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Old 11-18-2007, 08:50 PM
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I'm always looking for self defense systems that are easy to learn and effective.

I do not believe you can take a course and then beat a competent black belt or boxer or wrestler. However, I believe you can learn valuable skills for street fighting that will allow you to hold your own on the street, or at least give you a fighting chance at coming out on top.

What I like about courses that show you how to perform effective strikes (effective strikes are those that end the fight immediately, like knockout blows and bone breaks and kill shots) and what those strikes will accomplish is they give you uncomplicated options when defending yourself. Martial arts take years of practice to become effective, in my experience. Short hand-to-hand lessons do not take long to learn something effective, IMHO. I've been fortunate enough to have both under my belt and I've noticed the hand-to-hand lessons dovetail nicely with the martial arts training I've had.

Martial arts and especially boxing are the best options if you want to be able to fight with the best of them. I'm not knocking them or implying that shorter hand-to-hand classes will put your skill level higher than a martial arts class or boxing or wrestling or some combination there-of. I'm saying that if you're not going to invest the time and effort to become competent at a martial art or boxing or wrestling then a hand-to-hand class can at least give you skills you can still use in a conflict.

Now that we've got all that out of the way and no one thinks I'm trying to say that quick and dirty hand-to-hand classes are better than martial arts, boxing, or wrestling, I've got a link to post.http://www.targetfocustraining.com/home.html?split_id=3

I've had my eye on this one for a while. I'm going to get a DVD or two to see what it's about and I'll make a decision on whether or not to go take a live class to learn this system. Just wondered what you all thought about it. I know this guy hypes his class and makes some claims about how effective it is, which I take with a grain of salt. I'm more interested in what I can learn to end a fight as quickly as possible by inflicting an appropriate amount of damage.

BTW, more martial arts is not an option for me at this time. I simply do not have the time to pursue them at this point. I'll get back into it in a few years when I'm working less. (If you've caught some of my other posts on the site you know I work 2 full-time jobs and have a family.) So telling me that a martial art is the only way to go will not do me much good. And I've checked into Krav Maga as I could have made time to take a 6 week course and continued from there as time allowed. No go. Having seen it up close I can say with confidence that I can defend myself quite well from it, at least the form of Krav Maga taught in my area.

Lastly, I am in no way size shape or form affiliated with TFT or Tim Larkin. I posted this for information only, not to advertise him. I may well post other classes or training videos as I come across them.
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:44 PM
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Hi,

Just joined up and saw your post from 10/2007 regarding TFT and Tim Larkin. I've studied a number of years in Kyokushin karate and was likewise looking to add combat technique not usually found in traditional MA study. I'm considering either the DVDs or live training and was wondering if you had an opinion on the materials that you would be willing to share.

TIA.

Cheers!
Old 12-07-2008, 09:27 PM
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I would look into the SPEAR system. Despite my many years of martial arts training in various styles, for the street, the SPEAR is usually my first move. It is very easy to learn and retain. When I teach it to other people it usually only takes about an hour.

I often have potentially violent and down right violent people in front of me and I always plan on applying the SPEAR. I don't get money if you order videos from this guy, I just really believe in this stuff.

Watch all the videos from Toney Blauer.

http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/exce...tml#Combatives
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:28 PM
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Here is the official web sight.

http://www.tonyblauer.com/
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Old 06-27-2010, 02:21 PM
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Just found this post again. A lot has happened since then. I'm now working just one job and I've accomplished my financial goals. And I've taken the live training class for Target Focused Training. I'm currently using the DVD's to further my training.

It was exactly what I had hoped it would be. No fancy moves, just simple attacks against weak points on the body and a focused, single-minded determination to destroy the other person by attacking those points and causing physical damage from whatever position you happen to be in at the moment the fight begins or during the fight.

It's principles based training rather than technique based, meaning you target and attack the weak points, one at a time---whichever weak points are open at the moment---rather than using techniques in combination. As well, it relies on reflexive reactions to damage you cause. We all know that a blow to the groin will cause an attacker to double over. The extent of that reaction depends on a number of things, not the least of which being how hard and accurate the blow to the groin was. Target Focused Training teaches to press that momentary advantage to cause more damage before the person is finished reacting. (After a blow to the groin, the ears, the eyes, back of the neck, kidneys, ankles, and shins are open to attack and undefended while the person is still reacting to the initial blow. Those are just a few targets open at that point. Successfully attacking any of these targets within a second or two will earn you another reaction rather than a counter attack. Keep attacking until the person is disabled and no longer a threat to you. Perhaps breaking the shin will be enough to allow you to exit the situation. Or perhaps it will take gouging his eyeball out of his head. Whatever it takes is what it takes.)

Another thing I liked about TFT was their willingness to teach students to maim and kill. They do not shy away from this aspect of self defense. Some of the first things they teach is how to take a life. Despite what I've read time and again, there is a such thing as a killing blow in one move. A hard blow to the throat will most assuredly kill a human being, for example. There's nothing fancy about it. Step in deep and deliver the blow as hard as you can manage using your body weight to increase the force. TFT has been criticized for teaching students to kill. People on the outside looking in tend to feel that TFT should teach responsibility and hold off on teaching people to kill until those students have proven they are responsible enough to know that knowledge. People on the inside taking the class are adults (No such thing as a children's class) and already understand how to deescalate a situation using verbal techniques. They already understand how to avoid danger in the first place. They already understand how serious the decision to kill another human being is. And they've made the choice to learn how to do that so they can be the one to walk away from a life and death confrontation that may happen despite all their precautions. TFT is not for sparring on the mats with friends. It is not for sport. It is not for settling disputes over stupid things. TFT is for life and death conflicts. Period.

