One of the better impact tools to come along in a while is the low-profile, multi-use widget called TheMARK by Delta2Alpha. Strong, innocuous, and inexpensive, TheMARK can be a keychain, a pocket “stick” for self-defense, and a means to hang your clothes or your kit when you don’t want your gear on the floor.
TheMARK is extremely useful as a daily-carry accessory. It’s not just a gear hanger; it’s also a tablet stand. I use it for my phone constantly. You can hook it under any electronic device to prop up the device for hands-free viewing. Tucked away in a back pocket or in your daily carry bag or briefcase, TheMark has almost no weight. You will honestly forget that it’s there until you need it.
The samples shown here are HDPE (high-density polyethylene), which has a high strength-to-density ratio. A premium composite version of TheMARK, as well as rubber trainers, are forthcoming from Delta2Alpha. You can, of course, choose to wrap TheMARK in paracord if you choose for a fuller, more ergonomic grip.
Held in the hand (TheMARK is comfortable even in my big mitts), the tool can be used to strike with either end. This concentrates the force of your blow into a smaller area. Like all impact tools, this rigid piece of plastic can’t feel pain and won’t break as easily as your knuckles will. This means you can hit harder with the tool than without, at least when delivering downward hammer-type blows (the strike easiest to carry out, in my opinion, by an untrained person).
You do not have to be “untrained,” however. Delta2Alpha sells a package on its website that includes a training video for the tool, covering all the ways you can use it for self-defense.
I find I use TheMark often to hang clothes, such as when I want to hang my jacket while using a public restroom where there’s no coat hook. To test the strength of the HDPE , a friend and I hung his heavy backpack — full of clothes and gear from the 2014 Blade Show in Atlanta — on a motel closet door during our trek back from Georgia to New York. The bag was heavy enough to strain the tool (it is only a thin piece of plastic, after all), but it held all night long and did not break.
When I showed a coworker all the things TheMark can do, his reaction was simple. “How,” he said, “is this guy not making a million dollars?” How indeed. If you’re not carrying TheMark, you should. It’s not expensive, it’s simple, it’s easy to learn to use, and it can do quite a few things. Carrying one will make you a more prepared person, and that’s what martialism is all about.