Essay

How to Respond to Criticism with Integrity: A Lesson from Scott Sonnon

By Duff McDuffee on December 12th, 2010
Bulldog Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jesse757/3094868007/sizes/l/

I admit it—I have a bad habit of picking fights with authority figures to test whether they have integrity or not. But this is the first time someone I’ve criticized in the personal growth world has actually responded with maturity and integrity in a way that felt satisfying to me.

My bad habit probably stems from having numerous authority figures as a kid lacking integrity or even basic intelligence. In middle school I was often bullied and the teachers and administrators were totally unresponsive to my pleas for help. My parents were loving, but didn’t understand the extent to which I was harrassed verbally and physically all day, every day—from the time I got on the bus to the time I got off the bus at the end of the day. During my 6th grade social studies class, a classmate of mine literally spit on me the entire class, every day, and I couldn’t get him to stop or the teacher to stop eating donuts, pause the movies he played for us every day, and listen to me. So one day I fought back.

Everyday at lunch I tried to keep to myself so I wouldn’t be attacked. One day someone punched me and instead of crying and walking away, I punched back as hard as I could. I was a lanky, awkward kid physically, so I doubt my punch had much impact, but symbolically I wasn’t going to take any crap anymore. A teacher saw the incident and we were both sentenced to lunch detention. I protested that I was hit first—and this wasn’t the first time, only the first I had fought—but to no avail.

When I found out what lunch detention actually consisted of however, I hoped I could get it every day! Basically we were forced to bring our lunches (something I did every day anyway) and eat lunch alone in a classroom with a teacher watching us (something I would have prayed for to escape the daily abuse of the school cafeteria and to actually have some oversight from an adult). This was supposed to be punishment!

The next day we—me and my attacker, just the two of us—reported to the classroom where we were supposed to have lunch detention. Unfortunately, the teacher who was assigned to watch over us was no where to be found. The classroom was locked. This was a problem because it was also against the rules to be in the hallways unattended (and hallway monitors enforced this rule strictly and arbitrarily), and we’d get in worse trouble if we ate in the lunch room that day. It was also against the rules to leave school grounds. So my attacker and I wandered the halls trying to avoid being caught in this double-bind. Somehow we were successful, but this was just one such incident of many that caused me to distrust all supposed authority until such authority was rightfully earned.

Hype and Lies in Marketing is the Norm

In the marketing of products on the internet, it is not uncommon to make up fake testimonials or pay people who may or may not have gotten results with your product to vouch for how great your product is. In fact, this sort of thing may be the norm, especially with any product in the get-rich-quick, personal development, or fitness markets. In the excellent documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster, bodybuilder Christian Boeving who poses for supplement ads was asked whether he uses steroids or not and admitted that not only he does, but implied that all similar fitness models do. He didn’t feel it was unethical to pose for the supplement ad though because in addition to being on the juice, he also used the supplement in question (despite the fact that he probably didn’t achieve his muscular physique from the legal supplement alone).

Boeving was subsequently fired from MuscleTech for his “honesty.” Boeving puts it aptly: “they should be smarter than that.” In other words, if you believe that marketing messages are forthright and from people with integrity, you are a fool.

I often have challenged guru-types who are selling a product when I felt their marketing was unethical in the hopes that they actually had integrity and would change their position, but so far pretty much no one has responded maturely. I’ve been threatened with SLAPP law suits to keep silent, baited to act as immaturely (but didn’t take the bait) by A-list bloggers, but rarely has anyone immediately acted with maturity to clarify their position and intention (with the notable exception of Leo Baubata).

Until now! Scott Sonnon is someone I have admired for his incredible quality of movement that borders on the supernatural. See exhibit A:

Here’s another example:

I have Sonnon’s joint mobility DVDs entitled Intu-Flow and really appreciate his precise, gentle, clear and progressive fitness instruction. I also have several other of his products and products from his students that make up his “Circular Strength Training” system of health and fitness. What I most like about his approach is that it is “health-first” which stands out against the anti-health approaches of bodybuilding, radical and dangerous diets, and performance enhancement at all costs that makes up the majority of the “health” and “fitness” industry. Scott Sonnon was also bullied as kid because of his neurological differences, which is one reason I have felt drawn to his work.

