Why learn to use improper weapons
In 6 Dragons Kung Fu we study the functional use of various kind of weapons (flexible, rigid, etc., read 6DKF: what does it teach?) but in a civil context of self-defense, to have professional weapons at our fingertips:
- It is absolutely uncommon – Personal defense situations are generally unexpected (walking on the street, driving, sleeping, etc.) and even inside our house, it is not so common to have them so close (until we are not paranoid persons)
- In 99% of cases it is illegal – In most countries, it is illegal to circulate (outside predetermined areas) with weapons intended to offend (swords, knives, etc.) and in some cases, it is illegal even to possess them (without special permissions)
- It is extremely dangerous – Where there are no weapons, there are fewer dangers; the wrong weapon in the wrong person’s hand (or for example positioned in the wrong way / place) can exponentially grow the normal level of risk of hurting us or doing it to others (even and especially unintentionally)
A note by Master Kongling – It is very widespread the illusion that with a weapon we can feel safer: that the more fear it is able to generate (eg. a gun), the more we will be secure but unfortunately, this is absolutely false. The situations of real risk are infinitely inferior to those we are going to create by bringing with us instruments specifically built to offend (in Japan, where the law on possession of firearms is very severe, there are years when nobody dies because of a bullet while, in the United States, where the weapons are easy to buy for everyone, an uninterrupted genocide is consumed; no terrorist will ever be able to perpetrate such a massacre). The civilian who needs to walk armed is easier to be part of the problem rather than of the solution.
The consequent (legit) question is:
“Why then waste time learning to use so many types of weapons if we can not ever use them (for personal defense, etc.)?”
- From the point of view of martial arts – Kung Fu, even if it can excel in this application, is not intended to (only) cause damage to the others but to discover and overcome our limits (read The fighter and the warrior) ); to feel frustrated by not being able to practice violence means not understanding anything about the warrior’s philosophy (read
- From the training point of view – Unlike many other didactic systems, in 6DKF, we immediately start to deal with (training) weapons; the (initial) idea is not to directly learn to use them in combat but to educate the practitioner to advanced body mechanics who allows managing our limbs as fighting tools (read )
- From the point of view of self-defense – Returning to a more practical speech, learning to use weapons that are so different from each other (impact, cut, throw, etc.) automatically teaches us to have (at least) a discrete dexterity with almost any type of (reasonable) object that we can recover in the fighting scenario (a tube, a chain, etc.)
Improper weapons are everywhere
Improper weapons are everywhere a trained eye can recognize and evaluate them instantly.
If, as we said, it is true that it is very hard to find real weapons (kama, nunchaku, etc.) in a civil context, it is at the same time true that is very easy to recover similar objects in order to convert them into defensive tools (or, even better, as an effective deterrence).
In this regard, 6DKF never insists on the quality of the weapons that we learn to use during training but on the quality and versatility of the method we implement them (read The basic equipment for training in 6DKF). For example, if we buy sticks that are slightly unbalanced, crooked or unwieldy it is an advantage that we accumulate on our possible opponents and not a handicap: when (and if) we will hold professional equipment it will simply be an advantage.
It is not the weapon that must be perfect but the arm that wields it.
The various kinds of improper weapons
Some improvised weapons can be used to cut, to cause abrasions, others may simply be used for impact (etc.). Let’s see a general distinction accompanied by a few examples:
- Rigid impact weapons (a metal water pipe, the handle of a broom, a durable metal table lamp, etc.)
- Rigid cutting or penetrating weapons (a saw, a piece of sheet metal, a long nail, etc.)
- Flexible or semi-flexible weapons (the trouser belt, the chain of a bicycle, an “elastic” metal bar, etc.)
- Throwing weapons (stones, a heavy ashtray, glass bottles, etc.)
- Immobilization weapons (clothes, laces of shoes, car safety belts, etc.)
- Distractive weapons (a bed sheet, a handful of sand, unstable shelves of books, etc.)
- Enhancement weapons (the strap of a metal watch, rings, a bracelet, etc.)
- Deterrence weapons (a syringe, an uncovered power cable, a flaming torch, etc.)
- Protective weapons (a metal panel, a piece of wood, a jacket draped over an arm, etc.)
A note by Master Kongling – In conclusion, it’s useless to repeat that the use of weapons (proper or improper) is the last option and expose us to suffer/cause big damages and to drop our legal position to the excess of defense (read Best martial arts for self-defense). Let’s always try to follow the S.A.F.E. method (read Personal defense: the S.A.F.E. method).
In the next article of this series, we will see what are the most important characteristics to be evaluated (in order of importance) in the choice of an improper weapon (read What to evaluate when choosing an improper weapon).
- Advanced exercises: the throw readiness – A good way to become able to effectively use throwing weapons
- The 6DKF’s diagram about the use of violence – In which cases a 6DKF practitioner is allowed to defend himself
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
- To take an improper weapon can act as a deterrent and thus avoid the actual use of violence?
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.