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Old 12-30-2012, 07:05 PM   #16
rdwalker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi_Fi_Guy View Post
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.
Brian,
forgive that I am repeating the thoughts in previous posts, but let me reinforce those ideas. Having traveled a bit all over the world, I concur that diplomatic skills and polite and respectful interaction with locals is all you need. Even language skills - while useful - are not that important: gesturing and smiling a lot will get you anywhere.

Otherwise, should anything really bad happen, your newly-acquired self-defense skills are for naught. If you read up on recent happenings in the most dangerous areas (southern tiers of North Africa), you will see that the danger is in being kidnapped for ransom by armed gangs (which is what has happened recently to Austrian and French adventurers).

No disrespect to your martial arts training, but do you really think that you will be able to stand your ground against half-a-dozen of Mali bandits, armed to their teeth with AK47's, while waving your arms in exaggerated ju-jitsu or Krav moves? Really?

So, relax, don't sweat it. Study the culture, enjoy the trip. Most if not all people you will encounter will be friendly and helpful. I actually found that being on a moto increases the friendliness/helpfulness level a lot. If you stray into Mali or Somalia anyway, count on your fate. If it bites you, no amount of martial training will help, you'll just get yourself into deeper doo-doo if you try. Stop listening to Fox News, trying to scare you of the big world. Get your news from world-wide sources that offer a global perspective, like BBC News and AL-Jazeera - so you know what and how other people think.

I still remember the unbelievable panic-stricken advice I got from family and friends when I traveled into Morocco. You'd think I was going into gates of hell, based on what they thought - while in reality I was just roaming in vacation-holiday territory of the Europeans, their version of Disneyworld.

And just like Mark Manley and atravlr, I can attest to this little peculiarity: the most dangerous event of my travels on 5 continents was in Hancock, New York.

rdwalker screwed with this post 12-30-2012 at 07:18 PM
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:24 PM   #17
Hike&ride
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If you really want to get tactical, this is the training facility that use to be known as BlackWater. http://academi.com/ But I must agree that just common sense and being respectable and humble at all times might be the best idea. Study the Dos and Donts of that country when it comes to social behavior. Have fun though!!
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:46 PM   #18
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Krav Maga

I've studied and taught several different martial arts over a 25 year period. You could learn enough Krav Maga in 3-4 months to potentially help you. Find a good school and work hard at it. Don't get a false sense of security with it but it could be a life saver if you needed it.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:30 AM   #19
Dan Man
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I disagree with guy that said "trust no one."

I think one needs to use their best judgement on that. Many ragged looking people that I gave a chance on my travels, turned out to be amazing people that showed me great hospitality.

It is the people along the way that made my Americas trip so memorable.

Be open, but smart.

Smiles and confidence go a long way!
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Man View Post
I disagree with guy that said "trust no one."

Be open, but smart.

Smiles and confidence go a long way!


Here, here.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:51 AM   #21
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Mali

I was traveling in Mali and stopped at a real gas station with gas pumps and saw a white Toyota SUV with a very agitated and animated guy walking and pointing at his car and gesticulating wildly to some other folks that were looking at some spots on his car. I was wondering how he kept his windows so clean, they were totally transparent, wait not transparent they were gone- They had been shot out and the spots were bullet holes. Turned out he had been stopped by bandits who demanded his SUV. Seems the accepted protocol here was if stopped by bandits, comply, give them your transportation and valuables and they would let you keep what they deemed enough water and food to get you to the next stop and send you on your way less your stuff. He broke the rules because he didn't comply and took off so they lit him up. Point being I was told if you encountered bandits, play by their rules and enjoy the walk.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker View Post
Brian,
forgive that I am repeating the thoughts in previous posts, but let me reinforce those ideas. Having traveled a bit all over the world, I concur that diplomatic skills and polite and respectful interaction with locals is all you need. Even language skills - while useful - are not that important: gesturing and smiling a lot will get you anywhere.

Otherwise, should anything really bad happen, your newly-acquired self-defense skills are for naught. If you read up on recent happenings in the most dangerous areas (southern tiers of North Africa), you will see that the danger is in being kidnapped for ransom by armed gangs (which is what has happened recently to Austrian and French adventurers).

No disrespect to your martial arts training, but do you really think that you will be able to stand your ground against half-a-dozen of Mali bandits, armed to their teeth with AK47's, while waving your arms in exaggerated ju-jitsu or Krav moves? Really?

So, relax, don't sweat it. Study the culture, enjoy the trip. Most if not all people you will encounter will be friendly and helpful. I actually found that being on a moto increases the friendliness/helpfulness level a lot. If you stray into Mali or Somalia anyway, count on your fate. If it bites you, no amount of martial training will help, you'll just get yourself into deeper doo-doo if you try. Stop listening to Fox News, trying to scare you of the big world. Get your news from world-wide sources that offer a global perspective, like BBC News and AL-Jazeera - so you know what and how other people think.

I still remember the unbelievable panic-stricken advice I got from family and friends when I traveled into Morocco. You'd think I was going into gates of hell, based on what they thought - while in reality I was just roaming in vacation-holiday territory of the Europeans, their version of Disneyworld.

