24 December 2008

2008 - The Year in Review

2008 was the debut year for Low Tech Combat. A lot has happened and the site has now progressed far beyond what I ever contemplated it would.

Into the Low Tech Combat Blogosphere

Since launching (is that really the right word? That's a bit more dramatic than reality...) in August, I have been fortunate enough to find and meet (virtually) some truly great bloggers out there covering the Martial Arts and Self Protection world q
uite well and they are writing some extremely interesting posts on their own sites. I subscribe to their RSS feeds and read their posts with keenness routinely.

A Quick Hello and Thanks

In fear of leaving some out, I would just like to m
ention four of the main sites which I have found particularly interesting and in which I have exchanged some very positive, however brief, correspondence with the owners/ediors. These are in no particular order:
A special hello and thanks to you all for welcoming me and this site Low Tech Combat into the Martial Arts, Self Protection and Strength and Conditioning Blogosphere! I look forward to reading your posts and exchanging ideas into the future.

Looking Back

What I would like to do now is have a quick look back at the key posts over the short history of Low Tech Combat so far. The first month was Augu

August, and Low Tech Combat, began with a post titled What is Low Tech Combat? explaining my perspective of what Low Tech Combat was and how it differed from High Tech Combat which is essentially modern warfare. This post is where it all began. If you haven't read it yet, it forms the basis of my fundamental view of the entire Martial Arts, Self Protection and hand to hand combat world.

Also in August was my post titled The Full Spectrum which is a more detailed post that discusses all phases of Low Tech Combat from the early stages of the pre attack stage, through to the actual physical combat through to what happens after the physical combat has ended.

In some ways, these are the two most fundamental posts which give a good understanding of my viewpoint on all things relevant to violence we are likely to face today on the streets and in the homes.

September began with some subjects expanded upon such as the post TMA vs Modern Systems which explored the differences of Traditional Martial Arts (TMA) and the more Modern Systems such as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and discusses the pluses and negatives of each.

Another example of some subjects being explored in more d
etail was the post which poses the question of whether or not Punching on the Street is a good idea or not. This post explored the benefits of Boxing along with the risk associated with punching the head of an attacker on the street where the likelihood of damaging the hand and knuckles must be considered. Important was not to throw out the baby with the bath water...

September also saw the introduction of Video Posts.
These are posts where the main emphasis is on the presentation and viewing of a video. Two such posts in September were the highlight video of the Dogbrothers and one demonstrating some key considerations of Edged Weapon Awareness by Ray Floro.

October was a busy month here with 24 posts. October had a great and interesting mix of posts I thought. Some highlights were the beginning of a series of posts about the differences between Assault and Robbery which looks at the actual statistics and shines some light on the subject with fact rather than preconceived notions.

This is perhaps the most important work done here on Low Tech Combat so far.

These posts were titled What is the Most Likely Attack on the Street, Alpha Male vs Predatory Threats and US Assault and Robbery Stats Analysis.

Also beginning in October were posts presenting the Free Stuff I have found around the net relating to Low Tech Combat. The debut one in this collection was of the Global Personal Protection E-Zine put together by Clive Girdham.

Some other miscellaneous posts include a collection of videos of Vladimir Putin engaging in Judo, a PrideFC Highlight Video from the referee's pers
pective and a comprehensive collection of resources concerning Safe Overseas Travel which brings together the products of the CIA, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as the International Crisis Group.

November had some great FREE STUFF such as the Complete Dead or Alive book totally Free, an Online Interval Timer, a massive collection of Free Close Quarter Combat Magazines and Jissen - Martial Arts magazine, all free. Some good stuff there.

Some street related stuff such as the posts Reality Based Weapons Training and Realistic Violent Knife Training - Video covered some good knife and edge
d weapon stuff which went well with Are Martial Arts a Waste of Time? and The Sucker Punch and Cheap Shots.

A slightly different post saw a comprehensive but at the same time, limited, look at Social Engineering and other Non Violent Threats. Another was 20 Inspiring Lion Images along with a video of a Lion doing a Judo takedown on a Zebra! Very cool.

To finish the month off, Low Tech Combat entered the new wor
ld of Twitter. You can now follow Low Tech Combat on Twitter!

December saw the final post in the series about Assault and Robbery. This post was UK Assault and Robbery Statistics Analysis. Some common themes can be seen with the others which will be explored in a post in 2009.

