What makes the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô different from some of the other DT training currently available?
Our focus is specifically on enhancing officer survival during the sudden violent assault against a police officer, SWAT operator or soldier. The 'ambush moment' must be redefined to include any sudden attack where the aggressor has ability and intention and clearly there is jeopardy. This can occur for an officer off-duty, UC, on patrol or at the jail; for the soldier it may be during a UN peacekeeping mission, during solo recce, TDY or during prisoner handling. The sudden attack can occur anywhere, anytime and requires nothing more than the proverbial window of opportunity for the motivated resister.
Current DT/combative models are derived from martial art systems. And while the tactics and mechanics have been modernized to address the opponents of today, many of the learning models and drilling still incorporate a traditional SOP for training. Therein lies the problem. (Read more about this in the SPEAR System Q&A)
Our research, which includes reports, interviews, surveillance video, in-dash cameras, has verified an important fact, the lesson we need to learn is simple:
Control tactics do not work during out-of-control attacks.
Points to remember...
Muscle-memory model for learning and deploying techniques. An assumption that space exists (reactionary gap) or the space can be created (almost all DT systems recommend creating space at the first sign of a furtive gesture). Assumption that LEO's control this space. Deadly force scenarios are discussed during firearms classes not DT classes.
Our system is based on instinctual tactics already hardwired within our primal survival mechanisms. These responses are predictable and occur naturally without training, so they are therefore far more reliable than learned muscle-memory tactics (at the outset of sudden close quarter violence). We build our tactical conversions around this natural survival mechanism making the tactical conversions simpler, easier to learn and virtually nonperishable. Our system is designed for extreme close quarters. Our tactics are designed to reposition the officer or soldier so they get back in control ASAP. We address deadly force problems within the SPEAR System using what you have at the time of the fight.
I've heard you refer to the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô as a 'counter-ambush' system. Can you explain?
The vast majority of people injured are ambushed. Period. We have a simple theory: if you do not weather the ambush, if you are unconscious, immobilized or ineffective at this moment, YOU WILL NOT get to your complex motor skill tools. So in the purest sense, the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô and its primary function is to serve the officer or soldier in creating a bridge and buffer between the attack and attacker and thus allowing the operator to regroup mentally, create time & space to get back into the fight. Remember, the ambush (any sudden attack) can be rage based or skill based; it's the intention and intensity that creates the startle/flinch moment in any human being. It could occur during a vehicle stop, an EP/dignitary detail or it could happen during a domestic call or interview.
Is certification necessary to teach your system?
The S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô†in its entirety details training evolutions on how to observe, integrate and convert natural flinching actions into tactical options, the course also includes sample SOPís for class room drills, 4 & 8 hour sample outlines, Use of Force models that include the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô tactics to supplement current information, training aids such as PowerPoint's and video on top of a 40 hour instructor development program (ID). To teach effectively, we have designed the ID curriculum, to facilitate effective and accurate transmission of the research, the drills and the tactics is crucial and every officer knows that virtually every action must be justified at some point. Therefore it is both diligent and prudent for an agency or region to learn the system properly.
Please e-mail us for an instructor certification package or for course hosting information.
How long are your trainer courses?
Our fundamental program is a 5-day 40-hour course. This authorizes the candidate to teach in his/her department or surrounding region. Once the requirements for certification have been fulfilled there are options for advanced training, but they are not mandatory.
My department has a mandated curriculum for our DT options, if our agency hasn't adopted your methods, can I use them?
Yes. This is a multi-part answer:If you are an end-user, i.e. a cop or soldier looking to add more tools to your personal or professional defense arsenal you can do so. Like anything you use, you must be able to justify/articulate its use afterwards.
If you are a DT/Combatives instructor you can incorporate the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô without state or regional approval as long as your agency or unit approves of it. The standards set forth by any curriculum typically indicate MINIMUM STANDARDS, in other words, an official manual means that 'the prescribed' tactics must be taught but are 'not exclusive'. In other words, so long as the tactic dovetails within the Use of Force standards then the adoption of other choices or options should be seen as enhancing survivability or improving force protection. (Any system or entity that creates some 'exclusivity' clause implies that they have every answer to every problem.) Many agencies and even more officers around the world use the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô and its tactics. It has been included in training modules and blocks of instruction all over the world, including the UK, Canada, USA, Australia, and Venezuela. It is taught at Calibre Press's renowned Street Survival Seminar, it even includes a block on the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô and our 'Presumed Compliance' theory and treatise.
How easily will the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô integrate into my unitís existing training program?
Very easily. Most programs do not address the ambush much further than a use of force paragraph justifying the means, etc. or an IA principle to charge the threat. But the ambush we address is the extreme close quarter attack and there's no need to charge the threat as it's already on you! So integrating it in your current program is easy as it likely doesn't displace or replace anything.
First: Remember the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô biomechanics are natural. Instructors and agencies that have adopted the program have been quick to comment on how positive feedback from recruits and in-service has been. Effectiveness is demonstrated during the first training session making it faster to learn and therefore easier to teach.
Second: The initial action viscerally demonstrates functional ways to negate specific gross motor attacks so that an officer or soldier can transition to another option (empty hand or weapon) and the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô evolutions also include tandem principles so that a temporarily compromised officer/soldier can create space so that a cover man or back up officer can move in and take action.
I recently attended a course in which all of the tactics would have been difficult, if not impossible to perform wearing duty gear. Can you use the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô†in your 'work clothes'?
The S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô was refined within the LEO & military community. There is a long list of real world warrior's who've trained with us and have validated our research based on their prior combat experience or have successfully integrated our tactics into current situations (this information is provided in our LEO/Mil info package). The important distinction to make is that the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô is not a martial art system being applied to the DT or Combatives world, it is a combative system that was built for real-world problems. All the tactics we teach have direct application in both communities and will work wether you're kitted up with an M4 or armed with an MP5 or you're UC or off-duty.
Do you emphasize grappling and groundfighting? I keep hearing statistics about how often real fights go to the ground.
We emphasize 'winning'. In a real fight, DO NOT go to the ground. Cement is not your friend. Mobility and maneuverability are. While grappling is great fun and great exercise, it is tactically the least desirable place to be in almost all fights. Now, learning to 'groundfight', when you're forced to the floor is another thing, and that's a paradigm shift for many:
In the words of one operator, "CQB is a team/standup sport", JC.
FTR: Anyone in a real fight is an operator in our books. We don't distinguish between ranks, or job description, when the fight is on, its your butt on the line, so whether you're a police officer, federal agent or soldier...your real world fight is 100% of your problem at that moment. That is why we remind people in class:
"In your fight, you†are†point!"
Remember: While grappling skills are a definite part of the warrior's toolbox, they are only a small part. "The superior warrior has no emotional attachment to any particular range of combat." In other words, be diverse with your skill and develop 'tools' and skills that can solve real world problems.
Will this work for smaller officers?
Absolutely. The S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô is a personal tool. It has nothing to do with gender, size or strength. Irrespective of size it will work for you for several seconds, (the warrior must transition and start to make things happen! Fighting isn't static.) The bottom line is a smaller officer will not get bigger for their next fight. We can only use what we have and the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô Tactic's Bio-mechanic frame is based on sound body mechanics. The drills we have designed to strengthen the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô in its tactical evolutions are the most powerful 'frames' you can create in close quarter using only your body. Structural integrity based on physiological research is the key. Be sure to read Dr. Eric Cobb's report on the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô.