Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Family Safe Seminar

Part 1 "Safe Strangers"

More to come

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Law Enforcement Arresting Techniques

The following is just one method to get a subject down on the ground. In this scenario the subject has been resistant but compliant. The purpose is to assert dominance and maintain control once you have him in a prone position.

This details one , two and three people arresting. We will have a full product and seminar on this subject. Make sure to control the head and focus on larger joint parts like elbows, shoulders and binding his knees. The smaller joint techniques tend to be difficult to get and to maintain, hands become slippery and fingers dislocate easily. Your beast bet is to secure a limb and use leverage.

Remember, the more the merrier!! Over come and overwhelm. In this method you would want to have one officer work the head and cuffing, another on one leg and a third on the other with pain compliance.

Crews and teams need to work together to develop timing. This can happen in a very short period of time.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Self Defense Saturday Family Safe

It was great to see some new faces participating in Family Safe and Combat Throws and Take downs.

The family safe workshop featured kids working with their parents on identifying "safe strangers", threat recognition, escape and avoidance, communication and target description. The kids worked with the parents to talk about these difficult situation in an open manner.

Pompton Lakes, Wayne and area kids were taught how to resolve conflicts with bullies and larger child predators.

The family safe work shop from The Self Defense Company is available for Schools and organizations. for more information, please contact The Self Defense Training Center at 973-831-0315 or visit us on line at

The adults practiced primary combat throws and take downs. These methods were enable you to take your target to the ground with the least amount of effort and training as possible.

Look for more details in the up coming North Jersey Media Papers.

Damian Ross

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Home (Invasion) for The Holidays

In Self Defense and Close Combat we focus on dealing with violence. While most people will probably go through life without incident, there is still the real possibility of walking down the wrong street or into the wrong parking lot.

More probable than dealing with violent attack, is the non-violent crime. I recently attended a Crime Prevention Seminar that was given by our local Police here in Saddle River. This was a response to a rash of paranoia that was perpetuated through email. Rumors of teams of criminals some Russian mafia, some junkies posing as handymen and landscapers distracting the residents while their homes were ransacked buzzed through the town. In reality the next town over had 2 incidences. One house was burglarized, another had a window kicked in and the alarm scared him off.

The locals PD took the initiative and held a power point presentation at my daughter's school. This was given by Detective Garrety and it had some good information. Some even I didn't expect. Hey, I don't know everything and this is my lively hood- the day I stop learning is the day I'm in the box.

Remember, we're talking about your prototypical house burglary NOT a robbery. A robbery involves a weapon and the person willing to commit robbery has a tendency towards violence. The typical burglar prefers not to have any contact at all. Most times, they won't have a weapon since the charges are more severe. They chose houses that look vacant, look for a way to enter undetected and take their opportunity.

Most will travel on foot to the location. Since the houses are spread a part in our town and the cops tend to write tickets. A bugler will get dropped of in an area, work it and then get picked up a mile or two away. They'll wait in the woods for the car to home by, flash its lights, they'll hop in and go.

What do they do and where to the go?
As soon as they break in the house through a back window or basement window. The look for concealed areas but they will even kick the front door in. A few years ago, these crews would kick the front door in (alarm or no alarm) make a mad dash to the master bedroom and the dining room and go to work. They have 4 minutes to get the job done and they know where you keep your good stuff.

What do they take?
Personal Papers, passports, bank statements, financial and confidential information
Fur Coats
Coin and Card Collections

When do they strike?
Any day of the week. Even though the time varies there seems to be a tendency towards the late afternoon, early evening. This time of year in the North east US, it gets dark now and people are either shopping or still at work.

Who are they. This is what I thought was interesting. First, they are organized some may be connected to crime families, some not- but most times they are in teams, a couple of men on the ground and a driver. The last team to work the area and get pinched were not Russian ex-KBG or gang-bangers, but a couple of elderly white men ages 60 and 62!!! Affectionately called the "OVER THE HILL GANG". We have even had the "JAMES BOND GANG" who rigged their cars with license plates that flip and left oil slicks!!

This is how they make their living: Work and area, break in and try to steal the most stuff they can in the shortest time possible. Doing their best not to get caught or identified. Most of them will try to run if you walk in on them, but you never know for sure. But understand the prototypical house burglar does not want violence added to their profile. It means more jail time.

Just like we teach people in 10 Lesson Self Defense, prevention and becoming a Tough Target or Target Hardening is your best bet. If you look like you either don't have something they want or appear to look like your going to make their job tougher- they will pick someone else. You can do the same for your home.

1. Alarm on, even if you're just running to the store
2. Communication. Call the police if you see suspicious vehicles or something out of the ordinary. ITS NOT A BOTHER to the local PD. It's what they do.The police can't be everywhere. It takes a community to protect it.
3. Provide clear border definition. Let people know the are coming into YOUR YARD. Shrubs, signs, fences and other landscaping define your territory. People will know they are clearly trespassing.
4. Locks.Lock your house, garage and cars. A lot of times these items are left open. People even leave their keys in their cars!!!
5. Lighting. Motion sensors and outside lighting is cheap and easy to install. Well lit yards, hallways and drive ways will deter most criminals.

Clearly defining your area and doing even the minimum will challenge most criminals how don't want to be challenged.

Like self defense, crime prevention comes by changing you environment or how the world sees you first. For your average person, this is all you need. Once you know what to do and how to do it, you just need to make some adjustments in your life NOT to your life.

Damian Ross

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

The De-escalation of force and the difference between resistance and attack. By Benjamin J. Campos

The application of force is a topic covered throughout a police officer’s career. Training begins academically at the academy, followed by practical “defensive tactics” and similar training. Recruits and candidates are instructed on techniques and their appropriate applications. However, as officers, we do not live in a text book, and anyone who has ever worked on the street can tell you that situations develop faster than most can recall data. It is important to highlight that knowledge and skill of this arena are not solely gained at the academy. There are many training programs, as well as books and authors on the topic which help prepare an officer for his/her tasks.

There are many situations in a police officer’s responsibilities that call for the responding officer to enter a situation low, and escalate as necessary. For example, a domestic disturbance where a husband and wife are verbally arguing might not be best solved by walking in and shouting. If we walk in and begin to yell, where do we go from there? A little verbal judo here might de-escalate the situation.
Another topic to begin this article that must be discussed is the difference between affecting an arrest of a resisting suspect, and an attack on a police officer. The easiest way to break this down is to ask the following: Is he trying to get away, or is he trying to attack me? In the first, your force must be directed to affect an arrest without injury to self, other officers, or innocent parties. In the latter, you must save yourself. You must go home at the end of the shift. You must win. You must counter attack.

Now how much force is reasonable? In attempting to affect an arrest, the textbook answer would be the amount necessary to get the job done. End of story. But how much force is reasonable when the resistor turns on you. How much is necessary when the suspect takes that swing, that kick, draws the weapon, or goes for yours?
This is not the time to decide if you have the capability in you to cause serious bodily harm. That decision should be burned into your mind from the moment you took that job. At the moment you feel threatened, at the moment you feel the reality set in, you have to already be engaged in battle. The appropriate response is to be in “kill or be killed” mode, and begin your attack with the initial intent to take it to the end if necessary. Here is where the title of this article “de-escalation of force” comes into play.

In verbal judo, we enter low and steady and calm. At this point, we can work up to where we need to be. When your life is on the line, you must begin the fight at the top level. You must be in kill mode and give nothing less than all the fight you have in you. As I say this, you might be thinking that you cannot, or that it is wrong to feel this way. But remember that we are all animals, and possess instincts and capacity beyond education. And also remember that this may be the call, this may be the fight that stops you from going home at the end of your shift. The one that gets your family a folded flag.

While applying all of the necessary physical, mechanical, or ultimately lethal force during this encounter, the situation may change. As this dynamic situation unfolds, the suspect may fight on, surrender, or be rendered incapable of fighting further. At this point, you may de-escalate if necessary, and keep the situation in the physical force/mechanical force sector. But the mental preparedness to exert lethal force must always be there, ready to emerge from your primitive brain without conscious decision. You must fight with everything you have, until you know that you are safe.

A good parallel to this is Firearm Training System (FATS) type interactive training. A scenario may present an armed suspect (shoot), who moments later drops the weapon (don’t shoot). Specifics change, and we must change with them. But one thing that remains the same, is that we must be mentally prepared to go as far as necessary to protect ourselves, or brother/sister officers, and the public.

This article proposes the polar opposite in handling physical attack vs. many other types of disturbances. It is important to mentally prepare for your job every day, and unfortunately in our chosen career, you must mentally prepare to kill someone every single day.

*It should be noted that the ideas in this article are that of the author, and do not represent explanation or interpretation of law (state or federal). All information is for informative purposes only, and students should seek legal guidance from their agency, legal advisor, or classroom instructor regarding the application of force.

Benjamin Campos is a NJLEO
PTC Certified Firearms Instructor
PTC Certified Recruit Instructor
Use of Force / Weapon Applications
NRA Training Counselor
He can be reached for instruction HERE

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Sacrifice and the 80-20 Rule

SACRIFICE are you in the top 20 or the bottom 80?

Sacrifice = Giving up something of lesser value for something of greater value.

The 80-20 rule.
Out of 100 people, 80 will fail and 20 will succeed.
80 will not follow through, 20 will.
80 will not be on time, 20 will.
80 will promise, 20 will deliver.

When I was 12 years old, I was asked a question that I have heard a hundred times since then, 100 different ways.

During a wrestling camp, the instructor asked "Who wants to be a champion?" Of course, everyone put their hand up. Then he asked, what are you willing to sacrifice in order to become a champion? Are you wiling to practice an extra hour after everyone has gone home? Will you get up at 5:30 am to to run before you go to school? Will you stay home on the weekends when your friends and your girl friends are begging you to go?

Well, as you can imagine, the hands weren't raised as high as they once were.

As an instructor I always hear a variety of reasons someone can't train. All of which are related to time and money. Some have to work, some have to study, some have to spend time with their family and others just say they can't afford it.

The obvious answer when given a choice to spend time with your family or train is family. But, this direct sacrifice is not the case. It is only a rational for the real reason, it becomes an inconvenience. Upon further examination you will see that all setbacks, no matter how severe, are only temporary. Yes there are exceptions but they are few and far between.

My next questions are what you really need to ask yourself honestly and truthfully: Do you go out to dinner? Go to the movies? Go to the bar? Rent movies? Drink, smoke? Go on vacation? Or any other number of distractions that people waste their money on?

Because if you asked yourself the REAL question on the table, would you rather, drink, smoke, dine out, rent and go to the movies instead of train, how proud will you be of you answer?

Do you have class and work every day and night of the week? Do you work weekends? Do you watch TV, take a lunch hour or sleep in? How often do you spend surfing the internet.

Listen, if you were spending all of your time working and studying and doing activities with your family- YOU WOULD NOT BE THINKING ABOUT SELF DEFENSE. If all you did was sleep, eat, work with little or no spare time- you would not think about training.

I can not afford and Aston-Martin. Therefore, you will not see me in the dealership unless I'm in the market. if you can't truly afford ANY service or product, please don't waste that person's time.

The real reason for not training 99% of the time is that it becomes and inconvenience. 80% of the people will quit, 20% of them will find out a way to make it work.

There are two types of people... people who look for ways to make it all work and people who look for excuses for it not to work. It's no coincidence that 80% of the people who contact me are looking for a reason NOT to train and 20% of them are looking for a place to train.

There is another New Year upon us, where will you be...80 or 20?

Damian Ross

PS. If you found this article a little harsh, there is a good chance you're in the 80, not the 20.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Self Defense Training Center Opens Its Doors in Uniontown, PA.

Uniontown, PA- The Self Defense Company is opening its second training center in Uniontown PA, US. This will be the second official location this year.

Director of Instructor Development, Michael Archangel is extremely optimistic. "The reception from the community has been awesome. We have spent the last several months establishing ourselves as the authority in personal protection."

The maximum effect, minimum time in training programs have broken down the normal stigmas associated with this type of training.

"These are similar systems used to teach elite fighting units who have limited time to train. But instead of the extremely short time table, we have modified it so that you don't have to be an elite soldier to learn it."

For more information you can email Mr. Archangel at or call 724-557-1080

You can see the self defense company HERE

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Monday, December 1, 2008

USA Judo Referee Commission 2009 Rule Changes and Interpretational Adjustments
November 25, 2008
These new 2009 rule changes and interpretational adjustments are to be implemented at all USA Judo competition events. The implementation date is January 1, 2009.
These new changes may be employed at earlier events on a test basis if approved by USA Judo.
Please read carefully the six IJF rule change documents.

