How to Avoid Justifiable Failure – The Self Defense Company

How to Avoid Justifiable Failure

How to Avoid Justifiable Failure

How to Avoid Justifiable Failure

Damian Ross, The Self Defense Company

Don’t let your New Year’s Resolution become a victim of another Justifiable Failure.

Justifiable Failure is when you set yourself up to implode by manufacturing a “reasonable” excuse that masks the real cause of your loss – fear.
A fighter will lose when he tries a l
The fear is generated by the prospect of discovering how good (or how bad) you really are. Most people succumb to this fear while others, the few, the successful, face it, embrace t and make a change. This article will show you how to identify this problem and give you a road map to success.

A fighter will lose when he tries a low percentage move in the ring. It will appear as if he’s going for the knock out when in reality he’s simply giving up. He’ ll walk off the mat and say, ‘Well I went for it, but it didn’t work’.

Even though he lost, he still feels he had some control over the loss and he doesn’t have to face his fear that the other guy was just better than him. In front of his peers he saves face because he “tried a stupid move” and if it wasn’t for trying that move he could have won.


We call this justifiable failure “tanking” and it happens all the time.

Tanking just doesn’t happen in sports…

In competition shows like Top Chef most contestants get eliminated when they try something new in the heat of competition. Here they even take it a step further and revel in the fact that they went outside their comfort zone, when in reality they made the decision to fail the moment they tried something new.

Game time is not the time for new, unproven tactics and tools. That’s like taking an unproven weapon into battle. The time to try new things is in practice and training. Every champion and good soldier knows this.

How you let your self fail (and feel good about it).

Everyone creates a reasonable excuse for not training: work, school, family,  health or lack of money. You’ll strategically make these reasons conflict with one an other and create a choice between that factor and your training.

In reality, this choice doesn’t exist. You’re never too busy, too broke or too weak….save me the drama.

Too busy?  Take 5 minutes and do some push-ups and sit ups.
Too broke? Push ups and sit ups are free!Too fat? Do one, try one, go on your knees. There will come a time where one turns into two and two turns into ten.

You don’t need a gym, you don’t need a personal trainer all you need is to make the decision to do it.

I’ve heard your excuse and it’s only temporary.

Looking for sympathy? It’s in the dictionary between shit and syphilis – I only serve the truth here.

Webster's got some sympathy for you.
Webster’s got some sympathy     for you.


I know you probably have friends that understand your situation. They’ll pat you on your back and empathize. But they’re not your friends, they’re part of the problem. Misery and mediocrity loves company. Most people are miserable and mediocre. They are  useless sheep and your success will serve only as a reminder of their failure. The world likes you weak, you’re less threatening when you’re soft.

I’m the best friend you’ll ever have since I care less about hurting your feelings and more about the truth. I have nothing to lose by being honest with you. I don’t care if you get mad at me – hell, hate me – still doesn’t make me wrong.

I can’t see how knowing how to protect yourself and being in better physical condition is a luxury and not a necessity.

If you put work over being able to protect the ones you love and avoiding a heart attack in your 50’s – you have a serious problem my friend.

Will you be able to work from your hospital bed or your grave? Time to step out of of denial and into the light.

Work, money, heck even your health are NO EXCUSES – provided you have the right training program and realistic goals.

Unless you’re on your death bed, get off your ass and work around your injury.

The notion that you have to “get in shape” before you start self defense training is bionically stupid. Especially when you can get in shape while learning to kick ass. Besides, how in shape do you need to be to bludgeon someone over the head with a black jack?

It’s not prize fighting, it’s survival and every species from an ant to an elephant knows how to do this…except you.

Saying you’re going to kick someone’s ass and actually being able to do it are completely different propositions.

The problem is you think you need to undergo some type of Olympic, UFC training regiment to get into fighting shape. Forget that shit and forget those guys. I would no sooner suggest you start training like an NFL football player.

Wrong tool, wrong job.

Your Road Map to Success consists of two parts, your training program and how you fit that program into your life. The goal here is to get you in batter shape and give you the skills you need to protect yourself and your loved ones. You’re not training for the Iron Man, you’re in it for the long haul.

Attending a class for an hour, three times a week for the rest of your life is not realistic. The right program for sustainable training has to have specific characteristics that will enable you to succeed.

The characteristics of a training program that will make you succeed.

1. It’s Mobile – If you have to go to a place, it starts to eat into your day. Now that 30 minutes has turned into an hour plus. If the class is at a particular time, it decreases the chances of your long term commitment. Programs like the SDTS can be done anywhere. All you need is some space and you’re all set. Even if you can’t get in front of your training dummy, there are other skill building drills and physical training you can do instead.

