Vancouver: Umbrellas Protection from Rain and Attackers
Barry Artiste, Now Public Contributor
There is a saying that "Never bring a Knife to a Gunfight"
Though perhaps in an emergency an Umbrella in a pinch may avert disaster when confronted by a knife wielding maniac. Umbrellas of all types in history have been manufactured as a Personal Protection device, hiding swords, pistols, poison tips and even knockout gas and mace. Certainly one trained in Martial Arts stands a better chance in a confrontation than the average pedestrian. But what of other threats to people in war torn countries, thermonuclear attacks, low flying aircraft and such, hopefully my designs(Pictured) will give food for thought for those who fear for their life on a daily basis.
Umbrellas can protect from rain and attackers
Having an umbrella is like having a sword, says martial arts instructor who teaches the use of brollies for personal defence
Sunny Freeman, Vancouver Sun
Published: Monday, January 28, 2008
VANCOUVER I Umbrellas, those ubiquitous Vancouver accessories, can be a defence against far worse than the drizzle, says martial arts instructor Devon Boorman.
They can also be used to fend off local miscreants, said Boorman, who offers the occasional Sunday seminar on the topic at Academie Duello, a downtown martial arts academy.
He said that by the end of his four-hour $45 umbrella self-defence workshop, "any woman or man will be able to confidently fend off any ruffian or knave who bothers them."
"Any time you have an umbrella, it's like you have a sword," said Boorman. "An umbrella is something you carry everywhere, especially in Vancouver."
Long stick umbrellas with hooks on the end and metal tips at the top are best, he said. And umbrellas are practical weapons because you don't have to dig through a bag, as you might with a Taser or mace, they are completely legal to carry, and the actions are intuitive. Plus, he said, umbrellas provide a perfect combination of safety and style.
The techniques Boorman teaches are based on a Victorian martial art called baritsu from the turn of the 20th century for use with an umbrella or walking cane. In fact, Boorman said, the famed fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, practiced the art.
Pauline Walsh, 31, and B.J. Allan, 42, said they were excited to see an episode of a Sherlock Holmes television show where he defends himself using a cane just days before they took the seminar.
They said they were impressed with the combination of graceful fencing-like moves and modern self-defence tactics Boorman teaches.
At Vancouver's Umbrella Shop, employee Kayla Hogue said she had never thought to use her umbrella for safety, but customers have commented that even small heavy umbrellas sold in the shop might be useful to whack someone with.
Norm Bettencourt, who runs the TACT self-defence studio in Vancouver, said he also teaches students to use everyday objects like umbrellas as batons or shields as a first line of defence.
Boorman said he reminds his students that to use an umbrella as a weapon legally, you must genuinely fear for your life.
"Weapons are not classified by function, but by intent. If you're carrying it to beat someone up, then it can be classified as an illegal weapon, but if you're carrying it for everyday rainy purposes, and you get attacked, it's legal."