Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category


Monday, November 30th, 2020

I will be the first to admit ––– no, to proclaim ––– that those who qualify amongst their fellow competitors as “champion” and as “master” so-called combat shooters because of their record of contest wins and of excellent match shooting performances can readily shoot with greater accuracy and speed, at distances beyond which I don’t even bother with, than I would likely to be able to duplicate.  Some of these impressive shooters have a brilliant quick draw, and can place their rounds inside a group that boggles the mind –––– all on a sunny day, at the range, when the “enemy” is a cardboard cutout or a color picture of a bad guy, and they are fully prepared to be shooting at that time and on that day, using their pet firearm (often race-tuned), pet holster rig, and have looked forward to and prepared specifically for this recreational outing.

But let’s for a mement consider another situation. I’ll call it a real world deadly predicament. You are returning from work. It is evening. You have a headache and can’t wait to get home, change into something comfortable, have dinner, and relax. Or perhaps you are on your way to work, trying to remember which matter must be handled before noon today, and rushing to get to the subway (or to your car). Maybe you are out with your wife or child, perhaps shopping; you are having a pleasant discussion and both of you are relaxed and totally immersed in the feeling of a pleasant few hours together. You can substitute any of a couple of dozen possible normal, everyday, usual life scenarios. Let’s also assume that (if you are outside) you are carrying a licensed handgun. If you are at home there is a loaded handgun on a nightstand which you can get to within about ten to fifteen seconds.

Suddenly you are confronted by one or more felons. They seem to come out of nowhere. Perhaps from behind parked vehicles. Possibly from an alleyway or hallway. Maybe they’ve been  following you and you simply didn’t notice them. Or maybe they smash a window in your home, or break the door open and enter as forcibly and suddenly as that. Possibly a car oulls up beside you at the curb and one or two violent scumbags exist and jump you (qualifying, as they feel they must, for entry into some gang of sh-tbags.

Even with that medal which you wear to the range so proudly that declares you a “Combat Master” you are shocked, utterly astonished, and taken by surprise. (This applies whether you are an unarmed or armed individual, by the way. Even if you have experienced a similar attack in the past, the present one ––– guaranteed ––– will rattle you for at the very least, a moment!

A real world attack hits like an assassination attempt. You may be prepared in general for violence, because you do train in combative skills, and you do go armed with a handgun you know how to use. But every situation for real hits like a surprise sucker punch, and there is not merely a gap between the second it occurs and when you transition to a war-footing and deal with it, there is a huge difference between that which you experience and must cope with at the range (or in the gym) and that which now threatens your life directly.

The calm, cool precision with which you so excellently and efficiently dispatch cardboard targets will be compromised. You are now in real, serious, perhaps lethal danger. Your enemies now have not only the will and the weaponry (and likely the ability and prior experience necessary) to kill you very dead, They also have the advantage of being the initiators of violence. They are all ready, They have planned this. They know what they’re going to do (or try to do), and you are the reactor when split seconds matter!

Shooting for real, in violent combat when danger explodes from an unanticipated quarter is not the same as shooting for fun, for practice, or for competition.

If you think that an hour at the shooting range or an afternoon with buddies participating in a shooting match approximates the real thing, then you are dangerously mistaken. 

Yes, most definitely, firearms and training in their combat use  must be a part of your urban survival preparation . . . but if you fall for the commercial line that some very popular “shooting experts” and “shooting schools” strive to convince you of: i.e. that you will be ready and honed to a razor’s edge for the real thing by being a competitive shooter, you may one day die to regret it!

How well I remember an incident that occurred back in the early 90’s. One of my students, a most serious and excellent student, who had relocated a year earlier to another state and was unable to continue training with me, had come in for a visit during a trip to see his family here in Seattle. He had left as a purple belt, and had not taken any combat handgun training from me . . . only unarmed stuff. While away and in his new location he explained that he had taken two one-week long courses at a very popular “name” shooting school. He had fired thousands of rounds, he said. He qualified as a combat expert with the handgun when tested at the school, and he felt that the program had readied him quite sufficiently for handling a lethal encounter with an armed felon. The trainng he had received was in what is known as the “new technique of the pistol”. It emphasized always using the handgun’s sights, and always using a shooting position popularly known as the “Weaver stance”. (The Weaver stance was employed by a Sheriff Jack Weaver in competition shooting, where and when the system my student had trained in was formulated. In reality, the same shooting position was demonstrated decades earlier by a famous shooting authority and author of the book Shooting, named Fitzgerald. Correctly, Fitzgerald emphasized the stance only when distances permitted use-of-the-sights to be employed). What my student was not taught was anything about the dynamics of real deadly armed combat, what happens to one’s mind and body, and the correct technique for shooting in such emergency situations. The method is called “point shooting” and has been fully described and explained in detail in the Classic text Kill Or Get Killed, by the late Col. Rex Applegate. If you want to be able to handle a pistol in close combat get a copy of that book and study the sections on combat shooting intensively and assiduously. They are as correct, current, and valuable as they were when first penned as a classified document under the heading of “Handgun Offense” during WWII.

If you want more references that will expound upon the subject, purchase the following books:

a) QUICK OR DEAD, by William Cassidy

b) SHOOTING TO LIVE, by William Fairbairn


ENCOUNTERS, by Calibre Press

Although many who don’t know any better swear that point shooting is not as effective as deliberate use-of-the-sights competition shooting for serious combat, these people are wrong. Avail yourself of what works and what has been proven to work ––– not in match events, but in real combat!

What is ignored by many today is that about 97% of actual encounters in which a handgun will be employed in personal defense occur at distances not exceeding five to about 20 feet. More than 50%, according to FBI studies, occur at a distance of five feet or less!

And while use of the sights is dealt with by point shooting teachers and courses . . . that kind of sighted firing occurs rarely, and how it’s done is easy to learn.

Back to my visiting student:

I had to show him what works and why, because I have a responsibility to teach the correct methods to anyone who is my student and whose attitude is respectful, and who is teachable.

I had my student take his unloaded weapon in hand. This already gave him a great advantage which reality would likely never afford him, since he wore it in a holster––– concealed.

I took a combat knife from the rack on the wall. I walked to the other side of the training room (about 18 feet). “When I attack you, you go to your Weaver stance and snap off a couple of shots,” I told him. He nodded.

I stood for a quiet few moments at the other end of the room. He stood facing me, weapon in hand and at his side . . . aware that an attack was imminent (something else that was an advantage not likely to be had in the street).

Suddenly I grimaced, shouted hatefully “You damn motherf—-er, I’m gonna kill your ass!” and charged at him as an attacker would, knife preeminent in my hand. The result was dranatic.

My student froze for a moment as if to remember what to do, then he jerked the pistol up to eye level and as he brought his support hand in place to aim, I was beside him. I stabbed in the direction of the wall. “Gotcha!” I smiled.

The point was made (no pun intended). I gave my student a couple of free hours of training to insure that he understood and could develop the point shooting method, before he left. Prior to his departure I pulled couple of surprise mock attacks on him and he reacted perfectly. He would have shot me each time ––– before I was able to “kill” him. Point shooting is combat shooting.

In a crisis certain things happen that are involuntary and inevitable. Let me tell you what they are before closing this week’s presentation:

  1. You completely lose your capacity for fine motor articulations (i.e. precise, intricate movements like assuming a fixed, specific and unnatural stance and hand position)

  2. Your adrenaline surges, giving you enormous power with which to generate gross body movements of the large muscles (i.e. exactly what you employ when you point shoot)

  3. Your eyes lock onto an attacking enemy. This is referred to as the peripheral optic dysfcunction phenomenon, or the tachey-psche effect (in fact making focusing on the front sight, as competitive shooters do, an impossibility. You will look at the attacker; it is not a matter of choice!)

  4. Your grip on your handgun convulses, and you pull (you do not “squeeze”) the trigger (and calmly generating a “surprise break” as is taught in the competition-oriented courses, is just not going to happen)

  5. Your blood pressure goes through the roof (and you are far from being cool-headed and minutely precise as you react to deadly danger that is immediate)

  6. You crouch. You crouch protectively and automatically because doing so when a sudden, explosive threat to your life materializes and barrels toward you or fires at you is instinctive (and you won’t stand bolt upright, feet positioned just so, and hands and arms holding your weapon in the approved manner while you “press” your trigger. Okay at the range . . . won’t work in real close combat)

  7. You may very well fire your weapon empty (unless you become highly practiced, conditioned, and experienced you will not be paying attention to how many times you’ve fired. Note: There is a technique taught in combat shooting that covers this matter.)

Something else that should be taken into consideration is that the majority of actual armed encounters take place during evening and nightime hours when seeing the handgun’s sights and being able to aim precisely is a virtal impossibility.

Factor this material in. It may one day save your life.

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Monday, February 17th, 2020

                     MMA: REALLY NOTHING NEW!

YONG SHUL CHOI is the name of the Founder of the Art of Hapkido. Choi’s innovative Art was the result of his training in and combining the principles and skills of two distinct martial arts: Korean Tang Soo Do, and Japanese Aiki-jutsu. Hapkido is an excellent example of a classical/traditional mixed martial art. Virtually every single ju-jutsu system was and is, in fact, a mixed martial art. American Combato, founded by this writer in 1975 is a mixed martial art. The Fairbairn System, The Applegate System, the O’Neill System, the Brown-Begala System, the Biddle System, Bruce Tegnér’s Jukado, the WWII USMC Raider Close Combat System, the Nelson System, Caesar Bujosa’s Jakata, the Sigward System, William Chow’s Kenpo-Karate, Japan’s Goshindo Kempo System, Frank Ryan’s System, Cliff Freeland’s wartime (WWII) System, John Perkins’ Guided Chaos, Jon Bluming’s Method, the ancient Greek Pankration, Indian Varmannie, and more than likely several dozen more systems, schools, courses, and methods all over the world are in fact MIXED MARTIAL ARTS.

SO WHAT IS THIS “MMA” STUFF? Is it really new? Is it unique? Does it offer a whole new perspective on what does an doesn’t work in real combat?

The MMA is properly categorized as a “Mixed Martial Sport”. That is certainly something unusual for the 20th and 21st centuries, since not since the Art of Greek Pankration was reckless, injurious, senselessly harmful brutality considered a “sport”. On the other hand it has always been understood ––– if not explicitly taught ––– that in real combat one resorts to whatever the hell will defeat the enemy, and it matters not in the least where or from whom any particular action resorted to by a combatant originated!

In the simplest terms: true MARTIAL “martial art” has always been, for want of a better term, “mixed”. Kicking, punching, clawing, elbowing, biting, chopping, grasping, kneeing, butting, spitting, jabbing, throwing, strangling, joint breaking, and using anything at hand or a weapon that one happens to be in possessionof, is all part and parcel of actual, real, anything-goes MARTIAL art. A combat art, in order to be a combat art, must be all-inclusive. And here we hasten to remind or to inform anyone wondering about it, that “martial” means:”Of or pertaining to war”. Not sport. Not contests. Not competition. Not championships. But C-O-M-B-A-T; that is, real, dangerous, battle between human beings in which the combatants are doing battle for survival.

In our personal opinion this makes the modern sport of MMA (and its sister activity, the UFC) little more than dangerous, risky nonsense.

How can we possibly say this? Because, while enjoining the entrants to beat each other senseless with both percussionary and grappling SPORT COMBAT ACTIONS, the activity encourages mastery of skills that are bound to cause injury when applied as they are applied in MMA, yet are not necessarily the real actions that one must be trained to resort to in either a desperate self-defense predicament or in a wartime military hand-to-hand combat engagement.

We have no quarrel with avid MMA/UFC participants. So long as they wish to pursue their preferred version of mutual abuse, God Bless ‘Em. This is America, and people are and should be free to participate in whatever sports they wish ––– providing their participation is done as mutually consenting adults. 

OK. However . . . people have been grossly misinformed and misled into believing that the “real path to proficiency” in self-defense is to be on the MMA bandwagon. Never mind what close combat authorities, wartime trainers, highly experienced combatives experts, and even martial arts people who have many years of experience and who have been and done have to say! What the hell do they know, anyway? They don’t even allow full contact!

Well, they “don’t allow full contact” because the eyes, throat, neck, ears, testicles, solar plexus/sternum, bridge of nose, knees, kidneys, spine, etc. are automatic targets in that which they teach, and calling any contact with those targets INSANE during the course of practice and training is understating the matter.

MMA fighters ––– in their teens, 20’s, and 30’s ––– who are in hard training and who are active in tough competitions, and who stay in top shape, can almost certainly use their skills in real combat. However, MMA training and competition is not feasible or desirable for everybody who needs self-defense. Nor does the MMA skill-set have a lifetime shelf life. After the inevitable injuries from the sport, and middle age approach, the MMA stuff is not what you want if some piece of sh-t tries to mug you, if you are jumped, if two or three punks attack you, if a home invasion, carjacking, attempted rape, kidnap, or other form of egregious violence is thrust upon you by dangerous predatory vermin.

Real combatives employ techniques calculated to knockout, maim, cripple, and kill . . . and these unarmed skills are incorporated (in properly organized systems) with modern weapons. The purpose is most emphatically not to become a “tough guy”, or a street fighter, or any variant of physical troublemaker. The purpose is to provide qualty, reliable, lifetime skills and mindset to persons of every background, from housewives to military elites.

Mixed skills are of course mandatory in all combative syllabi. Not that every type of skill is essential (submission type holds, grappling, ground fighting, defensive blocking and restraining actions, and sporting throws, etc.) are worthless. But all types of blows, gouges, jabs, smashes,kicks etc. with one’s natural weapons, select combat throws and takedowns, strangulation methods, workable counterattacks against attacks that take one by surprise, are to be included. And, of course, weapons (which includes training in weapons-at-hand, or “improvised” weapons).

But the most distinctive aspect of real, serious combat training, as opposed to hard-fought combat sports of any kind ––– MMA/UFC, or what-have-you ––– is MINDSET, MENTAL CONDITIONING, AND ATTITUDE. For self-defense and close combat the mind must be trained to utter ruthlessness and to fierce, merciless ferocity. The mental training here is for WAR.

Even the toughest and most hard-fought UFC and MMA matches often end with both winner and loser embracing and expressing real respect and appreciation for his opponent. Bravo! That is good sportsmanship, and we certainly salute those MMA and UFC fighters who see their art as one of friendly, mutually respectful combat sport. But their “mixed martial sport” is not real combat, and those needing real combat training should understand this fact. Their pursuit should be of an art of actual close combat and personal defense.

Don’t worry. Any authentic combatives teacher you meet will, if you enroll for instruction, be teaching you a mixture of skills, tactics, and techniques drawn from many proven sources. That’s what combat requires, and that is what all of us whose profession is teaching self-defense and close combat have always known and taught.

“Mixed martial sport” may be new on the horizon, but mixed martial arts have existed for a long, long, long time.


Sunday, January 26th, 2020

                          Training The Will

A  plethora of DVDs and books purporting to teach “special forces fitness”, “seal physical training”, “ranger P.T.”, and other dramatically-impressive modes of personal readiness and body-building that bear titles intended to appeal to those who are familiar with the justifiably respected so-called “elite units” of the military, abound. The ads must bring in millions, because they keep appearing in the periodicals, and people keep sending away for the DVDs and books.

