If a choice had to be made between John Wayne’s good guy fairness and Die Hard’s John McClain, pick McClain. Not even in the sparring ring are all rules of a fair fight followed and on the street, there is no such thing as a fair or unfair fight.

During karate tournaments there are judges to call a halt after a good blow has been landed. They watch for illegal elbow strikes, blind spinning techniques or groin and knee kicks. Even in boxing they stop the fight for biting, just ask Evander Holyfield.

On the street though, there are no judges, bells, timers or rules. The person or persons attacking you are not going to give you a chance to get back up on your feet, pick your knife back up or give you a chance to catch your breath. There is no honor among thieves or street gangs.

Before being caught in a confrontation in a street environment, you should take stock of the weapons you have at hand. Do you own a handgun or pepper spray canister? If so, where are they? Neither of the items will do a bit of good if they are in the bottom of a purse or locked in a glove box. As far as the pepper spray goes, do you know what strength it is? Some cause excruciating pain whereas others might taste good sprayed over Mexican food. If you don’t carry either of these items, think of what weapons you have physically.

Fists and feet come to mind first but they are just two of a vast number of possibilities. Mike Tyson might have gotten in trouble for biting but on the street, your teeth can be an excellent weapon. They are also good to use as a diversionary tactic for another technique. When using your teeth, take as big a bite as possible and hang on tight.

A good solid weapon is your elbow. They are great for hitting an opponent in the head, over the kidneys, in the solar plexus (breadbasket), groin and various other parts of the body. Don’t forget your knees either.

Fingers are often forgotten when thinking about weapons. They seem so fragile and weak but they can often be effective when used to scratch or gouge face, eyes and throat.

Last but not least, don’t forget or lose your head. Be aware of about your surroundings and if trouble finds you, don’t go into hysterics. Also remember your head can be used as a weapon itself by slamming it into the nose and mouth of an attacker.

You also have other weapons that may be close to hand. These can be something like a heavy purse or flowerpot. Other possibilities are a set of keys, a pencil or screwdriver, a glass bottle, piece of broken glass, good sized rock or even a coat that could be thrown to trap a weapon.

Practice looking around yourself in different areas and try to think of uses for the items at hand. Do this on a regular basis so your mind will be able to spot them quickly if needed. You want to practice this enough so that is becomes instinctual.

Nothing beats a good martial arts class with self-defense training and it is highly recommended everyone try to find a place to train. These classes will give you the knowledge to be able to use your physical weapons to their best ability and allow you to practice techniques under a controlled atmosphere.

It must be remembered that even with training, no technique works one hundred percent of the time in all given circumstances or against all opponents. The training is simply a precautionary act towards self-preservation.

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