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How You Can Make 2005 Your Safest Year Yet! - Part I

By Michelle Annese

the biggest fear when i speak with women on how to protect themselves from rapists or an attack and they will tell you, “i’m just not strong enough.”

unfortunately, that myth is believed by so many women, that it’s regarded as fact.

it is true, as a whole, men are stronger than women. but there are so many ways women can protect themselves without the brute strength that women think they need.

women need to learn the ‘ways of the woman warrior’ and win – by outsmarting an attacker.

for example, if someone is approaching you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell “stay back!” or “stop!” most sexual assailants interviewed say that they leave a woman alone if she showed that she wasn’t someone to be messed with or wasn’t afraid to fight them back.

it’s called putting up a verbal boundary. many who have used this as part of their training say they were amazed when they stepped toward a threatening stranger and yelled “back off!” in a strong, assertive, projecting voice. and the would-be assailant did just that.

and what about the guys? it works the same for them when confronted by a bar room bully. big surprise.

using pepper sprays can work in the same manner. just by aiming at a potential attacker and yelling, “i have pepper spray!” can be a deterrent. that’s if it is in your hand at the time.

pepper sprays are only effective if properly used. telling your would-be assailant that you have pepper spray… and it’s in the bottom of the purse is not effectively using it, nor any weapon or self-defense product for that matter. whether a stun gun, taser, or other form of pepper spray device (stun rings, pepper pens, pepper ‘cell phones’ all these are available at www.safetyquestproducts.com). you need to have it readily available, in your hand.

knowing how to use these devices also plays a huge role in protection. you must know how the device works and be familiar with it. how? practice. practice. practice.

go outside, and shoot a tree. see how the pepper spray really works. see the distance it takes to reach a target. tell yourself, “i will use this if i feel my life is in danger – no question.” and without hesitation.


there are places that actually have computer simulated mace practice rooms. it is so life-like. these are the same simulations that law enforcement use for their own practice. one in particular that i have used is located at abatis security in waynesboro, virginia. http://blueridgemtns.net/security/abatis/ .

this type of training helps to program the mind during adrenal-stress. or another form is called body alarm reaction (b.a.r). you must train the mind with a stressful situation or adrenaline response to know just how you will react during an actual attack.

how you react in a b.a.r. moment will let you know if you’ll hesitate in a life or death situation.

perfect example. my friend roger, who specializes in law enforcement training told me about a police squad that was in a terrible mess. they were getting shot and killed in the line of duty.

no one could figure out why until they took a closer look at the speed ratio of shots fired compared to those injured. they then compared it to the time it took for them to reload their weapon and found that this squad was below average. (even though most on the squad were superb marksmen.)

investigating further, they looked into the way this squad practiced at the shooting range. to the police department’s amazement, during the squad’s shooting practice, the owner of the range requested that law enforcement would not let their clips fall to the ground (apparently he didn’t like the mess).

instead, if they would remove their clip; set it down, and then reload.

we have a saying in the martial arts world, “repetition breeds instinct.”
and that is what this squad had done.

the time it took them to reload was wasting precious seconds between life and death in the heat of an altercation. they were conditioned in adrenaline response to ‘respond’ a certain way, and they did.

unfortunately, some paid with their lives. but it is a lesson well learned and much needed to be passed on. so others in the future can save their own lives. not just law enforcement, but even the self-defense savvy public, like yourself.

how you can make 2005 your safest year yet! – part ii. in it will be the three things you must avoid at all costs to protect yourself from a life-threatening criminal.


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