“When your life is on the line, you want to make use of all your tools.”
– Miyamoto Musashi
Mushashi also wrote, “In distinguishing the advantages of the tools of warriors, we find that whatever the weapon, there is a time and situation in which it is appropriate.” He believed that it was the duty of all warriors to wear two swords, and to also consider the spear, halberd, and so on as extra tools of the warrior.
In a modern practical sense, this thinking is just as important and accurate. While we no longer carry swords around, or wage battles with spears and halberds, we should be trained and competent with all of the tools we have available.
Obviously, the professional warrior, those who serve in our military, must be competent with all of the arms of their chosen profession. When I was with the infantry, I made sure that I qualified expert with every weapon available. This led to going to sniper school where I trained with the M21 and M24 sniper systems. These became my preferred tools, but I still kept up with the other weapons I might have had to use, including hand-to-hand skills.
In a civilian setting, I still feel it is important for individuals to be proficient with hand-to-hand skills, less-that-lethal weapons, and finally lethal weapons for the direst of circumstances. Each person will have to choose what tools they will have available. This will depend on a person’s location, as well as comfort levels with various weapons. Not everyone will choose to train with and use a firearm for self-defense. I believe Musashi, if living today, would balk at that and insist that firearm training be essential. After all, he stated we should use all of our tools.
In your martial art training, are you training in a manner to use all your tools? Striking, kicking, grappling, locking, and so on?
I also believe this can include the training in and utilization of improvised weapons. They are tools, and should be used if needed. Do you incorporate this kind of thinking and training into your personal security training?
But couldn’t one take this statement even further, and insist that a person use locks and other barriers that would deny an intruder or attacker access to a person? Isn’t that also self-defense?
When you start to broaden your thinking in that manner, what other tools are available to help keep you safe? What tools could you be using to increase your safety? As Musashi would say, “This should be examined thoroughly.”