Less Than Lethal Self Defense Blog

Techniques

Bright Flashing Light Defense

TechniquesLance MurrayComment

Hi Everyone, I haven't talked much about this type of defense but I think it is important because it can work for you.  Getting blinded by a bright flashing light aimed at the face of an assailant can definitely slow them down and allow you to get away, get in your car and lock the door, or access your self defense weapon and scream for help.  Now this usually works best at night unless you have a really powerful tactical surefire flashlight.  Surefire flashlights range from 320 lumens to 4,500 lumens http://www.surefire.com/illumination/flashlights.html . There are other super bright flashlights out there but I think Surefire is the best, but they can be a little expensive for some people. If you can't afford a Surefire I think the Atomic Beam Flashlight would be a good alternative, check it out.

https://www.atomicbeam.com/?uid=CB3F6068F1682B66EE164D97297AC9D8&gclid=CjwKEAjwxeq9BRDDh4_MheOnvAESJABZ4VTqGKvWD-EONO89kDW0y1f4U29qu0s-mKZD0JbBzNIrLRoCH_bw_wcB .

Like I always say, be sure to take at least a short self defense class to greatly increase your chances at defending yourself in an attack, no matter what kind of self defense device/weapon you plan to use.  Thanks for visiting my blog and stay safe.

Lance

 

 

Using a cane for self defense can be very effective

TechniquesLance MurrayComment

Do you think a cane is just for old folks or people with physical disabilities? Think again. Back around the turn of the century, it was quite fashionable for men to carry “walking sticks. "TZD is the abbreviation for Tai Zhang Dao (pronounced tie-jung-dow in Chinese) and translates to “The Extreme Cane." It is a method or style of martial art stemming from Tai Chi Cane Fu that effectively employs an ordinary cane for personal protection and fitness in a proactive manner that is not taught anywhere else.  It should be noted that this course is not just for men, it is ideal for women too along with any responsible young adults.  It goes on the concept that there are "no rules" in street altercations and focuses the training accordingly. It takes into account that most people don't want to waste a lot of time learning to protect themselves with complicated forms of defense techniques but want to get down to the “nitty-gritty" hardcore personal protection forms to rapidly dispatch an opponent confronting them. It is based on the creator's rule that: "You don't have to be fast, you only need to be first" and we show you how.  Training for the style utilizes simple, natural movements that are easy to learn and remember. It has a short learning curve and is unlike the formal training required in normal martial arts which can take years to master. The training incorporates elements of physical fitness exercises as well. Learn more at  https://www.udemy.com/tzd-introduction-to-using-a-cane-for-personal-protection/?couponCode=LessThanLethal  

20 safety tips for traveling

TechniquesLance MurrayComment

1. ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR THINGS ON YOUR PERSON OR LEFT BEHIND YOU

I got into this routine when I started travelling and have made it reflex now that whenever I leave the house I tap my pockets to double check that phone, keys, wallet are there. When in travel mode, I always add in passport and ticket.  Everything else can be replaceable or can be sent on to you if found later. You also should get used to Glancing back and double checking where you were. Whenever I’ve been sitting on a bus for hours, or leave an apartment I’ve lived in, or even a restaurant I’ve had lunch at, I do a quick glance over the space I took up and the ground to make sure nothing fell out of my pockets or is getting left behind. This auto-pilot glance back has saved my skin many times when something fell out, or I may be a few feet/meters away and do the pocket tap and realize my phone is missing and it’s still on the table. It takes some getting used to, but force yourself to do this every single time you change positions. Not just while you travel, but always in your daily life. These extra two seconds before I leave a place have made sure that I never leave things behind me carelessly.

2. HAVE A STEAL-ME WALLET/PHONE

For the entire last five years, I had been travelling with a wallet that I would go out with whenever in notoriously dangerous places. This wallet has an expired credit card, some “filler” cards, and about $10 cash. The reason I have this is as a decoy in my pocket in case someone was to ever aggressively demand my wallet. Fortunately, I have never had to give it away, and I wouldn’t have it on me in most places, but I have felt more comfortable knowing that I have something I’d eagerly give away when pressed.

Of course, if you are ever at gun or knife-point and don’t have a decoy or the thief wants more, just give away your normal wallet no matter what is in it. Nothing inside could possibly be worth risking your life over. However, you can save yourself some trouble by having that decoy.

While in Rio whenever I would be in less safe parts of the city, before going there I would also replace my SIM card out of my expensive smartphone and into a cheap 10 year old phone that can only make calls and texts. Once again, this is not something I’d lose sleep over having taken from meAlso, don’t put your wallet or phone in your back pocket. Whenever I see this, I feel like the person (male or female) is ASKING for it to be stolen. How easy is it for someone to run past you, swipe it and get away? They could even do this without you being aware of it. Front pockets or good purses are much harder to access without calling attention to yourself.

3. SEPARATE YOUR SOURCES OF CASH; NEVER ALL IN ONE BAG OR WALLET

If all your sources of money are in your wallet and it gets stolen, you are going to be in a very rough situation if alone in a foreign country. Luckily, credit cards have a system set up such that they can send you emergency cash when your card is stolen (but you have to be able to make an international call to your credit card company first). Rather than rely on this, why not leave the house with EITHER your credit card OR your ATM card, not both?  I almost always do this, but unfortunately the day I went to the shore in Oakland was not one of those days. Fortunately though, I always make sure I have a backup plan, and had several hundreds of dollars in cash back in my apartment. This kept me going until I found an alternative (rather than use the credit card system, I paypalled a friend and had him withdraw money from his bank for me). Having access to the cash back in the house made sure I was sorted and not under any pressure, but if I hadn’t both cards with me, as I usually do, then things would have been much simpler.

