Super Secret Police Sh*t (SSPS)`e That Can Save Your Life

The title of my 2nd book.  SSPS are more than self-defense tips.  If you are committed to a safe life for you, your family, SSPS is a Habit of Life.  Maybe that is an oversimplification and maybe it is too vague, but in the next few posts, I thought we could chat about some of these secrets that a score of military, police, corrections, security and others have passed on to me over the last 30 or so years.  Things as a PPCT Instructor Trainer (IT), I have passed on to about a thousand officers and lay citizens at risk.

Let’s start with a brief safety and survival training axiom for your child(ren).  Specifically, “Raising Kids Who Can Protect Themselves.”  Now, this is serious.  Deadly serious, as a matter of fact.  Recently two precious girls were found slain by one devil sonofabitch along a hiking trail not far from home.  Their beautiful lifeless bodies a dual testament to the dangers lurking hidden within yards – sometimes feet – from our doorsteps.

I have no clue how they were raised or if their parents had incorporated some semblance of “survival awareness” in their upbringing.  But you can scroll through my posts on this blog site & read my articles on (parents) becoming their child’s safety coach.  Which I believe to be essential to inculcating a survival psyche in times when you cannot be with him/her/them.

A key survival strategy can be found in my Kid Escape Program.  In this program we teach children how to escape an d evade the typical child predator.

Stay tuned.  In the next two posts we swill chat about the exact skills you can teach your children in your safety coaching sessions at home how to:

  • Not be targeted by a child predator.
  • How to recognize a potential predator.
  • How to escape a predator if ever approached.
  • And, if “tagged” by a predator, how to easily escape his grasp.
  • Worse case scenarios:  How To escape from a car if abducted.
  • Last Ditch:  How to fight an adult bad guy, even if you are a child!

Until then, stay safe.

The Hammer

DALLAS; BATON ROUGE; MINNESOTA; NICE, FRANCE. CAN DE-ESCALATION TRAINING SAVE THE WORLD?

My fear is that there ain’t nothing that can save the world.  Thing is, I bet I am not alone in my fear.  I wager that most people are fearful.  Okay, maybe not the terrorists, who are united in their hatred for anyone in the world who do not ascribe to their way of living or their sick belief system.

So, here I go with my theory about de-escalation.  It is not only a training system (Management of Aggressive Behavior, Verbal Judo and my Advanced De-Escalation Technique System), but it can, or more, it must be, a belief system, maybe even a way of life, for all of us in law enforcement and the “helping” professions.

What I mean by this is (the way I see it) the public has their own perceptions about law enforcement.  So do law enforcement.  When our paths intersect, these two mindsets also collide.

By now you may know that I make a living training and certifying law enforcement.  Many confide in me that they often go into (hostile) neighborhoods with the genuine intent of being open, sincere and helping, but seconds after emerging from a cruiser, the person whom is in some sort of “shitstorm” of trouble or distress verbally attacks them, calls them names, and even rushes them in a way and in a manner that causes their emotions (Sympathetic Nervous System, or Flight or Fight) to spike up to the “Danger Zone (220 beats a minute or higher).”

“You play hell trying to de-escalate a dude or dudette with that kind of mentality,” one cop said to me.  “I swear, I do try.  But it is hell on earth.”

Which is why I am advocating again and again that law enforcement invest in de-escalation training.  Studies show that more than 10-percent of the population cannot be de-escalated.  This may be true, but in my point of view, de-escalation is not only about calming people and scenes, it is about being able to deal with aggression and verbal hostility in such a way and in such a manner that the officer and the civilian emerge from the interaction intact.

It is about being able to anticipate harsh and hostile attitudes and have a plan of action designed to intervene in the safest way.

It is about being able to Defuse Yourself First before managing the subject’s hostility.

It is about not taking predictable (verbal) attacks personal.  Being able to depreciate the verbal icon (“Screw you, you fu**ing moron!”).

It is about Eliminating Your Ego!  Ego, I think, is the most dangerous word in a cop’s vernacular.  Remember:  “The more ego an officer shows during a confrontation, the Less Power and Control He Can Exercise!

I have a book coming out.  The Most Unnatural Act of All -De-Escalation for Law Enforcement.

Until then, stay safe and, by all means, Stay Cool While Everyone Else Is Hot!  Read how to do that in future posts.

The Hammer

 

THE KILL SWITCH -Knock the Bad Guy Out!

I ended my last post with a suggestion to use the bad guy’s expectations (fantasy script) against him.  Allow me to amplify.

