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Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:21 pm    Post subject: Practical weapons practice for self defence Reply with quote

In the UK at least, I can't think of any classical martial arts weapon that would ever be classed as a tool of self defence. If for example you slash someone with a katana then you're going to jail, even if you were outnumbered. Any court would conclude that to take such a thing with you means you had preempted a violent encountered and prepared for it with intent.

Same goes for dagger and nunchakus etc. Staff, I think sometimes you might get away with it. If a fight broke out while you were playingpool/snooker/billiards for example and you already had the cue in hand when the fight came to you, you could argue that you panicked and lashed out. But it's a bit tenuous.

So what can we do that is practical and improvised?

I'm aware that some have devised techniques using an ordinary leather belt of the type that holds the trousers up. I'm not sure how practical that is. If I were attacked, I'm not sure my first instinct would be to increase the risk of my trousers sliding down and obstructing my movement. Some have devised techniques using a jacket or shirt. Some suggest using a mobile phone as a simple hard object, but I can see that being a good way to break your own fingers while infuriating the attacker. Some say to use your keys as a makeshift knuckle duster but that looks like a good way to injure your own hand while causing a slight annoyance to the attacker.

So what can we do?

I believe the hapkido guys specialise in improvisation. It's a style I'd like to practice but it's very rare in my area.
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Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The belt is a great option. Especially when one is going commando. Completely catches the opponent off-guard!

In Hap Ki Do, we can train in the use of various-sized sticks. The cane is also very common (one weapon you can always carry!) as is the knife.

When it comes to improvising anything else, I don't think there's much to it... Anything on a dinner table can be used to throw, smash or stab someone, but that'll likely be a one-time use scenario.
5th Geup Jidokwan Tae Kwon Do/Hap Ki Do

(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 422
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rule for weapons is that anything light enough to lift and heavy/hard enough to do damage is a weapon.

I am... unfamiliar with the legal situation regarding weapons in the UK, HOWEVER, I DO know there are a number of highly regarded HEMA instructors there.

Practice at a school that competes regularly. Even if you don't want to, it will make you better.

Learn to handle weapons under the stress of sparring and competition. THEN work on the idea of adding improv to it. I think you will find that the improv is not that difficult. It's learning judgement, distance, time and place that is hard.
Think first, act second, and stop getting the two confused.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1830

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Practically speaking the best kind of self defense weapon is whatever opportunity provides. Something immediately available that can be picked up and discarded quickly. Using everyday objects as defensive weapons is not a new idea and it is possible to train with them and get an idea on their effectiveness. Several good publications exist on the subject.
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Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 29 Mar 2002
Posts: 3116
Location: Gilbert WV, USA
Styles: Shotokan Karate (FSKA)

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shotokan has no weapons but (we) our dojo plays with what we call practical weapons.

The Bo or Jo staff IMO is the most logical. Items like a rake, shovel, mop, pool cue, ski pole, broom, yard stick, cane, umbrella, or broken tree branch all simply relate to staff techniques. I will add we do not spin or twirl them like you would see in competition kata. We strike, poke, swing, slash amd block with them.

UWhip techniques would be the next most logical IMO. No one has a whip but like the poster stated above you can use a belt, towel, dog leash, purse, lanyard with keys, jacket, shoes, items of clothing, backpack, and earphones. The slashing motion can create great space and the ability to block and wrap makes controlling techniques very safe especially against a bladed weapon.

Finally any item you can hold in your hand to inflict damage. We teach this a lot in our women's self defense class. Keys, loose change, hair brush, comb, iPod, cell phone, rings, school books, pen, pencil, cup, can,bottle or any eating silverware. Spoon, fork, etc. you could use knife type of tactics in teaching this but we just use our basic strikes and teach you how best to hold the object to not damage your hand while striking the attacker.

If you see a guy carrying a katana on his back or a set of numchhuck on his hip they prob got some issues so stay away lol. Although I love the sword but its use on the street today is a waste of time, barring the zombie apocalypse starts.
(General George S. Patton Jr.) "It's the unconquerable soul of man, and not the nature of the weapon he uses, that ensures victory."
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