Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympics Start Tonight! And I'm Disgusted

The summer Olympics is one of my absolute favorite times. This is when we get to see amazing athletes from around the world who have dedicated and sacrificed so much for a little fame and recognition. It's the time to showcase sports for athletes who don't get a million dollar signing bonus or pimp sandwiches for subway.

So why am I disgusted?

Of all the inspiring stories the Olympics has to offer, I still know WHY or HOW Snookie told her friends she was pregnant.

I have to watch the "Situation" on (insert lame game show here).

I know that "Kyle" is back on the Bachelorette/Bachelor/Actor trying to get a job show.

Because every time I go by the TV there's some "News" about the mob housewives of orange jersey or some other "reality" show.

Reality shows are proof that the world is coming to an end. Forget crime, forget social unrest, reality shows are the decay of modern society. For entertainment's sake you can be famous for lecherous and reprehensible behavior. People support these personalities because it lowers the bar for them and tells them its "OK" to act like a piece of crap.

Don't get me wrong, over the course of my life I have had some less than stellar moments. I call them mistakes and regrets, not my portfolio.

South African Sprinter Oscar Pistorius

As South African Oscar Pistorius proved in 2012, you don't necessarily need legs to compete against the best sprinters in the world at the Summer Olympics. Pistorius had his legs amputated below the knee at the age of 11 months and was initially going to compete solely at the 2012 Paralympic Games but a last-minute ruling added his name to South Africa's roster for the 2012 Olympics. Regardless of how he finishes in the 400-meter sprint, his favorite event, or the 4-400-meter relay, Pistorius has already made history as the first amputee to compete in the Olympics and the Paralympics in the same year.







American Hurdler Lolo Jones 

Lori Jones, more commonly known as Lolo, didn't have it easy growing up. Her mother juggled multiple jobs, struggling to feed her six kids while their father was in and out of prison. At one point, the family lived in the basement of a Salvation Army. Ms. Jones told HBO Sports that she used to shoplift TV dinners to help feed her family. (She also famously told HBO Sports that maintaining her virginity at age 29 has been harder than graduating college or training for the Olympics.)

Ms. Jones is now a media darling and a brand unto herself. Despite a disappointing 2008 games, and needing surgery a year ago to repair a tethered spinal cord (OMG, ouch) Ms. Jones qualified for the 2012 team and is gunning for gold.

"It's all about fighting," Ms. Jones wrote in her blog, Run Lolo Run, and for me it is about climbing all the way back to the top."
 



Sudanese-American runner Lopez Lomong 
Lopez Lomong has been running for a long time. When he was a 6-year-old boy in Sudan, he was taken captive by rebel soldiers during a civil war. With the help of friends on the outside, he escaped and ran. He ran for three days and three nights to reach a refugee camp in Kenya.

Mr. Lomong lived in the refugee camp for ten years, finally coming to the US as one of the "Lost Boys of Sudan" at age 15. He became a US citizen in 2007, and has been able to bring his two younger brothers to the U.S. He has also set up a charity, 4 South Sudan, to help Sudanese children. You can find out more about his foundation at his website, lopezlomong.com.

American boxer Queen Underwood 
Queen Underwood started boxing at age 19, and it helped lift her out of a dark depression. She had been horrifically abused —physically, sexually, and emotionally — by her father for years. Boxing gave her a feeling of control over her own body, and helped remove the feelings of helplessness she had endured through the trauma.

Now at age 28, Ms. Underwood is considered one of the USA's best hopes for winning a medal in women's boxing. (2012 marks the first time that women's boxing is even an event.)

She's also starting a foundation called Living Out the Dream. Ms. Underwood, along with her sister Hazzauna, has become an outspoken advocate for victims of child and sexual abuse.

"My whole motto is 'Can't stop, won't stop,' " Underwood told USA Today. "I'm looking forward to reaching out and being a mentor and an idol to everyone who has been through the same situation or maybe just has had a hard life." 

American weightlifter Sarah Robles 
Sarah Robles, is not just the strongest woman in America, but has out-lifted every man and woman in the country to become the highest-ranked lifter in the country. Despite this, she lives in poverty because there's no endorsement deals for incredibly strong women, apparently. Incredibly, Ms. Robles also suffers from a congenital deformity of the wrists and forearms called Madelung's Deformity, which causes pain in her wrists.

By the way, while sponsoring companies may find Ms. Robles' appearance "nontraditional," she is, in fact, rather traditionally feminine. When she's not training, her hobbies are "old lady activities like cross-stitching and crocheting" she writes in her blog, Pretty Strong

Saudi Arabian runner Sarah Attar 
Seventeen-year-old Sarah Attar is one of two female athletes competing for Saudi Arabia. Ms. Attar, who has spent most of her life outside Saudi Arabia and speaks with an American accent, trains in San Diego. In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to vote or drive, and cannot take a job or even be admitted to a hospital without permission from a male. While there are no specific written laws that prohibit women from participating in sports, there is no physical education for girls, and no women's-only hours at swimming pools, reports IOC said.

Ms. Attar hopes her appearance in the Olympic games will encourage other women to participate in sports. "We all have the potential to get out there and get moving," she said in an IOC video.

The 2012 Olympics marks the first time in history that female athletes will be competing from every nation.

Palestinian Runner Woroud Sawalha 
Although the United Nations doesn't recognize a Palestinian state, the International Olympics Committee has allowed athletes to compete under the Palestine flag since 1996. That political controversy aside, Ms. Sawalha aims to improve the image of women in sports in her country when she runs the 800 meter.

"Maybe the view of girls will change from practicing sports in a more professional way and more freely in front of people," she told CNN recently.

Ms. Sawalha, who runs in a black head scarf, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt, doesn't even have a track to train on. She runs on a road full of pot holes, cars, and horses. 

In my opinion EVERY Olympic Athlete is a hero. Especially the "non-money sports" like judo, wrestling, tae kwon do,  and weight lifting where athletes work $10,000 a year jobs, live out of their cars and in the back of gyms just to train for the trials.

I know these people. 

If you're not from money, you're living day to day. Scraping a living at menial jobs so you can have the flexibility to train and find the money to travel and it's not cheap. the way the Olympic system works is that you need to compete in a specific number of competitions at a particular level. You may be as fast as Usain Bolt, but if you don't compete in enough competitions around the world, you won't even be able to compete in the Olympic trials. Unless you're in a sponsored sport like track and soccer it is up to you to pay your own way, travel, meals and expenses to compete. Some organizations can help compensate you like USA Wrestling, and US Judo Association but most times it may just cover some meals and not even your hotel. 

So when I see JWOW getting her own show and making millions I want to get in a bathtub and throw in a toaster.

Please in some way shape or form, even it's it just watching when you have a moment, support the effort this summer and watch some TRUE REALITY. 


Train Honestly,



Damian Ross CEO, The Self Defense Company

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Instructors Do the Darndest Things!

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. To the right is a what I assume is a well meaning instructor teaching a knife defense to a child. When I saw this picture I couldn't believe what I was looking at, it is truly insane. But I had to calm down because I'm sure the instructor in the photo REALLY believes he's teaching this kid a valid defense. So for the purposes of this post I will tell you "what's wrong with this picture."
1. When on earth is this kid going to be attacked by a knife wielding adult?!?! Sure it could happen, then pigs could fly out of my ass. Where does this kid go to school OZ Elementary? This "knife attack" is typical of an adult trying to stab another adult...when they're standing!!! This guy is clearly kneeling down and trying to stab the kid. So I guess he's saying "I'm trying to kill you, but I'm going to kneel down to make it fair".

2. This kid can't generate enough force to do any significant injury to an adult. Sorry, I don't care what your brochure says a prepubescent child lacks the power to defeat a larger, determined adult, man or woman now stop watching Surf Ninjas 3. 

3. What is this kid thinking? Like most kids who are taught to fight adults and lead to believe that they can injure a grown human being are being lead down the garden path. God forbid this kid is actually face to face with a knife wielding adult, he should practice running away and not waiting for the guy to kneel down and stab him.

4. More important, what are his parents thinking? I'm sure they are relieved to know that their son can finally defend himself against a kidnapper or pedophile. After all, they wrote the check and he can do the move. Check that box off. Listen, self defense isn't something you should turn a blind eye to. You need to be as concerned about your child understanding the realities of self defense just as they would learning to swim and fire safety. Self defense for kids starts with the understanding that a child can not defeat a larger, determined adult.

I know you want the best for your kids and you want to give them the tools to stay safe, but please don't abandon common sense for false piece of mind. In the Self Defense Company we have a specific program called the Family Safe Program. It teaches kids and parents  how to avoid danger and escape if need be using techniques that will distract their attacker. Even though we have some combatives skills in their the emphasis is ALWAYS on escape.

No B.S. just...

Train Honestly,


Damian Ross, The Self Defense Company
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Second Degree Yellow Belt- Damian Ross, The Self Defense Company

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This is funny, but unfortunately it's true. When you train in martial arts you are forced to learn a lot of useless and needless information. In fact, this training does more harm than good.

When it comes to self defense this is what YOU DON'T NEED from traditional martial arts. (I should know, I have 3 black belts).

Traditional Blocks
They take too long and are too slow. By the time your mind identifies the attack and tells your muscles to work, it is too late. Unless of course you're attacked by a sloth...then you might have a shot. Now this appears to work in the dojo when the instructor has a finite number of attacks and the seasoned student actually knows "how to attack".


Don't believe me...how come you don't see these blocks in sparring? what you see are parries, slips and covers. And that's sparring in a controlled environment. When you're trying to locate your car in a dimly lit parking lot and your mind is on other things only one thing is going to happen when some one gets the drop on you: you get hit.


In the SDTS there aren't any blocks. Really. Everything is based on position, distance, momentum and balance. You attack in a way that keeps your vital targets covered. Combine this with constantly taking ground and attacking and there is literally NO DEFENSE.


Form or Katas
Have NO self defense value. They are sets of unrealistic moves based on "quasi-historical" urban legend.


Stances
There is no need to ever get into a stance in the street. You're either attacking or retreating. Assuming a stance only says two things. To your target it tells him you have some type of training. Now he might think twice about fighting you and just grab a weapon instead. Or maybe he backs down only to jump you when you least expect it. The other thing it says to a witness is YOUR WILLINGNESS TO FIGHT. If you have to defend your actions in court while the jury views a video of you "knuckling up and throwing it down", it's going to be a tough to explain your "act of self defense".


In Module 1 of the SDTS you learn how to fight out of a normal standing position. In fact, most of the "situations" you prepare for begin in what we call the interview position. This enables you to actually gain the position of advantage without indicating your intentions to your target. This is the best way to get the drop on anyone who poses an imminent threat to you or your loved ones.

Look, martial arts have their place, but it's really not self defense. I have known good martial artists who are good street fighters. Only what they did in the street had a HUGE disconnect with what they did in the dojo. In fact other than a few punches and a takedown or two, they really didn't do anything else. Of course they tried to draw the line between tradition and reality but it just didn't work.


If you want to learn a cultural fighting art, that's great. But please don't think for a second that what you're learning has anything to do with street fighting. A horse punching stance may build stronger legs, but it's a huge inefficient use of your time regarding self defense.


Graham Elwood is right, "I've never seen a bar fight where the guy attacked the other guy coming straight down on his head".

No B.S. just...
Train Honestly,


Damian Ross, The Self Defense Company
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Fighters Make the Worst Instructors, Damian Ross, The Self Defense Company

"If all you hammer everything in the world would look like a nail."

If all you knew was MMA, BJJ, TKD, JKD, NHB or any other initial than everything you do is based off of your training and experience. Someone who is a professional boxer is going to adapt their skills to self defense. It's typical and most people can't help it. If all you knew was Brazilian Jujitsu than everything you teach will be based or derived from that skills set. Which has some success when teaching other BJJ experts but it fails miserably when teaching people with little or no experience.

In fact the vast majority of self defense systems offered are a tangent or a variation of a sport art. They use the primary art as a delivery system for the lethal or "illegal" techniques. And in theory and practice this works, provided you have the same base skill set to enable you to deliver the lethal or illegal methods.

This is nothing new people have always attempted to adapt ring fighting methods to the street. There are literally dozens if not hundreds of texts on how to adapt whatever fighting style to the street. Most have good ideas but one of the many places they break down is the "assumption of skill."

The problem is obvious, professional fighters have a lot more time and effort invested in their primary method and take critical and fundamental things like hip position, physical conditioning, scrambling ability, striking or strangling ability for granted. They can make their self defense work because they have years and even decades of hardcore training and sacrifice (along with the genetic disposition) that enables them to move, understand leverage and body positions as well as distancing. Trying to learn a sport based self defense from a professional fighter is worse than learning how to parkour from a gymnast(Wow, I think that analogy hurt my head). But while they're flipping over a fence, you're trying to lift your leg over it.

