The world can be a scary place. We never know how many bad people are lurking out there. As fathers, we can’t help but be scared for the lives of our children who are out on their own. Departing from talks about products, Timothy Bush goes in-depth into a necessary topic that we must all learn, especially in these uncertain times: self-defense. Timothy invites over an expert, John Frederick from Frederick Tactical, to teach us how we can protect ourselves in times of trouble. Providing not only some tactical defense tricks, John also teaches how we can keep ourselves out of 90% of situations that could get into a violent encounter. Tune into this great episode to learn not only how you can defend yourself but also how you can send your loved ones out in the world safe and protected.
Listen to the podcast here:
How To Protect Yourself In The Uncertain Times With John Frederick
We’re going to bring you something different. We’re going to bring you something totally out of the norm. It’s not even going to be about getting your products into retail. It’s going to be about self-defense. This is an important topic for me. It’s an important subject, especially with everything that’s going on right now. You could walk out of your house, walk out of a store and there could be a riot. There could be looting. You need to know how to defend yourself. Not that that’s going to happen in this show, you’re not going to learn any epiphanies here. Although, our guest is going to give you some information that will certainly help you. Why am I so passionate about this? Why is it a big deal for me? I have a daughter who’s seventeen. When she was fifteen, I felt strongly that she needed to know how to defend herself. Someday she’s going to go to college. She’s going to be off in the world. She’s going to be on her own. At fifteen, we’re in the middle of driver’s training. At sixteen, she was going to start driving on her own and be outside of my sphere of influence.
It’s super important that when our kids go out into the world, we arm them with something to help them if they get into a situation that’s uncomfortable, if somebody starts to put their hands on them, or if somebody comes up behind them when they’re in a parking lot. A million things can happen. It’s important to have some training. I’m super passionate about. I tell everybody what I can about it. That’s why we’re going to talk about it. I know it’s not a normal topic here on the show. When my daughter was fifteen, I wanted her to have some self-defense training, but I didn’t want it to be in a classroom with ten people and doing some forms.
I wanted a guy who could teach her how to defend herself, put somebody down, and keep them down if that’s what it needed to happen. I wanted real life, violent crime-type training. I didn’t want it sugarcoated. I wanted somebody who could show her, “This is what it’s like out there. This is what we’re going to do.” I knew a guy who’d been in special forces. He’d been a contractor. He’s like, “I know a guy.” That’s when he introduced me to John Frederick from Frederick Tactical here in Florida. The thing I like so much about John was that on our first day, when we went to see him, he said to Georgia, “I’m going to show you all kinds of situations. Whether you’re lying down or walking or sitting in the car or whatever it is on how people can attack you. Here’s what I want you to know. We’re going to show you how to get out from all of them. There’s nothing that’s going to happen to you out there that we can’t show you how to defend yourself.” That was number one.
Number two, he said, “Before we even get into that, I’m going to teach you some things that have nothing to do with defending yourself, but will most likely keep you out of the 90% of situations that you could get into a violent encounter.” That made me feel good. We’re going to teach her stuff like if I keep my head up if I’m not looking at my cell phone, if I take a look around me before I get out of the car, if I make sure that my purse is on this arm and I know where I’m going, I don’t walk with my head down, and I look people on the eye. There were a lot of things that John taught her that will make her not a target.
When bad guys are looking out at women, they’re looking for a certain type. It’s like when somebody is trying to steal a car. They’re looking for a certain type of defenseless car. It doesn’t have an alarm. It doesn’t have this or that. They want it to be easy and fast. They don’t want to get caught. When they look at a certain person and if that person looks back at them, not staring them down but looks back like, “I saw you.” That’s a thing right there. That’s not easy. If that person looks down in a demure way, that’s more of a target. John’s going to get into that.
I wanted to take a step from the typical and let you know from John. Let you know what’s going on out there. What can happen? Most of the time, when we think about our sons and daughters, we think I don’t want to expose them to that ugly world of violence. I don’t want to expose them to the things that could happen. If you don’t give them that exposure, when it happens, if it happens, God forbid, they’re not going to know what to do. They’re going to freeze and something bad is going to happen. I believe this so passionately.
I talk to dads all the time and tell them, “This is what we’re doing.” I show them videos of Georgia. I know that you know Georgia is an ice skater, but when you see her in John’s class, it’s him and another guy. It’s 2 on 1 on her, and she’s putting them on the ground. That’s something to watch. She feels confident. She walks around and she sees things that she never saw before. When I talked to other dads about it, they’re like, “That sounds good. I should get my daughter into that.” They don’t do it. They don’t call. I give them John’s number. I give them this. I give them that. They don’t do it. These are girls that are getting ready to go to college. You cannot send your kids out into the world without some way to defend themselves, to know what’s possible, what’s going to happen, and what could happen.
I’ll give you a great example. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but it happens to me all the time. I’m on business. I’m walking towards the elevator and there’s a single woman. She’s in the elevator already. She sees me coming and she holds the elevator for me. She didn’t know me. It’s me and her in that elevator. If we’re in New York, we could be going up to twenty floors. A lot can happen in twenty floors. My thing is to let the doors close, but sometimes it’s our common decency or, “I don’t want to feel bad.” Feel bad, let the doors close, let me get on another elevator.
If you’re in an elevator already and 2 or 3 guys that seem like they’re friends get on, get off and take the next one. Don’t be afraid to step out of a situation. Those are all the things that John has taught Georgia. They’re super important. When I was a kid, when I was getting ready to go into junior high, my dad gave me the rules of engagement, “Don’t ever start a fight. Don’t ever be the one to throw the first punch. Don’t ever be the one to instigate this. If somebody throws the first punch or somebody starts something, you finish it. You clean their clock.” That was all well and good. Thanks, dad for that rules of engagement. I understand, don’t be out there trying to pick a fight.
