Blades - The Champion of Street Weapons
First let's kill the elephant in the room which is the common misconception "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight". While it is true that at a certain range a firearm is more effective, there is also a range where a blade is a better weapon. At 50 yards, I'd take a rifle, but at five feet, things change. You see the reality is that in most altercations you are close, very close. Your not across the parking lot shooting at a bad guy, he's in your face. He's trying to bring his weapon into play just as you are. At this range both weapons are good, it's the fighter that makes the difference. So with both weapons being effective at this close range, let's look at some other reasons why knives are such a good choice.
One very good point is that they are legal to carry in most areas, even if the type of blade is limited or restricted, there is normally some variation you are allowed to carry on a regular basis. This is also true of certain areas that would never allow guns. States, cities and business that restrict your carry of a firearm are often unconcerned with the carry of a pocket knife of some kind.
Also, training with a blade teaches you the basics of improvised weapons. Basically you learn to identify other objects, beside blades, that can puncture, penetrate or lacerate the human body. With this internal skill set, you will never be unarmed. You can literally make a weapon out of almost anything. So in environments that don't allow weapons at all, say a workplace, etc. you can still be safe and confident by placing everyday objects around you that others see, but do not immediately recognize as potential weapons. I'm my opinion, this is one of the biggest and best rewards from training in a blade oriented martial arts system. It literally opens up a whole world of weapons possibilities.
Training with a blade requires very little time to become deadly. It is a great equalizer. Take a novice and put them in a grappling match or a kickboxing match, they will get crushed by someone stronger and faster but equally unskilled. Give that novice a blade, they will win consistently. It makes the weak powerful and the skilled deadly.
There are other factors as well, they are lightweight, easy to carry and easy to conceal. You can buy them anywhere in the world in any shape or size. There are literally thousands of them and with a basic understanding of their use, anyone can be a handful.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is the only weapon you should own or carry. You should become skilled in the use of every weapons classification. You should carry what is appropriate for your threat level and have backups to each system of weaponry. You should also realize that the weapon is only a tool, YOU are the real weapon. Your awareness and willingness will determine the level of your preparedness.