April 14, 2009

The Amazing Rescue or the Sound and Fury of the Pirates of Somalia

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 3:06 am by ledefensetech

The drama in the Gulf of Aden ended with three precise shots. Those guys are so good it’s scary. They really are a credit to their service and their instructors.

Which leads me to my next topic. It’s all about training. It doesn’t matter what you do, the more you do of something the better you get at it. Self defense is no different. Personally I’m a big fan of learning unarmed combat, then learning how to use weapons. What you find when you do things this way is that you’ll be able to pick up any type of defensive tool and use it.

Like when I took the conceal carry course in Missouri. The instructor was surprised I shot as well as I did because I told him that I hadn’t shot or been on a range in twenty years. Yep, I hadn’t shot a gun in twenty years. And I hit my target every time. Now could I do what the SEALS did and take three pirates out shooting from a rolling deck. Nope that’s beyond me. I don’t expect any of my adversaries to be more than 10 feet away from me. If they are more than 10 feet, well then it’s time to exfiltrate and find help.

Not that you really want to get within arm’s reach of someone. I’m a small guy so I like to keep people at arm’s length, it’s safer that way. Still it is useful to know some hard takedown techniques in case you ever find yourself grappling with an opponent.

A good self defense video focuses on hard quick takedown techniques that are easy to use.

A good self defense video focuses on hard quick takedown techniques that are easy to use.

Street safe meets the criteria for lowdown dirty fighting. Let’s face it. If someone is grappling with you, they mean to do you harm. It’s not a mistake, it’s not a misunderstanding, they mean to hurt or kill you. One thing you’ll find is that once you start learning from these videos, you’ll start to hold yourself differently, you’ll feel more confident and relaxed, even in tense situations. Predators will sense this and, the human type at least, will move on to a softer target. Of course if they ignore that little voice telling them that messing with you is a bad idea….well they deserve what they get.

Even more than personal alarms, pepper sprays and even stun guns, training will help you avoid most confrontations. The best defense is one that never needs to be used. By keeping your head up and observing the world around you, you stand a much better chance of avoiding or turning a bad situation around, should you ever need to. Nor should you study only one or two systems. The best martial artists I know have studied several different arts through their career. Nor should it be different for those of us interested in personal protection.

A DVD should have simple techniques and be easy to learn and adapt to.

A DVD should have simple techniques and be easy to learn and adapt to.

The Fast and Furious DVD is great because it not only has the simple but effective techniques that are an absolute requirement for defense, but there’s also a great section on improvised weapons. Remember when I mentioned that one of the benefits of training is the ability to use weapons? Well one of the things you’ll find when you begin training is that there are weapons all around you. All you need is an ability to see them for what they really are.

Now if you really want to take control of things, you can look at advanced techniques. These are not for the beginner. It involves things like totally dominating your opponent, stripping guns from them, taking away their knives things like that.

Advanced techniques allow you to toally dominate your opponent.

Advanced techniques allow you to toally dominate your opponent.

This DVD will teach you everything you need to know about advanced techniques for disarming an assailant. Not only does it show you the right way to do things, it also exposes the wrong ways that are shown by Hollywood and other mass media. If you take your cue from TV Land, you’ll wind up gone, just like that. He also shows you how to keep your own weapon under your control, so you don’t get it used against you. Now this is only for people who are willing to use maximum force to stay safe. Still it’s a good skill to learn because when a robber, rapist or mugger pulls a gun the entire threat level of the situation has changed dramatically.

And so we come back to the SEALS and their rescue of Captain Philips. Negotiations were ongoing, true. But those men then made the decision to act threateningly towards their unarmed and bound captive. Decisions have consequences and the pirates found that out the hard way. Sure they come from a country that’s war-torn and schizophrenic, but we all have to choose to do right or do wrong. Those who do wrong are thugs and bullies and they can never stand up to training, discipline and righteousness.

April 4, 2009

Self Defense Synergy

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:27 pm by ledefensetech

One of the thoughts I’ve been having recently is how in a life or death situation you really need to trade space for time.  More so than a gun; alarms, sprays and stun guns can give you the time you need for help to arrive.  My apartment, for instance, doesn’t have much space in it, so I have to be quick when it comes to defending against a burglar or attacker.  The same thing also applies if I’m assaulted or mugged outdoors or in a public place.