Certain facts should be, but aren’t, either pointed out or generally appreciated by those who stand in awe of those whose fitness regimes they seek to follow: 1. Training for the elite units is more of a breaking down of the trainee (or an effort to break him down) during the preliminary stages, than it is a method of building him up. 2. Such building up that is a goal of the training once the trainee has passed selection and assessment is more task-directed than it is directed toward “muscle-building”. And 3. The critical factor enabling a trainee to pass muster for any elite unit is his will to succeed and to qualify; his tenaciousness in never giving up, and his dogged determination to become a member of the unit for which he is in training. Mental toughness, more than physical toughness, is what is required, what is tested, and ––– ultimately, for those who qualify ––– that which is constantly being honed in and for all special operations forces.

The WILL is the special operator’s most crucial “muscle”. Developed and nurtured to its limit, the will makes all of the other muscles of the body do that which is demanded of them.

Every human being is capable of many more times the concentrated effort of mind, spirit, and muscle than he is normally aware of, and certainly more than his normal daily existence in the private sector of society ever demands of him. It is that concentrated, fanatically-focused and determined mental, spiritual, and muscular effort that training for the special units is intended to foster and educate. The person who possesses the required level of this will-driven power to qualify for special operations forces will not quit when circumstances appear overwhelming, terrifying, or hopeless. In fact, the possessor of this fully cultivated will does not label a situation “hopeless”. He functions down to his cells with the committement to never give up so long as he is alive and capable of movement.

Private citizens who have no firsthand experience with any of what constitues preparation for and performance of desperate and all-but-impossible mission accomplishment often are surprised to discover that members of elite and special forces do not necessarily appear to be extraordinary. Unlike the bodybuilders whose shockingly extreme development they proudly display on the posing dais, the special operator may look “ordinary”. No bulging muscles. No strikingly exaggerated and physically imposing presence. How disappointing. Can these fellows really do the often incredible things that are occasionally reported in books and in films? Yes they can. Don’t be deceived. They are human, and the truly impossible is impossible for them, too. But given dangerous tasks that persons who have not and often could not have measured up to their capacities, these men can accomplish pretty impressive and unusual things.

Appearances are very deceiving.

The fellow whose impressive physique has enabled him to win a “Mister” type title may be panic stricken at the mere thought of attempting certain of the tasks through the accomplishment of which the special operators have qualified for their positions. Parachuting. Rapelling. Cliff scaling. Surviving on literal jungle fare in the jungle. Downproofing and water survival. Pursuit by men and dogs. Experiencing real conditions of captivity and imprisonment, interrogation, and as close to actual physical and mental abuses as can be imposed without inflicting permanent injury or death (like water-boarding, and sleep deprivation). The ability to bench press 300 pounds and flex 18” biceps, impressive and real as these accomplishments might be, have nothing to do with the person’s ability to withstand and function well in spite of horrific, frightening, unhealthy, always risky wartime conditions.

You may be able to pass the fitness test to qualify for entry into a level of assessment training for special forces, but that does not say anything about your will or lack thereof to tackle the course and see it through despite fatigue, fear, pain, discouragement, hunger, and thirst.

Every special unit of every military service in the world recognizes that training the will, once it has been determined they have a recruit who already has a sizable degree of will power to begin with, is key.

For every trainee’s benefit we urge that he address this matter and take the development of his own will seriously. Teach yourself not to quit. This does not mean “don’t ever quit anything”. It means that, once you hae decided that a course of action is truly necessary and desirable, and that you want to attain the results of taking that course of action you set yourself to doing it, and do not allow anything to stop you. Easier to say than to do we admit.

Fear, fatigue, pain, and discouragement: These are the four obstacles that ––– in your training and in your life ––– it should be your goal and purpose to defeat, overcome, and triumph in spite of. 

Everyone experiences fear, but few act in spite of it, and continue when they know that that which they fear must be overcome.

Everyone experiences fatigue, but few will push themselves despite their desire to rest. When a situation is desperate and threatening, fatigue must be ignored and your vital reserves must be called upon to keep you in the (literal or figurative) battle.

Everyone feels and dreads pain. But when a situation is pressing, and an obstacle ––– human or otherwise ––– must be overcome, pain must be blocked out for the duration. Just do it! Pain relief can be sought when the matter has been resolved. This applies to mental/emotional as well as physical pain.

Everyone has known discouragement. Often it is enhanced by the nagativity of those around you, and the feeling of “what’s the use?” feels overwhelming. That feeling must be overcome. It must never be accepted as a valid guide to action when the matter at hand is a critical and urgent one. Don’t give up!

Training the WILL. It may not have occurred to you before how absolutely crucial this is for success in physical and close combat training. But you know it now.


Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

                      Don’t Quarrel With Success

SOME people enjoy fussing with things just for the sake of fussing. They are not satisfied when an effective solution or method is achieved, but continue to pick and fiddle and “fine tune” and adjust. These individuals are regarded in some cases as tinkerers; but are often, well, pains-in-the-ass. They keep complicating and obfuscating everything, and as a result, they actually prevent good results and satisfactory conclusions.

The armed and unarmed combat arts are inundated with this “fix-it-whether-or-not-it-is-broken” attitude. It is reflected in the awful complexity and endless nit-picking of those who are never satisfied with a technique, a system, an idea, a tactic, a weapon, or what-have-you, and are in many instances literally impervious to hard-core stuff that works.

What is especially and particularly irritating is that simplicity, common sense, and flawless track records rarely count for much with these types. They want something new, improved, and better. We naturally applaud this attitude when in fact better ways and tools need to be sought because existing approaches and equipment fall short of achieving desired outcomes. But change and “newness” make no sense when that which one possesses works perfectly well.

In unarmed combat methods we know what works well and reliably, and that which does not. The field of unarmed close combat (not unarmed combat sports, but unarmed combat) has evolved to the point where every correct principle and tactic for success is known, and it remains only for those who train to adhere to those principles and tactics when selecting techniques and when building their personal repertoire. That which works has been discovered and uncovered in peacetime and in war by people who engaged in the activity ––– for real. Here’s what we know:

  • Blows and related tactics (i.e. biting, clawing, seizing, crushing) and strangling and choking, comprise the most effective, reliable, and adaptable skills for actual hand-to-hand combat that exist.

  • Throwing is a secondary skill, and ––– providing the throws meet the requirements of combat application and not mere contest requirements ––– constitute an important part of semi-advanced and advanced close combat and self-defense training.

  • Human beings are very difficult to stop when they are determined and aroused (as they may be assumed to be in any violent engagement) and therefore “one blow stops” are unrealistic goals in training, and very foolish in application. Enormous followup and relentless continuation of all-out effort is to be expected whenever engaged in violent combat. There is no easy or minimally-effortful way to get control over and neutralize a determined foe.

  • Size and strength, while not necessarily being decisive factors in determining the outcome of an engagement, definitely matter. Most particularly strength is important, and every technique depends to a lesser or greater degree upon the strength of the user for ultimate success.

  • The element of surprise is always crucial.

  • Offense must constitute the core strategy of dealing with any opponent. Doing the unexpected, catching the enemy off-guard, conveying the opposite of your true intentions, and pressing your attack without hesitation once you have gained the initiative is what wins. Self-defense is best achieved by attacking the attacker.

  • The open hand offers more and far better options than the clenched fist in combat, and only the simplest low kicks make sense in real world engagements.

  • The human body’s vital target areas number about 15, not the enormous number that many Asian systems insist upon; and it is these targets that should be attacked with all-out force, and against which relentless efforts to destroy must be directed. Injury and damage need to be achieved in order to be effective in close combat; “pain compliance” is ridiculous, except for police, security guards, and other peace keepers who must often control others without seriously damaging them.

  • Skills that have a “shelf life” (i.e. that one cannot use when one grows older and when one is not in hard training) should not be studied. Time and effort should be spent on those skills that will serve for a lifetime ––– or at least until the individual has grown extremely old and frail.

  • Maintenance of strength, fitness, and good all round condition should always be a concern of anyone training in combat skills. “Natural weapons” should be trained by impact work against striking aids: dummies, bags, posts, etc. This is more to provide experience in contact than to harden or to build up the natural weapons, per se.

  • Mental conditioning for combat is vital. Success in personal, individual combat depends at the very least 50% on mindset and attitude . . . and we (in American Combato) say that 90% is closer to a realistic assessment of the importance of mental attitude.

  • Self-defense or any hand-to-hand engagement in peacetime or in war is war in microcosm. And war is only properly fought and won with an anything goes, no restraint, no rules, no mercy, no acceptance of anything but the destruction of the enemy attitude and committment. In real combat animal ferocity and viciousness coupled with ruthless disregard for the enemy is the least that is demanded for a true fighting spirit!

  • Weaponry is not a separate area of study or training but is integral to combat training and readiness. And every close combat student must master improvised weapons and weapons-at-hand in addition to modern weapons. Additionally, unarmed combatants must anticipate armed enemies.

  • Risk is inevitable in all combat, regardless of how skilled and knowledgeable any expert may be. Never underestimate any adversary, and never underestimate yourself. Never overestimate any adversary, and never overestimate yourself. Unrelenting, serious practice ––– as much of it as is feasible, given time available, age, state of health and physical condition ––– is the only way to increase the odds of victory.

There, in fourteen points is summarized the core factors that we KNOW are necessary for success in close combat. Searching and toying with this, that, and the other thing in the martial arts, and falling for the stupid and outrageous gimmicks and promises that so many charlatans make and profit by making, will avail you nothing. Settle down to what works. Don’t quarrel with success. TRAIN!

In armed combat the same thing applies. Use of the handgun, the carbine, shotgun, rifle-and-bayonet, stick, knife, tomahawk, cosh, brass knuckles, blackjack, the smatchet, etc. is simple and direct, and the methods that have been established by men such as Fairbairn, Applegate, Sykes, O’Neill, Feldenkrais, Biddle, and Carlin, etc. provide the war-proven way to go. No “new technique” is required. All new systems (such as our own, American Combato) derive  their effectiveness by BUILDING UPON ALL OF THAT WHICH HAS BEEN PROVEN TO BE SUCCESSFUL, AND ADHERENCE TO THE LONG-AGO DISCOVERED FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS, not by coming up with some revolutionary, new way. Combat is not like the science and craft of medicine or the field of physical science or engineering. Much remains to be discovered about diagnosing, curing, and preventing human diseases, and much remains to be discovered within other hard sciences as well, that is not thus far known. But engaging other individual humans in deadly combat has been wrung out as a study . . . and now it remains only to build upon and keep training in those proven, established, successful ways and means that have long since been revealed through countless experiences and protracted studies by professionals. A”better” handgun or fighting knife may well be developed . . . but how to use it has already been discovered. And, truth be told, in many instances the older handguns and fighting knives, etc. remain the best!

Once again dear reader: Don’t quarrel with success!


Wednesday, January 1st, 2020


AS we wend our way toward the age of 80 we find ourself becoming more and more appreciative of firearms and their irreplaceable importance and value for self-defense.

No way can the unarmed combat abilities we enjoyed in our younger years be counted upon today. Yes, we still retain a respectable ability in unarmed close combat and self-defense, in the use of a knife, and in stick methods, etc. ––– but even in our 20’s we recognized that these skills could never take the place of a combat pistol, a shotgun, or a 5.56 carbine. That’s why we included all modern hand-held weapons in the American Combato curriculum. Today, these skills ––– most particularly those with firearms ––– take on a greater importance in our own personal security and defense plans and training. Age and arthritis, two all but inevitable afflictions that come with time, remind us that the street garbage––– the predatory sh–t ––– in its teens, 20’s and 30’s, has some undeniable advantages over us in all-out close combat. These advantages, we happily note, can be nicely dealt with and overcome by Mr. Colt, Messrs. Smith and Wesson, and their relations (i.e. Browning, Remington, Heckler and Koch, Glock, Ruger, Springfield Armory, etc.).

We have no intention of ever submitting to victimhood should the unfortunate occurrence of an encounter with attacking felons ever arise. Guns provide a reasonably certain defense for ourself, our wife, and our home. And it is a defense that we intend to rely upon if necessary.

How do you feel about this?

Regardless of your age we would urge you to acquire practical weapon skills ––– to include of course the ultimate personal weapons: firearms.There is no substitute for guns.

If you are one of our students then you are well aware that weapons are integral to our System . . . and the use of the handgun is specifically taught at Black Belt level. But if you are training in another method that restricts itself to either unarmed action only, or to unarmed combat and antiquated weapons (beautiful indeed, but of no real practical value) then we suggest that you

––– First and foremost take a good course in firearms safety, handling, and shooting. 

––– Get familiar with semiautomatic (normally referred to as “automatic”) pistols, and revolvers. Both types of handgun are valuable and effective.

––– Decide upon the weapon(s) best suited to your needs and tastes.

––– Purchase the best quality-manufactured weapons no matter the cost. (This is not something for which you shop for budget items. You want the best.) 

––– Practice, practice, practice with your weapons. Learn combat work either from a teacher who emphasizes point shooting, or from the works of those combat experts who have described it in their publications. Kill Or Get Killed, Shooting To Live, and Quick Or Dead are first class sources of viable instruction.

One of the reasons why we left New York in the 1970’s is because of the unConstitutional, oppressive, insane, and unjust fanatical gun laws and restrictions. And while we cannot tell anoyone to relocate, we did, and anyone who knows what is happening in our society today might want to consider this option if he lives where gun laws all but completely prevent his owning and carrying a gun for self-defense.

True enough, you may never need to employ firearm skills (or unarmed combat skills) of any kind, ever. But it makes good sense to have these skills and these weapons, because if you ever do need them, you will need them immediately, and very, very badly!

If you are fortunate enough to reach what is euphemistically referred to as your “senior years” you will certainly be glad to know that ––– even at whatever advanced age you may be ––– you possess the means of stopping any powerful, determined aggressor in his tracks. In your case any “home invader” will leave in a body bag, and you and yours will survive! 

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the law as it applies where you live, regarding firearms and the use of deadly force in self-defense. You might want to obtain a PDF of our little booklet, “Combat Handgun Miscellany”. It costs $10. Send us ten bucks and clearly print your email address with your order, and we’ll get it to you immediately. Order from: Brad Steiner P.O. Box 15929  Seattle, WA. 98115.

If you are a “joiner” and wish to become part of a rational, well-run, aggressively effective pro-gun organization, we’d suggest Gun Owners of America. Larry Pratt runs this Organization, and in our personal opinion it stands head and shoulders above the NRA.

Guns are tools. Like all tools, they are manufactured for the purpose of assisting in the accomplishment of tasks. The “task” in the case of firearms is survival and self-defense, and the protection of your loved ones and your home. Certainly a worthy objective you will agree.

That some criminals misuse guns is a fact. But that criminals will always and inevitably obtain guns no matter what laws and regulations are imposed is also a fact. The private citizen who is armed and prepared to answer deadly force with deadly force is the only solution to armed criminal violence. “Gun control” is either a misguided concept by well-intentioned but ignorant individuals who legitimately oppose violent crime, OR it is a deadly action that is pursued by politically-motivated tyrants and their thugs to render a population helpless.

As a good guy we want you to know and to appreciate the great value of being armed and competent with guns. The bad guys have always known this.

Recommendation: A marvelous Documentary titled “Innocents Betrayed” is available on YouTube. It presents a thorough and utterly persuasive argument for private citizens to be well armed.


