If you are serious about self-defense

Bill Mattocks

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We talk about self-defense. We discuss knife vs gun, the best EDC gear, the best tactical this and that, and many of us ignore, year after year, the necessary preparations for real self-defense against the dangers we are most likely to face.

Fire. Where are your fire extinguishers? Are they up to date? Where are your smoke detection devices? Do they work? Can you get out of your house in an emergency, at night, while crawling on the floor? Do you have a rally point where everyone meets? People die every year rushing back into burning houses to rescue family members who are already safely out.

Weather. Do you have a shelter area? Do you have what you need in it? I'm not talking about all out prepping or bomb shelters, but where you'll huddle until the storm blows over and power is restored. Weather is becoming more extreme. That trend will continue. Do you know how to track weather and identify dangerous conditions without turning on the TV or looking online? Do you have a weather radio that works?

Do you have the medical supplies you need? Medical records? Power of attorney, living wills, deeds and titles? Can you access copies if your home is lost or you can't get to it? Spare eyeglasses or medical appliances?

Is your insurance up to date, will it replace everything you have now, versus when you bought it? Are you covered against various perils, including new ones from changes in climate?

Are your immunizations up to date? Do you get annual comprehensive health, eye, and dental checkups?

There are a lot of resources available for free or at low cost. FEMA teaches free classes. CDC and NIH have loads of medical resources and recommendations for health care precautions at every age. Many health insurance companies offer downloadable legal documents regarding health care directives like power of attorney and living wills, DNR and the like.

Local fire departments will inspect your home and make fire prevention recommendations if you ask.

Self-defense is more than just defending against physical attack. Most of us are more likely to fall off a ladder or have a kitchen grease fire than to be mugged.
 

isshinryuronin

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We talk about self-defense. We discuss knife vs gun, the best EDC gear, the best tactical this and that, and many of us ignore, year after year, the necessary preparations for real self-defense against the dangers we are most likely to face.

Fire. Where are your fire extinguishers? Are they up to date? Where are your smoke detection devices? Do they work? Can you get out of your house in an emergency, at night, while crawling on the floor? Do you have a rally point where everyone meets? People die every year rushing back into burning houses to rescue family members who are already safely out.

Weather. Do you have a shelter area? Do you have what you need in it? I'm not talking about all out prepping or bomb shelters, but where you'll huddle until the storm blows over and power is restored. Weather is becoming more extreme. That trend will continue. Do you know how to track weather and identify dangerous conditions without turning on the TV or looking online? Do you have a weather radio that works?

Do you have the medical supplies you need? Medical records? Power of attorney, living wills, deeds and titles? Can you access copies if your home is lost or you can't get to it? Spare eyeglasses or medical appliances?

Is your insurance up to date, will it replace everything you have now, versus when you bought it? Are you covered against various perils, including new ones from changes in climate?

Are your immunizations up to date? Do you get annual comprehensive health, eye, and dental checkups?

There are a lot of resources available for free or at low cost. FEMA teaches free classes. CDC and NIH have loads of medical resources and recommendations for health care precautions at every age. Many health insurance companies offer downloadable legal documents regarding health care directives like power of attorney and living wills, DNR and the like.

Local fire departments will inspect your home and make fire prevention recommendations if you ask.

Self-defense is more than just defending against physical attack. Most of us are more likely to fall off a ladder or have a kitchen grease fire than to be mugged.
Good addition to the kinds of self-defense that can help us survive dangerous situations. We can add these things to defense against physical attack and situational awareness. Once you have made yourself as immune to danger and risk as reasonably possible, you are able to go on the offensive in life with more confidence as you've got your backside covered.

One more item to add: Having a support system in place such as family, friends and strategic contacts can act as reinforcements (financial, knowledge, needed skills that we don't possess) and morale boosters. Add this to all the above and we can devote ourselves to reach our full potential and minimize Mr. Murphy's certain intervention.
 

Jared Traveler

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We talk about self-defense. We discuss knife vs gun, the best EDC gear, the best tactical this and that, and many of us ignore, year after year, the necessary preparations for real self-defense against the dangers we are most likely to face.

Fire. Where are your fire extinguishers? Are they up to date? Where are your smoke detection devices? Do they work? Can you get out of your house in an emergency, at night, while crawling on the floor? Do you have a rally point where everyone meets? People die every year rushing back into burning houses to rescue family members who are already safely out.

