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Old 12-09-2012, 06:25 PM   #1
Hi_Fi_Guy OP
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Suggestions for self-defense & survivial training?

Will be traveling in the Middle East for 60+ days in 2013. Any suggestions for survival training and self defense from those who have attended classes and training? Looking to travel smart and not be naive but at the same time enjoy the culture and landscapes I will be traveling through.

I have 4 months to prepare and am absolutely willing to put in the time learning as much as I can about the language and culture beforehand. I consider myself to be situationally aware when traveling and would like to also learn how to handle myself smartly if any dangerous or threatening situation should present itself.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:34 PM   #2
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From your post, it looks like you are already aware and have good judgement.
If you really, really wanted to brush up on some personal defense, maybe a short, quick krav maga course would be good.
Situational awareness is always the key.
Best to you...
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:22 PM   #3
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Try not to look like a good target. (whatever good means in that area: American, rich, weak-looking, etc)

When you make stops, make sure you are ready to ride away quickly. (don't have to backup the bike, put on tons of gear, etc.)

Forget about "self-defense". That's a waste of time unless you're willing to put in a few years in the gym, sparring under realistic conditions, etc. And even then, there is no "self-defense" against a gun or multiple people.

I think pepper spray may be the only thing worthwhile... maybe...
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Rider View Post
From your post, it looks like you are already aware and have good judgement.
If you really, really wanted to brush up on some personal defense, maybe a short, quick krav maga course would be good.
Situational awareness is always the key.
Best to you...
+1 on the Krav Maga...I've taken a few classes and they are really useful, even if you can only take a few of them. They teach situational awareness and using your natural fight/flight instinct as part of your response.

The only other recommendation would be to make sure you learn at least the Arabic alphabet and a few greetings phrases. I moved to a Russian speaking area with only a rudimentary knowledge of Cyrillic (admittedly a much easier alphabet than Arabic) and I found that I couldn't read it fast enough to actually help with anything. So learn the alphabet and practice it enough to read quickly and under pressure.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:41 PM   #5
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Krav is good stuff - you can achieve proficiency in a comparatively short time. But, don't wander around the middle east in a Krav Maga t-shirt! A Rosetta Stone Arabic course might be a good investment, you don't have to be fluent but some phrases certainly help.

IMHO, the best overall training in protecting yourself would be a good Executive Protection school. I went to ESI ( http://esi-lifeforce.com/ ) but EPI ( http://www.personalprotection.com/ ) is excellent as well, and is a shorter course.

The difference between a "self defense" course and an Executive Protection course is that EP trains you to avoid trouble in the first place via planning and removing/reducing the bad guy's opportunity to hurt you. A self defense course will give you confidence, but a good EP course will completely and permanently change the way you think.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:43 PM   #6
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Just don't ask for help if you get picked up by hostiles. Take those bozo hikers for example. Tempt fate, deal with it yourself.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:40 PM   #7
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Curious....

IN
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:28 AM   #8
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Having travelled to many parts of the world including some considered dangerous, usually by people who have never been there, I would say the two most important things you can take for your own protection are a confident handshake and a winning smile. The other advice that has been given here about not looking conspicuously well off and being aware of your surroundings are also good advice but self defence and survival training are possibly a little over the top.

Incidently a friend of mine who has probably travelled to more countries than any other solo female motorcycle traveller has only been mugged once, outside her own front door at home.

The greatest risk you will face in the Middle East is caffine poisoning from all of that Islamic hospitality.
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Mark Manley screwed with this post 12-14-2012 at 07:29 AM Reason: spelling correction
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mark Manley View Post
The greatest risk you will face in the Middle East is caffine poisoning from all of that Islamic hospitality.
AWESOME and TRUE!

Good advice...those of us "westerners" really need to learn about their hospitality. There is a strict code of honor regarding guests rarely seen in the west. One can get in trouble quickly through ignorance, but being willing to laugh at yourself and trying to adapt where you can is the best. Even knowing a few basic phrases goes a long way with hospitality. The other day I had a 5 minute conversation with a guy who was looking at my motorcycle (with his wife in the background laughing at him talking to me about the bike). It used all the Russian I knew, but when he realized I'm an American who's trying to learn his language and plans to stay you would have thought I was his best friend. Approach people as if they are friendly and they will probably stay that way. Act scared, suspicious, or hostile and you'll usually find that that's how people treat you.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:29 AM   #10
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+ 1 on that still southern. Many societies still consider respect important as well.
Disrespect no one.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Manley View Post
Having travelled to many parts of the world including some considered dangerous, usually by people who have never been there, I would say the two most important things you can take for your own protection are a confident handshake and a winning smile. The other advice that has been given here about not looking conspicuously well off and being aware of your surroundings are also good advice but self defence and survival training are possibly a little over the top.

Incidently a friend of mine who has probably travelled to more countries than any other solo female motorcycle traveller has only been mugged once, outside her own front door at home.

The greatest risk you will face in the Middle East is caffine poisoning from all of that Islamic hospitality.
Spot on.

I doubt that I thought this up all by myself, but I quote it often. 'If you look like a victim, chances are you'll become one.' Man is by nature a predator so he'll go for the easy ones that look weak and confused.

SO and I were in East Jerusalem, more specifically in the Arab quarter, and we were having a bit of a tiff. Three or four Arab guys approached and one of them asked in an aggressive manner if there was a 'problem', that was to say, 'Can I help you with your male friend?' Such a chivalrous prick. I looked him in the eye and smiled, then told him to mind his own fucking business while still staring at him. End of story.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:21 PM   #12
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Spend 4 months learning the culture and spending time treating EVERYONE with respect, from the beggar to the business executive.

From someone who knows, it will be time much more well spent than a few weeks of martial arts training.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:09 PM   #13
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Four rules I use. 35 plus countries.

1. Be polite. It means more in other countries than ours.

2. Be respectful. Your on your way if your are studying their culture/customs.

3. Trust no one. No one!

4. If you need information search out a teenager. They know where everything is at and know everyone, yet they have not aquired the subtle skills of trying to take advantage of you.

All the training you can get will not help because if your being set up, I can F%@#*ing guarantee you, it will not be from one person it will be from mutiple persons

www.atasecuretravel.com
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:03 AM   #14
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+1 on Krav Maga. I've been training for 3 years with an Israeli instructor. It is.brutal, efficient and quick.
The best lessons I've ever learned from it have nothing to.do with actual fighting though.
Be aware of your surroundings. And have a plan of action if you see or notice something threatening or suspicious.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Alphamale11 View Post
Be aware of your surroundings. And have a plan of action if you see or notice something threatening or suspicious.
Absolutely. Knowing how to defend yourself may be good, if you're unable to escape. And the attacker doesn't have a gun.. or there's no gun, but there's four attackers. That's already many if's.

Your chances to ever get in trouble will be MUCH smaller everywhere, when you just learn to keep aware of your surroundings. And there's no room to be naive, but the world really isn't as scary a place, as the news might have you believe.
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