"Ask the Expert!"


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Allan Goes [Here][Pt. 2]

Manny Tapia[pt. 1][pt. 2]

Joe Stevenson [Here]

Xande Ribeiro [pt. 1] [pt. 2]

Rubens "Cobriniha" [pt. 1][pt. 2]



Gabe Ruediger [pt.1] [pt. 2] [pt. 3]
Andy Wang [pt. 1] [pt. 2]
Ryan Hall [pt. 1] [pt. 2]

April 1, 2007

Marcelo Garcia [pt. 1] [pt. 2]
Andy Wang [pt.1] [pt. 2] [pt. 3]

March 4 , 2007

IFL Competitors:
Jesse Juarez
Savant Young
Antonio McKee

Javi Vasquez

Jeff Monson

November 22, 2006

Ryan Hall
Alberto Crane

August 24 , 2006

Ryron Gracie
Mike Fowler
Joe Camacho
Chris Moriarity

August 5 , 2006

BJ Penn (pt.1)
BJ Penn (pt.2)
Tony DeSouza (pt.1)

August 1 , 2006

Post fight interviews from July 22nd's WFA tournament:

Ricco Rodriguez (pt.1)
Ricco Rodriguez (pt.2)
Marvin Eastman
Jason Miller
Jorge Oliveira (Portuguese Only)
Harris Sarmiento
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (pt.1)
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (pt.2)
Ron Waterman
Matt Lindland (pt.1)
Matt Lindland (pt.2)
Ivan Salaverry
Bas Rutten (pt.1)
Bas Rutten (pt.2)

June 12, 2006

Tait Fletcher (TUF3)
Jimmy Smith
Travis Gambino

May 24 , 2006

Dean Lister - Part II
Josh Barnett - Part II

Eddie Bravo
Jason Chambers
Scott Epstein
Gabe Ruediger

May 24 , 2006

Dean Lister - Part I

May 24 , 2006

Josh Barnett

May 22 , 2006

Rico Chiaperelli: Wrestling & MMA (interviewed by Cindy Omatsu)
Rico Chiaperelli: RAW vs. R1(interviewed by Cindy Omatsu)

January 28, 2006

Josh Koscheck - Part I (interviewed by Cung Le)
Josh Koscheck - PartII (interviewed by Cung Le)
Cung Le (14 MB) (interviewed by Josh Koscheck)
Sam Hoger (22MB) (interviewed by Bill Duff)

January 17, 2006

Tito Ortiz: Part I (28MB) (1.12.06) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Tito Ortiz: Part II (26MB)

Nam Phan: Part I (17MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Nam Phan: Part II (17MB)

October 21 , 2005

Joe Stevenson - (18MB) (interviewed by Cindy Omatsu)

2005 IGJJF - August 13-14, 2005
Bill "The Grill" Cooper (21MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)

2005 ADCC - May 27 - 29, 2005
Gazzy Parman (17MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Jamal Patterson (15MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Jeff Monson (12MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Chris Brennan (14MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Dean Lister - Part I (14MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Dean Lister - Part II (20MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Erica Montoya (10MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Rhadi Ferguson - Part I (26MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Rhadi Ferguson - Part II (16MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Ricco Rodriguez (11M
B) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Jean-Jacques Machado (7MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)

Never Tap Tournament - May 15, 2005
Jason "Mahem" Miller (9MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Marc Laimon & Bill Cooper I (14MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Marc Laimon & Bill Cooper II (24MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)
Sim Go & Jason Miller (15MB) (interviewed by Felicia Oh)

Helio Gracie - August 2004 (22MB) (interviewed by Waldemiro Perez, Jr.)

The Tony Blauer interview!

Inside the Ground Fight With Tony Blauer
By Anthony Caro

Over the course of twenty years, Tony Blauer has developed one of the most innovative approaches to teaching real world self-defense. Dealing more with psychological and scenario based aspects, Tony Blauer’s system (Chu Fen Do) quickly became a favorite of law enforcement personnel making him in high demand for police sponsored seminar programs across the United States.

 In recent years, interest in Tony Blauer’s methods have expanded into the MMA world such as the time when he was asked to give a pre-tournament seminar to the competitors at the North American Grappling Association’s National Championships. A former commentator for the UFC, Tony took some time out of his 200 seminar engagements around the world, to discuss the differences between the ground game of sportive combat and life and death assaults.

What is the main difference between a grappling bout and a street ground fighting situation?

Cement isn’t friendly. Many of the techniques that work well on a tatami mat will not flow without penalty on the street. Many times, tactics must be aborted due to pain or friction caused by concrete. Also, most grapplers are used to a gi and belt to use as handles and levers. That may not be an option on the street. While some may scoff at these examples, they are legitimate factors and, if I am completely wrong, hold your next grappling class in a parking lot and see how long it lasts and who comes back for tomorrow’s class. Suffice to say, taking a fight to the concrete in a real world altercation is generally not a choice move.

