MMA & BJJ versus CrossFit Defense


Many of you who follow us on twitter and Facebook saw the craziness that started Friday. Some factions from the online BJJ & MMA community came after us. It went viral.

I ignored it initially, but then I was tagged in a post where one guy challenged one of our course graduates, a masters athlete, CrossFit coach and father, who was politely explaining the benefit of the course. I was offended and disgusted.

I jumped in and redirected the fire towards me.

There was some amazing support from all over and some big name people including John Hackleman. (Thx PitMaster!)

Today I posted the letter below on a FB page where the #crossfitdefense program was once again being challenged.

Please share it with anyone you know who is sitting on the fence about this.

Stay safe,



Read. Re-read. Weigh & consider.

There are a ton of misconceptions about the course, our goals and who we train and what we tell them. And there are assumptions about the type of confrontations we address.

I can teach someone how to protect their home with a shotgun and a few drills very quickly, but that doesn’t mean they can handle force-on-force CQB drills with or vs a trained soldier. No one is saying that.

Its a senseless argument and to consider that a psychologically functional person, who trains in bjj or mma, would walk into a Box and challenge someone because they were teaching principles of awareness, fear management and simple gross motor movements that can be learned immediately. [Consider lots of trained cops and soldiers get dropped in ambushes by lesser trained people.] This isn’t what this course is about and it sure shouldn’t be what the community is talking about.

I’ve spent 30+ years teaching researching and coaching self-defense. I’m one of the few instructors that has trained/coached to individuals in every community from the private sector, to MMA, traditional martial arts, DT/Combatives and so on. I’m excited and proud of this course & its goals. It has already changed lives and the research and concepts have already been used.

Respectfully, consider you may be incorrect about your judgement or assumptions. As law-abiding citizens, good Samaritans, why would you want to propagate a negative image about people who just want to learn and teach self–defense.If you haven’t trained with me or done the course please don’t judge.

I’m frustrated that I even need to explain this. Our course is NOT a martial art course. We don’t bill it as one. We don’t tell anyone it replaces their love or passion for martial arts. Go to the website and read what we do and how we train – I guarantee its not what you think.

Lastly, whatever ‘fight’ you’re visualizing…. that ‘contest’ is wrong. Therein lies the problem. In your fight you are point. Whether you are trained or untrained. And the mother, father, teenager has every right to defend themselves as the rest of us who are fanatical about our skills. There are those who do not want to grapple 5x a week or get elbowed in the head 4x a week…there are people who just want to do their thing and get to the gym then home to the family – and this is a viable option.

And this isn’t some money making scheme…CrossFit is extremely successful, they aren’t running this to make money. Nor am I. My company does very well with our military and law enforcement courses – I’m 53 years old, been teaching real-world self-defense for 33 years and Im on the road running these courses with my team and I love them and the feedback we get from the athletes.

Ironically we discuss the very core of this thread and all the other negative comments from the online bjj mma community we received this weekend. We discuss the bully syndrome, the contrarian and the trained fighter who mocks the concept. (This isnt about my SPEAR research and life-long passion of teaching self-defense, it appears to be an extension of the CrossFit-hater movement and so we are addressing it as professionally as we can – on a positive note, SEO ranking improved this weekend, we sold a ton of DVDs and our video THIS IS CROSSFIT DEFENSE had 36,000 views on Saturday)

Here’s the premise: I can teach you about fire safety in an hour. I can show you how to grab a fire-extinguisher and pull the pin and squeeze the handle in 5 minutes, I can run drills then set up scenarios for fire safety in your home and office. And I can pass that model on to conscientious adults and they in turn can make their friends and families safer. No one needs to go to the fire extinguisher dojo for kata and belts…its easy and learned quickly.

Does that make that person a fireman? F**k no. Does that mean they can enter the firefighter Games? F**k no. It means they have greater awareness, some fear management created by discussing problems, role-playing and stress inoculating through some scenario drills and what this means is less homes will burn down. Less people will die. Is that a bad thing?

Now imagine some firemen barging into this class and gets enraged and challenges this 110 lb CF coach to handle a giant blaze or challenges her to run a hose up 4 flights into a burning scenario house in full kit…you know what I’d think?? I’d think that fireman doesn’t get it and doesn’t really want people to be more confident or feel safe. (And I’d like to believe that sentient humans, the warrior in all of us, would look at the fireman and shake our heads with disappointment).

In the end, Facebook sucks – its impossible to reply via chat, especially when the filters & world-views are all subjective & internal (in your head: the fight starts a certain way: I’d do this-lets see them stop this, etc, no one considers that the average piece of s**t rapist is 5’7″ and 145lbs and every woman, including your sisters and moms should know how to shove a finger in that f***kers eye, rake the face, knee their nuts and break contact…am I wrong here??). The visual of a seasoned mma guy double legging a 110lbs crossfit coach who took a 2 day course is ridiculous to me as well, and I too would bet on the MMA guy, but I’m embarrassed that we even need to discuss that.

I hope I’ve shared some lucid points and we can go back to what we love to do.

Tony Blauer