Saturday, December 05, 2015

How to Use a Belt to Barricade a Door During a Shooting

Here's an interesting article.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Life On The Streets: 10 Lessons I Learned From The Homeless

Great article

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

The Reality of A Knife Attack: Not Like The Movies or What Your Taught

The Reality of A Knife Attack: Not Like The Movies or What Your Taught

Here is an old video of a brutal knife attack.

Realistic Self Defense Through Research

Norm Bettencourt

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

National Geographic Fight Science

Realistic Self Defense Through Research

Norm Bettencourt

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Starting A Fire With A Neck Knife & Wallet

Realistic Self Defense Through Research

Norm Bettencourt

Friday, October 16, 2015

Survival Swimming: Using Your Pants For Floatation

Let me know if anyone has ever tried this. here is the Facebook link.


Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Monday, October 05, 2015

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Thursday, October 01, 2015

15 Tips for Surviving a School Shooting

(Excerpted from Surviving a School Shooting: A Plan of Action for Parents, Teachers, and Students by Loren W. Christensen.)

The Art of War by Sun Tzu teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.


.The sad reality is every year students are killed on school campuses across the United States, in large cities and in rural communities. In 2004, 48 children were murdered in U.S. schools and thousands seriously injured in incidents of school violence. Meanwhile, it’s been many years since a single child has been killed or injured by school fire. Yet, every school has sprinklers, alarms, drills, and extinguishers. But why are we not preparing for the thing that is killing our kids?

In every school shooting case, the killer is looking for a “soft target” — a military term meaning an easy target — so he can make a statement by taking the lives of as many innocents as possible because he knows a high body count will get his name on the 5 o’clock news.

If we can harden the targets — make it difficult for him to shoot people — by implementing a few simple measures, it will deter many potential killers.

The security and safety of our children are the most important functions any society can perform. Today our precious children are threatened from within and from without to a degree greater than ever before. Those who would do us harm — from inside and outside our borders — know that the path toward the greatest notoriety, and the way to bring the severest suffering to us, is to attack our children.


While a trigger isn’t always easy to identify, here are a few common ones that have caused shooters to bring a gun to school with the intent to kill.

Being a victim of bullying or teasing
Losing a boyfriend or girlfriend
Hearing about a high-profile school shooting
Being punished or scolded by a school authority
Feeling alienated
Being criticized, mocked, or taunted by other students


Contrary to what people often claim, school shooters don’t just suddenly change from being nonviolent to violent. The path is a progressive one with indicators along the way, ones that fellow students, friends, teachers, and parents often ignore. A Secret Service study showed that 93 percent of the attackers acted in such a way prior to the event that it concerned people. One attacker asked his friends to help him get ammunition. Another told his friends several times that he thought about killing students at the school.


Perhaps you’ve taught on your campus for many years. But this time, look at and examine all those common places and things you have seen so often before, and as you do, think tactically and preplan your course of action.

Examine Exits

How many are near where you are right now?
What is on the other side of each door?
Can the doors be locked?
Can they be fortified with chairs, cabinets, and lockers?
Do they have windows? Curtains?
Where are the doors in every location you frequent during your day?

Examine Potential Hiding Places

Can you hide under or behind your desk?
Can you hide behind a rolled wrestling mat?
Can you hide inside the janitor’s closet?
Can you hide behind the kitchen freezer?

Examine the Campus Grounds

It’s important not to get locked into thinking that a school shooting always happens inside the structure. Stand in various places outside the building and view your familiar surroundings as a potential battleground. If gunshots erupted from your right, where would you go? If you saw someone with a gun getting out of that red pickup, what would you do? Where would you go? If you heard gunshots outside but you couldn’t tell from which direction, what would you do? Where would you go?


