empty hand techniques which were suitable to the dynamics of the battle-field

    With the advent of sports based martial arts being incorporated into military hand-to-hand/close quarter combat training the personnel were being trained in a method of close quarter combat more suited to the sporting ring of combat rather than the vicious kill or be killed battlefield. Officers were advised that the purpose, once again, was not to teach personnel to be lethal in unarmed combat because battles are not won with bare hands but with military weapons. The purpose, however, was to instill assertive confidence and a willingness to close with the enemy which sports based martial arts develops. All of the yelling 'kill, kill, kill' during close combat training was meant to instill psychological factors of developing killer instinct along with the assertive confidence and willingness to close with the enemy in battle. The goal was more about creating a more psychologically prepared killer than an expert in close quarter combat...It was about developing 'intent' and not so much about hand to hand skill. You create a more elite warrior by making them first believe they are more elite and hand to hand combat training instills such confidence. (Be it false confidence or not.)

    With the Special Operations units close quarter combat became more of a serious need after the global war on terror due to the nature of room to room fighting.

    So SOCOM adopted a program that they named S.O.C.P. (special operations combative program) which focused not so much on being an expert in martial arts, because soldiers are weighed down with lots of heavy gear and at least one hand is occupied with a weapon, but rather being highly skilled at defending and counter-attacking an enemy combatant at close quarters, whom may have surprised the soldier as he came around a corner, while allowing the soldier to maintain his primary weapon.

    SOCP's methodology is to repel the attacker, escape, make space, and get back to one's weapons to neutralize the enemy combatant. The soldier doesn't have the luxury of using both hands and the comfort of light street clothes in a close quarter combat situation. And during an engagement the enemy would often grab the soldier's rifle while attacking with hands, blunt force weapon, or a knife.

    During an operation a soldier's weapon is his life and so the soldier is often limited to fighting with only one hand, two feet, and a k-pod covered head during a close quarter engagement. In addition to being bogged down in gear and equipment the soldier is often operating under extreme fatigue, sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures, wet clothing, and confined spaces during a close quarter battle situation (which is where most close quarter combat incidents occur) so his arsenal of S.O.C.P. techniques must be simple, efficient, utilizing gross motor skills, and very effective while the soldier is fighting from a disadvantaged state.

    How many martial arts styles would be effective while wearing wet clothing which limits flexibility and kicking, encumbered by perhaps 100lbs of extra weight, body armor which limits range of motion in the shoulders, severe fatigue and operating in extreme temperatures under all of this? And to make matters more difficult you can only use one hand while trying to maintain an assault rifle slung around one's neck with the other hand. This is what S.O.C.P. addresses for the special operations soldier.

    Today we see an influx of traditional martial arts experts who have either experienced the realities of combat in the streets either by working law enforcement, working a door at a nightclub in a bad part of town, experience with the violence of the penal institutions, or have been the victim of a gang assault, being drawn into the so-called reality schools, or combative schools, to learn how to deal with modern-day, real-world, extreme violence when getting to a dedicated weapon is either not an option or the attack has happened so quickly they can't deploy it.

    The problem now with many combative schools and instructors is that they are teaching imprudent methods and relying upon their aggressive marketing, their military background, traditional martial arts degrees, and often times strength of personality to peddle their seminars. Some utilize great scientific research, criminal science, surveillance/counter-surveillance, and lots of really excellent techniques and information which most schools and instructors are seriously lacking. Yet they drop the ball in teaching self-destructive unarmed strikes and counter-attacks and will often say to critics that in life or death situations don't worry about breaking your hands or trying to use some special technique but rather just strike and keep striking anyway you can.

    Well, if that is all they have to offer in close quarter combat instruction than they're not teaching people anything that every untrained person on earth doesn't already know and often do when under an attack. Every woman in the world who has been a victim of assault and wasn't drugged unconscious did just that, however many were overpowered by their larger, stronger, and impact resistant male attacker(s).

    And students pay fortunes to attend Combative seminars where they're taught that a hammer fist is a very powerful strike that will not break and that punching against the facial bones and skull with whichever knuckles one prefers, be it the first two or the back three, is fine as long as one is striking to do maximum damage to their attacker.

    Just like commercialized martial arts many (not all) of the Combative schools have become just another hot sales gimmick of selling false security, misplaced confidence, and ego masturbation to the innocent for the sake of capitalism with no feeling of responsibility for the lives of their students whom may actually have to rely upon what they've learned in order to defeat and possibly kill a kidnapper, rapist, murderer, home invader, or (God forbid) survive a criminal or racial gang attack without sustaining serious injury or even death.

    Today if one researches the martial arts and the Combative world one will easily see that there is a huge market in trying to reinvent the wheel. Or taking the old and merely repackaging it with clever new words, labels, philosophy, and impressive lineages. I believe it was the famous historical king Solomon who wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes that there is nothing new under the sun.

    I've heard wise men say, the human body only has two arms and two legs so there is only so many ways one can create techniques for unarmed combat. The real innovation is not in creating something new, something unusual, and something impressive in demonstration. That will attract a lot of people who are willing to pay money to be able to boast that one is on the forefront of something 'new' and 'innovative'. And this is what many have done

    The real innovation is not in adding to the old because in thousands of years of human innovations in unarmed combat nothing is new. However taking away from the old and simplifying it as much as possible while maintaining practical, efficient, effectiveness in all type of situation for all type of people is perhaps true innovation.

    I have read somewhere that simplicity is the highest form of innovation. The renowned martial arts champion and former IDF veteran from Israel, Moni Aizik, is often fond of saying, "Simplicity is genius." That is a deeply profound statement.

    We have vaguely traced the evolution of martial arts and close quarter combat methods throughout their early applications up until the present for the purpose of not to bash any one's method of unarmed combat but to consider how much has been changed, lost, falsely perpetuated as realistic close quarter combat, along with the why and how in order to give the reader some introspection.

    The introspection into the “what and how” one maybe training in close quarter combat methods (or arts) with the intention of preparing for a worst case life or death scenario against violent sociopath(s) intent upon doing violence against you and/or your loved ones should a dedicated weapon not be readily accessible or available to you.

    Perhaps it's not that practitioners should continue to try to create something new nor continue to perpetuate what has been handed down through generations of de-militarized civil and sport based modifications, nor flashy commercialized additions. But rather practitioners should be seeking to revive the old and the original which was successful on the violent battlefields, streets, and war zones of times past. For nothing is new under the sun but much has been lost or corrupted over the ages.

    When we can lay aside the love of money, years of invested time, hard work, and ego, and the fables we've been handed down by powerful personalities whom we grown to admire and even love, only then can we honestly examine all that we have come to believe to be true. Or have been told to be true by men whom seem to hold the keys.

    Experience is the cruelest taskmaster and the most unforgiving teacher. But no man can reprove the wisdom gained through it.

    This author does not place videos online nor teach commercially to the civilian public at large, but rather privately to select students, because one does not wish to be obligated to teach random strangers whose character one knows nothing about and they may use what they learn for evil as opposed to good. This has happened in the past and is why exclusiveness is now the rule of the day.

    Peace and good health be with you, my dear readers.

    Hoo-ah 4 Life,

    AnDrew Soldier*


    Here is a book which he has published under the pen-name of "N Cognito". It can be found very cheap if gotten through the publisher at Lulu.com....and I quote the author;

    "I get no profit from its sales since I published it to be sold at the lowest cost possible. I wanted more readers lives to be touched rather than getting wealthy. It's been very successful and has been read by people in Europe, Central America, Canada and the U.S. that I am aware of. You may find it of interest. Many retired cops, federal agents, prison guards, martial artists, military veterans and Combatives instructors have contacted me and given it great reviews.

  • When Hell becomes your home. How I survived 14 years in Prison

  • Also availale at amazon
  • When Hell becomes your home. How I survived 14 years in Prison

    Montreal's Mecca of Martial Arts By Barry Drennan, Founder Fairbairn Protocol H2H

    Back to Blog Table of Contents

  • Posted 13/03/2017
  • "Build it and they will come".

    IN THE HEART OF THE OLD CITY OF SAINT ANNE DE BELLEVUE, A BRILLIANT FLASH OF COLD STEEL AS A JAPANESE KATANA SWORD SLICES THROUGH THE STILL AIR. In another room, the air "cracks" as the whip of a KOREAN ROUNDHOUSE KICK strikes its target. While still in another room, the fighting skills of WORLD WAR TWO COMMANDOS step out of the shadows of history, to live again in the eager hands of new students.

    Within the McGILL CAMPUS, hidden away behind the walls of JOHN ABBOTT COLLEGE, a number of INDEPENDENT MARTIAL ARTISTS quietly ply their ancient trades.

    Little known to most, especially to Montreal’s Martial Art community, MONTREAL’s own JOHN ABBOTT COLLEGE has become A BONAFIDE MECCA OF MARTIAL ARTS.

    Slowly developing over the decade, nestled within in the CASGRAIN SPORTS CENTER alongside a swimming pool, weight room, and aerobic programs, are multiple privately owned and operated, MARTIAL ART CLUBS. ALL OF WHICH ARE OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC

    EACH CLUB HAS BEEN INDIVIDUALLY FOUNDED, and are "owner run" martial art schools, operating alongside each other, but independent of any single overhead owner, governing body, or to the Official John Abbott College Martial Art Programs.

    Lead by their inscrutable leader CHRIS HUNTER, both the private and academic sides of these outstanding facilities are seamlessly coordinated by Casgrain’s more than able administrative team of STEVE and SHAWN.

    AT NO OTHER LOCATION IN CANADA, can such a unique arrangement or opportunity be found.

    Within a shuriken’s throw of each other, you can take your choice of, "IAIDO" the study of Japanese swordsmanship, "DAITO-RYU AIKI JUJUTSU" the study of the Japanese form of Jujutsu, "NINJUTSU", the famous “shadow warriors” of Japan, an art form made famous by the media and Hollywood, or AIKIDO “The way of unifying with life’s energy" made famous by Steven Seagal. You can even study "World Tae Kwan Do Federation" form of Tae Kwan Do, which is an official martial art of the World Olympics

    And if oriental martial arts isn't your thing, there is also a school under the name of "FAIRBAIRN PROTOCOL H2H". This “one of its kind” school teaches an easy 3 step program of PROVEN EFFECTIVE SELF DEFENSE SKILLS drawn from modern day body-guarding and the World War Two Commando skills developed by the legendary William Ewart Fairbairn.

    Collectively, these clubs offer a wide variety of martial art and training options. Every one of these martial art schools is open to and intended for the general public, as well as the members of the John Abbott community. An interested person can now go to one location and select as they wish between several different martial arts. Here every person has the indiscriminate ability to mix and match training as they so feel fit, customizing it to their own needs.With varying martial art classes available throughout the week, separate programs, natures, and styles, JOHN ABBOTT a huge potential for self-directed cross training.

    Add the separate PURCHASE OF A JOHN ABBOTT SORTS CENTER MEMBERSHIP and these martial art courses can easily be woven into a cohesive program including weight room training, aerobics, and swimming. You can even end your workout with a soothing sauna and shower to ease sore muscles and wash away the stresses of the day.

    Clearly, This MECCA offers benefit to all and A UNIQUE ASSET TO THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE.


    AIKIDO: Instructor (to be updated)

    DAITO RYU AIKI JUJUTSU: Instructor Barth Gillain, tel. 514-457-6610 ext: 5373

    IAIDO: Instructor Dean Jolly, tel. 450-455-1162

    NINJUTSU: Instructor Meri Fowler, email meri-fowler@hotmail.com

    TAE KWAN DO (WTF Olympic style): Instructor Steve, tel. 438-398-8515

    FAIRBAIRN PROTOCOL H2H (Self-defense): Instructor Barry Drennan email h2h-instructor@hotmail.com

    Few understand the shock of "Blitzkrieg"!!

    Overwhelming Force by Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Posted 13/03/2017
  • A perception on invisibility.

    Certainly we as animals surviving evolution, understand the basic logic and calculations of violence and risk.

    We inherently understand that one scenario holds the potential for greater danger when compared to another. In like manner, we understand that these differences directly affect the degree of associated risk. If this is true, then we also understand the components that they are comprised of.

    In order to calculate even so roughly these conditions we must be able to formulate some form of scale against which we measure these components. We must possess the ability to estimate our score upon such a scale in order to obtain a conclusion. We also possess the ability to evaluate something else exterior to us, be they man, beast, scenario or circumstance, so that we can compare ourselves against the other. Scenario and circumstance seem like strange components, yet they are absolutely some of the most vital, basic, elements existing.

    If a threat that was normally perceived to be of high degree was visibly modified, then, of course, that normal level of risk must be considered as changed. Deeper evaluation and perhaps active investigation would determine if it associated threat had increased or decreased, and to what degree. Very often the mere fact that it has changed with drive its threat perception to a higher degree, at least until verified as to it actuality.

    In the same manner, we would attempt to ascertain a potential threat’s intention, its physical location in relation to ours, whether or not they were aware of our presence, and whether we offered them any special interest.

    Often we perform this calculation subconsciously, without even realizing it. The cases are hallmarks by gut feelings, even intuition has been offered explanation by way of subconscious awareness, automatic observations, and final summaries.

    There are in fact very few true cowards, although we throw about the title quite liberally. General George Patton said, “A coward is someone who in a bad situation thinks with his feet”. If Patton was correct in this belief, then in turn very few cowards would be found on the attack. And so the presence of cowardliness would be an earlier divider in how we act upon our calculations of violence and risk.

    The next greatest governess of action derived from threat vs risk calculation would be target selection again based on perceived vulnerability and with that base method of attack. This is where the most vital of deductions come to the forefront. The perception of overwhelming force, and in response the calculation of how to achieve overwhelming force.

    A thief who scurries through the streets unseen, who conceals his intentions and abilities, only to accost some well targeted lesser is in strategy and tactics no different than a small unit action that exploits camouflage and stealth, short-term high volume firepower, launched with a highly calculated element of surprise. Nor are these two any different from a combatant who feints non-aggression but suddenly explodes into well-placed violence. All simply employ a specific section and execution of overwhelming force intended to achieve a specific outcome at the lowest risk.

