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Practical Self-defense Weapon: Pepper Spray

At this week’s meeting, the staff at KarateMart.com discussed which weapons are the most practical to carry for self-defense. After long deliberation, we have decided to focus on a little can that packs some powerful stopping power, pepper spray.


Pepper Spray is a must have, for those who feel that they would not be able to defend themselves against an attacker. Carrying a can of pepper spray should not make you feel weak, but you should feel prepared and safe.

What is pepper spray?

Pepper spray is also known as Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), a chemical weapon that was designed to irritate the eyes while inflicting pain. Should it be inhaled, pepper spray can also greatly affect the respiratory system.

The primary ingredient that goes into pepper spray comes from Capsicum, the pepper family of plants. Each pepper can vary in hotness, from harmless bell peppers to the eye watering chili peppers. Capsaicin is the specific chemical which creates that spicy heat of the pepper; this heat is measured on the Scoville scale. The purest capsaicin is rated at a Scoville heat unit of 15-16 million; the law enforcement pepper spray has a Scoville heat unit of 5-5.3 million. Peppers like the Pepperoncini and Banana pepper have a Scoville heat unit of 100-900.

How does the Pepper spray work?

Pepper spray is a lachrymatory agent, a chemical component which will cause a severe burning sensation in your aggressor’s eyes with copious tears, coughing and difficulty breathing. The aggressor’s eyes will close involuntarily, the nose runs, and moist skin will sting.

When should I use pepper spray?

The main idea is to be prepared, so always be sure to carry a can of pepper spray with you. It is recommended that you carry your can of pepper spray in hand when walking alone, entering building, hallways, elevators, parking lots, etc. It’s practical positive prevention that should only be used when you feel threatened. After spraying an attacker, escape to safety immediately and call the police. Do not try to apprehend the attacker.

How do you use the Pepper spray?

You must profit from the surprise effect, because that aggressor feels that he will get you (or what he wants from you easily) by using the element of surprise. At the last moment, when you feel it's time (he or she is close to you), just spray it from ear to ear across your opponent’s eyes.

The attacker may have difficulty with their vision (anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes, according to the power of the spray), so you can escape to safety and call 911. However, some people under the effects of Drugs or Alcohol will not be affected. However, if the spray is powerful enough, your attacker cannot see anything. Once you have sprayed your assailant, you must act very fast, because the second spray will not be as effective as the first one.

Please be careful and use your own personal judgment on whether or not you should use your pepper spray. Be sure to check your local laws on the use of pepper spray and read all instructions before you begin carrying a can of pepper spray.

What is your favorite self-denfense weapon? Don’t forget to check out our product review section and be sure to like us on Facebook.

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