Self-Defence for S.H.T.F.

Kath Worsfold: I live in New Zealand, where the police do not carry guns (we have a special “armed offenders squad” that is sent out for worst case scenarios). Most people do not have guns, except for a minority who have them for hunting. / Do you think it’s possible for middle aged people who live out in the sticks to learn enough martial arts to protect themselves when the collapse comes? Or, should we just resign ourselves to our (violent) fate?

Anthony Marr: Hi Kath, for the people in the US where 1/4-1/3 of the population have guns, and even in Canada where, as in NZ, most normally don’t, it is inconceivable for police to not carry firearms. In the US, things have gone so far that the last development is the MILITARIZATION of police, starting with arming them not just with pistols, but with assault weapons, and even so, they might still be no match for the armed gangs infesting cities like Chicago (100,000 gang members), Detroit (official warning: “Enter at your own risk!”) and LA, much less in an SHTF-type situation where it would everybody-for-himself, gang-members or non-gang-members, armed or unarmed.

I’m not sure how bad things could get for NZ in a national and global economic collapse scenario. But if it is anything like what could happen in the US, and what did happen in Argentina in 2001, it is wise to take some precautions just in case. Since I’m not too familiar with the sociology of NZ, I could exemplify with the US, and you could make adjustments accordingly, the major difference being the absence or prevalence of “civil” weaponry.

In the short run, everything rests upon the stability of the economy, and in the long run, on the integrity of the ecology. Regarding the economy, it depends primarily on whether or not there will be hyperinflation. In a hyperinflational scenario, prices could double in a matter of days, and in severe cases, a matter of hours. If food is still available, a loaf of bread could cost 10 time as much, next week, and that is the good part. The bad part is if fuel prices increase drastically, in which case the transportation system could grind to a halt, nationally and even internationally. Check your local supermarkets and note which items, be it food, drugs or other basic necessities, are imported from overseas or trucked in from other parts of the country. These are what people would have to do without. Consider the social ramifications of hurricane Sandy and stretch it our over months if not years, and you will get some idea as to how chaotic things could get.

Whether or not society would turn violent and chaotic depends on the degree of desperation regarding water, food, fuel, drugs and electricity. Hyperinflation, if it happens, would be sudden and fast. If transportation is halted, things could run out within a week, be it via orderly purchase or looting. Google “Argentina riots 2001” and take some hints from history.

As borne out by Sandy, most people have no more food than about 3 days’ worth. For yourself, I would recommend to have enough non-perishable food – canned or dried (esp. rice and beans) – to last for at least 3 months.

As for self-defence, I do believe that martial arts is a fundamental element. To say the least it gives you an air on confidence (not cockiness) which in it itself is a front line deterrent. There are techniques that people of any age can acquire within weeks, and master with practice. Beyond this, I would say that ones means of defence should match the means of any home-invaders’ means of offence. If you have family animals, keep them safe!

In the US, the average home invaders if/when the SHTF won’t be mom-and-dad-with-children-in-tow, who would come begging, but hungry hordes or organized gangs, likely armed, combing the neighbourhood for their next meal, so some form of communal defence is an element of basic security.

Martial-arts-wise, not meaning to make it look impossible, but here is a 4 minute video showing how incredibly potent it could be. 🙂

Also, by all means see my blogs on collapse (September) in:

Take care and good luck!


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