How difficult is it to learn the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô?
Initially learning the basic mechanics and application of the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô is easier than learning any self-defense or martial art because the research and science of the mechanics are based on what the body really wants to do PRIOR to any training. Think about that for a moment; the nucleus of our system is already organically ingrained within you. Your instinctual survival system already has built in moves and in times of sudden surprise these natural moves actually override muscle-memory skills. Your natural reactions are lightning fast and nonperishable. We have spent over a decade creating drills and tactics around this physiological research.
While I have read about the SPEAR in several magazine articles, I'm still a bit confused. Is it a new type of technique or the modification of something else?
All of the above! The S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô has two elemental components: first its relationship to primal/protective responses (referred to as startle/flinch response) already hardwired into our survival system and secondly, the tactical conversions of key flinch positions identified by our research.
The idea of using natural motion is not new to martial arts but when closely analyzed, the arts that proclaim use of this also integrate a complex motor skill conduit, in other words there is a muscle-memory core and the natural motion mention refers more to physics and dynamics of energy, NOT instinctual or primal conversions of human behavior.
Therein lies the difference. The S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô is based on several dynamics of behavior and THEN motion, mechanics and tactics are devised. The emphasis of which moves are used, the timing of the tactics and the method they are used are inspired by physiology, dynamics of fear and relationship between predator and prey. The S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô is purely a personal defense method, not a sport or conventional ART.
In your website and other articles, you state that the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô is very easy to learn and also easy to retain. Why is that?
It's easy to learn because the nucleus of the system is already a part of your natural survival. That means the instinctive gestures that form the core of the tactical conversions already exist. It's easy to retain for the very same reason: the foundation of the system and tactics we have designed are built around primal responses that are nonperishable, that's why the system is so reliable.
Will learning the SPEAR System interfere with my other training?
Honestly, that depends on you and your system and specifically why you train. Its crucial to note that the vast majority of martial arts require space, distance, awareness and of course some skill for a technique to function, but real fights happen quickly and in very close quarters (in other words: little space, almost no distance, and generally, they are a surprise too!) So for those of you who recognize this truth and already have a strong interest in another style or a good foundation, the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô can be embraced as a 'bridge' to get to their style of choice. (Remember, styles are made up of complex motor skills based on muscle-memory & stimulus-response evolutions - the SPEAR 'tactic' is not based on this learning model.)
The age-old question, what's the best art or style is as popular today as it was centuries ago...but frankly, self-defense is not about style, its about results. If you're looking for a pure, spontaneous method to develop greater confidence in a close quarter fight, the SPEAR System will be an asset.
I understand that the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô is based around the 'flinch response'. What is this and why is it not taught in other systems?
Any sudden surprise movement can cause what we refer to as the 'startle/flinch' response. Sudden movement startles the emotional controls in our brain and causes the body's inherent protective mechanism to recoil from the danger (physiologists have termed this the withdrawal reflex). This action is evident in anyone (even trained warriors) and varies proportionally to levels of awareness or preparedness. But what is most important is to note that the startle/flinch moment is natural and human, it has nothing to do with skill or lack of; it is a behavioral response.
Why its not taught in other styles is simple. Virtually all martial arts of today including most of the modern eclectic systems are based on ancient and/or conventional styles. While many of these systems are very effective and well researched, their arsenals are generally based on complex motor movement. Further, most training evolutions are based on an ancient SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) where training and fighting was based on codes and ritual and specific rules of engagements dictated when, where and how fights took place. This explains why battles became duels, duels became challenges, and challenges became competition. This process creates consent, awareness and preparedness, therefore the combatants are able to adopt stances and create space prior to the proverbial trumpet call.
There has also always been an emphasis placed on winning with good form and using techniques from within the style. Putting this perspective puzzle together, one can appreciate why modern drills and training are still very structured.
Consider this: A boxer doesn't shuffle in a ready stance at an ATM machine to withdraw money. A Ju Jitsu player doesn't walk his dog lying on his back, A Tae Kwon Do player doesn't order Big Macs from a side stance, is this making sense? Real attacks occur when you are out of your arena. And all people flinch. The magic of the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMôis that we show you how to make that work for you.
Is the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô only a defensive tool or can it also be used offensively?
Actually it's not defensive at all. It's protective and the distinction is far more reaching than 'semantics'. Firstly, 'defense' is a subordinate position, it implies that the opponent is all over you, whereas 'protective' is neither defensive nor offensive, it implies a necessary action; interestingly, the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô is not an offensive tool either.
Anytime you use the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEMô or tactic, it was because you were required to use it, In other words, you were being attacked. In both cases you were acting in self-defense. This protective mindset conjures up the virtue, value and importance of the 'bodyguard' and this moral and professional imperative is directly linked to one of our most important and powerful concepts the 'Be Your Own Bodyguard' principle.