Control and Restraint Logic and Fundamentals

The following is but a brief overview of what I have identified as positives and negatives in tactical control and restraint.

For over 30 years I have instructed tactically correct control and restraint to a wide range of services. For over 20 of those years I headed crowd control teams where we employed restraints on a regular basis against aggressive subjects. I have trained specialist police units the military elite corrections diplomatic protection and security forces in detainee handling and tactically correct control and restraint. I have written doctrine, training and management packages, produced DVDs, and published manuals on tactically correct control and restraint and related defensive tactics and self-protection subjects.

The Todd Group, formerly the Baldock institute, has an 83 year history and my former superior, the late Harry Baldock, provided police and military physical training and testing in unarmed combat and tactically correct control and restraint before most citizens even knew what the abbreviation C&R meant.

This file is on my history in control and restraint through to my current status and my professional opinions and observations on the subject.

This is not a how to do specific skills read as in a training manual but more a reference as to tactically correct and incorrect principles tactics and general skills in the form of descriptions reasoning and logic. You will have already noticed I have repeated the words tactically correct control and restrain as this is a most important description of operational control and restraint.

There are many classical traditional styles out there but most are not specific to the roles and needs of tactical operators. My first introduction to control and restraint was from the late Harry Baldock back in 1973 as part of my self-defence training. Even in my early teenage training years from Harry in Jiu Jitsu, physical culture, and self-defence prior to learning his unarmed combat program I had my reservations about the scope and application of some of the Jiu Jitsu based control and restraint skills in regards to their effectiveness against a determined unorthodox anniversary.

Harry Baldock and Tank Todd.

Charles Nelson, Tank Todd, 1987.

Col Rex Applegate with Tank Todd
Col Rex Applegate and Tank Todd

Compared to other such training available in that era, Harry’s was the most practical and effective by considerable. I would however carefully with all due respect point out my concerns when the time was right in relation to some techniques and Harry would explain how some skills were for nothing more than physical training purposes such as coordination. He told me straight that if such skills were used in real life they could be defeated with little skill and just down right aggression. He was always very clear with me on what are primary options and what were not. When I started unarmed combat training from Harry only the primary restraint techniques from his military unarmed combat training packages were included. I had by the late 1970s and early 80s evaluated many martial arts styles that included what they considered control and restraint and had come to the general conclusion that a majority of the techniques would never work against a formidable perpetrator prepared to resist offensively and aggressively. I tested techniques individually with my fellow realist assistant instructors and exponents and made factual decisions based on the factual findings free of myth and wishing techniques to work over testing them to failure.

Geoff Todd with John Moke
Tank and Jon Moke working the doors, late 1970's.

control and restraint
C&R training, Todd Group, 1990s

The biggest problem I found with a majority of the traditional non-operational restraint techniques was they were practiced only in the dojo and studio forms and environment and not often against total aggression and resistance with enemy parties allowed to give you the bash if they could. The techniques were practiced with little resistance or realism, no factor of confusion, and with total cooperation producing a false sense of security and technique perception of effectiveness and of course a false outcome. The training partner being practiced on was often submissive to the point of self restraint immediately prior to the restraint being applied in some cases.

The enemy party would either use nothing more than increased gradual resistance and any unarmed offence was often based on traditional strikes and kicks but never the type of violence one would face when having to restraint a violent criminal or an emotionally disturbed person.

One of the most important aspects of military combative training is realism in threat environment and enemy. This is why military combative courses include instruction on the fundamentals of enemy fighting arts and how to combat or counter them. This often extends to considerable detail in training when it comes to enemy considerations such as the training facilities, weaponry, and battledress.

In World War Two, Col Applegate was charged with establishing for the OSS simulated Japanese and German enemy training facilities.

There is a real danger of studio training practice and studio techniques meant for real-life applications. Don’t get me wrong, some of the holds once applied produce considerable pain compliance but applying them is a major problem against real-life violence. The sad fact of the matter is that if the training is for practical purposes and not just traditionalists study purposes then much is tactically flawed and the percentages of employment failure operationally would be extremely high. I will point out some of my reasoning that has led to my findings.

First there was no real enemy party resistance before, during, or after the hold application. Secondly the hand and arm involved in the restraint was often offered for restraint or allowed to be seized without offence, resistance or withdrawal. Then there was the line and direction of a considerable amount of the holds applications that being from the front facing all the subjects bodily weapons that would make such employments high risk and increase the subjects capabilities when it came to preventing or resisting being restrained. Another example of the unrealistic training was the release of the restrained limb in transition from one hold to another without the subject making any attempt to escape or attack during this release time frame.

In the early 80s Harry told me of Charles Nelson and his School of Self Defence in New York and by the mid-80s I was in contact with Charlie and had arranged my first of 13 trips to the Charles Nelson School of Self Defense at 151 West 72nd St, New York. Each visit was for several weeks and I trained every day from when Charlie first opened the school until he closed, including at times on Sundays with Herb Kantrowitz his longest exponent and assistant instructor. My first visit to Charlie's school of self-defense and my introduction to his control and restraint skills answered many of my questions and addressed many of my concerns in regards to self defence and control and restraint. The Charles Nelson restraint skills were as practical and effective as they got and were all based on and for real-life employments and tactical operators.

Charlie had been a US Marine Corps hand to hand combat instructor for ten and a half years, training troops in WWII and serving as well in the pacific. He opened his school in New York post WWII and used his military close combat expertise to develop his system working on designing techniques for real life situations.

School of Self Defense
School of Self Defense, New York.

Geoff Todd, Charles Nelson, Herb Kantrowitz
Tank, Charles Nelson, and Herb Kantrowitz

Some of the major or primary restraint skills were the same or similar skills as I had learned from Harry in his unarmed combat package, but Charlie had so many more applications variations and continuation and contingency options. He instructed individual applications, combination applications, and instructed how to apply the primary option restraints from various positions, angles, and team employments. I have since travelled overseas extensively instructing and observing other instructors and writing articles and have never come across another instructor with the knowledge and expertise of Charlie in operational, tactical control and restraint, and self defence. I can always remember that Harry described Charlie as the world authority and when I was working with Col Applegate he also reiterated how Charlie had more instructing service in what really works than anyone else in his field.

Control and restraint took on a whole new appeal and interest for me after my first visit with Charlie. Charlie would ask what situations I'd faced in relation to control and restraint and we would work through combat and counter methods against the type of assailant and situations I presented. Charlie had been developing skills for his understudies since he opened the school. He used news clippings and real-life situations from the TV and from the police officers and citizens he trained as a means to be current in threats and develop the best means to neutralize them. This was an aspect of training I really enjoyed being part of with Charlie and some things I do myself today with my understudies. I can remember Charlie asking if we could take photos of our team using his skills in crowd control and on one occasion we attempted to do so. The perpetrator was less than amused as we manoeuvred and positioned to get the best shots during his removal. The unfortunate outcome was that we did not get a single photo due to a camera fault. Col Applegate’s restraints were the same primary options skills as Charlies but he had less of a range of skills and his direction of application was in some cases from the front because many of his applications were employed when the prisoner was covered at weapon point. Col Applegate's major interest was in special operations skills and tactics and most of it armed combat so unarmed restraint was less than a major subject. Over the more than 10 years while training at Charlie's school of self-defense I was operating a crowd control team using the skills regularly and was operating the only other full-time School of Self Defence instructing the Nelson system. After Charlie closed the school in 1998 I continued to not only instruct his system but also develop it further and the same has continued since his passing in 2003. The Todd System owes its origins to the Baldock, Nelson and Applegate systems and from those three systems I have continued to develop the control and restraint package that makes up the Todd tactical control and restraint package.  Some previous skills have been made redundant, others dormant, some changed, and some further developed and many new skills designed. The tactical control and restraint package is very much a living package evolving in relation to operational necessity to remain current and proven. Skills tactics principles and procedures are developed for one reason only, the operators require them to be the best and they are extensively tested to failure until they are deemed the best means of achieving the desired objective and then and only then are they adopted as a primary option. The main reason we have secondary and emergency options is because we enforce team employments as the general rule over individual operator employments. Team members need to be able to employ skills from various lines and angles of approach and under all threat levels and situations as well as in relation to employment force levels and contingency option requirements.

