What would YOU do? READ...

PS. My comments have nothing to do with your friend's experience. Im grateful they are all alive. My reply (about what he shouldv'e done) wouldve been exactly as yours was, "You did great, youre alive..." That he fought and didnt give up is the key. After the dust settles, you'll discover the DETECT phase ommisions; that he had had words with them earlier, or they were making comments to his female friend or there was/were signs that premeditated the physical (there almost always are) but when people focus on the physical aspects of martial arts, theyre doomed to only act/react at the physical point of orientation...in other words if your system does not cultivate the same awareness and confidence in the pre-contact tools as they do with the flying and death touch all the real world tactics are merely lip-service (pardon the pun).

great story, great (possibly) post.


Hi guys,

I'd like to add my 2 cents if I may. Tony made a great point in regards to the "DETECT phase omissions". Rather than focus on the physical aspects, it might be better to expand our definition of what a "fight" is to us. When does it begin? With first physical contact? With a push? A threat? Yelling? Eyeballing? If we can recognise potential danger, odds are much greater we will be able to avoid it all together. I'm glad to hear your friends are ok.

Jerry Wetzel

Glad to hear your friend survived.
Terrible scenario!

As Tony has stated the training base for survival in this scenario starts before the actions on contact phase. SO, realistic, scenario based training in the pre-fight stages, assessment of routines for danger ("How/ when would you attack you?", When & where are you most vulnerable and what can you do to avoid/mitigate these danger zones? (SOunds like BYOB 101) We can better prepare by simply using this scenario, if we aren't already using a similar one ;), in our scenario drills!

The important thing, IMO, is
1) your friend and his companions survived,

2) that we, instead of taking this real life scenario and saying "oh my how terrible. That's awful." and then, like lemmings - moving on in our old unevaluated and unchanged ways right over the cliff--- Instead, We need to do just what you have prompted. Ask the tough question what would you have done? And then, answer it. Talk thru the scenario with your family/ friends – "hey, when we are out it is everybody's job to notice things, ie if we are ever in this situation honey, you take the kids and call for help,.. kids, if you see a bunch of men approaching us that we don't know you need to mention it (an aside my 9 yr old daughter because her consciousness has been raised by a friend's accident know stays on the lookout for deer crossing signs and reminds my wife and I to be alert when we are in those areas, hmmmmm... )

A simple plan- rehearsed and executed efficiently is better than the BEST plan poorly understood and executed poorly.

Too much of this can create paranoia in some, too little creates apathy, blind spots, and unpreparedness.


Mr. Blauer even if they did see the attack coming before it happened, what would you advocate? How are you suppose to defuse a situation where the opponents are seeking to fight?

Another thing is you can't expect all your friends to be trained in tactical combat so was he just suppose to leave his friend there getting beat? Yea, his friend made an error by letting his guard down when the guy went to shake his hand but that doesn't mean he deserves to get put in a coma for it. The odds are 4 on 1 and they're kicking the shit out of him, what else could possibly work in this situation besides a powerful weapon?

Tony i hear what your saying, i was just theorising on myself possible trainign methods and their effectivness once the dump has occured. Ure right the only way to "train" for it is to recreate it.

To me its funny that no1 thought about going into the service station, yet when in the situation it is hard to know what u'll do.

ure right, i chose to focus on the FIGHT, but its more interesting to me how it started how they moved in preplanned raptor formation etc. used the greeting/recognition sucker.....

great posts guyz keep them commign please.

First: Pull a gun? Why do people write that in these forums? Firstly do 'you' own one? Do you carry it - always? Are you prepared to use it? And if the answer to that all Q's was YES, well, OK, you have a gun. But most don't.

Next: Sinawali? Grappling? Straight blast...Thai kick, triangle choke, sleeper, uppercut, straight blast, fake high.....I must be an alien.

NO offense and this will surely be misunderstood by most, but hey, it's my forum :-)....

A wise Bodyguard once said that when he hears of 'experts' in the protective arts talking about all the confrontations they've been in, he's knows he would never want to work with them and that they're either really lousy or full of shit..or both...because the ones that are real good don't get ambushed....if your ambushed (metaphor here) then you messed up - big time.

