While we generally hope never to find ourselves faced with fighting another in close proximity, it can be hard to avoid during crisis due to the aggression, frustration, and desperation levels increasing among the population.
One of the first rules of many self-defense courses is to attempt to avoid violence, and if that fails then to convince your opponent that you mean no harm thus lowering their defenses before you attack. Interestingly enough the beginning of many training sessions begins with a bright and cheerful hello immediately before combat commences.
Hand to hand combat can include using only your body as a weapon, but it can also incorporate weapons meant to be used at a close range such as knives. In basic urban survival training, pepper spray is considered a weapon as well.
Hand-to-hand combat training is best learned with practice in a situation in which you can be taught and supervised by a professional. There are many types of self-defense styles and training ranging through the martial arts to military type hand-to-hand combat. The basics of all training include escaping holds, blocking, disarming, and damage to your opponent. The intricacies depend on the type of training that you prefer and your own personal capabilities and limitations. Not all self-defense courses are equal. Some have more of a minimalistic approach, while others are comprehensive.
If you would like to try your hand at some basic techniques, ARCS Self Defense & Combatives offers a series of lessons based on old military hand-to-hand combat training manuals. These cannot adequately replace real hands on learning but they are a place to start.
Guns: Choosing a gun is a very personal experience and there are too many to go into in detail. Generally what you will be considering is if the weapon can be concealed or not, the type of ammunition it takes, the distance the bullet can travel (long distances are not recommended in populated areas), the amount the gun kicks when firing, how much ammunition it can hold, and the main purpose of the gun (self-defense, hunting, home protection, etcetera).
Other: Knives are a classic choice, but anything can be a weapon if applied correctly and with enough force. Nearby furniture can be used as a blunt object, while a pen can be used as a piercing weapon. A heavy backpack can be used as a shield in close combat, or swung to topple your opponent if more room to move is given. The other person’s clothes can be used to immobilize or slow them down if pulled in the right direction.
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