Tools vs. Weapons


December 21, 2002, 03:15 AM
I believe just about everybody who visits this board will have some interest in firearms. That's cool, considering that firearms are extremely user-friendly and effective compared to most previous weapons systems.

With our primary focus on firearms, I do feel that many who believe in self-defense often miss the point that firearms are not the only means one can use for self-defense. Of course we should attempt to avoid dangerous situations if possible, and stop situations that are unavoidable from escalation, but our mindset is much more important than whether we have a dedicated weapon or not. Yes, a .223 is a much more efficient conflict resolver than a dirty look, but we are surrounded by objects that, although not dedicated weapons, can be pressed into service as defensive tools.

We are often in situations- such as airline usage- where we may not have access to our preferred weapons, but forethought and a mild bit of practice will show us ways to maximize what we have available.

If you enjoyed reading about "Tools vs. Weapons" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
December 21, 2002, 01:12 PM
The mind is the weapon.
The gun, rock, stick, knitting needle or whatever is the tool.

Situational awareness includes identification of weapons.

Once an attack is launched upon you or yours, it is time to transition from defense to offense and quell the threat with whatever tool is at hand.

Sam...used carb cleaner to nail a wannabee carjacker.

Don Gwinn
December 21, 2002, 02:19 PM
Ohhhh. . . . that must have smarted. I don't even like leaving that stuff on my hands.

Sam, are you feeling OK? That's a lot of words at one sitting. You wanna take minute off, stretch your typing fingers a bit?

Byron Quick
December 21, 2002, 03:21 PM
Mortar mix thrown in the enemy's eyes works good.:D I always keep an eye open for construction sites. Don't chase me into one.

Chris Rhines
December 22, 2002, 11:07 PM
After all, what is a weapon but a particular class of tool? The human animal is never unarmed.

Sam - Ouch. I got a drop of carb cleaner in my eye once. I'd rather gargle with battery acid than do that again.

- Chris

December 23, 2002, 12:19 AM
Tightly rolled up piece of 8.5X11" paper isn't a joke to get poked with. Call it a 1/4" dowel end-on.

Mind over matter.

December 23, 2002, 12:39 AM

Sam: got a can in the truck, same reason

OR setting, empty, gangbanger sneaks in, med cart, betadine spray and stethescope works...portable phone too

Steve Smith
December 23, 2002, 01:03 AM
As far as airlines go...I fly a lot.

I have seen folks get through security with large padlocks on their carry ons. Hmm...

Also, know how to take your seatbelt off your seat. Heavy thing on end of cloth band. Hmm...

December 23, 2002, 07:00 PM
Oh, yah. Kusarifundo-type thingy. I tend to wear those strong web-type belts, too...

December 24, 2002, 04:29 AM
In all my travels, have never seen anyone hassled who was carrying/using a cane.

It doesn't have to have a sword hidden inside if you know how to use it.

The heavier woods like black ebony or purple heart can take a lot of abuse, especially if tipped head and foot with brass or some similar alloy.

I fashioned a cane [actually, more like a staff] from a section of dried black locust some thirty years ago and it is still going strong. And one of the more dense and durable woods available in every neglected fencerow is honeysuckle bush...evenly grained and unform in diameter over long sections.

To borrow the screen name from a member here...F=ma...'cause even a moderate swing is going to hurt a bunch.

And every stray dog understands a "stick"...

December 24, 2002, 01:51 PM
Is my elbow a tool?
Is my tongue a weapon?

Fastest self-defense situation rectified was with an elbow.

Most used self-defense technique "chatting" my way out of a further escalation.


December 24, 2002, 07:08 PM
All sorts of things can become weapons... solid belts with heavy buckles, pieces of wood, chain, just about anything.

