Fairbairn and Sykes school of hand to hand combat.

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by EX_STAB, Jun 25, 2008.

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  1. Plenty to learn from the old masters. Some of this old film is rather poor quality but well worth a look.

    British Training film extract WWII

    I think it is the man himself in this extract:

    Fairbairn's system in use in the US.

    Fairbairn's book "All in fighting" (published in the US as "Get tough") is available online here:

    Might be interesting for the martial arts wallahs to compare the techniques.

    I think I had one half hour lesson on this sort of thing in all the time I was in. It's probably worth spending more time over.
  2. Some of the techniques are still relevant today - for example the "distraction technique" is widely used in many styles. Usually, it involves talking to the opponent to distract him and provide an opening for a pre-emptive strike(usually, but not always, a punch).

    I was less impressed by the defences against a knife; the best instructors I have trained under stress that one should disarm the opponent before finishing him. Simply blocking a knife attack and then striking leaves one open for a second attack with the knife.

    Of course, Fairburn and Sykes had very limited time to train thier studants, and the techniques had to be simple enough to be remembered and used while under extreme stress.

    IIRC, Fairburn and Sykes set up the first SWAT/HRU police unit and built the first Killing House, both in Singapore. As well as training SOE/Commandos and designing the Commando Knife. Very impressive gentlemen.
  3. Trans-sane

    Trans-sane LE Book Reviewer

    The only universal principle for ALL real martial arts (as opposed to those that have been turned into sports... breathe, calm, don't rant...) is take your oponent out by whatever means you can. The whole point is that you are still on your feet at the end while the bloke that attacked you is in no fit state to threaten you in the immediate future.

    Quote from my sensei "If he attacks you with a knife, who cares what you do. Its better to be facing trial for GBH or manslaughter than it is to be stabbed to death."

    Frankly anything else is just different technique. That last video with the smaller man being lifted is a good one for non-martial artists to see. And stuff like that really does work. One technique called the unbendable arm can be very good party trick.
  4. Seconded...up to a point; a lot of "Sport" Martial Artists train harder than most so-called Traditional/Reality Martial Artists.

    In a real fight, conditioning is vital. Yes, the fight may only last seconds, but adrenalin and the fact that you have to use maximum power in your techniques make for a very LONG few seconds.

    Arts like Thai Boxing, MMA etc develop great conditioning and strength, both physical and mental.
  5. In relation to martial arts and fighting systems; I have just seen a documentary on the NZ SAS in which they showed them learning a combat style that was originally thought up in WW2 (by the long range desert group) and has expanded from there. Does anyone know the name of said MA. (They also showed them practising this with gas masks on, which seemed pretty damn tough to do)
  6. I think most 'sport' martial arts have more self-defence value than so called 'reality-based' martial art. Sport is so that the techniques can be practice safely. They might lose a few techniques over the years but those can be easily learnt. What cannot simply be learnt is conditioning, aerobically and in terms of taken and giving hits.

    The problem with almost all 'reality based' martial art is they keep the very damaging techniques but then they do not practice it against a resisting opponent. Most practitioners simply mime the action and take it as done that they would be able to do it against someone who doesn't want to have their eyes gouged out.
  7. Not sure what the LRDG studied but most hand to hand up to the 60's (before Henri Plee brought Karate to France in 66) but most of it was Jujutsu based.

    Jujutsu was first brought to Scotland in the 1860's by Thoma Blake Glover -Mitsubishi co founder's 5 samurai friends.

    I beleive that Fairbairn studied Shin ni Shindo Ryu in the far East for many years and was quite able in the art
  8. Seconded; you can't learn to swim without getting in the water. :roll:

    Having said that, it's good to combine Sport Arts like Kickboxing, BJJ, MMA etc with arts like Kali or Silat which teach some VERY dirty tricks. In a real fight, Kali/Silat techniques can be applied with the "killer instinct" developed from the Sport Arts. :twisted:
  9. Good point WW.

    I love the classical Japanese arts but did wrestling, boxing, and Muay Thai for yonks as well.

    The classical arts are very much an academic study and have their role to play but yes you have to get in the water and yes you will get wet.

    I looked at the martial arts magazines for the first time in yonks and what put me off was all the razzamataz and the way they package the eclectic arts.

    It was like martial arts mcdonalds and way too many egos on show :D
  10. Seconded. I train with one of the best fighters/instructors in the world, but he never bigs himself up; like all the top blokes, he has absolutely nothing to prove. :)

    One thing I've learned is that the harder and more dangerous the fighter, the less overtly aggressive they are. Physical size usually has fcuk all to do with it. The tell-tale signs are:

    1)Very calm and focused, self-controlled even just before it's about to kick off.

    2)Cauliflower ears(shows he's been on the mat, in the ring or, if you're sh1t out of luck, BOTH).

    3)Old scars on the knuckles/hands(shows he's hit people without gloves on. It's not his first time on the Pavement Arena).

    If you find yourself facing a man with these "signatures", my humble advice is that you run like fcuk and don't stop 'til you reach a place of safety(like the next city). :twisted:
  11. I agree WW.

    I did the doors for 12 yrs but was lucky enuff to have half a clue to begin with.

    Used to get guys coming to work with us who'd only done the academic dojo study (which has its place don't get me wrong) and they got kicked up and down the place.

    Then there were the lads who'd done the eclectic sport/reality arts who were too over the top :D rag doll someone when a gentle guide out the door by the elbow would have done the trick.

    Worst place to find out if your "art" works or not is the doors.

    I think folk should study from both directions - but don't pick an instructor who's class is full of folk kidding themelves they can fight.

    An easygoing instructor who allows questions and admits when he's kacked it up is a good sign - the folk you're going to be training with are another good sign - we can all read folk to a certain extent - but birds of a feather flock together.

    Saw a school populated by uni types (sorry guys) who were faffing around and totally lost, I can't do that move unless im in the zone etc etc.

    Ho hum...

    Rant finished :D
  12. Yeah, I worked the doors as well, though not for as long as you. It can be a very steep learning curve! 8O

    I'm lucky in the sense that there are a hard-core of students in my club who are much better than me, so there's always someone there who can push me to my limits.

    That's why I like the pragmatic Arts like BJJ or Kickboxing; the bullsh1t artists have no hiding place. Talk is cheap - get on the mats and SHOW me! :twisted: