FIGHT! Doctor: Tony Blauer
(Dr. Pete with BJ Penn, Jake Shields, and Bas Rutten. Props to SFGoldman.com)
A fighter’s body is a machine geared for top performance and every machine needs regular tune-ups. Peter Goldman, DC, is one of combat sports’ best mechanics. Dr. Goldman practices a rare branch of chiropractic developed approximately 80 years ago by Dr. Thurman Fleet called Zone Healing, the goal of which is to balance the six interconnected systems of the body: circulatory, eliminative, digestive, glandular, nerve, and muscular with an emphasis on mental strength.
A black belt in Oyama full contact karate and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt under John Machado, roughly 40% of Dr. Goldman’s practice are martial artists. Each week Fightmagazine.com will check in with the man BJ Penn credits with fixing his neck and Bas Rutten believes put an end to his asthma.
Tony Blauer didn’t think much of Dr. Peter Goldman’s energy treatment. But after finding an array of testimonials from mixed martial arts top stars, the founder of Tony Blauer Tactical Systems sent a quick text message to B.J. Penn to ensure that Goldman was legit. Penn texted back. Blauer made an appointment.
“1986 through six months ago, I’ve had neck issues for years, he gave me the most amazing releases I’ve ever had and I’ve gone through all kind of chiropractors,” said Blauer, whose High Gear training equipment is worn by the likes of Penn, Randy Couture and Urijah Faber.
“Its pretty freaky because, you know, the points in the back of the head that he indexes and then has you do the visualization, there’s definitely, within seconds there’s a change. You have pain, then the pain is gone.”
With over 30-years of martial arts experience, Blauer developed High Gear to maximize live sparring while reducing risk of injury. His emphasis on safety though, didn’t make him any healthier. Flying out to New York to visit Dr. Goldman initially and to San Francisco just two months ago, the adjustments helped Blauer get closer to the good health he requires to travel the country and showcase High Gear with demonstrations.
“I’m actually [in Somerville, MA] and brought down some of our gear for Marcus Davis, who’s getting ready for his fight in November,” he said, noting Davis knew him from his bouncing days having viewed Blauer’s self-defense tapes.
Blauer, 49, was first injured 23-years-ago after getting kicked in the head while teaching a private “ass kicking” lesson. He doesn’t mix it up with today’s fighters like Davis because his “life expectancy would dramatically alter” although he’s constantly in top gyms like Mark DellaGrotte’s Team Sityodtong and Greg Jackson’s MMA to help fighters work through the pain. A bruise on Davis’ shin made it difficult to work on a regular Thai pad. Enter Blauer’s product.
“He threw on the High Gear shin pad and just banged through his workout,” he said.
Blauer’s first order was for Navy Seals, but as mixed martial arts progresses, innovations like High Gear are in higher demand. Its headgear prevents cuts or broken orbital bones. And his smart foam’s impact reduction technology allows fighters to still feel hits with reduced damage.
“The asset is the fighter,” said Blauer, explaining High Gear makes repetitive, live hits possible with drastically reduced risk of injuring training partners. Since teammates are protected, the offensive fighter builds muscle memory for ground and pound and provides the defensive fighter with more time to work different escapes under real scenarios. Blauer points out some fighters think such gear makes them less tough then counters boxing gloves have more padding to protect the fighter—not the hand.
With Cung Le, Joe Lauzon and Frank Mir employing High Gear, Blauer has worked with some of the best. But singling out his fellow countrymen, UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and David Loiseau, Blauer highlights the benefit of High Gear.
“Some of their ground and pound was just compared to other people, a different element of precision,” he said.
Despite its benefits, Blauer doesn’t want to call it the future of MMA training, fearing he will “get killed by ninjas” if he does.
“Is it the future? No. It’s definitely a necessary component for a team that is continually trying to reinvent its fighters,” he said. “Its one thing that as a coach, I tell guys, you gotta reinvent yourself. If you’re at the top of the heap, people have more tape on you than you do on them.”