Two essential items for personal defense


Protecting your health requires protecting yourself from injury also, and protecting yourself from injury means protection against predators. Since human beings are apex predators and fear little from non-human animals, the most important predators from whom we requite protection are other human beings. While I haven’t gone even close to all out in the pursuit of self-defense like some survivalists have, I do consider a couple of things to be two essential items for personal defense.

Item 1: A powerful flashlight

A flashlight is essential not just against human predators, but in case of power outages, the Apocalypse, and other annoyances.

Against attackers, a flashlight that blinds them can give you the advantage. A few years ago I bought one called a ProTac Tactical Flashlight.

The ProTac 1L is just over 3 inches long, weighs 0.13 lbs, and has high, low, and strobe variations for its light. It’s very bright. I remember many years ago I had a Mag Light, one of those huge flashlights that cops used to (maybe still do) carry, and the ProTac is, as far as I can tell, just as bright, and weighs far less. (Of course, the Mag Light can double as a weapon, which outdoes the ProTac in that department.)

A few weeks ago, I had some nefarious looking dudes in my neighborhood. They may have just been partying, but were parked just across from my house sitting in their car, and I didn’t want them there. So I went outside and shined my ProTac at their car. One of the guys got out and told me to stop shining my light at them, but of course I didn’t, and after a few moments, they decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and they left.

This light can also blind an attacker at night.

Item 2: Pepper spray


Pepper spray makes a nice personal defense weapon. I bought a set of four cans of Police Magnum Pepper Spray, and have them around my house, plus one in my car.

These cans contain 3 ounces of pepper spray. I haven’t had the opportunity to use them on anyone yet, and hope I don’t.



These items don’t obviate the need for a gun, but they’re an essential first step I believe, especially for those who might not want to take the step of getting one or who have difficulty in doing so – legal obstacles, for instance. But I do own one.

I’m not an aficionado of self-defense, and I live in a relatively low-crime area, so I don’t feel the need to become one. Nevertheless, those of you who are and who know more about this can feel free to tell me where I may be wrong.


Leave a Comment:

Cloudswrest says November 20, 2015

“These cans contain 3 ounces of pepper spray. I haven’t had the opportunity to use them on anyone yet, and hope I don’t.”

I’ve done extensive animal research on pesky raccoons, that have tried to break in in the middle of the night, to see which brand is more effective. They all seem to work well.

Shawn says November 20, 2015

Good list. I’m thinking that I need to get that flashlight for sure. I wonder if pepper spray would just piss of someone with a gun or other weapon, but against unarmed attackers I’d use it without hesitation…but I’m no expert.

I have a key chain alarm like this one that usually just stays in the house (not sure how much of a deterrent it would be – I’m in a safe area but am thinking I should get a gun).

    posthasty says November 20, 2015

    Bear spray can repel any undesirables at up to 30 feet.

    BC says November 20, 2015

    I do not have personal experience with it, but have read repeatedly that for best tactical (blinding/stunning) effect, a flashlight needs to throw at least 300 lumens, with 5-600+ being optimal.

    P. D. Mangan says November 21, 2015

    Shawn, regarding pissing someone off who has a gun, I don’t think I’d be using pepper spray against him except in dire emergency. Best to run the pother way, ot use your own gun if available. “Never bring a can of pepper spray to a gunfight.”

A says November 22, 2015

If you’re smaller, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will give you the best chance against a larger opponent. I don’t know why BJJ isn’t recommended to women for self-defense; for a 110 lb woman, even skilled punching or kicking won’t do much against a 190 lb man. But it’s not hard to find videos online of smaller people taking larger opponents with a nicely executed triangle. And being on your back with someone on top of you is not a disadvantageous position in BJJ.

If you’re a normal sized guy, Muay Thai. In a street scenario, this is probably preferable as you want to avoid being on the ground like you would be with BJJ. If it goes to the ground then knowing some BJJ is useful, but you want to avoid that if possible as you’re open to being kicked in the head by your opponent’s friends. It has the boxing factor [although with some defensive differences], you’ll learn how to throw elbows which are useful in close range, knees, clinching with elbows and knees, and direct kicks [no showy, silly spin-kicks in MT] which are useful if you’re trying to keep distance, as you probably should in a street scenario where possible. MT also has the fitness factor; the first 40 or so minutes of a class usually involves jumping rope and intense circuit training.

Boxing and wrestling obviously aren’t bad either. But don’t do anything the average UFC fighter doesn’t practice; competitive fighting with no restrictions [besides biting etc] has done a wonderful job of decisively separating the stuff that works from the stuff that doesn’t. [Note: Ronda Rousey is very famous and known for judo, but there is a reason nobody else is known for judo; it isn’t very effective.] Occasionally MMA fighters will throw flashy Karate or TKD kicks, but it’s on a strong foundation of MT, BJJ, boxing and wresting, and even then they almost never land.

And I don’t mean take 10 classes or go once a week for three months. Commit to three or four times a week for at least a year or it will be useless in a high-pressure, real-life situation.

But try to avoid being within touching distance of a predator in the first place.

Bodensee says November 24, 2015

I must say i prefer the old layout better. It was easier to navigate through. This new one looks like text somewhat randomly placed on a white background.

    P. D. Mangan says November 24, 2015

    Do you like it better with photos displaying for each post? I restored that. Problem is, photos now display twice on individual posts unless I go back and edit each one.

      Bodensee says November 24, 2015

      Yeah, I think it looks better with photos. Makes it easier to separate them, and also gives them more character.

Max says November 26, 2015

Thankful for you, PD, and your wide and deep view of health. I’ve often wondered if there’s any level below having a real handgun, like a taser for personal protection…

    P. D. Mangan says November 26, 2015

    Baseball bat?

Sam says December 8, 2015

You want to read some hair raising, oh my God, defense stories you ought to read this guy. A white guy who lives in Baltimore in the ghetto. It’s very entertaining reading and his self defense stuff very practical. His favorite weapon to carry around is an umbrella. He says you can put somebody out quick whacking them. You hold the shroud and hit them with the handle. At the same time the police don’t consider it a weapon so it lowers your legal culpability. The “Harm City” section is good.

He’s got a bunch of great books like, “When You’re Food”. Don’t miss out. You start reading his work and it’s hard to stop.

Why does he live in the ghetto in Baltimore? Best I can understand it’s cheap, he’s one of the most stubborn White Men on the planet, his calling is writing about violence and there’s a lot of it there to comment on and he refuses to be run out by the Negros or anybody else.

Add Your Reply