Crimes against women have increased markedly over the last 5 years. Police statistics show that Gender-based violence, assault, rape and femicide have become commonplace yet few women fight back. Why not fight like Bruce Lee and win?

Fight like Bruce Lee and Win

Crimes against women have increased markedly over the last 5 years. Police statistics show that Gender-based violence, assault, rape and femicide have become commonplace yet few women fight back. Why not fight like Bruce Lee and win?

Possibly, this inability to strike first or strike back when defending yourself has to do with fear. Fear of reprisal; fear of retaliation; and fear of being too weak.

Yet, every man provides four circles as a target: two eyeballs; two vehicles. The question is: how do you hit them consistently and accurately?

The secret to street fighting, and self-defence generally, is to use speed, aggression and surprise. But, an easy to use system also helps.

The 3 phases of a fight

When somebody assaults you, it is difficult to know how to respond. This is why the gross motor and simple system we teach on our H.E A.T. courses is so brutally effective.

1. Entry

You have to enter a fight. However scared you might be, getting in to the fight is necessary. This is because you need to get into the most effective lethal range to end the fight. You need to be close enough to use your elbows, knees, headbutt and any weapon you might have.

2. Pressure

In this second phase, you apply pressure on your opponent using punches. You punch hard towards your assailant’s centre line. Throw a series of punches to force them to run backwards.

3. Termination

You have to finish the fight. Once you start throwing punches and force your opponent to run backwards, they cannot maintain momentum. So, move closer and head butt them or use your knees and elbows to cause injury

By Benedict Weaver / Zero Foundation Africa

Learning this fighting technique on one our H.E.A.T. courses means the best possible outcome for you.
Learn more about how Zero Foundation Africa can help you.

Escape from restraints like Houdini

Escape from restraints like Houdini

There is a very real need to know how to escape from restraints. The reason is not to prevent embarrassment when enacting a scene from the film 50 Shades of Grey but rather to escape a dangerous situation- at home or in the workplace. What if you could escape from restraints like Houdini did?

Home invasions are on the increase as are robberies at work. Criminals typically restrain occupants after breaking into their home or office. The commonest restraints is duct tape, but rope and flexicuffs are also used.

If you are restrained by such criminals, is there any hope that you can survive the encounter. Absolutely yes, if you attend one of our hostile environment awareness training (H.E A.T.) courses in Cape Town.

These life-changing H.E.A.T. courses teach practical and effective personal safety and security techniques. All our training is based on practical instruction that has been tried and tested. You practice what we teach.

3 ways to get out of restraints:

1. Duct tape

This is the most common means of restraining someone. Duct tape is cheap to buy and has a reputation for fixing anything. Yet, when your hands (and feet) are duct taped, you can break free using either leverage or friction. We show you how in a matter of seconds.

2. Flexi-cuffs

Single use flexi-cuffs are plastic handcuffs made from nylon. Cheap and lightweight, they are available in single and double cuff styles. Using a simple technique involving paracord (often sold as a bracelet) or technora cord, you can escape in less than a few seconds.

3. Rope

Rope is made from a group of strands that are twisted together into a larger and stronger form. As rope or similar cordage is found in many homes and office premises, criminals use it to tie up their victims. Yet, if you widen your elbows when presenting your wrists to be bound, you can escape in seconds using a see-sawing action.

Being restrained during a home invasion, office robbery, abduction or kidnapping, does not mean that you cannot escape to safety.

You do not need to be a travelling executive, journalist or aid worker to face the risk of being unlawfully restrained. Home invasions are common and false imprisonment a fact of life for many victims of domestic violence.

By Benedict Weaver / Zero Foundation Africa

To break free; join us on our courses and learn to escape from restraints like Houdini.
Learn more about how Zero Foundation Africa can help you.

Read clouds like a Weather Forecaster.

Read clouds like a Weather Forecaster.

Clouds are formed by a cooling process. As air temperatures drop at a rate of 2°C per 300 meters, the water vapour in the air will condense to form a visible cloud when cooled to a ” dew point”. Learn how to read clouds like a weather forecaster and harness this knowledge to survive any hostile environment.

When the dew point equals the air temperature, the air cannot hold any more water vapor and clouds become visible.

