An article re: Tony Blauer & change

This was formely posted on the United Fighting Systems site. Thought this group would get a lot out of it...

From Panic To Panic Attack
By: Mitch Joel

The upper duplex seemed innocent enough. Facing a synagogue in a middle-class, Montreal suburb. When you're thirteen, everything seems innocent, but bigger. By twenty-seven you realize that some things stay big or tidal wave beyond comprehension. That upper duplex was one of many rude/real awakenings that would happen over the following decade. The kind of "awakening" that prod you in the middle of night. It's the stuff of life, over ten years of reflection, and probably a lifetime, if not longer, to fully understand.

Tony Blauer was educating not just his students, but himself, from that upper duplex. Now, nearly twenty years later, he is this planets' leading tactical confrontation and close quarter combative expert. Footsteps before I walked into his first home (that upper duplex), I wondered what he wanted. Friends of mine (twins no less) were studying with him privately three times a week, while I was being steeped at a local Montreal school in Sil Lum Hung Gar Kung Fu. I also liked to spar, particularly with my friends, and this set of twins (hey, they were shorter than me).

Tony tossed the gear on the floor, we mixed and matched boxing gloves, headgear and shinguards. Before we sparred, Tony broke out the camcorder. This was a whole new world from belts, bowing and calling someone whom I hardly knew "Sifu". When push came to shove, my training went with my wind... lost by the third punch. Tony knew it was going to happen and tried to explain the complexity of fighting to a bunch of hormonal pimple manufacturers. "The fight started long before you guys put on the gear," he said. "What just happened in there," he said pointing to the sandalwood floor from the couch in his living room, "was sport. It wasn't a real fight." The pain in my neck, scrapes and bruises would argue, but he was right.

Soon after Tony opened his first Chu Fen Do gym, my teen interests shifted (to girls... I can't really think of anything else - it's still a problem). I kept returning at every opportunity, knowing that it was sport because both parties consented and adhered to certain rules. A "real fight" doesn't have the luxury of gear, consent or rules. The sociopath on the street is obviously not concerned for my safety, quite the opposite. Tony's system (now know as Tactical Confrontation Management Systems) empowers you (physically and psychologically) to deal with those sociopaths. January, 1995 was a time for change. Nearly ten years had passed, I had lost over 100 pounds in the past year, after being diagnosed with Panic Stress Disorder (a birth defect that would cause random, massive adrenaline dumps), medication was the doctor's only solution, but a holistic approach sounded reasonable. Kung Fu seemed like the logical step for some rigid structure, but the Kwoon was not for me.

I went back to Tony. Instead of throwing me into a regime, we spoke. The discussion lasted over two hours. The now grown-up journalist was hammering out his life to the combatives expert, reminiscing and discussing immediate needs. He gave me some information, articles he had written and a video. A pivotal moment? Sure. The moment that changed my life? No. Tony had done that four minutes after my first steps through his duplex, when he had a handful of private students and wasn't training Navy SEALs, FBI, SWAT, Fortune 500 companies and other military and law enforcement groups all over the globe.

It is a privilege and luxury to have someone like Tony Blauer minutes away. Dubbed "the Anthony Robbins of self-defense," Tony is peerless. His profound cerebral, holistic and physical approach to self-defense is unique. Instead of training you to be like him, Tony tutors the student to be a better you. The training of gross-motor skill movements that are biomechanically sound and congruous to a seemingly submissive posture, make Blauer's theories transcend the thirty videos and four audio tapes you can purchase. Certainly, they are all astounding training tools, but it's still no match for three weekly classes, advice, tips, phone calls and meals he's accorded me. In the past ten years, I've had the opportunity to interview almost every celebrity in the entertainment industry. Tony has been the only true star, with honesty, integrity (and firepower to boot). So it's grown, become bigger and tidal waved. No more panic.

Mitch Joel is a Montreal freelance journalist who has contributed to Black Belt, Karate Kung Fu Illustrated, MA Training, Maclean's, Hour and Circus Magazine. Mitch has known Tony Blauer for over 15 years. He can be reached at: