Archive for the Resources and Product Reviews Category
I’m a believer in a small flashlight as a great combination of a useful tool and a semi-impromptu weapon.
Remember, a semi-impromptu weapon is a weapon that fits in your environment, and that you have chosen for its suitability as a fighting tool. For instance, although the single battery flashlights are more compact, I give them a pass because they’re too short to be effective as weapons. The semi-impromptu weapon is strategically placed (or carried) so that you have access to it.
The personal flashlight comes in handy at the movie theater. You may think you can get by in a darkened theater just fine –until you drop your keys or cellphone.
As a teacher I’ve had the power go out at school. In a room with only one small window in the corner, a flashlight comes in handy. I drive to school in the dark, and have had to put oil or coolant in the car in the early morning in the country, where there are few street lights.
I bought this Black and Decker flashlight at Wal-Mart yesterday for less than 10 bucks. Ideally, I’d buy one of the nice “tactical” flashlights (like the Surefire Defender), but my budget is not cooperating. The flashlight is a little on the long side, but I find that good if I have to strike with it.
The flashlight also has a clip on it, which may come in handy. I also like a push button on/off switch. One aggravation of the mini-mag lights is that you have to twist the light on or off, which makes it a two-handed operation.
Another neat feature of the Black and Decker is that you can press the light on, and then back off on the pressure so the light goes off. This means if you stumble across some hoodlum with a pistol in your garage, you don’t have a flashlight stuck in the “on” position.
When buying a flashlight, look at lumens, which is a measure of a flashlight’s power. My flashlight is 60 lumens, which isn’t bad. Some I looked at had lumens in the low teens, which is pretty much useless.
Now some might say, “No thanks, I have a gun; I don’t need a flashlight.” Don’t be so sure. In my next post I’ll talk about the role the flashlight plays in defensive pistol use.
P.S. As a side note, the other day at MacDonald’s I saw a guy wearing a fanny pack and a small flashlight (like a mini-mag) in a holster. I would have bet several hundred dollars there was a gun in his fanny pack. Luckily I wasn’t about to pull an armed robbery.
If you carry a concealed pistol, can you be less obvious?
Do you really need a fanny pack to conceal a pistol in record cold temperatures?
Kimber has an interesting pepper sprayer that looks like a small gun. It features two shots of OC.
The Pepper Blaster II features a more ergonomic feel and also includes sights! This advanced non-lethal self defense tool stops threats at a safe distance. Small, light, ergonomic and it carries easily in a pocket or purse. The outer body conforms to either a right or left-hand grip, and fits almost any size hand. The Guardian Angel contains two cylinders with powerful concentrations of near pharmaceutical grade OC (oleoresin capsicum), a devastatingly effective inflammatory agent. Driven by pyrotechnic charges, the solution travels at 90 MPH with little chance of cross-contamination, and with enough energy to wrap around glasses or penetrate a face mask. Effect is immediate and lasts for up to 45 minutes. Unlike conventional sprays, the Guardian Angel does not lose pressure over time.
Technical Information: Kimber Guardian Angel Pepper Blaster II Pepper Spray Gel 10% OC
One reviewer mentioned that the old sprayer resembled a cellphone or other electronic device in its pocket profile, while the new one resembles a gun –just a word of caution.
This may be a good solution for those who cannot carry a firearm, or choose not to.
Check out a video here.
I was at the magazine rack the other day when I saw in a knife magazine that Brent Beshara, elite soldier and knife designer (as well as a reader of this blog, I’m pleased to say) has designed a set of knives in collaboration with knife manufacturer SOG.
All 3 feature the innovative Besh Wedge geometry.
The SOG Swedge I is designed for icepick grip use, with the blade
facing outward. The Spyderco Pikal knife I wrote up earlier is designed for a reverse icepick grip, with the blade facing inward.
My preference is for the blade out. A blade outward design means that with upraised arms in the boxer’s guard, an attacker cuts himself as he attacks. When I trained with Master Ed Planas, we frequently used this grip
The curved blade of the SOG Sedge I means that the point is in alignment with a downward thrust. If you think about the forearm hinging downward at the elbow, a straight bladed knife tip is actually several inches ahead of the point of power, which is right underneath the bottom of the fist and aligned with the arc of the hand.
If you look at the photo above, if the wielder makes contact with the hand and point of the knife like this, the blade acts as a lever, exerting force to pry the knife out of the fist.
The SOG Swedge II (There is also a review at the link.) is designed for a saber grip.
The SOG Swedge III is essentially a bigger version of the Swedge II.
These knives are ideal for those who need both a utility knife (due to their fierce yet solid points) and a self-defense knife.
In the discussion on Jeet Kune Do, Dan Inosanto, Ted Wong, Teri Tom and the straight punch, reader Miguel Gutierrez of GEACOM S.O.U.T. reminds me of an important point –punching may not be the most effective street technique.
Miguel explains that after fracturing his hand in a street altercation, his talks with bouncers and others who had fought in real life revealed that hand injuries are more common than many people realize. His answer is to go to the WWII era combatives, and the methods found in classics like “Kill or Be Killed,” which rely less on punching.
Even though in real life people do get knocked out on the street with punches, like in the “One Shot” Jersey Shore episode, it is still a valid question: Are punches valid on the street? Does punching pose as serious a risk to the puncher as to the person being hit?
Is punching better suited to the ring than the street? Is the effectiveness of boxing as a style
dependent upon some type of hand protection? This may be why so many of the classical styles emphasized hand/fist conditioning, like the makiwara board.
In downtown Cebu City I train in a small gym. The equipment is basic and much of it is handmade. There is a punching bag, but it’s harder than a rock. I wrap my fists, but I still have to go easy on my punches because it’s too easy to injure my knuckles. However, I find I can do my rear elbow shot repeatedly, full force, without problems. The lesson for me is that if it comes down to combat on the street and I am trying to shut someone down via blunt force trauma to the skull, an elbow is a better choice than a fist.
Let me raise an idea that might not have occurred to you. As I write this, there is snow on the ground, and it is not out of place for a person to wear gloves. Why not buy gloves that enable you to hit harder?
For instance, at Amazon, you can buy Kevlar gloves with hard knuckle protectors. With these, you could punch freely with less worry about injuring your hand. You can also buy cut -resistant gloves. I also saw a protective, cut-resistant sleeve. Citizens can buy knife and bullet proof jackets and clothing.
Should these items be on your Christmas wish list?
In the wake of Sifu Ted Wong’s death, I thought of the book “The Straight Lead,” by Teri Tom. It’s an