Personally, the hardest thing for me to do was to take myself out of the equation. when you start teaching the general public you're quick to realize that most people have never participated in ANY contact or combative activity in their lives so having to break the SDTS content down and deliver it in a way that yielded timely results was both rewarding and challenging. It was one thing to teach motivated, former athletes or determined law enforcement and military personnel but a completely new set of challenges for those people who know that they have a need for self defense but were prohibited because of the perceived time invested or the physical requirements.

There is no doubt that more athletic people took to the training faster, but I have to tell you after a handful of months they all could perform the SDTS and you couldn't tell the athletes from the non-athletes.

Self defense is a formula of Distance, Position, momentum and balance coupled with techniques while under stress and on any terrain will inflict more injury to your opponent than to yourself while simultaneously taking into consideration weapons and multiple attackers.

Technicality any method of self defense can be adapted to this and The Self Defense Company has it's fair share of instructors from many styles of martial arts, but when you're teaching to the general public or people with no working knowledge of a particular art, you need to abandon the "assumption of skill."

Train Honestly,
Damian Ross
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Damian Ross is CEO of the Self Defense Company and developer of The Self Defense Training System, the most lethal and effective self defense system in the world, The Guardian Defensive Tactics Police Combatives Program, 60 minute Self Defense and the Family Safe Program. Mr. Ross also founded the Self Defense Instructor Program that helps people develop their self defense careers from the ground up. Mr. Ross is originally from Ridgewood, NJ where he was a High School Hall of Fame Athlete in football and wrestling as well as a varsity wrestling coach. He then went on to Lehigh University where he was a varsity wrestler and football player. Mr. Ross has 3 black belts, 4th Degree in Tekkenryu Jujutsu, 2nd Degree in Judo, 2nd Degree in Tae Kwon Do. In addition to his martial arts experience, Mr. Ross spent 8 years in the professional security and personal protection business. He is internationally recognized as one of the foremost authorities in reality based self defense.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Is MMA a Waste of Time for the Average Joe? - Damian Ross, the Self Defense Company

The following is inspired by recent discussions with MMA fighter "James Lightning" Wilkes who has raised the obvious MMA vs Reality Self Defense argument. By the way, James has been honest and forthright in his position and I appreciate his argument (and I'm not going to let that age comment slide - talk to me in 6 years sonny).

Regarding self defense, training in MMA is almost a complete waste of time. Like the old saying says "Don't ask a barber if you need a haircut." Most people who are proponents of MMA and martial arts training are either currently involved in teaching said methods. Like I said, I still regularly practice martial arts...just NOT as a mainstay for self defense.

Technique aside, lack of rules aside, tactics and method aside. Today I want to approach the discussion from a different angle: time.

MMA and martial arts instructors demand a lot of time to perfecting their craft. It takes years to start to understand the sport on a practical level. Unfortunately your average person doe not have the time or the desire to pursue such goals. If that were the case, the vast majority of martial arts school owners would have no problems filling their classes.

Here are the facts as we know them:

How many people and how much time do they spend even working out?
According to the president's council on fitness and I quote: "Unfortunately, few Americans engage in regular physical activity despite the potential benefits. Less than 10 percent of the U.S. adult population exercises at the level recommended by the 1990 objectives: "exercise which involves large muscle groups in dynamic movement for periods of 20 minutes or longer, 3 or more days per week, and which is performed at an intensity of 60 percent or greater of an individual's cardiorespiratory capacity." 9 less than half the adult population exercises 3 or more days per week for 20 minutes or longer regardless of intensity of dynamic movement of large muscle groups. The prevalence of physical inactivity increases with advancing age especially during adolescence and early adulthood."

That means only 10% of the adult population do 20 minutes of exercise, three times a week. That means 22 million American adults are doing what they're supposed to do while the other 223 million do less or nothing.

But wait, it gets worse when it comes to martial arts training.

Out of an estimated 245,000,000 Americans over the age of 15...
An estimated 18.1 million Americans participated in karate or some other form of martial art at least once in the past year. Only 9.4 million adults. That's less than 4 percent of the adult population.

An estimated 5 percent of adults (470,000) say they participated in martial arts last year at more than once, and a quarter of those (28 percent or 131,600) say they do martial arts "every chance they get."

This is the "hardcore" personalities that make up only 1% of the population. Again, these are people who say EVERY CHANCE THEY GET. We can assume that number to be lower since most people respond in how they want to behave and not how they actually behave.

Surprisingly, the martial arts participation bunch is fairly evenly split between men (52 percent) and women (48 percent). But for the most part, participants are young. Sixty-three percent are between 18 and 34, compared with 25 percent who are between 35 and 49 and 11 percent who are 50 or older. That means only 169,200 people over the age of 34 participated in any form of martial art last year. when compared to a population of 105 million (give or take) the percentage is only .16% of the adult population over the age of 34 participates on some level in the martial arts.

Combining the people who work out and the people who actually participate in martial arts you will find that an extremely small percentage really do train while the vast majority of the world likes to SAY they train.

The reality is this, the vast majority or people who train only train once or twice per week

When I had my school I observed something and it went along with what all of the marketing experts in the business told me. The average person will sign up and last 6 months to a year and train or twice a week for an hour. Only about 8% would compete in tournaments and train the necessary 14 hours per week to get their fitness and skill to a competitive level. It was our goal to retain students by offering them more and exciting events and promotions.

The idea of having to create more hoops to jump through and more "events" to entertain people turned me off so I decided to provide different tracks of training for people's different needs. Most adults wanted self defense so if they trained with me for 9 months to a year, they learned all they needed to know about self defense (This lead to the development of the SDTS Combatives Program. If someone wanted to compete we continued training in Judo and Knock Down Karate. Low and behold the people who opted to do the latter were younger and few and far between.

We can all agree that a person who shows a strong interest in martial arts training that holds a job and has a social life and a family can dedicate 2 hours per week for about 1 year.

We know not only from our experience, but from the people who have trained in SDTS style methods during the second world war, that they became proficient in a number of weeks (6 to 12) depending on their deployment and training.

How long does it take to become proficient in MMA? MMA has three major components, grappling, striking and submissions. In coaching Varsity High School Wrestling I could take your average kid at 12 hours a week for an 12 week season and get him to the point where he knew his ass from a hole in the ground. All "natural" factor aside, when he faced a kid with equal natural abilities and more experience he would lose. To become an "average wrestler" where you win at lease half your matches it will take you 3 years or 432 hours.

So using our "Average Joe" formula of 2 hours per week, it will take you over 4 years to get an average skill set in wrestling. The same holds true for Judo, BJJ, Karate, Kick boxing and what have you.

