AEF Real World Defense Training Series

Updated: September 23, 2015

Mr. West, I hope everything is going well with you. I do have a question for you. What is your opinion of internal boxing systems such as Tai Chi (the combat style), Bagua, and Hsingi? I work with a gentleman that swears by these systems. He pretty much dismisses external arts such as boxing, Muay Thai, and grappling as a whole. His point is that these are sports and as such they lack crippling/deadly techniques such as eye gouges, strikes to the throat, and groin strikes. I understand his point but I think it would be a pretty bad predicament to end up on the ground and not have any idea how to ‘move’ at that range. Also, boxing and Muay Thai, certainly incorporates contact sparring which I think should give a student some idea of what it is to protect your head and keep your hands up. Don’t get me wrong, I have respect for all methods and I do see the limitations of Thai boxing. With that said I think my friend is being a little bit narrow minded in his approach. All of the videos that he has shown me have very compliant training partners throwing single attacks in a very controlled manner. In fact the one time that I worked out with him the whole time was spent with me throwing a straight right or roundhouse swing in a very controlled slow motion while he countered with 5 – 6 moves off the my single strike. Again, I don’t mind some training like this but my question is how would he really know if his technique would really work real time? At any rate I look forward to your take on all this.


Response to Sid’s question. For full article please check out Real World Self Defense.

Dear Sid:

I am constantly being asked what it is American Extension Fighting is, what style is better and also being compared to other styles like Krav-maga. This is what I can tell you, all of my fight experience is a combination of technical learning and practical application. I am most closely related to the Krav-maga group due to their reality based no non-sense approach to self-defense and fitness. What I offer is much of the same, but more with respect to sports karate, boxing MMA (2xUFC Fighters in the early days before I went underground). What I will tell you is I have nothing but respect for all styles and systems. I agree some are more practical and effective than others and without question American Extension Fighting (AEF), Krav-maga, Bruce Lee’s Wing Chung are some of these.

  AEF is completely reality based at every level.  This is the reason behind this article. With all of the questions I think the easiest way to answer is to let experience guide me with my answers. I have had so many street fights, (No Rules). I have seen and talked to 1,000’s of students and fighters through the years and they all want the same thing; something that works in any and all situations. For this I have an advantage in teaching, talking and training. When I mentioned “dark side” when I was young I would do physical training, martial arts and fight training for 6 hours a day when I was not deployed under a rucksack. When I was training at the Callahan Boxing Gym, I was sparring all out and having a daily bloodletting. In addition I was going out at night, drinking and bar room brawling every week and at times every night. In those days I really wanted to see if what I was doing in the gym actually worked in the streets. After some time, I feel velocity took over and I thought that was the way life that was supposed to be that way.  I was wrong, but I learned through the years what works and what does not work in a quick or sustained street fight, against one or a gang, armed and unarmed. What works in a gym or dojo doesn’t always translate to effective self-defense or street fighting. So I not only learned, but I took time to apply fight science and applied it to technique variations with complete confidence of how to train for the flight or fight syndrome.

    When you get trained in the AEF programs you not only learn punches, kicks, strikes in general combined with blocks and counter attacks. This sounds like every other self-defense training in the world… right? Then they convince you everything is reality based and that it really works. Some of you know that many times the learned defensive techniques simply does not work when someone is trying to rob, kill or rape you. I will acknowledge is not easy. Anybody can pitch, but you will have to be able to catch. You know Joe Lewis once told me a fighter’s greatest asset is your ability to make quick decisions, while under fire. Trust me it is easier said than done. What I teach, is reality based. If it didn’t work in a street fight at full tilt when somebody was swinging a knife, bottle or piece of pipe at me, then I took it out or modified it to enhance your survivability. So I have won out over 2 knife wielding assailants and I have been stabbed. Experience is your best teacher…. Continued in Real World Self Defense