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Martial arts minus the art

Seriously, I cant’ make this sh*t up.  Hopefully you read my last blog Death by Keyboard. If you didn’t, take five and click the link and go read it because what happened Friday with Tim Larkin is so ridiculous you’re going to think I’m bullshitting.  

You read it?  Good.  This all happened in the space of seven minutes:

PDR COACHES COURSE #47. A great group! In this course we have active and retired military and police, EMT, martial artists & one of Las Vegas top MMA coaches, we have three CrossFit L1 coaches and one of them is a BJJ and thai practitioner.

I’m in Las Vegas this weekend for our forty-seventh consecutive  Personal Defense Readiness (PDR) Coaches course.   We’ve run this weekend self-defense instructor’s course for over 20 years.

I had set up a meeting with my friend Tim Larkin, founder of Target Focus Training to discuss some collaborative projects. Near Tim’s private training facility is a well-known MMA gym.  Tim wants me to see the place and meet the owner.  We walk over.  It’s like 100 yards.  

On the way over we’re chatting about about the martial art cyber bully blog.  I thank Tim for re-posting it and we’re both laughing at how weird and asinine it all is.  Tim later points out “Don’t people know you’ve been around for 30+ years, all the special units you’ve trained and still do? How can people be so ignorant.”  

I’ve blocked out this person’s name because I have no beef with him. I think his behaviour is embarrassing, not just for him and his gym, but for all of us in the martial arts. And I’m tired of the bullshit on the internet and I don’t think the line “Don’t waste your time on trolls” is solving anything. Someone needs to say something. And maybe if we all do, it’ll subside. So share your voice. Share the message. Let’s put some dignity back in our community.

We walk through the doors –  I’m not joking  – within one minute one of the employees walks up to me and says “So you teach any fake self-defense seminars recently?” Huh? The words don’t even register – I ask him to repeat. “I said have you taught any fake self-defense seminars lately?”  I ask him his name and then suddenly it clicks.  He was one of the guys who attacked me online last March. [one of his tweets is to your left]. Seven months ago.  Never met him.  He’s never trained with me. I laugh and say “Twitter, right, c’mon man you’re not still mad about that are you?” He stares at me and says “No, I’m not mad. When are we going to have that conversation about real self-defense? You know a ‘real’ conversation.” I’m expecting Ashton Kutcher to pop out “Punk’d!” Nope.  This is really happening. Tim is looking at me trying to figure out WTF.  Things are awkward.  I walk away looking at the gym.  He calls out When are you and I going to have our talk?” I look at Tim and say, “Time to go.

Now before any of my readers post something like, “He was lucky that day, imagine Tim Larkin and Tony Blauer blah blah…“. STOP! That’s NOT the point!”  This scenario isn’t self-defense. It’s [dangerous] non-sense.  It’s bullshit machismo and it’s what makes our community look like we’re uncivilized, unprofessional thugs and punks.

And here's another one from that time.   As I alluded to and explained in DEATH BY KEYBOARD these posts are all connected to CrossFit hater community.  Even though many MMA & BJJ athletes integrate CrossFit there's a massive hater network.

And here’s another one from that time. As I alluded to and explained in DEATH BY KEYBOARD these posts are all connected to CrossFit hater community. Even though many MMA & BJJ athletes integrate CrossFit there’s a massive hater network.








There was a time, not long ago, where dignity, respect and honor were a part of our martial arts community.

In recent years we’ve seen an increase online verbal assaults. Why would someone jump up on their metaphoric soap-box and scream obscenities via the Internet at people they don’t know about systems they’ve never even tried?

Hello?  Really.  Smartphone dumb thumbs.  Google me!  :-) I've been coaching & teaching since 1979 - I've probably been coaching longer than you've been alive! The best is the last line. C'mon people.

Hello? Really. Smartphone dumb thumbs. Google me! :-) I’ve been coaching & teaching since 1979 – I’ve probably been coaching longer than you’ve been alive! The best is the last line. C’mon people.