He never taught me how to box. He never taught me how to fight. He never taught me how to defend myself. He never taught me anything at all. I knew what I am not supposed to do, but if all of a sudden somebody is attacking me or some other kid, I have no idea what to do. I’ve never been in a fight before. Like a lot of us as kids, you never were in a fight until you were in a fight. Had I had some skills, had I had some training, that would have been great. I’m not talking about martial arts. I’m not talking about Taekwondo. I’m talking about how to defend yourself and live. I know it sounds serious and it is.
It’s a big deal for me. I wanted to share it with you. I know you guys are going to like John. If you’re ever here in the Orlando area and you want to meet up with him when he starts training again. We’re not training right now because hand-to-hand contact or person-to-person contact is still not opened up yet. We’re looking forward to that. I’m excited to hear John and talk to him. We’re thinking about producing a podcast on our own specifically about this topic. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that. I love to hear your thoughts on this show after it’s done.Self-defense is doing the right and safe thing in the presence of danger. Click To Tweet
What did it make you think of? What are you thinking of? Did you like the topic? Did you not like it? Is it too scary? Does it not matter? Did you turn it off? I’d love to hear some feedback from you. I don’t want to waste your time and I know you come to my show because you want to get your products on the shelf. This is my show so I can talk about whatever I want. This is what I want to talk about now. I hope you enjoy it. Without any further ado, let’s get right into it with John.
John, thanks so much for being on the show. I appreciate it. We’ve known each other for some time. You train my daughter on self-defense. This episode is not going to be the norm for my audience. My audiences are trying to get their products into big-box retail and all of a sudden, we’re going to be talking about self-defense. It’s a passion of mine. I’m passionate about my daughter feeling safe and having at least a base of understanding how she can protect and defend herself. It’s important enough to me that I wanted to have you on. For maybe all my audiences to pause for a second and think about, “What am I doing for my kids or even myself, my wife or my sister to make sure that they’re aware and at least informed?” Tell everybody a little bit about yourself, a little bit about your company, what it is you do. We haven’t been training for some time because of the Coronavirus. In a normal situation, when did you start your company? What does it do? What does it stand for? In a nutshell, who is John Frederick?
I’ve been doing self-defense for many years. I started shooting when I was six. It came easily. It was fun. I got into weapons and shooting. I’m not a hunter. I’ve never hunted. I’ve always been fascinated with guns and how to use them for protection. That’s always been my focus on my training is understanding how to use a weapon for personal protection. After fifteen years or so of doing that, it came to me that if anyone’s attacking me, I don’t know how to get to my weapon if they’re on me. I need to start learning some open hand skills. I started seeking out trainers and started dealing with hand-to-hand defense and started working to combine the two.
How do you do open hand training, but also get to a weapon under stress? That’s where I focus my training on and looking for trainers that have that knowledge. They’re few and far between. The people that have trained me have been doing it way longer than I have. They’re way smarter than me when it comes to this stuff. There’s not a whole lot of people out there that do that. There’s a ton of people that teach firearms. There’s a ton of people that teach martial arts, but that’s not street self-defense. The laws vary all over, but I wanted to be able to have that knowledge and understand when I can draw a weapon and how to do it safely without hurting myself or hurting other people unintentionally.
That was what I focused on. Over the years, I’ve put a number of systems together to create my own version of this stuff and incorporating weapons heavily but as a secondary option. Your first option is always going to be your hands. Use your hands, use your brain, be smart about it. If everything else fails, then go to a weapon. My training is a little different than others because most people start off with the weapon. Let’s draw it first. You can’t do that. I looked at what was out there. I looked at who was doing it right and who was doing it wrong. I did my own version of it. That’s what we do.
We spend a lot of time on the psychological side of what violence is and understanding how to accept all the skills in the world. If you can’t accept that you’re getting attack, you’re not going to be able to fight back. As you’ve seen, when training Georgia and doing all that, it’s tough to be able to accept when someone’s in your face, when someone’s getting belligerent and mean. It’s like, “I’m going to do something with this.” That’s hard for a lot of people to accept. A lot of people just freeze. My goal is to get people to understand what violence is, accept it, and then have the tools to have an option.
You mentioned street fighting and I want to get into what is self-defense. I became a student of yours by watching you train Georgia. Understanding the difference between violent crime, when something violent is happening, what our perception of what that will be like or what it’s like. What is self-defense or protecting yourself? What does that mean?
If you look at the suck part right now, Webster’s definition of self-defense is defending one’s self or property against another person or someone else. That’s not self-defense. Self-defense is doing the right thing in the presence of danger, doing the safe thing in the presence of danger. If danger is imminent, you need to have the tools to know what to do with it. What that means is I should be able to talk my way out of anything. There are two kinds of violence. There’s violent aggression and then there’s street violence. Violent aggression is the bulk of what goes on with day-to-day stuff. It’s someone coming up at the ATM, “Give me your money.” It’s people having a conversation with you, telling you what they want.
If someone’s talking to you, you have the ability to talk your way out of it. Street violence or social violence is the thing you hear on the news. The kid goes into the school and starts shooting. There’s no conversation. Those are way harder to defend against because you have to be paying attention to see that coming. Violent aggression is me coming up and saying, “Give me your money.” “No, I don’t want to give you my money. I can have a conversation with you.” If you don’t understand what violence is, you don’t know what it is. “What do I do? He’s asking for my money. He’s showing a knife or showing a gun. Maybe I should just give it to him.”
It’s yours and you shouldn’t have to. If you had the tools to understand, “This is what’s going on. He’s talking to me, which means I have the ability to talk back. I might be able to get out of this” versus panicking and letting fear come in because fear should never dictate what you do. That’s one of the big things we always teach is fear should never be the determinator for your decisions. If you let fear dictate what decisions you make, you’re always going to get in trouble. You’re always going to make bad decisions. Let’s understand what fear is. Let’s understand what violence is. I have the ability to control how it affects me. I can’t control what happens. I can just control how it affects me. That is what no one ever talks about with self-defense.
They say, “Self-defense is martial arts and we’re going to fight.” Fighting should be the very last thing. That’s what I always tell everybody. The physical side of all this training is the easy part. It’s the mental side and accepting what happens is the hard part. I can put anybody in any situation and intimidate the hell out of them and make them forget what training they had. That’s a bad thing. That’s where self-defense comes in. I need to give you the tools so you don’t panic. You have control over every situation because you understand the situation. That’s what no one talks about with self-defense. They think it’s defending my property or myself. Not really. It’s stopping yourself from getting in a situation where you have to do that. It can be done.
We hear all the time, “Just comply, it’s just money. It’s just property. It’s just your purse. It’s all replaceable. Just give them what they want.”
Many years ago, that was true. We’ve seen a trend over the years. Back in the day, people would say, “I want your money. Give me your money.” You give it to them and they’d leave. No harm, no foul. It’s done. I will never tell anybody ever to fight over property. You don’t need to ever fight for an object, money, car, phone, give it to them. There are two issues with that. One, what we have seen is people aren’t satisfied now with just getting your money. They robbed you, took your money, took your phone, left. They may come back two minutes later and said, “He saw me. He could identify me. I’m going to go kill him.” That has become more of the norm.
They don’t just rob. They rob and then they’ll kill you after you comply or rape you or whatever it is. That’s huge because I don’t feel comfortable. I work with people on this with the training to get them to understand. Everyone’s like, “How do I know if they’re going to come back and try to kill me?” You’re going to know. We’ve seen the video and watched the characteristics of how they are. The one good thing about the UK and other parts of the world is they record everything. In the UK, you don’t go anywhere without getting recorded. We can see a bunch of violent attacks.
We watch how their mannerisms are. It’s called nonverbal communication. You can tell if someone has other intentions by their stance, the way they’re holding themselves, what they’re doing, you can get that uncomfortable feeling by watching and paying attention. If you’re panicking, you’ll get tunnel vision. You won’t see all the red flags they’re giving off. You’re seeing the gun. “I give them the money. Maybe they’ll leave me alone because I complied.” I can give you case after case where they’ll do that. They come back and kill the people as they’re walking away. Understanding that just giving up your stuff won’t make you safe.
You have to identify the situation. That’s what gets tough is understanding how to identify that situation and how I can be assured that if I give them my keys to the car and they drive off, all they wanted to be the car. The main thing we do in our world is everything is a scenario. If you’re carjacking me. I give you the keys to my car and you drive off. No harm, no foul, but my daughter’s in the back seat. I’m not giving you the keys to my car now because you’re talking about life. I’m going to fight for that. You have to understand the situation and you have to understand what tools to use in what situation. While never fighting for the property should always be on everybody’s mind, there are different caveats because the scenario could change. You’re not stealing my car if my dog’s in there or if my kid’s in there.
I watched you teach Georgia over the course of many months. It started out very basic. First of all, for those of you who don’t know, John, the greatest thing that he’s ever told Georgia was, “Here are all the scary things that could happen to you but don’t worry, we’re going to show you how to defend yourself from all those things.” He was always very confident that no matter what the situation is, we’re going to show you how to get out of it. She was never scared that there are going to be some situations where shit goes out of luck. You always told her that there are three things that the average criminals don’t want.
The three things they want are body, property, and life. The three things they don’t want is to get caught, to take too long, or to get hurt.
Those three things that they don’t want, to me it seemed like the basis of your technique. You’re applying pressure to those three things either by yelling, causing attention, hurting them, or making it too long for them to get what they want.
The thing is self-defense is easy, but it can be massively intimidating. You have some tall, scarred up tattooed dude coming at you that’s angry, 300 pounds, 6’5”. What the hell do I do with that? If you panic, all the tools, and skills you have are worthless. We got to understand that it doesn’t matter. That’s the great thing with this. You’ve seen it with Georgia. It doesn’t matter the size of the attacker. If you stick with these methods, they work. You can slow down or stop somebody from coming at you if you stick with these methods and you believe in it, it’ll work. If you panic, it fails.
Through the time of training with Georgia, you could always see when she would panic or second guess herself, it would fold and we ended up on the ground or whatever. When she doesn’t do that, I would always end up on the ground because maybe when the bad guy’s coming at her, she puts me down. If she panicked, you saw where it failed. That’s the cool thing with this is you can see quickly when you do it right or when you do it wrong because it fails. We end up on the ground most of the time and that’s not where we want to be. We don’t want to be on the ground.
My daughter is an ice skater. All my audience knows that. She’s tiny, but she’s very strong. John showed her how to use what she has to her advantage. When she is following the steps of the process, she can be a very tough opponent. The reason I went to John is that I did not want a classroom environment. I did not want a bunch of people going through some motions. When John would train with Georgia, it was hand-to-hand physical fighting. She would be bruised up, scarred up, not intentionally. When things get physical and sometimes things happen. John even took her outside and they started fighting outside. When you have the possibility of falling on the concrete, that’s a whole different thing. We’ve talked about violent crime. Nobody at this show is going to be able to understand your process. I hope, once the COVID-19 thing slows down, you’ll be able to get back to training. If you live here in the Orlando Central Florida area, I would highly recommend that you reach out to him.
There’s something that I don’t understand and the more that Georgia trained, the more I saw the benefits, the more I felt more comfortable. I saw the difference in the way she would carry yourself, the way she kept her arms that are ready no matter where she was, the way she carried her purse differently or thought about things differently. One of the things that John taught her was a lot of staying out of harmful situations is being able to see what might be coming or see where you don’t want to be. What I’m flabbergasted and what I don’t understand is I talked to a lot of fathers. The last thing I wanted to do is send my daughter to college unprepared. When I was a kid, the training that I got from my dad was, “Don’t ever start a fight, but if somebody else starts to fight, you finish it.”
That’s all well and good, but he never showed me how to fight, how to finish it, or even defend myself. All that advice was no good. I never wanted her to be in a situation. Overall the lessons, John put her through so many scenarios, somebody wanting to kiss her, being in a car, being in an elevator. It was on and on. I would tell this to a lot of fathers that I knew and we would tell them what we’re doing. They would all say the same thing, “That sounds good. We should do that,” but then they don’t do it. I’m interested in your opinion. Why do people not take action that they know to be something that they should do, but they don’t do it? Why is that?
It’s fascinating because one of the things I study and I spent a ton of time on studying the human psyche, understanding psychology and why humans do what we do. The one thing that has always been prevalent and at the top of the list is people are going to do what they want to do and what makes them feel good. Accepting violence into your world is scary because it’s showing vulnerability. I have to admit I’m vulnerable. I have to admit I’m scared because I’m saying violence is coming into my world. People don’t want to do that. They feel they’re showing weakness.
Showing vulnerability is a huge sign of strength. It’s tough to get through to those people until they go through the process. That’s one of the reasons why people don’t do anything that’s uncomfortable because they don’t want to think about it. I’ve been hard-pressed to say that there’s no one out there that doesn’t have some relationships somewhere where they know someone who’s been attacked. They knew someone who’s gotten something happened. A friend of a friend of a friend, someone knows someone who’s had a violent encounter because it’s prevalent in our world. Especially now, it’s very prevalent. To get someone to come in and say, “I don’t know how to protect myself. I need help.”
I’m having to pull teeth because they don’t want to show that weakness. They don’t want to appear weak. What they do is ignore it. If I ignore it, if they don’t see me, then I don’t have to worry about anything, but the bad guy doesn’t follow those rules. The bad guy is going to come in your world if he thinks you’re a target and that’s tough for people to accept. What they do is they will say, “It’s not going to happen to me because I stay in safe places. I go to work and I go home.” As of 2019, the stats came out, 87% of attacks happened at home or at work. Where do people go to be safe? Home and work.
You’re constantly in danger, but to get people to open their mind up to accept that is tough. We can only show the facts. That’s what we try to do. We’ll show the facts of where violence is coming from. The people that have come to me are all the people that believe in their mind that, “I know I don’t know how to do this, but I’m comfortable saying, ‘I know I don’t know how to do this.’” I’ve had people come in and I asked them questions. They’re like, “I know how to protect myself. I just want to learn some other things.” Those people never become clients because, “I know how to protect myself,” but you don’t.
You’re saying you want to enhance your skills, but you don’t have any skills Because I asked you questions and you had no answers. I can’t say that to them because that pisses them off. “I don’t need you. I’m going to go take my martial arts class again or my kickboxing class.” None of that is self-defense. What I’ve equated to and what I’ve seen over the years. It’s like a smoker. When a smoker is ready to quit, he’ll quit. If you’re like, “Wear this patch, chew this gum,” they’re not doing it. Until someone’s ready and says, “I don’t want to be a victim anymore,” they open their mind to learning how to do it. The thing is everything in life, we’ve had to go learn. All of us have been beginners in everything we do.
When you started your business, you never did it before. You had to go learn. When you go get a new job, you got to learn. Self-defense is a perishable skill that we should learn. We don’t teach it in our society because we don’t want to promote violence. That’s what people think. If I go take self-defense classes, I’m promoting violence. It’s going to come to me because I’m thinking about violence. It’s the opposite. You’ll avoid more violence by learning what violence is. It’s tough.
That’s where my mind is wired a little differently. As I talk to these fathers, deep down, they don’t want to introduce their daughters to the world of violence. They don’t want to introduce them to, “You could be raped. You could be killed. Somebody could stab you. Somebody could force themselves on you.” My thing is the last thing I want is my daughter to learn that for the first time in a real-life situation. We did introduce her to violent things. What happens if you’re in an elevator and somebody attacks you in an elevator? Even to the point where originally as we were coming up, it was all silent.
You guys were fighting silently, but John started to talk to her like an attacker would. It’s not nice words. It’s not nice things, but you can’t find that out at the moment. That leads me to my next question. I walked in a couple of times where you were training somebody who’d already been attacked. I want to know what the difference is between somebody who’s had a violent encounter and then decides that they need to be trained and somebody who is trained and fended off a violent encounter. How do their lives differ?
When someone gets attacked or when violence comes into your world, it changes you forever. It changes how you look at things. It changes how you look at other people. It changes your whole perspective on what life is, what is perceived as safe, and what isn’t. I’ve had a number of domestic violence clients come in who had been beaten badly. I’ve had also clients come in who’ve had random attackers attacked them. I get these people that have been attacked by strangers and people they know. Anybody who I’ve trained who’s had a previous attack, it’s tough because we have to unpack all of that stuff they’ve kept in. Trust me, everybody packs stuff down and wants to forget about it, but we have to relive it. We have to unpack it because I have to get to the root of what caused you to have that happen.
You being attacked isn’t your fault. Ninety-nine percent of the time, you froze. You didn’t accept what was happening. You couldn’t believe this is happening. We do one of two things we freeze completely. We go into the windmill, one of these crazy things, trying to protect ourselves. That doesn’t work. While this is great if you’ve got a 6’5” guy who’s grabbing you, you’re not going to hurt him by doing this. He’s going to overpower you. What happened? What went on through your mind when this was going on? We have to unpack that.
