With the postings about concealed carry handguns, I think the forum is evolving a bit into the "tactical" realm. Not a necessarily a bad thing, though I think a lot of people practicing "empty hand" arts may feel uncomfortable. But, it is not incompatible either. The fact is mindset determines survival, and survival requires flexibility in meeting and utilizing whatever to respond most effectively to a given situation -- what Van sensei calls the "force continuum".
This forum is national and international, cutting across various jurisdictions. Some have more ready access to permits for concealed carry. Some face serious obstacles. And some are total prohibited. Nevertheless, one call still carry a "tactical" within the boundaries of existing laws. You need to know those boundaries and find the "tacticals" that fit within the boundaries. (Of course, you can skirt those boundaries but keep it to yourself. We don't want to know about your breaking the law, nor do you want us to know either
I happen to live in a city where concealed handgun permit is highly restricted, practically next to impossible in talking to some folks. (I heard though that there is a screw up with the regulation/permits for hand gun target practice that almost allows one to carry, but I wouldn't trust that.) I also happen to not want to carry a concealed handgun for a number of personal and professional reasons. So, what are the other choices? Well, in the past, I always had a small, 4-6" stick in my pocket. I almost always have some stick weapon with me from going to and from training. Since the summer, with budding FMA training interest, and some "events" around where I work, I always have a large folder in my front pants pocket and now also a smaller folder in my jacket pocket. I also carry a minimag light in my jacket pocket.
Initially, in carrying the folder, I was pretty conscious of it. It raised a lot of internal questions about when it would be necessary and appropriate to use in self defense. Now, months later, things have pretty much settle downed. I don't have internal questions and the tools are just there and second nature, though I'm pretty much aware of them whenever I engage in activity where they may fall out. It's also funny to find how useful they have been on a daily basis, e.g cutting bagels, fruits, letter opening, cutting rope/straps, etc. The minimag has also been used several times when power was lost in one of our buildings.
I must say that my wife was not comfortable initially when I started doing some of the FMA, nor when knives starting popping here and there on me and in the house. I think she's more comfortable now. As I said to her, "I was a fighter when you met me. You know I fight only when I have to. Nothing's change in that regard. Only change is the presence of tacticals on me in addition to what I would use, if need me, in the environment of a given situation."
[Note: This message has been edited by gmattson]