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Defending Your Life

July 13, 2011 by  

Defending Your Life

Sometimes, we are in danger because we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Knowing what to do to avoid such a situation, or what you must do if you cannot, can be a lifesaver.

As a child, I was bullied, and I took more than my share of beatings in the schoolyard. I grew out of that stage and became a satisfactory football player. But I was never confident that I could defend myself.

At 17, I spent a year taking karate lessons. The conditioning part of it was fine, but part of me knew it was a waste of time. There was never any contact, and our sensei taught us that we had to pull our punches. In football we were taught to tackle through the opponent, so I knew there was something amiss.

Later, I spent a lot of years in the weight room. Even as I got stronger, I never had confidence. I decided to go back to traditional karate classes when I was 30. The kata movements that were taught were more choreographed dance steps.

Each day driving home from work, I would pass Matt David’s kickboxing gym. I finally mustered up the courage to go in.

Matt David was an imposing man. He owned a Spartan Gym in the rough area of town, along East Sprague in Spokane, Wash. Matt had a regulation boxing ring at the center of the gym. Surrounding it were speed bags, heavy bags and a mirrored wall. In the evenings, the Lilac City Boxing Club would train there.

I was not so impressed that Matt David had a 7th dan black belt in traditional kenpo karate, a rank he was awarded from the renowned Ed Parker. What impressed me most was that Matt had been an all-state wrestler in high school and was a former two-time California Golden Gloves heavyweight boxing champion.

When I first sat down with Matt, he asked me if I had any martial arts experience. I told him I had spent a couple of years in karate.

“That’s too bad,” he said. “But I can teach you to lose those bad habits.”

So began the school of hard knocks. No longer did I wear a white gi with a belt around my waist. Instead I wore tennis shoes, shorts, a T-shirt, hand wraps and a molded mouthpiece.

Our training was broken into two parts. First, we did calisthenics, hit the bags and shadow boxed. Then, we sparred in the ring with 16-ounce gloves, wearing full protective headgear.

I learned two things: that I didn’t know how to throw a punch and, more important, I didn’t know how to take a one. I dreaded getting in the ring against experienced fighters, but I was willing to pay that price.

That first summer at the gym, I took some tough rounds and suffered a couple of concussions. After one tough round, the head coach for the Lilac City Boxing Club, Dan Vassar Sr., approached me.

“Are you getting tired of getting beat up?” he asked.

At age 34, I joined the boxing club. I started training five days a week. I soon began to improve and gain confidence.

In three years, I had only three fights. I lost them all. But I finished each one of them on my feet. It was an incredible experience to spar against gifted fighters and with great instructors. It was invaluable.

A few years after I stopped boxing, I was cornered by two men on a stairwell when I was with my 10-year old son. They wanted to rob me.

My son and I were lucky: We got out of that mess without a scratch. Our two attackers didn’t fare so well. One ran away, and the other was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

I was not charged. To this day, I know the outcome would have been very different if I had not practiced full-contact fighting.

Three Rules To Live By

I encourage anyone at any age to learn realistic self-defense. No, you don’t have to join a boxing gym. You should not, however, waste another dollar or minute in traditional non-contact martial arts. Instead, study judo, wrestling or mixed martial arts — anything that involves actual physical contact.

In his book Streetwise: The Complete Manual of Personal Security and Self Defence, Peter Consterdine writes that the self-defense combinations most schools teach are a waste of time, that no one ever uses a karate-based attack and they don’t leave their hand or foot stuck out for you to do your stuff.

Consterdine knows his stuff. He is a former British Karate International full-contact kickboxing champion as well as a reputable bodyguard.

If you are unconvinced, consider the adage: “The way you train is the way you fight.”

If you think you might have to defend against a 2-by-4 piece of pine, then by all means, take up traditional karate or tae kwon do and learn how to break a board in half. Then again, traditional martial art students might want to consider what the late, great fighter Joe Louis once said: “Everyone has a plan until they’ve been hit.”

If you want to learn more about real self-defense, pick up a copy of Forrest Griffin’s book, Got Fight?: The 50 Zen Principles Of Hand-to-face Combat. Griffin is a former Ultimate Fighting Championship® light heavyweight champion. Reader beware, he uses graphic language and details the savagery that is a part of his life in and out of the octagon.

The best advice I got from Matt David had nothing to do with throwing punches or applying arm bars. He had three simple rules:

  1. Don’t be in a place where you will have to defend yourself.
  2. If trouble comes your way, run.
  3. If you can’t run, grab the closest thing you can and use it as a weapon.

Hopefully, you can avoid ever having to defend yourself. If you must, you can only hope you have learned a few tactics and that the person threatening you says: “I have to warn you… I have a black belt in karate!”

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

NOTE: Dan Vassar passed away last autumn. You can read about his life here.

John Myers

is editor of Myers’ Energy and Gold Report. The son of C.V. Myers, the original publisher of Oilweek Magazine, John has worked with two of the world’s largest investment publishers, Phillips and Agora. He was the original editor for Outstanding Investments and has more than 20 years experience as an investment writer. John is a graduate of the University of Calgary. He has worked for Prudential Securities in Spokane, Wash., as a registered investment advisor. His office location in Calgary, Alberta, is just minutes away from the headquarters of some of the biggest players in today’s energy markets. This gives him personal access to everyone from oil CEOs to roughnecks, where he learns secrets from oil insiders he passes on to his subscribers. Plus, during his years in Spokane he cultivated a network of relationships with mining insiders in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

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  • Black-belt

    The column is all nonsense regarding self-defense written by somebody who has lost too many brain cells boxing. The ancient Asian arts tap the inner spirit and from that comes a supreme confidence that quiets ones soul in the middle of any storm.

    I know because I have studied Goju Shorei karate for over a decade and have a 3rd degree black belt. I am working towards my 4th degree and will have it before the end of the year.

    Karate has given me mastery over my body and my emotions and instilled a sixth sense that leaves me unafraid in any situation.

    Because of Karate I don’t feel fear, my body is a spring that moves the way it has been trained. I am in harmony with my surroundings always. Meyers lives as a fearful man. But I always am always in control and I am confident I can go anywhere I want to at anytime.

    Once police officer informed me that my hands and feet are lethal weapons. I must resist the urge to fight so as not to seriously hurt an assailant. That is unless the most extreme circumstance presents itself in which case I would not hesitate to use deadly force.

    If you want to protect yourself and the ones you love there is not better way than anciet art of Karate.

    • Richie Gekko

      I feel like I have a history of studying self defence starting from when I began karate when I was 5 years old. Karate taught me a lot about discipline and was a fantastic way to exercise. I trained under Teruo Chinen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teruo_Chinen) for three years and each summer he hosted a camp at his home where you slept in his dojo, did chorus, exercises, and community work. It was a fantastic experience.

      As I started to become interested in other sports I began to enjoy Karate less and less. A large portion of tournaments – where you see the best competition in the area – involved grown men doing dance routines and screaming. Not fighting, not defending. At the advice of a friend of mine I went to his dad’s kickboxing gym and we sparred a bit. I will never forget when I charged at him and he just stuck his foot right into my chest and I went down in a heap. My last karate tournament I was in the final and a behemoth came running right at me. I stuck my foot right into his chest and just like I had, he went down. I knew right then that I was done with Karate.

      I took up boxing and had 15 amateur fights with an 8-7 record. I took some serious lumps against more experienced fighters but I always was improving. Finally after placing 2nd in the Lenexa, Kansas Silver Gloves tournament I hung up my gloves and focused fully on football.

      Since my boxing days I have been in exactly one street fight. I was coming home from my then girlfriend, now wife’s apartment at university when three good ol boys rolled up on me and started chirping away. We exchanged words and they got out of the car. Now I am 100% I would have been seriously hurt had I only taken karate and not boxing. I managed to keep the guys off of me (they were pretty drunk) sticking my jab out and clipping one of them. Some nearby folks started chiming in that they were going to call the cops and the fellas left.

      I have always said that karate is great for kids. When I have children I definitely plan on enrolling them. Kids love it. But if I had a 16 year old daughter the last sport I would recommend her to do for self defense would be karate. Boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, mixed martial arts you name it. In sports I have seen one karate form be successful and that is the UFC’s Lyoto Machida who even uses a hybrid style of shotokan karate that uses Ju-Jitsu. Even shotokan kumite’s ban certain strikes to the throat and other limbs.

      When someone rolls up on you or your loved ones wouldn’t you want to make sure they could defend themselves and not score points as if it were a competition?

      • charles

        It’s too bad that your first experince in martial art was as you say.
        There are a lot of good schools out there.I have 12 years invested in
        Goguryu,and Ishinryu,The past 5 years I have been going to a Northern Seven Star Preying Mantis Kung Fu school,and will probably stay with this style. If you find yourself in a school that dosen’t teach what you need,move on.Talk to others in the martial arts community.most will happily (as you can see.) offer advice. Dont give up.Find another school.Martial arts is a worthwhile use of your valuble time.

    • Richie Gekko

      PS
      “Fear is the mother of morality.”
      Friedrich Nietzsche

      • Karolyn

        Wrong! Love is the mother of morality! Fear is the cause of al problems!

