Talk:Combatives

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Martial art[edit]

Does anyone else find this tag of this article as "start-class martial arts" offensive? Rorybowman 09:08, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Not really. I find that despite the phrase's origin's (ie. a military art; essentially anything used by the military in a skillful manner to kill people) most people only view martial arts as pertaining to Asian fighting styles. Technically, sniping, demolitions, etc are modern martial arts. At any rate, even using the modern, skewed connotation, it still fits the bill of a martial art. Combatives is certainly a manual combat technique, with weapons techniques. Even going back to the old Combatives FM, I'd still call it a martial art. The football kick or the sentry takedowns are certainly Western and American, as opposed to Asian, but I'd be hard pressed to not call them martial arts. I do think that the Taijitu is fairly ridiculous to use as a symbol for all martial arts, as there are a significant number of martial arts without any direct connection to Chinese mysticism, though. EvilCouch 15:11, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
The voice of reason! My thin skin is salved, Mr Couch! Rorybowman 19:26, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm here to salve wounds and chew bubble-gum. And I'm all out of bubble-gum. EvilCouch 19:57, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
They live! Rorybowman 01:01, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Combatives vs "Hybrid martial arts"[edit]

While this term is used by the US army, I'm not sure it should be used on Wikipedia as a replacement or synonym of "hybrid martial arts" in general, as suggested by the current edit of the Mixed martial arts article which says:

"A mixed martial art is also sometimes used to describe a hybrid style of martial arts which incorporate techniques and theories from several different martial arts. These are covered in their separate article on Combatives."

Shawnc 03:37, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. There are many, many hybrid martial arts (such as Kajukenbo) which are not combatives, but shouldn't that edit be made at Mixed martial arts ? My rationale for edits to this article in December 2005 was to (1) acknowledge strong history of combatives as distinct from cultural or recreational "martial arts", (2) consolidate material that was technically imprecise under topics such as "hand-to-hand combat," "close quarter combat," etcetera and (3) make this article read less like a press release or brochure for civilian combatives instruction. The final paragraph used to be much less imprecise and NPOV so I tried to edit the tone down a bit and provide a quick perspective on the subject of civilian instruction. Should we perhaps add a new subsection on "Criticisms?" (Krav maga! It's the next Tae Bo!) My goal here is to provide enough factual information that the average person won't be taken in by self-serving, ahistorical charlatans who claim to be teaching the fighting secrets of the Green Barettes. For reference please see McDojo re bullshido. 8^) - Rorybowman 17:34, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Criticisms (notes toward a possible new subheading)[edit]

Combatives is frequently criticised for a number of reasons. Active soldiers or military personnel look down on civilian practitioners as poseurs or "wanna-bes" or complain that the modest techniques it introduces are inadequate for real-world battlefield conditions. Traditional martial artists may object to it for its acultural and amoral lack of any spiritual aspect for self-improvement. Other martial artists may object to the McDojo aspects of its macho marketing, perceived as "bullshido." Although a wide variety of people may have trained individual military units, usually these trainings are supplemental to standard military training, and this is not necessarily made clear to potential students, including commercial or law-enforcement agencies.

References for Criticism:

The criticisms section at the moment is very incomplete. If you are going to be NPOV, you need to point out that the most widespread criticism is that the whole thing is a complete waste of time, at best a morale-building exercise, and aruably a machismo exercise with no practical military value. I'm not saying I agree with that view, but it is very common even in the infantry; and in arguing about it, so far I have been unable to find even one verifiable example of unarmed/improvised weapon combat between soldiers on the battlefield in the last half century. The best I have found so far are references to ROKA units in the Vietnam War allegedly used garrottes and tae kwon do or teuk gong moo sool. However all claims of them actually doing so in combat (as against merely training in it, or talking about it) trace back to a single report by British journalist Tim Page. And reading between the lines, that event actually sounds more like a prisoner execution. --144.138.137.41 01:02, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Matt Larsen has documented several hundred actual hand-to-hand combat engagments. Here is one that was published in the Army Times: http://www.armytimes.com/legacy/new/0-ARMYPAPER-2329490.php —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.198.251.224 (talk) 17:03, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Seems to me the criticisms (and probably the entire article) are written by people without any experience in Combatives. I'm sure there are plenty of references to close-in fighting, for instance this is in the news recently: 3rd paragraph states "An occupant of one of the cars attacked Dunham and the two fought hand to hand." source:Marine to receive Medal of Honor for Iraq heroism Perhaps people interested in writing a balanced article and/or criticisms would be wise to do some actual research? 60.234.225.235 21:01, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Combatives outside the US?[edit]

