Everyone needs to protect themselves, but you aren’t allowed to bring your gun into many places. If that wasn’t bad enough, you can’t have a taser or pepper spray either. Moreover, you can get in a ton of trouble for being armed. Everything you’ve got to keep yourself safe is suddenly putting you at risk for arrest instead. Something’s got to give.
So what’s a smart person to do when only the criminals are carrying, and you don’t want to get arrested like a common thug? Get crafty, of course. If you can’t bring a kubotan, but you need to stay safe, get yourself a good belt.
What the Heck is a Tactical or Self Defense Belt
Anything can be a weapon if you know enough about self-defense. For those who don’t, you can keep your pants up in style and have a relatively simple weapon on hand for emergencies. It’s hard to argue with a tactical belt since even the strictest employer doesn’t want to risk a lawsuit if they make you drop your drawers in front of the whole office.
Tactical gear can is anything that made with survival or practical applications in mind. Safety is vital, but also be honest about your capabilities and motivation when choosing your belt. Most tactical equipment serves at least two purposes, like holding up your pants and laying a beat down on some punk with a pocket knife who tries to get your wallet.
To be fair, any belt can be used tactically for self-defense. However, a great tactical belt is thicker and more resistant to cutting, tearing, and stretching than most. Look for a solid, slightly heavy buckle, often made of metal. The length of the belt can be made from any durable substance; thick leather, braided or woven fabrics, even metal.
The most important part is the robust and durable nature rather than the specific material. A defensive belt is a type of tactical belt because it is part of your strategy for self-defense. Whether you use yours to carry other self-defense items, or as a weapon on its own it is still a tactical self-defense belt.
Tactical Belt Styles
- Riggers or Trainers Belt- These are designed to clip on carabiners or has either incorporated slots for V or D rings to clip carabiners onto. The stitching on these belts is triple thick since they are expected to hold the weight of a person or even several people in an emergency.
- Webbing Belts- Webbing belts are what you find in a standard military uniform. The webbing has a friction tension buckle and can adjust to any size. These aren’t usually meant to carry much gear. Surprisingly, with a suitable buckle and fabric, they can take several pounds.
- Duty Belts- You could define a duty belt as the style you see on police, but that’s limiting. Anyone can wear duty belts. They are characterized by their ability to carry a lot of gear and weight.
- Gun Belts- It seems silly to even define this: A gun belt is designed to safely and effectively carry a gun.
- Defensive Belts- Defensive belts have metal buckles, studs, or other useful and often decorative elements that can be used as a weapon to defend your body.
There are also magnetic versions of the tactical belt. However, since this simply refers to the closure of the belt itself, it’s not getting its own category. Terms like ‘defensive’ and ‘tactical’ can be attached to almost anything. Whether the item lives up to the name is a wholly different issue.
How to Use a Defensive Belt
You don’t have to be Jackie Chan or MacGuyver to save yourself with just a belt. It would be great to look that cool while you make a daring escape, but what really matters is the escape. It doesn’t matter if you use a clown shoe and cry like a baby while you smack an attacker as long as you get away. Fortunately, you won’t look quite that ridiculous if you prepare with a great defensive weapon like a belt.
If you need a role model for belt fighting, you should spend some time watching the films of Li Lianjie, or as you probably know him Jet Li. He often fights with nothing more than a belt. Far from ridiculous, belt fighting is a longstanding tradition. Jet Li uses a belt in several of his films to devastating effect. Watching a master at work is truly inspiring.
It helps to understand a little bit about kinetic energy when you swing a belt for a weapon. Not the math per se, because numbers are fantastic, but they don’t quite illustrate the real-world applications the same as if you take a solid swing at an apple. The easy explanation is that all the energy from your arm and the belt goes into the point of contact, wherever it strikes.
Swinging your belt around isn’t as straightforward as using a stick, but it can do a whole lot of damage. Plus you don’t need to explain why you have a belt. Naturally, there are other tactics for belt fighting, but swinging the belt is what comes to mind first for most people. Keeping the assailant at a distance makes good sense.
Belt Fighting 101
If you want advanced belt use training try out hapkido. You’ll get a lot of useful training there, plus actual classes on fighting with a belt. There’s more than one technique for belt use, but the serious advanced students will want to learn from a master. For everyone else, here are a few basic ideas:
- Brass Knuckles- Wrap your belt buckle around your fingers. Use this to protect your hand and wallop the attacker. Go for the face or sternum for maximum effect with less effort.
- Whip/Ball & Chain- Using the buckle as the focal point, you can strike very effectively. A basic strike like this is exactly what most people think of first. It takes some practice to get good at this attack style, but it’s not hard to work out how to do it.
