Fairbairn Quarters Combat. 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.

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Fairbairn Quarters Combat. 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 in 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 places in the world.

It was this violent and deadly environment that forced W. 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 his 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.

In 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. Fairbairn received a 3rd degree brown belt in January , a 1st degree black belt in February 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 reflected the actual conditions of real gun-fighting. In , Fairbairn 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. Reserve Unit RU. 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 brutal 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 at war with Nazi Germany and was hanging on by a thread.

The devastation of Dunkirk, 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, however, the O. Virtually every allied military force adopted his methods. These included the U. Dermot M. 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 was 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 to England, and occupied his 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.


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He served in one of the red light districts. During his service with the International Police in Shanghai, Fairbairn reportedly engaged in hundreds of street fights in the course of his duties over a twenty-year career, where he organised and headed a special anti-riot squad. Much of his body, arms, legs, torso, even the palms of his hands, were covered with scars from knife wounds from those fights. He also developed numerous firearms training courses and police equipment, including a special metal-lined bulletproof vest designed to stop high-velocity bullets from the 7. Together with fellow close-combat instructor Eric Sykes , Fairbairn was commissioned on the General List in Fairbairn and Sykes were both commissioned as second lieutenants on 15 July Fairbairn emphasised the necessity of forgetting any idea of gentlemanly conduct or fighting fair: "Get tough, get down in the gutter, win at all costs


William E. Fairbairn

Development[ edit ] Based on his training and knowledge in boxing, wrestling, Savate, Jujutsu, Judo and street fighting he was involved in during his police work, Fairbairn began to develop his own system of hand to hand combat , initially referring to it as "Defendu". It was designed to be simple to learn and to provide effective results. Fairbairn published his book, Defendu, in [2] re-printed as Scientific Self Defence in , illustrating this method and it is here that the term "Defendu" first appeared. Fairbairn and others expanded on this system to create the Close Quarters Combat system that was then taught to the troops. This system was built on Defendu, but modified for military applications, rather than police and riot control.


History of Self Defense: Fairbairn’s Defendu


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