This is Why I Carry OC Spray and Recommend You Do Too


Having a non-lethal tool like a good, strong OC spray (oleoresin capsicum) is a useful part of your defensive toolkit if it’s legal in your jurisdiction. This is how it can be used effectively! Do you carry one?

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There isn’t news stories on this one, as it was sent to me by a fan who gave me permission to use it to help us all. It was recorded in Honolulu, HI on April 28, 2017 around 1PM.

What does this video teach us about using OC Spray as part of a strategy to defend ourselves?

  1. The first and most foundational part of Active Self Protection’s defensive strategy of “Attitude, Skills, Plan” is Attitude. You must cultivate the attitude that you are responsible for your own self-protection and you are the primary agent in your own rescue. You and only you can choose to cultivate an attitude that no one has the right to harm you or your loved ones and you have a right and a responsibility to stop anyone who threatens to harm you and yours. Here the officer had the attitude that this guy wasn’t going to hurt him or others.
  2. Sometimes the danger that you must protect yourself and your family from isn’t evil, but is rather deranged. People who aren’t in their right faculties can be a real danger to your family, even if they are not inherently evil. You need the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from evil AND from non-evil threats that pop up!
  3. The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the hands are the windows to the intent of a person. If you’re in a potential conflict, ALWAYS pay attention to what the aggressor is doing with their hands. They might have a force multiplier in their hand, or they might be hiding their hand so that you can’t see what is in it or using their hand to conceal something. If their hands are empty, there is a difference between someone with fists and someone whose hands are open and relaxed. As a self-defender your situational awareness must include seeing the hands of any potential threat in your vicinity, so watch the hands!
  4. If you know there might be danger around, you cannot stand there flat-footed with your hands at your side. That’s a great way to die. Instead, if you think danger might be coming but not imminent, get your hands up protecting your head, neck, and chest. I do this by tucking one hand under the other elbow, and the free hand on my chin as if I were in deep contemplation. Others do it using the “interview position” with both hands as if they’re holding a pad and pen. Getting your hands up shaves split seconds off your reaction time, but that might make the difference between life and death if you can prepare.
  5. Pepper spray is an excellent tool and should be in every self-defenders defensive repertoire (I carry Sabre Red), but it is not a panacea. It works on 85-90% of people; about 10-15% of people are simply immune to Oleoresin Capsicum. Part of training with OC is also being sprayed with it and learning that you CAN fight through exposure if you know what to expect and you have good emotional fitness, and some attackers have both. So if you carry pepper spray, know its limitations and know that you don’t get what you want with it all the time.

There are 3 additional lessons for Patron Members and 3 class starters for Instructors from this video, so please join us in those programs to see them!

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

(music in the outro courtesy of Bensound at

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Empty Handed Skills