20 January 2014

Principles of MCS- Combative Anatomy

From time to time I will be posting information that will provide a sneak peak into my upcoming book Modern Combative Systems - Within Arms Reach.  These posts, like the book, are done with the intention of sharing as much information as possible because I realize that some people do not have the time, money, or health to attend regular training.  Hopefully it will also provide a litmus test when considering other information and training.

Combative Anatomy

Combative Anatomy is simply the study of how to most efficiently stop a dangerous human.  This is either absent or misunderstood from most curriculum.  The below information is based on my experience dealing with violent, uncooperative individuals over the last 20 some odd years, in addition to speaking with every doctor that would talk to me after I told them why I wanted the information.  

Though most people are fixated on tools such as guns and knives, the truth is that you are very unlikely to face a weapon of any type much less bring your own weapon into play.  However these types of situations will occur and we will speak about them later.  First lets talk about using your natural weapons (body) and environment to stop any violent attack from a punch to a knife.  Fight the man, not the weapon.

If you talk to anyone who works fire/EMS or in an Emergency Room and ask them what kills most people in motor vehicle accidents, they will tell you it is head injuries.  Add this to the fact that we know how many people are injured and killed every year by falls, it becomes obvious that the human head, although well protected, has it's weak points and will only withstand a certain amount of damage before recovery is not possible.  Now think back to the last time you went to get into a car real fast and bumped the side of your head into the roof of the car, or for that matter, anytime you bump your head.  In a self-defense situation, your primary target should be your attacker's head.  Whether you hit it with your elbow or push them backwards into a wall causing them to hit their head...target their head.  Targeting the head provides a measured response that can go from STUN to DESTRUCTION based on your need.  The human body is a machine and the brain and spinal cord are the electricity.  The STUN is a short disruption, and DESTRUCTION is turning the machine off by pushing a button or smashing the machine.  We refer to this as Central Nervous System targeting.

The next system that should be targeted for both self-defense and arrest and control is the Structural System comprised of the bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.  Again this allows for a measured response, but between STUN and DESTRUCTION we have CONTROL.  Efficient CONTROL is an art unto itself and should be pursued by anyone who is in the business of controlling human beings in custodial situations.  For our purposes here, I will leave it at that since we are primarily talking about a citizen defending himself and he has no need for control.  In true self-defense situations, anything that encourages you to hang onto your attacker instead of continually working for dominance will only lead you down a road of failure, and this includes the use of pressure points and "vital striking points" as taught in some systems.  I am not saying that you cannot stop one with a single precision strike, but in the heat of battle it is the same thing as shooting a gun out of a bad guy's hand.  The primary structural targets are the knees and the elbows.  Simply do your best to bend them in the opposite direction than they are supposed to go.  Excellent secondary targets are the collar bones, feet, and hands.  These are more often targets of opportunity.  For example, your attacker has his hand on the ground, then you stomp on it.  Same with an ankle if the totality of the circumstances justify it.  If you have a chance to retreat but instead decide to cripple your attacker, be prepared to go to prison.  When a structural target is compromised, it is usually obvious by a change in posture or inability to move the affected area.  These targets are the foundation and frame of the body.  Taking a knee sideways is the same as a wrecking ball smashing the corner of a building.

The last body system we will discuss is the Circulatory System, best described as the plumbing of the body.  Most people, especially those who train with guns and knives, have a habit of over emphasizing not only use of those tools in altercations, but also their ability to physically stop an attacker from posing a threat at close distances.  Open hand combatives targeting the Central Nervous System and Structural System are carried out with your personal weapons (body) and impact weapons (anything you can hit someone with that does not have an edge).  For this reason, they should be the primary focus of training and weapons training should be integrated after the foundation is laid.  Learn to work with the tools you have most often.

Attacking the Circulatory System requires penetrating the body and comprising anything within it.  Even with a pistol or a knife, there are too many variables to discuss here.  In regards to using a knife for self-defense, a pommel strike to the head may likely have a more immediate impact on your circumstance than a stab to the heart.  People can take a long time to bleed out to the point where their locomotion and ability to be violent are effected.

When it comes to using a pistol for self-defense, most have been taught to draw and punch out until their sights are on the attacker's upper chest.  Well, there are two major problems here.  According to my research and training, the distance that these things occur would physically prohibit you from having enough room to extend your pistol out in front of you and getting it between you and your attacker.   The other issue, as previously stated, is that even if the upper chest is struck it may not necessarily stop your attacker.  The way we fight this reality in training is to begin shooting as soon as our pistol and the muzzle is between us and the bad guy.  This is usually around the groin, which besides being very vascular, is the interior lynch pin of locomotion with the body. Any compromise of this area will likely force the attacker's head down as you are  tracking up.  Something to consider if you are more interested in using a pistol in a fight than fighting with a pistol.

More to come soon.

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