Tools for Self Defense

There are plenty of options for individuals interested in self-defense tools. Make sure you choose something that makes you feel comfortable and safe while keeping in mind the laws of your state.

  • Tactical knife. Knives are a handy self-defense tool because they can be used for more than one purpose and are more effective than a gun at close range. You will want a knife that is both lightweight and sturdy. Look for something with a blade of three inches or more made from quality materials. 
  • Taser/Stun Gun. Tasers are both nonlethal and effective making them a favorite for many. A taser can be used to immobilize an attacker, giving you plenty of time to get away. Make sure you look at your city and state laws before making this purchase as they are illegal in multiple states and municipalities. 
  • Pepper Spray. Pepper spray is a longstanding favorite for defense. It is quick, easy to use, and generally, extremely effective. The spray causes severe irritation of the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. While it will slow most attackers down, it doesn't always make them come to a full stop.
  • Tactical Flashlight. This item is both practical and effective. The flashlight has two settings: the first will send out 500 lumens, enough to temporarily blind your assailant. The second is a regular, effective flashlight. In addition to its blinding capabilities, the flashlight has jagged edges surrounding the bulb, specifically designed to strike an attacker and do enough damage to slow them down.

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Running in the Dark

Running is great exercise. It will increase your endurance, build muscle, strengthen the heart, and even improve your overall mood. Many of us can only find the time in our busy schedules to exercise in the early morning, or in the late evening. If you find yourself going for a run in the dark here are a few tips to make it safer.

  • Start with your gear. Following the rules of the road may not be enough for the traffic to see you. Consider wearing a reflective vest, or headlamp. You can find them at many safety supply stores.
  • Keep it quiet. As nice as it is to listen to your headphones while out on your run, this is not safe. Make sure you can hear everything going on. If you absolutely need some type of noise, try wearing only one earbud and keep it turned down. This way you can still hear the noises around you.
  • Carry your phone and ID. This is a great habit to get into even when not running in the dark. Having your phone is nice if you want to track your progress, or just need directions if you take a wrong turn. The most important reason to carry your phone is to call for help if you ever feel unsafe.
  • Lastly, always run with a buddy. Not only will you feel safer. You have someone to pass the time with, and help you in (space) case of an accident or injury. Running with a buddy will also help keep you motivated.

Not everyone can have a running buddy. If you must run alone, you should still have a sense of security. No one ever wants to be in a position where they need to defend themselves against an attacker. Take our online Personal Safety and Self Defense class today. This 4-hour course is designed to provide important safety tips and precautions for personal safety. The Instructor Preston Taylor has worked in law enforcement for over 20 years, is a Police Academy Instructor, and a Defensive Tactics Instructor for over 15 years.  You can feel safer today.


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States Are Banning Electric Weapons for Self-Defense

The CEO of TASER International estimated that 70% of C2 Taser purchases were made by women. Despite their popularity for self-defense, five states and several localities have banned all electric weapons. These laws have a lasting and serious impact on women. Women who chose to continue carrying electronic devices as a means of protecting themselves can face jail time or large fines as punishment. For example, Jamie Caetano of Massachusetts was given a stun gun after an ex-boyfriend hospitalized her. When he returned she brandished the weapon and it worked to scare him away. Several months later Caetano was shopping and the store she was in was robbed. When police arrived, they searched everyone on the premises and charged Caetano for carrying the electric weapon. 

Caetano took her case to the supreme court and ultimately all charges against her were dropped but the Massachusetts law banning electronic weapons remains. Massachusetts argues that stun guns are not protected by second amendment rights because they were not in existence at the time of the constitution. However, electronic weapons are often safer than their early American counterparts.


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Personal Safety for People with Disabilities

People with disabilities experience higher rates of assault than other populations. Some people see individuals with disabilities as an easy target. Here are a few ways to avoid an attack.

