View Full Version : Edged Weapon Tactics/ Counter tactics

Darren Laur
24th January 2002, 05:13

Edged weapons are amongst the most ancient of implements used by human adversaries engaged in interpersonal conflict. Their use tends to culminate in the premature extinction of one and sometimes both parties. Unfortunately the potential lethality of the blade is not always realized or taken into account when confronting a knife-wielding attacker. There is a commonly held view that a person armed with a knife is less dangerous than a person armed with a firearm. The truth is that within their practical ranges both weapons are capable of fatal life stopping wounds. Some interesting facts include:

U.K. studies:

· Edged weapon assaults are the most commonly used weapon for killing people (7 in 20)
· In half the incidents of muggings on men the offender is armed with a sharp instrument

North America:

· One in three chance that if faced with a subject sho had an edged weapon, you will be attacked and injured
· Attacks with edged weapons usually occur when you least expect them
· In Victoria BC Canada, our police department has found an increase of 35% in the number of calls that they deal with where an edged weapon was involved
· In 1994, out of the 7 murders in Victoria, 6 were committed with knives
· The majority of “street” type people carry some kind of edged weapon be it legal or illegal.

FBI Statistics:

· Edged weapon attackers are responsible for 3% of all armed attacks of police
· Firearm attacks account for 4%
· Both of the above stats represent fatalities
· Subject shot, 10% die from their wounds
· Subjects stabbed, 30% die from their wounds

Calibre Press:

· Since 1980 the number of people routinely carrying knives in North America has increased by 92%

I have personally gathered research form around the world on edged weapon assaults and the following facts emerged during my research:

· The most popular assault technique utilized by the attacker was found to be the hammer strike – either straight down or diagonally
· The victim tends to squat in an effort to take a path which offers perceived escape
· Many people seldom saw the edged weapon that penetrated their body. They failed to recognize the danger cues due to faulty perception
· Knife attacks were found to be exceptionally accurate, to pentrate deeper that some bullets, creating remarkable permanent cavities and rip through numerous organs in one stroke
· In reality, within their respective ranges, knives are superior to firearms as far as lethality is concerned

Within its range, a Knife:

· Never runs out of ammunition
· Never jams
· Never misfires
· Rarely misses target
· Cuts bone, tendon, muscles, arteries, veins with one thrust
· Can bring about sudden shock, pain, and extended wound channels
· It has better stopping capabilities
· Is psychological defeating
· Has superior concealment capabilities
· It occupies a permanent wound channel until extracted, at which time, if the blade is withdrawn from a lung, consciousness is rapidly lost

I have also attended several autopsies involving edged weapon deaths and in speaking with Forensic Pathologists have found the following medical facts:

· Typical death of a stab wound in homicide cases is 1 inch to 1.5 inches through the rib cage
· In most edged weapon attacks the victim received multiple knife wounds. The usual cause of death are usually the last few wounds of the overall attack
· Even short bladed knives can penetrate the abdomen by 8-10cm
· 3cm allows penetration of the ribs
· 4cm allows penetration of the heart
· because of the small surface area of a knife, the amount of force per unit area is TONS per square inch

The above noted information shows the importance of training to deal with such encounters. A person’s ability to deal with such situations will be based on his/her TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE. Experience is something not easily acquired, proper training can save lives by preparing you both physically and psychologically. Remember that most edged weapon assaults take place unexpectedly and so quickly that it is not unusual for the defender not to have time to realize that an edged weapon is involved. The attacker who possess an edged weapon usually does not want to convey in any way that he has one, and will usually conceal it until such time as he can deploy it quickly against you. Although a reality, it is a rarity that the attacker will produce his weapon in full view prior to an assault.

As I continued to conduct me research into edged weapon assaults on both police officers and the general public I was also able to identify three common denominators that seem to be present in many edged weapon assaults:

· In most edged weapon attacks, the defender is already involved in the physical encounter way before he or she even has time to realize that a knife is being used
· Most defenders see a thrust or slice with a knife as just another punch or kick and not an edged weapon assault
· It was difficult if not impossible for the defender to differentiate between an attack with an edged weapon or an attack using hands of feet. This was especially true when the defender was not aware from the start of the assault , that the attacker had a knife

I’m a big believer in, “don’t tell me, show me” so in early 1992 I conducted an empirical video research study. I had 85 police officers participate in a scenario based training session where unknown to them, they would be attacked with a knife. The attacker, who was dressed in a combatives suit, was told that during mid way of the contact, they were to pull a knife that they had been concealing, flash it directly at the officer saying “I’m going to kill you pig” and then engage the officer physically. The results were remarkable:

· 3/85 saw the knife prior to contact
· 10/85 realized that they were being stabbed repeatedly during the scenario
· 72/85 did not realize that they were being assaulted with a knife until the scenario was over, and the officers were advised to look at their uniforms to see the simulated thrusts and slices left behind by the chalked training knives

When I reviewed the hours of video tape of the above noted scenrios, I also made several other interesting observations in how the majority of officers reacted to the attacks:
· most attempted to disengage from the attacker by backing away from the threat. This usually resulted in the attacker closing quite quickly with their victim
· Those officers that did engage the threat immediately, proceeded to block the initial strike of the attacker and then immediately began to grapple with the attacker using elbows and knee strikes, but FAILED TO CONTROL THE DELIVERY SYSTEM REUSLTING IN A LARGE NUMBER OF LETHAL BLOWS WITH THE KNIFE.
· Most of the scenarios ended up on the ground

After making these observations, I began to ask myself why I was seeing the above noted reactions. In my research I had the opportunity to read an article authored by Bruce Siddle and Dr. Hal Breedlove entitled “ Survival Stress Reaction” . In this article Siddle and Breedlove sated:

“ research by numerous studies provide two clear messages why people will place themselves in bad tactical situations. The common phenomena of backing away under survival stress results from the visual systems deterioration of the peripheral field to attain more information regarding threat stimulus. Since the brain is demanding more information to deal with the threat, he officer will invariably retreat from the threat to widen the peripheral field. Secondly, the brains normal ability to process (analyze and evaluate) a wide range of information quickly is focused to specific items. Therefore, additional cues, which would normally be processed, are lost. This explains why people can not remember seeing or identifying specific facts which were relatively close to the threat.”

The above noted research by Siddle and Breedlove not only confirmed my findings but also answered why our officers were acting they were. It also explains why one officer, who had actually caught the attackers knife hand with both of his hands and was looking directly at the knife, stated “I didn’t see any knife” It was not until I showed the video that he believed there was a knife.

Based upon all the above noted observations, I began to research a number of edged weapon defensive tactics programs that were being offered to both police officers and citizen. I attended several programs across North America and in doing so, I found that many of the programs although practical in a training environment, were totally unrealistic for the reality of the street. Many of these programs had several pitfalls:

· Most assumed the defender knew that the attacker possessed an edged weapon. ( what good is this assumption when we know that the majority of attacks with knives the defender did not know the attacker had a knife)
· Most techniques being taught were to complicated for people to remember ( to many fine complex motor skills which we know do not translate when survival stress clicks in no matter how well trained)
· Most techniques neglected the not so frozen limbs which the attacker still possessed and would use if not neutralized.
· Most techniques being taught concentrated on controlling the knife hand rather than the delivery system. ( the hand moves faster than the eye in a spontaneous attack. As well if cut, blood is a very good lubricant and makes grabbing the knife hand, even with two hands, very difficult if not impossible. To replicate this, use some baby oil during your next edged weapon defensive tactics class)
· Most techniques being taught were designed to be used against a static (stemming) attack.. (Real knife assaults are not static but fluid and dynamic in nature)
· Most techniques were designed to be used against what I call wide “Hollywood” motion attacks. ( most knife assaults are short and multiple in nature)
· Most techniques were designed to be used under perfect conditions of the dojo or training studio. ( most would not work if fighting/rolling around in the mud, the blood, and the beer of an “open” rather than “closed” environment

When looking for a Realistic Edged Weapon Tactics/ Counter tactics Program you should ensure that you pick one that teaches:\



Awareness strategies start with the above noted information on stats and facts.


There are two types of attackers that you will have to deal with, Skilled and unskilled. Although it is a nicety to know the difference between the two types of attacker, it is very important to remember that both are as equally as dangerous. Remember it is not the skill level of the attacker but rather the desperation factor that makes him so dangerous. As well, in a dynamic spontaneous assault involving an edged weapon, you will probably not have the time to assess your attackers skill level. This is why it is so important that any counter edged weapon program you use, it must work against both the unskilled and skilled attacker. I say:


The best defense against an edged weapon is to not get into one in the first place. Watch for edged weapons, this means watching a person’s hands. I have stated for years that the only assumption I make in a fight is that the person I an dealing with may have a concealed weapon that I don’t see.

By being aware of the ways in which a person may deploy an edged weapon may give you the advantage to with the encounter. This means, get to know the technology available. Visit you local knife/ army surplus stores and see what is available. Also look into how this technology is deployed:

· Listen for the unsnapping of a button on a knife case
· Listen for Velcro opening
· Listen for the click of a lock blade
· Movement behind the back
· Drawing motion of the arm/elbow
· The way in which a person may be packing a visible knife. A buck knife case that is holstered with the snap opening down lets you know that this person had thought about using gravity to deploy the knife quickly.
· Palming

In my program I have over 50 slides of actual knife wounds that I also show to further bring to light the issue of awareness and respect for the blade.


