Are Martial Arts Weapons worth Learning?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: karate, martial arts, Self-defense
2 Mar 2014


When you walk into a karate school, one of the first things you notice are weapons on the walls. There are also trophies and pictures but the weapons are what I noticed right away. After watching karate movies and seeing how deadly weapons could be I wanted to learn how to use them!


But after a quick reality check I realized that most of these old weapons that would still work on an unarmed opponent – would have little effect against even a taser. Nowadays the personal self defense standard weapon is a gun. But after some more thought on this – I live in California where the gun laws are pretty strict – only the cops and crooks have guns outside homes.


In this post I will try to address the question if martial arts weapons are worth anything today or if you are just wasting your time that might be better spent learning how to use a taser, mace or a gun to augment your hand to hand self-defense.



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When I was knee high to a grasshopper, I remember my mom telling me that, “sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you!” That was in an attempt to lessen the impact of the mean kids on my block that used to make fun of me (for what I don’t remember). The idea that was, and is, still valid today, is that sticks and stones are readily available weapons! Bruce Lee once said in one of his movies (paraphrasing), anything can be used as a weapon.  The sticks and stones you find on the ground are legal weapons if the intent is to use them for self defense when you need them. Did you catch that nuance?


My mom made a sheath for a club I had whittled when I was about 12 years old. I used to travel through the woods (imagining I was an explorer) with the club strapped to my belt and almost had to defend a couple of damsels in distress. I happened on a bunch of guys surrounding a couple of girls I knew from school. I said hi and the girls who looked really worried, saw me and were elated! One of the girls said I was her brother and I played along. The guys looked at me and my club and soon took off. That was my first experience of my Teddy Roosevelt defense, you know… talk softly and carry a big stick! Here is a 1912 story of a girl fighting off muggers with a night stick and saving her fiance here!


Lets examine legal fighting methods with sticks and stones. We will also look at some good usages and why you might want to use weapons. I have always been fond of stick fighting. Here is a video of some Portuguese stick fighting called Jogo Do Pau.

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Teen Aged Girl of 15 – Escapes Rapist!

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Self-defense
26 Feb 2008


Stories like this keep me writing about women’s self-defense! On Saturday, February 23, 2008 a girl was jogging in East San Diego County near a college. A man leaning against a RV, grabbed the girl as she ran by. He took her down a hill but this brave girl fought back! While the details of the struggle are sparse in this story, she managed to break free and get away!


Picture from here. This suspect I believe was found dead on Tuesday, February 26, 2008.

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