October was a good month. I was on the front cover, “la portada” in Spanish, of COMBATE! La Revista Hispana de las Artes Marciales (COMBAT! The Hispanic magazine of the martial arts). Here is their website, but be warned, they do not seem to have an archive, and so pulling up this feature article is not possible.
However, since a majority of my students cannot speak Spanish anyway, I will include the English version here:
You’re not going to survive a real life and death fight against a hardened criminal using a sport-based mindset.
As a law enforcement officer for 20 years, and currently assigned to a Military Police Reserve unit in California, I have seen first hand how a wide variety of criminals fight. Likewise, as a martial artist since 1976 having studied dozens of systems over the decades I have seen how many martial artists and competitors fight. My observations are this: criminals advance and overwhelm their victims while most, not all, martial artists tend to throw strikes from a fairly static position like a sport boxer. They throw a quick barrage, and then they analyze the results after only a few hits.
In my Reality-Based Personal Protection courses I have to constantly scream at my students, who many come to me from other martial arts backgrounds, “Forward! Move in on him! Take his ground!” Too many times the people that come to me to have me make their fighting skills more reality-based like to fight like boxers or point fighters and simply exchange blows. That’s exactly what could get you killed in a life and death fight if you try it. This is not the way criminals or terrorists fight.
It’s no surprise that I am a big admirer of the Israeli police and military. After all, I had learned the deadly arts of KAPAP, military Krav Maga, HISARDUT, and some LOTAR. I was also invited twice to Israel to train the police and military my Reality-Based Personal Protection system. While training there I always heard the soldiers yell out to one another in encouragement, “Kadima! Kadima!” When I turned to my host, Major Avi Nardia during a Special Forces testing and selection event I was privy to watch I asked him, “What does kadima mean?” He replied, “It’s the Hebrew word for forward.”
To the Israelis the word kadima is more than just a word, it is a warrior concept. In the true sense of the word it means to keep moving, or pressing forward in battle. Retreat is not an option. This word is so ingrained in the Israeli war culture that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a war hero general, even formed a political party in 2005 naming it Kadima.
The concept of overwhelming the enemy is not merely restricted to the Israeli military. In the beginning of World War II Adolf Hitler’s generals conquered most of Europe and North Africa with a strategy called Blitzkrieg – lighting war. This strategy relied upon a heavy concentration of firepower on the enemy’s weakest point at the front and rapid penetration deep into enemy territory while the opposition was traumatized. In 2003 when the American’s attacked Sadam Hussein’s Iraq it was with a military doctrine called Shock and Awe, also known as rapid dominance. Like the Blitzkrieg it relied on overwhelming firepower and spectacular displays of force to paralyze the enemy. The Iraqi military was devastated after the aggressive attack.
Whether a fight is on an international level, such as war, or two human beings engaged in street combat the strategy is the same if victory is to be the outcome. You must overwhelm the enemy if physical conflict is the only answer. You must, like an army, occupy the enemy’s space. I repeat, YOU MUST TAKE HIS SPACE. You must be going forward, and he must be going backward. Your preemptive attack or counterattack must be more brutal than his initial attack or intended attack.
Please don’t get me wrong, there are those times to retreat, or shall we say a “tactical retreat,” but if you can’t do that you must attack the attacker. Victory must be assured. You cannot be halfhearted in a battle, and unfortunately many martial arts instructors do not teach their students to attack with overwhelming “firepower.” For example, in a bar fight you don’t just hit your attacker once or twice and asses the situation. Rather, you keep hitting him until he stops his attack, which usually means he needs to go down. When someone breaks into your house to commit great bodily injury against you or to your family, and you are legally able to defend yourself with a firearm, you fire as many times as it takes to stop the attacker, and be prepared to shove in another magazine. One or two bullets don’t always stop a determined criminal; especially if he is all charged up on a controlled substance. Of course it doesn’t have to be a gun in your hand, it could be a baseball bat, kitchen knife, hammer, or whatever you use for home defense. You keep using the weapon until the criminal stops, and not longer a threat to you. Yes, injuries are usually the result of stopping somebody who initiated the assault against you, but injuring the attacker is not your desire. You only “wanted to stop his attack.” Of course, that is exactly what you are going to tell the police when they investigate the conflict.
A lot of martial artists are hung up on knowing a lot of techniques. Techniques are nice, but the winning attitude is more important than techniques. Most men in prison don’t know a lot of fighting techniques, but if there was a fight between a prisoner and a black belt, and I had to put some money down for a bet, I’d put my money on the prisoner. Why? Because he has the experience and attitude to win. What few brutal techniques he uses, and he uses well. The black belt may have a lot of fancy techniques, but that does not mean he has the heart to win regardless of the pain or consequences.