There are as many gripes and strokes as there are people carrying knives. Is it important to know and understand how an attacker may be holding an edged weapon when it comes to defense. NO !!!!! I believe that the only important thing for you to understand is that the attacker is attacking with a knife. Again, in a dynamic and spontaneous knife attack you will likely not know how the weapon is being held. So if you have learned a system of edged weapon defense that is dependant upon how the knife is being held, good luck using it in the real word !!!!!


· Do not panic
· Consciously make yourself breath slower (autogenic breathing)
· Inspect yourself and look for injuries seen and more importantly not seen
· Apply direct pressure to wounds
· If injury are to limbs, elevate if possible
· If you have a chest wound, seal it and protect your airway in case you go unconscious, you don’t want to drown in your own blood
· If you have a unctured lung, exhale first and use an air tight article to cover and seal the wound
· Mental commitment “ I’m going to Live”


1) Respect the blade The person who attacks with an edged weapon has two incredible advantages.

· PSYCHOLOGICAL: has chosen to use the weapon ruthlessly
· PHYSICAL: usually has first strike advantage

Again remember, it is the desperation factor and not the technical skill alone that makes a person armed with an edged weapon so dangerous

2) Expect to get cut. You will likely get cut, bleed, may or may not feel pain. A program that teaches students not to expect this fact is NEGLIGENT. Your goal is to “WIN” notice I use the word “WIN” and not “SURVIVE”. Words are very powerful. The word SURVIVE is no different than the word “TRY”. Both of these words to the subconscious mind mean “FAILURE”. Our goal is to WIN, survival is a by-product of winning.

3) Neutralize the line of attack. In any kind of combatives it is important to get you body of the line of attack.. Remember in a knife fight you will get cut and stuck, the secret is to limit the amount/degree of this damage. Unlike a fist fight, you can not stand there and take multiple blows with a knife

4) Control the delivery system. In the system of Pat Wrap and Attack we do not play the knife hand but rather the delivery system ( arm/elbow) In hockey do you play the puck or do you play the man. You play the man why, the puck moves to quick. In a knife fight don’t visually lock onto the knife hand it moves far to fast when compared to the arm/elbow. We also do not attempt to grab the knife hand in a dynamic situation for the reasons that I mentioned earlier. Small target, slippery when blood is present Remember than most edged weapon deaths are associated with serious multiple blows. Why, person failed to control the delivery system. The delivery system is the arm (lever), if we can control the lever we control the blade. The only exception to this rule is in a static knife hold up where the knife hand is not moving and can easily be controlled with two hands.

5) Attack the attack.. I believe that so long as the attacker has the opportunity to continue his attack, he has a strong tactical advantage, with a strong psychological advantage as well. Both of these advantages must be neutralized as soon as possible by throwing the attacker on the defensive.

I have been involved in FOUR separate edged weapon attacks which I “won”, and I have had one person die in my arms from an edged weapon attack.. There are a lot of edged weapon defense programs out there that are designed to get you KILLED because they do not deal with reality. Do your homework. I have attempted to summarize some of the reasons for the development of my 8 hr Pat. Wrap, and Attack system in this post. This system is being used around the world and has saved many lives. Knowledge and the understanding of that knowledge is power.

Strength and Honor

Darren Laur
Integrated Street Combatives
Victoria, BC

Kit LeBlanc
24th January 2002, 14:16

Didn't you get in trouble over at Bladeforums for spamming your system over there?

You probably turned a lot of people OFF over here. CQC Forum has a lot of professionals posting on it. You might do better by toning it down a bunch and sharing your info in more of a conversational tone...less an advertising one.

We would be more interested in hearing about your experiences and your training and how you apply it to the real world rather than the fact that you have come up with the best thing in the "combatives industry" since sliced bread. That way we can evaluate where you are coming from.

Based on my reading of this forum, I think some of the people who post literally INVENT their past experiences. There are FAR too many new "combatives" systems and instructors in the "industry" now....the more I see of this the more I shudder....

Try a different approach. You might have more luck. The information you have to offer seems to be really good.


daniel fields
25th January 2002, 00:32
Hi, really enjoyed your post and Im sorry not trying to cause trouble but I dont agree with your comments Kit. To give that much information away you have the right to advertise, if thats even what you where doing. And also he should be aloud to post what information he wants its a forum where we all should be able to say what we want. What he said isnt hurting anyone. I wish there where more posts like the one you did Darren as the infomation was interesting and precious. Information like what was in your post is just what m.artists need to take there experience from a dojo and turn it into something that is useful on the street. Im sure it would be hard to some up all your knowledge in a post, but just what I read will definetly be valuable to any trainning that I do in the future. Im from australia and the statistics didnt mean much to me cause im not from america but at the same time its still good to see the fatalities that are caused from knife wounds compared to gun wounds. Like most places australia seems to be getting more violent and you quiet often hear of peole getting stabbed. Your post included the mental, physical, and first aid aspects of a knife fight and alot more I really appreciated it.

Daniel Fields:D

Kit LeBlanc
25th January 2002, 00:48

While I have nothing against what was posted, I do think we have to regard all such posts with a grain of salt. Consider the source, so to speak. We don't have the opportunity to do that here, other than we know that Darren is clearly in the business of making money with his combatives advice.

While the above is some good, solid information, many folks post a lot of nonsense that could very easily get someone hurt, or worse. And a surprising amount of people can't tell the difference. Go to Budo no Kokoro and see the series of posts on "Can you Kill" if you don't think that could happen.

Personally I would have liked a little more background and introductory information than a straight up spam. Again, no problem with the info, it's more in the delivery.

Darren Laur
25th January 2002, 02:26

Thanks for your critique, now my reply:

Question: You stated “ Didn’t you get in trouble over at bladeforums for spamming your systems over there?”

Answer: If you read the replies to my post, there were only “two” people out of the “many” who thought the way you did. The vast majority of replies to my post were extremely positive. In fact, I had a number of private e-mails sent to me from readers who stated that they thought the information was very relevant to that forum but out of respect for the moderator, did not post so.

Kit Stated: “ CQC Forum has a lot of professionals posting on it. You might do better by toning it down a bunch and sharing your information in more of a conversational tone……less advertising

Answer: I know this forum has a lot of professionals posting on it, in fact, it was one of these professionals who asked me to post my information on this forum. Out of respect for this person, I will not reveal his name, but I am sure he will soon !!!!!

How do you tone down the information I provided? Knowledge and the understanding of that knowledge is power. The whole purpose of my post was to share the knowledge that I have in this area with others. At no time during my post did I say come train with me, or mention any cost. I did mention the fact that “Pat, Wrap, And Attack” was something that I developed back in the early 1990’s. I also posted my full name, my system of combat (which has been around since the early 1980’s prior to all the hype surrounding “Street Combatives” in the year 2002), and my e-mail address, due to the fact that I stand by the information I provide, and refuse to hide behind a computer screen name as so many others do !!!!!!

Kit Stated: “ We would be more interested in hearing about your experiences and your training and how you apply it to the real world rather than the fact that you have come up with the best thing in the “combatives industry” since sliced bread. That way we can evaluate where you are coming from.”

Answer: Prior to hearing about one’s experiences, it is important to understand one’s foundation first. Why ? because one’s foundation will have a direct effect on one’s experiences. My post highlights the foundation of the who, what, where, when, how, and why of what it is that I do in the area of edged weapon defence. At no time in the post did I say that what I do is “the best thing in combatives industry since sliced bread. I truly believe that there is no such thing as the ULTIMATE fighting system or technique. Every system and style has its weaknesses and strengths. The true warrior will recognize those weaknesses , and go else where to strengthen them. I can share with you that the method I promote has saved the lives of many a police officer both here in Canada and in Great Britain as well.

Kit: “ ….. INVENT their past experiences”

Answer: All four of my edged weapon encounters are documented encounters where other police officers were present

In closing:

The sole purpose of this post, was to share the knowledge that I have in the area of Edged Weapon counter tactics. Period. Full Stop !!!!!!

Out of the many organizations that I have taught this program to, I have NEVER charged a fee, except for one occasion where I had so many people register, I needed to pay for a larger facility !!!!!!

If I caused you concern, I’m sorry. Having said this, I believe that the majority of the readers of this post will agree that it is good information, and should be shared !!!!!!

Knowledge and the understanding of that knowledge is power. Information to be useful must be shared !!!!!!!

Strength and Honor

Darren Laur

Darren Laur
25th January 2002, 02:28
Survival Stress Reaction And Its Effects on Combat/Self Protection:


Much of the information on this post can be directly attributed to Bruce Siddle who is the Executive Director of PPCT Management Systems Inc. For those who are interested in further expanding their knowledge on this topic, I would highly recommend Siddle’s book, “ Sharpening The Warrior’s Edge”, which more fully explains the who, what, where, when, why, and how of Survival Stress Reaction.

Darren Laur


Recently, I have read a number of posts that talk about teaching “gross motor skills” ( motor skills that generally involve the action of large muscle or major muscle groups) rather than “fine motor skills” ( motor skills that are performed by small muscle groups such as the hands and fingers). Throughout history and the study of combat, it was recognized that in “real” combat stress situations, fine/complex motor skills go for a dump, but gross motor skills gained in strength and usability.

