Those of you into reality-based self-defense (RBSD) have likely heard of Richard “Senshido” Dimitri; several years ago he seemingly came out of nowhere to become a central figure in the RBSD arena, alongside well known figures like Tony Bauer and Geoff Thompson. Rich Dimitri’s rise has had little to do with clever advertising or crafty self-promotion – he doesn’t do any. Rather, his success is owed to the grassroots popularity of a highly effective fighting concept known as the “Shredder”.
In March of this year I had the pleasure of meeting and training with Rich (you can read all about the experience here). I was so impressed, not just with Rich’s techniques, but the man himself, that I asked Rich if he’d be kind enough to do an interview. Rich graciously agreed, and what follows is the most revealing, in-depth interview this "underground" star of the RBSD world has ever given.
Prepare to have your beliefs challenged, for Rich Dimitri is a true maverick who speaks his mind and makes no apologies for it.
Please note this interview contains occasional use of strong language; if you're a minor or easily offended by such language, please tune out now. For the rest of you, enjoy the ride!
Anthony Colpo: Hi Rich, thanks for taking time out to chat today.
Richard Dimitri: Yo bro, thank you for the opportunity, it’s my pleasure and honor to be here.
AC: Before we talk about fighting, let’s talk about conflict avoidance. A lot of RSBD instructors pay lip-service to de-escalation and avoidance of conflict, but it often seems more of a token gesture designed to avoid negative publicity and legal repercussions. You, on the other hand, gave it some serious coverage at the Gold Coast seminar, and it’s obvious you really do believe physical confrontations should be avoided if at all possible. Why does a guy who’s made a career out of fighting and teaching others how to fight place so much emphasis on this?
RD: Well, because a guy like me who has lived through the violence I have, finally came to realize nothing I was doing then made a (pardon the pun) ‘shred’ of difference. As a matter of fact, the more I fought violence head on, the more of it I’d find, the more of it I’d create for myself, the more I made it a part of my reality. All in the name of a perceived ‘justice’ based on an anger that had nothing to do with whatever I was fighting.
After living a certain kind of way for most of my adult life, at the tender age of thirty-five I finally decided to “give peace a chance”, as John Lennon prophetically sang, and much to both my dismay and disillusionment, it worked. The moment I changed my own perceptions was the moment my life immediately began to change for the better. I made the stern realization that I am indeed in control of my own life, accountable for all that I have done and was doing.
And the more I spread the message of “peace through the ripple effect of our very actions”, the more people listened. Sure, some disagree, many are still stuck in a certain mold associated with the media’s portrayal of “heroes” or “anti-heroes”, but the real heroes are the everyday people out there doing some shit for the general betterment of humanity, each and every day. It’s the tiniest of actions that make a difference in people’s lives, and these actions all have positive ripple effects.
AC: Speaking of anti-heroes, tell us a little bit more about your “'bad guy' versus 'good guy having a bad day'” concept.
RD: This concept is a critical one. In order not to become what it is we are trying to defend against, in order to ensure we do not add more negative energy into the world, it is imperative to determine, in an average “every day” type of potentially violent confrontation (such as road rage, a bar scrap, etcetera) just what kind of individual we are facing.
Is it a decent human being who’s had a shitty day with fate placing you and him at odds this particular day over a parking spot in a mall?
Or is it truly a sinister prick out to pick a fight regardless, and fate just happens to have you taking “his” parking space this day?
The first situation is “defusable”, the second often isn’t. It’s socially critical to possess a psychological arsenal that will determine which kind you are facing in order to implement the appropriate strategy. There are behavioral principles and concepts, which are easily and congruously applied in order to determine just what kind of attacker one is dealing with moments into the verbal assault.
This very concept allows one to not only legally but morally and ethically know exactly when to pre-empt if necessary; it also provides one an identifiable, provable legal way out via witness account, via de-escalating body language prior to the pre-emptive strike.
It’s no longer “just a set up” in order to be able to just drop the guy, it’s an actual, high-level-success-rate determining factor of whether the individual on the receiving end is actually fully deserving of the retaliation or whether the situation could have been resolved in a peaceful, non-violent way.
Some good people have bad days and end up in situations they normally never would, simply due to powerful emotions like anger, frustration and stress taking over. Add to that, some inconsiderate prick takes your parking spot?!? How dare he? You’re going to teach him a lesson! And presto, our ego gets the better of us and we end up in a violent confrontation over a parking spot of all things.
Road rage: Does it really hurt to wait the 2 seconds required to let someone else through first?
Imagine that for a moment…hurting, injuring and potentially crippling or killing another human being over a parking spot. Shit like that makes me ashamed of our species.
The "good guy bad day, bad guy" concept, gives the potential bad guy a way out of the confrontation without having it go physical and still maintain ‘face’. If they are fully invested in their egos, more often than not, you will have to pre-empt. If not, you will be able to talk them out of their egos and they will realize things for themselves and more often than not, they will just walk away, some of them even apologizing for their behaviors.
Here’s an example: A returning seminar participant in Sheffield, England, Ian Stone, described a situation that happened to him after he had taken our Fundamentals seminars a year or so prior.
It was right before Christmas and the malls were jam-packed with people, so finding a parking spot was a challenge. Ian had been circling around for a while when he noticed a spot about to free itself. He signaled, waited, and as the car exited, he pulled in and parked. After getting out of his car, another guy approached him quite angrily, loudly complaining Ian just took his parking spot, and, judging by his demeanour and body language, the guy was more than ready to get physical.
Ian adopted a passive stance, apologized to the man, saying he hadn’t noticed him waiting for the spot and that he’d gladly move for him. The other dude was somewhat surprised by Ian’s politeness and retreated as Ian moved and found another spot a few minutes later.
So now Ian’s inside a shop, waiting in line. He gets a tap on the shoulder, and turns around to find himself face-to-face with the guy from the parking lot. Ian thinks to himself, “Geez, what now?!”, but what the guy proceeded to say was a pleasant surprise. The guy apologized to Ian for coming on so strongly, and said “when you apologized to me and let me have your parking spot it made me feel real small. I’m sorry, thank you for giving me the spot.”
We’re all human least we forget. Giving our potential bad guy a way out and determining indeed that he was a good guy having a bad day positively contributes to the ripple effect of many, many lives. I must qualify that the ‘good guy bad day, bad guy’ concept applies in a general, average societal, potential violent confrontation.
AC: In other words, if you’re caught in a riot or war zone, or some psychopath is running at you with a machete, don’t sit there trying to work out if your antagonist is a nice chap having a rough week. Do something, and fast!
RD: Precisely. There’s a time to defuse, and then there’s a time to defend - it’s key to know the difference. There’s a saying that goes: “Treat people like people and they become people”. I fully agree, more often than not, that is precisely the case.
"There’s a time to defuse, and then there’s a time to defend"
AC: We should also make it clear to readers that when you talk about de-escalation, you don’t mean just standing there pleading with your attacker in the vein hope he won’t hit you. De-escalating in that manner would just make you a sitting duck. What should someone be saying and doing while they’re trying to defuse a potentially violent situation?
RD: When dealing with aggressive people, we are dealing with their egos. If we reply with aggression in return, we are then replying with our own egos. Most people have a hard time differentiating their egos from their higher selves. Simply stated, the ego harbors all negative forms of emotions such as hate, irrational fear, jealousy, anger, rage, guilt, revenge, all personal insecurities, envy, greed, selfishness, self appointed ‘hero’ or ‘voice’ of the perceived ‘underdog’ etcetera. Hence the terms “egocentric”, “egomaniac” and so on.
The higher self on the other hand only knows love, peace, caring, empathy, forgiveness, understanding, giving, living, etc. hence the term “collective-centric”.
One works for itself while the other works for the greater good of all. And every single human being on earth possesses both aspects within them. Which one overpowers the other? The one we choose to nurture. Pretty simple mathematics but people love to complicate shit for the sake of it. For instance:
Religion refers to these as God and Devil. Star Wars refers to it as the dark side and the force. In certain Asian cultures, it’s referred to as the Yin and the Yang, the light and the dark; in Indian cultures, as the white wolf and the black wolf inside of us all while most people refer to it as general good and evil, angel and devil if you will…
When one is in their “ego”, one is more often than not unaware of it. Hence the saying “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled is in making us believe he didn’t exist.”
Most people do not realize they’re in their egos. Some do realize it and snap out of it, some are told and then make the realization, some realize it much later (ever say or do things you’ve later regretted? A direct product of ego). Some never realize it; they are forever enslaved by their egos. They are miserable inside, exude misery and produce misery around them regardless of how well they may mask it to the outside world as they most usually do with exaggerated portrayals of the exact opposite.
The ego wants, no, the ego Demands, Desires and Deserves! The ego will not be controlled or told what to do from anyone! The ego is always right! The ego is ready to fight, kill or die for what it believes so passionately and defines to yourself as justice, pride and honor which are nothing more than clever disguises for fear, insecurity and anger.
Therefore when dealing with ego, it is more strategic and tactical to cater to said ego rather than instigate it. Much more often than not, it is better to follow the following basic guidelines:
- Don’t threaten the individual.
- Don’t command or tell them what to do, even passively.
- Don’t challenge them in any way, shape or form and do not insinuate or tell them they are wrong, or indirectly refer to them as liars.
More often than not, if you do any of the abovementioned, you will most definitely find yourself in a physical, violent confrontation.
Give the individual a way out instead.
For example: While I was watching two guys play pool many years ago, they thought I was staring at them “the wrong way”. One of them came up to me and angrily said:
“You got a fuckin’ problem?”
To which I very honestly and without any sarcasm at all replied: “yeah man, matter of fact, I do, quite a few, why? Does it show on my face?”
To which he replied “You fuckin’ with me, man?”
“Not at all man, three weeks ago, I came home early to surprise my fiancé only to find her with another dude in my bed!”
…. shock…followed by:
“Did you kill the guy?”
“No bro, wasn’t his fault, he didn’t know me from nothing.”
End result? Fight defused, made two acquaintances.
I could have easily replied “No, I don’t have a problem, back off.” In an aggressive stance, that sort of reaction would receive an answer like “or what BITCH?!?” which will inevitably cause a fight in a situation that didn’t need to end in a physical altercation. Most of these situations could be defused by simply keeping our own egos in check; which is truly the real fight here. How many times has it been said:
“I have seen the enemy and he is within.” – “When fighting monsters, it is important we do not become the monster ourselves.” – “When defending ourselves, it is important we do not become what it is we are defending ourselves against.” – “Become the change you want to see in the world”
So many people quote these sayings, but so very, very few truly live the words. Most don’t even understand them but they sound cool cause they have the cool words “monster”, “defense” and “enemy” in them [laughing].
AC: You mentioned about not commanding or threatening your attacker, or telling them they are wrong. At the seminar, you discussed that many people, in their attempts to defuse a conflict, instinctively do this kind of stuff and often end up making matters worse. Could you elaborate on this?
RD: Sure. Most think they are defusing just because they are not telling their attackers to go fuck themselves and the like. Defusing, as I mentioned above, is bound by psychological and behavioral principles and concepts, some – very few - possess these naturally and are “good talkers” but most don’t and will escalate the situation without knowing it and not fully grasping why it escalated. They will just blame the other guy.
Here’s an example of what might happen if you insinuate your attacker is wrong: A guy walks over to you as you exit the washroom in a nice restaurant you’re having a business dinner in. He roughly accuses you for “eyeing” his woman. He smells as if he’s had a little too much wine and he’s in your face.
“You been checking out my wife all night buddy!”
“No I haven’t” you assure him.
“Yes you have, you’ve been checking her out ever since we came in!”
“I’m sorry, I assure you I haven’t, I don’t even know where you guys are sitting!” you insist.
“You calling me a fuckin’ liar?!?”, he retorts angrily.
He gets more agitated, you try one more time to tell him you weren’t looking at his wife but he gets more and more angry and you knock him out before he can hit you first.
Self defense? Legally, yes. Morally, ethically? Humanely? No.
When you insinuated he was wrong you basically, in his mind, called him a liar. Obviously, this sort of behavior is linked to insecurity and fear. Add to that general anger and presto, you got a recipe for violence. Which is the basic, yet all-too-common scenario.
Let’s take a look at it this way instead: A guy walks over to you as you exit the washroom in a really nice restaurant. He roughly accuses you of ‘eyeing’ his woman. He smells like he’s had a little too much wine and he’s in your face.
“You been checking out my wife all night buddy”.
“I’m sorry, Mary Ellen, right? I am certain I went to [insert school, work, whatever is appropriate based on your and the woman’s age here].”
“No. That’s my wife.”
“Oh sorry brother, she looks an awful lot like a girl I used to go to high school with way back when. My bad, I meant no offense to either of you.”
A good guy having a bad day will usually swallow their egos and let it go from there. After all, you were not staring at his wife; it’s a clear case of mistaken identity, no harm no foul.
A bad guy would continue and say something like “I don’t give a fuck who you knew when, you’re staring at my wife!” as his tone would rise and facial structure would begin to clench up more. Presto…. This way, you’ve determined “good guy/bad day, or bad guy” and you act accordingly.
AC: I can confirm to readers this very approach works. I was telling a mate about the de-escalation drills at the Gold Coast seminar, and he told me how he was at a club in Adelaide one night, and he looked over towards the bar and happened to glance at some guy. The guy happened to glance at him at the exact same moment, and what followed was your typical evil eye staredown, you know, the same stupid shit that happens in bars and nightclubs all over the world every weekend and leads to countless brawls, glassings, stabbings and shootings. However, my mate had the wherewithal to catch himself and think, "now this is bullshit..." So he walks over to the guy, smiles, and says "Steve, right?" The guy replies in the negative, so my buddy apologizes, tells the guy he looks the spitting image of another guy he knows, and they proceed to have a friendly conversation. Instead of going toe-to-toe with the guy, and potentially turning the night into a total disaster, he made a new friend. This to me was a perfect example of two everyday guys - not druggies, crooks or thugs - that could have ended up doing some rather destructive things driven purely by ego. It's amazing how an encounter with a stranger can turn either violent or exceedingly amicable at the flip of a coin.
RD: Absolutely… your mate was strategic, humane and tactical about his approach and created a win/win situation for everyone, the ripple effects of his action in both the world and his life will be much more positive.
AC: One thing that struck me from the de-escalation drills is just how empowering it can feel to defuse a situation. While some may see it as being weak or submissive, when you successfully defuse a conflict you’re the one who has effectively taken control of the situation.
RD: Again, it’s due to ego. I’ve been there, many times myself. Talking my way out of a situation then walking away thinking and feeling small. Thinking how I shouldn’t have let anyone talk to me that way, feeling like a bitch walking away with my tail between my legs. And that was my reality as well for a while in my much younger years which is why I rarely defused fights in my young adult years.
The reality I chose instead was the one where I realized that by walking away without having to drop someone like the proverbial toilet seat, I was in essence, saving someone’s life at that moment. I’d go home and tell whatever woman I was with at the time, “hey hun, I just saved someone’s life today.”
“Well, this guy thought I was staring at his girlfriend and at one point seemed to be violently insisting on the fact but I talked him down. He had no clue how close to a beating he came.”
And the reality is, it’s much easier to drop someone, knock someone out, ‘Shred’ them or hurt them in any way then it is to convince them to walk away without resorting to violence.
Judge Phillip William Morris once said something to effect of “Violence, when there are alternatives, is immoral. Violence when there are no other alternatives, is justifiable.” I fundamentally believe that more often than not, when situations unfold in violence, there were most definitely alternatives, which were never even conceived of due to the blindness created by the egos of both parties involved.
The ability to defuse and walk away takes greater personal strength and higher level of human evolution to do without walking away feeling like you lost something or were somehow taken advantage of. Because the truth is, the reality is, we are indeed our own worst enemies. Too many people relinquish their emotions to exterior forces, blaming circumstances for how they feel, not being accountable for their own feelings, their own emotions, their own choices and the results of their chosen actions. If more people truly owned their lives, we’d have a much less violent world to live in.
"Yo bro, I'm really sorry my dog mistook your leg for a fire hydrant. You know, maybe if you stopped wearing those bright red corduroy pants..."
AC: I think most reasonable people will get what you’re saying. But no matter how rational and reasonable one tries to be, sometimes there’s going to be a very, very strong motivation not to de-escalate. To illustrate my point, let me throw the following scenarios at you:
- You’ve given your Mum a lift to the shops. She’s in her sixties, her eyesight’s not the best, and she accidentally bumps her trolley into some guy who spins around, glares at her and snaps“Watch where you’re going, bitch!”
- You’re at a bar with your girlfriend/wife. She excuses herself to go freshen up in the ladies’ room. When she returns, she’s visibly upset. You ask what’s wrong, she tells you some sleazeball just groped her ass as she walked past the bar. You turn around towards the bar, and sure enough, there are two leering buffoons looking in your direction and laughing.
In either of these scenarios, “de-escalating” is going to be the last thing on a lot of guys’ minds. In fact, they’re going to want to do the exact opposite. And even if they really would prefer to avoid a confrontation, they're still going to feel pressured to act. After all, a man can ignore insults aimed at him, but it's his job to protect and defend the honour of his loved ones, right? I'd love to get your take on this.
RD: I have to laugh my ass off at the eighties-steroid-muscle-pumped-action-hero cliché of “it’s a man’s job to protect and defend the “honor” of his loved ones”. I am happy to say that humanity is slowly evolving past this caveman, testosterone bullshit.
The truth is: It is every man and woman’s duty to protect any and everyone from any kind of direct harm in a way that won’t bring more harm to the ones they are protecting.
With that said, let’s take scenario one, where you’re at the shops with your Mum and some guy calls her a bitch.
If one were to retaliate vengefully, with a challenging/threatening response, and the situation leads to a physical altercation, how does one believe this will end?
Speaking from much, much experience and research here, there are many factors allowing one’s ego to “defend the honor of a loved one” that the ego didn’t factor in its heroic display of Ramboness.
Presumably, the verbal (least we forget, no one was physically accosted here, no threat was directly made) altercation happened in shops not too far from home, as a sixty year-old with bad eyesight won’t usually go shopping in another city. So the individual who, at this stage was only verbally rude and nothing else, most probably lives not too far from where you and your mother reside.
What if, several weeks after you beat him up in the name of “honor” and all that ego shit, he happens to run into your mother and wife coming out of the shops and remembers what you did to him?
What happens to Mom and wife now? Was it worth her honor? Honor is about ego, period. In this case, ego and honor has a high percentage of getting one’s loved ones hurt, injured or killed because of pride; another factor of ego. Pride, honor, justice; all words that have long been associated to heroes and warriors via marketing and media no less. The reality is, they are products of the ego, disguises of fear, insecurity and festering anger of which the ripple effects of their manifestations are much more negative than they’re ever positive. And they lead to the need for more pride, honor and justice…at what cost?
Let’s look at scenario two, where some guy gropes your girlfriend/wife. This one’s tougher because physical contact was actually made. But think long and hard at the pros and cons of each one of the outcomes of the possible actions to take here. Think very carefully. The reality is that presently, both you and your girlfriend are alright. No one is physically hurt, no one has died, no one even so much as has a scratch and it could remain this way if you both would just walk away.
