“The iron hand ain’t no match for the iron rod.” Bob Dylan

I have said before that a person with a small amount of training and a weapon will defeat an unarmed person with an expert amount of training the vast majority of the time. We self defense “experts” and martial arts black belts don’t like to hear such things but if you think about it this is just common sense.

I know many “good” unarmed knife defenses. I have trained them for years. I am a fourth degree black belt in Taekwondo and a third degree black belt in Krav Maga but if faced with a knife wielding attacker I’d rather have a ball bat than all of that unarmed knowledge.
Ask a cop who they would least like to come up against by themselves. Choice one is a very high ranking and very proficient black belt in any art or system you can name. Choice two is a psycho crazy with a machete. I would guess the majority of law enforcement draw their side arm and shoot the crazy!

Last one. You have to walk through a tough neighborhood at night to get to safety. You can bring your black belt buddy with you or you can bring your buddy who has a bowie knife. I’d guess you bring the one with the weapon.

I wrote an article once about martial artists and handguns. The point was that I believe the old martial arts masters from centuries ago would have spent time on the range getting good with handguns and cut way back on their training time with sai’s, kama’s and nunchucks.

Every now and then I get someone who wants to learn Krav Maga at our gym who just doesn’t have the physical ability. Either age or handicaps have made it hard for them to move. I will teach them Krav Maga, of course, but our emphasis will be on using a blade, or better yet, a handgun. Weapons are the great equalizer. The attacker can be much bigger, stronger, athletic and even have way more training but a weapon will give us the advantage.

In fact, grabbing something to use as a weapon comes before krav maga in our heirarchy of what we teach for real world violence. First
is don’t be there, second is run, third is GRAB SOMETHING TO USE AS A WEAPON and fourth is our krav maga techniques. This is the order i’ll use if faced with danger! Remember, if you are in a fair fight your tactics suck!!

Anyone testing for black belt in the USKMA must have taken an NRA gun safety course. The reason is twofold. 1) If we are learning to take handguns away from someone we certainly need to know what to do with it once we have it. 2) Being proficient at Krav Maga AND being proficient with weapons makes us one hard target. BE SAFE!



  1. Hey bud ! we sure think alike in many ways. My students have to get Canadian Firearm license for their level two.You are very right about old Martial art master would spend more time on the range. In fact, during the Japanese Waring time, introduction of firearms change the warfare and samurais are trained in firearm usage greatly.

  2. “Weapons are the great equalizer.”
    So very true. And perhaps the reason there is so much controversy surrounding the issue of gun ownership.
    Great blog.

  3. Hi, I agree 100% with this post.However I live in a country where carrying guns/knives/batons in the streets is illegal. So following this post, how about one on improvised weapons?

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