The Crossguard

When engaged with a member of the undead, one of three primary regions targeted on your torso is the neck area, specifically one of your carotid arteries that run the length of either side of your throat.  By utilizing a blocking maneuver known as the Crossguard, you can shield this region from your opponent’s snapping fangs.

Raise your arms toward your chest, and cross your wrists at your throat. Place the backs of your hands directly against the sides of your neck, with your palms open and facing outward. Keep your elbows and forearms tight against your chest as you guard your open neck with both hands.

The reason for crossing your arms and guarding your neck with the opposite hands rather than simply cupping your hands over your own neck is so that you can fend off any oncoming attacks by pushing away with your palms.  Cupping your own neck with your hands also leaves you open to a vampire covering your hands with its claws and strangling you with your own fingers.

Offensive Tactics

An intelligent warrior once said, “The best defense is a good offense.” In vampire combat, it is critical that you take these words to heart, as you will need to have an effective attack strategy to end an undead engagement. It is a sad fact that the longer you remain engaged with a vampire in hand-to-hand combat, the less likely it is you will survive. Once engaged, your goal should always be to end the battle as soon as possible before you expend all of your energy, because there is no question that you will tire before your opponent.

One of the most challenging aspects of vampire combat is that it often is a contradiction of intentions—you must keep your certain defensive areas away from your opponent, but also draw close enough to attack its vulnerabilities; you must protect yourself against the vampire’s bite, but you must also pull it into you so that you can launch a counterattack of your own. It is due to these contradictions that strategy, tactics, and proper technique are so essential to emerging successful and alive from a vampire engagement.

Multiple Attackers

Facing off with a single member of the undead is demanding enough, imagine the difficulty in confronting multiple vampires simultaneously. Due to the physical superiority of the creature, battling a single bloodsucker can drain even the fittest of human combatants; multiply your opponents by a factor of two or three, and you have a situation that leaves you little room for error. Much like unarmed vampire combat, there is a strong likelihood that you may not survive when confronted alone by multiple vampire attackers.

All hope, however, is not lost. Should you find yourself in the extremely precarious situation of confronting multiple vampires, use the following strategies to help you survive to see another sunrise.

Avoid the Envelope — What often occurs in a multiple-attacker engagement is that your adversaries will attempt to “close the envelope,” or execute a flanking maneuver trapping you in between attackers with no hope of escape. It is vital to keep moving during your engagement, and avoid being stationary for any length of time. Due to their agility, vampires can execute a flanking attack before the human even recognizes what is happening. You keep your body active and mobile at all times.

Do the Minimum — Your primary goal when confronted by more than a single vampire is not to neutralize your attacker. While there are skilled combatants who can dispatch an opponent before the other attackers converge, most individuals will not have such combat proficiency. What often occurs in multi-combatant scenarios is that while you are delivering your finishing blow to one opponent, the remaining will use that opportunity to launch their offensive, sacrificing their companion for the sake of the hunt. It may sound counterintuitive, but your objective should be to address each threat with the minimum amount of force required for you to make your escape. Being obsessive about neutralizing a single vampire may cause you to spend an inordinate amount of time with one contender, leaving you open to the remaining attackers.

Team-based Combat

 

It’s important to emphasize that the information provided throughout this site should not be construed as a “vampire hunter’s guide.” Beyond the reasoning previously made for this distinction, there is the inherent meaning to the word “hunt.” Hunting has been performed by cultures around the world for one of two purposes: for sport or for food. Neither of these purposes has relevancy when engaging a member of the undead in combat. Some may consider this a semantic point, but we must not make light of the seriousness of engaging with this creature; nor should we take an air of superiority, even after extensive vampire combat training. It is precisely when we underestimate our opponent that we will fall victim to its lethal embrace.

We recognize, however, the fact that there may be circumstances when you will need to seek out and destroy a vampire in your midst. Perhaps a creature is conducting relentless incursions on your town or city. Perhaps it is targeting your family. Whatever the reason, should you need to proactively locate and exterminate a vampire with extreme prejudice, the best method to do so would be to recruit a team of individuals to assist you in your task. With several individuals acting as one against a single vampire, there is an excellent chance for a successful outcome.

Team Assembly

It is without question that vampire extermination should be a team-based effort. The only reason to engage in one-on-one combat with a vampire is if you have no other choice. As you are proactively targeting a vampire for extermination, it is in your best interests to do so with several trusted and skilled operators who can provide support and assistance.

How many combatants will you require? While any number greater than one is beneficial, a team of three or four operators can work quite effectively, each member being tasked with a specific objective. Although having a great number of operators can help accomplish your objective more efficiently, a much larger team should be divided into smaller tactical groups, with each group operating as a single, cohesive unit and each member assigned a specific role.

The Crowning Stake

Untrained individuals using what they have seen in the media as their sole source of information may believe there is only one way to drive a stake into a vampire’s heart during an undead combat engagement. In fact, there are several different methods by which you can strike this vulnerable mark.   How you will decide which tactic to use will depend on several factors; distance, body position, weapon placement, and combatant strength are all variables that come into play when determining the ideal staking tactic.  When you commence your training, be sure to practice all of the various maneuvers below.  As you grow in proficiency with these techniques, you will begin to instinctively recognize which method is suitable to use against your undead adversary in a given situation.

The most well-known method of staking attack, the crowning stake is executed by holding the weapon in the ice-pick or reinforced ice-pick grip and driving it forcefully through the chest into the target. In order to execute this technique successfully, you must either shatter the sternum with your weapon or slide between the intercostal spaces of the third through sixth ribs close to the center of the chest.

Tactical Details: While the crowning stake is the most popular of all the staking techniques, it also can be one of the more difficult to execute.  This maneuver requires a significant amount of power to execute successfully.  The key to ensuring that you deliver a powerful enough strike is to visualize your striking far deeper into your opponent than necessary.  Your intention should be not just to tap the heart, but power through it.  It is also not uncommon for your strike to be diverted from its path by a skeletal obstruction, missing the target entirely, and the remote chance that your weapon will snap before reaching its target.  Ensure that your weapon is sharpened, hardened, and made from the proper raw material to avoid combat failure. Employing the crowning stake also places you in the risky position of being directly in front of your opponent, leaving yourself open to attack; be certain to make your first strike count.