Sunday, December 1st, 2019

                    Self-Defense Is Close Combat

YES you could say that escaping the scene of an intended ambush and a few other possible scenarios also qualify as “self-defense”, and these situations do not exactly fall under the heading of close combat; however, 99% or more of those predicaments that do entail an individual defending himself or another person certainly involve close combat.

Unarmed personal defense and offense is the foundation of close combat. The use of the stick, the knife, the tomahawk, improvised weapons “at hand”, and the handgun all involve close-in combat. Even shoulder weapons ––– used as the WWII USMC instructor Stephen Savers advocated in what he called “snap shooting” ––– frequently involves close combat, as of course does any engagement with a bayoneted shoulder weapon (i.e. shotgun or rifle).

Techniques taught in martial arts often violate that which close combat demands for success. For example, those really beautiful demonstrations by taekwondo experts in which they run a distance and leap into the air, or jump over a line of colleagues who kneel in a row before them, and then deliver a kick or series of kicks; very admirable athletic accomplishments, no doubt ––– but irrelevant for actual personal combat. Squaring off with a sparring partner for freestyle practice or contest is fine ––– but is not preparation for dealing with an actual dangerous attack in which you either preempt a clearly aggressive threat, or you are caught such that you must counterattack (i.e. defend against) it. Military combat and certain counter-terrorist predicaments do occasionally require dealing with adversaries at considerable distance ––– but self-defense does not.

High, spinning, leaping, jumping, and wide-swinging actions, so commonly observed in formalized “martial arts schools” (and in motion pictures and on TV, as well, please note) look fabulous and impressive. However, despite their appearance they are almost 100% useless in genuine hand-to-hand combat.

Whether with empty hands or hand held weapons, self-defense, being an aspect of the discipline of close combat, requires that one’s bare-handed skills as well as one’s weapons training, involve dealing with violent enemies who are close-in.

The techniques that work best in real unarmed combat are:

• Open hand chinjabs and heelpalm thrusts and smashes

• Open hand edge-of-hand chops

• Open hand clawing to face and eyes

• Open hand finger-tips thrusting into eyes or throat

• Thumb gouging eyes, mouth-hooking, or tearing


• Ripping ears off

• Biting

• Elbow smashing

• Knee blows to testicles and face

• Head butting

• Low stomping side kicks, low front kicks, and low

back kicks

• Throat-locking (thyroid cartiledge)

• Neck breaking and naked choking/strangling

• Rarely but occasionally very simple, basic combat-type throwing 

• Half-fist jabs to throat or neck

• Knee drops, downward heel-palms, downward stomp kicks

vs. downed enemy

• Seizing, crushing, and pulling testicles

Not all of those actions are always applicable ––– some require  certain positions, opportunities, or sets of circumstances ––– but all are practical, simple, destructive, and versatile; and all have been tested and proven in WAR.

The stick, the knife, the tomahawk, etc.utilize similarly close-in, very basic and simple actions. Where and when elaborate swinging of very lengthy poles is incorporated into a martial arts curriculum, or knife throwing is taught, or handgun shooting at distant targets in which the weapon’s sights are employed is emphasized, the training is not practically-oriented, real world, close combat. And as a result, however beautiful, interesting, enjoyable, or challenging the activity may be, it simply has nothing to do with the known and well-documented realities of geuine close combat and emergency situations requiring self-protection.

Since there appears to be no limit to the dishonesty and imbecility of so many who clearly are threatened by the truth, and by a frank presentation of reality, we wish to reiterate a point that we have been communicating for decades, and which is ignored by some, who enjoy misleading others for personal or commercial gain:

While we have no personal interest in or concern for the furtherance of sporting or competitive martial arts, we certainly respect those dedicated participants in the sporting/competitive field and the price that they pay for their excellence as contestants. We have no argument with competitors or with classicists. We do not maintain that that which we do and espouse is “better” than that whichthey do ––– only that a radical difference exists between their activities, and actual human combat.

We are concerned now as we have always been, to present the truth about unarmed and armed martial training and application.

We do not say that our System, American Combato, is effective because of our “say so”. It has been painstakingly built over a lifetime of training, study, participation, and research, and the truths which we do present are true because reality has demonstrated their veracity.

We hope that you benefit from them.


Friday, July 19th, 2019

   Mindless Aphorisms That Are Blindly Accepted As “Truths”

IN the world of armed and unarmed martial arts we often hear statements that have been elevated to the level of “truths” simply because some celebrity in the field has mouthed or written them. We thought it would be fun to list and debunk some of this bullshit (and doubtless piss off a good number of morons who are true believers in the asininity!).

In The Unarmed Combat Sector

“The most important thing is, don’t get hit.” 

This is an approximation of something that was written years ago by a man who was certainly a legitimate and formidable karate exponent: the late Joe Lewis. Mr. Lewis was a powerful, fast, marvelously skilled karate man . . . but when he commented about not getting hit he said something very foolish, in our opinion.

The most important thing is WIN. Defeat the enemy/opponent, and prevail!

Once a person shifts his focus and tactical conduct on “not getting hit” he becomes defensive and preoccupied with preventing the enemy from hurting him. In combat it is virtually inevitable that the defender will get hit (or worse!). What is most important is that, when the encounter is over, the defender walks away in one piece, and the attacker cannot.

“Karate begins and ends with blocking.”

While this is certainly is true statement, speaking of the classical/traditional karate styles, it enjoins the karateka to adopt the exact opposite attitude and tactical response capacity that actual close combat has proven he really needs in order to stand the greatest chance of defeating his enemy: i.e. attacking relentlessly, and if possible launching his own attack ––– the “preemptive strike” ––– and following up relentlessly with offensive combat actions until his assailant is helpless.

“In karate never make the first move.”

A noble thought, perhaps, but tactical suicide. The truth is that a defender, upon realizing that he is is in imminent danger should make the first move, and follow that up with a vicious barrage until he has thoroughly vanquished his enemy.

In instances when he is taken off-guard, by surprise, he must strive mightily to turn the situation around so that he is carrying the offensive against his enemy.

“It is important to measure the degree of force you use in self-defense, and escalate to more serious actions only when the lesser techniques fail.”

Hogwash! There is no possible way to read the mind and assess the capabilities of a violent offender. Your reaction to an unprovoked (let’s face it, potentially deadly) attack must be ferocious, explosive, maximally destructive violence. Never give a violent offender a break! Waste no time trying to “measure” what you do when someone or some group of someones decides to beat your head in! Go get ‘em! Turn the tables and attack your attacker! Use techniques that speedily and reliably injure. “Pain compliance”, control, and “lesser measures” may be suitable for police officers who are sometimes obliged to restrain a non-dangerous, apparently non-violent misdemeaner suspect. For self-defense this approach is bullshit! 

“Size and strength are unimportant if you are sufficiently skilled.”

Not so. Strength and size are always significant ––– although it is true that they are not always or necessarily the decisive factors ina combative engagement. However, all other things being equal, the stronger and larger man will win every time. Intelligent training enjoins students to build themselves up in strength to their genetic potential, and back up the skills that they employ with as powerful a body as they are able to develop.

“All fights inevitably go to the ground.”

True of judo contests and of wrestling matches (and of the kind of sporting contests introduced as being some kind of “ultimate” event. The absolute myth that ground fighting is “inevitable” (let alone, desirable!) in real close combat is bullshit that a gullible martial arts public swallowed hook, line, and sinker! It was introduced by very clever people whose expertise in contest judo ––– emphasizing ne-waza ––– was outstanding. But for combat and self-defense one stays on one’s feet,and, should the exceptional happen and one ends up on the ground, one does not grapple as one might in a judo or wrestling contest. One uses other actions, and one gets to one’s feet.

