Pepper Spray 101: How to Protect Yourself at a Distance
4.4 (9 ratings)
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Pepper Spray 101: How to Protect Yourself at a Distance

Learn how to PROPERLY and EFFECTIVELY use your pepper spray for self-defense so that you can be ready for any attacker!
4.4 (9 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
545 students enrolled
Created by Ulrich Faircloth
Last updated 2/2016
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  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand the historical, physical and psychological implications of pepper spray as a self-defense tool.
  • Distinguish between the different spray patterns and choose the best one(s) for your circumstances.
  • Choose the BEST pepper spray possible.
  • Carry and deploy your pepper spray.
  • Discern, react to, engage and disengage from a threat decisively and with precision.
  • React to a variety of special circumstances outside of normal threat conditions.
  • Decontaminate yourself or others affected by pepper spray.
  • Store your spray safely and replace it when needed.
  • Purchase a spray with an in-depth knowledge of state and federal laws, as well as restrictions in other countries outside the United States.
View Curriculum
  • No experience required. Just be ready to learn and apply.

If you were attacked in an instance, would you be able to react decisively enough to stop the threat? Would you even know how to use your spray? Who's to say that you wouldn't spray yourself by accident, hold it incorrectly and have it snatched away from you or knocked from your hand by an attacker? My guess is that you are not well-versed in the mechanics of utilizing pepper spray for self-defense. Otherwise you would not be here.

So many people lack the training necessary to properly deploy their spray, react to and effectively neutralize a threat. They make the mistake of treating their defense spray like a toy, when it is really a weapon. And like any weapon, it requires proper training.

Without that training you might as well be walking around empty-handed, because that spray will not do you any good when you fumble to look for it in your purse, realize that you forgot to bring it with you or become paralyzed with fear when suddenly attacked. Your attacker is NOT going to wait for you to put up a defense, build up confidence or give you time to react to his or her predatory advances. You need to be ready for the fight before it even begins. And I will help show you how.

So what can you expect to learn in this class? Everything on pepper spray defense.

I will teach you how to:

  • Use the best non-lethal self-defense tool to protect yourself from harm.
  • Avoid common mistakes that put you in danger.
  • Prepare you for when your defense spray FAILS.
  • Be cognizant of your surroundings, reaction time and how to escape the threat.
  • And so much more...

If you use or are considering using pepper spray for self-defense you absolutely MUST take this course if you want to be thoroughly prepared. I will guide you through every step and personally answer any questions you may have regarding usage of defense sprays. As a personal safety expert and someone passionate about crime prevention, I will ensure that you are prepared for any future altercation requiring the use of a pepper spray.

Who is the target audience?
  • You SHOULD take this course if you carry pepper spray or plan to have it for self-defense.
  • You SHOULD take this course if you want to learn how to properly use your pepper spray for protection and avoid serious mistakes that could put you in more danger.
  • You SHOULD take this course if you are a college student, live or work in a dangerous neighborhood or simply fear for your safety.
  • You SHOULD NOT take this course if you: think a dangerous situation is "never going to happen" to you, prefer to be complacent or have no serious interest in knowing how to protect yourself when that time comes.
  • You SHOULD NOT take this course if you feel that all you need to do is simply "spray and shoot" when you are attacked. You will learn the hard way that there is more to it than that, but by that time it will probably too late.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 28 Lectures Collapse All 28 Lectures 02:19:43
Introduction to Pepper Spray
4 Lectures 22:29

See an overview of what the course entails and determine if it is a good fit.

Preview 04:05

Learn about the rise of pepper spray throughout the ages of human history, starting with its use in flavoring in food, through chemical warfare and up to its modern development for self-defense.

Preview 05:19

There are multiple physiological effects involved with pepper spray. Defense sprays affect the nervous system and also involve psychological stress. This lecture will give you a breakdown of everything that happens to an affected person.

Physiological Effects of Pepper Spray

Understand that there are advantages and disadvantages to using any self-defense product. Pepper spray has its own, from the ability to effectively incapacitate an attacker to the fear of getting blowback from windy conditions. In this lecture we will discuss all of the positives and negatives, as well as briefly compare how pepper spray fares against other self-defense options.

Advantages & Disadvantages
Dispersal/Spray Patterns
4 Lectures 13:20

Out of all the dispersal patterns, stream-type sprays are the most commonly used. In this lecture you will learn what the advantages and disadvantages are in their use based on environmental conditions, location, range and effectiveness in subduing a target.

Preview 03:25

Cone-mist and fogger-type pepper sprays allow you to effectively engage multiple targets with little effort. In this lecture will learn what situations they work best in and circumstances in which they fare poorly.

Cone & Fog

Foam-type sprays work differently than the stream or fog patterns. They are good for limiting cross-contamination, but have their own drawbacks. You will learn everything in this lecture.


Gel-type sprays leave a sticky residue and work well in enclosed areas. In this lecture you will get a rundown of how well it works, in addition to how it compares to the other spray patterns.

Choosing a Defense Spray
4 Lectures 27:58

You probably had no clue that pepper spray and "mace" were two completely things, right? The differences are pretty substantial. In this lecture you will learn the comparative effects between the two as well as a historical overview behind mace as a substance and a brand.