        • TML

          … and the real answer is: All of the Above

          • FreedomFighter

            Fear combined with preparation keeps you alive.

            Allmost everyone will get into a situation they cant avoide or run from or talk themselves out of…better to die fighting then be handled like a pig in a slaughterhouse.

            Carry consealed, legally of course, then kill the scum. Better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6.

            Laus Deo
            Semper Fi

        • hicusdicus

          That sounds like something a liberal girl would say.

        • Rooster

          I would tend to agree with you Karolyn .

        • Jeep

          I wanted to pass up on your inane comment that “Love is the mother of morality!” But, I find myself incensed by your pitiful lack of insight. It isn’t “love” that drives man’s morality. It is force and self-preservation.

          “Love” causes people like you, Karolyn, to commit a number of heinous offences. In the progressive world of morality, you would say that it is “loving” to be tolerant of all things. Sloth, sexual sins, excess, and a host of other problems mankind faces daily are always dismissed or excused by your ilk. In your “touchy feely world” there is a price to pay, it allows for a morale degredation of our society. Since we as a nation have fallen for the lie of “if it feels good, do it” we have paradoxically experienced a decline in individual freedoms, a sharp rise in criminal activity and an entitlement mentality that has placed nearly 1 in 2 of us on “public” assistance. Our self indulgent society will soon find itself out of money, out of freedom and out the door.

          On the other hand, absolute morale authority is derived from self-preservation. This nation was founded on the principles of rugged individualism, self-reliance and a healthy respect for biblical principles (no, this is not a sermon, just a fact). There is something wrong with a society that tolerates any sort of behaviour. There must be a baseline of principles on which we base our decisions in life, both individually and as a society. Generally, the principle of “do unto others…” is cited, and I would whole heartedly agree. The other half of that is, “as you would have them do unto you.” Again, it comes back to self. There is no substitue for a healthy moral outlook on life that includes principles such as self reliance, a chaste life, respect for yourself and others, etc.

          • http://donthaveone Beberoni

            The greatest thing a person can do, is Love another. Period.

          • Void1972

            Jeep
            Couldn’t have said it better. Good post!

          • 45caliber

            Jeep: A good post but I disagree with one thing. Morality comes from religion. Sometimes it is a good morality (Christian) and sometimes it isn’t. I don’t consider honor killings and beating your wife (Islam) moral but they do. Without an outside influence on morality, you cannot be truly moral since you can always alibi yourself. (Yes, murder is wrong. But that guy REALLY p****s me off! Surely it isn’t wrong if I just whack him!)

          • http://personalliberty Spuger

            Well said Jeep.

          • http://none Jeryl

            Obviously, your form of love is not that mentioned in Scripture. “The greatest of these is love.” Now don’t get me wrong: I have a second-degree blackbelt in Shang Ti Kenpo, a first degree blackbelt in Five Animal Fist Style Chinese Kenpo, a brown belt in Shotokan and a specialty in knife fighting. I’m 67 years old and have lost only one fight in my life and finished that one standing. Yet, I can honestly say that the love of Christ is the greatest lesson I’ve ever learned.

        • Bob from Calif.

          God is Love. And all morality comes from God.

        • 45caliber

          Karolyn:

          You REALLY need to get more education. Greed is the cause of 99% of all problems. Love is nice but it doesn’t bring morality. The American Indians loved their wives and children but they still believed that robbery and murder were good things.

          • moonbeam

            So did the robbers, murderers, rapists and thieves who came on shore and stole their land and nearly wiped them out with their nasty diseases they brought with them. The same people who think everything but them belongs in a cage.

          • (WIA) Wild Indian in Action

            45caliber, as a full blooded American Indian I resent your ignorant comment, you suffer from bigoted cranial-rectal insertion and it’s time you commit to learning the art of cranial-recto inversion and study some real history of your race. Now be polite and go F%$# yourself from where ever your kind came from and take all your kin with you. Look out for stray arrows.

    • http://donthaveone Beberoni

      As much as I admire those who can master the martial arts, whether it be Judo, Karate, Kung Fu or any other, I have noticed that these guys seemingly all get taken out in competition by guys who have mastered the submission techniques such as arm bars and leg locks. In an outside combat though, where someone is trying to take you out, and its not an athletic competition, I find a .45 stops them pretty well.

      • Vagabond

        Beberoni a 357 with hollow points work even better. as a military policeman I carried a 45 and while they are very good a 357 is much better. allways use hollow points.

        • hicusdicus

          Increase your chances of being found guilty. Use hollow points.

        • Jeep

          Well, the .45 was and is certainly better than the 9mm Baretta! Yech! Until I retired from the Army in 2008 I carried a Colt Combat Commander as a sidearm, instead of that piece of junk from Italy.

          • Bud Tugly

            Right on, Jeep. Mr. Browning’s Colt is superior to the clunky Berretta.

          • 45caliber

            I will certainly agree with you about the Baretta! I wouldn’t own one of them! If given to me, I’d sell or trade it as soon as I could.

      • Al Sieber

        I agree Beberoni and Vagabond.

        • Jim Ford

          If a .357 Mag with hollow points is good, a .45 with hollow points is better at confrontational ranges. Neither is worth a d–n if you do not practice frequently.

          • 45caliber

            And I fully agree.

          • Cawmun Cents

            That is true for stopping power.But nothing beats a.22 for viciousness.The .22 will enter the body at one point and not necessarily exit.It may be that you shoot someone in the knee and it will come out of the nose.It may travel round and round inside the ribcage,impacting internal organs as it passes through.It is posible to shoot someone in the eye,and have the bullet come out the tip of his yoohoo.For this reason at close range a .357 or .45 usually pass right through the body.But a .22 will likely not and therefore be subject to moving around within the parameteres of the flesh.For unbridled carnage…the savage .22……haw!

      • Bob from Calif.

        I do agree that guns are the best weapon to learn. The only problem with saying I know gunfu and I will shoot my attacker is that you do not always have your gun with you. Even if you do have it in your purse or on your person, does not mean that you will be able to get to it quick enough. Whereas your hands and feet are always with you and always ready to go.

        I have studied eight different styles over thirty five years. I am a ninth degree blackbelt in the art of T.A.I. (Transitional Actions Incorporated). I studied under Master Ray Snider, and Master David German. These guys were teaching mixed martial arts in the 70s, before anyone knew what that was.

        The article states that karate is not a good form of self defense. Some arts are better depending on what the situation is. Each art has its own advantages. But, a good art will teach aspects of them all. If one persists in an art they will certainly gain the ability of self defense. It is better to know something as opposed to nothing. When you consider that most people walking around are not black belts then you can see that your training has certainly decreased your odds of being hurt by an attacker. The only problem now is what about that one percent out there that are well trained. I do agree with the article, run if you can. But, the are times that is not possible.

        As for the arts, boxing is very good, it really toughens you up and gives you a devastating attack with your hands. The way to take on a boxer is to get in close and take them down to the ground. Boxing is fairly useless on the ground. All you have to do is survive getting close, because that’s where boxers can kill you. Ground fighting is essential if you want to learn to defend yourself. Around 80% of all fights wind up on the ground. Judo (Newaza) and Ju-Jitsu are good ground arts. Wrestling will teach you how to lock up your opponent, but it doesn’t teach you how to destroy or kill you opponent. Wrestling, Judo, and Ju-Jitsu will really toughen you up, giving you the ability to take pain and abuse.

        The article states that most arts teach you techniques that are useless. This is not true. Some techniques are better than others, but they are useful with enough practice. They are harder to use against experienced fighters, but against the unexperienced they work great. I know because I have used techniques against some so called tough guys.

        If you want to be able to defend youself, become well rounded. Learn how to fight at different distances. Learn the different arts and what type of attacks to expect. The best way to fight is not to fight. Don’t put yourself in situations where you need to fight, use some wisdom. If you do get into a fight don’t expect that you will not get hit or cut. This is almost a certainty. The main thing is survival, don’t become a victim. If you don’t win, at least you gave it your best shot, and the other guy will go away hurt anyway. And the odds are in your favor if you train hard enough. If you need some confidence or are insecure, definitely train. I recommend finding a good mixed martial art that will train you in multiple styles.

        • http://donthaveone Beberoni

          I agree with you. I was just saying, if youve got time to prepare, the gun will trump any kind of martial arts, anywhere, anytime time, as one cannot pull the matrix dodge a bullet in real life. And I have seen a guy with multiple belts in multiple martial arts, who was a bully, plan to meet a guy and beat him up, only as the guy stood there, he had an aluminum baseball bat behind him, and he let the guy get close enough, and opened up a can of whup arse upon this guy. His martial arts couldnt stop the blows of an aluminum bat coming at him. He didnt fare well, put it that way. But he did get what he asked for. And the guy did have mercy on him, because he could have took him out, easily could have taken him out. But he warned him instead, that if he came after him and anyone in his family ever again, the next time he was coming armed, and he didnt mean with a baseball bat.

    • Karolyn

      Absolutely right! When you walk in fear, you are more apt to be confronted, just as fear brings more fear and disruption in life.