He grabs you by the wrists (the most common “attack”).  He expects you to attempt to pull away.  Strength against strength.  He knows if you do that, he has a distinct advantage.  Blow his mind away by first pulling away (what he expects) and then waiting for him to “win the fight (in his mind)” by pulling you hard toward him.  When he pulls you, he expects you to stumble defeated and lifelessly toward him, but, now, you are going to be a confident and ready warrior and you are going to propel into his center-line targets like a beast. Many of his center-line targets are what I call Kill Switches.

  • Drive the palm of your free hand hard into his groin.  Repeatedly.
  • Drive the palm of your hand into his chin and drive his head up and back as if trying to knock it off his shoulders.
  • Growl like the animal you’ve become and bite his nose off.

Or, maybe the bastard is able to grab you and pull you in close.  He expects you to melt in fear.  He expects that he has won.  Use this against him by, at first, relaxing your body and make that he has won, maybe even pretend to return his caress.  Place the back of your head on his shoulder and move the hand closest to his head around to his opposite cheek.  Now, quickly, drive your thumb into his eyes and use the side of your head to prevent him from moving his head away.  Once he relinquishes his grip on you, begin to assail him with strikes, bites, head butts, etc.

There are hundreds of surprise techniques I have in my Hammer Survival Blueprint. But I am sure you get the idea.

Stay safe.  Be Confident.  Be an Animal.

Hammer

SAY, “SURPRISE, NOW YOU’RE THE VICTIM!”

I’m not going to sugar coat it, Dudes and Dudettes, any time you are attacked the bad guy has the advantage.  Something like a 97.6% chance of doing to you whatever it is that he set out to do.  Rob you, rape you, torture you, kill you.  Walk away from your body, indifferent to the blood seeping from damn near every orifice, pleas for mercy unheeded.  Well, excuse my English, but fuck that, we are going to turn the tables on that miscreant starting now.

Put briefly, these miscreants are almost always stronger, faster, meaner, more determined than you.  They are also cowards who are not looking for a (fair) fight, so they hedge their bets by choosing where and when they attack so that there are no witnesses (to come to your aide), very little room for you to escape and evade an attack, and, more importantly, at least 97% of the time, they first distract you to shatter the connection between your mind and your body, and, then, bang, they surprise you with a spontaneous attack!

You can not only survive this, but actually prevail – actually knock this thug out – by adopting The Hammer Survival Blueprint.

  • Never Be Surprised! Be aware of your surroundings; trust your gut instincts/they are always right/The Gift of Fear/be aware of people around you.
  • Anticipate! Once you observe someone or some thing that may endanger you, devise a plan of action.  ”If he does A, I will do B, etc.”
  • Breathe! Rocket oxygenated blood to your fighting brain!
  • Protect Your Space! If the miscreant cannot enter your Personal safety Zone (6′), he cannot harm you.  Do not cement yourself to the ground.  Move.  Maintain your PSZ!
  • Speak! Almost all victims say nothing as they are being stalked, confronted, and finally, attacked.  Look at the evil sumbitch (I know what you are doing, man) and tell him to stay back.  Believe it or not, verbalizing will liberate something from deep inside.  Verbalizing will minimize paralysis.
  • Use the Element of Surprise To Launch Your Attack! The Bad Guy has a fantasy script.  In that script you are quiet, you are immobile, you are frozen in fear (paralysis), you will not fight.  And, here is the thing:  The longer his fantasy script is allowed to go on, the more confident he becomes and the more dangerous (homicidal).
  • So, Fracture His Fantasy Script Immediately By moving, yelling and using surprise.  Use his Expectation Against Him.

In my next post, how to use the bad guy’s expectations against him?

Until Then, Stay safe and Be Volatile

Hammer

BE YOUR OWN BODYGUARD IN TODAY’S INSANE, VIOLENT WORLD

ISIS, NORTH KOREA, PAKISTAN (141 children massacred), Ferguson, New York City. All in the news in the last week.  Incomprehensible violence threatening to get more violent.  The world is on fire. More violent than ever before, I think.  But those sorrowful episodes are matters for our police, CIA, SWAT, and other entities to deal with.  My question, though, for this post, is: How can you, the average woman (or man, boy or girl) protect yourself against increasing violence in your neighborhood?

