Request for Comments: Newbies Guide to Self Defense


Feb 3, 2005
Reaction score
Huber Heights, OH
This is, as the name suggests, a quick guide to Self Defense that I've been slowing writing for another forum (rec.martial-arts, aka RMA). It is still a work in progress and several sections are, as yet, incomplete such as Subjects 10, 11, and 12.

Suggestions, corrections, re-writes, and submissions are requested.

Don't hesitate to e-mail me privately if you wish:

Thank you

RMA Newbies Guide to Self Defense
Version 0.17
Kirk Lawson


Subject: 1 - Table of Contents

1 - Table of Contents
2 - Introduction
3 - Out And About
4 - In The Car
5 - At Home
6 - Identity Theft
7 - Women's Self Defense
8 - Martial Arts
9 - Physical Condition
10 - Deadly Force and the Force Continuum
11 - Guns And Other Weapons
12 - Involving Friends And Family
13 - Suggested Reading
14 - Disclaimer and Copyright Notice


Subject: 2 - Introduction

Self Defense. What is it, why do you need it, and do you need to be a
Gunslinger or Bruce Lee in order to have it?

It seems that more and more people are interested in Self Defense today.
Though the likelihood of being a victim of Violent Crime is comparatively
small, there are some places that it is higher than others. Combined with the
seeming media frenzy associated with Violent Crime and the complementary
Public fascination with it, more people than ever are considering what Self
Defense is and how they can get some of it.

Simply put, Self Defense is preventing someone from intentionally harming you
and hopefully this Guide will give you some insight and tips for improving
your ability at Self Defense.

Before we go on you should know that Self Defense is more than just physical
capabilities. Though that is an aspect, there are many other non-physical
aspects. The "mental" capabilities are arguably far more important then being
big and strong or able to "fight."

In this Guide we will, therefore, look at common situations and locations
where Self Defense is appropriate. We will try to put to a template and a
general mind set to it while answering basic questions.


Subject: 3 - Out And About

[While out with Friends]
Perhaps it's the exuberance of youth or just group dynamics, but going "out"
with your friends often puts you in a position where you need to consider Self
Defense. You're usually going somewhere to do something and are distracted,
absorbed in having a good time with good friends. In this situation, you may
miss subtle clues that can warn you of impending danger. The advice is to
keep a "Situational Awareness" about you. You don't have to be paranoid, just
observant. When you enter a place, either outdoors or indoors, glance around.
Note potentially dangerous people, exits, places where someone with nefarious
intent might be hiding. When it's appropriate, look up too. There are alway
balconies and the like in the most unusual places.

When walking on the street, continue to use your Situational Awareness. Be
aware of where you're at and where you're going. Don't get distracted, or at
the very least, don't *apear* distracted. *Look* like you know where you're
going and what you're doing. Don't look lost. A lot of this is communicated
in your bearing and body language. Keep your shoulders erect and eyes up.
Glance around casually as you walk. Again, you should keep note of places
where someone might hide or suddenly accost you as well as your fellow
pedestrians. Don't be afraid to cross the street if you feel that something
on one side is somehow threatening. Therein is a secret that so many people
miss. Pay attention to your "feelings." If something about an area or place
makes you feel "uncomfortable" then heed the warning and change locations.
Your subconcious may have noted something that you didn't conciously percieve
and is trying like the dickens to warn you. How often have victims later
said, "I knew something felt wrong but I just ignored it because I didn't want
to seem rude or paranoid?"

Finally, a note about "Friends." Often companions are the source of the
danger. Some friends like to start fights, are overly agressive, or beligerant
in some situations. They can initiate "trouble." As the old saying goes,
"With friends like that, who needs enemies?" You may be best off not
maintaining a friendship with such people. At the very least you may wish to
be discriminating about where and when you go with these friends or control
what venues you acompany these friends to, such as restricting it to private,
in home activities.

[In a Bar or Establishment]
One common activity while "Out and About" is to visit an establishment that
serves liquor for the purposes of consuming or being with people who intend to
consume liquor. Studies show that alcohol is a factor in the majority of
violent encounters. It affects people's judgement and thought processes.
While you can not always predict when encountering a third party if that
person has been drinking you can reasonably forsee when your own actions will
likely place you in the proximity of people consuming alcohol and take steps
to be prepared. Pay extra attention to circumstances and the demenor of those
around you. If it appears that someone is going to become violent or
agressive, leave the area. While in the bar or establishment, pay attention
to your suroundings. Make note of "bottlenecks" that could impeed your
movements. Note furniture, recesses, and balconies. Also importantly, note
all of the exits.

[While in the Restroom]
Restrooms are often not considered for "Self Defense" yet they are, like
anywhere else, a target of opportunity for both men and women. The threat is
usually that of theft. Never set down a handbag, wallet, shopping bag, or
other item, particularly on the washbasin counter. These become tempting
targets for thieves who can distract you and make off with your valuables
before you are aware of the theft. Keep your valuables with you. Loop them
over your shoulder or take them with you into a stall.

Though theft is the most common threat in restrooms, there is, of course, the
threat of physical assault. Restrooms are attractive places for physical
attacks because they tend to be small areas, thus limiting movement, are
usually sectioned off from the general public, making them more "private," and
often have only one entrance, thus limiting options for the victim to escape.

Be aware of who enters with you or behind you, particularly when there are very
few other occupants in the restroom. Take note of who is in the Restroom before
you. When possible don't turn your back to the area.

To that end some advise men to avoid using urinals. Use, instead, the stalls
and latch the door. One individual related a story in which the victim of a
restroom assault had his feet yanked out from behind him as he stood at the
urinal. Gentlemen, be courteous and polite; do not leave a mess on the seat of
the stall. Others advise against using the stall noting that you lose so much
situational awareness by locking yourself in a "little box" like that. It's
very easy for an atacker to ambush you as you leave the stall. Furthermore, an
attacker may come over the partition at you, and you may be at a disadvantage
inside such a small space. Instead they advise that you are safer at the
urinal. But be prepared to trade some social awkwardness in return for safety.
Keep your head up, don't stare blankly into the urinal like most people do. Use
the mirrors in the bathroom to augment your area of vision. If there aren't
mirrors over the urinal, then turn your head 45 degrees to the side while you
do your business. OK, other people may think you're a "willy watcher," but
that's just a risk you'll have to take. Keep your top button done up so your
pants don't fall down if you have to move quickly. And, seriously, make up your
mind that you may have to spray urine everywhere if you're threatened. It beats
the alternative.

Of course, when possible, use the group. Visit restrooms with a friend so that
you can watch eachother's back.

[Victim Selection]
Some discussion should be given to how criminal preditors select their victims.
It is the general concensus of various "experts" that professional criminals
tend to prefer the "easy mark." They want someone who will easily fall victim
to their threats or con-game and not resist. Naturally, it should be noted
that this is different from "random" violence or sudden "rage" violence.

[The Interview Process]
Some time should be spent here discussing what is sometimes called, "The
Interview Process." This is a "non-violent" precursor to an attack in which
the criminal will "size you up" to determine if you are an acceptable target.
The information he is looking for fits the kind of crime he's hoping to commit.

