Nine Easy Steps to Ripping-Off Self-Defense Students – Erik Kondo


Let’s Face it. It is tough to make an honest living teaching people what they actually need. It is much easier to focus on what they think they need. And since you are the “expert”, you have the perfect opportunity to influence their desires. Here are the nine steps that many financially successful self-defense instructors use to rip-off their students a/k/a Marks. Now you can see how it is done.

Step One: Instead of focusing on the entire “pie” of violence, only focus on a single small slice. Emphasize only the most extreme and horrific incidents (Hyper- Violence). Then make it appear as if this slice actually represents the entire pie of violence.  This method works because this extreme slice actually does exist. It is not as if hyper-violent incidents don’t happen, it is that the odds of them happening to the Mark is very slim (provided he or she doesn’t engage in certain activities and behaviors and/or live in certain locations).

Step Two: Now that all violence has been envisioned as Hyper-Violence, use statistics that incorporate the entire pie of violence (total includes low level  violent incidents) to make it appear that the odds of being a victim of Hyper-Violence is much higher than it actually is.

Step Three: Quickly pass over the concept of prevention by focusing only on the even smaller slice of unavoidable Hyper-Violence. Give the impression that the universe of violent events mainly consists of unavoidable Hyper-Violence incidents with highly motivated attackers targeting innocent victims.

Step Four: Now that all violence is viewed as perpetrated by only criminals and evil thugs a/k/a Bad Guys, against innocent victims who are Good Guys, there is little need to deal with the legal, moral, and ethical consequences of any type of “defensive” actions.

Step Five: Let’s recap. You have convinced your Marks that (1) the majority of violence is Hyper-Violence.  (2) That the odds of Hyper-Violence happening to them is higher than it really is. (3) That violence cannot be effectively avoided or deterred. (4) That it is only perpetrated by evil Bad Guys. (5) That consequences don’t matter since it is a matter of life or death – yours, your loved ones, or the Evil Doer. Make sure to use a few of stories of actual incidents of Hyper-Violence to further scare your Marks. The more horrific and gruesome the better.

Step Six: Now that you have properly primed (misled) your Marks, you must provide them with your solution in the form of your Special Techniques and Training (STT). In order for the STT to be worth the high price you charge, they must meet two important criteria, otherwise your Mark may not buy into your scheme.

#1. The Mark doesn’t need to practice except for a few hours. This is a critical aspect. The world is full of examples of people who are able to achieve amazing results, but they had to practice and work hard at it. Your Mark is paying you so he or she doesn’t have to practice or work hard.

#2. These STT must be “unforgettable” such that the Mark can take your training once and be done. This is especially important for one time seminars and internet training DVDs.

Therefore, you must claim to have created a Special Training Method (STM) that claims to ingrain your Special Techniques into your Mark. For example, your STM could be training very slowly, or training under very high stress, or in some other manner. It doesn’t really matter. You just need to be convincing.

The important aspect is that the Mark believes that your STM is functionally different than the training methods used by the unknowing masses. Make sure to mention that elite military and police units use this type of training. It is best to use foreign entities so that there will be no fact checking.

Step Seven: You should provide a few real life examples where people have uses STT or similar to fight off attackers. Here is where you need to be clever.  The odds of one of your students actually being attacked by a highly motivated attacker is extremely small. AND even smaller is the chance that this student would actually successfully use your STT as his or her primary method of physical defense.

Therefore, you should choose an example of the more likely scenario of someone (hopefully a former student) being attacked by a low motivated attacker and make it appear as if the low motivated attacker was actually a highly motivated and hyper-violent Bad Guy. It helps to build up the description of the Bad Guy as being as large, scary, and criminal-like as possible.

Since a low motivated attacker is likely to be deterred or as you describe it “fought off” by almost any vigorous defense (instinctive or trained) regardless of its true “fighting” effectiveness, it is a simple matter to claim that it was your STT (or similar) that saved that person’s life. Of course, the former student will also be convinced that it was the STT that made the difference, since this belief justifies the time and expense of training.

Step Eight: You must expose your Mark to other True Believers that will vouch for the effectiveness of your STT. These True Believers are essential for closing the sale on your Mark. Remember, your Mark wants to believe what you are selling. He or she wants to believe that you have the answer that will transform him or her in to an undefeatable killing machine when called upon. His or her deep desire to get a lifetime inoculation from violence with minimal effort is what you need to capitalize upon in order to complete the sale.

Step Nine: This is part is critical. Your Marks will likely confuse your personal physical abilities with your ability to teach them and their own ability to learn and execute. Marks tend to think that since you can do something well, then you can also teach it well.  Maybe if the Marks had your body type, mentality, experience, and were willing to invest the time and effort you that you have in your training, they would eventually learn. But let’s be realistic. They don’t. Marks want a “quick fix” and are willing to pay for it.

Therefore, you need to create an environment with lots of positive feedback where the Marks believe they are learning and ingraining the STT, when in fact, they are merely following a pre-programmed script.

Conclusion: Legitimate self-defense training takes lot of time and effort on part of both the instructor and the students. The instructor needs to have knowledge of a wide variety of subjects including the law, criminal behavior, violence dynamics, boundary setting, human psychology and behavior, physiology, environmental knowledge, physical defense, teaching methodologies, and more. The student needs to understand his or her own strengths and weaknesses in addition to mastering the subjects conveyed to him or her.

You have to ask yourself, “why provide the real thing when your Marks are willing to pay for your misleading self-defense instruction?”



There are individual worthwhile concepts that can be learned in a few hours of hard work, but they are few and far between. Some training methodologies are best suited for one-time training sessions and seminars. There are many excellent instructors that provide single training workshops. The larger issue is the overall student expectation that is created during the total Nine Step sales process not simply the time duration of the training.


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