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Ultimate Self Defense Guide

Self Defense Weapons
Self Defense Weapons


Self Defense skills are a set of verbal, psychological, and physical techniques you can use to defend yourself. Self Defense Weapons are less than lethal weapons like pepper sprays, stun guns, kubotans and batons or lethal weapons such as knives or guns that are used in self defense from physical attacks.

The Different Styles of Self Defense

It is essential for everyone to have some knowledge of self defense. This is because not only will knowledge of self defense allow you to protect yourself from physical harm, self defense is also a legal and justifiable right. If you would like to learn about how to defend yourself, you can choose from the different styles of self defense available.

Self Defense Dvd Street Safe 1 Paul Vunak
8 Essential Tactics of Jeet Kune Do

1. Unarmed Self Defense

– this is the most common style of self defense. There are many different sets of moves and techniques you can employ to protect yourself, including moves from ancient martial arts like Kung Fu, Karate, Taekwondo and Ju-Jitsu as well as modern fusion styles and combatives known as Hapkido, Jeet Kune do and Krav Maga.  

Krav Maga: Israeli Connection
Krav Maga: Israeli Connection

Unarmed self defense skills not only help you protect yourself from physical harm, they also make good exercise regimens. There are many available styles and lessons that can be customized to match the student’s prior knowledge, age, physical abilities as well as attitude.

Small Mans Advantage
If you only need to pick up one style of self defense, unarmed self defense is the way to go. There are self defense methods that can be easily adapted to fit any situation.

Fighting Mindset: Ben Cooley
Fighting Mindset

2. Armed self defense

– this is the second most popular style of self defense. Armed self defense incorporates the use of self  defense weapons that include less lethal weapons and lethal weapons. Learning this style of self defense is totally dependent on the laws of your state or country.

Taser Pulse Self Defense
Taser Pulse

This is because while learning armed self defense is not technically prohibited by law, the carrying of the weapons that are used in these armed self defense encounters can be.


This means that if you heavily train on armed self defense styles that require knives, your knowledge is useless if the laws in your area prevent you from carrying a knife around with you.
If you only know self defense techniques using a knife or prohibited weapon, you will basically be defenseless if you have no knife with you or possibly face legal ramifications.

De-escalation self defense
De-escalation self defense

3. De-escalation (Verbal)

– the de-escalation style of self defense or what is also commonly known as the “verbal judo” is a special kind of self defense skill that does not have a physical aspect. De-escalation self defense uses word choices, body language and tone to attempt to de-escalate a conflict or avoid an altercation. De-escalation self defense techniques are based on a variety of conflict management methods used to diffuse a potentially volatile situation.
As such, the least anyone should know is some rudimentary knowledge of de-escalating a conflict.

Learning about the different styles of self defense can help you properly choose the style that you want to pick up. You can make your choice depending on your physical attributes, your attitude, prior knowledge as well as your capacity to learn. This will ensure that you get an efficient learning experience in self defense.

Self Defense Mindset


Tachypsychia is a distorted sense of size and time and it is very common under stress. Movie makers use slow motion at some critical moments to try to convey this mental state. Another very common effect of stress, one that can occur with tachypsychia or alone, is tunnel vision.

One victim describes this sensation very well. "I didn't know anything about anything that was happening around me. I was aware of what was in front of me. I knew where he was and I knew that I had a gun in my hand. Other than that, I couldn't have told you anything that was happening at that moment. A blizzard could have started in the middle of the parking lot, and I wouldn't have noticed. I thought I was going nuts!"

It’s almost as if life is happening around you, but you are invisible. The world begins to occur in slow motion and you are acutely aware of sounds like your own breath or the bead of sweat that is falling from your forehead.

You may feel paralyzed and out of control, but the exact opposite is true. You are in full control, you are just at another level of consciousness – that of taking your life into your own hands and holding on to it with all your might.

Also called the “fight or flight” response of the body to an event our mind considers threatening, tachypsychia is believe to include some or all of, but is not limited to, the following occurrences:

• The autonomous nervous system is stimulated causing the adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine (or adrenaline) directly into the blood stream which affects the body in various ways.
• The cardiovascular system responds with increased heart rate and blood pressure. Your pulse will race and you will be susceptible to fainting.
• The respiratory system will dilate the bronchial passages allowing a higher absorption of oxygen. Your pupils will dilate to allow more light to enter. The tunnel vision will result in a loss of peripheral vision, but you will have greater focus.
• Glucose will release into the blood stream thus releasing extra energy by raising the blood sugar level.
• You won’t hear much around you although you might have intensified hearing when in the midst of gunfire. You can actually hear the individual empty shell casings hitting the ground.
• You may find yourself with an increased level of pain tolerance, a loss of color vision, a bit of short term memory loss, loss of fine motor skills, and an inability to communicate.
• You could lose the ability to reason effectively along with not knowing the right thing to do – a loss of common sense.
• It is also normal to have a decrease in coordination along with a loss of the ability to walk or run.
• Above all else, you will have a misperception of the passage of time. A second will seem like an hour.

When under extreme conditions of stress, the condition of tachypsychia is common and normal, although it won’t seem like it at the time. You will recall this later, but not while it is happening.

However, if you know that the condition will present itself, while it is happening to you, you won’t be taken in by it. You will just react the way your body wants you to.
There are some specific situations that we feel we need to address. When in these situations, there are things that you can do to protect yourself.
Self-defense is much more than just fighting back against your attacker. It is knowing what to say, how to think, and how NOT to put yourself in danger.


The first rule in self-defense is to not put yourself into a situation that would put you in danger. How do you do that? The easy answer is in many, many ways. They might seem like common sense, but so many people ignore this basic piece of advice. We think it needs to be stressed.

Self Defense AwarenessThe key to effective self defense is to put yourself on the offense. How do you do that?

Here are a few general guidelines:

First and foremost, stay aware of people in your surroundings. Not surprisingly, criminals exhibit predatory behavior in preparing to attack.

They will try to pick a casual location to look for their prey. They will look at their intended victim far more and for far longer periods of time than social norms. They will move when the prey moves.

They will stop and look around for witnesses. They will often make several passes by the prey in a sort of 'dry run', seeing if the victim will react or to get a sense of how the attack might work.

Pay attention! Who is looking at you? Has the same person or car passed by you twice?  Does someone appear to be moving with you?

  • If you find yourself in this type of situation, simply change your route but also be prepared to run or defend yourself. 

  • If you do have to run, run towards people. Surround yourself with as many people as you can by gettting to a crowded place like a mall or store as soon as you possibly can.

  • Do not wear conspicuous jewelry or clothing while walking on the street. This brings attention to you and opens yourself up to an attack. If you are wearing expensive jewelry, take measures to cover it up. Flashing a huge diamond or expensive earrings is just an invitation for a robber to mug you and take that jewelry.

  • Do not act like an easy target. Walk with confidence and purpose. If an attacker sees you walking like you have no particular place to go, they are more likely to tag you as easy prey.

  • If a stranger approaches you, maintain eye contact with them as you keep on walking. Most fights are won before they start. Many aggressors will back down if you convey the message that they do not intimidate you.

  • Do not ever let yourself be taken somewhere. Police call it a “secondary crime scene” and it’s where you will likely experience your worst nightmare. Never, ever get into a vehicle with someone and never put yourself in a place where you are alone or where there are no people around.

  • An attacker’s worst fear is getting caught. If you find yourself in an attempted abduction, drop to the ground to prevent him from carrying you. Draw attention to yourself and your situation. Attract attention from anyone you can. 

  • The first thing he will say to you is "don't scream or I'll kill you". He's telling you exactly what will ruin his plan. Go ahead, ruin his plan -- create a disturbance, scream, throw things, blow the horn. 

  • If you think you should yell "fire" go right ahead. You can't count on others coming to your aid, but you want to appeal to his fear of getting caught and make him think that someone could hear you and be coming.
Shield: Keep a barrier between you and the bad guy
Keep a barrier between you and the bad guy. 

Use a barrier to block him or use distance to gain time. Keep your doors locked, and stay in your car. Force him to get through a barrier before he can get to you.

Use your strongest weapons against his weakest targets. His weakest targets are those that are most valuable, yet ironically, cannot be entirely strengthened.

His eyes, throat, groin and knees are your primary targets and his face and abdomen are your secondary targets.

Strong weapons that you can employ are your kicks using the bottom of your feet, your elbows, fists and palm heel strikes.

In general, it’s always a good idea to fight back when you find yourself in an attack situation. Those who fight back are injured less often and are more successful in stopping the attack no matter what kind of attack it is. They feel better about themselves afterwards too.

