Reality-Based Self Defense and Personal Protection Resources
Reality-Based Self Defense and Personal Protection Resources


All injury, all the time – Tim Larkin

To be invincible in hand-to-hand combat and be able to deliver an injury, you need to have at least a passable fluency in all the various forms it can take:

Boxing. Kick boxing. Ground fighting. Stick fighting. Knife defense. Gun disarms.

I have no doubt I’m missing some here. Once you get all those covered, you can look at your skillset and find the bits you missed, then sign up for yet another course to cover them. (Something tells me you’re in for a life-long pursuit.)

It’s simpler to refer to them all as “dash-fighting,” as in “noun-dash-fighting.” That covers the whole sweep in one go.

It’s very much a “this vs. that” mindset, with the fear that the missing piece in your repertoire will be the one that will take you out: The stand up fighter is merely prey for the grappler should he actually get in.

Or you have the stand up and ground game covered, but he brings a knife. Time to switch to knife defense… If you’ve got it.

There are some unfortunate problems with this mindset:

The various approaches and training are rarely compatible.

How do you stitch together knife defense and grappling? How does stick fighting work on the ground? If you’re getting this information from different places and different instructors, chances are not good that the various training methods will work well together, if at all. And that gets us to our next problem…

The hesitation of switching gears.

If you’ve got all these various approaches and methods nailed down, you’re still going to need precious time to recognize any change in the threat profile and go digging for the appropriate response to handle it. And then employ it. It might only take split seconds, but in life-or-death violence, that time matters. Add to that the fact that most victims of knife violence report never even seeing the knife. “He started punching me, I suddenly felt really tired, and then there was blood everywhere,” is the common refrain of survivors.

The Eternal Path.

This is the one that bummed me out: The idea that it was going to take a lifetime to accrue enough training from enough different perspectives to have any hope of covering all potential issues. Even if I managed that, there are not enough hours in the day or days in the week to train everything often enough to be useful. And then I needed to be some kind of super-genius to make everything make sense. None of that was going to happen.

Lucky for me, I was exposed to the common thread of all these various facets of violence:

Debilitating injury.

Instead of worrying about ranges, counters, or what he may or may not have in his hand, it’s as simple as all injury all the time. The principles for causing injury work the same on the ground as they do standing up; they work regardless of what the other guy is holding on to: knife, stick, gun, or you.

And those same principles for causing injury take care of the chief concern most people have about what he’s doing: throwing a punch or kick, rushing for a takedown, swinging a stick, stabbing or pointing a gun at you. These problems get solved as a side effect of what you must do to break things inside of him. And if you know what to do with that disabling injury, the rest is academic.

This is how we can manage to cover all those bases in our weekend seminars —the base principles for injury work at all scales and for all situations. Once you get them down, we can then add in the knife, stick, gun and grappling. From your perspective, nothing changes. You just injure the man.

All injury, all the time is always available to you without having to worry about compatibility between methods for dealing with various threats; you never have to waste time switching gears; and it’s easy and quick to learn.

Tim Larkin

Tim Larkin is the creator of Target Focus Training, the #1 Self-Protection training system.

  • reply Ken ,

    One of these days I’d love to hear your take on the recent Portland tragedy – from the TFT point-of-view.

    • reply William Raue ,

      Remember – Repeatition IS the mother of ALL your studies!
      This is true whether you practice it or reread it or just keep repeating oral instructions!
      A respected and brilliant teacher of mine taught me this 61 years ago and these words/teachings/instructions have never let me down.

      • reply Bob ,

        I read somewhere that violence of action trumps technique. At first I wasn’t a believer, but slowly realized it is a true statement. If you can shock the opponent with such a violent act that they are unable to defend, you win…

        • reply Larry ,

          Tim, thanks for being there for us old (78) veterans as we become more vulnerable to the new crazy Am

          • reply Darrell Lane Sanders ,

            True nowadays I’m not sitting up wondering what, who or thinking ifs I understand Injury is all anybody in a violence conflict can hope for cause & effect.

            • reply Ron ,

              Needing and reading all material

              • reply Doug L. ,

                Well said.

                • reply John ,

                  Good stuff. I like your system. Makes a lot of sense.

                  • reply WILLIAM SCHELLHOUS ,

                    Thanks Tim!

                    • reply waynefrisbie ,


                      • reply Rick Michael ,

                        Hello Tim: Yeah, I do love your abilities to make these trainings fluid as you do. I work on various things most every day, as I am very into your methods. Yeah, I’ve done lots of things after 25 years in S.E. Asia as I have a beautiful Thai wife & I teach her & some other females I know. I only teach a little so they can defend themselves. ME, NO! injury I hand out ever bothers me as I spent more than 2 years in the NAM w/5th SF Group & was a leader in SOG( Loas & Cambodia). I used TFT about 1 week ago to do serious damage to this idiot & I laughed at how easy it is when 1 is highly trained as I am. Can’t thank you all enough for devising a super close hand to hand gun to gun etc. & I love it. Injuries to these wastrels is NOT! an issue for me. I would never let people I know that could NEVER! do this as they have never killed as most or all of us Commando crazo’s have many times. I’ve seen every part of the body & no issue for me. I was even surprised how my mind went right to kill mode even with these new trainings. I’m working on the 2 Aussie guys now. Point of interest: I’ve worked with English SAS (Special Air Service) & w/ Aussies in the NAM in SBS (Special Boat Service), so I know how good they are. Thank You very much as I am still a Black Spec Ops guy & NEVER! have used a gun to get my protagonist & now it will be even better. Great company, Tim from Rick Michael AKA: John Rain

                        • reply Rick Wilson ,

                          Great stuff I am 62 and I’m sorry I didn’t have the time to do your TFT when younger I read your book great information

                          • reply Daryl Bonicelli ,

                            I started to read & somewhat practice different techniques with TFT 2 or 3 years ago-unfortunately I am almost 68 & have osteo Arthritis, Diabetes, & high blood pressure & my flexibility & strength are “poor” I therefore always carry 2 knives on me because the way I figure it, I need & edge I also have done phillipino kick boxing $ stick fighting-as a Sr citizen, I figure everything is fair from picking up a bottle or board or kicking the guy in the groin-obviously I try to avoid violence or confrontation & I carry too but can’t bring a weapon to work & my job gave a basic self defense course to prevent grappling but I think in case of a shooter their advice to run & hide is a little weak & our security team (I work for a large mtge co) is not armed- It seems the mainstream companies have not caught up with the present state of our country & our threatened society a burglary happens ever 5 minutes? what are u gonna do?

                            • reply Thomas Goldsbury ,

                              I enjoy the books strategy!

                              • reply Doug ,

                                I wish you had live training in the Phoenix area. Do you have any?

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