Monday, August 29, 2011


Posted by Tony Blauer On August - 28 - 2009

ballisticmfUnder close scrutiny, we find that there are inherent deficiencies in many modern martial arts systems in regards to self defense practice. Of these, the propensity for students to always practice personal protection from a position of tactical “advantage” is perhaps the most dangerous.
Similarly, it seems that far too few schools these days understand—much less practice—the actual “kill zone” moments in violent encounters that are the undoing of many well-intentioned, if not well-informed, martial artists.

Enter Blauer Tactical Systems (BTS). Through his lifetime pursuit of solutions to real world violence, BTS founder, Tony Blauer, has developed yet another formula to put the “good guys” a step ahead of their violent opposition: Ballistic Micro-Fights.

In short, Ballistic Micro-Fights are the science, psychology and safety elements behind realistic role playing for self defense and scenario-based drills. The training is created to effect one goal: greater confidence during real life dynamic confrontations.

The Premise:
A Ballistic Micro-Fight, or “explosive, short-term training incident,” helps students take the guesswork out of the “big bang” moments of violent encounters. It does this by looking not only at the static components of an attack, but by putting those attacks in the context of congruent scenarios in which they occur.

Coach Blauer’s replication theory is the key. Through the scripted, focused examination of most dangerous moments of an attack, students can learn either from replicated scenarios of their own experience, from “copying” attacks seen in video or on TV, or from creative training evolutions developed with the assistance of a knowledgeable coach.

When this practice is combined with rehearsed start-to-finish “bad guy” aggressiveness, congruent attacker physiology and realistic physical attacks, students have everything they need to understand real-life violent encounters from the inside out.

An Example:
All martial arts schools of any worth practice basic defenses to a push, a grab or a punch. But, when—if ever—has anyone witnessed an attacker push or punch anyone without an incident or pre-assault indicators proceeding that attack? Indeed, with too sharp a focus, students often lose the “forest for the trees” when attacks, rather than the context of how attacks are launched—or when—is studied.

In the three-dimensional practice of Ballistic Micro-Fights, fight sequences are precisely defined, dissected and drilled to create a cohesive “flow”. Let’s look at a common one:
At a local bar, a drunk approaches;
After a brief exchange, he threatens you verbally;
Before you can respond, he pushes you;
Immediately, he grabs with his left hand, and;
He throws a wild haymaker at you with his right.

Rationalization and Progression:
The process for building a Ballistic Micro-Fight is to first understand the scenario, making certain that the attack (or attacks) is congruent with the situation.

Next, static drills are implemented to help students stress inoculate against each individual “big bang” moment of the progression; first the encroachment, then the verbal assault, then the push, etc.

Following this dissection, the dynamics of dialogue, rehearsed attacker aggression, realistic force-on-force resistance and others are added to ratchet up the speed and accelerate the learning experience for the student.

Finally, the addition of Blauer’s revolutionary HIGH GEAR™ allows for the practice of “alive” training evolutions. Voila! You have just experienced your first Ballistic Micro-Fight: a high-speed training incident that will realistically approximate the time, energy and aggression of a real world assault.

Safety first! As Coach Blauer often states, teaching self defense is dangerous—morally, ethically and legally. After all, eventually someone is going to listen to you and believe both what they practice and what you say!

Beware of “superman tactics and techniques”. Blauer notes that far too many defensive systems focus only on what they can do when they are “on”, prepared for an attack, and firing physically on all cylinders. On the contrary, Ballistic Micro-Fights should never be allowed to devolve into “sniper” board-breaking exercises. The emphasis throughout every BMF training evolution has to remain on realism and proper role playing for them to be a success.

Like weight training and sprinting, BMF practice is never to be approached with your “max” effort or at your top speed. Many question how this “restraint” translates into realism and ask, “So you’re not really trying to hurt each other?”

Coach Blauer responds by pointing out, “No, we’re trying not to kill each other!” When it comes to training, there’s more than a semantic difference in that wisdom.

There is a vast chasm between what could happen to you in a violent encounter and what actually does happen. Ballistic Micro-Fights can help you understand this by putting our worst fears into the context of the scenarios real-life victims face everyday.

By first studying and understanding the situations in which violence occurs, and then seeking to define the probable attacks that are launched within these situations, we have all of the information we need to define, study and practice varied evolutions of our protective response.

In the end, Ballistic Micro-Fight practice is not about a technique, a “move”, the action or even the result. It’s about the entire training experience and the intellectual capital gained from that experience.

The formula is so simple, it eludes many: How and where to real fights happen? How long do they last? What are the precursors to violence and how do I recognize them? Finally, how can I recreate them, repeat them and evaluate them?

The answer, of course, is three simple letters that have been designed as the only scientific method to simultaneously improve combat conditioning, skill development and decision making under the stress of fear, fatigue and force: BMF.

For more on BMF, check out our video selection, particularly Ballistic Micro-Fights: Force-on-Force Fundamentals & Drills.

© Copyright Tony Blauer/Blauer Tactical Systems, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this column may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher or author.

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