Tim Larkin is a self-protection guru for the Navy SEALS, Army Special Forces, and the U.S. Border Patrol. He’s the author of, “SURVIVE THE UNTHINKABLE: A Total Guide to Women’s Self Protection.” Larkin explains whether today’s attackers are more violent and dangerous than they were in the past. He shares one self-defense strike or move every woman should know.
The conversation then turns to government protection. Larkin shares his thoughts on whether law enforcement professionals do an adequate job protecting American citizens and where we should draw the line between protecting ourselves and relying on police to protect us.
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Start of Interview with Tim Larkin
Jason Hartman: Hey, it’s my pleasure to welcome Tim Larkin to the show. He is a self-protection guru for the navy seals. He’s an army special forces and US border patrol, and the author of Survive the Unthinkable: A Total Guide to Women’s Self-Protection. And he consults and does trainings for Tony Robbins and Tony Robbins Platinum Partner’s Group. It’s great to have him on the show today. He’s coming to us from New York but he’s based in Los Vegas. Tim, how are you doing?
Tim Larkin: Doing great. Thanks for having me on Jason.
Jason Hartman: Well, hey. The pleasure is mine. Great to have you on the show. So it seems that we live in an increasingly violent world. And when you watch movies from the olden days, the level of violence, granted movies aren’t a perfect portrayal of life, but the threat back then seemed to be like a fist fight or maybe someone pulls out a knife, but now it’s heavy weapons and attackers that seem like they just don’t have anything to lose and they’re going for broke. How concerned do we need to be about these kinds of threats?
Tim Larkin: Well across the board you’re seeing, probably it’s a combination also of better reporting. We have much better ways of capturing a lot of these acts of violence – you have a lot closed circuit TV, it’s easy with the internet to share that information. So there’s much better statistics and data.
That said though, if you look at something like for women, rape and attempting rape, it’s under reported. You’re looking at only 16% of rape victims actually report the incident to police, and there’s a huge social stigma for doing that. And when you look at the problem when it comes to women and violence, it’s just staggering. You look at women’s ages 15-44 and the stat is that they’re more likely to die or be maimed because of male violence than because of cancer, malaria, war, and traffic accidents combined. And that’s just mind-blowing. That was a huge impetus to write this book.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, it really is. Well tell us about some of the most likely threats someone would face. Again, as we talked about before we started recording, this is for men and women. The book is written for women because there’s a higher likelihood of females being the victim, but this crosses both genders, right?
Tim Larkin: Yeah. And the threat is going to be the same regardless of gender. Meaning if I’m a male or a female, if somebody is going to be attacking me, they’re going to be bigger, faster and stronger. They’re probably going to be carrying a weapon and there’s probably going to be more than one of them. So with a threat being similar, it’s ridiculous to say you have to be gender specific in how you approach this problem. The reality is, the industry is such that I had to put this toward women, because we had to talk directly to them. Because women in the industry for the most part have been kind of treated as second class citizens. They haven’t really been given good information. They’ve actually been told a lot of things that are just really criminal when you think about it and really not practical when you look at the real threat.
Jason Hartman: Okay. So what types of things have they been told?
Tim Larkin: Well, recently, I’ll just give you two objective examples. In the University of Colorado had put out to its women, and this is a serious article, it was a women’s protection group that put out in light of being attacked it was probably one of the best ways for a woman to protect herself and defend herself, is to either urinate or defecate to make herself less attractive to her attacker. And that was put out with all seriousness that that would be a good method for them to protect. More disturbing was an air force base in Missouri put out a report stating that in some cases it’s best that a woman submit to rape rather than risk angering her attacker.
Jason Hartman: That’s mind boggling.
Tim Larkin: It’s that kind of wrongheaded thinking that you look at and you just say you can’t believe. Imagine somebody close to you, a woman close to you in your life, and that’s the advice she gets.
Jason Hartman: That’s just unbelievable. Of course it is. Speaking of which, and you’re going to talk about some specific techniques and things, and hopefully some situational awareness advice too. I have a feeling you’ll talk about that. But just from the very basic concept of don’t go with, like say it’s an abduction. Someone comes up to you in a parking lot and points a gun in your ribs and says hey come with me. Is the advice valid that you should just never go no matter what? You risk your life right here right now, because as soon as you go with him you have an immense disadvantage. Is that correct?
Tim Larkin: The statistics state, and I could give you numerous real life examples too, but the statistics state, the nice name for it is a secondary crime scene. And usually that is where it all happens. So if the act is happening, letting them transport you to a secondary location is only so they can get the privacy that they want so that they can perpetrate the act against you. So yeah, you’re absolutely right. That’s the time to take action. That’s the time to not allow that to happen. To the best of your ability to make sure that you injure the other person so you can get out of that situation.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, so just never go with an assailant, right?
