Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

It Takes A LOT More Than Mere Potential!


ALL dogs possess the ability to bite and to attack people with murderous intent. However, only a few specific breeds of dog are ideally suited to be protection dogs —— or guard dogs.

It’s not merely a question of size, either. Saint Bernards, Irish Wolfhounds, Great Danes, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, and Newfoundlands are all very large, heavy, strong dogs. But they are more likely to lick and snuggle someone to death than they are ever likely to ferociously attack someone. Frankly, they are “love slobs”. Beautiful, gentle, strong, and loving . . . not aggressive. And not good choices for protection, military, or police service.

And it’s the same with human beings. There are people who are large and strong yet who are nonaggressive and quite passive. Merely being large or having muscles — or a gun or a knowledge of close combat skills — means very, very little in regard to any degree of readiness a person may have to physically oppose and defeat a dangerous, violent attacker. What one must possess is the combat mindset and attack mindedness. Given those mental attributes (along with good techniques, weapons, and physical strength) the individual will be prepared; and he will be very formidable, indeed!. But it really does require that constellation of attributes and capabilities. Mere size, mere strength, and the mere possession of a gun, or of the potential ability to perform techniques that have been “learned” is not enough. One must possess the right level of mental conditioning —— the “made up mind” as it were —— along with whatever weapon(s) he has at hand —— be they natural or man-made. Without the willingness to “Go!” when the danger appears, such assets as physical strength, arms, and knowledge of techniques mean almost nothing.

Returning to the analogy with dogs: The finest guard, attack, and protection dogs are not the “largest” or the “strongest” breeds. They are mostly medium-sized dogs . . . German Shepards, Doberman Pinschers, Airedales, Rottweilers, Boerboels, Cane Corsos, etc. These dogs possess an in-bred ferocity when challenged by intruders on their turf, and /or by threats to their human family. They’ve been bred to be aggressive. All dogs “can” bite. These dogs will bite if the situation warrants, and they are not at all hesitant to attack and bring down a large, aggressive man!

The person who aspires to genuine combat ability can learn a lot by considering what makes man’s best friend potentially one of predatory man’s worst enemies. It takes attitude. Strength and physical condition help —— but they won’t help much if that all-important combat attitude is lacking.

Dog trainers know how this applies to canines and will usually not even bother to train a dog for protection or guard work unless the dog is one of the known aggressive (suitable) breeds for the job.

With humans it is little more hopeful. Humans, being what they are, may be trained and conditioned so that they acquire the mindset they require (and which perhaps they were lacking, when they began training in self-defense). Our view is, and always has been, that mental conditioning AND quality technical instruction needs to be taught together. That is why, in addition to the technical aspects of close combat and defense (which we cover in our 11-DVD Self-Training Course) we produced a series of 20 Self-Hypnosis Programs covering all aspects of mental conditioning for violent combat and personal defense. By utilizing both these training mediums, the mental and the technical can be acquired working on one’s own. To this we would encourage including a good, regular program of all-round weight training to attain one’s genetic potential in physical development — and no matter where you live, regardless of whether there is or isn’t any qualified instructor in your area, you can build the skills and mindset needed to cope with extreme physical danger coming from any assailant.

Do not deceive yourself that “a big guy can’t be beaten by a little guy”, or that you’re “outgunned” so-to-speak if you do not possess the physical strength or if you do not have some specific “gun magazine-approved” weapon, etc. If you’ve got the mental conditioning to shift to the necessary war footing and the merciless, aggressive attitude that you need; and if you possess a repetoire of truly war-proven physical techniques with which to do battle, you’re prepared! No one can promise you victory. Luck always has a hand in who wins and who loses an actual engagement, and there is always great risk in any form of physical battle —— with or without weapons. However, if you’ll stop allowing yourself to be drawn to the wild, absurd promises, and to the flashy, “movie scene type fighting” or the acrobatic artsy “martial arts”, and come down to earth and stick with real, honest-to-goodness training of your mind and body, then the odds will be with you when the moment of truth arrives.

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred the fool who attempts to torment a Shepard or Doberman pays a terrible price for his folly —— extracted by his intended victim! Ninety-nine times out of a hundred the troubemaker who attempts to torment a mentally and technically conditioned combatives student also pays a terrible price. Make sure that you’re that mentally and technically conditioned student who is able to extract that “terrible price”! DEVELOP YOUR POTENTIAL; BE ABLE AND WILLING TO “DO IT” —— DON’T SETTLE FOR MERELY HAVING THE POTENTIAL.


Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Liquor, Drugs, Hatred, Psychopathy, And Insanity

“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles”

                       ——— Sun Tzu

WHEN preparing for self-defense there are numerous factors in addition to and aside from learning the technical mechanics of hitting, kicking, reacting to being hit or kicked, grabbed, or choked, etc. that must be addressed —— or the preparation is inadequate. Knowing which skills suit you best, understanding and taking into account your strengths and weaknesses, acquiring proper mindset, following a sensible strength and fitness routine, and so on. All of that too, is important. And there’s something else:

                                 K N O W I N G     Y O U R     E N E M Y.

You will get no orientation in violent, psychopathic, drug and alcohol enhanced, criminally intended behavior from your training partners. They are people like you. They are not muggers, home invaders, louts who knock people out randomly for “fun”, rapists, kidnappers, or street fighters. Yet the more you know and understand about antisocial, predatory misfits such as those who may one day target you (and, presumably, against whom you are striving to acquire a reliable bulwark of protective skills), the better.

You will likely find it interesting that what so often characterizes violent scum also represents that which poses the greatest danger to you: Not any impressive degree of combatives acumen (they are normally not very skilled or adept in technique) but their attitude; their altered or diminished state of morality and human decency, and their unbridled, insane viciousness and mindless abandon with which they proceed to carryout their activities; that is what accounts primarily for the danger they pose to decent, civilized, reasonable humanity.

Consider: ——


The influence of liquor, which is often present in a person who initiates physical violence, removes whatever vestige of inhibition and self-control the individual may have had before imbibing. Liquor also raises one’s threshold of pain greatly. Control and comealong and restraining holds are stupid, useless, and dangerous to attempt against an attacker who is under the influence of liquor. And do not believe the nonsense about being drunk making the attacker unbalanced physically, slow, and clumsy. Yes, the average person who rarely drinks but has one too many might falter and stumble; but the lout who drinks heavily and is violent can be as rock-steady as an Olympic athlete waiting for the starting gun to go off.


Drugs can have the same effect as liquor. Some drugs — like PCP — can turn an offender into a seeming superman. It can take three, four, or five or more to “pile on” such a drug-influenced monster, because he will be in a state of unequaled violent madness, and will literally ignore injuries that would send a normal person reeling to the ground in agony.


It is, we think, appropriate to refer to any violent crime as a “hate crime”. Who stabs, clubs, shoots, maims, or kills someone he doesn’t know personally, out of love?

Violent offenders of all ages, either gender, and any social class are festering inside with hate. Psychiatrists will confirm this; but we really do not think that anyone over the age of fifteen really needs medical confirmation of this fact. It would seem to be obvious.


Although not all psychopaths are physically violent, some are. And they are very dangerous. They enjoy tormenting and injuring and killing; and they require no “reason” to unleash actually gruesome tortures and violations upon someone they neither have anything against, nor even know, personally! These monsters are quite often intelligent, extremely good at fooling and manipulating people (I.e. Ted Bundy, Kevin Coe, Kenneth Bianchi, etc.) and they have NO sympathy, empathy, compassion, or conscience. While psychotics (those who are often labeled simply “crazy people”) are more self-injurious than they are any danger to others, psychopaths are self-centered, calculating, often brilliant, conscienceless monsters.


Some very few truly insane, out-of-their-mind unfortunates are a deadly threat, and sometimes they do attack people. Mostly, the “insanity” of the violent offender is merely an ingredient in his overall syndrome (a “syndrome” is a series of symptoms). Indeed, we have always been of the opinion that some degree of insanity must be present for anyone to gratuitously or unjustifiably even wish to harm another —— let alone to actually do so. But the true “nut” who thinks that he is Napoleon is so insane and out of touch with reality that he won’t likely be your attacker. But he might be.

In general violent types will evidence two or more of the above-listed phenomenon.

Question: “How can you accurately tell which if any of these factors are operating when someone initiates violence against you, so that you do not make the mistake of overreacting to, say, a simple smartass, or someone who merely initiating some kind of practical joke?”

Answer: “You can’t. Violence and threatening gestures that suggest the onset of violence must never be played with. Your survival, well-being, and defense are crucial. If aggression is launched against you and you feel endangered, you must act and act fast! There is no way to tell your attacker’s intention, background, personal mental and physical state, or his capabilities. YOUR DEFENSE, AND/OR THE DEFENSE OF THOSE YOU LOVE, MUST BECOME YOUR ONLY PRIORITY!

Because it is usually the case that a violent offender is in fact bolstered by at least one of the influences we have described, you are advised to assume that he is, whenever you are confronted by violence.

If you do make this assumption, and if you train and condition yourself with that assumption in mind, and if you train in war-proven skills, then when the moment of truth arrives —— if, may God forbid, it ever does —— the odds will be on your side, and you will be ready.

Remember: Your attitude, tactics, conditioning, and techniques must not be selected from amongst those that win sparring bouts in the dojo, or that enable you to defeat an opponent in a sporting match or contest on a mat. Your mental and technical preparation must be rooted in that which wins against dangerous, deadly, often mindlessly savage adversaries. And part of that preparation is coming to KNOW exactly what those adversaries are like.


Saturday, November 16th, 2013

Training Quarters

(How “beautiful” is that “dojo” you’re considering enrolling in for instruction? —— And does it really matter?)

YOU’D think that only a bona fide fool or a moronic incompetent could believe that the quality of instruction that a student receives is dependent upon how elaborate the surroundings are in which his teacher conveys the instruction. Sadly, this is not the case.

Charlie Nelson, Kiyose Nakae, and Bruce Lee, all taught, for significant periods of time, in their apartments (or in their garage). Ed Parker taught many of his students in their homes or apartments. The Journalist Joe Hyams and the late actor Nick Adams were only two of Parker’s private students who received instruction in this manner. Elaborate training facilities mean nothing when teaching martial arts for close combat and self-defense. One of our own teachers, Maury Geier, was taught in a cramped office space that had been cleared away in a hurry, during wartime, to permit W.E. Fairbairn and E.A. Sykes to train him and fellow FBI agents, during WWII.

Throughout Asia it is quite common —— especially in Taiwan —— for the top ch’uan fa masters of both the external and internal arts to train their students in their living rooms or in their back yards. Okinawan and Korean masters similarly often instruct in taekwon-do and hapkido in similar settings.

The primary thing when it comes to learning effective combat and self-defense skills is that your teacher be a highly experienced, recognized, fully competent, and knowledgeable professional. You don’t want someone who is an accountant, garage mechanic, fireman, pilot, or subway train conductor by day (and by work experience), and who is “also” (or who thinks that he is “also”) a professional close combat and defense teacher. (How would you like to go a physician in the evening who —— during the day —— sells real estate or runs an art gallery?).

Rarely if ever will someone with many serious years of teaching experience have an impressively large and bountifully equipped training facility. Why not? Because the overwhelming majority of those who take up martial arts drop out when the training is serious and is properly undertaken. To the true professional who teaches, this is a way of life, not a mere “business”. The typical individual who “wants to learn self-defense” rarely if ever wants to learn it badly enough to stick with a course of training long enough to attain proficiency. And teachers, unlike well-heeled entrepreneurs who are out simply to make a buck, cannot afford providing posh facilities for dilettantes. Those who do truly want to learn —— i.e. those who are the exception —— are few and far between, and every professional knows this. The commercial and “commercialized” schools (often unethically) capitalize upon this fact. They “sell the sizzle”, taking the prospective new student on a show-through of the impressivley laid out school, its heavy bags, dummies, striking posts, mats, mirrors, etc. when that prospective student’s interest is at its peak. In his psyched up (but, alas, temporary) state, it is easy to get the individual to sign on the dotted line. Then —— just as is the case with so many “health clubs”  —— the school is legally due the tuition which the student agreed to pay, and the student must pay . . . even long after the first few weeks or month when he has given up, dropped out, and is now on to some other fleeting interest.

