Re: What is "combat"?
Some very good points being made.
I mentioned a while back that their were cultural and demographic issues that impacted training in the military. These played a big part when ultimately deciding what we would spend our time training on. The program had to not only be relevant, but it had to be sustainable and something that our soldiers would be willing to do.
Japan, obviously, is a different culture, and the riot police a subset of a subset. What training might work there, may not work so well in the U.S.
All warrior cultures develop some sort of forging process for elite warriors. I proudly completed Ranger School a while back, one of my greatest mental and physical accomplishments. There were lots of technical things we did there, and it was a leadership school, but it was much more than that. (Kit points out some good examples above).
On the purpose of Combatives training:
My Friend and founder of Modern Army Combatives, Matt Larsen has some good quotes that I think escape people some times. They are key though to the importance of this type of training, and point to the realitive value of the technical aspects of training.
1. The Defining characterisitic of a warrior is the WILLINGNESS to close with and destroy the enemy.
2. The winner of the hand to hand fight is the guy whose buddy shows up first with a gun.
3. We do combatives not because we of the skills you learn will be useful in a fight, but because learning how to fight will make you a great fighter when the moment arises.
It is first and foremost about producing warriors, less about the technicial aspects. This is why, I think systems that focus on technical aspects of fighting vice the forging aspects of fighting fall on a less than enthusiastic audience when you present it to "warrior professionals" many times.
That and you always have the guys that are willing to collect the pay check, put on the uniform, and pretend. You will always have those guys in the system reqardless.