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What Will You Learn From Today’s Episode

  • One should think of the things that could go right instead of what could go wrong. People who worry about how they might be received and perceived suffer from performance anxiety which skews their focus.
  • Building self-awareness is essential in business and life as it can prevent you from going into the fear loop and making hasty decisions.
  • Understanding the physiology and psychology of fear can allow people to think clearly without its interference.

Executive Summary:

Hey folks! Welcome back to another episode of the NEGOTIATEx podcast. Today, we are privileged to have Coach Tony Blauer with us on our show. Coach Blauer has been an expert in the fields of martial arts, self-defense, defense tactics now for over four decades.

He founded Blauer Tactical Systems in 1985. It is one of the world’s leading consulting companies specializing in the research and development of performance, psychology, and personal safety training for military, law enforcement and professional self-defense instructors. Additionally, the 62-year-old developed the world’s first impact reduction scenario-based training equipment, High Gear, revolutionizing force-on-force training for police, SWAT, and military organizations.

Based in California, Tony travels extensively. He works with individuals, corporations, and government organizations worldwide, providing solutions for training, performance assessment, and credentialing.

Now that we have introduced you to Tony, let’s find out a little more about him.

One Should Think Of The Things That Could Go Right Instead Of What Could Go Wrong

Tony shares that he was a scared little kid back in the day, which made his childhood difficult. However, watching movies such as the Wild Wild West and Streets of San Francisco piqued his interest in wrestling and martial arts over the years.

Soon he realized he was afraid because he always cared about what people might say. Also, he was too focused on the things that could go wrong instead of all the things that could go right, which he highlights is not the right mindset.

Tony further mentions that people often worry about how they might be received and perceived, which only increases their performance anxiety and makes them focus on inconsequential matters. So, he asks the listeners to worry less and focus only on the positives.

Another thing that’s worth mentioning is that Bruce Lee’s philosophy and martial art techniques have played a major role in his life and career. In fact, they eventually made him quit his family’s business and pursue his career as a martial arts coach.

The Mind Navigates The Body

While growing up, Tony realized that fear keeps people from utilizing their full potential and impacts their present selves, which is quite unfortunate. Also, during training, he had this epiphany that people who manage their fear manage to fight, and he believes that it is relevant in business, life, and relationships.

The mind navigates the body, which is why people who usually tend to overthink seldom do what’s necessary. And that’s why to help individuals, he ensured that the Know Fear program’s central theme is learning to focus on managing fear through self-awareness, resiliency, and a movement mindset.

Since he was a scared kid himself in his youth, he truly wants to help those who want to succeed in life and their goals but may be held back by fear. Tony’s aim is to help people overcome their anxiety by developing an understanding the physiology and psychology of fear, so that they can begin to think clearly without its interference.

Tony also highlights that we tend to create an unconscious bias when we fixate on something too specific. For example, if you have a goal and you are too fixated on it, it becomes myopic, which keeps you from seeing other opportunities and risks.

If You Don’t Have Self-Awareness, You Can’t Have Fully Functional Situational Awareness

According to Tony, situational awareness is everything in business and life, but if you don’t have self-awareness, you can’t have fully functional situational awareness. On that note, he highlights that having self-awareness can prevent one from going into the fear loop, where your brain starts to visualize what could go wrong.

Self-awareness can also keep one from making hasty decisions

Tony, Aram, and Nolan discuss a lot more on this episode of the NEGOTIATEx Podcast. Write to us at team@negotiatex.com and share your thoughts on this very informational podcast episode.

Thank you for listening.

Transcript

Nolan Martin : Hey everyone, welcome to the NEGOTIATEx podcast. My name's Nolan Martin and with me today is my good friend, co-founder, co-host, Aram Donigian. Aram, pretty excited for our guest today, wanna introduce Tony?

Aram Donigian : I sure will, thanks. Thanks Nolan. Folks, today we have Coach Tony Blauer with us. Tony has been an expert in the martial arts, self-defense, defense tactics, and combatives industry now for over four decades. He founded Blauer Tactical Systems in 1985 and has grown it into one of the world's leading consulting companies specializing in the research and development of performance, psychology, personal safety, and close quarter tactics and scenario-based training for law enforcement, military and professional self-defense instructors.