Cover prevents the shooter from seeing you, but more importantly it provides a shield against bullets, fire, and explosions. Common cover on campus includes:

Cement walls
Heavy cabinets
Heavy metal desks
Solid metal doors
Copy machines
Large reams of paper
Shop machines
Large trees
Cafeteria freezers and stoves
Car or truck engine blocks

Concealment is anything that prevents the shooter from seeing you, but it doesn’t protect you from bullets, fire, and explosions. Common school concealment includes:

Hollow walls
Hollow doors
Teachers’ desks
Empty boxes
Portable partitions
Painted or shaded windows


Know that at any given time you’re surrounded by weapons, but only if you can see beyond each object’s original purpose. One technique to help you see common things as a potential weapon is to play the “You know what really hurts?” game. If you’re uncomfortable saying these things out loud with a friend, just think them to yourself.

You know what really hurts? That stapler slammed into a shooter’s face.
You know what really hurts? The janitor’s bucket smashed against a shooter’s head.
You know what really hurts? This printer slammed down on a shooter’s gun hand.

When you look at commonplace objects in your environment from the perspective of this game, it’s as if you’re suddenly surrounded by an arsenal.


You need two elements to successfully flee: opportunity and an avenue of escape. For example:

Opportunity: You can run when the gunman is at the far end of the cafeteria.
Avenue of escape: There is an escape route when the path to the closest door is unobstructed.

Opportunity: You can run when someone shouts that the shooter is on his way to where you are by way of the north door.
Avenue of escape: There is a place to flee to when the south door is unlocked and close to you.

An exception to the opportunity rule: Say you’re face to face with the shooter and, though there is an aisle next to you that leads straight to the door 20 feet away, he says he will shoot if you move. You have an avenue of escape but not an opportunity.


There is no absolute answer. If you know the student, talking to him might help. It has in past shootings, although there have been many in which it didn’t.

Keep in mind the shooter’s mind is likely in another place, a dark world where all he sees are targets. Anything you say or do, no matter how sound it might look on paper, just might be the very thing that sets him off even more.


Indications are he is going to shoot you anyway. So should you run? Yes, because maybe he is a lousy shot. No, because maybe he isn’t. This dilemma is a likely possibility, one you should think about now, while your heart rate is normal and your thinking is clear.

You’ve decided to flee the area:

Do keep objects — desks, cabinets, vehicles, boxes, machinery — between you and the shooter to both obstruct his view of you and possibly absorb or deflect any bullets he sends your way.
Don’t zigzag; just run hard.
Do grab something to use as a weapon without slowing. It might come in handy later.
Do know that a bullet can travel a mile or more. While it can be argued you’re harder to hit when a shooter aims and fires from 40 feet away (which has been recommended as a minimum distance to flee), know that a missed bullet fired at someone else still might hit you, though you’re a ways off.
Do move quickly from a locked door to a window. If you can’t open it, break it with a chair or heavy object by striking the weaker, lower corner of the pane. Breaking glass makes noise, so leap through the opening and run like the wind.
Do run behind trees, vehicles, and buildings that can block you from the shooter’s view as well as stop bullets. Use your cell phone to call 9-1-1.


Know that when a bullet strikes a wall or the floor at an angle, it travels along the surface. For example, if a bullet hits a wall just right — say, 20 feet from a corner — it will travel along the surface until it runs out of energy or something stops it, like a face peering around the corner.

If you’re hiding behind a car, crouch down behind a tire. If you have a choice, choose a front tire so that you’re behind the engine block. Should you kneel at the middle of the car, a bullet hitting the pavement several feet away can travel along the surface, under the car, and into your shins.


Concealment: This hides you, but it doesn’t stop a bullet. Stack up empty boxes and crouch behind them.
Cover: This hides you and can stop a bullet. Those large, floor-model copy machines that hold reams of paper do a good job stopping powerful rounds, as does a thick roll of tumbling mats, some vending machines, and cafeteria ovens. If these things are positioned in such a way the shooter can’t easily see behind them, squeeze into the space and crouch down.


When you’re inside a room where the door swings inward, push desks, file cabinets, and any other heavy furniture against it. Cram items under the door, such as clothing, rulers, erasers, book jackets, anything that will make it difficult to open. An examination of past incidents shows that when a shooter has difficulty gaining entry to a place, he gives up and moves on.


Don’t assume that someone else has called the police. It’s OK if the 9-1-1 emergency center receives more than one call about what is going on. It actually helps them validate the call more quickly; besides, additional callers might have additional information.

