By Jim Hoerricks

Let’s get one thing straight, for all intents and purposes there is no Second Amendment in Los Angeles – or any part of urban California for that matter.

Every aspect of your association with firearms is strictly controlled in Los Angeles. From a purposeful lack of gun stores, to ammo shortages, to carry restrictions, to the inability for peaceful and law abiding citizens to be able to openly carry firearms, the Second Amendment has not restricted the local government from infringing on the right of the people here to keep and bear arms.

Remember, the Constitution does not enforce itself. If those entrusted to it’s enforcement will not do so, who will? While the Libertarian Party of California is busy identifying, cultivating, and electing new freedom loving candidates to local and state offices, what are you to do for your self-defense needs? Without firearms (and without involving the state), how will you protect yourself and those whom you love?

The answer to this question lies deep within the past.

In the 1920’s, the newly formed Soviet Union had a problem to solve. It needed to train a new army to fight, but it lacked money and materials to properly arm its soldiers. Additionally, given that it just went through a rather violent revolution, the new political leadership didn’t exactly trust a bunch of peasants with rifles. The Russian martial art of Sambo was created out of this conundrum.

САМозащита Без Оружия (SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya, or Sambo for short) literally translates as “self-defense without weapons.” Victor Spiridonov, a Russian army officer, Vasiliy Oschepkov, a holder of the second Dan in Judo, and Anatoly Kharlampiev blended the traditional wrestling styles of the Russian empire with Japanese Judo and Jiu Jitsu and the various hand-to-hand boxing styles of the day. Sambo thus became the original mixed martial art. These men each had a hand in establishing and improving the hand-to-hand combat system of the new Red Army.

A few years later, in the Jewish Quarter of Bratislava (in what is now Slovakia), a young boxer/wrestler made use of his martial arts skills to defend his neighbors against fascist thugs in early days of World War II. In the late 1940’s, following his migration to the new nation of Israel, Imi Lichtenfeld began private combat training to the group that is now known as the Israel Defense Force. This combat system, Krav Maga, with its mix of Aikido, Boxing, Judo and Wrestling, is known for its focus on real-world situations and is extremely efficient and effective.

Back to the original question, without weapons, how will you protect yourself and those whom you love when the state leaves you purposefully defenseless? The short answer – Sambo and/or Krav Maga.

In either system, you will learn to use your brain and your body to diffuse situations without resorting to violence. You will condition your body to be able to withstand an attack from one or multiple attackers, should you ever be attacked. You will learn to defend yourself against a knife, stick, bat, gun, rifle, etc. You will learn to utilize common, everyday objects in your offense and defense. You will learn to be effective in your counter attacks so that you and those that you protect will have the greatest likelihood of getting to safety. Carjacking, kidnapping, rape, etc., all aspects of defense are explored as you progress through the systems.

As a Libertarian, I believe in non-aggression. I also do not wish to risk another’s life to save mine. However, I know that criminals don’t care that I’m a peaceful person. Thus, in an unarmed Los Angeles, I must have a way to defend myself. With Sambo and Krav Maga, I have a set of tools at my disposal to help me navigate Los Angeles. These tools are mine and can’t be confiscated at a traffic stop or removed from the safe in my home.

In terms of disclosure, I currently train in both systems. There are several Krav Maga centers around Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. I happen to train at Krav Maga Unyted in downtown (4th / Main). Sambo instruction can be found in the San Fernando Valley. I’m also fortunate enough to have enough acreage at home to build a small training area outside where I train both systems with my children on the weekends.

 Jim Hoerricks is a Digital Forensic Analyst, educator, best selling author, elected official (L), combat wrestling enthusiast, and an At-Large Member of the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of California.