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 Fechtbüch - By Antonio Castigliano

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PostSubject: Fechtbüch - By Antonio Castigliano   Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:50 am

(I will be keeping this thread locked and add to it as I have time. - Silver Sentinel)

Because of the very nature of physical combat, I will not pussy foot around. I will speak directly and in no uncertain terms. If it appears that I am trying to scare the faint of heart away from physical altercations, then good. If you are reading this and do not heed my warnings, then take a step back and reconsider. The advice I offer here is not just good advice for beginners, it's [I hope] good advice for experienced fighters as well.

Physical combat is dangerous. Every time you get into a fight you risk serious injury, or even death. There is no such thing as a simple fist fight. Every time a blow is thrown, or a push is made, there is the very real possibility you, or your opponent can be killed, or seriously injured. If you ever enter into a melee without this in mind, you are underestimating the seriousness of the situation, and you are in danger.

Proper training will help reduce, but never completely remove, the level of dangers involved in combat. With better training, not only comes the ability to inflict greater damage intentionally, but also of somewhat controlling the amount of damage inflicted unintentionally. Untrained combatants, while being fairly inept, can prove to be extremely dangerous to themselves, as well as their opponent.

Never enter combat with a sense of over confidence. The only thing you can ever be sure of is your own level of ability, and nothing of the opposition's. Be warned.


** For those of you who are curious, Antonio Castigliano is the Nom de Plume I use whenever I write anything concerning combat, or the military sciences in general. I am by no means an expert, but an educated amateur. Anything I write should be considered carefully and the reader is advised to seek out further information should they desire a more educated opinion on a matter. **
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PostSubject: Re: Fechtbüch - By Antonio Castigliano   Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:50 am

Situational Awareness

Be aware of your current environmentt and how your attitude can affect the current situation. If you appear weak, you will be perceived as weak.. and vulnerable. Pay attention to the area you are walking in, focus on where you are going, but do not ignore what is around you. Don't get lost in your thoughts. Don't talk on the cellphone while you stroll down the street. Don't stare at a pretty girl as she walks by, possibly irritating her boyfriend, or missing the thug comming at you from another angle while you're distracted. Make eye contact, and stand straight.

Interviews with hardened criminals show that they purposely target victims according to how weak they appear. Criminals are predators, and they hunt at the edges of crowds in the hopes of picking off the occasional stray lamb. So be a lion, don't be a lamb.

A lion doesn't have to think about how strong it is. Its strength shows by how it carries itself. It walks with purpose, its head moves from side to side, its eyes take note of everything it sees. It listens to the sounds around it but does not react like a rabbit with twitching ears and jerky motions. The lion is confident.

Inside you might be scared, but never show fear. Make eye contact, speak up, and don't walk with your hands in your pockets. Don't be timid, or hesitent. You have every right to walk the streets as everyone else has, so don't act like you owe the world an apology for stepping out into it.

Stay out of obvious, and even inobvious danger spots. Walk in the light, don't stray near dark alleys, or concealing doorways. If there is a group of strangers near your car, turn away and walk to the nearest corner market (but do not expose your back). Your personal safety isn't a joke. There's no reason you need to confront possible danger if you don't have to. You'll face personal danger enough in the field without adding to your troubles.

Don't ignore your instincts. If a stranger is being overly friendly, or someone is invading your personal space, speak up, or move away. If a group of partiers seems a little too interested in you as you approach them, walk across the street. Keep your eyes open, and you will receive dozens, even hundreds, of visual clues about possible dangers around you. This will allow you to adapt your plan of action in case something goes down around you.

Ask yourself questions about those around you. Why is that guy sitting hunched over on the corner? What are those three kids standing around smoking and looking around furtively at people who stroll by doing? Are those little kids playing with that ball too close to the road? And what is that old lady doing stabbing that man with a butcher knife really up to? Ask yourself questions, answer the questions, and keep the results in the back of your mind. Knowing who and what is going on around you increases your reaction time, increases your safety, and increases your effectiveness in the field.
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PostSubject: Re: Fechtbüch - By Antonio Castigliano   Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:10 am

Nothing beats actual Experience in combat.

