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The Comtech Stinger Self Defense Tool
By Pete Kautz - Part I of II
Click HERE to Read Part II

Karate In Your Pocket & Lightning In Your Fist

It was an average American shopping mall in an average town on an average shopping day.  But the Predator was there to hunt, and a young lady was the prey.  He followed her until he felt the time was right, and then he grabbed her arm and tried to drag her away to his vehicle and a horrible fate.  She was so much smaller than him; he felt this would be easy.  But this young teen had a surprise in store for him.

“Let me go!” she yelled as she struck the predator in the hand with her small plastic keychain.  Though tiny, this injection-molded tool increased her striking power to that of a world-class Black Belt who had conditioned his hands for a decade.  The effect of the blow was instantaneous.

The predator never saw what hit him.  He only felt the sickening sensation of the bones in his hand breaking.  He felt the tears instantly come to his eyes and heard his own sobs.  Later, after mall security had apprehended him they mocked him as they watched the security video.

A young girl had, with a single blow, broken his hand and stopped him in his tracks.

When asked how she managed to stop this predator so easily, the young lady beamed “I did it with my Stinger Self Defense Tool!”


The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction


Now, unlike so many stories that begin martial arts articles this is NOT a work of fiction…this really happened as describer - one creep, one brave young lady, and one Comtech Stinger that helped to save the day.  Without this little piece of plastic in her hand (given to her by a concerned relative) who knows what might have happened.

Stinger Self Defense Tool History

The Comtech Stinger Self Defense Tool was designed by Master at Arms James A. Keatin based on a 19th century push-dagger that he had seen while researching the martial history of old New Orleans.  Jim immediately saw the utility of such an item and devised a modern version made of lightweight high-strength injection-molded plastic.  Designing his tool along the same lines, the Stinger Self Defense Tool protrudes between the top two fingers to focus the entire force of a punch into a tiny area about the size of a pencil’s eraser.  Unlike the push-dagger of old, the Stinger Self Defense Tool is only meant to cause shock of impact and is thus a less-than-lethal striking option.

This new self-defense tool was initially christened the “Secure-T-Grip” because of its “T” shaped profile, and later was renamed the “Walla-Walla Stinger” after the town Jim lived in.  Perhaps this second name sounded too much like a happy-hour special, so eventually it was shortened to just “The Stinger Self Defense Tool”.
Stinger Self Defense Tool Variations 

In recent years Jim produced a second variation on the Stinger Self Defense Tool known as the “Protector Light” that combined a LED (light emitting diode) mini-flashlight with the basic design.  Produced on a strictly limited basis and now treasured by those who have them as collector’s items, perhaps we will see these again in the future.  In addition to the added utility of having a mini-flashlight in the same unit, the “hollow-point” design of the tip that allowed for the LED also meant that the Protector Light would take little circular chunks out of an opponent’s flesh, allowing for DNA testing later and marking them for positive identification.

Here at Alliance, we have modified Stingers Self Defense Tools for use in the pressure point healing arts by drilling a hole part way through a rubber “super ball” and attaching it to the tip with epoxy.  This spreads out the pressure evenly over a larger area and allows for a more gentle activation of pressure points.

Stinger Self Defense Tool Colors

One interesting aspect of the Stinger Self Defense Tool is that they have been produced in numerous colors over the years such as red, yellow, green, blue, clear plastic, clear blue, and even clear purple (Laci Szabo’s “Miami Beach” model) in addition to good ol’ black and tactical gray.  While black is always a tempting choice for most guys, the diversity of color adds to the Stinger Self Defense Tool's invisibility and utility for today.


What do I mean?  Simply that a black one looks like a weapon, while a clear plastic (“ice”) or clear blue (“blue ice”) look more like a normal item upon quick examination.


Classic Black, Ice & Blue Ice
Stinger Self Defense Tools

The Clear Ice Stinger Self Defense Tools are additionally almost invisible when put in motion because of the low profile of the Stinger combined with the color and motion of hand.  The wide spectrum of colors also makes them better as gifts and encourages people to carry them because they will like them more (no self-defense tool is good if the person you give it to leaves it home because they think it’s “ugly” or whatever other reason).

Keys or No Keys?

Since the Stinger Self Defense Tool is designed as a keychain, the first decision one needs to make after deciding to carry it is whether to attach one’s keys to it or not.  Having the keys attached does help it pass unnoticed and allows one to have it in hand every time you are going to your vehicle, home, etc.

A second option is to have ones keys attached to a kydex Stinger Self Defense Tool sheath, such as those made by Mike Sastre of River City Sheaths.  This allows the keys and Stinger Self Defense Tool to be easily separated with a quick pull for both times when you want one and not the other – or if the keys were in use in your ignition and you needed the Stinger Self Defense Tool!  You must guard against losing your only set of keys in a fight, because you want to be able to scoot out if possible, so even if the Stinger Self Defense Tool gets dropped or otherwise lost, with a clip the keys could remain in safe in your pocket.

Here you can see just how easily you can still manipulate car keys to get into your vehicle while holding the Stinger Self Defense Tool in the correct grip.

Also notice that there are only two keys on it, not a lot!

To make sure the Stinger Self Defense Tool was visible in the photo, a bright yellow model was used and the hand is purposely turned so you can see it. An Ice color model would be next to invisible here, as would this one be with a little "slight of hand".

