Forgive me for being ignorant...

as I only VERY occasionally browse this Q&A (the OG takes up SO much of my limited online time), but I'm interested to know what psychology training you've received, Tony. You really seem to have a handle on things when it comes to aggression management, conflict diffusal etc. As a psych grad myself, pretty much all of what you say makes great sense.

Basically what I'm asking is - did you expand on academic knowledge, or did you extrapolate from a different standpoint?



Guys, thanks for yor kind words, opinions, intuitions...sorry for the delay,I have been busy with the PERSONAL DEFENSE READINESS program and then some travel...

To answer your question, no, I have no formal training in psychology and that is likely why I have come up with much of my material.

My ideas, intuitions and research comes from doing and less from reading [though I do a great deal of that]. This is not said to downplay the importance of great work, research or discovery, just a reflection on Frost's Two Roads...

Having said that, in the martial community there is a problem with overusing or misunderstanding clinical observations and assuming they have application outside the controlled enviroment [er, the UFC comes to mind]...

I was doing organized PANIC ATTACK force-on-force drills in 1982 - jumping into the Tornado's eye over & over and figuring out how to evolve the technology, the gear, the method, the safety, the directive and so on...

That commitment to the unknown forces 'creation'... remember, there were no manuals or videos on street tactics, PANTHER PRODUCTIONS wasnt even in business yet, the UFC was almost 10 years away....

This year Black Belt released an issue on REALITY TRENDS, its 2002 now, er lets see, carry the,


20 years have passsed. It was still a decade before some of the of better known modern arts [advocating scenario training, fear management, psychology and street realistic tactics] emerged.

I was on a path and you cant forge ahead without some idea of direction whter its a landmark or a gut feeling...I was intuiting and had to make sense of it. It literally forced innovation.

I had great students who showed up week after week, with new questions & better problems to be solved.

Now, 2 decades+ later, I have the SPEAR SYSTEM, HIGH GEAR, the PERSONAL DEFENSE READINESS program and have had the honor and responsiblity to have been invited in to speak to a diverse and expanding array of audiences from compaines as big as Sony Corp to elements in the Dept of Defense, to Womens' Shelters, to kids groups, to companies as prestigious as Gavin DeBecker Inc and even to Psychology faculties at hospitals...

Bottom line:

Learning knowldge is different from learning learned knowledge.

My favorite quote regarding this is:

"An expert is someone who's memorized someone else's material"

As a result of my path and work, now when I teach, I try to help develop 'Substance MAtter's' expert instead of the ubiquitous, 'Subject MAtter' expert.


Thanks again,


Interesting. As you say, we learn academically through the research structures of academia. Whereas you had to determine your own. That must have been a fascinating experience, not to mention impressive.

I look forward to one day attending one of your seminars.