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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:49 am 
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Saw this on Facebook today. Since Tony is saying it, few will have the balls to tell him that what he is teaching is a waste of time, since his students can't compete on the UFC or that they won't be able to beat up their 300 pound friend on speed. Some really "tough" BJJ bad guys decided to take Tony on between beers and I thought you all would enjoy Tony's response.
=========================================

MMA & BJJ versus CrossFit Defense
THE ONLINE ASSAULT THIS WEEK.

Many of you who follow us on twitter and Facebook saw the craziness that started Friday. Some factions from the online BJJ & MMA community came after us. It went viral.

I ignored it initially, but then I was tagged in a post where one guy challenged one of our course graduates, a masters athlete, CrossFit coach and father, who was politely explaining the benefit of the course. I was offended and disgusted.

I jumped in and redirected the fire towards me.

There was some amazing support from all over and some big name people including John Hackleman. (Thx PitMaster!)

Today I posted the letter below on a FB page where the #crossfitdefense program was once again being challenged.

Please share it with anyone you know who is sitting on the fence about this.

Stay safe,

Tony
====================

Read. Re-read. Weigh & consider.

There are a ton of misconceptions about the course, our goals and who we train and what we tell them. And there are assumptions about the type of confrontations we address.

I can teach someone how to protect their home with a shotgun and a few drills very quickly, but that doesn't mean they can handle force-on-force CQB drills with or vs a trained soldier. No one is saying that.

Its a senseless argument and to consider that a psychologically functional person, who trains in bjj or mma, would walk into a Box and challenge someone because they were teaching principles of awareness, fear management and simple gross motor movements that can be learned immediately. [Consider lots of trained cops and soldiers get dropped in ambushes by lesser trained people.] This isn't what this course is about and it sure shouldn't be what the community is talking about.

I've spent 30+ years teaching researching and coaching self-defense. I'm one of the few instructors that has trained/coached to individuals in every community from the private sector, to MMA, traditional martial arts, DT/Combatives and so on. I'm excited and proud of this course & its goals. It has already changed lives and the research and concepts have already been used.

Respectfully, consider you may be incorrect about your judgement or assumptions. As law-abiding citizens, good Samaritans, why would you want to propagate a negative image about people who just want to learn and teach self--defense.If you haven't trained with me or done the course please don't judge.

I'm frustrated that I even need to explain this. Our course is NOT a martial art course. We don't bill it as one. We don't tell anyone it replaces their love or passion for martial arts. Go to the CrossFitDefense.com website and read what we do and how we train - I guarantee its not what you think.

Lastly, whatever 'fight' you're visualizing.... that 'contest' is wrong. Therein lies the problem. In your fight you are point. Whether you are trained or untrained. And the mother, father, teenager has every right to defend themselves as the rest of us who are fanatical about our skills. There are those who do not want to grapple 5x a week or get elbowed in the head 4x a week...there are people who just want to do their thing and get to the gym then home to the family - and this is a viable option.

And this isn't some money making scheme...CrossFit is extremely successful, they aren't running this to make money. Nor am I. My company does very well with our military and law enforcement courses - I'm 53 years old, been teaching real-world self-defense for 33 years and Im on the road running these courses with my team and I love them and the feedback we get from the athletes.

Ironically we discuss the very core of this thread and all the other negative comments from the online bjj mma community we received this weekend. We discuss the bully syndrome, the contrarian and the trained fighter who mocks the concept. (This isnt about my SPEAR research and life-long passion of teaching self-defense, it appears to be an extension of the CrossFit-hater movement and so we are addressing it as professionally as we can - on a positive note, SEO ranking improved this weekend, we sold a ton of DVDs and our video THIS IS CROSSFIT DEFENSE had 36,000 views on Saturday)

Here's the premise: I can teach you about fire safety in an hour. I can show you how to grab a fire-extinguisher and pull the pin and squeeze the handle in 5 minutes, I can run drills then set up scenarios for fire safety in your home and office. And I can pass that model on to conscientious adults and they in turn can make their friends and families safer. No one needs to go to the fire extinguisher dojo for kata and belts...its easy and learned quickly.

Does that make that person a fireman? F**k no. Does that mean they can enter the firefighter Games? F**k no. It means they have greater awareness, some fear management created by discussing problems, role-playing and stress inoculating through some scenario drills and what this means is less homes will burn down. Less people will die. Is that a bad thing?

Now imagine some firemen barging into this class and gets enraged and challenges this 110 lb CF coach to handle a giant blaze or challenges her to run a hose up 4 flights into a burning scenario house in full kit...you know what I'd think?? I'd think that fireman doesn't get it and doesn't really want people to be more confident or feel safe. (And I'd like to believe that sentient humans, the warrior in all of us, would look at the fireman and shake our heads with disappointment).

