Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Dirty Ground: The Tricky Space Between Sport and Combat [Kindle Edition]

Kris Wilder , Lawrence A. Kane , Marc MacYoung , Rory Miller , Erik McCray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £11.99
Kindle Price: £8.07 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £3.92 (33%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £8.07  
Paperback £11.99  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Book Description

USA Best Book Awards Finalist - USA Book News

This book was written to address an important gap that exists in martial arts training. The gap is the space or dirty ground that lives between sport and combat techniques; that is when you need to control a person without severely injuring him (or her).

Techniques in this space are called ‘drunkle’, named after your drunken uncle at the family gathering who needs to be escorted away before he hurts somebody or vice versa.

This space reveals itself all too often when friends, family, good Samaritans, crime watchers, and certain types of muggings or robberies get physical.

Understand that using the Iron Hammer Fist Punch you learned in karate class will probably put your uncle in the hospital; make your friend your enemy for life; or give the thug, who ‘only’ wanted your wallet, a chance to sue you for all you’re worth. This is not to be taken lightly since you will probably get thrown in jail for excessive force.

Know the three environments: SPORT, DRUNKLE, and COMBAT.

Understanding these three environments is vital because what is considered appropriate use of force is codified in law, yet interpreted in the public arena, and actions that do not accommodate these rules can have severe repercussions. Martial art techniques must be adapted to best fit the situation you find yourself in.

This book is style agnostic. The author’s analyze 30 fundamental strikes, kicks and locks, and present 12 well-known sport competition forms modified for each of the three vital environments: SPORT, DRUNKLE, and COMBAT.

Be smart. Know how to adapt to a situation.

Product Description

About the Author

Kris Wilder is author of seven books and the head instructor/owner of West Seattle Karate Academy. Kris has trained marital arts across the United States and Okinawa, and teaches seminars worldwide. Kris resides in Seattle, Washington with his son Jackson. Lawrence Kane is a martial artist, author, security professional, and a senior manager at an aerospace company. He has authored seven books and numerous articles on martial arts and self-defense. Lawrence resides in Seattle Washington.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 17010 KB
  • Print Length: 174 pages
  • Publisher: YMAA Publication Center (1 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #280,216 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great progression and adaptation concepts 14 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book presented interesting concepts concerning the practical application of martial arts techniques. The alternative uses of technique were clearly laid out and provide a clear way of demonstrating the various levels of force. A point I might make is that the technique all seem to originate from the same range so maybe a closing or evading technique to interrupt the opponents momentum may have been interesting to include.
But even so this is a small point and I would recommend this book to anyone teaching self-defence applications.
Tony F, London
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 26 Jan. 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
pachaging good and the book is well written
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool book 22 May 2013
By Loren w Christensen - Published on
You can't go wrong with a Kane and Wilder book. They are a dynamic writing duo who have been putting out exceptional self-defesne books for years.

Dirty Ground illustrates with easy-to-follow photos how the same techniques can be slightly adjusted for competition, street self-defense and, unique to this book, what they term "the drunkle." The latter refers to your intoxicated uncle, a friend, or your brother, who has crossed the line with so many beers at the holiday dinner or backyard barbecue that he needs a little hands on to get him settled down. You don't want to score a point on him and you don't want to shatter his spine (well, maybe you do but you know you can't).

Equally as good as the variety of techniques they illustrate for all three objectives are the many nuggets of wisdom about fighting, self-defense, hostile people, and applicable stories about old fighters.

I've been training for nearly 50 years in the martial arts and I picked up loads of info from Dirty Ground.

Get it!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May save your life, money or jail time 2 Jun. 2013
By Zenpony - Published on
Sport, Drunkle, Combat all very different beasts. Sport is the domesticated canine who , once house trained, can be fun, a protector and a constant companion. The Drunkle is the semi ferrel dog who has the potential to hurt you or your loved ones, but also has the ability to learn to get along, if handled correctly. The Combat is the wild dingo who is looking to survive and protect his own, with no thought to what happens to you and yours in the process. 

Martial artists all have some ability to deal when faced with each beast. The challenge is knowing just which beast you are looking at and then being able to use what you know to save yourself. Your local Kungfu gold metal winner may not have the skills to kill in hand to hand combat. Your returning combat soldier may not be able to check back his instincts when the drunk uncle waves a kitchen knife at his teenager at the family bar b que. Being the local collegiate wrestler could get you jail time if you choke out and paralyze the frat boy who is attacking your girl friend. 

Buy this book, study it, train, train and train some more. Be responsible, knowledgable and safe.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on mindset, tactics and skills 29 Aug. 2013
By GM2011 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The reason I was willing to write a review, and why i recommend you read this book is the first part on mindset. I really enjoyed how the authors put forth their way of thinking. The usual dichotomy of 'sport vs street' in any martial art can be more simply described as sport vs combat.

However, as we all know there are innumerable situations in the middle ground where you don't want to injure someone, nor win points in a competition. The authors of Dirty Ground label this middle ground as Drunkle (after your drunk belligerent uncle). It also applies to quite a few self defense scenarios.

The reality is each situation is different (duh). Each situation needs a response on a force continuum that, for most people, includes verbal deescalation, non lethal attack, and then deadly force. Mouth-fist-OC spray-glock 19.

This book does a great job of explaining all of that in better terms than you will likely find on an internet forum. BJJ guy says "since 99% of all fights always go to the ground, i only do BJJ". Krav Maga type guy says "BJJ is a sport, I'm interested in self defense! the ground is where your head gets kicked in". The reality says "know both, be able to react quickly and violently if the situation calls for it, ALSO (as this book goes into fantastic depth) be able to know when to merely control and stop aggression from uncle jim the drunk.

