3 Self-Defense Summer Reads

"What would you do if..." 

If you're anything like me, you tend to think ahead, running scenarios in your mind about how you would handle any given situation, good or bad. I do this when I'm waiting at the doctor's office, driving along a long stretch of highway or during any other relatively mindless activity. It's entertainment for me as well as a means of preparing for "the unthinkable" as recommended in the personal protection and self-defense training I've taken.

I've learned through self-defense training that the more you imagine yourself working through various scenarios in your mind, the better prepared you will be should they happen in real life. Your brain tends to "click" into gear, and your reaction time is faster, allowing valuable seconds to act and escape danger when it's had the opportunity to "rehearse".

The following books are highly recommended by Personal Safety & Self Defense instructor Preston L. Taylor.  Preston Taylor  (aka “PT”) is a police officer with over 20+ years of experience and a vast knowledge of personal protection and self-defense.

Within his course, he mentions the benefits of reading three books. Add them to your list of must-reads, to prepare for the unthinkable.  I'd say it's a "win-win" situation, you can never be too prepared.


#1. The Gift Of Fear - Gavin deBecker

True fear is a gift. Unwarranted fear is a curse. Learn how to tell the difference.

A date won't take "no" for an answer. The new nanny gives a mother an uneasy feeling. A stranger in a deserted parking lot offers unsolicited help. The threat of violence surrounds us every day. But we can protect ourselves, by learning to trust—and act on—our gut instincts.

In this empowering book, Gavin de Becker shows you how to spot even subtle signs of danger—before it's too late. Shattering the myth that most violent acts are unpredictable, de Becker, whose clients include top Hollywood stars and government agencies, offers specific ways to protect yourself and those you love, including, how to act when approached by a stranger, when you should fear someone close to you, what to do if you are being stalked, how to uncover the source of anonymous threats or phone calls, the biggest mistake you can make with a threatening person, and more. Learn to spot the danger signals others miss. It might just save your life. Amazon


#2. Survivors Club - Ben Sherwood

Which is the safest seat on an airplane? Where is the best place to have a heart attack? Why does religious observance add years to your life? How can birthdays be hazardous to your health? 

Each second of the day, someone in America faces a crisis, whether it's a car accident, violent crime, serious illness, or financial trouble. Given the inevitability of adversity, we all wonder: Who beats the odds and who surrenders? Why do some people bound back and others give up? How can I become the kind of person who survives and thrives?

The fascinating, hopeful answers to these questions are found in THE SURVIVORS CLUB. In the tradition of Freakonomics and The Tipping Point, this book reveals the hidden side of survival by combining astonishing true stories, gripping scientific research, and the author's adventures inside the U.S. military's elite survival schools and the government's airplane crash evacuation course.

With THE SURVIVORS CLUB, you can also discover your own Survivor IQ through a powerful Internet-based test called the Survivor Profiler. Developed exclusively for this book, the test analyzes your personality and generates a customized report on your top survivor strengths.

There is no escaping life's inevitable struggles. But THE SURVIVORS CLUB can give you an edge when adversity strikes.  Amazon


#3. The Unthinkable - Amanda Ripley

Discover how human beings react to danger–and what makes the difference between life and death

Today, nine out of ten Americans live in places at significant risk of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, terrorism, or other disasters. Tomorrow, some of us will have to make split-second choices to save ourselves and our families. How will we react? What will it feel like? Will we be heroes or victims?

In her quest to answer these questions, award-winning journalist Amanda Ripley traces human responses to some of recent history’s epic disasters, from the explosion of the Mont Blanc munitions ship in 1917–one of the biggest explosions before the invention of the atomic bomb–to the journeys of the 15,000 people who found their way out of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. To understand the science behind the stories, Ripley turns to leading brain scientists, trauma psychologists, and other disaster experts. She even has her own brain examined by military researchers and experiences, through realistic simulations, what it might be like to survive a plane crash into the ocean or to escape a raging fire.

Ripley comes back with precious wisdom about the surprising humanity of crowds, the elegance of the brain’s fear circuits, and the stunning inadequacy of many of our evolutionary responses. Most unexpectedly, she discovers the brain’s ability to do much, much better–with just a little help.  Amazon

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7 Personal Safety Tips For Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate Professionals, in particular, need to be cautious of their surroundings.  Especially during an open house or private showing.  You can't avoid showing your clients their dream home, but there are certain precautions you need to take to ensure your safety.  Here are 7 personal safety tips to keep in mind during your next open house or showing.

  1. Arrive to your destination early and become familiar with the home and its surroundings.  Is it in a populated subdivision or in the woods or country setting where cell service is spotty?  Check various areas where cell phone coverage might be limited. This is good to know in case you need to make an emergency call for help.
  2. When parking your vehicle, be cognizant of exits and potential escape routes.  Always get in the habit of backing into a parking spot nearest the entrance. Avoid areas where your vehicle might become blocked.
  3. When your client arrives, ask them to allow you to go up to the house to make sure that the entrance was secured properly.  Once you've determined that the area is safe for entry, and checked your phone for a strong signal, you can direct your clients to enter the home.
  4. Clients should always be walking ahead of you. Direct them to where you want them to go and remain in a position where you are able to escape quickly should the need arise.
  5. Try your best to create opportunities where direct access to your person is obstructed. If you are showing a kitchen and there is an island or peninsula feature, remain on the side closest to your point of exit while the client is on the other. Never sit beside the client on a couch, but rather sit across from them while discussing buyer-seller negotiations or other paperwork.
  6. When showing the property, keep your dialogue with the client real estate specific.  Avoid personal conversation and details of your personal activities, schedules etc.
  7. Take a moment during your tour to mentally assess how this showing is going.  If you have a gut reaction that something is not right, it probably isn't and you should listen to your inner instincts.  If you have any concerns at all, take action. Grab your cell phone and check for signal strength. If the signal was clearer outdoors by your car, excuse yourself and politely explain that you need to call the office. Call another realtor to the location or cut the showing short and leave immediately. Usually, if the cell signal is not strong, the homeowners will have a landline phone.  Pick up the phone and call your office, using your predesignated signal or code phrase to alert someone that things are not right at this showing.

These are just a few of the many valuable skills you will learn when taking Certified Training Institutes Personal Safety and Self Defense 4 Hour CE Course. Real Estate Professionals, learn valuable safety skills and meet your continuing education requirements at the same time. Be prepared for the unexpected, visit Real Estate Training Institute, choose your State and take this class today!

Want to Learn Self-Dense from the Comfort of Home?

This online HD Video Course enables you to learn self-defense at your own pace.


When Force Is The Last Resort

You have done all you can, and you are doing everything right, but some things are out of your control.

There are three primary methods of defense when force is the last resort:

1. Firearms
2. Stun Guns
3. Pepper Spray

Firearms. They are not for everyone. It is a huge responsibility!Make no mistake; your life will be completely altered once you use deadly force. If you do decide to use a handgun, find a gun store you trust, and that you can rent or practice with the gun. Try before you buy! Make sure the gun fits you! Make sure you are well trained. If you do find you have had to use a firearm as a form of defense, be prepared for a legal investigation. It is probably best to seek legal counsel.

Pepper Spray. Pepper spray is considered an intermediate weapon, therefore you must be justified in order to use it. Be sure to research and purchase a quality product. A stream pattern is best for outdoor use. It has a longer range of dispersion and is less likely to be disrupted by the wind.

You will know right away if it is working. Remember, no method of defense is 100% effective. Around 15% of the population will not be affected.

The primary advantage of pepper spray is that no one will be permanently injured. You will, however, feel the effect as some product will blow back on you.

Be sure to keep and carry the spray someplace it will be available. Keep the product out of extreme heat or cold. Pay attention to expiration dates.

Stun Guns Electronic Conducting Device (ECD). There are two methods of deployment:

  • Touch: very painful, but the pain is gone when the device is removed from the skin. It does not incapacitate the assailant.
  • Probe: sends out a fish hook type probe. These will stop an assailant in their tracks, but not knock them out.

You must have a permit to use an ECD. Finally, it is not recommended to use both pepper spray and an ECD. Pepper spray is highly flammable, and there is a chance of setting the assailant on fire.

Be prepared for the unexpected!  Learn this and more in our extremely popular Personal Safety and Self Defense course.   Instructor “PT” Taylor (with over 20 years experience as a law enforcement officer) will teach you the skills you need to learn to keep yourself safe at work and at play. The skills learned in this course can also be applied to the workplace. In fact, we’ve combined this course into our course curriculum for Builders, Real Estate Professionals, and other industries. To find this course for your industry, visit Certified Training Institute, then choose your industry and state.

Want to Learn Self-Dense from the Comfort of Home?

This online HD Video Course enables you to learn self-defense at your own pace.


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 to get to you? If you are attacked, how do you know whether to run or beat the snot out of them?  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.

The 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.