I walk with a cane a lot. Do I need to? 98% of the time the answer is no. I'm a young guy, but no one ever looks at me strangely... and event hose who do, most of them would probably never see it as a weapon. Most people dont think like we do, simple fact. But back to the cane... mine is one I made, in the style of a Cansemasters cane, with gripping areas, an angle cut crook tip so it has a sort of "point" of "fang", etc. I've also fire-hardened it. Made from oak. Heavy, sure, but not too bad. Solid? Oh yeah. And its not different from a fighting stick. Its a wicked wicked tool. And even if you dont know any stick fighting techniques, ever played baseball? Ever rammed a cattle prod into an old cow who just wouldnt move? Ever chopped wood? The principles and movements learned doing these things, boil down into a wicked way to use a cane.
Swing the cane, hit anything that comes into your personal space, hit them in the knees, the elbows, the head... ram the end of the thing into their guts, or their crotch, or hard up under their chin. Get it with two hands, one at one end of the shaft, one towards the other, have your strong hand "cocked", pulled back ready to lash out, then snap it forward, not trying to hit with the hand, but with the end of the cane, as your snap it out, pull back with your weak hand, and slide your strong hand down towards the weak hand. Its a fast, hard, snappy movement, and hits like a pile-driver. Same principle as having one hand higher on an axe handle, and sliding it down when you chop.

How about axe handles or pick handles, how many of us have them, with ot without heads on them, in our trucks? Somebody jumps you, you reach into the bed of your pick up, and you;ve got a pick handle... fools they are if they test your resolve to clobber them with it.

How many of us carry cell phones, pagers, or like Altoids or similar mints, that come in square tins?
Look at this picture:
This comes from the 1943 (Wartime) edition of the book Get Tough by W.E. Fairbairn. This shows a soldier using a matchbox to solidify his hand for a reverse hammerfist strike. Argue all you like about it, but in all likelyhood it was simply to teach/do two things, one, anything can be a weapon of opportunity, look at things and have the mindset that says that, and secondly, to give a psychological reinforcement to the soldier, to act violently and brutally, even when un-armed.
But, lets look at this as a real technique... lets take an altoid tin, and hold it so a little of it sticks up above the hand (I especially like the mini-tins for this technique), now reverse-hammerfist someone in the jaw with it, or int he temple, or wherever. Viola, improvised impact weapon.
Can do this with a pager too, or a cell phone. "Oh, but I paid $200 for this, and it has a digital camera in it, I couldnt just hit someone with it!" Oh really? What if you were gonna die? Could ya then. OF COURSE. Its just a thing, not your life.

Hmm... speaking of cell phones, looking at mine here on my desk, that 2 inch hard plastic antenna sticking up out of the top, wouldnt feel good rammed into my eye, or jammed into my throat, crushing my windpipe. :)

Theres always the classic role of nickles inside a fist, etc. etc. etc.

Anybody wear steel toed boots? Protect your toes, even during a fight, and add some re-inforcement for kicking people.

And your hands, and feet, whatever shoes you wear.... they are weapons. Your teeth too if you need them. Learn some good, simple, un-armed techniques, WW-II style Combatives is my fav, simple, direct, powerful, easy to learn, dont rely on anything fancy, simple and hard-core. Nothing wrong with that.

Just some ideas. :)

December 24, 2002, 10:55 PM
I have always found the Montblanc Meisterstuck to be a very effective weap... uh, writing instrument.

December 24, 2002, 11:37 PM
Diplomacy is often the best tool. You know what that is, don't you?

Diplomacy is saying "Nice doggy" until you can pick up a rock.

Almost anything can be used as a weapon, but the best thing is the mind. The fictional MacGuyver making a small nuke from the stuff normally found under the kitchen sink is hype, but the lesson is there -- improvise!

December 25, 2002, 02:39 AM
I think the mind is the best tool and the best weapon one can possess!

charlie d
December 26, 2002, 03:57 AM
Originally posted by Zander
In all my travels, have never seen anyone hassled who was carrying/using a cane.

I use the "Custom Combat."

December 26, 2002, 09:26 AM
The verbose gentleman from Arizona said exactly what I was going to say (The mind is the weapon, everything else is just the tool).

(Did I really just call C.R. Sam verbose?!)

December 30, 2002, 10:17 AM
Since selling our car and getting bikes, we've started to get familiar with a new set of weapons-of-opportunity. The kryptonite u-locks are among our favorites—a little bit of reach and a whole lot of whump.

We've also got a length of cable lock that might be persuaded to serve as a distancing weapon if we asked it nicely.

December 30, 2002, 01:50 PM
4d-cell maglight in my truck.