New = Actual rule change Adjustment = A change in the interpretation of an existing rule.

Partially NEW = Part of this rule has been in effect in the past, but part of this rule has been added to or changed.

Reiteration (Clarification) = This is not a change, it is a reaffirmation of how a rule is to be interpreted and applied.

These reiteration notices generally occur because of erroneous applications.
1. The score KOKA will no longer be called or scored in Judo Competition. NEW
U.S. Referee Commission Commentary
1. Landings (buttock(s) or side of the thigh) that were considered Koka may score Yuko if the throw is
deliberate (skillful technique), has force and shows clear control. (IJF is working on a video.)
2. Throws where the landings (to the buttock(s) or side of the thigh) are borderline, partially lack control
or are weak (soft), Koka should not be scored.
3. We must reiterate that landings to the front/side are not to be scored.

2. Osaekomi Durations Partially NEW
1 -14.9 seconds = No score (During Golden Score (Kinsa-Advantage))
15 -19.9 seconds = Yuko
20- 24.9 seconds = Waza-ari
25 seconds = Ippon

U.S. Referee Commission Commentary
1. This change needs no additional clarification.

3. There will be four shido penalties; the first one will be free (a warning). Partially NEW
U.S. Referee Commission Commentary
1. The first shido will be awarded and displayed on the scoreboard however, the opponent will NOT receive the score of Koka. Adapt for electronic boards with auto scoring for penalties.
2. During Golden Score, the first shido may be given by the referee without consultation with the judges.
3. The free shido should not be considered in the hantei decision in Golden Score unless it is absolutely the only difference between the two athletes (essentially impossible).
4. During Golden Score, the second shido may only be given after consultation with the judges. If 2 of the 3 officials agree to award the penalty, then the penalty is awarded and the contest is ended. The referee and judges have the option of consulting with the Jury.

5. If the team is split 2-1 against, the referee and judges just do not give the penalty and the Golden Score period continues. The referee and judges have the option of consulting with the Jury.

4. The Golden Score duration will change from length of the original contest to three minutes.
Partially NEW U.S. Referee Commission Commentary
1. The decision for hantei is based only on the kinsas that occur during the Golden Score period.
1 of 3 Referee Commission 2009 Rule Changes and Interpretational Adjustments Page 2
5. Dynamic Edge (IJF Wording) “Let the fighters fight!” Partially NEW
“All actions are valid and may continue (no Mate) as long as either contestant has some part of his (or her) body touching the contest area”. (Similar Ne-waza criterion is to be applied).

U.S. Referee Commission Commentary (Dynamic Edge)
1. Translation: “Actions” are while the competitors are gripping (kumi kata) each other as long as they are moving rapidly (tsugi ashi, etc.), no attack (entry into a throw) need take place, but could take place.
2. A competitor in “action” may play in the safety area as long as either contestant has some
part of his/her body touching the contest area. Any break in or stall of the action warrants Mate.
This is very different from what we have been doing in the past. This is a more liberal application. The referee and judges must be cognizant of the safety issues brought about by this change.
3. The cardinal principle to follow is Continuity of the Action and Dynamic Action.
4. After the original attack inside, award the appropriate score (if any) for any subsequent renraku-waza or kaeshi-waza whether one player is inside (contest area) or both are in the safety area (outside), as long as there is “continuity” and there is no clear break in the dynamic action.
5. If the referee calls “Mate” in error and the judges believe the action and attack to be valid, they may nullify the Mate and score the throw. The Jury may be consulted.
6. Any attack in the Dynamic Edge situation should have immediacy of result (reasonable completion time).

Interpretational Adjustments
Negative judo penalties must be more strictly enforced. However, we must be sure that a penalty is given only when it is obvious. Referees must not hunt for penalties. If infractions happen, they must be penalized. Please do not go overboard.
There had been a trend for the past two years in some parts to not give any shido penalties unless they were “extremely” obvious. This trend is NOT what the IJF or the U.S. Referee Commission wants!