    In objective reality our deductions and thus denouncements of positive or negative natures, actually have more root in a moral and values niche than in a strategic or tactical one.

    If this is true then the greatest component in our consideration of violence and risk must then be the perception, evaluation, and conclusion as the specifically pertain to the presence and possession of an immediate capability of “overwhelming force”.

    Holding Ladders By John McKean, of the American Combatives Association

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  • Posted 16/01/2017
  • Note by Barry Drennan: Here is some heavy advice for those who lift to fight. Once again it is my absolute pleasure to post another article from a prominent member of the American Combatives Association


    Perhaps the fiercest trainee I've ever known, Frank was a 220 pound lean former Marine who lived and loved Olympic weightlifting. In his late 20s, his all-consuming enthusiasm and high energy level was served by never missing a workout; in fact, he joined several gyms around the city to insure nothing would ever thwart or delay the continual 5 times per week quest for more strength. During one particularly brutal session at our old fashioned Ambridge VFW weightlifting “pit,” we witnessed the profusely sweating Jarhead miss a 410 pound Clean and Jerk 11 consecutive times, only to yield a solid success on his 12th attempt! Talk about a “diehard”!

    So it was a sincere surprise when Frank approached me one evening to offer a friendly warning. “John, you better start being cautious with your constant heavy power rack training - that stuff is much more intense than you can possibly imagine!” As a former Jr. National Champion, my friend had been a recruited “member” of the famous York Barbell Club team, and often trained with Bill March and other York stars who produced world records with limited range rack work. Frank had direct access to the then (1960s) carefully formulated and studied procedures of power rack holds, and was a respected intellectual who would seriously scrutinize every aspect of the iron game. Still, of all people, a superstar that killed himself at every workout was convinced that I was overdoing it??!

    Well, perhaps he was right, as I did have to make modifications over time. Yet the rack did provide me the best powerlifting gains of my young life! However, I'm now in “early middle age” (turned 71 yesterday!), so I've learned to be even more careful with intense, short range maneuvers. On the plus side, my current workouts are quick, to the point, and about the only procedure that keeps strength gains going for an experienced Master's-age competitor.

    What I learned during powerlifting in my 20s was that a rack system I termed “1 1/2s” was, far and away, the fastest approach toward huge poundages. Essentially, I'd take a lift, say a squat, with the bar set on a rack pin at parallel or just above, using a poundage that I could barely move 4 inches up to the next restraining pin. I'd grind the lift slowly, then push at the top position for 6 to 8 seconds. Then, and most importantly, I'd lower half way back down (2 inches) and attempt to HOLD in midair for another 6 seconds. In retrospect, how did I live through those workouts?! But, man, were my thighs fried after that second hold!!

    These days, I do it WITHOUT a power rack, and have discovered the means to perform the super productive “half” hold by NOT blowing out my eye sockets nor feeling muscle fibers exploding within their casings, from what seemed like hours(actually 10-12 tortuous seconds!) supporting, over zealous stress, and death defying concentration! It goes like this,...

    Since my focus is on USAWA all-round lifts, I select only two per workout with which I wish to establish records. I work up in maybe 5 singles to an 80-90% lift (starting lighter and building up in cycles for the top end attempt) in the regular fashion. Then I reduce weight to 60-70%, for an approximate ¾ complete lift for my holds. I use for a restraint, instead of a rack pin, one of Stephen Santangelo's “Primal Creations” medium heavy rubber flex bands. These “wonder bands” supply an important restriction to over acceleration during the up phase of the lift (allowing the muscle to be worked through every inch of movement), and plenty of extra resistance for the hold. I call each band my “pocket power rack”!

    Instead of feeling blood pressure rise through the top of my ole chrome dome, I do these holds in smaller increments of time than during the old, crazy days. In what I once wrote as the “countdown method” for an MD article during the 60s, but nowadays called “ladders” by modern trainees, I hold the first set for 4 seconds, take a 10 second break, then lift & restrain for 3 seconds, rest, 2 second iso, then a final 1 second pull & hold. That total of 10 seconds is about as much as Bill March used to do to set world press records (and win a Mr. Universe title!), but is a lot tamer on the central nervous system, and offers continued relief in knowing that each “set” requires less timed agony!

    By the way, the manner to place the flex band over a barbell, and secure its bottom is entirely up to you. Just keep it simple, and quick to administer. For instance, in deadlift types, I just lay the middle of a band over the top of the bar and step on each of the loose ends. When pressing, I'll loop the flex band around a barbell's center,then step into the other end, supporting between my legs (no, it doesn't hurt!),them merely press to forehead and hold -4 seconds,3 seconds, 2 seconds, 1 second. Just don't fuss with this much; a bit of imagination will yield your own unique anchoring system for varying lifts.

    Nor does it matter if the holding weight plus the band is not a top limit, and could possibly be done as a completed pull or push - just HOLD for the time allotments at the ¾ complete position (or less, if you desire to work differing “sticking point” areas). You see, back in the 70s some Eastern European “pullers” discovered that these lengthy holds with less than 100% greatly contributed to increased cleans, snatches, and deadlifts. I had a powerlifting teammate, who started as a bodybuilder and bench presser only, almost double his deadlift with timed holds; he was unbeatable in local meets with his greatly improved total. Even the great Bill March, I learned, in his later power rack work merely did HOLDS (rather than pushes into restraining pins), though with killer weight that he had built up to over time. Also, I wouldn't consider advancing this Ladder-Hold concept without extensive year long testing on myself, supplying me numerous all-round records, even in old “gomerhood” !

    Hey, it's winter now and a great time to experiment - if you desire to hide at home to play with this “Holding Ladders” idea, outside of the view of nosy gym onlookers, you don't even need an expensive power rack! Just get yourself a single flex band, or even use an auto parts store rubber bungee cable for your partial lifts. And unlike the “brain freeze” of old fashioned overlong rack intensity, you'll learn to ENJOY the glowing muscle involvement provided by your reduced timed countdown sets! Remember, 10 seconds of hold at a given position is equal to at least 50 normal reps with near max poundage!

    Self-Defense is Unlike Martial Arts By Barry Drennan, Founder of Fairbairn protocol H2H

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  • Posted 17/08/2016
  • Devoid of spiritual enlightenment, philosophy, and religion it bears a specific direction.

    Driven by the very purpose of its existence self defense differs from every other martial art. By the mere fact that it is intended for actual use against vicious aggressors it differs from others that may be used to defend oneself. As such it is affected by the current perspective focused through the interest, interpretation, and application of law by every government in power from the Federal, down to the Provincially and State, down to your various local County, District, City, Municipal, and Town jurisdictions. Even down to the actions of any specific police officer, judge, and people's jury.

    Subject to the whims of media, citizen inflection, and various current lobby groups these factors are far from consistent, predictable, or reliable. Flipping back and forth. Most often slipping into positions of lesser and lesser support knowing one's right when it comes to self defense can be more of a guessing game than an obtainable state of education. Therefore self defense in itself changes.

    Once upon a time an honest law abiding citizen could legally possess any number of any bullet / shot firing weapon they so desired. In like manner they could possess any manner of edged weapon they chose to have. And with regard to hand to hand combat skills, they were able to train in whatever the thought best. Further they were legally able to store, determine their personal degree of accessibility as they saw fit. This determination was not limited to their place of residence as both open and concealed carry was pretty much legal across the country. In extension the legal parameters under which one could bring any number of combinations of these self defense tool to bear was vastly greater than they exist today.For whatever reason these self defense rights or liberties if you prefer have been eroded away. Eroded in a multitude of ways for a multitude of reasons.

    For the purpose of this article I need not go into the why's, where's, or how's. Understanding that this erosion has occurred is enough in itself.

    Where once a firearm may have played a part in your personal defense preparedness plan legal changes may have made that impractical or impossible. Therefore your plan had to change as well as your training curriculum. So did you potential survivability.

    As all of the elements which affect your personal defense preparedness plan change you must change.

    So in today's world to be realistic regarding self defense one is best off if they are aware of and better yet involved in creating that world which shapes the parameters that they themselves must adhere to. This means that in order to best prepared one needs to remain updated regarding the current laws, their interpretations, applications, ect.. Updated regarding those who and how attempts are being made to get laws introduced or modified. Updated regarding those who are in position to effect these same introductions or modifications and their platforms and positions. And participatory in the processes that put these players into their positions.

    Self defense is effected by technology in similar manner and by current social and economic trends. Even geographical culture makes a difference. Thus one needs to be updated with regard to these as well. Not that we must condemn our life to constant immersion in these affairs but that we simple must remain aware of those that affect our particular plan.

    So, whether it is changing weapons laws or where they are opening the latest halfway house; there are those common issues that affect everyone and all of these such as elections, and high profile lobbying effort, just to start the ball rolling.

    So, to return our starting point,...

    " Self defense is unlike martial arts. Devoid of spiritual enlightenment, philosophy, and religion it bears a specific direction. "

    Therein we find that to be effective at self defense it is self beneficial to be an active member of society. Seeking to understand it. Seeking to better it. Seeking to live within it.

    Introduction: A Pugilist's Tale By John McKean, of the American Combatives Association

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  • Posted 28/04/2016
  • Note by Barry Drennan: It is my absolute pleasure to post this never before published article from a prominent member of the American Combatives group


    An air of exuberance permeated the large gymnasium. A sizeable group of young Marines were excited over the prospects of their initial exposure to the deadly martial art of their forefathers, World War II's once highly classified hand-to-hand combative system. Master instructor John Kary had been secured for the day, raising the usual speculations as to just what manner of hard ass teacher would be leading them through proven close quarter killing techniques.

    During typical banter and nervous chatter, one well-built Marine began dominating the spirited discussions. "Hey," he loudly proclaimed to whoever wished to listed, "what can this dude possibly show ME with those old fashioned field manual tricks? After all. I was a Golden Gloves champion a few years back and I literally lived in the boxing ring as a teen!"

    Soon the spunky 21-year-old gathered an attentive audience, all he needed to goad him on. "Hell. if he asks for a volunteer, let me take a whack at him. The old fart will never even smell my jab let alone block it. Man, nobody can stop a crisp, clean left! That Ju Jitsu crap looks great with some dummy just standing there, but is absolutely bullshit against as real athlete!"

    The Staff Sargent in charge couldn't miss overhearing such a testosterone charged speech. As long time friend of Mr. Kary, he became a bit concerned that his well-conditioned boxer may try to press and advantage over the experienced instructor. If John chose to concentrate more on his verbal presentation than on what was normally an easy going, step by step physical demonstration he find himself in trouble. Meeting John upon his arrival in the parking lot, Sarge relayed all talk and goings on to the amused, yet relaxed Vietnam veteran.

    Shortly thereafter, Kary's entrance to the training hall thoroughly astounded and baffled an anxious crown. Oh, it was not only that he definitely wasn't the huge, fire-breathing monster anticipated, nor even a sinewy, ripped fighter type. Rather, amazement silenced them when witnessing their new combatives mentor slowly limping in while being carefully led by his arm; Mr. Kary is completely blind!

    "Let's get right to it, men!" Kary barked them back to reality. "Today we'll cover many ways to neutralize common street attacks." With tongue in cheek he then playfully queried, "Are there any boxers in the house? Let's look what can be done when encountering common punching offense."

    The young Golden Gloves was starteled for an instant but arose in a shot, eager to display his skills. Strutting to center stage he couldn't help thinking, "Hell, this will be a cakewalk; the old bastard can't even see me!"

    Unfortunately, our brave volunteer couldn't fathom that he'd been set up for imminent defeat. Without realizing it he was himself already under attack. John Kary had put the wheels in motion with his most basic tenet: AMBUSH THE ASSAILANT.

    Standing completely flat footed, arms loosely dangling at his sides, John quietly requested his "guinea pig" to assume an aggressive boxing stance. A narrow, but disguised smirk crept onto the skilled pugilist's lips as his fists automatically raised in a manner performed thousands of times before. his victim, he noted, still had not assumed a protective position.

    CRACK! The young man's left fist slammed hard and crushed flesh, causing a huge red welt to appear immediately. One problem. Amidst a horrific, bone chilling, yell emanating from John Kary, the normally well coordinated boxer suddenly realized that he had, somehow, conked his own noggin.

    Dazed and confused the youth then found himself in HELL, an unimaginable nightmare totally unknown to the ring. for as he attempted a serious unbalanced backpedal, the blind man stuck like hot tar, landing powerful blows so fast as to be literally uncountable.

    Too late he had discovered Jary's horrible secret; the war hardened vet's ATTITUDE was grounded in instant, total destruction of an enemy, a rage fueled by the cruel and unrelenting experience which had taken his eyes in Vietnam. A mere sportsman had no chance against a warrior that had, once beaten death itself.

    When stopped by a gym wall, the young Marine was almost relieved to find himself snared into a lethal chokehold. Suddenly the firestorm was over. Still terrified, the boxer realized had he been a cat all nine of his lives would have been sacrificed during that deadly dance. And how, he wondered, did a sightless person have such total control as to not seriously maim with any one of those incredibly violent shots? For on a reactionary self-inspection to check for missing body parts, the only bruise proved to be a self inflicted mouse under his left eye.

    As John Kary approached to address the group, they were, understandably, silent as a tomb. Some felt a bit sick to their stomachs at such a display of extreme death dealing hostility, others in complete awe over this amazing transformation of a seemingly harmless man into a furious dynamo of destruction.

    Kary calmly explained how an initial "Ax hand" launched below his waist and implemented from a completely neutral, relaxed position was a first strike OFFENSE that arrived as unseen as it was unexpected. "Don't ever wait for an attack," John emphasised. "When you even sense danger, go right to work. In the case of a boxer, knock his threatening fist right in to his own face and never let him recover!" The follow up strikes, insisted Kary, were a small, select repertoire consisting of four open hand blows. Each one, done with serious intent, will kill instantly. Mentioning his demo's closing choke, many Marines felt hair on the back of their necks stand as John coldly stated, You'll rarely get that far; no use wasting time strangling a corpse."

    John continued, "Gentlemen, we must never engage in an aggressive encounter as a contest, forget fair play and any rules - we are fighting for our lives out there. Never, ever, signal your intentions because the first rule of war is to TAKE YOUR ENEMY BY COMPLETE SURPRISE! Hit'em hard, hit'em fast, and hit'em FIRST!"

    The Knife (Practical & Tactical) by Michael Blackgrave, Founder of the SEAMOK method of combat

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  • Posted 24/02/2016
  • An article I penned some time ago... Still highly relevant

    In a vast majority of cultures the knife has remained a prized and necessary tool. As it was in the beginning the knife is still used in various ways, from cooking to utility work, and everything in between. Within these cultures there remains an element of using the knife for more unsavory tasks, i.e. killing! These combat manifested knife methods are imbedded deeply in the folklore and everyday life of the people from whence it came. There are western methods that were forged in the halls of Europe and put to use in the many battles waged there and abroad. The most known methodologies of knife usage for combat comes from the South East Asian Archipelagos, namely the Philippines.

    In the Philippines the indigenous arts for the most part are weapon oriented. The mindset is simple, what one can do with his weaponry he can do with his empty hand. With this mindset intact the teaching process is a simple progression from long weaponry to knife and empty hand. When one learns the weaponry aspects first it transfers comfortably. Empty hand to weaponry does not transfer as fluidly.

    The Filipino fighting arts come in many forms. There is Escrima, also spelled Eskrima depending on region and who you ask. There is also Arnis. It is common to hear the word Arnis in reference to the fighting arts in the northern areas of Luzon. In the Cebu regions one usually hears it referred to as Eskrima. There is also another exponent called Kali. The word Kali in regards to indigenous fighting arts is highly debated. Under these umbrella titles there lies systems, Modern Arnis, Balintawak, Doce Pares, Lightning Scientific and so on. These systems all contain various elements of stick work, both double and single, sword play as well as empty hands. Where these and most of the Filipino arts differ from other cultural combat systems is in the implementation and usage of the knife as it relates to the art of combat.

    Every instructor who teaches the way of the knife will have their preferences. Some will tout very basic movements as truth while others believe that more is more and that flash sells. I have a firm belief that those who advocate flash have never met the business end of a knife. My personal way of teaching the knife is rooted in simplicity. If it doesn't have a natural feel to it I will not put it into my personal hard drive, nor will I teach it to my people. Having survived two altercations where I had to deploy my knife I speak from a bit of experience. In each altercation I went right to my basics that I was taught years ago, hit what is available and make it methodical and straight to the point.

    Many teachers in the bladed arts covet the duel. The duel as most know is a fickle component in the overall makeup of a bladed art. To advocate dueling is to me pure nonsense. This however does not mean that it shouldn't be trained. The reality of the knife is in it's proper usage. The knife is an ambush weapon not a dueling weapon and this aspect should be instilled more so than a one on one duel. The problem seems to be the definition of what an ambush is and the legal ramifications of said action. Most people see the ambush as a skulking act behind ones back, when they least expect it, and it is. It is however something much more. The ambush is also a state of mind that one can manifest when it all goes south. It is the ability to be facing an enemy and in a seconds blink being able to retrieve the blade and put it into optimal use. Within this component lies many features that must be addressed;

    1. mindset

    2. body positioning

    3. the draw

    4. the application

    The first aspect is mindset. In a situation where one is truly up against it the proper mindset must be quickly set into place. We call this in SEAMOK the conjuring of the beast. You know it is coming, you can feel it and smell it, now it is time to get the mind right and prepare for business. This conjuring takes milliseconds to achieve and pays dividends in a vast amount of ways. When one is ready to rock n roll it is quite obvious to any thug that his chosen victim has now become a threat, and thugs prefer victims not threats to their own safety. The mindset of a fighter can truly discourage the most vigorous of tough guys.

    The second aspect in the preparedness game is body positioning. Body positioning is crucial, no one wants to be caught off guard when it all goes south. If you feel it and know it's coming you must shift your body into an advantageous position which in turn will keep your targets off his line and put his on your line. This also leads into a more simplistic drawing of the blade. This act of positioning will vary slightly depending on where your knife is located and whether or not it is a fixed blade or a pocket clipped blade. The same body positioning will also pay dividends no matter the weapon system. It can also be utilized with the empty hand methodologies.

    The draw is our third entity that is perhaps the most crucial. When drawing the knife complete and utter confidence must coincide hand in hand with the first two components. If your mind and body is not properly aligned the draw will turn out to be cumbersome at best, and being cumbersome in crunch time can leave one in a very bad predicament. Drawing your knife should become second nature to each and every practitioner of the knife. It is perhaps one of the least trained areas within the bladed arts, sadly enough. When we look at the various carry options you will find several positions depending on the knife itself and the design. You will have straight blades that are sheathed and carried in numerous places, the lower back, down the leg, on a shoulder rig, stuffed in the waist band etc. With a lock blade the carry positions are regulated mainly to pockets. The key lies in the user. How do you carry? Is it edge forward on draw or is it coming out in the ice-pick or saber grip? These are the questions we have to answer for our self. It is up to each of us to perfect not only our EDC [Every Day Carry] but to also perfect our drawing of the blade as well as the application of the weapon. What I have found in the knife community is far to much application with very little attention paid to the carry and draw, which in my opinion leaves the application a moot point. If one cannot get the weapon out in crunch time the rest is for naught!

    The fourth component is application. Application of the knife has as many flavors as we discussed earlier. The usage of the knife should follow suit with your drawing technique. If the knife is positioned to come out in the ice pick grip your first attack should be in line with the draw or repositioned to a comfortable point for future use if the situation you find yourself in worsens. The same applies with the saber or hammer grip. When the knife is put into high gear in a simplistic fashion you will see the quickest results. The knife once drawn and engaged should flow in a resolute manner with results far over shadowing flash and hype. It will also prove the safest for the wielder.

    Within the application stage comes targeting. Targeting is a key element to any knife application. I am in the camp of hit what is given, that less is more. In this fashion one will stay safer and definitely have less to explain if it ever comes to justifying your actions. The safety factor is crucial. It is a simple mindset that one employs and trains for. In SEAMOK I teach my people the terracing application. It is the act of hitting what is given, staying to the outside of the enemy and working towards the flank. In this way we stay safer by not throwing ourselves into the wheel house of our opponent where anything can and probably will go wrong. If disaster is your game then the inside lie definitely brings doom.

    The flip side to the less is more coin is the overkill continuum. There are those who believe that more is more and that the key in knife combat is to inflict as much damage as humanly possible no matter the consequence. While I understand that this action may have validity in a combat zone one must remember that we all are not members of a military unit or working head long in some dirt hamlet far off in Afghanistan. In America, and I am sure many other countries the carrying and use of a knife in self protection can be a pitted field. The overkill mindset and subsequent action can leave one in a physical, financial and legal mess that can tie you up in the courts and subsequently lead to a lengthy incarceration.

    People need to understand that the investigation of knife usage when used in a combat situation will be a significant piece of evidence either for or against the user no matter if it appears to be an open and closed case of self defense. In the less is more method one can easily explain having to use the blade once or even three or four times to finish the situation, whether that be in maiming or killing. To try and explain your reasoning behind the thirty four cuts of death to a prosecuting attorney and subsequently to a jury and judge of your piers will be a hard task. The experts are all working for the man, i.e. the forensic specialists, the blood splatter experts, the coroners etc. These professionals will be able to determine the exact blow that expired the individual, the time and the method used. With this being said I challenge anyone to validate their use of overkill. It will not be easy explaining why you perforated the enemy 36 times when he had long since expired on puncture three. If your skilled with your blade overkill is simply a waste of energy and time.

    Legalities in any fashion truly suck. We all know this and we all do our best to stay far away from that sector of life. With that being said we as instructors and practitioners of these arts must take a personal responsibility to learn our craft well with practical and tactical methods. We also take on the burden of safety not only for ourselves but for others as well. Having these skills is akin to a loaded gun at your finger tip. We know that our skills can and will destroy life if we let them, or if we need them to. It is our responsibility to pass on the knowledge but to also pass on the wisdom of truth as it pertains to these arts and the consequences that may occur in such a time that your blade has to sing.

    My father told me a long time ago, "Son when that blade comes out someone's life changes forever. Right, wrong or indifferent, someone's life will change." I truly understand my father's words. Whether it is put into use or simply brandished, someone's world is about to turn. Be smart, train hard, think practical, react tactical!

    How the Preditor Mindset Works by Ashtad Rustomji, Technical Director at Quantum Jump Consulting Training Solutions, Owner and Instructor at Street Self Defense

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  • Posted 09/01/2016
  • First things first, A predator doesn't just attack out of the blue, even though the prey feels that way, the fact remains that attacks don't happen out of nowhere. There are signs and precursors to an attack that most fail to identify.

    Commonly referred to as pre-contact cues by many, these are the signs that help you identify a potential threat and take appropriate action(s) to combat and escape the said threat.

    A predator follows a pattern of thought and actions that is ingrained in every predatory species by nature. Humans by nature are predators too. Even though some don't realize it. We have that instinct in us. It just is subsided by the social engineering throughout our childhood and continued well into adulthood.

    Some are virtually impervious to that conditioning or just resist it.

    Some lack the psychological capacity to grasp the conditioning due to biological factors.

    Some train in a way to relinquish that conditioning.

    Some are conditioned and brought up in an anti-social and hostile environment and are the products of their environment.

    Some are more in touch with their violent instincts despite their environment.

    No matter what, there are individuals who are in touch with those predator instincts and when the time comes to act on those instincts they follow a similar pattern to the other predators.

    The predatory pattern is as follows:

    Search: In this phase, the predator looks for an easy target by scanning the environment. They will pick the most vulnerable, most unaware target, with the most value and success rate.

    Identify: The identification phase begins immediately after the search stage is complete. When they acquire their target, they will scan their target and look for openings and weak points of their target. Their body language, etc. This phase is an enhancer to the search phase so they can confirm their target and begin their next phase.

    Stalk: After identifying a target, most predators will follow their prey for a while, now this can be for a few seconds to a few minutes to days, weeks, months and sometimes even a year until they make their move. This depends on the type of target and the predator, for example, kidnapping a high profile target requires a lot of reconnaissance and intelligence, etc. To plan an immaculate kidnapping. On the other hand, mugging someone in an isolated or lightly populated location or snatching a purse from someone in market place or at night when they're going home from work, in those situations, the predator may only follow for a few seconds or a minute before making a move.

    Trap: The next step immediately after stalking is trapping the target, so the prey doesn't escape, until the predator gets what they came for. This will include cutting off the exit, overwhelming the prey with intimidation tactics to induce panic, which will trigger the flight or fight response, including the freeze response, ensuring that the existing routes have been sealed for the prey and if the prey does try to escape, chances would be high, that they would make a fatal mistake.

    Ambush: This next phase isn't next, as it's part of the Trap phase. Ambush is integrated in the trap phase, but for the sake of analyzing the predator mindset, I cut it up and put it in a different section. Ambush is where the predator initiates the attack. It can either be a solo attack or it can be a group. This phase is where the prey is overwhelmed, leaving them almost no time to react. Notice I said, "Almost". Meaning there will be time. Just not enough, if the prey doesn't know what to do or how to do it.

    Attack: Final phase is the attack itself, after the initiation of the attack, classified as an ambush, this phase is also a part of trap and ambush, it consists of the physical assault itself, this phase is where the prey is injured and/or killed if it fails to escape or fight back.

    Aftermath: Is the additional phase that only applies in the human society, this phase involves, psychological trauma, physical trauma, paranoia, depression in the victim that survives. The family will go through psychological trauma and similar other effects if victim doesn't survive. If the victim survives by killing the predator, and is convicted due to certain laws, legal consequences will be added to above mentioned effects.

    Now, am I writing this to scare the living daylights out of you? Maybe… Sometimes you just need a good scare to snap the hell out of whatever fantasy world you're living in and I think this fairly detailed article might do that for some individuals, but here's the thing, even if I wrote it to "scare" you, that doesn't make what I wrote untrue, okay?

    On the contrary, I'm writing this so you can understand the predatory mindset and try to reverse engineer it, to keep yourself safe and be a hard target. Now many will ask, "How to reverse engineer it"?

    Here's how, as an example, take the first phase of a predatory attack, "Search". Now if you fail the predator's test in this phase by not being an easy target, a valuable target, the predator will pass you over for an easier (than you) target. That's it. That's self protection. You prevented the attack from happening in the first place.You won't even need to apply reverse engineering to the other phases, because you won't be there in the first place, you're gone, safe home.

    Of course if you fail to fail the first predator test, there are ways to reverse engineer other phases too, all it takes is the right kind of training. If I start to write an article on that, it will go on for hundreds of pages, as there are virtually countless possibilities and virtually countless methods to reverse engineer them.

    Now mind you, I'm not talking about techniques here, no, I'm talking about strategies of reverse engineering them, not, "How do I put them in a flying armbar"?.

    Here's the thing, if you only understand the principles of violence and the predator mindset, you won't need to know millions of things and train them for another million years, no, you'll just need a handful of effective principles, and in case if things go awry, some physical and psychological methods to keep yourself safe.

    Hopefully, I was clear enough in conveying the message I was trying to send in this article. If not, here's a simple message;

    Train Realistically.

    Well, that's it. Thank you for reading.

    Demilitarization of the Martial Arts by Andrew Soldier

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  • Posted 23/10/2015
  • The contemporary martial arts today as we know them have descended from systems of ancient battle field close combat and military hand to hand combat. Over the centuries, however, they have been modified for civil, legal, or humanitarian reasons with the result being the 'de-militarization' of most contemporary martial art systems as we know them today.

