Episode 17

Episode 17

Episode #17: The Misconceptions of Violence and Self-Defense with Wim Demeere

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Depictions of self-defense and violence in TV and film naturally give us a sense of safety and reassurance that the bad guy will lose and that you should always take a criminal head on. Unfortunately, the theatrics of it all have given men (and women) a false look at self-defense. In this week’s episode, Kelly and Doug speak with martial arts and self-defense expert, Wim Demeere, and reference Wim’s widely-shared self defense blog post Self-defense tips for men. Together they discuss the complexities behind self-defense including: taking ownership over your actions, the importance of leaving your ego at the door, and de-escalating tense situations before violence occurs. 

For more of Wim’s instructional self-defense content, check out his Patreon site, updated monthly. There are over a thousand posts and hundreds of videos as he’s been doing this for over five years now. There is something at a price point for everybody and you can try it for free for a week.

Other topics we discussed:

  • Negative effects of romanticism of violence in TV and film
  • How to not let your ego affect your decisions in conflict
  • Understanding the distinctions between social and criminal violence
  • Defining your mission before conflict ever arises
  • Deescalation tactics for when a conflict occurs 
  • The importance of self-awareness and ownership in conflict
  • How to face threats from other individuals (Peyton Quinn’s Rules)
  • Why a face-saving exit in conflict isn’t the safest option
  • The Highway of Violence

Wim Demeere has almost 40 years of training in several martial arts and self-defense systems: Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan, Sanshou, muay Thai, MMA, etc. 

He has been a full-time personal trainer since 1994, has occasionally worked as a bouncer, and in his words, he had a non-eventful military service. Wim has been a national champion Quinda multiple times, and won a bronze medal at 1993 Wushu World Championships Sanshou (-90Kg). Wim has shared his knowledge with thousands of people as the author of numerous instructional books, self-defense videos, and his podcast  titled, Wim Demeere’s Podcast. He is the owner and writer of one of the oldest martial arts and self-defense blogs, Wimsblog.com.

Connect with Wim:

Website: https://wimsblog.com/ 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ptccm 

IG@wimdemeere 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WimDemeerePage

Check out the blog post referenced in this video: https://wimsblog.com/2013/04/self-defense-tips-for-men/ 

 Connect with Doug and Kelly: 

 Follow The Diamond Arrow Group on Instagram and Facebook, and Kelly Sayre on LinkedIn and Twitter.

You can find Doug at @texasspydad, or on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Check Kelly’s new book Sharp Women that guides you through embracing your best self-defense weapon – your intuition.    

Please click ‘Follow’ or ‘Subscribe’ on your favorite podcast platform, and we’d love to hear what you think is the best piece of advice you’ve heard on the podcast to-date in a Review on your podcast platform!

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“How the heck is a flashlight going to help you?”

“How the heck is a flashlight going to help you?”

The question came from an older woman in the crowd. She was also laughing and shaking her head when she heckled me from the audience. I had just held up my palm sized, pink, J5 Tactical Flashlight and told the entire room it was my favorite personal safety tool.

Since I absolutely love my tactical flashlight and always carry it with me, I wasn’t fazed. In fact, I welcomed the opportunity to go more in depth on WHY a small, compact flashlight is a great self-defense tool for women.

It Fits in the Palm of My Hand

I can comfortably hold and conceal the flashlight in my hand when I’m walking down the street. I can hold on to it and put my hands in my coat pockets without being obvious that I’m holding it (which draws attention to you and makes you look like YOU have something to hide). Its compact size also fits in my clutch purse on date nights and when I go out with friends. Let’s face it, there’s not a lot of room in those small handbags and I don’t want to go anywhere without a tool for protection.

It’s Heavy Duty

This is not a plastic flashlight. It’s made of aircraft-grade aluminum and is impact and water resistant. I keep it in my handbag and as the mom of two small boys, I have a lot of random stuff being thrown in there.

(Basically-I’m ready for anything. Did you spill lunch on your shirt? I have a Tide pen. Need a band-aide? I have a mini first aid kit. Hungry or thirsty? I have snacks and drinks. Need small, metal cars to keep your kids occupied? Would you like a car or a truck?)

Also-J5 Tactical offers a lifetime guarantee on their flashlights, no questions asked.

It Can Go Everywhere

On a work trip to Washington D.C., a friend and I planned a morning run to the Washington Memorial before the conference started. I brought my Mace Sport Model (it has a strap to secure the spray to your hand) to bring on the run. On the way home, I got stopped by TSA because I forgot to transfer the Mace from my handbag to my checked luggage. The male TSA agent said, “I’m really sorry to have to take this because I think all women should carry Mace, but I can’t let you get on the airplane with it.” You know what he didn’t have to take? The tactical flashlight that was also in my handbag.

I’ve gone to outdoor music festivals on the beach, caught professional baseball games in stadiums, attended rock concerts in large and small venues, and flown to other countries-all with the tactical flashlight in my handbag.

It Uses AA Batteries

At home, I have a bazillion AA batteries because just about every one of my kid’s toys that need batteries, takes that size. Having a self-defense tool I carry every day, use a battery I have on hand, is practical. I don’t need to search endcap displays for an obscure “ABC3241” size battery. If I’m being completely honest, if it required a special battery when it went dead, it would stay dead.

I Don’t Worry About My Kids Getting Ahold of It

If you have young kids, I’m sure they listen and obey all your rules 100% of the time…right?

(It’s a rhetorical question, don’t worry-you don’t have to answer that ?)

Even though they’ve been told to ask before digging through my handbag, my boys love to find the snacks I mentioned earlier any time they think I’m not paying attention.

I swear we feed them!

I love not worrying about them finding my tactical flashlight and hurting themselves. Yes, they may temporarily blind each other or even themselves, but it’s not anything that won’t go away in the time it takes me to ask “what’d ya learn?”

Which leads me to the next feature I love…

It’s Really Bright

The J5 Tactical flashlight is 300 lumens. It also allows you to choose from a focused or wide beam of light. To get an idea of how bright that is, a small, handheld flashlight is typically 15-100 lumens.  Another great feature of this flashlight is it has three modes- high, low, and strobe. You can temporarily blind someone with the high or low light mode and cause disorientation with the strobe setting. This allows you to further convince a potential attacker “not me, not today”.

Who Else Has a Flashlight at Night?

In my presentations, I talk about the things potential attackers look for when selecting their victims. They watch the way you carry yourself when you walk and if you’re distracted. At night, you probably won’t see them watching you until they step out of the shadows to approach you. If you have your flashlight turned on as you walk down the street or through the parking lot, they’re going to see the beam of light before they see you. Who else has a flashlight at night? Law enforcement and security guards. An attacker is not going to stick around to find out if you’re a cop, they’re going to get away from the light. They don’t want to be seen!

Remember-having situational awareness is about AVOIDING a physical confrontation.

The Beveled Edge Would Leave a Mark

I like to think my cute little pink tactical flashlight is representative of me. It’s not intimidating at first glance but when you notice the beveled edge, you know it could do some damage if a situation called for it.

I hold the flashlight so my thumb rests on the button to turn it on. If I’m walking down the street during the day, the end that the light shines from is actually facing behind me. In order to use it to shine light in someone’s face, I need to bring my arm up by bending my elbow. By doing that motion, it’s in the ready position to throw a hammer punch to an arm, face, collar bone or whatever bony part of an attacker’s body is most readily available (if they’re tall, the bridge of their nose may be out of reach). My goal is to cause the most amount of pain, as quickly as possible on an attacker.

At night, I hold the flashlight the same way because it keeps the beam of the flashlight steady as I’m walking, making it easier to see what’s ahead of me. If a potential attacker steps out of the shadows, the flashlight is on and at eye level. I can use my voice to loudly ask, “Can I help you?”. Based on their response to that question (is it simply someone walking my way or do they have ill-intentions), I can continue on my way or take action to get to safety.

If you want to see examples of moves in action, watch this brief segment on the NY Living morning show.

Oh…and it Helps Me See in the Dark

Let’s not forget that it’s also a functioning flashlight. I like practical tools because I already carry enough stuff in my handbag (see my list above). I can scan my surroundings as I’m walking from point A to point B. When I reach my vehicle, I can scan around it and any vehicles next to mine, to make sure no one else is there.

Anyone Can Carry A Flashlight

Whether you’re just starting to think about carrying something for your personal safety or you’ve been carrying tools for years (Mace, Personal Alarm, Knife, Firearm, etc.), a tactical flashlight is something anyone and everyone should have. Do you have a sister, mom, daughter, niece, cousin, friend you care about? A tactical flashlight makes a great practical gift that they will have and use for years.

In fact, if you want to get one for yourself and one for someone you care about, send me an email and I’ll give you a deal on buying two tactical flashlights. ?

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.”

-Helen Keller

5 Self-Defense Tools: What to Consider Before Buying

5 Self-Defense Tools: What to Consider Before Buying

Which self-defense tool is right for you?

It depends.

One thing I know for sure, it’s not always what someone else says you should carry.

If you look at the online reviews of most self-defense tools, they are written by men who purchased the tool for themselves or for a female in their life they care about. That female could be their wife, sister, mother, daughter, or co-worker. I believe these men had the BEST intention when they purchased the tool as a gift. They cared about that person in their life, and they wanted to give them a gift that would keep them safe from harm.

I appreciate men wanting to do everything they can to help the women increase their personal safety by purchasing a tool as a gift. The intentions are pure, but the gesture comes off as condescending and feels like mansplaining. This is not me hating on the good guys out there, it’s giving the female perspective.

It would be like my husband buying me a new vacuum because I want a cleaner floor, without asking for my input. If I’m the one using the vacuum, let me pick it out. (and really guys-NEVER buy a vacuum as a present-K?)

Now that we’ve covered that subject, what features do you need to consider in a tool that will be best for you?

It depends.

I’m going to break down different points to consider on the tools I carry in the Diamond Arrow Group online store.

(Side note: I’ve been sent other tools to test & evaluate that are not on my site yet. If you’re interested in becoming a DAG product tester, make sure you’re on our VIP email list!)

  1. J5 Tactical V1 Pro Flashlight

-This small but mighty flashlight fits in your cute clutch purse on a night out, as well as the palm of your hand while walking to and from your vehicle. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors, not just black.

-A powerful 300 lumens will temporarily blind a person, buying you time to get to safety if necessary. If they unintentionally got in your space, their full sight will return soon enough and hopefully they learned a valuable lesson. (when you tell them to get out of your space, they best listen)

-Uses AA batteries (let’s be real, if a tool requires a special battery, it’s not going to get replaced quickly).

-Cleared for travel. My flashlight has traveled in my carry-on bag on airplanes across oceans, gone into major sporting events, and attended concerts with me.

-It’s a flashlight. It helps you see your surroundings at night, can shine into dark shadows, and the car parked next to yours.

-The flashlight is made of air-craft grade aluminum (translation=very sturdy) and the beveled-edge is a great scraping (DNA collection) and blunt-force tool if an attacker gets in your space.

-Using the flashlight at night to illuminate your path is also a prevention action. If an attacker is waiting for a potential victim, they will see the flashlight beam first. Who typically has a flashlight at night? Law enforcement and security personnel. The attacker is not going to stick around to find out who’s at the other end of that light.

-Low price point and a lifetime warranty.

-The only thing I can say in regard to the “not helpful” column is that it’s not going to cause debilitating damage to an attacker. In that situation, you’re going to have to go after their eyeballs.

  1. Mace Spray-Sport

-I specifically carry the Sport version for the hand strap. This tool is what I carry when I’m out walking/running in a more rural or less populated area. Having it strapped to my hand and ready to deploy in seconds, without needing to hold on to it, is a huge advantage.

-Having it strapped to my hand let’s an attacker watching me see that I have a tool that will cause excruciating pain if they pick me as their target.

-The spray is a gel consistency and sprays up to 12 ft. in a single stream pattern. I don’t need to worry about a mist spray that will blow in my own face if the wind is blowing the wrong direction.

-The spray has UV dye. When I spray an attacker, I am “painting” them with an invisible ink that will light up under a UV light. This will help with law enforcement identification.

-The spray is less-lethal but very painful and debilitating for a length of time that gives me a great head start on getting to safety.

-The added bonus in purchasing a Mace Spray from DAG? We include a FREE water trainer with every spray purchase so you can practice shooting the spray and targeting. In fact, I highly recommend purchasing two sprays so you get two water trainers and have a water fight with a friend. Using play to get comfortable with using it makes learning fun and the knowledge will stick with you longer.

-All sprays have an expiration date! Mace specifically prints this date on all their products. You need to replace your spray every few years, even if you’ve never used it.

-Having Mace spray in your purse will not do you any good if you’re attacked. You need to have it in your hand, not at the bottom of your purse. My suggestion: before exiting the building or your vehicle, put the spray in your hand. When you reach your destination and are safe, you can put it back in your purse.

-Playing around with the actual spray and not being respectful of the tool can get an innocent person a face full of “for the love of all things holy make it stop” temporary pain. They will survive, but the pain will last longer than their list of cuss words.