Tell the 9-1-1 dispatcher there is an active shooter on your campus. The dispatcher and the police will know exactly what that means. Tell the dispatcher the name and location of your school. It’s common for callers under duress to forget to tell 9-1-1 where the incident is occurring or forget what the numerical address is. Consider noting it in your cell phone directory and posting it by your desk or wall phone.

If you’re calling from a wall phone in your classroom or a desk phone in the office and the 9-1-1 dispatcher asks you to stay on the line but doing so might jeopardize your safety, tell the dispatcher you can’t and then drop the phone (but leave the connection open) and run. This allows the dispatcher to hear what is happening. If you’re on a cell phone, stay on with the dispatcher so you can continue to update her as to what is going on.


Since the police don’t know people when they enter a scene where kids and teachers have been injured and killed, they are going to treat everyone as a suspect until they can determine who’s who. They know that sometimes a suspect leaves a hectic crime scene by pretending to be one of the students or teachers. Therefore, should the police yell at you to raise your hands and lie down on your stomach, do so without hesitation.


Fighting back should be considered a last-ditch response after all other options have been eliminated. Under what circumstances you should or should not fight back needs to be pondered before you’re faced with the decision; don’t wait until your world explodes into bloody bedlam. You need to give serious thought as to whether you have what it takes to leap on someone armed with a gun, or smash someone in the head with a barbell plate from the gym or with a heavy stapler from your desk.

Teachers, staff members, campus security, visiting adults, and high school students are the most obvious candidates to fight back. Indeed, such people have been successful in school shooting events in the past.

Dog pile: This is when two or more people leap on a violent person, knock him to the floor, and restrain him by holding him down with their combined body weight. Think of a football game where several players pile on the man with the ball.


Never make assumptions about someone armed with a handgun on your campus. You might think you know Tommy from math class, but until now did you know he was capable of bringing a weapon to school to hurt and kill people? Do you know if he is going to shoot one person or mow down everyone else in the library? Even if his initial intention is to kill one specific person, do you know if he just might snap even further and shoot someone else and then another and another . . .? It’s happened before in other schools, and those people didn’t know the shooter was capable of such carnage.

The only absolute, the only thing you know for sure, is that Tommy has a gun in the hallway and he has gone quite mad.


Police officers and soldiers train continuously to function in violence, using high-tech weaponry and sophisticated methods of combat. But how do teachers and older students prepare for such horror? How do parents prepare their very young children?

First, you must accept that school shootings are happening seemingly more than ever before and there is no way to predict where one will happen next. Then you prepare for it using every means available to you.

Loren Christensen is the author of two dozen Paladin books and videos, including Surviving a School Shooting. Loren was a military policeman in Saigon during the Vietnam War and retired from the Portland, Oregon, Police Department after more than two decades of service. He has been training in the martial arts for more than five decades. He can be contacted through his website at

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Friday, September 04, 2015

How To Make A Super Secret Safe

Cool option at the end of this video if you dont want to cut up any dry wall.


5 Ways To Start A Fire Using Water


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Easy Tips On How To Obtain, Prepare & Cook Food During An Urban Disaster

Hey everyone,

When it comes to surviving a natural disaster or major collapse of society food will become scarce.
The simple act of walking into a grocery store to pick up a few things will no longer be an option people will be looting these food sources and supply will be nil.

Thinking you can “dumpster dive” is also a no go because no one will be throwing out any type of food source in the garbage.

Knowing how to obtain food during an urban collapse will be a top priority.

Food sources such as squirrel, worms, insects, dog, cat, rat, segal, grasshoppers and pigeon may not sound appealing at this moment in time but when you have gone without a meal for a week and a half your lips will moisten at the thought of munching down on these critters (actually I won’t go that far).

Many countries already eat these different types of animals and insects for years on a regular basis. North Americans on the other hand are still trying to wrap their brains around eating these types of foods.

Start familiarizing yourself with what type of survival food sources you have around you. You can now order edible insects and try them out they are actually not bad at all.

Now I am not saying go out at night and kill your neighbour’s dog or cat and see how the thing tastes but you get the point. I want to plant a seed in your mind on what is available as a non-traditional food source for you.

Another thing to consider is how to catch, skin and gut these animals. Here are a few videos that are simple and helpful when it comes to this topic.

Warning these videos may be graphic to some.

Also during an urban disaster cooking food may be an issue due to not having any power source.

Biolite has come up with some great resources that are lite weight, compact and affordable.

Check it out here

Here’s a review on it…

Here’s where you can order it…

BioLite Wood Burning Campstove


Realistic Self Defense Through Research

Norm Bettencourt

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Five Ways To Sharpen A Knife Without A Knife Sharpener

Need to sharpen your blade but don't have a knife sharpener.

Here are some simple solutions.

Realistic Self Defense Through Research

Norm Bettencourt

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Water Everywhere But Not A Drop To Drink

During a natural disaster finding clean drinking water can be hard to do. Even if you live by the ocean like I do you can’t just fill a bottle of salt water and drink it. You need to know how to purify and distill salt water.

So here is a simple yet effective way of doing so.

Realistic Self Defense Through Research

Norm Bettencourt

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Situational Awareness and Solutions Orientated Thinking The Fundamentals of Self Defense

Hi everyone,

Today I would like to talk to you about situational awareness and solutions orientated thinking.

These two concepts are the fundamentals of any self defense program, if you are lacking in one then are going to be lacking in the other and you’re doomed for failure.

Here’s a scenario…

Let’s say its 11pm and you’re sitting in a subway car heading home from a hard day at the office.

You notice (situational awareness) at the next stop a large intimating man entering your train he has a missing tooth, rough knuckles and a scar on his right cheek he also has a bent nose. He is wearing a jacket on a hot summer’s night and one side of his jacket seems to have something heavy in it.

The train has already started to move so you can’t get off and catch the next one. You know this guy is a fighter and you know by his mannerisms that he is looking for a fight with someone on the train.

There are only four passengers on the train:

1. The thug
2. You
3. An old man with a cane
4. A woman who is 45 years of age with a medium sized canvas bag.

The next thing you notice is that the thug gets up eye’s you, pulls out a knife and walks aggressively towards you yelling.

Notice you have assessed a threat and are not caught off guard thanks to having situational awareness.

How you think now comes into play, you’re thought processes will either turn you into a victim or the victimizer in this situation.

Thought Process #1

Are you going to think “This guy has a knife he looks mean and huge. What’s he going to do?” This type of thinking leads to “flight or freeze response” and is” problem orientated thinking” and does you no good. You’re leaving your fate in the hands of the thug.

Thought Process #2

Or are you going to be think there is an old guy sitting near me, grab his cane and I will use it as a baton to strike the knife out of the thug’s hand. The middle aged woman has a bag I can grab that with my other hand and use it as a shield from the knife slashes/strikes. This is what is called “fight response” and is solutions orientated controlling your destiny in this situation.

By focusing on the solutions to your self defense issues lets you feel more empowered and in control of a threatening situation, reduces fear of the given situation and increases your survivability rate tenfold.

This type of thinking not only works in self defense situations but in the real world as well.

Realistic Self Defense Through Research

Norm Bettencourt

Monday, May 18, 2015

How To Make Undrinkable Water Drinkable In Urban Survival Situations

Hey everyone,

Today I would like to discuss one of the top three priorities when it comes to urban survival and that is water.

As you may already know water is more than a priority then food. Three days without it and you’re screwed.
Most people store water for urban survival situations and think they have that issue covered and place a check mark on their survival check list thinking when the day comes and water supply from taps is scarce or non-existent they can turn to this source.

But what if you’re in an urban survival situation such as an earthquake where you can’t get to this source because it’s buried under a ton of rumble.

Then what do you do?

This is where the Life Straw comes in.

This simple water filter that is easy to use, light weight, cheap and portable can make the most undrinkable water drinkable by simply sucking through its straw.

Check it out here…

Realistic Self Defense Through Research

Norm Bettencourt

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Shoot or Don't Shoot: How To Make Critical Life Saving Decisions In Mille Seconds

Shoot or Don’t Shoot: How To Make Critical Life Saving Decisions In Mille Seconds

When it comes to personal protection and self defense situations you sometimes have to make life altering decisions in mille seconds.

Making the wrong decision could mean the difference between life or death for either you or a loved one or being placed behind bars.

Do you shoot or don’t shoot? What is in the suspect’s hand? Are there any dangers presented to loved ones if you use force? How much force can you use legally?

For the majority of people this can be a little overwhelming thing to think about when your ass is on the line and you’re feeling the warmth of your urine run down your leg in a life threatening situation.
But there are ways of being able to do this when SHTF.

Remember how you train is how you will respond.

Here are some suggestions:

Sign up for a Use of Force class to understand your rights and options when it comes to using force in self defense situations. Don’t just stop there either study your use of force options so you know them like the back of your hand.

This in turn will give you a quicker response time when making the decision on how much force to use on an attacker and will give you confidence in that decision.

When training with a partner have them attack you randomly so you have to assess, plan, act and reassess to see if you are using proportional force to the given scenario.

Have you partner at times attack you with a weapon, at other times have them perform gestures that could simulate that they are going for a weapon or have them disengage at a split second.

Scenarios can also be based around your training partner hiding inside your house, when he pops out if his hands are in the air that means he is NOT a threat and you can’t use force.

If he pops out with a weapon or in an aggressive manner then follow through with the appropriate force option. Also run scenarios where your environment allows you to disengage forcing you to be vigilant of where your exist points are.

Remember some self defense laws will find a person guilty of assault or deadly force if the victim has the option of disengaging.
You can perform these training scenarios using a training knife, Shocknife, SERT Training Guns, Airsoft (just make sure to wear protective gear) or with lasers.

If you don’t have someone to train with turn on the TV while having your training weapon such as a gun or knife holstered next to you. Have it on a show that has cops and bad guys. Whenever the bad guy pulls out his weapon you pull out yours and make the appropriate call.
By training this way you will gain more confidence in your ability to think tactically in the most critical moments and be able to decrease your reaction time when mille seconds can mean the difference between life and death or a prison sentence.

Realistic Self Defense Through Research

Norm Bettencourt

Monday, March 23, 2015

Close Quarters Gun Fighting Secrets

This is going to seem offensive, but I gotta say it...97% of gun owners are NOT cut out to protect their loved ones with their firearm.

And yes, I'm even talking about those "expert" shots down at the gun range in their 5.11 pants, Glock tactical cap, and expensive shooter glasses.

Why do I make such a bold statement?

Well, let me ask you to pretend you have a gun right now (you can use your fingers as a "gun")... get in your perfect stance... and imagine that you're about to fire at an attacker with a knife in front of you.

Now... how far away is that "picture" of your attacker in your mind?

How do you "feel" with your gun pointed at him?

How confident are you that you'll hit your target at that distance?

I don't have to be a psychic to know that in your mind, your attacker is probably standing (stationary) at least a good 10-15' away... your barrel is pointed right at center mass - ready to fire... and you have no doubt in your mind that you'll hit your target with that very first trigger pull.

And that's the problem...

In a real gun fight... your attacker is going to be right on top of you (punching or stabbing you)... you're lucky if you even have your gun drawn and aimed at his body... your adrenaline is going to make you feel like you're on the world's fastest roller coaster ... and even the most trained police officers in the U.S. actually MISS their target ~ 75% of the time!

That's reality my friend.

And if some "expert" tells you that's false because "FBI stats" say your attacker will be 15'-21' away, then don't even bother arguing with them.

Anyone who uses those stats is hopelessly stuck in the same fantasy world everyone else is.

Unfortunately, the "techniques" nearly every gun owner trains with are designed for "ideal" scenarios where your attacker is a good distance away, allowing you to draw your weapon and slap your sights exactly where you want to hit.

Some advanced programs even train you for "close combat" using things like "point shooting"

But hardly ANYONE ever trains in what I call "EXTREME" close combat shooting like this...

To READ MORE go to...

Realistic Self Defense Through Research

Norm Bettencourt

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How would you fair in a survival challenge? Would you like to know?

How would you fair in a survival challenge?

Would you like to know?