    Some of the original systems still exist, though it is rare, in their original or close to original system of technique and training. For example, Muy Thai Chaiya still exists as the grandfather to the combat sport of Muy Thai Boran (Thai kickboxing). Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu, Chinese Chin Na, and Shui Jiao still exists as the ancestors to the demilitarized Japanese arts of Aikido, Judo and Judo. But also many of the forefather systems that survived until present day have somewhat been modified for civilian self-defense in their application thus making them to a greater or lesser degree "demilitarized".

    What do we mean by 'de-militarized' exactly? When totality of technique and / or intent has been changed from strictly crippling or killing our attackers in combat to that of civilian self defense, which shall have legal ramifications for one's actions, or a combat sporting arena where maiming, crippling, or killing one's opponent is uncalled for. This constitutes de-militarizing the system and art into something other than it's original nature and practice. To do such renders it into something other than it's original military close combat or hand to hand combat purpose and applications. This completely changes 'everything' about the art or system. Which is also why we see, much to their surprise some contemporary martial artists perform less than expected in a real world hand to hand combat or self-defense situation. Because the art to which they've devoted sometimes years of their time, effort, and resources was quite often modified for the sporting arena and is no longer meant for the frantic, lethal, and often overwhelming odds of real world violence.

    I have seen an angry kid on a school yard beat up a tae kwon do black belt simply by means of a pre-emptive, frantic, and highly aggressive flurry of punches. Sometimes speed, surprise, and violence of action is all that is required to prevail. This is why it's propagated so much in military tactical training. Never the less, this does not make this 'flurrying fists of fury' technique a system of reliable hand to hand combat because it served well in that particular instance. Neither does it mean that a sports based, de-militarized, martial art is an effective hand to hand combat / self defense system because a practitioner is able to utilize a strike or throw to deter a single, unarmed, less fit, or undetermined aggressor. Should the average contemporary martial artist find him or herself in many real-world, violent, altercations they would discover they are at some point unequipped by their training for the dynamics of real-world violence which often means facing multiple, usually armed, attackers whom are probably larger and stronger with a high tolerance to pain or physical abuse. This is when a contemporary martial artist becomes disillusioned with all of their training, presuming they survived their attack.

    Today across the globe we often see and think of empty hand fighting as being a 'fist' fight where one or both parties attempt to knock down their opponent or attacker with a closed hand punch, quite often to the head or face. The intent is that punching the chin, temple, jaw, or tempro-mandibular joint with the conditioned fist will result in knock out.

    Well this is very risky to the structural integrity of the hands, even with conditioning, and it's risks outweigh it's reward. Also, this is less effective and usually less lethal than alternative empty hand strikes. Particularly when one is facing multiple and/or armed attackers in a possible life or death situation. Unless one succeeds at being lucky enough to catch every attacker on the chin, solar plexus, or liver with proper impact to knock out every attacker before they take you down, stab, or club you than one might beat at their attackers for what seems like eternity. While succeeding at little more than enraging one's attackers and trying to survive a brawl without self inflicted mechanical injury to one's hands. If one's attackers have knives than it's a matter of trading punches with your fists vs. their knife stabs or slashes. We need not think very hard to imagine who comes out of that alive.

    We have all read stories of martial art black belts or skilled boxers getting stabbed to death. Even trained police officers armed with pistols have succumbed to the grave due to a knife attack from an unskilled aggressor. We've all seen the boxing matches and mixed martial arts' cage fights where two men of equal weight class fight 'one against one' (unarmed) and they beat each other's heads in for what can sometimes seem like eternity without signs of either being deterred by the abuse.

    Now imagine if it were one man against four (or more) in that ring, or cage, and now we can imagine that even with all of his training he'd be in trouble if he relied upon using his fists, legs, and feet as percussion weapons to beat his attackers into submission. Or even more foolishly if he tried to go to the ground to grapple multiple attackers in the cage or ring. Now imagine if one of these men is armed with a dagger, knife, or machete! Would boxing with the fists and/or kicking with the legs be most effective in any of those proposed situations against larger and stronger multiple attackers?

    Centuries ago when the old martial arts were predominately military combat systems none of the martial arts utilized closed hand, bare knuckle, striking to the hard bony targets of the head and facial targets. First of all in a frantic combat situation, perhaps against armed enemies, the chin is a hard target to catch every time and to miss would leave one's enemy still able to harm or kill. One had to take down their enemy quickly, decisively, and with minimal risk of mechanical injury to one's much needed hands.

    We have all seen fights, professional or amateur, where a man can take a great deal of pummeling to the face and head while still continuing to attack or counter attack. And many of us have seen a strong man accidentally catch a finger poke to the eye during a basket ball game and it has an immediate effect upon his ability to continue or do 'anything'. The reaction is immediate and dramatic, as opposed to the reaction of getting clocked in the face or head with a fist. Although some exceptions do exist the finger jab is more efficient and effective.

    Some of us have also seen the swift effects of how an open palm slap to the ear drum can cause a man to react very dramatically. Or the effect of an open hand or wrist strike to the neck nerve plexi, or even the throat, when compared to a punch to the face. And most will agree that at close range a sharp elbow can deliver more devastating power and damage than a fist with very little risk of mechanical injury to one's self. This is still utilized in the Filipino, Malaysian, Thai, and Cambodian combat arts quite extensively. Also we see it adapted to the recent Keysi fighting method being propagated as a self defense system. The elbow is both a defensive and offensive weapon capable of much destruction in unarmed combat and much stronger than the metacarpals within the hand.

    If one examines the ancient art of Okinawan Toudi, the forefather of what was later de-militarized and renamed as Kara te do by the Japanese, one would see that no fist strikes were ever directed towards the human head or face. Open hand and forearm/wrist strikes were delivered to targets above the shoulders while fists were delivered to the softer targets of the torso. Finger jabs to the eyes were meant to set up more powerful strikes while distracting and maiming. Open palms to ear drums or heel-palms delivered to chin, tmj, steno-mastoid or nose bridge were meant to discombobulate or possible knock out an enemy. The forearm bone strikes could snap necks or create knockout. The knife hand chop to neck would cause knockout. Open ridge hand or knife hand chop to the hyoid bone meant death. Elbow strikes to chin, temple, TMJ, or steno-mastoid would create knock out. The fists were conditioned to break ribs and dig deep into the torso targets rupturing internal organs and causing either a knock out or death.

    If one closely examines the old katas of Okinawan Kara Te with an open mind one can see the true intentions of the strikes and movements. They have been hidden and the Bunkai perverted by the old masters for various reasons. Often the true Bunkai was revealed to only the most trusted student and heir to the master's art while the de-militarized form was taught to all of the other students. And then these students went on to open their own schools and so on & on until the world is full of 'masters' of de-militarized arts.

    Also, it has happened that because of government decree or for civil laws a master was forbidden to teach the true art and so was forced to de-militarize it (making it less lethal and less effective for real world combat) in order to continue to teach. This is why the old masters use to say that all of the secrets reside in the forms or the katas. They have been hidden there and that is why the old masters placed such high value upon these forms and katas. They were the keys to unlocking the true purpose and application of the arts.

    The very little of traditional Hawaiian Lua martial art that exist today incorporates open hand strikes to vital targets above the torso and closed hand strikes below the neck with heavy emphasis upon grappling, redirection of force, and attacking joints & nerves. Much like old style Japanese Jujitsu practiced by the samurai as their hand to hand combat system designed for the battlefield where they were fighting armored and armed enemy in a life or death struggle.

    In original Japanese Jujitsu all strikes were delivered to eyes, throat, neck, ears, and limbs for destruction on the battle field. Off the battle field, where opponents were not wearing armor over their torso targets, the samurai utilized punches and kicks to the vital torso targets to disable or knock out an individual they were arresting. But never did they use fists against the hard bony facial targets or head for to do so would mean possible mechanical injury thereby preventing them from properly utilizing their weapons in the future. A samurai whom lost his ability to grip would then be less combat effective and thereby unemployed.

    If we compare the history of modern sport boxing, as well as ancient Greek Olympic sport boxing, and even the American colonial blood sport of Fisticuffs with the ancient European empty hand self defense art of Fist y Cuffs we can see the evolution from a very efficient, effective, martial art into a self destructive blood sport for competition and entertainment.

    In the original martial art of Fist y Cuffs the practitioner operated much like modern day boxers in evasive movement, blocking, parrying, etc. with the strikes being open handed 'cuffs' to the hard head targets and 'fists' to the softer torso targets.

    The jab was utilized as fingers to the eyes followed by palm strikes (cuffs) to the ear drums or chin to discombobulate or possibly knock out an attacker or enemy. Once the finger jab and cuffs were used to close distance and distract or injure an attacker then the hard fist would be delivered to the soft targets of the torso, such as the liver sack, solar plexus, kidneys, ribs, and testes. This was more efficient and effective than the de-militarized blood sport, but left permanent injuries to the eyes and eardrums thus often maiming the defeated.

    So for the sake of 'sport' the closed hand was adopted to strike both facial and torso targets, which resulted in less maiming injuries to the receiver but more mechanical injuries to the hands of the striker. So in the ancient Greek Olympic boxing matches they wrapped their hands similar to how they do today in boxing sports over the world. The colonial American fisticuffs matches did not utilize hand wraps because the spectators and gamblers wanted to see more blood and superficial damage caused by the hardened bare knuckles of the fighters. It satisfied their blood lust while extending the length of the fight between two men. This made it very common for professional fisticuffs brawlers to develop very badly damaged hands leaving them almost useless in working a skilled trade. Many were left seriously handicapped after retiring from the fight game and unable to work.

    As opposed to bare knuckle fisticuffs boxing for sport, where the fight was meant to last as long as possible for the entertainment of the gambling crowds of spectators, the original self defense art of Fist y Cuffs' purpose was to end a fight as quickly as possible with as little self inflicted injury as possible. In fact this was and is the goal of all hand to hand combat arts.

    De-militarizing the martial arts almost always came about for the purpose of modifying the combat arts for 'sport' or to modify them within the parameters of civilian self defense laws. This often happens after a society leaves it's feudal period and enters into its age of enlightenment and considers itself to be a more 'civilized' society of law and order.

    It is understandable that the arts would either have to be outlawed and become entirely extinct or that they would have to be de-militarized in order to still exist in some form lest they be lost completely forever. However in doing so we give up knowledge of great importance in order to maintain a similitude of knowledge. And we have in essence defanged the snake.

    For example, all of the open ridge hand strikes to the hyoid bone became closed fist punches to the chin. The finishing technique of an open hand chop to the throat became a hammer fist to the nose bridge. The open left hand finger jab became the closed fist left jab punch. The open palm cuff to rupture the eardrum became a cross punch. We could go on but this is not meant to be an instructional manual but rather an informative dissertation.

    The great tragedy is that so many today invest so much time, energy, and money into building up false expectations or developing habits that may not save their life in a real-world violent situation against armed, often multiple, attackers of superior strength. And if experience is the best teacher, quite often the bad guys are very experienced in violence. In the urban areas gangsters and thugs grow up on street violence and fighting until they go to prison and get equivalent to a master's degree in crime, violence, and hand to hand combat facing multiple (often armed) attackers.

    In the military we have a saying, 'Train how we fight'. That applies to all training and nowhere else more so than self defense. Israeli Commando Krav Maga and Kapap actually do this and they have revolutionized martial art/ hand to hand combat by going back to what 'all' martial arts once were in application of technique. Particularly in striking and hand defense techniques. But there are many other 'civilian' Krav Maga schools teaching a de-militarized form believed to be modified for civilian parameters. If you train to always attack the eyes and throat than you may accidentally find yourself in prison for manslaughter charges as opposed to if you train yourself to 'punch' at your attacker's facial targets with fists. You may break and seriously injure your hands or catch a simple assault charge (maybe aggravated assault) but you're less likely to face manslaughter or second degree murder charges.

    Also as an instructor teaching commercialized martial art one must always consider how the training will be used and the character of the individuals whom this training may fall into the hands of, so it's wise to not teach the true military applications of any martial art indiscriminately.

    When one is teaching commercially it's a lot more difficult to assess the character of each and every single student. This is why traditional martial arts masters had an outer circle of students, an inner circle, and a close circle before they finally got down to the one single student whom earned the teacher's deepest trust and confidence. That one student would be given the keys to the true art and applications as the master's legacy. Individuals with this knowledge are a dying breed today and most often do not teach commercially.

    Much debate today within the martial arts community is about MMA verses TMA. Well, in truth they are not really talking about traditional martial arts because almost all of what we refer to as traditional martial arts is still 'de-militarized' martial arts. And MMA is merely the mixing of these de-militarized contemporary martial arts. In the sporting arena it's better to be cross trained in a variety of de-militarized martial arts as opposed to only one that focuses more heavily upon a single set of skills. However, once you leave the sporting arena the MMA practitioner fares little better than the TMA practitioner in real-world violence against multiple, possibly armed, experienced attackers.

    To give my readers a real life example I encourage you to view the video episode of Human Weapon Military Hand To Hand Combat: Israeli Krav Maga. (It's on YouTube) It's not my purpose to promote Israeli martial arts over all others. In fact a few schools of Silat, Kali, Okinawan Kara Te Jitsu, Gung fu, Jujitsu, Aiki Jujutsu, and others still teach efficient, effective, and prudent application of technique for real-world combat. But this particular episode of Human Weapon demonstrates a situation where a champion MMA fighter and a pro NFL football player trained in wrestling and karate are attacked by a single (not multiple) attacker, in a real world scenario with full contact protective gear, and the result are quite sobering for the both of them. They discover that although they are great ring fighters and athletes they don't know anything about self defense.

    If you train in TMA or MMA for sport, exercise, and stress relief than you're not missing out on anything and I encourage you to continue. But if you train in these arts with the belief that you're preparing for real-world violence and are training in the same art that the ancient warriors of long ago executed upon the battlefield to survive frantic, lethal, close combat, against multiple and armed attackers than I hope that this has given you much to consider. If it wasn't successful on the battlefield they wouldn't have trained in it but what has happened to that knowledge over the centuries of de-militarization and cultural revolutions has often left behind only a vague expression of the true combat applications.

