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Self Defense/What melee weapons would you recommend over a knife?


Hello Marc,I've read quite a few of your articles about knives,and you've said that they are best used as tools,not weapons.

I would have to agree(I believe you've said that guns are not defensive weapons because you can't use them to block an attack like the way a sword could. Well,the same weakness applies to knives because its too short)
so is there a superior and practical melee weapon you'd recommend for self-defense? Batons? Kali sticks? My father already has a gun,and he may start training me in its use soon. in that aspect,I seem to be covered already. however,I'm considering the fact that having a melee weapon along with a gun(distance weapon)might better than only having a gun.

The best melee weapons are your feet. As in use them to get the HELL out of there!

If you're participating in a melee, it ISN'T self-defense. Melees are overwhelmingly two sides getting together to bust each others heads. This behavior is not looked kindly on by the local PD or the courts. I point this out because you tried to spin it as -- and I quote -- "...superior and practical melee weapon you'd recommend for self-defense?"

The presence or absence of guns is often determined by how much time sides have to organize. Whereas more organized groups often have improvised weapons on them at all times.(For example, you'll see a good number of bikers carrying ballpeen hammers on their belts. Officially this is for working on the bikes when and if they break down. But they very much are used as improvised weapons.)Thing is it's far more a matter of what you can get away with carrying every day vs. what is going to make a cop car flip a U after it drives past you.

Having said that, the fact is what is FAR MORE important than what weapon you have in a melee is what armour you have (Armor is what you drive around in [tanks] armour is what you wear -- especially knights in...) That's what's going to go further for saving your ass than what you have in your hand.

Bouncers can often find themselves in melees and as such the older, saltier guys often have armour under their clothing - especially vambraces and abdomen protection against knives. Although some folks like pickle barrel armour. I used to wear (among other things) padded, thick leather vambraces reinforced with steelstrips under my long sleeve shirts. This allowed me to block pool cues, chairs, bottles and knives with my forearm.  

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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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Too numerous to list here. My CV (for my expert witness work in court) is at

Read "In the Name of Self-Defense" the streets don't give a Ph.D in scuffle.

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