When You Get Up Close and Personal – a Bit of Wisdom from Paul LaCroix



This is a huge decision to make in a split second.  Think about it.  Your situation has gone from  a verbal argument to a physical fight.  Or, maybe it was never a verbal argument.  Maybe the guy jumped out from behind a parked car as you got to your own vehicle in a empty parking lot.

When these  things happen, you won’t  have a chance to call your self defense teacher and ask what to do.  You’ve got to be prepared.

Fortunately, there are some guidelines here.

For starters, if the guy is far enough away that you can take off, do it.  Run like crazy and get away.

If he’s close enough to grab you or if he’s already grabbed you, you’re going to have to stand and fight.  This is where all those self defense classes come in handy.  If you haven’t quite had the classes yet, just Go wild!  Move in all directions as much and as fast as possible.  Plant your feet in a wide stance to have the best balance possible.

Strike as hard as you can – as fast as you can – in as many places as you can. Use your elbows, fists, knees, arms, legs to do what you can to get away. There are at least eight things you can do.  Don’t be afraid to:

1.  poke his eyes out

2.  bite his ear off

3.  scratch his face/neck/or anywhere you can scratch

4.  go at his throat

5.  use your fingers to jab his adam’s apple

6.  use your elbow to punch him in his solar plexus

7.  knee him in the waist

8.  knee him in the groin.

If he’s turned his side to you, go at his throat, elbow him in the kidneys, knee him in the thighs and jab his ribs.  In particular,  jab the lowest ribs.  The 2 smallest ribs are more vulnerable and less durable than the others.   In short…hit, jab, punch wherever you can using whatever body parts you can.  This includes using your






Don’t stop  or back off until you know for sure you can escape.  As soon as he’s down, and  not going to get up anytime soon,  get the hell out.

As always, thanks to Paul LaCroix.

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Thurman Greco



Today’s post…

Angel 5

isn’t happening.  I’m at writers’ boot camp.  Thank you for your patience!


7 Steps to Fighting Success


If you’ve been reading this blog since the beginning, you know by now that your whole body is a weapon.

If you’re new to this blog, learn now that your whole body is a weapon.

Elbows, knees, fists, teeth, feet,…all of these body parts can work in your favor to make you a lethal weapon in a face off with an aggressor.  A body that’s in good condition makes the job of self defense easier.   After all, it’s much easier to run/  fight back like a wild woman if your body is in good condition.

When I embarked on  the self defense journey, I had no idea where to even start.

My journey began with a trip for a physical.  I knew I would need this physical to get in classes I needed to register for.  My physician is in love with my new self defense role!

I’ve been  taking supplements for years but I went over to Village Apothecary for a nutritional review just to make sure I wasn’t leaving anything out.  This important step should be done periodically anyway so it was something I  needed to do.

After a thorough search, I found The Fitness Connection for classes.  “Classes”  can be different for different people but, whatever form they take, they’re important.   In addition to the classes, I’m walking.  Just this week I’ve added Nordic walking poles to my daily routine.  And, guess what…I’m feeling better!  This is a non negotiable part of the journey.  My classes include self defenses classes weekly.

I reconnected with my  my physical therapist.  I’ve had health issues with one shoulder for months.  I’m not putting up with them anymore.  I now visit Rhinebeck Physical Therapy twice a week.  I know that I’ll do a  better job of defending myself if my body is in optimum condition.  I’m planning to have my shoulder issues settled soon.

Not everyone will visit a physical therapist.  Some people prefer chiropractors. Use whatever modality is more comfortable for you.  The important thing is to resolve health issues.

Food is not recreation.  Food is nutrition needed to keep my body in peak condition.  I’m eating accordingly.  End of story.   I’m cleaning my “house”.  I’m making sure that I’m cutting way back on foods and other habits which aren’t good for me.  I’m on a fitness diet.

With all the things that are happening in my self defense focus, I’m developing more confidence.  I have a better sense of self esteem.

When  you follow the  self defense steps to success, you, too, will have more self confidence and a better sense of self esteem.  Following the  steps is a journey that can have a good ending.

