How to Escape from Zip Ties | ITS Tactical

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How to Escape from Zip Ties

By The ITS Crew

There are quite a few hasty methods of illegal restraint and zip ties are a method that’s available to any would-be kidnapper.

A few of the other methods used by criminals are duct tape, rope and even phone cord. With a little education, you’ll see that all of these methods can easily be defeated. There are two things you’ll need in any escape scenario and without these two things, nothing we’ll show you will work.

Those two things are time and opportunity. You’ll have to first have the time to be able to put one of these escape methods into action and the opportunity to do so. Your captors are most likely not going to have the resources or the patience to keep an eye on you constantly and when they don’t, it’s time to make your move.

Update: We’ve recently put together this comprehensive how to video guide on escaping illegal restraint. This is an update to many of the videos you’ll find below.

How Zip Ties Work

Heavy Duty Cable Ties - Escape from Zip TiesThe best way to defeat any type of restraint is to first analyze how it works.

Zip ties consist of a sturdy Nylon tape that contains small teeth running lengthwise down one side and a ratchet with small teeth housed in a small open case.

The ratchet is molded to allow downward pressure to be placed upon it as the tape is threaded through the open case. The ratchet then springs back up to position as the valleys of the tape align with the teeth of the ratchet, locking the zip tie.

At this point, further forward movement will continue to tighten the zip tie and backwards movement will lock it.

The particular zip ties we’ve used in all our demonstrations are the most heavy-duty zip ties we could find at Lowes or Home Depot. The Zip Ties shown in the photo hold a 175 lb. rating.

We chose these because realistically if someone was determined to go out and buy zip ties to use to illegally restrain someone, they’d more than likely hit the local hardware store and find the toughest ones they could.

To defeat zip ties, you can either completely break the zip ties, shim them, use a friction saw or with a little forward thinking just be able to slip right out of them. For shimming and friction sawing, consider keeping tools like our ITS SPIE™ Kit on you to aid in these techniques.

Breaking Zip Ties

Shimming Zip Ties

Friction Sawing Zip Ties

Slipping Out of Zip Ties

Breaking Dual Zip Ties

Hand Positions and Remaining Passive

Hand Positions to Escape from Zip Ties

Now that we’ve demonstrated four methods for defeating zip ties, let’s talk briefly on how you’ll be bound. It’s equally as important as the method you choose to escape.

For an exercise and just so we’re all on the same page, put both of your hands straight out. Now touch your wrists together. This will be called “wrists together, horizontal.” This position is the easiest to escape from by slipping out.

Next rotate your wrists so your right hand turns a quarter-turn clockwise, your left hand turns a quarter-turn counterclockwise and your wrists touch. This will be called “wrists together, vertical.” This position is not preferred, but as shown on the breaking videos, it is optimal to break zip ties.

Now, from the “wrists together, vertical” position, rotate your hands so the backs of them touch together. This will be called “wrists together, inboard.” This is the hardest position out of the four, but you can still defeat zip ties by breaking them from this position.

The final way you could present your hands, is by crossing them at the wrists, making an X. This will be called “wrists together, crossed.” This position is a bit harder than the others for slipping out of, but it’s still possible.

The first thing you should always do in any restraint situation, is remain passive.

Let your captor know that there’s no fight in you and that you’re scared and helpless. This will psychologically lead your captor to believe that you have no plans to try to escape and thus make what we’re about to tell you easier.

You want to make every effort to present your hands to your captor before they use force to restrain you. Essentially you’re presenting the wrist position of your choosing to them, hoping they’ll use it.

Tools to Escape Zip Ties

Escape from Zip Ties 03

Using the information we’ve provided to your advantage, you can put yourself in a better position to escape or determine which of the methods presented will work best in your circumstances. Additionally, we’ve created our ITS SPIE™ Kit to give you the tools necessary to defeat common methods of illegal restraint, including zip ties.

We hope at the very least you watched the videos we’ve made, so you have the information stored somewhere in your mind, tucked away just in case you ever have to use it.

Let us know your thoughts and any questions you might have; we hope you never need to utilize this skill.

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  • kodagashi

    This is the good stuff! Well described and I feel (after a bit more practice) I can teach this to my guys!


    • Kodagashi,

      Glad you found the information useful enough to be able to feel confident in re-teaching (with practice) 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

    • djohnson

      good stuff man. just what i was lookin for

  • Brian Palmatier

    Another easy way to escape zip ties, and one I commonly teach my soldiers, is to remove a shoelace, tie a knot in each end, and use the lace streched between your feet and your mouth, to saw the zip ties. Any cord will cut through even the most rugged zip tie in seconds. Hands have to be up front for it to be quick.

  • Brian Palmatier

    Sorry, just saw the video on my previous post.

    • Brian,

      No worries. Good point about needing for your hands to be in front to be quick, but the friction saw method can also be used with your hands behind your back. Just a bit more confusing and should be practiced to ensure success.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Tackleberry

    Some of the best info I’ve found!

    Already forwarded it to my buddies overseas and elsewhere. 😉

    • Tackleberry,

      Thanks for the comment and feedback! Glad you can spread the love to those downrange and at the range 🙂

  • rkuntz

    A question:

    I think it’s certainly possible that the bad guy is going to use two zip ties linked together as field expedient handcuffs.

    Obviously the shimming and friction methods will apply to those situations as well, and maybe that’s just the best approach. But both of those methods do take some time and require a little privacy. So is there a break method that works for that setup?

    • rkuntz,

      Absolutely! The same break method as we’ve described in the article will work for handcuff style zip ties as well. The trick is to try and maneuver the locking mechanism on each zip tie to the area between your wrists. Even if you can’t do that, with enough force they’ll break just like the others.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Tackleberry

    I know you guys stated why you used the zip ties that you did, but have you guys tried using any of the methods against the Monadnock brand single and double flex cuffs?

    A couple of buddies I forwarded this to had similar questions.

    • Tackleberry,

      We have. True Flexi-Cuffs are a different ball game, and we’re coming up with how to present that information to the masses.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • TheDoof

      Don’t forget to demo the ASP style Tri-Fold restraints, if you’re going that route… might as well be complete.

    • Doof,

      We’re working on the article on other types of restraints, but for the purpose of this article it’s complete. The most typical zip-tie-like restraint used in an “illegal” situation will most likely be Zip Ties, the likelihood that criminals have access to ASP Tri-Folds or other police style restraints is slim. Not impossible, but slim.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Tackleberry

    Can’t wait. You guys are great when it comes to exploring all the angles of topics.

    • Thanks Tackleberry! We like to be thorough 🙂

  • I have a bunch set of Monadnock disposable cuffs I’m working with. I don’t think the body snap attack will work against them to well, they are stout and I believe more pliable then the standard zip tie. Shimming is possible, but a pain in the ass due to the construction and tension on the locking mech. That being said you can cut through the things with either kevlar cord, or the white inner cord of paracord. I found that the whole paracord was just to big to create an effective cutting edge.

    • That’s what we found with them too Jesse. Good info, and I liked that you wrote about the metal insert now showing up in flexi-cuffs to prevent a friction saw.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • Some Guy

      I’ve been told and shown that steel fishing leader can be used as a friction saw as well and that the larger stuff can often cut through metal. You guys should find some of the metal reinforced flexi-cuffs and try it out. I’d be curious to see if it works.

      In SERE training we had some and it has loops of paracord tied on each end for the bicycle method.

  • Chris

    Very informative, thank you. I think if I were to restrain someone, I would use a smaller tie and zip together the ring fingers at the base knuckle. Do you think the above methods would work to escape from restraint of this type?

    • Chris,

      Yep, all that it takes to defeat any kind of zip tie is to defeat the locking bar within the tie. By using a smaller tie you’re actually making it easier to defeat.

  • Doc

    Superb work Gents! One question re: the shimmy method. Who is the .com supplier mentioned? Despite turning up the volume it is hard to discern the name of the company. Thanks!

    • Doc,

      That would be tell them ITS Tactical sent you 🙂
      Sorry that was hard to hear on the video, and thank you for the kind words!

  • Ray

    Terrific, very useful info! Thanks and regards, Ray

    • Thank you Ray, glad you found the information useful!

  • Arnþór

    What if you were tied with your wrists together and the fingers on right hand pointed towards left elbow and fingers on left hand pointed towards right elbow?

    • Is this a trick question? LOL If you mean simply having your wrists crossed, you’d use the slipping out method we show in the video above. If not, you’ll have to be more specific.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • John

    To use a shoelace to saw through the tie, better than removing a lace and tying a knot in each end is to tie a knot in the end of one of the laces while still in the shoe. Free the other end and pull the knot up against the eyelet, then tie a knot in the free end and tuck it between your teeth. Your shoe gives you a firm hold on the foot end.

    • John,

      Having an end in your mouth does not give you the same friction cutting power as bicycling your feet does. I’d almost guarantee the method we’ve described will get you freed much faster. With a little practice before potentially winding up in this situation, pulling a lace out and tying the knots is quite simple. You should be able to do it with your eyes closed.

      Thanks for the comment,

  • Verbsare Happening

    And, what about tactical restraint cuffs… or the like, stronger, reinforced against pry or break…

    Also, I’ve seen these used on the thumbs v. wrists. I think the force required to break a 300lb-rated nylon restraint would break the first metacarpal…

    But, please, show me how…

    • Some Guy

      Defeating actual zip cuffs or something similar that is designed to keep you from breaking them can often be shimmed or cut with a friction saw. 😀

  • Geno

    Good information. Thanks!
    Why don’t you use the end of the Zip Tie to shim? Fits good has a narrow end and is strong like a fingernail.
    Works good and is available, usually can be reached with fingers.

  • Excellent videos and presentation.


    Chief Pocock

  • It took me two trys to break out of the zip ties from the front and rear. Thanks for the awesome video instruction, but one question. How do you do the saw with your hands behind your back?


    • Eddie,

      You bring your hands around to the front of your body if you’re able to, but if not you use the break method.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Scott


    Great videos and information! Not only have I fwd’d it to my coworkers overseas and the rest of our traveling force, also sent to my wife, daughter, neices, etc. Simply put, there be dragons out there and one never knows when they’ll be targeted for some reason.



  • Rogue

    Great videos, I am a trainer and have used many of the techniques in traiing and on the street.

  • Woody

    Why not just untie both shoes laces, then tie the inside ends together with either slip knots or a square knot, then bicycle your way through. If the tension is such that it pulls the laces out, then just tie knots in the other ends to prevent the laces from coming out. Then kick off your shoes and flee

  • David

    Thanks guys. Excellent information which was displayed in a simple, easy to follow format. I must admit, I had never considered offering up my hands on purpose.

  • thanks for these videos man i will pass it on to all my fellow guardian angels all over the world.

  • Scott

    Really interesting, but I wonder: if they restrain you by arranging the zip ties in a figure-eight around your wrists, will all of these tactics still work?

  • This is very good I have learn a lot it is a thing to realy think about when we use them in our work.

    thanks a lot.

  • K.M. Williams

    I just want to say this is a great web site!!! I have just reviewed all your videos of how to get out of zip-ties and found it extremely informative. As a police officer there is a chance someone might want to take us hostage on a various number of calls, and if put in this situation it’s always good to know as much as possible to better your chances of not only escape, but survival. Keep up the great work. I will be sure to share your site with my fellow co-workers, and rookies I train. Stay safe.

    • K,

      It’s feedback like this that makes us know that this information needs to be out there!
      We’re big advocates of presenting things like this to the general public in hopes that it finds its way to the people who need it the most.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts, and for your support!
      ~ Bryan

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  • Excellent information, I’ve tried a few of these and got them to work.

    I’ve also tried a few different ones on my own. Believe it or not, I’ve actually chewed the locking mechanism enough that the pin loosened up enough to slip out, and I’ve twisted them back and forth enough that they’ve become loose enough to break free.

    Can’t wait to see the info on the commercial ‘flexi-cuffs’.

    I’ll definitely pass this along to the guys/girls I work with as well as friends overseas.

    Thanks again.

    • Some Guy

      Awesome man. In the survival class that I went it an instructor noted that whether it be zip ties, tape or rope, anyone who practices can easily be out within an hour. And something to remember, in a captive situation (if its not a hostage situation) you’re more than likely going to have quite a bit of time to escape so patience is key.

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  • Rogue

    This site is Greeeeeeeat, good stuff, thanks.

  • josh freeman

    Tried doing this with some big ass zipties out of the shop 350lb strength i believe… no luck

    • Be aggressive Josh! Just remember all you’re defeating is the tiny piece of plastic used in the locking mechanism.

      ~ Bryan

  • Root

    Where has this site been all my life.

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  • Excellent stuff. Houdini could not have done it better!

  • GM

    Great techniques I have taken basic SERE classes and this is great. I actually carry some sere tools on my clothing since I travel into Mexico on duty. Great training.

    Thanks for your time.

  • Frank Wescott

    I found it quite a bit more difficult to break them in the rear due to leverage. Anyone have the same difficulties? Also any advice on breaking out on leg restraints?

  • shane

    Hey guys,
    I have been able to bust out of the ties in all methods except behind the back. I still haven’t been able to do it. Any tips? I must be doing something wrong. I just can’t get the momentum it seems.

  • James Swinarton

    Excellent information! I practiced a lot today, and discovered I need to grow out my nails in order to shim the ties. I was able to break the ties from the front (even managed to do it the first time around), but not from behind. That is going to take some practice. Oh, and next time, I’m definitely going to duct-tape my wrists. Shoulda listened to you about that one. Stupid me.

  • Fireguy275

    Thank you for this info guys. Unfortunately, we had a local home invasion last night and media reports state the homeowner was bound with zip ties and shot during a struggle to defend his family.

  • Alex

    how would you escape from zip ties if each hand zip tied to another object. thanks this website was very helpful

  • Its quite a bit easier if you have abs. When my hands hit something harder they broke quite easily. But when I diddent have my abs flexed and tried to break them with just power it was abit harder.

    • Some Guy

      If you find yourself in that situation, try using the side of your body. The combination of your ribcage and your pelvis should help out quite a bit.

  • Buck Hempel

    I successfully tested/used the front break method and friction saw method. I could not do the hand slip-out technique. I tried several times, but I think my hand to wrist ratio was not good enough to get space. Any chance we could get an article for dealing with Duct-Tape escape. The all-time bad guy restraint!

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  • Arcane

    I’ve found that the friction saw and shimming are by far the best techniques. The other techniques become extremely difficult when using zip ties that have a smaller width – they become akin to piano wire and cut deeper and deeper into your skin instead of actually breaking.

  • diff

    How about fishing line? That should be tougher to break and also leave you more prone to injury if you use force…

  • Benjamin Fasseel

    Has anybody tried getting out of the safariland double cuffs. Just tried and couldn’t get it. I was trying to demonstrate it for my vbss team

  • Banks

    I’ve had success with using the free end of the tie as a shim. The very end has no ridges, and is more than stiff enough to work as a shim. This way even if there’s no metal around, you’re good to go. Anyway, thanks for the good info.

  • Some Guy

    For the guy or guys who asked about how to get out of duct tape. The same rules apply as far as using your body as a wedge to force your wrists apart. Some of my instructors in survival school mentioned that around 15 wraps with duct tape was the limit to anyone there and the one problem with duct tape is that it has a tendency to roll if you don’t do it right the first couple times.

    As far as duct tape around the feet… Stand up straight, put your hands together like you pray or someone who does, kneel down and put your hands between your knees with fingers pointing down. Then you’re going to use your hands as a wedge and squat down really fast forcing your knees apart which should rip the duct tape apart.

    Also, just like with zip ties, putting your hands in certain positions will allow the captor to wrap your hands tighter or looser so foresight and a clear head in any situation can give you a big advantage.

  • Random Guy

    Great site, lots of useful info. Shouldn’t you avoid getting your hands tied at all costs? If your enemy is gonna kill you, it would even be easier to kill you when he has your hands tied and under control. The Taliban just love cutting off the heads of people whose hands they have tied. If your gonna die, it would be better to die with your fists flying or shooting your weapon until it runs out of ammo. Allowing your hands to be tied is the same as a woman allowing herself to be raped in order to “protect” her self. If the rapist doesn’t kill her right away, she might be infected with Aids or Hepatitis. Not a winning situatio

  • the dude

    what about a quick way to release a zip tie that is around your neck?
    remember you have a very limited time before you pass out.

  • person

    so i have a question, so lets say ur hands are free, how would you efficiently, and quickly cut or take off zipties? because these people keep on ziptying my bike, and the zipties are getting bigger and bigger…

    • Austin Kopp

      Use a knife?

  • For anyone wondering why this article is so important:
    Northwest Atlanta couple tied up during home invasion

    “The gentleman does some type of plumbing or electrical and uses zip ties, so they used those zip ties to tie them up,” Hobbs said. “It took them a while to get them off so they could call.”

  • Ariel

    You’re pronouncing “bowline” incorrectly dude. Threw me for a second.
    It’s “bow” as in bow and arrow, not bow as in the bow of a ship (or what the Chinese do to greet each other).
    The second syllable is prounced “Lynn”, like the girl’s name (short i).

    So, “bow-linn”.

    • Sorry, I disagree. I’m pronouncing it like I learned in the Navy. Thanks for the comment!

    • Austin Kopp

      I agree with that, although it does throw people off. The way we said it in boy scouts was Boe- lynn (not how we spelled it), so maybe to clear the confusion, maybe just say “or boe-lynn as some people say it”. Just a suggestion, again I’m not saying you’re wrong, in fact I understand the military, it’s just it confuses people that did not learn the knot and pronounce it that way. Anyway, good information, I’ll be sure to let other people about the website and the awesomeness enclosed. Thanks!

    • Thanks for your support Austin 🙂 I’ll stick with my pronounciation, even if I have to defend it from time to time LOL

  • Cindy

    Thanks this is great. I am so going to try this out. 🙂

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  • Austin Kopp

    does the friction saw work whe wet?

    • Yep!

    • Jade

      Can you use the end of the zip-tie as a shim by re-inserting it to loosen the zip-tie? Does that work? Then you wouldn’t need nails or a metal piece to get out of the zip-tie.

  • Mike

    Ugh, I’m not getting this. I cant be that weak. Ok so I have the 175lb commercial electric brand zip ties from home depot and cant even break them when they are in front. When I bring my arms down am I rotating my elbows out laterally or should I be keeping them bent towards the rear? Also should I have my hands balled up with knuckles together or one hand wrapped around the other hand thats balled into a fist? Slip out method works fine for me, havent tried the friction saw, shimming works unless I try to use a fingernail, almost pulled a nail off because the locking bar was so stiff. I feel like Im missing some key element to the breaking method though, any help?