4. SCAN YOUR TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AS WELL AS PHOTOCOPYING THEM

Among the things I had stolen was my Irish driving license. This can unfortunately only be replaced in person in Ireland. Luckily, I had scanned my license in advance and when I was back home I printed it out as well as the police report (the first thing you should do of course after things getting stolen is cancel your cards and file a police report as soon as possible). While I’m not sure if this would have been acceptable, in the off chance I was pulled over by the police they may have let me go on with as many details as possible, with the police report but still my driving license details, although in a rule-obsessed place like America I’d have to throw in lots of Irish charm if I had to pull that off.  Having a scan also sped up the re-application procedure for my card and let me access online details relevant to my car rental because I needed my license number in both cases.  Of course, I have a scan of my passport AND my entry stamps too in case that goes missing. A digital scan is much better than a photocopy because you can simply save it online (I use Dropbox) and not worry about it being among your things stolen.

5. BE SCEPTICAL OF ANY STRANGERS WHO ARE BEING A LITTLE TOO NICE, WITHIN REASON

When I was in Argentina, I realized that I hadn’t taken photos of the downtown Buenos Aries area. I went down with my camera to snap some shots and after months of blending in pretty well thanks to adapting to local fashion sense and body language, that day I stood out like a sore thumb and obvious tourist. Because of this, a strange thing happened. While I was taking a photo I felt something and looked down at the side of my leg and noticed what looked like bird crap. I looked up cursing my luck when suddenly, way too conveniently a nice looking couple appeared with a handkerchief at the ready and offered to wipe it off. Now, if you aren’t as cynical as me, you may have thought that this was the nicest couple ever, there to help you out in your time of need. This was not my reaction. The handkerchief was produced far too quickly and they went very fast to my legs, and alarm bells went off in my head that this was a scam to distract me with some body contact while they take some things off me. I refused their help despite their insistence, went into a restaurant bathroom to clean off the crap and saw that it wasn’t actually bird crap, but something that was probably squirted at me from a distance. Locals later confirmed to me that this is actually quite a regular con used on tourists in the city. Similarly, when I was in Rome some beggars followed me down the street, once again on the day I was out with my camera in tourist mode, and would only say “Please, please!” with their hands out. They started rubbing against me, which was a very good way to distract me, and then I felt my wallet starting to slip out of my pocket. I immediately slapped the hand grabbing it and yelled every Italian curse word I knew at them.

These were close calls, but unsuccessful robbery attempts because I am a little sceptical of people who get too close to me very soon, unless it’s in a social environment in a culture where that’s more common.

6. STOP LOOKING LIKE SUCH A TOURIST!!

As I said above, the two times that I had an attempt to grab my wallet right from out of my pocket, I was kind of “asking for it” because I was walking around really obviously with a camera and snapping pretty buildings. In touristy cities where you hear many stories of muggings, unfortunately it’s generally because they have flip flops, shorts, a silly t-shirt, an SLR camera, a “fanny pack” and other such things that draw attention to them. Even if they wear less obvious clothing they may be walking around with an expensive looking smartphone, and I even had to insist that one of my Couch surfers in Recife Brazil leave his Rolex watch in the house whenever he went out. There are times when looking flashy works, but in a district of a city you are not familiar with is not one of them.

7. DO SOME RESEARCH AND ASK LOCALS WHERE’S SAFE

This is another mistake that I made myself this time. Oakland is right beside San Francisco, the city where you should “be sure to wear a flower in your hair”, so I simply didn’t associate it with any crime. It turns out that it has the second worst crime rate in America after Detroit! Not reading up on the area I was living in or visiting meant that I had far too high a sense of security. Oakland Police were so inundated with crime that they couldn’t send a police officer to the scene (calling from the kite surfing instructor’s phone) and told me to just drive home and file my report online. When I have been in supposedly dangerous cities in the past, I simply make sure that I am not in any parts of them that are dangerous, and that I definitely don’t walk alone at night near those areas. Or that if I am, I take extra precautions with my stuff, or leave it home where it would be more secure. I also make sure to read up the “be safe” sections of any guide books, Wikivoyage, or even better, just ask a local for their advice.

8. GET TRAVEL INSURANCE

There are many levels of travel insurance that you can get. For me the no brainer is travel health insurance. Items can be replaced, but skimping on an important life-saving surgery absolutely cannot. I recommend World Nomads, or looking into if your credit card or current insurance offers good options on the road. You can of course also get your stuff insured. While that would have covered the cost of my smartphone (and maybe the money stolen), because I travel so much and am street-smart enough to only have robberies like this so infrequently, I don’t go for this option. If I was going somewhere with a very high crime rate, or travelling for a short period of just a couple of months somewhere it could be stolen, I would consider it though. If you’re travelling to the US, DEFINITELY get health insurance!!! It’s shameful, but caring for people is a business there, and simple procedures can cost 10s to 100s of times the price it can be in the rest of the world (and you aren’t paying for quality). Luckily, I’ve never needed to use my health insurance to date, but it’s there if needed. Rental car companies seem to have these kinds of break-ins covered by insurance as a default, since I got the cheapest option but didn’t have to pay for replacing the broken glass in the car.

9. GET VACCINATED AND BRING ALL MEDICATION WITH YOU

Once again, on health, make sure you have all vaccinations you possibly can get, in advance. If you have any medical condition, bring the medication with you rather than presuming you can find it over there. It’s also a good idea to leave a card with any essential info on it in your wallet. In some places, if you donate blood they give you a card that gives your blood type to save time if you are rushed into a hospital.

10. MAKE SURE A FRIEND IS AWARE OF YOUR SITUATION

I travel alone, but there are some people that I make aware of my itinerary, and check up with them. This way someone knows if you are in danger. Make sure to let a friend or family member be aware of your movements, or ideally someone in the same city who can “worry” about you if necessary.