Doing nothing, endorses the behavior. Basically, it states what they did was fine, please continue. But who made you their parent/guardian or designated educator? And deep in your heart, do you really believe that they will learn anything here if you were to “correct them of their evil ways?” What would be the honest likelihood of that happening? What are the chances they will get up after the beating you will be forced to administer in the name of pride, honor and your wife’s ass, and realize the error of their ways and become good, kind and decent human beings after this?
Doing something means a high chance of a physical fight against a guaranteed two people, you’re still with your wife, there’s a good chance, she may get hurt and you don’t know for certain if these guys are armed or not or if they have more friends just around the corner of the bar. Remember, this isn’t a movie or dojo choreography now, this is real life.
Leaving and coming back would constitute vengeance. Vengeance, statistically, leads to more and more vengeance and violence, are you prepared for that? Does that balance out the ass grope?
And if they are only two and are unarmed, your wife is still at risk. You can ask her to wait outside and then go fight two guys, because it’s not like they’re going to listen to you if you offer reasons as to why what they did was wrong and impolite. Chances are it comes down to a beating. And let’s say you win….you beat up the two guys, no damage except to them. Then what?
Where do these two guys live? Where do you live? Will they remember what you and your wife look like? Does anyone in the bar know you by first name even? What if your wife one day runs into these guys again but this time, you’re not there and your newborn is with her?
What would be the ripple effects of one’s action based on a violent versus a non-violent reaction in a moment where no one at all was physically hurt or even threatened for that matter, except for…you guessed it…our egos? And if one replied with ego, what kind of ripple effect would that cause and eventually bring right back?
And what would happen if you just walked away instead? At this stage, the ripple effect would be that no one at this point would ever potentially try to hurt your family were they to run into them shopping or at a pub or movie.
The reality is that life would continue as you know it right now whereas, taking a step forward for the honor of your wife’s ass cheek of all things….well…that outcome has much greater potential for people getting actually physically hurt, injured and potentially killed because an ass was groped. Not to mention cops, courts, lawyers, vengeance, money, time…all highly potential factors to the outcome of “honor and pride”.
Again. Simple mathematics. Cause and effect. So what’s more important? What are the most strategic and tactical choices if peace, non-violence and harmony are what we truly desire? The path to peace is peace itself. Choose it. Or choose violence. But be aware of your choices and be accountable for their ripple effects.
AC: Rich, I know the world has moved on since the caveman days and the Stallone/Schwarzenegger/Van Damme movies of the Eighties, but I just know a lot of guys are going to struggle with your answer. Give us an example to show you walk the walk on this one. At the seminar, you mentioned an incident in the Caribbean involving yourself, a female partner, and some belligerent locals.
RD: Those who will have an issue with this need to grasp that their issue is self-related, it’s their own ego which is having the problem. On my first honeymoon with my first wife back in 1999, we were in Saint Marten, the Dutch side. On our first or second day there, we decided to leave the hotel and stroll down to the commercial strip. To do so we needed to walk down this one road that, at the time, took us through a residential area.
While walking, I noticed several locals carrying machetes, chilling on the front porches of their homes. They also noticed us.
At one point, one of these brothers is having words with a mate of his. He then decides to cut behind us and walk right next to my then wife and begins rudely hitting on her like I didn’t even exist. I took notice of the several friends this guy had that happened to be both on our left and right hand sides just meters away.
This guy is going on about what he’d like to sexually do to my wife so as she grips my hand tighter and tighter, obviously very uncomfortable at this point, I turn to the brother and ask him if he likes what he sees.
He assures me with body language and gestures rather than words and then asks me if she’s good in bed. “Hurricane!” I reply, he laughs, she gets pissed and gives me this look like “What the fuck?” I look back at her telling her in Arabic (my first wife was Egyptian) to trust me and let me handle my shit.
I then ask the guy if he’s selling anything to which he replies, “whatever you want, and the best of!” I tell him I want to purchase some weed and he assures me he’s got the island’s finest. I ask how much for a couple of joints and he tells me five US bucks. I purchase a couple and tip him an extra five. Presto, he and his buddies are my best friends and we’re mackin’ with the good shit [laughing loudly].
I’ve been criticized by many for not standing up for my wife’s honor [laughing]. It wasn’t a matter of whether I could have taken that guy or not, the reality is, this was our first day of our honeymoon, the rest of it would have had to have been spent in our room entirely with a police escort to the airport. We didn’t know the place, we didn’t know anything about the laws there, we didn’t know how many friends this guy had.
What we did know was that he lived or at the very least, hung out three blocks from our hotel. He had at least several friends. They all owned machetes and they sold more than just marijuana. Not the kind of people I want to find myself in a war with for the next two weeks of my honeymoon.
Some would say Mr. Stallone overreacted when a carload of hoons wolf-whistled at his girlfriend...
AC: OK, so you’ve tried de-escalating, you’ve tried giving your attacker an “out”, and he’s not biting. Things are about to get physical. What do you think are the main factors determining who will be walking away in one piece? What should people concerned about finding themselves in this scenario be doing to maximize their survival prospects?
RD: Well, if all avenues were indeed exhausted and you have no other choice, then depending on the range, one would strike, pre-empt or retaliate using Senshido’s five principles of physical retaliation. We didn’t come up with these, they’ve always existed, we just pooled them together into a concept which has been come to be known as “The Shredder” when used in close quarter and/or grappling situations.
The principles are to attack using our closest weapon to our opponent’s closest target, using non-telegraphic motion as well as economy of motion, using tactile sensitivity to our advantage as well as attacking primary targets of eyes and throat.
Properly applying these principles in the close quarter and grappling ranges automatically has you applying what has been come to known as the “Shredder” concept.
AC: Would you agree a lot of street altercations are lost due to psychological reasons more so than physical factors?
RD: I would most certainly agree, the physical aspects are completely incidental, it is the mind which controls the body, the perceptions of each and every individual, how they see themselves, what they believe themselves capable to be or not, how they view their opponent, the situation, and so on.
Again, accountability. People once again relinquish themselves to exterior forces. Owning one’s emotions allows one to choose how they feel rather than allow exterior circumstances to dictate how they should feel and succumbing to that.
You also have to factor in such things as environment, time of day, situation, reason of attack, number of attackers, and level of threat.
AC: When a situation goes physical, you firmly believe that simple, “gross” motor skill movements are far more valuable than movements requiring fine motor skills, even when the latter includes movements considered the bread and butter of popular fighting styles. Can you elaborate?