- Wrap & Tie- The most genuinely defensive belt technique is also the most difficult. It takes skill to quickly and effectively wrap a belt around someone and make it hold in a useful way. That’s where hapkido or other professional training comes in.
- Restraint- After you’ve incapacitated a person, using a belt to hold them in place also takes a little foreknowledge. Styles and materials have different applications. While a heavy belt with a large metal buckle is best for fighting, a softer and more flexible accessory is best for doing any tying up, you expect to have last more than a moment.
- Choke Hold- If you get a belt around an assailant’s neck, you can choke them. I suggest you let go once they fall unconscious, after all, self-defense is one thing, but manslaughter is a bit different. Always aim for a quick, safe escape.
Belt Fighting Basic Move
You can always use a good belt like as a combat item on its own. However, you also need to practice its use in combat, or you’ll find yourself hesitating while you think about what to do.
The most straightforward move requires almost no skill at all. You take your security belt, fold it in half, so the loop hangs down. Then you swing with the doubled belt. The shorter length will give you greater precision.
If you strike at full strength, you don’t need to be exact. Accurate enough to hit the target is fine for a beginner. A glancing blow will do. Aim for the soft spot at the groin, or strike for the hands, face or knees. Holding back under attack isn’t the best idea. Making sure you’re prepared with a defensive belt, and the skill to use it is vital.
A tactical belt, or any weapon for that matter, is only as good as the user. Before you go hog wild with your new belt weapon, familiarize yourself with basic safety. Set up a practice area with enough clearance that you can swing your belt at full extension around your body. Don’t forget to check overhead. Be mindful of any breakable windows or light fixtures.
If you plan to get really good at your new weapon, you’ll want to take a class, or at least watch videos of one. It helps to have a practice dummy on hand, but some weighted down heavy duty cardboard boxes will do if you don’t have a target. You’ll be pleased at how useful something as simple as a belt can be, but if you’re not careful you, and the local ER will be getting that lesson first hand.
Care & “Feeding”
A belt may be a fantastic tool, but if you don’t care for it properly, it will fail you. Leather needs oil to keep its suppleness and move well. Canvas belts will fray if you don’t use and launder them properly. Likewise, metal belts need cleaning and possibly even a little WD40 (or similar) on any jointed segments now and then.
If you want to have a functional weapon, you need to make sure you take the time to learn how to care for your specific belt. Each has different requirements, and there’s simply no one-size-fits-all solution.
It’s No Good if You Can’t Reach It: Dress the Part
Wearing a tactical belt with skinny jeans, you poured yourself into is probably a bad idea. It might be worth the investment to have some heavy duty snaps installed in your belt loops by a tailor if you absolutely have to dress for fashion instead of comfort. Additionally, you don’t want a heavy belt on a thin silk piece of summer wear. It will just tear the first time you try to get it off.
Fifty percent or more of using your tactical belt effectively is getting to it quickly. Practice getting it off. Remember to practice with different pants. When you choose a tactical belt, you have to dress to match it with large belt loops and sturdy fabric. After all, you don’t want to fight off a rapist by dropping your trousers for them.
You may feel silly standing in your basement or backyard taking your belt off at speed over and over, but it could save your life. If you have a stalker or carjacker on your heels, and no other weapon, you’ll be very glad you put in the time and effort to learn how to get to your weapon.
Top 5 Best Defensive Belts
We searched and researched to come up with this list of our favorite tactical-defense belts. These are not light duty fashion accessories. Each one can do severe damage to a person. Please be very careful practicing or using any of these on a human being. You can break bones and skin with a weapon like this. Never use them as a toy.
1. AGPtek Police Security Tactical Combat Utility Belt
When you purchase a defensive weapon, go with a reliable company. Our first pick is from AGPtek. Lots of people prefer a robust, simple design with loops for carrying defensive items instead of using the belt itself. With this option, you can use the belt to bring your defensive items with you.
Whatever you choose to carry, an outstanding combat utility belt like this can take the weight. They make these belts specifically for stowing all your pouches and accessories. You can wear it comfortably all day without any concern over velcro slippage.
Opt for pouches that are loose and snap or loop around the belt for double duty. If your attachments are loose and easy to free you can still whip off your belt and fight with it as a last line of defense. Having the ability to multitask put this option at the top of the list.
- Heavy Duty- The extra heavy stitching and layers of material on this belt makes it ideal for serious workloads. Since these belts are designed for use by police and private security among others, they have to be ready for anything you might throw at them, or hang off of them.
- Carries Your Gear- You can fit most standard belt attachments on this tactically sound two-inch-wide belt. Whether you need a place to clip on, or just a sturdy belt to loop around, this is one accessory that can take it all.
