While speaking at a tactical conference in 2005, Tony Blauer was told by several people that he reminded them of Greg Glassman.
“I’m like, ‘Really? Who’s Greg Glassman and what the hell is CrossFit?’” recalled Blauer, founder of S.P.E.A.R. Systems and Blauer Tactical Systems.
In 1979, Blauer introduced his business built on, in simple terms, self-defense. The S.P.E.A.R. System is a combative philosophy with applications and implications for self-defense. Blauer Tactical is a consulting company described by its website as “specializing in the research and development of close quarter tactics and scenario-based training.”
After Blauer was compared to Glassman, he began to run into WODs, AMRAPs and supporters of the sport. Conclusively, he emailed the CEO of CrossFit. “’We seem to know the same people. I don’t know why, but your name keeps coming up and I think it would be cool if we connected,’” recalled Blauer about the contents of his email.
Blauer said Glassman gave him a call and invited him to do the CrossFit Level 1 seminar in Santa Cruz, California. That was in 2006. “I fell in love with the passion for the Coaches, the vibe and the community,” said Blauer. “I talk about that to this day, having competed in many different sports … There’s nothing like the genuine support and passion and openness of a legitimate CrossFitter. That’s what got me hooked … CrossFit Defense was actually spawned because of that.”
As the course developer of CrossFit Defense, Blauer explained it is a combination of his 35-years of self-defense experience, paired with the sport of CrossFit. With an athlete course and a trainer course, attendees will learn how to use what Blauer called “the hidden arsenal of CrossFit.”
For example, Blauer explained how the movement of wall balls could be translated into a defense movement, and how the range of motion needed for a front rack position can translate to throwing an elbow. “We work with this adaptive mindset. We teach people how to manage fear,” said Blauer.
The trainer course of CrossFit Defense also teaches Coaches how to apply what they’ve learned to athletes’ fears. This could be anything from a fear of box jumps to being afraid of a complicated lift. “To me, if you’re a scared athlete or tight athlete, that will cause injuries — at minimum that will slow you down,” said Blauer.
Plus, Blauer said CrossFit Defense course looks to make communities safer. Initially, interests in CrossFit Defense came from Boxes in lower income and industrial park areas that had incidents with gangs and homeless people.
By running athletes through drills and giving members the tools needed, Blauer said attendees will gain not only the tools necessary to defend themselves, but will also gain greater awareness of their surroundings. “I have dogs and I have guns, but I also know how to protect myself. I can’t count on just always having a gun in my hand or a dog by my side,’ said Blauer. “Self-defense is the most important skill any human can possess, but simultaneously a skill we hope you never have to use.”