One of my favorite concepts to bring up when I’m instructing women in self-defense is that just about EVERYTHING CAN BE USED AS A WEAPON. I don’t like to confine women’s minds into believing that a handgun is the only route to self-defense. Some women don’t want a gun, and other times, women who do have guns can’t always access them easily. That is why I teach my students to view everything as a potential tool to aid in their defense. For example, if a “meat salesman” comes to your door and against your will begins to push his way into your house (this actually happened to me). If your gun isn’t on your person at that time, it’s going to do you little good to go running for it. That leaves the door open and the bad guy free to chase you. This is what  I suggest: if you happen to have a cup of hot coffee or tea in your hand, throw it in the “salesman’s” face. This causes a distraction to the “salesman” while you either shove him out the door and lock it, or while  you fetch your 12 gauge.

One method of using the EVERYTHING IS  A WEAPON tactic is to use whatever happens to be in your hand at the time of the attack.

You have to get rid of it anyways to use your hands in defense, might as well get rid of it in a way that aids your cause. One example is the commonly practiced “walking to your car with your keys in your knuckles”. Or, if the attacker is close enough, stabbing the attacker  in the face/eyes with a pen to buy time.


Isaac, one of Packing Pretty’s readers did a test to show us how we can use our keys most effectively as a weapon.

” After reading the [bleow] listed comments, I decided to test what was shown,  [after] playing with it for a while I can also report that there is an effective way to use keys as a weapon…

I used 80lbs (approx 35 kg) of sand in a plastic tube hung from a rafter as an analogy for soft tissue– it’s cheap/was laying around, I’m on a budget.

If you use the grip shown it hurts like hell and bends the key (very bad for accessing your safety zone/weapon) , but If you take a sturdy key (like the newer car keys) and place it between your trigger and middle fingers you can punch/rip holes for just about as long as your arms can keep going.”

Isaac’s proven method

Another method of using the EVERYTHING IS A WEAPON tactic is to use your surroundings as a tool to aid in your defense.

Pro-wrestlers are really good at this one. Although, I think anymore, the chair has lost its element of surprise for the opponent and the crowd.  In order to use this method effectively, you need to be aware of your surroundings from the start. If someone has you pinned against a desk, you can reach for the scissors in the pencil cup, or the paperweight.  That jar of pickles in your basket, or bag of canned foods; these are all great tools to throw at an attacker in grocery store parking lot.

The USMC has this rule, it’s called  Marine Rule#5. Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet. While I think this rule is a little much for us civilians, it is good thing to keep in the back of your mind.  Here’s a little twist: have a plan to use everything you see. When you walk into somewhere, point out a few objects here and there that you will use if necessary.When you enter a room, ask yourself “If I were to get attacked in here, what would I do, what would I use?”  Think like a pro-wrestler.  At first, this will seem paranoid and feel awkward. However, soon it will just happen automatically and can give you a real edge in a fight.

Of course, flight is always cleaner than fight (and far less paperwork). There is no honor lost in avoiding a fight. If you can flee, I suggest you do so. These are suggestions on ways to distract an opponent so you can flee or retrieve your firearm.

A Side Note:

As part of my mission to instruct women on personal protection, I make house calls, free of charge, to women who are in fear for their safety and need some direction on defense in the home. Usually these women are in strange predicaments where someone is actively threatening their lives. Because every home is set up differently, and because every client is different, these women need one-on-one  attention in developing their personal protection plan.  I have visited women who had guns, women who didn’t want guns, and women who wanted but couldn’t afford guns. Regardless of their “gun orientation”, I always stress the importance of using their surroundings to give them the tactical advantage.

For the armed woman: The EVERYTHING IS  A WEAPON mindset will help stall your attacker so you have time to access your firearm. However, additional defense training is always encouraged.

For the unarmed woman: I recommend using the EVERYTHING IS A WEAPON mindset, as well as seeking training in other forms of self-defense.

For the woman who can’t afford to be armed: I recommend using the EVERYTHING IS A WEAPON mindset, as well as seeking training in other forms of self-defense to help you protect yourself until you can afford a gun.