“Classical, ancient weapons are every bit as formidable in 2019 as they were hundreds or thousands of years ago.”

The truth is that firearms, and modern edged and bludgeoning weapons are what the modern student of self-defense needs.      If you believe the myth about swords, nunchucks, sai, tonfa, throwing stars, and a few dozen other “ancient weapons” being suitable for today’s personal and home defense, you’re hopeless. 

In The Armed Combat Sector

“It is wise to insure that you have a ‘court-proof’ gun.”

What matters in any situation when a firearm is utilized in self-defense is two-fold: 1. Was the shooter in lawful possession of the firearm that was employed? and 2. Was the weapon employed justifiably, according to the law?

The only people who truly advocate and believe in the nonsense of a “court-proof gun” are the adult children who read that comic book fare known as “gun magazines”.

“The ‘new technique’ permits a man to use a handgun like it was a rifle.”

Oh, really? Then how come in that L.A. shootout where those two freaks in body armor attempted to escape after robbing a bank, the police (whose actions were nothing short of heroic) couldn’t achieve anything with their handguns? They had all been trained in the “new technique”. It was only after they acquired AR-15s from a local sporting goods store that they were finally able to drop the heavily armored bank robbers.

This bullshit about using a pistol “like it was a rifle” comes from the competition circuit. Sure . . . when you are shooting cardboard cutouts a hit with a .45ACP round at 25 meters is the equialent of a hit with a .308 NATO round. Both bullets hit and penetrate the cardboard target. But body armor is a factor, and range is, too. Handgun rounds will travel a great deal farther than they will reliably drop a man who is hit with them. This is a fact! So forget the idiot myth.

“Revolvers are becoming obsolete.”

In law enforcement circles, there is an element of truth to this statement. However . . . many law enforcement officers elect to carry a second gun, and that is most often a small .38 Special snubby! And, as far as the private sector is concerned, the revolver is alive, well, and going very strong. Quality revolvers are powerful, reliable, simple weapons that will likely continue to serve for many generations to come. They will perhaps be obsolete when the autopistol becomes obsolete, and rayguns replace cartridge-firing weaponry.

“A large magazine capacity is good if you plan to miss a lot.”

Oh, gee . . . what a clever (and stupid) comment!

A large magazine capacity provides an advantage that some individuals feel they need ––– or simply want. It’s not that they plan to “miss a lot” (ha, ha . . . very funny), it’s that they want to have more rounds available before needing to reload. With very little imagination we can see how law enforcement officers and military people most notably might want this.

Personally, we’re fine with the standard Colt .45 and seven round magazines. But that is us, not the enitre world of shooters. And we respect the judgment of those who wish to carry higher capacity arms. In fact, you might, yourself.

“Speed’s fine but accuracy’s final.”

If in fact those who emphasized great speed (like Fairbairn, Sykes, Applegate, and others who have been and done more times than most “avid shooters” have gone to the range) were unconcerned about hitting the enemy, but only cared about speed, this pointless statement would then make sense. But they don’t, and it doesn’t.

Speed is crucial in reacting to lethal danger with one’s sidearm, or other firearm. This doesn’t mean, and it is a strawman objection to imply that it does mean, that accuracy is insignificant.

This bullshit seems to have become a popular bromide amongst the deluded who believe that a handgun’s sights must always be employed, and that point shooting (which is deadly accurate and much faster) pays no attention to accurate shot placement.

Here’s a final thought (for those who think): In the real world (as opposed to match shooting events) it is important to get rounds firing in the enemy’s direction ASAP. In the military this has long been advocated, and is known as “fire superiority”. Now it is certainly true that cardboard cutouts are not disoriented or shaken by being shot at; but humans are. And a video appearing on You Tube shows a marvelous example of how this works. A little Asian woman literally routs a collection of living sh–t who ––– also armed with guns ––– have broken into her home. Most of the rounds she fired missed , , , but nonetheless caused to scum to flee. Happily she did hit one or two of the garbage heaps! 

And ––– back to the L.A. shootout. It was the barrage of handgun fire that kept the bank robbers from escaping. The .223 rounds from the AR-15 dropped them . . . but they would have escaped if the rapid fire auperiority of the officers had not held them in check.

“Unless a man is a good recreational shooter he will not become a good combat marksman.”

Horsesh–t. And this was proven to be horsesh–t in Shanghai, when Fairbairn trained the officers in point shooting, and later on, in WWII, when Fairbairn, Applegate, Sykes, and O’Neill trained soldiers, marines, FBI agents, and secret operatives of the SOE and OSS in point shooting. Few of these people were “recreational shooters”. Many (especially in SOE and OSS) didn’t care much personally for guns, at all. Yet all who were trained in point shooting retained their skills and were combat-competent, as their documented experiences proved. 

“Combat shooting is a perishable skill.”

No . . . the “modern” or “new” technique of the pistol is a perishable skill! As noted, those trained in point shooting (i.e. real combat shooting) retained their skill with no retraining required. 

“The pressure and stress of competition shooting can be greater than the pressure and stress of actual combat.”

Perhaps . . . for a deluded, improperly trained fool who equates shooting for fun with shooting for keeps.

Mental conditioning for combat bears no relation to mental preparation for competition. There is no correlation between shooting at a range and shooting at a man who is also armed, and whose intention is to kill you. Period.

“Point shooting has been surpassed by the ‘new technique’ of match shooting.” (Note: Alternatively: “Point shooting is a fraud.”)

Absolute, utter, complete, fabricated, arrant BULLSHIT.

Anyone who believes this should make a serious study of the use of firearms in self-defense.

Point shooting literally grew out of nothing but actual combat experience with firearms. Ot was validated 100% by reality.

The so-called “new technique” grew out of nothing but competition/recreational/sport shooing experience. When and where put to the test in the real world, it proved not to be a desirable shooting method!

“Knife fighting training demands knife vs. knife fight training.”

The hell it does!

Knifework is not dueling. Certainly having a mock “knife fight” with rubber knives can be fun, but it does not correlate with using a knife in combat. Knifework is a military skill. It is useful for self-defense, but it is not cultivated by one-on-one bouts with fellow knife-wielders!

If we have a knife we will attack an enemy and kill him. We will not wait and enjoin him to draw his knofe so that we can knife fight. And, we understand that no knife-wielding enemy is going to wait for us to draw our knife so that an equal contest can be had.

One of our teachers, the late Rex Applegate, once told us in a telephone conversation that in all of WWII he is not aware of a single knife vs. knife encounter!

“The ultimate stick form of self-defense is escrima or kali.”

No it isn’t.

First of all, these individuals train in competitive bouts. Nonsense and unrealistic, as is knife dueling. Second, they use rattan sticks ––– greatly inferior to the hardwoods we have in the West (i.e. hickory, cocobolo, ash, ironwood). Third, these arts use double stick methods. Who the hell is going to have two sticks in his hand to employ in self-defense? 

A walking stick (private citizen) or a hardwood baton (police officer) is the way to go. Practice the Filipino arts if you enjoy them, but do not look to them for practical stick methods.

Another flaw in the Filipino arts is complexity and formality ––– bugaboos that dilute karate, ju-jutsu, “kung fu”, hapkido, and so on.

The private citizen should also become familiar with the yawara hand stick ––– used to strike, not to apply pressure to pressure-points.

Doubtless we have irritated a number of individuals, although it has not been our intention to do so. We simply wish to present the facts ––– in this case case by exploding some popularly held myths, that unfortuately have become unquestioned mantras for an awful lot of people.

Here’s the truth. Take it or leave it.


Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Consider The Old Warhorse

(For Those Deciding Upon A Handgun)

FIREARMS are integral to a modern program of personal defense training and close combat. And while we are not doctrinaire regarding precisely which revolvers and semi-automatic pistols are the best, we certainly have our biases! We go easy with them today, however, because now in this 21st century we have a plethora of totally excellent combat handguns . . . and it would be unprofessional for us to teach students that there was a single “best” handgun for all, and that he (or she) would better choose it, or be poorly armed.