- Quick Release- Don’t ever get stuck with a belt that takes too long to open. Instead, you can have instant access to your gear with the quick release buckle. The velcro allows easy adjustment in case you gain or lose weight, but when time is of the essence, you can open the clasp in a fraction of a second.
- Black Only- Though most people don’t mind a black belt, it’s nice to have some say in the matter. You can order this belt in black, or if you prefer, also in black.
- Velcro is Stiff Sometimes- The velcro that gives the belt its exceptional adjustability can also be a little bit stiff, mainly when the belt is brand new. You’ll want to work with the belt a while and get a feel for how the velcro affects your flexibility and swing.
- Plastic Buckle- Most of the time, we look for a metal buckle on any defense belt. The heavy-duty plastic on this one is a mild drawback. At least it has a nice heft. Plus it’s well made so it will stand up to some serious hits. Plastic is harder to sharpen, and it doesn’t have the same weight. On the other hand, it will get through a metal detector.
Grab a professional self-defense belt here.
2. W&P Self-Defense Belt
The smooth segmented design of this alloy belt is bound to get more than a few compliments. The black electroplating on the outside gives your belt a sleek matte finish that will go with almost any outfit. There is no reason you shouldn’t look great and have tactical self-defense equipment at the same time.
Practice Makes Perfect
In order to become proficient at a skill, it always takes practice, but there are other benefits to swinging a heavy belt like the W&P Self Defense Belt. You may not be aware, but studies show that practicing gross motor skills, like holding and swinging an object can improve your fine motor skills as well. It’s strange to think your penmanship should improve because you learn a new form of self-defense, but it can happen. Of course, you need to practice your handwriting as well, or it doesn’t help.
Beyond that surprising fact, you’ll also help improve your dexterity in general, not just for writing. Additionally, you get the benefit of building better muscles. Exercise is good for you in many ways, and if you struggle to jog or do situps, then learning self-defense might be the perfect solution to get you moving. You might even say that training to fight with your belt could save your life in more ways than one, or at least make it more enjoyable and longer.
- Size Choices- Unlike some belts that are one size fits most. You can pick your size for a great fit. Having a loose belt tail is fine when you’re a kid, but as an adult, you need to have a belt that fits right.
- Alloy Power- Alloys are typically superior to other materials. While it’s not a super-power per se, the abilities of alloys are quite astounding. When you combine different metals to create a new hybrid, you can get more strength than they have alone or even corrosion resistance.
- Weight- At almost a pound and a half (650 g), this belt has serious heft. While that’s not enough to cause a problem with most pants, you might want to avoid silk belt loops to be safe.
- Belt Latch- The latch system on this belt should hold just fine. It releases fairly quickly as well, so this is a minor gripe, but the way this belt is designed uses an unusual clasp. This could cause a delay in opening and removing the belt, especially for those used to pin buckles. Still, it’s probably more efficient once you get used to the different latching mechanism.
- Segments Catch- W&P self-defense belts are well designed, so there’s minimal space between parts. Unfortunately, there is some space, and that can catch on fabrics or hair. Make sure your belt loops give proper clearance.
- Chain Cleaning- The segments on this belt are like a (very) large chain. Chains can get dust and debris in the links and need cleaning with special tools. For a belt like this, a soft-bristled toothbrush may be ideal. Just don’t forget to clean your belt, so it stays flexible.
Check out W&P’s prices right here.
3. Business Belt
When you need something beautiful and detail oriented to dress up your look, but you also have personal safety in mind, this belt is a fantastic option. The intricately detailed buckle and flexible weave from the multitude of interlocking pieces make a perfect accessory for any occasion.
The steel cords and pieces weave together creates a comfortable and secure fit for any waist. Woven belts, whether fabric or small metal pieces have excellent flexibility so it will move with you.
- Decorative Details- The oriental knotwork pattern on the buckle brings a touch of classic appeal to the fore. Unlike most defense belts, this one looks like a regular ornate belt.
- Steel Strands- Many woven belts are made with canvas or a similar fabric regardless of what the outside is made from. However, this piece is made with steel wires in the core to add strength and flexibility.
- Help With Sizing- If you’re just not sure what size you need to order, all you have to do is contact the company for help sizing.
- Lots of Small Parts- Regardless of how attractive a belt is, anything made from a large number of small parts is problematic if it breaks.
- Copper Buckle- Copper, unlike stainless steel, can corrode and even stain fabrics if not adequately cared for. This buckle is plated, but if the plating wears off, you’ll need to re-seal the metal to avoid problems with oxidation.
