It is essential in self defense to learn how to use and defend against weapons. In a serious assault, it is likely that your attacker or attackers will be armed. If not, they are likely bigger, stronger, or more numerous than you. It is unlikely that a smaller, weaker, single individual with no weapon will attack you. If you get assaulted, your opponent will likely have some perceived advantage. On the positive note, you can turn the tables in your favor if you know how to defend against an armed attack and how to use weapons.
Each weapon has their advantages and disadvantages. Weapons come in different forms and can be broadly classified as follows:
- Stick (crowbar, bat, cane, stick)
- Palm Stick (flashlight, hammer, pen, wrench)
- Knife (scissors, broken bottle, knife)
- Sword (sword, machete)
- Projectile (rocks, pepper spray, gun)
- Linked (pet leash, chain)
Many everyday items fit into each category. Learning in using a stick would translate very well to a variety of things. If you learn how to use weapons, you’ll also be able to use a pen, glass of water, a plate of food, or a clothing iron in the absence of a knife. You can use those everyday tools in your self defense, not to mention other tools like wrenches, hammers, and flashlights.
Understanding how each weapon works, what their ranges, how to defend against them, you could remove the advantage of your opponent to some extent. With a weapon of your own, you can even the odds or provide yourself a serious advantage.
Legal and Ethical Considerations
Know your local self defense law wherever you happen to be. Many martial arts and self defense schools that teach weapon use pay little to no attention to the law. Showing how to use a knife against an empty hand would be both highly illegal and unethical. If you are trained to pull a knife on a smaller, unarmed opponent, you may end up doing the same in reality, which could put you in jail as a result.
Additional Benefits of Weapons Training
Aside from learning in using and defending against weapons, training with them will provide knowledge and skills that translate to unarmed fighting. When dealing with weapons, you can add new dimensions to your footwork since you will need a lot of it to use a weapon efficiently and to get out of the way. Weapon training requires efficient footwork not used in most unarmed practice. Combining this footwork with your most damaging techniques would give a significant advantage.
Your Environment As A Weapon
Most self defense training happen in sparse, padded, relatively empty rooms. However, it is entirely different in the real world. When you are indoors, you can use your furniture from tables and chairs to bookshelves and appliances in your self defense. When outdoor, you can use bushes, curbs, railings, garbage containers, cars, and countless other items and features. Your self defense training should give time to these environments to practice slamming your opponent into hard and pointy objects, causing your attacker to trip over objects, throwing things at your attacker before he can get close to you, and learning to avoid your attacker. Make use of your environment.