self defense options


November 28, 2012, 04:46 PM
I am a minor living in MI, and was wondering if anyone could give me any suggestions on lethal self defense options. It has to be legally concealable, easy to conceal, and preferably simple to use and doesn't require too much training. Thanks.

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November 28, 2012, 04:54 PM
Minor and lethal don't sound right together.

November 28, 2012, 05:04 PM
You'll need to explain what your situation is before you can expect any usable responses considering the legal and practical limitations for minors.

While Michigan law prohibits sale of "pepper spray" to minors there's nothing that I can see in the law ( prohibiting a parent from giving it to you or you carrying it.

November 28, 2012, 05:45 PM
I don't live in a particularly dangerous area, but that doesn’t mean that nothing bad will ever happen to me. I just would like to be prepared. I am kind of leaning towards lethal because most lethal self defense tools give me the option of delivering extreme debilitating pain or death in extreme cases where the attacker might be on drugs or some other substance which might cause him to not go down.

November 28, 2012, 06:05 PM
There's not really that many options in the concealable department. I'm a big fan of carrying knives but I don't really look at a pocket knife as a weapon. If something bad happens it's my swift feet that will save me, not a 3.5" blade.

Pepper spray isn't a bad idea. Kimber makes a pepper spray pistol that is tiny, though you only get a couple shots.

But back on the swift feet thing, up until I had a wife and kids running was a fantastic option. If you're not on the hook to defend someone then I would make sure you can haul butt when you need to. It's good exercise too.

November 28, 2012, 06:24 PM
As a minor you need to focus on learning about avoiding scenarios in which lethal force would be required. That means shunning friends who are into drugs and petty crime such as shoplifting, vandalism and criminal mischief. When faced with a "fight or flight" scenario, the best option is almost always flight. Learn which ethnic/racial groups in your locale are most often involved in violent crimes, and avoid members of those groups, especially after dark.

Anyone approaching you after dark is a potential threat if you don't know them; don't let them approach you. The common tactic for street robbers is to ask the time or for a cigarette, and draw a gun when you are distracted by the request. Don't let them approach you and it won't escalate into a robbery.

Save the desire for lethal weapons for when you come of age and can get a CCW license. Until then, keep your nose and your criminal record clean.

Owen Sparks
November 28, 2012, 06:31 PM
There are no laws against minors having a walking cane.

November 28, 2012, 06:43 PM
I do try to stay out of such situations, and have never even had a close call, but if you only had to "try" to stay out of such situations, then there would be no crime. Yes, I agree that staying out of this type of situation is the best option, and I will continue to strive to do so, but sometimes despite all eforts, such a situation is unavoidable. As for my friends, they are all every one of them cadets in the Civil Air Patrol and are one hundred and ten percent trust worthy. Most of them I would litteraly trust my life with.

November 28, 2012, 06:51 PM
Welcome Issac.Eck

There is a lot to learn here and you seem to be just the kind of young man we like to educate. :)
Some things to think about,

ADEE= avoid, disengage, escape, evade.

Simply put,
Don't go stupid places, where stupid people, are doing stupid things.
In other words leave.
Develop a good situational awareness.

Maybe train in a martial art.

Learn about weapons of opportunity.

Just some thoughts, keep visiting and learning, and again,

November 29, 2012, 12:39 AM
Hey Isaac! I'm another minor who likes to keep an eye on things. ;) Of course running is always the best option, and avoiding all the stupidity of teenage life is very important, but sometimes you can get cornered. Or jumped. Or you have a responsibility to keep others safe- say you're out with a younger sibling, or your great grandmother, girlfirend, or just so happen to not want that very bad person to hurt that victimized stranger, and you WILL do something to stop it.

I work at a grocery store, and spend a lot of time around a lot of people. Who says homeschoolers aren't socialized... Anyway, if it's just me, I'll run if I can. But I won't run if that means someone I care about , or anyone, is going to be seriously hurt.

Your number 1 is your brain. Again, stay far away from all things not on the straight and narrow. That's a duh. Keep your head always on a swivel, always pay attention. Don''t be texting on your phone while you walk through the parking lot. You can easily avoid a lot of trouble.

