Suggestions for self-defense & survivial training?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Hi_Fi_Guy, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. gofast1320

    gofast1320 Been here awhile

    Apr 22, 2010
    Middle Tennessee
    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.
  2. mygs

    mygs Adventurer

    May 20, 2011
    Columbus, Ohio
    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 get the idea.
  3. babarnette

    babarnette Been here awhile

    Aug 30, 2011
    San Antonio, TX
    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!
  4. Dastard

    Dastard Just another guy

    Sep 25, 2004
    wherever I am told to be
    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.
  5. Witold

    Witold Been here awhile

    Jul 21, 2004
    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.
  6. divrnr

    divrnr ROAD WARRIOR

    Jan 31, 2013
    Scottsdale, AZ
    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...:rofl

    Really just stay aware and use your mouth to talk your way out... If not see above!
  7. raebear

    raebear Been here awhile

    Jan 1, 2013
    Ely, NV; Grand Junction, CO
    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
  8. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    May 14, 2005
    MS. Gulf Coast and Puerto Vallarta, MX
    If you really want to learn self defense and survival skills, go join the Marines. They'll fix you up in about 12 weeks.
  9. Smoke Eater 3

    Smoke Eater 3 Long timer

    Nov 30, 2012
    Lincolnville, Maine
    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 :D. 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.
  10. RTODAHL01

    RTODAHL01 Been here awhile

    Nov 6, 2012
    SedroWoolley Wa
    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
  11. nickgindy

    nickgindy KLR Basher

    Jun 30, 2011
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Situational Awareness
    Learn about culture
    Don't fully trust any one
    Krav Maga
    RTODAHL01 likes this.
  12. mountaincadre

    mountaincadre Been here awhile

    Jul 18, 2012
    Mid Calder,Scotland
    To the original poster, enjoy your trip and STOP worrying, listen to the guys who obviousley have experience traveling. People are the same everywhere, if you treat them with respect, they will treat you with respect.
  13. lhendrik

    lhendrik Putins Puppet

    Dec 10, 2008
    New York
    I just returned this Fall from a trip across Eastern Europe, Turkey and Republic of Georgia (Formerly Russia). I crossed through Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Macedonia. Before I left, everyone I told about my plans said I would be killed or robbed....

    I met no one that made me feel in any way uncomfortable or threatened, except the loonies at Newark Airport.

    In truth, these were some of the friendliest people I have ever encountered. Once you have traveled more you may come to the realization that is us folks in the US that are looked at as somewhat aggressive, etc.

    I suspect the same can be said for most of the middle east...

    So, maybe do your best to spread the word that we are peaceful folk, and don't be looking to defend yourself.

    As for survival, even the third world can be pretty developed these days - but it is nice to prepare yourself, hell - you can slide of the highway near LA and be eaten by cannibals.
    RTODAHL01 likes this.
  14. EtronX

    EtronX Been here awhile

    Mar 31, 2010
    Arm yourself properly. With lots of respect and lots of smiles :D

    Those two are the most powerful "weapons" you can have.
  15. raiden

    raiden curious travelor

    May 23, 2011
    Sarasota , Fl
    I have been a cop for 23 years and feel that situational awareness and treating others with great respect will go farther than planning on fighting your way through problems. There have been alot of great advice given however the advice reference arming yourself is dangerous. I spent time in china and thought long and hard about these same factors before traveling. I found the people to be gernerous and friendly but most importantly inquisitive. treat people the respect you want and engage them in conversation (however you can). I was in Budapest Hungary in the 90's after the Russian's were forced out The people were very off standish and would not look you in the eyes. They were suspicious of strangers.. However the youth were awsome and wanted to find out everything about you. Your trusty steed will become your olive branch. Show off your bike and have a blast! If you are expecting to be raped around every corner then you will take the fun out of it.
    Erinaceous likes this.
  16. Padre

    Padre Distant Spot on a Sandbar

    Feb 22, 2004
    Cape Cod
    Photojournalist Steve McCurry recommends, in his videos, trying to use, as much as possible, the services of local guides, who know the languages and the local customs, and can steer you away from making a cultural mistake, and toward a richer experience of a strange place. Seems like good advice.
  17. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone Viking Berserker

    Jul 18, 2010
    Mountain Home, AR
    Padre, your advice seems at odds with your sig line. Just a friendly observation. I thought it was sort of funny.

    Ride on and ride safe!!! :D
  18. Padre

    Padre Distant Spot on a Sandbar

    Feb 22, 2004
    Cape Cod
    Story of my life. :D
  19. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

    Aug 18, 2009
    Vienna, Austria

    Which countries are you thinking about going to? I'm pretty sure you'll be able to get some pretty good, country specific advice from inmates here...

    I loved Saudi, Bahrain and Israel - never felt threatened. Learned a few words, took a genuine interest in the local culture, maintained a reasonable level of awareness - as much as I did in London, or New York etc etc. Take sensible precautions - eg I carry a few notes and old cards in an obvious wallet just in case. Only ever had to use it once and that was to buy my way out of trouble in Morocco but it gives great peace of mind.

    Find some local contacts/inmates here, meet people, respect the local culture, have an awesome time.
  20. scudrunner

    scudrunner Been here awhile

    Oct 12, 2007
    Western Nebraska
    Sent you a PM. I have a few thoughts of training. I agree with respect and politeness goes a long way... but beware and cautious when your instincts tell you there is danger.