Professionals depend upon the authenticity of that which they teach, and on the authenticity of their own background and accomplishments to “sell” students. (Unfortunately, most people, being the way they are, are not sold by this; but instead are taken in by the glitz or by the false claims). Some let hearsay determine their course of action and do not base their evaluations on their own firsthand judgement. They form their beliefs about a teacher or about a school by paying attention to online gossip!

Some of the poorest “schools” are among the most elaborate. Naturally, there are a lot of teacher wannabe’s who set up their partime shop in their basement or garage and, in-between holding down their normal job and tending to family matters convince some unfortunates to enroll with them. Now of course modest facilities do not necessarily signify or guarantee good instruction; that is absurd. We certainly do not assert such nonsense. But we do feel that people should understand just what is and what is not critical when considering a teacher for a subject as important as personal protection and —— let’s be frank —— survival.

“But what about the importance of training equipment, such as dummies or striking aids?” These things are fine, and having a few of them can be peripherally helpful in a school; but you can purchase these devices or make them, yourself — and work with them on your own, at home! Serious students generally do this.  It is good instruction in viable skills and tactical knowledge and information that you want from a teacher. These things you cannot purchase and set up in your home. This is the priceless gold that a good teacher can give you —— if you have the sense to stay the course with him, pay attention, and work hard on mastering that which he teaches you.

“Well, what about DVD training? Can’t I get all of that ‘gold’ from a good course on DVDs?” To an extent, yes you can. You can get a lot of it from a good DVD course. However, you will of necessity be receiving generalized tactical orientation and information. A good teacher will get to know you personally, and will tailor your combatives education to suit you. In order to do this, of course, the teacher must possess the competence that is required for providing this level of quality individual instruction. THAT’S what you want to secure, and that’s what you should be looking for in a teacher.

Never mind if the teacher’s facility consists of a modest room or if it is a 3,000 square foot layout with mirrors covering one wall. It’s what is being taught, and how it is being taught that matters; not “where” the instruction takes place.


Friday, October 25th, 2013

You’d Better Stop Making Excuses For Not Training!

(Take a good course in self-defense, or get our DVD Course today. The news story below is sobering. Violent crime up 15%!)

WE have said repeatedly that it is too late to do anything about learning self-defense skills when you’re attacked. Stop telling yourself that training is “too expensive”, that you “don’t have time”, that “you’ll do it next month”, that you’re “careful”, that it “won’t happen to you”, that you “live in a good neighborhood”, ad nauseum.

If, God forbid, it does come to you, the small investment in money (probably several hundred times less than an emergency room visit and a few days in the hospital, followed by out-patient care, all coupled with lost income due to being unable to work ———— or your possibly DYING!) will be insignificant, compared to saving yourself and possibly your loved ones.

It is probable that a good school and professional teacher is not available directly where you live (you don’t want a “martial arts school” where either classical/traditional or sporting/competitive skills are the primary focus). So . . . order our DVD Course. If you train seriously in what is presented you will be prepared to resist and to resist well, in any violent emergency. But don’t wait,  for heaven’s sake! We did not write the news story below (although, long before its publication we have been telling those who would listen pretty much the same thing).

Make a good course in self-defense, such as the one presented in our DVD program, a Christmas present to yourself. But however you do it, get in shape and get ready “just in case”. A 15% increase in violent crime is enormous. And, frankly, knowing what we do about the state of affairs in this Nation today, and how urban America is deteriorating rapidly, we doubt that the rise in violent crime is as little as 15%! In any case, it is sure to get worse!

Survey Marks 2nd Year of Crime Increases

WASHINGTON October 24, 2013 (AP)

By PETE YOST Associated Press

The violent crime rate went up 15 percent last year, and the property crime rate rose 12 percent, the government said Thursday, signs that the nation may be seeing the last of the substantial declines in crime of the past two decades.

Last year marked the second year in a row for increases in the crime victimization survey, a report that is based on household interviews.

The 2012 increases were driven by a rise in crimes that were not reported to police, a category frequently involving less-serious offenses. Simple assaults also rose. The rate of property crimes increased due to a rise in theft.

“One year of bad news is something you notice but don’t necessarily draw conclusions about. Two years of bad news suggests it might be time to start worrying,” said Carnegie Mellon University professor Jonathan Caulkins.

University of Maryland criminology professor James Lynch said the crime victimization survey, combined with a separate report recently issued by the FBI, suggests that the 20-year trend of dropping crime rates may be approaching an end.

“You’re getting more evidence that this is a change in the trend,” said Lynch, a former director of the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, the agency that issued Thursday’s findings.

In the earlier FBI report, violent crime reported to police rose 1.2 percent last year compared to 2011. The number of property crimes reported to authorities declined 0.8 percent. But that report doesn’t include crimes not reported to authorities. Less than half of violent crimes were reported to police last year, and only about a third of property crimes were reported.

Crime rates had been declining since 1993, with an uptick in 2006 the only exception. From 1993 to 2011, the rate of violent crime declined by 72 percent.

“It’s clear that crime levels have reached what seems to be the bottom in terms of the declines in the 1990s and 2000s,” said Northeastern University criminology professor James Alan Fox.

The goal for law enforcement authorities from here on out, say criminologists, is keeping crime levels at their current low levels.

The victims survey is an attempt to capture crime trends more fully than the FBI’s yardstick.

Lynch, the former Bureau of Justice Statics head, said the increases in the crime victimization survey sound significant, but he pointed out that crime rates have been going down for so long and are now so low that even a small increase in violent victimization becomes a large percentage change.


Monday, October 14th, 2013

So How Do We Teach “Self-Defense” When Our Focus    Is On Attacking?


