Martial Means War, and War Means Weapons

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While it’s true that most violent altercations will go to the ground (and we should train accordingly), it is a fact that most of those situations will also involve a weapon of some kind.

According to FBI statistics, in the United States, 73% of assaults (including rape) involve the use of a weapon, and 91% of murder victims are killed with a weapon.

For these reasons, I take a dim view of so-called ‘self-defense’ programs that don’t regularly train their students to fight with and against weapons.  (And I’m not talking about spending hours rehearsing pointless solo katas, or performing impressive twirls and dramatic poses with hyper-light toys that only look like weapons.)

It’s interesting to note that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Master Ricardo Murgel, (one of the world’s foremost authorities on BJJ, Submission Wrestling and Vale Tudo), has stated emphatically that he will avoid going to the ground at all costs in a street situation.

Similarly, it is my firm belief that it is safest to presume a criminal assailant will be armed.  Engaging him without first arming yourself would be foolhardy at best and suicidal at worst.

Eskrima, the most lethal knife-fighting system in the world, has a maxim: Always Expect The Blade… and doing so radically changes the way we train and fight.

On this website, I have endeavored to give you a sense of my approach to training, as well as what it might be like to train with us. So, please, read on and explore. And feel free to contact us with questions.

The only secrets will be kept by the questions you don’t ask. To signup for classes, click here.

Master Instructor Mark Mikita

Always Expect the Blade

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In teaching instructors, Mark often says that “one of the first responsibilities is to disillusion the student… to erase his illusions.”

This page is intended to do just that.

To our absolute astonishment, the terrifying effectiveness of knives is frequently underestimated if not totally dismissed by otherwise intelligent people.  Moreover, the ignorant assumption is that firearms are infinitely superior, hence the dictum: only a fool brings a knife to a gunfight.  Makes perfect sense, right?  You be the judge…

  • According to FBI statistics, most shooting situations happen within 7 to 12 feet, well within the effective range of a knife.
  • Law enforcement officers should (but very often don’t) know that any knife with a point can readily penetrate a bullet-resistant vest that doesn’t have armor plate inserts.
  • Knives don’t run out of ammunition.
  • Knives are not prone to malfunction.
  • Firearms, and ammunition for that matter, are expensive.
  • Firearms require a significant amount of training to be used effectively under stress, whereas any idiot with bad intentions can pick up a $2 steak knife and do serious damage with no training at all.


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