  1. Be aware of your surroundings. Many of us are guilty of talking on the phone as we travel through public areas. Often a potential assailant will see this as an opportunity to catch someone unaware. By simply showing that we are paying attention to our surroundings we can lessen our chance of attack by up to 75 percent.
  2. Adjust your posture. To the best of your abilities, straighten your posture. A straight posture can help give the impression of awareness (as discussed in #1), improve your peripheral vision, and heighten your sense of hearing. Additionally, improved posture gives off an impression of confidence that is often a deterrent to attack.
  3. Work on your reaction to stress. Some people have a hard time talking during stressful situations or they may have muscle spasms. Each of these reactions can be incredibly detrimental in an emergency.  Learning techniques such as breathing exercises can help keep your head clear and avoid these unfortunate reactions. 
  4. Don't prioritize the feelings of others. Often, we do not speak out about what makes us uncomfortable because we are afraid of hurting someone's feelings. Don't be afraid to let someone know they are invading your personal space. 
  5. Take a self-defense class. While the course you can take may depend on your personal abilities, there are self-defense courses for disabled individuals. 

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Simple Self-Defense Tricks

Escape from a wrist hold
The best way to break a wrist hold (like the one pictured above) is to pull your arm towards where the fingers and thumb meet. This may seem like common sense but many people forget this when dealing with an attack.

Use the heel of your palm to strike
Put your hand in high-five position with your palm pressed forward and your fingers back. Step towards the attacker as you forcefully bang your palm at the top of your attacker's nose, just below their eyes. This will cause extreme pain as it makes their eyes water, giving you a moment to escape the situation.

Pack more pain in your punch
Clench your fist at the last second when you throw a punch. If you clench and then swing you will lose power.

Aim for the weak points
Go for the eyes, throat, and knees. If you are attacked from behind stomp on their foot. Hit the groin last as most attackers will expect you to go for it first.


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Unique Tips for Staying Safe

  1. Never trust a door chain. Many homes and hotels utilize door chains as a way to safely lock doors. These should never be used exclusively as even amateur burglars can often remove locks with ease.
  2. Keep your car keys reachable from bed.  Many modern key fobs include a panic button. This will be useful if you hear an intruder in or around your home. Set off the alarm and most criminals will flee, fearing the alarm will call the police.
  3. Cover your eyehole.  Hotel doors often have eyeholes leading outside or into the hallway. Most one-way eyehole technology is not infallible. If you have an eyehole without a cover use tape or tissue paper to cover it.
  4. Set the home address on your phone or GPS to a business nearby. If someone steals your phone or car they will have access to all of your information and possibly your garage door remote. It is wise to set your home address as a business to avoid leading the thief directly to your home.
  5. Invest in a self-defense courseThe best way to stay safe in any situation is to be able to defend yourself. 
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Safety Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Many first-time home buyers are unaware of the simple methods that can be used to increase safety. Here are a few tips from Real Estate Training Institute you can give your clients when purchasing a new home. 

  1. Change those locks! The first thing that homeowners should do is change the locks on all their outside doors. There is a chance that not all of the keys were collected, and someone could still have a copy. It is also wise to change out the garage door remotes as well.
  2. Lighting is everything. Having a well-lit exterior is great for discouraging criminals. Encourage clients to check all light fixtures for any burnt-out bulbs that need to be replaced, and for any places that lighting needs to be installed.
  3. Be Neighborly. It is always a good idea to meet and get to know the local community and neighbors. They can provide an extra set of eyes looking out. Encouraging clients to meet with their neighbors helps build a relationship that allows them to notify each other more comfortably if something is amiss.
  4. Alarms are not a bad idea. A home that has been on the market might be a magnet for criminals. Installing an alarm system will not only be a deterrent for criminals but also give homeowners peace of mind in their new home.
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Why Hotel Employees Should Be Trained In Self Defense

Did you know that you can cripple your attacker with just the grab of their “pinky”? What do you do while waiting for the police arrive? If you are attacked, how do you know whether to run or beat the snot out of your attacker?  If you do beat the snot out of them, are you going to get in trouble for assault? Is there something you can do to prevent the whole incident from happening?  These are things every hotel employee should know.

Do you know what to do if you are the target of an attacker?

  • In 1998, an 18-year-old college student working as a desk clerk was found raped and beaten to death at a beachfront hotel in Traverse City, Michigan.
  • In 2009, a beloved Laguna Beach hotel manager was bludgeoned to death in his onsite apartment.
  • In 2013, it took two weeks to find 21-year-old Elisa’s body hidden in the hotel water tanks.
  • In 2015 a 22-year-old Atlanta man was strangled by his boyfriend in a hotel.  Crimes of this extreme are not the norm at hotels, but they do happen.

