For many Americans, home invasions are what happen to “other” people. Most people do not plan for this, as they do not believe they will ever be the victim of this type of crime, or any type of crime for that matter. Initially the best defense is awareness. Being alert can save your life and that of your family. As in any emergency situation, Do Not rely on the police or other people to come to your rescue in your time of need.

You will need to rely upon yourself and/ or your family members as law enforcement can only respond to what crimes they are aware of. If by chance they are made aware of a crime in progress, there is still the issue of how much time will pass before they actually arrive on scene. At that point we must also consider this home invasion could turn into a hostage situation. If that happens then your chances of escape as well as your choices shrink considerably.


  1. NEVER open the door for a simple knock or for anyone selling or asking questions unless you know them. If you open it, you have just allowed the criminals entry to your home and have jeopardized the safety of your entire family.  
  1. Develop a crisis or emergency plan with your family. Rehearse it so that everyone is sure of his or her roles. Try to work in as many variables as you can think of. If you do not know how to develop this type of crisis plan, please call defense coach university at: 1-800-820-0882 for further assistance.
  1. Keep a cellular phone accessible inside your home and close to you at all times. Make sure it is always charged and in good working order. Your cell phone is no good if it is off; leave it on through the night.
  1. While in your home, keep all the doors locked. Do not leave your garage door open at any time, unless you are doing something directly in front of it. If you are outside mowing the lawn, keep the garage door closed and locked. If you take the bikes out for a quick ride around the block or neighborhood, lock all doors and windows before leaving that space.
  1. Vary the routes you travel daily to work and or recreational activities.  Criminals watch for patterns and can monitor people’s habits as they observe you. This makes you both vulnerable and accessible, which is very dangerous. Don’t be predictable! Vary the routes you take and the times with which you do things in your daily life. Make it difficult for any criminal or opportunist to pin point where or when you will be somewhere.  
  1. When approaching your home after being out, scan the area for anything out of place or unusual prior to entering your property especially before opening any door. If you have a “feeling” someone is watching or following you, do not go home. Instead call the police immediately and give them your description and tell them where you are. If you know where the police station is or even a fire station, drive there without hesitation. If that is not possible, drive to the most public place you know of, where there are lots of people. In this case, you may want to attract attention to yourself, as a protective measure so honking the horn is not only acceptable but also advisable.
  1. Set up key words or phrases with your family members so that you can all communicate an emergency covertly, in the event you or a family member is in trouble. An example of this is as follows; you are out shopping, your youngest daughter who is 16 years old is home, but a hostile intruder is with her. You call her from your cellular phone on the way back from your work or shopping and she answers with a “hello”. As a concerned but unaware parent at that moment, you will likely respond with, “hi, what are you up to?” or something like this.

In order to signal you that she is in immediate danger, she replies as follows, “I’m feeling kind of “blue” so I’m just taking it easy. The key word is “blue”, in this case, which alerts the family member that person is in immediate danger, and they can then respond by calling the police. Some people also add a second security measure by telling the family member or friend to push any key on the key pad a couple of times before speaking or before hanging up. If you are the person in trouble and do this, you may need to explain this off as being “nervous” so the intruder does not get suspicious.


  1. When possible, designate or construct one room or place in your home to be the “safe room”. This room must maintain a very solid door (fire proof when possible), heavily constructed walls and ceiling and you will need to fortify the door hinges as well. Always keep a form of communication, preferably a cellular phone in that space that is active and fully charged and test the reception to make sure you will actually be able to use the phone in case of emergency. You may also want to consider potable water, non-perishable food items, weapons, separate ventilation system and electrical supply when feasible.
  1. Setup your entire living space as a “defense zone” and divide it as such into individual defense zones so that if a home invader breaches your home, you can then use whatever is available within each defense zone to assist you in fending off any intruder. An example of a defense zone is your kitchen. What is in your kitchen that could help you fight off an intruder if that became a reality? You likely have knives, forks, spoons (yes, I said spoons. With some training, anything can become a weapon or used to disrupt an attacker), and pots and pans, which can be employed as a physical barrier to someone trying to attack you with say a knife, or as an impact weapon with which to strike. In the bathroom, you may have hair spray. That and a lighter could help you potentially change the level of commitment of an attacker. There are also combs and other household products that may be employed to deter an attacker enough so that you can escape.

In the end it will boil down to your own awareness, training and quick wit which will help you thwart this potentially deadly crime. For more information on how Defense Coach University’s training, education and services can help with your security and safety goals visit us online at: www.defensecoachu.com or call us at: 1-800-820-0882.

