CQB Q&A

Caution: The contents of this article are for education purposes only. The principles described are extremely dangerous and are for military close combat training and operations only. Their application applies solely to the military.

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I have read that the Todd System is not the same as the Applegate system and can’t understand why it wouldn’t be exactly the same if it is the Todd System?

The Todd System is my system based on my lifetime’s work and training from some great instructors such as Col Rex Applegate.  It is however not a copy of any of my former instructors complete systems. If it was it would be titled with my former instructors name not mine.

I instruct courses for many roles from reserves through to special operation in military CQB and for various security, close protection, tactical, occupational and civilian applications.

The Todd System houses all the previous skills components and more and is based on a system that has commonality from basic to specialist and from unarmed to armed. The broad description of the type of training I received from my former instructors I have covered in previous files and will cover again:

Harry Baldock regular force military unarmed combat and self defence Charles Nelson Self Defence and hand-to-hand combat Col Applegate special operations armed and unarmed close combat.

I have also had the privilege of training from the next generation of military master instructors such as Larry Jordan and Ben Mangels.

I always pay homage to the experts that trained qualified and influenced me and will always respect them but the Todd System is my personal system based on the best of battle proven that I have learnt from my expert instructors and my own life times work.

The research and development of skills for the military that I have actively been working on for the past fifteen years is somewhat different in not all but some aspects to a lot of the skills I have previously learnt as its for a different time and circumstances in many ways.

The weapons have changed and some tactics have changed, there is different battle dress and protective gear to mention but some changes. It’s very much a living package and now that I am the caretaker of the package I bring to it my skills principles and perspective.

My role as the chief instructor and the person responsible for the doctrine is to ensure it stays current and to work with the military to develop skills that enable them to achieve mission success and this is what the Todd System is all about a commitment to excellence in close combat.

So it is true it is not the system of anyone else even though it does have components of other expert’s systems it is the Todd System.

A final point also is the majority of close combat buffs base their opinions on the published material of the expert pioneers and have never seen their military courses means of instructing or skills actually in the flesh where there is a considerable difference to the civilian publications.

Not all of their teachings were published and the military considerations employments often change things considerably. To make objective serious comment they would need to have been trained in both systems by the said instructors.

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What do you consider to be the most important aspects of a person that wants to be good at CQC?

For military CQC a combination of confidence and competence.

Confidence by being committed mentally to achieving your objectives and inner-resolve to endure the odds and not give in to pain or the threat. Also confidence to do what you have to do, to turn on the ruthlessness when needed and desensitise yourself to the nature of your actions.

Competence to make fast decisions and employ the best options to achieve your objectives. Competence also to deal with changes in situation and be able to execute contingency options wit out loosing momentum. Being able to assess decide and execute correct principles and skills. Competence to make yourself a hard target and reduce risk by self protection and correct situation anti, combat or counter measures to achieve your objective.

You can win even if your skills are limited especially when they are deadly employment options but when your mental toughness is less than fully committed you are your own worst enemy
.
I always say more than 90% will and less than 10% skill when in “anything goes” unpredictable combat is the norm.

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I know many military specialists that attend your courses and feel safe in doing so that their identities will be protected and that they will not be publicly exploited. How do you manage to operate your group so professionally and maintaining such high levels of security on your training course?

This is the second most important consideration to the teaching, the first being the best of battle proven in my operation of the Todd Group.

When I am employed as chief instructor to any country or military unit it is because I have the qualifications experience and proven record in my field. I am contracted because my services are needed and they don’t have the programmes I can provide.

So for me I go in and do the business and am the expert not the other way around where some individuals gain credibility by association when they come in the back door by the “buddy” means as so-called subject matter experts in a certain style or module of training.

The problem with that is that these subject matter experts may be instructing on a subject as part of the military CQB course but they are not qualified and experienced military CQB instructors.

Quite often their imaginations and ego’s run amok and the next thing you know is that they are claiming or implying through innuendo that they are in fact military CQB or CQC instructors or using the organizations name to gain credibility. This is something that has always been a problem and will continue to be so long as individuals have alternate motives and agendas.

For me being a military qualified master level instructor the security of my contract clients and individual exponents as well as my organization is very important and simply by having in place the correct protocols I have never had a breach in my time as chief instructor.

