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Self Defense/Applegate's Kill Or Get Killed/ Movie Fights


I recently found a copy of Rex Applegate's book "Kill Or Get Killed"
After reading through the hand to hand sections, I have a few questions

The book only goes over mostly combat and lethal force situations and techniques. What is your opinion on WW2 combatives and this book specifically? Are the techniques still relevant and worth learning within the proper context?

Assuming these techniques are effective, where can I find information more along the lines of restraint and holds? I have a feeling that the chances of me having to use lethal force with my hands are slim to none. It would still be nice to have the tools for all kinds of situations. From combat situations to dealing with DUA's

Also quickly, after spending some time on your site I find that watching movies with fight scenes becomes a cynical critique for me. I am sure that this happens to you. Most movie fights become unrealistic to me with in the first few seconds. It is Hollywood after all so the goal is to entertain not display realism. Anyways my question is, what movies have you seen that have hand to hand scenes that most closely resemble the real thing?

Thanks for your time.

I knew the Colonel. I read his book years ago. I was taught some of the stuff he brought back from his time with Sykes and Fairbairn. It works.

The problems are two fold.

1) It is -- overwhelmingly inappropriate for civilian use.

2) The writings are handbooks, not manuals.

The last requires a bit of an explanation -- especially because the meaning of the word has changed since Applegate's time. Start from the idea that a manual is based on the assumption the writer will never meet the reader. Therefore EVERYTHING a person needs to know -- from the very beginner to an expert -- has to be included.

Whereas a handbook works in tandem with instruction. It makes references to things the reader learned in the classroom or already knows from other training.

I came to this realization because as a teen, I read Applegate's WWII hand-to-hand 'manual' and thought it was a joke. Then 40 years later I read it and found in the writing all sorts of short hand references and details that I didn't know previously.

Take for example, that line about 'After breaking his balance, place your hand...' -- those four words are critical for the move to work. But how to break the balance is never explained in the handbook. Why? Because it was taught in the classroom.

But again most of the stuff he taught is inappropriate for civilian uses.

Alain Buresse has recently come out with a DVD on joint locks and come along. He and I worked together bouncing. While he is a little too Hapkido based for my tastes, he does know his stuff.

Although not technically accurate from a spirit and commitment standpoint I like the final fight in the original "Lethal Weapon."

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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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