I’m always looking to improve my grappling. I do my Jiu Jitsu and get together with training partners and integrate grappling with weapons whenever I can. However, it’s very difficult to find instructional media that deals with grappling in a weapons based environment. Justin White of Mad Science Defense has a series of DVDs about this topic.
In case you don’t have time to read this: I recommend this DVD.
Chapters and Topics:
- Introduction – An explanation of why we might need to deal with a standing contact range fight with weapons.
- Dummy Guns
- Weapons Access- Discussion of accessing a weapon while in an entangled fight. Discussion of a universal draw stroke.
- Posture/Angle/Level- A solid discussion of the fundamental requirements to have sharp grappling.
- Clinch from Strikes – Achieving the clinch from a Cover and Crash or off of a striking blast.
- Clinch from Grabs – Front, side, and back
- Offside Underhook – Options for when your weak arm has an underhook
- Strongside Underhook – Options for when your strong arm has an underhook
- Overhook – Options for when you can’t achieve an underhook.
- Skill Development – Drills to work at home. 1-2-3 dominance drill, slo-mo drill
- Choosing Dummy Weapons
- Using a Training Dummy
- Striking With a Handgun
- Scenario Training
Things I loved:
Expert grappling instruction. It is obvious that Mr. White is a talented grappler and instructor. His teaching progression is logical and starts with the fundamentals of posture, angle, and level and he then introduces techniques that will allow you to close distance and achieve a clinch. He progresses from a solid clinch (underhook and far-side wrist control) to either a tie up, or taking the back of your opponent. He finishes the progression with accessing weapons from these dominant positions.
His details cleared up a few sticking points I have been having while standing. I’ll be taking them to our training group. His emphasis on doing the work was much appreciated. He urged the viewer to seek training and emphasized that this stuff won’t just happen if you don’t practice it. He even gives some exercises to work with a partner to get better at this stuff at home.
I don’t envy anyone who has to try to cram a topic as dense as standing weapon-based grappling into an hour presentation. There just isn’t enough time to mention all the details. For the person who hasn’t seen this material before, I would have loved to see a brief discussion on why the clinch is such a viable fighting platform for an extreme close range problem. Why we don’t want to get in a speed draw contest with our opponent at close range. Mentioning the importance of monitoring hands while in a clinch to prevent the other guy from getting his weapons, as well as a discussion of why underhooks are such a dominant position just in case the viewer doesn’t glean that from the instruction. But of course I understand why it was omitted, those ideas were inferred in the material and we only had an hour.
The other gripe I have is in one of his tie-up positions from an overhook. He advocates shooting from this position while pointing his gun at himself (43:00 of video). I know (from simunition experience) that it’s easy to shoot yourself if you’re not super careful about your muzzle-target line. I talked with Mr. White about this and he recognized that it was a bit of an oversight. This was the only flub like this I noticed.
This DVD would be a solid buy whether you have experience grappling or not. If you have trained with any of the Shivworks collective, this will be a good reminder of your options in the clinch. If you haven’t, you’ll get an idea of what this topic is about. I hope I get to train with Justin one day, as he has a lot to teach. I need to pick up his ground fighting DVD next. Recommended.
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