HomePosts Tagged "self defense"

Wherever you are working or living at some point you will have to use vehicles, for most people they are part of their everyday lives. Driving itself can be a dangerous task in many places and as we have seen many kidnappings, robberies and assassinations occur when people are in or around their vehicles.  In times of civil unrest or if you’re traveling to a potentially hostile area your vehicle security and travel must be planned for and taken seriously.

Vehicles should be regarded as an important piece of your equipment and should be well maintained and never treated as a toy.  Before you take a vehicle out basic maintenance checks need to be done, like checking the battery, oil, fuel level, tires, water, spare tire, break down and vehicle emergency kit. You should always ensure you have a good means of communications and that you regularly check in with trusted people who can send assistance in the case of an emergency. You should also always know the routes you are driving and the location of any facilities along those routes that could be of use to you whether it’s a coffee shop with a bathroom or a hospital with an emergency room.

Basic Vehicle Security

Vehicles need to be secured or manned at all times, if they are left unattended, they, and the area around them, must be searched for IEDs, electronic surveillance devices, contraband and anything suspicious. The area around a vehicle must be searched as you approach it for any suspicious vehicles or people; the criminals may have found your car and are waiting for your approach it to kidnap or assassinate you. I always try to park my car as far away from others as possible, that way there is no cover for anyone to hide and if any other car is parked close to mine they are immediately suspicious.  If you keep the vehicle in a locked garage still always lock doors and trunk, you will also need to search the exterior of the garage for IEDs, electronic surveillance devices and signs of forced entry in a high-risk environment.

If the vehicle cannot be garaged, try to park it in a secure, guarded area or somewhere that is covered by surveillance cameras. Drive-ways and regularly used routes from your residence to main roads should regularly be search for IEDs and signs of criminal activity. A vehicle needs to be searched after being serviced or repaired and after being left unattended for any length of time, here are some guidelines on how to search a vehicle:

  • 100 Deadly Skills – Great information for people who want to make sure they can survive any dangerous situation.

    Always search the general area around a vehicle for any explosive devices or suspicious people waiting to ambush you. Always check the outside of a garage for any signs of a force entry before you go in and check garage doors and drive ways for signs of booby traps, land mines and ambushes. The roofs of garages need to secured!

  • Turn off all radios and cell phones and check the immediate area surrounding the car for disturbances, wires, oil/fluid stains, footprints, etc. It helps to keep vehicles a little dirty as you will be able to see smears in the dirt if someone was trying to break in.
  • Visual check through the windows for anything thing out-of-place or wires, etc.
  • Get down on your hands and knees and check underneath the vehicle, inside fenders, wheels and arches for any devices. Also check for cut tires, lose wheel nuts and devices placed under the wheels. This is where a flashlight and a search mirror can come in handy.
  • Check the exhaust as it is a very easy place to put an improvised explosive device. You can have bolts or wire mesh put in to exhausts to stop IEDs from being placed in them; if you do this, make sure the bolts or wire mess is not visible as this can draw attention to the car.
  • Slowly open the car doors and check the Interior of the vehicle even if there is no signs of a forced entry. Do the same for the trunk and make sure to search the spare tire and break down kit.
  • Open the hood slowly and check the engine. Again it might be helpful to keep the engine dirty as new wires and hand prints are easy to see.
  • Final turn on the engine and check all the electrics.

This is just a guide to searching vehicles but as you can see to do a thorough search can take time and would require someone to be watching the back of the searcher. Your best defense is to deny the criminal access to your vehicle but this can prove to be very difficult in the real world.

Vehicle Drills

If you are consider undertaking some advanced driving training, I see little need for evasive driver training but can see applications for people to learn to be able to handle vehicles at speed and in hazardous weather.  Again, vehicle drills cannot be learnt from manuals or videos, you will need to learn them from an experienced advanced trained driver. Always check out the instructor’s background, qualifications and reputation, look for those that offer sensible driving courses and not wannabe spy holidays.

The main thing you need to learn is how to drive safely and to be able to identify any possible threats and avoid them. In most large towns and cities you will not be able to perform such things as J turns or other evasive maneuvers due to lack of space and traffic, so you must always be aware of what is going on around you.  The main thing I tell people is to keep as much space as possible between you and the car in front as this can give you some space to maneuver in congested traffic.

When you watch the movies and there is a car chase and the cars are skidding all over the place check the state of the roads they are on. Chances are the roads will be wet, and the tires on the cars will have minimal tread. This is the same on most evasive driving courses, but these are also usually done on private roads or open areas where there is no other traffic.  Think about why you put decent tires on your vehicles; to stop them from skidding and spinning out of control right? When you are driving around you always want to be thinking of where you could take evasive action, in urban areas there will be few places where you could spin your car around and drive against the traffic flow; that’s Hollywood.

If the criminals or terrorists are in any way professional they will attack you when your car is penned in and you cannot take any evasive maneuvers, not on wide open roads. It’s a common street kid tactics in a lot of Latin American cities to rob cars at traffic lights that are at least two cars back from the stop light with other cars behind them; these cars are stuck and cannot escape. If street kids on bicycles with at most a rusty revolver have worked out how to jack people in cars don’t you think their big bothers have also?

I am regularly asked about whether I favor armored cars or not, as with everything they have their pros and cons. Armored cars do have an application, the first thing you need to consider is what level of armoring the car your buying or using has. I have come across people driving around in cars armored to stop pistol caliber rounds in areas where the bad guys carry assault weapons, they thought an armored car was all they needed and were unaware of the different levels of armoring. You will also need to confirm where the car is armored; doors, windows, floor, engine, roof etc. Some cars may only have some armored panels in the doors and rear seat, always check for yourself and do not believe what people tell you.

Now think like the criminals, if you knew your target was driving around in a SUV armored to B6 level are you going to shoot at them when they are driving around or wait for them stop and get out of the car, or stop them and make them get out of the car? Think about how can you get someone out of a car; what would you do if a female driver bumped into the back of your car, get out to inspect the damage and then possibly be kidnapped by her two armed accomplices crouched in the back seat of her car? Always be aware of decoys that are intended to make you stop and get out of your vehicle, such as accidents or even bodies next to the road. Basic rule, stay in your car and keep moving between safe areas.

A criminal tactic when targeting armored cash-in-transit vehicles is to box them in, cover the van in gasoline, then give those inside to option of throwing out the cash, surrendering or being burnt alive. An issue with armored vehicles is that you cannot shoot at the criminals from the inside. There was one incident I recall from the mid 1990’s where an unarmored van that was moving cash was stopped and ambushed in an Eastern European country, the fact the van was unarmored enabled the security personnel inside to be able to shoot through the sides of the van and drive off the criminals, which they could not have done if they had taken an armored van that day. There have also been numerous incidents where criminals have assassinated targets traveling in armored vehicles with IEDs, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and improvised shaped charges. An armored vehicle can assist you in your security program but it should not be all there is to your security program.

Security Considerations when using vehicles

  • Always check the area around the vehicle before you approach it.
  • Search the vehicle prior to use for IEDs, electronic surveillance devices and contraband.
  • Always keep a spare set of keys for the vehicle on you in case the driver loses his or is taken out by the criminals.
  • Be aware of the vehicle’s capabilities; make sure the driver has experience driving that type of vehicle.
  • Always drive safely at the maximum, safest speed, within the legal speed limit.
  • Always carry out basic maintenance checks, before you go anywhere and check that communications work before leaving a safe area.
  • Make sure you know what to do if your car breaks down; will someone come to get you or will you call for roadside assistance?
  • In rural areas things that should be included in your break down kit should include cans of fix-a-flat, air compressor, jump leads, tire plugging kit, tube to siphon gas, gas cans and a tow rope.
  • Know which routes your taking and keep maps in the vehicle for all areas you’re traveling in. Also have alternative routes prepared that have been driven and checked out.
  • Inform personnel at a location 10 to 15 minutes, before your arrival.
  • Constantly check behind you for criminal surveillance vehicles and be suspicious of motorbikes, especially with two people on them.
  • When being followed by a motorbike always watch to see if both the rider’s hands are on the handle bars, if you only see one hand, what is the other holding or doing?
  • Make full use of your mirrors; put a mirror on the passenger side for the passenger to use.
  • Regularly carry out counter-surveillance drills and always be watching for any cars following you or suspicious people along regularly used routes.
  • Keep a good distance from the car in front, so you can drive around it in an emergency and try to avoid being blocked by other vehicles.
  • Never let the vehicle fuel tank to go below half full and know where all gas stations are along your route.
  • Keep doors locked when traveling between locations and in urban areas do not open windows or sunroof more than an inch, so things cannot be thrown in.
  • Always be prepared to take evasive action, be aware of danger points on your routes and drive towards the center of the road to have space for evasive maneuvers.
  • Blend in with your environment; don’t drive expensive cars in poor areas, etc.
  • Be suspicious of all roadblocks, temporary stop signs and car accidents, etc. Never stop to pick up hitchhikers or help other motorists, as these could be covers for an ambush or carjacking.
  • Keep vehicle keys secure and know who has all the spare keys and access to the vehicle.
  • Remember others can monitor tracking devices and help services such as OnStar, then get the details of where you are and you’re routine without the need for surveillance.
  • Be extra vigilant at traffic lights and in slow-moving traffic.
  • Keep the vehicle in a locked garage when not in use and lock all doors and the trunk.
  • Wherever legal reverse park; this will help if fast get away is required.
  • Always use seat belts, especially when driving at speed or taking evasive action.
  • Keep a safety knife handy to cut away seat belts and break windows in the case of a crash.
  • When driving on dangerous roads or taking evasive action open the vehicles windows to make escape easier in the event of a crash.

Wherever you are working or living at some point you will have to use vehicles, for most people they are part of their everyday lives. Driving itself can be a

 

Imagine being in the middle of a crowded festival, enjoying your time with your family.  All of a sudden, you find yourself near some drunks who start a fight, and you can’t help but separate from your family, and get pulled into the fray. You’re a prepper, and like most preppers, you’re carrying a small firearm, in this case a small pistol.  Do you use it?

Some would say yes – it’s time to defend the family, and that’s what a weapon is for, right?  Others hold off – bringing deadly force into a relatively small conflict is a certain legal issue and is probably not necessary considering that these people are drunk.  That said, this is clearly a self-defense situation.  Considering that a gunshot in a crowded public space is one of the fastest ways to start a riot, potentially getting you or your family even more harmed, the balance point for many tends to tip towards leaving your weapon holstered.

