Some people say that the more you train in self-defense, the more likely you are to find yourself in situations where you would need to protect yourself because you’re thinking about it all the time.
I disagree with that. I think that the more you train, the harder a target you become. If you exude an aura of awareness and confidence, there is less of a chance that people will mess with you. Now if youíre training because you want to fight or test yourself, then of course your subconscious radar is going to lead you into situations where you can exploit those skills or abilities. But if youíre the proverbial Good Samaritan training for the right
reasons,it wonít. A good recommendation is to train at a club that has a moral,ethical foundation. Look at the people there and their understanding of the philosophy.
For example,look at the people of CrossFit. One of the things I always talk about is how cool,how down-to-earth every CrossFit trainer is that Iíve ever met. I donít
experience any attitude or ego in the coaches. Everyone is there to help. Now go to a general health club,how weird are the vibes when you walk around a gym? Itís awful,right? You’re always getting looks from guys who have weird clown clothing on. (Where do they get those pants, anyhow?) I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with clown clothes, of course, but the point is youíll get
all sorts of different personalities and egos and dynamics there, and that sort of thing attracts those types of people.
There are parallels between the martial arts communities and fitness. When you look at CrossFitters, at people who genuinely do it because they get it, they get the idea of functional fitness. And with the exception of a few genetic specimens like Greg Amundson, you can’t tell who’s a CrossFitter by their body type.

How do you incorporate CrossFit into your training?
I’ve always done CrossFitesque training in my workouts, blending aerobic and anaerobic fighting drills. When I started reading about CrossFit,I thought,hey Iíve always done CrossFit,but without the variation. I’d never incorporated specific exercises that worked on my body head to toe from a strength and conditioning point
of view. My approach was intuitively based on the SAID (specific adaptation to imposed demands) principle. We would work almost exclusively on the drills and skills needed for the fight.  Incorporating the sprints, pull-ups, gymnastics, and core exercises has made me a more complete athlete. I’m stronger and healthier
as a result. CrossFit training has added to my total strength and confidence. The Lombardi line about fatigue is something I look for in my opponent instead of worrying about whether perhaps it applies to me. I love the idea of variety. Yesterday I did a deadlift workout. Now,I’ve never done deadlifts in my life before CrossFit!  I’d never done any Olympic lifting, and I wonder now, at age 46, how much stronger and faster Iíd have been if I’d incorporated
this stuff earlier. I’d never been exposed to this formula of cross training in the right way or had its function explained. So I’d see weightlifting in the Olympicsóweird-body-shaped guys in spandex doing cleans and jerksóand I’m thinking,   ‘Okay, thank you, next!
Where ís the judo or the gymnastics?î But watching CrossFit trainer Nicole Carroll outlift guys twice her size made me think, ‘Oh my god, that ís functional strength!’
So what I’ve done is add these core skills on top of my regular workouts as best as I can.  I travel a lot - I‘m on the road 180 days a year without equipment - and CrossFit is perfect. Recently I was teaching a course in Tennessee; after the dayís training, I did a modified
‘Helen’.   I ran 400 meters around the building, jumped up to the first-floor balcony and did pull-ups from the second-floor balcony (which was awesome,because it was a completely different grip - almost all finger tips). I didn’t have anything to swing so I did some handstand pushups and some shadow boxing and Tabata squats.
When Iím in town at home, I do pretty pure CrossFit workouts because we have equipment in my office,and thereís also a great facility at CrossFit Montreal.

You’ve been teaching real-world self defense since 1979.  How has it changed in all those years?
It’s changed dramatically. What I was teaching then was a kickboxing derivative, because that was my influence at the time. My philosophy was always about street defense. But I went from being heavily influenced by Bruce Lee, Bill Wallace, Joe Lewis, and the full contact kickboxing generation to my current path. Part of it was luck, part of it was research. We had started doing a lot of force-on-force drills in the early 80s and we had become quite
creative and extremely realistic with our simulations. We put out the PANIC ATTACK video series that influenced most of the modern groups now doing scenario- and reality-based training.  But it was in 1988, while doing an isolation drill, that our biggest discovery was made. The drill was a ‘sucker punch’ isolation that included dialogue and natural movement pre-contact. And pretty quickly I noticed how effective the flinch was. I was looking at the
video after training and thinking,’Man, I almost got hit there, but I flinched and I didn’t get hit,’ and looking at all these other times when I was a nanosecond late on a block or slip and I did get hit.
As a trained fighter, instructor, and athlete, it was a real enigma because it didn’t make sense that I could be more effective when I didn’t try to intercept the attack and just let my body do what it wanted to do naturally. That’s counter-intuitive.
Of course, none of this makes sense until you focus on the most important factor and that is the physiological relationship to the surprise attack. I couldn’t say this as clearly back then as I can say this now, but unconscious neuromuscular communication is way faster than conscious neuromuscular communication. Conscious
neuromuscular communication is the conventional decision-making loop: I see the punch; that is my stimulus. I choose to slip, block or do some move; that is my response. But in an ambush, action is faster than reaction,and the action portion is the bad guy!
And that’s the part that most people donít get. It’s a huge light-bulb moment if you do understand it. As soon as you say ‘Let’s practice counter-ambush,î itís no longer an ambush. That’s why I said you can’t practice real fighting. Youíve got to scientifically replicate things, because at the end of the day, you canít do Pink Panther stuff and have adults jumping out of closets and attacking each other -someone ís going to go to the hospital.

