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Violence articles
avoid asocial violence with
Common Sense)

Photo Credits:-

TFT logo (TFT)

TFT book (TFT)

Tim Larkin
(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 uncertain world.

- The author completed a 2½-day high-density TFT course in 2008. 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 logoTarget Focus Training (TFT) is an effective
tool to be used in asocial violent situations.

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 as: 
  1. Realise this is an asocial situation. Assume an offensive mindset.
  2. 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 habit.]
  3. 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.]
  4. Move to next target until can safely walk away = until the body of the attacker is 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.]
  5. 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.

Front cover of 'How to Survive the Most Critical 5 Seconds of Your Life' by Tim Larkin & Chris Ranck-Buhr

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.

  • It 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.
  • It 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.]
  • The 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. Milder subconcussive events cumulatively age and damage the brain - see here
  • It replicates the asocial environment by discouraging talking and/or social cues during training - see here. Be silent, be focused on creating injury [Injury vs. Pain is discussed here].
  • It dovetails 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 motor attacks (using large muscle groups, whole body movement).
  • Its reliance on principles - rather than having to learn numerous techniques.
  • Its de-glamorisation of martial arts.
  • Its non-reliance on the likes of size, speed, strength, skill. 
  • Its exceptional effectiveness.
  • It's not magic. It is work. The sort of whole body work you do in daily life.
Tim Larkin on front cover of Black Belt magazine
Tim Larkin, founder of TFT on front cover of Black Belt magazine (February 2012)

Some of the additional benefits it can bring almost any human being are:-
  • It instils an innate confidence that you can handle the worst kinds of violence.
  • Associated 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."
  • It brings a 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, blocks, etc.).
  • 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 that you 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
  • It 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 article 'Why Self-Defense Needs To Be Part of the Violence Against Women Conversation': "If we give women the necessary tools to protect themselves in situations where self-protection becomes unavoidable, we will make them safer. Our daughters, our sisters and our mothers deserve a fighting chance. And until we abandon the idea that women are simply victims at the mercy of their attackers, another generation of women will be forced to live in fear, rather than walk with strength." (Time, posted 22 October 2014, accessed 24 October 2014)
  • It has the healing power to reduce the fear of violence, allowing us to enjoy our lives more freely - see here.
  • It 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 likely 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 confrontations are likely to become a thing of the past, to be replaced by equality, harmony, peace and co-operation between humans.
  • TFT training is not competitive. Rather it is win-win or cooperative, as the profile partner (who models successful injury) is helping the trainee prepare for the real threat of asocial violence. This is a different feel to most 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 is far more common than any pleasure or skill acquisition).
  • It surely could be taught to all young men and women as an adolescent rite of passage! It avoids the 'wussification' of men and society. I've seen and heard of guys at self-development courses 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 parent or carer would want their daughter or son to learn this? You feel strongly connected to your inner warrior.
  • In 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.
TFT quotes

"Peace is the purpose."
(Chris Ranck-Buhr & Tim Larkin)

"Violence is 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 an act of LOVE."
(Tim Larkin 12 February 2019 email)

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Page last updated: 11 March 2021.