There are no doubt some people who despite every good intention, frequent practice, and careful attention to detail, are too dysfunctional to master the Jay method of self-defense. This poses a serious problem. Can we allow these unfortunates to be abused by the hostile rowdies who inhabit our streets, and those who break into our homes? In all good conscience, we cannot.
For such people there are mechanical aids which, with a minimum of practice, may give a person a means of conquering fear and living a healthy and well-adjusted life.
A crossbow-like item called Zing-It, invented and marketed by R.A. Hamilton of New Jersey, is just such a device. The Zing-It consists of a T-shaped piece of wood about eleven inches long and five-and-a-quarter inches across at the bar of the T. A groove about one-quarter of an inch wide runs from front to rear in the exact center of the devise. A dowel of wood which is connected to a #64 industrial rubber band runs in the groove. The dowel is about an inch longer than the groove and has a projecting lug at its foremost end. The card is placed along the crossbar at the T where there are four pins to steady the card at the best angle for the shot. After placing the card in position, the dowel and consequently the elastic (which is connected to the underside of the crossbar) is pulled back with the right hand. The left hand steadies the machine, aim is taken, and the dowel is released; the lug hits the card, propelling it sharply forward.
With practice, one can become proficient at loading and firing with great accuracy and may reasonably expect to achieve thirty aimed shots per minute (spm).
As a last resort, the solid construction of the device enables it to be used to bludgeon attackers at close range.
Zing-It may also be used for fun. It is possible to do the boomerang stunt with the device and also to launch paper airplanes. Mr. Hamilton's address is 978 Madison Avenue, Plainfield, New Jersey 07060.
An absolutely fiendish device used to propel playing cards was brought to the author's attention by Bradley Efron, the chairman of the statistics department of Stanford University. Professor Efron may have been the first person to experiment with the use of a regulation hunting slingshot to sail cards.
The Wham-O Slingshot is recommended and available commercially at a reasonable price, but almost any brand will work. It is best to hold the slingshot with the left hand and the card with the right. The lower end of the card should be inserted in the pouch and held with the thumb and index finger. The left hand aims and the right hand pulls back and releases. The height, distance and speed of the cards propelled in this manner will exceed those thrown by hand by all but the most expert practitioners.
A strange device was used almost a hundred years ago by a well-known French conjurer named Buatier DeKolta. He housed a spring-loaded device in a bouquet of flowers; when a card was placed on the bouquet and the catch released the card was propelled a great distance. Using this remarkable contraption, DeKolta actually sent a card over the Flatiron Building in New York City. Though the actual details of its construction remain unpublished, those persons of mechanical aptitude are urged to experiment. Particular
Rubber-finger aid to propelling cards thought should be given to the engineering of card guns. (Please feel free to engage the author in correspondence if your efforts are successful.)
A strange device in the card-thrower's arsenal is mentioned in a 1949 issue of The Phoenix (a conjurer's periodical) by Audley Walsh. The product is a rubber finger, a device sold in stationery stores and used for the sorting of bills and papers and as a prophylactic for the first phalange of the employed digit.
The device can be used for techniques which call for a card to be shot off the deck under pressure (such as the Long-Distance Spinner mentioned in the chapter on Advanced Techniques). Place the rubber piece on the thumb or first finger (whichever propels the card in the method being used). You will notice that without any change in technique it is possible to spin the cards a much greater distance and with less effort. The device is also a great aid in fancy one-hand dealing.
Though shunned by the purist, this tool is worthy of investigation by the curious novice.
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