Journal of Non-lethal Combatives, May 2003


Personal Defense: Non-violent Postures

By Tony Blauer

Copyright © Tony Blauer 2003. All rights reserved.

The famous Japanese swordsman, Musashi, wrote, "Make your fighting stance your everyday stance, make your everyday stance your fighting stance."Provocative insight from a man who survived over 60 actual life and death duels and then wrote his classic text on strategy, The Book of Five Rings.

Still, hundreds of years later, martial artists often fail to incorporate Musashiís brilliant premise. Why? Musashiís prowess was legendary. His fights were for real.

Perhaps it is because martial artists often do not understand real fights, real violence?

Real fights

Real fights are fights you cannot avoid. Therefore, they are real fights only if youíre in serious danger (no rules, no referee, no mouthguard, and no medic).

To believe that you can think clearly during the chaos of a physical attack without previously experiencing (or at least training for) that chaos is ludicrous.

In addition, you must train for defense against more than just the street ambush. For example, you must also train for domestic and business situations that suddenly go wrong.

Toward accomplishing this:

What is natural stance theory?

For you to handle a real confrontation efficiently and effectively, youíll need far more than a basic fighting stance. Adopting a typical fighting posture the moment that you sense danger will work against you. You will lose the tactical element of surprise and your telegraph will create greater preparedness in your opponent.

For more than 20 years, Blauer Tactical Confrontation Management Systems has explored the natural stance theory. From our research, we have developed and now teach a system of non-violent postures.

Non-violent postures are based on natural postures and real-life gestures. Therefore, however you happen to be standing when youíre ambushed or you decide itís strategic to strike, youíre ready. No wind up. No power base shift. No posturing. Just bang! How and where youíre standing becomes the launch pad for your first strike.

How this is done is described in the opening quotation: "Make your fighting stance your everyday stance, make your everyday stance your fighting stance."

Musashi understood that any hint of preparedness would alert his opponent. This just makes the fight more difficult. This telegraph invariably comes in the form of body language.

Communication is made of three components: Body language, tone, and words spoken. Your body language accounts for about 60% of communication, tone 30%, and words 10%. However, the message your posture, tone, and words transmit must be congruent. Otherwise, doubt arises. For example, clenching a fist sends a louder message than a verbal assertion such as, "I donít want any trouble." Your tense body language promotes reaction even if you really do not want to fight. In addition, unnecessary muscular tension (to include the contractions necessary to hold a fighting posture) interferes with your instinctive athletic system and affects your breathing. Finally, a stance afflicts your spontaneity and predisposes you to tactics that may be inappropriate.

Recognizing this, the Blauer Non-Violent Posture System incorporates natural positions. Natural positions accommodate different moments and emotions. For example, when you question or suggest, the stances are alive and flow naturally, as in everyday conversation. This enables you to communicate freely and effectively.

The science, value, and effectiveness of this system is that its use actually depends on the pre-contact stages that precede most real fights, making this approach truly clandestine.

Also, by incorporating congruous gestures of everyday conversation, you keep your muscle fibers active and loose, enhancing immediate response. This decreases reaction time, even following a surprise attack.

Each non-violent posture has been analyzed for close quarter effectiveness, and each non-violent posture has an accompanying protective arsenal in case of sudden ambush during the verbal stages. For a provocative look at these principles, check out our Science of the Sucker Punch video.

Hereís a quick summary

Non-violent postures:

By incorporating the natural stance theory and non-violent postures, you will:

About the Author:

Tony Blauer is the founder of Blauer Tactical Confrontation Management Systems (BTCMS), a consulting firm specializing in combative training for military and law enforcement groups. He has over 20 years teaching experience, and many law enforcement and military trainers use his SPEAR System(tm). BTCMS produces instructional videos as well as scenario-simulation training gear and offers self-defense courses. Learn more by visiting

JNC May 2003