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The Legality of Self Defence In Canada

Kat Stevens

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I have two daughters that live in Edmonton, well away from daddy's protective arms.  I taught them basic boxing combos and vulnerable spots on the human bod.  They both carry a kubotan and know how to use it.  if accosted by 5-O and questioned, they are told that it's just a cool key thingy that their daddy gave them.  In the end, I'd rather pay for their lawyer than their funeral director.
 

mariomike

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NOT suggesting this, but this topic reminds reminds me of how the late ( great ) Charles Bronson handled a "transit moment":
( Warning, mature content )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of-57Ivfwz8
 

ballz

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I'm going to try and chime in here as a small fish in a big-*** ocean when it comes to martial arts.

My instructor, who is a pretty big fish in the pond told me one thing that will always stand out in my mind as truth. "Self-defense is 90% common sense, and 10% knowing how to fight. There is no "defending" involved."

One thing I have not seen mentioned is the possibility of having her do her commutes with somebody else, preferably a male (bouncer?). From what I know of the downtown scenes, it's usually a small enough community that, if she can't find somebody she works with that lives close to her, somebody she works with knows somebody else that works downtown that lives close to her. I recommend she starts asking. Having one other person with you makes a huge difference, especially if there's a male. Avoiding these situations is 90% of it, and this is a huge deterance if the other things discussed (change of transportation methods, change of routes, etc) aren't available.

Second, when it comes to "a self-defence course," don't buy into that bs... Fancy "courses" are a huge rip-off. You can't "learn" a few tricks and expect to be able to use them when it really matters. While these courses can do a decent job at teaching a person to use their common sense to avoid situations, they're garbage for the physical aspect.

If you or her want to learn the physical aspect of it, find a real academy and learn a martial art (or more). Don't take a course. People spend their entire lives "practicing" martial arts for a reason. You can't learn what you need over a weekend.

As to which martial arts I'd recommend, a hard style that focuses on actual smash and break fighting. I'd definitely look for a place with a competitive fighting team (actually competing for titles, not just point matches and etc.). If there's no sparring involved, don't waste your time or money.


Hard styles that should be easy to find would be Kenpo Karate, Traditional (ITF) Taekwondo (for god's sake don't go for the "WTF" or Sport TKD), and Muay thai or kickboxing (not aerobic or "lady" kickboxing... real kickboxing... Muay thai also uses elbows and knees which "kickboxing" doesn't because of the rules.) Boxing is also great. The key to remember about all these for applying them in a manner of defending yourself is that you are attacking and running, not beating the person up, or "defending" yourself.

Jiu jitsu (which is soft) is sort of in a world of its own but definitely has a huge place in martial arts especially for a woman as the focus is on leverage/technique, instead of speed/strength. I'd recommend it in addition to one of the ones above if possible, but if not, it's not an acceptable substitution (for self-defense or fighting), despite what the Gracie's might try and tell you.

Sambo is a good mixture of hard and soft techniques, personally I'd love to practice it. You are in the right place to look for it, but it's pretty hard to find in North America.

This is something you two could both take up together too.

Good luck.
 

HavokFour

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If worse comes to worse, you can always teach her how to make a millwall brick. It's saved my butt on several occasions.
 

Strike

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ballz said:
Second, when it comes to "a self-defence course," don't buy into that bs... Fancy "courses" are a huge rip-off. You can't "learn" a few tricks and expect to be able to use them when it really matters. While these courses can do a decent job at teaching a person to use their common sense to avoid situations, they're garbage for the physical aspect.

If you or her want to learn the physical aspect of it, find a real academy and learn a martial art (or more). Don't take a course. People spend their entire lives "practicing" martial arts for a reason. You can't learn what you need over a weekend.

I'm going to agree (somewhat) with ballz here.  A weekend self-defence course just won't cut it.  You have to build muscle memory and that takes time.

As for what type of martial arts to study, this is where we differ.  After 13 years studying TKD (mostly) and other martial arts, it really doesn't matter which one you choose, provided that you pick one that has an actual sparring content.  Really, it has nothing to do with whether or not what you learn can be put in to practice, but the self-confidence that you get from participating in a martial art.  That self-confidence transfers to how you walk, act and carry yourself and can be enough to deter an attacker.

