That’s What She Said: Weaponology by Ed’s Manifesto

| November 14, 2016 | 3 Comments

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

Day 1

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:

  • be constructed of readily available materials
  • penetrate several layers of cardboard
  • be discarded and mistaken for garbage
  • fit a narrative within the context of your life

Additionally, we weren’t allowed to buy anything.

I picked something I rarely leave home without:



It fits my narrative of ” Who, me? I’m just a nice lady making a leg warmer. ”

Day 2

We all came back to class with our assignments. People made some terrifying shivs out of crap they found in their hotel rooms, dumpsters and in one case a community garden. It was impressive.

I did this.


So many beautiful options…


I even had reloads.


But wait there’s more..

I partnered with my friend Krunk for the garrote portion of the day. While working with him allowed me to indulge in some Leia vs Jabba fantasy play, our size differential made it complicated to execute the techniques properly. He is well over a foot taller than I am, and almost triple my size.

I think I’ll stick with foot traps and face abuse.

Finally, we had to fight off other people in a jail cell. Students fought from 2 to 5 attackers at once, and towards the end of the day a pair of students fought up to 6 people at once.

The rules were:

  • defender has a (soft) knife
  • attackers may only restrain the hands and arms of the defender (I cheated on this a few times, sorry guys — SBS)
  • attackers continue to subdue / restrain the defender until Ed tapped them out
  • defender has to escape the room with the knife

No ear detachments allowed.

Some of the attackers were armed with blue guns, but they were not to shoot. The intent was for defenders to learn to sweep attackers, locate better weapons, and then level up. The problem was that with 5 sets of hands grabbing at you in a confined space, you’re too busy to do much of anything apart from stab the shit out of whoever you can reach.

I went in fully expecting to be overwhelmed. I’m 5’2. The disparity of force was almost comedic.

The more I do this type of force on force training, the less panic I feel. I’ve become more aware of my options. I chose to use the room’s design to my advantage. I stood on the inmate bed to take the high ground (for once), and didn’t turtle up when I couldn’t escape right away.

Plot twist: I pushed my feet on my attackers hips to create enough space to stab them! Just like I learned from my smattering of jitzing. Cecil and Craig would be so proud.

In my 2016 tour of shit that scares me silly, this class was a stand-out. I learned things that are unexpected of someone who looks like me, and I love that element of surprise. If you want to learn how to become more dangerous wherever you find yourself with no weapons required, this is the class for you.






About the Author:

The She-Shepherd The She-Shepherd is a defensive firearms student, mother and advocate for pushing the boundaries of how we train. She believes that defensive training must balance context, mindset, and skill to be most effective. Her specialty has become testing alternative modes of firearms carry and best practices of less than lethal force options through rigorous force-on-force scenario based training.

3 Comments on "That’s What She Said: Weaponology by Ed’s Manifesto"

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  1. Sharon says:

    Wow! I always love reading your posts! I was right in there with you as you described what you went thru and how you reacted! I would love to have the ‘courage’ to experience a class like that! Dealing it viscerally like I did when reading it, maybe that is the first step!

    • Scott says:


      It all starts with a first step. I am sure She Shepherd would agree that she has taken many small steps to get to the point she is in her training. The point is to not give up or allow yourself to be discouraged along your path. If you encounter obstacles learn from them. Repeat those steps necessary to improve your knowledge and abilties and move on.

  2. The She-Shepherd The She-Shepherd says:

    Heh, thanks for reading. At this point I’m not sure if it’s courage or pure stubborness, but it is getting easier.
    When I started shooting I never imagined I would take a class like this. It took a long time, but if I can do it you can too. 🙂

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