      • hicusdicus

        I did not know there were internet connections established with other planets.

        • john schouten

          buddy i think u are on the wrong blog . have another puff and move on lol

      • Bob from Calif.

        The reason you may be attacked when fearful is your body language. Predators look for easy prey.

      • thinkingoutsidethebox

        A little fear is a good thing as it encourages alertness to your surroundings. What you must avoid is being overwhelmed by fear.

        • john

          i dissagree fear is not good but a healty respect is . fear can freeze u . healthy respect wont.

      • http://donthaveone Beberoni

        Psalm 27:1-3

      • Cathy

        Criminals DO sense fear in a person. When I walk, it’s with confidence and an attitude that if anyone screws with me, they’ll be sorry. I’m also ALWAYS aware of my surroundings and don’t have my “head in the clouds,” mindlessly strolling along without paying attention to who’s around me.

        • Awakened

          Yes, Cathy! I call it having my “radar” on!

        • Cawmun Cents

          The wise wildebeest waits for the others to be attacked by the nile crocs.Then take their drink,and constantly observe the water for movement underneath.The unknown breeds potential,the unseen ambush.

    • http://www.fitnessmarketingstrategies.com Kim

      That’s truly sad that you believe that. As a long time practitioner of Yoga and mediation I also believe in peace, I also know that 30 years ago my full contact style of fighting had greenbelts “caning” (Aussie for beating the sh-t) out of visiting 1st,2nd and 3rd degree visiting Japanese martial artists.
      You my friend, well I hope that you never get to face off with a hungry junkie,or worse,because when your life’s on the line I hate to think that “kata” is all you’ve got.
      Trust in God,but keep your powder dry!

      • Jim Ford

        Amen! Peace through superior firepower.

        • Average Joe

          An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
          Robert A. Heinlein

          Keep the powder dry!

          • john

            i agree ive been to texas 4 times which has a concealed gun law and everyone i talked to even strangers on the street were very polite and curtious. there u dont know who has a 357 or 44magnum under there jacket.lol

    • http://personalliberty.com Alice

      I’m a 67-year-old woman and have not been in a fight since I was a kid. My husband, however, had to fight his whole life. He grew up in a neighborhood that required fight-or-die training. Though he was a Golden Glove champion, he did not rely on that skill to get him through. He used any street fighting technique necessary – his main goal was never let the enemy get the first blow and never let them put their hands on you. He also never let the potential antagonist get set by threats. He said the difference between boxing and fighting was rules. I’m sure he could have taken a beating, he just never had to once he knew if he did his dad would beat him.

      • Cathy

        Ha ha…my dad used to tell me that if I came home beat up, he would kick my butt. He also taught me some judo.

        The result? No one bullied me in school. No one bullied my friends in school. Actually, no one dared to bully anyone around me. I never started a fight but I ended a whole lot of them.

        I’m 63 and still have fight left in me if necessary. I also never leave my home without my .22 Beretta. “I can shoot straight if I don’t have to shoot too far.” Scarlett O’Hara

      • john

        my dad told me when i was 5 years old that if i started a fight i would get a beating and if somone else started it and i didnt stand i would get a beating then he taught me boxing (he was an avid mohammad ali fan) i promised god i would never start a fight and if it had to be make me the last one standing. after that i took kickboxing and in my lifetime ive been attacked with hockeysticks knives and bats but god answered my prayer and i was always the last man standing…i also never started a fight…

    • Dntmkmecmoverther

      Maybe, but don’t expect a person in a wheel chair or crutches to practice spinning heal kicks when a SW 9mm will get the job done. Karate is for folks without a CCW.

      • hicusdicus

        Karate is for folks with a death wish.

    • 45caliber

      I have a friend that is a 6th degree black belt in karate. He won’t try out for a new belt because it requires too much time. However, he has stated many times that karate in the US is pretty much meant for demonstrations and not for fighting. He won’t spar with me because I learned street fighting instead.

      My ex-son-in-law took some judo and thought he was great. He and I sparred one day so he could show me how he could throw other people. I deliberately held out my hand and he grabbed it. But then I relaxed. Needless to say, he couldn’t throw me over his shoulder as he had planned. I ended up on his back and he was in trouble. He decided to quit judo … and fighting too.

      • http://donthaveone Beberoni

        Ever watch those Ultimate fighters. Those guys with degrees in Karate, Kung Fu, Ju Jitsu, Tai Kwan Doe and all those dont ever win. The guys who learn the submission moves, mixed with wrestling skills and street fighting skills always win.

        • DaveH

          You’re right, Beberoni, but I think Karate or kick-boxing styles might work better on multiple attackers.

    • Mandy

      I have a lot of respect for traditional martial arts because they teach balance – something most of us could use more of. However, I’m in the process of losing weight and once I’m light enough I can move around without it being so difficult, I’ll be taking Krav Maga which after doing a lot of studying seems to be the most practical combining things from several different forms of self-defense. http://www.kravmaga.com/ I got my conceal carry and that is my next step. If it’s good enough for the police and Secret Service, and for Israeli commandos (obviously capable people in self-defense) then it is definitely practical. I also appreciate that they teach things very practical for women.

      • Bob from Calif.

        Krav Maga is a good art. Go for it. It is a very practicle no nonsense art.

    • Jay

      Studied a whole decade, OOOOOH….you sound scary!

    • Dr. smith

      “my body is a spring that moves the way it has been trained. I am in harmony with my surroundings always”

      hey I think that spring worked it’s way up to your brain. I always want to take ny son’t karate teacher outside and kick his ass, he’s such a narcissist.

    • http://www.johnnygo.bravehost.com John

      Karate and judo, etc: is great training and I had som years ago in the military and out. The NW Heavywait champ told me that he could not make me bullet proof. Years later, I met a 7th deg. black belt that told me to forget this and he trained me in weapons, GUNS. Soon after my wife and i were attacked by 6 Mexicans on a mostly deserted street. My fighting experience would have failed me so I pulled out, from under my jacket a .357, poked it in their face. Their intent ended right at that moment. They only had knives. That saved me and my wife from real harm or death. I always have my .45 on me or near me plus a sword cane. I am 75 years old and want to be around for a few more years. Remember. Martial art training is great but you better be prepared for a mob. Forget about legal cary if that is not available.

  • Angel Noble

    In the early 50′s as a young lad, coming to america was great. The three things that you mentioned were also learned in the streets of NYC.

  • http://www.fitnessmarketingstrategies.com Kim

    I was taught those principles nearly 30 years ago by my instructor. He was a former military cop that based his teaching on the late Bruce Lees Jeet Kun-Do.
    We either won or were disqualified for excessive force from every tournament we entered.

    It was to the best of my belief from (A)Moss Hollis(my teacher) that Bob Jones “shoot wrestling” style of fighting came from.
    He’s long gone now but God Bless him awesome teacher and decent human being.
    Cheers and thanks for the memories

  • Bruce D.

    I took both karate and full contact kick boxing. I found boxing to be superior to using the feet. Any high kick or fancy kick becomes extremely dangerous when you are in a real fight. I like to fight in the ring. My real floor in fighting was flinching. My instructor just kept having someone punch me (with gloves on) without me being able to hit them back until I did not fear taking a punch anymore. It is a lesson I will remember for the rest of my life. I agree with John Meters post 100% and enjoyed reading it.

    • 45caliber

      You are correct. Many people fear being hit and flinch from it. That hurts their ability to defend themselves. Your instructor was a smart man.

    • http://donthaveone Beberoni

      I remember being at a wedding when I was young, and a local big mouth who was a bully, and had his black belt in Karate for quite awhile. He used to beat people up, mostly by kicking someone first, before they knew it, kind of a sucker punch. So there he was, mouthing off, and Id see it time and time again. So I position myself in front of him, watching and waiting, knowing the right foot was coming. I could sense him waiting for me to look away, so he could sucker kick me. So I pretended to look to my left, and I saw the foot come up, and I grabbed it, and twisted as hard and as quick as I could, and everyone heard the loud snap, as his leg broke at the knee. While he laid there crying like a girl on the ground, I informed him that I was really going to hurt him. So I called an EMS, knowing they were about to charge him 600.00 for a ride. The cops came, we all told them what happened, and I walked away. Sweet.

      • Bob from Calif.

        Good job, I hate bullies. They are why I got into martial arts in the first place. One easy method to stop a kicker is to move in closer. Just watch for punches and knees at that point. Any closer gets into grappling.

  • C130 Gunship

    This article is rubbish, written by a ‘girly maaahn. If you get into a ‘bad situation’ it is human instinct to use whatever is available to defend yourself including martial arts, kick boxing, a rock, a stick, a baseball bat, a piece of steal pipe, a knife, a sword, hand full of sand(I’ve never seen anyone who could assault another person with their eyes full of sand), a large bottle, or best of all a gun. This is not a comprehensive list by any means.

    Your best way to not end up a victim is situational awareness. Those of us who have carry permits have a heightened awareness when carrying.

