Karate, Martial Arts, Self Defence, MMA - Harrogate - EST. 1999
Urban Combat Method is a reality-based self-defence system that uses elements of mixed martial arts theory and technique in its training.
The overall theoretical background to the system is based on my own practical experience of violence over several years of security work; the empirical knowledge of W. E. Fairbairn, E. A. Sykes, Rex Applegate, Peter Consterdine and Geoff Thompson; and the modern research into combat performance of Tony Blauer, Bruce K. Siddle, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Loren W. Christensen and Alexis Artwohl.
It should first of all be stressed that self-defence and fighting are two clearly separate categories. Self-defence relies on awareness and assessment in order to avoid physical conflict, and then on deception and ruthlessness if a conflict nevertheless occurs. A fight, on the other hand, is based on the desire of two combatants to enter into a physical conflict with mutual consent.Therefore the strategies of effective self-defence are not necessarily those that would work in a fight, and likewise the tactics and techniques used in the ring or the cage could prove fatal in the real world.
Grappling, or ground fighting, is a case in point. It has proven effective thousands of time in MMA contests when fighters are guaranteed there is only one opponent and no weapons, but should be avoided in a real situation at all costs due to the danger of multiple opponents and the possibility of blades being used.
There is also the issue of physiological response – someone being attacked with a broken glass in the toilets of the local nightclub is going to have a very different adrenal response to someone who is entering into planned, pre-meditated sporting combat. Under the stress of a true life-or-death situation, the body simply will not be capable of performing some of the technically complex movements used within the sporting arena.
UCM follows the mixed martial arts theory, however, in that it does not rely solely on expertise in one range or technical area, but on developing a generalised capability across all ranges and technique categories (albeit with an emphasis on hand strikes, for reasons that will be outlined later).
The overall theory of the Urban Combat Method is therefore based on the following areas:
  1. Understanding how attacks occur
  2. Understanding how the body responds under stress
  3. Understanding the principles of effective technique
  4. Understanding the principles of correct training methods