Another important aspect of protectionism is protection of intellectual property. I have requests for training constantly globally and am well aware that official organizations like individuals are prone to breaching copyright and taking and using or slightly modifying intellectual property to call it their own and save on having to buy such training through the official and correct channels.

I always remind them of the contract paper war required to be completed by all exponents on course and the contract clauses that prevent any post course exponent from instructing the methods with out being qualified and permission granted in relation to the appropriate agreements being completed.

The bottom line is I don’t need anything from my clients. They need my services and everyone in the related industries knows who I am and what I do. When I sign an agreement and give my word then I will never break it and my organization over eighty years since Harry Baldock was at the helm and contract instructing have maintained this integrity principle.

Some of the contacts I have with official organizations have conditions in the contracts and processes to obtain consent to make agreed information public if either party so wishes to pursue that avenue.

Often my contract clients wish to have publicity on the training I provide and once again it’s a working relationship process that protects non-public aspects.

I also have individual exponents that travel down under to train test and qualify that work in the civilian sector and want to or are more than happy to go public on their training. Once again it’s a matter of clearance and meeting the release conditions in relation to subject matter.

There are some countries and organizations that are far less security concerned than others but the only policy I believe is to have everything cleared and released officially if the need to have such information publicly available is deemed necessary.

I protect all exponents on my courses by restricting any filming, audio recording, or photographing to only when approved and only subject matter that is approved. All exponents complete application and declaration forms that prohibit them from exploiting the Todd Group or any individuals or information provided on our courses.

I also respect any individual’s rights on course to not be photographed or filmed or to have their identities blacked out in any course pictures or footage.

In regards to protection of the Todd Group intellectual property I have all exponents complete contracts that clearly state they cannot teach any skills learnt on the Todd Group courses unless qualified to do so with written permission and conditions in place as well as being current.

This is to ensure the teachings are true correct and proven and properly delivered and the intellectual property of the Todd Group that is specialist and extensive is well protected and the huge time effort and financial commitment is well protected.

We have never had to take legal action against any individual or organization but if the unlikely situation did arise we would pursue every avenue to get a result and compensation.

I regularly receive requests for interviews and features on my work and my associates that are declined, as this is my commitment more than a means snatching income. The reality is today more than ever even specialist organizations worldwide are having more public exposure but this must be cleared and restricted content and not breach security.

You can find elite unit documentaries on satellite TV that are non-specific but still very interesting and informative but they must be via the official channels and not from some unscrupulous non-official or current source to protect the current organization and personnel.

So while I do operate in a grey area being in the civilian military and tactical training realms, taking the responsible route and enforcing integrity to maximum as well as believing like my specialist clients on loyalty being paramount the risk factor is considerably reduced.

Exponents on my courses know their security needs will be well adhered to by the Todd Group and any of their fellow course exponents will be briefed on their requirements in relation to course and individual fellow exponent security protection contract aspects.

We must take very measure to protect all concerned and reduce the risk to the lowest level possible and make everyone well aware that if they breach their contracts and agreements we will enforce every action possible to ensure justice is met and upheld in relation to our contract demands.

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When facing objects being thrown at you should you try and block or even catch the objects?

No. Keep your body as small a target as possible and as soon as you see the enemy cock and begin the throw evade the incoming missile, preferably diagonally forward and away from the incoming missile with a medium to large evasive manoeuvre.

Keep your arms at your sides so as to maintain a small target area. Also remember raising your hands and arms while evading slows down your evasion.

Immediately post evasion by over evading you can ensure you are not only further off the flight line of the missile but you are also inline to employ a counter offensive towards your enemies side or rear flanks.

If at any time you recognize the missile is going to contact with you by keeping your eyes on the missile slip your upper quadrants off the flight path and this may include crouching or ducking if required.

If the missile is going to contact with you and you can not employ any of the previous employ a cover guard and possibly deflection but definitely not blocking that leaves gaps in your defence.

The cover guard also reduces risk by exposing the muscle and fleshy parts of your protecting limbs over the more delicate bone and artery parts.

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Is the Todd Group a franchise set up where clubs have to pay percentages to the federation or head office?

No, definitely not. The Todd Group is the oldest private military close combat contract training provider and the oldest civilian unarmed combat training facility in the world.
Our civilian operation is completely about maintaining standards.

For the first fifty five years when Harry Baldock was at the helm we only had the one facility and still work out of that HQ facility.

In the past fifteen years since so many visiting exponents have travelled to NZ and since many of our exponents have moved abroad and set up Todd Group depots we have evolved to the point where we now have over eighty depots. The Depot instructors operate their own depots and keep every cent of their revenues gained.

The only time I or any other Todd Group instructor would receive any revenue from any of the depots is if we went and trained the exponents and the exponents paid for the training not the Depot instructor.

The same with the annual International course held at the old HQ. The attending exponents pay individually for the course not their depot instructor. Even then the rates are discounted for country members that pay a mare twenty five dollars annually or for advanced members that receive discounts in relation to rank and service.

What the HQ and the chief instructor does is look after the doctrine and training and management packages and control standards. He also acts as an on call advisor to the depot instructors or military points of contact and as the consultant on course, individual skills, training methods or testing aspects.

The chief instructor has several simple rules that depot instructors must abide by and ensure are enforced to the letter.

  1. 1) The depot instructor must vet all exponent applicants and employ the required standards and conditions.
  2. All advertising promotional material press releases and all forms of media including the Internet must be cleared by the HQ prior to any submission or application for security reasons and to protect any individual’s security issues as many of our people have specialist careers.
  3. Only the HQ can conduct testing to maintain the highest standards and be totally impartial.
  4. Depot instructors must ensure that only the Todd syllabus is instructed during such training to avoid confusion or jeopardise the exponent’s opportunity at phase testing success. This also requires the depot instructor to only instruct the training that the exponent has earned the right to learn.

The testing phases can never attract any charge as you must earn the right and achieve the result not pay for the privilege.

All exponents and instructors must respect the chain of command and act responsibly.

The Todd Group, formerly the Baldock Institute, is both my career and commitment and how I make my living but it is not a get rich scheme.

I have spent over 100,000 hours at my trade and much of it voluntary and as I have always said and maintain if my military units I have instructed for the past fifteen years could not pay for my services, I would still train them because it is a commitment not just a job.

I spend every day of the year involved in research, development, and testing of skills and concepts for my military units and civilian depot instructors as a labour of love.

It takes a lifetime to excel in this field and an uncompromising attitude to settling for nothing less than the best regardless of if it is politically correct.

I will never sacrifice standards for financial gain or to advance my status or position.

It’s the right way or no way in my modus operandi when it comes to my exponents’ safety and chances of victory over defeat. There simply can be no compromise and that’s the way I have being going and Harry conducted training in his time. This is why we have had no break away facilities. They get a master instructor working for them for free year round and all the assistance and leadership they require.

They get to be trained by the best from around the world as Todd Group exponents and instructors as well as turn their hobby in to paid employment on the military instructing team or working as an operator on the Close Personal Protection team.

To leave the official body would mean promotion is over and access to the best of battle proven skills would be a thing of the past and their association with leaders in the field would be over.

The experts in the field only want to associate with kindred kinds and as such the ranks are full of realists not ego trippers or wannabes.

It has taken eighty years to build a worldwide specialist training provider organization and in an industry where we don’t train children or many females to have such an exponent and instructor list is very rewarding.

Money will never be more important than standards and all the unpaid work is what has made the Todd Group what it is and what it will aspire to in the future.

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Fight Times has really exposed H2H combat to the world over the past decade plus and has answered many questions. I have one question that I hope you can help me with and its just out of general interest. Did Charles Nelson train from Dermot Patrick O’Neill?

I asked Charlie this question too and he told me that he never met Pat O’Neill but did learn his system from a fellow Marine Sgt Kelly. Charlie held Pat O’Neill in the highest regard and said he was an unsung hero.

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting a S/F trained and qualified instructor under Pat O’Neill and learning of O’Neill’s system from him first hand. His version differed somewhat from the version Charlie taught me but the general principles were the same.

I feel privileged to have been privy to such training and I know Charlie would have dearly wanted to have trained with Pat O’Neill.

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I have trouble with the axe kick as it feels unnatural could you enlighten me as to why its taught as well as the leg stamp?

The axe kick is more direct than the leg stamp being a straight line offensive action normally employed from a front on position in relation to your enemy.

The leg stamp’s final execution is from side on making less of your body exposed to attack during employment.

Both skills have advantages and disadvantages in different situations. In regards to being unnatural it will be until perfected and your application stance has been modified slightly.
This can be achieved by angling your body especially for counter offensive applications or for direct offensive applications slightly pivoting your stability leg to ease the discomfort.

If it doesn’t work for you stick to the leg stamp.

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I like to employ boxing punches for self defence but reckon my fist and wrist are not properly aligned. How can I check the alignment?

Take a ruler and place it from between your clenched fist and forearm and it should lay flat.

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Where can I get a copy of Mr Nelson’s technique book?

I have been assisting the Nelson family with having Charlie’s book published and early 2007 it will be available. We will have it advertised here at Fight Times.

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Please explain how you strike with close combat hand strikes as far as are they left extended or brought back right away?

I instruct fast extension retraction so as to gain velocity over drive and to ensure you return to a guarded position as quickly as possible. My terminology is the retract your strike as quickly as it extends.

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I was asked a question recently when instructing abroad. What is the acronym for TODD as in Todd Systems?

Some quick thinking and I came up with the following two options that my assistants seem to find fitting:

Tactical Operational Death & Destruction.
Take Out Death & Destruction

It looks like they will stick.

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Do you teach using your thumbs to punch?

Not to punch as such, but at point blank seized and secured range to penetrate the eyes. I use a clenched fist formation with the tip of the thumb pressed firmly against the outside of the index finger and extending slightly forward.

I also use the thumb in conjunction with the index finger in a crook formation for throttling or seizing.

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What are the dangers of being toe kicked with shoes or boots in the shin?

There are a wide range of injuries that can be caused by a good boot to the shin. Cutting, fractures are likely with a power kick with a combat boot.

I had a fighter in the gym once that was winning a kickboxing bout when his shin bone broke in two and required major surgery.

Another serious injury is foot drop, which is the result of nerve damage to the lower shin that results in the foot dropping and not moving. I have seen this happen once to a high school lad and it took some hours for recovery. Sometimes the effect can be more permanent.

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I have read the combative masters book and you have trained from more military experts than any living person. Could you tell us how you met these masters?

Interesting question. Lets start with Harry Baldock. I never even knew I had met him initially as I was too young and terrified. I was in a junior physical culture contest in 1963 and he was there as a judge.

I next met him when at intermediate school when I began training from him he said, “you were that young lad that was too terrified to go up on the stage and get your first place cup at Carrisbrook weren’t you.”

I trained with him while at intermediate and high school and then seriously when I left school after also training in various other styles.

It was Harry that suggested I travel to NY and train from Charlie Nelson after her had taught me all his unarmed combat self defence and the basics of wrestling and the full Jiu Jitsu curriculum as well as physical culture and massage therapy.

I had to learn everything and excel before I could take over and this is something I did not fully appreciate at the time but do now.

I only wish I had learnt more of the amateur wrestling from him.

Harry told me there was no slot in the Army for a full time close combat instructor and that I should get the international experience and contract to the military worldwide.

He said Charlie Nelson was the world’s best self defence instructor and that is where I should go. I spent over ten years with Charlie travelling to NY annually to train.

I met people through Charlie that informed me of other instructors that mostly turned out to have no military combative qualifications but they all held Col Rex Applegate in the highest regard and some told me they had trained from him.

I got his contact from Charlie and then contacted him and he asked me to send him a demo videotape of my skills.

He then invited me and an assistant to Oregon to train from him and I was surprised to find out that he not only not trained the individuals that told me they had trained from him but he had not physically met them back then in the late 80s.

This began my working relationship with Col Applegate up until his passing. I was really surprised that no one else had been trained and qualified by him other than in shooting.

Through Charlie Nelson once again I was put in contact with the chief instructor in Special Forces Combatives to the 1st S/F Group back then. He evaluated my system as he had an instructing role for me and arranged for me to go to Fort Bragg for familiarization prior to undergoing my instructor qualification course. This is when I first met Larry Jordan who was the 5th Group close combat chief instructor at Fort Bragg.

I then went to Thailand and over one week completed and passed my instructor qualification course.

I then once again through Charlie got the contact for Captain Ben Mangels and went and trained with him and assisted him with police training in Texas as well as demonstrations.

