My nonfirearms defence strategy


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moobra
October 23, 2010, 11:42 PM
I live in a country with strict gun laws. It is pretty much impossible for me to
obtain a hand gun and long arms are also highly regulated.

i actually agree with this since in my view most people are harmed by acquaintances/families/colleagues and neighbours. These are usually personal disputes where easy access to a firearm in a flash of anger is disastrous.

In my own country, petty criminals and social jerks/losers of all kinds use
knives since they too cannot easily get guns and would be tossed in jail after searches (they are always searched because these idiots are ALWAYS in conflict with the law). Organised crime i don't worry about since they do not
focus on me and can buy whatever weapons they need regardless of laws or policing.

Nevertheless due to the advent of drugs, violent crime is on the increase in my country and I am forced to consider mechanisms for defence within my legal limits. I would not be comfortable in a country with easier gun access since it would only arm the jerks more easily and instead of a knife fight on my hands it would be a gunfight and plenty of domestic violence would end up fatal. IN this sense i don't think that international crime data
helps since culture is a huge factor. We each have to take our own countries and make judgments accordingly.

My strategy is as follows. I have studied close quarter combat from a historic perspective and conclude the following:

1. The sword always ended up the weapon of choice in most pre-firearms countries. This is because of its versatility- fairly light, capable of powerful
axe type blows, thrusts/stabs and slashes. Excellent reach.

2. The axe was second choice. It delivered crushing blows but was slower and exposed the wielder to overbalance and counterattack. This was helped
however when the axe was single handed and the user had a shield.

3. Knives were weapons of last resort in an open fight and usually just for a stab in the back in the dark. It lacked the reach of the sword/axe and its wounds were often fatal but took time to take effect.

4. I cannot have a sword or machete in my possession. But a hatchet is just a camping implement. A small hatchet is a compromise between the speed of a sword and the power of an axe.

5. Oddly enough, the hatchet has this dual personality. In my bag it is a tool.
In my hand and it's an axe murderer's weapon. People were horrified locally when 2 bikers had a fight with hammers. They viewed that as more terrifying
than a fight with knives. The axe/hatchet has tremendous psychological impact.

My rig is as follows:

1. 10" hatchet with double blade, wooden handle.
2. Backpack with the rear lined in 3mm aluminium plate and sewn back
into the liner. This is my shield.
3. Hatchet retained in a pocket on the front of the backpack. 3" of the
handle protrude and is retained by velcro. The hatchet can be pulled out
against the velcro by either hand. The backpack is carried with the handle up like a shotgun in a back mounted arrow quiver.
4. The straps of the backpack are used to wield the shield.

With this rig i have a number of things:

1. Tremendous impact in downward blows.

2. Speed in reversing a blow into a side or uppercut.

3. Any part of the head will do harm.

4. 8" of reach against a knife.

5. My vital organs remain protected. The Alum shield is thick enough to turn
a knife and light enough to carry.

6. Even if i overbalance in a blow, my shield keeps me from being exposed to
a blade.

7. I can attack/shove/muscle into a knife holder if i have to with less risk.

8. A wrist strap means i retain the weapon if it's knocked away or i am wounded and drop the axe in shock.

9. If searched it is just a machete in my camping back which i just didn't
bother to unload after my last camping trip.

My strategy:

1. Escape if possible.

2. If impossible or they have a hostage, brandish hatchet, hold shield,
get up on toes, arm back and axe above shoulders.

3. If there is any sign of surprise or shock that changes the escape
options e.g. backing away, then run. If not or if hostage still there, start
swinging and fight to the hostage and/or the exit.

4. Within 60 secs i will be exhausted and either out of there or dead.

I think these are the best options in front of me.

Admittedly the odds of needing this are low. Most confrontations are actually
with people you know and exit is usually possible.

If it's a street attack from scum then again mostly it's possible to escape.
The most likely scenario where an axe/shield defence would be needed
would occur with multiple scum, blocking escape and intent on a possibly
life threatening beating. You could throw your wallet, pull the axe and
axe a pathway thru them but the crucial thing is when do you pull the axe.

My view is only when you think you're just about dead/disabled anyway
and then you have to use it.

There is no point in pulling an axe and standing there threatening for a while.
Pull it, show it for 2 secs and run as they back off or start swinging and run.