The first real studies in the area of SSR as it related to combat performance, were conducted in the 1930’s, when it was noted that those soldiers who were sending Morse code during combat situations (fine/complex skill), had much more difficulty in doing so when compared to non-combat environments. The next real research in SSR came during the Vietnam war as it related to the location of buttons and switches in fighter cockpits. As a result of this research, cockpits were reconfigured to take SSR into affect, as it specifically related to eye/hand co-ordination during combat situations.

Although much of the early research surrounding SSR was conducted by the military during times of war, recently (from about the mid 1960’s to present time) a lot of research has been conducted in SSR as it relates to athletic performance.


Siddle’s definition of SSR as it relates to combat is ; “ a state where a “perceived” high threat stimulus automatically engages the parasympathetic nervous system” The parasympathetic nervous system is an autonomic response process which, when activated, one has little control of.

Why is SSR so important when it comes to combat/self protection? , because when activated, SSR has both a psychological and physiological effect to the body which could effect one’s perception of threat in a negative way. So what are some of these effects?

a) Increased Heart Rate:

· We know that SSR is directly related to increased levels of heart rate
· At 115 beats per minute (bpm) most people will loose fine complex motor skills such as finger dexterity, eye hand co-ordination, multi tasking becomes difficult
· At 145 bpm, most people will loose complex motor skills ( 3 or more motor skills designed to work in unison)

b) Effects To Visual System:

· The visual system is the primary sensory organ of the body for those of us that can see, due to the fact that the visual system sends information to the brain that is needed during combat/self protection
· At approximately 175 bpm, a person will experience an eye/lid lift, their pupils will dilate and flatten. As this reaction takes place, a person will experience visual narrowing (commonly known as tunnel vision). This is why it is very common for a person to back up from a threat in order to get more information through this tunnel. It is also at this point in time that a person becomes “binocular” rather than “monocular” This is why in CQB shooting, I teach two eye “binocular” shooting rather than one eye aimed shooting.
· At 175 bpm, visual tracking becomes difficult…… this is very important when it comes to multiple threats. During multiples, the brain will want the visual system to stay with what it sees to be the primary threat. Once this threat has been neutralized, the brain and visual system will then find its next threat. This is commonly known as the “light house” effect. Studies have found that a person in SSR will experience on average about a 70% decrease in their visual field. This is one reason why in combat, we need to teach students to constantly be scanning their environment, looking for the second and third opponent.
· At 175 bpm, it also becomes difficult to focus on close objects…. One of the first things to go under SSR is depth perception. A fighter WILL become far sighted rather than near sighted. This is why it is very common for people experiencing SSR to say that the threat was either closer or father away from where they actually were. Studies in SSR have shown that binocular fighting/shooting will improve one’s depth perception by 20-30%

c) Effects To The Auditory System:

· At approx 145 bpm, that part of the brain that hears, shuts down during SSR. This is one reason why it is not uncommon for fighters to say “ I didn’t hear that” , “ I heard voices but I couldn’t understand what they were saying” or ‘ I heard bits and pieces” “ I didn’t hear a gun shot”

d) Effects To The Brain:

· At approx 175 bpm, it is not uncommon for a person to have difficulty remembering what took place or what they did during a confrontation
· This recall problem is known as “ Critical Stress Amnesia. After a critical incident, it is not uncommon for a person to only recall approx 30% of what happened in the first 24hrs, 50% in 48 hrs, and 75-95 % in 72-100hrs
· At 185-220 bpm, most people will go into a state of “hypervigilance” this is also commonly known as the “deer in the headlights” or “Brain fart mode” It is not uncommon for a person to continue doing things that are not effective ( known as a feedback loop) or to show irrational behavior such as leaving cover. This is also the sate in which people find themselves in why they describe that they can not move, yell, scream. Once a person is caught in a state of hypervigilance it is a downward spiral that is very tough to get out of. Once caught in a state of hypervigilance information of the threat is reduced to the brain which leads to increased reaction time. This increased reaction time then leads to a heightened state of stress which further plunges one into a deeper state of hypervigilance

e) Effects To Motor Skill performance

· At approximately 115 bpm, fine/complex motor skills go for a dump (pulling a trigger, handling a knife), but gross motor skills turn on and become optimized

So why is this information so important ?, because the higher the heart rate, the more SSR will effect one’s perception of threat. Also, the higher the heart rate, the more negative effects it will have on motor skill performance.

One must remember that in combat, a person’s heart rate can go from 70 bpm to 220bpm in less than half a second. So what is the “combat maximum performance range” when it comes to SSR and heart rate ? Siddle in his studies has found that it is between 115-145 bpm. Siddle has also found that a fighter’s “maximum reaction time performance range” is also between 115-145 bpm. In other words, the 115-145 bpm range is where fighting skills (gross motor) and reaction time are maximized.


