The Seven Signs Your Instructor is Full of Sh!t. – The Self Defense Company

The Seven Signs Your Instructor is Full of Sh!t.

The Seven Signs Your Instructor is Full of Sh!t.

Some people actually believe that any self defense advice is good. To that I ask you, is any medical advice good? Is any nutrition or exercise advice good?

Of course it's safe to say...

Not all Self Defense Advice is GOOD. 

If you spent any time in a martial arts or self defense class you probably heard one of these seven statements and when you's a good time to leave the class. 

The Seven Signs Your Instructor is Full of Sh!t

1.  Always Walk Away.

Do you mean turn your back on a potential threat? What if I have my kids with me? Do I leave them or do I tuck them under each arm and run???

I don't understand this statement and for the life of me, I really don't know why someone would tell another human being to do this ALL OF THE TIME.

I'm sure most victims of violent crime tried to walk away at one point or another but unfortunately the animal attacking them had other plans. 

You should never turn your back on any threat that is close enough to impose their will on you...EVER.


2. I Train to Fight so I don't have to Fight.

Bruce Lee gets credit for this quote. He's the same guy who claims to have fought in "hundreds" of street fights in China so much for 'not fighting'.

Personally "I train to fight so I can fight back."

Do I like to of course not. I don't enjoy hurting another human being, but I accept the responsibility and embrace my INSTINCT to protect and defend.

Accept that violence will happen and go into it reluctantly, but ready.

3. Violence Never Solves Anything.

Maybe not, but it sure stops a lot of stuff like rape, murder, WWII and Flight 93...should I keep going?

There are many people on this earth who use violence to intimidate, impose their will and take whatever they can. These animals only understand power and pain. The only way to stop them is with power and pain.


4. Violence is Never the Answer.

On the contrary, sometimes violence is the only answer. Violence is an immediate and effective means of correcting anti-social behavior.

Violence is a short term solution to an immediate problem.

I wouldn't try to rehabilitate a criminal by beating him on a daily basis just as I wouldn't try to counsel a man who was kicking in my front door.


5. Use Non-Lethal Techniques First.

This notion comes from the "escalation of force" concept. Escalation of force applies to police work and basically comes down to verbal commands, physical and mechanical use of force and finally deadly use of force.

This concept is constantly misapplied. 

When it comes to self defense, once you've made the decision to use force you have only one obligation - survive and stop the threat as fast as possible by whatever means possible.

The question you need to ask is what exactly is a non-lethal technique? 

There's no classification in any law book that details what specific techniques you can use.

There's only legal use of force and excessive force and that gets determined by a judge and jury...and a GOOD LAWYER. Police enforce the law, lawyers and judges argue the law. There's a difference and you should know it. 

when it comes to self defense, it's better to go in hard and slow down AFTER you've dominated the situation than to go in soft and "escalate" to meet your attacker's use of force.

Don't put yourself one step behind your attacker. 


6. Always let your attacker, attack first.

This is NUTS! Yet many, many experts train to let their attacker do this.

Would to let an ex-boxer throw the first punch?!?!?!

This is left over from the schoolyard -  "always let him throw the first punch" which may work  with 4th graders, but in the real world against an unknown attacker of unknown ability - you're going to get smashed. 

Waiting for the punch, grab or any attack is too late. A good street fighter is going to attack you with a barrage of punches, stabs and any other means possible to beat you into the earth. Letting him "attack first" will assure your failure...unless he REALLY SCREWS UP - but I'm not taking that chance. 

The insanity is - literally EVERY school of self defense promotes this behavior and trains you to let him attack first!!!

What do you do in class -- You line up with your partner, let him get close and wait for him to attack. Against a real threat in the real world the fight is over...

..and you will never have a chance to do that fancy move you pay $300 a month to learn.

What you need to do is put yourself in a position of advantage and identify the intent of your threat BEFORE he makes a move.


7. Always fight 'honorably'.

Let's make one thing clear - LIVE HONORABLY, but FIGHT DIRTY.

Once the decision is made to go, then you need to go all in, no BS.

Never put yourself at risk by training in tactics that enable your attacker to "slip away."

In fact, the safest and most humane thing to do is to end the conflict as fast as possible.

Your safety comes first - not your attacker's safety.

Going into a real fight with the notion that you're superior just because you go to a gym and that your attacker is "untrained" is a HUGE mistake.

Most of the scariest people you will ever meet never spent a day in a dojo. What makes them dangerous isn't their strength or their techniques, it's their will to do anything it takes to get what they want.

You must be willing to do the same.

The hardest thing you will ever have to do is come to the realization that violence happens and you need to take that first step. 

There are people who use violence to get want they want. To defeat these animals you must be willing to do whatever it takes to save yourself and the people you care about.

It's the only true way.

