by Jack Pettengill - Dynamic Defensive Arts
I have written about the benefits of using a pen as an improvised weapon. If you choose to carry a pen, my advice is to purchase one of good quality – not necessarily expensive, just made of highly durable material if forced to use it to defend yourself.
However, what if you haven’t yet researched a type of pen? What if the pen you have is misplaced or gets left in your vehicle, etc.? As my students are already aware, even the best trained people can get caught off guard. My previous articles on this topic made two main points: Plan ahead and invest in a good quality pen, and if you didn’t have one at the critical moment of attack, to use what you have at your disposal.
In the case of generic pens and pencils, the more you have in your grasp, the better. One pencil will snap in your fist on impact because of its skinny and weak construction. But four, five, or six pencils bundled together in your fist will be stronger and won’t be as likely to break.
Have you ever snapped a handful of dried spaghetti noodles? The more you have in your hand, the more strength is needed to snap them all in two. This same method proves to be true when grasping pens, pencils, or similar items.
Several weaker objects are stronger when "bundled."
The primary target areas for pens/pencils are the eyes, ears, throat, soft neck tissue above the collarbone, and if reachable, the groin. Secondary target areas would be anywhere you can make contact that is not protected by clothing, such as the attacker’s forearms and hands.