RD: It isn’t a matter of what I “believe”, it is a matter of what is scientifically proven as fact and applicable to general population. When someone perceives anything as a threat, the body automatically and biologically reacts to that in many ways, one of these many ways is releasing adrenaline into the system causing all kinds of physiological shifts and changes which are most often perceived as by the host as fear, which inevitably leads to panic, which inevitably leads to victimization.
Generally speaking of course, this is a gross simplification, but suffice it to say these involuntary responses by our bodies prepare the body for “fight or flight”. Most people freeze because they have no idea how to fight in that state because, as you mentioned in the question, under such extreme duress your body operates only in gross motor functions.
Why? Because during the adrenal stress condition phase, your body pumps massive amounts of blood into the larger muscles really fast so that the body can fight or take flight. The little muscles, most of which are responsible for fine motor skills found in the majority of systems out there, are used for fine motor skill applications, which under a certain amount of stress, like the stress of violence, we do not have access to. These moves, at the moment we need them most, are stored in a different part of our brain.
Instead, we have access to gross motor moves, swinging, tearing, grabbing, clawing, ripping, striking violently, running, stomping, etcetera. Our bodies go into overdrive and all cognitive thoughts which are processed by the frontal lobe of the brain, which is also responsible for storing all fine motor skills, gets bypassed by the mid brain, which is activated when our minds perceive threat or imminent danger.
This is of course, especially true with the average civilian who trains in the martial arts for hobby or concern of being attacked someday. There are some individuals who have lived a life of violence either via their lifestyles or jobs or both, who will be able to access certain fine motor skills during high stress situations due to the desensitization of being regularly involved in those situations. Most people, however, won’t, certainly not enough to bank on the use of fine motor skill movements saving their butt in a violent encounter.
The reality is; if average civilians can make gross motor skills work for them, then imagine what devastating tools they become with the proper concepts attached to them in the hands of those more accustomed to violence?
Rich doing what he does best at the RAW Combatives seminar, Melbourne 2011.
AC: Tell us some more about the Shredder. When did the concept first materialize, and how has it evolved over the years?
RD: The concept is directly based on Senshido’s five principles of physical retaliation mentioned above. Again, it’s nothing more than a concept and holistic tool. People have indeed fussed over it. It works. Plain and simple and as advertized. Is it for everyone? It can most certainly be, if desired, but it isn’t.
Has it ever failed? Yes. It has reportedly twice in the thousands of times it has been used so it’s documented success rate would be along the lines of about 99.99888888% rate and applicable by one and all, you don’t have to be strong, tough or athletic to make it work.
It wasn’t even called the Shredder by anyone officially working at Senshido, what happened was, Marc St. Marie (one of my great friends and also a Senshido Instructor) way back in 1998 or 99 or something was teaching a fellow who later became a very close friend, Warren Ng, the five principles of physical retaliation on the Bob Dummy.
As Warren was starting to grasp the closest weapon, closest target/economy of motion and non-telegraphic movement concepts, he blurted out “Like a shredder, Marc?” To which Marc replied, “exactly, like a shredder, now shred the damn thing!!”, or something to that effect.
Warren later returns to New York and goes on our online forum and tells everyone he learned the concept of the “Shredder” at Senshido to which everyone began calling it that so we kinda went along and accepted the name.
A few years later, it was my old friend Sammy Franco back in the day who kept pushing me to release what became the notorious “Shredder package” as a DVD/book set and a seminar on its own as a header. If it wasn’t for Sammy ironically, the Shredder concept would have never gained the popularity it did because I never grasped the full essence of it, because to me it was basic, common knowledge.
Basically, the Shredder was discovered through extensive analysis of real fights and how they were executed, through realistic role playing performed in real time and real speed. We examined how both trained fighters and untrained people performed in these situations.
A big factor in the Shredder’s development were the instant reactions it had on those it was used on, even during its early development stage. The reaction was always the same: instant panic with instinctive attempts at defensive disengagement by the person being Shredded. Something occurred on a psychological level, it wasn’t just the reception of pain but a complete predator-to-prey shift.
In other words, the Shredder was and is extremely effective at quickly turning the tables on a would-be attacker: the bad guy intent on giving an ass-kicking suddenly becomes the one receiving a whipping.
At Senshido, we have five principles of physical retaliation. They are, in no particular order:
1. Economy of motion;
2. Non telegraphic movement;
3. Opportunity striking;
4. Tactile sensitivity;
5. Primary target acquisition.
These principles dictate that when striking, you want to ensure the time frame between strikes is as short as possible in order to give your opponent much less of a chance to effectively react to your attack.
Hostile and violent encounters trigger an emotional response. Your survival mechanism is connected to your autonomic nervous system, which controls your voluntary and involuntary functions. This is further divided into the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous systems. The parasympathetic nervous system controls your actions and thoughts in non-stressful environments. It controls fine motor skills, cognitive processing and a host of other functions related; however when threat is perceived, the sympathetic nervous system takes over which triggers the survival mechanisms or 'fight or flight' response.
AC: Which is why you so often see highly-trained martial artists who can do spectacular-looking spinning kicks and all sorts of other highly impressive acrobatic moves in the dojo, resort to basic, frantic, almost child-like movements in the high-stress situation of a real street fight.
RD: Right. When the sympathetic nervous system triggers a massive surge of adrenaline, it causes a large amount of blood to be pumped into the larger muscles, the ones most likely to help you run or power your way out of a dangerous situation.
During emergency situations, your body has to prioritize in order to maximize your survival chances. Modern scientific research has shown us that under the influence of the sympathetic nervous system, only gross motor skills are performed optimally. When your life is at stake, your body “downgrades” cognitive processing, visual performance and fine motor skills, because at that moment those functions are not the ones offering maximal benefit in your quest for survival.
Understanding these physiological responses that preside during high stress situations is extremely important if you want to survive a dangerous encounter. So important, they became the cornerstone of the Shredder concept.
It's not a good idea to try flashy, high-risk, acrobatic moves during a real street fight. And it's absolutely unforgivable to wear a white linen suit with blue sneakers.
AC: So how, exactly, has this shaped the development of the Shredder and made it such an effective self-defense tool?
RD: For starters, to become part of the Shredder arsenal, each tool had to be based on gross motor movements. The tools had to be instinctual and primal in nature but fine-tuned in a way that allowed their delivery to be more acute then if one were to just “go berserk”. The “beat” in between the delivery of each strike had to be shortened from the traditional half beat to a quarter beat, meaning, the time frame in between each tool finding its intended target was much shorter and therefore quicker then, for example, the usual jab/cross combo in boxing.
AC: For the benefit of readers, we’d better explain the “beat” concept. An example of a “full beat” strike is a punch or kick performed at striking range, while an example of a “half beat” movement would be, say, an elbow strike performed in what is often called “trapping” range. Meanwhile, the “quarter beat” movements that form the bread and butter of the Shredder arsenal are those performed at extremely close range, like gouging, raking, palming, biting, spitting and so on. The underlying premise being the smaller the beat, the less time your opponent has to effectively react.
RD: That’s right. Although a real fight is erratic and chaotic in nature, it still functions in “beats”, a frame of time between strikes. The retraction of a fist, foot, knee, or elbow creates a beat as the time frame between each strike triggers your opponent’s brain to instinctively trigger a defensive response. You see it all the time in murder victims, who exhibit defensive wounds in the hands and arms. The reason being, there was a time frame regardless of the speed of the attack which permitted the victim’s arms to reflexively come up and instinctively attempt to protect their vital areas, their eyes, throat, face, head.
A key point is this ‘primal regression’ to gross motor skills and a lack of cognitive processing is a “choiceless choice”. We cannot choose to adopt it or not adopt it. Much like when driving a car, if a child suddenly jumped ten feet in front of your moving vehicle, you wouldn’t even begin to think about your response. You simply wouldn’t have time to process the information. By the time you did all that, the poor child would be dead. So your brain and body take care of the response for you, the startle-to-flinch response kicks in automatically causing you to swerve out of the way, hopefully missing the child and not killing them.
It’s only after the situation is over that we regain access to our cognitive thought processes and realize what just happened. It’s at that point we feel the sudden rush of blood, the heart palpitations, and the realization that we almost killed someone. We cannot choose to experience any of this, it’s an automatic hard-wired process.
AC: Which is why the Shredder is such a user-friendly tool, especially for untrained folks who don’t have years on end to learn sophisticated martial arts techniques?
RD: It has actually been our experience that untrained individuals pick up on the Shredder concept much quicker and with greater ease than trained fighters. The reason being the majority of martial art styles are based on muscle memory and technical skills that are primarily launched by the frontal lobe of the brain, which is the cognitive control center if you will.
Learning simple but effective attacks is important for dealing with real-life encounters.
As previously stated, we are already hard-wired to survive but martial arts in general work against this natural process. A gap is created between what our bodies instinctually want to do and the new information introduced through martial training. So an untrained individual adapts to the Shredder concept much quicker than a trained person would, because there is no prior interference. A martial artist will try and use a fine motor skill delivery system for a gross motor tool; modern research shows it simply cannot be done until the brain no longer perceives threat or imminent danger and the sympathetic nervous system is subdued.
AC: Rich, a common criticism of the Shredder is that it’s just “eye-gouging”, or a bunch of “dirty fighting” tactics.
RD: What makes this approach so different to conventional use of strikes and ‘dirty tactics’ such as the eye gouge or the throat strike is that the latter require three integral elements to make them functional:
These three elements require proper positioning, and a certain degree of strength and athleticism. Not to mention clarity in the moment; a luxury, as stated above, we do not possess when facing threat and danger. The Shredder requires none of these. It can be applied in any close quarter position, whether lying down, during a takedown, at extreme close range. It's comprised of tools that create maximum damage with minimal effort.
AC: So why aren’t these tools more widely used in the fighting arts?
RD: Thanks to the media, movies, traditional martial arts, the rules-based Queensberry boxing standard, and observation of fights between opponents influenced by the aforementioned, we have come to accept and expect a certain 'way' of fighting.
We are so ingrained with traditional fight methodology that we expect certain tactics, a certain beat during physical encounters. Conventional methods - kicks, punches, elbows, knees, head butts - are designed for distance tactics. What makes a grappler so devastating is the fact that a striker no longer has the range, torque or grounding to make his strikes effective enough to intercept or hurt the grappler. Therefore everyone figured, correctly might I add, they needed to learn to grapple also.
The Shredder, however, works best in extreme close quarter situations, especially the dreaded clinch. In fact, the closer to the opponent you are the better. The Shredder is the equalizer, or as it has been referred to by other self defense experts like Sammy Franco, the “Missing Link” in self-defense training.
The advantage of the Shredder is that it can readily be used by one and all regardless of age, gender, size or athletic ability. Although this probably sounds like a marketing ploy, I assure you it isn’t. The very nature of the Shredder means it is ‘user friendly’ and requires no memorization of techniques, no repetitive training, no need for high levels of athleticism. Hundreds of people worldwide have successfully used the Shredder to survive violent confrontations and martial artists worldwide have adopted this concept into their training.
The Shredder is a scientifically supported, physiologically based and behaviorally driven concept. Those who disagree with the Shredder concept are basically disagreeing with the physiological rules that govern human psychology and physiology.
For those who want to delve into the science behind all this, I’d recommend the following sources:
Defensive Living: Attitudes, Tactics and Proper Handgun Use to Secure by Ed Lovette, Dave Spaulding.
Sport Psychology: Concepts and Applications, Third Edition by Richard H. Cox.
The Athlete's Guide to Sports Psychology: Mental Skills for Physical People (Mental Training Ppr) by D.V. Harris
Emergency Stress Management by Ray Shelton, PhD, EMT.
Stress and Performance Ergonomics by A.T. Wellford.
AC: Not trying to blow smoke up your ass, but seriously, one of the things that quickly struck me as I listened to you speak up on the Gold Coast was your enlightened outlook on life. Your level of intelligence, perceptiveness and empathy for others is quite impressive - and refreshing. Do you read a lot? Have you spent a lot of time engaged in personal reflection and introspection?
RD: [Laughing]. Thank you for saying so, I really have a hard time viewing myself as such, but thank you for your vote of confidence. I do read quite a bit, only when I travel though, I cannot seem to read books at home for some reason but I work and read quite a bit on the Internet.
There was a point in my life where I transitioned; I shifted from a very dark and self-destructive place to a much lighter and peaceful place. For me, it’s a constant transition, but at one point I sat at home by myself for nearly five full days. No contact with the outside world, no technology, books, pen, nothing …just me and my thoughts.
I took a long, hard-ass look at myself. I dissected every part of myself and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
During these five days, I went through personal hell and then rediscovery. I experienced guilt, fear, shame, pain, regret, futility, desperation, you name it. The most critical and important thing I garnered however, was that the common denominator in every single one of the situations that went sour and downhill in my life, was…me. I discovered just how in control of my life I was, we all are. I discovered forgiveness was liberating and that the hatred and anger and resentment I held did nothing but damage and cripple me.
I discovered just how much I had lied to myself, constantly and consistently. How I justified my failures, how I had put forth blame on anything and everything but myself and how nothing I’d really done while harboring those emotions ever made life for me or anyone around me any better; quite the opposite actually.
A great friend, Jill Pedrick, once said to me that with every thought, every action and every intention we are either moving towards or away from love, and that resonated with me very much. To this day, I still try and ask myself that question about as many thoughts, actions and intentions as I can. I do this daily, hourly sometimes. Sometimes I forget and I get caught up in my own ego but when one comes to realize the battle is truly within, one concentrates more on the demons inside than the perceived demons outside.
Compared to how I was living prior, this kind of introspection has made my life much better on every possible level. What goes around does indeed come around and then goes around again and again. Each and every one of us in control of that.
AC: I think honest introspection would be a painful experience for most people, so they simply avoid it. Instead they rationalize it away and go back to absorbing themselves in the daily grind. At one point during the seminar, you talked about consumerism, conformity and the importance of independent thinking. Why do you feel so strongly about this, and what’s your advice to young folks growing up in a world that seems to be growing ever more superficial and feral?
RD: A lot of people today are sadly defined by what they own. They don’t own anything, they are owned by their possessions. Without the brand names and the baby-shit-stained-colored Louis Vuitton bags or whatever other materialistic accessories helped create their persona - based on what they were spoon fed via their televisions and billboards - none of these people own their lives and the majority, via their purchases, contribute to human slave labor and trafficking.
People are being manipulated. Over seventy percent of the world is living in poverty and hunger, yet people own hundred-thousand-dollar cars and watches. As long as the majority of humanity is suffering, all of humanity will continue to suffer. We need to start taking care of people more. We need to start collectively evolving as a species, not just technological advancement, but human advancement.
The whole “learn-how-to-beat-up-a-bad-guy-in-case-you-get-attacked-one-day” won’t reduce violence. Ever. It will only add to it as it has and continues to do so, as violence is still equally present today as it was two thousand years ago. It still plagues us daily.
It’s like putting a band aid on a skin cancer patient. We need to take care of each other, help each other. Once humanity realizes that regardless of how much money or possessions they have, while the majority live in suffering, there will always be plenty of it to go around, and what goes around most definitely always comes around.
Instead of rambling on and on about this as I could for days and days, I would like to refer you to an article written by a Facebook friend of mine, Ryan Dawson. It perfectly illustrates my point better than I can:
That article pissed off several people I know personally. Of course, they all live the way the article describes, go figure. There’s a brilliant Chinese proverb that goes “Unless we change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.”
AC: I can’t see why that article would piss so many people off. Oh wait a minute, it’s the truth, and the truth has a habit of doing that [laughing]. I’m guessing the content of that article hits a little too close to home for a lot of people. Rich, you don’t just talk about making the world a better place, you actually get out there and take action. You’ve worked with troubled kids and ex-street gang members and do a camp with high school kids in Sydney each year. Tell us about that.
RD: I’ve been working with the Cranbrook High kids for several years now as a guest instructor at a summer camp the high school hosts for the kids. Each year they hire a variety of experts from nutrition to performance enhancement to yoga and more. I am hired to lecture on the positive effects of peace and realities of violence. According to the kids, our portion of the camp is their favorite.
It’s very fulfilling to read countless messages from kids all over the world telling me how my words empowered them to stop drinking or quit drugs and start training and become more accountable. I’ve had mothers tell me their kids have my magazine articles and pictures up on their walls. That’s really amazing and unimaginable for me. However, they are indeed our future and I am particularly fond of working with teenagers, especially the males as I can most definitely remember and relate to most of their issues.
AC: You talk a lot about peace and goodwill, but some people would question how teaching fight tactics could possibly help these causes. What would you say to such folks?
RD: Call it karma, call it the ripple effect, call it the butterfly effect, the law of attraction, or whatever else you want, but what we put out there is what we get back. We are what we think and what we think and believe are our realities. Cause and effect.
There are three steps we teach to personal protection training. Avoidance, de-escalation and as a last resort, and as stated earlier, defense only when it has been established the individual we are facing is indeed the proverbial bad guy.
Everyone sane supposedly wants peace yet so very few know how to achieve it or maintain it once achieved. In order to minimize violence in the world, we need to out-birth it as much as possible, nip it in the bud as it were. Not add to it senselessly, out of fear-mongering and ego-based perceived justice.
Most people confuse defending one’s self with getting into a fight, and then most people confuse a real fight with MMA and then there are those that jumble them all up together. Each are differing arenas with differing motives, agendas, instincts, strategies.
Self defense is like insurance. Because it has been so grossly misinterpreted on so many levels, people associate self defense with fighting. But it doesn’t necessarily have to get to that. Successfully defusing a potentially violent encounter also falls under the realm of self-defense, as you are successfully defending yourself from potential harm.
Senshido has been called by many the world over “the real art of fighting without fighting” and those are not my words. As someone who has participated in our seminars, you know exactly what I am talking about.
AC: The martial arts world, like many other arenas, is rife with politics, one-upmanship, and petty jealousies. You’ve no doubt been on the receiving end of this carry-on – what would you say to others in the field that seem to envy or feel threatened by the attention you’ve attracted?
RD: It has been a challenge to my ego not to respond at times. I’m human, I too have an ego, it’s a consistent battle that is fortunately diminishing as time progresses and I evolve. I’m far from perfect, I’ve had my issues like everyone else. I most definitely do not have all the answers, but I’m definitely asking the questions, provoking thought and challenging the status quo on many levels. So I fully understand and even empathize with their positions.
Though I am still pretty much underground in the RBSD world, the Senshido International movement has attracted and continues to attract much attention because we’re unconventional, we don’t do it like everyone else. We’re controversial in many circles, not just the martial arts world.
I’ve been referred to as a heretic, a rogue, a revolutionary, a conspiracy theorist, a wannabe, a saint, a visionary, a leader, crazy, stupid, selfish, you name it. I see myself more of a passionate idealist who found a niche and a platform for his passion. You like what I have to say, great. You don’t, that’s fine too. Don’t listen. Don’t read my interviews, don’t purchase my DVDs or view my clips online. It’s pretty simple, really.
I don’t want to be put on any kind of pedestal, I am not looking for fame or fortune…I know, crazy eh?...nor do I fancy myself a leader, I can barely get along in my own life, let alone lead anyone else’s.
Look, to anyone who has a problem with me and my work, I say this: y’all can hate me if it makes you feel better, but honestly, I am not worth your hate nor the illness it is causing you nor the very precious time you are wasting on that hate. You can be doing so much more if y’all would let that shit go. Honest. Been there, done that. Not worth it. At all.
Please know I truly believe in our movement. I will not stop and we will continue to grow, we will continue to succeed. Not to spite anyone, but because there ain’t a day that goes by where my team and I don’t get messages from all over the world from people whose lives we’ve improved, inspired, saved and changed for the better. How that can piss anyone off is beyond me. So, to quote Eminem “I will not fall. I will stand tall. Looks like no one can keep me down.” [Laughing hard]
AC: You have some pretty definite viewpoints on what constitutes healthy nutrition and lifestyle. Care to share them?
RD: Simply stated, stay away from processed and fast foods, eat raw organic produce, eat organic, free range meats as healthy happy animals equal happy healthy people. Stay away from mass produce, stay away from genetically modified foods, stay away from sodas and processed sugars such as fructose, glucose, dextrose etcetera. Get rid of your Teflon and microwaves. Take the time to read the ingredients of the shit you put in your body. Learn, inform yourselves. Most care more about the fuel they put in their cars than the fuel they put in their bodies.
Be active. The human body is designed to move and be active, yet more often than not most of humanity does the exact opposite. Then people bitch, whine and complain about how tired they are, how sick they are, how cancer is rampant…fucking take care of yourselves and each other and you’ll reduce the risk of the rest of us having to hear about your whining and bitching about your health and how many pharmaceuticals you’re hooked on by the time you’re forty.
The sad and pathetic thing is, the information is out there. It’s readily available if you take the time to sift through the governmental/media bullshit and propaganda. The truth is out there, sure it’s jumbled up amongst a massive amount of bullshit, but with a tiny little bit of actual thinking as illegal as it seems to have been made in most societies today, it isn’t too difficult to sift through the bullshit those that feed off our blood peddle.
AC: So true. Do you have any recommended books or reading material?
RD: Sure, there are so many though. Here are a few that have impacted me quite me a bit:
Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom - Rick Hanson & Richard Mendius
Shantaram: A Novel - Gregory David Roberts
Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives - Dan Millman
The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence (Chopra, Deepak) - Deepak Chopra
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time - Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin
Zen in the Martial Arts - Joe Hyamns
AC: I was waiting for you to mention The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence by Gavin DeBecker. You emphatically recommended it to me at the Gold Coast seminar. I got back home, and lo and behold, I already had a copy I’d bought in a charity shop among the squillion other unread books I have. I’ve just started reading it, and it’s already shaping up to be a-can’t-put-down gem. DeBecker maintains that violent encounters aren’t the random, senseless, unpredictable events that most people believe them to be, and that we can all train ourselves to forecast, avoid and deal with them if necessary with surprising efficacy.
RD: Oh, most definitely Gavin DeBecker’s The Gift of Fear… it’s just that my frame of mind was elsewhere based on the thought-provoking questions you’ve been throwing my way. Which I thank you for by the way, it’s nice to do an interview and not solely focus on my past violence and the Shredder.
AC: What about in the martial arts world? Is there anyone whose work you especially admire and would recommend?
RD: It depends on what one is looking for of course. Geoff Thompson for one, a man I have great regard and admiration for. An inspiration to me. I also believe Chris Roberts of Safe International to be one of the absolute best self defense instructors out there today. He is one of the very rare few who actually cares more about his clients and students than he does about making a name or a buck. Very few have demonstrated the selflessness, passion and heart that this man has for his craft and his clients. I believe he will be at the top and forefront of the self defense world in no time.
Jesse Lawn, Trevor Wilcox, Damien Martin and Hannah Thornton, Jim Armstrong, J. Daniel Sambrano, Peter Skillen, Shannon ‘Tank’ Fuller, Shane Cassidy, Tony Torres, Chris Hanson to name but a few… these are the real deal, these are just a few of many who I have had the pleasure and honor of working and being acquainted with. These are people who teach with heart, passion and dedication to their clients and not their names or any bullshit dogmatic system.
AC: Rich, I know you're reluctant to blow your own trumpet, but if people want to learn more about your methods, where should they start? Which of your DVDs would you suggest for someone making their initial foray into the world of Senshido, and how do they go about ordering them? And how do people find out about your upcoming seminars?
RD: Thanks bro… well, our website is really dated and we are working on a new one that will be ready in 2 weeks (that’s been a running joke since 2006 now by the way [laughing]).
For people who don’t own any of our products, I would highly recommend our Get R.E.A.L. 3 DVD set, normally on sale for $154.95. This set is over 4.5 hours worth of materials and instruction and offers a great introduction to all of our core concepts including the notorious Shredder. Anyone reading this and interested, if you purchase the package before September 1st 2011, you pay only $125 plus shipping fees for it.
We have a blog: http://senshidointernational.blogspot.com/
A Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SenshidoInternational?ap=1
And of course, our really dated and ancient website which should honestly be replaced with a new one soon enough: http://www.senshido.com
Email us for orders at firstname.lastname@example.org or email me directly at RDimitri@senshido.com
AC: Alright, before we finish up, five quick ones:
What book are you currently reading?
RD: I just recently finished reading Tupac Shakur’s biography. A great read, even if you are not a fan which I wasn’t but became during this read.
RD: The entire Rocky series. What?!
Favourite hobby/s aside from martial arts?
RD: Writing, hiking, mountain biking. Just discovered much of the wonders of nature living in a National Park in Jasper Alberta, Canada brother - all kinds of great outdoor hobbies to discover.
RD: Too many. The one that sticks to mind most is Gandhi’s “Become the change you want to see in the world.” It eludes so many.
Besides your Mum and significant other, what person/s do you most admire, and why?
RD: I greatly admire all those who are selfless, forgiving and have the strength to better the world around them.
AC: Rich, thanks a million for doing the interview, it was great meeting and training with you in Queensland, and I look forward to seeing you next time you’re Down Under!
RD: Thanks brother. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time and for your patience through all my ranting [laughing]. Wishing you and yours much peace brother. Thank you to one and all who helped make Senshido what it is today…without y’all, there is no Senshido International.
Anthony Colpo is an independent researcher, physical conditioning specialist, and author of the groundbreaking books The Fat Loss Bible and The Great Cholesterol Con. For more information, visit TheFatLossBible.net or TheGreatCholesterolCon.com
Copyright © Anthony Colpo.
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