Information Overload


I'm just beginning to introduce the Blauer tactics, techniques and terminology to the practice here at my school. My dojo is my "laboratory" where I will be sharpening my teaching and technical skills before I start offering seminars.

One point: If self defense preparation is 33% Psychological and 33% Emotional, than should 66% of class time be spent "lecturing" participants on these elements initially?

Last night I held a class on what I call "Blauer Basics". Before I knew it, however, my ready to punch and kick karate class was chewing through my academic dissertation and begging for the next physical drill/set of moves.

I admit that as someone who enjoys "hitting", I found myself chafing at the bit at times during the PDR sessions as well. (That is, until I began to realize the impotance of understanding the psychodynamics of the attacker and the attacked!)

Have you also had a hard time walking the line between wanting to inform your students without overloading them too much info and not enough action?

Does anyone have experience/ideas on how to strike a balance? I'd really appreciate the input!


Gary Khoury


Excellent questions! I have a few off the cuff thoughts...

From both my personal experience, and from what I have heard and learned from others on the Team, this is a very common problem. What you are experiencing is the proverbial mega-pardigm shift from subject to substance. The by-product of this usually is a radical transformation of the TYPE and AMOUNT of information that you provide in any given class.

During this transformation, it is enormously tempting to talk students to death because you are so charged with the powerful changes you are experiencing viscerally as a result of much of Tony's material.

However, as you delve more deeply into TCMS, you will come to see that one integral aspect of Tony's genius is that HE NEVER TEACHES A MENTAL/EMOTIONAL TOOL THAT IS NOT BACKED UP AND PHYSICALLY TAUGHT VIA A DRILL. Unfortunately, it took me about three years of exposure to Tony before I really began to understand this aspect of his system. (Hopefully, this post will help shorten the learning curve for you...)

My suggestion then is to match each topic with a drill. This becomes a multi-system (cogntive, tactile, etc.)learning experience in which a vital survival concept is discussed, detailed and drilled.

This approach has worked very well for me over the last couple of years and has deepened both mine and my students' understading of the material in all planes (emotional, psychological and physical).

There is much more to say on this but I'll hold off to hear what others have to add. Tony's reply should sizzle...


BTW: From what Tony has said, I know that you have a very extensive background and some of this may already be apparent. If so, my apologies for being redundant.

I'd like to take a stab at this because I am seeing it from a students perspective right now ...I study the SPEAR under a member of the PDR team here in town . I have to admit though that I never needed any enticement ; Tony's material spoke for itself and I was immediately hooked . When we first started training , the SPEAR ideas were so new , that Sean would come to class quite early , so as to map out our key points of study that day on a whiteboard . He would then hang this adjacent to our mats and after we warmed up , he would begin to move thru the material . Giving us an overview of the mateial , then breaking it down into smaller modules that we would immediately tackle . Now that we have the basic basics down , Sean has developed a new strategy for 'striking a balance' , as you said Gary . Once a month or so we go down to our local Seattle Coffee ™ and have what we term a 'Cerebral Session' . Sean opens his laptop , and begins with a powerpoint presentation ...A number of things happen in this environment :

  • You are NOT surrounded by the trappings of physical training , so you are allowed to slip into a more intellectual mode .
  • You are relaxed . ( as much as you can be while drinking a double expresso mocha ;-) )
  • The confines of a couple leather sofas and a coffee table , combined with soft lighting provide for few distractions .
  • Because you aren't being asked to implement the material into an exercise in the next few minutes , you are able to focus completely on the material .
  • It's a great environment for expressing questions , ideas and hashing over key points until everyone has it .
By isolating our cerebral session from everyday class we are given an oppourtunity to reflect on it as we part etc . That way we are much more aquainted with materials when Sean re-introduces them in class . That way we can focus on the implementation of the materials in class thru more of a Socratic approach .
"If self defense preparation is 33% Psychological and 33% Emotional, than should 66% of class time be spent "lecturing" participants on these elements initially? "You have the math correct , but wouldn't the implementation of the entire trilogy be done in unison in your class ? It's great , like I said to lecture and discuss theories , but then you have to DO what you're talking about . Nothing will forge the emotional and psychological aspects of Tony's material more than DOING . That means introducing the elements thru BMF , REPLICATION drills , VERBAL diffuse skills , EMOTIONAL CLIMATE training , PAIN MANAGEMENT , etc etc . 'Don't tell me .. show me .. teach me ?...allow me to investigate for myself' . Take Tony's material to your lab and begin to investigate ! Trust me , your students will NOT be wanting for more !Hope that helps a little Gary , Cheers Var

Hey Gary... my right hand mate! One way is to break it up. Do a drill, have them work on a skill (such as eye slap/palm strike) have them rotate partners (height and weight), then have a small talk about it... using verbal (add that in as a drill), using intimidation, using a push/shove into submissive. Let them get combfortable in thier own skin (you'll see your comfort level) grow and then take them aside to disucss the 66% that isn't physical. Most people need to experience the action first. Remember, this is not PDR, it's students... this is new to them and they want to hit something. Let them start hitting stuff, but always make sure (even while they're doing it) that you add in the "mental edge." I like getting the students right into the motion, let them ask questions, talk while the drill is going on. Remember... show them what they can do, not what you can do. You could, also, hold a cerebral class (tell them to come in jeans and bring notebooks, so they know it's not going to be a physical class). I personally prefer mixing it up... it gives them a chance to see what is desireable and less-desireable and also allows them to see how much they can do based on the fact that Tony's stuff is so consistent with how the body moves, flinches and reacts in real situations. Write down 4 - 5 drills (simple ones like having one person go to grab the back of the other persons neck and just let them watch what the body does to make that happen). KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) ;)


Call me or email me anytime.

