Thursday, March 12, 2009

Reply: H2H Fighting

Don Williams said...

Ferfal, I have a question. First, some background:

1) I've seen the SOE Syllabus for the H2H combat developed in WWII by Fairbairn-Sykes. It has just a few sucker punchs --chop to the throat,etc -- with emphasis on surprise and killing quickly. But it also notes that it was developed in the context of only having a few days for H2H training in wartime and that it was backup to the knife or gun. It notes that boxing/wrestling are valuable but that they require 6 months of time which the military didn't have. It advised strongly--as you do--against going to ground because an enemy's partner can kick your head in. Finally, the emphasis is on rapidly disabling an enemy because in a battlefield melee, you can't get tied up in a prolonged duel with a single opponent because that gives his buddies time to help him. Similarly, if a SOE spy dueled with one German soldier, that gave other soldiers time to swarm over him.
2) Fairbairn Sykes was developed for SOE spies and a cynical person might note that dead men tell no tales and that the fastest way to ensure a spy died on capture was to encourage him to attack armed men with bare hands. :) An even more cynical person might note that backup Plan B for Fairbairn H2H was the suicide pill.

3) Those ideas prevailed in military H2H for decades but in 2002 both the US Army and the Marine Corps went over to the MMA style you favor. With grappling and joint locks and boxing strikes included. The guy who implemented it for the Army indicated that part of the reason was to allow soldiers to spar so as to develop their skills -- that simply showing them some techniques over a 2 or 3 day training period didn't cut it.

4) I had thought initially that the military change was because counterterrorist operations require that you capture hostiles for interrogation --Hence, a shift to more emphasis on police control techniques -- whereas in conventional war you can just shoot them.

5) However, I also see signs that the military noticed the results of MMA -Brazilian JiuJitsu _Vale Tudo competitions around that time.

Which showed that boxers unfamilar with wrestling techniques could get rapidly beaten by grappling techniques. I.e, that a wrestler could protect himself from knockout, close rapidly with the boxer and that once he seized the boxer it was all over --because the boxer's limited training had not prepared him to resist a wrestler once seized.

However, boxers did better in later MMA competitions once they learned countermeasures to wrestlers attacks so that they could avoid takedowns,etc. It also seems that boxing depends upon having a certain amount of room so that you can dance away from a wrestler -- and that a boxer can have trouble he doesn't have room to maneuver.

Do this match up with what you've seen?

That’s pretty accurate, yes.
Also notice that in the various MMA fights they either tap out or get KO, so those two are the basic “weapons” in the arsenal.
You see it clearly, when a guy is KO, he drops like a bag of potatoes.

A good punch takes seconds, may end up the fight, and you are not exposing yourself to others as much as if you would if wrestling.
But as you say, boxing well and being able to throw effective punches takes lots of training, even if when fighting you only throw a couple quick combinations in seconds.
The good boxer does well in rumbles were there’s a lot of people involved. My best friend’s brother was very good at it, and I’d say he was a 90% instinctive fighter.
He kept his hands up, mover fast, dodged punches well and hit hard. Add to that that his idea of a fun weekend was to go pick fights in bars and clubs, after awhile he got very good at it and even thought he would get bruised a bit, he always won, even when outnumbered.
In one occasion he got into a fight with some guys, him alone against a bunch of them. He knocked a few of them down, and when they retreated he made the mistake of teasing and laughing about it in front of the guys girlfriends.

Feeling humiliated, they jumped him all at once, knocked him to the floor, and after kicking the crap out of hit they tried to cut his neck with a broken bottle. Lucky for him he moved and caught the bottle in the chin.
He was cut from the tip of the chin to the ear. You should see that scar.

So its not that much about winning a one on one, but covering yourself throwing punches, and getting the hell out of there.
Then yes, the rest of the techniques you need to complete the tool box.
But don’t forget that a solider will never be told to run for his life and escape, while for you it is always the best option.



DaSui said...

Fer Fal,

I think that M.A. should be considered a strategy. Blitzkreig worked pretty well against France, not so well against Russia. America using airplanes to bomb the shit out of Japan worked pretty well, against Vietnam, uh, not so well. So what you do depends on the situation.

Ironically M.A. training may be a disadvantage in America. Honest judge, I did not want to fight Bruce Lee, so I shot him instead! Has been used as a legal defense before. If you don't believe me I can take you to the grave of a Korean TWD instructor here who liked to go pick fights in bars, and he always won- until he was shot dead.

Don Williams said...

I prefer the "Geoffrey System".

In the movie "A Knight's Tale", a newcomer starts winning all the jousting tournments. The Black Knight --prime champion till then --watches glumly as the the newcomer unseats yet another opponent. The Black Knight turns to his friend and asks "How would you beat him, Geoffrey?"

Geoffrey replies: "With a STICK! While he SLEPT!"

Anonymous said...

Hi Ferfal,
On a different topic, it looks like the USA may undergo mass inflation and/or hyperinflation at some point. The paper money becomes more and more worthless.

When you go to the dentist, and you need a crown, can you pay him or her in real silver money? Here our pre 1965 coins are 90% silver.

Would that work? Have you seen people pay for costly items with real gold or real (90%) silver? Or would your dentiat still prefer a big wad of paper money?

Anonymous said...


Thank you for all the great no-nonsense posts. There are a lot of arm chair commandos in these forums giving unrealistic advice.

Regarding different martial arts for self defense, I too thought KM was nothing more than a marketing scam that builds a false sense of security in people. To this effect, there is not a single martial art that can prepare one fully for street fighting because ultimately the street has no rules and quite often the fight there is for ones life. I must agree, however, that the next best thing in street self-defense is boxing for several reasons, some of which already have been mentioned.

Boxing develops great reflexes, agility, and stamina. Often in a street fight, it is not about landing punches as much as it is about enduring blows. This requires physical condition to keep on moving even when having been hit hard. Box sparring conditions ones body to receive blows and still keep on moving and fighting back. This is what is needed to bailout of a street encounter.

From the age of 13 to 20 I studied karate-do religiously. I attained black belt and taught classes. But I must admit, that even with all that training, punch for punch I'm was no match for an amateur boxer with less than 1 year of training. I used to spar with a friend neighbor that had been going to a boxing gym for 6 months. Six years of karate-do against 6 months of boxing. He always landed more punches to my face than I did to his. I wasn't using my legs when I sparred with him and there were some obvious mistakes he made, such as ducking dangerously close to my knee, that I could have easily exploited, but nonetheless, he had only been training for 6 months and already a formidable opponent.

Most fights begin by two or more guys standing up and pushing each other. A lot of times the fight goes to the ground which is a crappy deal no matter how good a grappler one is. I have seen boxers stop an opponent on his tracks by a single good right. The fight never goes past that and one can bailout. So if I had to choose between the ability of choke some on the floor or the ability know someone flat on his butt with one or two punches, I choose the latter. Of course, learning both techniques is good, but if I ever end on the floor in a bar fight the first thing on my mind is to get up and not to apply a submissive hold on my opponents arm.

FerFAL said...

They still prefer cash.
Paper money will loose value, they'll just demand more of it but most of them will still prefer the familiar currency.
Doesn't hurt to ask if they'd like PM instead. You never know.