Not everyone carries a firearm; also, guns aren’t allowed in gun-free zones; finally, children can’t carry guns. This is when you need non-lethal self defense weapons that can paralyze, blind, or injure an attacker.
After all, you never know when someone will try to break into your home, mug you in a parking lot or even when you’ll have a dangerous encounter with a wild animal. Sure, you could just carry a gun, but in most situations, non-lethal force self-defense is a better strategy. Here are some non-lethal weapons to keep on hand to protect yourself in a variety of situations – we also have an article about the best self defense weapons on this site which you might want to check out.
Pepper spray is an essential item that you should always have on hand when out and about. With the active ingredient oleoresin capsicum, pepper spray can successfully disable an attacker for 20 minutes up to an hour. It dilates the capillaries and causes an immediate inflammatory reaction in the skin and eyes and the substance is very difficult to wash off. It can cause severe pain, difficulty breathing and even temporary blindness. Most pepper sprays reach up to 10 feet so you can keep a safe distance between you and your assailant; but make sure to be aware of how far yours can reach once you buy it, as they can differ in range.
Pepper spray can be used to protect yourself from both human and animal attackers. In fact, you can find pepper spray specifically designed for dogs. However, it should be noted that you should only resort to using pepper spray on a dog if you are unable to run away or hide. Also, because dogs have much more sensitive noses and eyes than humans, dog pepper spray often has a much lower percentage of oleoresin capsicum, meaning it may not be as effective if used on a human. For a larger animal, such as a bear, a much stronger spray is needed. Counter Assault is one example of a reputable bear spray. Like with dogs, bear spray should be used as your last line of defense, but if necessary, spray from a minimum distance of 25 feet, with several second bursts and from side to side to create a thick cloud that the bear has to pass through. Always make sure the wind is blowing away from you, no matter who or what your attacker is. For the ultimate in portability, get a keychain spray, like Sabre’s pepper spray. It too can be used at a range of up to 30 feet, so you don’t have to get too close to use it.
An ultra-powerful flashlight (or several) should be in every prepper’s arsenal, but a tactical flashlight is a beast of its own. The main difference between a tactical flashlight and a standard Maglite is the power and brightness. The TL1000 by Raybeck Outdoor ($54.95) produces 1,000 lumens of blindingly bright light, making it a strong weapon when shined in the eyes of an assailant or animal.
The TL1000 is roughly the same size as a standard Maglite flashlight, making it easy to stow in your vehicle’s glove compartment. There’s a CREE XM-L U2 LED light beyond the tempered glass lens and the entire housing is designed for durability. It’s even been tested to withstand falls from five feet. The TL1000 has been designed for defensive use, which is why it fits into many gun mounts and can be set on its anti-roll side or flat bottom to provide upright illumination. It also can throw a light beam up to 980 feet, making it ideal for use when camping or when you hear a suspicious noise on your property.
A shock from a heavy duty stun gun can render an assailant defenseless long enough for you to get away. However, if you are more of a minimalist, toting around an additional item everywhere you go may not be practical. But no matter how little you like to carry with you when out and about, you’re always likely to have your iPhone or Android. That’s where the beauty of the Yellow Jacket smartphone stun gun case ($189) (soley for an Iphone at present; not yet Android).
Far from your ordinary iPhone case, the Yellow Jacket case was designed with self defense in mind. In addition to offering sturdy protection for your phone, it offers protection for you too. The case houses a rechargeable battery to power the stun gun that can also be used to extend the battery life of your phone when you need it. The Yellow Jacket features a dual-push trigger, so you won’t have to worry about accidentally activating it while it’s in your pocket. The stun gun pack is also detachable for those situations when you want to protect your phone without the stun gun option, like getting through airport security.
What If You Lose Your Non-Lethal Weapon?
Anything can happen in the heat of the moment. If your attacker takes you from behind in an area where you normally feel safe (such as walking out to your car in front of your home), or (and this has happened, especially to rape and kidnap victims) grabs you from behind in the middle of a busy parking lot and pulls you into a vehicle as his accomplice drives away, statistically, in this kind of rape and kidnapping, you can end up dead and your body possibly never found. If you have learned, practiced and rehearsed a handful of effective self defense strikes, you can easily injure an attacker and get away within just the first few seconds of an attempted kidnapping. In this situation, where you’ve been grabbed unexpectedly, there just won’t be time to get to your pepper spray, stun gun, or tactical flashlight.
What to do if you’re grabbed from behind:
Professional grapplers (think the world of MMA) have an easy move they can use when another opponent attempts a hold: You can immediately drop your weight toward the ground and rotate your torso explosively, so you are facing your attacker, simultaneously jutting your buttocks backwards. Within just a split second of time you are now in the perfect position to unload a number of palm strikes (which are easier and more natural to throw than a punch and at the same time can have greater impact with nose-crushing force).
You are also in a perfect position to throw your back leg forward for a crushing groin strike.
Finally, the trick to making these moves work for you is to practice and mentally rehearse the situations (where you’re grabbed suddenly by an attacker). Even better than that … you can practice with an actual instructor in a local martial arts studio (consider private lessons; you’ll often learn quicker than taking a general class and you’ll get more personal instruction with attention to detail from the instructor).
Self Defense Systems That Even Works For The Elderly
Today, Krav Maga, is growing in popularity. It’s a very powerful style of martial arts that is easy to learn and has it’s origins in the Israeli Special Forces. Even the elderly are learning it … one story I heard was how an “old woman” had beat down someone who tried to rob her (that’s one crook who won’t be telling his jail house buddies where his broken arm and black eye came from.)
