The ultimate goal of any self-defense system is practical application. While it is possible to train in martial “arts” purely for the fitness, artistic, and cultural benefits, if a movement or technique has no real combative application, it’s nothing more than dance.

Although MBC offers many of these other ancillary benefits, it is a fighting system in the purest form. Every movement and physical structure has meaning—often multiple meanings—and everything we do in MBC is done for a reason.

When I first codified the MBC system, I tried very hard to make it as simple and straightforward as possible. Rather than focusing on numerous angles of attack like the traditional Filipino martial arts (FMA), I focused on categorizing angles from the defender’s point of view and based on the natural range of motion required to defend against them. I then defined basic conceptual responses based on the physical “possibilities” and the targeting priorities of the system. I narrowed these Defensive Responses down to four—the pass, follow, crossada, and meet. Four Defensive Zones, four Defensive Responses, and 16 basic techniques made for a very simple, easy-to-understand system of knife tactics.

That basic system worked and still forms the foundation of MBC today; however, it does not include other very functional, practical, and combatively useful tactics. It also “forces” the inclusion of some Defensive Responses that are not the most practical choices for a particular angle of attack.

After codifying the basics of MBC, I continued to explore other martial arts and other approaches to knife tactics. I kept an open mind and applied my experience as an intelligence analyst to the problem. I evaluated drills, techniques, and tactics as objectively as possible based on the potential combative functions they offered. At the same time, I resisted the urge to accumulate techniques just to expand the system of have something new to practice. In fact, I actively tried to eliminate techniques that do not have high potential with regard to combative function.

Through this process, I am confident that I have made MBC a complete, highly functional system that is extremely versatile and scalable. It offers sound, combat-effective solutions to a full scope of potential violent attacks, provides built-in back-up and alternative tactics, and integrates all these with an exceptional level of clarity and understanding at both the conceptual and mechanical levels. The result is considerably more than 16 basic techniques; however, I feel that it is well worth it. Again, if that’s too much for you, scale your expression of it accordingly. As we say in MBC: “You don’t have to fight like me; you just have to fight well.”

Martial Blade Concepts: Volume 4 provides a comprehensive “review” of the combative applications of MBC’s standard-grip system. In the process, it also allows the viewer to understand the full scope of MBC’s technique and understand the logic behind the choices I made in refining the system. Viewed as a complete body of work, it reveals the extensive “common ground” that exists between the vast majority of MBC techniques and clearly illustrates the simplicity and versatility of the core movements. Viewed step by step, it allows the student to analyze and appreciate the reasoning for the inclusion of specific techniques outside the four Defensive Responses. Along the way, I reinforce critical concepts of the system and explain how most techniques are subsets of other movements and how “live-hand” tactics share the mechanics of weapon-hand movement.

MBC: Volume 4 is much more than a “review.” It brings MBC full circle and offers a complete menu of its standard-grip combative applications, clearly demonstrating the versatility, completeness, and brutal combative efficiency of the system. It also provides the student with basis for evaluating his or her own progress in the defensive application of the system and offers an incredible resource for “one-stop shopping” when it comes to choosing the techniques that best fit your needs and your personal expression of MBC.

How much technique is too much? That’s for you to decide based on your personal level of motivation, skill, and physical ability. This DVD shows you the full scope of what’s possible without compromising what’s practical.

Stay safe,

Michael D. Janich