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Friday, January 29, 2016

WORLD WAR 2 COMBATIVES

The ninja were for all intent and pruposes were the special forces operatives of their day and I have always been interested in the special forces operatives of our day and their history, particularly in close quarter combat (CQC) and World War II Combatives such as William E Fairbain's Defendu and many others.

Growing up I had always heard people say don’t ever mess with a WW2 combat veteran they will kill ya. I remember my mother’s cousin who was a WW2 vet, one day at a family reunion his three sons who were grown men at the time got upset with their dad and decided that they were going to teach him a lesson in front of the entire family. Well that didn’t quite work out the way they had planned. My mother’s cousin made pretty easy work out of kicking all three of his sons’ asses.

I was a boy at the time but I remember that when his sons jumped him from behind he made short work of them. I am thinking now years later that his sons were lucky that he did nt really hurt them I am sure he could have.

 WWII Combatives relied on speed, surprise, and overwhelming violence.  They were not teaching recruits in World War II how to arrest people.  They were not teaching chokes so the enemy could wake up later. It was all about war and killing. Quite simply it was KILL OR BE KILLED!

World War II combatives are close quarters combat techniques which include hand-to-hand close quarter combat methods, advanced firearm point shooting methods, and weapons techniques like the knife, the bayonet and improvised weapons. I mean talk about being able to defend yourself and fight like Jason Bourne!!!! This combat method was taught to allied special forces in World War II by such famous instructors as Rex Applegate, William E. Fairbairn and Dermot (Pat) O’neil.

W.E. Fairbairn taught unarmed combat to the famed British Commandos and the U.S. armed forces during World War II.  Fairbairn was recruited to train the British commandos in his combat method. During this period, he expanded his method into the 'Silent Killing Close Quarters Combat method' for military application. Fairbairn who was a 2nd degree black belt in Judo and trained in boxing  and other martial arts contributed more to the knowledge base of how to kill the enemy in close quarters than perhaps anyone else to this day.

W.E. Fairbairn, the father of close quarter combatives,  established his own method called Defendu (Fairbairn Fighting Systems) with Eric A. Sykes. Defendu was based on Fairbairn’s training in Kodokan Judo, and other fighting styles; and was designed to be highly effective.

In 1941 Rex Applegate was recruited by Wild Bill Donovan for the OSS, specifically to build and run what was called "The School for Spies and Assassins", the location of which is now Camp David. Donovan had Applegate learn all that he could about armed and unarmed fighting from William E. Fairbairn to form a brutal and effective system.
U.S. Army officers Rex Applegate and Anthony Biddle were taught Fairbairn's methods at a training facility in Scotland, and adopted the program for the training of OSS operatives at a newly opened camp near Lake Ontario in Canada. During the war, training was provided to British Commandos, the Devil's Brigade, OSS, U.S. Army Rangers and Marine Raiders.

Applegate was the close-combat coordinator for all clandestine missions and this role brought him into contact with other fighters and martial artists of the time period such as a Finnish soldier who killed 21 Russians with a knife and the founder of the British SAS: David Stirling. At one point during the war, Applegate served as the personal bodyguard to President Franklin D Roosevelt.

Dermot O’Neill  was a devoted practitioner of Japanese judo a fith degree black belt awarded by the kodokan while living and working in Japan. He was also considered by many to be the protégé of William E.  Fairbairn.

O’Neill came to the United States at the behest and recommendation of WE Fairbairn who was at this time involved with the OSS. O’Neill was slated to work for the OSS, but was sent instead to serve as an instructor with the First Special Service Force, a joint Canadian-US commando unit known as the “Devil’s Brigade.” When the 1st SSF was sent into action, O’Neill refused to stay behind and declared that since he trained these boys he would damn well fight beside them.

After the war O’Neill served as a consultant on police and security for various Federal agencies, including the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency. In the mid-1960s O’Neill located in the Washington, DC area and began work with the International Police Academy there. This organization was funded by the Agency for International Development and was a cover for para-military operations and training run by the CIA.

O’Neill was considered a very tough man in his day and had a reputation for not backing down from anyone. His skill in judo was highly praised even at the kodokan.  The methods of hand-to-hand combat he devised and taught were greatly effective and such was proven in actual battle numerous times. O’Neill greatly influenced military close quarter combat for the United States Army, the United States Army Military Police Corps and the United States Marine Corps.

WW2 would be the pinnacle of close quarters battle, hand to hand, knife and bayonet it all would gell during this time. Designated as the 1st Special Service Force, the Devil's Brigade was a joint World War II American-Canadian commando unit trained at Fort Harrison near Helena, Montana in the United States. Many modern American and Canadian Special Forces units trace their heritage to this unit. For the movie of the same name, see The Devil's Brigade.

Members of this unit received rigorous and intensive training in stealth tactics; hand-to-hand combat; knife, the use of explosives for demolition; parachuting; amphibious warfare; rock-climbing and mountain warfare. From the outset, the 1st Special Service Force was armed with a variety of non-standard or limited-issue weapons, such as the M1941 Johnson machine gun. The Johnson  LMG in particular helped greatly increase the firepower of the unit and was highly regarded by those who used it in combat and a fighting knife made exclusively for the Force called the V-42 combat knife.

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In japan the Japanese military were doing the same with a special forces group of their own at the “Nakano school”  and were  coming to the exact same conclusions with close quarter combat  as Fairbairn, Sykes, Applegate,and O'Neill had. Hit hard, fast, hit the vulnerable areas, kill. NO BULLSHIT. Get IN and get the JOB DONE as quickly and brutally as possible.  

The Japanese military did employ a "knife" design as a combat knife as well as the traditional so-called "Tanto" design. The term TANTO merely describes a "hand sword" NOT particularly a "design" TANTO-JUTSU can refer to ANY knife. The tanto design that is familiar to most of us is actually called a "kogatana".  As I understand it Tanto-jutsu/Kaiken-jutsu usually means "knife fighting technique". TANKEN-JUTSU refers to the use of the BAYONET as a knife. This is taught as part of the JUKEN-JUTSU (bayonet fighting) syllabus.

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