Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Family Safe Finally Released!!

It's been 2 years in the making but it's finally here. The Family Safe Program is the one program can make the most social impact out of all of the SDC programs.

The reason is simple: everyone can implement this easily. Literally without effort families and communities can prevent, escape and avoid an unimaginable tragedy.

The Family Safe Program is unlike anything we've ever done.

I'm proud of it...extremely proud of it.

Today is a good day.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Brady Quinn's Muscles and Mike Cracked His Molar

Today my four year old son informed me he wanted muscles. After looking at Brady Quinn on the cover of muscle and fitness he looked at his arm and looked at Brady and declared "I want muscles."

He also said I don't want those muscles, I want muscles like yours dad.

Now I know what you may be thinking "awe that's cute, he wants to be like his dad or, wow, you're bigger than Brady Quinn (at 24 YES, at 41...no).

His remark was a result of a realization, a moment of clarity. I believe he probably realized that there is a great amount of work that goes into getting Brady Quinn Muscles. He confirmed my suspicion, Brady Quinn's muscles are too big.

Anyway, thanks Junior.

In other goings on, Mike Archangel our director of development missed the weekly meeting because he cracked his molar on a coconut. I don't exactly know what or how a coconut was doing in Uniontown, PA and how it found itself on a collision course with Mike's mouth, but it happened and it did. I look forward to hearing the garbled story when we talk tomorrow.

Damian Ross

Where's Your Dojo Contest entry Kabul Afghanistan

The Self Defense company wants to know "Where's Your Dojo?" The best video gets $1000 in the winner takes all contest. This latest submission is from LtCol Darren Poesel of the USMC. He is training servicemen, woman and contractors with The Self Defense Training System in Kabul.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What's your flavored kool-aide?

Can it be that simple? After the last training session with another local police department they were shocked at the effectiveness of two techniques, the edge of hand and the hand yoke.

The men were 10 plus year vets, martial artists and military and still had never seen anything like the program. I'm glad I'm in a position to help the good guys.

But this brings us to the too simple...too good to be true, there has to be something more. But when it comes to self defense...there isn't.

The martial arts model depends on the ability to keep people involved for years and years and invest escalating dollars and an incredible amount of time. I have said time and time again, martial arts is a method of improving yourself from the outside in. 3 Black belts and 8 degrees later, I would be a HUGE hypocrite if I said that martial arts were a waste of time. They are not, as long as you know exactly what you're getting.

1992 saw a huge shift in martial arts in the US. After the first UFC people got a first taste of how effective their training was and the misconception of what they were learning. This is something wrestlers, Judo players, boxers and kick boxers knew all along. The Gracies were the first to do it in the US (kudos there). If judo did this you would have had the same result.

After that point you had a split: the MMA crowd and the Self Defense crowd. MMA, like other sports is easily measured in its effectiveness. You win, you lose, you tap, you don't.

Self defense is not easily measured. You only know for sure if you are attacked and our methods work. This doesn't happen everyday. It is this reason that the rest of the martial arts world can hide behind the self defense label.

Think about this, you're a tae kwon do, kenpo, or karate instructor and you just watched a high ranking practitioner get decimated in the octagon. What do you tell your 200 students who have been training with you for years, spending money hand over fist?

you really only have two choices:
The fighter wasn't that good.
Your art is not meant for sport...it's more deadly than that.

If your a student you will most likely agree since you have invested YEARS and THOUSANDS in your training. You have been literally sipping the proverbial Kool-Aide for years and you are in for a penny, in for a pound.

So you continue to learn complicated, time wasting techniques that have no chance of being recalled in real world scenarios.

Martial arts "success" in the real world is based mostly on urban legend fueled by peoples willingness and need to believe.

The truth about self defense is right in front of you and its never that complicated...the truth never is.

Study martial arts for building your body, sharpening your mind and improving your community.

Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company
Martial Arts
Self Defense

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Guardian Defensive Tactics: Had to be done

"Officer First Concept"
It does not matter what branch of the military, law enforcement agency or private contractor you're in, your training puts liability first and officer safety second. This is a common though among anyone forced to deal with violence on a regular basis. And why the subjects you deal with have no concern for the consequences they face, you are given constant reminders of what you can and can not do.

With ever traffic stop, every identification check and at every check point, you put your life on the line. When the time comes and the moment of truth arises, you will follow your instinct for survival.

The problem lies here: first, treating physical confrontations like verbal confrontations. While in a verbal confrontation you come in low and slow, a physical confrontation demands that you take control of the situation and you need to let the subject know who is in charge...IMMEDIATELY.

Modern training does not allow this to happen. Officers are not prepared correctly, there instincts tell the techniques they learned will not work.

So what happens? They are left to their own devices and the results are brutal.

It started with Rodney King and has continued to become a problem. since police, military and security are not prepared correctly to take control of a situation the correct way, the effective way- we will continue to see these types of situations time and time again.

No one can change human nature there are good and bad in any profession. But if incidents of resisting can be ended immediately, both the officer and the subject are better off.

The Guardian Defensive Tactics program is exactly how we prepare for the real world, when things do go south.

I want to personally thank the officers who are members of the SDC Guardian Program for helping out these past couple days. Their input was indispensable.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Guardian Defensive Tacics Part One

Day One Morning Before Guardian Defensive Tactics (GDT) Shoot

Over the years I have had the opportunity to train members of law enforcement and military. Unfortunately I always meet them after the incident, a close call where they realized that their training and preparation was inadequate.

So they pay out of pocket and spend their own time to do something about it. This is the purpose of Guardian Defensive Tactics. To give first responders the stuff that works. It is based on an effectiveness basis. The criteria is simple OFFICERS LIFE FIRST.

There is no political correctness, and liability ends when you are attacked...period.

We have repackaged the language to reflect modern red zone, green zone terminology. This way we can present our product to police departments and military institutions across the country with little resistance.

Before today, the training you received was liability based, now it's officer based. I'm looking forward to putting this program together.

Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company

Saturday, August 1, 2009

How About Giving Your Training Dummy a Hand?

Build a better mouse trap, that's what I say. SDC Instructor Dan Neddo has done just that. In his studio he has literally given his training dummy a hand and added a little wrinkle to SDTS instruction.

By using PVC and bungee cords he has added another dimension to his training and instruction

With a pair of old shoes or boots plus a dolly to your training dummy (SEARCH for THE RACK post on this blog to get directions)and you have the greatest training partner of all time. Never late, won't get sick, complain or get hurt.

Create solutions NOT excuses.


Damian Ross
Dan Neddo
Training Dummy
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 18 marks the 25th anniversary of the McDonalds Massacre

Slaughter at McDonald's in '84 changed how police operate
By Jim Kavanagh

At 3:40 p.m. on July 18, 1984, Huberty carried a long-barreled Uzi semiautomatic rifle, a pump-action shotgun and a handgun into a McDonald's in San Ysidro, an enclave of San Diego, California.

Witnesses said the unemployed welder and security guard started shooting immediately, and kept on shooting for 77 minutes until a police sniper on a nearby rooftop ended the siege with a bullet through Huberty's heart.

When the carnage ended, Huberty and 21 victims -- including grandmothers, an infant, children on bicycles and teenage McDonald's employees -- lay dead inside and outside the restaurant. Nineteen others were wounded.

San Diego police Capt. Miguel Rosario, a patrol officer back then, was the first cop on the scene, believing he was responding to a single accidental shooting.

Carrying a standard-issue .38-caliber revolver with six bullets, the Marine Corps veteran was in for the fight of his life against a much-better-armed opponent.

"Talk about feeling inadequate," Rosario said. "He's got an Uzi, I've got a .38, and I'm thinking it's a robbery gone bad and his buddies are going to encircle me."

Rosario would later play a key role in beefing up officers' weaponry and training to stop violent criminals.

When Rosario arrived at the McDonald's, he saw people hiding behind cars in the lot. He didn't know what was going on, but "I got that little sick feeling in the pit of my stomach," he said.

He looked up to see a man -- Huberty -- open a side door of the restaurant, the Uzi across his chest. The two men eyed each other, and then Huberty moved aggressively. The SWAT-trained officer ducked behind a parked pickup truck, "and he started opening up on me," Rosario said.

He was badly outgunned and knew it. Worse, he believed he had more than one adversary.

"I wouldn't have minded taking him on one-on-one," Rosario said in his transplanted South Bronx accent. "But if he had buddies in there and they had shoulder arms, I would have been in a world of hurt."

Huberty fired about 30 armor-piercing rounds at the officer, who could hear them striking metal posts and skipping off the asphalt.

From behind the truck, Rosario radioed in a Code 10 -- "send SWAT" -- and seconds later a Code 11 -- "send everybody."

San Diego's SWAT team then consisted of patrol officers with extra training who carried their special equipment in their squad cars, Rosario said.

Huberty retreated inside as other police units arrived. Rosario ran back to his car to retrieve his Ruger Mini-14 military-style rifle. Two patrol officers fired shotguns to cover Rosario while he took up position. But he couldn't get a clear shot.

Reporter Monica Zech had a bird's-eye view of the scene. She was giving traffic reports from a small airplane for local TV and radio stations.

"I looked down and could see that there was people ducking for cover, and there was a fire truck there with everybody behind it," she recalled. She saw two boys lying on the ground, tangled in their bicycles after being shot by Huberty, and people hiding behind the low walls of the restaurant's playground.

Circling at 3,000 feet, Zech alerted authorities to close nearby Interstate 5 and the Tijuana border crossing a few blocks away because drivers were heading straight into the line of fire.

The bright sunshine and the eatery's smoked windows made it hard for police to see inside, but eventually Chuck Foster, a police sniper on the post office roof next door, got a clear view of Huberty near the counter. Foster dropped him with a single shot through a glass door.

The battle was over, but the lessons were just beginning.

Police clearly needed more firepower and a new strategy, Rosario said.

"The time had come where you had to have a full-time, committed and dedicated, highly trained, well-equipped team ... that were committed to shooting, being in shape and being able to respond rapidly anywhere in the city," he said.

"We didn't have what we have now," Rosario said. "We have a special response team -- hostage rescue -- very elite, well-trained. It's an elite team within SWAT. We have access to helicopters now and all of that kind of stuff. We didn't have none of that back then."

After San Ysidro, the department created a dedicated unit that trains continuously and uses much more formidable weapons and tactics.

"We became pretty much special forces specialists, if you will," he said.

Police departments nationwide soon realized their own need for tactical specialists.

The San Ysidro massacre seemed to introduce a "cluster" of mass shootings in the '80s and early '90s, said James Alan Fox, a Northeastern University professor and author of six books on mass murder. These included post office rampages in Oklahoma, New Jersey and Michigan, and culminated with the Luby's restaurant slaughter in Killeen, Texas, in 1991, in which 23 people were killed.

Michael T. Rayburn, an independent police firearms trainer in Saratoga Springs, New York, said the San Ysidro incident and others -- including gangland battles of the 1920s and more recent episodes like the infamous North Hollywood bank shootout in 1997 and the Columbine school massacre in 1999 -- force police to keep developing new weapons and tactics.

"As police officers, we don't have wind tunnels or expensive laboratories. We've learned, unfortunately, out on the street, and we pay for it in blood and sometimes our lives," he said.

After the McDonald's massacre, other cities sought advice from San Diego on how to develop tactical teams. Now, such elite units are part of most larger departments across the country.

Another change after San Ysidro is how departments handle officers who have been involved in traumatic incidents. For the first time, San Diego debriefed all involved officers and provided professional counseling for those who needed it. Now, it is common practice.

"We saw the benefit and the need for that," Rosario said, though in 1984 he blew off steam in Las Vegas for two days in lieu of counseling.

Many departments still fall short, but awareness of the need for psychological services is much greater now than in the '80s, said Lynn Winstead Mabe, a police counselor and consultant in Grapevine, Texas.

"I truly think they're beginning to care about the psyche of their people," she said.

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Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Never Throw The First Punch

Never Throw the First Punch

Damian Ross, the Self Defense Company

I can hear my father now. “Never throw the first punch.” This mantra has been drilled in your brain since you were a wee toddler. I can remember sitting in the principal’s office after one of my weekly playground scraps waiting for the question, “Who threw the first punch?” It is the quintessential deciding factor of guilt in use of force. The idea of waiting until you are physically attacked before you can defend yourself is the guideline by which all use of force and self defense cases are judged. Even in martial arts you are taught the martial arts are for defense only. This combined with “never throw the first punch” have put you at a dangerous disadvantage.

When I was working in my teens and older I noticed something incredible, the guy who threw the “first punch” usually won the fight. On the playground or in the neighborhood you can get away with not throwing the first punch simply because your attacker’s intent is not to seriously injure; rape or kill you. On the playground of on the block, the fights are usually to prove a point among people you see on a regular basis. In the outside world among grown men and women this is extremely dangerous.

In the outside world, the recipient of the first punch is usually the recipient of the second punch, the third punch, the first kick and the final stomp. Attackers or brutal and relentless and don’t think much of the consequences of their actions. My early training in martial arts NEVER prepared me for this reality.

I was trained to wait to be physically attacked; to wait for the grab, the punch or the stab. What I saw and what I experienced in my late teens and early twenties told me that it was too late to wait for that. The smart street fighters knew where to stand and when to attack. Most time, the fight was over before it started. Either someone was out cold or people were pulling the guy off before he kicked his skull in.

Never throw the first punch is some of the worst advice I ever received.

Now, I’m not a violent person. I am not one to start trouble (ending it is a different story). But the “never throw the first punch” or “martial arts are for self defense” are concepts that pertain to intentions and lifestyle not tactics. These ideas suggest that you don’t look for trouble, don’t seek to hurt or injure others and live a peaceful life. Your training IS FOR DEFENSE ONLY. You are not robbing old ladies and stealing candy from babies. You are living a law abiding life. You work, pay taxes and enjoy time with family and friends and you have the right to protect your life style and loved ones from harm.

So how can you do both, throw the first punch and live the lifestyle you want to live? In module 1 of the Self Defense Training System we show you how to establish distance and determine what your targets intentions are instantly, without question. This allows you to reveal your attackers true motives and let you get the upper hand and allow you to stop the fight before it starts. What you learn in 5 minutes took me 2 years to figure out. Hopefully you won’t have to accumulate so many knocks to the head.

Damian Ross

Martial Arts

Self Defense

Common Sense

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

They can take away your right to bear arms, but not your right to bare hands!

In an effort to combat the recent administration’s attempts to further restrict gun ownership in the United States, gun owners are hoarding stock piles of ammunition and weapons. Personally, you can have all the guns you in the world; it still will no make a difference. Even if you were allowed to carry a gun in every state in the union it still won’t help you. Chances are you will be in a hand to hand confrontation because most conflicts and violent crimes on citizens and police involve no weapon at all. Statistically whether you’re in law enforcement or not, you have a better chance of getting killed in an earthquake or a flood than ever using a firearm to defend yourself.

According to the 2006 Use of Force by Police report less than less than 0.2% of all arrests involved drawing a weapon at all. That doesn’t include discharging the weapon. The overwhelming majority of incidences 98% involved no weapon at all. That means if you are really concerned for your safety and your family’s well being you need to seriously consider hand to hand combat training.

If guns are not the answer, how about martial arts?

Martial arts are not self defense. Martial arts are good for building self esteem, getting in shape and becoming part of a community. Martial arts have rules, etiquette and are not designed to severely injure your opponent (even though it may feel like that). Many martial artists don’t like to admit that the techniques they wasted years practicing didn’t work in the street. Fighting for your life is not sparring in the dojo.

Self defense is about what works: tactics and training, simple and effective.

Personally, I don’t carry a gun and I don’t need a gun. When I was legally allowed to carry a firearm as a professional bodyguard and security specialist I found it was more of a liability than an asset. Believe me; I think the world would be a little safer if everyone carried a firearm. Criminals’ biggest fear is going into a home where the homeowner has a firearm.

The reality is you will be in a situation where you’re forced to defend yourself. Unless you have your weapon in your hand, you will be forced to defend yourself with empty hand techniques.

I don’t need a gun. People who train in our program don’t need a gun. If you think a gun is all you need you will be dead wrong. I guarantee, if someone who trained in the Self Defense Training System were standing 7 feet from you and attacked you, you would not have a snowballs chance in Hades.

If you are going to hang your life, more importantly, the life of your family and friends, well good luck quick draw. Unless you’re walking around gun in hand you have a deadly problem.

Now if you trained in the Self Defense Training System and carried a firearm, you would be just that much more dangerous. Carry a firearm as part of your arsenal; don’t let it be your arsenal.


Damian Ross

the self defense company

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fitness: A Simple Sloution For All Ages

My pediatrician is from the "old school" direct from Moscow. The reason we chose here is because of her holistic approach. Our kids have been on antibiotics twice in their 10 years of life (one is 4 and the other is 6). In our few conversations we always get to talking about lifestyle and fitness. One time she mentioned that families in Russia are starting to keep exercise apparatus in their homes. While this isn't unusual, what is unusual is where they keep it.

The latest trend is to keep the equipment where you live. In your living room or den. This way you just jump on the equipment (trampoline, gymnastic rings, low balance beam, pull up bar, etc.) whenever you get the urge. I though it interesting because it places a "matter of fact importance" on training rather than the ritualistic life style change we put on it normally.

We go to the gym, we go to the dojo. We have set side time and ritual for our bodies instead of letting exercise and health naturally into our lives, where we live.

This brought me to the following idea for my kids:basic fitness starts at home.

It doesn' t have to be difficult or hard, just exists. The following routine is to be done whenever you feel the urge. Post it around the house and just drop into it whenever you feel the urge.
Don't worry about sets, time or anything. Just do it.

This is a simple physical training circuit that we put together for kids ages 7 and up but it works for everyone. I do it.

The purpose was two fold. First, hit the core body strength and second to start instilling some good exercise habits. I should take them no more that 5 to 10 minutes. Form is better than quantity and they should be able to finish with little difficulty before moving to phase 2. Where we just change up the exercises.

PT for Kids ages 7 and up PHASE 1
20 Side Twists
5 Four-Count Forward and Back (Good Mornings)
100 Jumping Jacks
20 Judo (Hindu) Push Ups
30 Squats
40 Sit Ups
20 Push Ups

Whenever you feel the urge (post it next to the TV or computer).

Outside play for 20 minutes 2 to 3 times per week no matter what the weather.

Don't dread doing something you should naturally want to do. We are all physical beings. Our bodies WANT this.

damian ross
the self defense company
kids fitness
basic fitness

How to Use Craig's List Without Getting Murdered

You can't be sure. The free and open exchange of well meaning people has allowed the social misfits and predators access to well meaning people just trying to get rid of some of that clutter.

This time of year, spring cleaning has increased the volume on well meaning (ill fated) Craigslist.

How can you tell the difference between a legitimate buyer or evil doer?

Then what happens when something goes wrong with your sale of the $30 lawn mower? Next thing you know you have some nut job with your home address contacting you every time the cock you sold him runs fast?

In a nutshell, its extremely difficult, but you can do a few things to insulate yourself from the dangers of unloading the stuff you haven't looked at in years.

First, use a spam address. Set up an email account on hotmail, yahoo or google. This will allow you to operate freely over the net with limited exposure.

Next filter the freaks. Create your ad and put in "all sales are final" or "as is" condition will eliminate some of the BS. What you don't want is someone starting mechanical work in your driveway. Put plenty of pictures and be honest. If the snow blower has a problem or hasn't run in years, say it, but reflect it in the price. Don't expect to get top dollar for a DVD player that has sat in you closet since 1998.

Set up the meet. Say, "I have the item stored at my friend's house. We should be OK for pick up during a definite time." Tell them you can meet them there. Don't use terms like "anytime is fine." This suggests that you do live there. If you are selling mice stuff, they may want to take a look at what else you have in your garage. Have the item out and ready to go. Don't take them into the house or garage unless you are willing to lose some more valuable possessions.

Commonsense dictates you should not be alone or with children. Have another adult and leave the kids inside. The more people the less they will want to harm you.

Don't let them in your home. If its your friend's house just say it's not my home. People will be creative, but if they have to use the bathroom, direct them to the nearest restaurant. This should speed the transaction up a bit.

Hold your ground and ignore persistent requests. Any suspicious activity call the police. If several people show up to pick up a toaster...you may want to keep the phone handy.

From the other end, if an offer is too good to be true, don't go alone, tell people who, what, where and why. Keep your cell phone handy and have someone on stand-by.

Remember, any excuse to get you alone for any reason. items skewed towards women or women selling product are targets. Be paranoid and move forward with caution.

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The Gamble on Crime

In two weeks the Sands Casino Hotel will open in Bethlehem, PA. Bethlehem holds a place in my heart, it is the home of my alma mater Lehigh University.

While experts have produced a study that states there will be no significant change in crime associated with the Casino, history tells a different story.

The study for the Bethlehem Casino was conducted by G. Patrick Gallagher, president of a consulting group that reviews police department policies, surveyed eight police departments across the country who respond to calls from slots casinos. Gallagher included Bensalem Township police, which covers the Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack in Bucks County.

(Source: The Morning Call http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-a1_4casinocops.6887123may11,0,6734214.story.

The major problem I see with the study is that it doesn't take into consideration the preexisting conditions.

In the late 80's I worked security and worked in the Alcohol and Beverage Industry in a Beer Distributor. After the collapse of Bethlehem Steel, the area became extremely depressed. The only economy was from the 8 colleges in the area who used to educate the engineers for the steel company. Crime, drugs and unemployment were everywhere. It was a rough spot and over recent years has gotten progressively worse.

In the study, it sites a Racetrack and Casino in Bucks County PA. A rural and sedate community far from any major city.

Las Vegas is another "success." Economically anyway. In the middle of the desert, crime is somewhat contained. Most people visiting Las Vegas and Bucks County are not day trippers. Spending the night in the resorts brings a higher class of client.

In 1976 Atlantic City, a previously depressed area like Bethlehem, looked to Vegas as the model for success. Unfortunately, it didn't happen. Close proximity to Philadelphia and New York have created a destination for all criminals types. Atlantic City now enjoys a violent crime rate that is 2.57 time the national average and a larceny and theft rate that is almost 3.5 time the national average.

Bethlehem is almost the same distance from New York and Philadelphia.

What will happen to my alma mater? You can only guess that the sheltered college kids are going to venture in the casino and become fodder for the predators. Sure a kid will lose his shirt at the tables...only if he's lucky.
damian ross
the self defense company

Friday, May 8, 2009

Family Safe Program

Is Your Family Safe?

Dropping junior off at karate class does not guarantee his safety. In fact, in most cases it only creates false confidence in your child's ability to protect his or herself.

Self defense is not martial arts. Martial arts are great for building self esteem, getting in shape and learning to overcome obstacles. Self defense is self preservation. Self preservation depends on three key elements: Plan, Decide and ACT!

In the Family Safe Program kids are given a specific set of rules to follow and a specific course of action. Children (and parents) are given a GO- NO GO set of instructions.

The course also creates communication between parents and children regarding these types of situations. No drama, no sugar coating, just the facts.

The hour long program is part lecture and part drills. Kids learn to escape and evade much larger predators while they work their way through the obstacle course!

The product is due to release in June 2009.

the Self Defense Company
Damian Ross
Family safe
Kids self defense

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mujaheddin REAL hero, play around with The Self Defense Training System

While visiting one of the CounterNarcotic Police Headquartesrs in Norhthern Afghanistan I was able to give an impromptu class on Self Defense. The Afghan I was working with was a former Mujaheddin Col who fought against the Soviets. Though small in stature, this man commanded respect from those around him. Wounded four different times in action against the Soviets, this was one warrior I was thankful was on my side.


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Darren Poesel
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Woman Takes Matters into Her Own Hand

Article written by Mike Ryoko of the Chicago Tribune in 1990 (submitted by LtCol Darren Poesel)

One Time At Band Camp...

High School Girl Defeats Two Attackers with Baton (twirling that is)

Article Credit to Jay Jorgenson

April 24th, 2009 QUARTZ HILL, Calif. (AP) — Don't mess with the marching band. That's what California authorities are saying after a 17-year-old girl used her marching band baton to beat back two would-be muggers.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Michael Rust says the Quartz Hill girl was walking to school April 24 when two men approached her from behind, tried to grab her coat and demanded money.

Instead, one got a punch in the nose and the other a kick to the groin. Rust says the girl then beat both of them with her band baton before she ran away.

The men had not been caught. But Rust says there's a clear message to take from the encounter:

"The moral to this story is don't mess with the marching band girls, or you just might get what you deserve. Final score: marching band 2, thugs 0."

Information from: Antelope Valley Press, http://www.avpress.com

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Self Defense Myth Busting

Just the facts. The following is backed by scientific study, NOT dojo hyperbole.

The Truth About The Statistics We Hear...

The image on the left is NOT a real fight.

Myth 1: 90% of fights go to the ground
This is the "statistic" heard from every ground fighter and grappler. The truth is IT IS UNTRUE.

The "fact" comes from The Use Of Force Study of the LAPD by Retired Sgt John Sommers. His study looked at 6000 use of force reports. He presetned this study at the ASLET conference. He used this study he developed a defensive tactics program for the LAPD. The report found that 60% of the time the arresting officer was knocked to the ground. Given arresting situations where multiple officers are involved and there is a lot of pushing and shoving, there is a high probability of tripping and falling.

Some other points to know:
1. The study didn't involve fights, only use of force. This is when the officer must use force or a display of force. This includes pushing and shoving to drawing your weapon.

2. The study was conducted on police officers NOT citizens.

To quote Sergeant John Sommers, (who worked with martial artists like the Gracies, the Machados, and Benny Urquidez) "I don't ever recommend you go to the ground." The very author of the study and designer of the training program thinks going to the ground is a very bad idea.

Check out http://www.providencecombatives.com/8197/ to get more details

Just the FACTS please:
According to the Department of Justice and the FBI Crime Reports from 1973 to 2006 (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cvict_v.htm)

*Men are victimized at rates 22% higher than women
*Men are more likely to be victimized by a stranger
*Most homicide victims 35% are under the age of 35. 11% are under the age of 18.
*In 26% (more than 1 in 4) of the violent crimes committed, a weapon was present.
*Homicides are often committed with weapons. 65% with firearms, 13% with knives, 6% with blunt objects and 16% with other weapons.

*Women are more likely to be victimized by someone they know
*A woman who fights back gains an 86% chance avoiding the rape and incurs little chance of additional injury.
*Most injuries occur BEFORE a woman fights back
*Women using knives or guns in self defense were raped less than 1% of the time (Kleck and Sayles study, 1990)

From the Police Use of Force Study by the Department of Justice
the study focused on 7,512 adult custody arrests in 1996.
*80% of in which police used force involved WEAPONLESS TACTICS
Grabbing was the tactic uses 50% of the time (we could conclude that STRIKING was the other 50%)
*2.1% of all arrests involved use of weapons of any kind
*1.2% of all arrests used chemical agents, like pepper spray
*0.7% of all arrests involved other weapons (batons, flashlight, etc.)
*5% of all use of force involved a weapon. Baton, Pepper Spray or Firearm
*0.2% involved a firearm.

That means for every 500 arrests that involve use of force you will get into
400 hand to hand confrontations (200 roll-arounds, 200 beat downs)
6 times you will have to use the "juice" (Pepper spray)
3.5 times you will have to "crack heads" with your baton
1 time you will have to use your firearm.

Will you be involved in 500 use of force arrests? Probably not. I know you go to the range and take your "certification" classes, but are your making close quarters, hand to hand combat part of your life?

Statistics don't lie. You are going to have to fight to survive. Citizens and Police alike must assume your target is armed, dangerous and yo will have to use unarmed use of force to get home safely.

Don't ever let the FACTS confuse your BELIEFS. This is not martial arts propaganda.

Scientific study, not randomly spouted statistics are what I hand my hat on...how about you?

the self defense company
damian ross
self defense
martial arts
law enforcement
use of force
violence statistics

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Serial Killer Reveals Secret To Survival

"I have known people who...radiate vulnerability. Their facial expressions say 'I am afraid of you.' These people invite abuse... By expecting to be hurt, do they subtly encourage it?"- TED BUNDY

This is a quote take off of wikipedia (so the facts might not be accurate) but I have heard this quote from him before.

Predators are just that. They sniff out targets and pick the weakest one: least resistance with maximum benefit. Simple, primal, true.

When you train you radiate confidence, not vulnerability. You create something about you.

You can sense this. Why one guy makes you look him over, while you dismiss the other. There is a 6th sense we all have that helps us survive. Your training develops that and sends a message to other predators: YOU ARE NOT THE PERSON TO BE MESSED WITH.

