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Improvised Weapons - A Discussion

Posted Aug 06 2010 4:12pm

Last night we had an excellent discussion on improvised weapons for use in self-defense. To prepare for the session, each person was asked to bring two ordinary items to the dojo. The group consisted of black belt students over the age of fourteen. Here is a sample of the items
Teenager (male) - fishing rod, drum sticks
Young Adult (male) - large metal bolt removal tool used on trucks
Young Adult (female) - hard cover book
Adult (male) - umbrella, masonry hammer, magazine
Adult (male) - batteries, garden hoe, belt, metal ruler
Adult (female) - hip pack - contents include brush, phone, keys
Me -claw hammer, a stapler and clackers .

Each person presented their items and why they chose them. I chose a claw hammer because it could be used similar to a tunfa or kama. I brought the stapler because it is an item on my desk at work and home. And the clackers...why not?

Aside: The clackers were a toy from my youth in the 1970's. They rightfully belong to my brother. My parents took them from my brother and hid them in the closet behind a shoe box. My sister and I knew exactly where they were. We would find them, play with them and once our arms were bruised from being hit with the acrylic marble we would return them to their hiding place. A few years ago, my Dad put them in a box to be sold at a yard sale. I quickly reclaimed the clackers. Now I have to hide them from my daughter! Clackers were discontinued because they were a safety hazard and could be destructive. Only in the 70's....

One of the class instructors led the discussion and reference the book "Surviving Armed Assaults: A Martial Artists Guide to Weapons, Street Violence, and Countervailing Force" by Lawrence A Kane. The book includes chapters on Awareness, Avoidance, Scenarios, De-escalation, Conflict, Rules and the Aftermath. I will definitely be buying a copy of this book!

We examined our items and discussed potential uses and ways to defend. We found some items awkward to hold while others had surprising possibilities.

Low Tech Combat has some interesting articles on improvised weapons - Improvised Weapons and Grips and Holds . You should also check out Journeyman's post on The Cane

Just a quick disclaimer - This is a personal web log and this post is not intended as advice or instruction.
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