Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Beware of "The Big Three!!!"

There are three main events that keep you from training and staying in shape and if you are aware of them, you can plan around them to avoid getting out of shape and off track because the climb back up is a lot harder than the initial climb.

They are:
Change of occupation
Change of Life (marriage, family, kids, relocation).

Any disruption of your daily routine can put you into a physical decline. The added stress saps your energy as you move through your change. No matter who you are, these changes will happen to you, but if you plan for it and prepare for it, you can eliminate the ill effects of THE BIG THREE!!!

There's nothing worse than getting out of shape. Your mind remembers what you used to be able to do while your body is like "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING??!?!" It's awful and extremely depressing. It's even you worse if you were a competitive athlete on any level. The last thing you remember is charging down the field, dashing across the court and tearing up the mat. Now you can't even go 5 minutes on a treadmill without getting exhausted. Oh the humanity.

There have been four times in my life that I have been out of shape (read 30 pounds over weight and not being able to run a mile without stopping.)All of which we a result of the BIG 3.

When I blew out my knee as a kid, I continued eating like I was active and training. I went from 183 to 215. I reported to training camp at 205 and the coaches were left scratching their heads.

The next time I got out of shape was after college. Starting a job and a new life took it's toll. Again, I was eating the same amount when I was competing and I ballooned up from 179 to 215. The next two times were after marriage and a change of jobs. During this time however I was still competing in athletics so I was able to pound myself into shape regularly, it wasn't until I was in my mid to late 30's that I figured out how to do keep myself in great shape.

1. Plan
Knowing these changes are going to happen will allow you to prepare. You may not be able to get to the gym or train like you can but if you can set aside 30 minutes (an hour is ideal) 3 to 6 times a week with running, push ups, sit ups, squats, chair dips or even dumbbell exercises if you can't walk or leg lifts if you can't use your arms. Anything that will keep you in the HABIT of exercise will do the trick. This is only temporary. What your training is a habit. Good habits are hard to change, bad habits are even harder.

2. Eat less
We all know metabolism slows down, but not as much as you think. After you are done growing (in your late teens to early twenties) your caloric intake is mainly dictated by activity. Less out put requires less input. Cut what your eating in half and go from there.

3. Be consistent
Training for life is all about consistency over time. You will miss a day or two here or there, but make sure you do something, even if it's just walking if you missed more than 3 days in a row. Some days you will go hard, other days, not so much. Set aside the time and do it religiously.

4. Schedule days off
Plan on taking one or two days a week off and also one week every 6 to 8 weeks. This will give you short term training goals to shoot for.

5. Weigh in once a week
Your weight will fluctuate a few % over the week. Plan your weigh in at the same time every week. Don't get discouraged by the numbers. If you have been sedentary for a long time it will take longer to get the ball moving in the right direction.

6. Change your routine.
New activities require the use of different muscle and brain skills. New challenges burn more calories and keep you interested. No matter what you do, keep resistance training (weights) and running as a regular part of your routine if you can do it physically. Elliptical trainers and cycling are OK replacement but look to double and triple your time and effort to get the same results. There is one common activity all professional athletes have in common...ROAD WORK. It hurts, but start of easy. The Couch to 5k plan is great

7. Keep a food and exercise journal
This is optional but it does help. Tracking your training and exercise will force you to be honest with yourself. A cool app I picked up for free is Calorie Counter by Fat Secret is very good and easy to use

Listen, the proof is in the pudding. Below is a photo of me taken last week on vacation. I'm 42 years old and by implementing these steps I have been able to rise from the fatness and maintain the best shape of my life even though my genetics are predisposed to gaining weight (my father dis when he was 66 of a massive heart attack and he weighed 289 pounds at 5'7" tall.

Damian Ross at 42 "Consistency over time is the key to staying in shape."

Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company
The Self Defense Training System
Staying in Shape
The Most Lethal Self Defense in the World

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Do we really need an hour long pepper spray video?

The other day I received a new product release from yet another self defense "expert" on the use of pepper spray. The video is an hour long. I thought, holy $%^#, it doesn't take an hour of video time to explain how to squirt someone with pepper spray!!!

First of all I've been trained in the use of pepper spray and we do include it in the 60 Minute Self Defense Program and The Self Defense Training System. It's a great, non lethal tool in escape and evasion scenarios. It has it's obvious drawbacks in law enforcement since it is a non-discriminatory tool. (Read you get almost as much juice as the bad guy). However, I know some local cops who have gotten pretty creative in certain situations, but this blog isn't about that, it's about the over complication of simple acts as perpetrated by martial arts and self defense experts.

Years ago my Judo Instructor Yoshisada Yonezuka (Yone) told me a story about an old coach how was famous for his Uchi-mata (inner thigh throw). One day he asked him to explain his secret and to this his coach replied "Just go, BAM, fast like that."
Yone thought, "OK, maybe coach had a little too much to drink so I'll ask him again tomorrow."
The next day, same question and wouldn't you know, same answer. Yone figured, "OK, I guess that's "the Secret"".

Yone's Uchi mata is still awesome, even in his seventies.

A lot of coaches, instructors and teachers tend to OVER EXPLAIN everything. They micro manage and dissect each movement to the point that makes the student hypersensitive and extremely self conscious. Why do they do this? It could be inexperience combined with over anxiousness, poor teaching skills, huge ego (some people just love to hear themselves talk...the worst is when they BLOG about it...Hey, wait a minute!!!) and finally, sometimes they just want to fill time in a video. Heck, 60 minutes sounds a lot better than 30 minutes. Remember 1 minute of video time = 10 minutes of training time.

I've seen "Master Instructors" correct a student every 1 or 2 minutes!!! This is incredible. Listen, the more you correct someone, the more attention you draw to them. New students are self-conscious enough, all they want to do is make it through the first few sessions without looking like an idiot. If a student learns to correct one or two mistakes each session it's a miracle. It usually takes 1,000 repetitions until that movement starts to get wired into the subconscious. The general rule of thumb is two corrections maximum per session. That's only 2 corrections, not 2 times. Because if I tell you to keep your elbow up and your chin down on your edge of hand and you don't do it, you'll be hearing from me again until its fixed.

Why does this happen?

I would like to think that "over correction and over explanation" comes from lack of teaching experience, but unfortunately, in most cases it comes from a huge ego and self justification. Most instructors like to hear themselves pontificate others feel the more they give you, the more value you're getting for your $400 per month. (Yes, that's what the local martial arts instructors charge). The longer I make this video, the more I can charge for it. You see my point.

Every great instructor and athlete I have known always looked to simplify. In simplicity there is truth. The truth is not complicated, it simple and clear. There are many who feel The Self Defense Training System methods are simple. And I say YES THEY ARE!!!! Simple works and will always work.

Instruction must be simple and goal oriented. If the point of the drill is to smash the heel of your hand into the target. show them, explain twice and show them how to to start slowly. When they get comfortable and uninjured, they will go harder. After a few minutes, correct and issue and move on. After 5 minutes, check to see if issue was corrected and move on as needed.

Simple instruction combined with self exploration yields the best results.

Damian Ross
Teach Martial Arts and Self Defense
The Most Lethal Self Defense System in the World
The Self Defense Company
60 Minute Self Defense
The Training Forum

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Phil Elmore of THE MARTIALIST thinks Penn and Teller are BULLSHIT

I just received a link from Phil Elmore who has been involved in the martial arts and more specifically, reality self defense for years. He has authored several books and recently gave an incredible response to the recent MARTIAL ARTS Episode on Penn and Teller's Showtime Program BULLSHIT!.

His responses are in the below.

Part 1 Phil Elmore Responds to Penn and Teller's Bullshit Video
(Click link if video doesn't play and you will be directed to youtube)

Part 2 Phil Elmore Responds to Penn and Teller's Bullshit VideoClick link if video doesn't play and you will be directed to youtube)

Phil Elmore
The Martialist
Damian Ross
Penn and Teller Martial Arts Bullshit
The Self Defense Company

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Do You Have the Right to Defend Yourself and Your Home?

On Penn and Teller's Martial Arts Episode, they said that defending yourself will get you tried for manslaughter. We decided to do some research and let the LAW do the talking.

Castle doctrine From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and edited by Bill Pehush, SDC researcher

A Castle Doctrine (also known as a Castle Law or a Defense of Habitation Law) is an American legal doctrine that arose from English Common Law[1] that designates one's place of residence (or, in some states, any place legally occupied, such as one's car or place of work) as a place in which one enjoys protection from illegal trespassing and violent attack. It then goes on to give a person the legal right to use deadly force to defend that place (his/her "castle"), and/or any other innocent persons legally inside it, from violent attack or an intrusion which may lead to violent attack. In a legal context, therefore, use of deadly force which actually results in death may be defended as justifiable homicide under the Castle Doctrine.

Castle Doctrines are legislated by state, and not all states in the US have a Castle Doctrine. The term "Make My Day Law" comes from the landmark 1985 Colorado statute that protects people from any criminal charge or civil suit if they use force – including deadly force – against an invader of the home.[2] The law's nickname is a reference to the famous line uttered by Clint Eastwood's character Harry Callahan in the 1983 film Sudden Impact, "Go ahead, make my day."

When it's time to defend your Castle go HERE

Conditions of use

Each state differs with respect to the specific instances in which the Castle Doctrine can be invoked, and what degree of retreat or non-deadly resistance (if any) is required before deadly force can be used.

In general, one (sometimes more) of a variety of conditions must be met before a person can legally use the Castle Doctrine:

* An intruder must be making (or have made) an attempt to unlawfully and/or forcibly enter an occupied home, business or car.
* The intruder must be acting illegally—e.g. the Castle Doctrine does not give the right to attack officers of the law acting in the course of their legal duties
* The occupant(s) of the home must reasonably believe that the intruder intends to inflict serious bodily harm or death upon an occupant of the home
* The occupant(s) of the home must reasonably believe that the intruder intends to commit some other felony, such as arson or burglary
* The occupant(s) of the home must not have provoked or instigated an intrusion, or provoked or instigated an intruder to threaten or use deadly force
* The occupant(s) of the home may be required to attempt to exit the house or otherwise retreat (this is called the "Duty to retreat" and most self-defense statutes referred to as examples of "Castle Doctrine" expressly state that the homeowner has no such duty)

When you have no other choice go HERE

In all cases, the occupant(s) of the home must be there legally, must not be fugitives from the law, must not be using the Castle Doctrine to aid or abet another person in being a fugitive from the law, and must not use deadly force upon an officer of the law or an officer of the peace while they are performing or attempting to perform their legal duties.

Note: the term "home" is used because most states only apply their Castle Doctrine to a place of residence; however, some states extend the protection to other legally-occupied places such as automobiles and places of business.

Immunity from civil lawsuit

In addition to providing a valid defense in criminal law, many versions of the Castle Doctrine, particularly those with a "Stand-Your-Ground clause", also have a clause which provides immunity from any lawsuit filed on behalf of the assailant for damages/injury resulting from the use of lethal force. Without this clause, it is possible for an assailant to sue for medical bills, property damage, disability, and pain and suffering as a result of the injuries inflicted by the defender, or for their next-of-kin to sue for wrongful death in the case of a fatality. Even if successfully refuted, the defendant (the homeowner/defender) must often pay thousands of dollars in legal costs as a result of such lawsuits, and thus without immunity, such civil action could be used for revenge against a defender acting lawfully.

The only exceptions to this civil immunity are generally situations of excessive force, where the defender used deadly force on a subdued, cooperative, or disabled assailant. A situation meeting this exception generally invalidates the criminal "castle defense" as well. In addition, someone who uses deadly force in self-defense is still liable for any damages or injuries to third parties who were not acting criminally at the time of the defensive action.


"Castle laws" remove the duty to retreat from an illegal intruder when one is lawfully in one's home.[3] Therefore, any state that imposes a duty to retreat while in the home does not have a "Castle law": the duty-to-retreat clause expressly imposes an obligation upon the home's occupants to retreat as far as possible and verbally announce their intent to use deadly force, before they can be legally justified in doing so to defend themselves.

When retreat is not an option go HERE

For states that do not require the announcement to be "verbal", other indicators may be used. These are typically not defined by statute, and would be left to the court's interpretation, but may include things such as laser sights or the cocking of a firearm. Care should be exercised in studying applicable individual state laws. In the majority of jurisdictions warning shots are illegal, and even brandishing the weapon in a threatening manner can result in criminal charges.


Other states expressly relieve the home's occupants of any duty to retreat or announce their intent to use deadly force before they can be legally justified in doing so to defend themselves. Clauses that state this fact are called "Stand Your Ground", "Line In The Sand" or "No Duty To Retreat" clauses, and state exactly that the defender has no duty or other requirement to abandon a place in which they have a right to be, or to give up ground to an assailant. States often differentiate between altercations occurring inside a home or business and altercations in public places; there may be a duty to retreat from an assailant in public when there is no duty to retreat from one's own property, or there may be no duty to retreat from anywhere the defender may legally be.[4] Other restrictions may still exist; when in public, a person must be carrying the firearm in a legal manner, whether concealed or openly.

When it's time to stand your ground go HERE

"Stand your ground" governs U.S. federal case law in which self-defense is asserted against a charge of criminal homicide. The Supreme Court ruled in Beard v. U.S. (1895) that a man who was "where he had the right to be" when he came under attack and "...did not provoke the assault, and had at the time reasonable grounds to believe, and in good faith believed, that the deceased intended to take his life, or do him great bodily harm...was not obliged to retreat, nor to consider whether he could safely retreat, but was entitled to stand his ground."

In a Minnesota case, State v. Gardner (1905) where a man was acquitted for killing another man who attempted to kill him with a rifle, Judge Jaggard stated:

The doctrine of "retreat to the wall" had its origin [in Medieval England] before the general introduction of guns. Justice demands that its application have due regard to the general use of and to the type of firearms. It would be good sense for the law to require, in many cases, an attempt to escape from a hand to hand encounter with fists, clubs and even knives as a justification for killing in self-defense; while it would be rank folly to require [an attempt to escape] when experienced persons, armed with repeating rifles, face each other in an open space, removed from shelter, with intent to kill or cause great bodily harm

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. declared in Brown v. United States when upholding the no duty to retreat maxim that detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife.

Most gun control groups, such as the Violence Policy Center and the Brady Campaign denounce "Stand-Your-Ground" clauses as "Shoot First" laws (as in "shoot first, ask questions later"), asserting that the presumptions and other protections afforded to gun owners allow them virtual carte blanche to shoot anyone who is perceived to be trespassing. They also claim it will lead to cases of mistaken identity, so-called "shooting the milkman" scenarios. Gun rights groups, such as the National Rifle Association claim that such scenarios are unlikely and are not protected under most Castle laws; the shooter is only justified if the assailant broke into the home or attempted to commit some other property crime such as arson, and simple trespass is neither.

Adoption by States

As of the 28th of May, 2010, 31 States have some form of Castle Doctrine and/or Stand Your Ground law. Alabama,[9] Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island[10], South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah,[11] West Virginia and Wyoming have adopted Castle Doctrine statutes, and other states (Montana, Nebraska[12], New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington) are currently considering "Stand Your Ground" laws of their own.

Some of the states that have passed or are considering "stand your ground" legislation already are considered "stand your ground" in their case law. Indiana and Georgia, among other states, already had "stand your ground" case law and passed "stand your ground" statutes due to possible concerns of the case law being replaced by "duty to retreat" in future court rulings. Other states, including Washington, have "stand your ground" in their case law but have not adopted statutes; West Virginia had a long tradition of "stand your ground" in its case law[16] before codifying it as a statute in 2008. These states did not have civil immunity for self defense in their previous self defense statutes.

Utah has historically adhered to the principles of "stand your ground" without the need to refer to this new legislation. The use of deadly force to defend persons on one's own property is specifically permitted by Utah state law. The law specifically states that a person does not have a duty to retreat from a place where a person has lawfully entered or remained.

In Oklahoma (according to the Oklahoma State Courts Network), the amendment changes a number of other aspects of the Oklahoma Self Defense Act, the statutes concerning justifiable homicide. As 21 O.S. 2001, Section 1289.25 now lists circumstances in which it is presumed that a person who uses deadly force "reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony." In addition, it helps to protect law-abiding citizens from arrest when using deadly force. Law enforcement agencies must now have probable cause to believe that the use of deadly force was unlawful before an arrest can be made.

When you have no other options....GO HERE

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

9-11 Terrorist Opereration: Success

Yesterday I caught up with my buddy, a secret service agent that was at the base of tower 1 on 9/11 and watched as the first plan hit. Needless to say he was there until tower 2 fell. The other day, 9 years later, he revisited ground zero only to find that they had build 12 floors of the new World Trade Center (which is no longer the FREEDOM TOWERS). It was at this point we realized that the 9-11 attack was a successful terrorist operation. It was also at this point we were reminded that our society is afraid of it's own shadow and has a short memory.

Financially speaking according to the 9-11 commission report as sited on the CNN site ( 'The plot cost the terrorists an estimated $400,000 to $500,000, not including the hijackers' training in Afghanistan. The hijackers spent about $270,000 in the United States, mainly on flight training, travel, housing, and vehicles."

That is $770,000.00. For argument's sake, let's double it and round up to an even $2,000,000.