What is a Tactical Pen and What Are Its Advantages?

As a minimal force everyday carry (EDC) option for everyone that you can take anywhere, the tactical pen is a fantastic force multiplier. Whether you are old, young, tall, short, male or female, the tactical pen is a great tool to help you level the playing field when the odds are stacked against you in a threatening situation.

Though fairly new as a defensive tool, the tactical pen does not require any license to carry, it is compact and easily concealable, but is best hiding in plain sight.

Many are made from aircraft grade aluminum and thus are quite strong. On the one side is an actual pen which can be used to sign documents or take notes, and the other an impact point, which can be employed against a threat should you be forced to respond.

Simple, but powerful, unassuming yet perfectly legal, the tactical pen presents you with practical options for personal safety and security that are progressive when they need to be, realistic and truly accessible.

As a less than lethal personal defense tool, the tactical pen gives you choices that are scalable in the event you are confronted with a potentially threatening or dangerous situation. The tactical pen also allows you to “brandish” it without having to worry about legal recourse.

If you were to pull out a gun or a knife and brandish it, you would likely need to explain your actions to the police and why you thought it was absolutely necessary to employ a “show of force” with a deadly weapon. And your actions had better be in alignment with what any other person would do in that same situation or you could face possible arrest.

Let’s face it not everyone is cut out to carry a gun or a knife, but most people do carry a pen so why not a tactical pen with which you can be prepared in a pre-emptive manner once you have identified a potential threat so that you present yourself as a “hard target.” One that the attacker can see is visibly committed, as opposed to someone that is an easy target.

And when the going gets tougher and you are challenged with an increasingly dangerous situation that is moving in the direction of a physical confrontation, the tactical pen though small and seemingly innocuous can inflict serious damage to an attacker, even lethal force in trained hands, if there was no other option.

Perhaps the tactical pen challenges your traditional thinking because it is not what you are accustomed to in the form of a weapon?

Yes, having a firearm is truly a great equalizer under the right circumstances, but guns require a good deal of training, and then there are the moral issues that accompany carrying a gun.

And what about the fact that you must be willing to shoot and kill someone? That’s a pretty heavy thought morally, legally and assessment wise. It is quite realistic though. If you pull out a gun you had better be able to make the conscious decision to use it, after all you are not carrying it to impart psychological prowess or because you “hope” to threaten an attacker.

Then there is the challenge of weapon retention, which is, in my experience, a real issue for most people. If you pull out your gun and the criminal takes it away from you, it could just as easily be used against you. That will likely escalate an already heated situation that could cause you great harm or worse.

All of which brings me back to why I like the tactical pen so much, and very much recommend you get one. It is a fantastic everyday carry personal defense tool that can go anywhere with you. I have even taken tactical pens countless times through airports and aboard commercial planes without the slightest hiccup, and so can you!

Here is a short review of why you should consider the tactical pen an advantage:

  • You can take it anywhere
  • Easy to use
  • Great personal defense tool
  • It’s rapidly accessible
  • Easily concealable
  • Hides well in plain sight
  • Excellent tool in an emergency where you have to break a car window to escape
  • You can walk around with it in your hand without drawing attention to yourself
  • It can be clipped to shirts, blouse, suit, pocketbook strap, pockets
  • You can sign a check or write a note with it
  • Works well to inflict pain upon someone who would try to do you harm
  • You can “brandish” it without recourse in an effort to deter a potential threat or change their level of commitment

Defense Coach University offers a very comprehensive Tactical Pen Defense Program to prepare you with the mindset and tools you need to successfully mitigate threats, dangerous people, situations and conflict.

It is a simple, but powerful mobile first program designed for personal protection that gives you practical options for personal security, safety and defense empowering you with an edge over would be opportunists and criminals when it comes to personal safety. Click here to watch the tactical pen defense trailer.

Visit us online at www.defensecoachu.com or call us at: 1-800-820-0882 to learn more about this exciting, fun and safety-centric educational program that can be taken anywhere anytime.

About the Author

Dr. Jeff Cantor is a Kidnap & Ransom Response consultant, Active Shooter Preparedness expert, Terrorism Prevention Expert, International and personal security expert, high-risk environment tactical instructor, professional educator, author, leadership coach and speaker. He has spent his life in the service of protecting people from dangerous situations and high-risk threats.


He is a subject matter expert (SME) advisor to governments, military, law enforcement, corporations, organizations, security professionals and people in matters of active shooter preparedness, kidnap & ransom and kidnap 2 kill, security, threat assessment, risk and crisis management, counter terrorism and warfare.

