FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions





1. I don't go to dangerous places and live a pretty quiet life... why should I bother learning reality-based self defense like Verus Comminus?


2. Can't I just carry a weapon of some kind to "even out the playing field"?


3. So seriously, does this stuff actually work? Or is it just more gum-flapping and hype?


4. Is Pure Self Defense difficult for people like me to learn?


5. Aren't all martial arts "self defense"?


6. Do I need to have previous experience to participate in Pure Self Defense's Classes?


7. How long will it take for me to learn to protect myself and my loved ones?


8. Do you only coach women or do you offer training for men and kids / children as well?


9. What ages do you train / coach?


10. Do I have to be flexible to participate?


11. Do I have to be physically fit to participate?


12. What if I'm of out of shape, don't have any martial arts experience, and un-athletic? Does that matter?


13. Am I too old to learn reality-based self defense?


14. I have an injury... will this stop me from being able to train?


15. Will I get injured training in reality based self defense / personal protection?


16. What level of physical participation and contact is there in your workshops?


17. What should I wear for training?


18. Will I need any gear or training equipment?


19. Is there a minimum number of private sessions that I have to sign up for?


20. How far ahead do I need to register for a consultation, workshop, or seminar?


21. There seem to be quite a few men that you coach... is Pure Self Defense suitable for women's self defense?


22. Is Pure Self Defense's Women's Self Defense Course different than the co-ed or men's self defence program?


23. Do you travel to provide self defense training / consultation?


24. Do you offer mobile / on-site consultations and workshops exclusively? Or can I attend a regular weekly class to keep evolving in my self defense & personal protection skills and stay sharp?


25. What style or system of martial art do you teach?


26. What is the difference between gross motor and complex / fine motor skills?


27. What does "Warrior Mind" mean?


28. Do you address any of the legal aspects of self defense?


29. Should I always fight back if physical or sexual assault is imminent?


30. I've been studying and training martial arts for a number of years. What can you teach me that I don't already know?






1. I don't go to dangerous places and live a pretty quiet life... why should I bother learning reality-based self defense like Verus Comminus?

It's true that a lower-risk lifestyle can decrease the likelihood of being a victim of a violent crime. Staying away from certain clubs and bars, not walking down dark alleyways at night, and avoiding dangerous areas of town, etc. all can have a positive effect on lowering some risks. But what about being the unwitting victim of a home invasion? Or a road rage incident? Or sexual assault at school or work?

In life there are no guarantees. We can lower our perceived risk level, but it's virtually impossible to eliminate it altogether. Ignoring violence doesn't keep it away. You can read story after tragic story about people that "never thought it could happen", but sadly it did. We live in a world filled with violence and injustice and that's just the way it is. This isn't meant to scare you, but it is meant to be a reality check.

Think of a good self defense program as any other important life skill. It is akin to learning essential First Aid skills like CPR or the Heimlich Maneuver. If someone chooses to attack you or a loved one it is a medical emergency in which you are likely be seriously injured or killed if steps are not immediately taken to disrupt the attacker's will and transform the outcome. Given the opportunity, it could save your body and your life. Even if the probability of you having to use it were relatively small, is it really something that you want to be without if you do need it? It is much better to have something and not need it than to need something and not have it. The fact is that nobody knows when and where a situation may come up that we will need to know how to protect ourselves and / or our loved ones.

2. Can't I just carry a weapon of some kind to "even the playing field"?

Legally you cannot carry any kind of "weapon" for the purpose of "self defence" in Canada. And like anything else, even if you had a weapon on hand you would need to have it immediately available and know how to use it effectively under stress, otherwise it could potentially cause more harm than good and even be taken and used against you. However, I can teach you to quickly improvise "weapons" during a self defense situation should it be a suitable option.

3. So seriously, does this stuff actually work? Or is it just more talk and hype?

Yes! The same principles, tools, and tactics that make up Pure Self Defense are used by military and police forces all over the world and have been pressure tested in real life violent confrontations.

4. Is Pure Self Defense difficult for people like me to learn?

No! That's the point! Simple and Natural Body Mechanics make it so that virtually anyone can effectively learn and use Pure Self Defense's reality-based self defense system.

5. Aren't all martial arts "self defense"?

No! In fact very few are. Most martial arts are aimed mainly at competition and the art / traditional aspects of their respective systems. Pure Self Defense is a combative reality-based self defense system that has absolutely no sport or "traditional" aspects whatsoever.

