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

Self-Protection Expert & Founder of Target Focus Training
Author of When Violence Is The Answer

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