You Are Not Defenseless! Defend Yourself with Common Everyday Weapons

You Are Not Defenseless! Defend Yourself with Common Everyday Weapons

Some time ago I wrote an article entitled Practical Personal Self-Defense Weapons where I reviewed a number of practical self-defense weapons. The article emphasized being aware of your surroundings as the first line of defense but taking decisive defensive action if the danger cannot be avoided.

Situational Awareness

Knowing the danger signs and constantly being aware of your surroundings is always the first and best defense. If you are walking on the street and see someone walking toward you that causes you even the slightest concern, cross the street, go into a business, or stop and walk the other way. The person might be completely harmless, but don’t take any chances. AVOID any possibility of an unfriendly encounter. If someone cuts you off in traffic or honks aggressively at you – IGNORE IT. Do not let your emotions get the better of you, take a turn and go the other way to avoid a confrontation if you must.

Escape the Threat

If avoiding the threat is not practical or you just didn’t think or act quick enough to avoid the threat, your second-best self-defense option is usually to escape the threat. Run away. Hail taxi cab so you can get out of the area quickly even if you don’t want to go for a ride. Get on a bus if that’s an option. Go into a business even if it’s not the kind of business that caters to walk-in-traffic. Just quickly get away from the threat!

But we are human and sometimes we let out guard down or things just happen.

Sometimes it is not possible to avoid or escape the threat. In these situations, you must either fight for your life or just give up and become a victim.  Using “verbal judo” can be effective and is often a wise thing to try, but if “talking” your way out of a threatening situation does not work you, you must be prepared to take physical action.

Improvised Weapons

When it comes to defensive weapons it is always good to practice with your weapon of choice. The more proficient you become with a weapon, the more confidence you will have and you will be able to deploy the weapon with much more effectiveness. But sometimes you will not be armed with a real weapon. In these situations, you need to know that improvised weapons are all around you. Make a quick decision to defend yourself and use whatever is available to protect yourself.

The time to think about what you could use as an effective self-defense weapon is NOW. Change your mindset. As the weeks, months & years go by continue to periodically think about what items could be used as a weapon. Soon this practice of thinking about common objects that could be used as self-defense weapons will become second nature. The next time you are in your kitchen and see a pot or frying pan, say to yourself “I could use this to hit someone over the head!”

If you condition yourself to think about what common items you could use to defend yourself should the need arise, you will not have to stop and think “What do I do!” You will instinctively know that you often have some very effective weapons at your disposal. You will instinctively act to defend yourself!

  • When an elderly Kansas woman mistakenly let a man inside her home and when he attacked her, she grabbed a frying pan and hit the attacker over the head – knocking him unconscious!
  • In Texas a 73-year-old woman was home alone when her dog alerted her to a man prying open her back door. She armed herself with a BBQ fork and stabbed the intruder in the neck. The burglar immediately fled.
  • In Alabama when an intruder entered a woman’s home, she defended herself by dousing the intruder with a pot of scalding hot grease. When police arrived, they found the intruder with serious burns on his face. After medical treatment he was taken to jail.

The next time you get a cup of hot coffee or tea at a coffee shop, think to yourself “I could throw this cup of hot liquid into someone’s eyes and then hit him/her with something and make a run for it.”

  • When a man attempted to rob a Dunkin’ Donuts and reached into his pocket as if he had a weapon, the quick-thinking employee took action. The Dunkin’ Donuts employee threw a pot of hot coffee in the robber’s face causing the robber to flee.
  • A woman in New York City used a hot cup of coffee to thwart a rape. When the rapist tried to pull her pants down “she wheeled around and threw a cup of coffee in his face before screaming for help.” The rapist immediately fled.

The next time you are in your garage or look into the closet where you keep your golf clubs, think to yourself “If someone comes into my home these golf clubs could come in handy.”

  • When two men walked into a jewelry store in California and used a stun gun to try and rob the owner, the owner used his golf club to fend off the robbers. Reportedly, he hit the robbers so hard that they took off running!

Situational awareness involves being aware both consciously and subconsciously of what’s happening around you while going about your day (or night) as usual. Always being consciously and subconsciously aware of what’s happening around you and anticipating possible threats and potentially compromising situations is always your first line of defense.

If a threat can be avoided – avoid it! If confronted by a threat – get away. Run away if possible!

But, if a threat comes to you and is unavoidable or impossible to escape from, even if you are not armed with a traditional weapon like a gun or knife, know that you are not defenseless. Know that everyday items all around you can be used as effective self-defense weapons.

Few people are actually going to physically practice using a frying pan, BBQ fork, or a hot cup of coffee for self-defense, but being aware of the items around you that can be used as weapons and conditioning your mind, will allow you to take decisive action without delay should the occasion arise.


George W. Babnick, is a 34 year law enforcement veteran with an extensive background in physical security, criminal and administrative investigations, training, school policing, supervision and management, and criminal forensics. He retired as a Captain in the Portland Oregon Police Bureau where he managed the Training, School Police, and Forensic Evidence Divisions. He holds criminal justice degrees from Portland Community College and Portland State University and a law degree from Northwestern California University School of Law, Sacramento California. Mr. Babnick is a longtime member of the Western Society of Criminology and is the author of articles on security and law enforcement, investigations, supervision and management, and risk management related to these subjects. As a physical security expert, George Babnick provides private physical security consultations across the United States and consults with clients outside the United States. He specializes in assessing security problems for small and medium businesses as well as select individuals. He offers independent, honest advice and expertise, with the goal of providing all clients with practical and cost-effective security solutions to enhance security and effectively manage business and personal security risks. Mr. Babnick is also a licensed Private Investigator and conducts investigations for attorneys, businesses, and individuals throughout the State of Oregon. To learn more about security consultation and investigative services offered, please visit Disclaimer: Nothing in any article on this blog should be construed as legal advice. Persons seeking legal advice should seek the counsel of an attorney licensed in their state.