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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 1999 12:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 100
Location: LA, CA, USA
Here is an interesting link to the official SEAL Museum home page...

http://www.NavySEALTeams.com/Scars.htm

Here they warn against believing the guy you mentioned, who is blackballed from the Teams for lying in his ads, and confirm that his system is definitely _not_ taught to the SEALS. It also states that the system you tout is only a relabled form of Kung Fu. In other places (such as the Eskrima Digest) I have heard that it was only a watered down form of San Soo.

If anyone reads this article one sees that it vincates nothing. It only shows that the spirit of PT Barnum still lives ( Especially when someone is trying to sell something !). The readers of this forum have the link though, and can see just what your "facts" are worth.

Scaramouche


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 1999 5:29 am 
Has anyone checked out the new May, 1999 issue of Black Belt magazine? It seems that Black Belt has finally vindicated Jerry peterson And his Arizona-based Scars program as the official trainers of the SEALs and other elite military units in hand to hand combat. That wont set very well for the fakes like Paul Vunak and Frank Cucci who have made a mint fleecing the public with the lies that they officially train the SEALs in jeet kune do. By the way a few years ago I called the public relations office at naval headquarters . The guy I talked to wouldnt tell me how the SEALS are trained and where but he did say that the Claims made by Cucci and Vunak were bogus and that they had never, to his knowlegde , trained any seals publicly or privately. Furthermore they had never been paid by the Dept. of Defense to do so. Also Jerry Peterson offers his SCARS combat program on video . www.scars.com


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 1999 3:52 pm 
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Location: Orrum,NC,USA
Hey Saramouche, just thought it was intresting to inform you that there is nothing "official" about the page at the end of the link. I could have created it. There are no references, sources, or any proof whatsoever to back up their claims about the scars program. Furthermore there are quite a few seals related videos on the site for sale including the controversial Lew Hicks video which is basically a watered down version of the scars system. So why is an "official seal home page knocking the scars system while at the same time offering videos by another apparent fake? Seems like you also need to go and reevalute your facts.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 1999 1:52 am 
i bought the issue of black belt magazine when i got through reading your posts. if scars isnt the real thing then the author was very impressed to make the statements he did about peterson and the system. and this is a guy who has seen and written about many styles and systems that he has come into contact with as a journalists in his field. i also thought the seal museum page looked a bit tacky and have to agree with paladin that they offered little in the way of support for their claims other than BOLD PRINT. a friend of mine has seen both the lew hicks videos and petersons original videos and he says that hicks's safta system is a sham while he thought peterson's was very professional looking.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 1999 8:43 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 100
Location: LA, CA, USA
OK, Paladin,

I was wrong about the SEAL page. I was not however wrong about what I said agout hearing unimpresive things about SCARS on the Eskrima Digest and in other places. I am also correct in saying that the article in Black Belt vidicates no one. It does not prove that the teacher featured in the ads trains SEALS or that his system makes its purchasers "UNDEFEATABLE," as it says it does in the ads. It also does not prove that other instructors have not trained SEALS, despite what The Doctor may have meant to imply.

The article also fails to prove (as it says) that "when it comes to absorbing punishment, every human body reacts in the same way" (a cornerstone of this much-hyped martial product).

If this is true, then a champion heavyweight pro boxer who has had his nose broken half a dozen times in the ring will react exactly the same to a punch in the nose as an unathletic sixteen year old computer geek would if he got nailed in the schnoz, and a Muay Thai champion will who has been toughening his shins by kicking banana trees for eight years and can no longer feel pain there will react to a kick in the shin exactly the same way as a six year old girl would if she was kicked there.

Ridiculous.

Obviously, size, bone structure, muscle mass, pain threshold level, emotional state, degree of flexibility, drugs in system, ability to roll with a blow, clothing worn, and any number of other factors will greatly influence how an individual will react to attacks and absorb damage. Some people you can hit, and they fall right over, some are far tougher, and there is a considerable variety of possible reactions.

