Self defense without a gun

alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior MemberPosts: 7,852 Senior Member
What are people's thoughts on self defense without a gun? I know some of us are lucky enough to live places where we can always carry a gun. Others quite often find ourselves in places where we can't.

I'm looking for thoughts on tools, but also training. For example I often carry a knife, but realize that while I train with my firearms quite frequently, I have zero training in how to use a knife in self defense. I also have limited training or practice in any kind of hand to hand combat. There are obviously a wide range of martial arts training/classes available. Thoughts?
"Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
-DoctorWho
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Replies

  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 16,827 Senior Member
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Mace and/or pepper spray.

    A knife may or may not work out depending.
    The spray could allow time for escape if deployed successfully, but also may not work out.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 9,421 Senior Member
    If you can't run away, kick the aggressor in the nuts then run away. Pepper spray is iffy as it can easily blind you if the wind isn't right.

    Fact is, there really isn't any good way to fight unarmed unless you're trained in a discipline. A cane could possibly work.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,072 Senior Member
    I carry two knives and know how to use them.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • roadkingroadking Senior Member Posts: 3,056 Senior Member
    Our boys are in Tang So Do, currently red belts.

    They and I also practice knife throwing. I carry my usual pocket knife along with a thrower or 3 in a pocketed sheath. Granted, can't get into gvm't buildings / thru metal detectors with these items.

    Is mace/pepper spray allowed in gvm't buildings?

    In my truck and car there is a baseball bat.

    We hike a lot, so I am often in possession of a walking stick.
    Support your local Scouts!
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 7,852 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I carry two knives and know how to use them.
    No doubt. I imagine with your experience and training you are more deadly with a sharp pencil than I would be with an M4.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Moderator Posts: 25,422 Senior Member
    What are people's thoughts on self defense without a gun? I know some of us are lucky enough to live places where we can always carry a gun. Others quite often find ourselves in places where we can't.

    I'm looking for thoughts on tools, but also training. For example I often carry a knife, but realize that while I train with my firearms quite frequently, I have zero training in how to use a knife in self defense. I also have limited training or practice in any kind of hand to hand combat. There are obviously a wide range of martial arts training/classes available. Thoughts?
    Firsts of all if they have a gun and you are empty handed you better have some serious training in order to come out on top, unless they are very stupid. But just about anything other than a gun you have a better than average chance of coming out on top if you use your head and forethought.

    Buy a copy and study the book Gray's Anatomy (below) cover to cover. Then think of everyday things you can carry with you that will allow you to damage the juicy bits and if you do have a knife it will show you all the good targets because unlike the TV shows, stabbing someone in the belly does NOT result in immediate incapacitation and death. You have to cut/puncture things that bleed fast or hold things together, or bend things in directions in which they don't.

    Pens are huge and they don't need to be the "tactical" variety. You can put someone down FAST with a Bic pen. A small metal ruler can be devastating so can a metal nail file, and you can ruin someones day with a short length of 1.5mm parachord. Also, most folks get killed within steps of stuff they could have successfully used to defend themselves. Unless I'm being attacked by a well trained person, if they have a knife and I have a chair next to me they are in trouble. A few weeks of Krav Maga training will set you up to be able to defend yourself agains 99% of the folks that might come after you. Even your belt can be a devastating weapon with a little thought put into it.

    Pens, pencils, books and metal bookends, laptop, my cigar lighter (torch), desk tools like scissors and letter openers, metal based lamps and the Fender Stratocaster standing in my office are all formidable tools of SD within my reach right here in my home office... Or I could just use the 1911 I use as a paperweight...

    anatomy-of-human-body-3.jpg
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,231 Senior Member
    Before you act with anything, including your hands or feet, know the laws where you are standing! Even here in NC if someone comes up and starts talking smack to you the law basically says you can only go one level above in force to defend yourself. The “he said” stuff is enough though for me to start thinking. Like Enzo said though if you’re facing a gun you’d better think hard and use your wits and pray. As to what I have ... if I am in a Gun Buster zone I 99% of time have my keys with a key chain that is a little wooden stick ... aka Kubotan ... which can can a mean little striker or leverage tool. I also am fairly observant of items that can be “weapons of opportunity” so a pen or belt buckle start nicely but most anything can be useful if you just think ... and I love a nice little dry chem fire extinguisher.

    Basically your head even before a gun is the best thing in self defense ...
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,010 Senior Member
    In a bad situation, given enough room, run....and don't stop.

