Monday, March 8, 2010

Martial Blade Concepts Instructional Material

         I just finished watching Michael Janich's new two Dvd set called "Practical Unarmed Combatives". Janich is probably best known for his Knife skills and training, but He is no slouch when it comes to unarmed fighting as well as the defensive use of Firearms.
             One good thing about the Combatives set is there is a lot of commonality with his knife methods & techniques(stick/baton fighting as well). This is largely a feature of the Filipino Martial Arts on which much of Janich's system is based on, but it is by no means pure Filipino Martial Arts.Janich draws on many different systems & styles in the creation of "Damithurt Silat"(what he labeled his unarmed Combatives systems at the request of his students). The techniques are straight forward & easy to pick up even for the beginner although some might find the "flow frills" in the second Dvd a bit complex."Cycling",which is a striking method Mr.Janich borrowed from Kelly McCann & is covered very extensively.According to Janich, cycling is the most logical & easily learned default under stress.I agree that it's indeed a worthy tactic to learn, but I feel it probably needs to be broadened to include straight as well as circular striking in addition to the elliptical arcing movement of the rear hand as much as the basic sequence(which has a lot of cross-over applications & commonality with armed/unarmed methods & tactics), but Janich does in fact go over that idea & consistanly reinforces the concept of physiological potential of different techniques & that you can apply variations as well diverse techniques options.Cycling is simple,direct & has a fluid quality to it in clearing obstructing limbs and general motion as well as mimicking a weapon drawing movement,but a elliptical motion is in no way a requisite to achieve that & you shouldn't limit yourself to only one method. Also, the lead hand does not follow an elliptical motion, just working as an open hand jab,distance gauge as well mask your attack,obstruct their vision and defend & distract. "Default" Implies that it is not your first choice,but a back-up instinctive response to which you revert. Be cautious about conditioning default responses as they have to be in context.For example, if your default response is to back up anytime your attacked, you might just put yourself right in an advancing opponents range if he has a club.Also, a "default" should not be a sole single-minded, specific response that is hardwired as a reflexive action.There are natural instinctive responses(such as the startle/flinch)which are automatically there and should be "educated" and built upon,but you always want some decision making/thinking to assess the situation to decide on the appropriate tactic & overall strategy and this requires a diverse set of skills and conscious thought albeit quick.
                  Janich's Instruction is well outlined and progresses very efficiently building on the fundamental skills. Even after after 20 some odd years I picked up a few new things & that in itself is worth what they cost.His Combatives are an Eclectic mix from a variety of sources.There are techniques & tactics from Kelly McCaan, Bob Orlando,Tony Blauer & Dr.Brett Jacques(from whom Janich learned his overhand "vollyball strike")to name a few.
           For an Introduction to the Martial Blade System, I recommend the New Enhanced Version of Martial Blade Concepts(available through Stay Safe Media). It features a nice intro by Janich as well as a Solo training section that the original didn't have.Street Steel is a very good book for someone completely new to knives as the book details selecting a defense knife and carrying and opening methods.This book can be hard to find, but a quick google will turn up some sites.Contemporary knife Targeting may be my favorite.It goes over specific areas of the body to target and explains the how/why of those choices.It also shows application with the knife on applying cuts to the targets. Practical Knife Fighting is an older book that doesn't feature some of the newer methods of Martial Blade Concepts,but the fundamentals are still there.Counter Blade Concepts is unarmed versus the knife and Martial Cane Concepts is an option for someone who actually uses a cane or just wants a low profile perfectly legal carry weapon.Janich also has some excellent material on point-shooting that will round out any ones training.
        Personal training from Mr.Janich would be preferred, but his books and Dvds are a great second choice and he is always adding new material & products, so check on his website often.