11. DON’T THINK WITH YOUR GROIN

This one is for the guys; whenever a girl you meet on the road is being way too enthusiastic in flirting with you far too soon, then yes it could be because you are that sexy, but more often than not it’s because she may be a prostitute (yes, even in an unassuming bar or nightclub) or part of some scam. Luckily I’ve never been pulled into either one of those situations, but I have been propositioned more often than I care to recall when I could tell it definitely wasn’t my dashing handsomeness, or irresistible Irish charm motivating her. If you are looking for a girlfriend, just be social in general and meet her through friends that you make in parties and events. Girls obviously have much more to worry about in this area, since guys in many places can be much more aggressive. In some cultures “No” definitely does not mean no, and it’s actually quite normal for girls to say no to guys they like there, so that the guys try extra hard. This can be terribly frustrating when they are being persistent and not taking your turn downs seriously. So be sure you are with friends whenever possible, or look into details on recommended tips for female travellers wherever you may be going.

12. DON’T DRINK OR DRUG AWAY YOUR SENSES

One of the biggest causes of “I got robbed” stories that I’ve heard has almost always involved alcohol at some point in the story. Your senses are numbed, you let your guard down, and you are less aware of your surroundings. This is fine if you are in a familiar place, but if you lose track of your bag for just a few minutes because of this then it is there for the picking.

 

13. BE RESPECTFUL OF LOCAL CUSTOMS

The best way by far to bring attention to yourself is to be loud, obnoxious, and totally disrespectful of local ways, insisting that they should act like people do in your country. Too many people do force their own standards on people even when they are across the planet in their culture. Try to be open minded that maybe you are in the wrong about the local customs. By disrespecting the local custom you are much more likely to cause an aggressive or angry response, which could have easily been avoided.

14. WALK FACING THE TRAFFIC OR ON A PART OF THE SIDEWALK THAT GIVES YOU MAXIMUM VISIBILITY OF OTHERS

Another way people can steal your stuff is by zooming past you in a motorbike, snatching your purse right from out of your hands and then driving off into the sunset. This could just as easily happen when you have your smartphone or similar out. As such, if in a country with a lot of motorbikes, I try to make a conscious effort to walk (not into the traffic obviously, but on the sidewalk) such that I’m going against the traffic and can see everyone approaching me. As well as this, be aware of those around you also walking because they know the area better and if they snatched your things, they could disappear into the crowd very easily.

15. DON’T FLAUNT YOUR POSSESSIONS

I’ve already mentioned that clearly having a smartphone will draw attention to yourself, but now I can reveal the biggest mistake that I made that lead to my car getting broken into – my phone was visible in the coffee holder part of the car. A rookie mistake indeed! I didn’t think and left it there quickly after I had signed the forms and the instructor called me over to hit the water. It’s why, when I came back, I saw that only my car (not the other kite surfers’) had been broken into. I essentially had a huge sign inside the car saying “stuff worth stealing in here; special offer today only! Just bring your own rock to smash the windows in and grab it while you can!”  For aggressive robberies, many stories that I’ve heard on the road involve the person telling it almost always calling attention to themselves with nice jewellery, expensive designer clothing (have you noticed that in my photos I still look like a poor teenager with a silly t-shirt and jeans all the time? There’s a good reason for this…), smartphone of course, and any other electronics and such. Keep it out of sight!

16. SPEAK THE LOCAL LANGUAGE!

This should probably be rule number one, but I think one of the major reasons that I had a perfect ten year streak before having something stolen (which only happened when I was gone…) is because I don’t go around shouting English at everyone. This really draws so much attention to you! Use of English is associated with rich tourists who are more worthy of robbers’ attention. By speaking the local language, you blend in so much easier. Even if you have an accent, you stand out way less than being that guy who insists on forcing locals to use English.

17. YOU GET NO BREAK INS IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BREAK INTO!

This may seem like a bit of a misnomer, but if you have enough of a minimalist lifestyle to simply not own a car and go around using public transport instead, and not own a house with tonnes of stuff (HD TV, furniture, family heirlooms), but just be renting a place where you leave just a few things you own instead, then you can’t get really get broken into in the same way. As I’ve said, the only things I own of value really are my laptop and video camera, both of which I can hide easily, or just take with me, if I’m away from my house for a while. Of course, this leaves the problem of securing your things another way. I should have insisted on finding a safe and secure place to store my things when in the water (some areas have locks for instance), or simply just noted where I needed to go on paper and driven there without my smartphone, and been aware that Oakland is dangerous, so bring only a little bit of cash and no cards. Essentially, by removing opportunities for your things to be stolen, they will simply be stolen less.

18. MAKE YOUR INFORMATION TOTALLY UNSTEALABLE

One thing that I did do in this situation, is make it so that I only suffered a monetary loss when my smartphone was stolen. It’s an expensive phone, but I actually lost no data whatsoever. Most apps let you back up aspects of them to the cloud. As such, my contacts are on Google and synched automatically and I had all phone numbers I needed as soon as I got a replacement phone. I also take a lot of notes, but do so in Evernote, which is constantly backing itself up so I had all of them. As well as this, my many weeks of photos taken of my holiday… were safely backed up to both my Dropbox account and my Google Plus account (this back up happens automatically every single time I connect to wifi). Now, I did have my Gmail and other sensitive apps on the phone, so one of the first things I did as soon as I got home was to change my passwords for everything accessible from the phone. There may have been some residual offline stuff there, but if the thief tries to log in, they’ll be turned down immediately. There are also several apps that help you lock out your phone from a distance or even trace it when stolen. Unfortunately, I didn’t have these this time, but will in future. And incidentally, in case you simply lose your phone, a good thing to do is to have the sleep image or away message include a “If found please call X / email Y for reward!”