Train Honestly, 


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Published by Damian (Instructor)

Founder, The Self Defense Company

Join the Conversation


  1. Damian Ross is one of the best in combatives and reality based training i’ve seen.
    Excellent Article, a true eye-opener for anyone, especially for any beginner.

  2. Amen. If you’re teeter tottering on taking the SDTS course…STOP. DO IT NOW. This knowledge you will carry with you the rest of your life. Which no doubt will be lengthened by same..

    Yogi Chas

      1. I noticed there is another “Randy” on the Insider. I guess I need to sign my name from now on, as Randy V. so my identity won’t be confused with the other one who thinks you’re a “fear monger”. Keep up the great work Damian. Facts help dispel fears. This other guy needs a reality check.

    1. Perhaps it is uncomfortable and I do know plenty of people out there using fear among other things to present ideas. I believe this is different in two critical ways. First, it is a true take it or leave it article that presents ideas without judgement or threatening those who disagree. Second, when the danger is real, shining a light on it is useful and needful. I believe our world truly is more dangerous than it has been in decades. If so, the ideas presented here can save a life.

    2. For over 20 years I did volunteer work in jails, shock camps and level four NYS prisons. The reality of criminal violence is that Mr. Ross is spot on. I hope that Mr. Fear Monger doesn’t have a family who may taste the deserts of his philosophy of denial.

  3. Great article, but in regards to banned or outlawed techniques you are incorrect. If you were addressing civilians, your statement is fine. But if you were addressing Police officers in NYC you are wrong. NY’s finest have been banned from using choke holds for several years now. A problem for all the fans of BJJ. Otherwise, spot on.

  4. Nice summary to what I have been taught and rules I’ve applied for some years. I find it very pleasing to read an article by somebody who shares this realistic approach to conflict!

  5. My sifu was actually a guy who said “Don’t pick fights…because it’s wrong. But if someone is going to attack you, PUT THEM DOWN!” But I think I have learned more real defensive stuff even from just your freebie stuff.

    1. The problem with the “if someone is going to attack you put them down” mentality is simply that if the attack is already in progress then it is simply too late. Of course any good instructor would instill the belief that you should not going around beating your chest like Tarzan and picking fights with every Tom, Dick, or Harry. But once they have made the mistake of attempting to escalate a situation then better to be proactive and hit them in the head with a freakin brick than have your own brains smashed in with the same.

  6. Back in my kung fu days ,the master of that system use to say we don’t fight ……there is no fight ……because ill knock you out before the fight even starts!

    1. I always laugh when one of the party, usually the one trying to start the fight says, Make sure it is a fair fight. What does that really mean?

      1. Right!!! That’s not a fight. You might as well just arm wrestle. Much more fun than watching a crappy mma fight

  7. Hey Damian, me and my son were just talking about this same thing. Then I log in and what do I see on my dashboard. The perfect compliment to our conversation. As always keep up the GREAT work my man. See you on the inside.

  8. Hello! I could havfe sworn I’ve visited this blog before but
    after looking at a few of the articles I realized it’s new
    to me. Anyhow, I’m certainly pleased I came across it
    and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

  9. Hello everyone! Damian I really like what you are saying. I work for a private state agency where I train an intervention course for defense. I have to stay in the realms of a curriculum ( which at times is very restrictive) , but like you I keep it as real as I can and my classes do appreciate the Real Talk much more so than me following an unrealistic guide. I appreciate your style!!

    1. Namon,

      It’s my experience that private security firms are less concerned with your safety and more concerned with having to defend your actions in court. At the end of the day – do WHATEVER it takes to survive and in the meantime…maybe find another line of work.
      I have dealt with private security firms in the past and the guidelines for use of force are non-existent.

  10. Hellο there! I could have swоrn I’ve visited this web site beforе but after browsing through
    a few of the articles I realіzed it’s nnew to me. Anyhow,
    I’m ԁefinitely pleased I came across it and I’ll be book-marking
    it and checking back freԛuеntly!

  11. Superb Mr Ross I’m a 8th degree black belt in taekwondo ( old school when the fighting was real). Some of the technical aspects of your system is like a refresher to me because of some of my training. The difference is your mindset that I like. As I watch the video in your course some of the ways you explain things are exactly as I explain them sometimes word for word. Please keep doing what you do sir. And thank you.
    Rick Reed

    1. I would like to know who was your instructor. I trained in tae kwon do in the mid 70s under an instructor of the Kinney karate association. Later under an instructor under Master D.W. Kang of Tulsa,Oklahoma. The sparring was rough but still more tournament oriented. Later at a different martial arts school I sparred a young man who had lived with a Korean family. The Taekwon Do he used was completely different and full contact! Got my butt kicked. Bad! Just curios if you don’t mind. Thank you for your time.
      Gary H.

      1. Gary,

        If you spent anytime in the martial arts you definitely would have heard these sentiments from SOME ONE.

