Whenever chat turns to self-defence (and, uh, it does that quite often here), I ask people if they know how to use a key to hurt someone.
They invariably show me the key-in-the-fist position illustrated in step four of my picture. And this is just plain awful. It's the worst thing to do with a key. If you want a dozen stitches and a hand that won't ever function again, feel free to use the wrong way.
If you'd like to walk away and still be able to type on a computer keyboard, try the way I've illustrated. I don't THINK I invented this method. I seem to remember someone telling me the principle. But I'm damned if I can recall who or when.
The text reads:
PEACE IN SOUTH AFRICA
Be alert. Be prepared. Defend yourself....
Step 1: Seat the Key in Your Dominant Hand.
1. In your dominant hand, seat your key against the fleshy bulge at the base of your index and zap sign fingers. Curl your index finger under the key.
Step 2: The Key Points in the Same Line As Your Thumb.
Step 3: If Needed, Strike Upwards With a Sucker Punch to the Side of the Jaw.
Step 4: The 'usual' Way People Advise One to Hold a Key Will Result in Terrible Injury -- to Yourself!
A public service announcement from Roy Blumenthal
CC Creative Commons -- Non-Commercial -- Attribution -- Share-Alike 2006
Step 5: Peace and Safety Reign Supreme.
You exude readiness.
Criminals don't WANT to waste time with the alert-looking person. They know that alert people are observant people.
So when you're walking around scoping out the joint for potential thugs to skewer, they're noticing your behaviour. So this technique IS about peace after all.