So look at it this way, Average Joe to become OK (just OK) in MMA takes 1,296 hours. Or roughly 12 years of training. Training without injury and any other setbacks.

To reiterate my point: this is just to become average. Looking at the numbers now, if given a choice between MMA and focusing one one particular discipline, you would probably be better off sticking to boxing, wrestling, judo or BJJ. At least you could be really good at something than just average at a lot of things.

On the other hand, you can train in a system like SDTS Combatives and develop a specific skill set purposed for self defense with in those time constraints. For the time it would take you to become proficient at a strangle you could learn how to implement a whole cadre of skills that would end the fight well before you ever were in a position to strangle.

The people who criticize this type of training have never even trained in our methods. Yet, we have trained in theirs and choose this as the first line of defense over all others. Most people who train in the SDTS Combatives have already experienced combat sport and appreciate it for what it's worth.

Let's put it this way, because this is really what we're talking about. If you took two guys of equal ability and trained on in MMA and the other in SDTS Combatives two times a week for an hour over the course of the year and then put them in a self defense situation, logic dictates the SDTS member would have a better chance of survival.

Listen, you're not a professional fighter and you're not going to be one.

What makes a really good MMA fighter? Someone who has an extensive background in a grappling art. Sure there are exceptions but the vast majority of champions have a wrestling or grappling background. You can not expect to start from ground zero as an adult and be successful in MMA. You need a foundation sport. The established sports of wrestling and Judo are king. Randy Couture walked in pushing 40 and kicked everyone's ass and Rhonda Rousey is on her way to tear through the world of women's MMA but here's the kicker in the world of wrestling and judo, these guys are good, but they're not the best in the world. The reason the best Judo fighters don't compete in MMA is because they are training in government sponsored programs for the Olympics. Believe me, if Japan, France, Britain, Brazil and Germany started letting there Judo fighters compete in MMA in their prime, a lot of people will have their hands full.

Same holds true for wrestling. Right now the best MMA talent is in collegiate wrestling and out of all the kids who won national titles this year I bet not a single one will go to the UFC. Why? Because there's no money in it. All of these kids are graduating and going to get 6 figure jobs where they don't have to get punched in the face. If there was some REAL money to be made in MMA I assure the landscape would change dramatically. When I say real money, I mean NFL, MLB and NBA money. Right now you couldn't pay half of Peyton Manning's salary with what you pay the entire stable of MMA fighters. If the UFC ponied up the real bucks you would see some serious talent in the octagon. But you won't because as long as the UFC can sell pay per view all they need is a couple of guys to knock the crap out of each other.

Your training for self defense needs to be "mission specific" like the SDTS Combatives Program. If you're like most people and have only 2 hours a week for 12 months to develop a skill specifically tailored for defense.

At some point you must come to grips with the fact your time spent training is limited. It's our goal not to change your life but to give you something that you can really use successfully within REALISTIC time constraints.

Please don't misquote me. I never said you can not defend yourself with combat sports. I would be incredibly wrong and based on my own experience, a liar. Boxer, wrestlers, MMA fighters and the like have been doing it for decades. All I'm saying is that there is a more efficient and practical way of doing it and the research has already been done from 1911 to 1950 regarding reality self defense. But after all is said and done it's your common sense and experience that will show you the truth.
Train Honestly,
Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company









The Self Defense Company Global Network of Resources

The Self Defense Company Tactical Gear and Clothing Outpost

Free Resources

Up to the minutes Self Defense News from around the World
SDC Corporate Site
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SDC on Twitter

Tactical Training Programs

SDTS Lethal Use of Force Training
Family and Community Safety
Basic Adult and Teen Tactical Training
Police, Military and Security Tactical Training
Instructor Certification


Damian Ross is CEO of the Self Defense Company and developer of The Self Defense Training System, the most lethal and effective self defense system in the world, The Guardian Defensive Tactics Police Combatives Program, 60 minute Self Defense and the Family Safe Program. Mr. Ross also founded the Self Defense Instructor Program that helps people develop their self defense careers from the ground up. Mr. Ross is originally from Ridgewood, NJ where he was a High School Hall of Fame Athlete in football and wrestling as well as a varsity wrestling coach. He then went on to Lehigh University where he was a varsity wrestler and football player. Mr. Ross has 3 black belts, 4th Degree in Tekkenryu Jujutsu, 2nd Degree in Judo, 2nd Degree in Tae Kwon Do. In addition to his martial arts experience, Mr. Ross spent 8 years in the professional security and personal protection business. He is internationally recognized as one of the foremost authorities in reality based self defense.

Monday, March 19, 2012

"No Holds Barred" - Damian Ross, The Self Defense Company

Once every year I have to repeat myself. This is when the Brazilian jiujitsu and MMA guys start coming out of the woodwork talking about how their kung fu in better than my kung fu. The latest comes from some guys on the SDTS FACEBOOK page. I have the forums not only to help those training, but to have a place of open discussion and in part to defend the merits of what we do.

The typical response that always winds up with some kind of "challenge". Like, if you're ever in Southern California, come on down to "XYZ Dojo" and we will fight you. Or send an SDTS Practitioner over here to fight us in a "no holds barred" match. These statements tell me two things about the person saying them. First, their notion of self defense let alone a real fight, has not evolved past middle school and second, their idea of "no holds barred" and the SDTS idea of "no holds barred" are two totally different ideas.

A "fight" in our world is when someone is trying to rape, murder or assault us or someone we care about. We respond to that attack by whatever means necessary to legally defend our lives and well being. That can and will range from a variety of close quarters weapons, firearms, nonlethal technologies and empty hand techniques. We will use improvised weapons, any form of gouge, kick, strangle, rip, dislocation or strike that will enable us to gain the tactical edge. In order to be morally and legally justified to do that, we must be in a situation where we feel we will get seriously injured or killed. This isn't the school yard, this is alone, in the parking lot or on patrol.

"No holds barred" in the SDTS includes all kinds of weapons, firearms, friends basically anything imaginable. I don't what to come off as an extremist, just a realist. Bad people do bad things and you must be willing to do some bad things if you want to survive. The choice is yours, live your life and hedge your bets or prepare to do whatever it takes if that's what's called for.

If I were to stay true to SDTS protocal and I knew I was going to be attacked by an expert in MMA, Boxing or anything else it would go against logic not to arm myself in a way that I would defeat said expert. I'm mot bringing a knife to a gun fight, I'm bringing an Abrams Tank.

What these knuckleheads fail to realize is that we're NOT a martial art. We're a tactical response to violence. The mere notion of a challenge match indicates that these guys don't know what real violence is, or they just haven't thought it through. The other thing they don't know or care to acknowledge is that I'm a combat sport guy!!! How many black belts and trophies does a dude need to earn to get the point across?!?!?! If I thought wrestling, judo and kickboxing were the best methods of self defense I would have created a system that resembled those arts. Instead I chose to teach what works best and what has been proved to work the best under real world conditions. Incidentally, Cestari, Fairbairn, O'Neill and myself all have one thing in common...JUDO!! And if Judo was the best means of self defense (Pre WWII Judo- Look at the book M. Kawaishi, My Judo for all the leg locks and neck cranks you could ever hope for) then that would be the method of choice.

The problem is this, what has become known as "traditional" martial arts systems don't work. More to the point, the way that they're taught over the last 30 plus years has made them all but useless. The only ones worth a damn are MMA, Judo, Wrestling, BJJ, Boxing and kick boxing. At least here you get to ply your trade against a completely resistant opponent. I can clearly see why they would try to lump us into the "martial arts" category.

To belabor the point...The SDTS Combatives Program is NOT a martial art. No more than firearms training is and it can't be viewed in a martial arts context. A challenge match is absurd when our doctrine dictates we use "any means, fair or foul." On a personal note, unless you're attacking me or my family, I wouldn't think of causing harm to another human being, the idea actually gets me a little sick, mainly because I'm not a psychopath but if you cross the line, and put lives in jeopardy, I will do what I have to do to survive.

There is a reason the people who usually seek us out have dealt with violence in their lives. They know the difference between sport and reality and have the insight to recognize the gaps and inefficiencies in their training. As an aside we do recommend that you can supplement supplement your training with judo. We chose judo because it trains you to stay on your feet and gain a dominant position. You learn submissions and pins (as well as how not to get submitted!!!) and you learn to fight with a sense of urgency that will enable you to implement the SDTS methods faster and more effectively. BJJ is a second choice but the issue we have there is that it trains you to go to the ground and teaches you to wait for openings which puts you at a severe disadvantage in the street. Being on the ground waiting leaves you vulnerable against the hard surface of the ground, weapon and third party attacks.

I don't know why they (MMA et all) feel threatened by us? We're not saying don't do those things. Combat sports have their place, but the SDTS isn't meant to be a combat sport or a martial art, it's a tool against violence.
Train Honestly,
Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company









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Damian Ross is CEO of the Self Defense Company and developer of The Self Defense Training System, the most lethal and effective self defense system in the world, The Guardian Defensive Tactics Police Combatives Program, 60 minute Self Defense and the Family Safe Program. Mr. Ross also founded the Self Defense Instructor Program that helps people develop their self defense careers from the ground up. Mr. Ross is originally from Ridgewood, NJ where he was a High School Hall of Fame Athlete in football and wrestling as well as a varsity wrestling coach. He then went on to Lehigh University where he was a varsity wrestler and football player. Mr. Ross has 3 black belts, 4th Degree in Tekkenryu Jujutsu, 2nd Degree in Judo, 2nd Degree in Tae Kwon Do. In addition to his martial arts experience, Mr. Ross spent 8 years in the professional security and personal protection business. He is internationally recognized as one of the foremost authorities in reality based self defense.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tactics vs. Techniques - Damian Ross, The Self Defense Company

“Whenever possible pick your fights, and always pick the ones you can win.” – Me, I just said that.


Even Paris Hilton "Gets it"

Recently I appeared on a radio show where the host was telling me about how he had to fill up his car at a gas station in a high crime area. He then went through great detail on how he would position himself around the vehicle and his behavior when anyone approached. He continued to describe what weapons and what techniques he would use to defeat anyone who attacked him. When he asked me what I would do, I said “Go to another gas station.”

There is this underlying idea that you shouldn’t have to alter your behavior because it would yourself to fight everything that comes in your way that’s instilled in training. And while you do “train for your worst nightmare” common sense needs to play a role in how you live your life.

Tsun Tzu himself suggested only engaging in battles you know you’re going to win “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”

Why would you deliberately put yourself in a position of weakness? Going into known, high crime areas when you don’t have to, is literally asking for trouble. Hey, I know some people put their faith in the kindness of man, me, I’d rather put my faith in my ability to protect myself. Even with all my training and experience I will always choose the safer route and if it does happen where I can’t avoid it, I have planned for these contingencies with small weapons and tactics.

A little planning goes a long way.
Having an exit strategy, not crowding the car in front of you when you’re at a traffic stop are just a few things to start thinking tactically. Understanding the physical abilities of the people you are with is important as well. What if you needed to escape, how far and how fast can you run? Can you scale a 3 foot wall? Can you swim? Can you do a pull up? Knowing your capabilities and the abilities of the people around you should dictate your behavior.

SCREW PRINCIPLES
There are some people who feel entitled to fill up at that gas station. “It’s a public business, I have the right to go there.” Stow your rights and use your head. People have lost so much because they stuck to their principles for what?!?! The end game is survival and living a healthy life. Don’t be a knuckle head and put yourself in a dangerous situation for no good reason.

Sometimes, trouble finds you
Sometimes you can’t pick your battles and that is what we prepare for. That is also the reason you need to use any means and method at your disposal to give yourself the highest percentage of success. Honor is how you live your life, not wage war. The only people who have the luxury of honor and mercy are the victors. When you survive and win, then you show mercy, Leave style and “honor” at the door until the situation is under control. There is no “fighting honorably” only “honorable reasons to fight.”

Escalation of force is a recipe for disaster
Initially engaging in a use of force situation with the attitude of “escalation of force” where your response is at the same level of your assailants puts you at a clear disadvantage. This notion put the enemy in control and you one step behind. How can you tell that initial push doesn’t get followed by a stab? You can’t, that’s why you always need to react more viciously and ruthlessly than you’re being attacked. He pushes you, you don’t push back, you hit him and end the situation on your terms before it gets out of control. Not only are you within your legal right to do so, but you know if you knock your target out, the fight is over. This is also the time to deploy pepper spray and other non-lethal countermeasures. As soon as there’s trouble you need to take the driver’s seat and shift the momentum in your favor.

You don’t fight squat!
I don’t fight; I react tactically and seek to end the situation as fast as possible. This is a direct contradiction to my martial arts training that has told me (subconsciously) that I need to fight someone on equal terms. If ending the fight means distracting my enemy with a question or another distraction, so be it. If that means I fake compliance, close the distance and attack, so be it. The techniques are secondary.

The notion of "fighting" forces you to think of technique and the minutia of the fight. Because of sports you think of attacks and counters. But real fights don’t really happen in that sporting rhythm. A fight is more “attack and retreat” than anything else. In a fight you’re either the one doing the attacking or the one being attacked. It’s that simple. In combat, the goal is to injure your attacker as fast as possible while sustaining as little injury as possible.

Don’t forget, the “spirit” of martial arts and competition is the positive aspects of combat without the negative. Budo is about mutual respect, honor, healthy competition, national pride and a way of pushing yourself and satisfying your inner warrior without having to take a life. Martial arts are designed with safety and style in mind, not all out warfare.

Listen, I love the spirit of martial arts and train and teach on a weekly basis. I love rolling around with my buddies and coming off the mat with a wide variety of mat burns and sore muscles. But I know that this is not “real” no matter how many martial arts we mix in. I know a real fight with someone who has little or nothing to lose is dangerous, caustic and violent. I don’t like them and I never met anyone sane who did.

Look at the big picture
Thinking tactically is about looking at the big picture, having your eye on the end game and desired result. The means are whatever gets you to the end result with the least amount of sacrifice. I don’t know a military or law enforcement commander who would ever chose to engage an enemy if the odd were 50-50 (or even 75-25). Always prepare and seek to stack the odds in your favor. Logic dictates that your attacker will do the same. Believe me, they only pick marks they think they can overpower and manipulate. It’s up to you to have a nasty surprise that “changes their mind.”
Self Defense, Combatives or whatever you want to call it is all about the “end game”. The only goal is your survival and safety.

Train Honestly,
Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company









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Damian Ross is CEO of the Self Defense Company and developer of The Self Defense Training System, the most lethal and effective self defense system in the world, The Guardian Defensive Tactics Police Combatives Program, 60 minute Self Defense and the Family Safe Program. Mr. Ross also founded the Self Defense Instructor Program that helps people develop their self defense careers from the ground up. Mr. Ross is originally from Ridgewood, NJ where he was a High School Hall of Fame Athlete in football and wrestling as well as a varsity wrestling coach. He then went on to Lehigh University where he was a varsity wrestler and football player. Mr. Ross has 3 black belts, 4th Degree in Tekkenryu Jujutsu, 2nd Degree in Judo, 2nd Degree in Tae Kwon Do. In addition to his martial arts experience, Mr. Ross spent 8 years in the professional security and personal protection business. He is internationally recognized as one of the foremost authorities in reality based self defense.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Train How You Live


Uniforms and safety equipment are great, but don't really help your self defense training. In martial arts class you're barefoot and wear uniforms whether its a traditional gi or shorts and shirt. Unless you work and live wearing gloves and protective gear, you need to seriously re-evaluate your training methods if you're serious about self defense.

If you wear a suit or coveralls and boots, you better understand what you can and can not do. Soldiers and law enforcement need to train with whatever equipment they wear when they're working. When I see soldiers and uniformed officers grappling in BDU's or Sweats calling it "Defensive Tactics" or "Combatives" it makes me scratch my head. Try pulling guard with a utility belt on batman and let me know how it works out for you.

Be realistic. If you wear a suit and carry a pen, learn to use whatever your wearing as a weapon. If you work in Home Depot in the hardware department, grab a few hand tools and work with them. It was a well known fact that longshoreman were pretty nasty with a cargo hook.

If you're going to carry a weapon, make sure it is something you would feel comfortable carrying. This will make you want to create the habit of carrying it. As always make sure to field test it like we show you in the SDTS Combatives Program. There are quite a few tools I have been excited about only to watch them disintegrate in my hand when put to the test.

Gyms and mats are comfortable, clean and give you plenty of room but unless you live in one, you need to think about where you're training. You will most likely be attacked going to and from work, shopping, in your home and where you go for entertainment. Offices, stores, parking lots, bars, restaurants all have a few things in common: hard surfaces and lots of "debris" and clutter. You cant go 10 feet in any direction without hitting a piece of furniture or change in elevation. In the SDTS we show you how to set up a training area so you can learn to operate in those close quarters.

Get your mind set. "Mindsetting" is the simple act of looking at your environment and playing the "what if" game". What if an active shooter came down the hall and you were forced to deal with him? What weapons would you use? How would you plan your escape? How would you communicate to the outside world and call n the cavalry? Periodically going through these scenarios IN YOUR MIND will enable you to react when the time comes. Don't start freaking out your coworkers by grabbing a letter opener and running through the cubicles.

Do you like to drink? Good, now go get drunk and practice. No kidding. (I could see it now, sorry honey, Damian told me too!). But if drinking is a part of your lifestyle, you better understand what's going to happen to you when you have to "fight drunk."

Hey, we are all two people: the one we want to be and the one we actually are. Be honest with yourself and be honest with your training. The more honesty, the better and more realistic your results.

Train Honestly,
Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company









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Damian Ross is CEO of the Self Defense Company and developer of The Self Defense Training System, the most lethal and effective self defense system in the world, The Guardian Defensive Tactics Police Combatives Program, 60 minute Self Defense and the Family Safe Program. Mr. Ross also founded the Self Defense Instructor Program that helps people develop their self defense careers from the ground up. Mr. Ross is originally from Ridgewood, NJ where he was a High School Hall of Fame Athlete in football and wrestling as well as a varsity wrestling coach. He then went on to Lehigh University where he was a varsity wrestler and football player. Mr. Ross has 3 black belts, 4th Degree in Tekkenryu Jujutsu, 2nd Degree in Judo, 2nd Degree in Tae Kwon Do. In addition to his martial arts experience, Mr. Ross spent 8 years in the professional security and personal protection business. He is internationally recognized as one of the foremost authorities in reality based self defense.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm 528 Months Old!

Comedian Larry Miller takes you through the phases of aging.

Yes it's my birthday week and at 44 part of me still thinks I'm 17. That's a lie, most of me still thinks I'm 17. But I'm not. I'm definitely older, it's debatable if I'm a little wiser, but one things for sure, I sure as hell don't have to try as hard or as often to get the desired result and I've come to learn my limitations and I have a pretty good idea when I'm getting in over my head. That means I know to call a plumber before I flood the house.

It's funny, I never thought I would give a second thought to getting older until, well, I did. Something happens when you hit your forties. The first thought I had was HOLY SHIT, I'm going to be 50! You suddenly realize that there's more of life behind you than what's in front of you. your mortality becomes VERY REAL as you come to grips with the fact that no matter how hard you try, it's eventually going down hill from here.

Don't get me wrong, I intend to fight this aging thing until the death, but there will come a time when it's over.

