Category Archives: Safety

Topics relating to personal safety in different environments.

Personal Safety on Nutmeg TV

Nutmeg TV invited me to film a “condensed” Refuse To Be A Victim version in six – 30 minute videos November 2012.  Although they are no longer being televised, they are available in the Nutmeg TV Archives. Here’s how to access:

1.  Type in on the top browser line.  Then click Enter.
2. Bring the cursor over PEG PROGRAM and click “Public.”
3. Type “personal safety” in the Show Search box. Click GO.
4. Check “Only Video-On-Demand.” Click Submit.
5. Highlight Safety Show choice with cursor and Click it.
6. Click “Watch Now.”
7. You may have to choose a software choice from your computer (such as Real
Player) to view the show.

These programs incorporate about  25-30 % of all the information provided to the student through my Refuse To Be a Victim presentation,  the provided booklet and resource materials.  Hopefully these videos will provide an incentive to learn more about your main weapon, your mind, through one of the scheduled programs! For your safety. . .  Dr Mike Taz

Presentations: Refuse To Be A Victim

These are the Refuse To Be A Victim presentations (“classic” 4 hr.)  that have so far been scheduled for this coming year.  I hope you can join me at one of them to help promote personal safety and  prevent crime for yourself, your family and your community.              Don’t let your brain be embarrassed by your ego; preparation beats panic!!!


Presentation: Refuse To Be A Victim

Date: Tuesdays March 13, 20, 27(snowdate), 2018

Time: 6:00 – 8:00 PM both days (4 hr total)

Place: Dr Mike Taz, 28 Norwood Rd., Bristol, CT 06010

Cost: $ 30 per student; senior and other discounts available;class is “co-ed;” no firearms or “hands-on” training in this seminar; complements all other self-defense strategies; pre-registration is required; 30 student limit; Instruction book provided; call 860.582.4388 with questions or to register.


Presentation: Refuse To Be A Victim

Date: Tuesday and Wednesday, April 24 & 25, 2018

Time: 6:00 – 8:00 PM both days (4 hr. seminar)

Place: B H Wellness Center, 842, Clark Ave., Bristol CT 06010

Cost: $ 30 per student; senior and other discounts available;class is “co-ed;” No firearm or “hands-on” training in this seminar. Complements all other self-defense strategies!  Pre-registration required; 30 student limit; Instruction booklet provided; call 860.582.4388 to register or for more information.


Presentation: Refuse To Be A Victim 

Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018

Time: 9:oo AM – 1:00 PM

Place: B H Wellness Center, 842, Clark Ave., Bristol, CT 06010

Cost: $30 per student; senior and other discounts available. Class is “co-ed.” No firearms or “hands-on” training in this seminar; Complements all other self-defense strategies! Pre-registration is required; 30 student limit; instructions booklet provided; call860.582.4388 to register or for more information.


Presentation: Refuse To Be A Victim – Instructor’s Development Workshop 

Date: Sunday, May 20, 2018

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Place: B H Wellness Center, 842 Clark Ave., Bristol, CT 06010 Cost:$200 per student; above RTBAV course is included; all facilitation materials provided as well as required instructional and practical marketing information. Pre-registration required; call 860.582.4388 for details.










Discounting the Word “No”

A stranger doesn’t seem to understand you when you say “no!”
This is a warning….what it means…..where to see it…..what to do!


Answering the Door 2

A criminal is brandishing a firearm at your door and demanding to be let into your house. One possible way to handle this dangerous situation.


Answering The Door 1

Safety considerations when there is someone at your door.

CERT Safety Fair and Safety Awareness

About three weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in Bristol’s CERT Safety Expo.  The CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Team) program is comprised of civilian volunteers who prepare for and handle emergencies in our city and state region. The team, headed by  Harley Graime, played a pivotal role in our city’s response to the October 29, 2011 snowstorm. They manned one of the emergency shelters where people could seek warmth, electricity, and food. There were a lot fewer casualties because of them and I applaud Harley and his team on their accomplishments then, and on their motivation to keep the Bristol community informed and prepared for other emergencies, natural and man-made. That was the point of the Safety Expo for them and they allowed me to share some information from my Refuse To Be A Victim personal safety seminar with people who attended.

The “quiz” I used consisted of five questions to evaluate safety awareness.  How many can you answer?

1.What is “Condition Black?”         2. What is your Best Weapon?    3.  What is the “Rule of 21?”     4. What is Forced Teaming?”   5.  Should you answer the door if the doorbell  rings when you are doing something and don’t want to be bothered?

While you are thinking of the answers, let me tell you a true story.   A friend of mine and his wife were looking for their car in a parking garage about 3 blocks from a local concert theater in Waterbury. Although the garage was well lit, it was surprisingly deserted and it was night. As they started walking down one aisle, they were hailed by a stranger approaching them from the opposite direction.

