Today’s missive includes:
Social justice (Kinda…well, not really), self-defense as a moral imperative, understanding how violent crime is reported and what it means to you as an individual-and what you can do to actually change the facts versus manipulate the truth. What is a Self-Defense Exclusion Zone, and what you can do if you find that you are forced to routinely travel through or within on. And, of course, training how what and why
I’m relatively confident that everyone on every side of just about every debate agrees that human beings have an inherent right to self-defense. Two very well-known advocates for self-defense, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King were vocal supporters of a vigorous self-defense. I am not going to discuss racial or social injustice, there are many far more qualified and eloquent writers generating volumes on that topic. My point is that self-defense is a sovereign right.
It seems that violence is getting worse and worse, every single newscast of every single day carries the message of horror. Elected “leaders” take credit for a continual decline in the rate of violent crime, the truth is somewhere in the middle, violence is much more visible today than ever before mostly because a HD video camera in the pocket of bystanders is as ubiquitous a fedora in a 1940’s true detective movie. Also, crime prevention, policing, education, and social programs are a little more effective in reducing the RATES of violent crime. To make this information more meaningful to you as an individual the simple reality is that something bad is going to happen to somebody today, probably a lot of somebodies. There are a number of things that you can do to being one of those somebodies that we see on the news.
Training, ADS is a training company, everything looks like a training problem to us! Training is the best first step that you can take to reduce the likelihood of being a victim. Hypothetically, in a town with a evenly distributed violent crime rate of 40 a perfectly average Jane that has a perfectly average exposure to folks has a 1 in 2500 chance that they are going to be the victim of some kind of violent crime. Perfectly average Jane does not like those odds and chooses to come to an ADS Intro to Personal Defense-Street Survival (unarmed) course. She learned to modify those odds, she learned the simple mantra “Don’t do Stupid Things in Stupid Places with Stupid People” and she learned how to spot a bunch of the stupid things stupid people do or say or go and she managed to shift the odds by , let’s call it 20% in her favor…she managed to change her personal crime rate from 1:2500 to 1:3000 the minute she walked out of the class, and every time she recognized that trait and practiced observation and decision making it bumped it up another 20% until her personal violent crime rate was 1:1,000,000. But even those odds aren’t perfect, and let’s face it, as the title of this article states, we live in a society that has made a decision to strictly enforce self-defense exclusion zones.
We are a tool using creature, we have opposable thumbs to allow us to hold and manipulate objects, we have tools that equalize to natural disparities of size and speed and strength, but these self-defense exclusion zones prohibit the law-abiding from employing these tools safely and effectively, Universities, some restaurants, public transportation, certain workplaces….all exclusion zones. This is a discussion for another day, but the result of this is the need for an alternate means of protecting oneself. That means we have to use everything at our disposal as efficiently as we can. Our Number One defensive tool is our brain. You can think your way into a fight, out of a fight, around a fight, and you can think your way into making a fight disappear before it happens. It really can be that easy, but isn’t always! When the fight happens, you have your arms, and legs, and in limited applications your head. Let’s call that your hardware. We take some more training, Street Survival, Fight Like a Girl, empty hand and edged weapons, dirty boxing, jeet kune do, krav maga….you get the point. These are the software that drive the hardware you bring with you everywhere. You have just transformed you mind and body into a weapon. You become an instrument of self-defense that can’t be excluded from the Self-Defense Exclusion Zone. Because you have a right to be there that is as clear and present as your right to self-preservation and the defense of the innocent.
The next step is training, ADS will get you there, no matter your level, no matter your fitness, no matter your age. The critical concern is starting. You can think your way out of most every situation but you can’t really think your way out of all of them.
 For those of you that are struggling with years and years of the gross over-simplification of the messages of these civil-rights leaders, at their most basic level, these two crusaders were staunch advocates of non-violent civil protest. Neither would have anything positive to say about the destructive protests. In the very same breath, they would also say that good people, no matter the social circumstance have the right—more specifically, the moral obligation—to protect themselves from those that choose to do harm.
 When reading about violent crime the only number that should have any influence on you are those reported as a rate. This is usually expressed as a number per 100,000 people. Sometimes it is per 10,000. This way of reporting gives a true means of comparison between two places. The total number of assaults in a rough small town is going to smaller than a big city, but the RATE of assault may be about the same or even higher when counted in terms of the proportion of the populations being hurt. Think of it in terms of the rate tells you the odds of being a victim.
We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training