OUR System, American Combato (Jen•Do•Tao), is a comprehensive close combat and self-defense Art. It is a true martial art in the literal meaning of the term: i.e. its  technical, tactical, philosophical, and mental conditioning doctrine is “of or pertaining to war”. And wars are won by OFFENSE, not defense; the most savage, ruthless, mercilessly aggressive and destructive offense, at that.

However, defensive actions are an absolute necessity in comprehensive combatives training. One cannot always be assured that he will be able to preempt his foe. In warfare there is a greater chance that this will be the case, but in strictly self-defensive predicaments — notably for the private citizen — there is unfortunately a greater likelihood than there is for the soldier or marine that the combatant will need to be defensive FIRST; and after speedily neutralizing the aggressor’s move, he then goes on a murderous offensive, in order to save life and limb.

Defeating an initial offensive gesture made by an attacking enemy is accomplished by what we prefer to call “COUNTERATTACKS”, as opposed to “self-defense techniques”. This is because attack must be so integral to any truly effective “defense”, that offense naturally combines with the defensive moves and culminates in turning the tables on the aggressor and attacking him!

To insure that our students acquire a thoroughly comprehensive and reliable real world capacity to do this, we have painstakingly organized a curriculum of counterattacks. Unlike the nearly 4,000 defensive techniques in Korean Kuk Sool Won or Hapkido or Aiki-jutsu, or the 700 that are taught in Kenpo-Karate, etc., we emphasize 31 situations, and address each i a manner that produces a fluid, spontaneous, general defensive capacity. We will explain more, but for those who are curious, the following constitutes our core 31 situations:

1. Being choked from the front

2. Being choked from the rear

3. Being attacked by a “mugger’s” hold from behind

4. Being seized and pulled violently from the side by an attacker who secures a powerful two-hand hold

5. Being caught in a side headlock

6. Being caught  in a hammerlock

7. Being locked in a full nelson

8. Being kicked at

9. Being attacked by someone who throws an unskilled  punch

10. Being attacked by a boxer or a fist fighter

11. Being attacked by someone who attempts a tackle

12. Being seized from the front in a one-hand clothing grab

13. Being seized from the front in a two-hand clothing grab

14. Being seized from the front in an encumbering body hold (i.e. a “bearhug”)

15. Being seized from behind in an encumbering body hold

16. Being pushed or shoved

17. Being turned around at the shoulder and having a punch thrown at your face

18. Being attacked when you are on the ground

19. Being threatened from the front with a firearm

20. Being threatened from behind with a firearm

21. Being attacked with a downward knife stab

22. Being attacked with an upward knife stab

23. Being attacked with a backhand knife stab

24. Being attacked with a straight-in knife thrust

25. Being attacked by an assailant armed with a club

26. Being attacked by an assailant armed with a broken bottle

27. Being attacked by 2 men: front and rear

28. Being attacked by 2 men: cornering you

29. Being attacked by 2 men: at your sides

30. Being attacked by 3 men: at your sides, and in front

31. Being attacked by 3-4 men: confronting you

The 31 Counterattacks listed are NOT 31 “specific, apply-in-only-one-context” techniques. Rather, they are situationally specific only, not technically specific, and they deal with a type of attack in the most all-inclusive, broadly general way. Each situation teaches variation moves, alternative actions, adaptations, and closely related predicaments. For instance, part and parcel of one of the knife stab counterattacks is an entire series of practical counters to knife threats, in which a knife is held on you, for the purpose of kidnap, robbery, rape, (or murder, to be executed later on), etc. Also taught with a knife counter is how to deal with the situation of a knife being pulled suddenly when you are not distanced properly and ready to preempt. And, how to deal with someone who is a poised and as yet a non-committed knife attacker. This is the format and structure of each of the 31 counterattacking lessons.

Those 31 situations train the student in approximately 125 flexibly practical, adaptable, and ferociously effective general combative techniques. All told, those techniques permit the student to handle any type or variation of attack that may occur.

(We must remind our visitors that these are only our counterattacks or “defensive” skills. We also teach a curriculum of 31 attack combinations, and 16 basic blows, as well as a series of fundamentals that lay at the foundation of the application of all of the skills in our System. These include: MINDSET, FOOTWORK, SHIELDING, INTERACTIVE TACTICS, and a few other things. And of course we teach modern weapons.)

Ultimately, all that is taught combines fluidly into a single body of practical skills that each individual student tailors and adopts to his own unique physiology, psychology, and personal/professional needs, so as to form his own style. This takes time. But it takes a lot less time than studying a classical martial art! And, unlike the 60-90% of any classical training that is useless for actual close combat and self-defense, 100% of American Combato is functionally useful and practical for real combat; because that is the purpose of the Art.

No one and no system can guarantee victory in combat, or claim that the self-defense which it offers is “foolproof” or “unbeatable”. That is nonsense. However, we will say that American Combato is absolutely one of the most effective, reliable, authentic close combat systems devised. It was founded in 1975. And if you’ll do some serious research you’ll find some obvious imitators out there (call them “copycats” if you will) as well as many who have been seriously and deeply influenced by our work (and, not surprisingly, who have failed to acknowledge their having been so). Ask yourself why our System and our writings have had such an influence, and we think you’ll be convinced that we’ve really “got something here”.

At any rate, now you know how we teach “self-defense” when our focus is on attacking.


Sunday, August 18th, 2013

  Defining Our Terms: “Self-Defense” Vs. “Fighting”


UNLESS done within the context of a regulated sporting contest, fighting per se is illegal. You can fight your guts out in a boxing, wrestling, judo, karate, kick boxing, UFC, or MMA, etc. contest, and so long as you abide by the rules you remain on perfectly safe ground. In fact, even if you do not abide by the rules, the worst thing that will likely happen to you in a sporting fight is disqualification, the loss of the match, or possibly — in an extreme case — being banned from further participation in the sport. Nevertheless, competitive fighting of one or another kind is legal, popular, and socially acceptable in a wide variety of forms, virtually everywhere in the world.

Self-defense is also legal and permissible everywhere in the world (at least on paper). But self-defense is not the same thing as fighting. “Fighting” (lawfully, within the parameters of a legitimate sporting contest, or unlawfully, in the street or anywhere else), is characterized by this distinction:

It involves willing participants who have agreed to do battle. 

