Non-Firearm Defensive Tools

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Dirty Tactics and Grappling

With the meteoric rise in popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championships and similar events over the past 15 years, it has become impossible to debate the viability of grappling in the self-defense world. You can argue how effective it is, but you cannot dispute that grappling is a fact of life that must be dealt…

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Optimizing Self-Defense Knives For Personal Protection

The everyday carry (EDC) folding knife has become a staple both in society and the modern personal protection community. Each individual chooses such a tool based on a variety of criteria, including blade type, length, design, and clip orientation. A myriad of excellent tactical and non-tactical folding knives are available, with many carried for daily…

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The Closed-Fist Strike

There are as many theories on what is the best “technique” in the world of self-defense as there are experts. Unfortunately, personal agendas and bias all too often get in the way. One area that is particularly susceptible to this is the issue of using closed fists in a self-defense/combat situation. There are a lot…

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Understanding Physiological Potential: The More You Learn, the Less You Know

One of the most amazing things about the traditional martial arts—especially those that focus heavily on the practice of solo forms (kata, in Japanese)—is the idea that practitioners often debate the meaning and application of the movements of those forms. While the meaning of most movements can be readily identified as a punch, kick, etc.,…

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Don’t Go to the Ground!

It’s difficult to spend any time researching self-preservation topics, especially on the internet, without stumbling over someone warning, “Don’t go to the ground in a street fight.” The implication seems to be that even touching the ground with anything other than the soles of your feet will result in instant death. But as with many…

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Making the Thrust

In my previous article, Making the Cut, I discussed the mechanics of combative cutting with a knife. Based on that understanding, let’s take a look at the other side of the equation: thrusting. First, let’s get the semantics out of the way. Whether you prefer to call it “thrusting,” “stabbing,” “sewing machine,” or anything else…

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