In the end, Facebook ***** - its impossible to reply via chat, especially when the filters & world-views are all subjective & internal (in your head: the fight starts a certain way: I'd do this-lets see them stop this, etc, no one considers that the average piece of s**t rapist is 5'7" and 145lbs and every woman, including your sisters and moms should know how to shove a finger in that f***kers eye, rake the face, knee their nuts and break contact...am I wrong here??). The visual of a seasoned mma guy double legging a 110lbs crossfit coach who took a 2 day course is ridiculous to me as well, and I too would bet on the MMA guy, but I'm embarrassed that we even need to discuss that.

I hope I've shared some lucid points and we can go back to what we love to do.

Tony Blauer
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Re: MMA & BJJ versus CrossFit Defense
To be clear, I haven't read any of the discussions leading up to this post, nor do I have any knowledge of the CF Defense course. However, I do want to make a couple points to the larger discussion on self-defense.

There's a large portion of the BJJ community that has no business trash talking self-defense courses. There are some BJJ schools that still teach self-defense tactics, but by and large these days the curriculum is oriented around sport jiu jitsu. Sport BJJ has very little application to self-defense. It's a shame that BJJ as a whole is being lumped into this discussion b/c of some idiots among us.

To the larger point, ANY form of self-defense that isn't complete bunk (i.e.using telekinesis or "The Force") is going to be effective, provided the concepts are clear and are practiced regularly. Whether you use a hand strike or leg strike doesn't matter, as long as the reaction is ingrained and you don't have to think about how you should react. It drives me crazy when programs snipe at each other about which one is best suited to self-defense. Whichever one you happen to encode into your muscle memory is what's going to work best.
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Re: MMA & BJJ versus CrossFit Defense
I was not aware of the assault but as a student of the athlete CrossFit Defense course your reply reflects exactly what we were taught in the course and was well stated. My husband is a BJJ competitor and past MMA athlete and I never felt like I was going to learn how to beat him up... LOL, of course not! It is too bad that people have a lot to say about things they do not take the time to learn anything about but as CrossFitters we have become used to it. I look forward to taking the CrossFit Defense Coach course in the future.
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:46 PM #7
Tony Blauer

As someone who has been training martial arts for over 20 years, having been exposed to many great art forms, and then taking Tony's courses, it is amazing to say the least. As martial artists, we train differently and everything is based on the "IF.. THEN" type of scenario. "IF the attacker throws this punch, THEN I will block it with a high block and leg kick, and finish with a takedown". We train on the premise that the attack is already occurring and we hone our skills to make them muscle memory, so after years, decades, of practice, it is second nature to do certain things. But, the unfortunate reality is that street fights are nothing like what one practices in the dojang. For those that are highly skilled martial artists/MMA fighters/etc, sure, we have a higher chance of successfully neutralizing the attack, but how about everyone else? Everyone should have the opportunity to learn basic self defense skills, whether or not, they choose to pursue more in depth martial arts training.

Well, Tony's SPEAR system does exactly that. Everything taught is straight forward and built off instinctual flitch responses that the body has pre-wired into it. There's no mysticism associated with the movements, which consists of basic, yet super functional, palm strikes, elbows, knees, raking with the nails, etc. It gives any athlete or non-athlete that ability to effectively slam their palms into an attackers' face, and turn him into a PEZ dispenser the minute someone encroaches on that space, or knee the crap out of a rapist's nuts and give them that chance to get away.

The truth is, and Tony talks about this in his course, that the majority of serial killers only went after and murdered those victims who didn't fight back. They didn't want to run the risk of getting caught or hurt. The psychology of an attacker is always the same. It is a perceived ideology that the victim is weaker and won't fight back. Learning how deal with fear is a huge part of the course, and knowing that already gives anyone a great advantage.

It is very eye-opening course, and for those of you with a martial arts background, you will be amazed at how well his system can bridge into your existing knowledge base.

I would recommend all CF athletes, their wives, daughters, neighbors, babysitters, etc. to get to one of Tony's CF Defense courses. There are a few well known CF athletes/coaches who have trained with Tony and have had to use his teachings, in some way.

Regards,
Brandon

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:21 am 
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There's always going to be folks that miss the point


Dont think this is about a traditional dojo though, even though they have to cope with the same idiots.

Love his material , good replacement for the modern kumite type stuff , really makes traditional skills accessible when you have the biological and psychological and tactical starting point of how we function.

