I found, in practice, that using something called a Millwall Brick boosts efficiency and effectiveness in striking, and I am thinking about the practicability of its implementation in actual street fights (as a hypothesis). But...First things first, this is basically what a Millwall Brick is:

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If you make it with the right materials using the right method one end of it is supposed to be as solid as a rock.

What you do is hold it like that in the picture and use a stabbing motion to the nose, neck, temple or other vital areas, or you could hold it the other way around and stick it in the assailant's abdomen.

Another advantage is that it's made of paper, so it won't really appear as a threat untill your opponent is hit.

Is it advisable? Or are there dangers I did not foresee?

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    In a stadium, security made sure the other one does not pull a knife. Obviously, arming yourself with a makeshift weapon bears the risk that others do have...less makeshift weapons which they are encouraged to use by your behaviour. Jun 14, 2021 at 12:02
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    I live in the millwall area of london. I can tell you right now that the millwall football fans after whome this is named do not care about self defence. They just like to beat people up. They have a chant that can be heard after matches from my flat 'Nobody likes us! We don't care!'
    – Huw Evans
    Jun 14, 2021 at 13:01
  • southwarknews.co.uk/news/… Links just to give you an idea of fans.
    – Huw Evans
    Jun 14, 2021 at 13:10
  • Generally speaking any sufficiently-rigid object is better than a fist; you'd have no problems or issues breaking boards or heads with this. Jun 21, 2021 at 22:09

2 Answers 2


While it only takes a few seconds to roll the newspaper to make the weapon, it does take time and attention to do so, so you're unlikely to be able to do it on the spot, in a crisis situation. Once rolled up, it has to either have constant pressure put on it to stay in shape, or needs to have some sort of fixative like tape used to keep it in shape, so the odds aren't great for preparing it in advance, pretending it's not a weapon, and then using it. Once assembled, it's basically just a stick, used for attacking in the same way as a stick. Ultimately, its intended use is for creating a sneak attack attack weapon in a situation where you've decided on a target, and have a few seconds to prepare to attack them.

If you plan on self-defense, you're better off just carrying a stick. You're probably not going to be able to fashion it after being attacked, and you're not going to be able to prepare it in advance in any way that maintains the property of not appearing to be a weapon while making it still suitable for use as a weapon. And if you are planning malice aforethought, other than the obligatory note that this is almost certainly illegal, and we advise you against it, you're still basically just beating someone with a stick, so afterwards, there will be the same sort of forensic evidence left behind, so the "concealed nature" of the weapon won't help you there.

The only case where I could maybe see this as a useful skill to learn for self defense, is if you're in a situation where you are under imminent threat, but have a bit of time to prepare to attack back, but even then, I suspect you'll find better weapons on-hand.

  • Good point about observing a potential troublemaker for a while before intervention is required (which is not uncommon, especially when alcohol consumption is involved on their side;) I could see sitting at the table at the cafe, inconspicuously preparing the Millwall Brick, just in case, where I might not want to use a bottle or glass or piece of silverware, and an improvised cudgel is not available.
    – DukeZhou
    Jun 23, 2021 at 15:31

There have been similar questions on this forum relating to improvised weapons (e.g. To punch with keys or without?).

At the time of writing my answer, there isn't anything to suggest location (tag or otherwise). I'm in the UK and it is my understanding that using an object as a weapon, regardless of the intended purpose of the object, will negatively impact any subsequent legal process (https://www.haymanssolicitors.co.uk/section-18-assault-grievous-bodily-harm).

Don't get into sticky situations in the first place and you won't need an improvised weapon.

  • This is actually incorrect. Self defence including with an improvised weapon is legal in the UK. I took a course on this a few months ago and can provide case law.
    – Huw Evans
    Jun 16, 2021 at 11:36
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    legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2008/4/section/76 This is the law on self defence. No mention is made of weapons at all. Also relevant: legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1988/2019 these are the offences relating to weapons.
    – Huw Evans
    Jun 16, 2021 at 12:20
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    Thank you for the links; the Offensive Weapons order was quite eye-opening! Section 76, (the first link you provided) says that any force used must be reasonable; stopping to improvise a weapon may not be considered 'reasonable' by a jury. Neither you (according to your profile) nor I are lawyers, so our understanding is likely to be incorrect. My point about staying out of sticky situations is still valid!
    – Mike P
    Jun 16, 2021 at 15:41
  • It depends on the situation. If a loved one is being attacked by a knife then improvising a weapon such as an umbrella or a 'millwall brick' is likely to be considered reasonable. (obviously you won't have time if you are under attack yourself) If you take it upon yourself to make one and then attack someone with it because 'they looked at you funny' then that is assault. True, I am not a practicing lawyer but I did work as a public facing adviser for 5 years. I also as I said actually took the trouble to do a course on this with a practicing lawyer.
    – Huw Evans
    Jun 16, 2021 at 16:26
  • In any case my point really is that having a weapon or improvising one in the UK will not negatively impact the decision of whether you have committed assault or can successfully use a 'self defence' defence. It might cause a separate investigation and prosecution for having the weapon in the first place but in the case of a millwall brick... not really.
    – Huw Evans
    Jun 16, 2021 at 16:36

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