Home/Personal Alarms

Door stop alarms are great for home defense or protection on the go.

Alarms are the first line of defense.  Whether alarms on the doors and windows of a home, motion detector alarms in rooms and/or doorstop alarms in the home or personal alarms on your person when outside, a good alarm is critical.  This will either scare your assailant away or tell them that you are serious about protecting yourself.  This should take care of most of the criminals who just want a smash and grab anyway.

One of the things that I like about a doorstop alarm is that you can use it not only to sound an alarm, but also can use it to create a barricade. Remember you’re trading space for time.  Plus the fact that a criminal won’t let something like this deter them from coming into your home or assaulting you tells you something about their intentions.  At this point in time you can pretty much rule out burglary and robbery as motives.  What’s left are physical injury and/or rape.  Which lends itself to a whole different level of threat.

That’s where the next deterrent comes into play.  Since we’re trading space for time, anything which delays an attacker from reaching you or enables you to get away from them is a good thing.  That’s where we come to the second piece of defensive synergy.

Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is great for denying a person access to rooms in your home or breaking away from an attacker.  Space for time.  As I’ve said <a href=https://ledefensetech.wordpress.com/2009/03/26/lets-talk-aboutpepper-spray>here</a> and <a href=https://ledefensetech.wordpress.com/2009/03/29/more-on-pepper-spray>here</a>, pepper spray is a great deterrent against an attacker and gives you plenty of time to get away.  In addition, many pepper sprays come with UV dye incorporated in them so you can avoid the hassle of a lineup.  A simple black-light is all that’s needed to determine who the perpetrator really is.

Fooger type sprays are great for area denial applications.

Fooger type sprays are great for area denial applications.

A large spray like this is p3rfect for home defense and area denial purposes.

A small spray which is concealable can come as a great surprise.

A small spray which is concealable can come as a great surprise.

This should be sufficient to deter all but the most fanatical of attackers.  I can’t believe that anyone would be able to continue an assault after getting a face full of pepper spray.  Still defense it not about I can’t believe or I don’t think.  You have to be sure.  An attacker only has to succeed once in an attack, you have to succeed every time if you want to keep yourself safe.  So now we come to the final tool in the synergy of defense.

Stun Guns

A stun gun will pretty much end any confrontation right there.  I’ve discussed stun guns <a href=https://ledefensetech.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/lets-talk-aboutstun-guns>before</a>.  Depending on the type you get, you’ll either have to get within arms length of your attacker or you’ll have up to 15 feet of distance to play with.  In the end, that’s why an advanced Taser (similar to the ones  cops use) and C2 Tasers are usually the way to go.  Not only do they give you stand-off capability and the ability to control the situation from a distance, in a pinch they can be used as a regular stun gun.

Now as part of the Defense Synergy concept, if you disable someone using pepper spray and want to take them down for the count, now is the time to use the stun gun.  While it would be more prudent to call the police, by this point in time many people would be filled with indignation, anger and, well, how-dare-you-attack-me!  So it’s understandable that someone will feel a desire to strike back against thier would-be attacker.

With a regular stun gun, the effects last for several minutes, giving you time to get away.  With a Taser style stun gun the effects can take much longer to wear off.  That’s due to the nature of the effects a Taser stun gun has over regular stun guns.  Plus with the Advanced Tasers and C2 Tasers, you can pull the trigger three times and set up a cycle in which the perpetrator is actively stunned for 30 seconds.  Then they have to recover from the effects of that, which can take quite a bit of time.  Possibly long enough for you to return with the cops.  Even if the perpetrator is not there when you return, all you have to do is get the police report and send it to Taser and they’ll replace your stun gun <a href=http://www.taser.com/research/Pages/ConsumerFAQs.aspx>free of charge</a>.  Your life is worth more than any tool.  As an added bonus the stun gun will now be ineffective because the Taser is keyed to you by information you provide to Taser when they do a background check on you.  They won’t even be able to buy new cartriges and it will be useless to them.  So by all means, pull the trigger three times and leave it.