So while everyone continues to fixate on technical, cognitive, muscle-theory arts, I still choose the 'aloof' road and remind people you don't go to bed worrying about nightmares, you just go to bed...I've only been teaching fear management, awareness and mind-set work for 23 years now, you'd think some of arts and practitioners would stop paying lip-service to this and start incorporating it into the training.

Zen maxims don't mean shit when a taser is in your neck and a screwdriver is exiting your arm for the 4th time.

More controversy: While there are commonalties, there's still a lot missing from the preparation...in the end, for most, grappling has little to do with gutter fighting, stick fighting has little to do with 'blindsided baton bludgeoning'.... And if I'm wrong, then linear logic dictates that taking an 'electrician's course' will help you understand and deal with a 40,000 volt tasergun. Stop sparring ladies and gentlemen and start researching fights (not fighting – fights...how they start, how they end).

So what would I do? DETECT, DEFUSE, AND DEFEND. Work counter ambush skills through mindset, awareness, de-escalation, verbal tactics, work multiple assailant skills & drills and know what to do to bad people in advance. You can't win 'anything' on the defensive.

So stop fixating on what other people are going to do to you and start focusing on things you can do to them.

You want tactical confidence, buy 2 HIGH GEAR suits, get my Ballistic Micro-fight tapes, audio tapes, fear management manual, multiple assailant tapes and learn how to replicate real confrontations and train for the event that might cost you your life not some trophy or rank.


LOL @gangsters carrying batons and tasers! LEMon, no offense brah but your writing sucks but from what I could gather from your posts they were heavily outnumbered and one of his friends was getting pummeled on the ground? The only thing to do in that situation is pull out a gun, what else could have possibly worked in that situation? The guys were obviously looking for any excuse to fight so you wouldn't have been able to talk them down and being outnumbered like that you couldn't brawl your way out of it. Running would be a viable option if you didn't give a shit about your friend getting kicked into a coma on the pavement.

Hopefully after you pull the gun out they will get scared and run, if not then you'd have to shoot the first one that came at you and hope that sent a clear message.

I arrived home from brazil, to hear this. It made me wonder what i would do....It made wonder what i COULD do....and what you guyz and the experts here would have done.

A guy lets call him rob (he wouldnt want to be named), was at a self service facility, it was quite crowded at the time (within 7 or so days of today). The area is considered quite safe, in fact i spent new years there. He is standing there when someone of a certain ethinicity comes up and asks him for his fone.

He says no.

They start getting angry (there is about 5 of them visible). Rob is a big boy, he is there with 3 friends one of which is a female, all three males are fairly big. Rob tries to calm things down at which stage one of the other group recognise a guy from school and walks up to shake his hands and is followed by his boyz.

Mick (the recognised one) walks forward to shake his hand as the guy is beign friendly now and as he does is struck from behind with a telescopic baton which cracks his skull. He hits the ground and 4 guyz continue to beat him relentlessly.

As this is happening 5 more guyz appear all armed and one sits in Robs car trying to steal it, they rush at the 2 remaining (the female ran off to call the cops) and the other guy lets call him Jerry, runs off after his girlfriend REAL QUICK.

The gang is shouting obcenities and sayign they are going to kill them, somethign about being of a certain religion and being dirty etc. Rob says he shat himself and although outwieghted them was outnumbered 4-1 as one of the gang took off after Jerry.

He threw one left hook and managed to drop one of the guys and tried to stomp him but is jumped on by another guy.


He pushes the guy off and tries to make it to his car gets there and drags the guyout, but is jumped on by another guy who starts to strangle him whilst using a tazer on his neck. He says it made his head numb but did not make him go unconcious. while this is happening he feels someone punching his arm multiple times...feels like a dead arm he said.....

turns around to see the guy holding a bloodied screw driver, he somehow gets the guy on his back off, considers runnign but sees his friend still getting beaten. He gets in the car and tries to run them over chasing them off and the cops now come.

his friend is in a pool of blood and he cant breath but is still standing. He told me that when he saw them running at him screaming "were gonna kill you you dirty ***" he almost shat himself and ran.

