self-defense gadgets – Pros and Cons
By Eyal Yanilov
Recent events around the world have brought the subject of personal self-defense gadgets to be an interest to many people. I have received many requests to write about this topic and share my point of view about it. Of-course nothing said in this article should be taken as a rule but more as an opinion from someone that has been in the self defense business for most of his life…:)
Commonly people are afraid, lacking confidence and uncomfortable because of info about violence. Most people these days are more readers and watchers (surrounded by many screens, newspapers and magazines) and we are less doers and fighters.
As part of our culture and way, we are used to marketing and sales, to our disposal there is always a vast array of products and supplements to use for any need. So immediately after some frightening campaign in the internet, TV and newspapers, many companies and individuals are popping up; they claim that they have the best product and way of how we can erase all our worries and fears. We only need to purchase their supreme product and all our problems, stress and conflicts will be gone.
Thus, many people get the impression that equipment and hardware is the answer. Naturally tools can very well assist each and every one of us during certain kinds of violent conflicts, but it all depends on the timing, possibilities, nature of problem and kind of tool on hand. The main thing is the mindset, the technical and mental abilities to act in a time of need. In most cases, the tool is only a secondary factor. To acquire those one has to train and prepare.
The arsenal of self-defense gadgets that we can easily buy and use depends on the law and availability in the country. Some countries permit tools for self-defense such as pepper-spray and stunt guns and some do not. I would like to scan some of the tools/self-defense gadgets available in different countries.
Stun-gun – here there are different kinds and levels of strength. The principle is that high voltage, low current pulses of electricity are delivered upon contact with the body of the subject and badly disrupts the nerves system. This causes some pain and paralysis. Two spikes/electrodes deliver the average of 50-100 thousand volts or more to the body of the enemy. We get the highest influence when pulses are delivered in contacts with the skin especially if close to nerve junctions as the neck or groin area. There are stun guns of different shapes, from a handle looking structure to rear section of a flashlight.
Taser – is a kind of stun gun that can send 2 or more spikes connected with wires to the Taser gun device and delivers the high voltage pulses. The effective range depends on the device and is several (3-10) meters. The spikes (metal prongs) usually penetrates the skin of the subject.
Taking the stun gun out of the bag or pocket may be prior to an attack. It’s close to impossible to start searching for it when the assailant is already acting against you. So before the confrontation ignites, check that the gun is in your hand. It can still be concealed. In some countries this action of arming yourself due to the fact that you are anticipating and grabbing or even just having a stunt gun is illegal.
Personal Panic Alarm – this is a very clever self-defense gadget, referred to also as Anti-Rape, Anti-Attack Alarm. It is usually activated by pulling a pin out of the main body of the device. The noise that comes out is very high, up to a level of pain. Some of the devices also have a safety button that has to be on in order that it will be possible to be triggered. Level of noise is around 100-150db.
As with many other devices it has to be approachable and activated in time of need and stress. If it is hidden in the pocket or in the bag during a surprised attack, it will be very difficult to manage and unlikely to be used.
Pepper Spray – These self-defense gadgets come in many forms like gases and gels. Here we are referring to devises that spray a gas that creates a burning feeling and irritation to the eyes, nose and mouth. Originally shaped as a small canister similar to those used for deodorants. Later other shapes appeared, even like a pistol or a key chain stick.
In most cases this is very efficient in stopping the attacker however some simple measures must be taken by the user:
- You must aim as best as possible.
- It is effective in relatively short distance.
- The longer the range and more concentrated the stream, the more accurate you need to be.
- One must not spray against the wind, and not step or run into the cloud that was just sprayed.
As with other tools, the device must be in your hand and ready for use if you wish to be able to respond against surprised attacks. As with other devices and means, it is not legal to carry in many countries.
Kubotan – a small baton, key chain holder, the length of 5-6 inches (~15 cm) and half an inch wide (~1.5 cm). This self-defense gadget is commonly made from metal. It may also have a spike/point at one end and a ring at the other. The ring can be used to attach keys or insert a finger to stabilize the hold. It was originally developed in the 1960’s by a Japanese martial artist Takayuki Kubota (in the beginning as a pain compliance tool for police officers).
The idea of the Kubotan is to strike at vulnerable points or to put pressure to cause pain and compliance. The assailant that is hit with it will usually feel greater impact and pain than with a fist or an open hand. Although there are those who make a whole system around this tool, it is basically used for striking, mostly circular strikes, and inflicting pressure and creating pain. To apply some of the control and pain compliance techniques that are common in those “systems” you need to use two hands to apply it, thus in this case commonly you will be exposed to a certain level of danger, due to limited abilities to respond and react.
There are several models including ones with additional vertical spikes. In many countries Kubotan may not be legal.
I have shared with you my insights about this subject. I hope you may have a better understanding than from seeing promotions online. Please make sure to find out your countries law and countries that you are visiting so that you do not carry personal self-defense gadgets that are illegal.
All the best,