More Lies Than Truth

Most Of What Is Being Sold as Realistic Self-Defense is a Lie

I know that my outspoken opinions on what really works in interpersonal violence wont win me any friends in the martial arts instruction world. I am not here to follow the status quo, but rather to challenge it. I don’t care about appeasing my critics, I only care deeply about saving lives.

We are all living in an unprecedented age of information overload. Most people can no longer make head or tails of who is real, who is legitimate, and who knows. These days you cannot go anywhere on the worldwide web, from Facebook, to YouTube and not find instructionals from someone positioning themselves as a self-proclaimed expert in self-defense. Almost without exception everything they teach is untested and worst of all, they themselves have never applied what they teach others in the fray of  interpersonal violence. Examples of fake self-defense experts abound, but no one seems to see the glaring whole in their methodology. Even when someone puts one video out after another, in what could only be described as ‘fake Hollywood choreography self-defense’ still he has hundreds of people pitching up for his seminars.

Sadly, innocent well meaning people all over the world are being hoodwinked by these self-defense scammers. I don’t blame them at all. Unless you have been in sustained interpersonal violent encounters your whole life, your default is to trust those in authority, the supposed experts in the self-defense community.

Sadly, and infuriatingly, these fake self-defense experts are counting on people’s lack of knowledge on what really is needed to successfully protect themselves and those they love. They unscrupulously sell false hope, fake confidence, and unending answers to every imaginable interpersonal violent encounter. It’s a sad state of affairs to say the least.

"I was so impressed with Mr.King's holistic approach to personal combat & the manner in which it can be incorporated as a stand alone system, or complement any department's existing systems, that I am committed to persuading my commanders of the benefits of incorporating Mr.King's system into our current training program."
Sergeant TS Power
Senior Supevising Instructor/Lead OSS Trainer


I will teach you  proven path to learning how to protect yourself. This isn’t a quick fix program, but I am certain if you train what I teach you in the course you will be much more prepared to deal with interpesonal violent encounters.

My Background

I want to say upfront: ‘I am no expert’, but the first three decades of my life was surrounded by interpersonal violence. From growing up on the South Side of Johannesburg poor in government housing, enduring years of bullying at the hands of the schoolyard thugs, and physical abuse by my Mother. After military service as a Platoon Sergeant in the VIP Protection Wing and Lead Hand-to-Hand Combat instructor for my unit — I went on to work the door, first as a bouncer, and then later running security for several night clubs around Johannesburg. All the while still working close protection gigs when I could.  Over the several years I worked the door (1993-1999) I was in no less than a few hundred interpersonal violent encounters. Sure, some were just a few slaps here and there, yet others were against more than one opponent, some entailed the use of weapons — and even an attempt on my life (1998) when someone tried to shoot me inside an infamous nightclub called the Doors.

Throughout my close on three decades teaching Personal Threat Management to thousands of students around the world, I have had the privilege and honor to teach members from special force groups, law enforcement officers, and close protection teams. I have seen what I teach being deployed for real on the battlefield, city streets, and in the protection of high value individuals. Many of my members of my global Trainers Team have served in various roles from military, to special policing teams and close protection. Many are still active in these roles. All of this is a testament of the efficacy of what I teach in keeping people safe in life and death encounters.

I don’t take my position lightly. I am always challenging what I believe I know about interpersonal violence. I am constantly working to make what I teach accessible to the widest possible audience. In the next section I give an overview on what is really needed to survive interpersonal violence.

Teaching Special Force Operators at the Prestigious School of Special Warfare in Thailand

Do You Have What It Takes To Survive?

What I am about to write might not be what you want to hear. It’s definitely not what Reality Based Self Defense (RBSD), combatives experts or whatever they like to label themselves as want you to hear.  They won’t tell you what I write here either, because the reality of surviving interpersonal violence doesn’t actually sell.


Fight are Messy, You will Mess Up, and Losing is a Reality

No matter how RBSD Experts package what they sell, fights will never look the way they teach you. Almost everything RBSD Experts teach is set up, and you know exactly what the pretend bad guy will do in training. As always on these myriad of how-to videos on self-defense the bad guy never fights back either. You never get to see what happens when the person training the techniques of self-defense fails.  In addition, a lot of what is presented, such as preemptive striking (i.e., hitting the potential threat first), in the Western civilized world makes you the aggressor and you will likely see jail time.

As obvious as this may sound, there is nothing cool about engaging in interpersonal violence. It’s scary, messy, and no one comes out unscathed, even the person who is the victor.


Size and Strength Make a Difference

The truth is size and strength make a difference in a fight. If that wasn’t the case there would be no weight divisions in combat sports. There is no way to learn how to effectively defend yourself in a weekend course. Is it better than nothing, of course, but to truly learn how to protect yourself is a lifelong skill, that requires continued sharpening. It also requires you confronting and overcoming all your insecurities, not withstanding being in relatively good shape.


Most People Teaching Self-Defense, Have Never Defended Themselves

Like it or not, almost all self-defense experts have no experience in self-defense. This sounds ridiculous, but it’s the truth. Most learned from others who they themselves never had to defend themselves. Think about that for a moment! Are you truly capable of defending yourself when the instructor teaching you has never had to himself?


You Will Be Dealing With a Lot More Than Just Your Attacker

When it truly comes down to deploying your self-defense skills, you will be dealing with your negative self talk, your inner demons, your physiology, environmental demands and that of your opponent (who is likely on drugs too). Your opponent will likely have total disregard for his own safety, and care little about your life. Unlike you, your attacker will have no conscience about doing the most unspeakable acts to you, or those you love (I have seen this first hand in South Africa, and it keeps me up at night). It’s one thing saying you will just stick your fingers in someones eyes, fish hook their mouth, or smash your elbow into their throat, and an entirely different ball game in a real fight. Everyone thinks they will rise to the occasion, and what is required when their life is on the line, but it isn’t that simple. The average person would rather move away from violence than engage in it. There are even real life stories of soldiers who just couldn’t bring themselves to do some of the things I described above even though their attacker just tried to kill them.

The fact is there are so many things that need to be trained in order to successfully defend yourself, and the least important of these is how much techniques you think you know or are taught. Which, sadly is the majority of what is taught in self-defense programs around the world. Much of what is taught is complex, when anyone who has been in a fight knows what wins is what is simple. For all the masses of techniques and scenarios spent time on in self-defense programs, when you look at almost all fights, what you see is simple, highly tested techniques found in every combat sport. Yet, you will be told that sparring is sport, and what we the self-defense expert do is street. Yet, when you watch what goes down on the ‘street’ you will never see anything these RBSD Experts teach. All that marketing hype of some ex-military combatives program, now seen in Hollywood blockbusters, goes out the window in the chaos of a fight. Yet, it is still taught everywhere.


True Self-Preservation is an All Time Event

Finally, the fight is from the micro to the macro. Self-Preservation as I like to term it, isn’t just in the worst case scenario of interpersonal violence. If you can’t manage your anger, frustration, and self-doubt in the mundane of every day life (micro), then what makes you believe you can do it in the macro event of a real fight?

This is why my approach to teaching self-preservation is a 360 degree approach. This is why what I teach is;


Training to Conquer The Martial Arts of Everyday Life


Self-preservation, and being able to do just that in the worst case scenario isn’t a weekend event, or twice a week when you pitch up for training, it’s an all time event. Every day, and every hour. True self-preservation is how you show up in the world, how you treat others, how you treat yourself, how you overcome the obstacles of the martial arts of everyday life.

Most RBSD Experts are angry, insecure, and obsessed with violence. It’s everything you don’t want to become.

If you training for self-preservation is working for you, it should be making you less aggressive, less paranoid. If your self-preservation training is working for you, it should enable you to purposefully choose to become fully attuned to the present moment with clarity, composure and calmness especially in a difficult situation (that means in everyday life, not just in interpersonal violence).

Below I outline some key insights I have had over the years in teaching the ‘fight game’ from methodology, to pedagogy (how I teach). In addition a selection of key articles I have written on self-preservation to get you started. I hope it helps you in deciding the best way to prime yourself to protect yourself and those you love. In addition if you scroll down further you can read more about my life and how I overcame homelessness at 17.


Keep Safe!



My All Terrain Methodology

I outline my general thoughts on how I believe martial skills should be trained. This is specifically important if you want to observe a holistic view of developing real world self-preservation skills and beyond.

My Martial Arts Pedagogy

What's the best way to learn real world functional martial arts skills? How in turn should it be taught? Most people simply take it for granted that the guy teaching martial arts to them knows how. You decide...

How I Understand the Fight Game

Fights are chaotic and unpredictable. It isn't simple to get good at it, as some proclaim. Understanding the 'system' of the fight is crucial in not only being able to train for it effectively, but also to teach others how to.

“As a positive psychology researcher I am impressed with Rodney King’s intuitive grasp of people’s strengths and hopes. Rather than building a martial art around fear of attack, testosterone-based competition, or external rewards King introduces the best aspects of performance psychology to help people achieve their own goals. In a field steeped in tradition, King artfully reimagines both the dojo and the martial arts business mentality. At long last, we have a perfect union of proven martial arts techniques with cutting edge approaches to teaching and personal development. As a martial artist myself, King’s methods are a breath of fresh air.”
Dr. Rober Biswas-Diener
The Indiana Jones of Positive Psychology