Number 2 is your mindset- you have to be willing and ready to do anything and everything to stop a serious threat. Think about this. Pause. And think about it again. You might get hurt. You might get killed. You will never quite be the same either way. Forget rules. If someone attacks you, don't play fair at all.

And number 3- tool set. I carry a big can of very high strength OC Spray. I can draw and deploy in a matter of seconds, and this is a very good way to stop a "bad guy". But it can fail. But it has range and is non lethal. Note I just listed non lethal as a pro here. It is never good to kill some one. It can be both right and necessary, but it is INCREDIBLY serious. Never forget that.

If the Pepper Spray doesn't stop them, or it is a situation where I can't use the spray, IE "Oh my goodness that guy just picked my screaming little sister up and is running" or something, then I have a lethal option- a 3 3/4" assisted opening folding knife. Why? Besides the million uses as a tool/survival implement, I know I cannot physically match a grown adult, and sometimes, you really REALLY have to end what someone is doing. This is absolute life or death last resort here. As a minor in Ohio, Tasers, batons, fixed blade knives, and such are all out. But I can, will, and do carry a folding knife and a multitool, and a flashlight, and OC spray.

Some other advice- to heck with all the social hierarchy that comes with being a teen. Absolutely never ever have anything to do with fist fights, bullying, gangs, and all mutual or social status based verbal and physical issues. You NEVER need to prove that you are better than "that stupid jock" who "insulted you". You have God, your family, and maybe a girl to tell you that you are loved, important, and appreciated, and you don't need to prove it with violence, bullying, whatever. And if you ever use your toolset (OC Spray, Knife, etc) in a situation like this, you will very rightfully so be in big, big trouble.

For the record, I am always within a few feet of an AK rifle at home, and this is a whole nother area of extreme responsibility, and I will be getting to work on my CHL the day I turn 21. Not going out for a drink- alcohol and responsible, mature behavior don't seem to mix.

Thanks for reading, Isaac, God Bless!

Baba Louie
November 29, 2012, 09:27 AM
All good advice so far. I know! You construct a weapon. Look around, can you form some sort of rudimentary lathe?:D

Tools are gadgets, you are the weapon. If you look around you right now, wherever you're at, there are probably 10 items within grabbing distance to use as a force multiplier. (probably no rudimentary lathes tho') ;)

If you own a bicycle, does it have a cable and padlock to secure it when out and about? Maybe you need a spare to place in your backpack?

Wear a belt? How about a good stout one with a good cowboy belt buckle securely fastened to it?

Even when you do age a bit and carry different tools about you, you will avoid conflict unless lethal force is forced upon you. THEN, you let the tiger out. But you best NOT be surprised and behind the old power curve.

It's the "Software, not the hardware", as some old timer (not me) here used to preach. Methinks he was and is correct.

So, wherever you are, look around you. For "Them"... and if you cannot leave right freakin now... for whatever you can grab.

November 29, 2012, 10:21 AM
+1 for Noah! Good solid advice

November 29, 2012, 10:26 AM
"Minor," "lethal," "concealable", and no training?

Here's the thing: as a teenager, it's the other teenagers who are the biggest threat. That's because poor risk assessment and developing overloads of testosterone trigger unacceptable behavior. Most of them drink and drive, which is the biggest killer. Don't.

As a minor, there's not much you can do, precisely because being a minor implies with a broad stroke that mature adult decision making isn't yet possible. Therefore, the weapons of a mature adult are not an appropriate resource. Lethal weapons aren't even a normal choice for adults, either, which shows that the "need" to have that level of protection is possibly overstated. Most Americans don't carry concealed or even think about it.

As for training, it's not an option. It's required. No responsible adult will simply hand over the keys to "lethal force" to a minor and play the odds. That's because THEY will be legally responsible for the weapons misuse - they are the adult. The minor is actually held less responsible, that is the position the law is taking, and why the law doesn't grant the privileges. It restricts them.

That doesn't always set well, and may not be fair. Under the law, you could be the acknowledged child of Immaculate Conception, too bad. Minor means minor.

