"By looking at how people actually fight as opposed to how we want to fight we reverse engineered a system that is fully functional because it's based on human physiology and behavior." 

-Coach Tony Blauer


The natural human response mechanism to a physical threat revolves around the fight or flight principle. The working hypothesis for Blauer’s clients (law enforcement & military professionals) is that 'flight' is not an option. Therefore, the instinct of flight must be overcome so that the individual engages tactically in the shortest time possible. Our DT, combatives and scenario R&D team has developed human performance technologies to reduce startle‐flinch conversion time.


An individual who is confronted by a physical threat will have an autonomic response or startle‐flinch that is part of the unconscious physiological 'self‐defense' mechanism [medical data that shows how the neo‐cortex, limbic system and reptilian brain can run conflicting messages during real combat stress]. This occurs even before the cognitive identification process, which allows a victim to process the available information and make a conscious decision that results in the fight or flight response.

"Extensor strength is engaged to disengage from noxious stimuli via the cross extensor spinal level reflex and flexor reflex which is also at the spinal level. These are engaged at different rates depending on the mode of stimuli but they are uniform across the human species regardless of age and training. "(Gilman, S and Winans, S. Manter and Gatz's Essentials of Clinical Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology 8th edition pages 42.) 


Over the last 30+ years, the SPEAR SYSTEM has been integrated by law enforcement & military professionals round the world. It is street and battle proven and has been validated by professionals in the medical community on three separate continents. BTS’ POI's have been integrated into law enforcement training at local, state and federal levels around the world as well.

Segment From Evaluation By Dr. Robert Smith (USA)

"The SPEAR system utilizes instinctive motion to effect a combative change in both participants. Its effectiveness is grounded in basic physiology and as a result although initially apparently simple it is fundamentally as complex as the system it is designed to protect, humans."

Segment From Review By Dr. Eric Levasseur (Canada):

“The University of Paris did an interesting experiment in 2000 (following in Da Gloria footsteps/1984). Their findings showed that stimuli such as pain or fear automatically elicit patterns of terminal motor state corresponding to fight or flight...”

“This experience also showed that most men will respond with extension of the arms following an aversive stimulus...”

“This experiment also showed that if we tell the subjects to do the movement that is unnatural to them for example: tell men to flex their arms, their reaction time is considerably lengthened. To me these experiments support the S.P.E.A.R. concepts defined by Mr. Blauer.”

“... we have multiple components which are: motivation, action readiness, action tendency, biasing of perception, cues for cognition and action and the feeling state. Here again much of these are covered in Mr. Blauer`s system. The fear response in evolutionary perspective motivates self-­protecting behaviors. The potency of the fear response dominates all functional systems. It tends to eliminate all parts of the perceptual fields that don't serve the fight or flight response; it generates cognitive bias and reduces working memory. If we want fear response to have an adaptive effect we need to have appropriate connection lines among emotions, cognition and action system. This is well covered in Mr. Blauer's system of self­defense.”

“My review of the medical literature showed that while the studies where not done for self­defense in particular but rather to look at the effects of sudden fear or aversive stimuli on the human mind and body they found concepts that are described in Mr. Blauer`s system. It seems his concepts are reproducible in different discipline and are universally valid.” 

Section From 86­ Page Report: Spear System: Medical Review By Dr Anthony Bleetman (United Kingdom)

Dr Anthony Bleetman, PhD FRCSEd FFAEM DipIMC RCSEd, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital Doctor, Warwickshire Northamptonshire Air Ambulance Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer in Surgery, University of Birmingham Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer in Primary Health Care Studies, University of Warwick

"The role of the startle response in self­-defence during sudden ambush The flinch response is a well ­recognised reflex response in which the threatened subject adopts an automatic protective posture. The SPEAR system promotes recognition of the flinch response to sudden potentially threatening stimuli and advocates a system of self­-defence which commences from the postural position the response produces. As the resultant posture from the startle response is one we cannot choose, it makes sense that techniques of defence in sudden ambush start from this position"

Report From Brian Kinnaird, Ph.D

“Having attended over 104 contact hours of Tony Blauer’s courses and studied an additional 200 + hours of seminar and DVD videos, it is my professional opinion that Mr. Blauer’s combatives system possesses the requisite scientific applications in research that make his system “scientific”. The S.P.E.A.R. System TM is a “total combatives system” that is intrinsically inclined—based upon kinesiology, physiology, neurobiology, and other, natural sciences. Because it considers the application of intrinsic kinesic actions (flinch conversion) from a basic, human response to sudden and close movement (a flinch), the system is considered by Mr. Blauer as “behaviorally inspired—genetically wired”.

In addition to being based on science, as described above, the S.P.E.A.R. System TM, in its totality, is a system created by valid, scientific processes from natural observations, correlations, and experiments garnered within the process of the scientific method. Through experimental tests, Mr. Blauer’s hypothesis has been accepted as a valid description of nature, as the predictions agree with experimental results.“

Brian A. Kinnaird, Ph.D. Chair and Professor Department of Criminal Justice Bethany College


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