If you view every situation as a room, you have three options, get in or out or stand in the doorway. People without mindset, training and tools are bound to stand in the doorway. Standing in the doorway is bad, your sides are controlled by the doorway itself, your front by your opponent and your rear by the unknown. In the doorway you are not in control.

Tools like flashlights, kubatons, pens, styluses, saps and jacks are nothing but skeleton keys that help you get in or out of the room. They have two major uses, bridging and transition. Using them as a bridging tool means using them to get somewhere like the opponents outside, past them, or away from them. Using them as transition tools means using them to gain time and distance so you can escalate to a deadly force option.

If your impact tool is your only weapon then you need too hang onto it in order to allow you to keep bridging until you are where you need to be. If you have other tools at your disposal you can afford to drop/holster/store your tool before upgrading to another dedicated weapon.

These impact weapons need to be part of a layered defense; this is accomplished by doing things like having a kubaton on your keys, a pen/stylus on your neckline and flashlight in your pocket. All these items can be used the same way. They can also be carried at different levels on the body like the neckline and waistband where your hands are at rest or when in motion.

Situations that cannot be avoided by awareness or open hand skills can often be dealt with small impact weapons. When you can’t it will tell you one of two things, either continue with increasing violence or use a different tool. Either way it is easier to unlock doors with a key then with the open hand.