Defend Yourself and Loved Ones: Practical Tips of Self Defense

One of the fundamental rights of an individual is the right to defend him/herself, their properties and loved ones from crime/harm. Unfortunately many people are either unwilling or unable to exercise this right, or even worse, have the wrong idea of how to do it. This usually ends in them being victims of crimes, often causing phisical injury – or even death – and loss of valuables. For women, its worse. This can end in rape.

The problem with Indonesia is that the government seems intent not to allow its people to defend itself. We may not, for instance, carry knives/pocket knifes. We have no right to bear firearms. For the GoI, it is better that we are unarmed, unprepared and unable to defend ourselves for one reason or another. This post, however, will not deal with that. This post will deal with how one can defend one’s self and loved ones with these restrictions.

Let me open this post with a story: I used to carry concealed. Yep. You heard me. I believe that it is the fundamental right of an individual to be armed with a firearm for self defense. My pistol is a Springfield Armory custom Operator 1911A1. It has a rail, on which I affix an X5 light (very important for proper target ID in low light), and a set of adjustable Novak sights. It fires a 230g Federal Hydroshok .45 ACP (expensive rounds here!).

I was trained with it. Some of the best pistol operators in the world once held a defensive pistol course in Buffalo New York in which my ROTC class had the priviliedge to attend. I had a nice concealed carry holster, and I can carry that full sized 1911 well, without it being visible, printing, exposed, and better yet, I know I can clear hoster, disengage the safety, and put rounds down range with accuracy really fast if I have to.

Here’s another advantage of being trained with a pistol. A lot of you think that Indonesians should not be allowed to have pistols because people have the tendency to pull it out and use it to scare people. Angry in traffic? Pull out a pistol. Got in a verbal match? Pull out a pistol. Well, let me tell you this: A lot of people are just shouldn’t be allowed to have firearms, or oxygen for that matter. These douchebags will do that with any weapon/object they have. Let me tell you my mindset everytime I put my weapon in my holster and carry it with me: I know for a fact that I’m prepared to use it – as the absolute last resort if there’s an emergency. As a matter of fact, every single time I put my pistol in my holster, I hope, fervently wished, and begged the universe: Please, please don’t put me in a situation where I have to have my pistol clear holster. Please. Because unlike those douchebags, to include the Indonesian National Police, in my training, and my mindset, IF you have to pull out your pistol, you had better damn well intend to disengage the safety and put rounds in some motherfucker’s center mass. I will not pull my pistol unless I have absolutely no other choice. I’m not a cop. I’m not gonna pull out my gun and point it to someone and order that person to lay on the ground.

Having said that, as humanity have discovered for about half a million years, praying and wishing really don’t do jack shit unless you actually make an effort. Here’s the gist of this post: This effort is applicable to all, not only those who carry concealed. I want to go over these to give you the reader a better perspective of how to defend yourself and your family.

First. The BEST self defense is Situational Awareness (henceforth: SA). Proper SA means that you can engage in defending yourself in the best possible way: Avoid the necessity althogether. Many times I walk around I see people with the SA of a Fucking Rock (henceforth: SAOFR). Example: A girl walking on the sidewalk. Shopping bags hung on her elbow, headset blasting music in her ears, head down intent on staring at the screen of her smartphone, fingers busy typing whatever super important gossip she’s sharing with her girlfriends. This is the victim mentality. The voice in her head says “It’ll never happen to me.”

Wrong.

It will happen to her. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. Most people who snatch purses and phones do not plan their actions. They do not stalk a target for hours or days, learning her routine. They see an opportunity, and they pounce on it. Same with rape, robbery etc. They see a person so unaware of her surroundings, presenting a nice, juicy target too good to pass up. Thus they commit the crime.

Maintaining proper SA will avoid this situation. If she’s aware of the people around her,where the most obvious threats are, where safest routes are, she will be safe. Instead of that ill lit, empty corridor in the mall, she could take note of that and chose instead to go through the main thoroughfare with a lot of people. She can avoid that alley where unsavory men seem to hang out and instead take a more circuitous – but safer – route home. She is prepared to react in a moment’s notice, either to run, scream, lash out, if she hears something coming up fast behind her. She puts herself in a position where the possibility of threat against her is dramatically reduced. She understands her environment, the dynamics of the people within her immediate sphere of interest, and will manage to Observe, Orient, Decide and Act accordingly (this is known as the OODA loop).

Second. Carry the right tools. There are plenty of options for less-lethal self defense. A stun gun will work well, for instance, and you can get this relatively cheaply. A stun gun works by electrocuting its target with several thousand volts of electricity. This will lock their central nervous system. Now, you’re not Batman the crime fighter. When you stun that robber/potential rapist, don’t stand there trying to restrain him. Don’t stand there stomping his head against the pavement (because that’d be murder, see?). What do you do? You run. You clear the area. Get to a safe place. Then call the police, your friends, whatever. Another option is the collapsible baton. However this requires training and strength to use. But with the right mindset and will, you can do a lot of hurt. Another tool in the tool box is a pepper spray or CS gas spray. CS is basically tear gas. With these, however, you need to note at least where you are and the opponent is, to avoid getting hit and incapacitated yourself. Also note that there are people (a small portion of the human population) that are unaffected by these agents. My recommendation is to carry two devices, allowing you to have a back up device just in case.

Again, the objective here is not to close with and destroy your enemy. Leave that to the Infantry. The objective here is to provide you with that window to escape and end the threat.

One thing that most people forget is to train yourself. Its not enough to have a stun gun and a pepper spray, for instance, drop them in your purse, and forget about it. These devices have safety locks. Once you acquire these items you need to train with it. When the first time you fumble with your fingers, under the stress of an imminent threat, to deploy these tools against an attacker, you’re already lost. When you have to frantically rummage around your oversized purse (never do understand that with women) to find that pepper spray, that man is already on top you.

What you need to do is plan on how you will deploy these tools to potentially save your lives or your loved ones’. Many lady’s purses have separate compartments, for instance, where you can drop these tools. There are pros and cons to this. The pros are, among others, you always know where they are, and they are separate from the rest of your stuff. Meaning that you don’t have to look for them if you need them. The cons are that these compartments are often enclosed with a zipper, forcing you to deal with that first before gaining access to the tools. Leaving the zipper open or halfway open maybe a solution for this.

After this planning, then you train. Carry that purse around the house. Imagine scenarios where you have to pull the devices quickly, disengage the safety, and deploy them against an attacker. Figure out the best solution that works for you. Stand in front of a mirror with your purse in the carry position, and ‘practice your draw’. Shooters do this all the time to allow themselves to see how they are pulling out their pistols from their holsters and see what they are doing wrong. You should do this as well. Get to know your tools intimately. You need to be able to draw, disengage the safety, and deploy these tools by touch. Your fingers should know exactly what to do to activate these devices.

Personally, I EDC (everyday carry) three items with me at all times: A folding knife, a flashlight and a Leatherman Wave multitool. UNDERSTAND: These are NOT weapons, although they will function as such as a last resort. These are TOOLS, because I want to be PREPARED. A folding knife, for instance, will help me cut away my seatbelt if I am involved in an auto accident and need to get out of the vehicle fast while the seatbelt mechanism is jammed. A flashlight is useful if I’m in a situation where the power goes out and I need to escape in darkness.

The third step is willingness. A lot of people are victims of crimes because they are unwilling to fight to defend themselves. I point an accusing finger straight at a society that teaches that violence is not the solution, and to be abhored at all costs. Hippies and bleeding hearts. The so called ‘progressives.’ Wrong. Violence, like everything else, is  tool. It can be the difference between life and death.

Lets take a woman. Say you’re about to be attacked, raped. Even unarmed there are plenty of things you can use to put a hurt on your attacker. Not to kill him (although if that’s the outcome then, well, good for you), but to deter him long enough for you to make your escape and alert others of your situation. You have long nails. You can use it on their eyes. The human eyes are jelly. You can penetrate and cause permanent damage easily if you have the will to commit. You have teeth. You can use it on their necks. Its just flesh. You can rip out chunks of flesh and aorta if you have to. You have your knees, your hands, your elbows, your head. What you NEED is the will to actually do it. The will to realize that, “Okay self. Fight or flight? Flight is impossible at this moment. So fight. Fight fast. Fight brutally. Fight violently.” Its you or him and goddammit, you had better come out on top.

Again, I must emphasize, this is not for you to go Chuck Norris and karate move his ass to submission. This is for you to get him to step off and away from you, distracted by his own pain/wounds/predicament, thus allowing you – the potential victim – to clear the area fast and find help and/or get to safety.

Part of the willingness is also the willingness to take pain. KNOW for a fact that you’re gonna get hurt fighting back. KNOW that that pain, that dislocated shoulder or broken finger or bloody lip or broken nose, is NOTHING compared to the shit you’ll be in if he rapes you, or stabs you. If you don’t mind the pain, you’ll fight through and be safe. This also applies to protecting your loved ones. I’d rather take the punishment, have my ribs broken for instance, but successfully escaping with my loved ones rather than allowing them to be victimized unprotected.

So. BLUF: SA, Tools, Willingness. The three basic tenets of self defense that you need to understand. Walking around with your head up your ass is a recipe for disaster.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for this one! Make me aware I should carry the paper spray too.

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