Lately Sonnon and his crew have adopted marketing techniques that were pioneered by shady characters in the internet marketing Syndicate, especially the use of coordinated marketing launches that build hype for a product over the course of 1-2 weeks. The current product being promoted is called TACFIT Warrior. I find the use of such marketing techniques unfortunate because in this case I think the products are far more intelligent and sophisticated than the marketing! Internet marketing scammers need hype because that’s all they got—often the actual products contain almost no useful information whatsoever that can’t be found in a $15 paperback book. But Sonnon’s material is highly unique (at least to me), his instruction is clear and precise, and his methods are really darn useful! Some of his stuff isn’t rocket science (like training in a 4-day intensity cycle of no, low, medium, and high intensity days), and all of it requires persistent action on the information, but when it’s put all together I find it a really great package.

In his latest launch, his team has created a $5,000 video contest. At first this contest was worded something like “make a YouTube video explaining why TACFIT Warrior is the best fitness program for you” in order to enter the $5000 contest. I found this impossible to do with a clear conscience as I haven’t used the program so I can’t possibly know if it is the best program for me, so I wrote a comment to that effect on the page advertising the contest (I was especially nice in how I phrased my objections). My comment was left in moderation and I checked the next day and it had been deleted, so I commented again, upset that my comment had been deleted just because I objected to the contest.

Today I received two emails, one clarifying the nature of the contest as not being about making a fake testimonial for money, but specifically about why you should win and what you plan on doing with the materials in terms of your fitness goals. Here’s a quote from the email sent to the whole list today:

The Warrior $5,000 Giveaway isn’t about explaining how the product is the best for you when you haven’t tried it. We gave away a free Warrior Challenge video workout so that you could personally experience the unique nature of the exercises. Unfortunately not everyone participated, so it’s difficult for everyone to participate in the Contest.

Secondly, the purpose of the $5,000 fitness contest is to explain, “Why I should win the $5,000!”

So, when you make your video submission, please explain why “TACFIT Warrior would be the BEST Mind-Body Exercise system for me; why I – of anyone – should win the $5,000 prize!”

If you can forgive the confusion, let’s get on with the contest, and have a blast. Be creative. Be yourself. Be sincere. Just let us know why you think you ought to be the won to win this $5,000 right here, and then on December 20th, we may be announcing you as the winner.

Scott also personally emailed me, defending and clarifying the purpose of the contest. I emailed him back clarifying where I was coming from given the initial wording and giving my appreciations that his team had reworded the contest page and sent out a clarifying email.

It wasn’t a perfect response in my opinion, but was quite good—better than I’ve ever seen in response to that kind of criticism, and made it much more clear that this isn’t about paying people to lie but to promote the product and get excited about exercising. I still don’t like hype marketing launches of this kind and in fact have a personal rule now to never purchase a product during it’s initial marketing launch (only once I’ve calmed down and weighed the costs and benefits rationally and/or read some reviews of people who’ve actually used it for more than a couple days), but overall, this was a solid response to criticism.

What was different about this is that he didn’t try and cover up the initial situation but did actual PR damage control with integrity—he apologized for the confusion publicly, clarified the intention of the contest, and changed the wording in response to critical feedback. I personally still won’t be making a video because I don’t know that TACFIT Warrior would be the best exercise system for me. It’s not even for sale yet. At best I could say that the sample moves are pretty cool (some of which I’ve tried before from previous programs) and that I’ve gotten benefit from previous programs I’ve purchased and used. TACFIT Warrior is probably a solid program as many other previous programs from the same company have been in my opinion, but my word is important to me and I won’t recommend something I haven’t tried yet for a substantial amount of time. It may be a good program that is well-priced or may be overpriced, as they haven’t released how much it costs yet. I just think there’s already too much buzz and hype in the world to add to it, so I won’t be making a contest video no matter how much money is being offered. Some people may be comfortable with that, especially if they have used many of Sonnon’s prior programs, but I’m not.

