Principled Aggression with Dom Raso

Former SEAL Team Six operator Dom Raso knows the real-world application of the defense techniques he teaches others through Dynamis Alliance. His company trains and equips individuals in battle-tested skills that can help defend against real-world threats to you and those you love. 

Our friend Clint Emerson, New York Times best-selling author of 100 Deadly Skills and Escape the Wolf, met with Dom to learn how we can train ourselves to make his techniques a natural response against attackers.

Dom focuses on integrative combatives to train hand-to-hand and with a variety of tools in your EDC kit. From hands, elbows, and knees to knife, pistol, rifle–or even using a pencil–Dom helps prepare people in decision making and reaction to life-threatening situations using available tools.

He’s a real-life John Wick and can take his students from basic to advanced in a short period of time through simple movements hardwired into muscle memory.

“Everything we do is principle based,” Dom says. “I train on a very strict set of principles and I visualize real-world scenarios. The reason we visualize scenarios–like when we go to a restaurant with our families–is because we’ve seen how fast reality can unfold.”

The beauty of Dom’s principle-based approach and visualization is that it makes his students highly adaptive to a variety of situations. 

“You anchor yourself on the principle but keep an open mind based on the circumstances,” says Dom. 

Develop A Skill Set of Basic, Devastating Movements

First remember:

  • Assume a non-violent posture. Put your hands up in front of your face to guard your central nervous system and to provide a non-defensive posture.
  • De-escalate if possible. Whenever possible, it’s always best to avoid a violent confrontation.
  • Be ready to neutralize them with force. This doesn’t mean every confrontation needs to end in serious injury, but if it’s either them or the innocents, then the choice is easy.
  • Awareness is key. Consider the people around you. Are there any secondary threats? The goal of any response is to get the threat away from yourself and the innocent people with you.

The Chin Jab Flow is a violent, devastating strike that basically attempts to push an attacker’s chin through the back of the skull and brain stem using a devastating palm strike to the chin. It’s no joke. It can be permanently debilitating and even kill an assailant in a kill or be killed scenario.

dom raso palm strike self defense

  • Balance evenly on both feet with a boxer’s ready stance in order to maintain balance on your feet and prepare for ambidextrous motion. 
  • Power comes from the hips as it would with any other punch.
  • Go straight for the chin at a 45 degree angle. This is not an uppercut. This is concentrating the energy from your palm to his chin, and straight back. 
  • “I’m trying to pop his head off like a Pez dispenser.”
  • Pulling his tricep toward you simultaneously increases lethal force on a deadly assailant.

Keep in Mind taking control of the attackers dominant arm enables you to flank them and attack from the side. 

dom raso blade knife drawBlade Draw and Flank is just what it sounds like. Neutralize a deadly adversary with deadly force. 

  • Apply blade pressure away from you as you draw so that the blade moves immediately and forcefully toward the attacker–preferably the attacker’s eyeball.
  • Practice pulling up your shirt and drawing your blade until it becomes one fluid motion. “You have to be able to consistently, effectively deploy the blade in  life-threatening scenario.” And this takes lots of practice.
  • Stab then flank (i.e. Move to the attacker’s side for further attack if needed)

Gun Draw and Flank in face-to-face combat requires “bridge” steps to guard against assault while drawing.

  • An elbow to sternum can guard the face while creating distance for the draw.
  • Repeated practice of “swimming through your clothing” while drawing is a necessity in training.
  • Maintain awareness of other potential threats

Are all of these deadly skills really necessary?

Is it really necessary to invest the time, energy, and money into preparing for defensive situations? 

“I wish we could line people up and give them a shot that makes them accept reality,” Dom says. “I care about people and I don’t want bad things to happen to good people, so I want to get them to open their eyes. Most people who have experienced bad things finally wake up and say ‘Wow. I never thought it could be me.”

Dom says that it’s surprising how few people think they or their loved ones could be victims of attack.

“This stuff happens every day, but this is something you can be prepared for by doing very minimal things,” he says, “and changing the way you think about life.”

As with any of these skills or any others featured by the Warrior Poet Society, they’re only effective if they’re trained appropriately and often. Watching the videos featured here will help lay a foundation for developing your own defensive skill set. 

To watch Clint Emerson’s full interview with Dom Raso and other defense experts, subscribe to the Warrior Poet Network.