The pen is mightier than the sword… for self-defense

Image: CC0 Public Domain Open Clipart

When trying to defend yourself spur of the moment, remember that an item so small as a pen can come to your aid if all else fails and you find yourself lacking weaponry.

Learn three ways to use a pen for self-defense. Also learn how to use your finger, or a knuckle to ward off a potential attacker.

You have probably got a pen in your drawer at home, at work, your car, handbag (ladies), and maybe in your shirt pocket. The humble pen looks harmless enough, but you may not know the dark secret it keeps from us.

A pen can make a good ward off weapon or it can be used in a more powerful way. Let’s take a look at the ward off technique first…

Simply hold the pen firmly in one hand and poke it into the would-be attacker’s chest. This is best used as a “ward off.” You see, cowardly attackers don’t like it if you show them that you are prepared to put up a fight. They expect you to fall in a heap, roll over and beg. If a pen appears and you appear to mean business, the attacker may decide to leave you alone and find an easier target.

Eye gouge – Groin stab

If he continues with the attack, you can also use your pen to give him an eye gouge. Alternatively, you can use your pen to stab his groin as many times as you can – then run!

Tip of your pointer finger

The tip of the pointer finger (that’s the one next to the thumb) can also be used in place of the pen. But it doesn’t look quite as threatening or work as well, because it tends to bend a bit under pressure.

Using one knuckle

You can also make a fist then point with the second joint from the end of the pointer finger. Push against the fingernail with the side of the thumb. Bend the remaining fingers so that they are touching your palm (make a fist). It’s important to get your thumb out of the way. Press it against the side of the pointer finger. You don’t want your thumb to catch on anything… that can hurt!

Break a grip

If an attacker grabs hold of you, use a pen to break the grip he has on you. Be it a headlock, bear-hug, or a one handed grab on your hand, wrist, or arm. Stab at his hands and arms, and at the same time, break his grip, then escape.


Most of the above techniques are not expected to stun, although they will hurt a bit. They are best used to let unfriendly people know that you won’t take any nonsense and they had better back up and move on down the road. Remember that if things flare-up and you are forced to fight, you can use the pen to strike the groin or an eye. The humble pen can also be used to make an attacker let go of you.

It is also worth noting that a stick or anything that is thin, round and pointy, can take the place of the pen.