Archive for violence

The 3 Predator Types Everyone Should Know

Posted in Self-Defense, Training, Videos, Violence, Women's Self-Defense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2015 by chencenter

Video #1 was on distance management, because, let’s face it – He/She who controls the distance, controls the encounter.

Here’s video #2, and another subject that doesn’t get talked about as much as it should, and that is “Who are we dealing with in the encounter?”

Knowing our opponent can be instrumental in helping us quickly choose our action-plan (especially when it comes to Women’s Self-Defense).  Men don’t have NEARLY as many Insidious attackers as women, and thus train primarily for the Social and Asocial ones.


Please stress the importance of understanding the methods Insidious attackers use in order to control or hurt them.  Most women encounter some form of “insidiousness” on a weekly basis.



Extending a Hand to Women – Tim Larkin

Posted in Miscellaneous, Self-Defense, Women's Self-Defense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2013 by Combative Corner

Tim Larkin Profile PicI’ve you’ve been to Target Focus Training‘s website, you’ve seen the video.  Tim Larkin seldom asks us for anything… however, the truth of the matter (with the media the way that it is), self-defense for women is not going to be given the platform it needs to without help, without sales, without you guys helping to spread the message.

This should be an invaluable book (with a foreword by Tony Robbins!) and is will worth the cost.  Find it on Amazon, Barnes N’ Noble or buy directly from Tim Larkin himself.


Joyce1“As someone whose career is based around the education of women, I am eager to aid this movement as strongly as I possibly can.  I sincerely hope you guys do the same!”

-Michael Joyce

OutFoxxed Program

GTS Workshops.  North Carolina

“Violence is Never a Choice a Man Should Make” – Patrick Stewart

Posted in Crime, Videos, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2013 by Combative Corner

Patrick Stewart gives a gripping and personal answer to a fan at Comicpalooza 2013.  Be forewarned, there’s a moment (2:40) that may bring you to tears.


HFM : The Rise of a Fighting Methodology

Posted in Miscellaneous, Philosophy, Self-Defense, Training with tags , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2012 by hybridfightingmethod

The time for self-defense is over. Self-defense is dis-empowering and it is NOT what we do in the Hybrid Fighting Method (HFM). We are a fighting method – not a self-defense system. What is the difference? Well, let’s first look at what ‘self-defense’ actually means.

Self-defense means “to defend one’s self”…. which leads you naturally to the question – from what? When you think of self-defense, what image do you conjure up in your head? If you are anything like me, you conjure up an image of someone attacking you – maybe punching you, maybe stabbing you with a knife, maybe someone pinning you down on the bed – usually trying to stop someone from hurting you. You are the recipient of an action – a helpless and hapless victim – doing your very best to assuage your own demise. You are only ever reacting to what is being thrust upon you; forever one step behind until it’s too late to help yourself.

That’s what self-defense is. The very idea dis-empowers you from the start. A successful combative methodology ENABLES you to action, it doesn`t DISABLE you from it.

When you think of fighting, what image(s) do you conjure up in your head? Maybe with the popularity of combat sports these days, you think of two combatants in a ring or cage fighting for sport. And that is partially the case. The leading definition of FIGHTING is: “taking part in a violent struggle involving the exchange of physical blows or the use of weapons.” ( A fight, for our purposes, can therefore be defined as A VIOLENT STRUGGLE.

Already you imagine yourself as a proactive part of your own survival. You are enabled. You are on the offense. You are a fighter…a survivor

What are you fighting for? A person who would attack you could want a number of things – your property, your body, your life. You’re not going to let them take those things from you, you’re going to fight! But how do you fight? That’s where we come in. Just like you need a specific tool for a specific job, you too need to choose an appropriate system for your life.

Are you a soldier? Carrying around an M16, dodging bullets day-in and day-out. Infiltrating terrorist cells and narrowly missing the end of your life due to IED explosions?

Are you a mixed martial arts fighter, training 4, 5, 6 or more hours a day getting in the best shape of your life for a title fight in 8 weeks? A fight with rules, a referee, a doctor on standby?

Or are you a normal person. You live in a house or an apartment or a condo, and you live your day to day life driving your car, taking the subway, working in an office, going shopping, going to the movies, and hanging out with your friends on weekends. It doesn’t make sense to learn how to fight like a soldier in a foreign desert. It doesn’t make sense to learn how to be a world champion athlete, when what you need is a way of fighting that was designed for an urban environment. Designed for your life. Designed just for you.

Military systems like Krav Maga or Systema, and sport combat systems like Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are great…..but you find yourself in elevators, in bedrooms, in line-ups, in coffee shops, shopping mall parking lots – and these are all places that attacks happen. In fact, the number one location in frequency for sexual assaults is your very own home. You will only ever be attacked in the place that you are. And you can’t limit yourself with the rules inherent in some of these “self-defense” systems, or you are already dead.

The Hybrid Fighting Method (HFM) was specifically designed in an urban environment for an urban environment. And at the end of the day, soldiers and cage fighters need to come home to an urban environment, too.

In HFM we begin by instilling a survivalist mindset – enabling you to overcome any mental obstacles that would hinder your fight. Then we teach you how to impose your will on a would-be attacker – shutting them down quickly and confidently in ways you never dreamed that you could. And make no mistake – you can! And finally, we teach you what are called “defensive tactics” – which simply means how to deal with what is being thrown at you while you shut your attacker down.

Learn the Hybrid Fighting Method and you will transform into an urban fighter – and also become the most dangerous person you know.

T.J. Kennedy


Remember The Gurkhas: The Warrior Mindset

Posted in Miscellaneous, Self-Defense, Uncategorized, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2012 by hybridfightingmethod

When I enter a new classroom full of high school students, as I am about to teach them HFM for self-protection, I initiate by asking them who they think the most dangerous person in the room is. They inevitably answer that I am, since I am the guy here to show them how to “kick ass” as they would term it. I respond with, “Wrong. You are.”

I explain that the most important facet to protecting yourself and to overcoming violence is the warrior mindset. This mindset is that YOU are the most dangerous person you know. That no matter who you are facing, and no matter the variables present, and no matter how impossible the situation is, that YOU are going to succeed in accomplishing your will. Your will to survive; your will to escape; your will to win. The warrior mindset is 100% unquestionable self-belief, in the moment. Whether it’s one unarmed assailant, or fifteen juggernauts with machetes – you are going to win.

From the outside looking in, you may seem delusional – but that is the mindset that is necessary to accomplish your task. That is the mindset that trumps fear during your call to action.

After reading that, or after hearing it, you may still think – as some of the students do – that it sounds nice, but is unrealistic. In response I tell you this: nothing great was ever accomplished by being realistic.

Look at the Ghurkhas. The Ghurkhas are Nepalese (from Nepal) soldiers that have fought alongside the British Army for years. There are countless tales of their bravery and acts of heroism. Simply do a quick internet search of “Ghurkha exploits” and you will be taken on a magic carpet ride into the land of make-believe. These soldiers’ exploits are the stuff that legends are made of.

For example, check out this account of ONE MAN!

A Gurkha soldier who single-handedly fought off an attack on his base by up to 30 Taliban insurgents has been awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.

Acting Sergeant Dipprasad Pun, 31, exhausted all his ammunition and at one point had to use the tripod of his machine gun to beat away a militant climbing the walls of the compound.

The soldier fired more than 400 rounds, launched 17 grenades and detonated a mine to thwart the Taliban assault on his checkpoint near Babaji in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan.

Acting Sgt Pun was on sentry duty on the evening of September 17, 2010 when he heard a clinking noise outside the small base.

At first he thought it might be a donkey or a cow, but when he went to investigate he found two insurgents digging a trench to lay an improvised explosive device (IED) at the checkpoint’s front gate.

He realized that he was completely surrounded and that the Taliban were about to launch a well-planned attempt to overrun the compound.

The enemy opened fire from all sides, destroying the sentry position where Acting Sgt Pun had been on duty minutes before.
Defending the base from the roof, the Gurkha remained under continuous attack from rocket-propelled grenades and AK47s for over quarter of an hour.

Most of the militants were about 50ft away from him, but at one point he turned around to see a ‘huge’ Taliban fighter looming over him.

Acting Sgt Pun picked up his machine gun and fired a long burst at the man until he fell off the roof.
When another insurgent tried to climb up to his position, the Gurkha attempted to shoot him with his SA80 rifle.

But it did not work, either because it had jammed or because the magazine was empty.

Acting Sgt Pun first grabbed a sandbag but it had not been tied up and the contents fell to the floor.

Then he seized the metal tripod of his machine gun and threw it at the approaching Taliban militant, shouting in Nepali ‘Marchu talai’ (‘I will kill you’) and knocking him down.

Two insurgents were still attacking by the time the heroic Gurkha had used up all his ammunition, but he set off a Claymore mine to repel them.

At this point his company commander, Major Shaun Chandler, arrived at the checkpoint, slapped him on the back and asked if he was OK.

Acting Sgt Pun admitted that he was confused at first about whether the officer was another member of the Taliban.

Asked if he might have accidentally fired on his commander, the Gurkha smiled as he said: ‘I didn’t have any more ammunition.’

Acting Sgt Pun believed at the time that there were more than 30 attackers, although local villagers later told him the figure was more likely to be 12 to 15.

He said he thought the assault would never end and ‘nearly collapsed’ when it was over.

As soon as it was confirmed (they were) Taliban, I was really scared,’ he recalled.

But as soon as I opened fire that was gone – before they kill me I have to kill some.

I thought they were going to kill me after a couple of minutes, definitely.

He spoke of his pride at receiving the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, which is only one level down from the Victoria Cross.

‘I think I am a very lucky guy, a survivor. Now I am getting this award it is very great and I am very happy,’ he said.

In total, Acting Sgt Pun fired off 250 general purpose machine gun rounds, 180 SA80 rounds, six phosphorous grenades, six normal grenades, five underslung grenade launcher rounds and one Claymore mine.

The only weapon he did not use was the traditional Kukri knife carried by Gurkhas because he did not have his with him at the time.

The married soldier, whose father and grandfather were also both Gurkhas, is originally from the village of Bima in western Nepal but now lives in Ashford, Kent.

His medal citation said he saved the lives of three comrades also at the checkpoint at that time and prevented the position from being overrun.

It read: ‘Pun could never know how many enemies were attempting to overcome his position, but he sought them out from all angles despite the danger, consistently moving towards them to reach the best position of attack.’

Or this other Ghurkha, who had been retired from his military service:

A retired Indian Gorkha soldier recently revisited those glory days when he thwarted 40 robbers, killing three of them and injuring eight others, with his khukuri during a train journey. He is in line to receive three gallantry awards from the Indian government.

Slave girl Morgiana in the Arabian Nights used her cunning to finish off Ali Baba´s 40 thieves, but Bishnu Shrestha of Baidam, Pokhara-6 did not have time to plot against the 40 train robbers. He, however, made good use of his khukuri to save the chastity of a girl and hundreds of thousands in loot.

Shrestha, who was in the Maurya Express to Gorakhpur from Ranchi on September 2 while returning home following voluntary retirement from the Indian army–saved the girl who was going to be raped by the robbers in front of her hapless parents, and in doing so won plaudits from everybody.

The Indian government is to decorate Shrestha with its Sourya Chakra, Bravery Award and Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Medal and the 35-year-old is leaving for India Saturday to receive the first of the awards on the occasion of India´s Republic Day on January 26.

“The formal announcement of the awards will be made on Republic Day and on Independence Day on August 15,” said Shrestha, whose father Gopal Babu also retired from the same 7/8 Platoon of the Gorkha Regiment around 29 years ago.

His regiment has already given him a cash award of Indian rupees 50,000, and decided to terminate his voluntary retirement. He will get the customary promotion after receiving the medals. The Indian government will also announce a cash bounty for him and special discounts on international air tickets and domestic train tickets.

The band of about 40 robbers, some of whom were travelling as passengers, stopped the train in the Chittaranjan jungles in West Bengal around midnight. Shrestha– who had boarded the train at Ranchi in Jharkhand, the place of his posting–was in seat no. 47 in coach AC3.

“They started snatching jewelry, cell phones, cash, laptops and other belongings from the passengers,” Shrestha recalled. The soldier had somehow remained a silent spectator amidst the melee, but not for long. He had had enough when the robbers stripped an 18-year-old girl sitting next to him and tried to rape her right in front of her parents. He then took out his khukuri and took on the robbers.

“The girl cried for help, saying ´You are a soldier, please save a sister´,” Shrestha recalled. “I prevented her from being raped, thinking of her as my own sister,” he added. He took one of the robbers under control and then started to attack the others. He said the rest of the robbers fled after he killed three of them with his khukuri and injured eight others.

During the scuffle he received serious blade injury to his left hand while the girl also had a minor cut on her neck. “They had carried out their robbery with swords, blades and pistols. The pistols may have been fake as they didn´t open fire,” he surmised.

The train resumed its journey after some 20 minutes and a horde of media persons and police were present when it reached Chittaranja station. Police arrested the eight injured dacoits and recovered around 400,000 Indian rupees in cash, 40 gold necklaces, 200 cell phones, 40 laptops and other items that the fleeing robbers dropped in the train.

Police escorted Shrestha to the Railways Hospital after the rescued girl told them about his heroic deed. Mainstream Indian media carried the story. The parents of the girl, who was going for her MBBS studies, also announced a cash award of Indian rupees 300,000 for him but he has not met them since.

“Even the veins and arteries in my left hand were slit but the injury has now healed after two months of neurological treatment at the Command Hospital in Kolkata,” he said showing the scar. “Fighting the enemy in battle is my duty as a soldier; taking on the dacoits in the train was my duty as a human being,” said the Indian army nayak, who has been given two guards during his month-long holidays in Nepal.

“I am proud to be able to prove that a Gorkha soldier with a khukuri is really a handful. I would have been a meek spectator had I not carried that khukuri,” he said.

He still finds it hard to believe that he took on 40 armed robbers alone. “They may have feared that more of my army friends were traveling with me and fled after fighting me for around 20 minutes,” he explained.

These are just two of many examples of Ghurkha legendry. They have become almost mythical in status.

The first well-documented (written) accounts of the knife and of the Ghurka tribes come from the British who had taken control of India in the 1800’s. The British had been advancing Northward, but suddenly encountered fierce resistance as they advanced into what is modern day Nepal. The Ghurkas not only resisted the British troops, they drove them back. This is something that the British were not at all used to. They called in reinforcements, and then again moved forward. The accounts of what happened are gruesome. The Ghurkas seemed to materialize out of the jungle itself for long enough to cleanly lop a head or limb, and would then disappear before the guns came to bear. The British would set camp for the night, and though they posted sentries, men would die during the night. They were found in the morning with their heads cleanly removed, yet the sentries would not see or hear any intruders. At times the British encountered the Ghurkas in groups. The British soldiers had fine rifles and were the renowned marksmen of the day. The Ghurka were armed only with Khukris, yet were not cowed. Instead they mounted charges, dodging and weaving through the thickets until they were right on top of the British troops. The British went to bayonets, but one account describes the Ghurka tactics as follows:

“When they come near, they suddenly crouch to the ground, drive under the bayonets and strike upward at the men with their knives, ripping them open in a single blow.”

The British wisely withdrew from these areas, and then they did something very uncharacteristic. They sent emissaries to make peace with the Ghurka. Treaties were made that had far-reaching consequences. Since that day, the Ghurka have fought alongside British troops in every major engagement, including two world wars, and hundreds of minor skirmishes. In trench warfare against the German forces, the Ghurka performed astounding feats that were legendary for their stealth and courage. They were said to have regularly slipped through German lines, past the sentries, and into the trenches and foxholes. The German forces slept two troops per foxhole. The Ghurka were known to have cut the throat of one man from each foxhole without waking the second man. This was done so that the remaining Germans, upon waking, would find their dead right next to them. Those that were left alive quickly spread the story amongst the rest and, as you can imagine, this type of psychological operation had devastating consequences to the morale of frontline German troops as a whole.

There is nothing genetically special about being Nepalese that would give these soldiers any more or less bravery and wherewithal in a battle stacked against them. They are the same as you and I. They bleed, breathe, laugh, celebrate, and mourn – just like the rest of us. The key that makes these warriors so fierce and devastating is their guts. Or in more modern terms, their mindset. It doesn’t mean you are not scared, rather that you are not subservient to that fear. You rule it.

The Ghurkha motto is as follows:

कांथर हुनु भन्दा मर्नु राम्रो
“Kaatar Hunnu Bhanda Marnu Ramro” (Nepali) / “Better to die than to be a coward”

It is this motto that they keep close to their heart, and that leads to their resolve when the time comes.

Whether or not you support war or agree with the reasons behind soldiers going into battle – what you can learn from here is that one person can do remarkable things when they have an unshakable focus and determination.

When you add efficient and intelligent training methods to build an array of physical self-protection skills, then you can be unstoppable.

T.J. Kennedy

Hybrid Fighting Method

Blauer’s Ten Commandents of Street Survival

Posted in Day's Lesson, Miscellaneous, Self-Defense, Teaching Topic, Training, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 24, 2012 by Combative Corner


Imagine for a moment losing a real street fight.  Imagine the impact on your confidence, dignity and pride.  Imagine if you were hurt and couldn’t train or possibly go to work for several weeks.  Imagine if when you “physically” recovered you were gun-shy in sparring.  Imagine all this.

At the time of the attack you took too long to recognize the danger, hesitated and as you started to react you were knocked to the ground and though you put up a valiant effort you were beaten.

Upon reflection you realized that you lost this fight for several reasons:

  1. Your actual understanding of the theories of “intuitive radar”, “attacker profiles”, “sucker punch psychology” and “fear management” were limited.
  2. Actually, you never did “sucker punch” drills.
  3. You had never done “threshold and pain tolerance training” or
  4. Worked on “ballistic ground fighting” and
  5. You never analyzed natural stances.

This scenario is a fantasy or perhaps a nightmare.  But it need not be.

“Totality” in your training is simply about being thorough.

I always tell my students,

If I am to lose to the superior fighter.  Let me lose because he was better than I was.  Not because I was worse than him.”

How hard do you train in relation to “why” you train?  Think on that.

Coach Bear Bryant said, “The will to win compares little with the will to prepare to win.”  That is one of my favorite quotes and pretty much sums it up.

You can’t not train and expect to be your best at a moment’s notice.  Boxers agree to fight 3 months in advance so that they may train for the contest.  You don’t have that luxury.  As my friend Marco Lala said, “You can’t fake endurance.”


The mental side of combat is so vast and powerful that it quite literally determines your next move.  Dan Millman wrote, “When faced with just one opponent and you oppose yourself… you’re outnumbered.”

Powerful words.  Your mind can be your ally or your most formidable opponent.  Your thoughts can motivate you or they can create the inertia State of psycho-physical paralysis.

Psychological fear leads to doubt and hesitation.  Unchecked it can devolve into anxiety and panic.  Unsolicited, a ‘Victim’s vocabulary’ starts: What if I lose?  What if it hurts?  What if I fail?  Thoughts like these must be eliminated from your vocabulary for you to perform at your peak.  Your ‘self talk’ or ‘internal dialogue’ must be positive, assertive and motivating.  Your inner coach must empower you to greater heights, to surpass preconceived limitations, to boldly go where… you get the picture.  That is what it means to not defeat yourself.


The will to survive is probably the most neglected area of our training.  It is also the most important.  Knowing what to do and knowing which tools to use is important but compares little with the ‘will to survive.’  If you have great technique, but do not know how to dig deep, I will bet on the opponent with heart.  Will beats skill.  “Not giving up,” means Not giving up.  You must research this.

Irrespective of your training, there are situations that can catch us off guard.  Sudden violence or specific threats outside our Comfort Zones can overwhelm us emotionally and induce the ubiquitous “victim” mind-set.  To off-set this I have my students tap into their “desire” to survive by writing out a list of things they will lose if they do not survive the fight.

This list is memorized (ideally, long before any serious altercation) and serves as an unconscious motivating force that triggers the survival mechanisms when our theoretical warrior-self is experiencing technical difficulties.

The list should include the most important people, places and things in your life.  And you must remind yourself that if you “give up” in the street – you may be giving up that list as well.

In 1987, this concept became the Be Your Own BodyGuard™ principle.  This is a powerful metaphor for street survival.  Sometimes we feel that we would rush to someone else’s aid quicker than we would defend ourselves.. this is a common emotional feeling, however, it is not very practical if you are the intended victim.  So ask yourself, “Who (or what) would you fight to the death for?”  And if you are the person’s Bodyguard, who is yours?

My friend… be your own bodyguard.


More dangerous than your opponent is your mind.  If it doesn’t support you you’re 3/4 beaten before you’ve started.  There are really only two types of fear: biological and psychological.

Fear (biological) has been generally described as the “fight or flight” syndrome for most of our modern history.  This definition does not serve us once the physical confrontation is under way and is really not pertinent to your success.  Though the adrenaline surge created by your survival signals is a component of success, it is the mind that ultimately determines the action you will take.

Psychological fear, on the other hand, is an emotional state.  Therefore it can be controlled and used to create action.  However, due to the lack of good information on fear management, fear, as we feel it, usually creates emotional inertia: your body’s inability to move.  Inertia or panic is created by psychological fear when the mind visualizes failure and pain.  Understanding this process is necessary to conquer fear.

We use three acronyms, to help us remember that psychological fear is only in our mind.  They are:

  1. False Evidence Appearing Real (External stimuli that distracts ups; physical evidence: weapons, multiple opponents, etc.)
  2. False Expectations Appearing Real (Internal stimuli that distracts us; how we visualize, images of pain and failure.)
  3. Failure Expected Action Required (A trigger to DO SOMETHING!)

Cus D’Amato, a famous boxing coach, said, “The difference between the hero and the coward is what they do with their fear.”  The next time you feel it – fight it.  Challenge your fear.  Attack your fear.  Do not fear fear.  We all feel it.

Fight your fear first then fight your physical foe. 

This is one of the true ways of growth.


When it’s time to fight, most fighters telegraph their intentions.  This “faux pas” is committed at times by everyone and every type of fighter, including you and me.  From street fighters to professional boxers, from military generals to serial killers.  We all telegraph.

Telegraphing for most is considered to be a physical gesture, but really, the physical telegraph is usually the third stage of the telegraph ‘Domino effect.’  In my seminars I always remind participants that you can only beat the opponent when the opponent makes a mistake.  Think about that.  The “real” opportunity occurs at the moment of the telegraph, when the intention is revealed, when there is hesitation or a momentary lapse in attention.

Start thinking about the various ways we reveal ourselves, signals that create the telegraph: anger, erratic breathing.  Adopting a specific stance, going for the knockout, verbal threat.  These are some of the most common telegraphs that would afford an experienced opponent some mental preparedness.  Remember that your opponent should be the last person to see your attack.

This subject is so vast that I can’t do justice to it here.  Just remember that fighting is like tennis, the player who makes the most unforced errors, generally loses.  But don’t look at the obvious.  Be sure to study our Sucker Punch Psychology and Non-Violent Postures theory.


You must know in advance that you will survive the authentic street fight.  By ‘authentic’ I mean a true situation where you have a moral and ethical reason to take action.  Only then can you be resolute in your conviction and only then will you have the support of good and the force of the universe behind you.  This may sound corny to some, but when you use your skills for “life” (for preservation), rather than “death”, (abuse of your skill) the emotional power that is available to you is exponential.

You must also appreciate the relationship to the pejorative ego in combat.

You don’t “win” a real fight.  You survive one.

Win & Lose are labels our ego uses.  Think survival.  Think about your life and why you’ll survive.  This is true power.

Remember this: Never fight when your opponent wants to fight.  Never fight where your opponent wants to fight.  And never fight how your opponent wants to fight.  Take care of those three factors, I’ll bet on you.  Sun Tzu wrote: “The height of strategy is to attack your opponent’s strategy.”  Study this.

*On purely a strategic level you can study the Samurai treaties about the mind and the ego and death.  They reveal much about the appropriate mind-set for lethal combat.  If you catch a glimpse of the power of this mind-set you will recognize true power and you will be sure not to abuse this power.


You’ve heard the expression “An accident waiting to happen.”  So many victims of violence failed to use simple skills like awareness and avoidance.  No one deserves to be a victim, but many street tragedies result from “planning for failure through failure to plan.”  Though the world is an incredible and wonderful place, it does have its dangers.  If you respect the simple truth and spend a little time developing your Survival Toolbox, you can get back to the real task at hand: enjoying your life.

For simplicity sake consider there are two types of victims.  Those who deny and ignore (apathy will usually help seal your fate) and those who manufacture danger at every turn.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to read Gavin De Becker’s excellent book, The Gift of Fear, get yourself a copy.  It is the first time, in my opinion; anyone has effectively explained the fear signal in a positive, useful light as it relates to danger and violence.  His examples and theories are welcome additions to the pre-contact arsenal necessary to try to avoid violence.

It would be nice if simply ‘trusting’ survival signals were all we needed to detect and avoid danger.  Unfortunately, there may be situations where we do everything right, but still find ourselves in the thick of things and must take physical action.  Preparation is paramount.

Learn to evaluate a stimulus in advance.  This mind-set will spare you a lot of trouble if you do a little research.  In the end, most situations are easily avoided with the right attitude, awareness and advance analysis.

