Today I received a package from Cecil Burch of Immediate Action Combatives. Cecil sent me both of his PDN produced DVDs. I’ll briefly talk about Cecil’s training pedigree, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) as a superior combative system on the ground, then about the material contained in the DVD.
Cecil has been training in BJJ since 1994 under Megaton Dias. He is a black belt and has extensive competition experience and success. You can read his full bio on his website. I only mention it to let you know he is a subject matter expert when it comes to grappling. He also is one of the major innovators when it comes to the integration of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu into a weapons based environment. BJJ is tremendous for self defense against a single unarmed opponent. More importantly, as Cecil and his colleagues teach and demonstrate, it is probably the best delivery system for denying your opponent access (and enabling your access) to weapons while grounded. It just takes a critical eye, some adaptations, and pressure testing techniques to see what works.
The DVD has the usual excellent production value you’d expect from PDN, with the DVD broken down into chapters with summary notes at the end of each. If you get this DVD, have a buddy (or understanding spouse) with whom you can practice. You’ll NEVER own the material unless you get down on the ground and do the work. Most gun people are resistant to the idea and “carry this gun so I don’t have to wrestle”. The reality is rarely that tidy. You might end up rolling around in the mud, piss, and broken beer bottles in an alley over a knife. Having at least a modicum of ground skill is crucial for all gun owners (everyone really). Even better would be joining a local BJJ school and putting in the work. I digress… the DVD…
- Hierarchy of Intent
- Conceptual Escape Formula
- Survival Posture Unarmed (and against a weapon)
- Hip Bridge
- Hip Escape
- Complete the Escape
- Guard Fundamentals
- Getting to the feet
- VS a standing attacker, when grounded
What makes Cecil a great teacher is his ability to distill two decades of knowledge into an easily digestible ‘essentials’ list that he can fit into a weekend seminar for NON-GRAPPLERS! This video is even more condensed at only about an hour. The Hierarchy of Intent and Escape Formula give a bird’s eye view of ‘the fight’ on the ground. It’s about as old school Jiu Jitsu as you can get, but it’s totally applicable to a weapons based environment.
Cecil has told me that he approaches his teaching to start from a worst case. The reason being that if you can dig yourself out of the deepest hole, everything else is easy. So the instruction starts from the assumption that you have been knocked to the ground, possibly by a sucker punch, and goes from there. The Survival Posture denies even a relatively skilled grappler immediate access to submissions against you, and therefor works well against an untrained person.
Once you’ve survived the initial assault, you need to be able to move while there’s someone on top of you to make enough room to put more of your body between yourself and them. Enter the Hip Bridge and Hip Escape. This gives you a vertical and horizontal escape route to reorient and gain a more favorable position. Once you’ve done this, you can finalize your escape from the bottom and escape or fight as needed.
Cecil then goes over Guard basics. Both closed guard and long range open guard. He then covers getting up.
That’s a lot of stuff to go over in an hour. However, I really think that even an unskilled grappler using this material, and practicing with a partner regularly, can get a functional understanding of these positions and will have a better chance.
I would recommend this DVD to any ‘gun guy/gal’ who recognizes the need for basic ground fighting survival skills.
Next Up: I’ll review his “Surviving the Knockout Game” DVD.