All credit to Van though in pointing out the discrepancies
And encouraging so many to study the practical modern and scientific even if it made some less pc in the end


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:21 am 
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Stryke wrote:
There's always going to be folks that miss the point


Dont think this is about a traditional dojo though, even though they have to cope with the same idiots.

Love his material , good replacement for the modern kumite type stuff , really makes traditional skills accessible when you have the biological and psychological and tactical starting point of how we function.

All credit to Van though in pointing out the discrepancies
And encouraging so many to study the practical modern and scientific even if it made some less pc in the end


Thanks, Marcus and your words here
Quote:
really makes traditional skills accessible when you have the biological and psychological and tactical starting point of how we function.
_ are the essence of surviving an attack...not the constant assumptions we see a teacher sell when talking or teaching techniques that do not 'encode' and fall apart in the 'panic freeze' when the primal brain detects killing violence in the making. .

Showing any technique and trying to convince a student that it will work with 'no worries' while failing to discuss how the biological and psychological and tactical starting point of how we function. will affect them, is not very 'educated'_

I have been pointing out these problems forever on this forum, but generally they are ignored and swept under the 'mushin rug' thought to be the all controlling factor simply because of a bunch of moves based on the traditional kata, such as sanchin, seisan, and sanseiryu.

Many of us reject the concept of_ in combining the rote moves with what you point out
Quote:
the biological and psychological and tactical starting point of how we function.
one gets closer to where head knowledge becomes high quality muscle memory_ as a student develops neural pathways that can be depended on under extreme stress.

All the stuff we practice in the dojo, whatever it may consist of, is never discussed on the floor on a human biology basis as to reactive response.

Most people who train in any kind of martial arts reject the thought that generally _
Biologically, Your Body Will Betray You
When You Face A
Violent, Unexpected Attack.

The best instructors know that when you face a fight or flight situation, the part of your brain that’s responsible for decision making, conscious thought, and remembering how to do things shuts down and your subconscious takes control.

The black belt who was ambushed and decapitated by the gangbanger in my other thread...with 100% certainty_ Froze instantly with the shock and surprise of the beastly attack.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:43 am 
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In real life, if you get into a street fight, it will probably be with the criminal element. The majority of people, even if acting as @holes on the road or in some public place, usually fall short of physical attack, unless they are of the quasi criminal variation...who often move about with accomplices who keep watch or are waiting with a car to get out of the area, such as in attacks in malls parking lots.

What usually happens is that if one of them should get into trouble while attacking/robbing you...their buddy can come up behind you with a baseball bat, knife, or just shoot you from a distance. And how many of us really hear the words 'tunnel vision' from any teacher on the floor?

How many times do we hear that there's more to any attack than just what's in front of you?

Remember the attack upon a couple of Uechi brothers that night in the dark back parking lot of the restaurant, and how one was threatened to be shot then dragged into the middle of the road and stomped on?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:27 pm 
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I've read everything here. It's a circle discussion. Meaning that we all can go over this material until we're blue in the face. It's always a good discussion however. I almost feel I should apologize for even posting this. I do not want to get into any My father can beat up your father sort of thing. Here it is plain and simple. So plain and simple that it's boring. The only thing anyone can do is train in your art as best you can. Take in as much knowledge as you can. Work to make yourself as good as your ability will allow. Because, this is all that you can do. You still bleed when cut, bruise when hit, miss incoming attacks, get frustrated, realize fear, question your training. All of this and much more. Just work to be able to move well and strike hard. That doesn't mean that you should become a good fighter, although that's okay. Everyone who trains does not become a good fighter. Your training simply gives you a better chance of defending yourself. It ups the odds slightly in your favor. Nothing fool proof, just allows you to be better than someone with no training. Yet -- that person with no training can still knock you out. Round and round we go. Hope I'm making sense here. Both sides of the discussion have their viewpoints, which are valid. The actual answer to this never ending topic might be rather vanilla. Just train in what ever martial art you are enrolled in, and do the best you can. Hopefully you will only have to call upon your training in the dojo. I hope I didn't bore you all with this, but it is what it is. ---------Art

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:58 pm 
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That’s a very sensible post Art, and the truth 100%...
You write
Quote:
The only thing anyone can do is train in your art as best you can. Take in as much knowledge as you can. Work to make yourself as good as your ability will allow. Because, this is all that you can do. You still bleed when cut, bruise when hit, miss incoming attacks, get frustrated, realize fear, question your training. All of this and much more. Just work to be able to move well and strike hard.