But in the end, I do think Scott Sonnon’s programs have been valuable, intelligent, and well-designed (for the most part—I don’t like the adaptation of the Tabata protocol beyond it’s original parameters as it doesn’t do the same thing IMHO, and I also don’t like the emphasis on “peak performance” and prefer an emphasis on subjective experience). In this case though, Sonnon has displayed a rare integrity in response to criticism of his marketing, which I appreciate and wanted to highlight for readers and other guru-types that it is possible. :) Personally, I think his products’ quality stands on its own and doesn’t need all the hype, but at least Sonnon has the integrity to respond to legitimate criticism of his marketing methods.

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96 Responses to “How to Respond to Criticism with Integrity: A Lesson from Scott Sonnon”

  1. Scott Sonnon says:

    Thanks again for helping me fix the confusion, and for this generous blog post.

    Scott

  2. Andy Fossett says:

    As someone who works in this industry and with Coach Sonnon, I really glad this worked out Duff.
    My recent post TacFit Warrior Review

  3. Scott Sonnon says:

    Duff, followed your link on the Syndicate. Whoa. 8-O

    I do appreciate referring me to the Salty Droid. Although I have bumped into these guys, I "failed the interview process" because I refused to sell any product with which I didn't agree, and especially one I hadn't reviewed (which they insisted to be part of their "super-affiliate team".)

    Fortunately, my competitors dislike that I'm too much of a rogue, which is why I only relate to my teammates. As a lifetime competitor, I believe in the sanctity of competition, without which we decay, IMO. The purity of fully uncooperative competitors has made me, and my coaching, writing and speaking much better – including your criticisms, Duff.

    So, thanks for helping me… in several ways.

    Scott

  4. Scott Sonnon says:

    Duff,

    Can I offer you a different proposal? If I give you a complementary edition of the deluxe package, will you diligently evaluate it for 3mos as you suggest (posting weekly updated) and provide an official report as to whether it’s a piece of shyte or not? I suspect with your NLP Background you may be uniquely positioned to evaluate it effectively.

    Drop me another email if you’re game.

    Scott

  5. Gina says:

    Great post Duff! I really think I will see the day when the droning bs of hype can no longer be heard over the inspiring and powerful cries of integrity… with folks like Scott standing strong I think we are drawing near.
    I needed this today, Mahalo!
    Aloha~ Gina

  6. Duff,

    Thanks for sharing this post. I had never heard of Scott Sonnon before and his stuff looks interesting. I have read several of your blog posts and I like what you are doing. It seems your focus is on authenticity and I appreciate that sentiment.

    Warmest regards,

    Ryan Williams http://GrowthNotes.com

  7. Duff, you aren't the only person who thought that the phrase “make a YouTube video explaining why TACFIT Warrior is the best fitness program for you” is awkward. When I read it, I also thought that it was an unrealistic instruction since I have never used the product at all. My guess is that Scott and his team was not precise or just rushed too much when they wrote the phrase. But I did not comment as you did since I believe my psychic energy should be kept for something else rather than challenging someone.

    Anyway I am glad to hear that Scott responded with integrity and that the instruction was rephrased :) .

    By the way today I tried the extreme version of TACFIT Warrior and found that it was a lot of fun :)

    • I'm glad to hear I wasn't the only one who thought that phrase was awkward, Banchongsan! I thought I might not be, but also realized I was probably one of the only people who was in a position to be a squeaky wheel and speak up about it. I also had the thought that perhaps Sonnon's team was in a rush or just wasn't as precise as they could be, but I wasn't sure because I've seen other less ethical folks directly ask for totally false testimonials before.

      Nice work doing the extreme TACFIT Warrior challenge thing. I don't know the moves well enough yet although have been practicing Intu-Flow and some Prasara Yoga from the Prasara Primer videos and enjoying them! :)

  8. I for one would be interested in reading the play-by-play reviews of your experience with TACFIT Warrior, Duff. If you take Coach Sonnon up on his offer, that is. I'll admit I'm not a big fan of the recent marketing myself, but you can rest assured there's time-tested quality in pretty much every program Scott puts together.

    Philip

    • I am in fact taking him up on the review offer. So far I've found a similar high quality in previous products. In particular, what I plan to do in the review is compare the product itself to the marketing claims to give an overall picture.

        • Got the review copy tonight. There's an overwhelming amount of information here. My early thoughts–some amazing stuff, best view of "integral fitness" I've seen, some minor qualms with the content so far (mostly that it's complex, but they've tried to simplify), still have major qualms with the marketing.

          • Cool … When you say "integral fitness," that means two things to me. 1) That the material will be historically and geographically comprehensive, and 2) that it will be in some way a balanced AQAL approach. I know Scott's left no stone unturned in terms of the first item, but I'd be interested in your assessment of the second item, especially since you worked in the belly of the AQAL beast for a time :-)

      • Can't wait to read all about it. I'd be interested in your perception of redundancy within the material. Just speaking for myself, the main reason I haven't invested in TACFIT Warrior is because I already own FlowFit, Threshold Training, TACFIT Commando, etc. I don't know how much of this material you're already familiar with, but one of the biggest reasons I haven't squeezed the trigger is that I don't like the idea of paying for a lot of material I've already paid for.

        Just my .02 on this particular product, though. To be clear, I've invested a ton of time and money with RMAX over the past several years, and I'm yet to be disappointed.

        • Yea, it strikes me that a lot of RMAX's new products are different takes on the same theme, sometimes packaged in surprising new ways that answer deep questions, but other times much less so and more of tailoring the same info to a different audience. I'm not familiar with every product though. That's something I've often felt they could be clearer about in the marketing.

          • Agreed. I know as well as anyone there's a formula for these kind of marketing efforts, mainly because I've been wishing for and working on my own product unsuccessfully for two years now :-)

            However, that also means I'm generally turned off by said marketing campaigns. Ironic, I think.

          • Yea. I suspect that I'll be covering the benefits and drawbacks of formulaic approaches to things in general when I do my product review (still waiting on the course).

  9. shermain says:

    Kudos to you for questioning the integrity of Scott Sonnon's current campaign. I have been a sideline observer of Scott Sonnon's work and an occasional user. His work is excellent and an elegant form for both Fitness and Corrective Exercise Methods.

    I don't quite know what to make of his current internet marketing style campaigns. If it works for him, then good on him. On the other hand, there are other fitness systems like CrossFit that didn't have position themselves that way and they have expandedd their work across the world successfully. Perhaps there's a reason, I sure hope to know what that reason is.

    • I suspect the reasoning for such marketing is none other than the classic line "it works." The internet is still relatively new and clear yet effective marketing is still rare, especially in advertising fitness and personal growth products. The norm is to use a standard template for product launches. Some people have begun rethinking the model, but almost nobody has done so at a deep enough level to my satisfaction at least (some of Sonnon's coaches have notably Ryan Hurst and Andy Fossett in Japan, but RMAX's main marketing launches don't meet my standards personally—too much hype).

      CrossFit doesn't have much hype, but does have incredibly high injury rates and much less sophistication IMHO. (It's a controversial topic though and I don't necessarily want to debate the merits and faults of CrossFit here.)

  10. Scott Sonnon says:

    Duff, let me know if you need anything. My students post over at the TFW blog but you may be unaware of that as a reviewer.

    Phillip, each individual ought be critiqued against his/her own definition of holistic. Though I agree with much of Ken’s work, I don’t “adhere” to it as my cosmology. In TFW, I introduce very tightly defined parameters of the warrior archetype path, and make no claim to anything else than merely evoking that ethos from within.

    • Thanks, Scott. Where's the best place to ask questions about how to use the program? I just started in yesterday.