Has the industry changed too?
The industry has evolved. The changes brought about by grappling and MMA have had a huge influence on how the community trains both fighting and conditioning. It’s awesome to see John Hackleman injecting CrossFit into Chuck Liddellís training and to see B.J. Penn and many other fighters embracing it.  While my system has evolved, itís really the same philosophy as when I started teaching. I started teaching exclusively self-defense
and essentially thatís still what I do. The philosophy has always been the same:I wanted realistic stuff. And I continue to evolve. In fact, I will drop what I’m doing today for an improvement that is going to enhance the survivability of myself, my family, and my students
tomorrow. Interestingly, I still receive e-mails from people asking what I think the best art for the street is and I always answer,’Art is for a museum.’ I love martial arts, but I can separate the sport and street toolboxes. I always tell people,’You’re not your style when youíre walking around.’
How do you modify your programs for men and
women? What are the differences?
A man walked into my office years ago and told me he traveled extensively and wanted his wife and daughter to learn more about self-defense since he was gone so often. I explained our approach to fear management, mindset, physiologically researched tactics, scenario-driven training, and so on. He was intrigued and then
asked me if I also had a men’s class since he should probably train too. I told him that what I had described was the class, that there was no gender separation. He was noticeably confused. I looked at him and said, ‘If what I teach will work for your wife and daughter, why wouldn’t it also work for a full-grown man?î Our
system is designed around human responses to fear and danger. You don’t have to train in martial arts to have a startle/flinch response. The startle and flinch exist before you come to class. It is a physiological survival mechanism. We donít each people how to flinch; we teach them how to convert the flinch into effective

What’s the best way to learn more about your
We have Personal Defense Readiness coaches all over the world, as well as CrossFit one-day workshops. We have many articles online on my website and on the policeone.com site in the columnist section. If you’re geographically restricted, video is the next best thing. Our bestselling video for ultimate self-defense is called Rape Safe. The title throws a lot of guys off because it sounds like it’s just for women, but we’ve heard from self-defense
instructors that it’s the best amalgamation of all of our principles, and it’s an awesome video. It takes some of the most potent information and goes from the psychological to the emotional to the scenario to the skills.
Click Here to Visit the website of Blauer Tactical Systems
Click Here to Visit Crossfit, forging elite fitness.
Our Personal Defence Readiness™ (P.D.R.) Classes & Courses will prepare you for not just one fight, but for three fights:
Fight 1: You vs You
Fight 2: You vs Opponent
Fight 3: You vs The Legal System

P.D.R. is a holistic 3-dimensional approach to Self Protection and Personal Safety. You will develop the ability to Detect, Defuse & Defend against risk of violence.

P.D.R. training is geared towards prevailing in the ‘Street’ and we value the importance of recognizing the difference between Street vs Sport. In the Street there are no rules and the violent intent is very different to what may be felt in a Sporting match. We will prepare you emotionally, psychologically and physically to deal with real violence when your opponent will not stop with a referee’s intervention!
Our drills are designed so that you practice ‘off-balance; on-purpose’, so that you are under no illusions of how things may go on the Street.

This is the core of all our training. Preparing for the most dangerous moment - the ‘Ambush’ or ‘Sucker Punch’. Experiencing the element of surprise when it is against us and how the role of the Startle-Flinch can protect us and better still be converted into something tactical to keep us safe. This is acknowledging that we are not 100% aware 100% of the time. It’s not that we want to flinch, it’s that we may flinch, if surprised! The drills help us get used to responding from a more emotionally off-balance position and use classical conditioning to get us ‘back into the fight’. The S.P.E.A.R. System is revolutionary in the field of Self Protection training and is being used worldwide by Military, Law Enforcement, SWAT, Security and Civilians.
Click here for more information

This is a highly important and often neglected area when it comes to developing life skills of Self Protection. 

“The mind navigates the body!” Tony Blauer

It is a fully integrated part of our training, whether it is on the cerebral side - spending time exploring our fear processes or on the physical side - getting stress innoculated within real time, real speed force-on-force drills.

