CrossFit Defense Preparing for the unknown and unknowable Thu, 02 Feb 2017 12:14:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 CrossFit & SPEAR: When Functional Fitness met Functional Fighting Thu, 17 Oct 2013 06:55:48 +0000 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.

Combatives Fitness Part 1

Combatives Fitness Part 2 

*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.

GETTING OFF THE “X” Mon, 14 Oct 2013 15:27:45 +0000 TRUE STORY.

I’m on a flight home. It’s a red-eye.  I’m exhausted and want to sleep.  The woman beside me starts talking as we are taxi-ing.  She starts telling me about her job and how she almost missed the flight and so on.  I’m being polite, trying to listen. But all  I’m thinking is ‘I want to sleep’. I say nothing thinking that’ll end the conversation but nope, she says, “So what do you do?”

Without hesitation I reply, “I’m a life insurance salesman”. Thinking to myself ‘how clever was that? That’ll shut down the discussion’ Who wants to talk about life insurance while taxing on a runway?  But no luck.  She eyes me up and down and says, “you’re no insurance salesman.”

I hesitate briefly and reply, “Ok, you’re right, I’m a life-extension insurance salesman”.

“A what ?”she says.

life-extension insurance salesman – I teach self-defense”.

“OMG, I always wanted to learn self-defense!”  She exclaims, animated like we were going to do her first lesson in-flight.

I looked at her and said, “No you didn’t. People who really want to do things, do them. If you really wanted to learn self-defense you’d have learned already…”  I paused.  She looked a little irritated. “So excuse me for putting words in your mouth, but I think what you meant to say was that you always wanted to know how never be near a situation where you might have to defend  yourself.”

She took that in. I could see her decoding it in her mind. Then her eyes got big and she said “OMG Yes! That is what I meant!

And there you have it my friends, the truth and the paradox of personal safety.  Most of the world doesn’t want to learn self-defense because that means they need to accept and then take responsibility for their physical safety and that’s scary. What most of the world wants is to never be near a situation where they might have to defend themselves.  I get that.

But here’s the problem.  The bad-guy, the predator doesn’t care. Not only does he not care, but he smells fear and mostly looks for complacency.  In other words, not learning anything about self-defense compounds the problem should you  accidentally walk into a problem.

What to do?  Well I’m biased.  I think you should learn to defend yourself, your family and even your property if you choose.  Most people think learning self-defense takes a long time, but they’re confusing learning martial arts with self-defense.  That’s like confusing lifting something off the ground with Olympic lifting.  One is a sport the other is a movement.  self-defense is about moving functionally not technically.

Mull that over.  In the mean time read or re-read the blog I wrote on enhancing your safety (and your family’s) that doesn’t require any training.  So whether you decide to train a little or a lot, at least learn how to avoid a situation – it’s the smartest choice you can make. Learn how to “Get off the “X” here.


D-WOD: 2 ON 1 BEHIND THE BOX Wed, 02 Oct 2013 17:00:08 +0000 *If you’re new to the CrossFit Defense concept, please take 15 minutes and gain some perspective.  First, read the D-WOD description  and if you’re really motivated, read the CrossFit & SPEAR connection blog.

  1. Scenario: Taking the garbage out behind your box in a shitty part of town. There’s an alley, a 12 foot fence with a broken portion at the bottom where local kids crawl through. The confrontation starts with simulated lapel grab. Athlete is in NVP holding med-ball – DETECT & DEFUSE Failed.
  2. Skills: Athletes must understand the basics for NVP & Dbl Palm, Bear hug-headlock-tackle sequence
  3. Equipment: Med-ball, box, PVC
  4. Number of Athletes: 3

First counter is KAREN (dbl palm) into the wall (hold it there & eye gouge). Then Grab & Slam the head (use slam ball energy) into a garbage can (box) followed by diagonal elbow. Good guy turns to run and there’s a second opponent right there.

D-WOD_2 on 1 behind the boxThis triggers a classic struggle. (Bear hug/head lock/tackle drill with medball). When tackle is finally jammed defender pumps two knees and turns to bolt but he was disoriented from the fight and he’s facing the fence and the two assailants are still there… He dives under the fence and crawls out and sprints to safety. (The dive is a burpee, the scramble is bear crawl, the sprint is a sprint).

This was a 3 min AMRAP, three athletes rotating stations. This D-WOD works all 10 components of physical fitness and makes you smarter & safer.  View a short video of this D-WOD

The magic is in the movements, the art is in the programming, the science is in the explanation, and the fun is in the community.” -Greg Glassman

Prepared for the Unknown & Unknowable Outside the Box Tue, 17 Sep 2013 13:16:23 +0000 At CrossFit Kinnick, they take being prepared for the unknown and the unknowable literally.
In this short blog he succinctly explains why he’s brought CFD to his box.
At Crossfit Kinnick we offer several specialty classes like Olympic Lifting, Powerlifting, and Running…
For our members they count as a normal group class toward their weekly number of classes.
We just added a new one that just might be the most important skill we can give them (if they ever needed it)-  every Thursday night at 7pm we now hold a CrossFit Defense specialty class.
We feel it is our duty and responsibility to provide our members with 4 things when they join our gym and entrust us with their lives:
1. Improved overall Health with Nutrition & Crossfit.
2. Improved performance through Constantly Varied Functional Movements performed at High Intensity coupled with proper movement.
3. An encouraging Community/Positive Environment