If it's assault he wants to know if you're capable of resisting him, if you're
likely to, and how. Often it's nothing more than a simple "Hey, buddy!" type
of approach where the criminal walks towards you to see how you respond. If
you put your head down, look away, or kind of curl up, you've just advertised
yourself as a victim. It's pretty simple, really... if you lack the
confidence to look him in the eye, you more than likely lack the confidence to
put up a fight. However, the approach can vary quite widely. Asking the time
is a common approach. The criminal will look for subtle clues of a potential
victim to, when asked for the time such as: Do they hurry up glance at their
watch and stammer out the time? If they don't know the time, do they blurt out
an apology that seems a bit more than necessary? Do they put their heads down
and quicken their pace?

All of these are signs of fear and intimidation. If they simply look him in
the eye and tell him the time, or calmly glance at their watch, and so forth,
it's a good bet they're not intimidated.

Confidence is a major boost in your personal safety. Confidence, at the
very least, makes your potential assailant wonder what you're so confident

If it's a con man or non-violent thief, he wants to find out if you're a good
'Mark'; that is, if you're vulnerable to the con job, susceptible to his coming
patter. If you sound drunk, or intimidated, or just really gullible, you're
making yourself a mark.

One common lead is the "I've lost my bus fare" routine, usually found near bar
districts where folks from out of town are likely to be found. It goes
basically like this: Guy approaches you, says excuse me but he's got a problem
he's out of money and needs bus fare to get back home - which is always a good
distance away. Just a couple bucks would really help him out, ya know?

For the most part, the best way to deal with a con-man interview is to end it
abruptly. Sorry, can't help you. Sorry, not interested. Sorry, now please
excuse me. Maybe next time.

Most important of all, show confidence.

No matter what type of criminal doing the "Interview" they're going to try to
determine if you would make a good victim; if you are compliant and easily
intimidated. If they're doing the interview they already assume you have
something worth stealing - and you're unlikely to convince them otherwise. For
example, if you're walking in a bar district (common place for con-man
interviews) and you tell the guy sorry you have no money, he knows that's
untrue about 90% of the time. If you didn't have money you wouldn't be walking
around the bar district like a tourist.

Unless the goal of the criminal is simple assault, violence and intimidation
for it's own sake, he's not going to bother if you don't have something he
wants to take from you. These criminals are looking for power, to intimidate
you with a threat of violence until you submit to him (this might be nothing
more than your show of fear) or you fight back - and he's already decided,
correctly or not, that he can beat you in a fight.

These guys can be tricky. Some you can just ignore and keep moving, and let
them revel in the fact that you walked away. Others really WANT a fight and
there isn't a lot you can do to persuade them otherwise. Most of this type are
drunks looking to prove how tough they are. Best to stay on your toes, keep
them in sight until you're a good distance away. Be ready for a fight because
if they've decided they're going to fight, they're going to fight.

Part of "The Interview Process" you're not required to participate in. He's
visually sizing you up. Do you look vulnerable? Do you look like you've got
money? Do you appear to have any weapons about your person? Are you part of a
group? Looking the part for the area can be an important method of defense,
though not always possible. You can sometimes use the interview yourself. The
whole point of the interview is to decide if you're a good candidate for
whatever he's got in mind. Let him know that you're not by showing confidence,
a willingness to not be a victim, an unwillingness to consider any proposition
he might have. Be careful though not to appear to be "challenging" him,
particularly in front of his friends.

Some general recomendations:

Looking at the ground is bad. It's especially bad during the "Interview"
phase, but it's bad all of the time. Walking around with your head down is a
sign of weakness, fear, and distraction. Blurting out phases like "don't hurt
me" is bad. To a predator it translates as "I think you can hurt me, and I
think the choice is yours as to whether or not you hurt me."

Never, EVER follow anyone.

It's not uncommon for muggers and rapist to try and lead their victims into
back alleys, isolated lots, and so forth. Often they'll try to play on your
sympathy - say that someone is hurt or trapped. Sometimes they'll just say
they need to show you something. It is amazing but people actually do fall for
this one, especially if they're intoxicated.

As a rule, don't follow them anywhere. If they say someone is hurt, offer to
go get the police. If they tell you they want to show you something, say that
you're not interested - and leave. Be extremely wary of anyone who asks you to
follow them; if all they wanted to do was rob you they usually don't need to go
to those lengths.

This is an especially common tactic for people who target children.

On that same note, avoid dark areas like alleyways, isolated lots, space behind
old buildings, and so forth. Try to park your car in well lighted areas, and
in areas that are not out of sight.

[Walking On The Street]
Again, "be aware" is the watchword. Keep your wits about you. Notice if you
are being followed. Watch for people to specifically change direction to
intercept you. Be warry of criminals looking to "Interview" you. As mentioned
earlier, keep to well lit, populated, areas. Avoid the steriotypical "Dark
Aleys," isolated areas, and places where there are lots of places for a
criminal to hide but few witnesses.

Don't be afraid to cross the street if something or someone on the side you're
walking on makes you nervous or uncomfortable.

[Don't Be a Jerk and Don't Look For a Fight]
The heading sums it up well. If you're looking for trouble, you'll find it.
Unfortunately, if you're not aware, you could be looking for trouble and not
even know it. Be polite and courteous. Remember, "A soft answer turns away
wrath." Be positive. Don't act arrogant. If you bump into someone
accidentally then appologize. Even though you may be quite deadly or a
dangerous person, don't act hauty or try to throw your weight around. You may
be a "big shot" at your job or somewhere else, but ACTING like a big shot will
make people want to take you down a notch. Sometimes these are people you've
never met before. Spend a little energy to be aware of how your actions or
attitude will appear to those around you.

Further, it is well worth your time to learn some verbal deescalation and
conflict management skills. Employ these skills as a second line of defense.
Your first line of defense is awareness and not letting the situation get that
far. Your second line of defense should be learning to deescalate a situation.
It's been said that the best defense is a good offense but often times the best
deffense is not to need a defense in the first place. However you should be
prepared for the possibility that managing the conflict and trying to
deescalate will fail. Your skills, however great, may not be up to the task
with a given individual or the person may be purposely looking for a fight.
A person specifically looking for a fight is simply unlikely to be easily
dissuaded and continued attempts to deescalate will only be taken as a sign of
weakness. Though deescalation should be a cultivated skill, part of that
cultivation should be learning when deescalation just isn't working.


Subject: 4 - In The Car

We often spend a lot of time in our cars. For many they're an indespensable
tool. It should come as no surprise then to hear of the sensationalization of
crimes, especially violent ones, involving vehicles. Car Jackings, Road Rage,
Stolen Vehicles, Break-ins, and the like are all subject to media reports and
justifiable concern.

[Dangers Approaching the Car]
One of the most vulnerable times for Self Defense involving the your car is
transitioning from out of the car to in the car or vice-versa. Often you are
distracted, thinking about something else, or laden with packages or
deliveries. This is particularly true in the holiday seasons.

In this position you may be vulnerable to assault, theft, or even attemped
kidnapping before you know it.