I then went to Fort Bliss where Larry Jordan was attending the Sergeant Majors academy for advanced specialist training.

I first met Mike Janich on my instructor Q course in Thailand and have met and trained with many more close combatants through the International Close Combat Instructors Association that Col Applegate assisted Larry Jordan and I in setting up.

I have never been afraid of hard training or learning from anyone who has something to offer.

The amazing thing is, as Col Applegate said, you are the only one I have trained and instructor qualified in the Association and I am the only Association member to have qualified under Harry Baldock or Charlie Nelson.

You make your own career decisions and chose your own path and I am very proud to have made the best choices at a time when others were not interested or prepared to seek out the living legends and under go the training.

Close combat is a living package and to be an expert in it you have to have been officially trained and qualified or those that count won’t even waste their time with you. I am proud to be the Association’s link to the expert pioneers.

I also through my military work met many of the understudies of such experts as Shocker Shaw and Mike Calvert.

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The question I have is how to get out of the full Nelson hold as the method I learnt at Karate will not work at home when I practice with my younger brother? Amazing how it works with black belts though. They teach us to raise our arms straight up and crouch down to slip out of the hold but I feel they simply let go rather than us getting out of the hold.

History didn’t always get it right and the method you described could break your neck or kill you. The best practice with the full nelson is to prevent it by not allowing anyone to your rear flanks or as soon as they reach up under your armpits clamp your arms down preventing the hold being achieved then attack your attacker by turning to face them as quickly as possible.

To escape the hold if forcefully applied firstly drop your centre of gravity the POO, then on your master side bear down on their upper arm and circle it above the elbow and continue to apply leverage by taking the hand of your securing arm diagonally up across your body towards your opposite shoulder. This will transfer the weight onto the leg on the secured arm side.

Now on your master boot side take small steps forward and around towards your enemies unsecured arm side while simultaneously with your non master boot side take small steps back and towards the secured arm side lining your non master boot up to the enemy weight bearing leg.

Now employ a leg stamp and a backhand edge strike to the groin follow by an elbow at the upper vitals and a master hand attack at the upper quadrant vitals.

Note I have gone over kill with the combination offensive options to effect the escape so you can chose an option or options that suit the threat level and legality.

My self defence manual No Nonsense Self Defence has all the hold escapes in it and can be purchased at www.toddgroup.com

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Hi. I read your article on Charles Nelson on his death and must say it was true celebration of his life. I saw the list of life members included and wondered if any of those on the list run self defence schools?

No unfortunately when Charlie closed the school I was the only life member that had a facility teaching his self defence system.

I recently visited NY again and met up with some of Charlie’s most senior understudies and they have their own careers and commitments and have not wanted or been able to open such a school.

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What does the name for the self defense device you invented, On Your Todd mean?

On your Todd is some old Brit slang Todd Malone, meaning on your own, a fitting description if you get down to having to use it and as I invented it and my surname is Todd.

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Do you teach the hammer fist for military hand to hand combat?

I prefer the hand edge strike over the hammer fist for military applications. The battle dress and added protectors worn today mean that slim line strikes are more applicable and guaranteed than bulk blunt force trauma. Helmets, body armour, and webbing change the conditions and considerations by considerable.

The hammer fist is easy to learn is a gross motor skill but skilled combatants find it easier to defend against than palm heel strikes or fast boxing type punches.

Boxing punches often cause knuckle injuries where as the hammer fist utilizing the side of the heel of the palm reduces the risk of injury and is suitable for basic self defence tuition for non life and death situations.

I would always promote the best unarmed offensive stamping kicks over secondary hand strikes but for military close combat at close range with the hand edge strike you can target the narrow target area below the chin strap and above the body armour the throat or the nape of the neck below the back of the helmet.

The hammer fist is less appropriate for the previous applications. The hammer fist does have merit for holding and hitting in a blunt force trauma application if it’s the take on over take out option that is desired.

It is more suited for civilian low to medium risk threats where the victim has only had limited training and practice and lacks in coordination. It may not incapacitate a formidable attacker in an instant.

* * *

What would you teach primary school children for self defence?

I do not conduct many school self defence courses these days because of my CQB instructing schedule.

I am also a firm believer in parent protectors for young children and by being proactive in the security aspects of protecting your young child you can reduce the risk factor to as lower status as possible.

