Does a Knife Constitute a Gun Fight?

By Kellene Bishop

Photo c/o bostondirtdogs.boston.com

Photo c/o bostondirtdogs.boston.com

In short, the answer is yes. I have received some e-mails over the past year from persons mistakenly believing that the defense should be in “like kind” of the attack—meaning that a fist should be fought back with a fist and a knife should be fought back with a knife. I don’t know whoever made up such a nonsensical rule. Is this some kind of a ridiculous gentleman’s rule or something? Does that mean that if I don’t have a knife that I’m not allowed to fight back? Such a thought process completely ignores the fact that the fist of a skilled, drug enraged man against a skinny 21-year-old female college student isn’t a weapon to be taken seriously. Even if such a “weapon” wasn’t backed up with sufficient skill and soberness, it can still end or dramatically alter a life. Additionally, what is your goal if you are attacked? To survive or to see if you got your money’s worth from that year of Tae Bo Kickboxing class?

In the world of self-defense, persons with “other” weapons are clearly underestimated. A knife is still dangerous and deadly even at a distance. Not simply because it can be hurled (which takes a great deal of skill not common even among the dark side of criminals) but because a person is capable of covering 21 feet in a deadly charge in only 1.5 seconds. 1.5 seconds. Can you even draw and shoot your firearm accurately enough to defend against such an attack? Well, if you can’t you need to practice so that you are adept. And most importantly, you need to assess every potential attack in one way and one way only. The good news is that a physical memory discipline of quick-draw and accurately shooting is easy to learn and permanently incorporate. Simply practicing with a brush, curling iron, or practice gun at your side for few minutes a day in a quick draw motion will help to incorporate such a response. The important thing is to practice a quality quick draw. Practicing a flawed system will not save your life. It will only ensure that you are expert at performing poorly.

Finally, when it comes to assessing a physical threat of any kind, there really is only one question you need to ask yourself. “Does this pose a viable threat against my life, health or that of another?” If the answer is yes, then point and shoot. “Fair fights” are for Hollywood. 

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

Advertisements

The Bourne Self-Defense

bourne-self-defense-ultimatum-posterBy Kellene Bishop

I have to admit it. I love the Jason Bourne movies. There’s one scene in one of Bourne movies in which Jason Bourne rolls up a magazine and uses it to beat the crud out of someone. There’s another in which he uses a simple pen to cause pain and agony. Implausible you say? It only happens in the movies? Nope. The magazine/newspaper and pen are viable weapons of self-defense even if you’re not a highly trained operative.

My 50 Caliber Round Pen. Photo by Women of Caliber

My 50 Caliber Round Pen. Photo by Women of Caliber

Bourne Self-Defense Method #1: The Pen. Ideally you want a to have a pen on hand that is sturdy and that won’t hurt your own hand in the event you need to use it as a weapon of self-defense. I lucked out with my standard pen. I was at a sporting goods show and lo and behold, someone was selling pens made out of 50 caliber rounds. It was heavy, sturdy, and I could comfortably hold it in a self-defense grip. A proper self-defense grip is one in which you can grip the pen with your palm spreading over the pen and your thumb placed at the dull end of the pen. This gives you appropriate thrusting and jabbing leverage. This is also the proper way to hold a knife if you need to use that as a weapon of self-defense. (See below) You do not want to hold a pen (or a knife, fork, or other like weapon the same way you would hold it if you were handing it to someone. You want a firm grip on it with the ability to stab and jab with it if necessary. One might laugh to see me shop for pens nowadays.  I don’t put them in my hand in a writing position.  I initially put them in a “Bourne self-defense” position first.  How it writes is secondary to me. (I have to admit that I hope after reading this that you’ll never select a pen the same way again. :))

The proper Bourne self-defense pen stance. Photo c/o Women of Caliber

The proper Bourne self-defense pen stance. Photo c/o Women of Caliber

Bourne Self-Defense Method #2: Magazine/newspaper. The key to being able to use a magazine or a newspaper as an effective self-defense weapon is to roll it exactly as you see Jason Bourne do in the movie. Roll it nice and tight. Doing so enables it to become a good tool for jabbing. You’ll want to jab at the jugular, eye, vital vein in the arm or thigh. No, you won’t get very far using a magazine or newspaper as a “bat” to pummel someone with. By rolling it tightly you’re enabling it to withstand the pressure that you will impose using it as a jabbing and stabbing tool against soft and vulnerable tissues.

Bourne Self-Defense with a Magazine

Bourne Self-Defense with a Magazine

Grant it, both of these self-defense tactics presume that you’re not carrying a firearm on you. Obviously, a firearm will provide you with the most effective self-defense of distance and speed. But a firearm may not always be available, such as when you’re in a “gun free zone.” I’m not really sure why Jason Bourne didn’t have a gun on him at the time he needed to use a magazine. But it made for a great part in the movie.

I recommend that you practice turning the pen into a self-defense position periodically. I also recommend that you practice rolling up a magazine quickly. And may you never view a writing utensil or fashion magazine the same way again.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.