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“Self defense experts C.M. Griffin and Cheryl stopped the studio this morning to teach women’s self defense!” announces in the breathless bubble-headed bleach blond style so popular amongst caffeinating TV viewers. As part of the post-game internet action, the station offers “some helpful tips from” Here’s the list. What’s missing?

1. Look where you’re going. Check out the gas station, ATM, 7-Eleven etc. before you pull up/go in.

2. Pay attention: Turn off your iPod/iPhone etc. when out in public. Don’t jog with earphones.

3. Maintain a personal comfort zone: No stranger or hostile relation is allowed to get closer than 5 feet to you without vetting or permission.

4. Walk wide around building corners: Don’t get jumped.

5. React: Practice a high speed flinch response in the event you’re surprised by a sound, movement or touch.

6. Watch your drink: Someone could slip a drug in your cocktail.

7. Don’t let strangers in: Always call 911 if an intruder is trying to break in your home.

8. Flat tire in a bad neighborhood? Drive on your rims. New wheels are a small price to pay for avoiding a violent car jacking.

9. Someone gives you a bad feeling? as you walk down a street? Use an alternate route.

10. You’re being mugged for your money: Don’t fish around in your purse/wallet for bills. Be cooperative. Give them your whole wallet (prepare a separate “mugging” wallet with a few dollars).

I’m not 100 percent on that separate but hopefully unequal “mugging wallet” idea. That seems particularly defeatist. By rewarding criminal behavior the practice encourages it. Then again… clever! Throw your wallet at them and run! Or attack!

Yeah, where’s that bit? While the folks at are all about the counter — judging by their video at the top of this post — the Fox affiliate left counterattacking on the table. Wrong answer. Wake up and smell the coffee guys.

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    • This will work for sure:

      5. React: Practice a high speed flinch response in the event you’re surprised by a sound, movement or touch.

      What could go wrong? Rapists HATE flinches.

  1. I think, at a minimum, people should carry a knife. Everyone can carry some type of knife. Preferably a gun, but arbitrary age restrictions as well as certain situations sometimes make that impossible.

    • In many states, I believe GA is one of them, knives are regulated.
      That’s why GA carry permit is called a CCW (Carry Concealed Weapon) rather than CPL (Carry Pistol License).
      Almost anyone can carry a small folding knife but I wouldn’t count on that for self defense.
      How about a screw driver?

      • 1000 lumen flashlight is downright painful when directly shone in the eyes.

        And, flashlights are under the radar of most “controllers” as something to be limited/controlled.

        We have Fenix lights.

        • I always have a streamlight strion on hand, the strobe is down right sickening. At home i have a SL Stinger. My wife hasn’t come around to guns yet so I taught her to grab the stinger and her knarly can of pepper spray to hold someone off until her fear of harm overcomes her fear of grabbing the 9mm next to the bed.

        • The only time a flashlight is actually painful is when it its 12″ long, filled with D-cell batteries, and used as an impact weapon.

        • “The only time a flashlight is actually painful is when it its 12″ long, filled with D-cell batteries, and used as an impact weapon.”

          More “perfection or nothing” nonsense.

          I’m guessing you have never had a light that bright shone in your eyes, unexpectedly, at 2-3 ft distance.

          For defense purposes, a second or two distraction works, and is far, far better than nothing.

      • Or you have San Antonio (although I believe it has changed).

        Texas prohibits knives over a certain size (say 5″). SA prohibited knives specifically under that size (5″). As a result, all carried knives were banned.

  2. I had friends back in the city who carried “mugging money” with them.
    They then wondered why over the years panhandlers got more and more aggressive.

    When the hell as “just give them what they want” ever resulted in a positive outcome? They ALWAYS come back for more and more and more.
    Panhandlers, muggers, rapists and politicians alike.

    • I had friends back in the city who carried “mugging money” with them.

      Absolutely true. New Yorkers are very familiar with the concept of “mugger money.” People were advised that they should always carry money with them so that the muggers would not get angry and kill or maim them.

      I carried mugger money for a while. Then I started to carry something a bit more practical and effective.

    • When the hell [h]as “just give them what they want” ever resulted in a positive outcome? They ALWAYS come back for more and more and more.
      Panhandlers, muggers, rapists and politicians alike.

      I cannot think of a better application of the “pay now or pay later” proverb than to this situation. Either you can pay a little “pacification” money now and more and more later … including possibly even paying with your life because you have continually emboldened parasites and predators with your inaction. Or, you can pay now with a proportional violent response such that you won’t have to pay parasites and predators ever again.

      Choose wisely.

  3. Lawyers, lawyers is what happened.

    They can’t tell people to fight back, or if they do, they have to severely limit the circumstances in which they tell people it’s OK to do so.

    Why? Because someone will sue them, “Errrmeergeeerd! Fox19 told me to fight back. They’re the reason I’m in the hospital! Now gimme money!”