Martial arts training
self defense training
self defense
martial arts
the self defense company
damian ross
the self defense training system

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fight like a Spartan: 7 techniques is all you need

Fight like a Spartan: 7 techniques is all you need

In last episode of Deadliest Warrior on the History Channel "Spartan vs. Ninja". The Spartan weapons expert, a former Green Beret said that one of the advantages of the Spartan was that he really only had 4 weapons. Each weapon was designed with a specific purpose. This gave the Spartan a distinct advantage over the Ninja because he didn't hesitate trying to figure out which weapon to use. He knew that in specific situations he had only one choice. He learned how to apply his weapon to any situation. This is the same for self defense.

When you're life is in danger, just like the spartan, you don't have time to search or hesitate. Just like the Spartan, you need to be aggressive and effective instantly.
Like the Ninja, martial arts and combat sports fill you're head with hundreds of techniques. While in practice you may be able to perform these techniques with wiling partners, in the real world you simply will not have the time to react.

Below is the list of the first 7 techniques you will learn in the self defense training system:

Edge of hand
Heel of hand
Hammer fist
Foot Stomp
Driving knee
Low Front kick
Low Side kick

That's it. These are techniques that are simple, don't require a lot of time to master and make use of your core strength (they are also the ones that have been proven to work in the shortest amount of time).

Combined with the right tactics and training program, these techniques will be the mainstay of your arsenal. No fancy movements or scientific mumbo-jumbo, just what works.

don't get sucked into the martial arts myth that you need a lot of technique or a lot of time in training to defend yourself.

damian ross
martial arts
self defense
close combat
the self defense company
self defense company
self defense training

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Actors From The "Unit" Mix It Up With The Self Defense Training System

It seems there is a lot going on in Afghanistan. SDC Professional Instructor LtCol Darren Poesel had the opportunity to have a few celebrities drop in on his class at Camp Eggers in Afghanistan.

They had the oportunity to mix it up with the troops and a few of the locals.

SDC Instructor LTCol Darren Poesel with
Max Martini From "The Unit"

Right plase at the right time...

So there I was getting ready for class this evening when a gentlemen in a USO shirt came up and started talking to me. As our conversation grew I asked him what he was doing over here and he mentioned that he was an actor (Max Martini) in the TV series The Unit. I replied, "I'm sorry, I had a TV, I might have recognized you". We both laughed and walked over to the Training Dummy and I started explaining to him what it is that I teach (The Self Defense Training System) and did some demo on the dummy. Then he started hitting the dummy with his boxing skills (while I filmed with my camera). Then another actor Robert Patrick came over and said "Oh, are you doing Krav Maga? No, I replied, this is more like the combatives taught to soldiers in WWII. Just as Robert started running on about how to do Krav Maga and street fight, when Animal (our hero from the Taxi situation) chimed in...No, no, no, you can't wind up with a punch or a kick, your assailant will see that a mile away, you need to lead with speed and follow with power, here let me show you. After he watched the actor stood back and said "Hey, I think you really have something there."

Max Martini (on the dummy) and Robert Patrick (brown shirt in front) from the hit show "The Unit" take some time from the USO show to train with SDC Instructor Darren Peosel ("Animal", the hereo from the Taxi Cab Incident, has his arms folded in the back)
As we finished our mini-class the actor Max said that he would be fighting in Dec on www.fightertips.com and that we should watch. Sure I said, then I wrote down www.theselfdefenseco.com and said he should drop by the web page and that if he was ever in Tampa or N.J., that he should come by and say hello.

"I'll do that" he responded.



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Growing Again

It was good to see a lot of new faces in Judo (and some familiar ones as well).

More bodies allows us the flexibility to do more. Even though it was a little more technical we still managed to get a solid work out in.

Welcome back Eric and Dave, keep bringing those grapplers!

It seems that there is some action happening in the economy...

Damian Ross
Martial Arts
Self Defense

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Talent will only get you so far

Growing up in my VERY early years, I wasn't the biggest, fastest or strongest. In fact, when I was in fourth grade I remember being embarrassed during a Presidential Physical Fitness Exam. They would sit us in a group, call us up individually to perform pull ups for boys and bent arm hang for girls. Well, being a little "large" for my age I only could manage 2 pull ups on my best day. I have to admit, I regretted fitness testing day.

There I was in my "Rocky Balboa" gym shorts trying to grunt and pull my way over that forsaken bar...embarrassing. Meanwhile, the kids who weighed all but 45 pounds were ripping them off like crazy. That walk up to the pull up bar felt like it was a mile if it was five feet.

Well, that was it. I was not going to have to re-live that embarrassment year after year. That day I expressed my pain to my parents and they got me a pull up bar (the one with the springs that goes in the door frame).

Every morning for the next several months I would get up and try to do as many pull ups as my body could muster. Every time I walked up to the bar, I relived that moment in gym class. Eventually I could do 4, than 7, then 8. I remember breaking 10 was the milestone (the same mile stone when you put your first set of 45 pound plates on the bar.)

It was at that moment, I got it. and after 5th grade, things were never the same.

What I got was the secret. The "secret" is consistent work over time. In the beginning talent makes things easier, but eventually you have to put some work in. That's why a lot of natural athletes never fully mature. By the time I was in 7th grade I could do 22 plus pull ups.

If a child is good at something early, he or she will stands out and as parents we see success and we encourage it, but there has to come a point where you should hold your child back, encourage other interests, and continue to challenge them by operating out of their comfort zone. This will help them develop a good work skills and manage expectations.

By the time they are in 8th to 10th grade, they'll know what they have to do. And there won't be burn out or any of the other issues that we see a lot of.

My father always said, talent will only get you so far, it's the work that matters. At the end of the day, we're teaching our kids how to develop good work ethics, success is just a by product of that.

kids sports
child activities
damian ross

Monday, April 13, 2009

Things Are NOT Always What They Seem!

Please Watch The Video FIRST and then read the narrative.

Officers ordering the suspect to put the gun down and it appears he is complying and then shot! Is that what you see? Want to know what it is like to work the streets and what you face?