Here are the critical areas you must examine:

  • Evaluate your routine.  Are there any obvious places you could be attacked?  Is there something about your schedule, behavior, residence, etc. that sends a ‘come and get me’ message to an opportunist criminal?  When you you attack you and why?
  • Evaluate your mind.  What type of person are you?  Do you find yourself in many confrontations? (Of any nature)  How do you deal with them?  Do you lose your temper quickly?  Do you accept abuse (verbal, mental, etc.) too readily?  Both reactions could create serious problems in a violent confrontation.
  • Evaluate your arsenal.  You may take care of the routine and have yourself in total control and still be faced with a threat.  What specialized skills do you bring to the confrontation?  Many of us become fairly proficient with our empty hands in a ready stance in the dojo where we know the rules, we know our opponent, the level of contact is agreed to and we’re wearing equipment and.. I think you get my point.  Do you really understand the nut on the street?  Are you confident on the ground?  Against a weapon?  In a survival scenario?  Total confidence results when you ask pertinent questions and research, to satisfaction, the answers.  That’s being proactive.  After all, this is your life.

Apathy and denial will seal your fate in a confrontation.  Other personality aberrations like an inflated ego, misguided inferiority complex, and overconfidence all contribute to the issue of safety.  There attributes will create problems during confrontations of any nature.  Be proactive about the things that can cause you grief.

I have a simple belief that keeps me honest and introspective:

I believe we experience confrontations every day of our lives, (“Confrontation” defined as any situation that affects our enjoyment of the moment – I know people who take traffic personally!).  Therefore, the degree of calmness and clarity with which we deal with our confrontations will directly determine the quality of our day and therefore, the quality of our life.


Bruce Lee wrote in his Tao of Jeet Kune Do, “Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain.  Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life’ Do not be concerned with your escaping safely – your life before him!”

Hmmm? What do you think of this? Pretty powerful, huh? Not how it triggered a visual and how it affected your mind-set: power or fear?  Though Bruce Lee’s quote has much value, it sends a dangerous message if not analyzed correctly.

Many people who come to the martial arts for self-defense buy into the mythological image of cool nerves, impenetrable defense and total control.  Unfortunately, the sociopath’s intensity on the street bears little relation to the energy in the dojo and so those martial artists who have not done diligent homework for the street situation are predisposed to fail.  This doesn’t mean they will.  But, it means they survive in spite of the way they trained.

What would you do if…?  Have you really visualized different scenarios and analyzed what would be necessary to escape the confrontation safely?  It takes courage to walk away.  Is avoidance a component of your self-defense system?  How far would you go to avoid bodily harm? Would you kill?  What moral and ethical issues do your responses raise?  do you possess a directive, one that would support you in a court of Law or when you looked in the mirror?

When you train with integrity, and respect all humanity, you will grasp the deepest message in Bruce’s words.  As a last resort I endorse his message.


There are key areas of concern for this commandment.  Human beings are designed for improvement.  Our brains and bodies are built for success.  We use only a small percentage of our brain’s capacity.  Our bodies are capable of massive muscular and cardiovascular development and we have only just begun to explore the power of spiritual development.

Remember earlier I wrote that the mind navigates the body?  I believe that there are three fundamental rules we all break from time-to-time that prevent us from maximizing our performance and development in many areas.

  1. Avoid Comparison: Compete with yourself.  Use other people for inspiration only.  If someone is better than you are, use his or her “skill level” as a reference point.  Find out how they train and what their beliefs are.  Many people miss this point and experience frustration in their training.  The pejorative ego is duplicitous and works overtime on comparison.  It’s your job to defuse this emotional time bomb and get focused on your path.
  2. Don’t Judge: Don’t judge others.  Don’t even judge yourself.  Learn to evaluate, diagnose, weigh, and consider.  When you change the “judgement filter” to one of “analysis”, you will gain so much more.  Like comparison, judgement is a detour away from our goals.  Many times we enter some arena (relationship, job, fight) worrying about what the other person is bringing to the table.  Howe can you be yourself and work on you when you are fixating on them?  True education takes place when we start to notice our tendency to compare and judge.
  3. Limiting Beliefs:  Many of us have been fed negative programs during our life and these ‘ideas’ eventually become our very own erroneous beliefs.  And they severely handicap our growth.  How often do we say or hear statements like, “You can’t.” “That’ll take too long.”, I’ll never be able to do that”, “What’s the point?”.  The list goes on… you get my point.  Beliefs that do not serve your goals, success, happiness, or dreams must be purged from your mind.  This is an easy process.. you believe it is too hard.

Just remember that starting off positive is every bit as important as actually starting.

Here’s another key concept in the performance enhancement formula my company has developed:  You’ll often hear motivators state: “Your potential is unlimited.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Actually ‘potential’ is quite finite, whereas ‘capacity’ is unlimited.  Think about it [and yes I know this is completely backwards from conventional thinking].  Your ability is limited by your capacity.  But you can work on your ‘capacity’ daily.  And therefore ‘capacity’ is continually evolving.  However, ‘potential’ is fixed.  In other words, your potential is limited by the fact that you are human, or of a specific gender, age, size and so forth.  Potential is also something we ‘can’t do’ yet.  The trick in maximizing performance therefore, will be our ability to reframe, to create a personal paradigm shift and really direct our energy into our ‘current abilities’ and forget about where we could be if…

Confused?  Read the next two paragraphs and then reflect a little.

I have done a number of motivational seminars on this very important paradigm shift, an empowerment process I call The Myth of Peak Performance.  To consider, evaluate, plan and proceed, you must understand the difference between “capacity” and “potential.”  What you can do is your capacity.  What you would like to be able to do is your potential.  But, at the end of the day, you can only do as much as you can do.

Reflect on this expression:

“You’ll never know how much you can do until you try to do more than you can.” 

In training, assess your capacity, recognize your potential as greater, and create realistic goals so that you experience success regularly and you will be on your way to self-mastery.  But do not fixate on your potential.

In the self-defense and martial art world many practitioners severely handicap their capacity by not sharing information, not investigating other options and ideas, not asking questions, etc.  To go beyond the limitations of style’, you must challenge all ideas so that your training results in unshakable faith in your skill.


Bruce Lee said, “Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.”  This commandment is important on two levels.  Firstly, on an emotional level it is so important to make peace with everyone we contact.  This attitude is contagious and if we all adopted a more loving and compassionate view of life and of our fellow human beings, we would all experience a significant increase in happiness and peace of mind.

In the martial arts world there exists so much comparison, pejorative competitiveness and politics, that our industry is simply a microcosm of the warring nations and rival gangs that pollute our cities and countries.  Please reflect on this.

We are on the same team.  We train to better our selves.  We choose different schools and styles for a variety of reasons.  But we all want the same think. Peace.  Inner peace. Confidence. Self-control.

So keep an open mind.  Maintain a “Beginner’s Mind.”  A beginner loves to learn.  He is intent and intense.  Learn to communicate, listen to the words, and listen to the voice of body language.  When someone shows you a different way or explains a different approach, listen keenly.  Savor, digest and absorb.

And secondly, as a martial artist and self-defense specialist, you cannot afford to limit your training.  The more you understand any and all strategies, approaches, attitudes and methods, the greater your confidence.

So remember, training must be holistic: Mind, Body, Spirit

(*Note how each commandment interconnects and a flaw in one of the areas could very well throw the equation into flux.)

*Article is re-posted with permission & unchanged from the original. 

From Tony Blauer, “Permission is granted to quote, reprint or distribute provided the text is not altered and appropriate credit is given.

Tony Blauer is one of the most sought-after authorities in the area of self-defense and is the owner of Blauer Tactical System in San Diego, California. For more information on him, visit his website at http://TonyBlauer.Com and/or follow his postings on his Facebook Group (Personal Defense Readiness).


Tony Blauer’s Cycle of Behavior

Inteview with Tony Blauer

Outside 90

Tim Larkin Banned in the UK? Is this for real?

Posted in Miscellaneous, News, Self-Defense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2012 by Combative Corner

Yes, it is.  Just recently, while trying to board his Las Vegas-to-England flight, self-defense expert Tim Larkin was denied entry to the country passed on him being deemed a “security risk.”

“I have a 12-year history of doing such seminars in the UK without incident,” he said.

Nevertheless, he was now prohibited from entering the country because of what the seminar attendees might do—specifically, use their newly acquired skills in riots.* (Black Belt Magazine)

Here on the Alex Jones Show, Tim discusses the details.

A big question, how are the self-defense instructors in the UK dealing with this and how might their business be affected? 

There are many great teachers there such as: Geoff Thompson, Lee Morrison and Richie Grannon to name a few.

We welcome your thoughts on this matter.  The lines are open!


10 Questions with Tim Larkin

The London Story : with Tim Larkin

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