Myth Buster – Lethal Weapon


Oh, good lord, not this myth again. Who exactly would you be registering your lethal hands with? You aren’t required to register a shotgun with the police. Do you suppose your hands would be more lethal than a shotgun? I could kill you with my bare hands by strangling you or punching you hard enough in the abdomen to cause peritonitis. Does that mean I have to register my hands too? Things you see in the movies are not true.
There is no law, rule, regulation, or statute that requires anybody to register any part of their body as a lethal weapon. Even if there were it would be pointless because there is no procedure. And what would be the point? So we can track the movements of your hands?
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to visit the frozen body of Walt Disney while trying to explode my stomach with Pop Rocks and soda.
If you want to read more about the registered hands myth I’ve included a link.


Black Belts have to register their hands with the police department as lethal weapons.”

I wish this were true. I think it would be great to have a license stating that my hands and feet were lethal weapons. I guess it would be like James Bond, having a “license to kill.”

Nevertheless, highly trained martial artists should be very careful using their skills for self defense. A slick attorney might be able to convince a jury that you should be considered as being armed with a deadly weapon. This could have an effect on a trial or sentence for overuse of force against an assailant, both in criminal and civil preceding.

If you get to that level of expertise AND
You lived in a location where hands were registered weapons,
I don’t think that it would be your choice anymore…
(Don’t forget that the Internet is an international community.)

It would be “you MUST” rather than “you MAY.”

The big question is: REGISTERED WITH WHOM???

I know of one outfit that will register your hands for $20(US) but it is probably only a gimmick to get a certificate (suitable for framing) and a wallet card..

I don’t see any of my high ranking TEACHERS listed in the registry.
Some of the martial arts are not even spelled correctly!
Never heard of “registered hands” for Judo either!

It looks like the organization is located in Florida (the first 8 registration numbers are from Florida.) Lots of Hapkido style people registered in Florida so my guess is that maybe a Hapkido school in Florida issues a “complimentary registration” upon reaching a certain rank.


I’m afraid this is just an urban myth and is something of a by product of the 70’s when people didn’t know any better. I’m sure if you looked hard enough you will find some scrupulous organisation on the web willing to take your money for a registration certificate.

What’s truly disturbing, however, is that some martial artists carry “registration cards” they’ve received from their instructors. Those instructors charge them a hefty fee to be registered, and the students believe what they’ve been told-that they’re now listed as deadly weapons. 


Cynthia DuBoise

I have proved many people wrong with this myth. Thank you!

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