The Top 5 Tips You Need to Know For Healthy Dining Out

1. Choose your restaurant wisely.

o If you are traveling, ask your hotel concierge, friends, or local people you meet where you will find healthy options on the menu.

o Use common sense when dining out in your area. You know the best choices – choose them

o Always try choosing a restaurant you have visited in the past and know for a fact they will cook to order with your special requests

2. Study the menu.

o Look for the best choice of protein, which is usually the fish, chicken or steak on the menu.

o Never choose heavy, sauce-laden dishes that are usually too high in butter, creams, sugar or salt.

o Always choose broiled, roasted, steamed or poached over all else.

3. AVOID THESE AT ALL COSTS.

o Even if finished in the oven and described as a baked entrée, dishes are often battered, fried, deep fried or pan fried first.

o Stay away from the bread basket, potatoes, fries and pastas.

o Avoid the butters, creams, creamed sauces, hollandaise, au gratin, cheese sauces and caramelized and sugared foods.

o No oil or butter – and all sauces and dressings on the side.

4. Choose a restaurant that caters to special requests.

o As soon as you’ve been seated, ask for a non-mineralized bottle of water and let the server know that you don’t want the bread basket. Ask them to bring out a mixed green salad or mixed veggie appetizer with the water to keep you occupied while you’re checking the menu.

o Ask that all sauces, butters, dressings and condiments be on the side for you to choose the amount you use.

o Choose the smallest portion for your protein choice; for example, an eight- to ten-ounce steak rather than 14 to 20 or more ounces.

o For dressings, always choose low-fat Italian or simple oil and vinegar.

5. Take “response-ability” for your meal.

o Avoid the foods you know you should avoid and choose wisely with special requests.

o Remove all fat and skin from any of the protein choices.

o Always choose vegetables, double salad or greens in place of white carbohydrate pastas, breads and potatoes.

o If possible, avoid alcohol. The calories are much tastier when eaten as part of the food portion of the meal, and you can add fresh fruit or sorbet at the end of the meal if you skip the alcohol.

Benefits Of Exercising Equipment

In this fast moving world, we are certainly being burdened under the pressure of work, difficulties at the workplace and life too. This burden is surely affecting the health of the individuals to a much greater extent as never expected before.

Humans have always in constant search of techniques which will help them to be fit, healthy and more and more strong to all the difficulties faced. To be healthy and fit, we today prefer to go to gyms and certain related places which allow us to spend time on our body and make it more fit.

But problem arises when one could not get enough time to go to a gym for daily exercise, the condition of that person’s health tend to decrease at a much faster rate. One needs to spend a certain amount of time on this problem as it could greatly hamper his physical, mental and overall growth too.

Fitness Equipments

Fitness equipment refers to the various equipments being used by an individual to be physically fit. These may include all types of gadgets available in the market, which keep a track of the personal fitness of the person at any given day and time.

Be it Fit-Bit, any type of wearable gear this technology used in making equipment related to this field has made a huge impact as one could easily know the number of steps walked, calories burned, heart rate, pulse rate and many more with just a click.

Easily available in the market at a lower price they help keep a true check on personal fitness, helping them be popular with the masses today.

Gym Equipment

Gym freaks are the individuals who tend to keep a constant check on their fitness and spend much more time for their body. They keep a regular visit to the gyms in addition, they keep the equipment related to workout at their place of living to keep in a constant touch with their schedule of exercise.

Their exercise equipments include a wide range of sets of machines for their regular use at home saving much more time. Dumbbells, weights and many other machines have a great inclusion in the list as they tend to be the most common of the workout equipment.

They help the transformation of a person’s house to the level of a professional gym. These gym equipments are easily available at shops and even on the internet at various rates, providing a whole new range of opportunities for the individuals to be of benefit with their purchase.

One need to be in full knowledge of their use in homes otherwise it may prove dangerous, even for the lives of the users. While being at the positive end, these help people to a great extent with their uses helping save their time, low cost, ease of use and easy installation.

All in all, these equipments have fully changed the concept of fitness for each and every individual and his daily routine.

Foods High in Antioxidants

We all know that eating foods high in antioxidants are healthy for the body. Studies have shown that eating foods high in antioxidants can actually reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and slow the aging process. But with our "fast-food" lifestyles, it is much easier to consume foods laden with oil than more nutritious foods high in antioxidants. What exactly are antioxidants? Antioxidants fight free radicals, which cause damage to the body's cells, and environmental effects such as pollutants, alcohol, and even UV-rays can accelerate cellular destruction caused by free radicals. In order to combat these harmful compounds, it is essential that we eat the right foods to protect our bodies. Consuming foods high in antioxidants will ensure that the body has the necessary tools to neutralize free radicals. There are quite a few compounds that can act as antioxidants, but the most predominant are Vitamins C and E, selenium, and beta carotene.

Most fruits, vegetables, and whole grains have high levels of antioxidants. The following is a list of foods high in antioxidants:

Vitamin C – Guava, Papaya, mangoes, cantaloupe, pineapple, tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, dark green vegetables (spinach, asparagus, green peppers, brussel sprouts, broccoli, watercress), citrus fruits and their juices, and berries.

Vitamin E – Dark leafy green vegetables, beans, lentils, split peas, sweet potatoes, soybeans, oatmeal, brown rice, wheat germ, wheat, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and oils (cottonseed, safflower, corn, soybean, olive) .

Selenium – Vegetables, whole grains, wheat germ, tuna, seafood, salmon, onions, molasses, garlic, dairy products, chicken, eggs, brown rice, oatmeal, brewer's yeast, and brazil nuts.

Beta Carotene – Mangoes, cantaloupe, apricots, red and yellow peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, yellow and green fruits and vegetables.

While eating healthy may not be as convenient as heading to your local burger joint, the next time you pick up that juicy burger ask yourself, "Should not I be eating foods high in antioxidants instead?"

Tips on How to Make Quick Healthy Meals

If you work full time, the last thing you will want to do when you get in from work is cook a full meal. Being able to cook quick healthy meals is a skill that most of us should acquire. Cooking a healthy balanced meal should not be time consuming. Here are a few tips.

Plan your meals – Planning your meals is a great time saver. Always plan your meals ahead each week. Do it by having a meal planner. You can plan your meal planner before you do your weekly shopping , this way you will save money too, as you will know what you exactly need to buy, so make a shopping list.

Pre-cook the basics – You can prepare the basics and freeze them, such as if you like to make pizza, prepare your pizza base ahead and freeze it, or make a few that will get you through a few pizzas. Or if you’re too lazy, buy the frozen pizza basis. If you’re cooking a curry, cook the masala or the paste for it ahead and freeze it, and when you need it just defrost it and add to it whatever other ingredient you want to it, whether its a meat or a vegetable. Or you can cook curry on your day off and make extra and freeze the left overs for when you want a quick meal and there’s no time to cook, just buy some naans, Indian bread, from the supermarket and freeze them as well to eat with the curry.

Cook a one pot meal – When you are in real rush and have nothing prepared try a one pot dish, where there are few basic ingredients used and doesn’t use too many ingredients either. Everything is cooked in one pot so there is minimal mess to clean up as well. One pot meals can be such as, pasta with chicken and broccoli, rice salad, or spaghetti with sun dried tomato sauce.

Know The Right Salsa Beat

The best dances do not necessarily mean you should know the most difficult moves. Simple steps when done on the beat are just terrific and enjoyable. Salsa beat is special and it gets some listening and practicing to get it right. Santa Monica salsa lessons teach how beginners should identify the music and pick out the right salsa beat.

To begin with, there are a few things you should be able to classify when you listen to salsa music. First is the BEAT. The salsa beat is like a pulse in a heartbeat. It is repetitive in its sound and follow a predictable manner. Next is the melody. The melody has different tones. It is the actual theme in the song. Then comes the rhythm. This is a pattern that changes according to genres of music. Salsa has a 123 step step step pause rhythm pattern.

