How to Beat the Combatives Practitioner


So its been a good week here in Kuala Lumpur. I got to shoot a new DVD answering questions from a couple of long term clients and really got a chance to get really deep into what the Core Game Plan is and how we can use it. The DVD was shot at my local gym, good lighting, good sound but HOT AS HELL. You can see on the video clip below Im flicking sweat onto my partner every time I gesture! Its nasty.

The main question I was asked was “how would Richie fight Richie?”

how to beat 2

When I first read the question my instant response was a derisive snort.

How silly. Like asking if Spiderman could beat Batman at ping pong.

(Yes he could, but he has super powers, Batman is just a trained martial artist with psychological issues and a love of tight rubber ).


Then I gave it some more thought and realised it wasn’t actually that daft a question. So I got a personal trainer from the gym I’m using who is similar height and weight as me to come in and be the trusty “mirror image meat puppet”.

My thinking on it was this: if we are going to ask “how do we recover when our precious training plans go wrong?” (which they probably will being as violence is always a clusterf***) as we did in the last DVD “Core Game Plan Recovery” then why NOT ask how do you defeat someone with the same type of training as you…

which is a question Ive answered for you in DVD 2 of the Core Game Plan series called “Deconstructed” – coz I take the pieces of the Core Game Plan apart and… you know, deconstruct them.

Counter tactics to all phases: 1. Shock 2. Blast 3. Maul 4. Crush

Every technique and tactic has a counter.

Why should you care?

Well I think to get a broader, deeper understanding of what we do and to strengthen our fundamentals we need to get to grips with the weaknesses in the chain; it being only as strong as its weakest links.

This is the opposite of the ADHD mentality that has been slowly creeping into Combatives of “If I cant learn it in an hour Im not going to learn it”.

My take on that is this:
If youve been studying a Combative or Street type style for more than a year, then you clearly have more than an hour to spare on developing some real, reliable skills and attributes.

We can’t just surge ahead in comfortable fantasy land thinking we have discovered “teh dedly ninja scrolz of invincibilty” – there is enough of that nonsense going round in the MA/ combatives world as it is.

“My style is invincible against all attacks in all scenarios – we even defend against CIA drones, deadly viruses, snipers and solar flares!” You know the types I’m sure. Defending a dummy knife attack with one hand, disarming a rubber pistol with the other, whilst driving tactically with their knees through a pretend minefield with a plastic grenade between their teeth while the James Bond music plays inside their head.

(spoiler alert: Skyfall is very dull)

Not the types I usually attract to streetfightsecrets. People I get as customers I have found have a bit more “savvy” maybe more experience and aren’t usually those who look for magical solutions to real world problems.
Guys who, to put it bluntly, have a stronger grip on reality and therefore the fallibility of any plan, no matter how sound it is.

We don’t just want to hope what we do will work we want to know that we can find a way to make it work even if things don’t all go our way.

There is too much expectation around that conditions will be in your favour when doing a technique. That the stars will align and a holy light from heaven will shine down as you execute your spinning nipple cripple to “teakettle 4” that ensures that your opponent (and their entire family) will die in agony within hours.

Thats not my gag, I lifted it from a very long term customer with whom I have been discussing some of the more dubious junk being peddled as “real self defense” out there and it damn near made me shoot coffee out of my nose onto the keyboard!



So how to defeat me or anyone versed in the ways of street/combatives/bar room brawling, kebab shop jitsu? I will show you in 5 simple steps… that you can learn in one hour, without ever training anything. Only kidding, try these in your next training session and let me know how you get on:
1. beware the verbal distractors : with words and psychology Im going to try and lull you DOWN into a soft state or overexcite/ frighten you UP so quickly you freeze and panic – don’t let me suck you into my reality tunnel, stay stubbornly in your own reality tunnel. He who has the strongest control of the “frame” of the fight psychologically will probably dominate it physically.
2. beware the sucker punch : oh sorry I meant to say “preemptive strike” – be ready to “smother it” by moving in with a nice tight thai cover or … for the different options you should get the new “deconstructed” DVD ( do you see what I did there?)
3. if being “blasted” with a series of fast hand strikes or “mauled” with grips and clawing to the face, throat, eyes – DONT PANIC – these are the tricks combatives guys pull to try and induce panic on the uninitiated to get you to shut down physically and psychologically. I show you a few ways to stop these kinds of attacks on the DVD. Its simpler than you might think.
4. head controls – you will want to pull away, but remember : I WANT you to want to pull away, it puts more pressure on your neck and allows me to convert that drag down into a neck crank or full head turn. Sometimes we should NOT follow our first instincts. Sometimes our first instincts will get us badly hurt. Sometimes we must train ourselves to move in a way that feels counter-intuitive, uncomfortable or dangerous but that objectively we know is more effective and safer than the move that feels “good”. The DVD shows a very simple way to counter the initial movement of a head control.
5. I want you to panic and give up. So please don’t panic or give up.
Keep a cool head, keep moving (nothing happens till you MOVE, so move and keep moving). Keep taking whatever seems like the most sensible action and leverage the opportunities as they present themselves to you in the moment. You don’t have to do anything wild or fancy. Keep moving, keep thinking, keep taking action.
Thats it. Not much to it really. If you, like me, enjoy the technical aspects of how to breakdown and counter techniques piece by piece then you should get the DVD . click here.

I show you how to counter all the classic combatives tactics: the fence, preemptive strikes, eye gouges, headbutts, clinches, tackles, the “mauling” and “ripping” phase of the core game plan, the “crush” phase of the game plan, head controls, chokes, the “blast” phase (works for any fast series of hand strikes, its a crude counter, but it WILL work, even against good boxers, but you have to be prepared to step in and you might eat a shot on the way, better than getting knocked out though right?)… and shoves.

Not because “shoving” is a particularly combatives/street thing to do (its probably more of a tai chi thing to do if anything) but because it sucks to be shoved and I wanted to show a good defence to it.

It sucks because its something any idiot in the street can do and it can send you backwards which is annoying. Anyway, a good solid defence is shown.

That’s it for this week.

I’ve had loads of good emails from people and a few very eye opening (and funny ) skype sessions – please add me on skype (details on home page) and feel free to get in touch. If I’ve got 20 mins free Im more than happy to talk, you get to ask any nagging questions you’ve got, I get to hear first hand what my customers are looking for. Please don’t be shy. I’m not great at keeping appointments, but if I’m on just message me, I will make time for you.

Remember : this isn’t some big operation, its a one man band, I do EVERYTHING myself… this is why you shouldn’t upload my stuff to torrent sites or download it.

Thats enough from me, if you want to get the DVD or view the new clip Ive uploaded showing you a really mind numbingly easy way to defeat a commonly taught combatives technique that people have been advocating for years as though it is undefeatable then you should click here.

Its generated a bit of controversy in forum-land which is always a good thing.



I try and answer all comments


About The Author

richie grannon

Richard Grannon is a martial arts instructor and psychology coach.


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