Tony's research on the neuroscience of fear and the startle-flinch led to the development of the spear system, a modern personal defense system based on physiology, physics, and psychology. Defensive tactics and combative trainers worldwide have used it for over 30 years. Tony developed the world's first impact reduction scenario based training equipment, high gear revolutionizing force on force training for police, swat and military organizations. We'll test here in a second, if I think Nolan may have some background…..

AD : After decades of interviewing victims of violent encounters and studying violence, he created the Know Fear Program. That's no, like K N O W as in the shirt that Tony is wearing, Know Fear program, and it focuses on managing fear through self-awareness, resiliency, and a movement mindset. I can't wait to dig into this, Tony.

Psychologists have also integrated this program to help veterans deal with PTSD. Mr. Blauer’s programs have influenced over three decades of trainers and coaches and most contemporary reality-based martial artists. He resides in California with his wife, kids, and dogs, but still travels extensively working with individuals, corporations and government organizations worldwide, providing solutions for training, performance assessment and credentialing.

His company is dedicated to enhancing the mental and physical safety of everyone they help train. Coach Tony, thanks for being with us today.

Tony Blauer : Thank you guys. I almost fell asleep during that. I gotta shorten that bio or something. 40 years in, but it's, it's fun to listen to it as like, as a look back exercise and go, yeah, yeah, we did all that.

AD : It's quite a bit. We've got a lot to dig into. Go ahead there, Nolan.

Nolan Shares How He Was Introduced To The Blauer Brand [3:30]

NM : Absolutely. And so my first introduction to the Blauer brand was actually in the military. And as Aram kind of mentioned is that: Tony and his company developed this suit, were could go full speed. And so when we're doing our military drills, room clear and CQB skills, close quarter combat, you always know that if you see a guy in a big flower suit, which is this big black suit, that it's gonna be a no holds bar.

So, instead of having to stop all of a sudden, because we don't want anybody to get injured, you could actually go almost a hundred percent. And so it definitely makes training more realistic and as a leader, it also allows you to get 15 solid minutes of training before it just turns into an all-out mosh pit. And you gotta finally stop everybody, recock and, and go again.

So, for those 15 minutes of the best training that I've had in the military. So thanks Tony. Thanks for the brand and thanks for the gear. So….

TB : You're welcome. What a weird serendipity just to learn that you knew of us from that. It's funny what that suit, you know, allowed people to do. So excited that we did it. You know, that came out of what I call my incubator period in the eighties where we're just trying to, looking at real violence and real fear management and going, well.

You know, if we've got awareness and we've got consent and we've got preparation, then we're not really stress inoculating. We're not really testing ourselves. And so the gear, the gear was like, okay, we add that gear, we can add more fear and make it more realistic. And you know, the benefit of performance psychology as well as the physical.

NM : Absolutely. And we'll continue to dive into that today. So, very excited. So kind of the first question that we usually ask our guests is, how on earth did you get here? So how did you become The Pro in the self defense and tactical training industry?

Tony Shares His Journey To Becoming A Pro In The Self Defence And Tactical Training Industry [5:39]

TB : That answer might be longer than the introduction. So I don’t know how much hard drive space you have, you know. So, I'm 62 years old and I've lived my entire life wondering if I'm the most afraid person in the world. You know, obviously I say that, you know tongue in cheek, it's what inspired the whole Know Fear program.

But as a kid, I was afraid of everything, right? And I also had this keen, intuitive self-awareness/ situational awareness thing where I can remember being like six, seven years old going, okay, if somebody's gonna jump me from there, they'd be over there. So, I should walk over here. This is weird, but I was afraid. But I was always nerdy with that stuff. And I grew up in the sixties when, you know, the original Wild Wild West was on, and Mannix and Streets Of San Francisco and all these like crazy macho, and every, and every, every fight, or sorry, every show was solved with a fight, you know, whether it was you know, somebody, you know, chopping, somebody with, you know, like The Manchurian Candidate with Frank Sinatra, you know, like just old school, not like John Wick level choreography but I was glued to the tv.

