The Weapon I Already Have in My Hand
Predators are often unseen, unheard, and unfelt until they're on you. This is reality.
Many people I know have a concealed carry permit and cary a handgun with them. The average women carries hers in her purse; the average man carries his in his belt holster, his jacket, or the front pocket of his trousers. I have a Glock 42 (.380), and it fits really nicely in a STICKY holster, which I can hide snugly in my jacket or pants pocket. I'm all about firearms; I think every law-abiding citizen should own at least one for self-protection (and others-protection, too). That's one of the reasons I own a handgun. It's not my only reason, but it's near the top of the list.
Here's the deal: if you're ever attacked by a predator, your concealed handgun probably won't help you. Here's why: unless you happen to already have it in your hands, you won't have time to access it, let a alone, chamber a round, and take it from there. To do the above takes considerable time (and practice). Too much time, in fact, to help most people in a predator-type attack situation. If you can see him (or them) coming from a distance (and don't feel like you can escape successfully), yeah, your firearm might come in handy. Helping you deal with someone who's sprung himself on you from seemingly out of nowhere? Not so much.
That's why I recommend all shooters train in hand-to-hand combat. Conversely, I recommend that those who train in hand-to-hand techniques should also shoot at least once a month at a gun range. Hey, if you don't understand how a weapon works (what it sounds, feels, and smells like when it goes off) or it's capabilities and limitations, how will you ever understand truly what's needed to defend yourself against someone with a gun in your back or trained at your head? (You won't. Yes, that was a rhetorical question. So, yeah, everyone should train in hand-to-hand combat [even shooters]. I believe, too, everyone should cary pepper gel with them [again, even shooters]. Mine's on my key ring, and I CARRY IT IN MY HAND whenever I step outside. Why? For several reasons, which are as follows:
Pepper gel (or spray/foam) is venom for humans. Did you know a cobra can spew venom into the eyes of a lion and blind that lion for life? I think that's exceedingly cool. I for one want to behave more like a venomous snake.
If I already have it in my hand, I don't have to try to access it in a situation riddled with chaos, high emotions, extreme stress, and and adrenalin/norepinephrine/cortisol reactionary cocktail coursing through my veins.
Having pepper gel in my hand automatically triggers something within me neurologically. It bumps up my awareness (almost automatically) from Code Yellow to Code Orange (see Col. Jeff Cooper's handy-dandy "Color Code" Awareness Scale" at https://www.policeone.com/police-trainers/articles/2188253-Coopers-colors-A-simple-system-for-situational-awareness/).
My pepper gel has a little clicker, which I click when I'm out and about. And I CLICK IT ALL THE TIME—much to the chagrin of my family and friends when they're with me. This kind of thing draws specific attention to the weapon I have in my hand. It works a lot like a rattlesnake's rattle. If you've ever ventured a little too close to a rattler (I have in western NC), the sound it makes can be quite unnerving. And that's exactly the response I want. I want people to hear and see I've got venom on me and, of course, respond to it appropriately (umm, that would be fearfully). Pepper gel, when you carry it out in the open, can be a significant deterrent. MOST PREDATORS ARE FULLY AWARE OF WHAT PEPPER GEL CAN DO; given this, if they see it on you, they're probably not going to risk going after you. Heck, if I were a predator, I wouldn't. I personally know the effects of both pepper gel and spray, as I've tried both on myself. Hear me on this: pepper products are NASTY. When I ran my tests a few years ago (okay, one was actually by accident—the spray blew back in my face), both products significantly affected my breathing (the spray more than the gel) and my sight (the gel more than the spray). The reason I opt for pepper gel over spray is that it's much heavier and less likely to be blown in the wind (either away from my attacker or back on me or both [if Mr. Murphy's arrived]). Also, If I douse someone with gel and then move in closer to engage additionally with that one, I'm not moving into the misty cloud of pepper product I just dispersed. Sure, with gel, I may likely experience some of the effects, but not enough to render me unable to finish what needs to be done so I can escape to safety.
If you want to purchase pepper gel, here's a link to the product I've been using/carrying/training with for several years:
Like anything, you need to get familiar with its use, and that can only happen through dedicated, consistent practice. Sabre (sabrered.com) has some pretty cool videos that detail the most effective ways to use their products.
Be safe out there, and always carry your pepper gel or spray with you IN YOUR HAND. Even if you take away nothing from this post except that, you'll make my heart glad. I care about you, and I want you to live a long, healthy, fruitful, and intensely satisfying life.
God's peace, friends...
PS...I'm headed out of town for the next week and a half or so. As such, I won't be posting again until Wednesday, July 12, 2018. CU then...
IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):
Mondays: Meditative Prayer
Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline
Fridays: Martial Arts Practice