[What To Do]
As always, stay aware. Don't let yourself be distracted. Know what is going
on around you. Be prepared ahead of time to enter or exit your vehicle. Have
your keys at the ready so that you need not fumble with them or be distracted
searching for the right one as you stand beside your car. If you are exiting
your vehicle to enter your home and you are parked outside, ready your house
keys before you exit your vehicle and, when you can, park in the garage

Naturally, always keep your vehicle locked.

As you approach the vehicle evaluate the area to see if someone might enter
your space while you're focused on your car keys. Before you get in your
vehicle glance in the back seat. Glance at the tires to be sure they're

Another option is to approach the car from the passenger side and casually
do a half circuit around the car. This lets you look under, inside, and
around you. It'd be very obvious if someone was following you to your
vehicle at that point and not just walking behind you by happenstance.

Don't leave your packages unattended in the vehicle as you put up the shopping
cart. More importantly, don't leave your _children_ unattended in the vehicle
as you put up the shopping cart. If you must, be sure to lock and close the
doors. This will prevent "grab" thefts or abductions.

[Slash at Ankles]
One common fear, perpetuated by warning e-mails sent by well meaning friends
and concerned family on the internet is a person hiding under the vehicle and
grabbing or slashing at the owner's ankles as he or she enters the vehicle.
This is, fortunately, what is known as an "Urban Legend." There are no known
instances of a criminal hiding under a vehicle with the intention to attack the
owner as he or she approaches and enters the vehicle. However, that doesn't
mean that some dim bulb won't read the warnings and think "hey this is a good
idea, I think I'll try this!" If so, this criminal is in for a rude surprise.
The underside of a vechicle just doesn't make a very good hiding spot from
which to launch an attack. There's little room to manuever, quick movement is
difficult, and the mark could easily escape or draw unwanted attention while
the criminal is negotiating these inherant obstacles not to mention that if
the vehicle has been recently driven the exaust system will likely be searing
hot. Nevertheless, if you wish to err on the side of caution, it is easy to
adapt the previously stated methods to include glancing under the caraige as
you approach your vehicle.

[Dangers in the Car]
A commonly disregarded element is dangers while in the car. This actually
covers quite a wide range that we will likely be unable to completely address.
However we can examine it breifly and you can easily extrapolate from there.

First and formost, make sure that your vehicle is in safe opperating condition.
The drive system, the braking syste, the electrical and signalling system, all
need to be in good working order. If you are unsure take your vehicle to an
ASE certified mechanic and have him perform an inspection. This is so simple
yet so easily overlooked. If your car won't stop, it isn't safe for you or for
anyone else.

Second, ensure that you and your passengers always wear your safety belts.
This is particularly true for children. They don't have the experience to look
out for themselves and depend upon you to look out for them. Make sure that
they wear their safety belts, even if they don't want to. Make sure that the
"Booster Seats" for toddlers and infant seats for babies are properly installed
and not subject to any manufacturer recalls (you can check online if you're
web active or you can call the manufacturer's toll free number). If you are
unsure that the seat is properly installed, take the vehicle and seat to any
Police Station, State Highway Patrol Station, Fire Station, or Emergency
Rescue Station. These professionals will happily assist you. Be sure to
follow all recomendations for installation of child safety seats, including not
installing them in "front seats" that are protected by air bags. The
deployment of an air bag could cause concussive injury to the child. One final
note on child safety seats. Don't buy them used or at a garage sale. You
don't know what has happened to the seat, if it's already been in an accident,
how it has been cared for, or if it has some sort of stress or damage that
would make it unsafe for use. Go ahead and spend the money for a new one; your
child's life is worth it.

Another seldom considered aspect is loose objects in the vehicle seats or
floorboards. Heavy or hard items such as tools and toolboxes can become deadly
projectiles in the event of a rollover. Not too long ago a child in a properly
installed child safety seat was seriously injured when she was struck on the
head during a rollover by a toolbox that had been stored in the floor-board.
Store these types of items in the trunk.

Always keep a second key so you can circle back to your car later and take it
home, particularly if you're thinking about using your keychain to fight off
your attackers and leave it stuck in a wound when you make good your escape,
screaming and blowing your whistle to attract attention.

Keep a set of emergency tools and supplies available and know how to use them.
Consider keeping in your trunk a First Aid kit, fire extinguisher, basic spare
tools, flashlight and/or "glowsticks," disposable camera (for taking photos of
an accident), hunter orange or yellow plastic ponchos, a blanket in case your
vehicle breaks down in cold weather, a cell phone (even a "canceled" cell
phone can dial "911" in case of an emergency), non-perishable food and candy,
water, a transister radio, lighters or matches, and a folding shovel. You may
also want to consider keeping a "Bug Out Bag." This would include items such
as a change of clothing, cold weather gear, including a hat, gloves, scarf,
coat, etc., old boots and the like. In your glovebox, consider keeping a
"seatbelt cutter" and a "windshield breaker," a map of your local area and any
place you're planning on going. Though specially designed tools exist for each
you can often substitute other tools. Additionally, know how to change a tire
on your vehicle in case of a flat, as well as being familiar with your
vehicle's fusebox.

Though obvious, be careful of distracted driving. Only you can say for sure
what is distracted driving for you but you must be honest with yourself. For
some people, speaking on a Cell Phone is quite distracting and they become
dangerous drivers. Many states have passed legislation mandating "hands free"
sets for Cell Phone use in the car. Check to see what your local laws are.
Further, be concious of other distractions such as eating, putting on makeup,
listening to music, having a conversation with passengers, or trying to deal
with rowdy children. If you find anything becoming a distraction, stop the
activity imediately or pull over to the side of the road.

Additionally, be sure to obey all trafic laws and pay attention to trafic
signs. I know it's hard to not speed but sometimes those speed limits are
there for more than just to inconvienence you. Even if you and your vehicle
are perfectly capable of safely exceeding the speed limit, be aware that many
others on the road are not and you could be creating an unsafe environment for
them. Also you may be being an unwitting example for less experienced drivers
who simply lack the years of skills building you have developed to enable them
to drive as safely as you can. There is a reason that insurance companies
charge significantly more to insure inexperienced drivers.

Finally, reign in your agression. Agressive driving seldom accomplishes
anything but to irritate the other drivers you share the road with. Study
after study concludes that agressive driving does not make any significant
difference in helping you reach your destination any faster. However it does
significantly increase the chances of involving you in an accident. Drive
"defensively." This _is_ a "Self _DEFENSE_" guide. Apply defensive tactics to
your driving. If you find this difficult, remember that you are not only
responsable for yourself but also for your passengers. Think about your
children in the backseat before you "get even" with that jerk who just cut you
off. And if you're alone in your vehicle, think about that mother and her
young children two cars back that you just passed. Why should she risk loosing
her children because you got angry while driving?

Melodramatic, I know, but true nonetheless.

A Carjacking takes is name from "Highjacking," or the practice of forcibly
taking a mode of transportation. Carjackers are usually just interested in
taking your car. It's car theft but with the added condition that you are in
or about your car at the time of the theft. This makes it easier for the
Carjacker in that he doesn't have to break into the vehicle or circumvent
your vehicles security systems such as the ingition switch or car alarm. All
he has to do is take the keys from you. If you already have the vehicle
started, so much the better for him. Another danger of Carjacking is that,
occasionally, the Carjacker takes you along with the car.