As I said earlier, SSR is an autonomic response, which happens without conscious thought. Having said this, a person can manage SSR to attain that peak 115-145 bpm range in the following ways:

1) Skill Confidence:

· This takes place through both mental and physical training

2) Experience Through Dynamic Simulation Training

· Experience increases and builds confidence
· Training should be “realistic” stimulus/response based
· The more real the training experience (stimulus) the better

3) Visualization (mental imagery)

· Commonly known as “spinal tuning” we now know that the upper part of the spinal column holds a short term memory.
· This is one reason why I have taught my Emergency Response Team (ERT) to visualize both their plan “A” strategy and plan “B” strategy as they are enroot to their target.
· Remember that the mind can not tell the difference between fantasy and reality. The more one uses mental imagery the more one becomes spinal tuned to deal with the task at hand
· As a certified hypnotherapist, I am using the science and art of hypnosis and NLP to pre-program stimulus /response issues directly into the subconscious, specific to combat performance. Not only have I have seen a DRAMATIC increase in combative performance in those students in which I am using hypnosis and NLP, but I am also experiencing about a 50% decrease in the amount of time needed to make a student unconsciously competent in the skill set taught, when compared to those who I have not conducted this type of training with. In fact, I truly believe that hypnosis and NLP specific to combatives, will be the next nexus in training

4) Breathing

· This skill has been used in the martial arts for thousands of years
· Known as autogenic breathing
· One wants to breath in through their nose for a three count, hold for a two count, and then breath out through the mouth for a three count. Studies have found that if a person was to do this for a 3 cycle count, it decreases one’s heart rate up to 30% for up to 40 seconds. Again remember that heart rate is directly related to SSR. If a person heart rate was sitting at around 175-220 bpm, autogenic breathing would help bring them back down into that target range of 115-145 bpm
· I have also taught this skill to my ERT team. While they are doing their spinal tuning, they are also conducting autogenic breathing drills at the same time. Our ERT team had conducted a lot of empirical and “real world” operations where they placed heart monitors on team members which have proven this de-escalation in hart rate

5) Value Of Life:

· In our society a person’s life is considered to be precious. In fact, most of our morals and laws are based upon protecting one self and others against serious injury or death
· In a self defence situation, one may have to seriously injury or even kill another human being.
· Although a reality, many people involved in combatives training have not “really” internalized or even thought about this. Because of one’s “belief system”, to kill or seriously injure another person is as foreign to them as committing suicide
· If one does not come to grips with this issue one will fail to act in such a situation

6) Belief In Mission / Task At hand:

· If you do not believe in the mission or task at hand, or if the risks outweigh the ultimate benefit to you/society, you WILL hesitate in combat
· One who hesitates in combat, will usually levitates 12 feet under or be seriously injured

7) Faith System:

· You do not want to go into combat without having things resolved
· Both the ancient samurai and the kamikaze’s during WWII understood this important rule
· Even in our modern times, there are certain spec war teams around the world that are allowed to make peace with their deity prior to mission
· A strong faith system, whatever that faith system may be, MINIMIZES the fear of dying. As a graphic example of this, look at the events of September 11th and how the terrorists were not afraid to die and thus were able to carry out their mission. Also look at what is happening in Israel right now !!!!!!!
· Remember, combat is not the place for you to be making major adjustments to your belief system. You need to be concentrating on the task at hand and nothing else. Not to do so places yourself in jeopardy

8) Training:

· Training for combat “must” be gross motor based why ? because we know that during combat, SSR will negatively effect fine/complex motor skill performance no matter how well trained !!!!!!!!!
· For any skill taught, there must always be a plan “B” abort strategy conditioned as well. We must not be teaching multiple defences (responses) to a specific type of attack (stimulus). The reason for this, HICKS LAW !
· Hicks Law basically states the following: the average reaction time given one stimulus one response is about ½ second. If we now teach a student a second technique (response) to the same attack (stimulus) we WILL increase a person’s reaction time by 58%. On the street we want to DECREASE reaction time, not increase it. If we teach multiple defences to one specific attack, the brain will take time deciding which option to use. This increased reaction time could mean the difference between life and death.
· Instructors should always teach a new technique in slow motion, why ? it allows the students brain time to observe the technique and begin the “soft wiring process” which becomes “hard wired” through physical and mental training in conjunction with repetition, as long as it is gross motor skilled
· All physical skills should be chucked into progressive steps rather than all at once. Many instructors when teaching a physical techniques will have the students practice the entire technique from beginning to end when first learning the specific skill set. This is a huge mistake. Remember that the brain first learns in pictures and through modeling. By teaching a technique from A to Z all at once, the student may not fully develop the full “mental picture” needed to perform the technique properly which usually leads to frustration by the student. Teachers, coaches, and instructors must insure that the student understands step A fully, then move onto step B. Once step B is understood move on to step C and so on. By doing this, frustration goes down, while confidence and skill level go up.
· Once the skill sets are learned, they must now be applied in dynamic training in order to make the stimulus/response training as real as possible. Again, the more the real the training, the better prepared one becomes for the reality of the street

