Thursday, December 01, 2005

Are any Martial Arts Weapons of any use on the streets today?

There is a lot of talk today about the usefulness, or lack thereof, of Martial arts weapons in today’s society as effective tools for self defense. The main questions are not in whether or not such weapons as the Tonfa, Bo, or Sai are effective, but when and where can you actually use such items today?

The most obvious answer to the question of whether or not these weapons can be sensibly used today, outside of one’s own home where they may be hanging on a wall, is no. You simply can not carry a Bo or pair of Sai on the train, subway, or airliner. You can’t even carry these items on the street, when just going for a walk to the nearest 7-11, and your wife and children can most surely not carry these items around with them in shopping malls and such.

Weapons were created to give the defender a major advantage over the attacker, and a means to end any threat quite effectively, and quickly. So what about today? What do we use now? Do we lean towards the opinion that there are no weapons of legal use, are do we know that there actually are, many effective weapons that one can still use, in the year 2002, and most likely, the legal acceptance, and availability of such items I will mention later, will exist for quite some time to come.

Many of us have seen impressive actions by others, in the creation of certain concealable self defense tools, and training programs to go with them, that one can use on the streets of today. There are also the various crutch and cane programs out there by a few individuals as well. A great help indeed.

But, there is more to the arsenal than this, and many are not noticing. So many everyday objects are available, concealable, and in times, much more effective than some of the legal weapons that we are seeing popularized today.

Let’s start by going back in time a little to the days of the origins of Okinawan Kobudo. Like other martial arts of the day, Kobudo was nothing fancy. There was no dance music, no 6 color competition gis, medals and trophies associated with it’s practice. What was real and present, was a simple yet effective method of self protection, using tools that were readily available in the common environment, to the common man, woman, and child.

Now at that time, the weapons such as the Sai and such that were used as fighting tools, which are derived from farming equipment, were common, legal objects to use. The Okinawans, turned to farming tools when the use of swords were outlawed.

So what do we see here? We see a society, finding legal to use self defense weaponry, in the common objects found around them each and every day. Right? Exactly. So why are we so different? Time has taught us that evolution, change, and improvement are not things that can be avoided. Some things may stay the same in principle, but are forced to change in method and application, in conjunction with the changing times.

Self defense weaponry is no exception. So what are some legal to use weapons today? Well, just about anything. If you can throw any amount of strikes, you can do the same with a calculator, coffee spoon, or can opener in your hand as an extension. Belts, jackets, and umbrellas can be used to grab, pull, or take an opponent off their feet. Pens and keys can be just as deadly as any knife, if used right. The common mop or broom, can be used just as effectively as any Bo staff ever was.

These are all weapons that are readily available in our environment, and there are so much more, that we can use. It’s all a matter of doing what was done back in the early days when martial arts, be it empty hand, or weapon based, were built and practiced, with the ability to see what is right in the open, and obvious.

So can I back these statements up you may ask? Well, the material in any one manual of my ten volume series, “Modern wepons 101” can serve as a bit of proof that I can. However, I would prefer to be put to the test by you, the reader. Not to prove anything, but to help you realize the tools of self defense, and knowledge thereof, that you may not be taking advantage of right now. And, if I can help you save your own life, or the life of a loved one, then I am most certainly at your service. Here’s what I request. How about you, the reader, get in touch with me? Sit down, look around at your surroundings. Make a list of 3 items that are near you, and make a list of three attacks. Send those to me, and I will gladly get back to you promptly with ideas on how to use each item, in each attack you mention. Ok?

I look forward to hearing from you.

The author, Dave Degrouchie, teaches and practices the martial arts in Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada, and is the founder of the World Budo Alliance. To contact him, send email to:


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