Should You Carry a Weapon and If So, Which?

by Keith Pascal

For me, the choice is easy; I’m a martial artist.

And not to brag, but I’m one of those martial artists who can make a weapon out of almost anything. (Well, not “anything.”)

My weapon of choice is nothing more than my ball point pen that I carry in my pocket. No kidding.

Of course, that probably won’t work for you, and you’d think this a lame article, if all I said was “jab at them with a pen!”

So, here’s some solid advice for choosing a weapon to carry:

Is It Legal?

Carrying a large knife in your pocket might be considered a concealed weapon, whereas a razor box cutter might not.

Some people don’t care about the ramifications of carrying something illegal, but for others, that could be the deal breaker. (Is my pen looking like a better option? Wink.)

Becoming and Expert With Your Weapon 

Will you take the steps to really learn how to use your weapon of choice effectively and efficiently?

Whichever weapon you select won’t do you a bit of good if you don’t learn how to use it properly.

The point of the weapon is to give you an advantage in an attack, or at least level the playing field. If you can’t use it better than what your enemy is using on you, then there is no point in having a weapon.

No Crutches Allowed

Some people rely on their weapon too much. They feel that it’s the only advantage that they have; it’s their salvation.

And they feel completely crushed, if they lose hold of it. It’s as though they have already lost the fight.

Don’t let this be you.

Before I got my teacher’s certification in martial arts, my instructor taught us not even to pause a half a second after losing the weapon.

We trained to eliminate any pause between have the weapon taken or knocked out of our hands and when we fired off an immediate punch or kick.

No pause at all.

If we had a weapon … great. If we lost the weapon … fine. No big deal.

Can you adopt this attitude?

The Tables Get Turned

This last consideration is a biggie….

What if your attacker steals your weapon from you?

Many martial arts schools practice formal, and very effective, weapon takeaways.

Not only could you lose your weapon, but you could lose it to your enemy.

This means that a big requisite would be to choose a weapon that wouldn’t scare you, if you had to defend against it.

Carry a knife? Be prepared to fight empty hand against a knife.

Carry a gun? Be prepared to defend against someone with a gun on you.

Note: My martial arts teacher jokingly tells people to carry two knives. So, if one gets taken away, you still have one in reserve. Knife against knife.

Which Weapon Should You Choose?

The above criteria should help shape your decision of which weapon to carry.

Do you have a possible weapon in mind? Do you have access to training with that particular weapon?

For example, Filipino martial arts schools almost always have stick training and blade training.

Another benefit is that most of their empty-hand techniques can translate to weapon defense. Is there an Escrima or Kali school in your area? Arnis?

If you choose a progressive martial arts school, like JKD, you will probably be taught a lot of takeaways and reversals.


And you’d be taught not to use a weapon as a crutch … if the teacher knows his or her stuff.

Next, ask yourself which weapon you’d be most likely to carry.

Asking myself this question, I see that carrying a gun is NOT an option … for me.

What feels natural to you?



Which weapon could you see yourself actually carrying on your person?

Note: This eliminates a lot of weapons that are taught in traditional martial arts classes. Well, maybe you’d carry around a six-foot pole with a scythe attached to the end, but I wouldn’t.

If you are allowed to carry a knife with a certain maximum blade length in your city, and you feel comfortable with a knife, may I suggest reading the ebook, 10 Days to Better Knife Fighting.

It will take you from any skill level and offer practical drills to help you gain some very efficient, easy-to-master techniques, tactics, and strategies.

You also get a slew of knife-fighting tips along with the main ebook.

Click here for more information.

And for more self-defense and safety tips, sign up to the Safety Newsletter. (The free ebooklet that you get on bus stop safety will definitely add to your awareness arsenal.)


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