        Second, as for the Korean fellow – sounds like he just wanted to tune up a round eye – he was probably a dick. It doesn’t matter what style, the new guy always tests and gets tested.

        BTW, just follow the links above to discover my lineage.

  12. Ooo-k-a-y… not too many chicky-babes responding – ah well, here it goes! Great advice,! In my near 70 years I’ve had guns pulled on me, chased bad guys over fences, and had a major street fight in the UK – needless to say, I survived the lot – – and it WASN’T because I backed down or waited to see what they were going to do – I fought as hard as I could, at the time. My life has been fraught with cool adventures and happenings, and I’ve been able to continue to rise above all expectations. It’s been a great ride. I now have three black belts after having started in martial arts in 1970. Thanks for all your articles!

    1. HI DOC!

      Sorry it took me 9 months to reply (eesh) but I’m glad you posted!

    2. Hello Damian. I ordered the STDS system from dvds 10 yrs ago. Due to the fact that I’m 63 now and on disability I only study your material and what little Wing Chun I am still able to perform. Greatly modified of course due to my limitations. I was just curious who if anybody taught TAEKWON Do where you actually fought. Not the least bit interested in taking it up again.

      1. Gary – I love being challenged and questioned.

        I got my second degree blackbelt from my brother Phil…we get along OK now but it wasn’t a good break up.

        Our linage came from Bai in Ramsey, NJ. I fought in a lot of point and some full contact stuff but limited exposure to Olympic TKD.

        The point of the post are sentiments that you hear time and time again from martial artists of all walks of life when it comes to self defense…and I still hear them to this day.

  13. When I hear a man talking like that, I know I’m in the right place. Anyone who tells you anything different from what Damian just said, is truly full of shit. Pay no attention to them, and mark them as a fool. Always carry a weapon. No matter how well you fight, you fight better with a weapon than without one. If you are in a place where you can’t carry a gun or a knife, have a cane, a great stealth weapon.

  14. Damien, your stuff is very much like the TFT guys. I train in Target Focus Training, and essentially, you are speaking the same “truths” that they teach.
    Violence isn’t always the answer, but sometimes it’s the ONLY answer.

  15. Damian, sound advice. Whenever I’ve followed the instructions of “real” self-defense instructors, it hasn’t gone well for me. Whenever I’ve taken the initiative, I’ve come out on top, even to the point of prevention of anything happening beyond that point.

    Anyway, I think I need to get a t-shirt made up that says



  16. Only issue I would have is number 5, and only sometimes. Like, in a bar, a drunk person starts something and there’s no way out but violence, you probably don’t have to use debilitating techniques like attacks to the eyes, etc. And if you do, especially on California, there can and will be legal ramifications. They don’t need a specific law or code to fall back to, if the DA can get you for excessive violence and put another conviction under his belt he will. You have to be careful.

    That said, situations like a mugging, which can easily kill YOU, use whatever means necessary to put down the threat, survival is the primary goal. Especially if there is more than one attacker, you have to dispatch the first one asap, nothing is off the table.

    Just my $.02

    1. Quick question…what’s the difference between attacking the eyes or the nose…or the cheek? Well only a few inches. Fact is…YOU CAN’T CONTROL WHAT HE DOES – where he goes and how he reacts.

      You really only can focus on general areas that are target rich (module 1 covers this).

      Finally, do you really know what that drunks intent is?

      He can push you, you trip and fall and split your head open – he might not have meant to do it – but you’re still in a coma.

      Fact is, anyone who decides to put their hands on you is putting you at risk.

      Then I’ll close with this…common sense should play a factor (and I think you’re kind of talking about this). If the subject is fall down drunk – you’re probably not going to view him as a threat anyway so you really wouldn’t engage.

      1. Yeah, if falling-down drunk, or somehow easily dealt with using minimal violence, I say do that. In this state, retaliating excessively removes the self-defense legal defense. Also, striking someone first is risky, legally speaking, though as you point out a much better option technically. Its better to mount your legal defense while standing up than from a hospital bed. So when striking first against someone in a local tavern, going for the throat or eye might be just what the DA needs to put you away.

        Once things get chaotic, which is pretty much immediately, its difficult to determine what you hit … as we know, nobody just stands there. About the only thing you can do preemptively is not to look for and start trouble. If it looks for you that’s different.

        1. Nels,

          You have some common misconceptions about how the law works.

          First, you don’t need to wait to be attacked first. As long as you can prove that your assailant was capable and had intent.

          “Excessive” is a term that is argued by lawyers, in front of judges. Even if you do something that you feel is a safe technique – you will still need to defend your actions in court….and that costs the same.

          Finally — and this is the MOST IMPORTANT POINT — waiting for things to “get chaotic” is WAY TO FUCKING LATE.

          NEVER let your attacker dictate your response – this is self defense 101. Now, you can determine your attacker’s intentions BEFORE he makes an aggressive move and we cover that in Module 1.

