Weapons Defenses

One of the most enduring self-defense myths involves the use of everyday objects to protect yourself should the worst happen. This is great in principle and can work in some cases, but a quick scan of the internet reveals lots of tips written by people who have clearly never been in a violent position. 

“Spray a perfume bottle in an attacker’s eyes.” 

Or 

Put a key between your fingers for an improvised brass knuckle.”

I’m not suggesting these techniques don’t work; they do. It’s just that the realistic application of each takes far longer than would be practical on the street. We simply don’t have the time or thought process in place when it all kicks off to perform any complicated techniques. 

Would you really want to be fishing around in your bag to find a bottle of perfume or deodorant while someone is attacking you?  

Do you think you will have the time or coordination to place a key between your knuckles (which will likely just fall out or likely do you more damage than them)?

If you do have time to prepare these things, then I have bad news. It’s not self-defense, it’s a fight. The majority of street situations are brutal, fast, and unplanned leaving no time for this kind of pre-meditation.  

The only case they may have some validity it would be an extended sexual assault, but even then you are likely to be better off relying on elbows and fingers than fashioning some rudimentary weapons. 

Remember a violent encounter will usually be:

Fast

 Unexpected

 Confusing 

So what can I use? 

There are, however, a few items most people carry that can be used in defense at the last minute without any thinking. These are simple, uncomplicated methods you can employ to give you valuable escape time (not fight- ing time)

Coins 


Many of us carry a pocketful of coins around as change for vending machines, parking meters, or just leftover from recent purchases. It may be annoying in your pocket but can serve as a great distraction in a tight spot.

–       If a situation is escalating, grab a handful of coins and throw them hard and fast at your opponent’s eyes.

–       If you are lucky, you may hit and temporarily blind them, but even if you don’t, they will instinctively raise their hands to protect the face

–       Once their arms are up, kick hard to the groin or strike with your palm to their chest

–       Escape the scene; run. 

Keys


Most people carry keys, and they can be used effectively, but trying to place them carefully between your fingers or creating some kind of brass knuckle effect as many places suggest is just unrealistic. Instead, consider how you would use them if you were fighting for your life.

–       Once violence is inevitable, quickly grab your keys firmly in one hand with bits sticking out all over – don’t worry about it being even as long as it isn’t sticking into your own palm. Preferably, hook one finger through a key ring and hold the keys outside your knuckle.

–       Whip the keys up, and lash them across the attackers face roughly. (Think of the way an animal would claw.)

–       If you had the finger through the key ring, you can also strike in a punch style.

–       If you were unable to hook them, simple flay them across the attacker’s face and make for your escape. Do not worry about holding onto them.  

Your Jacket 


If you are wearing a long coat or a thick jacket, it can become a hindrance if you need to move quickly. It might look fashionable but if you know that knee-length number is heavy and tight it can be best to remove it.

–       If violence is imminent remove the heavy jacket in advance (If it actually underway does not waste time trying to take a coat off, however)

–       In the case of being threatened by a knife, you can quickly throw the jacket at the attacker’s arm and knife hand – restricting their movement momentarily and briefly protecting yourself from any wild slashes. 

 –       Use the distraction to escape  One exception may be leather jackets. Genuine leather does offer significant protection, which is why motorcyclists prefer them so much, and so they can be left on provided you can still move freely. 

The Power of the Humble Flashlight 


The humble flashlight is one of the most overlooked tools in self-defense, mostly due to the fact that people see it for its utility use, rather than self-protection. For this very reason, they are particularly effective as “stealth” weapons, completely legal to carry, unassuming, and powerful in a number of ways.

Of course, the obvious application of a flashlight or “torch” if you are Euro- pean, is for illuminating dark areas, which could be essential if you find your- self in a dim parking lot or a power cut, but the same light can also be used to distract an attacker. In a dark environment, our pupils dilate to let more light in; this is how we adjust to the change in light. However, this adjustment takes several seconds to a few minutes depending on the change. If you suddenly flash a bright light in the face of a potential threat, you will force their eyes to adjust, temporarily blinding them. This period of disorientation is used effectively worldwide by military and police forces. Ever wondered why Police so often carry a huge flashlight? 

Using your flashlight as a self-defense tool: 


–       Ensure you have a well-made, bright, and easily portable flashlight. (Not one that only works half the time.) Waterproof is also recommended.

–       Ensure it is ‘click-on’ (i.e. a button turns it on and off.) “Twist-on” works too but is not as instant and requires two hands.

–       Use good quality batteries, and check them every couple of months. Lithium batteries are generally recommended (if your flashlight can take them). These batteries usually last many more years than alkaline, offer a brighter beam, and are less likely to leak. 

–       Don’t wave the flashlight around at an attacker. If you use it, just switch the beam on once and quickly aim directly at their eyes.

–       They will usually shield their face and have trouble seeing. Use this period to escape the danger and leave for better lit areas. 

The added secret: 


Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of a flashlight is that it is a blunt force weapon in itself. Yes, the beam is useful as a distraction, but the body of a torch is a great weapon also.

–       Small palm-held flashlights work just like a Kubotan (see later) and are effective for hammer-fist strikes and sharp jabs to the throat and soft tissue.

–      Large multi-cell flashlights are of course great for striking like a bat or bar, but they also work as a significant visual deterrent – the very reason why so many security guards, who cannot carry ‘weapons’, carry these. They look intimidating.


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With this one, you will get the form and the technique and that is what is important in any self-defense lesson that you can have.

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