We discussed last week a few reasons why someone would want to carry a weapon. Mostly I left out the self defence aspect. There is evidence, much of it anecdotal, that having a weapon is a beneficial in a self defence situation. I have met people who have told me that simply drawing a knife or firearm was enough to deter the attacker. There is a danger to this, though. It is not enough to have the weapon. It is not enough to be able to draw it quickly and without exposing yourself to attack as you do. The most important part of carrying a weapon is the willingness to use it.
This, more than anything else, is why I don’t advocate either blades or firearms. With either there isn’t really a reliable non-lethal option. Are you willing to kill an attacker in self defence? Are you willing to cope with the legal and moral implications? Are you sure? But here’s the other side. Weapons are a great equalizer. At five foot ten and just shy of one hundred and fifty pounds I am on the small side of average build. Realistically in any kind of assault I would be outmatched, physically. The training I’ve had balances the scales somewhat, but size is a huge factor. A weapon is a fantastic equalizer. So what is the best weapon in this situation? Qualifications being thus: non-lethal and something that wont get you in trouble with the cops.
One option is the cane. This is a good option, though a little bulky to carry around always. Fiore de’i Liberi has a suggestion for us. A simple stick, about two feet long. A good stout stick of this length is easy to carry. It hits hard. Strikes to non critical areas will disable without permanent damage.
The stick can be used to strike, it can assist in grappling and no one can fault you for carrying one. Just don’t go calling it a weapon.