Warning: Pepper Spray will not make you invincible.
Pepper Spray can be one of the best weapons, especially for women, against most attacks and unwanted advances. Unfortunately, a lot of people will buy some pepper spray, throw it in their car or purse and mistakenly assume they are protected against any threat. This is a dangerous assumption that can get you killed.
As with any weapon, knowledge and proficiency can make a huge difference and when we are talking about defending yourself, it becomes vitally important that you now how to use the weapon in an effective way and that you practice. In any threatening situation, an adrenaline dump and even panic can cause you not to be able to think and react properly. With the knowledge of what to do and the memory of repetitive practice, when you are faced with danger you will automatically act properly and quickly which could save your life.
How should you practice using pepper spray?
Step One – Practice Situational Awareness
To use pepper spray effectively, you must have the element of surprise. DO NOT PULL OUT YOUR SPRAY, POINT IT AT THE ASSAILANT AND YELL STOP. He may cover his eyes if he knows you have pepper spray and attack you anyway. Instead you need to get your hand on your spray and be ready to quickly pull it out without the assailant knowing it.
You will not be able to get your spray out and use it if you are not aware of a possible attack ahead of time. If the attacker sneaks up and grabs you from behind, then you are in a bad situation. Therefore, it is very important to be aware of your surroundings and what others are doing, especially if you are alone. For example, when you are walking through a parking lot to your car or out jogging along the street. Do these exercises to improve your situational awareness:
- When you walk outside, take notice of the weather. The color of the grass. The number of trees around you?
- Look at the number of parked cars and see if there is anyone sitting inside of them. Do any of them look out of place?
- Count the number of people close by. Which direction are they walking? What are they doing while they are walking
- Look for any places where someone could be hiding. Ally ways, behind walls, behind parked cars, behind any vegetation
- When you are out shopping look to see if anyone is staring or following you.
The more you practice noticing things, the better your get and the more automatic it will become. If anything doesn’t seem right, get your hand on your spray but keep it hidden.
Step Two – Stopping the Attacker
If you hit someone in the eyes with Pepper Spray, it will cause them to involuntary slam their eyes shut. As soon as they take in a breath, they will start coughing uncontrollably. This works no matter how big and bad some brut may be. It will work even if they are drunk or on drugs, but the effects are temporary. The effects last anywhere from a few minutes to 30 minutes, depending on the amount of exposure. The key is to spray the attacker in the face, preferably right in the eyes.
Purchase an inert practice spray, preferably the same size as your real pepper spray.
On a piece of paper draw the outline of a life size face with two eyes. Feel free to express your inner artist and make it look like a really mean looking bad guy.
Tape the mean looking face drawing to an outside wall about 6 feet above the ground.
Stand about 8 feet away from the face and practice secretly getting your right hand (if your right handed) on your practice spray while at the same time holding up your left hand in a stop or back off position. This will distract the assailant as he will naturally focus on your outstretched hand instead of what your other hand is up to.
Quickly raise the pepper spray while at the same time moving the spray button to the fire position. I prefer using my thumb to press the spray button as it is easier to move the trigger into the firing position.
Aiming for the eyes spray a two second blast.
Try the same exercise from different distances to the target. First from four feet then ten or twelve feet away.
For the close in practice, begin moving back and to the side as soon as you get the spray onto the target’s eyes.
If your are 6 feet away or more, begin moving to side as soon as you get the spray onto the target’s eyes. The attacker may try to cover his eyes and lunge at you. You want to move off from the last position he saw you in order to prevent him from getting his hands on you.
Step Three – Getting away and getting help
As stated before the effects of pepper spray are temporary. It is important that you get away as quickly as possible and get some help. Being aware of your surroundings also includes looking to see it the attacker has an accomplice and thinking about where you should run to escape an attack. Run in the direction of the most people. Yell for help or even better, activate an electronic whistle. Keep your spray handy in case there are others or if the attacker tries to chase you. I recommend women run sprints in order to build their speed and short term endurance. This will help you get away from a bad situation unharmed.
PRACTICE SPRAY AND PEPPER SPRAY RESOURCES: