Yesterday I was working on a short film set. I saw a couple of the other guys on set messing around with what I thought were plastic practice knives. Naturally, I inquired about the objects.
Turns out, a guy's father (and a friend of the father) recently invented/developed a new non-lethal self-defense tool to be called "the snag" (it could be "snagg", I'm not sure yet). Though the guy who demonstrated the use of the tool to me did not enjoy my "simplification" of this item, it is essentially a modified, plastic version of a karambit knife. This weapon/tool can be used to break kunckles (by targeting a counter-punch at an oncoming fisty), hurt the ribs, or simply do more harm to an assailant's face and sternum.
Why it's called a "snag", however, is because you can use the hooked end to dig into the assailant's clavicle and better manipulate him with stand-up grappling techniques.
I was fortunate enough to be given one, and I'm definitely going to be carrying it as my if-necessary weapon of choice. It's quite handy, and I plan to devote quite a bit of time to practicing with it so that in a week or so I will be able to use it efficiently and swiftly.
The guys who developed this are martial arts enthusiasts (of course), and they have been making deals to sell the Snag to military and police departments. While this may never get the same self-defense rep as brass knuckles, or become the next big thing in non-lethal tools used by soldiers and police officers, I think that it deserves that consideration. It's handy for both punching (like brass knuckles) and stand-up grappling. It should be on the market in the next couple of months, and will be getting write-ups in the major martial arts, self-defense, and weapons magazines. I predict that Joe Wagner (Black Belt's resident reality-based self-defense and military expert) will be talking about it within a year.
It is somewhat similar to the Japanese yawara (a small stick used to damage knuckles and strike pressure points ), but I think it is much more effective since it can more easily be used with typical gross motor movements (basic punching is made more devastating by the extension of the plastic ring on the index finger and the "edge" beneath the pinky). I personally think that this tool/weapon should be used in every self-defense class and modern "ninjutsu" school.
[This seems like the kind of thing Batman would develop and use. That is, if he didn't already have batarangs, bat-shuriken, and a complete mastery of empty-hand fighting.]
[I think we'll see this in movies sometime fairly soon. I'm hoping to be the first person to put it in a movie, and I plan to use it in some fight scenes in a feature I plan to shoot this summer.]
[By the way, I do NOT get paid for any of this. I'm just fan.]