Additional thoughts about SCARS
We've recently received several emails
about the new SCARS article in Black Belt Magazine, and people wanting to know, again,
about our opinion of SCARS. Well, I thought we had put all that to rest, obviously
we haven't, so here we go again.
Peterson's own ads, especially his HCS ads,
have said that by just watching his tapes, anyone, even someones grandmother, could
beat anyone in any fight. Based on what I saw on Peterson's HCS tapes, and his SCARS
tapes, I disagree with those claims 100%. And that claim by him, is really the foundation
by which we've judged his tapes. And why's that you ask?
People buy tapes
based on ads, and the claims made in these ads. Our opinion about Peterson's training/tapes
isn't just based on the techniques or concepts Peterson teaches, although I do have
problems with several of Petersons concepts. Alot of what we've written is based
on the viewpoint, stated in Petersons ads, that all one has to do is watch his HCS/SCARS
tapes, and immediately they'll be unbeatable. That's part of my problem. This is
further reinforced by some very specific concept problems, which are these:
Autonomics/Autokinetics - every human will 100% of the time react in a predictable
way when they are hit.
I don't know about you, but have you ever hit someone
that was on drugs, or seen someone hit that was drugged out? I have! Let me tell
you a quick story. About 10 yrs ago I lived in an apartment complex, and was friends
with several of my neighbors. One of my neighbors came over, because he was scared
of a guy that was a drug user that he owed some money too. This guy had been beating
on my neighbors door that night, cursing and threatening to kick his ass. My neighbor
was out of a job and didn't have any money to pay this guy. Well, my neighbor came
over to discuss it with me, and he had a huge 20" mechanics wrench in his back
pocket. He was telling me the story of this guy, when all of a sudden we hear this
"druggie" beating on his door, cursing, saying I'm going to slash your
tires, and beat your ass. My neighbor, before I could stop him, threw open the door
in a rage, pulled out the wrench, ran up to, and hit this guy on the head with everything
he had. The "druggie" took the shot full force, like nothing happened.
He didn't flinch, didn't blink, didn't move one inch, and didn't hesitate or miss
one syllable of the profanities he was shouting to my friend. It was as if nothing
had happened to him. It was as if my friend had just hit Superman on the head, with
everything he had, and Superman just stood there unphased! If this druggie hadn't
been on drugs, or it would've been you or me, we would've probably been out cold,
or dead. My neighbor had literally split open this guys head, and blood was pumping
and flowing out of it like you wouldn't believe. There was a pool of blood, within
seconds, on the pavement that looked like a murder had taken place. That wrench was
so heavy, and the blow was so hard, I'm surprised it didn't kill the guy. The sound
of the impact was like a pecan being hit with a hammer. We later found out that my
friend had fractured this guys skull. So don't tell me about autonomics working 100%
of the time Mr. Peterson. There are a bunch of drugged out weirdos, who when hit
with everything you've got, won't even flinch. Police departments all over the country
have countless stories of people on PCP being shot enough times by officers to kill
a normal person, yet they keep coming, or guys jumping out of a 3 story window and
breaking every bone in their body, yet getting up and running off from the police!
point here Mr. Peterson is that this drugged out lunatic didn't react in any kind
of a predictable way.
Jerry, I really believe there's going to be a day
when a life is lost, due to someone watching 2 hrs of your HCS tapes, then based
on your ads thinking they can "shelve" your tapes, and remember enough
from then on, that they can win any war against drugged out wackos. Personally I
don't think 2 hrs of tape watching will be enough! If I watch 2 hrs of a UFC tape
does that guarantee I can step in the octagon and beat anyone? Does watching 2 hrs
of brain surgery make me a world class neurosurgeon? What if a life is lost? Is saying
whatever it takes to earn a 7 figure income really worth it? If so, may God have
mercy on your soul!
2. Windmill punches - Some of the punches I've seen Peterson
suggest one use, on his tapes, I feel would get the average person knocked on their
butt. On Peterson's tapes we see one SCAR's trainer, specifically his son Blake,
demonstrating "high power" punches, windmill style, on Peterson's P.A.T.
dummy. (PAT is basically a punching bag, built to look like the human body.) Anyway,
on one of the tapes Blake shows how one should correctly attack a target, the SCARS
way, for maximum power. In doing so, Blake winds up, and delivers each punch from
China. Now I don't know about you, but I pray that anyone I ever meet in a fight,
winds up their punches from behind their back, and delivers them in huge arcs. That
would be a fight to have fun with!
3. Stances/Footwork - Peterson demonstrates
"proper stances for maximum power" on a couple of his tapes. Guess what
stance he uses alot? A sideways horseriding stance! I pray to God someone trys to
hit me with huge arcing punches, while using fixed stances, especially a horseriding
stance! That person is going to have their front leg sweeped, or will have someone
do a single leg grab, and take them down for the pounding of their life!