This is 100% correct, always has been, more so in particular_the
Quote:
Take in as much knowledge as you can.
Which over the last 17 years here on my forum, I have tried to get this point across in millions of ways, generally understood and accepted_
_ but for a minority who, not only had no knowledge of what happens to a human body under the adrenalized kick of the ‘fight or flight’ reflex_ but outrightly denied the manifestations of these hardwired human response actions, in ‘properly trained’ Uechi students.

One of the very best ways to get a grasp_and this goes to what Art is writing here about taking in as much knowledge as one can_is to take a course in deadly force preparation with lethal force trainers, such as Mas Ayoob and John Farnam, as Jim Maloney and I did at the Lethal force Institute_ where, not only we learned about the body alarm reactions we all experience in any type of combat, but listened to a number of highly trained police officers and civilians’ accounts of their experiences in deadly encounters.

As the more experienced practitioners such as Stryke, Rick Wilson, and Laird began to key in with their knowledge and experiences of ugly street battles[one I recall well was how Laird handled an assault in a tunnel in Ottawa Canada, if memory serves me well…some of the skeptical readers began to understand how our training can be affected by these body alarm reactions.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:34 pm 
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For example_ take the 'tunnel vision' and auditory exclusion[impairment] that affects a human in high stress situations...most students in class do not experience it and cannot relate to it...

The Lethal force trainers had Maloney and I place a hand against the jaw and push the head side to side to check our 360_while engaged in the 'duelatron' combat scenario with handguns.

Firemen responding to a fire, are sometimes slapped on their helmet by the more experienced ones to turn their attention elsewhere. This is where any of us may fail on the street because we lose our peripheral vision.

Years back I posted threads upon threads describing the tachypsychia effect as explained by Mas Ayoob.Tachypsychia is induced by a combination of high levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, usually during periods of great physical stress and/or in violent confrontations.

It can be looked into on line.

Rory Miller is the ultimate authority on violence as far as I am concerned.

Among the books he wrote and you may want to read, there is one: "Force decisions_a Ctizen's Guide" that is very educational.

In 'Dark moments' he talks about some running away, some freezing.
Quote:
in the same week, a 6'4" former marine was verbally challenged by an inmate. The former marine ran and hid. I have seen martial arts champions freeze, big, buff athletes cower. We can't tell so we watch.


Do we really know what any of us would have done if in the shoes of that black belt who was 'decimated' by the gangbanger...with forensic evidence showing no real attempts to fight back?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:42 pm 
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Mas Ayoob
Quote:
When the brain perceives that we are about to be in a strenuous physical conflict, a primitive mammalian survival reflex kicks in which prepares us to do battle or to flee. Quantified in the early 20th Century as “fight or flight response” by Dr. Walter Cannon at Harvard Medical School, this phenomenon may reveal itself to another person with subtle physical manifestations…if that other person is sufficiently alert and informed to recognize what they’re looking at.


When we go into a high level of “body alarm reaction,” the lizard that lives in the base of our brain and controls the machinery and the thermostats decides to kick up oxygenated blood supply. The heart begins to race and the lungs begin to take in more air. Watch for rapid breathing or panting in a person who has not performed any strenuous physical activity. You may even be able to see a pulse throbbing at the neck or the temple of some individuals.

The adrenal system instantly releases powerful chemicals in a fight or flight state, including epinephrine (“adrenaline”). One side effect of this is tremors, often violent ones, which will usually manifest themselves first in the non-dominant hand, almost immediately thereafter in the dominant hand, and then in the legs, particularly the knees. If you observe tremors in those locations in a situation that you perceive may turn hostile, go through that process of elimination again. Could the person be simply shivering in the cold? Do you have reason to believe he has Parkinson’s disease or some other ailment of which trembling is symptomatic? If not, you know the diagnosis, and you know the first step of treatment—create distance.

The body language of fight/flight

Facial expressions and body movements can give you early warning that the person you face has gone into fighting mode. All the way back to Dr. Cannon, certain cues have been recognized as classic.

The person is likely to “quarter,” that is, step back with one leg, turning his hips to something approximating a 45-degree angle. In this posture, the body is best balanced to take or deliver impact in any direction. Fighters call it the “boxer’s stance.” Martial artists call it the “front stance.” Shooters call it the “Weaver stance.” Cops are taught to stand this way, prepared immediately to react and fight, in an “interview stance.”

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:44 pm 
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The hands will typically be up, between hips and face, usually level with some point on the torso. The fingers may be partially closed. (The hands clenched into fists, or opening and closing into fists repeatedly, is a particularly blatant sign that the “fight” side of “fight or flight” has been internally engaged.)

