View Full Version : Toolbox Necessities

05-16-2005, 11:57 AM

I normally believe in the theory of knowing a few combative techniques very well, that are fast, effective confrontation-enders. Although I learn new things quickly(and I like doing so), I tend to stay with what's proven, efficient and works for me.
Having said that, I also know that it's always necessary to have a "tool box" full of options for hand-to-hand type situations.
Unfortunately some of the options currently in my toolbox are rapidly becoming obsolete. Some of you aging warriors know what I'm talking about here I'm sure... :)
Due to many years of injuries, not perfect health, slower reflexes, painful joints, not enough stamina for prolongued fighting, among other things, I've recently decided to re-evaluate the contents of my "toolbox".
As I'm always willing to learn new things, I'd like to ask you the following question: What is in your toolbox that you consider extremely necessary and cannot do without???


05-16-2005, 12:05 PM
1. CrossFit conditioning
2. Firearms training/tactics
3. Blade training
4. WWII combatives training
5. Stick work
6. Various seminars--I no longer have time to attend combatives/knife/stick classes on a regular basis, so I make do with seminars and then train the material on my own.

05-16-2005, 12:28 PM
Hi Shdwncr

I think you're right it is an individual thing with everybody having their own methods for the situation they are most likely to find themselves in (security personnel, member of the public, LEO, etc).

1. A good level of "battle" fitness - the ability to run away at very high speed is a must :) as well as being able to "see it through" if you do have to stay and fight :mad: .

2. Simple easily retained under pressure/stress combative strikes/kicks. Supplemented with a devastating range of powershots.

3. Techniques to put a guy on the ground, as well as being able to fight from the ground (its not a pretty view down there and getting "conditioned" to the horizontal is imperative).

These are the core everyday skills and I would class them as the minimum to have.

The following are more task specific:

4. Knife work and blade protection.

5. Baton/stick training

6. CQ pistol work (including disarms)

7. Constant "stress" testing of techniques - if they don't hold up they get binned.

8. Revision: Continually searching out the next development to see if its useful and useable.



05-16-2005, 12:32 PM
1. Spiritual growth. I keep trying to reach that point of acceptance and surrender (to God) where the outcome, win, lose or draw, is irrelevant. Where the only thing that would concern me is that my conduct is righteous and does not bring any shame on my grandchildren or the rest of you.
2. Mental conditioning. Increasing age is accompanied by increasing timidity. I try to work a lot on attitude.
3. Mental imaging. I run scenarios through my mind, continuously re-evaluating response and tactics.
3. Blade work
4. Stick work
5. Firearms work
6. Combatives

For blade work, my feelings are pretty well known. This was my first weapon, my first tool. It usually is, as it should be, an extension of my will, not my hand. It should not be a force multiplier, but a will multiplier. I doubt that I will live long enough to reach that point with the other three.

The last three are not in any order…the importance varies with what I am working out in the mental imagining. My next project is to play the Creole song “Blue Runner” over and over again while sidestepping, drawing and firing. I got the sense that if the movement is a dance, then I can ingrain it just like any other dance step, and then it can be maintained, sustained and corrected subconsciously.

God bless and y’all be mindful out there.

Cold War Scout
05-16-2005, 01:39 PM
1) Combative mindset.

2) Physical conditioning. That will take you a long way in and of itself.

3) A good foundation of basic combatives.

If you have the above three, you will always be a formidable opponent.

05-16-2005, 03:04 PM
I think the other folks have covered most of the bases. The one thing I would add is what I would call patience. From the prospective of one growing older, or already old, I find I must work on my patience. Most encounters, are of the nonlethal kind, young roosters, drunks, etc. I have little patience for these and must remind myself that if they occur it is, initially, not the time for the most severe techniques, taking out eyes, stopping hearts, etc, unless escalated to that point by the opponent. These people, in my opinion, in their arrogance and/or intoxication, though irritatiing, are not deserving of these techniques or their effects, unless they make there use necessary.

05-17-2005, 06:53 AM
These people, in my opinion, in their arrogance and/or intoxication, though irritatiing, are not deserving of these techniques or their effects....

I think they are fully deserving of these techniques. Too bad the judicial system doesn't agree with me.

Bri Thai
05-17-2005, 09:19 AM
Fence / verbal de-escalation
Pre emptive striking
First aid
Legal knowledge

05-17-2005, 09:30 AM
The fence
A few very basic strikes
The Shredder
A good, solid "I'm coming down your throat no matter what you try to do about it" attitude.

shock combat
05-17-2005, 10:03 AM
I believe it all begins with knowledge first. There is no excuse for ignorance or stupidity both can get you killed. When it comes to survival in the physical arena it is measured by the lengths you are willing to go to survive or in other words mindset. You have to have the physical aspects to continue fighting as long as it takes and the mechanical and natural tools to be successful.

