• Jackie Bradbury

Why Study Weapons?

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

The vast, vast majority of martial artists in the world primarily focus on empty hand training.


I'm not quite sure why that is, honestly, as I discovered very early in my training that I am ALL ABOUT weapons - weapons of just about any kind.


This is my mantra.

BUT, hey, if empty hand is your thing, that's cool. In fact, I know I am in the minority in the martial arts world, being weapons-oriented. MOST of you are far happier with studying unarmed fighting.


Being the weapons fan I am, my empty-hand friends ask me, "What happens if you're unarmed?"


My answer is, "I'm never unarmed."


Let me explain what I mean by that, as it seems sorta... glib.


I do not necessarily mean that I'm carrying a WEAPON-weapon - a gun or a knife or something that would definitely get tagged as "weapon" if found on my person. Although much of the time, I do mean exactly that - I am carrying something like that much of the time when conditions allow.


When I say, "I'm never unarmed", I mean that I'm always "armed" because there is almost always something on or around me that can be weaponized in a pinch, and I train for those scenarios more often than you'd think.


Don't believe me? Take this picture of a typical office work area. It might be similar to what you work in every day.


Not pictured: empty soda can graveyard.

Looking at this picture, you don't see much you'd think of as a "weapon", do you?


Well, here's how I look at this space:


Pictured: Arsenal.

Off the top of my head, the red circled objects are things that can be weaponized in a pinch. The old-timey phone, lamp, the wall plaque, the keyboard, the wireless phone handset, the monitor, the thermos, and the pair of glasses.


The glasses in particular drew my attention. A few years ago, there was a fugitive who escaped police custody using broken glasses:

Grapevine police said Morales was able to take off his eye glasses, break off the frame, and use the sharp, broken end as a blade to attack the lone officer guarding him, 54-year-old Jaime Pardinas, stabbing Pardinas once in the chest and three times in the back before fleeing. Miami Prisoner Stabs Police Officer

I wear glasses, so... yep, I'm always armed.


Take a moment, wherever you are reading this post right now, and look around you.


What weapons are handy?


A pen? A coffee cup? A laptop bag or briefcase?  A t-shirt or small throw blanket? A beer or soda bottle? A purse strap or a scarf?


All of these, in a pinch, can be used, if you study and practice using them. And I do.


Do you ever study improvised tools for self defense? Or do you think you'd rather go mano-a-mano empty handed? Let us know in the comments!



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