Combatives Founders

Sykes and Fairbairn in the USA

SykesSykes also worked closely with both Fairbairn and Colonel Rex Applegate (with whom they became fast friends) on the “Silent Killing” course. He worked closely with the Clandestine Division of the O.S.S.

Sykes and Fairbairn co-designed the first “Mystery house” a shooting facility designed with several rooms a concept later adopted by the S.A.S. and named a “kill house” and they also constructed whole urban warfare training installations. On several occasions Sykes performed as a bodyguard for Winston Churchill.

Sykes like most of the men of this genre was a very private and quiet man. He was never heard to boast or brag of his exceptional skills. During WW2, Sykes rose in the ranks (no doubt due to his own extraordinary contributions) and by the end of the war was a Captain. His reputation was one of a true professional who readily accepted all missions with enthusiasm and was noted for his toughness. Thousands of men had the benefit of being trained in combat warfare via his syllabus which by the end of the war differed from that of Fairbairn on several matters of emphasis.

Eric Anthony Sykes has been noted in history as one of the key figures in the development of western unarmed and armed combat of the 20th century.