September Everything Else Class
The first run of Everything Else was highly successful! Twenty women learned several different ways to defend themselves, and our special guest, SD, gave students realistic adrenalized drills as they beat up on him. We had an unexpected twist thanks to Cyndi being such a quick learner! To see pics and read the story in its entirety, click here. And by the way, contrary to the roars of laughter you'll hear on the video, students learned a great deal in this class (see comments below)...once again we've proven than you can laugh until you cry and still learn about self-defense!
October Classes in Shawnee
I'll be holding two classes (Between the Threat and the Bang and Everything Else) in Shawnee on Saturday, October 30th, from 8:30 to 5:30. The classes will be at St. Gregory's University, so there will be no food provided, but there will be an hour break in between classes so anyone who wants to take both classes can take a lunch break. There are several restaurants close by, and there's a break room adjacent to the classroom with a refrigerator and microwave for those who may want to bring their lunch. In addition, there are two drink machines in the hall with sodas, water, and Starbucks (cold drinks) as well as a snack machine. There's a discount if you want to take both classes, so this is a great opportunity to spend the day getting training with like-minded women. See below for more details.
NOTE: I have put these two classes together because they both focus on boundary setting at two different distances so one leads very well into the other. BTB is not just for those who carry a gun, we spend time working on situational awareness and setting distant boundaries. AEE focuses on close proximity techniques in the event you either don't have a gun, or are surprised and need to break away from someone so you can get to your gun. The two back to back are a unique training opportunity to put it all together.
Building in Shawnee
I may have an opportunity for a building in Shawnee. A few days ago I sent out a survey asking you all to respond so that I could acertain whether or not a Shawnee location would be feasible. I have received an overwhelming yes response, but I'd really like to hear from all who have not yet responded so please take a moment to fill out the survey. It's only four simple questions, and you remain anonymous unless you put your name in the comment section.
I'm working on lining up an all women SDA class in November. I'll put it on the Schedule page as soon as I get it solidified.
Financial Aid for Classes
There is assistance available for anyone who has difficulty paying for a class...I don't ever want anyone to not be able to attend a class because of money so if you need help with that, please let me know.
Between the Threat and the Bang
October 30th from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
St. Gregory's University
This class identifies and teaches several steps that can and should occur between the time a woman feels threatened and the time she may need to draw a gun in self-defense. Students practice situational awareness, posturing and commanding, and ultimately drawing from a holster.
This is an excellent opportunity to work on situational awareness and boundary setting through the practice drills we do in class. It is also a good opportunity to learn to properly draw from a holster. Many people assume this is something you'll automatically know how to do, but there is a technique to doing so without shooting yourself. If you carry a gun, this class is a must!
Inert training guns and holsters will be provided for drawing from concealment drills. Register
And Everything Else
October 30th from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm
St. Gregory's University
This is a brand new class that trains you to use kubotans (keychain mini-baton), hands, flashlights, pens, canes/walking sticks, and common everyday items for those times when you cannot carry a gun. Like everything else I teach, these are techniques that anybody and everybody can do. You'll learn how to use common items to legitimately defend yourself.
If you're thinking, "I don't need a cane, why would I carry one?" Well, are you going to the courthouse and don't want to be "defenseless" when you come out to the parking lot (since you have to disarm)? Are you going on a plane and you can't carry any weapon? I'm going to show you how to take down one or more attackers with a wooden cane (see pics from last class)...which of course you can carry right into a courthouse or onto a plane because it's not a weapon.
There will be times you simply can not carry a gun – you do NOT need to feel defenseless during those times! This class will empower you to protect yourself with everyday items. Register
If you've already taken a class choose Refresher on the Registration page for the class you've already taken. If you've never taken either class and want to take both, choose Double Class Discount part way down the page.
(From evaluations after the Everything Else class...)
What did you learn that you didn't know before?
I learned ways to defend myself with ordinary items as well as other things (ex. tactical pen, cane). I learned items I can take on a plane/in airports. The hand-to-hand tactics, use of the kubotan, and use of a cane were new and really helpful.
6-foot-3 Dummies aren't as tough as they look. How to use a rubik's cube. Lots of alternative "anything can be a weapon", (even if only as a distraction) type-ideas.
(Tammy's Note: rubik's cube is a reference to my joke about women having difficulty remembering the word kubotan and one who called it a rubik's cube)
I learned simple defensive tactics which make common sense yet can possibly save your life.
How to defend myself with other objects besides a gun.
Move, be unpredictable, and use your voice as a weapon.
What did you like the most about the class?
Laughing my butt off while learning lots of "practical tacticals".
Tammy talking about "basics" of self-defense always inspires me...then, her encouraging us To "think out of the box" when in a situation of defending ourselves was something I hadn't thought through. Tammy stressed the importance of mental attitude and always moving in self defense. The actual demonstrations in front of us on how to do something specific in defending ourselves and the repetition of what we are doing really help it to sink in so much better. Also, Tammy is never judgmental or critical of us as we practice techniques of defending ourselves. She is always patient and supportive--which is really important to me in learning new things.
That Tammy understands women and how we think. She understands how women react and helped us understand the importance of changing our mindset (something I had not considered before).
The fun we have while we are learning self-defense. Tammy's classes are informative, encouraging and fun.
It was my favorite class so far. Thank you so much for all you do for us.
Q: Hi Tammy,
I am a nurse and my plan is to be a travel nurse, so my stay in different cities or states will be temporary, a few months at a time which means that I won't technically be a resident there. I assume my residency will still be here, so does that mean it will be ok to have an OK license?
A: Hi Krista,
If your actual residence is Oklahoma, this is where you would take your conceal carry class and this is the state that would issue you your conceal carry license. Residency would mean you retain an Oklahoma driver’s license and physical place of residence in this state. Then the way you’d handle carrying a gun would be to check the reciprocity laws of the states you will be in. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch there’s a terrific app with all the state laws here - the app for the App Store search is called Legal Heat – it’s $1.99 but worth every penny. You can also access reciprocity laws online here.
Licensing is a matter of proof of residency – you have to submit a photocopy of your driver’s license to OSBI with your conceal carry license upon completion of the conceal carry class. The address on the driver’s license is where OSBI will mail your letter saying your license is ready to be picked up, which you do in person at the sheriff department of the county you reside in...the sheriff will require you to show your driver’s license in order to get your license – if the information doesn’t match, they won’t give it to you. OSBI doesn’t accept PO box mailing addresses unless you also have a physical address. The address on your driver’s license must match your mailing address or OSBI will reject your application.
Send me your questions.
Tactical – of or pertaining to a maneuver or plan of action designed as an expedient toward gaining a desired end or temporary advantage; showing adroit planning; aiming at an end beyond the immediate action. From the Greek word taktikós.
No doubt you have noticed the increasing number of crimes in our area against women. We can no longer risk being unarmed anytime we leave the house. As students learned last month in And Everything Else, being armed is not exclusive to carrying a gun. I prefer to carry a gun because it gives me a greater advantage than any other weapon, but if I cannot carry a gun I am not defenseless. In AEE, I stressed to students that one of the greatest weapons we have is our mind...your mental attitude gives you the ability to never give up. Just because someone has a knife, or even a gun, does not mean you're through. The key is to FIGHT as if your life depended on it because, guess what, it does! An excellent example of this is the pregnant woman who was held up at knife point in the Arby's parking lot at 23rd & Blackwelder (story). She doesn't hesitate, or freeze in fear, she takes the knife away from the guy, slices him up with it, then retreats into the Arby's store and calls 911. The would be attacker then walks to the Walgreen's at 23rd & Classen, which is where he collapsed from his injuries and was arrested when police arrived. How would you like to be the big bad attacker who got his butt kicked by a pregnant woman? I say it's about time!
Attackers will stop attacking women when enough women stand up to them. Why do women allow themselves to be victimized? Unfortunately it never occurs to many women to be aware of their surroundings, or have a plan for various scenarios, and when they are attacked they are surprised and grossly unprepared. This is exactly what BTB and AEE prepare you for, seeing these kinds of threats BEFORE they happen, and/or getting out of them if you are surprised.
It's time, ladies,
to take back our freedom. Freedom means you can go about your daily life without being attacked and tortured and raped and killed. In AEE I told the students, yes, you will probably get injured when you fight back..the pregnant woman got injured but it is abundantly clear that her attacker got the worst of it. She had "minor injuries" but he had to be taken away on a stretcher to the hospital. That's exactly what I'm talking about...fight as if your life depended on it, because it does...and when you fight like that, you WILL win!