  • Mike

    Have any of you tryed to get out of zip tie cuffs?

    like these ones

    if not you should make a video about it

    • tyler

      i have gotten out of them many times. it take a little more skill then what this guy does. they are very sturdy cuffs and u literally have to be able to bend your wrist back to your arm and pry the lock open and slide out. they wont break. we tried. hard to cut them to. we have to use bolt cutters on the ones we had. oddly i think i made my instructor mad he said i wouldn’t be able to get out of them.

  • svonemenja

    interestingly useful; although anyone that doesnt put you on your stomach and hog-tie you is just getting fresh and wanted you to get out ;]

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  • Rex

    you can actually also use the pointed end of the zip ties as shim. just bend it towards the locking bar.

  • Frank

    What if you are restrained with two zip ties in the rear position that are not perfectly lined up? Also the zip tie loops are not crossed; like the ones used in law enforcement which can be bought by anyone online?

  • Tim

    It happened again in Oklahoma City last night/this morning (09/28). Homeowner was able to use a knife hidden in his boot to cut them free, well after the aggressors had departed.

  • yaya

    bad guys don’t care how it feels, before zip ties, and in places like srebrenica in the mid 90’s the standard way of tying wrists for execution was wire, this could be coat hanger or often copper because its widely available (electrical) and soft enough to quickly tie/twist. are you alone or do you have a fellow captive who could help you untwist it, they will probably clip off the ends with thier wire cutter, copper will quickly harden and break if bent back and forth, it will get hot if this is done too quickly but copper dissipates heat well to so its not like touching a coat hanger being bent back and forth.
    If you are in a multi story building and have gotten loose, can’t pass through the first floor which they occupy but have limited access in a higher more deserted floor, take any wire you find be it coat hanger or copper, and look out any windows you can access for an electrical transformer on a pole, then make a tangle of the wire that you can throw on the top of this transformer at night when you make your move. this should if you get lucky put the electrical service for the local area out for a while, giving you the advantage of darkness and confusion.

  • Holy smokes… click through to slide # 17…. isn’t that the exact same zip ties that were used in these videos??? Of course these guys didn’t actually use the zip ties…the planned to, but then went with rope they found at the house… but still. THAT’s the freaking zip ties!!!!!! PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE….. and the PRACTICE some more…. then have your family practice!!! Jeeessh..

  • Marc

    It’s “bow” (as in -and arrow) “lin”. Bowline. I cringed every time he said it.

    • I was taught to say it the way I do in the Navy, it’s Bow like the bow of a boat. As in throwing a mooring line off the bow with a bowline tied in it. I cringe when I hear it pronounced the other way.

    • Joshua

      Iunno what Navy you were in, but as a Deck Seaman I was told it was “Bo-lin.”

    • Joshua

      That tone was rude, I’m sorry.

    • Moby

      Regardless of how it’s pronounced (boe-lin, if you really want to know), a ‘figure-8-on-a-bight’ is way easier for most people to learn and remember.

      …that being said, excellent series of videos.

  • Marty

    Would it help when trying to slip out to literally lick your thumb to make the skin more slick? Especially when trying to get out of the “wrist over wrist” position?

  • jody

    i was just realizing that you might also be able to use the end of the zip tie as a shim if you don’t have long enough fingernails or a pick

  • Gregg E.

    How about crossed wrists with two zip ties around both wrists, one side to side and the other front to back like tying two crossed sticks together.

    Can’t slip out of that because you can’t turn your arms parallel to each other. The friction saw method would work

  • May

    Haa, I’m so weedy clenching my fists does absolutely nothing to bulk up my wrists! Luckily I do have nails!

  • Bill Rose

    The Best Way to Zip tie someone is to just do the middle fingers one from each hand if you try to get out of them it will break your fingers and then your hands are useless trust me i know ..

    • jessica

      Its kinda weird that you say ” trust me I know” how do you know? sicko.

  • jody

    Outstanding! Thanks soo much!

  • Moose

    As an x-Special Operation Soldier, we used zip ties often. One thing I learned was; if you are putting them on someone you need to put the thumbs together to get the optimal restraint when tightening the zips.
    Understanding how to properly restrain a person also helps in understanding how to prevent this from happening to you.
    When I would be on the Op-4 team: this is would be the time for me to practice escape and also to make sure my fellow soldier learned how to restrain me correctly.
    While being restrained I would make sure my thumbs were not touching I would turn my wrist inward. This would allow for room to move my wrist after being restrained.
    Now I would wait until my captures were not paying close attention to me. I would rotate my wrist and “wala” I would pull the zip-tie apart and make a run for it.

  • Carrie

    I was showing these to a friend and he said he would zip-tie someone at the elbows, behind their back. Tightening them as much as possible (it would really hurt the victim).
    How could you get out of that? There’s not really movement ability for the down-strike strength breaking method. You probably could reach your feet to get the shoelaces out, but getting the cord around the ties would be really difficult. (I was thinking grabbing the cord with your teeth and tossing one end over your shoulder, feeding it down between your arms maybe?)
    If anyone can think of how to do it, it’s you guys.

  • Rhonda Morin

    I am stunned to watch these videos and saddened that I would have to see them but I feel more empowered by them. My husband was a SWAT cop and I know if we were in a situation he would kill whomever the person was with one shot to the head but I have not yet learned to shoot and this empowers me in so many ways. Thank you!!!!! God bless!

  • Deborah

    I’m very happy that you guys are showing us how to escape or perhaps how not to restrain an intruder under the police come and get them. I will pass on to my daughter, sister, neice and any gal I know. Thanks D

  • MamaC

    What about handcuff zip ties? The types used by law enforcement and military???

  • AMS

    This is great! How about having an overweight woman with breasts demonstrate this? I don’t think it would work for someone who isn’t in shape.

  • HRTL

    Found this pin on Pinterest and followed the link out of curiosity and ended up watching all of the videos. This is really great information that, I believe would be easy to remember if you can manage to calm yourself in that type of situation. I plan to take this info to my Taekwondo instructor to possibly demonstrate in classes. Great job!

  • Allie

    Thank you guys so much for posting this! It’s incredible to know that you are out there just to help people. I truly feel safer knowing that I can use one of these techniques to get free if anything were to happen. Thank you for your hard work and demonstrations!

  • Stacy

    Saw this pinned on Pinterest as well. You could have just saved a life! I am so grateful you took the time to teach people these things! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!! 🙂

  • seattlema

    Also saw this on pinterest. Thank you so much for showing this!

  • JLux

    Is this really possible for a woman or child to do? Could you do a video of a normal sized non-military woman doing the breaking move? Just seems like it would be harder for most woman to get the same momentum going… I am including myself in this… Just curious!! But thank you for posting these videos.

    • CassandraMarie

      I was going to ask the same– as a 115 lb woman, I highly doubt I can generate enough force to break the zip tie (I can barely open jars!!) and making a fist doesn’t expand the diameter of my wrist at all. A follow-up video with an average woman demonstrating the same or adjusted techniques would be a good idea. This is a great resource, but as women are often the targets of such situations, I’d want to make sure the techniques still apply. That said, thank you for posting!

  • Mongoose

    Can you post a link to the shoe laces you mentioned in the Friction Saw video? Also I second (or third) having a woman demonstrate.

    Thanks for the information. I’ll continue to look through this website.

  • dana

    I have a question that was not addressed in your videos. How does someone get out of a zip tie or duct tape restraint if the hands are separated (i.e. restrained between arms on a chair or bed posts, etc)? Is it possible? I loved all your videos! Great to have along with my self defense skills! 🙂

  • Andy

    I’d like to see these techniques work on LE grade zip cuffs.

  • Leslie

    So… going by the last video up with the dual zip ties, you use the end of the zip tie to shim the other one. Couldn’t you just shim the zip tie with the end of the tie if your hands were in front using your mouth?

  • Pat

    Good info to know, but I agree it would be good showing a woman, in shape or not, getting out of restraints also. Thank you for posting these tips

  • joan

    We just watched these with our boys 14 and 11. Discussed it and what they would do. Provoked a good conversation we needed to have with the kids. We tried each one and they easily escaped! Thanks

  • Ladies, I don’t think you are giving yourselves enough credit. If you and your kids were restrained like this, I think regardless of your size/shape/physical capabilities you would find yourselves able to do this. Women are a hell of a lot tougher than we think we are when we are forced to be!

  • Kaylee

    I just watched these videos and was quite impressed on how simple it actually was to break the zip ties.. Then i tried for myself, I’m petite and no where as strong as the men who demostrated breaking out.
    I only had 40lb zip ties and couldnt even break out of those.. Any ideas or tips? It would be helpful to watch a woman my size (120 lbs) try to escape from zip ties….
    Thank you for the useful information i’ll definitely pass this along 🙂

  • Aimee

    What would you do in the circumstance that you were ziptied to a chair? For example, there are arm rests and the captors ziptie each hand to the arm rests? Also, what if your feet were ziptied as well… I am just a bit curious…

  • Kells

    Obviously these are really great videos, but is it bad that I watch these majorly because you guys all have great arms? haha

  • captainshortshorts

    my buddy and i can break 40lb ties no problem, front and back. i have broken 120lb ties in front twice, but haven’t been able to replicate it consistently. i’ve tried working on my technique, but i think i’m just not strong enough. am i right? any tips?

  • rebecca

    Thank you so much for sharing!!! Everyone should know this cause you just never know if it could happen to you!

  • Aubree

    I have read all of the articles and watched all of the videos on zip ties. A few months back I attempted to break them, with no success, only laughs from my husband. It should be noted as well that I am a very petite person, 5’2 on good days and maybe 110 pounds. Am I doing something wrong or am I just not a big enough person to do it successfully? I am extremely cautious in all I do due to my husbands law enforcement position, so I have found all of these videos and articles vy helpful!
    I am eager to try the escapes again in about 5 months (not safe while pregnant I would assume).

  • Kelly Piatt

    I’m a middle aged woman with big breasts and no upper body strength. My shoulders operate differently than mens. I also have a 10 year old son. It seems unlikely to me that either of us would be able to pull the braking moves off. I would love to see some demonstrations of these techniques using women or children. Heck, you make one for kids and I’ll show it to my cub scout pack.

  • jessica

    I would like to see a small girly girl break out the way you did… Women probably need to know this more then a man does I want to tie myself up now thanks to you! lmao

  • JR

    I noticed the man in the video is wearing a memorial bracelet, may I ask what service member(s) it’s for?

  • Penelope

    Thank you for this! I know it’s geared towards helping law enforcement, but I like to be prepared for any situation I might come across in the future (NOT in regards to law enforcement–more like kidnapping). I think I might even teach my 6 year old some of these tricks, because you never know what might happen. This could save our lives one day.

  • Emily

    My number one fear as a woman is being kidnapped and tied up. I am so thankful for this site and all of the help with just these few restraints. It puts hope back in me to think that if I know how to get out of these, I have the willpower to get out of any other. So thank you thank you thank you!

  • Christine

    I was curious about two zip ties used around the wrists, or even three. Does that increase the difficulty, or would breaking them still be just as easy? (Referring to front and back escape, shimming would still be the same). I also saw this on pinterest. You guys have a market niche for self defense/protection among women, it’s something to consider.

  • Gloria

    This is something I came across on pinterest and I am so thankful I did. Its definitely helpful information for everyone to know. I have a daughter who is off to college in a year and I want her to be safe. Looking for a self defense class for her to take (should have done this a long time ago). I love this site for her to read up on these things. Like you said maybe this information could stay tucked into her brain and use it if ever she should need it. I would love to see a young girl or woman try to break out of those zip ties to show her this is possible. Also do you have any videos or blogs of safety tips .. things to watch out for or what to avoid to stay out of danger. She could be going to school over 12 hours away from home and Im deathly worried about her. Thank you for all you do!

  • Nurse Rachel

    Headed to a country that has the possibility of being politically volatile, so this could prove useful someday. I hope not. But thanks for the demos.

  • Hahn Jackson

    why take the lace out of the shoe. just untie and tie to other lace then saw

  • Kim

    Also saw this on pinterest. Well done site. Well done material. I’m also looking at your page on five knots we should know on a daily basis. Super important. You’ve done good work and I”ll be signing up as a member — I figure $50 a year for you all to keep making videos like is super helpful. As a woman, I read this today and walked away a hell of a lot smarter and armed with some knowledge that I will hopefully never have to use, but if I do … I will know what to do. Thank you. (i’m signing up for membership right this second)

  • Nicole

    I tried to find a video on if you are bound wrist over wrist with zip-ties. Did you by chance make one? If not is it possible to escape that type of situation?

    • felart

      see sliping out of zip ties video, is shows with wrist over wrist.

  • Lily Razz

    You guys, thanks so much for posting these video’s! You’re amazing!!

  • Annie

    In today’s unpredictable world with crime and violence and abuse, this type of information is ALWAYS deserving of an audience!!! Thank you so much! Passing this to every women I know!!!

  • emikat

    Thank you for the information!! Woul love to see a video of an average sized female using these methods.

    • Ashley

      I agree!

    • Tanja

      me too!

    • LA

      Same here! Just under 5 ft. and 107 pounds.. single mother of 2!

    • Robin

      Given enough time to practice, I am sure that I could figure it out, but that is because I keep myself in shape and have a lot of upper body strength. I would be interested in seeing if our pint sized kiddos would be able to use these same techiniques. I am pretty sure that my 16 year-old that is in JROTC would be able to get out of them, but the 10 year-old and the six year-old not so sure.

  • Tiffany

    Is it as easy for a girl with not to much muscle? I mean it looks easy but I’m curious to know if it is possible for me…

  • Ashley

    I really liked watching this. I feel very informed and a littl more comfortable knowing that if I ever was kidnapped I would have a better chance of escaping. Thanks guys for taking time out of your day to make this video. I really appreciate it.

  • Sherri

    I came across this on Pinterest and thought it was awesome – so I shared it there as well as on FaceBook. Thank you for showing how to do this because ya just never know…

  • shaxy

    In the case of wrist over wrist, how would you unbind yourself if your captors used two zip-ties, so that they made a cross.

  • Rebekah

    Me and my two cousins (all of us female) are of small stature and we tried this. It was a little tricky for us but it was possible to do it. We discovered that each of us was better at different techniques. One of us broke the zip tie from the front easily, one of us broke the tie from the rear easily and the other slipped out easier. Tape your wrists because it will be painful if you tie them tight. I would recommend trying it out with a friend to cut the ties just in case ;D Thank you for the videos!

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  • Jen

    How do you break out of zip ties when you are in the position where the back of your hands are touching and your hands are bound in front of you?

  • D.Van

    I have contractor grade (same ones the police use) cable ties…the “breakout” and shim demos will not work on these, so ladies don’t break your wrists trying! These are the ones with metal that “digs” into the plastic and the harder you pull the farther it digs in. Make sure if you’re trying these methods on the “plastic” ones that have the valleys that the little plastic piece drops into. You’ll be able to tell the difference real quick because the metal ones you can’t get a fingernail or shim into, the are not any grooves on the cable (its smooth on both sides) and you can see the small sliver of metal inside the slider.
    I tried with regular ones and all these methods worked great. But only the friction sawing and slip out methods worked on the contractor grade ones (ex: T&B Ty-Rap). Good luck and be safe ladies!

    • Luna

      Good to know, thanks for the extra info!

  • Jessie Nelson

    I was wondering if you could do a video of someone shimming out of the zip tie with it actually tightened. You showed how to shim but not with it on your wrists tightened. I think it would be hard to get your finger in there. Also, could you use the end of the zip tie to shim itself if it’s not cut too short?

    • ann

      If you watch the last video (with the dual zip ties), he does use the end of the zip tie as a shim. I was wondering the same thing, so I was interested to see this.

  • Shanon

    I was wondering if you have ways to get out if your feet have been zip tied together too??

    • Colton

      Shim the feet with your fingernail. Then break the hands. Or you could try standing with you feet tied then shim.

  • Shanon

    I was wondering you could do a video with your feet bound with zip ties and how to escape them!

  • L

    This is all great information, but maybe you should redo the video using ladies instead of men. Most likely a lady is the one who will be taken and put into these zip ties, show us that women can also break out of these as well.

  • mz

    Although I appreciate the hints on getting out, many times being passive can be worse for a women.
    In fact, they asked rapists what would make them give up, and a women who was giving up a huge fight was one thing that would turn all away. So yes, if you wake up bound, use these tips. And if your sure they are just going to kidnap you, use these means. But if the reason a women is being abducted is rape, by all means, fight harder then anything.

    • Luna

      I truly hate to say not to fight, as that would be my first reaction as well, however that is often not the case with rapists (that they just give up if you give them resistance). There are many instances where, when a woman has been more aggressive and fought back, that the rapist has only gotten angrier and harmed her more. In the worst case scenarios, it has enraged them to the point that the victim was murdered versus “only” being raped. So for anyone reading this who ends up in such a situation (which I hope is never), don’t immediately think you should either be complacent or aggressive. Determine the best response based on your attacker’s reactions and your situation at the time.

  • epmgirl101

    So I guess you’re fucked if they zip tie your hands behind your back, huh? Got a video on that?

    • epmgirl101

      Although it still was very helpful knowing this so I’ll remember it.

    • Stupid People Hater

      You must have missed that one they made a video for that as well. And with the other examples/techniques they gave along with the fact that now you are not in a hopeless situation that they can be broken or slipped out of you have a chance of getting free.

    • dstark

      Did you watch the videos/ The second one shows that.

  • SD

    I saw your videos via Pinterest- very helpful! I was wondering if there are ways to get out of zip ties if each hand is bound separately to something else like a pipe. Does the front and back breaking method still work if you’re bound to a column? Thanks!

  • Andi

    What if they use a zip tie on both hands and lock the separate ones together?? How would you get out of that situation?

  • Barbara

    Hi! Very informative videos. I am going to teach my daughters how to do this “just in case”. Better prepared than not. My only suggestion is that if you decided to re-record the videos you might want a third assistant to actually tighten up the zip ties. It just looked a little unprofessional with the demonstrator using his teeth to tighten the ties. Thank you for sharing such simple yet important information!
    Best wishes!

    • D

      Rather than unprofessional it seemed more realistic wouldn’t you think- if your hands are bound and you’re about to try and break your ties you have to make the zip tie tighter, how are you going to do it?? Not with your hands obviously, and very likely not your feet either… more than likely you would resort to using your mouth to do so.