6. Do I need to have previous experience to participate in Pure Self Defense's Classes?

No. Pure Self Defense is meant for everybody, whether you have absolutely no training or experience whatsoever and are a total couch potato or are a highly trained and experienced martial artist, athlete, etc. If you do have previous training Verus Comminus' tools and concepts can be effectively added to your toolbox / arsenal.

7. How long will it take for me to learn to protect myself and my loved ones?

If you pose this question to most "black-belt" martial artists the typical response is something along the lines of, "around 3-5 years, could be 10 years or more to become really proficient". Fortunately, they are wrong! Pure Self Defense can be learned in just a few short hours with hands on coaching. Even my clients with no experience or previous training can learn to adequately recognize danger and protect themselves in about 2 hours of private consultation ( see the Rapid Learning Guarantee here ). Obviously there is much more that will be learned with further training, and regular practice is important, but the fundamental principles usually take only a couple of hours of private consultation to learn.  These core principles and tactics apply to everything else that I teach. However, once the material has been learned you will still need to practice at home, whether alone or with a partner, in order to use the material effectively in a real-world situation and to keep it fresh. There are no short-cuts to replace regular practice.

To develop a well-rounded and proficient skill set and train the concepts thoroughly I recommend a bare minimum of 4 training sessions but 8 to 12 sessions is what I find is what it usually takes to train all the fundamentals adequately. Consistant coaching sessions are absolutely the best way to become and stay razor sharp and will help anyone to become skillfull in almost any circumstance. Learning to use and defend against weapons, survive and defeat multiple attackers, adapt to different physical environments, ground fighting, fear and panic management, legalities, awareness strategies, verbal de-escalation, "flipping the switch" to access your killer instinct, are all just some of the concepts that you will train in as you advance.

8. Do you only coach women or do you offer training to men and kids / children as well?

Pure Self Defense offers classes for just women, just men, co-ed, as well as for kids and families!

9. What ages do you train / coach?

I train children, teens, and adults. The curriculum for youngsters is slightly different than for adults, with a lot of focus placed on empowerment, respect for self and others, emotional intelligence, developing critical thinking / analitical skills, and how to deal with predators and bullies. However, the core priciples are the same regardless of age, sex, or physical ability. The curriculum is very flexible and can be custom tailored to your specific needs.

10. Do I have to be flexible to participate?

No. Obviously a certain amount of mobility is required, just as with answering the phone, taking something out of the oven, or putting on your pants. If you can get around without assistance then you shouldn't have a problem that would inhibit you from learning to effectively use the fundamentals of Pure Self Defense. If you have a disability or injury I can certainly customize a program that meets your needs.

11. Do I have to be physically fit to participate?

The programs are designed for all shapes, ages, sexes, and sizes of people and all levels of physical fitness. However, you must be mentally competent and in reasonable health. If you think that you are unable to participate physically please feel free to contact me to discuss other options such as a self defense lecture in which there are very few physical requirements.

12. What if I'm of out of shape, don't have any martial arts experience, and un-athletic? Does that matter?

I welcome you! You are one of the people who I had in mind when I put Pure Self Defense together. No previous experience or physical conditioning is required to participate in Pure Self Defense's coaching sessions and workshops. If you would like to get into shape then please consider booking recurring coaching sessions as I will create a customized program for you to meet your specific needs and personal goals. You are free to push yourself as much as you want - everyone works according to their own limits.  Pure Self Defence is excellent for individuals with a physical impairment as you will learn how to modify your defense response based on your current abilities and personal strengths.

*** Note: Please advise me of any injuries or relevant medical conditions that you may have prior to the start of your coaching sessions so that, if need be, I can make modifications to the program to suit your needs and prevent aggravating your injury or condition. ***

13. Am I too old to learn reality-based self defense?

Absolutely not! You are never too old to learn how to protect yourself. Self-defense is about your survival, regardless of age. Verus Comminus Self Defense is very different from martial arts where age and athleticism can often be a factor in performance.

14. I have an injury... will this stop me from being able to train?

Not usually. In fact, if you have an injury or disability I believe that it is even more  important for you to train so that you have skill and confidence in what you are capable of doing to protect yourself even when not in "optimal" condition. You may even surprise yourself with what you are capable of! Pure Self Defense encourages clients to only do what they feel they are capable of doing; I never want to aggravate or exacerbate an injury or condition or interfere with healing.

15. Will I get injured training in reality based self defense / personal protection?

All activities involving physical activity and / or combative training carry an inherent risk of injury. Minor bumps, scratches, and bruises are to be expected from time to time just as with any other type of physical activity. However, the chance of serious injury is minimal as your physical safety is of utmost importance to me - your success is my success! That being said, the likelihood of YOU inflicting serious physical, psychological, and emotional injury onto someone with a mind to harm you or your family is exceptionally high!

16. What level of physical participation and contact is there in your workshops?

The level of contact is really up to you. However, to get the most out of your training I strongly encourage that you push yourself to a reasonable degree to get out of the "comfort zone" that most of us are quite acclimatized to. You're not going to be punched in the face or anything like that. There is no sparring and there are no attempts to hit other participants without protective gear. I try to create an enjoyable learning atmosphere and everything is performed with your safety in mind.  The nature of self defense training does require physical contact, especially while doing scenario replication training, in order for your mind to be able to create enough realism for your brain to store the information in a way that it can access it in a real life situation. If you choose to participate in a multi-class workshop or recurring coaching you will find that over time your comfort level will bloom to allow for increased physical contact and realism. Safety is always a top priority!

17. What should I wear for training?

You should train in the clothing you are most comfortable in, sneakers, jeans, sweats, t-shirt, etc. Ideally you should train in what you would wear the most in your everyday life and environment. There are no uniforms to purchase and no belts to tie.  Remember that in real life you will not be wearing a martial arts uniform and probably won't be walking around with bare feet. If you wear a suit to work every day then you should train in a suit or button-up shirt at least some of the time. If you wear jeans most often, then train in jeans often. If you're a nudist then, well, you're going to have to put something on to train with me, ‘cuz I don't wanna see that.

18. Will I need any gear or training equipment?

A mouth guard and groin protection (e.g. athletic cup) for men, a mouth guard and sports bra for women should be worn. If you choose not to take these basic precautions then the likelihood of getting hurt in training will be increased. Remember that the way you train will dictate the way you respond in real life under real stress, so the more realistic we can train the more effective your "live" response will be.  Certain protective equipment like eye-protection and striking pads are provided, but if you decide to do multiple consultation sessions it is advisable to at least consider getting some basic gear for yourself.

19. Is there a minimum number of private sessions that I have to sign up for?

No. The fundamental tools and concepts of Pure Self Defense have been specifically designed to be quickly learned with simple application during real-life danger.  However, like anything else, the more you train something the more proficient you will become. Depending on your specific goals I recommend that you participate in at least 6 to 12 coaching sessions, which is approximately the typical amount of time that I've found it takes the average person to obtain a solid foundation of well rounded skills. But in even just a few hours of private consultation you will have learned and be able to use far more functional skills than most people ever possess, even with years of martial arts training! ( find out about the Rapid Learning Guarantee here. ) You can sign up for as many or as few sessions as you would like and train as often or as little as you like.

20. How far ahead do I need to register for a consultation, workshop, or seminar?

It really depends on your requirements, location, number of participants, your availability, etc. Give me a call and we can discuss your specific needs and set something up that works for you. Of course, the earlier you can book the more likely that you will get the timeslot that you want.

21. There seems to be quite a few men that you coach... is Pure Self Defense suitable for women's self defense?

Yes! Most people agree that Pure Self Defense is unlike anything else they have seen or experienced before. It is one of the best overall women's self defense programs available as it addresses far more than only physical combatives. The women's self defence programs will properly equip you to survive and escape an assault by a much larger, stronger, and dedicated attacker.  As a woman, you will learn specific predator and rape prevention principles as well as learning to use your natural intuition in order to increase your situational awareness and become a "hard target". You will learn how to become assertive and aggressive when you need to be and access your "warrior heart" / "mamma bear" mindset. I can help you to dramatically decrease the chances of you ever becoming the victim of a violent encounter in the first place and to exponentially increase your odds of successfully surviving a physical or sexual assault attempt.

If you are a woman reading this, even though you may be physically smaller than a man, you have far more strength in your body and mind than you probably ever imagined. You have tools that are DEVASTATING to a 250 pound man! And let me tell you, it's a heck of a lot more than just kicking him in the kiwis (although that can help)!