    Close up, it's all about distraction, pivot points, balance....and then run.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 37,099 Senior Member
    I have two knives. One for everyday knife chores kept on my right (strong) side, one kershaw Blur on my left (weak) side for people. Now I'm no knifesmith like that Chavez Chavez over there, (name that movie) but I know enough to ruin a persons day. Like wambli mentioned, you must target the good bits. Find the arteries, tendons, stuff that will incapacitate an attacker. While a slash across the belly will spill guts, and would likely be a strong deterrent when the dirtbag sees them, it's not going to prevent them from continuing to be a dirtbag if so motivated.
    My people knife is carried so that when drawn the blade is coming out the bottom of my fist. It's much more versatile as far as being able to cut. A thrust up under an attackers arm yields access to some good arteries, and it's a "natural" movement with the knife out of the bottom of your hand. It's also easy to drive it into a leg or whatever else you can get if someone has you grabbed from behind. Not an easy task if the knife is held "conventionally."
    Achilles' tendons, behind the knee, crook of the elbow, many places to make people stop what they are doing, without giving them an option.

    Far as mace goes, you may get lucky and change someone's attitude. Or, you may mace yourself. Or, they may take that can of mace and shove it in your ass. One could say they may take the knife from you and do the same, but I'll take my chances.
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,072 Senior Member
    It pleases me that some of you have listened and retained. I hope you never have to utilize the lessons taught. But, if you do........may the crime scene detective say, “Holy CRAP!” When he approaches the scene of your survived self defense situation.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,648 Senior Member
    Yet another knife carrier....while stabbing works, slashing causes more damage, and consequently more bleeding...which is what all that pokey stabby stuff is all about.
    I do not care for chemical weapons because they don't work on everyone.....
    Another option is a unit that Taser came out with....designed for you to deploy and drop while you unass the AO....takes the bad guy on a full 30 second ride.....or you could use that time to kick the crap out of the offender while he flops around like a fish out of water....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 17,979 Senior Member
    I can do a passable imitation of a crippled-up old geezer with a cane. The fact that the part of the cane I'm holding onto is a solid brass knob bigger than a golf ball won't be apparent until it bounces off somebody's head, knee, elbow, or collarbone a few times. Maybe it won't be necessary to go to the knife or gun I also carry- - - - -hope not!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 9,421 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Yet another knife carrier....while stabbing works, slashing causes more damage, and consequently more bleeding...which is what all that pokey stabby stuff is all about.
    I do not care for chemical weapons because they don't work on everyone.....
    Another option is a unit that Taser came out with....designed for you to deploy and drop while you unass the AO....takes the bad guy on a full 30 second ride.....or you could use that time to kick the crap out of the offender while he flops around like a fish out of water....

    Actually, stabbing is by far the most efficient movement with a knife. That's why knives like the Fairburn-Sykes knife are designed to go deep. Slashing is seldom enough to do a whole lot more than superficial damage. Almost all deaths by knifes are due to stabbing...not all, but most all. Slashing scares hell out of people, I guess, but if you want a permanent solution is to "go deep."

    I don't carry a SD knife but have one. You have to surrender your knife in government buildings, and outside, I'd as soon carry a pistol.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 13,814 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I have two knives. One for everyday knife chores kept on my right (strong) side, one kershaw Blur on my left (weak) side for people. Now I'm no knifesmith like that Chavez Chavez over there, (name that movie) but I know enough to ruin a persons day. Like wambli mentioned, you must target the good bits. Find the arteries, tendons, stuff that will incapacitate an attacker. While a slash across the belly will spill guts, and would likely be a strong deterrent when the dirtbag sees them, it's not going to prevent them from continuing to be a dirtbag if so motivated.
    My people knife is carried so that when drawn the blade is coming out the bottom of my fist. It's much more versatile as far as being able to cut. A thrust up under an attackers arm yields access to some good arteries, and it's a "natural" movement with the knife out of the bottom of your hand. It's also easy to drive it into a leg or whatever else you can get if someone has you grabbed from behind. Not an easy task if the knife is held "conventionally."
    Achilles' tendons, behind the knee, crook of the elbow, many places to make people stop what they are doing, without giving them an option.
    Chris listened to the same little bird I did. I took that very basic lesson and taught it to my wife in kids (including demonstrations-- plus some video from a little bird). Except when the kids are in school, everyone is typically armed with something sharp.

    Funny but true-- we were at a family gathering and someone asked if anyone had a knife. The next sound was 4 Kershaws snapping open-- me, the wife, and both kids.

