View Full Version : Confused, As Usual.

10-17-2004, 04:14 AM
My problem is somewhat unusual, and I wanted to pick the collective brains for a solution. I am the charge nurse in a large V.A. hospital's emergency room, which is also the regional psych hospital. I have contact with large numbers of frequently combative patients, and as a nurse we are only trained in methods focused on controlling the patient without causing any damage, until enough help arrives that force of numbers wins the fight. We almost never face multiple assailants. Realizing that my attacker may not share my desire to cause ME no damage, I do carry a large folder in the waistband of my scrubs, and have a sm. baton-type keyholder with about a pound of keys that makes a great flail, if worse comes to worse.
Outside the hospital, everything is reversed. My personal goal in a fight on the outside is to hurt my opponent as badly as possible, as quickly as possible, and disengage before he can recover or his friends arrive to help (Yes, I usually carry a compact .45, but my preface is that it is not available or gunfire is not called for, inappropriate for the situation, etc.). I have very little formal instructions in unarmed styles of fighting and am interested more in practical application than in belts, katas, etc. Any suggestions on what I should look for in instructors or styles? In the South, we always called it "Root hog or die", but I couldn't find that in the Yellow Pages!

Sam Spade
10-17-2004, 05:03 AM
Krav Maga is a good start. I have some personal disagreements with it, but they aren't show stoppers. It's focused on fighting, not looking good. Eventually, you might want add-ons like ground fighting, but that should be extra and not the core of your study.

What *you* want to avoid is any "studio" where a forest of trophies are displayed. Such a place is more oriented on competition than you expressed interest in. Likewise, a place that discounts the importance of sparring, or forbids contact, is bad for your needs.

What *anyone* wants to avoid includes: Any system that promises to make you a black belt in any specific amount of time, and any system that sucks in revenue from excessive numbers of "testing fees", especially those on a schedule. A clue is when you see more belts than colors of the rainbow, sporting extra stripes and grades within a belt. (I'm a third level chartruse, probationary, but next month I'll test for third level, confirmed.) Another clue is when you're required to buy inordiate amounts of stuff--the Master's approved uniform, handbook, videos for test preparation, patches, training weapons (but it has to be our approved model!!)... Look carefully at groups that want you on a contract, especially if that contract can be sold to a collecting company. Avoid anyone who claims to be the GrandMaster of a secret art or whose lineage or licensing can't be checked.

Gabriel Suarez
10-17-2004, 05:52 AM
Krav, like many successful systems can tend to get over-marketed. Its a good place to start, but is not perfect.

Other places to look would be Jeet Kune Do schools.

Overall, use your brain to ask pointed questions. If the guru gets offended, leave with your money. This is 21st Century America and people want to learn to fight, not find their center or watch their navels.

In addition to all of this, get into sound physical condition. Fighting IS NOT just about strength, but strength helps immensely. You don't see any UFC fighters who weigh 90 pounds and are using some secret death touch. They are strong guys using simple violent methods.

Unless you have a medical issue, weights for the upper body should be a priority. Cardio is important too, but who'd you rather fight, a 200 pound man who can Bench 350 or a 150 pound man who can run a marathon in 1 1/2 hours?

Wondah Woman
10-17-2004, 05:58 AM
Try Management of Aggressive Behavior. It is a self-defense program designed specifically for people who work with the public. The program is created by Roland Ouellette. Emphasis is on verbally de-escalating a situation so that violence can be avoided entirely. However, it also goes on to teach you basic, simple, but effective self-defense measures and controls to use on your attacker. You can learn more about it at MOAB Training International Inc. (http://www.rebtraining.com) The book is available at Amazon.com (www.amazon.com)
MOAB is taught all over the world to various police, hospital, and corrections facilities, among others. It is also recommended by AWARE (Arming Women Against Rape and Endangerment) (www.aware.org) for women.

10-17-2004, 08:37 AM
Since there is no perfect system, look for a school with different styles. I go to a school that offers Wing Chun, Kali/Escrima, JKD/Jun Fan, Muay Thai, Capoeira and Brazillian Jiu-Jistu. As such you can focus on your weakness or one you like as well cross-train in other styles.

10-17-2004, 10:53 AM
Visit the schools, watch classes, and talk to the instructors. If their mindset is sports, as opposed to combatives, then IMO you should walk away. If you detect a hint of mysticism or cultlike attitudes, then walk away. It's better not to attend a school at all than attend the wrong school and learn a mindset and techniques that will get you hurt or killed. If there is no school, I would recommend the tapes of both Carl Cestari and Kelly McCann (Jim Grover) for pure self defense.

10-17-2004, 12:36 PM
Krav Maga is a good core art and the basics of it are very sound. It's when it gets into the upper levels that it becomes too sporting, IMHO. I trained in it for 2 years up through level 3, but you can learn the basics in about 3 months of hard training.

I second the recommendation on the video's by Carl Cestari and Jim Grover/Kelly McCann. They will give you all you need for SD, if you practice the material with a partner and on a heavy bag/BOB bag.

RMCAT by Peyton Quinn is also very good, and if you can invest a week there, you would be well served.

10-17-2004, 07:27 PM
You hit the nail on the head with the three month benchmark.
IMHO if the complete/practical stuff can't be learned within 90 days then it is not a practical system.
I agree Matt. There's just no reason to go beyond that, IMHO. If it is so complicated that it can't be learned quickly, the chances of retaining it and using it under stress are very poor. I was amazed at how much sport-leakage was in Krav in the higher levels--very disappointing, but the basics are very sound.

