WWII Close-Quarters Combat
April 2, 2007 8:19 PM   Subscribe

Gutterfighting - any means, fair or foul, to save your life. Including The Kengla/Styers Short-End Technique. [tip o' the hat to Warren Leonhardt's 007 post] [related]
posted by tellurian (33 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Sweet Christmas!
posted by Anonymous at 8:31 PM on April 2, 2007

This looks familiar. Familiar like those 'loose 160 pounds in six weeks' commercials familiar.
posted by IronLizard at 8:39 PM on April 2, 2007

This will save my ass in Metatalk.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:45 PM on April 2, 2007 [2 favorites]

having spent over a decade studying traditional martial arts, complete with forms, one-step combinations, sparring, and other stuff that hasn't really prepared me much at all for a real life-or-death type fight -- I really appreciate the luxury of being able to train my body and mind for health, power, and control and not to develop kill-or-be-killed type instincts.
posted by cubby at 8:50 PM on April 2, 2007

Interesting reading!

::prints out, stores with Anarchist's Cookbook::
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 8:52 PM on April 2, 2007

That's ridiculous. Between pics 1 and 2, stick boy takes a step forward, but his victim somehow remains frozen in place.
posted by juv3nal at 9:03 PM on April 2, 2007

Never knew I could get so much accomplished with the *side* of my hand.
posted by Wonderwoman at 9:07 PM on April 2, 2007

Do I remember a similar post from a while back about 19th century cane fighting? (not a double, I just want to find that post...)
posted by abulafa at 9:08 PM on April 2, 2007

I say old Chap, I really took it to those slant-eyes in Bangalore! I was surrounded in a dark alley deep in heart of the ol' East Indian Trading Company territory when I was set upon by a frightful number of darkies! Well, I recalled my old gutterfighter training from my days at Eton and with the help of my trusty Marks and Spencer iron-tipped cane I attacked!

"Have at you!", I cried as the short-end jabbed true. Then, one attacked from the rear! I drove the long end deep into his monkey-like bread basket and Bob's your uncle, I was free. Why I still kept my manners and tipped my pith at them before returning to the club for a late crumpet.

Dreadful place, Bangalore.
posted by unixrat at 9:13 PM on April 2, 2007 [11 favorites]

This is not how gentlemen fight.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:14 PM on April 2, 2007 [2 favorites]

abulafa - here?
posted by tellurian at 9:16 PM on April 2, 2007

Also check out Bartitsu.

Not sure if this was posted here at one point or not.
posted by Telf at 9:30 PM on April 2, 2007

tellurian: I should have searched for "walking-stick" not "cane." Thanks.



Also a winner. (And props to unixrat for setting the, uh, mood.)
posted by abulafa at 9:34 PM on April 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

No seriously, get it....... *side* of my hand.
posted by Wonderwoman at 9:35 PM on April 2, 2007

This is not how gentlemen fight.

Ah, you've gotta love the old-fashioned chapter titles.

On the Egregious Over-use of Capitals and Long Sentence Fragments to Blithely Summarize that Which Will Be Repeated Again in Ensuing Paragraphs, Only Not in Bold.

posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:51 PM on April 2, 2007 [3 favorites]

It's been a long time since I checked out this site. I think the guy who originally ran it turned it over to one of Carl Cestari's students.

If you're interested in this stuff, google up Carl Cestari. He has some video tapes for sale that demonstrate most if not all of the WWII combatives. It's pretty simple technique wise, after all it was understood that this was really going to be put to use. That's one of the big differences between it and a lot of martial arts, is there is nothing in there that demands fine motor skills. Carl is a good teacher and reportedly Rex Applegate, a combat instructor for the OSS and author of _Kill or Get Killed_, saw a video of him and called it one of the best demonstrations he had ever seen.

They appear to be down right now but the site get-tough.net is another site with scans of old manuals from this time period. One standout is a Nazi collection of gangster hand to hand combat moves. For some reason I think it's British gangsters that the Nazis were studying but don't quote me on that.
posted by BigSky at 10:00 PM on April 2, 2007

That's awesome. Don't underestimate the power of a concealed handgun though.
posted by Sukiari at 10:23 PM on April 2, 2007

Step 1. Beat shit out of opponent with stick.
Step 2. See step 1.
posted by The Deej at 10:57 PM on April 2, 2007

Step 1: Beat the bloody hell out of opponent with cane, old boy.
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Crumpet!!
posted by Spacelegoman at 11:02 PM on April 2, 2007 [3 favorites]

Brilliant, unixrat!
posted by wsg at 12:13 AM on April 3, 2007

Carl Cestari learned his WWII combatives from the legendary developers, W E Fairbairn (writer of Get Tough! and Shoot To Live), Rex Applegate and Bill Underwood (creator of Defendo). Here's where it gets slightly more interesting from a historical perspective - Bill Underwood learned his techniques from a man named Yukio Tani, a Jujutsu specialist who was in England after having been dragged around various stage shows by Edward Barton Wright (the man who stripped Jujutsu bare and renamed it Bartitsu and btw was apparently a collossal wanker and racist - e.g. a standard "gentleman" of the time). It's amazing to see the links between all these characters - it's also allowed me to go on a 30 minute link rampage through tons of old SOE/OSS documents that have been declassified and also to dig up some gems such as this memoir of Silent Kill training by British composer Humphrey Searle who served with SOE units in WWII.
posted by longbaugh at 1:42 AM on April 3, 2007

The eyes. Go for the eyes. People instinctively try to protect their eyes.

I carry an umbrella in fair weather. The spike top is one hell of a stabbing weapon, and in a him-or-me defensive sitch, I am totally not squeamish about rupturing an enemy's eyeball. Fight's over at that point -- severe eye injuries are excruciating and incapacitating. If I'm defending myself, he had it coming.

If you can't get an eye, fracturing a larynx with a hard blow is good -- easy target, spectacular and usually final results. Knees, shins and insteps are surprisingly sensitive to kicking/stamping/raking, but you can't always be sure you've taken your enemy out and need to follow up with something crippling or killing, fast.

Okay, have we covered this sufficiently? I need to go look at kittens or something.
posted by pax digita at 5:10 AM on April 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

pax dig speaks true:
When in doubt, poke it with a stick.
posted by Dizzy at 5:58 AM on April 3, 2007

So 'Gutterfighting' is just another way of saying 'kicking him in the seeds,' right?
posted by Demogorgon at 6:17 AM on April 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

Demogorgon - or 'biting him in the seeds'.
posted by tellurian at 7:09 AM on April 3, 2007

The article about Jelly Bruce was very interesting. Excellent find!
posted by Pressed Rat at 8:24 AM on April 3, 2007

Never bring a stick to a knife fight.
posted by GuyZero at 9:12 AM on April 3, 2007

A sharp stick!
posted by Dizzy at 9:40 AM on April 3, 2007

Pointed stick? Oh, oh, oh. We want to learn how to defend ourselves against pointed sticks, do we?

Getting all high and mighty, eh? Fresh fruit not good enough for you eh?

Well I'll tell you something my lad: when you're walking home tonight and some great homicidal maniac comes after you with a bunch of loganberries, don't come crying to me!
posted by Merlyn at 11:44 AM on April 3, 2007

I'm just really happy to see you.
posted by Dizzy at 1:41 PM on April 3, 2007

Okay, have we covered this sufficiently? I need to go look at kittens or something.

You forgot the insoles of the feet. Rather unprotected nerve ganglia there if your foe is barefoot and you can get to them. If all else fails, convince him/her/it to display their shallow arch and rap them soundly right across it with that stick.

Here kitty kitty
posted by mrmojoflying at 6:26 PM on April 3, 2007

When in doubt, poke it with a stick.

From Where have all the batons gone? (a history of police batons):
The first documented police baton was called a truncheon, a small wooden police baton carried in the United Kingdom since the early 1800's. It was manufactured as a striking tool to be used primarily against resistant British subjects who were noted in those days to have a strong penchant for 'various forms of revelry and drunken debauchery'. It was London in the nineteenth century; a hard core urban environment and Constables who were charged with suppressing disorderly conduct in the wild streets of this city would often deploy their small wooden clubs to usher along crowds and to reinforce their orders and commands.
There's nothing like a little positive reinforcement now and then...
posted by cenoxo at 9:51 AM on April 4, 2007

« Older Joyce in postcards   |   The Eldritch Dark: The Sanctum of Clark Ashton... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments