Which Weapon to Carry for Self Defence

Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by SWC Sifu Ben, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    First it should be noted that I am not a legal expert especially concerning areas where laws do not pertain to me. As such this will be a more general answer to the question and covering this question on several topics. Nothing in here should be considered legal advice and I would like to note that for civilians I consider any weapon as an adjunct to empty handed skills and for the most part unnecessary. Remember that knowledge weighs nothing, lower levels of force will more often be what are needed, and (unless you're an amputee) you can't forget your body parts at home.

    Know The Law

    If it is not legal to carry a weapon in your country, stop right now. Carrying something which is purpose made as a weapon in a region where it is prohibited can lead to jail time, even if you use it to save your own life. In some regions you may be able to legally carry an item which could be pressed into service as a weapon like a folding pocket knife, heavy duty pen, keychain, etc. More on these improvised weapons later.
    If it is legal to carry purpose made weapons your search becomes much easier. Again be aware of what you can legally carry as some states in the U.S. for example will allow you to carry a firearm but not a knife. Our Legal Knowledge area has a section with prohibited (non-firearm) weapons in Canada.
    For both groups of people be aware of how you carry. A knife legally carried but slipped under the shirt could be considered a concealed weapon and land you in hot water.

    Get Trained

    This section is very simple. If you don't have training with a particular item be it a gun, knife, taser, pepper spray, or any other tool... DO NOT CARRY IT! You are only creating more danger to yourself.
    You need to be able to draw, retain, and use anything you carry effectively. That means consistent and regular training. Training once or twice a year is insufficient for something you carry everyday for intended use in a high pressure, high stakes, andrenaline fuelled situation.
    If you don't have training with your force multiplier of choice you're also going to risk not deploying it when appropriate. This might mean drawing too early, drawing too late, or freezing under pressure after you've already introduced the weapon. The rule of thumb here is to only carry things with which you have enough training to make effective decisions on deployment and where you're able to use them confidently and competently under pressure.

    Use the Right Level of Force

    This is an issue of some debate and it goes right along with training. Some people think you should carry the highest level of force available to you while others think that is overkill. The level of force necessary certainly depends on your region and should be proportionate to the threats you're likely to encounter.

    Improvised weapons
    If you can't carry a weapon you may be tempted to resort to carrying a tactical pen or any one of the self defence keychains on the market; DON'T. If you found it any prosecuting attorney can find it online. The fact that is is marketed for self defence makes it a purpose built weapon which means your plea of "but it's just a pen/flashlight/keychain" will fall on deaf ears. The words tactical, weapon, protection, strike, and self defence are just some of the words you should avoid on any product you actually want to use for those purposes. Unless you can carry something which would not be questioned, don't carry it at all. Even something like a big carabiner could draw attention by a prosecutor when they ask why you had nothing clipped on it and had it in your pocket.
    This brings me to my next point...

    The best weapon is not a weapon at all
    If you carry something whose only use is a weapon you are likely to forget it, begrudge it's weight and bulge, and probably never draw it day to day. Something which has a function as a tool is something you are likely to always pack, have in the same place, draw more often, and which you have legitimate reason to carry.
    I use my pocket knife, a Spyderco Paramilitary 2, at least once a day to open a package or even just remove loose threads from my uniform. Every time I pull it out that is practice drawing it. Because I use it so often it's always in the same place and I never forget to put it there. I would bet money that I can draw that tool faster under pressure than anyone who carries something like a dagger and almost never pulls it out because they carry it for self defence.

    More detailed considerations:
    armor - take a look at the v-42 commando knife. It was designed to be long enough to pierce a Russian greatcoat. Now take a look at a karambit. If you live in a cold and snowy place like I do you have to consider that much of the year people will be wearing heavy coats and/or heavy clothing. Impact tools, short/curved blades, and tasers are going to be a whole lot less effective in reaching their way through these layers. Thankfully for batons most people don't bundle up their thighs.
    environment - if you're likely to be shot at a knife isn't going to help you much unless you're close and even then it's not a great option. If you're using pepper spray in a region where it tends to be windy you could be getting a face full instead of your attacker(s). And again for cold regiond you will want something you can operate while wearing gloves.
    weight & bulk - if it's big and heavy you won't want to carry it and will probably eventually get rid of it anyway. No one is going to carry those huge Cold Steel folders; not for long anyway.
    carry & draw - where can you carry it, how easy is it to draw and deploy, will it be comfortable to carry, and will it be concealed while carrying.
    ergonomics - is it comfortable for you personally to hold and operate. Everyone's hands are built a little differently and people like different things.
    handedness - yes lefties some things are just not made for you

    Originally from the blog of Soaring Wing Chun Kung Fu Scarborough
     
    Hans Larrave likes this.
  2. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    This article makes no reference to the way that the choice of weapon escalates violence.

    Knives and guns are almost useless for less than lethal combat. Drawing a knife or a gun states your intent to kill the opponent. A short stick is highly effective in less than lethal combat. Drawing a short stick is not an automatic escalation to lethal violence.

    Choosing to carry a knife means choosing to use lethal force if the weapon is drawn. Choosing to carry a stick allows the choice of less than lethal force if the weapon is drawn. This should be thought about before you decide what type of weapon (if any) to carry.
     
    Andrew Johnson and Hans Larrave like this.
  3. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    A folding knife "undeployed" can be used as a palm stick/kubotan quite readily, which transistions very well to the empty hand aspects from various systems, particularly the FMA variety

    If the situation warrants a weapon any fears of escalation are already irrelevant - the concern is that does carrying a hammer make every problem look like a nail
     
    Andrew Johnson likes this.
  4. raaeoh

    raaeoh never tell me the odds

    I carry a roll of nickels
     
  5. SamuraiMaster

    SamuraiMaster New Member

    I would say biro pen, or a fountain pen if you really want to be viscious. I had a friend that carried a kubotan, and when he got stopped by the police, he admitted that it was for self defence, and they confiscated it. So if you carry one, make sure you know its a key chain
     
  6. Knockout88

    Knockout88 New Member

    I agree with Tom Bayley, the more effective weapon, the more likely you'll kill your opponent. It is essential to use right level of force, and never overestimate it.
     
  7. Tai Sabaki

    Tai Sabaki Valued Member

    Mag light torch is excellent as is a nice size mobile phone!
     
  8. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I think holding a large mobile phone would be a hindrance.

    It leaves you one handed and without any dexterity in one hand.

    I also doubt your going to do enough damage to stop a determined attack.
     
  9. Tai Sabaki

    Tai Sabaki Valued Member

    I has to be the right size, I can hold my Samsung ace 3 and use it like a with an inch protruding from my little finger side and use it in a hammer fist motion, ouside to in or inside to out and downwards.
     
  10. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I'm sure you can, but I'd argue that given the lack of dexterity it's not a benefit.

    By holding the phone you only have the option to strike. In SD you'll need to grab, parry, shove and so on. You can't do that holding a phone.

    The phone is also only going to be aby good with a headshot, as it's not going to hurt the body.

    You get one go. Get it wrong and you're done for.
     
  11. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Cell Phone? This gives a odd addition to the list of "anything can be used as a weapon". That said, I can somewhat "gather" how and where it could be used. However, I rather keep my cell phone intact so that it will not be damaged (by using it in that manner) when I have to make the emergency call after the ordeal
     
  12. bigreddog

    bigreddog Valued Member

    The advantage of a cellphone or some of the other 'improvised' tools is that they are in your hand when you are attacked, and can be held without escalating a situation. If you are in a verbal confrontation that might escalate, drawing a weapon makes you the one escalating it - which the law isn't all that keen on. Having something innocuous in your hand lets you go without having to access a weapon - it may also cut through any technique log jam under pressure (which may be a good or bad thing, depending on your abilities).
    As far a cellphone per se - you can buy some fairly durable cases for them. And actually the last fight I witnessed involved someone smashing someone else over the head with their phone repeatedly - it didn't put the other guy down, but the guy with the phone ran off under his own steam, so at least he didn't lose :)
     
  13. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Those old Nokias with the chunky aerial were okay, but I agree with Simon that they would not be a weapon of choice for me (although I'm not sure why he said you couldn't parry while holding one). Something like a maglite is much better, because the cylindrical handle allows you to still punch. I wouldn't fancy punching anything with power while holding a phone.

    However, whether being mugged or attacked while reporting a crime, it may well be worth being able to act while you are holding one.
     
  14. webcrest

    webcrest Valued Member

    Awareness is a huge part of survival and its good you guys are getting aware of self defense. Stun Guns or tasers, kubotans similar to pocket sticks or knifes, some defense sprays like pepper spray can be a good choice.
     
  15. ladyhawk

    ladyhawk Valued Member

    Streetwise Security Products SWBAR9R Barbarian 9,000,000-Volt Stun Baton Flashlight
    Bought it from Amazon a year ago for about $35. I carry it for evening walks.

    We are issued OC spray (oleoresin capsicum) to carry on our duty belts. Before you are allowed to carry it you have to be sprayed with it. Something I don't want to do again.
     
  16. AJMartialArtist

    AJMartialArtist Valued Member

    The best weapon is your mind and skill this might sound all philosophical but it is true the best advice I can is car keys, pens, pencils wrenches basically everyday items however even this is dangerous because there are rules in a street fight called excessive force if you use this you will end up in gaol (or jail depending where your from) so I would say learn a martial art that is extremely aggressive and can transfer strikes with weapons such as escrima,Silat and Krav Maga

    Weapons can end the other persons life and ruin yours
     
  17. Avenger

    Avenger Banned Banned

    If you want a weapon to carry without being illegal, a walking cane come to mind.
     
  18. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Not strictly true.

    You can carry a whole range of items, but it's the context in which you use them that'll get you into trouble.

    In addition a cane is useless as a weapon unless you've trained to use it as a weapon.
     
  19. AJMartialArtist

    AJMartialArtist Valued Member

    Yeah I agree with Simon a walking Cane is useless unless trained however it depends in what country you are in if you are in Australia DO NOT CARRY ANYTHING that could be used as a weapon unless it is for your job but seriously weapons where I live are a no go.
     
  20. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Luckily for me, my school trains us to use walking cane's as weapons.:)
     

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