AMOK! Sundays with Tom Sotis

Learn the ways and means of using force to repel violence with tactically-sound and court-defensible training to achieve best possible outcomes when protecting yourself and loved ones from criminal attacks. While we focus mainly on knifefighting and knife defense, force options include using a stick, improvised instruments, and empty hands tactics to prevail against violent weapons attacks, when outnumbered, when outsized, or when at other disadvantages. AMOK! is not a martial art so there are no ranks, titles, or uniforms. Here are some of our activities:


Dueling is how we gain fighting experience. AMOK! uses a variety of dueling activities in order to adapt to variable tactics and outcomes. Various types of dueling include: No touch anywhere, Check-hand pass, Blade-hand switch, Knee-drop, 2-anywhere-hits, 2-body-hits, 3-anywhere-hits, Dueling-4-Dollars, and more.


You will learn a variety of sparring activities in order to experiment with various elements of fighting in order to become accustomed to their operation in fighting. We have very specific activities for Mindset, Vision, Attention, Intention, Breathing, Changing Tactics, Changing Lead, Transitioning, Changing Hold, and Changing Height.


Tactics give context to whatever activity in which we are engaged. You will learn: Jabbing, Single strikes, Combinations, Fake-n-hit, Grab-n-stab, Attacking Disarms, Back-ups, Passes, Stops, Grabs, Countering-Disarms, Linear Movement, Lateral Movement, Diagonal Movement, Circular Movement – and we do it all in real time.


AMOK! follows 3 principles to integrate skills: Context, Authenticity, and Deliberateness. It is this process of environmental and tactical control that “develops skill, in a state of adaptation, under stress” and is unlike practice activities in other methods. It is this process that distinguishes AMOK! from other methods.


Counter-striking is the nucleus of combat and forms the foundation for using every other hand-held weapon. You will learn to create passes and stops on your attacker’s arms, body, head, and leg. We also detail how each of those options can be executed with a single strike, a combination, a fake-hit compounded into the counter-action.


You learn to bring committed chaotic attacks under control to either access a weapon or to finish defeating your attacker empty-handed. We cover how to manage fully committed attacks using the spread-X, Alt-X, and Strike-X actions, and how to manage fluid combinations with parries, blocks, and counter-striking, jabs, and more.


You learn how to disarm attackers in either forward or reverse hold by first diminishing their striking ability before you make a grab (and continue striking) and then make a release always managing his other hand’s attempts to counter. After exploring disarms from the EH perspective we cover disarming using knives.

Empty Hands explores the Pre-fight management of postures and framing that evolves into Fight management using Entries, Striking, Head Control, and close-quarters tools of Elbows/Knees/Headbutts, Traps, and more. This class also explores anti-shooting to learn how to counter attempts to shoot in and take you down.


We are very fortunate to have Coach Shawn Graham, the Godfather of Striking, as our friend and fighting coach. Some of the guys from Sunday class also train with Coach Shawn to improve their empty-hands skill set in areas we don’t focus on. Coach Shawn is also an accomplished knifer so he is the ideal cross-training coach.

AMOK! Training Values
We value the truth of functionality in real time above all else.
We will adjust or replace any technique to improve our functionality.
We will adjust or replace any drill to improve our functionality.
We teach only the best way we know, never second best.
We strive to be the best training partner we can be.
We do not seek, nor offer, nor do we accept, any martial titles or rank relating to knife fighting.
We mandate tactically-sound and legally-defensible training, and socially-responsible behavior.

Class meets 2 Sunday’s each month from 10AM-12:00 in Holbrook, MA.
If you miss a class you go to Tom’s house for a private lesson for no extra fee.
No previous experience is required; anyone age 16+ can join (minors need permission).
The cost is $100/month, no membership fee, no contracts and you can cancel at any time.

Schedule for 2018
JAN 07 & 21, FEB 04 & 18, MAR 04 & 18, APR 08 & 22, MAY 06 & 20, JUN 10 & 24
JUL 08 & 22, AUG 12 & 26, SEP 09 & 23, OCT 07 & 21, NOV 04 & 18, DEC 02 & 16

We invite you to visit and watch a class.
FAF Gym, 275 Centre Street (not Center Street),
Unit 19, Holbrook, MA 02343 (near Mary Lou’s Coffee).

For additional hands-on group training between Sunday classes:
Middletown, RI with Instructor Jesse Harding
Lakeville, MA with Trainer Shaun Shubert
So. Nashua, NH with Trainer Eric Menard