PS: Some of you have voiced that you'd like me to hold a Q&A open discussion about the recent crimes in our area. This is not something I can do during class, but when the product orders recently placed come in, I will be at a location in the metro so that people can come get their orders. This would be a perfect time to have an informal, open discussion over a cup of coffee. I will send out an Email to the entire group when this occurs and anyone who wants to come, whether you have a product order or not, is welcome.
Contact me if there's a specific topic you'd like to see addressed in this section.
Real life stories in their own words from students of how they used
something they learned in class to deal with a potential threat
(used by permission)
Email me your story.
Stalked at Church
Tammy, I know you are really busy, but I have a question for you. I go to a church on Monday nights if I am not out of town working. I park in a bank parking lot across the street. I now carry my OC (pepper spray) and my kubaton and am always aware of my surroundings. One night a few weeks ago I was going to my car and noticed a man behind me and he said it's ok.
We got to our cars and had a very brief exchange. He started going to church there also. I had never seen him before. I always put my bible down on the seat where I want to sit and then go talk with friends before the service starts. The next time I was able to go he was sitting 1 row behind me and when I sat down he came and sat right behind me then asked I wanted to sit with him, I didn't but did just to be nice. When service was over he told me he was sitting in his car and noticed me get out of mine. He now sits where I like to sit and parks where I like to park. Maybe he has always done that, I've never noticed him before though. I have always had NQR's about this guy. I get a feeling that he is sneaky, I don't like or trust him. It's just weird to me out of nowhere this guy has started appearing. Am I blowing things out of proportion? I just love this church and need it in my life, but am getting aggravated. Or is this guy just a pain in the butt? I want to take your Everything Else class on Sept 18, maybe we can talk then.
Thanks for listening.
I always have time to answer questions so please don’t ever hesitate to ask...this is a very good question. Did you read my last newsletter? The reason I included the posting and my response in Point of View about God taking care of us was to express that just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean you’re supposed to be any less proactive about your own personal defense. That includes at church. In fact, predators often can be found in churches...they believe, many times correctly, that because they're in church people won't be "mean" or "harsh" and turn them away. But you can be in just as much danger from a predator right there in church.
I tell my students to never, ever disregard your NQR because it is ALWAYS right. Men aren’t so good at this but women’s “intuition” is something that is very well known. I’m sure you’ve heard me mention the book “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin DeBecker – he is a world renown security expert and the book is about how women have this ability and if they listened to it, it would keep them out of harm’s way, or at the very least alert them something is going on...warning is always a tactical advantage. I believe we always get an alert, I think very often we are wrapped up in our busy lives and we miss a cue, but the warning is always there. I have talked to hundreds of women, studied thousands of crimes, the warning – or the opportunity for the warning – is always there. So your NQR is right.
There are times such as in your situation where you have the time to take your NQR to the next level, and you have told me the things you’ve observed about him since he first started making himself known to you. Here is the fine line and this is what women ask me all the time, how do you know he’s not just interested in you? Being flirty? Wants to ask you out? Just being friendly at church. etc., etc. And we, as women, often get caught up in that because our society has taught us that we gain something positive out of a man giving us attention...we’re flattered, maybe even interested a little bit in a romantic possibility...and here is what men ARE good at, they pick up on that, especially those who are looking for prey, it is their modus operandi. They play on that, and if you were to say “you know, you’re making me uncomfortable” he would play on your emotions and say he was only trying to be friendly. If in church, he might even take it one step farther and say he just needed a friend and felt comfortable with you. I have been in ministry on some level for 30 years and I have encountered all types, some who were nothing more than predators trying to guilt Christians into thinking that they were their only hope to get to God. Very sadly, too many people fall for this. Last February in OKC a young Sunday school teacher fell for this and she paid with her life (article).