Tim Larkin: No. it’s truly just a grim reality, but it’s the truth that that’s never a good idea.
Jason Hartman: Okay, so what can somebody do to fend off their attacker?
Tim Larkin: Well the first thing is, let’s avoid all the avoidable. I have scenarios that people are living their lives and they’re taking risks that they may or may not be conscious of. I call it, the analogy I give is the idea of sleeping with your head on a railroad track every night and because the train didn’t come last night, everything’s great. The idea is the risk is not worth whatever benefit you get out of taking that risk. One of the things that can go a long way, and this is for men and women. One of the number one devices that is getting people attacked, and it just sets them up by shutting down their sensory systems…
Jason Hartman: Yeah, you’re going to say their phone, right?
Tim Larkin: No, no. I’m saying iPod. It could be their phone, but a personal music device where they have the thing in. And I get it. People enjoy listening to music. But when you’re in public, especially when you’re by yourself, it takes away almost 75% of your ability to perceive things, and that’s known by the predators and you’re just marking yourself. Because you’ve got to remember, predators do not want a fight. They’re not looking to compete with you. They’re not looking for a challenge – they’re looking for easy prey. And that’s one way that basically you’re just handicapping yourself tremendously by doing that.
Jason Hartman: Okay, good advice. What else?
Tim Larkin: The other thing is be extremely careful of relying on self-protection devices that rely on pain, specifically pepper spray. You know, it’s touted as the end all be all and if you just go on Google and look at pepper spray fails or anything like that, you’re going to see some horrific real acts of violence where a women tries to protect herself, sprays the other guy with pepper spray, it stops him momentarily, then it absolutely enrages him. And he just perpetrates just a huge act of violence on her.
Jason Hartman: So why isn’t pepper spray reliable? The police use it. Of course they have better training and other tools as well, like a gun. But does it just not affect some people? I’ve heard that drug users sometimes can be sort of immune to it. What’s the deal with pepper spray?
Tim Larkin: Pepper spray, the universal issue with pepper spray is that it works on everybody we don’t care about. It’s probably the easiest way to put it. And what I mean by that is pain tolerances are all over the place, and it’s just a really lousy arbiter or deciding whether or not you stop somebody. Many, many people just will not stop because of the pain. They’ll go right through that. Whereas when you talk about injury to the human body, and that’s the destruction of either a sensory system on the human body or a structure of the human body, that works regardless of pain. Meaning whether the person feels it or not, if they’re on drugs or whatever, if you break the structure, say you break the guy’s ankle to get away. He can’t support weight on that ankle even if he wants to, even if he doesn’t feel it, it’ll fail each and every time he gets up there. Same thing if you blind a person. If you go in and you blind the eyes. Regardless of whether they feel that or not, their vision is absolutely affected. And you don’t have to rely on something as arbitrary as somebody’s pain threshold.
Jason Hartman: Alright, so in other words, it’s not about inflicting pain, it’s about inflicting damage. Would that be a correct way to say it?
Tim Larkin: We like to say injury. And you have to be careful because even the medical community will define something as injury that is not what we would consider an injury. It has to cause debilitating damage to the human body meaning whatever the area affected, it does not work anymore. You could have a little hairline fracture on your ankle and by definition the medical community would say oh, that’s a broken ankle. But a person can, even though it would hurt a little bit, they can still support weight on that.
Jason Hartman: Okay so what are some of the areas where we should inflict a damage injury, and the type of injury you’re talking about so that they cannot use that part of their body against us?
Tim Larkin: Well the overriding principles and methods that we use, we get all of our data from sports injury data. And the reason we check sports injury data, is because those are replicable injuries in the human body. It involves humans colliding with humans or humans colliding with the ground. A lot of false data that you see in self-defense industry and martial arts industry, they’ll get information from like car crashes and things of that nature which you and I can’t replicate forces like that.
So we look to the area of sports injury and you see there are often many areas of the human body, like ankles and knees, collar bones, the throat, the eyes, the groin area, the solar plexus, the liver, the spleen, the lower margin of the rib cage where the kidneys are at, all of these areas of the human body cannot take blunt trauma.
And when you look at that, the way you get that objective injury is you can literally just go in and you can use the internet and Google and just search for liver injuries, spleen injuries, and you’re going to see in the sports medicine data two incredibly fit boxers going and it’s usually later in the rounds, 7-8 rounds. That means for 8 rounds these guys have been taking a lot of non-specific trauma. They’ve been getting punched in the face, punched in the body, but they haven’t been punched in a vulnerable area. And then it happens.
Then you see this incredibly fit guy get hit in the lower margin of the rib cage and he gets hit say in the liver, and he just drops to his knees. He’s fully conscious but he can’t control his body anymore. He is just, it’s almost like he’s been completely frozen.
Jason Hartman: It just doesn’t seem though, like a small woman compared to a large man could inflict a liver injury. I don’t even know if I know where my liver is that well.
Tim Larkin: Well it’s just an easy thing for people to look on the internet and see that. And the idea behind it is two highly fit guys going at it and all the sudden one guy drops…
Jason Hartman: But see, you’ve got a highly fit guy that’s against him, and he got him in a certain spot, but if you had to pick one Tim, is there one spot that’s the holy grail, that’s the easiest to get to, that’s most likely to create the effect of injury to disable the person, is there one spot that’s your favorite?
Tim Larkin: No, that’s the absolute worst thing that you could ever give as advice, and unfortunately it’s prevalent in the self-defense industry. People usually say…
Jason Hartman: Because it’s like you couldn’t get that spot, right?
Tim Larkin: Yeah, that’s exactly what happens. The big three everybody talks about are eyes, throat, and groin. I had a client who, he was getting into his Lexus, he got into a carjacking, the guy approaches him, the gun comes up over the door as soon as he looks to the side he realizes the eyes and throat and groin aren’t available, but because he saw the top of the guy’s foot at the bottom of the door he realized he could just, he just dropped into a knew drop, very small guy-this guy’s probably 110 pounds soaking wet. He dropped all of that weight onto the top of this guy’s foot, shattered his foot, and this guy is 230 pounds. He pulled his leg out underneath and then used the car door as leverage and he snapped the guy’s leg where he knocked himself out, gun on the floor. The cops came, and they took him away.
Jason Hartman: Awesome.
Tim Larkin: And what he said was, he said you know, I realized that was my starting point. I knew if I could start there, I could continue on and get a response. But his first thought process was wow, none of that’s available to me.
Jason Hartman: Wow. Very good point.
Tim Larkin: So we teach people basically how injury involves the human body. There’s over 70 areas of the human body that can get a response that you’re looking for in injury and get people to non-functional. You don’t have to know all of them. You can know a small portion of them, but what’s more important is that you know them from various different site pictures. I guarantee you this guy had never looked at going after a foot underneath a car door before, but because we had trained him to understand site pictures and he saw all these targets from different angles, it was just second nature for him to use the information and save his life.
Jason Hartman: Very good point and what a great story. I love it when the good guy wins. It’s about time. So anything else you want to say about other techniques or situational awareness? I definitely got you on the iPod. I see that all too often.
Tim Larkin: The other thing where people make a lot of mistakes is they believe that the other person they’re dealing with when it comes to anti-social aggression, that means somebody does something that is offensive to you and you decide to take issue with it. And this happens often times, I deal with a lot of very successful entrepreneurs, type-A personalities. They’re used to being driven, they’re hard negotiators, all those things. And that works great in their environment, that they have control over the situations and personal that they’re dealing with, and they know the people they’re dealing with.
If they take that attitude outside into the street, into the unknown, to people that they have no relationship with, know nothing about their background, and they use some of that aggressiveness that they used in the boardroom, it can have just abysmal effects on them. And they can very quickly realize that oh my god, this person doesn’t have the same social morals as I have, he doesn’t have any of the participation in being a good citizen that I have, and it can get horrible really fast. So the idea is that when you step out that door, you know nothing about the other individual. You can’t sit there and force your view of the world on this person, nor can you guess what’s going on in this guy’s mind.
Jason Hartman: Very good point. The law of the jungle of the corporate boardroom is not going to apply. So very good point. What about substances? If the attacker is using some sort of drug or alcohol? Are there any adjustments we need to make for that or things we need to know that may help us be more effective in defense?
Tim Larkin: Well, that’s where picking up on anything like that will also, during an anti-social aggression phase where somebody may be perpetrated or robbery on you, but they’re still communicating with you meaning that he’s telling you hey I want your watch, I want your wallet, all that other stuff. If you notice during that time that this individual doesn’t seem clear, it seems like they’re probably on something, that’s where you have to really take issue with it. You can try to use your social skills to get out of a situation like that but you need to understand that because they’re on such a drug state at that point, you’re probably going to have to get in there and do some work. You’re probably going to have to break structure on the body, you’re going to have to break down a sensory system. Because the individual may or may not feel it, but you have to make sure that they don’t have the ability to think and move basically.
Jason Hartman: I definitely heard what you said when we started a few minutes ago about people relying on self-defense weapons like pepper spray for example, and I think another thing that people probably should be expecting is your attacker might pepper spray you. You’ve got to be ready for that, right?
