Thursday, August 14, 2014

SELF-DEFENSE: Sanford Strong's 4 Survival Rules to Live By

Today, I would like to introduce you to Sanford Strong and his 4 Survival Rules to Live By. Mr. Strong was a 20-year police veteran and expert in survival techniques with the San Diego Police Department. He wrote the book, "Strong on Defense" about survival rules for the individual as well as the family.

I am posting an excerpt from his excellent book as well as 2 video clips.

Ok, without further ado, please read on. Hope Sanford Strong's Rules help you!!

Page 50

The Four Survival Rules to Live By

It's your decision: accept victimization and whatever follows it as beyond your ability to stop, or demand of yourself escape and survival. Whichever, it's a mind-set you alone set, you alone prepare yourself with. The drive to survive must come from you. The key elements that most benefit a violent criminal are time, isolation, and control. The Four Rules work directly against all three. ... Page 51

The Four Rules are:

  • React Immediately - your best chance to escape violence and minimize injury is in the first seconds.
  • Resist - your only alternative is to submit; both choices are lousy, but resisting gives you the best chance.
  • Crime scene #2 - always more isolated than the initial point of contact and always worse for you.
  • Never, never give up - your attitude can keep you alive when you're badly injured.


Real courage and extraordinary action don't always come from highly trained, well-armed and physically conditioned professionals. More often, they come from ordinary people faced with extraordinary situations who face the fact that it's up to me to get myself out of this.

Page 52


An armed stranger jumps you. These first few seconds are as good as it's going to get. With each second that passes, the more opportunity he has to hurt or kill you. Time always works against the victim. Expect the worst -statistics show that he's almost certainly a career criminal.

Page 53

... the nature of a criminal is to lie: "Do as you're told and I won't hurt you" only carries weight in your mind - not his. Career criminals are not promise-keepers.

Page 60



Submitting has consequences no less life-threatening than resisting. Submitting voluntarily places you under another's control. During many interviews with victims of rape, I've heard, "I submitted thinking that I would resist when I had a chance, but in a minute or two - it seemed like seconds - I was worse off."

... decide ahead of time what you fear most: injury or being controlled - psychologically and physically - by a violent criminal. If you've not yet decided, it's time. Rule #2 requires that decision.

Fear of injury boxes you in and won't allow you to be full of savage animal rage. ...

Page 61

Immediate, Direct, Explosive

These three words - immediate, direct, explosive - are your guidelines to resistance. Don't wait. React immediately with full force and keep resisting. Explode! Scream! Yell! Run away! Speed off in a car.

Page 72


Murder is one thing, but torture, mayhem and savagery - it takes more time for these crimes. Every torture case I have prosecuted involved a victim isolated and completely controlled.
~ Paul Pfingst, San Diego DA

You've read the stats on violent criminals. If a guy is going to shoot or rape you in public, what will he do to you at crime scene #2? As I said before, time only works against you and the place of first contact is as good as it's going to get. You have options, chances, there. But if you're moved from crime scene #1 (first contact), your options and chances disappear. You may be moved only five feet from the sidewalk to the other side of some bushes, or fifteen feet down into a ravine. You may be moved only a few feet, or miles. The sole purpose in moving you is to get you out of sight and reduce the chance of intervention. You wind up isolated and at the mercy of the merciless. A crime scene #2 investigation usually involves murder, rape, sometimes sadism and torture.

Never allow the attacker to move you to a more isolated spot (behind the wall, over to the hedge). If he's only a robber, he doesn't need to move you. A rapist and some killers are looking for isolation, seclusion. Risk everything to stop a criminal from moving you to crime scene #2. Risk injury. Risk being shot. Lousy options now are better than no options later.

Page 82

The bottom-line: First contact (crime scene #1), the situation is dangerous and very likely life-threatening, too. At crime scene #2, it's near hopeless and the end of your line.

Page 82


Page 86

When everything is on the line, every man and woman has a storehouse of power available to use. You only have to aim everything you have - mental and physical - at escape. The power follows. If you are ever the next target, your only chance to escape and maybe to survive, will depend on your resolve to never, never give up. Attitude makes a helluva difference.

To a violent criminal, you are just a four-letter word: NEXT

"Strong on Defense" by Sanford Strong

23 years ago today, Aug 14, 1991, Sanford Strong appeared on the Oprah Show. The first clip shows mostly Oprah restating what Sanford Strong taught in the original segment. Mr. Strong stated that Rule #1 is "Never allow them to take you somewhere else." whereas in his book it's Rule #3. Same difference :)

Check out these 2 video clips!

Please check out this related real self-defense story:

For more information:

NOTE: Posted Aug 19, 2014 and backdated to Aug 14, 2014 to mirror the date of Sanford Strong's appearance ont he Oprah Show.



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