The text book of close combat
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The text book of close combat



Originally Compiled by T. Law

Ripped off and Re-Distributed By Mr. Mooke

General Warfare Tactics. For Public Information and Research Only.

Public Domain Information.


Below is the usual warning crap. Allow me to summarize:

The info contained here can be dangerous if you’re an idiot but we aren’t your mommies so it’s not our fault if you are naughty.

Mr. Mooke says religion is for the simple minded and/or ignorant

Please visit for the best Atheist resources on the web.


This page is a collection of illustrated training notes and articles on practical hand to hand combat. Critical comment and contributions are welcome on techniques, tactics, theories and principles. Areas of interest: Offensive Combat, Defensive Combat and finally, Control and Restraint. All copyrighted material on this site is reproduced with each individual authors permission


You must be over the age of 18 to view the Hand To Hand Combatives which are discussed and illustrated on this site. The author of this site has reviewed effective fighting systems for over 35 years and is still revising his operational techniques in the light of personal fighting experience. The techniques presented on this web site are for public information and research purposes only. This web site is presented, subject to the following condition:

• The author will not be held responsible for either the physiological, psychological or material results of the application of any of the techniques either described or illustrated.

The techniques described and illustrated on this web site have evolved from both battle field and street fighting experience. Close combat, and also the training for close combat, is extremely brutalizing. Both sources can cause severe psychological and physiological damage, not only to the receiver but also to the operator. The application of close combat techniques off the battle field can be judged as criminal. This web site is intended for academic study and discussion only. ________________________________________


CHAPTER’s 1 and 2First Steps in Offensive and Defensive Close Combat

General Warfare Tactics. For Public Information and Research Only.

Public Domain Information.



The purpose of this text book is to present the reader with both offensive and defensive examples of close combat.

A very wide spectrum of techniques and tactics will be described in this text book. The original purpose of this approach was to allow the reader to select techniques that suit them personally and also meet their operational requirements.

The techniques described and illustrated in this text book have been used in general warfare by Western states from the early 1900’s onwards. These armies have always used close combat training programmes for two main reasons;

• First, close combat training promotes fighting spirit and ruthless efficiency.

• Second, close combat training programmes are the solid foundations for self confidence on the battle field.


Self Defence. The amount of physical force used in self defence must be the minimum necessary to protect either you or others. This degree of force should allow you to either escape, ward off or neutralize an attack.

Close Combat. To fight and oppose with little regard paid to minimum force requirements. The amount of force used will depend on the operational aims. This may include neutralizing, disabling, capturing and killing the enemy.

First Steps

Whenever possible, text book and video studies must be complemented with „hands on training“ from a competent instructor. First hand accounts from combat veterans will also give more credence to the training programme.

Standing Combat

Join a boxing, karate or kung fu club and gain valuable contact experience. This must include the practice of timing hits, judging distance, feinting, counter attacking and closing in for grappling techniques. Do not spend to long learning the one style. Focusing on the one style will create a mind set for that particular style. For example, focusing on boxing may cause you to miss the chance to either kick or throw your opponent when that opportunity arises.


Join a club that specializes in either judo, jujitsu, sombo or wrestling. Here you will learn the fundamentals of balance, break falling, strangling, choking, limb locking, the mount, the guard and escapes. A good substitute for sound practical hands on instruction in these areas does not exist.

When you are fighting more than one opponent, grappling must be avoided. You will limit your chances of survival if you allow yourself to be tied up by either applying or being caught in body holds or arm lock.

A competent ground fighter can be defeated by any of the following quick and lethal tactics; gripping the ear and chopping it off with the free hand, poking out eyes, chopping the front of the throat or eyes, biting off ears, noses and cheeks.

Technical proficiency in either boxing or wrestling or any sport combat is not a requirement for battle field combat. Half a brick or the edge of an entrenching tool to the nape of the neck will work much faster than many years of karate training.
The application of these tactics requires nothing more than the will to survive.

Safety Rules

Close combat training will, at some stage, incur physical injury. This is a fact of life in all areas of combat training. Prior to any combat training, commanders are obliged to predict the expected loss rate from training accidents. This will ensure that the programme starts with sufficient personnel to offset the training losses.

Safety rules will help to reduce the accident rate in your training programme.

1. Basic training dress must include rubber soled boots, combat jacket and trousers and finally, protective body guards. Always use commercial protective equipment that meets your training requirements.

2. Prior to any training session, a thorough safety check must be made of all dress and equipment. Always check the soles of all footwear and all clothing to ensure that there are no illegal or foreign bodies attached. Also check that all pockets are empty and no one is wearing jewelry or badges.

3. When sparring, restrict all hand and foot attacks to well padded secondary pressure points. This procedure will help to reduce training injuries and teach individuals to focus and control their attacks.

