7 Truths to Seek in Your Quest for Combat Effectiveness
Being able to effectively combat aggression serves two clutch survival functions:
- It enables you to survive attacks where most people are at the total mercy of their attackers. In many cases just having guts and resolve and the willingness to strike back will stop an ongoing attack in its tracks. In Colin Flaherty’s book ‘White Girl Bleed a Lot,’ only a handful out of hundreds of mob attack targets were able to preserve their physical autonomy. The only thing they had in common was that they fought. 99% of the targets of mob violence did not fight back, which leads us to the next clutch factor.
- Most predators, even stupid teenage boys who cannot read and who think Rosa Parks ratified the U.S. Constitution, signing the document from a styling chair at a hair salon, as Thomas Jefferson knelt by her side, are exceedingly good at selecting vulnerable prey. Through the magic of body language and subconscious behavior simply possessing the resolve to strike back and the physical ability to do so, diverts almost all attacks.
In order to be a hard target in all environments, you must be able to defend yourself without a firearm. Most nations and most American cities do not permit most of their citizens to bear arms. Almost no nation, state or municipality permits foreigners or out-of-state visitors to bear arms.
All postmodern societies demand that most of their citizens are unarmed. Chances are, at the time of attack, so shall you be unarmed, especially if you are traveling out of state or overseas.
The 7 Truths of Unarmed Survival
#1: Firearms Proficiency
You must have the experience of handling firearms, with the more knowledge of their types, uses and characteristics the better. Barry was a U.S. Army Special Forces Weapons Specialist, who is now a city bus driver. He had been shot in a raid in which his unit supported DEA agents under fire in South America. He also competed on the military kickboxing circuit in the Far East when he was stationed in Korea. As a bus driver, he is not permitted a weapon. However, his knowledge of firearms saved his life.
A teenager stepped up on the bus and pressed a 3.57 magnum ‘python’ against his forehead. Barry noted that the hammer was not cocked and that the model was a double action, so he stripped the gun, the discharged bullet grazing the top of his head. He then maimed and crippled the assailant, making sure not to kill him. If Barry had tried his jujitsu disarm against a cocked or single action weapon he would have been killed.
The idea that martial artists who have never handled a pistol, routinely train to take them away, is absurd.
#2: Edged Weapon Expertise
Becoming an expert at using a knife is cheap (unlike firearms) and is crucial. While most people who commit crimes with firearms are not proficient with them, the knife has such an easy learning curve that most knifers are proficient with the weapon. You need to be better with the weapon being used against you than the person using it. And since the knife is so easy to use, you need to be extra good with it. Simply having advanced knowledge of how to get a blade into someone, through largely fun sparring (I used to do it with goggles and rolled up penny savers) will permit you to see right through the copious bullshit that seems to haunt the question of knives in survival situations.
Relevant link: Dull Steel Knife Duels
#3: Extension Weapon Proficiency
The use of bats and such is ancient and common. The blunt extension weapon is one of the most difficult weapon arts to learn and requires significant conditioning. So, you can expect your attacker to lack proficiency with this weapon, although he will not be nearly as inept as martial arts instructors would have you believe.
At the very least practice hitting a bag with a stick or bat so that you learn how it feels to do so. Use different ranges and reach out with the weapon in various stroking patterns. Feel how it pulls you off balance when you reach. Now practice “chopping” the bag with short strokes. Now imagine you are the bag, and try to conceptualize your possible counters and escapes.
Relevant link: Stick-fighting Basics
Weapon Proficiency Note
Below are the proficiency tracks for the weapons I coach, expressed in terms of when the fighter is good enough to mix it up with an experienced intermediate level fighter without it being completely one-sided, which is at about the same point in the fighter’s evolution, where he becomes able to impose his will in this combat environment against unskilled opponents.
Note that many “styles” of martial arts have development tracks that are so imbedded with myth and bullshit that their practice never produces an effective combatant. The guide below is for a person training under the system I moderate, which is not the best, but in the top 10% in terms of functionality.
In each of these three areas, where I am a knowledgeable fighter and coach, I will offer crash courses for the busy traveling dude.
For firearms, I am not even qualified to give the best recommendations.
As a man with some grappling experience, who has faced top ranked grapplers in mixed competition, I can offer commentary only.
Weapon Proficiency in Hours
- Knife-fighting: 3 hours
- Stick-fighting: 60 hours
- Boxing: 120 hours
Mixed Stick Fighting (with short sticks representing blades) the first video are my four stick and knife fighters qualifying to see who got to beat me up the following month in the second video.
#4: Grappling Proficiency
You must have, or acquire, some experience in wrestling, jujitsu, judo, or any of the various grappling arts. It is not true that all fights, or even most fights, end up on the floor. But all fights have the potential of going to the ground at any time. You must be a force to reckon with in that environment.
#5: Boxing Proficiency
To defend against punches, and to strike back effectively when attacked and unarmed, you must have boxing ability. This guide will offer a brief course and various resources.
#6: Taking A Punch
The rude fact is virtually no violence kicks off in the U.S.A. today, unless one antagonist has determined that he will be able to punch the other while he is unaware. Most attacks begin with a head punch. This ability falls under the boxing header. In fact, the main use for boxing in the military for these past 4,000 years has been to develop the combative mind, a mind that can get jarred, even sloshed around in its head, and still calmly, resist, return and escalate aggression.
#7: Imposing Your Will
The imposition of will is the key to all combat arts from chess to the Doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction as practiced during the Cold War. This will be a component of every combative lesson in this book. For starters, let’s touch on your basic physical abilities.
- You must be able to run a mile if you want to get above the “fragile combatant” grade.
- You must be strong enough to push off a person of your own size or lighter.
- You must be light enough on your feet, and well balanced enough, to be able to push off of and away from a stronger person.
- You must practice continual motion in a small area, the combat space. Stand up in your office, put your hands up and look through them, and then practice moving around, never standing still, never being off balance, always having one leg coiled under you to shift your weight. This is the keynote skill of the boxer, wrestler, duelist, stick fighter and even football player. You must cultivate an ability to “flip a switch” in your mind and put yourself into a perpetual small motion state. It seems like a small thing and it is, but men die in small spaces.
Relevant link: Imposing Your Will in a Stick-fight
The Survival Myths
As in all things that become expressions of culture and business, bullshit abounds in the world of civilian combat. Our next Being a Bad Dude installment will cover the pitfalls and myths that you might have to avoid in your combative development.
Oh, and before we leave, one more tip: if you get sucked up into a funnel and end up being the Single Time Travel Dude, which would obviously lead to a sword or machete fight, do not believe those Hollywood choreographers and martial arts gurus, that shields are unnecessary. And If you survive your jaunt through time, and get rushed by two guys while you are taking out the trash, don’t forget what that trash can lid is for.