Over twenty years ago I was actively involved with training high school students in a major way. I trained thousands of students from many high schools along with my instructing team.

My daughter’s teacher back at primary school when she was only five or six years old asked if I could teach the class some basic self defence.

I structured the lesson based on their level of understanding and it comprised of several components that comprised of a simple introduction outlining what self defence is then some descriptions of good and bad intentions and the right and wrong ways to deal with such situations.

I covered knowing one’s routine and the importance of communication with parents, teachers, the authorities etc. I also told them the importance of calling for help and how important it was to yell loud and use the right verbiage.

I told them it was very important that the general public knew that the offender was a stranger to the victim and not a parent or caregiver. I had them yelling “not my dad” or “not my mum” or “help stranger danger”.

I described safe and unsafe situations and individuals in their young lives, stranger danger. This was all delivered in a simple low key manner where they were never made to feel frightened and where there input was welcomed and any questions addressed.
I told them how to stand and where to stand when unaccompanied awaiting their parents and how to move away when approached by a stranger.

The physical skills I gave them were very simple and based on using their natural attributes as an advantage. Children can be very mobile and slippery little characters to catch when playing and this is  an attribute I encouraged them to utilize.

I made it fun and had them using small fast evasive steps in a training game I called catch me if you can. They would circle around and then escape for help when anyone reached out to grab them.

The next facet of stranger danger was if they had been grabbed and it involved stamping out at the bad mans lower leg disengaging and escaping for assistance.

If they failed in their stamping kick or lost their balance or for counter abduction I had them drop to the ground on their side away from the bad person and glue themselves to the ground and once again stamp out from the ground at the bad persons lower leg.

This along with making themselves harder targets by being agile evasive and how to lower their centre of gravity to counter being lifted and to fall safely made up most of the very simple basic a child specific principles.

I needed to get their attention with the introduction and I wanted to gain their participation with the practice and training games. That is the outline of the young child specific self protection.

* * *

The Todd Group is a very special and different place to any other place I have ever trained at or seen. I am pleased they have not gone down the new gym path or the martial arts or studio training paths. When you walk in you can smell the old facility scent of hard sweat. To change it would be to loose the most specialist and unique place in close combat I have seen.

You can tell it is a commitment to close combat excellence that is modus operandi behind the establishment and not a revenue grabber of a gym type set up. Everything is about close combat from the quantities of training equipment and weapons to the elite certification that grace the walls.

Like I have heard time and again, “if it aint broke don’t fix it”, and keeping the facility geared to what they excel in is seeing them leading the way.

You wont find any fancy health food bars or spas and elaborate facilities there but what you will find is expert tuition and a real life close and gritty hands on place where the walls are graced with the pioneers that have all contributed or influenced this place.

I have never seen any facility of this kind anywhere in the world or one of such a long and specialist history.

I was told they have conducted courses around the world but there is nothing like the training conducted at the old headquarters building that has a history second to none.

I met some real tough and highly skilled close combat people on a constant basis and I met more fighters and black belts of many codes and styles there learning their self defence than I have ever seen in any one place taking such training.

I was greeted and shown around and given a history tour that made me feel very welcome and there were other visitors from all around the world arriving while I was being shown around and they joined us and were shown the same hospitality.

I was invited to their new training camp in the weekend and they have a massive camp and farm set in a forest and field environment of around 300 acres if I remember rightfully.

The reality to me was that this was a labour of love and not just a business venture. I mean eighty years with only two chief instructors and being leading training providers to the military as well as attracting serious professionals from around the world speaks for its self.

This is the kind of place where specialists want to be, they feel at home and their needs are well catered to including security considerations. Everyone in the know considers this is the place to be if you want to advance in close combat and without the gym jock and fancy pants non-combatants getting in your way.

You can’t just join this place. You have to volunteer and meet the joining requirements and there is no bowing and scraping as there is a definite respect amongst students and instructors and the chain of command doesn’t need to be enforced it goes with out saying.
You are encouraged to enjoy your training and you don’t have to be politically correct as its about the rougher tougher dirtier side of life where no one is concerned with anything but reality of close combat and real self defence.

I wondered how such a major facility in the city centre could pay its way but as I was told that is not what it is about.

It’s not a business as such or a franchise it’s a commitment to the most final dangerous aspects of soldering and civilian self defence.

