Saturday, January 13, 2007

Traveling while armed

Since 11 September, 2001, air travel has changed around the world. We now have a new agency, the TSA, which has decided what you can and can't carry on an aircraft, for your own protection, of course...

Included in the list of items you can't carry on, are things which have obvious capability as weapons, such as scissors (less than four inches), as well as screwdrivers (ask any cop if they're dangerous!), as well as other tools, all of which must be seven inches in length, or shorter.

If, however, you are concerned about thwarting international terrorism, or just your personal safety on board a flight, what can you carry on legally? Out of concern for my lovely readers, I will share a few (in no particular order):

  1. My personal favorite, considering the close quarters, is a Kubotan, I mean, flashlight. A small AA Maglight, or the one I just got, a Craftsman 41-5606 2 AA Flashlight at, will do the trick. It's completely legal, requires no ammunition, and is also capable of helping you find something under your sink. Get some training in the Kubotan, then practice with your Mini Mag!
  2. A cane. If you have ever seen the Canemaster, Mark Shuey in action, you'd know how deadly the cane can be in the hands of a trained practitioner. I gave him a ride to a seminar a year or so ago, and he explained that he always gets preferential seating, people hold the door for him, and (as I did it myself, unconsciously), carry his bags for him. He always has a completely legal, deadly weapon in his hand, unlike our nunchaku, handguns, knives, or anything else you have training in.
  3. A rolled up copy of Newsweek, People, or Popular Mechanics. Virtually all practitioners of Filipino martial arts know about this. Purchase one for as little as $1.99 prior to boarding.
  4. A good umbrella. Again, completely legal, and also useful for something as amazing as keeping rain off your head.

Got some other ideas? Comments are welcome. Stay safe!


Dojo Rat said...

Dojo Rat here:
These are a few of my favorites for legal weapons; I love those heavy, flat carpenters pencils, which are about five inches long.
I don't even sharpen them, leave 'em blunt. Perfect pocket kubotan, for pinching into pressure points, or pokes and even fingerlocks. Check out "Stick Fighting" by Masaaki Hatsumi (yes, Dr. Hatsumi, the ninja master) and Quintin Chambers. Great ideas.
-- Also, James Keating uses a large Bandanna in many ways--as a garrote, for assisting in locks, trapping a knife, and my favorite; He knots a .45 slug (or other weight) up in the corner and whips it "wet snapping towel" style at the eyes etc. -The bandanna is apparantly used in Fillipino and Indonesian systems...

Nathan Teodoro said...

Excellent additions Dojo Rat. After I posted, I was discussing the post with my wife, and was telling her that's I'd be fine with a nice pen, but your carpenter's pencil is a much better idea. I've read the Hatsumi book (must have it here somewhere), and agree that it's an excellent resource.
The bandana would be good for a lot of techniques, including the belt-type techniques taught in some Korean syles as well. Good one. Thanks!