A/N- Another sweet survival addon in Chris Ryan's style, A very rough overview on this topic since it is so huge. So much more stuff I wanted to add but this is the crux of it. Brutally honest and overly flippant in places, think of it as an educational piece as well as a bit of fun.
Grey's Guide to Self Defence and Surviving Violence.
Alpha Force regularly find themselves engaged in Close Quarters Combat (CQC) during their work all over the world. Luckily, with Li's help they have a rudimentary knowledge of how to defend themselves and have practiced doing this in a safe environment. Not everyone has that luxury to prepare them for interpersonal violence so what follows are a few tips and tricks to surviving from a seasoned fighter.
Your goal in any violent situation should ultimately be trying to get through as unscathed as possible, anything else going through your head is secondary. The best way to avoid getting injured is to not be there when the punches are being thrown.
RUN AWAY! If the situation allows it, your best bet is to turn tale and run like the wind. There is no shame at all in just legging it and realistically it is the smartest course of action.
Alternatively, you may want to do something to defuse the potentially hostile situation. Sometimes this can be as easy an apology or buying the bloke another drink to replace the one you knocked over. If you got the gift of the gab (like me) try and talk them out of coming to blows, appeal to their reason and sensibilities without trying to sound condescending.
It may mean handing over your wallet and phone if that is what the confrontation is about. The point is that you get away unharmed. How much is your phone or wallet worth? Is it worth a permanent disability? How about getting stabbed? Didn't think so….
People have been killed for less in the past though, so consider surrendering it if you think it will placate your attacker. Money and possessions are replaceable, your health and life are not…
Some situations however will mean that running or peaceful negotiation are not an option. In this instance you may need to go into the pantry and get out those unopened cans of whip-arse that you have been saving.
Serving suggestion: in the face!
All jokes aside, gapping or yacking are out of the question so it looks like you are going to have to take action. Before you do anything you need to consider how much danger you are presented with, this will help you come up with an appropriate response (in the Laws eyes) to the threat you are faced with.
If you can, at some stage try and find out your country, state or hicktowns policy in regards to self defence as it varies according to location. Here in NZ all the prosecuting power lies with the bad guys it seems, regardless of how you respond, but in the States and many other countries things are a bit looser and there is a greater right to defend oneself.
Your threat assessment should be taking place from the instant your interaction begins with the other party, what you are trying to establish is the numbers, motive and potential of the attackers. Having this information will help you decide how best to defend yourself.
How many of them are there? How many reliable friends have you got around? Are nearby bystanders likely to rally to their side or yours? Does he have a whole backseat of drunken mates, who have his back? The potential number of opponents is a really important factor to account for because it increases the danger tenfold.
Fighting an unknown opponent one on one is hard enough. If you are outnumbered then you are in serious trouble, it isn't like in the movies where the group dances around menacingly until you have knocked out his predecessors. They may just all go you at once or a couple will hold your attention while another kinghits you from behind.
Whatever they decide to do, it is all bad news for you and have three options really: Even the odds, get the hell out or be rapidly reduced to an amorphus blob of broken bones and internal bleeding.
You know how many of them there are, now what do they want? What has started this trouble, why does this guy want you to eat pavement? Have you just rear-ended his car, did you look at his baby's momma wrong? Is this aggressor a mugger, a rapist, a psychopath out looking for a fight? By understanding their motivation for attack you stand a better chance of deescalating things.
The reason for the violence will also change the nature of their attack according to what their desired outcome is.
Examples; A mugger wants a distraction, usually a single stunning hit, to give them an opportunity to grab some loot and go. Most sexual attackers look to establish dominance through violence or the threat of violence so as to ensure his victims submission to his dastardly deeds.
A male on male conflict (The monkey dance) is also usually an act of dominance, to establish a social hierarchy. Accordingly, these hierarchy conflicts usually start with posturing and heavy words, many will not go any further. When they do, it is rarely serious as one guy is just trying to prove himself superior and this is usually achieved by knocking his opponent down.
You can see how a change in motive transforms the nature of the expected assault. Believe it or not, humans are actually pretty strongly hardwired, naturally and socially not to intentionally harm each other. It is usually when drugs and alcohol come into the equation that these lines are blurred and things truly become dangerous.
Consider how much damage this person is likely to do. How physically capable are they and what are the possible repercussions of an attack? Realising quickly what is at stake will help justify how hard and dirty you fight. Are they armed, high or appear mentally unstable? All of these factors will increase how dangerous the person is.
Finally you need to consider your own abilities and resources that can be utilised against a threat. By realistically assessing your capabilities you can better find a way to handle the situation.
