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May 01, 2007

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Tony Blauer SPEARtips: Close Quarter Tactics with Tony Blauer
with Tony Blauer

In your fight, you're on point (Part 2)

Part 1

Cohesion and 'Relative' Total Confidence

There are three general groups that create confidence. They are:

1. Physical Conditioning
2. Physical Skills Development
3. Strategic & Tactical Conditioning

The simple message here is that your body must be able to support the activity. Your body/mind system must be able to perform movements to skillfully address the problems and your scenario training must be able to strategically and tactically solve that problem. If you leave out parts of this trinity, you weaken the synergy!

Being prepared in all ranges and situations cannot be addressed by a philosophy or a 'style'. Only a 'system' can attempt that, because systems evolve to address change.

A 'philosophy' is only validated if the tangible aspects of the philosophy are explored. That's the scientific (physical) connection. A philosophy is useless if YOU control the experiments and the condition so that it supports the philosophy.

Preparation and 'theoretical' totality requires complete integrity (you have to be willing to throw ideas away, even if you've invested time and money - referred to as 'the paradigm shift'). Here's an example of theoretical preparedness: Would you agree that most martial artists' arsenal are usually categorized by four ranges: kicking, boxing, trapping, and grappling? And that each range possesses a specific tool set. I.e. Kicking range=kicks, Boxing Range=strikes, etc.

In my 'system', we have eight definite ranges, making our system "theoretically" more complete. Also, in BTS, we are concerned with close quarter effectiveness. Our ranges involve reality-based tools and our definitions are more "global" allowing for and inspiring greater versatility.

The Ranges of BTS

#1. Cerebral {FEAR management, VERBAL defuses, etc.}

#2. Weapons {Protective strategies against knife, gun, club}

#3. Rage Attacks {sudden explosive attacks during the verbal stage: tackles, haymaker shoves, grabs, etc}

#4. Leg Maneuvers {kicks, sweeps, shins, knees, etc.}

#5. Fist techniques {punches, knuckle strikes, hammer fists, etc}

#6. Close Quarter Skills {elbows, head butts, claws, nerves, bites, knees, controls, etc}

#7. Ground fighting {ballistic grappling tools, close quarter skills that apply to the ground.}

#8. Grounded (when your opponent is standing and you are down). {Tactical Get-up, spinning, attacks to legs, take downs, etc.}

Preparation for me is about survival. To evaluate the conditions I may face, I must look at real life attacks in cars, elevators, stairwells, water, a bed, and so on. Then I must think about the opponent, the personality of the attacker, the conditions, the repercussions, etc. Then I must analyze the scenario. If you can tell me when and where your next fight will take place, against whom, the number of opponents and if there'll be weapons (you get the point), then I would agree, you could completely plan for it. If you can't, then you either get paranoid or practical.

With this POV it may appear that my system would include hundreds of techniques and counters, etc. Not the case. In fact, we don't teach 'defense' in the conventional sense and there are virtually no techniques to learn. We embrace the three 'T's": Tools, Targets and Tactics. Know your personal tools. Know your opponents' targets. In a real fight, (one that cannot be avoided), when you introduce a tool to a target, that is a tactic. Let the scenario influence the level of force, let your opponent 'tell' you through his actions how & where he needs to be stuck.

How can something as simple as 'The Three T's' work? Because scientifically speaking, at close quarters, most people attack in similar ways. We refer to this as the Primary Initiation Attack (PIA). This training model allows one to improve perception speed, decrease reaction time and in theory, if you can intercept & destroy the PIA, the fight is almost over. So which style has the best techniques? In truth, a technique never won a fight. It was always the warrior who did the work. The 'style' in my opinion, is incidental to the victory. When you really analyze the micro-moment of combat and contact, where the result was favorable, it was usually a combination of spontaneity, commitment and directness that won the moment, irrespective of the style, system or tactics.

Recognize that 'being attacked' is more dangerous than 'attacking'. Develop 'adversity-based training' where you create worst-case scenarios and work to safety from there. This philosophy will engender new drills all the time so you're not training for your last fight. Remember; don't mistake the trademark for the truth. All training is 'fake', even when it's dangerous (because it's still a drill). Our job, therefore, is 'to create the most realistic 'fake' training possible. Embracing this, we keep ourselves humble because we don't mistake the drill for the fight.

Practical for me was creating a system that embraced one concept: the result.

(I recently received an email from an associate in Germany who asked me what I considered to be the most important aspect in a fight. My answer: the result.)

And how do you train for results? Simply by 'what-if-ing' attacks and scenarios and then doing your homework.

My system is a 'way' and I enjoy the 'laboratory' environment. We are always doing experiments and looking for feedback. I love the research and the training. I love the journey and exploration. I would get pretty bored if all I did were practice the two moves I used to win my last four fights. Who were my opponents? Was I ambusher or ambushee? Who cares, because 'they' do not represent every opponent. Learn. Move on.

As a result of my philosophy, the 'map' of the system gets larger and larger. Because 'knowing what you don't know is more important than not knowing that you don't know.'

About the author

Tony Blauer has been teaching professionally for over 20 years and has pioneered work on the psychological and behavioral components of confrontations. Dubbed "The Self-defense Psychologist", Blauer conducts seminars the world over and is considered one of the foremost authorities on personal protection. Mr. Blauer stars in over 20 instructional videos and has appeared in over 90 magazines including FORBES.

For more on Blauer Tactical Systems or HIGH GEAR, visit www.blauertactical.com







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