By Eric Minck
Pens are the second most obvious yawara stick that should never be in short supply. Again, you can’t have too many of them, and they should be everywhere. By turning a negative into a positive, pens will eventually stop working, making it inevitable to have a ridiculous quantity available. Lately, many advertisement pens are available for free and are nice and thick to allow for more imprinting space. How perfect is that?
Unfortunately, some pens are so cheaply made that they will not hold up to wrist cuff use. Test your stashed pens for strength. If a pen seems too flimsy, throw it away – even if it writes. Seriously! At least put it in a drawer where no one is likely to grab it for self-defense. If you’re in need, you don’t want to grab a hunk of junk because it writes. Also, avoid pencils - they all break.
If you need to use a pen to defend yourself, favor pressure tactics. They can severely injure people if used for impact, including you, if you use the heel of your hand or thumb to back up your blow. Watch out for dangerous pocket clips, especially the poorly affixed stamped metal ones; they have sharp-edged prongs when dislodged.
The best yawara pens have a removable cap with a flat or rounded top with a similarly flat or rounded tip at the other end. It is best to stay away from anything that suggests intent to stab, as you may want to strike without concern. Sharpie makes permanent markers in this design. An advantage this sort of pen offers is the ability to mark an assailant’s face for later identification. If you are fighting for your life, mark yourself too. Your attacker may recognize the indelible clue you’ve left for police and decide against the risk of a murder rap.
Like a flashlight, it is hard to prove you had a pen available as a weapon. Unlike a flashlight, the word “tactical” on a pointed pen cannot be ignored. It so strongly suggests intent to stab that you would be better off using a knife, which would have the added benefits of strength and a slashing edge. If you want to carry a concealed deadly weapon, then you might as well carry a concealed deadly weapon.