So the question I’ve had so often is how do I know? I mean, last Saturday I was walking through Penn Square with a close friend and this guy stuck his arm out as we walked by, trying to hand us a sample of something or other...after we walked by I told her that one of these days one of those guys is gonna do something like that and I’m just going to grab his arm, flip him over and leave him there on the ground as I walk off. That’s my gut reaction when somebody comes at me like that...but then again self-defense has been my mindset and practice for 36 years so it’s automatic. But I realized the guy was just an obnoxious salesman and so I didn’t flip or pepper spray him, break his nose with a kubotan, or shoot him....I probably would have been kicked out of the mall if I had (but it might have been worth it!) I didn’t have an NQR going off, just an OJA (obnoxious jerk alert), so I made a quick decision just to walk on. It is very simple to differentiate the difference, that fine line, it is the NQR.
You admit you’ve always had NQRs about this guy, so there’s your fine line. It’s the NQR, something isn’t quite right and you can’t put your finger on it but something is going on.
I’ll give you another hint, when you suddenly realize someone is there and they tell you it’s okay, it is NOT okay. The last time somebody approached me suddenly in a parking lot, it was a man who had taken a class at a range I taught at and he was the passenger in a pickup truck, I saw the truck go by me in the parking lot, it slowed down and as I was making a wider berth around it, the window rolled down and I heard a male voice say, “Don’t shoot Tammy, it’s John...” Which was when I realized I had put my hand on my grip underneath my shirt tail (he read my body language). He wanted to ask me a question. I never brandished, and I never took my hand off my grip, and I never got close enough to the truck that he could grab me. It was colossally stupid on his part. I tell men and women both, men with good intentions know better than to approach a woman in a parking lot like that.
There is also the question of personal space, which is something we address in the Everything Else class. Unless you have given someone else permission to be in your personal space, they are trampling on your rights if they come into your space. This is where we as women have to be careful, and why I teach my students don’t be nice, we have to stop being nice, we have to stop worrying we’re gonna offend someone. So what if you tell the guy, “Look, I’m not interested in sitting with you or having a relationship with you so you need to back off.” If he plays the Christian guilt card, that’s his problem. In ministry I’ve had that played in some of the worst ways, and it’s hard when you think somebody is needing compassion and you’re pushing them away. But predators make no religious distinction. How about the BTK killer? He was a pillar in his church in Kansas City.
It is not weird that he’s suddenly showing up everywhere you are, it is planned. You are not blowing things out of proportion. Myself and a few women I know would have already scared the guy by this point (I would have scared him in the parking lot if he’d come up on me like that). It’s still a free country and he can come to the church just as much as you can, he can park where he wants to, and sit where he wants to, and you have no control over that. But you DO have control over your own self.
There are different ways you can approach this situation. One, if you have a friend who also goes to that church, whether male or female (or even a married couple), that you can confide in away from there and say you know, I’m just not comfortable with this guy, will you make sure to save me a seat by you where there’s no way he can sit there too? For example, if you know a married couple that you can sit in between, or two friends of yours that you can sit in between. Ask the friend(s) to shadow you when you get there, just hang with you or pay attention and if they see him monopolizing your time come over and say “hey Laurie, I want you to meet somebody” and take you away. And then if he sits near, or follows you inside the church, completely ignore him. Don’t say hello (if you do say the brush off hello where you acknowledge somebody but don’t slow down), don’t sit with him if he asks – by doing so you told him you have a weakness in saying no. I’m not cutting you down, 98% of all women have this same issue and the only way you don’t have it is if you work for it (thus the training in classes). This is what the drills are for in Between the Threat and the Bang, to help teach you to be more aggressive in situations just like this. So you have to correct your indication of weakness to him by being more aggressive. Never, ever, EVER let him follow you out to the parking lot. Absolutely have someone else walk out with you from now on. It sounds like this is a place where you have some friends, whether it’s a male or female, arrange ahead of time to have a buddy with you when you walk to your car. Don’t make an exception to that unless you’re carrying a gun and are very well prepared to use it. The parking lot is your most dangerous place, this is where Mr. Friendly, who has spent time charming you and letting you know he’s a gentleman, does an ungentlemanly thing by coming up to you in the dark parking lot, you are scared when you realize he’s there and he chuckles and says, “It’s just me” and you let your guard down for one second which is when he grabs you and forces you into your car or his and carries out whatever plan it is he’s had all along. It never ends well.
