Lars was an avid traveler: he embraced the challenge and excitement of traveling alone, usually with little more than the clothes he was wearing and a small backpack. In spite of his few possessions, he considered himself pretty well prepared. He carried a small handcuff key in his back pocket along with a good pocket knife. He got pretty chummy with a fellow drifter he befriended in a hostel in Central America. Unfortunately, he let down his guard after a few drinks one night and let it slip during the lighthearted conversation that he was carrying quite a bit of cash on his person. In his bleary half-drunken state Lars thought it was still a joke when his new friend suddenly produced a pair of handcuffs and cuffed his hands behind his back, but he sobered up quickly when he realized that his acquaintance was going through his meager possessions and pocketing everything of value.
He reached for the handcuff key in his back pocket and managed to fish it out despite his trembling fingers, but having never actually practiced with it his fingers had no muscle memory. He fumbled with it behind his back, unable to find the keyhole. His shaking hand dropped the key after a moment, and a crack on the head made him black out.
If you are a frequent foreign traveler, a law enforcement or security officer, in the military, or otherwise determined to be prepared for anything, a handcuff key should have a place in your everyday carry. This is an excellent first step, but just like any other specialized gear, a handcuff key is worthless to you in an emergency situation if you have no experience using it. Lars’ story is an all-too-common one, about an individual who considers himself well-prepared because of the gear he carries. His huge and potentially deadly mistake was in not cultivating the skill to actually use his handcuff key. His lack of applicable skill rendered the key useless.
The answer to this problem of false preparedness is simple practice. Just as you can tie your shoes in just about any circumstance without thinking about it, your goal is to develop the muscle memory to be able to use a handcuff key in a variety of situations- in the dark, while distracted, with your hands behind you, etc. An excellent tool to assist you in this is a handcuff trainer. A handcuff trainer is a real working handcuff with a cutaway side so you can see the movement of the inner mechanism as you work on the lock. Practice with a trainer will increase your overall understanding of how handcuffs work, increasing your effectiveness at escaping and thus your overall chances of survival. The real question is not why you need a handcuff trainer, but why don’t you have one yet?
Get prepared now with our handcuff trainer kit -- Check it out!