          Oh, and regarding the law, I did a post a while back based on my interview with a defense attorney (now federal judge) on self defense and the law, when you have a moment, check it out —

          1. That is true, Damian. AND, your lawyer MUST be trained, knowledgeable, and experienced in the law of self-defense. If no one in your area qualifies, look at:

            NRA which has firearm attorney insurance.
            USCCA which has insurance that defends firearms AND H 2 H
            US (and individual state) Law Shield which has insurance for
            all self-defense situations and even covers active or
            retired Law Enforcement Officers.

          2. Great points – and there’s one attorney I know can get the job done…Jose Baez. He got Casey Anthony and Aaron Hernandez off – Casey after she was accused of killing her 2 year old child and Hernandez after he was already found guilty of murder.

    2. Drunks often times don’t feel pain. Never provoke any drunk into launching an attack, but If you need to attack them, don’t cut them any slack at all, it is you who’ll be on the way to the emergency room if you do. As far as trained vs untrained assailants, I’ve got to point out that some of the most dangerous people I’ve known never did a single pushup on their knuckles, never learned to kick higher than their victims’ groins and wouldn’t know a mook jong if they tripped over one in a drunken stupor. Those guys learned to fight in prison. Even the psychologically destroyed men referred to as “bitches” in prison are way tougher and can absorb a lot more abuse than most people you’re likely to meet.

  17. I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked “should I wait for them to take the first swing?” It has become everyone’s philosophy.

    This is an excellent article! Definitely going to share it.

  18. I think that most of the Mamby Pamby advice from many Instructors is based on what is perceived as” if I say that, maybe I won’t get sued if someone gets hurt”

  19. Always like reading what you say Damian. I have been the like minded for a long time. How ever I am really a no-one in the circles unlike yourself. I am also a grade 10 student of the SDTS. And blackbelt in other systems. Have a great knowledge of experience in the street with regard to violence. Everything I ever heard you say is correct. By the way love the SDTS. A very real logical no nonsense approach to surviving violence. Look forward to becoming an instructor with SDC

  20. I always enjoy the read Damian. I say a lot of same all the time. I am however a no one in the self protection circles unlike yourself. Which is why I like to share your thoughts. Have enjoyed imensly the SDTS as you know I am a level 10 student of the system. A blackbelt in a couple others. Always like you logical no nonsense approach to self protection. Look forward to becoming a certified instructor with the SDC one day.

  21. I’ve have either heard or said the statements in the article at one time or another in this journey.

    These statements come from people trying to inject the calm, rational self into the brutal animal self.

    Calm to a point, then it’s tactical. Period.

    If you live your life the RIGHT WAY, when and if it comes to use force you will be justified.

    Then it’s flip the switch and go until the threat is stopped.

    This has always been about seeking the truth.

    To simplify as much as possible until only what is essential is left.

    If you break the SDTS down its:

    Position and Distance – every situation is position and distance (where you are in relation to the threat) – that could last a micro second or minutes.

    Momentum and Balance – increase your momentum and keep your balance, TAKE his momentum and destroy hi balance.

    Cause more damage than you receive – firearm, blackjack or chin jab, if you’re getting injured faster than he is…you’re losing. Use whatever means causes more injury than you sustain.

    Make sure you can execute the techniques when your SNS kicks in.

    That’s it – the actual techniques and moves are secondary. Tactics and principles always come first.

  22. Damian Ross is refreshingly, the most sensible, insightful, realistic, honest, and “no bullshit” self-defense instructor that I have ever had which includes past formal training from a number of black belts in 6 different formal martial arts over my life time! I am also doctoral trained in the behavioral health field and know that dangerous people are extremely real in virtually all communities. Those with personality disturbances like sadists, rapists, antisocial types, brutal gang members, serial killers (who commonly travel to new locations to target victims, and other types, who use their charm, smile and kind words to make you an easy victim, an easy kill, an easy trophy), or those with paranoid delusions or certain drug addictions have all horribly injured, tortured, traumatized, and killed too many naïve individuals including their doctors. I have had such individuals on my caseload over the years, and they are scary bastards. Some of you might say, “Where is your empathy, where is your unconditional positive regard?” I say, “There is a place for these things in our profession, but NO place for stupidity, ignorance, and naïveté if you are ever targeted by these persons. And, “that’s a problem”, you never know the true intent of an aggressor, so you better be properly prepared, act quickly and decisively if your survival matters. I am honored to have Damian Ross as my trusted mentor, a highly competent self-defense instructor in my book, “who gives us the straight scoop on violence and best survival odds!” I hope you do not accept anything less.

  23. Great advise. I would like to add the old saying “the best block in any fight is not to be there”. Situational awareness is very important learn to read and understand your bodies early warning signals like the little hairs standing u on the back of your neck, gut feeling, you know if something does not feel or seem right be cautious and for Gods sake put that dam phone down when you are out and about.
    I am no one special just an old combat Marine,Police Officer, Tactical instructor who spends most of his time teaching Disabled Veterans how to defend themselves with their walking canes.
    Tom Ashmore
    Cane Loyalty.