Weather. Do you have a shelter area? Do you have what you need in it? I'm not talking about all out prepping or bomb shelters, but where you'll huddle until the storm blows over and power is restored. Weather is becoming more extreme. That trend will continue. Do you know how to track weather and identify dangerous conditions without turning on the TV or looking online? Do you have a weather radio that works?

Do you have the medical supplies you need? Medical records? Power of attorney, living wills, deeds and titles? Can you access copies if your home is lost or you can't get to it? Spare eyeglasses or medical appliances?

Is your insurance up to date, will it replace everything you have now, versus when you bought it? Are you covered against various perils, including new ones from changes in climate?

Are your immunizations up to date? Do you get annual comprehensive health, eye, and dental checkups?

There are a lot of resources available for free or at low cost. FEMA teaches free classes. CDC and NIH have loads of medical resources and recommendations for health care precautions at every age. Many health insurance companies offer downloadable legal documents regarding health care directives like power of attorney and living wills, DNR and the like.

Local fire departments will inspect your home and make fire prevention recommendations if you ask.

Self-defense is more than just defending against physical attack. Most of us are more likely to fall off a ladder or have a kitchen grease fire than to be mugged.
Hello from Ukraine! Great post. Certainly where I am now people are thinking about these things, and living it every day.

I think these topics should be classified under "Security Risk Management" to include subcategories like Risk Assessment, Risk Transfer, Risk Avoidance, Security Training, Crisis Contingency Planning, Risk Management, Safety Training, Self-defense and other categories.

Self-defense being just a small subcategory of many topics you brought up.

Once we understand self-defense is a small component of a complete plan, we can much better prepare for realistic "Predictable Tragedies."
 

punisher73

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100% agree. Back when I still taught classes, ALL of my kids classes had to do a fire plan and a sketch of their house with their rally point, where the fire extinguishers were. Even how to dial 911. As STUPID as that sounds. I would ask kids who to call in an emergency and they could all answer "911" and then if you ask them what the phone number was, they didn't know how to actually call it. Of course, many phone have that automatic now, but do they know how to use it. But, even for adults, they have found that in many businesses adults couldn't call 911 because in a panic they would forget that they might have to dial another number to get an outside line.

Just as an aside, for those of us who live in Michigan or other states that have lots of snow/ice. How many regularly practice "breakfalls"?

I have used that skill more than any other physical skill that I teach. It is inevitable to slip/fall at some point in your life in the wintery North.
 

Gerry Seymour

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While I don't classify any of this as self-defense, it's all good practice. And much of it is more likely to be actually useful than physical self-defense (fighting) skills, for most of us.

I'll add to this list getting some training beyond CPR. First aid is good, first responder training is better. If you want to be prepared for the situations where you might not have quick access to medical care, etc., then Wilderness First Responder addresses that. Unfortunately, it's not usually cheap, and takes a week of your life in most places.
 

Steve

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While I don't classify any of this as self-defense, it's all good practice. And much of it is more likely to be actually useful than physical self-defense (fighting) skills, for most of us.

I'll add to this list getting some training beyond CPR. First aid is good, first responder training is better. If you want to be prepared for the situations where you might not have quick access to medical care, etc., then Wilderness First Responder addresses that. Unfortunately, it's not usually cheap, and takes a week of your life in most places.
I agree with you that much of what is in the first post isn't what I would consider "self defense." I think what Bill nails here is that self defense is contextual, and on that I agree with him completely. We've had many discussions here about this very topic. Self defense for a homeless person is different than for a white collar worker, or a bar tender, or a cop, or a soldier, or a senior citizen, or a civil servant,a etc.

I think if you want to learn how to fight, there's pretty much only one way to do that effectively. But if you want to learn to be more safe, learning to fight may not be all that helpful.
 

GojuTommy

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Constantly expanding the definition of self defense seems pointless and just blurs the line with emergency preparedness/prepping which imho just reinforces the hyper violent action movie tendencies of American preppers.

Lets keep the concepts separate
 

Steve

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Constantly expanding the definition of self defense seems pointless and just blurs the line with emergency preparedness/prepping which imho just reinforces the hyper violent action movie tendencies of American preppers.

Lets keep the concepts separate
I agree for the most part, but there is some value I think in folks thinking about what self defense means to them. The term is squishy (at best) and we have discussions around here that devolve pretty quickly because folks are using the term with very different things in mind. At the very least, it's good to have thought it through enough to be able to say, "This is what I mean when I say 'self defense.'"
 