I then have to get you to accept it because you have to accept this happen. We’re going to learn tools to make sure this never happens again. It’s a much slower process because I have to get through all that baggage of what went on, what the trauma was. Let’s unpack it and let’s start learning. If I did this at this point because I will recreate whatever has happened. We’ll have mattresses in there. I have an air mattress that we blow up. We put sheets on it. We get in there because I’ve had domestic violence where they’re laying in bed and things go horribly wrong. It doesn’t always happen in the most ideal opportune time.
That’s the other thing people got to remember is violence being attacked is not going to happen when you have your pretty pajamas on and you have your belt on. You’ve warmed up and now you’re ready in your stance. It’s not going to happen in that. It’s going to happen when you have your hands full, you’re carrying your bags in from the car, it’s raining and this happens. Those are the situations that people can’t mentally accept it. They’re like, “I wasn’t expecting this to happen and it did. I didn’t know what to do.”
That’s the problem. You didn’t know what to do in this situation. We need to figure out what to do in this situation. Here are the tools to do it. Those people that have been attacked, I get a lot more psychological before I can get to the physical. They can’t even fathom doing something physically that would have stopped that because in their mind it was too overwhelming. I need to show them psychologically first that it’s not overwhelming. We can handle this. Now, look at how physically, how strong you are. Once they start seeing physically, “I’m strong.” We’ve done all the unpacking of the psychological side of, “I could do this even against someone who’s stronger than me. I could do that.”
Let’s start putting it in different situations. I show them that, “Here it is. It worked. Let’s do it.” We would do it silently multiple times. All of a sudden, we started hearing some voice. I started getting mean and start saying mean things and my facial expression would change. That would slow them down. That would set them back a little bit. I wasn’t expecting that. Let’s work through it. That scary face isn’t scary anymore because I know this still works. Even though you had that scary face and you said those mean things, I still hurt you. The light bulbs start going off and they’re starting to realize, “It’s not so overwhelming. It’s still intimidating and scary. You’ll not have any fear. You’re always going to have fear. You need to understand how to manage the fear. Once we understand how to manage that, now our tools start working.Showing vulnerability is a huge sign of strength. Click To Tweet
Contrast that with somebody who got trained and maybe fended off a violent attack. I’m trying to figure out, I’m trying to explain to the audience how lives can be different. I’m trying to avoid the horse out of the barns scenario as much as possible having had a violent encounter and not been ready for it and been hurt. I’m never wanting that to happen again so I’m getting this training. Getting the training, maybe fending something off, or never having a violent encounter before, which may not be because it didn’t happen. All that training comes into play, looking, being, not being places where you shouldn’t be seeing. One of the things I told Georgia, and this is talking to you when all these riots were happening, was when you park your car, don’t just hop out. Take a look around what’s going on. If people seem to be milling around, if things seem to be uneasy and you can tell if things are uneasy, then drive away. Don’t get out there. It’s as simple as understanding what to see. Maybe they were able to avoid a situation like that their whole life. I’m trying to see that’s the person you want to be. The person that’s trained to see the things or deal with them as they come and how could your life be different from doing that?
I’ve had people come back to me 3, 4, 5, 10, 15 years later and say, “I’ve gotten in a situation but I was able to use X, Y, Z tool. There was an altercation but it wasn’t physical. I was able to control it.” People will still get in situations but usually 9 out of 10, you can talk your way out of it because you’re not letting fear dictate your decisions. You’re not letting fear overwhelm you. You’re saying, “I’m identifying all these potential red flags. Here are the tools to deal with those things.” If someone’s talking and the guy’s like, “Give me your money.” You’re talking to me, so I’m going to talk back.
I have that ability to talk you out of things if I don’t panic. That’s the thing is those are the calls I get from people. It gets them excited and wants to do more training. They want to recreate different scenarios. I had someone call me a few years ago. She was jogging on the side a road, a guy pulled up, tried to get out of the car and grabbed her. She jammed him hard. I always tell people, when you’re out jogging, wear one so earphone so you can hear stuff. You were an earphone on the side that you don’t have traffic. If you’re running and traffic’s on my left, I’m going to not have an earphone on my left because I need to hear what’s going on.
That’s what she did. She heard it. She slowed down. She looked over. She saw it. She jammed him and that was the end of it. It didn’t work for the guy. The car sped off. She got excited and empowered that that could have been bad, but I stopped it. I’m like, “It’s cool.” A lot of people will call, “This guy approached me and I said XYZ and it disarmed it quick.” It could be that simple. If you show fear and you show that you are intimidated, bad guys are smart. If you’re looking down at the ground, you’re my victim. You’re my target because you don’t want to see me. That’s why I tell people, make eye contact, but don’t look down after you make eye contact because that’s a nonverbal cue and that’s a submissive stance. If I look at you and I look down, that means I don’t want any trouble. I don’t want to be noticed. I don’t want any trouble.
This is going to be one of our things that I was going to ask you. You look at them but you don’t eyeball them either. You don’t stare them down.
No, you don’t stare. If you stare for more than three seconds, that’s considered aggression. If I stare at you for three full seconds, that’s aggression. You make eye contact and you look away. You notice. “I see you, but you don’t scare me.” You look away, you look back, I see you. You go back to your business. If it’s someone that makes you feel uncomfortable, you never turn your back on him. You keep an eye on him until you’re gone or they’re gone.
It’s important to remember three things. They don’t want to get hurt. They don’t want to get caught and they don’t want it to take too long. If you look like somebody that sees them, you’re not looking down, you’re not looking away that doesn’t to me seem like an easy target. I’m going to go to the next girl who then will look down and see. Sometimes like you said, it can be as simple as that. Remember when I told you that Georgia was at a party and they were walking to the cars. She was with this guy, who’d been talking to her all night. He comes in for an unwanted kiss. Automatically her arms went up, a quick shot to his chest and it stepped him back. She didn’t even realize that. It was that fast. She was like, “I’m not interested that way.” He was like, “Okay.”
All it could have been was an unwanted kiss, but that could have affected her.
It’s like somebody took something from me that I didn’t give them.
We don’t know all the little things that people say or do that affect us. That’s what self-defense is. Those are the things because now this one thing happened that twenty years from now, she’s going to remember this guy kissed me. That was something that I didn’t want in my life, but it’s affecting her decisions. That’s what’s tough to get through to people is when these little things happen, we chuck them up, that’s nothing. It affects your decision about everything else you do. That’s always the ultimate question is, what would happen if I went left versus right? We always ask those things. What would happen if I went left that day versus right that day? What would have happened if she got kissed? We don’t know. It was unwanted.
I would rather have some knowledge and tools to prevent things from happening to me that I don’t want. I can’t prevent things from happening. I can only control how it affects me, but not having any of the tools and hoping for the best, I don’t want to go through like that. One thing you can equate it to is, how many people out there have iPhones? A ton of them. How many people bought AppleCare with their iPhones? Every damn one of them. We do things to protect inanimate objects, but we don’t do anything to protect us. We don’t do anything to protect our lives. We won’t do any training or knowledge to make us better at what we do, but we’ll buy insurance for our phones.
I want to make sure it’s clear out there because Georgia and I, on the way to and from self-defense, we talk a lot about encounters. I never wanted her to think that every guy that was trying to come onto her needed to be taken to the ground. I said even when guys have been drinking, they can be a little bit pushy. Here’s the breaking point of things. I said, “If I was ever coming on to a girl and she said that I was making her feel uncomfortable, I would say, “I’m so sorry.” I’m a good guy. I would say, “I’m so sorry. I did not mean that.” I immediately would stop what I’m doing. The difference is and what you should watch for and what I told her, is if you tell them you’re uncomfortable and they keep coming. That’s when they get to go to the ground and you can feel good.
This guy that tried to kiss her, they were already friends. Did he deserve a shot in the chest? Maybe or maybe not, but he doesn’t also deserve to take something that he didn’t ask for. As John said, “Once you’ve given something away that you didn’t want to have taken from you.” Maybe she did want to kiss him if he would have done it in the right way. I don’t know. I didn’t ask her that. All I did was beaming with pride, a little shot to the chest, nothing big. He didn’t go down or anything, but he would definitely think twice about taking it unwanted or unasked for a kiss from her or probably anybody going forward.
It didn’t ruin their relationship. They’re still friends. He just knows that she’s not down for that. Big Boxers, I know a lot of what you are reading right now, you’re thinking, “This all sounds great. We’re not there. We can’t take these lessons.” Now we’ve piqued your interest and you’re thinking maybe I do want to get some training for my daughter. Maybe I do want to take some steps or even your son, think about me with my dad, “Clean his clock.” How do I do that? Put me in some boxing classes or some this or that or teach me something. I want to wrap it up with two things. John, if you could give us five things that people can do that have nothing to do with physicality. I know that you have these kids. These are the very first things that you taught Georgia before you even started doing anything. If you could give people five things that they can do, they can teach their kids or whatever that can help them get out of probably 90% or avoid 90%. Let’s start with that.
The first thing with general human interaction is always present yourself as proud and confident. Stand up straight, hold your shoulders up, and look at people. Don’t always look down. Don’t hem and haw. Make eye contact. It’s not that scary. People have a lot of social phobias about looking at somebody because I don’t want them to think I’m staring at them. You’re not going to stare at them. You’re going to make eye contact to acknowledge that you see them. Acknowledging people that are around you and not being afraid to look around. How many people are scared to death to stop and turn around when they’re walking to see if someone’s behind them. That’s something basic. If you feel someone’s following you, stop and turn around and look. Is someone following me? If someone is close, ask him, “Are you following me?”
There’s nothing wrong with that. We don’t want to do it because we don’t want to make our spectacle of ourselves. We don’t want to embarrass ourselves. We’d rather get mugged versus embarrass ourselves. Are you following me? Yes. There’s a problem. Make eye contact. Don’t be afraid to always be safe. What I always tell people is always choose safety because there’s no harm in it. If you’re walking down the street and someone makes you feel uncomfortable, cross the street, go to the other side. If that other person is like, “What the hell is your problem?” That’s their problem. It’s not yours. You’re safe. Don’t ever do something to be safe. If it’s screaming, yelling, blowing a whistle, walking across the street to avoid somebody, do it. If that makes you feel safe, do it. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s no harm in that.
The other thing is when you’re interacting with people and they are within a 6-foot bubble of you, what I always tell everybody is we have that 6-foot bubble. I always talk about if anybody’s in that perimeter, the things that can protect you in life are your hands. If your hands are below your waist, you’re not fast enough nor anybody is to react to something coming in to get your hands up and protect the command center, which is our head, which is what we always need to protect to be able to do things because if the head gets messed up, nothing else works.
When people are around, you want to have what we call a nonviolent posture and you want to have your hands above your waist. There are a number of ways to do it that don’t look awkward. Am I going to walk around with my hands up? No. There are plenty of ways to hold yourself. It does a few things. It gives you that nonverbal cue that people will pick up on and respect that space. You’re in motion all the time. If your hands are up, you’re in motion. Action is faster than reaction. If I’m having to react to action coming in or to a bad guy coming in and my hands are below my waist, I got to get them up to try to stop them. That takes way too long and it’s going to fail every time. If my hands are already up, I talk with my hands all the time. I’m always in motion, but you can have your hands up and be in motion when people are around that don’t look crazy, but it gives you protection. It’s basic protection.
How many times have you been in a crowd and somebody will bump into you or knock you and you stumble? If you had your hands up, you wouldn’t have stumbled. You wouldn’t have got hurt. When we have all these mass shootings and active shooter things going on, where people go in clubs, no one ever talks about all the people that get hurt from the trampoline. They get knocked down because their hands are down so you don’t have balance. Those basic things keep you safe. It’s that simple. That would eliminate probably 80% plus of anything going on because a bad guy is going to at you. You’re going to make eye contact. You’re going to acknowledge them. They don’t want a hard target. They want an easy target. I’m going to look and you’re looking at me and then I look over at the other person who’s staring at their phone. I’m going to that person because they don’t even know I’m here.
That’s the one thing that once Georgia started driving that we told her that she could not do was be on her phone to and from her car. You told her that early on too. All you see is people walking around with their face in their phone. Interestingly enough, the Coronavirus is one of the things that I saw that was starting to be good was when people were out in public, nobody was on their phone because they were too afraid to get too close to somebody. They don’t want to bump into anybody. Everybody would have their head up. They were looking where they were going. They were making sure they stayed 6 feet away. I’m like, “This is a great thing.” You see one guy or person on their phone and you’re like, “What’s that yahoo’s doing?” Now they’re standing out, whereas before, everybody is buried in their phone.
One thing I do want to mention too is the movie, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. If you’ve never seen that movie, there’s this scene at the end of it where the guy who’s looking for the killer figures out who he thinks the killer is. That killer invites him in for a drink. He knows that he probably shouldn’t go in, but his sense of, “I don’t want to seem weird. I don’t want to make it more than it is. I have this bad feeling, but I’m still going to go in for the drink.” His sense of not wanting to offend this person that he thinks might be the killer is greater than his own preservation. He gets caught and he gets out of it.
We were talking about elevators. Once we had this whole lesson on elevators, I started watching again and again. I’m in New York and I’m heading towards the elevator. There’s a woman getting down the elevator by herself and she holds the door for me. She’s in this 6×6 closed environment with a man she doesn’t know in which if it’s in New York, we could be going up 25 floors. That’s a long time. What I’m saying is let the doors close. Let the guy take the next elevator. You’re thinking, “That’s so rude.” Who cares? If you would’ve seen some of these videos that John showed as women enter the elevator and the violence happens so fast that or if you’re getting on an elevator and you see that there’s three guys and they’re all talking, so they all know each other. It’s you and three guys, don’t get on. Wait for the next one.
You’re like, “I don’t want to offend.” They were going to be like, “What’s wrong? Why aren’t you getting off the elevator?” Who cares what they think? Take the next elevator. Don’t be so afraid. John said, “If somebody makes you uncomfortable, cross the street, take those precautions.” The key thing is to be aware. Don’t be on your phone and walk into the elevator. Finally, look up to be staring in the face of three friends who have been drinking at a frat party. You’re like, “I’m in this enclosed” because you never even looked as you walked in. You’re on your phone because you thought that was important. Those are some things that you can tell your kids, your wife, and yourself now. The last thing I want to ask you, John, is if you’re looking for somebody to teach you self-defense, what are some key things that you want to look for in an instructor? If they can’t have John, what they should look for?
If you’re looking for real self-defense street, violent type training, you want to make sure that the training looks like the attacks. When you go to a martial arts studio, the general public isn’t walking around barefoot, wearing pajamas with a belt. That’s not what the public is. That’s not how attacks happened. If you want proper self-defense training, make sure the training looks like what attacks look like. If you want to get good coordination, body control and have some camaraderie, go take a martial arts course. It’s great. It is not going to do you any good in the real world against a violent attack. I know that upsets a lot of people. That’s the pride and ego of people. I could still kick ass because I have this skill.
That’s not how you practice that skill, because how many people that take martial arts or boxing or MMA watch their habits? Every martial artist person will come into their studio and they bow. Before you fight, you bow. Boxers touch hands, that’s their version of violence. There’s a famous incident that happened in 2013, where two of the true top world-ranked MMA fighters got killed in Brazil after a fight in the street because they didn’t know how to handle that kind of violence. They didn’t know what to do. In the ring and you put them on the mats, they would crush anybody, but you put them in the street, it goes horribly wrong.
There is no ref and tapping out in the street.
There are no rules. What I always tell people, when you’re watching videos in YouTube or whichever you’re watching me demonstrate these cool techniques, don’t watch the person demonstrating the technique, watch the bad guy, watch the person who the technique is being used on. I’m going to stab you. I do this freeze and they do all these cool things, that’s not how attacks happened. If attacks don’t look like the CCTV you see on YouTube or on the news when a violent attack happens, how can anybody say, “This method is going to protect you in the street, but we’re not going to practice it that way.” What else in life do you practice one way and then go do it another way? Nothing works.Self-defense is a perishable skill that we should learn. Click To Tweet
If I want to be a race car driver, I’m not going to sit on my Xbox and do the racing game and think I’m a race car driver. I’m going to go get an actual race car and see what it feels like. If you want training, great, but look at who’s doing the training and look at what they’re training. Does it look like a violent attack? I’m not bashing martial arts. They’re a great thing, but they’re not great for self-defense. They’re great for learning how to control your body, have some camaraderie, have some exercise. That’s fantastic. If you want to compete with that stuff, great. If you’re not wearing the clothes you wear every day and you don’t look like you do every day, you’re not wrapping your hands and putting gloves on, all those things you do in your mind that’s what violence is. If you’re getting attacked, “I don’t have my gloves. My hands aren’t wrapped. What am I going to do?” You don’t know. We can all say I’m going to do this, but until you’re put in that situation, you don’t know.
I worked for a company where the CEO had all his black belt Aikido stuff on the wall of his office. It was a big deal. One day he came in and the whole side of his face was smashed in. This was when I was living in Louisiana. It turned out that he hopped out of his car to save a parking place for his wife to park. Some guy in a truck pulled up and got out of his car and said, “What the hell are you doing?” He’s like, “No, this is my parking.” The guy clocked him in the side of the head and he went down hard. That’s fast. It’s a violent crime. It’s not hesitating. This guy is a professional CEO. He says that he knows how to avoid it. Aikido is all about movement. I’m a black belt, but in a street fight over a parking spot, I got put to the ground.
