There are times when you might need to reach for something, an object, piece of furniture, a tool, or otherwise, to act as a weapon in your time of need. When your life is on the line, just about anything can be a weapon if chosen wisely – and quickly.
First and foremost, if you have an appropriate defensive weapon handy, such as a Taser, handgun, long gun, baton, pepper spray or combat knife, you should not only reach for any of those items first – you should train with those items constantly. There might be times, however, when you are away from home or outside the reach of your normal weapons, yet still need an object to arm yourself with.
Enter weapons improvisation – as previously stated, just about anything can be a weapon if you need it to be. Similarly, you have many items in your home (not to mention, the homes and businesses of others) that could turn into weapons in a pinch. Under what circumstances might you feel the need to suddenly arm yourself? Let’s look at a few scenarios:
- You’re enjoying coffee in the kitchen of a friend’s house when an unknown assailant forces his way in.
- You’re at a convenience store just as it is being robbed by a man with a combat knife.
- You’re patronizing a local business when an unhappy customer turns the event into a physical altercation.
There are literally hundreds of potential scenarios where you need to arm up – and being prepared for such a confrontation beforehand by being properly equipped is the best course of action. Realize, however, that there are times when you’re just not going to be armed, whether by virtue of the wishes of the home or business owner you are visiting, or by virtue of the fact that certain states have laws limiting where you can have a weapon. In those scenarios, you’ll need to improvise.
What weapons to choose
If given the choice to reach for a bladed weapon or a club-like object, most people should be looking for the club-like object. There are several key reasons for this:
- Bladed weapons require great skill to use effectively, regardless of what you’ve seen on the movies.
- Bladed weapons can sometimes be just as dangerous to the user as they are to the attacker.
- Bladed weapons are far less common in natural surroundings than blunt force weapons.
The last one is really the clincher here. You are far more likely to encounter a heavy soup can, a candelabra, a cast iron frying pan, a baseball bat, a cane, a walking stick, or a piece of pipe than you are a knife or razor. Blunt force trauma is also a great equalizer and can inflict serious damage, which is likely to subdue an attacker relatively fast.
Look around your home for a moment – the average home is chock full of items ranging from small appliances to hand tools that are capable of delivering formidable blunt force strength. For example, very little skill is required to pick up your average sauce pan, swing it, and smack someone in the face with it. Consequently, very few people are going to take a hit full force from something even as trivial as a three pound sauce pan – and remain standing. Blunt force is just very, very effective.
What about edged weapons?
There will be times when edged weapons are abundantly available. Don’t just think knives here, although knives do make up the bulk of the edged weapons around. Think tree shears, hand saws, machetes, or pitchforks as well – they are more common than you think. How dangerous are edged weapons? Consider that standard police practice when answering domestic violence calls is to ensure that when interviewing the fighting couple, the interview must not be conducted in the kitchen. This is because police are well aware that most every American kitchen is bursting with knives – there are steak knives, bread knives, cleavers, and butcher knives of all sizes. From a defensive standpoint, edged weapons require more skill to use than blunt force weapons, but are also capable of inflicting more damage if the knife strikes a vital area. Knives also pack one big advantage that other household weapons don’t: intimidation. Consider that you are an attacker for a moment: which is likely to dissuade you from fighting – a homeowner armed with a sauce pan in a defensive stance, or the same homeowner armed with a 12 inch butcher knife? Exactly.
Why even bother with a weapon?
Even if you have some martial arts training, a weapon is a force multiplier and, as stated above, can also be used purely for intimidation, which might diffuse an attack before it starts. Using simple physics, the average person is able to grab say, a shovel, and swing it with far more force than even a prize fighting boxer could deliver with his hands. Therefore, a weapon – any weapon – usually confers an advantage to those desperately in need of one.
Keep two final rules in mind when considering improvised weapons: 1) Always hide objects in your home that could be used against you by a burglar or home invader – things like knives and rolling pins should be safely tucked away in drawers or cupboards for your protection, and 2) When you are out and about, always scan your surroundings for weapons you can use in a pinch.