Cold Steel - Techniques of Close Combat

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Author: John Styers
Pub: 1952 by Paladin Press
Pages: 179
Ranking:Three Star Rating
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I like this book... I've not had very many books of this type to compare with, but the techniques given are solid respectable techniques... nothing difficult or tricky. I'd have really enjoyed having this book while I was in the Marine Corps doing bayonet training. Having never trained in Filipino knife arts, I'm sure this book falls far short of real training with the knife, but as a 'basic' course, this book fits the bill.



 The Bayonet ...................................... 1
 Knife Fighting .................................. 37
 Unarmed Combat .................................. 77
 The Stick ...................................... l27
 Knife Throwing ................................. 163



A sudden realization of the thorough preparation for combat which will become an integral part of a Marine recruit's life strikes grimly home when he arrives at Parris Island and reads its motto -- "Let's be damned sure that no boy's ghost will ever say, 'If your training program had only done its job.'"

But that training program doesn't end with boot camp nor does it end as long as the man is a Marine. Training develops specialists, and every Marine is a fighting specialist, equipped with the knowledge necessary to qualify him for his important role on one of the world's deadliest teams. Wherever he may be, he is kept abreast of the warfare times, taught the battle techniques of tomorrow, and given confidence in his own proficiency-the proficiency of his Corps.

He is part of a team, trained to do his job in a coldly calculated war of scientific weapons and mass destruction. But the touted push button warfare has limitations, and they demand the individual's ability to meet his enemy face to face, steel to steel, hand to hand. Whether he is a radar operator, a communications man or a truck driver, he must be prepared to defend his own life in any eventuality. Close combat has been skillfully developed into a science of self-preservation-and the advance of death-dealing devices does not preclude the necessity for a basic knowledge of hand to hand principles and confidence in their application.


A Warning Word...
The publishers of Cold Steel wish to express their concern regarding the possible dangers involved in releasing a book of this type. It must be clearly understood that the principles pre-scribed on the following pages are intended to teach the fighting man to kill. Every precaution must be exercised in the practice of these principles; a slip in a careless attempt to perform movements described in this book may result in serious damage or the death of an innocent training partner. Care should be taken to prevent the book from falling into the hands of children who may thoughtlessly try some of these principles on their playmates. Cold Steel is a recipe for death; use it wisely!




Brutality makes apology impossible.

But as brutality begets cruelty, so apology begets explanation. And, since America is not a brutal nation, the words between these covers are vulnerable to condemnation.

But an honest purpose cannot be damned. As long as other nations war against each other in lust, greed and ambition, brutality will persist and the brutal words on these pages will have a purpose.

When an atom bomb is loosed on a city, killing several hundred thousand people, the magnitude of suffering and death is incomprehensible to the average person and conjures up a picture of horror rather than brutality. If, however, the plane which dropped the bomb is forced down on enemy territory on the return flight, and the crew is faced with a hand-to-hand grapple with an enemy patrol where a hand throttling a throat, a knee smashing into a groin or a finger gouging an eye may mean life or death, then brutality becomes a reality.

The realness of brutality must be faced with the same direct approach in which we build an air raid shelter. World War II taught Americans the vast scope of atrocity; it would be criminal negligence to close our eyes to the bloody mayhem American mili-tary men will meet in the field. They must be taught to meet it with a basic knowledge of its principles, the practical application of those principles, and confidence in themselves to wage identical war.

To Americans, who fight fair and clean by heritage-when they can-we dedicate this book...

That they may save their own lives by confidently engaging their enemy with his own unprincipled principles.


From the Back Cover:

Fighting men have long realized the need for a full, practical, easy-to-understand study on close combat. The step-by-step photographs and accompanying text of Cold Steel are intended to fill this need. But the book has another purpose-to instill confidence in the man by proving that the principles of hand- to-hand combat can be mastered easily and surely.

Years of practical experience and observation have proved that the age-old practice of using the bayonet primarily as a pike leaves much to be desired. The principles of bayonet fighting advocated by John Styers are designed for simplicity and naturalness of action, resulting in maximum confidence in the student in a mini- mum amount of time.

The technique of knife fighting is a product of our own American heritage. Styers does not borrow the methods used traditionally by other nations. He has followed the developments of the late Colonels James Bowie and A.J. Drexel Biddle in evolving what is probably the deadliest knife Fighting technique in the world.

Personal contact with an enemy when unarmed results in a fast, deadly action. Here again simplicity of application and effective- ness of results are emphasized. Man's natural weapons, provided by nature, are described. Vulnerable targets on the opponent's anatomy are designated. Simple and effective methods of applying these natural weapons on the targets are prescribed.

The stick or club is a useful weapon in an emergency for the soldier and a traditional companion for most law enforcement officers. The versatility of this easily acquired weapon is fully covered.

Knife throwing is a fascinating pastime. For those who would like to master this art, Mr. Styers has included clearly defined directions which will provide consistent results after a brief period of practice.

Whether it's knife throwing, the bayonet, knife fighting, unarmed combat of the stick, practice and application of the pre- scribed principles will bring proficiency and confidence.

For academic study and historical reference only.

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