One day in junior high I was sitting on the steps of my front porch with my best friend “Doc” and his new friend. Doc asked if my mother was home. When I said she wasn’t, he punched me in the face. It didn’t hurt, but I didn’t know what to do.
Doc hit me a couple more times. I just sat there shell-shocked. He was one of those boys who were six feet tall at 13 years old. Even before that day, when we were still best friends, we never wrestled much because he was so much bigger and stronger. It wasn’t fun.
I didn’t fight back that day.
It must have been part fear. I don’t know. I was a bit of a wimp. I wouldn’t have said that about myself back then. But given who I am now, I can say with confidence that I was a wimp.
Another day I was walking down the hallway in junior high when I had to pass a group of black students. The biggest one, who was probably 16 years old and still in junior high, was telling jokes to the glee of the other boys when he turned and saw me. He spontaneously stuck his foot out and tripped me, sending everybody into another fit of laughter.
I didn’t fight back that day. I picked up my books and ran off to class.
There may be a dozen other stories like that where somebody knocked the books out of my hands or whatever. I wasn’t the biggest wimp in my school. I had some “cool” friends, but I definitely know how it feels to be picked on.
That stuff started happening around puberty. Before puberty I was always a class clown, one of the cool kids. But something changed. Maybe my parents’ divorce or my mother moving us around and switching schools killed my confidence. Or maybe being a late bloomer left me physically weaker.
It doesn’t matter why, but too many times I didn’t fight back out of fear or not knowing how.
I knew what it was like to be the class clown and I couldn’t stand being at the bottom of the pecking order. So I tried to compensate by hanging out with troubled boys. “Wiggers” and “burnouts” were some of the terms back in the 90s.
I started smoking cigarettes, stealing, and committing vandalism. Later came drugs and alcohol. I made friends with boys who had been in juvenile detention and others who were in gangs.
When I was 18 I was arrested for two felonies. Change didn’t happen right away, but looking back I see that night in jail was a turning point in my life. The other inmates were big black guys and brawny trailer park types – all grown men. Physically, I was still a boy.
I realized that if I were locked up long-term in an environment like that, I would have to resist grown men trying to take advantage of me or push me around.
My biggest fear was being raped in prison.
I received a suspended sentence of three years contingent on five years of probation.
I cleaned up my act. I went to college and got good grades. But for all of those five years, the threat of prison loomed.
I did not simply wait and hope to get through probation without any violations. I started my physical education. I started training.
My journey was born out of a fear of prison. I just wanted to be physically tough enough not to be targeted. But over the years the goals morphed. From amateur boxer to powerlifter, I forgot about the threat of jail. I enjoyed sports and physical education for their own sake.
Since my journey began, I am a different man. I can’t imagine anybody knocking books out of my hands or hitting me in the face.
I don’t look for trouble, but I have been in several fights in the street and in bars. Every incident went the same way. Regardless of who threw the first punch, the fight was over as soon as I started punching.
On St. Patrick’s Day in downtown St. Louis, I knocked out three guys in a crowded bar. One of them was about to jump on my cousin and I stopped the show. There crowd made “Ooh” and “Aah” sounds at every punch I landed. Strangers bought me drinks afterward.
A few years ago I was at a friend’s house. He mentioned a new television show called “Bully Beatdown.” The show features some victim of bullying, now an adult, and his bully from grade school or whenever in a mixed-martial-arts cage fight.
Interesting premise. However when the show started the cage fight, I saw that they don’t match the bully victim against his old bully. They match the old bully against a professional mixed-martial-arts fighter, who submits him or knocks him out for as long as the former bully can stand it before giving up.
I couldn’t hold in my disdain. Why put him against a professional fighter? That’s ridiculous. Why doesn’t the show feature bully victims against their bullies? I was so pissed my friend told me to calm down.
That show made me think about Doc and the other bullies I suffered. Over the years I had blocked those episodes out of my mind. It occurred to me that I could exact revenge on them if I were to see them today.
I haven’t hung around my high school neighborhood since graduating, and I am not so immature or resentful as to want to avenge old slights from 20 years ago. But if I did run into somebody who took advantage of me back then, they would have no say in whether I knock them out. It would be up to me.
That is an empowering feeling. And I want to give that to anybody who is currently in the physical and emotional state that I was back then.
I’m not the toughest guy in the world. There are many self-defense resources out there developed by men with lifetimes more experience. And there are many men out there that would make quick work of me: law enforcement, elite military, and professional fighters.
But those men make up a tiny percentage of the population. And they are not the ones who target weaker men as it’s either against their principles or a waste of their time. For everyday self-defense or in anticipation of serving time in prison, you do not need to attain a skill level to defend yourself against MMA fighters or Navy SEALs.
This book is an introduction to the most effective self-defense principles for people who are starting from square one. Zero experience. Zero knockouts. Zero idea where to begin. If you follow this program, you will never worry about being bullied again.
This book is NOT for you if you were the starting linebacker on your high school football team. This book is NOT for you if you have competed in combat sports.
This book is for you if you’re facing a prison sentence, and you’re scared. This book is for you if you walk out of your way to avoid that guy or that group in the neighborhood.
This book is for you if you are ready to leave that mentality behind forever.
Whether this book is for you or not, it is at least for my son. Even if he weren’t a half-gringo growing up in Peru, I consider the skills taught in this program to be as important as reading and writing. Especially for young boys, being able to defend oneself is crucial in building self-confidence, emotional health and maturity.
In addition to my son, this book is for myself at 11 years old.
Are you facing prison and nervous about your prospects?
Or are you tired of walking out of your way to avoid the neighborhood bullies beating you up?
Are you a father whose son faces these situations?
If so, I wrote Sucker Free just for you.
This book is an athletic performance program – not a bodybuilding program which aims to build your physique. If I were to categorize the book in stores, I would place it in “Sports” over “Fitness”.
Growing up, I never saw my father do a single pushup or run as much as one block. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that I never did any physical training outside of gym class.
I knew as a small boy that I was not strong. I thought the boys with muscles were born that way, and that I was simply born weak.
Genetics play a role, especially if looking to compete in a sport as a professional. But for practical, real-life purposes you can overcome genetics with exercise.
You can transform your body and mind. You can become a “jock,” you can become bully-proof.
If I could identify the biggest weakness in the psychology of my adolescence, it would be my belief that our bodies are a result of genetics and nothing else. Muscular genetics are required if you’re looking to play professional sports. But if just looking to get more out of life, you certainly have the power to transform your body and mind.
If I could go back to my adolescent self, that is what I would tell myself. Meet the barbell and do the work. Get in the ring and trade some shots. Turn your back forever on being picked on and going out of your way to avoid that one street on your way home.
Your past is not your future. You can transform yourself.
Over the years I have coached several friends looking to pack muscle on their frame. Once you are big and strong, people will ask you how to get big and strong. I have learned that this is something that always piques their interest.
Men are usually thinking about attracting women when pondering an exercise program. But for whatever reason, telling them that being brawny will make everybody treat them differently – including other men – was often what sealed the deal and got their butt in the gym.
People will treat you differently when you’re big and strong. Not just women and not just young people. Being big and strong will enhance your life in ways you never imagined.
Even for men who aren’t consciously sizing you up, there is something inherent in our psychology that senses when we are around somebody powerful.
And once you have combined a powerful build with considerable experience in the ring, you will exude security that will be obvious to others. You will be relaxed around certain people and in situations which you might not currently be relaxed in. Your body language and mentality will ooze confidence.
And you won’t be able to imagine somebody knocking books out of your hand or picking a fight with you ever again.
Get Sucker Free. Be bully-proof.