Why Combatives – Tactical
Benefits & Purposes
Andy Elliott believes there are 3 fundamental stages of learning combatives:
NOTE: Martial Arts & Combatives have very different mindsets & training methodologies!
Most Martial Artists learn & practice – DRILL – SKILL – THRILL
It is the THRILL part that concerns me! The Thrill = the art side or feel good techniques by an instructor in a friendly environment or most times an attacker who then stands like a statue while the instructor does multiple techniques without any further resistance.Martial Arts training often have the luxury of training for years to become proficient & achieve a Black Belt, usually attained in a user-friendly environment. Combatives on the other hand must deal with lethal intent, that requires real skills in real time to deal with real attacks! It results in a fast-tracked reality based training with the mindset to be able to prevail & not be a victim. If you are not training congruently, then you will never understand how to survive a real attack initially & then how to be able to prevail in a fight. This applies to empty hand, blunt weapons & especially edged weapons!
Kali 3D is realistic training, necessary for surviving in today’s real world. Although Andy has been training in Kombatan for over 20 years, being a “Combat Instructor” training specialists in real life scenarios, he knows what actually works & what is just for the sake of the art. He feels the need to take Kombatan to the next level, to prove how it works in real time & not just for demonstration purposes! There are many FMA videos posted nowadays of really cool looking counters – often multiple slashes & stabs, disarms, takedowns etc & yet there is no real pressure in the attack or the attack is a single action. If it is presented as purely an art form then fine, but most times it is presented as reality. People can believe this nonsense works & it may very well cost them their lives one day should they ever try to emulate those techniques.
“Pressure testing combatives determines what is real. You need this to be able to train and impart combative truths as truth is always based on fact!”
Most Martial Arts are very good at presenting & achieving the 1st stage – Drill & 2nd stage – Skill in fighting, but that’s where they finish & believe that is sufficient. Unfortunately they lack the absolute required attribute, necessary to determine what actually works or prevails in the time of need, the 3rd stage – Will. That is your Will to survive, not enacting your legal Will.
There is a huge difference in training against attackers in premeditated sequences & not done in real time with real intent. As previously mentioned, it is common to see a single attack met with an instructor who will demonstrate several feel good techniques, while his attacker stands there doing nothing! This will usually involve a fair amount of Drill & Skill, but totally misrepresent what an actual attack is. An attack or assault starts as a one sided fight, instigated by a premeditated ambush to an unsuspecting victim! There is a huge difference between an attack & a fight. To be able to escape or engage in a fight, one must have the skill & mindset to survive. In worse case scenario – to kill or not be killed!
It is the “Will” stage that lets us know exactly what it takes to experience both mentally & physically the demands to prevail or survive a realistic attack. It is not just the body mechanics & movement required, but just as important, dealing with the adrenalin dump, anxiety, stress, increased heart rate, nerves etc. Knowing how it feels to lose most of your fine & complex motor skills & in some cases relying on Neanderthal movements. The only way to prevail in these conditions is to train in a created hostile environment & practice countless times. If you want to achieve a disarm for example, you will have to inflict pain or diminish the attacker first, this extremely important fact is so often left out & not even considered. It would most likely cost you your life in a serious situation.
There are many reasons why people do martial arts, most would say for self defence purposes. It is for this very reason that an Instructor should have a duty of care to their students of what is reality & what actually works in self defence or survival, especially when it involves an edged weapon. People who have never experienced real pressure, whether in real life or assimilated pressure in manufactured scenarios, should not teach what they don’t know if they are presenting their techniques as real self defence!
The very name of Kombatan indicates it should be combative by nature. The late GGM Presas told me on many occasions to propagate his style around the world. When I would show him a combative & aggressive understanding of his art, he would smile & encourage me further! Staying loyal after many years that’s what I have been doing – and now to fulfill his wishes even further, to propagate an elite methodology, Kali 3D, an advanced level of his Kombatan “Presas Style” to “Kali 3D”.
DRILL – inexperienced, not ready to go
(LEARN TO THINK) Sharpen your skills
The very 1st basic fundamental core of learning is to learn the Drill. What are the movements & techniques required to achieve a specific result or attain a specific skill set.
Here, usually practised with a partner, the drill will be practised slowly & cooperatively at a pace where one can ascertain the understanding & purpose of the drill. It is normally associated with a lot of thought process as one tries to put together most likely movements that require not only ambidexterity & cross lateral training, but also coordinated movements of the hands & feet.
SKILL – learning, proceed with caution
(THINK) Widen your horizons
The 2nd learning stage is the Skill. Now that we understand the basics movements of the drill, we need to be able to speed things up, create more pressure, apply more randomly. This requires less thought process as it takes time to analyse movements & strategies. Here we learn the importance of peripheral vision, not having to process the thought control, not become task fixated on a weapon, or not being aware of your entire surroundings. It is at this stage we learn to have very good pattern recognition of movements, angles, frames etc.
A metronome is a great way to fast track movements & reactions with increasing speeds. The quicker the timing, the less time to think!
WILL – real skills to survive, go!
(DON’T THINK) Survive & prevail with the will to live!
The 3rd learning stage is your Will – The Will to live requires a soldier mindset of kill or be killed! Combat is governed by physics & human anatomy. Human survival is related to how well one interprets & adapts to it.
Pressure creates a need for & governs the tactics, tools & mechanics of combat. Pressure is defined & gauged by the degree by which the attacker’s torso &/or limb bears upon you. Now we can determine what is really achievable & how to survive or prevail.
It will require reflexive actions, dictated by the mid brain, not the usual thought pattern process of sight & sound. You don’t have time to consciously think in the ferocity of a brutal attack or assault.
It is here we need to understand the basics of human mechanics & retaining a strong frame & balance. Footwork & angling are extremely important for survival & prevailing as energy & forces are aimed towards you.
LIVE – the ability to prevail
(CLEAR MIND) Stay alive & live to fight another day!
You have a much higher chance of survival in all circumstances if you have trained realistically in all assimilated attack scenarios. You have trained for those most likely assaults & familiarized your responses & actions. You have discovered what actually works! You have learnt to be proactive, not just reactive.