The constant controversy in martial arts always comes down to a childish shouting match between marital arts masters and survivalists over who’s style is better or more realistic in real life. The more Combat Sport oriented martial artists will eventually offer to simply fight anyone to prove their point, the Reality based martial artist will point out that staging a fight where both parties know they are fighting and the circumstances in which it will take place invalidates the any true correlation to a real fight, and the Traditional martial artist will point out that their way has worked for hundreds of years, and therefore doesn’t need any more testing.
However one thing that we can all agree on, is that when you are truly fighting for you life, having a weapon trumps fighting empty handed every time.
More after the jump
Some people will therefore advocate carrying of things like mace or a tazer. Those people will be scoffed at by the concealed hand gun folks, who are dismissed by the Sara Conner’s (from Terminator) who have arsenals of full auto weapons and explosives. As crazy as this kind of exchanges is, they all do have their points. The better and more powerful a weapon you have, the greater the chance of surviving a given situation. However choosing a self defense weapon normally has less to do with what weapon would be the best choice for the event in question, but rather what weapons do you have, and which ones are you willing and legally allowed to carry with you.
Enter improvised weapons. Because they are improvised, they are not by normal definition a weapon until you use them as such. Therefore you may have less legal problems when you carry them. Often times you can use what is around you as a weapon. The problem is that not all objects make good weapons. A weapon must make you more dangerous then you were empty handed. To make selection easier, I offer my easy guide to improvised weapons
3. Objects that can cut.
A knife would do much better, but for the sake of this example, we don’t have a knife, so we need to identify ordinary objects that can be used to make an edged weapon. People don’t like being cut, and tend to distance themselves from sharp things. Cut the right thing deeply enough and people don’t fight as well as before. The classic choice are bottles, they can be used as a club for a while and after the bottle breaks, they make a deadly weapon. Of course, any piece of glass can serve, although they work best if you have something to wrap around it to keep yourself from being cut as well. Other object that work fairly well are CDs and CD cases (after they are broken).
2 Objects for smashing.
First thing I think of is a brick or a stone. Its unwieldy to use in combat, but it increases the stopping power of your strikes, and can quickly finish. It also might keep you from breaking your hands. Of course it isn’t limited to rocks. Any heavy hard object that you can swing one handed is nice. Big staplers, lamps, wrenches, cutting boards, external hard drives, they are work decently. Two handed objects work well too, but be careful of trying to use something too heavy to be dangerous. I like chairs because they provide a certain measure of blocking utility, but printers, drawers, laptops work nicely in a pinch.
1. Objects for stabbing
Of all classes of improvised weapons, this is the most dangerous. Its also one of the easiest to find and carry. My personal favorite is the pen. Its pointy and legal to carry nearly everywhere. They even have clips on them to easily attach to your clothes. A knife or a pen do similar amounts of damage to soft tissue, and no one freaks out when they see you with a pen in your hand. Other great examples are needle nosed pliers, screwdrivers, forks, and spoons (use the handle side).
Of you have a rough idea of things you might be forced to use in a fight, you can gear your training towards techniques that can be used with these three classes of improvised weapons in mind, you’ll never have to worry about being truly unarmed.