Self Defense and the Pooper Scooper

by Johnny Pain

Throughout history, man has invented and used tools to accomplish a variety of actions. A tool is simply anything that provides a more efficient means of completing a task. Modern weapons such as firearms, knives, and clubs, are nothing more than tools that allow violence to be performed on another human being in a more efficient manner than the average person is capable of doing with their empty hands. This is important to understand in the context of combat science (I am deliberately avoiding the term self defense here, go back and read “The Fallacy of Self Defense” for a better understanding of my reasoning). This article will provide some insight on the advantages and limitations of ancillary tools of violence such as the weapons listed above.

I titled this article “Self Defense and the Pooper Scooper” because we are talking about tools here. A pooper scooper is simply a tool that some use to perform a task that most would rather not perform with their hands. It’s not that one can’t collect their dog’s waste with a bag turned inside out over the hand, it’s simply that the scooper makes things easier, saves the dog owner from bending down, and places a distance barrier between the person’s hand, and the dog shit.

If you think about it, there’s not much difference between a pooper scooper and a firearm in terms of how they add value to the owner. A firearm allows one to injure, incapacitate, or even kill another person from a distance. A simple stroke or strokes of the trigger, and another human being can potentially be taken out of the picture.

Powerful, huh?

Absolutely. This is why firearms are such an effective and sought after tool of violence. Looking back at what I said in my last article, you can see how a firearm purchased or carried for “self defense” is erroneously described. The weapon will not do anything to defend you or your loved ones. It will not call the police, it will not spring into action from your bedside in the event of a home invasion, and it will not keep someone from raping you. Without your brain’s intent to fire the weapon into the vitals of another human being, the firearm amounts to nothing more than a very expensive paperweight.

Should you choose to kill another human being, a firearm is an excellent tool. The single biggest problem with that statement is that in order for it to be effective at that purpose, it needs to be in your hand when you need it.

Many people purchase firearms for in their homes, or even acquire licenses to carry firearms where they are legally obtained. Their logic is that the weapon is their self-defense tool. It makes them feel warm at night by its sheer presence.

“Nothing can hurt me or my family, I keep a gun in the nightstand”.

“I feel safe walking the streets because I’m packing a .45”.

Again, the problem here is that the weapon had better be in your hand or drawn when you need it.

We see this same idea with knives as well as other tools like pepper sprays and stun guns. All of these tools can be applied effectively in certain situations and under the right conditions, but it is a grave mistake to base your own personal survival preparedness or that of your loved ones on any object that you can put in your hand.

As I’ve said before, the only true weapon is the human brain. Once your brain is aware of the critical shift necessary from self preservation to the destruction of another human or humans as outlined in my previous article, it is then necessary to learn to use the other weapon that you have available with you all day, everyday, wherever you go, your body.

Throughout the years, many have come to me to teach them how to use firearms, or to a lesser degree, knives for the purpose of self-defense. After I explained to them that neither tool could be used to protect anyone, that they were instead tools for injuring others, I followed by refusing to teach them how to use any ancillary tools until they were capable of incapacitating, or killing another human under any circumstances with only the weapons of their body.

I don’t want to hear a story about a woman being raped and murdered while digging for her pepper spray in her purse, or after the attacker(s) laugh at her when she sprays them (save the comments about how that wouldn’t happen with X or Y brand of sprays, I’m very familiar with what’s on the market).

I hate hearing about the homeowner who is beaten to death in his home that was unable to get to (or load) his firearm in time to bring it into action.

Simply put, gambling with your life is not something that you should do. Betting it all on black, in this case the weapon of choice, is nothing short of asinine.

Nothing about a weapon makes you less susceptible to violence.

Nothing about a weapon makes you better at doing violence to another human (an attribute that I promise you the asocial, amoral attacker you will face will possess to a much greater degree than you).

Nothing about a weapon increases your intent to do harm to another human. As a matter of fact, those who purchase firearms for the “deterrent” effect that they possess, as in “I pull my gun and he capitulates and the situation ends” are already thinking in a manner that will get them killed.

  • I don’t train people to be knife-fighters, though we do spend a lot of time teaching you to use the knife.
  • I don’t train stick-fighters, though the last thing an asocial attacker would ever want to encounter is one of our people armed with a club of some sort.
  • I don’t train people to be gun-fighters, though they are fully capable of manipulating and effectively using a variety of modern firearms.

I train people in principles that apply regardless of whatever tool is their hand, AND regardless of whatever tool may be in the other guy’s hand.

Violence is violence, it doesn’t matter if you are armed or unarmed, whether he has a gun, whether there is more than one of him, whether you are standing, seated, or on the ground. The same principles apply.

In my next article I will provide an overview of the training process that I use with clients. This will be the format of my upcoming September Seminar at the new facility.

It is absolutely important that one become fluent in the language of violence in order to come out on top when all bets are off and it is truly time to fight for your life.

If you disagree with that simple statement, then sleep safely knowing that your knife, gun, club, taser, pepper spray, or pooper scooper has first watch and will see you and your loved ones through the storm.


Johnny Pain is the man behind as well as the East Coast’s notorious Greyskull Barbell Club, the newly launched Greyskull Academy of Combat Sciences, and several other ventures. He is the author of several books on subjects pertaining to strength and conditioning. He can be found comically entertaining questions on his Q and A forum at or can be reached for consultations, training seminars, or speaking engagements at

Also, you can follow him on Twitter: @thejohnnypain


4 Responses

  1. Worth

    Ahhhh – How I miss the days where the photo was a sexy woman. I get the intent of the photo though. Good article. Will there be an ebook after the seminar for those of us who cannot make the trip?

    June 14, 2013 at 8:17 am

  2. It’s not about what is in your hands; it’s where your mind is. If you don’t switch to “two enter, one leave” you will always lose.

    June 16, 2013 at 10:32 am

  3. AP

    So, your upcoming seminar cost $500. So if someone drives or flies up to Pa, gets a room for the weekend, and pays for various items during the weekend, they are looking at upwards of $700-$1000. Now, they will get just over 2.5 days of your “hands-on experience necessary to use the tool of violence for the survival of yourself or your loved ones in the face of an asocially violent situation.”

    Really man? Why not spend this money over the course of a year (maybe even two years) learning Systema, Silat, Eskrima, CSW, pistol range time, etc? This seems more of a overpriced gimmick without an ounce of actual integrity involved.

    June 16, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    • AP,

      The event is designed to instruct attendees and allow for a concentrated amount of time (12+ hrs)actually applying the principles presented. The immersion format is in my opinion far superior to an hour here and there spread over a period of time. The attendees will learn principles which will allow them to problem solve (which they will be forced to do all weekend) regardless of the circumstances. Further practice is always encouraged and there will be a section on how to best conduct this.

      As for the cost, the investment that you are describing is not insignificant by any means, but neither is the quantity and quality of instruction and application. In my experience, most are not bargain shopping when it comes to their lives and the lives of their loved ones. $500 plus the ancillary expenses is hardly overpriced for two and a half days of instruction (in my opinion).

      I don’t see how this becomes an integrity issue, seeing as though attendees are receiving a valuable set of skills. This is of course a capitalist society, where the exchange of goods ands services for money is welcomed. I don’t feel that anyone thinks I have an obligation to teach the world for free (though the free content that will be released on the site will be extensive).

      The best thing I can tell you AP with regards to your concerns is to check back in after the event to read and view the testimonials from those in attendance. I can assure you that they will be more than pleased with the return on their investment.

      Best of luck in your training.

      June 16, 2013 at 10:43 pm

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