Self defense tactics to survive a home invasion, armed robbery, attempted kidnapping and or rape, and even self defense for civil unrest.
We’ve all had the thought cross our mind – what if I get attacked? In our homes or on the street? Let’s face it, while America is generally a safe country, we all know that there are pockets of the country where crime and violence run rampant. There are those out there who would do you harm, whether for personal profit or due to political motivations. Whatever the case may be, if and when the moment comes when you personally get attacked, will you know how to respond to stay safe and protect your family?
There are a number of ways you can come under attack. What often comes to mind first and foremost when it comes to self defense is how you deal with criminals who intend to turn you into a victim. Burglaries (often home invasions, but the term includes burglaries of non-residential buildings like offices and shops as well) are more common than robberies/muggings, so we’ll start there.
For many of us, the idea of a violent burglary happening while we’re at home is terrifying. The violent violation of the space where you should feel most safe isn’t just a crime, it’s a breach of everything we hold sacred. Burglaries that happen when you’re not at home are one thing – they’re awful too, obviously, but at least all that will be damaged or stolen is property. A violent burglary when you’re at home is far worse – it puts you and your family directly in danger. That’s why it’s absolutely essential for everybody to know how to survive a violent home invasion – learn how to protect yourself and your home and don’t let these criminals turn you into a victim.
It’s not just a matter of how you react when a home invasion actually occurs. Anybody who’s interested in survival understands that proper preparation is key in all things. Think of your house like a castle under siege. Every castle has a weak point, and that’s where the attacking force will focus their energies. If your castle is impregnable, perhaps the invaders will move on to a different, weaker target. If you want to turn your house into a difficult target, start safeguarding your home from intruders by implementing some low cost home defense tactics that you can act on today. If you don’t have the resources to put into securing your home, there are even decoys you can use to scare off crooks. Even if you don’t want to invest a dime the safety features of your home, there are some basic things that you can do to drastically lower the chances that you become a victim of a home invasion or burglary. For example, locking the doors consistently and closing and securing windows, or keeping lights on in the driveway and maintaining or repairing fences – these are very basic, straightforward things that you can do to protect your home. Your home is your castle, so many sure you know how to protect your castle from intruders. One extremely effective way to deter burglars and other criminals from invading your home is to have a dog. Dogs are an unpredictable element that criminals find it difficult to plan for. Relative to humans, animals tend to sleep lightly, and the chances that a burglar can break in without waking a dog are extremely low. When it comes to protecting your home though, some dogs are better than others. Tiny dogs like chihuahuas and poodles might be able to alert you to the presence of an intruder, but they’re unlikely to be able to do much else. If you want to know what breeds of dogs can most effectively help you protect yourself and your home, make sure you read our article on canine security and which dogs make the best guard dogs.
It’s not just your home that you need to think about protecting – if you have a cabin or secondary home that you intend to use as a place to shelter following some kind of disaster or catastrophic event, you should be prepared to defend that as well. This is particularly true because after a disaster, tensions are high and people are more desperate – which in turn means that there will likely be more crime as people fight to survive. In the event of an evacuation or calamity, make sure you know how to protect your home or cabin from criminals after a disaster.
Obviously, it’s not just at home that we’re at risk of being attacked. Criminals will strike wherever they see the opportunity, whether it’s on the street or in a different kind of public place. While according to crime statistics, muggings and robberies are becoming less common, we all know that numbers don’t tell the whole story. While you may not live in a high crime area, we all know that there are pockets of violence and criminality all across the US (and the world, for that matter). Being able to react appropriately in the event of a mugging or robbery could be the key between survival and death – it could quite literally safe your life. That’s why it’s important for you to grasp how you can survive an armed robbery.
Robberies and muggings aren’t the only kind of violent situation that we might encounter. Mass shootings seem to be happening every month at this point, so it only makes sense to arm yourself with the knowledge and skills that might help you get through a situation with an active shooter. Learn from the best – the Israeli Defense Force is one of the deadliest military organizations in the world, and we’ve put together an article that draws lessons from the IDF and teaches you how to survive a mass shooting.
It’s evident that if you find yourself in a self defense situation, you improve your chances drastically if you’re carrying a firearm – particularly if you are dealing with multiple attackers. The best and most potent weapon for protecting yourself and your property is some kind of firearm – of that there is no doubt. Firearms allow you to defend yourself at range, carry the promise of extreme force, and carry no small amount of ‘intimidation’ factor to deter the attackers. Not to mention the fact that your attackers could also be armed with firearms, which puts you at a tremendous disadvantage if you don’t have access to one. Handguns are the most popular type of firearm in America, followed by rifles and then shotguns. In actuality however, shotguns for home defense are devastatingly effective – potentially better than handguns and definitely better than rifles of any kind. If the state you live in makes it difficult to obtain a firearm or if you’re not entirely comfortable with the idea of using a firearm in self defense, there are a number of alternatives that can still help you protect yourself effectively. The truth is, if it actually came down to pulling the trigger on another human being, many of us would hesitate. This hesitation is absolutely normal – potentially ending another life is a large burden to bear for any normal person. But at the same time, that hesitation could be the difference between life and death. Luckily, there are a number of non-lethal self defense weapons that will allow you to both protect yourself and remove any potential hesitation from the equation.
It’s also important to keep in mind that it’s difficult to have a firearm at all times – many states make it difficult to carry a firearm (either open or concealed), and the truth is having a firearm on your person at all times isn’t always practical. If you’re attacked and you don’t have a firearm with you, you should know how to fight back and defend yourself even with a primitive or improvised weapon. You shouldn’t underestimate the effectiveness of more primitive weapons – in many self defense situations, your attacker will necessarily try to get near to you, and that’s where primitive weapons are most effective. The important thing is that you know how to use a primitive weapon in combat.
A more primitive style of weapons will be even more crucial in any kind of post-disaster world where firearms and ammo are difficult to get your hands. Being able to wield improvised or primitive weapons will help you conserve precious ammo and will give you a leg up if you’re caught in a situation where firearms are inaccessible. Learn more about the best primitive weapons to ensure you can survive in a post apocalyptic world. If you’re already reasonably confident in your ability to defend yourself, but like us, you just find yourself fascinated by old-timey weapons and their histories, this article about the primitive survival tools and weapons that changed the course of history might be interesting reading for you.
The most well known form of primitive weapon, is of course, the sword. Swords are versatile – they are effective against both armored and unarmored opponents, and they can be used in a variety of ways – for stabbing, slashing, and bludgeoning if the need arises. There’s a reason why virtually every society on earth has some kind of sword as a big part of it’s martial/military culture. In the apocalypse, when guns and ammo grow scarce, knowing how to use a sword effectively would be a huge advantage. Read about using sword fighting for self defense in this article inspired by the 2012 NBC show ‘Revolution’ and learn how knowing to use a sword will help you survive in the apocalypse.
Another classic primitive weapon that’s survived through the ages is the spear. It’s true that generally speaking, spears aren’t as effective as swords when it comes to one on one combat, but they more than makeup for it in their applicability in a wide range of situations. Firstly, spears are much easier to fashion than swords – a long, straight piece of wood with a sharp rock attached at the tip can function effectively as an improvised spear, whereas to make your own sword you’d need to know something about blacksmithing. You can use spears for hunting or self defense. In many cultures, spears are even used for fishing. They can be used in close quarters, but they can also be thrown as a projectile. The fact that spears are easily improvised and versatile means that they are a survival weapon that you should definitely familiarize yourself with.
We’ve covered what you can do when you don’t have a firearm. But there will inevitably be situations where you’re not only lacking a firearm, but you’re lacking any kind of weapon at all. In situations like these, you’ll need to turn to hand to hand combat. There are some basics to keep in mind when it comes to hand to hand combat. Firstly, fitness is important – particularly if you are dealing with multiple attackers or larger opponents. If you can outlast your opponent, you can survive. Secondly, knowing how to fight on the ground is important. The vast majority of self defense encounters will end up in some entanglement of limbs followed by what is known as grappling or ground fighting, and yet the vast majority of the population has no idea what to do on the ground. Learn all the other basics of self defense for survival to prepare yourself for an unarmed encounter.
If you feel like you know the basics already, but you want to up your game, why not take inspiration from one of the most famous martial artists of all time? Bruce Lee was only 5″5 and about 125 pounds, but his understanding of combat was unparalleled for the time and he altered the face of martial arts by emphasizing effectiveness and efficiency over flashy or fancy techniques. While you can no longer learn from the legend himself, through his writings and teachings, we have a pretty good idea of how he thought about the combative arts. He even came up with his own system called Jeet Kune Do to pass on to his students. Read more about Bruce Lee’s systems of self defense and learn what you can from the best.
Another highly effective system of self defense is Krav Maga. Krav Maga is the self defense method taught to the Israeli military, which is one of the most dangerous military forces on the planet. It emphasizes a survival-at-all-costs mindset and was designed to be used in hand to hand combat situations that arise in war or other life and death situations. Clearly, the emphasis on survival over everything else makes it a great combat system for fans of this site. Learn more about the techniques and theories behind this Israeli art by reading this article on how you can use Krav Maga for self defense.
If Krav Maga isn’t to your taste, there are a number of other military-style combative systems out there that may interest you instead. For example, Sambo is a Russian system of hand to hand combat that was developed from a foundation of Judo, Wrestling, and other styles from all around the world. The goal of the Russians was to distill the various styles of fighting from all around the world down to only those techniques that proved effective – and Sambo was the result. Learn more about Combat Sambo for self defense from a Sambo expert (including a fascinating interview) right here.
Sometimes fighting back isn’t necessarily the right answer. As a consequence of evolution, when you encounter a dangerous situation your brain goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode. Sometimes, it makes sense to fight, and sometimes it makes sense to take flight to live to fight another day. In either case, being fit enough to either fight or escape is key. Here are some ideas of situations where having a finely tuned fight or flight instinct could save your live.
Finally, we have a number of articles from self defense instructor Raven Hicks, here they are: