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

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

‘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

REFUSE TO BE A SILENT VICTIM – VERBALIZE!

Not to rag on my class, cause I love them, but I just finished a Self Defense for Women program at a local community college, and once again, for the 14th consecutive program, not one of the women – despite my urging to the contrary – ever uttered one “kai!” when responding to an “attack” during the 4-week course!

Mind you, it’s probably a reflection on my instruction.  I really have to come up with a creative way, in the early stages of the program, to encourage the women to reach down inside and bring out a gutteral yell when fighting, or, shout in a bad guy’s face when he has the nerve to invade their personal space.

But, Hell’s Fire, ladies, think about this:  Who do you think look and acts more like an Ideal Victim to a predator?  A woman who, when approached by a stranger, or grabbed by surprise, says nothing and does nothing for a second or two, and who holds her breath – yeh, that’s another thing, during Red Man drills, unless I yell out, “Breathe, dammitt!” the woman not only say nothing, they rarely breathe – or, a woman, who, immediately upon being touched or approached, yells out in obvious anger at the stranger, takes a step or two to regain her distance, and explodes into some kind of action?

Well, of course, the noisy woman who becomes a blur of sound and movement is the woman who is prepared to Fight Like a Girl—and Win!  The silent one, when “tested” by the stranger stays quiet and still, is your Ideal Victim.

The lesson here is dog crap simple.  Be you a woman, girl, man or boy, learn to break whatever tendency to be meek and silent.  Whoever socialized you to be a “nice girl/boy” did you no favor when it comes to self defense.   Re-socialize yourself and give yourself permission to Mad Dog It (one of the themes of my SD training).  Draw that animal from inside you and BE THE BEAST/BE THE MAD DOG!

Not only will making noise (scream Kai! when you hit) save you during a fight, it may prevent you from being chosen as a victim in the first place.  So, when you think you are facing a possible attack, say something (prepare ahead of time with something to say to make the bad guy reconsider you as a victim (”What do YOU want?”  “Don’t I know your mother?”  “Get back now!”).

If ever grabbed by a stranger, use his First Touch as a Trigger to explode into both sound and action!

Stay safe until next time.

Hammer

Fighting Arts for Women – Reverse the Predator/Prey Principle

According to Lori Hartman Gervasi, in her seminal book, Fight Like a Girl–and Win, EVERY attack against women starts with the element of surprise. Although I might argue that some attacks are highly predictable, mayhap even expected by the victim (consider domestic violence, for one), for the sake of brevity and time, let’s concede the point.  Fact is, the male (and sometimes, female) attacker understands the cogency of the element of surprise in first charming, then disarming, and finally destroying the victim with as little fight as possible.

In my Fighting Arts for Women classes the theme is always this:  Reverse the Predator/Prey Principle. Simply put, I advocate taking the attacker’s mind set and expectations and totally flipping the mentality upside down by invoking the Element of Surprise on our part!

In any “life or death fight” where one side is dramatically overmatched, I say, Surprise is probably the only thing that can change the game in the woman’s (or child or teen facing a predator, bully, etc) favor!  Think of this:  when a woman is attacked, more often than not, her attacker is larger, stronger, faster, armed, in the company of an accomplice, plus, is often prepared with an attack plan.  Not only that, the bad guy has often tracked his prey for minutes, hours, days, sometimes months.  He has given this attack a lot of thought, even to the point of waiting to assault you in an environment with poor lighting, poor footing, and in a space where his victim has little room to escape or fight.

OKAY, ALREADY.  WE GOT THE IDEA:  WE’RE SCREWED!  SO, WHAT THE HECK TO WE DO?

Good question.  A little tempremental, but, still, good question.  What you do – what you must do – is do the unexpected. Believe it or not, you have an edge.  Not a big one, but an edge nevertheless.  And what is that Edge you have?

The Bad Guy’s Expectations.

In 97 to 98% of the attack scenarios, the bad guy expects you to be meek, to surrender without a fight, to beg for your life.  He often gets off on your fear, on the look of terror in your eyes. That look of “recognition” that you are the prey about to be dragged into an isolated corner of the world so the predator can torment and torture you until he finally rapes, robs and murders you.

INVOKE S.N.E.A.K.!

Open up a big can of Whoop-Ass on the monster by using the element of surprise.  Sensei Michael Pace used the acronym “SNEAK” to describe the process.

Surprise is the first and most important element.  Surprise is activated by fulfilling the bad guy’s expectations initially, and, then, suddenly exploding in his face!

Non-Violent is the 2nd element.  Before counter-attacking, you must appear non-violent.

