Monday, 12 August 2013

Improvised weapons for self-defense

Following my post on which weapons are legal for self-defense , I thought it would be a good idea to discuss how to improvise your own weapon for self-defense purposes. Let me state that for any of these items to work in a self-defense scenario, you need to be brutal in your strikes, and hit like you mean it. You are in charge of your own safety, and you may not have many chances to strike or use your improvised weapon, so you need to make them count. 

Purses are both fashionable and functional
Improvised weapons: 
  • Your purse/backpack/briefcase- use your your bag to hit your attacker. It can help create space between you and him, and you can get some good momentum behind your swings. Can also be used as a makeshift shield against knife attacks. 
  • An umbrella - a fairly common item that many people have with them on occasion. Not only can you swing it around like a baseball bat, but you can always use it like this, too:

    • Throw things at your attacker's face - purse contents, loose changes, garbage, etc. It won't do much damage, but it can certainly be a great distraction and hopefully deter further attempts to engage you.
    • Rolled up magazine - Not only can you strike someone with the rolled up magazine, but the end of it makes a great weapon. When a magazine or newspaper is rolled up, the ends become quite hard and makes a formidable improvised self-defense tool. Use it to thrust into an attacker's throat, his temple, his xiphoid process, etc. 
    • Chairs, trash bins, etc. - pick them up and point them towards your attacker to create space between the two of you. If he comes forward, strike him with the object. Alternatively, you can always knock over things that are around you to create space and hopefully slow up your attacker if he's chasing you.
    • Your drink - whether it's a scalding hot cup of coffee from Tim Horton's or a cold water bottle from the gym, your drink will not only act as a good distraction, it could potentially really harm your attacker (scalding coffee to the face probably doesn't feel too great).
    • Ballpoint pen or a pencil - the sharpened end can be thrust into soft tissue 
    • Books (especially hardcover) - can cause some serious damage. Strike to the face, smash into the nose, etc. Bonus points if it's this book you're using:

     Consider carrying the following:
    • A kubaton - developed in Japan and popularized by the LAPD, kubatons are legal, non-lethal and can really pack a wallop.They're relatively inexpensive, and can be found on amazon, ebay and other places online, as well as in some martial arts supply stores. They are lightweight, attach to your key chain and are used easily by anyone. The point provides penetration to soft tissue spots, though there are other uses for the kubaton, as well. If you take a self-defense course or kubaton course, you'll learn that you can use the shaft of the kubaton to roll across joints and cause some considerable pain. You can also use the shaft of the kubaton across joints to get control of the attacker, or to help with takedowns, among other uses. Lastly, if all else fails, you can even just hold onto the kubaton and hit your attacker with the keys at the end.
      Kubaton key chain
    Further suggestions for improvised weapons are always welcome below! 
    Stay safe. 


    1. Nice article.

      I once took an old Time magazine, rolled it tight, and taped it up on the bottoms. Damned thing hurt like hell when I tested it on myself.

      And speaking of chairs, a bar stool is also a good defense weapon against a knife as it gives you reach as well as a shield.

      Shameless self promotion: how about the WORST self defense weapon for a woman?

      1. Car keys are good against a stranger. But obviously not against the most dangerous person possible the husband, boyfriend, 'charming acquaintance' who goes bad.

    2. That's an AWESOME article! I was going to write about how I'm totally against placing keys between the fingers, as it's obviously going to destroy the webbing between your fingers. I'm going to post your article on my facebook page. Thanks a bunch for sharing!

    3. Car keys. Let one jut out from between each of your fingers and you basically have a tiger claw. Where I went to college in the 1970s keys jutting through a fist were known as the rapist's nightmare. (College students were usually left alone -- we were fit and we usually went in groups. We were ideal witnesses for the prosecution, so we were a crook's nightmare).

      Don't forget that you can bite -- and your bite force is close to that of a dog, an animal that few want to encounter while it is hostile. You can deliver a nasty kick with your legs.

      A spray can (anything from hairspray to deodorant) can deliver some abuse in a high-powered vapor, and of course the can itself is a good weapon.

    4. Wow, such practical tips for self-defense.=)
      Nowadays, women are more vulnerable to attacks, and we have to be responsible for our own safety.

      Martial Arts Brisbane

    5. Nice Blog Thanks For Sharing with me and This blog will tell you everything about the you just improvise .

    6. Really very happy to say your post is very interesting to read and it's very helpful too. I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up.
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    7. Phew. Thanks so much. Thought I was going to have to start wearing a sword on my back. All I need is a good sturdy umbrella.