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Self-Defense Tip #106 — The Use of Flashlights in Self-Defense

The primary self-defense function of a flashlight is blinding an attacker. The secondary function is amplifying impacts of strikes.

A flashlight that will serve you well in self-defense:

  • is bright enough to temporarily blind the attacker—in a very dark place 80 lumens will do, but the more the better;
  • is small enough to be carried comfortably and to get out and turn on without fumbling;
  • is large enough to fill a fist, with one end extending 0.5 inch to 1 inch beyond the width of your fist;
  • is sturdy enough to withstand a strong impact;
  • has the on/off button in the flashlight’s butt, so the button can be pressed on with your thumb as you hold the light in the ice-pick grip.

Strobe function is the best for self-defense, with the best strobe frequencies from 18 Hz to 20 Hz. Strobe in these frequencies is very disorienting to the opponent but allows you to clearly perceive the opponent’s movements. Frequencies lower than 18 Hz also disorient the opponent but at the same time make it difficult for you to perceive the opponent’s slow movements. The disorienting effect lessens at frequencies of 24 Hz and higher.

It is great if your flashlight has the strobe mode—provided you don’t have to push the button more than once to turn it on. A good flashlight can be programmed so you can select which mode it will be in every time you turn it on. For your purpose the best first mode is strobe. The light may also be programmed to cycle through a sequence of modes, so every time you turn on the light it will start, for example, with strobe and then—with every push of the on/off button—it will proceed to high brightness, then medium brightness, then low brightness, and finally off. However you program it, make it start with the highest brightness (strobe or no strobe). If the light starts with low or medium brightness, the attacker’s eyes will adapt to the light and you will lose a lot of the blinding effect. Whether the mode is set to strobe or to high brightness, the beam should be as tight as possible so all the light is concentrated in the eyes of the attacker.

Now about crenellations, strike bezels, and tactical spikes: These are not man stoppers. Without a knockout power behind them, they will only enrage the assailant, and should you survive, may expose you to prosecution. For knockouts and “limb limping,” a strong impact with a blunt object does very well. Crenellations and such, as well as the word tactical in the flashlight’s name, are liabilities—they deny you deniability. Read about the importance of deniability here.

Examples of crenellations and spikes, flashlight features that deny deniability

Attention:
Applying any of the techniques mentioned above is your sole responsibility.

Neither Never-Thought-of-It LLC nor the author of this self-defense tip make any representation, warranty, or guarantee that the techniques described in this tip will be safe, effective, or legal in any self-defense situation or otherwise.

The reader or viewer assumes all risks and hazards of injury or death to herself, himself, or others, as well as any resultant liability for the use of the techniques and methods contained in this self-defense tip.

Specific self-defense responses described in this self-defense tip may not be justified in certain situations in light of all the circumstances or under the applicable federal, state, or local law. Neither Never-Thought-of-It LLC nor the author of this self-defense tip makes any representation or warranty regarding the legality or appropriateness of any techniques described in this self-defense tip.

Self-defense tip from Thomas Kurz, co-author of Basic Instincts of Self-Defense and author of Science of Sports Training, Stretching Scientifically, and Flexibility Express.

The Unbreakable Umbrella -- better than a cane, keeps the rain off, whacks like a steel pipe.

Comments

2 Responses to Self-Defense Tip #106 — The Use of Flashlights in Self-Defense

  1. Rene says:

    Wise advice. Carry stuff that’s effective but low-key.

    Reply
  2. Moe says:

    Thanks! I nearly bought one of these crenellated liabilities.

    Reply

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