• Randy England

Book Review: Effective Defense, Gila Hayes

Effective Defense, 2nd Edition, Gila Hayes

The second edition of Effective Defense was published in 2000. Gila Hayes starts off by discussing ways to survive mentally after you have survived a self defense encounter. Peer counseling can be very useful, as you spend time with others that have experienced the same situation. She then covers avoidance in order to hopefully keep the reader from getting themselves into this situation. She mentions exercises in order to work your mind to be on a swivel and being aware of your surroundings. In one exercise, recall what people were wearing and what those people looked like. Also, try to recall what the environment surrounding you looked like. Hayes introduces techniques to help deter attacks such as looking a potential attacker in the eye because they prefer anonymity. Gila touches on less lethal options such as OC sprays. She gives recommendations on what to look for in an OC spray. There are three types of spray: fog, foamy spray, and solid stream. She recommends the the fog for civilians because it is easier to get into the threat’s nose and eyes, and will burn the skin as it comes into contact. Another less lethal option Gila touches bases on is the Kubotan. From her findings at Firearms Academy of Seattle, one out of every fifteen people can tolerate the pain of a Kubotan on pressure points. This technique is called pain compliance and if it is not proving to be effective, then move on to strikes. She suggests watching Surviving Edged Weapons by Calibre Press in order to better prepare yourself against knife attacks. This video can be found on Youtube. Gila covers the three stages that occur after surviving a situation. These three stages are trauma, denial, and resolution. Afterwards, Hayes covers the history of hollow point projectiles and covers some that are carried by law enforcement. Hayes covers ways that work well for women to carry concealed and also holsters and techniques that might not work for women. She goes on to explain in detail why or why not a particular holster or technique might or might not work. She finishes up the book with touching on rifles and shotguns as tools for home defense. I found it to be a great read with good information and even if you don’t get any new information from this read, she refers the reader to other great books and videos to better prepare yourself.