There is a reason they’re called “improvised”

When referring to “improvised” self defense weapons – Breda makes the excellent distinction between a decoration/talisman and an actual weapon:

Her actual post is about a product that’s being marketed as a self-defense tool for women, it’s a silly little ring with a slightly pointed edge to use to strike an assailant.

If I’ve said it before, I have probably said it 10k times – contact weapons are great last resorts, primarily because of that whole “contact” part.  To use my friend Breda as an example; while she is an incredibly emotionally tough and resilient human being, it would not be difficult for me, as small as I am, to physically overpower her in hand to hand combat.  It is an unfortunate fact of life that men are generally stronger than women.  That’s why I eschew contact and close range weapons for personal defense except as a last resort, because they lack the ability to generate distance between you and your attacker while in use.  A weapon that requires a 145 pound man or a 100 pound woman to close with a larger and stronger assailant is a poorly designed weapon for your first line of defense.


  1. You know, here’ a funny story: I’m 6′ 4″ – 250# and I was knocked out, cold, by my 28″ 85# dog, Bingo. (He is a tricky dog, that one…)

    Truly, like bullets, shot placement counts. It doesn’t take much to KAYO someone. Humbugging is more of a mindset thing than anything.

    What it does take is endless repetition and training and being in a fight with someone not as “motivated” as yourself. That is what everyone can’t dedicate the time/effort to do that…

    I guess my point is that everyone is capable of winning physically, and that the whole size thing is kinda out the window, but most people are unwilling – and that’s ok.

  2. I’m not arguing that a trained, motivated smaller person could outfight a larger person in hand to hand combat – however weight and reach are not trivial issues, and it would be foolish for my 100 pound boss to close in and get in a fist-fight with someone who outweighs her by 75 pounds even though she’s got the black pantyhose in a couple of different flavors of chop-sockey.

  3. You could probably charge a cover charge for THAT match.

    I’m tall, can bench press a surprising amount, and even with some martial arts experience under my belt, most guys could STILL take me out.

    Why I carry.

    And besides, some moron would go “oh. . ring. . SHINY” and would try and mug you for the ring that’s supposed to defend you from the muggers.

  4. If it’s a sharp ring, it’s not even designed to do anything that would stop a real fight anyway. Punching somebody and giving him a cut on his face isn’t going to stop anybody. This kind of thinking is what nearly got MMA banned in the ’90’s. People thought fighters were doing terrible damage to each other with bare fists because guys were bleeding. In reality, bleeding from your face is just no big deal unless it hurts your vision or breathing, and all those boxers who were NOT getting ugly cuts on their brows were actually taking brain damage because their opponents’ taped and padded hands, soft enough not to create a lot of cuts, were used to pound them over and over.

    The lesson? A fistpack would be a lot more useful than a pointy ring.

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