When you join Santa Monica salsa lessons, you will find that the salsa beat has 8 beats. If you closely listen to salsa music, you will find that the musicians accent the notes on the 1st and 5th beats. When you find the 1st beat, and count till 8, you will know that you have found the beat. You need to then start counting from 1 and reach 8. On 8, the same pattern is repeated. You must only step on 6 of the beats, that is, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7. 4 and 8 are skipped so you can count them silently in your head. Santa Monica salsa lessons stress on spotting of the beat so it is great for beginners to learn.

How To Get Your Kid Interested In Dance

A lot of people ask me how they can get their kid interested in dance. Personally I do not see a problem, as most kids love movement, and it is not a matter of getting your kid interested in dancing, it is finding out what type of dancing will suit your kid best.

All young children have natural energy and a natural tendency to move. I have yet to see a child that does not enjoy moving his or her body to music. The trick is to nurture this love, and encourage your child to explore movement. For young children a creative movement class could be the answer, as they are encouraged to explore how their bodies move in an imaginative way with or without music and fun props.

A love of dance and music is something that all parents should encourage in their children. From before birth it is claimed that classical music played each day develops the brain. It has also been proved that musical children are better at mathematics and other problem solving skills are developed.

Similarly encouraging movement and the exploration of movement has many benefits. Muscle tone and coordination are improved, balance is tested and confidence is built. There are many pre school activities that your kid can partake in to help him develop control of his body, and dancing is one that he or she is sure to enjoy.

At this level, the dance training should never be too formal. Children must be encouraged to use their imaginations and move in a free and natural way. A few ballet basics and stretches can be touched upon, but the emphasis at this age level should be on fun and exercise. Trying to work on technique at too young an age will put a lot of children off taking formal dance classes later on, as they will associate dance with hard work or even worse boredom.

Here are some ideas to foster a love of dance in your kid.

1. Play all sorts of music at home, even the stuff that you do not need like. Your children will then learn to appreciate all different types of music.

2. Tell them stories and let them act them out in front of you with movement in their bodies as you read. Encourage them to use facial expression and big and small movements with their bodies to tell the story.

3. Let them do a dance for you to some music that they like, or tell them to put on a dance show for you. This will also help them to develop confidence.

If your kid does not enjoy ballet class, he or she may enjoy a modern, hip hop or ballroom class more. There will always be a dance form that your child will love, you just need to find it.

5 Steps To Amaze Your Guests With A Flower Kitty Party Theme

I never imagined that flower kitty party themes can be so simple yet amazing! To my surprise, I was showered with loads of acknowledgements from my kitty friends for my efforts which was quite overwhelming! A month ago, when I was in quest of an interesting theme that could make my kitty party memorable, I suddenly came across the “flower-theme” on the web.

Why I Chose The Flower Kitty Party Theme?

I liked the idea of throwing a fabulous party with minimum preparation. Flowers are always beautiful, anytime anywhere, so I thought it would be a great idea to turn my living room into a paradise just by decorating it with beautiful flowers. At last, the venue looked even more beautiful that what I imagined.

Why I Call It A Success?

Whenever I host a party, like any normal human being, my ultimate intention is to impress my guests and make them spend a wonderful time that they can cherish forever. And it will be a lie if I say I could not make it possible. Right from the invitation to food, my guests were extremely pleased with my efforts. I could clearly see the immense joy and delight on their faces. Some even sent me messages of appreciation after leaving, which means a lot to me!

5 Steps To Execute Your Flower Kitty Party Theme

Now that I am quite excited with the success of my party, I am dying to share with you the easy steps that you can take to organize a memorable flower-based party. Typically there are five main steps: invitation, room decor, dress code, games and food.

1. Invitation

For invitations, you can either buy the cards or make them yourself, which is even more exciting! You need a bunch of multi-colored papers, a flower-shaped cookie-cutter, glitters, stickers, crayon colors or whatever else you can think of. Make beautiful flower-shaped paper base with the cookie-cutter and then adorn it with whatever crafts you have collected. You can also leverage the creative genius in your kids to do the job.

