Full Description

Managing Confrontations is a relatively complex class with a relatively simple goal.  We want you to understand the entire situation leading up to the start of a fight.  Many places can teach you to fight and we offer other classes on how to use weapons.  Very few people teach anything about the time between “everything’s fine” to the start of an attack.

A significant part of Managing Confrontations is the Managing Unknown Contacts (MUC) framework developed by Craig Douglas at Shivworks.  This module is included with Craig’s permission because there is no better method to handle the initial interaction with an unknown person.  Much other previous work has also been included and references to original contributors will be made during class where appropriate.

We will slowly build our framework by teaching a portion then integrating it in live scenarios.  Piece by piece we will increase your ability to deal with stress, observation, and decision-making.  Eventually the process of understanding the interaction and pre-fight phase of the fight will become second nature and automatic leaving you free to make decisions on what to do next.

Finally, we’ve added a module covering the basics of the types of combatives likely to be encountered in a fight.  There will not be any belts discussed and this won’t be techniques that require years of practice to master.  These are the fundamental basics for interacting with another person during a fight.  There are no style points, and it will not be pretty.  We cover some points on striking to close distance.  We cover the standing clinch portion in great detail as most fights are won or lost here.  We then cover fundamentals of ground fighting and what you need to know.  This information has been around for centuries and the lessons learned here are found in every martial art around the world.  We will keep what is needed, remove the fluff and style, and present it in an easy to understand concise way.  You will be given opportunities to pressure test the material if you so choose.

I’ve said before if I could only share one piece of the puzzle I’ve learned over my years of training, it would be this material.  I honestly use this material every single week, often multiple times.  It can be used on everyone from coworkers to panhandlers and muggers to ski-masked murderers.  Understand how criminals operate, break their pattern, and stay ahead of the curve.

This class is designed for both men and women. Children 14+ are common students and encouraged to attend. If you have questions about a family member attending, please contact the instructors below. The class will be active, but only lightly physical with the ability to do more or less as you choose.

Topics Covered

  • Criminal Assault Indicators
  • Mentality of an Attacker
  • Ways to Maintain Awareness Without Being Paranoid
  • Mobility is Everything
  • Schematic for How Fights Take Place
  • When and How Weapons Come into Play
  • Avoiding the Legal Aftermath
  • Key Points of Striking, Clinching, and Ground Fighting
  • Much, Much More


Students in this class should be willing to learn and have an open mind.  Bring a pen and paer for notes and a handout will be given that denotes the high points.  This is a physical class, but not a physically demanding class.  We’ll be moving around, yelling, talking, role-playing, and acting.  Bring trainer weapons if you would like, but we won’t be using live weapons at all.  There will be a break before we start on combatives where everyone will remove live weapons.  We will work around any amount of mobility issues or injuries and the ability to fight will not be tested or examined.  You are even able to simply watch demos of the ideas if you would like.


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Current Offerings

Student Testimonials

  • Thanks to Josh and Mike for putting on the class and sharing your knowledge. I have been doing kickboxing/jiu-jitsu/MMA stuff for years but you guys forced me to look at things from a “confrontation” perspective where I am used to a “sport” perspective. I found the pre-fight indicators discussion particularly interesting and the MUC exercise very good.

    Sometimes you read a book and think, “Everybody needs to read this!” This is how I felt about this class. Some excellent ideas and concepts were introduced and discussed. Then we got to put them into practice and apply them in role-playing scenarios with other students. Well worth the time and effort to attend. Bring someone you care about who may not know how unprepared he/she is.

    Brian, Indiana
  • Good class yesterday. Some very good confirmation and some new things too. For the record I can walk today without any more pain than normal. Josh and mike are good teachers who are delivering content that many people have no idea about and yet need. You should think about this class in the future. If you guys want to do this class over the winter nearby, let me know I think I know a place where it can happen.

    Aron, Indiana
  • I’ve been on this soapbox before, but that won’t stop me. This kind of training should be on EVERYONE’s short list. Gun person? You still need this. Not a gun person? You need it, too. Your kids and SOs? Yep, them. This is the kind of thing that most of us will actually use, maybe many times. This is the kind of training that decreases the odds that you’ll be a victim, the kind that shows you how to recognize and avoid bad situations in which you might otherwise either be a victim or have to deal with the consequences of having had to use your gun to defend yourself.

    Josh and Mike did a great job of putting together a block of material that works. Josh’s analytical, no-BS, test it and see if it works personality is perfect for this. No dogma, no avoidance of off-limits topics. I like that. I also admired the lack of ego, or the ability to check it at the door. This was the first time I met josh, so I’m not really sure which it was, but he was not hiding behind the ego shield in class like some do.

    This training was worth much more than the very reasonable fee these guys are charging. Don’t let the fact that they’re not charging “I’m a famous YouTube personality” prices dissuade you — this is excellent stuff.

    Thank you to Josh and Mike, to our hosts for opening their home to us, to Evan for his always excellent AARs, and to all of the other students who bring a variety of backgrounds, ideas, and value to training. It was a pleasure to spend the day with all of you and learn together.

    Get this kind of training. Really. If it’s not THIS class, take one like it. Yes, even you, the ones saying you don’t need it because you carry a gun.

    Chris, Indiana
  • I was a little tired and had a few bruises, but I felt great and was glad I spent the day training outside my comfort zone. I was able to identify some of my failure points and now know what I need to work on (consistent response to unknown contacts, strength, endurance, a set of usable clinch techniques).

    I would recommend Mike and Josh of Paladin Combatives to those looking to add some diversity to their training resume. They are a new company and Josh is still gaining valuable teaching experience so they aren’t as polished as some trainers, but I actually found their “every man” approach refreshing. The fact that they asked for student feedback at the close of class and then took notes on the suggestions tells me that they won’t fall into the dogmatic staleness that some companies do. And that means that their next class will probably be even better than this one.

    Evan, Indiana
  • The subject matter was spot on and solid. Everyone should have some hand to hand combative skill set, if you CC or not. This mindset and skill can not be taken, malfunction or run out of projectiles, you do have to clean it once in awhile. This weapon, you, can go anywhere. Across state lines or buildings that prohibit lawful carry. Josh did a very good job of teaching the subject. He didn’t present it, he knows the subject and you can tell that he enjoys instructing. I have been to other training facilities taking hand to hand, knife and other class’s. This is a well rounded class with solid information that anyone who is serious about personal protection needs to know. Thanks to everyone who put the class on, good people and a good class.

    Chad, Indiana
  • I’ve actively carried a firearm for self defense for a number of years, am an active competitive shooter, a firearms instructor and love taking shooting classes.  However, as I’ve learned more about self defense, I realize that what happens BEFORE the gun clears the holster is extraordinarily important…and few people are teaching this subject.  I took Managing Confrontations from Paladin Combatives in December 2013.  Mike and Josh do a great job instructing how to recognize a threat, how to work towards deescalation, and, if things go south, how to physically maintain control of the situation and attacker.  Recent self defense events show that there are massive implications to the decisions prior to drawing your gun.  I’ve made the commitment to protect my family and myself by carrying a firearm, and I have a duty to know as much about how to stay out of a gunfight as I do about winning one.

    Kris R, Michigan