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Self-Defense Weapons


The first thing people think about when choosing a self-defense weapon is the gun or knife. Others may choose a stick, pole or some non-lethal object. Any weapon of self-defense chosen has its limitations. My suggestion to all is to start with the self-defense weapon we were given by nature. The built in weapons that most all of us have are elbows, hands, feet, and most importantly the mind. All the weapons work well if we are trained to use them properly. Sure there are many other weapons that can be used if necessary. I will state it again. All useful weapons require training to be of any good to the user.

The Gun

The gun is what most people think will choose to save their lives in the event of a violent attack. The idea that the bad guy will just back down and run away, or worse case you shoot the attacker. There is always more happening then what meets the eye when using a gun for self-defense.

Today it seems like anyone can own a gun. The bad guy’s own guns and use them often. We do have a First Amendment right to own a gun and use it for self-defense. But now law abiding citizen and criminals have access to weapons. Gun are everywhere and more need to be done, but this article is not for that purpose. What bothers me is that drunken, emotional angry people on anti-depressants own guns legally. Well any way, guns are a great deterrent if an attacker knows you carry a weapon. Remember bad guys generally don’t have the fore knowledge of you carrying. On a side note, I personally like target practice with my weapon because it challenging and plain fun.

No Such Thing As A Quick Draw

The main problem with guns in general as the primary weapon of self-defense is the time required to deploy the weapon. Most state laws require gun owner to have a concealed permit if they are going to carry the weapon with them. The key word is concealed. Brandishing a weapon is another no-no in the eyes of the law. So you carry the gun somewhere on your body that can’t be seen under ordinary circumstances.

The time it takes you to get the gun out, if you are carrying it on your person, can be problematic in a slit second emergency. If you are fast at reaching for your gun, then pulling it out of the gun sleeve, chamber a round, taking off the safety and then aim and shoot, you may hit the target. This operation could take three to four seconds if you are well practiced. Most gun owners with a concealed carry permit don’t go to the gun range or practice deploying their weapon.

The point to this section on guns as a primary weapon of self-defense is the time it takes to use it in an unexpected attack. If you are face-to-face with a violent threat you must have the skill set to deploy the weapon with great speed. In this type of situation getting out the weapon may more difficult than you practiced, if you practiced at all. Fear causes an adrenaline dump which causes your heart rate to increase. This in turn will make getting the weapon out slower than you trained for. Unless less you trained for this type of situation many things can go wrong for you. The attacker may even end up with your gun. So what are you supposed to do?

Buying Time

The ability to “buy time” in order to get the gun out, get one round in the chamber, and disengage the safety can be a matter of life and death. To buy time is to gain those precious few second you need to react to a sudden attack. The three to five seconds your brain needs to comprehend what is happening and react properly to the unexpected requires self-defense training, not just a gun.

If the gun is the preferred weapon of self-defense it may not be the best choice. Most stated in the United Stated require gun to be registered and concealed if you are going to carry it for self-protection. In a sudden violent attack, the time it takes you to remove your gun from its holster the weapon and fire it is of critical concern. Knowing survival self-defense techniques can save your life as a gun owner. Combat self-defense is another name for the same thing.

Many gun owner think they are safe when carrying their gun. The may feel safe but the reality is safety is in being able to use the weapon correctly. With lack of survival self-defense and practice in deploying the weapon under pressure safety is just a feeling and not a reality. Owning a gun is just the first step in greater security.

The Knife

There is an old saying the everyone knows “don’t take a knife to a gun fight”. Of course a knife doesn’t stand on its own facing a gun. If someone has a blunt instrument in their hand a knife (multi-directional weapon) may be a good enough deterrent to stop an attacker. This is all depending on whether you have training on the use of a knife. The gun is a single direction weapon unless using the gun as a blunt object. Is one better than the other? Depends on training and skill level of each weapon.

The knife as a deterrent works well if some is threatening to beat you to death with their fist, bat or tire iron. But like any self-defense weapon, training is necessary to use it correctly. The knife will strike fear into most attackers using a blunt force object. But the fear alone may not stop them. The proper use of a knife may take as much training to use as the gun. The knife may be enough to stop an attack threat. But you better know how to use it.

The use of a knife to survive an attack (not with a gun) is a skill set that should be learned and practiced if you carry a knife for self-defense. The use of a knife for self-defense is a specialize skill that can be learned by most any person. I am not talking about knife fighting. That is another whole world to be discovered and avoided if possible.

Never Get Into A Knife Fight

Never think it is easy to defend against an attacker with a knife. There is a big difference between someone threating you with a sharp object to rob you and someone who wants to kill you. If a person is viciously trying to stab or slice you a knife fight is not where you want to be. Your best bet is to run as fast as you can. If you can’t run grab a chair, a long hard abject, or a gun you will increase your chances of survival. In survival a knife fight doesn’t make any real sense. Knife fighting is not survival self-defense but it can happen and escape is the best conclusion. Tactical knife fighting takes an extreme amount training and practice.

The blade is a good deterrent against threat of physical violence such as a folded fist. Of course it is not good against a gun. When facing an attacker who want to stab you an environmental weapon is the best choice in my opinion. This is other than running like hell.  A knife on knife fight is messy and should be avoided at all cost if possible. The knife is easy to carry most everywhere but there are legal concerns in many localities. It comes in handy in many other situations like cutting and opening boxes and such. It is a good weapon of self-defense is you are trained to use it.

The Environmental Weapon

This is a large group of weapons in this category. Just about everything can be used as a weapon if you can pick it up. These weapon should never be over looked in a situation of balance of power in a violent attack. Like any weapon some training is necessary to use properly. There are generally one or two ways to use a gun of knife effectively. On the other hand many of the objects around can increase you survival chance if you don’t carry a self-defense weapon on you.

Let’s stick with the basics on this subject. In a self-defense survival situation, you want to escape to a safe place. No one in their right mind really want to fight. Fighting can be fun if there are rules, refs, and rings, but not in a violent “going to kill you” place. A real fight is dangerous and possibly lethal. A car or table can be used a shield prevent the attacker from have easy access to you.

Objects Easy To Pickup

With a stone, brick, or hard object you can hit the attacker harder. Dirt, lamps, books, and any hand held object can be thrown to buy time to escape the area you are in. Broom or mop handles work well if you have some training with short stick defense. Also knowing where to strike is an issue with any weapon. Hitting someone in the arm or chest may not get you the result you are looking for. Environmental weapons (anything thing you grab, throw, or cause a barrier effect between you and the bad guy) like a gun or knife must be used in a manner that will cause the most physical damage.

Environmental weapons are everywhere. In a sudden attack your brain doesn’t have the time necessary to grab an object and use it effectively unless you have some training and practice in its use. In reality self-defense an environmental weapon can give you the advantage that may be needed against a larger and stronger attacker. Almost anything can be used as a lethal if applied with skill. If you have noticed, I keep mentioning training or skill no matter what weapon you prefer.

The Body as a Weapon

If you haven’t figured it out by now I am a proponent of learning self-defense. Using your body as a weapon is should your first line of self-defense in a sudden violent attack. This is outside of using your mind to prevent an attack by awareness, alert, and alarm. Self-defense training can be fun, exciting, enlighten and could save your life.

In a sudden violent attack time is not on your side. You must respond quickly or make the other person react to you. The only thing outside of being able to flee the area is to severely damage the attacker and then flee. Your body is equipped with multiple weapons to use at any time. But like any weapon training is needed. The more you train the better you become at the God given defensive weapons on you.

You Don’t Have To Be An Expert

Okay, you don’t have to earn a black belt or have to become some sort of self-defense expert. In all reality that is not necessary for most people who just want to learn self-defense. The object in reality self-defense is to defend (survive) and walk away. Sophisticated self-defense techniques aren’t needed to defend yourself. Even among self-defense experts the phrase “keep it simple stupid” rings true.

Simple physical techniques are easy for most people to learn. With some repetition and scenario training almost anyone can gain competent skills in self-defense. Remember the main outcome in self-defense is to stop the attack and escape. It is not to “fight” with the attacker.

Your body has many built in weapons (with proper training) to stop an attack or buy enough time to run or deploy another hand held weapon. Buying some to escape, run, or shoot the attacker if they continue in the actions of attack. Body weapon like palm strikes, eye gouges, elbow strikes and the like are easy to do, learn and remember. They are out in front of you like a shield and can be put into action quickly.


There are many different weapons that can be used against an attacker. That is weapon that can neutralize or at least equalize the attack. This article only addresses the gun and knife as a defensive tool. All said and done I believe that the best weapons against a sudden attack are the ones you were born with.

The hands, elbows, and knees are readily available and accessible in an emergency scenario. Using any weapon of self-defense requires training and practice. The gun, knife and human body can be a very efficient means of self-defense and all need specific focuses training to be useful. Specific focused training implies a survival outcome in a violent personal attack. I firmly believe everyone should take a self-defense course and gun owners a gun safety course with shooting tactics. Until the next time, keep training.


 Posted on : March 6, 2013 - Last updated on Jul 4, 2017