For example: if like me, you know you aren't a great runner (my legs are only made for kicking and stomping) don't try run if you think they will chase you. Rather then running and getting your arse beat down, talk your way out or stop him from being able to follow you.
Okay you have quickly sized up your opponent; it should only take a few seconds, now you need to decide how best to stop him. Depending on the level of threat you feel, it may be time to arm yourself at this point.
Big danger, find or make a weapon. This is especially pertinent if your opponent already has one or if there is more then one aggressor. Defending yourself unarmed, against an enemy with a weapon is like running naked through a grizzly bear enclosure covered in BBQ sauce: you are just asking to end up in the morgue. Even the most experienced fighter would hesitate when confronted with an attacker armed with a decent blade or stick.
If you ever attended a self-defence class or trained in a dojo disarming opponents with weapons, just remember these magical techniques that work so well on the thick cushy mat have never been tried or tested against an actual angry, armed opponent. It is scary as hell in the real world and you are extremely lucky just to survive, trust me, I know. Personally, I'd rather take my chances with the bears, but that is partly just because I look so damn good naked and lathered up for a BBQ.
Don't get me wrong it is doable, especially against an inexperienced foe, but if you are not a fighter then it is a bit unrealistic. If you are a fighter, ignore this section and instead whip your attacker in the eyes with your recently won UFC champion belt.
For the sake of this lets assume you aren't Rocky and move on to utilising your own weapons for defence.
Improvised Defensive Weapons (IDWs).
Someone once said that god is all around us. Excuse my blasphemy, but they were right, he is; in the form of everyday items and objects we can use to beat, choke and stab the violence out of an attacker. You don't have to be Macgyver to fill a sock with batteries and hit a guy with it. Batteries and spare socks are often in short supply in life threatening situations though, so I'll talk about some other items you may have on your person or handbag (or manbag, I'm not judging).
Forget the crap you read in the female safety pamphlet at the YMCA, the idea of poking your keys out between your fingers is laughable at best until you actually try hitting someone like that and break your hand. If the old carkeys happen to be all you have though, think about holding them downwards so the tips extend out the bottom of your closed hand. Like this you can actually get a decent Icepick stab or slash going on. Sounds impractical on paper, but the results speak for themselves when your attacker is screaming and holding a ruined, empty eye socket courtesy of your Toyota.
A tube of lipstick or deodorant can also be used to great effect simply by holding it in the same way as the keys, to create a hard nub at the bottom of your hand. Have a couple of centimetres poking out and admire the dents it leaves in skulls and chest walls. Any small cylindrical object can also simply be held in your fist to reinforce your closed hand blows.
If you don't carry pepperspray, mace or the like it is easy enough to improvise. As any one as inattentive as myself can vouch for, a decent spray of Lynx Africa or Rexona will leave your eyes stinging for hours. Don't try lighting it on fire that is just silly and risks the can exploding in your hand.
An amusing book I got my Ex-GF one unfortunate birthday was entitled stiletto Kung Fu, spoiler alert; the name was the best piece of advice in the book. Ladies, those six-inch heels of yours can deal some serious damage with a good stomp or if you take them off and hold them with the toes in your palm, heels out.
I could write whole chapters on more weapons you can improvise but instead just let me finish with your environment.
Weapons From Your Environment.
Look around you. A stray length of wood, a disused piece of pipe or that loose brick could be your saviour when the chips are down. Almost every wooden fence has a loose picket in it, if you can find it quick enough you may just have acquired yourself a nifty club. You can apologise for any vandalism later. Be aware of the objects in your environment.
Most violence occurs at night, in areas of high foot traffic and population like the bars and clubs; plenty of stuff for you to use there.
A bottle or pint can do some decent damage with a good hit and provide a good distraction for your getaway. If the bottle or glass breaks, no big deal; stab whatever you can reach with the sharp end and get the hell out of there. Note bar glasses are usually of low quality and break easily; you can't always count on a solid hit so make up for it with a decent gouge. Bottles vary in quality too, the South American ones surprisingly, I found were the strongest and took a real good hit to break. Hence why I drink Corona.
You are not really a scrapper until you have hit another patron with a barstool. Depending on the weight, they can be an excellent choice as a weapon to surprise the guy beating up your mate. If they look flimsy, give one a decent stomp; you may have just made yourself a baton. A lot of bars these days also have potted plants or vases, snot a bloke with one of them and he will remember it. These weapons are more unwieldy though and often work best with the element of surprise.
Last but not least, my favourite. A good, gritty fistful of sand, thrown into the face really takes the steam out of an assault. Throw it hard when they get close and try not to release it into the wind. That smarts.
Be imaginative, be brutal. Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for.
Carrying weapons on your person for your defence is a risky move. It can create a false sense of security unless you have had plenty of practice using it and are confident in retaining it. Most deaths occur at the hand of the defenders own weapon. If you do decide on carrying something try something light and easy, a startler or even a whistle is an effective tool for deterring attack with relatively little danger to the carrier.
Remember anything you are willing to carry you must be prepared to have it taken off you and used on you!
No weapons? That's okay you are naturally gifted with a decent set already. Hands, feet, knees, elbows, head and teeth. You have quite an arsenal there at your disposal if you know how and when to use it. We'll go into specific techniques later but for now we will talk about your targets.
If you are in genuine danger remember the big three; Eyes, throat and knees. These are your optimum target zones. I can already hear you females screaming; "The nuts! Kick him in the nuts!" Now ladies, I hate a kick in the manhood as much as the next bloke but just be aware that it may not stop your attacker. If the guy is crazy, pissed, jacked up on drugs, a eunuch or all of the above they may just keep on coming. Albeit, a little bit angrier then before.
Give them a jab with five fingers straight at the eyes, at least one will get in and then they will stop. They can't see you, they can't chase you can they? Or defend themselves either actually, if you are that way inclined and insulted by their unprovoked attack.
Throat, I am yet to find an attacker who remained a threat while rolling on the ground, spluttering and clutching Larynx. Apparently breathing is a perquisite to fighting. Even a stern jab with a couple of fingers is enough sometimes if you land it right in the notch above their sternum. Otherwise a straight punch works well and will leave them gasping, with that in mind, don't hit them as hard as you can unless you fancy the manslaughter charges. No that one wasn't a joke, you will straight up kill someone if you slot them a hard one in the rasper, so save it for the really bad guys only, ok? And then don't tell the police I told you to do it.
Have you ever lent a stick against something and stomped it to make smaller branches for kindling? Funnily enough attacking the knees is very similar including the hollow snap. Note that dry sticks however still work better for getting a fire started though. Think about driving your foot straight through their leg either directly above or straight on the patella (Kneecap). It takes very little force to stop even the largest of prison muscled crazies. As you probably figured, they won't be chasing you or playing hopscotch in a hurry after that.
Keep you hands up and open at face height to protect your head, think about looking just overtop your finger tips as if you were aiming a rifle. Keep you elbows tucked close to your body to guard your ribs and pivot to block blows on your flank.
Keep your hands open when striking, utilise slaps, palms and hits with the edge of your hand. This is because it is just too easy to hit hard stuff on your foe with your fists and break all kinds of important, fragile things in your mitts. Open hands means you don't break them on the thugs noggin, because that makes victory high-fives with your mates afterwards painful.
The exception to this should be the hammerfist; a closed hand strike identical to how you would pound on a door. A safe hard hit that will knock your opponents temples or jaw for six. Also useful for letting your flatmate know that you have forgotten your key and would like her to let you in. with handstrikes aim for the jaw, nose, ears, neck, lower ribs, the temples (the area between your ears and forehead) and the kidneys.
Elbow and knee to these areas if they get in close, they are most excellent weapons that will inflict a lot of damage.
Your Best Weapon.
What is your best Weapon?
Wait for the cliché…..
Your mind. Well that or a larger stick/knife/boomerang/pillow/flamethrower then your opponent.
Finishing on a serious note, stay switched on and you can avoid these situations altogether.
Consider these safety points;
-Avoid using an ipod, phone or mp3 when you are out in public, it muffles your hearing, displays wealth, demands your attention and may distract you from noticing the development of an attack.
-Be aware, look around, notice people, keep an eye on the ones acting suspect. If you are alert, you are a harder target for predators.
-Have your keys out and ready before you get to the door you need to unlock, whether this is your flat or your car. It is a moment of distraction and the perfect opportunity for an attack.
-If you are of age (of course) and drinking, don't get too drunk and if your social life will survive it, avoid the clubs and pubs. That is where bad people go to find intoxicated and therefore vulnerable people. I know I sound like an old person here, but it's true this is where the majority of violence occurs. I see what happens in that side of the world for a living. You have been warned.
-Dress conservatively and be aware of your colours if you are in an area with strong gang culture.
-Do not get separated from your group, stick together and look after your mates.
FanFiction and The Grey Southpaw would like to make it clear that this advice is given for use in a serious situation only, where your life could be at risk. We cannot accept any liability for inappropriate usage in normal conditions.