When most people talk about preparedness and self-defense, they immediately start talking about their guns. Guns are not the only tools you should have and in fact, in some situations, a gun can cause more problems than it is worth.
There are a multitude of places you can’t carry a gun and there just as many situations in which firing rounds is not the best idea.
With that in mind, what other training tools can we consider for self-defense?
Well, when the Disciples first went out, Jesus told them each to take only a staff:
These were his instructions:
Take nothing for the journey
Except a staff….
Train in stick fighting; many martial arts teach stick fighting skills. Most of these skills are pirated from Filipino Martial Arts such a Escrima or Arnis.
I recommend learning at least the 12 basic strikes from Modern Arnis (see photo), and the blocking techniques to counter them. Learn a few disarms and train on them relentlessly.
You don’t need thousands of techniques, you need a few solid techniques and thousands of repetitions.
Why do I suggest stick fighting? Because can you think any situation in which you can’t quickly come up with a 2-3 foot long object? You can find a suitable stick in nearly any environment, including an office (there’s a broom or a mop somewhere).
The US Marine Corps, in their Marine Corps Martial Arts program, teach combative stick as their improvised weapons program, because the skills translate into any handheld item used for self defense.
Also, commercially available expandable batons fall into this category, but check local laws on carrying them first. I have a Military Police issue expandable riot baton, but it’s not exactly subtle or concealable.
Below is a picture of my “walking stick”. It’s an alloy walking stick made of short sections, so that you can adjust the length from 8 inches to about 40, and it has several attachments for use, like a knife blade, spear point, and an ice breaker. It also has a compass, whistle, and fire starter rod in the handle cap. If I’m going hiking or for a walk in an urban area, there is nothing at all illegal about using a walking stick. In the words of Gandalf the Grey, “You would not part an old man from his walking stick?”.
“…and if you don’t have a sword,
Sell your cloak and buy one…”
It seems Jesus, the Ultimate Prepper and Tactical Guru, was all about being armed. I make jokes, but He was sending his best friends out on a dangerous road, full of thieves, robbers, and government agents seeking them (yes, the Bible is way cooler than you thought it was), so He wanted them to be able to defend themselves.
Take His great advice and train in edged weapons. The same skills developed from stick fighting are used in knife fighting. In fact, that’s where stick fighting comes from. The Spanish banned Filipinos from possessing edged weapons, so they trained with sticks instead.
I recommend the 3 blade rule. This means having three different types of tools available at all times: a small folding-blade knife, a fixed blade knife, and a multi-tool. There aren’t too many situations that this combination can’t solve. I know, many of you will say you can’t just walk around with a fixed blade knife, but I said AVAILABLE. I keep two fixed blade knives in bags in my vehicle. One is in my patrol bag, the other in my gear bag.
I challenge you to seriously look at local knife laws yourself. Most people ask around and get near-truths, rather than THE TRUTH. As an example, here in Michigan if you ask around, everyone, including police, will tell you that you can’t carry a knife with a blade longer than 3 inches. That’s a mis-interpretation. What the law says is that you can’t carry CONCEALED a knife with a blade greater than 3 inches. WITH THE INTENT TO USE IT UNLAWFULLY AGAINST ANOTHER PERSON. Notice the HUGE difference? Self-Defense isn’t unlawful. Also, it says absolutely nothing about OPEN CARRY of knives. Under US law, anything not specifically illegal, is therefore inherently legal.
Additionally, I train with a tactical pen. You can take a pen literally everywhere. Below, you’ll find a sampling of my pens. First is the true tactical pen, but sometimes it’s questioned (never been told I couldn’t take it anywhere). The second is a Rite-In-The-Rain pen, made of all metal, which functions great as a self-defense pen. The third is a Zebra G-301, which is also a great self defense pen because of the steel body. Zebra also makes a steel body mechanical pencil, which can be used for self defense.
With a tactical pen, you’re never completely disarmed. Train with the tactical pen for strikes to the eyes, throat, or neck. I’ve used them effectively with resistive subjects by applying a tactical pen to pressure points on the neck and the hands.
To recap, develop skills with weapons other than firearms, because you may not always have a firearm with you or it may not be the best tactical or legal option. Seek out a qualified instructor and TRAIN, getting in a lot of reps. Warning – You Tube is not a substitute for qualified, hands-on instruction.
Train as if your life depended on it…because it does.