S.T.I.N.G.E.R. 7-Point Safety Checklist

For the untrained person, simply holding the Stinger on a keychain at "key" transitional times (house to car to office, etc.) can act as an anchor to remind them to PAY ATTENTION to what is happening around them.  I advise newcomers to self defense to do this whenever they touch or even think of the Stinger for the first few weeks they carry it, and it makes it a safety habit so in their minds Stinger Self Defense Tool = Pay Attention To What Is Happening!

What should you pay attention to?  To make it simple, we've used the word "Stinger" to create a basic 7-point check list.  There are more of course, but this is a start to get the untrained person thinking about these issues.  (Readers here doubtfully need a reminder of the basic “color codes of awareness” or other such principles but can probably appreciate it when dealing with family members, friends, and so on.)

S - Surroundings - What's going on around you?  A bar, a subway, the street?
T - Time of Day - Early morning, afternoon, 2 am, when?
I - Intuition - If something "feels wrong" then pay attention!  Trust yourself on this and act!
N - Neighborhood - Where are you?  Someplace you know or not?  How sketchy?
G - Groups - Whether formal (gangs, sports teams) or informal (bar patrons), groups act differently than individuals.  A big group of rowdy drunk women usually just means bad tips for the bartenders where a big group of rowdy drunk guys could mean watch out.
E - Exits - What are the exits from any room or area you enter?  Is there only one or are there more?  Who is between it and you?
R - Reactions - Unusual reactions from people to normal situations can indicate trouble.  If someone is wearing only shorts in December, gets unusually friendly or skittish, or flips out about something trivial then watch out.

So, if you run through the S.T.I.N.G.E.R. list and say "Hmmm...I'm at a party at 2am in a neighborhood I don't know and have a funny feeling about this group of guys who got all quiet then were suddenly irritated after I walked into the room - you know what - IT'S TIME TO GO via through the side door over there!"  Given that 7-point checklist failure, only a fool would stay, right?  Obviously, this is an exaggerated example but I'm sure you get the idea.

Basic Carry

There are several basic ways to carry the Stinger Self Defense Tool.  The simplest is in the strong or weak side pants pocket or jacket pocket depending on weather, other armament, and which side you want to deploy from.  Using the Stinger Self Defense Tool sheath mentioned above, one can also carry the Stinger Self Defense Tool on the belt or on a neck cord.

Additionally, there are several other covert ways to employ the Stinger Self Defense Tool sheath that are taught in the Comtech curriculum drawn from the art of stage magic.  In the same way that a magician produces lit cigarettes from thin air now you see my hands empty…now you see the Stinger Self Defense Tool in your face!  It’s that quick and deceptive when you know the trick.

Basic Grip

The Stinger Self Defense Tool is properly held between the top two fingers of the hand.  This allows the thumb to lock down on the side of the fingers and secure the grip.  It also promotes the same body mechanics as if you were firing a traditional punch with the top two knuckles of the fist or the “ram’s head” as it is known in some styles.  Whether striking with the fist in a vertical “Chinese” manner, with a partial twist, or with a “Japanese” full twist this is a strong grip and will help protect your hand.

Some people, especially those with large hands, may instinctively grip the Stinger Self Defense Tool between the middle two fingers.  However, while this can also work, it is not the preferred method as it does not promote correct striking mechanics or allow for a secured grip on the Stinger Self Defense Tool.  Try both in the drills and see…

If keys are carried on the Stinger Self Defense Tool, it may be gripped either keys up or keys down.  In the keys up position it it easy to manipulate the keys while still gripping the Stinger Self Defense Tool, meaning it can be in your hand while getting into your car, home, or office.  In the keys down position, the bottom two fingers grasp the keys so that no noise is made by them jingling together.  If the keys are long enough they will extend past the bottom of the fist, allowing for a few key-specific techniques in the Stinger arsenal (though these are seldom used as the Stinger Self Defense Tool produces a much greater effect).

Combative Use of the Stinger

Here Lily demonstrates a basic elbow shield against
the hook punch (1) and counters with a Stinger Self Defense Tool strike (2)

Striking the focus mitt is one of the basic things you must accustom yourself to do with the Stinger Self Defense Tool, and this builds confidence in the weapon and one's ability to actually utilize it.  In the photos above we see one simple focus mitt drill to work an elbow shield and counter attack with the Stinger Self Defense Tool.

Click HERE to Continue to Part II of Stinger Self Defense

Get the Stinger Self Defense Tool DVD Series Vol. 1-3

How to carry the Stinger Self Defense Tool unseen for optimal use and minimal visibility
Where to strike with the Stinger Self Defense Tool for eye-popping results every time
Invisible strikes that hit from concealment so they never see it coming
Block any punch and counter strike with your Stinger Self Defense Tool and the natural weapons of the body
What to do if they ever block your strike, even if your can't see
How to escape if they ever try to grab your hand and turn the tables in your favor
Learn to instinctively counter all forms of common holds, pushes, chokes and so on
Defense against the grappler and getting up off the ground to safety
How the Stinger Self Defense Tool skills relate to lethal force training with knife and pistol
How to easily train and retain all these techniques in just minutes a day

Stinger Self Defense Tool Vol. 1-3
Only $120 - Includes 3 Free Stingers!

Black, Ice (Clear) & Blue Ice (Clear Blue)
Stinger Self Defense Tools
The Stinger Self Defense Tool is a non-lethal force multiplier that focuses your strikes into an area smaller than a finger tip.  Hit hard with no hand training!
The Stinger Self Defense Tool is instinctive and very easy to use.

Only $9.95 each
Available in Black, Clear (Ice) & Blue Ice

(please list a first and second choice of color)

Also great for Pressure Point Healing arts


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