“If you face only one opponent and you doubt yourself... you are out-numbered!” Dan Millman

We explore the subject of Confrontation Psychology & Intimidation and how to manage Predator - Prey situations.
Also knowing the difference between Biological Fear and Psychological Fear helps harness the raw power available to you in physical confrontations and staying in emotional control without becoming irrational or panic stricken.
You will develop proven and tested Performance Enhancement Psychology.

This aspect of PDR training was compiled by an expert witness in the use of force. There are currently only four such specialists in the whole of the UK, who are used in court cases that requires an expert’s opinion in the use of force as it relates to Self Defence. It has also been legally audited by a Barrister at Law to ensure it is correctly representing such Law. 
It will provide you with an overall understanding of legislation that refers to the use of physical force for Self Defence. Including Criminal Law, Common Law and Human Rights Act.
Also you will have a much clearer understanding of what is meant by "reasonable force". It will enable you to verbally and physically act within the Law when using physical force in self defence and to help you articulate your actions to authorities or if in a court of Law.
Training in this area will also foster confidence in using force when needed and eliminate background anxiety around this subject.
“The will to win compares little with the will to prepare to win.” - Bear Bryant
Once you survive the ‘Jack In The Box’ moment, if you have no follow-up then you are only prolonging your defeat! The S.P.E.A.R. System™ is the bridge to your NEXT move.
Our training will help you develop the necessary close quarter tools to further survive the attack so that you are able to disengage, restrain the aggressor or terminate the threat depending on the scenario.

“Most fights take place in the space of a phone box!” Tony Blauer

Development of close quarter tools includes the refinement of pre-emptive strikes, linking them to morally and legally sound scenarios, where it is needed to hit first to ensure your safety.

PDR training strengthens our ability to DETECT danger; knowing when we are in the presence of danger, but without knowing specifically why! Real life cases are used to assist in learning and demonstrating the powerful result of listening and trusting such tools. We explore various ways to empower and sharpen Instincts, Intuition and Intelligence. These are the main cornerstones to personal risk assessment and keeping you safe.

This module looks at specific profiles and behavioural patterns that are linked to people that have the capacity for violence. These survival signals and signs will help us create MENTAL BLUEPRINTS and PRE-CONTACT CUES that will allow you to detect and predict violence that much quicker and clearly. Without these people are left with a PSYCHOLOGICAL VOID.
We explore various ‘Power’ and ‘Persuasive’ Predator strategies so that we are less likely to be a victim of them. You will be able to answer critical questions such as:
Who exactly is our Opponent?
What are the main methods of attack?
When we encounter aggression and conflict from other people, it is much more likely that it won’t become physical and so developing verbal and non-verbal communication skills to manage and resolve conflict become important and useful. In our training we explore Tactical Postures, Choice Speech and share knowledge of Triggers of Aggression.
How will you know if a person is going to attack you? Are they a Hunter or a Howler? That is why you will learn how to make a TACTICAL RISK ASSESSMENT which will assist you in making decisions and reduce risk.
Our training will develop the verbal and physical skills of managing conflict in your everyday life, not just a violent confrontation.

“If people are willing to talk then they can be persuaded to walk!” Tony Blauer

A huge aspect of DEFUSING a potential violent confrontation is being able to ensure that we are NOT signaling aggression through body language which may escalate the conflict and instead demonstrate a desire to negotiate, which helps to de-escalate. 
Non-Violent Postures™ are key to controlling personal space, setting and maintaining boundaries and also setting up pre-emptive strikes and tactical positions, as well as engendering communication.

Replication Drills replicate a realistic, spontaneous and complete Personal Safety scenario. Isolation Drills focus on a specific part of a scenario. 
They evolve from being Static, moving on to Dynamic and then Alive. In the Dynamic and Alive stages ‘HIGH GEAR’ suits (Force on force impact reduction protective equipment) are worn to enable ‘Real Time; Real Speed’ reality based training, whilst maintaining a safe training environment. Pressure testing is vitally important to stress inoculate and develop the correct emotional and psychological mind-set.
This aspect of training is a gradual progression when the student is adequately prepared. You will not be jumping straight into a High Gear suit on your first lesson!
It is a very important part of training for the Street, as it will give you a more complete experience of a specific scenario such as: verbal assaults, environment factors, intimidation, sucker punches, deception and distraction strategies, etc.

TEL: 07768 002133 / 01273 415774mailto:info@safespace.org.uk?subject=P.D.R.%20enquiryshapeimage_14_link_0
TEL: 07768 002133mailto:info@safespace.org.uk?subject=Safe%20Space%20Gym%20Enquiryshapeimage_16_link_0