Watch the video again and watch the suspects right hand while he places the weapon down with his left hand! What you don't see, but the officer behind the suspect does see is the suspect pulling a hidden handgun from his rear pants with his right hand. Just a reminder, what you think you see at first does not always tell the truth. Watch it again, and again and learn! Once on the ground, you can see the weapon in his right hand.

Nothing is whatever it seems. Always assume the worst.
self defense
use of force
gun fight
fire fight
legal use of force
righteous kill
gun control

Saturday, February 28, 2009

David Ellis Seminar

To say the least, training with David is awesome. His knowledge is unmatched. I wil put him up against any BJJ, Judo, Submission Grappler, flavor of the month BS you got.

Over the next few days you're going to see posts, pictures and videos. You have to see it to believe it and you have to spend time with him to realize that there is no one else like him out there and he lives in our own back yard.

Mixed Martial Arts
Damian Ross
David Ellis

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Winning the War on Terror: Iraqis lead final purge of Al-Qaeda

It seems that the business of news is reporting DOOM AND GLOOM. Thanks to the WWW we can get more uplifting news from other parts of the world

London Times Reporting

American and Iraqi forces are driving Al-Qaeda in Iraq out of its last redoubt in the north of the country in the culmination of one of the most spectacular victories of the war on terror.

After being forced from its strongholds in the west and centre of Iraq in the past two years, Al-Qaeda’s dwindling band of fighters has made a defiant “last stand” in the northern city of Mosul.

A huge operation to crush the 1,200 fighters who remained from a terrorist force once estimated at more than 12,000 began on May 10.

Operation Lion’s Roar, in which the Iraqi army combined forces with the Americans’ 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment, has already resulted in the death of Abu Khalaf, the Al-Qaeda leader, and the capture of more than 1,000 suspects.
The group has been reduced to hit-and-run attacks, including one that killed two off-duty policemen yesterday, and sporadic bombings aimed at killing large numbers of officials and civilians.

Last Friday I joined the 2nd Iraqi Division as it supported local police in a house-to-house search for one such bomb after intelligence pointed to a large explosion today.

Even in the district of Zanjali, previously a hotbed of the insurgency, it was possible to accompany an Iraqi colonel on foot through streets of breeze-block houses studded with bullet holes. Hundreds of houses were searched without resistance but no bomb was found, only 60kg of explosives.

American and Iraqi leaders believe that while it would be premature to write off Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Sunni group has lost control of its last urban base in Mosul and its remnants have been largely driven into the countryside to the south.

Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, who has also led a crackdown on the Shi’ite Mahdi Army in Basra and Baghdad in recent months, claimed yesterday that his government had “defeated” terrorism.

“They were intending to besiege Baghdad and control it,” Maliki said. “But thanks to the will of the tribes, security forces, army and all Iraqis, we defeated them.”

The number of foreign fighters coming over the border from Syria to bolster Al-Qaeda’s numbers is thought to have declined to as few as 20 a month, compared with 120 a month at its peak.

Brigadier General Abdullah Abdul, a senior Iraqi commander, said: “We’ve limited their movements with check-points. They are doing small attacks and trying big ones, but they’re mostly not succeeding.”

Major-General Mark Hertling, American commander in the north, said: “I think we’re at the irreversible point.”

Article is here:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article4276486.ece

Damian Ross
Self Defense Company

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Noth Jersey Predator Alert

In Englewood and Haqckensack NJ several women were attacked and sexually assaulted.

He targets women walking alone and attacks them from behind, knocking them down and groping them.

Wile yo can't grow eyes in the back of your head, you must remain aware and vigilant. Have pepper spray in your hand, or even your cell phone ready to dial the police.

The woman who fared the best were the ONES WHO FOUGHT BACK! Yelling, screaming and one even bit his fingers...now he can be identified easier.

Remember, criminals don't want to be caught, identified or captured. What ever you can do to increase the chance of that happening works in your favor.


The Self Defense Company
Damian Ross
NJ attacks
womens self defense
sexual assault

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Weapon Retention starts with...

Weapon retention begins with your ability to protect yourself. It's not clean, pretty or neat. On the street, it happens fast! You won't even realize he's going for your weapon until he has his hands on it. Don't make the mistake of training separate methods for empty hand, non lethal (yellow zone), and lethal (red zone) techniques. The only difference is the intensity in which you apply these techniques.

Start off hard and fast and then back the intensity off. In this clip the officer meets the threat head on (always assume that if the subject gets physical, your weapon is in jeopardy). Once the threat has been neutralized, he gets to a safe distance and draws his weapon.

No "twisty wrist" or cute finger locks. Just what works. FYI, the officer in the segment has not trained in the SDTS in YEARS!!!! (But that's another story, he's a long time friend and any opportunity to bust him about not training...I'll take it :))The techniques he is using are in Module 1 of the SDTS. You learn them on your first day!

One method of training, one set of techniques for lethal, nonlethal and weapon retention.

The Self Defense Training System (SDTS)
Gun Retention
Weapon Retention
Law Enforcement
Defensive Tactics
Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company

New Waiting Period For Suicide Bombers

The terrorist community is up in arms about the new waiting period on suicide vests or IEG (improvised exploding garments).

Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company
Martial Arts
Self Defense
Martial Arts Instruction
Self Defense Instruction

Monday, February 2, 2009

Houston Self Defense Training Center Breaks Ground!

Pompton Lakes, NJ- The Self Defense Company announced today the opening of the third official Self Defense Company Training Center in Houston TX. The 5,000 square foot Training Center is due to open just in time for Valentines Day! Self Defense Company Professional Instructor Clint Bodungen has taken the step from Professional Instructor to Training Center Owner Operator and the prospect is looking good, despite the economic downturn.

According to Bodungen, the timing is right. "We are fortunate enough to be in a position to take advantage of some flexible lease terms. Plus we're in an industry that actually sees growth during times like these."

Together with assistant Instructor Mike Morales, the Center will host the full compliment of Self Defense Company curriculum, Personal Training, Combat Fitness classes, Seminars and Community out reach programs as well as mixed martial arts training and competitions.

For more information you can contact the center directly by calling 713-456-9753 or logging on to www.houstonselfdefenseco.com

-Scott Carter
the self defense company
martial arts houston
damian ross
clint bodungen

Middle Eastern Potholes

This footage was sent to us from SDC Instructor LtCol Darren Poesel USMC currently in Afghanistan. It's of an IED (or an old landmine) detonating as a convoy of the good guys rolls through.

I m sure you will agree, it is chilling to say the least. The soldier's commentary says it all.

close combat
close combat training
the self defense company
self defense training
war on terror
damian ross
darren poesel

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How To Defend Yourself Against Fraud

How do you know if you're being ripped off? Insider tells all about how to avoid Internet Scams and how to protect yourself against fraud.

First: The Bad News. Most information on the web is widely unregulated and it's getting easier and easier to put up sites, create false testimony and fake credentials. Fortunately, there are a few simple tricks you can do to protect yourself.

Be aware: the martial arts and self defense business is notorious for outrageous claims. The business model is to monitor the the search terms in a particular category and create a product based on demand.

The product in most cases is unimportant. Usually it's a slapped together video with a few free bonuses to create the bulk effect. These bonuses are primarily made up of public domain material that you could find with just a little work on your browser.

Next, the all important sales letter. The sales letter is the key to making this work. There is a specific formula used and it goes like this:

"Headline" in quotes. Subhead in italics. The first paragraph states the problem, the next paragraph agitates the problem. The next sections solves the problem. Further down the letter there is "the story". Finally, the first offer...then the unbelievable offer and finally the take away (Buy before midnight tonight). The offer is repeated at least 3 times and there is ALWAYS a PS.

This article you're reading is written in a similar format.

The problem is the misrepresentations and out and out lies made by unethical entrepanuers. In the self defense world- there is no worse claims of expertise where anyone can claim to be who they want to be.

The Biggest Lies in The Self Defense World

How to READ between the lines.

1. Special Forces Secret Killing System
No system exists. In the army for example you have 9 weeks of Advanced infantry training and then specialized training. All of which focuses on team building, weapons training and mission specific training. There are Combatives facility where these types of methods are practiced. OUTSIDE instructors and consultants are brought in. Companies like The Self Defense Company, Tim Larkin, Paul Vunak, Damian Ross and Tony Blauer are tapped to contribute. These contacts are made through soldiers attached to the units who have sought outside instructors to hold a seminar in exchange for compensation or testimony.

2. There are no Illegal or Outlawed fighting systems
Assault is illegal. Excessive use of force is illegal. A style is not illegal. You are free to learn and teach whatever you see fit. You are only responsible for your actions. However your martial arts training may be brought up to prove that you were capable of violence or had intent. Even in the first OJ Simpson trial, his defense team used the fact that Mr. Goldman was a green belt in Tae Kwon Do as proof that he was capable of fending off and attack.

So how can you protect yourself from being ripped off?

So you're still interested. No matter how outrageous the SECRET ASSASAINATION system sounds, you want to give it a shot.

The internet only allows advertisers to grab your attention in a few seconds, so they are going to use exaggerations to hold you, but there are a few ways to read between the lines.

First, manage your expectations, don't expect to get all the world's secrets for $100. But one or two good ideas is worth it.

RED FLAG. If the return policy is too long and too complicated it probably means once you have it, that's it. But read the terms and conditions so you have a full understanding. Nothing is for free and it shouldn't be, it should be worth it.

Use a disposable credit card and monitor your charges. Make sure you can cancel the card if you have to. Some companies will continue to charge you no matter how many times you cancel.

RED FLAG. No naming of names. If someone claims to have a rank in a particular style or system, they should be able to name the instructor and you should be able to find SOMETHING about the instructor that is a source independent of the company or person you are researching.

RED FLAG. No samples on the site. If they don't let you see the video or product, there is a reason. Poor production quality may reflect poor material. If the video was slapped together, there is a good chance that the content was, too.

TAKE THE TRIAL. If a company you're unsure about offers a trial take it. If you follow the suggestions you should be fine. Only make sure you understand the terms of the agreement. A trial is usually just that, a time period for you to try out the product. Nothing is for FREE.

Scott Carter
Scott Carter is a freelance writer. To contact Mr. Carter email him at scottcarter1975@yahoo.com

crime prevention
fraud prevention
fraud protection
consumer protection

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The "Naked Hole Shot" interview

We just did an interview with the Rear Naked Choke talk show. Joe, Ted and Deborah are great people. It was a lot of fun. We covered a lot of topics and we even go into some of my previous occupations!

To listen to the interview go HERE.


the link again is HERE

martial arts
Self Defense
Damian Ross
the self defense company
self defense

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Boy Stops Pitbull With Rear Naked Choke

A 9-year-old Bakersfield boy is being called a hero after he saved a girl and her dog from a pit bull attack.

Drew Heredia said he and a friend were walking a small dog Dec. 30 when a pit bull jumped on the dog. The unidentified 12-year-old girl reportedly tried to save her dog, prompting the pit bull to turn on her.

Heredia said he jumped on the pit bull and applied a choke hold that he learned while taking classes at a Brazilian jujitsu studio in southwest Bakersfield.

"It was kind of a hear-pounding moment," Heredia said. "It was very scary."

He said he held the dog for 20 minutes until an animal control officer arrived.

“At first, I wanted to kick it, but then I thought it’s not a good idea, because it could get my leg,” Heredia said.

The girl was taken to Mercy Southwest Hospital where she was treated for puncture wounds.

The pit bull was quarantined at the animal control office, where it will be euthanized after 10 days. No one has claimed the dog.

The girl's dog was injured, but it's expected to survive. The dog ran away during the attack but returned home Friday afternoon.

You can see the whole article HERE.

kids self defense
martial arts
the self defense company
animal attack
kids martial arts