This isn't entirely true. In self defense, your opponent is almost always an uneducated, mindless street thug who's acting out of desperation or anger. They are never toe-to-toe masters of fighting like martial art opponents who are going to examine you.
Simply standing up to a criminal is often enough to get them to back down. If they don't believe you have what it takes, hitting them hard enough somewhere will be. Women who are raped are never fighters or they never fight hard enough.
In other words, criminals are always going to prey on who they think is weak. Showing overconfidence lets them know that you believe you have what it takes to take them on, and if they believe you (they usually do), they won't prey on you.
Totally agree - and not putting yourself in situations where you are at risk!
I carry a malamute with me when I walk as it kind of frightens me if I walk alone in parks, etc. I am not sure that Griffin would actually protect me per se but I think he might frighten someone by his size and his considerable howling/barking at unknown people! I also carry a cell phone in my pocket so it is not visible and I also carry my keys in my hand with the keys pointing out - and do other self-preservation things.
I don't believe in 'weapons' per se but then again, I've never been attacked but I try and be 'street smart' in all things and try not to expose myself to situations where I would be in danger because I'm a woman - and I'm old(er).
I've been reading up on kubotans and these seems like good self defense devices that might be very effective for targetting pressure points and giving a defender time to escape an attacker. The devices are like extremely small batons and a person/defender can probably keep control of these devices so they're not used against the defender. From what I've been learing, a person should have a good knowledge of self defense techniques and just use the kubotan to quickly strike the attacker then run away or strike the attacker to cause a release of grip so the defender can run away.
The best advice I ever heard was to "think like a predator". I take a lot of criminal justice classes and have learned way too much about the minds of criminals to not be hyper-vigilant and observant of my surroundings. I really want to get a gun, but I haven't yet. I want to be an attorney someday, and I'll definitely get a gun to keep in my bedside table at night. Maybe keep one locked in a drawer in my office, too.
Right now, I carry police-grade mace, with is thankfully legal in my state (not all states, a bummer when traveling!). I've also taken a self-defense course (please take one - you can find them free almost anywhere!)
Awareness is key and remember - "think like a predator!" I see women all the time and think "omg...what walking targets".
For example, if I am walking to my car at night, I will walk in the middle of the parking lot (well-lit), instead of on the sidewalks, near trees and other places where someone could hide or pull me into. I actively scan the shrubs and parking lot for any movement.
My new car doesn't have keyless entry (which I HATE!!!!), so I always have my keys ready before I even set foot outside. When carrying my keys, I make a fist with one key sticking out between my fingers which would make a fairly nice weapon if someone attacked me.
If I have to walk in a really sketchy area, I take off my grandmother's engagement ring and slip that into my bra. That way, it won't shine like a beacon to mug me and if someone takes my purse or asks for my jewelry they (hopefully) won't find it.
And, when I'm in really sketchy areas, I will also hold my pepper spray in one hand, open, with my finger on the trigger. Pepper spray or even a gun can give people a false sense of protection - it can take a while to fumble through your purse to find it and spray it at your attacker.
I may sound paranoid, but I've sat through way too many criminal justice lectures to know what goes on out there. It is better to be over prepared when it comes to protecting yourself.
geez....maybe I should have written a hub on this, instead!
I reckon probably learning some kind of martial art is the best method of self defence, though fortunately I have never felt in danger personally. Mind you, it's still a good skill to know, just in case.
It is illegal to carry knives, guns and pepper spray here in the UK. Some women have rape alarms though, which give off an extremely loud and high pitched sound.
Polly and alternate poet... I really like your posts.....