      • Ron says:

        Duffy, keep your eyes open and don't swallow the kool-aid from Sonnon. He'll try to win you over as a neutral critic and convert you to mouth-piece for him (read as: free advertising). It is possible you may be falling for a smoother, slicker version of the next generation of internet marketing. Keep yourself more than an arm's distance from Scott, or you find yourself falling for the warm words that make you an unpaid employee of his (thereby making him more money and you only feel better).
        Think about it: the other fitness marketing that kinda worked the last few years is now upgraded to "flying under the b.s. radar" and winning you over by looking better than the other sales pitches. And that is what Scott will do here and elsewhere.
        Meanwhile, you can buy it at full price (like the rest of us) and see what you think. But don't make more of it than it is, and don't feel bad to point out wrongs, issues, confusions, and displeasure just because you NOW like him and don't want to deliver ANY bad news. He'll befriend you, get some good out of you, and move onto other new, useful lapdogs.

        • My review will be as neutral as possible and cover the failings of the marketing.

        • rmaxhouseofpower says:

          Asking for an impartial, non-obligatory review by someone who was openly critical of my company's marketing is all a ruse to win them over solely based upon my product and service value, and thereby earn the privilege of improving my presentation and content with their critiques… Such brilliantly surreptitious Machiavellianism! LOL. You've got me figured out, "Ron."

          • LOL

            It's a legit concern Ron has (that I will not give an impartial review), but I will still do my best to give an objective review and critique.

          • rmaxhouseofpower says:

            An impartial review is certainly a valid concern. Claims of my personality being so seductive as to convert people to my Jim Jones guiles seriously overestimates my abilities.

            The problem I have with "Ron's" comments is that he's still playing the part of a victim, and promoting victimization. The belief that the prospective consumer is some vacuous, hypersuggestible zombie incapable of discerning intent and purpose furthers the predator-prey agenda.

            We are each capable of making rational, mature decisions without proliferating fear-tactics of hypnotic bogeymen.

            I don't hide behind a corporate shield, closed forum or private audience. When I hear of a strongly dissatisfied prospect, I personally go straight to the source to resolve the issue. I believe in what I do, that my products and services help people, and have no illusions that I can do a better job from receiving and acting upon their criticisms.

            When anonymous people post claims that I'm some sort of bedazzling magician who can turn your grey matter to paste with my siren-like voice, I find it both a good chortle and a disservice to those who read it and worry that they're victims vulnerable to unknown psychic forces.

            I'm a fighter and a coach. Nothing more. Nothing less.

          • I agree that individuals often underestimate their power to make mature, rational decisions in contexts of persuasion like marketing and overestimate the power others seemingly have.

            I also think charismatic leaders often underestimate their force of personality and influence on others. Just the ability to articulate your opinion and state it forcefully is a skill many people don't have.

            That said, even if someone were cynically trying to manipulate me by generously giving me a free copy of their program and changing the wording of their marketing to be more clearly ethical, it will still be a net good IMHO. I have given feedback to more than one person and nobody has responded by actually changing something in response.

  11. Scott Sonnon says:

    Point taken. Thx, Duff.

  12. Ron says:

    Leave it to Sonnon to use 9 dozen $50 words when 1 dozen $2 words would do the job. I suppose the overbearing use of heavy-weighted intellectual chatter is supposed to give us a headache or impress us so that we, the consumer, are supposed to think to ourselves "Wow, that was some smart-sounding stuff, and a lot of it. Hmm, maybe he's right?". I've heard the saying "Violence is the last resourse of the incompetent"….I would say 'violence' in this case is not physical, but text-based here.
    ie. Scott would say "The oxygen partial-pressure in the circular vulanized materail of my transport has fallen under the mercury-based pressure normal range of the immediate environement without mutual pressure.
    We, the people would say "My car has a flat tire".
    See?

  13. rmaxhouseofpower says:

    Now, I'm violently using text? :)

    "We, the people…" No, only you have drawn your strawman attack, and smugly retorted. You represent no mob, only your own vitriol.

  14. Ron says:

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzz………………
    http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=18088 (Lots of intereting reading)

    • Crossfit and CST are two integral approaches to fitness with different underlying philosophies. It is natural that they be rivals, although it isn't necessary.

      I've found that it is very difficult to evaluate someone else's technique or system accurately without spending some time in their camp. Most criticism falls short of hitting the mark.

      Criticism of Crossfit is generally "too intense, no periodization, no personalization, high injury rate, too much GPP and not enough specificity" yet some Crossfit trainers account for all that.

      Criticism of RMAX/CST is generally "overly complicated, big words, hype marketing, not enough intensity, too esoteric, too touchy-feely" and it is clear that Sonnon et. al. have tried to account for those criticisms with recent products as well, and if you go deeper into the system you see that many of these things are answered (but some remain).

      Since there is a cost to investing time and energy into a given system or technique, we must make judgments often before knowing enough to make an accurate assessment. This leads to rivalry and misunderstandings when I think the most important thing is that people in different camps are all working to improve themselves and we should remember that, even as we seek accuracy in our critiques of other methods and especially our own.

      • rmaxhouseofpower says:

        The necromantic cross-post by "Ron" is four years old. Snooze, indeed.

        Many of my gyms in Europe and North America were first Crossfit Gyms. Many of my CST and TACFIT Staff are Crossfit. I encourage my staff to pursue other approaches.

        Fabricating current problems with obsolete rivalry amounts to nothing more than sour grapes.

        Ron, whoever you actually are, I'd be happy to reach out to you. Your posts read like you've scanned some historical piece from RMAX, and were put off. But your vitriol smacks of something more "personal." Do I know you? Are you a former customer who I've somehow neglected? I'd be pleased to attempt reconciling your disgruntlement if you'd be up for the opportunity.

        • Thanks for the additional info. I didn't realize there was so much overlap between Crossfit and RMAX, but it makes sense.

          • rmaxhouseofpower says:

            The only competition is our own resistance to transforming unhealthy habits. All companies ought to be working together from that perspective (of course, in a non-syndicated format lol).

            Greg and I have our philosophical differences, but our cross-pollinated staff actually helped us evolve personally and professionally.

  15. Ron says:

    Nothing puts be out (or off) like an ramx sales pitches or big (and sometimes misused) words.
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzz……..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……..

    It must be uncomfortable to wonder, "what if he's right, even a little?"

  16. Ron says:

    (opps, mistake….should read "…puts people out….")

  17. Ron says:

    I agree with you Duff……as long as the big words are used appropriately. :)

    Note the complete comment from Keith Wittenstein on 4/18/2006 which you can find here: http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=18088

    ""3. Increased Sophistication: Efficiency is the goal. It is the penultimate definition of human mastery."
    "Main Entry: pen·ul·ti·mate
    Function: adjective
    1 : next to the last"
    Funny that Scott should start a paragraph called "increased Sophistication" by using the word "penultimate" incorrectly. Thus stating that efficiency is the next to last definition of human mastery. WTF?!?!?! Clearly his misunderstanding of Crossfit and its principles can be directly traced to his misunderstand of the English language as a whole. Or perhaps he dropped a clubbell on his head. I believe this is just marketing for his new website and book: "Circular Reasoning" by Scott Sonnon. ""

    • Hi Ron,

      If that's an incorrect use of the word "pentultimate," then I've also used that word incorrectly as I've been under the impression that it meant "the pinnacle of," which seems to be Sonnon's understanding as well. Thank you for correcting my understanding.

      ~Duff

  18. Ron says:

    I've never used that word myself, but assuming the author of the post is correct, then it does point out the error. Doesn't matter to me personally, since I don't try that hard to use complex words as I believe it either turns most people off or makes me look like I'm showing off.
    I know that would not be true for all people who do this, I'm just speaking about myself personally. My 'rule of thumb' is keep up with the language of the majority of the immediate audience. Seems to work for me. To each their own. :)

    • Yea–I used to try hard to not use big words to make myself very understandable to everyone, and I still tend this direction, but lately I've become frustrated with the dumbing down of culture. In blogging specifically, there is a continual recommendation to "write to a 4th grade level" from blogs like CopyBlogger…but there are many interesting things that 4th graders can't understand! Plus I'm still paying for my college education so I may as well use it for something. :)

  19. Ron says:

    I understand. I try to talk and write just under Time magazine level (which, if I remember correctly is supposed to be 9th grade level). Of course, it depends on immediate company. When selling anything, it is good to be clear than use hi level speech which may innocently be misinterpreted as gibberish! :)

  20. Ron says:

    Scott….no sour graps here. I just find it amusing that it you try so hard to oversell the merits of what you do instead of letting it stand on its own merits. You ability to speak to the public and customer with a blend of odd words to make yourself appear smarter (or so you think) is something like speaking spanish while living in russia: we'll never get you and most people will not bother. Thus, your efforts will probably be lost in time and fade into the blur of time. As for me, I'm just someone looking out for useful fitness information that I can understand quickly.