    Many modern day 'masters' would disagree with much of this because they have too much ego invested into their de-militarized and often commercialized martial art. Again all arts can be useful in a fight, just as playing basket ball regularly will increase ones fitness level and give a distinct advantage over a non-fit attacker in a fight. But to claim that many of the arts are being taught in the last century just as they were trained for and applied originally for real-world combat would be a prevarication. This is the reason why traditional martial arts has lost much of it's respect and on the other end of the spectrum why so many black belts report disillusionment after encountering much experience with the realities of combat in the streets, military, prison, or wherever else.

    If you train for tournaments, point fighting, brawling, or de-militarized civil defense than you weaken the integrity of an art and change it's effectiveness for real-world combat defense.

    Self-defense is Unlike Martial Arts By Barry Drennan, Founder of the Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Self Defense is unlike Martial Arts
  • Posted 12/09/2015
  • Devoid of spiritual enlightenment, philosophy, and religion it bears a specific direction.

    Driven by the very purpose of its existence self defense differs from every other martial art. By the mere fact that it is intended for actual use against vicious aggressors it differs from others that may be used to defend oneself.

    As such it is effected by the current perspective focused through the interest, interpretation, and application of law by every government in power from the Federal, down to the Provincially and State, down to your various local County, District, City, Municipal, and Town jurisdictions. Even down to the actions of any specific police officer, judge, and people's jury.

    Subject to the whims of media, citizen inflection, and various current lobby groups these factors are far from consistent, predictable, or reliable.

    Flipping back and forth. Most often slipping into positions of lesser and lesser support knowing one's right when it comes to self defense can be more of a guessing game than an obtainable state of education.

    Therefore self defense in itself changes.

    Once upon a time an honest law abiding citizen could legally possess any number of any bullet / shot firing weapon they so desired. In like manner they could possess any manner of edged weapon they chose to have. And with regard to hand to hand combat skills, they were able to train in whatever the thought best.

    Further they were legally able to store, determine their personal degree of accessibility as they saw fit. This determination was not limited to their place of residence as both open and concealed carry was pretty much legal across the country.

    In extension the legal parameters under which one could bring any number of combinations of these self defense tool to bear was vastly greater than they exist today.

    For whatever reason these self defense rights or liberties if you prefer have been eroded away. Eroded in a multitude of ways for a multitude of reasons.

    For the purpose of this article I need not go into the why's, where's, or how's. Understanding that this erosion has occurred is enough in itself.

    Where once a firearm may have played a part in your personal defense preparedness plan legal changes may have made that impractical or impossible. Therefore your plan had to change as well as your training curriculum. So did you potential survivability.

    As all of the elements which affect your personal defense preparedness plan change you must change.

    So in today's world to be realistic regarding self defense one is best off if they are aware of and better yet involved in creating that world which shapes the parameters that they themselves must adhere to.

    This means that in order to best prepared one needs to remain updated regarding the current laws, their interpretations, applications, ect.. Updated regarding those who and how attempts are being made to get laws introduced or modified. Updated regarding those who are in position to effect these same introductions or modifications and their platforms and positions. And participatory in the processes that put these players into their positions.

    Self defense is effected by technology in similar manner and by current social and economic trends. Even geographical culture makes a difference. Thus one needs to be updated with regard to these as well.

    Not that we must condemn our life to constant immersion in these affairs but that we simple must remain aware of those that effect out particular plan.

    So whether it is changing weapons laws or where they are opening the latest halfway house; there are those common issues that affect everyone and all of these such as elections, and high profile lobbying effort, just to start the ball rolling.

    So to return our starting point,...

    " Self defense is unlike martial arts. Devoid of spiritual enlightenment, philosophy, and religion it bears a specific direction. "

    Therein we find that to be effective at self defense it is self beneficial to be an active member of society. Seeking to understand it. Seeking to better it. Seeking to live within it.

    Combat Dating By Barry Drennan, Founder of the Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Combat Dating
  • Posted 16/08/2015
  • For people asking about how to date Combat Dating is important for three main reasons.

    The first is that rape (sexual assault) is the fastest growing crime in Canada and many other first world supposedly civilized countries.

    Second that date rape is huge portion of the total rapes committed every year.

    The third is that everyone, at some point, in their lives engages in dating.

    To focus this discussion effectively, we will start from the fact that eighty percent of the all rapes are committed against women. Therefore I will address this conversation as if it was intended for women. However much of this will or can be applicable to anyone in the dating game.

    The very first thing a dating person must do in order to effectively protect themselves is to accept reality. Dating by its very nature has an element of risk, danger, and threat of injury to mind and body.

    If for whatever reason you are unable to accept this fact, and thus unable come to grips with it, then by default you are unable date safely. It is that simple.

    Guess what? We have just lost more than half of our readers. It is an unfortunate fact that human nature supported by our society reinforces our tendency to discount, downplay, and deny anything that so much as hints at a valid understanding of the violence present in the human condition and by extension, our society.

    So here's the rules;

    Never go out to meet people alone. Always have a friend with you.

    Always remember that arrogance, aggressiveness, and assholes, all look like confidence. Never confuse them.

    Always order your own beverage. Always order your beverage to your table, or go and get it yourself. Never leave your beverage alone or accept a one when you can't validate its safety. Date-rape drugs come in a variety of types and are easily obtainable. A sad note on reality is that it is relatively easy to extract a drugged person from a location without conflict. With the exception of friends, the common tendency is to look the other way and not to effectively intervene.

    Never, for any reason, give anyone your contact information or address. Always ask them to give you theirs. You can call them. If they continue to press for your contact info at the first opportunity leave the bar. Discreetly is always the best way to leave a potential problem behind.

    Never leave a bar with someone you don't know even if it is just to go into the parking lot, e.g. outside for a cigarette. Always bring a friend or decline the offer. Once outside your risk escalates exponentially. Equally so for your chance of protection e.g. witnesses or interveners evaporates.

    If you do leave the bar, with someone you do know, make certain that someone you can trust knows you are doing so, where you are going, and with who. Be sure that at any time, you can always contact a trusted person, and that they can contact you.

    Always let a trusted person know that you are going on a date. Use code words and prearranged contacts to enhance your safety and provide an exit from the date, if needed.

    Always make dates of various time lengths. Begin by making short meetings such as a lunch, brunch, coffee, or an desert shop. Dates do not need to be of long duration, nor at private locations. Restaurant terraces', corner tables, and booths offer all the privacy required. Understand that normal dating does not require that you be alone and away from other people, for extended time periods.

    Always control your own transportation. This allows you to control how and when you come and go.

    Always determine the date, time, and location of a date. This makes it very difficult for a person to set you up. If they are unable to meet your offer of date, time, and location, decline any counter offer with a follow up offer of another opportunity where you will again contact them.

    Always make dates on random days. This interferes with their scheduling and allows you a tool to determine whether you are one of many dates or potentially someone of true interest. It someone is interested they will want to see you. Therefore they will be willing to make adjustments to their schedule to see you, even if it is just to meet you for a coffee etc.

    Lastly always exercise awareness and patience, loneliness can be the source of self deception.

    Always remember if your potential Mister Right is truly interested they will be understanding and willing to work with you. Employing these methods will provide you a sound foundation on which to be easy to get along with, open, polite, and friendly. However should Mister Right have a problem with your methods, then you should really avoid that person for many reasons. The minimum of these reasons being control issues.


    Evaluating Your Opponent By Barry Drennan, Founder of the Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Evaluating your Opponent
  • Posted 28/06/2015
  • Evaluating your opponent is for competition. In my opinion it has little if any value in the street.

    After 37 years of formal training and probably another 6 or 7 years of informal training prior to that. And considering there was a fair amount of cross training so to speak during those 37 years; I can truly say that I can't tell a fighter from a non-fighter by just first glance looking at them. Same for skilled versus non-skilled, vicious versus non-vicious, or any other x versus non-x comparison one would wish to put forward.

    I have seen book reading, spectacled, introverts hammer the living snot out of tough guy big space type of guys. I have seen boxer come into a club who walking like monkeys and then literally dance in the ring. I have seen tough guys shut up and stay sitting down and guys who you would never suspect talk up, stand up, and put a problem down to rest. None of them I would have been able to pre-judge.

    Nowadays with everyone dressing up to look like a gangster, biker, or tough-nut looks mean even less. Beards, mustaches, long hair or bald, tattoos from here to up to the ying-yang may have at one time meant something, but they sure don't anymore.

    Loud mouths can back down or take a beaten, and guys who say nothing, and I mean zero, nothing, can stand up and go physical step one. Poor kids used to fight more than rich kids and that too is no longer even remotely true. Although I think you can still find a fight quicker in a country and western bar than in a dance club you can't tell which patron will be the one.

    Stop a group of hard looking bikers and three are accountants, one's a lawyer, and the other two are business owners. Looks don't mean crap when push goes to violence.

    The other side of this statement lies in the reality of the violent encounter. When things go bad it doesn't really matter who or what the assailant is, or what their capabilities or experiences are. Why ? Because as I said you're currently in the fight with them. They are either going to beat the crap out of you or you are going to beat the crap out of them. One will stand and one will fall. It's that simple.

    So,... wasting time on evaluating is stupid. Your time is best spent on getting ready or if you're already in it; getting it done. A.S.A. fricken P.!!

    As so it stands the same with regard to skills, ect. It does one best to worry about what they are doing to the assailant, in order to put him out of commission than evaluating what the assailant may do to you.

    Non-competition evaluation has roots in the modern versions of many martial arts, and thus in their mind frames. These versions are more often than not taught with a defensive spin.

    look in his eyes evaluate, Step back evaluate, take a stance evaluate, evaluate deter to verbally disarm, evaluate block then counter, are often heavily used keywords found in these same sources. Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate; as opposed to attack, attack, attack.

    The major problem with this is that evaluate usually means don't act, which quickly translates to giving your assailant time to think and execute. In real violence that means handing the edge to your opponent. And that is never good.

    Eyes Wide Shut By Barry Drennan, Founder of the Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Eyes Wide Shut
  • Posted 25/05/2015
  • Calculations from recent Statistics Canada data places your odds of being the victim of a property crime at 1:29. The same places your odds of being the victim of a violent criminal crime at 1:90 (robberies excluded).

    Impressive odds when the same data source places your odds of being killed or injured in an automobile collision at little less than twice as likely at 1:149. But do not worry, we can represent that figure in with a more comforting twist. How is this; if you live in an urban area your odds of being killed or injured in an automobile collision jumps to 1:50 making it slightly more likely than being the victim of a violent criminal crime.

    In terms of reality and equivalency, your odds of being killed or injured in an automobile collision are about halfway between the odds of being the victim of a property crime and the odds of being the victim of a violent criminal crime. This amazing when considering we have a whopping 24,629,633 licensed drivers on the road.

    So at 1:90 you have better odds of being the victim of a violent criminal crime than being killed or injured in an automobile collision 1:149. Yet in consistent response to mitigate the personal risk of an automobile accident we all purchase third party person liability auto insurance. Because of the threat protection it offers to our financial lives. Financial lives the physical threat we and society has deemed the concern of our personal driving skills. And thus so, many new drivers are legally obliged take mandatory driving courses.

    In addition there are major industry and governmental concerns pressuring you to purchase (*possession of securities is not enough, your protection must be purchased) some substantial form of personal protection, thus protecting you and others financially and physically. In some provinces it is mandatory by law to purchase such personal protection. Further it must be firmly in place at all times with zero ability to opt out. It would seem to be a valid question as to whether these authorative emphasis on personal protective capabilities was being focused on the right issue.

    Perhaps they would be better off with some focus on personal protection capabilities, such as those against violent crime!? At least this is what statistics would support. quot&Outlandishquot&! Some would denounce this as outlandish thinking. They would scream that such protections are already in place; enforced by the rule of law, and enacted by the presence of our official police bodies. They would ecstatically declare that our streets are safe. However unfortunate, the statistical data yet again does not support this reproach.

    In Canada and in the United States of America, the ratio of police officers to population has increased resulting in more boots on the ground per capita. Yet all the while the ratio of crimes committed to the number police officers has increased proportionately and equally, unaffected by this strategy of increased number of officers per capita. Now with even with more officers on active duty respectively, statistics show that a super fast North American police response times cannot be faster than 4 to 6 minutes. Slow police responses such as Detroit can reach as high as 48 minutes. While violent crime in comparison is over and done in less than two to three minutes.

    In further clarification of the issue, statistics show that weapons are used in a minority of violent crimes not the majority. This should further tilt the official focus toward from the avocation of maintaining some form of self protection. For example only 1 in 5 rapes are carried out with a weapon being involved. A little over half of all robberies involved weapons use. Only 13% of all violent crimes as a combined group, involved the use of a handgun. There is clearly reason to advocate a personal self protection capability.

    Review this data wholly and objectively, and one would think that the government and police organizations should be heavily advocating that the public familiarize themselves with the basic skills of self defense. If perhaps not instead of an auto insurance emphasis, then at least as to the same degree. Yet to the country, the state or province, to the city, town or municipality; they don't. In apparent denial or worst intentional neglect, these official guardians of our welfare remain year after year, policy after policy, silent.

    Recent separate studies conducted by the United States Department of Justice, and by the University of Oregon Sociology Department, have both proven that a personal ability to perform self defense works as an efficient effective response / deterrent to violent crime in our personal lives. Yet the governments, police organizations, and watchdogs don't advocate it, or at least announce such findings.

    Instead they remain silent.

    In other cases they directly advocate non-protection in such directions as acquiring real self protection.

    It is clear, that danger to our health and welfare is clear and present in many forms.

    Just to impress how subtlety crime and risk skulks into our lives, here is an example from the Adobe Reader's Personal Computer Software License Agreement, Article 7.3 Local Storage active as late as 2015. It reads exactly as follows; quot&Flash Player and Adobe AIR may allow third parties to store certain information on your Computer in a local data file known as a local shared objectquot&.

    Third parties?!! Unnamed third parties? Storing what? Well the answer is stated right there! quot&Certain informationquot&. What , who, how, these are huge open windows in this legally binding documentation. This legally binding terminology cannot get more vague.

    In today's world of computer based crime. Repeater site sources are commonly used to support outright criminal activity. Activities such as identification theft, and even worse as in case of child pornography, where product is bounced globally through hundreds of such invisible servers allowing them to bury the location of the original source.

    You would think the government and police organizations not to mention the watch-dog organizations would be all over such quot&legal agreementsquot& that legally and willfully invite if not directly support such activates. Will legal organizations be equally liberal with legislation when kiddy porn is found resident on your office or home computer?

    It is a known fact that collections of your personal data are used directly by insurance companies to calculate and then extract the highest amount of money that they can from you in terms of your annual fees. Even though this type of quot&Price Optimizationquot& practices are illegal; government and police organizations are apparently unable to stop these supposedly above board major corporations from doing so. Apparently they are also unable to inform the public general in an official manner that these practices are being used and when possible by which corporation.

    Worse, if it came to be that our governments, police organizations, and watchdogs, decided to issue an authorative official directive regarding the attainment of self protection against all, or at least some, of these multifaceted and diversified proven threats. There would immediately outcry from a horde of lobbyists, lawyers, and other quot&concerned partiesquot&, beating down the doors of reason in order to limit, detune, and derail such an attempt.

    So here you are, an offer of low hanging fruit, as they say. Here is step one. Perhaps as the forerunner of many.

    Our citizenry must be preventative in nature and habit, observant and aware in their daily function, and dutiful support of their reporting of occurrences ect. which offer a suspicious nature. In addition we need to respect and support of the preventative value neighborhood watch programs in all neighbourhoods. And finally we need to make basic self defense courses readily available in schools, fitness centers, and community social centers.

    Then as community we would begin to have the tools to give crime a bad day.


    Design your own Self-Defense Program By Barry Drennan, Founder of the Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Design your own Self-Defense Program
  • Posted 20/04/2015
  • The lies!

    It can be said that Method A versus Method B is the best self defense, and that would be a lie. It could be said that Method C is better than Method D because it can be used everywhere and anywhere, and that would be a lie if the recipient required specialized mission specific skills. In like manner it could be said that Method E is superior to Method F due to it being very quick to learn, and again this would be a lie is the recipient has a great amount of time during which they may acquire their necessary skills.

    These type of trade-off comparisons can go on forever, as personal variables, individual needs, specific utilizations are also infinite by the very nature of being individual specific.

    A self-defense focused woman who turns to Brazilian Ju-Juitsu with the intention of gaining expertise needs to understand that she will come face to face with several realities.

    Brazilian Ju-Juitsu in its current form can be a formidable method of self defense, this is of no doubt. Anyone whole-scale contesting this point would be a liar.

    However here intervenes the complications of individual specific need.

    To remain neutral and objective I quote the Jiujitsu Brotherhood Organization, "The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Belt System is a far stricter than in most other martial arts. It can take upwards of 10 years to achieve the black belt". Some will debate this and that's fine. Brazilian Ju-Juitsu is very heavily ground focused therefore fantastic for her ground game but extremely poor in its attention to threat detection, deterrence, and de-escalation. Deficits will also likely exist in the attention dedicated to understanding predator/victim mindset. This ground game focus will also become detrimental if not taught with the understanding of multiple opponents, weapons, and environment. A ground game is terrible when performed in a foot of water. Other contingents such as a competitive mindset leading to the use of fair play, not mutilating non-lethal applications of technique can equally debilitating in the arena of reality self-defense. The United States Army has discovered this in theater and has since moved to modify its Combatives program to address these discrepancies.

    By no means do I disrespect Brazilian Ju-Juitsu. Nor do I wish it discount its viability as being street-worthy in its own right. But it have very clear limitations. Limitations that can get you outright killed or worse.

    Well guess what?!

    There is an extreme few who are not in some way subject to debilitating limitations when placed on the scales of individual specific need!

    So what do you do?

    First understand that that almost anything you see in the media is misrepresented, falsified for grander and spectacle.

    Once you have recognized that now come to grips with the fact that a surprisingly large percentage of schools, dojos, ect, will outright lie to you, misrepresent facts, or avoid specific information when it come to hooking you in as a student.

    Now you with clearer vision you are ready o analyse your individual specific needs. Prepare unless you truthfully reflect upon your own self, your abilities in body and mind, your actual threat environment, and then become familiar with the specific crime ratios and stats of your area of concern within your geographical location, you will probably misjudge your individual specific training needs.

    Ok now you got your starting point clear and solid in your mind. What's next?

    Research. Research the methods that address your needs. Library, internet, Youtube, blogs by authorities, self defense magazines. All of these will expose you to potential sources. They will also exhibit them to you for your evaluation. Most importantly they will help you create a list of potential methods and another list of where to find those methods taught in your area.

    Now test the fire. Go from school to school with your list of pre-prepare questions. Prep-prepared so that you remain concise and consistent. This way you don't forget any questions, and it's easy to cross reference the answers you collect. Cross off any that will not answers clearly or will not allow you to try or at least watch a class. Next watch or try a class at every place that interested you.

    Designing your own program is the next step. Don't worry it is EASY!

    It may be as easy as choosing one specific school. Or you may choose to train a little bit at various schools. Keep in mind that it is very often said that three months of any method can give you an understanding of their basic easiest to use methods. The length of time you would dedicate to all or any training will of course be part of your program design. Everything can be adjusted as you go, or as you feel.

    Here; Not so much as a specific suggestion but more as a workable example;...

    You may take a specific self defense course to get the awareness, detection/deterrence and predator mindset, and adrenaline portion. Then you might take a basic boxing course to gain a basic feel for combat and being hit, this can be combined with a little Judo for basic body balance and throws. You might then finish up with a some ground work in basic Ju-Juitsu.

    At the end of the day these approach will provide you the best training that you need.

    By Barry Drennan, Founder of the Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Specialized Self Defense
  • Posted 23/03/2015
  • One of the things that we see in the self-defense world is self defense and specialized self defense courses. This is probably the most misdirected area in all of self defense. An example of a misdirection is Women's Self Defense.

    Self-defense by the very nature of its name means full spectrum defending oneself. It doesn't mean defending oneself "if"...

    So by this basic understanding, and with zero allowance for the criteria of "if", then the basic initial starting point of self defense is a method defending oneself, any oneself, against anybody, anywhere. So then, basic, ground level, self defense must provide instruction in techniques usable by all males and all females, all children and all adults, elderly as well, whether armed or unarmed, performable on even or uneven ground, or on ice, or in water, even underwater, in any form of attire from summer clothes to winter parkas.

    This is basic self defense as opposed to providing instruction in a limited quantity of techniques.

    By the very rule of universal application the number of skills will be limited. However a course that teaches, let us say, only four techniques that meet everyone of the above requirements; is not the same as a course that teaches three techniques that meet everyone the above criteria and a fourth which can only be performed under certain qualifiers. An example of such a movement would be a round house kick, which is very dangerous to use on ice, and impossible underwater.

    A curriculum that encompasses and addresses each of these fore stated criteria is probably a very respectable self defense course.

    The moment you start to restrict technique, exclude criteria, or add a method or technique that is not performable by a given group, or under a given criteria, or whose applicability applies only to certain specifics such as mission or environment, then again you have moved towards the arena of specialized self defense.

    Under this interpretation there is equal question with regard to the intent of the threat. If we think in terms of underlying basics we can say that there are three fundamentals to physical combat; Balance mental and physical, Momentum mental and physical, and Maximum Force. And three principles; Striking, Constriction and Full Body Impact. Each of these six items can be used separately or in conjunction with others. Having said this regardless of the assailant's intention they must perform some method of these fundamentals and principles if they wish to force their intention.

    Self defense by its nature, then must accordingly defend against these fundamentals and principles if one wishes to defend against the assailant's wishes. It matter not whether he wants to rape , rob, assault, or kill. The condition remains the same. Therefore self defense remains the same.

    If we again perform modification as we did previously then in the same manner we again move to the world of specialized self-defense.

    So specialized self-defense my its nature of being specialized is not intended to address full spectrum self-defense situations.

    This is an important understanding. Police forces by on large do not study self defense. This is a clear misnomer. They study specialized self-defense for the purpose of restraint and control. This example is of extreme importance. If a police organization is under the impression that their officers are prepared for being attacked by multiple, even single person assaults while alone because they has been provided a Control and Restraint course under the title of a Self Defense course they are greatly mistaken.

    It is for this reason some Police forces reinforce their Control and Restraint training with supplemental courses such as Combatives, or Knife fighting, to mention a few of the many available. In the same manner it is important for the average citizen understand this in order to understand what type of training they are getting since everything is being called self defense.

    Because through this lens there are very few martial arts that are self defence. Almost all are a form of specialized self-defense. The question then is "Does the martial art, or defense training, that you are undertaking effectively address the specific criteria that you personally require"?

    The Three Recollections By Barry Drennan, Founder of the Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Posted 15/03/2015
  • Recently I had three pleasant recollections. Each in their own way demonstrates the real life effectiveness of Fairbairn Protocol H2H methods. In short I was delighted with all three.

    - The First -

    The first recollection was my own, and is based on my own firsthand experience. It occurred while I was standing in line at a restaurant. I initiated a brief encounter with an elderly man who was ahead of me in line. It is important that our conversation was of an unorthodox nature which could easily lead to trouble if wrong understandings or attitudes became involved.

    What I wish to draw attention to is the manner in which this person conducted himself. Although older he still carried himself well, giving off an air of confidence. When he spoke he did not swear, not once. However he did speak with a stead tone of voice, and in a clear manner making sure that what he said was clearly understood the first time. He used the word please more than once and sometimes mid sentence. He neither stepped rearward or forward during our encounter instead remained solidly where he was when it had commenced. I was very impressed with his presence. So much so that after I had eaten my meal, I when over to him (and his wife) and told him so. I inquired as to what his spin on "things" was. He looked me straight in the eyes and immediately answered. He obviously was very acquainted with his response.

    His one word answer was "Respect".

    It has been rare that one word used so well said so much. Especially to me because this is what we teach out students.

    - The Second -

    The second was with one of my students who had gone out for dinner and a few drinks with his girlfriend and other friends. Here is his words...

    Yesterday afternoon me and (name withheld) went to meet my brother at a pub downtown like we often do. As soon as we walked in we said hello to a few familiar faces... and complained about the cold. There was a guy sitting at the bar with a beat up cross eyed face starring at us. And not smiling. I thought maybe I was a little loud when I walked in. He was reading a magazine. I wasn't even finished my first pint and he was still staring at me and (name withheld) and he pounded his chest. He was still on the same page as when we had walked in. A few years ago I may have asked him what was his fucking problem!, but since taking your coarse realizing its about self preservation and getting home. I called the bartender whom I know and asked if the security team was there, he said no. But he saw the guy staring and almost growling at us. He said he and the other staff would keep an eye on him. The fellow left an hour later, still staring at the same page. I watched him in the mirror behind the bar so not to look at him and give him a reason to start something. So me and (name withheld) got back to my place safe and sound, I put my pride aside and ignored him but not the dangerous situation. (name withheld) and me are going to work on a code. In case that ever happens again. See you Wednesday"!

    I was delighted with this recollection because of the manner if was handled. Awareness, Detection, Avoidance, and preparation. This student had applied these four simple S.O.P.s to his own self protection, and extended their benefit to his girlfriend, and to the pub employees, thereby putting everyone to be on the same page should things go south. Well done.

    - The Third -

    The third was again with one of my students. He had trained with me prior to serving with the military and then again afterwards. At the time of this recollection he had returned to university to further his education. The following interview was conducted by myself as a result of his contacting me regarding the incident.

    - The Third's Interview -

    J.C. > Thought I'd let you know so you can share with students or on the page. The other day someone (ethnical identification - removed) threatened to kill me. His result was 3 days in the hospital with broken ribs, facial fractures and stitches. I only have a cut on my forehead and a bruised elbow. The decisiveness was due to what the military calls violence of action or what you talk about always being ready to be violent in a 0-100 fashion. Tactics that ended the fight quickly were eye gouging, knees and strikes to the groin, ear smacks and hammerfists to the neck. Kicking him while down to ensure he wouldn't get back up did the job and kept his buddies from trying to help. The police have been involved, and I have nothing to worry about because it was a death threat, and I was outnumbered.

    Barry Drennan > Well done! Tell me about the eye gouge (how?), the neck (targeting?).

    J.C. > Eye gouge was face to face using the thumb as a lever, literally tried to force the thumb in and pull the eye out. Targeting was basically any sweet spot that was open got hit with a focus on balls, the entire neck was a target but I tried to focus on the back and front.

    Barry Drennan > Why unsuccessful at outing the eye? Hammerfist to larynx?

    J.C. > When I started gouging, his reaction was to fling himself backwards leaving his groin wide open, from there I got him in a Muay-Thai style clinch, kneed him until he lost balance, threw him to the ground and then just kicking at whatever opened up with preference for head, ribs and kidneys.

    Barry Drennan > Hammerfist to front of neck?

    J.C. > to the back, at one point I think an elbow might have caught the front.

    Barry Drennan > Kicks when he was down were using the toe of the boot or heel?

    J.C. > Toe to the head, the rest was plain ugly stomping.

    Barry Drennan > Well done! Time from start to finish?

    J.C. > Being 100% serious, your training was a big part of it and I'm indebted to you for it. I'm not sure because the adrenaline was really going, but probably less than 20 seconds

    Barry Drennan > Thanks for the compliment. Thanks for the info. Thanks for the patience as I analyse it.

    J.C. > No problem, it's helpful for me too, to use as a self critique almost.

    Barry Drennan > I am VERY glad that you did well. After it was over what was the sit-rep regarding potential third man/men in?

    J.C. > I am too, I learned through what he did that he does Jiu-jitsu of some sort, he tried to leg wrap, but your ear smack technique ended that quick. He had two friends with him, but luckily others kept them away, but when they saw me gouge his eye, I saw out of the corner of my eye, that was where they hesitated, the stomping was the real deterrent though.

