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By: Tony Blauer
I just finished a photo shoot at Black Belt magazine where I shared a refined strategy on how the SPEAR System & HIGH GEAR can help
make every martial artist safer.  The
secret is in following a formula that will allow you to validate the
theoretical self-defense premises of your chosen system or style (in advance of
a real attack).
Through years of research, drills, and experiments we have created
a 3-step drilling recipe that allows
you to experience in advance of a
real attack the physical 'positional' variables of a real fight
refer to this as 'Off-Balance' training
(in a real fight you are 'off-balance' psychologically,
emotionally and physically).
Step 1: Dissect the scenario: identify the Murphy Moments, connect the
attack to a realistic pre-contact build up so that your brain mentally
blueprints realistic pre-contact use (this helps decrease reaction time) and
work this encounter slowly and super analytically.
Step 2Add
fluidity and timing to the assault
, paying special attention to the
'street' flavor of the attack.  At
this phase its critical that you integrate protective gear so that there is a collision at the interception point
.  The 'collision' is crucial to your
appreciation and understanding of what works when, & why.  During this phase exploration of the Primal,
Protective & Tactical responses from the SPEAR System is also paramount to
startle-flinch conversion, that’s the
secret to creating 'position' for your complex motor skill transition
getting to your art or system).  (This will be covered in
great detail at the  combatives camp
this August).
Step 3. Force-on-Force BMF.  Next
you work the scenario from top to bottom adding CWCT and SPEAR intercepts.  You still work the Primal, Protective  & Tactical
versions so you don’t get over confident and think you will superhumanly
intercept all attacks. But with both
participants in gear you WILL experience real energy, resistance and pressure
so that you understand the most important aspect of making stable contac
and that is balance & position
(The secret to the BMF is that we deliberately practice OFF-BALANCE so
that when we fight real world off-balance is our ON-BALANCE  :-) 
Does that make sense?)
But training cant just
be physical, it must address and nurture the psychological for it to be
  That’s where the science
of your protective gear comes in…the secret to HIGH GEAR is its impact
reduction design.  Because there is still risk during contact. That means all the drills still inject fear
and fear afflicts performance
That's how you stress inoculate
. If the gear distorts the reality
then you've developed a blueprint around something 'else'.  :-)
The only way to test
your timing, theories and spontaneity is by practicing force-on-force drills
where 'collision' is driven by position….
what this means is
that all conventional and theoretical tactics are always practiced 'in proper position' …but reality really determines position,
? And that’s what
HIGH GEAR will do for you: inspire fear (respect
of the attack), provide feedback (through pain :-) at least a little) and
allows you to move (or be moved!).
a. Verbal Assault:  you want gear that allows you to speak
clearly (verbal is critical in a realistic scenario depiction).
b. Realistic Mobility:
You want to move freely and you want your role-player to move freely. (Bulky
gear forces practitioners to develop tactics around the gear instead of around
the fight :-)
c. Transitions from Range
to Range as Necessary
:  You gear must
allow you to shift instantly (heavy gear slows down movement so that you
develop timing to an unrealistic stimulus)
d. Ergonomically Realistic:  you want gear the challenges you to make
contact with a target as it would appear in the street (bulky gear distorts
proximity sense and creates false sense of follow through because the bulk
moves the slower target closer to you).
Here's a classic example of STEPS 1 thru 3 from a recent BMF
certification; [scenario in a bar] where verbal aggression, physical aggression
and a Primary Initiation Attack (PIA) come to together and are realistically,
& legally thwarted with proper DETECT,
protocol using the SPEAR System.
This is a final evolution with PDR coaches Sean Blair (security)
& Tom Arcuri (Bad-guy).  Note the
natural body movement and micro-flinches, all 
products of following the training recipe. *But these nuances could NOT
be achieved without the HIGH GEAR integration.



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