If you heard sounds from your living room in the middle of the night, the first item you reach for to protect yourself would probably not be an aluminium pen.
However, self-defence instructor Qin Yunquan says seen the number of participants attending the tactical pen seminars at her gym double over the past year.
A tactical pen is a pen made using aircraft-grade aluminium. Due to its build, it can also be used as a tool for self-defence.
Qin, 29, is a qualified martial arts instructor who conducts the tactical pen seminars out of Kapap Academy Singapore. She told Yahoo News Singapore that people are interested in learning self-defence techniques especially if they frequently travel on their own or study overseas.
The school developed the tactical pen course curriculum through understanding the body’s biomechanics and what the pen can do, said Qin. The course is also suitable for those who are not physically active or do not have a background in any martial arts.
Students are also taught to discern when to use force and when to exercise restraint, depending on the severity of situation. “There are lethal aspects of the tactical pen but we keep stressing the importance of knowing when to exercise (the techniques taught),” said Qin.
On top of being a functioning piece of stationery, tactical pens also act as force multipliers – which makes them useful if a user is facing a physically larger opponent.
According to Qin, the pens are allowed as a carry-on items aboard most airlines around South-east Asia. However, the Transport Security Admission – which handles airport security in airports in the United States – has warned that tactical pens are considered weapons and that they will be confiscated from travellers if they are found in their carry-on luggage.
Martial arts instructor Qin Yunquan (on the ground) demonstrates a technique to get out of a chokehold on the ground. Photo: Stefanus Ian for Yahoo News Singapore
The Kapap Academy is the only martial arts school in Singapore which offers a self-defence course based on the use of tactical pens. The school also teaches self-defence courses involving the use of improvised weapons.
Apart from learning how to fend off unwanted advances or defend one’s self in a potentially dangerous situation, Qin says students have told her that they have developed greater self-confidence as a result of going through the tactical pen course.
“Once you have that level of confidence, you’re a lot calmer and are able to deal with a situation more calmly and in a more rational way than just panicking and not knowing what to do,” she said.
“You could say the pen helped them remain calm in a situation. They did not panic, and that’s a good start,” she said.
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