Tag Archive for William E. Fairbairn

World War II Combatives – Defendu


Defendu is a modern martial art developed by William E. Fairbairn and Eric A. Sykes prior to World War II. It is a hand-to-hand combat system based on practical experience mixed with jujutsu and boxing that was developed to train the Shanghai Municipal Police, and was later taught in expanded form to Office of Strategic Services and Special Operations Executive members during World War II.



Unarmed Combat (Defendu) – British Army, Home Guard 1941

Fighting Unarmed – James Hipkiss British Royal Air Force 1943

Personal Protection – United States Air Force 1967

Defensive Hand to Hand Combat – United States Navy 1943

Defend with a knife

“Get tough, get down in the gutter, win at all costs… I teach what is called ‘Gutter Fighting.’ There’s no fair play, no rules except one: kill or be killed.” – William E. Fairbairn

If you do not have a firearm handy and you need a secondary weapon (or primary where guns are not allowed), the knife is the perfect weapon to defend yourself. The Self Defense Company has a great article on “The Truth About Knife Fighting” – read it.

If you want to learn from one of the best, William E. Fairbairn is your guy. Fairbairn is considered the Father of Modern Close Quarter Battle and was known as “Dangerous Dan.” Fairbairn trained some of the most hardcore warriors in the world to include: U.S. Army Rangers, British and Canadian Commandos, OSS Spies, U.S. Marine Raiders, and the SAS. His fighting style assisted our troops and British commandos in World War II. Fairbairn’s knife is still available today. Fairbairn’s books are available on Amazon and other places too.

High level training

Some of the deadliest street knife fighters are in Brazil.

Check out the “Bloody Brazilian Knife Fightin’ Techniques” (click on picture).

Where to strike if it comes down to life or death situation:

SEAL Knife training

Navy SEAL vs Israeli Commando in Spike show 

Rage University has tons of links to PDF’s from knife fighting to close combat techniques.

Russian Knife Fighting Techniques

If you ever go to prison, you might want to read this book as well…