I'm not a big woman, but I'll tell you, I've NEVER been threatened on the streets or in a bar.  Does this have anything to do with my martial arts training? (ballz-I compete at the National level at WTF TKD btw and was supposed to be on my way to Mexico next week for Pan-Am except that work got in the way)  Who knows?  I would like to think it does.

Whatever you choose, good luck and stick with it.
 

Ex-SHAD

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This situation illustrates why Canada needs proper self-defense laws and CCDW.
 

bdave

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ballz said:
Jiu jitsu (which is soft) is sort of in a world of its own but definitely has a huge place in martial arts especially for a woman as the focus is on leverage/technique, instead of speed/strength. I'd recommend it in addition to one of the ones above if possible, but if not, it's not an acceptable substitution (for self-defense or fighting), despite what the Gracie's might try and tell you.

I'm going to elaborate on this, because it's an important point - that most people misunderstand.
It works in MMA because the rules cater to it.

If you ever get in a fight with someone, there are several reasons why jiu jitsu would not be helpful:

-You are (maybe) fighting opponentS. Jiu Jitsu has a focus on one on one. Going to the ground with bad guy 1 is an invitation for bad guys 2, 3, 4 etc to kick your head in. You might have gotten in a fight with one person, but didn't catch his buddy behind you.

-Jiu Jitsu relies heavily on extremely close quarters and is the strongest on the floor. That someone might have a knife or other in his hand. You are dead.

-Jiu Jitsu training sparring works through a set of rules. Those rules  are a great way to defend yourself against someone extremely close to you. That is, if the person follows the same rules. Someone who trains a specific style will go through the motions via muscle memory, this includes all the cons of the style. Some times those cons are a lack of defense versus strikes. What's to stop your enemy from putting his finger in your eye, headbutting you or other?

-Concrete is hard. It is very painful to roll on. Doing a flying armbar on someone is a guarantee that your head will be hitting the concrete first. Moving around on concrete is very painful, especially the hips, knees and elbows. Trying to do some of those moves/techniques while on concrete may be impossible due to the pain.

-Anything on the floor. That rock, that broken glass,  that needle, etc. All are hazards. Are you gonna see them when the adrenaline is rushing through your veins and you're rolling on the floor?

-Escape. If shit hits the fan and you need to make a run for it, you're down. You have to disengage yourself, get up and run. Easier than it sounds versus a fighting opponent.

-Do you have what it takes? It takes ballz to break someone's arm and whatnot. When it comes to it, you might not have the testicular fortitude.

-The fact that your best defense is based on laying down on the floor.

-Self defense is not only about neutralizing a threat, but also by getting away from it. Again, running away should be a priority. Much more difficult to do when you're focused on going to the ground.

-Boxing, judo, wrestling, and various forms of kickboxing (muay thai, etc) allow you to engage your opponent without being attached to them. When you are doine with one, you can focus on the other. You can still be effective without being attached to one person.

If you're a woman, I'd stay away from Jiu Jitsu. Best advice I could give is work on your 100 meter sprint, and increase your kicking speed to the groin and knees.
A woman who is fighting her opponent who is probably trying to rape her will be at her weakest on the ground due to a difference in size, weight and strength. When it comes to the difference in strength, the biggest gap is that of upper body strength. Technique is important, but it is very easy/possible for a man to muscle through.
If it comes to that range of contact, I'd suggest she throw it all to the wind and start biting and scratching with the intent to kill.

They say that fighting is not about the style, but about the fighter. I would agree.
It's a mentality.

I'd focus on kyokushin, muay thai, boxing, judo and/or wrestling:

-Kyokushin and muay thai because they give you a focus on kicks, knees and elbows. Kyokushin has a huge flaw is that it has zero focus on punches to the head. Can be remedied with some boxing. The advantage to kyokushin is that all the hits are done without protection. So those punches to the body, and kicks/knees to the head are the real deal.
I don't know enough about TKD to comment. As long as it isn't the sport/olympic version, you should be fine.