  • Carly

    What If your feet are bound in Zip tie? Is there a way that you could get out of those too?

    • kp

      You break out of the ones on your hands first, then use your finger or the end of another zip tie to loosen the one on your feet.

  • Courtney

    This helped me a lot! But I was wondering, what if the kidnapper zip ties your feet together?

  • Nichole

    Thank you for these videos. I have shownt these to my kids and I plan on refreshing them regularly. You just never know when these videos can save a life.

  • My daughter shared this with me on facebook. I’m glad she did. In this day and age you have to be prepared for anything to happen. Thanks for posting! I’ll be following you on twitter.

  • ashley

    I don’t agree that the victim should remain passive so that they are tied up!?!? Then you are tied up and there is more of a chance to me raped, murdered or left for dead.

    • Liz

      you will not be able to fight them off. so, remaining passive will lead them to believe that you will not try to escape. then, when you’re left alone, you can use these handy dandy techniques you learned here and get out. don’t try to fight!!

  • Kay Morrissey

    I am a female 110 lbs. I was kidnapped and bound with zip ties. The way I was tied my hands were crossed over on the back and the zip ties were pulled leaving very little room for me to wiggle my hands. My feet were also crossed over and tied with zip ties also, except that when they pulled the zip ties on my feet they pulled them so hard they fractured my ankles. I was left flat on my back. I wiggle my hands and though I was not able to brake the ties I was able to slip one hand but dislocated my left shoulder in the process. I was left to die in a burning home with my baby boy. My son and I survived unfortunately my husband did not. I don’t believe our zip ties were the kind purchased at the local hardware store but they were the industrial kind. If the ties like in our case are placed so tied your hands and feet are in excruciating pain and in addition your hands and feet can become numb from the lock of blood flow. I found this article interesting and educating. However you may want to keep in mind the following if you are ever in a situation like this. You need to take one second to assess the situation and make sure you are not jeopardizing your life more by releasing your hands and or feet. You also need to act quickly even if you are in pain because the longer you wait the harder it becomes if your hands and fingers become numb. I don’t think braking the ties was a possibility for me. My name is Linda “Kay” Morrissey. My husband was brutally murdered on April 6, 2010 in Plantation, Florida.

    • Sara

      Kay- What you said in your comment left me with a heavy heart, and so I went to read your story from online news sources. I am so sorry for the terrible tragedy you and your son have gone through. I just want you to know I am praying for you both.

    • Tammi

      Kay I am so sorry for the pain & sorrow you & your family endured..what a courageous lady you are! thank you for sharing your story and helping others…I cannot imagine the pain & grief you have suffered & I pray for peace & Gods comfort to you & your baby always… God Bless!

  • Alexis Crader

    I am 18 and weigh merely 100 pounds. I recently discovered I go to second most dangerous college in the nation and would love to know if you guys have come up with any other escape methods? I’m not the strongest book in the library and am worried that the front and back methods would not work in my favor. Also, flexing my wrists literally does nothing in my favor either.
    Do you have any suggestions to those who have the locking part of the zip tie in an unfavorable position where it is not easily broken and cannot seem to move it?
    My mind is going 100 miles an hour!
    Thanks so much for the previous videos, a real eye opener!

  • Debbie Martin

    THANKS! saw this on Pinterest. Am consuming as much from your website as I possibly can, and purchasing anything that will work for me. Still can’t find the link to view for escaping duct tape. Help please.

  • Krista

    If I have exceptionally thin wrists, is there any hope for me slipping out of zip ties? Or should I buy a bunch and practice breaking them in case I ever need to know how?

  • kristina

    So instead of breaking the zip ties, I could just push the end of it back through?


    To the Ladies out there,, I would suggest a GOOD Self Defense Class,, and legal or NOT, I always carry a knife with me, mine is a ‘McGyver” knife,, Swiss Army Pocket knife… it comes in Very handy for just about anything .

  • Blair

    Hi, my name is Blair and I am 15 years old. Your videos were helpful to me considering my neighborhood isn’t the safest place. I was wondering if there was a way i could get out of a zip tie if the zip tie was bound to something else, is it as easy to get out of?

  • Emma

    I tried this out with less weight bearing zip ties. I am 5′ 7” 115 pounds and I had a lot of trouble. I had to find someone to cut them off of me. Any tips?

  • CG

    I did not know it was so easy! Now to practice. Thanks guys.

  • Anjie

    I watched all of the tutorials, great job! So my question is, (since I don’t have a Ziptie to try it out myself) I wondered…in the episode where you had two linked zipties, you used one ziptie to shim the other. Is it possible to shim the ziptie with the end of the same ziptie, while it is restraining you?

  • Julie

    Y’all should have a female demonstrating the moves.

    • Jazz

      Next thing you’ll know, is people will be saying “Y’all should have a kid demonstrating the moves.” Come on people, give these guys credit for sharing what they know with all of you!! If these guys had to do extra stuff to find more actors, you think they’d even bother going through all that trouble? I also read another comment from a female who said she couldn’t break out of lighter grade zip-ties….dear, your adrenalin wasn’t helping! Even a smaller, lighter woman whose adrenalin was going 360 may break out of it, especially if it were a life or death situation.

  • john

    pronounced, bow- len, a knot used to make a loop that won’t slip or close. A bow line are lines attatched to the bow or front of a ship, boat or water vessel.I had an instructor in the service make the same mistake. thanks for the videos

    • I’ve had many try to correct my “mistake” too. No offense, but bow-line is what I’ll stick with. Thanks for the comment and your support.

  • bobafet

    What happens if your caught with double zip ties in your back? Same thing?

  • Shinta

    Thank you! you information is VERY VERY USEFUL!!! a lot of kisses and fraternal hugs

  • Alicia

    Quick question, can’t you use the tip of the zip tie to shim itself? I think if I remember correctly you can insert the tip of the zip tie into the locking part and after fiddling with it you can get it to undo.

  • Jonah

    Hey, I was wondering if you could post of video of how to get out of a zip-tie if you’re tied to a pole or some other object with it. Thanks:)

  • jill

    What is your captor puts you in a chair??

  • Shawn

    Could you do a video on the riot cuffs that police departments use? Those look like they wpuld be harder to get out of.

  • Valerie

    So thank ful you guys took the time to make these videos! I’m sending these to all my friends and family. Thank you so much!

  • Lala

    Wow! I love the shoe lace one the best!

  • Mereiy

    Hello, I’ve had two experiences of coming close to being kidnapped one was as a child I was followed at target in Orlando, Florida I managed to find my mom and left but later that day the man who was following me ended up showing up to the street I live and stopped my car when he saw my dad he just left and never came back. The other horrid experience was in South Texas I was at kmart in the bedding section as a older teen and a man was just starring and following me the whole time. I noticed and I ran out the door I managed to get in my vehicle and race to my dads office as well I called the police on the way as he was following me with his vehicle and he was later arrested. When they searched his vehicle they found duck tape, gasoline, knives, lighter, etc. It would be great if you guys know how, to do a video on how to take or rip of duck tape of your wrist and ankles. Thank you again for this video, great information to know and to practice in case of.

  • Been There, Done That

    I keep one key device with me at all times to help me with this scenario, and a second back up if I feel I’m going to be in a high-likely detainment scenario. The first is a lock pick made from a hacksaw blade that maintains the cutting edge I keep in my wallet or in the lining of my belt through a break I made in the stitching. The second, for those “poop is about to get real” moments is a small pair of nail clippers. They’re super effective 😉

  • Kathrine

    It’s really nice of you guys to take the time to make these videos. They’re very informative, with nice instructions.

  • carlo

    Can you find a way to escape if they zipped your feet together that would totally rock so just in case that happens were prepared #awesomeness #cool #ITS Tactical #ITS Awesome

  • Kim

    Thank you so much for this information. My daughter and her best friend plan on moving out and to another state to finish school. It scares me to death to think of them alone in another state. At least they will have some knowledge as to what to do if anything happens. (God Forbid).

  • Mortimouse

    Great information to have. Thank you. What about if each wrist is zip-tied to the arms of a chair? Is there a way to defeat the zip tie in that situation? Thanks.

  • Carrol Brooks

    Always the simplist, cheapest part……. for shimming just use the other end of the zip tie. 😉
    fold the end into the hole, force it in and you’re done.

  • Moana Kake

    Thank you for sharing these most informative videos. Well done and well presented. Found your link in Pinterest.

  • Brooke

    Thanks for this. I’m a little thing, and have been trying to bulk up on my self-defense knowledge and loved running across this on Pinterest just in case I ever do need it. The only down side is providing a link to stronger ones at the bottom… makes me feel a little less safe, but then again nice to know if I am cuffed with those I should not try and break them as I might break my wrists.

  • Peanutsnutsnuts

    Thank you Guys for this awesome tutorials – as a girl this could be really helpful (even if it’s just teasing on a festival 😉 )…I always thought you just get out of them by cutting!

  • Emily

    just wondering for the first and last video could you do that on like your leg if you had to??

  • Jennifer

    I just wanted to thank you for these videos. I feel better prepared if something were to ever happen. You guys are awesome and so is your website. I found you on Pinterest.

  • Sarah

    I raise my glass to you; you are true gentlemen. Thanks for helping this college girl feel safer!

  • Krystal

    Thats awesome and all but can you do one using a girl?

  • barbara fowler

    this is great if you ever get kidnapped…but, unfortunately, criminals will use this to their advantage when they are restrained.