IMO there are several factors. How’s this for a chemical cocktail? Kids from the entitlement generation grow up as part of the Internet subculture where texting has replaced real conversations, the ones that require eye contact. Result? Smart phones and dumb thumbs.

This epidemic describes most of the crap we all read on social media. But what accounts for the sad display of arrogance, anger and bullying displayed by a small demographic of martial artists online?

Rodney King of Crazy Monkey has a theory about the generation of martial artists only studying the martial. You’re going to love this interview!


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8 Responses to Martial arts minus the art

  1. MKrueger says:

    Mr. Blauer, I sent you a Facebook message that went to your ‘Other’ folder since we are not connected… But I have to say it again here. I for one am a practitioner of traditional Japanese jujutsu as well as BJJ and I absolutely love your work. Too often it’s the whiney minority that are the most obvious because they are the most obnoxious and crass. I’ve been integrating your principles into my own training for years and introducing them to my fellow students as well. Keep up the good work. You must be doing something right to be garnering this level of concern.

  2. Tom says:

    Trolls gotta troll. This is the paradigm.

    Avoid feeding the troll externally and internally.

    Put up a list of debate qualifications that include no anonymity for the troll to which you will respond.

    Have a canned response to trolls you can copy paste that links to your debate requirements.

    Wastes little of your time.

    Online SPEAR troll defense. Fast, effective, and holds a high standard which attracts those that respect high standards.

  3. Tony, first of all, great blog and EXCELLENT video interview!

    Hey, we all know “who’s who in the zoo” out there, and the names speak for themselves, and the others don’t really matter.

    What you have created and continue to teach SAVES LIVES — period! Don’t let the would-be naysayers of the world bring you down, as that’s their only goal since it is the only way they can build themselves “up”, through the demise of others.

    I think it’s best summed up by a saying a former pastor of mine used to say years ago, “The dog may bark…but the TRAIN rolls on.”

    Keep fighting the fight, my friend. You’re winning!

  4. Sam Kressin says:

    I have seen some of the videos people made mocking you and your involvement with Crossfit and I think they are just plain mean. Great interview and blog post keep up the good work.

  5. Dan says:

    That’s an insightful talk with Rodney King. Awesome!

  6. Charles Dively says:

    We have incorporated SPEAR concepts into the first department system-wide self defense program that is required for all officers and soon will be available for all staff. We train 400 new staff every year and 2300 every other year. We train people on what works [SPEAR works] as we do not have enough time to waste on things that do not.

  7. Rick says:

    I worked as a SOF support guy for almost 20 years. I heard your name and your suits (they called them SPEAR suits and Blauer suits). I heard your name and gear mentioned for years, but I did know you had a system with it until I came across some of your work on the crossfit site. I have never taken one of your seminars. However, I trained with REAL SOF assaulters regularly. I know your stuff works because I watched SOF operators use the principles I see in your videos. If you watch a high tier unit doing flows drills without fire arms, their hands are exactly where you teach. It’s not because you showed up one day and fooled every high tier SOF unit in the United States. It’s because the principles you teach are solid. I don’t understand how MMA guys can get so offended. You cant teach a COP or an Operator to be an MMA fighter in 12 hours, any more than you can teach an MMA fighter to be an assaulter or a cop in 12 hours. It’s not “SPEAR” vs “Brand X”, it’s “SPEAR” plus “Brad X”. How do people not get that? My first SOF support shooting course, the blindfolded us and pushed us around for a while, then said “Freeze”. That was where we learned to fire from because that’s how we stood when we were under high stress and couldn’t see. Our shooting stances were “doctrinally” all “f’d” up, but we were NOT ASSALTERS and were not going to get enough training to fix that. It takes years to fix “improper” myelinization, it’s better to just work from where you are already myelinized. WTF is wrong with these people.

  8. ED says:

    This is a great, thought provoking video that brings a certain quote by Thucydides to mind.
    “The society that separates its scholars from its warriors ….”

    As for the “doing this for the money.” How about “doing this AND the money.” Don’t we all search for a certain something that we love to do? The fortunate end up, well, increasing their fortune in the process and there is nothing wrong with that (as long as it is ethical as was stated in the vid.)

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