KAPAP Academy Combat Concepts – Defensive Tactics (CCDT)
By Avi Nardia and Brian Hepp
Copyright © 2008 by KAPAP Academy, LLC All Rights Reserved
If you carry a gun in a holster or if you don’t use a holster and carry with the gun tucked into your pants or clothing, and whether it is concealed or not, you must remember this rule: anything you carry may be used against you! If you carry any type of firearm, no matter the status of the firearm whether drawn or not, and you are in a confrontation, it will be considered a firearm confrontation. If you carry a knife into a confrontation, it also will be considered a knife confrontation even if you didn’t mean for it to be one. These rules are important to understand because of the third stage of a conflict.
There are three stages of conflict: pre-conflict, conflict, and post-conflict.
If you carry a gun or knife for self-defense, as many do today, you must realize it can be used against you. If you engage in the fight and the aggressor is able to take your weapon, your fight has just become a blade or gunfight even if the attacker was unarmed to begin with. This is why weapon retention MUST be a part of training (pre-conflict stage). If you decide to carry a weapon, you must cover all of your bases in the pre-conflict stage by training in the use, retention, and disarming of the weapon. In KAPAP we use this triangle as a combat concept that comes from years of sweat, blood, and tears.
Law enforcement and security personal must be trained in the KAPAP weapon triangle, otherwise we’re asking for trouble. As you are aware, we encounter lots of armed security people in today’s unsettled environment. Take airport security for example. It may seem safe, but is it really? It may be that airports are actually an “un-safe zone” if the security people are not training the KAPAP combat concept triangle. If airport security personnel do not know how to retain their weapons, then the terrorists do not need to smuggle guns through security. All they need is to be able to disarm the security personnel and create a firearm conflict in the airport. This goes for terrorists in any situation, and also criminals (think bank and armed guards).
There is a saying we have in Close Quarter Battle (CQB), “you get the bomb and I’ll get the matches to light it”. If you think about what happened on September 11th you’ll remember that the airplanes served as bombs and all the terrorists needed to do was fly them to the targets. One of the most important things to study from history is that humans never learn anything from history . . . and that’s why we at KAPAP Academy keep writing and warning and warning about mistakes we see other CQB instructors making. It is the goal of KAPAP Academy to provide the most up to date, safe training possible so that lives are saved with the least amount of injuries.
Anyone who wants to carry a concealed gun and/or a knife must seek training by law and apply for a permit to carry it so we know that person has received the minimum training for using the weapons. We sincerely hope they also know how to keep those weapons from getting into the wrong hands to be used against us. It is imperative that police, military and security forces focus quality training on gun (and weapons in general) retention because it is the most important training for those who carry firearms in public.
Weapon Retention Overview:
We’ve found similarities regarding weapon retention in martial arts like Iaido, Kendo, Kenjustu, and other traditional martial arts. There are four main steps for weapon retention.
The first step: Secure the weapon. Often this is to your hip – “holstering” it with both hands but sometimes with one hand. Dress code is also an important factor in this step – keeping the weapon in a secure position even when it is holstered, or wherever it is kept on your body.
The second step: Position your body to retain the weapon. We’ve found BJJ (Brazilian Jujitsu) to offer some of the best principles in regard to the art of positioning and relative positioning. Professor John Machado, our friend and teacher for BJJ, is an expert in the art of relative positioning. It is key to position yourself relative to your opponent so that the weapon is effective AND difficult for the opponent to obtain.
The third step: Effect of Release. There are many different ways to accomplish this, but the best is using a move like the Karate move “Gedan Barai”. You hold the weapon with one hand and with the other starting high you hit down on his hand as he tries to take your weapon. This is the most common technique used for weapon retention as it is simple and effective and clears his hands from the weapon.
The fourth step: Create Distance to make sure it is safe to use the weapon and you and the weapon are out of the disarming range of your attacker.
We are very happy to see that the state of New York adapted the above system called SPEC (Secure–Position–Effect of Release-Create Distance) as the Gun retention system for their law enforcement training at the police academy, and can recommend it because it is easy to study and a very effective system for gun and weapon retention. In our new book published by BlackBelt Magazine, KAPAP Combat Concepts, we demonstrate some of the system with Professor John Machado.
For example, as you secure the gun to your hip or stomach area, imagine that you are trying to open a jar that is difficult to open. You would pull the jar near your hip and stomach area because this is the area of the body where we are the strongest and therefore we have the core strength we need to open the jar. When you are attempting to secure your weapon use this same area of your body, there you will have the strongest grip.