In the event of a Carjacking, most experts generally advice to just let the
criminal have the vehicle, reasoning, as with your wallet, that your life is
far more valuble than your vehicle.

[What You Can Do]
First, keep your vehicle locked at all times while you are opperating it. Yes,
lock the doors. This sounds simple but is so often overlooked. Why give a
criminal free and easy access to your vehicle just by opening the door?

Second, keep your windows rolled up and use your air conditioner instead. The
amount of energy you save by not running your air conditioner is minimal,
particularly at speed over 35 MPH where open windows create additional wind
resistance and increases fuel consumption.

Third, again, be aware of your environment. Be careful of where you drive and
notice people loitering near "stops" such as stop lights, stop signs, drive-
throughs, and parking lots.

Many experts suggest that, in the event of a Carjacking you simply drive off.
However, according to Tom Herlihy, a Car Security Expert, "A majority of
carjackings and crime against people in motor vehicles happens in urban
environments, where there is traffic that impedes the ability to drive away."
This makes sense because the best environment for a Carjacker to ply his
trade is when your vehicle is already running but you are required to stop for
some reason or another. Nevertheless, though this may not always be possible,
when it _is_ an option, use it.

You should be prepared for the possibility of a Carjacking in which you can not
simply "drive away" or surender your vehicle, such as if you are transporting
your children at the time. In the unhappy chance that this occurs you may be
forced to fight. If so, the fight _hard_. Yell, punch, kick, etc. Attack
him, don't wait for him to attack you. Use whatever weapons come to hand. If
you are already armed, then use that weapon. If you are not armed then use any
weapon of opportunity that comes to hand; coffee mugs, pens or pencils, spare
change to throw at him, etc. Most importantly, don't give up and draw
attention to yourself. Some have suggested that in the event of a Carjacking,
children may not be in a great danger from the Carjacker. He is only
interested in your car, so the reasoning goes, and the children are likely to
be simply dropped off after a few blocks, unharmed. If you wish to take this
chance that is, of course, your decsions, but whatever the case be infomred.
Some sugestions include: Don't forget that the car is a "two ton club" and a
"portable house." If threatened you may be in a position to use the vehicle
as a weapon, either to litterally run over the attacker or as a solid object
to bash the attacker into. "Tire Buddies" and bridge bolts make excelent
improvised weapons. If you choose to keep a knife in your vehicle, use a stout
fixed blade. The pommel will serve to break safety glass and the blade for
hacking at sheet metal or cutting safety belts. If you are abducted but
driving the vehicle, drive at a high rate of speed and crash the car into the
nearest police cruiser you can find. If the bad guy wasn't wearing his
seatbelt, that's just too bad.

[Road Rage]
Road Rage is the phenomenon in which a driver becomes so agry that he or she
decides to take violent action as a result. This violent action may include
such things as side-swiping the offending vehicle, short-stopping in front of
the offending vehicle, tail-gating, following the offending vehicle to its
destination and physically confronting the opperator, forcing the vehicle to
stop on the road and confronting the opperator, or, in extreme circumstances,
using a firearm to shoot at the offending vehicle.

You should know that recent studies have shown that there is no evidence of an
increase or spike in the number of "Road Rage" incidents, a fact that was
recently "reported" on by one of the popular news programs. People going nuts
because of trafic frustrations is really about the same as it has always been.
What has changed is the reporting. "Road Rage" is a scary thing and it has
been making it into the news a lot more than it used to.

You don't need to install bullet proof glas in your car. You can decrease the
likelihood of becoming involved in a "Road Rage" incident by being a polite and
courteous driver. Obey the traffic rules and remember that the other guy may
be going some place too. He might be late for his Anger Management Therapy.


Subject: 5 - At Home

[Securing your Home]

Windows are a common entrace for people with no good intentions. Most often
they enter through a window left open or partially open. Close your windows
and use the window latch to lock them closed. When selecting new windows,
purchace strong, durable windows that have strong latchs. You can also
purchace after market window locks that install to the frame of wooden frame
windows. A simple and inexpensive window block is a dowl cut to size and wedged
between the top sash of the lower window and the top frame.

Do not neglect your second story windows when securing your windows. Criminals
are often creative and clever when it comes to finding ways into your home.

Of course, as any Law Enforcement Officer can tell you, these precautions won't
deter a thouroughly determined criminal. After all, the criminal can simply
smash the window and gain entry. Some alarm systems (discussed later) can
detect a window being broken but that merely provides warning and notification,
it does not prevent the criminal from entering if he so desires. Window bars
or break resistant windows are a natural solution. However both add cost to
securing your home. Further, window bars can prevent emergency exit should
the need arise, such as with a fire, and are often considered unatractive. A
potentially more attractive solution to standard window bars is to employ a
local Artist-Blacksmith if you have one in your area (
He may be able to build you a fancy set of window bars that do not look like
window bars to your design specifications such as flowers or celtic designs.

Finally, you should consider installing and using quality blinds or heavy
drapes. These can prevent snooping, deter criminals trying to get a quick
reconaisance of your house, and help preserve your privacy. You should draw
your blinds or curtains whenever your home is unoccupied for a period of time
such as when you are at work or away for the day.

The entry doors to your home should be of sturdy construction. All metal fire
or "security" doors are a good option. Install a peep hole that can be easily
used by all members of your home. Consider installing two, one at a lower
level, if you have children. Install a quality deadbolt lock.

Do not neglect the doorframe. To put it simly, it doesn't matter how sturdy
and strong your door and lock is if the frame is weak. Most doorframes are
construction quality wood and will easily splinter and break when the door is
struck forcefully. A great number of forced entries show failure where the
lock enters the frame. Consider a reinforced or steel frame for all your entry

Double Doors, French Doors, and Sliding Glass Doors present additional
challenges to security. Consider avoiding these types of doors. If you must
have Double or French Doors, or if you are moving into a house that already has
them, consider reinfocing and securing the doors as you have your other entry
doors. Pay attention to locks, lock settings, and frames. Modern Double and
French Doors designed for entries, besides being of all steel construction and
reinforced glass, often have thow bolts at the top and the bottom of each door
that can slide into the frame for added security. Sliding Glass Doors can be
particularly troublesome. Older models were easy to lift off of their tracks,
the latches tended to be simplistic and ineffective, and were, of course, all
glass. Give serious thought to replacing Sliding Glass Doors with more secure
doors. A simple stop-gap measure to prevent simply forcing the lock and
sliding a Sliding Glass Door open is to block it shut by slipping a wooden dowl
cut to length in the track.

[The Garage]
Protect your garage entries as you would your other home entries. Install all
steel doors and use deadbolt style locks on those doors. This should include
the home entry door from the garage for attached garages. Always keep your
vehicle entry door ("garage door" hereafter) closed when you are not actually
in the garage. If you do not use an automatic garage door opener be sure to
use a quality locking mechanism. If you are using an automatic garage door
opener, be sure to use a modern "coded" or "digital" remote. Older automatic
garage door opener systems used signals that are easily broken or duplicated
by criminals. If your automatic garage door opener predates about 1985 then
replace it.

Shrubs can be either a security enhancement or a security drawback. Shrubs can
be used by criminals to hide behind/in or can be so large as to prevent a
passerby from observing a criminal gimying a window. Especially ones beside
your windows and door. Be careful of the placement and size of ornamental
shrubs near walkways that a criminal may hide behind or in as you pass by or
as you observe from the peephole of your front door.

On the other hand, especially dense shrubs or shrubs with thorns can be an
effective deterant to criminals. Consider placing throny shrubs or bushes
in front of ground floor windows.

According to some horticulturalists, the best, without a shadow of a doubt,
in any anti-thief hedging plant is berberis,(known probably more commonly as

It will grow everywhere and with no care at all, will form a dense hedge packed
with fearsome thorns that will penetrate even plastic coated heavy work gloves.
There are many varieties,most have both pretty flower clusters, good Autumnal
foliage and masses of scarlett berries which birds find irresistable. Another
spiney example would be pyrocanthus.

Roses are spiney yes but suffer from the disadvantage of having to be pruned
regularly and quite harshly and require a lot of supporting when a large dog
rose for example is grown.

If just seclussion is required then the staple tree is Leylandii, but be
warned it grows very quickly shades a large area and many places have placed a
ban on planting them. Your neighbours will not be impressed.

Privet hedging or box is a nice alternative, kept well trimmed it will form a
densely packed barrier, if a little boring. Some favour hazel which has been
trimmed back to form many stems the creamy flowers and Autumn foliage make it a
beautiful alternative to a plain wooden fence or wall.

If you had time on your hands and fancy a classic barrier plant you could even
try a yew hedge, slow growing but worth the wait as it has both berries and
plenty of spaces for birds to nest in.

Security lighting can be an effective option for your home. Security lighting
can be as unobtrusive as simple porch lights and walkway lights. The key
element is to ensure that lighting is bright enough to reveal entry ways and
to expose hiding places around your home. Mounted flood-lamps are also another
popular option. These can produce a lot of light, are directional, and easy to
install. As you integrate lighting into your home security plan you should
place your external lights on timer activation or daylight sensitive switchs.
Another popular option is to link exterior security lights to motion sensors.
Be aware, however, that animals, such as stray cats and dogs may set off the

Many people install fenses in hopes of increasing home security. Most fenses,
however, are not effective deterants. They are usually easy to climb or
otherwise defeat. Outside of military or correctional style barbed wire topped
fenses a fense is just not an effective deterant. On the other hand, so-called
"priavcy fenses" can be quite effective at preventing casual observation or
snooping. Unfortunately they may also prevent a casual passerby from noticing a
problem in your home. In the end, a privacy fense is a trade off that you needs
careful consideration.

[Burglar Alarms]
Burglar alarms are often selected to enhance home security. If you choose to
use one there are some things you should know.

Every alarm system should cover all entries into your home including doors,
windows, and garage doors.

Not all home alarm systmes are created equal. Some alarm systems will monitor
window and door opening while others will also detect breakage. Some can
monitor movement or entry into spaces.

Some alarm systems are "monitored" by a Monitoring Company and others are not.
Most Monitoring companies are "value added" setups. Their monitoring will
often include options such as dispatching company personell to check out
tripped alarms, notifying police, and emergency "panic buttons." If you use a
Monitoring company which automatically notifies police of an alarm trip you
should know that the vast majority of alarm trips are false alarms. This is
important because of the effect it has on Law Enforment. The effect is that
Law Enforcement tends to be reluctant to check on alarm notifications.
Further, many Cities will assess a fine for dispatching police to a false alarm
or after some designated number of dispatches to false alarms.

Self described "Consumer Warrior" Clark Howard (a well known consumer
advocate), has a few tips he thinks you should know:

- Choose only a company that doesn't require a contract to monitor your alarm.
If you feel you have to sign a contract, never sign one for more than one year,
and make sure it doesn't have a "rollover" clause that renews that contract

- Don't pay more than $15 to $20 a month for monitoring.

- To shop, start calling companies at the end of the yellow page listings,
instead of front, because the big expensive companies usually are the first

- To figure the cost of equipment, make a drawing of your home, or a checklist,
and figure out how many doors and windows you need to protect.

- Don't lease a burglar alarm system.

- Always get smoke and fire monitoring as part of the system.


While we're on the topic of alarms you should, at a minimum install at least
one Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector per floor or following the
manufacturer's recommendations for area coverage. Make sure that the alarms
can be heard from all areas of the home. Also, change the batteries in your
Detectors twice a year or as recommended by the manufacturer. A convenient
time to remember to do this is Daylight Savings Time days but any bi-annual
day could work such as the Solstices.

[Safe Rooms]
A Saferoom is a room in your house specially desisnated and pre-prepared for
the event of an emergency. The idea is to have a place where you and your
family can meet and be safe if you believe you may be in danger. This room
should be easy for everyone to get to. Often the Master Bedroom or the private
bath off of the Master Bedroom is selected. It should be fitted with a strong
door and a strong lock. You should also stock it with a fully charged cell
phone in case your standard phone line is unavailable for some reason. For
this purpose you can even use a cell phone that has been canceled since 911 is
always available even on a canceled cell line. Further, equip your Saferoom
with a First Aid Kit. Finally, if you have decided to keep a firearm for home
defense, this is an ideal location to store it. You may also wish to consider
selecting your Saferoom for shelter from Tornados if they are a threat in your
area or with the ability to exit the home in mind such as in the event of a

One disadvantage of a Saferoom is that you've got to be able to get to it for
it to be of any value to you. If it's too far away when an emergency strikes
or if the event unfolds too quickly to make use of your Saferoom, you might as
well not have one. It has it's limitations. However, don't be discouraged or
or disuaded, many stories of an Armed Defender situation that starts off, "I
heard a noise in the xxxx so I went check on it..." In those cases, you would
have plenty of time to get to a safe room then or send your family there.

[Neighborhood Watches]
A Neighborhood Watch is an organization of local residents which "patroles" the
neighborhood, usually at night, looking for suspicious actvities. When
something suspicious is noted they will usually notify Law Enforcement to
investigate. Neighborhood Watch programs are not vigilanties. They take no
direct action. However, the presense of active and obviously observing parties
can often deter criminals from entering an area. This is particularly true when
the Neighborhood Watch program is coupled with "warning" signs and has Law
Enforcement participation. Most Law Enforcement encourage Neighborhood Watch
programs provided that they abide by reasonable strictures designed to keep the
participants safe. Sometimes this may include training in safety, observation,
and notification proceedures.

If you are interested in participating in or starting a Neighborhood Watch
in your area, contact the local Law Enforcement, Neighborhood Union, Community
Center, or search on the web for your area.

It has been estimated that between 80 and 90% of all homes with a dog will
never be broken into; any kind of dog, not just giant "eat the bad guy in one
gulp" dogs. Apparently yappy dogs work just as well as a deterrent. Many
"reformed" burglars comment that the largest deterrent to their trade was a dog.
Either dogs that they feel pose a risk of injury to them or that would call
attention to them.