This book explained that void quite well. Both the BJJ player and Krav Maga ball kicker need to realize that neither are 100% correct. There are different approaches to problems, different skill sets to be had, and specializing in one isnt the correct answer for anything in reality. Be prepared to act quickly, intelligently, and with the proper mindset. Read this book to get a glimpse of how to do that.

Oh, and the rest of the book was good, too. (Some skills demonstrations for the three mindsets - judo sporting, drunkle controlling, and combat injuring)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clean Presentation in Dirty Ground 6 July 2013
By Adam Bockler - Published on
Martial arts instructors teach some pretty brutal moves.

Some show the moves without providing much context. "This is the person's attack. This is your defense. Practice it," they say.

But self-defense is much more nuanced than that.

Lawrence Kane and Kris Wilder's latest book, Dirty Ground: The Tricky Space Between Sport and Combat, addresses the details of a self-defense situation. More than just how to respond to an attack, they look at the types of applications that can be performed with certain techniques. These are broken down into sport and combat.

In a sport environment, Kane and Wilder take into account the attributes of any sport: pageantry, timelines, scoring, and the ability for competitors to compete again after the match.

"Combat differs in that it is an open and armed conflict with intent to kill the enemy and/or destroy their infrastructure," the authors write. "Those who (survive) are often never the same again, requiring lengthy rehabilitation for serious physical, or in some cases, mental injuries."

The third type of application is the drunkle, who represents your "drunk uncle" - somebody you might need to tame when he's wild, but not somebody you would want to do any serious damage.

The latter half of the book shows Kane and Wilder's depictions of what they think certain applications would look like. They cover a total of 12 techniques - including osoto gari, hammerlock and ogoshi - and break them down for how you might deal with them in a sport environment, against a drunkle, or in a full-fledged combat scenario.

As safely as they can be practiced in the dojo, this book makes a great training companion as the authors show these techniques step by step.

While some may argue the meat of this book is the applications, I found the "Highly Selective Overview of Combative Arts Throughout History" very informative and well-written. The authors cover some of the classic martial arts (jujitsu, judo) and boxing. They discuss pankration, sambo and catch wrestling, arts I've heard of but have not formally studied.

As usual, Kane and Wilder have written an insightful book that deserves a spot on your bookshelf. Do yourself a favor and pick this up today.

Full disclosure: I was given a copy of this book in order to write a review.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding self-defense resource 26 July 2013
By KickinFamily - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
From my book review blog at:


This book was made available by YMAA Publication Center through NetGalley, and I requested a copy for the purposes of reading it and providing a review.

OK, all the necessary stuff out of the way, how cool is it that you find a book you were willing to pay good money for available for review at no cost? Indeed. Life. Is. Sweet.

This book works off the premise that ground fighting, which is cool in the MMA ring or other competition arena, has to be played by different rules, or no rules at all, when it's a violent encounter. Or, in the middle space between sport and combat, what the authors refer to as a "Drunkle", the example being your drunk Uncle Albert at a family reunion. You're asked to corral him and get him to settle down, but you can't put the hammer down on him like Anderson Silva or use lethal force. He is, after all, family, like it or not.

The authors do a great job of clearly delineating, as much as possible, the difference between sport, drunkles and combat. They also cover the concepts of what you need to consider before getting involved in a violent encounter, namely Ability, Opportunity, Jeopardy and Preclusion (different sources use different terms and acronyms, but the concepts are the same):

Ability - Is the threat able to hurt you? An armed teen with a knife certainly is. An unarmed toddler isn't (unless they're dropping Legos in the hallway, to be found in the middle of the night).
Opportunity - Does the threat have the opportunity to hurt you? The same teen standing forty feet away with the knife wouldn't have the opportunity. Once that teen gets within that magical 21 feet, he certainly does.
Jeopardy - Are you in what a reasonable person would call jeopardy? Even if the armed teen is cussing and telling you he's going to kill and describing in detail how he's going to do it, if he's walking away from you while doing so, you're not in jeopardy.
Preclusion - Did you, absolutely, have to fight and not have any escape avenues preceding or during the encounter? If a guy is in the car next to you waving a gun, telling you what he's going to do to you, and you get out of your car and put a beat down on him, you may have the first three points on your side, but not the last. You could have avoided the encounter by simply putting pedal to metal.
This is just an example of what the authors cover. They spend a great deal of time talking about what ifs and wherefores and whys of violent encounters, giving you many things to think about. While they rightfully stop short of giving legal advice, they do make sure you understand there is much more going on that what might be going on in your head. Also addressed briefly, but in a solid manner, is the difference between social and asocial violence.

They also cover in detail some popular grappling styles through the centuries and how they fit into the sport, drunkle or combat spectrum.

Finally, they show several judo techniques, not because of superiority of that art, but because of the accessibility of terminology because of the popularity of the art, and put each one into the sport, drunkle and combat spectrum, giving examples of how those techniques might be applied. They also provide pictures of each of these examples, demonstrating how the force applied in each would differ.

Overall, I was very pleased with this book. It definitely covered the continuum I was hoping it would, speaking to the differences between each area, the gray areas in between, and how to tell which part of the continuum the encounter falls into. Not only that, but they also try to give you pointers on identifying when the encounter shifts from one area to the other, such as when drunk Uncle Albert suddenly has his three sober, armed brothers coming to his aid (my example, not theirs).

If you have any interest in protecting yourself and those you love in a violent encounter that could end up on the ground, this book is definitely for you.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category