Tim Larkin: Right. Like I said, the baseline assumption I always believed that if it comes my way, it’s going to be an alpha. It’s going to be an alpha predator, he’s going to have everything. And you just have to make sure that you’ve done to the best of your ability to live a life that just minimizes your chances of ever having to get involved in anything like that. Where that individual would look at you and say yes, that’s the person I want to go after today. Because you have to remember, they’re not looking for a fight. They’re not looking to challenge. They don’t want a struggle.
Jason Hartman: They’re looking for a victim, not a fight.
Tim Larkin: They’re looking for a victim, yes.
Jason Hartman: Well, what I was going to say with that though is, knowing what you said about people relying on gadgets and defense weapons and so forth, do you recommend just don’t carry pepper spray? Don’t have anything, or could you pick a couple of things that you actually do like?
Tim Larkin: If I could live my life and I could drive around in a M1A1 tank all day, I would. But we have to deal in reality. I have a concealed carry license. I live in Las Vegas, and Nevada is very favorable to gun laws and all that other stuff. I rarely, rarely ever carry a gun. I literally travel around the world doing the stuff I do. In the last 25 years I’ve presented in over 52 countries, and very few of those places could I ever take a weapon. It’s just a reality.
So without it sounding macho or anything, what you need to do is you need to work on the ultimate concealed carry which is the human brain. And it’s the human brain that makes us dangerous. An active human brain has created the space shuttle and it’s created nuclear weapons. It’s what allows us to use tools to an effect. So what’s more important is that you train your brain correctly, and then everything else is ancillary. If you have the luxury of having a weapon, absolutely. I’m not anti-tools at all. You just have to realize and really understand what that tool does, and what it gives you. The police use it because it’s a liability issue. They have to have lower levels of response for compliant and non-compliant offenders. But when it goes to the A-social where somebody’s trying to kill the officer or come after them, those aren’t the tools they’re using.
Jason Hartman: Okay, so summing that up, have your body, have your brain ready. Great advice. Guns, obviously. Those are the great equalizer. It’s funny that the left side of the political isle is so anti-gun, but they say they’re so equal rights oriented, and the ultimate equal rights tool is a fire arm if you ask me. It makes a little tiny 90 pound lady equal to a 250 pound man who’s attacking her. It levels the playing field.
Tim Larkin: Literally, as I told you, I’ve traveled the world and it’s just amazing the places that have the harshest gun laws are the places that have the highest crime, and they have individuals within that society that just can’t believe people don’t carry guns because it’s illegal. They just laugh at it. I did a series of trainings through the islands areas of the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic… I was invited by tis very prestigious group to come and give presentations. And honestly, I was naïve and I thought, oh this is going to be cake.
At the end I was staying in the Bahamas, they were putting me up, I was going well, it will be interesting to hear these people but what could possibly be wrong in these areas of the world? I found out that per capita, other than anywhere else in the world, there is more guns per capita in all of those islands, and that the crime is just through the roof. And there hadn’t been one of these people, and every one of them was a top five percent earner in their society, they were the elite of the elite, not one of them had had at least one if not two home invasions in the last five years. It was just the norm. And it was interesting. I got some of the most challenging questions when I was there, and yet these were some of the strictest laws in the world against guns.
And listen, I don’t have a problem. I’m very much if you own a gun, the only way it’s useful to you is if you’re trained with it. If you’re just going to have it to show or something like that, it’s going to be a horrible reality for you when you need it. But if you know how to use these things I’m all for it. My big thing is, though, I don’t want it to be a situation where if that tool is not available, you have nothing in the tool box. And that’s what the book is all about.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, and that is very good advice. Well, good. Tell people where they can get the book and give out your website as well.
Tim Larkin: Yeah, well for your listeners, they can get the book at any book stores, Amazon, it’s everywhere. We just hit Barnes & Noble number 1 top 100 books right now, so that’s great. We have a really good start-off to the book on the best seller list. You also can get all that information, a lot of free content at TimLarkin.com. I’ve got a lot of free information up there. You can read the forward to the book there form Tony Robbins, and it’ll give you all of the information about what’s available.
Jason Hartman: Awesome. Good stuff. Well, Tim Larkin thanks so much for joining us.
Tim Larkin: Thank you Jason.
Narrator: Thank you for joining us today for the Holistic Survival Show. Protecting the people, places and profits you care about in uncertain times. Be sure to listen to our Creating Wealth Show, which focuses on exploiting the financial and wealth creation opportunities in today’s economy. Learn more at www.JasonHartman.com or search “Jason Hartman” on iTunes. This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, offering very general guidelines and information. Opinions of guests are their own, and none of the content should be considered individual advice. If you require personalized advice, please consult an appropriate professional. Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.
Transcribed by Ralph
Guest: Tim Larkin
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