Category Archives: Combatives

Discussion to help hone your hand to hand combatives skill sets.

Get Thee to Thy Range!


                                                   25 yards – mix of .45 ACP Ball and .357 SJHP – Clearly, more practice is required!

Life, if you let it, will get in your way when it comes to practicing those skills that will keep you and your family alive in the worst possible scenario.Don’t let life do that! Make and schedule regular time for your dry fire and range practice.  You’ll be glad you did even in the event you never have to use the skills you’ve honed. Why?  Because you’ll be confident you had the skills if you needed them.

Time continues to slip by us, and according to the MSM, 7 in 10 Americans believe some really nasty, spicy times are ahead.

Train now, train often, and stack ’em deep!

Part II: The Ideal Sidearm?

19 round capability (18 round mags & 1 chambered) coupled with a LONG history of reliability and superb ammunition choices, such as the Federal HST (my pick), make the Beretta M9 an excellent choice for a sidearm – though there are others equally as good or better, depending on personal preference and analysis.

In the original post, here, the point was simply made, “The ideal sidearm is the one you have in your hand.”

That’s true, in the most base terms, because if whatever you have is all you’ve got, then it is ideal when compared to having an empty hand.

When going beyond that most basic premise, the intellect should be employed to do a bit of pre-response analysis and tool capability comparison, both specification and performance wise.

Here’s a few questions that are also basic, but essential:

  • What is the nature of the threat you perceive you will most likely be faced with?
  • Is it a single threat, or will there be more than one, such as criminal activity coupled with self-defense against a predatory animal or simply self-defense against criminals or self-defense against predatory animals?

  • Do you have, or are you capable of developing the physical strength necessary to not only operate the sidearm chosen effectively, but navigate the physical stress you will be subjected to immediately before, during, and after the threat presents itself?  If not, are you willing to put yourself on a program to develop the physical attributes necessary?

  • If you anticipate a multiple threat scenario as most likely, does the sidearm you are considering have the ability to hold enough rounds for the initial engagement and then be reloaded quickly for subsequent engagement prior to the cessation of the threat?
  • Do you have the discipline to routinely practice techniques necessary for self-defense in both dry and ‘wet’ fire consistently?

  • Do you have the equipment necessary to carry your chosen sidearm in a legal manner (until it no longer matters, if every, carrying legally is the way to do it – that way you don’t end up in prison for otherwise lawfully defending yourself or others)?

  • What are the specifications of the ammunition you plan on using?  Is it capable of sufficient penetration and expansion when coupled with shot placement to stop the threat you’re faced with?

  • Have you planned to use the same bullet weight for practice as well as for ‘real world’ carry and self-defense in order to experience very similar recoil and point of aim/impact?

There are many more questions you can ask along these lines – remember – we’re narrowing down the countless choices of sidearms available based on our own personal circumstances.  So, should you be new to owning and training with a sidearm, will help you make educated decisions that could save your life or the lives of others.

Comparison and Contrast for Training in ‘Infantry’ Skill Sets Part 2

Update from JC Dodge.  Again, up front, his post is not meant to dissuade anyone from learning these necessary survival skill sets; rather, it’s meant to provide some sort of objective way to look at what might be gained from attending various schools aimed at civilians when compared to active duty service in a combat arm.

Remember the levels of learning:  Unconsciously Unskilled, Consciously Unskilled, Consciously Skilled, and Unconsciously Skilled.

The very highest level you can attain (which is good, if you’re diligent and practice what you’ve learned in your chosen school) is Consciously Unskilled (You Know What You Don’t Know) and possibly Consciously Skilled ( You can perform, but not at ‘second nature’ level).  Most civilians are not in the environment that helps attain skill mastery (Unconsciously Skilled – Performing tasks as second nature level), because they have jobs, support families, and have other obligations that keep them from practicing all day, every day and some weekends with their chosen team 0f four to twelve people.

Keep plugging away, keep learning, but understand the limitations of your training and capabilities.  It’ll help keep you alive a lot longer than harboring illusions of what you can do.

