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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
78
4.7 out of 5 stars


on 23 September 2017
This is a book about the practicalities of combat and is more "martial" than "art". It's simple and concise, getting rid of any unnecessary or flowery movements.
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on 5 August 2017
A great insight into the fighting style developed by the author. Some very effective techniques, explained with the language of the time.
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on 22 July 2017
Writing by someone who knew what he was talking about 👌
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on 29 March 2017
Interesting
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on 10 April 2017
Good quality print and an interesting read
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on 5 March 2017
Leathal stuff. Good to know when walking home in the dark.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 January 2010
This is a book of primarily historical merit and could prove disappointing to any mixed martial arts or martial artistry interesed readers or shoppers. Fairbairn and Sykes were officers with experience in Hong Kong and of asian fighting styles which they sought to import into their training of Commandos during the second world war.

The book has no index but it has a very clear preface, introduction and contents page, which breaks down into blows; releases; holds; throws; miscellaneous advice; disarming (pistol) and the rifle in close combat. Each chapter is broken down into specific topics, for instance in the miscellaneous advice into chair and knife; the match-box attack; smacking the ears; the art of getting up from the ground; getting up from the ground (backwards); attack with a small stick or cane etc. When these headings are addressed within the body of the book it is broken down further into a set number of instructions with corresponding illustrations on the adjacent page and supported by notes.

The stilletto (spelling) dagger and its use in combat is featured here as is the "smatchet" something between a Ghurka knife and a machette, as are some odd rope trick securing techniques and Fairbairn instructs on how to get out of some "come along" holds. It makes for interesting reading, throughout the introduction there is a kind of "gentlemen at war" mindset which is to be found in some of the books of this kind and I'm pretty sure doesnt exist so much today or would appear pastiche or spoof. Reading Fairbairn's reply to officers who found this kind of "rough housing" objectionable, prefering noble boxing, wrestling, rugby and football instead made me think.

An interesting read for readers of either military reads or war time literature.
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on 7 March 2009
Not only an instructional work by the famed Bill Fairburn that presents an excellent self defence system but gives a snapshot into the mindset of a Britain fighting for its very existence. Excellent work.
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on 24 April 2016
It is okay and contains interesting advices. Finish the book in 15 mins.
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on 30 April 2016
It is ok, but I expected something else I suppose. Anyway, it is good to know the very essentials of self-defence.
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