My priorities:

1) Intelligence
2) Psychological
3) Physical
4) Mechanical
5) Natural


1) Knowledge- Knowing and understanding the anatomy, physiology, and psychology of a criminal attack. Having hard wired pattern-recognition responses. Learning to trust your instincts and using common sense.
2) Prevention.
3) Awareness.
4) Assessment.
5) Avoidance.
6) Communication skills- Body language, verbal, and electronic (cell phone) etc.
7) Force-options.


Psychological attributes

1) Mindset- willingness to do what ever it takes to survive.
2) Willpower- determination (heart), the will to keep on fighting regardless of fear, pain, injury, or fatigue.
3) Decision making- Run, fight, or comply. To comply means the decision to give up your wallet or car, not surrender and go with a perp’ to a secondary location or allow a rape to occur.
4) Confidence-knowledge that you have trained hard, correctly, and having solid core skills pressure tested in training.

Physical: Physical attributes- Strength, condition, and overall athletic prowess.

Mechanical: Weapons- guns, edged weapons, impact weapons, and improvised/hasty weapons.

Natural: Unarmed techniques- functional high percentage techniques that can be used under conditions of high stress and adrenaline that are geared towards bridging to weapons.

05-19-2005, 02:17 PM

Your answers show a great deal of wisdom and experience and they are very much appreciated...

7. Constant "stress" testing of techniques - if they don't hold up they get binned.


Could you give me some examples of stress testing techniques?



05-19-2005, 02:29 PM
I practiced cane blocks, both with private instruction and watching videos. then my wife, with one of those foam blocker thingies, tested my technique. To the bin. I could not stop her one single time using the prescribed blocks. Had to figure out one of my own, which later, after seeing the video, looks a lot like Cestari's elbow-up-duck, except I have the cane in my hand.

There are a million things out there in all walks of life that work wonderously well for almost all people. But there are only a few things that work for a fat, not very intelligent, clumsy old f**t like myself, so everything has to be tested. Very little survives the tests.

God bless and y'all be mindful out there.

05-19-2005, 03:48 PM

Your answers show a great deal of wisdom and experience and they are very much appreciated...


Could you give me some examples of stress testing techniques?



Hi S

Stress testing is limited only by how difficult you wish to make your own training. We all like to train the "text-book" skills, whether it is working the bag or with a 1 on 1 with a partner. But do you work a technique after a full 20 minute warm-up/anaerobic drill when you're body is at its limit, do you include multiple attackers closing you down, can you fight in a scenario when you have lost the use of part of your vision or the working of a limb. In the dark or on a wet slippery surface? I don't know what particular techniques or drills you use S, so I can't really comment on the details. I guess the point is trying to make your training as arduous/difficult as possible (whilst still keeping it realistic for your needs) - to see if the techniques you currently use DO have a better than average chance of getting you out of trouble.

Just as a brief example: Fairbairn used to make his students complete an energy sapping assault course; they would then have to run to the firing range and try and score a decent kill-shot ratio on the target. They're heart would have been pounding, hands shaking, the full adrenaline hit. After all we're not all going to be cool, calm and collected when we draw a weapon and pop the bad guy. We may have just run for our lives and now we have to deal with the stress of killing someone at close quarters.

This I believe is the second "part" of stress testing both the technique and yourself. It is acclimatising the body to perform under extreme conditions - and still being able to WIN, not just survive, but WIN.

Maybe we should have a seperate thread for stress testing ideas.



Colonel B. Guano
05-19-2005, 04:38 PM
I can relate to the point about not being (ahem) as fit or indestuctible as I used to be.

Learning more options and new ways to apply them is always good, but years ago I had the time to do so much more. I go to seminars for new ideas when I can and practice when I can, which is a lot less than optimum. Then again, my chances of being in a life or death have declined significantly.

Nowadays I stick to the basics:

Flurry of hard punches and low kicks for the startle encounter. Basic BJJ for the ground. Basic knife for the extreme. Basic pistol and rifle for the big one.

I've got enough basics and little enough time that I focus on RBT and core fitness. If I had to give it all up except for one, that one would be my weekly one or two yoga classes and a few hours a week of creative visualization (running scenarios in my Mk 1 Mod 1 Brainpan). The yoga is crucial because it keeps me limber and strong, and reduces the affects of day-to-day stress.

Also, my focus has shifted towards strategies and practices that help me deal with the mundane confrontations and battles of everyday human interactions. IMO, after 40 the pain in your chest is the one you are most likely to have to deal with. Of course, regular combative training helps in that respect as well.