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hso
October 23, 2010, 11:59 PM
I'm sure there are many alternatives in Australia that you can find. Sticks of various sorts from kopo and kubatons to canes are very popular amongst members here and are easier to explain than axes in an urban/suburban setting.

moobra
October 24, 2010, 12:14 AM
Actually I disagree. A hatchet in a backpack can be left over from a camping
trip and you just grabbed the pack as you left. It's a tool. And the excuse
is credible in my area where we camp all the time. Maybe not in new york.

A sharpened stick took effort and has no place in a back pack that i can see.

A cane suggests you have a walking disability. I don't and that would kill that explanation.

A hatchet around the house is as essential as a lawnmower where i live.
Maybe you all live in apartments but in my street we're always cutting down
something.

Depends where you live but sydney is little different from NY or other urban areas and maybe a hatchet is not credible there.

I think i could also take my rig into urban areas with credibility since i use it where i come from and where i come from it's credible.

You know, if you have a spear gun in your car because you dive all the time then you have a credible excuse. It all depends on you, what you do for work, leisure and where you live.

I think having a sharp stick or a heavy cane (when i run 5km most days)
is not credible but a spear gun under a tarp when i dive most weekends
probably is.

It's all context bound.

ulfrik
October 24, 2010, 03:44 AM
why would the police serch you?

JVoutilainen
October 24, 2010, 07:22 AM
Every time I read something like this it makes me wonder whether people are reacting to real or imaginary threats and/or if they have any idea what a self defense scenario on the street is going to be like.

Before becoming a carpenter I worked as a bouncer, PI and a security guard in our capital Helsinki. During my approx. ten year career I deployed, but did not actually use, a collapsible baton on ONE occasion. 95% of the time "verbal judo" was enough to defuse a potentially dangerous situation - if that failed it was typically wrestling time. Since Finland is a very violent country I still ended up grappling continuously.

In addition to a career in security I used to live in a very bad part of Helsinki, which meant dealing with drug addicts and petty criminals was an every day occurrence. I can safely say that I managed to avoid trouble 99 times out of 100 without violence, or threat of violence, of any kind. And that is how it should be, because I fear pulling a hatchet and some kind of improvised shield, even in a desperate situation, is going to get YOU killed or seriously maimed. Instead of a butt kicking you are going to get stabbed and someone is going to perform a Mexican hat dance on your head. I would even hesitate pulling a knife, because that introduces the "idea" of a potentially lethal confrontation in the mind of your opponent as well. And you really do not want that, do you?

Street thugs rarely move against their pray alone. They have a tendency to move in packs and gang up on their target. Also, they have a keen psychological eye for finding potential victims. The positive side of their "ability" is that they also recognize if you are clearly the wrong kind of person to mess with. And this has nothing to do with hidden hatchets in you backpack, or a gun, or a knife on your belt.

Furthermore, in what stage of the confrontation would you deploy your "arsenal"? In any real situation you are going to be confronted verbally first - and your opponents are going to be so close you can smell what they had for dinner. Please remember that since thugs are not likely to be alone there is a good probability that someone is already standing behind you just waiting to kick you off your feet when the scuffle starts.

Pure fantasy land stuff... unless you live in some south African ghetto where even a flame thrower mounted on your car is not considered "overkill".

ulfrik
October 24, 2010, 08:06 AM
i keep my head on a swivel. if i see a posible threat i avoid it.

bikerdoc
October 24, 2010, 09:45 AM
OP. Welcome to THR.

Awareness, avoidence, agression, was a part of a recent thread by a member. Couple this with mindset, skillset, tool set, and you may want to reconsider your deployment plan. I think swinging the bag is better than digging around for the hatchet. Consider weapons of opportunity that may be close at hand. A 20 soda or water bottle comes to mind.

That said, unless you have a epic fail in Awareness, which leads to an inability to avoid, agression on your part is rarely needed.
Dont look or act like prey. Reherse and believe your verbal judo ( great phrase J.V.)

All in all, you have put a lot of thought into this. Now expand and refine it.

But remember Awareness is queen, but avoidance is king.

JShirley
October 24, 2010, 10:00 AM
Welcome to THR.

Your logic regarding firearms is deeply flawed, but we'll skip that. You didn't do any rigorous historical study (hint: do an internet search with "-.com" after your search terms, if you can't be bothered to specifically search for ".edu" and ".gov" domains) if you conclude that swords were the manual weapon of choice. Swords were neither most effective nor most used.

