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We are fortunate to have been donated several combative related articles by Mr. John Kary, the founder of the American Combatives close quarter combat system.

Mr. Kary is a former Marine and combat veteran of the Vietnam War. While serving in Southeast Asia, Mr. Kary received the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for actions in close quarters battle. Mr. Kary holds rank of 5th degree black belt and is recognized as a Master instructor.

The foundation of his system is based on work that Captain William E. Fairbairn and Colonel Rex Applegate of the OSS performed in WWII. The result of Mr. Kary's in-depth research into the work of these two forefathers of modern day Close Quarters Combat, is an easy to learn and effective system for street survival. Mr. Kary has worked with individuals in the law enforcement community as well as government agencies. 

The Modern Combatives Group would like to thank him for his valuable contribution to our group and his donation of the following articles. Enjoy.


Unfortunately there is a process called ageing which none of us can avoid. As hard as we try to keep ourselves in good physical condition, the ageing process eventfully catches up with us all.


For those of us who have been training for 25 or 30 years, the old injuries, which we have acquired, threw out the years begin to catch up with you. There is no way to stop the ageing process or take away our old training injuries.


The question is what can we do to counter these unfortunate problems. I have seen many old-timers deal with this problem in several ways.


One of the two ways is that they focus their training on developing their use of weapon skills. Weather it be a firearm or a edged weapon, and less on their hand-to-hand skills.


Another way in which I have seen it dealt with is they spend more time teaching and less time actually training.


The problem with these two options is that in the first one, depending upon where you live or travel, you may not be able to carry a firearm or edged weapon.


The second option of more teaching and less training should be obvious. We all learn from teaching but our own skills may suffer from a lack of participation.


So what is the answer? Basics and ruthlessness. One does not need to train 4 or 5 days a week for several hours each day. Cut down on the amount of time but increase your mental aggressiveness and work your basic strikes to bring their execution to a higher level.


Be determined and do not let the way you feel physically affect your mindset for training. By this I mean do not begin to make mental excuses for not training. If you decide to begin to carry a weapon, remember you may need your strikes to be able to reach your weapon.


Also please remember, as we age there is a tendency for you and your family to become larger targets for the punks and undesirables in our society. Pay attention to your body and if an old injury is bothering you, switch what you are doing to compensate for the injury.


Finally, make sure when you are training that you really increase your mental aggressiveness to the point of complete outrage.


Defeating a 25 year old at the age of 55 or 60 will not be an easy task. By following the guidelines I have presented here your chances of success will increase dramatically.




bar fight / street fight
which is worse?
The reason I have chosen this topic to write about is that when the American Combatives One list was up I remember there was a debate going on over the difference between a bar fight and street fight.
What I would like to present here is my opinion on one attempting to distinguish between one violent altercation and another.
In my opinion, one cannot distinguish between different types of violent attacks. However there is a difference in the environment where the attack takes place.
From my personal experience and those who I have spoken to in Law Enforcement we have agreed that the majority of altercations take place in or around a bar setting. Remember when you are dealing with someone who is even slightly intoxicated, their thought process may not be rational. A perfect example of this would be someone coming over to you and asking you “ what the Hell are you looking at?” and your response maybe apologetic but the person who is intoxicated interrupts it as a smart ass remark.
A common street attack does generally not involve a verbal exchange and in most cases involves the stealing of your money and belongings or is some type of gang initiation. At least in this situation you have a much better idea of what you are dealing with.
In the bar setting there are many variables that you must consider. A few of them are, one, is the number of objects which can be used against you as a weapon, two, people generally go to bars in groups, so you are now dealing with a multiple attacker scenario, and three, the individual that has approached you is intoxicated which makes him highly volatile and unpredictable.
For these reasons alone I feel it is extremely important to be aware of what is taking place around you and to remember that there are many weapons at your fingertips, which you can use against the attacker.
Again it may seem redundant but I will say it again, if you wait, it will be too late.
When involved in a street altercation with a street wise criminal you should have a much better idea of what you are dealing with in that the street criminal is only interested in one thing and that is to choose a victim who will give him the least amount of resistance and is more than likely armed and the availability of weapons for you to use may certainly be limited.
This is a way if I had my choice of the environment of the confrontation with another, I would prefer it be on the street. Remember one other thing, that in a street altercation you are generally not in an enclosed environment so the option of escape is much greater than in a bar setting. But because of these reasons you still should not wait to see what is going to happen but act offensively and aggressively toward your attacker.



Determination is something, which we all have. Whether we choose to use it or not. It is the question you must ask yourself. In our society today, it appears that determination is something, which people choose not to use. When training in C.Q.C., one must have the determination and the will to survive. It is something that does not end when your training session is over. It is something, which one should be thinking about on a daily basis. If one can cultivate this mindset your chances of survival will increase dramatically.


Recently there has been some discussion about how to train to take a hit. I believe this can be accomplished threw the use of your own mind, by telling yourself that you will ignore the pain and continue to fight until you have defeated your attacker.


During my tour in Viet Nam, I saw many individuals who should have been dead, but their determination to continue to fight and survive is what saved their lives.


You must be fully committed to changing your mindset and again work on it in all aspects of your life. It is much easier to quit and give up, then it is to continue to fight, whether it be against a determined attacker in the street or yourself when you begin to make excuses for why you are not training.


I have found that the times when I do not feel like training and force myself to do so are often the most productive sessions I have. Remember, you must be determined and committed to overcome all adversaries in your life. This means not just the violent attacker on the street, but even the problems, which you face in your daily life. Again, the only way this can be achieved is to be committed and determined to change your mindset from one defensive thinking to an all out offensive thought process. Don’t be misled into thinking it is easy because it is not. It takes time and a tremendous amount of effort on your part. Only you can make this change happen.



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