Check into the martial arts available in your area, I'm not suggesting some kung fu studio with payments. There are others. The basic point is that to defend oneself adequately with a weapon first requires a grasp of bare handed self defense. That is likely taught by your own police department - who offer the course to those who learn the real indicators of oncoming conflict and how to handle the situation without resorting to lethal force. If the bullies can't beat you down, they give up. Predators look for easy prey, not challenges.

As you will discover, there is a huge difference between lethal force, and disabling. The latter is much more effective and requires less "horsepower." Twelve year old girls who've been appropriately trained can keep a grown male from doing much, and that's the entire point. It's not an exercise in overwhelming power, it's an art in applying enough power in the right place to make the perpetrator give up. It doesn't take much. But it's not commonly known, either.

You will have to train. Something worth having is usually never free.

Russ Jackson
November 29, 2012, 10:42 AM
Forget the weapon at this time. Get yourself into a Karate class or some other Martial Arts. It will teach you discipline as well as defending yourself. The weapons will follow...Russ

Fred Fuller
November 29, 2012, 11:06 AM
Situational awareness is your best weapon. Crime doesn't just happen, it is a process, and knowing how that process develops can go a long way toward helping you avoid it.

See for a start point, and spend a lot more time reading other relevant areas of this site. But that's genuine crime, and that isn't the kind of violence that ensnares most teens. If you want the best single tutorial I have seen so far to help you avoid the kind of violence most teens get involved with, buy yourself a copy of Rory Miller's book Meditations On Violence - What gets most teenage males in trouble is what Miller calls "the monkey dance." If you know how to recognize it as it develops, you are a lot less likely to get caught up in it.

Never heard of 'the monkey dance' before? It's just a name for a process, that's all, and there are other names for it. See:

Mindset, skillset, toolset - it isn't just a SIG line...

November 29, 2012, 11:08 AM
Seeings as this is exactly what I was going to post, I'm going to "embiggen" it:

If you want the best single tutorial I have seen so far to help you avoid that kind of violence, buy yourself a copy of Rory Miller's book Meditations On Violence - What gets most teenage males in trouble is what Miller calls "the monkey dance." If you know how to recognize it as it develops, you are a lot less likely to get caught up in it.

Many people "defend" themselves throughout their whole lives by not being where trouble is and not doing the things that attract or open them to predation. There is a whole lot to know and understand about use of force, most especially LETHAL force, in justifiable self defense. While you're searching for tools and skills to assist with the last ditch -- all else has failed and I'm about to DIE -- aspect of self-defense, take the time to develop the first-rank, front-line defensive tools you'll actually use most often.

Il Duca
November 29, 2012, 01:33 PM
LOTS of sound advice here. As many have said in one way or another, the best weapon at your disposal until you are of age is right between your ears. I can't think of anything other than a pocket knife that will deliver deadly force and not incur a concealed weapons charge. And a pocket knife is by no means a good first line of defense. There are plenty of good non lethal options though. OC spray is a good one. Or how about a solid flashlight with a striking bezel? Makes a great fist shot and can deliver a powerful hit. Most tac lights have a high power strobe option as well, very handy- especially after dark.

But most of all, situational awareness is your friend. Don't just look for signs of trouble- expect them. I work in a field where SA is very important and has helped me avoid a couple situations that could have ended very badly. I always approach anything with my mind going: "What would I do if that guy _____?", "Where's my out if ____?", etc.

Owen Sparks
November 29, 2012, 03:20 PM
The thing that I like about sticks is that they are highly effective at stopping an attacker when applied to arms or knees without running the risk of a manslaughter charge. As long as your stick serves some other function people will not think of it as a weapon. I usually choose a walking stick as it is legal everywhere but given the choice I prefer a slightly shorter stick. For example, I carry a 2 piece pool cue in a sheath in my car and I carry it over my shoulder like a sword scabbard when I have to go into the city and need both hands free. The thin half is just a prop. The butt end is the weapon. If you don't like the idea of a walking cane because of your age or whatever look into a cheap pool cue. As long as there is a pool table within walking distance no one can prove that you were not on the way to shoot some 8 ball and you will have plausable deniability. Use some common sense though, walk away from trouble if you can and if you have to use it as a weapon avoid hitting the attackers head or neck. A soild blow to the hand or forearm will stop the bad guy from being able to punch or grab you and give you time to get away.

