Here is an excellent self-defense weapon, the Cossack whip, or nagaika. I received mine directly from Siberia (thank you Andrei!). It is a short braided leather whip with a hard handle and a tip which sometimes contains metal (mine doesn’t) like a small lead bullet. Overall length is thirty seven inches.
It feel very good in the hand. I can’t imagine a better weapon against an armed attacker. I don’t mean someone with a gun twenty feet away.. However, I would rather have a nagaika against a knife, than holding a knife myself. Unlike a bull-whip (the Indiana Jones kind), which is much longer, the Cossack whip is used for horseback riding. It is ideal to strike targets from a foot to about six or seven feet away, if you have long arms. Otherwise, it can be wrapped around arms, neck, or any part of the body for a take-down or choke. The handle can be used to strike. You can aim for an attacker’s ankle and send him flying.. Combined with Systema, which is a Cossack style of fighting, it becomes a redoubtable tool. Sure, it isn’t as easy to carry as a folding knife, though I have found a pretty good way (see photo below).
The handle sticks out a bit much. I could have one made with a handle a couple of inches shorter, but I don’t think I will be packing a whip that often! Which makes me wonder about the legalities of doing so. Maybe a LEO reading this could post a comment.. The tip is secured through the lanyard with a hair-tie. Another way is to stick it down my pants with the handle coming up on the side, which makes it practically invisible under a shirt. Though I did not buy it for carry, I would not hesitate to go investigate suspicious noises outside with it, even having a large selection of other items at hand for that purpose 😉
When I have time, I will make a video showing Systema principles applied to the whip. I need practice though, so you will have to wait a bit, so that I can make a decent one and post it right here.
Except for the diameter of the braid near the tip, which could be slightly thicker, I have put praise for the design, which I am sure evolved through centuries of practical use. They certainly know how to make them in Siberia! If any of my readers want one, you have two options: Order one there for $220 if you can’t wait, or let me know, and when I have five or ten buyers, we can place a group order, $180 a piece, shipping included. I am just doing this as a courtesy to my readers, it could take a LONG time.. A cheaper alternative would be the Cold Steel Sjambok at $15, made of polypropylene. Of course, you could also cut a piece of garden hose.. What would you rather say to someone asking you what is budging under you shirt though, “a garden hose,” or “a Cossack whip?” Well, either way, they will deem you crazy, but the Cossack whip sounds way cooler!