Are You Looking for a Way In or a Way Out – The Self Defense Company

Are You Looking for a Way In or a Way Out

Are You Looking for a Way In or a Way Out

Anyone who starts the conversation with “I can’t” “I don’t” or “I won’t” isn’t ready and the conversation is over.  This is what I tell our instructors because you’re either looking for a way in or a way out.

Here’s a little secret…

“Life Is Designed To Tell You NO.”


No – you can’t be in shape.

No – you can’t be wealthy.

No – you can’t have success.

No – you can’t be happy.

No – you can’t learn self defense.

Like the saying goes…if it were easy, everyone would do it.

When you hear those words you’re witnessing a conflict of someone who KNOWS they should do it but are too lazy to actually do it. So they put the reason for the failure on the situation and that makes them feel better. Truth be told, even if you were willing to go to their house and train them for free…they still wouldn’t do it.

Everyone is too busy, too broke, too old, too out of shape — EVERYONE.

“There Are A Million Excuses Not To Do Something,
But Only One Reason To Do Something.”

Do you think my life and my career in self defense was perfect…

  • I blew out my knee my senior year in high school football during the state championship game. Missing my senior year of wrestling (and a possible NJ State Championship) plus any chance of an athletic scholarship.
  • I had a falling out with my TKD instructor and was asked to leave the Dojang after 9 years of training and teaching.
  • I used to drive 2 hours a few times a month to meet with my combatives instructor over the course of several years…who had poor health and wasn’t exactly reliable. Many times I drove down there he wasn’t there…even after we made plans.
  • During this time my father died suddenly at the age of 66 and I had to step in and help fix the business with my uncle.
  • When I was training in Judo – I would drive the same distance…2 to 3 times a week…while I was working a full time job, running a dojo and starting a family.
  • In October 2007 my former partner and student decided to end our business relationship and attempted to destroy my reputation and sell millions of dollars worth of my videos.  I went from earning 25K per month to 1K per month and with a new mortgage and two young kids.  My wife and I launched the Self Defense Company and started creating the content. We also engaged in a 6 year lawsuit across that went across several states and ultimately ended in our victory.

Oh and along the way my wife and I lost a baby, I had cancer, lost a fortune (3X over) and had to rebuild my life just as many. Perfect? Far from it.

The struggle is REAL and it’s every day. Many people have come and gone over the last decade and a half…and we’re still rolling.

Here’s another little secret…

“If You Want Something Other People Don’t Have,
You Must Be Willing To Do Something Other People Won’t Do.”

This is why our conversation ends when I hear those words – “I can’t” “I don’t” or “I won’t”. We’re done because you are not ready. If you were serious…YOU WOULD TRY. It’s really that simple.

Look, if you don’t even try…I mean really try…how the heck are you going to defend yourself against someone who is dangerous, determined and able…?

This isn’t just about self defense, its about everything. Nothing is perfect and nothing goes to plan. Life is always telling you NO and most people accept that answer. That’s why there are “Haves” and “Have Nots”.

But life also gives you clues and a path forward, you just need to pay attention and look at every setback as a step forward. It took Edison 1,000 attempts to invent the lightbulb. Is that 1,000 failures…or 1,000 steps to get it right? It all depends on how you look at it.

To get something, you need to do something. It’s never perfect…NEVER perfect. You will never have enough time, you will never have enough money, you will never be in shape – but you don’t need all that.

You just need to make a decision – This is what I want and I’m going to make it work no matter what.

There will be set backs, there will be failure. Everyone has problems, everyone has challenges…everyone shares the same cloudy sky. Most people accept defeat while a few of us find a way.

So the next time someone says those words, be polite – but end the conversation there…

“Thanks for your time, but you’re not ready. Stay safe.”

Train Honestly,


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Published by Damian (Instructor)

Founder, The Self Defense Company

Join the Conversation


  1. That is easily one of the most inspiring things I have ever read, internet or hard copy. You’ve truly faced adversity, overcome, and prospered. This is the kind of thing that makes me darn proud to part of it.

  2. I appreciate you having the courage to share the challenges and set-backs in your life. I wish you, your wife, and the rest of your family the best in all things.

  3. Hello Damian. You are spot on in your commentary here. Any discipline, or undertaking requires a consistent effort, and I really need to stop procrastinating, and apply a consistent effort to learn the skills of your self defense system. I am just a little guy (5’6″ tall, 135 to 140 lbs.) and am an easy target for most any larger man (which is most men in my case) to take advantage of me and exploit my smaller size. To this day, I am haunted by childhood memories of a neighborhood bully who beat up my younger brothers, and one of these beatings took place right in front of me, and I was too scared to do anything about it. I will go to my grave with these terrible acts of cowardice haunting me in the back of my mind. More recently last year, I had an incident take place in a public shopping center. My wife was in a store shopping, and I decided to go outside to do some stretching exercises since I had done a workout earlier in the day, as I was still dressed in my sweats and running shoes. As I was going through the stretching exercises, 2 young men came walking by and one of them began to make fun of what I was doing in a very loud and obnoxious tone of voice. I ignored him. He then came over right next to me and began to make a mockery of what I was doing, while continuing to run his big mouth, making fun of me. His friend, a much bigger young man, was not involved. He just stood and watched what was going on. At this point, I stopped what I was doing, and stared at this young punk, who appeared to be in his late teens or early twenties, and slightly bigger than I am. He then quit his mockery and said, “you stopped!” He then just stood there, staring right back at me. After this brief stare-down, he and his over-sized buddy started walking down the sidewalk. In addition to my size, my 2nd handicap is my age, as I was 63 at the time of this incident. I do take care of myself and I am in excellent health for a man in his early to mid 60’s. I then began to walk back to the store where my wife was shopping which was in the same direction that this kid and his buddy were walking. I walked faster and passed right between the 2 of them, and as I did, this kid took one last shot at me saying, “you’re not running!” Again, I just ignored his mockery. I believe that if I had consistently trained, I may have had the confidence and skills to give this obnoxious punk a lesson in manners if necessary, had I been more aggressive in my response to his rude and disrespectful behavior. I read once how the prize fighter Jack Dempsey was jumped by 2 young men who attempted to mug him. Mr. Dempsey, who was 76 years old at the time, knocked them both senseless! I am not a big man like Dempsey was, but I can’t help think if I had trained – even alone with no partner in my case, that I would have been prepared to better deal with that potentially threatening situation. Training and working, even alone, is better than no training at all.

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