I was wondering when the SPEAR system really
crystalized for you. Were you working the flinch
response and you just saw it, or did the name fit
early on and it grew from there? A little SPEAR
Good question, Mike!
I'll be watching for the answer as well.
Strength & Honor,
Guys, I will get to this ASAP, but too busy right now.
"I was wondering when the SPEAR system really crystalized
for you. "
About 6 months ago :-)
"Were you working the flinch response and you just saw it, or
did the name fit early on and it grew from there?"
I was working on a high risk isolation drill (1988ish) called
SUCKER PUNCH drill, my partner was very good (at boxing)
He was allowed to strike me anytime to any target and the
rules did not allow me to do anything other than avoid &
evade, but the catch was that we had to start like an
altercation - at talking range - not sparring range.
INcluding the dialogue and the proximity changed
During the inaugral drill which lasted a couple of hours, I was
forced to flinch often to protect my face. At the end of the
session (brusied, swollen and a little bloodied) I reflected at
the frequency of failure from the 'tactics' side of the arsenal vs
the reflexive side of things....when I flinched I was almost
always safe, when I tried some interception, block, parry I
Over a period of time I rationalized and realized through
intuitive research that most (all) complex motor skill counters
require a specifc well-timed blend and degree of skill,
awareness, distance and
timing to pull off, a lot to ask for in a credible street defense
scenario! At extreme close distances with distractions,
most sequential attack & counter relationships DO NOT co-
exist...and when truly startled by a rhythm break or sudden
attack,the body's reactive brain/survival system
overides the cognitve brain's control over muscle memory
skills...this was the foundation for what I now refer to as
In other words...I flinched first to save my neck and then
contemplated to experience, again, that was back in
The flinching fascinated me ( though I didnt know what I was
doing or why), I began to monitor it but without
interferance (key concept!) all the while continuing to
develop our other skills.
Another critical observation in the SUCKER drill was that
closer was better when people were swinging. In short time I
began penetrating the attack and then develpoed all sorts of
drills and principles to explain and identify what & why
(Mental Blue Print Theory/Psychological Voids, CWCT, Pre-
COntact CUes, Emotional Climate Drill and more)...
The first time the SPEAR 'name' was used was as an icon for
'direction & commitment' when urging a tentative student to
attack the attack at the pre-contact moment...i.e. "Be the
SPEAR , you are the SPEAR, Charge the attack, MOVE IN!!"
The name was only coined in the early 90's after working
with a military team on the West coast who asked me what
the SPEAR acronym stood for... :-) there wasnt one! 2 weeks
later I was teaching in Normandy, France and was jotting
ideas for S P E A R on a board and came up with a term
that refelcted what I was trying to tap into as it connected with
sudden violence, close proximity and the suddeness of the
startle/flinch...and an evolutionary system was born:
S.P.E.A.R: Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated
the system continues to evolve to the present.
THere's a lot more of this in the ARCHIVES seciton of my
WOW!! That was excellent! Good question, Mike!!!
Strength & Honor,
Thanks Tony. Another piece of the puzzle in place.