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MODERN COMBATIVE SYSTEMS - Training - Modern Combatives System
ARTICLES - Combative Anatomy
  Article written by George Matheis, founder of the Modern Combatives System.  


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CAR/IPD Course Review
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MCS Doctrine as it Relates to Appendix Carry
Musings About the Defensive Use of the Pistol
Edged Weapons - Good Guys vs Bad Guys
Evolution of Combative Anatomy

Much study and argument revolves around which Martial Arts or techniques are best for self- defense. To know which are best we have to look at it like we would to select a tool for a specific job. What are we trying to accomplish?

In combatives that job is stopping a human being from harming us as fast as possible. The first area of study then needs to be anatomy or even more specialized for our purposes, Combative Anatomy. The science of how to stop a human from doing a specific harmful act in the minimum amount of time. Combative Anatomy also does not rely on pain compliance.

Just like the
MCS Combative Anatomy has to first be looked at with the understanding that during a spontaneous attack you will initially have to deal with attacks ranging from open hand, impact, edged and pistols with the open hand. This problem is two fold.

One you need to be able to defend against the initial attack as well as make sure that you attacker is not going to get up and chase you when you run to call for help. Also understand that the only ways to damage the human body it to crush or cut it. Because we don't have claws if fighting open handed you will need to rely on crushing attacks at least until you can produce a edged weapon.

Crushing attacks can cause immediate incapacitation unlike cutting attacks which can take from seconds to minutes, and that is a long time when you life is on the line. For this reason we will break down Combative Anatomy into four specific systems. Lets look at your attackers body like a house that needs to have electricity, walls, and plumbing for aggression to dwell in it.

Central Nervous System – is made up of the brain and spinal cord and in charge of processing information. A hammer fist between the eyes or a slap to the side of the head would have the same effect as cutting power to the house. At the very least is will cause an interruption in services. That is why we don't attack just one system, stand back and see what happens. The CNS is easily attacked with open hands and items typically carried in the hand. These are crushing / impact attacks.

Skeletal System- the 206 bones of the human body that make up our frame. Without our frame, locomotion and the motion needed to articulate a weapon are impossible. For fighting the two joints we count on most are the elbow and knees.

Both joints work very well on only one plane-which makes them hinge joints. By smashing them we can ensure that our attacker will not pick up another weapon or follow us when we leave. The elbows and knees are most vulnerable when extended all the way out.

This is also why we don't lock our arms out during a punch and make sure we have a slight bend in our knees at all times. The Skeletal System is also easily attacked with the open hand and feet. These are crushing / impact attacks.

Muscular System- the system that allows us to move. The muscle needs to be cut to incapacitate. And just like any traumatic injury having one or more muscles cut can have little or no effect on what the rest of the body is able to do.

If you are lucky enough to have an edged weapon in your hand when attacked and manage to cut your opponents strong side bicep he can still use his other hand to use the same weapon, access another one or just run after you as you run away.

I would view it as closing one door to get away from someone when there is another open door right next to it. Wouldn't make more sense to incapacitate them so they could not chase you?

Circulatory System- system that carries blood to and from the heart. Again this system can only be affected by cutting. I know you are going to say what about chokes. And don't get me wrong, chokes are great but to do them effectively you need to be behind your attacker and it ties up both of your hands.

Usually you will have to start defending while facing your attacker. And whether it is a choke or a cut, both will take time even if only a few second to incapacitate your attacker. And in that 10 seconds he can get a lot of stabbing done and inflict some serious damage on you.

A human only has six basic physical weapons
- Head
- Shoulders
- Elbows
- Hands
- Knees
- Feet

Experience has taught us that the majority of attacks are hand attacks. The mechanism of the attack is the same whether it is open hand, impact or edged.

MCS Combative Anatomy along with the proper mindset gives you an easy to remember full force continuum to effectively deal with all threats appropriately in a way that is defensible and grounded in science not marketing.

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