The word cloud comes from the Old English (1320s) word “clud”. This described a rock formation because that is what clouds look like.

Yet, the names for all five categories of clouds are Latin in origin. Their names are: cirro, alto, strato, nimbo and cumulo. These words describe the height and shape of the cloud. Recognising these types of cloud will help you predict the weather.

What are the 5 types of clouds?

  1. Cirro= lock of hair. These wispy looking clouds exist at 6000 metres altitude and above.
  2. Alto= middle. These clouds are thicker and exist around 4000 metres altitude.
  3. Strato= layer. These clouds are stratified and have a layered look.
  4. Nimbo= cloud. These clouds exist above the freezing point in the atmosphere and exist around 2000 metres altitude.
  5. Cumulo= heap or pile. They exist at all levels of the atmosphere. At low levels, they look like cotton balls. Other times they look softer but larger in appearance. The largest ones are massive clouds reaching the troposphere and beyond.

Learn to recognise the different types of cloud to anticipate bad weather, persistent rain, or mist. You can plan your shelter needs accordingly.

By Benedict Weaver / Zero Foundation Africa

To learn how to read clouds like a weather forecaster and to understand how to read the weather and plan accordingly, attend one of our courses.
Learn more about how Zero Foundation Africa can help you.

Get realistic training to survive in a Hostile Environment.

Get realistic training to survive in a Hostile Environment.

A survivor is defined as “a person who copes well with difficulties in their life”. You can get realistic training to survive in a Hostile Environment. Anyone reading this article can relate to that definition even if the types of difficulties we have personally faced are not the same as each other’s.

Alison Clarke:

Stepped outside of a Cape Town night club to get some fresh air before going back inside. A man approached her and suddenly started touching her inappropriately. She could have panicked, frozen in place, and become a victim but instead, remembering her training, she did what is known as the “Trident” – and it saved her life. The best part of the Trident is that it is a simple self-defence technique anyone can master.

Scott O’Grady:

Was flying a peacekeeping mission over Bosnia in June 1995. His F16 jet was hit by a missile and he ejected. On landing, he grabbed his bail-out bag and survived for a week behind enemy lines. The contents of that bail-out bag saved him until he was rescued by US Marines.

The two examples above are from different scenarios but both reflect difficulties handled well under pressure.

Every employer has a Duty of Care (DoC) responsibility to its staff and contractors working on the company premises. However, this responsibility extends beyond the physical workplace when staff travel abroad on company business. Then, your staff represent the ethos and business practices of your company. If their travel experience could expose them to the risk of loss of life, liberty, or limb, then their employer must ensure that the corporate traveller has the necessary skillset to avoid preventable death, detention or bodily damage.

Such a skillset is taught during hostile environment awareness training (H.E.A.T.) courses, which are available in South Africa, equip employees with the ability to operate effectively when seemingly benign situations turn hostile.

The benefits of a two-day H.E.A.T. course:

  • It will provide details of their company’s corporate travel security policy and procedures. (If your company doesn’t have a policy, one needs to be developed before the pandemic ends and travel resumes).
  • It will showcase the pre-planning that needs to be carried out before leaving staff leave their home country: key areas include destination intelligence about the foreign country; meet and greet protocols at airports; routes to hotels; local resources for emergency medical situations; and evacuation process along corridors of safety and emergency communications.
  • It will introduce the concept of “Everyday Carry (EDC)” – by knowing what kit to carry and how to use it, staff will be more self-reliant and capable of operating with confidence in a hostile environment, which will in turn provide the company with sufficient time to arrange for a controlled and safe evacuation.
  • It will allow staff to make informed decisions about where to spend their leisure time without exposing themselves or the company to physical, financial, or reputational risk.
  • It will show management how to prepare a debriefing on their return.
  • The nature of this debriefing is to provide management with lessons learned; marketing intelligence about the competition; and identified risks to other employees travelling on business.


By Benedict Weaver / Zero Foundation Africa

Get realistic training to survive in a Hostile Environment. Sign up for a H.E.A.T course today .

Find out more about how Zero Foundation Africa can help you.

Hydrate or Die: A guide to drinking water

Hydrate or Die: A guide to drinking water

Water is essential to life. But, how do we drink enough to maintain a hydrated body, especially in a survival situation? This is Hydrate or Die: A guide to drinking water.