2. Keeps Your Interest – Pull ups are boring, learning to garotte someone is cool! Push ups suck, knocking someone out with the softest part of your hand is awesome. There are only so many hours in the day – why not fill them with something useful?

3. Challenges You – In the beginning, everything is challenging. After a few weeks it starts to get stale. You need something that will continue to grow with your developing skills set. In the SDTS you start with core, primary techniques and tactics and then move you into skills that require a little training.

4. It Must be Accessible – Your schedule always changes. One week you may be able to make class, the next week, not so much. This is why Insider is so successful. Anywhere you have an internet connection you’re good to go.

5. Community Support – Training alone is tough. The good thing about a training partner is that you motivate each other. The bad thing is it’s only temporary. Eventually someone will start missing. It happens. The great thing about Insider is that there’s a global community of Instructors and Members who are only a click a way, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Here you can talk to people just like you with the same goal – proven and effective self defense.

Selecting the right program is only the half of your road map to success. The other half is how to set up yourself for success. I’m going to give you some tips right now to make sure you stick to your training regiment.

How to set yourself up for success.

1. Create a manageable work out time – Maybe you don’t have an hour a day 3 days a week, but everyone has 30 minutes a day, 4 or 5 days a week. Smaller more frequent workouts are much more manageable than longer ones. You can actually be more intense for a shorter amount of time than you can for a longer stretch. A printers workout is a lot more demanding, intense and shorter than a long distance work out.

2. Make your workouts efficient – Too much time is wasted talking to workout partners and friends at the gym. Talk after you’re done. when you’re training on your own you can go at your own pace, no BS. Go has hard or as light as you want. You’re not holding the class up.

3. Create a schedule that fits your needs – This is why home-based programs work so well. You don’t have to waste time getting to the gym or bend your schedule to make a class at a specific time. This way if your normal time of training is missed, you can squeeze it in whenever you can.

4. Plan to work out when you’re not tired – Personally I used to work out at 9pm – but after kids, a dog and a business, I’m better off working out in the morning BEFORE my day starts. Figure out a time when your energy level is high and train then.

5. Make it a priority – You never have time for self defense until after you’re attacked. You don’t get in shape until after your first heart attack. I don’t care who you are, there’s nothing more important than your health and safety. You need to acknowledge this.

It’s easier to start you’re day later than to end your day earlier. Things tend to spiral out of control during the course of the day and sometimes my day ends much later than I anticipated. Best to take care of yourself first thing and then let the day go where it must.

6. Any work out is better than nothing – Even if you only have 5 minutes – do something. It’s not so much about the physical, but the mental aspect. Don’t let yourself off the hook that easy. Even if it’s a few pushups – do them.

Also, don’t plan on every work out being the best ever.  Some days you feel like the hammer, other days you’re the nail. Roll with it, it’s life.

7. Set small, easy, achievable goals – Tell yourself you’re going to train 4 times this week – it doesn’t matter if its 5 or 30 minutes – just do it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, consistency over time is the key.

8. Understand that if you miss a few, it’s OK – Don’t kill yourself for missing a work out here or there, but I will tell you, if you do the steps above, missed workouts are few and far between.

Don’t be afraid to fail or to admit you’re weak – because it’s only temporary if you decide to do something about it. If you don’t do anything this year, I will guarantee you that next year you’ll be a year older wishing you had 2014 back.I understand this, it’s a long climb out of the basement – but it’s not an impossible climb, it has been done and what one man can do another can as well.

It doesn’t matter how rich you are, every man and woman needs their safety and their health. I wish you a prosperous, safe and healthy 2014.

Train Honestly,







Damian Ross
Founder, The Self Defense Company


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Published by Damian (Instructor)

Founder, The Self Defense Company

Join the Conversation


  1. Damian, thanks for your self defense and fitness motivating principles! Keep going, Joseph (South Africa)

  2. Mr. Ross, I am a physician, and I would like to hang this page in my office for my patients to see. This is one of the best ‘no nonsense’ approaches to exercise I have seen. Motivating myself and my patients to better health with no excuses accepted. I like this. I hope you will not mind. Dennis Pank

  3. Once again brother great article ur right on the,money as,usual take ur dystany into your own hands instead of waiting on the next guy to train with get ur ass off that computer,tv etc and put some work in.Dont wait til its,to late

  4. This is most realistic motivating talk. thank you Damien. your like brother watching out. giving a heads .

  5. Love this one statement
    “I can’t see how knowing how to protect yourself and being in better physical condition is a luxury and not a necessity.”

    Right there sums it all up.

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