Survival Stress Reaction is a reality that we as instructors, teachers, coaches and students need to understand and come to terms with. If you are studying a combative system that does not take into consideration SSR issues, specific to combat technique, you are not best preparing yourself for winning the street confrontation.

Strength and Honor

Darren Laur
Integrated Street Combatives

Kit LeBlanc
25th January 2002, 04:38
No. Actually the first post was better!!!

Welcome to the board, sounds like you have been around. I think I was little too abrupt. I just like to have a little background info on who is who. That way I know how to process what is being said. Your posts contain almost too much information, it's nice to know if it is worth going through them.

I did not intend to single you out as being an "inventor" of your background. That seems not to be the case at all now that you have dilated a little.

But it is something to be aware of, a lot of people are perfectly comfortable setting themselves up as combatives experts without ever having been in a real fight. Since you work in the combatives industry you know the type I am talking about. I have learned to take things posted on the web, and printed in self-promoting instructor bios with a grain of salt. Sometimes that means I get suspicious of guys who may legitimately have something to offer, particularly when they seem to be trying too hard!!

What is your LEO background, and where? And what is your martial arts background, and how have you found you needed to modify it for the field?

More importantly, how have you developed your edged weapons program? It is something I have been growing more interested in for my own training lately.

I work patrol/SWAT in SW Washington state, and a DT instructor for our department.


Darren Laur
25th January 2002, 05:44

Let my formally introduce myself, my name is Darren Laur and I am a Sergeant with the Victoria Police Department, up here in British Columbia Canada ( here in our city, we have one of the highest crime rates per capita than any other department in British Columbia, including Vancouver). My present assignment, road Sergeant with our Targeted Police Division, Mountain Bike/ Beat Section ( Primarily deal with downtown city core issues such as narcotics, fights, bars, ect, ect .) Up until last year, I was our Department’s full time Use Of Force/ Control Tactics Co-ordinator ( for ten years). I have taught Use Of Force and Self Protection issues both Nationally and Internationally.

I have been involved in combatives for 14 years, and have been teaching combatives for 9 years. My base for combatives was a system called “Synthesized Combative System”(SCS) which I learned from my Teacher/ Coach/ Instructor Al Carty in the late 1980’s. After grading to an “Instructor” level in SCS, I recognized that there were weaknesses in the system, which I needed to strengthen, so I went else where to places like “Modern Warrior” in New York, and sought out trainers like Tony Blauer to strengthen those weaknesses. As a result of all this experience, I teach a system of combat that is called “Integrated Street Combatives” because what I truly teach is an integration of all I have learned.

What got me into combatives, my first nightshift on the road when I was in Street Crew. I had been taking aikido for a while, and I thought this training, with the training I received at the academy, would greatly assist me if I ever found myself in a bind. Well, my first nightshift in Street Crew, I attempted to arrest a heroine addict who didn’t want to go to jail. A fight ensued, and what I had learned to that point didn’t help in any way, in fact, I truly believe that it just about got me killed. Buddy boy had a knife that he was bringing into action which I saw at the last minute. At that time, the only thing I could do, was to slam buddy in the head with my portable radio that I was using to call for help. I knocked the guy out after about 3 strikes to the head. Thus started my path into combatives, which lead me to Al Carty.

What do I think about Police defensive tactics, if Barney Fife can’t make it work, I don’t teach it. There are so many people out there teaching stuff to police (and civilians) that is just to fine/complex motor skill based (thus my second post). Some people just don’t get it !!!!!! I am a firm believer in the KISS principal ( Keep It Savagely Simple). I, Like you, believe in the “don’t tell me something is going to work, show me its going to work, under real Survival Stress Conditions.” At my school, we have been utilizing “Scenerio” based training for about 9 years . Why ?, because I believe in acid testing everything I teach.

I also believe in sharing knowledge. Why, because knowledge and the understanding of that knowledge is power. But in order for knowledge to be useful it must be shared. I have found that there are just to many “experts” who do not share with others. I am not this type of beast. I also give credit where credit is due, which seems to be another weakness amongst so-called experts. So if my posts are long, I apologize, but the amount of information within the posts is needed to understand the “totality” of what I am sharing.

