Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Tactical Edge Seminar at Krav maga Edinburgh

Saturday’s seminar had a great mix of people from the regular Tactical Edge class in Edinburgh as well as some celebrities from further afield. In particular we were proud to have Master Tom MacCallum,8th Degree Blackbelt training. Tom was the Secretary General of the International TaeKwon-Do Federation and was for many years General Choi Hong Hi's (TaeKwon-Do's founder) right hand man.

The day kicked off dealing with the most common knife threats. After successfully dealing with these failure drills were added. When dealing with the threats we look to control the knife by grasping the hands as opposed to controlling the wrist or further up the arm. If you control the wrist the opponent still has the ability to cut you. If you own the hands then you own the knife. We looked at various follow up techniques and weapon strips. Mark then went on to cover threats on some other lines. One of the beauties and most simple ideas when it comes to knife threats is orientating the body. As humans we all move and we almost certainly react to a threat. So if a knife is placed at the side of our body then we generally orientate ourselves to that so it becomes a frontal attack again. This can simply be done by moving to give the person your wallet or whatever else it is they are demanding. As human beings this is how we act. You simply don’t need a response to a knife threat from every angle conceivable and at every range. That makes for long drawn out classes and is there to keep you in a class week after week. This system deals in probabilities and deals with concepts so it doesn’t matter if the angle changes we simply follow the concept. That way under stress we can operate effectively.

The day then looked at more active attacks and various ways to deal with these but at all times adhering to the principles. We looked at passing motions as opposed to direct blocks. The first thing any weapons system is taught is that when you feel pressure then retract and cut. Therefore a direct block can prove fatal. Again, this tactic is used a lot by gangs in Glasgow who haven’t had a days formal training in their lives. You don’t have to be a student of the blade to know this concept. The use of the tactical flashlight was then introduced and we worked through various drills and situationals. The use of the flashlight is based on the old black lantern and dagger arts. If an attacker cannot see then he cannot fight, its simple.

Mark rounded off the day by showing how everything was part of a logic chain. He gave a stunning display of the defending knife threats against multiple attackers and also showed how all the techniques could be easily used against a much larger edged weapon.

This review doesn’t take into account all the extra gems that were given to the participants its merely to act as an aide memoir for the attendants. You should do yourself a favour and come along to one of Mark’s future seminars. Don’t be blinkered by what you know or what you think you know. Don’t believe because someone stands in front of you in class that they know everything. Combat evolves and so do systems. If your instructor or his instructor doesn’t look outside of their own system then you get a very narrow view of things. No one person has all the answers but there are many who can help you to get where you want to.


  1. brilliant seminar , he explains everything to a tee , can t wait till the next one , well done to everyone that graded

  2. Tactical edge seminar was brilliant, Mark Davies is some instructor and his philosophy and expertise in dealing with real combat situations is exceptional. Thoroughly enjoyed it Mark, if you read this thanx very much. To the guys who havent been on one of the tactical edge seminars you are missing out big style the best training around and at £5,33 per hour you wont find better value for your money.

  3. Andy Farr getting kicked in the nuts was the best technique i saw all day..ha ha ha!

  4. I got a lot from the seminar and wish I could do it all again! (Although next time I'd try to knee Patrick a little less in the happy sacks-sorry about that!)

    Marks style of discourse and real-world examples help bring to life the techniques and makes me think about what I'd do myself in those situations; meaning there's a better chance I'll have more of my wits about me if I find myself in one of the situations for real as won't then be a _complete_ bolt from the blue.

    I always catch myself being a bit more security aware and observant after each of Mark's Seminars I attend.

    Big props to Stephen for attending the seminar with recently dislocated fingers!