So, with all that description, TFT might sound like the end-all, be-all combat system. It is not. TFT is a very limited self defense system in that it is used ONLY for the point of crisis in a life and death confrontation, the point at which someone is actually attempting to harm or kill you. TFT has no place in the escalation leading up to violence or the aftermath of using violence to save your life. TFT would not serve one well for anything but a life and death confrontation. Martial arts, on the other hand, does deal with the escalation toward violence and it does teach responsibility. Also, martial arts has levels that one can spend the rest of his/her life to achieve one after another. TFT does not.

TFT compared to martial arts: Someone trained in TFT can probably not take down a well trained black belt who is seriously trying to destroy that TFT-trained person. As well, someone trained in TFT can probably not take down a professional boxer, or a boxer who has years upon years of training. The reason is simple. Those black belts and boxers and wrestlers or what-have-you's have dedicated years of their lives learning to perfect their skills. The person using TFT does not possess those skills and will fall short against someone with years upon years of training. However, I say probably because even someone with those skills can be taken down and killed if they make just one mistake, let just one well aimed blow slip by to the target. (An inadvertent blow to the throat or temple can kill someone with super duper skills as quickly as anyone else.)
TFT was designed for the thug who would victimize you and yours, not Mike Tyson or Bruce Lee. Yes, you could argue that a thug who has spent years perfecting his fighting style can still kill someone with TFT training. That would be correct. However, most criminals you're likely to encounter have not dedicated their lives to learning a fighting style. Heck, if they were that dedicated to being the best they wouldn't have chosen a life of crime to begin with, most likely. They're simply there to immobilize you as quickly as possible and use any means necessary so they can victimize you. TFT teaches you to do the same to them.

Multiple attackers and weapons: TFT teaches how to deal with weapons as well as multiple attackers. When dealing with either, the main focus is, as always, on causing damage quickly to the person. The focus is always on damaging the person and never the weapon itself or the other attackers who are moving in on you. In the moment, doing damage is all there is. You can block a knife strike, but expect the attacker to strike again and again until you can disarm that person or he kills you with his knife. However, if you damage the knife-wielding person badly enough you can expect to walk away with no further attacks. With multiple attackers, you focus on one at a time and damage him badly enough to put him out of the fight, then focus on the next attacker, always moving to keep whoever you're dealing with between you and the others.
Is this the perfect solution to weapons and multiple attackers? No, there are no guarantees you're going to survive. But for someone who has not dedicated his/her life to becoming an expert in one of the many fighting systems out there that requires years of training to be effective, TFT gives a solution that does not require years of training and is effective almost immediately.

TFT mindset: Simply put, the person that causes the most damage the quickest is going to walk away with his/her life when the confrontation is over. Damaging or even killing the person is the only sure way to end the confrontation. Take the knife away and the person can still use his fists or another weapon. Take the knife-wielding person's ability to continue fighting away and that threat is done. The threat is always the attacker, never the weapon. He will not get up and attack you if you damage him badly enough, especially if you kill him. Toward that end, there is nothing else to focus on except causing damage. That single-minded determination is what makes someone with this training dangerous, IMHO. Someone with TFT under his/her belt is not looking to find out if they're a better fighter, stronger, more skilled, or tougher than the person who is attacking him/her. He or she is focused on damaging the person as quickly as possible so he/she can safely get the heck out of the situation. Period.
The motto I heard more than a few times was, 'Violence is almost never the answer, but when it is, it is the only answer.

Right and wrong: TFT has absolutely nothing to do with civility, rules, manliness, right and wrong, looking good, looking skilled, social rules, winning or losing, competition, pitting of skills against an opponent, dignity, integrity, chivalry, or any other qualities society wrongly attaches to combat. TFT is about getting the job done and getting the job done means damaging the other person so badly he is no longer a threat, up to the point of killing the person. TFT is about violence and nothing else.
If a person doesn't already have a sense of right and wrong, know better than to go looking for trouble, know to avoid trouble in the first place, know how to calm a potential conflict down before the point of crisis, and understand the seriousness of taking another human's life, that person has no business learning TFT.

Training: Currently, TFT offers 3 methods to train; DVD's, Live training class, and online training. I can speak only about the live training and the DVD set. I have no experience with the online training. The live training is excellent in my opinion. You learn both how to train and how to survive a life and death conflict by damaging or killing the person. The DVD's are very good, though it's best if you've got a live training under your belt before you begin training with the DVD's. There are principals like using your body weight to plow through your targets that aren't as clear as they should be in some of the DVD sets. However, live training covers those principals very well person to person. Once you've got those principles you can apply them to the training on the DVD's.
The training with a partner is done slowly and methodically. This is for safety. You simply can not plow through your reaction partner's throat and expect not to harm or kill him or her. As well, your partner is not actively blocking or attacking you. You start from a point after initial damage and continue from there, slowly and methodically, your partner giving you the minimum basic reaction to the damage you cause. It's nothing like sparring in a ring. The nature of TFT makes that impossible. There are very few actions you will take that will not damage a human being, including your reaction partner. Hence, you do not actually use it full force/full speed on your partner.
The online training, from what I've read, seems to involve videos from TFT, videos of yourself training with a partner sent to TFT for review, feedback from TFT trainers, and live critiques via telephone conversations with TFT instructors.