No amount of book learning is going to prepare you for combat than actual experience. That's a fact. No matter how well written, no matter how pretty the pictures are, or how neato the enclosed DVD shows the moves in action.. nothing will prepare you for combat better than actualy, hands on, training and experience.

You can watch the world's greatest video, or read the latest book, on how to throw an effective punch, but until you have actually thrown one, you are not ready. An actual teacher, who shows you how to do a technique, takes the time to watch you, and correct your mistakes, can not be ignored. And the act of throwing a punch, or performing a technique in training, or against a heavy bag, can not be learned otherwise.

If you can not find someone [qualified] to teach you how to fight, then stay the hell out of combat. Period. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can do it on the fly, or that you know what you are doing. You do not. I have been fighting for years. I know what I'm talking about, so pay attention. It's your health, and your life, that is on the line.
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PostSubject: Re: Fechtbüch - By Antonio Castigliano   Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:26 am

Weapons.. Learn 'em.. or Leave 'em.

If you are not trained in the use of that fancy collapsing baton, leave it at home. Don't carry any weapon you are not familiar with and have not learned to use. Even if it is a simple can of pepper spray. If you have not read the instructions and have tested how to use it, leave it at home with your xBox 360 and the rest of your toys. It's useless to you. No, correction, it could be harmful to your health.

I am a trained combatant. I can disarm most amateurs with a reasonable rate of success. If you do not know what you are doing when you attack me, I will take away your weapon and proceed to beat you like a piñata until either candy comes out your pockets, or you shit your pants. Why would I do this? Because if you draw a weapon on someone, you have upped the stakes. You have shown a willingness to use possible lethal force in a fight and your opponent will often respond to such threats in an extremely aggressive manner. So unless you have candy in your pockets, expect to change your underwear.. after you wake up in the hospital. If you find yourself dead in the morgue, don't worry.. the mortician will have changed you into a nice suit for the funeral, providing your face allows for an open casket.

You should never carry any piece of equipment you are not fully comfortable with. If you have not trained in the use of your bo staff, leave it at home. Can't flick your sai without dropping them half the time, leave it at home. Tend to smack yourself in the elbow, back of the head, or in the balls with your nunchaku.. say it with me.. leave it at home!

If you do draw a weapon of any sort, be prepared to use it. Keep in mind you have just upped the ante in the game, and your opponent may then see your weapon, or raise you by drawing a firearm. I'll give you a hint in case you're not very smart, guns beat most all other types of weapons. Run. Run fast.. Run far. And hope you don't get a bullet in the back of the head.
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PostSubject: Re: Fechtbüch - By Antonio Castigliano   Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:38 pm

Fairness and Good Sportsmanship

If you expect a fight to be gentlemanly, fought fairly, and by the rules, then go to a boxing club and step into the ring using the Queensbury Rules. But if you are going to use physical intervention to stop a criminal from harming (or killing) you, or someone else, then you need to resign yourself to the harsh realities of street combat. So put your big boy pants on because it's time to nut up, or shut up.

At no time should you consider getting into a fight if you are not prepared to hurt someone, or be hurt yourself. If you are intervening in a real fight, you must recognize that you may not be able to "control" the situation. You may possibly be forced to use whatever physical means are necessary to stop an attacker. Not everyone is going to stop and submit because you have them in a painful wrist lock, or have them laying face first in the pavement with their arm ready to break. In some cases you will find yourself facing a crackhead who isn't affected by your fancy martial arts and it then becomes a matter of going from the hurt locker to the meat locker.

If the reality of actual physical combat does not give a knot in your stomach, or make your anus tighten up, then you have not experienced the joys of having someone stomp you so hard your insides rupture. Ask any trained fighter the difference between fighting in the ring and fighting in the streets. In the ring you have rules.. a referee will step in if things get out of hand.. certain blows are off limits.. and in the ring you are pretty sure you will be going home at the end of the fight, not the hospital.. or the morgue.

On the street, you are entering a fight at your own risk. There are no rules. There is no fairness, no time outs, and no tap outs. If you are not prepared to hurt someone, you will be hurt yourself. You must step in, use appropriate force, and keep on using force until the situation is resolved.. one way, or the other.
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PostSubject: Re: Fechtbüch - By Antonio Castigliano   Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:38 pm

Footing and Terrain

All the training in the world is going to be useless if you find yourself in terrain you can't fight in. If you have no solid footing, if you're stuck in a tight corner, if you are surrounded by garbage, or furniture, then you are at a severe disadvantage. Get out of there!

