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The Bear-Hug Drill Revisited by Tony Blauer - CrossFit Journal

In Combatives, Videos

September 15, 2010

Video Article

Join combat specialist Tony Blauer of Blauer Tactical Systems at CrossFit Santa Cruz for another look at how CrossFitters can implement his SPEAR System—spontaneous protection enabling accelerated response—for self-defense.

In this video, Blauer illustrates the effectiveness of the “outside 90” position, which can even help someone escape from an opponent’s bear hug. You may remember the bear-hug drill from the CrossFit Combatives section of Exercises & Demos on

The “outside 90” position uses the body’s natural startle/flinch instinct for self-defense. As Blauer says, “You already have the hardware. What we’re doing today is just programming some software.”

10min 29sec

Additional reading: Fight Training Fitness: An Interview with Tony Blauer by Yael Grauer, published Feb. 1, 2007.

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8 Comments on “The Bear-Hug Drill Revisited”


wrote …

the man


wrote …

The legend


wrote …

Good stuff! Crossfit and the Spear system are so fundamental! I love it!


wrote …

Awesome training!


wrote …

what if he grabs you and pulls you in when your hands are down? that is more likely to happen since most of the time ppl arenĀ“t ready? just a thought.


replied to comment from martina bolonja

Headbut/bite the face/groin strike/shin kick and rake/foot stmp.
Ugly but requires no training - just a strong desire to survive.


replied to comment from martina bolonja

Martina, I agree with Paul. Two very big opportunities present themselves when your hands are pinned near the opponents groin, and your Teeth are near the face and neck. Think Zombie movies and billiards. The indignation of being assaulted can fuel your appropriate response.


wrote …

It is not 'real' to think you are going to be grabbed from the front with your arms down...unless you are completely lacking any kind of awareness or survival imperative. The flinch will put your arms up in a sudden attack, or they would be up in a protective manner if the attack was more of an encroaching type as demo'd here. Either way, the arms will be up if their are danger cues. The only realistic way you might have your arms down is from a rear grab...and even then, getting outside 90 with the arms is the best answer.

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