Price: TFT is expensive, no getting around that. You can expect to pay $1,500.00 to attend a live training class which lasts two days, 8 hours per day. The DVD sets are hundreds of dollars or, if you want the whole nine yards, around $1,000.00 for the whole system. I'm not sure about the price of online training.

Was it worth it?
I was looking to learn how to kill and maim if I had to in order to survive a violent encounter or to protect my family. I wanted to learn how quickly and easily. I wanted to learn simple moves, nothing fancy. And I wanted to be able to use it at any point, whether I continue to train or not, from then on if I chose to use it. TFT fulfilled all of my criteria and I am not the least bit disappointed I took it. My wife and mother are next to be trained this December in Vegas. I would not pay that kind of money to get my wife trained unless I was satisfied with TFT.
I have experience with a system I took a long time ago called HCS (Hostile Control Systems) put out by Jerry Peterson. This was over twenty years ago and was the first system he introduced to the public. That system was also effective, though it didn't cover maiming and killing. Jerry Peterson's current system is called SCARS (don't know what the acronym stands for) and from what I've heard from other TFT students it is as effective as TFT. However, Jerry's system, SCARS, will set you back over $5,000.00 if you show up for the week long live training.

So, there is my personal opinion of TFT based on my experiences in martial arts, HCS training from Jerry Peterson, and TFT training. Yes, I am very much in favor of TFT as an effective self defense system that is easy to learn and effective almost immediately. But there might be even better systems out there that are more effective. I can speak only to TFT. I am hoping I presented this well and without grading it against martial arts or other combat systems. TFT is not a martial art and should not be compared to one.

If anyone else here learned either TFT or SCARS I'd like to see your take on it, positive or negative. I wrote all this because I've now taken the live training class and know what it involves and because I think it would serve a survivalist who can't spend years learning to be an effective fighter very well.

I've read enough posts about fighting systems to know this will probably devolve into a debate about which system is the best and which systems suck, which is too bad. For those looking for information and who have nothing to prove or, ah---compensate for---I hope this helped in some way. For those who have no experience with TFT or SCARS but are dying to explain, again with no experience in TFT or SCARS, why they absolutely suck and why his chosen martial art or combination of martial arts are the only things worth learning for self defense---have fun entertaining the adults.
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:56 PM
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I've had training with SCARS... I was in the TFT mastery program... I've had training in WW2 Combatives... And I've had training in another organization I had to sign my life a away for. I'd have to say that TFT is on the leading edge...although, like mangyhyena said...you can't learn it in a weekend camp.

The camp and dvd's are only good for two things: Learning the concepts, principles and guidlines...and also getting you feet wet. It's up to you to continue your training, either by joining a continued course via TFT (or whatever course you like) or starting your own little training group (Cheaper, more flexible, and you grow more by getting off the tit).
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:30 PM
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Although I'm not always a huge fan of the Bullshido website nor make references to material found there on a regular basis, I would HIGHLY recommend that you drop by there and type in TFT under the search option.

Knowing where vital points are is good stuff. Yet it's NOT possible to predict how everyone will react to the same thing. Over the years I've seen guys take nasty hits and keep right on coming with. The whole concept of TFT and Scars is reactive hitting. Just because you knee someone in the groin (for example) does not equal that person will double over for you to follow up with an elbow strike to the back of thier neck.

Look into Krav Maga or maybe the Spear program from Tony Blauer. Honestly the best advice is find a school where you can train on a regular basis.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangyhyena View Post
Just found this post again. A lot has happened since then. I'm now working just one job and I've accomplished my financial goals. And I've taken the live training class for Target Focused Training. I'm currently using the DVD's to further my training.

It was exactly what I had hoped it would be. No fancy moves, just simple attacks against weak points on the body and a focused, single-minded determination to destroy the other person by attacking those points and causing physical damage from whatever position you happen to be in at the moment the fight begins or during the fight.

It's principles based training rather than technique based, meaning you target and attack the weak points, one at a time---whichever weak points are open at the moment---rather than using techniques in combination. As well, it relies on reflexive reactions to damage you cause. We all know that a blow to the groin will cause an attacker to double over. The extent of that reaction depends on a number of things, not the least of which being how hard and accurate the blow to the groin was. Target Focused Training teaches to press that momentary advantage to cause more damage before the person is finished reacting. (After a blow to the groin, the ears, the eyes, back of the neck, kidneys, ankles, and shins are open to attack and undefended while the person is still reacting to the initial blow. Those are just a few targets open at that point. Successfully attacking any of these targets within a second or two will earn you another reaction rather than a counter attack. Keep attacking until the person is disabled and no longer a threat to you. Perhaps breaking the shin will be enough to allow you to exit the situation. Or perhaps it will take gouging his eyeball out of his head. Whatever it takes is what it takes.)

Another thing I liked about TFT was their willingness to teach students to maim and kill. They do not shy away from this aspect of self defense. Some of the first things they teach is how to take a life. Despite what I've read time and again, there is a such thing as a killing blow in one move. A hard blow to the throat will most assuredly kill a human being, for example. There's nothing fancy about it. Step in deep and deliver the blow as hard as you can manage using your body weight to increase the force. TFT has been criticized for teaching students to kill. People on the outside looking in tend to feel that TFT should teach responsibility and hold off on teaching people to kill until those students have proven they are responsible enough to know that knowledge. People on the inside taking the class are adults (No such thing as a children's class) and already understand how to deescalate a situation using verbal techniques. They already understand how to avoid danger in the first place. They already understand how serious the decision to kill another human being is. And they've made the choice to learn how to do that so they can be the one to walk away from a life and death confrontation that may happen despite all their precautions. TFT is not for sparring on the mats with friends. It is not for sport. It is not for settling disputes over stupid things. TFT is for life and death conflicts. Period.