-Boxing because it allows you to learn to roll with the punches and properly protect the head. Most people don't know that boxers wear gloves to protect their hands, not their head. Punching someone's head, especially improperly, is a great way to break your hand and make it useless. The better of a boxer you are, the harder you are likely to hit, and the more likely you are to break your hand. Ironic. So just hit with an open palm.

-Judo has a focus on 'gi', which is basically clothing. Being able to throw/manipulate someone by their clothing is very useful. Being able to throw someone without going down with them yourself is great for self defense. Gives you time to focus on the next guy and/or run.

-Wrestling. Huge focus on not being taken down by the legs and other. Has some good throws. Take into account the 'lack of defense' concerning standup fighting.


I don't have many credentials.
For what it's worth: I've done fighting 'sports' for a number of years (over a decade) in a variety of styles and have competed in a number of tournaments. These are just my observations.
Sorry for the rant.
My  :2c:
 

ballz

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bdave said:
I'm going to elaborate on this, because it's an important point - that most people misunderstand.
It works in MMA because the rules cater to it.

If you ever get in a fight with someone, there are several reasons why jiu jitsu would not be helpful:

-You are (maybe) fighting opponentS. Jiu Jitsu has a focus on one on one. Going to the ground with bad guy 1 is an invitation for bad guys 2, 3, 4 etc to kick your head in. You might have gotten in a fight with one person, but didn't catch his buddy behind you.

-Jiu Jitsu relies heavily on extremely close quarters and is the strongest on the floor. That someone might have a knife or other in his hand. You are dead.

-Jiu Jitsu training sparring works through a set of rules. Those rules  are a great way to defend yourself against someone extremely close to you. That is, if the person follows the same rules. Someone who trains a specific style will go through the motions via muscle memory, this includes all the cons of the style. Some times those cons are a lack of defense versus strikes. What's to stop your enemy from putting his finger in your eye, headbutting you or other?

-Concrete is hard. It is very painful to roll on. Doing a flying armbar on someone is a guarantee that your head will be hitting the concrete first. Moving around on concrete is very painful, especially the hips, knees and elbows. Trying to do some of those moves/techniques while on concrete may be impossible due to the pain.

-Anything on the floor. That rock, that broken glass,  that needle, etc. All are hazards. Are you gonna see them when the adrenaline is rushing through your veins and you're rolling on the floor?

-Escape. If crap hits the fan and you need to make a run for it, you're down. You have to disengage yourself, get up and run. Easier than it sounds versus a fighting opponent.

-Do you have what it takes? It takes ballz to break someone's arm and whatnot. When it comes to it, you might not have the testicular fortitude.

-The fact that your best defense is based on laying down on the floor.

-Self defense is not only about neutralizing a threat, but also by getting away from it. Again, running away should be a priority. Much more difficult to do when you're focused on going to the ground.

-Boxing, judo, wrestling, and various forms of kickboxing (muay thai, etc) allow you to engage your opponent without being attached to them. When you are doine with one, you can focus on the other. You can still be effective without being attached to one person.

If you're a woman, I'd stay away from Jiu Jitsu. Best advice I could give is work on your 100 meter sprint, and increase your kicking speed to the groin and knees.
A woman who is fighting her opponent who is probably trying to rape her will be at her weakest on the ground due to a difference in size, weight and strength. When it comes to the difference in strength, the biggest gap is that of upper body strength. Technique is important, but it is very easy/possible for a man to muscle through.
If it comes to that range of contact, I'd suggest she throw it all to the wind and start biting and scratching with the intent to kill.

They say that fighting is not about the style, but about the fighter. I would agree.
It's a mentality.

I'd focus on kyokushin, muay thai, boxing, judo and/or wrestling:

-Kyokushin and muay thai because they give you a focus on kicks, knees and elbows. Kyokushin has a huge flaw is that it has zero focus on punches to the head. Can be remedied with some boxing. The advantage to kyokushin is that all the hits are done without protection. So those punches to the body, and kicks/knees to the head are the real deal.
I don't know enough about TKD to comment. As long as it isn't the sport/olympic version, you should be fine.

-Boxing because it allows you to learn to roll with the punches and properly protect the head. Most people don't know that boxers wear gloves to protect their hands, not their head. Punching someone's head, especially improperly, is a great way to break your hand and make it useless. The better of a boxer you are, the harder you are likely to hit, and the more likely you are to break your hand. Ironic. So just hit with an open palm.