    Barry Drennan > Cool! Ear smacks are decisive. Who threw first?

    J.C. > Me, after he got into my space and said he'd kill me.

    Barry Drennan > Well done. What was police response to preemptive strike?

    J.C. > They (the police) told me because he threatened me and came that close, I'm 100% justified and not in so many words they're saying he got what was coming to him.

    Barry Drennan > (laughter) Local police or RCMP?

    J.C. > Local.

    Barry Drennan > Cool. Again Well Done.. How did the police become involved? Location of fight?

    J.C. > They were called because the guy had claimed to have a weapon and had threatened someone before me, it was at a bar.

    Barry Drennan > What was the weapon, gun, knife?

    J.C. > Turns out it was just one of those window breaker tools, but he never had a chance to pull it.

    Barry Drennan > It's hard to do that while your being injured. It's not hard to do that when your being hit.

    J.C. > The decisiveness from my experience in fighting goes to the person willing to inflict more damage to the other.

    Barry Drennan > Taking into account that I am always discreet regarding names and other "identifiers", How discreet would you want me to be regarding this info. Class, Facebook...?

    J.C. > Use it however you see fit, i think it's important that the message of the need to be a dirty, malicious unrelenting bastard to win fights gets out.

    Barry Drennan > Cool! and thanks!

    J.C. > Thank you for the training, hopefully I'll be able to swing a visit around march to put in some sessions.

    Barry Drennan > Excellent. I need not say that the door is always open. I need to sign off my friend - until next!

    J.C. > Be well.

    Barry Drennan One thing before I forget . Now you sit down and burn a memory of him and his friends into your head so that you can recognize them in public. We don't want to be taken by secondary retaliations,... planned or otherwise.

    J.C. > I don't forget faces, especially enemy faces.

    Barry Drennan > Good day sir! One last question regarding your encounter.

    J.C. > Sure.

    Barry Drennan > How did you become aware that he was armed. Did he say it? If so how e.g. I got a ____ and I will Blah Blah Blah? Did you know before you encountered him?

    J.C. > No idea who he was. Alertness, training and spiked adrenaline made me notice it on his waistline. Also past experience with (ethnical identification - removed) made me suspect from the get-go.

    Barry Drennan > Clear! Thanks.

    Awaken the giant within By Barry Drennan, Founder of the Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Posted 17/02/2015
  • To achieve success in self defense, in martial arts, in business, and in life in general there are multitudes of opinions, beliefs, fraudulent desires and hopeful wishes. Many are created and put forth for the betterment of all or at least in the hope there of. Some are outright lies.

    In the older you get, the more of these fall to the wayside. Many for the same reason they got there in the first place. Some, only because they are good for some but not for others. However there are only three which can awaken the giant within.

    If you do not embrace these three. And work every day to improve them, entrench them and embody them, then their opposites will become your demons, your chains, and eventually your downfall.

    These three can only be found inside of yourself; never outside of yourself. External odysseys to find them, and implant them into one self are empty ventures. The moment your compass points in any direction other than inside of yourself, you are already lost.

    Nor does it matter where start from, or what lies already within. Nor does it matter what condition you are in, or to what extent. These only vary the length of the journey, not it destination, nor the volume of its end.

    The first is "HEART". Before you can do anything you must possess heart. Heart is what drives you once your muscle and sinew fail you. Once your goal is blurred and seemingly beyond grasp. Once you are hurt, in pain, and seemingly lost. Heart is the fire in your gut that drives you onward.

    The second is "WILL". Will is the key to your self imposed cage. The wings, feather or leather, that carry your flight. It is the steady hand that unleashes the dogs of hell, the 100%, your heart.

    The third is "CONFIDENCE". Confidence it the thumb on the spine of the knife; directing the edge, pressing the cut, guiding the point. Confidence it focus of the scope that makes the shot. Confidence is the hand on the clock that sets the pace and determines the hour. Confidence directs the will and knows the heart.

    Together they are a most formidable set. Together they awaken the giant within. Together they give the giant its objective, stamina, poise, and direction. The giant is both the medicinal cure, and the ultimate survival. The giant will take you where you want to go, carry you over the gates, and bring down the walls. Should you so choose. It can also release serenity, tranquility, and love. Should you so choose. But first you must choose to awaken the giant itself.

    This odyssey begins with yourself, as you are today, where ever that may lay. And it will not be easy. Because there will be fear, denial and lies, as well as errors and apologies along the way. It is always difficult to look within with objectivity and truthful eyes. This is why our choice of direction is always directly opposite, for it is easier to face those things unknown rather than those we don't want to know. The risk is great but the rewards are greater. For the reward is freedom.

    Two Big "Bullcrap" Flags By Barry Drennan, Founder of the Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Posted 20/01/2015
  • With over 37 years of experience and knowledge in martial arts, combatives, and self defense there are two things that instantly raise my "bullcrap" flag.

    One; if anytime in the world of self protection someone says to you, or allows you to believe, that technique is more important than Self Confidence and Awareness; then either through sheer lack of experience, or lack of education, they don't know what they are talking about. That, or they are straight forward, look you in the eye, outright misleading you or lying to you.

    Just to mention a few; The laws of physics, the advantage of range, angle and proximity, the constraints of human reaction time, the psychological effect of " element of surprise", the psychology of repetition regarding " mental response", the physiological time lapse of the " adrenaline rush", and the time lapse for biomechanical retrieval and execution of " muscle memory" or " mental maps". These are some more of the researched elements that push the point that if you're not up to speed when things go downhill, there is a very good chance that you never will be.

    Here is some more contributing elements; A strong generalization shows, control occurs in the first 5 seconds of combat, and the decision to initiate violence occurs in the first 6 seconds of interaction. If your thinking you're not reacting. If you are actually engaged in violent conflict the during these mathematical 11 seconds, then you had better be aggressively switching mindset, taking ground advantage, or arming yourself.

    None of these can be done to their optimal level without first knowing what the hell is going down. And in order to know that you should have done two things, have monitored the development of your current situation, and executed some " tests" to verify gut feelings. No monitor, no gut feeling, no tests; all equal " no prep and very likely no chance".

    Now for the second... The superstar's move! I have lost count how many times I have seen people demo-ing, teaching, or training in " the superstar's move".

    This is how GSP does the,... this is the way GSP trains,... this is,... and it goes on. Now understand me clearly I am not talking down about GSP, quite the contrary. I have met the man and watched him train. This man is a very special athlete. And therein lies the heart of my conversation.

    Professional athletes are not normal people. The pyramid representing all of people who play any one particular sport is best described as being almost a flat line. There are just so many people. Literally millions in some cases. The pyramid representing all of people who make it to the a respectable, Olympic, or semi-professional level is a small incremental little pyramid sitting on top the other pyramid like a mini nipple. The 10% which makes up the very tip of this micro nipple, that's the GSPs of the world.

    The chances of any regular guy or gal from the base pyramid successfully ripping off a devastating superman punch, or a flying arm-bar, mid street fight or robbery, is next to zero. The amount of sheer talent and natural physical skill that lies below the dramatic execution of one of these moves, performed in the same manner as done by GSP is phenomenal. Although it is excellent fun and truly a joy to train in such techniques, the reality of becoming an devastating executioner is unlikely. Most people just don't possess the geneticly driven natural skills that are required to create the foundation on which this amazing move is built.

    This is the same type of genetic condition that makes Navy Seals bear cold, makes Rangers run 18 miles, makes world class athletes world class athletes.

    I remember one time, I was sitting ringside beside Howard Grant watching GSP spar (boxing) with then world champion Joachim Alcine. He was doing very well. GSP had just finished a between rounds and had started the next, when Howard turns to me and says "If that guy played Tiddly Winks he would be the Tiddly Wink champion of the world".

    And that is just a fact of life. So if you want to train in superstar moves and do superstar training routines, I say "Power to you. Great motivation and fun"

    But if anyone ever says to you that they will have you performing, meaning just like, or training, meaning just like, any of these genetically gifted people, be they boxers, runners, navy seals, or Tiddly Wink players; then either through sheer lack of experience or lack of education, they don't know what they are talking about. That, or they are straight forward, look you in the eye, outright misleading you or lying to you.

    And in the world of self protection believing either of these can get you killed.

    World War Two Combatives By Barry Drennan, Founder of the Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Posted 07/01/2015
  • Over the years having engaged in thousands of conversations regarding various aspects of the "Martial Art's", one thing became evident. The majority of the Martial Art world had no idea of what "World War Two Combatives" are. As with many of the "arts and systems", World War Two Combatives are washed aside by the tidal wave of coverage that main stream media and the current market place devotes to Asian Martial Arts.

    Ok, So here we go; World War Two Combatives 101;

    For thousands of years we "the intelligent relatively hairless ape" have kept ourselves busy devising various ways to incapacitate or kill each other. In the case of hand to hand fighting, it became evident at some point that certain methods were better than others. For example we have managed to figure out that it is more advantageous to smash your opponent's head with a rock than trying to gnaw through his skull. This type of brilliance and revelation launched mankind headlong along the trajectory to "Systematic Fighting". Fast forward and " systematic fighting" has evolved into an endless spectrum of fighting systems. A quick review of today's world of martial arts quickly confirms that this cannonball of evolution shows no sign of slowing down or lack of new direction and diversification.

    Canopied under this enormous "family tree", broad range of primary focuses can be broken down into further subgroups. Geographical origin, Method or Specific Style, or even by Intent and End Use. Examples of such subgroups would be Japanese Karate, or Chinese Gung Fu, or Grappling vs Striking. The subcategories although endless start to breakdown into more familiar headings such as "Martial Arts", "Self Defense", and "Military Hand to Hand Combat" just to suggest a few.

    Building on these examples, the category "Martial Arts" could then umbrella subcategories such as "Western Martial Arts". This subcategory encompasses western methods such as Western Boxing, Roman-Greco Wrestling, and Fencing. Another subcategory could be "Eastern Martial Arts". This encompassing Asian methods such as Chinese Boxing, Mongolian Wrestling, Indian Lathi,. This simplistic overview allows us to envision this family tree, but by no means constitutes some official breakdown. To my knowledge no official organogram exists, let alone an official one.

    If we jump to the subcategories of " Military Hand to Hand Combat" we would find examples such as U.S. Armed Forces Matt Larson's Combatives, Israel Defense Force Krav Maga, or Russia Armed Forces Systema. And other models such as U.S.M.C's L.I.N.E., Israel's Kapap, or Russia's Sambo.

    The term "World War Two Combatives" is just one such title which categorizes of a specific subset of " Systematic Fighting".

    This subcategory captures only those fighting systems designed for and/or implemented during the specific time period of WWII, by a military organization. Currently the term tends to focus on systems primarily used by the allied forces. This perhaps due to the availability of accurate data relating to the axis forces.

    The subcategory WWII Combatives can be subdivided into the methods such as Combato, Defendo, Defendu, the O'Neil System and the Fairbairn Method. It also encompasses "nameless" methods such as those taught by John Styers, Eric Anthony Sykes, Rex Applegate. But would, by interpretation, exclude other methods of the same era, such as those of Otto Skorzeny of the Waffen SS.

    Although each system teaches a particular methodology of fighting, they all share the general attributes specific to that category. These system attributes can be described as being easy to learn, attacking the attacker instead of defending, an emphasis on the use gross motor skills and a certain concern regarding to the time required to end the conflict.

    Wikipedia provides the definition; "...based upon explosive high percentage gross motor strikes to vital targets. ...seeks primarily to disable the enemy as quickly as possible at all costs".

    In varying degrees, some methods show traceable evidence of their roots, whilte others remain uniquely different.

    WWII Combatives methods often consist a collage of techniques drawn from multiple sources; a philosophy now found in mixed martial arts (MMA). Under this philosophy techniques, tactics, and strategies are selected by WWII tend to be selected for their ability to incapacitate or kill an opponent, as opposed to their "sportive advantage".

    Comparing one WWII Combatives systems against another is not different than comparing any of the other methods of Systematic fighting. Some methods will possess of a greater number of techniques than another, or can be seen as being more complex.

    In similar fashion, With highly reputable instructors such as Bob Kasper and Kelly KcCann, or the late Charles Nelson and Carl Cestari, you will find second generation versions or betterments of the original methods. These second generation, modified systems, are not "pure blood" WWII Combatives, however some view them as their legitimate evolution. I would suggest that this aspect is a subject for spirited discussion.

    What ever your point of view, these second generation systems are tightly linked with the originals, and in the same manner as those found under any of the other categories, they offer an opportunity to study the root systems as well as the modernized descendant.

    As to the question of whom in today's world trains in WWII Combatives; the answer is simple. Some practitioners find themselves captivated by their extreme functionality, while others simply find them an excellent overall training experience on par with the best of the best martial art systems. The funny side of the coin is that many consider this methods as outdated yet the same individuals will continue to train in methods that are thousands of years old and others such as Japanese KyuKushinkai Karate which have only been around since the late forties.

    Law and the Ineffective Handling Practices of "bullies" By Barry Drennan, Founder of the Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Posted 17/12/2014
  • In today's politically charged politically correct environment there is a lot of expressions regarding "bullying" and anti-social violence, (I refuse to give terms such as "bullies" a capital letter as many do, I just do not reward such actions with the respect of a capital letter).

    The focus of which seems to me as being very out of focus. Educate this, understand that, rehabilitate the offender, non disclosure of the offender to reduce negative spin recoil. Much of this is fine. But the focus? The star of the show is the offender.

    I have had people come to me relating stories where their child has had to physically defend them self against the anti-social or violent actions of one specific individual. The result of such right full and legally correct action was that the monitoring body, most often a school, or in some cases Police, treat both individuals as offenders who have committed a wrong. And in all cases the name of the true offender has been by policy aggressively withheld.

    And YES often the offender is know, a multiple offender, with a high chance of reoccurrence.

    And YES often the offending individual is under "rehabilitative care", in some varying fashion.

