Tim's Discussion Board: Martial Arts - Miscellaneous: Combatives
   By Tim Neal on Saturday, April 30, 2005 - 01:31 am: Edit Post


What do you think of World War II Combatives as a method of hand to hand combat? How do Combatives differ from Martial Arts?

   By Proud American (Unregistered Guest) on Saturday, April 30, 2005 - 02:24 am: Edit Post

Depends on what teams H2H you are referring too.

If it is the Japanese, then obviously it was not the best method, the Marines won every hand to hand engagement... odd but that shows what a few good Marines can do.

Obviously the Germans were not as good as they though either... got to love those Army Dogs, they fought them hard, they fought them well, they kicked their asses to hell.

   By stan (Unregistered Guest) on Saturday, April 30, 2005 - 07:18 pm: Edit Post

Combative teaches basic engagement strategies. As these are basic, the practice over times through periodization help to preserve the integrit of the movements. Combatives are usually an extension of bayonet training. pugil stick orientation, physical/cardiovascular conditioning.

when the marines met the german army, the germans were so surprised of their tenacity that they were given the name teufelhunden (devil dog)!
A well fed, well armed and well trained unit can do superhuman feats. I am thinking of the Chosun Resorvoir in Korea where a combined group of army and marines surrounded by 10? divisions of a North Chinese/Korean army kicked butt and didn't bother to take names. The Chinese army was well supported but they lacked the will to fight, were poorly clothed, their officers took all the better equipment and left the common soldier to eat crap. Hell, who is going to fight for that scenario?

semper fi

   By bob (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 01:21 am: Edit Post

Chosin resevoir was a "tactical withdrawl" a nice term for "retreat". The Marines and Army fought valiantly, but it was a retreat.
I was in the Marine Corps myself, I always suspected the "Devil Dog" thing to be b. just sounds like propaganda indoctrintion stuff to get you to feel like you are superman in boot camp. I mean how many guys would take a machine gun bunker down without inflated self confidence. It makes you feel good as a young kid training to be a "warrior", though. Like in the Frozen Chosin, at Belleau wood the Marines fought valiantly as well. Here's the Devil Dog Myth article...

   By stan (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 02:31 pm: Edit Post


Right on all counts! Throw out the useless, keep the useful.

   By From the Halls of Montezuma! (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 03:43 am: Edit Post

Thank God for that propaganda indoctronation.

The reason for bootcamp:
To stand and fight when every human instinct tells you to run, but you realize that you have wounded friends, your brothers in need, you are willing to sacrifice one if needed to save the twenty brothers in harms way, and that one is you and you do so with honor, courage, and the fighting spirit of a UNITED STATES MARINE!

   By Tim Neal on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 11:47 am: Edit Post

I was speaking of Combatives as taught by such instructors as Jim Grover, Carl Cestari,etc. Have any of you trained in these modalities?

   By Tim on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 01:59 pm: Edit Post

Presently, most MA instruction is divided into three broad categories, Traditional, Sport and Combatives.

The Combatives instructors believe they are creating systems based on techniques and training methods that work in actual street confrontations, from any source (so they are non-traditional) and that are too deadly or dangerous to compete with (so they are non-sportive).

Combatives instructors present their systems as answers to "real world" confrontations, very often including a great amount of weapons training and defense.

   By Richard Shepard on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 06:03 pm: Edit Post

"Police Kung Fu: The Personal Combat Handbook of the Taiwan National Police" by Man Kam Lo is a good book about using traditional kung fu for police combatives.

   By Brian Kennedy on Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 02:34 am: Edit Post

"Police Kung Fu: The Personal Combat Handbook of the Taiwan National Police" by Man Kam Lo is a horrible book. I bought it at the Eslite bookstore bargain basement several years ago. Forearm blocking a dude swinging a baseball bat at you (blocking on the bat itself) seems a wee bit foolish. And that is just one example of the book's lame brained attempt to turn wing chun into cop defensive tactics.

I am just finishing editing an article on Chinese police training manuals for Classical Fighting Arts magazine and I was going to mention Man Kam Lo's book as an outstanding example of a garbage book full of stuff that will get a cop killed..but I wanted to keep the article "positive" so I did not. But when I saw your post I had to say something.

Man Kam Lo has quite the rep among foreigners in Taipei who are interested in martial arts. This rep is "mixed"; some think he is outstanding, some think he is mediocre, some are quite unimpressed. I know nothing about him personally. My harsh comments are directed at the book, not the author.

take care,

   By Tactical Grappler (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, May 04, 2005 - 08:27 pm: Edit Post

Have to go with Brian on this one - as a cop and use of force trainer, that book was a bunch of bilge.

   By Richard Shepard on Thursday, May 05, 2005 - 11:05 am: Edit Post

Hmmm, well it has been a while since I read it. Perhaps I only remember the good parts. I will have to find a copy and re-read it. I was studying Wing Chun at the time I first read the book, so maybe I was bias.


   By Backarcher on Saturday, May 07, 2005 - 12:46 am: Edit Post

Combatives were not meant to be a system in itself, but a way to get soldiers prepared the most efficiently in the shortest amount of time.

Most of the trainers had Judo, Jujitsu, wrestling or boxing training.

They would of course prefer the soldiers to train in the above methods for a few years, but they had only a few weeks to get these guys ready for war.

   By Richard Shepard on Saturday, May 07, 2005 - 09:57 pm: Edit Post

Combatives is a very hot topic on the MA scene. There are definitely experts with real insight into "combatives", but anyone using that kind of down and dirty basics approach to training could become very proficient in any system of techniques. Hell, I know some seriously badass fighters who train TaeKwonDo as their main style. It is all emphasis.

   By Backarcher on Sunday, May 08, 2005 - 10:58 am: Edit Post

On the other hand, you can have all the groin shots, eye gouges, and bites in the world, but if you confront a guy with basic combative sports skills and superior physical attributes and athletic 911!

   By Richard Shepard on Sunday, May 08, 2005 - 11:20 am: Edit Post

Did I say anything about groin shots, eye gouges, and bites? I think I was talking about basic combative sports skills and physical attributes when I said that anyone could concentrate on the basics of pretty much any system of techniques and be effective.

An old college friend of mine used to work as a bouncer as well as purposefully pick fights at other bars (he has since matured a lot), and won a solid 95% of his fights. He only trained in TaeKwonDo, but he stuck to the basics. He had such speed, power, and perfect timing in his use of the basic strikes, kicks, and trips/takedowns of TKD that he was a monster. It is all about intention and training emphasis. Whether or not your study a "Combatives" systems is not that important.

   By Backarcher on Sunday, May 08, 2005 - 12:01 pm: Edit Post


I agree 100%!!!!!!!!!!!

   By Richard Shepard on Sunday, May 08, 2005 - 03:42 pm: Edit Post

Hi Brian,

After looking over a copy of the Police Kung Fu book today at a local bookstore, I definitely overstated the worth of the book. I must have some rose-colored memories. I would not say it is an aweful book, but there are definitely some stupid techniques. The kan sau to jam a baseball bat is definitely the worst. Maybe I blocked that out of my memory :-) Some of the straight unarmed stuff is okay, and some of the police baton is okay. It is definitely one of the multitude that should be read cautiously.


   By Kenneth Sohl on Monday, May 09, 2005 - 08:11 am: Edit Post

Photos are so limited because they have no "flow". Could it have been a jamming arm to the bat before it could gain momentum?

   By Richard Shepard on Monday, May 09, 2005 - 12:21 pm: Edit Post

Hi Kenneth,

Based on the descriptions that accompanied the photos, yes I believe the idea was to jam the bat before it gained a lot of force as well as angling slightly to the side to diffuse the force. Though this kind of technique done well isn't nearly as stupid as a real straight force to force block, after moving away from Wing Chun I see a lot of better ways to deal with such an attack :-)

   By Rich on Monday, May 09, 2005 - 05:27 pm: Edit Post

Wing Chun is a great system.

   By Kenneth Sohl on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 07:33 am: Edit Post

Wing Chun has great principles and techniques, but as commonly taught seems to be almost a half system.

A couple of my old sifu's "associates" practiced WC and their arts seemed "harder", much more mobile footwork-wise, and contained standing grappling applications of common WC moves.

   By Richard Shepard on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 10:35 am: Edit Post

Hi Kenneth,

I completely agree with you.

Do you have the Wong Shun Leung video "Wing Chun: Science of In-Fighting"? It is the only instructional video I ever recommend to people interested in learning about Wing Chun. Wong Shun Leung was the man, too bad he is dead.


   By Kenneth Sohl on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 09:28 am: Edit Post

Richard, no, I had Leung Ting's big book, a book by Yip Chun on the wooden dummy, and as for other styles, the book on Yuen Kay San WC. A friend had a VCD on Pan Nam WC Bil Jee form. One of my "brothers" was also a Yip Man WC instructor, and he drilled me on their sticking hands for a short while. I will look up Wong Shun Leung.

   By Rich on Saturday, May 21, 2005 - 12:28 pm: Edit Post

Richard and Kenneth,
If you want to see some great WC. Then visit Gary Lams website and purchase some of his DVDS. He was one of Wong Shun Leungs top students and he(Gary) is a great example of what WC should be.

You are right... there are many people out there teaching the system incorrectly.

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