4. To be prepared for the “unknown and unknowable”, more to the point: How to protect themselves & loved ones from harm.

Being healthy & being fit is great but if we are unable to protect ourselves or  loved ones from someone that wants to do us harm then what good was our Elite Fitness?
Our athletes can think and move ‘outside the box!’ too. As a Crossfit Gym we owe this to our members.  I realized this a couple years ago and sought out Coach Blauer. This was over a year before Crossfit Defense even existed. I was hooked and saw the implications and applications as a father, husband, athlete and even coach. Now 2 years later I’m proud to be part of Coach Blauer’s team helping making Crossfit coaches and athletes safer and more confident!
Got any questions or thoughts? Please share. And if you want to bring Crossfit Defense to your box follow this link to find a  Course near you.
Jeremy Kinnick
*Ed note: After 2 years on the road with Coach Blauer, we are proud to announce that Coach Kinnick is now one of our staff trainers for the CrossFit Defense program. 
Applied Fitness: CrossFit Defense Tue, 17 Sep 2013 13:15:30 +0000 CrossFit Founder and CEO Greg Glassman said, “The greatest adaptation to CrossFit occurs between the ears.” It’s not new skills or PRs that necessarily make us able to do more work, but instead a new understanding of how we approach the workouts emotionally and psychologically.

Tony Blauer says the same thing about violence. It’s not necessarily the skill or technique you use to defend yourself that saves you; it’s just the fact that you were mentally prepared to do something.

When you emotionally, psychologically and physically freeze and fail to act. In a violent ambush, it won’t matter how elite your fitness is if you are unwilling or unable to respond. Blauer helps his students build a map to get there through fear management and by understanding the dynamics of a violent encounter

Read the full article here in the CrossFit Journal



Jeremy Kinnick Mon, 09 Sep 2013 22:00:13 +0000 Jeremy Kinnick is a full time Crossfit Head Trainer and co-owner of Crossfit Kinnick in Upland, Ca. They affiliated in 2007 in his 3-car garage where they fell in love with Crossfit and passion and fire for helping others has only increased dramatically over the years. He is a 4 times Crossfit Games Competitor as an individual and has a great story how Crossfit has transformed his life from a 235# sedentary man with 30% body fat to one of the fittest in the world. He is a father of 2 young boys and the husband to a wonderful wife. Its this passion for life, change, and helping others that drew him to Coach Tony Blauer and the SPEAR system. First introduced to the system through videos on he attended the first “Be Your Own Bodyguard” course offered to Crossfit athletes in 2010 and never looked back. As a father, a husband, a gym owner, a coach, and an athlete he saw the direct impact that the SPEAR system could have on all aspects of his life. He is now the lead instructor for the Crossfit Defense Course

  • L1 Crossfit Instructor
  • Crossfit Mobility Certified
  • USAW Sports Performance Coach
  • PDR Certification


Neil Wilson Mon, 09 Sep 2013 21:55:43 +0000 Neil Wilson Served 7 years in the British Army where he gained his Physical Training qualifications. Following this he went to work as a Physical Training and Officer Safety Instructor for the police, which he has been doing for the past 16years.

In 1999 he met Coach Blauer and attended his first S.P.E.A.R. Instructor course. Based in the UK he is a member of Blauer Tactical Systems Mobile Training Team (MTT) teaching S.P.E.A.R. System & Personal Defense Readiness (PDR) Instructor Courses around the world.

In 2006 he was introduced to the world of CrossFit, by Coach Blauer and in 2010 did his CrossFit L1 Course.

L1 CrossFit Instructor
S.P.E.A.R. Instructor
PDR Certification

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Rick Randolph Mon, 09 Sep 2013 21:01:40 +0000 Rick Randolph is a full-time police officer and defensive tactics instructor in Northern California. He is a Blauer Tactical Systems S.P.E.A.R. System & Personal Defense Readiness (PDR) Coach and a member of their Mobile Training Team (MTT).

Rick retired from professional MMA after 20 fights. He won titles in three different weight classes. He is a high school wrestling coach and has trained in Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, kickboxing and Krav Maga.

Currently, he is a coach at CrossFit Anywhere in Northern California and is the founding member of CrossFit RPD, a non-profit law enforcement affiliatewhere he trains kids and police officers. Rick is CrossFit L1 and CrossFit Kids certified.

Nick Robles Mon, 09 Sep 2013 20:02:28 +0000 Nick Robles began his CrossFit journey in 2007 when I started working out with Jeremy Kinnick in his three-car garage. I’ve always been extremely passionate about CrossFit and I am now a trainer at CrossFit Kinnick. I had my first experience with Tony Blauer and the SPEAR system at a “Be Your Own Bodyguard” course in 2010. The experience was just as eye opening as my first CrossFit workout and I have had the great opportunity to learn self defense without any prior martial arts or fighting background thanks to CrossFit Defense.

  • L1 CrossFit Instructor
  • USAW Sports Performance Coach
  • PDR Certification
Nick Blauer Mon, 09 Sep 2013 19:03:00 +0000 Nick Blauer was introduced to self-defense at a very young age thanks to his Dad who made sure he knew how to defend himself. He grew up playing many different sports and played Basketball at a high level. When he realized he wasn’t going to be 6’5, he made the switch to focusing purely on CrossFit. He’s been CrossFitting for over 5 years now.

  • L1 Coaching Certification
  • PDR Certification
  • CrossFit Olympics Lifting
  • CrossFit Endurance
  • Coaches Prep Course
  • CrossFit Movement & Mobility
  • CrossFit Football