It may seem small and not all that threatening at first, but attempt to overpower an individual with a tactical pen — especially a trained individual at that — and you will likely find yourself in lots of pain. Yes, somehow, this thing can land an attacker in a dazed, confused world of hurt, all by the mighty power of a strange writing utensil.
What’s the secret? Well, that’s what we’re here to discuss.
If someone were carrying a tactical pen, you most likely would never have the slightest clue. Quite frankly, even many security teams with metal detectors are not trained well enough to spot one.
It IS a pen, after all. But then, it just so happens to be an oversized pen with a reinforced exoskeletal structure, variants include gripping assists and sometimes a sturdy point that can drive into an opponent like a nail. It’s a deceptive thing. This pen simply asks, “Must a weapon truly have length in order to be an effective defense?” — to which it answers, “No.”
If you find yourself in a place that prohibits most types of defensive weaponry (and attackers are aware of this limitation), then your greatest advantage would be to outsmart them at their own game. Though. now, the real conundrum is: Just how powerful can such a small object be in a fight?
Silly Bad Guy, Physics Is For Smart People
Let’s put our thinking caps on for a moment and explore the physics behind fights. Essentially, fights are won by a combination of two basic principle elements that oppose and contrast one another. I call it the speed vs. mass dichotomy. I find that the most interesting UFC matches are the ones that give an accurate portrayal of this very principle. For instance, you’ll usually see that when a fighter is of smaller build, they’re much faster; whereas, the opposite is true when a fighter is a much larger individual (within the respective weight classes, of course). And when the two types face off, that’s when things get fascinating.
However, that’s in the UFC ring, and in the real world, human bodies tend not to be nearly as well-trained and hardened. I’d say that mass wins in the ring (due to rules), but speed wins on the street (due to tactical advantages) — but both can pack the same amount of punch.
And then there’s a little thing called leverage, which can multiply your energy potential without sacrificing speed. That brings us to the Kubotan.
The Flesh Is Weak. The Pen Is Mighty.
Essentially, the tactical pen is nothing more than a Kubotan with an ink distributor. This fist-load weapon is able to generate its defensive power through the principles described above by adding leverage to the natural mechanics and physical limitations of the human body.
One of those limitations happens to be the fact that human skin breaks at 100 psi (pounds/square inch). A short-range power punch will generate 178 pounds of force on its target. That essentially translates to 36 psi, based on the average human hand that’s about five square inches. But if you exert that same force with the unforgivingly rigid blunted end of half a square inch, then you can expect 356 psi, more than three times the force needed to break the skin.
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And that’s only the business end of the weapon. There are plenty of other uses, such as providing your fist with a secondary artificial skeletal support for strikes — and if you’re trained, you can strike pressure points with far greater effectiveness than what human fingers could inflict on a target. Overall, its most fundamental job is to essentially amplify the attacker’s damage and leverage your strength against their pressure points along with other critical target areas.
Applied Penmanship: An Honest Tactical Assessment
Now, let’s just tally up a few pointers on exactly how versatile this particular weapon truly is. Let’s get started …
- Provides leverage for control, power against pressure points, and support for your knuckles.
- Is a multi-purpose item. If there was a time when recording specific details became an absolute necessity, it would be after having employed a tactical pen in a defensive situation.
- Makes skin breakage almost a given, providing you with a sneaky DNA collector/scraper for when you are able to discuss unfolding events with authorities.
- Is an excellent non-lethal option for smaller-framed individuals that will need added leverage in a fight.
- Is a situational weapon, suited for urban environments where other purpose-weapons (knives, firearms, etc.) may draw unwanted attention or be outlawed altogether.
I’ve said this before, and I will say this a thousand times: TRAIN. TRAIN … and then TRAIN some more. If you find yourself often in situations that pose considerable danger of landing you in a defensive situation, or you simply intend on carrying a weapon, it is essential that you seek out instruction and training on how to use a weapon such as this. Last thing you want is to employ it in a fight unprepared, since weaponry is a natural way to dangerously escalate hostilities.
Another reason why you should train before using this weapon (or any, for that matter) is that this weapon CAN kill an opponent if struck in certain critical areas, such as the temples or puncturing the trachea. If you have training, then you can adjust your technique according to the severity and/or intention of the threat.
Aside from that, if you train with it, then I’d certainly recommend getting one of these mighty little defenders.
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