They say that a hero is only as good as his weapon, but we believe that a weapon is only as reliable as its hero. With the right skills and techniques, even a self-defense flashlight can be used in fighting attackers with guns and knives.
Some advantages of using self-defense flashlights for protection include:
- Discretion: Unlike knives or guns, there are no restrictions against carrying a blinding flashlight. Feel free to bring it with you to the car, the mall, or on the bus. You can have one on hand at all times, legally.
- Versatility: Flashlights are effective in all sorts of emergencies. Are you passing through a dark alley? Illuminate the area with your flashlight. Is someone attacking you barehanded? Blind them with a strobe flashlight and then hit them with it to escape. Do you need to call for help? Draw attention to yourself by waving your strobe flashlight around.
- Affordability: Flashlights are much less expensive than other weapons. You can get a high-quality strobe for less than $20—not even kitchen knives are that cheap.
- Convenience: It doesn’t take much to learn how to use a flashlight for fighting and protection purposes. You’ll have to undergo training if you want to wield knives or guns safely.
What Kind of Self-Defense Flashlight Best Suits You?
You need to find the right flashlight that fits your specific needs. Otherwise, you won’t be able to maximize your weapon potential.
For example, a large seven-inch self-defense flashlight might have a lot of power behind it, but it won’t be suitable for someone with a small or petite frame.
Ensure you find the right weapon—here are some factors to consider:
If fighting isn’t your strength, don’t worry. You can more than make-up for it by using the strobe effect. It’s a feature wherein the bulb makes an unusual flashing pattern and can cause flicker vertigo.
The flashing can temporarily blind your attacker if shone directly into the eyes. Once the opponent is blinded, it is up to you whether you want to run, attack, or call for help.
If you don’t have enough funds for a strobing flashlight? Go with a powerful one that has a minimum output of 300 lumens. You can also use it to disorient your attacker by blinding them. Don’t go too bright (like the lights on our bright lights list) or you might mess up your own vision.
Larger flashlights will hurt more than smaller ones, but that doesn’t mean it is always the ideal weapon. You need to go with one that you can wield easily. A large, powerful fighting tool won’t provide much protection if it is too heavy to use effectively.
Different Ways to Use a Flashlight for Self-Defense
So how do you use a self-defense flashlight?
1. Blind To Get Away
The best option would be to not fight.
If you can use your flashlight to temporarily blind somebody coming for you so you have time to get away that would be best. For this use either strobe or even better an instant turbo mode to go super bright right away in somebodies eyes.
For this, you want something at least in the 500-lumen area, and depending on how far away the person is brighter is better. We usually have some kind of small EDC light on us that put out almost 1000 lumens and fit easily in a fist.
1. Bare Handed Fighting
Using a flashlight alone will require at least basic fighting skills. Hold the flashlight with your dominant hand and either hit the attacker with it or blind them. To get some of these basic fighting skills you might want to take self-defense classes or sign up for a tactical training course for civilians.
When you’re fighting against someone with a knife, disarm the opponent by twisting their arm, pushing them to the ground, and hitting them repeatedly in the face.
If the attacker has a gun, don’t do anything unless they’re within your reach, and you’re sure you can disarm them. Try to close the gap between you and the opponent. Remember, a gunman has the advantage when it comes to distance.
Another technique is to shine the strobe flashlight on the attacker’s face to blind them. Once they’re defenseless, use the opportunity to hit them. Shots to the groin, shin, and knees are most effective since it will be harder to detect when a bright light is shone in the face.
Pro Tip: For maximum damage, hit the attacker on the bridge of their nose or in their eyes. You can also aim for the teeth if the mouth is exposed.
2. When Using a Gun
A common technique when using both a flashlight and a gun is to place the light on top of the gun while shooting. It is often depicted in cop movies. It’s not a safe nor efficient method, however.
- Firstly, holding both your weapons in one direction will leave your other body parts, especially the head, prone to attack.
- Secondly, holding the gun and flashlight side by side means that you’ll have to move your gun around to see your surroundings. It risks you pointing the gun at someone innocent. This would be similar to having a handgun light which would be nice to have in addition.
- Lastly, you might press the flashlight against the magazine release button accidentally.
A better approach here is the eye index technique. Turn the flashlight on, grasp it with your non-dominant hand, and then press it against your temple. Meanwhile, hold the gun using your dominant hand.
It offers several advantages, such as:
- Limb Versatility: You can use the gun for long-range attacks and your flashlight to defend yourself in close-quarters combat.
- Better Illumination: Having the light directly beside your eyes provides a better line of sight.
- Overall Safety: You won’t have to move both your gun and flashlight around to see your surroundings.
3. Pairing with a Knife
How to Hold a Knife
A common mistake for rookies is holding a knife with the sharp end pointing downward. Movies often depict serial killers holding knives that way, but that kind of grip is extremely inefficient.
The range of motion is limited, and it is harder to hit your target when the blade is facing your feet.
Instead, grasp the knife with the palm facing downward, and the tip of the knife pointed forward. It should resemble how fencers hold their swords.
Knife-Fighting with a Flashlight
Grab the self-defense flashlight with your non-dominant hand, extend your arm forward, and position the bulb facing downward. Then, bend your elbow at 90 degrees and place your forearm below the chest (the bulb should be pointing straight ahead).
Meanwhile, use your dominant hand to fight.
This position is efficient as it illuminates your surroundings, protects your midsection, and allows you to use your dominant hand freely. Don’t attempt to fight while your flashlight is extended forward. Doing so will lead to unreliable lighting.
Overall, a self-defense flashlight is a useful tool. Depending on how you use it, it can either be a tool for illumination or extra protection.
The best way to protect yourself from dangerous situations is to prevent these events from happening, though. Always be alert and stay away from risky areas or people.
Listen to your gut when it is telling you to be cautious.
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