Life is unpredictable. Whether it’s a bear mauling, a mudslide, or a mugging, being prepared for the bad stuff is what RECOIL OFFGRID is all about.

Because manure happens, we know many of you carry some sort of self-defense tool, be it a gun, knife, pepper spray, tactical pen, or all the above. Alas, Murphy's Law often pops up, and there could be times when we might not be armed (think entering a court house or going on vacation in non-permissive regions). Then there are times when we just can’t access our weapon fast enough — especially during extreme close-quarters combat. Therefore, all preppers should consider learning empty-hand combatives or martial arts.

Knee Strikes for Self-Defense

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In Issue 16 of RECOIL OFFGRID, we’re bringing you enough information on knee strikes to aid in any SHTF self-defense situation. But can’t wait for the print magazine to go on sale in early October to become a napalm-kneeing ninja? Well, you’re in luck, my friend. Read on for extra techniques shown by a variety of martial-arts experts and exclusive content you can only get right here at

Breaking Free

In our feature called “Simply Smashing” in Issue 16 of our print edition, we discuss how a head clinch (often seen in Muay Thai and MMA matches) is a dangerous position to be in. When someone has their hands around your neck or head, you must escape because knees to your body or face are only moments away.

Michael Mananquil, head Muay Thai instructor at AB MMA in San Francisco, knows all too well the power of the knee strike: “When I was a young hotshot, one of the senior students grabbed me and knee'd me during sparring. For the remainder of the class, I was curled up in the corner, crying out of every pore.”

Now a Muay Thai world champion with 25 wins and four losses to his record, Mananquil says his knee strikes have helped him finish some big and tough contenders, allowing him to deliver devastating blows for someone of his size. With this in mind, the world champ shares two effective ways to escape and counter the deadly clinch of Muay Thai.

ABOVE: Clinch Counter – Robert Arnold goes for the Thai clinch. Not a position to hang-out in, Muay Thai coach Michael Mananquil quickly lowers his level and grabs Arnold around the waist. Mananquil continues to pull at the waist while digging his chin into his opponent’s chest. Having dumped Arnold to the ground, Mananquil can now continue the onslaught or make his escape.

BELOW: Clinch Counter Two – Arnold has the clinch on Mananquil. Not able to perform the first counter, Mananquil extends his back to prevent his head from being yanked down and jams his fingers into his opponent’s eyes. He circles his left hand inside, breaking the clinch, and following with an elbow strike and a knee strike to the groin. With an incapacitated bad guy, Mananquil steps back to assess the situation.

Indonesian Kneeing Knowledge

Pentjak silat is an ancient fighting system that focuses on close-quarters combat with blades and empty hands. Dr. Andre KnustGraichen, a master of several silat styles, shows us how to use the knee as a leveraging tool to disarm a machete attack. Take that, Jason Voorhees!

ABOVE: Silat Knee Assisted Machete Disarm – Against a machete slash, KnustGraichen angles his body away from the attack and parries with both hands. Continuing the trajectory of the slash, KnustGraichen traps the machete with his hand and knees. Once the weapon is under control KnustGraichen is able to disarm the attacker.

Craving for More Krav Maga

Tragically, Americans are becoming more aware of mass shooting scenarios due to recent news headlines. “Escape, hide, barricade, then fight” is the formula most trained professionals suggest you use if you’re faced with such a scary situation; here is the fight portion of that paradigm.

Edgar Gabriel, an instructor in Krav Maga (a popular system that is used by law enforcement and military around the world), shows us the rifle disarm.

ABOVE: Shotgun/Rifle Defense – Tony Hoang aims a shotgun at Edgar Gabriel's center mass. Immediately Gabriel angles his body and pushes the shotgun's muzzle offline. Gabriel brings his right hand in to reinforce the control and fires off a knee strike into Hoang's groin. Once Hoang is hitting the high notes of the Star Spangled Banner, Gabriel steps in and slams the muzzle of the shotgun into his head. Gabriel now has control of the gun and moves to a safe distance.

About the Author

Dr. Conrad Bui is a San Francisco-based chiropractor and martial artist with more than 30 years of continuous experience. He regularly gives and receives knees as a Muay Thai coach at World Team USA under Ajarn Sam Phimsoutham. A frequent contributor to RECOIL OFFGRID, Conrad is also a guru in the art of Indonesian Pentjak Silat Serak under Guru Besar Andre KnustGraichen. He is currently working on his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under the tutelage of Professor Diego Herzog.


Edgar Gabriel
Academy of Combative Defense and Fitness

Diego Herzog

Andre KnustGraichen
Pentjak Silat USA

Michael Mananquil

Sam Phimsoutham
World Team USA

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