Company: SCARS/Direct Action Corporation
Tape Name: Training, Methodology & Principles
Tape Cost: $49.50
Length of Tape/Time: 25 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: ?
Return Policy: conditional but available if bought as part of a set
Experiences in dealing with this company: Poor - for 1 yr now, has never responded to emails
The Instructor: Jerry Peterson
Company's Address: 5230 S. 39th St., Phoenix, AZ., 85040
Company's Phone Number: 602-437-3143
Web Page:

Primary Grading Criteria:

1. Production/Tape Quality: 9
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 8
3. Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 8
4. Degree to which this will make someone a better Martial Artist: 8
5. Score on delivery vs. hype: 8
6. Degree to which we'd recommend this product: 8
7. Wasted Time (The higher the number, the less "fluff"/repetition): 10
8. Playback Score/Watching it over-and-over again: 8
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products: 8
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. value: 8

Grand Total: 83% (Poor = .75 stars)

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Fair
2. Intermediate benefit: Poor
3. Advanced benefit: Poor
4. Time to benefit: Immediate on some, awhile on others.
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

Well as PT Barnum said: "There's a sucker born every minute!"

This is our 4th tape of Peterson's to review and the supposed "heart" of his SCARS training system. We previously reviewed HCS 1&2 and Breathing Dynamics, and like Peterson's other tapes, in my opinion this one doesn't cover any new ground for most martial artists. Anyone that's had 3 months of training at most martial arts schools should have learned most of the ideas/concepts mentioned in this tape, and if they haven't, they're going to the wrong school! The purpose of this tape, per Peterson's website, is to "reveal the correct training methods used by SCARS to create the best results." In it we're shown some basic stances, footwork, suppossed predictable reactions, rhythm hitting (how to perform multiple strikes), basic partner training drills, and what in the martial arts world we call "freestyle one-steps". Nothing in this tape made me go "Wow, I've never seen or heard that before."

If it weren't for Peterson's $1000 a month full page ads in Black Belt Magazine, and the 12 page "special report" he'll send for free, both claiming he can instantly make anyone, any age, undefeatable, just by watching his tapes, I might not be so hard on him. However his ads, and special reports, make all sorts of claims, which directly influence the perspective from which I feel one should view/grade his tapes. Another of his outlandish claims is that his secretive scientific training concepts make thousands of years of traditional martial arts knowledge obsolete. And if that wasn't enough to convince you to immediately plunk down $200 for 6 of his tapes, he further entices and snares consumers with his GUARANTEE that they'll never get beaten, in any fight, using SCARS. I've yet to find anything taught on 4 of his videos that convinces me his system is "unbeatable". Nowhere did I see anything earthshaking to make me feel that his system is THE system to end all systems. Yet he claims the Navy Seals have adopted his training and he can prove it. Yeah, so what, maybe they have. Has the military, especially the Navy, never made a mistake before? Look at all the $300 toilet seats and $900 screws our government buys! Look at the recent oil tanker incident, and how the Navy almost mistakingly sank the tanker, before it burned up, narrowly avoiding the release of millions of gallons of oil into the sea! What a great demolitions team they have! Good thing they got a 2nd chance and it wasn't a slightly different mission, during wartime, with lives on the line. From what I've heard, doing a little research, the Seals don't use Peterson's training fulltime and exclusively, throughout all their units and locations. And if his training is 100% undefeatable, why don't we see it used FULLTIME and EXCLUSIVELY by all Seals units/locations, ALL OTHER BRANCHES of the military, and all our various US Justice Department Law Enforcement Divisions?

I know for a fact the US Army doesn't use SCARS exclusively at Fort Bragg, which is one of the Army's main hand-to-hand training facilities. And if there was ever a division of the military that needed a surefire hand-to-hand program, it's the US Army. I even talked with one of the Army's former Combative Instructors, and boy did he have some interesting things to say. Anyway, the ARMY and MARINES are the real frontline guys who are in the trenches and need expert hand-to-hand, and neither one uses Peterson's SCARS fulltime or exclusively. Hmm, I wonder why? If it's as good as Peterson says, they should all be using it, right? Something Peterson fails to mention, which is really kind of funny, is that the Seals use very little hand-to-hand in their operations. Thus their training, and need for H2H, is very minor. Their preferred means of operation is weaponry, and their weapons of choice, are, and have always been, their pistol and machine gun. Which brings up a very profound question. Why would anyone want to purchase a H2H system, used by a division of our military, that really doesn't do much H2H? If I was to purchase a series of H2H videos, it would be some used by a more H2H oriented group, namely the ARMY or MARINES! And still another question remains that may be even more profound. How hard could it be to convince a division of our military to adopt some H2H combat system, when not only do they not use H2H much, but because they don't, might not be able to recognize good H2H from bad? What does that say about SCARS? Jerry, do you really think you can impress me and the public when a division of our military says, "OK, we're not really a H2H unit, we primarily use weaponry, but what the heck, we'll use your stuff"? I'm betting it was Peterson's military record that "opened the door", and allowed him to position himself and sell SCARS! Jerry, you might be able to fool others with how noble you think your Seal claim is, but I'm not impressed! And if you want to impress me, have some people who really use their hands adopt SCARS! How about having the Army, Marines, CIA, FBI, LAPD and NYPD adopting SCARS fulltime and exclusively! Surely if SCARS is as good as you say it is, others would've heard about it by now!

People....think long and hard about this one, why, if SCARS really works, haven't other military units, federal, state and local agencies, adopted SCARS full time and exclusively?

From what I've seen so far Peterson's SCARS is no better than basic hand-to-hand combat. And when I say basic I mean B-A-S-I-C. I felt there was nothing special about the stuff I saw in this tape or any of Peterson's others. And if you want to get technical, to me, SCARS looks a whole lot like Kung Fu San Soo. Kung Fu San Soo has been around alot longer than SCARS, and in my opinion is 100x better than what Peterson teaches. If however you're intrigued by what Peterson claims and offers, I'd suggest you go buy Master Bill Hulsey's tapes. You do remember your old teacher Master Hulsey, don't you Jerry? What I can't figure out Jerry is why you don't give credit where credit's due? I've yet to see you mention Master Hulsey in your full page ads? Most respectable martial arts instructors always credit their teachers! Jerry, I also can't figure out why someone would want to learn, what seems to me to be, your watered down 2nd hand version of Kung Fu San Soo, re-labeled SCARS, when they can get the "real deal" 1st hand from Master Hulsey. I bet I know why, it's all the hype you put in your ads, that has allowed you to sell tons of tapes, run $1000 full page ads in Black Belt Magazine every month, and sellout your $5,000 per person 4 day camps, isn't it Jerry? Well congratulations Jerry you're a good salesman, too bad I can't honestly say I feel you're a good martial arts instructor providing real value! Opps, I forgot, your special report says all martial arts are BS and a waste of time, doesn't it? I guess then being a good martial arts instructor doesn't matter to you. But martial arts magazines are where you like to run your ads, and martial artists are who you like to make your money from, right? OK, enough questions for Jerry, his head is probably spinning!

We've reviewed Master Hulsey's videos (Street Ready 1 & 2) and in my opinion they are 100x better than HCS or SCARS. Heck, I briefly looked at Lew Hicks 1st tape the other night, and I felt it looks 10x better, and has 10x the material of any one of Peterson's tapes we've reviewed so far! If you feel you just have to get this type of training, I'd start with Hulsey, and if afterwards I felt I still wanted more, I'd get Hicks!

I'm sorry if our audience gets upset at the tone of this review, but I have zero tolerance for people that are getting filthy rich based on outlandish claims that their system is the one to put all others to shame. And as if that implication by Peterson wasn't arrogant enough, he has the nerve to say "I guarantee you'll never lose a fight using SCARS". You want to know what Peterson's guarantee is? It's giving you your money back for the tapes you bought if you lose a fight. But my question is this, what if you lose your life, what good will a couple hundred dollars do your next of kin? Personally, I think Peterson is playing the odds and knows that a few people might actually one day request a refund. But how many might die in the process? And what do a couple of deaths matter if in the meantime he can put millions in the bank? Will he guarantee a death won't happen? If he'll stop messing around with his measley $200 refund, and use his $5,000 per person camp money to back up his claim, by creating a $1,000,000 life policy, or something else substantial, I'd be impressed? Another of Peterson's outlandish claims is that "a good bad assed streetfighter can easily take out any black belt" (pg 2 of your 12 page "special report" Jerry). And while reading this claim a person can easily get the notion that a person trained in SCARS can not only take out any streetfighter, but any black belt too. I don't know about you but I don't think so! Maybe Peterson really believes his own BS! Don't psychologists have a word for that?

Still I seriously saw nothing that I felt was substantial in this tape, or others of Peterson's, that even halfway convinces me of his claims. Yet his 12 page "special report" goes on to claim he used SCARS principles in Vietnam, and those SCARS principles helped him defeat all his opponents. Personally I'd like to challenge those claims. In fact I'd like to know when Peterson's training with Hulsey was and compare it to the time he spent in Vietnam. My personal thoughts are that Peterson may have done his training with Master Hulsey after Vietnam. And if that's the case, since SCARS seems to me to look alot like Kung Fu San Soo, how did SCARS, which WAS formally put together/marketed after Vietnam, save Peterson's life in Vietnam? That would be interesting to know! My own personal belief is Peterson probably just got lucky over in 'Nam and didn't catch a bullet. But as with most of Peterson's claims, they seem near impossible to investigate. And as for his Seals claims, I've yet to have Peterson's people, Tim Larkin in particular, write me back with the names and phone numbers of Navy Seals officers who could help me verify Peterson's Seals claims. Hmm, I wonder why? Well as mentioned before, I did a little homework and was told the SEALS don't use Peterson's stuff FULLTIME or EXCLUSIVELY within every facility and unit of theirs.

Last, I'd like to discuss my thoughts about Peterson's 12 page "special report". Most of this "special report" is supposedly drafted by Tim Larkin, not Peterson. I had to stop and think about that one for a minute. Why wouldn't Peterson do it himself, and toot his own horn? We'll he'd done so in most of his full page ads I'd seen, but hadn't done it much in his "special report". Hmm, I wonder why? Then it hit me, like a ton of bricks. If Peterson has someone else who understands SCARS do that for him, it makes everything said seem a little less biased, and with all the claims Jerry's made, it also makes them seem more legit to readers. Smooth move Jerry, my hats off to you! That's salesmanship at its best! You are a master, a master salesman that is. To me, I felt the "special report" was designed to SELL me on SCARS. I don't know about most of you, but I don't like to be SOLD anything. Anytime I've been aggressively SOLD something, I've usually had problems with it, and found it to not live up too, or fully provide, what the person selling it claimed. So why does Peterson need to work so hard at selling us SCARS, by making all these claims and sending out 12 page "special reports", especially if SCARS does everything he says it will? Wouldn't word of mouth be sufficient? The Gracies use to go around saying they were unbeatable, yet I never saw them sending out 12 page "special reports". The only time I get lengthy "special reports" in the mail is when they're from unsolicited get-rich-quick schemes! And why aren't martial arts magazines endorsing Peterson, and doing articles on Jerry every other month or so, if his stuff is unbeatable? I would think free magazine publicity of SCARS would be relatively easy for Jerry to obtain, especially when he's spending a $1000 a month on ads. Hmm, think about that one for a second!

As shown in this review, a person can easily come up with tons of questions regarding Peterson, his claims, and his SCARS program. These questions not only raise eyebrows, but can leave a person sitting on the edge of their seat in curiosity. I just wish the answers to our many questions were as easy to come by as the questions themselves. We had hoped Peterson, and his staff, would've helped us with these. Numerous unanswered emails have been sent to Peterson, and his staff, over the past year, about this project. Unfortunately Peterson's outlandish claims, which seem to be a major basis for purchasing this video, and his other products, seem difficult to verify. But is our difficulty in verifying Peterson's claims merely coincidental, or ingenious by design? I don't know about you, but I know which one I'd put money on!

Click here to go to reviews 301-400

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