An interesting read, a piece of an article from another site I saw when I was browsing researching about SCARS:
----........martial arts professionals to develop a program for ‘Naval Special Warfare Group two & six’. "When I moved to the East Coast" recalls Vunak today, "I discovered the SEALs possessed no more close combative skills than the average civilian. They had sub machine guns, automatic pistols, m-16’s the works, but they couldn’t effectively fight with their natural weapons. Vunak developed a series of specific programs for the SEAL,s, which allowed them to fully explore and expand their natural attributes as close-in–fighters. Three years later, Paul would return to the West Coast as an on call instructor to the SEAL’s a well trained cadre of JKD instructors are left at little creek to continue his work.
"They, (the SEAL,s) have all the right stuff for serious street fighting," says Vunak. "Physically, mentally, and emotionally they do not need to be developed. I only needed to provide guidance and a program geared for their specific needs to see them become absolutely fierce in close quarters.
Similar training for NAV-SPEC WARGRP-ONE has met with less success. In 1989, a civilian contract agent was hired to conduct training for the BUD/S program, to include a 32hr course in unarmed combat. Titled the SCARS system, its instructor was responsible for providing SEAL candidates with an introductory level course in basic hand to hand techniques.
Navy Lt. Commander King, Public Affairs Officer for the command at Coronado, explained to (BTL) that this program, "is only the most basic of hand to hand programs and has not been taught to fully qualified SEAL,s other than several selected BUD\S instructors."
The SCAR’s system is based on a family system of gung fu (Jimmy Woo, Grandmaster), its techniques centered on yellow/green belt criteria. In comparison to those programs developed by Mr. Vunak for the East Coast SEAL teams, the SCAR’s system offers little more than a kindergarten entry level into the limited circle of serious CCP programs for SOF operatives.ommercial efforts by the civilian contractor in question to market this program as one which made the SEAL’s " undefeatable" in hand to hand combat, have been challenged by the Dept of the Navy itself. In Sept 1993, the Deputy Director of the Navy office of information, T.A. Holden wrote - "our position is …all reference to Navy SEAL,s should be removed from such advertisements and video productions". A source within NAVSPECWARGRP ONE further commented, that "SCAR’s is only taught to SEAL, students in the BUD\S training programand only as one means of motivating and conditioning them. It defiantly is not taught as a classified SEAL martial arts system, as promoted by its civilian instructor, and consists of only the most basic techniques and exercises". No one with the East Coast SEAL teams reports such a program being practiced by its operatives, who are all primarily graduates of Paul Vunak’s tailored program.----
I for one would like to see the actual techniques taught in the system and see for myself if this system is really a watered down San Soo, but I am not about to spend $50 on some tapes that may be nothing more than a fraud combat system. Interestingly, the SCARS official site doesn't host any preview VDO clips of their techniques unlike most other combat systems. I wonder why? Could it be that people with minor knowledge in martial arts would notice immediately that the whole system is nothing more than a basic martial system seen in ordinary martial arts? Hardly a unique invincible system that promises to turn you into a special force material that will "allow a person of any age, sex or size to beat anyone of any size and martial background". If you read the SCARS ads on BlackBelt magazine, you can't help but switch on the bullshit-detecting radar. Afterall those are some extraordinary claims, but so far there's no extraordinary evidence to back up most if not all of what they claim. Besides, if their so called "official SEALS" combat training is so invincible, why do the SEALS not continue to practice such system? Why allow such top secret combat technique exclusive to the SEALS to be declassified? Draw your own conclusion.
Look what I have found - Jerry Peterson's SCARS instructional tapes reviewed:
"----Official Navy Seals Trainer. This claim, and others, are part and parcel of the hype job that this video tries sell to you, the martial art video purchasing public. At last count, I could name at least 5 individuals who all make the claim of being the “exclusive “ hand to hand combat trainer of the Navy Seals. Jerry Peterson is one of the original people making this claim and he has been at it for at least 6 years now. But get this folks. In the first minute of this video, we are told that the “official“ combat training of the Navy Seals is CLASSIFIED !!!! Imagine that. So instead of the CLASSIFIED super secret Seals system (ominously named SCARS), we get the watered down “civilian” or HCS version in this video. Now this video is several years old. And this entire HCS video project was obviously designed to make us all want to get our hands on the super secret CLASSIFED SCARS system. Six years later, this SCARS system is currently being marketed by Mr. Peterson which I suppose means it is no longer CLASSIFIED. Come on, who is kidding who here. Imagine a hand to hand combat system that would be so deadly that it would have to considered TOP SECRET. Please, Mr. Peterson, I don’t think so.
The funny thing about all this is that I wouldn’t feel so badly if the material on this video was even half way to black belt level fighting skill. It’s not. It’s not even up to green belt level in most systems that I am personally familiar with. There are 13 techniques on Volume 1. And while they MIGHT be effective, they are certainly not undefeatable (they actually make this claim on the video). Do you honestly think that learning the 13 techniques on this video, will make you the hand to hand equivalent of a Navy Seal ? If you do, then P.T. Barnum was definitely correct. Some say that the material that Mr. Peterson teaches is straight out of Kung Fu San Soo. I don’t think so. San Soo is a powerful striking art (when mastered) and to imply that these techniques are the best that San Soo has to offer is insulting. Insulting to San Soo, that is.
Another hype job promoted on this video is the pseudoscience that Mr. Peterson calls “autonomics“. Basically, it says that a fight is like a game of pool (my word, not Mr. Peterson’s). Whenever you strike somebody, he (like a cue ball) will react with a perfectly predictable response. It’s great to know that the 3 billion or so people on this planet will ALL react in the same way. Playing “shape“ with human beings sounds a bit too iffy for my taste.
If you get the impression, that I did not like this video, then you are correct. The material is simplistic, the assumptions are inane (like autonomics ), and the Navy Seals deserve better.----"
Wait there's more:
"-----There is a lengthy section where 2 students apply techniques on one another. One does the techniques and the other one does ( guess what ? ), AUTONOMICS. Again. I thought I had seen the last of it on Volume 1 but it pops up again here as well. Only more so. Mr. Peterson implies that knowing how your opponent will react is the key to successful fighting. I agree in principle. I only disagree in fact because you cannot depend on such nonsense. No way.
The final ( and best ) insult of the entire two tape series is saved for last. Remember, the SCARS system is super secret and CLASSIFIED. So while the 2 students go at each other, the techniques are shown in stop frame motion only. In other words, even though you have paid your money for this video, you don’t even get to see the techniques being applied. I kid you not, folks. They don’t even let you in on what is happening ( other than a few loud grunts and slapping sounds ). The big secret CLASSIFIED system cannot be shown on video. We are gonna make you want it so bad that when we release SCARS in a few years, everybody’s gonna come knocking on our door to buy it. Not me, pal.-----"
"----Well thanks to one of our fans, we were recently sent one of their tapes. And I have a feeling SCAR's isn't going to be happy about that. The fan who sent it said "I found their style and techniques to be unorthodox and not very realistic", after having watched the tape, I personally felt the same way. I don't think I could've said it any better.
The tape we received was visually well produced, yet had some annoying audio problems. And if the audio problems weren't annoying enough, the "verbal jabs" Mr. Peterson took at the traditional martial arts community definitely were. In the first half of his tape, which dealt with breathing dynamics (a fancy word for his kiaping demonstrations), Mr. Peterson takes, what I felt was his first "verbal jab", by implying that a singular "kiap" sound, which probably most martial artists use, is wrong. He insists one should use 4 different kiaps/yells, based on their technique: 1). Yah: for a snapping quick straight ahead punch 2). Wah: for a hooking technique 3). Ho: for a downward punch to the bladder? 4). Duh: for a kick to the groin. He further states that each should have a different tone (low, medium, or high) depending on the height of the target. And he implies that, "you can't correctly punch/strike, if you're using the wrong sound". Mr. Peterson goes into some unvalidated explanation about ones "Core Balance System" how it's very important to "tighten muscle groups in a specific order", and how his different kiap sounds will help one achieve that order for maximum effeciency. Oooookaaaay! Then he takes what I felt was another "verbal jab" at the martial arts community by saying "chi's not going to work ...".
In the second half of the tape he covers something he calls: The Autokinematic and Autostatic Reaction Series. Which appeared to be a fancy way for saying: Your next strike should be based on the open target your previous strike just created. That's pretty basic, and I've found that many martial artists in our area are taught that early on in their training. Yet he cleary states and prefaces this section by saying: "By using these techniques you can put your own fighting system together in an hour, that will be better than styles that are 6000 years old". So what's Mr. Peterson saying? Is he implying that one can create in an hour, their own better fighting system, that's infinitely better than 6000 years of tradition? Come on, Mr. Peterson! Then shortly after this Mr. Peterson cuts loose with what I felt was another "verbal jab", this time aimed at the Monkey Kung Fu community, by pointing out what he feels are the flaws in one of their striking techniques.
Throughout the tape Mr. Peterson shows some basic techniques and concepts that most martial artists are taught early on. Nothing was in my personal opinion "earthshaking", and I personally have some serious doubts about various other ideas/concepts he introduces. In closing, I personally felt his techniques were, as our fan said, "unorthodox and unrealistic", and that, combined with what I felt were "verbal jabs", left me not feeling very good about this tape, Mr. Peterson's concepts, and .......----"
Want some more laugh? Here is some more:
"-------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!-------"
The only positive comments I could find about SCARS products are the ones on SCARS web site testimonials. SCARS certainly looks like a joke, smells like a joke and probably is a joke. I feel sorry for those who have been brainwashed and ripped-off by this martial cult, thinking they have in their possession, the most lethal martial knowledge available on the planet. I can begin to understand why some pro-SCARS individuals would feel the need to lash out and discredit other systems and styles - a case of inferiority complex, knowing too well how flawed their system is in comparison to some other more legitimate systems out there. If people would be allowed to see and notice such flaws, they wouldn't be able sell their products anymore. Therefore they must try to discredit and in the process, put a blind curtain over the eyes of their followers from seeing the truth outside of their little box and see the flaws of their own system.
If they would just refrain from making outlandish claims in magazines ads, thereby making themselves looking like one of those "get-rich-quick" schemes, may be just may be, they would have something worthwhile to offer to the martial community. Sad, sad indeed.