Two Step Shark Defense – The Self Defense Company

Two Step Shark Defense

Two Step Shark Defense

Two Step Shark Defense – Do I need to put out another course?

It’s getting crazy -already this year there’ve been 13 recorded shark attacks across the U.S. and this weekend Australian surfer Mick Fanning was attacked during the J-Bay Open on Jeffreys Bay in South Africa. It would lead me to believe that sharks are figuring out we’re easy to catch. 

As a surfer and someone who enjoys the beach, I have a real concern for this issue. But I do laugh when I hear experts trying to explain “what the shark was thinking” as if they were Dr. Doolittle. Personally, I don’t care if the shark was “confused”, or using an “exploratory bite” – I can still loose my leg!

If you didn’t see the Mick Fanning video, it’s incredible. It shows the pro surfer getting attacked while sitting in the line up…but it also shows him successfully fighting off the shark.

Mick was uninjured….he just needed to change his wetsuit.

The Video is Below:

[youtube id=”bT5_F0adYgY”]

The thing I want to point out is Mick’s reaction. It’s a real reaction when you’re scared for your life. And wether your fighting off a shark in the ocean or a “shark” on land the general principals are the same.

The Two Step Shark Defense
(I’m not a marine biologist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night…)

Step 1. As soon as the attacker comes into range – ATTACK LIKE HELL before he attacks you. Mick didn’t wait to be bit and you shouldn’t wait to be hit.

Step 2. As soon as you can get some space – GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE. Create space and move as fast as you can, if he comes back, repeat Step 1 and go right back to Step 2.

Repeat as needed. 

The split second Mick realized he was being attacked he fought back with large, simple skills to the closest possible targets – the shark’s nose, gills and eyes.

You will do that same thing, attacking the face, neck and other target rich areas. 

When the shark hesitated and withdrew – Mick used his environment and put the board between him and the shark and then fought more when the shark came back.

You will use cars, furniture to obstruct your attacker. You will throw whatever you can pick up to slow to distract him and hit him. 

As soon as the shark stopped attacking, he got the hell out of there and got to help….and so should you. 

Simple is what works and when you’re attacked, whether it’s a shark or an assailant.

Take a good look at Mick’s reaction…that’s what fear looks like. 

Train Honestly,



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Published by Damian (Instructor)

Founder, The Self Defense Company

Join the Conversation


  1. Damien Thank you for that advice I’m sorry about yesterday sleeped right throw it thank you for the replay witch I’m watching now Konrad

  2. DamianRoss KonradvonFalkenstein This is absolutely “SAGE ADVICE” that everyone needs to understand.  I know this first hand, because I was abducted as a naïve skinny teen with no fighting skills, and at the beginning of this nightmare, desperately hoped my assailant would just let me go. I pleaded with him for my release, but instead, he transported me to an isolated outdoor location in the dark of night.  I was so frightened out of my mind, and did not know what to say or do.  I finally began to fight back after he began chocking me into submission, and I recall him screaming at me, “Don’t fight, you will never get away”.  But I was crazy with fear, and kept fighting with every bit of strength that I could muster,  and finally, just for a moment, such a precious moment, was able to twist away from his grasp, push myself away from him, tumbled out of his car, sprang to my feet and ran as fast as my legs would carry me. I thought, “I have a chance!”  Then, omg, I heard his car coming up from behind me, engine roaring, headlights shinning,  as he drove at me, but I was able to evade and finally escaped with only minor physical injuries.   –Fight back? “Hell yes, but don’t wait like I did”!! –I wish I would have had access to Damian’s training programs before my ordeal, and want everyone to know that I have found his training methods more practical and effective than my subsequent years of martial art training in different styles.    Thank you “Damian” for all that you do!!

  3. StandStrong DamianRoss KonradvonFalkenstein That’s an amazing story and it still gives me chills. As a parent, it is your absolute worst nightmare. 
    I shutter to think what would have happened if you DIDN’T fight back. We sure as hell wouldn’t be talking today.

  4. storm2452 Thank you, and “am so grateful” no serious physical injuries,  although the bruises-contusions-gouge marks on my face, throat, and on down my body,  were not much fun,  but worse, I was plagued by nightmares and anxiety for decades exacerbated by the fact that the cops NEVER caught this “SOB”.  I have always wondered how many other victims he had claimed.   I  went on to learn a good deal about these reactions, and eventually earned a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and, and since, have helped many trauma survivors in their recovery process.  I will be blogging about the “aftermath” of trauma  and post-traumatic stress symptoms for those who might be interested.

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