What I did – I personally like making such things myself as I am a BIG DIY FAN. I took coloured foam sheets, cut them into flower-shaped planes and then decorated it with my collection of glitters, floral stickers and stones. I used plastic flower petals to form the text for which I received a lot of appreciation. I send the invites a week before the party to give enough time to my guests to get ready for the occasion.

2. Room Decor

Here comes my favorite segment – the room decor! I just love it as it makes me feel like I am preparing to move to some new location with a new ambiance! You can use curtains, cushion covers and tablecloths with floral prints. Beautiful flower vases, floral arts and paintings on walls are enough to decorate the venue and remember to include a tint of greenery everywhere to make things look more natural.

What I did – I had my floral curtains with beautiful laces at the bottom which I took out for the party. I decorated the table with ceramic vases filled with white lilies. In the corners of the room were my ornamental plants to add the much-needed greenery to the venue. I bought a flower shaped serving bowl this time which is now one of my most precious collections!

3. Dress Code

Dress code for such kitty party themes are usually very simple and hassle free. You can wear any dress with flowers on it (no matter if it is a print or thread work or a real). Make sure your jewelleries and accessories are also adored with beautiful flowers. You can use headband or clip with a single flower on it or simply place a real one on one side above your ear.

What I did – I once bought a white Italian chiffon saree with beautiful floral print which I thought was perfect for the occasion. I prefer keeping my hairdo simple most of the time – for the occasion I just swept up my hair into a high bun and stuck a big pink rose there. Not Miss Universe but definitely felt beautiful from within!

4. Games

Now comes the entertainment part for which you can select games related to flowers. Think of the memory game where every participant has to remember the complete sequence of all the ladies in the game and their favorite flowers. Of course, the prize also should be something that blends perfectly with the theme. You can try out other things like making a flower garland in one minute, remembering maximum number of flower names in one minute or painting a clay vase.

What I did – I selected a few games surrounding the theme like “Rangoli Designing in 3 Minutes”, “Writing Flower-based Bollywood Songs” and for the final round we played “The Flower Garland”. The fun and excitement we had is simply inexplicable! Some moments were not just funny but even hilarious as the ladies were going crazy to win the game. I kept beautiful flower bouquets ready as prizes for the winners which they received like an over-excited kid – worth seeing!

5. Food

No matter what you make, just try to give it the shape of a flower. Your sandwiches, cookies, tikkis, parathas or cake will look awesome with the idea! You can even use flowers for garnishing your recipes and as I already mentioned earlier, try to look for flower-shaped crockeries to make your task easier. Ans yes, do not forget to delight your guests by including some floral cocktails if it is summer.

What I did – I thought of a multi-cuisine menu and deliberately included Afghani Paneer, Aloo Cheese Croquettes, Grilled Chicken Salami Sandwiches and Frozen Margs cocktail. I cut the paneer pieces and sandwiches in the shape of flowers and garnished the cocktail with hibiscus.

Conclusion

I welcomed all my guests with roses right at the door just as an initial sign of what they could expect next. So, those are some of my ideas of a flower-themed kitty party. I am sure there are many more innovative things you can come up with and it will be a pleasure if you can share your ideas with me in the comment box given below. However, if you are looking for a theme other than Flowers, you can go for Mughal-theme, Safari-theme, Fashion-theme, Children-theme, Retro-theme, etc.

Album Review: Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself

Chicago native Andrew Bird's latest offering "Break it Yourself" stays true to the clever wit and one-of-a-kind whimsy that fans have come to expect from his music.

As a master of blending virtuoso violin playing and a signature whistling style that's seemless in its own right (among other delightful flourishes), Bird manages to always effortlessly maintain a pop sensibility that warrants repeat playing without becoming too dull. It's no different this time around.

On "Desperation Breeds", the album's opener, Bird delicately ruminates on the world's bee shortage before slowly breaking into a high pitched violin squal that that dips into a frenzy of his trademark fingering skills. It almost literally sees to channel the frustration and confusion of the bees themselves.

"Eyeoneye", a track that manages to correlate heartbreak and the complications of a tumor called a teratoma is as catchy as anything he's done in the past, if not more so. The driving force of the melody makes vulnerability seem like a fun experience that no one should miss out on. This is especially clear towards the end when he sings / chants "Go ahead and defibrillate yourself" before the pounding drums build to a crescendo … and then fizzle with, of course, a light whistle; As if we just ran a hardcore marathon like it was nothing. Exhaustion does not exist here, but exultation.

The hearbreak theme continues in "Near Death Experience Experience", where the happiness of surviving a plane crash is dancing "… like cancer survivors … grateful simply to be alive". But do not let the dark subject matter fool you. The careful mood of the song is so happy it's like skipping down a sidewalk under a row of apple trees. Only when the apples hit your head do you realize the power conveyed in the lyrics of triumph over pain.

Who knew the subject of conquering fear and doubt could be so purely gorgeous? Take "Fatal Shore", where a mellow Mr. Bird mediates on the subject as quietly subdued as ever, but no less emotionally powerful as some of his best tracks. The drums gently tap along with the guitar and bass like a gentle stroke on an aching back as Bird and vocalist Nora O'Connor harmonize beautifully while repeating such lyrics as "You never know any doubt like we who break in and out".

A welcome comeback since 2009's "Noble Beast", we get a record not quite as immediately accessible or endlessly playful, but one that still stands as strong as most of his best work does. The details become more evident with each listen, and that's when the realization sets in: "Break it Yourself" is not just an album about a break-up. It's actually a complete, beeing entity, not too unlike a heart with its own love to give.

I personally would not want to break this kind of heart by myself. That's where you, the listener, comes in … to feel the joy of heartbreak. An oxymoron that only makes sense in Andrew Bird's world.

Connective Thinking – Creativity Techniques

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

Albert Einstein

Imagination and creativity are two interrelated terms, the former leads to the latter. The etymological root of the word “creativity” in English and most other European languages comes from the Latin creatus, which means “to have grown.” How this works?

Human brains work by means of connections; connecting ideas new ideas emerge and so on. Unfortunately modern life has led to mechanical thinking, meaning that we are ruled by habits, automatic associations and responses. Getting stuck in fixed patterns of thought we have fewer and fewer connections and as a result imagination doesn’t work and poor creativity is trying to catch up with our artistic thirst.

“3 imaginary boys”

“Just as our eyes need light in order to see, our minds need ideas in order to conceive.” Napoleon Hill

Humans for ages have been trying to discover the tools to creative thinking. Here are some ideas:

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”

Mary Lou Cook

“Anyone can look for fashion in a boutique or history in a museum. The creative explorer looks for history in a hardware store and fashion in an airport.” Robert Wieder

“Creativity, it has been said, consists largely of re-arranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know.” George Keller

It seems obvious that many artists one way or the other need to deal with unlocking creative thinking! How is this possible? Talent can be inherent, no doubt, but creativity is not a gift you have to be born with. Most creative people learn how to be creative. It is actually a logical procedure and the key is cross-connection of ideas/sounds and the way to elicit it is of course a state of mind that is able to receive the vibes of inspiration. The muse of creativity does not come alone but it comes with gifts such as: seeing things differently, seeing different things, generating multiple options, breaking the rules, thinking and linking, knowing how you think, and playing ‘what ifs”. Still the question is “how are all these possible”?

The creative block

Unlike many phenomena in psychology, there is no standardized measurement technique for creativity. It is rather a personal procedure. I suggest some techniques to help refresh imagination and revitalize the creative spirit.

Do something different

Following the same means of creation can lead to a rut. So why not infuse in your art some different techniques/equipment or a totally different art?

Escape yourself

Get in your car and go to a place you have never planned to go, observe the streets and find signs that you suppose will lead you somewhere. Keep a mind-record of the sounds you hear and any unusual shape or incidents that comes your way. Start a discussion with a person you normally would not talk to, eat an unusual food and wait to see what happens.

Chat or play with kids

A very power inspiration tip is mingling with children. All of us have been kids and we know our way of thinking used to be different. So mingle with kids, ask them things without the fear of being misunderstood, that’s the clue, you will be surprised!!

Dada enrolment

Enrol yourself to a hobby you have never thought you would be interested in. This new type of knowledge makes neurons forge new connections in your brain and creates memory paths that expand your life experience and broaden your world view. Even if it is a pottery class!! The more irrelevant, the better.

Learn to ignore your inner critic

The subconscious role is, among others, to limit and prohibit changes. It stays stuck in pre-defined ideas, habits and aspirations and anything new is met with doubt, indecisiveness and eventually delay or omission. The next time you have a fantastic idea and by the time you start shooting/writing/composing and you feel you crave for Chinese food, tiding up your closet or calling your aunt tell your subconscious to SHUT UP and start your drafts! Being aware of this behaviour little bad subconscious has you can be aware of when it happens and above all you can be sure it is not the real “you” but a deep rooted mechanism inside of you.

Dare to be silly

Try to be as silly as possible and see what happens next. You never know what will become of your creations when you purposely make them unusual or strange. Write the piece of music you would never write, shoot the images that you hate and write a part of a poem/novel critics would die after reading. You never know…

Need more tips of have new ideas? Do not hesitate to submit them. Never refrain from sharing…

Learn Self Defense – It May Save Your Life!

Self Defense can come in a variety of ways. Many folks take up a martial art in hopes of learning to defend themselves while others opt for a "self defense class". But are martial arts self-defense oriented and are self-defense classes worth your time and effort.

Many dojos across the world are directed towards the sporting aspects: tournaments, kata demonstrations, board breaking and extreme performances that are primarily focused on looking good and doing some pretty gym gymnastic feats. Tournament matches do not reflect good self-defense or even good fighting. Some permissions state that "free sparring" is the worst thing you can do for preparing for self defense or fighting. I tend to agree.

A fight is generally over with in seconds and the winner is the one who has the most body parts in tact. Self-defense techniques generally mirror those found in a fight. People get bloodied and have a tendency to lose body parts, particularly teeth. A fight may ensue from a confrontation that could be deemed self-defense. It could have been a mugging or an assault. You could be the victim of an ambush type assault because you look like an easy target. You may be sucked into a confrontation because you looked at someone wrong or are wearing the wrong color clothes in the wrong neighborhood.

Many confrontations begin with the "monkey dance". This is where one or both parties display aggression without really doing more than posturing. They attempt to intimidate the other party either by words or actions. Some confrontations start out with a sucker punch and go from there. Usually the person that lands the first blow wins.

Self-defense training can save your life, if done properly. If you have had improper training it could get you into real trouble. Taking a six-week self-defense class, in my opinion is quite worthless. In order to be able to perform the techniques you need to do them many, many times. You must understand how you will react when attacked and get a sudden adrenalin dump into your system. That technique learned in the self-defense class that was so easy to perform on a cooperative training partner suddenly just does not appear because your motor responses conflict with your mental processes at just the wrong time. Skills must be learned to the extent that your "reptilian brain", that part of your brain reserved for survival instincts, kicks in and you can perform without thinking. You must be able to hit any and all events presented and do it with sufficient intent and force to be effective. You must be willing to do what it takes to survive the confrontation.

In the martial arts we are taught that our entire body is a weapon. The best weapon in our possession is our brain. We must have a plan for our defense. Understand that the plan is excellent until the stinky material hits the high-speed rotary device. What you must plan for is 1) how to escape the locale you are in, 2) how to keep getting your head busted. Maybe planning where you are going is a better first step then you may not need steps one and two. Always consider the "What If" in making your plans. Always plan for a way out.

Skills for defending yourself must be "gross motor skills". When you get under a stress situation and the adrenalin begins pumping you will lose most of your fine motor skills and you may develop tunnel vision and tunnel hearing. Your arms and legs may not work as you think they should. Your thought processes are also eliminated.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to teach a self-defense class for my daughter and some of her associates. I told them what I thought of short-term classes and what they had to do to make the techniques viable (constant practice after class). Basic punching, front kicks, knee strikes and palm heels were the only things taught. Then we practiced them for three days doing hundreds of repetitions. Do you think any of these women will remember the techniques presented? Probably they will not. But at least they were exposed to the concepts of defending their person. Hopefully they will never have to find out the hard way.

