Thursday, August 30, 2018

Improvised Self-Defense Weapons, part 2

On Monday, Scott wrote about using things close at hand as makeshift weapons. This brought to mind a series of books that I read a long time ago, and still have packed away somewhere.

Back in the days before terrorism became a viable excuse for banning books and declaring certain information “forbidden”, we had access to books (the internet hadn't been created yet) that would scare most people today. Paladin Press published books that you couldn't find in most book stores, and they would ship to anyone with the money to buy. Authors like Ragnar Benson described the practical uses of high explosives and how to make them, Kurt Saxon had a series of books titled The Poor Man'sJames Bond that covered improvised weapons and a lot of chemistry, and The Anarchist Cookbook was still available. I once met a man at a gun show who was selling a set of books that he had written; he was a microbiologist who had been screwed by the system so thoroughly that he wanted to see it fall apart. His books covered, in great detail, how to create and use various chemical and biological weapons using household equipment. The FBI spent years shutting him down, but his books are still out there. Ah, the good old days.

The set of books that Scott's article reminded me of is titled Black Medicine.  The first book was subtitled The Dark Art of Death, followed by Weapons At Hand, Low Blows, and ending with Equalizers. Written by a medical doctor named N. Mashiro, the information is clear and concise. The books aren't very big, but they are full of information.

The Dark Art of Death covered the medical side of dealing damage to a human body: what parts of the body are the best targets and how to attack them. Since the object of the book is to stop a person, the author focuses on stopping the mechanics of the human body.

Weapons At Hand focuses on the parts of your body that make the best weapons as well as the myriad things around you that can be used as a weapon in a pinch. A few examples:
  • Punching someone in the face is a bad idea, since skulls are hard and fingers are fairly fragile. Aim lower, for the throat.
  • Anything with a cord attached can be swung to increase the speed and energy of the impact: Alarm clocks, telephones (the old ones), etc.
  • Pens, pencils, anything that is harder than your hand will keep you from damaging yourself  if you poke with it rather than your finger. 
  • There are a lot of things in spray cans that can be used as a weapon. Bug sprays work well; most of them are petroleum-based and will burn if needed. The insecticide is slow-acting, but will provide a second-level of damage.
Low Blows describes how to apply the information in the first two books in a fight. Mainly aimed at martial artists, some of the holds and blows are easy to practice and helpful in a fight.

The fourth book,  Equalizers, covers the use of more modern weapons, but I don't have a copy so I can't comment on the quality of the information. I would suggest looking around on some used-book sites for better prices ($200 for a paperback is insane).

I'm going to see if I can find my copies and re-read them, just to see how well the information has stood the test of time.

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