Alternative Self Defense Weapons

Written by andy osborne
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Alternative Self Defense Weapons
Many alternative weapons, such as the cane, provide a non-lethal and effective form of self defence. (old man holding his walking cane image by Gina Smith from

At any given moment—whether you're walking down the street at night alone, sitting in your car at a traffic light or simply relaxing at home—someone may decide you are a target for an attack. Concealed weapons such as guns and knives can be lethal to an attacker and dangerous to you if they are wrestled from your grip. However, many alternative weapons exist that can prove highly useful for self defence.

Stun Guns

One effective, commonly-used alternative self defence weapon is the portable electroshock weapon, or stun gun. According to Survival Insight, a personal stun gun emits an electrical charge that can incapacitate a would-be attacker, rendering him immobile—"stunned"—for as long as five to 10 minutes. Although easy to conceal and effective, stun guns do have a few drawbacks. Models that work well enough to knock out an attacker can get expensive. Also, you must obtain a permit to own and carry a stun gun in the following states: Illinois, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.


A simple walking cane is an efficient, hidden-in-plain-sight alternative to a gun or a knife for self defence. A self defence cane can come with an curved head, an ornate handle, or simply a plain grip—yet possesses the unique strength of being a weapon "already drawn," states Don Rearic, cane self-defence expert. Using any cane, you can defend against an attacker by thrusting forward with the tip or striking with the length or the head of the cane. Common hook-handled canes work especially well for self-defence, as the curved tops make excellent weapons to catch an attacker by the neck for a choke or by the ankle for an unexpected trip to the ground.

Pepper Spray

Easy to carry in a purse or pocket, aerosol or "pepper" sprays make for a solid self defence option. Law enforcement officers use potent, tear-gas formulations termed irritating agents, reports TBO-Tech Self Defense Products, commercially-sold self defence sprays use inflammatory mixtures of pepper extracts. A well-placed blast of pepper spray into the eyes of an attacker may not be the most flashy form of self defence, but it can stop the person in their tracks by causing their mucous membranes to become inflamed, effectively blinding them until you can get help. One disadvantage of pepper spray is that it may be difficult to locate deep within a handbag or cluttered pocket when someone decides to attack.

Unconventional Weapons

Many common items can serve as valuable alternative self defence weapons-- some of which you may never have considered for this purpose. For instance, a nail file is effective when stabbed at sensitive areas such as the face, neck, and groin, according to A simple ballpoint pen can serve the same purpose. An umbrella—the variety with a pointed tip—makes for a powerful thrusting weapon, while aerosol hairsprays can sometimes work as well as pepper spray if aimed at the attacker's eyes. When danger strikes, be resourceful and use anything in sight as an alternative self defence weapon. Always remember, even if you're busy defending yourself with an unconventional weapon, to call for help so law enforcement can deal with the attacker.

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