Thursday, April 3, 2008

Be Flexible: Anything Can Be a Weapon

My Aikido teacher flies a lot. He likes to joke -- when he's teaching a class, not when he's going through airport security -- that no one ever checks over his hands as possible weapons.

But, of course, his hands are very useful weapons indeed, as anyone he's ever sent flying across the mat can tell you.

The truth is, anything can be a weapon. And while that may strike fear into the heart of those conducting security theater at the airports, it is something the rest of us need to remember when we're in a tight spot.

For example, here's a report from the Corpus Christi Caller-Times about a woman who used spray perfume to get away from an attacker.

Now I'm not advising you to start carrying perfume around for self defense purposes or to automatically spray anyone who looks at you cross-eyed. What I am suggesting is that in a difficult situation, you can often find something that will work as a weapon so long as you stay calm and aware of what's going on around you.

One of my favorite stories about this -- and I heard it so long ago that I don't remember where it came from -- is one about a woman who found herself on the subway late at night, alone except for a man who frightened her (as I recall, she had good reason to be afraid). So she began to pick her nose and otherwise act in a rather gross manner.

He got off at the next stop.

Anything can be a weapon.