Breathing - On one of Peterson's tapes "Breathing Dynamics", he insists
that one make different types of breathing sounds, for each type of punch they do,
and for the different levels a punch is delivered too. You've got to go read that
review to see what I mean. I disagree with that concept completely!
on to this months SCARS article in BB Magazine. Most people probably don't realize
this, but ANYONE can submit an article to BB, and possibly have it published. All
it takes is a good article. Heck, BB will even send the writer $150 for the article,
if it's published. My question is this: When have you EVER seen Black Belt say anything
bad about any fighting system or martial artist? I can't think of anytime they have!
Everytime I read anything, it sounds like everyone has a great fighting system! Yet
there are several fighting systems I've seen, especially on tape, that I wouldn't
dare want to use in a fight. Why can't these magazines tell us whose providing good
concepts, and whose slinging BS our way? Again, what's more important to these magazines,
dollars or lives?
My suspicion is that Borkland, who wrote the SCARS article,
is someone Peterson contacted to do an article about SCARS, to help increase credibility,
due to articles and reviews like ours. Maybe Peterson had the article done, to help
get a little publicity, and his foot in the door to other military groups, which
I've heard he's been trying to do. I heard Borkland use to be EXECUTIVE EDITOR for
MA Illustrated. Maybe Borkland owes Peterson a few favors, maybe Peterson paid Borkland,
maybe Borkland and Peterson have known each other for awhile, since Borkland was
a magazine big-wig, and Peterson a $1000 a month advertiser? Maybe Borkland's looking
for a job, and did the article to put himself back on the martial arts map? I know
this, I'm beginning to trust less-and-less these magazines, whose focus is more on
advertising dollars, than providing the public info on whose teaching crap. Again,
when was the last time any magazine did an article, exposing someone that's a fraud,
or teaches questionable concepts?
But here's my big question about Borkland
and his ties to Peterson. Who paid for Borkland's 5 days of lodging, and round trip
airfare from Maryland to Phoenix, AZ? Did Borkland up and decide: "I'll spend
$1000 or more of my own money, so BB will pay me $150 for my article." Sounds
like to me Borkland would be in the hole $1000 if he did. Did BB foot the bill? I
doubt it! Especially when BB's common price for an article is only $150. Why would
BB pay Borkland $1200-$1500 for such an article, when the going rate is $150? Where
and how did Borkland come up with the $1000 or so for his expenses? Hmm, I don't
know about you, but I'd sure like to check Peterson's personal and company credit
card statements, and checking accounts, about that one! It would sure be interesting
to know how Borkland could afford such a trip, especially when he's only listed in
the front of the magazine as a "contributing writer" and not a "contributing
editor" like Wallace, Perez, Lowry and Funk. I have a good friend who did a
one-shot freelance article as a "contributing writer" for BB, and as I
said before, he only got $150. Let's assume BB paid Borklands expenses, why would
they do so, especially when the going rate for "contributing editor" articles
is only $150? Could it be that BB agreed to pay for the expenses because Peterson
is a $1000 a month advertiser with BB? So based on all these expenses, someone having
to foot the bill on them, Borkland's background, and Peterson being a huge advertiser,
just how unbiased could Borkland's article be about SCARS?
our first HCS review, Peterson's own people invited us to attend his camp for free,
so we could see what he was about. We declined, mainly because we don't care what
Peterson teaches in his seminars. We're not reviewing seminars, we review tapes!
I don't want our opinion about someones tapes effected by what they teach in their
seminars! Everyone doesn't get to attend Peterson's seminars, besides, Peterson's
ads make it sound like his tapes are all anyone should need to kick ass 100% of the
Heck, maybe Peterson's camp is as good as Borkland's article says. My
problem with Peterson isn't in his camp. It's in him advertising "watch my tapes,
and I guarantee even your grandmother can kick anyone's ass". Peterson's old
HCS ads, from years ago, actually said that. Again, I saw nothing in his tapes that
made me feel my granny could sit down for 2 hrs, watch his tapes, and then could
absolutely, without a doubt, kick the ass of any steroided bodybuilder on PCP.
sorry, but I don't think by watching tapes, you can guarantee someone can win a fight.
NO way, no how. It takes training. Think about this, does WATCHING A TYSON FIGHT
GUARANTEE YOU CAN IMMEDIATELY GET IN THE RING AND BEAT TYSON!
A couple of
weeks ago we received at MAVR an email from Tim Larkin, the Master Trainer of SCARS.
He had seen what we'd written about Peterson, and many of the questions we'd proposed
in a couple of our articles. His email said we should call him, and he'd be happy
to address our questions and concerns. Well guess what, we called! We spent an hour
on the phone with him, on our nickle, hearing him preach about the wonders of SCARS.
