Archive for the ‘Self Defense’ Category

Be Your Own Bodyguard

Monday, May 27th, 2013

One of the things you learn from Tony Blauer is to “Be Your Own Bodyguard“. I won’t go into the entire concept of the program but I do want to harp on the importance of being responsible for your own protection. Take this story out of Oregon:

An Oregon woman was told by a 911 dispatcher that authorities wouldn’t be able be able to help her as her ex-boyfriend broke into her place because of budget cuts.

Oregon Public Radio reports that an unidentified woman called 911 during a weekend in August 2012 while Michael Bellah was breaking into her place. Her call was forwarded to Oregon State Police because of lay-offs at the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office only allows the department to be open Monday through Friday.

Now imagine if you were the caller, someone is breaking into your house and the 911 dispatcher pretty much tells you that you are own your own. I am not saying that you shouldn’t call 911, do so if it is safe for you to do that but remember that until help arrives you are responsible for your safety and that of your loved ones..

What does this mean? Make sure you follow good practices for securing your home. For some good tips check out Alex Haddox’s book “Practical Home Security: A Guide to Safer Urban Living“. Make sure people in the household know what to do in an emergency. This goes beyond someone breaking into your house but should also cover fires and medical emergencies. Have a plan! I won’t tell you tell have a firearm in your home, that is your choice. But if you do make sure you train with it, everyone in the house knows proper firearm safety, and you keep it secured until you need to use it.

Remember, when push comes to shove Be Your Own Bodyguard


PDR Certification

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

For those interested in getting their Personal Defense Readiness (PDR) certification with Blauer Tactical Systems in 2013 the first set of courses have been announced for February 8-10, 2013. And for what must be a first there will be two certification courses running at the same time, east coast and west coast.

PDR 36 in Vienna, VA

PDR 37 in Carlsbad, CA

Don’t miss this chance if interested in becoming part of the PDR Team


SPEARTips on Vimeo

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Tony Blauer has made some great interviews available on Vimeo. Be sure to check them out.

Tony Blauer’s Summer Combatives Camp

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Want to learn more about the SPEAR system and train with some great people? Well here is your chance. Tony is holding is Annual Summer Combatives Camp this August 4-5, 2012, at CrossFit Rubicon in Vienna, VA. Go enroll now.

Podcast Interview with Tony Blauer

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Something to check on the The Human Path podcast, Tony talking about How To Survive a Violent Encounter.


PDR 32 in Cambridge, MA

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Interested in becoming a Personal Defense Readiness Coach? If so then you might want to check out PDR 32 in Cambridge, MA. The course is scheduled for March 23-25, 2012. There are requirements for being a PDR coach so be sure to check them out.

This is a great way to learn more about Tony Blauer’s system.

Finding a PDR Coach

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Some of you might have stumbled across this website via a web search and would like to find someone in your area to learn more about the program.  The first place to look is the Personal Defense Readiness website. You can also find out more information about the program there as well as links to many other resources. In addition below are some links to the direct sites of some PDR coaches:

Those in the Manchester, England area can check out PDR Manchester

In Denmark we have Terje Søgaard Theiss and PDR-Denmark

In Rochester, NY area Ryan Fredericks has Close Quarters Combat New York

Also in the New England area we have Active Defense Personal Training ran by Jake Steinmann

And one last one is NOVA Self Defense located in Arlington, VA.

And of course there is me and Combating Violence, located in Moses Lake, WA

These are just a few of the PDR coaches out there. As mentioned, check the PDR Team web site for a complete list


DVD Review: Be a Good Bad Guy

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

One issue I often see in self-defense training is the lack of realism, especially on the part of the attacker. More then once I’ve seen a demonstration where the attacker (aka the bad guy) tosses a punch and then holds the punch out there while the defender does his thing. Think about this: Does this really help the defender?

If your answer is “no” then Tony Blauer has a video that can help you out. Actually Tony has a lot of good videos but the one on this subject is “Be a Good Bad Guy, Secrets to Great Role-Playing“. Now this isn’t your D&D type of role-playing, but rather tips on how an attacker should behave in order to help people learn self-defense tactics.

This is a short DVD at only 35 minutes, but Tony gives enough information to get you started. He points out the importance of how good role-playing helps the defender learn to spot pre-contact cues, learn to spot openings, and know how an attacker will respond to your tactics, just to name a few things. Tony and his instructor show both good and bad role-playing to give you an idea of not only what you should do, but what you shouldn’t do. The DVD moves along at a pretty good pace and as such it is one you should watch a couple of times to absorb.

Is the DVD for everyone? I would suggest it if you teach self-defense courses, and to those that are just interested in the subject on role-playing a bad guy. If you often help out in teaching self-defense and serve as an attacker then it is something you might want to check out too.

Book Review: “Facing Violence”

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Many people study self-defense. Some study it as part of their martial arts training and others take classes or seminars devoted just to self-defense. What happens often in these settings is you are shown that “if the attacker grabs you by the throat you do a palm heel to his face followed by a kick to the groin”. All good as knowing various techniques for a given situation can be helpful. How often though do these same classes talk about the legal issues? How to avoid such situations? What do you do if you are ambushed? The answer tends to be not very often if at all.

To address this situation Rory Miller has released a book called “Facing Violence”. To begin to have complete training in self-defense Rory states that seven elements have to be addressed, which he does in seven chapters

  1. Legal and Ethical
  2. Violence Dynamics
  3. Avoidance
  4. Counter-Ambush
  5. The Freeze
  6. The Fight
  7. After

You should notice that “The Fight”, what the majority of people train for in self-defense, doesn’t take place to chapter 6. Have you ever discussed legal and ethical issues in your training? Have you ever discussed or trained in any of the areas other then “the fight”? If not, stop and think about your training for a few minutes.

I won’t go into a breakdown on each chapter. If you are looking for then read Jake Steinmann’s review over on An Honest Philosophy. Instead I’ve speak on a couple of chapters that really stuck out for me.

First the chapter on avoidance, which is highly neglected area in most self-defense training. From talking about absence (i.e. not being there to start), escape and evasion, to de-escalation, Rory covers a lot of material. One of the best parts was on how to scan a room upon entering. This is actually the one chapter that makes me suggest the book to everyone, even those that don’t study or have an interest in self-defense, just a lot of good information.

The last chapter on After deals with the subject just as it sounds, what happens after the fight? What should you do? What could happen to you? What could be running through your mind? This chapter made me stop and go “Hmm” more then any other. Again this is one of those areas that rarely gets talked about in self-defense training but should. Heaven forbid you ever act in self-defense and end up serious hurting or killing someone, you should have an idea of what could happen to you legally and emotionally.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, much like I did his first one “Meditations on Violence” (a must read book). Rory has a writing style that I find enjoyable to read, offers tons of good information, and I find it ties in nicely with the training I’ve received from Tony Blauer and my karate instructor Rich Pelletier. If your training involves anywhere around self-defense, either as an instructor or student, then this book should be on your required reading list. You can purchase Facing Violence from one of these locations:


Barnes and Noble


Knife Attacks

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Below are some links to knife attacks. These aren’t training or simulated  attacks but they real thing. If you train for self-defense and at any time you cover defense against a knife attack, see if your training covers any of these situations.

Knife Attack

Husband attacks wife with a knife

Bouncer Stabbing

Another stabbing