In fact one legal description of “fighting unlawfully” is “mutual combat”.

Except when done as a regulated, fairly conducted sport, fighting is stupid, uncivilized, dangerous, and illegal. (We would also personally argue that it is immoral; but we’ll concede that that idea may be open to debate).

Self-defense is characterized by this distinction:

The situation involves an intended victim who has not agreed to do battle, and who has done nothing to provoke the onset of violence.

In a self-defense emergency there is always a victim (sometimes more than one victim) and there is always an attacker (sometimes more than one attacker).

The properly trained student of close combat and self-defense NEVER gets into “fights”. He takes action only when necessary for defense of self or others. (Note: The question may be asked: “What about soldiers in wartime: They fight; and their use of hand-to-hand combat is neither for sport nor for self-defense, right?”

WRONG! Soldiers in wartime attack and kill or capture; or they defend themselves from being captured or killed.

“Fighting” remains an activity the legitimacy of which can only be justified in the context of competitive sport. There is no excuse or justification for fighting, per se, outside that context.

Circumstances may indeed compel a person to defend himself. But that is another matter. And neither the actions that prevail in sporting contests nor the actions that typify what generally occur in mindless “fights” will serve the individual in a real defensive emergency. When pressed to defend himself a person must resort to the most savage and mercilessly harmful actions that man has devised. He must employ those actions with determination, ferocity, and unrelenting aggression.

The properly trained student of that which we and other legitimate teachers of self-defense teach, abides by no rules, and does whatever he must and can do to protect himself or others. As he progresses in his training and studies he becomes a dangerous, formidable threat to any extralegal attacker(s); as all decent people would better become. However, he will never get into a fight.



Sunday, July 14th, 2013

                    The Criminal’s Advantage


RARELY if ever does a troublemaker or violent criminal offender possess any significant degree of skill in close combat. He almost always possesses some experience however; and this experience (which has been successful, or he would not be continuing to pursue his nefarious activities) has been in victimizing helpless individuals. He possesses something else also that provides him with an advantage over nearly every would-be victim — even intended victims who themselves possess skill in self-defense: The offender’s great advantage is that he acts with murderous rage, hatred, and a complete disregard for his intended victim — even though he may have nothing at all personally against that victim.

It is extraordinarily difficult for an essentially decent human being to turn on a dime in a crisis, as it were, and become a wrathful, vicious, relentlessly merciless war machine who is 100% focused on the destruction of another individual. The genuinely dangerous offender has not a tremor of hesitation about doing this. In fact it is his modus operandi; it constitutes his “secret” of success, and the core reason why civilized society is so cowed and intimidated by him.

Herein lies the answer you have been seeking about how to master the art of self-defense against the kind of two-legged beasts who roam amongst the humans in modern society and who, despite their piddling numbers (compared to the population of decent, respectable human beings) successfully terrorize the citizenry. YOU MUST ELIMINATE ANY HESITATION THAT MIGHT HINDER YOUR DESTROYING THEM. You need to cultivate hatred for them, and your self-protective actions must be fueled by wrathful indignation and fury. You must inculcate in your psyche a complete disregard for the violent offender; you must be ready, willing, and able to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to crush, destroy, and stop him, if and when your life or the lives of those you love is ever threatened directly by these scum.

“Ready, willing, and able.” Think about those words for a moment. Think really hard about those words, and about what they mean.

Certainly learning the RIGHT physical techniques of unarmed and armed close combat and self-defense contributes greatly to your preparedness, willingness, and ability to deal with dangerous and determined offenders. Such skill provides the mechanical element that you need to defeat an attacker. This is why so much thought and research has been invested in developing our System of American Combato. The System includes that which works — that which has been proven in war to work — and consequently those who train with us (either personally or via our DVD Course) may have full confidence in the authenticity and reliability of the techniques that they are taught. No, there can be no “guarantee” of victory in any form of combat, and only a charlatan or a fool advances the idea that anyone can be either certain of victory in a deadly encounter, or that it is possible for anyone to become “unbeatable”. However, it is a gross understatement to say that mastery of that which we teach stacks the odds very heavily in favor of our student, and the individual who has mastered our methods and absorbed the rigorous mental conditioning and tactical training that we impart will be quite well prepared to defend himself against any adversary.

If you wish to be able to defend yourself you must learn the techniques — i.e. the physical methods of “how to do it”.

Training hard in the technical methodology will certainly result in your being physically able to defend yourself. The only question then remaining is: “When an actual crisis strikes, WILL you really DO SO?”  Will the necessary wire be tripped, and will your mind and body synchronize and mobilize at once to DESTROY YOUR ENEMY? Remember that we work with voluntary muscles in combat; thus the command must be given to your system to “Go!” when the moment of truth arrives.

IF YOU ARE THUS SET — PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY — THEN YOU WILL POSE A GREATER THREAT TO AN OFFENDER THAN HE CAN POSE TO YOU. You have successfully overcome the criminal’s sole advantage, and — with any degree of luck — the offender who targets you will end up as he deserves to end up. And you and yours will prevail and survive.

Conditioning the mind can be accomplished efficiently with the use of professionally rendered hypnosis. That is why we produced our series of self-hypnosis programs. They will compensate for any lack of mental conditioning in any conventional “martial arts” or “self-defense” program; and they will bolster — for those who feel that they will benefit from such bolstering — any good course in serious combatives where the instructor acknowledges the role of proper mindset but perhaps is less than fully capable of imparting it to students.

Violent crime, bullying, and street attacks are epidemic everywhere. Don’t believe the politicians’ lies to the contrary. And don’t allow those despicable scum who are responsible for committing unjustifiable violence to enjoy their advantage any longer. Get ready. Get really ready to deal with serious offenders if ever circumstances compel you to do so.

You need total preparation, technically and mentally. Acquire it, and you will live with confidence. You will almost certainly be a hundred times more formidable than the scum who might attempt to violate you.


