Defendu, William E. FairbairnÃ?’s seminal manual on close-quarters combat, is finally available in a quality reprint edition. Originally published. DEFENDU was a complete method of armed and unarmed Close-. Th. Self Defense Pioneer W.E. Fairbairn. Quarters Combat. The foundation of the DEFENDU. Basically speaking, Defendu (referred to by Fairbairn as “Gutter Fighting”) was like the predecessor of Krav Maga. The principle is W.E. Fairbairn. Get Tough!.

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History of Self Defense: Self Defense Pioneer W. The origin and development of this method rests in great part with the famed Lt.

Colonel William Ewart Fairbairn. As a teenager Fairbairn enlisted with the British Royal Marines. During his tour of duty he successfully competed in and developed new methods for bayonet fighting, for which annual international military competitions were held. He also served as part of the legation guard for the British Consul defebdu Seoul, Korea. Shanghai during this period was considered by most authorities to be the roughest police beat in the world.

Tong wars, dope smuggling, murder for hire, political assassination, prostitution, kidnapping, and a host of other underworld endeavors made Shanghai one of the most dangerous w.e.tairbairn in the world. It was this violent and deadly environment that forced Bh. Fairbairn to develop effective and practical methods of survival. His record established the fact that he was already a rough customer in close combat in bayonet fighting while with the British Royal Marines.

In Shanghai however, the odds against him proved greater. Fairbairn was overpowered, severely beaten, and left for dead. A young Fairbairn with Professor Okada. Fairbairn entered into w.e.farbairn new found passion completely, determined to never again suffer a similar fate, in great part because he realized the next time he may not be so fortunate.

D.e.fairbairn the years that followed he studied and became proficient in Chinese systems under the direction of Tsai Ching Tung, who at one time was employed at the Imperial Palace, Peking, as an Instructor to the Retainers of the late Dowager Empress.

William E. Fairbairn

Fairbairn received a 3rd degree brown belt in Januarya 1st degree black belt in Defnedu and a 2nd degree black belt in February Throughout his over thirty year career with S. Fairbairn rose through the ranks and was charged with the duty of instructing firearms and hand-to-hand combat. He completely revised the firearms training and instituted a method that w.e.fzirbairn the actual conditions of real gun-fighting. InFairbairn took an extended leave, during which time he was attached as a captain to the New York City Police Department for a ten-week period of observation.

During this period he participated in everything from routine patrol duty to major gambling raids in order to absorb as much as he could.


He w.s.fairbairn, developed, trained, and headed the Shanghai Riot Squad called the. The Fairbairn-Sykes W.e.firbairn fighting knife. Along with his friend and colleague Eric Anthony Sykes reserve officer in the S. He retired with the rank of Assistant Commissioner. He had seen the invasion of China by the Japanese and the bloody and eefendu siege of Shanghai and the surrounding provinces by the Imperial Japanese Army.

He had worked closely with the S. It was with this tremendous amount of experience and real-world savvy that Fairbairn would enter into the next phase of his life. Fairbairn returned to England in England was bj war with Nazi Germany and was hanging on by a thread. The devastation of Defnedu, and North Africa, and soon to be felt defeat in the Far East by Japanese forces, would render Great Britain almost incapable of fighting a conventional war. It was the genius and steely resolve of Sir Winston Churchill that would pave the way for W.

Fairbairn to once again put his talents and knowledge to excellent use. Fairbairn was tasked with the responsibility of turning these men into deadly foes at Close-quarters. While Fairbairn was at Camp X, Sykes remained in England engaged as a supervisor to SOE personnel engaged in underground action, sabotage, espionage, and assassination in German occupied Europe.

Soon after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the United States entry. Fairbairn instructing at Camp X. Soon, however, the O. Virtually every allied military force adopted his methods.

Defendu: W.E. Fairbairn, Kelly McCann: : Books

These included the U. Applegate was given the specific job of learning all there was to learn about close-quarter combat. Applegate is responsible for numerous innovations in all fields of Close Combat, armed and unarmed. As the war ended, Fairbairn defsndu 60 years of age.

It was also while working in Cyprus, that Fairbairn introduced a new knife that he had been working on for sometime, to be used for riot work. His interest in this weapon, and the system of knife fighting it supported, continued after he left Cyprus, and returned dffendu England, and occupied defendy time up until his death. William Ewart Fairbairn died at his home in England on June 20th, His system of unarmed combat made it possible for a person of average strength and skills to meet and win against a highly trained opponent in the martial arts.

His theories of close-quarter use of the gun represent the first systematic approach to combat pistol-craft ever devised, and remains valid to this very day.

The same may be said for his riot work, his concepts of countersniping, and his development of the police role in urban combat. The contributions made by these men are of enormous value to us today. Methods of close combat that were battle tested and have been proven effective under conditions of actual combat are obviously of great importance to anyone seeking realistic and effective training in personal combat.


Thanks for sharing the backing of this effective SDT. Knowing thehistory only increase the effectiveness of it. He studied Judo w.e.fairbaairn Jujutsu, among other styles including Chinese stylesand had boatloads of […]. Thank you Damian for this wonderful historical article.

Very interesting article …I enjoy the history of the art. Thank you for this great post on these icons of close combat. I understand Fairbairn was the first Westerner to be awarded black belt ranks from the Kodokan. I understand Fairbairn was not a particularly large man, which attests to the absolute unquestionable effectiveness of his close combat techniques.

We are all very fortunate to have access to maybe the best self-defense training on the planet! What always striked me as curious from Fairbairn, is that, despite being a violence-hardened man, there are accounts that say he was a humble and simple fellow, whereas others call him for a braggart guy notice how it is said he considered his friend E. Sykes as his inferior. Despite all these statements, it is certain he was a straightforward and cartesian person.

Surviving over life-risking street fights either you get badly injured or killed is not something everyone would smirk at with any bit of disdain… Remember, he either had to kill hundreds of thugs or leave them disabled for good, thus converting him, perhaps, into the man who killed [by necessity] most men single-handedly.

My point is, simply, as follows: Fairbairn and Eric A. Sykes prior to World War II. It is a hand-to-hand combat system based on practical experience mixed with jujutsu and boxing that was developed to train the Shanghai Municipal Police, and was later taught in expanded form to Office of Strategic Services and Special Operations Executive members during World War II.

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