He is founder / CEO of the TRS International Group, a highly successful private security, defense intelligence, risk management and training firm. Through TRSIG, he has worked for governments, corporations, organizations and private parties around the world supporting a myriad of security objectives and low signature operations including hostage rescue, counter terrorism, personal security detail operations and maritime anti-piracy.

Dr. Cantor has gained his knowledge through the school of hard knocks and more than an occasional bullet, executed with decisive actionable leadership and a focused capacity for specifics. Cantor is also the founder and CEO of Defense Coach University, an organization that is dedicated to empowering defense through education, technology, science and intelligence.

San Bernardino: An Act of Terrorism or Calculated Violence?

On December 2nd, 2015, at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino California, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik had attended a holiday party in which according to witnesses, Farook had an argument with another employee. Many details of the attack will surface in the coming days, however the incident clearly identifies the need to distinguish between ideological terrorism and acts of calculated violence perpetrated by a lone wolf.

Farook, a 28 year old who had been employed there for 5 years then left the party with his wife only to return at around 11a.m. The couple came back to the party prepared for war. They had assault rifles, handguns and a full complement of tactical gear. They then proceeded to open fire indiscriminately on the people attending the holiday party.

In the end, 14 people were killed and 17 wounded. The obvious coordinated attack was no suicide mission as we have witnessed many times in these active shooter incidents. No, the couple made their getaway in a black SUV. The police chased the SUV that wound up in a shoot out that left Farook and Malik dead while wounding two police officers.

The couple was not on any FBI watch list, but as the investigation continues, the search for links to terrorist groups will become clearer.As it stands, the couple also pre-positioned explosive devices at the scene that was likely to be remotely detonated upon their safe escape. This may have been pre-planned for a secondary attack on first responders or as a secondary attack on the holiday party.

And as if that were not enough, a search of the couple’s home revealed another dozen pipe bombs, bomb making materials and enough ammunition for a small war.

One major factor in the emerging investigation for authorities will be to construct a time line and a deeper understanding of the couple’s motives and if they were operating alone or if they had any support from a larger terrorist network. If ties to any organization materialize, this would be cause for authorities to consider other potential soft targets that could be next.

The continued onslaught of these violent attacks underscores the need for education and training to prepare, as these incidents become part of our lives. Safety as you go about your daily life should be at the forefront of your thinking.

Your brain is your most important weapon and it is with you all the time. Does it not behoove you then to arm yourself with the knowledge and tools to prepare for an active shooter threat? Developing the right mindset, one of both security and survival is quintessential and places you in a superior tactical position to recognize and avoid potentially dangerous situations. And when avoidance is not possible, to evade or even counter to increase your chances of survival should you be faced with this type of threat.


In regards to active shooter incidents, Defense Coach University’s philosophy is to inculcate a fresh perspective that includes changing people’s mindset and behaviors on 2 levels; first the security mindset. The security mindset facilitates recognition and avoidance behavioral lessons so that the participant learns that their first line of defense is pre-planning and pre-positioning in advance of this conventional and highly dangerous situation.

The second level is the survival mindset. Here, through education and a comprehensive interactive learning experience, we clearly explain the development of an active shooter event and how to respond to an active shooter situation.

For the student, teacher, average citizen, doctor, nurse, medical professional, office worker or corporate leader, we stress the need for education and cognitive learning to train the participant for practical application of skills without the stressors and risks associated with the usual reality based training model.

Our team has vast experience in force protection training and professional education. We have found after training thousands in reality based programs, that when an individual is introduced to the very real stress of an active shooter or force protection scenario without prior and proper training and or conditioning for dealing with this type of critical incident; we end up with individuals that fail to learn and respond, and thus falter, leaving the training in a state of trepidation and perhaps worse, a lack of confidence.

It is for this very reason that Defense Coach University’s active shooter threat model is designed from the start to facilitate neuro-muscular cognitive learning (NMCL). NMCL is the bridge between an individual’s state of mind and their ability to respond.

The education and training is impactful then reflecting proactive and reactive abilities, and portrays a situation that may arise as a direct or indirect consequence of a mass shooting incident whether from an act of terrorism, active shooter on campus or workplace violence.

The DCU Active Shooter Threat program is therefore a force multiplier that bridges the gap between the absolute need to educate people in active shooter incidents and their ability to properly respond to it.

For more information on Defense Coach University’s comprehensive active shooter threat program or other programs, call us at: 1-800-820-0882 or visit us on the web at: www.defensecoachu.com