19. SOMETIMES SPENDING MORE MONEY IS WORTH IT FOR SOME EXTRA SECURITY

The day that I’m most vulnerable in having something of mine taken is the day that I’m travelling (about once every few months). I have my laptop, video camera, and many other things right beside me and the right distractions could have it all taken from me if I wasn’t careful. That’s why, even though travel can be very cheap, if you can afford it just the day you arrive in a place, I would opt for options that cost money but give you much more security, such as getting a taxi instead of a public bus or staying in a safe hotel for your first night, instead of cheap and hard to find accommodation, while you are exhausted and jet lagged from the trip. When we are tired and unfamiliar with a place, we are much more likely to make mistakes! I budget in this more expensive first day so that I have that extra buffer zone of comfort before I try to get into more authentic living, because then I can rest up easier and get my stuff to a middle location that’s maybe close to the airport, so that I can figure things out before getting more complicated options to wherever I’m staying longer term.

20. DON’T BE SUPERSTITIOUS

I was having a great summer, and someone suggested that this robbery was some way of the universe “balancing things out”. I don’t think so at all. This happened for a very logical reason,“things happen for a reason” is not a philosophical statement, but one of simple cause and effect. So rather than check your aura, astrology reading, incidence of the number 13, or whether you’ve knocked on wood or prayed that day, focus your efforts on checking that you are in a safe area, your things aren’t far too visible, that you’re aware of your surroundings, and that you’ve otherwise made some sensible decisions. These tangible things will influence what happens much more than your psychic energy ever will.

BE SAFE, BUT DON’T BE SCARED

The precautions I mention in this post are second nature to me now (most of the time), and that’s why I’ve had such a good streak with just one major blunder (that wasn’t even that big a deal; things worth money can be replaced with time). Generally, the dangerousness of a place are exaggerated by the media or by biased stories, and it genuinely can be the fault of the person the crime happened to, as harsh as that may read. There are exceptions that really could not have been avoided, but more often than not, good planning would have made an unfortunate situation not have happened in the first place.

This information is from; http://www.fluentin3months.com/theft/

How to respond to a survivor of an attack

TechniquesLance MurrayComment

How to Respond to a Survivor

When someone you care about tells you they’ve been sexually assaulted or abused, it can be a lot to handle. A supportive reaction can make all the difference, but that doesn’t mean it comes easy. Encouraging words and phrases avoid judgment and show support for the survivor. Consider these phrases:

  1. “I’m sorry this happened.” Acknowledge that the experience has affected their life. Phrases like “This must be really tough for you,” and, “I’m so glad you are sharing this with me,” help to communicate empathy.
  2. “It’s not your fault.” Survivors may blame themselves, especially if they know the perpetrator personally. Remind the survivor, maybe even more than once, that they are not to blame.
  3. “I believe you.” It can be extremely difficult for survivors to come forward and share their story. They may feel ashamed, concerned that they won’t be believed, or worried they’ll be blamed. Leave any “why” questions or investigations to the experts—your job is to support this person. Be careful not to interpret calmness as a sign that the event did not occur—everyone responds differently. The best thing you can do is to believe them.
  4. “You are not alone.” Remind the survivor that you are there for them and willing to listen to their story. Remind them there are other people in their life who care and that there are service providers who will be able to support them as they recover from the experience.
  5. “Are you open to seeking medical attention?” The survivor might need medical attention, even if the event happened a while ago. You can support the survivor by offering to accompany them or find more information. It’s ok to ask directly, “Are you open to seeking medical care?”
  6. “You can trust me.” If a survivor opens up to you, it means they trust you. Reassure them that you can be trusted and will respect their privacy. Always ask the survivor before you share their story with others. If a minor discloses a situation of sexual abuse, you are required in most situations to report the crime. Let the minor know that you have to tell another adult, and ask them if they’d like to be involved.
  7. “This doesn’t change how I think of you.” Some survivors are concerned that sharing what happened will change the way other people see them, especially a partner. Reassure the survivor that surviving sexual violence doesn’t change the way you think or feel about them.

Continued Support There’s no timetable when it comes to recovering from sexual violence. If someone trusted you enough to disclose the event, consider the following ways to show your continued support.

  • Check in periodically. The event may have happened a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean the pain is gone. Check in with the survivor to remind them you still care about their well-being and believe their story.
  • Avoid judgment. It can be difficult to watch a survivor struggle with the effects of sexual assault for an extended period of time. Avoid phrases that suggest they’re taking too long to recover such as, “You’ve been acting like this for a while now,” or “How much longer will you feel this way?”
  • Remember that the healing process is fluid. Everyone has bad days. Don’t interpret flashbacks, bad days, or silent spells as “setbacks.” It’s all part of the process.
  • Know your resources You’re a strong supporter, but that doesn’t mean you’re equipped to manage someone else’s health. Become familiar with resources you can recommend to a survivor, like the National Sexual Assault Hotline 800.656.HOPE (4673) and online.rainn.org.

