Trigger Finger

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The best Defense…

don’t be caught dead here.

The best self-“defense” is not a good “offense” but never to be in the game in the first place.                       Don’t be an easy target.

This means that you can train until you are a master at self-defense techniques, you can have the coolest new tactical gear and the best weapons but the question is, why use them if you do not have to?  Maybe you do not have all of those things, yet the question is still remains the same, why put yourself in a situation where you might need self-defense, if you do not have to?

There are places, people and things that you do in everyday life that either put you further away from having an encounter with criminals or crimes or more likely to have a problem with being attacked.  Understanding this makes all the difference in living safely.  You should always be aware of what is around you and where and who your daily routine brings you in contact with and if this routine can be changed to ensure your safety.

Criminals work in a certain way; they do this because they have found that certain techniques work better than others for committing crime.  In effect, criminals are professionals, experts at their “jobs” if you can call it that.  They in their own twisted way have made a profession and developed skills by taking advantage of others.  These skills and techniques include things like: working late at night; in low or no light conditions; in places with few or no people; they pray on those that are weaker or have made themselves vulnerable through isolation; drugs or alcohol; and many more.

Inebriation effects your ability to be aware of your surroundings

Thinking about how criminals act will give you a good idea of places, people and situations to avoid. Now, I know that we are all busy and we can’t change our whole routine just to avoid what might happen.  However, we can be more aware of our surroundings and make a conscious effort to notice potential danger zones and identify places we need to be more careful and more prepared.  And, also to identify the places, people and situations that we absolutely do need to avoid in order to be safe.

Young women have the highest potential of getting attacked and if you think about it this makes since if you consider the all that we have talked about.  Young women tend to stay out late, go to parties with unknown men, some drink alcohol and take drugs; all things that make them a little more vulnerable.  This is not to say that young women can’t have fun but they need to be aware of the risks.  We all do, and the best part about this kind of self-defense is it just takes a little bit of thinking, a few changes and awareness.  No fancy gear, no long days at the range and no expense, just common sense and taking the time to think about your life.

Sight Alignment

Remember that for comprehensive instruction you will need to find an instructor that will teach you and know how to help make sure you have this skill down.  However, this is a great starter video so that you can understand the terms and concept of Sight Alignment.

Fitness-Ragnar

This week I am posting early because I am off to run the ragnar relay race.  It is the Wasatch Back.  Fitness is one of the best parts of self-defense training. But don’t worry you don’t have to run a race like the ragnar to be good at self-defense.  Start slow and you will get to your self-defense and fitness goals in no time.  The key is to be persistent.

Fitness like I said is great as long as you stay safe while training. So the self-defense tip while short today is important.  Being aware is the most important part of your exercise program.  Many women are attacked while running. Learning how to protect yourself from the bad guy does not just mean hand to hand training or firearms training but it means to stay out of situations that are dangerous.

While running you should not listen to music with headphones as it limits your ability to hear people that might be approaching you from behind.  Find routes that involve a lot of people, this does not include mountain trails or central park at night.  Seclusion makes it easy for an attacker to get you one on one.

Change your route often.  A routine can be followed, every time you go running go a different way and if possible at a different time.

Be smart and safe.  and get running.

8 things you should think about before carrying a gun.

It often strikes me funny the conversations that I frequently have as a firearms instructor with other people.  My job as a firearms instructor, or at least what I believe to be my job, is to create an environment that will fulfill the needs of all people to be protected.  Whether that protection is from the government, someone you know or the possibility of randomly being a victim.  I, however, find that my efforts to fulfill those needs do not always line up with what most people see as being needed.  What I mean by that is I meet a lot of people who do not think that they need training in order to learn how to defend themselves or they believe that their previous experiences of being around firearms their whole life is a sufficient amount of information and skill to provide them with the ability to defend themselves effectively.  I am here to tell you that I was one of those people, until I started to train to be a firearms instructor and learned that self-defense skills, tactics and shooting is a completely different world.

This does not mean that you have to be an instructor or spend every spare hour you have training and thinking about how to protect yourself but it does mean that if you are one of these people that say, “I don’t need all that or I have been around firearms my whole life and I can protect myself”, then you are in trouble.

It is this false sense of security about our abilities or knowledge about “violence” that get us most in trouble in situations where we need skills not empty words and vibrato to save us.  Enough said.

Thing Number 1 that you need to think about is: ( in the spirit of Dr. Suess I will name these sections, thing 1-8

Learning both armed and unarmed self-defense techniques.  Will you always have your firearm with you?  Will it always be readily accessible in seconds?  The FBI has statistics that let us know the average gun fight is within 3 feet of each participant.  Three feet is arms length distance.  It may very well be that you will have to first know how to get out of an arm grab before you can access your weapon.

Thing 2

Learn the basic laws of your home State.  In our world of lawyers and lawsuits, it is extremely important that you know what the laws are and when it is appropriate according to the law to use self-defense.  Also, knowing the law can help you understand better your right to carry.

Thing 3

Know your enemy.  Take a class on criminal behavior.  Criminals do not have the same moral restrictions that normal people posses.  You need to learn that these nasty people do not have a problem with hurting or killing you.  It does not even cross their mind twice.

Thing 4

Learn how to avoid these situations through tactics.  Knowing how to shoot someone or kicking them where it hurts is fantastic but why be in that situation if you don’t have to be.  Staying out of those types of situations is as easy as learning a few tactics and maybe making some changes in lifestyle.  But change is good, right?

Thing 5

Take a tactical shooting course. Yes, I know, you have been around firearms your whole life.  But you haven’t been in scary stressful situations with firearm your whole life.  You need to learn how to deal with your firearm when you are losing functionality and thought because you are so scared of what might happen next.

Thing 6

Choose the appropriate firearm.  While I respect the history behind Grandpa’s lever action rifle or the shotgun that has been in the family for years, that doesn’t mean that is the appropriate gun to protect you and your family.  Women be careful with this one because I know a lot of guys who think they are helping by picking out your firearm but do much more harm than good.  A firearm should be chosen by the person using it and should be as close as possible to fulfilling all the needs that that weapon should provide.

Thing 7

Choose a good instructor.  You wouldn’t go sky diving with an instructor who had only been around parachutes their whole life but had never jumped out of a plane, right?  Well let’s hope not.  So make sure that your instructor really knows their stuff and that they are experience in the type of training that they are offering.  This does not mean they have to be law enforcement or military and in fact sometimes that is just a façade to get customer to take their classes.   Do some homework.

Thing 8

Practice.  Once you learn the skills, use them as much as you can.  That way they will become second nature and you won’t have to think in a self-defense situation when someone is running at you with a knife, “know what did my instructor tell me to do?”

 

Your life is the most important thing you own.  It is not crazy or unreasonable to seek out training to make sure that you continue to live.  It is also not a bad investment of your money, either.  We buy life insurance policies to make sure that our family won’t be left with nothing in case we die.  But wouldn’t it be better to put some of that money it to being proactive and making sure that we can stick around to be with our families.  I believe it is.

Life is a Mind Game

The mind is a powerful muscle one that needs to be flexed often through reading, studying and learning.   New tasks allow the mind to work to create new pathways and understanding.  A lot of the training that you will encounter as you learn how to defend yourself, either with a weapon or with your hands will be like this; meaning that you will struggle with it at first.  Do not worry, you are not alone in this, anyone who has attempted learning skills like presenting your weapon to a target or learning how to punch correctly have had the same trouble.  It is hard but it will get better, that is my promise to you.

This article is to let you know, not to give up!!  Hang in there, it truly does get better and if you stick to it, before you know it, you will be doing tactical reloads like you were born to…and if you keep reading these articles you will know what a tactical reload is.

It is normal to struggle as your mind and body work together to learn a new skill.  Just think if it was easy it wouldn’t be worth learning.  Do not buy into the belief that you are not capable of learning these “male” skills.  There is no such thing as a female or male skill. All skills take time and practice to make perfect no matter who is trying to accomplish them.  Anyone is capable of being a proficient firearms handler, martial artist or anything that they want to accomplish; it is not about capability of the body that limits us but the barriers of the mind.  And that is the mind game that you have to win.

