Archive for Real Life Combat

Real Life Combat: Bouncer Saved by Credit Cards

Posted in Real Life Combat, Resources and Product Reviews with tags , , , on January 14, 2011 by bigstickcombat

A wallet stuffed with 20 plastic cards and a stroke of luck saved a pub doorman in western Germany from serious injury during a knife attack.

A customer ejected from the pub in the city of Witten on Sunday stabbed its 31-year-old doorman four times in the chest with a knife, police said. But a fat wallet in the bouncer’s breast pocket stopped the blade from piercing his body.

“The wallet and cards acted as a protective vest and prevented a more serious incident,” chief inspector Volker Schuette told Reuters without naming the bouncer or attacker.

“Everyone at the police station checked their wallets and no one had 20 plastic cards,” he said, adding that the doorman’s wallet had a plethora of cards for video rental stores along with credit and bank cards.

Schuette said that a wallet with fewer cards in it would not have been enough protection against the attack and that lady luck had also been smiling on the doorman that day.

“He said that he usually doesn’t carry his wallet with him when he works.” 

Stainless Steel Wallets

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; editing by Paul Casciato – Reuters 2010)

This article reminds me of stainless steel wallets. Might they have some protective abilities? At the very least they stop people from remotely scanning your cards with RFID.

This story also echoes my previous post concerning the “Back with Reinforcements” syndrome. So you’re a 22 year old grandmaster of the world’s deadliest art, and streetfighting veteran, moonlighting as a bouncer. You’ve just obliterated some punk.

Another victory? Look out!

Even when you “win” the fight may not be over. Observe how this guy was kicked out, only to come back with reinforcements, this time with a knife. If that is you, ejecting the drunk from the party, the disruptive guy from church, the hot-headed employee from the workplace, etc., expect him to come back with reinforcements.


Real Life Combat: Staff vs. Hammer

Posted in Commentary, Real Life Combat, Videos with tags , , on January 3, 2011 by bigstickcombat

Robber (on left) wields stick in bat grip. The clerk has a hammer.

A robber with a staff-length stick can be seen robbing a store here. My estimate is that the stick is a least 6 feet long.

The clerk counters with a hammer, but unfortunately, he’s totally ineffective.

A couple of points:

1)  While bat grip can be very powerful, the staff is too long to wield it effectively with bat grip (i.e., gripping the staff with both hands at one end like a baseball bat).

Tapado uses a short staff that is about 4 feet in length. I feel this is the maximum length for effective use of bat grip. The problem for the robber is that the clerk is well outside his reaction range –in other words, by the time the robber can deliver the end of the stick to the target, the clerk has plenty of time to evade.

The clerk doesn’t even have to evade the strike completely: Simply by moving in two feet, he is well inside the power zone at the tip of the stick. The length of the stick is simply too slow for bat grip.

My thinking in Big Stick Combat is to shorten the striking radius. My intent is to hit as hard as the 4 foot short staff, while moving in a tighter radius and thereby being able to blast someone with the end of the stick before he can see it coming and counter.

The robber needs to change his grip –say to the Dragon Pole method, in order to tighten his striking radius and pull off multiple strike combinations.

2)  I don’t know why the clerk raises the hammer. Perhaps it is a threatening gesture. Raising the hammer puts stress on his arm. He might as well just rest the hammer on his shoulder.

Every time the robber moves to strike, the clerk snaps the hammer forward –What the #@$!? The correct move is either forward, to get inside the stick’s power zone, or upward to block or parry –possibly both.

3)  As the robber starts to climb over the counter, the clerk moves to go over the counter and out the door at the other end. This is a smart chess move. If the clerk leaves, the robber may not be able to get the money.

4)  The clerk’s opportunity is at 1:03, when the robber clambers over the counter. At that point he can’t strike with the stick/staff, and is crouched, only with his head potentially right in front of a hammer. This is the point for the clerk to burst forward and blast the robber.

5)  The robber and clerk are toe-to-toe. At this point the clerk with the hammer should totally blast him. This is part of my reasoning for opting for the shorter (36 inch) stick –I have better options in close if it comes to that. Up close, the hammer will hit harder and tighter than the 6 foot staff.

Unfortunately, the clerk is just some guy without any training or skill trying to do his best in the circumstances. Training doesn’t make you immortal, but you certainly ought to be able to crush a guy with a 6 foot staff in this situation.

Real Life Combat: Vet and Wife Mobbed at Theater

Posted in Real Life Combat with tags , on December 30, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Marine Vet Freire and His Wife

An Iraq vet and his wife were recently assaulted outside a movie theater in Florida.

He made it home from the Iraq war just in time for Christmas. She was looking forward to a night out with her husband after so much time apart.

But a group of teenagers had other plans for Federico and Kalyn Freire, who were assaulted outside a Florida movie theater after asking the teens to be quiet during a movie on Christmas Day.

Federico Freire, a 28-year-old Marine, and Kalyn Freire were attacked after the couple attended a showing of “Little Fockers” on Saturday in Bradenton, Fla.

“The saddest part about it was that this was our first date night together in a long time,” Freire’s wife, Kalyn, said in an interview Wednesday with “We were just looking to spend some time together.”

Freire, a Florida native stationed at Camp Pendelton in California, said he and his wife asked a group of “obnoxiously loud” teenagers talking on cell phones to “be quiet” during the 8:20 p.m. movie.

“This was my first time back in town from my tour in Iraq,” he said.

Freire said that when the disturbance escalated and the group began cursing, his wife called the manager, who asked several of the teenagers to leave the theater.

The couple said they thought the fracas was over until they walked out of the theater and were assaulted by a mob of menacing teenagers.

“On our way out of the movie theater, my wife gets surrounded with about 10 to 15 girls that were about to attack her,” Freire told “As soon as I saw this I immediately ran and got her out of harm’s way.”

Freire said he was kicked and punched as he and his wife tried to run from the group.

“I leaned down to grab my purse and there were literally 100 teens around us,” Kalyn Freire said, “While the manager was in the corner with his mouth open and not doing anything.”

Freire said one bystander stepped forward and told the couple to follow him to his car, saying he could scare the crowd off with a gun. But before the two reached the man’s vehicle, one of the teenagers said, “I’m going to knock your wife out,” before punching Freire’s wife to the ground, the couple said.

Deputies from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene and arrested two 15-year-old brothers and charged them with misdemeanor battery.

According to a police report, three others — 16-year-old Ishmael Dunbar, 17-year-old Reginald Gardner and 20-year-old Destiny McNeil — were arrested and charged with felony battery on a law enforcement officer and trespassing.

“All available units were requested to respond to disperse the crowd for officer safety and to restore order,” the police report said. One teenager was stunned by a Taser.

Authorities said the fight attracted about 300 bystanders.

A video of the arrest is here.

It makes your blood boil.

I don’t want to second-guess this vet, but this does bring up the issue of “Back with Reinforcements.” This is where it goes wrong for the master of “The World’s Deadliest Art.” Confronted by a punk at a party, the master of The World’s Deadliest Art counters the punk’s right haymaker and decks him. The young hoodlum regains consciousness a minute later and finds himself lying on the shag carpet. His friends help him stagger outside, and he leaves in disgrace.

Another victory for the master of The World’s Deadliest Art, right?

Not so fast. There are so many ways this scenario can go wrong.

  • The humiliated punk in the meantime has driven home, got the handgun out from under his mom’s bed, and comes back to the party, riddling Mr. Master with lead.

  • Maybe he’s too scared to go into the party and confront the guy who whipped him, so he just sprays the apartment with bullets from the parking lot.

  • He is waiting outside with a crowbar or a butcher knife as Mr. Master leaves an hour and 3 beers later. Mr. Master never sees the punk waiting on the other side of the door.

  • Now 12 of his gangbanger buddies are waiting outside. That your wife, girlfriend, or daughter is with you is not a concern for them, but icing on the cake.

  • You leave the party, only to find your car has had its tires slashed, the sides keyed, and a headlight smashed. Consider yourself lucky.

These scenarios are not just idle speculation. Only yesterday I was reading about a similar situation:

Not long ago I was involved in a discussion about a young biker who had been blown off his barstool by a shotgun blast. What had disturbed me is that he had been involved in an altercation in the bar earlier and had not withdrawn, thereby signing his death warrant. However, an Australian bouncer rightfully commented that the ages between 18 and 24 is where these kinds of lifesaving  lessons tend to be learned — and those who don’t learn them, or aren’t lucky, never get any older. It is only the young and inexperienced who make certain kinds of mistakes.

If you ever have to confront somebody, whether it is physical or verbal, it is time to leave. Especially the guy who backs down and doesn’t fight –he may be looking for a way to get the odds in his favor. Remember, punks are not looking for a fair fight; if they were looking for a fair fight they’d be in boxing.

At the very least, if you leave the movie theater (restaurant, party, etc.) under these circumstances, you need to be in a state of high alert, with your weapon ready (yet concealed). That may mean having a grip on my knife in my pocket, or opening the knife and carrying it concealed in a popcorn bucket, or wrapped in a menu or newspaper.

It makes sense to carry a maglight to the theater, so that at the least is one weapon in your favor.

Real Life Combat: Jewelry Store Shootout

Posted in Commentary, Real Life Combat with tags , , on December 20, 2010 by bigstickcombat

A jewelry store owner recently defended himself and his wife:

In the back room of a humble jewelry store and pawn shop in Houston’s East End Thursday afternoon, a gunman tied Eva Castillo’s wrists tightly — too tightly. She complained of the pain, so he loosened the bindings. Then Castillo’s husband was ordered at gunpoint to put his hands behind his back.

But Ramon Castillo had a surprise for the gunman and two cohorts, who had announced they were robbing the business.

Castillo pulled a pistol from his waistband and shot the gunman dead. Then he grabbed a shotgun from his office and engaged in a shootout with the other two armed robbers.

When it was over, all three robbers were dead — and Castillo, though shot at least three times, was still standing, having successfully defended what was rightfully his.

It was the third time his shop, Castillo’s Jewelry at 4502 Canal at Super Street, had been robbed since it opened 22 years ago, East End residents said.

Castillo, 52, apparently did not immediately realize he had been shot, officers said. He walked outside the store and looked around for more gunmen, then went back inside the business, realized he was wounded and untied his 48-year-old wife, who was unharmed, said Houston Police Department homicide investigator M.F. “Fil” Waters.

Investigators said so many shots were fired inside the jewelry shop in a two- or three-minute span that they could not estimate the number of rounds. “We’ve got bullet fragments all over the place, casings all over the place, shotgun slugs all over the place, so it’s really hard to determine at this point how many rounds were actually fired – but quite a few,” Waters said.

They said Castillo protects his store like a fortress, using an electronic door to buzz customers in and out. Customers are locked inside the store until they leave. Numerous video cameras are inside. “He’s done everything he can do to secure his business,” Waters said.

“Somebody would have to be stupid to come rob the place because of the way it’s set up,” said a 30-year-old East End resident who would not give his name. “Everybody in the neighborhood knows how it is – everybody knows once you get in, he has to let you out. When you walk in, he buzzes you in, and when you walk out, he has to buzz you out.”


1) Note that all of the non-violent measures (buzzers, bars, video cameras, etc.) were not enough. Keep this in mind. You’re constantly being told to “Be alert,” to report suspicious activity, to lock your doors, and so on, which are not necessarily bad ideas, but somehow arming yourself is never mentioned.

2) He did not allow himself to be tied up. Had he and his wife been tied up, the article might have been about the discovery of two bound bodies at a pawn shop.

3) He had a big gun. How does a guy defeat 3 men armed with pistols (outside of an action movie)? He had a shotgun. I’ve never owned a shotgun, but I’ve begun to consider it.

4) In the heat of the moment, you may not realize the extent of your injuries. I’m a believer in being very watchful for a knife. It is too easy to be stabbed and cut without realizing it.

Real Life Combat: LA Tan Robber Shot, Killed

Posted in Real Life Combat with tags , , on December 13, 2010 by bigstickcombat

From the South Town Star:

Hero Jason McDaniel

First he saw the young clerk, bound with ropes. Then Jason McDaniel saw the gunman.

Moments after the 29-year-old husband and father walked into a south suburban tanning salon Saturday night, McDaniel looked into a pair of hard cold eyes and he knew he might not make it out alive.

After shooting and killing the intruder who was terrorizing two women, a customer and an employee, at the L.A. Tan, Jason McDaniel can’t stop being thankful.

“I thank God I came in those doors to help those girls. I thank God it was me,” McDaniel told the SouthtownStar on Sunday night from his southwest suburban home, his 15-month old daughter playing at his side.

His first thought wasn’t shooting. He tried to offer money. He tried to reason.

“Man you don’t have to do this. I’ve got a little girl at home, I’m a new daddy.” McDaniel told the man, that tactic wasn’t working. The gunman – a stocky, dark-skinned white man in his late 30s to early 40s, McDaniel recalled – told him that he didn’t care. Instead, he ordered him to tie his hands.

When the gunman, who authorities identified as 48-year-old Gary Amaya, of Rankin, Ill., reached for the ropes he carried in a bag, McDaniel saw his chance and took it. Lunging at the unmasked man and knocking him to the ground, he then grabbed the gun from the counter where the man had left it.

The man fought back, and McDaniel shot him as the two struggled on the ground.

“Then I was standing up again and he was still grabbing for things in his pocket, so I shot him again.”

He doesn’t own a gun but he knew how to use one. He didn’t aim to kill. He just had to save those girls, and save himself, he said.

“I did what I had to do,” he said.

For those who want to pretend that you can talk your way out of a robbery or rape, Jason tried everything, but was unsuccessful.

And for those who say the typical robber or intruder “just wants your wallet or TV,” the suspect may be the “Honeybee Killer,” wanted for mudering one man and injuring a second.

As for the “he’s just a harmless guy who needs money” theory, Jason says,

McDaniel, for his part, is pretty sure the man was not after money.

“I think he was there to hurt people. He had all kinds of things with him. He had a beating stick on his belt – one of those batons police carry. And more things, too. It was like he was going to war.”

McDaniel figures the man didn’t expect survivors to identify him after. “What scared me most is he didn’t have a mask on,” he said.

Lessons Learned:

Are You Prepared to Shoot?

You need to be mentally and morally prepared to shoot if necessary. Classifying men with guns as victims of society or the oppressed underclass of a capitalist society, or a junky merely looking for a fix, does not prepare you to pull the trigger if need be.

Furthermore, this outlook is just plain wrong, especially when you are confronting a killer.

Can You Shoot? 

How Do You Operate the Safety? Magazine Release? Slide Stop?


Suppose you say you don’t want to own or carry a gun. Great. Can you use a gun if you need to save your life? Can you use a gun to save someone else’s life? Can you operate the safety on a Colt .45 auto? Can you rack a round into an automatic pistol? Do you know how to prevent a revolver or an automatic from firing?

Don’t Let Him Tie You Up

If the objective was simple theft, the robber could have run out the door. Once he stayed to tie people up, his agenda may have included rape, torture, and murder.

The story ended well for the innocent. Jason might very well have been killed while making his move, but if he got tied up, he would have been powerless, and all 3 victims could have died, perhaps after sexual abuse and torture.

Real Life Combat: Pizzeria Robber Gets Whacked

Posted in Real Life Combat, Videos, Weapons with tags , , on December 7, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Pizza Peel

Video Capture of an Employee Belting a Robber with a Pizza Peel

Reader Kevin sent in the following story.

A man at a pizza restaurant defeated an armed robber with a “giant spatula,” which in actuality is a pizza peel. The man knocked the gun out of the robber’s hand, beat him again, and then tackled the robber as he tried to flee.

You can see the video here, as well as a view of a pizza peel. One pizzeria employee comments:

“I know at the place I worked at the metal peel was pretty sharp on the edges because of pulling pizzas out of the oven and the “filing” of the metal. He probably could have cut the guys hand off if he hit him the right way.”

Of all of the impromptu, real life weapons I have catalogued, a pizza peel never occurred to me. But this is a good example of a semi-impromptu weapon. If you are the owner of a pizza place, or even a long-term employee, it makes sense not only to work with a quality, efficient tool, but also one that can serve as a weapon if need be. 

A Solid Metal, High Quality Pizza Peel: Could It Save Your Butt?

The pizza peel also follows the pattern I have observed, that almost no real-life weapon handles like a stick –especially a rattan stick. The pizza peel would work very well with Big Stick Combat techniques, or long stick techniques as practiced by GM Estalilla, Giron larga mano stylists, Amo Guro Blackgrave, Josh Morale, etc.


Pizza Peel: A Two-Handed Weapon

Real Life Combat: Empanadas vs. Robber

Posted in Real Life Combat, Technique, Weapons with tags , , , , on December 5, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Mexican Empanadas

DEMING, N.M., Nov. 30 (UPI) — Police in New Mexico said a would-be robber was stopped by a female clerk armed with a loaf of bread and a box of pastries.

Deming police said a masked man who did not display a weapon tried to run off after snatching the cash register from the Amigo’s store at about 3 p.m. Wednesday and soon found himself on the receiving end of a thrown loaf of bread and a box of empanada, The Deming Headlight reported Tuesday.

The robber dropped the register and fled in a gray or primer-colored car with several other people, police said.

While the story may seem like nothing more than a mindless bit of amusement, there is actually a useful technique here. In this case, the projectile is not a throwing knife or a ninja star, but whatever you happen to have at hand. The purpose of this projectile is not necessarily to kill or even to injure the opponent
(although that’s always a plus), but to create a gap that you can exploit.

Imagine you are carrying your MacDonald’s takehome when someone steps out from behind the corner with a screwdriver.

1)  Throw the bag at his face.

2)  He either raises his hand/s to block it, or flinches, but a gap has been created. He is reacting to your offense.

3)  As soon as the bag leaves your hand, follow with a low line kick to his knee or groin, preferably on the side away from his weapon hand.

4)  Run.


Bonus Round:

As an employee at a bakery/restaurant, what is a semi-impromptu weapon that you could legally and inconspicuously carry? For instance, a box cutter is an essential tool at a restaurant, where boxes are often dropped off by the dozens. No one is going to yell, “Look out, the bus boy has a box cutter!”

Below are a couple of the common tools used at a restaurant, either of which could be carried or stashed without problem.