The control and restraint module is a required competency in my combative and defensive tactics packages as well is in my close protection related close combat package. I instruct how to employ control and restraint offensively Counter-offensively, post disarming for specific applications and situations and for crowd control and neutralizing confrontations etc. I have contingency options as part of the control and restraint package to counter detainee possible actions reactions resistance or escape attempts both unarmed and armed. The physical skills include control and restraint of the neck and head as well as the head and arm and arm wrist hand and fingers. The restraint package includes roles ranging from civilian security through to special operations prisoner snatches and prisoner handling and incapacitation. The following section of this file will outline the techniques and practices deemed negative actions or options that are unwise unsafe and certainly not primary options and I will outline the reasons why.


Skills employed from in front of the subject as a primary directional approach option and not in a self-protection application or team restraint employment role are not primary practice employment methods. They present the increased risk of being punched, kicked, head butted, or seized and grappled with and decentralised.

Employing restraints with less than two operators is high risk and tactically flawed.

While in situations where a subject must be restrained by a single operator securing and controlling the neck and head can be effectively employed on a formidable subject, the arm restraints against an aggressive goal driven formidable subject are a negative option.

Tactically correct basic defensive tactics practices must have commonality with tactical control and restraint skills to achieve cohesion and economy of movement and maximise safety and achieving the required outcome. For individual subjects training packages to work together they are best based on the same system and principles.

Human self-preservation by sympathetic response reactions to sudden aggressive shock actions must have commonality with defensive tactics as well as tactical control and restraint to reduce risk and increase the chances of achieving the objectives.

Crouch and Cover Guard
Crouch and Cover Guard

Techniques that oppose sympathetic responses can increase target mass reduce stability and very importantly by not being extensions of natural reactions increase employment time and exposure to threat.

Rising Arm Block
Blocking outside or above body mass

The flinch factor for example is a means of self-preservation that reduces target mass and increases initial stability and does not increase target mass or see bodily extremities extending beyond the body’s rectangle as in some forms of blocking and related wide and deep stances.

Restraints skills that require excessive set up application force in the form of excessive striking or kicking the subject as in fighting them are negative practises. Restraint application aid techniques or RATS’s as they are known in the Todd Systems that distract interfere with the subject’s physical balance or mental focus or that create a definite reaction to an action that assists with the application of the restraint are technically correct practices, but employing take on fight techniques are not. One must consider the reality of prosecution for assault and as a deterrent believe they are being caught on camera, witnesses and cameras are a reality. The exception to this is in military operational prisoner handling where the rules of engagement and nature of the situation and threats may well require a much higher level of intensity in control and restraints including applications with extreme aggressive shock actions.

I've seen the employment of techniques such as some wrist locks in practice that the only way they could be effectively applied was by employing excessive force against a formidable subject in the form of hard hitting multiple strikes and/or kicks and that was in training where the subject was far more cooperative than in real life operations. I've seen aggressive alpha male enemy party training partners downright prevent such wrist locks and neutralize the application attempt before showing how they could beat the hell out of their training partner. You need to ask yourself, could you employee your technique against a formidable subject ready, willing and capable of fighting?

There is nothing wrong with having such wrist locks in your skills capabilities but remember if that is your sole option and the situation and aggressor does not allow its employment then you better have a plan B and or C for contingency.

Remember always you need to be able to control and restrain formidable subject’s that may have already kicked off not submissive subjects or cooperative training partners. Punching and kicking you at full speed and power while you are trying to restrain a single limb changes things by considerable. Resisting perpetrators’ clenched fists at up ready to fight and those fists incoming with speed, power, and repetition is what your training needs to prepare you for.

Train the way you intend to operate and train for the worst case scenario extreme violence.

Attempting to initially seize the subject from just inside arms reach where you give them optimum power striking range is dangerous over point blank range bodily contact employments.

Grabbed at arms reach
Seizing a subject at arm's reach in optimum strike range.

Taking an initial single grip on the subject’s wrist and hand with your thumb pointing skyward is a flawed application option as the natural reaction to breaking away is to bicep curl upward and away against the thumb breaking your grip.

Thumb Up
Thumb skyward, initial seizure

Compound grips on the wrist and arm with both thumbs securing the wrist and arm facing ground wards or skywards lends to the arm being ripped free in the one direction and against both the thumbs.

both thumbs up
Double thumbs skyward, initial seizure.

both thumbs down
Double thumbs groundward.

Employing deliberate excessive pain by rotational torque against skin, tissue and joints like the old Chinese burn in a controlled transition setup or post restraint application can create panic or adverse reaction and may escalate the situation and increase the chance of your securing control being broken.

Post-restraint leaving space between the operator and the subject increases escape and assault options.

Lifting upward and forward of a restrained locked limb off the back of the subject as in any hammer lock type restraint can cause joint dislocation ligament damage and or panic and adverse reactions.

Forced armlock
Hammer-type lock lifting and extending forward.

When employing reactionary or compliance skills they should not be a form of torture and any compliance is better employed with controlled leverage over using pressure to delicate body parts unnecessarily.

Especially when you consider a prisoner that considers they have been excessively or unnecessarily submitted to pain may well initiate revenge on the operator and this can make the operators work environment especially in corrections roles even more high risk. Some prisoners have plenty of time motivation and opportunity to get revenge.

I have found employing close tight and secure leverage based skills less prone to such acts of revenge.

facial nerve
Facial nerve pain compliance.

Securing and searching subjects spread eagle against a wall has and can be easily defeated by prisoners and is a definite negative.

Techniques of restraint when the operator’s leg is positioned immediately in front the subject’s leg or legs produces the added danger of your leg or legs being swept tripped knelt on or fallen on.

leg in front
Compromising stability by leg positioning.

Releasing a grip with one hand before seizing the limb in question or another bodily part with the other hand is dangerous unless in tactical disengaging.

Expecting a detainee to know what you want them to do without being told can cause panic and adverse reaction, you need to achieve sound secure control quickly and give clear instructions.

Being cross trained is essential so you can take any skill employment role or position in a team restraint employment, front, left or right side or behind and be competent to initiate any contingency requirements is another must.

team restraint
Team restraint employment.

Knowing how to safely in a secure and search requirement decentralise a subject or in a threat escalation situation decentralize the subject in an instant with control and safety is a must.

To disengage in the execution of a restraint simply because of coming up against resistance is tactically incorrect except in extreme situations such as some weapons threat situations and to prevent imminent self-injury, a skilled operator will have contingency options to deal with such resistance.

Employing any carotid restraint where during its execution you do not have vision of the thyroid cartilage is technically incorrect and increases the risk of causing unessessary serious life threatening injury to the subject.

Employing a carotid restraint where the application involves the vertical raising of the elbow and bringing it down over the shoulder and collar bone of the subject without vision is another less than primary application option. This is not a great option against taller subjects as it creates unnecessary escape opportunities as well as less vision of delicate bodily vitals during the application and as such the application could not be rated as the best and safest option.

In most carotid hold applications regardless of the type of application against taller formidable subjects the need to reduce the height of the subject prior to employment will be necessary for a safe and effective application.

Maintaining contact with the area to be restrained in carotid restraints by following the line of the target area increases not only safety but also control by encapsulating the target area as you follow its lines over reaching up and over leaving more room for escape or assault options not to mention safety issues with restricted vision applications.

Another cause for concern is the natural human reaction to protect the throat by clamping down the chin when an arm comes over in front and up towards the throat whereas following the line of the sides of the neck with a flat hand action usually opens the target area in a gradual process similar to close cutting action.

Creating this reaction to action in the set up phase is safer more controlled and proactive in the achievement of the objective than some other applications I have seen being used.   

Tackling an offender on the pavement to restrain and handcuff them risking self and subject injury on a hard surface is unwise and not necessary when there are effective safer options that allow subject only controlled decentralisation.

Unnecessarily using pain compliance like pressing nerves that can cause adverse panic reaction and employing such pain compliance techniques for prolonged duration is verging on torture and a sound way to gain enemies.

You also lose compound control of the restrained limb while applying pressure point techniques.  