Now heres the thing, i wonder what i would do, he is a big boy. He asked me if he shoulda done this and that i told him he did awesomely coz he is still alive. His friend is fine, though obviously has some damage and the girl and guy that ran got away.

What would you do? could u handle yourself? how do u train for this?

The guy did Wing Chun with a famous instructor and i asked him if he used it and he said no, he could only think of the left hook his dad showed him when he was a kid. He then proceeded to tell me he should done this and that and that his instructor coulda taken all ten of them...gotta luv the unfaultering faith in TMA :)

It made me scared to think if i could handle this, he tried to deesculate it and it got worse. EVERYone was armed, yet a left hook managed to drop one! nice. Passers by did nothing, just watched apparently.

Ne similar stories?

For legal reasons i made this all up, no characters actually exist.

My Thoughts:

He said grappling would have been useless to which i told him, spearing his mates head on the ground smearing him all over the concrete might have given them second thoughts....
however that would be last resort but as i do mostly grapplign probably my reaction once the adrenline dumped.

I would have tried not to let the guy get behind me if i was the guy that got hit by the baton, though in hindsite its easy to say. Though letting someone get behind u is never a good thing.

I am very glad now i have been workign on kali, doesnt mean i could have dealt witht he attack but i think i am less naive and a little more capable than someone without any training.

I'm curious as to people thoughts on sinwali or double stick applications as when we drill it it does seem effective, even if it is wild.

My only other thought is to have tried to rush one guy viciously or even sucker punch him and disarm him trunign the weaponon him or his friends.

They obviously had intent on doing "business" with them.....

still scares the fuck out of me, makes me question my training.


Perhaps I missed something, but why did your friend wait so long to finally USE his strongest weapon, his car. At the first sign of trouble the best thing to have done - if possible would have been to get in it (along with the rest of his friends) and high tail it. If that wasn't possible - then to get in the car and use it as a weapon , as he finally did.

One thing we teach our students, if someone is trying to start a fight with you , and you are in your car, DON'T get out. Don't give up several hundred pounds of weapon or your best escape plan to be macho.

Hi all,

A common theme that I notice in many of my interviews of assault victims, and suspects when they tell me their respective sides of the story is the substantial amount of opportunities not only to avoid or defuse the situation but also to ESCAPE it that are missed.

Although a fair amount of the time it's due to lack of awareness, I have found that an alarming number of occassions it's due to EGO/PRIDE and also to an almost silly attachment to material property.

This theme applies to domestic violence, fights and several other cases where things get "physical".

Coach Blauer's TCMS always emphasizes we must train three dimensionally. Besides physically we must be able to psychologically and emotionally "move" through the confrontation.

Most martial artists are usually training physical offensive tactics. An opponent attacks us and we use our tactics to defeat him soundly.

The more you train using replication and three dimensional training theory; research , analyze and ponder situations as described above, you will find more missed opportunities where "TACTICAL COWARDICE" is the best response.

When training in military tactics there is always an "E & E" plan or SOP. When things get bad enough you may have to resort to Escaping and Evading the enemy.

Martial artists should prepare similarly.

Tony Torres
Va Beach, VA

Hopefully we all can learn a few things from their experience and avoid any such happenings to our family and friends.

That said:

The LTC Dave Grossman quote from his book "on killing" seems apprpriate to consider: You have to know what you will live for , die for & kill for. (I paraphrased)

Willing to do all three of those for survival of my family.

Not willing to do any of them for the cellphone or car.