Self Defense Vital Points

People who've never been in a situation where they wanted to fight often think that they couldn't fight, but you will find, if you're faced with a life or death situation, that it's very easy to fight. But you need to know how to fight back in order for that instinct to be effective. You need to break through that emotional barrier you’ve instilled and be confident that you have the ability to protect yourself.

It's not necessary to take years of training in order to become an effective fighter or in order to develop a personal protection plan that works for you. In a couple of hours or a few days, you can become proficient in a number of different techniques and learn something about how you apply them.

There are, however, some things you can carry with you in order to protect yourself. Some of them are a bit controversial and experts believe that certain tools are better than others. Let’s take a look.

Cooper Color Codes Levels of Awareness


Sometimes, violence comes despite the best possible avoidance measures, and when it does, there is often no opportunity to summon help. In those cases, you are forced to face an attacker alone, using only your own resources and knowledge to survive. Fortunately,  if you are properly trained and confident in your ability to protect you can do so quite effectively.

“Fighting back" is a difficult and uncomfortable subject for many people to think about, but it does not have to be that way. The concept is easy to understand. It’s your life or theirs.  No one has the right to assault you.

In fact, fighting back can actually stop the cycle of abuse that often propagates itself. Maybe if more girls and women learn to defend themselves physically by harming their attackers instead of walking away or crying then maybe they could begin to turn the tide of abuse from themselves and women in general. Maybe if boys and men knew that they could be seriously hurt if they lifted their hands or sexually assault the opposite sex, their abuse could be stopped.

But fighting back involves more than just a swift kick to the “family jewels”. It encompasses putting yourself in the right mindset and allowing yourself the right to be safe no matter what. Yes, you’ll probably have to hurt another human being, but you have to decide which is more important - hurting someone else or letting him or her hurt you. I don’t know about you, but I opt for keeping my own life.

Even though each and every situation is different, if you find yourself being attacked or assaulted in any way, there are some things you can do to protect yourself.


Pepper Spray and Mace

Pepper spray and mace are the best all around self defense weapons for every day carry and are effective tools against a physical assault.  Pepper spray is a natural derivative of hot peppers. The essence is extracted, combined with a carrier and propellant, and put into a spray canister. When it is sprayed into the eyes and face on an attacker, it is extremely painful, but it does not rely on pain for its effectiveness. Pepper spray causes physical effects even in people who are "feeling no pain” such as drug users or drunk individuals.

Pepper spray makes the eyelids slam shut or spasm, causing hampered vision or even temporary blindness. When even a small amount is inhaled, it constricts the bronchial tubes, causing extreme choking and coughing, though it does not cut off breathing. It is usually effective on most people and animals, including the mentally ill and those under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Pepper spray comes in various concentrations, and various degrees of heat. If you're going to get pepper spray, you should purchase a product which has an SHU rating of 1 to 2 million or more.
A 1% to 5% concentration is the best range. Sometimes concentrations higher than 5% do not atomize well, and are therefore less effective; also, they lengthen the recovery time beyond the usual 45 minutes or so, and there is no advantage to that in personal defensive situations.

Pepper spray has been used by police and federal law enforcement organizations for decades, and it has an excellent safety and effectiveness record. It is probably the best "general purpose" self-defense tool that you can find, though nothing is 100% effective. The spray may not work on some violent, goal-oriented, people, and may not work fast enough to be effective against someone who is armed.
In most states, pepper spray is legal to purchase and is available at

Please do understand that the effective use of pepper spray depends on a variety of factors. Factors that influence its effectiveness include the proximity of the attacker versus you, how much spray you deploy, and where you deploy it at. For maximum effectiveness, it must be sprayed in the eyes.


Stun Guns and Tasers

Stun guns and tasers are also a well-liked self-defense tool. Stun guns are hand-held, battery-powered electronic devices designed to deliver an electric shock to an attacker. They are not guns in the traditional sense of the word. A stun gun has two metal contacts, which need to be pressed against the attacker.

Tasers (also battery-powered) propel two metal barbs over a distance of several yards. These barbs, connected to the hand-held unit by wires, are intended to attach themselves to the attacker. These wires are then electrified to incapacitate the assailant at a distance.

These devices stop attackers by pain, rapid fatigue of their muscles, and/or overriding the body's neuromuscular system and disrupting voluntary muscle control.

You should know that in some parts of the United States, these types of weapons are illegal. However, if you use it to defend yourself against an attacker, police are probably going to “look the other way” with regards to your weapon of choice. Responsibility, however, begs us to advise you of their legal standing.

Stun Gun are most effective when used against nerve centers and held in contact with the assailant for a number of seconds to immobilize him and give you a window to escape.  The best target areas for stun guns are the neck, shoulder, groin, and upper hip. These areas are nerve centers and the electrical current will affect the whole body.

Being in contact with a stun gun for even a half a second is enough to cause intense muscle contractions and intense pain.  Three seconds of being in contact with a stun gun would daze subjects, dropping then to the ground. More than three seconds exposures  would result in complete disorientation, overpowering potential assailants, thus completing the stun guns function as a self defense weapon.



Stun Batons and Tactical Flashlight Stun Guns

The use of tactical flashlights in aid in identifying targets before firing has saved countless lives and made the jobs of professionals much easier.  Though now commonplace, when the use of these lights was first introduced it was a major tactical innovation.  In the years since, tactical lighting has evolved greatly and now a variety of bulb, battery, and case technologies allow for one-handed or hands-free lighting in a number of greatly differing tactical situations.

Specialized tactical flashlights were developed that could easily be held along with a firearm, allowing you to see clearly whatever the gun was pointed at.  As tactical gear has improved over the years so have these lights. Tactical flashlights make use of LED’s to allow them an unprecedented bulb life with minimal battery usage that can safely illuminate the entire area at night while also helping to protect you when shined in the eyes of an attacker.

Stun Batons and Tactical flashlights 

Stun Guns offer a 3 in 1 combination made out of quality military grade, aircraft aluminum alloys that protects it from damage so it can used as an impact weapon baton, a powerful stun gun that can blast an electrifying shock with the push of a button or an ultra-bright flashlight that can cause a temporary blinding effect on an attacker.


Kubaton and Steel Batons

The Kubotan is self defense weapon that connects to your keychain.  It was developed by Takayuki Kubota as a close-quarters self defense weapon.  It is usually five inches long and about half of an inch in diameter.  The size is usually described as being somewhat thicker than a marker or fat pen. The Kubotan is attached to a keyring for convenience and concealment.  To most people, it apperars to be a harmless  decoration or keyfob and not an item of concern.

This makes it a great item to have as a self defense tool.  Many people carry them on their keychain and rely on them in times of danger.  A Kubotan is just a rod made of plastic, metal or sometimes wood.  These substances are not regulated, which makes the Kubotan legal to be carried anywhere. This makes the Kubotan makes it a particularly interesting weapon.

Learning how to use one of these highly popular weapons can take time, but can be ideal in a time of need.  Look around for another object that has similar shape such as a pen, marker, flashlight, stick, lollipop stick, or anything that has a small rod like shape.  When using a Kubotan, it is essential that you make your first strike count.

Around the world, security guards and police officers are switching from bulky night sticks to the more compact and versatile telescopic steel baton.  Steel Batons are club style impact weapons that can be expanded from 5 to 7 inches up to 12 and 25 inches or more.  It locks into place with just a flick of the wrist and provides extra reach, keeping you at a safe distance from an attacker.  The rubber handle helps you maintain a firm grip and the baton may be used to strike, jab, block or bludgeon an assailant.

Everyday Tools for Defense

Almost anything can be used as a tool against a potential attacker. A pen, a table knife, anything sharp would be effective against your assaulter. An effective impact weapon can be created by placing something small and dense (a cake of soap, an ashtray) into a sock, pantyhose toe, or shirt sleeve with a knot tied at the wrist.  The range of potential improvised weapons is limited only by your imagination, but you should not depend on "found" weapons unless your usual tools are unavailable.

Personal Alams

Many people advocate carrying a whistle or personal alarm with you. A personal alarm is a noisemaker, usually battery-operated, that makes a loud, piercing noise when it is set off. Lung powered whistles, often called "rape whistles" also fall into this noisemaker category.

However, some experts feel that having a noisemaker on your person is an over-rated concept. When you believe that someone will come to your rescue when you blow a whistle or set off a siren, you are fooling yourself. In general, don't fall for it. Not only are noisemakers and rape whistles ineffective at deterring crime, they are likely to do more harm than good.

However most potential attackers do not want to be noticed by anyone.  They have one desire and that is to take something that belongs to you.  This item could be physical or emotional in nature. The attacker wants to do what he plans to do without being noticed or drawing attention.  The interloper will do anything to keep his crime a secret and will wait until you are out of eye sight or out of ear shot of the general public before he will perpetrate his crime. If you make noise to attract the attention of other people, most attackers will resist the urge to continue the assault once started. Women's self defense advocates argue that using your voice or other noise makers will thwart most attacks.

Counting on an alarm to summon aid means that you are depending on someone else to come forth to rescue you. That is, you are betting your life on the hope that someone will hear the alarm, and will respond, and will be capable of stopping the attack. That's a lot of 'ifs' that are out of your control.

The act of activating the alarm or blowing a whistle can take anywhere from 2 to 20 seconds, but the outcome of an attack is usually decided within the first 8 to 10 seconds. So, if the noise doesn't work, you may be out of time, the loser, before you can try other options.  So be prepared with a self defense weapon to take appropriate action to escape and summon help.

Guns and Tactical Gear

Finally, we feel the need to address the subject of carrying a firearm.  With proper training and handling, guns are one the more effective ways of defending yourself and intimidating your attacker.

The key to having and being able to use a firearm lies in your training. There are several different kinds of firearms training. There is basic safety and marksmanship training that everyone who has a gun needs, and there is more specialized defensive firearms training that is specifically for those who have guns for self-protection as opposed to hunting, or sports.

For defensive firearms training, it is wise to be very, very selective. There are a number of excellent, private gun schools around the country.  What we can do is recommend that you do your research and choose a school that fits your needs and comfort level.

If you are thinking of getting a gun, get training first. If that isn't possible, get training as soon as you get your gun.  Owning a gun without getting the right kind of training is like owning a bathing suit without knowing how to swim -- you may look good, but you won't be able to save your own life in an emergency.

The very best way to figure out what kind of gun is right for you is to go to a club or take a course where you have the opportunity to shoot several different types and sizes of guns, so that you can learn about their differences, what they feel like to shoot, how easily you are able to handle them, and how accurate you are with them. Pinpoint accuracy isn't necessary for self-defense, but the better you can shoot in class the more confidence you will have in your ability to shoot under stress.

Most gun magazines run frequent articles on the selection of a self-defense gun and reviews of individual firearms. Note that not all articles may be completely objective, so get advice from several sources.

We should tell you that should you decide to use a gun, be very aware of the legal circumstances that surround your use of a firearm. Bare fear (that is, fear alone) is not justification for using lethal force against someone. The fear must be accompanied by circumstances that a reasonable and prudent person would interpret as immediate and unavoidable danger.

If every person who was "afraid" could shoot with impunity anyone who frightened them, the world would indeed be a terrible place for us all, as timid folk would constantly gun down anybody who looked at them the wrong way.

If you are going to take the extreme option of owning and carrying a gun, it is imperative that you obtain very intensive training so you know how to shoot the gun in a variety of situations. You should also be prepared to shoot if you have to draw the gun. A display of confidence and know-how must be present when you are carrying a weapon.

Also, please be advised that in most states, carrying a concealed weapon is a crime. Above everything else, be sure you have a concealed carry license.   There's a lot more to defending yourself with a gun than drawing, aiming, deciding, and, if necessary, pulling the trigger. But those steps are all that most people practice in advance. Unless you practice how to talk to someone at gun point, you could find yourself floundering when you suddenly have to do it.

Try this, right now while you are reading this: imagine yourself in a victim’s position, with the assailant at the end of your gun. Now say, out loud, "Don't move!" It might feel a bit silly, and sound a little weak. Take a deeper breath, and say it again, louder and more firmly, "DON'T MOVE!" Did it come out better that time?

If you make this part of your practice sessions, you will find that it gets louder and better, and you become more confident that you'd be able to say those simple words even under the incredible stress of an armed encounter.

You can also plan in advance what to do after the encounter is over. You ought to practice turning you head to look around because this overcomes the inevitable tunnel vision that might be preventing you from seeing a second assailant, or someone who could help you. And you ought to plan to get to the nearest phone to call the police.

Just thinking about these plans isn't enough. Going through the actual physical motions every time you "practice", right down to picking up the phone, will help to embed these actions in your subconscious repertoire just as concretely as the actions involved in drawing your firearm, and will make it easier for you to carry them out if you ever need to.

Remember, you'll be running "on automatic", so you'd better be programmed to do the right thing. If you have no program, you'll flail around trying to create one.

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About EagleSmart Security News

A Physical Security and Self Defense expert and Marine Corps Veteran that served in Quantico during Operation Desert Storm. He loves sports, action and comedy movies and lasagna.
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