Key Skills for Personal Security & Self Defense

Most of the personal security and self-defense market in US seems to cater to traditional hard skills reactive training, in particular shooting and physical self defense techniques.  These are important skills to have but there seems to be a dearth of training in other more soft, preventative skills. Even with in the hard skills arena…

Situational Awareness & Effective Decision Making

Situation awareness is a key component of personal protection.  In fact it may well be the key component of personal protection around which everything else is built.  Interest and appreciation for the importance of situational awareness is growing.  One aspect that is sometimes overlooked though is the importance of tying it to effective decision making.  …

Layering Contacts When Traveling Abroad

Layering contacts: What does it mean and why should you consider doing it?  When traveling overseas, particularly to higher risk locations or locations where cultural and business practices are significantly different, it can make sense to not put all your eggs in the same basket. To set the stage and make it easier to understand…

Traveler Vulnerability

Who is more vulnerable?  Who is at greater risk?  A short-term traveler or a long-term visitor/expatriate?  It’s an interesting question and one without a clear-cut answer.  All other things being equal, each one can present its own set of vulnerabilities.  Let’s look at each one and then compare and contrast.  For simplicity sake I will…

Given’s Law as an Approach to Situational Awareness

While many people now recognize that situational awareness is a key component of personal security and is the element that is most likely to help you avoid a bad situation, applying it daily can be a challenge.  One reason is that it is sometimes not taught or explained well in self-defense or personal protection classes…

Know the “Rules”

Wherever you go it’s important to get to know the local rules.  This will prevent you inadvertently getting yourself into a situation where you break a law, offend someone or make yourself unintentionally vulnerable to becoming the victim of a crime.  While this article is mainly directed at international travelers and expatriates, it also applies…

3 Ways to Protect Yourself in Soft Target Attacks

Recent attacks across Africa and North Africa in 2015-2016 have clearly demonstrated the vulnerability of hotels – especially in developing countries – to low tech attacks.  While hotel security in higher risk locations has long focused on the potential threat from vehicle-borne improvised explosive (VBIED) attacks such as have occurred in Jakarta, Islamabad and numerous…

Paris, Bamako and the Value of Active Shooter Training

The recent terrible events in Paris and Bamako illustrate the importance of active shooter awareness and response training for the average traveler. In the US active shooter training is frequently presented in the context of a workplace violence incident. This is just one possible scenario however. Even within the US there is a good chance…

Thinking About Crime Scene 2

In the past we have looked at the question of when and whether you should resist a crime or not. Most authorities on personal security and most law enforcement sources will advise you to comply with a criminal in the case of an obviously economically-motivated crime. If a mugger wants your wallet or your cell…