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Weapons UnderGround >> Help Me Out With An Article Series


3/7/10 5:14 PM
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Jake Steinmann
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This series of articles was prompted by a conversation with a student of mine. Long story short: his girlfriend, fearful for her safety (she's a student), decided to go and purchase a knife to defend herself with. She has no particular training, and clearly didn't think particularly deeply about the many, many, issues involved in carrying a knife to stab bad guys with. Apparently, the salesman at the store they went to mentioned to my student that this was a pretty common phenomenon. Which is a pretty scary thought.

So. I'm starting a series of articles on the myriad of issues that surround the choice to carry a weapon for self-defense. It's a pretty big topic, and I'm not shooting to cover it comprehensively (which would probably require a book), but simply to get people thinking about what carrying a weapon really means, and if they're willing to accept that responsibility.

However--I know there are a lot of people out there who know way more than me about this stuff. So I'm looking for some help and feedback along the way. What are issues you discuss with people (or would discuss, if it came up) regarding the choice to carry? What's one thing you'd make certain they know? What's one common myth you'd want dispelled? Are there resources that you'd want them to read, watch, or be exposed to?

As you can probably tell, I'm pretty invested in this idea. I think it's important, and want to do it right. If you can help, please do so.
3/7/10 5:16 PM
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Jake Steinmann
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Link to article somehow got lost. Here it is. http://www.examiner.com/x-19874-Boston-Martial-Arts-Fitness-Examiner~y2010m3d7-Use-of-Weapons
3/8/10 12:25 AM
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Demitrius Barbito
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Edited: 03/08/10 4:55 PM
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I would never have a young woman carry a knife for self defense. NEVER!

The whole knife mystique just pisses me off.

Straight away... A knife is operator dependent. Is she quick, strong, smart..? Next, does she have a tactical framework she's developed and is ready to deploy...? Or will she have the blade taken from her and thrown in the bushes or even used against her...?

She needs a delivery system for the knife. That would be a blend of MMA and good knife work (Filipino and other methods). And in my opinion the MMA would serve her much better than the knife.

Even if she was a knife pro and could filet a bad guy on command. There is no human being alive who can control the amount of damage done to an aggressive attacker with a knife. The whole "I would just do this or that" thing is out the window. It's gonna get bad, fast...

In court can you justify taking someone's eye out or cutting them bad because they were forcing you to give them a kiss...? What if it ends up getting it shoved in her chest cavity?

She'd be better served training to pre-emptivley/responsively be kicking, punching and head butting, yelling for help and running her ass off than she would be pulling out a knife "in most circumstances".

Knives are dangerous. Even to the user.

She has a lot to learn before she carries a knife for self defense.

Does she realize that if she pulls out a knife and her attacker has a gun he can "legally shoot her...?"

Knives are freakin evil.
3/8/10 10:17 AM
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WidespreadPanic
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 Get her a training knife and a sheath and ask her where she'd carry it. Then have her strap it on there and then get on top of her in rape position. See if she can deploy it and (pretend to) stab you.

She might change her mind about using it if she can't get it out of the sheath.

3/8/10 10:43 AM
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Jake Steinmann
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Demi - Good stuff. Lots of things to think about there. If it's alright with you, I may quote you on some of that.

WP - I don't know this person, nor do I train with her. The story simply prompted me to start writing some articles about the subject in an online column I write (http://www.examiner.com/x-19874-Boston-Martial-Arts-Fitness-Examiner~y2010m3d7-Use-of-Weapons).

I doubt I'd ever have the opportunity to drill with this particular person. Even if I did, that's just one person. I'm shooting to reach a wider audience, if I can.
3/8/10 5:14 PM
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Demitrius Barbito
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Jake,

Quote away my friend.

I have an article coming out i Black Belt magazine in a few months about firearms. It covers the same type of ground (although I'm totally friendly when it comes to guns). But the idea of "mere possession" of a weapon making you dangerous is like owning a piano and calling yourself a musician.

The knife thing is just very iffy and weird. Knives can hurt your opponent and even the user unintentionally. Indiscriminate flailing, even with a box cutter, can lead to a blood bath. How many people go to the ER after cutting "themselves" with a kitchen knife in food prep...???

I'm "pro-knife" in the BIG PICTURE. But very few are going to make that their carry weapon when looking through the lens of practicality.

