Due to the observational evidence of what actual fighting looks like, that which can be found in the laboratory of Mixed-Martial Arts (MMA) in the UFC, as well as video footage of criminal assaults that can easily be found online, the realistic hand-to-hand skills that we need to focus on within a self-defense context should also demonstrate repeatable efficacy against a resisting opponent(s) who has an opposing will and malicious intent. Like in most “self-defense” classes or “commando combative systems”, practitioners who merely demonstrate techniques against someone who is standing still and/or responding in a compliant manner does nothing to inculcate skill performance under stress and gives the practitioner a false sense of security. This is why the delivery systems of MMA (striking, wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) have proven themselves to be the most effective skill-sets to have when both people are trying to win. This is also the reason why the training methodology employed at Steadfast Defense, the Cleveland Shivworks Training Group, and Safety Solutions Academy, utilizes aspects of these delivery systems in a layered approach of progressive resistance, to build practical and functional skills for self-defense in a weapons-based environment. If all we do is practice against a compliant training partner who lets us do our “move”, than all we are doing is developing a false sense of confidence about the subject matter of a life or death struggle.
The skills listed below will be taught in 3 hour long sessions that will either be comprised of a stand-alone module, or coupled with another. The material will be presented in multi-session clusters so that skills can be performed with numerous repetitions. Training equipment such as boxing gloves, protective headgear, training guns and training knives will be provided for the class. NO LIVE WEAPONS ARE PERMITTED WITHIN THE TRAINING SPACE. Pat downs of all participants will be conducted to ensure a sterile training environment and will be implemented at the beginning of each session.
Threat Recognition & Management
The best form of personal protection is to see the possibility of an assault emerging and to escape and evade the possible assault before it even gets to that point. This segment is all about the tactics, as well as the mindset, that we need to even be aware that a potential criminal assault is imminent. The skills ingrained will consist of spotting the behavioral pre-assault cues that are the precursor to an attack. The participant will also learn and train verbal tactics, a preliminary physical engagement posture, and movement patterns that will help lead to greater success when dealing with potentially more than one individual in a weapons-based environment.
Ambush Defense and the Default Position
“Stuff happens”. That is just how the world works, sometimes. This segment will deal with scenarios in which we are in an environment that would support a criminal assault, but our awareness was focused upon something other than the people that we don’t know in the environment that we are in. This position is the technique that will help us survive the initial first seconds of an ambush attack in extreme close-quarters, that will prevent being knocked unconscious and also help us to stabilize ourselves in order to take back the initiative by bringing aggression, skill, and if need be, the judicious use of defensive tools to the fight.
Combative Draw stroke
This module will cover a two handed and one-handed pistol draw stroke from concealment which will address shooting from various ranges within extreme close quarters; such as retention shooting and shooting with varying degrees of extension and compression in our draw presentation, based on the proximity of the threat.
If escape and evasion is the goal, remaining upright, mobile, and not entangled is the key to achieving that goal. This module will introduce a very high-percentage, preemptive strike that is not reliant upon physical attributes, as well as the striking techniques found in Western Boxing and Muay Thai. This module will also focus on the importance of both Orthodox and “Southpaw” footwork against single and multiple opponents to provide the necessary opportunity for weapon deployment, if need be.
In-Fight Weapons Access
(Vertical Entanglement or “Clinch Fighting”)
The In-Fight Weapons Access module takes a realistic look at the dangers of judiciously going for a weapon too early in regards to a criminal assault within 0 to 5 feet. Those who choose to carry defensive tools need to satisfy the timing and positional requirements necessary for robust deployment of their weapon amidst the chaos of an entangled struggle, so that the weapon will not be dropped due to a fouled draw stroke or grabbed and taken by the attacker. The principals of In-Fight Weapons Access are applicable whether standing upright or while grounded, with both firearms as well as edged weapons. Understanding that this is the quintessential back-bone which all of our hand-to-hand delivery systems are built upon, is paramount. Skills learned will be contextually relevant aspects of Greco-Roman Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as well as the clinch-fighting techniques of boxing and Muay Thai, which are modified to provide seamless integration of defensive tools with our empty-hand skills.
Unattached Edged Weapon Use
This module is for anyone who chooses to carry a small tactical folding knife or a small fixed blade as a part of their everyday carry gear (EDC). In addition to dispelling myths associated with “knife-fighting”, we will look at defensive knife choice and placement, conventional and reverse grip, targeting priorities, and edge and point-driven methodologies. This segment will also include training with reverse-edged knives and understanding its game-changing efficacy within extreme close quarters.
Weapon Disarms (Pistol & Knife)
This module will focus on a very high-percentage empty-hand knife disarm, as well as handgun disarms from varying arms-length distances and placement of holds. These disarms will be trained with progressive resistance, against a non-compliant aggressor who has an opposing will.
(In Holster Retention &
Out-of Holster Retention)
Here we will develop the skills needed to defend our handgun from being taken out of our holster by an aggressor during an extreme close-quarters entanglement. We will also train handgun retention skills when someone has successfully grabbed our gun when it is out of the holster.
This module will cover the issues we face concerning criminal assaults in and around vehicles. Here we will apply some of the same principals as discussed above, but modify them in a way that deals with the pros and cons of fighting in a vehicle where weapons are involved.
Clothing Requirements: Athletic shoes and comfortable clothing that permits one to wear a belt for holster attachment is recommended. Mouth guard, groin protection, and knee pads are optional
Due to the variety of handguns and holsters on the market today, participants are encouraged to bring their own training equipment in regards to a replica (“Blue Guns” or SIRT guns) of the handgun and holster they use. For those who also carry an edged weapon, training replicas of the knives used are encouraged as well.