  • Lori

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this!

  • Christine

    Thank you so much for this information. I feel so much safer knowing this information being prepared for the unfortunate. Again thank you!

  • Victora

    Thank you for the great information, and very well done videos. I feel much better knowing that if I were in a restrained situation there is actually a way out.

  • Kim

    Not sure i agree with the advice to remain passive if you have not yet been restrained. Might be appropriate for some situations but not a great blanket statement. Sometimes it’s best to fight with all your might, once they have you your chances if survival decrease.

  • Marie

    I think the advice was great! Very helpful. Although, what if the bad guy tied you to a chair with zip ties?

  • Moninca

    Hey guys! Thank you so much for doing this!! The only thing I was wondering…….can a girl still do all those things? Whoever demonstrated it was a strong looking guy, so would a girl still be able to break them? Thanks again!

  • Glenn

    Good info, this is a life saver life.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Elizabeth

    You can also chew the plastic square on the zip tie and it will release the lock if you distort it enough. I would only do this in an emergency though it might break your teeth.

  • the one were you broke out of the 2 zip ties you used the other bit you broke of to shim could you not fold over the unbroken zip tie and shm out anyway ?

  • Robert Dolan

    I wish I could hear the name of the site for the metal shim. Sounds like shear-pic or whatever, but I have tried all spellings and can not find it.

  • Carmen

    What is your hands and feet are crossed zip tied together.. How would you escape that?

  • Kaleb

    Is there a way to use the long piece of the zip tie to shim your way out of it?

    Like it your hands are bound to the front, could you just use the end piece to shim out?

  • Thomas

    What about these

    can you get out of those ?

    Pretty neat with the videos you got !

  • Meh

    What about plasticuffs?

  • Thank you!

  • bill

    What about the tactical zip ties that police use? Civilians can purchase these from any company that supplies them to police officers such as Say you have a smarty pants criminal that purchases these beforehand.

    • bill

      P.S. Just for the record, I have never been in, nor plan to be in trouble with the law where I would be in the situation of having to get out of their zip ties. 😛

  • JHawx

    Great techniques guys, however, the police and military issued ziptie handcuffs are NOT same as storebought zipties. They have dual mechanism designed for handcuffing.
    you have shown em before, but you do not mention this in anywhere, that these techniques does not liberate you from US military or police. lol

  • Teddy

    You know I’m not here to rain on anyones parade but as an Air Force cop the zip ties we use are a lot thicker and more heavy duty. Doubt you could break them as easily, not saying it is impossible but saying they are a lot stronger.

    • Teddy, the point of sharing this content and methods are for escaping illegal restraint, not for Military or Law Enforcement specific designs.

  • Misty

    Great info I go to night classes in a very busy city and not good busy….. feel a little better after some practice

  • Nice, Thanks- I have not searched yet, but what what would SOP’s be for being bound hand and foot?

  • Lupa

    I don’t see any videos – there’s nothing there at all. do i have to be a member? I really need this information, please and thank you very much.

    • Hi Lupa, can you give us some more details on what you’re seeing? The videos seem to be displaying correctly from here, is it possible that you’re on a computer that blocks embedded YouTube videos? As a last resort you can always navigate over to our YouTube channel to view the videos as well. Thanks!

  • Lyndsay

    I know this is an old post. But what if your legs are ziptied at the ankles?

  • icetrout


  • Gooch

    Great info. I’m going to practice these methods and replace my shoelaces with paracord. In these days this kind of information is invaluable to just about anyone. Thanks.

  • Allindsay

    This won’t work on the double zip cuffs though will it.

  • Murilo

    666 is given by isotope rays on wrist or forehead when people stretch hands to receive small plastic grey card (world passport). Police will chip and isotope ray people on highways. Food stores will isotope ray people too. Antichrist will also release prisoners to mark people. If you’re about to be marked, scream: “Lord, have mercy!” three times. Don’t go into a UFO to be healed by demons.

  • Abigail

    Do you have to be very strong to do these methods? I’m a small, not very strong girl so how much strength is needed to escape successfully?

    I did find the videos extremely helpful though, thank you for taking the time to make and post them!


  • LeilaniMartinez

    @Bryan Black I only see black boxes where the videos should be

  • geoff2

    @Bryan Black ‘Couple of observations. First, Firefox v22, Linux/Fedora 17, no video player.  Second,  the HTML you’re using allocates a space for the video and points to the source. I’m no expert, but I think you need to do more. At a guess, I’d speculate that the code is using a browser-specific feature for your browser. An easy fix would be to encode a link to the YouTube file and forget about the box.

  • Crashaxe

    I wonder what drivers I need to view videos, as they are just black squares on the page.

    • Crashaxe There aren’t any special drivers needed but there have been a few issues as we get the new site fully up and running. Are you on a computer that blocks YouTube videos or maybe Firefox? I recommend checking the post on a different browser or visiting the YouTube page in the mean time while we figure this out. –>

    • JK32087

      Crashaxeif you are having trouble viewing videos here is a video player that will play almost any type of video

    • SethB

      Crashaxe They were black squares on Firefox, but the videos showed on Chrome (Windows 7).

  • DeannaMunson

    thank you

  • CourtneyRobertson

    Thank you for making rhe video on getting out of the wrist zip ties; however, when/if you are incapacitated, your captor won’t just zip tie your wrists, they won’t want to be hurt by your kicking them, so they would also zip tie your ankles, just in case to protect themselves. Would you make a video on how to get out of ankle zip ties? It would really help to prepare my mind better….

    • CourtneyRobertson The easiest thing would be to take care of your hands first by breaking those and then take off a shoelace and friction saw the one off your feet if you couldn’t find something nearby to shim or break it with. Hope that helps!

    • cyndylee

      bryanpblack CourtneyRobertson 
      if you got your hands free couldn’t you also just use your finger nail to shim your way out?

    • cyndylee CourtneyRobertson Quite possibly, but might not work for those of us with short fingernails 🙂

    • Strange

      If you’ve managed to escape, it is likely you still have the original zip tie handy.
      it over and insert the tip into the ankle cuffs, with the smooth side
      against the locking ratchet, and they should slide free.

    • SHTFboy

      bryanpblack CourtneyRobertson   About the shoe lace friction saw idea is cool…  Wouldn’t it work and be easier if instead of taking the whole lace out you just unlaced enough so that you use your boot/foot as an anchor and then tie off the loose end or grab it with your teeth?  That way the cord would be taught and then you could move the restraint up and down to create friction and thus break or wear through the restraint.  Just an idea….

    • Stick_4204

      CourtneyRobertson get your hands out first, do the shim on the ankle one!

    • Rj jr

      Break the wrist restraints and use them to shim the ankle restraints

  • MillieTant

    or you could just use your Zipper!

  • JohnBrown4

    what about law enforcement style Zip’s?

  • Mr John

    @Lyndsay  Use your fingernails to shim the zip ties. If your hands are bound as well, free them first, then use the ties as shims.

  • nosyjme

    Wow! Thanks ITS Tactical… I think that I am going to teach my children how to escape zip ties too, you never know but it may come in handy…

  • owlhix

    not something I’ve ever thought about before, but definitely a good skill to have. Thanks for taking the time to teach!

  • JeremyMartin

    @Allindsay The last video in the list shows you how to do the double zip ties. Yes it does work with the double zip ties.

  • Stick_4204

    very glad I watched, the thought of being kidnapped or anything along those lines is always in the back of my mind and knowing this now puts my mind at ease, at least I have something I can do to help myself if ever in that situation! thank you so much!

  • Stick_4204

    very glad I watched, the thought of being kidnapped or anything along those lines is always in the back of my mind and knowing this now puts my mind at ease, at least I have something I can do to help myself if ever in that situation! thank you so much!

  • JohnHurst

    This is something everyone should know and practice.  From your children to your spouse – bad guys and gov’t officials will probably use this type of restraint.

  • JohnHurst

    This is something everyone should know and practice.  From your children to your spouse – bad guys and gov’t officials will probably use this type of restraint.

  • Astrobeej

    Police use *two* interlocked zip ties like handcuffs, eliminating the gap between your wrists. Do you have a technique for getting out of those?

    • MaggieCross

      @Astrobeej Ummm..if police are using these on you,more than likely it’s for a reason!…this article was meant for if you get kidnapped.

    • JackDaniels7

      MaggieCross …and we all know that police never arrest anyone for illegitimate reasons! C’mon, Maggie, get real!!

    • MaggieCross

      JackDaniels7 MaggieCross  
      No,YOU get real! yes,there are crooked cops who let ppl get away with stuff and/or beat ppl up for no reason,but there are actually GOOD cops who do their job!….as well as some who are actually nice,and help ppl(I know because it happened to me twice)

  • Rezistme

    Most the LEO’s, use two “flex cuffs”. Do you have an escape plan for that situation? Would love to see it!

  • Rezistme

    Never mind…sorry, I didn’t catch the last video you showed with the double ‘Flex cuffs”.
    Good Work guys, Thanks!

  • Rezistme

    I’m glad you showed the double “flex cuff” video. Keep up the GOOD work.
    Thanks a bunch!

  • wanderingman

    @Robert Dolan  Surepic

  • schupp101

    what if it is tied on the back and you are sitting down and you cant stand up?

