Buckeye personal defense lessons…from a Wolverine???

By Daniel E. Goodman

So by now, the dust has settled from a fine Buckeye victory over that team from up north. We read about the matchup for weeks, and now it’s over, with Ohio State on their way to the national championship game out in sunny warm Glendale, Arizona. Ahhh….I’m envious of those that can go.

We came away with a victory on the field, but did you know that some of the most important lessons we can learn about our own self defense we could learn from the Wolverines, and their fans? Follow along with me…

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From Sue Ecklund’s Letter to Michigan fans headed to Columbus:

    “If possible, drive a car with non-Michigan license plates.”

Wiser words were never spoken. However, this extends way beyond what car you drive to campus on game day. Why the avoid the Michigan plates, because they label you as a TARGET, just like a fat wallet, $1000 worth of iPod, cell phone, PDA and other personal electronics, your laptop case, and the 6 ounces of gold and diamonds you’re wearing. The first part of not being a victim is not looking like a rich target.

    “Stay low-key; don't draw unnecessary attention to yourself.”

Why do you leave the maize and blue under a trenchcoat until you’re seated comfortably in the Michigan section or at their tailgate? Because you just don’t belong! Why couldn’t they all just stay home anyway? However for some rich alumni and the players’ parents, they just couldn’t avoid a trip to the den of the enemy. We all know where those places are that we just don’t belong. There’s little chance of a problem in our stadium, but out in the shady parts of town, who knows. Learn how to blend in, to look like you belong in the environment you’re in. If you stick out like a sore thumb, or dress to inflame the natives, expect trouble.

    “Avoid High Street in Columbus."

Well duh! Especially those that are wearing the wrong colors. But that aside, if you know that trouble’s a brewing, be somewhere else. As fun as a post victory brew-ha-ha is on High Street (although never the same since Papa Joe’s burned a decade ago), Bourbon Street at Mardi Gras, Times Square on New Year’s Eve, or any of the other events that bring seas of chemically inconvenienced (that’s my catch all for Drunk, High, or both) people, you’re inviting trouble in those crowds. Pickpockets abound, and drunken assaults are commonplace. Mobs do occasionally panic, or even worse riot. And awareness, space, and your personal defensive weapons are basically useless in such an environment. If you can be somewhere else, be there.

    “UM campus police also will be available in Columbus to support our fans."

SAY WHAT?!?! They can’t do that, can they? Maize and blue is one thing, but they brought their own POLICE too! Whether or not it was strictly legal per the ORC, it was a damn fine idea. Don’t rely on the CPD, or any other police agency to save your bacon. Stand ready to protect your own wherever you go. Police agencies are charged with collecting evidence and arresting suspects AFTER CRIMES HAVE BEEN COMITTED AND CITIZENS HAVE BEEN MADE VICTIMS. 9 9 times out of 100, by the time the police get there the crime is over, and the good guys lost. Whether you expect trouble or not, be ready to act in defense of yourself and your family. Don’t defer to the police, or hope that the ambulance gets to you on time, because they may be spreading the good cheer of tear gas and roasting marshmallows on the couch fires three blocks over when you need them most. Don’t just carry a gun, get trained on how to use it. Learn how to defend yourself with your bare hands. Know how to apply first aid to yourself or others so you live long enough to get to a hospital and survive a self-defense encounter.

The Wolverines may have had to board the bus for a long trip home in defeat, but the lessons they left behind can be used by us Buckeyes to emerge victorious when “bad times” tap us on the shoulder.

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