Don't even get me started on the post altercation consequences of using lethal force against non lethal force.

A point to be made here is that you shouldn't be trying to stop someone with only what's in your grip, even a gun... You should be trying to out-think, frustrate and generally dominate your opponent in order to escape.

That means "kicking someone away" as they close so you can use your pepper spray.

No matter what weapon you have to defend yourself it's gonna be a FIGHT.

Demi

www.DemiBarbito.com
3/9/10 9:42 PM
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Jake Steinmann
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Demi,

I'll keep an eye out for the article when it comes along.

Worked one of your quotes into the next part of the series. I'll probably pick your brain for some more ideas as I move along. I have no idea how long this series is going to go on for.

Thanks again!

Jake
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-19874-Boston-Martial-Arts-Fitness-Examiner~y2010m3d9-Choosing-to-carry-part-two#
3/10/10 10:08 AM
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paw
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 for laters
4/1/10 4:48 PM
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Jake Steinmann
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Part Three: The few legal specifics are, well, specific to Boston, but I think the general train of thought applies everywhere.

http://www.examiner.com/x-19874-Boston-Martial-Arts-Fitness-Examiner~y2010m4d1-The-Legal-Ramifications-of-Carrying-a-Weapon-in-Boston#
4/6/10 3:20 AM
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Sisco T
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Edited: 04/06/10 3:20 AM
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jake,
hope this isn't a silly question but: don't you know greg brown? i know he bounces out there and trains out of sityodtong. not only is he a good fighter(mma, thai boxing, dog bros.), but he has a lot of weapon knowledge from his fma/dog bros training and fighting, and from i'm assuming his experience bouncing.

Francisco
4/6/10 10:39 AM
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Jake Steinmann
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Hey Sisco,

Not a silly question.

I do know Greg, but I haven't seen him in years. He left Sityodtong to do some training with Mark Denny, and never really came back. I think he's over at Combat Sports Boston now.

Besides, I like soliciting info from as many sources as I can. Even if I had Greg close at hand to ask, it's always good to get a wide range of opinions.
4/12/10 5:31 PM
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Sisco T
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thanks jake. i didn't know he was no longer over at sityodtong. if you can you should hit him up as one of your resources; he's done a lot of good work with guro marc(marc denny) not only in fma/stickfighting but with self defense against an edge/stabbing weapon and many other things guro marc is always researching and developing. i'm pretty sure i'll see him at the end of the month and i'll tell him what you're working on.

Francisco
4/13/10 2:27 PM
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Epa
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I liked Demi's advice above and the suggestion to talk with Marc Denny. Since you've dealt with two important issues, the ethical and legal issues,you might consider addressing some of the practical issues of carrying a weapon. Some things to consider:

1) Lifestyle: Some people do not lead lifestyles that make carrying a weapon convenient. A lot of people work in offices that may have weapons policies, making carry impractical for a large part of the day. Also, many activities may make carrying a weapon inappropriate. The obvious example is someone flying, but you'd probably look weird carrying your tactical folder to the beach too.

2.) How you will carry the weapon: Depending on the type of clothes you wear and the weapon you carry, there may be issues in carrying the weapon in a comfortable convenient way that does not draw attention to it. People that wear clothes with no pockets or place to clip a weapon may not have a feasible way to carry. I know several women who carry pepper spray in their purse and when I asked them how quickly they could get it out it took them a minute of searching to actually find it. That's not a feasible carry method.

3.) What kind of training can you get: Like Demi said, having a weapon does not make you a good fighter so you need some kind of training. Most weapon based martial arts do not really train you to fight using a weapon in a self defense context. Instead, a lot of them are dueling methods or military systems. There are transferable skills, but most instructors do not teach them as a major part of the curriculum. Also, there is a lot of bad weapon based martial arts instruction that an inexperienced person might just accept.
4/23/10 11:19 AM
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Jake Steinmann
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Hey guys,

Thanks for the suggestions; great stuff. I haven't forgotten about this thread, or these articles...in the midst of a lot of stuff right now.

More to come...
5/11/10 3:51 PM
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Jake Steinmann
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Finally got back on this; thanks for the thoughts. More are always welcome.

http://www.examiner.com/x-19874-Boston-Martial-Arts-Fitness-Examiner~y2010m5d11-Does-your-lifestyle-support-carrying-a-weapon

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