What kind of melee weapon is effective, yet considered non lethal or at least a few steps below lethal? Basically lets say you want to disable someone in self defense, but really want to lessen risk of fatal injury. I guess the first way to look at it is to avoid hitting the head. But then what melee weapon can you use, make shift of otherwise, to effectively attack the non essential parts of the body. Then we have to consider the weakest part of the non essential body. That being the joints, or outer extremities. Now if you are standing toe to toe, it be easier to swing at the upper body of the opponent, and that includes the head. You can attack arms, but arms move around and can defend. The legs be easier to attack, but the legs are low, and have to bring weapon down and around to bear, and that will lessen your chance of effective contact. Whips, and flays/flails may be a good options. They are quick, and light weight enough for you to strike head without doing too much damage. But whips and flays/flails require skill to use effectively. The thing can go all over the place if you dont know how to use, and you likely need more than one strike to disable opponent. In modern times, I guess you can use your belt to similar effect if you are out and about and need a melee weapon. What about a beer bottle to the head? How much damage can that do? Will the police see that as deadly assault with a deadly weapon?