Non-lethal Self Defense
When some scumbag picks you as a target for an assault, you need to defend yourself.
Your alternative is to just stand there and let them have their way with you, and if that’s your choice then I hope you have a close friend or family member available to identify your body at the morgue.
Compliance with criminals is a fools game, defending yourself is your only sane choice.
Some will tell you not to defend yourself, but to call the police because they will protect you. Unfortunately, they leave out the part where “when you’re being attacked, and every second counts… The police are just “minutes” away”.
I won’t tell you “not” to call the police, but if they are your only strategy for protecting yourself and your family, then you my friend are a crime statistic waiting to happen.
You are your own first line of self defense… Plain and simple.
I’ve had a lot of people say to me “if someone attacks me I’ll just kill them”.
While this sounds good, and makes them feel powerful within the comfort of their own minds, in reality when push comes to shove very few people are truly prepared to take the life of another human (even in self defense).
There’s also the legal implications. If someone threatens your life with a deadly weapon, you may be within your rights to kill them in self defense (if you can prove to a judge that your life was truly in jeopardy). But if someone merely tries to intimidate you with their physical size, and you put three 9mm holes in their chest, you’re probably going to prison for manslaughter at least.
There’s many ways to defend yourself. You don’t always need to kill someone just to protect yourself!
On the other hand, when we prepare ourselves with non-lethal methods of self defense, most people will be more willing to take action without the hesitation that accompanies the moral dilemma of taking a life.
So, what are some forms of non-lethal self defense?
First there’s avoidance.
Avoiding crime in the first place seems like an obvious way to protect yourself from crime. But here’s a reality check for you… Unless you live in a fortress, surrounded by armed guards and a moat (with alligators in it) and you never leave your fortress, there’s always a chance that some wannabe mugger or rapist is going to be in the same place, at the same time, as you.
It may never happen, but do you really want to bet your life on it? So while avoiding crime is a great place to start, it’s not an “end-all” solution to self defense. You still need to be able to defend yourself (just in case).
Next there’s verbal self defense.
Verbal self defense basically means using your voice for self defense.
Verbal self defense can be anything from mumbling to yourself in an angry tone (so your aggressor simply thinks you’re “nuts” and leaves you alone). Or it can be aggressively threatening your attacker (possibly causing them to realize they picked the wrong person to mess with). Or it can be talking to them in a calm, cold voice and saying something like “I really don’t want to go back to prison again, you need to go find yourself someone else to pick on today” – or perhaps – “I’m a cop you fucking moron, and if I have to spend hours filling out paperwork for arresting you on my day off, I’m going to make your time in lock-up a living hell. Now leave before I change my mind”.
These are all just examples of course, each situation is somewhat different and you’ll need to decide for yourself if you want to try any of them.
Another form of verbal self defense is to scream “FIRE” or “RAPE” or “HELP” and try to attract the attention of others in the area. Most criminals don’t want an audience, and if you attract unwanted attention to them they may take off in search of a quieter target. If you’re unable to scream, for whatever reason (physical or psychological) then consider buying a personal panic alarm to do the screaming for you.
Which brings me to our next form of non-lethal self defense…
Self defense devices.
Personal alarms, pepper sprays, stun guns… These are all non-lethal self defense items. I’ve already written many articles about each of these, and there’s many other items I could mention, but this post is already starting to get a bit long, so right now I’ll just give you a basic rundown of these three.
Personal Panic Alarms:
Personal alarms are small (usually battery operated) devices that work by either pushing a button or pulling a pin from the device. They sound a loud siren type noise that can often send an attacker running off in search of a less noisy target. At the very least they can attract attention to your situation and possibly bring assistance from people nearby.
You can read more about personal alarms in one of my other articles here
Pepper sprays are one of the most popular non-lethal self defense weapons. They contain Oleoresin Capsicum (concentrated chili pepper juice) which can disable most attackers for 1/2 hour or more.
The effects of pepper spray are a burning sensation on the skin, swelling of the capillaries in the eyes (causing profuse tearing and a burning sensation), and inflammation of the mucus membranes in the nose, throat and lungs (causing difficulty breathing).
You can read more about pepper sprays in one of my other articles here
Stun devices work by introducing a high impulse current of electricity directly to the muscles of your attacker, thereby over-riding the body’s voluntary muscle control and temporarily disabling the person for 5 or 10 minutes.
You can read more about stun devices in one of my other articles here
These self-defense devices are all good methods of “non-lethal” self defense, but one major limitation to all of them is if you forget to carry them with you, they won’t do you any good at all.
Which brings me to my final recommendation (as far as this post is concerned)…
Learn some self defense techniques!
Everything I’ve mentioned here so far is great, but if you can’t avoid an attacker… and you can’t talk your way out of it… and you don’t have a self defense weapon handy… All you’ve got left is your physical ability (and willingness) to fight back.
You need to be prepared to fight back!
If you don’t have a lot of time and money to become a trained self defense fighter, at least learn one or two techniques and practice them over and over again until you can perform them quickly and decisively.
A couple examples are…
Practice performing a basic eye jab with each hand 100 times in the mirror (don’t actually jam your fingers into the mirror, it’s glass, and you’ll either break your fingers or cut them on broken glass) but use the mirror for target accuracy and speed training.
Practice reaching behind you and squeezing a handful of someone testicles in case you’re ever grabbed from behind. Hold a tennis ball in your hand and each time you reach back squeeze the ball hard. This will get you in the habit of squeezing when you reach back, and it will improve your squeezing ability and hand strength.
These are just a couple examples. If you want to learn some more advanced techniques, check out our line of instructional self defense DVDs
The point is this… learn one or two self defense techniques, then practice them 100 times (or 1000 times) until they become second nature to you. To quote Bruce Lee “I don’t fear the man who’s practiced 10,000 kicks one time, I fear the man who’s practiced one kick 10,000 times”.
To wrap it up let me just say this…
Self defense is your personal right and your personal responsibility. If you believe putting a bullet into someone’s head is the best self defense, then I guess that’s your choice (some say it’s better to be judged by 12 in a courtroom, than carried by 6 in a box)
But if you’re not prepared to kill another human you need to at least be prepared to defend yourself through non-lethal methods.
This article is by Steve at www.naselfdefenseproducts.com