Fairbairn Youtube Clip.mov

The Gutter Fighting DVD reproduces two films made in 1944 by William Ewart Fairbairn while he was on secondment to the US Office of Strategic Services.

25 thoughts on “Fairbairn Youtube Clip.mov

  1. candiduscorvus says:

    William Fairbairn is my candidate for history's most badass individual. He was Batman before Batman was a thing, if Batman didn't mind assassinating you in a dark alley and teaching younger guys how to kill Nazis.

  2. The Gnostic Truth says:

    The technique which he employs at 1:07 is not grounded in proper bodily principles of weight distribution in the footwork and stance, or power delivery in the mechanics of the arm movement, which seems disconnected from the rest of his body in the way it performs the technique. He might have had great martial technique in some way, or killing instinct or whatever, but that technique demonstration at 1:07 belies a rather botched understanding of a "karate chop". It was as if he knew where the pressure point was generally supposed to be, but his best impression of a "karate chop" to that area should be put in a spotlight while the rest of his body movement should be hidden behind some digital blackscreen, because even in the most favorable interpretation of that technique, it makes very little sense because the arm doing the chop seems to need a completely different body connected to it in order to be believable as a focused delivery of martial power. It pains me to say it, because I like his enthusiasm and hit techniques are properly styled off of real martial methods, but it seems like he did not get properly grounded in the principles of the arts which developed those techniques through many centuries of application in some cases. Similar incongruities exist in all of society, but people overlook them out of fear of facing the truth, and look over them if there is some advantage to be gained in fooling people. And without saying that Fairbairn was anything but a badass, his technique could be described as mean and rustic wild-man fighting choreographed for display from the depths of his violent imagination, backed up by some serious tenacity combined with a wiry strength.  So the presentation has some merit if you want inspirational footage of idealized techniques flowing rather counter-intuitively in certain cases. But this fevered phantasmogoria of violence was perhaps a worthy inspiration to some trench-fighting men who needed some clue how nasty they were expected to get. It at least served a propagandistic role while throwing out some really fine, if strangely patched together techniques. It's a digital can of whoopass with surrealist entertainment value, and some people revere it as a Holy Grail, but it is what it is, a piece of living history.

  3. aztecawarrior454 says:

    So a realistic self defense technique against an enemy grabbing your wrist is to karate chop them in the forearm and then into the most muscular side of the neck…? Garbage. A shame that people still actually believe this garbage would actually work in a real combat scenario against anyone other than a 12 year old girl.

  4. ironpirites says:

    @Cue Ball I know you're just joking but for those who don't, Fairbairn died in 1960 at the age of 75, when Norris had only studied Karate for two years. Dermot O'Neill, a colleague of Fairbairn on the SMP (Shanghai Municipal Police), was the close combat instructor for the 1st. Special Service Force in WW2 (immortalized in the mess fight scene in the movie The Devil's Brigade).

    Interesting generation of people. They would have been studying with the generation that taught the teachers of Bruce Lee.

  5. j greystoke says:

    Fairbairn was the man. And his approach:

    Forget blocks/anything defense(handing the advantage to the assailant), attack, attack, attack, gross motor movements, few simple techniques, savage application. Proven in WWII. Would serve you much better today than all the nonsense you see in dojos, in film, and on youtube.

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