Restraint applications where operators are employing techniques in opposite directions can cause serious injuries and is testament to a lack of team training and situational assessment.

I get contacted as a considered subject matter expert in regards to some assaults and this includes restraint related injuries and even death as well as homicides and have in some cases come to the conclusion that human and technique error have attributed to the outcome and could have been avoided by proper training and safer options employments and tactically correct executions of skills.  

Employing holds such as the full nelson or aggressive head manipulation or rotation that can cause serious spinal cord injuries or death are not safe options for control and restraint.

full nelson
Full Nelson.

Not being trained in safety procedures such as recognising when a detainee becomes a patient through strangulation rendering them unconscious or knowing how to determine force levels and physical contact positioning are all essential safety requirements.

Employing sudden shock force velocity strikes to a limb or joint can cause  dislocation or rotation and impact can cause spiral fractures.

Demonstration type techniques such as techniques like a palm of the hand above the subject’s fingertips in a non-secured sporting time out type configuration application that would never work in any other situation than a demonstration with a compliant partner are nothing more than crowd pleasers and only gullible crowd pleasers at that and should never be attempted operationally.

time out
Insecure control.

In the application of a restraint when resistance is preventing the application, continued force on force can lead to being over powered and contingency skills are generally a better option than straight prolonged force on force.

Control and restraint that can only be employed in multiple operator employments and only with the use of a riot shield that means individual operators have less or no proficient secondary or emergency options to neutralize the threat situation without the shield is a negative status.

Good training provides primary secondary and emergency options and I use navigation as a description, GPS, Compass, land navigation and none needed more than hands on land navigation when the primary or secondary devices are not available. Never just rely on a piece of equipment for prisoner handling.

Primary positive and required principal skills tactics procedures and contingency options.

Restraints that provide primary employment from the side or rear are a must but also can be employed from the front in a team restraint employment.

forced armlock
Compound forced arm lock.

Skills that have been proven in testing and operationally against formidable enemy parties and offenders.

Thorough knowledge of risk reduction by initial approach bodily positioning and conflict resolution  in relation to the detainee including stance verbiage seizure securing set up and the elected restraint application.

Proficiency in hub restraints that provide secure transitions to safe and secure restraints to hold in position extract decentralize search and apply mechanical restraint devices.

Contingency options competency to enable the neutralization of all forms of resistance escape and unarmed and armed assault attempts.

Contingency option to counter arm curl by employing a restraint application aid technique.

forced armlock
Restraint application aid technique breaking subject's balance.

Transition skills from head and neck restraints to arm restraints and vice versa.

Proficiency in rapid suspect controlled and restrained decentralization.

Controlled escort come along skills and also rapid extractions and prisoner snatch skills.

Compliance skills to aid in your team members restraint applications.

Safe controlled decentralization skills for the operator and the detainee for hard or uneven surfaces and environmental presented dangers where the operator remains upright in control and does not go to the ground and risk hard surface impact injury.

Competency in safety and emergency aspects of control and restraint.

Provided knowledge in the need for on and off duty risk reduction in relation to identifying and avoiding potential risk situations when coming down off the high of operations, operational training or testing.

Using all required senses in employing restraints primarily sight but also importantly the sense of touch in ensuring leverage positioning skills applications placement and the feel of levels of leverage and subject resistance on the limb and joints.

Being cross trained is essential so you can take any skill employment role in a team restraint employment front, left or right side or behind and any contingency requirements applications to protect yourself and your fellow team members.

Knowing how to safely in a secure and search requirement decentralise a subject maintaining bodily contact throughout the decentralisation or in a threat escalation situation decentralize the subject in an instant with control and safety is a must.

Being able to employ mechanical restraint devices upright and decentralised.

Team formations and footwork movements that remove confusion and ensure team members do not move towards one and other on a collision path especially in counter offensive options and contingency options employments.

control and restraint
Two operator positioning prior to C&R.

control and restraint
Two operator counter-offensive defensive tactics employing evasion away from your fellow operator to a cover guard counter position.

Passive restraints that are safe and secure for specific subjects, situations and applications such as passive protestors.

