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Gabriel Suarez
01-14-2004, 08:37 AM
Most guys and gals would like to develop some combatives training skill, but often this is not as easy as buying a pistol, attending a seminar and going to the range once a month.

I'd like to examine the problems faced by those seeking combatives skills, as well as how to answer those problems. Notice I'm talking about combatives...that is fighting, not sport karate or art-focused martial pursuits, but rather pure, no-rice-paper, street survival combat.

Problems -

1). Finding a suitable trainer
2). Learning what you need to know
3). Maintaining the skills
4). How, where, to train (also how often)

Ok, that should be a good start.

mako25
01-14-2004, 09:15 AM
Gabe, et al,
I've been training in one form of MA or another since I was 8. My grandfather started me in boxing. Nothing serious, but I got to bang on a bag and learn the basics of footwork, stance and punches. From there I've physically studied (actually gone to class) Tae Kwon Do, Ninjutsu, Judo, Jujutsu, Wing Chung, JKD, Kali, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Aikido, Shito-Ryu Karate and Ishin-Ryu Karate.
Having a huge interest in the martial arts and self-defense, I've also bought a number of books on the above topics as well as anything else that interested me... Bando systems, BJJ, variations of Aikido and ninjutsu. Plus military/Spec. Ops. books. Anything that I thought would, could or might give me an edge.
I'm lucky that I have a few good, like-minded friends with whom I train..in firearms & hand-to-hand. I've been to seminars with Steven Hayes, Charles Daniel, Ken Pittman (DPS Instructor), and Strategic Weapons Academy of Texas. I'm also fortunate enough to frequent a Firearms store here in Austin (Heritage) that has a wealth of gunfighting knowledge. All of this is great, but as Gabe pointed out that many people still seek more. I find myself there now.

I've taken to training for short periods ( 6 months to a year) in a style. If there is something of value, I will try to lock it into my muscle memory during that time and then move to a different form. ( I know this can be difficult due to the contract some school wish to use. I usually thank them for their time and leave. Fortunately there are tons of school here in Austin. And, with UT and ACC here, there are always MA classes as part of the PE programs.) I bring back these techniques to my friends and we disect and build up according to our ever changing needs.

Home training can be easy, heavy bags are running around $70.00 at Oshman's or Academy. Add some duct-tape and you can work sticks, training knives, hand and foot techniques easily. And I've found that once you have a firm grasp of basic skills, you can read a book from another MA and figure out what they are trying to accomplish.

Lastly, make good friends, ones that don't mind the training/butt kicking ratio and keep them around. There is no substitute for a live partner when you can get one.

Glass
01-14-2004, 10:19 AM
This has always been a frustration for me. We have a few traditional MA schools here in my area (or within a couple hours) but nothing that fits what I want.

What I want:
I want a school that will train me to neutralize a threat as quickly and efficiently as possible. I don't want to focus on just one style. I don't want to worship a sacred cow. I want to survive.

My beliefs:
A school should teach it's students to "adapt and overcome" using anything at hand or at their disposal to defend themselves.

It should never follow prescribed or predetermined attacks and defenses. BG's will never tell you what they are going to do before they do it.

It should run it's students through the OODA loop repeatedly, daily.

It should incorporate weapons.

Until such a school is founded where I live, I'll have to teach myself the way I have been.

My $0.02

Patrick

sanchezero
01-14-2004, 11:46 AM
I think the key problem in this is finding serious people to train with. If you have access to a good MMA club then you're ahead of the game because they like to hit and get hit, but you still need to steer the training away from the ring some.

If all you have is TMA skuls around, then your life could be alot harder.

At this point, with the internet, video and travelling instructors, it's not too hard to get good info and training. Pricey maybe, but what're ya gonna do?

The nature of combatives is that they are simple enough that you shouldn't need lots and lots of training time. Obviously, to really get good at fighting tho, you do need time training, but for the people who just wanna save thier ass from the douchebag at the ATM, they should be OK with a good weekend or two and then maybe a coupla hours a month of reinforcement.

