Do you value your life? When faced with a life-threatening situation, it's a serious question to have decisively answered before it ever takes place. It's also vital to be fully prepared before it's required. What extreme would you go to when your life is on the line? Wouldn't you preserve your life by doing whatever it takes to survive?
Facing a larger, stronger and faster assailant or multiple assailants causing a disparity of force, you will absolutely need an advantage to neutralize the threat. Even more dangerous is a scenario with multiple assailants who are armed with weapons.
So when the question of why train with weapons is asked, the answer is simple: it's about having equal or greater advantage when it's required for survival. It's about understanding the extent of real-world threats and doing what's necessary to save your life, the life of your familiy, or those around you.
Have an Equalizer and The advantage
For those not totally familiar, an equalizer (generally a weapon, personal defense tool or something found and improvised from your environment), when utilized effectively, equals the intent and/or force needed to counter an assailant and closes the disparity between you and someone faster, stronger or multiple assailants/threats.
Personal defense tools such as a firearm, edged/impact weapon, or a less-lethal option like a tactical flashlight are contextual tools for protection as well as to train the senses. (Also within the category of equalizers are improvised weapons and everyday items found in your surrounding environment like a phone, pen, umbrella, chair, hot coffee, sand, rocks, etc).
Reiterating from another article, "Why Women Should Train with Weapons", the fundamental truth behind training weapons actually applies to everyone. Trained properly, equalizers give you a tactical advantage that empty-hand striking and grappling alone won't give you for personal protection (the parent of self-defense), and especially when in a lethal fight for your life.
This doesn't mean that you shouldn't train empty-hand tactics or shouldn't learn to grapple. Having all relevant and focused categorical skills fully integrated is important to have in order to stay in the fight, gain access to needed equalizers, and being well-rounded enough to survive or win in any context.
Training Methods Matter
It's important to point out that there's a particular teaching and training method for weapons to ensure that you're safe and remain effective. This is why the training of PTK-SMF, in particular, is so critical.
One aspect very specific to the strengths of PTK-SMF is the ability to identify and adapt to an extemporaneous and continuous flow of weaponry (empty-hands included) during a dynamic attack – directly increasing your survival. This requires a realistic training method enabling you to move against a realistic threat with continuous attacks (including surprise attacks), in addition to a connected process of validation (force-on-force training). Effectively training with weapons reveals instant authentication of success or failure, which also inspires the direction to increase overall performance and protection. The perceptual and physical ability that you gain from this process makes lesser threats much easier to handle psychologically and physically.
The PTK-SMF method of delivery for edged/impact weapons gives you a core modular system of realistic skill that will transfer to different types of tools using the same or similar body mechanics and maneuvering abilities. It'll also transfer striking mechanics and base maneuver tactics used with weaponry when applied to or integrating empty-hand applications. Thus, you won't need to learn and recall an unending list of alternatives when the SHTF.
Also keep in mind that skill development in relation to the amount of time to acquire skillsets and how they're tactically and effectively integrated into a fight matters greatly. With Radius Factor training, there's great emphasis placed on not only what to train and when, but how to train and how far to extend the training before there is lost opportunity to develop other needed skillsets within a specific range of time.
Identifying Levels of Force
Weapons training isn't always about using lethal force a hundred percent of the time. One contextual purpose is about the having the ability to identify what qualifies as being a threat in addition to the particular action or level of force used to protect yourself, especially during an escalating threat or force.
There are times a non-lethal tool is suitable. A tactical flashlight, for example, as we often integrate with Radius Factor training is versatile and beneficial in several ways. It can aid in developing observation skills in conjunction with projecting light creating a visual learning experience; illuminating low-light or no-light environments (obviously); operating the light to communicate that you're aware and not an easy target; using it as a visual impairment tool by shining the beam into the eyes of an aggressor from a distance (or closer range); as a striking implement which will also protect your hand from being injured upon striking; as a force multiplier when you don't have a full-range of motion to strike by transferring what force/energy you do have through the head of the flashlight/tool and into the target. It can also be used in combination with other tools and tactics if greater levels of force are needed.
PTK-SMF is a validated indigenous Combat System of the Philippines as well as grounded in Military Tactics
Mindset and SkillSet
The objective and benefits of edged and impact weapons training is largely misunderstood – much of which is influenced by the mere sight of weapons and the "aggressive appearance" of the training as well as the components of the training itself. (Like other disciplines, some factors behind the overall misunderstanding is also due to inadequate instruction.)
Weapons training may seem intimidating, however, the more you train (properly), the more you'll understand and experience, the safer you'll become, and the less you'll fear. Knowing the type of threats you can and cannot handle is imperative, which can be gained through effective training and tactics. So, not only will it positively impact your skillset but also your mindset.
One way to initially accomplish this safely is with training weapons and other simulation tools along with progressive levels and strategic training methodologies.
As another purposeful example, fully understanding how firearms function, their effects (including physiological and psychological effects upon firing) or the threat (and effects) of other types of commonly used weapons (like knives), are important factors in truly understanding personal protection and survival, aside from their actual use. Even having the ability to identify the sound of gunfire outside (or inside) of a building that you're in can give you critical time needed to survive instead of just sitting and wondering what the sound was.
Contextual and effective education of validated tactics with the use of relevant equalizers is essential. If you're not doing so, you're not developing the necessary mindset or skillset to effectively understand threats and how to neutralize or dominate an engagment (and possible escalation), especially if your assailant is bigger, stronger, or faster, etc.
Training PTK-SMF, for instance, will develop critical skills and the tactical advantage you need against a lethal threat. The immediate action and maneuver tactics of PTK-SMF can also be trained and executed without weapons to gain a more advantageuous position as well as increase your overall combat conditioning. In the event you don't have an equalizer at the ready, the maneuver tactics can be utilized to create distance (and time) in order to get to your defensive tool and draw without obstruction by the opponent.
The tactical methods core to the system will enable you to think ahead. It's because of weapons training that makes it so effective. When weapons are involved, if you lose your advantage, you're much more aware that you can lose your life. Hence the very reason to think ahead and have initiative.
Become well-rounded even if it's simply to have a better understanding of the various types and degrees of threats to inform your awareness. If you're truly serious about personal protection, it's time to learn to use weapons and other equalizers.
Want to learn more about the benefits of PTK-SMF?