Combatives History

Combatives Techniques

Another thing to take into account is that the techniques that comprised this system had to be taught to thousands in a very short time span. This is only logical due to the pressing conditions of the war, so the founders of Combatives did not have the necessary time that it takes to teach every single detail about every single technique that exists in the Japanese repertoire of Combatives. Conversely the Japanese had several centuries of testing their techniques in every manner in battle conditions. The western counterparts of WW2 had a total of perhaps 10 hours to make their combatants effective, so belabouring every detail pertaining to technique was a luxury. Instead they “westernised” their techniques to make them easily duplicatable for the average troop, operative or resistance fighter. This is perhaps where the notion of “western” combat system comes from. Divine intervention aside and realistically speaking, it is hardly likely that a person who had closely and diligently studied Japanese and Chinese combatives for some 17 odd years on a personal level with the finest instructors of his day would suddenly “invent” a whole new system without basing it on a known entity, principle or quality.

The techniques that are taught in today’s Combatives undoubtedly have their own “twists” as it were, but they are instantly recognisable by a JuJutsu combatives practitioner as Jujutsu based. This does not mean that there are no western techniques or influences or war-craft, it simply means that it does not dominate the Combatives system.

“You fight as you train” goes the adage. This is also what common sense dictates, so small adjustments to an existing system as opposed to large adjustments are logical and necessary, at least if one is to make the techniques simpler, easier to copy and therefore learn.

It is quite apparent then that although the founders undoubtedly had a solid Japanese combatives background they had to consider:

  • The anti Japanese sentiment
  • A short learning curve for the troops
  • The ease of technique application
  • The effectiveness of each technique

To recap the previous paragraphs then, it is only natural and it follows logically that they would take a ready system (Combative JuJutsu), whittle it down to the bare necessities, make it simpler, easily duplicatable and teach it as fast as possible. The results of this methodology were proved time and again on the battlefields around the world where allied combatants used them successfully.