While some of my friends are getting divorced, girlfriends (or boyfriends), buying motorcycles and generally letting the "wheels fly off the wagon" me and a few others realized that our time is limited so we better make the best with what we have if we're going to make the most out of our existence.

One observation is that an injury isn't "just an injury" or a bad day isn't simply a bad day. Each little physical and mental failure triggers a nagging question, am I starting my slow descent into "oldmanhood"? Because at some point, shit is going to start breaking and falling off and while I've pledged to go as far and as long as I can. 3000 years ago Spartan Soldiers were active until they were 60 plus and Jack Lalane was still putting younger men to shame in his 90's so I've got a few more rounds left in my magazine.

One of the issues we have as we get older is can we protect ourselves. Self defense is a mindset before a skill set. The toughest guy in the world today isn't the toughest guy in the world tomorrow. You need to adapt your skill set to your survival mindset constantly.

They say "tigers fight harder when they sense the end is near". I like the story of the old man facing the young bodybuilder. It all starts over a parking space where the young buck tries to cut off the old man who slides into the spot. The young guy jumps out of his car and yells "I'm going to kick your ass OLD MAN!!" To that the old timer replies "Look, you've got me really scared, I have no choice but to fight for my life and try to kill you." At that point the muscle head thinks about it and decides it's not worth it.

When you're vulnerable you start to act desperately because the stakes are higher. As we age we can use this to our advantage but we need the tools and the methods to channel our will into effective action.

When I was at the peak of my wrestling career I didn't think twice about taking a guy down in the street. Now I just know better and I know in a few years I might not be able too. It's a good thing that I have adaptable skill set.


This is the whole purpose of the Self Defense Training System. A program with skills that you can adapt to different stages of your life.

I just had a conversation with an SDTS Legion Member on Facebook who said some of these things I would have done in my 20's and 30's but now in my late 50's I don't want to bother. To that I responded that's what SDTS Module 9 is for!

As I get older I understand even more the importance of this information and training because I'm living it. Hey I can still do a lot of the things I could when I was younger (some better) but I know there are just somethings I can't do. I can not compete at the level I did 10 years ago. I may be strong enough but I'm not as fast and it takes a little longer to warm up and recover.

It's a good thing that I don't need to be that fast and I'm glad I focused on this instead of the sporting aspects of the martial arts. Martial arts and combat sports are a young man (and woman's) game, but self defense is EVERYONE'S responsibility. And you don't need to jump through hoops to get understand it.

You don't need to spend years learning this. It wasn't designed for it. Learn it, train it, teach it.

Train Honestly,
Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company









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Damian Ross is CEO of the Self Defense Company and developer of The Self Defense Training System, the most lethal and effective self defense system in the world, The Guardian Defensive Tactics Police Combatives Program, 60 minute Self Defense and the Family Safe Program. Mr. Ross also founded the Self Defense Instructor Program that helps people develop their self defense careers from the ground up. Mr. Ross is originally from Ridgewood, NJ where he was a High School Hall of Fame Athlete in football and wrestling as well as a varsity wrestling coach. He then went on to Lehigh University where he was a varsity wrestler and football player. Mr. Ross has 3 black belts, 4th Degree in Tekkenryu Jujutsu, 2nd Degree in Judo, 2nd Degree in Tae Kwon Do. In addition to his martial arts experience, Mr. Ross spent 8 years in the professional security and personal protection business. He is internationally recognized as one of the foremost authorities in reality based self defense.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How the Law REALLY works with Self Defense

NOTE: I am not an attorney but I know a few damn good ones. In fact, you'll meet one of them at the Training Summit 2012.

"You'll get sued for doing that!" Or "That will land you in jail, fast!" These are the comments we get from people who say the SDTS Combatives program is too violent.

Let's get one thing straight here, no matter what you do, if you defend yourself with SDTS Combatives, Who-flung-poo kung fu or a frying pan, any action you can lead you into a court room. Any martial arts you take, will be used to paint you as a violent person. Heck, even Ron Goldman who was killed by OJ (OK, OJ was found innocent) was painted by the defense as being capable of defending himself because he had a green belt (or something close to it) in Tae Kwon Do. So even if you take SDTS Combatives, Aikido or TaeBo your actions, skills and motivations will be brought into question.

Right are wrong you're STILL going to have to spend money on an attorney.

If you do defend yourself, you're still going to have to defend your actions in a court of law. Depending on the circumstances and severity of the injuries sustained by the person who attacked you, you could be exonerated or held for some form of assault to homicide. The terms vary from state to state so either he got bumped and bruised or he's dead. It's obvious that you're facing much stiffer charges if you actually kill another human being. Either way you're still going to have to hire an attorney.

This is what will typically happen:
1. You're arrested.
2. You're processed and arraigned before a judge. Here's where bail is set and you are formally charged.
3. You post bail or (10%) of the bail with a bail bondsmen (at a rate) and if you're a flight risk, the bail or the percentage will be higher or you won't get bail at all.
4. You get an attorney (either court appointed- OUCH! or you find someone who specializes in criminal law).
5. You file your motions with the court and your lawyer builds a case. This could take years. Over the course of time the majority of the case relies on the evidence. Remember, it's not what happened, it's what you can prove.
6. Then, no matter how a criminal case ends, you can still be sued in most states. Yes, even by the guy you floored after he broke into your house and threatened your family.


The bottom line is this: if you defend yourself in ANY MANNER you run the risk of having to defend your actions in court. Let's just imagine you can toss them to the ground with a wrist lock or a..ahem, a pressure point. Your attacker will get bumped and bruised. And without knowing how to take a proper fall, they can still be killed when they smack their head on a brick wall or a concrete floor as seen demonstrated by Aikido, Judo and Jujutsu experts. Anytime you put your hands on someone you run the risk of seriously being injured and seriously injuring your target. Either way, there is a great chance after ANY conflict you will have to defend your actions in a court of law.

The t-shirt slogan I would rather be judged by twelve than carried by six is something you need to consider. I know it's cliché and a little cheesy, but that doesn't make it untrue.

I'm going to sue you!!!

Sure you are Judge Judy. The only time you will be sued is if you have money. Lawyers don't work for free and are not in the habit of suing broke people. Depending on the attorney, he's not going to take a case on a contingency (that's the one where you only pay him only if you win) unless he knows he'll be making 50 to 100 thousand dollars plus. These cases are long and risk recovering no money, so a lot of times he's looking for a quick settlement to make the most on his time. The longer the case drags on, the higher the settlement amount goes, the less likely he will get paid.