What is the most common element in street grappling that most people overlook?

In martial arts, in general, there is something fundamentally wrong with how we prepare people for street altercations. Specifically, in ground fighting, there is an important perspective overlooked by the “experts:” an articulate dissection of the pre-contact phases and stages that lead to the ground fight. Instead, people speak of self-defense effectiveness and fixate on one physical area of sport combat.

Rather than do that, you ask how did you end up on the ground and what took you there? Was it a sucker punch? A hard tackle into a wall? A kick to the groin? What many practitioners of ‘real world’ self-defense fail to integrate is the attrition, pain, damage and subsequent distractions that occur during an ambush. In other words, what went wrong in the awareness, verbal defuse, standup phases, clinch phase and pummel to the planet phase? Those are five distinct devolutions that led to the fall to the ground. Just for kicks (pun intended) have your training partner smack you in the head, kick you in the nuts, tackle you to the ground, and now immediately reverse the mount and transition into an arm bar…

Why did the lines between street fighting and sportive grappling become blurred?

Why? Because the greatest source of information on the theories, assets, applications and attributes of these styles come from the internet, an arena typically made up of aliases fighting with keyboards.

Now, many who don’t know me may think I’m down on grappling. Absolutely not! I’m a huge fan and teach a very specific ground-fighting curriculum, the difference is my approach lies in how and when grappling is applied. Grappling is not treated like a panacea. Instead, we have a specific directive applied to ground situations so that the strategy influences the tactics and that strategy is:get off the ground ASAP! In a real fight it is very difficult to secure the perimeter, or to guarantee a fair fight with no interference from the attacker's buddies; and it is near impossible to control improvised (or actual!) weapons. Fighting on concrete isn't much fun, so the less time you spend there the better all around. Tactically then, the philosophy of our groundfighting approach is “strike when you can, grapple when you must.” This approach encourages striking over submission for real fights. As my friend PDR Team member and founder of the USMC LINE System, Ron Donvito is fond of saying, “Grappling may be your thing, but blunt trauma is king!” A well placed & timed strike can end things suddenly so learn to strike while you're in tight and you might end the fight sooner than later.

Now, if there are any doubts to my methods, have a sample group perform the concrete test I suggested and see if the opinions differ. Some of the world’s greatest grapplers have openly admitted the limitations of grappling for the street due to the dangers of multiple assailants, etc.

How did grappling become more popular than striking for self defense purposes with some martial artists?

Grappling is visceral while striking, for many, is theoretical. In other words, when you strike, you pull a great deal to protect one another. In grappling, however, you get to squeeze, go full throttle, and are actually rewarded for your efforts through the submission. No matter what, when a grappling match is over, everyone knows who bested who. The conclusion is black and white whereas in striking there is always the talk, “I almost had you,” or “I pulled that,” or “If I was using my kicks then…” and so on. So from an emotional perspective, grappling provides far more rewards to our egos and our efforts. This contributes to that blur to which you previously alluded; but it also blurs the instincts and intuition needed for the street because it will likely pre-dispose one to go to the ground which may be the last place you want to be in a real fight where multiple assailants, improvised weapons and other problems may spontaneously emerge. Invariably, most fights will end with blunt trauma and, statistically, it is in the form of power shots to the victim, and whether the person gives up because they are not mentally prepared or they give up because they are incapacitated matters little. When it comes to the street, stay on your feet where you’ve got mobility and momentum to augment your actions.

People put a great deal of faith in a visual image. They don’t care as much about things they read/hear about as much as those things they see. The UFC moved many martial artists towards more realistic fighting. Do you agree with the critics who say the UFC gives people a false impression of a “real fight?”

The UFC was the best thing to happen to the martial arts world as far as nudging it away from the proverbial mess, but remember, traditional and classical systems are still infinitely more popular than eclectic self-defense arts and the number of people that actually practice MMA style systems is miniscule compared to all the others. These days, I feel MMA events have matured and are getting very polished in the production side and athletes have certainly improved. I do, however, think the audience still needs to be educated on what makes a great fight. It is frustrating as a fan when I watch an interesting chess match of a fight and beer-guzzling buffoons are booing because there is no blood or flying haymakers. I mean if we can get a bazillion people to understand and appreciate golf (which I love BTW) then lets educate fans on MMA etiquette and the skill it requires to compete in MMA events, amateur or pro. This lack of understanding of what a MMA entails leads to confusing drama of the match with a ‘real’ fight. Like most anything else, this is because there are far more spectators than participants.

Could you explain what you mean then when you say that in NHB matches, people are “really fighting,” but it is not a “real fight?”

 Well, aside from the fact that we don’t have Big John McCarthy to pull us apart, or a steel cup, or a mouth guard, or a soft landing surface, or rules that preclude head butts, eye gouges, and multiple assailants, the major difference is the “theory of consent.” The “theory of consent” deals with the crucial distinction between knowing when, where and who you are fighting and not knowing. This theory is an organic principle that spawns a behavioral domino effect: we consent to a competition, we study the rules, we prepare mentally, physically and emotionally, we explore strategies and tactics specific to that event, and, when possible, we even study the weaknesses and strengths of our opponent. But, you see, in the street, you must take the fight with no notice! Big difference.

Does a well-conditioned, tough grappler need to modify his game? A BJJ player or amateur wrestler is no slouch! Wouldn't they be able to "out tough" an assailant in a self defense situation?

Everyone needs to modify his or her game. Skills don’t readily transfer from one area to another. When Frank Shamrock recently competed in a kickboxing event, do you think he grappled to prepare for it? But again, it all depends on circumstances. The scenario dictates everything. If a good grappler were working security and has 2 back up doormen and a fight broke out, taking the offender to the ground would be tactically plausible as there is perimeter security, he has backup and is somewhat detached from an altercation, and his controlling skills and conditioning can be applied. Now take that same person two nights later leaving a friends house after three beers at 1 am and three guys blind-side him and pounce him (they were the guys thrown out the other night)... is clinching on the cement going to help now? Again, scenario dictates. Mano a mano, if an assailant were to fight a Braun vs. Braun fight, then absolutely the conditioned warrior has an edge. When you’re discussing the street people look at fights often as macho bravado testosterone matches when in fact people do get seriously hurt in some of these altercations. And understand my philosophy is very critical as it should be, because as a professional that is where my head is.

Do you feel that students of martial arts do not understand what 'self defense' truly is? Most seem to see it as a challenge fight between martial artists or tough guys, but do not see self-defense as surviving a mugging, assault or rape.

That is an excellent observation, but it is not that they don’t see the difference; to a degree, they do. The danger and problem lies in the fact they see training for these two very dissimilar confrontations as one in the same. The skills are not easily transferable. While street fights and ring fights share common dilemmas and common fixes, they are still worlds apart. Most don’t empirically grasp this important difference and it is not really their fault. The fault is that of the instructor. The students mirror the master, so to speak. Of course, most of us in the arts value competition over compassion. Consider how often we in the martial community hear comments like, “My system is better because...,” “or so and so would kick so & so’s butt.” Silly isn’t it? This perpetuates an ego-elitist paradigm where the emphasis stressed by the instructor was not on really empowering the student, but rather placed on selling a seminar, a style, or a product.

Many self defense books written by law enforcement people and self defense experts advocate biting and eye gouging etc as a means of defense. Is this good advice? In any grappling situation, one would truly need the ability to move the hips fluidly or bridge out with explosive power to escape a bad situation (flat on back/pinned down). Do these 'foul tactics' offer false security?

There’s only a false sense of security if your total ability lies in that one tactic. Biting and gouging are excellent tactics for the street. Everything has its place; the problem with all methodologies is that they look to the tactics for the result as opposed to the ‘behavior’ of their opponent for the result. In other words, a bite could make someone pass out, or scream, or bleed or get really, really pissed. The problem is the paradigm shift required to see the fight outside of a tactic, because, you, the ‘biter’ doesn’t decide if the tactic worked, it’s the ‘bitee’ that does. He reacts to the technique!

In other worlds, your opponent controls the fight in so far as they dictate your next action based on their reaction to your last effort. This esoteric, strategic truth has been the staple of my system since 1982 when I started the first Panic Attack force-on-force simulation.

Tony Blauer.com

What do you think about police officers being denied the right to use carotid restraints or chokes? Do you feel that it is ignorance and bureaucracy that denies officers the ability to use these techniques? What about the criticism of people who have been seriously injured by officers using chokeholds?

I think officers need to be taught in a more realistic way to apply restraints. I think the danger occurs when those restraints are used at the wrong time, against the wrong opponent. In reality, all grappling moves require far more coordination and relaxation than most striking tactics. Grappling competence requires coordinated, complex motor skills. So to have the notion to use a grappling in an extremely violent situation actually opposes modern research on stress and arousal.As for accidental deaths, while statistically we can say that there has never been a death at the Kodokan resulting from carotid restraints and therefore the officers are being taught wrong. But at the same time we must acknowledge that grapplers aren’t in death matches and grapplers don’t grapple with locked and loaded guns on their waists, a grab away from possible death knell. In a situation like this, the adrenalin, the movement, the fear and the intangibles all add up to incredible sensory overload and things have the possibility to go tragically wrong.

What are some tips that a sportive grappler (or instructor) could use to modify their training to make it more closely resemble a street situation?

That’s too long to answer and a few paragraphs would not do it justice. If anyone is seriously interested in the answer, please contact my office and request information on our PERSONAL DEFENSE READINESS Instructor Development program; this is a course I’ve put together for conscientious instructors looking to make a real difference in their schools and communities.

Tony Blauer has been innovating and influencing modern self-defense since 1982. To find out more about Tony Blauer’s systems, visit him online at www.tonyblauer.com

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