Yet when asked for:
1. Names and phone numbers of Seal trainers who teach
2. Names, addresses and phone numbers of Seal bases that teach SCARS
Names and phone numbers of all Seal H2H instructors
.......he was in our opinion,
evasive, and didn't seem to be real KEEN on providing this. He kept referring to
the SCARS cop-out "It's here at our facility if anyone wants to see it".
Well Tim, I'd like to see it, send me copies, PLEASE!
Our conversation with
Mr. Larkin then took a VERY INTERESTING turn! One of the more interesting things
I found out, through a rather vague and evasive comment from Larkin, was that SCARS
doesn't seem to be currently taught to SEALS to the same extent it was years ago.
I probed a little further, but was unable to get a clear answer that made sense to
me. Following that, Larkin made another comment that sounded like to me the Seals
might be phasing out the SCARS program altogether. But once again, the statements
made were vague, and I really didn't understand them. (Based on Larkin's ability
to pull-off smooth vague replys, I think he should consider politics, he would be
a great politician!) And the $1,000,000 question of the day is this: If SCARS
works 100% of the time, why in the world would the SEALS drop it? Think about
that one! After I read the BB article, and started thinking about everything, things
started fitting together like a 2000 piece puzzle. What if Peterson thought that
doing a big article about SCARS in Black Belt Magazine, could somehow offset public
perception about the SEALS phasing out SCARS? He'd certainly need BIG publicity to
overcome the loss of the SEALS, wouldn't he? And then I realized something else that
made alot of sense. Larkin had made another comment during our phone conversation
that made it sound like SCARS was quickly trying to make in-roads with other military
branches. Could this mean Peterson thought: "Opps, we've pretty much lost the
SEALS, we better hurry up and try to sell our stuff to another military branch, before
people find out"? Heck, if I was a Jerry Peterson type, and incurred such a
loss, I'd probably be offering to give away my training to a military branch, just
so I could save face! Maybe I could talk them into letting me do a 1 day training
for free! Then I could brag from then on that I trained _______ and _______ uses
my secretive fighting system! Surely Peterson can offset giving the training away
with the millions he makes each year in tape sales and sold out 5 day camps. Wouldn't
that be funny if that's what he had to do to save the SCARS name/franchise? But I
bet if that happened, he would make sure the public never figured out he had to give
it away. How valuable is something if people won't buy it, and you have to give it
away? That could hurt the perceived value of SCARS! Who knows what will happen, or
what the real scoop is. Still I'd like to personally get the names and phone numbers
that we asked for (#1, 2 and 3 from above), to close in on some of this and verify
several things. For some reason, trying to verify what's really going on with SCARS,
is like the old tootsie pop commercial, you remember the one with the owl from the
70's that said "The world may never know". All this should be interesting
to sit back and watch. In the meantime keep your eyes open, I bet Peterson won't
change his full page ads each month, which when I read them imply to me that he's
still not only the current, exclusive, and full time trainer to the Navy Seals, but
that the SEALS still actively use, and each one is still personally trained, even
today, in SCARS. Do us all a favor Jerry, why don't you just come out and tell people
what the current status of SCARS is, and to what extent the SEALS are currently using
it? And while you're at it, tell us when the SEALS stopped using SCARS. That would
be interesting to know so we could compare it to what the ads he's still running
imply, and how long he's been running those ads since the SEALS either phased out,
or dropped SCARS!
And if all that has peaked your curiosity click
here to read something very intereting things about SCARS from real Navy Seals!
Back to our conversation
with Tim Larkin. Our hour long conversation with Larkin was alot more coordial than
I had expected. I have to confess, that even under scrutiny, Mr. Larkin kept his
cool and was very professional. However, having to listen to an hour long walking-talking
live SCARS commercial, did get a little boring after the first five minutes. But
out of respect for his time, I perservered and let Larkin rant about the wonders
of SCARS. In fact, while on the phone we made the following offer to Mr. Larkin:
"Send us some different SCARS tapes, that we haven't seen, and I'll have a different
reviewer evaluate them, so we can see if maybe our SCARS reviews were off-the-mark.
I promise we'll give them an objective review". Larkin said OK. Well, that was
several weeks ago, and since then I had to send Larkin an email to remind him about
it. He promptly replied back saying: "Before we send tapes, I have some additional
questions for you". Sorry Mr. Larkin, it was all I could do to spend an hour
with you on the phone, on my nickle, listening to you preach the wonders of Jerry
Peterson. Not only do I not have an interest in doing that again, but why can't you
just send the tapes, like you said you would? And while we're at it, I'd still like
to get all the names and phone numbers of SEAL personnel, bases, etc, that I asked
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