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Suggested Books: Personal Safety

 

The Truth About Self-Protection, Massad Ayoob

From an Amazon reviewer:
This book is one of the best "self defense" books on the market. Massad Ayoob, a legend in the law enforcement and personal protection world, goes beyond the standard "tips" for self defense. He address many different things such as locks, martial arts, weapons, psychological stress, and much more.

There are some draw backs such as poor illustrations on certain "hand to hand" combat techniques, but overall, it does not effect the top notch presentation.

This book is written for anyone, and especially the novice or the person who is trying to decide if "survivialism" (word used by Ayoob) is for them. Even if it isn't, there are tips that can still minimize the risk of being a victim without learning how to be an expert combat killing machine.

The book is realistic as he has chapters about the moral dilemmas and psychological trauma one may encounter when trying to defend themselves or someone else.

After working Law Enforcement for 12 years and being involved in the martial arts for over 20, I can give someone searching for self protection ideas a confident nod that this book is one of the best!

Her Wits About Her, Denise Caignon and Gail Groves

This book offers the vibrant, empowering message that women can fight back, and do so effectively. Common media stories often reinforce the myth that women are helpless and should not defend themselves. Yet current research shows that women who resist do get away and often escape injury.

The positive, real-life accounts in this collection tell for the first time how women from all walks of life have successfully defended themselves. We see how they use a wide range of strategies -- from the ordinary to the spectacular -- including negotiating, shouting, running, kicking, teamwork, and using weapons at hand. Valuable guidelines for putting the lessons of the stories into everyday practice and an extensive listing of self-defense programs enhance the anthology.

The Gift of Fear, Gavin de Becker

Each hour, 75 women are raped in the United States, and every few seconds, a woman is beaten. Each day, 400 Americans suffer shooting injuries, and another 1,100 face criminals armed with guns. Author Gavin de Becker says victims of violent behavior usually feel a sense of fear before any threat or violence takes place. They may distrust the fear, or it may impel them to some action that saves their lives. A leading expert on predicting violent behavior, de Becker believes we can all learn to recognize these signals of the "universal code of violence," and use them as tools to help us survive. The book teaches how to identify the warning signals of a potential attacker and recommends strategies for dealing with the problem before it becomes life threatening. The case studies are gripping and suspenseful, and include tactics for dealing with similar situations.

People don't just "snap" and become violent, says de Becker, whose clients include federal government agencies, celebrities, police departments, and shelters for battered women. "There is a process as observable, and often as predictable, as water coming to a boil." Learning to predict violence is the cornerstone to preventing it. De Becker is a master of the psychology of violence, and his advice may save your life. --Joan Price

Street Smarts, Firearms, and Personal Security, Jim Grover

Jim Grover's professional credentials in the art of crime avoidance and self-defense are as good as it gets: on-site security specialist in the world's hottest of hot spots, combatives instructor to ultrahigh-speed military and police units and hands-on security trainer to international corporations, among other sensitive assignments. Here is a compilation of the best of his wildly popular "Personal Security" columns in Guns & Ammo magazine. It covers the entire spectrum of personal security issues, with street-savvy ideas and twists you will find nowhere else. Learn how to vastly improve the physical security of your home; develop alert street smarts; stay safe while traveling in your vehicle, out of town or abroad; recognize and avoid crimes of the new millennium; keep your children safe; choose and use effective nonlethal weapons; engage in nasty unarmed combat; and utilize radically practical shooting skills that have been perfected in real-life situations. From spotting trouble before it happens to surviving a riot to handling a firearm like a pro, this book has it all!

Defensive Living: When Defensive Driving, Diets, and Exercise Aren't
Enough to Keep You Alive and Well!, Bo Hardy

Defensive Living outlines 10 of the most common mistakes individuals make when assaulted or abducted, and details a common sense approach to avoid becoming the victim of personal assault or abduction. The Defensive Living concepts are "real world", and practical, and can be used by both children and adults. The concepts presented in Defensive Living emphasize "Outsmarting" rather than "Outfighting" an assailant. Defensive Living was selected as the 1993 "Self Help" Book of the Year by the North American Bookdealers Exchange (NABE), and is also being used as a text at several universities throughout the United States.

About the author:

Bo Hardy is the founder of Defensive Living, and since 1967 has taught assault prevention to literally thousands in law enforcement and civilian seminars. He is an 8th degree Black Belt in Karate & Ju-Jitsu,and a former law enforcement officer. He still teaches law enforcement classes in Defensive tactics, and the use of (OC)-pepper spray. He has conducted training programs for major corporations including the development of security training for flight attendants at American Airlines. Mr. Hardy has a Master of Education degree and a Bachelor of Business Management from the University of Arkansas- Fayetteville. He recently permanently returned to Fayetteville, Arkansas where he teaches personal protection and Martial Art Classes.

Effective Defense: the Woman, the Plan, the Gun, Gila May-Hayes

Written by a woman for women who are considering their options for personal protection, both lethal and less than lethal. Clearly written for easy understanding of both technical jargon and the overall concern a woman should have about her surroundings. Recommended reading for any woman who is concerned about her personal safety.

Eyes Wide Open, Bodyguard Strategies for Self-Protection, Kristie Kilgore

Kilgore is a martial arts expert who has gone far beyond that single discipline in this book. She covers many aspects of self-protection against "human preditors". Topics include information and identity theft, strategies for dating, awareness, advance work, use of force, and weapons Nicely illustrated with photographs and sprinkled with descriptions of actual situations, some of them from Kilgore's own experience.

How to Bodyguard Yourself: A Personal Protection Guide for Women, Stephan Kurr

Written by a former US Army counterintelligence special agent, this book pulls no punches when it comes to personal protection. This volume contains a large amount of good information in a small number of pages. Topics include operational security, criminal profiles, physical security, communications security, transportation security, counterssurveillance, firearms and weapons, martial arts and much much more.