  24. Some things you take out of context and try to validate it. Always walk away means try to avoid the altercation if you can and if not then fight. Just because your instructor tells you this does not mean he is wussying you out. The best fight is the one your not in.

      1. Since I saw that my teacher (Sensei) is here and answered in this thread 3 hours ago, I just stopped by to say hello.
        I’m always looking forward to these newsletters from SDC. Thanks for everything, my friend.

        Yours truly
        Daniel from Croatia ;-)

    1. Thanks, Damian, it is good to hear from you too. I hope everything is cool on your side of the world.
      Big Hi from Croatia!

      1. Hi Back…and it’s TOO COOL, in fact it’s freezing and I’m about to go running.

        5 years I’m seeking warmer climate!

        1. In that case, you would love it here, in Split. Out of 365 days per year, about 300 + are warm and sunny.
          In fact, the truth is sometimes it gets too hot for too long.
          As I told you before you are always welcome. You have a friend here ;)

          Check it out, this is my hometown. I hope you like it. Here:

  25. Sensationalistic title but points are mostly accurate. Always walk away IF YOU CAN…
    If you cannot, well fight to get home safely and end the thing quickly.

  26. Sensationalistic title but points are mostly accurate. Always walk away WHEN YOU CAN SAFELY…
    If you cannot, well fight to get home safely and end the thing quickly.

  27. Possibly the most concise, realistic, accurate article you’ve ever posted. Been following you for years, after finally finding someone who mirrored my own philosophy and practice personally developed out of 10 years USMC service and a lifetime on urban streets of NJ at night. I’ve imbued my sons, both also Marines, with as much of your practical knowledge as they can absorb. Sadly, even The Corps has been “wussified” to a degree, in terms of lethality & use of force, in pursuit of inclusivity/political correctness. Reality demands a rather different, brutal perspective and willingness to act when you’re committed to self-preservation. Many thanks. Never stop.

  28. Roberto Duran started as a street fighter and I remember him saying way back in the 70s that whoever lands the first strike WINS….
    This is an incredible article from Damien….(as all his stuff is great…)…

  29. Very true and to the point advices. These could be the beginning of a street survival strategy.

  30. All the points are quite valid although the title is a bit on the border of sensationalism. But it made me read the article.

    I think we all have to understand that there are differences of opinions in the “self-defense world” everyone believing that their craft is the best.

    But we all know better. But martial arts and the other benefits that are taught are valuable life lessons, and I know many of us
    come from varying martial arts backgrounds before we learned the TRUTH.

    Great Article Damian.

  31. Mr. Ross sets up a few “straw man” points and gives some really bad advice that is likely to get his disciples jailed in many jurisdictions in the US. You really have to know the laws of self-defense in your state and locality. A bunch of macho exclamations only prove that not all advice is good. Including the advice from Mr. Ross.

      1. WarEagle82 brings out a valid point about self-defense laws in different locations, but in the act of real self-defense where you are being attacked then, of course, all bets are off, but simply striking first and asking questions afterward can get you into some legal problems. Being an instructor in SDC I have had to make myself very aware of the local requirements in my home state of the “People’s Republic of Massachusetts” where you have to be in fear of your life or serious bodily harm before you take it to the attacker, and hopefully you have witnesses that will testify that you were not the aggressor.

  32. Great read. 65 now with bad balance because of muscle disease, all the more reason to strike hard and first.Don’t want to stop training but my body is running out of fuel. Definitely need advice! I will not be a victim.

    1. You always have a choice, and should never choose to be a victim. Aging just replaces some tools with others. At 60 with arthritis I chose to carry a cane, that is an effective self-defense tool, especially when I loaded it up with packed sand. Yah, it weighs a little bit more than it used to, but I pity the fool that thinks that cane is a disability, or makes we weaker than I once was, one smack upside the head will surely convince them otherwise. Stay strong and train any way you can. As the old expression goes you are not getting older, but better with age.

  33. Outstanding article. Unfortunately common sense self-preservation is not so common after all.

    1. That is why we exist here at the Self Defense Company to train and enlighten the masses. You have a choice to make, you can be a victim or a survivor.

  34. Excellent article. My father taught me to hit first and win. He didn’t word it as fine as you did. He would have enjoyed reading your article. He did judo and street fighting. Dad was white, My mother Chinese. No big deal today, but it WAS A BIG DEAL in the 60’s. Racism was rampant as I was the only oriental kid in the school or town. Lots of fights, paddles from teachers and school principals. You get your ass kicked. You learn that there is no justice in this world. If you wait for the police the incident is over by the time they get there. Bad guy is long gone. The mindset and principles you teach WORK. Protecting yourself and your loved ones is the only thing that matters. Take note of bad guys at the mall, in the drive through lane at the fast food place, at the school, at the restaurant, at the supermarket, or parking lot. Let them see you keep an eye on them. Be polite. Be aware of your surroundings and act like you have a purpose. GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THAT PHONE! Very good article, Mr. Ross!

  35. I pretty much agree with all of that. I’m reading through a kind of manifesto by another self defence trainer and I haven’t finished it yet because it is quite long, but he makes some really good points. At least I think he does. Some important ones are:

    He lives by the credo that if he is confronted by someone or some people who he can tell only want your valuables he will just let them have the valuables then call the cops and do his best to get the thugs arrested and jailed, but if he believes those confronting him and anyone else around him are likely to inflict violence on him or others nearby he will not walk away, but engage those thugs in combat.

    Another point he made that makes perfect sense to me is the training you do will come out when you are faced with violence. Thus if you train to be a wrestler you will naturally respond to situations with wrestling manouvres, and if you train to be boxer you will naturally respond with boxing moves, and he says you should train appropriately.

    Someone else said if you witness someone clearly a bigger or at least more powerful person than you then you should approach with more caution and try using a technique like telling them you are calling the cops (and no doubt do so) especially if it is a damsel in distress kind of situation and only engage the aggressor if you must or you really have what it takes to beat them, and he cited the example of someone who tried intervening when he saw a much bigger man attacking a woman and while he saved the woman he nearly lost his life.

    I don’t claim to be an expert, and I know I’m better at fighting with words than I am with my body so I’m open to correction, but I do think sometimes it is better to walk away and do nothing. That unless it is clear I have to fight I think it is best to take a moment or two to size up the situation and those I face and determine if I can walk away albeit after surrendering what is valuable to me, but if it is a situation I can’t walk away from and violence is the only way to resolve the situation then yes. I will use violence and I have got the message that offence is the best form of defence. That if you assume a defensive position the chances are the first attack coming from the aggressor will be the last and I will end up on the ground injured or maybe on a slab in a morgue.

    I have a disgusting sibling who is bigger and stronger than me, and while I’m not afraid of him and have often engaged him one of my encounters with him went south because I tried in vain to get him out of my way and I compounded it by gesturing “Back off!” by pointing a knife at him, which I found in the nanny state my country has become is a no-no. I should have walked away because I achieved nothing good and got an unjust slap on the wrist because my sibling did a Pontius Pilate on me, but he got away with what I argue was attempted murder by lying to a pig in blue who lied on the statement of facts.

    I know there are situations in which you are mad if you don’t fight, but after this I believe if we can we should first assess whether or not you can walk away, and if you can walk away knowing no one will be harmed do so, but if not. If you have to fight fight with all your skill and might to save your life and the lives of others at risk without waiting for the other(s) to make the first move.

  36. You must live in a stand your ground state. In Ohio we have a duty to take two steps back, by retreating if the aggressor take the two steps forward I can level them and it’s a legal self defense situation. In most cases self defense instructors are in a correct state of mind teaching to defend yourself being attacked. I teach the way of the intercepting fist/foot. Attack while being attacked. Annihilate your opponent by overwhelming odds. Special Ops guys don’t spend years learning 40 different technics to get out of holds or a punch/ kick. We train to find what works best for us and perfect it. That’s why it’s called Martial Arts. You learn what works best for you and use it. That’s exactly what Bruce Lee taught.

  37. Not to fight “honourably”, not to “let them throw the first punch”, if ever I’m in a street fight, my absolute FIRST PUNCH is a throat punch!
    After they recover from that, IF they recover, then we can move onto the rest of the fight.

    1. When I was in 9th grade in Aeronautics and Drafting class, two of my classmates had a disagreement that got pretty ugly and threats were exchanged. One of the two was a student of Karate and when push came to shove he did exactly what you suggested, and the other guy went down like a sack of rocks. Boom! Then like Lazarus from the grave all purple and freeky looking and laid into the Karate Kid and beat him to the ground. I not saying you don’t have the one punch death blow. All I am saying is that if you are up against a serious equal or greater threat and you put them down with a single throat punch put some distance between you and them because if they have any salt they will be madder than H*ll, and they can recover maybe faster than you think. Once, I got sucker punched in the throat getting off an elevator. A straight right hand to the Adam’s Apple, it felt like my Adam’s Apple was stabbed into the back of my throat. I could not breath, but when I convulsed (coughed and gagged)it popped right back out and I could breath again. That whole process I would guess definitely did not take 10 seconds, and I was conscious the whole time.

  38. Comprehensive list of essential factors to be aware of.
    Found out over the course of Time and violent interactions.
    Many provide these Theoretical concepts without being field tested.
    Remember a tiny Cat fights back if provoked without consideration of its size.

  39. Everybody is most afraid of getting jacked in the parking lot or walking down the street. Believe me I’m a believer. Don’t play games and Don’t F around, and I like your systems old school, effective, no BS. However, many people will find themselves in a combative situation with friends, family, and neighbors. So yeah, how do you know when to open up that can of Whoop A**? Of course “when the threat is real and eminent. One thing that can get overlooked by many good people when they are forced to defend themselves is to involve law enforcement at your earliest opportunity. Either Kick a** and give them a call, or give them a call and kick a** however the cards get played.

  40. This article is true as well as hilarious. I’ll pretend I’m some Chinese guy with a name you can’t pronounce adding commentary to the Art of War.

    1.  Always Walk Away

    Yes, always walk Away calmly after the other guy is down and nonfunctional. It attracts less attention.

    Sometimes a tactical retreat is good to have a better position from which to attack and maneuver, especially against multiple targets or superior weaponry. It’s like setting an ambush. It also can give the opponents a false sense of security.

    Rather than thinking of walking away from it, think upon getting away with it. Getting away with a successful attack, and also getting away with it legally. You have to assume that the Victor will be viewed as the bad guy afterwards.

    So I’m always thinking about witnesses and what they’re likely to see. If possible, look like the sheep but strike like the wolf.

    So talking shit is a no no. Remaining calm and still until violently exploding is ideal. Walking is good because walking is calm and casual. But even if you appear to be walking away, in your mind you’re always walking toward – a better position to attack.

    But you don’t just leave floating threats out there behind you. If you have to turn your back to an imminent threat, then you explode into a sprint to a better position and then prepare to ambush. Against a gun if you have none, and you’re too far away to close fast enough, for example.

    2. I Train to Fight so I don’t have to Fight.

    Obviously nonsensical. NFL football players only practice playing football for the exercise.

    I don’t like the word “fight.” It implies a back and forth. I only believe in my going forth, not the opponent striking back.

    As they say here, “train honestly.” If you’re totally honest then you can only train to destroy and kill. ANY violence is potentially fatal. This is not MMA or boxing or whatever. If you’re mindset is to fight then you’re likely to lose.

    A lot of lawyers advertise that they will “fight for you.” They should be avoided. I want a guy who will completely destroy my enemy. It’s a whole different mindset. I have a saying that “killers don’t don’t fight, and fighting is for losers.”

    For guys who may just want to fight, I just stand there and stare at them with no emotion. Waiting. Not talking. Talking shit is a sign of weakness and it also expends energy better conserved for destroying them. It’s also a distraction from observing them and noticing things. When someone is talking it’s usually the best time to attack them.

    Warfare is also psychological, so – especially when there’s witnesses – you can attack their minds first by just calmly standing there and staring at them. No one can say your provoking them, but you’re basically mind raping them without doing anything. You’re sending a very clear message and sticking two daggers right into their eyeballs. I like doing this with mean dogs too. They tend to go nuts.

    I use driving in traffic to train maintaining internal peace because there are so many disrespectful assholes who would never behave the way they do hiding in moving cages if they were in front of you in person.

    One way I got my temper under control is by always thinking “how can I take them out and get away with it?” This may sound nuts, but it doesn’t mean that I actually do it. I just imagine it. You can’t be emotional and logical at the same time. So when someone greatly angers me, I switch from the anger to the planning. I always ask myself “what am I going to do about it, and how?” Or, “what could/would I do about it, and how?”

    This works for any negative emotions. You switch the emotion to calm logic by planning a response. What are you going to do about it, and how? Can’t be emotional while planning. It’s impossible. So if you practice this response to emotional feelings, then it becomes a habit under pressure.

    Anger is like a fire, but focus is like a laser. So if I lose my temper now, it turns into a cold laser rather than a massive forest fire.

    But obviously training anything is for the purpose of using that training. I new a chick who was training boxing, and even worse training boxing while wearing massive pillows on her hands. Totally useless. In what scenario will you be taking someone out wearing massive pillows? Obviously she wasn’t serious.

    So you don’t just train to kill, but you train under conditions which will allow to to operate under real world conditions. No one should ever use hand protection of any kind while striking heavy bags, for example. Idiotic. I take it a step further with a personal role that I only got heavy bags while blinds folded. I’m very wary of practicing on targets that don’t move so therefore I blind myself which helps to offset this habit handicap and build balance. You also learn to hit properly because of you don’t – especially when punching – it’s going to hurt. As a result of this, I don’t make a fist in the usual way and I don’t hit in the usual way. In fact, my obsession with the drop step, as taught here, has really taken it up a few notches. Hitting blind- especially punching – means that you have to hit in a way that you won’t wreck your fists or wrists if you don’t land perfectly placed punches. Much easier not to punch at all but I like to throw in the punches too because since they’re more fragile they highlight bad technique.

    So you train physically and emotionally. For the sole purpose of destroying bad guys. Not tussling with them.

