Home > dogs > Life, Liberty and Self Defense in the Fast Lane

Life, Liberty and Self Defense in the Fast Lane


I usually like to keep my promises.  For example, if I say that I am going to buy a jar of pickles, then I go out and buy a jar of pickles.  It may because I have the eldest child syndrome.  It may be because I’m craving pickles.  I don’t know.  I try to lead a simple life and not analyze anything too much.   

I know I promised myself, and maybe one or two of you out there, that I’d never write about pepper spray again.  But I have to.  If Scarlett Johansson can cut an album in the name of artistic pursuit, then I can venture off into uncharted territory, too. 

The last recorded incident is when pepper may have saved the life of my dogs on a walk when a pit bull, whose intentions I wasn’t interested in learning about, approached us.  The mutt crossed against traffic; I reached for peps and let her rip. 

And that got me to thinking about a self-defense system I tried called Krav Maga, but they made me stay in level one too long, and I quit.  So today, I am here to debate which is better, Krav Maga or giving someone a snoot full with pepper spray.  Some of the pros and cons are below.    

Measuring Success.   

It is easier to succeed with pepper.  All you have to do is press a button and voila.  It is so easy to use that even a German shepherd could use it and trot away happy. 

In Krav you have to get the instructor’s approval before moving from one level to the next.  No matter what, they wouldn’t promote me.  Maybe I knew there was trouble when they started laughing during one of my maneuvers. 

Hold on Reality: 

Much as I would have been able to had I been drugged, drunk, out of my mind or all three, I would never have been able to put that pit bull in a headlock or a half nelson.  He just wouldn’t have understood.  With pepper, you don’t run the risk of having to perform like Chuck Norris or Jackie Chan.   

On the other hand, it’s true that Krav is better if someone or something comes up behind you.  You then address the threat and wiggle, elbow and bite your way to freedom.  Pepper only works if you see someone on the front or side of you, depending on how good your peripheral vision is.  Then you give them a snoot full.   


Injuries are part of the deal in Krav Maga. 

In pepper about the only occupational hazard is when the wind starts blowing in the wrong direction, and the spray gets in your eyes, mouth or nasal passages and causes a whopper of pain. 


Pepper is cheaper.  For what you pay for a year full of Krav Maga, you could buy some cases of pepper plus stock in the company.

So there you have it, life liberty and self defense in the fast lane.

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