Strength and Honor

Darren Laur
Integrated Street Combatives

25th January 2002, 05:56
Hi Darren, thanx for the great post, those statistics were a real eye opener. Like kit said, sounds like you have been around. Im actually going to BC to snowboard at the end of this year and would really like to meet and maybe train with you a couple of times while im there if u have your own dojo. If this is possible please let me know.

Darren Laur
25th January 2002, 07:16

Send me an e-mail, I am sure that we both have knowledge that we can share with one another, when you come to BC

Strength and Honor


daniel fields
25th January 2002, 07:20
Hi again, I was almost not going to post again so that I didnt seem like a kid trying to get the last word in so once again i mean no offence by what i say which is my opinion.

Kit: While I have nothing against what was posted, I do think we have to regard all such posts with a grain of salt. Consider the source, so to speak. We don't have the opportunity to do that here, other than we know that Darren is clearly in the business of making money with his combatives advice.

Maybe you should have considered the posts on that other forum with a grain of salt and not judged Darren on what the other people said about him spamming people. As for considering the source I dont need to as many of the effects that he talks about in a knife fight or normal fight have happened to me that was mentioned in Darrens second post. I didnt know him so I didnt judge him but I judged the information openly and found that I had experiences in common with his information, and that the information was truthful. I really think its strange abit especially for this day and age that he is giving us this information but at the same time id pay to train with him because the information is true and very useful.

Kit: While the above is some good, solid information, many folks post a lot of nonsense that could very easily get someone hurt, or worse. And a surprising amount of people can't tell the difference. Go to Budo no Kokoro and see the series of posts on "Can you Kill" if you don't think that could happen.

Im not even going to compare his posts to this. Compare "can you kill" to useful self defense information that might be able to save your life as it helps you to understand the effects that such things of fear can have on on your mind and in the end on your body.

As for the second post Darren like I said early it explained alot of things Ive experienced in real street defense situations. Like after ive been in a fight with 2 people trying to beat me up Ive wondered why I couldnt remember parts of the fight, why your vision kind of lessens, why you feel like your going to freeze up ( Ive overcomed that with simple action). Please share any other information you feel like sharing and if you have any good information resources such as books and websites please post them to.

Daniel Fields:D

Kit LeBlanc
25th January 2002, 14:16
Originally posted by Darren Laur

What got me into combatives, my first nightshift on the road when I was in Street Crew. I had been taking aikido for a while, and I thought this training, with the training I received at the academy, would greatly assist me if I ever found myself in a bind. Well, my first nightshift in Street Crew, I attempted to arrest a heroine addict who didn’t want to go to jail. A fight ensued, and what I had learned to that point didn’t help in any way, in fact, I truly believe that it just about got me killed. Buddy boy had a knife that he was bringing into action which I saw at the last minute. At that time, the only thing I could do, was to slam buddy in the head with my portable radio that I was using to call for help. I knocked the guy out after about 3 strikes to the head. Thus started my path into combatives, which lead me to Al Carty.

Funny how that happens, huh? That is the root of my problem, really, with the inexperienced experts. They have not had their stuff FAIL them when it really matters, and so have no bases for reference.

I visit Surrey from time to time to see family, how close is that to you? I'd like to see your stuff in person one day.

BTW, you should also check out Don Gulla's Arrestling at http://www.arrestling.com. Don is very active in Washington State.

And last, have you done anything with HSS International?


Sorry dude, but I don't accept very much at face value anymore. Too much garbage out there to do so, too many people wanting to be badasses by
teaching cops how to fight, or trying to make a buck by teaching cops "what they don't know." Like Darren, I have to rely on this stuff to possibly save my life. No ones "combatives system" gets a free ride in my mind.

25th January 2002, 15:33
Darren Laur: Im interested in your research. However, I noticed there is no mention in your post about officers or more commonly members of general public using a knife in there own defence. Is it possible some "knife encounters" that are classified as attacks are in reality defense's ?. The area of "knife retention" is of great emphasis in my edge weapon program. Thank in advance for your reply.
Gregory Rogalsky
Rogalsky Combatives International.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Darren Laur
25th January 2002, 18:23

Thanks for your e-mail. What I posted was a condensed version of the actual research that I conducted. "ALL" the scenerios that I considered/researched were assault situations against police officers and civilians. I ,like you, do teach students to use a knife as a self-protection tool, where appropriate and reasonable to do so, but I did not include these types of incidents in my research primarily due to the fact that I was looking at unarmed responses to edged weapon attacks.

Strength and Honor

Darren Laur

25th January 2002, 22:54
Darren Laur: Thanks for the reply. Keep up the good work.
Gregory Rogalsky
Rogalsky Combatives International
Calgary, Alberta, Canada