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MODERN COMBATIVE SYSTEMS - Training - Modern Combatives System
ARTICLES - Accessing / Deployed / Attacking
  Article written by George Matheis, founder of the Modern Combatives System.  


CAT Theory
Edged Weapons
Preparatory Movement
The Pistol Against the Spontaneous Attack
Spyderco Rescue Knife for Personal Protection
The Ground
The Stick
CQB Pistol Panic Push
Carry VS Deployment
Folder into the Fight
Are You Training for Personal Protection or to be a Bodyguard?
Keep the Light Moving
Knives I See on the Street - LEO and Security Personnel Awareness
Deadly Force is Deadly Force
Police Defensive Tactics
Combative Anatomy
Offensive Defense for the Wounded Combatant
Accessing / Deployed / Attacking
Individual Protection Program
Bag of Evil Contents Revealed
Office Space Survival Volume #1
Root of Excessive Force
CAR/IPD Course Review
Five to Survive the First Five
Which Knives Work Best with the Mercharness
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

For the sake of this article it should be understood that the best defense against an edged weapon attack is distance. Unfortunately this is a luxury not afforded by many environments and situations.


When your attacker makes furtive movement to the weapons band. The majority of weapons are carried between the waist and nipple line. Furtive movement with the hand to access a weapon is often accompanied along with stepping back with the same side foot.

This usually identifies not only the strong hand of the attacker but also the location of their primary weapon. If you are standing just within arms reach as the best option is to close the distance, control or limit the movement of the weapon hand while at the same time violently attacking the head / face / throat with repeated blows.

If you are outside arms reach the tendency seems to be to stay flatfooted and reach in taking you off balance. Staying just within arms reach also stops your attacker from getting full extension with the weapon. Attempts should also be made to destroy elbows and knees if at all possible.

Another tactic would be to smother the offending arm with your arm (right to right and left to left) and move to the outside, grab the shoulders and pull down sharply at a 45 degree angle bringing the attacker down on their back and strikeing as needed.

Since accessing is normally done during the escalation of a verbal confrontation you may also choose to utilize the Panic Push as soon as the C Position is observed. The Panic Push is executed by using one or both palms to smash up and into the attackers chest in an attempt to rock them back on their heels.

This will also cause the arms to involuntarily go out to the sides in an attempt to regain balance. The Panic Push is best utilized to gain time and distance to access a firearm. For the unarmed person this may not be the best choice since it could possibly force you to reengage against a drawn weapon.

Defending against the accessing of the weapon is the easiest and safest time to defend providing you are within range. It ensures your greatest chance of survival especially if you are not close to a physical barrier and are not armed with a firearm.

The weapon has been accessed and is fully deployed and visible. This is absolutely the most dangerous time to attempt any kind of a disarm or a defense. Obviously if the weapon is being displayed and not being used to an attack either the attacker does not plan to use it at this time or you are out of what he perceives as the range of the weapon.

Of course if armed with a firearm this is a shoot situation. If you are not close to a physical barrier that would provide protection the best weapon would be an intermediate impact weapon such as a stick, expandable or umbrella. For that matter anything you can wield or put between you and the attacker would be a great advantage.

To reach in against a deployed edged weapon would be insane. The natural reaction of even an untrained person would be to swipe or hack at the leading hand. Since the attacker is not launching an attack and therefore not dedicated to any movement he is more likely to cut anything you give him.

Believe it or not, although not recommended this is the second best time during and edged weapon confrontation to defend yourself open handed if the situation requires it.

Again taking firearms and physical barriers out of the equation, you need to control the weapon hand and violently attack the face / neck / throat of the attacker and do whatever is necessary to stop them. If they are dedicated to their attack they are less likely to be able to counter or redirect.

You cannot control a contact distance weapon without physical contact. Without getting into the specifics of the how you are being attacked moving in and off line to your left normally forces your opponent of balance and well as having to redirect. This is due to approximately 90% of people being right handed thereby making their left the natural reaction side.

Attempting to back pedal and draw a weapon without a violent disruption of your attackers sight, base or air during the accessing or attacking phase is likely to only result in a mutual slaying.

Employing an edged weapon or firearm could in fact do little in the way of immediate incapacitation since they primarily damage the circulatory system. Even individuals stabbed or shot several times can carry a massive amount of destruction before total hydraulic failure.

Since Central Nervous System incapacitation is almost impossible from the front utilizing edged weapons and usually an act of luck with a handgun, great emphasis should be placed on open hand and impact weapon skills.

These skill sets should be given even more consideration by individuals working in non-permissive environments as well as correction officers.

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