matt larsen

How do U.S. Army soldiers handle opponents armed with knives? Their top combatives expert (who just happened to write their modern hand-to-hand combat manual) shows you three methods he's taught them.

Editor's Note: In this exclusive close-quarters-combat video, Matt Larsen — Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) creator and author of the critically acclaimed book Modern Army Combatives: Battle-Proven Techniques and Training Methods — discusses and demonstrates training protocols for assessing and responding to opponents armed with edged weapons. Modern Army Combatives Trains Soldiers to Efficiently Employ Self-Defense Moves for Any Situation Knife fights don't really start in the way that a lot of people train for. They don't start, for example, with the knife in somebody's hand. They start just like any other fight, only one of the people has a knife on his or her person. So the first thing is: How do you know whether the person you're fighting is armed with a knife or a gun — or anything? Most of the time you don't, so you have to fight everyone as if they're armed.

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The man who brought CQC into the 21st century talks with Black Belt magazine about how MACP came to be and why it's the future of military combatives for troops on the ground.

Back in 1983, I heeded the call of Uncle Sam and joined the U.S. Army. Basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas, was easy enough and mostly fun, what with the M16 rifles, M60 machine guns, hand grenades, Claymore mines and LAWs (light anti-tank weapons). A martial artist interested in state-of-the-art weaponry couldn't ask for more. One thing I was disappointed about, however, was the hand-to-hand combat (H2HC) training — or the lack thereof. We spent a few hours with bayonets mounted on our M16s, running through slash-thrust-butt-stroke drills without a target, and that was it. Essentially, we did a bit of kata with no bunkai and definitely no kumite.Preparation for empty-hand combat was nonexistent. Fast-forward to 2003. The Army has radically changed its training philosophy, and recruits are required to cycle through the MACP, or Modern Army Combatives Program

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Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) creator Matt Larsen and Black Belt Executive Editor Robert W. Young discuss the logistics and considerations of civilians carrying concealed weapons such as firearms and pocket knives in hand-to-hand combat.

Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) creator Matt Larsen and Black Belt Executive Editor Robert W. Young discuss how the LHR Combat Knife, unlike standard knives, can be worn on the front of body armor without danger of enemy acquisition.