Immediate Action Combatives

IAC is devoted to making people more capable and more dangerous.

At IAC, we take pride in working hard on our real world functional fighting skills without the typical paranoia/thug mentality so prevalent in today’s world of modern martial arts and self-defense. Our environment is about having fun and enjoying life while preparing ourselves for live safely and happily, inside and outside the gym. We offer focused coaching in a cooperative, fun and ego-free env

Operating as usual

05/15/2024

The truth is, as human beings we are going to fail more often than we succeed.

Now, that failure may be a relatively minor thing – you don’t put a shopping cart back, you leave the dishes in the sink an extra day, you fail at your diet on one particular day, you don’t do your scheduled exercise program. Or it may be a more moderate one – you are short with a loved one, you cut someone off in traffic, you forget to do a task at your job. Or it may even be a big one – you mentally, emotionally, or physically hurt someone even unintentionally. Whatever the case may be, we are all going to fail at it at some point. It is the nature of humanity. We want to be the best, but life has an insidious method of getting in the way.

Saying this is not a get out of jail free card, as if we can just move on and go “oh well, stuff happens”. Not at all. We need to pay attention to these mistakes, learn from them, and use them as an object lesson to try to prevent a re-occurrence. This is the way that we truly get better.

However, it does mean that we should not beat ourselves up anymore than is helpful to that goal of getting better. Endlessly flagellating ourselves accomplishes nothing and just diminishes our soul. I was talking to a friend recently who in my opinion was beating himself up when there was no need. He was truly and honestly trying to be better, and was too focused on the occasional lapse. I was trying to encourage him, when I realized I was doing the exact same thing at the same exact time. I had a family tragedy happen in the past few weeks, and I was torturing myself with the things and actions I felt in hindsight I did wrong in the days prior to this tragedy, and all I was doing was hurting myself to no end.

My wife has been telling me quite frequently the past five weeks that I need to be kind to myself and as often is true, she is right. We all need to exercise kindness in today’s world – kindness and empathy certainly to others, but to ourselves as well. Don’t stop trying to be better, but don’t dwell on the failures. Use them as a platform to launch yourself to be more. I know I am going to try that advice myself.

05/13/2024

Throwback pic - When I was playing Aussie Rules Football and went to the National Championships with the Arizona Hawks. We got our asses kicked (we went 1-3) , and the weather was miserable all weekend ( rained non stop and temps never got above 50) and those shorts and sleeveless tunics are not designed to keep you warm, but I would not trade that experience for anything. I loved playing that sport and it was a true shame how the local league imploded after that.

05/03/2024

One of the banes of an instructor's existence is the less experienced or newer student who insists after being given a piece of advice or a correction, " I've got it”, when the fact is they probably don't. This goes for the martial art side as well as the shooting side. and in fact in any endeavor or when any instructor is teaching.

I have been teaching since 1987, and at this period in my life I've taught over 10,000 different students and I feel pretty safe in saying that the above statement by the new student is not a willful disregard of instruction, or intentional disrespect. I believe it boils down to two separate but occasionally intertwined issues. The first is they did not really process everything that you said, and the second is they don't really know what their body is doing.

What I mean when I say they did not process or internalize what you said is that less experienced students tend to be outcome-centered and are focusing on the end state. For example, in a Jiu-Jitsu submission they are focusing on the final part of the move where they can get the tap, when in reality the important steps are all the waypoints before that. They don't realize that (because so much of the information you are giving them is brand new and probably unlike anything they have done in the past) and they are focused on the last part where they can feel like they've accomplished something. You see that in shooting as well where during a drill they ignore clearing the Garment, obtaining the master grip, proper presentation, getting the sights up, and smooth trigger press and just think of firing enough rounds to finish the drill. The problem is both with the Jiu-Jitsu example and the shooting example is that the end state will most likely fail because of the mistakes on the path (outcome vs process).

I can illustrate this by looking at a classic Jiu Jitsu arm bar. Most people will focus on the final extension of stretching out the arm and getting the tap. Then they don't understand why the tap isn't happening. They were concentrating on the cool guy end state, and not each key step of the process until you get to the part where you can stretch the arm. In this case with an arm bar the typical mistakes are not squeezing the knees together, interlocking the feet, not bringing the heels in towards yourself, and/or not keeping weight on the opponent's head. These are all occurring earlier in the move but are crucial for a successful ex*****on. As somebody who's been teaching this for 25 years I can tell you when and how the new person is going to mess up. It’s like the insurance commercial - I know a thing or two because I have seen a thing or two.

In my opinion the responsibility for this lies on the instructor. We have to ensure that the new student is focused on the process and we need to be careful and getting across the idea that each step is critical and to not rush through to the end. This is the only way the inexperienced or new student will internalize this concept, and be able to have long term success. All the answers are discovered during the process, not at the end.

The other area where the student generally messes up is in not having well developed kinesthetic awareness and proprioception. Most people are not born with a great understanding of what their body is doing and where they are in space, especially in relation to other people. The great athletes like a Jordan or an Ali generally have this and that's one of the reasons they are referred to as phenoms. While they may have other attributes, a truly great athlete most of the time has great kinesthetic awareness and purpose. When the instructor is teaching the student it is crucial that we point out the actual physical movements and get across the idea to the student what they should be feeling as it happens until they are able to viscerally feel it for themselves. This can be a long path for many. It was for me, and I spent many years at jiujitsu stumbling along and not really improving. Not due to my Professor, but to my own inability to understand the physical movement when it needs to occur.

This is where students need to be very careful. Don't assume that because you've learned a technique once or even a few times that you understand it, that you grasp it fully, and that your body is performing the physical action required. The truth is you've probably missed a good chunk of those, if not all. That's not a criticism or an insult. It is just a simple truth. Almost every great instructor was right there at the beginning making the same mistakes and having the same misunderstandings. When we try to tell the student that you are doing something wrong, don't take it as an attack. We're trying to help you correct it, and make you better.

Some people reading this probably are going to take this as an elitist talking down. It is absolutely not. It does not affect me negatively if you argue with me when I am teaching, or dismiss my instruction with the “I’ve got it”, or even “well, I learned it this way”. The only person that is hurt is the student. Moreover, in this world of social media, I am trying to save you from making a dogmatic comment online that you will look back later on and be embarrassed about. A few years ago, a person argued with me on Facebook that the Americana (a BJJ arm attack) is a move fit only for white belts. This person writing this was either a white or blue belt and when I pointed out that it is one of my best submissions, and I got it all the time, he wrote that “I must not roll with good people very often”......If he ever took the time to find out who he was arguing with, I am sure he is extremely embarrassed that he wrote that for posterity, and most likely prefers to forget it ever happened. I have had those kinds of interactions for 25 years. Don’t be that guy. It is safer to assume you are wrong than to argue with someone who has depth and breadth of experience and knowledge demonstrably superior to your own.

Another similar experience was someone who I knew for certain was definitely a white belt, who barely trained, and his “gym” consisted of maybe 6-8 total other students, who was so sure he knew everything and made the ridiculously foolish statement online that “you can’t kimura someone from bottom half guard”, which is a complete shock to tens of thousands of BJJ players have done that very thing, including in competition AND video instructional! Don’t be this fool.

Hopefully both newer instructors and new students gain a bit of understanding from this so we both can move forward and all get better.

05/02/2024

As someone who strongly advocates BJJ as a backbone art for a good base in self-defense, I am often asked what the benefits are. The obvious one is being able to fight well on the ground. However, BJJ goes far beyond that. One thing is does better than almost any other single activity is getting you mentally and emotionally prepared for the fight.

One of the biggest issues that can occur when you find yourself assaulted is that by definition, things are not going your way. Perhaps we let our situational awareness lapse, perhaps we did not realize that the person we were in range of was a violent criminal actor (VCA) because he was using a ruse, perhaps we happened to be injured or ill at the time of attack, or a myriad of reasons put us in a bad place. Regardless of how we got to that place, said place is going to be uncomfortable – physically, mentally, and emotionally. And, unfortunately, the typical gun-centric range training most of us engage in doesn’t do anything at all to prepare us for that level of pressure. It is just not possible to do so when there is not a living, breathing, resisting opponent who is determined to win and that we must lose.