"As the world gets meaner and more violent, serious martial art instructors need to offer educational havens for those seeking solutions to those very real problems of fear and violence. Necessity is the mother of invention and so, the arts must change to adapt to the reality of the street. We need to move past traditional roots to address the problems that face us today." - Tony Blauer

"My message has always been to be diverse, skilled in all ranges. If push comes to shove you must have no physical preference, no emotional attachment to a range, only then you can make a calm, calculated, strategic choice and force the confrontation to the range that suits the situation." - Tony Blauer

"If you can tell me when your next fight will take place, against whom, how many opponents, if there'll be weapons (you get the point) then I would agree, you could plan for it. If you can't, then you either get paranoid or practical.Practical for me was creating a system that embraced one concept: the result." - Tony Blauer

Hopefully all of you noticed the intentional reference to Tony after every quote. Twenty-three years he's been teaching and writing and inspiring... Let's all do something about it.

Be Well.



As I was reading through this thread, I was mentally "hearing" quotes from so many of Tony's posts, videos, audios, classes, etc. How many times have people asked questions like this? As a community, how myopic are we to continually focus on physical "answers" to real life dramas? It's like trying to answer an essay question about who founded the Roman empire by just drawing a map - perhaps its a part of the answer, but it's nowhere near complete.

Read through the quotes that follow. Introspect on them. And then - do something. If you need to change your training - change it. If you need to change your friends - change them. If you need to walk away from the computer - walk away. Be honest, be proactive, be diligent. We all want answers to complex issues. As I've recently begun to grasp, the answers lie inside, in the basics of fear, behavior, biomechanics and discipline.


"What I think I would do cannot bring anyone back and makes no difference today. The great myth of training is that one never knows until it is happening. Now that we know the events its easy to 'armchair quarter back it all'; it's easy to be a genius when you watch it on TV." - Tony Blauer

"It is dangerous to look at a fight as purely a physical dilemma." - Tony Blauer

"The key is fear management, I believe everything we all do {and don't do} is based upon our relationship to fear. So whether it is conscious or unconscious, all success comes down to appreciating and understanding the fundamental component: the management of fear." - Tony Blauer

"The serendipity of 'managing ones fear' is that it always leads to a NEW you; to the 'you' you are meant to be. Confronting fear empowers and is the catalyst to 'self-actualization'." - Tony Blauer

"Remember, even before a physical move has been made, predator and prey decide their fate. Mere technique is not enough to survive a fight." - Tony Blauer

"A technique never won a fight, it was always the person who did the work. So when you really analyze the micro-moment of combat and contact, where the result was favorable, it was usually a combination spontaneity, commitment and directness that won the moment, irrespective of the style, system or tactics." - Tony Blauer

"That is why I created the PANIC ATTACK system and the HIGH GEAR suits and the BALLISTIC MICRO-FIGHT program. The scenario/simulation process allows us to identify limiting tactics, limiting thoughts and empowers us through this integrity-based process. It teaches those of us who understand deeper elements of preparation more about our problem-solving skills and it gives those who are locked into the XYZ process a safer & scientific epiphany so we can learn it in the laboratory - not in the street." - Tony Blauer

"Real fights require brilliant micro-manipulations of your tool box." - Tony Blauer

"Effectiveness is the spontaneous EFFECTIVE modification of your total arsenal; the arsenal that was polished in a controlled environment must mutate to adapt to the real world." - Tony Blauer

Tony's reply was excellent, but what was particularly good was his comment about the bodyguard. I know a bodyguard and he said the exact same thing - if he got involved in a violent situation, then in one sense he has already failed in his job because his duty is to avoid violent confrontations altogether through proper planning and being alert.

As Tony says: My friend, be your own bodyguard.

Once the situation became violent, I don't think there is any amount of training that could have saved your friend from getting hurt. How do you train to fight against 5+ guys, some of whom are armed while you are unarmed? You can't. What you can do is learn how to be alert, aware, and how to behave tactically. That's what bodyguards learn so they can avoid those sorts of situations.

Even if you had a gun against all those attackers, you would have to be very fast to draw your weapon before they closed in on you. Remember, they were within hand-shaking range when it started, so they've already closed the distance you need to draw a weapon and keep them away. For all you know, they could have guns as well and drawing your weapon would escalate the situation even further. Better to use the time you would spend drawing a weapon and try to escape back into your vehicle and get out of there.

I'm glad nobody was killed. Sounds like your friend was lucky. I'm sure that experience will teach him to be extra careful no matter where he goes.