What Bruce Lee Taught About Self Defense
There’s a lot more you can unleash on an attacker; Bruce Lee’s claim to fame was a style of martial arts called Jeet Kune Do, which in principle was about having no style at all. It can be extremely effective for women and children to use Jeet Kune Do as Bruce Lee demonstrated that you don’t have to be a big tough guy to knock down opponents; a number of effective self defense moves have to do with moving your body in a certain way, so that your back foot rotates, your torso rotates, and your arm and hand move toward the target — resulting in fast, powerful, altercation ending strikes that take an attacker (or attackers) by surprise.
Congratulations — you just won the fight before it even started. You just beat down an attacker before he knew you were a threat.
Matt Numrich, a contributor to SecretsofSurvival.com and a professional self defense instructor has taught (and continues to train) law enforcement, military personnel, and civilians both Jeet Kune Do and Krav Maga.
If you’d like to know what Jeet Kune Do looks like, Matt Numrich has a free video series called The Complete JKD Street Fighter that can teach you highly effective moves and help you be prepared for a possible altercation with an attacker.
You’ve probably heard by now that the crime rate is jumping in recent months across the nation. Robberies. Violent crime. More criminals are shooting cops. More cops are shooting criminals.
Crime Is Going To Get Even Worse
At the rate things are going we can expect crime to get a lot worse (before it ever has a chance of getting better). Consider a self defense program for your spouse and even your children, whether it’s Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do, or a combination of both. (The dvds mentioned in the paragraphs above will show you what this kind of self defense looks like).
Whatever you decide to do, it’s highly recommended that all parents rehearse with their children common places a kidnapper / rapist is likely to go after them (in one case profiled on “FBI Files” a seventeen year old girl was taken just checking the mail in front of her rural home one day). She lived out in the country. She lived in a safe community. We need to protect our kids and turn the tables on a few would be rapists / kidnappers.
Children Everywhere Should Be Taught Street Smarts
This kind of instruction shouldn’t just be for kids who live in or near a major city. If crime is on the increase, we can expect criminals to venture a lot more into the suburbs, and that is happening. Home invasions for example have targeted high income areas in the distant suburbs where people simply are not prepared for violent criminals to suddenly wreck their lives one evening. But it happens. Repeatedly. And it will continue to happen. The fact is people in the suburbs often make easy victims for hardened criminals from a nearby major city.
Nature Of Crime — Crime Happens By Surprise
Most victims of rape, robbery, or kidnapping woke up that day expecting just another normal day. Complacent about their surroundings, they simply do not notice the attacker move into range and suddenly they are grabbed and then ultimately disappear.
On the other hand, those who are prepared for crime in many ways can make criminals not want to mess with them and instead choose an easier victim. Why is that?
When you learn self defense, or when you start carrying a weapon for the purpose of defending yourself, you can often take an air of more confidence; you walk straighter, you’re more alert, and you’re someone who is aware that crime happens to people not expecting it. So, now you are ready for it. Your head is on a swivel in those areas where you know that crime is more likely to happen — a parking lot for example; or if you’re locking up a building after work; etc.
Firearms Can Be A Good Choice Also
The purpose of this article is to point readers toward non-lethal self defense weapons; some people are too young to carry firearms, others don’t want to pursue the training and instruction that is recommended for a firearm to be counted on in a high stress situation; and, if you do carry, sometimes you won’t have your gun on you (perhaps you’re in a gun free zone where pepper spray and or a stun gun are allowed items), or maybe you just were in a rush that day and didn’t grab it from your bed stand on your way out the door.
If you’re concerned about self defense, it’s a good idea to have a non-lethal self defense weapon, even if you own a firearm. You can carry it more places and you’re more likely to keep it handy, such as leaving it in a backpack or glove box where you know you’ll always have it in easy reach. Non lethal weapons are less expensive than a firearm so you can purchase several; especially if you’re concerned about a home invasion.
For example, you can stash a canister of pepper spray in your bedroom, one in your bathroom, one in the backyard shed, one in your glove box and another in your garage; that way, if you’re making a run for it, and can’t get to your firearm in time, at the least you may be able get to one of these non lethal weapons.
With a large canister of police-strength pepper spray, you can empty it’s contents into the air as an attacker is approaching; unless he’s got a gas mask on, it’s likely to drop him, giving you time to make a safe getaway, call authorities, etc. Plus, temporarily blinded, your attacker is going to require a great deal of time to wash the pepper spray out of his eyes, nose and throat, off his skin, etc. Most likely, he’ll be caught and put behind bars; not many people can get away after an encounter with a face full of pepper spray.
Lessons From Prison Security Teams
Security teams in many of our nations toughest prisons use pepper spray to immediately halt any aggressive behavior from violent inmates. These security teams are prepared with their own gas masks; it may seem like an extreme step, but sometimes that gas mask can make it a lot safer to use pepper spray in your own home in the event of a home invasion. If you’re in a room, or facing a breeze, the pepper spray you just sprayed into the face of an attacker can be blown on you as well; even with less force it can still be an irritant; it can sting your eyes, your throat, etc. Whether you have a chemical protective mask for a nuclear or biological emergency or not as part of your non lethal self defense kit for your home, remember to always be careful when using pepper spray, and to be ready to flee the room once you’ve sprayed it.