A lawyer choosing which cases to take comes down to two factors: if he can easily prove his case and if he feels he will get paid for his time. Let's put it this way, if you own your home and earn an average income with a mortgage and a car chances are you don't have a few hundred thousand lying in the bank waiting to be given to some lawyer. If you do, you better be insured and covered just in case anyone does try to sue you. That can range from someone getting bitten by your dog to you beating someone to a pulp.

The law focuses on intent and reasonableness under the totality of the circumstances and NOT what technique or style you use. You can still defend yourself and there are justifiable circumstances. Your vindication depends directly on what you do BEFORE and AFTER the attack, not during the attack. In the SDTS, we cover that too. Because defensive tactics are more than just technique.

Note that the NRA does sell self-defense insurance and you can get it here >>>http://www.locktonaffinity.com/nrains/defense.htm

Train Honestly,
Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company









The Self Defense Company Global Network of Resources

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Tactical Training Programs

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Family and Community Safety
Basic Adult and Teen Tactical Training
Police, Military and Security Tactical Training
Instructor Certification


Damian Ross is CEO of the Self Defense Company and developer of The Self Defense Training System, the most lethal and effective self defense system in the world, The Guardian Defensive Tactics Police Combatives Program, 60 minute Self Defense and the Family Safe Program. Mr. Ross also founded the Self Defense Instructor Program that helps people develop their self defense careers from the ground up. Mr. Ross is originally from Ridgewood, NJ where he was a High School Hall of Fame Athlete in football and wrestling as well as a varsity wrestling coach. He then went on to Lehigh University where he was a varsity wrestler and football player. Mr. Ross has 3 black belts, 4th Degree in Tekkenryu Jujutsu, 2nd Degree in Judo, 2nd Degree in Tae Kwon Do. In addition to his martial arts experience, Mr. Ross spent 8 years in the professional security and personal protection business. He is internationally recognized as one of the foremost authorities in reality based self defense.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Civil Unrest - Damian Ross, The Self Defense Company





I'm not a survivalist, I'm a realist. While there are people predicting the end of the world this year, from complete economic meltdown to the Mayans December 21 prediction.

Personally, I don't think the world is going to end and I don't think we're going to go back to the stone age either. Because even if that happens, no problem, the world is over and all the crap we're worrying about right now is over and done.

The end of the world doesn't scare me, but civil unrest does.

The term civil unrest is innocuous. It sounds more like a little nuisance or a bad night's sleep if than anything else but civil unrest can range from a protest to a full scale riot of biblical proportions. The problem is you never know when or where you may find yourself neck deep is some serious civil unrest.

This summer we had Hurricane Irene hit our shores. Well, she didn't really hit anything, she just gave us some really good surfing for a few days. But that didn't matter. She was do in on Saturday and it just so happened that I was in Long Beach Island, NJ (ground zero for Irene)on the Thursday before when Governor Christie said "Don't be ridiculous, get off the beach." And then proceeded to execute a mandatory evacuation of Long Beach Island and the rest of the Jersey Shore on Friday morning.

That Thursday evening and it just happened to be raining out. The weather was unrelated to the pending storm. But that didn't stop people from panicking. As soon as the first rain drop was felt, every car on the island went to the gas station until the pumps were dry and then the grocery stores were ransacked until nothing remained. I saw at least four separate fights break out in the short time I was on the roads. It was crazy. This wasn't the inner city or some war torn, third world country. This was an affluent beach town during a summer rain shower.

There wasn't any real threat. Even if the storm hit with F5 proportions, in a matter of an hour by car you would have reached safety. The real threat was the people.

Seem too far fetched?

Imagine your in your truck, driving through town and you come upon people rioting and looting. Before you can put you rig in reverse, you're dragged out of rig and beaten by the crowd of men. Seem impossible? That's exactly what happened to Reginald Denny on March 3rd, 1991 in downtown Los Angeles when the jury handed over a "Not Guilty" verdict on the Rodney King trial. Reginald was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the cops couldn't help him, the national guard couldn't help him, he was on his own and when the shit hits the fan, so are you.

The police are not equipped to handle an all out riot. L.A. has one of the most elite police forces in the world and all they could do was contain it and let it burn out. It's all you can do.

Most people think of having to defend themselves against a mugger, a rapist or a drunken bully. And while these are very real and dangerous threats, people think they will avoid these people by staying in areas that don't have that sort of crime. I can assure you that the people in the little, sleepy town of Long Beach Island who with no prior criminal activity, took to fighting for the last carton of milk the second they felt it was life or death. I will go out on a limb and say the majority people who participated in the London riots would avoid any sort of conflict under normal circumstances.

I listen to some people tell me they don't need to worry about these situations because they live in a safe and affluent community. BULLSHIT. Mr. Jones next door may help you take your bulk trash to the curb, but when it comes down to his family or yours, guess who he's going to pick?

When you get the chance, watch the movie "Contagion". You thinks it's just a movie? Right, we've already seen this behavior with the Bird Flu epidemic in China. It's not a matter of IF it will happen only WHEN it will happen because IT DOES HAPPEN. It's not a rare or isolated incident, it's a regular occurrence.

How prepared is too prepared? I don't know, digging foxholes in your front yard, laying mine fields and making your family car a decommissioned Abrams, might be a bit extreme. Personally, I keep a bug out bag and a whole host of "get out of dodge" items if me and my family need to evacuate the area. And if anyone get's in the way of me and where I have to go, I'm ready to take care of them too. I'm not a tough guy, I'm not an alarmist, I'm not a survivalist, I'm a realist.

I would expect anyone else to do the same.

Train Honestly,
Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company









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Tactical Training Programs

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Police, Military and Security Tactical Training
Instructor Certification


Damian Ross is CEO of the Self Defense Company and developer of The Self Defense Training System, the most lethal and effective self defense system in the world, The Guardian Defensive Tactics Police Combatives Program, 60 minute Self Defense and the Family Safe Program. Mr. Ross also founded the Self Defense Instructor Program that helps people develop their self defense careers from the ground up. Mr. Ross is originally from Ridgewood, NJ where he was a High School Hall of Fame Athlete in football and wrestling as well as a varsity wrestling coach. He then went on to Lehigh University where he was a varsity wrestler and football player. Mr. Ross has 3 black belts, 4th Degree in Tekkenryu Jujutsu, 2nd Degree in Judo, 2nd Degree in Tae Kwon Do. In addition to his martial arts experience, Mr. Ross spent 8 years in the professional security and personal protection business. He is internationally recognized as one of the foremost authorities in reality based self defense.