Force Multipliers: Overcoming a Disparity of Force

Force Multipliers: Overcoming a Disparity of Force

A self-defense force multiplier is an attribute that dramatically increases the effectiveness of a technique or weapon. Force multipliers are often justified when a disparity of force exists. Disparity of force is defined as a situation that any reasonable person would conclude places you at an overwhelming disadvantage in your effort to protect yourself against immediate and serious bodily injury. Understanding force multipliers and when to use them will help you prevail when the odds are against you.

What Are Force Multipliers

There are an infinite amount of force multipliers. These range from weapons and tactics all the way to variations in how self-defense techniques (combatives) are executed. If you are serious about self-defense, have force multipliers with you at all times. If you have to defend yourself, a disparity of force will probably exist. Think about it. Criminals look for easy targets, those they perceive as weaker than themselves.

Examples of force multipliers readily available are as follows:

  • Impact Weapons: Impact weapons are probably the most readily available in our everyday environments. An example would be making a fist and hammering an attacker in the nose with it. This “hammer fist” would be much more effective if you picked up a stapler and pounded the attacker in the face with the edge of the stapler protruding from your fist. Look are around your environment, impact weapons that can be utilized as force multipliers are plentiful. The key is to be aware of their existence before you need them.
  • Edged Weapons: Knives are usually the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of “edged” weapons. Knives are “scary” and a lot of people are not comfortable carrying them. Again, look around your environment and you will see a lot of sharp objects. Keys utilized as edged weapons can easily blind and cut an assailant. Refer to the article on how to effectively use keys as a self-defense weapon. Pens and pencils can be used with devastating results if driven into appropriate targets.
  • Firearms: Firearms are probably one of the most effective force multipliers. Fully understand the laws regarding use of force and the responsibility of being a legally armed citizen before you carry.
  • Pepper Spray: If I could carry only one non-lethal force multiplier it would be pepper spray. Nothing is effective all the time, but pepper spray is effective most of the time. Pepper spray is inexpensive, affordable and easy-to-deploy.
  • Tactics: Tactics are arguably the most important tool when it it comes to self-defense. Even with weapons, it is superior tactics that will help you get the weapon into the fight. You may need to distract an attacker or simply reposition your body to effectively bring a force multiplier into play.

Examples of Disparity of Force

What defines a disparity force is not black and white. Variables include things such as age, gender, strength, training or whether or not a person is armed. Some examples of disparity of force include:

  • Small person versus big person
  • Male versus female
  • Unarmed versus armed
  • Trained versus untrained
  • One versus many


Know when a disparity of force is working against you. Familiarize yourself with the use-of-force laws in your area and know when using a force multiplier is justified. Remember, the best force multiplier is useless if it isn’t readily accessible.

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