Gender related restraint skills for favourable situations.

control and restraint
Employing the flathand to follow the neckline in initial corotid control application.

control and restraint
Continued corotid control employment.

control and restraint
Compound corotid control and restraint.

control and restraint
Passive two operator restraint and escort for low-risk subjects.

Restraints that have complete commonality with your defensive tactics and self-protection or combative practices.

Tactics that provide high levels of equipment and weapons retention and skills that provide the effective use of equipment and weapons without changes of basic system principles.

All terrain obstacle and environmental control and restraint and escort skills that provide high and low ground employments including in stairwell type urban employments as well as in all field employments.

Proficiency in body mechanics leverage and the medical implications of control and restraint.

spinal column
Medical aspects of control and restraint in relation to the cervical vertebrae.

Confidence and competence in dynamic and controlled movements of control and restraint skills employments not just in practise mode levels of intensity force and speed.

Disarming capabilities in regards to control and restraint for situational specific applications.

Baton and riot stick employments offensively and counter offensively and as an option in relation to control and restraint.

Ground self-protection and restraint employments and recovery in relation to control and restraint.

Tactics that enable you to identify and tactically counter escape efforts including forward rolling attempts to get out of restraints and maintain the integrity of control and restraints.

Practices to determine if a detainee is conscious or faking unconsciousness.

Skills to achieve compliance against a seated prone or kneeling subject and enable static positional securing or safe controlled escort or rapid extraction.

The ability to communicate with a subject in a firm fair and less than friendly easily understood manner giving direct instructions.

Complete proficiency in the application of combination restraints with safe secure transitions.

Knowledge in relation to the individual skills employments as well as threat levels and situations in regards to when best to resist and when to yield.

Employ tactics on approach seizure and securing as well as in all movements that reduce risk by tactical positioning shadowing and employing sound point-blank cover and containment of the subject.

Conserving your physical capabilities to the maximum by the employment of breath control and psychological conditioning practices to maximise readiness inner resolve reaction time and skill levels and reduce the effects of a high stress situations and physical employments.

Tactical positioning for hard targeting in relation to the restrained subjects accomplices, to achieve anti approach and anti-assault tactical positioning movements and human bodily subject cover are required in multiple subjects situations.

Similar actions are required for restricting access to risk areas or objects for the restrained detainee.

control and restraint
Hard targetting by tactical manoeuvring against accomplices.

Static position hard targeting and de-escalation procedures to reduce risk and reduce the need for physical skills employments are a must including verbiage as well as signalling and negotiation.

Being capable of employing your legs and boots to restrain suspects freeing up your hands as well as using your legs and boots to manoeuvre decentralise or control and contain the subject.

Employing team seizure securing and decentralisation cohesively, so as not to obstruct or hinder one and other or compromise safety and security of the integrity of the action.

This is a matter of not only skills competency but also team operational procedures employment competency through specialist training and high repetition practise.

I have instructed or headed my training team instructing thousands of military police corrections security close protection and civilian close combat exponents and instructors in tactical control and restraint for over 30 years nationally and internationally.  I am chief instructor of the oldest European combative private training provider organisation of its kind globally and I am a certified CQC master-chief instructor and it is with the previous rank qualification and record of service that I compiled this edition of the close combat files. Finally I have seen training organisations settling for control and restraint training from within their own ranks or from martial arts enthusiasts from within or with an association to their service department or unit and the end result has been techniques that are more traditional arts or adapted variations than tactically specific skills for the required duties and role in my opinion.

I have seen courses based on traditional martial arts that have been bastardised and are far from the safest best and most effective means of objective achievement in my professional opinion. The reality is often the trainers themselves and the powers that be making decisions having never actually extensively trained and come up through the ranks and qualified or not having enlisted qualified expert consultants advising on such training may well settle for less than the best methods.

I train a lot of service personnel in their civilian life that are realists and consider the basic service training they have received is far from the best. Operational control and restraint is not a traditional martial art, it is a specialist tactical subject for special and specific purpose employments. This must be the case if it is going to be employed in specialist high risk roles against extreme present day violence that differs considerably from classical traditional or competitive practices.

The skills must have been well researched developed and hard tested identifying themselves as primary options and this must have been done by qualified Master Instructors. There is a huge difference between a qualified master instructor with tens or even hundreds of thousands of hours as a chief instructor and that of a part time in-house or hobby instructor. I hear the term subject matter expert a lot and often used to describe a hobby martial artist or departmental part time program instructor. In my world, a combative Master instructor is a true subject matter expert and he has had to have been highly trained by his former qualified superiors and has had to test and pass the basic course test component as well as the advanced and specialist courses and testing phases then instructor qualify and move up through the ranks instructing full time for up to or over twenty years before qualifying as a master instructor.

Defensive tactics and tactical control and restraint are training subjects included in the close combat doctrine. The first three levels of exponent training alone require a minimum of 1000 hours of training. There are many important considerations in tactical control and restraint that include battle or operational dress, kit, weapons, equipment, rules of engagement, standard operating procedures, and the laws of the land in relation to self-defence.

In the Todd Group we only have one Master instructor that has achieved all the previous training and testing and there can only be one Master- Chief instructor commanding the group at any point in time. This is a rare achievement in this day and age being able to work full time for three decades and having been trained and qualified by some of the leading military and police training pioneer experts being a civilian and I consider myself privileged and most fortunate.

I know some services and departments are restricted in some ways in regards to the legality of some individual skills as they may be deemed to be unsafe dangerous or excessive force options. That is not a problem with qualified master instructor packages and programs as they can provide specific role, force and threat level individual skills options and in primary, secondary, and emergency forms based on their extensive knowledge learnt coming up through the ranks as part of their trade craft practises.

I believe, as the group Master chief instructor and director of training, a duty of care to the service personnel we train means remaining current and providing highly trained and qualified instructors to ensure the training and instructors are the very best and not just the most convenient or cost effect. I know it’s a common general conception that such training is hardly a priority and is not often required or hardly ever in a high risk employment situation and that is truly a misconception.

This is completely the opposite of my special operations combative ethos that instils training for the worst and most dangerous situation to be prepared and ready to take control in all situations from primary through to dire situations. Skill plus commitment of operator equals your best chance of achieving your objective quickly safely and competently.

Training in the proven best of the best makes you better trained than the rest and provides for dealing with the realities of human error and Murphy’s Law. The best training from the most highly qualified and experienced instructors are the best insurance against the most dire threat and high risk situations.

I have received comments from individuals that were of the opinion that the term C&R was developed by their department and is exclusive to them or even to their martial art, as an abbreviation the letters C&R are not exactly Kanji. My point there are many styles that train in holds but unless those holds and restraints are operational skills specific to service requirements and the threats and dangers operators will encounter then they are less than the best options for the specific usage.

Professional trained and qualified subject matter experts have the course reports, references, certification, log books from training and qualifying extensively on qualification courses moving up through the ranks testing and achieving rank and racking up records of instructing service.

They don’t just decide to be tactical specialist subject instructors based on a part time hobby or interest in the subject. Some services have a long history of training and qualifying exponents and instructors in specialist role control and restraint and defensive tactics but some unfortunately don’t.

Some services change direction in relation to styles techniques and the subject title itself on a regular basis looking for the magical answer but never quite finding it. They are often influenced by high profile fighting arts or combat sports but don’t realise that such styles and codes expertise is mainly in their code or art and not primarily in tactical subjects and operational requirements and the objectives are very different. Think about it, you don’t have boots, lethal and non- weapons, radios, restraint devices, and a host of other equipment in the ring, cage, or on the mat.  You are a single competitor in competition not so in primary practice operations where you are a team member employing team tactics procedures and skills as well as being capable of operating as a sole agent in emergency or required situations.

When seeking expert consultancy or training you seek out the experts in the subject not in a related field. Vets are not medical doctors and combat sports competitors are not military combatants. You would not enlist the services of a police officer to fight fires even though they are both emergency services. Very much a case of the best and right expert for the role and requirements.

While some individuals have various levels of skill and expertise  in more than one subject they generally are not master instructors of more than their primary practise subject.  A good aggressive sounding title for a style can be enough to get some individual’s, who are meant to already  be experts, attention and send them on a tangent to influence the powers that be that this new devastating sounding style is just what they need.