A week ago I was play fighting with my six-year-old nephew Gary. This tough little guy is learning karate from a local karate school and he knows a lot of techniques. He knows all the punches and kicks. However, when we were fighting like lion cubs do to develop his warrior skills he launched a combination of kicks and punches, but made very little effort to move in on me. I finally had to move in on him and overwhelm him and put him on the retreat to teach him a lesson. I said to him, “Gary, you see what I did to you? I want you to come in on me with everything you’ve got and don’t be afraid. Just do it. Make me back away from you.” Well, wouldn’t you know it, that six-year-old understood the concept and won his last fight against an older kid in his karate class.
The next time you are sparring with the protection on or doing some realistic scenarios you must overwhelm your training partner and use the proven military strategy of rapid dominance. Of course, the next time you are in a real fight for your life, you had better be like “lighting” if you can’t talk your way out of it or flee the scene.
PROTECTING OTHERS: a new Reality-Based book
My newest book is finally out. Based upon my years in the bodyguard industry I came up with a book for martial artists how to protect others, such as family members, friends, co-workers, or even strangers in various conflict situations. The book is published by Black Belt magazine / Ohara Publications, but unfortunately, it is only in an electronic format, Kindle edition, at this time through Amazon for only $19.95.
However, if you are interested in seeing this book actually printed you can make your request known to publisher Cheryl Angelheart at email@example.com
This book is packed with step-by-step photos and in-depth explanations. It is a must have book for your martial arts library.
If a friend or family member is writing you from a foreign country saying that they are stranded and need money then BEWARE! It is most likely a trick from a cyber criminal trying to get money from you.
On October 12, 2012 I received and email from Edward Pollard. Here is what the email stated:
Just hoping this email reaches you well, I'm sorry for this emergency and for not informing you about my urgent trip to London, United Kingdom but I just have to let you know my present predicament. Everything was fine until I was attacked on my way back to the hotel, I wasn't hurt but I lost my money, bank cards, mobile phone and my bag in the course of this attack. I immediately contacted my bank in order to block my cards and also made a report at the nearest police station. I've been to the embassy and they are helping me with my documentation so i can fly out but I'm urgently in need of some money to pay for my hotel bills and also pay for my flight ticket back home, will definitely REFUND as soon as back home .
Kindly let me know if you would be able to help me out so I can forward you the details required for a wire transfer.
Waiting to hear back from you.
Now, the truth is that I do know a Edward Pollard. He was someone I worked with years ago at Black Belt magazine. However, I know Ed, and he would never write me asking me for money. So, immediately I knew this was a fraud. A few months ago I received a similar message, but from a different associate. Somehow the criminal got a hold of these associates names, they knew that these people had emailed me before, and then tried to impersonate them asking for money. In fact, six months ago one of my friends received a bogus email from me stating that I was in Asia, in trouble, and needed money sent to me via wire transfer. Luckily my friend called me to verify. I was not travelling abroad at this time, and he was relieved to know that I was just fine. Yet, then again, someone knew about the correspondence between my friend and me. They got a hold of just enough information to try and pull off their scam.
I have talked with many of my Reality-Based Personal Protection students over the last few months and found out that a few of them have had this scam attempted on them or others that they know.
Whenever I received any email or text, especially asking me for money or any information, I automatically assume it is a fraud. Most of the time it is quite obvious that it is a fake, but if it seems legitimate then I’ll start making some phone calls. I’ve even received emails from governments and banks that seem authentic at first glance, but because I don’t trust any electronic communication I quickly found them to be criminal scams. Of course, I never open up any attachments or click on any links provided in these emails or texts.
My advice to you when it comes to electronic communication is BE A HARD TARGET.
How to keep your skull from being cracked open: Impact weapon defense
I have probably a good 30 videos in line for editing, and once they get done they will go up on my YouTube channel jimwagnerrbpp
I will also be videotaping some more techniques in the beginning of November in Germany.
Two new Reality Based Blades on the market
World famous German knife manufacturer Boker has just released two of my newest knives that I designed.
The first knife is called the Boker Plus CFR (Combat First Responder). It is a tactical folder rescue knife. The handle is red so that it can be seen easily when doing first aid or trying to cut away equipment and it is placed on the ground. This is now available in Europe and the United States.
The second knife is the Boker Plus Reality Based Blade Fixed EDC. This knife can carve through a car door, has a replaceable glass breaker on the end of the handle, and is ergonomically designed to fit the hand with a non-slip texture. This is currently only available in Europe.
On October 7, 2012 I graduated from Advanced Non-Commissioned Officers Course with Class 12-01. This course is necessary for the ranks of Sergeant First Class and Master Sergeant. The great thing about this course was a lot of good instructors, and I even picked up a few new pointers in military map reading and leadership.
I had attempted to compete this course last year, but because of a flight cancellation I had to leave the course one day before graduation making the whole course void for me. I had no choice, I had to be in Sofia, Bulgaria to teach Bulgaria's top counterterrorist unit and their presidential protection detail. I couldn't let our NATO partner down.
At last! this course is complete, and just one more step completed for my professional development. HOOAH!
Copyright Jim Wagner 2003 - 2021 All rights reserved.