Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Tony Blauer - Street Psychology: The Forgotten Range of Close Quarter Training

“The mind navigates the body. If the mind hesitates, so does the body.”
- Blauer Tactical System’s Maxim


Apathy and denial will seal your fate. The victim mindset is often one born of apathy and then imprisoned in denial. The key to action (the remedy for hesitation and emotional inertia) is to simply accept the situation and move on. This is the first step towards tapping into the ‘victim’ to ‘victor’s’ shift.

Get Challenged

The moment you sense danger Get Challenged. The opposite of challenged is threatened. Irrespective of the situation, you always want to be challenged. It doesn’t matter the potential danger. Remember that you are there. Accept it. Now, start figuring out your strategies and tactics.

The way you communicate to yourself will reveal whether you are prone to use “victim” dialogue (I can’t) or “victor” dialogue (I can). In every challenge you want your inner coach to support your efforts.

Don’t Stop Thinking

Never fixate on one idea in combat. Your mind must be free to improvise. Plans must be flexible for you to experience spontaneity. Many people freeze in situations simply because they stopped thinking about options.



A directive is your ‘mission statement’. It is a simple mental tool that will help you sharpen your focus in the situation and realign your intention, thus, helping you to more quickly get focused and create strategies. Think of your directive as a default program that ‘kicks in’ as soon as you sense danger. Most people don’t have a true directive. Create one. It will quicken your response time because it gives your plan purpose. Your ‘purpose’, or objective, creates an internal command that sets your psychological arsenal in gear. This is fundamental for any sound strategy.

This is my personal directive and it governs my mind set during most confrontations:

“When faced with the threat of attack,
I will do what I can to avoid the confrontation
With as little violence occurring to both myself and my attacker.”

My directive helps me focus on my objective as I carefully select the right strategy to protect myself. I know I want to avoid violence. I now have permission to run or fight. Directives can be slightly different for each person (depending on situation, environment and occupation). But, as a rule, your directive should embody our Tactical TEN COMMANDMENTS.


Anything you do that forewarns your opponent only serves to make for a more dangerous opponent. You don’t need him more prepared. So don’t offer him a greater adrenaline dump. Let him be overconfident.
Therefore, never tell your opponent that you train. Never adopt a stance until the “physical” stage of combat has already commenced.


Musashi said, “Make your fighting stance your everyday stance and make your everyday stance your fighting stance.” There is much to learn from this idea. However, on a literal level (and in conjunction with rule “C”), it means, simply, fight from where you are. Every position you are in is a fighting stance. Learn the blocks and strikes from all “natural stances”. This exponentially increases your element of surprise.



The amount of force you use should parallel the danger you are in. This will serve you morally, as well as, legally, should the altercation go to court. As martial artists we are exposed to so many different ways of striking and rarely are the methods identified in relation to the legal concept of the Force Option Continuum. In my system we practice with “emotional motion” drills (using the same techniques while trying to feel fear or panic, or total confidence, etc.) and we give directives when practicing scenarios, i.e. stun & run, subdue, defend with extreme prejudice and so on. Using directives and practicing while in various emotional states allows participants to fully understand how emotions impact their skill and it permits them to evaluate in training the appropriate choices they should make during a confrontation.



When you create a strategy, visualize the goal. Don’t just start a strategy, which is what most people do. Your strategy is like a map, which only serves you when you have a destination. Your goal is your destination and you want to arrive alive. So create a strategy with the successful resolution of the conflict.



Remind yourself that psychological F.E.A.R (False Evidence Appearing Real or False Expectations Appearing Real) is your real enemy, more so than your opponent is. Succumbing to psychological fear induces inertia (a body’s inability to move) and will create the opposite of “F” (above).



A strategy is only useful if it works right? You must simultaneously monitor the situation while you are engaged and determine if your choices are appropriate and be willing to confidently change your strategy should the circumstances change.



Identify ‘Closest Weapon/Closest Target’. This strategy in conjunction with your natural stance awareness is an unbeatable combination and is the foundation of our SCIENCE OF THE SUCKER PUNCH seminar. Study this well, as it gets you focused on “first strike” advantage, thus, increasing your perception speed that ultimately reduces the chance of you getting sucker punched.



In the immortal words of the late Patrick Swayze’s portrayal of Dalton in ROADHOUSE, “Be nice, until it’s time to not be nice.” Don’t be cute, either. Violence is not funny and you should really make the effort to avoid the situation. Try to verbally defuse the confrontation using “choice speech” skills.

Copyright Tony Blauer/Blauer Tactical Systems www.blauertactical.com. 

Tony Blauer is CEO of BLAUER TACTICAL SYSTEMS (BTS) which is one of the world’s leading consulting firms specializing in research & development of combative training & equipment for the military, law enforcement and self-defense communities. BTS has taught key performance enhancement, fear management, and combatives based on S.P.E.A.R. System research to military, law enforcement and civilian personnel since 1988.
Permission is granted to quote, reprint or redistribute provided the text is not altered, and appropriate credit is given.



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