The Win Before the Fight

by Kellene Bishop

I’ve been reading a great book over the last couple of weeks, Molon Labe. In it the author reminds the reader several times that all fights are decided before the battle begins. The point being that it’s the level of preparation which takes place before a battle which determines the victor.  In the case of the self-defense of women, I advocate consistent, challenging practice which will ensure successful self-defense. While the attacker may have life-long experience as a bully or a law breaker, it doesn’t make him/her fully prepared for their battle with you directly. However, through consistent mental and physical rehearsal to apply to multiple “what if” scenarios, you are leagues ahead of any assailant. And thus your battles are already won before they even begin.

Even better, confidence, calm, presence of mind, necessary tools, and a clear conscience are the fruits of such preparation—even if you are ever called upon to defend yourself. There is simply no price of time or money that can be put upon such fruits, in my opinion.

This past Saturday I took a couple of my girlfriend’s children to the dollar theater to see “Shrek 4.” Both children were under 12, with the youngest being only 9 and who also has Asperger Syndrome. Unfortunately, by the time we were able to get into the theater for seating, there were very few options left for 3 people to sit together. Thankfully one of the theater employees escorted us to a side row of 4 seats, with the outside seat being occupied by a hefty man. The movie had just begun and so the employee quietly leaned down and requested the man allow us to scoot by him and be seated.  As if he had just been asked to relinquish control over his own private remote, and give up a years worth of beer, and run a 5K marathon, he responded quite put out.  His only “effort” to allow us to pass was to spread his overstuffed sausage legs further apart. Yes, it was so attractive,–not—and a bit creepy. Because of his size, it was still a bit difficult for the kids to get past him, let alone myself, who is also quite chubby. It would have been so much easier if he had simply got up from his seat, and stepped into the aisle a moment.  I suppose that I’m a bit spoiled nowadays with this expectation, as my husband certainly would have done the same thing for us and any stranger. Needless to say, it was irritating to have an example of such rudeness displayed to the kids.  Well, being the somewhat sassy person that I am, I just couldn’t hold it in and it had to be heard. I just had to say it. And say it I did. “Well, I guess chivalry is dead”, I quietly demurred.

I didn’t have any anger when I made this statement, nor did I shout. I suppose that a kinder person would have just kept quiet and tolerated his rudeness, but I guess I’m not very good at keeping some of my thoughts to myself. Having said my two cents, I realized that such an inconsiderate man would have been compelled to say something in return, but I suppose I had simply expected an apathetic “whatever” from the sweating, heavy breathing mammoth.  Not that I expected an apology in response to my comment, but I was a bit startled with what did come out of his mouth. “Why don’t you just shut your mouth or I’ll punch you in the face!”

Wait a minute.  Did you really just threaten to physically assault a woman with two kids simply because she called you out?  Really? This was your very first instinct, to threaten physical violence in a packed movie theater without a care in the world as to the consequences?  This was your knee jerk, comfortable, standard response?  Folks, that’s saying a whole heck of a lot right there!  Now ladies, understand what I’m about to share with you here.  I’m only 5’2 ½”—yes, you’ve got to count the ½ inch. *grin* And I’m just over 200 pounds. So no, I’m not an imposing person to deal with physically. In fact, I suspect that I’m looked at as an “easy mark” by some fools due to me being out of shape.  This man was approximately 6 feet and weighed probably about 300 pounds.  In spite of these physical factors, combined with his revealing physical threat right off the bat, , I was not frightened. In fact, it’s probably my lack of fear of any repercussions which I thought I could handle, that I uttered my initial sentence within earshot of him. I was calm and confident. In fact, my only concern at the time was that I didn’t want to cause the kids to feel uncomfortable—especially the youngest. So I simply replied, “I’m not trying to fight with you. You could have simply been nice and let us in. It was two kids for crying out loud.” His response, “Shut the hell up or else.” I must say, I was a bit shocked at his angry behavior in response to such a small incident and in spite of there being plenty of people surrounding him, he seemed to posses no shame, no modicum of morality, and certainly no care in the world about anyone else. It was easy to see that he was comfortable with his rage and his attitude against others who inconvenienced him. Since I would be sitting beside him during the course of the movie, I decided that I would make clear to him that I wasn’t quite who he thought I was. While it may seem overly dramatic, given his “first impression” I saw the faces of various women in my minds eye, who may have been the brunt of his societal standards. I’ll be honest. There was a point when I asked myself if the opportunity would present itself for me to use my Asp on this guy. I know. I know, just a titch warped. As such, I looked right at him and said very clearly “Sir. I’m definitely not the woman you want to mess with.” He turned his head to me for a moment as if to size me up.  He then sarcastically replied, “Oh. I’m really scared.”

“Good! That’s just where I like ‘em. Overconfident and unaware,” I said, still looking directly at him.

