Weapons Defense

The world is a dangerous place.

But you already know that. As a martial artist, you probably enjoy the physical fitness, the challenge and the camaraderie that is found in training martial arts. And beyond these benefits, you know that you will have a greater chance of preventing and escaping violence should it ever rear its ugly head. What else can you do to improve your odds of surviving a violent encounter? Well, some martial artists carry weapons; from tactical pens to pepper spray, from knives to firearms. Many responsible citizens equip themselves with weapons that fall inside the scope of their local laws.

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Most violent crime occurs in the hours of darkness: muggings, bar fights, rapes, gang fights, cat burglars, et cetera.

Therefore, if you're the victim of a crime, the odds are that it will happen in a low light environment or at night, which means reduced vision during the most critical moment of your life. You may not be able to see a kick coming straight for your groin or a knife in the suspect's hand about to catch you under a rib. Therefore, to help you survive in this type of environment I'm going to teach you how to increase your low light vision capabilities, whether you're face to face with a direct threat or observing from a distance a suspicious person or activity in the dark.

Let's start off with a brief science lesson. Don't worry, it's brief, and it's stuff you need to know if you don't already.

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That's what I yell out to my students who feel like giving up just after they got stabbed with a rubber training knife or shot with a 6mm Airsoft projectile.

Even after a scenario, when the "injuries" would be catastrophic, I tell my students, "You're not dead until a paramedic or doctor declares you dead, or you feel yourself leaving your body and you are heading to a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Until then, keep fighting! You are only injured, and not dead."

I've seen many martial arts instructors over the years say to their students after a "critical injury" in a training scenario, "You're dead!" Yes, the well-meaning instructor is trying to convey a message to their students that they must improve their skills to avoid being killed in a real fight, but unfortunately injuries are sometimes the result of physical conflict. Who's to say that a wound is fatal or not? I let my students know from the start that in a fight they may get hurt, but they must mentally prepare for that eventuality and overcome it.

The problem with telling a student, "You're dead!" in a training scenario is that the mind is very powerful, and if they do get stabbed or shot in a real conflict one day, even if the injuries may not be life threatening, the mind has been reinforced by the bad instructor's messaging. They've been told that they are dead, and so they just very well may be. They have associated getting shot or stabbed in training with death. It's no wonder they may give up hope in a real situation. After all, everybody falls back on their training in critical situations.

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A government can make all the gun laws they'd like, but criminals will always be able to get their hands on a gun.

Hello! It's called the black market, and criminals are notorious for not obeying the laws of the land.

When I teach self-defense courses to Americans, and I ask the question, "How many of you own guns?" Just under half the hands go up. If it's my Women's Survival course that I'm teaching, then only a few hands are raised. If I am teaching in France, England, or other places in Europe, and I ask my students, "How many of you have shot a real gun before?" and forget asking any of them if they own one, virtually no hands are raised. It's not surprising, because these countries are not "gun cultures." Yet, gun culture or no gun culture, man or woman, Europe or America, there are still going to be crimes committed at gunpoint and shootings.

I'm bringing up this issue, because firearms training should be a part of your self-defense training, whether you like guns or not. Why? Here are the reasons:

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