I am getting  rid of all that is holding me back from optimum physical preparedness.  Join me in this journey.  You, too, can get rid of all that is holding you back from optimum  preparedness.





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Thurman Greco

Your rights end where my nose begins.


In another time, and another place…many years ago, I took  a government class at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.  One morning my professor spoke for a long 50 minutes about civil rights.  During this whole class, he said one thing that  has stuck with me through the years:

“We all have rights.  Your rights end where my nose begins.”  Those words are very true today, especially  in this self defense blog.

We all have rights.  They begin with our noses.  We all have boundaries.

So,  decide where your nose begins.  Establish, for yourself, a boundary.  This boundary is a line which no one is going to cross.  This line goes in a circle all around you.

You have rights.  Your rights are rules of behavior you observe when a predator crosses this line.

And, this line is at least 4 feet out from your body in all directions.  When a person crosses this line, you are going to know it.  You are going to sense this invasion, if nothing else.  Your nose is going to tell you.  You may:

see this person.

hear this person.

“feel” his presence.

smell him.

Let’s hope you’ll never touch him.

As soon as your  “predator alert” goes off,  get busy.  It’s time for you to do everything necessary to secure your boundary.  You need to get completely out of the situation.

Get busy!


Run away!

The predator needs to know immediately when he crosses the boundary line into your territory.  This space is yours.  No one should be there without your express invitation.  Crossing this boundary can include




off-color remarks

any other language you find offensive


If you know exactly where and what your boundaries are, you will be safe.  (That sentence is a mouth full!)

Nobody wants to spend precious time thinking a bunch of negative thoughts.  However, predators, sociopaths, and psychopaths move freely about.  Our safety depends on being aware of them.

In order to stay in control when confronted by one of these villains, it’s necessary to be



know your fighter within.

Develop your energy, strength, intensity, and skills necessary to fight any foe.

Become a wild, crazy, brutal animal.

How can you do this:

Know yourself.  Train the strength you possess to overcome all attackers.

Learn to become aware of your environment so no one can sneak up on you.

Know your options if you need to change your location suddenly.

Always be on the lookout for suspicious activity and anything seeming to be dangerous.

Never let anyone intimidate or bully you.

If things begin to go wrong, get out…FAST!

Know that as you develop your training, you are building a bigger and bigger inner arsenal.


Thanks for reading this blog.

Please refer this article to your preferred social media network.

Thurman Greco



Does a pistol belong in your Pocketbook?


A white man attended a black Bible Study class  in a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. recently.  As the class proceeded, he gunned down 9 people.

The massacre at Sandy Hook upset many in our country.  A gunman walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Co. and gunned down 20 children and 6 school staffers.

I could go on for awhile with these incidents.

Every mass murder offers an angle for all journalists:

gun control


immigration reform

the right wing “patriot” movement

police corruption

hate groups

religious extremism

multi-state gun trafficking organizations

“iron pipelines”

domestic terrorists

mental illness.

Whenever one of these incidents occurs, our nation promptly undergoes soul-searching on gun laws and, if the incident involves more than people of 1 race, racism.

Each incident is unique and special in its own tragic way.  But, one thing that always happens is that sales of guns and ammunition surge.  Another thing that happens is that stock shares of publicly traded gun companies rise.

For me, there is some kind of disconnect here.  Right now, there are so many handguns and rifles in people’s possession that there are, actually, more guns than people in our country.

And yet, these incidents keep repeating themselves.  It’s as though the people who have the guns are

never in the “right place at the right time”

don’t recognize the situation for what it is until it’s too late.

Or, they freeze when the events began to unfold…

or something.

Who knows?

I certainly don’t.

The important thing is that these incidents replay themselves  in many different ways.  The bottom line is that an aggressor simply overcomes a victim or victims to achieve a goal using surprise.  It can be someone:

robbing a bank

raping a woman

carjacking a vehicle

breaking into a home.

The biggest, toughest decision is to know that this can happen and prepare for it.  And, when the horrible event  does begin to play out, decide to act…to do something!

For me, an important stance to take is this:

Carry a weapon if you can.

Make your body a weapon by learning to use your elbows, knees, shoulders, fists  when necessary.

Then, if you are caught in a situation where the worst is happening, you can defend yourself.  If your body is a weapon, you can just charge the guy!

If you charge the aggressor, you may be injured but your chances of ending up as a survivor are better than just freezing.  By just freezing, you are probably dead.


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Thurman Greco

“Use Your Eyes!” – Paul LaCroix



Home Invasions

Rape Attempts

Car Jackings 

These are all every day occurrences.  If you don’t believe me, just listen to the radio, watch the news on TV, or read the newspaper.

The thing about these stories as we read, see, and hear them is that they always begin at the middle.  They never begin at the beginning of the story.

The beginning is not when the guy rapes the girl, or robs the bank, or hijacks the car.  The beginning of the story is always when the criminal chooses  the victim.  After he chooses the victim, he plans his attack.

Well, you don’t have to sit idly by and be chosen.  And, you definitely don’t have to let yourself be the attackee.

So, what is the best, first thing to do?


But, what does that mean?  That means, basically,  you look individuals  right in the eyes.

To learn this technique, practice it on everyone you see until you are comfortable with it:

AS YOU WALK DOWN THE STREET OR  DOWN THE SUPERMARKET AISLE OR ENTER THE BANK,  LOOK EVERYONE IN THE EYE.    That includes the security guard standing in the entrance.

You look that guy right in the eye. Deliberately.   Then, once you make eye contact, you hold that connection for a second or 2.   This look should be a bit prolonged.  It should be possibly rude.

People are not comfortable with this eye-to-eye connection.  And, that’s exactly the point.  This eye contact is a game changer.

If you stare down every man you come in contact with, the one who is considering you for his next victim will go to the next person in line.  The story with you in it will begin and end with that look you give.

Practice this stare.  Get it down pat.  Use this stare to “get physical” with your eyes.  Know when you have it working.

This stare is excellent if you feel vulnerable.  Use it when you are alone in a crowd.  Use it as you walk alone in a parking lot to your car.

Be generous with this stare.  Make it a habit.  This is an important tool because when you use this stare, you are making sure you won’t be a story in tomorrow’s  paper.



Thanks for reading this blog.  And, thanks for learning to defend yourself.

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Thurman Greco


Get Ready for the Bad Guys


We have to all get ready…and be ready.  All the time.  Do you have a plan?

For many women, a personal security plan means:

lock the front door,

never walk through the parking lot alone,

and live in a “nice” apartment or neighborhood.

Rely  on your brother, son, boyfriend,  husband to provide security.

I know a few women who pride themselves on being really ready who:

have contact information in a special container in the refrigerator,

and have 911 on their speed dial.

It sounds nice but it’s not a security plan…not by a long shot.

That’s because  an effective security plan usually involves unlearning a lot of things we were all taught as young girls:

“Act like a lady”.  Be




Strength and power never got in the picture.

As a result, many girls grow up to be defenseless women for whom courage simply never developed.

And, then, there’s the physical side of things.  Women are considered to be the weaker sex.

We grew up to be emotionally caring and nurturing people,  careful not to jump to negative conclusions even though the person’s behavior may be




I know that I, personally, have a way of observing a situation play out.  That, too, is a trait I see in other women.  As I become the observer, the other person becomes the controller and I become the victim.

As I review these events, I realize that I was well trained by my mother to be a victim.  I also realize that I raised 2 daughters to be lovely victims, defenseless in times of danger.  Their courage  never developed.

As women today, we spend much of our time multitasking.  Our careers,  children, spouses  consume our lives.    How can we find time to develop an effective defense plan?    How can we  figure out what we’re going to do if we’re assaulted, raped?  There’s hardly time to get things accomplished with what’s on our plates now..much less to consider what might happen….what may never happen.

A common thread in our culture, this feminine behavior  encourages and nurtures assault, rape.  Statistics for these crimes support this.

So, it’s time to train not only ourselves but our fellow workers, neighbors, students, friends.  It’s time to think truthfully  about ourselves and the situations we may someday be forced to face.

Self defense is a great mystery to most of us.  I know it was for me.  This mystery must be solved.  We do not want to let our daughters and granddaughters set out in the world unprepared to defend themselves.  We need to be prepared to defend ourselves.

Get your personal security plan together today.

That means we have to all get beyond:

lock the front door

never go through a parking lot alone

live in a nice apartment or neighborhood




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Thurman Greco



Street Fairs and Farm Markets

It’s challenging to go to street fairs and farm markets these days.  While everyone looks at the booths, scouting out treats, fun things to buy, new foods to try, I search for the EBT machine…and I count the women.


How many women are here?  At Saturday’s  Makers Market  in Troy, I counted over 100.  Thursday  in the Union Square Green Market, there were hundreds…more than I could  count.

In Woodstock, we don’t have an EBT machine so only those people with $$$ for food can shop.  The ones with SNAP can’t use their cards without the machine..

In my world, there are 2 groups of shoppers:  Those who get SNAP and those who don’t need it.


start paying attention to the women in the crowd.  If I see 200 women, that means about 50 of them have been sexually assaulted and/or raped.  The statistics are 1 in 4.  But, who really knows the correct #?  Many women are sexually assaulted and/or raped and never tell a soul.

But, the statistics are better than one might think.  When I’m in a small group and the subject comes up, I always get a pretty accurate 1 in 4 report as 25% of the women in the room break into tears and begin to share their stories.  So, I suppose this 1 in 4 number is pretty accurate.

If I ever get a chance to talk to St. Peter, I’m going to ask him 2 questions:

Whatever happened to the Anasazi? and…

Why has all this stuff about hunger – assault – rape happened to me after I’m 70?  (Where’s my rocking chair, anyway?)

In my heart, I don’t believe I’ll ever get to ask those questions.  There’s just not a lot of time to waste exploring the answers.

There are over 26 reasons why people go homeless.

In the hunger dictionary I’m writing, there are  25 different categories of hunger.

The hunger I’ve been living with and exploring for years.  The rape and assault situation is a little different.  I used to think hunger was hidden.  Boy, I didn’t know from nothing.  Rape and assault are sooo secret.

And, if the woman is in the SNAP category, the story simply doesn’t get told.  People visiting food pantries don’t seem to have voices.  Many of them have no confidence in the police even trying to find the person.  And, of course, many of them know the rapist.

Anymore, when I hear a woman tell her story and break down in tears, I applaud her.  I congratulate her for her courage.  It takes much courage to be a trail blazer and that’s what those rape stories are:  trailblazing stories.

WHAT WE NEED TO EXPLORE MORE IS HOW THE WOMEN GOT AWAY.  That’s the important take away item.  Because, those who haven’t yet been raped and/or sexually assaulted need to know more about how these success stories went down.  After all, as long as we come away alive, we’re winners.


I attended a class with my daughters in which a man (a Marine, actually) told us all that if we got raped or sexually assaulted we would be killed.  His advice was to fight for all we were worth, get as much of the attacker’s skin and blood under our nails as possible so the police could catch him.

He gave us specific instructions to bite everything possible.  “Bite the guy’s penis off if you can!”

What a story to hear when you’re a 15-year-old girl.

But, more 15-year-old girls need to hear this message.  Especially if they’re college bound.  College campuses are perfect for rapist students.

The guys rape the inexperienced and unknowing coed and more than likely she won’t let out a peep.  And, if she does, the school will make sure that nothing happens.  After all, if a student gets arrested for rape, it would be bad for the school’s reputation.

I grew up thinking that if a girl got raped it was because she was a “slut”.  She wore suggestive clothing, drank a lot, smoked dope.


A girl or woman gets raped because she’s in the wrong place at the wrong time.  End of story.

