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The first step would be to develop the mindset of being aware of your surroundings and more importantly the people around you. This is also called situational awareness. This mindset would be at home, at work and on the street. Many of us go through our daily lives fairly unaware of what is going on around us and are fairly vulnerable. You have to develop awareness of your surroundings. On the other hand, you can't be in a continuous state of hair trigger readiness. The human mind can not maintain this state for long. A method devised originally by Jeff Cooper (an expert firearms instructor/author) is a color code system. Think of colors as threat condition.

WHITE, think of being at home in your "Lazy Boy" recliner watching TV. You are in a state where you are not very aware of your surroundings and are quite vulnerable. You hear a noise and go into condition yellow.

YELLOW, you are listening to the noise and evaluating. You should look around you for visual clues as to your new situation. You identify the potential danger for example, the glass on a window breaks. You go into condition orange.

ORANGE, you should be out of the chair preparing for action. You should be aware of family members in the house, alert them to possible danger and gather them together in your safe room (Bedroom). you should have your defense tools ready. For example, you could have your cell phone in one hand and your (legal) handgun in the other. You see movement and go into condition red.

RED, you are ready to identify your target and take action. Your adrenalin level is so high now that you will have fine motor skill problems and your training and practice will take over. You will successfully defend with all your skills. If you are on the street, you can follow the same mindset and take appropriate action. For example, you might be walking down the street and approach a gang of unsavory guys drinking beer. You should go from condition Yellow to Orange and cross the street. The group stops talking and crosses the street headed for you. You should be in condition RED at this point. The second step would be to select self defense tools and develop the skills to use them. Here are some choices for you.

FIREARMS for self defense.
First would be to determine if you have the mindset to use lethal force to defend yourself. This is the time to think about this issue seriously. If you decide to utilize a handgun, get good basic handgun training and get the required license. A basic pistol course will teach you to develop safe gun handling habits and should also give you hands-on shooting at the range. A good course will also discuss selection issues. For example, type of handgun, Revolver or Semi-Automatic, Fit to your hand and finally power level. This energy level is usually measured in ft/lbs of energy. The power level required to stop an attacker with one shot is important. The FBI recommends no less then 400 ft/lbs. This translates roughly to no less then 9 millimeter or .38 special plus P and ideally .40 caliber or.357 magnum power level. Buy a good quality handgun; go to the range and practice, practice, practice. Shooting skills are ultimately more important than the power level.

Power level does not matter if you miss your target. At some point, go to some combat shoots at a local club. Do this all before you have to use your firearm in an emergency and don't remember where the safety is. Remember that a firearm is a lethal weapon and can only be used in limited scenarios. That is, when you are in fear of imminent lethal danger.

6. You should have other self defense tools in your arsenal. Even if you carry a firearm, you should consider carrying a non-lethal or less-lethal defense tool also. You should become familiar with a few simple techniques and recommendations for the item(s) selected. You should not rely on any one element for your safety. At home, jogging, at work etc. select the appropriate action and tools for the situation. You should look at multiple tools and skills. Let's look at some choices.

A) Martial Arts It is always a good choice to get some basic martial arts experience; especially if you are young and limber. Depending on the style, it takes a while to develop enough proficiency to defend against a bad guy with club or knife. A Shotokan based style is good for learning to deliver hard punches, low kicks, elbows etc. Fancy aerial high kicks take a long time to master and may not work on the street. You should look for a style that is reality based, designed specifically for self defense. There are some basic self defense courses that attempt to short cut the process. For example, for women there is aware.org. They are good for starting to develop a self protection mindset. Any knowledge is good. but if you don't have the time or are an older person you have several good choices for tools. Remember, be legal. You do not want to go jogging with your samurai sword hanging on your hip. Any tool should be an extension of your natural tools; hands, feet, etc.

B) Various impact or twisting Tactical tools Kubotans, persuader, mini stick- These are all basically the same device. The Kubotan is a patented plastic stick, approx 5 1/2 'long x 5/8 diameter with radial grooves. The others are similar. They double as a key chain and appear none threatening. They are used for bone crushing strikes with the ends. Pokes to soft tissue and pressure points are effective also. You can use them as a flail with attached keys. With a little training, you can use them effectively for pain compliance use. Tactical Flashlights - They are of course carried as a Flashlight and none threatening. In Court they are usually thought of as just a flashlight and very legal to carry. They are also Aircraft quality aluminum construction and are a deadly clubbing and blocking tool. The Maglite type with regular cells tends to be heavier. A good size is a 3 C cell size. The Streamlite type with LED bulbs is brighter and effective at temporarily blinding an attacker.

Jogging sticks, Escrima's etc - These are all the same thing, Approx 28" long x 1' diameter rattan. It is a mainstay of Philippine martial arts. They had to develop a style of Philippine martial arts that allowed them to quickly defend themselves against invaders. The emphasis is on basic stances similar to a boxer and multiple alternating strikes/blocks with the sticks. They can be used in pairs and with a little practice you can learn Sinawali; a double weaving move that is hard to penetrate and good for attacks. Also good for jogging and for protection against dogs, etc. Very legal in most cases.

Fighting Canes The walking cane is accepted in polite society and allowed on airplanes without question. It can also be used as a powerful self defense tool especially by older people and people with handicaps. My page Fighting Canes and Sticks offers a good quality cane at a good price. Also my instructional DVD that shows easy to learn simple effective techniques. The DVD also includes a nice warm up, exercise segment. Complete packages available also.

Fighting knives - Belt knives are better then folders for self defense but can be impractical and often illegal. Folding knifes are more concealable of course, but may be illegal in certain areas. I have carried a folding knife most of my life. (It started in the Boy Scouts) But I realize that Knife fighting is an unpleasant situation that may require a lot of skill, training and guts to survive. A threat with a knife is usually considered a lethal attack and may be defended with a gun. If you carry a knife, buy a good quality model. You do not want to bet your life on a $5.00 Flea market knife. You want a quality knife with a tempered steel blade that will not break and if a folder, a strong hinge that will not fail and collapse onto your fingers. "Cold Steel" tests their folding Knife hinges by applying impact force to the blade repeatedly. "Ka-Bar" has a tradition of supplying high quality Combat knives to the military.

Fighting rings - These are large, slightly cheesy looking rings. They have wolf heads and tiger head designs with sharp edges. They are designed to inflict cuts and bruises on your opponent. It may be enough to discourage him. At the least, it is good marking for the police line up.

Defensive Cane
Defensive Cane 1 - I have studied various martial arts for many years. I have noticed too many self defense DVD's are created by martial artists for martial artists. If you haven't spent years studying martial arts, are getting older or haven't exercised for awhile, this DVD is for you. You will learn some easy self defense movements and techniques that will enable you to use your new Cane as a powerful self defense tool. You can combine these movements in multiple ways to create many powerful self defense techniques.. If you have ever played tennis, billiards, swung a baseball bat or for that mater gone dancing, you can learn these movements. Many cultures developed a powerful self defense system using Canes and sticks. From the Korean style of Hapkido Cane fighting, Philippine stick fighting to Irish Whiskey Stick Dancing, I have borrowed elements of these styles in a simplified system. You will learn blocking, striking and hooking techniques.

CURRENTLY IN PRODUCTION! Defensive Cane 2 - Street Talk

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