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March 10th, 2005, 08:02 PM
I am planning on working on a counter-terrorism story but I am a little slow on the techniques of miltary or special ops.

Research would help me alot which I am planning to do on certain weapons and martial arts.

Anyways, if you know of any weapons they use in modern black ops, special ops, or military please post their names so I can research them.

I have one question for now, if someone managed to get a grasp with their arms around someones neck and then broke it, how long would the person live and how would science say it felt?

Hereford Eye
March 10th, 2005, 08:22 PM
For starters, check out Writer's Writing Resources, post #33. Part of good writing is doing the research so you understand what you're writing.

March 10th, 2005, 08:30 PM
Holy RocketSheep! thats alot of information!

Looks like I will be doing alot of studying, looks like it will have to wait till Summer due to all the math I have.

March 10th, 2005, 09:02 PM
Don't forget first aid - try this Navy (http://www.vnh.org/StandardFirstAid/toc.html) site - its not quite the same as an army medic would do but its better than nothing.

March 11th, 2005, 04:01 AM
Check out "Get Tough" by Capt W E Fairbairn. He is a legend in Close Quarter Combat. Or if you're looking for something a little more hands on, track down a class in Krav Maga. It's the style used by the Israeli special forces.


Joe Bloggs
March 11th, 2005, 08:36 AM
A friend of mine was in the special forces (I won't say which) but apparently they get taught to use just about anything as a lethal weapon from newspapers to credit cards etc.
There's a name for it i.e. it's recognised martial art, but I can't remember as they all sound the same to me. :o

March 11th, 2005, 08:39 AM
A friend of mine was in the special forces (I won't say which)

:D he he he, what you think the 'enemy' is going to track you down and then ask you who your mate is?

March 11th, 2005, 09:11 AM
I am inclined to think that a good place to start would be the military section of any bookshop, introductory texts on the history and development of spec ops and special warfare units are pretty common (since this is an area of interest that has a high glamour quotient, and the public eat it up).

Personally I would say that if you are looking for an authentic 'feel' to what you are writing then a good starting point would be to home in on exactly what makes special units 'special'. Its not their weapons or knowledge of martial arts (more on that later), and to a lesser extent its their unconventional tactics ... its that these guys are the steadiest planners, physically fittest and mentally most focussed individuals in the whole military machine.

Many spec ops members will physically test on a level comparable with an olympic athlete (not a top one, but a lower tier one), while simultaneously having the mental fortitude to function under extreme stress and in extreme conditions. They will most likely be educated to graduate level, speak a few languages and have extensive task-specific training in anything from explosives / demolitions to field-expedient medicine.

What I'm getting at is that what is special about these guys is not the gear they carry or even individual components of their training, its the fact that they are overall outstanding performers in pretty much any environment you put them in.


As far as weapons go : This varies widely from service to service, but broadly speaking for counterterrorism the common denominator will be the submachinegun (almost always a german-made Heckler & Koch MP5 or variant) and pistol (Glock, SIG, 1911, any hi-performing pistol in a major calibre).

As far as martial arts go : Actual hand-to-hand combat training, especially in traditional martial arts, is a poor investment for these guys. More common are close quarter battle programmes which focus on empty hand techniques as a worst-case scenario and only a way to fight back to your weapon. The training would run the whole gamut of edged weapons, impact weapons and shooting in extremely close quarters, as well as how to retain control of your weapons when someone is trying to pull them off you or spoil your draw / access to them.

While many martial arts instructors will advertise themselves as 'special forces instructors' or teachers to various types of commandos, few organisations retain the services of these kinds of teachers for long. More common is a buffet approach where lots of different programmes are tried for a certain amount of time and then they move on. For example, american SEALs used to use the SCARS programme, then moved on to a type of Jeet Kun Do, and are now onto something else. There is no 'one' deadly special forces martial art, there are only competing approaches which gain favour for a limited time. The common denominator of programmes which are more succesful than others tends to be : Emphasis on use of weapons where possible, emphasis on simplicity (gross motor skills rather than fine motor skills and fancy techniques which break down under stress) etc.

Hope this is helpful.

Incidentally I have written the above speaking in broadly sweeping terms about spec ops, but of course this is only an umbrella term, and there will be notable differences between traditional special operations units deployed to a theatre of war, and a specific counter-terrorist unit.

March 11th, 2005, 11:28 AM
To get the feel for how other writers handle this kind of thing, you could try reading some of Tom Clancy's stuff - like Rainbow Six for example. He gives a lot of technical information, sometimes a little too much for me.

And when it comes to military-type stuff, there's no substitute for experience. If I remember, Subzero, you're on the younger side of 18 aren't you? (Assuming 1992 was your year of birth). You could check out cadet programs in your area. You can learn a whole lot of stuff through experience that no amount of research will lead you to.

March 13th, 2005, 09:32 AM
EVERYTHING that the military does can be found in field manuals. Go find a local Army Surplus store and they probably have a few there.