    • Mushin

      Few people have instinctual fighting ability yet it can be learned and developed over time with an experienced instructor. Start’em young if you have children. Find someone who teaches an art you like that’s realistic {have them show proof of their ability} and be certain it’s a good fit for you. Most people that carry a gun think they’re invincible and this mode of thinking creates a mental handicap in real physical confrontations. The confidence you develop in your training is priceless and is itself a deterrent to many would-be attackers who look to target weak-appearing individuals….

    • Bruce D.

      Gunship-You say John’s article is rubbish yet go on to say pretty much the same things John said in his article. What’s up with that.

      • C130 Gunship

        Bruce D….Please provide specific points in your comments, and I’ll respond appropriately. Thanks.

      • Jay

        Bruce, I agree, its as if gunship paraphrased.

      • thinkingoutsidethebox

        1. Don’t be in a place where you will have to defend yourself.
        2. If trouble comes your way, run.
        3. If you can’t run, grab the closest thing you can and use it as a weapon.

        The above is a direct quote from the article. You loose this one gunship for this is what you also said.

    • hicusdicus

      You said it all. An armed society is a polite society.

  • GMan0628

    Not much happening in the Energy and Gold arenas these days, I guess. So John has to ramble on about self defense this week and cheap-ass watches last week. I need to keep reminding myself why I subscribe to nonsense like this!

    • John Myers

      I hear you GMan and I am ahead of you on that. I am already working on next week’s column about the draw down of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as well as President Obama’s extra close ties with Saudi Arabia and what the means for oil prices.

      Sincerely,

      John Myers

      • 45caliber

        Should be interesting.

  • http://yahoo Scooter Orsburn

    I am 73 years old , I live alone , I am licensed to carry concealed weapons,I am very proficient ,accurate and safe with and Lawfully Own
    Handguns ,Rifles , and Shotguns. Recently, in a hand gun competition , I put a 44.magnum round in a bulls eye the size of a half dollar at the distance of 75 yds.At NO time , inside my home or outside my home , am I ever over 3 feet from a Firearm. Anyone, no matter Who they are,Who they represent,or what thier agenda is, that
    I consider a threat to me or mine, WILL be dispached immediatly , reguardless of the amount of time they have spent learning martial arts !They cannot move as fast as a 44 cal. bullet !

    • C130 Gunship

      Scooter Orsburn……I’d be honored to have you as one of my neighbors.

    • hicusdicus

      Don’t go up against somebody armed with a Judge you will lose. Shoot somebody over 30 feet away and you will most likely face homicide charges. How many people will that 44 mag kill down stream.

      • Jim Ford

        It depends on where you live. If you reside in enlighted, conservative states such as Texas and Florida, you are protected by “Castle Doctrine” laws. If your state doesn’t have one, demand it.

      • 45caliber

        Many years ago I saw an article in the NRA magazine about the research efforts of a NYC police officer about one-shot kills. The .44 magnum had a 96.5% chance that if someone was shot in a vital spot, he dropped. However, there was a note that sometimes the bullet would go through so fast that the body didn’t recognize the hit for a few seconds. (The .45 had a 96.6% chance.) The .357 was about 85% (can’t remember exactly) and all other calibers were a lot less, down to the .22 which had a 33% chance. But there was also a note, I believe, that the .44 could go through about three to five houses before it stopped. A .45 would go through a couple of walls. One reason I prefer it.

        • Jim Ford

          About 40 years ago, Bill Jourdan wrote a very thin but very informative gunfighting book called “No Second Place Winner”. In it he wrote about a “dead man’s five seconds” stating that you could blow up a person’s heart with a well placed .22 rimfire hollow point bullet, but it would take five seconds for his brain to know he was dead. During that fire seconds he could still do serious damage if he were also armed — therefore Jordan carried a high caliber pistol.

      • http://donthaveone Beberoni

        As many former retired policemen I know said, dead men dont tell lies. If you shoot them, make sure they are shut up for good. Case closed. I belong here, he doesnt, he is expired. My story wins. Because if I have to shoot them, its because they asked for it and I was defending myself. And their dead body is not going to refute that in any way.

    • 45caliber

      Scooter:

      One thing to keep in mind.

      An ex-army man has been going around the country training cops recently. He visited Houston. A cop friend there told me that he will stand at 7 yards (the distance that the police used to say you should never shoot over) with a rubber knife. The police officer is to stand with his gun drawn and ready to shoot (with blanks). When he starts to move, the policeman is to shoot. Most of the time he can stab with the knife BEFORE the man can think to shoot.

  • david

    I am older and have unsteady legs with bad joints. I can not figh like RAMBO any more. I co have a CWP and carry a light weight 38. If I can not talk my way out then I will do what has to be done.

    • hicusdicus

      Carry your first round as bird shot and point at the face. Any body shot in the face with bird shot is no longer a threat. Blind people give up quick.

      • Jeep

        That’s very good advice, just be aware that there have been some recent cases of the attacker actually suing the victim for maiming!

      • http://donthaveone Beberoni

        Thats right, that will stop them quick. But the dirty lawyers will side with them if they decided to sue you. If your going to shoot, you shoot to kill. That is the bottom line. Dont pull out a gun if your not prepared to use it, and dont use it if your not prepared to take someone out.

  • Jason

    I agree that knowing valid hand to hand combat techniques are usefull. I have studied Thai kick boxing and Brazillian Ju Jitzu for years and spent 5 years as a Coast Guard boarding team member where we trained for hand to hand combat. Knowing how to deffend yourself hand to hand is smart BUT nothing beats having a more powerfull weapon than your attacker. I have a concealed carry permit and often carry a .45 auto. The reason I do is because I don’t care how good you are in hand to hand your going to take a punch, it’s going to hurt, and the bad guy can always get lucky. Staring into the muzzle of a .45 tends to stop an attack long before it gets physical.

  • Phil

    I think this article is very biased and inaccurate to say the least. Traditional martial arts have a proven track record of self defense, even though there are some schools that teach politically correct self defense.

    It is always necessary to continue training, refining, and becoming a better fighter, and full contact fighting does help, but you should base your bias on true, time tested, experience, versus a couple of years in a style.

    • Richie Gekko

      I think the author is stressing that self defense training is important. Dancing around to some choreographed fight or breaking wood is a joke. The best quote is “the bigger the trophy, the softer the tournament.” I have seen some HUGE karate trophies.

      I didn’t know Clint Eastwood’s character from Gran Torino. anyone here not want to carry a loaded weapon around. ‘Here lovely daughter, take this desert eagle with you on your night out.’

      • hicusdicus

        The desert eagle is a crap movie gun. Give her a public defender.

        • 45caliber

          I’ve always figured at anyone who depended upon and loved a Desert Eagle had a manhood problem. I agree with you about it.

          • Jeep

            You guys are right, I remember testing the DE for possible use in the Army. It jammed every other roud and was way too big for a sidearm. But, it would be funny to see the look on a perps face when your daughter pulls out that big shiny gun.

          • bob wire

            hmm? I’ve always been a 357 mag fan but the Desert Eagle is just too big! It would take one bad ass Jew to be proficient with one. (it’s an Israelian product for those that don’t know)

          • Cawmun Cents

            Original Desert Eagles were.357 Mag.Your knowledge is showing again mr.wire.-CC.

        • Johnnyrite

          I suspect that RichieGreco is using a Desert Eagle .50 as an extreme to make an example of the fact that not everyone, especially outside of the United States can carry or safely discharge a gun.

          A .50 is used well for dramatic affect in the movie Snatch. True you don’t want to be the guy that took a knife to a gun-fight, but I used to have a MMA teacher and people would always say to him — A gun works better than any of this BS. He would always say: “Do you have your gun on you right now?” Nine out of 10 times the person would say, “No.”

          But the best advice comes from the lady who said her husband knew to always throw the first punch. Many years a go they did a study of NHL fights. They found that the guy that threw the first punch in a hockey fight won 90% of the time.

          A couple of other comments that have been right on said do what ever you need to do. I couldn’t agree more. It is just possible you could be fighting for you life so better to assume that then wake up dead.

          One last gold star to the comment that said always be aware of your surroundings. When the hair on the back of your neck goes up it is time to start putting distance between yourself and that which is bothering your instinctive brain.

          • 45caliber

            One thing people tend to think is that a weapon can only be a knife or a gun.

            EVERYTHING is a weapon in a battle for your life. Look around you right now. What could you throw or hit with that is within your grasp? A pencil or pen can be used for stabbing – and people have been killed with them. A calculator can be thrown, which might give you a chance to run. A coffee cut can be thrown or you can hit with it. Some types of them make a good bludgeon while others will break and cut your enemy. Books can be thrown and a thick one could stop a bullet or a knife.

            The thing everyone needs to do is recognize this at an instinctive level so that if you are attacked, you will reach for the first thing within grasping distance and USE it!

          • Dan az

            45
            The way I do it is when some one says hey you I say Bang problem solved.Just walk away! :)

          • john

            45 calibre since 911 everytime i enter an aircraft i look for all the fire extinguishers they are deadly weapons at close range . shoot it in an atackers face then beat them to death with it lol

    • bob wire

      Hmm, I had a house mate for a few years that watched my house while I was at sea.

