Guest Article: To Arms!, by William Crosby Prentice

The title of this essay could be either a call to action, or a toast to weapons.  Either way, the purpose is to discuss the decision of whether or not, and to what extent, a person should be armed.  The author is biased in favor of being as heavily armed as is legal under any given circumstances, and has a hard time coming up with reasons for not being armed. The Right of Self Defense I would bet that nearly all of those that regularly visit SurvivalBlog will agree that a person has a natural right, independent of and senior …




Letter Re: Training Combatives: The How, What and Why of Acquiring Hand-to-Hand Skills

Hi Mr. Rawles, I’m a seasoned martial artist and self-defense instructor.  I teach Western Boxing, Jeet Kune Do (Concepts), Kali, Submission Grappling (mainly Sambo and Machado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), and mixed martial arts (MMA. ) I regularly instruct law enforcement officers and military personnel who go into harm’s way.  I agree with much of what Legionnaire wrote, but must take exception to his statement that most fights go to the ground.  This is a myth that has been bandied about since the early days of the UFC, and the only notable support for this assertion is a “use-of-force” study conducted by …




Training Combatives: The How, What and Why of Acquiring Hand-to-Hand Skills

Disclaimer: the opinion presented below is garnered from my personal experience. I make no claims of omnipotence or omniscience. As with all things, analyze this information and use your judgment to make an informed decision on how to integrate the following material into your personal preparations. When it comes down to it, learning how to avoid a fight and effectively negotiate a resolution is as (or more) important than combatives training. However, I will leave the topic of practical negotiation to others who can espouse the finer points better than I. I was motivated to write this article after gritting …




Letter Re: Getting Real About Unarmed Combat

James: R.G. wrote a great article! I really appreciate his emphasis on the fact that when you fight hand to hand you will most probably be injured – he who is injured the least “wins”, but in reality you both lose. It needs repeating over and over, that the best strategy is to avoid potential confrontations – don’t be in the situations or places where confrontations are likely to occur.  As that is not always possible or predictable, second best is to disengage or run away (and keep an exit route on your situational awareness radar).  As that is not …




Getting Real About Unarmed Combat, by R.G.

Before I get to my take on unarmed combat, I want to make a few points: First, if you are totally unarmed at any time before it hits the fan, and especially after, you are not taking survival, or life seriously; and you are probably already screwed because your enemies will not be unarmed. Second, the last I checked this isn’t “the middle weight champion of the world blog”, it is “SurvivalBlog” which should be a real clue as to what you look for in an unarmed combat skill set. Third, I readily admit I have never killed a person …




Practical Non-Martial Arts Training and Learning How to Survive, by OMK

All too often those of us who have been in the martial arts leave behind the non trained person in our conversations and training advise. I would like to highlight a few areas for those that have no formal training and how they might approach a fist to fist conflict. This is not intended to be all inclusive for no article can cover every aspect of a fight; what I do want to cover is a few make are break concepts for those that have never trained or are just beginning to train. The motivation to write this article comes …




The Mind of the Survivor, by William C. Prentice

Introduction Taking stock recently, I realized that I am probably not as well prepared as most of the followers of James’ SurvivalBlog.Com, certainly not in terms of infrastructure and stockpiles of materials and equipment.  I don’t have a long-term supply of food, nor do I have a survival retreat prepared for when the big one hits.  My bullion holdings are embarrassingly low.  On the other hand, I am probably better prepared than most for any criminal or paramilitary attack on my person, my family, or my home, so I am not totally hopeless by the standards of most survivalists. The …




Letter Re: Weapons-Based Martial Arts for Survival

James: I’d like to comment on some of the restrictions on long blades and impact weapons: Thinking about the gap between empty hands and a firearm is a false exercise for most people, most of the time.  Most people spend at least some time traveling, and most live in restrictive legal environments that don’t allow the carrying (or sometimes even ownership) of “weapons.”  Don’t forget readers that the vast majority of people live in countries with very different gun and weapons carry laws than the U.S.!  Even if you live in country like the United States their are large areas …




Letter Re: Weapons-Based Martial Arts for Survival

James: If you are going to carry a weapon, in many jurisdictions within CONUS, it doesn’t matter if it is a pistol, knife, or brass knuckles, all are illegal to carry concealed without a permit. (These laws vary widely, depending on blade length regulations, and so forth.) In fact, in some jurisdictions such as California, concealed carry of a “martial arts weapons” (Liberal oxymoron–aren’t weapons martial by definition?) is a felony, but having a Glock tucked into your waistband is a “Class A” misdemeanor [for the first offense.] Therefore, if you are going to carry, then why not carry something truly …




Weapons-Based Martial Arts for Survival, by Bladefighter

In survival situations, men use tools to get an edge over their opponents. If a man has a pistol, you want a rifle; if a man has a knife, you want a pistol and so on and so forth. Firearms are not very useful without training and the same can be said about bladed weapons such as knives and swords. Eventually guns do run out of bullets or malfunction and you might find yourself in survival situations with only a knife or a machete. Things that can go wrong in survival scenarios seem to go wrong. You may be separated …




Ninja Prepping: Learning from the Medieval Mystery Warriors of Japan, by Alex N.

Imagining guys running around in black pajamas and swords, disappearing in a puff of smoke? Well let’s start with a proper… non Hollywood idea of what the Ninja were… or are… and then see what we can learn from them. Today we have this image of the Ninja as evil assassins sneaking around Japanese castles and killing under cover of night. What most people don’t know is that the Ninja were simple farmers, priests and shopkeepers who were forced out of Japanese society and hunted by their own government. They were the ultimate survivors. In fact the word Ninja in …




Letter Re: Home Security in Great Britain

Mr. Rawles: First of all, I would just like to say a huge thank you for all the advice, expertise, and survival techniques that you have bought to my attention through your books and your blog. I never realised just how much of a risk our current climate is, and how likely we are to get to a state of “every man for himself” survival. My name is Steve. I am a 21 year old living in the West Midlands county in the heart of Great Britain. I have always had survivalism in my blood, and have always liked to …




Two Letters Re: SHTF-Oriented Fitness and Martial Arts for a Middle-Aged Couch Potato

Mr. Rawles, I’d like to throw in a different angle on SHTF-oriented fitness and martial arts.  A little over two years ago I felt the need to get back in shape, I remembered what I could do as a Marine in my early 20s (I’m in my mid 30s) and wanted to at least get within shouting distance of that.  Going to the gym solo just never worked for me.  So I started doing some research and came across Japanese Kendo — the modernized Samurai sword fighting sport.  The pros are many.  You don’t have to start in great shape …




SHTF-Oriented Fitness and Martial Arts for a Middle-Aged Couch Potato, by Dimitri G.

First off: English is not my native language. I apologize if this article is not easy to read. I hope that its usefulness will outweigh the inconvenience. I am 40 years old, overweight by about 50 pounds, and I regretfully admit that in the past 15 or so years I became a “couch potato”. In other words, my physical fitness is not up to the challenges of any survival situation. When I was a lot younger, I practiced karate, boxing, and weight lifting. I was pretty tough, and even back in high school there was no bully who would risk …




Being Prepared is More Than Just Having a Bugout Bag, by Christine S.

When a SHTF moment happens, preparedness is everything. But it is more than just having a bugout bag and a meeting place for your family. It means being ready, economically, intellectually, and physically. I’m going to talk about three specific goals, why they are so important, and the techniques you can use to get yourself in the best position possible. Don’t wait to progress from one to the other – instead, look at each of the three goals and pick an idea from each to focus on, then continue to add and build as you go. Goal #1 – Economic …