22. Is Pure Self Defense's Woman's Self Defense Course different than the co-ed or men's self defence program?

Yes it is. But, to be clear, there is a common misconception that women's self-defense training should be completely different from the way that men train. The underlying principles are pretty much the same. But there are significant differences in the ways that the two are handled. The Woman's self defense course is tailored specifically towards a Woman's personal defense needs due to the unique threats and concerns that are commonly faced by women as well as some of the emotional obstacles that a lot of women have some difficulty overcoming.

From a behavioural standpoint there are only two main types of criminal threat. They are 1. Alpha Male / Egomaniac and 2. Predator. The Predator has two subsets which are a) Persuassion Predator and b) Power Predator. Both sexes need to understand the behavioral aspects of both types of criminal because they are a threat to all of us.

Statistically, the most likely attacker for women and children is an adult male that they are dependant on in some way. Self defence for women and those responsible for the protection of children starts with her being able to be self reliant so that she can isolate herself and her children from an abuser.

Most men rarely feel genuine fear as they go about their day, where as many women feel real fear and anxiety on a daily basis in regards to their personal safety. To put it into perspective, a man's greatest source of fear from a woman is that she could laugh at him; a woman's greatest source of fear from a man is that he could kill her. This is a radical difference in paradigms to say the least! The very best option is to train in co-ed classes as both sexes have something to offer and benefit the other. As a woman you may be reading this thinking that you'd feel really uncomfortable training with men, and that is totally understandable. But think about this, if a woman isn't willing to ever train with a man then how much more difficult would it be to defend herself from a hostile male threat in a real life violent assault? This does not mean that you can't effectively train self defence without training with men, but it is definitely a huge advantage, especially for you mentally and emotionally. But that is a decision that you have to make for yourself.

23. Do you travel to provide self defense training / consultation?

Yes. Pure Self Defense is a mobile on-site self defense training and consultation company. I can come to you wherever you are located. For Kelowna self defense training please see the fee schedule located here. For self defence consultation outside of Kelowna, BC, fees may vary based on location, travel time, and the number of participants. Please contact me to discuss your specific details.

24. Do you offer mobile / on-site consultations and workshops exclusively? Or can I attend a regular weekly class to keep evolving in my self defense & personal protection skills and stay sharp?

For those that understand and desire the advantages of regular / on-going practice & training, physical fitness, continual growth, and greater knowledge and application of skills I currently offer recurring private and semi-private training sessions that take place wherever you are. This can be your own home, workplace, gym, boardroom, church, hall, garage, park, or just about anywhere else that you feel the most comfortable and convenient training.

25. What style or system of martial art do you teach?

Pure Self Defence is not a martial art or sport fighting system. It is a reality-based self defense and personal protection combatives system that at its core is concerned more with concepts and principles rather than specific stimulus / response techniques. Concepts are much more powerful as studies have shown that they are learned and retained faster, in greater detail, and with less training than a system mainly comprised of just situational "techniques".  So instead of teaching my clients pre-memorized techniques to be used in specific situations, we can impart them with a skill set that can be used in any situation. The technical application is based entirely on training with REALISTIC RESISTANCE & ALIVE DRILLS using SIMPLICITY and NATURAL body mechanics that are hardwired into every human being's biology and can be deployed effectively while under the effects of stress and adrenaline. The majority of the "moves" that most martial arts endorse as self defense either require the use of fine motor skills to perform properly and are trained without realistic resistance or alive drills. This is fine when practicing inside a dojo for the sake of learning an art form, but when it is attempted under the extreme conditions of real-world violence when you and your wife's life is in danger and your heart is beating 180 x a minute, well sorry Billy, but that dog just don't hunt. Numerous studies by various agencies around the world have conclusively shown that under high-stress close-combat situations fine motor skills are virtually impossible to execute successfully and that only gross motor skills can be effectively performed. In fact, the effects of the adrenal "fight or flight" response actually increases the ability to use gross motor skills such as running, jumping, grabbing, head-butting, palm-heel striking, ripping and tearing, etc., which is exactly why I teach what I teach.

