Monthly Archives: November 2014

"Do ‘s and Don’ts" of Combat

Sometimes, it’s the things you do that help you and sometimes it’s the things that you didn’t do that helps you survive and get out of a situation that is “F.U.B.A.R”.

Let’s just see what those things might be, yes?

1- Never underestimate yourself, if you do, you start to think that your attacker will be more powerful than you and you start to give up and losing a battle psychologically will guarantee your demise physically too. No matter how obviously bigger, stronger and even skilled he/she might be than you, your mind should focus on one thing and one thing only, “Getting out of there at any cost, no matter what”.

2- Never overestimate yourself, if you do, you’d think you’re superior than others and that includes your attacker/s and can “take them out”, which will lead to you getting beat up and down the concrete and to the hospital and/or morgue. You can push your limits during training, but never in a real violent situation.  “Know your limits”.

“Then what?” you ask?

3- Well, You should never “estimate” anything, estimation is a guess, guessing is a risk in combat, especially if you’re guessing about what the attacker might do and what you’d do as a response. Guessing leads to you imagining things that don’t exist and probably won’t happen. Then you start looking for solutions of problems that never existed in the first place. Not a very productive way to train for ‘reality of violence’.
There should never be any guesses or doubts and never let your imagination take over your ability of reason and logic.. “Be sure of your actions, no second guessing and be realistic”.

4- Now, how will you be sure of your abilities? Well, you train and hone your abilities and develop new skills and brush up on the old ones (if you have any). 

5- How do you hone your abilities and develop new skills? You train and after, test yourself in training

What do i mean by “test”? By training with a partner that;

Is Not a punching bag or pad.
Is Not Compliant.
Isn’t afraid to hit back when you hit him.
Is Bigger and/or Faster than you.
Is more Skilled and Superior than you.

In short, you train in a realistic way that has all the elements of real violence. You don’t have to go a 100%, but even at 50%, you will experience pretty high level of intensity and adrenal stress that real violent situations are comprised of.

6- You train in a method that gets you ready in a day, even though mastering it would take years. What if you are faced with a threat on the first day of training? Would you be able to use what you trained in the class?

You know, in World War 2, soldiers were trained in about 7 days time and then deployed in combat, and that wasn’t just unarmed hand-to-hand, it included more than h2h, it included weapons, explosives, urban and jungle survival skills and many more things too, so they only took about 1-2 day/s to complete the unarmed training, on the 2nd and 3rd days they were on knives and bayonets, by the time it was the 4th day, they were already training with and were good at using firearms, explosives, plus other “silent neutralizing” methods.

I’m not saying you have to train like WW2 soldiers, what i’m saying is, you have to train efficiently in methods that have practical applications and are simple enough to pick-up on the first day of your training. You have to train in a method with a set of principles that are simple and ready to apply, if/when the situation demands it.


8- Learning to think like a criminal and get into his mentality, to understand what makes them “tick”, what to say, what not to say, what would help, what wouldn’t, pre-contact ques like, body language (yours and the attacker’s).
In some cases, body language helps, in others communication skills do. Sometimes both help, sometimes neither”. 
Another advantage of thinking like a criminal is you can reverse engineer that mindset and can come up with practical solutions to not only combat, but prevent and avoid threats like that altogether.

9- “Know the situation, Know the environment”. It’s not just situational awareness, it’s being Environmentally aware that increases your chances of survival. There are instructors who focus on this more than any other aspect because it’s the most important one, it will determine your chances of survival.

10- Learn more about the crimes in your locality, know who committed  those crimes and how they might affect you. Also, what other possible criminals might be lurking around? Coordinate with your local L.E Department (If possible and they are open to cooperating with you). Maybe form a small neighborhood watch, (If suitable for your locality).
“Know your neighbors and your neighborhood”.

11- Don’t forget the law, study the local law about self protection and self defense. Also try and understand these things;
-What constitutes as self-defense?
-What can land you in jail?
-What can help you survive legal prosecution?
-What to say? What not to say? & How to say something to a L.E.O. during debriefing?
-How to describe the incident in a way that won’t portray you as an aggressive individual who was looking for trouble and found it and attacked the other guy?
-What are the loopholes and how would you escape without being labeled the criminal despite being the victim?
“Know and Learn the law”.

12- Learn to be violent and use violence for your survival, psychological skills can get you far enough, but enough’s not always enough, learn to be physically violent and know when to stop, to “turn it off”.

13- Finally, always be aware of the many consequences of violence (positive and negative, more so of the latter), your actions will get a reaction in the following 5 ways;

Psychological – Trauma, PTSD, Depression, etc.

Physical – Any injuries sustained during the physical altercation.

Moral – Guilt and feeling of sorrow, (if fatalities occur, especially of someone who you are with during the incident).

Societal – Public shame, individuals behave differently around you, loss of friends and probably status, isolation from peers, possible loss of profession/job/career (if it goes to the court and you are unable to prove that you’re the victim, etc. Which brings me to the final one…

Legal – Proving justified use of force is not always easy, especially if there are no witnesses to back you up, lawyer and other legal fees will drain you and your bank account dry resulting in financial debt, long court dates will take time away from your normal life, a very high possibility of jail time if you’re unable to prove that you hospitalizing or killing someone was justified in order to save lives and maintain your or your family’s safety, if the criminal is alive and injured, without eyewitnesses he can escape any charges and go free or they can even claim you as the attacker, without eyewitnesses, it might not be as easy as you think to prove otherwise, especially if the criminal has a better lawyer than you. It has happened, you never know what other legal factors you come across. In fact, legal consequences are the worst kind of them all.

Now you have an idea of the subjects that should be included in your training for real violence.

In the end, there are no specific do’s and don’ts of combat. Just some basic, common sense principles and whatever else helps you survive, those are the “Do’s”, the rest are the “What to look out for’s” and the “Don’ts”.

As always, Thanks for reading.