“If you always put a limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

Bruce Lee

Fear about being able to accomplish something is reasonable, what is not reasonable is to let those fears dictate our lives.  I have been recently training to run triathlons, I had never attempted to run one because I had convinced myself, before I ever stepped into a pool, that I was not capable of swimming the distances needed to finish a triathlon.  Finally, I made the decision that I was not going to let fear stop me anymore.

The first three weeks in the pool I thought I was going to drown every single workout.  I spit and spattered, but I was determined not to give up.  After a month I could do a lap or two but was exhausted after each.  I again let my mind control my capability by telling myself that I could never swim a long distance.  Luckily, I had a friend who did not let me linger and act upon those thoughts, he pushed me on.

Today three months in to my training I can swim 11 laps without a problem and am adding distance with every workout.  I convinced myself that I could not, so I did not.  As soon as I told myself I could, I did.  Those first couple of weeks was not a measurement of what I was capable of but was my brain and body trying to figure out how to work together in a new task.  Persisting through the struggling allowed my brain the time to adapt and get it right.  My brain was learning.  Once, I got past the learning stage I could increase my pace and actually started to enjoy swimming, which was not the case for that first month.

In conclusion, never, ever, ever, ever, give up ever.  Winston Churchill said that and he was right.  Do not let your mind control your capability but use your mind to motivate you to go beyond that which you thought was impossible.  Here’s to training hard and going the extra mile…or two to make you stronger, better and happier.

It’s time to Ruger!

The New Ruger LCR in .357-

This is the first of many great product reviews!

The Ruger LCR is a Revolver, if you want to learn more about revolvers, see the revolver article in types of firearms categories.  Do not worry if you are confused about model numbers or what .357 means, hopefully we can help make these things make sense to all of you who are just getting involved in self-defense or just wanting to learn more about the shooting sports. 

First off, the Ruger LCR is a double action revolver, a revolver is a type of handgun most notably seen in Westerns.  They have a cylinder that turns right or left based on the make of the firearm.  Double action refers to how many actions are performed when you pull the trigger of the firearm, for a double action weapon there are 2 actions, hence the word double.  Double actions firearms usually have a longer trigger pull and they are normally harder to pull back. This is because of the extra actions that need to be performed by the trigger that was referred to earlier. 

Ruger, however, has developed a whole new trigger mechanism that has revolutionized this trigger pull, meaning that even though this is a double action weapon, pulling the trigger is a lot easier and smoother than most other double action revolvers.  Ruger has really made this weapon a great choice for women as it is small, light and with this new smoother lighter trigger pull makes it easier for women and men feel comfortable with handling and marksmanship.

The Ruger LCR comes in .38 special or .357, which can also shoot .38 special.  These numbers refer to the cartridge, round or ammunition that can be shot out of the firearm. It is extremely important to know what ammunition goes to the gun you are purchasing or using.  The wrong type or caliber of ammunition can cause at best a malfunction of the firearm and at worst blow up causing damage to the firearm and potentially the shooter.

  The LCR in the caliber of .357 handles both .38 special and .357 very well.  A bit of warning for those not used to shooting a smaller gun like the LCR, the .357 round is much more powerful and a great round for self-defense but will be harder to control. That is one great thing about having a revolver in .357 though is that if you find that round to powerful for your comfort ability you can always shoot .38 specials.  If you get a .38 special though you cannot shoot .357’s out of it.  

The Ruger LCR has a polymer frame, which just means plastic but you pay more than $100 dollars for it so it is referred to as polymer.  This makes the weapon light and easy to carry.  Shooting the Ruger was very enjoyable and it was comfortable.  The only worry that is a concern is that this is a new product from Ruger, which means it is too new to know how reliable this weapon will be after shooting many rounds through it. Here is hoping that the Ruger LCR holds its own and sticks around for the long run.  For the money, it costs around $450, and the many features that the Ruger offers it is in my opinion a great gun for self-defense and for fun!

Revolver: is that some kind of door?

Your introduction to all the various aspect of self-defense and its tools would be incomplete without a description of different types of firearms.  If you think that a revolver is a type of door, do not worry this article will get you back on the right track and help you succeed with your self-defense goals.

 Have you ever been out with some guys when they started in on some gun talk, straining to understand what all the foreign words meant and wondering when you would be let in on the secrets of the gun world jargon?  It is frustrating but do not give up.

 The women’s self-defense network is here to help you not only understand the conversation but know more than the fella’s so you can have the right skills and equipment to conquer the streets and the conversation.  The first one that needs to be covered is the revolver. 

Most of us know what a revolver is even if we do not recognize the name.  In fact, if you have watched a movie in the last decade you know more about guns than you think you do.  However, not all and actually most of the information we get from movies is not accurate, that is why it is so important to read these articles and others like them so you can know what is true or false, whether that is in a movie, at the gun store or looking for a good instructor.

So back to the affirmation that I am pretty sure you know what a revolver is, well if you have ever watched a Western they are the handguns used by the cowboys.  Now in today’s world there have been a lot of upgrades and modifications to this simple gun and it now comes in many different sizes , styles, even colors (pink for us ladies) etc… However, there are some basics to this type of firearm that everyone should know that will help identify these firearms and how they might fit into your training and meet your needs as a self-defense tool.

Revolvers have a cylinder that turns right or left based on the make of the firearm, the cylinder is the round chamber that holds the cartridges (sometimes referred to as bullets but they are cartridges or rounds). The cylinder opens and closes to allow you to load and unload the firearm. 

Revolvers come in two types of actions.  A single action and a double action, a single action is the type of weapon that you see on the old westerns when they are using one hand to pull back the hammer, this is because single action refers to the number of actions the trigger performs when pulled.  In a single action revolver when the trigger is pulled only the hammer is released from its upward position and that is why the cowboys have to manually pull back the hammer.   Double action then is when the firearm performs two actions when the trigger is pulled, the actions when the trigger is pulled are to cock the hammer and then release the hammer.  Double actions then allow you to fire the weapon by just pulling the trigger, with no extra movements to cock (pull back) the hammer.

Now, you have the basics.  Sure there are more parts of a revolver and different styles we could talk about but the basics are all you need to know for now.   Once you get on the range, get some training and find out what your needs are in a weapon, then the rest will just come with time.

This is it, now that you know about the basics go watch a western or start up a conversation and use your new found knowledge to appreciate more of our firearms culture here in the USA.

Martial Arts the best way to get fit.

Ok, Lady’s this is a brief blog post to get you motivated about taking a hand to hand type class or martial arts.  This is usually a discipline that women over look when thinking about fitness because they see it as people beating each other up and that is unfair.  While it teaches you techniques about how to defend yourself, my experience with martial arts is more about discipline and respect.  So forget about all the movies you have seen and give martial arts a second look.  I am going to change your mind and these are the reasons you should take a martial arts class over going to the gym.

Number 1 why martial arts should be at the top of your list to get fit:

Support and Respect

It is not a place where guys gawk at you like your a piece of meat. In fact the men of martial arts are taught, actually ingrained to respect all people.  It is part of training and discipline.  I have never been in a place of more respect and courtesy then a martial arts school.

Number 2 reason:

Never bored and empowering

There are always more things to learn.  You never get board in your work out starring at the wall on a tredmill in martial arts.  Plus, you get to learn things and do things you never knew you could and it is empowering and a lot of fun.

Number 3 reason:

better work out then your spin class

Best work out I have ever had.  There is no better feeling than exhaustion after a session of martial arts.  The best part is you can go at your own pace but everyone is there to encourage you to push yourself, again respect and support. Best environment to be in when you want to get fit or loose weight.

Number 4 reason:

Your learning while you get fit

It is a great work out but you are also learning ways to protect yourself.  I know that pole dancing has become a new fad amongst women to get a work out and while I do not wish to disparage any business,  I wish that martial arts would become a fad, at least women would be learning a skill that could save their lives while getting thin.

Number 5 reason:

It’s beautiful and an art form

Especially in schools like Kung Fu, martial arts can be beautiful and almost dance like.  The forms are basically a dance but with blocks and punches.  If you have ever witnessed someone performing tai chi, well that is the slow version of these other forms.  It is art, mesmerizing to watch.  If fact, here is some to watch.

Number 5 reason:

It can be a family activity (I didn’t know how else to put that)

You may just get to spar with the chiseled, good looking guys also taking martial arts.  I know this is a little vain but hey, we are women its ok to take notice.  If you are married, get your husband to go with you and eventually he will be the chiseled guy you are sparing with.  Married or single, either way you women win.