If they're willing to stay fit it's easy to combine a heavy bag workout and bleacher sprints into your training. Things like that have alotta value when brawling.

I think something that would be a good idea for a trainer is to give somekinda syllabus for homestudy so that people who take a 2-3day class have some idea of how to keep or build what they've learned. Include workouts that are gonna help build the things that are needed in a fight. Put together some ideas for scenario based training and talk about how to approach 'sparring' (i hate that word) and make it more applicable to reality. Encourage a buddy system amongst the alumni. Obviously these guys share an interest in the stuff or they wouldn't be there. Encourage them to get together and train this stuff.

Anyway, I think that sorta thing is a big value-add as well as helping to instill a commitment to realistic self-protection in your clients.

garrettwc
01-14-2004, 12:17 PM
My biggest difficulty is item #2, in a different context. How do you know if the trainer is suitable, and if the training is what you need to know if you have no idea about combatives.

For the novice shooter they can read Givens or Cooper or Suarez and get a grounding in the basics of what you should know. Then they find a qualified trainer for those specifics and take the course they offer. Then you practice what you've learned at the range.

Street fights are different, there is not a mechanical device that you are trying to master, but more tactics and mindset. Are there any good "fighting" books where you can get a good grounding in the "what" before seeking someone to show you the "how"?

I think Glass's statement:

"I want a school that will train me to neutralize a threat as quickly and efficiently as possible. I don't want to focus on just one style. I don't want to worship a sacred cow. I want to survive.
"

is right on target. But what do you need to learn in order to accomplish this, and how do you determine if the instructor can convey these skills effectively?

mako25
01-14-2004, 12:58 PM
My biggest difficulty is item #2, in a different context. How do you know if the trainer is suitable, and if the training is what you need to know if you have no idea about combatives.

I think this is exactly where you have to do/have/have done 2 things.

1) Have an open mind and be willing to walk away from weird stuff.


2)Do your research. Asking questions on a site like this is a great way to start. Also, even untrained people have an idea of what they want, stick with that idea (with an open mind) and if you change your mind then change the situation as you need.


Extra - This is not because I think any of the "Uber-Brains" here at WT need the reminder but.... Don't equate movies with either traditional MAs or serious combatives. The studios have their own movie martial arts schools and pros.
What looks good on screen is what counts, not what works.
Cuase you'd never see it happen. That's one of the reasons Wrestling and Judo don't get major network/primetime during the Olympics... Untrained people have no idea what's going on.

Geezer
01-14-2004, 02:13 PM
Based upon my limited experience but successful experience in mortal CQC, I had time for only one "plan." I did have enough time to execute it almost perfectly, even while simultaneously responding more or less hysterically to the other two BGs.

As I remember it, if I had not suceeded with my first combination, I would have lost my life. There simply would not have been enough time or opportunity for a second try.

The lesson there was that you don't need a bunch of stuff, but what you have, you have to execute perfectly.

On TV they have "fights", but most of real life CQC encounters probably only last a few seconds, and usually involve no more than one or two combinations. All that cool stuff from the dojo just isn't going to happen.

Looking back, I'd say that scenario rehearsing was probably the reason I prevailed..it was something we had done a lot of when I was a kid, and then a teenager. I had also done a lot of visualizing...not hundreds of different scenarios, but just a few combinations, over and over again, critiquing them mentally until I thought I had it just about right.

Thus said, I expect I would prefer to learn just a few combinations, the most likely to occur, and then practice them in scenarios over and over with a partner or two, or a dummy or all three, until I got them right.

Something as simple as the palm strike-draw-fire, and the two variants, depending on if you are facing a gun or a knife, would be something I could easily spend a whole two-day course on.

I know that doesn't sound very high-speed low-drag, but CQC is about doing good, not looking good.

God bless and y'all be careful out there. :cool:

Geezer
01-14-2004, 02:15 PM
Based upon my limited but successful experience in mortal CQC, I had time for only one "plan." I did have enough time to execute it almost perfectly, even while simultaneously responding more or less hysterically to the other two BGs.

As I remember it, if I had not suceeded with my first combination, I would have lost my life. There simply would not have been enough time or opportunity for a second try.

The lesson there was that you don't need a bunch of stuff, but what you have, you have to execute perfectly.

On TV they have "fights", but most of real life CQC encounters probably only last a few seconds, and usually involve no more than one or two combinations. All that cool stuff from the dojo just isn't going to happen.

Looking back, I'd say that scenario rehearsing was probably the reason I prevailed..it was something we had done a lot of when I was a kid, and then a teenager. I had also done a lot of visualizing...not hundreds of different scenarios, but just a few combinations, over and over again, critiquing them mentally until I thought I had it just about right.

Thus said, I expect I would prefer to learn just a few combinations, the most likely to occur, and then practice them in scenarios over and over with a partner or two, or a dummy or all three, until I got them right.

Something as simple as the palm strike-draw-fire, and the two variants, depending on if you are facing a gun or a knife, would be something I could easily spend a whole two-day course on.

I know that doesn't sound very high-speed low-drag, but CQC is about doing good, not looking good.

God bless and y'all be careful out there. :cool:

michael
01-14-2004, 06:20 PM
I'm going to mention again a system I recently began training in. I am not affiliated with them at all and get no kickback for giving them a plug, but I may become an instructor in their system in the near future. It is W.Hock Hochheim's Scientific Fighting Congress. Hock has been in the military, was a street cop and a private investigator. He has black belts in many different martial arts including the title of "Guro" in a Fillipino system. He saw the needs that everyone on this thread is talking about. Incorporating hand, knife, stick and gun into one simple, direct and brutal system. There is no sport in this, only combat. Full combat scenario's are done in all ranges of combat, with and without weapons. It's truly effective and awesome stuff, and if you like the WWII combatives stuff, FOF training with Airsoft, simplified fillipino knife and stick fighting, learnable in a seminar format, then this is for you! There are certified instructors all around the country, and a list and description can be found at www.hockscqc.com (http://www.hockscqc.com). Having trained in many martial arts over 30 years, I can't emphasize enough how good this stuff is.

**Gabe, if I shouldn't post info like this, please feel free to delete it and accept my apologies***

V42
01-14-2004, 07:25 PM
Matthew Temkin ,

I'm not going to comment on American Combatives. No comment whatsover,

And Michael, in fairness Hock's stuff is not WWII combatives nor does it derive anything from WWII Combatives. Combatives is simple, straight forward and Hocks system most certainly isn't, though it does have some good stuff.

There are a lot of systems that have much to offer, but at the same time have excessive bagage left over from the martial arts, techniques that are unusable in real life, political correctness gone amok and the wrong attitude for survival. I am not singling any one out in regards to my above comment or necessarily implying that one system suffers from all the maladies.

Once you start mentioning the various systems and their strengths and weaknesses a flood of people generally come in and take you to task and the whole exercize becomes the equivalent of a part time job. Not worth it for me. I have other things to do.

michael
01-14-2004, 08:23 PM
V42,
I never said Hock's stuff was derived from WWII combatives. I said if you like WWII combatives, you'll like the SFC material. It is extremely simple to learn,even for non-martial arts types, but it's not worth debating. Check it out and if you like it fine, if you don't, that's fine too.

