“All truth passes through three Stages:
First it is ridiculed,
Second it is violently opposed
Third it is accepted as being self-evident.”
– Arthur Schopenhauer (1830)
Blauer Tactical Systems has unquestionably redefined the whole issue of close quarter combatives. By applying sustained innovative pressure to the S.P.E.A.R. System it remains in a continual state of flux. In Tony Blauer’s ‘Thesis Statement’ he puts forward the following proposition to challenge our way of thinking by asking:
“What does the body/mind system want to do prior to any training? Does this response have a combative application and if so, why aren’t we integrating it?”
The statement is both meaningful and significant because it forces us to confront and re-evaluate the issues raised via a process of contemplation and reflection.
It provides us with an opportunity to question our predisposition about what we teach and perhaps more importantly why we teach it by offering insight and direction in relation to the design of future training.
To ensure that we don’t miss the future Blauer Tactical Systems (BTS) has engendered what can only be described as a ‘Global Community of Practice’ in which to transform it.
Learning Communities – How does this link into S.P.E.A.R. & continued professional development?
Broadly speaking, a community of practice is a group engaging in a shared practice. In this particular case it’s S.P.E.A.R.
Shared practice is fundamental to its inception for it is what holds the community together. Our mutual engagement in it therefore has to be meaningful with a shared repertoire and identity.
Learners engaged in the practice are seen as developing expertise and substance through participation in legitimate and acknowledged activities, which contribute to, but are not central to the practice.
Gradually these contributions become more complex and important. Through this they develop not just their capability in the practice itself but their knowledge and understanding of the culture that surrounds it.
Participation in this type of enterprise requires individuals to reconcile themselves with the dilemma of whether to help oneself or to help others.
By considering the notion of mutual benefit they are then able to place stronger emphasis on sharing and dependency on others. It prevents participants working in isolation and promotes a coordinated, joined up approach that is far more advantageous to everyone’s needs.
It can be argued that communities of practice can be thought of as ‘shared histories of learning’. Learning can be thought of as a process of being engaged in the development of ongoing practice. The important point to note here is that there is no point at which the practice is fully learned because it is dynamic and constantly being fine-tuned by its members.
It is during this interplay that learning takes place. As a result, social learning systems allow S.P.E.A.R. practitioners to tap into a diverse knowledge base increasing their Dynamic Capabilities.
One of the characteristics of ‘Dynamic Capability’ is having a unique ability that others cannot imitate or match. By founding and developing the S.P.E.A.R. System over the past 25 years BTS has developed a unique capability that others cannot match and struggle to replicate.
Blauer Tactical Systems’ ability to integrate, build and reconfigure internal and external competences to address rapidly changing environments are key components that are fundamental to their continued growth and success.
This is due to the fact that ‘Dynamic Capability’ is a learned and stable pattern of collective activity through which BTS systematically generates and modifies its operating routines and competence in pursuit of improved effectiveness.
These functions are further enhanced and to some extent driven by the experience of S.P.E.A.R. practitioners (within the training & operationally arena) who have developed ‘Communities of Practice’ that have been instrumental in driving growth and change and wish to share in that success.
By creating a Global Community of Practice around S.P.E.A.R., participants have the opportunity to integrate and promote a behaviourally-based system into their respective organisations that is credible, realistic and based on what the body wants to do prior to any training.
Written by Dave Peebles – S.P.E.A.R. Practitioner, December 2009. Reach Mr. Peebles at [email protected].