For the first time we will formally discuss how to relieve an opponent of his or her possession of a weapon. Taking a weapon away from an opponent can be either quite easy or quite difficult, depending on the weapon involved, your proficiency with weapon stripping, the skill of the opponent with that weapon, your state of mind, and the location and environment. Relieving an assailant of his or her weapon is a potentially dangerous activity. It must be done rapidly, efficiently, and with great awareness. You must be aware of the opponent’s position, demeanor, orientation and posture. You must also be aware of potential obstacles and other individuals who may be in the area. And naturally you must be aware of the type of weapon being used. Finally, you must be aware of the current and potential path the weapon may take as you begin your disarmament actions.
No disarmament technique, method, or strategy can be guaranteed to be effective in any given situation. The best course of action is to always get away if possible. The moment you engage an assailant who has a weapon your potential for injury has increased dramatically. Never attempt to take a weapon away from an assailant if you have other viable options available.
If you are confronted by a person who is brandishing a weapon of some sort your best course of action is to leave the area immediately. If this is not possible, then your next best option is to comply with whatever request the person is making. If there is no request or if the request will place you in further danger then you will want to consider taking the weapon away from the other person. This action should not be undertaken in a cavalier manner. If someone has a weapon the risk of you being injured is incalculable. It is very likely you will be injured, perhaps severely, if you try to take a weapon away from someone, particularly if that person is experienced in the use of his or her weapon. You should not assume that your practice at weapon stripping in the Dojo will lead to success in a true confrontation. The two situations are likely to be quite different.
Taking a weapon away from someone holding a stick or a club is quite different than attempting to take a weapon away from someone with a bladed weapon or firearm. The differences lie in the methods you can use to remove the weapon from the opponent’s control and the severity of injuries that may result if your stripping attempt fails.
We will discuss a variety of methods you might use to attempt to relieve an assailant of control of several different types of weapons. There is no guarantee any of these will work in an actual confrontation. There are simply too many variables to be able to predict whether or not a specific stripping technique will be successful.
One key component of all stripping methods is to remain relaxed and focused. You must know where the weapon is located and how it is oriented at all times. You must also be able to instantly respond to changes in the opponent’s structural alignments, hand movements, and mental state. You cannot afford to root yourself unnecessarily or to overly commit any position or movement. It is essential that you remain flexible, responsive, and alert.
The discussions below assume that you are without a weapon and you are being attacked by someone who is wielding a weapon. You are not defenseless, but you are not without some significant challenges either.
A person using a club weapon will generally use something like a Shomen Uchi or a Yokomen Uchi. In some cases they may use a Tsuki, but this is probably done by someone with weapons experience or as an attempt to focus your attention on the weapon. In any case, clearly your first priority is to not be struck by the weapon. This means you must either interrupt the path of the weapon (not the preferred option, but sometimes it is necessary) or move off of the line of attack.
Interrupting the path of a weapon works best if you can intercept the attacking arm up near the shoulder. You rarely would want to directly intercede by blocking or striking the weapon. You’ll definitely spend some time in a cast if you try that. Instead intercept the arm near the shoulder with one hand and then use your other hand to immediately redirect and bend the arm so you begin to control both the weapon and the opponent. This works best if you are being attacked with Shomen or Uchi movements. It is significantly less effective against a Tsuki attack. To use this method against an Uchi style attack you will need to be positioned toward the face or ear side of the attacker.
Flowing with the path of the weapon is perhaps the most useful way to begin stripping a weapon from an opponent’s grasp. In these situations you will want to move the weapon in all three planes. Moving in just one or two planes allows the opponent to restructure and better maintain his or her grip. Moving the weapon in three dimensions is your best option for causing the weapon to be released.
It turns out that stripping a weapon from an opponent who has initiated a committed attack is surprisingly easy. Here are the general guidelines you’ll need to follow in order to make a successful stripping attempt.
- Move off of the line of attack, but do not create a large void between yourself and the opponent/weapon.
- Continue the general momentum of the weapon initially, then begin to redirect it along two other planes. Eventually move the weapon in all three planes (eventually moving it directly counter to its original trajectory). Part of the goal here is to root the opponent while another part is to take control of the movement of the weapon.