-Judo has a focus on 'gi', which is basically clothing. Being able to throw/manipulate someone by their clothing is very useful. Being able to throw someone without going down with them yourself is great for self defense. Gives you time to focus on the next guy and/or run.

-Wrestling. Huge focus on not being taken down by the legs and other. Has some good throws. Take into account the 'lack of defense' concerning standup fighting.


I don't have many credentials.
For what it's worth: I've done fighting 'sports' for a number of years (over a decade) in a variety of styles and have competed in a number of tournaments. These are just my observations.
Sorry for the rant.
My  :2c:


I'm going to guess you have never done much jiu jitsu. Jiu jitsu take downs are very similar to judo takedowns in the use of the gi and leverage, and now a lot of prominent jiu jitsu figures are actually training in judo and bringing it over to their art because they realize judo has a wider variety for takedowns that works perfectly with jiu jitsu's theory.

However, I did not say to take jiu jitsu for the reasons you say so. I didn't say wrestling or judo because they would encourage a person to get tangled up with a larger opponent. Guess what, you will be going down with that larger opponent, like it or not.

The reason I said jiu jitsu (and notice I emphasized "in addition to" and specifically said not to "substitute") is for the worst-case scenario that you end up on the ground (like I said.... attack and run), which is very realistic with a larger opponent. What it will allow you to do is escape from a dominated position (like full mount, half guard, side control, headlocks/crossbody, back control, etc) quite EASILY (it's white belt stuff) so that you are able to get up, and run.

Everything you have said about going to the ground, I pretty much agree with 100%... you misinterpreted my reasoning for saying jiu jitsu, which I suppose is mostly my fault since my post was getting long and I didn't want to elaborate.

I disagree that wrestling is desirable for a woman. There is a big speed/strength component to it. If a small woman tries to single-leg me (my favorite), she's immediately on the ground with me like it or not. I also don't like Judo for this reason. If she can tie up my clothes and throw me, I can wrap my arms around her slash grab her clothes and take 120 lbs of her down with me no problem.

A woman should always try and remain on the outside just long enough to get a jab in their face and kick / rip a testicle out, before running. Unfortunately that's not always possible and that's where jiu jitsu could make the difference.

EDIT: "A woman who is fighting her opponent who is probably trying to rape her will be at her weakest on the ground due to a difference in size, weight and strength."

This I have to disagree with. Again, not advocating anybody to take anything to the ground, because in the real world it IS the WORST-CASE SCENARIO. However, a man's weight and strength advantage does become LESS on the ground against a trained opponent. The largest person I've ever rolled with is at least 250 lbs.... The heaviest person I've ever rolled with was about 135 lbs. He had the stature of a woman but he felt like a gorilla on top of me.
 

bdave

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ballz said:
I'm going to guess you have never done much jiu jitsu. Jiu jitsu take downs are very similar to judo takedowns in the use of the gi and leverage, and now a lot of prominent jiu jitsu figures are actually training in judo and bringing it over to their art because they realize judo has a wider variety for takedowns that works perfectly with jiu jitsu's theory.

However, I did not say to take jiu jitsu for the reasons you say so. I didn't say wrestling or judo because they would encourage a person to get tangled up with a larger opponent. Guess what, you will be going down with that larger opponent, like it or not.

The reason I said jiu jitsu (and notice I emphasized "in addition to" and specifically said not to "substitute") is for the worst-case scenario that you end up on the ground (like I said.... attack and run), which is very realistic with a larger opponent. What it will allow you to do is escape from a dominated position (like full mount, half guard, side control, headlocks, etc) quite EASILY (it's white-belt stuff) so that you are able to get up, and run.

Everything you have said about going to the ground, I pretty much agree with 100%... you misinterpreted my reasoning for saying jiu jitsu, which I suppose is mostly my fault since my post was getting long and I didn't want to elaborate.

I disagree that wrestling is desirable for a woman. There is a big speed/strength component to it. If a small woman tries to single-leg me (my favorite), she's immediately on the ground with me like it or not. I also don't like Judo for this reason. If she can tie up my clothes and throw me, I can wrap my arms around her slash grab her clothes and take 120 lbs of her down with me no problem.