He then turned his head back to the movie and said “just shut up and watch the movie. That’s what you paid for.”

I decided that I had said enough at this point and ran the risk of upsetting the kids if our voices got any more elevated so that they could hear.

Now, there’s a reason I’m telling you all of this and it’s not for a purpose of self-aggrandizing. It’s because there are two important things for you to learn from this scenario. First of all, I was told by one of my friends that I should have said “Let’s see how scared you are with a forty caliber pointed at you.”  I suspect that my friend was just getting in to the mood of things in this comment, but if I had said something to that effect, I actually could have gotten myself in a whole lot of trouble. I would have easily been accused of inciting a riot, “brandishing a weapon”—even though I wasn’t literally showing my firearm, disturbing the peace, and lastly I’m creating a threat. More importantly, if a person ever truly does feel threatened in such a situation, you certainly would not want to show your cards like that. If you truly feel threatened, then do something about it. Act, not react.  In this case, I felt that for the time being this guy was just full of himself and didn’t like being called out by a girl.  If I had truly felt threatened, then it would have been within my legal right to have physically assaulted him with non-deadly force.  Yes, in such an instance I, being out manned in weight and height, would have been legally within my rights to have “thrown the first punch” so to speak. As women, it’s not necessary for us to get hit, shoved, beaten, etc. by a man first before we respond. I realize for some of you, that may be hard to conceptualize. But after Mr. Sausage made his first physical threat of punching me in the face, I would easily have been in the right with a solid punch to his wind pipes, or whatever other physical maneuver I would have felt necessary—enough to minimize the physical threat of this man. However, that’s only the case if it was me, short and chubby, against him.  Had a 6 year old boy said that to me, then I would not be permitted to proactively defend myself. It all boils down to the level of threat and the weight of advantages, vs. disadvantages. For example, if it had been my husband who was being talked to that way, he would not have gotten away with a first strike because of his training, physique, and the fact that he was armed. In order for a well-trained man to have responded to this threat, Mr. Sausage would have had to make a physical threat imminent.

So, did I just sit there and watch the cute movie and not give this anymore thought? No, that would have been foolish on my part. I was strategizing, actually, in the event that my leg bounced just the wrong way to make him mad, or one of the kids aggravated him if they had to squeeze out to go to the bathroom.  So, I made sure that my Asp was in my grasp, my pepper spray was ready to spray, and I discreetly removed my knife from my purse and put it in my pants pocket. I was ready if I had to defend myself.  But, I also recognized that the two kids were a liability to me if there was an altercation. So, I texted my husband and invited him to join me at the dollar theater. Through a series of texts he was brought up to par on the scenario, and secured a seat right behind Mr. Sausage in the theater.  I casually made it obvious to Mr. Sausage that I knew the man sitting right behind him. When the movie was getting ready to wrap up, Mr. Sausage decided to exit before all of the mushy, happily ever after took place in the film. All he left behind was the stench of his body odor and a lesson learned. No regrets. No fear. No rattled children. All was well.  As the children and I exited the movie theater, all they talked about was how cute the movie was. They were impervious to the problem, didn’t notice that my husband had joined us or that I had additional contents in my various pants pockets. We were able to keep everyone else safe without any stress or concern.

There’s one other thing that I want to share with you. While I was sitting there, enjoying the movie, I thought about you. Yes, you.  You; who may lack the sufficient confidence necessary to handle such a situation. You; who may be lacking in the appropriate tools of leverage necessary to handle such a situation.  While a firearm would not have been appropriate self-defense tool for this particular level of threat, nor was the environment appropriate; would you have been essentially unarmed otherwise? I decided that this man had obviously pushed around, without challenge, too many women in his life thus far. I want to do my best to ensure that you are not one of them in the future. So, I decided to share this little story with you. I hope it provides you with some food for thought and that you will see that occasions for vital mental and physical self-defense capabilities self-defense are not limited to robbery, rape, or a home invasion. And they are not all solved with one particular tool each time.  The great benefit of really internalizing and learning self-defense though, is that you can walk away from such circumstances without any regrets, and with your confidence still in tact.

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Copyright Protected 2010, Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All Rights Reserved. No portion of any content on this site may be duplicated, transferred, copied, or published without written permission from the author. However, you are welcome to provide a link to the content on your site or in your written works.

Instincts to Live By

Watching TV with TIVO. What has that done to our lives? photo c/o

by Kellene Bishop

Instincts. Believe it or not, we have the power to control and condition them to protect us.

Two years ago I asked my hubby for TIVO for my birthday.  He’s very protective of his time and thus is not a big proponent of watching television. So he wasn’t too thrilled with getting it for me. But after all, birthday gifts are about what the person wants, not what you want to give, right? (Boys, you should be nodding your heads in agreement right now. )  Yup. I’m busy and don’t “have time for TV either” but it does have its place in my life. For example, I use the Netflix service and though I was relinquished to bed rest this weekend, I still got some research done by watching several documentary movies right on my TV which educated me on many aspects of  the preparedness theme.  Television is nice when you’re not feeling well—unless all you have access to is Gilligan’s Island reruns and I’m usually on bed rest about 3 days a month. So I indulge.  Additionally, when I teach a class until 9:00 p.m., I just want to come home and turn my brain off and relax. The right kind of television entertainment helps with that. That all being said, I simply don’t have the time or inclination to give my time to advertisers.  If I’m going to take time to watch something, I want it over and done with as soon as possible. I’m a “get to the point” kind of person in many respects—so skipping the commercials is very attractive to me. Besides, I also find that the commercials are all too often morally objectionable as well. So when a commercial comes up, I instinctively go for my remote control and fast forward past them. As a result, I can now watch an “hour long show” in about 27 minutes. Even better, when I don’t quite get/hear/understand what I was listening to, I can rewind it and listen to it again. I’m also a big fan of slapstick comedy. So sometimes I can belly laugh again and again through the rewind process.  After two years, this habit is absolutely instinctive to me now. However, there is a downside to this.

When I’m at someone else’s home and they have the TV on, the sound of a commercial is so foreign to me, that I look for the remote to fast forward through them.  Even worse, when I’m listening to a person speak and didn’t quite hear what they were saying, I find myself wishing I could just TIVO the conversation and hear it again.  When I’m driving in the car and listening to talk radio, I keep finding myself wanting to hit the fast forward or rewind button, to no avail.  The ultimate is when I’m at the movie theater. When the commercials are blasted at the beginning, I instinctively grip my arm rest as if it was the TIVO remote.  I once absent mindedly went to the bathroom during a movie thinking that I could just rewind it when I got back. Yup. TIVO has definitely learned to control me and my life.

As crazy as all of this may sound, it’s actually demonstrative of what can happen naturally with a lot of physical practice. The instincts can be put into place in spite of a chaotic experience.  What makes the TIVO action so memorable and instinctive is that it’s a physical action triggered by a mental one.  The same kind of instincts that I have with the remote control can easily be duplicated with firearm self-defense training.

Consistent firearm practice will create muscle memory and you can fire your weapon instinctively

When you practice physically to defend yourself with a firearm, be sure to go through the entire motion of doing so. One of the dumbest things I think that folks do is stand at a shooting range and shoot one shot right after another. From a fun standpoint that’s great. But if they are trying to improve their self-defense skills, shooting one shot after another is self-defeating.  In terms of a real life self-defense scenario, no one ever sets their firearm up and just starts shooting an immobile target.  I’m thinking that a criminal is not going to wait while you put yourself in the same position that you practice at the range—you know…ammo laid to the side, shooting a stable target at whatever distance you’re comfortable with, etc.  “Excuse me Mr. Bad Guy. Can you give me a moment while I put you in my sights. Oh, and come forward just about 12 inches more. I shoot much better that way.” In a realistic scenario, you should practice drawing your firearm properly, shoot at your target, evaluating the environment (stay engaged), shoot again as necessary, and then safely reholster your firearm.  Don’t worry about the speed of this. Instead be focused on the proper physical actions. The speed will come later. This kind of practice is the only kind that will help you in a genuine self-defense scenario.  It’s important that you not create bad physical habits that will impair you from protecting yourself. So be sure that every step of your practice is conducted properly. Again—the speed will come.  I assure you that if you only practice shooting at the range instead of the rest of the self-defense motions that are necessary, regardless what a great shot you are at the range, you will inevitably miss your target due to the physical movement, the heightened emotions, and a foreign scenario. Missing your target isn’t just about you protecting yourself. It’s also about confidently knowing you won’t hurt anyone else. Practicing with deliberate physical movements through the entire defensive scenario will put more of those unknown factors in your favor.

By the way, if it’s any consolation, this year I’m asking for a full-fledged square foot garden plot built for me this year for my birthday. Perhaps it will help me sleep too. 🙂

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Copyright Protected 2010, Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All Rights Reserved. No portion of any content on this site may be duplicated, transferred, copied, or published without written permission from the author. However, you are welcome to provide a link to the content on your site or in your written works.

A True Best Friend

By Kellene Bishop


A true best friend is always by my side. Photo c/o Accurate Shooter

Will Rogers once said that strangers were friends he hadn’t met yet. With this in mind, I can’t help but wonder why it is so foreign for women to handle a firearm. Mine is definitely one of my best friends. Why?

I can trust this best friend to be reliable—to never flake out on me.

I can trust this best friend to protect my children, myself, and my loved ones.

This best friend will dependably fight for freedom and liberty for me.

I can rely on this best friend to stand for right over might.

This best friend is always available and by my side. 

This best friend strengthens my physical weaknesses against enemies, foreign or domestic.

This best friend enables me to preserve life when others may desire to take it.

Other than my husband, I have a hard time finding any other friend that I can say these things about. So ladies, my I suggest that you introduce yourself to Mr. Glock, Mr. Smith and Wesson, or any other Mr. soon and make a new friend?

Copyright 2009 Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop.

Hone Your Natural Instincts

By Kellene Bishop

Ladies, it’s important that we control our bodies in a stressful encounter and not the other way around. The ability to do so may certainly make the difference between life and death.

Photo c/o

Photo c/o

For example, when a woman sees a gun pointed at her, her natural instinct is usually to scream and put her hands up in a manner of surrender—not keep them hidden and think. On the contrary, I have literally practiced handing my purse over to someone, PRETENDING to be a weak basket case and shooting my gun through my purse. That’s presence of mind that can protect your life. (Obviously, you would NEVER practice shooting a gun AT a human being. There’s no such thing a dress rehearsal for that.) I’ve also practiced pulling my asp from its hiding place as well as being prepared with other defensive devices.

Secondly, much like the Pink Panther movies, my husband regularly gives me practice of self-defense by startling me around the house. I have learned not to scream, throw my hands up flailing, and back away. I’ve instead learned to instinctively to go into “fight” mode, rather than “flight” mode. As a preferred target of criminals, it’s critical that we hone our natural instincts. After seeing many a woman fight viciously to protect their own child, I’m convinced that we were not programmed to flake out and crumble in a confrontation.

Austin thieves caught on a webcam. Photo c/o

Austin thieves caught on a webcam. Photo c/o

We also have practiced and thoroughly discussed what will happen IF someone were to charge unwelcomed into our home, or even our bedroom, at night while we are sleeping. We have practiced our efforts many times so that we know where the firearms are, where the strongholds are, playing possum when appropriate, etc.

This is called training. You don’t need to go to boot camp to accomplish this level of skill and awareness. You simply need to create your own disciplined mental and some physical training scenarios to better prepare yourself.

As you hone your natural instincts and run through these kinds of real-life scenarios, you will find that you’ll surround yourself with a stronger sense of peace and confidence rather than “whatever happens, will happen.”

Copyright 2009 Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Women of Caliber and Kellene Bishop.

Fog of War

By Kellene Bishop

The term “fog of war” is heard frequently amidst the fighting terrain of our soldiers.  In the middle of a shoot out between our forces and enemy combatants, time seems to warp, speed up, and just plain stop, depending on which soldier you speak with.  This phenomenon is a result of the mind assimilating all that is going on around them at the time of a high adrenaline state.  This altered state doesn’t just occur on the battlefield however.  Fog of war will affect us any time that we are threatened or surprised.

Tunnel Vision photo c/o

Tunnel Vision photo c/o

When fog of war affects us, it automatically brings with it an uncertainty regarding our own capabilities.  It also fogs our perception of the intent of any adversary or their capability during an engagement of self-defense.  We tend to have tunnel vision which inhibits our ability to see the whole picture.  How many times have you heard a witness say, “time just seemed to stand still,” or “I didn’t see anything else except that gun”?  This is the result of the alteration of perceptions such as time and depth.  In fog of war we also lose our fine motor skills in such a scenario and we certainly have an alteration of our sensory perception.  Another perfect example: how many times have you heard of a person being shot or severely wounded, but not aware of it until after the climax of the battle was finished?  Considering that all of this is bound to happen when you need to save your life, it doesn’t sound like the ideal time to be handling a firearm, right?  The point of this article is to be sure you’re aware that just because you have a firearm doesn’t mean it’s all you need for protection when you hear glass breaking in the middle of the night.

Most gun owners do not take into account the fog of war effect.  They presume that since they have a firearm and have practiced with it a couple of times that they are safe.  While some may call me “paranoid” because I have rehearsed again and again what I will do when walking to my car in the event of an attack, I try to explain to them that I’m training my mind to act in a specific manner rather than jumping back, swearing, and losing my senses.  I am well aware that shooting at the range, indoors or outdoors, no matter how realistic the shooting exercise is, still does not make me an expert in battling a real attack.  Only my mental and physical practice can appropriately overcome my initial instincts of fear and flight.

Practice, practice, practice!  Photo c/o

Practice, practice, practice! Photo c/o

The only way to successfully overcome the effects of the fog of war is to practice.  Practice mentally AND physically.  Don’t rely on having to remember specific actions.  Practice with your firearm so much that it’s completely second nature.  Practice so much that you know the feel of that firearm as well as the outline of your child’s hand.  Mentally rehearse multiple scenarios in your home so that when it happens, your brain has already embraced the sequence of actions that you will take.  Walk through those actions.  Practice, practice, practice.  Particularly under fog of war and the stress of an attack, you must have the mindset to defend your life—even if that means the loss of the perpetrators life—the ability to deliver the target shots necessary to STOP your attacker, and to do so in a manner in which you will not be emotionally altered for the rest of your life.  This only comes with education and practice.  So, will you schedule the time it takes to defend your life, or will you just hope that it just happens?

