Today’s pocket dump includes a CZ P-07, a Ka-Bar TDI, and a Kershaw Blur. We’ve talked about edged weapon skills and folders versus fixed blades in the past, but we may as well revisit some of it…from another angle.

If you carry a secondary means of self-defense such a knife or OC spray, have you gone through any training regarding its use? Are you practiced enough to reach for your secondary method or do you automatically go for your gun every time?

De-escalation is an important facet of self-defense all too many gun owners forego and part of it involves learning to reach for that secondary means of self-defense when appropriate.

How do you train with backup/secondary tools?

36 COMMENTS

  1. your “secondary” source of defense…your brain and your mouth….should be your first….and that applies to cops, as well….

    • When I went through the academy we learned about the force matrix. Terms may have changed since then. #1 was the officer’s physical presence. Terminating in deadly force. In between was verbal skills, physical contact, O.C.,impact weapons, etc. However, it was stressed that you may have to skip steps. Even go straight to deadly force.

      • Well said. It’s a judgement call. Body language is not so easily interpreted by the masses, unfortunately. And the sad part is they don’t see how much of a threat they can be simply just using body language. This is why people question the use of deadly force when clearly justifiable in a “them or me” scenario. They don’t assess threats properly and would get themselves killed.

  2. I have the k-Bar TDI as well but seldom carry wear it.

    Agree with frank speak above. My primary source of defense is my brain. I do carry Pepper spray though as my firearm is my last source of defense.

  3. Explain to me how you would go about de-escalation if someone has a drawn weapon threatening you.

    You pull your pepper spray and they rush you?

    You pull your knife to counter their knife? Or ball bat? Cmon!

    You pull your pistol and give verbal commands for them to leave and/or drop the weapon?

    De-escalation is up to the offender….I am not a cop or social worker so de-escalation is not my thing.

    My weapon is to prevent bodily harm or death for me or mine…otherwise it does not come out.

    The next stop on the slippery slope of de-escalation is questioning whether you tried hard enough to retreat. No thanks, not going back in that direction.

    Focusing on non-lethal is folly. If someone attacks me with a stun gun or pepper spray I will shoot them. Because if they successfully incapacitate you, you are at their mercy.

    • Deescalation isn’t talking your way out of a robbery or someone coming at you.

      It’s avoiding a violent confrontation where one doesn’t need to be but when the other guy is hot under the collar. Bar fights, fights over parking spaces, “what you eyeballin’ be for?” situations where you can probably talk your way out of having to do much of anything other than leave.

      Today’s question is poorly worded. Pepper spray, stun gun or whatever isn’t deescalation, it’s escalation but not to the point of actively trying to kill someone. A knife, like a gun is lethal force.

      Of course you could point to the guy on the ground and say something like “Well, I sure deescalated the fuck out of that guy!”.

      • I agree. So there is not need for a stun gun or pepper spray.

        Don’t start none….won’t be none.

        Move away and call 911 for ranting mental patients on the street.

        If it comes to a violent encounter, I am not reaching for pepper spray or a stun gun or my knife…..unless that is all I have.

        • Not every violent encounter justifies deadly force. That is why less lethal options should be part of your defensive plan.

        • “Not every violent encounter justifies deadly force. That is why less lethal options should be part of your defensive plan.”

          I would argue that this is where martial arts are useful. Not only do they provide this option but they provide other options as well and at the same time help maintain fitness, strength, stamina and flexibility.

          If you put your hands on me I’m going to break them off. If I pull a gun or a knife I aim to fuck you up a lot more than just breaking some shit. So, I have to agree with specialist. I can’t see the use for less lethal gear unless you’re in a place where it’s somehow required by law or better to have because of the law.

        • Exactly. I WAS adept in martial arts.
          At 55, not what I was at 45.
          My wife is not adept at all and has never taken a punch or had her bell rung.

          Nor should she have to. Or I.
          I have seen good, strong fighters taken down by two men.
          I think folks believe the stuff they see in movies.

          If I hit you in the jaw with the flat of my elbow and my 250 lbs, you are going down.

          If a small person has an impact weapon (or rock/brick/heavy thing) you can go down in one swing. Don’t kid yourself and gamble with your life or well being.

          I am not willing to suffer a concussion or broken bone to “de-escalate” a violent encounter.

          If I can walk away from trouble, I will. Sometimes trouble follows. It is not the fault of the person targeted.

        • “Not every violent encounter justifies deadly force. That is why less lethal options should be part of your defensive plan.” And herein lies the real problem. Is that cretin physically attacking me with only a stick, club, bat, or a 50 lb weight advantage over me only going to beat me a little, beat the hell out of me or just go ahead and stomp me to death?

          I have to deal with a situation like this as best I can determine the issue to be at the time, and there isn’t usually much time to think or react. Stand Your Ground or not, there will still be an inquiry into the matter and someone else will determine whether or not there was actually a perpetrator and victim. Tough call.

      • Strychw9 is Exactly spot on.

        When all one has is a hammer, everything is a nail.

        Pepper spray gives the option of not having to shoot someone if all they want to do is fist fight. (Territorial/Ego aggression) and yes, if I can do so I’m walking away. Might even have to swallow my ego and run! Better that than to meet the criminal justice system, having taken someones life, because our Criminal Justice system will absolutely eat you alive over even a small mistake on your part.

        Someone after ‘Resources’..as in your wallet/valuables is a different critter than someone who is just ‘ticked off mad’ cause you cut them off on the road. To put it bluntly, if a resource predator picks you and gets the drop on you…it means the robber/mugger saw you as Prey! You are already playing catch-up if this is the case. ……just sayin….some things to consider..

        • I will definitely swallow my ego, I am going to do my best to walk away. I know enough hand to hand to be able to handle myself if someone jumps me up close. That being said if you threaten physical harm against me and mine, and yes I said threaten, you have signed up for the escalation to deadly force. The truth of the matter is words mean something and so do actions, as 38 said their is no reason I should be complacent for just as beating. I will not cede my life or my families to hoping that a mugger stops or that a frat boy fills his drunken blood lust before he kills me.

    • Possums deescalate the situation by a terrible grimace and a hissing sound, if that doesn’t pull the hi tension wires down, they go, go as fast as they can, void their bowels and play dead. It’s worked for a millennium.

  4. I am not a cop, I am not going to de escalate/ escalate forces. I don’t train to do that, nor am I under any obligation to. I follow the 3 S’s rule and am not a turd.

  5. Wrong. De-escalation of force and self defense are two totally opposite things. The secondary means of self defense you carry is for when the first one fails due to malfunction or not being able to grab it at all for whatever reason. The secondary is only a backup, not a second option to deescalate.

    Congrats on ruining an edc post with a stupid fucking poor worded and misguiding article.

    K.I.S.S.
    Keep it simple, stupid.

    Post the gear and describe it. Let the commentators do the rest.

  6. How do I train with my secondary back up tools? (most of them burnt up as you know) I used to practice quite a bit with the Kabar, hit myself in the head with the num chuks just last week,and do martial arts routine daily( best weapon is you). Most of my actual routine however was the sidearm,, practice draw, sight alignment, trigger yank. I’ve not yet to my recollection mag dumped then whipped out my secondary non firearm related weapon. Might be a good thing to practice.

    • “How do I train with my secondary back up tools?”

      It depends on what they are. For a blade you can find classes that are exclusively on knife fighting. Same thing with a baton. Something more esoteric like a kubaton or kama would generally be rolled into another class that covers the art which invented the specific item.

  7. We girls see thing differently. I will never win a fist fight with an adult male. If it’s a street crime there’s usually more than one bad guy. First we try to talk our way out of a bad situation. If it’s a parking lot issue, apologizing for something you didn’t do can de-escalate it, at least in the suburbs, while the sun is still shining. It helps if you’re over 50, too. We don’t go to Chicago. Nothing good happens after midnight. That helps your odds, tho nothing’s perfect.

    • I am a guy and follow the 3 Ss. Don’t do stupid things, with stupid people at stupid times. Usually if you are 2 for 3 you are good. That being said I am not getting in a fist fight. I have in my younger days been in a few, won about half, lost about half. I am better trained and in better shape now so I might improve my odds a little. That being said no one should be forced to submit to another persons violence.

    • The problem with your statement is very troubling, because “girls” like Ronda Rousey and Gina Carano could kick a lot of dudes asses, very easily. I will however agree that it’s a great idea to simply apologize and de-escalate through a calm dialogue, given every situation is different and some people won’t give a dialogue even a first thought before they rush you. The rest of your comment is kind of awkward and babble about opinions.

      I feel like I should take your comment with a hint of sarcasm and hope that was your intention to begin with. Satire.

  8. When I went through LEO training, 21 feet was mentioned many times. A gun CAN loose to knife. How to use/fight with a knife? Many methods, best IMO Krav Maga. Even weak can learn from this style. Biggest thing; explosive action. In other words win, lose- FIGHT. Ain’t no such thing as a fair fight. Eyes are good targets. Finger tween teeth and cheek can be ugly.

    • I concur, if I do have to fight with my hands I fight to win and win fast. Violence of action can win the day even if size, strength and training are lacking.

    • Awesome. Great point.

      There is a good video on youtube about that. How much distance it takes before it’s too late to react, even if you already have your weapon aimed. You may get a shot off at certain distances, but can still easily be killed by allowing a threat to make it that far in the first place. Every situation is different, but maximizing your distance is a great way of reassuring you will maintain the upper hand.

  9. When confronted by anyone wishing to do me or mine harm. The point of deescalation has long passed. It is not my responsibility to even consider deescalation. I will to the best of my considerable ability turn their world into a hell from which they may well not return. Whether that means stomping their ass or taking their life. I’ve learned from many years of life that nothing is more important than protecting me and mine from scum bags and thugs. I’ve seen the results of hesitation and inaction in the face of impending violence and the results are never pretty. Once said individual shows their willingness to attempt an act of aggression/violence. They have escalated the situation beyond the point of my need to care about their well being. Keep Your Powder Dry…

    • Agreed. Just don’t tell the court that and you should be good. But seriously, fuck them and their well being. Sad part is some people who realize this stuff make the mistake of showing anger or giving the court/justice system a reason to prove they could have handled the situation differently. Only thing they need to know, is you were threatened and you defended yourself. Anything beyond that is incriminating. Plead the 5th if needed, and NEVER tell responding officers what happened other than “I defended myself”. Nothing more.

  10. All this talk about descalation and whatnot, I’m much more concerned with that combo holster. I went to their website, and they don’t appear to offer that setup anymore. 🙁

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