SAS and Elite Forces Guide Extreme Unarmed Combat : Hand-to-Hand Fighting Skills from the World's Elite Military Units

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-04-17
  • Publisher: Lyons Press
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Duck punch, cover block and knee strike. Boxing, wrestling and Ju-Jitsu. Gameplan, lines of attack and final disengagement. If taking flight isn't an option, fighting is a necessity. Extreme Unarmed Combat is the authoritative handbook on an immense array of close combat defence techniques, from fistfights to headlocks, from tackling single unarmed opponents to armed groups, from stance to manoeuvring. Presented in a handy pocketbook format, Extreme Unarmed Combat's structure considers the different fighting and martial arts skills an individual can use before having to consider at the areas of the body to defend. It teaches how to attack without getting hurt, and how to incapacitate an opponent. With more than 120 black-&-white illustrations of combat scenarios, punches, blocks and ducks, and with expert easy-to-follow text, Extreme Unarmed Combat guides you through everything a person need to know about what to do when escaping trouble isn't an option. This book can save lives.

Author Biography

Martin J Dougherty is a Master Level Assessor with the Self-Defence Federation, holding black belts in two styles of Ju-Jitsu as well as self-defence. His martial arts career has encompassed ju-jitsu, kickboxing and self-defence as well as military combative systems. Martin has written books on a variety of subjects including self-defence and warfare in addition to his work in the defence and security industry, where he is an expert on weapon systems and asymmetric conflict. He is author of Small Arms: From the Civil War to the Present Day, Warriors of the World: The Ancient Warrior, Weapons and Fighting Techniques of the Medieval Warrior and The Art of Self Defense.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Unarmed Combat in Extreme Situations

‘Martial Arts’, ‘Fighting’ and ‘Combat’

The Reasons Why

Justification and Legitimate Targets

Winning and Losing

Fighting Spirit

Karate, Boxing and Milling

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Arrest and Restraint


Military Arrest & Restraint

On the Battlefield

Traditional European Wrestling


Hand to Hand

Military Combatives

Krav Maga

A Note on Legality in Civilian Situations


Part 2: Unarmed Combat Techniques

Fundamentals of Personal Combat

Stance and Movement

Impact and Weight Transfer

Taking the Initiative

Tactical Manoeuvring

Controlling the Opponent

Gameplan and Objectives

Basic Combat Techniques


Striking Principles

Open Hands vs Fists

Augmenting a Strike with an Object

Attacking Joints

Chokes & Strangles

Impact with the Ground and Objects

Going to the Ground

Finishing or Disengaging

Using the Environment






Unarmed or Armed Opponent: It Doesn’t Matter

‘Lines of Attack’


Part 3: Single Opponent

On The Offensive:

‘Chinjab’ Knockout Blow

Hammerfist Blows

Elbow Knockout Blow

Knee Strike (Straight or Round)

Front Kick to Body or Knee

Rear Choke/Spin and Choke

Rear Takedown

‘Rolling Blitz’ Strikes/Knees

Strike/Close in/Grab & Knee/Dumping Takedown

Strike/Close/Sweeping Leg Kick & Takedown

On The Defensive:

Cover Block/Trap Arm/Reaping Takedown/Knee Drop

Smother Block/Pass Arm/Rotating Takedown

Duck Punch/Body Shot

Evade to Side/Knee or Elbow Strike

Evade Grab & Break Arm

Escape Headlock/Takedown

Counter Grab/Strikes

Arrest & Restraint

Disarm/Arm Control

Rear Throat Restraint


Part 4: Armed Opponent

Blunt Weapon:

Duck Swing/Stomping Side-of-Knee Kick

Jam Swing/Knee Strikes

Jam Backhand Swing/Weapon Choke or Takedown

Jam Swing/Strip Weapon and Use It

Slashing Weapon (Knife):

Jam And Control Weapon/Cradle Strike

Pin Weapon/Strikes

Thrusting Weapon (Knife or Bayonet)

Deflect & Break Arm; Deflect & Disarm

Deflect & Shoulder Lock or Dislocation

Control Weapon Arm; Deflect Bayonet Thrust & Counter


Part 5: Groups and Other Adverse Situations

Gun or Knife at Back

Gun or Knife in Front (One Hand)

Gun in Front (Two Handed Grip)

Knife at Throat


Weapon Retention (Sidearm)


Escape Blocked


Final Notes:

No Rules, No Mercy, No Such Thing as Fair Play




Once combat starts, you fight with what you have. Your preparation is done, your skills and fitness are at whatever level you have reached. There is no time to wish you had spent more hours in the gym or learned some extra techniques.

If you lack skill, fitness, strength or any other factor, you will have to make up for it with something else. The mental aspect is of paramount importance – guts and determination can cover many other deficiencies.

Many people subscribe to the idea that ‘violence solves nothing’. In fact, a great many problems can be solved with violence, provided you use enough and in the right way. However, using violent means will often create new problems. For example, it may be a simple matter to eliminate a sentry, but once he is missed the enemy will be alerted – the sentry problem is solved but now there is an active search underway.

This is a different and possibly more serious problem. Thus if possible it is best to deal with threats by non-violent means. However, sometimes there is no alternative but to use force. If you have tried and failed or been given no opportunity to avoid trouble, deescalate the situation or deter the assailant, then you must accept that the attack is going to happen and deal with it head-on. If this creates new problems, you can handle them as they arise.

Remember that your goal is always to bring the situation to an end on your own terms, and act accordingly. That might mean escaping or disabling the opponent. It might mean bundling him out through a door and locking it behind him, or applying a painful restraint and outlining the consequences of continuing his attack. Decide what you need to do and then do it without hesitation or second-guessing yourself.

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