So, with all that description, TFT might sound like the end-all, be-all combat system. It is not. TFT is a very limited self defense system in that it is used ONLY for the point of crisis in a life and death confrontation, the point at which someone is actually attempting to harm or kill you. TFT has no place in the escalation leading up to violence or the aftermath of using violence to save your life. TFT would not serve one well for anything but a life and death confrontation. Martial arts, on the other hand, does deal with the escalation toward violence and it does teach responsibility. Also, martial arts has levels that one can spend the rest of his/her life to achieve one after another. TFT does not.

TFT compared to martial arts: Someone trained in TFT can probably not take down a well trained black belt who is seriously trying to destroy that TFT-trained person. As well, someone trained in TFT can probably not take down a professional boxer, or a boxer who has years upon years of training. The reason is simple. Those black belts and boxers and wrestlers or what-have-you's have dedicated years of their lives learning to perfect their skills. The person using TFT does not possess those skills and will fall short against someone with years upon years of training. However, I say probably because even someone with those skills can be taken down and killed if they make just one mistake, let just one well aimed blow slip by to the target. (An inadvertent blow to the throat or temple can kill someone with super duper skills as quickly as anyone else.)
TFT was designed for the thug who would victimize you and yours, not Mike Tyson or Bruce Lee. Yes, you could argue that a thug who has spent years perfecting his fighting style can still kill someone with TFT training. That would be correct. However, most criminals you're likely to encounter have not dedicated their lives to learning a fighting style. Heck, if they were that dedicated to being the best they wouldn't have chosen a life of crime to begin with, most likely. They're simply there to immobilize you as quickly as possible and use any means necessary so they can victimize you. TFT teaches you to do the same to them.

Multiple attackers and weapons: TFT teaches how to deal with weapons as well as multiple attackers. When dealing with either, the main focus is, as always, on causing damage quickly to the person. The focus is always on damaging the person and never the weapon itself or the other attackers who are moving in on you. In the moment, doing damage is all there is. You can block a knife strike, but expect the attacker to strike again and again until you can disarm that person or he kills you with his knife. However, if you damage the knife-wielding person badly enough you can expect to walk away with no further attacks. With multiple attackers, you focus on one at a time and damage him badly enough to put him out of the fight, then focus on the next attacker, always moving to keep whoever you're dealing with between you and the others.
Is this the perfect solution to weapons and multiple attackers? No, there are no guarantees you're going to survive. But for someone who has not dedicated his/her life to becoming an expert in one of the many fighting systems out there that requires years of training to be effective, TFT gives a solution that does not require years of training and is effective almost immediately.

TFT mindset: Simply put, the person that causes the most damage the quickest is going to walk away with his/her life when the confrontation is over. Damaging or even killing the person is the only sure way to end the confrontation. Take the knife away and the person can still use his fists or another weapon. Take the knife-wielding person's ability to continue fighting away and that threat is done. The threat is always the attacker, never the weapon. He will not get up and attack you if you damage him badly enough, especially if you kill him. Toward that end, there is nothing else to focus on except causing damage. That single-minded determination is what makes someone with this training dangerous, IMHO. Someone with TFT under his/her belt is not looking to find out if they're a better fighter, stronger, more skilled, or tougher than the person who is attacking him/her. He or she is focused on damaging the person as quickly as possible so he/she can safely get the heck out of the situation. Period.
The motto I heard more than a few times was, 'Violence is almost never the answer, but when it is, it is the only answer.

Right and wrong: TFT has absolutely nothing to do with civility, rules, manliness, right and wrong, looking good, looking skilled, social rules, winning or losing, competition, pitting of skills against an opponent, dignity, integrity, chivalry, or any other qualities society wrongly attaches to combat. TFT is about getting the job done and getting the job done means damaging the other person so badly he is no longer a threat, up to the point of killing the person. TFT is about violence and nothing else.
If a person doesn't already have a sense of right and wrong, know better than to go looking for trouble, know to avoid trouble in the first place, know how to calm a potential conflict down before the point of crisis, and understand the seriousness of taking another human's life, that person has no business learning TFT.

Training: Currently, TFT offers 3 methods to train; DVD's, Live training class, and online training. I can speak only about the live training and the DVD set. I have no experience with the online training. The live training is excellent in my opinion. You learn both how to train and how to survive a life and death conflict by damaging or killing the person. The DVD's are very good, though it's best if you've got a live training under your belt before you begin training with the DVD's. There are principals like using your body weight to plow through your targets that aren't as clear as they should be in some of the DVD sets. However, live training covers those principals very well person to person. Once you've got those principles you can apply them to the training on the DVD's.
The training with a partner is done slowly and methodically. This is for safety. You simply can not plow through your reaction partner's throat and expect not to harm or kill him or her. As well, your partner is not actively blocking or attacking you. You start from a point after initial damage and continue from there, slowly and methodically, your partner giving you the minimum basic reaction to the damage you cause. It's nothing like sparring in a ring. The nature of TFT makes that impossible. There are very few actions you will take that will not damage a human being, including your reaction partner. Hence, you do not actually use it full force/full speed on your partner.
The online training, from what I've read, seems to involve videos from TFT, videos of yourself training with a partner sent to TFT for review, feedback from TFT trainers, and live critiques via telephone conversations with TFT instructors.