In our society today we have the unfortunate situation where there are gangs. It does not matter who or where they are or what they call themselves. They are dangerous, violent and brutal. They carry guns, knives, screwdrivers and a variety of other weapons. They have a propensity for doing drugs such as cocaine, crack and meth. An encounter with several of these mindless creeps could be deadly. If you hit them they may not feel pain as a sober person would. Their strength may be increased exponentially because of the drugs. How would you defend yourself against someone or a group under those conditions?

A friend of mine used to work for the California Highway Patrol. He has related to me a story of a meth addict that was brought into the booking room under arrest. When the cuffs were removed he attacked the booking officer. The creep dug his thumbs into the eyes of the booking officer permanently blinding him. It took four or five officers to pull this cretin off the booking officer and then only after they had rendered him unconscious. Imagine encountering someone like that in a self-defense situation. Better have your self-defense techniques down pat and know what you are doing. A knee to the groin and a palm heel strike to the chin probably would not have the desired effect. Point scoring techniques are completely out of the question.

One of the best self-defense techniques I ever learned was running. In days of old if you could run twenty miles you might be able to catch me. Now I am lucky to be able to run across the street. Better to run away and live to run another day than to play macho-man and get the second place trophy. That's the one with the zipper up the middle and is constructed so as to not let body fluids leak out.

Constrictions (chokes and strangulations) are a viable option against an alcohol or drug impaired opponent but if you do it wrong you better be ready to face the court system. Maybe in your self-defense classes they should teach revital techniques, eh?

Some people advocate carrying a weapon. I am one of those folks. However just because you have a Glock tucked in your waistband does not mean you can effectively and prudently (or legally) use it. You must take the effort to get the training and practice, practice, practice. If legal, you may want to carry a knife. It does not need to be a large "Rambo" knife. Just think what a surgeon can do with a one-inch blade! I personally would rather face a gun than a knife. Knives can produce some very horrendous damage in a very short amount of time and they are always up close and personal. They never run out of ammo, there is no safety to miss and they are always ready to employ. Your choice of weapons is up to you. You may wish to not carry a weapon. That is up to you but remember a person with a weapon has a distinct advantage over any one of any size and skill that does not have a weapon.

Be wary of any self-defense courses that claim their techniques as undefeatable or that you can take on anyone of any size, strength, or skill and win every time. Every technique has a counter technique; Every counter technique has a counter, ad nauseum, ad infinitum. These claims can get you into real trouble if you try to use the techniques taught and you run up against someone that knows the counters. Street fighters know the counters to a lot of martial arts techniques and they practice them.

Pre-emptive strikes may provide a sound self-defense. If you know you are about to be attacked because of verbal threats and body language and you can articulate why you feared for your life or safety a first strike is allowable. It is also recommended. What did that Civil War General say? Get there the firstus with the mostus.

In a self-defense situation that starts with the monkey dance, always watch the other guy's hands. If you can not see them then it is likely that he or she is about to deploy a weapon. That changes things significantly. When a weapon is presented you now have justification for lethal force. Nobody pulls a knife just to scare you. Their intention is to harm you, permanently. A firearm is very intimidating and if they are more than arm's distance from you forget any nifty self-defense disarms. As good as you may be you can not cover the distance faster than Smith & Wesson. Someone placing effective rounds on target is another subject. [Author's note: when I attended the police academy we were told of a situation where a cop and a bad guy got into a gunfight at a range of six feet. Both fired all six rounds from their revolvers. When the smoke cleared both were standing there unscratched. Both reloaded and fired another six rounds each. Same result. Amazing what adrenalin can do for you!]

A good book to have and to study is: The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker. It talks about listening to your gut feelings, as your gut is usually right. If you find yourself in a situation that just does not feel right listen to that feeling and get the heck out of there. And it is OK to be rude. Better to wonder what might have happened than to experience it first hand.

I tell my students that all training is good even if it teaches you what not to do. So if you are planning to take self-defense with the idea that it may save your life please look at the training with a critical eye. Adrenalin based response training is probably your first best choice. I also understand that Gunsite Training Center has some openings.