Pepper Spray (OC) vs. “Mace” (CN/CS)

Here we will dive into some technical details regarding the specific factors that make pepper spray "hot" and effective. In this lecture you will learn why the percentage of oleoresin capsicum (OC) in pepper spray is not indicative of a spray's performance, how Scoville Heat Units (SHUs) are used in deceptive marketing practices and the importance behind capsaicinoids in measuring pepper heat.

Scoville Heat Units (SHUs) & Capsaicinoids

Pepper sprays come in a wide range of sizes and designs. In this lecture you will learn about the various sizes and be able to determine which is best for you depending on your carrying situation. You will learn the balance between size and capacity. I will briefly discuss some different designs you can get your defense sprays in as well.

Size, Capacity & Design

While you might get by on picking a generic, off-brand roll of toilet paper or bandages, you will learn in this lecture that having the same mindset for your personal protection is a bad move. Picking a reputable pepper spray brand is essential to getting out of a confrontation alive or unharmed.

Importance of Brand Name
How to Carry and Deploy
2 Lectures 07:52

There are multiple ways that you can carry your pepper spray. In this lecture I will discuss the variety of ways of carrying your spray and how each method compares to the next.

How to Carry Defense Sprays

Most people do not know how to properly hold or deploy their spray. As a result, they end up being completely unprepared for a potential attack. In this lecture I will show you how to hold your spray, keep it secure and deploy it depending on the actuator (locking mechanism).

Hand Grip & Deployment
Rules of Engagement
5 Lectures 27:54

Knowing what is going on around you at all times is THE biggest way to avoid or mitigate danger. In this lecture course I will show you how to stay aware of your surroundings, how to avoid complacency and provide tips on what to do and what not to do in order to stay safe.

Preview 09:22

When handling a threat you need to have a verbal and physical presence, as well as knowing how to move when your engaging your assailant. In this lecture you will learn how to take a defensive stance, deploy your spray and disengage.

Verbal Commands & Movement Patterns

Did you know that the average person can break a distance of 10 feet within 1.5 seconds? When handling a threat, you have to be able to react quickly enough. This lecture will give you a visual understanding of why reaction time is so important when defending yourself against an attacker.

The 21 Foot Rule

Your only goal in self-defense is to GET AWAY. In this lecture I will teach you how to avoid legal trouble after stopping your attacker, how to safely get away from the area and what to have prepared when contacting the police.

Escaping the Threat

In the instance that your pepper spray fails, what will you do? As per Murphy's Law, "if anything can happen, it will." You are bound to run into a situation where your pepper spray fails on you. This could be because you forgot to bring it with you, the canister does not deploy correctly or you get blowback and are affected by it. Regardless of why, the question is how are you going to react? In this lecture we will go over procedures to prepare for this and how to handle it when it does happen.

Preview 06:51
Special Circumstances
1 Lecture 04:10

Multiple assailants...that is the worst thing that most people think could happen to them. How do you fight off one attacker, let alone a whole group? This lecture will show you how to react and escape in crowded circumstances, as well as in "no-retreat" situations.

Multiple Attackers
First-Aid & Decontamination
2 Lectures 10:23

In the event that you are hit with pepper spray, you need to know how to react in an altercation and get rid of it afterwards. In this lecture will we go over decontamination procedures for OC and CS/CN. You will gain an understanding of how to properly minimize and remove the painful chemical compounds.

Decontamination Process

This video features the decontamination process after a live exposure.

Preview 05:20
Storage & Replacement
2 Lectures 06:32

You have a pepper spray! But do you know how to store it? In this lecture you will learn how to store it in your car, home and place of business.

Pepper Spray Storage

Every can of pepper spray has a shelf life. In this lecture you will learn when to replace a spray and how to take advantage of replacement programs after an assault.

Replacing Your Defense Spray
Laws & Regulations
3 Lectures 18:31

While pepper spray is legal in all 50 state of the U.S., some states unfortunately have specific regulations on it. In this lecture we will go over states where it is legal and legal with restrictions, focusing primarily on the states with the most notable limitations.

Pepper Sprays by State

Ever wonder why you always have trouble getting your pepper spray through airport security? There are laws governing possession of defense sprays in federal buildings. We will go over those in this lecture.

U.S. Federal Laws

Did you know that pepper spray is considered an illegal weapon in many countries outside the U.S.? While in others it is completely legal. If you live outside the U.S. or plan to relocate, this lecture will be extremely helpful for you!

Preview 07:34
What's Next? (Bonus Lectures)
1 Lecture 00:34
Writing a Review
About the Instructor
Ulrich Faircloth
4.2 Average rating
103 Reviews
4,733 Students
3 Courses
Personal Safety Instructor & Entrepreneur

Ulrich Faircloth is the Founder and Co-owner of Stun & Run Self Defense LLC, a personal protection and crime prevention company based in MInneapolis, MN. It is a business intent on preventing crime and saving lives, with an educational component of helping to encourage people to Take Action, Prevent Crime and Live Better.

Ulrich is a former crime prevention intern and Community Service Officer (CSO) with the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). He graduated with a BA in Sociology from Beloit College, with an emphasis on public safety.

His passion for crime prevention and security awareness began with the MPD. Ultimately, he came to the conclusion that he did not want to be a police officer. Ulrich wanted to prevent crime rather than react to it, which is the fundamental purpose behind police departments and their officers. Wanting to be more involved with the community instead, he started his company as a way to help protect those in need.

Ulrich is a member of the National Crime Prevention Association (NCPA) and a dedicated instructor on non-lethal/less-than-lethal self-defense products.