However simply getting a dog is not a Panacea. Owning dogs requires a
commitment. Dogs can be inconvenient and, if ill trained, messy, noisy,
destructive, and even a danger to innocent parties. They require an investment
of time and money. You must establish yourself as the "Pack Leader." You are
responsible for meeting the dog's needs for food, shelter, and care even when
it's not convenient for you such as if you leave town on a trip and are unable
to take the dog with you or if you must leave the dog alone for long periods of
the day because of your work schedule. Most communities have laws specifically
related to minimums of care and health for pets including immunizations and
restraint laws. Some communities have laws that will fine if your pet triggers
the motion sensor on your burglar alarm and the police respond to a False Alarm.

Finding a suitable pet that will blend well with your family is easier than
ever. There are countless Dog Rescue programs that will match you up with a
particular breed as well as the local Animal Shelter or programs such as SICSA.
Further, many of these programs will train the dog to good standards before you
ever take ownership and often offer additional pet training classes for your
consumption. Many of these organizations have minimum requirements for
adoption and may require specific items such as a fence around your yard as
well as references, visits to your home, or even background checks.

[Exit Plan]
You should have an Exit Plan for your home. This plan describes how all
members of your family can get out of the home in case of an emergency such as
a fire, Home Invasion, or carbon monoxide alarm. Make sure that all members of
your household know and understand the Exit Plan. Further, take steps to
account for members that can not follow the plan such as small children or the
impaired. Your Exit Plan should account for blocked areas and second story
exits. You may want to purchase or assemble an "emergency exit kit."
Directions for these are readily available on the Internet and include items
like rope ladders for unfurling down second story windows. Finally, your Exit
Plan should include not only "how to get out safely" but also where to meet
after exiting. Places such as "under the street light in the front yard" are



Subject: 6 - Identity Theft

[Identity Theft]
Identity Theft is a growing problem today with no end in site. The basics of
Identity Theft is simply a criminal posing as you in order to make purchases
or gain credit in your name. Often this is done electronically but not always.
Identity Theft can be anything from stealing your credit card number and making
charges as if he were you to actually taking out new lines of credit (credit
cards, loans, etc.) and leaving you on the hook for the bill.

Being responsable for charges you did not make is not the only risk. Identity
Theft can damage your credit standing, making it difficult to take out credit
in the future such as buying a house. Further many companies are using Credit
Scores as a measure for doing business with you in ways never considered before
and which, sometimes, appear to deny logic. For instance, many Insurance
Providers are now using Credit Scores to decide whether or not to issue
Insurance Policies and how much to charge if they do. Finally if a criminal
is writing actual paper Checks in your name you could end up being arrested.

Criminals have many tools at their disposal in which to impersonate you. Often
you have little recourse when they do. When you do you often must endure a
long and difficult process cleaning up your life.

To further complicate matters victims of Identity Theft frequently are unaware
that their identity has been pilfered until they they start recieving colection
notices or are denied for credit.

[What You Can Do to Prevent Identity Theft]
First, always keep your Social Security Number secret. Never have it printed
on documents that you carry with you, which are vulnerable to theft or loss,
such as your Drivers License or your Check Book. When you must carry these
documents with you do not leave them unattended in a place where they may be
stolen such as in your vehicle. Never disclose your Social Security Number
or other pertinient information to someone over the phone or from anyone
official-looking that turns up on your doorstep. For instance, someone asking
for details to confirm your identity as "they have a package for delivery to
you". Social engineering is becoming increasing common and sophisticated, and
is very effective at getting lesser details to use in conjunction with other
information obtained through mail theft, for example.

Be suspicious of any e-mails you recieve asking you to "confirm" your identity,
username, passwords, PIN, Social Security Number, and the like. No reputable
organization which you do business with will require this. This is usually a
scam known as "phishing" (phonetic spelling of "Fishing" as in "hooking the
sucker and reeling him in."). Do not be fooled, even if they have a link to
a website that looks professional or exactly like your banks web site.

Make photocopies of all documents in your wallet then store these in a safe
place, such as a firesafe or Bank Lockbox. If your wallet is then lost or
stolen you will have a record of all documents that were lost so you can
begin replacing them, canceling credit cards, etc.

Keep close watch on your Credit Reports from all three of the major reporting
agencies. Banks and credit reporting companies are beginning to offer
protection services for a fee. These 'subscriptions' alert the individual
about credit checks and offer help in cases of identity theft.

Be aware of who you give your credit card to in the course of daily business.
Gas station attendants, resteraunt wait staff, and people in similar positions
are in a position to clone your credit card or copy the numbers. Though most
are honest, there are, of course, some who are not.

Consider using a traditional Credit Card instead of a "Debit Card" that
deducts directly from your bank account. Though you do not incure interest
penalties when using your Debit Card, there are far more fraud protections
available to you when using a traditional Credit Card. If a criminal uses
your Debit Card to steal money directly from your Checking Account, you may
find it difficult or impossible to have the funds replaced by the bank.
Further, the missing funds may cause important checks or auto debits to bounce
such as your mortgage payment and you may incure "bounced check" fees.

Consider using online payments or automated electronic paymets for major,
reoccuring bills such as mortgage payments or utilities. This will prevent
criminals from stealing checks and routing numbers from your outgoing mail.
Alternately directly drop your outgoing bill payments into postboxes or the
outgoing mail slots at the post office or hand them to your mail carrier

Keep a close watch on your billing documents from your Credit Card agencies
and your Checking Account with your Bank or Credit Union. Ensure that all of
your bills actually get to you and are not stolen by mail thiefs for the
purpose of Identity Theft. One way to do this is to have a locking "drop box"
type mail box or an in-door mail slot.

Put "Fraud Watchs" on your accounts and do business with Credit Card agencies
which are known to be advocates for their customers.

Destroy all records which have Credit Card data, or any other personal data on
them such as your name, address and any other details that you are not keeping
for long term records. Use a paper shredder or burn records that you are

For more information visit the Federal Trade Commission's web site on Identity
Theft at:

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk Lawson


Feb 3, 2005
Reaction score
Huber Heights, OH

Subject: 7 - Women's Self Defense

OK ladies. Here's the straight scoop. This section is specifically addressing
your concerns about *WOMEN'S* self defense.


One of the biggest reasons many women want to learn Self Defense is to prevent
or be able to disengage a rape attempt.

{some stuff about prevention and situational awareness date rape drugs, etc.}

Getting Physical

Outside of situational and preventative measures, what to do when actually
being physically attacked is important.

{some general advice}

As a woman, you are going to have to come to terms with the fact that you are
always going to be at a major disadvantage when it comes to fighting; for this
reason, you might want to consider looking into a style that teaches you to use
a weapon such as a club or a knife or a style that teaches you how to react
when you are in physically compromised situations such as if a strong, heavy
man is laying on top of you and hitting you in the head.

Remember that the reason that weapons exist is to nullify the advantages of
size and strength of one fighter over another - you don't see weight classes
in fencing competitions, but you do in boxing, wrestling, and judo.