You do not want to be at a disadvantage.. you want the other guy to be at a disadvantage. You want good solid ground to keep your footing on. You don't want to be shoved, or backed into a table or chairs. You don't want to be pinned back against a car. And you sure as hell don't want to be laying on the ground where Mr. Happy Feet can put his steel toed boots into your favorite face!

If you are stepping into a fight, you want to draw your opponent into an open position. You want them to be drawn away from their victim, or other potential victims. Leaping into a fight in the middle of a group of school kids is not only irresponsible, but stupid in the extreme. Small children make terrible improvisational weapons to beat bad guys with, though bad guys find they make perfect shields to protect their cowardly asses with.

Impromptu combat is chancey at best. Unless you can direct the course of events leading up to the actual altercation, you will have to make do with whatever terrain you find yourself on. Hopefully you are already wearing appropriate footwear, if not keep that in mind when the action begins. You may only have moments to size up a situation before you board the bus to Fist City.. and that bus is a one way express from Hell and it doesn't stop for little old ladies.

Use whatever means necessary to draw an opponent away from a situation that favors them. Call them filthy names, make fun of their small penis, throw garbage at them. Whatever it takes to get them to move into a position that, if not favors you, at least evens the playing field. If you must engage in a position that does not favor you, use extreme force. You are at a disadvantage and the longer a fight goes on, the more danger you are in of being hurt, or killed. You need to end the fight as quick as possible.. or get the hell out of there if you can. Nobody says that you have to fight to the finish, if you have the chance to escape a fight then do so. Being smart is not being a pussy.

This is another reason there is no substitute for actual, hands on, training. You need to be able to have as many options open to you as possible so that you are not forced to use more physical interaction than absolutely necessary. Not only is it the responsible thing to do, it is also the legal obligation you are under as a citizen.
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PostSubject: Re: Fechtbüch - By Antonio Castigliano   Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:43 pm

Pressure Points

The inclusion of pressure points is not intended to be considered an endorsement of causing serious injuries to an opponent. I am including them to educate the potential combatant in case of serious emergency situations. They also illustrate the fragile nature of the human body.

I will be going into what attack techniques are best used against these vulnerable areas in later sections of the manual.

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PostSubject: Re: Fechtbüch - By Antonio Castigliano   Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:36 pm

Hand Strikes

Contrary to what you might think, I'm not going to talk about punching anyone. If you are not trained in how to throw a punch and have not actually trained in punching a heavy bag, or other solid object, then you will most likely hurt yourself trying to do so. No, I'm not kidding. Throwing a punch incorrectly (or even hitting a target badly) can result in an injury that will reduce your effectiveness in combat.

  • A poorly thrown punch can result in a twisted, or broken wrist!
  • A poorly thrown punch can result in jammed or broken knuckles, and fingers!
  • A poorly thrown punch can result in ALL OF THE ABOVE!


I bet you didn't know that. Usually Hollywood just has people shaking their hand a little to show they "hurt" their hand without any real effect afterward. This is Hollywood bullshit at its finest.

If you do strike someone with your hand, it is best to use the Hammer Fist, or the Palm Heel.

When making a proper fist it is important that it is done correctly.
  • the fingers should be curled tightly into the palm
  • the thumb lays tightly on top of the fingers.
  • the fist must be tight, loose fingers can break when hitting an object.


The Hammer Fist uses the bottom of the fist, the meaty part opposite the thumb, as the striking surface. Think of pounding your fist on a table top and you have the correct image. You swing the Hammer either downward to strike targets from above, or sideways to strike them from the side. Never hit with the thumbside of the fist!


The Palm Heel is used for striking many of the same targets as a fist would, with less chance of injury to yourself. Remember to use the HEEL of the palm and not the palm itself.

  • The palm faces the opponent, hand bent back with fingers curled under
  • The strike is with the heel of the palm, the arm straight with the weight of the body behind it.
  • Some books and videos show palm strikes with fingers straight (i.e. hand is flat) - the danger is that if the person raises their head and the fingers strike the chin they will bend back and break - it is recommended that the fingers are curled over.
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