Frequently Asked Questions
COMBATIVS is a hybrid close quarter combat program born from many Elite Government and Military Special Unit Operator combat-tested programs (British, American, Russian) to overcome the deficiencies and flaws in other combatives, self-defense and martial arts programs, in order to fulfill the needs of every client in the most prevalent violent close quarter combat situations.
Statistics reveal what martial arts, self-defense and other combatives programs typically offer to students, will fail them almost 100% of the time in a violent close quarter combat encounter! There are multiple reasons for this failure rate although one major flaw stands out. A gaping combat flaw was discovered in independent civilian and U.S. government studies after many years of research. Most Western governments altered their training to correct this flaw. Statistics have shown results of up to a 50X greater effectiveness in battle! COMBATIVS brings in this overlooked training in other programs. COMBATIVS will show you how to overcome a handicap that’s in almost 100% of people, even trained soldiers, law enforcement and even MMA cage fighters, that gives our clients an overwhelming opportunity and advantage over predators.
We combine this information with specific, easily learned and adapted combat-tested skillsets that are practical and proven highly successful in actual violent encounters.
It’s different in that certain skillsets are removed and other skillsets are inserted. Secret Service, SWAT, etc. each have different objectives that most others don’t have such as subduing suspects, clearing a room, working in teams, using themselves as a shield, etc., so these mechanics are not taught in COMBATIVS. COMBATIVS doesn’t teach restrictive methods to meet policies of jobs, departments or organizations.
Combatives is a term for hand-to hand (H2H) combat and techniques, sometimes called close quarter combat (CQC), close quarter battle (CQB) or close combat. CQC is defined as a short-duration, high-intensity conflict, characterized by sudden violence at close range. Usually defined as taking place within 20 yards/meters.
The “Father” of modern CQC is Lt. Col. William E. Fairbairn.
In the early 1900’s, William Fairbairn was a British Royal Marine (commonly known today as Commandos) stationed in Japanese controlled Korea. He spent his days training with the Royal Marines (no small feat in itself), and his nights studying martial arts with the toughest Japan and Korea had to offer.
He spent years doing this until he ended up as a cop (for 32 years) in the most dangerous place on earth… Shanghai. There he learned every single thing about every martial art he could possibly get his hands on. He also took up boxing, wrestling and savate. He studied Kung Fu from the personal bodyguard to the Empress of China and became the first Westerner to receive black belts in Judo and Jujitsu from a Japanese grandmaster.
During this time, he got into no-holds-barred street fights with Tong gang members, who were renowned for their lethal ways. One day, after he was beaten and stabbed many times and left for dead, he realized that all the martial arts he knew, wasn’t good enough.
So, he took his military training, mixed it with his mastering of four Eastern martial arts and his street experience, to develop what worked best against multiple, armed, murderous criminals who were also highly-trained martial artists. Fairbairn became the father of “combatives”.
He also became the father of SWAT, as he taught his lethal combatives to the Shanghai police and improved the force by implementing some of the first SWAT-style police squads and tactics the world had ever seen, that are still being used today.
Commissioned by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Colonel Fairbairn later went on to work with the British Secret Service during WWII, as head of training combatives to U.S. Army Rangers, British and Canadian Commandos in Scotland, OSS Spy Operatives (CIA) at CAMP X, U.S. Marine Raiders, and Special Air Service troopers in hand-to-hand combat, knife-fighting and pistol techniques. Many of these techniques are still being used today by Special units and secret services in the world, including Mossad and MI-6.
This training was easy and quick to learn and execute with deadly effectiveness.
Colonel Fairbairn trained G.W. Collins, a combat-decorated Commando, at Scotland’s Commando Training Center, who trained Al Collins, Director of COMBATIVS.
Usually the body (i.e. hands, feet, knees, elbows) is the standard tool or weapon. Other CQC weapons are firearms, knives, and improvised/unconventional or clandestine weapons.
Fairbairn taught CQC to Secret agents, Commandos, and Special Forces in the WW II era in about a week, rather than many months and years typical of martial art systems. Agents that went behind enemy lines, especially women, had to be taught only what worked quickly, quietly and on larger, armed enemies, as it was life and death business. There are many spy and commando testimonies of how they won in hand-to-hand combat, against violent Japanese soldiers who were martial arts experts and against much larger and stronger German soldiers.
It depends on the Program which range from 2 to 24 hours. See the Camp X Programs page for options.
Programs provide a Certificate upon completion of the Program.
Although many skillsets are designed to be acquired quickly, proficiency and class instruction may take longer, depending on the client. Clients are expected to practice to become more proficient in-between and after classroom hours. Additional Instructor classroom hours beyond the Programs are available at the client’s Program rates.
We removed the government and military CQC training such as in automatic weapons; taking of prisoners; street/house clearing and other training typical in agencies and Special Forces that most clients won’t be engaged in (e.g. parachuting; swimming; escape and evasion tactics; demolitions; clandestine operations; climbing; communications; mechanized equipment; etc.). Fitness; resistance training and stretching exercises are also removed. Every person, even those from Special Operations Units, can find themselves needing certain COMBATIVS CAMP X skills in non-operational situations (e.g. home; on leave; vacation; at work; on the street) without access to their typical weapons; personal armor; backup; etc.
Martial arts have over 2 dozen flaws when violent combatives is the required option. A few of their main flaws are impotent targeting, one-unarmed-opponent tactics and the total absence of any behavioral training, any of which are considered fatal flaws. Fatal meaning you don’t survive.
Competition is not combat.
COMBATIVS doesn’t teach memorization of choreographed forms/patterns; exercises; flexibility; point fighting; tapping out; sparring; etc.
We do teach effective skill-sets, targeting and tactics to immediately end a violent attack. COMBATIVS also teaches tactics against and use of edged weapons; improvised and clandestine weapons and firearms and against multiple attackers, while most martial art systems do not. COMBATIVS does teach special combat behavioral methods used by Elite Government and Military Special Unit Operators, which martial arts does not.
Martial artists can learn COMBATIVS, however, if they go back to their martial art and continue practicing non-COMBATIVS techniques, they will use in “the fog of war” or battle what they practice, which can leave them exposed to a predator/killer’s violent methods. Also, most people don’t have the time, money or desire to spend years practicing a martial art or sport when all they need and want is COMBATIVS.
The popular MMA and cage fight training is like martial arts in that it is sports focused with referees, rules and forbidden strike zones. Participants are young, who train long and hard to develop muscles, endurance and flexibility. These people certainly are in peak athletic condition, however, COMBATIVS is not sports minded, has no forbidden zones; doesn’t require muscle, endurance and flexibility development; age, size and gender are not barriers and it is quick and effective for use in reality life or death situations.
Most quality CQC training is only offered to government Secret Intelligence Services (e.g. U.S. CIA, British MI6) and military Special Forces (e.g. US Navy SEALS, US Army Delta, British SAS) and is unavailable to others even to other government and military groups. CQC training in these areas is the best; however, the CQC flaws are in relation to preparedness in all situations, as their training focus is broader with a reliance on heavy automatic weaponry; personal armor; mechanized armor; team assistance and reinforcements. COMBATIVS adopts their specific behavioral strategies and lone individual skillsets, as well as the characteristics of surprise, violence of action and speed.
One story comes from an Australian Special Operative in Afghanistan who hadn’t been prepared properly by the military in combatives when faced with a H2H encounter against a Taliban in a cave. He was jumped on so he couldn’t use his weapons or depend on teammates in the dark. He said only his size and strength, not skillset, was able to save him from being killed.
COMBATIVS strips the training down to a person being alone; in street clothes; dependent on skillsets to quickly (within a few seconds) end a violent attack. Size, age, gender, strength, endurance is overcome with the skillsets taught.
Many elements of CQC aren’t taught to government personnel as departments restrict training and the force allowed to protect agencies from lawsuits. Unfortunately, these restrictions have resulted in the crippling injuries and deaths of many government agents and law enforcement officers in the line of duty whose responses were restrained in lethal CQC situations.
Quite a bit. Self-defense courses teach awareness; de-escalation; using keys or pepper spray as weapons; screaming for help; poke eye and run; pain strikes, etc.
COMBATIVS teaches preparedness against the predators… a sexual predator; home invader; violent thief; murderer and terrorist. These types aren’t “de-escalated” nor will they walk away if you’re being co-operative nor are they deterred by car keys or pain strikes. They’re experienced, violent professionals who have picked you or your family for a reason.
“Self defense is a marketing term that has no operational value. We don’t teach it or do it. “Self defense” is a wishy-washy, wait-your-turn, civilized response to violent predators. Reality is, violent offensive tactics are required to immediately end an attack. Meaning… instant knockouts, crippling injuries and death blows. Doing damage is a survival tool… self defense is not.” Director Collins
COMBATIVS CAMP X Programs will give you the skillsets to be properly prepared against them.
Martial arts program prices have a wide price variance. “Decent” group instruction ranges from $100.-$200.+/month and usually $100.-$200./hr./person for private lessons from a Black Belt instructor. Much more if private lessons are taken with a martial arts master or grand-master. Typically, it takes 5 years before a martial arts club will finally let someone test to obtain their Black Belt. It’s their business to deliberately stretch out your training for as long as possible. So the overall training cost can be $6,000. -$12,000., and much more if you took any private lessons; seminars; costs for all the belt exams and gas travelling to and from classes twice/week (that’s 520 trips).
Martial arts courses load up the classes with as many people as they can get in. Courses are held when and where it is convenient for the instructor, most often in the evenings. Classes are usually twice/week for 1 ½ hours (that’s 780 hours over 5 years). Belt exams are usually held in groups, rather than based on individual performance. Belt exams are typically dragged out over 5 years to increase income from students.
