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"One thing has always been true: That book ... or ... that person who can give me an idea or a new slant on an old idea is my friend." - Louis L'Amour

"Ideally, your self-defense will never get physical. Avoiding the situation and running or talking you way out - either of these is a higher order of strategy than winning a physical battle." - Wise Words of Rory Miller, Facing Violence: Chapter 7: after, subparagraph 7.1:medical

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider..." - Francis Bacon

Warning, Caveat and Note: The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

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Why are martial arts weapons illegal?

Well, a complex question with a complex answer. You say now, not so Charles yet it is true. It is like describing the complexities of self defense and that in my view is the crux of the issue. This may apply to all perceptions as to weapons and legalities. 

First, it is about perception. The laws are often created due to misconceptions by society. This is fed by media manipulation. The way the news depicts things, etc. that are from ignorance and a lack of effort to truly seek out truth and knowledge. It is as natural as anything human, we just do this stuff naturally. 

Second, if society perceives it as an aggressive tool for doing violence then it will hardly ever be allowable for use in self defense or self protection. Even if in the home it can be perceived this way and result in prosecution and jail. If you have the ability in your home to run your obligated to do so within unspecified parameters and if you use some weapon then how you use it and when you stop using it can change home defense into violent aggressive attacks against that poor defenseless son of some family who say he was such a good boy who just happened to go astray type thing. Think I am kidding, they used stories similar to these in the NRA magazine, when I was a member so long ago, to get laughs, etc. 

In California it took just one incident that made the news, as if often the case, that inflamed the general population into perceiving such things as shuriken, nunchaku, etc. as deadly weapons so they became illegal. It is the way humans work at all levels. It is how misperceptions come about and it is life so live with it. 

Do you really need those weapons and do you really think that society, even if not illegal, will allow you to use them in defense? If they did, don't you think that how you use them, when you use them and the perceptions of that usage are going to most often lead to charges, trial and conviction? 

This just begs the question  as to why all this stuff is not discussed and taught in most self defense training models. I guess it is just plain dumb luck since about 90% of all SD trainees and graduates will never, ever encounter such situations requiring SD actions. 

Avoidance and deescalation, etc. are the true fundamentals of self defense in my view. So, in closing, if weapons are made illegal then think outside the box on how you can avoid violence and if you can't how you can deescalate it and if you can't then how you apply self defense appropriately to not get too much damage, to escape quickly and to not get charged and convicted of fighting or violent conflicts, etc. 

Come on everyone, think about this stuff. Ok, off the soap box!


  1. A question Charles from a Brit to an American (no disrespect meant - just curious!): Why is it that Americans appear to have no problem with the right to carry guns, use pepper sprays or taser guns in self-defence but appear to be outraged by the idea that someone might have a set of tonfa or nunchuku in their possession?

  2. Hi, Sue: No disrespect taken or even assumed. Glad to have your question and hope I can adequately answer it. In a nutshell we are a bit stupid in this arena. We have this sense of entitlement that to me is unreasonable yet still problematic to our nature.

    Our history and our constitution are the reasoning behind this type of thinking and although at one time I tended to agree with it recently I have come to believe it is stupid.

    We tend to have knee jerk reactions and that is often exacerbated by the media. An example is when a gun or firearm is involved in something perceived as horrendous you often see graphics associated with the news that does not match the event and often depicted in a inflammatory way to incite the anger and indignation of the people. We are our own worst enemy.

    Example, a famous person works diligently to get guns outlawed. This same person is later in the news being interviewed after an attempt and breaking at their home. The famous person used a gun for protection and when asked about her stance she simply stated, "Oh, that is for those people, not me."

    We tend to think "others" when this occurs. We tend to assume that others are less than we are when they are not a part of our group, our tribe or our immediate social circle. Othering is a human trait that allows us to do things to others when human instincts say we should not do those things. Military use that method all the time, gangs do that as well and in our society the upper crust also assume they are above the common folks.

    All it takes here is one incident and it blows up to stupid sized reactions based on emotions leaving facts, knowledge and reasoning behind the momentum.

    We tend to seek out answers that are easy as the hard answers to these problems are most difficult to create, support and enact so we go with the easy and often incorrect answer, make a law that feels supportive and then allow us to feel good at night when we go to sleep.

    As you can see my opinion is a bit tough but I feel we have to look at ourselves to truly see things and that is difficult even in the best of time.

    Let me put it this way, we are still subject to our monkey brains, our emotions and the effects of both, and that as you know gets us into a lot of problems.

    I doubt I answered your question but I hope I have given you some stuff for thought.


  3. I confess that when I saw the title of your blog I was expecting a simplistic rant against officialdom in support of owning martial arts weapons.

    In Western Australia, we have the Weapons Control Act. Anything can be considered a weapon and you need a lawful reason for carrying anything that might be used as a weapon. For instance, carrying a baseball bat at midday can be explained by going to play baseball. Carrying the same baseball bat at midnight would require a lot more explanation as to a lawful purpose for carrying the baseball bat.

    The WCA classifies specific weapons as prohibited or controlled. Probibited means you cannot own, buy or sell those weapons. Controlled means you need a lawful purpose (though why they didn't simply define all other weapons other than prohibited by exception is beyond me). Various martial arts weapons, e.g. katana and nunchaku, are controlled. You need a lawful purpose to possess, and training martial arts is a lawful purpose.

    Self defence is specifically excluded as a lawful purpose. You are not allowed to possess any weapon of any sort for the purposes of self defence.

    What is 'wonderful' in this piece of legislation is that pepper spray is defined as a controlled weapon so you need a lawful purpose to possess pepper spray. If self defence is not a lawful purpose, why would you ever possess pepper spray? It's not as though you include it in your martial arts training.

    Re your avoidance and de-escalation argument. I've written about injury science which analyses injury events in different time frames: pre, during, and post injury. The martial arts tend to focus on the during time frame when the host (person at risk of injury) and vector (person who is intent on injurying) time frame. They do not tend to focus on the pre time frame which is when host and vector have yet to interact in a violent event. Some self defence courses, and law enforcement training, places a lot more emphasis on developing strategies to avoid the host-vector inteaction during the during time frame.

    Just another way of analysing martial arts, and other activities associated with preparing a person to survive a violent encounter.

  4. To simultaneously hold two different belief systems in our heads (Obesity is bad for health but I'm still going to eat cream cakes and big macs; smoking kills but where have my fags gone; we need to ban our gun culture but I need mine to defend myself etc)is a very human trait - globally, not just in America! Like they say: to err is human....

  5. My children and I train in martial arts, me for exersize and them for self defense. We all have rubber or foam knives, guns, swords, etc all of which might leave a bruise when using it with excessive force. I dont know why the law does not distinguish trainers from the real weapons. Aside from weapons training and forms, we are trained to do what is necessary to stop the threat while maintaining open hands (opposed to fists) as much as possible so observers of an altercation do not perceive you as the aggressor.
    I would love to have a similar law to the one John told us about.