Military self defense techniques to defend against an armed attack

Techniques de self défense militaire pour se défendre d'une attaque armée - PhilTeam

A former US Special Forces soldier added his military training to his background in karate, judo, taekwondo and jujitsu and offered sage advice on weapon defense.

The flight attendant probably felt uncomfortable watching the tense passenger walk down the aisle. The next thing she knew, a hand covered her mouth and a box cutter slit her throat, spilling blood on the floor and turning most of the horrified passengers into easily controlled victims. As her life drained from her body and she collapsed on the mat on September 11, 2001, our whole approach to teaching self-defense in this country changed.

No one knows exactly what happened during those fateful robberies, but the terrorists reportedly used a combination of graphic intimidation and everyday weapons to gain control. The result, however, was clear then and it is even more evident now: all Americans have a pressing need to learn how to deal mentally and physically with armed attackers.

"Before 9/11, we mainly taught students to guard against bullies, rapists, and muggers," says Don Bendell, a martial arts veteran based in Canon City, Colorado. “Now we have to prepare our students to defend themselves against enemies who are often invisible until it is time to strike. They don't want our wallets. They want to strike terror into our hearts, take away our way of life and steal our souls.


Want to develop your knife fighting skills? Discover our training program, and receive your training knife as a gift.

Perceptual issues

Don Bendell began learning disarmament techniques in the 1960s when he started the judo and the jujitsu to supplement the hand-to-hand combat training he had received at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The following year, he was forced to put those skills to the test when his special forces unit was deployed to Vietnam.

“Coming up against an attacker with a weapon is like sleeping with a grizzly bear: although it can be a unique experience, it is nevertheless a bit unsettling,” says Don Bendell. Then he turns somber: "I've been stabbed and shot and blown and gassed, and [I can say] there's no self-defense situation as scary as facing a gun attack ."

According to Bendell, the fear of an attack with a gun stems in large part from the images that Hollywood feeds us. Fist fights can be as realistic and brutal as the choreographer wants them to be, but they pale in comparison to images of metal penetrating human flesh.

"Punches and kicks in most movies don't make us think of death, but a knife blade or a bullet certainly does," he says.

When it comes to fending off an armed attacker, Don Bendell believes having information about the most effective tactics and possible outcomes is the best defense. “You can never have enough knowledge,” he says. “Knowledge is never dangerous, but unpreparedness, denial and naivety can be suicidal.

"If you're confronted by an armed assailant or a terrorist, it's possible to get out alive - if you know how to turn everyday objects into weapons of opportunity, if you keep a cool head, and if you decide you'll survive , whatever the odds. You have to use anything as a weapon to even the odds, and your attitude has to be one of victory, period."

Technical basis

After his stint in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969, Don Bendell returned to Fort Bragg and then served in three other Special Forces units. Thereafter, he began teaching taekwondo, judo, and jujitsu to civilians and the Fort Bragg Boxing Club. He now holds a seventh-degree black belt in taekwondo and in freestyle karate, and a sixth degree in judo and jujitsu .

This comprehensive traditional foundation allowed him to recognize effective ways to deal defensively with weapons and then improve upon them.

"Many jujitsu instructors focus on teaching what [works in] grappling competitions, but for me it's like teaching karate classes but only working on sparring - without kata , stepping or whatever," he said. "Arm locks, leg locks and chokes are just part of judo and jujitsu, but throws, sweeps, little joint locks and pressure points should not be ignored.

“Long before the creation of the Ultimate Fighting Championship , I preached that students must have striking discipline and fighting discipline to be effective in self-defense. But the techniques they learn are not as important as the number of hours practiced and the attitude that they will be the victor and not the victim."

Technical approach

When forced to defend against an armed attacker, Don Bendell prefers to stay fluid so he can switch between grabs and strikes. "I almost always stand with my feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, hands down and ready to move," he says.

"Against a single opponent with a weapon I will use jujitsu as my primary style, but against two or more I will adopt a modified forward stance and use kicks and punches from taekwondo or karate freestyle because you can't put a knuckle lock or choke on just one of the guys - or you'll get hit over the head by his partner."

Against a single armed attacker, jujitsu is the preferred response because of the control it allows. "If an attacker's adrenaline is rising and I kick him hard, many times it won't stop the attack," says Don Bendell.

"He's more than likely going to be like, 'Oh, you wanna fight dirty?' or 'Oh, the karate guy, huh?' Then it will continue the attack, running on pure adrenaline, which masks the pain and gives it extra strength."

With jujitsu, however, you can redirect his weapon or knife. "You practically take control of the situation and then eliminate the threat," he says.

Don Bendell insists that there is a absolute rule regarding jujitsu that many students overlook: you can't perform a technique without first creating a distraction. This is why those who have not studied the art cannot perform wrist locks or chokeholds on opponents who are resisting with all their might.

What unconscious martial artists must do first is distract him. He advises spitting in the bad guy's face, kicking him in the groin, or punching him in the back - anything that breaks his concentration and creates an opening.

"I could throw all the change in my pocket and my car keys in his face as hard as I could," Don Bendell says. use the rim of the soda can to hit his cheekbone, nose, back of his hand or any other vulnerable body part. Using anything as a weapon makes it a bit easier to defeat an attacker with a weapon.

All martial artists should do their best to avoid fighting, but if you know an attack is coming, strike first. If you can't do that, counterattack according to how you've trained, he advises.

One thing that Bendell swears by, even though some black belts disparage the technique, is cross blocking, or X-blocking. Against a knife, you should immediately search the terrain for a useful item to use as a weapon, but you won't always be able to find one, he says.

“In that case, try the cross-arm blocking. Palm blocks are the easiest to use against a knife, but they don't allow you to control the knife hand. It's like putting on a bandage [without] curing the disease."

The cross-arm block allows you to stop the attack and take control of the knife hand. After that, you can move the knife away from the thug's free hand so that he can't transfer the weapon to it.

Don Bendell executes the cross block with clenched fists, then immediately brings the backs of his hands and fingers together so the attacker can't easily pull the knife out. He then twists one hand to grasp the handle and the hand holding it; or he moves the man's arms, usually clockwise, while grabbing the knife hand and applying a wrist lock.

At that point, he will add a leg sweep, kick, headbutt, or any other technique he sees fit.

Training time

To prepare his students for survival, Don Bendell transcends the usual attack-by-the-numbers exercises in which the instructor buzzes: “This is how you defend against a push; this is how you defend against a slash. …"

He includes these drills, but his most effective teaching methodology is to give two people a rubber knife and drop them. As soon as someone is fatally stabbed or slashed, he criticizes their actions.

To get across his message that what he teaches is effective, Bendell often hands the practice knife to the students, one at a time, and gives a simple instruction: "Stab me." Then, with minimal effort, he fends off each attack, disarming the attacker, and pretending to stab him.

After making his point, he reviews his plan of action, demonstrating how he minimized his moves to conserve energy while waiting for the opponent to attack. Then he explains the explosive techniques he used to disarm everyone.

When it comes to the weapon attacks, Bendell has clearly been there and done it. He doesn't want anyone else to go through the trauma he went through physically, mentally and emotionally. If you heed his advice, chances are you won't.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published