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RAT History

The history of RAT is similar to that of many other martial arts from other parts of the world. It was created out of a need where there were apparent missing links in the conventional martial arts.


Photo of Steve, Mike and Paul. Mike doing splits

RAT has very much its roots in a non-competitive military practical application in South Africa.

While serving as unarmed combat instructor in one of his roles, Steven realised that his conventional martial arts background was not suitable for battle hardy soldiers who need skills to save their lives, as opposed to following a particular belief system about martial arts. These men were involved in a complex bush unconventional war and required a flexible approach to combat.

Photo of Mike doing his powerful back kick - Durban, 1980's

One of the problems with singular belief systems in many martial arts is that they also sometimes lead to practitioners adopting a singular or dominant principle strategy. For example,some martial artists believe that they should only used striking techniques. While this may and does work well in certain contexts and scenarios, for soldiers this is not practical. Soldiers, and those familiar with some older martial arts, know that they need to use whatever strategies and tools are available at their disposal depending on the situation they are presented with. This is the foundation of RAT.

RAT initially had no name in its initial phases in one Special Forces regiment, but by the time that it was used in another Special Forces regiment it had a name and a fully developed syllabus, based on hard physical training, strategy training, flexible theories, and the foundation to take on different interpretations based on context and needs. RAT is like a martial art with a universal type of theoretical framework allowing for every possibility, but only taking on the useful pieces of the puzzle for different life applications. A RAT practitioner should be able to fit into any martial arts situation or style. It is almost like every martial art is part of the complete picture.

We are proud that RAT has developed in the footsteps of legendary soldiers and that RAT might have also played some small role in helping those soldiers who an are integral part of the history of South Africa and the almost mythical role that they played in the South African border war: The Recces.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 October 2009 09:42