On the other hand, what did 9-11 cost the United States and the world economy?

According to the Institute for the analysis of Global Security

"Counting the value of lives lost as well as property damage and lost production of goods and services, losses already exceed $100 billion. Including the loss in stock market wealth -- the market's own estimate arising from expectations of lower corporate profits and higher discount rates for economic volatility -- the price tag approaches $2 trillion."

That's 2,000,000,000,000
Look at those numbers together

(That's 1,000,000 times more than what the terrorists spent!!!!)

You can break down the cost even further:

The loss of four civilian aircraft valued at $385 million.

The destruction of major buildings in the World Trade Center with a replacement cost of from $3 billion to $4.5 billion (and climbing!).

Damage to a portion of the Pentagon: up to $1 billion.

Cleanup costs: $1.3 billion.

Property and infrastructure damage: $10 billion to $13 billion.

Federal emergency funds (heightened airport security, sky marshals, government takeover of airport security, retrofitting aircraft with anti-terrorist devices, cost of operations in Afghanistan): $40 billion.

Direct job losses amounted to 83,000, with $17 billion in lost wages.

The amount of damaged or unrecoverable property hit $21.8 billion.

Losses to the city of New York (lost jobs, lost taxes, damage to infrastructure, cleaning): $95 billion.

Losses to the insurance industry: $40 billion.

Loss of air traffic revenue: $10 billion.

Fall of global markets: incalculable.

Shit bag terrorists: 1
Good guys: 0

After 9-11 the world was United against terror and "W" got re-elected promising to put Osama's head on a pike. But that didn't happen. While we have successfully quelled further terrorist attacks and have kicked major ass globally, we still have not found the symbolic leader of the attack. For a year after the attacks we were looking for Osama.

To this date we have not captured or killed the master mind Osama Bin Laden.

Shit bag terrorists: 2
Good guys: 0

We promised to rebuild the towers to symbolize our resolve. The structure was to be called "The Freedom Tower" and rise like a phoenix from the ashes of all that is evil.

In March 2009 a decision was made to lose the FREEDOM TOWER name and go back to World Trade Center.

The original architect designed a twisting form he wanted to imitate the Statue of Liberty, with a spire that rose to the deliberate height of 1,776 feet to recognize the year of American independence. Politicians called the tower proof of the country's triumph over terrorism.

Former Gov. George Pataki said visitors to the iconic skyscraper "will know our determination to overcome evil" in a 2003 speech that first gave the Freedom Tower its name.

The tower _ still under construction with a projected completion date of 2013 _ no longer has the same architect, design or footprint on the 16-acre site. And this week, the owners of ground zero publicly parted ways with the Freedom Tower name, saying it would be more practical to market the tallest building in New York as the former north tower's name, One World Trade Center.

Critics called the name drop an unpatriotic shedding of symbolism by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Some newspaper editorials blasted the agency for years of missed deadlines and changing plans for the site.

"When you've broken your promises on everything else to do with redeveloping ground zero, it's no big deal to discard the name by which the public has come to know the iconic skyscraper at the heart of the plan," the New York Daily News.

But others privately repeated fears that have plagued the building as negotiations with major corporations to take up space in the tower came and went: that the 102-story Freedom Tower's name could make it more susceptible to future attacks than a symbol of defiance against it.

"The fact is, more than 3 billion dollars of public money is invested in that building and, as a public agency, we have the responsibility to make sure it is completed and that we utilize the best strategy to make certain it is fully occupied," the agency said in a statement.


Shit bag terrorists: 3
Good guys: 0

Do we need another attack to remind ourselves that they are terrorists, they don't NEED PROVOKING!!! Did we provoke them before when the towers were called The World Trade Center!!! Is it me or are these pussy-wimps listening to what they are every saying?? (My apologies to the female anatomy, it's a personal favorite but I really can't think of any other colloquialisms since I am so F#$$%g outraged!!!!

Seriously, why not build a image of the statue of liberty bent of with a bulls-eye on her rectum that says "terrorists enter here!!!"

BTW, they are terrorists, not combatants, not insurgents..they are terrorists or the enemy. AAAHHHHHH!!!

See that lump of crappy metal only 12 stories tall? That's the symbol of our stand against evil. That's what 2 trillion dollars, 2,976 lives on 9-11, 1890 soldiers lives and 6,623 wounded get you.

Happy belated 4th of July, I'm embarrassed for us and I think I'm going to vomit.

Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company
4th of july rant