ww2 Fairbairn knife fighting

Discussion in 'Misc. Knife Arts' started by jckailatstudent, May 18, 2009.

  1. jckailatstudent

    jckailatstudent New Member

    Does anyone know any specifics on W.E. Fairbairn's knife fighting methods? I can not find any info concerning footwork or range.
  2. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

  3. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

  4. gagimilo

    gagimilo Member

    I believe that William Cassidy had a booklet about the knife aspects of Fairbairn's method. It used to be available on the Internet, simply as a word document, because, to my understanding, Fairbairn was preparing a book on the sunject but never finished it, so Cassidy made it widely available to preserve the memory...
  5. sjansen

    sjansen New Member

    I'm the one who posted the link. It is pretty basic Fairbairn. His books are being reprinted by palidin press. They have Denfendu and Rex Applegates Kill or Be Killed. Both are interesting from a historical perspective. There are much better methods these days, but they use the base of what Fairbairn and Applegate wrote.
  6. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    I am not sure better is the best word to use here..LOL...while Fairbairns ways may be dated, they are still excellent, simple and direct...to be honest I prefer those old school simplistic ways to the more contrived, fancy, over kill hype that floods the market today. One thing about Fairbairn , Sykes, Applegate etc...they understood simplicity and WHY it is a must..eh hmmm, more than I can say for some of these so called walking cuisinarts with their wanna be commando persona's.
  7. Kailat


    AMEN to that Mike.. I't amazes me how much of the arts have all of these over-kill of techniques.. K>I>S>S (Keep it simple stupid) why reinvent the wheel.
  8. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    My sentiments exactly. There are just so many ways to insert the pointy end of a sharp instrument into an aggressor when in defensive mode.. The manuals brought up in this thread are available for download as a pdf file.. I have a couple of sites where different manuals can be downloaded.. If needed, take it off line and email me for additional information.
  9. sjansen

    sjansen New Member

    I totally agree.
  10. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Are these still available via Paladin Press? Are they out of copyright?
  11. Robert Klampfer

    Robert Klampfer New Member

    Between Paladin Press and Amazon you can pick up all of the works of Fairbairn, Applegate, Sykes, et al.

  12. sjansen

    sjansen New Member

    Both are still available through paladin press. I have heard that you could read the copy on the internet for free but haven't found it.
  13. gagimilo

    gagimilo Member

  14. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    The book that William Cassidy wrote used to accompany the randall knives when they were sold to military personnel if my memory serves me right.. I have a copy of it in hard back as well as the pdf copy before it was taken off line.. It demonstrated various aspects of sticking the pointy end into the subject and getting the job done.

  15. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    I have to agree with K.I.S.S.! [​IMG]
  16. Makata

    Makata New Member

    Speaking purely academically...

    Well, one thing to consider re: FAS (Fairbairn/Applegate/Sykes) knifework is that it's oriented towards using a knife on an unarmed opponent (as I understand). Knife vs. knife isn't a primary concern of the system (not that it wasn't trained, if you'll do your research--it just wasn't a primary concern). Footwork is pretty straightforward, pretty much boxing/fencing footwork, the preferred range is up close and personal. If you are looking through GET TOUGH, you can extrapolate the basic Cinco Teros attack angles from the Smatchet chapter, as well as some preferred targeting templates from the Anatomy section in the knifework chapter.

    Looking at the FAS Dagger, you'll see it's oriented towards thrusts (and thrusting-then-cutting-out), with all slashing preferably being quick slices and snap-cuts, as opposed to full commitment power slashes. Applegate's later redesign of the dagger allows for heavier, more powerful cutting (as you'll see with the wider blade shape and improved handle). I'd say that all the basic lines of slashing and thrusting apply--and as usual with knifework, no wide movements should be used, ever. Attack the limbs, use your free hand to slap away any barriers to the body cavity (or to grab your opponent's clothing or strike--basically, whatever one's "live hand" usually does), take the vitals with repeated thrusts. It's pretty much straightforward...

    Hope that helped!
  17. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    It's important to remember the weapon does matter--as pointed out, in the Fairbairn/Applegate/Sykes system they literally designed their own dagger, and of course the Bowie knife was repeatedly refined by Jim Bowie for his preferences. For the small little folder I tend to carry, these techniques might not work as well! They were designed with military applications in mind. That having been said, the description of techniques reminds me of what I saw in a Lameco seminar with Mr. Agbulos!
  18. 5thprofession47

    5thprofession47 New Member

    I have been collecting and reading anything I can acquire on Fairbairn, Sykes, Applegate, Biddle, Styers, Nelson and the other noteable WWII combatives teachers for many years now. Paladin Press has amassed many if not all of their original works in reprint editions and are well worth adding to your library if you find such information appealing.
  19. fisherman

    fisherman New Member

  20. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Reminds of a story that I heard once about the old-timers in Batangas barangay : when they wanted to knife somebody they'd open their balisong discretely with two hands from a distance and then sneak up and blindside their target.



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