Combatives For Street Survival: Hard-Core Countermeasures for High-Risk Situations by Kelly McCann is an excellent addition to any self-defense library, and if you only want a few self-defense books, this is one you should have. I've liked McCann's writing and teaching for years. He has one previous book, which is a collection of articles he wrote, and a number of instructional DVDS, some under his name and others under his pen name Jim Grover. All of the provide outstanding advice and instruction.
After appearing on the cover of Black Belt magazine in 2008, he wrote this book that was published by Black Belt Books. It's an attractive 8 1/2 x 11 inch book with full color pictures throughout. Some might not like the larger black borders, or the full page photos that introduce the chapters, but I found them to be different than many self-defense books and felt it made this book unique and didn't mind them at all. I liked the different layout.
The real reason this book is valuable is McCann's knowledge. It could be written on the back of a napkin and would still be worth reading. His no BS, straight to the point, style is as direct and powerful as the basic combative strikes and kicks he teaches.
Chapter one describes what combatives are and provides a little history as well as the current state of combatives. I also really liked the short section regarding internet forums.
Chapter two touches on the realities of confrontations. There are short sections on avoidance, situational awareness, and attack-recognition skills. He also discusses physiological effects of imminent danger, mitigating duress dysfunctions, and combatives traits and characteristics. Mindset, winning, and confrontations in real life are also topics in this chapter.
Chapter three contains short descriptions and illustrating photographs of fourteen combatives principles. Principles such as go armed, apply power explosively, use the right weapon, and full body-weight striking. These principles are important for self-defense regardless of any style or techniques you may practice.
Chapter four covers combatives methodology and explains McCann's hard-core training routines. Real altercations and confrontations are serious, and so is the training McCann advocates. He does include information on training aids and safety, but the real thing that stands out from this chapter is the intensity and hard-core training presented.
Chapter five instructs on combatives positions and movements. Stances, or starting positions, movement, and swaying and hollowing out are some of what's covered in this short chapter.
Chapter six, defensive skills, covers just what the title states. Fending, checking, and blocking are covered here. This includes blocking weapon attacks. The things McCann teaches are illustrated with accompanying photographs.
Chapter seven teaches the combatives strikes. These include the finger jab, hammerfist, face smash, ax hand, and knees, elbows, and kicks among others. Again, accompanying photographs illustrate the various blows. McCann also is clear when describing the execution of the techniques that you explode into them and use all your body weight to your advantage.
Chapter eight provides some unarmed situational self-offense situations. McCann provides a brief bit on use of force, and then provides a few scenarios with examples of how one could defend themselves in such a situation. The pictures are clear and the techniques simple and brutal. A couple of the scenarios involve handgun defense, which are the same techniques those familiar with McCann's DVDs have seen him teach.
Finally there is an afterword that contains a few corollaries between combatives and the U.S. Marine Corps Field Manual 1 (FM 1) Warfighting.
Combatives For Street Survival: Hard-Core Countermeasures for High-Risk Situations by Kelly McCann provides some excellent advice and instruction regarding self-defense and the person who learns the techniques and principles in this book, and who trains hard as McCann advises, will be much better prepared if ever faced with a violent and unexpected assault.
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