Some may find it odd that I give this advice to a minor but young people are often victims of violence usually at the hands of other minors who may lack the judgement to know when to stop. There was a bad incident at a park in my town a few years back where a youth was chased down, tackled and beaten senseless by a group of teenage boys after trying to outrun them.

November 29, 2012, 06:06 PM
Thanks everyone, your advice has helped me alot.

November 29, 2012, 06:42 PM
Good advice from almost everyone.

In addition to staying away from bad situations and people, and remaining aware, get a metal 2 AA flashlight and look up kubaton and yarawa techniques. Then practice. And carry your flashlight everywhere. And if you never need to use your light defensively, it can still help keep you safe.



Texan Scott
November 29, 2012, 10:15 PM
The advice given by Noah is wonderful, a
d many others have said very profound, important things you ought to take to heart.

I can add only this: many of us here, as law enforcement, military, or even civilians, have been touched by violence, been hurt, hurt others, or taken lives. Please, PLEASE never take it lightly... you might think you know, but you DON'T know how terrible and traumatic it is, even if you come out on the good end ... because there is no good end. Surviving a fight to the death is the second worst thing that can happen.
Be humble. Be patient. Be sober. Above all, be safe.

November 29, 2012, 10:43 PM
Okay, taking a life is not something to be done lightly or carelessly, but there are many things that are worse. Studies show that it's the extreme danger that causes PTSD, not merely taking a life. Bluntly, I've killed a whole passel of folks. Since my weapons outranged or just plain outshot theirs, it never bothers me: it's just something that happened in a nasty little war.


November 30, 2012, 12:32 PM
Pepper spray is great stuff just remember to be upwind.
Also a defensive pen or kubaton is another option.
Its a good idea to read up on knife laws in your area before picking a pocket knife.

I'd suggest all the above so you have options.

A couple of well aimed rocks has gotten good results for thousands of years now.
Assuming you carry a pack you've got a place for your rock 'samples'. Smaller ones provide ammo for wrist rockets too.

November 30, 2012, 01:57 PM
Good advice from almost everyone.

In addition to staying away from bad situations and people, and remaining aware, get a metal 2 AA flashlight and look up kubaton and yarawa techniques. Then practice. And carry your flashlight everywhere. And if you never need to use your light defensively, it can still help keep you safe.


I would add a solid metal ink pen like a Cross or Zebra F-701!

November 30, 2012, 02:38 PM
A minor asking responsible adults online for ways on how to kill is just wrong.

My suggestion is to get involved with school-based sports programs like wrestling or better, boxing if available. This will give you better situational awareness training as well as speed & fast feet. If you can get your parents to pay for (or you can afford it yourself), get involved in introductory martial arts programs and decide if this is a direction you want to go.

This seems better than carrying weaponry, even disguised weaponry, all of which are likely to get a minor in trouble. People need to remember that minors do not have the same rights as adults, especially in and near school zones.

November 30, 2012, 03:01 PM
No nothing lethal.
But I think he's a smart young man stuck in the Detroit suburbs - very rough place.
If i were him I'd be looking at my options and asking questions too.

Good luck Isaac and stay safe.

November 30, 2012, 04:33 PM
Detroit suburbs are pretty much like any other suburb in the USA. They can be very nice.

You are confusing his suburbs for the urban blighted inner city Detroit, which is what gets reported on TV, and which people stereotype as all of Detroit.

Owen Sparks
November 30, 2012, 04:35 PM
People need to remember that minors do not have the same rights as adults, especially in and near school zones.

Such as the right to life?

November 30, 2012, 05:39 PM
Such as the right to life?

I think CWL was referring to a minor's legal rights, specifically about what he gets to carry in his pockets.

November 30, 2012, 06:35 PM

Minors found in possession of pocket knives, kubatons, pepper spray, etc. aren't going to get a "pass" from the LEOs or school authorities.

Guys, THINK before you make recommendations to a minor, especially on the internet.

I certainly don't want the OP to get hurt by any BG encounters, but I certainly don't want to give advice that could cause him legal problems that will affect his future. We live in an increasingly "zero tolerance" society.

Owen Sparks
November 30, 2012, 07:37 PM
So what if he has a metal flashlight in his pocket rather than a kubaton? A cased 2 piece pool cue rather than a club or a pad lock in his pocket rather than brass knuckles? None of these are illegal.

November 30, 2012, 11:59 PM
*Warning: I am a minor* :neener:

I don't think anyone here was suggesting that minors carry any form of weapon in a school or anywhere where it wouldn't be legal? I know much better than to ever take a knife, OC spray, or even multi tool with me into a school zone, and I don't even go to a school every day. The idea of adults here suggesting that minors carry weapons in schools or anything purely unlawful IS scary- but I don't think that was the case here.

I don't think anyone here was discussing in-school violence. That is (typically) the exact sort of monkey dance thing that is usually and hopefully easily avoided. What Isaac is asking and most of us are talking about is true defense of ourselves and those around us every where else we go. Not taking daddy's knife to school to get revenge on that bully.

Wasn't going to rant on this, but I really have to. When people here say things that amount to, I am not really quoting anyone, it's just the message I get, "Minors just need to forget about defense until they are older" "Just run. You can avoid trouble" "Minors and weapons don't mix" "Minors are ALWAYS stupid irresponsible gangbangers with no brains and will never ever be in a situation where they have a responsibility to keep their loved ones safe" just absolutely ticks me off. :mad:

Yes. Many minors are irresponsible morons who shouldn't have a car let alone a weapon or heaven forbid a pocket knife. Yes. Many minors have gotten themselves stuck in drug and sex based gangs and will only ever use a tool for pure evil.

Yes. Believe it or not, some minors are reasonably responsible humans, who obey and truly respect the law, and are willing to use what force multiplier tools they legally can to defend those they love if they are absolutely forced to.

Crazy? I don't care. If me with OC spray and a knife is able to keep my girlfriend or sister from being kidnapped, raped, tortured, and killed, and me with nothing but my hands means I lay half conscious and beaten on the pavement watching some evil drugged up man run off with the person I love, so be it. And I'll have you know I'd die trying either way.

I'm a realist. We all have a sinful nature and evil exists. When my cousin was 9, a man broke into her basement and raped her. I KNOW first hand that evil exists. I accept this fact, and will use every thing I legally can to protect those I love. I understand the severity of these choices. Weapons are not toys. Nothing to show off to impress my gang buddy Al.

On another note, minors getting in trouble for having a folding knife, I have had one on my person all the time for years now, I work with a part time police officer, and not once have I ever had any trouble over it. Just today my youth pastor asked, "Does anyone have a good sized pocket knife to trim this branch so it'll fit into this hole for the Christmas decorations?" Boom. Folder "saves the day" again. I hope and pray that it'll never be more serious than trimming some knots off a stick, but if it is, you bet I'll do something about it.

December 1, 2012, 08:11 AM
We all make choices. From what to wear to where to go and what to eat, to how fast we drive and how to dress. I understand the OP's question. I remember how I felt growing up.

There are some things we can't reasonably and conscionably say over the internet. Sure, this member, and some other members, may be extremely safe and mature, but many or most people in the age bracket won't be. Understand that what we write will be read by some of those people. So a more generalized and a very cautionary tone is definitely in order, for the things we discuss may have life-long consequences.



December 1, 2012, 10:37 AM
We have had numerous threads on non firearms weapons and self defense. The vast majority of them do not focus on swords, spears or other impractical every day carry defensive tools. Many of them don't even discuss knives, but provide valuable information on common every day items many of us carry that with a little thought serve as effective self defense tools. Others give guidance on the importance of awareness, avoidance, mind set and skills. Reading the body of material here in NFW may take time, but provides valuable information on the pros and cons around issues on self defense that anyone, including a minor, can benefit from since many of us live with the same restrictions that a minor in school faces.

Owen Sparks
December 1, 2012, 11:40 AM
...many of us live with the same restrictions that a minor in school faces.


