This Pen Is the Weapon of Choice for China’s Elite Bodyguards

This Pen Is the Weapon of Choice for China’s Elite Bodyguards

There’s a functional pen inside, but on the other end (where the actual tip of the pen should be), there’s a sharp point, almost unnoticeable, that can be used to stab an attacker.

Dan Cain

This article appeared in the May issue of VICE magazine. Click HERE to subscribe.

In November 2014, I traveled to an elite coed bodyguard training school on the outskirts of Beijing to film a VICE.com documentary about female bodyguards, known for their elegance and covert presence. In China, personal bodyguards are a status symbol, and having a female bodyguard is the pinnacle of class. We reported in the country for six weeks, and during every interview I shot, the host gave me some kind of gift. They were mostly tchotchkes, little figurines or plaques, but at the Yun Hai Elite Security training center, the school’s co-founder Xin Yang gifted me a weapon disguised as a pen.

He explained that when you unscrew the top, there’s a functional pen inside, but on the other end (where the actual tip of the pen should be), there’s a sharp point, almost unnoticeable, that can be used to stab an attacker at pressure points in the hand, wrist, or throat. It’s made of a material that’s untraceable by metal detectors, so you can bring it anywhere, and Xin said he does. Even though it looks nondescript, works as a real pen, and most of my camera equipment looks more dangerous than this thing, I brought it home in my checked baggage.

—DAN CAIN, CAMERA OPERATOR

This article appeared in the May issue of VICE magazine. Click HERE to subscribe.

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