What Servicemen Can Teach Civilians about Situational Awareness

TechniquesLance MurrayComment

What Servicemen Can Teach Civilians about Situational AwarenessContributed by Laura Cromwell, Cabela’s

Members of our military are trained to be aware of their surroundings. Ready for dangerous situations and unpredictable people are just a few of the ways our servicemen remain cognizant while in hostile environments. Situational awareness is not about inducing paranoia, but to encourage a level of mindfulness that keeps you safe. Below is a list of what civilians can learn from members of the US military about situational awareness. Survey the territory. Are you passing a dark alley? Is there thick vegetation nearby? Is your car parked in a dark lot? Factors such as these help conceal an attacker. Watching for stares. Are people paying unnecessary attention to you? A predator could be sizing you up to decide if you are a potential victim. Are you being followed? Whether you’re on foot or in the car, it can often be difficult to tell if you are being followed or the person behind you is simply headed to the same place. Making four left turns, turning in a cul-de-sac, slowing down or entering a business can determine whether or not you’re being followed. Choose a hotel room wisely. Don’t get a hotel room near an emergency exit because this is an easy escape for an attacker. Choosing a room on the second floor as opposed to the ground floor is ideal as no one can enter the window. Sit facing the door and locate the emergency exits. Being able to see who comes and goes in public places plus knowing where to get out in a hurry keeps you on the alert. Consider Jeff Cooper’s (USMC) color system of alertness. Please note that this is a state of attentiveness, not the threat level. Condition White: Unaware and unprepared. Texting, listening to music, daydreaming and sleeping are all examples of Condition White. This is when most individuals are susceptible to an attack. Condition Yellow: Relaxed alert. While there is no specific threat, you are simply aware that your surroundings can be dangerous and that you are prepared to defend yourself if needed. Condition Orange: Specific alert. Your gut is telling you that something is not right and you’ve focused your attention on a potential threat. Condition Red: Fight. The threat you’ve established has engaged in an attack and now is the time to defend yourself.

Part of self-defense is being aware of what’s going on around you. Ignorance may be bliss, but not being mindful of where you are and who you are with is a potential breeding ground for danger.

 

 

Tips For A Safer Holiday Season

TechniquesLance Murray1 Comment

During the holiday season, many of us are busier and more distracted than usual with shopping and attending social events.  Here are some tips to stay safe.Shopping safety tips:

  • Keep your purse close to your body.
  • Avoid talking on the phone when walking to your vehicle at the malls and parking lots as they are a distraction that makes you vulnerable to robbers.
  • Don't resist if someone is trying to take your belongings.  Don't chase someone who robs you for they might have a weapon,  Instead call 911.
  • When going to the ATM for cash, first check around for people and make sure it is well lit and in a safe location.
  • Carry only credit cards you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Do not buy more than you can comfortably carry.
  • If you make a purchase using your credit card, be sure to get the carbons or see that they are destroyed in front of you.
  • If you are shopping with small children, make sure you have a plan in case you get separated.

CAR SAFETY TIPS:

  • When parking your vehicle to go shopping, remember where you parked.  Park in a well lit and well traveled area.
  • When you return to your vehicle, scan the interior of your car to see if anyone is hiding in it.
  • Check to see if your being followed.
  • Have your keys in hand when you approach your vehicle so you can immediately unlock the door.
  • Have your self defense device at hand and ready to use, if you carry one:  You don't  want to be fumbling around for it if someone is coming at you.
  • Store purchased items out of sight, like in a trunk.
  • Try not to leave your purse or cell phone in plain view.
  • Drive defensively, traffic is heavier during the holidays, and people may have indulged too much holiday spirits.  Always be willing to give up the right of way and watch where you're going.

HOME SAFETY TIPS:

  • Always lock your doors and windows.
  • Leave some of your lights turned on inside and outside your residence after dark.
  • If you plan on being away for several days, make arrangements to have someone pick up your mail and look over your house.
  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible thru the windows and doors.
  • Make sure doorways and passageways are clear around Christmas tree and displays.
  • Check your holiday lights before using for chord damage.
  • if purchasing toys for small children, be sure they are safe.
  • Stay save and have a Merry Christmas everyone.

Tips on how to protect yourself in a social situation.

TechniquesLance MurrayComment

In a Social Situation

While you can never completely protect yourself from sexual assault, there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of being assaulted in social situations.

  1. When you go to a social gathering, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other throughout the evening, and leave together. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way out of a bad situation.
  2. Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe in any situation, go with your gut. If you see something suspicious, contact law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be reached by calling 911 in most areas of the U.S.).
  3. Don't leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing, using the restroom, or making a phone call. If you’ve left your drink alone, just get a new one.
  4. Don't accept drinks from people you don't know or trust. If you choose to accept a drink, go with the person to the bar to order it, watch it being poured, and carry it yourself. At parties, don’t drink from the punch bowls or other large, common open containers.
  5. Watch out for your friends, and vice versa. If a friend seems out of it, is way too intoxicated for the amount of alcohol they’ve had, or is acting out of character, get him or her to a safe place immediately.
  6. If you suspect you or a friend has been drugged, contact law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be reached by calling 911 in most areas of the U.S.). Be explicit with doctors so they can give you the correct tests (you will need a urine test and possibly others).

What should I do if I am sexually assaulted?

Sexual assault is a crime of motive and opportunity. Ultimately, there is no surefire ways to prevent an attack. If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, it’s not your fault. You are not alone. Help is available 24/7 through the National Sexual Assault Hotlines at 1-800.656.HOPE, and online at rainn.org

This article is from rainn.org

 

REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE VICTIM POOL

TechniquesLance MurrayComment

3 Easy Ways to Remove Yourself from the Victim Pool

There are 3 easy self-defense ways to remove yourself from the victim pool that won't cost you a cent.  The first is your body language. How you present yourself in public will determine whether or not you're going to be an easy attack or someone to avoid. If you are slouched over, not making eye contact or looking timid, you are going to pop up on the wolf's radar as viable prey.

One of the easiest fixes for body language is to hold your shoulders square, walk with a purpose, and make eye contact. You want to walk with an air of confidence. Even if you don't feel it, use the old adage, "fake it until you make it" to keep yourself safe.

The reality is that a predator isn't going to mess with someone who appears to be able to take care of themselves. A predator's own survival instincts will kick in and they don't want to get hurt or be caught. They'll pass you by and look for another target.