It is critically important that all hotel staff be trained on security procedures before their first day of work.  The program should include at least a basic course on self-defense tactics and Rules of Engagement.  The ability to defend yourself is an education that will always be beneficial.  Hotel employees should be taught how to recognize, respond and reduce a potential situation. If an altercation should occur, they should know how to conserve energy and use basic survival skills.

Simple things like keeping your chin up and making direct eye contact with you attacker can delay their movements.  Keeping your hands free and demeanor focused can make you look like the sheepdog, rather than the sheep.

As a Hospitality Manager, you can greatly increase the safety of your staff without spending an arm and a leg. Having every employee complete a simple 4-hour video course devoted to their own personal protection and self-defense is a great addition to your security plan.

Certified Training Institute has created a 4-hour Personal Safety & Self Defense course that teaches self-defense tactics from the stand-up position utilizing gross motor skill (easy but effective) techniques as well as ground defense and ground avoidance (rape prevention) tactics which can be used anywhere in any situation. Having a staff that has been trained to be aware of their surroundings is not only important for them as individuals but also for Hotel guests.

Our course instructor Preston L. Taylor “PT” is a police officer with over 20+ years of experience, and is extremely knowledgeable in the realm of personal protection and self-defense.

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5 Security Tips For Single Women Living Alone

Single women can never be too careful when it comes to their personal safety, at home, work or on the go.  We’ll focus today on personal safety measures to take at home.

  1. Schedule any service visits very carefully
    When scheduling any service visits, or deliveries, you should arrange for them to coincide with a visit from a friend. Most laborers are professional and trustworthy, but there are unsavory characters out to take advantage of a single woman home alone.
  2. Install a panic button to be able to call for help immediately
    There are many options available and can even be worn on your person to alert your neighbors or police if you need assistance.
  3. Date in public
    Avoid hosting a first or even a second date in your home or allowing your date to pick you up at your address. Meet them in a very public place and drive separately or if you must ride together, drive your own vehicle with him as a passenger.
  4. Self-Defense and Personal Protection
    Women living alone should be familiar with self-defense techniques and ready to utilize them should the need arise. Find a class nearby or an online self-defense course that will give you the tools you need to defend yourself. Keep personal protection items, such as pepper spray nearby at all times. Sleep with your key fob on your nightstand. The panic alarm can be set off in the case of emergency. Even if your car is in the garage, the noise could startle your attacker enough to allow you a moment to escape.
  5. Door and Window Locks
    Keep your doors and windows locked at all times. Women living alone should examine their locks and make sure they are in good working order and replace any that are broken or damaged. Check the screws on your door hardware to be sure the screws are of proper length (at least 3 inches) extending into the door frame making for a stronger connection.

There are plenty of great tips and tricks for keeping yourself safe, you just have to be willing to take the time to educate yourself with the right information. Taking a few hours learning and practicing how to defend yourself could be key to surviving an attacker.

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Why Does Crime Increase Over the Holidays?

A recent VICE interview with professor of criminology, Dr. Janet Lauritsen and an Oxygen interview with Dr. Sherry Hamby, the founding editor of the Psychological Association journal Psychology of violence, shed some light on this question.

Lauritsen sees an increase in two kinds of crime over the holidays: robbery and personal larceny. She believes this increase in holiday crimes has more to do with opportunity than desperation. There are a lot of people out shopping for expensive goods, making shopping bags and cars full of gifts tempting targets. Criminals also benefit from increased traffic as it makes it easier for them to blend in and escape after committing a crime.

According to Hamby, "Crimes spike on days off-- so, all year round, crime rates are much higher on Friday and Saturday and is higher at night than in the morning. So any increase during the holidays might be simply due to more idle time and more drinking and other drug use."

The best way to avoid becoming a victim of holiday crime is to remain alert to your surroundings. Make sure your car is always locked while shopping. Try not to carry so many bags you are unable to defend yourself in the case of an attack. 

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