SUPER SECRET POLICE SHIT THAT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE

  • Self-Defense is 98% “Soft-Skills,” and only 2% physical (fighting).
  • Soft-Skills include making yourself a Tough-Target. You can do this by adopting a safety-philosophy of Fake It To Make It. Whether you feel it or not, adopt a Confident and Ready Demeanor. Manifest it in how you walk, how you keep your head up, how you Mad-Dog (look at potential assailants like, WTF do you want, Dude?) others.  PST (Positive Self-Talks) can convince you to breathe tactically and even “explode upon first touch” by a bad guy.
  • Soft-Skills also include having a Plan of Action.  Be one of the 2% who not only survives an attack but prevails.  The first time you think about what to do and how to react can not be when a assailant grabs or strikes one of your body parts!
  • USE THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE!  It works almost every time. An attacker depends upon a few universal beliefs.  If and when these Beliefs Fail, there is a good chance he will either break off the attack, or, almost as important, lose confidence (which weakens him).  To survive, we need to turn his belief system against him through the element of surprise:

Next Post:  ”Using Surprise To Defeat the Bad Guy!”

Until then, stay safe and think “Confident.”

Hammer

PROTECTING COEDS ON CAMPUS, PART II

I said it in my last post, and, believe me, I exaggerate not.  If you are a girl or woman on a (high school, or) college campus, you are a target for a gamut of uninvited contact and even assaults by male students as well as non-students who live and play on the outskirts of your campus.  The statistics are harrowing (I’ve quoted them before), and, worse, the statistics for sexual assault, rape, stalking, and devastating threats doesn’t tell half the story because less than 2/3 of assaults go unreported!

PERSONAL SAFETY ON CAMPUS

A pity you must think like this, but, the implications are, if you are on campus, more likely than not you will experience some sort of attack.  What to do to physically take charge of your own safety?

  • Become what I call a Hard Target. Learn to walk in such a way and in such a manner that those who would target you as “easy meat” will change their attitude and leave you alone.  Learn to walk with confidence, swinging your arms contra-laterally and looking around for possible attackers as you walk.  A Victim-Walk is emblemized by a woman looking down at her feet and shuffling unaware from place to place.
  • Okay, second, prepare yourself.  Always arm your brain with a Plan of Action.  In other words, Be Aware, Assess everything around you and ANTICIPATE (what will I do if this or that happens).
  • Third, You Must Be Willing to do what you have to do to escape and evade the potential aggressor.
  • Protect Your Space!  Do not permit anybody inside your PSZ (Personal safety Zone/within 5 feet).
  • Breathe Don’t Freeze (89% of women freeze and hold their breath when first touched).
  • Be Target Focused.  Hit secondary targets (feet/ankles/shins/knees, hips, chest, ears, etc) in order to open up PRIMARY TARGETS (eyes, throat, groin, etc).  Hit them and hit them again until the threat goes away!

It is hard for me to go into self-defense techniques in a one-dimensional venue, so, please consider taking yourself a self-defense course.

Or, you can contact me at harrywigder@rcn.com for more information about self-defense.

Stay Safe,

Hammer

COEDS AWAY AT COLLEGE – How To Protect Yourself

Here’s a fact.  Colleges are under fire.  Under deep scrutiny concerning their lack of interest in protecting their female student body from the almost epidemic sexual attacks from young men, on and off campus.  Witness the University of Virginia media accusations that, despite years of complaints by coeds – horror stories about gang rapes, groping, stalking and other criminal activities – the administration took no meaningful actions against even the most pernicious of assaults.

My point:  If you are a young woman attending a college, it is in your best interest to take positive steps toward protecting yourself against any and all types of sexual aggression.

SELF-DEFENSE IN THE COLLEGE SETTING.  The First of a Two-Part Post.

First of all, if you are going to commit yourself to your personal safety on and off campus, you have to also Commit Yourself To a New and Specific (Warrior) Mentality. Why?   Because I firmly believe that successful self-defense is more about being willing to do whatever you have to than being able!

THE MENTALITY OF SELF-DEFENSE

  • Understand that you are in a combat zone. In my mind, the critical first step in self-defense is to believe that the environment in which you must live is a “combat zone.”  Girls and women are viewed as targets by both male students and predators off-campus.  My research and interviews with students, teachers, etc., shows that well over 80% of women have experienced at least one variety of sexual aggression (stalking, uninvited groping, date-attacks, alcohol-related sexual aggression, etc) in their (highschool and) college careers.  Also, in my considerable experience in and with law enforcement there are hundreds of stories of men assaulting coeds who were enroute from class to dorm.  Several abductions and murders—
  • Adopt the Four-A System. I know this is old and trite wisdom, but, believe me, it is a life-saver.  Always BE AWARE, meaning aware of those around you, subtle changes in body language.  ASSESS what you see.  What do these things mean to your safety?  Trust your gut-instincts.  They are never wrong!  ANTICIPATE. Meaning you should always have a plan of action.  If this guy does this, I will do that.  ACTION. Meaning, always be prepared to take quick action when what you anticipated comes to reality.  Oh, yes, when I talk about Taking Action, I consider always reporting any kind of sexual or criminal assault as critical to campus safety.
  • PROFILE. You know, not everybody on or off campus is trying to stalk and assault you.  As a matter of fact, most are not interested in attacking you.  But, you see, campus sexual assault is a totally different entity. Young men and even young women are fascinated and interested in exploring sex.  Many coeds are away from home for maybe the first time and are exploring exciting adventures. Naivety and curiosity is a pretty nasty combination.  There will be keg parties.  Invitations that are hard to turn down to a freshman coed interested in being popular in a new setting.  Add this to an alarmingly liberal atmosphere set by college leaders, well, hell, it is almost like “Boys Will Be Boys.”  I am not advocating locking yourself in your room, leaving only to attend class.  What I am advocating is to use common sense when responding to an invitation to a “party,” entering a room, and getting the feeling that You Are The Keg Party! Having the courage to turn around and leave may be your linchpin to self-protection!

In My Next Post.  Professional Self-Defense & Personal Safety Techniques Designed To Stop “Boys Wanting To Just Be Boys.”

Until then, Stay Safe.

Hammer

ARE OUR COLLEGES DOING ENOUGH TO PROTECT OUR DAUGHTERS?

I am in agony.  And there is nothing I can do to ease the pain.
Over and over we read about violence against girls and women on or near our campuses.  This has been going on seemingly forever.  Not too long ago, Hannah Graham, an 18-year-old Virginia University student vanished from this placid community school in Charlottesville,  never to be seen again. Odds are she was abducted, tortured, raped, and mutilated by a monster who is suspected of another abduction and murder in 2009.

As terrible as this is, women students have been stalked, harassed, beleaguered, targeted, molested, raped and even killed by male students and male intruders for eons.  Attacked in their sleep, fondled in hallways, raped and murdered and I can find no evidence any school is focusing on these issues through training, security, and/or addressing these issues in public forums.

I will address self-defense for college women, on and off campus, in subsequent posts.

Until then, stay safe.

Hammer

‘MAD-DOGGING” THE BAD GUY – DECIDE TO LOOK LIKE THE ANIMALS DO!

Much of this is from Lori Hartman Gervasi, the author of “Fight Like a Girl…and Win.”  I recommend this book to any woman, girl, boy or man who is interested in staying safe in this dangerous world.  Before I picked up this book, however, I was teaching the concept of adopting a a Survival Psyche, or Mentally Conditioned (Tough) Attitude in my SD For Women classes and, as a matter of fact, to many of my safety and survival classes designed for (mostly) male police, corrections, security and probation and parole personnel.

Several officers over the years have told me that this warrior mentality helped them prevail during dangerous confrontation with bad guys.

According to Gervasi, in self-defense, each of our five senses is important, but what we do with our eyes is absolutely crucial.  Take cats, for example.  Cats are easily among the best fighters in the animal kingdom.  They snap their heads to spot their foes.  They move and they size up their foe,  They silkily move forward, watching their enemy, reading him, reacting to him lightning quick.  The cat never takes his eyes off the foe, ejecting his claws—

Cats have forever known that “the fight is in their eyes.”

How does this relate to you and self-defense?  Simply put, you (we all do) are harboring this beast inside you.  And this beast, or animal, is waiting for you to call him forth and to set him upon your enemy.  Meaning, when you are attacked, like the women I spoke about in my last two posts, you can freeze, fail to breathe out of stark fear, or you can get angry and summon that beast now to give to the strength and power to fight for your life.

Or, you can summon that animal now! Now when you are not in danger.  Which to me is what self defense is all about.  Summon that animal and put it in your eyes!

Get that “fight” in your eyes so you can “Mad Dog” each and every man you see.  This from Gervasi’s self-defense instructor, who went on to describe mad-dogging as staring into someone’s eyes in a deliberate way and then holding on for a bit.  The message mad-dogging sends is:  “I see you.  I see you plain and clear.  I will remember you and I will pick you out of a lineup if I have to.  You stay right where you are and do not move because I am watching you.  I don’t particularly like what I see, man, but make no mistake, I do see you.”

I have no doubt this strategy works.  Not only will it work, it will change everything.  Combined with great (confident) posture, a sure-footed, striding walk (again, think “cat”), and an overall awareness of your environment, mad-dogging will zing the predator considering you as a victim to back-off, probably choose another victim.

If your bad guy is one of those rare 1-percenters (bonafide, real killer bad guy), who will take the look in your eyes and your confident posture as a challenge, now this is when you must explode into action.  You must have and act upon a Survival Plan of Action. More on that in a future post.

Next post.  Staying Out of Jail.  Legal Parameters to self-defense.

Until then, stay safe.

Hammer

SURPRISE – THE ESSENCE OF POWER IN SELF DEFENSE

As I’ve written in many of my posts, the element of surprise, is nothing short of essential in the art – if I can call it that – of defending oneself against the predatory sexual assailant (women) and criminally violent attacker (women, men, boys & girls).  Double or triple that when dealing with an attacker who is larger, stronger, faster, meaner and more prepared to destroy you without a second thought and meaner than you.

 

It is an inarguable truism, far as I am concerned, that, without the use of surprise, you’ve got two chances against the criminally-dedicated criminal attacker.  Cremated or conventional burial?

 

THE 3 LEVELS OF SURPRISE,

 

I separate surprise into three basic categories.

 

  1. “TACTICAL SURPRISE.”  Tactical Surprise is an innovative and pre-planned response to whatever the Bad Guy throws at you.  Tactical Surprise is a scary and unpleasant undertaking because, usually in order to invoke this tactic, the Bad Guy would have to have at least invaded your PSZ (Personal Safety Zone, within 3’), and, more likely to have laid hands upon you (initiated “first touch”).  Tactical Surprise depends also upon your ability to think under severe (life or death) stress.  The intended victim must be thinking clearly under the most debilitating circumstances (Survival Stress floods the mind and body with stress hormones, initiating Sympathetic Nervous System activation, causing debilitating events, such as perceptual narrowing, visual difficulties, decision-making problems, and a truckful of physiological and psychological changes).

 

  •  Ergo, in order to employ Tactical Surprise, you must always commit yourself to Breathe Tactically (more on this in future posts); to use “First Touch (by the Bad Guy)” as a trigger to explode violently, and to commit yourself to prevail!
  • You must also understand what the Bad Guy anticipates you, as his chosen victim, will do when attacked suddenly and spontaneously.
  • In order to be able to carry off Tactical Surprise, you must have a Plan of Action in mind before the Bad Guy even approaches.

 

  • WHAT SURPRISES THE BAD GUY?
    • Immediate Action.
    • Loud & determined vocalization.
    • Logical Movement.
    • Target Focused Counterattack (instead of hapless “slapping” eyes-closed action of a frightened victim).
    • True Anger.

 

  • What exactly is Tactical Surprise?
    • It is any type of countermeasure where the intended victim employs Survivor Tactics rather than those of what the attacker expects out of his intended victim.
    • More likely than not, the Bad Guy has attacked his ‘victim” because he expects that “victim” to respond in such a way and in such a manner that will prove the least amount of resistance to said attack. 
    • Meaning, Tactical Surprise can be as simple as this: 

–        If an attacker with superior strength is using that strength to pull you toward a car, bedroom, isolated spot, whatever, surprise him by initially pulling against his power, which is exactly what he expects, then, at the right moment, use his power to pull you hard into his center-line targets, and, before he knows what is happening, violently and quickly drive your knee into his groin, temple into his nose, etc.   

–       If an attacker grabs your wrist with a powerful hand, use a conventional Wrist Release, which will come as no surprise to the miscreant, but – and here’s the dealio – if and when he re-grabs your wrist(s), it’s time for invoking Tactical Surprise.  Allow the Bad Guy to hold your wrist – the tighter the better – and, in your mind (I have actually said this out loud to an idiot attacker), say “thank you, Bad Guy,” because the attacker now has no use of that  hand, or, if he has grabbed you with two hands, he has no ability to block what you are about to do next, which should be a vicious front kick to the side of his knee, or a straight kick to his groin, followed up nicely. 

–       If the Bad Guy invades your PSZ & is verbally threatening you, maybe brandishing a boulder-sized fist toward you, put up both hands, palms facing the Bad guy, in the universal gesture of “please don’t hit me; I don’t want to fight!”  This is what the Bad Guy expects you to do as his targeted victim & by doing this you invoke a sense of security in the attacker, which will be short lived as you drive both hands forward and up into his face, driving it back on his neck and following that up with knees into his groin, hammer fists into the face, etc. 

 

In the next post, we cover the next two levels of Surprise.

Until then, Stay safe.

 

Hammer