Training and Tactics: Never Without a Weapon

Weapons can undoubtedly augment one’s performance in physical contact. From David’s humble sling to a precision rifle, irrespective of the circumstances of battle, a weapon of some form or other dramatically increases the warrior’s ability to physically—and/or sometimes mentally—destroy enemies.

Why mentally? Because if you think about it, many people who wouldn’t be fazed by somebody swinging a baseball bat will turn tail and run from a blade-wielding maniac, no matter what the length of the blade.

Possibly overstating the obvious, in the world of physical encounters, the armed warrior is usually king. “Usually,” because John Steinbeck’s “final weapon” (the brain) can often defeat an enemy’s physical weaponry via the expeditious use of strategy and tactics.

This ultimate and vitally important weapon excepted, however, for the purposes of this article what remains is the physical weapon. Most combatants will have this to hand before the physical contact occurs, either because the initial signs of battle have already begun—such as enemy troops beginning to mass—or because one has a preconceived notion that trouble could one day draw them into harm’s way.

An example of the latter is the “typical” pistol and/or knife-carrying citizen who is not necessarily expecting a deadly force encounter, but is prepared for the eventuality “just in case.”

But what about the person who cannot carry such weapons, either because of societal restrictions (such as dress code limitations), idiotic legislation mandated by ivory tower politicians, or possibly even an undercover police officer? The answer is that nobody need ever be truly weaponless. Out-gunned maybe, but not weaponless, especially in a “generic” street contact or home invasion-type encounter.

First and foremost, you always have your brain—the ultimate weapon—should you choose to use it. Second, if you have a modicum of physical fitness, various God-given weapons such as hands, feet, knees, elbows, and teeth can be deployed, especially if you have the bonus of prior martial arts or gun/knife takeaway training in your toolbox.

At extended distance, an AK is obviously going to beat an exposed, trapped martial arts Grand Master. As martial arts and fitness great Allen Joe said, under these circumstances “Gun Fu beats Gung Fu.” Sometimes you’re simply doomed to wind up with the feathers and no chicken. So assuming you’ve chosen or been forced to fight and can’t or won’t physically flee—the latter being the more intelligent choice—it’s back to the fact that you’re rarely weaponless.

Situation: You’re blind-sided while withdrawing your pennies at an ATM. Your debit/credit card is already in your hand, and it can inflict some horrific wounds, sharpened or not. Moral of the story? Don’t approach an ATM machine—day or night—without a weapon in your sweaty little paw, even if it’s “only” a bunch of keys.

Inside a bank, pens are everywhere, and they can inflict devastating puncture wounds. Every teller’s counter has some type of doodad to remind them of their family. Heavy picture frames, coffee mugs, pens—they can all be used as missiles or impact weapons.

Complimentary coffee urns contain hot coffee and make great missiles or can be used as hard-hitting weapons. The metal stanchion posts used to prevent customers from jumping the line can become improvised baseball bats, and the webbing strung between the posts is strong enough to strangle an elephant. The metal post can also be deployed as a bola from hell by swinging it by holding the webbing.

Hit at a gas station? Outside at the pumps there are squeegees, the pump head can be swung bola-style by holding the weapon by the hose, gas can be pumped into enemy eyes, retractable air and water hoses can be utilized for striking, and windshield wiper arms or radio antennae are easily broken off to use as whips. Inside the gas-station convenience store are too many potential missiles and striking implements to list.

And then there’s the home or motel room invader. If you’re in the kitchen, you probably have more stabbing and cutting implements available than Spyderco has produced to date. Soup ladles, cutting boards, crockery—all a veritable baseball pitcher or martial artist’s wish list. Aerosol spray cans? Light a match several inches ahead of the nozzle and depress the button. It’s called a flamethrower. Caveat: Do not release the spray button until you’ve extinguished the flame, or you’ll incinerate yourself with backdraft.

Bedrooms? More missiles—including that hated alarm clock you’ve always wanted to hurl at something. Bathrooms? Medicine-bottle missiles, toothbrush “knives,” smash a mirror and voilà—instant multi-edged blade. (Obviously hold it in a towel-wrapped hand.)

Take a stroll through your house and you’ll probably be surprised at how many improvised weapons you find. Fireplace pokers, small vacuum cleaners, and rolled-up newspapers are all accessible. The kids’ bedrooms are a Pandora’s Box of arms. Baseball bats, hockey sticks, bottles of glass marbles to throw on the floor to offset your pursuer’s footing.

The list of emergency weapons is endless, but the writer’s intent should be clear by now. It is up to the reader to explore further, never forgetting that the brain is the ultimate weapon.

Louis Awerbuck is Director of the internationally acclaimed Yavapai Firearms Academy. Course information and schedules are available at their website at www.yfainc.com.

[S.W.A.T. Magazine will not be held responsible for malicious or intentional misuse of any information contained in this article. It is the reader’s responsibility to ascertain that he is not violating any local, state or federal laws by utilizing the above information or techniques.]

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