Thoughts on Post-Conflict
Another important thing regarding post-conflict, also described in our new book, is that whenever a weapon is present in a conflict there is liability due to the fact that weapons often mean the conflict has been elevated to the “deadly use of force” level. If you are a civilian carrying a weapon, even a knife that is legally acceptable, you must be aware that if you will stab someone you will need to explain in court why you chose to use deadly force. As a trainer of martial arts and CQB I try to warn my students about this. I know it’s legal to carry, but I worry that someone will be tempted to use it by pulling it in the middle of a fight . . . and if you use it, and are involved in a confrontation, you have elevated the post-conflict in a very negative way. Remember that you will have to explain why you used deadly force even if the knife stayed in your clothes because the police will confiscate it and report that you had a knife. Many believe that it would be better to carry a weapon and defend yourself than to have your life ended. I also know that the USA is a free country and we have the right to carry. But if you go to court, remember that we warned you to think about the post-conflict. You must be aware from the legal and liability aspect of carrying a knife, all the best advice from your friends who told you to carry it will not help you in court. I’ve traveled in some of the most dangerous places in the world and in the USA and I have never felt the need to carry. I’m concerned that over-confidence from carrying could cause situations that I would normally run from.
What’s Happening With KAPAP Academy Training Today?
Often, my students ask me in seminars where the KAPAP Academy system is going?
I teach KAPAP and Israeli Martial arts as well as Brazilian Jujutsu (BJJ). I love BJJ because of the art of control that comes with it. With BJJ you can dominate without the “blind eye” that sometimes results with training in “reality based” systems. What I mean by this is that sometimes students seek only the end (winning a street fight) while ignoring the actual journey to the goal. There is a lot of value in the finding different ways to reach the goal.
Self-defense is more complicated than most “reality based” martial arts claim it to be. There is no way that students who have taken five lessons will have the same knowledge as someone who has trained for a year or years (assuming they have a good teacher).
On the other hand there is also a concern for those who have trained for a long time as a large ego can result in dangerous mistakes because people get over-confident. Long-term students often think they know more than they really do.
Today we see several new “reality based” Israeli systems showing up. Most of them are run by “experts” in “Israeli Martial Arts”. Many students and consumers do not see that any solider of three years in the Israeli army can come to the US and become an Israeli MA “expert” by spending a lot of money on marketing. They call themselves “commandos” with a “devastating system” and they plug their organizations with words like “International” attached to it.
Today’s students who want to study Israeli Martial Arts face the “want-to-be” market. It seems that all you need to do today is to put on some commando clothes and say “we are not a traditional martial art, we are a no nonsense martial art”. Does that mean traditional martial arts are nonsense?
After 5 years of teaching in the civilian market, I’ve seen so many Krav Maga Grand Masters handing out Black Belts to students who have studied for only a year or so. Few, if any, of these “grand masters” hold a black belt or knows anything about any other martial art such as Japanese Karate or Judo… but they do teach people how to get killed “in style”. KAPAP Academy is definitely NOT part of this festival of “grand masters”.
I know exactly what Israeli Martial Art are – the good and the bad. The majority of the Israeli army doesn’t receive any hand-to-hand training. Only a few units receive some basic training, which is more to develop aggressiveness based on their power and not on any techniques. This is all done in a very limited amount of time. The Israeli Police Academy does teach a few basic techniques of restraint, but again it is very limited. Hagana (a defensive tactics system) for better or worse will try to cram as much as possible into a short period of training. There are also the counter-terror units, which get their training in a few different schools around the idea of a system called Lotar. Some of the Lotar schools are for the border police and others are for the army . . . and there is virtually no cross contact between them, so not much is shared.
I have been an official instructor for all three major areas in Israel – the Israeli Army, the Israeli Police, and the Israeli Counter-Terror units. I can say that the individual’s level of training in these areas is not as good as some people want you to believe it is. This is why it bothers me to hear guys, with their limited training, profess to be the “best system”. I bring all of my martial arts training in Japanese martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and KAPAP together and we still modify techniques constantly to give our students the best possible training using only the best techniques available.
We know that all martial arts systems have something to offer and we must study and learn from each system and then mix the best of all the systems to make an excellent system of martial arts that will give us the best possible training for whatever we might encounter.
Remember the name of the martial art is not as important as the name of the martial arts instructor and his experience.
With KAPAP Academy during the last five years, no one has gone beyond Level 1. Our first KAPAP Level 2 course will take place in 2008. We don’t sell certificates, and we don’t try to cram all of our courses into a five day “Super Course”. You can’t buy our certificates because we are more concerned about your ability to protect yourself and those you love than we are about making you a “Black Belt”. KAPAP Academy training is for people who want to work hard and develop skills that they will not forget. Our students don’t need titles, but they will be able to step onto any mat or street and prove themselves when it really counts.
When a person is fighting for his or her life, they won’t have a chance to run home and get their certificate to scare away the predator. They had better be prepared to use what they’ve been taught and that’s where having had an excellent teacher means life or death for the student.
In my own school, Avi Nardia Academy, in Rochester New York, I teach Kendo, BJJ, Thai Boxing, Karate, and Judo all under Combat Concepts that are based on my life experience which includes both Israeli martial arts and traditional martial arts and I am on the mat with my students, safely passing on to each one of them what I know.
At KAPAP Academy we don’t look at what we teach as just “Israeli Martial Arts” anymore because Albert Timen (KAPAP Academy president) and I have now lived in the United Sates for more than six years. We have improved so many techniques that have their origin in Israeli martial arts by drawing from our experiences with so many other martial arts and it is the goal of KAPAP Academy to teach the very best “self defense” to every one of our students, by being the best at what we do as martial arts instructors.