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The Best Multitool

Some news.  I'm a prepper.  In Hawaii, it is prudent to be prepared for hurricanes, tsunami, earthquakes, pandemics, disruption of public services, shipping strikes, etc.

One question you will often hear in prepper circles is this:  "What is the best multitool?" The answer is that the best multitool is the one you have when you need it.

I have a lot of multitools.  Some can get pretty expensive.  But no matter how good a multitool might be, it is of no use if you don't have it when you need it.

Karate techniques are sort of like multitools.  What is the best Karate technique?  The one you can use when you need it.

I have written an article about kata bunkai called The Why of Bunkai: A Guide For Beginners. It originally appeared in Classical Fighting Arts.  If you read the article, you will begin to understand how my mind works: in writing about bunkai I break techniques down and apply them to different situations and see how the movements can be used in different ways.  One movement can have many meanings -- many.  In other words, it looks like I am viewing bunkai in a complicated way.

But what really matters is what works when it is needed.  Techniques are sort of like multitools.  Knowing a technique you cannot use is like having a multitool back at your house.

My best multitools don't have that many tools: a knife blade, saw, file, pliers, can opener, screwdrivers...  They don't have that many tools, but the tools work really well.  You could also imagine a multitool with so many tools that it would be too heavy and bulky to carry.  Again, this is a lot like Karate techniques.

I think that it is excellent to know the meanings of the movements of the kata.  But is is more important to have a small set of reliable go to techniques that you are really good at.  In self defense, you don't get higher marks for creativity.  There are no marks.  You win by surviving and avoiding injury.  What matters is what works.  And it doesn't have to be pretty to work.

So what is my favorite multitool?  In the front of my cars (in the driver side storage area in the door), I have a Leatherman Supertool 300, as well as a knife and strap cutter.  In the back of my cars, in my medical/get home bag, I have a Leatherman Wave and Micra.  I am also partial to the Leatherman Charge.  I would carry that on my belt in a bug out situation.  I also like the military versions of the Gerber multitool.

And my favorite Karate technique is to avoid the attack.  Failing that, I would get in very close and... use the Karate multitool.


Charles C. Goodin