Dennis Martin in Rhodesia
My photo yesterday of my recently acquired watch sparked a dialogue between me and Dennis Martin, my dear friend and brother in arms on several continents. Dennis is one of the Grand Masters of WW2 Combatives and High Risk VIP training. He was one of the founders of CQB Services, along with Lofty Wiseman when Loft was still Regimental Sergeant Major of 22 Special Air Services Regiment. Den and I met on a balcony in Detroit, and started chatting about our custom holsters — his Alessi and my Nelson. That began our ongoing dialogue and friendship that’s run something like 35-40 years. For legal purposes and non-disclosure I cannot recall the exact dates at this time, your Honor.
Den and I worked together on many continents. If I had to go to Hell to kill the Devil, Dennis Martin is who I’d want watching my back.
Dennis in Bulawayo, probably competing in the first or one of the first IPSC competitions with the Rhodesian pistol team. Notice the appendix race rig. It was the 70s, man!
Dennis and I started on about watches when he asked me about my previous picture yesterday. That’s a Marathon GSAR (Global Search and Rescue) the sterile .gov issue. The Watchband Escape Kit and the micro-hide out knife are both manufactured and sold by my friend Mark at www.gearward.com. The escape fit is designed to be worn on a wrist band and includes a kevlar saw, handcuff key, ceramic blade all tucked inside a black rubber sheath. I recently put into rotation my Seiko automatic, a nice Japanese made one, and Den and I went on about our long standing love affairs with Seiko watches. Den tells a better story about “winning a Rolex” and what it meant to those of us doing high risk protection for high net worth clients in the 70s and 80s. I sold mine. I was young and needed the money.
Follow this link to a little bit of history from a Grand Master who’s been around and done a few things in his time. Dennis is the archetypal Old Skool English Samurai, to whom modesty, humility and discretion are as much a part of him as his wrist watch, so he rarely tells a tale on himself. He has, though, been known to spin a yarn or two about his friend Ned, and his crazy Yank friend Sum Dude, a couple of fictitious characters in the world of high risk protection and PMCs before there were PMCs.
Follow this link for some fine photos and a walk down memory lane, a trip back in time with time pieces: here