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:

1. 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!

My 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!

4. 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!

OK, now 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?

Anyway, after 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 time.

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.

I'm 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 SCARS
2. Names, addresses and phone numbers of Seal bases that teach SCARS
3. 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 for.

© 1997-2016 Martial Arts Video Reviews. All Rights Reserved.