Number 6 reason:

It will save your life.

Number 7 reason:

It is not expensive

It does not cost that much more than your gym membership and you get a better work out and a new family that will always take care of you.

Number 8 reason:

Have I convinced you yet?

Number 9 reason:

All ages can participate

Martial arts is not just for kids.  All ages participate and you are never to old to learn how to protect yourself.  In my class there are people from 7 years to over 70 years.

Number 10 reason:

Individual improvement

Most of the work you will do will be individual.  If you are not comfortable with the sparing, do not worry, a lot of your forms and learning like kicks and punches requires you to fight the air.  You can work your way up to the other stuff when you feel comfortable.

There, I hope that gives all of you Lady’s out there some motivation to take some martial arts classes.  I promise once you get into it you will never want to stop. Plus, when you can defend yourself and fit into a size___ dress, you will love martial arts even more.

Oh, and reason 11

You will finally appreciate the Jackie Chan, Steven Segal, Bruce Lee, etc…movies that your husband/boyfriend insists you watch with him.  You may even impress him by knowing the names of the moves!

Getting Physical, its not what you think.

Physical training is what most people think about when it comes to self-defense.  Their minds are usually plastered with ideas of kicks, karate chops and Chuck Norris’s amazing body.  However, while learning the physical aspects of self-defense are important, remember that physical training is only a fourth of your overall  self-defense training.  In early posts we talked about emotional preparedness, mental preparedness and in the future will discuss spiritual preparedness.  This article will go over the importance of physical preparedness.

Being physically prepared to use self-defense is more that just going to an instructor and learning techniques.  Being physically prepared means that you know the skills, you can use them because you are physically fit, and having the right gear with you when you need it.  Protecting you and your family should be about living in a way that you can use those techniques and tools to stop someones unlawful and unexpected attack against you.  Not to mention that with the empowerment you receive by learning the skills and the confidence that will come because you look good and are strong, will be not only beneficial in keeping you safe but will change the rest of your life for the better as well.

When do we need to be physically prepared?   Crime and violence are unexpected, which means that they could happen at any moment.  If you are not ready then you are not safe.  Practice is the key.  However, do not get stuck in the old adage that practice makes perfect, it doesn’t, it makes habits.  This means that you need to make sure that the skills you are learning are the right ones.  This same idea goes for your gear, make sure that the tools you pick out for self-defense are the right ones.  There are many fantastic instructors out there and there are a lot of not so fantastic instructors who lie about their experiences and credentials.  be careful.

As far as gear, well you are not going to find that magical self-defense tool that will take the work out of protecting yourself or that will stun when you want to stun and shoot when you want to shoot (that only happens in movies).  This means that you are going to have to make some decisions and compromises on what types of tools you are willing to carry in self-defense.  The choices are numerous and it can get confusing but hopefully this blog will help take away some of the confusion.  I will start to post product reviews and the benefits and detraction’s of various types of self-defense tools.  So my advice here also, is be careful.  Make sure that what you are getting, is reliable, easy to use, you feel comfortable with it and it fits your needs.  If it is sparkly and cute but does not fulfill the requirements above, well that’s why the men folk are around, you buy the useful tool and have your man buy the cute one and give it to you for Valentines day.

Have you ever heard a phrase like, I don’t have to protect myself I only have to out run the people around me.  Well, its true!  If you are in good physical condition then you increase your chances of being safe.  If you can indeed out run your attacker without putting yourself in greater danger, what a fantastic way to keep yourself safe without having to hurt someone.  However, the real reason that physical fitness is so important is in how criminals act.  Criminals are creatures of darkness, they do not want their acts to be illuminated.  So if they want something from you they will do their best to get close to you before they present a threat.  The closer a criminal becomes the more important it is for you to be strong, able to fight back and be able to retain your tools.  Running, weight lifting, classes with Chuck Norris, it does not matter just be active and stay active.  You will save your life and look good in your bikini/black dress.  Two for ones are the best.

Physical preparedness means skills, tools and fitness.  Put those all together with mental firmness and emotion stability and you not only have a women who can defend herself but one that is ready to face any part of her life with confidence, power and femininity.

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