Thursday, June 26, 2008

O.C. can you see...

I enjoyed this video (watch out for non-family language). It brought back memories of when I was in grad school and working as a private security officer. We were made to qualify with OC (oleoresin capsicum) with the same training folks the Sheriff's office used, part of which involved being sprayed.

This video really demonstrated one important point very well:
OC spray is a strong irritant, but is not debilitating in most cases. This girl ran a (simple) obstacle course and performed fairly well in physical combat skills even after taking a goodly dose full-on.
When we were taking the SO's OC ccourse they highlighted some studies that had been done with OC. The researchers would spray a participant and have them navigate an obstacle course (around folding tables, etc...) with the goal of touching the sprayer before having to be washed off. 100% of particiants were able to find, catch, and touch the sprayer (who was told to evade at a walking pace), regardless of age, gender, etc...
The moral of this story: If you are considering OC spray as a self-defense, please reconsider.


  1. On the other hand, in my experience, it works great on bad ol' puppy dogs.

    You know, the kind that think they're supposed to assault the medical equipment delivery guy...

  2. Now, Dan,

    That brings up a potentially GREAT line of discussion...

    There's this common experience in the martial arts of having to learn to turn off the higher thinking part of the mind in order to let the lower, animal (if you will) brain control the body more efficiently. When we let the thinking mind interfere with the animal mind we get sucky, hesitant movement.

    But in this example you brought up, the animal mind is often unable to function when OC'd.

    Why is it that the higher mind interferes with the animal mind in situations of stress but the higher mind also lets us push through a nuisance (like OC) toward a goal?

  3. The cognitive portion (higher mind) gives us great tools, but it also puts a layer between thought and action. I think your example pretty much verifies that in various types of stress it gets in the way, but in others it's a powerful tool.


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