Sunday, March 30, 2014

Urban Survival

I love this story on the "Tunnel People" it goes to show just how far people are willing to go to survive there circumstances and gives some good ideas in urban survival situations.

Norm Bettencourt

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Conditioning Yourself To See Your Own Blood In Self Defense Situations

Hi everyone,

I would like to discuss how to condition yourself so you do not panic when you see the sight of your own blood in combat situations.

This is where training comes in; I believe that how to train for a situation and how you will respond to that given situation. You need to not only train yourself physically in first aid techniques but you need to train in the mental element as well when it comes to dealing with first aid situations.

You must prepare yourself to see your own blood but when SHTF you can remain calm and deal with the task at hand. The body can lose half a gallon of blood and still be able to continue fighting and functioning. Simply pour a half gallon of red Kool-Aid onto the floor and take a mental picture of it, that's how much blood you can lose and still function.

Just because you have been shot or stabbed doesn’t mean you’re going to die and you need to mentally tell yourself that during training scenarios so that survival mindset kicks in when you need it most.

The human body is extremely tough and resilient; I have interviewed countless people who have been shot and stabbed or have been beaten severely who have lived to tell there tale. The human body can take a beating and a lot of the times will not feel any pain until after the fact when you’re coming down off your adrenaline dump.

For individuals who do feel pain or have been injured and are bleeding do not panic, breath you are still alive, focus on what you need to do such as getting to safety. People can survive a gunshot wound to the heart and still live seven seconds after that and with today's medical advances the odds are in your favor.

Here are some suggestions to obtain a survivor mindset;

One way to have the "never say die attitude" is to read stories of people who beat the odds survived a violent attack yet fought after being severely beaten, stabbed or shot. So if the time ever comes and you have been injured your subconscious will kick in, remember these stories of survival and continue to fight because if those people could do it so could you. You must possess the will to survive so that you stay alive.

Also realize that getting hit or shot in the bone hurts but you won't die from those injuries. As well most people when stabbing someone stab people haphazardly To receive a lethal stab wound a major artery must be punctured.

When training in self defense techniques if you get shot or stabbed in scenarios do not stop fighting for if you do you are subconsciously telling yourself that you can’t take the injury and to just give up and die.

Mentally rehearse yourself getting shot or stabbed yet continue fighting your enemy This way if the day comes and you get injured you will continue fighting regardless of what injury you have endured and also the injury won’t be so traumatizing to you.

Remember to breathe to help slow down bleeding and to remain calm in a crisis situation. Here is a simple and very effective tactical breathing exercise that most law enforcement and emergency medical services personnel use.

Tactical Breathing: Breath in through your nose (abdomen should go out) for a 4 count as you say "calm" in your head or whatever your word of choice may be to create the feeling you choose to feel, hold for 4 seconds, then let it out through your mouth for 4 seconds (abdomen should go inwards), and hold for 4 seconds and repeat (mental reminder BREATHE). You can also do this on a different count if it works better for you. This will regulate your body's reactions to adrenaline and help you to remain calm.

There's no such thing as a dirty fighter only an educated one

Norm Bettencourt

Monday, March 17, 2014

To Punch or Not To Punch?

Hi everyone,

The most popular question I get as a self defense instructor is…

Do you recommend punching someone when protecting yourself in a violent altercation?

The answer I give people is a big fat NO!!

Here’s why first of all most people can’t punch worth a crap when their ass depends on it. What happens in a full blown altercation is that people end up panicking and haphazardly throw out punches as fast as they can hoping it will do some type of damage when it connects to their enemies body. The problem with this type of approach is that there is no weight behind your punches. This is what I call feather punches they basically do nothing for you when it comes to stopping an attacker because there’s nothing behind it.

Another issue with people not knowing how to punch is that people especially in certain martial arts circles are taught to retract there punches when they are about to make contact with their opponent/training partner. The reason for retracting your punches is so that training partners during training sessions or opponents during competitions do not get injured.

Also by retracting your punches you look and sound better while performing your kata (forms). Your gi (uniform) will make a nice crisp sound of a SNAP when you punch making people say wow but in reality you are not letting the power of your punch go through your enemy. What this does is set you up for failure in the real world of violence. When you strike anyone regardless of what body part you’re striking with you should HIT & STICK when attacking someone, more on this topic in a future post.

Another concern when it comes to punching is that you do not have any type of protection such as gloves for your hands when fighting out on the streets. All it takes is hitting the top of a person’s skull or striking any other hard boney part on your enemies’ body or missing your enemies face and instead striking a hard surface such as a brick wall or concrete sidewalk and you now have destroyed your fist. This in turn takes away your weapons and helps your enemy in being able to harm you.

So bottom line don’t punch instead palm strike, hammer fist or execute a plain old bitch slap on your enemy to get better results.

There’s no such thing as a dirty fighter only an educated one.


Monday, March 10, 2014

My Kind Of Vehicle For Off The Grid Living

Hi Guys & Gals

Check out the Earthcruiser at

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

You Hear Someone inside Your Home In The Middle of the Night

If you ever are faced with someone being inside your home in the middle of the night try to avoid at all costs searching for the burglar. Instead barricade yourself inside your room, call the police and have your weapon of choice ready if need be. This plan of action gives you an advantage over the criminal because he has to come to you instead of you having to go to him which makes him an easy target.

But let’s look at this situation in a worst case scenario setting. What if you had to look for the burglar in the darkness of your home at 3am?

How would you go about searching for him?

Most people say they would turn on the lights and carefully search for the suspect. The reality is if you were to do that you would be placing yourself at a disadvantage. Here’s why think back to the last time you woke up in the middle of the night and you had to go to the washroom. Can you walk straight into the bathroom without turning on the lights not bumping into anything and seeing everything as clear as day?

The reason you can do this is because your natural night vision automatically kicks in when you go to sleep. You can see everything around you in the pitch darkness of the night. If you were to turn on the lights your eyes would have to adjust to the brightness of the light putting you at a huge disadvantage if you ever needed to protect yourself or loved ones. The stimulus of the light would overload your eyesight causing you to squint and close your eyes. That’s the last thing you want to be doing when defending yourself.

So next time you hear a sound in the middle of the night avoid turning on the lights if you have to investigate. You are at an advantage by having night vision the burglar doesn’t.

There’s no such thing as a dirty fighter only an educated one.

Norm Bettencourt


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About Me

Norm Bettencourt is the Creator/President of Tactical Self Defense which specializes in personal protection tactics against modern day threats of violence. For more information visit