This is the research and development area of the Todd Group and where we identify exponents to join our instructing team. The main reason there is any fee at all is to identify responsibility in our exponents and instructors I was told.

The fees are minimal and could never cover the running costs and pay for all the equipment they have. They have enough training equipment and weapons for two hundred and fifty soldiers on a single course they said and often need them all.

I close in the way I opened this letter, this place is unique and specialist and has not lost its handle on true close combat training and the type of facility required for military close combat training, it has simply everything close combat.

Eighty years of excellence a mantle that I know of no other private close combat facility could lay claim to.

I will join the many at the course in 2007 and be part of the 80th celebrations.

* * *

Have you seen cord used in combat or do you instruct it?

Cordage in combat has several roles that I personally instruct its usage for. Obviously prisoner tying and moving is one application. The making of garrottes from para cord or the like is another. Turning it into a flail by adding weighs or sharp edges or hooks is another improvised type application. I also by adding a quick fastener device use the cordage for enemy fast seizure and securing prior to employing other options. Finally the old cordage garrotte makes a great back scratcher out in the field.

* * *

I read an advert recently for a martial art that included in its pitch an effective self defence. I went along and the advertising was not what they were trying to do. These people need to get a reality check as what I saw was a sport and a very watered down combat sport at that.

Certainly nothing like Thai boxing, Vale Tudo or unarmed combat and the self defence I witnessed was down right stupidity and based on some traditional practises that a gang member would love to prove ineffective. The saddest part was these people believed it was real and real effective.

How many TKD or Karate schools do you see make such claims but never deliver? It’s a farce and these people should be ashamed teaching such rubbish under the premise of being effective self defence.

The bloody reverse punch for woman’s self defence against a formidable male attacker is down right irresponsible and judo grabs against punching and eye gouging is less than practical.

See the real fights are on the street and they use what works against a better opponent and that is dirty fighting not bullshit arts.

These nitwits could train for ever in this non realistic impractical stuff and be beaten by a teenage street kid who fights dirty and to do his opponent serious harm from the outset.
Its not brain surgery but to get the average Joe who has never had to fight for his life to understand is not a simple task especially when he has been brain washed by some guru in white pyjamas.

Time to take a reality check and be smart enough to see the killers and bully boys out there do it with out ancient traditional methods that don’t work against extreme violence and down right dirty fighting.

You don’t beat a bully with a feather duster. It requires a baseball bat would be a simple analogy.


Interested in Close Combat Training? Todd Group Depots are located throughout New Zealand and at various overseas locations.

For more information on Todd System of Close Combat see the following books, dvds and cds:

  • Close Combat Books
    The Do's and Don'ts of Close Combat – Tactical C&R – Control and Restraint – No Nonsense Self Defence – Military Close Combat Systems Phase One – Combative Masters Of The 20th Century
  • Close Combat DVDs
    Self Defence of the Elite – 80 Years of Combative Excellence – Primary Option Control & Restraint – Military Unarmed Combat – Phase 1
  • Close Combat CDs
    Technique To Command – Combative Code of Conduct

Article written by Tank Todd

Special Operations CQB Master Chief Instructor. Over 30 years experience. The only instructor qualified descendent of Baldock, Nelson, and Applegate. Former instructors include Harry Baldock (unarmed combat instructor NZ Army WWII), Colonel Rex Applegate OSS WWII and Charles Nelson, US Marine Corps. Tank has passed his Special Forces combative instructor qualification course in Southeast Asia and is certified to instruct the Applegate, Baldock and Nelson systems. His school has been operating for over eighty years and he is currently an Army Special Operations Group CQB Master Chief Instructor. His lineage and qualifications from the evolutionary pioneers are equalled by no other military close combat instructor. His operation includes his New Zealand headquarters, and 30 depots worldwide as well as contracts to train the military elite, security forces, and close protection specialists. Annually he trains thousands of exponents and serious operators that travel down-under to learn from the direct descendant of the experts and pioneers of military close combat. Following in the footsteps of his former seniors, he has developed weapons, and training equipment exclusive to close combat and tactical applications. He has published military manuals and several civilian manuals and produced DVDs on urban self protection, tactical control and restraint, and close combat. He has racked up an impressive 100,000+ hours in close combat.