Your hand is an amazing part of your body. It allows you to do so many wonderful things on a daily basis that most of us never give it a second thought.
Your hands allow you to hold your child’s hand, use utensils to eat, earn a living in whatever capacity or job you have, point the way for a stranger seeking directions, tie and untie your shoes, use tools to construct or deconstruct things, along with thousands of other uses. And it is with those hands that you will use improvised weapons if caught in a dire situation.
What’s interesting is that when we talk about “arming” ourselves for defense in a real-life dynamic situation, one that rapidly unfolds where you are forced to defend yourself or a family member, most people think about guns. However, the reality is that you may find yourself in a place where you do not have a gun, or where guns are illegal, or where you can’t get to your gun.
To that extent, you may not own or even want to own a firearm, and all this is perfectly OK. It does not mean you are unable to defend yourself. It just means if you get into a situation where you have to defend yourself, you will need to “improvise” with whatever is in your immediate area or grasp and you will need to use that as a weapon.
One thing I will note here is that if you are going to a region or place where you feel a weapon is important, then I suggest you pre-plan and perhaps pre-position a weapon so you don’t leave things to chance.
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Let me give you an example of what I mean. On one of my missions, I was delayed in securing weapons from a “dealer” of sorts and knowing that I was not in Kansas anymore, I needed something I could carry with me “just-in-case.” Of course, my first go-to weapon when I can’t get a gun is a knife, and so I went into the open markets and casually looked for an edged weapon that I could carry in my pants.
After about fifteen minutes of walking around and looking on tables, I found quite the gem of a knife. It actually was a local-made blade, and it more closely resembled a knife one would find in a kitchen. But hey, at the end of the day it would still penetrate a human target if need be.
There were, of course, other items that I could have purchased at that Third World market that could have been an improvised weapon, such as an ice pick, or even other kitchen or tool items such as a hammer or screwdriver.
The point is that you need to pre-plan these things when possible. I say “when possible” because it is not always realistic and you may find yourself in an environment and situation – such as while traveling or even in your own home – when you need a weapon at that second. And that brings me back to a very critical point …
Long before you need any improvised weapons, you must be able to identify them wherever you are …
|Don’t leave things to chance. Pre-plan!|
You can start in your own home. Let’s quickly take a stroll through your home and see if we can identify various everyday items that can be employed as a weapon.
Starting in your kitchen, you will find it is abundantly packed with personal-defense items. From sharp knives to tenderizing mallets to pots and pans, coffee mugs, bottles, cutting boards and plates. All of which can be employed to strike and defend with.
Look in your bathroom and you will find any number of objects that can be employed in a tight situation. Take for example hairbrushes and combs, especially those women’s combs that have a pointed handle. And what about hair spray? If you can pre-position a small lighter in the bathroom area, most hair sprays will ignite into a nice, temporary, mini-flamethrower.
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Move into the living room, family room or den and you will likely find glass picture frames, pens and pencils, which are great for targeting and penetrating flesh. And how about books and magazines?
These are items that not only can be used within a structure such as an office or home, but you can also walk around with these items without drawing attention to yourself. And yet, roll up a magazine and hold it like a flashlight in a forward or saber grip and you have the hitting power of a brick!
Your bedroom is loaded with all sorts of items that can be used to defend yourself. From pillowcases and hangers to suffocate and strangle, flashlights that can be employed as an impact weapon, a lamp, and perhaps more specifically a lamp cord are weapons. And how about the belt that holds up your pants? If you’ve got one with a heavy buckle on it, it can be used to swing.
So what if you are caught outside and need a quick personal defense tool?
How about a rock? They can be thrown or employed in-hand as an impact weapon. Dirt can be thrown in the enemies’ eyes. Sticks and branches can be used to strike or thrust with. And if there are vehicles in close proximity to you and to the threat, a vehicle, itself, even when sitting stationary and with the engine off, can be employed.
Driving someone’s head into the car hood or door or into the car window makes a great and powerful impact surface. Look for corners or angled surfaces wherever you are to drive a threat up against or to bounce their critical body parts off of.
In a pinch, you can always remove your shoelaces, whether indoors or out, and use them as a garrote to choke or strangle the attacker.
To further illustrate that all types of objects can be employed as a weapon, I recently did a workshop where I had taken an uncooked baked potato and showed it to the audience. I then took out a drinking straw and I thrust the straw completely through the potato.
The people watching seemed to be amazed at the fact that a straw could penetrate a dense potato. And as I told them, that same straw could penetrate human anatomy, such as an eye, just as easily!
The takeaway of this TACOP is to get you to think about all the things in an environment as a personal defense weapon and to consider how you would employ them against an enemy target. Just thinking about it gives you a tactical advantage right now as you open up your mind to the potential of common items as improvised weapons.
Until next time, stay alert, check your six, put your back against the wall and stay safe!