  21. Ron says:

    Did Scott steal this material, from Tactix, and repackage it with some changes and called it TacFit? Who stole from who?? Well, NO ONE can own movement, thank God. :)
    http://www.tactixmethod.com/
    Just making an observation: there are familar elements in their website video commerical between Tactix and Tacfit. (which I have to give Tactix points for slick commerical quality)

    • Looks like "kickboxing with hotties." Bears little resemblance to TACFIT except for a couple of moves.

    • Justin says:

      Ron – I've trained in systema and do some yoga, and I'd like to think I'm pretty hip to modern fitness, to me tactix looks really really cheap and hokey, whereas sonnon actually has a history of legitimately being on the cutting edge and is now guilty of shamelessly cheasy marketing styles that really make you speculate on the credibility of the whole thing. Tactix just looks retarded, though.
      This is what Sonnon gets for trying to market to the general public. When I was a teenager I was training Sambo in the summers and my instructor introduced me to Systema, and gave me some tapes to study. There was Vladimir Vasiliev, Brett Jacques, and others, and one of the things he gave me was Scott Sonnon's "Grappler's Toolbox" – back then Scott's image was pretty rock solid. My teacher wrestled in college and competed in Sambo, won nationals and a world title in masters division (over 30), and he thought Sonnon was great. Now, it's different, if I was doing functional strength bodyweight routines at my gym (I'm an amateur MMA fighter) I would be embarassed if someone said "oh, that's that tacfit commando thing" because of the vibe of the hype advertising. I think part of the reason is because Krav Maga and TKD have teamed up in chain marketing McDojos across the nation, so anything that says "israeli" tends to makes us smile in the legit sport fighting community. Sux, because I really am interested in learning the latest version of the system but I can't bring myself to buy it because it's so damned cheesy, even though I've been a Sonnon fan for years and know he's world class.
      Anyway, props to you for calling guys out.

  22. Ron says:

    Yea, I noticed the hotties too. Meanwhile, the few moves that I recognize from the two website make me wonder how much more is similar. Say for example, if 4 moves are idential between each method, one can wonder how many more are simlar or equal.
    The message here is that the industry will package and push, ofen with smoke, mirrors, and hotties, whatever can stand out from the typical stuff (think of PX90 when it started) or simple be very different for the usual stuff.
    I'm sure each Tactix and Tacfix has its differences. But it made me sit up and take notice when some of the moves (4 or 5 of them) made me wonder if the is the beginnign of another trend, much like how kettlebell went through a short-term surge of growth a few years ago. Perhaps this is just the typical industry bullhorn way of getting product sold, kind of how people repackaged Pilates over the last few years (label, names, and colors changed while the moves were similar and adjusted slightly) with the perpetual promise of amazing fat loss.

  23. Scott Sonnon says:

    John created Tactix last year which he never denied; when he “friended” me on facebook, I wished him success on his new venture. I incorporated my first TACFIT gym in 2005, with gyms in 10 countries, so please spare us the conspiracy theories.

  24. rmaxhouseofpower says:

    Love to Eric. I'm flying to the Netherlands right now to teach, and I've extended an invite to Ron a couple days ago.

  25. Ron says:

    Fair enough eveyone. Done here. :)

    Oh, hey, I see Scott's ego just HAD to mention "I'm flying to the Netherlands right now…".
    Maybe his ego need some boosting so he threw that into the conversation for himself. Could have ended the conversation without it.
    Comment is almost equal to saying "I'm ironing the wrinkles out of my money now" ! Who cares, really?

    Good conversation group!
    Happy New Year to EVERYONE!

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