During one of the Corporate Self-Defence Workshop, I did for a large IT company; I was told that the company had recently distributed free “Pepper spray” to every female employee. While this is a good move, but have we ever considered the pepper spray might not get the job done? No, I’m not suspecting the quality of the product, nor do I doubt one’s ability to use it in a “controlled environment.”
The problem starts when the situation is not normal, and the environment is anything but controlled. Violence in the street is dynamic / evolving, and no two crimes are the same. If I ask you to use the pepper spray now, 9 out of 10 people will use it properly, keeping in mind that we have read the instruction and also have opened the safety lock at the first place.
If you have a look at all the mugging or sexual assault videos in YouTube or elsewhere, you see two things that stand out.
- The attacker always utilizes an element of surprise
- There is a threat of violence, be it abuses or with a weapon to subdue the victim.
While facing a threat, our mind goes into a shock, and our body gets dumped with adrenalin. Now consider this, you have a brand-new pepper spray in your bag, and you’re smart enough to test the product earlier, and it worked perfectly. Will you be able to use this pepper spray under duress? The answer will probably be a big NO, and the reason for this “No” is lack of muscle memory. Muscle memory comes into play when “the presence of mind” goes out of the window.
When we purchase products such as pepper spray or baton for self-defence; it functions on the principle that we’ll have the presence of mind to use it when in need. Like I said earlier, presence of mind is the first casualty when under stress. The only thing which will help is muscle memory, but how does one build muscle memory to use pepper spray? The answer is simple, by practicing.
The other difficulty with Pepper spray or for that matter any other self-defence gear is that it is meant for emergency and crises do not happen every day. Over a while, we forget about it and go about living happily until the time strikes, and just like this emergency money we’d concealed & never discovered, the same thing happens to the self-defense equipment that we had purchased.
So, what’s the solution?
- For starters take out that pepper spray or any other self-defense gear you purchased and see if it’s in working condition.
- Remember even pepper spray has an expiry date and it is better to test it now and then instead of carrying a dud.
- Keep the pepper spray can with you all the time or at a location, which is readily accessible.
- Make it a habit to carry the pepper spray in your hand when walking in a dim lit alley, approaching your vehicle in the dark or any situation which makes you uneasy.
What’s your last line of defense?
Remember, equipment’s fail or might not be available at the time of need. It is wise to have the last line of defence, and I recommend Krav Maga to be that last line of defence. Made for the streets & urban environment, Krav Maga is self-defence and urban combat system from Israel with steep learning curve & brutal counter strikes that can stop any attacker in his track.
Why Krav Maga?
Get in shape:
People think of Krav Maga as the ability to overcome the assailant with a lethal counter-attack, I would like to disagree. Beating your attacker black & blue is just a byproduct of learning Krav Maga, the real benefit is to get in shape. Get a superb workout and become a better version of yourself.
Besides conditioning you physically, Krav Maga focuses on mental alertness. Every drill is performed under stress so that it sticks to you. Key focus on situational awareness & scanning.
Ideal for people of all shapes & sizes
Krav Maga is for everyone, regardless of form, size & fitness level. It is based on natural body movements and focuses on the vulnerable part of the human body, which allows you to take down a larger opponent in any violent scenario.
What to do next?
Now that you of aware of what Krav Maga can do for you, it is time to Join a class near you or speak to your HR to organize for a workshop in your organisation.