The Fast Strike Defense weapon is neither fully an impact weapon nor fully a flexible weapon, making it an unusual hybrid of the two. It’s essentially a cord whip connected to a high-impact plastic handle and pocket clip. In this sense it is not dissimilar to the telescoping antenna some of us dinosaurs from the Seventies saw used in our younger years. You could also draw comparisons to a sjambok. The Fast Strike Defense weapon is less-lethal than a club when used to whip — although the pointed plastic handle can also be used to deliver punyo strikes.
“I created the FAST STRIKE™ Non Lethal Self Defense weapon after searching for self defense, martial arts, and hand to hand combat products for my family members,” explains Dave at Fast Strike Defense. “I found that the majority of these items required the user to learn specific and elaborate techniques to use them effectively. …I really liked the idea of a whip-type product, but needed to refine the concept to prevent the user from striking themselves during use. This was accomplished by creating a spring like action that limits the travel of the striking end of the weapon and increases the striking velocity. The spring action also allows the user to deliver repeated strikes in rapid succession without the worry of self-striking.”
Dave explains that the handle allows the user to clip the weapon onto his or her clothes. The first generation Fast Strike was a bit cumbersome in that the only real way to conceal it was to shove it down your pants leg or wrap it around your waist (with the pocket clip through a belt loop of your pants). Fast Strike recently introduced a Gen 2 model (which comes in both black and pink), however. This is much more compact and therefore easier to carry — eliminating the few reservations I had about the Gen 1 model. A tutorial can be found on their YouTube channel.
“Deployment of this self defense weapon is lightning fast,” Dave contends. “Only a fraction of a second is required to draw and deliver the first blow. The small cross section of the striking end transfers the energy of the weapon to a very small area on the target and inflicts severe trauma. Strikes to the hands and fingers may result in broken bones, while strikes to the neck and face area will cause extreme pain, bruising, and possibly lacerations. The small cross section of the striking end, the cable like stiffness and the incredible tip speed of this self defense weapon make it very unlikely that the attacker will be able to take the weapon from you. I have also designed the handle of this non lethal self defense weapon to be a brutal impact weapon.”
Dave says he developed the Fast Strike so that almost anyone could defend themselves with it, intuitively and without great physical strength. In that I think he has succeeded. The whip is easy to use and, with the Gen 2 model, relatively easy to carry and conceal. It does not deliver that much force, however. Yes, you could conceivably lacerate someone with it, and it’s going to hurt like a mother if you get lashed across the face or hand, but it won’t truly bring somebody down. This, too, is by design.
Fit and finish are good. My Gen 1 Fast Strike has adjustable tension, although after taking the handle apart to mess with it, I finally just decided to leave it as it was. I did not find wrapping the tool around my waist to be very comfortable, so I opted for clipping it inside my waistband with the whip along my thigh under my pants. It was easy to draw and strike with the weapon. I gave my Body Opponent Bag quite a workout while slapping it around with the whip, listening to the cord sing through the air. A few experimental strikes on my own hand and wrist were enough to convince me that I didn’t want to do that anymore.
I’m not certain any flexible, non-weighted weapon truly has the power to neutralize an aggressive, determined attacker. Still, if you approach the Fast Strike as a means of deterring and hurting, rather than neutralizing and stopping, it has a real role to serve — especially, as intended, for those with relatively little strength and/or training. Anyone can flail away at someone with this whip and, with a little instruction, direct those attacks at an attacker’s vulnerable neck and face.
Taken in that context, there may indeed be a place in your self-defense arsenal for this tool. I found it, in testing, to be light and quick — and fun to use, insofar as that goes. This is a specialty implement that won’t appeal to everyone, but for those who do like it, I think they’ll be well satisfied with the results.