Posts Tagged ‘crime’

As Hurricane Sandy approaches the East Coast, I’d thought I’d repost the preparedness post from last month.  There is good information there on supplies you may need in the event you have to shelter in place or evacuate.

Click here to read the post. 

Zenshin™, LLC Urban Survival Tours


Martial Arts vs Self Defense… true or fake?


How can you beat the mighty egg as an awesome Urban Survival food?  It has great nutritional value, is cheap and has a long shelf life.  There have been recent studies that actually show that eggs are good for you! Many of our Urban Survival recipes contain eggs.. the mighty matzo and the mighty ramen noodle to name just two.

To qualify as an Urban Survival food, a food must have nutritional value, be cheap, be able to be prepared quickly and be able to be modified for taste.  I just bought a carton of 18 large eggs for $1.99.  That’s cheap!  The egg also has great nutritional value (see below) can be prepared quickly and can be modified for taste.  Below is some egg facts I found.  Don’t let the bad reputation of eggs deter you- go try one of our recipes!


A large egg represents less than 4% of the daily calorie intake of a person eating 2,000 calories a day; it provides 10% of a person’s daily recommended protein, and valuable iron, B vitamins, and minerals, including the folate recommended for pregnant women.

A hen requires about 24 to 26 hours to produce an egg. After the egg is laid, the hen starts all over again about 30 minutes later.

Egg protein is both high in quality and low in cost. It’s easy to compare the price of eggs to the price of other protein foods. A dozen Large eggs weigh 1 1/2 pounds, so the price per pound of Large eggs is two-thirds of the price per dozen. For example, if Large eggs cost 90¢ per dozen, they cost 60¢ per pound. At $1.20 per dozen, Large eggs are only 80¢ per pound.

Dates on egg cartons and all other food packaging reflect food quality, not food safety. An ‘expiration’ or ‘sell-by’ date on an egg carton tells the grocer to pull the eggs if they haven’t sold by that time. A ‘best-by’ or ‘use-by’ date tells you that your eggs will still be of high quality if you use them by that date.

You can keep fresh, uncooked eggs in the shell refrigerated in their cartons for at least three weeks after you bring them home, with insignificant quality loss. Properly handled and stored, eggs rarely spoil. If you keep them long enough, eggs are more likely to simply dry up. But don’t leave eggs out. They’ll age more in one day at room temperature than they will in one week in the refrigerator.

Photo and fact credit:


Nice….. it like the fact it is one-handed!

Sometimes I truly wonder if it would be easier to try to survive in the jungle or on a desert island rather than our urban jungle.  In the real jungle you have very few, albeit very important concerns; food, water, shelter.  In the urban jungle you have to worry about people stealing your identity and your credit card information.  My friend Ted has been traveling the world and has used many products that he found helpful.  This is one of them.  Maybe we need to start a topic of where in the world is Ted today and what the heck is he buying…..

Take a look at this video:

So, here’s the product that Ted has researched and recommends.  It prevents the devices from reading the chips with your credit card information.  They are styling too!  Kinda reminds me of what the AV squad used to carry in High School.
It can be found here if you want to buy one (FYI,I do not get any money from the referral).  I do love a good bargain though!

Sometimes when I tell people I teach urban survival, they think of the time during WWII when occupied urban territories were the battle ground for resistance fighters. The resistance fighters did not have conventional weapons so they improvised with what they had. Fortunately, France had a lot of wine bottles and liquor and made good use of the molotov cocktail.

I have to admit, I thought the molotov cocktail was derived from some Israeli word (I guess similar to Mazel Tov?). I was wrong.  The term molotov cocktail was coined by the Finns during the Winter war of 1938. They were fighting the Soviets who invaded Finland that year. The name is an insulting reference to the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov. Who knew?

So yes, a core component of my urban survival curriculum is using your environment for things like self-defense, shelter, food, etc.

For example, I can assure you that unless you are sitting at your desk nude, you have on your person an object that can be repurposed for defense. If you are reading this at your desk in the nude, please at least put a towel on the chair seat. Someone else may want to sit there later. Ewwww.

So what’s in your pocket (or purse)? Some common items may be coins, keys, a wallet and maybe make-up. It is well-known that keys make a nifty self-defense weapon. Coins may be used as a distraction and can be thrown in the face of an aggressor to buy you (no pun intended) that small amount of time to get out of Dodge. Plus, it doesn’t really cost much to do it either! My Bubby would be so proud. I can hear her now…. “I’m so proud of you!  You saved your life and it only cost 75 cents!”

Your wallet may contain a credit card that can be used to cut an aggressor. Lastly, make-up cases, brushes, powders, liquids can all be used as defensive weapons.

There are many sites out there that lists people’s ideas of improvised weapons from rolled up newspapers to teddy bears.  I encourage you to look at them.  In my courses I go over many items that are uniquely repurposed for defense.  For now, look around you.  What is on your person that can be repurposed for defense.  Then reach around……….  your area.  What is in arm’s length that you can grab and repurpose.  As you walk around town ask your self what is around me that I can use for defense if I needed to defend myself right now.  The more you get used to thinking about these things, the more it becomes second nature.

BTW, if you happen to have any other good ideas for an improvised weapon and would like to share…..  especially ones that are uncommon, please do!

I worked with this guy who was a fitness fanatic.  He was also the captain of the police basketball team and an overall monster size of a man.  At the time, the only shape I was in…. was round.  He asked me one day how much I could bench press.  I weighed in at about 250lbs at the time so I arbitrarily said I could bench press 200 lbs.  Seemed logical to me although I had never really bench pressed anything in my life.  He laughed and said he didn’t think so.  We bantered back and forth with me insisting I could and he stating I couldn’t.  Here is the funny thing.  Even though I never bench pressed anything in my life, I rationalized that I could do it and the more we argued, the more I was convinced I could do it.  I actually believed it until…….. my friend finally got me to the gym and lo and behold… I almost lost my inerds.

So, what does this story have to do with urban survival?

When I am teaching newbies at the dojo or conducting a self-defense class, it always amazes me (until I recall the above story), how many people think they can handle a mugger, rapist or general a-hole.  For the record, some actually had a good sense of what they can do.  They were brought up in tough neighborhoods or were from countries where survival was an everyday occurrence.  Most were not.  Most were like me in my younger years.  This attitude is the first barrier to teaching urban survival. How to realistically give a person a baseline without putting them in actual harm. Without establishing a baseline for yourself,  you cannot realistically assess what you can and can not do in any given situation.

So the next time you are on the subway or on the street and you see a suspicious, burly scary person, ask yourself not “what would I do?” if this person decided to make you a target, but “what COULD I do?” Be honest then take a course on self-defense.

P.S. It took me a good year of working out with my friend but I ended up losing 70 lbs and eventually bench pressed 225lbs regularly.  Now…….  not so much. But I know that. 🙂