Hello FernandoHi Oscar, thanks for your email. Unfortunately that’s the situation in many countries. USA is pretty unique regard truly having citizens that enjoy the right to defend their lives, the most precious right any living creature has. It’s shameful that no other country has a Second Amendment, or down right prohibits the right to self-defense.
I just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for your excellent book and advice. I ordered it a couple of years ago, and just re-read it. I recently had cause to be grateful.
Here in the UK as the world crisis beds in, we are seeing more and more desperate people, who have no entitlement to benefits, and no jobs, and no money. I was coming home from the train station one evening and felt someone far too close to me on an uncrowded pavement. I stopped and let the guy go past. He then stopped and let me go past. I turned off into the park which is on my way. He did too, closing fast. I stopped, turned to face him, looked straight at him keeping my face neutral, shifted my shoulders and adjusted my grip on my bag. He stopped, turned and walked away.
In the UK we are constrained about what we can carry or use in self-defence – basically, if you carry anything as a weapon, you’ll be arrested. You can hit somebody with something you have about you, but you can’t carry anything whose primary function is a weapon. So a long-haired woman could use a hairbrush as a kubotan/yawara stick in fighting off an assailant, but a bald guy using a hairbrush would be arrested. Crazy, but true.
The above means that situational awareness is all the more important in keeping yourself safe on the streets. A bit of attitude helps too, as well as a certain amount of self-defence training.
It’s getting bad here Fernando, in a very low-key way. Two of our neighbours have been burgled by locals, our pal has had her scooter stolen in broad daylight, and the kid who works down the garage and babysits my boy sometimes was nearly car-jacked two weeks ago. None of this is reported or discussed and everyone wants to maintain the fiction that things are alright and there’s no crisis, but for those of us with our ears to the ground, the signs are all there.
Keep up the good work and many thanks
Oscar in UK
It’s not all hopeless though and there’s several strategies you can approach to improve your chances of survival during a life threatening attack. The first is asking your attacker to wait until you call the police so he can be arrested. Now this may or may not work since scientist from Cambridge University have found out that 99.999% of criminals will not wait calmly for an officer to show up and arrest them. In that case you may have to fend for yourself, and since in many parts of the world its illegal to carry any sort of weapon, you’ll have to improvise.
An element many of us carry daily for writing and signing documents is the humble pen. The classic Cross that I use most often could be easily carried clipped to the pocket on your vest or pants. A relatively pointy metal object, if I had to improvise I could use it. Remember that a weapon is anything that increases your potentiality for defense or attack. A weapon can be a handgun, but also a knife, a fork, a pen or even a key jammed into an attacker’s eye. While there are specific tactical pens out there, a solid pen, preferably made of metal, can do as well.
Smith & Wesson SWPENBK Tactical Pen, Black
A local police officer told me once of how he used a flashlight once to control suspect, hitting him over the head with the crown bezel, it ripped off a strip of scalp. The head tends to bleed a lot, and blood pouring into your attacker’s eye can be very dissuasive. A perfectly legal and practical tool to have with you at all times, the right flashlight can be used both to startle with the strobe or as an improvised impact weapon.
SureFire E2D LED Defender Dual-Output LED (200 Lumens)
Each country has its own restrictions but there’s still something you can legally carry if you look into it. Any knife is better than no knife. I simply couldn’t go through life without a cutting tool and anyone that carries a knife knows what I mean. One of the first mankind’s tools, a blade is a tool used for life in general, and on occasions yes, it can be used for defense as well if you don’t have something better at your disposal. Make sure that what you practice and train applies to the tools you carry as well.
Spyderco UK Penknife Gray FRN Leaf Blade PlainEdge Knife
It’s a very good option where firearms are illegal, but in some of the most draconian countries even these are illegal. If you happen to have with you a small can of deodorant spray, or some other spray, especially if oily or irritates in some way, you could use it as an improvised defensive spray. Do not expect much from it, bt it just may surprise and temporarily startle your attacker buying you a few seconds.
Sabre Pepper Spray Home & Away Protection Kit
WD-40 11010 Multi-Purpose Spray, 3 Oz.
Box Cutter/Snap blade
Lots of us use these for a number of tasks. It could be carried for repairs, opening packages, making models, a variety of office work, if you happen to have a box cutter or carpet cutter with you the razor sharp blade can be used for cutting. Given the fragile nature of the snap blades, I’d avoid thrusting with them and go more for slashing.
Tajima LC-301 Stainless Steel Auto Lock with 3/8 in. 13-pt. Endura snap-blade
Sheffield Tools 12256 Self Locking Snap Off Knife
Umbrellas, canes and walking sticks
Any of these can be used as an improvised impact weapon. Remember that we’re talking of not carrying any of this with intent, but it may just be what you have at hand when the attack takes place. A solid cane or walking stick would do very well. There’s an umbrella called, unbreakable umbrella with is extremely resistant. Work looking into it.
GustBuster Classic 48-Inch Automatic Golf Umbrella (Black)
Cold Steel City Stick with Aluminum Head
The Most Important part
During my most recent trip to US I had the mentioned metal Cross pen and a MTE flashlight. I didn’t feel well armed by any means but I knew I wasn’t completely defenseless either and my chances in a fight were much better thanks to those items I had with me. Never forget that the first and most important tool for defense and survival is our brain, the weapon we may carry or improvise but how smart we are, how well we react and the tactic we apply will always be more important. Laws may restrict this or that, but knowledge can never be restricted. If you train with stick fighting you might one day use a broom or umbrella for defense, if you know how to use a kubotan you may one day improvise with a short stick of marker.
Be smart, train and learn as much as you can,
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