URBAN/EXPAT SURVIVAL: Improvised Weapons for Home and Abroad

bourne
bourne

Stand still dude, you got a bee on your shoulder

So, you have found yourself out and about far from home and the legality of you carrying your trusty side arm of choice or your favorite pocket folder is not an option. Quite possibly, obtaining a weapon off of the local black market is in fact just a great a threat to your long term health as the predators that you carry your weapon of choice for.

If you are not a federal agent, Secret squirrel, or other person who can obtain diplomatic immunity and travel armed, there are certain options at your disposal if arming yourself legally is an extreme difficulty. As many of you know, your presence in parts of the world is not necessarily appreciated as you pass through or conduct business.

There are certain elements who in fact may welcome you as a potential victim for their criminal enterprise, or you may be a target of opportunity for the latest terrorist propaganda video. With all of the legal hurdles in your way, that does not mean that you go silently into the night unprepared.

We have discussed the mindset of traveling grey so not to draw attention to yourself. We also have discussed in a previous article that a combat mindset is essential to self preservation. This article is to point out certain everyday items that can be used as a weapon, but do not raise any concerns from the folks that are around you.

This article is designed to get you to think outside the box. Best of All, these items are legal, globally!

window
window

Windows

One of my favorite everyday items that I use constantly, are windows. Now, I know you are thinking WTF? Windows? They serve several purposes. By now, you should know that paying attention to your surroundings is probably the number one way to avoid getting your ass in a sling in the first place.

When you are walking down the street of City X in Shithole Country Y. You already have your own tailor made counter-surveillance system at your fingertips. Most windows these days are highly reflective and you can start using the windows of the shops or of the buildings that you are walking by as your own “6 Checker to see if you are being tailed, followed or simply to unobtrusively observe your surroundings without alerting the public.

In a pinch, windows can also serve as an excellent defensive weapon. If you do have the misfortune of getting attacked, putting your attacker through a window can end the threat rather quickly. Now, I know there are several different combative techniques to accomplish the task, and that is something that I will cover in a later article. Just remember, the window is a dual use item. It can be used as a surveillance/Counter-surveillance tool and it can also be used as a weapon.

Necronomicon
Necronomicon

Paperback book

Another favorite item is a paperback book. It looks unobtrusive, most people do not associate a book as a potential weapon, but the spine of the book is an excellent bludgeoning tool especially when you target the bridge of someone’s nose or other soft tissues of the body.

All of the striking techniques that you learned throughout your career or throughout your life can be enhanced by simply using the spine of the book in place of your Hand, asp, club or whatever. Best of all, It costs roughly $4.99!

I am not looking to turn you into some character out of a Bourne Novel, but the techniques referenced in the books (Hey, Why not use that paperback book!) and the films are relevant.

Drinks
Drinks

Drinks

A cup of coffee or a can of soda can get you out of a jam really fast, almost everyone you see these days is walking around with some cup of their favorite brew in hand. If you ever have spilled a cup of hot coffee on your lap, Imagine the effects of splashing a cupful of hot liquid in an attackers face, first there is the immediate effect of blinding them and the second effect of extreme pain to their face as the heat hits.

If you do not have access to coffee (or Tea), your favorite carbonated beverage can serve just as well. If any of you have ever laughed and had Pepsi or coke (Not the powder kind!) come out your nose, you know how painful that can be.

I know of certain interrogation techniques used by some less than civilized nations that specifically use the carbonation of a soft drink to illicit confessions. In a nut shell, having a carbonated drink shot up your nose is akin to having someone pour hot lava in your nasal cavity. It is a real fight stopper and the effects will allow you to get out of harm’s way and find safer ground.

A key
A key

A key

Now if you are a female reading this, please have a look at your key chain. If you have 8 million odds and ends from pictures to post it notes, please stream line this to the bare necessities. If you take one key and place it between your thumb and trigger finger with just the tip exposed, you have a very effective slashing tool.

Now, don’t try and place the keys in some type of grip that makes you look the Marvel Character Wolverine because the moment you hit someone or something thing like that, you just took that hand out of the fight due to a self inflicted injury.

Keeping the key grasped firmly between your thumb and trigger finger gives this weapon system a ton of support and you can literally punch through and tear flesh. Targeting the face and eyes or any other exposed soft tissue will more than likely cause your attacker to stop whatever they were doing.

bottle of water
bottle of water

Bottle of Water

Lastly, and probably my favorite, the ubiquitous bottle of water, It is hands down the most unobtrusive hidden in plain sight weapon at your disposal, Best of all it is available globally! I keep a bottle of water with me wherever I go. I keep them in my go bags, and I keep one in my hand whenever I am walking on foreign shores.

My wife knows that one of the first things that I acquire is a bottle of water, not because I am thirsty, on the contrary, It is my first weapon of choice that I will use if ever the need arises. Water has been used in breaching charges and demolition work for years now. Water has a rather unique feature in that it does not compress.

If you want to find out just how much force a bottle of water can transmit, hold out your arm and simply strike your forearm with a little force. Now, Imagine harnessing that fluid dynamics into a hand held weapon system. Basically imagine the impact power of an old school Sap, except magnified several fold.

You walk around with a sap in your pocket in parts of the world and get caught, you are going to have a bad day, you walk around with a bottle of water in your hand, you are just another foreign face too scared to drink the tap water not a well armed keenly aware meat eater.

stab proof knife
stab proof knife

In conclusion

I have mentioned a few items that are at your disposal. The reality is that your ability to defend yourself with everyday items is limited by your imagination. When I walk into a room or walk the streets, I subconsciously look at the layout and what is at my immediate disposal.

A coffee table can be used to trip someone with a simple shove, I can use the corner of a desk to drive someone’s spine into, the pen or pencil that I have can be used just like an ice pick (Homeland security once took my wife’s nail clippers from her but my 8 year olds 2 foot long sharpened giant Disney pencil was ok…Go figure!).

Bottom line is that if you do find yourself in a foreign country or in some other hostile environment, you do not have to go there unprepared. The number one weapon that you have at your disposal is the space between your ears. Use it wisely and take advantage of the terrain that is around you. Defensive items literally are all around you.

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gungho
gungho

~Luke W. Contributing Correspondent Luke served 8 years in the US Marine reserves and is a former Georgia Police Officer. He has been a firearms instructor since 1998 training LE, Civilians, Military and US Contractors. Luke is currently in his second rotation in Afghanistan where he is the lead for a PSD team.