Further, you should be aware that some of what is being taught is just absolute
garbage. Worthless. Hucksters. You should also be aware that many of the
more effective techniques and many of the best respected martial arts are going
to put you in what you might consider "intimate" contact with your training
partners. There are various names for the positions and techniques such as
"the Guard" or "North South" but they're going to look ERY sexual to you.
Partners wrestling around in each other's legs or faces near crotches or hands
on thighs. You may be put off or feel uncomfortable by the idea of being
placed in such "intimate" contact on such a regular basis, particularly when
you're desiring to *PREVENT* these activities.

Further, many women feel uncomfortable letting people get within their personal
space. This is an area that extends around your body that you desire to keep
clear, at least subconsiously. This can be anywhere from one to three feet
depending on several factors.

If you wanted to learn to ride a bicycle you wouldn't read a book about it.
You wouldn't get a bicycle and put it in your garage thinking, "it will be
there if I ever need it." You wouldn't "visualize" it happening. You would
get someone experienced at bicycle riding to help show you how, give advice,
and adjust your technique while you actually practiced riding the bicycle. To
be blunt, why would you expect it to be different learning to stop a guy trying
to force his hips between your legs, grab your crotch, or knock you down and
climb on top of you?

Which do you think would make you more uncomfortable, working in a safe
environment with other people who want you to be able to learn to stop these
things and are trying to help you do so, or actually getting raped?



BOSTON (AP) -- Binge-drinking and rape often go hand-in-hand on college

The College Alcohol Study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health,
Saint Joseph's University and the University of Arizona finds alcohol use is a
central factor in most college rapes.

The study examined 119 colleges nationwide and found nearly five-percent of
women said they had been raped during the first seven months of the school
year. Nearly three-quarters of those rapes happened when the victims were so
intoxicated they were unable to consent or refuse.

Researchers defined binge drinking as consumption of five or more drinks in a
row at least once in a two-week period for men, and four or more drinks in a
row for women.

The report appears in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

[tap into the lizard brian - get MAD]
A good treatise dealing with this sort of problem from, of all places,
women in the SCA.


Subject: 8 - Martial Arts


Subject: 9 - Physical Condition

[What is Physical Condition]
Essentially this is being physically fit. It is being in at least reasonable
physical condition to be able to perform aerobic or strength activities.

[Why Do I Need That?]
Much of the advice offered herein is often applied "common sense" or the result
of other people's hard won experience. One of the most commonly offered
pieces of advice to avoid a confrontation is, naturally, to "run away" when
you can. If you're not in good enough physical condition to run more than a
few steps then you are depriving yourself of an important tool for your Self
Defense. Obviously there are times when you simply can't run away for various
reasons such as if you need to protect a third party, are blocked by barriers,
or suffer a physical infirmity that prevents it. Still, if you are physically
capable of being able to run you should not deny yourself that option.

Additionally, if you are, as a last resort, required to fight you should know
that it's strenuous business. Even a few seconds can see you expending a
great deal of energy and if you do not have the physical reserves to rise to
the challenge you may fail and become a victim even though you were prepared
in every other way.

Further, you should also include a bit of strength training in your physical
fitness activities. You don't have to be immensely strong but you do need to
be able to operate at a level of strength. It is true that the blatantly,
obviously strong and bulky men can be somewhat intimidating in appearance and
that alone may be enough to dissuade a potential attack during the Interview
phase, know that it's not a guarantee nor is it a requirement for effective
Self Defense. Many Self Defense tools of opportunity are basically clubs.
The more strength you are able to bring to bear in using a club the more
effective it will be at the task. Also the stronger you are, the more
capable you will be of breaking a grip and escaping should an attacker manage
to lay hands upon you.

Finally, being physically fit will add years to your life and help ensure that
those years will be in a higher "quality of life." Think of it as Self Defense
against the ravages of time.

[How to get Physical Conditioning]
Naturally you should check with your physician before starting a new exercise
routine, however, once cleared the options are boundless and can be tailored
to your individual personality, preferences, schedule, and financial

You have options that include no equipment such as jogging, swimming,
calisthenics, and exercises that use your body weight like pushups and pullups.

You have options that include Organizations and Clubs such as:

* Professional Gyms
* Professional workout trainers
* The local YM/WCA
* Community Centers
* The local Park and Rec.
* Your Religious group may also offer supervised exercise programs
* Schools or College Campuses that open to the public after hours
* Police Clubs
* Further, you may also wish to band together with a small group of your
friends and intimates. This often works well as you can offer each other
moral support and encouragement.

Here are some Internet links to get you started.

Body By Fish

Body Weight Training

Animal Ability

Master Trainer: Bodybuilding, Weightlifting and Lifetime Fitness

Usenet Newsgroups


Subject: 10 - Deadly Force and the Force Continuum

In the words of Jim Keating:

"To have a defensible self-defense case you need several factors in
your favor. They are simple and they must be present or you are going
to jail for a long time. These factors are this:

* Opportunity
* Imminent Jeopardy
* Ability
* Preclusion

Leave out one or more of these factors and you lose. Have these aspects
present and provable and it's much more likely that you'll win."


[elaboration on Opportunity, Imminent Jeopardy, Ability, and Preclusion]

[Description of the Force Continuum]


Subject: 11 - Guns And Other Weapons

[is it appropriate for you?]

> Whatever your political views about gun ownership, you will also
> need some basic familiarity with firearms if this is knowledge you
> don't already have. We live in the 21rst century, not the 15th, and
> anyone who wants to know about how to defend themselves against
> real-life threats is going to have to know how to deal with firearms
> - handguns at a minimum, rifle and shotgun if you can. Most martial
> arts schools will not address this, or address it in a way that will
> more than likely get you killed, so get this information from people
> who know what they are talking about: go to a local pistol range,
> and ask about introductory classes (usually they will have something
> like a day or half day beginners class for $50-$100, and well worth
> it). No point in trying to defend yourself against a weapon you
> don't understand. - Eric D. Berge

[Won't it just be taken away and used against you?]
[get the right tool for the job]
[keeping them safe from "the wrong hands"]
[is it legal to own in the home?]
[is it legal to carry outside the home?]
[legal and moral ramifications]
[force continuum]

[Improvised Weapons]

["Less Than Lethal" Weapons]
Pepper Spray
Stun Guns


Subject: 12 - Involving Friends And Family

[some reasons to bring them on board]

[training children]

> in our family, we have special knocks. also for with company and one
> for danger.
> my friend and i have special handsigns for "danger in the
> premises/weapons, number of posible oponents, we are going to
> attack/im going to attack, and stand by". sample, i see a guy with a
> weapon with us inside a public bus, i flash the danger in the
> premises/weapon while looking exactly away from the person(to tell
> them the direction to look at) , if they flash acknowledge sign then
> they have seen it too. we then as stealthly as posible try to get good
> position. if the guy does nothing, we do nothing. if he starts
> trouble, well be in his neck and his partners also the very second
> they start it. but if they sign back "stand by" we either get off the
> next stop(it means the danger is greater than we can control) or there
> is no reason for alarm and we ride through. this also works for
> party's, out in the street or other gatherings.
> - (wallen)


Subject: 13 - Suggested Reading

Self-defense Concepts - Ron Mottern

"The Truth About Self Protection" - Massad Ayoob

"In The Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection -
Massad Ayoob

"Her Wits About Her" - Denise Caignon and Gail Groves

"Principles of Personal Defense, by Jeff Cooper

"Armed and Female, by Paxton Quigley


Subject: 14 - Disclaimer and Copyright Notice

Some answers given may reflect personal biases of the author and
contributors. The answers contained herein pertain to discussions on the
rec.martial-arts group, and are by no means exhaustive.

