The History of the Todd System of Close Combat

Geoff (Tank)Todd was originally trained by the late Harry Baldock, a World War II New Zealand Army Unarmed Combat chief instructor who learned his skills from the British. Harry instructed in New Zealand from 1927 until his retirement in 1982 when he handed the school over to Geoff Todd. Geoff Todd travelled to New York on Harry Baldock's advice to train under Charles Nelson a veteran of the Guardal Canal and a marine corps hand to hand combat instructor of over ten years. In Charles Nelson's retirement from the Marine Corps he opened his School of Self Defence in New York City specialising in self-defence, hand-to-hand combat and police training. This was the first self defence facility in the United States.

For over 15 years Geoff travelled internationally including to New York for extensive and intensive training in European Military close combat systems including the Applegate and the Nelson systems. Eventually Geoff achieved chief instructor and life membership status with the Charles Nelson School and system, an accolade shared by only a select and chosen few. During Charles Nelson's time in the Marine Corps he was trained by and in the systems of such Military combative greats as Pat O'Neill, Colonel Bill, Sergeant Kelly and Captain William Fairbairn. Geoff gained from Charles Nelson 60 years of battle proven wisdom that he'd been taught by some of the evolutionary pioneers and further developed and refined for the tough streets of New York.

Geoff was later trained by the legendary Colonel Rex Applegate of OSS (Office of Strategic Services) fame, the WW2 trainers to spies and assassins. Colonel Rex Applegate combined with the forefather of European military close combat Captain William Fairbairn and his assistant Eric Sykes were responsible for the development of military close combat during the Second World War. It was the greatest honour and privilege to be trained and instructor qualified by the legendary Colonel Rex Applegate himself. Geoff worked closely with Colonel Applegate learning all he could of the Applegate system and that of the systems of the Fairbairn & Sykes first-hand. Colonel Applegate was for over ten years until his death his greatest adviser, source of information and critic. To be certified as an instructor in the Kill or get Killed system of Colonel Applegate and to work with him up until his passing in 1998 was truly the greatest honour and learning experience anyone could ever hope to achieve. Many specialist practices unknown by other qualified military unarmed combat instructors were revealed to Geoff by Colonel Rex Applegate to ensure his work continued. Many of the learned subjects had been shrouded in secrecy since the days of World War II and many of the current learned practices and principles had not been released or revealed and were classified for security reasons.

Always hungry for more knowledge Geoff has been trained and certified up to Master chief instructor by some of the modern-day military Master chiefs of close combat as well. These modern-day Master chief's include Captain Ben Mängels a former chief instructor to the South African military elite and police as well as the British elite. US Army Special Forces Master chief instructor Lawrence Jordan.

From research, association and training with exponents trained by New Zealand's late elite forces close combat expert Shocker Shaw who was trained by the feared and famous British Unarmed Combat expert Mad Mike Calvert. Geoff has preserved a valuable part of New Zealand's close combat history. After over 25 years of training, instructing and research and development Mr Geoff Todd is the only living individual to be collectively trained by Colonel Rex Applegate, Charles Nelson, Harry Baldock and from these individuals and others to learn the skills of Fairbairn, Sykes, Biddle, O'Neill, Kelly, Shaw and Calvert.

Combined with his training and qualifications from the modern-day experts Mängels, and Jordan as well as his association with the leading international instructors of the International Close Combat Instructors Association Geoff Todd has a pedigree in military close combat and self defence unequalled by any living individual. From exponent training under Harry Baldock through to hand-to-hand combat and specialist self defence training under Charles Nelson and special operations armed and unarmed combat under Colonel Rex Applegate to passing his Special Forces Combative instructor qualification course and achieving Master Chief Instructor status, Geoff Todd has moved up through the ranks and has been trained and qualified by the world's best, past and present.

The Todd System of Close Combat is a combination of the best of the best, past and present and includes 25 years and over 100,000 hours of his full-time commitment to developing a system that is practical, effective, battle proven and a true military science. The Todd system with over 50 specialist module's, is current and correct and has been tested in the research and development phases as well as in urban and military special operations, the system has proven itself time and time again.

The Todd System has been and is continuing to be instructed to regular and elite forces to this day. Following in the direction of his former instructor's Geoff Todd realises his responsibility to the service personnel he trains and takes this responsibility most seriously. He works for the love of his trade and has a commitment to that trade and the people he trains. A heavy weight rests upon his shoulders when you consider those he trains, life or death may well depend upon his commitment to excellence. He considers himself a caretaker of the close combat doctrine at this point in time and is fully committed to the continued research development and improvement of his close combat system. His duty is not only to ensure the best in skills but the continuation of the close combat practices and teachings well into the future and as such and unselfishly he trains several assistants of the highest calibre to continue with the work that was handed on to him by his former instructors and be current assistant instructors to the Todd Group.

There is nothing Geoff considers more deadly close or final than battlefield close combat and this is his motivation and commitment to the preservation, improvement and continuation of excellence in the field of true military close combat.

He is a current Military Special Operations Master chief instructor and a director of the International Close Combat Instructors Association.

Further Information

The History and Origins of European Military Close Combat