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Video Article!

Combatives and self-defense expert Tony Blauer presents part 2 of the scenario-based conditioning lecture and demo that we left off with in the August issue.

Blauer argues that effective combat and self-defense tactics--and training--should work with the body's natural movement patterns and instinctual responses to attack and fear. Scenario-based training is all about harnessing those instincts and conditioning the mind to working under high-stress physical and mental conditions.

Part 1 talked about adapting some of the basic functional movements we're all familiar with to the tactical environment to create a warm-up designed with defensive training in mind. This month, Blauer presents a fuller scenario-based workout for training "functional fighting fitness."

Video Article

Tom Arcuri of Blauer Tactical Systems presents the Close Quarter Form (CQF), a sequence of moves that drills a set of biomechanically efficient and effective close-quarter combat tactics. It is part of their S.P.E.A.R. system, which teaches that the most efficient, effective moves you can use in a fight--and in training--are ones that leverage the body's natural, instinctual, unavoidable behaviors (such as the flinch reflex, for example) and convert them into efficient protective and combative tactics.

The problem with a lot of martial arts and/or self- defense training is that it doesn't mimic the conditions of a real fight. The CQF is specifically designed to assist in visualization, muscle-memory, balance, target selection, and tactical flow--tools you can use in actual confrontations. Each move in the drill is a response to some aspect of a real fight. As a drill it is performed in a specific order not because a real fight would follow this sequence, but simply for conditioning and patterning purposes. Practicing the CQF helps prepare you to respond to an ambush or the rapidly changing elements of a fight as effectively as possible.

Video Article!

Combatives and self-defense expert Tony Blauer talks about the "realistic, scenario-based self-defense" that he teaches as part of his patented S.P.E.A.R. (spontaneous protection enabling accelerated response) system. One of the main points of his work is that an effective combative/protective system must be based on human physiology and kinesiology--that is, to be most effective, it should work with, rather than against, the body's natural movement patterns and instinctual responses to attack and fear. He has put this kind of training and mindset together with CrossFit principles to create training regimens that develop true functional combative fitness.

In this video article, he shows how he adapts some of the basic functional movements we're all familiar with (squat, push-up, sit-up, etc.) to the tactical environment to create a "Fight Gone Bad"-type warm-up (or workout) with exercises that are relevant to defensive training.

Tony Blauer is the founder of Blauer Tactical Systems, a consulting firm that has developed innovative personal defense and combative skills based on physiological responses to danger. Blauer Tactical Systems has consulted for many U.S. military and law enforcement groups and offers training for law enforcement, military, self-defense instructors, and civilians interested in research-based self- defense.

As one of the original advocates of reality-based self-defense, Mr. Blauer has pioneered research and training methodologies that have influenced and inspired martial art and combative systems around the world. He is the creator of the S.P.E.A.R. Systemâ„¢ (Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response), a medically and scientifically reviewed system that utilizes the body's natural physiological response to surprise attacks in extreme close-quarter confrontations. Training scenarios are designed to effectively simulate real encounters. Students learn performance psychology and fear management as well as combatives and personal defense readiness.

An avid CrossFitter, Tony Blauer taught Combatives/ Personal Defense Readiness at CrossFit's Training Seminar this past July. I spoke with him in late December about self-defense and physical fitness.

Yael Grauer has been training in martial arts (the good, the bad, and the ugly) since she was twelve years old. A Tucson resident, she currently trains in MMA in the garage of CrossFitter James Forbes. Yael received her Bachelor's degree from Shimer College in Illinois, and she is completing her teaching certification so she can make high school kids read Shakespeare. Her articles and interviews have been featured in a wide variety of publications, and some can be found on her website. She can be contacted at


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