JVoutilainen
October 24, 2010, 10:15 AM
bikerdoc,

Yes, it is, but I can't take credit for it.

CoastieShep
October 24, 2010, 10:32 AM
Some people really worry me.

Carl Levitian
October 24, 2010, 11:55 AM
"2. If impossible or they have a hostage, brandish hatchet, hold shield,
get up on toes, arm back and axe above shoulders."


This is about where one of the pack of rats sticks a shiv in your back.

Life ain't a medevil battle field, and you ain't one of the round table. Practice using eyes and brain to scan where you're going, and avoid threats. By the time you pull off the backpack and ax, they're gonna be going through your pockets.

I strongly suggest some MA school in your area, and some good street useful training.

TimboKhan
October 25, 2010, 02:46 AM
Spears or spear-like weapons were far more commonly used than swords. They are better weapons all around, if for no other reason than distance.

Big Bill
October 25, 2010, 03:28 AM
My nonfirearms defence strategyI'd move to a gun friendly state in the USA. :D

BTW, welcome to THR!

Piraticalbob
October 25, 2010, 07:46 AM
With all of the venomous snakes to be found in Australia, you will have no trouble at all justifying carrying a cane, especially if you're a hiker. And if you're enough of an outdoorsman to carry a hatchet and backpack, you certainly can justify a cane, as well.

RONSERESURPLUS
October 25, 2010, 11:30 AM
Hello all, RON L here - SERE SURPLUS


While I don
't agree wit the Posters opinion of firearms and thier uses, I leave that to be his opinion! I see some thought put into his defense strategy and I gibve him credit for that as well as social awareness! The Problems with Weapons in AU are common in many other countries and you cose to live there, you have to learn to live by or around them? Me, myself, i'd move elsewhere, but i d see that not as an option for some or others might not want to? All things considered, you do the best with what You have and always always have a Plan, it will probabaly fall apart, but at least, it's a start? Try differnt options as the cane, the axe or hatchet, but don't ignore other items that might work as weapons as well? It's called thining outside the box, as your optiuons are limited to what you can own you have to think hard through it! Thats my advice and welcome to the forum! Good luck in your search for a suitable weapon!

hso
October 25, 2010, 11:56 AM
Conditions and cultures are different in different countries, but some things just don't change.

Real lethal threats usually come suddenly and often in numbers so you have to base your strategy and tactics on those universal truths.

zhyla
October 25, 2010, 04:34 PM
I have a friend in Australia, he has a similar concern about using a weapon that can only be construed as a tool. I think the misconception popular there is that if you defend yourself against a thug you will go to jail. That may be true (I don't know how often that happens), but the thing with self defense is that you shouldn't be doing it unless you think you are going to die.

Personally, I'm never without a knife. It's not the best weapon, but the weapon you have on you is the best weapon when it counts. At home in Australia you can possess (after some paperwork and $$$) a SxS shotgun (among other things) which would be a perfectly decent tool if trouble comes calling. For all the nonsense about guns, if you have one you're either on level ground with your enemy or higher ground, and that's how you stay alive.

shockwave
October 25, 2010, 07:54 PM
The cane is a more tempting choice, from my perspective. A major problem with the hatchet is that it's a difficult weapon to spar and train with (and I have trained a bit with them). In the bladed-weapon arsenal, it's a kind of nuclear bomb - it inflicts massive, traumatic injury.

I'd prefer to deploy a single-blade hatchet, so as to have the bludgeon, or maul side available, but even that's basically a large hammer. For technique, you can use a kind of escrima or even a nunchaku-type handling method, adding a rotation to each strike or block, radically increasing headspeed. (Another plus to a single-blade.)

Now, if you consider a cane, you still have considerable lethality if you need it, but you also have applications descending the scale all the way down to joint locks and takedowns. A cane offers reach, and it's great for disarming an knifeman or similar. It's also completely legal and unobjectionable.

"Man defends self with cane" wouldn't even draw a headline. "Hatchet-wielding survivalist dismembers, slays pair of tipsy revelers" will bring you to the attention of various sorts of people.

As for disability, if asked, you have a slightly gammy knee. Put the burden on the prosecution to prove that you don't have knee pain. No, you never saw a doctor about it. You just got a cane because that makes it easier for you. End of story.

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