Confessions of a Martial Artist – The Self Defense Company

Confessions of a Martial Artist

Confessions of a Martial Artist

Confessions of a Martial Artist

What you’ve told about “mastering self defense” has been a crock of lies perpetuated by an industry designed to MAKE YOU PARTICIPATE AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.

Yep, that’s me, split kicks and eskrima sticks.

Can it be that simple?

After the last training session with a local police department they were shocked at the effectiveness of two simple techniques from SDTS Combatives, the edge of hand and the hand yoke. (In fact a buddy of mine just texted me the other day after he used the hand yoke to take down another subject!)

But if you ask any EXPERT chances are  they will tell you it takes YEARS of training to learn how to protect yourself.

So how did I manage to teach a group of cops in an hour something that should take them years?

First of all, if you don’t know me, my name is Damian Ross. I’ve earned 3 black belts (Judo,

Competing in the Liberty Bell Judo Tournament #lovejudo

Jujutsu and Tae Kwon Do). I also have ranks in Brazilian Jiujitsu, Bando and a few other arts. I was a wrestler and football player (Ridgewood High School and Lehigh University). I’m a former bouncer and bodyguard and I’ve owned multiple martial arts schools in New Jersey at three different locations over the course of several years. 

And I was part of the martial arts problem. 

So how did I manage to teach someone to protect themselves in an hour?

Sure but they’re cops who swore an oath and are prepared and willing to deal with violence.

Fair enough…

Then explain how people with ZERO experience or and no training whatsoever can successfully defend themselves against multiple, larger and stronger attackers?

Take Melissa Bruen for example…

She was attacked while walking on the campus of the University of Connecticut.
She fought off multiple male attackers and SURVIVED.
This group included one man who was 6’1″. He pulled her tube-top down and tried to take her to the ground. She fought off him and others and survived. (READ IT HERE).

I’m sure there are many “experts” out there that will say she got lucky. 

Well according to the facts, the opposite is true. 

The Clay-Warner Study of the NCVS (National Crime Victim Study 2002) shows us that there’s an 87% chance a woman will stop a rape or sexual assault if she resists either physically or verbally. (READ IT HERE)

The truth is, to survive in the street you need more WILL than SKILL.

Yet the “experts” insist the opposite is true.

Why do you think that is?

Maybe it’s because the success of their business depends on you training longer and spending more money. The more months and years you train, the more you pay in tuition and the more money they make. It’s that simple.

If it only took them 4 to 6 weeks to train you they would be out of business. 

Many schools even increase the fees as you get more advanced. They make it seem like what you’re learning is more complicated and takes more time to teach you, but in reality the opposite is true. It’s a lot harder to teach a beginner the basics than it is to teach a more experienced student.

The same holds true for any skill, not just martial arts.

The reason they increase the fees is because as school owners we know we can.

You’ve invested TIME and MONEY and there’s no way you’re walking off of this investment until you’re goal is met.

And your goal is…BLACK BELT.

After all, it’s written all over the place and that’s all everyone talks about. They have Black Belt Clubs, Black Belt Contracts and of course a plethora of t-shirts.

Once you’re hooked they’ll keep you going with two different approaches.

First there’s the “Next Goal” approach.
This is where you have to learn a whole bunch of material – Forms (katas), weapons, specific self defense counters – there’s always something new to learn. They stack the syllabus and keep you advancing. 

The other approach is “Master Says”.
Brazilian Jiujitsu does a great job of this. This is where your instructor promotes you when he thinks you’re ready. This is genius because as an instructor you really don’t need to work that hard. All you need to do is show up, teach whatever you feel like and whenever you think a someone is good enough, you give them a belt.

Apparently, the longer it takes you to get a black belt, the BETTER your system!!!

Martial arts is one of the few industries where people brag about how long it took to get a black belt. It took me seven years to earn my first black belt. Imagine if I said it took me seven years to graduate high school!

Martial arts can hold the “black belt” hostage, but they’re not going to hold self defense hostage. You don’t need to pass through them to protect yourself and your loved ones. 


When I hear “You need years to know how to protect yourself”, it infuriates me because you’re part of the f@cking problem.”

Because when someone who doesn’t know anything hears that, they’re not going to do ANYTHING. The last thing they’re going to do is join your school, gym, dojo, dojang, club or whatver you’re calling it.

They see MMA, they read everyone’s tough talk about how (insert exaggerated amount of training with random instructor) and normal people are not going to take any steps to learn anything. 

Instead of inspiring students YOU’RE CREATING VICTIMS.

Since most people don’t face violence on a regular basis, they will deny it’s going to happen until they do become victims or buy a gun and think that’s going to answer all of their problems.

People need to know that with just a little effort and the right skills they can protect themselves. Sure, our training get’s a little extreme at times, but for most people, all you need is a little bit of time and effort. 

The studies show it. The facts are there for you to see…but therein lies the problem. 

Martial artists LOVE to tell stories but hate to face the facts. 

Fact you don’t need a black belt or years of training to protect yourself.
Fact you don’t need to be in great shape, young, or big and strong to protect yourself. 

This isn’t a competition.

Look if you want to compete in sport and you enjoy the martial arts culture (I wouldn’t trade my black belts for anything) by all means, have fun. I met some good people going through the ranks. But don’t think for a second that you need to spend YEARS learning martial arts to protect yourself.


So why do martial artists hate me so much? 

Because not only am I telling you that you don’t need them for self defense and that threatens their

Here I am ruining someone’s patio.

business, commitment and sacrifice.

Hey, I made the same commitment and I’m not threatened. Martial arts has it’s place.

I know I’m the whistle-blower. And the first one through the wall is often the bloodiest. 

Sure you can defend yourself with martial arts, but you don’t need martial arts for self defense. 

Keep Training Honestly, 


PS. The irony is this…they call me a ‘scam’ because I want you to train less and pay less while they want you to train more and pay more…interesting. 

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Published by Damian (Instructor)

Founder, The Self Defense Company