Price: TFT is expensive, no getting around that. You can expect to pay $1,500.00 to attend a live training class which lasts two days, 8 hours per day. The DVD sets are hundreds of dollars or, if you want the whole nine yards, around $1,000.00 for the whole system. I'm not sure about the price of online training.

Was it worth it?
I was looking to learn how to kill and maim if I had to in order to survive a violent encounter or to protect my family. I wanted to learn how quickly and easily. I wanted to learn simple moves, nothing fancy. And I wanted to be able to use it at any point, whether I continue to train or not, from then on if I chose to use it. TFT fulfilled all of my criteria and I am not the least bit disappointed I took it. My wife and mother are next to be trained this December in Vegas. I would not pay that kind of money to get my wife trained unless I was satisfied with TFT.
I have experience with a system I took a long time ago called HCS (Hostile Control Systems) put out by Jerry Peterson. This was over twenty years ago and was the first system he introduced to the public. That system was also effective, though it didn't cover maiming and killing. Jerry Peterson's current system is called SCARS (don't know what the acronym stands for) and from what I've heard from other TFT students it is as effective as TFT. However, Jerry's system, SCARS, will set you back over $5,000.00 if you show up for the week long live training.

So, there is my personal opinion of TFT based on my experiences in martial arts, HCS training from Jerry Peterson, and TFT training. Yes, I am very much in favor of TFT as an effective self defense system that is easy to learn and effective almost immediately. But there might be even better systems out there that are more effective. I can speak only to TFT. I am hoping I presented this well and without grading it against martial arts or other combat systems. TFT is not a martial art and should not be compared to one.

If anyone else here learned either TFT or SCARS I'd like to see your take on it, positive or negative. I wrote all this because I've now taken the live training class and know what it involves and because I think it would serve a survivalist who can't spend years learning to be an effective fighter very well.

I've read enough posts about fighting systems to know this will probably devolve into a debate about which system is the best and which systems suck, which is too bad. For those looking for information and who have nothing to prove or, ah---compensate for---I hope this helped in some way. For those who have no experience with TFT or SCARS but are dying to explain, again with no experience in TFT or SCARS, why they absolutely suck and why his chosen martial art or combination of martial arts are the only things worth learning for self defense---have fun entertaining the adults.

I have been training in martial arts most of my life. I agree with the above.

For many, the search eventually goes back to the original roots. How can I actually use this stuff to protect myself and my loved ones? MMA is great and fun and there is no doubt they are scary good fighters, but I want to end a fight as fast as possible and sustain as little damage as possible by whatever means will work.....when there are no rules. Ground fighting is fun but I do NOT want to be on the ground if at all possible.

Get in and get out and go home.

Most martial arts schools have devolved and are little more than TaeBo or organized minimal exercise/stretching classes.

I have the TFT DVDs. I like the principles and the thought process. The actual techniques were decent.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snakebite12 View Post
Although I'm not always a huge fan of the Bullshido website nor make references to material found there on a regular basis, I would HIGHLY recommend that you drop by there and type in TFT under the search option.

Knowing where vital points are is good stuff. Yet it's NOT possible to predict how everyone will react to the same thing. Over the years I've seen guys take nasty hits and keep right on coming with. The whole concept of TFT and Scars is reactive hitting. Just because you knee someone in the groin (for example) does not equal that person will double over for you to follow up with an elbow strike to the back of thier neck.

Look into Krav Maga or maybe the Spear program from Tony Blauer. Honestly the best advice is find a school where you can train on a regular basis.
One thing I've noticed is that a lot of people have a lot of misunderstood information about tft. Having a bit of experience with TFT, I can say that rather than trying to predict what another person will do, instead, TFT takes into account that nobody ever knows what another person will do. How these misunderstandings and rumors get started about TFT, I'll never really know, but I'll guess it has something to do with the the shill site bullshido. You have to wonder why they go to such great lengths to bash tft...

Snakebite, check out the current training schedule by Tony Blauer and you'll see that he's currently hosting a training camp with TFT... As a matter of fact, if you look it up, you'll see that they regularly conduct trainings together.

I'm not a big fan of the "hyped up" type of marketing they utilize, but every complaint I've seen about TFT online is misunderstood to the point that I'm starting to think that their is a conspiracy against this group

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Old 07-09-2011, 08:16 PM
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First - ignore literally everything you read on Bullshido. It is so much noise that it's practically worthless.

As someone who has trained in Martial Arts for over 30 years and has a number of systems here are my opinions - take them for what they're worth.

1. Some training is better than no training, and this includes watching DVDs and training the system. Practicing is key. Your better off with 1 on 1 instruction and training for years, but that's not possible for some people.

2. Anybody who ever says "x will never work in a real fight" has never been in a real fight. Almost everything can work in the right context.

3. All martial arts have at their root combat effective techniques. If they didn't their originators would be dead and the arts never would have been passed on. You can defend yourself with Tai Chi if you're good enough.

4. Self defense is not a fight. A fight is mutually agreed combat. Fighting skills come into play sometimes in self defense. Fighting 1 on 1 in any kind of ring with any kind of rules and a referee doesn't simulate or resemble combat or self defense in any real way.