Imagine again.  This time, you and your family return home, and see the basement window broken.  Alarm bells are going off in your head, and you draw your weapon, instructing the kids to wait in the car.  Upon entering, you are able to see that the dangerous infiltrator is actually a 14-year-old boy who lives down the road.  Is he dangerous, or just a neighborhood nuisance?  You have less than seconds to decide.

Maybe you are one to draw in these circumstances, however, I believe that these are two examples of situations where yes, a gun could be advantageous to you, but it would be better left holstered.

Of all the four major prep areas – food, water, shelter and defense – it is defense that is most often overlooked.  I know preppers who think that all they need is a pistol and some ammunition, while others stock an armory, but the fact remains that for most, defense is simply just about the weapons you choose to keep.  In reality, self-defense is so much more.

Personal Defense                

The fact remains that for most, defense is simply just about the weapons you choose to keep. In reality, self defense is so much more.

The first line of defense to prepare is your last line of defense – your ability to defend your own person.  Guns are fantastic, but are not always the best solution to a conflict.  The best way to start that process is to take a martial arts class regularly.

Martial arts classes are incredibly varied, and depending on where you live, you should find a broad spectrum of different styles.  You could opt for a striking art like TaeKwon Do, Karate or Kung Fu, or you could focus on a martial art that emphasizes grappling such as Judo.  There are many arts that are combinations by nature (any MMA style or Krav Maga), and there are many schools of striking or grappling arts that borrow from outside of the strict boundaries of their chosen style to incorporate a broad range of self-defense elements.

Striking arts are probably what everyone thinks of when they imagine martial arts, as they are based on using your hands and feet to punch, chop and kick your way to safety.  These arts value speed and quickness over size and power, and often incorporate a large variety of cardio exercise practices that will double as your workout for the day.  The major advantage to learning a striking art is clear – these arts are focused on disabling an opponent quickly from a (relative) distance, and allow you at least a small chance of fighting multiple opponents.  A typical class will involve practicing kata or patterns of movements, practice kicks and punches against air, striking heavy bags or padded opponents, and jumping techniques.

Grappling arts are going to be more similar to wrestling than what you’d likely think of as a “martial arts” technique.  Instead of punches and kicks, you’ll learn disabling holds, pressure points, and throws.  A certain amount of size and strength is not necessarily essential, but will definitely help.  Classes for grappling arts tend to emphasize one-on-one, back-and-forth style of practice (I’ll throw you, then you throw me), and may not be as exercise-heavy as a striking art.  The advantages of studying a grappling art are the fact that they focus on defending yourself from abductions and mugging-style grabs and unarmed defense against an armed opponent, which are highly practical scenarios.  In addition, many people who have studied street fights have noted that over 80% of these encounters end up on the ground, where grapplers have a distinct advantage.

Both styles give you opportunities to practice against your classmates in simulated fighting scenarios.  Striking courses usually incorporate sparring practice where you use heavy pads and light contact to simulate a fight and test your reflexes and skills.  This allows you to safely practice your skills so that you’ll know you can function in times when you need to defend yourself. Grappling arts use amateur wrestling, or kneeling wrestling known as rendori as sport-practice.  In rendori, you maneuver your opponent on the mat in an attempt to make them submit from a painful or inescapable hold.

Finding a style is a good choice, but it may be better to find a school first and a style second.  Not all martial arts courses are created equally.  Many are black belt factories, where you pay a certain fee and are guaranteed a black belt after a certain amount of time.  Other schools are going to emphasize tournament performance or flashy-but-not-realistic jumping and leaping attacks.  Good schools are hard to come by, but they’ll offer a variety of different types of skills and performance elements, have a wide variety of people at varying levels of abilities and ages, and have experienced instructors.  Park districts are an excellent place to begin, but there are some valuable strip mall dojos that offer different types of instruction.  Ask for a free trial class, or at least to watch a class before signing up.

Non-Gun Weapons

Some models of tactical flashlights have stun guns or preprogrammed SOS signals that can add to its functionality.

In addition to a basic level of skill in hand-to-hand combat, I think it’s also important to find a hand-to-hand weapon to supplement your firearm and EDC kit.  My personal choice is a tactical flashlight that functions as a striking weapon, a strobe light to distract and disorient my attackers, and a tool that I can use in my everyday life.  Some models of tactical flashlights have stun guns or preprogrammed SOS signals that can add to its functionality, and since it’s a small flashlight it is a very inconspicuous weapon that is never taken away from me at sporting events or theme parks.  If you don’t like that suggestion, consider some of these other hand-to-hand weapons that are easy to carry:

Remember that no matter what weapon you choose to carry that you are well equipped and ready to use it.  A knife may not be the best weapon for every encounter, but if that’s what you choose, that’s what you might be stuck with.  If you pull pepper spray from your pocket or purse, know how to use it, or it will be taken away and used against you.

Dogs

Best Prepper Dog for SHTF

My final suggestion for personal defense is to get yourself a dog.

Dogs are fantastic companion animals that are also overlooked but highly practical pieces of a prepper’s armory.  They require much more regular upkeep than what you’re storing in your gun cabinet currently, but are also useful for a wide variety of situations.

Dogs are not a fail-safe mechanism for security.  Just check YouTube and you’ll find hundreds of home security videos of dogs peacefully approaching burglars and not making a peep if that burglar thought ahead to bringing some dog treats with them.  That said, training and mentally stimulating your dog will certainly help in developing his senses enough to make him a versatile tool and defense mechanism as well as a companion.

Training your dog to be a more aggressive “guard dog” is certainly an option, but one that I would strongly discourage.  It is important for your dog to be socialized among other animals and be extremely selective about whom he attacks.  An “attack dog” is not a good choice, and will likely do you more harm than good, both in terms of legal trouble and difficulty in raising and training him.

If you don’t want a traditional guard dog, and if your dog is more likely to lick your home invader than attack him or warn you, then why bother?  It’s easy – prepper dogs are a highly effective deterrent for would-be attackers.

There is an old adage that states “When you’re running from a bear, you don’t need to be the fastest, you just need to not be the slowest.”  Choosing a large breed of dog, such as a Rottweiler, or an American or Olde English bulldog will definitely make your home significantly less appealing for any home invaders or burglars. More intelligent breeds, such as German Shepherds can act as an early warning system for people approaching your home, and may be able to be put to work around your home for basic tasks if you keep livestock.  These kinds of dogs are also those that have a reputation of being aggressive (even though they’re not), and their reputation alone can be a deterrent.  Keep in mind that many of our modern breeds, even those poorly designed for defense like bloodhounds or greyhounds, were originally bred to be hunters or highly specialized seekers, and have many practical applications in SHTF or survival situations

Taking dogs with you when you go outside for exercise or a walk is a good way for urban preppers to discourage muggers and attackers.  Even rural and suburban preppers can benefit from having a dog along on walks or runs in case of twisted ankles, or in the event that you are involved in some sort of accident.  My mother-in-law was riding her horse that she’d ridden thousands of times in the past, along a trail that she had ridden hundreds of times before, and when her horse was inexplicably spooked she fell off.  It was her golden lab that ran back to the farm alone to find help while she was knocked out.

All told, the advantages of having an animal companion are significant, specifically in terms of defense.  For those with allergies, there are some hypoallergenic dogs that are available, and depending on the breed you choose, you may find yourself unaffected by short-haired breeds.

A dog is not the highest priority on the list, but can certainly be a helpful addition to a home or personal defense system.  I certainly feel better about leaving my teenage daughter home alone for runs to the store or when I’m out to dinner with my wife when Arthur (my 90-pound monster of an American Bulldog) is home with her, even those he’s secretly a big softie.

  Imagine being in the middle of a crowded festival, enjoying your time with your family.  All of a sudden, you find yourself near some drunks who start a fight, and

Almost all preppers love their guns.  It has been my experience, though, that most non-prepper family members do not love guns quite so well perhaps, as some of their counterparts,  Let’s face it – without proper education, care, storage and maintenance, guns are absolutely one of the most dangerous things you can bring into your home, especially if you have children.

That said, guns are one of the most useful items you can have.  They are an absolute essential piece of home defense, self-defense, and they can be used to hunt game for food as well.  Outside of a knife or a cell phone, very few items that you can prepare with have dual purposes that can equal a gun.

If firearms are causing a fight in your family, if you have a legal record, or if you live in an area that disallows firearms, then it’s time to start thinking of an alternative.  There are plenty of alternatives out there, and while none of them are quite so effective as a rifle or a pistol, they can work in a pinch.

Bows or Crossbows

The best alternative to a true firearm is surely a bow or a crossbow.  The former is quieter, cheaper, faster to reload, easier to maintain, and more versatile, but requires significantly more practice, while the latter is much easier to use, and much more accessible for those with poor arm strength.

If, for whatever reason, you are unwilling or unable to own a gun, then owning a bow is something that should top your list.  While either weapon requires practice, it shouldn’t be very long before you are able to at least develop a minimum level of arm strength, aim and tactical knowledge for using these items. Your local park district, nature preserve or school may even offer courses for all age ranges as well as any archery range in your area.

As far as uses go, a bow is quite similar to a firearm.  You could conceivably use it for defense, although you’d certainly look a little strange doing so, and bow hunting is a very popular sport among hunting enthusiasts.  The major disadvantages to bows are obvious – they are less portable than handguns, and less powerful than any gun, so you need to be accurate in your shooting to cause damage to larger game while hunting.  That said, they are significantly quieter than guns, and you can reuse the ammunition quite easily or make new arrows from materials in the forest.

A simple recurve or compound bow set with arrows and a target will run you about $300 for an adequate starter set, and is often enough to get you started without worrying about accessories or professional-level equipment.

Slingshots

There are many slingshot truthers out there who believe strongly in this weapon.  In my opinion, while a slingshot is another alternative to guns or bows, it is a far distant third or even fourth-place option among ranged weapons, almost to the point of irrelevance.   It is far less powerful, using small metal balls to do damage, but has minimal ability to do damage, a short range, and wide variations in accuracy.  It is far cheaper than other options, running less than $50 for most models, including ammunition.
For self-defense purposes, a slingshot is nearly useless, as it won’t stop attackers without a perfectly targeted strike, and it’s not useful for hunting most animals larger than rabbits, but in a pinch, I’d rather have a slingshot than my bare hands.

