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4.0 out of 5 stars21
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 18 February 2010
This is a great book for anyone wanting to learn WW2 combatives but please be warned it's exactly the same book as "All in fighting" but with a different introduction and the fighting with a rifle section removed so all thing considered the other book is a better buy.
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on 15 April 2000
A very interesting book, as a self defence teacher I found that a number of the less lethal techniques are still taught today. There are only so many techniques and this little book manages to cover many of them. The art work is reminisant of WW2 comics, but apart from that a very good and informative read from the grandfather of police restraint and close combat techniques.
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on 2 January 2005
As other comentators have noted you really need someone to explain some of the moves to make them clear. This sort of thing should not be undertaken lightly, the methods described will result in death if used. But it does make fascinating reading and is an important historical document.
I bought this book because I was part of a martial arts group run by a man, sadly now deceased, who worked for Fairbairn in WWII. His opening gambit to me was, "I only teach things I've used for real - that way I know they work. Now, this is how you kill someone silently..."
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on 14 October 2000
Unlike Jerry Vancook's excellent 'Real world self defence' (Which I have also reviewed on, 'Get Tough' is a pure 'how to fight' book. Teaching striking, grappling and defensive techniques, the current incarnation of 'Get Tough!' is an exact replica of the 1942 edition which was used to help train British Commandos and the American armed forces back in World War 2. This certainly adds a certain appeal for anyone who might otherwise doubt the effectiveness of the techniques the book demonstrates. So why the low score? Well, as a layman's guide to practical hand to hand fighting techniques, 'Get Tough' disappoints. At first glance, things look good. The book is filled with simple diagrams, and the moves described seem down to Earth enough to be 'do-able' But upon closer inspection, it's plain to see that this book was meant only as a part of a more exhaustive teaching regime. Some of the moves, such as the escape from a two-handed strangle hold, are complicated, and initially awkward to perform. They need to be practiced if they are to be instinctive enough to be of any use. Unless you have a qualified trainer to practice with, it doesn't seem likely that many of the techniques in the book could be learned or practiced in a manner effective enough to make them useful. Many of the techniques are, quite frankly, brutal. This manual was designed to be used by soldiers, remember, and so the emphasis is on inflicting debilitating levels of damage on the opponent, or killing them out-right. For anyone who is interested in self defence in the modern world, deadly methods need to be understood, but extensive knowledge of non-lethal methods of subduing an opponent are necessary. Not all threat are as deadly as a nazi with a rifle who wants to kill you. For example, an armed assailant may need to be dealt with using extreme force, but if you were breaking up a pub brawl between two friends, a less damaging approach than the 'knee-to-the-groin, followed-by-a-palm-heel-uppercut-and-eye-gouge' would be preferable. Probably. There are still more problems. The book doesn't teach many effective blows and striking techniques, probably the easiest moves to learn 'from a book'. Some of the basics are briefly covered, but this isn't a book for people who prefer to avoid grapples. And once the superflous information (how to secure a prisoner, how to use a smatchet) is dispensed with, along with the manouvers which would be hard to practice safely or conveniently, we're left with a very lean book. The modern 'how-to-fight' book needs to cover more improvised weapons, feature more practically applicable non-lethal techniques, and a larger category of punches and kicks which can be employed and practiced by those of us without the benefit of a trained instructor. 'Get Tough!' is a book which is excellent for anyone who wants to learn a variety of close combat fighting techniques as part of a comprehensive training regime. For those of us who want a layman's guide to practically applicable modern self defence techniques, well, we'll have to keep on looking...
Reviewed by The Holographic Scott James. (Please note: I am just a guy interested in self-defence literature. I practice some martial arts, but it isn't like I spend every Saturday brawling in pool bars. All I offer is the opinion of someone who enjoys reading the literature, and hopes to pick up a few handy hints that could be applied in situation I may face in my life.)
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on 18 October 2011
Very simple to understand & illustrated, good basic grounding in unarmed WW2 commando attack techniques. You need to practice these though if you want to be able to apply them properly!
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on 15 November 2004
I have owned this book for many years and find it a useful and yet effective unarmed combat book. As the book is in it's original WWII format then the fact it looks a little old should be forgiven (or at least obvious.) I have had training in the forces on this material and some of the techniques are still used (in some form or another) as they are quite simple to perform. I also find the techniques in this book can (at least) give another perspective on things. If you really want to study martial arts then you should be aware (as much as possible) of what anyone has been taught to do - not only for defence but also for ideas.
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on 8 June 2007
Just the four stars, because the techniques in this book are,in some cases, tricky to learn without help. However, in spite of (because of?) this, it's a good manual to have, teching useful, debilitating, severe-damage moves in a reasonably efficient manner. Some other reviewers have stated the need for non-lethal techniques, to which the only answer is, "there is no need to defend yourself from someone dead and bleeding at your feet". In other words, the current emphasis on "non-lethal/low-damage self defence" is, in fact, useless. If your opponent is still conscious, they are still dangerous. Use the book to your advantage, but do remember, killing people is still illegal in some backward areas of the world.
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on 18 August 2000
This little manual provides an excellent guide to simple but effective self defense techniques. However considerable repetitive training would be needed to make the moves fast and instinctive before they could become truly effective. This book would make a great sumplement to any martial artists own arts techniques but is best as an insight into the kind of unarmed combat training received by WWII troops. The time gap shows through both in the language and the techniques, (all the agressors being in circa WWII German uniforms is particularly amusing), but some of the basic moves would be as simple to employ and effective in result for a victim of violence today as they were for a commando at the time.
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on 11 February 2013
If you learnt this with a friend from cover to cover you'd be lethal! However, it is just a great piece of military training history. Great gift for any man. Good laugh to try the moves on a willing partner. Stay clear of the more leathal techniques though, such as the Bronco Kick! Leave on the coffee table and carnage will ensue!
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on 24 April 1999
I have used this book to conduct research into unarmed combat and the techniques that were employed during WWII. As with some systems of unarmed combat in the worlds armies today, some of these techniques still exist as they were designed to be simple but effective..............
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