Here is another interesting link which talks about the article and the SCARS tapes. It also links to a good martial arts video review site...

http://www.altinet.net/~karate/atas.htm

Scaramouche


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 1999 4:13 pm 
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That was a good article! Especially the latter part despite the fact that they offered a link to the same tacky seal museum page. I wasnt trying to attack your credibility saramouche, with my last post. I was simply identifying the fact that if you were going to take apart the doctor that youd probably need a little more than bold print on a page plastered with "official" tridents which, for all we know, could be manned by a 13 year old netmaster. (sorry, I'm working on a Masters-I'm big on reference material and citing your sources, especially on the web.) What I thought was not so good about the article was the same thing that seems to plague traditional stylists in general-the speculation factor. "I personally dont think this technique would work because______." I grew up in the 80's during what many considered the "golden age" of martial arts. I first studied Tae Kwon Do until going to Brazil as an exchange student in 1987. While there I took up Capoeira and forever abandoned TKD as I thought it was too limiting in self defense aspects. Latter I studied Ninjutsu and most recently I have been active in local Sambo classes. I watched how martial artists used to, and still do speculate about, "Im sure my stle will work in a combat scenario, and this wouldnt." Marco Lala-a guy who offers a set of videos through Black Belt Magazine was one of the 1st traditional martial artist to suggest the implementation of boxing and grappling skills into an artists arsenal in the earlier part of the 80's. I remember reading a whole slew of video reviews from other traditional stylists chiding him and saying that his concepts were wrong and that boxing and grappling were incompatible with the martial arts in lieu of the latter being superior. Well, today that concept has been dropped on its ass as we see multitudes of stylists from all disciplines cross training-much due to the proliferation of events like K-1 and the UFC where traditional stylists tend to do poorly and which represent a more realistic tournament experience than your average dojo sparring match. Dont get me wrong, I thought that the article was good, but they should have stuck with the latter bit about their call to scars headquarters and their talk with the instructor and stay away from the speculative analyzation as this doesnt seem to hold a lot of clout in the martial arts world in general anymore. How about a fisthand demonstration of scars agaist spontaneous attack? Like a controlled situation where someone is guided through training via the scars tapes by an accomplished martial artist then put in a controlled combat scenario to see evaluate petersons claims. This I would listen to-not some speculation. Reminder-a lot better article than the seal page one though.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 1999 1:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 27, 1999 6:01 am
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Location: Okinawa-Shi, Okinawa
Just a quick word--kind of off topic, sorry--about the mention of Paul Vunak as being a "fake." I can not say anything about his lack of involvement with the Navy Seals because I know absolutely nothing about it. However, I would like to say that I have heard many GOOD things about him as a person and as a martial artist. I have seen his tapes...a tape is a tape, but his are at least as good as the rest I have seen and better than most. I have a friend who has sutdied with Mr. Inosanto and Mr. Tacosa--as one of his full-time students--who says that Paul Vunak is quite efficient as a fighter and a pretty nice guy to boot. Just a thought, Regards and Respects, Wade.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 1999 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 1897
Location: N. Andover, Ma. USA
About 5 years ago I ordered a "Navy Seal Training Tape" (I don't remember the producers of this video). The tape was lent to a friend with "you can keep it if you want", it was a series of techniques, not principles or combat training (and Green Belt level stuff at that), which made me beleive I was taken. You have to know their real training has to be better than that and why would they (the Government) allow the this real training out?

------------------
Evan Pantazi
http://www.erols.com/kyusho


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 1999 1:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
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Location: Boston, MA
FWIW. This was posted in www.knifeforums.com, "Way of the Modern Warrior" forum. There have been a couple ofl threads on SCAR with most responses negative. But, this response seems the most "authoritative". Also, RE: Vunak. Those who train with him include, as noted in this response, some SEALS who sought training on their own. The major point, which is also reported in some books on special forces training, is the Spec-ops folks are more concerned with weaponry and tactics and their time and training reflects that. The poster is "Belesarius".