Bolas

Yes, seriously, bolas are a ancient South American weapon that consist of a par of small weights connected by a length of strong cord.  By whipping the bolas at a high speed, then throwing the bolas at a targets’ legs, you can trip them up and immobilize the target for long enough to hopefully approach and strike before they can free themselves.  Heavier weights on the ends of the ropes will do some damage as well, but a bolas should be looked at largely as a capture tool first and foremost. Bolas are not a particularly effective weapon for all animals, as it may be difficult to fully ensure a nimble four-legged creature, but for hunting birds or smaller quarry, they can be quite useful. The native people who use this weapon are often able to take down birds in flight, or use these as a surprise capture tool for birds on the ground.  This is another weapon whose effectiveness will depend largely on the amount of effort you put into practicing with the device, but it could be a useful alternative.  Unlike an effective gun, bow or slingshot, a bolas is a weapon you could create with materials you already own, so it’s possible to start practicing with a homemade weapon quite quickly.

Clubs

A club is a good self-defense weapon for close-quarters combat.  You could use a baseball bat you purchase at a garage sale, or a tactical option like a telescoping weighted club, and each would be at least somewhat effective for keeping attackers at bay.  If you happen to be a larger person, a club also offers a strong intimidation factor, but it is very ineffective if thrown or used as a ranged weapon, where it would have no practicality in a fight.  It’s certainly a low-level option.  Of course, unless used in combination with a bolas or similar trapping/ensnaring weapon, a club is not a useful hunting weapon.

Knives

I’m a person who believes that you should carry a knife with you at all times, so it does fit with being a EDC device that you could use for self-defense.  Knives share many similar features with clubs, as close-quarters self-defense tools that are certainly more effective than hand-to-hand combat.

I included knives specifically because I consistently see advertisements for tactical throwing knives that I think need to be addressed.  The idea behind throwing knives as a weapon baffles me.  Anyone who has experience using these items knows that they are iffy at best.  Hitting a moving target with a knife that is flipping end-over-end and having that knife not only strike, but also damage, is nearly impossible.  It’s perhaps the coolest option to show off as a parlor trick, but it cannot be used with any effectiveness outside of sheer blind luck as a hunting or self-defense tool.  Don’t be a movie star, get a real weapon, or at the very least, when you’re in a fight, don’t throw your knife at your attacker.

If firearms are causing a fight in your family, if you have a legal record, or if you live in an area that disallows firearms, then it’s time to start

In the previous article, we discussed what gunsmithing is, and saw that it had three components, tools, knowledge and skills.  We started out by looking at some of the universal basic tools of gunsmithing.  In part two, after some final thoughts on tools, we’ll look at knowledge and skills needed in gunsmithing.

Other Tool Considerations

In most cases, a firearm will come with everything securely fastened in place.  If you remove a screw which was “Loc-Tited” in place, you should have a little tube of Loctite on hand to allow you to refasten it.  If a part is “staked” in place (surrounding metal is “mushed” into the part), don’t remove it unless you know what you are doing and have the appropriate staking tool.

A set of magnifying glasses or an Optivisor can help you see small details better, and safety glasses will ensure you can keep seeing anything.  If lighting at your work station will be a problem, a small, bright “headlight” would be in order.   I find the Bushnell headlamps to be small, light, very useful and dirt cheap.

So far we have discussed a good beginning set of general tools for testing, basic maintenance, disassembly and reassembly.  If you get good quality tools and shop wisely, you should be able to get started for well under $400 (not including headspace gauges) and probably under $200 if you go with medium quality.  As to “specialty” tools for each firearm you intend to work on, the trick is to have the ones you need and not waste money on ones for tasks or firearms which are not in your current plans.

If you are going to start changing things while you are inside the firearm, the general tool list gets bigger (and more expensive too).  Here is a gunsmith tool set recommended by AGI, one of the better “distance” gunsmith schools, for a “professional” gunsmith.  The video on the page has more information about the recommended tools than does the printed list and is interesting to watch.

All of the tools they include are “general purpose” tools, so their set does not include any specialized tools for particular models or classes of firearms, which is completely understandable.  They don’t have a clue what firearms you will work on or what procedures you will do.  I think the $2000 estimate mentioned is quite low if you get good quality tools (some of the ones they show look like they could have come from a “bargain bin”), and if you add specialized tools, the total tends to really zoom upwards.  In case you were wondering what the top end training package which includes all these tools as well as all the training runs, it is $15,000.  But unless you are becoming a “professional” (when there are tax deductions and professional discounts available), you don’t need all these tools or education to begin with.  Get the basics, and add the other items as you need them.

Some of the tools you can get from common tool sources, or Amazon or eBay.  For some of the more esoteric ones you will probably have to go to a gunsmith tool supplier.  Brownells used to be the standard for gunsmith tools, and they are still around today, although the ratings of some of their tools seem to indicate the quality of some items may have declined.  I really don’t know of another “go to” place for specialty tools, although many of the standard tools and a few specialty tools are available from online firearms stores such as Midway or Optics Planet, or my new favorite, Primary Arms.  Let your fingers do the walking through the internet.

It is a good idea to have a specific container and location for your gunsmithing tools.  If you mix them in with your “regular” tools, you will tend to use them for non-gunsmithing tasks, and they can get scattered or worn out early.  If your set is fairly small, a portable tool case or pouch may do.  For a medium-sized set, a multi-drawer toolbox or two is just the ticket.  I used a four drawer toolbox for assembly, disassembly, lubrication, adjustment and measuring tools and supplies, and a three drawer one with tools and supplies for making modifications, which worked out perfectly for my needs and still could be carried in one trip.  For a large or professional set, you want a room or part of a room, with workbench, power tool stands, peg board and tool drawer systems.

Knowledge

This one is tricky.  For convenience, we divide this into “general” and “specific”.  General knowledge is the “basics”; including types of firearms and how each type works (or is supposed to work), basic tools and their usage, “universal” disassembly, reassembly and minor modifications.  This will be covered in a good gunsmithing curriculum, or you can get a good handle on this from books, internet articles and online videos.


Gunsmithing the AR-15, The Bench Manual

“Specific” knowledge is knowledge some of which you don’t need – until you do.  For instance, details of a specific model firearm you don’t have any immediate plans to work on or a specific procedure which you don’t currently plan to perform.  Since it is somewhat impractical to learn it all (and remember it 10 years later when you finally need it), generally this is best covered (or relearned) by reference books (paper or online) which you refer to as needed.  If you plan to specialize (use some specific knowledge a lot), then learning that subset of specific knowledge would seem the only practical methodology.  In this case, you may be able to get it from self-study, or you may be better served going to classes in that area of study.

For classes in gunsmithing, there are a number of possibilities.  If you have a local gunsmithing school or junior college/trade school/specialty school which offers courses, that may be a viable option.  It will be expensive and probably take up to two years for a degree, although a “certificate” may be a shorter time option.  If you don’t have live classes locally, then generally attending classes “away” is not practical, since not only are there the tuition costs, but lodging and other expenses.  Not to mention existing and temporary employment.  In the “old days”, they had mail order courses, which have been replaced with online training and DVD based training.  If you can keep engaged, some can provide INFORMATION as well as or even better than local “live” classes (you can repeat something as many times as you need), but there are some severe weaknesses.  Many of these don’t have a method for you to get questions answered, and none provide guided “hands-on” experience.

As a point for comparison, AGI’s basic “108 hour” video course is about $5000.  On the other hand, Phoenix State University claims their online training is “the best and quickest and cheapest”, at $99 for the basic certification, $149 for the intermediate one and $199 for the top one.  I’ve always heard that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true”, and that seems to be the case with PSU, based on the huge number of similar complaints (them not providing what was promised and using delaying tactics until the grace period for a refund has expired) I found about them.  A legitimate online course seems to run about $1500.

The instructions which come with specialized tools you buy is “knowledge”.  As a hint, store them in a good location.  When I dusted off my set, I found that I had forgotten not only how to use some of the specialized tools, but even what they were for.  If the instructions had not been in one of the drawers of the toolbox, I might still be trying to figure a couple of them out.

Skills

“Skill” is the difference between “knowing how to do something” and “being able to do it”.  If you have a fair amount of mechanical experience, you might be able to become competent at many gunsmithing skills fairly quickly through trial and error.  If you are not mechanically-minded, you will likely need to be shown how to do something, and then practice it.  The best place for this is gunsmith classes which have guided “laboratory” sessions.  If you have a school locally, at a reasonable price, you are lucky.  Otherwise, online or video classes may be able to show you what to do, but you won’t be able to do it until you have done it, and that may take someone who has done it before watching over your shoulder or even guiding your hands.  You may be able to find a local gunsmith who will work with you; perhaps even set up an apprentice relationship.

The other option is just to try things on your own.  Here’s a hint:  the first time you try something, don’t try it on an expensive firearm or critical firearm part…  In fact, go to gun shows and get the cheapest beaters you can find, even non-working or partial ones, to practice on.  To learn skills, videos are often better than written descriptions; being set up in front of the TV screen is about as close as you can get to a live expert present.

To be clear, there is no “distance” course which can provide you skills.  The best ones can guide you in attaining the skills on your own.

Parts

A functioning firearm generally has all the parts it needs included.  But parts break or wear out.  And if you take the firearm apart, small parts can get lost.  Sometimes stock parts are sub-standard, such as the MIM (Metal Injection Molded) extractor in modern Remington 870s replacing the machined part in older production.  Many aftermarket companies put out parts which are easier to use, more accurate, more durable or just cooler looking.  Improving the functionality of a firearm, such as replacing the safety with an extended version, is often wise.  For disaster planning, having some spares for firearm parts which are at risk of breaking or loss is wise.  Things like a firing pin, extractor, and springs and pins seem a good choice, and usually are not terribly costly.  Some sources even have gathered together a set of parts in an “Oops Kit”.

Gunsmithing, Why Bother?

You may have noticed that I am suggesting that you spend money on tools and possibly education, and perhaps worse, a significant amount of time.  Presumably you are already spending money on getting survival supplies and time learning survival skills; I’m not saying this is MORE important than any other skill or equipment.  But if you plan on relying on firearms in a crisis situation, you had better be able to keep them working, and if one happens to stop working (or if you come across one which is not working), get it working again.  It might even save you money in the long run if you don’t have to always go running to an expensive gunsmith when a firearm needs repair or modifications for optimal utility.  It can be a source of extra income or an alternate career.  Even if you can’t see gunsmithing as a worthwhile part of your personal survival plans, remember that gunsmithing will be a “primitive profession” which will have a lot of value in bartering in a post apocalypse world.

