Friday, March 11, 2011

Kelly Worden's "Practical Knifefighting For Personal Protection."

"Practical Knifefighting For Personal Protection" Volumes One and Two by Kelly Worden

After all of these years and so many training videos released by so many people, these two videos remain the best "Nuts and Bolts" training videos as far as I'm concerned.

There is a whole line of thought that it is impossible to learn from a video. For most people, that is all too true. I started out wanting to learn how to use two things because of a job that I had. I wanted to learn how to best use the ASP Telescoping Baton and edged weapons.

The reason was very simple, I had a very dangerous job that used to not only allow employees to carry a handgun open or concealed, but they encouraged it. One anti-gun corporate weasel who would rather shed crocodile tears at the needless death of an employee instead of giving them the tools that would give them a fighting chance put an end to that.

So, I already knew what I needed. I needed Filipino Martial Arts (FMAs) training and I sought that out. I was disappointed because what I needed, I needed in a short period of time. I didn't expect to "master" what I needed in a short period of time, but I needed to start learning it NOW, not weeks, months or years later.

I was in an Arnis Class and things were going at a snail's pace and what I learned was valuable but I had been reading for years about Dan Inosanto's thoughts on FMAs and I thought that was the way to go. The reputation of FMAs when it came to sticks and knives was solid and that's what I wanted.

Unfortunately, the guy running the school had other priorities and one of them was Tae Kwon Do. I had already been through the whole Tae Kwon Do and Tang Soo Do thing when I was a teenager and I was simply not interested in it. But that was the cash cow and if you didn't cough up the money and get into that as well, you just were not going to get what you wanted.

So, I learned what I could and I was frustrated and eventually I left that school. A few years later I started reading about James Keating and Kelly Worden and after a while and some rave reviews in Fighting Knives and Full Contact Magazines, I started pouring some money into those materials. And what I learned was amazing. Now, I already had the all-important understanding of the footwork from FMAs, I was already skilled to a degree. I just needed the knife-specific material but I couldn't obtain it. I mean, I didn't just want it, I had a legitimate need above and beyond the legitimate need of a regular Citizen wanting to learn these arts. I didn't want it for cultural reasons or as a hobby, I wanted lifesaving skills.

So, my advice to you is, as it has been a constant coming from me for years, you need to get into a Filipino Martial Arts class. You need to learn that and then, if you are not getting what you want out of it or, you want to take a look at other people's movements, then you can go and purchase material like this.

These two videos are an awesome foundation, bedrock, to lifesaving skills using edged weapons. I know that other "names" in "knifefighting" have criticized Kelly Worden for some of his materials over the years. It's really easy to do when you are putting out stuff that's demonstrably not as good, trying to knock down your competition. Or, more cowardly, you send out your students and your online fans to basically stalk and harass your competition. Now, isn't that low? I've watched it for years.

A lot of people think you need to spend years and years and years in this stuff, to learn how to tear someone to pieces in a few seconds. It's simply not true. As one Pekiti Tirsia Instructor told me years ago, Doctors, Surgeons, spend about a decade and a half learning to put people back together that have been shot, stabbed, cut, beat up, stomped or torn apart in car accidents. Why should it take that long to learn how to tear the body apart? That's wisdom. This is a science, but it's not rocket science.

Likewise, our wonderful friends on the street and some that eventually go on to serve prison time, what about them? They're pretty effective at what they do and what they do is victimize some of the most violent and paranoid people on the planet - their fellow prisoners. The only kids they put through college was their lawyer's kids, not some martial arts instructor. So, you don't have to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to the guy who has the knowledge you want anymore, you don't have to stroke his ego and kiss his ass. You can pour your foundation and then go your own way and build on it if you are serious.

If you can only afford two DVDs on using an edged weapon for self-preservation, these would be the two to purchase. They are that good.


Blackthorn D. Stick said...

And for anyone interested, the Kelly Worden videos Don has referenced above have been combined into 1 DVD that is available from Paladin Press for a meager $19.95 + S&H.

Quite a bargain actually.

Martialis said...

This was the first set of instructional tapes I ever bought, probably from your recommendation on either gutterfighting or sdf. I always enjoyed Kelly Worden's instruction and humor.

A bit of an instructor drift but Where would you place SN's REM V1/2 dvd's? Do you think they complement James Keatings drawpoint material or are different interpretations of the same method? Excluding the great supplement MUC skills SN presents.

I have to say it again Don, great interactive blog!

Don Rearic said...


The only reason you don't see the Shivworks DVDs up on the DVD list is because there is a glitch in the Blogspot software which happened in the middle of creating it. It stopped allowing me to add items to the list, or any list. That's also why you don't see Cestari and McCann's materials up there...yet.

I think Jim's Drawpoint is a further growth of the martial arts aspects of it, with classic drills used to teach it. I think the REM DVDs take "Pikal" into the combatives realm where it is streamlined - stripped and nasty - not unlike what McCann has done with the his base arts and WW2 Combatives mix to create the Combatives that he has created.

When it comes to the all-encompassing word which means a lot of things when it comes to martial arts and combatives - KNIFE - I think Kelly Worden's two that I mentioned are the best at actually teaching someone to use a knife and to use it very effectively. I think Vol. I (Worden's) might be the only instructional DVD ever produced, let me re-word that, Worden's Vol. I might have the absolute highest success rate of any instructional knife video ever produced for someone who does NOT have any FMA training. If they are intelligent and have attention to detail, I think if they learn it well and practice it they would be effective in an extremely broad spectrum of self-defense encounters. No, they won't whip a Navy SEAL's ass that has been trained by The Sayocs or any other fantasy we could muster, but out in the real world, where forums and controversies don't really matter, they would probably be able to develop some lifesaving skills.

Don Rearic said...

"not unlike what McCann has done with the his base arts and WW2 Combatives mix to create the Combatives that he has created."

Create what he has created...oh god, I need more coffee and it's almost three in the afternoon. 8-)

Martialis said...

"Create what he has created...oh god, I need more coffee and it's almost three in the afternoon. 8-)"

Yeah Ive been having those kind of days too lately. Forgoe the caffeine, strap on some tactical blades, kubotan's, mini PSK's, & go for a nice stroll hehe.

If I am reading you right Kelly Worden's DVD is a great primer, and baseline standard for knife combatives instruction.

Don Rearic said...


Yeah, but if a person is serious enough to see what they can do with reversa in Vol. I, return with a cut or thrust on the return line or any line at all, and they drill that over and over again... You can get a degree of fluidity, speed and efficiency that is really amazing.

What are these things we call "basic" and "intermediate" and "advanced?" Is it all of the templates you find in other Arts or pretzel maneuvers, tying someone into a nice, neat little bundle and sticking it to them at the termination of the tying of the knot?

The spellings are many, but puter kampala, the spin and torque and crush with the thrust(s) at the termination of it, is that basic, intermediate or advanced? I guess it depends on who you talk to. ;-)

See new post today. Hahahaha!!!


Martialis said...

'I guess it depends on who you talk to. ;-)''

And I suppose how many dvd set's an instructor wants to sell.

Where can I send you an e-mail? I can't seem find an address anywhere on this blog.

Martialis said...

Nevermind, I looked to the right of comments.

Don Rearic said...

Well, instructors make their living instructing and some do it in person and some do it in person and on video.

Most people in the game, sooner or later, devolve into coming up with new stuff that overcomplicates everything because...they want to keep having students come back. Which is fine. I just disagree that this is "necessary" to learn how to defend yourself.