"...If one is fighting with a long-range kicker (taekwondo person, maybe) it is harder in my experience to close range and issue close combat strikes than it is for them to hold you at their preferred range. what to do if you cannot run? This seems to me the only issue with the principles outlined in your book. Attack proof has still helped me to fight better in controlled situations. peace."

With the long distance situation, there is no range problem in a REAL fight...typically if you have enough room to "spar" than you have enough room to run which fits our philosophy of avoiding all fights except those where you have no choice. This is the false premise of "sparring" as fight training. If he backs up and dances away, you back up until there's no fight. If he's jumped you you're already in close combat range. If you can't get away, typical close combat principles apply: attack the attacker. Distance fighters and long kickers tend to be one-trick ponies and hate inside fighting where you can gouge eyes, crush windpipes, scratch bite and claw testicles, rip off ears, and elbow and knee strike from every and all angles.etc. In KCD additionally you train looseness and sensitivity so that being inside actually makes you nastier and more elusive like a mongoose or pissed off alley cat as opposed to most grappling arts where you try to CONTROL the other person's motion and actually inhibit your freedom to strike and avoid being struck by tightness and antagonistic muscles.

If you're stepping in obliquely it's hard for one long kick to stop a rush in with low kicks, stomps and parry/eye slashes/neck chops, etc. Hate to use the example because it's sportive, but in the UFC very few fights are decided by long range kicking: the grapplers get in and dump them. In KCD, whatever kick they throw, you simply send field-goal style low drop kicks straight to their groin. If they kick high to your head, their groin's exposed and they get nailed, same for a high roundhouse or hook kick; if they do a spinning back kick, they get kicked in the ass and then you're on them. If they throw a low kick to your groin, they neutralize each other and then you're inside by now and your close combat stuff comes into play. If you slip, you can revert to KCD style groundfighting and crush their legs--there's very few ways to deal with this (see clips on our website)
--Matt Kovsky

your comments re the issue of fighting distance kickers made good sense, too. as you say, this is the problem with sparring as fight training, something my group has long been conscious of. it is so hard to train for a real fight situation without really fighting. i guess in sparring, one can be loathe to brave those flailing tae kwon do style legs just to score a 'point'. if you had to go through such a fighter to escape, however, there would be greater incentive to do so. partly, i was just playing devil's advocate and your answer was as complete and sensible as i had expected. there are so few combat trainers who talk real sense with regards to surviving real violence.                            

Here's the deal with regard to fight training: if the long distance kicker manages to "ding" you a little as you get in, who cares? In a real situation, if this person were, say, raping your sister, you'd take one full-on kick just to rip his head off. If in your training the long range kicker is kicking REALLY hard, his balance will be thrown anyway by his over-committment to the kick, in which case you'll be able to enter obliquely and smash him in the throat REALLY hard. The result? You'll have a black and blue mark but he'll be in the hospital or DEAD. Is this practical training? Not really, but it underscores philosophically the futility of certain kinds of training. By the way, if the long range kicker knows that every time he kicks you hard you're going to kick him really hard in the groin (a closer target), he's going to lose interest in those high flailing kicks very quickly.

So how do you train for real self-defense? You use real, lethal strikes (proven in war, not in the ring for points or prizes) and back off the intensity and speed so that you both learn where your openings and weaknesses are without injury. Remember: it's hard to connect cleanly with a high kick under life or death scenarios and even then the damage is survivable. But even at slower speeds, if you get hit in the throat, eyes, neck or kidneys, you intuitively "grasp" it would have been over for you. This is why we developed Contact Flow where anything goes but where you quickly discover which moves and strikes are effective and which are sportive nonsense. Good luck in your training.
--Matt K

"This is a drill i have found good for training 'detatched contact' principles: two participants stand facing each other at arm striking distance and attempt to grab the others forearms briefly as many times as possible within a time period. this helps train you to put your hands where you want them while avoiding potential entanglement or grapples. it forces you to shrug off your adversary's hands while going about your own business. thought the idea may interest you guys, if you don't already do it. wish your marketing of kcd was more agressive. i would love to learn from an endorsed instructor here in the uk. i recommend attack proof to anyone who i can make listen. some members of my group have doubted the wisdom in some of its concepts. i have proven my point by beginning to surpass fighters many years my senior in terms of experience. peace"

This is very good in that it begins to enhance sensitivity but it avoids the key point--IF you have to fight, then you should train for what you really have to do... instead of trying to touch each other's forearms (and avoid being touched simultaneously which I'm assuming you're already doing), why not make the targets actual lethal striking areas? Native Americans played this game and was a key aspect John Perkins added to KCD. It's called "Counting Koo" [from coup-French] (symbolically "taking lives") and doesn't mean you hurt your training partner--nevertheless they know that if you hit them hard in those spots they'd be dead.)
--Matt K

