avoid asocial violence with
TFT logo (TFT)
TFT book (TFT)
(Black Belt magazine)
- The views and opinions in this article are those of the author Bruce
Mitchell and may not reflect the official policy or position of TFT.
- The author was not paid or asked to write this article. The author
simply believes that TFT is a powerful tool for vulnerable humans in an
- The author completed a 2½-day high-density TFT course in
He has followed TFT since the early 2000s. He now practises solo (using
visualisation, dummies) and with the help of his sons and TFT's online
virtual training center.
| Target Focus
Training (TFT) is an effective
tool to be used
Its beauty lies in:-
- Its simplicity and ease of
learning. Best learn it from TFT
(written, audio, video, weekend courses), but it can be summarised
- Realise this is an asocial
situation. Assume an offensive mindset.
- Identify a presenting target that can be injured with
a strike, especially those that produce a
spinal reflex (TFT have a Strike
Chart; also watch here).
[This can be practised in daily life, to ingrain the
- Close the distance and penetrate the
target with bodyweight. The forearm (little finger [ulna]
side nearest the hand) is preferred to the more fragile fist. Often,
the step is the strike, and you
will occupy the space they had. [It helps to be vigilant and/or use
feigned compliance or other trick to secure the first strike. Also read here, here.]
- Move to next
target until can safely walk away = until the body of the
injured and cannot function. Anecdotally, this is 1 to 3 serious,
debilitating injuries. [In unstructured
practice, 5 to 8 targets are assembled, in case targets
are missed or do not cause injury.] [For multiple attackers,
complete 2 targets before handling the next attacker.]
- Note that the arbiter of asocial violence is
critical, debilitating injury - not pain! The first person to get such an injury and/or take
advantage of it, will win. TFT focuses on results and aims to cause
such a debilitating injury. In training, the reaction partner mimics
the expected body position for injury, e.g. a groin strike has an
'injury profile' of bent over, chin stuck out, hands on groin. Learning
how to give these injury profiles as feedback is crucial to TFT, as it
trains the attacker's brain to recognise debilitating injury.
Summing up, your to-do list is
simple = INJURE.
This gives you a
coin-flip of a chance in asocial violence.
See their website for more information, to
subscribe to their mailing list and get access to free materials, e.g. PDF
of Tim Larkin's book How
to Survive the Most Critical 5 Seconds of Your Life.
is implanted permanently into your subconscious in only a weekend
course. World War Two soldiers were trained similarly (see here).
TFT students have even used the tool of violence effectively in
real-life violence by only
watching TFT videos! Compare this with the years of training
required by many martial arts to reach competence.
is practised at a slow and calm pace to maximise retention. Slow
repetition also allows awareness of imprecision, how you can improve
next time. Always aim to train with a slow, smooth, rhythmic flow.
[This can be increased when you are accurate, balanced, and your
partner gives correct injury profiles.]
slow and calm pace of TFT also make for little risk of injury. Martial
arts, especially those that practise striking, risk serious brain
injury. It's not just concussions that damage the brain.
subconcussive events cumulatively age and damage the brain - see here.
replicates the asocial
environment by discouraging talking and/or social cues during
see here. Be silent, be focused on
creating injury [Injury vs. Pain is discussed here].
perfectly with the biological facts of violence/fear, i.e. you get
tunnel vision and lose fine motor skill. So, in TFT, you focus on a
small point on the other and target it with gross
attacks (using large muscle groups, whole body movement).
reliance on principles - rather than having to learn numerous
de-glamorisation of martial arts.
non-reliance on the likes of size, speed, strength, skill.
not magic. It is work. The sort of whole body work you do in daily
Some of the
additional benefits it can bring almost any human being are:-
instils an innate confidence that you can handle the worst kinds
with this is the peace it can bring the world. Peace is its purpose [first read in December 2013 blog by Chris Ranck-Buhr, now broken; also see When Violence Is the Answer Chapter 10].
Scary thoughts are replaced by life-saving skills, by empathic humility and calm confidence. "Peace is the purpose."
real understanding of violence (Part 1). Most movies have the characters
scramble for the gun or knife on the floor. TFT teaches us that the
brain/mind is the most important tool, not the gun or knife.
The brain is the primary weapon. The body is then the brain's first
tool of convenience and choice. All other weapons can be used, but they
are not essential. Also note this means that our primary
focus is on shutting down the other's brain/body (so, no disarms,
- It brings a real understanding of violence (Part 2). Become the sheepdog, not the sheep. TFT tells us to
view violence outside of a social lens. Stop seeing yourself as the victim.