That is the true evil of collectivism. Anytime you are seen as a member of some group rather than an autonomous individual you will be considered no better than the least member of that group. In other words, If some minors are irresponsible and immature, then ALL minors will be treated as if they are irresponsible and immature. For example, I once got in trouble at school for possessing a magic marker even though I was an art student and using it on an art project.

The reason?

Some kid had been drawing crude cartoons of the principal pleasuring himself on the bathroom wall. They could not catch whoever was doing it so they made a rule that nobody could have a magic marker at the high school, all 900 of us, even though only one person was misusing a marker.

Laws against weapons work on this same collectivist principle. They treat everyone in the group, society in this case, like the weakest link and presumed to be up to no good simply for having a tool with the potential for criminal misuse BEFORE THE FACT.

Baba Louie
December 1, 2012, 12:32 PM
A minor asking responsible adults online for ways on how to kill is just wrong.If that was what and how the question was phrased, I'd agree. The phrasing I caught was, "options... lethal self defense" which I take to mean "with potential to cause death in the act of defending oneself", and yes I could be wrong. Which is why most responsible adult members (and one self admitted teen) are adding thoughts as to situational awareness, retreat, avoid monkey dance, choose friends wisely, etc as part of their "take the high road" type responses.

But sometimes, even for teens... maybe especially for some teens in some places (and adults for that matter) where the law says nada to overt weaponry and where some teens, who do not take the higher road in life, and who are beginning their criminal career choices already or are deep into them in some cases and run in packs, well, it never hurts to learn more and to be prepared for the worst.

So I'll throw out one more caveat for isaac, et al, that must not be overlooked and that most members here (and lurkers) are aware of... the aftermath of use of force. You survive one ordeal only to begin another, where every decision you made, every act you performed will be harshly questioned by those not involved with a very, very high price to pay. Besides the legal expenses, trials and tribulations, do not overlook the following...


Sadly enough a very real possibility and one to discuss with the family and maybe friends, isaac. Such is life and yet another lesson to learn (hopefully not, but as a teen I was once forced to deal with "payback" which affected my younger sister and boy oh boy, did that cause problems in my family)

So keep your wits about you, learn to de-escalate, placate, etc when and if you cannot vamoose, smile at everyone you meet... but have a plan and stick to the High Road (I'm sure you will).

Owen Sparks
December 1, 2012, 09:52 PM
If a minor were to join the military and "kill" to protect the interests of the US he would be called a hero. Why is it wrong for him to kill to protect his own best interests, HIS LIFE, in an appropriate situation? It is odd how someone under 21 is not deemed mature enough to purchase a handgun yet at 18, (17 with parental approval) you can join the marines and become a professional machine gunner.

BTW, killing and murder are not the same thing.

December 1, 2012, 10:23 PM
You can't honestly compare day to day life in America to having to serve in combat, really?

Hyperbole is all well and good for emphasis, but taken too far it becomes absurd.

December 2, 2012, 07:48 AM
Long ago , infact when I was a minor some one explained to me that "weapon" is between the ears and not in the hands.

As a minor in the hands just is not an option for today.

My kids are elementary and middle school aged. Their primary defense is avoidance. Second line is escape.

Both take a sport karate class. One got a suspension when the karate had to be used after a bullying attack got to the bully hitting the victim in a corner stage. Hasn't been physically bullied since though. Their instructor teaches straight from his style. I add here at home mainly what are generically termed break aways. how to break a wrist lock or just someone gripping their clothing and follow through with breaking away if possible.

Having taught highschool in public schools I am aware that kids sometimes break the rules on weapons, just as on everything else. If you want to not be in a whole heep of hot water, maybe even locked in a cage with the very sort of folks you most want to avoid, you however can not be the kid that breaks the rules.

Get and stay in good physical shape. Be aware of what goes on around you. Keep escape routes in mind. As corny as it sounds be nice.

Speaking of Civil Air Patrol and related to this section of THR, did you know that Bo Randall ("the guy that invented the knife" I once heard him discribed as) was a World War II member of the CAP and went on sub hunting patrols off St. Augustine Florida?

Just thought you might find that interesting.


December 2, 2012, 07:32 PM
Spend your free time in nice neighborhoods..avoid everyone who is more dysfunctional than you are. Do your home don't need weapons.

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