10-18-2004, 12:59 AM
Take a look at www.ipdta.com continue at Training concept. You will find a few simple methods very effective in stressful situations.
In a couple of days we will have info about Personal security and Self Defence for Paramedics.
Those will give you maximum results with a minimum of visible demage to the aggressor. Very important thing is to remember that causing visible demage is not good for you. A lot of people and instructors are talking about doing this deadly method, breaking that bone. But very few think about how difficult it will be to explain in the court. Also you breake his nose and you will be paying for it for the rest of your life.

A lot of people take the methods presented by IPDTA as some kind of openers for some more "heavy stuff". What they do not understand is that each of the methods should be done in such a way and with so much power you will be able to knock the attacker out.

Martin Cooper will have an intro to those methods in Memphis January 2005.

10-18-2004, 11:30 AM
Thanks Slavo. I better do a good job in Memphis then :o

Matt, I'm hurt that you didn't mention us when you talked about Krav Maga as a good system :D Matt knows what we do. He should do 'cos he's the IPDTA's consultant instructor in close quarter shooting, although I never got to slap him yet - maybe in Memphis :p

Both Matt and I have alluded to the fact that KravMaga originated in the UK with our favourite WWII instructors. It was developed further after the war, but 'development' is a dangerous thing to do to a system that works well enough as it is.

Matt's dad used one technique in unarmed combat and that was the axe hand. I know because I've heard him say it from his own lips. All we in the IPDTA have done is turn the wrist so that the blow is an open palm rather than a killing blow. People find it unbelievable when we tell them that what we show has only one strike. They're used to KM and all the BJJ stuff and JKD, all of which have a multitude of techniques.

All of the three above are martial arts. When people start discussing the arts it usually dissolves into a technique vs technique war. The IPDTA is not a martial art and doesn't pretend to be one. The only thing we're conscerned about is getting our students home after their shift. We find that our 'one technique' serves the purpose so we aren't going to change it.

I've just run a group of my guys through a two hour session. At the start they were sheep, not really interested and with no knowledge about the science of close combat. At the end they were like rabid wolves, waiting for someone to have a go at them. It doesn't take a three month course. It doesn't even take three days. Three hours will do.

Dr. Snubnose
10-18-2004, 06:58 PM
I would look for an instructor that teaches Defensive tactics to LEOs or a Chinese Kung Fu Instructor that would be willing to teach you privately, Chin-Na (seize and control) chinese grappling techniques, suited to your particular needs.

10-18-2004, 09:07 PM
Thats funny I was always told that Krav came from the Russain, H2H training, which was smooth out by a former Russain Jew, who had some how managed to survie in the Spenaz.

Dean I can't tell from your post,but it sounds like your more worried about in-house problems then on the street. As your well aware your charges will be more likely to use force against you as most now a days any way will be combat vets, so I have to agree with Coo's and Matt Krav- looks like it would suit you for a start, you need some thing to shut the boys sown quick,fast,and in a hurry

10-19-2004, 01:47 PM
From people I've spoken to, it would seem that following the war, people trained as instructors by F&S and their team, returned to their homes. This included all countries considered as allies. That included the founders of KravMaga.

KM may be the modern name for it and I don't know how long that name has been in use as a title for the system. Also, it shurely has altered over the years, but I bet a great deal of the changes happened not long before it was marketed so professionally and introduced into the western marketplace.

A friend of mine from Australia, who runs a KM club over there, told me himself that KM originated in the UK during WWII.

The origins don't matter too much. It used to work during the '40s and '50s, but does it work now with all the extra techniques added. I would think that, as with any system, a decent instructor will pare away the bull and produce something that works.

Matt - there may be a lack of IPDTA guys in the US at the moment, but Jonas just returned home having conducted a course for LEOs in Chicago.

He said that many of the cops were unfit and overweight. We certainly get some of that over here.

Any views out there in the US as to the physical ability of their LEOs?

10-19-2004, 03:38 PM
Krav Maga was founded in Israel shortly after Israel became a state in 1948 by Imi Sde-Or (Lichtenfeld), who developed Krav during his military career as Chief Instructor of H2H for the IDF. Krav Maga is Hebrew for "Contact Fight". Lichtenfeld was a champion athlete in wrestling and boxing in his native Czechoslovakia, and his father was a Chief Detective in the police force and was a self-defense instructor for them. As Lichtenfeld grew up, he often had to fight against gangs of nazi youths. Krav has been "modified" somewhat with the addition of a more modern (i.e "sport oriented") ground fighting system, but the core of the art remains as it was decades ago. It has been very effectively marketed in the U.S., but by and large the instructors are very good. Instructors normally are black belts in other arts before they take instructor training in Los Angeles, which is divided up into phases of 7 very intense days in each phase. They generally get about 50-60 hours of non-stop training in each phase, and most attend at least 3 phases. After that, they are required to have additional instructor training on a yearly basis.

The reason I know all of this is because I was asked to become an instructor and teach Krav, but backed out due to the lack of money I would probably make, and the fact that I was not crazy about some of the techniques they use, but as I said above, the basics of the system are very sound. My gripes are the same as what Matt stated above, the heavy use of boxing punches instead of palms (which are taught and the student is allowed to choose, but punches are emphasized), but the biggest gripe I had was the sport-oriented groundfighting methods, many of which were derived from work with Bas Rutten, who regularly trains with the LA group and sometimes teaches groundfighting classes there.

10-20-2004, 08:16 AM
I have the official KM manual and I believe that KM orginated with a Polish Jew who went to Palastine shortly after the war.

Interestingly enough, Bill Pilkington, who I wrote about in a different thread, worked in the new state of Palestine after the war.

Congrats on your 52nd birthday Matt. You don't look a day over 51, yet :D I hope You're not setting me up by bringing some super fit young cops to hit. If I go home broken, you'll have Kathrine to deal with, and you know what the Irish are like ;)