A woman should always try and remain on the outside just long enough to get a jab in their face and kick / rip a testicle out, before running. Unfortunately that's not always possible and that's where jiu jitsu could make the difference.

Seen. However, the wrestling/judo part had 'nothing' to do with the woman thing. For the women I recommended 100 meter sprints and kicks to the groin and knees.
I should have made it more clear.

No, you are right, I have never done Jiu Jitsu. I did have one guy show me some Jiu Jitsu stuff. I found alot of the times, I could have pretty much dug my elbow in his face and whatnot. Maybe I'm biased.

I understand your stance on Jiu Jitsu, I just think that when you spend so much time and energy 'perfecting' one art, it shouldn't be in a position where it's your last resort because of all the inherent flaws (that I outlined).
I just think that since there are so many stages that can happen before you are taken to the ground, that it would be in someone's best interest to train at something that will prevent you from going to the ground.
 

ballz

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bdave said:
No, you are right, I have never done Jiu Jitsu. I did have one guy show me some Jiu Jitsu stuff. I found alot of the times, I could have pretty much dug my elbow in his face and whatnot. Maybe I'm biased.

Not bias, it's true. There is a lot of stuff geared towards competition (especially now that it's becoming increasingly popular and people want to compete) that is garbage (however this is with all martial arts). Perhaps Japanese jits would be better in this case than Brazilian jits. Funny you mention about digging an elbow in their face, as this is an extremely important part of jits (pressing an elbow/shoulder/hand/knee/etc into the jaw-bone to turn their head for some odd reason makes them almost powerless... unless you were talking about literally elbowing them in the face which makes them also unconscious which would also be desirable :D)

bdave said:
I understand your stance on Jiu Jitsu, I just think that when you spend so much time and energy 'perfecting' one art, it shouldn't be in a position where it's your last resort because of all the inherent flaws (that I outlined).
I just think that since there are so many stages that can happen before you are taken to the ground, that it would be in someone's best interest to train at something that will prevent you from going to the ground.

I agree... striking is first and foremost. Like I said, if possible, make jits an addition, but the primary focus should be a hard-style striking martial art. Personally I do 3-4 Muay Thai classes a week and only 1-2 jits classes, and if I'm too busy, jits takes the backseat before the thai classes start getting dropped too.

Would like to add, jits takes an incredible long time to "perfect," 10 years to get a black belt if you are dedicated, which is unheard of in any martial arts I know about. However, as a mere white belt, I can say that the amount of knowledge and skill a blue belt (first promotion, after about 100-150, up to 200 hrs of jits classes) has is quite impressive compared to other martial arts.
 

57Chevy

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the 48th regulator said:
Invest in a vehicle and get her the hell away from the Public Transit. 
That is my advice.

Hey Wonderbread
Best quick solution/advice I've read for your girlfriend so far. :nod:
Why ?
It takes alot of time to learn the proper techniques of self defence.
Knives, spray and all the other stuff is really provocative to the agressor and could easily make things worse. :rage:

 

mariomike

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There is even a website and forum now: "Trash talk the TTC":
http://www.trashtalkthettc.com/index.php

On the subject of cars vs TTC, one forum member had this to say, "have fun with insurance, car payments, gas, traffic jams and the possiblity of having to pay for a traffic accident..."
( And parking - if you can find it. Or injured in a car accident, I would add. )

Although TTC has had its bad days as well:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6078386056981269745#
Their worst day was August 11, 1995.

Whether you prefer to drive, or TTC ( Take The Car? ) there is no doubt that the roads and transit are congested. Mayor-elect Ford pointed this out during his election campaign:
“Right now we can’t even deal with the 2.5 million people in this city. I think it is more important to take care of people now before we start bringing in more people,” Mr. Ford said during the debate.
“There’s going to be a million more people, according to the official plan (which I did not support) over the next ten years coming into the city. We can’t even deal with the 2.5 million people. How are we going to welcome another million people in? It is going to be chaotic. We can’t even deal with the chaos we have now. I think we have to say enough’s enough.”:
http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/08/18/mayoral-candidate-rob-ford-defends-controversial-immigration-comments/

Some "bad seeds" on the road, as well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suQAFSvQx4g

As far as personal safety is concerned, I have always felt safer on the subway than in my car.
( Although I always stand with my back against the wall until the train doors open. )




 

Greymatters

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57Chevy said:
Hey Wonderbread
Best quick solution/advice I've read for your girlfriend so far. :nod:
Why ?
It takes alot of time to learn the proper techniques of self defence.
Knives, spray and all the other stuff is really provocative to the agressor and could easily make things worse. :rage:

Thats pretty much the key to any debate - do you suggest they just act submissive? 

