What do you think of these knife d

I haven't trained with Carl, but I have read a number of his writings and the guy certainly seems to know what he is doing. I've been toying with the idea of heading up to NJ to train with him, but until things slow down at work and I get them time, that isnt going to happen.

In all likelihood, I'll buy one or two of his tapes in the near future to get a better idea of his material.

I'd heard a great deal of GOOD about Cestari in certain circles, and I was a little disappointed when, after looking around at the allinfighting site and clips, I didn't care much for a lot of what I saw.

I dunno. Maybe when I play it firsthand.

"I think, therefore I am." When you think, you shall become.

"- Answering the door in the early morning."
Yup. Not everything I wear in the house supports my usual carry methods. I may WANT to slip a spyderco onto my hip before I go to the door, but I won't always. Say it's an "early morning" for me because I was in late, but it's actually 9:00 and broad daylight. You could catch me unawares.

"- In a building where there are metal detectors"
Heheh, you Americans got a lot of that, don'tcha.

"- The ONE day you forgot your knives"
Many weapons freaks have kind of obsessive-compulsive characteristics, they'll ALWAYS have their wallet, keys, and weapons, but for me, this has been known to happen.

"- When you have engaged in a knife-fight and you drop your knife (wet conditions, injury, murphy, etc.)"

IM,"- In a building where there are metal detectors" Heheh, you Americans got a lot of that, don'tcha. sadly in many NYC schools there are metal detectors also.T0ki,good post. ------------------i've not trained with Carl Cestari firsthand, but i've heard only good things about him.

I saw his groundfighting tape and was disappointed after the hype I heard about it. They admit the production value sucks (it does), but claim the techniques, tactics and mindset are worth it.

Not. The best stuff is the kind of thing every BJJ or submission grappling dojo around today does on a daily basis - though he makes a big production about the fact that it "isn't sport - its for combat!" They HATE sport ground grappling.

Otherwise it demonstrates an idea of combative groundfighting, with the potential presence of weapons, that is tactically and technically deficient.

I think it would have been a decent tape for combative groundfighting about 15 years ago.


I'm glad I'm not the only person who scratched his head after seeing Cestari. Like, was there something on there I MISSED? People who like Cestari REALLY seem to like Cestari.



I've only seen the groundfighting tape, so I wont comment on his other stuff.

I have been involved in some debates with him and his fans on the old WWII combatives board - suffice to say we agree on some things and not on others - in general there seems to be an unwavering acceptance of everything he has to say amongst his followers, which is never a good thing when trying to discuss the fact that other points of view may have some value.

A lot of the same people like Kelly McCann/Jim Grover, and the stuff I have seen from him I liked in general.

The combatives types seem in general to have a low level of ground work ability - a lot of them despise BJJ, MMA or anything hinting of sport fighting, especially ground fighting - and because of this I think an understanding of how groundfighting might be used more efficiently, and more tactically, evades them.

They tend to demonstrate pedestrian level Judo newaza with awkward strikes or eye gouges and call it "combative."

A lot of the same people like Kelly McCann/Jim Grover, and the stuff I have seen from him I liked in general.
* Yes, they run in the WWII/awrology/Fairbairn/Applegate/Sykes/Shanghai circles eh. Kelly McCann didn't turn my crank at first, but my instructor found that newbies took to it very quickly, and I've started to come around. If you've ever heard old JJ Bittenbinder's Street Smarts tape, he talks about how a pawing motion is very natural when attacked, and the McCann tactics emerge wonderfully in untrained people.

They tend to demonstrate pedestrian level Judo newaza with awkward strikes or eye gouges and call it "combative."
* Bummer. I have found that spending time with a couple judoka was quite instructive. Working the hold-downs and reversals gives some perspective on positioning and options, a little different angle than the run-of-the-mill BJJ and wrestling. But that's because I was bred on BJJ and wrestling I suppose. I like Blauer's "How To Beat A Grappler" and "Inside The Groundfight" along with subwrestling skills. Tell a bit about your approach.

Email me at ironmongoose@yahoo.com if you prefer. This thread has caught the hijack.

No, please, hijack away.



Mongoose -

Dont be bummed, you are getting at exactly what I am talking about - which is noticeably absent in what I am seeing in some offerings both with the WWII combatives guys and others in the modern combatives industry - they generally dont spend a lot of time on the ground, since it is of course "the last place you want to be in a real fight," and their answers to the dilemma of a ground fight in the real world are ample evidence of the fact that they dont.

I'm a judoka first and foremost. You mention turnovers( to which I would add sweeps, reversals, etc.) This is key to real world fighting.

If MMA has shown us ANYTHING, it is that the guy that can maintain a dominant position in top control and strike will do devastating damage on his grounded adversary.

It has also shown us that even when considering EXPERT grapplers, and against not-so-expert grapplers, hanging out on your back whether in guard or out is NOT the place to be in a real world fight when strikes are allowed and things like a fence can be used to block escaping movements.

As least in Judo you train to not get pinned, and to get out of pins when you are controlled on your back. Where the sport has polluted the self defense aspect is the turtling - this is WORSE than being on your back in a real fight.

But a gaurd should be transitional. This is where we should be working the HARDEST to get the opponent off, to make distance, to create turnovers and escapes, etc.