I was watching that stuff. I was fascinated by that stuff. And there was a thought I had that none of these guys. And you know, like as a 7, 8, 9, 10 year old, you're not thinking, you're not thinking these are actors. You just think that's real, right? And there was this thought I had that, wow, if I, maybe my fear would go away if I learned how to fight, if I learned how to defend myself, if I could step in and, and be the courageous bystander that was just in the back of my head. What's important is I was a good athlete just for, for your audience. And I was a good athlete, but I was never great, I never made it, whether I was gymnastics, tennis, baseball, football, I could play, I wasn't picked last.

So it was, it was an interesting dance because I was good, but I'd be up at bat going, don't strike out, don't let down the team your mom's watching. Don't like, and I was thinking about all the things that could go wrong instead of all the things that could go right. And that's an important reframe because a lot of people, I think, deal with that, worry about what other people think about them, worry about how they're gonna be received, how they're gonna be perceived. And that changes. I mean, it's just that imposter syndrome, performance anxiety and, and you're just focusing on the wrong stuff.

Well, fast forward, you know, navigating life. I'm 12 years old, I'm leaving, school pickup game on a weekend. And I'm 12 years old. I'm turning 13. These two kids, they're like 15, 16 years old, they see me leaving the school ground and they're like, Hey kid. I'm like, oh man, these older kids are talking to me.

So like, I run over to them, and I go, yeah, what's up? They go, Hey, when do you go to high school? We're at a high school, about 500 yards off the, and uh, they, I said, oh, I'm going to high school next year. They went, well, we'd like to welcome you to high school. I'm like, oh cool, thank you. And they grabbed me and one of them pins me, you know, arms behind the back. And I'm like, what's going on? What's going on? And this guy does like the, the first bolo punch next to like sugary Leonard when like, he just, he just starts to wind up like this and it goes in super slow motion. And I'm trying to struggle. I'm like pulling away. And this guy winds up and he lets a body- like upper cut go to my body.

TB : Now, I had never been beaten up before. I'd been in a couple of skirmishes as a kid, but they were like wrestling mats, you know, matches at the schoolyard. But this was significant, like when you're 12 versus 15, there's a big difference in size and age. But the most important thing is the fear in my mind. And I thought the punch was gonna kill me. Cuz everything, you probably know this term from training, I don't know if you remember the term packy psyche. It's a big fancy word for, you know, everything appears in slow motion. Your brain is processing things at such a great speed that the real world events look like they're happening in slow motion. And I see this punch coming around in slow-mo and I scream, I hear myself screaming, ah, and it hits me and I think it's gonna break my ribs.

TB : And I think, and what I imagine right then is my ribs gonna break, it's gonna puncture my lung and I'm gonna die. This is what's going through this 12 year old's mind as it hits me. But I'm, again, in really good shape. I've been wrestling three years. I've been, and you know, you can't get your abs any tighter than locking them down like this. And then having somebody pull your arms and you're struggling. It hits my body. Nothing. But the anticipation of the injury was so overwhelming that I screamed this blood cuddling screen. And I was like, ahhhh. And I felt this is so cool because it's part of our behaviorally based self defense protocol. Now I felt the guy holding me, I felt him relaxed, I felt him like get, I felt his own fear when he thought he hurt me. And so I immediately, my intuition said, scream again.

TB : And I went woaaaaahhaaahhh and I pretended I was like dying. And the guy dropped me and I fell down to the ground and I, and I feigned this fear and I feigned this pain. I was like, Ugh. And they took off and they were going like in five seconds, right? And as they turn the corner, I'm on like, like, like on all fours on the ground, I see them gone. Like, and I realize there's nothing wrong with me. I was acting and I get up and fix my shirt and I was like, wow what the hell was that. And I go home and I tell my dad, I go, dad, two guys just beat me up. And he looked at me and he was like, like with pillows was a pillow fight cuz like, But I told him what happened. He said it was, it was, it was turning. Bruce Lee passed away in 1973. So it was just at the beginning of this Bruce Lee golden era. And martial arts was just starting to come out. There was one type one school near us about three miles away. I signed up there and as soon as I went in there, I was like, okay, now all of my childhood fears, I went, this is gonna make this connection. I'm no longer gonna be afraid. And I started training like a madman seven days a week. Every class I could go to. I didn't get outta bed without doing, you know, punching a Mackey war at the tough of my hands. And I do kicks down the hallway, 13, 14, 15.

Fast forward, you ask me how, like, how this started. I warned you it would be a long story. The significance of this is I fell in love with martial arts so much and I was so inspired by, you know, Bruce Lee passed away shortly after the self defense world.

TB : Martial arts world explodes. I'm reading about his life story and how we overcome adversity. Ironically, there's a guy, I forgot his, the author's name, the books not out yet, but I was just interviewed for this book for business leaders on what we can learn from Bruce Lee. And they somehow found me and interviewed me about the whole thing. One of my favorite quotes of Bruce's is “To hell with circumstances, I'll create my own circumstances.” And even at 13, 14 years old, I wanna remember reading that going, wow, like that's gonna be important in my life. And when I was 15 years old, I was on the floor working on the splits, looking at Bruce Lee magazines. We had a family business where, you know, it was a generational business, you know, so I was, I was set up if I wanted to go into the family business.

And my mom comes and she says, Hey, have you thought about what you're gonna study in school? in college? You're gonna be a police officer, an astronaut, a vet, you know, there were only three choices back then, or are you gonna go into the family business? There was no influencer back then. I couldn't, there was no TikTok back then. So….

TB : And I looked up at her, she says, so have you thought about what were you gonna do? I looked up at her and I said this exact to her exact sentence to her. I said, Mom, school's not gonna be very important for me, I'm gonna be a famous martial artist like Bruce Lee. I'm gonna develop my own self defense system. And she pat me on the head and said, okay, dear. We'll talk about this when you're older.

I just freaking knew and I didn't know why I knew, but there was just something that I felt there. Fast forward another five years, I'm 20 years old, what am I doing? I'm working in my dad's office, right? Like, I forgot the dream but I never stopped training. I'm working in the shipping area. He made me start at the bottom sweeping the back and didn't, it wasn't like, oh, you know, you got the same last name as me. Here's an office.

You're gonna start off sweeping, you're gonna learn the business. I was in the shipping department, and we would get these big boxes in from an import company. And when we finished the boxes, they were like giant…. Remember when Rocky would hit sides of meat? the original Rocky?

So these huge boxes, like you could stand in them. It was like this, they were so thick that you could punch, they were like heavy bags. And when we were done unloading them, I'd kick the shit of them at the end of the day and I'd wale it, and if you hit it really well, they were soak dense that like your nail, your knuckle might pop a hole in it. So it was really interesting.

So one day I'm smashing, I'm working out, jump back, kick kicks, side kicks, and they're like these big, like six by six giant huge boxes. And I turn around and I see one of my dad's good friends, who's our biggest client, this guy Joey. And he says to me, wow, you're getting, and I've known him my whole life. He's my dad's good friend. He goes, you're getting really good at this stuff, martial arts. He said, Mitchie, whose his 15 year old son is having a bully issue in school, would you train him?

TB : And I said, sure, of course. He goes, how much do you charge? I’m not gonna charge you, you're a friend of the family. He says, I need you. And you talk about this as a negotiation podcast, right. He goes, he goes no, no, no, I don't want it as a favor. I want you to be prepared. I want you to show up on time. I want, this is my son Tony, Bully issues, I need Mitch prepared. He goes, I need a price. I go, uh, Joey, this is, look, look at me. I'm a natural negotiator, right? I'm like, I can't charge you. I can't charge you

And he goes, how's 20 now I'm making in 1980 $4 and 60 cents an hour minimum wage in Canada at the time, maybe less, maybe four and a quarter. And I'm pretty good with math. So when he says 20, I go, that's like five classes like a month. He's paying me for the month in advance. Okay. I go, listen, I don't want, he goes, you're $20. He says, I'll pay you $20 a class, don't be late. Make sure my son is safe. And I go to, did he just say 20 bucks a class?

Holy shit. So, I do an invisible of all like, and I'm thinking like, as he says, oh my God, I'm rich. Like I'm, oh my God, what am I, like, I haven't even done one class yet. Probably the serendipity of this, and again, I've used that word twice now, is it rekindled that 15 year old dream. Because as soon as I started teaching him, that was my canvas. I love coaching, I love teaching, I love helping people.

Then like a month later, Mitch's brother Steve says to his dad, how come Mitch gets private lessons? And I don't, well, unfortunately, right? So, now I got two students and then we're working out one day and we're obviously in a well to do area. They're doing private lessons in 1980, 20 bucks a class. Here you go. And Derek from across the street, they're good friends.

What are you guys doing? Literally within a month I had 30 students. Holy cow. So I was working full-time for my father, and then I would teach every single night and every weekend, 30, 30 became 40. And I did that for five years, until I opened my first place. But I was working like 80, 90 hours a week. But I was doing all these private lessons and it was like, oh my God. And eventually I said to my dad, Hey, this isn't for me. I'm, I gotta open my own thing. I gotta go full-time at this. But along the way, the first kid, this guy Mitch, that bully situation, what was I teaching him? So I had boxed, I had done Wing Chun, I had done dabbled in Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee’s art, I had wrestled, I was still doing Tae Kwon Do and I was teaching what we would call today a mixed martial art.

TB : And I didn't, I'm not saying I invented mixed martial art, there were tons of people doing stuff like that. But I was intuitively just going, well, you know, if we get into a clinch, well I'm gonna use my wrestling. If I'm in close, I'm gonna hit when a body shot, push him back, I'm gonna kick him. So it was very eclectic. Mitchell gets into the confrontation with the kid and gets dropped, like flash knockout right away, one left hook. And he comes back to the private lesson to tell me this. And he's 15 and he's furious.

And I'm like, I'm embarrassed and I'm angry. And I go, well, what happened? What do you mean? Because we're like, we were sparring hard and doing things and this was the big, you know, when you talk about an origin story for the development of a new product or service, he goes, Well, the kid tripped me as I was running. I was late for class and it had always been verbal abuse up until then. And I told Mitchell, like, if he puts his hand on you, that's when you can go. Cause the school wasn't doing shit. Nobody was doing anything. That's why his dad hired me. Well, when Mitchell describes this guys, he goes like this, he goes, I'm picking up my books and I'm swearing you. Can I swear on your show?

NM : Uh, yeah, it's fine. We're gonna bleep it out, but it's fine.

TB : Okay. Beep, beep, beep beep. Mitchell's going, you know, he's going you beep and he's picking up his books and the guy who's the first time Mitchell had asserted himself, so the guy stands up and he is like, what did you say? And he walks towards him and he shoves Mitchell, you know that little poke here? And he goes, say it again. And Mitchell, who's angry and embarrassed and there's kids standing around, grabs the guy in the, you know, he's 15, grabs him, similar lapel grabs, slams him against the locker and says, never put your hands on me.

Not realizing the irony of it cuz he's got his hands on the guy, right? And Mitchell looks at me, he, so I grabbed and slammed against the locker bank and I said, never, don't you ever touch me. Don't put your hands on me. And then he stops talking and I go, and, and what happened?

TB : He goes, he dropped me with a left hook. And I'm like, geez man, why didn't you parry, why didn't you block? Wouldn't you slip? Why didn't you do something that I taught you? And he goes, I was holding with my left hand and I had my school books in my other hand. And I was like, oh my God. So could you imagine if you had to box somebody holding their shirt and holding books, how soon would they punch you in the face? Like right away. Now what I didn't realize then, and this became part of, you know, when we, when we talk about my spear system, spontaneous protection, enabling accelerator response as the signs of self defense, back then I knew nothing about the cross extensor reflex about the startle flinch response. And that when you flinch, your body contracts, and if you're holding something in your hand when you flinch, you contract around that.

So if you're a cop holding a flashlight and an id, if you're a businessman with a suitcase and keys in your hand and something happens and you go, shit, the cross extension chain will lock up around that, which means you can't do wax on, wax off and nobody realizes this, right? So here's Mitchell. When that guy started, the left hook flinches, but he can't do any of the moves cuz his body's tightening up around the shirt and around the books.

And in that moment, this was the insight. I literally made this joke, but it was serious. It was like the god of self defense hit me with a lightning bolt. And I went to, I said to myself, oh my God, we teach self defense wrong. What I realized is just like if you're learning, shooting and cqb, if you're not doing force on force with other role players and trying to reverse engineer and replicate the threat, you might see you're just doing flat range stuff. You're not prepared for sudden violence.

And it was the same way, when we learn and practice self defense, we learn things like how to get our headlock, how to get our lapel rep, how to do a gun disarm. And all of these attack, all of these counters start after the attack. They don't take into account the emotional, psychological or the physiological. And they're always like, you understand physics actions faster than reaction. We're letting the bad guy move first by that training protocol. So in that moment, here's this 15-year old kid, I have this insight. I go, are those your books pointing to the table? He goes, yeah, I go grab them, grab me exactly. And we undid what happened. We didn't, couldn't take away and go, you know, into the past, but we understood what he would need to do. And it was the exploration.

TB : And that became, that day in 1980 changed everything that I did in self defense. Everything had to have a scenario. Why are we doing this? It was all Socratic. We started to respect how the body and the mind integrated and worked together. And it was, it was truly holistic self defense as touchy-feely as that sounds. And I continued to study violence, fear and aggression and have been for 40 years.

What it did was it inspired the sphere system and inspired the Know Fear program because we started doing, literally before Fight Club was a movie once a month we would get together and we had the old VHS cameras, giant cameras, and we would film stuff and we'd do one on ones and three on twos and six on fours. And, we would always do scenarios. We never sparred anymore. I mean we sparred, but when we were doing self defense, it was like, this is a mugging, this is an attempted rape, this is an abduction, these are bullies, this is, and we would go out into the parking lot between cars.

TB : It was crazy. But it was giving people this truly, three dimensional emotional, psychological, physical experience. And the biggest thing that I realized in it was that there were people who were very good physically, who just like somebody who gets stage fright, right? Or fails a test in school, they're smart, they know it, but they suddenly have writer's block or they can't think cuz they've let the fear, the future fear impact their present self.

And you know, I'm sure you guys have heard the acronym False expectations appearing real for fear. We're visualizing something in the future that's distracting or debilitating us in the present. And the, and I had this epiphany during training that only the people who manage their fear, manage to fight. I'll say that again cuz it's kind of significant. The people who manage their fear manage to fight. And that's in business, that's in relationships, that's in self defenses, that's in weightlifting, that's in gun fights. It's, we have another, we have some really cool fun act, maxims, like don't confuse technical or tactical.

And a lot of people overthink the technique of stuff, but, and they end up not doing anything because they're overthinking. So the mind navigates the body and, and that was the most significant discovery. But all of that, that's why I joke that the eighties were my incubator period. Because for that 1993, when I closed my school for 13 years, we'd study violence and then replicate it. We go, man, like what would've changed the outcome here? And so it wasn't like an orthodox move where if you're learning a traditional or classical approach to martial arts, self defense, the unintended consequences, you're trying to get your body/mind to move in a way that you're deploying something from that system.

TB : So if you're in a TaeKwonDo competition and you punch a guy in the face, you are gonna get disqualified because it's not part of… You hit a guy with a body hook, they're gonna go, that's boxing. You can't use that. It's not TaeKwonDo. So it's an unintended consequence is like you're conforming to the style or the system as opposed to just moving based on like, what's the directive? What is the mission here? Well that's to get to safety. What and what do I need to do that's both efficient and effective? And so discovering that we are human weapons, most of us know how to defend ourselves. We just don't know. We know because we've been either domesticated or we got into some sort of martial art. And I say this as a lifelong martial artist cuz it can be misinterpreted by selective listeners who's saying, oh, is he saying my jujitsu is bad or my boxing's bad, or my…

No, all of that is really good. But, but you know, it's, it's like being a handyman, a carpenter, an architect, everyone knows how to use a hammer, but only the architect goes, yeah, this isn't gonna work here, right? And so if you're trying to understand the blueprint of violence, you need to be an architect. You need to look at it and understand the physiology, psychology, the fear, the timeline of violence. But anyways, that…..

NM : No, that's fine.

TB : That wasn’t your fault.

AD : Yeah, that was great. I'd like you to expand more on this last piece you were hitting on. So, much great stuff in there from, from reframing, dealing with fear. I mean, violence and conflict are obviously part of our world, part of human history.

TB : Absolutely.

AD : What's interesting, what I'd love for you to expand on Tony, if you could, is it's, it's how we interact with it. And you were just saying something about with mind in, you know, mind or our thinking towards what is our goal and that drives what that should drive what we do. Sure. It doesn't always do that though.

TB : Yeah, some, sometimes the goal is so specific that it impacts your situational awareness. So in business and in life, situational awareness is everything. But if you don't have self-awareness, you can't have fully functional situational awareness. And it's an interesting hypothesis like in our, in our corporate stuff where, but also in our self-defense stuff that, let's say you're, let me use like a martial art example and then we'll, we'll try to make it more relevant.

If you're a really good grappler and you leave an ATM machine and your jiujitsu wrestler, all of your neural patterns are about getting somebody to the ground. If you're a good taekwondo martial artist, you're a kicker. You're not thinking about taking someone to the ground, you're thinking about kicking. So if I say to a boxer, guy tries to strong arm rob you after an A, you withdraw from the ATM and he walks up, he goes, give your, gimme your, gimme your money man.

TB : If you're a boxer, you're going, well man, whack you know, you're hitting the guy with a body shot. And like, if you decide to fight, not cooperate, the boxer would never say, I'm gonna do a jump back kick here. It doesn't even occur to him cuz it's just like, not even, it's not even part of his repertoire. So we talk about the unintended consequence. We create an unconscious bias when we fixate on something too specifically. In other words, if our goal, this is our goal, this is our goal, this is our goal. If that goal becomes myopic, you can't see opportunity or risk in the same way where now, in class I got really good at double legged guys or kicking people in the face or punching people to the body. And now I'm at the ATM, my romantic relationship with my martial art and my dopamine response to executing that move over and over again. This is my goal. This is my goal, has clouded the situational awareness that is you should run right now. This guy looks like he has a gun or he has got a buddy in the shadows. So I always tell people that, if you're fixating on something too specifically, you might not see other pre-contact indicators or other opportunities.

So, you know, we created a kind of a flow chart called the timeline of violence. And inside of that there's this whole, you know, managing fear, what we call the neural circuitry of fear. And it's almost like an electrical flow chart where we start off with a scenario and you run through it and there's a, there's a, a dedicated fear loop that you need to pass through. And this is the transparency and authenticity of studying violence for aggression.

TB : I go, listen, if I said to you guys, hey, your podcast is doing really well. I think you guys should invest in a studio. You need $40,000 worth of equipment, sign this lease here, get this. I want you competing with Joe Rogan and you guys can just do it. All you gotta do is quit your jobs and really lean into this even though you're going, whoa, wow. No one would go, let's do it right now. You'd all go, holy shit. You go into the fear loop because your brain by default as a human, starts to visualize what could go wrong. And that's the self-awareness piece. If I don't have the self-awareness to realize that I'm now false expectations of appearing real, I'm visualizing what can go wrong that creates, and I always tell people in our know fear protocol is a fear, like a sudden stimulus, a fear could be anything, could be financial, business opportunity, medical violence, whatever it is.

TB : The sudden stimulus creates doubt, creates hesitation, hesitation, unchecked meaning, if my self-awareness doesn't go, what are you doing? You need to research this. You need to get off the X, you need to move. If my self-awareness doesn't catch that, then I go further and deeper into the fear loop. Now doubt created hesitation. Hesitation creates procrastination. Unchecked procrastination becomes fixation. And we've all seen this, we've all gone through this where you come into a room and energetically go, it's the matter with so and so. And then you look at them and how many times have you bumped into either a loved one or a buddy and you know, there's, you could just tell cause body language is 60% of communication that they're in a funk, something's wrong. And you look at them and you go, Hey man, you okay? And they look at you, they look up, they go, yeah, why? What's up? Like they don't even know cuz they're self-awareness is they're so in fear loop. They don't even know that, you know, they're being derailed from their tactical imperative, which is do something you gotta move.

So that was kind of like a little metaphysical and a little nerdy. But if someone says like, Hey, this, if my goal is to be happy or my goal is to be wealthy, or my goal is to get out of this shitty job and start my own company, or my goal is to get married, like it, it starts there. But we need to understand the psychology of fear because I'm sure you've seen this, the play on words of rationalize, rational-lies, right? The story we tell ourselves, we're the easiest people to fool as the maxim goes.

NM : Hey everyone, Nolan here. I have to jump in and end today's conversation. If you haven't already, please rate, review and subscribe to the podcast and we'll see you in the next episode.

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