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Combatives

Combatives is a term used by the United States Army for its hand-to-hand combat training program. Although the key for military personnel during missions is to never find one’s self in a situation without a rifle, sidearm or knife, sometimes a soldier has to defend himself with his fists.

Initialized by Rex Applegate during WWII and presented in his book Kill or Get Killed (1943), American combatives’ foundation lies in the close quarters combat techniques developed by British armed forces officers William E. Fairbairn and Eric A. Sykes while working for the Shanghai Municipal Police between 1907-1940.

In 2002, Matt Larsen created the Modern Army Combatives program, which incorporates judo, escrima, boxing, muay Thai and the Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The effectiveness of combatives’ training methods come from their short, easily repeatable drills, so soldiers can rapidly learn and effectively perform combatives techniques.

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  1. Combatives Expert Kelly McCann Shows You How to Use Live Partners in Self-Defense Training

    Combatives Expert Kelly McCann Shows You How to Use Live Partners in Self-Defense Training

    Traditional martial arts training methods often do not carry over into combatives training. In this exclusive video, Kelly McCann demonstrates how to get the maximum use of your time with a live training partner.
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  2. Combatives vs. Zombies: The Black Belt Survival Guide

    Combatives vs. Zombies: The Black Belt Survival Guide

    Happy Halloween, Black Belt readers! Are you ready for the impending zombie apocalypse? See what combatives expert Kelly McCann has to say about the growing zombie threat in this lighter look at modern self-defense.
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  3. Kelly McCann on How Limiting Your Arsenal of Self-Defense Moves Can Actually Improve Your H2HC Skill

    Kelly McCann on How Limiting Your Arsenal of Self-Defense Moves Can Actually Improve Your H2HC Skill

    I was recently fortunate to train, have dinner with and catch up with two friends who recently returned from Afghanistan. They’re members of a special-mission unit composed of some of the nation’s best warriors; they are to warfare what Olympic athletes are to sports.
    One is a serious martial artist and
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  4. How to Defend Yourself: Kelly McCann on Training to Avoid Injuries From Street-Fight Knockouts

    How to Defend Yourself: Kelly McCann on Training to Avoid Injuries From Street-Fight Knockouts

    Many of the worst injuries from street violence don’t result from the punch that knocks someone out; they result from the head hitting the ground when the person falls. A 6-foot-tall man’s head drops six feet to the asphalt, perhaps smacking a car, a curb or a trash can along
    Read More »

  5. Combat Hapkido’s John Pellegrini on Women’s Self-Defense, MMA and Military Training

    Combat Hapkido’s John Pellegrini on Women’s Self-Defense, MMA and Military Training

    To help us learn more about traditional training in a modern world, our friend GK Zachary from AdultMartialArtist.com sat down with combat-hapkido founder John Pellegrini.

    Pellegrini’s been inducted in more than 20 martial arts halls of fame and has been on the cover of 17 self-defense magazines, including our own. Why?
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  6. Kelly McCann’s “Combatives for Street Survival” Book+DVD Combo Set Offers Unique Learning Feature for Martial Arts Students!

    Kelly McCann’s “Combatives for Street Survival” Book+DVD Combo Set Offers Unique Learning Feature for Martial Arts Students!

    The Combatives for Street Survival Book+DVD Set has been a very successful entry in the ever-expanding Black Belt martial arts multimedia collection. The self-defense content is first-rate, presented by a high-caliber book author and demonstrated on-screen by a dynamic and entertaining modern martial arts instructor. Both the author and presenter
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  7. 10 Questions With Combat Focus Shooting’s Rob Pincus

    10 Questions With Combat Focus Shooting’s Rob Pincus

    The hot topic in the martial arts is reality-based self-defense. Its counterpart in the firearms world is Combat Focus Shooting. The two disciplines share plenty—for instance, they start by reminding you that an attack in the real world stands a good chance of catching you by surprise and leaving you
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  8. Mick Coup: Eye Gouges for Self-Defense

    Mick Coup: Eye Gouges for Self-Defense

    On March 8, 2007, reality-based self-defense expert Mick Coup visited the offices of Black Belt to be photographed for a feature article in the August 2007 issue. In the article, “Reach Out and Touch Someone,” Mick Coup discusses the role of indexing and how this age-old skill–when properly tuned up
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  9. Mick Coup on Self-Defense Target Selection

    Mick Coup on Self-Defense Target Selection

    On March 8, 2007, reality-based self-defense expert Mick Coup visited the offices of Black Belt to be photographed for a feature article in the August 2007 issue. In the article, “Reach Out and Touch Someone,” Coup discusses the role of indexing and how this age-old skill–when properly tuned up and
    Read More »

  10. Mick Coup: Striking the Ears for Self-Defense

    Mick Coup: Striking the Ears for Self-Defense

    On March 8, 2007, reality-based self-defense expert Mick Coup visited the offices of Black Belt to be photographed for a feature article in the August 2007 issue. In the article, “Reach Out and Touch Someone,” Mick Coup discusses the role of indexing and how this age-old skill–when properly tuned up
    Read More »

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