Combat Training Time
by Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company
In the book "The Close Combat Files of Colonel Rex Applegate" you get a glimpse into the training and preparation of the early SOE Agents. Applegate describes the basic training as a "5 week paramilitary course. This included instruction in weapons, unarmed combat, demolitions, guerilla warfare, basic communications, intelligence, small boats and organizing resistance groups." [Page 18.] You can imagine that only a fraction of this time was spent on actual hand to hand practice and instruction.
After completion of the basic training course, the agent was dispatched and continued their training in the field for advanced training. Instructor Michael Calvert recalls how he used jujitsu to "kill or be killed" in the Fairbairn and Sykes style. Fairbairn and Sykes methods developed into the form most are familiar with: basic close-combat instruction divided into two parts of roughly eight hours each for silent killing and battle firing.
Though the training in close quarters combat (specifically the empty hand, knife, spring-kosh, black jack and club) was extremely limited, the techniques and more importantly, the people who used them were extremely effective.
Fairbairn protégé and Instructor Sykes felt that all hand to hand can be broken down into 12 techniques. He even criticized the Fairbairn's popular book "Get-Tough" as being too complicated and geared towards police work. Sykes felt that only 12 techniques is all anyone really needed! 12 techniques practiced and applied correctly to any situation.
How Can You Become Effective In Only a Handful of Training Sessions
The truth is the average person can't. These men (and women) went through an incredible selection process. They were already physically and mentally tough. All they needed were the proper tools and training. Just like the elite soldiers of today, if you can run a sub-5 minute mile, swim several miles in freezing ocean waters, do 40 pull ups, you're going to be a tough customer no matter what you know. The attitude needed to subject yourself to getting to that point of physical and mental readiness will serve you more than any secret technique.
So How Do These Methods Fit Into Modern Self Defense?
Anything, if applied at the right time can work in a real fight. But you want to stick with high percentage combat proven techniques and strategies. Your chances of survival will increase accordingly. The techniques selected by Applegate, Fairbairn, Sykes and others were chosen because of the high success rate, the short amount of time required to grasp the techniques and the ability of these techniques to be used by a wide variety of people with different physical ability, size and strength.
Are these techniques outdated? Even today, self defense comes down to knives, guns, clubs, hands and boots, nothing has changed. What has changed are training methods. Imagine if you could focus on these techniques and REALLY spend the time to develop them with modern, proven methods of training.
Up until recently, your options for training in these combat methods have been limited. These methods were relegated to books, old poorly produced videos that only show demonstration techniques and no real training of these methods. Demonstrating technique is easy. Taking something out of a book and putting it to video is easy. The real task is training. This makes all the difference. Now you may not be able to go way for several months of intensive training under a qualified instructor, but if you have a little time and more important the desire to really practice these methods in a systematic program of implementation that has been getting proven results for the past 10 years, then you should take a look at the latest self defense training system.
How effective do you think you would be after several months at your local karate or MMA School? Sure, these are great endeavors, but how ready will you be for an actual knockdown, drag out street fight? After several weeks do you think you will have a good grasp of what you would need to do in a fight for you life?
Just like the agents of the Special Services of World War II, the proper training and the proper technique helps create the right attitude. But unlike them you can spend more time than a handful of training sessions to really master these methods. We can only show you what you need to do; you're going to actually have to do it. No secret here, beware of the four letter words TRAIN and WORK. There's no getting around them, but at least you can get the most out of your time and effort by practicing the right methods and techniques, the right way.
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