Doesn't combatives also describe hybrid fighting system that is used anywhere in military application? (While not associating them with martial arts). In the hybrid martial arts stub, it says that combatives is associated with the US military, but couldn't it be associated with any country? ---Marcus- 12:09, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Correct. There is a bit of a political issue around nomenclature between and among US military personnel, with the USMC preferring the term "close combat" to the Army's term "combatives" but essentially they are the same. I'd have to check an Oxford English Dictionary to find when exactly the word "combatives" was coined, but suspect (based on the titles of field manuals) that it was a United States Army neologism from within the last fifty years. Since it is a single word unlikely to be confused with similar terms (such as "close quarters battle") and the US Army is much larger than the Marine Corps, there are various reasons it has become more popular. Until the recent increase in civilian instructors offering self-defense training with weapons, the word was almost never used outside of the US Army infantry. For various grammatical reasons it is also a better general term in English, which would lead to quicker adoption outside of its initial technical sphere (the US Army). The previous most common phrase was "hand-to-hand combat" or simply "hand-to-hand" but with the increased popularity of martial arts as a hobby pursuit, this is more ambiguous as a technical term, so falling into disuse. Rorybowman 17:37, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I merged this into close combat, as the word is almost synonymous, and had MANY more google hits. Please place future comments @ Talk:Close combat. Sam Spade 12:08, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

The word "heart" has more hits than "right ventricle," but for technical terms, the "google test" may not always be best. Rorybowman 15:07, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Separate article for US Army Combatives?[edit]

Rorybowman 23:58, 5 June 2006 (UTC): It seems moderately important to both keep Wikipedia global and also treat the contributions of folks such as SFC Larsen seriously. In the interests of letting it become more detailed, should the current modern training section be hived off into its own article, either something such as Combatives (United States Army) or a general article on the US Army Combatives Center. There is a category for TRADOC that this should probably slip into...

  • I don't think that the modern training section needs to be forked off; it's a pertinent part of the term Combatives. I do like the idea of starting a page that's specifically for the Combatives School, though. EvilCouch 10:32, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
  • I trimmed down the Modern Training section to let the article flow better. I think it looks better that way, but if anyone disagrees, we can always revert it. EvilCouch 19:14, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Civilian Instructors[edit]

It seems the curse of Wikipedia to have only vaguely-related people want to post a link to their pet project, and this seems to be happening to the "Civilian Instructors" section. I'm thinking it should be hived off so it doesn't end up being a miscellaneous collection of links by the self-aggrandizing. Comments and feedback? I won't be doing anything until the end of July 2006. Rorybowman 02:35, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree. The civilian instructors section is bloated with a lot of people that are unknown outside of their region. I'm sure most of them are decent teachers, but this is an online encyclopedia, not the yellow pages. I fully agree that the section should be trimmed back, if not eliminated altogether. EvilCouch 07:42, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
    • I went through and cleaned it up. I'm still skeptical about some of the links in the section, but they have wikipages and are therefore have at least the perception of being valid, so I won't mess with them. EvilCouch 02:06, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Serious Revision[edit]

There are some major flaws in this article, which need to be addressed:

1) The term "combatives", though appropriated by the US Army in recent times, does in fact predate the Army's usage by at least 20 years, and has been used in several different forms ("Unarmed Combatives", "Close Combatives", etc.). It was not "first used by the US Army". Whether or not that sentence is meant to give that impression, it does.

2) "Regulated in the United States much as private tutors, health clubs, private gun shops or private security agencies, some combatives systems are expanding into other markets and niches worldwide."

This sentence makes absolutely no sense. There is no regulation of martial arts, combatives, "combat sports", or anything of the sort in the United States (excepting boxing and other forms of combat competition, i.e. boxing licenses). This sentence also implies that the concept of simplified unarmed combat has originated in the United States and is now spreading around the world, which is patently absurd.

3) The entire "criticisms" paragraph should probably be eliminated, or else seriously reworked. It reads like a condensed version of several different long-running arguments within the martial arts community. It is not clear exactly what criticisms are being levelled at those training in "combatives", versus which are being levelled by practicioners of "combatives", versus which are criticisms which have no bearing on "combatives".

I did read the section of this talk page regarding the "criticisms" section. Many of the criticisms being cited, are the individual opinions of a few select individuals. This "criticisms" entry, if it is going to be applicable to a very broad audience, should not consist of the opinions of a very few persons, written up in such a way as to sound all-encompassing.

Roundeyesamurai 11:32, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Do you have a reference for (1) above? Perhaps change the wording to "popularized by the US Army? If you swing back through the history of the article, you may appreciate that the section on civilian instructors was obliquely making exactly the points you do, mostly as a caveat about various "reality-based training" scamsters: private instructors in the US are almost completely unregulated, but take inflated claims overseas as well as to the suburbs, which is largely the reason for the "criticisms" section. These criticisms (3) contain many voiced within the Ebudo discussion [1] which SFC Larsen himself weighed in on. A review of the history of this article shows it is a major challenge to various self-aggrandizing claims by Krav Maga types, et al, and these sections are innoculation against future such claims. Rorybowman 08:54, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Small Edit[edit]

I removed "aikijutsu" as one of the "Samurai" martial arts, because "aikijutsu" is principally a 20th-century term and distinction. Roundeyesamurai 00:59, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

US Army vs USMC, Civilians vs Military, WWII Combatives vs Modern, etc[edit]

I have reverted a few anonymous edits which risk sleighting the USMC (who were doing more serious bayonet/knife training in basic than the US Army for many years) and one which glossed over the entire issue of civilian instructors and criticisms. I think these are important to avoid provincialism of various types and particularly to honor the peculiarly military nature of this subject. Without appreciating the commercial environment where civilians with no substantive military credentials try to portray themselves as Israeli SAS Ninja Commandos in the world market is naive, and these sections address that in about an NPOV manner as I can imagine. Checking the history of this article it was originally almost entirely a commercial for such opportunists, which is one of the reasons I feel it is worth keeping these sections. Perhaps another option is to create separate articles for "Combatives (Military)" and "Combatives (Civilian)" but that seems a bit much. Given that there are some "reality based self-defense" (RBSD) folks who call their offerings "combatives" it seems best to me to keep these sections here and let the article honor the strong history of the discipline across nations and different branches of the military over time, while still allowing for the RBSD folks who use the term to be acknowledged. Rorybowman 09:05, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

  • “ who were doing more serious bayonet/knife training in basic than the US Army for many years” Do you have any facts or dates of events to back up this statement, publication of manuals, establishment of Combatives schools or instructor MOSs, comparative POI for basic training or boot camp?

I believe it is inaccurate to claim that their was any more combatives training going on in the Marines than in the Army in the era prior to the advent of the LINEs system in 1988. In fact both the Army and the Marines had basically given up on teaching their Soldiers and Marines anything useful until the advent of the modern systems and their immediate predecessors, there were none of the items listed above in either service. In is in no way disrespectful of the Marine Corps to say that it was no better than the Army in this regard and in fact is disrespectful to the Army to falsely claim they were doing any worse than the Corps.

Also, perhaps we are in need of defining what exactly Combatives is. Is it, for example anything which calls itself combatives, which would mean that every system doing so is combatives whether or not there is any connection whatsoever to any military organization, if so my six year old sons combatives system is as relevant as Fairbairn’s. Or is connection to the training of military units what defines combatives systems. In which case the strength of those connections and the manor in which they are made should be classified. CallMeBruce 02:05, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Bruce, for the reply. Much of my own experience of Marines with some bayonet training is from the late 1980's through mid-90's, anecdotal and perhaps due directly to the LINE system, but LINE preceded MAC by over a decade and this seems to me indicative. If there is documentary evidence to support this, I would defer to that over my own anecdotal stuff but I've heard the phrase "pith him like a rat" from more Marines to think it coincidence. If you have knowledge of internal docs to clarify the post-WWII resurgence of close combat as linked to LINE, I think a change in wording with a reference would be great.
The issue of what is "combatives" is of course a much broader one, but for this article is pretty clearly on non-sport "martial art" systems which tend to claim some sort of military provenance and use the word. Their linkspam constantly shows up here, which is why I've tried to emphasize the general military history of H2H across the centuries and specific details where the document trail is crystal clear. Usually these "Israeli SAS ninja commandos" are pretty obvious in their marketing, and I wouldn't want to shut out police or corrections or civilian SME's who have made honest contributions to military or paramilitary (police) H2H or combatives training in the narrowest sense. If your six-year-old does start making such claims with linkspam, I absolutely think those should be addressed here! Thanks for your input. - Rorybowman 17:28, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Comparable to Krav Maga?[edit]

Is it worth mentioning whether or not this is comparable to Krav Maga? It's a well known Martial Art, and the philosophy seems to be the same - very direct, quick action designed to remove threats.--Dante (talk) 04:59, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Currently addressed in paragraph "Other combatives systems having their origins in the modern military include Chinese San Shou, Soviet Bojewoje(Combat) Sambo (martial art), Israeli Krav Maga and Modern Army Combatives."

Minor Edit[edit]

I've removed the reference to gunpowder emerging in the Napoleonic Wars - was in full scale use by the Thirty Years War. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cooperfremantle (talkcontribs) 13:14, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Biased[edit]

I feel that this is heavily biased and desperate to make the MACP this extremely effective style with no real basis. It's even being revised according to various documents I've read up on (I was in the Army for 10 years and I'm level 2 Certified in Combatives). It also seems to try way too hard to make Matt Larsen out to be some combat-hardened war veteran when after actually checking out his resume, he's extremely limited...if experienced at all! Unless there's something I don't know about that even he won't admit? Why are so many people just desperate to act like MACP and Larsen are these GIANTS among lesser beings in military hand to hand when both have been heavily criticized, Larsen isn't being hired anymore and MACP got drastically revised after experience proved a lot of the instructions flawed? Isn't Wikipedia supposed to be unbiased and professional about information? No name74331 (talk) 05:09, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

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