SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

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SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  Guest on Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:18 am

SAS Fighting Secrets

Introduction

There has been a lot of interest on the Self Protection forums re this lately, so I thought it would be a good idea if I gave it a seriously close looking at. This DVD features Bob Spour, a well known UK Thai Boxing instructor, and I reckon that his sporting background makes the whole issue even more fascinating. It is produced by Richard Grannon of “From the Cage to the Street” fame.

Firstly the title. Personally I am put off by the use of the phrases “Secrets!” and “SAS!” in the combative world. I guess there are just too many people out there claiming stuff that isn’t actually true! Now I most certainly DO believe Bob’s lineage, and do believe he was in the SAS. I just think that a more conservative approach in the title may avoid the temptation to just say “Bollocks!” without looking further. Because of both Bob’s reputation, and my own knowledge of Richard Grannon, I did decide to look further. And I’m glad I did. But I do wonder if they have lost potential customers because of the title.

Production Values

The music is cool, and builds well to compliment the opening sequence. Richard has put this on the net here and there also, and it is great advertising.

There are three DVDs in all, each one with a menu at the start, so you can view it from whichever section you desire. A small criticism involves DVD number 3, when the credits to one section do not accurately reflect the section that follows. A minor cock up!

As other people have said, one section is a little ruined because of the sound of the wind being picked up by the camera. You can still hear what is going on, but it does detract a little from the professionalism of the film.

All in all it is produced very well in comparison with other works from the Combatives community. This isn’t just one of those “point, press and make it up as you go along” type affairs, and some thought has obviously gone into it.

Presentation

Filmed both inside and outside, each area has what can only be described as a “military” backdrop. Again this can set of warning messages of “toy soldier commandos!” in your head, as well as the fact that they are wearing cammos. But, when you think of it again, this is a presentation about SAS fighting methods after all, so I guess it is ok. As long as Phil Elmore doesn’t appear!

Bob does 99% of the talking (naturally) and the film alternates between action and explanation. This illustrates the points he is making well. There are a couple of interviews though. I felt that these were interesting, but could have been done whilst something else was on the screen, maybe slow motion replays of the action of something? Just looking at Bob sitting down and talking wasn’t enough to keep the attention visually.

Bob’s enthusiasm when on his feet is contagious, and he keeps the balance between talking and the action very well. He also uses the odd gem of a phrase to keep you smiling here and there:-

”I’m fucking AGGRESSIVE when I’m doing this!”

“If you want to train but are not prepared to get the odd bump and bruise? FUCK IT OFF!”

“You do that to my finger, you’ll break it. THEN I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU!


Content

Simplicity is touted as the order of the day, underscored by speed, aggression and surprise. No arguments there! He demonstrates a selection of easy to do strikes that anyone should be able to pick up. He seems to prefer the slap to the jaw, but can demonstrate others for people with different preferences.

One of the most interesting methods for me involved his tactic of manipulating the head. He has this method of pulling it forwards and round…. Then reversing the direction and “face ripping.” It was pretty interesting and not unlike a very brief version of Dimitri’s “Shredder.”

His emphasis on aggression is evident throughout, in both word and deed.

I did feel a little sorry for Rich. There he was, attacking Bob in a relatively compliant manner, and getting thrown around on a concrete surface as a result. He took a solid blow full in the face and, afterwards, had to go to the hospital. Nah, my sympathy has gone! An artist must suffer for his art!

In all seriousness, though, Bob was illustrating his moves against a relatively compliant Richard. His escapes from being grabbed suffered a little because of this, because it was evident that Rich wasn’t grabbing as hard and fast as he could. But that is the difficulty of Combatives materials. If Rich had gone in hard, what does Bob do? Kill him? Some degree of compliancy, especially for demo purposes, has to be there.

There were lots of different sections on offer, including techniques against:-

Knife
Hand guns
Multiples etc.

Whatever it was, Bob attacks the attacker. This is a no compromise approach. Go for him if you want to, but you’ll soon find that he is coming for you.

As an aside I loved his R.T.D. It’s a classic. Buy the DVD to find out what it is! But don’t try it at home kids!

