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.


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. 


Tools for Self Defense

Self-Defense instructor, PT Taylor breaks down popular tools for self-defense and legal issues that come with each.

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 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.



Must Reads for Those Interested in Personal Safety

Instructor PT Taylor's 'Must Read' list for personal safety: 

Survivors Club by  Ben Sherwood
The Survivors Club is pretty much what it sounds like - an in-depth look at the science of survival: why some people live through disasters while others don't. Sherwood speaks with Holocaust survivors, psychologists, geneticists, and a slew of other experts about how to survive a catastrophe. 

Unthinkable Amanda Ripley
Ripley follows human responses to some of history's worst disasters, from the explosion of the Mont Blanc munitions ship in 1917 to the stories of the survivors of 9/11. The book details the brain's fear circuits, group reactions to emergencies, and the inadequacy of our evolutionary responses.

Fear Less: Real Truth About Risk, Safety, and Security in a Time of Terrorism Gavin De Becker
De Becker provides advice to individuals fearful of terrorism. He suggests ways to take charge of personal security and options for the United States to prevent and overcome future terrorist attacks.

A snippet from the "Personal Safety and Self Defense" course.



Legal Issues that Arise from Self Defense

A snippet from "Personal Safety and Self Defense" course

Legal Environment
We as individuals need to take ownership of our personal safety. Police cannot be everywhere at once, and it is unlikely they will be right around the corner. We can no longer just say "what if"…and must adopt the mindset that when it happens, I will be ready. You have the right to defend yourself against an assault!

Stand your Ground. You have no obligation to flee from a situation. There are five standards or criteria by which your actions will be measured.

  • Innocence: Did you provoke the situation in any way?
  • Imminence: Was the event happening RIGHT NOW?
  • Proportionality: Was the use of force to prevent/stop the situation proportional to the threat?
  • Reasonableness: Was the use of force reasonable? It must stop when the assault ends.
  • Avoidance: Was there any way to avoid the situation?

Anything you put in your hand to use as a defensive tool against your attacker will be viewed as a weapon. A club, bat, knife, gun, keys, kubaton, pepper spray, frying pan, wasp spray, rock, the list can go on and on. If you chose to take up a weapon to defend yourself make sure you are justified in doing so.

If you find yourself in a situation where you must defend yourself it is important to know you may only use deadly force if you are facing imminent great bodily harm, sexual assault or death, thus, avoidance is ideal. The local prosecutor has the final say on the legality of any action you may take. If you use force to protect yourself, be prepared for law enforcement to investigate. The case will be reviewed by the local prosecutor, defense attorney, judge, and jury.



Halloween Safety Tips for College

Halloween for most people is a time for creative costumes, fun parties, and scary pranks, but for sexual predators, it’s an opportunity to seek new prey.  Keep in mind that not every scream is from an innocent prank or trickster.  Many predators see this as an opportunity to prey on distracted victims.

Keep in mind these statistics:

  • At least 1 in 4 college women will become the victim of a sexual assault during their academic career.
  • 80% of all assaults are committed by an acquaintance of the victim.
  • 75% of male students and 55% of female students involved in date rape had been drinking or using drugs.
  • The physical and psychological effects of sexual assault can be devastating.
  • Most college rapes go unreported with only 5% of them reported to campus police.

Be Prepared 

Women as individuals need to take ownership of their personal safety. Police cannot be everywhere at once, and it is unlikely they will be right around the corner. You can no longer just say “what if”…and must adopt the mindset that when it happens, I will be ready. You have the right to defend yourself against an assault!

  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Stay off your cell phone.
  • Go with your gut instincts.
  • Learn proper Personal Safety and Self Defense

Online training provided by Certified Training Institute offers an easy and affordable way to learn the basics of Personal Safety and Self Defense in the comfort of your own home.  This course offers self-defense tactics from the standup 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.
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.

Your life and health are your most important possessions, so learning to avoid situations that put your safety at risk is the first goal. Your best natural weapon is your brain, and your best defense is to exercise good crime prevention strategies. 

