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Self Defense Law

What are Improvised Weapons

When training self-defense, people very often forget to spend time practicing the possibilities of using present surroundings to their advantage. Namely; how to develop skills to identify and effectively use any object near them as an improvised weapon.

What I miss really much with many self defense concepts I have seen so far, is that their classes cover mainly hand to hand skills and conventional weaponry, but spend very little or even no time at all over training with improvised weapons.

We all know, that one of the very natures of reality based self defense is that there are absolutely no rules what so ever. That gives you, and sadly, also an assailants, an immense scale of possibilities to deploy violence.

That is why we, the common people, shouldn’t just solely rely on our own and basic hand to hand fighting skills nor the conventional weapons arsenal - as carrying a conventional weapon (such as knives of hand guns, etc.) is not legally allowed to everyone around the world equally.


Knowing how to use your surroundings and use objects around you to arm your self (un-conventionally) and become more self-efficient then comes in handy when dealing with greater dangers.

What an improvised weapon is

Basically everything that you can easily lift, move and manipulate with, throw and/or create could work as an improvised weapon.

Look around you. There are plenty of things that can be used to harm or distract other human being in order to prevent him from hearting you first.

One of the most usually found are things you can do a blunt damage with - like statues, lamps, tree branches, stones etc.

But we don’t have to develop a boiling water here. We can take an inspiration from the greatest experts of improvised weapons crafting of them all – the incarcerated. Yep, the criminals in prison. Their skill to create for example a stabbing tool from everyday use things is almost unbelievable.

Take piece of broken glass or a bottle, shatter of a mirror, large wooden splinter, your keys, broken toothbrush or a sharp bone, an umbrella. The possibilities are endless.

Even your shoes can do some damage – especially the ones with high heels (girls). It doesn’t have to be anything with word TACTICAL in its name. It just needs to do the job.

To learn more on improvised weapons, go to:

Now look around once more. What could YOU use to defend your self? Right there, right NOW.

The ones I personally like very much is a PET bottle, a stone and the most favorite of mine - Lee Morrison’s Westminster brick.


Training with improvised weapons

Practice is the essence of all skill so it is very important to include improvised weapon identification and utilization in to your self defense curriculum as it can bring a serious change in yours and your student’s game of self protection.

The first thing is to identify a weapon you may use to your advantage. A method I found very effective is just try to find whatever you can at any time, any place. When you wait somewhere for a bus, when you enter a restaurant or get a tour of your friend’s new house.

Every time you are somewhere, just pause for a while and search for something. ANY-time, ANY-place. It could be even be a thing you use every day, you just don’t know how to weaponize it. Like your mobile phone.

Once you have identified a weapon, the next step would be to bring it to your training.

Develop skill, create scenarios, test it in a sparring (remember kids, always wear protection). In reality self defense world, theory is not even a half of the learning process. You need to pressure test – over and over again.

If you can’t think to do it in training, what makes you think you’ll think to do it in the street? - Tony Blauer

Great thing is to identify the things you use regularly during your day and learn how they may be weaponized.

Then work with stuff all the people have with/on them and learn how you can use it to your advantage. A brilliant example of this are clothes - a hoodie for example. If your opponent wears a hoodie jacket, pull it over his head and get control over him.

Go through your house, room by room. Look around each at one of them and identify things you could use as a weapon in case someone would break in.

Learn how to identify improvised weapons around you and improve the odds of your survival. Include them to your training, create environment specific scenarios and play with them in the sparring sessions.

TAGS: weapons street smart


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