Jim Grover’s Situational Self-Offense: A Hard-Core Guide to Offense-Based Defensive Tactics (Paladin Press) is the best 90 minute introduction to the principles of self-defense training or combatives that I’ve seen to date.
Kelly McCann / Jim Grover: Who He Really Is and Why His Self-Defense Techniques Really Work
Self-defense training and combatives expert Jim Grover is known to his colleagues as Kelly McCann. Why he chose a nom de guerre in the beginning of his teaching career I have no idea (and I’m not sure I want to find out either).
But today Kelly McCann runs a vast training complex known as The Crucible located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. There he teaches combatives to government, military, law enforcement, and other security professionals. He has been an expert commentator for CNN and Fox News.
More recently, he has begun teaching a version of his combatives to civilians in search of a no-nonsense self-defense training program.
Why Is Kelly McCann’s Combatives’ Top-Gun Self-Defense Training?
Suppose you’re faced with an inextricable violent encounter and neither escape nor evasion is doable. You want self-defense techniques that are fast, simple, effective and, above all, devastating.
You don’t want to rely on techniques requiring fine motor skills. In a violent encounter you want skills that focus on gross motor skills. Big, bold counterattacks that put your opponent out of commission in short order.
Nor do you want to have such a large arsenal of imperfectly practiced techniques such that you have to think about which one to use in the heat of the conflict. You won’t have time to remember all of them, much less choose the one you’ll most likely need. And, being imperfectly practiced, well, most likely they will fail you when you need them most.
Instead, you want a core set of techniques that you can rely upon and deliver time and time again no matter how hairy the situation gets.
That’s where Kelly McCann delivers.
McCann introduces his audience to several key self-defense training including:
- Combatives. Combatives is what you to do to somebody, martial arts is what you do with somebody, as McCann so elegantly puts it.
- Strike, don’t aim. Don’t aim at your opponent. Forget about whether you connect with this or that pressure point or body part. Don’t try to finesse the encounter. Just strike him and strike him hard.
- Follow-through. I can’t emphasize the importance of follow-through. Too many commercial martial-arts schools teach a student to perform a technique, stop, and then return to a defensive (and artificial) ready position. This can get you killed in a streetfight. You need to continue the attack until you are reasonably certain your opponent is sufficiently incapacitated and you can get to safety (and the police).
- Branching. If you don’t get the desired effect from your first line of self-defense then you need to go to plan B. Use another line of attack. And if that fails, keep going until something does get the job done on your opponent. Never continue with a failed technique. Your opponent will wise up to you and it will give him time to counterattack. Not a good thing.
McCann then amply demonstrates the relevance of all of the aforementioned points as he applies them to a variety of self-defense situations including self defense techniques against:
- Knife attacks such as the jackknife technique and the felon draw
- Label grabs and chokes
- Full nelsons and side headlocks; guillotine chokes;
- Armbar releases
- Guillotine and rear chokes
- Pushing attacks and ambiguous attacks
I take back what I said about Kelly McCann delivering. No, he over-delivers. Big time.
The production values are excellent: smart direction, clear cinematography and precise narrative flow make it easy to follow the instruction. With the help of a friend, you could learn these most of these techniques on your own. (Of course, as always, a competent instructor is a huge plus.)
In short, this is an outstanding DVD and one I plan to purchase for my library. I doubt you’ll be disappointed if you did the same. (And if you want to to get your own copy of JIM GROVER’S SITUATIONAL “SELF-OFFENSE” A Hard-Core Guide to Offense-Based Defensive Tactics with Kelly McCann, aka Jim Grover you can use this affiliate link here to get it. I wouldn’t be disappointed either.)
P.S. You might want to check out my review of Kelly McCann’s Ground Kem-‘ba-tivz: Street Solutions to Common MMA Set-ups.
P.S.S. Check out this video clip of Kelly McCann in action: