Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Recommended Reading: “Martial Arts Techniques for Law Enforcement” by Mike Young

I occasionally receive email regarding good sources of self defense information. There’s books and DVDs out there but I never felt they were good enough or complete enough to recommend them.
This weekend while looking around a local bookstore I came across a pretty good book by Mike Young, called “Martial Arts Techniques for Law Enforcement”. After checking it out I paid the 40 USD (books are expensive here) and brought it home. The book isn’t flashy, the photographs are black and white, but what I was interested in, the information provided, that was pretty good.

 You often come across books promising this or that secret ninja technique, extremely deadly of course. The martial arts books that are good, they don’t cover everything you’d like. Mike Young’s book has no such marketing scams, it delivers what the title says. It covers some of the most common and most effective hand to hand techniques, knife and gun defense. There’s also grappling and some other immobilization techniques, Mike Young often tells you that this or that move worked very well for him on the streets or when trying it with his students, others not so much, so its valuable to have these anecdotes and stories along with the explanations. The manual delivers what it promises and the photographs are enough to explain what needs to be explained. I’ve never came across a book that summarizes so well and includes all the basic techniques from boxing, Thai box, jujitsu and other marital arts applying them to self defense on the streets. The gun and knife disarm are also good, so you get  a lot of valuable self defense info, all the basics, in one good manual.
I’ve read half of it already and skipped through the rest, every move and technique explained works and has been proven. Mr. Young isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel and that’s a good thing, he’s simply summarizing a lot of martial arts experience into a self defense manual for law enforcement officers, just like the book title explains. 

The only technique I found that I’m not crazy about is hammerfist strikes. In my opinion and what I’ve seen in fights, you risk breaking the metacarpal. I’ve seen people break their hand this way in two occasions. I would not recommend this type of strike. If you can’t hit with your knuckles then go for a heel of the hand strike, avoid the hammerfist. Other than that, the book is the best one I’ve came across, and I have lots of them. There are of course certain things a civilian wouldn’t have to do, situations you’d be best walking away from and not getting involved but the basic concept of armed and unarmed self defense applies both for police and ordinary citizens. Want a realistic self defense book? Get this one and follow his recommendations.



Blackeagle said...

"The only technique I found that I’m not crazy about is hammerfist strikes. In my opinion and what I’ve seen in fights, you risk breaking the metacarpal."

When I was in high school, a fellow student broke his little finger hitting me in the head with a hammerfist. Ever since, whenever someone calls me hardheaded, I'm forced to agree.

Anonymous said...

Hands are very easy to fracture. The reason boxers wear wraps and gloves is not for the protection of their opponent as much as it is for the protection of their hands.

Many of the strikes taught in traditional karate require body conditioning and proper delivery technique to be effective. For example a poorly executed knife hand can easily result in broken fingers. A backfist delivered incorrectly can result in broken bones atop the hand.

I find the hammer fist to be a devastating blow to the temple, the bridge of the nose, and skull but the blow must be delivered with the meaty part of the hand and the hand must be hardened by exercise using a Makiwara or other hard surface.

One common accident in the dojo are broken finger, especially among beginners because they deliver incorrectly or fight with their hands open and eventually catch a shin with the fingers.

Gallo@gta forum

Anonymous said...

I hate fighting though I enjoy sparring with a willing and able partner.

That said, I get jumped too often due to being short.

I find that if you hit hard enough, you always get scrapes and cuts fighting no matter what - knuckles bleed, the edge of your hand gets caught on something, eyeglasses, belt, teeth....

Big bone wins against small bone almost every time. Although it doesn't seem like you can swing it so fast or hard, a knee or elbow, seemingly in slow motion, destroys a hand or a foot almost effortlessly.

I remember a guy trying to kick me in the ribs about 10 years ago. He was on crutches for 6 months. His foot melted under my knee (or elbow, I don't know what got him exactly). Guy outweighed me at least by 70-100 lbs. That said, being so small, I have to win those encounters b/c big man tends to destroy small man. So train train train and walk away, hopefully without throwing a single blow b/c no matter what you tend to get some wear and tear.

Anonymous said...

I don't like the the knife advice, judging from a review, their so called 'one arm knife defence and one arm strike' sounds farfetched, Disneyland stuff. And Marc Macyoung agrees.
I say either attack with crushing, remorsless force or grab that knife arm with both hands and never let it go unless the person your fighting is either unconscious or drops their weapon. I wouldn't try my chances doing two things at a time with a knife attacker.

FerFAL said...

One armed defense and striek is good stuff and its not Disneyland, its actually proof that this guy knows what he's talking about. In armed self defense we train one armed shooting all the time because often enough you are either hurt or for some othe reason one arm is all you have. No reason why it should be any different in this case.Oh yes, chances of winning to go down a lot, but that's no reason to not train it. Some chance of winnning is always better than none at all, and if you never trained weak hand or one hand defense = chance of winning is what you will have.
Saw some Mad Dog stuff, some is good, some not som much, I like the Dog Brothers much better.


Anonymous said...

Think I misunderstood something must read the book, cause I'm not talking about a 'one armed defence'.