    And YES often the offending individual remains free to interact with the victim and potential new victims, both in and out of the social setting where the original and often multiple offences have occurred.

    And YES often when it occurs in the workplace by co-employees and managerial personnel, NOTHING is done, with the victim more pften than not bearing all of the negative outcomes of the event, even after applying due process..

    Meanwhile the victim remains vulnerable to re-targeting, escalation, and assault; verbal, cybernetic, and physical. Even though there is a ton of documented proof detailing the damaging effects of such occurrences and reoccurrences.

    Depression, even suicide are not uncommon. When is the last time you heard of a bully committing suicide, especially a suicide related to a specific offense or the repercussions thereof?!

    Good people continue to be lost , lives continue to be lost, valuable employments and associated capabilities continue to be lost. While the bully thrives on. But don't forget he may be under ongoing rehabilitation.

    I have asked world recognised experts in the subject a simple question...

    > " Since the actions of bullies, regardless of age or sex, from "hostile environment", to intimidation, to outright sexual assault and physical violence, some bordering in attempted murder, at least criminal negligence, are ALL clearly addressed by CURRENT law; why do we not enact the laws and prosecute as the law demands?". <

    The responses vary from " straight out avoidance of the question", to long repetitive monologues of philosophy, political correctness, and desires of good will towards the offender. The victim generally does not get discussed in any committed detail.

    It is my belief we as a progressive society, protective of law and order, and of of our law abiding citizens, need to address rehabilitation to realize its greatest potential and benefit. BUT in doing so I think that any first time offender bully must be immediately placed under attention of the law. Letting the law determine each individual's need be monitored, removed, or interned in whatever fashion deemed proper. Let the law act as it should, to the extent it should, and let the bully be held responsible for their actions, the way that law and the society the wrote them intended.

    The PRIMARY FOCUS must be the protection of good people, their rights, their health, and their futures; and the prevention of occurrence and especially recurrence in whatever form it may take to insure that innocent people young or old do not become victims or experience extended roles of being the victim of such unacceptable criminal actions.

    And should the proper and legal handlings of such individuals results in some semi-permanent or permanent negative damage to them or the opportunities in their future life; SO BE IT!! I am sure that is some rehabilitative care is available or forthcoming to deal with such concerns.

    The Story Behind the Fairbairn Protocol H2H Logo By Barry Drennan, Founder of the Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Posted 13/12/2014
  • The Fairbairn Protocol H2H logo is a composite of two things. The name of the school and the "Skull and Crossed Bones".

    The name of the school comes from three parts. One, the name Fairbairn. Comes from William Ewart Fairbairn, the man who developed the combat system we teach. Two, the term Protocol. Comes from the state of foundation where in we respect all of the "protocols" that Fairbairn himself codified. Three ther term H2H. In that this term, the acronym for "hand to hand combat" is that the strength our primary teachings lies in proven and documented methods of "Hand to Hand" combat. In our case specifically those of William Ewart Fairbairn.

    The logo is the combination of these name surrounding the exact pictogram used on household products such as Poisons, Acids, and Cleaners. This specific pictogram clearly states that "This Product can be Dangerous". Much like these products, our methods can also be very dangerous. Yet like many products that bear this symbol, the dangers associated with our methods, are controlled by the user's use and intent.

    Why did Fairbairn Protocol H2H choose the Fairbairn Method for its combatives core By Barry Drennan, Founder of the Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Posted 07/12/2014
  • Considering that "WWII Combatives" are not just William Ewart Fairbairn, why would Fairbairn Protocol H2H elect to restrict themselves to the sole use of the "Fairbairn Method" of to make up its central core of hand to hand combat and non-firing weapons. Why not blend it? Use multiple sources such as Anthony Sykes, Rex Applegate, Pat O'Neil, or Bill Underwood, John Styers, Charlie Nelson or for that matter any of the other "legendary names of WWII Combatives". For us the answer clearly lies in the unique rarity which was William Ewart Fairbairn, the man himself...

    Subtitle: The Epiphany which was William Ewart Fairbairn

    All though there are many great articles on W. E. Fairbairn, they never seem to touch upon the strange rarity, the unique crossroads of people, times, and places which is singularly applies to Fairbairn alone.

    The word epiphany is probably ill-used here but I find myself lacking a better term to describe the uniqueness that was William Ewart Fairbairn and his many developments in the field of close quarters combat. A better question would be whether or not Fairbairn, or better yet his system, is the unique product of a rare and exceptional convergence of person, places and times.

    The word epiphany is probably ill-used here but I find myself lacking a better term to describe the uniqueness that was William Ewart Fairbairn and his many developments in the field of close quarters combat. A better question would be whether or not Fairbairn, or better yet his system, is the unique product of a rare and exceptional convergence of person, places and times.

    This single man, either alone or in association with another, such as Anthony Sykes, or Rex Applegate, for example; is responsible for the development of some of the most dominating methods of close quarter combat ever produced.

    This is the man behind the highly touted Fairbairn System of hand to hand combat; the Fairbairn methods of stick and umbrella fighting, the Fairbairn Method of knife fighting, the " Smatchet", both the " Fairbairn-Sykes" and the " Fairbairn-Applegate" combat knives, the Fairbairn Method of " Point Shooting" which allows a man to shoot effectively, regardless of the environment, without the use of sights; the concept and use of the Quick Reaction Force and the S.W.A.T. team, the use and development bullet proof riot shields, as well as the " Killing House" training Facility and the use of "Pop-Up" targets.

    None of these developments would have be so notable if they had just drifted back into the quilt of martial arts and combat systems like many before it and after it have. However the Fairbairn name just keeps coming back, and his techniques keep being reborn, incorporated wholly or as parts of new methods and systems.

    Consider the following as viable determinants of such a unique convergence.

    - At the core Fairbairn himself, both a gentleman and a warrior who had within himself a natural talent when it came to fighting; history supports this

    - As a young man he enlists in the military giving him that foundation in how the military of that time experience shaped men

    - Then he travels to the orient. To early 1900's Shanghai which even today is pretty much universally recognised as being the most dangerous and corrupt city in the world at that time; quite possibly ever

    - Here he becomes involved in police work and martial arts training

    - Directly or indirectly he is influenced by the teachings of one of the greatest Jujutsu Masters ever "Jigoro Kano". The same Kano who created Judo. The same Kano who taught a young Vasilii Oshchepkov who returned home to Russia who then with the help of two others created Sambo. The same kano who taught Esai Maeda who later moved to Brazil and taught a man named Gracie

    - While on patrol Fairbairn is ambushed by a gang, savagely beaten and left for dead. It takes months for him to recovered. It would be safe to say that this could be what today's psychologists call a "life altering experience"

    - From here he returns to the police force where he works with the likes of Pat O'Neil, and Anthony Sykes, as well as other people of other nationalities and their cultural inputs

    - He climbs the ladder of the Shanghai Municipal Police Force becoming the man behind the force's training and tactics which provides him a live fire laboratory in which to develop, test, and fine tune his theories

    - During his time with the S.M.P. he is personally involved in some 200 to 600 reported combats. The actual number varies from one historical source to another, but never goes less than 200. Even at 200 this is spectacular in and of itself considering that these conflicts involved hand to hand, knives, guns and in many cases, incident depending, many different scenarios involving multiple armed and/or unarmed combatants on both sides

    - Then 1942, World War Two, a world at war. The Nazi war machine has crushed all of western Europe and is on the brink of overrunning England itself. London is enduring the Luftwaffa's "Blitz" and Britain is desperate; they are willing to do anything. Including commissioning Fairbairn whose methods they felt were "disagreeable"

    - The United States is equally desperate. It has Japan on its western shore, "Pearl Harbour", and knows if England falls the Nazis will be on its eastern shores

    - This is when Fairbairn and Sykes return home to England and are taken on by the O.S.E. where they are charged with the job of training Britain's commandos as well as the older men who make up the "Home Guard"

    - Fairbairn implements the Fairbairn System while Sykes teaches his own but similar methods

    - The effect is that the average Nazi trooper is in such fear of facing the commandos that on 18th October after much deliberation by High Command lawyers, officers and staff, Hitler issued his "Commando Order" or ""Kommandobefehl" ordering that any captured British commando is to be immediately executed, thus proving that they were just men , not demons, devils, or ghosts

    - Sykes stays in England and continues teaching but Fairbairn is sent to Oshawa Canada, STS-103 "Camp X" where he teaches spies and resistance operators

    - Here he meets Rex Applegate and who later brings in Fairbairn, on loan from the British, to work with him and to teach the Fairbairn methods to elements of the American Armed Forces

    - All the while his methods are in the field being battle tested against whatever the German and Japanese combatants had to offer. Subsequently they are constantly fine tuned as soldiers report back from the battlefield

    - At the end of the war at specific request of "Wild Bill Donovan", founder of the Office of Strategic Services (the predecessor of the C.I.A.), Here for services rendered Fairbairn receives the United States "Legion of Merit". America's sixth highest award, it is only awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.

    - After the war he continues to be engaged by various governments to teach the Fairbairn System, until he retires and eventually passes away

    Now if these events are not suggestive of an unique product spawned by the crossroads of rare people, rare times, and world changing events then it will probably be very difficult to ever know what is. This specifically is why I called this latter section; "The epiphany which was William Ewart Fairbairn", and the reason why his methods were chosen to make up the central core of the Fairbairn Protocol System.

    About Barry Drennan, the Founder of Fairbairn Protocol H2H By Barry Drennan, Founder of the Fairbairn Protocol H2H

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  • Posted 03/12/2014
  • It is said that every student shall find their teacher; and that every teacher shall find their student. And that truth can be found in toil. In my case I found all three. With toil and time, I found the student within myself, and with myself as the student, I found the teacher, sometimes it was fate and circumstance, sometimes it was another, and sometimes its was me.

    My introduction to formal fight training began in 1978 with Kyukushinkai karate, I was 21. My informal introduction occurred long before that, at 14, in sports such as Hockey where "blunt skills" have value as well as finesse. While my finesse was severely lacking, I made it up with a natural ability in the blunt skills domain. As my experience and skills developed they later merged with the skills I learned at "Benny's Bar and grill". "Benny's Bar and grill" being a fictitious name for such places where that particular form of fighting can be "entertained".

    After about six months of formal training in Oriental Martial Arts, and a severe beating in a bar fight where I was hospitalized, I came to realize that there were inherent weaknesses in contemporary martial arts as they were taught today, and that there was more to fighting than just technique.

    Seeking the "elite" in combative skills I began to research every thing, particularly self defense and in particular military hand to hand combat. It is here I came across a old system of fighting known loosely as the Fairbairn method.

    Thirty seven years have passed since that quest began...

    During those years I found myself involved in street fights, and bar fights, and of course an extensive amount of "sparring". I earned a black belt in Kyokushinkai karate (my instructor's instructor had received his training under Mas Oyama himself). I studied and trained in various methods of self defence, studied jiu-jitsu, Krav Maga, western boxing; as well as firing and non-firing weapons. I have invested hundreds of hours researching combative related data, and everything and anything I could find regarding "the Fairbairn Method".

    William Ewart Fairbairn, creator of the Fairbairn method, died at home in England in the summer of 1960. He was 75 years old. I was 3. Today Fairbairn is gone, as are the first generation of Fairbairn instructors. Applegate, O'Neil, Nelson, and others like them are gone. With the possible exception of a few, most of the second and third generation instructors have now also passed away. Fairbairn instructors have been a scarce commodity for some time. Today, scattered around the globe a handful of instructors remain. The vast majority of these teach a mixed curriculum, incorporating pure, modified and other external techniques mixed in . Wishing to learn his methods but lacking access to "pure blood" or otherwise instructors; my only option was to be self taught.

    I began to research the subject in a manner which would be best described as half "CSI profiler" and half "Jurassic Park". The reason behind this choice was clear; I wanted as the saying goes; "to walk a mile in his shoes". "To think the way he would have thought". I speculated that coming to grips with his mind and motives would give me a deeper understanding of his methods. I was not satisfied to learn a series of disassociated individual moves; I wanted to understand how they formed a system and why this particular system was so uniquely dominant.

    No stone was left unturned; I was extremely self critical. I correlated and cross-referenced everything; his history, personality, techniques, his teaching methods, and my experiences in the streets and bars and in formal fight training, continuously isolating the common denominators and pertinent data. To further understand, expand, and validate Fairbairn’s use and execution I studied human anatomy, physiology and psychology. I lived in "Grant's and Grey's", and audited actual human dissections to best understand the physiology of combat and of Fairbairn's methods.

    Until proven otherwise everything held potential value, even if it only offered a particular perspective. I sought information in Fairbairn's quotes, writings, archival films and his original teaching synopses. With equal interest I sought out supporting quotes or writings made by past students or reputable sources.

    These conclusions were refined by insights gained from scrutinizing the works of other instructors, particularly reputable Fairbairn based instructors such Carl Cestari, Kelly McCann, and others like them; anything to sort the non-applicable and verify the truth.

    I used physical and mathematical models to substantiate the realities behind factors such as "the element of surprise", lag time, speed and accuracy trade-offs, speed and power generation and pressure/force distribution.

    After approximately 20 some odd years of exploring, training, and retraining; I began to teach a small repertoire of "pure" unmodified Fairbairn techniques. As I can explain every technique in detail through the perspectives of gross motor biomechanics, physics, anatomy, physiology, psychology, the basic functions of the brain and central nervous system, and most importantly relate back to a single common thread found in the Fairbairn Method; on this foundation I therefore considered these techniques "pure".

    Within Fairbairn Protocol H2H this slowly expanding core of pure Fairbairn technique is allied with a small number of non Fairbairn techniques. Inserted as if genes into some Jurassic DNA; every non Fairbairn technique, tactic or strategy has been selected for its ability to match with his methods and meet the very protocols Fairbairn himself established. I have created nothing. Enhanced, nothing. To my mind who am I to better the greats? It is for this reason and with this great respect that this organisation now bears the name Fairbairn Protocol H2H.


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