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DantheWolfMan UnderGround >> Critics on the SPEAR (Sammy Franco


3/7/02 8:32 AM
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JoeStagner
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
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- What if it’s a knife?: Since I don’t teach execution of the SPEAR with the eyes closed this seems to seldom be a problem in practice. Having been stabbed twice on the job, I do a lot of knife training. The secret to surviving a knife fight when flight is not an option is controlling the weapon. The SPEAR is a natural entry to a knife attack by overhead or outside horizontal slash. The Primal Posturing make entry natural and the tactile position makes transition to hand/wrist/elbow/arm control direct. In response to this forum thread I examined this concept in the gym last night against ASP and Applegate combat (simulation) blades and confirmed this contention. - Forces a Clinch: I suppose this could be true if the defender has an erroneous pre-disposition to clinch. My experience also indicated the opposite. If the ATACKER is attempting a clinch, the SPEAR intercepts that attempt and affords the defender the opportunity to strike and escape, if that is his desire. This boils down to little more than the specific strengths and weaknesses of the combatants. - Why use 2 hands: In a 50 fight experience, one hand may have worked fine for the author. As a bouncer / bodyguard / cooler / wild child I experienced literally many HUNDREDS of real life altercations. In MY experience one hand blocks may stop the bunch but do NOTHING more to control the attacker. When you block a punch, your situation isn’t any worse than before the punch was thrown, but it is also no better – and now the bad guy knows that you are not going to be an easy victim. Using two hands in the SPEAR increases CONTROL of the opponent (you CAN SPEAR with one hand as well). Avoiding an attack and then gaining tactile control IMPROVES your situation and if you are “on the job” control is a necessity. In response to the question “Why use two hands when one gets the job done”? I say that two hands ups my survivability odds, lets me use the “other one for control” – I don’t wanna just block a punch – I wanna end the conflict. Also, go back to the knife question, if you block a incoming knife and DON’T get control, you’re know in a fight with a guy and a knife ! If someone mails me the other 10 points I’ll respond them, maybe one of them will stump me as to the value of the SPEAR. I don’t think the SPEAR is the answer to all my self-defense questions. I actually have some questions that I am formulating to ask Tony in direct email and maybe he will publish them here. I think Sammy Franco based his opinions about the Tactical SPEAR based on the Black Belt magazine article. I know more about the SPEAR than Sammy and lass than some of you – I like that Sammy raises these questions, it sent me into the gym to get some SOUND answers for myself. This is the way I’ve always trained. I hope this drives home a point – I’m not a Blauer insider and I’ve had pleasant email exchange with Sammy Franco. I don’t care that he disagrees with the SPEAR, based on how his students are trained, the SPEAR may not mix with their arsenals. I train the SPEAR because I have worked it enough to come to believe it can save lives. I don’t endorse it because of Politics. Of all the time I spent with Tony, I never got on the mat or in the ring with him, haven’t played with Sammy either – so what’s left isn’t what THEY think, or what the PDR guys think – Its what my 27 years of experience lead ME TO THINK – and for the above TECHNICAL reasons, my faith in the SPEAR is stronger today, because it has stood the test of intellectual and technical challenge. … for the uninitiated, the Tactical SPEAR is only a piece of the SPEAR system, the REAL brilliance in the SPEAR is in the Flinch Conversion Principals. Be Safe Teach them well. Joe Stagner WMAC.com StopRape.com
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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richardc
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3/7/02 8:32 AM
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Kirik
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Crouching Franco, Jealous Dragon I am definitely in the minority here, in that I like what Sammy wrote. For better and for worse, our society progresses in no small pat through science, of various stripes. That generally takes the form of one figure putting forward an idea, with supporting evidence. This is then scrutinised by others in the field, and either they come to similar conclusions, in which case, eventually, we all benefit from it, or it is found wanting. In the latter case, while the author may insist for eternity that the Earth is flat, most folks know with certainty that it isn't. Every success in this world has dozens of critics. This is normal. It is the sucess that matters, not the naysayers. Getting too exercised by the complainers can even take away from progress, and that sure isn't the point. The thing I don't like about the words by Sammy Franco is that they are in a milieu that may render them immune from criticism. The thing I like about them is that are plainly wrong. From subjecting them to critical scrutiny, knowledge grows. Taken collectively, Mr. Franco's points are revealing. He calls for the Standard Perpendicular Plane Mid Block, while maintaining perfect peripheral vision, in a situation that may involve an incoming knife, and multiple attackers, in the dark, with one hand, and God forbid anyone should consider closing with the attacker, or react instinctively. The only thing missing from the scenario envisioned is the guy with his lips speaking Cantonese, while the dub says 'YOU KILLED MY MASTER. NOW YOU MUST DIE! HAH!' Then the attackers all move in a circle while super duper fends em off with leaping kicks. Hence the title of my response. To address his points one by one. 1. By your own description, you are in the dark, there may be more than one person, there may be weapons, by definition it is a surprise, BAM IT HAPPENS. Or heck, you are your kid's birthday party and a balloon pops. Some variation of the SPEAR is how you are going to react. What you do with the reaction can be critically important. I would like to go with my instinct, not fight myself. There is another guy already taking care of that. How about you? 2. The fact that Franco is unfamiliar with SPEAR responses to bladed attacks is proof positive that he is about as qualified to criticise the SPEAR as I am to point out misspellings in Chinese Math. 3. Jesus guys quick, get a camera a tape recorder, save this to your hard drive, we found him! This has got to be the last cat in North America that still thinks he is immune to grappling. That is about as funny as the grapplers who think they don't need to punch. 4. What about the secret hidden knife you were just talking about dude? You have a way of handling a knife wielding attacker with one arm? Does this involve running over tree tops, too? 5. The reason Sammy Franco is criticising the SPEAR is personal and (un)professional, and, plainly, that is reasons 1-higher than I can count. I never met Sammy Franco, may well some day, and may well enjoy his company if I do. Hopefully we share enjoyment in working out, or Van Gogh, or Guinness. I do think though, that in this regard he has let his judgement be clouded, and thus left himself, by his own volition, open to some pretty frank rejoinders, one of which I tried to provide above.
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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Tom Campbell
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Edited: 07-Mar-02
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Kirik excellent post! If I could write like you I wouldn't have to climb poles for a living. :-) Peace, Tom
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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Robert Finlayson
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Forum Members, From my perspective, Sammy has taken the easiest and most cowardly way to de-value something....through the internet, like some of the childish punks we have seen before. I could have started a thread that displayed my disgust with some of Sammy's material, but I have only seen pictures of his stuff and read articles, therefore my arguements would not be worth much. Without actually training with someone and getting the education from the source of the research, opinions do not carry much bearing. He missed the whole essense of the S.P.E.A.R because he fixated on the icon rather than on the whole system. This is not a first by any means. Sammy has caught himself in the same situation as most amateur educators.....speaking before actually thinking. Robb
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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This was recently posted, deleted, reposted, and probably deleted from www.sammyfranco.com Wow, My immediate response when seeing the leading post reprinted on the mental edge at www.mixedmartialarts.com was an emotional one. I felt something was ‘dubious’ (du·bi·ous: Of questionable character) about it. I also took a little ‘distaste’ to the sarcastic posture assumed by the writer, Mr. Franco. I'm not sure how long MY post will remain here (As it seems that posts made by Professional Police Officers who’ve used the S.P.E.A.R. successfully in real fights are not welcome here) until it is deleted but I wanted to point out a few things. About me - I have been studying Tony's material since about 1990 and began training with him personally in 1994. For the record I came around at about the time the S.P.E.A.R. acronym was created in the first place. I have attended the S.P.E.A.R. Instructor course at Smith & Wesson Academy and have been personally coached on both the system and the tactic. I currently work full-time for Tony at Blauer Tactical . I believe this makes me qualified to comment. First a question: Mr. Franco, what knowledge of the S.P.E.A.R. system or the tactic do you actually have? By the nature of your criticisms, it seems, you have very little so I’d like to address them one at a time. First off your definition of, “the “tactical” spear, more specifically the protective spear…” is incorrect (check through the list you have of “a different tactical spears...” for a reminder) The ‘protective’ spear is very close to a pure flinch, the ‘tactical’ spear (For a visual see what was photographed in the BLACKBELT pictorial) and ‘engages’ the threat. I’ll take for granted that you were referring to the “Tactical S.P.E.A.R.” as this is the one that everyone gets confused by. 1. Head position: Is the chin lowered? Yes, but boxers do that to; helps to prevent being knocked out. If you tucked your chin all the way to your chest you would be breaking what Tony refers to as “The Rule of Thumb”. The structure of the arms also does very little to limit peripheral vision, so momentary blindness is certainly not as issue. 2. From LEO officer/Hostage Rescue Team member Sean Mulligan:“I myself am an LEO and agree that yes, during the initial sudden violent ambush attack, it is difficult to identify whether the 3%er is throwing a punch or stabbing/slashing with a knife. However the attack itself is the same, linear or angular. The Spear system addresses that 'out-of-control' moment known as the 'big bang' and identifies the cognitive responses from the positions that your behavioral system puts you in. Now personally, I would rather have a system which identifies proper tools and tactics required to successfully 'control' an attack to which my flinch response initially protected me from, then to hesitate while attempting to identify the attack, process the information and select a learned response.” 3. “The protective/tactical spear forces you into a clinch and can therefore promote a grappling situation.” One of the primary attacks the S.P.E.A.R. can effectively neutralize is the TACKLE. It is also used to create space inside a clinch so that you can tactically disengage if multiple threats are present. It also has numerous multiple assailant applications that I won’t get into here.
3/7/02 8:32 AM
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part 2 4. The ‘mid block’ is your answer to counter-ambush tactics? First of all the S.P.E.A.R. is not directed at the attacking limb (It’s NOT a block, although the forearm often connects with the radial nerve on the bad guy causing dis-function through serendipity), it’s directed at the ‘operating system’ (the bad guy). Blocks are fine, I use them all the time, when I spar. But does it make more sense to destroy bullets, or the gun? 5. I would love to know the other 10 reasons, since these 4 have done nothing more than display your lack of knowledge on this particular subject. Efficiency- The fastest thing you can do is flinch, period. Connecting tactical movements to natural behavior (what your body wants to do without training) shortens reaction time, promotes a faster learning curve, and virtually non-perishable. Effectiveness- The tactical S.P.E.A.R. provides a psychologically/bio-mechanically/behaviorally sound response to sudden danger and specific application against the most common ‘credible’ primary attacks: Haymaker, Tackle, Shove (for LEO – Gun grab) Safety- It’s connection to the human behavioral system (see ‘safety system’) makes it the fastest, smartest and safest way to deal with the most dangerous moment in a real fight: the ambush

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