Six Easy-to-Use Self Defense Weapons You Can Find Almost Anywhere

women throwing an elbow to a man's face


When you hear “self-defense”, what do you think? An attacker on the street with an elbow to the face and a knee to the groin?

You are being attacked, and you look around for something you can use as a weapon.  Depending on where the attack occurs, you might see several options, if you can get to them fast enough.

A good self-defense weapon should be something you can carry around with you and is easy to use, like a kobuton on your keychain or a knife concealed in your hand.

The problem with carrying a gun is it takes time to get it out of the holster and take off the safety before you can fire.  This may take precious seconds and is a distraction that your attacker will take advantage of. Unless you have hours at the practice range, most people don’t fire a gun often enough to be proficient at using it. An experienced fighter does know how to disarm someone with a gun, so the chances of your weapon being turned against you are quite high.

For this article, I opened my bag of tricks of common items that make handy weapons. You can have these scattered around the house, or carry them in your car, and they do not draw attention to the fact that you can use them as a weapon. Taking advantage of the element of surprise will take your attacker off guard long enough to do some damage and get the hell out of there. Who would think the straw in your cup can put out someone’s eye? Or how about a credit card?

a straw in a potato


While you are thinking about that, let me introduce you to six types of weapons you might find useful. These are just suggestions. Look around your house, your shop, your office. Use your imagination and see what you can do with some of the “weapons” that are right under your nose.

With Tomari-te, sometimes all it takes is one punch, properly placed.  In Hollywood movies, people fight to the death with butcher knives. It takes twenty minutes to put the other guy down. In real life, your goal is not to fight to the death, but disable your attacker and then run away like the wind.



Household weapons for self defense  

1.  KUBOTAN – Read how to use a kubotan here.  There are several types of kubotans made out of metal or wood, some have a pointed end, some are flat.  The best way to carry this is with your keys.  It is easy to slip into your pocket and easy to find in your purse. However, no weapon does any good unless it is in your hand, so make it a habit to carry it with you.   It fits nicely in the palm of your hand, which lends to a great surprise when the attacker is struck in the temple with this.  Be sure to check out the blog on kubotans, because it shows the best points to strike to disable someone.


2.  SHARP OBJECTS – Orange sticks or cuticle sticks have nice shar points and can be used in many ways, as can a a bundle of orange sticksspoon, chop sticks, keys, your toothbrush.   As you see, size is not important.  The thinner the point, the sharper the penetration.  Use these in much the same way as a kubotan, but aim for soft tissue, like the eyes or temple.    



3.  CREDIT CARDS – A quick swipe across the eyes will stop any attacker for a moment or two.  The edges and credit cardscorners of the card can be used to jab just about any soft tissue – the top of the hand, across the face.    



4.  HOBBY TOOLS – This is a leather working tool.  Let your imagination take over and decide what you would do with this leather toolsharp-edge, seemingly harmless tool.  Look through your crafts, your wood shop, your sewing kit.  If you see a use for it, then it is a good weapon.    



5.  PEPPER SPRAY – This is one of the most sought-after self-defense tools on the market.  Once sprayed in the pepper sprayeyes, it pretty much disables your attacker.  However, this is one of my least favorite self defense weapons.  You don’t want a weapon that will harm you!  Because it is a spray, you cannot control the blowback.  Unless you have a high-powered tube that will spray 30 feet away, you take the chance of being blinded yourself.  If your attacker ias 30 feet away, he is not a threat because he hasn’t entered your red-zone.  There is also the problem with accessibility.  Where will you carry it?  Like a kobutan you can carry it in your hand, but you are sending signals that you are expecting trouble.  A kobutan and other household items are much less obtrusive.

6.  KNIVES –   Most self-defense is up close and personal, and a knife is held in the palm of your hand, easily knifeconcealed.  The knife in the picture has an assisted opening; simply push the lever and the blade pops out! 

When you take a knife to a gun fight, you must first disable your attacker by getting the gun out of his hand.  When you are fighting knife on knife, you still take out the knife hand in much the same way.


Any weapon can be taken away from you and used against you. Be sure you practice with your weapons of choice until you are comfortable using them.

With home invasions on the rise, people feel unsafe in their homes.   Too many people are angry at just about everything and you never know when you will become a victim of their anger.  But an intruder into your home, or an attacker on the street, is not in his right mind, and will do anything to make sure you do not overcome his attacks.

That is why guns are not a good idea for the novice.  If you own a gun, you must become proficient in it.  If you must use it, do not hesitate.  How does the saying go?  “Shoot first and ask questions later.”

Unless you are willing to deal with the consequences of shooting another human, you might rethink your options as to which weapon is best suited for you. Most martial art styles have some kind of weapon in their arsenal, and as an experienced martial artist, you must know how to defend yourself against various weapons, and how to use them proficiently.

These are simple weapons women and children can use without coming across as a victim.  The last thing you want your attacker to see is your fear.  If you feel confident in your self-defense, then you will not exude the fear most attackers look for. 

That alone may be enough to send him down the road and not bother you. But you never know.  With illegal drugs that make people feel invincible, with the high degree of anger in our society, you never know what the other guy will do.

