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Monday, December 28, 2009

Unconventional Self-Defense Weapons

Something most people don't consider is that they may not always have their self-defense weapon with them when an attack occurs.  You may just be making a quick run to the store, so you don't bring along your firearm, pepper spray or stun gun.  Or, you may be in a horribly mis-named "safe zone" where self-defense weapons are not allowed - for law-abiding citizens.  Bad guys don't seem to read the signs.

So what do you do in an instance where you need to defend yourself but you've been stripped of your self-defense tools?  You improvise.

For instance, you can bring a ball-point pen with you virtually everywhere.  And as the National Institute of Health notes, they can be quite effective -
Commonly available items including a ball point pen, a plastic knife, a broken wine bottle, and a broken wine glass were used to inflict stab and incised wounds to the necks of 3 previously euthanized Large White pigs. With relative ease, these items could be inserted into the necks of the pigs next to the jugular veins and carotid arteries.
Some other considerations -
  • Pencils, forks and spoons
  • Walking canes and walking sticks
  • Your belt and buckle, used to slash and strike
Use whatever is available to you.
A 22-year-old woman used a hot cup of coffee to fend off an armed assailant during a violent struggle in a parking lot Friday morning, police said.


The attacker put a handgun to the woman’s back and threatened to shoot her if she didn’t get into the car, Griffin said.

The woman resisted and the carjacker struck her in the head with his gun during the ensuing struggle, Griffin said.

“He had her in the car,” Griffin said. “He actually even said, ‘You’re going to drive,’ or words to that effect.”

The fight ended when the woman threw hot coffee in the carjacker’s face and freed herself, he said.
Accept The Challenge

A criminal will use the element of surprise to mount their attack.  You need to be mentally prepared to improvise and defend yourself if you find yourself without your traditional self-defense tools.

In addition to using the "striking tools" of your body - your fists/hands, elbows, forehead, knees, feet and legs - you need to consider other unconventional weapons, and how you'd use them.

What is available to strike an attacker?  Scald?  Club?  Blind?  Stab?  Choke?

Remember to attack the weakest point of your assailant - the eyes, nose, throat, groin - and make your escape.  You're not there to make an arrest.  Disable, Escape and Report.

Copyright 2009 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Anonymous said...

This is excellent information and nowadays a variety of self defense
items such as stun guns, pepper spray, and personal alarms, etc are made to be disguised as everyday ordinary items, like cell phones, pens, perfumes, and pagers. Any of these items can be purchased online at
if you cant find a store in your city or cant get out to purchase them. Self defense
items are a necessity for all people because you never know what situations life may bring you

Anonymous said...

Good article! We all need to become aware, think through scenarios and plan to improvise BEFORE something happens. Thank-you for this reminder.


Anonymous said...

That's the way I was taught as a kid. In a real fight, as opposed to a "school yard" fight, there's no such thing as rules. Pick up a stick, or a rock or whatever comes to hand and flail away.

Chief Instructor said...

tara, agreed - purchased self-defense tools are generally preferred, but people need to know how to improvise if the situation dictates.

Mel, I think one of the most important things people can do is just what you mention - think through some possible scenarios BEFORE they happen. You are much more likely to end up on the winning side by doing so.

Hermit, ditto here. The Marquess of Queensberry rules are thrown out the window. Too often nowadays, a fight can literally mean the difference between life and death. If someone intends on harming me or mine, it won't be a pleasant experience!