Tony Blauer had him picked out: he was the guy with the tank top and lots of tattoos.
At the seminar in Australia, Blauer, who owns Blauer Tactical Systems and leads the CrossFit Defense courses, chose him as a volunteer to demonstrate how speech choices can defuse a potentially violent situation.
He told the guy, “I’m gonna stare at you, and when it gets uncomfortable, just say, ‘Hey, what are you lookin’ at?’” Blauer recounts.
Blauer chose to insult the participant several times as part of the drill, leading to increasingly hostile verbal responses and a very tense situation.
“These are some of the empirical experiments I do where I put my life in jeopardy to see if this shit would work,” he explains.
On the third interaction, Blauer made a different remark.
“So I look at the guy and I go ‘Dude, I just got my first tattoo and I’m thinking of getting another one. I’m lookin’ at yours, and the sleeve you have is pretty amazing, so I have a couple of questions: one is who’s your artist, and how long did that take and how much did it cost?’”
The participant was visibly confused, Blauer says.
“So I tell people, ‘You, the hero in the story, have a remote control.’ You’re on Channel Violence. I just switched you to Love Boat, motherfucker. Click.”
Video by Jay Vera.
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Additional reading: Dark-Alley Defense by Hilary Achauer, published Jan. 8, 2013.