Every day items you can turn into weapons for self defense.

5 types of improvised self defense weapons (and how to use them).

One of the questions asked most frequently in our Krav seminars is, “What kind of weapon is the best to carry?” Well, there’s no one best answer. Each weapon has its own merits, and it’s own weaknesses. 

Truthfully, the best weapon isn’t a gun, knife, or pepper spray. The best weapon is the one you have at hand in the moment and know how to use effectively.

And since you’re not guaranteed to:

1) Have a weapon on you when you really need it, and

2) Don’t always have time to access a weapon if you do have it…

You should know how to use anything in arms’ reach. That’s where improvised weapons come in.

But do you know the types of improvises weapons? What about the best ways to use each one? 

Here’s a quick little guide.

Stabbing weapons

Obviously, things like kitchen knives fall into this category. But stabbing weapons go far beyond knives. Screwdrivers, scissors, tweezers, pens and pencils… heck, a sharp stick will work just fine in a pinch.

Stabbing weapons are most effective when used against soft tissue. The abdomen is a big target. The throat is a vital target, and so are the eyes. In fact, small stabbing weapons like tweezers are best suited for the eyes.

There are other targets, too. Like the inside of the arms, or the inside of the legs. Oh, and don’t forget the kidneys.

Cutting/slicing weapons

Again, let’s think outside of knives.

Anything that has a sharp edge will work. Busted mirror? Besides 7 years of bad luck, that’s a cutting weapon. A broken beer bottle is good, too.

Remember CDs and DVDs? A broken disk or disk case has some great slicing edges to it. And yes, if you have an old LP laying around…

Broken glass or DVDs make excellent sharp slicing weapons for self defense.

So, what about targets? The first one people think of is the throat. Truth is, the throat isn’t that easy to cut deeply enough to end a fight. Although, it could be psychologically damaging. 

Use improvised cutting weapons to attack the eyes. Also consider the brow-line. When the forehead is cut, it bleeds like crazy. Where does all that blood go? Yep, right into the eyes.

The inside of the forearm is another great target. You won’t necessarily bleed anyone out, but if you slice the arm that’s grabbing you, there’s a great chance they’ll let go.

Impact weapons

An impact weapon is anything you can hit with. A crow-bar, baseball bat, frying pan…

What about soup cans? Your cell phone? Rocks? Impact weapons are the easiest to find. Just look around.

And they’re easy to use. Just apply to any bony target. The skull, elbows joints, knee joints, ribs. Impact weapons are a force multiplier in self defense situations.

Tap yourself on the head with your fist. It would ring your bell1, right? Now, try the same thing with the sharp edge of a soup can.

No, wait… don’t do that. But you can imagine, right?

Flexible weapons

Flexible weapons come in many forms. Ropes, a tie or belt, lamp cords… even a rolled up shirt or jacket. 

And yes, just like you’re thinking, it’s a great way to choke or strangle an attacker.

But you can also use flexible weapons to control an attacker’s arms, or just yank him off balance by the head or neck.

And some flexible weapons like belts or phone charger cords have enough weight to smack someone across the face or through eyes, giving you an extra moment to close the gap and do more damage.

Raking weapons

So you know, raking weapons are often attached to an impact weapon. Like the bristles of a hair brush. The handle is the impact weapon end, while the bristles are used to rake.

What do you rake? The eyes, of course.

And lumped in here with raking weapons are odd-ball things like the edge of a coin, or even a handful of dirt. Maybe even a pocketful of change, for that matter.

You can use these to rub or throw in the attackers eyes, and we all know by now that the eyes are the fastest way to put an attacker out of commission.

Think about self defense weapons in a new light.

Yes, there are weapons you can carry with you for self defense. But don’t discount the improvised type either. 

Take a moment. Wherever you’re reading this, look around you. Can you pick out 10 different items you could use as a weapon? How would you use them?

Make a habit of looking around two or three times a day and picking them out. You’ll be a pro in no time, and you’ll be amazed at some of things you’ve never noticed before.


What about you? Look around wherever you’re reading this. What are three things you could use as a weapon? How would you use them? Tell us in the comments.

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