Nobody can tell you how to defend yourself in every situation. Each person must evaluate his or her own abilities, and size up the situation based on the level of danger to themselves or a loved one.  

Using your head, trusting your instincts and preparing yourself will be your best defense against the unthinkable.


Personal Safety & Self Defense Course Spotlight

Personal Safety and Self Defense

This course is designed to provide important safety tips and precautions for personal safety in the workplace. This is especially true for real estate professionals as they are very often exposed to strangers, with unknown persons. It is important to understand the legal environment surrounding self-defense and the physical limitations that can be a factor for each individual. There are key “Rules of Engagement” that help those who work with the public to recognize and avoid dangerous situations. If a confrontation does occur, the instructor outlines and demonstrates the best and most practical ways to respond to and reduce potential harm. This program offers self-defense techniques from the stand-up position using easy and effective gross motor skills, to ground defense and ground avoidance (rape prevention).

This course covers 5 main topics:

  1. Legal Environment: Explore your legal rights, what you can and cannot do in a situation. You do have the right to defend yourself against an assault. A common sense approach to self-defense is that avoidance is one of the best ways to ensure your safety.
  2. Physical Limitations: Learn the 11 rules of engagement as well as what happens to our body, without our consent, when suddenly attacked. Freeze, Flight, or Fight.
  3. Safety Is Your Responsibility: This section covers the importance of the three R’s: Recognize, Respond, and Reduce.
  4. Safety and Real Estate Showings: Learn about the importance and awareness of liability for the client, the Realtor, and material items in the home.
  5. Self Defense Tactics: This section covers three methods of defense when force is the last resort.



Parking Lot Safety Tips

Parking lots can be a dangerous place for anyone who works late or parks in a remote area. Individuals who find themselves in this position can take steps to prevent an attack.

  1. Park in highly visible, well-lit areas if possible.
  2. Avoid parking near shrubs or vans with sliding doors that could conceal attackers
  3. Avoid parking garage stairs unless you are with a group of people
  4. Do not leave anything of value in your car. Assailants often search cars for valuables and wait for the owners to return.
  5. Once inside your car lock all doors. Even if you are moving slowly you are still subject to attack.
  6. Back into parking spaces if possible, this allows for a quicker getaway.
  7. Be aware of your surroundings. If you are on your phone make sure you are still paying attention to where you are. Avoid places where someone could hide.

Professional Fighter Teaches Self-Defense in Uganda

Professional MMA fighter, D'Juan Owens is teaching self-defense to men, women, and children in Uganda through his organization Fighting for Uganda. Owens has had extensive self-defense training not only as a mixed-martial-artist but also, as a veteran of the Marine Corps.

Owens chose to go to Uganda because sexual assault is prevalent and there are little consequences for perpetrators. During his first trip to Uganda Owens taught self-defense, grappling, and MMA seminars in schools, community centers, gyms, and a few private venues. The focus of these seminars is often on grappling. According to Owens, this is the most important form of martial art. Grappling can make up for weight disparities, allowing the victim to neutralize an attacker to get away.  After the physical portion of Owens' seminars, he leads group discussions about situational awareness, domestic violence, and common misconceptions of assault.

Owens hopes his training will help Ugandans avoid danger and build self-confidence. 




Warning Signs of Violence in the Workplace

Workplace violence is an issue among staff and customers. While there are several warning signs that someone is about to become violent, one must always remember that some people will show no signs at all. The safest bet for avoiding a violent workplace situation is learning de-escalation and self-defense tactics.


  • Major change in behaviors
  • Increased disruptive behavior at work
  • Temper tantrums, crying, sulking
  • Excessive absence
  • Pushing the limits of acceptable work behavior
  • Disrespect for authority
  • Complaints of unfair treatment


  • Signs of fatigue
  • Pacing or restless movements
  • Sweating
  • Trembling/Shaking
  • Exaggerated gestures






online classes only - excludes books