And just like Mark Manley and atravlr, I can attest to this little peculiarity: the most dangerous event of my travels on 5 continents was in Hancock, New York.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:41 PM   #22
mygs
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Purchase the book titled Adventure Motorcycling. The author is Robert Wicks. I never dreamed of half the things covered in this book. For instance, health concerns, insurance, documentation, emergencies, notes for woman, dress code, attitude, fuel, and on and on...you get the idea.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:31 AM   #23
babarnette
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IMHO you would be better served by spending your time on survival training rather than self defense training. As others have said being polite and courteous will get a long way. It would also serve you well to learn any cultural taboos so you can avoid bad situations in the first place. I spent 7 years as a Military Police Officer in the U.S. Army and without proper training a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous. Generally speaking, when someone is pointing a gun at you, do what they say. Also, there is no training that will tell you what to do in every situation. You have to be able to read the circumstances of a situation and decide on the appropriate use of force to take. And, you have to be able to make that determination in an instant. The good news is that the middle east is predominately a knife culture. Any local thugs you run into are likely to be armed with a knife and not a gun. Now, if someone has a gun and they want your bike, give it to them. Stuff can be replaced, you can't be. Now, if they were trying to kidnap you or you think they are going to shoot you anyway I would fight back or run away to the best of my ability. All of that being said you are unlikely to run into a situation where you need self defense training as long as you make good decisions and follow the cultural norms. You are much more likely to have a mechanical failure and need the survival training while you are stuck out in the middle of nowhere. Good luck in your journey!
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:15 PM   #24
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learn numbers, right, left, different hellos and good byes

"How much does this cost"

Learn to say something more than "Sorry." "Please excuse my ignorance, no offense was meant" in the local language has gotten me out of a few problems.

Learn how to throw a good punch combo if you are worried about the darker side of life.

Also, if you learn any language, learn to say, "I speak very little" because if you happen to say "How much" like a local, they will rattle off to you thinking you understand.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:18 AM   #25
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People focus waaay too much on learning relatively small cultural differences.

If you use your sense of observation and common sense, you will pick up on what is happening and it's not that big of a deal anywhere. Just follow the crowd if you are not sure. Or ask if you are unsure.

And secondly, foreigners are not some stupid monkeys who don't comprehend your ways and want to punish you for your cultural affronts.

Those people still have normal common sense that tells them that even if you make some faux pas, you're probably doing it because that's how things are done in your country and you don't mean anything by it. In fact, in most places of the world foreigners get a ton of leeway with everything - even when people act like 100% a$$holes by every standard, locals will often discount it as 'foreigner behavior'/'cultural difference' and give you a pass.

It's not that big of a deal. Foreigners are just as understanding as you are.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:56 PM   #26
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There are a lot of great ideas here...

but when the shit hits the fan... I met a guy who carried a flare gun across 12 borders and used it twice, once in the jungle of Costa Rica when he literally got jumped by some banditos and once in Canada when a horny bear came after him... I hope he meant the furry animal type and not a furry trucker...

Really just stay aware and use your mouth to talk your way out... If not see above!
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:15 PM   #27
raebear
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Be as culturally aware as possible, try and learn some of the language, be polite and as inconspicuous as possible. Odds are fair you'll be fine, however. Be alert, situational awareness is key. Eyes ears throat elbow nuts knees shins and feet, as a first last resort and preemptively if necessary, go for the leader, if possible identify and take him out and you are less likely to have to take on the next and work your way up. IF it comes to that, your fucked anyway so go big, you may earn some respect that way. roll of dimes in your fist, stout pencil, local farm implement or tool you can carry and use. Use your head first. Flare gun is a neat idea if thats a possibility. Certainly put the hurt on you. there is no such thing as fighting fair when you are fighting for your life
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:47 PM   #28
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If you really want to learn self defense and survival skills, go join the Marines. They'll fix you up in about 12 weeks.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:05 PM   #29
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There's is good advice here.

I'll add my 2 cents as someone with decades of real martial arts experience. What I tell people who ask for self defense advice is don't be a victim. The goal is to make a would be attacker realize that it would be "expensive" to take you on and that they should move on to easier targets. Mostly, this comes from how you carry yourself. Head up confidence but that doesn't mean acting like a dick. Some people get that confused. Most bad guys aren't all that bad. But if you meet a real killer then good luck to you and run.

If you carry a weapon plan on using it or having it used on you. That goes for pepper spray too. Martial arts classes can give you tons of confidence but many dojos teach point sparring and magazine techniques. Not really useful in the real world. But the way you carry yourself afterward is often enough to keep danger away.

Given all that, I've been all around this world and never had to run . Just a couple of minor situations that were managed but the real truth is that most people are really cool. Enjoy your trip and make a lot of friends.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:23 PM   #30
RTODAHL01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi_Fi_Guy View Post
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.
Check out " the fighters fact book 2"
Also read "scaling force"
Both books offer good information.
get in shape. self defense is a lot of things. There is no one be all cure all
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