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Kill Or Get Killed Paperback – October 1, 1976

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Kill Or Get Killed + Get Tough! How to Win in Hand-to-Hand Fighting, as Taught to the British Commandos, and the U.S. Armed Forces + Shooting to Live With the One Hand Gun
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Paladin Press (October 1, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581605587
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581605587
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Col. Rex Applegate was universally recognized as America's foremost authority on close combat with or without weapons.

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Customer Reviews

This book is full of information that you can actually use.
C. Kruse
He does a great job of highlighting the weaknesses of target type shooting for handgun training for self defense/combat situations.
S. Peek
If that happens, then things have really gone to hell, and I am in deep, deep trouble.
Scott Burright

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

131 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Alan D. Cranford VINE VOICE on July 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Kill or Get Killed" is not about self-defense. Rex Applegate wrote this book for offensive combat. In his chapter on handguns, Applegate wrote that there was no defending with the handgun-he trained his students to ATTACK first. The chapters on unarmed and improvised weapon fighting were about asymmetrical combat-your enemy might have a knife, and you had a chair. The sections on riot control may seem to have little bearing on personal defense; Applegate wrote "Riot Control Material and Techniques" during the turbulent 1960's.

"Kill or Get Killed" is history. It was cutting-edge stuff in 1943, and will still work today. I refer to "expert systems" and "idiot systems" for personal combat-the former will be very effective, but you need years of training (synthetic experience) under the guidance of a competent instructor and with full school facilities. "Idiot systems" have limited effectiveness, but within 40 hours or so of drilling with another student you will be an effective combatant. "Kill or Get Killed" is what I call an "idiot system" and it follows the KISS principle. If you think you can read a comic book and become a super ninja commando in less than fifteen minutes, reality will soon prove the error of your ways. On the other hand, if you read "Kill or Get Killed," then use it to produce a training program, then actually do the drills involved, within a few weeks of hard work you'll be more dangerous to an attacker than your attacker is to you. There are better methods of close quarter shooting with pistol and long gun-Rex Applegate produced a video on modern point shooting. A word about point shooting versus using the sights-you need to do both to be a competent shooter.
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101 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Scott Burright on February 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The review posted here by Alan D. Cranford touched on all the high points that I would mention and with an expertise that is quite beyond mine. I want to zero in on a fine point about the philosophy espoused in this book versus the "martial arts" mentality so prevalent today, particularly as it bears on unarmed defense against a man wielding a knife.

Another reviewer summed up what I call the "martial arts mentality" when he recommends studying Krav Maga to learn unarmed techniques for disarming a knife-wielding attacker. Where it says "Krav Maga," you may substitute the name of any fighting system, traditional or made-up, and there you have a statement that would fit into a discouragingly large number of martial arts books and schools.

I'll be blunt. For at least 99% of us, the phrase "knife disarm" is just crazy talk, and if you try such a thing in real life, you will probably die.

Assuming you are lucky enough to notice that a person is threatening you with a knife before he has stuck the knife in you, and assuming you are not at the moment pointing a weapon at him, your number one priority should be getting away from that knife so that he can't cut or stab you with it. Because if he starts doing that, you will probably die.

And at the risk of belaboring the obvious, if you go reaching for a guy's knife arm, he will almost certainly cut and stab you plenty, even if he's a complete punk out of his mind on booze or drugs. If you go near the knife, the knife will probably go in you. I hope that's clear enough.

What Applegate advises is decidedly not to grapple with the knife guy. Instead, he says to pick up a chair and use it lion-tamer style. That's excellent advice.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Kill or Get Killed; In twenty-five years of study in the field of self-defence and combat I have never read a more concise and realistic work. Colonel Applegate is a man who has been there and done that. His unique insights and simple techniques are easy to read, follow, and understand, and they come, not from some Dojo or firearms compitition, but from years of service, both to his own country and others around the world. If you want to KNOW how to defend yourself, come what may, buy this book and memorize every page.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Robert Gonzalez on July 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book tells it the way it is. Long ago, dirty fighting wasn't our way of doing things. Cheap shots were unacceptable, and the good guy always wore the white hat. Our country went to war, and our troops were getting beat down and killed by a brutal enemy who had no rules. This book helped change all that. Written by Col. Rex Applegate, formerly of the OSS, it taught a lot of combat troops how to fight to win- to be as brutal and savage as the enemy. Applegate's classic text shows all the tricks to disable or kill the enemy with a knife, gun and even your bare hands. No fancy moves, no John Wayne nonsense (sorry Duke), and no BS!! This is the real deal!
The pages on close combat is the best part of the book and more than justifies the price. The chapters on small arms is interesting as well, teaching cover, concealment, and point shooting, as opposed to aimed fire. It's obvious thst Col. Applegate was an advocate of realistic firearms training (silhouette targets in a killhouse opposed to bullseyes at the range), and although some of the techniques and weapons depicted are dated, it makes for good reading, and one could learn the fundamentals of combat shooting from these chapters. Police officers could learn a few defensive tactics that may give them the edge they need in a streetfight or while trying to subdue a combative suspect, but I would not recommend the use of some of the techniques for handling prisoners, as they are very outdated and unsafe....Also interesting is Applegate's chapter on battling Communist tactics and stategy, a bit of nostalgia for all you Cold War Commandos, ready to take on the reds!
Read this book and LIVE!!...
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