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Self-Defense Amidst a National Crisis

By Kellene Bishop

national-crisis-alas-babylonI recently finished reading two GREAT books, back to back, that are fictional scenarios about an EMP (electro magnetic pulse) attack on the U.S. Both books are very well written, extremely realistic, and I had a hard time putting them down. The first one (still my all time favorite) was “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank. The second one, as recommended by many readers on this site was “One Second After” by William R. Forstchen. (Warning, occasional language in this book qualifies it as “rated PG-13”.) Both authors are actually so expert in their fields of knowledge on the matters which they write, that I feel the books are more a prediction of things to come, rather than a work of fiction. Out of all of the possible scenarios of a man-made national crisis, the most likely to occur against the U.S. is actually an EMP attack. However, what disturbed me so greatly while reading this books is that the majority of the pain and suffering in either of the books could have been substantially negated with the addition of a very legitimate reality in my world—personal preparedness. So, what does this have to do with you and the use of a firearm? Well, here’s a question for you. Are you prepared to implement self-defense amidst a national crisis?

Unfortunately our nation is actually ripe for a myriad of different crisis situations, not the least realistic of which is an EMP attack. But there could also be a critical financial collapse, a pandemic breakout (we’ve had two more deaths of swine flu in our state today), an earthquake, a nuclear attack, and so on. While I’m associated with many friends who take such threats seriously by storing several months worth of food, water and medical supplies, I find that the majority of them are actually lacking in one critical component of personal preparedness—self-defense.

Photo c/o

Photo c/o

The reality is that we are a nation of overly medicated, out of shape, pampered, spoiled and indulgent citizens. If our normal society of luxurious conveniences, jobs, beautiful sunshiny days, and an abundance of food can still foster crazed rapists, gang murderers, and flocks of druggies, what will a genuine crisis do to compound that problem? So many of us still have the notion that the military or the police department will protect us in the event of a national crisis. *insert “wrong answer” buzzer sound here* What if there is a total breakdown of society as we know it? Will there be drug-crazed marauders about? Yup. Will perfectly sane individuals turn into a Dr. Jekyll because they haven’t suitably planned for a national crisis? Definitely. Come on. If the day after Thanksgiving shopping specials can bring out the worst in people, imagine what a real disaster will do. Criminal violence and looting takes place because of Ohio State University wins or loses a football game. The emotional impact alone in such an instance is sufficient to change the predictable structure of society as you presently know it. How will the generation of the “entitlement mentality” change when food, water, and even a simple aspirin is difficult to obtain? With our reliance on technology, our society has become reliant on a one to three day food and medical delivery system. If such a delivery system is delayed whatsoever you will experience a complete breakdown of “peace” as you know it—guaranteed.

To make matters worse, any such disaster would have a cheaply paid accomplice. Mother Nature and the ugly side of human nature is the ally of any enemy to the U.S. and will successfully work in concert during a national crisis. Yup. This is a whole ‘nother component of self-dense—the mental and physical preparedness to implement self-defense in the midst of a national crisis.

Austin police officer Desireé Small Photo c/o

Austin police officer Desireé Small Photo c/o

Bottom line, having food, water, as well as some medical and financial reserves will be useless if you don’t have the means to defend possession of such items in an emergency. My mom once taught me to have one “bullet” on hand for every pound of wheat to ensure I actually get to use the wheat when my family needs it. Even more realistic, if there is an emergency situation, the likelihood of the police, military, and medical resources will be called out to assist elsewhere is highly likely. What will we women be left with to defend ourselves? Even though I’m married to my own “Rambo” character, I know that he’ll most likely be out helping and checking on neighbors in such a situation, and I would want him to out of my own concern for them. But that leaves me with a great deal of responsibility to protect my own “castle” and preparedness supplies. As women, mothers and caregivers, we MUST be able to rely on ourselves to protect our children and our homes in ANY situation, including a national crisis. Such preparation requires mental preparation as well as physical preparation. Although it may seem like a deep dark place you don’t want to allow yourselves to go mentally, doing so is no worse than immersing yourself in a good book or movie-except in this case, it’s a heck of a lot more important.

Guns, ammo, mental strength, skills and determination to survive and thrive. I’m prepared. Are you?

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved. You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

An Indulgence Worth Dying For?

By Kellene Bishop

We’ve all heard of individuals who have “die hard” hobbies, but does anyone have a hobby, or an indulgence that’s really worth dying for?