Monday, April 29th, 2013

Things That The Shooting Schools And Gun Magazines         Don’t Tell You


THIS is just our personal opinion of course: Anyone who wants to learn how to use a handgun plainly and exclusively for self-defense and close combat is a complete FOOL if he spends his time, money, and energy taking one or more of the well-promoted and popularly touted “combat handgun shooting” courses that are given by so-called “name” instructors, and/or name instructor wannabes — which we have everywhere, including a couple here in Washington State. These courses certainly do provide the student with lots and lots of range time (that is, shooting time); but actual combat and wartime experience has proven that learning how to use a handgun in close quarters combat is a technically simple process, and that man-killing accuracy and competence can be acquired (assuming the right method is being taught) within a matter of a few hours, and with an expenditure of a single box of ammunition. This does not produce a competition shooter or a shooting “champion” — but competition shooting is irrelevant for close combat work with a sidearm, and so-called shooting “champions” are not necessarily combat shooters, per se. They are masters of managing totally impractical “race-tuned” pistols, and shooting expertly at unrealistic targets, under unrealistic conditions, at unrealistic distances, with unrealistic tactics, and with an unrealistic mindset.

Laugh or disagree at your own peril. We speak with half a century’s experience culling practical combat knowledge — armed and unarmed — from those who, in wartime, had been and done. If you wish to shrug off that which we have to say, go right ahead. It’s your ass, so to speak; and we do not debate facts.

Remember that gun magazines aim to make a profit by selling issues, attracting advertisers, and garnering subscibers. And the popular shooting schools that run week-long “basic”, “intermediate”, and “advanced” courses in combat shooting make money by enrolling people for extensive, and we’d say in our opinion, needlessly “padded” courses. The person wishing to be able to use a handgun in personal defense can learn how to do it in a few hours, and then practice what he’s learned on his own. Real combat teachers (like Jim Gregg, for example) conduct modest two-day courses, a little more extensive than, but very much along the lines of the courses Fairbairn, Sykes, O’Neill, and Applegate conducted, and along the lines of that which we also conduct, when we occasionally run students through a combat handgun course.


What follows is a synopsis of very significant and important things you really should understand and be guided by when you enter upon the study of handguns for self-defense. We teach these things, among others, to our personal students, and hope that they will benefit you.

1. While certainly the ultimate constant-carry self-defense weapon, the handgun is inferior to the shotgun, carbine, and rifle, and there is no special cartridge, modification, or “new technique of the pistol” that can change this fact. That ridiculous myth (popularized by Jeff Cooper) that by “using his ‘new technique’ you can shoot a handgun like a rifle” is horrendously misleading. You certainly might be able to shoot a handgun at what is in reality ranges appropriate to a shoulder weapon; however, the bullet that hits the target will NOT be as potent as a carbine, rifle, or shotgun round. Thus, the fact that you can “reach” targets at rifle range by using sighted firing means nothing. 1. Because you are reaching the target with a cartridge of greatly reduced power, and  2. Because in practically no handgun encounter is the range greater than about four yards!

A handgun is strictly a combat weapon for close ranges and quick reactions to violence.

2. Shot placement is the single most critical determing factor as far as the likelihood of stopping the individual you shoot, is concerned.

3. While it is always preferable to employ a heavy caliber handgun in combat, the so-called “lesser calibers” (which the competition commandos sneer at) are often excellent choices for many people in many different situations. The .38 Special and the 9mm are, despite popular bullshit, excellent rounds for personal protection. If the shooter does his job, the round will do its job.

4. Both revolvers and automatics are excellent, valuable weapons. And there are times when a revolver serves best. Revolvers are not “antiquated”.

5. The single most important factor that is required in order to be fully prepared to use a handgun in self-defense is that you be ready and completely willing to take a human life when necessary.

6. Quick draw, rapid reloading, weak hand shooting, and weapon retention are all ancillary, secondary skills, and a person can become fully prepared to use a handgun in self-defense without having acquired them. If you’re interested, you can learn these skills on your own.

7. Night shooting is actually easy when the correct, point shooting method of combat firing has been learned.

8. If you are interested, learn how to use your handgun’s sights for deliberate sighted shooting after you’ve mastered point shooting. Use of the sights is almost 100% irrelevant for close combat handgun work.

9. Unarmed and armed combat should be studied together. They compliment each other.

10. One single carry method and one single handgun will rarely be sufficient.

11. Practical carry methods differ greatly from what the competition commandos use. Ankle holsters, crossdraw holsters, shoulder holsters, small of the back holsters, and (some pretty odd!) specially-designed holsters for ladies are all very useful and important.

12. Your finger goes INSIDE THE TRIGGER GUARD as you acquire and ready your weapon. Never mind what’s done in matches or what nonsense you may see on a recent cop show.

13. You are in great danger when you hold a person at gunpoint!

14. When you fire, move! Never stand still or “plant” yourself.

15.  An empy or disabled handgun is an excellent hand-to-han combat weapon.

There is not time or space here to elaborate on those and additional key points. For now our purpose is only to introduce you to them — since commercial interests apparently have no intention of ever doing so, and in some cases see these points as “unprofitable” for their commercial endeavors.

Unless you are a dyed-in-the-wool “gun bug” we’d say, “Stop wasting money on gun magazines, and steer clear of the ‘popular name shooting schools’. Take your money and buy a copy of Kill or Get Killed, Shooting to Live, and Quick or Dead. Take your weapon and practice the methods expounded in those works. And finally, pay attention to what we’ve presented here, and study our article Guidelines  For The Armed Citizen  in the Monthly Instruction Section of this web site.”


Monday, February 4th, 2013

The Face Of Violent Crime In 21st Century Urban America

(Some frightening observations)

WE have been teaching self-defense since the 1960’s. We were a child in the 1950’s when we began studying the arts of individual combat, and over the more than 55 years of our involvement in the study and researching and teaching of fighting arts and personal protection we have observed some very significant — and very alarming — changes in the “face” of violent crime in urban America. (We cannot say from personal observation, but we would guess from much of that which is reported to us by correspondents that the phenomenon is similar in other urban centers throughout the world — like Paris, London, Sydney, Rome, and so on).

