In the realm of self defense thinking and training, there is the idea of being “armed” and “unarmed.” This idea presupposes that you are either carrying a weapon or “empty-handed.” And yet, if we consider that our ability is only as limited as our ability to recognize options, we can see that there is no such distinction to the person who is really skilled at self defense.
This article takes a look at the real ability to be able to defend yourself against a brutal attacker who will be taking advantage of your limiting perceptions and recognition of options.
It’s funny how, once they find out that I teach self defense, many men take this opportunity to puff out their chests and let me know, in no uncertain terms, that they don’t need self defense training because they’ll “just shoot ’em!”
But, when I ask them to allow me to see their weapon, they admit that it’s at home in their dresser drawer, gun safe, or anywhere but on them at the moment.
I then remind them, showing my fists that, “my weapons are right here!”
Now, I don’t say this to intimidate or impress them, and I’m not saying here to impress you. What I am doing is impressing upon you the point of this article – the point that to rely on physical weapons like guns, knives, or any other special tool that has the title of “self defense weapon,” is to ignore not only all of the body weapons that you possess, but to ignore the most powerful weapon you possess – your brain!
I also want you to think about the fact that, if you rely on a weapon for self defense, then you will be practically powerless without it!
In a self defense situation, you must have the ability to:
Adapt to the unique situation in which you find yourself
Recognize and use everyday items for self defense – regardless of whether or not they are commonly perceived as weapons or not
Deal with any weapons he might have brought with him – and even to be able to use his own weapons against him
And, there is also the reality that, even if you have a weapon, you may not be able or justified in using it.
An example of this comes from my days as a police officer. Just because I had a firearm doesn’t mean that I could use lethal force against someone who was trying to punch or wrestle me to the ground. So, not only was my sidearm useless in those situations, but it could also be a liability in that I had to deal with the perpetrator AND guard my weapon against him taking it – AT THE SAME TIME!
Another thing that I talk about in my combat handgun and other weapon training courses is this:
Just because you have a weapon, doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to get to it before he can do damage to you! Imagine having a handgun holstered on your hip while simultaneously staring down the barrel of your attacker’s own gun. If you try to go for your own weapon in this moment, you’ll die.
So, try to avoid falling into the trap of seeing yourself as “armed” if you have a so-called “official” weapon, and “unarmed” if you don’t. Instead, train to be able to:
1) Develop more of your own natural body parts AS weapons, rather than just your hands and feet
2) Recognize everyday items as potential weapons, and…
3) Use even your environment as a tool for self defense.
This way, you’ll never see yourself or feel as if you’re unarmed in any situation.