… it’s like arts and crafts with your favorite uncle who could totally kill you.


The two day Weaponology class from Ed’s Manifesto started with hand-to-hand techniques that are not covered in most martial arts or self defense classes.

It’s because they’re terrible. And brutal. And my absolute favorite.

Much of the work centers on using your fingers to dig into vulnerable areas of the face and neck. Some of the manipulations are invasive and painful to practice. Some of the techniques have been taken from less than savory environments.

It was amusing to watch the reactions of fellow students – many of them dedicated martial artists, as they watched Ed demonstrate ear manipulations, fish hooking and some really diabolical nose grabs.

These tactics are also incredibly easy to apply and remember under stress. Ed taps into your most base defensive instincts to claw and rip, then he shows you the most exposed parts of the body to target your efforts.

I’ve been trying to learn some basic Jiu-jitsu. I still have to think about what I’m doing. I doubt I could deploy an Americana or an arm under the stress of an attack… but I sure as hell could remember how to rip someone’s ear off.

The first day of class ended with a homework assignment. Students were to create an improvised weapon that could:

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