I know we are to be steel spring loose not limp noodle loose. This is taken from Carl's Site. I lost the
e-mail as to why they say it is impossible to stay loose or relaxed in a life
or death confrontation. I do have the hard copy though if you are interested. I
know KCD works, I've used it. I'm just wondering about the automatic effects
on the body. Will I be able to stay loose?
--Thanks Bob

"When you are under hormone induced stress, or fear, your body prepares itself
for combat. You will not be able to recall complicated and intricate
techniques. In Col. Grossman's book On Combat, he explains this in great
detail about the physiological changes your body goes through. We even discuss
it briefly on

Below is a graph taken from On Combat that clearly illustrates what will happen to you when you are placed
under extreme stress.
Graph A. The effects of hormonal or fear induced heartrate increase.
Graph is courtesy of the book On Combat by Lt. Col. David Grossman, PPCT Research publications (
Heart Rate Beats Per MinuteAbove 175 bpm · Irrational Fight or Flight · Freezing · Submissive Behavior
· Voiding of Bladder or Bowels · Gross Motor Skills: running, charging, etc
at highest performance levels Condition Black 220 200 180 160 140 120 100 80
175 bpm: · Cognitive processing deteriorates · Vasoconstriction = reduced
bleeding from wounds · Loss of peripheral vision (tunnel vision) · Loss of
depth perception · Loss of near vision · Auditory exclusion Condition Gray
Condition Red 145 bpm: · Complex motor skills deteriorate 115-145 bpm= optimal
survival and combat performance level for: · Complex motor skills · Visual
reaction time · Cognitive reaction time 115 bpm: · Fine motor skills
deteriorate Condition Yellow Condition White (Psychological Condition) 60-80
bpm: · Normal resting heart rate

Notes: This data is for hormonal induced
heart rate increase resulting from the sympathetic nervous system arousal.
Heart rate increase resulting from exercise will not have the same effect.
Hormonal induced performance and strength increases can achieve 100% of
potential max with in 10 seconds, but drop 55% after 30 seconds, 35% after 60
seconds and 31% after 90 seconds. It takes a minimum of 3 minutes of rest to
"recharge" the system. Any extended rest after sympathetic nervous system
arousal can result in parasympathetic backlash, with significant drops in
energy level, heart rate and blood pressure. This can manifest itself as normal
shock symptoms (dizziness, nausea and/or vomiting, clammy skin) and/or profound

You can see that the optimum heart rate is between 115 and 145 BPM.
I can't stress enough the difference between exercise induced heart rate and
hormonal induced heart rate. How many times have you either been locked out of
your home or car and you really needed to get in, how many times do you try the
door handle. When people are trapped in a crowded theater and they will try to
open the door, over and over and over again. Knowing its locked has nothing to
do with it, when your mind starts going into condition red, you lose all
rational thought.

How do you prepare or prevent going into condition red?
Experience. The more times you are put into a situation, you become inoculated
against the stress. As we are seeing today, soldiers who have been in combat
are more effective than those who have not been. Training. The more you can
replicate the circumstances of a stressful situation, the more you can learn
what to expect. This requires training partners, training environments and a
lot of repetition. Physical conditioning. The better your physical condition,
the more damage you can absorb and the longer you can function under extreme

The problem is most people don't have access to specific training for
self defense. If you are like most people, you don't have the time to dedicate
8 to 12 hours a week on your training. This is why the methods found at work so well. The people who selected these
methods realized that people don't have the time to dedicate to learning the
more complicated aspects of a martial art. And they were all too familiar with
how people function under fire.

Keep in mind, these people are preparing for
combat- in other words, soldiers know that the potential for a life or death
situation is inevitable. They have time and training to prepare. You going to
your car or shopping at the mall will be taken by surprise. Your reaction must
be instinctive and convulsive. Let's take the axe hand or short edge of hand
as an example. It's durable; you can hit most anywhere on your target without
doing significant damage. If trained minimally, even the smallest person can
develop enough power to knock some one out. Now, picture those people in the
crowded theater, repeatedly pressing on the emergency exit. When you are
stressed without benefit of realistic training or the experience of being in
that situation repeatedly, you will act like those people trapped in the
theater. At the most, all you will be able to do are a few techniques. Even if
all you did was an edge of hand, repeatedly and forcefully over and over and
over again- you will increase your chances dramatically.

The problem is, most
self defense methods DON'T EVEN CONSIDER THIS! What happens when you learn a
little of a lot of technique? Nothing. You will freeze and do nothing. That's
why when you practice it must be intense. You must hit repeatedly and as hard as
you can. Try this. Stand in front of your training target. Time yourself if you
can. Using just the short axe hand, hit that thing as much and as hard as you
can. How long did you go for before you are totally exhausted or whipped? Cut
that time in half- that's your fight life. That's roughly how long you will
last before you will have to regroup or rest. ©2005 See You On the Mat, Damian Damian Ross 32 Wanaque Ave Pompton
Lakes, NJ 07442 1.973.831.0315

The physical and psychological stress factors involved in a real life and death
encounter are always to be taken into consideration while training.