There are a ton of shows on television now based on survival. Shows such as Ultimate Survival Alaska, Dual Survival, Naked And Afraid just to name a few.

The great thing about these programs is that you get to see what works and what doesn’t when it comes to putting survival skills up against the ultimate test “reality”.

So how does this apply to you?

You simply can pick up what is useful and what isn’t when it comes to your survival arsenal by playing your own survival challenge.

This survival challenge can either be done on your own, with a group of friends or with family members.
So the next time you have a day off try living without any type of power for 24 hours. See how well your urban survival skills compare to the real world.

Try cooking food indoors without getting yourself ill from fumes or smoking yourself out of the house. In an actual urban survival situation you don’t want to be cooking outdoors having your neighbours know you have food or a way of cooking it or else everyone is coming over to your place to loot it.

What is the best way to light up your place, will it be candles, solar lights etc.

How will you occupy your time and kids time?

How are you going to stay warm? Pitch a tent inside your house or use two tents by pitching a tent inside another tent. Is a large tent better than having a smaller tent?

Are you going to keep everyone in one small room covering window and door cracks? What about clothes? Are you going to layer clothes, use garbage bags, stuff newspaper inside your clothing. Try those “tricks” that you heard of and see if they actually work or which one work best for you and your family members.

By having an urban survival challenge helps you see what actually works and what doesn’t. It gives you a fun way to spend time with your friends and family and helps you be “truly” prepared for the real deal and shows you what you need to twick in your survival plan.

You don’t want to find out that what you learned was useless when you need the most. For practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.

Realistic Self Defense Through Research

Norm Bettencourt

Saturday, February 14, 2015

What's A Great Alternative To Para Cord?

Want to know a great alternative to paracord?

Believe it or not it’s dental floss.

It’s cheap, light weight, compact and pretty durable and you can use it for a number of purposes.

So store some in your urban survival go bag the next time you go see your dentist.

For it can come in handy in a survival situation such as tying a tarp down, constructing shelter or hell what it was intended for taking care of those pearly whites.

Realistic Self Defense Through Research

Norm Bettencourt

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Urban Escape & Evasion When Kidnapped

Hi everyone

In today’s post I would like to discuss escape tactics when it comes to being handcuffed in a kidnapping situation, this is not for escaping from handcuffs when the police arrest you.

Now in today’s market there are countless covert universal handcuffs keys. The problem with them is that people do not think of where to strategically place them on their persons so they can get to them when their hands are cuffed behind there back.

People will place them on chains around their neck which is next to impossible to get to. Some people will place them inside the bottom of the leg hem. Depending on how you are restrained this may or may not work.

This best and most convenient area I have found to place a covert universal handcuff key is where your belt would be by your lower back. Regardless if both your hands are handcuffed to the rear you can obtain your key regardless if you’re seated in a chair, sitting on your butt on the ground or laying down you will still be able to obtain your universal handcuff key.

If you key is on a neck chain you won’t, or if located in a pocket, hanging from a shirt button or on a lower part on the hem on your pant leg, you will be having a very tough time getting to it.

So here are the not so good and good covert universal handcuff key products on the market today.

Not so good because it's to hard to get to...

Good as long as there are situated at your back near the belt line

Good if your jewelry isn't removed

You be the judge and test them out. Remember if you can’t get to your gear it’s useless.

Realistic Self Defense Through Research

Norm Bettencourt

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Shots Fired What Would You Do??

Hey everyone,

Here’s a question for ya.

If you heard gun shots in your immediate surroundings what would you do to protect yourself?

Take cover by…
1) Going behind a car
2) Hide behind a tree
3) Hide behind a concrete pillar
4) Jump into a swimming pool
5) Hide behind your back pack
6) All of the above
7) None of the above

If you said #6 all of the above you are correct and would most liking survive a shooting.

Here’s how it pans out

1) The best place to get cover against a car is the engine block this is the most solid area of any vehicle and would most likely stop a bullet.

2) Trees have been known to stop bullets, just take a look at this lawyer who was having a bad day.

3) Concrete pillars are also great at stopping bullets.

4) Be like water young grass hopper

5) Your backpack what the…

Check it out here…


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