Much of the class is focused on stretching and strength and endurance exercises. The other part of your money is spent on their traditional art, which involves choreographed forms or pattern routines (kata), and their “way”. Their “way” can be grappling focused (MMA; Jujitsu) or kicking focused (Tae Kwon Do) or punching focused (boxing) or hard strikes focused (Karate) and so on. There is some cross-over like in MMA, but all are trained in a sport with referees, rules and limitations. Training against or with weapons is rare, usually provided only beyond Black Belt level with their traditional weapons. They aren’t trained for life or death encounters. CQC experts point out that martial arts training is actually counter-productive, because of the muscle-memory acquired in point fighting; traditional techniques; sparring with rules and opponents tapping out.
Beyond all that, Fairbairn, an expert in various martial arts styles, was shown in brutal fashion, that martial arts and self-defense processes fail in combat. Only combatives has proven to be the most effective and efficient skillsets in life or death encounters, especially against multiple, armed attackers.
Other CQC courses researched can cost from $2000. (14 hours) – $7300.+ (72 hours).
Like martial arts programs, these courses load up the classes with as many people as they can get in. Courses are held when and where it is convenient for the instructor. One CQC course was spread out over an entire year. Some courses waste time and money of civilian clients teaching unnecessary military tactics (e.g. taking prisoners and ship boarding). Some focus on pain targets, wrong or complicated tactics and the usual counter-productive martial arts moves (e.g. complicated kicks; throws; joint manipulation; punches; or MMA grappling). A few just teach handgun training and call it a CQC course. One CQC course we found teaches sword fighting and scoped rifle shooting. Israeli Krav Maga has a reputation of being a quality CQC system, yet under close examination, many of the system’s techniques require multiple steps in order to obtain the end result (total defeat of predator), any one of which can fail along the way. Failure means you don’t survive! Some programs provide no training against multiple predators or predators armed with firearms, knives or improvised/unconventional/covert weapons. Some teach children watered down self-defense methods.
None we could find teach the most necessary component that is taught to Elite Government and Military Special Unit Operators and also taught to COMBATIVS clients. Without it, statistics show that the failure rate is high (up to 98%), even with proper H2H (unarmed) and weapons skills.
See the CAMP X PROGRAMS section to choose the PRIVATE certified instructor training that fits your goals and schedule. Training can be fast over a day, a few days or spread out over several weeks or months, at your convenience. Personal assessment throughout the training is provided to enhance and secure your skillsets.
Yes, but we realize that people have their strengths, weaknesses and preferences. No sense forcing someone to mimic skillsets when their body mechanics and their preferences makes them feel more comfortable obtaining the same result another way. Each client picks a handful of skillsets that will work for them and focus on that, as that’s what they’ll use when the time comes. We don’t teach anything that’s useless or without purpose.
Must be 18+. No criminal record. No mindset of or membership in any terrorist, anti-government, hate groups or groups that promote/encourage and/or endorse unprovoked violence on any person. Further conditioning, health, payment and other requirements are on the Training page.
No. These are ineffective and dangerous ways to convince people they’ll receive the confidence and skillsets to save their life or those of their loved ones. On-hands training; personal observation and guidance by a trained certified Close Quarter Combat Instructor gets the results. You don’t see the government or military selling combatives/CQC training online or on the internet. All that is just a money grab by instructors. Also online training, DVD’s, etc., gives too many ideas to predators to use against their victims.
Yes. We train how to use a knife, CQC firearms and improvised weapons to its best use to supplement the body tools. The body should be the preferred tool or weapon as usually weapons will be unavailable when predator(s) suddenly strike. Predators rarely give victims a chance to bring out a weapon. Usually predators have weapons, so we train for and against that probability. We don’t train with ancient martial arts weapons, swords, or long range rifles in CQC. Even a handgun is rather impractical as a predator will be on you faster than you can draw and fire on them or dig it out of your purse (if allowed to carry one). Handguns can also jam, be dropped and can be taken away and be used on you. Just relying on a handgun as your protection, as many do, can fail you in violent close quarter combat.
As we pointed out in the 2nd question, statistics warn that what is typically taught in martial arts, self defense and other CQC courses will fail students almost 100% of the time. That’s not much of a guarantee. Testimonies from those who were successful with martial arts and other CQC courses in deadly encounters are out there and this does happen, however, how does that compare to the proven very high failure rate of those considered experts? We don’t hear about the failures except in independent studies, which we present in our program.
We guarantee that we will teach you close quarter combat Special Operations Forces battle-tested tactics and show you how to overcome a handicap that’s in almost 100% of people, even trained soldiers, law enforcement and MMA cage fighters, to give you an overwhelming opportunity and advantage over the most ruthless of predators. Protection against home invasion; against rape; against attack/kidnapping on vacation; against violent assault, even by multiple armed attackers.
Combatives/CQC on the street, in your home, on vacation, at work, at school or in battlefields is dependent on too many factors to give absolute guarantees of outcomes. Beware of any who give a guarantee. In CQC you need your best chance to be victorious. COMBATIVS offers that to you. We give you THE EDGE TO SURVIVE. It’s your life and your family’s lives we’re talking about. We’re extremely serious about that. You should be too.