Self Proclaimed Experts

In the introduction to Staying Safe, I talked about being cautious when taking advice from an “expert.” It seems that the title “expert” is used very casually without regard to the consequences to bring the instructor credibility. When it comes to teaching self defense, it’s very important to understand what we are being trusted with. As an instructor, our students are relying on us to give them the best advice and training available so that they can avoid being attacked if possible, fight if needed, and survive an attack if it occurs. This is especially true for instructors teaching individuals who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing domestic violence.

Understand the gravity of this.

People want to feel safe, particularly, people who have already experienced violence. These people are more willing to listen and trust someone who claims to be an expert or even worse, someone who is introduced by a trusted member of society as an expert.

This is video shows exactly what I’m talking about.


Seeing this type of instruction really bothers me. I’m not here to bash the instructor or the fitness center that posted the video because their intentions are in the right place, fitness and safety. However, I don’t believe that they understand what the consequences of teaching poor self defense is. Here are two videos that show just how serious the consequences of that type of attack can be.


Click here to view the video.

Here is a Gracie Breakdown video with some good instruction for defeating the attack shown in the video.

If you’re an instructor, it’s your responsibility to seek out further training, new or refined techniques/strategies, developing trends, etc to pass on to your students. If you aren’t studying/analyzing actual crimes and training or taking courses with other qualified and reputable instructors, you aren’t doing your job. The only thing you’re doing is an injustice to your students and putting them at risk.

Think about it like this, would you have open heart surgery from a surgeon who wasn’t board certified? Or, a surgeon who wasn’t looking for new techniques/strategies or practices to improve the outcome of an operation?

As a student, it is your responsibility to question everything and take it all with a grain of salt. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions. I know it can be difficult finding a good instructor. Here is a link to the basic criteria I follow for a school at or an instructor to train with.

Train hard and stay safe.


1 Originally found this video at A good resource for self defense information.

3 thoughts on “Self Proclaimed Experts

Add yours

      1. Hi Chris,

        I have encountered instructors like this. I think they’re somewhat conspicuously visible in rape-defense circles. I’m not sure why there, but that’s where I have spotted a few them.

        I have, at times, sought to politely share information and/or opinions with them. Most people, though, seem to continue to do what they’re doing. I suppose, just like any other industry, that there will always be a bit of this.

        I think the best antidote to it are great articles like yours here.



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