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Bloody Brazilian Knife Fightin' Techniques, by Uncle Fester, Rick "Kamakaze" Nakayama, Pedro "Fat" Cavalcanti, and Mad Abe, © 2004, Festering Publications, Green Bay, Wisconsin, 79 pages, softcover, available for $20 plus shipping from See more information about this book at

Reviewed By Jim Benson

It was my privilege to write the foreword for this book, at the invitation of my good friend J.R.R. Abrahao, one of the book's authors and a Brazilian lawyer and author of more than 60 published works.

Long a student of numerous martial arts, including the Brazilian Sotai System, "Mad Abe," as he is also known, is also an authority on firearms and other weapons and occasionally works as an advisor on counter-terrorism. He is one of several knife-fighting authorities who collaborated in the creation of this easy-to-read, well-illustrated primer on Brazilian knife-fighting techniques.

"The streets of Brazil are a savage no-man's land where life is cheap and guns are owned by two oppressing classes: the criminal element and the military," says the book's back cover text. "How then do decent people survive in such a place? They train themselves in methods of attack & defense, using one of man's oldest tools—the knife. Come train with the Brazilian masters of this art. In the pages of this book you will learn the the methods which keep them alive in one of the world's most dangerous places. Profusely illustrated, and with step-by-step detail. Sensei Nakayama demonstrates the close quarters combat techniques which can mean the difference between life and death when things turn ugly. Gun ownership is becoming saddled with more legal encumbrances with each passing day. Prepare to defend yourself now..."

Knife fighting is a subject that has been covered in many books, articles and videos over the years. There are many different styles of this art and science developed in countries and among cultures around the world.

I am certainly no expert on this subject. Indeed, I don't consider myself an authority on knife fighting in any way.

But I have been the victim of an attempted armed robbery in which I faced three assailants armed with a large butcher knife. I have also studied Karate and other martial arts.

And in my nearly two decades as an editor of survival publications, I've seen quite a few texts from books and articles on knife fighting, along with numerous training video tapes on different martial arts styles employing techniques to defend against knife attacks.

Bloody Brazilian Knife Fightin' Techniques is unique among these, due to its comprehensive approach to the subject, and its eclectic method. It's an interesting read and informative educational tool for anyone interested in defending themselves against armed or unarmed assailants.

There is in-depth discussion, accompanied by high-quality illustrations, of knife-fighting techniques, training for these, types of knives available for combat situations, and the mental preparations required to be able to react with the speed and effectiveness to stay alive amid the vicious actions of knife combat.

The book's authoritative content is due to the combined, accumulated knowledge of its four authors' long and varied training, studies and experience. Knowledge is drawn from both from within Brazil, the main area of focus, and from other countries where knife fighting techniques have been studied.

"Mad Abe" started Judo training when he was just 4 years old. He began Karate training at age 7. He has trained in several other martial arts and combat sports, including Chi Kung, Western-style boxing and Arnis. As a former intelligence officer for his country he has worked on high-risk assignments in Africa, Central America and the Middle East.

Master Rick "Kamikaze" Nakayama created and developed the SOTAI System of personal defense and knife fighting, an advanced and revolutionary method whose main characteristics are the efficiency and simplicity of the techniques and its emphasis on the safety of the practitioner.

"Fat Pedro" Cavalcante began Judo training when he was just 7 years old. He has also trained in Kendo, Occidental boxing and "Vale-Tudo." His interests in knife fighting began when he served in a Brazilian Army paratrooper brigade. He has studied under Master Nakayama's direct supervision and is today himself a qualified master instructor of the SOTAI System.

"Uncle Fester," founder of, was the first American student of the SOTAI System and is the publisher of this book.

This book is not for the squeamish or faint of heart. Its subject matter is deadly serious. Survival is not a sport or a game.

For those of us who have faced knife-wielding assailants, there is a defining moment, that split second in which you realize you are facing ghastly wounding or death and you MUST act and act decisively.

As is pointed out in the book, your mindset in a knife fight is everything:

"Some [knife fighting] methods, undoubtedly, are more efficient than others but with any of them the most important element is the mental preparation. There must be an internal change of the combatant, the development of an unflinching spirit when facing death, the final destiny of every human being…which so few of us are really prepared to meet."

Having a good quality knife you can use to defend yourself, and having the capability of reacting effectively against a knife-wielding attacker provides a great deal of peace of mind, and self-assurance. This book is a powerful resource to help you gain that peace of mind and self-assurance.