I do agree with you that many courses do have excess baggage that is unnecessary and I've yet to find the perfect one, other than what I do on my own in my basement and train the wife and kids in:). After 12 years as a beat cop, I learned what works and what doesn't,as I'm sure Gabe and others have.There's nothing like the real world university system. I actually put very little faith or give any attention to instructors who have not either 1. Been a cop and used it on the streets or 2.Been in the military and used H2H in real situations. It's easy as an instructor to sit back and tell everyone how they need to fight and what they need to do to survive, but it's a different thing entirely to do it for real. That's why so many martial artists get the stuffing beat out of them in a real fight. Match fights like the UFC, Pride, etc are the same way. Many of them are great athletes, have great skills and are fun to watch, but it's a whole different world when your opponent can hit you in the head with an ashtray, grind your face into the broken glass on the ground while you try out your fancy BJJ groundfighting techniques or pull out his folding knife and stab you as you apply a perfect kimura. No mall ninja's here, I want the real deal. Throw out the fancy stuff and keep what works. Fighting first, systems second.

V42
01-14-2004, 08:41 PM
Michael,

My mistake. You did indeed say if you like WWII combatives you will like Hock's stuff.

For the record I am a big fan of WWII combatives, having trained personally with both Carl Cestari and his crew and Kelly McCann, and I am personally not fond of Hock's SFC work. This doesn't mean that he doesn't have something to offer. It's really not worth getting into.

While we are on the topic of things I am not fond of, I am also not fond of 1911 handguns or the Weaver stance. In spite of this they seem to tolerate me on this board for some reason unbeknownst to me.

Have a great day.

michael
01-14-2004, 08:45 PM
V42,
If you get a chance, PM me. I really would be interested to hear your opinions. I haven't seen all the material yet, but I'm sure there will be things I don't like as well. That's par for the course. I've yet to find anything I like 100%. I really liked Krav Maga for a while (I did it for 2 years), but found things I didn't like there too. There is no perfect system, we can only extract what is useful and throw away the rest(Didn't Bruce Lee say that?).

szorn
01-15-2004, 09:10 AM
V42,
If you get a chance, PM me. I really would be interested to hear your opinions. I haven't seen all the material yet, but I'm sure there will be things I don't like as well. That's par for the course. I've yet to find anything I like 100%. I really liked Krav Maga for a while (I did it for 2 years), but found things I didn't like there too. There is no perfect system, we can only extract what is useful and throw away the rest(Didn't Bruce Lee say that?).

Having cross-trained in over a dozen systems and having researched hundreds more via video, including those mentioned I would highly recommend Hock's material to anyone interested in hardcore self-defense. The curriculum is based upon simple hardcore gross-motor skills and only goes beyond that for those who wish to invest more time in training and who desire to get more out of it than just the "basics".

As Gabe wrote-
"Problems -

1). Finding a suitable trainer
2). Learning what you need to know
3). Maintaining the skills
4). How, where, to train (also how often)"


1) A suitable trainer is one who can provide you with the "basics" as well as the advanced (not complex) material that might be needed to problem solve some situations. Also, this instructor must be able to provide you with answers that are appropriate for your needs, life-styles, and carreers. As an example, we all need the skills to survive a life-or-death altercation but not all situations will fall on this extreme end of the spectrum. Soldiers may be required to efficiently neutralize a threat, while a police officer may be required to control & contain an aggressive subject. In this case, each person will require slightly different tactics. The instructor must understand this difference and be able to provide answers accordingly. Hock's courses, as well as other's, fall right into place here.

2) The courses should be based upon the idea of learning the necessities first and then providing the student with additional material if they so desire it. Necessities are just the "basics" such as awareness/prevention skills, mind-set, and physical tactics based on gross-motor skills. Again, Hock's courses and other's fit right into this category.

3) Skills can only be maintained through conscious effort and repetition training. There are no short-cuts. The best solution is finding an instructor who offers regular training classes to help maintain skills, but if that isn't possible the next best solution is to find a partner to work out with regularly.


4) This is basically a personal preference and should also be based upon needs, life-styles, careers, etc. As an example, people who regularly find themselves in possible life-threatening situations, such as police officers, may want to invest more time and energy into training than others do. As in #3 above, nearby classes would likely be the best solution but this isn't always possible. The next best solution would be to find partners with similar interests and needs to work out with regularly.

In closing, the key is to understand the difference between combatives and general martial arts. This can only be accomplished through proper research and shouldn't be based upon second-hand opinions alone. Only you can decide what's right for you, by actually investing some time into researching instructors and systems beforehand and then investing the time to get some hands on training. Another key, is to understand that combatives is based upon the idea of using whatever works and it should not be restricted to any one style, system, or methodolgy. Combatives is not about the methods that were taught during a specific time period, it's about the idea that we use all viable common sense tactics in order to survive bad situations that we might find ourselves in.

Steve

Modern Technique
01-17-2004, 11:00 AM
"I am personally not fond of Hock's SFC work"

I second your comment. I found it to be simplistic, and more designed to expand the organization via instructor certification. I personally don't care for belt systems. I also think its silly to try to asianize western systems by calling them somethimng that sounds chinese (combato and defendu come to mind).

I suggest getting in shape, getting physically strong, getting a few lessons in boxing, and learn to kick low, then get a Body Opponent Bag from Century and put in 15 minutes a day beating the crap out of it.

Gabriel Suarez
01-17-2004, 11:06 AM
Michael,

I don't mind you mentioning Hock here. I think we are secure enough and busy enough teaching that jealousy has no room at S.I. I've never trained with him, but his writings look on the money. Can't say any more there other than you can learn from everyone.

Others,

The issue is two fold.

Point One is that there is a limited time to maintain all of this (rifle, pistol, shotgun, knife, stick, kicking-boxing-trapping-grappling range combatives, weapon retention, AND staying in shape for the fight). Along with this we need to sleep, eat, and be dad, husband, business man, etc.

Point Two, is that keeping point one in mind, we usually don't have unlimited time to spend on learning an "art". Let's discuss how to limit and strip away all unnecessary stuff so we end up with a very simple unarmed fighting system. AND, how do we practice it at home alone or with a partner or two.

V42
01-17-2004, 11:52 AM
"I am personally not fond of Hock's SFC work"

I second your comment. I found it to be simplistic,.

In all fairness to Mr. Hochheim, I would not classify his system as symplistic.

Gotta run, but in a lot of cases finding a system to train in for realistic self defense is a matter of making the best out of what you have available and supplimenting it with books, videos and other training on the side. There is much to be said for regular training.

michael
01-17-2004, 12:02 PM
Gabe,
This is actually something I have been thinking about lately and have started a new thread on "self-training". I think simplicity is the answer and a limited number of techniques that work in most situations.It does not have to be complicated to work and, in fact, the more complicated it is, the more likely we will not be able to pull it off in the chaos of combat. As far as striking techniques, the WWII combatives come to mind. They are hard to beat for easy to learn, easy to maintain proficiency. These can all be practiced on a heavy bag, mook jong and war post, which I do several times a week in my home gym. I'm much more "offensive" in nature than "defensive", but we must spend some time on learning basic blocks and counters. These can be practiced alone, but partner training is necessary on occaison for realism against full power, full speed strikes and kicks. I believe in attacking the attacker immediately, so I wouldn't spend a tremendous amount of time on this, but some is necessary. We also need a fair proficiency in defending against knives and sticks, and for this partner training is needed. I also practice using knives and sticks, but solo training in the air and against a war post will suffice. We also should know the basics of some simple grappling techniques, such as carotid and arm bar chokes, basic wrist and elbow locks, etc. Again, a partner is needed. The bottom line is, most things can be done in your home gym, training solo, but for some things a partner will be required. You could actually make a schedule of basic strikes and kicks, practice them for 5-10 minutes every day, alternating these techniques until you run through all of them in your bag of tricks, then start over again.It should only take a couple of weeks of practicing 2-5 techniques a day to do them all. This could be done against a heavy bag, a tree, etc. and, in a year's time you would do thousands of repetitions in minutes a day.Talk about building muscle memory! It would be great to have local training groups set up of warriortalker's where we could just get together and train once a month or something like that and all learn from, and practice with, each other.