We all think that we have different hydration needs and tend to drink fluids other than water when thirsty. Yet, general rule of thumb is to consume 30ml per kg of 9body weight. So, a 80 kg man requires 2 .4 litres a day but a 60kg woman only needs 1.8 litres.

Whilst finding such volumes may be easy in everyday life, the situation changes dramatically when a man-made or natural disaster happens. Why do you need such an amount of water and should you ration it?

The six reasons your body needs water

  1. Water is a sensory aid because it conducts nervous impulses around the body.
  2. Water helps us digest food in the stomach. If you do not have water, do not eat.
  3. Water is vital for waste removal. The kidneys flush out bodily toxins in urine. Do not drink your urine unless on a TV show.
  4. Water cools and moistens the lungs. This prevents the irritation of the pulmonary linings and helps with your breathing.
  5. Water provides lubrication around the joints and gives soft tissue extra cushioning.
  6. Water is the delivery system for oxygen and nutrients around the body.
By understanding why you need water and how much, is it a good idea to ration it, especially in a survival situation?

This question causes much debate in the survival community with differing opinions.

The most common suggestion is to conserve your water supplies and not drink for the first 24 hours. This might make sense if you can lie around and not do anything but does not make sense in a true survival situation.

At the onset of a disaster, you need to be able to think clearly and rationally. To be able to do so, you need to be hydrated. Also, building shelter, tending to the injured, bugging out of the area or creating signaling devices will be hard and require you to drink water.

Lastly, if you drink nothing for the first 24 hours, you might become so dehydrated that whatever you do drink will be ineffective.

So, rather than ration your water, attend one of our H.E.A.T. courses and learn how to find and purify water in any hostile environment. Always be hydrated so you can survive and thrive.

Learn more about how to stay hydrated in business throughout Africa here.

make a fire like a pyromaniac

Make a fire like a pyromaniac

Make a fire like a pyromaniac. Fire was controlled by humans over a million years ago. Yet, the ability to make a fire has been lost to many in the modern world. Although we have several fire starting devices such as matches, lighters and piezo igniters, few people can light a fire quickly and ensure that it continues to burn effectively.

Darwin claimed that fire was one of Man’s greatest inventions.

Making a fire:

  • Boosts morale
  • Provides illumination.
  • Creates warmth.
  • Dries out wet objects.
  • Can be used to purify water.

Fire has also assisted with providing the high quality diet which has increased humans’ brain size.

Use these 6 steps to light a fire under any conditions:

  1. You only need 3 materials: tinder, kindling and fuel. They must all be dry and collected in sufficient amounts to start and sustain your fire.
  2. Ensure that the ground or area that you are going to light your fire is safe. Never light a fire directly on the ground. Lay a platform of green wood. Contain the fire with a circle of other green wood or non-porous rocks.
  3. Place your tinder ball (comprising dry and combustible man-made or natural material) on the platform and light it. Apart from matches and a lighter, there are many ways to create a spark and ignite your tinder. Attend one of our courses to find out how.
  4. Once the tinder is lit, arrange small pieces of kindling on the burning tinder in the form of a teepee. This allows the fire to breathe and the kindling to burn.
  5. As the fire catches and the kindling burns, add larger pieces of kindling to the fire. The burning kindling will fall into the centre and create a bed of embers. These embers will help ignite the new kindling added.
  6. Once the fire is established and burning for 5 minutes or more, lay a small log on the wind-facing side and another log on the other side. Add more wood across the two logs to build a log cabin of fuel. The fire will now burn for as long as you supply wood. There are several types of fire you can build depending on your needs: a Dakota hole, automatic, snake hole, hunter or long log.

The Apaches, extraordinary fire makers on the North American plains, observed the difference between their fire control techniques and the Settlers. The Settlers built huge fires and sat away from the heat. The Apache built small fires and sat close to the heat. What type of sustainable firemaker are you?

To understand how to make a fire in any survival situation, attend a H.E.A.T. course.

To understand how you can be the best corporate sustainable firemaker, learn more at our website.


how to tell if you are under surveilance

How to know if you are under surveillance?