Double Naught Spy
December 30, 2002, 03:28 PM
I hope this trend of open-mindedness continues. If so, then we won't have to experience any of those hugely stupid and illogical threads where somebody suggests that if they work in a place, visit a place, or whatever that doesn't allow guns that we demand that said place be responsible for our well being since we are not allowed to defend if the only way we have to defend ourselves is with guns. If the only venue you have to protect yourself is a gun, then you are already in a very bad way and likely posses something of a defeatist attitude.

December 30, 2002, 03:45 PM


Pen, pencil, newspaper, hairspray, etc. Even a well placed thrown rock can be a deterrent. Do what it takes.


February 27, 2003, 04:36 AM
When i was still in college, I was once walking pass the computer centre back to my dorm when some punk rode up behind me on a bicycle and splashed some liquid on me with a waterbottle while his buddy who was riding close behind on another bike swore at me using racially charged language.

Not having a weapon at the time, I picked up an empty trashcan can and hurled it at the nearest antagonist (the foul mouthed racist). It knocked him off his bike and made the other punk stop to help his friend.

Could not be sure how "disabled" the downed rider was and I didn't fancy 2 against 1 odds so I ran away at that moment and managed to lose them.

I later discovered that the liquid was urine....:fire:

On a more utilitarian note, perhaps a class on using street fixtures as self defense weapons could be started.

February 27, 2003, 11:35 AM
Uncoventional weapons=any inanimate object close enough to pick up off a desk, floor, street, etc.

I have a canemasters instructor cane after having been with Master Shuey for a day last summer. Canes are one of four items allowed onto airplanes today. It's a medical aid and can not be restricted due to liability issues. Imagine they take yuour cane away from you at the gate and you take two steps and fall down?
They'd be tripping over themselves to get you on your feet and give you back your cane real fast before an atty: caught the action and had them by the krokers on your behalf.

Got the training and the cane just for plane travel when off to the wilds during training seminars/exercises.


February 27, 2003, 01:56 PM
My personal experience supports the fact that you are the weapon and that the gun, knife, club, hand, etc. is the tool.

The few violent encounters I've been in have either been defused by quick thought (and not letting my ego force me into somthing stupid) or by empty hand. That's not to say that other tools were not available (knife, large pen, flashlight), just that time and the situation did not require me to use them.

I do agree that a cane would be a good addition to the "tool box".

February 27, 2003, 04:35 PM
A few excellent points:

Sam's "The mind is the weapon." Obviously.

Fallen's "wrap your hand around anything" works. Stiffens the hand & provides a more hard striking-thing. Anything protruding works hammer-fisting-thingies ....

BTW, one of those 2X AA mini mag flashlights works pretty well as an improvised kubotan - as will a plethora of other inane objects - use your head.

A standard BIC pen (or any other) - you know, the one they shot through the padlock? - is so innocuous, but that, & anything akin, is a potential stabber. (BTW - Choate's Executive Ice Scraper, etc. show up on X-ray .... ) ... better to go low-key on the planes - if you must fly.

Rolled paper works extremely well as a poking-thing, not so good as a smacker.

Anything hard 'n heavy on the end of a goodly flexible thing makes a great swingy-thing.


January 6, 2012, 03:53 PM
In all my travels, have never seen anyone hassled who was carrying/using a cane.
Yep, thanks to the sheeple on the 9/11 flights, we can't carry a pen knife on a flight anymore, but luckily, we can still carry a nice thick hickory club (cane)... Of course, some of us actually have the scars to show that we need the cane...

January 6, 2012, 05:53 PM
Been digging around in the NFW tombs, have we?


We actually do have current threads about canes and such.

This one is kind of a museum piece.

January 6, 2012, 06:01 PM
Been digging around in the NFW tombs, have we?


We actually do have current threads about canes and such.

This one is kind of a museum piece.

Just trying to catch up... I guess I'm a slow reader... :)

January 7, 2012, 01:28 PM
The OP was my 5th post here. I was active duty infantry at Fort Lewis at the time...

January 7, 2012, 03:49 PM
The OP was my 5th post here. I was active duty infantry at Fort Lewis at the time...
Brings back old memories?

Quite a change in weather from Washington to Afghanistan, I guess... :)

Steel Talon
January 7, 2012, 04:29 PM
FWIW here are a couple things to consider. When flying, or anywhere else you might have to make do.

In your carry on your allowed to bring a reading magazine or two, a couple of rubber bands (wide ones) and have 4 or $5.00 in quarters. You can also have a bandanna.

With out drawing attention you place a line of quarters inside your magazine, roll magazine tightly secure with rubber band. Return magazine to your carry on satchel.
You now have a yawara ready to go.

Large Bandanna, used alone by itself for trapping and redirecting.. Or make a coin purse to keep your spare change together put in center of bandanna secure with rubber band (looks like a tootsie pop with out the stick) you now have a hard hitting Sap.

Carry a regular Bic stick pen, make a sturdy soft tissue stabbing instrument.

A credit card (or type) held securely between thumb and fore-finger make a vicious slashing edge.

Your big heavy weight stainless steel wrist watch makes and effective palm slap, struck behind the ear its good night Irene.

January 8, 2012, 04:57 AM
Large Bandanna, used alone by itself for trapping and redirecting.. Or make a coin purse to keep your spare change together put in center of bandanna secure with rubber band (looks like a tootsie pop with out the stick) you now have a hard hitting Sap.
You can also bring a pair of socks with you... Tossing those coins in one of the socks and tying a knot right behind it is a very effective bludgeoning instrument...

January 8, 2012, 07:54 AM
I've gone to carrying a small pill bottle full of change when I travel now. Makes getting all the change out of my pockets easier as I travel through security, and gives a place to put the extra change when I break bills.

Also is very heavy, and would really hurt the recipient if thrown.

January 8, 2012, 08:16 AM
Live in the country and often take the little barkers outside and show them how to become house broken--lol. I have an Aluminum rod laying in the traffic circle that is there for a reason. Sometimes I just drop a carry into my jogging pants pocket.
A bud works for public school maintenance. His supervisor issued orders that pocket knifes could not be carried as they could be used as a weapon. Everyone took their screw drivers, hammers, chisels, etc. out of their tool boxes and would call him to bring in a tool to do a job. The order was resinded. Anything can be used as a force multiplier. The lowly Bic pen is a horrible stabbing tool.

January 8, 2012, 08:41 AM
A lot of my handgun training right now is dryfire and unloaded manipulation. What sorts of home-grown training can I do for unarmed combat?

January 8, 2012, 08:43 AM
That's a terrific question, and worthy of its own thread.

Steel Talon
January 8, 2012, 11:12 PM
I'm not sure if this is what your asking for? But FWIW...

Training with a partner gives you immediate feedback. Using a correctly built makiwara board to punch will give you instant feedback at contact. Exercises' designed to strengthen your core are critical to unarmed combat.. So is good flexibility.

Targeting (focus striking) moving targets (weak and strong side) accurately are key also. Stretch a taught bungee cord roof to floor slide tennis ball onto bungee before securing. Start striking the ball

Lots and lots of things you can do on your own. Just keep this in mind. There are 3 primary targets of the human body attack and remove one or a combination of the three and the fight is over.

*Ability to see
*Ability to breath
*Ability to stand

Owen Sparks
January 9, 2012, 12:30 AM
Any time you are on a hard floor or paved surface there is a deadly weapon right under your feet. This is why you should never let someone put their hands on you in malace, one good punch and they can bounce your skull off it!

Owen Sparks
January 9, 2012, 12:49 AM
Steel Tallon said:

Lots and lots of things you can do on your own. Just keep this in mind. There are 3 primary targets of the human body attack and remove one or a combination of the three and the fight is over.

*Ability to see
*Ability to breath
*Ability to stand

In Tansu we add two more:

The ability to use the hands


The ability to think and process information.

The hands and lower arms are primary targets when you have a stick or cane. Put them out of commission and the fight is over. The other prime target is the brain. Land a solid knockout blow and you will have a rag doll on your hands.

I will disagree on one point, the ability to see. Sure a traumatic injury to the eyes will take the fight out of most people but once a good wrestler gets his hands on you he does not need to see. Case in point, I was on the wrestling team in high school and our toughest opponent was always the state school for the blind. My Junior year they beat us in every weight class except one. Gouging someone in the eyes may not end a fight if they already have their hands on you. Some people who are insane, doped up or in a rage can become temporarily immune to pain. I have seen it.

January 9, 2012, 01:06 AM
I took the liberty of copying the last few posts into a new thread where that discussion can continue.

This one is being returned to the archives.

If you enjoyed reading about "Tools vs. Weapons" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!