John Styers

Most people have only been exposed to John Styers' work through the book Cold Steel.

It is important to remember that this book begins with an overview of the melee-directed BASIC course. Elements covered by the system include bayonets, knives, sticks and unarmed combat. Styers developed this "system" for BASIC training.

The framework for all of these methods is still consistent. The basic principles of using bayonets, knives, unarmed combat, and even work are the same.

Pay particular attention to the "pose" used for bayonets, knives and unarmed joints. The same position. The “body” mechanisms involved in all proposed methods are their core foundation. This in itself shows "genius."

What we see in "cold steel" is not the STYERS method! It is the "system" developed by STYERS for BASIC training. John Styers is a person with good knowledge and skills in many people's struggles.

Those who know Styers tell us about his broad interests, knowledge and proven skills in many melee methods. From "French" style bayonet fights, to "Russian" sword fights, to boxing, wrestling, Jiu Jitsu, and of course "dirty" battles.

Regarding the STYERS tool as shown in "Cold Steel", it must also be considered that this is only a small part of Styers' overall skill and tool combat capability. This is a basic training system!

Other sources have proved this. This man is the master of the knifesmith.

The tooling system taught by Cold Steel is now excellent. The "problems" that others often quote are related to the lack of understanding of the strategies and techniques presented by "they" rather than any actual errors in the STYERS approach.


First, Styers is training men for the battlefield COMBAT! Not for "duel." He [correctly speaking] assumes that in the so-called "fog" of war, people will restore the pure "animal" instinct and move to the right for "killing." Think about this! During the frenzy of real battles, you and your enemies will reduce the battle with the knife. Men kill and kill around you. Your natural instinct for SURVIVAL will kill you. You will hold the knife as strong as possible [your life now depends on this weapon] and move forward for killing! [Whenever you waste other people to kill you] You won't go to "Spar" or "Duel", you have to kill, survive and continue your next threat or goal. Styers KNEW's real "kill or be killed" battle is like. He realized that most men in this grim situation would instinctively grab their knives with "hands on" or "ice" grips or "despicable" "hammers." They will attack them with a firm killing intention. This is the basis of the Styers method!

Now, the "element" of the Styers method depends on the BODY position, the ARM position and the KNIFE position.

There are so many "experts" on the right. Forget about any "techniques", thrust, slashes or "no matter what". Without the proper body, arm and tool position, all the "techniques" in the world can't be realized!

Without a true understanding of the Styers FUNDAMENTAL tactics and what steps must be taken to make it effective, then all of this will not exceed two attempts to cut and stab the other. This is not what Styers envisioned.

About "meat and potatoes":

1. Position –

Whether you see the "Styers" position from the "classic" fencer's posture, or the Styers demo [for continuity] or simply advance [lead leg] back [real leg] step, as long as your UPPER torso remains Square and your body rests on your legs "like spring", you are doing very well. BALANCE must be placed at your center point and followed by RAISED. Toes and KNEES pointed out the move!

Key points: Body SQUARED. Torso ERECT. Go down to Bala. BALANCE is concentrated. After the promotion.

2. Arm position –

Grab the knife: the blade is perpendicular to the ground. Thumb EXTENDED down backstrap. Slightly up the CANT or the blade "cocked up".

Weapon bearing hand and arm: Pull in IN. The upper arm is slightly rearward from the vertical. The elbows are tucked in, not far from the side. The lower ARM rises on the plane with the opponent THROAT / EYES. The hand of the weapon should not break the plane of the upper body! This is the key!

Deputy: Pull like a weapon carrying a hand.

Common mistakes:

Wrong foot placement.

Tilt to the opponent or enter the opponent.

Chin / Head THRUST out.

The hand of the weapon expands and / or spreads!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Read it again!

The level of the tool and the ground are not pointing to the opponent's eyes/throat!

The deputy SPLAYED is on one side.

Now why make this method successful or fail.

First, try this experiment [this is what you have to do]. If you don't follow this example honestly, don't even talk about this "method":

Grab the real Sharp Fighting Knife.


Stretching at full arm length, the shoulders are "twisted" to increase the stretch.

Tell your training partner DISTANCE himself from weapons to RANGE, he feels in a combative "safe" range. Someone measured the distance.

Pull the weapon arm into the 3/4 extension and repeat. Someone measured the distance.

Pull down again to the half-bend 90 degree position and repeat.

Now pull the weapon back to your hips and do it again.

Compare the measurements at each "distance". Most people will be consistent with the weapon tip at the actual "measurement" safety distance. As your arms move backwards, they almost always move, but the "measured" distance remains very close between all given positions.

This is the key to style.

Extend the arm and knife completely out of OUT. Your partner maintains this critical safety zone from the edge of your truly sharp blade. Can you easily cut or push him from that position? not really. A firm BODY sprint or step is all you can do to close the "gap". too slow.

Now – Pull the arm all the way in, so that it will hardly damage the sides of the body. Again, your training partner will have a DEFINITE trend to determine the distance measured by the safe zone, but he will enter. The actual measured distance between him and the tip changes little. His safe area is still his safe area.

What changed was your ability to reach him in the fastest non-closest telegram.

From the PULLED IN arm position, SQUARED TORSO and BALANCED poses, you can perform the fastest, cobra-like attack or counterattack with a large number of RANGE.

Any position other than this, occupied by your enemy will put him at serious disadvantage. He will almost always provide you with something and what you will offer.

His range and speed will be affected by his position. Your range and speed will be enhanced by yourself.

Importance of blade position: Maintain the blade tip at the angle. why? At this angle, it is more difficult for opponents to measure the size and length of your blade. It may look like a MINOR "point", but in a real blade battle, I will use anything that might give me an edge.


All you really need is a thrust, a slash [do not use the back snaps!], "stop hitting" and "hand cut". Steps and piercing are also useful.

If "In-Quartata and Passata-soto" are not comfortable for you, don't use them! Since both of these actions are "defensive" counterattacks against the most serious attacks, they are not mandatory.

The five actions mentioned above are more than enough. Practice them forward, back and left and right. I personally don't train the "back" snap on the "fast slash" because I know that there was an event in the real battle, and when the target lifted his shoulder reflexively, the knife returned from the "back" handle. Fall off. Pass the first diagonal line of the right temple and eyes. This is the story I have heard, so I will not comment further.

Goal: In terms of "goal"……………The best real-world advice I can offer is for FLESH! If you see the skin, go ahead!

Fingers, hands, wrists, throat/neck and face. In order to coup, we should keep "stepping and stabbing."

After the Second World War, John Stil's influence was really big. His method was developed during the Korean War, long after he was discharged from the US Marine Corps.

And…………………… His work as a FLAG salesman has brought him into contact with military bases and military personnel throughout the country!

There are more anecdotes and more information, but now it is enough.

When people disagree with dismissing different methods and/or ideas, I always get a "kick." Then, when I ask them to "tell me", they will get the whole GODDAMN error! Of course it looks like SIT. Because you are doing a good job!

Ok, I hope some of you have some useful insights.

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