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You ask a simple question
that doesn't have a
simple answer.

Our Approach to Personal Safety

On this page:
Out Thinking The Mutations | Multi-layered Answers to Multi-layered Problems

Crime and violence come in a wide variety of forms. And, like the flu virus, they are always mutating. Again like the flu, these mutations "counter" the latest means of combating their old versions.

Unlike the flu virus however, these "end run" mutations are conscious, cunning decisions made by a would-be attacker to get around your defenses. Which makes it a much trickier problem to deal with --  imagine an intelligent virus that could determine when and where to attack.

That's what a criminal can do.

Due to this tendency to mutate, we maintain that there are no effective "you just do this" answers. That is why we tend to avoid giving  simplistic lists of  behavioral "Do and Don'ts" (like carrying your keys sticking out between your fingers). Such lists are seldom effective for keeping you out of danger.

As it is a thinking problem, you need thinking counters.

Out Thinking The Mutations
Just because this is a mutating problem doesn't mean there isn't a vaccine.

While mutations occur the core elements stay the same. In order to effectively counter the mutations, you must first know what DOESN'T change. Once you understand these basic elements you can -- on the spot -- create an effective response to the situation. A response tailored to work for that exact situation. And one that, if it turns out to need some final adjustments, you adjust as you go.

While this may sound like a daunting task, it really isn't. You already do this kind of thinking everyday. You may just not be aware of it. This is the exact same kind of thinking you do while driving your car. Driving basically consists of only three things:
    1) Steering
    2) Braking and
    3) Accelerating (1)

These are the skill sets of driving. The skill of driving is blending them to achieve a certain  result at different speeds. You do this all the time. From one second to the next, you calculate, adjust and act. That's all there is to the skill of driving. You mix and match these elements to do something in a certain time.

Sometimes, if things get choppy, you're going to have to apply these skill sets a little more drastically. Such as steering hard to avoid an accident. And that does require skill to solve the problem.

The 'art' of driving, is knowing when to blend these skill sets  before a problem develops (like changing lanes before someone pulls into your lane). Unlike emergency maneuvering these are smaller, more subtle adjustments. Adjustments designed to keep you from having to do the more drastic measures. The more artful you are, the better your chances are, not only to avoid an accident, but to arrive quickly, smoothly and safely at your destination

This analogy applies to your personal safety

Things like martial arts training, verbal judo, knowledge and awareness are the skill sets of self-defense. Self-defense is like what you do to prevent an accident when something has gone wrong. It's more drastic and oriented on damage control.

Then there is the art of personal safety. It is doing small things to prevent a problem from occurring in the first place.

Blending the two analogies we have used here. Personal safety is like getting your flu shot before flu season. It automatically lessens the chances of you getting this years mutated flu. Self-defense is what you do when you've gotten the flu and are trying to beat it.

In both cases you are beating the mutations.

Multi-layered Answers to Multi-layered Problems
This is why we feel that any instruction on the subject of personal safety must be multi-layered. This is the only way to acquaint people with the wide variety of issues involved in crime and violence. The information on these Web pages is drawn from many fields and disciplines. It covers a wide array of topics related to the causes and nature of violence. It is not just about self defense and fighting. That is because when it comes to personal safety "fighting prowess" is no more than 5% of the equation. If you choose to ignore the issues that make up the other 95% you will be more vulnerable to crime and violence than if you had no training at all.

Like an onion, this site has many layers. Not everything addressed here will be germane to your situation. However, the more you understand the wider spectrum and what is involved, the more likely you will be to tailor an effective self-defense or, even better, crime avoidance strategy. We strongly suggest you visit the psychology and criminology sections, as many issues that lead to violence, fights, conflict and rape are discussed in-depth.

Having suggested that, there are also areas of specialized self defense that will of little to no interest to people outside law enforcement occupations, martial arts and those interested in developing self defense programs. These groups tend to have specific requirements. As such, the issues we address on those pages will be of very little interest to the average reader. Don't feel obligated to try to work your way through the entire site.

Along those lines, we also address the subjects of  street fighting, knife fighting, agenda driven women's self defense and give a wake up call to  those fixated on those subjects -- as well as a swift kick in the pants to the so-called "reality based self defense" crowd.. In these areas there are a lot of  politics, agendas, misinformation, misconceptions, some unhealthy organizations and down-right dangerous fantasies being promoted. Most of these feed into people's paranoia, anger and low self-esteem.. It is very dangerous to try to use information from such sources in a violent confrontation. Therefore, large sections of this Web page are dedicated to helping people keep from falling into the traps and problems that these kinds of organizations promote. Unless you are involved in these kind of programs, however, what is on those pages will be of very little interest or use to you.

What we are saying is: Take from this site what is useful and germane to you and your situation, don't feel obligated to have to read the whole site. It's too big, too much information and far too intimidating of a task to try.

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1) Unless you drive a stick shift, in which case it goes to four things. Return to Text

Street Safe: How to Recognize and Avoid Violent Crime
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Affordable Security
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The Missing Link: Self-Protection Through Awareness, Avoidance and De-Escalation
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Real World Self-Defense
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The Combat Perspective: A Thinking Man's Guide to Self-Defense
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CQB Clearing Tactics For First Responders/ Patrol Tactics for 911 Officer
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In the Gravest Extreme
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Tactical Shotgun
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Judicious Use of Deadly Force
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Deadly Force Encounters
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