I’m a big supporter of everyone’s right to defend themselves with weapons. But it isn’t always legal or practical to carry a gun, knife, or other obvious weapon with you. That doesn’t mean you are defenseless in event of an attack. You likely are already carrying a lot of discreet weapons on you. If you are willing to improvise, these 7 items make for great weapons that you can take with you anywhere.
This is by far the best improvised self-defense weapon because it allows you to defend yourself from a distance. Umbrellas also have pointed ends, which means they can be used as non-lethal swords. You can also use an umbrellas a club to hit an attacker. It isn’t quite heavy enough to knock anyone out, but should buy you some time or scare away your attacker.
Typical umbrellas are really cheaply made and won’t do you too much good in a life-or-death situation. You might want to consider getting some unbreakable self-defense umbrellas which are made just for this purpose. They will still keep you dry from the rain 😉
Keys make for a great improvised self defense weapon – but not the way that most people think to use them.
Most people think that they should hold their keys in their fist with the keys jutting out. Yes, this does look menacing and the sight of you ready to hit with those jabby keys might be enough to scare away an attacker. Yet, as Think Like a Black Belt points out in his point about how to use keys for self defense, that position is very unstable.
Go ahead and try it.
Put your keys in your hand and try to (gently) punch something hard.
The keys will probably spread apart and dig into your palm.
Instead, he gives other positions which work much better when using keys for self defense. One is when you keep the keys deeper into your fist so just a bit of them is sticking out. They will be more stable and you could easily gauge an attacker’s eyes out with them.
Another position is to hold the keys enclosed in your first, with just one key sticking out. You hold the key between your closed pointer finger and thumb, which keeps it stable. You won’t have blade-like points coming out of your fist, but you will have incredibly slashing ability.
This is not a weapon that I’d like to use, because it means I’d have to get really close to the attacker. But, when used correctly, a pen (or pencil or other sharp pointy item) could save your life.
To make a pen an effective self-defense weapon, you’ve got to aim it at the right places. These are:
- Base of neck
There are specialty “tactical pens” available. While some of these are really cool (like the “carbide glass breaker pen”), I personally wouldn’t spend my money on these. The reason? It isn’t that they aren’t effective. It is just that, if I had to kill someone with one of these pens, I could find myself facing a lawsuit because it was done with a tactical pen and not a regular pen. Yes, this is something we really need to worry about.
I keep a REALLY BIG and HEAVY flashlight in my car emergency kit, and in my wife’s car too. Not only would the flashlight provide a lot of light in situations like changing a tire, but it would easily knock an attacker out. You can also shine the flashlight into an attacker’s face to disorient him.
When choosing a flashlight for self defense, look for these features:
- Long handle
- Made from a heavy-duty material like aluminum (not plastic!)
- At least 120 lumens
- Heavy weight (those D battery flashlights are great!)
Handful of Change
A handful of change might not seem like a good self-defense weapon, but it could give you precious moments which are needed to save your life.
If an attacker is coming towards you, take the loose change from your pockets and fling it at the attacker. Even though this won’t injure the attacker, it will cause a flinch response. You will distract the attacker for just a moment. You can use that moment to flee, or to draw another weapon.
You could also use anything else to fling at the attacker. A cup of hot coffee would be good. As would be some gravel from around you.
You know those funny scenes in movies where the little old lady attacks a mugger with her purse? Well, they got it (almost) right. A purse would make a good self-defense weapon when used correctly.
No, you don’t want to beat an attacker with your purse. Instead, take your purse and rise it to shoulder level. Holding onto the strap, start swinging the purse around you. It might not be able to significantly injure the attacker, but it can distract the attacker and keep him at a distance from you.
Purses (as well as backpacks and briefcases) can also be effectively used to block knife attacks. It will take some practice and ultra-fast reflexes to be able to do this, so go ahead and sign up for that self-defense class now! In the meantime, this free book has a good description of how to use a purse as a shield against a knife.
While we are at it, here are some items that ladies often have in their purses which can make great improvised self-defense weapons.
- Hairspray or spray deodorant
- Nail file (the pointy metal kind!)
- Manicure scissors
Got a lighter and a bottle of hair spray? You can take a cue from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (from the 1980s movie, not the TV series) and use this trick: Light the lighter, then spray the hairspray in front of it. You will create a ball of fire which will definitely keep attackers at bay!
Anything Around You
A big part of survivalism is situational awareness. This goes beyond just knowing where your nearest exits are, and whether there are sketchy characters getting too close. Situational awareness means knowing what is around you, and where it is. If you are aware that there is a loose pipe, or a big rock, or a sharp-edged wall close by during an attack, you can use these in your defense. Be aware and be prepared!