Posts Tagged ‘Self Defense’

I’m Going To Camp!

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

S.P.E.A.R. System and PDR Summer Training Camp that is. I’m looking forward for the chance to working with Tony Blauer and his team. Personal defense / self-defense is one of the areas of martial arts where I really want to improve myself.

Little more on what will be covered:

The 2009 edition of the Camp will focus on the following themes:
•    Coach Glassman On CrossFit, Survival And Functional Fitness
•    Intro & Review of S.P.E.A.R. System Essentials For Personal Defense
•    The 3 Cs of An Armed Confrontation (Clear, Control & Counter)
•    Fundamentals Of Weapon Disarms
•    S.P.E.A.R. vs. Haymaker/Tackle Combo
•    Heavy Bag Conditioning Drills For Street Defense
•    HIGH GEAR Clinic
•    HIGH GEAR Demo


Which Way Am I Going?

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Jake Steinmann over on the Honest Philosophy Blog made a post with his thoughts to a post by Rory Miller. Three being the magic number I decided to add where I think I am.

The posting consider the stages of a martial artists and how they may evolve as a martial artist. Miller describes people in the martial arts as going through three possible stages, novice, collector, and stripper. The novice is the one where all martial artists start, we learn the moves,we learn the katas, and earn rank. After this some people will continue to the collector stage. Here the person is learning new techniques, going to seminars, expanding their toolkit, etc. Then after this fewer will go to the stripper stage. These are the collectors that have discovered, often through a bad scenario, they know too much stuff to grab at any one time so they start to strip their tool bag down. This is a brief overview of Miller’s post and I suggest you read his entire post to get a better idea of what he is talking about.

For me, I started in Taekwon-Do a little over 20 years ago while living in California. I went to classes, and even a few seminars. I was in the beginning of a collector stage. Then I ended up moving to Maine and searched around for a TKD school, in a style I wanted to do, and couldn’t find one. I did find one school, tried it, didn’t care for the direction the school took compared to my old one. Thus ended my martial arts career in TKD with the rank of blue belt.

Several years down the road my son started karate at Pelletier’s Karate. I took him to classes, watched what was happening, thought about joining, but had no real desire to just do katas. Then the head instructor (and my current sensei) Rich Pelletier announced that they were going to start some sparring and grappling classes for adults. For some reason this caught my attention. Not because I wanted to be the next MMA star but because I could see a real practical use now, fighting especially fighting to protect myself. So I enrolled.

Needless to say sparring and grappling was not for everyone and soon it would just be one or two of us for those classes and they ended up being canceled. However I had started to learn about Tony Blauer and his S.P.E.A.R. system from my instructor (he is a certified S.P.E.A.R. instructor) and this started my in the collection of the teachings of Tony Blauer.

Currently I see myself as a collector, although a specialized one. I look for seminars to attend but all focused around self-defense/reality based combat. In class when items are being explained I examine them with an eye towards self-defense. Some people may consider this being a stripper, but I don’t think I’ve learned enough to actually examine my own tool kit and start tossing things out. Just because a move is presented as being for self-defense doesn’t mean it is a good move. I’ll continue stadying and learning and perhaps one day I’ll make it to the stripper stage.

DVD Review; S.P.E.A.R. System: For Women & Self Defense Coaches; Rape Safe

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

S.P.E.A.R. System: For Women & Self Defense Coaches; Rape Safe is a two volume set available from Tony Blauer and his company Blauer Tactical Systems. Combined these two DVD’s weigh in at over 3 hours in length and focuses on a wide variety of topics aimed at the main topic: self defense for women in a rape situation.

In a nutshell, this series covers what Blauer refers to as the 3 D’s: Detect, Defuse, and Defend. While too often many self-defense system focus on only the Defend part, Blauer spends lots of time talking about the other two parts. If one thinks of self defense as being layers between you and a predator, the outer layer is Detect, the middle Defuse, and the inner layer Defend. Blauer points out the importance of these three layers and how our goal should be to stop the threat at the outermost layer that we can. Blauer provides various tools and techniques to be used at each layer along with examples of using them in different scenarios. These range from situational awareness, non-violent postures, and his Closest Weapon Closest Target (CWCT) concepts. In all Blauer provides very useful information in all three of these areas.

This set also offers a good overview of many of what I’ll call Blauer’s philosophies. Blauer talks about his S.P.E.A.R. System, or Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response, which I consider the heart of his teachings. Blauer breaks this down and explains how our natural flinch response can be used not only to defend out also as a launching point for an attack. Also presented is a Powerpoint slide explaining his “Cycle of Behavior”, which is a probably most simply described as explaining how we behave. Myself I found this presentation very interesting and really ties together the concepts presented in this series. I actually watched this section a couple of times to wrap my mind around the concepts presented here. Trying to explain all of this is beyond the scope of this review but in the end all good information.

Is there a downside to this series? In the information presented, no. But as the disclaimer says at the beginning this is DVD presentation of analog videos that in some cases were filmed over twenty years ago. The video and sound quality is not the best. If that is the biggest knock I have against this, which it is, then that is something I can live with.

Does the DVD meet its goal as stated in the title? I would say yes. One just needs to remember you don’t learn self-defense from a video, or a book. You need to take the concepts and practice them, and practice it like you mean it. When you are learning to drive you just don’t watch a video then get a license, you practice the skills. Same thing here. Any woman getting this video to learn self-defense needs to also practice the techniques presented. A self-defense coach could learn much too and it could help them determine “am I teaching my students the right things?” Outside of the target audince I would add that anyone looking to learn more about self-defense, both the physical and psychological aspects, would benefit from this series.