One solution to this is what is called Force-on-Force training. Typically it uses marking cartridges such as Simunitions or UTM to have a pain penalty that is still safe. The gold standard for this type of training is Craig Douglas’ ECQC course. This is terrifically useful and much needed, but there is a large drawback – it is hard to conduct such training more than once in awhile. Not only is it expensive to have guns that can use these cartridge’s, but the ammo is as well, and you also have to have good protective equipment like good helmets. It also can’t be conducted in too many places outside of a shooting range (while these rounds are not lethal, they do pack a punch and can damage surrounding structures and bystanders quite easily). And on top of all of that, it is incredibly demanding physically. A couple of hours of this kind of training will leave most people exhausted. Even for top athletes it would be tough to do more than on occasion.

However, the parts that are so valuable – the dealing with a resisting opponent and the physical, mental, and emotional pressures that are needed – can be more easily done in a BJJ academy. In every single moment you are on the mats there, you are going to be dealing with this type of situation. In a very short period of time, getting squashed underneath someone who outweighs you by 80 pounds becomes just another day. It does not exactly become ho hum, nor does it become comfortable. But it does help you lose the sense of dread and helplessness, and that feeling is something that stays with you no matter what, and that you will be able to draw on when you are being attacked for real. And the best part is that because the pressure can be adjusted in training, you can work like this hours at a time, day after day and be no worse for the wear.

I have said multiple times that BJJ gives the multi-disciplinary thinking tactician more bang for the buck than any other modality out there. Period. And getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is one of the, if not the single most useful.

04/22/2024

IAC Seminar
Lacey, WA IAC Seminar 5/17-19 , 2024

I am pumped to head back to the PNW. I have been teaching up there since around 2009 and there is a great group of students who are truly focused on working hard. It is also a great place to get your initiation into the world of the entangled fight without being thrown into Fight Club. We will be inside a great BJJ academy so we are free from any incliment weather no matter what, so this is a perfect place and time to to take the plunge into the H2H in a Weapon Based Environment world, or if you have trained before. Come join us!

Contrary to popular belief, many empty-handed fights and those involving weapons end up entangled, either standing or on the ground. No amount of pontificating or self-proclaimed “expert” posturing will change this simple fact. If you ignore this reality, you may very well find yourself in a situation you cannot handle with disastrous consequences.

This course is designed to give the layman a realistic and functional set of concepts, techniques, methodologies, training drills and experiences that will prepare them for a worst-case grappling scenario. All techniques and concepts are high percentile applications which span a wide spectrum of confrontations.
Training consists of presentation, drilling and Force-On-Force evolutions providing attendees with immediate feedback regarding the efficacy of the skills learned, all delivered in a professional, ego free manner.

The goal of this course is not to create a “ground fighter” or grappler. The objective is to provide attendees who have limited training time and resources with solid ground survival and escape fundamentals geared toward the increasingly violent weapon-based environments they may live, work and/or travel within. And all techniques/concepts are from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, and Boxing and are combat proven over the past 80 years by thousands and thousands of practitioners, including the U.S. Army.
These methods are for everyone regardless of physical condition – young, old, male, female, athlete or not – You DO NOT have to be a professional fighter to perform at a functional level. This will be a class about physical training, but it is NOT boot camp. Participants may go at the pace that is comfortable for them, while trying to push the envelope of their own individual performance.

Requirements: loose, comfortable but durable clothes, mouthpiece, cup, notebook, and an open mind. Boxing or MMA gloves are strongly encouraged but are not mandatory. Blue Guns and matched holsters, and training knives are a good idea, but there will be loaners available.

Surviving/defending/escaping the bottom
Getting back to your feet / staying upright
Defending against strikes on the ground or clinch
Denying the attacker weapon access – understanding technique, positional hierarchy, and timing
Proper role of “dirty tactics”
Multiple opponents
Essential training principles, methods, and drills
Underlying concepts and mindset for the clinch in a self-defense context
Dealing with the sucker punch/ambush
Fundamentals of the clinch
Controlling the entanglement
Disengaging and making distance for escape, weapons access or orientation reset
Performance coaching and troubleshooting
Structuring and balancing your training for a real world lifestyle

link to sign up in the comments. Use the code "DEPOSIT" to sign up for 50% (you can the balance the week of the class).

04/18/2024

I bought some new training gear from Clanton Combatives. Really nice stuff.

In the first comment will be a link to my YouTube channel where I have a short video about these items.

Photos from Immediate Action Combatives's post 04/17/2024

I was just at Wilderness Tactical Products on Monday. Picked up some awesome new gear.

First, I got their Steyr Scout Rifle Mag Pouch. It’s a really ingenious design because just by adding or subtracting a small insert, you can accommodate either a five or ten round magazine with no other alteration. Quick on/off attachment that allows it to be positioned anywhere on your belt, and their bombproof construction means this pouch probably gets handed down to grandkids alongside the rifle.

Second was something I’ve been waiting for a long time. I actually consulted with Wilderness years ago on a f***y pack and what a good “grayman” gun version should look like. Unfortunately, I did not have enough experience to get it dialed in to a satisfactory product. But fortunately Sam and Wilderness kept working and brought in Darryl Bolke to give his thoughts and now they have everything I was hoping for - the Defender F***y Pack. Does not scream GUN or TACTICAL, but it does exactly what it should to allow carry of a firearm for self-preservation. It comes in many different colors to match the buyer’s needs.

It’s a bit bittersweet though that the founder of Wilderness passed away yesterday. He was a good man and a great innovator. I post these pictures today in honor of Ralph.

A Great EDC Knife 04/02/2024

A short video about my current favorite EDC utility folder. This thing is inexpensive, but jsut as useful and as good as other folders costing substantially more.

A Great EDC Knife A look at the Mercator K56 folding knife. An affordable general utility knife that may be my favorite.

03/27/2024

Most likely everyone has heard the acronym CYA at some point. Undoubtedly it is most commonly read as “Cover Your A**”, but I prefer a different usage. Massad Ayoob, the legendary fi****ms trainer and expert in understanding the legal ramifications of self-defense uses it to mean “Can You Articulate”.

Essentially, it refers to the concept that whatever actions you take to defend yourself, or what equipment you may use, can you reasonably explain to a regular person why you did it and why it was necessary. When an opposing lawyer tries to get a jury to believe you are a gun nut because you had new sights put on your pistol, you need to be able to tell them that you were so concerned that you would hit the attacker only and not risk a bullet going anywhere else that you made the effort to get different and better sights even though it cost you more money, time, and effort, but it is worth it to ensure that you are responsible in your self-defense actions. That makes you intelligent and thoughtful, not a crazy nut. If you can articulate that, then the lawyer’s attack will fail. If you can’t, then that jury may very well see you as someone who did not use a gun only to defend yourself, but someone that deserves to be behind bars.

It is not a difficult thing to do, but it does require thought beforehand. You have to have it figured out before you need it.
I like to use the same phrase and apply it to people’s choices in gear or training. I often tell folks that I am not the tactical Gestapo. I am not interested in judging what you are carrying, or what classes you take, or what battle plans you have made to deal with your own personal violence defense. It is not up to me, and frankly it does not affect me one bit. That is why I find it odd that so many people spend so much time and energy doing exactly that – criticizing other people’s choices.

What I prefer to spend my time and energy on is to make sure that all the choices that I make FOR MYSELF are ones that I can articulate out loud to someone who is not privy to my thoughts, and ensure that my reasons can stand up to that outer scrutiny. If I can achieve that, then most likely my tactics, techniques, procedures, and gear are a good choice for me. Am I putting the right amount of time into my jiu-jitsu practice? Am I doing too much? Am I focusing enough on my strength and conditioning, or my gun handling? Can I put my time to better use doing something else, or something more? With my lifestyle and the challenges I face, am I doing everything that I logically can to ensure I am covering the plausible and reasonable contingencies? If I can answer in the affirmative all the time, then I am doing the right things, even if those things don’t align with someone else’s needs and priorities.

That last point is fairly important. It may make all the sense in the world for me to carry a snubby revolver in an ankle holster at specific times during the week, and it is irrelevant if someone else thinks that would not work for them. I am focused on my needs, not anyone else. If they think that a G***k 19 fills all their requirements and there is no reason for them to not carry it, then awesome! More power to them. But that does not mean their reality applies to me in any way. I may decide that carrying a spare magazine is not a need, and someone else may think that they should always have one. Coolio. That is great, but my needs are my needs. As long as I can articulate the whys and wherefores of my choices, then it does not matter what others do.

As far as someone else’s choices, all I ask is that they can articulate the whys of their choices to the same level. If they can, then I cannot criticize it, even if their choices don’t match mine. Their fight is not mine, and my fight is not theirs, so I need to leave it alone. Conversely, if they cannot do so in a logical manner, and I can express some thoughts that are contrary to theirs, and they cannot dispute my points without resorting to name-calling, or creating a strawman, then I submit that their choices don’t hold up.

We have the responsibility to the outside world to be able to CYA. Too many people want to take our ability to protect ourselves away. Let’s not give them any extra ammunition to do so. Make good informed choices that you pressure test to ensure you are correct, and you can stand up to whatever the world throws your way.

Holdaper arestado matapos pagtulungan ng mga empleyado ng tindahan | ABS-CBN News 03/14/2024

And once again, by watching actual real world video, we see the sheer stupidity of those "experts" who keep newling that physical fitness does not matter for self-defense.

Here is a video of a store clerk being robbed with a knife, and not only does he get into an entangled fight with a weapon in play, but the fight lasts over 90 seconds! Do these YT "influencers" (waht a ridiculous moniker) and self-defense commentators really think that a life or death struggle for a minute and a half is like a slow jog? Tell me you know nothing about real world violence and what it feels like to be in the middle of it without telling me that.....

But take a look for yourself. And please contemplate videos like this when some morbidly obese internet dood, who has nothing on his resume but a lot of shooting on square ranges, tells you what is what and tries to convince you he knows stuff.

Holdaper arestado matapos pagtulungan ng mga empleyado ng tindahan | ABS-CBN News Inaresto ang isang lalaki matapos nitong tangkaing holdapin ang isang convenience store sa Binangonan, Rizal noong Miyerkoles ng hapon.For more ABS-CBN News ...

Zeta 6 Safe Snap - How Versatile? 03/13/2024

A short video on the Zeta 6 Safe Snap dryfire aid, and how many different types of revolvers it will fit.

Zeta 6 Safe Snap - How Versatile? The Zeta 6 Safe Snap dry fire tool is an excellent and useful piece of equipment. They advertise it as being for S&W K-frames, but I wanted to see what else ...

03/11/2024

This is something I posted before, but it needs repeating because too many good people are beating themselves up about their own training.

"Within the last few days, I have been reading a number of online posts as well as having some private discussions through email, text, and PMs with people all roughly about the same thing. There are a good amount of people out there putting in effort to be better, safer and more dangerous but stumble along the way.

Whether someone feels like they are not training as much as someone else they read or hear about online, or if they did a competition of some kind and don’t do as well as they hoped, or they took a tough training course and got wrecked, or shot some hard drill and put the result up publicly, they use a lot of negative talk. “I really got my butt handed to me in that class”, or “I let my team down by my performance in that tournament”, or “I will never be as good as –fill in the blank- because I just am not as dedicated in my training as he is” are typical statements.

Here is my statement to all of you talking like this – STOP IT. NOW.

Stop wasting thoughts on “if only”s , or that you are not good enough, or that you do enough. If you are authentically doing the work and putting honest effort in, regardless of how much time you are spending doing it, you are winning! Being honest to the problem and trying to do something about it is the win. Everything else is just the process result. The journey is the win, not what comes at the end, because in our quest to become more capable/safer/dangerous, there is no end state. We keep on keeping on, and take pride in the blood, sweat, tears, money, and time we put in. Nothing else is worth worrying about.

And STOP COMPARING yourself to others. Your journey is yours and yours alone. So what if I put in more mat time than you? Or that Paul Sharp shoots more than you? Or that Larry Lindenman or Chris Fry or Craig Douglas has been working real world fighting material longer than most of you have been adults? Or that Jouko Ahola spends more time lifting weights than you do? Or so-and-so has better genetics/more time/more money/easier access to training?

None of that matters. You are not in competition with any of them, nor do you need to measure yourself against any of them. Hell, you are not even in competition with that violent criminal actor out there waiting to do harm to you. You have no control over that. The only thing you can control, which means it is the only thing you need to compare yourself to, is the you of yesterday. The only question to ask is “am I better than I was yesterday?” If the answer is yes, even if you are only 1/100th of one percent better, than you are wining. Period.
To sum up, please listen to this. If you are actively, honestly working to be better than you were yesterday, you are doing great. Pat yourself on the back for a second, and then put your nose back to the grindstone. And stop belittling what you are doing.

02/29/2024

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is probably the least traumatic of the street functional fighting arts that we can train in. However, less traumatic does not mean injury never happens. BJJ is a contact art (that is one of the reasons why it is so functional in self-defense) and pain and injuries happen. While we cannot completely proof ourselves against this, we can mitigate the risk. And with so many new people taking up training, many of whom may never have done any fighting art previously, it may be a good idea to take a look at a couple of easily implemented methods.
I speak from experience – 31+ years of doing this at one of the most hard training gyms in the world has caused me some scarring – knee surgery, and then more meniscus tearing and an LCL tear post surgery, a dislocated left shoulder, a separated right shoulder with a partially torn labrum, the two supporting ligaments on each wrist completely severed, and more minor bumps, bruises, and injuries then I can name (not one of my finger joints looks normal!). So learn from my mistakes and do what I am about to suggest, not what I did myself.

The first thing we can do to minimize injury is to understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint.

It is completely understandable that when someone starts a fighting art for self-defense, they want to feel like they are capable of fighting as soon as possible. However, this “enthusiasm” can easily lead to someone going too hard too soon. Perhaps when you find yourself in a bad situation, rather than tapping out (signaling that you surrender), we try to force through it because we need to become a bad ass RIGHT NOW, and that forcing through leads to some part of your body moving farther than it was designed to do. I always tell new people to tap sooner than later. Think of it this way, if you tap early, you do signal that you lost that fight, but guess what? You get to immediately go back to the fight to work on it. And you can do that over and over again. But if you try to push through, and are injured, not only do you not get to get right back to it, you might have to be off the training mat for weeks. So in the end, you only slow down your progress. It might seem counter-intuitive, but it actually is the smart way to go.

Also, going too hard too soon can cause your body to wear down faster doing too much too soon, and something will have to give, which is especially true for us older athletes.

As well, BJJ is a complex art. Trying to rush past the complexities to get to the “end zone” often leads to people missing key points of understanding along the way, and practicing incorrectly. Some of those important points might be the very thing that keeps you from being injured while training hard.

To sum this part up – SLOW DOWN! The fable of the Tortoise and the Hare is very apropos here.

The second thing is to leave your ego at the edge of the mat. Seriously, no one on the mat cares about how bad ass or tough you are when you start. We have seen tough guys come and go. No one is going to be impressed. Rather, they will be irritated more often than not, and may very well avoid training with guys like you because you tend to be spazzy and injure others as well as yourself. It is going to be hard to get higher belts to give you tips when they avoid you like a plague. Be a good partner and you will get help.

And really, do you truly expect to outfight that purple belt who is twenty years younger than you, has no injuries, competes regularly, and trains six days a week? Especially when you have about a week’s worth of training under your belt. Trying to beat him with physical attributes or a skill set you don’t possess will only end one of two ways – either he beats you so bad you have no idea how he did it and therefore you get no learning out of it, or you go so hard that something gives, which generally is going to be a part of YOUR body.

Step onto the mat with the only desire in your mind to be to get better and become more capable, regardless of how long it takes. You protect yourself and your partner, and set yourself up for long term success.

Be realistic in how you train. The beauty of BJJ is that if you are consistent and focused, you will get better, no ifs, whens, or buts. Just ignore how long it takes. Start the grind and enjoy the journey.

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Videos (show all)

A sadly overlooked jiujitsu concept, and one way we can address it.
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Freestyle Martial Arts Freestyle Martial Arts
13236 N. 7th Street Suite #6
Phoenix, 85022

A modern Karate school dedicated to teaching character development with fun and exciting classes, fo