Seen At 11: Become A Lethal Weapon

Target Focus Training Hardly Run Of Mill Self Defense

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Would you know what to do if you got mugged or attacked? Statistics show every 29 seconds an assault against a woman happens.

Now, as CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reports, there’s a new class that not only wants to teach you how to protect yourself but also how disable your attacker.

The training can save your life but authorities warn it can also get you in trouble with the law.

It’s your average self defense class. It’s literally a course on killing.

It’s called Target Focus Training.

And the ultimate goal is to teach you to stop an attacker by using violent moves that can inflict injuries so severe your attacker may even die.

“Violence has been stigmatized so much in our culture for the last 20 to 30 years that the only people who have that tool available to them is the predators,” Tim Larkin said.

Ex-military member Larkin founded Target Focus Training.

“As long as you can think and move we can teach anybody how to do this,” Larkin said.

He said his instructors teach students to know exactly when to walk away from violence. But if they have to fight for their life, he said, they’re ready.

“It’s when you don’t have another option, where there’s no way to talk your way out of it and the person doesn’t want to listen to you,” instructor in training Krista Waddell said.

Whether in the suburbs or the city, a violent attack can happen anywhere at any time. A simple walk in a parking lot or jog in the park is enough to put many women on high alert. But is this kind of self defense training going too far?

“I don’t like the idea of killing someone,” one person said.

“If it’s self defense then I think it’s okay,” another person said.

“I’d have no problem with that. Why not? Listen, hey you attack me I’m going to hit you right back,” added another.

While Larkin said killing is never justified, sometimes it may be necessary.

“We’re trying to protect you from the murders but the fact is sometimes you may have to kill a murderer and our people know exactly how to do that should it come their way,” Larkin said.

Regardless of how you feel about the course, some legal experts warn if you take it you may be held liable.

“Anyone who kills someone can be in potential legal trouble, but a student of Target Focus Training may be held to a higher standard just like some members of law enforcement of the military,” criminologist Casey Jordan said.

Other critics argue no matter how confident you may feel in the class panic may still prevail in the real scenario.

Target Focus Training weekend classes cost about $1,000 and are held across the country.

To find out more information please click here.

  • Tom

    A good portion of the negative message in the report is contained in the sound effects. These are obviously added afterward. A slow motion push, for example, which doesn’t result in a fall, is accompanied by the sound of someone crashing to the floor of a gym. A blow to the neck has a similar sound (slightly out of sync this time). I was also amused by the cloud of dust which billowed up from the gavel … possibly an inadvertent truth there

  • Don

    Yet the reporter dosen’t seem to have an attitude with police or military who are trained in the use of extreme violence if used in the course of their duty. But an ordinary citizen shouldn’t have the right to defend themselves against a violent criminal attacker. hypocrite.

  • Tom

    It’s great to see the ladies and white-haired folks training in TFT. They have the option to deal with psychos (which is about 1 in 25 people according to some studies).

  • jon

    The most noticeable thing about the criminologist was her attitude. She looked down her nose as she opined about the common folk trying to protect themselves. How dare they!

    • CheshireCatFun

      “How dare she!” if she should ever find herself in the same situation. I can guarantee you, should the unspeakable ever happen, and if she is fortunate enough to survive an attack, I’m willing to bet good money that she would change her tune.

      This reminds me of a story a number of years ago, back when Jane Fonda was still with Ted Turner. They had gone on and on, as a lot of celebs with her particular leanings are want to do, about how bad guns are, and how “we need gun control . . . yadda yadda yadda”.

      Well, funny thing happen. An armed robber tried to break into Ted’s place in GA, and by the time all was said and done, both Ted and Jane were holding the robber at bay, AT GUNPOINT, until the cops showed up.

      When later asked about their stance on guns compared to what was currently happening, they said, “well, it’s different for us! Others don’t know how to handle them, but we do.”

      Just saying . . .

  • Joe33

    As a student of TFT (notice I wrote “student”, as in no financial motive for commenting) I can tell you that this article is not only biased, but contains serious errors and probably misquotes. To the person who said, “I don’t like the idea of killing someone.” Who does unless you’re a predator? This training is all about a “him or me” scenario. It is not about how to be cool in a bar fight or how to be an MMA god. It is simple, straightforward methods for targeting and destroying parts of a person’s anatomy, when you HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE. And I can guarantee you Tim Larkin did not say, “Killing is never justified.” Sometimes killing is absolutely justified. Ever hear of the term “justifiable homicide”? Of course there are moral, ethical and legal discussions/implications around this issue. That does not negate from the necessity of this kind of training. To the professor who talks about TFT trainees possibly being held to a higher standard: Perhaps. So what? I’ll take my chances with a judge and jury any day over a drugged psychopath. Legal statistics show overwhelmingly that juries side with citizens who use appropriate force to defend themselves. Unfortunately, much of the martial arts and self defense community really does not teach how to prevail in a life or death situation. That doesn’t mean they have no value, just that one must understand the difference between “sport fighting” and real world violence. Big difference. If traditional martial arts had real world applications for MOST PEOPLE (I’m excluding professional fighters and expert level holders), those who fight for a living (like elite military forces) would be using them. For the most part, they don’t. They generally use systems developed by and for the military for real world military applications (such as Army Modern Combatives etc.). There are always going to be people who will say, “This is wrong. I could never use violence or kill another human being.” That’s fine and that’s your choice. But you might as well go buy a t-shirt that says “Prey” on it. Asocial criminals don’t care about your moral arguments. If you want to fell morally superior in a pine box, that’s your prerogative. TFT teaches situational awareness, how to AVOID most situations that could turn violent, and how to prevail in the worst case scenario. So ask yourself: “If the poop hit the fan and I had 5 seconds to defend my life/my family’s life, could I prevail?” Are you sure?