    • You and I may not have the same definition of Slutty. We may not even be using that word in the same way.

      And besides, it is too close to victim blaming. Mugging people is never acceptable and has nothing to do with fashion.

      • Mugging and rape are both directed at victims of opportunity. Victims that are vulnerable do to location/isolation from witnesses/vulnerability due to age, size, incapacitation of some sort (drugs/alcohol).

  4. Didn’t it used to be bad and wrong to tell women to adjust their behavior because bad people might do bad things to them if they did not?

    Now it seems thuggery is OK, and people, especially women, should just adjust.

    Or am I confused again?

    I am not detecting a coherent theory or world view from these prescriptions.

    Bonus question: What’s your move when the b g’s goal is yr person, not money you can chuck n run?

  5. When I was moving from a small town to Dallas to go to school, my dad told me to walk with shoulders back, stand up straight, walk like you know where you are going, don’t act like a rabbit, if someone grabs you fight back and nothing good happens after Midnight. It was very good advice. One piece of advice I would add is carry mace on keychain.

  6. We’re being kinda picky, here. Some portions of the solution are obvious, shouldn’t need us to waste our time repeating them. Since ya’ll seem to be obtuse in that regard, I’ll spell it out for you.

    Step one; throw wallet (real or pretend)
    Step two; Shoot sumbitch while he’s not looking
    Step three; Pick up wallet, kick sumbitch
    Step four; Walk away whistling happy tune

    Was that easy, or what?

  7. Dear God, what did I just watch? I suspect the main advantage of this style is your attacker may be so dumbfounded by what he’s just witnessed you can escape before the shock wears off. Most “Women’s Self Defense” I’ve seen simply seems designed to instill a dangerous sense of self-confidence, this is no different. People simply don’t want to accept being good with your hands involves actually spending time and effort training.

  8. It’s interesting, but even self-defense icons like Massad Ayoob have recommended toting a throwaway wallet with a few bucks in it. I’ve never done so, but the idea has certainly been around for a while.

    • In all seriousness, I have so much stuff in my pockets that I don’t have room for a decoy wallet. I have a flashlight in one pocket. Often a cell phone in another. A spare magazine in yet another. A tiny Swiss Army knife in yet another pocket along with my concealed carry license.

  9. “10. You’re being mugged for your money: Don’t fish around in your purse/wallet for bills. Be cooperative. Give them your whole wallet (prepare a separate “mugging” wallet with a few dollars).”

    So does that imply:
    11. You’re being attacked by a rapist: Don’t beg, don’t fight, just get your pants down, lay down, spread your legs and get ready to fake an orgasm.

    This is total BS! I would say, “Get some serious H2H training, stay in good shape, have shoes on that allow you to run, have multiple weapons/alarms ready and know how to use them. If you can, carry a gun, get trained with it, carry it where you can get to it quickly and if some guy tries to rape you, get enough distance to draw and zipper the guy from his crotch to his head. No one will second guess you for it.

  10. Why does the self defense video attached to this article show fat men slap fighting and break dancing???

    I’m so f*cking confused right now.

  11. Ok, point One: The “Awareness Tips” are for preventing attacks before they happen. If you can escape you won’t have to fight. Police statistics show 9 times out of 10 the victim felt something was wrong before they were attacked but ignored their intuition because of cultural conditioning.

    Two: We do not promote passivity. As we explain throughout the website and our learning materials, if you can’t escape and you think you could die (which is very likely in an assault/rape/abduction scenario), you fight with the ferocity of a cornered sewer rat. You rip out their eyeballs, crush their trachea, bite them in the face–whatever you need to do to get away.

    Three: We are all about using accessible weapons of any kind and especially guns (see our training materials) but you need to be able to fight hand to hand if you want to have even a prayer of drawing your knife/gun/pepper spray before you’re totally over-powered.

    Four: The video the TV station chose to accompany the “Awareness Tips” list is inappropriate and completely out of context because it deals with advanced material no one can do first time out. If they were being even a remotely responsible news outlet (something I should know about, working in Network News), they would’ve shown videos of simple close quarters combat we made especially to accompany the Awareness List, stuff anyone can learn to do quickly and practice by themselves. Example: By the way, here’s the page the list was actually taken from, which clearly shows the information within the context I’ve been talking about:

    –Matt Kovsky, co-author “Attack Proof”, “How to fight for Your Life”

  12. I carry a “mugging wallet”.The plan is to throw it at the mugger creating a distraction to allow me to pull my gun or run if I was not carrying. Even if he gets away with it, I aven’t loss anything but a few bucks. Beats losing my DL, CHL, credit cards, etc

  13. Growing up as an unarmed Native of Brooklyn, NY City – we’d carry “Muggin’ Money” separate from our wallet. Give up a inconsequential wad of $1’s rather than your wallet. That was when I was a “yute” and not nowadays….

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