Why There Is PDR In My Box
By Traver H. Boehm L.Ac, Dipl. O.M.
Co-owner & Head Coach CrossFit Pacific Coast
Eight years ago, while traveling and training in a Muay Thai camp in Thailand, I met two other traveling Americans. Both of them have since gone on to write numerous books books on training, fighting, and, most recently, one about some kind of supple leopard. It was from a conversation there that I remember the life-altering statement: “I do this exercise deal called CrossFit. Check it out when you get back to the States.”
I did, and fell in love.
I fell in love immediately with the fact that it worked. I fell in love with the fact that there was no drama around it. CrossFit was just a great group of people who liked to work out … and workout hard.
What was underneath it all though – was truth. Truth in the fitness world is hard to come by, but CrossFit produced something that no one else quite could – the results to back their truth up.
Both Personal Defense Readiness, and Tony Blauer were introduced to me through my then employer Gavin De Becker. We knew of Tony’s S.P.E.A.R because it held the same elemental grasp on truth that CrossFit did – it worked. It might not be as flashy, nor sexy, nor as impressive looking as something with a double spinning kick attached to it, but when your life or that of a client or loved one is truly on the line, flash tends to take a backseat to results that allow everyone to keep breathing. If truth in the fitness community is like the Holy Grail, in the martial arts world, it is even harder to come by.
It wasn’t until Coach Blauer and CrossFit realized how well they both went together some years later that my life with PDR began. After attending the first iteration of CrossFit Defense. I knew this was something that I wanted all of my gym members to have access to. Anyone who owns a CrossFit box has more than a vested interest in massively increasing the quality of life of their membership. We do this through a variety of means, but none as important as changing how they interact with the world on a daily basis.
Someone who loses 30 pounds in six months, becomes part of a team. They have a group of like-minded individuals invested in their success. They walk into their day with the resulting self esteem boost that allows him/her a far different human experience than someone who hasn’t. This is the essence of what CrossFit does. CrossFit Coaches are first and foremost in the self-esteem business.
I don’t, however, believe the picture is complete until that person feels comfortable in their own skin. That comfort comes from a solid understanding of how to protect that skin from the outside world. Self-esteem cannot truly be intact when you know that everything that you’ve worked so hard for can easily be taken away from you by someone else in a moment of indecision and/or inaction. Enter Personal Defense Readiness.
The three day PDR certification course down in Orange County was led by two active duty police officers and Blauer Tactical Systems coaches. The class was a mix of school teachers, martial artists, and a multitude of CrossFit gym owners.
Much like the CrossFit L1, the weekend was a mix of theory on why the Blauer Tactical System works as well as it does, theory on violent encounters, and a lot of drilling.
The drills were clearly defined, explained, and then practiced repeatedly. The atmosphere was open to questions, deeper explanations, and some solid doses of humor to keep us all on our toes. You can’t ask for a better learning experience than working with people who love what they do, teaching what they love – especially when they’re teaching CrossFitters – who are as naturally athletic as they are camaraderous.
The last day of the weekend finished with the class solidifying their teaching techniques by breaking into small groups and having to do just that – teach the entire repertoire of drills from the day before. Teaching the drills made them come to life and furthered our knowledge of how they work, why they work, as well as the various technical aspects of explaining them clearly.
We ended the weekend in fine fashion by having to line up across from a fully outfitted High Gear “bad guy” and putting both our theory and our drills to the test. Nothing turns theory into reality like a simulated attack scenario.
Bringing PDR back to CrossFit Pacific Coast (www.crossfitpacificcoast.com) has greatly added to the value that our members enjoy. We work PDR drills into our warm ups, as well as having special weekend classes dedicated to keeping ourselves safe. The responses have been overwhelmingly positive as CrossFitters are always interested in both increasing their physical skill sets as well as learning systems that fall in line with they already know. All of the lightbulb moments happening during every Open Hand Over 90 drill make the PDR course worth it’s weight in gold.
As a CrossFit box owner, martial artist, and a PDR coach, I see CrossFit and PDR going hand in hand. We are all in the business of keeping people alive be it through squats, education, vegetables, high fives, and hugs. Adding PDR into this mix is not only a great addition to the value that you give to your clients but will also be the most important set of tools that you empower them with. Looking better naked is great, staying alive for your kids and spouse is priceless.