Mitch Joel

Hi Gary,

Something I have found helpful in teaching Tony's material is simply remembering that the courses I have attended were "Instructor Development" courses and that the material presented there is for me to digest, develop coaching skill and transfer "end user" level material for my students.

I will use a weird analogy here but I believe it will help.

Imagine you have to build a useful, triangular, table with three legs and you have a limited amount of wood. If you make one of those legs much longer than the other two the table will be off balance, not very usable.

But what if you make three shorter legs of equal length and as you get more wood you add an equal amount to all three, you will slowly but surely have a taller and taller, usable table.

So it is with students, use three dimensional training in small increments instead of overloading one or two dimensions. Keep it simple....pick one drill maybe two per session but explore all three dimensions of it...that way your students get to feel, think,and move the concept. This is ultimately more beneficial.

This has helped me a lot with my students hope it does with yours.

If you have any questions holler.

Tony Torres
Va. Beach, VA

Come on PDR team !

I may be far from being an instructor , but I'd also love to hear your individual thoughts on this . Been some great stuff so far . You know what they say .. if you want to know something well , try teaching it to another . By listening to you a student like myself gets some insight into the bigger picture , into why exercises unfold the way they do , and where I'm headed .

Mr Torres , for a moment there , before I realized where you were going with that great analogy , I thought you were going to cut the wood a lil shorter yet and make '4' legs ... but that must be my Japanese streak coming thru *L*

Regards , Var


Welcome to the 'process'! Coaching BLAUER material, because of the depth of its substance can be a challenging task.

I've always tried to keep in mind the 'show me don't tell me' motto from the beginnings of Chu Fen Do and find that the more I understand the material the less I talk, and the more I get the students to do. Some things (most things) need to be experienced to be understood. That's why there's High Gear.

The more deeply YOU understand the substance, the simpler it will be to explain.

Keep at it!


Some great stuff and thanks for the comments Varley.

You must be able to articulte the information in context! If you can get the students to see the three-dimensional application in not only the physical training, but apply it to every challenge that they face in life, they will be eager to listen. Conflict arises as a result of our emotions being attacked primarily, then the psychological arsenal kicks in and adds it's 33.3%. Both occur long before a physical tactic is launched conciously.

If you, as said above, limit the structure of your training session to one or two tactics using tool and target management, you'll be able to expand on the three-dimensional aspect will greater ease.

An idea, again based on above posts. Have the students learn a specific skill-set and apply it in a static environment. Once they feel confortable with the task, change the pace and make it primal. Watch the student's performance of that same skill-set deteriate and now sit down and debrief. Cover why this happens and how we can enhance our arsenal using another specific toobox. But keep it socratic. If the student comes to the realization themselves, the learning experience will have a greater impact on them.

Summarizing some great thoughts from above.


I've run into the same problem. The majority of my
students are college age kids, and after a day of
lecture, the last thing they usually want to do is hear
me yap (some of them don't want to hear me yap after
a day of no lecture, for that matter! :-D)
One strategy that I've found effective is to start
with a physical drill, and then insert the behavioral
and emotional concepts as they become important/are

Ex. Rather than explaining the Primal/Protective/
Tactical stages of the spear, I set up a drill where
one person had to intercept haymakers from the rest of
the class for a 2 minute round. By the end of the first
round, one of the girls noticed that as the round went
on, and she got tired, the SPEAR started to collapse.
When I began to explain the concepts of the Primal,
Protective, and tactical SPEAR, she was listening

1. Fatigue makes a short lecture seem more appealing
2. She had already experienced it, now she wanted to
understand the experience.

Some food for thought.
Good training!



Here late at the dojo this Saturday night looking for some kind of distraction from this week's events. Silly, I guess, that I would try to find it by cruising the Internet and checking our Self Defence forum! ;)

In any event, I apologize for not thanking the Team sooner for all the terrific advice provided herein. You folks are a tremendous resource. Sad that we're all kind of "preaching to the choir" here. Coach Blauer's material and your collective insights and experience combine to create a dose of powerful medicine that more than those who frequent this Forum need.

This week I took my second crack at it with my students. We worked "probable vs. possible attacks" (a discussion spurred by Tuesday's disaster). I took Sean's Socratic approach to letting the students ask --and answer-- their own questions as a method for determining what material we would cover.

Through a process of trial and error, we wound up drilling a push, a punch and a tackle, doing some emotional climate training and SPEAR work in between.

All in all I thought this session was a lot more successful than the first, but still I struggle to find a "system". . .

Is Chu Fen Do/Blauer Tactical "non-linear" by nature, or am I missing an important point? That is, should I introduce some concepts before others, or is everything so closely interrelated that it all comes out in the wash?!

I intend to dive back into my videos and PDR Team material tomorrow. In the meantime, I appreciate and want to thank you in advance for your suggestions and support.



Gary J. Khoury