- Reposition the opponent’s arm and/or weapon so the weapon will become trapped in some manner. It may rest against some portion of your body, become immobilized by application of an arm lock, or you may grasp the body of the weapon with a free hand (but only if you are controlling the weapon’s movement). This can be as simple or as complex as you like or as circumstances dictate. A simple and elegant solution is preferred over a more complex alternative.
- Move your body, the opponent’s arm, or the weapon such that pressure is applied to the elbow, wrist, fingers, and/or hand of the opponent, forcing him or her to lessen or release their grip.
- Gain control of the weapon or manipulate and control the opponent so that he or she cannot regain control of the weapon. The latter is an important consideration of the weapon has been dropped, but may apply in other situations where you have not yet gained complete control.
Work with a partner to try every conceivable attack. Understand how to use the attack as part of your weapon-stripping strategy. Don’t think of it as a defense, but rather as a basic skill. You should strive to become proficient at taking a weapon away from an opponent no matter how they might employ it. As you gain experience you will come to appreciate that taking a weapon away from someone is extremely easy. But it does take some significant experience to reach that level of competence.
As you become practiced with the Sai and Katana you will appreciate that there are times when these weapons are quite similar to the Tambo and Tonfa. Dealing with a spinning Nunchaku with your bare hands is a challenge, but if you can initiate your movements when the weapon is stationary or in a committed attack then you may have some chance of success.
One last piece of advice. Beware of the opponent’s opposing hand. Always strive to keep this hand away from the weapon and from initiating an opposing-side strike. This usually means controlling the attacking arm so the opponent is rooted or twisted such that the opposite arm is no longer a risk to your endeavor.
Club weapons are perhaps the easiest weapons to remove from a opponent. That does not mean it is simple to accomplish in all cases, but relatively speaking it is easier to take a club away from someone than it is to force the release of a knife.
An advantage you have with a club is the leverage it can produce. By constraining a person’s arm and hand it is then possible to apply pressure to the end of the weapon to generate pronounced leverage against the attacker’s grip. Here is an example.
If a person attacks with an overhead strike (e.g. Shomen Uchi) then you may step to the ear side and allow your back arm to move above the arm that is holding the weapon. Use your back hand to pull the attacker’s arm inward so his or her attacking hand is pulled into your chest. Use your front hand to now press into the attacker’s forehead (as in Kokyu Nage) while your back hand moves to grasp the body of the weapon. Apply backward pressure with both of your hands so that the focus of the opposing forces is on the attacker’s weapon-bearing hand. The weapon will usually immediately fall from the attacker’s grasp.
If someone swings a weapon horizontally in your direction a useful course of action is to move quickly to the attacker’s face side will letting your back arm settle over the attacker’s weapon arm, trapping the arm against your torso. Now move your arm so it is located at the attacker’s wrist and subsequently rotate away from the opponent. This places pressure on the attacker’ wrist and weapon, often causing the weapon to be released. This works best if you can remain relaxed.
Let’s once again consider a Shomen strike. The opponent steps forward with the left leg and strikes downward with a Tambo, Yantok, or similar club-like weapon held in the right hand. Move to the ear side while stepping L5R3 as you let your right (back) hand move over top of the weapon as it moves downward in front of you. Hook your right hand over the opponent’s arm and begin pulling his or her arm forward and in slightly while continuing its downward trajectory. Now pull the weapon so it moves between you and your assailant as your left hand moves over top of the opponent’s arm once it passes your center line. Now move the opponent’s arm upward as you bend your left arm until the opponent’s arm is located just above the inner portion of your bent elbow. Pull the opponent’s arm inward until his or her weapon rests against your arm or rib cage. Now rotate your center clockwise abruptly to put pressure on the arm and wrist of the opponent. He or she will drop the weapon in most cases. If not, you have plenty of options now for applying more pressure to the arm or to strike or throw your opponent.
This same general strategy can be employed in reverse as well. If you again are facing a Shomen strike you may again escape to the left in the same manner, but this time wait until the weapon has finished its downward trajectory. Now hook your right forearm under the opponent’s attacking arm and begin to move the arm up and inward. As the weapon moves across your center line wrap your left arm over and around the opponent’s arm, pulling it in tightly against your left side. Now rotate briskly in a clockwise direction to force a release of the weapon.
The final portion of the latter drill can be used if someone is attacking with an Uchi movement. You must move to the opponent’s face side to avoid the strike and move to the inside of the weapon’s trajectory. Now the left arm can move over top of the opponent’s right arm, allowing you to rotate briskly clockwise to release the weapon.
Another common release method is to perform Shiho Nage, but stop before completing the throw. Once the opponent’s hand is over his or her shoulder you should be able to grasp the weapon and readily wrest it from the opponent’s grip. You should have ample leverage to make this a relatively easy task.
The important thing in all club attacks is to avoid the weapon while moving closer to the attacker’s shoulder. This moves you inside the arc of the weapon reducing the risk of injury. But this also leaves you in position to readily grab the weapon or control the opponent’s arm. In most situations it is much better the control the arm than to grasp the weapon. In some cases you can find yourself in a struggle for physical dominance if you and your opponent both have hands on the weapon.
Whenever you successfully make your attacker release a weapon you must immediately deal with the attacker in a manner that precludes him or her from regaining control of the weapon. It makes little sense to wrest a weapon from someone only to see them pick it up again or grasp it with his or her other hand. Think of this as a two-step process. Take the weapon away from the attacker, then take the attacker away from the weapon.
We make a slight differentiation between a club and a stick weapon. This is largely a matter of semantics. If someone can readily swing a weapon with one hand then it might be considered a club. If the weapon is longer, for example a Jo or Bo then it is a stick weapon. A Hanbo might be either one, depending on how it is utilized.
We have previously discussed at some length how to perform Jo Dori so we will not repeat much of this training here. If you are not confident with your skills in this area then we suggest you review prior materials and then spend some time practicing with a partner until you can easily remove a stick weapon from an opponent’s grasp.
In the movies you may have noticed a scene where someone is attacked with a sword. The person being attacked simply presses both open hands inward until the blade is trapped between the palms of the two hands, abruptly ending the attack. This requires an extremely detailed and insightful analysis. Oh, no, wait. It doesn’t. DON’T DO THAT! You’ll die.
As with all weapons attacks the most important thing you can and should do is get out of the way. With a bladed weapon the last thing you’ll want to do is make contact with the blade. Even the back of the blade makes a very effective Yawara. Stay away from that thing!
When dealing with an attack from something like a knife or Tanto, you have both dramatically increased risk of injury or death and some potential benefits as well.
Much of what we discussed about dealing with a club weapon also applies to a knife. But you need to be very cognizant of incidental contact with a bladed weapon. It is therefore essential that your movements should be made well-away from the blade and in a manner that precludes the attacker from twisting his or her wrist or torso to make contact with you during any movement. Even momentary and incidental contact with the blade can be potentially fatal.
But you might use incidental contact to your advantage. When moving a weapon in all three planes as you attempt to control it you might drag the blade across the opponent’s thigh, face, or opposite arm. You might also take advantage of a momentary weakness or lack of concentration on the part of the opponent to bend the opponent’s arm rapidly, resulting in a more severe wound.
Another difference between a bladed weapon and a club is you must not grab the blade in order to pull the weapon from the opponent’s hand. It sounds obvious, I know, but if you are familiar with club defenses and less experienced with a knife, or if you have practiced extensively with plastic or wooden knife simulators, you could make this inadvertent error. Whenever practicing with any knife, whether it is a real weapon or merely a practice weapon, you must never touch the blade. Now someone is likely to say, “Yes, but you can use the back of the blade at times to put pressure on a person’s wrist or to move the weapon into a path that will cause injury to the opponent.” All that might be true. But why would you want to risk that in a dynamic and changing conflict where literally anything might happen. If the opponent manages to twist his or her wrist you could be very seriously injured. Using abundant precaution is the only way to ensure you have reduced the numerous variables in a conflict. Only by reducing the variables so the remaining options are primarily in your favor do you stand a better than fifty-percent chance of survival.
Practice stripping a Tanto or knife from a partner using every conceivable attack scenario. Knowing what works and what is risky behavior will help you tremendously if you are ever unfortunate enough to face someone with a bladed weapon. Always use a simulated weapon. Never – and I repeat – never use a live bladed weapon for any practice or simulated attack. That would be, if I might be so blunt, stupid.
A knife in the hands of a practiced knife fighter is a terrible thing. It is very difficult to take a knife away from someone who knows what he or she is doing. There are a great many videos that suggest techniques for disarming someone with a knife. Unfortunately, most of these videos make false assumptions. For example, they may assume the opponent will not attempt to retract the knife hand, slicing your forearm in the process. The video may also assume the opponent will not flex his or her wrist, thereby stabbing or slicing you in some manner.
The only reliable way to disarm someone with a knife, should you be foolish or desperate enough to try it, is to gain complete control of the opponent’s wrist and then manipulate the opponent so that his or her other hand never comes near the weapon. If the opponent’s other hand can gain control of the weapon then you will need to start all over again in your disarmament attempt.
Disarming someone with a knife is radically different than disarming someone with a stick. The first and most obvious difference is you can grab the opposite end of a stick, but you cannot do that with a knife. Therefore you have little opportunity to use the weapon itself as leverage against the opponent’s grip. The second difference is that a stick can do relatively little damage if the opponent can move his or her wrist slightly or pull the weapon inward. This is not true with a knife.
To disarm someone with a knife you will want to obviously avoid his or her strike and then grasp the wrist and lower forearm of the opponent with both of your hands. Now you will want to either straighten or bend the opponent’s arm, depending on the relative positions of yourself and the opponent.
If you straighten the opponent’s arm then you must be prepared to break the arm or destroy the opponent’s supporting leg structure in some manner. While you are doing this you must pay attention to the knife blade to prevent it from slicing or stabbing you or some innocent bystander.
If you bend the opponent’s arm then you will need to be very aware of the path of the blade as the arm is bent. The blade may move toward your face, torso, or legs and you must pay attention to the blade’s path of travel. You may be able to use this pathway to your advantage. If the blade moves toward the opponent’s legs, torso, or face you may be able to use the opponent’s own weapon to slice or stab the opponent. You must realize this could be a fatal action for which you will need ample explanation if you are to avoid prosecution. Only you can make the decision regarding the relative risks and benefits of such an action.
There is a general axiom about attempting to disarm someone with a knife. If you attempt to take a knife away from someone you will be cut. You must know that going in. That axiom must be factored into your decision processes. If you are lucky you will be able to decide where you will be cut.
This does not mean it is impossible to take a knife away from someone. It simply means it is much more difficult than with a stick weapon and has much greater attendant risks. We practice these actions with unsharpened non-metal knife replicas so that students are aware of what actions have increased probability of success. When practicing these skills you will want to be aware of any contact between the replica weapon and your body. Any contact represents a serious wound. You must be able to do these exercises with no contact in most cases. If you cannot, then do not attempt to take a weapon away from someone. Run away or accede to the person’s demands instead.
Now that we have the preliminaries out of the way, let’s examine what might be possible to disarm someone who is wielding a knife. First, let’s do a simple experiment. Make a tight and strong fist with your dominant hand. Next, move your closed fist out in front of you as though you were holding a knife. Now, bend your wrist inward sharply. You will notice at least two things. Firstly, the tendons in the back of your hand stretch to the point of discomfort. Secondly, and most relevantly, your fingers begin to loosen. You are essentially releasing your grip on your imaginary weapon.
Our first weapons release will rely on this little bit of anatomical information. When confronted by someone holding a knife directly in front of us we might elect to strike quickly and forcefully with both of our hands moving in toward our center. One hand strikes the inside of the opponent’s forearm, just above his or her wrist. The second hand strikes hard into the back of the opponent’s hand. The goal is to bend the opponent’s wrist inward very quickly and quite sharply. This will usually result in the knife being jettisoned from the attacker’s hand; the knife will often land ten feet or more to the outside of the opponent’s opposite hand. Run away or deal with the opponent before they have a chance to recover the knife.
This approach is very easy and fast, but it has a few flaws to consider. The first is it only works well if the attacker is holding the knife relatively high or low. If the weapon is held at about the bottom of your rib cage you will find it is difficult anatomically to strike in a meaningful manner with both of your hands. So there are limited circumstances in which this approach will work. Secondly, you at no time have positive control of either your opponent or the weapon. The weapon may be dislodged, but now it is up for grabs for literally anyone in the vicinity. If there are any bystanders then they could well be injured when the knife flies out of the opponent’s hand.
A related disarming technique can be utilized if someone is stepping forward with a Tsuki attack. Stepping to the ear side you might check the opponent’s arm with your front arm and then use this same arm to immobilize the opponent’s wrist. You can now invert the opponent’s wrist which forces it into slight hyperflexion. You might now use your opposite forearm or hand to press into the back of the opponent’s hand or possibly the knife, dislodging it from the opponent’s grip. Pressing into the back of the knife makes the assumption the weapon is not double sided and that the back of the weapon, not the sharp edge, is facing your forearm. It also assumes you have complete control of the opponent’s wrist such that he or she cannot employ the knife in a new striking or slicing attempt. It might be difficult to make this type of assessment during a quickly unfolding attack.
While this can, in some situations, be an effective disarmament technique it must be thought of as less than ideal. If instead you were able to grasp the opponent’s wrist, placing both your thumbs on the back of the opponent’s hand and then forcing the wrist into hyperflexion, you would be able to loosen the attacker’s grip on the weapon while preventing the weapon from flying any appreciable distance (the weapon may fall to the ground, however). You will also have the opponent in a viable wrist lock when he or she does release the weapon and will not need to press any part of your anatomy into the weapon. You might keep the opponent’s arm straight so the weapon remains down, or may sharply bend the opponent’s elbow so the weapon is higher and you have better vision and control. So, we are making progress as we can now control the opponent after the weapon is released.
But this is not an easy hold to establish against someone who is swinging a knife around. You will need to check the opponent’s arm near the wrist and then somehow immobilize the arm long enough for you to get both hands around the opponent’s arm and wrist and apply the wrist lock, all while avoiding that sharp pointy thing in the opponent’s hand. This is not impossible to do, but it is not a risk-free maneuver.
If someone attacks with an overhand stabbing motion the temptation is to block the opponent’s arm just above the wrist and to then attack the opponent’s structure in some manner. You will see this same scenario in many videos of knife defense techniques. The assumption being made in these videos is that once contact is made with the opponent’s arm his or her knife-wielding days are over. Unfortunately, things are seldom that simple. If you do not constrain the attacker’s knife-hand in some manner there is nothing to preclude the opponent from briskly retracting his or her arm, leaving behind a particularly nasty gash in your forearm. Your goal must always be to either put great distance between yourself and the opponent or gain immediate positive control of the arm used to hold the weapon. Anything else puts you at tremendous risk of serious injury or death.
If you find yourself confronting someone who has a sword or longer bladed weapon then you should utilize the Ultimate Sword Defense Technique. This is a one movement technique that every practitioner should know. RUN.
If you find you are unable to run (how unfortunate for you) then your best remaining alternative is to seek control of the Tsuka, at least long enough to impart great physical harm to the opponent. This is where you break knees or elbows, strike to the eyes, or otherwise incapacitate your opponent. You will not want to try anything fancy or attempt any type of weapons stripping. The blade is too long and unwieldy to make such an attempt likely to succeed. If you have a weapon yourself, then you have options for disarming your opponent (you’ll learn more about that later), but without a weapon your options are very limited. Get away, or be very brutal. These are your primary options if you are bare handed against something like a sword.
You can practice potential weapons stripping with a Bokken (wooden sword). But you should regard any contact with the bladed portion of the Bokken as fatal contact. You will find that while not impossible, it is extremely unlikely that you will successfully remove a weapon from a practiced swordsperson before you are severely injured. Don’t take that risk if you have any other option. Remember that key word. Run!
If someone is swinging a sword in your direction and you do not have some form of long range weapon, run. Don’t look back, it will only slow you down and you don’t have much time to waste. Motor scooter out of there as fast as you can.
If you find it impossible to get away then you have a tremendous problem. Your only salvation is to hope the opponent will raise the weapon and swing it back far enough that you can gain entry to the opponent’s core structure and restrict any forward movement of his or her arms. Your goal must be to disrupt the ability to utilize the weapon. Any attempt to somehow grab or take the weapon away (initially) will be met with likely disaster. The only practical advice that can be given is to step inside the arch of an opponent’s impending swing and prevent that swing (and any future swings) from happening. You must also concurrently prevent the opponent from creating any type of void. The person will slice you as they are creating the void. Once you have moved inside and constrained your assailant you are still at great risk, but you at least have a modicum of survivability. Even now, look for any chance to escape and, as the rock group Queen has said, “Get on your bike and ride.”
Taking a gun away from someone is every bit as risky as attempting to strip a knife or sword out of someone’s hands. One false move could lead to a short life or a lifetime of impaired bodily functions.
If someone has a gun at Chikama distance or less then there is a theoretical possibility that you can move the gun out of the line of fire before the trigger can be pulled. But the odds are not in your favor. If the opponent is at Ittoma or Toma distance, you’d better plan to be compliant with the opponent’s requests. You will not be able to get to the weapon before the trigger can be pulled. Even if you manage to be creative with your stepping patterns and move out of the line of fire, some other poor unfortunate bystander may pay the price for your actions. You need to consider who else may be at risk before you attempt anything as fool hardy as rushing someone who is pointing a gun at you.
If you are convinced you will be shot by your assailant then you might move to his or her ear side and employ a wrist outturn throw. Just be sure to point the barrel of the weapon at the opponent while executing the throw. In no case should you allow the muzzle to point in your direction. Once the opponent is on the floor strip the weapon away from his twisted hand before it can fall to the floor. This helps ensure you gain immediate control of the weapon as well as your opponent and avoids a potential weapons discharge should the weapon fall onto a hard surface. Most modern weapons are designed to prevent such an accidental discharge, but it is safer if you ensure the weapon is not dropped. This also ensures a friend of your assailant cannot pick up the weapon and leave you back at the starting point.
If the gun is pointed directly at your face or lower abdomen you might be able to utilize one of the disarming strategies employed against a knife. By immobilizing the wrist with one hand you can strike fiercely with the opposite hand onto the barrel of the weapon, forcing the attacker’s wrist into rapid hyperextension or hyperflexion. This moves the barrel away from your center and makes it very difficult for the opponent to hold the weapon. Because you have taken hold of the barrel you can now rapidly twist the weapon out of the opponent’s hands. Now quickly step back to minimize a likely counter grab attempt.
This sequence can be done very quickly. Whether or not it can be done with sufficient speed to avoid being shot depends on a great many factors, including the mental state of the opponent, your hand speed and ability to eliminate excessive movements, whether or not the opponent has his or her finger on the trigger (probably does), and how prepared the opponent is to actually pull the trigger (this is difficult to know).
The weapon can be moved in different directions, depending in large part upon which hand the opponent is using and where the weapon is being pointed. While moving the opponent’s hand into hyperextension can be effective, it is usually more beneficial to move the hand into hyperflexion (why?). If the gun is pointed near your forehead then you might be able to press the weapon upward initially as you duck your head downward, then turn the opponent’s wrist vertically and press the barrel of the gun in toward the opponent’s center.
Videos make it look easy to take a weapon away from an armed assailant. It’s not and it is hard to simulate an environment that is sufficiently realistic to provide suitable feedback regarding your technique, stress level, and your chances of surviving a disarming attempt. My advice is to do whatever you are told to do until or unless you feel your assailant intends to shoot you. Then do whatever you can to disarm the assailant. It’s not an easy decision and the outcome will be anything but certain.
You should also come to understand that the moment you touch the weapon and begin to manipulate it the weapon will discharge. This is because the assailant likely has his or her finger on the trigger. Manipulating the weapon will almost certainly press the persons’ finger into the weapon, causing it to discharge. This will occur whether or not the person intended to pull the trigger. So your actions will cause the weapon to shoot whatever happens to be in the path of the muzzle at the moment of discharge. This means you may wish to be selective in which disarming method you decide to utilize so you can avoid unintended casualties.
In an emergency almost anything you pick up can be used as an improvised weapon. Phones, pencils, pens, eating utensils, beverage cans, coffee mugs, remote controls, knickknacks, electrical cords, and a hand full of business cards can all be used to control or impact someone who is attempting to use a weapon against you. This list doesn’t even include the more obvious choices such as kitchen knives, fireplace tools, screwdrivers, letter openers, staplers, hammers, and other more destructive household or workplace items. Even something as mundane as a drinking straw or rolled up envelope can be put to effective use as a weapon.
A beneficial practice is to begin noticing what items might be utilized as a weapon whenever you enter any room, whether it is a familiar location or someplace new. This has two purposes. The first is to notice what might be available to utilize in the very rare case that you are attacked while in the room. This is extremely unlikely to happen, but who knows. The second purpose is so that you get into the habit of examining items in a room to consider how they might be utilized should the need arise. When entering a room you simply casually take stock of what might be available in an emergency. It is simply practice for the one time in your life when you may need this knowledge.