And that’s a wrap! Or it is?

My experience so far in the blogger world has been absolutely wonderful. At first, I thought I would dread it consistently posting about a topic I knew nothing about but had a small interest in. I wanted to take my topic, be different and really make it my own. Growing up, my father would stress the importance to my sisters and I towards knowing how to protect ourselves. We would line up and practice punching his arm. He would always say, “It’s okay to kick a guy where the sun doesn’t shine as long as you are protecting yourself.” I always wanted to learn more effective techniques and this blog project really gave me that push to actually get out there and give it a try while also making an excuse to take more “selfies” which I would greatly advise to never do before or during carrying out a self-defense move.

While using WordPress, I found that it was very user friendly and quite simple to create my page and make into a type of blog that really stuck out among others.

A very beneficial feature I appreciated was the ability to link personal social media accounts to your page. Social media greatly played a role towards my blog by automatically communicating to online contacts when the page updated and posted new content. This helped anyone keep up to speed with the blog. I actually gained more followers on Twitter by posting interesting articles linked through WordPress. This website improved my understanding towards creating and managing a webpage. This is a great skill anyone could carry with them forever, whether it’s to be familiar with the software out of  boredom, inspiration, or to impress a prospective job. I feel that the more you educate yourself, the more you shine amongst others. My goal in the future is to someday create my own website promoting and selling fused glass products in which this project gave me a good feel towards taking that first step.

Regarding what areas I could’ve handled differently throughout this project, I could’ve improved on spacing out my posts to have more of a consistent flow as I would post a few updates two days apart. However, with what I have learned, I aim to carry on with this project and continue on in the blogging world to inspire others to be a ninja…or to at least feel like one .

Defense when someone is on top of you

Last week I posted a video from Texas Krav Maga, a school teaching self- defense along with kickboxing. I noticed a few instructors teaching young children while waiting for my class to begin. One of the moves they taught that really caught my eye was how to escape when an attacker is on top of you. This is a highly effective tool for anyone, not just women to use. Because who knows, there could be some intimidating muscular women out there too. The world is an unpredictable place.

When the attacker is on top of their victim, their literally using all of their weight to keep you down. One quick and easy way to retaliate can be to spit in their eyes to distract them from the next move you are about to do. While they are on top it is key to bridge out which is to get your legs up, bending at the knees with your feet planted firmly on the ground a few inches from your butt and spread shoulder width for stability. Using whichever foot you are most dominant with, swing it out and hook it around the attacker’s ankle. From there take your hand, more specifically the one opposite from the foot you hooked around their ankle and place it on their side shoving them over to the ground.

In order for you to escape from that undesired position, you will need to trap your attacker’s foot all while doing a “buck and roll” movement. There are cases where your hands may be pinned down in which you would have to buck and roll with more force. If done correctly, you should be able to turn your attacker around and land on top of him. This would be a favorable position to strike and escape out of this particular situation.

Unfortunately I did not capture this technique on any personal raw footage but found a video by Nick Drossos demonstrating quite similarly to to implement this move. You can watch it here.

 

How to minimize damage

It is important to understand that anyone, regardless of your height, weight, strength or overall size can learn how to protect themselves when it comes to prevention or confrontation techniques. Attackers prey on those that appear vulnerable, walking alone in unlit areas. In order to minimize chances towards being victimized, here are some more general safety tips:

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My app-tastic Self Defense idea

My journey towards acquiring and reviewing which techniques are effective for beginners made me ponder. Are there any useful phone applications that pertain towards learning personal safety? I took the initiative to search amongst my Samsung Galaxy 4 to discover what apps roam through the Google Play Store and I found many. One that greatly stuck out was an interactive application, Learn to Fight- Self Defense, that lets the user learn all combat fighting techniques through a 3D character that you can control to demonstrate various punches, kicks, headbutts and much more. It reminded me that learning self-defense is a way to acknowledge the world can be a scary place but learning through this rather entertaining app really sheds some light towards transforming a scary process to improve defense techniques into a more fun learning experience. That very application made me brainstorm, what if I created an app similar yet a little bit better?

                                                         Introducing…selfieeeI created an interface design using the program, Proto.io which is a great resource towards creating a new or improved app idea. If you are ever traveling solo late at night or even through broad daylight in not-so-safe looking areas around town, what better way than to have a safety app? Selfie Defense allows you to interact amongst other users to post pictures and videos of techniques to be knowledgeable towards or even to post epic self-defense fails. This app would aim to bring a more socially educational yet entertaining aspect towards protecting yourself with the sense that, your not alone. So with this app, virtually you would not be walking alone. Here is another general idea towards other features I envision.

selfied

Aside from the social side, this app would also contain a fighting guide in which users could interact with a 3D man or woman to demonstrate various moves in a more interactive way. You can also view other people that you follow to see what they are learning and how realistic their experiences towards different techniques come out to be. Lastly, what I feel would really complete the application is having personalized safety settings. The user can program the app to set off a loud alarm based on a keyword they input into that section of the settings. Whenever the application is running and they yell out the keyword, it will set off an alarm. Another setting would be to enter a set list of 5 emergency contacts in which the app will automatically send a text message of their location coordinates once the keyword triggers the alarm. To disengage the alarm, the owner of the phone would have to repeat the attack word. More advanced settings would be to grant the application to contact authorities once the keyword is hollered or to also take a series of photos to identify the assailant and email them to specifically selected emergency contact. It’s important to be safe but with this app, I would hope for phone users to feel safe.

Any tool can be used for safety. Get creative!

Here are some everyday tips to protect yourself from a world that does have some dangerous creepy crawlers lurking the streets. These may not be professional self-defense techniques I have found, however, they are some quick and easy reminders for those that have yet to practice and safety movements.

arm on fire

Pun intended. Photo from ftense.com

As I stated in a previous post, it is important to have a firearm as one form of protection. This weapon of choice is for those that do have a CHL (Concealed Handgun License). Although it is quite an effective tool to ensure your personal safety, it is important to understand how to use it.

Another valuable alternative to carrying a hand gun is to at least purchase pepper spray. To safely use it, be sure to aim the mace directly at the assailant’s face. It is not recommended to run after the victim as I would hope many of you understand this could cause pepper spray to get in your own eyes.

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Overly excited man using spray. Photo from sodahead.com

Other substitutes for any ladies out there could be to carry a small bottle of hairspray because it is essential to even have in your possession as a girl. It’s a cosmetic thing. For both men and women another secret weapon that could be used as mace is to use any brand of Wasp and Hornet killer spray. So when roaming the dark and windy streets always remember, get creative! Because almost any item could essentially be used to protect oneself. If you don’t believe me, click here.

It’s normal to have a gun in Texas

I cannot count how many times I have been advised to keep a handgun in possession at all times followed by the all time famous, “it’s Texas” reasoning. It’s the norm here. Whether you believe in gun legislation or not, Texas has more gun owners than any other state in the Union. According to texaslesstraveled.com, about 51 million Texans own firearms. As a matter of fact, Texas owns about 20% of all the guns in the United States where the total gun count is 240 million.

Owning any type of gun is one alternative towards protection from burglaries or robbers. Living in a state where guns are right at home, it is an effective way to protect one self from unexpected danger. According to Newsmax.com, “Texas lawmakers have made no provisions for those who hold concealed-carry permits from Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Vermont, or Wisconsin.” Residents of Texas who contain a permit to legally conceal and contain a firearm are, however, allowed to bring and carry a handgun within the borders as well as in 35 other states. These authorized states are listed within the Newsmax site here. I recently had the opportunity to learn the correct way to grip and safely set off a .45 and .40 caliber handgun. Unfortunately due to other customers’ safety within the shooting range, I was not allowed to capture a selfie before demonstrating the use of a firearm nor would I prefer to even attempt. It would be too intense, extreme, and dangerous of course.

 

wpid-20141005_161017.jpgBefore jumping into firing one’s first shot, hold your horses! It is important to buy earplugs or headphone-style ear protection to muffle the noise of the gunshots and prevent damage of your eardrums. Safety glasses or goggles are also urged to protect your eyes from lead particulates that can eject from the weapon or flying shells. It is very important to familiarize yourself with the proper stance prior to shooting a gun. I learned upon my first try firing a gun by one of the shooting range employees to always lean forward. Never lean back! Always keep your feet shoulder-length apart and knees slightly bent. While I felt it to be comfortable to have one foot in front of the other, I noticed other more experienced customers to keep them slightly apart horizontally but it really is a preference and it is key to stay calm and collected. It pains me to say, shooting a gun is more than operating a squirt gun or the fake firearms you see in arcades that rewards you with tickets to get a cool prize you may or may not use ever again. It’s a real, powerful weapon that can harm people and owning one should only be, and I would hope many of you reading would only use this tool merely for self-defense only, unless you like hunting then that doesn’t count based on the topic of interest. Which is, drum role please, Self-defense!

 

 

Aside from stance and safety equipment, it’s essential to select a gun based on your body type and personal needs. For beginners, a reliable type of gun is preferred to be a small-caliber gun, such as a .22. I found that shooting with a .45 and a .40 had a stronger kick upon the after-effects of firing the gun. When handling a gun, always keep it away from others and facing downwards. Many beginners, including myself, struggle to cock back the slide on top of the gun using just your forefinger and thumb. Certain weapons have a stronger spring in which it is alright to use your palm to operate the slide, while pointing the gun in a downrange position at all times before shooting. Before shooting, I first practiced how to hold a gun while unloaded to understand how it feels. I would recommend this to many first timers to really familiarize oneself with what you are about to do and experience the correct way to fire it. To learn more towards handling and firing a gun, refer to this very informational page I stumbled upon here. This instructional article helped me understand the importance towards understanding safety in order to effectively protect yourself and others.