What is the Close-Fight?

What is War, Combat, and the Close-Fight?
The Fundamental Science and Art of Combat
Physical action and Mental application

Two (2) methods of Action and the physical environment

Three (3) Factors of Combat

  • Fire/Striking with Firearms, hand-held Striking Weapons, or other Ballistic/Missile arm
  • Movement by Footwork and other means of mobility. 
  • Terrain determines
    1. Where you can Move and
    2. How to best Maneuver against the threat/opponent. Natural and man-made terrain features within the environment that provide positions of Cover and Concealment or areas for concealed movement


All physical and technological systems of Combat require intelligent decision-making

Three (3) Elements of Combat Power

  1. Firepower
    • What strikes and weapons to use at the effective Distance and Timing.
  2. Maneuver
    • How and Where to maneuver to strike and fire from a Position of Advantage.
  3. Protection
    • Your Firepower and Maneuver simultaneously protects you as you Attack. 

There are no Stances, no Blocks, and no Defense. Combat is dynamic not static. 

Defense is the holding of a static position on the ground or structure to repel attacks and prevent the enemy from gaining ground in a particular location. The actions in a defense are the same-fire and striking with movement and maneuver at Close-Quarters.

In the act of personal protection of oneself or others, Defense identifies that you are not the antagonist and threat. Therefore, you Attack to Defend and Attack the Attack.

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What is a Fight?
The Fire fight, Knife fight, and Fist fight are all the same.

The methods of action and effective tactics to Win the Fight and destroy or defeat threats are the same for all fights.

Two (2) Methods of Action:

  • Striking/Fire
  • Movement

Three (3) Tactical Actions that gain Firepower and Maneuver Superiority

  • Close-with and decrease the Range/Distance to increase your Striking/Firing precision
  • Concentrated or Converging Fire and Striking
  • Maneuver to the Flanks for the Position of Advantage
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The greatest single Advantage in the close-fight is the lethal skill and capabilities of the Edged Weapon.

“Only Cold Steel provides the ability to close with the enemy”.

General George S. Patton

Act with Advantage and Initiate the Attack
Gain Fire and Maneuver Superiority
Fix and Finish with Overmatch-decisive Timing of Striking, Fire and Maneuver

Source: US Army FM 7-5 INFANTRY Rifle Battalion 1940

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