Self Defense for Preppers With Sara HathawayThis week on the Survivalistprepper podcast we are happy to welcome back Sara Hathaway, Sara is the author of the books Day after Disaster and Without Land. Some pf you might also know her from her Changing Earth Podcast where she discusses some of the chapters in her books, as well as has an expert guest on to talk about different areas of preparedness.

You can find out more about what Sara is currently working on at her website

SPP160 Self Defense for Preppers With Sara Hathaway


Sara has quite a bit of self-defense training, and this week we had her on to talk about all the different aspects, and how it can (and is) useful to us as preppers. Here are a few of the questions we had for her this week…

Questions From the Show

A have a 3-part question for you: What self-defense training do you have, why did you decide to do it, and what added benefits does it have?

I have trained in two Korean styles of martial arts: Tae Kwon Do and Kuk Sool Won. I have also dabbled in close quarters combat training in a survival training program I did as well as with Skip Buck a former Sherriff Sergeant that I train with.

I decided to get involved in self defense training because I always wanted to do it as a kid but my mom said I was already too rough. I pursued a opportunity to play Olympic ice hockey and when it didn’t really pan out I decided to start training martial arts. I started with Kuk Sool Won because it had many weapon styles involved in it. I later transitioned to Tae Kwon Do because of the Olympic possibilities and the quality of instructors.

There are a ton of benefits to self defense training. First of all, it builds confidence. Having confidence makes you a less likely target. Predators look for easy to attack targets and if your level of self confidence portrays you as a difficult target it takes you off the list. Another bonus to self defense training is, during training you are put into uncomfortable situations where you may get your butt kicked.

This helps in a couple of ways. Mentally you become more accustomed to these situations making it easier to face them in real life. Also you get beat and have to mentally challenge yourself on how to avoid that in the future, how to calm your mind, and increase your defenses. Your body becomes accustomed to taking hits and not crumbling because of it. Trust me it hurts and you will get bruised, maybe even broken but your body will grow stronger and you will be able to take more abuse in the future. The last benefit to self defense training is the most obvious, you learn to defend yourself!

Do you have any easy self-defense tips for anyone who might want to learn some basics in the comfort of their own home? 

Self defense is a challenging thing to learn on your own. The good news is the basics are the basics and no matter what form of self defense you want to learn the basics are all the same. I would start with making sure your body is ready for the physical rigors of learning self defense, which you should be doing anyway to be prepared for anything.

If you are a total couch potato, start with walking. Walking, rapidly for 10 minutes a day helps the body and mind but you need to push it much farther. Then try a workout program. Programs like, insanity are great workouts for cardio and they get the whole body used to participating.

For actual self defense training my advice is to find a good instructor. There are martial arts schools everywhere so do your homework and find one that you can give with. If you really want to do it all on your own, it will be monumentally difficult because you need a partner to practice on.

This can be dangerous because you will be attacking and defending. One thing to keep in mind, you don’t want to go to hard because you want to have a partner to practice on in the future. As the two of you get better you can start going harder and harder.

Pinterest and you-tube are always a wealth of information. Find one move there and start with that. Practice it until you can do it in your sleep. One solid defense move is better than 100 unpracticed moves.

We can talk about a couple situations where learning self-defense might be useful to preppers?

From a prepper’s point of view self -defense is essential. In a long term survival situation, unless you know how to make gun powder, your supply of bullets is going to run out. If you don’t know how to physically defend yourself you are going to be in a lot of trouble.

Also long term survival situations will do crazy things to honest, good people’s minds. What if someone you have trusted suddenly turns violent or sexually aggressive? You will need your self defense skills to make sure you can survive this encounter.

In a long term survival situation if you have to physically defend yourself you want it to end as soon as possible without damaging yourself. I suggest learning the ear cup, eye gouge for this situation. Also on men aiming for the Adam’s apple is usually a finishing blow.

These same principles also apply to the society we live in today. For women, obviously it is essential that you can defend yourself from an attack. Usually your attacker is going to be someone you may know and trust. You may not want to hurt them severely (with a gun) but you want to make sure you can defend yourself and protect your honor.

Men are often in positions where they have to fight to protect their loved ones or just because they are being aggressed. Once you know how to fight, at least for me, it becomes less and less attractive. Any fight you enter is one you may not walk away from. There are methods to make sure you can end a fight quickly with minimal harm to either participant but it takes practice.