    • SHTFboy

      schupp101 IF all that’s going on, you’re prolly screwed…

  • ChrisLamoureux

    what about if one zip tie around hands and 1 zip tie tied in middle of hands right around the zip tie tied around your hands to make the zip ties tighter and unable to move? can take picture if you need?

    A person like me can be helpful to your outfit , i have tactical training and more..

  • ibelievein3

    What program do I need to see the videos? My screen just shows black squares.

  • JoshuaPuck

    Someone doesn’t want us to see these videos lol …..Hmmmmmm.

  • Roger

    OK… I’ve escaped… what now????

  • dave1312

    I’m pretty sure anyone can break out of those lame ass home and garden zip ties. I’d love to see you try that break away method with some police/military grade zip ties that are actually made as restraints. Have fun and please post.

    • dave1312 Like these ones?

  • Lisa

    I really need to learn this but, your videos are missing 🙁

  • DennisRymon

    When I was a Sheriff Reserve Deputy, we were taght to cuff using the wrists together, inboard method. This was used whether we were using cuffs or zip ties, and always behind the back.

  • MLB

    Can you fix the “zip ties” videos?  It would be nice to have this information “just in case.”

    • MLB What’s the issue you’re seeing? Are the videos just not showing up at all? Are you on a computer that blocks YouTube videos or maybe Firefox (Firefox hasn’t been playing well with the new site layout)? I recommend checking the post on a different browser or visiting the YouTube page in the mean time while we figure this out. –>

    • blackbuterfli

      MikePetrucci MLB Can’t you shim the zip tie using the end of the zip tie your restrained with?

  • wheremewhere

    I see the double linked zip ties,, what if 2 zipties are used to bind both  wrist instead of one ziptie per wrist?

  • rickburnout666

    Useful to everyone , great stuff, but what about if your wrists get tied with wrists facing but with hands in either direction, could you get out of it ?

  • Lindsay1090

    I think it’s funny that you post all these different ways to get out of “home depot” zip ties, and then you go and endorse much harder, if not impossible (for a smaller female like myself), to get out of zip ties. I sure hope my kidnapper hasn’t done his homework. I did, however, enjoy the new information and appreciate your posts.

    • Lindsay1090 I think you’re missing the point. Yes, these techniques are for defeating common hardware store zip ties, which are the kind of zip ties that do not have a restriction for purchase and would most likely be used in a home invasion or illegal restraint scenario.
      The ITS review you’re referencing on Cobra Cuffs isn’t to demonstrate what kidnappers should use, it’s to highlight a worthwhile restricted product for Law Enforcement and Military applications. Criminals shouldn’t be able to get their hands on these to use on someone like you.
      Hope that clears up the misconception and thanks for the kind words and comment.

    • anarchist

      bryanpblack Lindsay1090 but the thing is criminals do have these kind of equipment all over the world. They wear uniforms and have pay check. They murder,torture and frame innocent people for the benefit of their bosses or bosses of their bosses or themselves …

    • Ben Dover

      You can buy these online, no restriction.

    • Annon

      bryanpblack Lindsay1090 I will say that after reading this particular comment, I spent around 10 seconds searching and was able to purchase cobra cuffs, mil-spec #3367, and police riot control zip ties. So saying that they are not available to the pubic isn’t so. However, only a serial killer would probably go through the lengths to acquire those type of ties which still makes this video useful and I’m thankful that you posted it!

  • Crazywave

    and what if cops uses two on you? now the situation is impossible hahahhaha my friend got arrested and the cops put one in one hand and another in the other hand and use a 3rd and zip im hahahaha no escape for that one. it was funny because he was trying your tricks and the cops saw him and use 3 zips on him ahahahahhaa to bad he got 1 month in the slamer a shame for trying to bust out.

    • Timura

      Crazywave  I don’t think they are trying to advocate running away from the cops….

  • drake12384

    One thing that is flawed here. all of these techniques require that the zip tie be as centralized as possible between your hands. or you have an external medium with which to cut or friction cut the ties. you need to add on to here how to figure out (in the case of the zip tie being behind a person) the possition of the zip tie, and move it. in the front its obvious you would simply use your mouth if the opportunity rises, but from behond you can’t see, and you probably can’t feel much if its tied tight enough.

    • MikeJay2

      drake12384 If you are tied from behind, use the following technique:
      1) Extend your legs straight out in front of you so you are in an “L” shape (your torso being the vertical line) 2) Move your arms forward towards your toes, running the restraints beneath your butt and out through your legs.  The restraints will now be in front of you.

  • Alain4029

    What if your zip tied to a chair and you can’t stand up?

    • Mal Adapted

      @Alain4029 What if they break your legs and arms and wrap you in log chains and dump you down a mineshaft?  These guys can’t cover every possible scenario and it’s unrealistic for you to expect them to.

    • DustyAlaska

      @Mal Adapted  He asked a genuine question… a realistic one… don’t be a dick about it…

  • Samuel

    wow, what was happening? who knows what might happen if those 2 men had got to you, duct tape and gasoline? cant imagine the outcome girl,, you really have to take care of yourself, stay safe always be alert….. Its a good thing u called the police, omg, take care really, the world is a dangerous place….

  • Samuel

    It’s very dangerous if this kind of thing does happen to a victim, Its best to prevent urself from getting tied up first,,, should always remember the best move a girl can defend herself which is “Kicking the Balls”.. However, if it all fails and yet still got tied up, there’s no other choice but to remain passive until the kidnapper takes his eyes off you, thats where you make your move and try to escape, this kind of thing is a life or death situtation, it also depends on the kidnappers where they might have a conscience and decides to leave his victim after raped.

  • Carol Borders

    Thank you for your videos. How nice of you to share this information to help us protect ourselves against evil people who use these cables. I will be sharing this with everyone I know! I sincerely appreciate your efforts.

  • CatManDude

    Try to stay away from people who might zip tie you?

    • SHTFboy

      @CatManDude Steering clear of those that’d zip tie works for me… For most of us, nobody would go to that trouble though.

  • nschwettman

    I’ve been hearing a lot lately about kidnappers using zipties. I’m glad I watched these videos. Thank you so much for posting them. I feel a little better now than I did before I watched them. -Natalie

  • cbboss

    I have been escaping restraints since the early 90’s before it was cool.  IF you are lucky to have someone use cheap zip ties, and zip tie you like the video…awesome.  If I zip tie you, it will be with three separate ones.  One for each hand, and one connecting behind your back.  The primary purpose of restraints is to let you know you are under control.  If you do not ascertain you are under control, and break restraints, it is now a mutual understanding that lethal force can be used, and you can be shot.
    so, are you guys trying to be serious?  Or just some guys pretending?  Impress me by breaking zip ties I put on you….hell, I’ll give you ( I will tier it only because I am impatient) hours and cash if you can break mine.  One hour, $1000, 4 hours $500, 8 hours 250, 16 hours $20…I kind of think you have had a proper chance.  The deal is that I will not cut the ties, regardless of time and you must sign a waiver for any injury suffered during the challenge.

    • SgtBadger

      cbboss  The purpose of the video seems to be how to break them – not a course on hostage survival.  If you have no idea how to break the restraints efficiently or quickly, you could miss your one and only opportunity to exact escape.  For the record – you’re correct on that.  If you’re taken hostage, unless you have been trained, you should likely not attempt escape and should avoid aggravating your captor(s) and further.  If you are kidnapped and no one yet knows you’re gone – escape might be the way to go.  Furthermore, you make this sound like a pissing contest.  It’s pretty unlikely anybody here is joking besides yourself.  9 out of 10 captors are likely to make big mistakes like they described above, so instead of posting tips for the captors (the entire first paragraph of your comment), let us just allow them to make mistakes and be dirtbags.  Be a dirtbag or don’t – I could care less.  But don’t help other dirtbags be dirtbags.

    • Sam

      SgtBadger cbboss If you have the choice to run or be taken captive—-RUN.  If you cannot run-FIGHT like hell.  The odds of surviving once you’re held hostage and taken to a more remote location are slim.

    • kawaii

      cbboss you are a jerk!! Why the hell you teach how to do a crime?! Fucking moron

  • zt

    cbboss – NICE! sign a waver and get ziptied by you!  [email protected]

  • zt

    cbboss  NICE!  sign a waver and get ziptied by you!!! [email protected]

  • tyrel_1990

    What if the kidnapper was smart and use three zip ties one for each wrist and one in the middle?

    • PieteKoo

      There is always an limit to what you can do. It is like asking: i have a spare tyre, but what if all four tyres of my car gets flat at one time? What if you get hogtied and shot in the head – how do you escape that? What if you get restrained with ten ties and one is tightly around your neck? What if you are sentenced to death and restrained in an electric chair – how do you escape that? Some things are just inevitable. You can use methods to your disposal and as taught but the scenarious are to many – at some point you will have to use your own imagination and skills to try to escape certain scenarios.

  • Dave Williams

    Thank you for some very useful information, which I hope I never have to use.  A minor correction, if I may: the name of the knot you refer to in #3 is not pronounced “BOUGH-line,” but “BOE-linn.”  Thanks again, and stay free.

  • ScottAlan1

    What is your opinion on Tuff-tie’s and do you feel they are a better or worse alternative to flex cuffs?

  • MelodyPatterson

    Wow…great videos!

  • Bakeca xincontriadulti

    Very interesting tutorial.Thank you!

