As a marketer of less-than-lethal self-defense products I often get asked, “What is the best weapon for personal protection?” People who ask me this question are surprised when I don’t recommend one of my more expensive models of pepper sprays or stun guns.
What about firearms?
Most people would consider firearms to be the ultimate self-defense weapon for good reason. Patriotically referred to as “freedoms teeth” they are invaluable for defense against tyranny which is the reason the Founders of the United States of America sought to protect the unalienable right of the American people to keep and bear arms with the Second Amendment of the Constitution. In terms of individual self-defense, a person skilled in the use of a gun has an absolute advantage over an opponent without one. Please watch the video below:
That video epitomizes the formidable self-defense power of a firearm and I recommend that anyone serious about self-defense should own one or more guns and learn how to use them responsibly. I own several guns myself. However, the main disadvantage of a gun is that you can’t carry it with you all the time and in some parts of the country it very difficult to own guns legally. This is also true for some types of less-than-lethal self-defense devices. Even if you have a gun in your possession you might be caught by surprise and not have the chance to deploy it. This happens to police officers far too often. If you do an Internet search with the phrase “officer shot with own gun“, you can read many stories about this. If it can happen to a trained officer it can happen to anyone! So a gun is not my choice as the best weapon for self-defense.
The absolute best weapon for self-defense is the human body (body and mind). With the proper training, your body will be a weapon that you will have with you everywhere. It can never be taken away from you. Fraudulent and unconstitutional laws can not ban you from possessing it. With the proper mental preparation you can develop situational awareness recognize dangerous people and places so you can avoid them and thereby protect yourself passively. The best way to defend yourself is to avoid having to defend yourself in the first place.
If a confrontation is unavoidable you can employ psychological tactics to deescalate the situation. If that fails knowledge and training in effective, practical reality-based methods of self-defense that don’t rely on raw strength will give you tactical advantage over your opponent even if he is armed and you’re not!
You must regard your body as the foundation of self-defense. Weapons such as batons, knives, stun guns, pepper sprays, tasers, and even firearms are merely tools that act as an extension of the body. They are far more effective in the hands of a person trained in unarmed combat than in the hands of someone who merely knows how mechanically operate them.
Unarmed self-defense training will give you the confidence, balance, agility and ability to measure distance that will create opportunities that maximize the effectiveness of any weapon you may possess. In the heat of combat if your weapon is lost or fails to operate properly you will always have your bodily weapons as backup. The video below shows how easily an armed officer can be overpowered:
Recently, I read about an incident in which a police officer was beaten and shot with her own gun. She tried to subdue a robbery suspect with her Taser. Tasers are highly reliable less-than-lethal weapons when used under the proper conditions but do fail on occasion as the officer experienced. Her taser failed to stop the suspect and he proceeded to beat her, take her gun and shoot her. Despite having at least two weapons the officer was beaten and only luck saved her life. This tragedy could have been avoided if the officer was properly trained in unarmed self-defense methods.
Weapons in the hands of someone untrained in their use or the basics of self-defense provide a false sense of security. Therefore I recommend that anyone serious about self-defense should learn unarmed combat before or in conjunction with the acquisition of any weapons.
The best way to learn reality-based self-defense is from a qualified instructor. However, if for some reason that is not possible, high quality self-defense videos produced by expert self-defense instructors are a very good alternative. Are you ready to become dangerous to anyone who would dare to attack you?
To Your Defense,