Types of combat by application


When most combat systems have (often implied) claim to be universal, those are very particular and conflicting requirements that make specialization toward military, police, or civilian application a must-have. 

  1. Military

In the times of mass citizen conscription armies that have been created by French Revolution, overwhelming majority of low ranking military man and even part of commissioned officers aren’t career soldiers, but short-term conscripts obligated to serve anywhere from six month to seven years and, in most cases, just dreaming about their discharge date. Even in nowadays professional all-volunteer militaries many recruits not seeing themselves as career military pros, but using army to solve their personal problems and to advance their positions in non-military civilian life (exactly as it was intended by designers of all relevant rules and regulations that created multiple incentives to stimulate volunteer draft) and not signing after term of the first contract which, in most cases, in range from three to five years.

Therefore, mass military H-2-H skills should be developed in a short time and by means as simple as Mosin-Nagant or Enfield-Lee infantry rifle. The technique should be adapted for use in full combat gear witch means it should be simple as heavy combat boots, ammunition belt, etc. not leaving mach agility to exercise fine motor skills (try to put on military bullet proof vest type III in your dojo and go for your normal routine, if you won’t believe me). Techniques should be selected for brutal encounters in typical scenarios: taking out watch guards, repelling surprise attack on a guard post, deflecting bayonet attack when own weapon has been lost, etc. No half-way techniques needed: kill is fine, taking prisoners – just a rare unwelcome case that gives more trouble then benefits. 

    • However, military is not completely uniformed as Special Forces have their own priorities and modes of operations.
  1. Police

In the aria of unarmed combat and self-defense military and police application often seems as one and in opposite to civilian. It’s due to the fact that in both, military and police, cases brutal life-or-death fight expected. This is a huge mistake as means of fight, its common scenarios, its environment, and its participants are very different. I’m not calming to be only or first to understand it as in 1910th – 20th in Europe and Russia have been developed “department level” systems for ether military or police use by number of authors. However, many of those systems ware later abandoned as general appeal martial arts made small "local" police systems obsolete, and nowadays the “mix-up” happens more often then not (it worth to mention that original Kodokan Judo is a military system).

The additional issue is the personnel: many career police officers recruited from military retirees that have been trained in military CQC techniques (and, often then not, been advanced in training and enjoyed it as people who don’t enjoy physical confrontation rarely become successful police recruits). They bring into police departments brutal military techniques that become widely adapted due to their simplicity and effectiveness.

Police unarmed combat and self-defense should be geared more toward taking control vs. killing as killing is a failure in the police situation and should be avoided to the last resort. Regular on-duty police officers not as heavy loaded as combat soldiers and don’t have the same motion range limitation. Also, been a police officer is a career choice and time allocated to empty hand combat skills training is bigger and can and should be individually adjusted.

  1. Civilian

Civilian unarmed self-defense is different: its declared goal is not victory, but survival. Pure sport systems like sport SAMBO or boxing were often claimed to be sufficient for civilian self-defense. And in low-risk environments its may hold true as displayed self-confidence and ability to give fast rebuff on a perceived threat may be enough to deflect assault.

Technically civilian self-defense is very similar to police as both happen in predominantly peaceful environment. As police, civilians trained not as a chore, but as a lifestyle choice. The main difference is that civilian self-defense stop where police is keep going, as police should get control over situation where civilian just need to stop threat.

Civilian self-defense training can be of two types:

    • Lifestyle choice of martial arts training
    • Narrow scope “haw-to” courses

Narrow scope “haw-to” courses are usually useless time and money wasting if not supported by long-term combat sport or martial art training.


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