Generally more than five seconds means 6-8 seconds, not 15-20 seconds or longer!
Repeated offenses should be penalized even faster (4-5 seconds). Non-combativity is still 20-30 sec.
6. Article 27.1 Avoid taking hold (To avoid taking hold or prevent your opponent from taking hold)
This includes blocking to prevent kumi-kata. This includes covers (gripping one’s own lapel in order to prevent the opponent from gripping), hold-aways (gripping one’s lapel and pulling it away out of reach of one’s opponent) etc.
This also now includes crushing (excessive obi-tori gripping). That is keeping the opponent in a bentover posture using an over-the-back “crushing” grip to prevent kumi-kata.
The time frame on this is generally more than five seconds.
Application of any negative judo penalties, such as refusal to grip should be made with logical
(intuitive) timing and should be made in conjunction with the dynamic (spirit) of the contest.
7. Article 27 Excessively Defensive Posture (Generally more than five seconds.) Reiteration
This prohibited act will be penalized more quickly (6-8 seconds). The goal is to discourage wrestling and wrestling style tactics.
2 of 3 Referee Commission 2009 Rule Changes and Interpretational Adjustments Page 3
8. Article 27 False Attack Reiteration The referee will be more vigilant in the enforcement of false attacks including diving at the legs without a clear attempt at a throw, drop seoi-nage without a clear attempt at a throw or similar unskillful attacks. These are mitigated of course by the opponent’s obvious defense. A true failed attack is not a false attack.
9. Article 27 Hikkomi (Hikikomi) Unskillful take downs in order to enter Ne-waza Reiteration
This includes unskillful tomoe-nage, unskillful sumi-gaeshi and similar unskillful attacks where the intent is to enter ne-waza and not to throw one’s opponent. These types of attacks should be penalized with shido.
The uses of Tomoe-nage to enter into Juji-gatame or similar techniques (Hikkomi gaeshi) are acceptable as long as the attack is continuous and skillful.
10. Article 27 Pants Grasping Partially NEW A player may NOT "first" grab the trouser leg(s) then attack, but may grab the trousers to assist in finishing an attack that has already been initiated. Grabbing the trousers first, results in an immediate Mate and (shido). Grabbing the pants in the midst of an ongoing attack or even simultaneously in order to finish the attack should not be stopped or penalized.
Grabbing (Grasping) the leg (not pants) – arm-hook or hand-hook (as in Morote-gari and Kibisu-gaeshi) without grabbing the trousers/pants is still legal. These actions should not be stopped or penalized and any subsequent action should be scored.
11. Judogi Control Article 3 NEW There will be stricter enforcement of the judogi criteria. At National and International Events it is the responsibility of the coach, manager and competitor to meet the judogi rules. The new judogi caliper (Sokuteiki) will be available at National Level and at Elite point events. Before coming to a tournament, a competitor and his or her coach should be sure the competitor’s judogi meets all the judogi requirements as outlined in Article 3 of the Refereeing (Contest) Rules. Before the competitor comes onto the contest area (On-deck) a gi caliper (Sokuteiki) will be available at each contest area so the contestant and/or coach may check to see if the judogi meets all the requirements of the rule. When a competitor comes to the contest area s/he has assumed responsibility that the judogi is legal. This official judogi check will be done only if after a visual inspection, which the referee and judges do every contest when the competitors are walking up to the side edge of the mat, one of the officials on the mat believes that the judogi may not meet the judogi requirements. If the referee and judges determine (all agree) that the judogi is “illegal” after measuring it with the judogi caliber (Sokuteiki), then that contestant will lose by Hansoku Make. If two officials believe the judogi is illegal, then they will consult the Jury. If only one official believes the judogi is illegal, the contest will be allowed to continue. This Hansoku Make will eliminate the competitor only from that contest, not from any subsequent contests.
Future discussion by the U.S. Referee Commission will be taking place with regard to the application of this rule at Local and Regional tournaments.
12. Long Landings: (It ain’t over until it’s over) (Continuity of the landing): Reiteration
Judgment on how a throw should score is based on the entire landing from the initial point of contact or impact to the final part of the body or back landing on the tatami when all controlled movement ceases.
The complete landing in nage-waza must be considered in total for scoring purposes, even if the action is slow, uneven (slight hesitation), or irregular (e.g. opposite side), so long as there is no clear break in the technique. The landing must be continuous.
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