 “Are You A ‘Snowflake’ Or A ‘Meteor’?” – Becoming A Meteor

Last week a group of four Combat Arms Veterans contributed to a post I wrote concerning the premise that, “on a good day, a civilian that has taken 3 or 4 SUT type classes from a Tactical Trainer won’t even be at the experienced Infantry PFC level”. Although the majority of the comments, both here on WRSA,  and in email were positive, even though there were still those who are still unwilling to mesh reality with their delusions of grandeur, concerning their level of training, and it’s comparison to that of the experienced Infantry PFC.

I have mentioned a number of times (these highlighted links are just a few examples) a variation of this theme, “You are not a Commando/Infantry, but you do not need to be.”. I actually had a guy say, “YES! and if you had just said it this way from the beginning then you might not be getting any negative feedback.” to part of my response to another comment he had made. My actual comment to him consisted of this, “Here’s the thing, “You can’t be what we are/were without doing what we do/did (BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO BE).”.

Let’s talk about that phrase for a minute. “You can’t be what we are/were without doing what we do/did (BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO BE).”. The question I’d imagine most SAC’s (Situationally Aware Civilian) have is, 1) How do I put myself on par with a guy who has not only gone through a 4 month One Station Unit Training course (Basic and Infantry School)? 2) Do I need to put myself on par with that guy to have a chance at surviving what is coming?

This post is about some of the “What”, the “Why”, and the “How” of “Combatant Skills” needed for the Neighborhood Protection Team member, or Survivalist. You are not Infantrymen, you have to be much more. As I have said a number of times, “Be a Survivalist who is a ‘Jack of all Trades’, master of some (preferably the life saving and life protecting arts).”. Are there Infantry skills that you should master? Hell Yes! In this post I mentioned the Army’s “Everybody requirement” concerning Common Task Testing. This is not an “Infantry specific” requirement, but an “Everyone” requirement. Have you mastered the tasks in that post, because even the “Water Purification Specialist” in the Army has to show proficiency in those tasks.

Most of you want to pick and choose what you want to learn, and what you want to avoid, and that doesn’t cut it if you are serious about surviving a combat scenario. This is what I said in the post, “If you can’t show proficiency in the common tasks of First Aid, Commo,  Land Nav, Movement as a Buddy Team and in a patrol, and be proficient and accurate in the use of your primary weapon, when even a Dental Hygienist in the Army has to do it every year, how do you plan on functioning in an ‘Infantry’ type role?”. Remember that? Probably not huh?

Something else of note that was “made clear” in one of the comments on the last post was that we apparently don’t explain terminology well enough. The terms in question were “Offensive” (you are taking the fight to the bad guys) and “Defensive” (you are defending what you already have secured against the bad guys) in the context of operations. My response was thus, “You make out like we treat you like you are stupid, then get pissed when I don’t explain simple terms like “Defensive” and “Offensive”. Make up my mind, are you guys a bunch of illiterate, dull eyed retards, or are you rational, generally above median, adults (like I believe you are)?”.

This type of juvenile criticism is one of the reasons many of you get grief from people that are knowledgeable and experienced in the craft you wish to learn. So here’s the deal,  if it is a term that is specific to the subject I am writing about, and not in common use, I will explain and define it. If it’s something simple like the two terms above, I expect you to look it up via google, a dictionary, or any of the following Field Manuals: FM 7-8, FM 21-75, ST 21-75-2 (presently the SH 21-76), or the ST 21-75-3.

What follows is the thoughts of the same four Combat Arms Vets who contributed to the first post. They all have a unique perspective, but you will notice, once again, a recurring theme. After the last contribution is complete, I will give some thoughts in closing.

Read the rest, here.

Mason Dixon Tactical


Last week a group of four Combat Arms Veterans contributed to a post I wrote concerning the premise that, “on a good day, a civilian that has taken 3 or 4 SUT type classes from a Tactical Trainer won’t even be at the experienced Infantry PFC level”. Although the majority of the comments, both here on WRSA,  and in email were positive, even though there were still those who are still unwilling to mesh reality with their delusions of grandeur, concerning their level of training, and it’s comparison to that of the experienced Infantry PFC.

I have mentioned a number of times (these highlighted links are just a few examples) a variation of this theme, “You are not a Commando/Infantry, but you do not need to be.”. I actually had a guy say, “YES! and if you had just said it this way from the beginning then you might…

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Lies About, “Knife Fighting” Your Mother Never Told You….


First, before we get into the post as written by ‘Marc MacYoung’, which I very much agree with on the whole; the man makes a lot of sense, I am an admitted ‘student of the knife’ when it comes to capabilities and techniques.  Out of all the years I’ve studied one system or another, technique upon technique, I’ve learned a few good things:  A:  Knife duels (what most consider a ‘knife fight’) are rarer than hen’s teeth.  B:  People who say they prefer to get into a fight with a knife wielding opponent are either 1 – consummate bullshiters or 2 – in possession of a ‘less than sane’ death wish.  C:  All the knives in the world and all the ‘knife training’ in the world will not prepare you for a knife attack.  Read the article.  Knife attacks are more precisely defined as ‘assassination attempts’.  Also, pay particular attention to what the writer says about ‘self-defense’.  You have to know when to stop….many don’t.

The only place where the knife fighting fantasy exists is in the martial arts. There is no such thing in the modern civilized world. In legal terms it is attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon or homicide. To the streetfighterit is assassination, not a “fight” at all. To the criminal it is a tool for robbery  Everyone else considers it abhorrent macho stupidity. 


Knife fighting lies

On this page:
Lie #1You’re going to have time to draw your own weapon | Lie #2 It’s going to be a knife “fight” | Lie #3 But what if I’m cornered?” | Lie #4 He’s going to attack you a specific  way | Lie# 5 And then he is going to passively stand there while you carve him | Lie #6 Trapping and stripping | Lie #7 Bio-mechanical cutting | Lie #8 Knowing how to stickfight means you know how to knife fight | Lie #9 Knowing kali makes you a knife fighter | Lie #10 Grappling with a knife | Lie #11 The knife is an extension of your hand | Lie #12 There is such a thing as a “master knife fighter” | Lie #13 That this is a “fight” at all | Lie #14 Expect to get cut | Lie #15 The FMA are the ultimate knife fighting systems | Lie #16 It’s easy to disarm an armed opponent | Lie #17 You can successfully fight an armed attacker | Lie #18 Drills teach you how to knife fight | Lie #19 You can use a knife on another human being without legal repercussions

There are many so-called “experts” who claim to be able to teach you either knife fighting or defense against a knife. The problem is that most of them are just teaching regurgitated martial arts, usually from the Philippines. While I have lots of respect for the martial arts of other lands, the truth is that you live where you do. Odds are you are not in a “knife culture.” And that means that whatever you do regarding knives must:

A) Work to keep you alive against how you are likely to be attacked by a knife in your homeland
B) If it does work, not put you in prison for murder or manslaughter

While B is important, it only becomes an issue if you survive A. Unfortunately, based on a lot of what I have been seeing taught with my own eyes or encountered while working with the students of these self-proclaimed “knife experts” getting past A is going to be a whole lot tougher than you think. Quite simply, most knife assaults are assassination attempts…how they occur is significantly different than how one “knife fights.” While I express my opinions on other knife instructors elsewhere, what this page is for is to help you avoid some of the more common pitfalls with what is being taught out there.

Oh yeah, one more thing, always remember…it’s your ass on the line out there, so don’t let *anybody* tell you that you don’t have the right to ask about these things or think for yourself.

Read the rest, here, then let’s have a good discussion on the subject.

What Passes for Defense Against Rape in Finland and the US DoD…

"Gun Fu" - Out Performs Any Other Method of Rape Defense

                                             “Gun Fu” – Out Performs Any Other Method of Rape Defense

Un. Be. Liev. Able.  Full article, here.  Apparently, the good-old, tried and true, guaranteed to get the rapist to piss himself method of pulling a pistol by a well-trained and CPL possessing woman is out of vogue.  Well, as we’re not ‘slaves to fashion’ here, we’ll stick with teaching the old, more effective ways.  Just sayin’.

A couple excerpts:

“One of the biggest viral stories on social media last week was a laughably idiotic Finnish “how to” video that ostensibly demonstrates the proper way for women to defend themselves against rapists. The video, produced by state-run broadcaster Yle, reveals the top three police-certified methods that women should use against an attacker: “No,” “Push,” and “Handbag.””


