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Paul_L's picture
Old Infantry Fighting Books

I came across some old books on unarmed combat techniques for servicemen that I thought were quite interesting in some places. What struck me was that quite a few of the illustrations and photos of various techniques showed positions that looked very similar to those in Kata. This got me wondering if practical kata application was being incorporated in US army unarmed combat training (which I suspect may not have been the case) or is it that with the same problem, same goal and human physiology being the pretty much same for everybody, the same practical answers become apparent.

So I am not sayig that there is a link between these images and kata per se, just that it seems like kata provides answers to practical problems, the US Army found practical answers to practical problems, and that those answers were remarkably similar.

Anyway, not really putting a theory across, just thought it was an interetsing parallel.


Arm bar similar to Pinan Yodan, Godan, Kushanku.


This looks very Naihanchi. This is actually listed as a ju jitsu technique but is still an example of another martial art having the same solution to a similar problem 



Double block similar to that in Chinto.




The turn, soto uke and kick found in the pinan katas and Kushanku.


I have seen something loosely resembling this in a kata, but cannot remeber which one. Maybe Chinto but I think I have seen it somewhere else without the spin.


Similar to part of the opening move of Kushanku. The following move is to grab the neck and force it downwards with a knee thrown in for good measure.


Pinan Shodan.


I thought this looked very similar to the neck crank in the Bubushi.

Anf's picture

I recognise a lot of those techniques, many from forms other than those you mention. But also from different styles entirely.

I think the most obvious reason is the very one that goes against common martial arts politics. That is, no style was ever developed in total isolation. They all take from each other. I have my main style, but I also have varying degrees of experience in various other styles. I keep seeing the same principles time and time again, but taught in slightly different ways, with emphasis in slightly different places, and given entirely different names.

Martial art means 'war skill'. Martial as in pertaining to Mars, god of war. Art as in skill set (of think the subtly different meaning of the word art in modern times causes a great deal of misunderstanding, art means skill as in articifer - person skilled in mechanics). That being the case, it seems unthinkable that an army, whose very purpose is to become skilled in the art of war, would not take from any system of combat that proved useful.

Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

I think the pictures come from Fairbrain Combatives, there is few clips on the net with it, 

We have two arms and two legs, there will be same techniques and concepts in modst of the martial arts, combat sports or self defence.

Kind regards


Anf's picture

As a slight aside, in recent weeks I've been thinking more and more about practicality. I figured that as door staff, police, soldiers etc can't spend 10 years or more learning to handle themselves, they must have a super condensed program, where they can only give time to the most effective stuff but that isn't naturally built in.

A friend of mine, who has his security/door staff certificates, has leant me a DVD from his 'physical intervention' training. I haven't watched it yet but when I get chance, it is going to be interesting to watch, to see what I recognise from traditional martial arts training.