T Nation

Self Defense:Target Focus Training

While reading one of Ian King’s recent articles, he mentioned something called “Target Focus Training”, which is a self defense system that he believes is the best available.

I checked out the website and it seemed pretty interesting. The system was created by Tim Larkin - he also wrote the article about knife fighting that some of you may remember reading on t-mag shortly after 9/11. Anyway, I’m curious to see if anyone else here knows much about it, and any thoughts on it?

I’ve been interested in getting into martial arts and or boxing, but not with the intent of competing, more just for self defence. This TFT system sounded especially appealing because it is NOT based on an elaborate set of attacks/techniques that require lots of time to practice, learning new skills, etc. It basically appears to be rather simple and much less time consuming to learn…possibly a little too good to be true though?

A

Chad Waterbury and Charles Staley both speak highly of Tim and TFT. Chad wrote an article on his website.
old dogg

I attended a Charles Staley “Boot Camp” last January and Tim spoke about his Target Focus Training. He is a very intense guy to say the least. To me TFT makes alot of sense. It’s all about self defense. It’s not about learning any martial arts, it’s very simple. When you are in a life or death situation it is about survival. You learn stuff that you don’t just bust out on people for hte hell of it. If some guy at a bar makes you mad you don’t just pull out your TFT knowledge on him. Tim teaches about survival, the things you do to the perpetrator can be lethal. So if you are looking for survival skills that will save your life but that you may never use, in my humble opinion there is nothing better.

The best thing to do is order one of his tapes so you can see for your self it suits your needs.

I hav been teaching combat for the last 7 years and from what I have seen of Mr. Larkin’s material I would recommend his teachings.

Here are a few that also recommend and their websites…

Richard Dimitri www.senshido.com

Sammy Franco www.sammyfranco.com

Jim Wagner www.jimwagnertraining.com

Hock Hockeim www.hockscqc.com

And of course a shameless plug for my website…

http://members.tripod.com/combative_sciences

James Bullock

You might want to look into some of the martial arts forums on this…I’m sorry I don’t have a link.
I read the same items you read, plus a big one page ad by Matt Furey on TFT. They made me very interested in the TFT system. Then I read the forums. The forums state that Tim Larkin is a former instructor of the SCARS martial arts system and that Mr Larkin’s system comes from SCARS. The forums further state that SCARS is discredited. That’s very disheartening considering that SCARS used to charge $5000 a week for their seminars. You might want to surf these forums/sites and find out before spending a lot of coin. I bought one of Matt Furey’s systems two years ago for over $300. Two of the eight tapes were great the rest…simple and redundant. Tony Cecchine’s catch wrestling tapes are worlds better.
The fact that Matt Furey has a one page advertisement full of his typical claims dedicated soley to Tim Larkin’s system is disturbing. If the product is that good, it doesn’t need “over the top” advertising, and that’s Furey’s hallmark. There’s a lot of hype in the martial arts commercial community…it’s not just limited to the champion bodybuilders claiming protein powder built their physiques in advertisements in the muscle magazines.
The best advice I can give, if I may be so bold, is to go to a local martials school with a great recommendation and ask the experienced students/teachers what they recommend. If you want some very lethal self defense techniques, check out “Vital Targets” by Loren Christensen. He’s an ex-cop with a great rep. The tape focuses on strikes to the eyes, neck, etc…pure self defense. Also, check out paladinpress.com and turtelpress.com If you can find the same tapes on ebay for half price you’re even better off. I think there’s a site

I am going to the TFT training session in San Diego June 23-25,2006. I have never had any martial arts/self defense training before and I will report back on my opinion of his product.

I went to the San Diego training. This is no nonsense training. You learn how to destroy a man. There are no belts, uniforms, bowing etc. No complicated moves.
Definately worth it. Expensive, yes. But no more expensive than 6-12 months of Karate. I took Tae Kwon Do for two years. I learned more during the first day about real fighting.

This is like taking all martial arts, distilling out the BS and learning what you really need to know. Nobody ever got in a real fight in a Gi.
The instructors were really excellent and very easy to talk to. Not some macho “tough guys”.

The only thing that puts me off TFT (and bear in mind that i haven’t seen any of the material)is that the marketing all looks extremely similar to SCARS. Add to that a testimonial by Matt Furey and basically i’m very skeptical.

Senshido by Richard Dimitri (and i’ve seen almost all of his materials) is extremely effective. It covers everything. Also his material speaks for itself, it is reasonably priced and so there is no need for aggressive marketing. This is top of my list. I’d love to check out TFT but i don’t believe all of its claims and i can’t afford to lose the money i’d spend if the material didn’t live up to its claims (which pretty much make you sound unbeatable.)

I may be swayed if i saw independent reviews on a specialist martial arts review site.

I have some of the TFT material and think it is great. You kind of need a partner to practice the moves to be proffiecient, but the whole theory is like other people have said, destroy your target/oppenent. You don’t need years of practice to be good, just a basic knowledge of areas on the body to strike when available to you and what the reflex reactions will be after you make a successful strike. Watching the tapes is pretty amazing because the moves are brutual and devastating. Tim Larkin teaches you about not getting into fights for ego or social aspects (bullies and stupid altercations) and this is because with this system you are taught to be destructive to your opponents body. They will either be left unconscious or inable to harm you after your attack. This is what fighting is all about. He also explains it is not about self-defense as this can cause you to be trained to react defensively and in a fight you must be the aggressor or your adversary will be the one doing the damage and you will be on the recieving end. The good part is the systems gives you confidence but teaches about social situations so you don’t foolishly get into fights or maybe even have legal problems. I think he also has a payment plan for some of his products or at least a refund policy. I think the stuff is definitely worth it. What is the price to protect yourself or family/friends from a very violent situation? I’ve practiced martials when I was younger and have a good knowledge of fighting, but this system lie everyone else says gets rid of the BS. At least check out he site and get on his mailing list. Good luck iwht your decision.

[quote]Validus wrote:
The best thing to do is order one of his tapes so you can see for your self it suits your needs.

I hav been teaching combat for the last 7 years and from what I have seen of Mr. Larkin’s material I would recommend his teachings.

Here are a few that also recommend and their websites…

Richard Dimitri www.senshido.com

Sammy Franco www.sammyfranco.com

Jim Wagner www.jimwagnertraining.com

Hock Hockeim www.hockscqc.com

And of course a shameless plug for my website…

http://members.tripod.com/combative_sciences

James Bullock[/quote]

James let me know when you get your site up and running
Thanks

I took the TFT course in San Diego June 23-25 and found it to be one of the best things I have ever spent my money on. Tim Larkin and his awesome staff of trainers (Chris, Torin and Luke)and Mastery students are incredibly generous, intelligent and motivated to give you tools for a better life. Every word they speak and every action they do is filled with their genuine desire to teach you what you NEED to know.

This is a completely no bullshit course. It is not about memorizing techniques or routines but based upon very solid priciples. INTENT, penetration,rotation and injury. I am sending my wife and my 14 year old daughter to do this course and would gladly pay double, if I had to, so that they will have the peace of knowing that their mind is the ultimate weapon and you are not helpless.

Many thanks to Tim,Chris,Torin and Luke. You are all truly great people. I look forward to seeing you again.