I read your article by Chris McGoey on the tear gas explanation in the Sept 3 issue. I would like to comment on personal safety.
As a professional instructor in martial arts for over 20 years I also have people inquiring, "How Can I Protect Myself?" My school in Havana (Alpha UPKUDO Martial Arts and Fitness) teaches personal safety in addition to other things. We teach them the best defense is a great offense in a three-part program I call "The 3 A's of Personal Safety." Not in the fact to go out and hit or harm others but rather they become aware of their surroundings, how to assess a situation properly and what action is proper and needful.
There are also many levels in which to teach personal safety. Some have the ability to punch and kick while others may be challenged physically or mentally in using their hands and feet. My Cane-Do program teaches persons with disabilities and the elderly how they can protect themselves even when they confined to a wheelchair, cane or walker. Women have different concerns that men, teens different from small children.You certainly don't teach children the same as teens and adults. Every person needs education in ensuring their safety.I don't encourage pepper sprays or carrying guns. Your mind is your greatest weapon.
The best training is done on an ongoing basis in a safe classroom environment where they can execute the techniques safely and learn how to do them properly. I have found that people who are aware and know how to assess a situation generally can avoid the confrontation of having to defend themselves. If you would like more information I can be reached at 514-4334 or 566-4544.Or you may visit the Web site at www.upku-do.com.