The RMA Newbies Guide to Self Defense was created from publicly available
sources and the opinions of experts in Self Defense and Law Enforcement
as well as information from the creator of this document, Kirk Lawson
(additional contributors listed at end). It is the intention that this
document be a companion document to the current rec.martial-arts FAQ.
The author, Kirk Lawson, grants rights to update, maintain, modify, and
distribute this document provided that you abide by the "no profit"
restrictions detailed hereafter.

You are specifically granted the right to distribute this document in any
storage or display format including, but not limited to, HTML, RTF, .DOC,
PDF, or direct telepathic transfer.

You are granted the right to copy, store, modify, and distribute this
document provided that a) This Disclaimer, Copyright, and any version
history or creator/contributor attributions are included. b) That you
charge no monies for the distribution of this document, excepting a nominal
charge for the cost of media upon which it may be distributed. If you wish
to include this document in any for-profit publication or to include it in
any pay-per or price metered medium or delivery, you may only do so with
the express permission of the original document author, Kirk Lawson.
Basically, if you want to modify or distribute this document for free,
fine, go ahead and do it, but if you want to make money off of it, I want
my cut.

Kirk Lawson:

Additional Contributors:
"Fu, Ren-Li" -
Eric D. Berge -
Wallen -
Karen Nagai -
Steve Gombosi -
Philippe Boudreau -
Renee Warren -
Jeremy Graham -
Don Wagner -
"Phauna" -
Fraser Johnston -
Karim Rashad -
Sean Smith -
Dan Winsor -
Karen Nagai -
Darryl -
Hal Dorfman -
Ken Vale -
Ted Bennett -
Chas Clements -
jerry b. altzman -

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk Lawson


Not a bad Idea, however you may want to run this through a spell check program if you plan on distributing this. Someone may not take this information as seriously with a lot of misspelled words. I did not have time to read the whole thing though, there is too much there for me to read during my lunch. You obviously put a lot of work into this though.


Feb 3, 2005
Reaction score
Huber Heights, OH
clapping_tiger said:
Not a bad Idea, however you may want to run this through a spell check program if you plan on distributing this. Someone may not take this information as seriously with a lot of misspelled words. I did not have time to read the whole thing though, there is too much there for me to read during my lunch. You obviously put a lot of work into this though.
Version 0.17

If it ever makes it to version 1.0 it will have been spell checked.

Since you bring it up, I could use a volunteer to spell check it.

Peace favor your sword,


Green Belt
Dec 29, 2004
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It's obvious that you've put much time and thought into this. Pretty good job. My suggestions, for what they're worth, is to make it more conversational and easier to read, for example:

Your paragraph:
[In a Bar or Establishment] One common activity while "Out and About" is to visit an establishment that serves liquor for the purposes of consuming or being with people who intend to consume liquor. Studies show that alcohol is a factor in the majority of violent encounters. It affects people's judgment and thought processes. While you can not always predict when encountering a third party if that person has been drinking you can reasonably foresee when your own actions will likely place you in the proximity of people consuming alcohol and take steps to be prepared. Pay extra attention to circumstances and the demeanor of those around you. If it appears that someone is going to become violent or aggressive, leave the area. While in the bar or establishment, pay attention to your surroundings. Make note of "bottlenecks" that could impede your movements. Note furniture, recesses, and balconies. Also importantly, note all of the exits.

[The Local Bar] A common Out and About event is to visit the local bar or pub. Everyone wants to have a good time but keep in mind that studies have shown that alcohol is a factor in the majority of violent encounters. It affects peoples judgment. Pay attention to those around you. You cant always tell if the next guy is drunk but you are in a bar so common sense tells you that hes had at least one or two. If it looks like someone is going to get violent leave. Also, pay attention to your surroundings; where are the bottlenecks, where is the furniture located and are there nooks and crannies where a bad guy can hide? Make sure you know where the exits are.

It's the same message but the writing is tighter and easier to read (saves some space too :)).

BTW I'm an Office Manager by day and write fiction at night so anything I can do to help don't hesitate to let me know.

One more thing, don't list the table of contents in the table of contents, start with the introduction.

Just some thoughts.


Feb 3, 2005
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Huber Heights, OH
Fightback2 said:

It's obvious that you've put much time and thought into this. Pretty good job. My suggestions, for what they're worth, is to make it more conversational and easier to read, for example:
Thanks, I like it.

Fightback2 said:
BTW I'm an Office Manager by day and write fiction at night so anything I can do to help don't hesitate to let me know.
Great. Thanks for the offer. Any re-writing you want to do, please feel free. Also any sections that are obviously unfinished that you want to start on, again, feel free.

Fightback2 said:
One more thing, don't list the table of contents in the table of contents, start with the introduction.

Just some thoughts.
Thanks. I'm afraid I'm stuck with that due to certain electronic posting requirements. I'll double check though, it may not be a hard and fast rule.

peace favor your sword,

still learning

Senior Master
Nov 8, 2004
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Hello, Just want to share something that has open my eyes in the way we train. Real fighting,on the streets styles. You may want to read several books by guys who written on this subject?
such as " Anything goes" , Real fighting, Guide to Barroom fighting,etc. there are many good books on this subject. You may find them very helpful.

Since reading about Real stories and real fights...many of them in these books. I now want my training to go towards that style of fighting...for real kind......My library is now over 100 books on the martial arts..... one day,when you finish it, your book will be a part of it? .....Aloha


Feb 3, 2005
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Huber Heights, OH
still learning said:
My library is now over 100 books on the martial arts..... one day,when you finish it, your book will be a part of it? .....Aloha
Thank you for your kind words. Please note that this is not a book per se. It's a "Newbie's Guide" and it's intended distrobution is at no cost to the consumer. You may print it out and place a copy of whatever version (or all versions if you wish!) in your library. :)

Peace favor your sword,


Master Black Belt
Nov 6, 2004
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Melbourne, Australia
It was well worth my time to read that. Thanks Kirk.

I particularly liked the section on gardening. I'd never considered that with an eye to self/home defense. Thanks.

If I ever get around to running a SD course, I will probably utilise some parts of this guide. It is quite comprehensive. Thanks again.


Feb 3, 2005
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Huber Heights, OH
Adept said:
It was well worth my time to read that. Thanks Kirk.

I particularly liked the section on gardening. I'd never considered that with an eye to self/home defense. Thanks.
Sure thing! Lotsa stuff that people never consider. I'm sure there's much that I've not included as well.

Adept said:
If I ever get around to running a SD course, I will probably utilise some parts of this guide. It is quite comprehensive. Thanks again.
Thank you for your kind words.

Feel free to present whatever material from it you wish. I only ask that you include a proper attribution. The material that was shared with me as I write it was freely shared, I can do no less than to freely share it.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk Lawson

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