The second is being aware of your surroundings . Perfect prey is someone who can be attacked before they even know you are there. Look around at any mall or shopping center and pay attention to how many people are talking on their cell phones, deep in their own thoughts, talking intently with someone or reading a book. They are completely oblivious to their surroundings and make perfect potential prey.  This doesn't mean that you walk around like a scared rabbit. But that you are alert and can identify potential threats within your surroundings. Pay attention and you'll start to recognize potential predators by their body language.

The third step is reducing the inducements. The reality is that a predator is targeting you as there is something you have that he wants and your body language tells him that he can take it. If you are going to carry around a lot of valuable "stuff" then you better be prepared to defend it or give it up.

Here's a fun little exercise that will make you more aware of how predators think and the things you may be doing that you didn't realize you were doing to place yourself in the victim pool.  The next time you are in a public place, like the mall, stop and get a drink or something to eat and sit down somewhere where you can just watch people. While you are watching them, think like a criminal and play the role. Now scan for potential victims:

  • Are there any people who look timid that you feel you could overpower if you had to?
  • Do you see anyone with their head in the clouds and not paying a bit of attention to what is going on around them?
  • Is anyone carrying any cool stuff that you interest you and that you could take from them? 

    Now ask yourself, do you do any of these things? As you do this exercise, you will start to see things that criminals see. And if you realize this, you will stop doing the very things that draw a predator's attention and remove yourself from the victim's pool.

This information is from; Women's Self-Defense Institute

 

Why using Pepper Spray is so much better than using Wasp Spray.

TechniquesLance MurrayComment

Pepper Spray is much more effective than Wasp spray mainly because pepper spray has an inflammatory agent which causes involuntary eye closure.  Wasp Spray is not for indoor use. Analysis: U.S. residents tempted to avail themselves of this Internet-recommended self-defense option by stockpiling wasp spray would do well consider that federal law prohibits the use of any pesticide "in a manner inconsistent with its labeling." Likewise, some states forbid carrying substances for self-protection that aren't specifically authorized for that purpose.

The main ingredient of pepper spray is capsaicin, an oil extracted from chili peppers which temporarily causes severe irritation of the eyes and lungs, producing a strong burning sensation and difficulty breathing.

Wasp sprays consist of one or more insecticides such as pyrethrum or propoxur. While the toxic side-effects of such chemicals do, in fact, include eye and lung irritation in humans, they are chemical poisons, the main purpose of which is killing pests.

Notwithstanding variations among specific products (of which there are many), it's probably true that wasp and hornet sprays in general, because they're manufactured for use at greater distances, project further and more accurately than pepper sprays, which typically have a range of six to 10 feet. How reliably wasp and hornet sprays would actually work as a deterrent against human assailants is bound to vary, however, given differences in formulation and the fact that they weren't made specifically for that purpose in the first place.

To my knowledge, no one has ever tested or documented the effectiveness of insecticide sprays for self-defense.

One reader who accidentally received a dose of wasp spray while using it around his home told me he was surprised at how little irritation he felt. "A gust of wind caused a good splash of the spray to come right back into my right eye," he wrote. "I panicked and started to run to a source of water, only to find there was no adverse reaction at all, no more than being squirted with a water pistol. It took me at least ten seconds to get to the water, and I rinsed it off, and never felt anything from it."

Some information in this post is by; David Emery at About.com and defensive carry.com

Tips for a safe Holiday Season

TechniquesLance MurrayComment

During the holiday season, many of us are busier and more distracted than usual with shopping and attending social events.  Here are some tips to stay safe.Shopping safety tips:

  • Keep your purse close to your body.
  • Avoid talking on the phone when walking to your vehicle at the malls and parking lots as they are a distraction that makes you vulnerable to robbers.
  • Don't resist if someone is trying to take your belongings.  Don't chase someone who robs you for they might have a weapon,  Instead call 911.
  • When going to the ATM for cash, first check around for people and make sure it is well lit and in a safe location.
  • Carry only credit cards you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Do not buy more than you can comfortably carry.
  • If you make a purchase using your credit card, be sure to get the carbons or see that they are destroyed in front of you.
  • If you are shopping with small children, make sure you have a plan in case you get separated.

CAR SAFETY TIPS:

  • When parking your vehicle to go shopping, remember where you parked.  Park in a well lit and well traveled area.
  • When you return to your vehicle, scan the interior of your car to see if anyone is hiding in it.
  • Check to see if your being followed.
  • Have your keys in hand when you approach your vehicle so you can immediately unlock the door.
  • Have your self defense device at hand and ready to use, if you carry one:  You don't  want to be fumbling around for it if someone is coming at you.
  • Store purchased items out of sight, like in a trunk.
  • Try not to leave your purse or cell phone in plain view.
  • Drive defensively, traffic is heavier during the holidays, and people may have indulged too much holiday spirits.  Always be willing to give up the right of way and watch where you're going.

HOME SAFETY TIPS:

  • Always lock your doors and windows.
  • Leave some of your lights turned on inside and outside your residence after dark.
  • If you plan on being away for several days, make arrangements to have someone pick up your mail and look over your house.
  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible thru the windows and doors.
  • Make sure doorways and passageways are clear around Christmas tree and displays.
  • Check your holiday lights before using for chord damage.
  • if purchasing toys for small children, be sure they are safe.
  • Stay save and have a Merry Christmas everyone.

Article: Bad guys use pepper sprays too, so be aware

In the News, TechniquesLance MurrayComment

The bad guys have equal access to pepper spray and can and will use it instead of a deadly force weapon to commit crimes. This recently happened to two women in Los Angeles.

brentwood

Residents in the upscale neighborhood of Brentwood are being warned after two women were recently attacked with pepper spray in the area.Police say one woman was returning her trash bin to the backyard when the man struck. He tried to pull off her ring, but she screamed and got away. Read More :Brentwood women targeted in pepper-spray attacks on trash day.

There may be some who will argue that pepper spray should be restricted. My belief is that thugs will use whatever they can to achieve their goal. Although getting sprayed with pepper spray is awful, full recovery is usually made within a few hours.Understanding the effects of pepper spray is always a good idea, even if you choose not to carry it.   Knowing what happens when you are sprayed will not eliminate the effects, but it may allay the panic that often sets in. You may also be able to reduce pepper spray effects by following proper decontamination procedures.  Hopefully these two ladies were able to recover quickly, and will carry some form of self defense of their own.

Victim Pepper-Sprayed in Home Invasion

A few months ago, I had a 14 year old girl look at the selection of pepper spray  I was selling and ask me, “Can’t the bad guys get this?”

I told her, yes of course, the bad guys can get this and use it to do bad things. The following story is one such example.

The homeowners, a man and woman in their 50s, were in bed sleeping when they were awakened and confronted by two men. One of the men was armed with a handgun and the other with pepper spray, said King County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindi West. Both robbers had their faces concealed. One robber sprayed the husband in the face with pepper spray and then rifled through drawers in the bedroom as the other suspect held the couple at gunpoint. Read More: Victim Pepper-Sprayed in Redmond Home Invasion

Like anything, the bad guys will always find a way to get what they need to do bad things. Unfortunately for these homeowners, they chose pepper spray. But on the flip side, fortunately for these homeowners, pepper spray is non-lethal. They may have lost their possessions, but at least the criminals did not use their guns, and the homeowners did not lose their lives.

By; pepperspraystories.com

When can you use deadly force?

Finding the Best Tool, TechniquesLance MurrayComment

July 13, 2012

by CTD Suzanne Related Topics: FirearmsLegal IssuesSelf Defense

Our founding fathers took a deliberate and unarguable stand for their God-given rights to self-defense and protection of property. As Americans, we have enjoyed that right since the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The right to defend ourselves includes the legal and justifiable right to use deadly force. Though wording is different in each one, every state has self-defense statutes or case law that defines how and when a person can use deadly force.

You witness a kidnapping in the local park. Is it okay to use deadly force?

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You witness a kidnapping in the local park. Is it ok to use deadly force?

By deciding to carry a gun for self-defense, you have taken up a great responsibility to protect yourself, your family, your friends, and other innocents around you. You must now practice and maintain self-control and restraint wherever you go. Situational awareness and staying in a sound judgment when you carry is of the utmost importance. Do not let fights or arguments escalate. You have a responsibility to stay out of a potentially lethal situation. No one wants to have to pull his or her gun unless it is absolutely necessary.

Necessity is part of every states’ laws when you must use deadly force. However, all states differ in their language, but in general, the legal use of deadly force in self-defense the following factors must be present:

  • Was it justified?
  • Was it necessary?
  • Was deadly force reasonable?
  • Was death or serious bodily injury imminent?

Therefore, you cannot shoot someone in self-defense if you provoked the attack, you are not in immediate danger, and the attacker must have the ability and chance to hurt you. Many states recognize that deadly force is necessary when someone is committing, or without a doubt about to commit a felony. All states differ on how they define a felony. Some say “forcible felony,” while others specify which felonies, but as a general rule, robbery, burglary, and any other felony that would be punishable with the death sentence is justified reason to use deadly force against another human being.

Of course, the issue is never black and white. Whether you used justifiable deadly force in a situation is up to the law enforcement officer responding to the scene, the lawyers involved, the jury, and the judge all have a say. Some states have laws to protect you against civil court cases for using deadly force. Other states, even though you have proven you were justified, do allow the criminal or the criminal’s family to sue you. Hawaii and New Jersey allow a civil suit against you, even if deadly force was justifiable.

Take a self-defense pistol class and practice as much as possible with your gun.

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Take a self-defense pistol class and practice as much as possible with your gun.

Most states allow you to use deadly force to protect yourself, and other innocents as well. Some states specifically define third parties. For example in Oklahoma, these other innocents are “his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, and servant.” Vermont also defines which third parties you may defend, “his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, sister, master, mistress, servant, guardian or ward.”

Another big factor in determining if you have the legal right to defend yourself by using deadly force is the ability to retreat. Some states require you to “escape” the situation if you can. If you knowingly had a way out of the situation, the state could possibly charge you with murder. The Castle Doctrine law that many states have adopted means that you have no duty to retreat if you are in your own home and in most cases, at work. Make My Day Law or Stand Your Ground Law is an extension of the Castle Doctrine, which means you have no duty to retreat anywhere you have a right to be.

How to defend yourself in a knife attack

TechniquesLance MurrayComment
1. make sure the knife isn't pointed at your body. If it is, direct the initial force sideways or down.2. Make sure to keep your arms in front of your chest and stomach to avoid fatal stabbings. Slouch the shoulders. 3. Try and kick the knife out of his hand with a roundhouse or a low axe kick. This is useful because the legs provide range to force the knife out of his hand by kicking without moving your body close to the attacker. Also, wearing shoes will provide defense while kicking the knife so it won't hurt much. 4. Push the attacker away or move back. A push- kick is good for these situations or a back kick. 5. Hit the vital points. The kick or knee the testicles or the thigh to make him buckle. 6. Cup your hands and slam them against the attackers ears with both hands. This will give the attackers a ringing sensation in his head which will make him temporarily off balance and will cause him to lose senses. 7. Headbutt or punch his nose to create irritation. The nose is one of the most irritating part of the body to be hit by. This will cause you be get close so don't resort to this option unless you've been stabbed already. 8. Hook punch the cheek or chin to knock him or daze him. (i would kick his head but many people aren't that flexible and don't have good technique.) This is the best thing to do before he hurts you. But make sure the punch is very strong. (one shot kill) 9. straight punch the solar plexus. This will cause him to drop his knife or lower it. 10. Relax. 11. Run away. hope i helped.