There  was a time when the argument could be made (and reasonably defended) that John Browning’s Government Model .45 automatic pistol was, hands down, the single finest all-round combat handgun in the world. The late small arms expert Jeff Cooper thought so, and was quite well-known for this belief. William Fairbairn, the father of combat handgun shooting, thought so too . . . long before Cooper’s views became gospel to a sea of true believing gun buffs. And to be honest, we still believe, for ourself, and as far as our personal need and requirements goes, that the .45 is still The Best sidearm. That is the Series ’70 Colt Government Model. We would select that handgun first and foremost if we could (and insofar as we can, we do!) but we think that Sig Sauer, Heckler and Koch, Smith and Wesson, and of course Glock produce superbly serviceable sidearms, and we would say to anyone deciding that he’d prefer one of them to the “old warhorse”, “Go ahead, your choice is an excellent one!”  We also believe that revolvers are better choices for some individuals, as are the .38 Special, .357, 9mm, .40, and .38 Super cartridges. For all the yap we have listened to from armchair combat experts over the years, who love guns and who often excel in the competition shooting sports, about how “laughable” and “underpowered”, and “inferior”, etc. most anything but the .45acp is, we have never heard anyone say that he wouldn’t mind getting shot with one of those “lesser” calibers.

You definitely have a variety of sidearms to choose from. Our only insistence is that you recognize the importance of modern weapons in a realistic self-defense program, and that you take suitable safety and handling training, and then purchase the weapon that best suits your needs ––– legally.

But for anyone who finds themselves still undecided and wondering just what handgun they ought to purchase, we have no hesitation in strongly recommending the venerable “old warhorse”. . . the John Browning designed .45acp Government Model pistol. We’d suggest the Series ’70 model, and we would urge investigating the Commander model and the Combat Commander model, as well. The ones manufactured in the 60’s and the 70’s can be found at excellent prices online from various arms dealers. We personally had the experience of carrying a Commander (lightweight aluminum alloy frame) constantly for a time, and it was the most comfortable handgun we ever carried.

Other than the Colt we’d recommend Springfield Armory’s basic G.I. type .45, or Remington’s . . . all top quality. If you like the .45, then we certainly encourage you to opt for it.

We would offer the following list of advantages that the .45 auto offers, with no intention of suggesting that other handguns do not offer their own advantages:

• The 1911 .45 is utterly reliable. Such problems as some shooters have had with the weapon is traceable to either the magazines they were using, or the ammunition they were firing. Use plain 230 grain full metal jacketed ammunition. Nothing else is necessary and the weapon functions flawlessly with this factory new G.I. “hardball”. And use new factory magazines. If a magazine gets bent or is otherwise compromised during range drill or outdoor practice firing, do not use that magazine when wearing your sidearm.

• The .45acp is a brutal man stopping round, as handguns go. No handgun (including the .44 magnum) will drop a man with greater reliability than the .45. Yes, the .44 magnum is more powerful . . . but with handguns you only get a 19 out of 20 likelihood of dropping your man assuming your round(s) hits center mass. For sufficiently greater power than the .45 you want a shotgun or a carbine, at least.

• The .45 automatic is simply constructed. This is important because it makes for greater durability and reliability. For the military man it is crucial, because it makes field repairs and parts replacement possible when no gunsmith or armorer is handy, by the shooter, himself. The .45 is easy to maintain in peak efficiency under unfavorable field conditions.

• The .45 is very flat and comfortable to carry. This is perhaps true of other autos also; but it is more true of the 1911 than it is of most of them.

• The Government model is a thoroughly proven weapon. In world wars and in lesser wars, in wartime and in peacetime, for more than 100 years(!) this incredible pistol has distinguished itself as one marvelous, reliable, powerful, handy weapon. The confidence it rightly gives its properly trained possessor is important.

• Although the 1911 is probably the single most altered, customized, tinkered with, and modified handgun in the world, it is perfectly adequate for battle right out of the box. An army of true believing sycophants who drank the “new technique cool aid” will bristle, guffaw, and snicker madly at our statement, but consider that in world war one and two, in Korea, and in Vietnam (to name only the wars in which the unmodified, out-of-the-box .45 automatic served superbly) the plain unadorned 1911 pistol did just fine. We do urge that the new weapon be broken in with two or three hundred rounds of range firing before carrying it, and we have no argument with anyone who believes that this or that modification will improve the weapon for himself, after he has had experience firing it, we think it foolish to assume that one necessarily needs anything more than that which the factory provides. For 90% or more of those who purchase a .45 automatic, the out-of-the-box weapon will serve perfectly.

• Something for every self-defense and military student to consider: The Government model .45 makes a powerful skull-cracking bludgeoning weapon when empty ––– should the need for such application ever arise. It is durable, heavy, and makes a great blackjack!

• As far as withstanding abusive, unfavorable field service conditions (again, mainly for the military man) nothing beats the 1911.

It has been our intention here to present a case for selecting the Government model 1911 .45 pistol for those who have not yet decided what they wish to obtain for their personal defensive handgun. So long as anyone selects a quality weapon other than the .45 we believe that’s just fine. But we do believe that the .45 is a great choice if you are undecided about what to choose.

Do remember that lots of dry fire drill is desirable so that your handgun becomes an “extension” of yourself . . . a tool that you are accustomed to handling. Get out and fire your weapon; master point shooting, and become expert at close range (i.e. about seven yards or less) quick reaction shooting. Unarmed and armed combat BOTH are necessary for a complete, reliable self-defense and family defense program.



Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

The Fair Play Trap

FAIR play is fine so long as you are playing. However, self-defense is no game, sport, or friendly competition.It is a battle for survival! And unless a student comes firmly to grips with this irrevocable fact, he will be less than fully equipped to defend himself, protect his family, and deal with the predatory scum that comprises a percentage of the human species.

While we certainly recognize anyone’s perfect right to participate in whatever sport he wishes, we take exception to the widespread notion that the sport of UFC or MMA is related to the war that is a self-defense emergency. Participation in the MMA, the UFC, competitive karate, judo contests, boxing, wrestling, etc., while certainly providing a serious and advanced competitor who is in hard training a set of tools that he can normally adopt to a real emergency, does not prepare a person fully for real close combat. Combat is a separate phenomenon and must be addressed as such if the student’s goal is personal defense, and he has no interest in sport, whatever.

One of the problems with attempting to prepare for self-defense by participating in sport is that fair play ––– i.e. decency and good sportsmanship ––– is (and must be) inculcated into every participant. And it is a fact that, under great stress, a person reverts to that which he has most deeply embedded into his motor memory and psyche. This does not mean that a sportsman will deliberately reduce his level of reaction to a deadly attack. Rather, his constant training in adhering, when fighting, to the appropriate body of rules and regulations that attend his sport, will incline him sharply to follow those rules and to obey those regulations in combat, unconsciously. In a situation, for example, where some street punk confronts the sportsman and assumes a stance, it would be quite natural for the sportsman to assume the stance that he is accustomed to. In reality, a far better reaction is immediate attack; violently blasting into the street punk while he is the process of assuming his “stance”. However, his conditioning from contests and sport would mitigate severely against the likelihood of his doing that. He will do, instead, what his conditioning and experience have taught him to do.

The sportsman is in a “fair play trap”. The ethical consideration that is a necessary and valid and indispensable part of any and all competitive fighting is completely out of place when an emergency obliges the individual to defend himself.

You can have a sport, or you can have a combat method. But you cannot have both in the same system, no matter how much popularity or popular bullshit is behind the idea that you can.

Our focus is and always has been on close combat and self-defense. If that is your objective, and your concern, then read, study, and memorize the following precepts:

1.   There is no correlation between any form of sport and real combat.

In a sport the idea is to win in a certain allowable, prescribed way. In combat/self-defense the idea is to WIN, period.

2.   Embrace the dirtiest, foulest, most unfair methods for self-defense ––– and do so with great enthusiasm. These are the techniques that work under extreme, life-threatening conditions when anything goes for personal protection. 

3.   Fighting (i.e. “mutual combat”) is stupid, dangerous, and ––– except in a sporting form in which consenting adults participate ––– always avoidable. The need to defend yourself is not always avoidable, and as an unwilling participant in the battle you must never restrict yourself to any rules or forebearance.

4.   Objectively speaking, of course, any attack that is initiated against a passive individual is a “dirty”, “unfair”, “unsporting”, “foul” action. Even if an attacker elects to attack by employing only certain sporting-type actions, the fact that he is doing so against an unwilling participant and not a fellow competitor makes him a predatory beast deserving of no mercy, fairness, ethics, consideration, compassion, decency, or concern. You owe such a beast nothing.

5.   Whatever harm or damage or injury or loss any attacker suffers, he bears 100% full responsibility for it. An intended victim who resists the attacker is responsible for nothing. (This is a principle of reason and justice; it may not be reflected in the law).

6.   Your attacker will never hesitate to do to you what you might be hesitant about doing to him. Ponder this deeply and consider how important it is to eliminate any hesitation whatever when reacting fiercely to any violent criminal attack.

7.  Police officers and those in similar occupations may need to employ arrest and control skills. You do not need or want this bullshit. You want decisive, destructive skills that stop strong, determined human aggressors in their tracks. As a private citizen you have no responsibility to arrest or to control an offender.

8.   Your life is more important than your attacker’s life. He (the attacker) has, as far as you are concerned, signed his resignation from the human race the moment he decided to pose an unwarranted danger to you.

9.   Weapons, despite the stupidity and hysteria so commonly heard today, are highly desirable and important tools. Firearms, edged weapons, and bludgeoning weapons are all a part of a comprehensive self-defense repertoire. Going beyond the obvious value of being armed when confronting armed aggression, there is the reality of weapons often being needed to equalize. Multiple attackers, much younger and stronger assailants, a defender’s having medical conditions that prevent him from using his hands and feet well enough to defend himself, etc. are important reasons why weaponry must be an important part of comprehensive self-defense preparation.

10.  Finally, please remember something that we first pointed out in the early 1970’s:


Summing Up . . .

You have every right to go to war when you are attacked and defend yourself with ruthless disregard for the attacker. No matter what bullshit may be believed or accepted, it is the initiator of unjustifiable violence who bears full responsibility for whatever damages he or others may suffer as a result of defensive action being taken against him, not to mention whatever damages his intended victim may suffer. No tactic is too foul, dirty, or unfair that a defender should hesitate to employ it in self-defense. You owe nothing to anyone who initiates violence against you, unjustifiably. Do not remain in the “fair play trap” . . . as only the living scum who choose to prey upon the innocent benefit from anyone’s insistence upon being fair and ethical.



Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

“Superheroes”, “Guardian Angels”, And You

“The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing”

–––Albert Einstein

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for all good men to do nothing”

–––Edmund Burke

UNTIL very recently we were unaware of the urban phenomenon of so-called Real-Life Superheroes. These are individuals, mostly young men, but with a percentage of young women, too, who don what are often fairly outrageous outfits including masks, and go about ––– normally after dark ––– attempting to do whatever they can to fight street crime and to provide assistance here and there to needy people. Local police where these people ply their avocation seem more to “tolerate” than to support these very well-intended, civic-minded, enormously generous and surprisingly decent community members. (A somewhat similar relationship has always existed between the now famous “Guardian Angels” Organization, which is headed up by its Founder, Curtis Sliwa, and the NYPD).

What of these people? What of their groups or members of their groups? Are they making a difference? Is the difference a good one? Should citizens support them?

We’ll start off with the well-known Guardian Angels. Our personal opinion of these people is that they are nothing short of wonderful. They are paid nothing. They patrol danger spots and curtail a great deal of trouble ––– often by their mere presence; sometimes at the cost of their own blood. These people we would prefer to refer to as super citizens than “super heroes”, since the latter term smacks of ostentation and bravado (neither of which have ever characterized either Curtis Sliwa or his people). Curtis Sliwa has risked, and recently came very close to losing, his life. The reaction of the NYPD officers who showed up at the scene of Sliwa’s near-assassination was, in our view, unbecoming. Sliwa and his people have always cooperated with the NYPD, have often been responsible for the apprehension of street scum, and have never derided or in any way entered into conflicts of any kind at any level with the law enforcers of New York City. We like to think that the majority of New York’s Finest appreciate and respect Sliwa and the Guardian Angels.

As for the Real-Life Superheroes (a designation that these individuals use, themselves) who exist in much smaller groups than the today well-established and international Guardian Angels, or in some instances as solitary persons who simply feel that it is their mission to work against crime and injustice in their cities, we came away from our orientation in their activities and motives feeling  a) That they are essentially decent, highly motivated, courageous and determined individuals,  b) That they certainly deserve citizen respect and support,  c) That they do not hinder or conflict with duly constituted law enforcement in any way, and  d)  That they would do well to drastically simplify, tone down, and minimize whatever costumes or “uniforms” they choose to wear. Our personal opinion is that they would be taken more seriously by more people, and that ––– if their appearance was less flamboyant ––– their effect would actually be more powerful. We do not say this disrespectfully, but more as a sincere observation intended to help these individuals ––– since we’re all for what they do. (Note the much more simple uniform that the Guardian Angels wear. It gets the message across instantly who they are . . . and there is no way to mistake the members for fanticizers or possibly flakes.

Whenever we think about the Guardian Angels (and now, the Real-Life Superheroes, as well) our thoughts invariably turn to the need for every single citizen who is able to do so to become a prepared enemy of criminal violence and intimidating predation. No, we do not mean that every able-bodied man and woman should join or form any group at all, necessarily. However, we do believe that every man and woman should become as adept and able as humanly possible to defend himself and those he loves. We make no apologies for the fact that we advocate responsible private citizen ownership, carry, and lawful USE of firearms, and edged and bludgeoning weapons as well as the use of the customary security procedures (i.e. alarms, locks, guard dogs, neighborhood watch groups, etc,). You know we believe in martial skills training! Not competition stuff, but the real deal. COMBAT skills; war-proven skills. Armed and unarmed. We believe that combat arts training should be a part of every decent citizen’s education. Yes, the police must be trained and prepared, but first and foremost it is the American way for all citizens to be ready to defend themselves and their families in any emergency. It is exclusive, elitist, and frankly statist to declare, as some have, that the citizenry constitute a body of  “sheep”, and that they are in need of so-called “sheepdogs” (i.e. state-employed armed protectors) for their security. Yes, we need the police and the military, and absolutely we should support them and respect them, and cooperate with them whenever we can do so;  but we should insist upon and demand laws that freely allow all of us to defend ourselves with and without all modern, individual weapons. 

We applaud the Real-Life Superheroes for their spirit, and for the fact that their hearts are in the right place. Just like the Guardian Angels –––  may they continue to flourish. But in applauding them and our law enforcement professionals as well, we nonetheless understand that we, the people have not merely a perfect RIGHT but also a responsibility, to safeguard and protect ourselves and our own. The powerful, united front presented by well-organized, lawful citizen groups, the police, and well-prepared individual citizens who are able to meet the predatory elements when necessary and beat them at their own game of violence, would soon see the despicable acts of antisocial predation dwindle tremendously from their present disgracefully frequent rate of occurrence.