If you’re training for physical self defense, a significant portion of your training should involve the use of weapons. It’s important to know how to use weapons for self defense, as they give you a tremendous advantage, and knowing how to use them will ensure that you and your training partners can realistically attack each other with them.
In order to train hard, realistically and at random, but still safe, you need padded training weapons. Otherwise, going full power will be too dangerous. Padded weapons can be expensive, and when I was teaching full time I went through them pretty quickly. Eventually, I started making my own training weapons. They’re every bit as good as most of what you’ll find for sale, but they’re way cheaper, easy to make, and you can make them in any size you like, to represent any weapon you can imagine. In the image above, you see a couple of training sticks/swords and knives.
Making them is simple. All you need is plastic plumbing pipe, foam insulation, and duct tape. The first step is to cut the pipe down to the length of the weapon you’re making. Then, you cut the insulation to fit the pipe, leaving space for your hand to grip the weapon. Here are a couple of padded sticks, in the initial stage…after the pipe insulation has been put on, but before the duct tape has been applied:
Notice how I cut the insulation to leave space for my hand to grip the weapon. I like to have a bit of padding on the bottom portion of the stick, as I use this to strike and “hook”/grab my partner’s neck, arm, etc.
There will be open “ends” where the pipe can come out a little. I generally cover those ends with bits of insulation to, like this:
Once you’ve got the insulation covering your weapon, all you do is wrap it in duct tape:
In the images above you see standard length sticks and knives. But you can also use the same materials and a bit of imagination to make all sorts of cheap, padded training weapons.
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