 As described in Col. Grossman's book on combat a person must practice constantly under
realistic conditions to have a chance to respond properly when needed. This is why in KCD
there is an emphasis on developing dropping force on all strikes right from the beginning.

  Basic close combative strikes are used primarily. As you grow in ability to become more
supple and able to evade and absorb strikes a person will be able to incorporate the KCD
principles into their hard wiring.

 This does take many months and even years of practice. If you only have very limited
time to practice for serious self defense then a person should only practice the most
basic drop strikes and side stepping with returning multiple drop strikes.

 If a person is confronted by a seasoned attacker, who has some serious training, or just
practices surprise attacks, perhaps they will have some chance.

 If a person has worked constantly with the KCD principles they will develop in line with
the amount of realistic movement they practice.

 You will find that spastic, limited movements are not the only responses people will
have during duress.

 When a speeding vehicle comes at a person suddenly some are able to step out of the
path. When someone tries to stick a person with a sword the person generally steps back
if the attack is seen.

 Yes, in a crowded theater during a fire people will grab at a door handle because it is
what they know.

 People will also, in many cases, push people out of their path and step onto fallen
bodies and keep going until they reach the door. Some will even find their balance when
pushed into a wall or furniture etc.

 Athletes will, in most cases, have better balance and coordination than non athletes.
They will often fare better performing movements that are not part of their athletic
practice. This is what I call the cross training connection.

 The athlete will have some advantage over a non athlete not only by natural ability but
training of the body which allows a better brain body connection.

 Training the KCD principles develops the innate abilities that we all have which can
allow better response to emergency conditions overall.

 In KCD training contact flow slow exercises are gradually brought up to speed once a
student develops through rigorous training. The ability to move at extreme speed is
enhanced by the addition of even the slightest amount of balance, and looseness which
does come about through repetative non cooperative training properly done.

 Many of our law enforcement and military persons have found that because of practicing
the KCD principles they were often better able to react correctly under stressful and
sudden conditons than thier cohorts.

 Even while being beaten by a couple of men with long clubs one of our students was able
to remain pliable while rolling around on the ground which enabled him to escape. He
later was able to deal with an enraged psycho at his job working in a criminal psycho

 His attacker was over 100 pounds heavier and had demolished a couple of the other
attendants who had grappling training and years of experience.

 The KCD student had only a few weeks of work at the hospital and much experience in KCD.

 This is a constant theme with all of our members who must go into harm's way for a

 Yes--- If you practice unbalancing an enraged assailant over and over again or if you
practice evading a sudden rush and return with massive counter strikes and you have more
basic balance and timing and power than someone who only practices simple striking and
blockiing you will have a better chance at surviving a serious chaotic violent attack.

 That is why we at KCD train the basics first and then add the principles along with
simple strikes, evasion and return and all other variables that we can possibly work out
during many hours of practice over time.

 We have members who have many years of combatives training which they found was greatly
enhanced by developing KCD principles.

 Remember, a gifted master fighter can make almost anything work. Do not be fooled by a
master instructor who will use his great ability to put a lie to a student's training at
a beginning level.

 It is sad but some teachers feel threatened by what is perceived as new so they crush
the sprout before it has a chance to grow.

 Yes superfluous, fancy traing will not get a person ready for a real life and death
battle. Neither will extremely limited training allow for long term growth of a martial
warrior. Experience is the best teacher--- if you survive.

 Simple strikes and evasion with scenario type training will fare most well enough when
time constraints are limited. If you have time and can seriously practice then
development of grace under fire can begin.
--John Perkins

"Hello Attack Proofers, The footy season is finished hear in Australia, so it's time to get off my rear-end and back into training ... I have known about Attack Proof for a few years and take some of its ideas along with those of other reality styles. I have the book and 2001 seminar video. I train only occasionally.

I already knew I fight like a girl, but in a moment of clarity last night I imagined myself fighting for my life whilst training. 99% technique went out-the-window. I had a reasonable defence using fright-reaction, pocketing, flinching, chin tucked in, moving behind a guard, and the hello block, all with some degree of body unity. I can flow off defence into good position for attack. But in attack I had almost nothing. When I had an opening all I could manage was a girly rake towards the eyes in a pushing motion like an overhead basketball throw whilst leaning forwards bending my back, head tucked low. I knew I was a nancy boy, but I was still surprised by the massive tension that immobilised me. The only parts of me that I could free up to move were the lower legs/feet, the elbow joint (but the elbows themselves wouldnt move far from the home position), hands, and bending my back forwards.