      Chad was an instructor of Ti Chi ( if I spelling that right) Koren style of some sorts. ~ I just called him “Grass Hopper”

      At 42, everyday, he’d hop around in the grass out back, kicking and fanning the air, throwing stars and fighting with a cane. He’d been at it since a 9 year old child. I guess he was good at it by then and had many students. He had a master in California that he went to see every year. His master was now very, very old.

      I worked out with him on occasion, he could deliver the “pain” if he wanted too, and I think that what it’s basically about. delivering enough pain to quickly change a persons mind in a millisecond and to “stop” ~ heart, blood flow, movement if you are really serious.

      As I understand it, these various belt degrees only mean that a student has been exposed and accomplished the form at that level, not to suggest that they are truly deadly in it’s execution.

      Bayonet drill in the infantry was much the same way. Grueling repetition day in and day out hard work. 45 remember those days?

      “There is two kinds of bayonet fighters, quick ones and dead ones.” I don’t think they do bayonet drill in the Armed services anymore. Any one been through lately?

      • 45caliber

        I enjoyed the pugil stick drills for bayonet practice when I was in training. But we all decided the best way to handle someone with a bayonet was to throw ours aside. They had a really good way to take the other’s rifle (and bayonet) away from him in hand-to-hand.

        • hicusdicus

          You are so correct.Once some ones hand has clenched your rifle it is no longer your weapon.

          • Jeep

            So true, it is much better to swing your weapon like a club…but, the psychological effect the Brits had in Falklands was amazing as they charged up the hill with bayonets fixed. Yep, there is no substitution for a full on bayonet charge to scare the bejeezus out of your enemy. Just don’t count on your bayonet to hurt anybody but you. LOL.

  • Bill M

    I was a Deputy sheriff and ran a Repossession Agency for eight years before retiring due to a disability. I have been in many physical altercations over the course of my career . I took several martial arts courses and had extensive training with weapons. This is what I am going to say regarding martial arts. They are only good in a real fight if you are willing and trained to use them in a martial way.
    Actually gouge out an eye , deliver a crushing groin kick or crush a larynx. All these things are forbidden to use in any school. You obtain years of simulating the strike but never delivering the real blow. That is a hard habit to break under stress. The guy who wins is the guy who gets the first disabling injury against his attacker.
    In short to defend your self effectively, you must become the aggressor and hurt the guy in front of you.
    The most dangerous people I ever fought were not real skilled or in good shape. You can only be ready , willing and able to hurt someone first. You can lose being ready and able ,but you can never lose willing and win!

    • 45caliber

      Bill:

      There is an old saying that I’ve always liked:

      Never pick a fight with an old man. If he doesn’t feel like fighting, he’ll kill you.

      And it is pretty close to truth. The old men know that the best way to end a fight is to disable the opponent. And they aren’t afraid to do it.

      • Dan az

        45
        I live by that motto.When I was young I lived to fight but now it just hurts to much.Its not fun anymore so yes they are going to end up crippled for life if I’m in a good mood or dead if I’m not.The big ones I would play with while there on there knees just for sh-ts and giggles.Other wise I’m a nice guy really! :)

        • Cawmun Cents

          I always aim for the crotch.That way they know its personal.Followed soon after by five in the solar plexus.I was never a nice guy,in reference to assailants.I could have never been a cop.The bad guy would never hear me yell freeze.I would have already shot him dead.BOOM…..FREEZE!A couple of hours later,on the slab he would have obliged me anyhow.”I was born….sixgun in my hand.Behind a gun…I’ll make my final stand.”-PAUL ROGERS.-CC.

          • john

            usually i wait for the first swing catch it then but the guys nose and watch his eyes puff up and he cant fight anymore lol

    • hicusdicus

      Amen! It also does not hurt to have a Judge in your pocket.

      • http://donthaveone Beberoni

        Judge and Jury.

  • bob wire

    Well John , That’s quit a story and thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I suppose every young man story is unique in many way.

    Myself, I was always the skinny kid. First born, hated by a 21 year old father( jealous) and raised to know my place. ~ ( I didn’t have one) My space was always being violated and there was little I could do about it. I was always “out gunned”

    When I got to the school yard, it was much the same. I was beat down and timid and suppose to be no bother. It wasn’t until farm work did it’s magic on a 13 year boys body did things start to change. While still very skinny, I returned from Summer Vacation 3 times stronger.

    Still the same person inside, it took awhile to understand and marshal my power. I had overwhelming power to subdue last years bullies with ease.

    Shorty I learned the benefits of “preemptive strikes” and selectively employed them. Until everyone understood Bad Bob didn’t take no sh1t.

    Father? well~ that’s another matter, I still showed up a school with black eyes and purple ears on occasions.

    I became a space violator over time. I used what seem to work. You don’t actually have to be strong and powerful but possess the will to respond with force.

    Marshal Arts? My defense? Tire Tool Western Auto.

    I’ve since come to grips with my nature by understanding why.(with the the help of the court system and mandated counseling)

    Even a puppy must have it’s “space” if you deny it it’s space, over time it will deny others theirs.

    This goes a long way into understanding the making of a criminal mind and how to avoid or deal with one.

    I how people find something here that they can use.

    Father? he’s now 86 and I think that I can take him.

    But Like Mr. Myers offers, be mindful of you surrounding, you don’t always need to understand why you don’t like someone or their presence. Your body well try to tell you something before your mind absorbs the data. Listen to your body, it can save your life.

    • hicusdicus

      You need to write a training manual. You are one of the few people who know what they are talking about.

    • John Myers

      Dear Bob,

      Thanks for reading and for sharing your story. My wife and I sometimes wonder about these kids who break down because they are cyber bullied. You and I both know that back in the day things were a lot tougher than people writing bad things about you on the Internet.

      Best wishes,

      John

    • Dan az

      Hey Bob
      Some days you really crack me up!And as far as your father goes watch out he may surprise you.Check out his cane he may be packing.LOL! ;)

  • Cawmun Cents

    It is not often that I thank Mutual of Omahas’ Wild Kingdom.Today is that day that I do.Marlon Perkins showed me the key.He observed that the lions on the savannah attack the young,old,weak,and injured.I drew a direct correlation to dealing with the human animal.It seems like the animals that are aware of the lions,usually live to see another day.Awareness is a term not often defined.Subtle nuances can make the difference between assuming friend or foe.I now know that if you look like you are strong and confident,and do not expose yourself to being easily overcome,the human animal looks elsewhere for a victim.That is not true in all cases,but for the overwhelming amount of them,it is.The leopard often pounces on unsuspecting prey.When you are in public life doing what you do,ensure that you are aware of potential conditions that would lead to violence.It is much easier to prepare for a recognized threat than an ambush.If you posess a Concealed Carry Permit,then you must still ensure that the weapon is quickly obtainable.You dont want to fumble about like Fife,when facing an assailant.Ihe Impala that gets surrounded with no avenue of escape,is most likely supper for the pride later that day.Knowing your environment is a good idea.Understanding perception of degree,can help you ascertain your own event horizon.No need to go defcon 1,if grandma is reaching into her purse for keys.Yet,if shady looking individual roaming around late at night approaches you,by all means be accutely aware that he is potentially dangerous.Prepare yourself Physically,mentally,emotionally,and ergonomically for all possible situations.Live long and prosper.-CC.

    • 45caliber

      Running away by avoiding a dangerous situation is ALWAYS the best defense.

      • hicusdicus

        Forget karate. Learn to run like the wind.

      • http://donthaveone Beberoni

        That is correct for me. I will avoid the conflict at all costs if I have the power to do so. However, like an animal, if Im caged in, my animal insticts come to the forefront, and I will look for a way to attack to give me the upper hand. I remember as a kid being teased for running away from fights, because my dad told me not to fight, and if I got in one, I got my butt whipped when I got home, because I didnt run away from it. But its funny how time changes things, that as I grew into my teens, and we all took up playing hockey, where fighting was allowed as part of the game, I kicked every stinking of those guys butts on the ice, and my dad would tell me good job. I love it when a plan comes together.

        • Dan az

          Beberoni
          That’s funny mine always said if you ran I would get my butt kicked when I got home.And if I lost!

          • john

            me too

  • hicusdicus

    All that martial arts stuff is a bunch of nonsense. I have a concealed carry permit and always carry a Judge ultra light public defender in my pocket. Their is not a human on the planet it will not turn into raw hamburger in a heart beat. I also carry three bullet holes and a bullet next to my spine from two armed robbers who shot first and asked questions later.

    • http://donthaveone Beberoni

      It is a good thing to learn and to be able to carry with you, as some posters have written you might not always have your gun with you. But even if you do, like you said, you can still have bullet holes, whether your martial arts guy or gun guy. I agree the .45 gives me more comfort than knowing I can fight, I will tell you that right now. But its not a bad thing to learn martial arts, its a good thing. For one, many, many of us human beings could use the mental discipline required to learn most of it. Many of us.

  • pete

    Excellent article Mr.Myers ! Not everyone has the same path in learning self defense. Their are those who take a traditional Karate path that stresses kata in the beginning and do well at defending themselves. Then on the other hand many train with more of an emphasis on partial to full contact and do quite well.

