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Army March 17, 2011
MILITARY Self Defence (MSD)
training must continue evolving
with new equipment and operation-
al experience to remain relevant,
according to Senior Instructor Maj
In the 10 years since its introduc-
tion, 8181 exponents and more than
600 instructors have qualified in 314
MSD courses throughout the Army.
Maj Faure said the new combat
body armour system and non-lethal
weapons technology due to enter ser-
vice in the near future would change
the shape of future MSD training.
"These changes will create oppor-
tunities and challenges for MSD to
evolve if it's to remain relevant," he
"The first principle of MSD -- one
mind, any weapon -- won't change, but
the execution of some techniques may
change with the new capabilities com-
Maj Faure said the success of the
current course over the previous close
quarter fighting and military unarmed
combat models rested partly with ADF
PTIs, who had embraced the MSD
mindset and instruction methodology.
"They're our experts in physical
training and they have a sound under-
standing of delivering safe and realis-
tic training," he said.
"The other key to the program's
success has been the Military
Unarmed Combat Cell, which was set
up in 2006 as a temporary unit to over-
see the widespread implementation of
a self-defence program for all soldiers.
"During its short existence, the cell
delivered the current MSD package,
manual, DVD and about 40 courses,
but its main purpose was to develop
the necessary MSD skills in the PTI
The MSD course was developed
using the experience of past and
present ADF personnel, specialised
Australian police units and the US
Marine Corps' martial arts program.
World-class civilian subject-matter
experts also contributed, including Ray
Floro (edged weapon awareness), John
Will (program and instructor develop-
ment) and Hunter Armstrong (combat
"The result is a world-class course
providing soldiers, sailors and airmen
with the necessary mindset and con-
cepts to deal with the more aggressive
situations involving unarmed combat."
As well as evolving with the times
and technology, Maj Faure said he
hoped the course would improve upon
its already low injury rate of 2.1 per
"I believe lowering the rate of inju-
ries further to, say, 1.5 per cent, is an
achievable goal for this type of train-
ing," he said.
"We can do it with a greater
emphasis on instructor development to
create real subject matter experts.
"RMC, ADFA and the School of
Infantry have conducted courses and
achieved lower injury rates than the
average, which I believe is due to the
professionalism of their instructors and
these units having an ongoing commit-
ment to regular instructor development
to enhance skills and knowledge."
Fighting fit for the future
Hand to hand: Soldiers from 3CSSB conduct edged-weapon training as part of the Military Self Defence
Photo by LCpl Mark Doran
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