We can talk about Situational awareness: Don’t put yourself in Bad Situations etc.

You have to be aware of your surroundings. Who is coming up behind you? Why are they? As I mentioned before most women and children are attacked by people they know. How much can you really trust this person? What has their past been like?

In a long term survival situation any boo boo can be a major game changer. Only enter confrontations when you absolutely have to. The best way to win a fight is to never have been in it.

Reduce your chances by staying alert. Not playing Pokémon Go or staring at your phone. When you get in your car and you are sitting for a moment, lock the doors.

Confidence reduces your chances of being attacked. Walk with pride, know where you are going, don’t shuffle along.

Some Non-Lethal Self Defense weapons…and guns too lol

As far as non-lethal weapons my mother in law used to make me carry pepper spray when I was out playing hockey at night. Great thought but it was always in the bottom of my purse and I doubt I could have gotten to it if I was attacked. Anything like a Taser or pepper spray etc. needs to be easily accessible if you need it.

In self defense anything can be used as a weapon. I learned how to use escrima sticks because they are two short fighting sticks. You could use anything from a wooden spoon to a rolled up magazine in their place. Also I have a new car with a flip key. That thing is strong when it is flipped out so I always carry it flipped out and in my hand. If I was attacked the first thing I would do is stab my attacker in the eye with it.

On that note I want to mention that if you are grabbed from behind kicking to a man’s privates is not the best thing you can do. If you can kick their knee it is a much better choice. A man without a knee will not be running after you very quickly. If the knee is impossible slam your head back into their nose. If you can break the nose the eyes instantly start watering making it harder for them to hold onto you or see you.

The tactical flashlights are very good to carry. They often do the flicker light to distract an aggressor. They have the jagged edged rims around the light which work great as stabbing items as well as window breakers if you are ever in a car sinking in the water.

Obviously having a concealed carry permit is ideal but you need to practice, practice, practice. Any weapon you are not comfortable with will not be your first go to in a stressful situation, plus you don’t want to hurt anyone else. Again, you need to make sure it is accessible. It does you no good if it is in the car and you are attacked while putting groceries into the car.

How important is confidence when it comes to deterring an attacker? Or not becoming a victim.

Confidence is absolutely essential! Confidence can stop the attack before it even begins but you will not be confident if you are not prepared for an encounter and physically capable of carrying out the moves you have practiced. My confidence level has saved me and my girlfriends on multiple occasions. Fake it until you make it but know you can make it if you had to!

What are the 3 most important things you have learned because of your training? (not necessarily moves lol)

  1. Fighting is not fun. I was and still am in a lot of ways a little fireball and rarely do I back down from something I am passionate about. I used to go looking for fights but now I realize that no one wins when you fight. People get hurt or worse.
  2. Fighting is the biggest mental challenge you will face. It doesn’t matter how good you are there is always someone better. There are always good days and bad days. The adrenaline that fighting induces surges through your body and effects you in unimaginable ways. If you haven’t felt it before you better get out there and practice. Experiencing this in a life and death situation for the first time could cause you to hesitate or freeze and that could be the deal breaker.
  3. I kick ass! My hands are fast and my situational awareness is good. I can go up against the biggest men out there and it may not be pretty and I may get hurt but knowing a few devastating techniques could be the reason I am able to walk away when other couldn’t.

Also From the Show…

Today is the last day (July28th) that The Survivalist Prepper Academy 2.0 will be available at half price. At midnight tonight this offer ends and everything goes back up to full price.

We also talked about the members only giveaway this month and what those prizes are. Members can get a more detailed update on the “Quick Start” page at the Academy, but here is a list of what we have so far…

First Prize

  • BOB Kit (From the SHTFSHOP)
  • EDC Kit (From the SHTFSHOP)
  • Paracord Belt (At WazooSurvivalGear)
  • Survival Bandana

Second Prize

Third Prize

Fourth Prize

Fifth Prize

  • Another Sawyer Mini Water Filter
  • A Survival Bandana

This giveaway is a members only giveaway, and if you would like to become a member you can do so here.


Survival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle. The definition of a prepper is "An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources" Like the Government, police etc. I don't believe that the end of the world will be the "end of the world" I believe it will be the end of the world as we know it now. You can also find me on Google Plus and Twitter

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