In the previous article, we discussed what gunsmithing is, and saw that it had three components, tools, knowledge and skills.  We started out by looking at some of the universal

The world of Survival and Prepping Bloggers is pretty diverse. There are those who will say that they are only talking intelligently about preparing without any of the fear as if fear somehow makes prepping less relevant.

There are those who are on the opposite of the spectrum and almost daily warn of impending doom around every corner. In our broad sphere of influence you have Preppers, Survivalists, Homesteaders, Back to the Land types, current and ex-military, Off-Grid, Anti-government, Sustainable living, farmers, militia and all other points in between.

The largest majority in my experience are just regular folks who don’t want to be caught off guard if some emergency happens. Like the Prepper versus Survivalist argument, there are a lot of sides to any one topic.

With each of those sides come opinions and you know what they say about opinions.

 

 

When it comes to opinions I have more than my fair share and right or wrong they are what guide me on just about every decision.

My opinion from time to time has gotten me in trouble with some who read this blog and as long as the conversation stays civil, which I think it always has, that is perfectly fine to me. Now, I would like to think I am wise enough to realize when my opinion is wrong and be mature enough to change my mind. This to me makes perfect sense. If you learn something that wasn’t known to you before that completely alters your understanding and yet you refuse to change your beliefs out of stubborn pride then you deserve whatever you get.

Opinions in my opinion aren’t hard and fast rules. Opinions can change over time.

Speaking of opinions, there are some people in the Prepper community that absolutely abhor guns. They may each have their reasons, but usually they are convinced that a gun is not necessary for protection or survival. I had a reader send me in this question:

Does it even make sense to Prep extensively with intentions of NOT including firearm(s)? Why would someone Prep just to have it all taken away by somebody with nothing but a gun? I thought this might enlighten some of those who Prep but are dead set against owning a weapon of any kind.

I think this is a great question and there are really only two main opinions when it comes to guns. You either like them or you don’t. Maybe like isn’t the right word. You either appreciate what they are useful at doing or you don’t.

 

Digging Deeper

I wanted to try and come up with all the reasons I could think of for why anyone would not want to have guns in a survival situation. I came up with a few reasons, but maybe you have more I didn’t think of.

  • Their Religion forbids owning guns
  • History of bad experiences
  • Philosophically opposed to killing even to protect life
  • Scared of guns
  • Believe guns are better in the hands of police/military

I am sure there are a myriad of other reasons, but for this article I’ll start with these. For the sake of argument, I will even say that all of these are valid reasons for not wanting to purchase a weapon for defense.

Getting back to the question; does it make sense to prepare if you aren’t checking the box on the firearm box? I think this depends greatly on a lot of factors.

What are you Prepping for?

Prepping is not something you can ever accomplish. To me, Prepping is a way of living in a way that will keep you as safe and self-sufficient as possible no matter what emergency or crisis comes your way. You could also say that Prepping is about becoming self sufficient in a way. You could be prepping for an earthquake or a Tornado, a Hurricane or even a broken down vehicle. Each of these normal events has a relatively short time period, but the devastation from some of these natural phenomenon can last years. If you lose your home to a hurricane you might literally not have a home to call your own for over a year.

For these events, safety from others is not normally your focus in the short term, but I can point to virtually any natural disaster and show examples of looting and robbery. Eventually safety does become an issue whenever there is a crisis even if it was caused by Mother Nature.

Others are prepping for man-made events like war, home invasions, economic collapse or riots where the rule of law is out the window. In an event like this it’s every man/woman for themselves. In this type of event safety is no less an issue, but what makes this worse is that you don’t have relief workers spending their summer vacations passing out water. You don’t have power company trucks from other states rolling in. You could very well be alone with no one but your family and neighbors for safety.

What do you want to have by your side in the middle of the night?

Where do you live?

Now even if we do have the worst case scenario, global catastrophe, or plague known to man there will be people who aren’t as affected as others. If you are living in downtown New York, regardless of the issue you will have a lot of other people to contend with. If you live out in the plains of eastern Kansas, I imagine there will be a lot fewer people to deal with and worry about. Does that mean you have nothing to worry about though?

To anyone who has read this blog for any length of time, it is probably painfully clear that I have and advocate the responsible use of firearms by legal adults. Firearms serve a purpose for me and that is almost singularly around protection of my family. I have weapons that are solely for hunting but in a pinch they can be used for defense too. I live in what I would call a small town. Not one stop light small, but small enough I think. We do not have the same problems as those in New York, but we certainly don’t have the breathing room that they do in Kansas either.

 

 

As I have said on multiple occasions, I believe that a means of defending yourself is one of the key items you need to account for if you are prepping for almost anything. Your very life could depend on the choices you make or the situations you find yourself in and in my opinion, planning to survive without considering the dark side of humanity is a failure to plan for one of the most likely scenarios.

Is purchasing a gun your only option? No, I guess you could have a baseball bat, or a cross-bow or a hockey stick.
You have to ask yourself, how well protected will you feel with your choice? I don’t want to look into the eyes of someone intent on killing me as I grip a golf club.
I want to have the most effective means I can purchase for defending my family and our home. I have settled on firearms because to me that makes the most sense.

 

 

If you are planning to survive catastrophe, but don’t expect the darker side of humanity to ever be a threat to you or your family I would urge you to reconsider.
For me having a gun and never needing to use it would be far superior to not having a gun and losing my family to someone who did.
Does simply having a gun guarantee the bad guys won’t come knocking?

Hardly.

 

Does me having a rifle mean I will be able to defend my home against any and all threats? No, but it does give me a fighting chance at surviving and protecting my family. Isn’t that what you are prepping for after all?

 

 

 

The world of Survival and Prepping Bloggers is pretty diverse. There are those who will say that they are only talking intelligently about preparing without any of the fear as

There has been some time that has passed since the latest “mass” shooting, although the news yesterday of a recently fired UPS worker killing two of his co-workers and eventually himself, reminds us that life is sometimes deadly. As a prepper as well as a strong advocate of the rights guaranteed by our second amendment, one of the things that I prepare for is a situation where a nut is going around killing innocent people. This could be some terrorist, a mentally deranged person, someone under the influence of psychotropic drugs or like in Alabama, someone with a grudge who simply doesn’t care anymore. You could say all of these types of people have one thing in common regardless of their motivation; they simply want to kill people.

There has and will always be people who want to kill for one reason or another. To deny that is to deny human nature so arguing about methods to make innocent people safer while at the same time preventing them from protecting themselves is to remain willfully ignorant about the reality of this issue. Bad people will always be around in one shape or another and they will endeavor to do bad things no matter what the rules are. Period.

I for one strongly believe that the best way to stop a bad man with a gun is a good guy with a gun. This is exactly what the police do and when they engage some nutcase like this with lethal force, the killers always stop. Usually they kill themselves first, but they do stop killing others in most cases when they are confronted.

This isn’t a debate about guns though or the second amendment, it is a conversation about what I want to share with my children should they find themselves in a situation where some psycho with a gun (or a knife, or an axe, a machete, sharp stick, baseball bat, hedge clippers) is in a location where they are and the psycho starts trying to injure people. This isn’t what you who may be a concealed carry holder are to do in a situation with a psychopath; it is what the unarmed can do to get out of the situation and have a fighting chance at survival.

What do gunshots sound like?

Do your children know what gunshots sound like? Have you ever been outside and heard gunshots from a distance and wondered what was going on? If you live in some areas, gunshots outside are common but they can have completely different meanings depending on where you are. For example, if I was in downtown Chicago and I heard gunshots I would automatically assume someone with a gun was shooting people. Compare that with where I live which is vastly more rural than a big city. To hear gunshots out here probably means that someone is sighting in a new scope or is just practicing with a new handgun they purchased for self-defense.

The important thing is for your children to be able to recognize the sound of a gunshot wherever they are so they will be ready to act should they need to. Even out in the country people can go crazy so that gunshot you hear might mean that you will need to escape shortly. If nothing else, it should be something you pay attention to.

My children have all been to the range with me on multiple occasions and they have fired all of my weapons. They have been to indoor ranges and out in a pasture shooting at cans. They know what the sound of a gun is and this is a crucial point if your children are going to be prepared for this type of situation. It might even be their job to let a grownup know what that sound is. The range is a great place to introduce children to firearms in general but they also get to know the sounds a firearm makes. Even if you don’t like or believe in guns, that exposure could be something that saves their life.

Know your surroundings

This is probably the hardest thing for children to learn to pay attention to unless they are in a very familiar environment but knowing where the exits are and how to get out of a building in more than one way is important. If an active shooter is in the building you are in, do you know how to get out? If the shooter is between you and one exit, do you have a backup or alternate exit to go to? In a life or death scenario (and assuming you aren’t in a high-rise) would you bust out a window and go out that way?

Panic is probably the hardest to overcome in a situation where there is someone shooting people and coming your way, but having some conversations about where they would go and what they would do if faced with certain obstacles helps kids to think about this potential situation before they are faced with it. Just the exercise of talking through what they would do gives kids some perspective they can draw on in a crisis situation. I tell my kids to do whatever it takes to get out of the building. If that means busting a window, I’ll pay for it. If they have to steal a car I will bail them out of jail. Whatever it takes to stay alive and they have to know you are going to back them up when that happens.

Run – Get Out! Hide only as a last resort

As a Dad I would chase my kids around the house. I still do sometimes, but it isn’t anywhere near as fun. My youngest child would always run some distance but when I got close she would hit the ground and curl up waiting for me to tickle her. I would always try to get her to keep running because I would want her to run until she couldn’t run anymore if her life depended on it. I know with me she felt safe “getting caught” but I wanted her to know that wasn’t an option if she was running from a Zombie or a bad guy. We use zombies all the time to discuss end of the world situations because they are more fun to a kid than some of the realities of regular people acting odd.

If my children are anywhere they hear gunshots they are taught to run and get out of the building or location they are in as fast as possible. Like I said above, do whatever it takes to get out and the faster the better. A lot of schools will say go into a classroom, lock the door and turn out the lights. What the?? No, run out of the building so the bad guy won’t be able to break or shoot out the lock and walk in the room and kill everyone hiding under their desk. Even if they don’t break down the door you are trapped inside and they are between you and safety. I even tell my kids to run no matter what their teachers say. If their teacher’s say they are supposed to hide under their desks, I tell them to run out, go away from the shooter and get out of the building. Even DHS, when discussing what to do in an Active Shooter scenario recommends “if there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises”. Just get out.

Cover versus Concealment

Lastly, it is important for your children to know what bullets can do and what is necessary to stop them from going through someone. If they are trapped inside, they need to find something that will give them the best chance of surviving if the bullets start flying. That means something with enough mass to stop rounds.

Children think that as long as they are hidden they will be OK and we know that isn’t the case. They have to know what will protect them from bullets and there aren’t many things in an office building, movie theater or school that will do an effective job but you can learn to look for more solid objects. Don’t even bother hiding under a table or a glass trophy case, but those big concrete posts in the lobby will work. Forget about hiding under the teacher’s desk, but the large bookshelves in the library could offer protection. Large appliances in the back of the cafeteria will work better than stainless steel serving dollies. The next time you are out anywhere ask your child what they could hide behind that would stop a bullet and see what they say.

To illustrate the damage of a bullet you can also go back to the range and take a watermelon or better yet a large phone book with you. Have your child stab the phone book with a knife really hard to see what happens. Most children will barely be able to penetrate the surface of a phone book with a knife. Then set the phone book up and shoot it with any pistol you have and show them the hole in the back. This will impress upon them the damage that bullets can make and why it is so important to get behind something very sturdy if they have no place to run.

Hopefully none of our children or any children will ever have to face a situation in which an active shooter is attacking people where they are. My hope is that if that happens I am with them. If I am not with them, I hope they will do everything they can to get out of there before they are harmed. Do your children know what to do?

There has been some time that has passed since the latest “mass” shooting, although the news yesterday of a recently fired UPS worker killing two of his co-workers and eventually

It’s your home; you should feel safe and secure here. People are always worried about the safety and security of their family. Everyone wants to make sure that their family is safe in their homes. Family security always starts at home. If you feel your family is not safe at home, you need to take action immediately.

Most home safety improvements are just common sense put into action. Put a Home Security System in your plan. While you can’t ensure your home security by a single action, and no single product will completely protect you, taking the many smaller steps to provide the highest security of your home and your family, is worth it just for the peace of mind.

Here are some easy steps to make your home more secure.

Get a Burglar Alarm System

Burglar alarm system can detect intrusion – unauthorized entry – into your home. Burglar alarms have become standard equipment in stores and other businesses, and they’re becoming increasingly common in private homes as well. Most alarm systems are actually built around the same basic design concepts. While you can’t prevent any unauthorized entry at your home by simply setting a burglar alarm, you can make yourself, your family, the neighbors and the Police aware the instant it occurs. There are a lot of burglar alarm systems available in the market at various prices, and a lot of options. Do your homework.

If you can’t afford a real one you can buy a fake alarm system too, complete with a sign. One other note: Wireless is all the rage – no mods to the homes electrical system, wireless communications between the system and emergency response personnel, wireless control by you from anywhere. All pluses. One minus, wireless systems can be hacked. Repeat, do your homework.

Secure the Doors

Perform an inspection of all doors around your home. Doors frames should be strong; the hinges should be protected and make sure the wood is not hollow. All exterior doors should be solid and made from Fiberglass, solid wood, solid wood core or metal. If installing a new door and frame, consider a fiberglass door that swings outward rather than inward. Having a door open in this way helps absorb any forced entry.

There is a downside, it is easier for an intruder to pull open an outward opening door than push an inward open with you blocking. Install a deadbolt lock build into the doorknob. You can also add a dead-lock which is an exit only lock. While it might be noticeable in the entryway, it can’t be broken into without pulverizing the door. You should secure the sliding entryways doors by installing keyed locks at the best and base and install cylinder guards around the lock cylinders. Additionally, a large dowel along the bottom rail will delay an intruder, though a glass door is, after all, glass.

Get a Dog

Dogs are the first security system and have been called man’s closest companion for quite a long time which is as it should be. One of the fundamental jobs of the trained dogs has been to ensure its proprietors and prepare for undesirable individuals or animals. If a person your dog doesn’t know approaches you on your lawn, your dog starts barking and some dogs can become aggressive. Dogs, for one, are loyal to the death. A dog is probably going not just to assault any intruder to your home; they’ll make a plunge directly into the face of potential threat to secure you and your family if they need to. Dogs can act and react a lot faster than any human could.

Even a small dog can help keep you safe at home by being a reliable and very noisy alarm. Barking can hinder many would-be-criminals and, in the occasion that woofing doesn’t drive away interlopers, the noisy quarreling of any pooch is sufficient to influence neighbors to crest out a window to see what’s going on, potentially notifying police.

Get Familiar with the Neighborhood

Having friendly neighbors improves neighborhood security and makes things easier for everyone. Knowing your neighbors is always a good thing. Wouldn’t it be nice to know somebody was watching over your property when you’re on holiday or down in your rural home? A favor you can not ask of a stranger. You might also discover it means you can share backyard equipment like cloth hanging lines, childcare, recipes, movies or transport. Your neighbors will do something if they see anything suspicious around their home and yours. Neighborliness is a valuable part of everyone’s life, and there are compelling reasons to know your neighbors.
Say hello to your neighbors, go pick your child personally from the neighbor’s house, Attend neighborhood meetings. Be active in virtual neighborhood groups and be proactive.

Add Security Signs

Yard signs and stickers that say a security system protects your home can scare off potential burglars. Those that say things like “We Don’t Call 911” may be your position BUT they are not as effective as ones from known security services. Usually, thieves search for homes with a simple entrance and escape route, yet security frameworks don’t take that into consideration. The clearest advantage of using yard signs and window decals rather than a security framework is that it’s substantially less expensive. Buying yard signs and stickers with home security logos will just set you back about $10, and a significant number of the most well-known security brands logos can be bought online. The sign helps, potential thieves may pass you by for an easier target.

Install Fake Security Cameras

This method is along the same lines as having fake home security signs, but it might be enough to keep intruders away. You can really purchase fake security cameras online beginning at around $10 to $20 and these will help deflect thieves from coming into your home.

They look like genuine security cameras and even have red squinting lights to add to the act. It’s just a cheap and easy idea to consider if you don’t want to invest in a more expensive security measure.

Put up Motion Detecting Outdoor Lights

Nothing makes burglars run faster than bright lights flooding the cover of darkness. You can find motion-sensing floodlights for $25 and up and these don’t require a full-fledged home security system. Motion sensor lights basically consist of a little focal point that detects quick changes in heat or movement.

You could get motion sensor lights in a standard hard-wired version, which are generally introduced by experts, or as a remote, battery-powdered set which could be easily set up; other versions could also be solar-powered. As for alarms, the device could produce a siren or be silent, depending on your preference. Motion sensor lights should be set 6-10 feet over the ground with the goal that it covers the main section spots and conceivable blindsides around your home. The area the gadget covers at that point relies upon how you set it up,  particularly how you set its angle and distance range. Point range could be balanced and set somewhere in the range of 180 to 270 degrees. The separation could likewise be balanced up to 70 feet or more.

These inexpensive steps will again, add peace of mind to your home and maybe, just maybe, prevent you and your family from harm. Be safe out there.

It’s your home; you should feel safe and secure here. People are always worried about the safety and security of their family. Everyone wants to make sure that their family

In a perfect world, one would like to think that when disaster strikes, people would rush to help and support each other through it. And while people certainly will, such catastrophes unfortunately sometimes bring out the worst in many people as well. And these opportunistic predator types don’t target strapping he-men either. They’ll be looking for what they think are vulnerable victims; the elderly, the disabled, and women.

While in these more enlightened times few people still think of women as the “weaker sex”, most men still retain some advantages in physical height and strength.

Fortunately, there are a number of self-defense tips and techniques that can level that playing field and allow women to protect themselves and those that they are responsible for protecting. Some of them involve an outlay of money, some involve exercise, some involve surprisingly simple preparation, but all of them should be considered now, not after the worst happens. Below are some of the more effective ones.

Get And Stay Physically Fit

The healthier and more physically fit you are in the aftermath of a crisis, the better.

You’ll be able to run from danger. You’ll be able to run and get help and possibly track down prey.

Weight lifting will allow you to…well…lift weights.

Rock climbing and ropes courses now may help you to extract yourself and assist others in escaping from collapsed buildings, scale cliffs, and climb trees.

And the great thing about physical fitness programs is that they need not involve memberships at expensive gyms. An exercise regime as simple as daily rope-jumping may have you putting others to shame when trouble strikes.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Fear

It’s a perfectly natural emotion, designed by nature to help you avoid serious problems. But there’s a fine line between breaking down into hopeless hysteria or running blindly off of the edge of a cliff, and making your fear work for you.

Don’t be crippled by fear, but do listen to that little voice warning you when going into unfamiliar areas, encountering strange groups, etc. And remember that the adrenaline produced when you enter the “flight or fight” mode actually increases your physical strength. Use it accordingly.

 

 

Face to face with a street thug? Do THIS
Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like we’re living in America anymore, with…
• Outraged alt-left mobs who burn any American flag they come across…
• Trigger-happy thugs who have ZERO regard for human life…
• Radical terrorists plotting to murder Americans right here in our country…
That’s why an ex-CIA Officer made this brief self-defense video and he’s sharing it FREE with all law-abiding American citizens.

Every Heel Has His (Or Her) Achilles Heel

Even physically fit women may not prevail in a confrontation with a man that involves running or brute force. So don’t let him get the upper hand, but calmly and effectively go on the offensive by attacking him in areas that will hurt, with blows and kicks to the:

  • Eyes
  • Groin
  • Kidneys
  • Nose
  • Adam’s apple (that “bulge” in the throat)
  • Shin
  • Instep
  • Solar plexus (between the sternum and stomach)
  • Knee
  • Nose
  • Jaw
  • Sternum (the flat bony area in the center of the chest)

Make sure that these blows are hard, and yes, they work just as effectively on women. And in situations like these, biting is absolutely fair play, and effectively painful. For some defense moves that you can try out, check out this article on The 3 Essential Self-Defense Moves.

Take A Class

There are a couple of reasons to take formal self-defense courses now.

The first one is that you will be learning in a safe and comfortable environment with professional instructors. This guarantees that you’ll be learning how to use techniques effectively, having questions answered by knowledgeable sources, and reducing the chances of injury to yourself or another student.

The second reason is that retentive learning of this nature tends to go better in a group situation, with the positive feedback, support, and hands-on learning opportunities offered by this type of classes.

Join A Shooting Club/Go To A Firing Range

Waiting until the apocalypse is nigh upon us is a bad time to become comfortable with using a firearm. It’s also possible to receive instruction at these locations to insure that you know how to effectively protect yourself with a firearm against attackers.

Other (Non-Lethal) Firearm Knowledge That All Self-Defenders Should Have

Neither the survivor party that you’re trying to protect nor the gang of slobbering attackers that you’re facing will be too impressed if your gun jams or you shoot yourself while firing it, now will they?

The Israeli Woman Teaching the Art of Stiletto Self Defense

Survivalists or preppers who know or think that they will be handling guns should:

  • Know how to load and unload various types of firearms
  • Know how to clean and perform at least minor types of other maintenance on guns
  • Be conversant with various parts of firearms
  • Know how to correctly wear a holster, as well as correctly drawing from and returning a weapon to it

It would also be very helpful to master the not-difficult but time consuming art of reloading, or manufacturing your own ammunition.

Prevention Is The Best Cure

The most effective self-defense? Avoid putting yourself in situations where you have to use self-defense!

Avoid traveling by yourself, traveling at night, or traveling in exposed or isolated areas. Sometimes of course, one has no choice. In such situations, keep a straight, tall posture, walk quickly and purposefully, and keep weapons out and in your hand.

Use Caution In Making New “Friends”

Until you actually get to know them, all unknown parties should be treated with caution. This means maintaining a distance of a couple of meters when meeting and speaking to them. You say this seems rude? Consider this. It buys you some space if the “friend” goes into attack mode, and allows you to observe what most vulnerable body parts the attacker (see #3) is exposing to you.

Maintain Self-Confidence

It can be hard to keep a stiff upper lip during the End of Days, but remaining calm and assertive will not only help you combat depression and feelings of self-hopelessness, it will make you appear less of a “mark” to attackers and other unsavory types.

Hunker Down At Home

If the crisis is short-term or there’s no immediate danger, like Dorothy said in the Wizard Of Oz, “There’s no place like home”. Make sure that your palace is a fortress though, by pre-stocking plenty of non-perishable foods, potable water, and medical supplies. Regardless of weather, all unused doors and windows should be secured. Install an “alarm” system even if it’s just a dog, and if possible, create a well-stocked “panic area” in the home where you can flee from intruders, and they can’t follow. Better still, be cautious about admitting any strangers to your home.

Wrapping Up

What do you think, are there other important factors women need to keep in mind to be able to effectively defend themselves? If you have some thoughts on the subject, please share them with us by commenting in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

Face to face with a street thug? Do THIS
Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like we’re living in America anymore, with…
• Outraged alt-left mobs who burn any American flag they come across…
• Trigger-happy thugs who have ZERO regard for human life…
• Radical terrorists plotting to murder Americans right here in our country…
That’s why an ex-CIA Officer made this brief self-defense video and he’s sharing it FREE with all law-abiding American citizens.

 

In a perfect world, one would like to think that when disaster strikes, people would rush to help and support each other through it. And while people certainly will, such

Let me start by saying this: I am not a fan of hanging fifty-million things and a coffee maker from my AR or upgrading a $200 10/22 with $1K worth of furniture. It’s just not my style and I’m of the mentality that the more things any item has, the more things there are to snag and break. Especially when I’m looking at firearms for home- or self-defense or hunting, I want to eliminate potential disasters.

That said, there are a few things on the market that I and some of my partners and buddies now have, but we don’t really see often on the ranges, blogs, or forums. I consider some of them game changers. So today, I’m going to point out offset sights, optics with integrated sights, and a specific type of single-point sling adaptor that could change some minds about the best gadgets for your guns.

*The links are only examples. There are others available. Please shop around and find additional reviews and pricing options.

Offset Sights

Offset sights like these are intended to be used in conjunction with an optic or scope.

Quickie refresher: Scope – dedicated crosshair aiming aid, adjustable or fixed magnification using lens refraction (no battery for many/most); Optics – either all lens-based aiming assistants; or battery-powered light-up aiming aids, regularly with multiple types and-or colors of dots and open- or closed-ring reticules to choose from and additional choices like red dot versus holographic. I’ll use the more disparate definitions this go-round.

In some cases, offset sights allow a shooter to switch between a longer-range target appropriate for a medium- to high-magnification optic or scope, and a close-quarters target by simply tilting the firearm a bit. In other cases, they allow a shooter to have a backup sighting option in case their optic has a really bad day at a really bad time (dead batteries, solid smack, cracked lens, blowing snow, sprayed mud).

American 45 Degree Offset Rapid Transition BUIS Backup Iron Sights For AR15

They’re also useful as a way to avoid switching between optic types or colors that perform better in varying light and background conditions, although that crops up more  regularly with competition and smaller game shooting.

Co-witnessing standard iron sights and optics or scopes is certainly an option. There’s a little fiddling at times to get height right, but an MBUS rear sight is hardy and fast to pop up even in freezing weather and gloves or sweltering summers with slippery hands, and you learn to let the front sight blur in front of your crosshairs or optics just like you learn to switch between a front sight focus and target focus when you hunt with a pistol and a bead-sight shotgun. Still, I really like the ease of just tilting a firearm.

Up to a .223/5.56, anyway.

AR-10’s, SOCOM .308’s, and the other 7.– platforms are a little more than I can comfortably handle for more than a couple of shots tilted, even being 6’ in heels and 200# in winter gear. It’s also harder for me to keep the firearm under control when it’s angled with larger calibers. That’s where the second nugget comes in.

Optics with Integrated Iron Sights

Manufacturers of optics with integrated iron sights like the Bushnell AR Optics 1x MP Illuminated Red/Green T-Dot Reticle Riflescope or the Aim Sports 4X32 Tri III. Scope with Fiber Optic Sight seem like they have missed a really, really big advertising and searchable description point to me. I had never heard of having more than a blade front sight centered on an optic or scope until fairly recently. The ability to actually adjust an iron sight as a backup to a scope is huge for me, and having it all be in one single piece without the need for extended or additional rails or attachments totally blew me away. You’d think they’d be singing from the hilltops about what they did. Instead, our groups see them very rarely and they tend to be unknown when people notice us using them at ranges.

I have the Bushnell for several guns, but its irons aren’t adjustable. Aim Sport apparently started manufacturing some of its models in the U.S. and fixing some of the import and manufactured-for-domestic-assembly products recently, so we jumped on a couple because they do allow us to adjust both the optic and the irons.

Bushnell AR Optics 1x MP Illuminated Red/Green T-Dot Reticle Riflescope, 1x32mm

We’re pretty happy with the Aim Sports in the households that went there, but nobody’s had them much more than a year and I tend to want a little more history or a standing reputation for quality before I’m willing to give an unqualified recommendation. Mine holds both optic and iron-sights settings well in hard-times practice, banging around in a pickup bed in transit, and at 3-Gun and 100-yard Modern Sporter competitions. It’s not so hot as a shoulder-holstered or chest-carrier handgun optic. The Bushnell is a reasonable hunting handgun optic, although finding a holster for it is funtastic and I still have point-of-aim adjustments for certain rounds.

The joy with these is that while you do loose cheekweld, it’s not a tremendous adjustment, and you can still keep a firearm shouldered squarely. Too, with little to no movement of the gun, it gains a bit of speed. There are times when fractions of heartbeats matter, a lot.

As with the offset irons, the AimSport with adjustable iron sights can also be set up with one for <10-25 yards and one for 100-200+ yards. Another bonus is allowing me to shoot ammunition that performs very differently due to powder loads or specific projectile weight or shape easier. Instead of painter’s tape marked with point of aim differences on the firearm, I can set up a single optic for the two most common sets.

Buying fancy optics & irons

It’s not a totally inexpensive investment, but considering what we seem willing to pay for optics as a general shooting crowd, they’re not unreasonable. There is at least one other dual-sight optic manufacturer out there – possibly more, since they seem to be totally dropping the ball on marketing these puppies as a be-all solution for backups, lighting, evil match designer, or variable distances. Again, research is our friend.

Aim Sports 4X32 Tri III. Scope with Fiber Optic Sight

Single-Point Sling Adaptor

I found a single-point sling adaptor with the intention of using it just for 10/22’s and airguns for practice. Then I decided it was fan-tab as a lanyard adaptor for a couple of my hunting or creak in the night handguns. And then we started testing some buckle varieties (which we mostly like better than the Velcro).

 

We’re pretty pleased.

I now have these or similar on a fair number of firearms. Don’t run them through a trigger guard or anything crazy like that, but most guns have somewhere they can get snugged. *We have yet to find one that works with M16A1 or A2 stocks; they block the charging handles. Skeleton or adjustable stocks only.

The straps do loosen up here and there as you go along, but a loaded Benelli Nova has been hanging from an unused belt (ahem, “sling”) with extra rounds in an attached purse (ahem, “ready bag”) behind a closet door for a couple of years. It’s been tightened maybe 4-8 times in its life now, and we’re talking about the gun that gets to go to the range and practice being a master key and LTL to lethal crowd and varmint control, then get dropped for a handgun for clearing and precision work. I use the same adapter on my 3-Gun shotgun and rifle.

It rolls around some, but I don’t consider the rolling to really be a bad thing, either. I live with and practice with a couple of lefties. It’s not a big deal in gloves, but for the ones who don’t practice “adaptably” as much as some of us, the buckle can be distracting and having to clip a sling to their shooting hand side is sometimes problematic. In a situation where they need to transition, a stock hanging up in the sling because it’s on a dedicated ring to one side can cost some precious heartbeats. The universal bands slip enough to eliminate that problem for us.

The other joy is that these things are $5-10, and require no tools or skill to install. Zero – an otter could do it. That means that while some do live with a sling attached, I can afford to put them on absolutely anything that might ever be grabbed in a hurry or needed in a defensive situation.

