Special Forces Unarmed Combat Training

by Cliff Wiese

The Special Forces units of the world employ a variety of different unarmed fighting skills. Each unit is skilled at guerrilla warfare tactics, among a long list of other responsibilities. As guerrilla warfare specialists they must be masters of close quarters unarmed combat. The training they receive for this type of fighting makes them the elite hand-to-hand combat units in the world.

The Warrior Mindset

Among the top priorities in Special Forces hand-to-hand fighting skills is the need for recruits to learn the absolute importance of aggression. Enough sheer aggression and violence can overcome an opponent who does not have the same attitude. An unattributed quote says, “Tactics are nice but violence rules the day.” Special Forces soldiers take this to the extreme. Their fighting skills are outstanding but the knowledge that the person who brings overwhelming violence to a fight is usually the winner helps them attain the edge they need to win unarmed fighting situations.

Many Martial Arts

A variety of martial arts are taught. U.S. Special Forces are taught a variety of martial arts including Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kenpo and Tae Kwon Do. Israeli Special Forces are taught an art called Krav Maga. Russian Special Forces, or Spetsnaz, learn a system called Systema. An emphasis is placed on efficiency of movement in each martial art, as this makes the fighter quicker getting into the position needed to win the battle.

Attacking Vital Areas

Attacking vital areas is also a priority for the Special Forces. Joints are tempting targets because if disabled the fight can be won much easier. Eyes, nose, throat, groin and solar plexus are also crucial targets. Nerve centers all over the body are also targets. Krav Maga places an emphasis on breaking joints. Systema relies on a combination of breathing and the use of extreme velocity. Any of the systems is quickly lethal if performed by a skilled practitioner.

Improvised Weapons

Improvised weapons are also taught. Just because a Special Forces soldier begins a fight without a weapon doesn't mean the fight should end that way. The soldiers are taught to look for weapons of opportunity, such as pens, pencils, bottles, magazines, dinner ware and dozens of other articles. All of the items can be turned into weapons. While they may be overlooked by the under trained fighter, the S.F. soldier knows what to look for and the most likely places to find it.

Non-Lethal Force

Non-lethal movements are also taught. Joint locks, pressure point squeezes, chokes and other submission holds are taught so that when needed, the soldier can simply subdue a person. Not every person encountered is going to be subject to lethal force. Far less useful military intelligence can be gained from a dead enemy than from a live enemy prisoner. In every aspect of unarmed combat you can imagine, Special Forces soldiers are the best of the best.

About the Author

Cliff Wiese is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a sports performance coach. His work has been published in "Women of Diet & Fitness," "Better Fitness & Health," "Good2Health," and "SENIORity Magazine." He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Schreiner University and attended graduate school at the University of Oklahoma.

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