Self-Defense Lessons with a Former CIA Agent

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 2:41 PM, September 23, 2016

Aired May 31, 2017

Imagine this: it’s late, you’re walking to your car and you have a strange feeling someone is following you. Luckily, it’s all in your head and you’re able to safely get in your car and drive away. But what if someone were following you? Would you know what to do if you were attacked? It can happen to anybody -- even Rach who’s been mugged twice (true story). Former CIA officer Jason Hanson shows us how to use a flashlight as a weapon, escape a chokehold and even defeat the dreaded duct tape!

Tip #1: Flashlights Make Incredible Self-Defense Tools
Did you know that in martial arts, coconuts are often used to simulate skulls because they’re so hard to crack? In studio, we demonstrated that a whack of a flashlight can crack open a coconut! A flashlight can be a powerful weapon against an attacker. So, if you’re walking alone in the dark, carry a flashlight -- it could save your life!

Tip #2: How to Escape Being Choked
“Criminals love to choke women,” says Hanson. “They pass out, they drag them into the van or into the woods. Most people when they’re choked, they tend to back up or freeze.” But if it’s happening to you, you’ll know better. Simply pinch one side of your head down on your attackers hand and spin in the opposite direction to get away.

Tip #3: Duct Tape Isn’t So Scary After All
If a criminal enters your home and duct tapes you to a chair, don’t panic! This simple maneuver will have you fleeing to safety in no time. “If have ever been on an airplane and thought you were going to throw up , you put your head between your legs and puke in that bag,” explains Hanson. “That’s the easiest way to remember this trick.” It may take a few tries, but you’ll eventually get it! Lean back in the chair and quickly jolt forward. The duct tape will break and you’ll be calling the cops in no time.

Tip #4: Always Carry a “Toss Wallet”

Hanson explains that in the intelligence business, officers always carry around “toss wallets.” These wallets are filled with cards and small bills and are used regularly. Their real wallets are hidden somewhere else. Why? If a criminal demands your wallet, you can toss that small one over to them and run for safety. If you’re in a confined space and have nowhere to run, Hanson says to throw the wallet in the criminal's face and then gauge them in the eyes! Once they’re down you can make a quick exit.

Bottom line? “Always remember to get out of the ‘X,” says Hanson. “Get out of the way of the gun, the knife, whatever it is.” Be safe out there!

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