It might be because I grew up watching Charlie’s Angels. Or maybe it was the Ted Bundy documentary my dad made me watch.
Not sure, but I’ve always had an interest in self-defense. And as we all know, being interested doesn’t necessarily make you an expert on the topic. When you want to learn about something you need to find the person who’s living it. Or as my friend, Todd says, the one Doing the Stuff.
Well, I found the guy to help us learn some self-defense tactics.
A former US Army officer, James Williams is a self-defense expert with over 45 years experience in numerous martial arts disciplines. He’s the founder of The System of Strategy, a unique approach to unarmed combatives based on the ancient samurai system of close quarters combat. He’s also an internationally recognized trainer for special operations units, law enforcement organizations and government agencies.
No doubt, he’s Doing the Stuff.
If you were to attend one of James’ personal defense seminars, you’d learn that you should be carrying a tactical flashlight with you every day. You’d also learn that a tactical flashlight isn’t just any old flashlight. It’s a small, powerful and extremely durable flashlight originally designed for police and military use and since has become a popular self-defense tool among civilians.
Here are 7 reasons why you should carry a tactical flashlight for self-defense:
1. Illuminating a dark area with a flashlight prevents a hiding attacker from surprising you.
Adopt this mindset: all dark holes contain threats. If you see a “dark hole”— any area that you can’t look into and see what’s there—shine your flashlight on it. “Light allows you to perceive threats, to know whether you should go into certain places,” James says. “The only way you should walk by a dark area is if it’s been cleared, and the only way to clear it is with eyes-on. That means you have to have light. Walking by and getting surprised is not an option.”
2. Shining light directly in the eyes of an attacker is an effective self-defense strategy.
A small high intensity beam shown in the eyes blinds an attacker and if his eyes are night adapted, it can be very painful, giving you the opportunity to get away. Watch as James shows you how to use a tactical flashlight as an attack deterrent.
Also, blinding an attacker with a flashlight beam can give you the advantage if you need to fight back. Watch James demonstrate how to use a tactical flashlight in a counter-attack.
3. In places where weapons are banned, flashlights are usually welcome.
Carry it with you on airplane and no worries if it’s in your purse when you drop your kids off at school or pick up a package at the post office. You can carry your flashlight anywhere, anytime.
4. No special training is required to use a flashlight.
Can you press a button? Then you’re good.
Seriously, though, carrying a flashlight gives you another option. I’m getting better at shooting my gun (read more about that here), and even though I have a concealed carry permit, I lack the confidence needed to feel comfortable carrying my gun. Right now, a tactical flashlight is a tool I feel comfortable with.
5. A tactical flashlight can be used as an improvised weapon.
Some flashlights have a serrated edge or ridges on the bevel. If you were forced to fight back, strike your attacker with this edge as hard as you can. It’s gonna hurt.
6. Flashlights are discreet.
Nothing raises eyebrows more than reaching into your purse for your wallet at the checkout counter and coming out with your survival knife instead. Knives, guns, or pepper spray may attract unwanted attention, where as if someone catches a glimpse of your flashlight, they’ll think nothing of it.
7. Flashlights are versatile tools.
Thwarting attacks isn’t the only thing tactical flashlights are good for. Having one in your pocket can be handy when the power goes out, your car breaks down at night or you’re in an emergency situation where you need light to escape.
Now that you know why tactical flashlights are a must-have tool for self-defense, the next step is choosing one to carry and there are plenty out there to choose from.
You’d think traveling around the world teaching martial arts to Navy Seals would be enough to keep James busy, but incredibly he found the time to design two tactical flashlights for Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT)— the CRKT Williams Personal Defense Flashlight and the CRKT Williams Tactical Applications Flashlight. He asked me to check them out.
Here’s why I love it :
It’s durable. The CRKT Williams Personal Defense Flashlight is made of aircraft grade aluminum which is then coated with a hard black anodized finish. It’s a tough little light.
It’s versatile. There are two modes, low and high. Push the bezel in to operate the light in low mode, which has 3 levels of intensity: a low light beam (5 lumens), a mid light beam (10 lumens) and a high light beam (50 lumens). There’s also a 50 lumens SOS strobe option for signaling.
For the high mode (the mode you’ll want to use when you’re walking through the dark parking lot), pull the bezel out. Now when you push the rubber tail cap button, the light automatically turns on to the highest beam (100 lumens). Depress the button quickly two times for a blinding (100 lumens) strobe.
It’s easy to conceal. The flashlight measures less than 4 ½ inches long—easy to tuck into your pocket (held securely in place with the pocket clip) and it won’t take up much space in your purse.
It fits perfectly in my hand. You know that feeling when you find the perfect fitting shoes? That’s the feeling I got when I picked up this flashlight. It’s compact. It’s not bulky like some of the other tactical flashlights I’ve tried. Because it’s the perfect length and circumference for me, I have no problem depressing the button.
It uses a AA battery. A lot of tactical flashlights (including the CRKT Williams Tactical Applications Flashlight) use a CR123 battery, but I love the fact that the Personal Defense flashlight uses a battery I always have hanging around the house.
Most importantly, it’s bright. I asked James, “Is 100 lumens bright enough?” Yes, come to find out, 65 lumens in a dark area is enough to blind someone with night-adjusted eyes. (If you’re still concerned it’s not bright enough, then you’ll want to check out the CRKT Williams Tactical Applications light which is 320 lumens on the highest setting.)
As in every case, there’s usually a negative to go with the positives. What’s the negative about my new tactical flashlight? I have to figure out a way to keep my husband’s hands off of it.