Explode is the 3rd element.  You must “explode” from non-violent to ultra-violent in a split second.  When you explode, go nuts, liberate the beast.  You are all over his ass!

Aggressive:  Incorporate an aggressive attitude.  No longer a nice girl.

Knock the Bad Guy out of the fight.

Okay, you might be saying, that’s nice, but how the hell do I do this? In the next few posts I will be going over a few strategems, but, how about trying this one on for size?

The Bad Guy approaches with that “look” in his eyes.  Despite your protests he steps into your space.  Your gut instincts are screaming at you to get the hell out of there, but when you try to move he blocks your exit.  You know for sure you are about to be attacked in some way.  Put both hands up in front of your face, palms facing the guy’s face – the universal “Compliance Stance” – and you even “beg” him to let you go.

Then, suddenly, you bend your knees for power and drive both hands hard and fast into his head, driving up as if trying to knock his head off of his shoulders.  Before he knows what is happening, his head snaps back and he is off-balance and all his Primary Targets are open for a follow-up strike!  There are no apologies or excuses in self defense:  Show No Mercy and hit those open targets with everything you have until it is safe for you to escape.

Even if the Bad Guy has one of your hands under control.  Use your free hand and go for his head.  No head can withstand the power of your entire body.

This will work.

Until the next post, stay safe.

The Hammer

WOMEN, GIRLS, MEN AND BOYS: UNLEASH THE ANIMAL WITHIN!

YES, INDEEDY. I have been preaching this in self defense classes for decades, and, trust me,  it is as true and ageless as time itself.  Deep inside you there is a phenomenon that some wizards of The Fighting Arts call the ki or chi. Your chi (Chinese),or,  ki (Japanese), according to these wizards, these great masters of The Fighting/Martial Arts, are a source of great power and energy. Imagine this chi, or ki, “right in the center of your body, deep within your midsection.  Think two inches below  your belly button, but straight back into the middle of your torso,” according to Lori Hartman Gervasi, in her great book:  Fight Like a Girl—and Win.

But, here’s the dealio.  If ever you face an attacker, before the debilitating element of fear sets in and paralyzes you, first you must get your ass in gear!  You see, this chi or ki is there, but it cannot be released like some ancient genie by simply rubbing in some arcane manner on your center.  It is up to you to have the courage, fortitude and willingness to get yourself  in action ASAP!

Your ki/chi works like the ignition of a car – from nothing to full throttle, according to Gervasi.  Instant power and energy!  Explosion from the inside-out!  But, like the key in the ignition of a powerful automobile, you must first turn it on!

TURNING THAT KEY

So, how do we explode from the inside out?  How do we pull our energy and power source to the surface?   Actually it is dog crap simple.  Release your power and energy right from the get-go.  Get moving and use the sheer power of “fierce and immediate movement from the core of your fighting spirit (which is within every one of us).”  Get moving and turn that ignition key.  In other words, instead of standing there frozen, trying to analyze what the attacker is saying and/or about to do, you need to Do Something Now! When you act definitively and immediately, you do several things that will help you pevail:

  • You invoke the Element of Surprise.
  • You get the attacker back on his/her feet & weaken his potential attack.
  • You transcend the debilitating element of “Fear.”
  • You flood your body with Stress Hormones and take advantage of an Adrenale Dump, which empowers you to fight harder and better, to run faster, to endure injuries and pain.
  • And, finally, it empowers you to Unleash That Animal – that Beast – Inside!

Deep inside you, in a place where you must go mentally, is a beast.  It has been there for 250,000,000 years.  Give yourself the permission to grab onto it and become it. Yes, BECOME THE BEAST!  Turn that fear into sheer energy and power.

  1. When your gut instincts tell you something is wrong, believe it always!
  2. Breathe.  Get oxygenated blood flowing to your brain.
  3. Move now.  Do something:
  • Put some distance between you and him.
  • Put a barrier or barricade between you and him.
  • Say something.  “Stay back!”  “Nine-one-one!”  “What do you want?”  “I don’t have time for this!erbal SelfDefense (more on that in a later post).”
  • Verbalizing also serves the purpose of unlocking that hold fear might have on you, plus, it let’s the goofball who is threatening you know that you are not going to allow him to intimidate or bully you.  Use Verbal Self Defense (more on VSD in a later post).
  • Have an idea ahead-of-time, what you will do, if he gets aggressive, and, then, do it!
  • By all means, keep moving.  Don’t allow yourself to be cemented to the floor when he attacks!
  • If possible, strike first and use the element of suprise!

In the next post:  Using the element of surprise with your first strike!

Until then, stay safe.

Hammer