Helio Gracie - Training into Old Age was a look at how some of my
(along with others I am sure) training methods and systems may have to change as we get on in age.

Rounding the month out was a look at Front Door Procedure which discussed some simple procedures and actions along with other considerations for when there is a 'knock' on the front door.

The Best RBSD system is where I put forward my thoughts on wh
at would make up the 'perfect' 5 day RBSD course and finishes up with a list of 5 peer reviewed RBSD systems worthy of checking out.

And then it was Christmas!

For more, you can check out the Archives in the footer down the bottom of this page on the right hand side.

Low Tech Combat into 2009

I have a couple of exciting ideas in store for 2009. Firstly, to all of my subscribers and regular readers, you can expect a domain name change early in the year. We will be dropping the .blogspot part of the address and will simply be www.lowtechcombat.com which will make it shorter and much sweeter. More to come on that later.

I also have an idea for a post that will very much depend on t
he input, enthusiasm and support from as many bloggers, martial artists and just about anyone that wants to be involved! Your input will determine the success of this little project. It could be massive or it could crash and burn. Time will tell.

A hint? It will involve a battle...

All said, I am very much looking forward to 2009 on many leve

Into The New Year!

Image by Christopher Chan

I hope everyone has remained safe and enjoyed the holiday period. It is a time for looking back at the year that was and forward to the year that will be. I hope 2008 contained all that you hoped for at the turn of 2007 into 2008 and I sincerely hope that 2009 just gets better for you!

Thank you all for your support in 2008. See you in 2009.

All the best, have fun, stay safe and have a Happy New Year!

23 December 2008

Merry Christmas to all!

Image by Stuck in Customs

Just a quick Merry Christmas to everyone and I hope you all have a safe holiday period.

To finish off, below is a video of Santa kicking some butt from a recent post over at My Self Defense Blog. Sure is funny.

Karate Santa Very Funny - video powered by Metacafe

I will be back posting some time after Christmas. Happy Holidays!

22 December 2008

Funny UFC Spoof Video

In keeping with the Christmas cheer and attempting to not take things too seriously for the moment, I have included another Funny Video for your enjoyment. This one is a very well done UFC spoof video. They spent a lot of time putting this one together.


Do you know of any others? Leave the link in the comments below.

19 December 2008

Kung Fu Movie Style Fight over TV

Now for something a little different. This is a funny video of a Kung-Fu Movie Style fight put together by a couple people at their homes complete with sound effects.

Its quite well done actually. Quite sharp and snappy movements with some decent stunt work. The fight begins over control for the TV Remote Control. Enjoy.

Not bad hey?

18 December 2008

The Best RBSD System

If you had just 5 days to best prepare someone to be able to deal with today's most likely types of violence, what would you teach? What would you leave out? This is what Reality Based Self Defence (RBSD) is all about.

Assume the people turning up for this training have an aver
age to moderate level of conditioning. Gear it up for people who will physically be able to partake in most if not all types of physical activities associated with Low Tech Combat. It can be toned down for elderly and less able people later as required.

Include What and Leave Out What?

So what would you include and what would you leave out? I will go through what I feel would be important in a purely practical system with only
so much time to teach and have them be able to apply the techniques by the time the 5 days is up.

Focus on Assault or Robbery?

From my recent research, Assault is far more likely than Robbery. This can be seen from Australian stats on Assault and Robbery, US stats on Assault and Robbery as well as UK stats on Assault and Robbery. On top of that, it can be seen that Robbery has more serious consequences (injury).

So Assault is more likely and Robbery has more serious consequences. What this means is it is up to the individual instructor to look at his students
and determine if they regularly go out on weekends drinking, to restaurants or to other places where Assault tends to happen. If they do visit these places, an emphasis should be given to countering Assault type of attacks. If they avoid these times and places, it is best to focus on Robbery.

Have a Realistic Aim

These two different types of attacks are very different in the lead up and execution as was discussed in my post about the difference between Al
pha Male and Predatory attacks. This must be taken into consideration when teaching a short RBSD system. To ignore this is to really waste peoples time who are there to learn how to avoid or de-escalate and if necessary, emerge the victor from a violent encounter.

So What is the Focus?

Day 1

It can seem very unsexy but the first full day should be spent on learning about the key indicators that an attacker gives away. These are the soft skills. Awareness and the Jeff Coopers Colour Codes of Awareness will be taught as many people remain unfamiliar with this. Without going into too much detail about soft skills here, this subject will make up the lessons for the first day which include role playing towards the end of the day.

Day 2

This will see a transition from Awareness into De-escalation. This will include non aggressive body language as well as verbal negotiation. Again, role playing and scenarios will feature heavily towards the end of the morning.

The afternoon will cover simple weapon use and defences. Edged weapons will be the main effort here as they have been seen to be the most likely weapon used except in the US where firearms are mostly used. In the US, you had better be teaching some defences and counters to firearms or you are misleading people into thinking they can defend themselves. If not counters, at least instruct people in the fundamentals such as the specific dangers of firearms and in most situations, to co-operate.

Again, we will start out learning technique and towards the end of the afternoon, attacks will be launched from scenarios and role players. Attacks will be launched in a similar manner to real life as indicated by CCTV, prison footage and real life experiences people have had.

Day 3

Day 3 will see some basic defences, shields, entries and c
ounters being taught. Simple techniques from Crazy Monkey, the Shield, some basic boxing slipping and weaving and other related material. Day 3 will focus on defending against an onslaught and on entering safely to counter attack or launch a pre emptive strike. Again, in the afternoon, these will be launched towards the end of a scenario.

Day 4

This will see the basic unarmed tools being taught.
Simple tools to teach should include;
  • Thai Clinch and control into knees
  • Elbows
  • Open hand strikes and Hammer Fists
  • Round and straight kicks to shins, knees and thighs
  • Getting up safely from the ground
  • Basic escapes and positions of control on the ground (hips escapes etc.)
From the beginning these will be done on pads and bags to focus purely on 100% power. In the afternoon, some role playing and simulations will progress from showing some signs of imminent attack, through to approach, attempting de-escalation (sometimes successful), through to attack/entry where the defender either counters or launches a pre-emptive strike on the pad that the attacker is holding.

The end of the day will be a lesson on considerations for improvised weapons and their use.

Day 5

All morning will involve sparring and wrestling with appropriate protective gear and instructor controls. Towards the end of the morning, feints, draws, breaking rhythm and stop hits will be taught.

The afternoon will be the final stage where all of the above will be pressure tested in a variety of scenarios and simulations using role players and props both armed and unarmed. The ratio of Assault and/or Robbery scenarios will be determined by the group being taught.

The Intended Result

Hopefully by the end of the 5 days, people will be as best prepared as humanly possible. I have included all relevant areas and left some out due to time constraints. The emphasis is on avoiding and if not possible, de-escalating and if not possible, destroying the attacker thus ensuring our own survival and safety.

Peer Reviewed RBSD Systems

Below is a list of 5 Peer Reviewed RBSD systems for further research. If you wanted to do an RBSD course, you could do far worse than try out these systems. They generally cover most areas mentioned above in my post and are widely considered in the Martial Arts and Self Protection world as being the best available.

Click on the link above each image to find more information on these excellent Reality Based Self Defence (RBSD) systems.

FAST Defense


Jim Wagner


Tony Blauer Tactical Systems

If you have any thoughts or experiences with these systems feel free to leave a comment below. What would you do differently if you were to design a 5 day course?

17 December 2008

Black Belt Mag - 40yrs worth FREE

Via SportzBlitz.

I recent
ly came across a great discovery. The one and only Black Belt magazine is now available for free on Google Books. There is 40 years worth of back issues! You can read issues from Jan 1962 all the way up to Dec 2004! Sorry about the exclamation marks...

40 years worth of Black Belt Magazine on Google Books here!

Fight Geek - Combat Sports and Hard Training

Recently been checking out more of the site Fight Geek. There is really some great stuff on the Combat Sports such as MMA, Muay Thai and Boxing and also Strength and Conditioning.

Below are just a couple of sample videos from over there.

This first one is a Samkor Kiatmontep Highlight video.

And this is of Mike Tyson back in the day.

Find out more about the Fight Geek.

16 December 2008

UK Assault and Robbery Statistics Analysis

This post is the third in a series which analyses hard statistics relating primarily to Assault and Robbery. This series is attempting to highlight some fundamental issues relating to the two very separate threats of Assault and Robbery by comparing statistics from around the world.

The first post in the series looked at statistics from Australia and was titled What is the Most Likely Attack on the Street? The second in the series used statistics from the US and was titled US Assault and Robbery Stats Analysis.

This third post uses statistics from the UK and in particular from the British Crime Survey (BCS) and from Police Reported Crime. The statistics coming out of the UK make it more difficult to record specific results as they relate to Assault and Robbery due to the way statistics are recorded there.

Generally there is a lot of statistics associated with 'Violent Crime', 'Acquaintance Violence' and 'Stranger Violence' but it is sometimes quite limiting on what can be harnessed for the purposes here of wanting specific information regarding Assault and Robbery as specified in the post Alpha Male v Predatory behaviour.

The problem lies in the very general nature of the labels they have associated to various incidents at times. It HAS been an achievable task, although it was more challenging than those statistics from Australia and the US. Regardless, we will press on...

Number of Offences 2007/2008
  • Assault 961,188
  • Robbery 84,706
Once again, it is clear that one is far more likely to become a victim of Assault than Robbery.

Most Victims by Age Group
  • Assault 16-24yrs
  • Robbery 16-24yrs
The 16-24yrs age group is equally at the highest risk of both Assault and Robbery. This age group is at the highest risk by far.

Other significant factors that contribute to the likelihood of becoming a victim of both Assault and Robbery include being unemployed, male and single.

Multiple Attackers?

For both assault and Robbery, you are more likely going to be attacked by just ONE person. However, for more than one attacker...
  • Assault You are more likely to face Four or More Attackers than just two or three! In fact, you are more than twice as likely to face four or more attackers than just two, and three times as likely to face four or more attackers than three!
  • Robbery It is very close between being attacked by four or more attackers and two attackers. Three attackers is less likely than two or four attackers.
Type of Injury Sustained
  • Assault Most likely injury is minor bruising/black eye by far.
  • Robbery Most likely injury is also minor injury/black eye closely followed by cuts then severe bruising and scratches.
These results again highlight the nature of Assaults and Robberies. Assault is more about fighting where as Robbery is more impersonal and can be quite more violent.

Use of Weapons

For both Assault and Robbery an attacker will most likely not use a weapon. Roughly 25% of each type of attacks have weapons involved.

However, of those attacks that DO use weapons...
  • Assault A hitting implement is the most likely weapon used (5-11%), followed by a knife and glass/bottle
  • Robbery By far, the most likely weapon used in a Robbery was the knife (15%), followed by a hitting implement (5%).
Again, these statistics indicate that Robbery is the more violent and serious type of attack.

Note: Only 1% of incidents involved the use of a firearm.The total number of firearm offences for 2007/2008 was 9,803.

Offender believed to be under influence of Alcohol/Drugs

  • Under influence of Alcohol? Roughly half of all offenders were believed to be under the influence of Alcohol.
  • Under influence of Drugs? Roughly twice as many offenders were believed to NOT be under the influence of drugs than those who were.
  • Under influence of Alcohol or Drugs? Roughly three times the offenders were believed to NOT be under the influence of Alcohol or Drugs than those who were.
These opinions were those of the victim. For Assault, Alcohol is a factor in at least half of all incidents. No real surprise there. If anything, I would have thought more.

It is far more likely that someone engaged in Robbery will not be under the influence of either alcohol OR drugs.

These figures tend to disprove the trend these days in assuming that an attacker will be high on drugs and therefore, be quite resistant to pain and damage. We can take some comfort in these figures.

However I would like to add, that of those that ARE under the influence of drugs (about 25-30%), the situation could be quite challenging. Especially when we combine these figures with the multiple attack statistics...


This is the final collection of statistics collected on Assault and Robbery. It has been an interesting process for me personally as I have learnt a lot. Some ideas and thoughts I have had prior to conducting the research for these posts has been confirmed and others have been proven incorrect.

As regular readers and subscribers will have seen, there are some common underlying themes present across both Assault and Robbery that are seen from the statistics from Australia, the US and now, the UK.

I will explore these common themes and present a summary of my findings as they relate to Assault and Robbery sometime in the near future. So stay tuned and Subscribe to Low Tech Combat now! Don't forget to tell your friends about this series!

I hope you have been enjoying them.

15 December 2008

Interview with Georges Fahmy

Via Facebook group Australian Personal Protection.

Part 1 Interview with Georges Fahmy Part 1

Part 2 Interview with Georges Fahmy Part 2

Here is part one and two of a three part interview with Beirut based Personal Protection instructor Georges Fahmy. He chats with Clive Girdham about various aspects of personal protection.