    • CheshireCatFun

      BTW, per my other replies on here, I consider myself a student as well (have all the vids, looking forward to my first training) and am not compensated in any way, shape, or form. I’m just totally diggin’ on the fact that so many people out there actually get this stuff and what it’s about. After 20 years if trying in vain to figure this stuff out, having done every different martial art you can think of, I’m glad that someone out there is teaching the real stuff. Thank you, Tim and Co.

  • Reddog

    Where did all this concern for the predator come from? Have we become such a nation of sheep that our only response SHOULD BE run, get beat up, or die, but heaven forbid, don’t fight back? As for the “expert,” Of course someone is going to be in legal jeopardy if they kill someone. But the facts should bear out, and self defense should prevail. I would think that, given what I’ve seen and read about TFT so far, you can hold the students to a higher standard, just like boxers and other trained martial artists, and they will come out better than OK.

  • Steve

    The title Criminologist should be treated with the same respect as other self acclaimed experts. Economists spring to mind, very opinionated and utterly, utterly useless.

    • CheshireCatFun

      How about the other unnamed “expert” who opined that even with this training “panic might still ensue”. Nice citation of sources there.

      I’m of the journalistic school that you shouldn’t report anything sounding remotely like fact, or gospel truth, unless you are willing to either site the source, or at least give the subject of the piece a chance to rebut or at least respond.

  • Danica

    Is it me or does this woman appear to have the ‘Oh, someone will save helpless little me” mode of the Soccer Mom? If it comes at me, as a woman – I want to be home sipping coffee when the cops show up, not the body in the morgue.

  • ninjachick

    The lame, disapproving slant from the media should not be a big surprise. It’s their job to dis-empower us, feed us propaganda and bullshit, dumb down and distract the masses from genocidal US foreign policies and our ever-shrinking liberties . Their goal is to keep us increasingly afraid and therefore controllable. That’s why we also rarely see positive stories about gun owners triumphing over criminals. TFT, Concrete Jungle Self Defense ( in CA) Gunsite (AZ) Frontsight(NV) all offer top tier training, well worth every cent. Anyone, media or otherwise, who would try to deter you from learning how to save your life or your loved ones clearly does not have your interests in mind.

  • anonymous


  • Jim

    The key is to understand that TFT is training you when it’s question of life or death, not a question of ego or macho. Life or death. It makes no sense to have qualms about defending yourself in a life or death situation. You do whatever it takes, since the person attacking you is not trying to “kick you butt,” he’s trying to kill you. We are so dumbed-down today and so insulated from realities that we can’t seem to understand the difference here. In these situations you either prevail or die. These people are training you on how to save your life–get it?

  • Sam

    The reporter on the street certainly seemed biased against using lethal force against an attacker. I wonder how much her attitude would change if she were brutally attacked?

  • Che Bianchi

    Professor Casey Jordan and her higher standard argument is typical of a society that rewards the predictors of the legal system and the criminals they defend and support with our tax dollars. Air drop these thugs into Iran/Afghanistan and N. Korea.

    Thanks Tim for your course and devotion to freedom from fear.

  • gregg

    This report and report and reporter seemed pretty biased against TFT. I’d like to comment about that last statement regarding a person panicking. I seems to me a person with training, is far less likely to be killed because of panicking, than a person who is trained to react to protect themselves in a violent situation.
    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast…

  • withheld

    No-one wants to think about an unpleasant subject, such as violence. As a survivor of a violent attack, you unfortunately must think about it. Your decision is a then simple one.. If it should ever happen again, will I survive, or not. TFT gives you the tools to make that decision ahead of time.

  • alexandriacarpetone

    Interesting. I am fascinated that the reporter had a hard time with this. As a former journalist (University of Maryland) and former Marine, I can tell you I have not a qualm about this method.
    It’s a bad world out there sometimes and Mr. Bad won’t stop when you blow your rape whistle. In fact, he won’t stop for a scream, slap, kick or punch if it’s not in the right place.
    This country is kept free by those trained in extreme violence and I can tell you it’s not nice. But the lack of freedom is worse.

    • Pedro

      Absolutely right, better to be judge by twelve than carry by six.

  • Shawn

    I love TFT, not only does it instill the confidence and situational awareness that it takes to survive, it also gives you a sense of not ever wanting to use this stuff. Learning the difference between Asocial and Social violence is the most important lesson that they teach.

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