While out in the public on any routine day, I am always observing each and every person I come upon. I picked up this unconscious habit from my many years as a police officer. Any police officer worth their salt who wishes to stay alive practices this almost-religious habit of observing people. I learned from trial and error that I could predict with fair accuracy who was going to give me a problem and who would not, who was all mouth, and who was a walking critical mass.
Observing your surroundings and being aware of what is transpiring around you should be your practice, too. I am not talking about paranoia, just a healthy since of awareness. Mother Nature has instilled this defense mechanism in each and every one of us. For those of you who have computers, it is like having an antivirus program. You’re not being paranoid by having the antivirus program running while surfing the Internet, you’re just being safe. Being aware of your surroundings is the same thing.
Many people have become complacent in their daily lives. This is understandable, since it is hard enough to concentrate on the business at hand without adding another mental task. They have, in effect, turned off their antivirus protection in an effort to streamline daily mental processes.
It’s funny how people go out each day to work, shop and carry on business with little or no regard to their personal safety. However, when they return home to a safer place, they lock all the doors and windows. It is my professional opinion that you are more likely to be attacked in public by a random person than in your home. In most home-attack cases, the victims know the attacker. In some cases, the attacker talks his or her way into the home. Don’t let strangers into your home. If the public gas person comes to check your gas connections, be sure they have a uniform on and their vehicle has insignias matching his or her uniforms.
Self-defense should be a conscious decision. You should think, “If I am attacked, I will defend myself.” After all, people have the old Louisville Slugger or nine iron at home sitting behind the door. If they are attacked at home, they have a plan, however weak, to defend their home and themselves.
If you are attacked, and the attacker wants to take you from your location, the fact that he or she might want to kill you is a serious consideration that you need to think about. For protection, keep in mind that this attacker might plan on killing you, taking you away from your loved ones. You could be taken away from those who love and depend on you. That fact alone should make you mad as hell. This despicable act should get you so mad you will want to rip is eyes out. Do not fall into the false hope the attacker will let you go later. If death is a possibility, then you should plan on dying fighting.
Let’s say we now have decided to defend ourselves. The natural question is, “How will I fight off this attacker?” There are several options you can take in preparing to defend yourself: One option is to take self-defense lessons from qualified instructors. Even though I found this to be very self-rewarding in getting my black belt, doing so is not for everyone, unless you are willing to devote 10 or more hours a week for the next 3 years.
The other option would be to purchase a firearm of suitable size and caliber, attend firearms classes at your local gun range, including firearms safety and marksmanship. Depending on your state, the next natural step would be to acquire a Carry Conceal Permit. In my state this entails more training, fingerprinting, background checks and about $200. If you are comfortable and responsible with a gun, this is a good option for you.
For those of you who don’t want to spend from hundreds to several-thousand dollars preparing to defend yourself, here is another option: All adults at one time or the other have had to use an edged tool of some type. An edged tool, such as a kitchen knife, would be the most common. For this reason, using a knife for self-defense is a viable option for most people. Unless you are employing a professional chef, most days, you use a knife to prepare your food. Because we commonly use a knife and understand the dynamics of this tool, we are ahead of the curve on turning it from a tool to a defensive weapon.
Maybe you don’t have the time or money to take some form of martial art course or acquire a firearm and permit. A knife of good design would be a more simple and practical option. Compared to a gun, most knives do not have a safety, where the chances of an accidental discharge are nil.
All knives cut, and can be used for self-defense. Look for a knife that is designed for self-defense. By virtue of the design, it will cut proficiently and deliver wounds that will repel or disable our attacker. Because we are preparing and planning to defend ourselves, we have no need for a knife designed for offense. After all, no one in good conscious wants to kill another human being. All we would want to do is make a believer out of the bad guy. We would want to show him that he should go someplace else or get carved up right here.
For the purpose of self-defense, in a pinch, any knife will work. But because we are making a conscious plan to defend ourselves we should take the time to investigate and choose the perfect knife for us. I look for a brand with a good reputation of quality and dependability. As in the case of a self-defense knife I have narrowed it down to the brand I like. I then look over the various designs. Do I want a folder or a fixed blade? Every person will have their own idea of what they consider to be the perfect knife for them.
For self-defense, I personally prefer a fixed-blade knife. This type of knife is simple, dependable, and ready for action 100 percent of the time. Of course, a fixed-blade knife has to be of the proper size and design in order to be carried comfortably and securely. The carrying system has to function well in promoting a clean and easy draw. For these reasons, I contacted Bob Dozier of Springdale, Arkansas. I agreed to meet Bob at a Tulsa, Oklahoma gun show to see what he considers as the ultimate self-defense knife.
Bob has been making knives for over 50 years. Bob’s table displayed many beautiful and interesting knives of various designs. I explained to him what I was looking for in the way of a self-defense knife. I explained my professional background and the fact I may return to serve in the Middle East.
Bob wasted no time in showing me the creation he calls The Parking Lot Knife. He was carrying this knife at the show. Bob explained to me he carries this knife all the time for the purpose of self-defense. I found Bob’s knife to be superbly made and of the highest quality; I was impressed. The knife fit snugly and securely in my hand. I could easily see this knife was made for defensive slashing, the type of action to convince someone to stop attacking and go away. I ordered one for myself. I feel this knife is perfect for me to carry religiously while out and about doing what I do.
The handle is made of black Micarta and has an extremely sharp blade of highest-quality stainless steel. The quick and easy-on, easy-off carrying system is a horizontal sheath made of the light, but strong, Kydex. The total length of this knife is 7 3/4. The handle is 4 1/4 inches long and about 3/4-inch at its widest point. There is a 1/4-inch hole in the butt of the handle, which is perfect for a leather lanyard. The blade is 3 3/8 inches long, 1-inch at its widest point, and 1/4-inch at its thickest. While the knife is resting safely in its sheath, the total package is 8 1/4 inches long. This size is very concealable in the horizontal carry.
When planning to defend yourself with a knife, as you would with a gun, you should practice drawing it from your pocket or purse. In practicing my draw with The Parking Lot Knife, I found it to be natural and easy to learn. With the horizontal carry, I can easily draw The Parking Lot Knife with either hand. I found it to be a superb self-defense knife that will work for women and men. If you are serious about self-defense and don’t mind paying for a custom knife, then Bob Dozier’s The Parking Lot Knife is the knife for you.
For those of you who want a well-designed knife, but don’t have the coin or an understanding significant other, Ka-Bar also makes several knives designed by Bob Dozier. Check out your local knife dealer to see these outstanding knives. In January 2009, Ka-Bar is planning to release several other models of Bob Dozier’s design. While at your knife dealer, check to see if they can recommend an instructor in knife defense.
By Clint Thompson