When it comes to tools of self defense, I am totally onboard. Why punish your body and put yourself into danger when you could just swing a baton, whip, bag, anything else into the scuffle. It makes perfect sense. Even if you carry to intimidate the potential aggressor, makes sense too right?
However there are a ton of problems that arise when it comes down to weapons/tools for self defense. Number one is a false sense of security and reliance on simply possessing the tool. "I have an extendable baton just in case..." great, so do you actually know how to use it?
This is a great time to google the effectiveness of pepperspray, and the most common reason for failure...
This is a simple fix that requires work on your end so pay attention: Get professionally trained in how to use it, and practice/train routinely. One time in a one hour class is not enough!
The second problem that comes up is that even if the person is trained in using the implement, when it comes down to the situation, did they have enough time to deploy the tool and effectively use it as planned? A clip on pocket knife in a back pocket can easily become inaccessible once the person ends up on their back on the ground. Most times, there is not time to assess the situation and produce the tool in time before the attack.
The fix for this is two-fold. 1) Strategically carry your implement in an easily accessible place. You don't have to carry it in that place 24/7, but plan ahead when you go into an area you might need it and 30 seconds to place it before you go is all you need. 2) Add deployment training to your practice schedule; take time to practice your quick draw from multiple angles and positions.
The last problem I'd like to discuss is when everything goes right and you seamlessly deploy your tool of self defense that you regularly train with... and still get beaten up the moment they catch/disarm your weapon. The problem is a complete reliance on the weapon. This is very common in martial arts weapons training and sparring. Once the weapon is in your hand it becomes your only weapon. This is dangerous thinking as you forget about the rest of your arms, legs, and any other tools available around you. That's why it is important to routinely train your hand-to-hand combat skills and spar! An ideal sparring session would include hand-tohand sparring, weapons only sparring, and finally a freestyle weapons and hand-to-hand session with full gear and range allowing stand up and ground fighting. This is a great way to further explore the use of your weapon of choice as well as make your martial arts complete and well rounded.
These are two very important factors to look at in your self defense training.