    The bottom line is you have to find your own path … a path that works (functional) for you …

    I practice running away from confrontation. I wasn’t good at martial arts training when I did take lessons. So my path is to run/walk away, and quickly.

    Now that I’m close to 50, my knees won’t allow me to run away from confrontation. So I’ve started lifting weights, drinking protein shakes and taking amino acids. My intent is to increase my muscle mass so I will be able to take a beating from my opponent. I will not win – but hopefully I’ll survive. Some men can’t fight well -and I’m one of them – that’s life.

    At around the age of 13 I was accused of knocking over the Poker Chips of a fellow student. Being a chess player and knowing nothing about Poker I told the other boy that he was mistaken. I tried walking away, but this student knew Judo, and thru me into a desk like a sack of potatoes !

    I learned some very important lesson at 13 …

    1) When you walk away from a confrontation, DON”T EVER TURN YOUR BACK TO YOUR POTENTIAL ATTACKER !!

    2) Teaching young people martial arts is a good idea – they are like sponges – learning techniques that become 2nd nature…This young 13 year old boy effortlessly tossed me right into the side of a desk !!!

    3) Some days it’s not a good idea to get out of bed ….

    Luckily I stayed down on the floor, and this 13 year old Bruce Lee didn’t finish me off. I went into a state of shock for awhile, all that blood !
    The operation to straighten out my nose/face was partially successful – but I’ve been snoring with a deviated ceptum for the past 37 years . I probably would have looked like James Bond and gone on to a successful acting career – but instead I now look like a member of the “simian” kind …

    The Doctor did the best he could do patching my nose/face up … But he really botched up on a simple rhinoplsty …

    So as I say, we all have our own paths to take when it comes to self defense … I’ve chosen the path of being a homebody – and running away. I’m still alive so it’s been successful.

    Mr. Meyers, thanks for recommending the book, I’ll try to find a copy and read it ….

    3)

    3)

    • Jay

      pete, that was hilarious. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for your honesty! LOL!

  • 45caliber

    There is one group of fighting that I would recommend to all – and it is cheap. (Free except for equipment in many areas.) The Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) is a medieval group – and they study fighting in armor with wooden weapons. This is FULL contact and is fought on an honor system. If you get hit hard enough that you believe that you would have been severly wounded or killed if real weapons had been used, you say so. (If you don’t, sooner or later someone will prove to you that you SHOULD have said so.) Most groups have loaner equipment you can use at fighting practices. You can buy or make most of your equipment.

    You fight will ALL medieval weapons except the staff and the morning star (ball and chain). Those are too dangerous.

    The nice thing is that after a couple of years of practice (one if you are trying) your opponent can’t hit you if you can get your hands on a good garbage can lid – and you can both defend yourself and hit freely with a solid cane. I always use one when I’m going to places I consider unsafe.

    I will warn you, though. Bruises are common and are NOT considered injuries. You will get bruises through what is otherwise good armor. That includes steel armor. Real injuries such as broken bones are very rare. After all, we all have real lives and we have good armor. And all members can tell you real stories of people confronting criminals.

    • 45caliber

      To my knowledge, all large cities have a SCA chapter. They generally use city parks for practices – usually on Sunday afternoons. If there is a Tandy Leather Shop in your area, it is a good place to start looking. You can also log onto SCA.org for details and links to various groups. There is a membership fee but it is required only for tournaments … which are held nearly every weekend somewhere in your general area. This group is also family-oriented and has things for all age groups to enjoy at events.

  • http://MoxzillaFirefox Bob

    I see a lot of good info from most contributors here. I grew up playfully wrestling with my friends. Went into the Marines & learn hand to hand combat mostly using my rifle. I hand a buddy holding a Brown Belt in Karate, who taught me a few things. I later bought books on all types of fighting techniques, French Foot Fighting, Street Fighting, Judo, Katati, Boxing, etc. I studied them and practiced on some buddys. A combination of all styles of fighting, using what is appropriate at the moment, can be used successfully. I’ve taken on guys much bigger than I am & came out on top. Even though I enjoy it, i had to be careful not to permanently injure or kill anyone. I like playing defense as it gives me more to chose for countering with the attack. So, what ever you do, please try never to permanently hurt anyone…unless it’s absolutely necessary…life’s to short, plus they may have some one that relies on them! God bless.

  • Smoothoperator

    Grew up in NYC so I have natural built in awarness. I also loved playing football or “violent collision sports”. Eight years of kodokan Judo. Won many fights in school and on the street-also lost a few too. Now I am much older move too slow I also recovered from a stroke but in all those years I invested in guns and practiced alot at the shooting range. I always carry legally a Charter Arms .44 special revolver (both concealed) and a Springfield XD-45. Needless to say…I or my loved ones will never be victims…and I don’t need to call the police….

  • DISPENSER

    It is my belief that the willingness to injure, or kill a person with your hands is the most important aspect in a physical confrontation. Knowing how to do so, is a close second.
    I hope that those of you who carry a gun, realize it is not a magic totem that solves all of your defensive problems. There is much more to using a gun in self defense than accuracy. You need a balance of speed, accuracy, and tactics. This can only be achieved through training. Spend the money you were putting back for that umpteenth gun on professional defensive handgun training. I have, and all I can say is “You don’t know what you don’t know!”

    • 45caliber

      You are correct in both your comments.

    • bob wire

      Exactly ! The will, the determination And the “skill”

      While there is few absolutes in the world ~ don’t pull it unless you are ready to use it. Don’t expect people to recoil in fear.

      There is people out there like me, that on seeing you present a threat with come straight for you without a word spoken.

      and you can never be over trained, over practice or know too much.

      After boot, I received advanced field training, after that, advance Jungle training, and then as a civilian peace officer, FBI taught pistol training and on every occasion I learned something very valuable, something I could use and made it a part of me.

      If I took a class tomorrow, I’d expect to learn something new.

      • 45caliber

        We used to always say, “don’t point a gun at anyone even by accident unless you intend to IMMEDIATELY use it on them.”

        I still follow that rule and so does my kids.

        • Jay

          Good point 45. I would add, even if they’re toy guns. I have trained my 10 year old Son from an early age not to indiscriminately point his toy-guns at anyone. It seems he’s beginning to understand that a gun is just a tool/weapon, and not a toy!

  • Bus

    This is a pretty tame conversation, if only John could have worked in the idea that Obama had taken Karate as an illegal resident of Hawaii and used it to beat up some capitalist store owner, then we could have the usual fireworks.

  • Roy K.

    This has been quite instructive. At 68, I’ve learned that most of these confrontations are resolved in 20 to 30 seconds. I think a person should go with what works for them and incorporate it into
    their lifestyle and practice it everyday. When I was a kid in Northern New Jersey, I was bullied. That lead me to acquire 400 pounds of weights. “What does not kill us, makes us stronger.” Being confident sends a warning to would be trouble makers and it helps to manage fear which can be crippling. Thank you all.

  • Master Gunny

    Be polite and respectful to everyone you meet, but always be prepared to kill them if necessary.”

    Situational awareness is critical and avoiding a fight is critical but once things go terminal the only questions that matter involve how best to put your enemy off guard, in pain, deprived of his senses, on the route to killing him. The fewer the strikes the better, each one designed to cripple or kill.

    That is the world live in today thanks to the breakdown of law and order.

    Relentless movements, rapidly applied, each one with the object of depriving the enemy of his life. It was these principles I was taught to survive on the battlefield. The only fair fight is probably the one that you lost.

    Being taught to kill brought to me a profound sense of the value of life and a conviction to cherish it in all it’s forms. I don’t hunt, avoid contact sports, yet paradoxically have no reservations about going to lethal force to protect my loved ones, the helpless, or a fellow servicemember. My awe at the miracle of life compels me to protect it in every form yet also dictates that when evil threatens and a fight can’t be avoided then is time to respond with ruthless determination. The enemy chose the fight, the consequences belong to him.

    • 45caliber

      Master Gunny:

      “The enemy chose the fight, the consequences belong to him.”

      EXACTLY!!

      That is one thing I wish the libs would understand. If a person is trying to rob you of 50 cents HE is the one who places the value of his life at 50 cents, not you.

  • 45caliber

    If you want to end most violent crime, REQUIRE that all adults be trained and carry a gun at all times.

    And don’t worry about shoot-outs in the streets. They were actually rare in the Old West days. People were too aware that others could also kill them and kept their guns in their holsters.

  • 45caliber

    Incidently, the present form of hand-to-hand fighting taught to Seals, etc. is a form of street fighting. It is considered the most dangerous type of fighting.

  • Bert Cundle

    Martial Arts: {Was} a teaching of “WHAT TO DEFEND” than “WHEN” Than “HOW”…

  • Jim Ford

    Dispenser is absolutely right. Many states do not require a demonstration of proficiency with a firearm when issuing a concealed carry permit. Even if they do, minimum practice means minimum skill. If you are going to depend on your firearm to save your life or that of another, practice as much as possible, to the point that you can hit a 3-inch circle at 25-feet everytime you draw. A person with a knife can cover 21 feet in one second—so make sure you can draw and “SHOOT TO STOP THE THREAT” in that one second. That means you must also have a pre-planned response and situational awareness where ever you you happen to be.