 

57Chevy

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Greymatters said:
Thats pretty much the key to any debate - do you suggest they just act submissive?
Absolutely not.
Staying clear of possible trouble makers is a key. Learning to recognize threats is very important.
Remember that using public transport with another person can be a hooligan deterrant.
But if you must travel alone, a good idea is to not follow the same path all the time.
Study the route, create an "in case of action plan" consisting of key locations where help can be obtained quickly.
That could be a coffee shop or restaurant that you frequent where the personnel have come to recognize you.
Most important........DON'T PANIC.

I admit that using a vehicle to get around town has many downsides, like traffic jams of which most people hate.
Parking is certainly not the greatest feature :eek: and can be costly in the downtown core.
But my previous post concerns the "right now solution".

And don't forget the idea of alternating the public transport and private vehicle use.
And also being picked-up after work once in a while by the other partner helps quite a bit.
Hoping this helps. :)
 

mariomike

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Good advice, 57 Chevy. Another safety concern on the TTC is crowds:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGdsR027jcE
One billion customers are carried approximately every 30 months.
"Mind the doors!"
 

Greymatters

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All of your suggestions, and even most of the suggestions, throughout the thread make sense - if you are a current or former serving member of the CF or LEO. 

Women, in general, dont think like this; its not just 20 year old girlfriends we're discussing, but also 30+ professional career women, 40+ housewives, >18 teenagers, and 60+ grandmothers.

None of these ladies are likely to drop what they are doing and suddenly take up martial arts or become a mixed martial arts fighter.  Even if they did, very few of them are going to turn into a Jackie Chan and have the confidence to take on a 200+ pound male.

None of them are likely to want to carry a sharp pointy thing, nor do they believe they should have to.  Even if they did, its a rare woman who would think of using it unless pushed into an act of desperation.

The feedback Ive gotten from the Missus on this question is that she shouldnt even be at risk while riding on public transit.  What was the driver doing?  What were the other passengers doing?  Why did no man stand up and say something?  (Which pointed out a lot of social and corporate security issues, but didnt really solve the problem or answer the question; still, that was her response).

I think the best answer for this guy's girlfriend is finding out, what is she comfortable doing?  Does she want to carry and use dog spray?  Does she want to carry and use an airhorn?  Is she willing to start screaming and drawing attention to herself when she gets verbally abused or threatened?  Better figure out the scope of the problem before seeking a solution.

 

the 48th regulator

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Greymatters said:
All of your suggestions, and even most of the suggestions, throughout the thread make sense - if you are a current or former serving member of the CF or LEO. 

Women, in general, dont think like this; its not just 20 year old girlfriends we're discussing, but also 30+ professional career women, 40+ housewives, >18 teenagers, and 60+ grandmothers.

None of these ladies are likely to drop what they are doing and suddenly take up martial arts or become a mixed martial arts fighter.  Even if they did, very few of them are going to turn into a Jackie Chan and have the confidence to take on a 200+ pound male.

None of them are likely to want to carry a sharp pointy thing, nor do they believe they should have to.  Even if they did, its a rare woman who would think of using it unless pushed into an act of desperation.

The feedback Ive gotten from the Missus on this question is that she shouldnt even be at risk while riding on public transit.  What was the driver doing?  What were the other passengers doing?  Why did no man stand up and say something?  (Which pointed out a lot of social and corporate security issues, but didnt really solve the problem or answer the question; still, that was her response).