Indulge me for a moment here, as I do have a point.

indulgence-shoesI love books.  Can’t get enough of them.  I love shopping for shoes.  No matter what my weight, shoes always look good.  I love scrapbooking.  It allows me to indulge in a creative and relaxing outlet.  And I love going to movies—especially action adventure ones with my hubby.  But like all of you, I’m on a limited budget, especially as of late.  In fact, I think for the first time in my life I actually HAVE a budget.  So, where is my money being spent?  Well, I can’t remember the last time I splurged on shoes.  And I haven’t bought scrapbooking supplies in over a year.  And the few books that I have indulged in have been “used” and great finds at garage sales.  I haven’t paid to see a movie outside of matinee times for well over a year.  Why?  I realized that for myself and many of the women I know, these indulgences are taking the place of some more important matters in our life.  And these are indulgences that could literally cost a life. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m certain that there’s NO indulgence I have that’s worth dying for.  When I think about it this way, that movie, shiny pair of shoes, newest marketing book, or the easiest way to cut a teddy bear shape no longer seems all that important.  I realize that NONE of my indulgences are lifesaving.  And yet the amount of money I spent on scrapbooking supplies every 6 months would easily buy a new firearm.  The amount of money I spent on shoes each year would purchase a thousand rounds of ammo, even at today’s prices.  For some, their daily run to the convenience store would quickly supply their local police department with enough ammo for an entire month!

9mm-roundsEach sheet of scrapbooking paper I could buy nowadays is the same cost as a 9mm round.  A crafty little cutting machine is now the same cost as a lifesaving firearm. A single night out to a great restaurant (ok, I admit that I miss Ruth’s Chris and The Melting Pot) will also pay for a firearm!  With attendance at only 10 movies I could easily pay for more expert training on self-defense.  While a book or the heel of a shoe, or some great paper scissors may be used as a weapon of protection, neither or these tools were made specifically for saving a life or protecting a community.

So, here’s the question.  Do you really think you can’t afford a firearm?  I say you can’t afford NOT to have one.  Those daily coffees or sodas you purchase aren’t going to prevent a rape, a mugging, or a violent robbery.  But a firearm and some skills training definitely will. 

Those DVDs you purchase are great for the grandkids, but they are useless in protecting them from a kidnapper in the middle of the night.  

When you want to find the money to spend on something that you adore, you usually can find a way.  As women though, we rarely try to find ways to increase our self-defenses, let alone spend money on them.  And that simply has to change.  We literally cannot survive in peace without taking the responsibility of protecting ourselves and our loved ones more seriously and making it a priority.  So the next time you indulge in one of life’s little pleasures, ask yourself if the indulgence is taking the place of something more critical?

Photo c/o

Photo c/o

The good news is that due to the state of the current economy, a lot of folks are selling their firearms and even ammo privately.  You can usually get a GREAT deal using your local classified ads.  So not only has there never been a more needful time to take responsibility for your self-defense, but there’s never been a more cost effective time to do so either.  Additionally, once you have purchased a firearm, it’s usually a one-time purchase.  You can then go back to indulging.  What would be even better is if you caught the bug, so to speak, and firearms became your new indulgence.  OK, OK.  I won’t get too carried away.  But I can dream, can’t I?

If you think about it, claiming that you can’t afford to protect yourself really isn’t about the money.  It’s most likely about the priorities you’ve set, the fears you may have, or the education you still require.  

While indulgences are great, and even necessary in my opinion, I must put them in their proper place so that I can consistently stand for what really matters to me—safety, peace, security, competence, and confidence. 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Are You Prey for a Rapist? Part II of II

By Kellene Bishop

Continuation from Are You Prey for a Rapist Part I from yesterday…

If you do have to encounter an assailant up close and personal, make your hits count.  Most women go for the groin first and foremost, but understand that every would-be rapist is very familiar with this “knee-jerk reaction” and prepared to thwart it. 

  • My first physical shot, if necessary, would be a solid hit to the throat where the likelihood of collapsing his windpipe is high.  At the very least, he will be distracted long enough for me to make my next move.  
  • Next move, is right between the eyes on the bridge of the nose.  Such a strike will stun them and cause their eyes to naturally pool with blood.  This will impair their vision. 
  • THEN I do a hit to the groin.  Understand that you’re not hitting the groin as a sign of disregard for their manliness.  This particular hit is connected to the core of their senses, especially when they are heightened with rage or arousal!  It will debilitate them and can even kill them.  No matter.  Make the hit count.  Regardless of how fit they are, each of these strategies aims for a vulnerable spot that even the “Terminator” can’t easily absorb.

I’ve heard instructions from other “experts” to pinch the under arm as hard as you can between the elbow and the arm pit.  That can work well on someone who does not have strongly defined biceps.  However, if they have defined muscles, you will have wasted your energy and just made them mad.

