Thursday, 3 May 2012

Self Defense - The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

The pen as a weapon of self defense
n self defense, practically anything can be turned into a weapon. In fact learning to recognize everyday objects as weapons plays an important role in the training.

What are you wearing? – a watch (is there a sharp edge to your watch); a pin (potentially lethal); a bracelet (for jamming into an attacker’s eyes); a belt (lots of possibilities with this one).

What are you carrying? – a cellphone (it’s edge can break small bones); a purse (the edge again…and of course its contents such as a nail file, scissors, brush, edge of a credit card, etc); a tightly rolled up magazine (a thrust to the eyes, throat or groin).

What is there on the ground? – gravel, dirt, a stick or a rock.

What’s on the table? – a glass, a bottle, cutlery.

What’s near you in the car? – keys, the broken - and sharply pointed – plastic top of a coffee cup.

Self defense thinking is survival thinking. You take what you need from your immediate surroundings in order to survive an attack.

Dave is another one of our smiling villains

One item we use often enough but might rarely consider as a weapon is…a pen. In the hand of someone fighting for her life, a pen becomes a very real and savage weapon.

The trick is to grip a pen so that your hand is about an inch away from the point of the pen. I prefer what is called in tactical knife fighting a hammer grip. The hand is wrapped tightly around the pen with the thumb nearest to the tip. (I like to press the thumb against the spine of the pen to prevent the hand from slipping down when the pen hits a target).

Leaving an inch or so from the tip of the pen to your hand should also provide you with enough space for penetration.

I always advise using a pen as part of a larger arsenal. Combine a pen thrust with kicks, claw attacks, palm heel strikes, hair grabs, elbows and backfists.

Please do not swing the pen from the side like a “haymaker” or roundhouse punch. Doing so limits you to one direction and one type of defensive movement. I prefer keeping the pen close in front of me at mid-torso level. From there, I can thrust the pen out into a variety of directions and angles.

The defender turns and attacks the throat from the side

Now we come to the difficult part…the targets and how to direct the pen into the targets…

You’re a good person. You don’t wish harm on anyone. But you do have the right to live your life to the fullest. If someone wants to take away your right to live, then you must decide – Yes to self defense or No to self defense. You cannot defend yourself successfully by trying to defend yourself half heartedly. Unfortunately, you must do enough harm to the attacker in order to escape with your life. In the case of the pen, that harm can be considerable.

I’ll rely on traditional Kung Fu to share a few techniques with the pen. Traditional Kung Fu has centuries of experience in war. War is cruel…and so are these techniques. If you want to skip the following descriptions, please do so.

A shift to one side combined with a strike to the groin

Self Defense Targets With a Pen

Eyes – dig into the eye, twist and snap your wrist up, down and sideways repeatedly like a shark tearing at its prey. Pull the pen out ¼ of an inch then drive it in again. He will never attack another woman or child in his life.

Throat – thrust the pen with a twisting motion into the hollow at the bottom of the throat. Push left and right, down and up. Withdraw the pen slightly and punch with your fist against his throat. Push down inside toward the esophagus, then “hook” upward and pull the pen back toward you.

Other targets – the side of throat, the ears, in the depression under the ear, the armpit, in between the bones on the back of the hand, the groin.

I apologize for the severity of these descriptions. I’m sure you understand that these self defense techniques are to be used only during the course of an extreme attack.  They’re to help you escape.

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