The knees may flex slightly. This is the true “combat crouch.” The head is likely to be slightly forward of the shoulders, and the shoulders forward of the hips. Combat trainers call this posture “nose over toes.” It’s what they teach their students to go into intentionally when they prepare to fight to the finish. When someone does it instinctively, it has given you what we in police work call “a clue”…

Life experience has already taught you that emotionally aroused people may not realize that their facial expression is reflecting their internal emotions outward for all to see. This happens in hostile situations too. A snarl that brings the lips back from the teeth doesn’t require a professional behaviorist to interpret for you: it clearly doesn’t bode well. The human is a natural carnivore, and a grimace that exposes the canine teeth is a particularly overt indication of aggressive intent.

A seemingly opposite expression can mean the same thing. Tightly clenched jaws, which may even include grinding teeth, and tightly pursed lips, can also be signs of extreme anger.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:49 pm 
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Let’s go back for a moment to fight or flight basics. The heart and lungs are sending oxygenated blood through the body as fast as they can. However, if no strenuous physical activity has yet taken place, the body is now over-oxygenating, and hyperventilation can set in.

Look for meaningless movements. The guy who bounces up and down on the balls of his feet. The “walk that goes nowhere,” that is, purposeless back and forth pacing. And, as noted before, hands which clench and unclench. (Sometimes, also, jaws that clench and unclench.) The body is subconsciously trying to burn off the excess oxygen, circulated through the bloodstream by the fight or flight response, to prevent hyperventilation. This doesn’t mean the response is over with. The bottom line is, it means the fight or flight response is there.

Among Americans, nodding the head forward and back is a signal of “yes,” and shaking the head from side to side is a cultural signal of “no.” When you see your potential antagonist doing either of these things—and no one has asked him a yes or no question—you are experiencing another “create distance” moment. Whether he’s thinking, “Yes, I knew they were going to come to take me away, and now I must attack them,” or “No, I won’t let them take me away this time,” there’s an excellent chance that what he is thinking does not bode well for you.

The folding of the arms can mean a lot of things in body language. Sometimes it just means, “I’m afraid and I’m drawing into my shell.” Remember, though, that if they’re showing they’re afraid of you—whether or not it’s a rational fear—it is the nature of mammals in general and humans in particular to lash out at what frightens them. If the folded arms are accompanied by a tensing of the muscles, and perhaps also by a glowering facial expression or any of the other possible assaultive behavior cues, you won’t be far off if you read the statement as, “I am putting on my armor, because I am preparing to fight.”

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:50 pm 
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Look for changes in skin color. You already know that a Caucasian who suddenly becomes “red in the face” may be displaying what is culturally recognized as the color of anger. Be aware, however, that the opposite coloration effect can mean the same thing. When the body goes into “fight or flight,” vasoconstriction occurs, redirecting blood flow away from the extremities and toward the internal viscera (to “fuel the furnace” for the strenuous activity that the primal brain anticipates) and to major muscle groups. This is why frightened Caucasians tend to “turn white.” However, it is also why homicidal Caucasians are sometimes seen to “turn deathly pale” before they act out their violence.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:54 pm 
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Learning about Body alarm reactions should be a natural part of our training
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Sometimes, the assault will come so quickly that you can’t disengage, and you have no choice but to defend yourself. If things get cut that close—and they often do—the early warning of the danger signals the opponent put off can make the difference between survival and death for you and those you love. If he’s going to serve up violent assault, you want to see it coming in time to return the volley more effectively than he served it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:56 pm 
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But if it’s avoidable, recognition of pre-assaultive behavior cues may be your key to seeing it coming, in time to avoid it by breaking off contact entirely. The best advice on this doesn’t come from me, or Jeff Cooper, or any of the other people who teach self-defense in violent situations. It comes from the humorous poet Ogden Nash. Nash wrote:

“When called by a panther…Don’t anther.”
Mas Ayoob

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:01 pm 
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These are and will always remain the keys to ‘self betterment’ in anticipation of some ugly confrontation:

1. By Strike
Quote:
really makes traditional skills accessible when you have the biological and psychological and tactical starting point of how we function.

All credit to Van though in pointing out the discrepancies
And encouraging so many to study the practical modern and scientific even if it made some less pc in the end
.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:12 pm 
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And ...given the biological and psychological and tactical starting point of how we function, learning by an in depth study of the biological_ psychological_ and tactical_
one gets closer to where head knowledge becomes high quality muscle memory_ as a student develops neural pathways that can be depended on under extreme stress.


Some of may recall the information I posted and the threads of what The book of
Peyton Quinn related re the bulletmen scenarios of adrenaline stress conditioning.

And then experience of our Dana Sheets who underwent such training.

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