This is why awareness of your surroundings is the best defense.  The best block is not being there.  If you sense danger, get out of the woods! 

Martial arts are about protecting yourself, your family, and your possessions.  Protection does not mean confrontation.

I hope this short list will give you ideas on how common everyday household items can be turned into weapons of self-defense.


Stay safe.


Sensei Carol  


How to Use a Kubotan

One of my favorite weapons is the kubotan.  I prefer the ones made with metal alloy because they hold up well, are strong and reliable, and will not break when you use them.

The kubotan is a handy weapon that can be carried as a keychain.  Much more effective than using your keys, and you will always have it with you when you need it.

The techniques for using a kubotan can be used as effectively with pens, toothbrushes, the handle on eating utensils, sticks – anything that is handy will work just as effectively.  Tactical pens are used in the same way.

The thing about carrying a weapon is it is never there when you need it.  You have to reach for a gun or open your knife, but when you attach your keys to your kubotan, you have it in your hand, ready to go.

Never wait until you get to your car, or the door to your house, to fumble in your purse for your keys. A woman distracted is a sure target for an attacker – you need to be alert to your surroundings at all times.

When you leave your work, the mall, the grocery store, you should have your keys in hand.  When you get out of your car and go into your house, you should have your keys in hand.  You never know when someone will jump out at you from a dark corner.

Black Belt showing use of  kubotan
Using a kubotan

The #1 and #2 mottos for self-defense are 1) be aware, and 2) be prepared.

Carry only the keys you need.  Do not carry a fistful of spare keys and keys you no longer need.  The key to your car, to your house, and one or two others that you need is all that is necessary.   This way, you will not be encumbered with unnecessary baggage which could impede your striking.

Kubotans are used for striking.  A pointed end is not necessary, but I prefer a point because it gets their attention and does a little more damage than a flat tip.

The video below shows some good striking points, but here is a more complete list of effective targets that will disable an attacker immediately:


Here are a few other targets not included in the diagram.

  • The philtrum, the middle space between the nose and upper lip.
  • The ears.  Even if you do not directly hit the ear, there is plenty of soft tissue surrounding the ear which will draw his attention if struck.
  • The soft tissue notch in the top of the chest where the two clavicles meet.  You will drive the point into the Adam’s apple and cause immediate pain.
  • The throat.
  • Either side of the chest just below the clavicles.  The subclavian vein runs close to the surface here.
  • Just below the sternal notch where the ribs come together.  The heart and diaphragm reside here.
  • Top of the shoulders above the clavicle.
  • The ribs.  Anywhere will do.
  • The groin.  Most of the time the groin is a target to be avoided, despite all the self-defense moves that advise otherwise.  It is easy to miss the groin with a punch or a kick, but the small tip of the kubotan will easily find its mark.  This is especially handy if your attacker is coming from behind.  Much more effective than a hammer fist to the groin, you can sidestep and swing the kubotan with all your might into the groin or bladder area.
  • The top of the hand will make them release their hold on you.
  • Up the arms are many tender points, and the kubotan works great on someone who is muscle bound.  They cannot resist the urge to let go when you are mercilessly pounding their arm with a pointed stick.
  • The top of the foot.  Many nerves are here, but this area can be difficult to reach unless the situation is right.

As you can see, there are many points on the body that will bend a person in pain.

Study this chart and practice, practice, practice.

Reflexes are not born.  They come through practice.  You must commit these actions to muscle memory so you can react without thinking.  Get a partner or find a dummy like the one used in the video.  Aim for the points described above.

The list is long, and it is not necessary to memorize all the points.  Pick a few and be comfortable with them.

Do not stop at one strike.  Use every point you practiced, swing at your attacker as if your life depends on it, (because it does), and keep swinging until they are disabled, or you are able to get away.

You never know when someone will try to attack you, but if you have your kubotan in hand or anything you can find that is small and preferably pointed, you will increase your chances for escape exponentially.

You cannot afford to be queasy and afraid to defend yourself.  It may bother you to inflict pain on someone else, but better them than you, right?  You are protecting your life.  Will this person drag you off and rape you?  Will they take your money and murder you on the spot?  Are they threatening your child?

Self-defense is used only when in you are in danger.  Once you are threatened all bets are off.  Do everything you can to get out of the situation as quickly as possible.  Kicks, punches, and elbows do not always work, especially if your attacker is very strong, or on drugs.  But striking with a kubotan will protect your hands and is much more effective in inflicting pain.  Properly placed strikes will give you a much better chance of getting safely away.





Seven Down-to Earth Self-Defense Moves for Women

Which self-defense moves are right for you?

There are many different styles and schools to choose from.  Some teach strictly self-defense, others incorporate the martial arts.  How do you know what is right for you?

The first thing to remember is that the body is limited in what it can do and what it can take. There are only so many ribs to break, eyes to poke, shins to kick, if you get my drift. But combine the different techniques with all the different points to attack, and suddenly you have a book full of self-defense moves.

Continue reading “Seven Down-to Earth Self-Defense Moves for Women”