    Last month, my 15 year old walked up to the library. She comes home with her new book, lifted up her sweater and unclipped her Kershaw from her skirt, and set it on the counter for me to sharpen.

    Can't carry a knife? Improvise. I tell my kids to always have a plan to kill someone. It sounds cynical but helps to heighten your awareness. EVERYTHING is a weapon. Use it.

    Obviously, if you can run or avoid trouble in the first place-- by all means do so. But if you have to fight, you have to fight.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,072 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Actually, stabbing is by far the most efficient movement with a knife. That's why knives like the Fairburn-Sykes knife are designed to go deep. Slashing is seldom enough to do a whole lot more than superficial damage. Almost all deaths by knifes are due to stabbing...not all, but most all. Slashing scares hell out of people, I guess, but if you want a permanent solution is to "go deep."

    Weeeeeeeeelllllllllll.........most folks don’t know how to use a knife.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,072 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    Obviously, if you can run or avoid trouble in the first place-- by all means do so. But if you have to fight, you have to fight.

    And be fast, violent, and decisive.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 13,814 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    And be fast, violent, and decisive.
    Yep. No kinda about it. If things have to get to that point, you better plan to be 100% ruthless. The kids know that too.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,648 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Actually, stabbing is by far the most efficient movement with a knife. That's why knives like the Fairburn-Sykes knife are designed to go deep. Slashing is seldom enough to do a whole lot more than superficial damage. Almost all deaths by knifes are due to stabbing...not all, but most all. Slashing scares hell out of people, I guess, but if you want a permanent solution is to "go deep."

    I don't carry a SD knife but have one. You have to surrender your knife in government buildings, and outside, I'd as soon carry a pistol.

    In a SD situation I'm not looking to kill anyone...I'm looking to make them stop what they're doing....and opening up some large gaping wounds accomplishes that..either by shock value or exsanguination..which is why I carry a knife designed to slash and not a dagger....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 7,473 Senior Member
    As others have said, anything nearby that can add to your power and aggressiveness. At work active shooter trains you to run, hide, fight if no other choice. My office holds many items that can be used. Take a look around, I bet anyone can find several nearby. Pen, pencil, scissors, stapler, chair, fork and knife from your lunch box. Many in my shop are retired or former military and have the fight or flight discussion after the training. We figure a bad guy may get some of us if we are forced to fight, but many office items will be used in our defense.
    One on one is the same. A cup of coffee thrown in a bad guys face them the mug broken across his jaw will slow them down quick. A sharp small pocket knife legal almost everywhere can slash the important parts easily. It doesn't need to be a Rambo knife to be deadly or incapacitating.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,648 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    And be fast, violent, and decisive.

    My old mentors line..." Cut 'em wide, deep and continuous"
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 37,099 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Actually, stabbing is by far the most efficient movement with a knife. That's why knives like the Fairburn-Sykes knife are designed to go deep. Slashing is seldom enough to do a whole lot more than superficial damage. Almost all deaths by knifes are due to stabbing...not all, but most all. Slashing scares hell out of people, I guess, but if you want a permanent solution is to "go deep."

    I don't carry a SD knife but have one. You have to surrender your knife in government buildings, and outside, I'd as soon carry a pistol.
    No, stabbing is not the most efficient. You've got a puncture wound as wide as the blade. Slicing makes it as wide as you want.
    Jam (stab)a knife in my arm, I'll continue to beat your ass. Slice tendons and I'll stop immediately. Slice an artery and I'll stop in short order.
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 13,814 Senior Member
    Stabbing works great if in the throat. But so does a good slashing in the throat-- push/cut inward with that blade as hard as you can and drag it across. Same way with the rest of the body-- hit joints. Cut joints. A proper cut across the back of the knee is going to incapacitate someone much faster than stabbing their knee.
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,011 Senior Member
    I carry a pocket full of rocks
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 9,421 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    No, stabbing is not the most efficient. You've got a puncture wound as wide as the blade. Slicing makes it as wide as you want.
    Jam (stab)a knife in my arm, I'll continue to beat your ass. Slice tendons and I'll stop immediately. Slice an artery and I'll stop in short order.

    Slice in the arm, same thing. You don't stab in the arm, you stab in the chest or in the kidneys. Most stabbing victims are stabbed multiple times. You can look up the stats on that if you want. That's why true combat knives are designed for stabbing: Gerber #1, F-S, the ones issued by the elite WW 2 unit (think it was Canadian-American Mountain Division) that was sharp and pointy and had a serrated thumbprint near the guard. They're very collectible today and so are the F-S. The only F-S I saw had a nickel plated blade for use in salt-water areas.

    Stabbing is also much more efficient from a mechanical view. It takes less motion to stab than it does to slice since the distance is much shorter. And penetration is deeper. Stabbing is also much more difficult to defend against...think about it.

    These combat knives aren't very practical for anything but stabbing. They're not general purpose knives like the K-Bar, which is superior for everyday use and can be used for combat. When I was in VN, I took two knives with me, a Gerber #1 and a Marbles, for everyday use. I broke the guard on the Gerber throwing it into a stump and lost the Marbles. Later got a K-Bar when it was evident I wouldn't be stabbing anyone.

    It takes about two inches of penetration between a rib to reach the heart. Then it's lights out. You can't slice two inches through ribs unless you've got a sword.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 37,099 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Slice in the arm, same thing. You don't stab in the arm, you stab in the chest or in the kidneys. Most stabbing victims are stabbed multiple times. You can look up the stats on that if you want. That's why true combat knives are designed for stabbing: Gerber #1, F-S, the ones issued by the elite WW 2 unit (think it was Canadian-American Mountain Division) that was sharp and pointy and had a serrated thumbprint near the guard. They're very collectible today and so are the F-S. The only F-S I saw had a nickel plated blade for use in salt-water areas.

    Stabbing is also much more efficient from a mechanical view. It takes less motion to stab than it does to slice since the distance is much shorter. And penetration is deeper. Stabbing is also much more difficult to defend against...think about it.

    These combat knives aren't very practical for anything but stabbing. They're not general purpose knives like the K-Bar, which is superior for everyday use and can be used for combat. When I was in VN, I took two knives with me, a Gerber #1 and a Marbles, for everyday use. I broke the guard on the Gerber throwing it into a stump and lost the Marbles. Later got a K-Bar when it was evident I wouldn't be stabbing anyone.

    It takes about two inches of penetration between a rib to reach the heart. Then it's lights out. You can't slice two inches through ribs unless you've got a sword.

    That's awesome, if you're in a position to specifically target the heart or kidneys. It's also awesome if you can get between the ribs, perfectly. There's plenty of large targets available that will cause a person to simply not be able to move, or bleed out in not much more time than if the heart was punctured.
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,072 Senior Member
    Gene, you are not one who will ever likely admit the error of your thoughts or ways. So, I will not waste the time and effort to point out all of your falsehoods and misconceptions.

    Suffice it it to say that, in many of your concepts, you are scientifically wrong.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 13,814 Senior Member
    While we can discuss the merits of slicing versus stabbing all day long, the reality is that your typical assisted opening, single edge folding knife is a very low key weapon. Outside of school, my kids can whip one out and not draw any attention to themselves-- it is a simple pocket knife. People aren't intimidated by one. They won't be arrested for one. In Michigan, they WILL be arrested for a double edged blade that is considered a "dagger".

    And most people die by stabbing because most people think they need to stab someone to kill them. Granted, this is about self defense and killing is not really the purpose, but if done right, cutting is very effective in stopping the threat.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,072 Senior Member
    I just went through a knife training course for a particular brand/design of knife. The whole concept was to jab/stab with the knife because, “Everyone knows how to punch. So, just punch with the knife.”

    Very little conceptual training aspects which that particular knife. Really. It all boiled down to just punch the assailant with a few key target points in mind. And, the other aspect was.........to punch a whole hell of a lot of times.

    Quite inefficient if you ask me. Effective? Well, so is shooting someone 20 times.

    I can accomplish the same goal of stopping the threat with relatively few cuts to presented target points. And I ain’t picky. If you present it, I’ll cut it. And you won’t like the results. I promise. If you’re not bleeding out and unconscious or dead relatively quickly, you will be rendered mostly ineffective if you can’t stand, walk, move your arms, hold your throat, or retain your guts.

    My goal is not to kill. My goal is to stop the threat. I can do that in 1 or two cuts as opposed to multiple stabs. But hey, I ain’t opposed to stabbing as well. It’s just not as effective/efficient with most comfortably concealable or daily carried knives.

    Ultimately, stabbing is easy in concept but difficult in effective practices. Meaning, you have to do it a LOT of times.

    I have seen the effectiveness of both methods first hand. I’m here to tell you, cutting scares Hell out of me.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,648 Senior Member
    And that stab to the heart is not immediately fatal.....I've seen some remarkably active (and aggressive) folks that have been stabbed in the heart and didn't even know it....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
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