Striking, even open-handed, requires relaxing so that you tense on the end of the strike and not the beginning. Dropping requires relaxing. Out-the-window they went. My strikes became pushes/shoves. All I could do was move my tensioned trunk around with short steps to get in close enough to do the girly rake/push towards the eyes (and maybe throat). My hands could only strike like pushy pythons from the ride-the-harley position (only more hunched over). My upper body and trunk move with the stuttering motion of someone in the arctic freezing to death: only brief moments of relaxation amidst the tension. I want my strikes to come out of me convulsively, as if sneezing or shot out of me, sprung out of my subconscious, yadda ... but that only happens during relaxed training. Any ideas how i can improve striking under this tension? Thanks.
--Regards, Steven"

First of all, the fact that you are discovering these things in your training is tremendous and shows enormous personal discipline which is why you will ultimately succeed. It is very difficult for most to be able to analyze their own movements and evaluate their effectiveness. Developing cat and whip-like looseness under duress takes nervous system training but it is definitely achievable; it is the methods that are key. The most vital drills for you to practice to develop looseness and power simultaneously are the entire Anywhere Striking Drills series, Polishing the Sphere and Washing the Body. Anywhere Striking Drills get you to recognize and deliver Body-unitized power at every possible angle. It is always important to maintain the proper range for each strike so that the striking tool is not crimped or cramped. You must allow for maximum extension of the arm or leg just short of locking out the joint. You do this by relying on your OWN balance and weight-shifting and not relying on the heavy bag to hold you up from over-committed strikes. This concept is vital because if you rush an attacker and you're too close to get your whole body into strikes there'll be no power (NOTE that this can be circumvented by proper Dropping Energy, allowing you to hit with no room; nevertheless you need to train proper mechanics and balance independent of the opponent's. Think of it this way---if the opponent were to suddenly move and your strikes are overcommitted because you expected to land them, you'll fall over.)

By slowly increasing the complexity, speed and spontaneity of the strikes, you will eventually be able to get comfortable hitting viciously from anywhere to anywhere like a mongoose. But start simple and follow the directions. Polishing the Sphere and Washing the Body will amplify this by getting you to move your body out of its own way to allow you to both hit and avoid being hit (i.e. by a swinging heavy bag or two). Stay with the drills and they will pay big dividends in your development. The Attackproof Companion Video Part 2 has detailed demos of Polishing the Sphere and Washing the Body and Part 1 has Anywhere Stiking if you need visual reinforcement.
--Matt K.


If you like our Newsletter, tell a friend.    

"Since i chanced upon your website, however, your concepts on combat have been swirling in my mind like a new-found lover.   having browsed Attack-Proof in the amazon website and found it so sensible, i forthwith ordered a copy from a local book importer which will become available in a few weeks (the accompanying video may be problematic to acquire. my craft requires me to live near the boonducks).  having gone through the maze of various arts and methods, at 51 i think i am now able to know the difference.  hence i concentrate on the filipino arts, military-related combatives and yes, the internal arts (being of chinese ancestry i find in the internal a very deep sense of rootedness, calm alertness and spirituality.  but you are right - it is very difficult to find the martial in these arts unless the sifu really knows or is willing.  in manila though i met yi quan adepts who can really rumble).  i know next to nothing of your method, but there's so much truth in the bits and pieces that i have.  wholly practical and devoid of the war-freakeness of other systems. a refreshing but dead-serious approach."
--Jerry, Philippines

"The more I learn the more I know that you have got this correct. I heard
about an assault that happened in Springfield, a couple was walking to their
car, in downtown. They have opened a bunch of college bars and dance places,
some [undesirables]  have been coming into town to meet college girls. One bar has
been playing gangster rap style music and it caused a riot in down town and 50
cops were called in. Anyway this couple took a short cut through the alley,
Springfield is safe right? 5 cars in a car pulled along side, words were
exchanged they jumped out and beat up both the guy and his girlfriend with the
girl getting beat up worse. It may have gone really bad after that but a
another  group of people were came down the alley and the criminals fled. In this
case  awareness and not being in that situation would be the only thing to have
helped  outside of a glock."

GET REAL  with your training. Learn to become as powerful and elusive as
possible.  Learn to use your weapons as well as possible so that you can
exercise  restraint, if possible, at all times.
NEVER assume that you are  facing an unarmed opponent. Remember: you may
not have time to see  anything before attacked. That is why serious self
defense is a dicey game  to play when blidsided or attacked by multiple
assailants. You have to  make the choice to stay alive and deal with the arm
chair quarterbacks of  the world who can't or won't understand what a person
must do, in some  cases, to survive.
--Take care,  JP

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