Martial Blade Concepts (MBC) is a modern science based edged-weapon system designed to provide it’s practitioners with a court defensible means of self-defense using low profile tools legal in all jurisdictions. That is a big mission statement, but Michael Janich delivers.
Janich was a Soldier and an intelligence officer with DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency). He is a talented instructor across several arts, featured on the cover of Black Belt magazine in September of 2009. Janich has designed knives for Spyderco, the Masters of Defense knife company, as well as custom knife makers Mike Snody, Wally Hayes, Brent Beshara, and Mickey Yurco, and Combat Elite. His designs include the “Tempest,” “Yojimbo,” and “Yojimbo2” tactical folders and the “Ronin” and “Kalista” fixed blades. He has become a major internet figure with dozens of informative and highly regarded videos.
His story begins thirty-five years ago. As a frustrated martial arts student, Janich found the knife defenses he was being taught contrived and unworkable. A wise sensei gave him advise which would change his life: “If you want to learn how to defend against a weapon, first learn how to use that weapon.”
Janich spent years studying and practicing eskrima, arnis, and kali. His curiosity led to hundreds of hours of analysis and experimentation. Many of the techniques he was learning used impractical weapons from another age and tactics designed to fight conquistadors in an unconstrained guerrilla fight for survival. Defending oneself with 50 cuts, slashing the neck and disemboweling, attackers sent a message to oppressive occupiers.
To a responding police officer and crime scene investigators, these same tactics can make a legal justified act of self-defense look like a vicious knife murder. After a comprehensive study of technique, knife carry laws and self-defense law, Janich has produced a workable, comprehensive self-defense system: Martial Blade Concepts (MBC).
The MBC curriculum includes a broad range of skills to keep you out of trouble. Unarmed defenses against knives, empty-hand tactics, the use of improvised weapons, and firearms are integrated with situational awareness, avoidance, and de-escalation to provide a complete and adaptable approach to personal protection.
At the pointy end, MBC tactics focus on reasonable and necessary responses to attacks by sophisticated biomechanical targeting, with small, legal-to-carry knives. Street experiences and experts in the field of tactical medicine have validated the system’s “stopping power”—the ability to immediately and decisively stop an assailant from continuing his attack. The legal concept of proportionality defends a victim who stops an attack without unnecessary use of force.
I have been taught knife fighting and defense over and over again in different schools. My training has left me with an intense respect for the damage a properly trained guy can do with a knife. The only good news is the teenager mugging you has no training.
In the Army, I learned to use a bayonet. While the sharp stick has proven effective, it lacks conceal-ability and subtlety. All I remember from knife fighting class in Ranger school was that you shouldn’t show the enemy your knife before you shove it into him and how to do rear sentry take downs. In the Special Forces Course, I learned the X-block for an over-head knife attack. If done improperly, it brings the attacking knife into your abdomen. Before MBC I hadn’t learned anything that I really thought would work. My working plan has always been to run away from a knife as fast as possible risking, at most, a severe cut on my ass.
I recently attended a Martial Blade Concepts Advanced Skills Seminar with Gebhard Solutions in Costa Mesa California. Michael Janich flew in for two days of solid training. Most of the students had been training with Uli Gebhard and displayed a solid grasp of the techniques.
This seminar covered the philosophy and techniques of the Martial Blade Concepts curriculum. The basis of the system is recognizing attack patterns and taking appropriate action to decisively take the attacker out of the fight by targeting muscles and tendons that allow the attacker to hold and wield his weapon and to stand and move.
For a system to work under stress, it requires natural, easily learned movements that take into account human instincts. MBC teaches sophisticated, yet uncomplicated skills using gross motor movements. The MBC guys say that if you can’t grasp the basic mechanics of a technique within a few tries, it’s probably not going to work well for you under stress.
Simple techniques are easier to recall under stress and program as reflex. Most of us don’t use a knife as a primary weapon. Knife skills compete with many other skills for limited training time. If you can’t train regularly but need basic knife tactics, MBC has the system for you.
One of the tenants of Filipino martial arts adopted by MBC is the concept of “defanging the snake.” The original technique attacks the arm to force the attacker to drop the weapon and lethal-force thrusts to the abdomen with a large blade.
MBC focuses on the use of small, legal, practical knives (typically folders). They “defang the snake” using precise biomechanical cutting to sever the flexor tendons and/or muscles on the inside of the forearm to destroy the attacker’s ability to grip a weapon. It is then followed by cutting the bicep and triceps to destroy coordination motion of the weapon arm. The last cuts are on the quadriceps above the knee to destroy the attacker’s mobility and allow you to escape.
Attacking a torso with three-inch blade probably won’t stop a determined threat, but MBC cutting tests and empirical research of actual knife wounds show that biomechanical cutting can immobilize a threat with minimal force.
You can find the schedule for Michael Janich Seminars HERE. There are MBC authorized instructors all around the world.
If you can’t make it to classes in person, MBC has developed an innovative Distance Learning Program. You first watch the Martial Blade Concepts videos to gain an understanding of the system philosophy. Other videos provide a focused private lesson on a specific skill, including fine points and additional teaching elements typically reserved for private MBC students.
The students enrolled in the program also have the opportunity to request specific topics to be included in the DLP library. If the current videos aren’t complete enough or don’t address a particular skill, they’ll produce a special video lesson to fill that void and give you the information you need.
Martial Blade Concepts Distance Learning Program Complete Package includes the following resources:
- A one-year subscription to the MBC online Distance Learning Program library which currently contains more than 14 hours and 33 minutes of unique instruction.
- A one-year subscription to the official MBC e-mail newsletter, The Plan.
- Access to the MBC closed internet forum and the MBC training community.
- The ability to request the production of videos on specific topics for inclusion in the DLP library.
- Two personalized video reviews of your MBC skills. You shoot and submit videos of you demonstrating your MBC skills which will be personally reviewed and critiqued, providing specific feedback to help you refine your technique and training goals.
- A $150.00 discount off tuition to Martial Blade Camp—the premier MBC training event of the year.
The MBC Distance Learning Program Complete makes it all available to you HERE for $500.
If you want to learn a practical system of self-defense that is scientifically sound, ethically responsible, and legally defensible, Martial Blade Concepts has a program to train you that won’t leave you broke.