“In June 2012, Capt. Yolanda Y. Reagans became DEOMI’s first black female commandant. And in January 2013, DEOMI debuted an instructional video that has to be seen to be believed. Titled “Bystander Intervention Training,” the video introduced Americans to the nine points of “nonviolent action” that can stop a murderer or rapist cold in his tracks. Forget guns. Forget knives. Forget karate, pepper spray, or even Finnish handbags. These nine government-approved courses of action are all anyone needs (or should be allowed to use) in response to a rape or murder in progress.

The video opens with a startlingly brutal cartoon re-creation of the murder of Catherine “Kitty” Genovese, the 28-year-old woman whose rape and murder in a Queens neighborhood in 1964 sparked national soul-searching after it was reported that neighbors ignored her cries for help. Genovese was stabbed repeatedly in the back by a stranger named Winston Moseley, who then raped her as she lay dying. Moseley was a serial killer and necrophiliac whose “thing” was to stab a woman and rape her as she bled out. Ideally, he’d try to climax at the moment his victim passed.

I’ll admit, initially I was baffled that a government-led agency, one commanded by a black Obama appointee, would choose to dramatize the Genovese murder. Genovese was white, Moseley was black, and the “cartoon” doesn’t hide that fact. In retrospect, I think I understand why the Genovese case was chosen, but I’ll get to that later.

After dramatizing the Genovese murder, the video presents the nine nonviolent actions that one should take if confronted by a rapist/murderer/necrophiliac like Moseley. Here are the nine points, verbatim. No, this is not satire:

(1) Name or Acknowledge the Offense
(2) Identify the Obvious
(3) Interrupt Behavior
(4) Publicly Support the Aggrieved Person
(5) Use Body Language
(6) Carefully Use Humor
(7) Encourage Dialogue
(8) Ease Strong Feelings
(9) Call for Help

The video’s narrator, a young “woman of color” who initially appears in civilian clothing only to morph into full uniform at the video’s end (damn, I should have said “spoiler alert”), explains that although “assault or rape” is the first thing that comes to mind when “bystander intervention” is involved, these strategies can also be used to combat “harassment, hazing, or discrimination in its infancy.” As ludicrous as the Finnish video is, this one is a hundred bad miles of worse. “Humor”? “Body language”? “Dialogue”? “Easing strong feelings”? In the face of an attack by someone like Winston Moseley? At least the Finnish video allows the victim to touch the prospective rapist. The Department of Defense video prohibits any physical contact. Because of course any serial-killing necrophiliac rapist will respond well to “humor.” I’m surprised the video didn’t come with an accompanying book of jokes to help break the ice.”



Where Should You Train?

You might be expecting a long justification that you should train here, at DTG.  Well, before going any further, you must understand that DTG means this:  We don’t care where you train.  Truly.

Train here, train elsewhere, so long as you are satisfied with the training you receive and you are getting yourself ready to protect your, ‘precious cargo.’

It is entirely your choice and decision because you will pay the consequences or enjoy the rewards when you fail to meet or meet and overcome, the life threatening challenges the crisis many believe is coming in the foreseeable future will present  What’s more, DTG supports your decision whether you engage us to train you or not.

One might ask, ‘where do these guys get this mindset?’

Simply, from our study of various martial arts spanning a good length of time.

Oral tradition states that Dojos of old sometimes hung a rather esoteric sign outside that passersby could clearly see before they entered. This sign was not hung at ‘money belt’ or ‘faint hearted’ schools whose primary objective was increasing revenue.  It was hung only outside of Dojos where the training was very demanding physically, intellectually, and required the utmost dedication from attendees. The student had the responsibility to earn the knowledge he would gain through dedicated training.  The sign contained no words. In place of words, it simply depicted three symbols: a sickle (Kama), a rice bowl (wan) and the phonetic symbol for the sound “nu” as you can see from the image above.



These symbols form the phrase, “Kamawanu.” While there is no direct translation, the phrase is interpreted variously as “It doesn’t matter” and “I (we) don’t care.” Martial arts oral tradition has a more figurative interpretation: When displayed outside a hard-core Dojo, the phrase, “Kamawanu,” was to be interpreted as:

“We don’t care if you enter or not, we don’t care if you challenge us or not.”

Entry and challenge of the students at such a dojo, let alone challenging the ‘master,’ could be a life altering exercise, to say the least! An even more modern interpretation that might fit any school that is concerned with imparting the skills necessary to stay alive could be:

“We don’t care whether you train or not.”

Interpreted in this manner, Kamawanu can be used to issue a challenge to the reader as a means of motivating self-improvement in knowledge and skills and thereby rising above the level one is at, where ever that may be.   It also means that your existence is your responsibility.  There is no free lunch, as the old axiom admonishes all of us.  To accept a challenge such as this, the person must have the inner strength and confidence to willingly and without reservation negotiate the hardships that are inherent in learning the skills we, and other schools offer physically, mentally, emotionally, and philosophically.



If you accept that challenge and learn to meet the requirements, you may culminate your training by achieving a mindset where you no longer care if you’re challenged or not because you know you can meet whatever comes your way so long as you breathe.




Scenario Planning: Concealing Heavy Duty Body Armor And Sidearms

JC provides some great considerations for when it’s not a full-blown SHTF scenario.  What he presents below is a good reason for when to use varying types of body armor, and how to wear it.

Mason Dixon Tactical

Last week we talked about whether a long gun was appropriate to carry, and which ones are somewhat concealable. This time we’ll talk about methods I’ve used to conceal a handgun. We’ll also review what heavy duty (rifle plates) body armor and long gun ammo rigs can be concealed, and how to do it. Concealing your gear and weapons in the “In between” time period of bad times could mean the difference between life and death. At a minimum, being seen wearing heavy duty body armor will probably bring unwanted questioning by those in authority, so concealment is the way to go if at all possible.

100_0245 Level 3A soft body armor. A full size pistol (Beretta M9) in a paddle holster (two mag pouch on off side). The pancake is one of the best external belt holsters for concealing a pistol, especially a full sized one.

100_0246 Side view pancake holster

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File Under Training Validation

Two Couples Ambushed By Group Of Men While Walking Down Detroit Street, Stripped Of Clothes And Sexually Assaulted


DETROIT (WWJ) – The hunt is on for a group of men in Detroit who allegedly attacked two couples while they were walking down the street, forcing the male victim to watch as his female companion is gang raped.

The first incident unfolded around 11:30 p.m. Thursday in a well-lit area near McNichols Road and Birwood Street. The alleged attack happened in a northwest neighborhood just blocks away from Marygrove College.

Read the rest, here.

Need combatives training?  Just in case you want to, “Finish It Now”?  We can help.

Many Thanks!


To the folks who’ve come to DTG for private training and scheduled classes for their folks, THANK YOU!  We truly enjoy the opportunity to meet new folks and bring them into the world of Neighborhood Protection Team planning and training!  From TC3, Land Nav, and NPT AO Basic Security, you’ve kept us busy and we appreciate it.  So much so that we’ve had little time for ‘open enrollment’ classes this year!  We are humbled and awed at the same time.

For those who might be thinking of coordinating some training with DTG, please send a note to ‘’ and describe the type of training you’re after.  If we’re not able to provide it due to schedule or area of expertise, we’ll gladly refer you to those we believe can do so!

Some of the training we can provide:

  • Home Preparedness Assessments & What to Do
  • Introduction to Neighborhood Protection Planning & Individual Skills
  • Neighborhood Protection Planning – Advanced
  • NPTDOC (NPT Defense Operations Center) Set Up
  • Effective NPT Leadership
  • Land Navigation
  • NPT Security Patrolling
  • Basic Rifle Marksmanship
  • FIN (Finish It Now) Combatives
  • NPT Night Operations Fundamentals
  • Primitive Skills Adaptation (Survival) – Basic, Intermediate, Advanced

If you’ve been thinking about it, please get us a note in the next few weeks; our calendar is filling up quickly, and we’d like to help you become more self-sufficient in the event a grid down situation occurs.