Tyson My Staffordshire Bull Terrier (2)
When I walk Tyson I am always very much aware as to what is around the next corner.
It could be a turning car, another dog - or even a mugger. We all read about young girls or young mothers with prams being attacked when walking their dog and left injured or worse.
I'm far from being a young girl or mother, but I'm very much aware of my surroundings. My big hobby is in fact the Martial Arts. A lifelong study, my interest now is drawing the attention of pet owners to survival methods if confronted by a robber or worse.
What would you do if - when! - a stranger comes up to you when you're walking your dog in the park or in the woods?
1. Well, the first thing is to be alert and aware of what is going on around you. Anyone behaving unusually, doing something different to what one would reasonably expect. Sadly we have to cultivate this attitude these days. As a boy in Wales seventy years ago it was normal and routine to walk with holiday makers through the fields and woods perfectly safely. Not now! A stranger? - check your escape route immediately! A group of unknown lads - change your direction, but casually as if you hadn't really seen them. Don't be where trouble could also be!
2. Make sure you have a viable weapon with you. A weapon? Yes, however young or old you are. But is it legal to carry a weapon?
First ask yourself the question - is it legal for the mugger to smash you on the head with a brick or stab you in the throat with his knife?
You have your dog with you, and perhaps a pram. He may have a chain around his neck. You will have his lead attached. Chain. Lead ...
There is a martial art called 'manrikigusari-jutsu' dealing with the use of a chain as a most effective method of self defence. So much so that the Guard at old Edo Castle in Japan preferred it to his katana sword when on duty at his Gate. Little used these days, not widely studied.
But wait a bit - you have a chain with you when the possible attacker comes towards you. Your lead has a carefully chosen heavy clasp. Not made of stiffish leather, the lead is made of medium heavy nylon. When it is partly wrapped around your hand, it hangs down out of sight behind your buttock for about thirty inches.
Lo and Behold! - you have a very effective modern day manrikigusari weapon in your hand. Out of sight and immediately ready to slash across his eyes in the instant he comes into your personal space, as soon as he comes in close to you.
But did I say - a modern day weapon? Of course you haven't, all you have is your dog lead. A perfectly legal article to have when you're out and about minding your own business.
[Rubbish! It's a very effective weighted manrikigusari chain, Capable of deflecting and countering a samurai sword; well almost]
You must take his mind. Keeping your WEAPON tucked out of sight, at the last second look directly past his right ear and scream loudly "HELP!". Although there's no-one there. He won't know that. In the half-second as you scream, SLASH the clasp round and through his eyes WHACK! In the same instant SLASH back again and - RUN! Fast, even faster than that!
But your dog? He will run with you, and the attacker's immediate interest is you, not the dog.
Nor your baby in the pram - just leave it and RUN. He's not after a baby, he's after YOU!
Give much thought to this. And give even more thought to practising at a cardboard box in your garden. In sets of say thirty slashes.
Look at the box. Look just past it. Scream "HELP!" (under your breath in the garden) and immediately (while he is momentarily distracted) double slash the box.
It is important that you leave deep score marks in the box - you really MUST slash into it.
If you've got a dog, if you've got a baby as well -
Go into your garden NOW!
Related Tags: dog, pet, baby, chain, self defence, mugger
John Roberts-James is a Black Belt 4th Dan, Senior Coach and author of effective practical books on self defence, including "Protect Yourself And Your Dog" and "Manrikigusari-jutsu". His dog is called Tyson, It barks on command - loudly! http://www.personalprotectionpublications.co.uk Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles
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