The other factor that makes Pure Self Defense "un-martial arty" is that the majority of traditional martial arts are comprised of a variety of elements including philosophy, history, tradition, and the ancient techniques that comprise the art. They also contain rules, codes, and a "ritual" aspect. This is all very well and good for character building and discipline, especially in children, but has little to do with surviving real-world violence. Being that Pure Self Defense is a reality-based self defense system it has only one concern: to teach regular people how to avoid and survive dangerous situations and real-world violence no matter what. There are no competitions, no concern for the aesthetics of how things look, and definitely no rules (i.e. we fight dirty). Verus Comminus provides effective combatives to quickly stop an attack against you, but also addresses much more than just the physical aspects of self defense. 90% of self defense is AVOIDING dangerous situations through AWARENESS and following your INTUITION. I address the mental, emotional, psychological, and physiological aspects as well as the behavioral roots of violence. I address the legal, moral, and social aspects as well as pre-contact and post-contact issues, fear and panic management, the effects of adrenaline, and a ton more. Clients are coached on how to find the solutions to a wide range of problems using concepts and principles that work in real life under real stress against enraged opponents that are bigger and stronger than you are. Pure Self Defense is a scientifically-based and holistic approach to personal safety.

26. What are the differences between gross motor and complex / fine motor skills?

A motor skill is any action that involves the movement of muscles in your body. Gross motor skills involve the large muscles of the body that enable movements involving your arms, legs, feet, or even your entire body. Things such as running, jumping, kicking, reaching, and lifting are all gross motor functions. Fine motor skills involve small precisely controlled actions using smaller groups of muscles like fingers, toes, wrists, and lips. Doing things like signing your name, unlocking a door, picking up a coin, or moving a candy around in your mouth with your tongue are all examples of fine motor functions.

27. What does "Warrior Mind" mean?

Simply put, it is having the willingness and determination to do whatever it takes to survive a life-or-death altercation. Ultimately it is the mind and not the body that wins the battle. Everybody has the mind of a warrior inside them. Your ancestors are the survivors and victors that won the wars and battles in days gone by. You have inherited this genetic trait from them. It is a scientific fact. It's just that some of us have it hidden deeper down than others and need some help accessing it. Call it what you want: the warrior mind, killer instinct, survival instinct, mamma bear, crazy-switch, or what have you. I can help you find and use it on demand.

As they say, it's not the size of the dog in the fight -it's the size of the fight in the dog!

28. Do you address any of the legal aspects of self defense?

Yes. However, please note that I AM NOT A LAWYER and anything expressed should not be taken as legal advice. Understanding the legal, moral and ethical aspects of defending yourself is an absolute necessity. I also teach such things as: what to expect in the aftermath of a violent encounter, how to deal with police, moral and social responsibility, etc.

29. Should I always fight back if physical or sexual assault is imminent?

YES! YES! YES! Studies show that those that vigorously fight back and resist an attack are more than twice as likely to survive the encounter and come away with less physical injury than those that comply.

In a violent encounter time is of the essence. You don't usually want to wait long, and you may or may not want to strike instantly. You will typically want to "set up" your attacker before you attack him by behaving in a feigned passive, compliant, or submissive manner (depending on the situation) using your body language and tone of voice to do exactly what he is expecting you to do to increase his confidence and lower his guard so that you can preemptively strike at the moment of your choosing, catching him off guard. When you do strike. GIVE IT EVERYTHING YOU'VE GOT! Be explosive and ferocious! That all being said, NEVER EVER allow yourself to be taken to an alternate location for any reason, even if he has a gun or a knife!

Every situation is unique and although there are certain guidelines you should follow, you must also be practical and creative to ensure your safe survival and escape.

30. I've been studying and training martial arts for a number of years. What can you teach me that I don't already know?

I would encourage you to read some of the other sections of the FAQ first and then come back to this question.

You're back? Alright! Well, Verus Comminus has many concepts and tools that every martial artist and trained fighter can add to their own personal toolbox. Try it out and if you like what Pure Self Defense has to offer you and find it useful than great! If not, that's fine too! My goals may or may not be congruent with your training goals. As Bruce lee said, "Keep whatever is useful, discard whatever is useless". That applies on a personal level, too. It's your call as to what you perceive as useful.

If your goal is strictly to fight in the ring or spar for points or for fun then Pure Self Defense may not be your thing. If you just want to learn how to "fight" at the bar then this is definitely not for you. I teach avoidance and de-escalation first and foremost. But, if you want to learn some damn cool stuff that I can guarantee you probably haven't ever seen or experienced before in traditional martial arts or sport fighting, that works in furious, real-world, "he's trying to murder me" assault situations, then please book a consultation and give it a try! It may one day save your life or the life of someone you love.


If you're not 100% sure yet, come check out the Rapid Learning Guarantee to see why you have absolutely nothing to lose! Please call me up today to set up your self defense training consultation at: 778 363 7873 (778-363-PURE) or feel free to use this convenient email contact form to get in touch with me anytime.