When I was teaching self defense full-time (1980s) I tested this against a punching bag. The keys twisted between my fingers, it hurt like hell and my hand reflexively opened so the keys dropped to the floor. I had an interesting set of bruises for a while after that.
Now, if I had hit someone in the face with that fistful of keys, it would likely have hurt them as well, but if the punch had landed anywhere else (accidentally striking their shoulder or whatever) then I doubt that it would have done more that annoy them.
We taught to use the keys braced against the palm between the first and second finger and then used an a sort of downward hacking motion towards the face. The idea was that it's a sharpish, pointyish tool that a physically weaker person could use to potentially distract an attacker long enough to escape, or deliver a more effective attack via a handgun. I would put the reliability factor at somewhere around 30%. Better than an open hand slap, but not as good as pepper spray.
A good pepper spray keychain, tazer, or .22 pistol is obviously a better option. But if you've got no training and no other weapon then gouging with a key is slightly better than nothing.
Exactly. I think the idea is: for self defense involving people who don't have any developed strikes, keys can be used to cause damage to weak parts of the body, mainly the face and eyes.
Originally Posted by Kintanon
I don't expect poking with a key anywhere but the face is going to be useful.
But by all means, if you've got a good punch use it!
[quote=Eric Innis]Exactly. I think the idea is: for self defense involving people who don't have any developed strikes, keys can be used to cause damage to weak parts of the body, mainly the face and eyes. quote]
I agree adding that having the keys might give some poor vic the the courage to fight back, instead of shaking in fear.
As for using them in SD, I use to rattle my key chain to make sure I alert the skunk that lives under the poarch that I was coming. Never got sprayed. Perhaps the perps are also scared off by rattling keys, 'oh no, she took a self- defence course' and wait for the next one.
I think the best a key is going to do is cause injuries which won't alter the outcome of the fight and could cause a significant amount of legal trouble afterward.
If you hit someone and KO them, do you really also need to cut them? If you hit them and don't KO them do you think they are doing to really feel the effects of a small puncture wound/cut during the fight?
As a related anecdote, I actually have a friend who tried this. Granted, it wasn't against a person but against a dog. He was walking to his car when a dog attacked him, so he tried the key thing, as they were out. Apparently it actually broke one or two of his keys, and just made the dog angry.
I'd rather not risk dropping or losing my keys. If something goes down, I want to drive away as soon as possible- sticking around is asking for trouble from someone.
The whole keys between the fingers thing stems from the recomendation that a persons keys should be in hand as they walk to their car as opposed to in the pocket of the purse. Then it follows that if they are out they can be used in some way as a defensive weapon. At that point someone picked the worst possible method of deployment and suggested that they be between the fingers, like claws. Tried it on a watermelon (hurt like hell and barely scratched the Melon)
I taught my students to hold the longest and nastiest key on the ring between the thumb and the second knukle of the index finger. Tried that on a watermelon (puched nasty little holes in it.) Then Cold steel had a sale on their Urban Pal push knife and I bought one for everyone in class. Carry method, keys in one hand and Knife handle in the other.
I can't really see throwing my cross with keys in my hand - as has been stated, I would expect the key to fall out of my hand or something. However, I could see using them to gouge by throwing little ***** punches, though it likely wouldn't do more than piss someone off.
Now holding it between the thumb and forefinger phoenix eye style I can get down with. I think you could probably hurt someone like that.
That being said, I wouldn't do it because I wouldn't really want to screw up someones face. I'm with the question - I'd go with what I know and punch the snot out of em.
The only self-defence application with keys I see for someone not trained in MA would be to use them to gouge holding a key between thumb and first finger.
For example the bearhug from behind with the arms trapped. You could try and break their grip by gouging between the bones on the back of their hand. You would probably beter off using a pen. If they do loosen their grip it's best to run for help before they regain their hold on you.
The other option would be actualy training in MA.