For the real world, this has to be done while controlling in some way the assailants hands - weapons have a nasty habit of showing up. Every combatives instructor mentions this in their classes, videos, etc.

When you get to the action, though, we see a lot of lame attempts at strikes from the bottom with no leverage possible, almost a total lack of realistic sweeps or turnovers, and techniques which tie up both the defenders hands with bullshit "front figure four necklocks" which anyone with halfway decent pain tolerance guts out in regular practice, let alone in an adrenalized (and maybe drug assisted) real fight. And while tying up both the defenders hands, they leave one or both the attackers hands free!


Blauer's stuff I like. I have his grappling vs. the armed assailant and he hits on key aspects of controlling the hands/weapon, dominant position (which often allows control of a hand/arm while leaving the defender's free) a fluid/changeable base to prevent being tossed off, etc.

It is evident he has spent time actually groundfighting with people that know how to groundfight. With that base, he is in a much better position to evaluate what should and should not be done tactically when it is a street confrontation and not on the mat.

Too often the combatives guys are far less concerned with the ground because they eschew sport grappling. This shows in their hold-on-for-dear-life, "rest and catch your breath" when on the bottom, and titty twisters that would have zero effectiveness other than minor annoyance to anyone with decent ground control skills that happens to be on top of you.(That's okay, wrestlers never get drunk or get in REAL fights....)

Ever notice you rarely see stuff demonstrated with the guy on top even halfway resisting, throwing bombs, or blocking strike and gouge attempts and tying up their arms? I think its because they dont even think about it....even though almost every "kid fight" or "real fight" video we see on the web these days shows somebody mounting somebody else, lobbing some bombs at them or grabbing and pinning their arms. The kids think of it, why dont the expert combat instructors?

The key to the ground in the real world is staying mobile, getting to the top and getting out - not staying on the bottom trying techniques with little effectiveness. You want to strike and do damage but the idea is not to do the greatest damage possible, it is to do whatever it takes to get the hell up! I can spend all day on the ground if all I want to do is hurt the guy - when it is real I want to get up as soon and as quickly as possible - strikes only assist in accomplishing this goal. Once I can get on top or take dominant position - and feel comfortable enough to know the guy is not good enough to reverse me - THEN I will worry about damaging him with strikes.

You also never see them mention the defender's weapons, how to keep the bad guy from tying up the defender's hands, and how to access the defenders weapons to bring them into play as quickly as possible.

That's what I mean by it being "pedestrian." Instead, after railing about the evils of sport grappling, we are treated to what is mediocre sport grappling - hugging a guy in guard while they rest, trying BS moves that will never work when crushed underneath an attacker, and totally ignoring control of hands or options for weapons on BOTH parts.

Hey, we're not that far off. (When I said "bummer" all I meant was that too bad those combatives guys' groundwork sucks.) Yup. Titty-twisters is the word. People shouldn't be doing these silly things in this day and age.

I used to believe that submissions should always be taught first because they give "meaning" to each position. ie. they help a person to understand why a position is "good" or "bad".

In recent years I've started to think that for rapid self-defense instruction, the things to teach are:
1) core body movements to change positions. Mainly, oopa/elevator, shrimping, framing, and a couple sweeps.
2) Blauer's "tactical offensive concepts": impact, grinding, gouging, handles
3) global awareness: third party and weapons
You can do this in a couple days-long self-defense seminars, and if you have forty or sixty hours I'd say do more of this stuff before going on to the rest. Other stuff comes later.

We grapple with a rubber knife concealed on either or both persons. Another of my favourite drills to "street-retrofit" grapplers is what I call the "buddy drill". My own personal invention. A and B grapple, and C stands a few feet back. At any point, A can yell "BUDDY!" at which point C comes and assists A by giving B a beating/stomping. It teaches B quite quickly how to keep mobility, disengage, and failing that, to position A between them to lesson the whackings, a form of shielding.


I'm right there with ya. What you described is what we teach our officers.

Something to add - trying to draw your own weapon while the other guy keeps your from doing so.

I think it is always position before submission. In the real world submission becomes relatively meaningless except for the fact that it controls the limb and access to weapons. Position does not mean staying in one place, though, which is where mobility comes in.

I like the sound of your multiple opponent groundwork drills. I have seen some stuff offered by trainers that is absolutely ridiculous - a sort of fantasy version of floating and rolling around the mat while a bunch of slow motion move-like-80-year-olds guys throw exceedingly lame, way over-committed slow kicks (cuz they fall down easier when they do it that way) and NEVER follow up with any attempts to pin or ground and pound. If real fights were anything like that, it would be good training I guess. They aren't, so it only serves to put money in the trainers pocket, stroke their ego, and give the students a false sense of security.

Point blank - a committed assault by multiple opponents when you are on the ground is lethal force. Teaching should be geared toward getting up and away, if possible, providing a barrier while at the same time forestalling attacks by anyone you happen to be tied up with, for the main purpose of accessing weapons and using them.

It trainers tried to demonstrate the REAL thing they would look bad - because it wont be pretty or even all that effective. But at least it is something, some kind of strategy or approach to attempt to get out of such a bad situation, that is based on reality vs. fantasy. It should serve at the very least to familiarize students with what it will really be like and what wont work at all, versus what might work.