5. Any self defense system which doesn't teach awareness and avoidance is robbing you of the most important aspects.

6. The vast majority of people get their ideas about self defense from the movies and TV - this includes legislators who write laws about self defense. A lot of marketing around commercial self defense systems is BS.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:41 PM
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These guys spend more time talking using medical terms than showing techniques.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:24 PM
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www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZvXpO1fzfI&feature=related

These guys spend more time talking using medical terms than showing techniques.
For various reason's such as: not enough time...giving away too much free information...and the fact it's a sample video on youtube, they're not going to go into the specific "techniques"...

If you've ever trained with this group you'll realize that the training incorporates more of an "80/20 Pareto-Principle" which means it's about 80% physical training per 20% lecture...

With that being said...all three parts of that particular youtube sample videos gave a good idea of their knowledge. Personally, I find it interesting.

If I was in any business, I wouldn't give away everything in a youtube video.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:59 PM
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I have almost 30 years of martial arts training in a couple of different styles. I'm a full time law enforcement officer, US military combat veteran, and I have been hired on several occassions to teach combatives to US and non US military forces. My program (ARCS - Automatic Reflex Combat Systems) is much like that of TFT, SCARS, or just the WWII combatives courses, except we focus on using your startle response or flinch reflex as a bridge into your combatives techniques. The flinch reflex is all but ignored by practically every othe rsystem out there, but 100% of us have this reflex ingrained into us from the time of birth.

Check me out the ARCS program at www.arcsselfdefense.com
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I have almost 30 years of martial arts training in a couple of different styles. I'm a full time law enforcement officer, US military combat veteran, and I have been hired on several occassions to teach combatives to US and non US military forces. My program (ARCS - Automatic Reflex Combat Systems) is much like that of TFT, SCARS, or just the WWII combatives courses, except we focus on using your startle response or flinch reflex as a bridge into your combatives techniques. The flinch reflex is all but ignored by practically every othe rsystem out there, but 100% of us have this reflex ingrained into us from the time of birth.

Check me out the ARCS program at www.arcsselfdefense.com
you sound like you're talking about Tony Blauer's SPEAR.....
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Just found this post again. A lot has happened since then. I'm now working just one job and I've accomplished my financial goals. And I've taken the live training class for Target Focused Training. I'm currently using the DVD's to further my training.

It was exactly what I had hoped it would be. No fancy moves, just simple attacks against weak points on the body and a focused, single-minded determination to destroy the other person by attacking those points and causing physical damage from whatever position you happen to be in at the moment the fight begins or during the fight.

It's principles based training rather than technique based, meaning you target and attack the weak points, one at a time---whichever weak points are open at the moment---rather than using techniques in combination. As well, it relies on reflexive reactions to damage you cause. We all know that a blow to the groin will cause an attacker to double over. The extent of that reaction depends on a number of things, not the least of which being how hard and accurate the blow to the groin was. Target Focused Training teaches to press that momentary advantage to cause more damage before the person is finished reacting. (After a blow to the groin, the ears, the eyes, back of the neck, kidneys, ankles, and shins are open to attack and undefended while the person is still reacting to the initial blow. Those are just a few targets open at that point. Successfully attacking any of these targets within a second or two will earn you another reaction rather than a counter attack. Keep attacking until the person is disabled and no longer a threat to you. Perhaps breaking the shin will be enough to allow you to exit the situation. Or perhaps it will take gouging his eyeball out of his head. Whatever it takes is what it takes.)

Another thing I liked about TFT was their willingness to teach students to maim and kill. They do not shy away from this aspect of self defense. Some of the first things they teach is how to take a life. Despite what I've read time and again, there is a such thing as a killing blow in one move. A hard blow to the throat will most assuredly kill a human being, for example. There's nothing fancy about it. Step in deep and deliver the blow as hard as you can manage using your body weight to increase the force. TFT has been criticized for teaching students to kill. People on the outside looking in tend to feel that TFT should teach responsibility and hold off on teaching people to kill until those students have proven they are responsible enough to know that knowledge. People on the inside taking the class are adults (No such thing as a children's class) and already understand how to deescalate a situation using verbal techniques. They already understand how to avoid danger in the first place. They already understand how serious the decision to kill another human being is. And they've made the choice to learn how to do that so they can be the one to walk away from a life and death confrontation that may happen despite all their precautions. TFT is not for sparring on the mats with friends. It is not for sport. It is not for settling disputes over stupid things. TFT is for life and death conflicts. Period.

So, with all that description, TFT might sound like the end-all, be-all combat system. It is not. TFT is a very limited self defense system in that it is used ONLY for the point of crisis in a life and death confrontation, the point at which someone is actually attempting to harm or kill you. TFT has no place in the escalation leading up to violence or the aftermath of using violence to save your life. TFT would not serve one well for anything but a life and death confrontation. Martial arts, on the other hand, does deal with the escalation toward violence and it does teach responsibility. Also, martial arts has levels that one can spend the rest of his/her life to achieve one after another. TFT does not.

