"Kill or Get Killed": Col. Rex Applegate's Opus

Discussion in 'Articles' started by SifuPhil, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    "THAT'LL teach you, rotten Enemy!"​

    Col. Rex Applegate is legendary among military tactics historians as having redefined the art and science of close-quarters combat, his most recognized work in the field resulting in the 1943 publication of Kill or Get Killed (reprinted by Paladin Press in 1976).

    Kill or Get Killed outlines his schema for military / law enforcement personnel training in unarmed combat, prisoner handling and riot control techniques, along with a liberal amount of space devoted to weaponry such as handguns, shotguns, knives and batons. This isn't just pie-in-the-sky theory, either. Col. Applegate was a descendant of Charles Applegate, who blazed the Oregon Trail in 1843 with his brothers Jesse and Lindsay; was recruited by "Wild" Bill Donovan of the OSS to start and run "The School for Spies and Assassins" (the present-day Camp David), and once served as the personal bodyguard of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    Tickle, tickle!​

    Applegate developed many of his tactics in close association with William E. Fairbairn of Fairbairn-Sykes Knife fame. Fairbairn himself worked for over 30 years with the Shanghai Municipal Police and utilized many Chinese martial art techniques, simplified for use against the Triad of the time and later incorporated into his Defendu system, one of the first truly modern combative systems.

    Applegate incorporated Defendu (improved with feedback from OSS operatives in the field) in his fighting theories and later released an improved version of Fairbairn's knife, the Applegate-Fairbairn Fighting Knife. His view on combat shooting, while at odds with Jeff Cooper's popular system, still has many adherents among military and law enforcement personnel.

    Applegate knife.jpg

    Kill or Get Killed is admittedly not always appropriate for street-legal defensive techniques – there are some pretty gruesome actions portrayed in the book. But remember the target audience of this book, especially the 2nd edition – primarily soldiers in hand-to-hand combat. Unlike your typical peace-time citizen they don't have to concern themselves with self-defense laws or liberal judges. Their goal is to survive.

    Survival - Old-School style​

    Here's the table of contents of the book; you can get a good idea of whether at least some of the chapters may be of interest to you ...

    1. Introduction to Unarmed Combat
      2. Offensive Unarmed Combat
      3. Defensive Unarmed Combat
      4. Knife Attack and Defense
      5. Combat Use of the Hand Gun
      6. Combat Firing With Shoulder Weapons
      7. Disarming
      8. Prisoner Handling and Control
      9. Raid and Room Combat
      10. Training Techniques and Combat Ranges
      11. Elementary Fieldcraft
      12. Police Baton and Miscellaneous Weapons and Techniques
      13. Chemical Munitions for Control of Mobs and Individuals
      14. Civil Domestic Disturbances and Their Control
      15. Communist Tactics and Strategy in Directing Mob Violence
      16. The Professional Riot Control Unit

    As a special treat for anyone who has read this far, I have a PDF copy of the book safely tucked away on my website – if you'd like a copy just follow the link below.

    This is for all you great folks at BlackBeltForums – enjoy, and use it in good health!​
    Aaron, Bruce, Semper Gumby and 6 others like this.
  3. Dpendleton

    Dpendleton Warrior Monk

    Very nice find.
    SifuPhil likes this.
  4. MT_Demers

    MT_Demers Disciple

    Thanks Phil! I can't wait to work my way through this book.
    SifuPhil likes this.
  5. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    blademaker and I were PM'ing about this book several weeks ago. Nice post.
  6. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    Cool - Kevin was saying he'd like to peek at a copy too, so I dug through my hard-drive, spent a few hours trying to upload it to my site through my crappy wireless connection and finally got it all together. Hope you like it.
  7. Semper Gumby

    Semper Gumby Disciple

    good stuff, thanks for posting it.
    SifuPhil likes this.
  8. Gone

    Gone Guest

    I'd love to get me a copy of that book. I've had it on my watch list for a while.
  9. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    Well, there ya go - if I ever make it to your neck of the woods you can fix me up with one of those hot Aussie gals as payment. :sneaky:
  10. Ben

    Ben Master

    Thanks Sifu :)
  11. Dave76

    Dave76 Deheuol Gwyn Dragon

    ooohhhh yeah!


    All Aussie bogan girl for ya :love:
    SifuPhil likes this.
  12. Judah

    Judah fights in tights

    It's a good book. I started reading it last night :)
    SifuPhil likes this.
  13. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    Mmmmm... Aussie gals...

    I do love 'em... and they used to return the favor (pre-marriage).
    SifuPhil likes this.

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