Now, instead of having dedicated rigs to account for various chest and height measurements from 24” and 5’6” up to 52” and 6’4”, everybody has a sling with their grab gear. They can then exchange firearms or grab whichever firearm is most appropriate for a situation, clip it, and roll. With person-specific slings instead of slings dedicated to firearms, a big, tall shooter doesn’t end up with a necklace or snagged as they “swim” into a sling, and a shorty doesn’t end up dragging even an 18.5” barrel’s front sight over the gravel and through the grass (both make it harder to shoot accurately; the latter may cause shouting from the gun owner during practice).

Slings (and sling clips) are one of those things I don’t see on firearms as often as I really should at the range. Being able to sling a firearm can be pretty invaluable. My household and partners like single-point slings best for defense (single-point slings are not really ideal for hunting – just saying). There are worlds’ worth of slings and adaptors out there, and they merit some research and a decent investment. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with picking up a sturdy 48” or 52” belt at Goodwill for $2 and a $2 clip at ACE to go with a $7 adaptor until you’re ready for that investment.

As mentioned, the really nice thing about those buckle-on single-point sling adaptors is that they’re so inexpensive, and adaptable to so many different types of firearms. Saving money on a sling and clip may let us get in some practice that makes us more effective or – over a household – might save enough money to invest in some solar-powered motion-activated lights that let us immediately locate an intruder of either the coyote or human type. That’s pretty invaluable, too.

How much should you spend on gadgets?

There are lots of tools and gadgets that make our lives easier or drastically increase our effectiveness and efficiency, but as with anything else, prioritize purchases. Make a list of goals, needs, the things that are most likely to strike personally and locally or regionally, and what’s already in the toolbox and junk drawer. Be creative as you look around, and visualize things that are already in-house as blank slates that can be adapted to other uses. A $15 lunch bag or laptop bag works just as well as a $25-75 range bag.

If something else works for now, until you’re better set, use that.

Do buy quality products when it’s something like a defensive firearm or its furniture (or smoke detector). That doesn’t mean you have to pay more for a manufacturer’s label and advertising costs. When it’s a $1K-$2800 HK versus a $500-700 S&W AR, get a S&W. It does mean that if something’s built for airsoft or paintball or costumes, you might want to consider the weights and abuse limitations. It’s usually worth it to spend more on something sturdier.

 

 

With the reminder that I’m just not big on hanging fifty million things from my firearm, there are a few choice gadgets that make a big difference and are worth some investment. A universal sling adaptor and the ability to engage targets accurately at multiple distances or if an optic craps out are two of the things that make my list. Hopefully even if they don’t make yours, something in this article gave you something to think about.

Let me start by saying this: I am not a fan of hanging fifty-million things and a coffee maker from my AR or upgrading a $200 10/22 with $1K worth

I have heard it stated somewhere “intent plus capability equals threat”. I believe it is an old formula used by people smarter than me when they are planning how to distribute defensive resources. I actually heard that phrase again recently while listening to the radio and it caused me to consider this formula as a basis for planning your response to different potential threats.

As a prepper, I believe it is vital to have a plan for security.  The world can be an ugly place in times of crisis and depending on the situation, once reasonable, kind and rational people can become killers. Even if they don’t become killers, you could face a threat from incredibly desperate people who while not wanting to hurt you would do anything to protect or provide for their own loved ones. It is times like this that you could have to depend on a firearm to save your life.

On Final Prepper I advocate that everyone become prepared to handle the disruptions in life that we see every day on the news. There are earthquakes that disrupt entire communities, hurricanes that destroy the homes of thousands, tsunamis that impact entire regions, nuclear meltdowns that threaten everyone, virus outbreaks that are flown around the globe, chemical spills that poison the water and on and on. These are normal events that happen in our lives. These aren’t crazy conspiracy theories, they are real and my mission has been to wake people up to the potential for events like this coming to your town. Because if you take some simple steps now you can begin to prepare for these “disruptions” in your life. With planning you can become more self-reliant in the face of disaster.

There are some threats though that can’t be avoided by having a good food storage plan. There are some troubles you could face that aren’t washed away with gallons of stored water. Sometimes, you can’t plan for all contingencies or you may be faced with something you haven’t considered before. I believe that there are levels that we need to prepare for and obviously how affected we are by the disasters makes all the difference in the world. It doesn’t matter initially if your town experienced an earthquake if your home, neighborhood and family are fine. If the stores down the street are still working as normal, your preps aren’t going to be needed as much as in other situations. Like I said last week, everything depends on the disaster.

But as I frequently do, lets take a hypothetical disaster for the purposes of discussion. We have used the threat of EMP too much lately so I will use something like an Ebola pandemic. The scenario is an Ebola pandemic has ravaged the country and decimated 50% of the population. Everyone has been ordered into their homes for over two months now and you are still holding out. Your supplies have dwindled but your family is healthy and you can last a few more months. The power is intermittent due to personnel shortages, many have died, so you do face some days without power. The water is still on, but rumors are spreading that it isn’t safe to drink.

OK, so that is our hypothetical and during an event like that I could easily see many situations where your security could be threatened. I say all of this as an introduction to a question a reader sent me a couple of weeks back.

A reader of Final Prepper; Jeremy sent me the following:

In reading the book Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected (One I would recommend HIGHLY as a preparation for the realities of everyday life, let alone for what people very well could and would be like following a major disaster/period of civil decay) the author is speaking about determining our capacity for dealing with violence and, in turn, inflicting violence on others to protect ourselves/the ones we love. He speaks of determining, ahead of time, your capability vs. your capacity. The example he uses is that of a person coming at you with a butcher’s knife. They have the intent, means and opportunity to kill you. You have nowhere to retreat, but are armed. This is a shoot/no shoot scenario. The question is do you shoot? Are you OK with shooting the person and killing them?

I have not read this book but the question he posed was interesting. Judging by the question so far, it seems pretty simple doesn’t it? It may not be that cut and dry for everyone, but I would like to think I would be able to pull the trigger to defend my life or the lives of people I love. The person coming at me would be a threat because they would be walking towards me (intent) and they would be holding a butcher knife (capacity) regardless of the specifics of castle doctrine or duty to retreat (he says you have nowhere to retreat) I would feel justified in shooting the person who I viewed in this example as a threat to my life.

But I am no lawyer. I have also never shot and killed anyone so take what I say I would do with a grain of salt.

Then he says the following –

“Now change an element. The Threat is twelve years old. Do you still shoot? Kill? Are you okay with that? If the Threat were six years old? Four? A woman? A pregnant woman? A mentally disabled person who can’t realize what they are doing? Your own spouse? Your own child? What if the Threat’s toddler children are watching? What if cameras are rolling? The threat is the same—even a four-year-old with a big knife can kill and there are no degrees of dead. Do you feel the same about all of those scenarios? I don’t. Even knowing full well how dangerous a knife is and how many people die from overconfidence I would have a hard time shooting a child. I might feel differently about the other scenarios but would act the same—I would just feel worse about it later. Think about this. Explore it. Listen to your gut feelings before you try to logic it out. When you do try to logic it out, pay special attention to when you are rationalizing—when your logic is serving not to make the best decision but to justify the decision that your gut wants.”

 Miller, Rory (2011-04-01). Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected (Kindle Locations 339-352). YMAA Publication Center. Kindle Edition.

Now, that is an interesting turn of events or elements as the writer states. Have you thought about what you would do? Would you be willing to shoot someone? If the answer is yes to that question I think the writer’s larger point may be that you probably have a vision of who this hypothetical bad guy is. I know I did. In my mind the threat was a menacing looking man in my home and my children and wife were behind me. I can see the knife in his hand right now and can feel my firearm in mine. I don’t have much hesitation when the question becomes do you shoot. In my mind that is.

But, the author does give us a challenge and the first is to change the element to a child. Being the father of children I have to give this one a little extra consideration. Then he says “what if the child is four”. I know I could disarm a four-year old. I could disarm a 6 or 12-year-old while we are at it so I don’t think I would view a child, under some reasonable age as a threat if they were holding a big knife. Is there a chance I would be cut, most likely if I didn’t do something right, but I still wouldn’t shoot someone who I feel I could overpower. In this case I discount that one aspect of the hypothetical, but the overall message is still one that is compelling to consider.

What if the bad guy isn’t your imaginary bad guy?

What if this person were your neighbor who was retired and had always been the best neighbor in the world to you? What if this was his wife? What if it was another neighbor’s child? In this case, not 4 or 6 but 18? Would you shoot him or her? What if it was a pregnant woman? What if it was someone you worked with who knew about your preps because you didn’t practice good OPSEC and had come to your home because her husband was sick and starving to death? What if she was holding a gun and her daughter was right beside her? Would you shoot first or let her shoot you?

I know most of the arguments for charity and setting aside food to give away and all of the rational approaches to dealing with family members before SHTF. I don’t have the answers to all my hypothetical scenarios, but I do think the exercise of thinking about this ahead of time is valid. It may be that none of us can even think about what we would do in a situation like that. Honestly I don’t know what I would do and I can’t even tell you how I would deal with that scenario. Maybe I would freeze?

We deal with topics of security all the time and there are simple baselines I believe in like having the ability, the training and the resolve to defend your home. Admittedly this defense is always from my imaginary bad guy, but reality always gets a vote. Thinking about these unthinkable scenarios could give you some ideas with respect to how you are prepping. If nothing else, it might change how you view security and what you are willing to do.

Have you thought about this before? Would you be willing to shoot?

I have heard it stated somewhere “intent plus capability equals threat”. I believe it is an old formula used by people smarter than me when they are planning how to

It is quite a rare attribute to be able to write about something I love. That thing is striking, or more specifically Boxing, Muay Thai, Roman Greco and Brazilian Jujitsu. In this article I am going to break down each of these forms of striking and grappling.  I will also explain how they can be used as a form of simple exercise as well as self defense. All of these are martial arts, which is essentially what they are, although they are not seen as “traditional” due to westerners being a little bit devoid of culture these days unless someone reminds them on their Facebook feed. But alas without starting to sound negative let’s get on with it and I will try to explain some of the history as well as the application of these activities.

Boxing’s roots are engraved in History; it is thought to have begun being accepted during the Ancient Greek Olympics in BCE 688. Prize fighting began in around 16-18th century, mostly in what is now known as the UK. In the mid 19th century it once again became popular in the UK and largely in the USA. The official sport of 12 rounds is not something I would like to address in this article it is more aimed at people looking to get into shape and learn without having to feel pressure to get into the ring or spar.

My main problem with the sport of boxing when compared to the sport of MMA for instance is that pugilistic dementia and brain trauma is so prevalent because of the use of 16oz gloves. This padding causes fighters to take way to many unnecessary shots to achieve a similar result as we are able to see with a lot of boxers today who are having major problems. As an activity boxing and training in general can be invigorating. There is no stress ball or calms tablet that can match the feeling of hitting the pads for a couple of hours. If you are a beginner I would go with some simple 14oz gloves as well a heavy bag, either the free standing or hung variations which can be found locally and on the web for next to nothing. If you have a friend or partner then I would also invest in some target pads, they will improve accuracy and allow you to develop the synapse’s, signals from your brain to your hand, to fire and move in a smooth and quick manner. Feet should be placed around shoulder width apart with knee’s slightly bent, weaker arm forward. This is your jab. Twisting your hips and shoulders with your stronger hand, this is what I call (I think it’s a European thing) our straight cross. Combine these together and you have your 1-2 aka 2! I think possibly if people like this article I will expand on these in the future, although “cough” Youtube “cough” has plenty of instructional.

Roman Greco

greco

Greco-Roman Wrestling

As the name implies, the history of this sport comes from the Greek ancient civilization that surrounded the Mediterranean Sea many, many moons ago. As a Brit, we never really embraced this Greco as a sport or an activity which we now have to play catch up in MMA. Wrestlers in MMA are notoriously tough, they are experience in extremely tough physical and a mental situation as well as the strenuous and sometimes dangerous dieting that go’s on in this world. As I am still learning both forms of grappling I will keep this section brief but I cannot emphasis enough that this is a great sport for almost everyone due to the fact that you can spar 100% power without being in a dangerous physical situation like sparring, the only other activity where you can do this is Jujitsu, which I am going to mention later on.

The main body I focus on when wrestling or sparring with friends is strength and conditioning. In terms of technique wrist control is an excellent form of effective practice. As well as this you will need to understand the basics of under hooks, over hooks, single legs, double legs, trips and throws. Just by sparring you can get a feel for what is effective if you practice these and it will let you understand how people move and where they apply force when in a physical situation. Once you understand this and have some experience you can begin using and going for wrist control and under hooks to negate your opponents striking and get him or her to the ground using these techniques. People I would look to learn these techniques are George St Pierre, the recently retired MMA champ who is able to cover distance and use perfect technique in a split second. But to be honest anyone who has trained for years would be an excellent person to look to learn new techniques and polish old ones, there are so many to list it would be an article in itself.

Overall, in my opinion, this is one of the most effective martial arts in the world. If you look at MMA, wrestlers almost always prevail, if a world class striker such as James Tony hype a fight for months, then get into the cage and not be able to throw a single punch and then tap within the first round, there is no denying its effectiveness.

Muay Thai

Muay-Thai-Photos-Kaokla

Muay Thai Fighting

My favorite form of striking is Muay thai. When I began learning how to kick I actually watched Bas Rutten’s instructional, which is more of a Dutch style (Very popular and effective). The art of 8 limbs utilities hands, elbows, knees and kicks. The extreme turning over of the hips when moving and setting up leg, body or head kicks generates an extreme amount of power that is almost unmatched by any other effective form of striking. Southpaw’s facing orthodox opponents are able to utilize the liver kick. One of the most brutal places to take a full power strike that paralyses the opponent in pain when performed correctly. Ronda Rousey recently finished Silver medal Olympic wrestler Sarah Mcmann with a barrage of knee strike’s to the liver in the first round of their championship fight. Which brings me to another aspect of Thai fighting, the clinch. Often called the “Plum” both hands are placed around the back of the neck of the opponent, then the head is pulled down into knee strike aimed at the head and body. Anderson Silva used these in a championship fight against Rich Franklin, throwing him off balance and delivering brutal knee’s to win the title. Overall you will need to be looking to get some Thai pads if you want to kick with a friend as normal pads won’t be able to take the impact. I would recommend getting a heavy bag and some shin pads, just to save your ankles when learning.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

brazilian-jiu-jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

BJJ was a part Judo in Japan and brought into Brazil by Mitsuyo Maeda, who taught the then Japanese martial art to the famous Gracie family. Maeda was well known throughout his day and performed in over 2000 fights in his career. BJJ is most well known for being a martial art where strength and size can be neutralized by a good BJJ student. This is possibly by using two extremely important points that are used throughout BJJ, Leverage and good technique. Armed with these and a positive attitude, BJJ focuses on teaching youth’s especially the traditional attitude that is associated with martial arts such as respect and living by strong morals. Once of the most famous BJJ black belt is Royce Gracie, One of the slighter members of his huge family of potential killers. He attended earlier UFC event against much larger, stronger opponents (A juiced up Ken Shamrock, a freestyle Wrestler at the time) comes to mind. He was able to overcome, tied up and finish his opponents, becoming the first champion in a tournament where some of his opponents where literally 2-3 times larger than him in a competition that at that time, has very little rules.

As with wrestling, you are able to spar 100% unlike striking sports, which in my opinion is very effective as you will become better faster and be more prepared if you ever need to use your skills. Bruce Lee once said that “Punch bags don’t hit back” which is definitely something to keep in mind, but to be honest it all depends on your application. This article was meant to be an overview to let people understand some effective forms of exercise and combat in 2014. This is also not a be all and end all list of what is effective, Judo and Karate is showing its effectiveness more and more. I am sure within a couple of years we will see a change and someone will adapt and evolve their style to make it effective against the others. That is why I love MMA. It is constantly changing, improving all the time. The true champions of these arts maintain what I think is one of the most effective special move you will learn, Respect to others and being a positive outgoing person. This is emphasized over and over by the true champions, this attitude is prevalent at the peaks as well as the valley’s where skills are not used because we practice being human in this ever increasing world of anti social behavior.

I hope you have enjoyed this article, Again it was just a brief overview and I am by no means an expert in these areas, although I do train in them. It was more to just introduce new people into a world of sport and exercise that I love and will follow for years to come.

It is quite a rare attribute to be able to write about something I love. That thing is striking, or more specifically Boxing, Muay Thai, Roman Greco and Brazilian Jujitsu.

Surviving is more than just being lucky; it is preparation. Preparation is key to surviving all manner of situations; after all, there is a reason Survivalists are often called ‘Preppers’. This preparation may cover self-defense, resource management, first aid, and a number of other skill sets. Whatever you choose to focus on, it is worth considering exactly how you can keep yourself safe. While the situation will change, body armor is an easily accessible product that has a number of surprising benefits.

Firstly, imagine you are in a situation where you need to use your survival skills and experiences. This is where your considerable knowledge will come to light and the stores and defenses you have built will set you in good stead. Whatever the situation, your skill set allows you to cope with the challenges you’ll face and work to the point that you are living comfortably. However, due to luck or similar preparation, there will be others out there. These others may view your success with jealousy, and will work to take what you have. You need to defend yourself.

Self-defense is a broad topic with a number of different methods. Most Preppers will have already considered their own self-defense, and depending on the situation, will have a number of options available to them. Many Survivalists tout the usefulness of weapons for self defense, and your attackers will certainly look to arm themselves. A bullet is incredibly deadly, and no matter how well-armed you may be, it will only take one errant shot to kill you. This is why you need body armor.

Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Ethan E. Rocke

Bullet proof vests are easily accessible to nearly everyone, and are an easy way to protect yourself against a wide variety of threats. Part of the benefit of wearing body armor is the protection it can give you against bullets, certainly. However, many do not realize that bullet proof vests can help mitigate the impact of all sorts of injuries, thereby keeping you safe in all manner of situations. For example, DuPont, the makers of Kevlar, annually hold a ceremony commemorating Law Enforcement Officers whose lives were saved through body armor. Every year a significant proportion of these Officers were involved in otherwise fatal car crashes.

Of course, the main threat a bullet proof vest will protect you against is bullets. However, bullet proof vests are available at a range of protective levels that outline exactly what ammunition they can protect you against. These NIJ Levels are standardized by the National Institute of Justice, the world leader in ballistics testing. It is important you ensure your vest is compliant with the testing standards set by the NIJ, and is appropriate for the threats you will be facing.

What is the best style of Body Armor for me?

Just as important, however, is ensuring that you are wearing the right style of vest. Bullet and stab proof vests are available in a variety of styles, each suited to different situations and with their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, the most common example of a bullet proof vest is the covert vest, which is worn underneath clothing.

However, even these covert vests are varied, and will likely be quite different to the images most have. For example, these covert vests are exceptionally thin and lightweight, making them truly discreet. This also means that when worn for extended periods they will remain comfortable. Furthermore, some manufacturers offer covert vests designed with temperature-regulating materials to help keep the wearer cool.

A covert bulletproof vest has the benefit of keeping your protection discreet, meaning you can wear your vest in day-to-day life. On the other hand, an overt vest may be far more appropriate for your situation. An overt vest is designed to be worn over the clothing, and is still lightweight and flexible, but will usually have a durable and possibly weather-resistant cover. These vests have the benefit of being augmentable with high-visibility covers, pouches for equipment, and quick-release systems.

If you are truly preparing for the worst, and you expect to face some particularly extreme threats, you may need a tactical vest. These vests, like overt vests, are worn over clothing and are usually more durable than their covert counterparts. However, these vests are extremely protective, offering upgrades to protect the upper arms, throat, neck, and groin for example. These vests are heavier and bulkier than any others, but offer unparalleled protection. These should only be worn in the most dire of circumstances.

There are a number of things to consider before you choose your body armor; how and where will you be wearing it? What level of protection will you need? Understanding the different options available is very important; otherwise you may end up with a vest that does not protect you properly. For example, having a vest that does not fit just right can leave you with gaps in protection. Furthermore, bullet resistant vests cannot protect against knives or needles, and you may therefore need a stab or spike proof vest that uses additional materials like chainmail and plastic.

It may seem confusing or even intimidating, but coming to understand the options available allows you to choose the right vest, and keep yourself protected no matter what you find yourself facing. For example, if you’re going to be faced with large crowds or members of the public, a covert vest will help keep you discreet and give you the upper hand. However, if you find yourself facing an attack of any kind, an overt vest will unnerve your opponents and/or give you the confidence needed to survive.

Surviving is more than just being lucky; it is preparation. Preparation is key to surviving all manner of situations; after all, there is a reason Survivalists are often called ‘Preppers’.