Back Off! How to Confront and Stop Sexual Harassment and Harassers, by Martha J. Langelan

This book is filled with real-life success stories of women who have stopped harassers cold. It provides detailed information about what they did, how they did it, and how you can do it, too. These techniques are verbal, non-violent, and effective.

About the author:

Martha J. Langelan is past president of the Washington D.C. Rape Crisis Center, and a self-defense instructor. She conducts seminars on sexual harassment for corporations, government agencies universities, and community organizations.

Defensive Living, Ed Lovette & Dave Spaulding

From an Amazon reviewer:
Most books on self protection, especially those relating to armed confrontations, tend to focus on hardware, the equipment and the techniques. This book is different. Ed Lovette and Dave Spaulding give a concise and practical guide to the software aspect of violent confrontations. Mental preparation, situational awareness and winning attitude are presented in a way that allows the reader to apply these aspects. The physical skills and equipment considerations are discussed, but the main theme of DEFENSIVE LIVING is the adoption of a "tactical lifestyle" which allows anticipation of an encounter. Throughout the book the voice of experience is heard. The material presented is not theory it is the result of hard-won, hands-on experience. To sum up, we need this kind of information, we need to understand it, to apply it, to live it. It's never been better presented than in DEFENSIVE LIVING. Essential reading matter for times like this.

Real Knockouts: The Physical Feminism of Women's Self-Defense, Martha McCaughey

"I was once a frightened feminist." So begins Martha McCaughey's odyssey into the dynamic world of women's self-defense, a culture which transforms women involved with it and which has equally profound implications for feminist theory and activism.

Unprecedented numbers of American women are learning how to knock out, maim, even kill men who assault them. Sales of mace and pepper spray have skyrocketed. Some 14 million women own handguns. From behind the scenes at gun ranges, martial arts dojos, fitness centers offering "Cardio Combat," and in padded attacker courses like "Model Mugging," Real Knockouts demonstrates how self-defense trains women out of the femininity that makes them easy targets for men's abuse.

And yet much feminist thought, like the broader American culture, seems deeply ambivalent about women's embrace of violence, even in self-defense. Investigating the connection between feminist theory and women physically fighting back, McCaughey found self-defense culture to embody, literally, a new brand of feminism.

Illustrating how self-defense forces a confrontation with central tensions in feminist theory over the body, violence, pleasure, and resistance, McCaughey has given us a highly original treatise that will change the way we think of gender politics, the female body, and feminism itself.

About the author:

Martha McCaughey is an Assistant Professor of Women's Studies in the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Virginia Tech. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Surviving a Disaster, Tony Nester

Could you evacuate from your home in 15 minutes with the pertinent survival gear necessary for overcoming a disaster? The most effective means of surviving such an event is to have the essential gear and plans in place beforehand and this only comes from developing a mindset of self-reliance. This book covers scenarios, planning, and emergency kits for surviving natural and manmade disasters where you are forced to evacuate your home. It describes how to formulate an escape plan and what an evacuation entails along with a straightforward approach to assembling emergency kits for the home, office, and vehicle. There is also a special section on preparing children for a crisis and what their personal survival kits should contain.

About the author:

Tony Nester has taught survival and bushcraft courses in Arizona and for Military Special Operations Units and the National Transportation & Safety Board. He is the author of two previous books on desert and woodland survival and is an adjunct faculty member at Northern Arizona University.

Drive to Survive!, Curt Rich

"Drive to Survive" (Motorbooks International, 1998) combines two unlikely groups of skills-combat survival techniques, and race car driving techniques-and aims them at the most dangerous thing most of us will ever do: driving on public roads. The average driver has an 86% chance of being in a serious accident during his lifetime, and the odds of being the victim of violence on the highway increases daily, including drive-by-shootings, carjackings, kidnappings, robberies, and deliberate attacks by other motorists.

The book begins with a system of situational awareness derived from combat survival techniques which will minimize your chances of getting into an accident or getting mugged, carjacked or robbed. This is the most important part of the book. Use this system, and you probably will not have an accident or become a crime victim because you will not be surprised and can avoid the accident or the carjacker. From there it goes on to several techniques to avoid accidents and basic high performance driving concepts applicable to street driving. Racing derived techniques are described which can be used on the road to avoid accidents or evade hostile pursuers. It gets into evasive driving techniques and how to avoid bootlegger hairpin, reverse J-turns, and how to run your assailant off the road instead of being run off yourself, how to use your car as a weapon, and what to do if you're kidnapped despite all your avoidance efforts. The techniques are profusely illustrated with diagrams and photographs.

In short, this book teaches all of the things they did not teach you in Drivers Ed., or taught wrong. Use all of the techniques in this book appropriately, and the odds of your being in a major accident or being mugged, kidnapped, or carjacked go way down. Criminals look for easy victims, and you will become a difficult victim, more dangerous to them than they are to you.

Beauty Bites Beast: Awakening the Warrior Within Women and Girls, Ellen Snortland

Women have been sold a bill of goods - that they are helpless in the face of attack. Nonsense, asserts author Ellen Snortland, and proceeds to trace her discovery of self defense training and how it changed her life. BEAUTY BITES BEAST is a clarion call to "sleeping beauties" to wake up and take charge of their own self-defense - both verbal and physical - and celebrates women (and kids) who fought back. Here is an irreverent, but deadly serious look at how family, religion, history, news and entertainment keep women thinking they are helpless, and how the author and other women have vanquished this self-defeating attitude.

About the author:

Ellen Snortland is a graduate of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. In addition to being a self-defense advocate and instructor, Ms. Snortland has worked in the media and entertainment industries as a writer/producer/director/commentator/actor.