The need not merely for “self-defense training”, but for deadly serious, absolutely ruthless, no-nonsense self-defense training and for thorough mental conditioning to cope with physical violence and danger, has never been felt so greatly as it is being felt today — in this 21st century.

Here are the six most conspicuous changes (for the worse) that we have personally seen occur over the preceding half century, in urban America:

1. All violent crime — from school bullying to mugging, to gang-related attacks, and so on — has taken on a senseless cruelty and sadistic flavor that, in the 1950’s and throughout much of the 1960’s, was extremely rare, and for the most part nonexistent.

Just recently the news in New York City reported a seventeen year old throwing a much younger and smaller boy off the roof of a five story tenement building. Miraculously, the poor child who was attacked lived. But as this is being written he is precariously close to death, and may not make it. The monster who committed the crime claims it was all a “mistake” and “unintentional”. This creature — at seventeen years of age — has already accumulated an impressive criminal record for violence and related antisocial conduct.

Recall the absolutely unforgivable and insanely evil attack by those subhuman predators on Brian Stow. Because Mr. Stow was a fan of a different ball team than his assailants, these subhuman beasts beat Mr. Stow into a state of permanent brain damage and disabling physical injury. Mr. Stow almost died.

The foregoing are two examples of the many thousands that could be cited, demonstrating an almost demonic nature to urban violence.

2. Firearms are commonly employed today, and of of course the punk’s old standby, i.e. the knife, is also used by violent types. (It is fascinating to note that when firearms were more freely and generally available to, and often carried and used by decent citizens, punks and street savages rarely dared to carry firearms! Predatory filth does not like it when victims can shoot back!).

Children in grade schools today often use weapons against their contemporaries. The school yard fist fight that we remember occurring with unfortunate regularity in the 1950’s and 60’s, has now been replaced by armed confrontations between botched and deranged youngsters, and the innocent kids that they steal from and physically abuse.

Rarely if ever do we hear of “strong arm” robberies today. Today, armed robberies — and assault for other reasons — is routine news in virtually every major city.

3. Multiple attackers is the norm today. In days gone by even bullies and other garbagy types regarded it as wrong to gang up on someone. Today, the predatory scum considers attacking in pairs and in pack — like feral dogs — to be just good common sense tactics. It’s done all the time.

4. Many attacks today are impersonal, apparently motiveless.

It is understandable — though certainly reprehensible and evil — when impulse-driven scum physically attacks and injures someone because a heated argument got out of hand. Or because one moron passed some inappropriate remark about another’s girlfriend, etc. No justification whatever, by any rational standard, for employing violence in such instances; yet one can perceive (an albeit absurdly irrational) “reason” for its occurrence.

The new urban phenomenon is attacking someone for no apparent reason . . . not even the flimsiest! It is “cool” amongst certain gutter animal types to just attack someone — anyone — simply because it’s “fun” to beat and stomp the person. People are attacked now by complete strangers who have no intention or desire to rob them and who have nothing personal against them; but these assailants just “feel like” attacking. Never before has it been so easy to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and to suffer violence at the hands of persons who do not know you, but who delight in beating or killing you.

5. Attackers of all types today are often highly experienced and completely unafraid of consequences.

The criminal justice system rarely does anything about truly atrocious violent crimes. The police make arrests, and the courts set the garbage free. All you need do to verify this yourself is check the news reports and note the often lengthy and extensive prior arrests and encounters with law enforcement that so many who have finally been charged with mayhem or murder have! Yet, the criminal justice system did nothing to remove these predatory monsters from civilized society when they first began to offend. Murderers rarely if ever are put to death any more. Many of them do not spend more than a few years in prison. A person acting in self-defense needs to be more concerned — and usually is — about legal consequences, than is the animal against whom he acted in self-defense.

Since violent offenders get to reoffend, thanks to a lenient legal system, they get good at it. And since they are so frequently exposed to the lukewarm “penal system” they lose any fear of incarceration that might have deterred them.

6. Home invasions, “wilding”, “flash mobbing”, driveby shootings, and carjacking are relatively recent additions to the repertoire of the predatory scum. Why? Because they have gone unchecked and they have been allowed to survive, and they have concluded that they can get away with anything

So what can we do about this?

The first and foremost thing that you should do is learn how to defend yourself! Nothing can protect you better than being able to physically stop an attacker, and being prepared technically, tactically, and mentally to do so without a moment’s hesitation.

If attending our school is not feasible for you, order our DVD Training Course. In order to prepare yourself mentally, open your eyes to the realities of urban violence, and mentally condition yourself to deal with it, should you ever need to do so. Our self-hypnosis programs can speedily reorient your psyche so that — should trouble come to you — you possess the confidence, non-hesitation, ferocity, and all round mindset to do it well.

Become a strong supporter of every private citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. It is clear and obvious that wherever citizens are free to go armed and to defend themselves, violent crime is minimal. We urge the lawful and responsible ownership and use of firearms. Criminals are never deterred by gun laws, and it is obvious that as gun restrictions become more stringent on the private citizenry violent crime rises and becomes more of a threat than ever.

Support law enforcement efforts in your community. Remember that it is not the police who turn violent offenders back on society, and it is not the police who determine what the laws regarding punishment for violent offenders will be. Police are law enforcers. They can and do go after law breakers, but when the courts neglect to render adequate punishments, there is nothing further that police can do.

Self-reliance is no longer the revered personal attribute that it once was. But self-defense depends upon self-reliance, and the more you expect “something to be done” about violent crime by others, the less anything will be done. You need to learn to rely upon your awareness, precautions, and — ultimately — your READINESS AND WILLINGNESS TO FIGHT BACK AND NOT BE VICTIMIZED — to protect yourself against violence in our society.

It is true that we “should not have to” defend ourselves against human predators in the cities where we live. But we do have to. So we’d better.


Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Important Points To Bear In Mind When Culling The WWII

Methods For Help In Personal Training

William Ewart Fairbairn is perhaps the most celebrated of the WWII Teachers. As far as personal experience "being and doing" there has probably been no one in modern history better qualified to teach no-nonsense, get-him-before-he-gets-you close combat. Fairbairn, by actual record, participated in more than 600 armed and unarmed lethal encounters while "Officer In Charge of Musketry" in the Shanghai Municipal Police. The finest of Fairbairn's treatments of close combat include: ALL-IN FIGHTING, HANDS OFF!, and SHOOTING TO LIVE. Fairbairn was mentor to the almost equally well known Pat (Dermot) O'Neill. Rex Applegate — another legend from that era and on through the post-WWII years — began as Fairbairn's assistant and pupil, and later became his opposite number here in the States, when Fairbairn returned to England.

William Ewart Fairbairn is perhaps the most celebrated of the WWII Teachers. As far as personal experience "being and doing" there has probably been no one in modern history better qualified to teach no-nonsense, get-him-before-he-gets-you close combat. Fairbairn, by actual record, participated in more than 600 armed and unarmed lethal encounters while "Officer In Charge of Musketry" in the Shanghai Municipal Police. The finest of Fairbairn's treatments of close combat include: ALL-IN FIGHTING, HANDS OFF!, and SHOOTING TO LIVE. Fairbairn was mentor to the almost equally well known Pat (Dermot) O'Neill. Rex Applegate — another legend from that era and on through the post-WWII years — began as Fairbairn's assistant and pupil, and later became his opposite number here in the States, when Fairbairn returned to England.

1. The best of the WWII methods —

• The Applegate System

• The Fairbairn System

• The O’Neill System

• The Brown-Begala System

• The U.S.M.C. Raider System

All offer what is a very similar theme. Strive to grasp the general underlying similar theme that runs through each of these methods, rather than looking at each of the different systems as a mere collection of techniques.

2. While having no doubt that the specific techniques presented in the curriculum of each of the WWII systems is excellent and quite reliably serviceable, do not abandon entirely the techniques and tactics of whatever conventional martial art you may be studying, or that you may have studied in the past. When you find a technique that is either not included in, or played down in, a WWII system, that fits you well and in which you possess confidence, incorporate it into your repertoire.

3. Remember that numerous principles which underlie the conventional martial arts are no less valid than those that have been included directly in the WWII methodology. Explore — since you do not have the limitations placed upon you that the teachers and trainees during WWII had placed upon them — all of that which may be of value to you from all sources.

4. Validate skills that you examine and consider for inclusion into your repertoire by testing them rigorously against “The Applegate Touchstone” found in Kill or Get Killed. (“Will this work so that I can use it instinctively in vital combat against an adversary who determined to prevent me from doing so and who is striving to eliminate me by fair means or foul?”)

5. Capitalize on employing one of the most sensible rules that the WWII era teachers all emphasized:

Make no attempt to “master everything”. Find the skills that

best suit you, individually, and work incessantly on those.

With no limits on your time available for training, and the sources to which you may refer for guidance, try to keep building your personalized, individual skills and tactics repertoire. In the long run this will see you in possession of a unique, personalized, individually tailored system of your own — which is exactly what you are after. The classical-traditional “cookie-cutter” process of turning out clones of the system headmaster is one of classicism’s greatest errors!

Rare photo sequence taken from the Athletic Journal (US Navy photographs) showing Wesley Brown demonstrating the edge-of-the-hand blow to various targets. Brown, a wrestler, was a hand-to-hand combat in the Navy during WWII. Along with Joe Begala (who, following the war, became Kent State wrestling coach) he taught Naval Aviation Cadets. Although the Navy program (available in its entirely in the V-5 Physical Education Text of that era, HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT, was perhaps the most extensive of all the WWII systems, it was laced with numerous overly complicated techniques and too much wrestling-based manuevers. Nevetheless, the course was excellent, and stressed a tough, merciless attitude and many excellent, direct, practical actions.

Rare photo sequence taken from the Athletic Journal (US Navy photographs) showing Wesley Brown demonstrating the edge-of-the-hand blow to various targets. Brown, a wrestler, was a hand-to-hand combat instructor in the Navy during WWII. Along with Joe Begala (who, following the war, became Kent State wrestling coach) he taught Naval Aviation Cadets. Although the Navy program (available in its entirely in the V-5 Physical Education Text of that era, HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT, was perhaps the most extensive of all the WWII systems, it was laced with numerous overly complicated techniques and too much wrestling-based manuevers. Nevetheless, the course was excellent, and stressed a tough, merciless attitude and many excellent, direct, practical actions.

6. Do not fall into the two prevailing “traps” that the recent crop of “WWII era system” fanatics have fallen into:

a) Literally worshipping the WWII systems, and — ironically —

adopting the same nonsense attitude that often had been

responsible for, properly, turning them away from the

classical-traditional systems, in the first place

b) Adopting the “holier-than-thou” attitude of the lunatics who,

having discovered and adopted the WWII methods as

their own, now set themselves apart as The Authorities

on these methods, and — incredibly! — while noting

how “simple”, “easily understood and mastered”, and

rooted in common sense these methods are, proceed

to insist that they and only they are the “authentically

researched purveyors of WWII era combat wisdom”!

Every source of instruction and information that these

misguided individuals utilized to achieve their understanding and    knowledge of the WWII methods may be utilized by YOU.

7. Use these sources to learn about the WWII methods:

• Our web sites: and

• The Close Combat Files of Rex Applegate

• Kill or Get Killed

• All-In Fighting/Get Tough!/Hands Off!/Shooting to Live

• Hand-to-Hand Combat (V-5)

• Combat Conditioning (Melson)

• Combat Conditioning (Hanley)

• Do or Die

• Combat Without Weapons

• FM 21-150 Combatives (1971 edition) This depicts much of the

O’Neill System

• (Films):






It is possible that some of these publications (notably the films) may not be readily available. However, a thorough study of the first four books listed will suffice to educate anyone thoroughly in the methods.

World War Two saw giant steps ahead taken, as the then greatest experts in the world  amongst the allied forces, worked hard to provide instruction in what Rex Applegate referred to as the commando style of personal combat.

Virtually all of the post WWII practical systems derive considerably from the great wartime methods of the 1940’s. American Combato incorporates the cream of all of the top WWII Methods.