- Foreign Language- Since this belt is imported from China, the language on the tags is not English. If you need directions to put on a belt then perhaps you can have a retail seller in a major clothing department help you figure it out.
Pick up your detailed defensive belt here.
4. TRNMC Men’s Stainless Steel
For those whose style leans more toward embossed metal, this belt will suit your wardrobe perfectly. Incredible intricacy without added parts and complications make this a great middle ground. You get the flexibility you need in a weapon without adding unnecessary pieces.
A good metal belt is an investment. Not only is it a weapon and a way to keep your pants up, but you can keep it for years. Like any great tool, a well made defensive belt can save you money in the long run because it won’t need to b replaced.
- Choice of Buckle Styles- The chance to customize your tools is somewhat rare. You can choose between several styles of the buckle to better suit your style.
- Thinner Belt- At a mere 3.2 centimeters wide, this belt is thinner than many of the other options. A slender belt moves faster in the air.
- Printed Metal- Embossing is impressive enough, but TRNMC also uses the metal printing technique to add details to its beautiful defensive belts.
- Lots of Attachment Points- While you can expect a quality belt to hold together, it is nevertheless true that the more pieces, the higher the chance of a weak link.
- Eye-Catching- There’s just no way that this belt is going to go unnoticed. The attractive pattern ad metallic shine will be seen. Naturally, you can use this to your advantage as well, and intentionally draw attention to what you’re doing with the belt in order to launch a second, sneakier defense.
- Flashy is Casual- Unfortunately, this handsome belt isn’t suited to most formal occasions. Hopefully, you won’t need to worry about being attacked at a business meeting, but you may want to bring a backup defense just in case you happen to need it.
Get a look at the details here.
5. Fairwin Tactical Belt
Choosing a tactical belt or a defense belt can be challenging enough without the unknowns. Bad webbing will fray and break down faster than you’d expect. Some companies cut corners with overly thin webbing to save a few pennies. Don’t mess with that sort of ridiculous nonsense. Instead, go with a proven company like Fairwin, so you know what you’re getting.
Easily adjustable webbing belts may not have the weight of their metal cousins, but they move faster, flex further and hit hard. A heavy metal buckle like the quick release on a Fairwin will stop an assailant in their tracks if you hit them with it.
- Thickened Webbing- Extra thickness means more durability. The life of a belt can be all too brief, but these should last a long time thanks to this thoughtful detail.
- Breathable- Some materials are like a wall; they stop anything from passing through. A good webbing belt is breathable and allows for airflow.
- Dedicated- The Fairwin company who make this belt don’t do a lot of other things. They only do one thing, and they do it very well.
- Tactical Gear- In addition to being a defensive weapon, these belts can also handle holsters and plenty of molle pouches if you want to carry additional defensive items.
- Large Buckle- Always read the product descriptions carefully. The wide and thick metal buckle won’t fit through all standard loops. This is great for defense, but not fantastic for small belt loops. Fortunately, you can take the male end off the belt to thread it through the loops.
- More Than You Bargained For- The belt is closer to 2 inches than 1.5. That’s not a bad thing, but if you specifically need a thinner belt, this is not the one.
- Doesn’t Come in Multipack- This belt is so useful and comfortable it’s hard to complain about it. The only additional problem is that there’s no bulk price if you want two or more of them.
Get yours while they’re in stock here.
Honorable Mention: Three Row Pyramid Studded Belt
Sometimes you just want a fashionable, slightly edgy, but not too noticeable belt that can double as a weapon. A good studded belt like this Pyramid Belt will look great and give you an advantage in a fight. The style is ubiquitous, so it blends in without being overly dull.
The triple row of pyramid shaped studs that give the belt its name will also give an assailant a headache and a very hard time reaching you. It’s great for clubbing or clubbing your attackers equally.
Find your cool new style right here.
Plenty of people get hit with a belt as children. There are two schools of thought on this, and I don’t mean for or against spanking. About half will say it wasn’t a big deal. Meanwhile, the rest can attest that belts can certainly hurt. However, neither group was likely every hit by an adult who was swinging full strength with a tactical belt. That doesn’t explain how effective it is to fight with a belt.
Consider this: When it comes to breaking a bone, it’s complicated to give an exact number for how many PSI or how much pressure it takes to break one. A finger isn’t as thick as a femur, and your angles matter too. However, a fast hard punch can deliver 3,300 or more newtons of force. Practically speaking, that means a one in four chance of breaking a bone.
Hitting someone with a metal belt buckle for a fist or with a swinging chunk of the metal belt buckle is going to hit harder than a fist. So if you wonder if it’s going to be sufficient to hit someone with a belt, you bet it is.