Contentious issues

I am no Combatives expert, but I did find myself disagreeing with some of Bob’s methodology. Albeit paraphrasing, I can briefly cover them here:-

Do not train for an attack from behind - I can’t agree with this. The rationale is that preparing for an attack from behind makes it more likely to happen. But if you just refuse to accept it, you have more chance of avoiding it. Somehow training for it would make you accept it…. Not training for it means you won’t. This reminds me a little of the groundwork thread on the old GT board. Bob had the same philosophy about being taken down. Don’t accept the possibility, and it is less likely to happen. This doesn’t work for me. I want to be prepared for Sod’s Law - because that certainly does exist!

Only soldiers who have been into battle have the necessary experience - I’m not a soldier, and never have been. But people have tried to stick all kinds of things into me and, whilst no one has shot directly at me just yet, I’ve certainly driven towards the distinct possibility a few times. Enough to know that I must be mad! Personally I think that many people have the relevant experience; from Doormen to Cops etc., and even ordinary folks who were just unlucky enough to get brought up in the wrong place. I think that plenty of people who haven’t been to war have the required attitude and aggression in them. If you’ve been in a position where you “knew” that you were almost certainly going to die, but came through it courageously, then in my view you have “been there, done that.”

Don’t train your weak side - This is another bone of contention for me. I want to train my weak side because of, you’ve guessed it, Sod’s Law. I’m carrying an injury at the moment, and this will hinder my response to an extent should I need it. One day I may have a more disabling injury, or be carrying something (or someone!) very valuable! I just want to be able to hit hard with just about every body weapon that I have.

“You don’t actually need that much stamina for a streetfight” - To me it is a strange point to make. Bob WILL have this stamina owing to his Thai Boxing training. And SAS guys may have a little bit of stamina, since they run over mountains! If you don’t finish the other guy(s) quickly then stamina will be a major factor in my view. It is better to have it and not need it, rather than need it and not have it.

Striking the bicep in knife defence - I have no experience of this type of blow, and concede that it may work. But Bob advocates striking it numerous times until the guy drops the knife? Firstly, what is stopping him moving his arm and then stabbing you and, secondly, why doesn’t Bob revert to Plan a), i.e. hitting the other guy in the head? It was certainly in range on the relevant clip.

Now that seems like a lot to disagree with! And I am an argumentative sod! But there is a great deal of good stuff in the DVD - common sense speed, aggression and surprise when implementing nasty and brutal blows. Good stuff!

Conclusion

There is a lot to be gained from studying this DVD. There are some pretty brutal blows in there, along with some interesting fighting moves that are not as common, but look pretty effective. And it is pleasing to note the emphasis on aggression. Without it a fighter is like a car with no petrol. Bob merely scratches the surface on how to develop it, and promises a new DVD specifically on the subject (using NLP principles). I’ll certainly be taking a look.

All in all a great Combatives work, and there will be something for everyone in it. I can recommend it, and would also look forward to debate with others about the points I raised.

Brian S

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  Richard Grannon on Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:49 pm

Cheers Bri!
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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  Guest on Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:47 pm

Cheers Bri? Cheers Bri?

I put my heart and soul into that and get "Cheers Bri?"

Bob! Come and smack 'im again! - lol!

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  Dave Chopping on Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:33 pm

Thanks Brian,
i found this very interesting. Could not agree more with your views.

Aother thing with there stamina is, if your suddenly had to take off running because of attackers mates showing up blah blah blah.

Loved the quotes, truly brilliant Cool .

Yours sincerely
Dave

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 13, 2006 5:39 am

Thanks Dave.

Bob! Leave Dave.... just hit Rich!

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  Richard Grannon on Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:30 am

such a Prima Donna!

lol!

its an excellent review and im sorry i couldnt say much about it as i was in a rush...

also you didnt really say anything i dont agree with...

1)
um, the name of the dvd is cheesy... but so is "streetfightsecrets.com"

have you read any of my sales copy for my DVDs? its dripping with cheddar! but it IS a business (full time now too pirat )

2)
the camo gear, Bobs moustache, the guns... were a lot of fun and served a dramatic purpose

3)
The statements of Geordie Wallace (Bobs evil alter ego)...
Now then, heres the thing:
when i was at Aston University i used to have a regular argument with my flatmates who also trained with Bob, they said they loved his training and learnt lots from it but that it was:
-too violent
-too aggressive
-politically incorrect
-illegal amounts of use of force
-possibly dangerous (hello? he was teaching us to fight!)

When Bob teaches he goes into a role ("state" if you like NLP) much like acting that is singlemindedly determined to:
cause you to LEARN

along that way he will make you laugh, make you feel challenged, insulted, used, dirty, happy, snotty, excited and many other things and at all times the tongue is set firmly in cheek and he follows mercilessly the dictum of Robert Anton Wilson:

"Reality is what you can get away with..."

In the Aston university class which I ran I used to get complaints all the time from indignant students of other martial arts styles because Bob would walk up to them and say things like:
"Thats a load of fucking shite..."

Now, you got to look at the intention... the intention is to cause you to learn things that will help you to prtect yourself... to teach you to fight

If you (not YOU Brian, if "one", a person) are going to throw a hissy fit because he said some words you didnt like, then you have dropped at the first hurdle because you lack self awareness and the capacity to not take everything (including yourself +"oneself"+) quite so seriously

its just an act, and within the context of the DVD i think worked perfectly

4)
Brian
you raise the issue of compliance
I think this is a topic that needs to be tackled explicitly in the field of combatives and RBSD
I was chatting to Joe Hubbard the other day about this and he said he too felt it was a major issue that needs to be addressed

There have been instances when i have been compliant for a training partner and video footage of it has been touted on the internet as evidence of the delusional twerp "beating me up" ...

Joe told me a story of a similar incident that he was involved in, its a serious issue and one we should discuss here on this forum

Thing is with Bob is i feel like if went harder i would of been mangled harder... as it was i already ended up in A+E the next day as many of you are aware! Any volunteers to go harder with Bob? lol!

But seriously Bri i take your point and it is an important issue

5)
...about not training for attacks from behind, not training weak side, not needing much stamina...

i do stamina training, i train for attacks from behind and i train my weak side because this is what i do and its a belt and braces approach

do i need it? I dont think so... its never been relevant in any real fight ive been in- so far. Whenever someone has approached me or attacked me from behind ive turned to face them

Again another important relevant issue that should be up for debate... its good to train these things, but do you NEED them?

I would say that training for these things to happen could be creating the possibility of them occuring, it may be better to reaffirm at the level of core belief that you wont let it happen... I dont know...

I like to grapple... with men... on the floor... so I´m ready to go down... but Bob doesnt like it

Richie knows from bitter expereince though the risk of doing this type of training, having gone to the guard and the mount a few times in real fights on the concrete and later regretted it

6)
bicep strike
i dont know nothing about knives or knife defence, it bloody hurt though Twisted Evil

7)
soldiers are the only true warriors...
well some points are worth overstating just to return balance to the force
and anyway
Geordie Wallace is bound to say that- he´s a psychopathic geordie warmonger who is as hard as ten bastids and is canny good at fighting and that... way aye man... like... etc Smile

So... as I say, there is nothing in your review Brian that I really disagree with

thanks very much for taking the time to do the review mate

daaaahling it was wonderful! air kiss *mwah* Razz

lol!
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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:39 pm

Oh you romantic fool. Wink

I'd be up for one of his seminars though.

One last thing. Those head twirling face ripping wotsits? Weren't you concerned he'd break your fookin neck? Seriously?

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  Richard Grannon on Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Brian,

the thing you have to understand about me is....
I AM F%$KING WELL ´ARD!

and a bit thick...

seriously, i have a lot of trust for Bob and ive been a ukemi of his for 10 years now, he really does have a lot of control and a high degree of skill

the damage that was done when shooting the DVD was done because i kept asking him to do it harder, despite him repeatedly warning me that if he kept doing it i could get damaged

as you say, an artist must suffer for his art!

ps when we get it organised im going to come back for the seminar, so i´ll see u and the other chaps there
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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:24 pm

Nice one mate.

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  melvinfferd on Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:41 am

great set. actually probably the best rbsd instructional i own. reason being that bob does a brilliant job at reinforcing the need for awareness and aggression. imo, better than anyone else ive seen on dvd.

not much to add to brians review as i agree with basically all his comments. however, a word or two concerning ... "Do not train for an attack from behind" ...

for me, that part of the dvd really drove home the absolute need for awareness. so i didnt take it as a weakness in the system at all. but more as an illustration of what one should be focusing on in ones training. maybe not to be taken literally?

very much look forward to the follow-upset.
continue the great work rich.

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  Dave on Sun Oct 22, 2006 12:25 pm

Yep, totally agree with Brian. Really liked the aggressive responses from Bob when he decided to strike, reminded me of the agressiveness used by Bas Rutten in his self defense D.V.D. This, as with Bas, comes across really well and emphasises the intent when striking the opponent.

As with other good quality RBSD DVD'S it is stripped to the bare bones of what is required none of that far east mythical bullshit. As Bob states this is not a martial art it is a fighting art. pirat
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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  iPat on Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:31 am

Bob is teaching this material in a seminar this Saturday and Sunday in Northampton. Details: http://www.amag.org.uk/tbauk.htm

Hes teaching early in what is a FULL ON day! Should be great

Pat Davies
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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  PaulRichard on Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:08 pm

Were can we get this DVD?

Have to admit i'm a little suspitious of the title, was he really in the SAS? I was lead to believe that the SAS had no system of H2H, in fact Robin Horsfall in his book "Fighting Scared" said that he was never taught any unarmed skills.

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  iPat on Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:40 am

http://www.sassurvival.co.uk/
It was Geoff Thompson (an old student of Bobs) i believe who outed Bob who origionally didnt disclose his past. Bob, who served in the Falklands amongst other places, was probably the if not one of the first brits to go to thailand to train in thai, fight and teach. Bob recently trained the Gurkas before their recent deployment to Afghanistan.

It would be a bit silly to spend too much time teaching H2H combat to soldiers who have guns and knives amongst their arsenal. However what they were taught was very simple and direct which is the same with the Seals

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  iPat on Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:02 am

Brian S wrote:SAS Fighting Secrets


Do not train for an attack from behind - I can’t agree with this. The rationale is that preparing for an attack from behind makes it more likely to happen. But if you just refuse to accept it, you have more chance of avoiding it. Somehow training for it would make you accept it…. Not training for it means you won’t. This reminds me a little of the groundwork thread on the old GT board. Bob had the same philosophy about being taken down. Don’t accept the possibility, and it is less likely to happen. This doesn’t work for me. I want to be prepared for Sod’s Law - because that certainly does exist!

Only soldiers who have been into battle have the necessary experience - I’m not a soldier, and never have been. But people have tried to stick all kinds of things into me and, whilst no one has shot directly at me just yet, I’ve certainly driven towards the distinct possibility a few times. Enough to know that I must be mad! Personally I think that many people have the relevant experience; from Doormen to Cops etc., and even ordinary folks who were just unlucky enough to get brought up in the wrong place. I think that plenty of people who haven’t been to war have the required attitude and aggression in them. If you’ve been in a position where you “knew” that you were almost certainly going to die, but came through it courageously, then in my view you have “been there, done that.”

Don’t train your weak side - This is another bone of contention for me. I want to train my weak side because of, you’ve guessed it, Sod’s Law. I’m carrying an injury at the moment, and this will hinder my response to an extent should I need it. One day I may have a more disabling injury, or be carrying something (or someone!) very valuable! I just want to be able to hit hard with just about every body weapon that I have.

“You don’t actually need that much stamina for a streetfight” - To me it is a strange point to make. Bob WILL have this stamina owing to his Thai Boxing training. And SAS guys may have a little bit of stamina, since they run over mountains! If you don’t finish the other guy(s) quickly then stamina will be a major factor in my view. It is better to have it and not need it, rather than need it and not have it.

Striking the bicep in knife defence - I have no experience of this type of blow, and concede that it may work. But Bob advocates striking it numerous times until the guy drops the knife? Firstly, what is stopping him moving his arm and then stabbing you and, secondly, why doesn’t Bob revert to Plan a), i.e. hitting the other guy in the head? It was certainly in range on the relevant clip.

Now that seems like a lot to disagree with! And I am an argumentative sod! But there is a great deal of good stuff in the DVD - common sense speed, aggression and surprise when implementing nasty and brutal blows. Good stuff!

Brian S

Good points and some of which i have discussed with him. Remember Bob is a Master Practitioner in NLP and so therefore is very careful of his language.

Stamina: means: the capability of sustaining prolonged stressful effort. Your points are good but a streetfight and SAS manouvers are very different. A streetfight is very fast and very quick. Ive witnessed beer swilling belly bouncing streetfighters going at it and i doubt they had much stamina. Personally, ill make sure i have stamina to be healthier but for street defence its not a huge requirement

Do not train for an attack from behind: Again, i personally agree with you but Bob - who served in places where he could have been attacked at any given moment - would simply sy that he would not allow an aggressor to get behind him. Nor will he accept that he will be taken down. To him, by even entertaining the idea is succumbing to it and that is a brilliant point. Hence teh weak side comment.

Striking the bicep in knife defence: Sounds like the gunting from FMA. Rick Young teaches this brilliantly.

I have these type of discussions with him regularly. Certainly challenges established 'dogmas'.

Pat Davies
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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  Guest on Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:58 pm

I'm still not with you on the stamina. I know that a streetfight is a sprint, not a marathon.

But that can be an 800 metre sprint. Beerbelly bouncer won't be there at the end if it goes that far.

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  iPat on Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:44 am

ill ask him this weekend, however it may simply come down to how you define stamina. Unless he comes on and posts on the subject.

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  Richard Grannon on Sat Oct 28, 2006 2:43 pm

how do you define a streetfighter?
nasty horrible twats high on drugs who will use deception, weapons and everything at their disposal to make a mess of you... i know plenty of lads who fit into this description, very handy in a "streetfight"... usually 30 seconds of pure violence and aggression... but i doubt they could run the chippy Twisted Evil
Bob didnt say dont go for a run, in fact he specifically states that if you are training you should build stamina... its just not ESSENTIAL... it definitely isnt... im proof! bounce

flip side of the coin... lads who spend loads of time in the gym, fit as whippets, know loads of funky moves, but no heart in them, no evil, completely useless in a "streetfight" you dont want them on your doorteam, you dont want them backing you up if it goes off...

i would have thought it was a really obvious point im surprised people get stuck on that one

as to defending from the back? how many times have you been attacked from behind and not simply just spun to face them? for me it was once out of about 30 full on fights... and it only occured coz i was in denial about what was going off
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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  iPat on Sat Oct 28, 2006 3:47 pm

did that 80 (?) year old war verteran in Germany have stamina? lol!

Excellent training today in northampton Bob, McFann and Chai surpassed themselves.

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  Guest on Sun Oct 29, 2006 5:47 am

Lots of fights are won by people in different circumstances. Some have little strength, some have little aggression, some (many) have little skill etc. etc.

That doesn't make it a good idea to neglect any of these areas from your training.

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  PaulRichard on Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:12 pm

Is there a way to obtain these DVD's other then Ebay? I'm just not much of a fan of ebay, since you aren't gaurentied of a sell, and have never used them before.

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  Richard Grannon on Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:58 pm

you are guaranteed if you use the "but it now " function

however bob is selling them at the mo from his site

www.sassurvival.co.uk
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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  PaulRichard on Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:25 pm

richard grannon wrote:you are guaranteed if you use the "but it now " function

however bob is selling them at the mo from his site

www.sassurvival.co.uk

Cheers Richard

I'm looking forward to seeing them.

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  PaulRichard on Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:58 pm

richard grannon wrote:you are guaranteed if you use the "but it now " function

however bob is selling them at the mo from his site

www.sassurvival.co.uk

Hi again Richard

I wondered if you could clarify something. I was always told the SAS didn't have an offical system of unarmed combat, in fact Robin Horsfall in his book "Fighting Scared" states it.

What are the methods that are taught in this DVD, are they offical methods or things that have been picked up over the years?

Thanks

Paul

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Re: SAS Fighting Secrets - a DVD by Bob Spour

Post  cfadeftac on Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:29 am

Hi All,

I love these DVDs Bob looks and acts just like my old orienteering coach who was ex SAS.

My coach told a story that about ten years after he left the army he was teaching Phys Ed, when one of his students decided to grab him from behind as a joke. Well he said it was instinct that he instantly dropped to one knee and gave the young man a powerful elbow to the groin, he said this move probably stuck with him because the only time they trained for an attack from behind it was as a counter to having your throat slashed and thus the mindset was deadly serious.

Andrew

PS He also mentioned that when he served they only taught the palm and the elbow and then to go for vital targets. I do not have any more than this he was my coach for about five years and really only talked about his military service a couple of times and unarmed combat a couple of times as well, though he was teaching the local police.

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