The prospect of having to defend yourself against any type of physical attack is harrowing, to say the least. In an ideal world, we would all be safe and never have to think of this, but, as we all know, physical assaults can happen, and often do.
As law-abiding citizens, most of us would not want to carry a large knife with us or keep a loaded firearm in our house, although, as I know from first-hand experience, in some parts of certain countries, this is a daily necessity.
So, what have I got at home that might help me to defend myself, in the event of someone breaking into my property and threatening my safety? What can I legally and safely use or carry when I am out? Here are a few ideas which might help to keep you just that little bit safer and still within the law in most places.
In the home
Never underestimate the potential of a broom. It can create distance between yourself and an assailant, the bristles can be used to attack the eyes, causing intense pain, the tip of the handle can be used to strike nerve points or soft tissues, buying you time to call for help or make an escape.
2. Extension Cord
An extension cord comes with a handy plug on one end, in some countries the plug is quite heavy and can inflict some damage when swung with force. The pins can be thrust into nerve points or soft tissue and the cord can be used to tie up limbs or deflect blows.
A hairbrush, raked across the eyes, can cause sufficient discomfort to give you time to follow up with a more effective strike, before making to escape.
A magazine, rolled tightly, can function as a highly effective weapon if the base is jabbed with vigour into an assailant’s vital points.
5. Cell phone
The edges or corners of your cell phone, wielded correctly, can cause considerable damage. It’s worth risking damage to your favourite device if it could save your life!
Hairspray or deodorant spray, perhaps a fire extinguisher? These can all temporarily blind or at least disorientate an attacker.
This video demonstrates the use of pepper spray. Although deodorant is not as powerful, it can still be effective enough to give you the seconds you need to run away.
My favourite often overlooked weapon of choice for home defence is a large, powerful, metal flashlight. A smaller metal flashlight can work quite well too, but it lacks the weight. The base makes a great tool for delivering hard strikes, the weight of batteries and the shaft make a great baton and the beam of light itself is an effective weapon. Bright lights straight in the eyes are very disorientating.
What if I am out?
8. Weighted Backpack
When you are out and away from home, consider carrying a backpack whenever possible, keep a rigid board with some weight and density in the laptop pouch. You can turn this humble item into a shield or a striking weapon.
The bag may be used as a distraction device, throw it at an attacker’s face and follow up with a powerful strike and run, or just run, whilst they are distracted.
9. Mini Baton
Carrying a miniature baton (such as a Kubotan) is illegal in some countries, but if it takes the form of a solid aluminium cylinder, or even a tube, drilled to become a keyring, and it is no more than six inches long, it’s probably hard for authorities to argue that it is a weapon. It can be amazingly effective if used to strike sensitive parts of the body, or nerve points. Curled up in the ball of your fist, it can make an effective knuckle duster by supporting the fingers when punching.
10. Walking Stick
Although it is not something that people tend to use much, until they reach a certain stage in life, a hooked walking stick can be a great self-defence tool. The art of Barritsu is worth investigating if you want some ideas in this regard. Escrima, a system from the Philippines, is also worth investigating in this regard as some of the principles would apply.
And what about an umbrella? The more expensive types with a hooked handle and a metal tipped point come to mind. Aside from the uses they both might present in a self-defense situation, opening an umbrella in an attacker’s face can be a great distraction and a prelude to a pre-emptive, defence strike.
As a final thought, I’m not proud to admit that I had a friend many years ago who liked to test his advanced Karate knowledge and street fighting skills by picking fights, often with more than one person at a time. He typically won, and he had a secret weapon, he could remove his leather belt very rapidly and use the heavy buckle to deliver debilitating blows. He could use it to party punches, tangle up an opponent’s limbs and ward off broken bottles and knives by wrapping it around his forearm.
Teach yourself self-defense that works,
because this is one of the best street fighting books around!
This article was written by Tony Carr. Tony is the founder of the Zimbabwe Tai Kickboxing Association and was also a UK registered instructor with the Self-Defence Federation in the UK.
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