As a senior black belt, sometimes I want to do something creative in my training, something that stimulates the brain, something that makes me look at an analyze techniques I've practiced for years in an entirely different way. One way to do this is by playing with improvised weapons.
You can take any single item that you might carry with you or have on you in an defensive situation then try to use it in a way that enhances weaponless techniques you've learned.
At the orange belt level in our style of Jiu-jitsu, we introduce the concept of the yawara. In training, it is simply a short stick about 3/4 of an inch thick and about the length of a pen. But this item in theory need not only be a stick. It could be anything that is a similar size and structure, like a pen, small hair brush, a mascara container, etc. Students are taught a variety of strikes with the yawara and are encourage to improvise defenses that incorporate its use. At first, the focus is on more practical techniques involving strikes and simpler movements. Later, as students progress through the belt levels, they are encouraged to use the yawara to enhance joint locks, throws, etc.
When I get on the mats to train rather than teach, occasionally I'll pick out a random item and improvise defenses that incorporate that item. This week, I think I'll experiment a bit with the cane, which could also be a cane umbrella which is an item I sometimes carry on me. I have no formal training in the use of the cane, other than a few random techniques I was shown over the years, but that just makes my play time all the more creative and fun.
How about you? Do you incorporate improvised weapons into your training?