>>On SCARS:

Since a little controversy is the spice of life, I will make my first foray into the "Modern Warrior" forum and bore everyone with a lengthy treatise concerning two of the martial arts world's major controversies: Jerry Peterson's Special Combat Aggressive Reactionary System (SCARS) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. If my comments do nothing but incite debate and discussion, I will have accomplished my strategic aims.

As a former special warfare operator, I feel compelled to write in and make a few comments regarding the legitimacy of Jerry "The Deadliest Man Alive!" Peterson's claims to be a "shadow-ops guru." Perhaps due to fear of losing the advertising dollars brought in by Peterson's aggressive marketing campaign, many martial arts magazines seem to be reluctant to print any negative commentary on SCARS, HCS, or any of Peterson's other gimmicks. This is unfortunate, I think, because SCARS is not the invincible fighting system that it is claimed to be. Disturbingly, the recent BLACK BELT Magazine article was a glowing endorsement of the SCARS system.

At one time, SCARS was indeed the adopted hand-to-hand fighting system of the SEAL Teams. Please bear with me as I qualify the "official SEAL fighting system" title. The Teams are constantly bombarded by offers from various martial artists who want to teach their respective systems to the military (in exchange for lucrative government contracts and the opportunity to add the name of a prestigious and mysterious commando unit to their instructor resume). For all of the Petersons, there are also a number of instructors who have brought their skills into the specwar community and then quietly went on their way. Additionally, many Team Guys choose to pursue the arts on their own time (JKD and Wing Chun are very popular).

Why isn't there more standardization? I think it's because the actual cases of style-distinctive unarmed combat techniques being employed on the modern battlefield are virtually nonexistent: there is virtually no way to tell what works and what does not. Most of the martial arts world is based on conjecture: traditional systems generally evolved for specific threats, cultures, and technologies and have rarely been exposed to the "global marketplace." Also, please keep in mind that SEALs and other special warfare dudes fight as members of a team: any adopted system would have to incorporate the scenario wherein two or more SEALs pummel a single enemy soldier. It may not be heroic, but this is the reality. In a dynamic CQB scenario, an unarmed bad guy (or unknown) will be "rendered safe" by one or more operators while a third provides MP5- or M4-armed overwatch security. Most other units follow the same protocol, the exception being the SAS: the Brits' corporate policy apparently is to shoot unarmed bad guys and move on.

The military specwar community is as concerned with preparing its troops for common street- or bar-fights as the NFL is: both groups assume that their respective "players" are tough and smart enough to take care of themselves "off the field" and can concentrate on training for the Big Game. Ironically, the military personnel who have a well-defined need for hand-to-hand combat skills---Strike pilots who have been shot down and find themselves alone and poorly armed behind enemy lines---get very little training in this area.

But I digress. To my knowledge, Peterson was a San Shou Kung Fu instructor before he grew a goattee, started buying black suits and turtlenecks, and became an enigmatic "shadow-ops guru." Despite his claim of having killed four NVA soldiers in a single, apocalyptic hand-to-hand encounter (?), the pre-SCARS Peterson was fairly undistinguished within the martial arts community. As far as his military record goes, he never served with a commando unit. Peterson did have one clear-cut advantage over his peers, however: one of his senior students was an active-duty SEAL in the Navy's counterterrorist unit. This operator brought Peterson into the community (years later, this same individual would leave the Teams and market his own fighting system under a similar acronym. At some point, he and Peterson supposedly started suing each other over royalty payments).

Using some basic Kung Fu techniques and some hot buzzwords from neuro-linguistic programming, Peterson established SCARS and began instructing a cadre of SEALs based at the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, California. Some SEALs loved SCARS and some thought it was a total waste of time. Everyone realized that weaponcraft and tactical work was much more important. Since the techniques would probably be used to expeditiously handle defenseless prisoners while heavily armed SEALs provided security, SCARS was generally considered to be good for morale and "better than nothing" as a fighting system.