The M 18-L is the civilian version of the Advanced Taser M26 used by Law Enforcement.

The M 18-L is the civilian version of the Advanced Taser M26 used by Law Enforcement.

Stun Guns can be useful against surpirse attacks, like when youre grabbed from behind.

Stun Guns can be useful against surpirse attacks, like when you're grabbed from behind.

The C2 is the next generation Taser.

The C2 is the next generation civilian Taser.

Now many might argue that a gun doesn’t require all of these plans and convolutions, but those advocates don’t take several things into account.  First is that anyone can file a lawsuit against anyone in civil court.  Even if the plaintiff doesn’t win, the time, money and effort by the defendant is still lost and the opportunities that otherwise might have been realized are now gone forever.  Second, there is a political movement in this country to reserve all force to the government.  And finally, most people when faced with a live or die situation will, even at the cost of their own life, hesitate.  Due to their natures, less than lethal technology can overcome that natural inclination to do no harm.  Also, in many cases of assault, you may not have time to draw a firearm.  Also when you draw a firearm, that automatically raises the stakes between you and an attacker.  Due to the innocuous nature of many of these tools, they can be brought into play before an attacker realizes what the tool is.  Surprise can be a useful tool in and of itself.  Besides you just can’t beat the 30 second incapacitation that a stun gun brings.  With a gun, it’s always a gamble if you can do enough damage to stop someone before they get to you.

On a final note, you can’t predict crazy so it’s best to have many avenues of defense to give youself the greatest chance of turning the tables on your attacker.

March 25, 2009

Tools of the trade

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:26 am by ledefensetech

There are two schools of thought when it comes to protecting your person and your property.  One school devotes itself to disguise and hiding the fact that your person and possessions are warded against violence and theft.  The other school believes that a “show of force” is a good idea, or not hiding the fact that you have tools at your disposal to defend yourself.

In most cases, the second school carries the most weight in my opinion.  Why?  Because criminals are naturally lazy.  Rather than do honest work, they’d rather take what you’ve worked for.  Ironically, criminal behavior rarely leads to riches, plus you have to watch out for treachery.  Treachery from criminal “allies” or informants of law enforcement.  You can turn this to your advantage.

There are several tools that are useful when securing your person or property from crime.  At the top of the list are alarms.  Whether on your person or around the house, alarms lessen the amount of time a criminal has to perpetrate against you.  They can alert others to you predicament and/or summon authorities.  In many cases an alarm is all that’s needed to foil a mugging or burglary.

Assaults and rape are a different matter.  While alarms can be useful in summoning help, the fact that a person wishes to harm you changes the time needed to do so.  A stabbing or shooting takes much less time than snatching a purse or ransacking a house.  In cases like these, pepper spray and stun guns come into their own.  Many people may feel hesitant at causing pain to another person.  Don’t.  By their very actions, these people have forfeited their right to be safe in their person.

At this time peeper sprays and stun guns come into their own.  A sensible person should own both and know when to use them.  You don’t want to use a pepper spray when firing into the wind for example.  Also outdoor conditions like rain can have an effect.  Pepper spray is less effective in rain for example, whereas stun guns will work regardless of wind or rain conditions.

This shows an attacker that you’re willing to defend yourself and won’t be easy meat.  Using a pepper spray for stand off value can protect you and your stun gun can protect you in close quarter situations.

So these tools provide a circle of protection.  The alarm cuts down on the time a criminal has to perpetrate against you, while the pepper spray can be used as a stand off weapon or and area denial weapon.  The stun gun can be used as a last resort to incapacitate an attacker, while you run towards help.  Do not under any circumstances wait around to see the person taken into custody.  Most sprays come with a dye that shows up under UV light, so the police can make identify someone you’ve hit with pepper spray.

In reality you’ll probably only need one or two of these tools.  However you can’t predict crazy, so it’s best to be prepared to defend yourself and your home.  These tools have a benefit above and beyond the physical protection they provide.  In our litigious society you can be taken to court if you shoot and kill someone.  By using less than lethal force, you strip your attacker or their next of kin from any pretext they have to try to destroy you through lawyers.  In later posts, I’ll go into how and why you might want to use these various tools solo and in conjunction with other tools.