Sadly, most people would say I’m being paranoid and trying to instill fear, which is why I don’t recommend you tell anyone these things at your church unless they are of like mind to you and will understand and accept self-defense. Unfortunately, too many people in churches assume as the woman did in the letter at the beginning of my Point of View, that just because they’re a Christian nothing bad will happen. Christians are both victims and predators...and God is true to Himself, He does not force anyone against their will, so even some Christians become victimizers and predators. You can be very diplomatic about telling a couple friends that the guy makes you uncomfortable and you want them to shadow you while you’re at church, including walking with you out to the parking lot. That will be received much better than expressing the more sinister things I’ve expressed. Even in my own field I have people tell me I’m overreacting, but that’s because they’re men and they are not prey. We are prey so we have to think like prey, it gives us a tremendous tactical advantage.
You have a right to be at a place you enjoy and you don’t have to be terrorized out of there. If he is just a pain in the butt, he’ll get the hint quickly if you start completely ignoring him and have a couple friends shadow you...if nothing else, he’ll get tired of you ignoring him and he’ll move on, either away from there or on to someone else there. If he’s a predator, he’ll move on to an easier target. Either way you’ve accomplished your goal, which is keeping yourself safe.
A note about churches...many churches now have “security teams” which are conceal carry citizens who attend the church. Usually no one but the pastor and the persons on the detail know their job is to be on alert for problems. This started occurring more after more and more churches had gunmen walk in. I have no idea if this church has any such thing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some who attend who are carrying concealed. I would be, I have been standing in front of churches with a guitar on me, leading worship, with a gun strapped on my side. So you don’t know, and you can’t assume someone else will protect you, but my point is it wouldn’t surprise me if there were some people there who you could tell you’re uncomfortable and they would probably close ranks and help keep an eye out.
I have to tell you this. Tonight I went to church, which starts at 7PM. I normally get there around 6:30 to fellowship with friends. I got there at 5:50 and parked directly across the street. There were 4 kids walking across the street and went by my car so I waited for them to go by.....only a few seconds. I grabbed my purse, bible and keys locked and shut my door......only a few seconds, was not barely in the middle of a 2 way street when that guy I was telling you about called my name and waved, I kinda waved back and kept walking and then he asked me how my week was and I said it was ok and walked into the church and he walked away. He did come in a few minutes later. I sat down by some friends and I was rattled. I had played some scenerios in my mind but not that one. I know I just got out of church, but I'm gonna cuss, how in the hell did he know where I was gonna park? This dude just comes out of no where. I told one of the guys there and he told me we have a police officer that goes there and got him. He watched him for me and told me that this guy doesn't have any people skills. I sat across the room from him with that other guy and he and the police officer walked me to my car. It freaked me out because he has been parking over in the bank parking lot. Whew,will I be glad to see you Saturday. He obviously was waiting for me, If he has any brain cells between his ears, he will get the message. Thanks for listening.
I can tell you that it always SEEMS like they came out of nowhere, but they most definitely do not. When they “come out of nowhere” it means they have been watching you...which you already figured out, and yes, it does rattle you.
You did the right thing by being aware, telling a man inside the church, talking to the police officer who goes there and alerting him, having him walk you to your car. The man may have no people skills, or that may be a ruse....either way, he has made it clear he is watching you and that makes him dangerous to you no matter what. Even complete idiots kill people, so it really doesn’t matter what his deal is.
He SHOULD get the message when you have a police officer walk you to your car – whether or not he was in uniform, law enforcement puts off a different vibe, especially to criminals, than regular people. I’m not a criminal but just because of my training and what I know I can most always spot law enforcement even in plain clothes....criminals pick up on it, at the very least he’ll realize you’re having somebody walk you out. However, even if he seems to back off, don’t ever let your guard down around this guy. Organized bad guys, which he obviously is (these are the ones who plan versus act randomly) are willing to wait months to get what they want, so never let your guard down no matter what.
And yes, after Saturday's Everything Else class you will be even more equipped to deal with this.
You were ready tonight and you did all the right things, even though it scares the crap out of you! You are in good company, recently a guy in a big bubba truck pulled up in my driveway and I saw him on my surveillance camera, he opened my outside door when I didn't answer the doorbell (I was already armed by then) and even though he drove away, it rattled me so badly that I shook for an hour afterwards. A couple weeks ago in BTB one of the women was shaking from the adrenalized drills. Yeah, it does rattle a person, even when you get through it unscathed!
Keep your head up, you’re doing fine,