    • 45caliber

      In Texas you are required to go to a gun range and shoot at various distances. BUT … your target is then destroyed. The instructor is not allowed to score you for the CCL either.

      Shortly after the CCL was allowed, some lawyer tried to insist that if you had been through training on shooting a gun to get your CCL, you should have been able to shoot at his hand or foot instead of at his body. He wanted to have the info available to show that you could have aimed better to not hurt him.

      We also do not shoot to kill. We shoot to “stop” an attacker. If the bullet happens to kill him, well, that’s too bad. He shouldn’t have attacked. And the best place to stop someone is right through the center of the chest.

      And for those of you who insist on head shots – take my advice and shoot for the widest spot. You are far more likely to hit it. Speaking from experience, most people get too excited to actually aim in an emergency. (Only about 10% can.) I’ve seen one guy shoot straight up and then insisted that he was aiming directly at his target and couldn’t understand why the other ran away.

      YOU CANNOT TAKE THE TIME TO AIM WHEN SOMEONE IS CHARGING YOU OR IS SHOOTING AT YOU!!!

      When you go to practice, practice pointing your gun at the target from various positions without aiming such as shooting from the waist. Because in an emergency you will either not aim or won’t have time to do it. And remember, in the dark you can’t even see the sights on your gun and possibly not your target. So get used to pointing your gun accurately.

    • 45caliber

      Jim? You forgot to mention that if you plan to draw and shoot in one second, that you should MAKE SURE that you don’t accidently shoot yourself doing it. Many do or will.

  • Budo

    I believe in upgrades: Use the most brutal form of martial arts you can handle, to get to a stick/knife. Use a stick/knife to get to a pistol. Use a pistol to get to a shotgun. Use a shotgun to get to a hi-capacity rifle. Use a rifle to get to a vehicle and get the hell out of there.

    Self defense is a waste of time, I use SELF-OFFENSE. Overwhelming violence wins, not some ancient “Oh, I don’t have to touch you to hurt you” theries. I don’t care what some Chinese guy did on a mountain 2000 yrs ago, I care what works and what is battle proven for today.

    I studied MMA (had 3 pro fights), Brazilian and Japanese Jiujitsu, Western Boxing,Muay Thai kickboxing, wrestling, Kali (Phillipino stick/knife fighting), Jeet Kune Do, Kelly McCann Combatives (a favorite), and a little bit of Krav Maga. This is all pretty much useless when bullets are coming at you. Martial SPORTS are great practice, but use them with a COMBAT MINDSET on the street. Try mma training with a training pistol and training knife, you will see how difficult it can be to get to your weapons, until then you are only guessing.

    Good luck

    • 45caliber

      Budo:

      I agree. A person, no matter how well trained at martial arts, is at a disadvantage when fighting against someone with a weapon – any weapon. And I’ve had martial arts people tell me that they don’t fear going up against anyone with a knife, etc. They certainly should! I was talking with an instructor several years ago in karate and mentioned that we both knew that someone with martial arts was at a disadvantage against an armed person. He insisted that wasn’t true so I invited him to attack me while I used a sword (a wooden one). He refused to try.

      You use it only when nothing else better is at hand and you do your best to get the better stuff up to and including that vehicle so you can run faster!

  • Cecilio Mendez

    Personal defense is like dieting – everyone knows something that worked for them. And, as diets, not all of them work for everybody. There are some “Posers” that want to tell how they train, what they do, know they will act,etc.t. BS! Defense means that you are under attack, by someone, somewhere, sometime, under unknown conditions, unaware and (generally) alone and by yourself! Mr. Meyers is in the receiving end of a group who like to hear themselves talk. Honest as he was, he was also naive in confessing his decisions in this forum. The first parts of any defense plan must include Awareness and Avoidance. The body reacts instinctively to any threat and no one can control that reaction (try to sneeze with your eyes open). Once that is comprehended, most anything you do to defend yourself can work relatively good. It helps if you are young and strong – to some extent. It also helps if you have some knowledge on empty hand strikes. But what really works is NEVER NEVER GIVE UP! Scratch, spit, bite, scream, (cut and shoot, if you have the time and means). Criminals are a bunch of COWARDS. They cheat (and so must you). The only “fair” fight is the one you win – doing whatever is necessary!

    • Jay

      Cecilio, kudos grasshopper, and very well stated. You are wise!

    • 45caliber

      Correct. And if that means kicking your opponent squarely between the legs, then that is the best way to do it. Marques of Queensbury Rules do NOT apply when you are defending yourself!

  • ONTIME

    Wise words, there is no one but you to depend on and in a dangerous situation when talk is useless then mortal combat will ensue, men, women and children need to learn that intelligent people need to learn to fight with their hands and feet by using their heads to prepare for the day.

  • Rex Nichols

    I have read all the comments and found wisdom in some of them but the two that spoke truth throughout was Master Gunny and Jim Ford. I was raised on the Mexican border and grew up knowing on any given day you would likely be confronted and have to fight. I always carried a certain amount of fear of being hurt but when I did get hurt and then got mad (not angry, mad) there was no longer any pain, just the desire to maim (or worse). You don’t stop until your antagonist(s) are down and out and no longer any threat. Use whatever is available to achieve that goal. The absolute best defense is situational awareness. Most people go about their life completely unaware of what is going on around them. They’re called “potential victims”.
    Jim Ford said it very well. Practice “awareness” until it becomes 2nd nature. You will be amazed how much of life you have been missing. If you have a CCW, practice with it until it is also second nature.
    Practice means: Remove all ammuniton into another room, then and only then practice pulling, presenting and dry firing at a given point many times at least 2 or 3 days a week. Spend as much time as possible at the range practicing the same techniques only with live ammo. And as an ex-law enforcement officer perhaps the most important thing is to role play in your mind under what circumstances would you pull your weapon and use it. You must do that until your subconcious mind accepts that as fact and when it does, you may be sufficiently prepared to defend yourself. No shooting to wound, so brandishing to threaten. When you pull it, use it and don’t stop shooting until the sight picture is empty or you run out of ammo. Anything less and you are likely to die because your attacker will assume you have prepared and if he can’t quickly get out of your range his only choice is to try and kill you. Remember, this is not a game and it is not the best 2 out of 3.

    • 45caliber

      You are correct. Doing something instinctively is what I call “body memory” when I teach someone to use a sword, etc. You don’t have to think about it – you simply do it because you have practiced it so much and thought about it ahead of time. If you have to think to pull your gun if someone is charging you with a knife, you will die. It takes at least 1.5 seconds to think about it – and he can reach you in 1 second.

      • Johnnyrite

        Great posts today 45. Loved reading them. And what you say is so true. Call it body memory or muscle memory, you hit the nail square on the head with the hammer.

        What you get from full contact fighting or as Meyers says the school of hard knocks, is a quick learning curve.

        Many years ago I wrestled but now in my 50s I live by what is written at the end of this column. Mainly don’t go to bad places, and if I am in such a place get away quickly and quietly.

        I live in a country where I can’t carry a gun. But I have told my wife of over 30 years that while I may be long in the tooth, if because of terrible luck something bad came along I could put enough resistance up for 20 or 30 seconds for her to get away.

        Finally I have great repect for Judo because it too is full contact. My best friend is a very close friend with a guy that was heavyweight on the ’76 Olympic Judo Team. He fought Bad News Allen and continued in the match dispite having two seperated shoulders.

        He was a gifted heavyweight and never looked for trouble. I am pretty certain that if it came his way he could end it very quickly.

        Finally boxing is certainly a young man’s sport (and nowadays a woman’s too), unless your name is George Foreman. Being smart is for us older folks.

        • 45caliber

          Thanks for the compliments. But don’t think boxing is all that great. George thought so – and got his rear kicked regularly while he was in the pen. I think nearly all the bads in there did him in just to prove they could.

          • Johnnyrite

            I think you are thinking about Mike Tyson. George Foreman got rich selling the George Foreman Grill. He is much beloved and last time I checked he still does commentary for HBO Boxing.

  • paintbrushbright

    I got old! Had to trade my black belt for a 45 conseal carry. The sight of it will scare a bad guy away. If it doesn’t the Hollow point round will not forgive his actions.

  • Rex Nichols

    Well said Cecilio. A man with some experience who has done a lot of introspection, me thinks. You can be my neighbor anytime you want.

  • Cobeye Bailey

    I noticed that most of you people confess to Carrying Concealed Weapons (CCW) with and without permits.
    I don’t but would if I wanted to go thru the hassel of training that is REQUIRED in order to carry LEGALLY. (per the law of the country).
    The question in the back of my mind is – - -”Are you going to surrender your Weapons when the FEDERALLIES ask for them ?”
    Just askin’.

    • Dan az

      Cobeye
      Only the bullets one at a time :)

  • Richie Gekko

    “What we’ve got here is… failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it… well, he gets it.”

    -Cool Hand Luke

    Some of you guys just don’t get it. Not every country allows guns to be carried and who in this day and age is ready to ‘pop off’ at the first sign of trouble. We are talking about self defence not “187 on a mother******* cop.”

    I’m not bashing guns as a hobby. If that is your thing that is all good. But for self defence? You need to wake up.

    • Dan az

      Little richie
      I live in a state that always packs and I would luv to see you stop a bullet with your bad azz.Care to try?

      • MJ Montana

        Little danny,
        Richie Gekko says he has had 15 fights as a boxer. Last time I checked you couldn’t climb into the ring packing a gun.

        True, you could beat Muhammad Ali in his prime if you had your gun on you. Does that make you some kind of a tough guy?

        • 45caliber

          You might want to read my note on boxing and George Forman above. Boxing is NOT the best.

          • John Myers

            I sometimes watch UFC fights. I find it discouraging because I am a huge boxing fan. Yet I have to admit that submission grapplers are better at self-defense than boxers.

            REAL and FULL CONTACT martial arts like judo as well as amateur wrestling is hands down better than boxing when it comes to self-defense. But boxing is infinitely better than dressing up in white PJs where you “must” pull punches (“concentrate Danielson!”); where students break chunks of wood and where black-belts say stupid things like: “I could have killed you!”

            At least boxing teaches fighters to take a licking and keep on ticking. Pretend karate is just that… pretend. You might as well play Batman and Robin.

            One last thing and I should have written this in the article. I write about things I know and I try to provide you with information that can hopefully be useful to you. That leaves out handguns.

            I can handle a pump shotgun but am pretty much ignorant of handguns, even though I did own a Smith & Wesson 10 mm and even took it to the gun range a few times.

            This article was meant to be about self-defense, not armed combat, something many you are infinitely wiser about than I am.

        • Dan az

          Nope just the brightest!:)

    • Cawmun Cents

      I may be wrong sir,but It sounds like you havent been robbed at gun point,shot at,attacked with a sharp object,threatened by a large sporting goods bought cylindrical object,been beaten by a group of people,jumped from behind,cold-cocked by an assailant,and any one of many more things which can happen to a human being in the struggle for survival.People who carry weapons are those who are prepared to do what it takes to win.Losing or dying is not an option.You have to get mean in order to defeat those who will only stop at death.You can look at it from another angle,but you cannot argue that kind of logic with a survivor.Posessing the firearm is only half of the battle.The will to use it to its conclusion is where the final die is cast.There are only two kinds of people in a life or death struggle.The living and the dead.Which do you prefer to be?-CC.

      • Richie Gekko

        Nope, you are right. Those things haven’t happened to me. You know why? Because I live in a country (UK) and am from a country (Canada) where we don’t believe in shooting each other or carrying around loaded weapons so that if someone is standing on the lawn they can wave it around like they are Tony Montana.

        I live in London, England and the general rule here is everyone keeps to themselves. The first idiot that starts blabbing off about how he is a bad dude has taken himself out completely because he has just shown everyone what he has. The one thing that keeps you safe is that nobody knows who you are or what you are capable of. Some of you ‘sounding off’ wouldn’t make it very far.

  • Dan az

    John Myers
    You look like you could still go a couple of rounds but Robert Ringer looks like he’s a ankle strap kind of guy ;0 I’d watch my back with him he looks like he could go postal on ya.LOL! :)

    • John Myers

      Thanks Dan,

      Yes Robert Ringer is a throwback and he knew my father Vern back in the day. Bob is a gifted writer and thinker. I too believe that the smart money would be on him.

      Thanks for reading Dan.

      Thanks to all of you for reading and sending in your comments. Next week I will get back to brass tax and talk about crude oil.

      Best,

      John Myers

  • Bun

    http://www.target-focus training. Tim Larkin, ex trainer of USNSeals cuts through it for no choice survival skills. THATS the real deal if you’ve got the stomach for it.

  • BUCK CROSBY

    I have a concealed carry permit and use it . Nuff said .

  • Dave

    The last time I heard the “my hands are lethal weapons” spiel this young know it all at work was standing in front of me telling me how he could kill me and another co-worker before we could even land a punch. Aparently he had spent a lot of time and money on Karate lessons and felt he was quite good and would regale us for hours every chance he got about fights he had won.

    I had a bag of Redman chew in my left hand and opened it up during his monologue about his fighting prowness. As I reached over to the tobacco with my right hand I backhanded the twirp and he landed on his ass.

    As he was picking himself up off the ground we inquired why we were not both dead as he predicted? He went into another long winded discussion that I didn’t fight fair as I had not allowed him time to get into his “stance”. Everyone present burst into laughter and he never talked about karate after that.

    • Jay

      LOL!!! That’s a keeper Dave!

    • Jay

      Btw Dave, I forgot to ask you, was the young fellow’s name Black-Belt?

    • John Myers

      One night all the adults at the Lilac City Boxing Club grabbed a few beers.

      Dan Vassar Sr., had compiled an incredible record as an amateur and later a professional boxer began to tell a story. He said that at the very same bar — Jack & Dan’s in Spokane — many years before he got into an argument with some guy.

      According to Dan the guy warned him: “I have a black-belt in karate and I can kill you with a single punch.”

      To which Dan replied, “You’re going to have to show me that.”

      Dan was a very modest man. No surprise that is where he ended his story.

      So I pressed him: “What happened?”

      “Oh,” said Dan, “we went outside and I knocked the guy out.”

  • jopa

    Many years ago I watched Karate Kid and now even today I have the shiniest car on the block.Thank you.

    • Jay

      Good one jopa!

  • http://deleted Claire

    This brings back old memories. As a kid, my sisters and I were picked on. And it was because we were poor. Needless to say, I was a scrawny little kid but I took care of myself. I was a scrapper. I had to be. I stood up for myself and I made up my mind I would not be picked on. The kids left me alone once they found out I would fight back and I could take care of myself.

  • BimBam

    As someone said the best fight is the one you never got into. AVOID, AVOID, AVOID.

    BUT if you have too, it’s good to be READY, note I said ready and not prepared.

  • http://balbayexp.us Peter Carminati

    Traditional fight-back tactics can no longer be of any use to me since
    my auto accident in November, 2009. The vehicle rolled over three times and broke a key bone just below the brain called the C7. In spite of extensive osteopathic work, I still cannot have full and normal function of the neck. If I am seized, it is basically over. I would need to have a pistol out-of-sight in a holster as the only way to defend myself.

  • Annie Ladysmith

    Don’t be bashful. If you are alone in perhaps a bad part of town, because you dropped your car off near work and you work at 7 am and it’s still dark, carry your hammer out in the open, knock a few blows with it as you quickly move on your way AND ALWAYS dress like them, hoodie over face, baggie sweats, and ALWAYS talk to yourself outloud. NO ONE will likely EVER bother you, your are simply too nuts and more importantly too much trouble. If you are in a protest turned bad…turn slightly hysterical and squirm in circles as you look for a GOOD EXIT. Do not lift your hands over your head, as you will become an immediate threat, keep them close to your body as you put on your repirator, then just keep squirming in circles till you get out to the periphery and make your run for it. You need to know how to really sprint and always head off the road into bushy areas where you will get a chance to hide until the trouble has gone. If someone grabs you while you are still in the croud, do not look to see who, it could be COP and he will arrest you, just keep turning and squirming till you break free. If they grab your wrist keep turning and squirming you will break free they will then likely grab an easy target of someone who has their arms flailing. But, seriously you need to know how to sprint, that alone can save your life and keep you out of the paddy wagon.

  • jopa

    Bim Bam :In today’s world your avoid, avoid, avoid advice is true wisdom.There are many equalizers on the streets today, so be cool.

  • Laura

    Being a professional bodybuilder I have never had to worry about physical confrontation due to my looks, I also have a martial arts background and I carry. The most important thing is to carry yourself in a manner of high self-esteem, you be the aggressor, if someone comes at you charge back and become more aggressive then they are, they will not expect it, you make them your victim.

  • LAW2

    Why does this whole discussion evolve around guns and physical fighting as weapons? I am a 58 year old woman who weighs 130#. Here is a list of things that I consider weapons if I cannot get to a gun: a doubled up wire clothes hanger, it hurts like the dickens if you can hit your target and just about anywhere on the body is effective. A can of soup when thrown with any kind of force, a bottle of ketchup or syrup when swung like a baseball bat. A pencil or pen when used as a stabbing device. Hard candies thrown on the floor between you and a threat will at least slow them down and give you a chance to get to a “real” weapon. A broom when using the handle to stab & poke, if it should break then swing it like a bat. If you come after me, be ready for unconventional weapons! I have a 357 and a concealed carry permit, but there are a lot of places you still cannot take a gun legally, so think about alternatives. I like to drink a beer on occasion, a broken bottle is still a good slashing tool! Can we have some other suggestions along this line?

  • http://www.personalliberty.com TK

    I’ve found the best way to avoid all this is to stay close to home and don’t go out looking to use your carry permit.I have nothing against anyone who carries,though.I have thought about it very much,just never seems to be the right time to take the class.
    I do have firearms,(none registered)and various other means of protection and I’m not afraid to use them,if the need ever arises.I hope I never have to,but you never know.Preparedness is a weapon too.

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