Not only that but as we’ve seen too, the guy could pull out a gun and then shoot him. People have been killed lately for so much less. There’s a difference between having a controlled encounter in a dojo with a master watching you this and that and utilizing those on the street. When I came to John, I didn’t want that for Georgia. I wanted her to know what it’s like to be on your back and have a man on top of you holding your arms, how do you get out of that? I want everybody to know that the biggest metamorphosis I saw with Georgia from the day that she started to the last time that we trained before you had to shut things down is her ability to learn where the danger was.
The danger was no longer the man, the size, the breadth, the sweaty, or the words. If you could have seen her all of a sudden, focus only on what John taught her, which were the weapons, whether they’re the hands, the knife or the gun. Once she started only focusing on those and how to disarm that, turn that away, move that, all the other stuff was no longer even a factor. The other thing probably that’s the scariest for me is how you would teach her, in order to win a street fight or defend yourself, you have to go towards the danger. It’s getting closer, not farther away. That’s for another episode. If we can leave you with anything, this is not the normal episode, but it’s an important subject for me. It’s important for John.
He wouldn’t do what he does and I wouldn’t be doing this episode unless we were concerned about you and your kids, especially with all the unrest going on right now. Let me tell you this quick story. During the Rodney King right in LA, I was at a community pool, getting recertified as a water safety instructor. This was years ago. I had no idea that during my class, the verdict had been read. I walk out of this city pool in downtown Long Beach and there seemed stale. It seemed weird. People were milling around. Things didn’t seem normal, but I had no idea like things weren’t on fire, nothing had ramped up yet.
I got in my car, drove home, flipped on the TV and all hell was breaking loose in Downtown LA. Things were on fire. Long Beach got the same way. You never know when you’re going to go into a building these days and come out and the world is going to be completely different than it was four hours ago when you went into that building. Understanding how to see things and know what you’re up against and talk to people. It’s important that you not only think that it’s important.
It’s important that you take action and start training yourself. It’s not a bad thing. It’s not, “If I’m training myself against violence, I’m saying that violence is going to happen to me.” It’s no different than training yourself to drive a car or training yourself to do anything that you’re going to do. John, thanks so much for coming on. I so much appreciate it. Hopefully, we got people thinking. You don’t have to worry about how to contact John if you want to ask him a question or get us thoughts on something, we’re going to have his information. John, thanks again. Until we meet again.
Everybody, stay safe.
John, I can’t thank you enough for coming on talking, sharing your wisdom, sharing a little bit about yourself and where you came from, and how this whole thing started. John has a different philosophy on self-defense. It’s not normal. It’s not built on a system that the circumstances have to be right for you to be able to use it. It’s built on understanding how violence happens and how to avoid it, stop it, get out of it. To watch my daughter move from being scared of the whole encounter to understanding how to manage it and be tactical, honing in on where the arms are, where the hands are, where the weapons are was an amazing thing to watch, and how John took her from that beginning to where she had never had a guy other than her dad, put his arms around her and wrestle with her.
It was uncomfortable. You’d never had anybody talk to her badly or yell at her or tell her bad things were going to happen. When she made that shift in her mind, none of that matters. All that matters is where these hands are and how can I break the grip? How can I get out of this? When she made that shift from understanding that I got to get closer, not further away. I got to go towards the danger, not away from it. That whole thing blew my mind. Thanks, John, so much for sharing that with us. I’m interested in what your thoughts are on it. I’ve seen some of John’s clients, women that are broken because something’s happened. Now they’re trying to learn how to protect themselves. You want to protect your kids, give them skills that will help them deal with the encounter if it ever happens.
Don’t wait for something to happen and then try to deal with it after because you’re never going to be the same. Whoever you go get training from, wherever you go get training from. We weren’t watching it, but on the TV was the movie, Enough, with Jennifer Lopez. That guy that she had that was teaching her how to fight one-on-one when people don’t fight right, when they fight dirty when it’s violent, that’s what he was teaching her. That reminds me of what John does. That reminds me of how much training you can get and how you’ll never be the same.
Hopefully, it keeps you out of those situations. You can see that those things happening are unfolding. When the riots were happening, I was telling my daughter, “When you pull into the parking lot, take a look around. Are there groups of people? Are people milling about? Do people look angry or upset? Are they yelling? If any of that is happening, back out and leave.” Often people get out of their car and the next thing you know, they’re looking at their phone and then boom, they’re in the middle of some situation. They had no idea because they’re not paying attention.Don't be afraid to always be safe. Always choose safety because there's no harm in it. Click To Tweet
Thanks for sticking with me on this and allowing me to deviate from my normally scheduled programming so that I can talk about something that I’m passionate about. I’m passionate about our kids and making sure that we’re not telling them, “If someone goes wrong, clean their clock, finish that.” We’re giving them the skills to defend themselves, to get themselves out of situations, stop the situation, make this situation go away. Thank you again so much. I appreciate you. I appreciate all that you guys bring to this show and your support over the years. I hope that you go out and find an instructor for your kids and get them on the path of self-defense. That’s all I’ve got for you. Until the next time we talk. I look forward to seeing your products on the shelf.
About John Frederick
John Frederick is a thirty-year veteran combat training and founded Frederick Tactical to exclusively teach the SHIELD method of self-defense. SHIELD stands for the following:
Street. Hand-to-hand. Intuitive. Engagement. Lifesaving. Defense.
Built upon the foundation of the SPEAR System™ by Tony Blauer, John has developed a highly effective self-defense program that is focused on personal safety and survival in close quarters. With an emphasis on personal defense readiness, the SHIELD program is designed to capitalize on the body’s immediate reflex responses, sharpening the natural survival tools we are all born with.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the On The Shelf community today: