If you value your life, then you should preserve it by whatever means necessary. Facing a larger, stronger, and faster assailant, you will absolutely need an advantage. More dangerous are multiple assailants or when weapons are involved. For instance, a highly aggressive 200lb man physically threatening a 100lb woman. Generally speaking, based on size and strength, the odds are not in a woman’s favor.

That’s where weapons training and equalizers come into play.

For those not totally familiar, an equalizer (generally a weapon, personal defense tool or something from your environment), when utilized effectively, equals the intent and/or force needed to counter an assailant and closes the disparity between you and someone stronger or multiple assailants/threats. Trained properly, equalizers give you a tactical advantage that empty-hand striking and grappling alone won’t give you for personal protection (the parent of self-defense), especially when in a fight for your life.

It’s important to note that there’s a particular teaching method for this type of training to ensure that you’re safe and remain effective. This is why the training of PTK (Pekiti Tersia Kali), or another weapon fighting art, is so vital.

Personal defense tools such as a firearm, edged/impact weapon, or a less-lethal option like a tactical flashlight are highly practical tools for protection as well as training the senses. (Also within the category of equalizers are improvised weapons and everyday items found in your surrounding environment like a phone, pen, umbrella, chair, hot coffee, sand, rocks, etc).

At Radius Factor, for example, we utilize tactical lights in several ways: developing observation skills in coordination with projecting light; illuminating low-light environments (obviously); operating the light to communicate that you’re aware and not an easy target; using it as a visual impairment tool by shining the beam into the eyes of an aggressor from a distance (or in close-range); as a striking implement which will also protect your hand from being injured upon striking; as a force multiplier when you don’t have a full-range of motion to strike by transferring what force/energy you do have through the head of the flashlight/tool and into the target. It can also be used in combination with other tools and tactics.


The objective and benefits of edged and impact weapons training is largely misunderstood – much of which is influenced by the mere sight of weapons and the “aggressive appearance” of the training as well as the components of the training itself.

Culturally, in the United States and many other cultures, women aren’t typically conditioned to interact with weapons, let alone fight. But it’s beyond time that women should.

It may seem intimidating, however, the more you train (properly), the more you’ll understand and experience, the safer you’ll become, and the less you’ll fear. This can be done safely with a training weapon and other simulation tools along with progressive levels and safe training methodologies.

Alternatively, fully understanding how firearms function, their effects (including physiological and psychological effects upon firing) or the threat (and effects) of other types of commonly used weapons (like knives), are important factors in truly understanding personal protection and survival, aside from actually using them for protection.

Contextual and effective education of validated tactics with the use of relevant equalizers is essential. If you’re not doing so, you’re not developing the necessary mindset or skill set for effectively dominating an engagement (or a possible escalation), especially if your assailant is bigger, stronger, or faster.

The training of PTK will develop the skills and the tactical advantage you need against such a life-threatening situation (particularly if the assailant is a man). I should point out that PTK-SMF also includes effective empty-hands training (using the same tactics and techniques as weapons) in the event you don’t have an equalizer at the ready or first need a tactic that allows you to get to your defensive tool. However, if your training only consists of empty-hand striking (grappling or ground fighting), your mindset, skill set and knowledge of tactics will be dangerously incomplete.

It’s in your best interest to become well-rounded, even if it’s simply to have a better understanding of varying of types and degrees of threats as well as the subject of violence.

So, if you’re truly serious about personal protection, it’s time to get effective training using weapons and other equalizers.



About Derek Smith

Derek is a former Federal Special agent and Veteran of 3 military services. He knows a great deal about self-defense and he shares his knowledge with you!


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