One thing, though, I do believe that women should be careful about what they’re drinking in public places.  Keep your hand over your glass or bottle.  Make sure some drug is not slipped in your drink.

And, look out around you.  Listen to what is being said to you.  Don’t let yourself get invited out the door to a more private area.  (For many sociopaths, saying “yes” to the invitation means that what comes next is not rape.)

And, if you are raped or assaulted…go to the police.  Do not hide the event.  Press charges.

As if the rape isn’t bad enough, the stories women tell about the police are worse in their own way.  Well, think of it this way:  You’re still alive.  You’re a survivor.  Step right up and answer the questions with pride.  Don’t let anyone convince you of anything any different.  And, if things don’t seem to be moving along like they should, make some noise.  Do not let your rape experience get forgotten.  It’s the policeman’s job…but it’s your life.

Thank you for reading this blog.

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Thurman Greco


What do you do? 8 things you can do to protect yourself in this situation.

Here is the scene:  You’re at a small gathering of friends/neighbors.  It’s a summer evening.  The moon is out.  Everyone is sitting around visiting, talking.  The party has probably been going on too long, but who knows?   There’s been too much of everything:  sun – skin – alcohol – drugs.

Suddenly, one guest begins to get loud right in front of you.  This person is losing it right in your face.  There’s screaming.  Shouting.  Immediately, the hair begins to stand up on your neck.  Your intuition tells you that you’re in danger. What do you do?

For starters, don’t argue.  This is not the time to do anything that will escalate the situation.  Now is a good time to apologize for anything.  Don’t let your ego get the best of you here.  Do this  to cool the situation down.  It doesn’t matter who’s to blame.  

Stay on high alert and pay attention to your intuition,  What’re you sensing?  What do you see?   hear?   feel?  smell?

Don’t lose sight of the person.  Give him  some attention by keeping your eyes on his throat and chest.  You don’t want to be surprised by a




Keep your breathing regular if you can.

Be prepared to protect yourself by keeping your hands above waist level so you can protect your face or throat.

Back away from him.

Be quiet and get the hell out of the whole situation.

Physically leave.

The message here is this:  If the punching, grabbing and kicking hasn’t started, don’t hang around for the action.

You are ahead of the game if you –

have 911 on your cell phone auto dial

wear shoes you can run in

have a remote starter installed in your car

are not afraid to leave before things get bad

have a hairstyle that an attacker can’t turn into a weapon against you

did not wear a scarf around your neck


Thanks for reading this blog.

Hopefully you will never be in a situation where you have to use the knowledge shared here.

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Thurman Greco



What Paul LaCroix taught me.

You are at a party (parade, the mall, in a line waiting to get into a movie).  Suddenly, someone grabs your arm.  Even though this hold may not be painful, the person has taken control of your body.  The move is a dominating one.  

Let’s establish this right now.  Nobody is allowed to physically control you.  

You now have a serious problem.  This controlling move  can be used to get you to go in a particular direction toward another room.  This controlling move  can be used to separate you from your purse.  This controlling move  can also be used to get you out of the area and into a car.

Whatever the intention, you do not want this to happen.  So, what do you do?

You regain control of the situation, that’s what.  You regain control of the situation and you go absolutely wild.   How?

Start by yanking your arm away from the guy.  You arc your hand up, outward, and in the direction of his thumb.  While you are jerking your hand/arm  away, punch the guy with your free hand.

Scratch his eyeballs.

Punch him in the nose.

Hit him in the carotid artery with the outside heel of your hand.

Hammer his temple with your fist.

While you’re doing this, use your feet to:

kick him in the balls

kick him in the groin

kick him in the knee

stomp him on the foot

Use your elbow to:

hit him in the solar plexus

hit him in the abdomen

Pull his hair.

You should have the picture by now.  Do all of this as quickly as possible.  Use your weight to give emphasis to what you’re doing.

It’s definitely okay to hit him with your fist in the neck and kick him in the knees or groin at the same time.

Once he lets go of his hold, get away and run as fast as you can.  Get away with your life!



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Thurman Greco