In 2006 I was invited by Coach Glassman to Santa Cruz and introduced to CrossFit. After listening to Coach speak I was so inspired by the parallels between the CrossFit philosophy and the SPEAR that I went back to the hotel and wrote pages of notes outlining the intersections and commonalities. I immediately envisioned how the two programs would benefit the student.
There were a few statements that really stood out as I delved more into the CrossFit philosophy:
“All of CrossFit’s workouts are based on functional movements. These are the core movements of life, found everywhere, and built naturally into our DNA.”
“The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect application for any committed individual, regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.”
“The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind. Our hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.”
Here was a fitness program that didn’t specialize or discriminate. The goal was GPP. It looked at how people moved (and needed to move). It scaled the load based on the athlete’s ability or requirements – but it didn’t modify the movement. Beautiful. This completely resonated with our approach to combatives, personal defense and training.
These statements about SPEAR are from our corporate website:
“In 1987, [Coach Tony Blauer] developed a drill that demonstrated how instinctual, subconscious movement was always faster than cognitive muscle-memory.”
“From those sessions emerged a personal defense method that utilizes the body’s natural flinches and reactions to fear or violence and then converts the reactions into efficient protective or tactical choices. This process, now known as the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEM™ is unlike any other self-defense method. It does not rely on learned muscle-movement or memorized skill sets. It has been designed around human nature and behavior making it the simplest, most natural and instinctive way to protect yourself.”
“Because the system is “Genetically wired and behaviorally inspired”, anybody can learn it and everybody can do it.”
- We are using the hard-wired, DNA of our body’s survival reflex to as the ignition switch to our movements.
- SPEAR is non-gender, age, size, or occupation specific.
- All our movements, like CrossFit, are based on “functional movement”
- All our movements are ‘elemental & fundamental to our survival” so we are quite literally, preparing for the ‘unknown & unknowable”.
- Read more about SPEAR here.
The philosophical similarities fired me up as a coach. When I returned to Montreal I filmed these two videos linked below. (FYI, they were filmed in 2006 and released in 2007.) If you’ve gotten to the Athlete’s course or the Trainer’s course you understand how we design the work out and you’ll find these two videos very interesting.
Seven years ago I had the vision of what has finally become a dream come true with the official launch of CrossFit Defense.
*For those of you interested in bringing CrossFit Defense to your Box and athletes, watching these videos will help you understand the origins of CrossFit Defense.