    3. Violence Never Solves Anything.

    Violence solves everything. Faith is violence. It’s internal violence. The refusal to give in to thoughts of doubt and the tyranny of emotion and anxiety. So violence is first internal before its external. Kick your own ass first.

    Violence is always first psychological. Whether within yourself or directed at your enemy. Standing there calmly staring into the eyes of your enemy is to have already begun their destruction. They know what’s coming if they’re merely trying to intimidate.

    Other times, in the interest of total surprise, maybe it’s better to avoid this and then explode out of nowhere. Either way, in your mind, you’ve already begun the violence. To imagine is to do.

    4. Violence is Never the Answer.

    Someone – probably a lot of people – said that “when violence is the answer, it’s the only answer.” As long as evil exists, its puppets will be walking around waiting to be removed from earth. They’re out there. And so are we.

    5. Use Non-Lethal Techniques First.

    A warm hug is one of the few non lethal techniques I’m aware of. Although an enthusiastic hug may potentially be fatal.

    Any violent act is potentially fatal, so one should plan on it being fatal from the start. This will also keep you from getting into idiotic fights that don’t matter. Grown men can’t just punch each other without death or serious injury being a possible outcome.

    Using holds and pain compliance is generally a bad idea because this doesn’t destroy the targets ability to function. But it does highly piss them off and amp up their desire to murder you. So these things may be useful for cops with lots of backup as they take down some drunk imbecile. But one on one, you’re playing with your life doing this crap.

    Not only that but these techniques require a lot more energy than just striking someone. And then you have to hold these techniques because if you let them go… and if you use a hold to break something then why not just break something with a strike to begin with?

    So I consider this stuff mainly useful for guys with a gang of backup to restrain the target.

    You don’t want to want to embarrass or shame the target because you will greatly motivate them to kill you. Enraging them while not actually injuring them is a really bad idea. You must seriously injure them so that they are unable to attack you. If they’re angry enough they may sacrifice a body part for the joy of pulling a knife and sticking it into your throat or whatever.

    I just imagine that I’m attacking myself. I know what my anger’s like once it’s turned on. I don’t want to face that. Especially when it’s controlled and focused. That’s even worse.

    I think the average person should avoid all this. Holds are easier to get after initial injury anyway. But injury and destruction should be the priorities.

    Sometimes I like to think about fighting zombies who can’t die. Even if they can’t die, they can’t hurt you without their structure being intact. So a zombie with its legs or ankles broken can’t chase you, for example. Or if it’s skull has been crushed or removed.

    6. Always let your attacker, attack first.

    Ideally, attack by complete surprise is not defendable. So it’s an obvious preference.

    In some situations, especially with witnesses, it may be ideal to allow someone to attack first because you’re ready for them without appearing to be ready. Action doesn’t always beat reaction, especially if the reaction is waiting for the trigger.

    I will continue to say that the drop step – using the ground to strike – is the most important part of the “system “ taught here because it allows strikes out of nowhere with zero telegraphing or wind up while amplifying power to devastating levels.

    Baiting someone to attack first may be useful, if it makes sense at the time. Even letting someone punch you in the head may be useful. Easy enough to move your head a few inches so the punch does nothing. Bruises are meaningless. Or break their fist on your forehead.

    It’s all based on the situation. You can’t have blanket rules for everything. But if you know they mean to hurt you badly, then just destroy them without warning obviously.

    Witnesses can complicate things. But witnesses are also bad for the bad guys. If they’re real bad then they’re going to generally avoid having witnesses around too. So in this case just immediately destroy them.

    If there are witnesses present, then they likely aren’t serious about actually trying to kill you. Just impose their ego. In which case you can probably just stare at them and wait.

    7. Always fight ‘honorably’.

    Fighting honorably means that good triumphs over evil. By any means available.

    If you’re a sane army general then you only have two ideal objectives. First, that the enemy surrenders completely without a battle. Second, that you ambush and massacre their entire army without losing a single guy. Or, you ambush and massacre their entire chain of command and then their army is useless. This would be like turning someone’s brain off, versus destroying their body while they remain conscious somehow. If I’m a general, I only plan for the second – total annihilation – while hoping for total surrender.

    But honor means that good wins. Period. Evil isn’t honorable, and they deserve no mercy. Mercy is extended to the good guys, not the bad guys.

    Movies constantly drive me nuts with this idea that good guys have to going bad guys a fair shot. Absolutely not. The bad guy, by virtue of being a bad guy, gets nothing but death. Stop talking and just shoot him, for Christ’s sake. You already know he’s a bad guy! Don’t disarm him and let him walk away. If you can disarm him, then you should kill him. He’s a f—cking bad guy!

    Like, why would you even bother capturing terrorists? Only for Intel I would imagine. Otherwise, none of them should ever survive.

    Anyways, great article, and as always I think people should be ruthlessly honest about what exactly “self defense” really is. Which is killing the enemy.

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