Canes, Walking Sticks, and Umbrellas for Street Self Defense

The topic of striking weapons for street self defense has been brushed on in SurvivalBlog, but has never addressed directly or at length. I highly recommend training to use a cane, walking stick, or a traditional full length umbrella. This is particularly important for our readers that live in gun-unfriendly nations. Ditto for our readers that live in states like California, New York, and New Jersey where is is very difficult for mere mortals to get a carrying concealed weapon (CCW) permit. And even if you are a concealed firearms permit holder, you should learn these valuable skills. Why? You …




Letter Re: Selecting a Martial Art and a Dojo

Sir, I’d like to suggest yet another art for you to consider: Arnis. (often referred to as FMA, or Filipino Martial Arts.) It is also referred to as Escrima or Kali. It is a predominately stick and knife based art, with open hand techniques following. Most Eastern arts I have been exposed to stress the empty hand and move towards weapons, Arnis is exactly the opposite, the thought being a stick is easier to defend one’s self with than bare hands, and it is more logical to begin as such. Another fundamental difference between Arnis and other arts is the …




Five Letters Re: Selecting a Martial Art and a Dojo

Mr. Rawles: Having done this (being involved in running a professional [martial arts] school) for ten years, and having studied twice that long, here’s my $1.83 (two cents, adjusted for inflation). First, what does your gut tell you about the place and the instructor? If you get an uneasy feeling, listen to it, and back off a bit. It may be that the guy exudes an Alpha-dominant energy, and that’s what’s making your hair stand on end. Then again, it might be your rip-off alert/ BS detector going off. 1) Take a couple of days to think it over, and: …




Two Letters Re: Selecting a Martial Art and a Dojo

Dear Jim, Over the years, I’ve spent I-don’t-know-how-many hours in dojos of various lineage. Now, older (but only questionably wiser) I’ll toss out a few caveats for the consideration of anyone who wants to undergo marital arts training: 1. Decide from the outset why you want to learn a martial art and do not deviate from that goal. If it’s for recreation, exercise, balance, spiritual enlightenment or whatever, that’s fine. Practice kata to your heart’s content, learn how to breathe into your danjun and meditate until ch’i runs from your pores. But – recognize from the start that the vast …




Eight Letters Re: Selecting a Martial Art and a Dojo

Hi Jim and Family, Many, many years ago I was an assistant martial arts instructor. I had studied several Chinese styles along with Japanese Kendo. I was making inquiries about instruction in my area for my daughter after being out of that area of study for over 30 years. The self defense instructor I was talking to said that for the best ‘out of the gate’ use of martial arts for practical street self defense was Ju-Jitsu, but to watch the style you want to learn. Basically the styles of Ju-Jitsu are quite similar but some are less suited for …




Letter Re: A New Breed of Feral Dogs, by Buckshot

Mr. Rawles, The most vital point, I think, of Buckshot’s piece is not that feral dogs will eat us all alive, but that [applying] current attitudes in future scenarios CAN GET YOU KILLED!   You’d better get you mind wrapped around the hard decisions now the best you can.  Buckshot is exactly right: if you’re making decisions on the fly as a situation unfolds, you’re dog food.  The same goes for any, shall we say, less-than-polite social encounters with humans.  ARIES (Autonomic Response In Extreme Stress) is an acronym we used when I taught self-defense.  Most guys would pooh-pooh the …