bar fight
Two guys getting into it after a long night of partying at the bar

The Mandatory Guide to Winning a Bar Fight With an Ashtray

If you like going to bars, sooner or later you’re gonna get into a bar fight. Booze tends to bring out the “beer muscles.” And the thing about muscles is people love to flex ‘em! Doesn’t matter that you’re more interested in a hook-up than a dust-up. You don’t have to go looking for a bar fight — it’ll find you. When it does, you need to be ready. In this case, being ready means arming yourself. Even the smallest object is superior to the biggest fist. Fortunately, virtually any object—from a beer mug to a rubber band to even your own sneakers — can be used as a weapon…if you know how to handle it correctly.

Some items can be used exactly as they are, whereas others require some creative manipulation to be used in a defensive capacity. Granted, some of these objects and instructions may seem a bit peculiar, but there’s a method to our madness. We’ve purposely taken an unconventional approach to improvised weaponry and self-defense to get you thinking, and to show you that no matter what situation you’re facing, there’s always something you can do, and, in all likelihood, there’s always something within reach to assist you.


The martini glass in front of you is way too fragile to stake your safety on. That’s when you notice the solid glass ashtray. With so many public anti-smoking laws in effect these days, finding an ashtray in a public venue is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. But smoking is still permitted in most casinos, and where there’s smoking, there are ashtrays. This one may just save your life.

Once you have the ashtray in hand, consider the following options:

1. If the ashtray has any robustness (a solid chunk of glass, for example), use it as an impact weapon. Grasp it tightly in your hand, and swing with the same motion you would use when swinging a hammer. Be careful not to palm any sharp edges. For best results, strike your enemy with the sharpest or thickest edge.

2. Target the hands or fingers, especially if your attacker has a hand on the table, or go for his toes if he’s wearing soft shoes or sandals. You don’t need much force to crush or sever a digit.

3. If an opportunity to strike your attacker’s head presents itself, aim for the temple, the base of the skull, or directly behind the ear. A hard impact to any of these areas will likely put the offender down, even if drugs or alcohol have heightened his pain threshold or amped up his strength.

4. If you’re looking to do some damage, jam the ashtray into the attacker’s open mouth, immediately followed by an uppercut, palm thrust, or knee to the jaw. Broken teeth will be the likely result. Depending on the ashtray’s composition and density, the ashtray itself might shatter, compounding his injuries. This technique is even more effective when carried out as a rapid, two-handed maneuver.

5. If all else fails, throw the ashtray at your attacker. This should only be employed as a last resort for two reasons. First, once you’ve thrown the ashtray, unless you’ve incapacitated your target (unlikely), and unless there’s another self-defense-worthy object handy, you no longer have a weapon; and second, hit or miss, you may have just armed your attacker with an object he can now employ against you.

Cover Photo: Urilux (Getty Images)


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