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 11, 2009

More on Pirates of Somalia

Posted in Safety tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:15 am by ledefensetech

Unarmed sailors take back their ship. This is incredible for several reasons. The only downside is that their captain, as fitting a man of his station, ransomed his safety for that of his crew.  It’s telling that he tried to escape, unfortunately he failed. Somali pirates might think twice before attacking a US flagged merchant ship.

What I have a problem with is the assertion that ships have little recourse against pirates. There’s plenty of options a crew has to secure their ship. It may take some retrofitting, but there are many things a crew can do. First is making it harder for pirates to board the ship. I’ve heard of electrified rails, barbed wire or water cannons washing pirates off the ship like vermin. Second would be covering the superstructure with cameras, probably hidden. In conjunction with this, a secure room to which the crew can view the cameras and the crew can take refuge in. While retreating to the panic room, the crew can lay booby traps with pepper discharge, irritants and other disabling methods.

It only makes sense to make things harder for these scumbags. The only reason the engage in piracy is because it’s easier than anything else they could do. Plus the rewards are amazing for people who live in Somalia. With millions being paid in ransom, one successful hijacking can set a Somali up for life. The international community has shown that they are unable or unwilling to do anything about the pirates, so it falls to the sailors and captains who ply the trade lanes to take measures to protect themselves, their ships and their cargo.

Again while criminals might have the advantage concerning initiative, a prepared defender can suck them in and drop them at a time and place of their choosing. All it takes is determination and action when something like this happens.

April 8, 2009

Fighting the last war.

Posted in Society tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:40 pm by ledefensetech

Two items stood out in the news today. First was a shooting in a Korean religious retreat in California. This will turn out to be, I think, another example of stress violence and a gust front in the coming storm of crime.  Politicians will, as usual, react badly and too late to stem this tide.  As an example I will use the current economic crisis.  Signs of the coming crisis were there for anyone to see as early as 2005, at least by then the writing was on the wall.  During the presidential campaign, nary a word was said about the economy until last fall.  By then, it was too late.

So too, will this fly under the radar until it’s too late.  While the masses are mesmerized by trillion dollar budgets, angered by bailouts and stunned by the antics of those in Washington, they ignore the signs of the coming tsunami in crime much like they did the economic collapse we’re seeing today.

The second item of interest today was this bit on the resurgence of Somali Piracy. I could go on and on about how we came to this pass, but it would seem a better use of our time to look closer and decide what this means in terms of safety.

As usual, it would seem that the Navy is asked to do a job covering too much of an area with too few assets with which to do the job. Plus it would seem that the tactics of the pirates are evolving. While not as dramatic as the tank laden Ukrainian ship seized by Somali pirates last fall, the ransoms paid to pirates has been substantial, especially in a nation as poor as Somalia. Paying those ransoms just encourages more piracy. People are more willing to roll the dice and take their chances. If they die, oh well, they live in a place where life is cheap anyway, so they might as well take the chance.

So what does all this mean? Why should you care? Well for one it seems that the world is getting more and more dangerous by day. Random shootings are increasing, once extinct criminal enterprises like piracy are on the rise and evidence mounts day by day that the world is becoming more and more unstable. Our “leaders”, as usual, are clueless about all of this and either can’t or won’t put the pieces together. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You and only you can ensure your own safety. Waiting for someone else to save you is a fools errand.

At the very least you might want to consider learning some fighting techniques. At the very least you’ll develop the ability to scan your surroundings and identify places that you might not want to be. Rather than walk blithely through life oblivious to potential threats, you will learn how to stalk your stalkers. The choice of confrontation will no longer be with your attacker, but with you. You will have the initiative and that makes all the difference in the world.

Ideally, whatever system you choose it should be simple, easily mastered and, most importantly, allow you to quickly take down your opponent. Size doesn’t matter, nor does age. I’ve seen small guys take down large guys, women take down guys, old guys take down young guys. What matters is that you have the training and the confidence to overcome your attacker.

Speed is life during a fight.

Speed is life during a fight.

A system must be easy to learn.

A system must be quick to master. A system must be quick to master.

Remember, there is astorm coming. Will you be one of those who waits for help that will never arrive, or arrive too late; or will you take your destiny into your own hands and learn simple techniques to save yourself and your family?