-Not always travel safe. I forgot to move my Mace from my handbag to my checked luggage on a trip and had it confiscated by TSA. The agent was so apologetic because he thought all women should carry Mace, but he couldn’t let me get on the plane with it.

-Depending on your state’s self-defense laws, you need to be able to articulate WHY you used this tool to defend yourself.

  1. Mace Keychain Alarm

-These personal alarms have an ear-piercing sound that activates at the push of a button.

-When walking to your car, having your keys in your hand keeps this alarm handy. I’m not talking about keys between your fingers (that’s a different conversation), I’m talking about being able to quickly get into your vehicle vs. standing next to a locked vehicle while digging for your keys.

-If you wear a lanyard, the keychain alarm can easily clip to it and acts as a visual deterrent to a potential attacker.

-The sound of the alarm is different than a car alarm so people will naturally be more curious as to where the sound is coming from and start looking around.

-This is a tool that can travel with you anywhere.

-This is a tool that you can take on your lunch break walks around your building.

-The alarm has a whistle feature on the bottom.

-This is a tool that will do you absolutely no good if you’re in a rural and less populated area.

-It’s great at waking up sleepy people in the company meeting. (whoops, sorry to accidentally push my obnoxiously loud alarm) Just sayin’.

-If you don’t have this tool in your hand or within easy reach when you need it, it will do you no good.

-In a high-intensity situation where you experience an adrenaline spike, you lose fine motor skills. Pushing the small button on the back may be difficult if you haven’t practice doing so. This is where the whistle feature may come in handy AND help you remember to breathe.

-If the alarm is accidentally activated, it’s not going to hurt anyone.

  1. Mace Personal Clip Alarm

-See the above points under the Mace keychain alarm.

-The difference of this alarm that I really like as a woman, is it clips easily to clothing without causing damage. You can clip this to yoga pants, business attire, or whatever you’re wearing for the day. Women’s clothing is notorious for not having pockets. This clip alarm is a great work around.

-It’s activated by simply pulling the alarm off your clothing item. The alarm sounds when the clip end touches the back of the alarm.

-This is a tool that will do you absolutely no good if you’re in a rural and less populated area.

-This tool will not help you at the bottom of your purse. Heck-clip it to the side of your purse if you don’t want it on your clothing!

-If the alarm is accidentally activated, it’s not going to hurt anyone.

  1. NPE Stabby Tools/Firearms

-NPE stands for “non-permissive environments” which is a fancy acronym for “no weapons allowed.”

You may be wondering why I don’t have these tools listed on my website. Great question. Before I sell or promote a tool that can cause damage to another human, I am going to ask you many questions. I don’t believe in carrying a tool that can severely debilitate or cause death in another human, simply because it makes you feel cool. If you have a specific threat that you want to defend yourself against, I’m here to help guide you through the questions you need to take into consideration.

That includes:

-emotional, mental, and physical planning, preparing, and practice

-legal, ethical, and moral considerations

-a discussion around aftermath and the realities you will face

-a referral to an expert on the specific tool you are considering

Deciding to carry a self-defense tool is a personal choice and is dependent on your lifestyle. No one should be telling you which tool to carry, without asking for your input. That’s what makes the Diamond Arrow Group different than the typical self-defense tool retailer.

I’m not here to sell you something, I’m here to empower you to be responsible for your personal safety in a way that works best for you.

“Don’t base your decisions on the advice of those who don’t have to deal with the results.”

-Anonymous

“How the heck is a flashlight going to help you?”

Self-Defense Tool Breakdown

What Self-Defense Tool is Right For You?

The best answer- it depends on YOU.

When I’m talking to women about their personal safety, I get asked all the time…

“Do you recommend Mace? I’m so worried I’ll accidentally spray myself!”

“I like to walk/run outdoors by myself, would a personal alarm work for me?”

“I’ve been hearing people talk about tactical flashlights, how will that help me?”

I thought I would put together two-part video series to go over the different features of the self-defense tools I carry and sell in The Diamond Arrow Group online store.

Watch PART 1 

Watch PART 2 

I can’t stress enough, if you don’t feel comfortable using the tool you select, it’s not the right tool for you. If you have an alarm, test it out. If you have a Mace spray, go outside and see the type of spray pattern it has. You need to be comfortable with whatever you have and know how to use it BEFORE you find yourself in a situation.

Thanks for watching!

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