The major problem with all the styles made up of many techniques from different styles is that such a system does not normally have commonality and is not always cohesive in combination applications. This can be a real negative factor in relation to tactical operational requirements based on an individual’s style or technique personal preferences or level of expertise and back ground in tactical control and restraint or a loosely connected practice.

Others keep on with the same old traditional based programs even though they hardly worked in times gone by against traditional practices and against current violence stand little chance. History didn’t always get things right, especially when techniques were developed for very different purposes and a very different point in time and if such practices are not primary options for present times and current roles then once again there are dangers and disadvantages.

The number of operators that we train that tell us they have little confidence in some aspects of the training they have received and don’t feel safe is considerable and some do not respect the instructors as they don’t consider them experts. Some even describe the instructors as egotistical or wannabes.

Food for thought when you consider lives and safety may well be on the line and while there is no foolproof guaranteed to achieve the objective in a perfect way every time system there are the right best and safest ways of achieving the objective.

Honesty and integrity are the required starting attributes in tactical operator exponents and instructors before the first lesson is given or taken if the outcomes are to be the best possible.

The previous file should give any individual with the tactical smarts the ability to evaluate their personal abilities and the capabilities of their current skills and that alone will be a positive step in their personal skills evaluation and training decision making if required. When you consider the trainee has to prove themselves on training courses and pass assessments and some are being trained by instructors that have never had to prove themselves on such courses it does explain a lot.

Another positive step for their own duty and off duty safety is to get a copy of the Todd Group Combative Code of Conduct a must for operators from all services and practitioners of all styles codes and systems to keep them safe both on and off duty.  The high and rush of operations training or testing while coming back down in relation to such actions on can get them in dire trouble if they are not armed with knowledge. This knowledge will provide information on how to identify the dangers, warning, signs, and triggers and much more.

Being tactically smart on and off duty is a must that specialist instructors should deliver to their exponents to make and keep them safe against a wide range of threats and negative outcomes.

Exponents or operators that have not been tutored in this important aspect should arm themselves with knowledge by getting a copy as soon as possible and in doing so make yourself a harder target. Just another of the specialist aspects of the specialist trained and qualified instructors duties and responsibilities to their understudies.



Combative Code of Conduct

We live in the most violent times where violence isn't acceptable for the good guys and the protectors of decent citizens. Whether you are a military combatant, police officer, prison or security personnel, civilan combatant, or martial artist, this CD will inform you of the precautions you need to take to remain safe. Whether it be utilized as an initial source of information or as a constant reminder it is invaluable to the serious professional.

Running Time: 38 minutes 46 seconds.

Click here to purchase via Fight Times store

Primary Option Control & Restraint DVD

Subjects covered include: Introduction & Safety Information; Escort Grip & Distraction Setups; Universal Armlock; Forced Armlock; Forced Armlock Palming Employment; Compound Forced Armlock Bar-Hammerlock; Compound Forced Armlock Finger Compliance; Contingency Option Against A Punch; Contingency Option Against Suspect Raising Fist; Contingency Option Against Suspect Attempting To Run Away; Contingency Option Against Suspect Breaking Away; Suspect Decentralization; Anchor Armlock; Anchor Armlock Contingency Option; Anchor Armlock Suspect Decentralization; Anchor Armlock From The Front; Position Holds; Straight Arm Wrist Twist; Thumb Come-Along; Preventing An Attack From A Suspect's Accomplice; Counter Offensive Control & Restraint; Counter Offensive Control & Restraint From Stationary; Restraint Of A Female; Restraint Of A Female From The Front; Carotid Come-Along; Carotid Come-Along Decentralization and Compound Control; Breaking Up A Fight; Russian Carry; SWAT Take Down; Forced Armlock From The Front; Double Wrist Lock; Passive Restraint; Head And Arm Come-Along; Anchor Armlock From The Front; Anti- Weapon Draw C&R

Primary Option Control & Restraint - Forced Armlock Primary Option Control & Restraint - Passive Restraint

48 minutes running time non-stop skills.

  • New Zealand orders NZ$55 including postage and packaging.
  • International orders NZ$65 including postage and packaging.

Note: Prices quoted in NZ dollars.

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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.