In this way, we move beyond intimidation and see what works = intent.
We just need to produce injury (spinal reflexes and consequent critical injury) by
consistently targetting specific body areas, often those barred from
MMA. It's like learning to swim; you will probably
never need it to save your life, but it brings peace-of-mind to know
have the skill, and if you ever face a life-or-death or asocial
scenario, you will be glad you have it! "Violence
is rarely the answer, but when it is, it is the only answer."
- It brings a real understanding of violence (Part 3). Rare knowledge. Asocial violence is so misunderstood, so distinct from other types. The world really
needs to get this message! TFT's message is to avoid violence, if you
can. Only in the face of asocial
violence is violence advised. We learn what is asocial violence, how to avoid it, how to use the
tool of violence when it presents so that we act dynamically and with
intent to injure. Self-offence
is what we do in
asocial violence, whilst self-defence
is for the aftermath (police,
law) - see here.
has the power of equalising worldwide gender violence -
see Tim Larkin's book Surviving the Unthinkable - A
Total Guide to Women's Self-Protection. Also see
his 2014 Time
Self-Defense Needs To Be Part of the Violence Against Women Conversation': "If
we give women the necessary tools to protect themselves in situations
self-protection becomes unavoidable, we will make them safer. Our
our sisters and our mothers deserve a fighting chance. And until we
idea that women are simply victims at the mercy of their attackers,
generation of women will be forced to live in fear, rather than walk
posted 22 October 2014, accessed 24 October 2014)
has the healing power to reduce the fear of violence, allowing us to
enjoy our lives more freely - see here.
reduces the macho,
egotistic, competitive dynamic that pollutes authentic relating between
males, and between anyone. Effectively, anyone can kill you and anyone
can be killed by you. This realisation, based on appreciating the
body's reflex system that bypasses the brain, is humbling and is an
equaliser. Reflexes are not about your muscles, not even about being
judo-like in using the attacker's momentum against them - but rather
targetting and hitting their reflexes forces attackers to move
away themselves (by the power of their
muscles/weight). As a result, the instinct of human
co-operation is more
to emerge all over the world, no longer likely to be muddied by
aberrant uses of violence. Combat sports will continue. But,
in everyday life, antisocial power games and
are likely to become a thing of the past, to be replaced by equality,
harmony, peace and co-operation between humans.
training is not competitive. Rather it is win-win or cooperative, as
partner (who models successful injury) is helping the trainee prepare
for the real threat of asocial violence. This is a different feel to
martial arts. (Secrets
for Staying Alive When Rules Don't Apply, pp.139-140)
This - along with its slow training - involve many that otherwise avoid
violence training (dropping out because the experience of pain
far more common than any pleasure or skill acquisition).
surely could be taught to all young men and women as an adolescent rite
passage! It avoids the 'wussification' of men and
society. I've seen and heard of guys at self-development
wanting to connect with their animal or aggressive side. They
can spend hours in group workshops posturing, shouting and
punching pillows. However, by learning something like TFT, you
integrate your ability to use the tool of violence quickly, effectively
and wisely. It is psychologically empowering. Surely any
carer would want their daughter or son to learn this? You feel strongly connected to
your inner warrior.
terms of The
Truth about Killing, TFT increases the amount of
heroes/heroines in society. Or, using another
analogy, there becomes far more sheepdogs guarding sheep than
wolves hunting the sheep.
- Target Focus Training website.
- Target Focus Training YouTube channel.
- Tim Larkin website and blog.
- Tim Larkin YouTube channel [as of 2021, this is far more active than his TFT channel].
- Tim Larkin Rumble channel.
- Tim Larkin on LLA podcast #34, #132.
- Tim Larkin on The Art of Manliness podcast #81.
- Tim Larkin on Knowledge For Men podcast #113.
- Tim Larkin on The American Warrior Show podcast #177.
- Tim Larkin interviewed by Jeff Anderson here.
- Tim Larkin interviewed by Joe Polish here.
- Multiple Attackers: 1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3.
"Peace is the purpose."
(Chris Ranck-Buhr & Tim Larkin)
rarely the answer, but when it is, it is the only answer."
"Learning to apply violence in the defense of your life, the life of your spouse, children or even your crazy best friend...is an act of LOVE."
(Tim Larkin 12 February 2019 email)