GojuTommy

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I agree for the most part, but there is some value I think in folks thinking about what self defense means to them. The term is squishy (at best) and we have discussions around here that devolve pretty quickly because folks are using the term with very different things in mind. At the very least, it's good to have thought it through enough to be able to say, "This is what I mean when I say 'self defense.'"
I agree its good to have discussions airing out what people mean when they use certain terms, but i think the very first post already goes well beyond the topic of self defense.

Now if were talking about is it self defense if you could apologize to diffuse the situation, but choose not to and the other person throws the first punch. Or is it only self defense if theres no other reasonable way out of the situation but having to fight. Thats an understandable discussion to have. But is a fire extinguisher part of self defense, is having extra fuel for cooking and heating part of self defense, isnt really a reasonable discussion imho.
 

Steve

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I agree its good to have discussions airing out what people mean when they use certain terms, but i think the very first post already goes well beyond the topic of self defense.

Now if were talking about is it self defense if you could apologize to diffuse the situation, but choose not to and the other person throws the first punch. Or is it only self defense if theres no other reasonable way out of the situation but having to fight. Thats an understandable discussion to have. But is a fire extinguisher part of self defense, is having extra fuel for cooking and heating part of self defense, isnt really a reasonable discussion imho.
Totally understand. I would guess that a non traditional definition of the term is exactly what the OP had in mind, though he has been conspicuously absent from the discussion.

Theres a term in politics called the Overton window. This is kind of like that. You say things that are intentionally provocative. The goal isnt to convince people of that, but to move the discussion closer to that. So in this case, its not to convince you that a fire extinguisher is self defense. Rather, its to widen the discussion of what can be considered self defense to things not typically considered.
 

GojuTommy

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Totally understand. I would guess that a non traditional definition of the term is exactly what the OP had in mind, though he has been conspicuously absent from the discussion.

Theres a term in politics called the Overton window. This is kind of like that. You say things that are intentionally provocative. The goal isnt to convince people of that, but to move the discussion closer to that. So in this case, its not to convince you that a fire extinguisher is self defense. Rather, its to widen the discussion of what can be considered self defense to things not typically considered.
And yet if he teaches I doubt hes showing people how to use fire extinguishers in his classes.
 

Buka

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100% agree. Back when I still taught classes, ALL of my kids classes had to do a fire plan and a sketch of their house with their rally point, where the fire extinguishers were. Even how to dial 911. As STUPID as that sounds. I would ask kids who to call in an emergency and they could all answer "911" and then if you ask them what the phone number was, they didn't know how to actually call it. Of course, many phone have that automatic now, but do they know how to use it. But, even for adults, they have found that in many businesses adults couldn't call 911 because in a panic they would forget that they might have to dial another number to get an outside line.

Just as an aside, for those of us who live in Michigan or other states that have lots of snow/ice. How many regularly practice "breakfalls"?

I have used that skill more than any other physical skill that I teach. It is inevitable to slip/fall at some point in your life in the wintery North.
You said a mouthful about slipping and falling. I was headed into work one day, my hands full of food containers for a Christmas party. Slipped on some black ice, went up in the air, and thankfully, broke my fall when I hit the cement. Only got a sore hand from the hard slap to the frozen ground.

My food containers were all glass, though. Three of them broke, Italian food all over the place. Had to clean it up. But I was okay. Thank goodness for Martial Arts.
 

Steve

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You said a mouthful about slipping and falling. I was headed into work one day, my hands full of food containers for a Christmas party. Slipped on some black ice, went up in the air, and thankfully, broke my fall when I hit the cement. Only got a sore hand from the hard slap to the frozen ground.

My food containers were all glass, though. Three of them broke, Italian food all over the place. Had to clean it up. But I was okay. Thank goodness for Martial Arts.
Reminds me of a NATO exercise in Germany. Coming out of the snack bar with arms full of pop tarts, bags of chips, packs of smokes and cans of soda. And an M16 over my shoulder. Slipped on some ice, food went everywhere. And to add insult to injury, the alarm went off right then, and a NATO evaluator appeared literally out of nowhere and I ended up with a sucking chest wound. I'm lying there on the ground watching my soda can roll away, and ended up spending the next 10 hours filling sandbags because I was a dumbass. Good times.
 
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