1) Yes, weapons might be illegal in some areas. Even across the US you have different rules for different states. The carrier is responsible for ensuring legality. If you get too dependent on any one weapon you might not only get tempted to break the law but also be extra vulnerable if you suddenly have to leave your "tool" behind. 2) Yes, every weapon can be used against you. Pepper spray, knives, you name it. Furthermore you might expose yourself to risks many for instance casual knife carriers in my experience are very unaware off. Did you know that while carrying a knive in most parts of the US might be legal, if you get into a situation where the police shows up and you hold your knife visibly to the officers approaching the scene, they have the permission to shoot you on sight? A knife is considered a deadly weapon. You with a knife out within 21 feet can be and will be considered a leathal threat... whether you are the bad guy or good guy. 3) Pepper spray: Note: pepper spray is a pressurized spray that unless tested has a great likelihood of failure. You have to test it at least once a month and it only has about 7-10 applications (most of them anyways). Note: pepper spray cannot be used in closed quarters without risking spraying yourself (i.e. elevators, bedroom, and hallway) Note: a lot of folks are rather resilient against the impact. In the US soldiers, police officers, fireman and several other groups are purposefully exposed to such and stronger agents to build resistance to them. These people will not be held of significantly by a personal pepper spray. And guess what... now you made them really mad!
All this being said, at my martial arts school we teach women self-defense. One advice we give our students is something that caught my attention in your posts..... Alarms... noise.
We recommend women to carry a loud sports whistle! (My next article will include a note on this on the Defend-Yourself Hub).
The whistle allows for several things: 1) It cannot be used against you (well I suppose you could get wacked over the head with it... but you get my point.) 2) You can put it in your mouth and blow while having your hands free. Example: you are getting attacked in a parking lot. You cannot retreat to the safety of a building; Do you know where to go? A woman in heels outrunning an athletic attacker? Think about it. Get under a parked car! You can cling to the underside of the car with all your might while blowing the living hell out of the whistle. It will be extremely difficult for anyone to grab you and pull you out. You can hold on with your hands and still kick with your legs in case someone tries to grab you. You will win a lot of time in this situation and can get a lot of attention using the whistle or any similar alarm. Awareness and knowledge goes a long way.
I really liked your posts! Thank you! Polly I am curious about the rape alarm you mentioned. I think that is a great idea. I would like to look some more into this. Do you have any further resources about how this is used/approached/encouraged in the UK?
I'd vote the pepper spray for legal reasons. BUt more than that, training to handle a knife attack would be the most valuable, chance of successfully dealing with a gun unarmed are really slim, a knife is pretty slim too, but possible.
I think I must have led a very sheltered life, judging by the comments in this thread. Where I live, everyone smiles, everyone speaks to each other, young people may be a bit loud from time to time, but are good natured and friendly. I count my blessings and think that the only thing I need to use for my defence in my town is a sharp pair of eyes when crossing the road.
A lot of people don't know Bruce Lee himself carried a gun. He owned a M1911 pistol and a .38 revolver. Lee himself said that no matter how fast you are, you can't be faster than someone pulling a trigger.
I do have it with me most all the time. whether that is actually on me or in my vehicle, never look to have to use it, don't want to ever use it, though I did have to get it out once at an atm, but yes I do have it and no I never want to have to use it. I do have a blast going and popping off 50-100 rounds on targets, but seriously there are areas here that I have to go into and will not go without protection
"I am sold out to Jesus Christ my Saviour. Iam "compelled" to go out and preach the Gospel. I am currently in the Dayton, Ohio area, starting an evangelism ministry teaching churches to "GO YE" into all the world. "
I think the best weapon is having proper training and being confident in your ability to use what you have been trained on. That could be hand to hand, weapons (such as firearms etc.)or simply knowing how to defuse a confrontational situation.
It is not much practical to carry gun or sword always. Fingers are the best weapon when used accurately on pressure points. If you dont agree with me, consider a woman pushing her fingers suddenly and forcefully into the eyes of a villan. In kalarippayattu(traditional martial art of kerala), there are tricks to make a person unconscious by pointing your forefinger at his marmam(vital points in human body). Knowing some tricks will help a lot. Though making different parts of your body like elbows and knees as strong weapons is possible they need good practice
Statistics show there is more fear from a knife than a gun. A gun is quick with pain, but a knife is prolonged pain and the thought is extreme anxiety. I think a taser gun is good though. You don't really hurt them they are just disabled. I'd rather evade the situation than be in it as you get older and wiser.
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