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Most effective way to use a U-lock as a defensive weapon?

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Most effective way to use a U-lock as a defensive weapon?

Old 01-19-09, 03:28 PM
  #1  
Anarcho_atlatl
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Most effective way to use a U-lock as a defensive weapon?

Ok, first off, I already know plenty of people are going to say, "if you are ever in a bad situation, just ride away" blah blah blah. I agree, but sometimes that's not an option. A good example would be last night when I was walking a bike and two drunk guys twice my size who were only a few feet away from me started getting aggressive and following me and my friend calling me queer. If I had tried getting on my bike and riding off, they would have been able to get to me before I could have gotten on my bike and the already kicked down one passerby on his bike who told them to leave me alone. So yeah, there are times when you can't just ride off. So anyway, I did hit both of them with the u lock when they came at me. I was holding the curved part of the U and hit them with the end of the bar (where it sticks out). First off, I didn't swing that hard, but it didn't seem to do much damage. Luckily, we were close to my friends house and I soon had half a dozen friends backing me up before the cops showed and arrested one of the guys, taking him to the drunk tank. But like I said, it didn't seem to do much damage, and although I didn't try and swing hard, I still was surprised by how little it seemed to do. I was just wondering what people suggest as the most effective way of using a u lock to defend oneself, both in terms of how to hold it, what part to hit with, and where to hit. I think the fact that I hit the guys in the side of the neck might have been part of why it didn't do that much damage, at least visibly. Please realize I'm not some person planning on going out and fighting--last night was probably the first time I had been in any kind of confrontation that came to blows in years, but I am a small guy and not very strong, and I need to be able to defend myself when drunk idiots try and start crap with me for no reason at all (other than they seem to think I'm gay, and seem to think there's a problem with that).
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Old 01-19-09, 03:45 PM
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I don't see how a U lock can be very effective. You can't get enough velocity in a swing. Same premise with a crowbar. It will do damage, but it too slow and easy to evade. Elementary martial arts teach to get inside the circle and attack the arm holding something like these weapons. I train with an escrima stick and keep one on the bike frame for deployment. It is very light and can generate quick velocity to hard targets, hands, shins, head of an assailant.
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Old 01-19-09, 04:05 PM
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Purely conjecture here,
but if it was me I'd try to hold the lock by one side of the shackle with the cylindrical locking bar above my fist. I figure, this would help keep most of the weight near my hand where its easy to control, and you can use it somewhat like a hammer.

Also consider using just the U portion without the shackle, holding it by the curved section you could probably swing the 'legs' around like a nightstick.

Really though, in that same situation with the big drunk, you probably would have been better off just using your hands and feet. That would both be easier for you to control, and less likely to seriously hurt him...
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Old 01-19-09, 04:18 PM
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First of all it is not about how serious you hurt an attacker but how fast you can deploy an assertive level of pain allowing your safe escape. Get a mini u-lock and chain combo for use as an effective self defense and bike security device. Remember any weapon at your disposal can be their weapon just as fast as you can reach it.
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Old 01-19-09, 04:39 PM
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This subject came up a few years back here.
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Old 01-19-09, 04:52 PM
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hold the U-shaped end and strike with the shackle piece, I'd probably go with the small ends of the shackle rather than the flat sides of the shackle but that choice may depend on the exact situation
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Old 01-19-09, 04:58 PM
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First off, if you decide to use anything as a weapon (only as a last resort), you had better swing it like you mean it.

Don't be *****footing around - your goal is to incapacitate him. Period!

Remember, you must be in dire straits, really fearing for your life!
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Old 01-19-09, 05:00 PM
  #8  
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^^^
I disagree.... Hold by the shackle (straight bar) and swing away....

A guy that I know was a messenger here in London and had to use his lock one day. the cager first off wiped him out and THEN came after him. Buddy warned him to back off, but....... two quick swings to the hips (wack, wack) and the arguing was over!!
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Old 01-19-09, 08:45 PM
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Hold it by the U area and swing for the soft spots, or a quick punch to the chest to knock the wind out of him, leaving you time to ride off. Or of course a more purpose built "u-lock" by Glock....
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Old 01-19-09, 08:57 PM
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this is a good thread. I agree that holding it by the straight part is probably the best way to use it on a person that means to do you harm. OTOH, if you are smashing car mirrors because some cager annoyed you, hold it by the u shaped part. Although, I recommend a lightweight camping axe for the latter activity.

It might be more effective to put your keys on a strap. I always thought getting hit by a key chain with as many keys as I have would be a real bad experience.

On a more serious note, I figure if I'm ever in this situation and I can't talk my way out of it, I'm going down. Thank goodness that has never happened in the last 50 years or so.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:02 PM
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id say, if its locked, use the flat mechanism, if unlocked, use the end that juts out, and throw the flat thing at someones balls or head (or stomach)
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Old 01-19-09, 09:04 PM
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Have the chain on the small ring and lift the bike over your head to put the big ring into his face.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:10 PM
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Hold U section, aim for crotch.
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Old 01-19-09, 11:17 PM
  #14  
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Best use of u-lock as a weapon - swing it as hard, as often, and as accurately as you can, and don't stop until the threat is neutralized sufficiently to get out of there as quickly as possible. Specific details of how to hold it or what to aim for depends purely on the circumstances at the time.
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Old 01-19-09, 11:44 PM
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It's always better to avoid a physical confrontation in the first place. But if it is going to happen, particularly with a stronger, aggressive assailant, give it everything you've got.

Last edited by Abacus; 01-20-09 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 01-19-09, 11:44 PM
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Best used as a bow with arrows.
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Old 01-19-09, 11:54 PM
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Pepper spray. I keep a can of it on my bikes TT where it is easily and quickly reached. Blind 'em then disable them with a whack or two to a knee cap or shin bone. Swing like you mean it, you don't know what these guys are capable of or what weapons they have. Then put as much distance between you and the threat as possible. Call the PoPo and report an attempted robbery/assault.

Or grab their wallets and haul ass...
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Old 01-19-09, 11:57 PM
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For the OP, I would have thought the best use of the U-Lock would be to swing it by the U, so that the heavy clasp end has maximum force.

If you are concerned about your bike route though, the best weapon of choice could be a sharpened screwdriver. Easy to fasten to your bike, easy to access, easy to explain its presence.
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Old 01-20-09, 08:52 AM
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Camping axes and sharpened screwdrivers, I don't think I would want to use or explain why I had these items to the Five-O. Check you local laws and get a carry permit for a pistol or carry a fixed blade knife, using an Axe in self defense would be a nightmare to defend in court (and it would be had to carry or wield effectively). Pepper spray might work as long as the attacker is not hopped up on PCP. I can just see the headlines "Axe wielding cyclist murders pedestrian" or "Body found with bicycle multi-tool stuck in his eye." Ride a purpose built bike, carry a purpose built defense weapon.
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Old 01-20-09, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
First off, if you decide to use anything as a weapon (only as a last resort), you had better swing it like you mean it.

Don't be *****footing around - your goal is to incapacitate him. Period!

Remember, you must be in dire straits, really fearing for your life!
Sounds like Bellatrix Lestrange when she told Harry she wasn't hurt much by his cruciatus curse.......ya need to mean it Potter!!!!

There are the four rules of close engagement which are taught to Marines:

(1) You must immediately seize the initiative....
(2) you must be as aggressive as possible....
(3) you must be totally ruthless..... and
(4) you must be all of the above until your opponent is firmly undr your control.


Woof, eh? I think i'll stick to granny gearing.....

roughstuff
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Old 01-20-09, 01:52 PM
  #21  
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Hold U end and aim the Shackle tip for the temple. Swing coming from the side of his head as hard as you can.

If he blocks the lock, then you have a clear shot to kick him in the place that counts. Cyclist legs are very strong.
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Old 01-20-09, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Spanky-G-Master View Post
Camping axes and sharpened screwdrivers, I don't think I would want to use or explain why I had these items to the Five-O. Check you local laws and get a carry permit for a pistol or carry a fixed blade knife, using an Axe in self defense would be a nightmare to defend in court (and it would be had to carry or wield effectively). Pepper spray might work as long as the attacker is not hopped up on PCP. I can just see the headlines "Axe wielding cyclist murders pedestrian" or "Body found with bicycle multi-tool stuck in his eye." Ride a purpose built bike, carry a purpose built defense weapon.
OT, but the camping axe is for when you recover from a right hook. Just start hacking away at the sheet metal. The inspiration was when this old geezer was passing me going down a mountain at barely more than my speed, and then came over on me when he realized there was oncoming traffic. I had a very, very long time to take the axe to his antique show car, but no axe. The real problem is keeping it sharpend, those cars in the '50s were built like tanks.
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Old 01-20-09, 03:17 PM
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A drunk could probably handle a blow to most areas except the head and groin (i.e. bike lock may not be immediately effective unless you are trained to use hand weapons). IMO, get a taser and pedal out of there in the confusion after you zap someone. Call the cops if warranted and pedal back to press charges.
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Old 01-20-09, 03:21 PM
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A friend of mine had his cheekbone smashed in by a crackhead wielding a D lock, who then proceeded to take his wallet. He's never been quite the same since.
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Old 01-20-09, 03:22 PM
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Although a U-lock is nice, and can sufficiently bludgeon someone senseless, anybody who's aware of what they're doing can probably grab it and twist it out of your grip fairly easily.

I carry this when I ride, every time.



A - it's lightweight
B - it's a substantial deterrent weapon. People know it's a damn knife and not somebody flipping a U-lock around. Nobody's going to try to grab me if I'm holding a knife. If they pull a gun or something, I'm chucking the knife at their face and moonwalking like a mofo.
C - completely legal for self-defense or in case of mountain lion or coyote attacks (both distinct possibilities in areas I ride)
D - 101 other uses besides disemboweling some drunk guy. I've used it loads of times for purely utilitarian reasons, and never once for self defense...but it's nice to know it's there.
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