TFT compared to martial arts: Someone trained in TFT can probably not take down a well trained black belt who is seriously trying to destroy that TFT-trained person. As well, someone trained in TFT can probably not take down a professional boxer, or a boxer who has years upon years of training. The reason is simple. Those black belts and boxers and wrestlers or what-have-you's have dedicated years of their lives learning to perfect their skills. The person using TFT does not possess those skills and will fall short against someone with years upon years of training. However, I say probably because even someone with those skills can be taken down and killed if they make just one mistake, let just one well aimed blow slip by to the target. (An inadvertent blow to the throat or temple can kill someone with super duper skills as quickly as anyone else.)
TFT was designed for the thug who would victimize you and yours, not Mike Tyson or Bruce Lee. Yes, you could argue that a thug who has spent years perfecting his fighting style can still kill someone with TFT training. That would be correct. However, most criminals you're likely to encounter have not dedicated their lives to learning a fighting style. Heck, if they were that dedicated to being the best they wouldn't have chosen a life of crime to begin with, most likely. They're simply there to immobilize you as quickly as possible and use any means necessary so they can victimize you. TFT teaches you to do the same to them.

Multiple attackers and weapons: TFT teaches how to deal with weapons as well as multiple attackers. When dealing with either, the main focus is, as always, on causing damage quickly to the person. The focus is always on damaging the person and never the weapon itself or the other attackers who are moving in on you. In the moment, doing damage is all there is. You can block a knife strike, but expect the attacker to strike again and again until you can disarm that person or he kills you with his knife. However, if you damage the knife-wielding person badly enough you can expect to walk away with no further attacks. With multiple attackers, you focus on one at a time and damage him badly enough to put him out of the fight, then focus on the next attacker, always moving to keep whoever you're dealing with between you and the others.
Is this the perfect solution to weapons and multiple attackers? No, there are no guarantees you're going to survive. But for someone who has not dedicated his/her life to becoming an expert in one of the many fighting systems out there that requires years of training to be effective, TFT gives a solution that does not require years of training and is effective almost immediately.

TFT mindset: Simply put, the person that causes the most damage the quickest is going to walk away with his/her life when the confrontation is over. Damaging or even killing the person is the only sure way to end the confrontation. Take the knife away and the person can still use his fists or another weapon. Take the knife-wielding person's ability to continue fighting away and that threat is done. The threat is always the attacker, never the weapon. He will not get up and attack you if you damage him badly enough, especially if you kill him. Toward that end, there is nothing else to focus on except causing damage. That single-minded determination is what makes someone with this training dangerous, IMHO. Someone with TFT under his/her belt is not looking to find out if they're a better fighter, stronger, more skilled, or tougher than the person who is attacking him/her. He or she is focused on damaging the person as quickly as possible so he/she can safely get the heck out of the situation. Period.
The motto I heard more than a few times was, 'Violence is almost never the answer, but when it is, it is the only answer.

Right and wrong: TFT has absolutely nothing to do with civility, rules, manliness, right and wrong, looking good, looking skilled, social rules, winning or losing, competition, pitting of skills against an opponent, dignity, integrity, chivalry, or any other qualities society wrongly attaches to combat. TFT is about getting the job done and getting the job done means damaging the other person so badly he is no longer a threat, up to the point of killing the person. TFT is about violence and nothing else.
If a person doesn't already have a sense of right and wrong, know better than to go looking for trouble, know to avoid trouble in the first place, know how to calm a potential conflict down before the point of crisis, and understand the seriousness of taking another human's life, that person has no business learning TFT.

Training: Currently, TFT offers 3 methods to train; DVD's, Live training class, and online training. I can speak only about the live training and the DVD set. I have no experience with the online training. The live training is excellent in my opinion. You learn both how to train and how to survive a life and death conflict by damaging or killing the person. The DVD's are very good, though it's best if you've got a live training under your belt before you begin training with the DVD's. There are principals like using your body weight to plow through your targets that aren't as clear as they should be in some of the DVD sets. However, live training covers those principals very well person to person. Once you've got those principles you can apply them to the training on the DVD's.
The training with a partner is done slowly and methodically. This is for safety. You simply can not plow through your reaction partner's throat and expect not to harm or kill him or her. As well, your partner is not actively blocking or attacking you. You start from a point after initial damage and continue from there, slowly and methodically, your partner giving you the minimum basic reaction to the damage you cause. It's nothing like sparring in a ring. The nature of TFT makes that impossible. There are very few actions you will take that will not damage a human being, including your reaction partner. Hence, you do not actually use it full force/full speed on your partner.
The online training, from what I've read, seems to involve videos from TFT, videos of yourself training with a partner sent to TFT for review, feedback from TFT trainers, and live critiques via telephone conversations with TFT instructors.

Price: TFT is expensive, no getting around that. You can expect to pay $1,500.00 to attend a live training class which lasts two days, 8 hours per day. The DVD sets are hundreds of dollars or, if you want the whole nine yards, around $1,000.00 for the whole system. I'm not sure about the price of online training.

Was it worth it?
I was looking to learn how to kill and maim if I had to in order to survive a violent encounter or to protect my family. I wanted to learn how quickly and easily. I wanted to learn simple moves, nothing fancy. And I wanted to be able to use it at any point, whether I continue to train or not, from then on if I chose to use it. TFT fulfilled all of my criteria and I am not the least bit disappointed I took it. My wife and mother are next to be trained this December in Vegas. I would not pay that kind of money to get my wife trained unless I was satisfied with TFT.
I have experience with a system I took a long time ago called HCS (Hostile Control Systems) put out by Jerry Peterson. This was over twenty years ago and was the first system he introduced to the public. That system was also effective, though it didn't cover maiming and killing. Jerry Peterson's current system is called SCARS (don't know what the acronym stands for) and from what I've heard from other TFT students it is as effective as TFT. However, Jerry's system, SCARS, will set you back over $5,000.00 if you show up for the week long live training.

So, there is my personal opinion of TFT based on my experiences in martial arts, HCS training from Jerry Peterson, and TFT training. Yes, I am very much in favor of TFT as an effective self defense system that is easy to learn and effective almost immediately. But there might be even better systems out there that are more effective. I can speak only to TFT. I am hoping I presented this well and without grading it against martial arts or other combat systems. TFT is not a martial art and should not be compared to one.

If anyone else here learned either TFT or SCARS I'd like to see your take on it, positive or negative. I wrote all this because I've now taken the live training class and know what it involves and because I think it would serve a survivalist who can't spend years learning to be an effective fighter very well.

I've read enough posts about fighting systems to know this will probably devolve into a debate about which system is the best and which systems suck, which is too bad. For those looking for information and who have nothing to prove or, ah---compensate for---I hope this helped in some way. For those who have no experience with TFT or SCARS but are dying to explain, again with no experience in TFT or SCARS, why they absolutely suck and why his chosen martial art or combination of martial arts are the only things worth learning for self defense---have fun entertaining the adults.
good reviews there...

my issue with TFT (which i have no experience with and could be completely wrong about) is that a) it's very expensive b) claims to be a secret military killing system c) claims to be more effective than other styles, with no real way to prove it d) trains people to do lethal techniques

a) for 1500 bucks, you can buy a decent CCW, cell phone plan and gym membership.

b) as someone with nearly 20 years service as an army infantryman, let me tell you that most military H2H training is not all that awesome. the military focuses on the most efficienct ways to kill... using guns and bombs with tactics. all the SpecOps guys i know are the same....they train waayyy more in shooting, battle drills, etc...

c) i'll admit that there are techniques in various styles that i don't know or know how to apply them, but if i haven't used them in a real street fight or sparring session then i don't trust them. i trust the SPEAR. i trust my overhand right. i trust a hip toss. i trust my wrist lock. i trust my hooks (right and left). i trust them becasue i've used them successgully, in various situations...

d) if you are able to develop the muscle memory to develop lethal H2H techniques, then that's what you will most likely revert to under duress, WHERE YOU MEAN TO OR NOT! that's bad....if you crush someone's trachea for trying to grab you, then you better be damn good at explaining as to why you were in fear of your life.....
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:23 AM
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good reviews there...

my issue with TFT (which i have no experience with and could be completely wrong about) is that a) it's very expensive b) claims to be a secret military killing system c) claims to be more effective than other styles, with no real way to prove it d) trains people to do lethal techniques

a) for 1500 bucks, you can buy a decent CCW, cell phone plan and gym membership.

b) as someone with nearly 20 years service as an army infantryman, let me tell you that most military H2H training is not all that awesome. the military focuses on the most efficienct ways to kill... using guns and bombs with tactics. all the SpecOps guys i know are the same....they train waayyy more in shooting, battle drills, etc...

c) i'll admit that there are techniques in various styles that i don't know or know how to apply them, but if i haven't used them in a real street fight or sparring session then i don't trust them. i trust the SPEAR. i trust my overhand right. i trust a hip toss. i trust my wrist lock. i trust my hooks (right and left). i trust them becasue i've used them successgully, in various situations...

d) if you are able to develop the muscle memory to develop lethal H2H techniques, then that's what you will most likely revert to under duress, WHERE YOU MEAN TO OR NOT! that's bad....if you crush someone's trachea for trying to grab you, then you better be damn good at explaining as to why you were in fear of your life.....
Any system that does not implement sparring in its curriculum is, in my opinion, useless and unrealistic.
Old 05-05-2012, 10:56 AM
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you sound like you're talking about Tony Blauer's SPEAR.....
The wedge principle taught in ARCS is very much like Blauer's SPEAR. Blauer however is a one trick pony, his answer to everything is SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR. While a great opening and natural reaction, Blauer is lacking in what to do after "the SPEAR". Blauer by his own admission has no military or police experience and the extent of his "formal training" consist of having earned a green belt in TaeKwonDo (straight from his website).
Old 05-05-2012, 11:00 AM
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Any system that does not implement sparring in its curriculum is, in my opinion, useless and unrealistic.
I disagree.

I have hours upon hours of sparring and it is great for developing timing, distance awareness, confidence in your ability to take a hit and use your techniques. HOWEVER, not everything can be accomplished in sparring because of the risk of broken bones, torn joints, crushed throats, blindness, and/or death.

Sparring should only be one component.
Old 05-06-2012, 03:01 PM
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I disagree.

I have hours upon hours of sparring and it is great for developing timing, distance awareness, confidence in your ability to take a hit and use your techniques. HOWEVER, not everything can be accomplished in sparring because of the risk of broken bones, torn joints, crushed throats, blindness, and/or death.

Sparring should only be one component.
Crushed throats or death.....stop watching Kung Fu movies.
Old 05-07-2012, 11:53 AM
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Crushed throats or death.....stop watching Kung Fu movies.
Are you seriously trying to say that it is ok for us to strike each other in the throat, or to strike the neck at the base of the skull while sparring. If you think that those techniques are not dangerous and only are presented as dangerous in movies then I believe you are sadly misinformed. If that is your belief then maybe we should have a throat striking contest....except I get the first shot....
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