  • JodieMoreno

    Wow I wish people would stop giving bad people advice on how to capture others (3 zip ties and being bound to chairs and such) just take these videos and be happy in the knowledge that we have good escape avenues. Most of these people’s comments seem like they are trying to help kidnappers, GEEZ!
    Thanks so much to the person making these videos I am happy to have learned something useful!

  • Merc

    Out of curiosity, i have run across steel cable ties that I would worry a kidnapper or someone intending harm might use after seeing videos like the above and that are all over the internet now regarding breaking free from these nylon and polymer zip ties.


  • matt

    Good info. For shimming zip ties, use the excess end and it’s even tapered…

  • matt

    Just saw the dual video ending, never mind previous comment lol

  • MichelleHardigree

    You do realize that as helpful as these may be they are also harmful. In making these videos available to the public you are showing the people who would use these things to restrain people a way for people to escape and they are just going to use something else now or make sure that whoever they use these on are not holding their hands like you showed them. I’m all about safety and awareness but seriously anyone can Google these videos. How helpful will they be if the ones who use them know how to combat your escape?

    • AutumnStone

      MichelleHardigree If you’re all about safety and awareness then you should just accept that these are helpful. This site is insanely helpful especially to teenage girls going off to college. Most people who would do anything of this sort would not suspect a teenage girl to be able to keep her head and think these through. There was no reason to give them crap about making this available to anyone who would need this information to feel safe. It was rude and they obviously understand the pros and cons of posting it online. Personally, I’d rather know this even if my attacker knows about it too. The more you know, the safer you are. Knowledge is power.

    • MillenniumMan

      You have to forgive her, she thinks owning a gun makes you insane and shooting your attacker a racist.

    • MrDanger

      AutumnStone MichelleHardigree I agree wholeheartedly with Autumn here. I guess the simple fact is that most people who do something like this probably have never done it before, or at least haven’t made it into an art or formula. You have the advantage if you are mentally prepared, but also that does mean more than just reading some instructions on a site. You need to be able to recall them under pressure and execute an escape while under duress. Most people have difficulty to move or make any action that might induce a violent situation in normal life, let alone when bound. 
      The knowledge is useful, most attackers probably wont know or understand it, yet it takes more physical and mental strength than many people will have in the situation.

    • Anonymous

      Oh my god shut up and go back to Tumblr you fucking yuppie. You came to a site with a watermark that features a cracked skull inside of a cracked shield and bitch that the contents of the site MIGHT be dangerous. Well no shit Sherlock. Claiming that this knowledge might be used by criminals to escape detainment is like saying that a video that teaches kids to swim might lead a child to drown. Go back to your safety zone where you can censor everything you want and live in your bubble of happy and let us adults decide for ourselves how we choose to entertain ourselves.

    • MrDanger

      @Anonymous That actually made no sense or relevance to her comment. She wasn’t talking about criminals escaping, she was talking about criminals understanding escape methods and trying methods that are harder to escape.

    • Ruspert

      That is the chance that is taken and that those that use this method of restraint are ignorant of the possibility that there are ways to defeat the cable ties or do not believe the victim is aware of them.

  • Thanks for nice info….

  • Miss_Juchau

    So, I just tested out the “escaping cable ties” and it never worked, what could I possibly be doing wrong?

  • ekoostikhookah765

    Hey thanks for posting!

  • tx57kozack

    how do u get  out zip ties when ur hand behind ur back!!! some body has a concel knife for a watch or parcord  thats a 1″  to cut it but i lost the site!!

  • Hill

    I love these videos! Great suggestions.  I am wondering however would this work on children?  Do you have any suggestions for if a child is kidnapped?

  • studog

    What if your hands are tied behind your back

    • eclipseocelot

      studog Put them in front of yourself, duh. I can easily pull my arms below my body and lift my legs over my wrists, but I’m not fat. If you’re fat, lose weight now, cause you can’t lose fat over the course of one kidnapping.

    • Anonymity Moon

      Your less likely to be kidnapped if you’re fat so if you do lose weight you’re more likely to be kidnapped.

  • BillJenkins1

    Lol, what if what if what if. Seriously people. The videos explain that these methods work for the supplies that the common stupid criminal would use. Most of us aren’t important enough to have a special ops team with high end supplies come kidnap us. These are what a broke junkie mugger would use.
    If you are someone important enough, for someone well trained, to have a reason to come and collect you, then you are likely already trained or prepared with all possible options to evade to correct the situation in your favor.
    This was great information for the common person to gain some knowledge on what a common criminal would most likely use to restrain you.

  • RamonavanderWijk

    can you also put the end of the zip tie in dat hole iff youre tied whit one zip tie????

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for this information – I had no idea there were so many methods of getting out of these. 
    Not that I expect to ever be restrained like this, but knowing what to do in a crisis situation is empowering. Sort of like knowing what to do if your house is on fire. So, thanks for that. 🙂

    I was curious if you guys had any pointers for getting out of these when your hands are restrained from behind. If you have any ideas, I’m sure some of us would love to know.

  • lauramail

    Thank you for making and posting this video.

  • mason

    what if your hands are tied behind your back?

  • mason

    what if your hands are tied behind your back?

    • InfamousXCVI

      You would strike it against your butt and open your elbows on impact

  • gratefulgma

    This is such a helpful video. Thank you.

  • NewZealander

    Very good and interesting video. Even though NZ doesn’t allow citizens to carry guns in public like America, I still love this website.

  • babypurple78

    What if they are tied behind your back? How do you get out then?

    • 62sophia77

      @babypurple78 I’d like to know that too!

    • slycoop01

      @babypurple78  Best case scenario you’ll be able to move your hands from behind your back under your feet to your front.
      Voila: front facing tied hands.

  • Krat0s

    I’m more fearful of getting Tetanus from the rusty shimmies than the kidnapping… but then again, what do I know, I won’t ever get kidnapped because I am the God of war. 😉

  • Albatros1

    Please make a demo of women of various sizes and ages trying to escape from these restraints. Also please show us how to escape from being rope bound without your cutting devices.

  • Umm i tried the first one and the one with the two zip ties, my friend also tried it. For us it didnt work…

  • SHTFboy

    Note to self:  Try to avoid getting restrained in the first place by…  
    1) Not pissing off your neighborhood Mexican drug cartel.
    2) Not being the sole witness to a major crime (murder, extortion, bribery, robbery, etc.)
    3) Not fraternizing with the wife and/or girlfriend of any U.S. service member, emphasis on those with Spec Ops training. (Veterans Day +1 shout out).

    • lakin7689

      SHTFboy #4 being the most important, and also the most likely of all scenarios.

  • Leslie

    Question: How would one escape from zip ties if they were bound to a chair? For instance, a traditional wooden chair with arm rests and your kidnapper zip-tied your wrists to the arm rests? How about the feet to chair legs? Curious to know. Thanks!

  • der zorn gott

    I have pants with a cut in the seam behind the belt where I have placed a handcuff key on one side and a small blade on the other for when I to out behind enemy lines in occupied territory, and the EDC, don’t plan to get nabbed in the first place

  • cactusrose

    Thank You for this vido on the zip ties  I have two young friends that want to travel over seas for a job in their field.  This helped them relize they didn,t have to take martal arts to servive. But the use of some common sence and a little learning could keep them from becoming Victoms.

  • scrapbook gramma

    Great video..Great for men. I know few older women who cannot use brute strengh much. But the real question is: How does a women (older especially) hide, conceal these tools on her possession. Where or what does she use to keep them accessible??

  • Fearmaster1

    Gas a teen, this is very helpful and I can use this to persuade my parents to let me out of the house!

  • Allen

    For those who are not used to nautical terms, the bowline knot described is pronounced bo-lin not Bow Line.  If you learn no other knot, learn the bowline as it is the knot likely to save your life.  It will absolutely not slip and is easy to undo even after under extreme tension.  You can use it to make a loop around yourself to be hoisted up a cliff or secure yourself to a tree without it slipping and cutting you in half.  Sailors use it to secure themselves to the boat in high seas.  Google Bowline knot to see how to tie one and how useful it is.

    • zoltare

      @Allen  if you decide to use the para cord bicycle string trick, make sue that after the wire ties are cut, that you remove the cord from your feet before running away or your escape will make a fast and sudden stop. ouch!

  • sierra

    Interesting BUT I can’t imagine your captor letting you get something (ITS urban kit) out of your purse before he restrains you.

  • Robin Rowland

    The shim idea is swell, but most folks do not have a metal shim tucked in their sleeve. Might I suggest that most zip ties have a pointed end that pokes through the gear grabber end. Once you are zipped in the cuffs, use the tail to flip around and use the point as the shim. Works for me every time I zip the tomato stems too tight to the tomato cage.

    • JayBee4

      Robin Rowland unless they trim the excess…

  • JayBee4

    so what about being bound from behind?

    • Ruspert

      I believe it is possible to lower your arms and slip your feet through them so that your arms are in front.

    • Grumpy_98

      I think that you have to be relatively slim to do that. I haven’t been svelte enough or flexible enough to do that for 15 years. Age usually presents new challenges as time goes by.

  • Mohsen Tahanian

    Nice job

  • Doug P

    I’d just call my ex wife and offer cash to show,they’d be begging forgiveness in short order….

  • Zippy Ustar

    Bla bla bla get to the point w/out pushing your products first convince Me, then sell Me// until then perhaps have a woman do this video (as we relate better to a woman not a guy whose thinking about how to break free from a woman’s point of view)

  • skye


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