April 8, 2012

Don’t carry a weapon? Check your bag!

by Urban Escrima Charlie UE in Street Safety

Some time ago i had a conversation with Jenny, a female trainer who in her own words, stated “Escrima is not really relevant to me as i cannot imagine getting into a situation where weapons will be involved, let alone carry any with me” so was this really the system for her?

While we can never know if or when we will get into situations where weapons are involved, that does not mean we should discount weapons training completely, right? I mean street situations are a random thing, it is not something that you can know in advance, it will just happen – weapons are a reality and people do use them. There are some mean people out there, so it’s best to be prepared.

Even if you think that you do not carry a weapon, in reality you do, we all do, it’s just a matter of being perceptive and using your imagination.

I proceeded to ask Jenny to empty her pockets and bag which she had with her and lay the items out on the table. It was plain to see that she carried more weapons than the local mugger, even if she was not aware of this. Jenny had the following items in her bag:


Spray deodorant

Money (coins)

Mobile phone

Hair brush

A book

With a smile on my face, i asked Jenny “do you see any weapons there?”, she looked at me somewhat quizzical. So I asked Jenny to pick up each item and then we can look at this ‘weapon’ issue in more detail.

First up were her keys, which she did admit, could be used to scratch an attacker. Correct. Keys can act as an excellent deterrent. Scratch or dig them into the attackers face for example, this may give you a split second to run. 1-0 Escrima.

Next was the spray deodorant. Now we have all seen on TV what CS spray in the eyes can do, well, spray deodorant in the eyes will do pretty much the same thing. This will stop the attacker in their tracks; it will blind them temporarily, giving you time to make your escape. If you are feeling really martial arty, you can even use the can as a kubotan. Our advice is to run. 2-0 Escrima.

The coins were interesting as it did not register to Jenny that a few coins chucked in the attackers face, allows a little bit of thinking time or the chance to leg it. Either way, any distraction to make your attacker think twice is welcome. Jenny will not look at coins in the same way again. 3-0 Escrima.

Then we had the mobile phone. Phones are great as nearly everyone nowadays walks around holding a phone, you have a ready-made weapon right there in your hand.  I asked Jenny to hold it and hit me hammer fist style, she did, job done. Hold it tight and hit hard. 4-0 Escrima.

When Jenny picked up the hairbrush she used it the same way as her phone. Great, a basic understanding of weapons and how to use them was being developed. I also explained that she could use the brush to scratch across the face. Although this may not cause too much damage, it will allow critical time to run. 5-0 Escrima

Ok, admittedly the book was a bit of an issue, i mean, it was paperback, just my luck. Jenny looked at me, thinking that she has got one back on me, she almost did. However, even a paperback book has a hard spine and with the pages so dense, the paperback book will cause damage and can hurt. I claim that point, 6-0.

So after all that, the aim of this article is to make you think, and i mean to really think about what constitutes a weapon and then just use it.


Ok, I have not been completely truthful with you all. I should mention that Jenny had tissues and chewing gum in her bag, nothing gets in the way of a good story right?

Anyway, if you want to know how to use soft items as weapons, you will need to come to our ‘advanced’ class


Jenny, is now a 2nd grade student in Urban Escrima and she has not looked back since.

We cover much of the above on our Personal Safety and Street Awareness courses,

contact us on info@urbanescrima.com for further information.

One Comment

  1. Esa
    May 10, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Chewing gum if it is chewed and in your mouth can be spat in the opponents face and they will 9 times out of ten flinch or close their eyes giving you a clean opening to KO them.
    Tissues is a tough one, if they are in a pack you can throw then at your oppenents chest and say “catch” they will often instinctively try to cath the object again creating an opening.

  2. xdavex
    May 10, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Hey yeah Esa, true, its interesting to think of these ‘soft’ items such as tissues and gum etc and to see how they can be used. I guess most of the time people would not consider them at all.

  3. Chris
    May 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    I have been training in Urban Escrima (UE) for about 1 year. I have no issues about weapons training as I don’t walk around the street with a weapon anyway. This is against the law.
    But if a burglar comes into my place, you can be sure that he will most probably have an offensive weapon to back him up. So what you have learnt and trained in UE can be useful.
    UE also teaches unarmed combat that comes out of weapons training. In my opinion UE training is a double edged sword for any future combat situations.

  4. Charlie
    May 13, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Yeah Escrima Concepts is great for learning both armed and unarmed. One of the things that i find the most interesting about EC is the fact that we do the same things whether we have a weapon or not, nothing changes too much. About not carrying a weapon – i guess we all do, as the article suggests, its about what we ‘perceive’ as a weapon 🙂

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