How to know if you are under surveillance? We are all under some degree of surveillance every day. Whether you are being tracked by cameras on public roads or monitored by sensors in shops, the reality is that the modern world is a surveillance state.

  • But, what happens when everyday surveillance by cameras and sensors becomes hostile?
  • How do you protect yourself and your loved ones from being watched by those who want to harm you?

The answer lies in knowledge and tactics. Understand what surveillance is, recognise such activity and anticipate the threat. Knowledge dispels fear.

Surveillance of persons, places or objects involves watching and observing. Sometimes this surveillance is conducted openly but more often it is covert.

As a technique for gathering information, surveillance is a powerful tool. Surveillance can help the observer make connections, identify relationships, produce new leads to collate evidence or simply monitor types of behavior.

There are three common surveillance methods:
  1. Human,
  2. Electronic
  3. Aerial.

These methods can involve either audio or visual. Aerial ( eg: drone) and satellite surveillance involves more complex methods.

Whatever methods are used, learn how to protect yourself from hostile surveillance.

  • Are you a target of surveillance and, if so, by whom?
  • Do you have a jilted lover or aggrieved work colleague?
  • Do you have a special skillset?

Sometimes, you might simply be perceived to be a kidnap target and attract unwanted attention.

Every surveillance operation begins with target identification. The hostile surveillance team needs to know who you are and where you live. Can you identify suitable ” perches” that could be used to view activities in your home? If you park in the street, can someone attach a GPS device for tracking or monitoring purposes? When walking or driving alone , do you feel confident or scared?
Such feelings might help save your life.

What can you do?
  1. If you suspect electronic surveillance using video and audio, consider where such covert device could be physically placed. Good equipment is difficult to find, so it is recommended to use a TSCM debugging service.
  2. When driving, always maintain situational awareness. Observe vehicles up to 3 hours behind and keep turning left in a square toidentify who is following you. You could consider driving into a cul-de-sac and, with another friend, block the tailing vehicle. This will give you an opportunity to learn about the surveillance team.
  3. When walking, casually bend down to pick up some litter. From this position look around you to identify a ” pavement artist”. Go into a shop and travel the escalators to a higher floor. Activate your Bluetooth app to check for repeat connections and move in a way that comprises areas of cover.

Much counter and anti surveillance techniques are used to ensure that you are not under surveillance. You then need to develop best practices by hiring a professional TSCM sweep team.

To learn more on how to know if you are under surveillance; visit this website.

To learn more on hiring professional TSCM sweep teams throughout Africa, visit our website.

grab bag

Which bag to choose in an emergency?

Which bag to choose in an emergency? There are many descriptions of the type of bag to take with you in an emergency. However, whatever the bag is called, the contents need to be lightweight, functional and applicable to your surroundings. To help you choose those contents, consider these two types of bags: a ” grab bag” and a ” bug out bag”. The former supplements the latter rather than being exclusive use.

So, what is a “grab bag?”.

The bag is small, lightweight and should hang behind the bathroom door in your hotel room. At home, it could be near the door you most commonly use to exit the house.

The grab bag needs to sustain you for the first 24 hours during an emergency. Looking at the contents of the bag, could you survive for a day or longer? If not, review the contents and adapt them to your environment and anticipated disaster eg: emergency evacuation, forced relocation, natural or man-made disaster.

The contents should include: 2x bottles of water and some snacks. Pack a warm and waterproof jacket and a pair of clean socks. Have a knife, fire kit, torch and small medical kit. Ensure you have a fully charged phone with a local sim card, pre-programmed emergency numbers and a solar powered power bank.

Surprisingly, given the light weight and size of these items, you will be able to survive the aftermath of any disaster for at least a day, often two.

A “bug out bag” has a different purpose.

The bag should also be light but this is because you might have to walk long distances or over obstacles. Combining the contents of both bags will help you survive for a week or more after a disaster.

You can choose a more comprehensive range of gear because you might need to survive for 3 days or more following a disaster. Rarely do emergency services respond quicker than that timeline In African countries, so you have to be self-reliant. But, realize that you can survive any disaster if you remain dry, warm, rested and hydrated. The following kit list will help.

1. A fire kit:

Containing a full lighter, ferro rod with striker, tinder and matches. Fire has many uses, not least being a morale booster.

2. A bottle of water:

Locally purchased. No need to sterilize bought water.

3. A survival filter:

Plastic bag and water sterilization tablets. Use the plastic bag as a spare water container.

4. A small stove:

Consider carrying 4x wall nails, a small pot or enamel cup and a spoon. Fuel can be natural or manufactured. Start a small fire with a tampon or cotton wool balls smeared with Vaseline

5. Pack a shemagh and a pair of gloves:

To supplement the spare clothing in your grab bag . For extra warmth, include a set of women’s tights. They are also an effective barrier against mosquito bites.

6. Additional food can be carried, especially if you anticipate bugging out for a few days:

Carry a brew kit, which should include the means of making several hot sweet drinks or cups of bouillon. Apart from nuts, dried meat, packed tuna and dried fruit, carry rations consisting of oatmeal, rice, noodles and boil-in-the-bag or freeze-dried meals. Include some salt and spices to provide at least one palatable meal a day. A small tin opener will prove useful.

7. The torch in your grab bag can be supplemented with a head torch and spare batteries:

Extend your peripheral vision by strapping the head torch around your waist rather than on your head. You will illuminate a greater area of the ground in front and around you.

8. A medical kit:

Contained in a small and sealable plastic bag, should include tablets for various ailments such as pain, nausea and diarrhea.

9. An encrypted flash drive (digital copy)of your vital documents.

The original documents (eg: passport, driver’s license and credit cards) should always be concealed on your person.

10. Pack a multi tool or folding knife

7 meters of paracord for cordage and a compass for navigation.

11. Carry cash to the value of $ 500.00 in both local and foreign currency.

This money can be used to bribe others or buy supplies.

To learn about what kit to carry and how to use it effectively, attend one of our courses.

To learn more about corporate security throughout Africa, visit our website.

How to save a life when travelling

How to save a life when travelling

How to save a life when travelling. Travel can be dangerous, especially if an emergency occurs and there is no suitable medical infrastructure or resources available. If this happens, you need to be prepared and use your individual first aid kit ( IFAK). Your IFAK can be small and compact but needs to be more comprehensive than a few basic first aid items often carried by travellers.

What should you pack? The contents of your IFAK should reflect the nature of the environment you are travelling to and your anticipated medical risks. To help you prioritize, use this acronym: MARCH.

M= multiple hemorrhaging.
  • Bleeding to death can occur in seconds unless treated promptly. Carry two CAT tourniquets, an Israeli bandage (T3) and Quikclot.
A= airway.
  • Always ensure that the patient’s airway is clear and they can breathe. Carry two pairs of nitrile gloves and trauma scissors to remove restrictive clothing. Use Artificial Respiration (AR) by lying the patient on their back. Tilt their head back, raise the chin, pinch the nostrils and breath into their mouth. Carry a nasopharyngeal airway device (NPA) to protect yourself when performing AR.
R= respiratory.
  • Make sure that the patient’s heart is beating. This ensures that oxygenated blood is reaching the brain and other organs.
C= circulation.
  • Ensure that the patient’s heart is beating and oxygen is being delivered throughout the body. If the patient is not breathing, start chest compressions. Perform this CPR until the patient can start breathing naturally. Carry two chest seals and some duct tape.
H= hypothermia.
  • Wind, cold, wetness and tiredness cause hypothermia. Move the patient into shelter, remove wet clothing and wrap them in an emergency blanket.

You can supplement the above emergency first aid items with medication to counter pain, diarrhea and nausea. Also, carry some rehydrate to replace electrolytes and bandages with an antiseptic for dressing minor cuts.

Learn how to save a life when travelling. Get the medical knowledge and practice you need by joining one of our H.E.F.A T. courses. Click here now.

For more information on corporate security throughout Africa. Click here now.

travel risk assessment

Never travel without this risk assessment

You should never travel without this risk assessment. The security professional is responsible for protecting these 4 key assets of an organisation: Property, People, Information and Reputation.

Yet, each industry has its own focus on risk whether it be financial, operational or digital. However, only one risk has the potential to create a perfect storm and adversely affect all those 4 key assets contemporaneously: Travel. Read more