I also highly recommend that women practice the leg sweep defense:

  1. Lay on your back.  Have someone get on top of you resembling the rapist.  Most rapists will have their hands on your throat or mouth until at one critical point in which they will only have one hand there.  Have your helper put their hand on your neck as if to strangle or prevent movement.
  2. rape-prevention-hand-neck

  3. (At some point they will HAVE to reach for their offensive body part, belt buckle, or something else.)  At this moment you want to grab his wrist with both of your hands. (It’s a natural reaction, so hopefully you won’t have to think twice about doing this.)
  4. Then bring up your leg that is on the same side of your body as his hand/arm is.  Cross your leg in front of their neck to the opposite side of his head and then pull them down towards the direction of their arm.  (If you’re using the left leg, pull them down to the left.  If you’re using the right leg, pull them down to the right.)  You’ll be surprised just how strong your thigh muscles are.  Do this quickly and without hesitation. 
  5. rape-prevention-leg-sweep

  6. Be sure to bring the leg directly across your body.  They will have to flip on their back and will be at approximately your 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock position.  Your leg will be directly across their neck, thus inhibiting air flow.
  7. rape-prevention-flip

  8. While you are flipping them on their back, keep their arm extended, in your grasp, and tightly in between your breastplate. 
  9. rape-prevention-arm-breastplate

  10. Once they are flipped over, slide over as fast as possible so that your groin is planted just under their shoulder and your other leg is across their chest.  You will then be perpendicular to them.
  11. rape-prevention-perpendicular

  12. Keep their arm close to your chest and then raise your pelvic area for all it’s worth.  (I couldn’t do this in the picture or else I would have broken my husband’s arm.) 
  13. rape-prevention-lift

The power is not in the legs.  It’s not in the arm hold.  It’s in the pelvic raise right under their shoulder.  This will break their arm indubitably. Yes, keep your legs strong on their neck and chest, and yes, keep your grip on their arm firm.  But remember, that the key is for you to be squarely under their shoulder with your pelvic area. A little goes a long way with this move so don’t worry about your back strength. Between the broken arm and accompanying pain as well as the lack of air supply you will have defeated your assailant sufficiently for you to get help, get your gun, or at best—get away.

Here’s the most important part of this exercise though—putting yourself in a position in which someone is on top of you with their hand to your throat and you having an exit strategy.  If you will do this, the likelihood of your surviving a rape attempt goes up NINETY percent, simply because you have done the necessary mental exercise to NOT be defeated.  (By the way, when practicing this at home, please be careful of the pelvic lift. You WILL break someone’s arm. When my husband and I practice this, I raise gently until he “taps out” with his other hand letting me know I’ve caused him sufficient pain.)

So in a nutshell, be aware, be ready, and be armed with the right tools of self-defense.  Let’s stop showing these blankety-blank cowards that we’re easy marks.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Are You Prey for a Rapist? Part I of II

By Kellene Bishop

I’m going to share with you some traits that rape predators look for in an ideal target and how you can counter their efforts.  This is NOT an all inclusive summary, it’s merely a highlight of a few of the considerations I teach in my Women of Caliber self-defense course.  Understand that my pointing out a physical trait does not mean to say that you should alter your dress or hair, etc.  But you should indeed be sure that if you posses some of these traits that by arming yourself with the knowledge and the tools to successfully fend off an assault, you eliminate all odds of you being raped. 

  1. Photo c/o
    Photo c/o

    You are a target to a rapist if you have long hair, a pony tail, or some way for the psychopath to control the rest of your body by pulling your head.  If your hair can easily be grabbed, you pose as an ideal target.  Now, here are the facts of things.  I refuse to change my personal appearance just because there are scum bags out there.  I won’t let them intrude on my freedoms in this manner for one minute.  This is why I also exercise my freedom to be armed with a suitable firearm and other weapons that are easily accessible to me.  While they are pulling my hair, I’m pulling my firearm from my side or belly holster—end of story.  

  2. Your clothing makes an ideal target if it is easily removable.  Some rapists even carry scissors to aid them in this effort.  Again, dress as you will, but if you’re going to wear something that will pop off with the flick of a finger, I suggest you either quickly become a master sumo wrestler or you become familiar with flicking YOUR finger on a ready trigger. Also, keep in mind that involuntary nudity really disrupts a woman’s ability to think clearly.  Don’t worry though.  You don’t have to practice random acts of public nudity to become immune to this vulnerability.  Simply putting your mind through a legitimate mental exercise of what you will do if your clothes are violently removed from you is a HUGE asset.  Most women forbid themselves to even think of such a thing.  As a result, their mind turns off if it happens.  This is NOT what you want to have happen.  Stay focused on your rehearsed self-defense and determination and not on the spontaneous breach of modesty and you will very likely survive mostly unscathed.
  3. Photo c/o
    Photo c/o

    Do NOT disengage from your environment.  Rapists look for women who are on their cell phones, walking, loaded down with bags, etc.  Such women are typically disengaged from their surroundings.  Not only can you not afford such a state of cluelessness for your own safety, but you’re useless to helping others as well if you indulge in this manner.  This isn’t about being paranoid.  This is about being aware.  I never get into my car absentmindedly.  I carry my keys with my hand ready on the trigger of my red-dyed pepper spray.  I am aware and ready.  If I’m going to be on the cell phone, I’m still mindful of my surroundings—to the point that my friends and family ask that I call them back when I can be focused on THEIR conversation.  A quick chit chat is not worth my safety and they know and respect that.  I never go out to my car at night or walk the dogs mentally disengaged.  I’m particularly focused when I’m in a parking lot of ANY kind, day or night.  While most reported rapes occur between 3:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., it doesn’t diminish my level of awareness at high noon.  Any person aware of their surroundings also comes across as a confident, ready woman.  Shallow useless excuses of a man are always repulsed by such an image.  

  4. Remember, rapists are cowards.  They are specifically preying on what they deem to be an EASY target.  As such, the majority of them do NOT have a gun on them (only 2%). Of those that do carry a gun or any other kind of a weapon, they rarely expect to have to use it as they rarely expect a woman to be armed with anything more significant than a random right hook or pepper spray, let alone the knowledge, skill, and willingness to USE a weapon.  Statistically assailants will give up and flee when confronted with a determined fight.Do NOT fall for the ridiculous notion that submission is safer.  It’s not.  Even if you aren’t killed during a rape, do you really want to end up pregnant with the child of a rapist?  Do you really want to have to corrupt every intimate relationship you will have thereafter because of the rape?  Regardless of your moral standing, I assure you that a rape is NEVER just sex.  It’s violent.  It’s a nightmare that will take superhuman strength to heal from.  I’d much rather use my superhuman strength to prevent a rape than to have to heal from such an incident throughout the rest of my life—wouldn’t you?
  5. Photo c/o Getty Image
    Photo c/o Getty Image

    When you’re fighting for your life, 5 minutes can seem like forever.  One of the exercises I highly recommend you doing is to punch at a pillow, mattress, dummy, or punching bag non-stop with all the fiery will you can muster for an entire timed five minutes.  Keep the fighting at a high, fevered pace.  Work up to this if you have to.  Most women are not accustomed to such a workout.  Sure women can run for 6 miles without so much as a sweat, but fighting for their lives with arms and feet moving feverishly for 5 minutes is a whole other matter.

Part II of II in the “Are You Prey for a Rapist” series requires some specific instructions and some photos to aid in that effort.  So tune in tomorrow to learn of a highly effective exercise and defense method for you to use in rape prevention!

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Why I DON’T Recommend a Stun Gun for Self-Defense

By Kellene Bishop

The primary reason why I don’t recommend a stun gun for self-defense is one of the critical reasons why I DO recommend a woman use a firearm… distance. 

Photo by

Photo by

Anything you have to use in close proximity of your attacker would be the LAST choice for a self-defense weapon choice on my list.  Firearms give you the benefit of distance whereas stun guns are only effective in close encounters.  A stun gun may not completely debilitate your attacker and thus more punching and other attack moves are likely to continue.  They are also very ineffective on individuals who have narcotics or excessive amounts of alcohol in their system.  Consider as well you are at the mercy of whether or not your battery is functioning.  Also, a stun gun is ineffective with multiple attackers.  I mean really.  If you are able to stun one attacker, don’t you think you’ve suitably warned any additional company he may have with him?  Do you know whether or not the stun gun will properly facilitate on repeated uses with the necessary power?  Additionally, a stun gun in such close proximity can easily be turned on you by the sheer strength of your attacker. 

Now compare this to the safety which a firearm affords.  The effective use of a firearm has much more stopping power than a stun gun, at a distance, and even at small calibers and with no faulty batteries to rely on.  One firearm can easily handle multiple attackers.  A heart will stop cold with a well-placed bullet regardless of the drug or alcohol content of an attacker’s blood.  The very sight of a firearm held competently in the hands of determined woman has been known to stop numerous attacks throughout our nation.  Many attacks.  Even a misplaced shot to the leg or shoulder, while not fatal, is usually suitable to eliminate the threat of the attacker.  The majority of all violent criminals do NOT expect a woman to be armed with a firearm, thus you have a significant element of surprise on your side as well.  Ultimately, you want to be safe.  And the further away you can be from an attacker to ensure that safety, the better.

If you are against a firearm, then at least consider a taser.  At least a taser can give you about 10 feet (maximum) of distance and cannot as easily be turned on you.  However, keep in mind that there have been several reports of men being hit with a taser by law enforcement in which they were not affected whatsoever.  So again, my weapon of choice is of course a firearm.  But if you’ve got to use a close second, I’d make sure you have a taser and a working cell phone at all times.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.