Note: You will need to join the group, Australian Personal Protection to have access to the above links. It is very worthwhile doing as it is updated regularly with lots of exclusive content such as the above interview and others as well as video and more.

10 December 2008

The 'Magic Formula" from a LEO

Ive recently added 'the things worth believing in' to the my list of blog friends. It is a great blog that focuses on the primary subject of 'Warriorship'.

Tom has recently discovered the post from Low Tech Combat titled Alpha Male v Predatory Threats and is of similar beliefs.

Along the same lines, he also mentioned his post titled the Magic Formula. Head over there and check it out. Short and sweet.

New Solo Training Device for Boxing Skills

I recently came across an interesting training aid whilst checking out some past posts on Nathans excellent blog, TDA Training. I found it through one of the comments. This device, called 'Boxerballs', is designed to stimulate the reflexes during solo training which is quite difficult to do generally without a partner.

The training aid is primarily for boxing skill training. The video above is a better description than words can do. What I like about it is that you can get a kind of realistic "sparring" session done by oneself. Training with this apparatus I would envisage, would very much stimulate the reflexes and would require quick movements in both defence and offence. Bobbing and weaving away from the multiple balls as well as quick target acquisition and striking a mobile target.

Sparring Solo?

This is good training. In the real thing, a target is only going to be open for a short period of time. During that period of time three things have to happen.
  1. You have to detect the opening,
  2. You have to make the mental decision to attack it, then
  3. Physically be quick enough and accurate enough to land a strike onto the target whilst it is still open and possibly moving.
These types of skills are readily trainable by training with live training partners when drilling, sparring and/or wrestling but not so easily replicated when training solo. On top of that, it provides a further challenge by offering multiple targets on multiple levels! This would be a very stimulating type of training in my opinion!

Stimulating those Reflexes

I first came across this training aid just 10 minutes ago from one of the comments on one of Nathan's older posts from February 2008 titled, Gross versus fine motor skills training. I have no other knowledge on the product other than what I have recently seen and read in the last 10 minutes. Perhaps I should have done more research before posting? I think not.

From what I have seen, I think it is a great training aid. The inventor, Brendan, also seems interested in bringing Boxerballs to the wider training public. Maybe you can help him? Check out the Boxerballs youtube channel and the Boxerball blog

Seems like a great product!

08 December 2008

Front Door Procedure

What do you do if someone knocks on your door? Do you have a plan in place? Do other members of your family or house mates know what to do? Have you even given it much thought?

Image by geekmojo

I think it is worthwhile having some type of plan or procedure in place. When someone knocks on your door at any time, it should at least invoke some sense of awareness and the persons identity MUST be identified BEFORE opening the door. That doesn't matter whether it is night OR day. An increasing number of home burglaries and robberies happen by day.

Confirming a persons identity can be done in just one or two simple steps

07 December 2008

Free BJJ Training Book

Via TDA Training

Nathan over at TDA Training recently brought to my attention a great little freeby. Head over to Beginning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to get the Free BJJ Training Book.

Nice resource. Just a note. If you use Firefox and Adblock Plus, you will need to disable it to view the area to submit your email address.

06 December 2008

Handstands, Hand Balancing and More!

From Straight To The Bar

Recently came across 'Straight to the Bars' latest Blast from the Past. Awesome collection of resources for all things standing and walking on ones hands. Check it out.

04 December 2008

Helio Gracie - Training into Old Age

Image by Esther Lin - all elbows

I wonder what systems and styles or whatever I will be training in as I get into my twilight years. Helio Gracie (above) is truly an inspiring individual and still gets on the mat and trains in his 90's! Not only does he still train and occasionally teach, but he is a true picture of good health.

How many people do you know who can not only function well physically and mentally but who actually undertake any form of physically exerting activity? You are an inspiration Helio. Here is a video of him produced recently.

A lot of systems involve a certain amount of athletic ability in order to apply and deliver the moves onto somebody. I wonder how my training today will differ from the training I will do well into old age?

I will assume that striking arts will have to take a back step as it is very likely that power will diminish over time. Some strength should remain, in particular grip strength, but quickness and power are likely to suffer.

I am thinking a soft style definitely whether that be continuing bjj, starting Aikido or maybe even go back to studying a form of Hapkido with less kicking and focus more on the joint manipulation aspects of it.

I took a few moments today to consider things such as this today after watching the above video and thought I would pose the question here.

So what do you think you will doing into old age?

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