“Hey there,”  the man said.

“Hi…,” answered my friend, noting that the man was about 20 years younger, about 30 pounds heavier, and six inches taller.

“Are you looking for your car too?” the stranger asked.

“Yes…,” replied by friend, somewhat cautiously.

“You know,” said the stranger, “we come to these concerts looking forward to a good time with the wife; kids are at home with a sitter; and we forget whether we parked on the north or south end, the right or left side, and even what floor we’re on.  It’s a good thing there are only three floors in this garage! What does you car look like; maybe I can help you find it so we can all get home sooner!”

“I found it; it’s over here,”  my friend’s wife just then announced.

“Thanks, but we’re all set,” my friend said to the stranger as he started to turn away.

“Before you go,” the stranger quickly retorted, “maybe you can help me out. Will you give me five bucks for gas; the pump wouldn’t accept my charge card?”

My friend said that at that second he felt like he was “frozen.” He wasn’t quite sure about how he should respond, he said afterward. “If I refused him would it escalate into violence ? Would it escalate anyway no matter how I responded? I wasn’t sure about what my choices were!”

I asked what happened. “I gave him five bucks, he went his way and I went mine. And that was it,” he said.

I call this an acceptable ending to a potentially dangerous situation.   It was a “teaching experience” for both me  and my friend. He had a number of choices with which to respond and he chose one he was most comfortable with at that time.  He had other options though. And the discussion points of this encounter contain answers to most of the Safety Awareness questions above.

The feeling of being “frozen” is often due to being in a state of denial. As a potential crime is unfolding thoughts run through your mind,”I can’t believe this is happening! It can’t be happening to me! This is surreal! This must be a dream! Things like this don’t happen to me!” And you a literally “frozen” in place not knowing how to answer the potential threat.  The danger is that you are losing valuable time with which to prepare for your defense! This is “Condition Black.” Make no mistake ; you must get past denial to survive!

Deliberate quickly what your options are, then take decisive action to handle the threat.  Mentally, and ideally physically, preparing  for such encounters ahead of time helps to partially or completely remove the time lost because of denial. And as a result, you have a better chance at surviving the encounter. Remember: Denial – Deliberation – Decisive Action.

The younger, taller, heavier stranger used Forced Teaming  strategy in getting my friend to part with his money. In Forced Teaming the criminal uses words like “we,” “us,” “our” to subconsciously suggest that he is like you.  And if you like yourself, you’ll like him too! This works to decrease alertness, awareness, and make the victim more vulnerable to crime. See his vocabulary when he first greeted my friend. There are seven other strategies listed by Gaven DeBecker in his book The Gift of Fear and we discuss them in the Refuse To Be A Victim (RTBAV) course!

Your Best Weapon is your mind, your brain!  Everything else, whether it is as simple as a pen to poke into the soft tissues of the face and neck, or as sophisticated as an electronic stun device or firearm, is a “tool.” The “tools” can help improve the effectiveness of your “weapon” when used properly.  We discuss rules for using your “tools” properly in the RTBAV course. Also note that my friend did not let “his mind be embarrassed  by his ego!” If five bucks circumvents a violent situation, the investment is worth it. How to use this “chump change” or “mugger money” is also discussed!

The “Rule of 21” refers to  the fact that the average criminal, of the average age, with the average ability, can cover 21 feet in 1 – 1.5 seconds.  Distance is safety and keeping your distance from a potential criminal will help defuse  the situation. Remember, now he doesn’t have the element of surprise.  Be aware, however, that if it takes you 2 seconds to take your pepper spray from your pocket or purse,  you want to keep 40 feet (on average) between you and the assailant. Otherwise you may find yourself not only unable to draw and use your tool, your hand many also be trapped in your pocket and unable to defend yourself!

These and literally hundreds of other crime-prevention suggestions are provided in the Refuse To Be A Victim seminar. I hope you’ll let me share them with you!  See the seminar schedule in this blog site.

Essentials of Personal Safety

Essentials of Personal Safety  provides an information  foundation on which to build increased safety into your life and thereby prevent crime. Criminal psychology is discussed,along with Pre-Incident Indicators which are “red flags” that tip a potential crime victim that “something may be about to happen!”  A  number of cases will be discussed. Most of them are local to Connecticut. We will talk about What happened, Why it happened, and Options the victim may have to avoid / handle the crime.  Through this discussion we build up our self-confidence that we need not be “bullied” by criminals; that staying safe is not an impossible task in our world today. Essentials of Personal Safety is a “preview” of the Refuse To Be A Victim Program which discusses safety and crime prevention in the various areas of your life: Home, Auto, Shopping and Travel, Work, Technological  and Medical. Knowledge IS Power when you use it.  When you use this knowledge, you will be able to Deter, Delay, Detect and Deny crime!!  I look  forward to meeting you!!!