Source(s):

4th dan ITF taekwondo black belt Judo practitioner 5 years. DMZ south korean military warrant officer
It's a good idea to get a plastic knife and practice with a friend, disarming him.

How to defend yourself in a foreign country

TechniquesLance MurrayComment

Your first defense is AVOIDANCE and the second is ESCAPE.  Anywhere you are, look and plan for these factors.  Most people doing a personal attack, where you are touched, are skilled in fear and violence... on Y O U.  The attack will be thought out while your guard is down.  Remember you have only three steps before the attacker's physical response kicks in, and that is if he is standing still. You are very unlikely to get a gun and even a longish knife may be illegal to carry.  Buy a souvenir sword, smile, that is legal or a cane.  But chances are any weapon you have will simply be taken from you and used on you.

Using trusted tour guides that you get via your hotel can help.  Do not get drunk.  If meeting a policeman with a gun, put your hands up regardless of what is discussed.  Sit to appear less threatening.  Remember a police uniform does not always contain a real policeman, and note that many foreign cops wear civilian clothing.  Same for military.  Try to have someone videoing any trouble.  If you get in a fight, get the attacker's skin under your fingernails to have some of his DNA.

Theft is only the beginning because kidnap is the largest worry in terms of personal safety.  You can be taken from anywhere, hotel, pool, you name it, and if u r in a country where those things just happen, likely near-by people will ignore you, and your guide will run.  If taken, work hard to make yourself human to them, kids photos/talk about etc., and get to know them as people, too.

Register with the local U S Embassy on arrival where you can also get up to date local info of dangers.  Travel in groups and in public places not frequented by Americans.  Dress like a local and keep your voice down and your eyes moving.

This is written by Charles @ yahooanswers.com

How to defend yourself in an attack

TechniquesLance MurrayComment

How to defend yourself in an attack

 1.  Observe the person (or people) attacking you. Try to estimate their aggression levels, and     possible ability of fighting. It is easier than people think to understand an opponent just by observing their aggression responses.

  • 2 Do not fight if you don't have to. Try to talk down the fight. If you see that they are slowly calming down, say what you need to in order to get them to walk away. Even if you believe you have done nothing wrong, its still better to avoid a physical altercation.

    • If you ever have a chance to flee and escape the attack, do it. You can do this by throwing a wallet, watch or whatever the attacker wants in the opposite direction so you can escape.
  • 3 Stay alert and prepare yourself. If aggression levels remain high, you should begin preparing yourself for a strike. Keep yourself centered. Bring your body closer together and tight so that you are smaller. This will make it harder to fight you and will give you more control when you need to defend yourself. Remember that keeping your body compact will prevent you from flailing and will make it easier to keep your balance during strikes.

    • Know the defensive position. Put your non-dominate leg in front and pointing outward. Bring down your body so that your center of gravity is low. With your front fist closed and blocking your face, keep your balance until you are ready to pivot your body.
    • Know how to kick. In your starting defensive position, bring your back leg and shoulder forward, turning your body 180 degrees. With the momentum your body created, lift your back leg up and then straighten your knee to deliver the blow.
    • Know how to punch. In your starting defensive position, bring your back fist and shoulder forward, turning your body 180 degrees. Your back shoulder should pass your front one and your whole body will follow. Using this momentum your body created, deliver a closed fist punch to your attacker.
  • 4 When the aggressor attacks, deliver a proportional response. If you are hit, make sure that you are hitting back enough to defend yourself and to deliver a blow without being overly aggressive. If for some reason, the police become involved, you can be arrested for assault even if you didn't instigate, if you were striking not in self-defense.

  • 5 Try to disarm your attacker so that you have the opportunity to escape. Usually, its best to go for the most vulnerable body parts on your attacker. This will depend on your height (if you are short, attacking his/her eyes might be difficult) or size (if you are small, you maybe not have enough force to attack his/her stomach) and your attackers height and size.

    • Eyes: Blind your attacker by gauging out his/her eyes by thrusting your fingers into his/her eyes.
    • Throat: Knock the wind out of your opponent by hitting him/her in the throat with your fist (See: know how to punch, above).
    • Ears: Quickly clasp your hands over both of your attackers ears at the same time, this will cause a ringing in his/her ears.
    • Groin: If your attacker is a male, kick or punch his groin. He will likely fall to the ground, giving you a chance to escape.
    • Solar plexus: This will cause your attacker to fall over if done with enough force. Either kick or punch (See: know how to punch and know how to kick, above) your attacker in the solar plexus (stomach/abs).
    • Nose: Punch your opponent in the face with your fist (See: know how to punch, above) to cause they to focus their attention on their face.
  • 6 Always remain in the defensive position. Don't give your attacker the chance to grab your arm or catch you off balance. As soon as you hit him/her return to the "defensive position" (See: above).

  • 7 If you can't escape, protect yourself as best as you can. This means cover your vulnerable body parts. Always cover your face. If you are on the ground, roll into a ball and cover your head.

  • 8 If it escalates, create a weapon. If, and only if, the situation becomes too difficult to handle, look for a weapon on your person. Keys, purse, belts, etc. are not ideal but they could be the difference between a couple of stitches and a serious stay in the hospital.

  • 9 As soon as you can, escape and seek help. Never try to "finish" a fight. If you see an out, take it and seek help. This is going to help if charges get pressed. Immediately explain what is going on to someone who can help: 911 dispatch, the nearest police officer or a good Samaritan. Have them call the police and immediately write up a report or have them take a statement of what happened.

  • 10 Seek medical attention, if needed. Depending on how severe your condition, do this first. Hospitals often have staff to deal with threats and attackers if they try to continue the fight.

  • Edited by Elgsus, VC, BR, Mountain Dew and 8 others
  • www.wikihow.com