As time went on, the Gracies and Duane Dieter exposed some major problems within Peterson's system. To reflect the increasing particpation of other arts, the name of the SEAL hand-to-hand combat instructor course was changed from SCARS Instructor to Combat Fighting Course (CFC) Instructor. Additionally, many formerly pro-SCARS SEALs were bitterly disappointed when Peterson decided to "cash in" on commercialism and used the SEAL name to sell videotapes. This system panders to the worst of the "Walter Mitty" wannabes and amateur warrior-posers and has never been proved in the advertised type of real-world mission (contrary to Peterson's claims, the SEALs do not normally find themselves in any hand-to-hand combat situation, let alone in the "unarmed behind enemy lines with a hundred-and-fifty-pound rucksack, a bad case of dysentery, and exhaustion from having gone without food, water, or sleep for three days" scenario that SCARS cites as a common mission profile). Peterson and his friends are successful because they have cleverly accessed the kind of latent, collective "heroic warrior" mythology and vigilante escapism that all of us are occasionally guilty of indulging. The fact that the Teams are currenlt in fashion as Hollywood tough guys has helped Peterson enormously.

To be fair, I should add that SCARS was chosen back in the Dark Ages, that terrible period that existed before the UFC, before reality-based (but not quite reality!) fighting tournaments, before any other multi-discipline combative laboratories existed that could be used to gain insight into some of the general truths about real-world unarmed combat. A witchcraft mentality once pervaded the martial arts, wherein a murky background of ancient warrior champions, Jedi Knights, shadow assassins, secret techniques, and mystical death matches were used to give authority and credence to systems that had never known the hard edge of war. But this is another story...<<


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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 1999 5:02 am 
David that was a very good summation-the best Ive seen yet. However Id like to adress the whole issue in a diffrent level. Im a 4th Dan in Judo and a former golden gloves boxer. I read Petersons article and then ordered his tapes just to see what they were about.I must agree with you in that I think the organization's maketing methods are a bit extreme but the I must also point out that the scars system, in my professional opinion, is an ideal self defense system for the "average Joe." Which would include about 90%of the population. Petersons techniques, regardless of whether he really was the official trainer of the Seals, work and are quite effective. Oh I know that a lot of guys are dissing his system, but most of the crap is being hurled from the traditional martial arts sector which is still using "from the hip punches" and standing in funky tiger and dragon stances-GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!! (I was sending tae kwon do and kenpo bozos crashing to the mat long before the UFC.) Furthermore about your comments on Hoyce Gracie-sure Scars has its flaws-not unlike brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I believe that Hoyce has lost a few times most recently. No martial arts system is perfect but for the practicality I believe that Jerry Petersons is a cut above the others. Petersons system doesnt require a Herculean build or extraordinary athletic skills and it can be learned and applied easily by almost anyone with a little practice. This is ideal for most people who work a 40 hour week and cannot quit there job and leave there family to go off and train for 5 years with someone like Hoyce Gracie or Marco Huas. If you master Peterson's system are you going to be able to beat Hoyce Gracie, a Navy SEAL, or even me? Probaly not, but lets face it, your average law abiding citizen who would be in a situation were their safety was comprimised is probaly not going to be facing Hoyce, but some insecure loser with little or no skills. And in that scenario any fighting methodology is better than none. Sure I agree with you 100% that if what you say about the Scars system and peterson with respect to their marketing is true, that they are inflating their claims to sell the product, that is wrong-but this is America just look at our president!? But hands down if I had a choice between devoting $ years to a style like kenpo or petersons system for a fraction of the time then Id have to go with peterson.


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 1999 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 05, 1999 6:01 am
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Location: Costa Mesa, CA USA
I just brought a set of SCARS videos and they appear rather unrealistic in both methods and style. I can not believe that everyone reacts the same way when hit, this is what I believe makes this system flawed. Maybe I'm looking at this from a basis point of view since I study both JFJKD and Muay Thai, both systems that do not believe in forms or katas, SCARS in my opinon is basically teaching just that, forms. I am trying to keep a open mind so I am still going to keep the videos instead of returning them, but I think at present if I had t oget into a fight I would not use SCARS, thanks.


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