4. Establish prearranged signals for stopping all activity on the training floor. The signals can be either verbal or non verbal. The most common signals in general use are either two taps on the training partner or the floor or the shout „Stop!“

5. Before practising any technique, always ensure that those involved have a clear understanding of their roles.

6. Practise all new techniques slowly until those involved can control that technique. Speed follows on from a mastery of accuracy and control.

7. Never allow new training partners to either train or spar in your group. Give all new partners a probation period that allows them to master the safety rules and basic techniques.

8. Competence in basic first aid is a necessary skill for all those taking part in close combat training. Transport must also be available to take injured personnel to the nearest hospital.

9. No one is allowed to leave the training area without the permission of the instructor.

10. Any additions to these safety rules may be dependent on the operational requirements. Balance

All forms of combat have one common denominator, that is, balance. You must strive to maintain your own equilibrium and try to unbalance your opponent, both mentally as well as physically. This will make all your techniques much stronger and the opponents much weaker. The simple act of stepping out of line from their line of attack will unbalance the opponent. If the opponent has grabbed at your upper body, step back and out to the side to pull them off balance into a defensive mode. If the opponent grabs at your wrist, the act of palm heeling their opposite shoulder will force them to over reach. This can lead you to using a throwing technique.

Ground Fighting

Training programmes should be structured so that equal amounts of time are devoted to both standing and ground combat. There are three main reasons for this.

First, either you or your opponent may be punched, clubbed, swept or thrown to the ground.

Second, in some situations it may be more prudent to go down and attack the opponent’s legs, knees, groin, testicles or bladder.

Third, there is always the chance that both you and your opponent will go to the ground together.

If your experience in ground fighting is limited, then your survival will also be limited. The grounded opponent is not necessarily overpowered or passive. This position can be used to launch many different forms of crippling and lethal attacks that are banned in sport combat.

When you are fighting more than one person, your survival will be limited. Should you end up in the grounded position, your survival is extremely limited. Offensive and defensive use of the group will be discussed in other chapters.

Lethal Techniques

Sport combat systems have excellent safety rules and safe contact techniques. Some of the techniques used in sport combat can form the basis of your close combat repertoire.

Despite these facts, rigid adherence to the safety rules will produce combatants with limited practical abilities. This is because the simplest and most lethal techniques in close combat remain unexplored and unrehearsed.

The only way lethal techniques can be incorporated into your training programme is to either use slow motion drills or direct the lethal strikes to well protected areas. Also, non-lethal pressure point attacks can be directed to various parts of the body. These pressure point attacks can be used for both self defence and for setting up lethal attacks. Strangle and choke holds, as well as limb locks can be applied to the submission stage. This procedure will give you a safe and much more realistic approach to practical close combat.

Fighting Distances

In this text book on close combat, three ranges to be considered.

• Long range offensive and defensive styles are usually favored by the taller opponent. (See chapter 2)

• Close range offensive and defensive styles are usually favored by the shorter opponent or wrestler. (See chapter 2 for a more detailed discussion.)

• Ground fighting is favored by the wrestler. It is also the last option open to the downed opponent. (See chapter 13 for a more detailed discussion.)


In a combat situation, you will
be dressed and carrying equipment essential to the operational task.

Unless you have trained in this equipment, you may not be prepared to deal with this situation.

After you have mastered a set of techniques in basic training dress, you must rehearse in full operational dress. This procedure will allow you to appreciate the limitations and restrictions that operational dress and equipment can impose upon specific techniques.

Consideration should also be given to the operational dress worn by the enemy.

Fear Control

Before any boxing match, boxers will experience the physical effects of their mental turmoil. The fear of physical pain, humiliation, or losing the fight can induce many physical side effects.

For example, bowel movements will increase in frequency. There can also be incidences of vomiting or trembling.

A detailed discussion on the physiological and psychological effects of battle field fear and its effects would require a chapter on its own. This knowledge would not enhance your ability to cope with the disruptive effects that fear can create.

Fear is much easier to deal with when it is accepted as mental and physical distress. This distress is created by thinking about the impending combat and all the perceived dangers. Mental and physical distress then creates a nervous energy that is very difficult to control. Paradoxically, this nervous energy is also an essential aid to individual survival. The total control of fear is neither necessary, nor desirable. The nervous energies created by fear will tense up the whole body and prepare it for either the fight or the escape. When the human body is slightly tense, it can respond much faster than a relaxed body.

Physical tension also prepares the body for the impact of the opponent’s attack. Simultaneously, fear will increase the individual pain threshold. This allows the body to cope with more trauma than normal. Blood flow to the surface of the skin is reduced. Because of this, bleeding from body wounds is also reduced.

The stress of combat will also induce a mental tension. The opponent will be mentally focused on the source of the problem and will be operating with a limited level of consciousness. Their attention will be directed straight towards you. In this state, the opponent will be unable to hear or respond to advice from any source. They will also be unable to see any activity that takes place outside their direct view.

Psychological research has shown that individual fears will peak before and after a battle. During the battle, the majority of the combatants can focus on the operational task. Soldiers who are bonded together with a team spirit, well led, believe their cause is just and properly trained, will find it much easier to focus on the operational task.

Because of these factors, learning to cope with fear must form an integral part of basic combat training. The training programme outlined later in this chapter can be used to produce close combat fighters who can control their fears.

Your training programme must also include ways of coping with the limiting mind set of focused attention. Learn to expand your consciousness during training so that you can see and hear much more than the direct threat.

The Adrenalin Rush and The Shakes

The natural reaction of the body to stress is the fight-or-flight emergency response. As mentioned in the section on fear control, the immediate physiological response is to prepare the body for either fight or flight. This includes an increase of blood flow to the brain and muscles as well as an increase in strength and energy.

If this energy is not dissipated within approximately 10 seconds, through the fight, the energy is lost through a shaking or trembling process. Your aim in any fight is to attack before the energy level peaks. Use that energy boost to defeat the opponent.

If the opponent allows their energy level to peak, without fighting, the shakes will set in and they will be incapable of reacting positively.

Distracting the Opponent

The ideal time to launch an attack is when the enemy is not prepared for it. Always try and hit first. When the enemy is either faster, stronger or prepared for your attack, distractions become necessary.

The following tacticss may be incorporated into your training programme. As your skill develops, you will appreciate the vital fractions of a second and control that these distractions allow you.


Throw the nearest object to hand. Make the opponent flinch, blink or stop. This form of distraction will give you a fraction of a second to make your own move.


Spitting can make the opponent either blink, vomit, draw back or lift their hands to expose the lower targets.

Spit out anything that happens to be in your mouth at the time of the confrontation.


Before carrying out a definite attack, such as a punch, either pretend to or actually use a kick. This tactic will make the opponent act in a predictable manner.

Develop your own personal set of combinations.


Shouting and screaming can be used in order to dispel your nervous energy and disorientate the enemy.

By shouting or screaming, you can make the opponent temporarily freeze. The shouting approach can also make your own attack much stronger.

As with all forms of distraction, the enemy may over react or panic. Because of this factor, the voice must be used in a controlled manner and immediately followed through.

Your breathing can also be used to strengthen your attack and confuse the opponent. This can be done by hissing or grunting as you move or attack.

Consider the boxer’s mode of breath coordinated striking. Just before you strike, you tense up your stomach muscles. Before the strike lands, either grunt, hiss or blow out half your lung capacity.


In many fights, the opponent will be operating with a limited level of consciousness. The opponent will both „telegraph“ and persist in using the same technique. The simple act of either kicking or using a straight arm strangle will induce the opponent to copy you. Both these situations can be used to your advantage.

Combatants are usually motivated by fear or blind hatred. It is not normal for them to think tactically and respond positively to their opponents attack. Attacks are usually focused on the position of the opponent. The simple act of stepping out of this direct line of attack can confuse the attacker.

Try to remain mobile during a confrontation. This will disrupt the opponents timing and concentration. If your opponent is circling around you, disrupt their timing by either stepping in or out with a side step of your own.

If your opponent is right handed, move round them in an anticlockwise direction. This will keep you away from the much stronger right side of their body.

At other times encourage the opponent to move forward. Their momentum will add more impetus to the force of your attack.

Chapter 2 will contain much more detail on this factor.


Talk to the opponent and find out what they want from you. Talking may help to reduce the tension of the situation. It will also leave the opponent more open to attack.

Vary the volume and speed of your speech, this will force the opponent to focus on your voice.


Leave the enemy an obvious opening in your defences. Once their anticipated attack is initiated, you can counterattack.


Pretend to be afraid, injured, dead, competent, brave, stunned or mad. Do anything to disrupt the thinking processes of the opponent. Create a mental block in the opposition and then use the opportunity this creates to either attack or escape.


Every individual varies in the degree of speed they can generate in either offensive or defensive techniques. This fact is based on the normal physiological differences.

Other factors can affect individual speed and reaction times. These include, mental alertness, physical well being and the quality of individual combat training.

In sport combat, reactions can be sharpened up with a warming up session before a contest. An opportunity for this procedure never presents itself close combat. In this situation, optimum reaction times and positive responses will be dependent on the quality of the training programme.

Not all fights will be lost because the opponent is much faster than you. Slow reactions can be compensated for in many ways. For example, attack first whenever possible, after that, use distractions or combination attacks.


Initiative can be defined, in the military sense, as making the first move. This behaviour will force the enemy to conform to your movements.

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