I think the best answer for this guy's girlfriend is finding out, what is she comfortable doing?  Does she want to carry and use dog spray?  Does she want to carry and use an airhorn?  Is she willing to start screaming and drawing attention to herself when she gets verbally abused or threatened?  Better figure out the scope of the problem before seeking a solution.


the 48th regulator said:
Invest in a vehicle and get her the hell away from the Public Transit. 
That is my advice.


57Chevy said:
Hey Wonderbread
Best quick solution/advice I've read for your girlfriend so far. :nod:
Why ?
It takes alot of time to learn the proper techniques of self defence.
Knives, spray and all the other stuff is really provocative to the agressor and could easily make things worse. :rage:

Need I say more??

diles

tees

 

Fusaki

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Thanks for the input guys,

Re: Getting a car

I have a car, it's paid off, and it was awesome when I was making CPL4 and living in the shacks.  But these days I just can't afford to keep it on the road.  Car insurance, gas, parking, and maintenance add up fast.  Driving just isn't an option while I'm paying my way through school and she's up to her neck in student debt - working for pennies as she desperately tries to find a career in her field.

Re: Routes, helpful bystanders/TTC employees, travelling with friends

Unfortunately, I don't think we can depend on any of these things.  I'm not sure that the risks of getting lost or spending more time in the city outweigh the risks of taking the same route every night.  The IED threat in downtown TO is nil, but you're likely to find crazies regardless of what route you take.  On the assumption that most attacks on women in TO are against random passersby and not targeted individuals, I think the best option for her is to come straight home.

I'm also not willing to depend solely on the kindness of strangers or friends that may or may not be around in a time of crisis.  While I think it's important to recognize the value in travelling with friends, knowing the TTC safety programs, and staying in well lit areas, no one can guarantee that this kind of help will be available all the time.  An argument can be made that these initiatives don't necessarily diminish the overall risk, but instead just focus them to the dark places you can't avoid and toward the women who have no choice but to travel alone.  I'm looking for an option that is available and effective every time, all the time.

Greymatters raises a good point,

I don't think she'd be able to defend herself unarmed without a lot of training time that she just doesn't have.  I'm highly suspicious of any fighting system that tries to sell you skills that can be learned overnight and used against likely attackers.  Most women would have to put in some long and hard hours to develop the ability to fend off a man with a +50lb advantage.  Even if we had the money to put her into that kind of training, I don't think she'd have the time to commit between working and career applications.  Realistically, "putting her in a self defense course" just won't cut it.

To be fair, I mentioned carrying a knife in my first post in this thread because, legality aside, I think it would be something that would be good for me.  Especially given the specific knife I linked to (if you havn't checked it out, you should) and characteristics that make it quick to deploy and easy to retain, I'm pretty sure that I could use it effectively to extract myself from most situations.  What Greymatters has drawn attention to though, is that I've been thinking about what would make sense for me - a guy with 7 years in the infantry and combat experience; not what would make sense for my girlfriend, who's never been in a fight in her life.

I've been thinking about this all wrong.

So far, I think the horn is the best idea: it's something that's legal and something she'd potentially have the skill and the will to use.  That said, I see a few problems with the horn idea:

In the event of an attack, would she have the fine motor skills to pull the horn from her purse and push the button to make it work?

Is a loud noise really likely to deter an attacker?  What if he's drunk or high?

What if no one is around to hear the noise?
 

Kat Stevens

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one of these  http://www.surefire.com/E2DL , or a knockoff, is pretty handy, easy to use, and hurts like a bastard.
 

J.J

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The knife(s) you have interest in are illegal in Canada to posses or import. Even if your girlfriend doesn't have to use the knife she could be arrested.

http://www.hideawayknife.com/main.php

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/SOR-98-462/FullText.html
8. The device known as the “Constant Companion”, being a belt containing a blade capable of being withdrawn from the belt, with the buckle of the belt forming a handle for the blade, and any similar device.
9. Any knife commonly known as a “push-dagger” that is designed in such a fashion that the handle is placed perpendicular to the main cutting edge of the blade and any other similar device other than the aboriginal “ulu” knife.
10. Any device having a length of less than 30 cm and resembling an innocuous object but designed to conceal a knife or blade, including the device commonly known as the “knife-comb”, being a comb with the handle of the comb forming a handle for the knife, and any similar device.
 
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