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Personal Safety

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  • Wed, Feb 09, 2011 - 07:20pm

    #1
    aarondenal

    aarondenal

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    Personal Safety

I am interested in people’s suggestions for maintaining personal safety.  I do not want to carry the worry anymore of “what if…”  I see enough “real life” including death in my training as a midwife and therefore I am not interested in guns.  That said, I am interested in formulating a plan for personal defense, and more importantly to protect my very small children, if the need should arise.

I am pretty sturdy, a large woman (5’10”) but am aware that my strength alone will not be sufficient against all types of force.  I am interested in resources, methodology, and also items that may be most helpful.

 

  • Wed, Feb 09, 2011 - 09:27pm

    #2
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Personal Safety

[quote=aarondenal]

I am interested in people’s suggestions for maintaining personal safety.  I do not want to carry the worry anymore of “what if…”  I see enough “real life” including death in my training as a midwife and therefore I am not interested in guns.  That said, I am interested in formulating a plan for personal defense, and more importantly to protect my very small children, if the need should arise. 

[/quote]

Just my opinion of course, so take it for what it’s worth.  You say you are not interested in guns, yet you want to formulate a plan for personal defense and defense of your children.

Why would you eliminate a tool from your tool kit?  Or does your plan assume that a potential threat would also not be interested in guns?  If so, I think your personal defense plan will be (potentially) fatally flawed.

But if guns are an absolute non-starter for you, I would recommend enrolling in a Muay Thai, Krav Magaw or blended martial arts studio.  Muay Thai and Krav Magaw are very effective street techniques that do not depend on strict adherence to katas or forms.  Neither Muay Thai or Krav Magaw depend on fine muscle movement control – which is compromised by the adrenaline rush you get in a confrontational situation. 

A blended arts studio is a great option.  In my opinion and experience a blended school should teach a combination of a striking style (Muay Thai, Krav Magaw), ground work (Silat, judo or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), and an empty hand, edged weapon and stick technique (Eskrima kali, pekiti tersia, wing chun, jun fan jeet kune do).  Your pace of advancement in a blended studio approach will not be as rapid as a focused or dedicated style.  But you will also have a more complete repetoire of styles to employ if needed.  You can be a superb practitioner of Tae Kwon Do – but if you end up on the ground (95% of all physical confrontations end up on the ground) without some exposure to a ground style art, your Tae Kwon Do will be largely ineffective.  Similarly, you may be a superb ground fighter, but if you get tagged with a Muay Thai elbow strike you will be unconcious before you hit the ground.  A good studio will teach you techniques (skill set) – a superb studio will teach you technique, mind set and awareness – which when combined, facilitates the adaptability and non-linear application of skill set as needed.

I have been practicing and instructing blended martial arts for over 15 years now and am quite satisfied with my skill set.  My areas of cocentration are Muay Thai (Certified Instructor under Ajarn Chai Sirsute), Eskrima/Lameco Kali and Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do (Certified Apprentice Instructor under Guro Dan Inosanto), Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt (under Master Pedro Sauer), Pekiti Tersia (Certified Apprentice Instructor under Tuhon Leo Gaje), Tae Kwon Do Black Belt and Hapkido Brown Belt.

I also carry a SOG flash assisted opening knife everywhere I go and I carry a handgun concealed everywhere it is legal to do so.  In 49 years, I have never needed to go beyond the knife – but the full range of options are there if needed.

Like I said, just my $.02.  Good luck in your endeavor – let us know how it goes and what you decide.

  • Wed, Feb 09, 2011 - 10:02pm

    #3
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Personal Safety

 

 non-lethal defense ?

 1) Situational awareness.. avoiding trouble is easier than defending against it.

 2) pepper spray ?

 3) a gun. (ok, there’s no ammunition in it.. but that’s your little secret. )

 

  • Wed, Feb 09, 2011 - 10:08pm

    #4
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Personal Safety

Or

You could do what a lot of people do in more violent countries.

Put bars on your windows and extra locks on your doors.  Avoid going out alone at night, and be sure your kids are chaperoned. Don’t put yourself in places where your safety is questionable.  Carry mace or a loud whistle or something of that nature just in case if you have to be out.  Drive a car that has automatic door locks.  Go out in groups.

This would help a person who has no intention of confronting a thug at night.

  • Wed, Feb 09, 2011 - 10:37pm

    #5
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Personal Safety

Dogs,

Whew.  I wish you lived in Boulder, you sound like a tough cookie.  Your info was exactly the type of thing I can get behind, let us stay at the non-firearm approach for now.  Martial arts do seem to be quite involved, and I wonder how long it would take to get “comfortable with my skill set”?  Given that I do not have more than a few hours a week to devote to training.  I will investigate your suggestions…

Plato,

Non-lethal defense is a good term. 

Maceves,

Point taken, however I was thinking about the possibility of being in an unexpected scenario.  I just can no longer trust that I will be able to completely avoid altogether any person or group who means to do me harm, or take what is mine.

Pepper spray/Mace is a good idea, I will check into that.  I would be afraid of cutting my hand off if I carried a knife.  I am clumsy, which is one of the main reasons why I dont want a gun around.

  • Wed, Feb 09, 2011 - 11:01pm

    #7
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Personal Safety

Aarondenal,

Please keep in mind that handling any sort of weapon is a skill – with time, the poor coordination will fix itself.

In my opinion (and I’d suspect Dogs as well) a “weapon” is about 5% of a “confrontation”.
The other 95% can be broken down as follows:

35% – Situational Awareness
25% – Positioning  
25% – Physical Conditioning 
10% – Tenacity 

That said, when it comes to persecuting a fight,  these numbers change radically in favor of Skillset, Tenacity and proper equipment.

For this reason, if you’re primary focus isn’t on Skillset and Tenacity, you’d be best served developing a functional, solid set of personal protection measures based on avoidance:

1. Be aware of your Surroundings
2. Don’t let anyone inside your personal space
3. Get educated in the ways of criminal ploys
4. Focus on Fitness

Once you’ve developed these (Run-Fu) you can start assessing whether or not you feel your skillset is in need of further adjustment.
“The more you know, the more you need to know” is generally how this stuff works.

Pepper spray, Tasers and truncheon type weapons are not for most people.
Pepper spray is an “area” weapon – if you’re not continually cognizant of your surroundings, you may mace people unintentionally, or worse – mace yourself in the process of defending yourself.

Tasers require that someone is inside your personal bubble – a strong indication you’ve “failed” at Situational Awareness (SA).

Further, they’re a “tool” and the last thing you want to do in an altercation is fixate on getting to a weapon. 

As Dogs suggested, taking some martial arts is a good idea – but keep in mind that it only fills the a small portion of the overall paradigm. 
Introduction of weaponry is likely to negate any advantage you build here unless you’re extremely proficient. Martial Arts are a great way to satisfy the unarmed approach and develop fitness, so get into it knowing its limitations and you’ll have a good “head start”. 

Just remember not to become unconsciously incompetant – know the limitations of any skillset; be it weapon based or hand to hand.

Cheers, and good luck,

Aaron

  • Wed, Feb 09, 2011 - 11:16pm

    #6
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Personal Safety

 

I know midwives (and their assistants) are called to all kinds of unfamiliar locations at all hours of the day and night. Oftentimes, they are pre-occupied with the emergency or labor situation they are responding to, and may not have their full wits about them. Therefore whatever you learn will be immediately applicable to what you do.

I agree with both Dogs and with Maceves in their suggestions. First with Maceves because the first line of defense is to not get into situations, secondly with Dogs because inevitably trouble will come looking for you when you find yourself arriving at a birth in an unfamiliar part of town at 2 o’clock in the morning.

Hopefully you can get some training and skills.

Poet

  • Wed, Feb 09, 2011 - 11:41pm

    #8
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    Re: Personal Safety

+1 to everything, especially the awareness and positioning.

I’ve been involved in martial arts for over 10 years (though I have to say not with the intensity that Dogs apparently has!), and in that whole time I’ve never been attacked or had things progress to a physical fight.  For me, the ‘self-defense’ skills that have paid the most dividends have been awareness (spotting the trouble or potential trouble), positioning (preventing the situation from escalating or leaving the area), and self-awareness (not feeling I ‘have to fight’ or have something to prove).  That and learning the right way to react to a fall so I don’t hurt myself, which in icy climes comes in real handy  Tongue out

Based on that, I’d say the best initial investments would be self-defense training in whatever system is big on teaching situational awareness and positioning (in my limited experience Krav Maga did well in that regard), and focusing on increased home security measures. 

Beyond that, I like what Dogs said about a blended martial art studio.  My favorite studio for years has been a shared one between kung fu san soo and brazilian jujitsu schools, and students from one would typically cross-train in the other.

– Nickbert 

  • Thu, Feb 10, 2011 - 03:18am

    #9
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Personal Safety

[quote=Aaron Moyer]

Aarondenal,

Please keep in mind that handling any sort of weapon is a skill – with time, the poor coordination will fix itself.

In my opinion (and I’d suspect Dogs as well) a “weapon” is about 5% of a “confrontation”.
The other 95% can be broken down as follows:

35% – Situational Awareness
25% – Positioning  
25% – Physical Conditioning 
10% – Tenacity 

[/quote]

A quote from one of my instructors that has stuck with me and resonated for years, is basically a restatement of Aaron’s breakdown quoted above.  In this case the 95% was SA and positioning

“5% of this instruction teaches you what you need to do when you screw up and forget the other 95%”  Sifu Frank Cucci

For Aaron and nickbert, you will appreciate this.  Sifu Cucci is a semi-retired SEAL who runs a Muay Thai, BJJ, Jeet Kune Do and Inosanto/Lameco Kali studio here in SE VA.  His approach to physical conditioning and tenacity was modeled after the SEALs approach to combat – visit the most amount of physical damage upon your adversary in the least amount of time with every weapon possible.  There is no such thing as too much or disproportionate response when your life or the life of your loved ones is at risk. 

And at 49 with two reconstructed shoulders and a rebuilt knee, the last thing I want to do is get into and extended confrontation.  Cool

  • Thu, Feb 10, 2011 - 03:51am

    #10
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Personal Safety

Learn to swing a big purse…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8FVAHuQvjc

Might put some blanks in a handgun….noise maybe pretty effective. 

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