Short sticks


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Nematocyst
February 27, 2012, 12:48 AM
For the purpose of this thread, let's define short stick as any straight rod of wood, metal or plastic (including phenolics) ranging from (roughly) 14" to 24" (mas o menos) wielded primarily with one hand using arm or full body torsion with extra force added by wrist snap (like in racketball or frisbee, acceleration, as in f = ma).

Over the last few years, I've experimented with 28" escrima/kali sticks, then scaled down to 26, to 24, then to 20" (in oak), all 1" diameter, often strapped to a pack, but sometimes up a coat sleeve. (It's cold here from October through March.)

On the smaller end (larger than my 5.5" kubotan), I've used 16" x 1". Carries well in a fanny pack, great wrist snap even if not as much reach.

All have grooves cut in as handles on both ends, first with a fixed blade, then opened up with a file, then sanded before applying oil.

But recently, I've found that my ideal is a 1" x 18" oak dowel. Its balance is perfect for me. It's got an optimum of 'reach out and touch someone' (better than the 16) but light enough for maximum wrist snap (far better than the 20).

Conceals better than the 20 up a sleeve, even if sticking out a bit more from the fanny pack. Acceptable.

And something I learned this week that may relate to why it feels so right: an 18" stick is exactly - to within 1 mm - the length from the tip of my middle finger to the tip of my elbow. It's like an extension arm.

Techniques?

Kelly McCann (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGgaQ07D09Y), mostly,
with a lot of kali/escrima sticks (keep it simple)
but some alt stuff (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXdLyYSWKQM&feature=relmfu) also.

Fairbaine (http://www.gutterfighting.org/fstick.html).
Filipino influenced techniques (http://bigstickcombat.com/posts/stick-fighting-techniques-using-the-baton/) (that motivated my 20" and 18").


I also practice kubotan and walking sticks from 3' to 4',
mostly using Irish stick styles of Glen Doyle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcH0ww_Jbfg),
but here, let's focus on short sticks.

What say you?

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lemaymiami
February 27, 2012, 11:18 AM
When I left police work some years ago I wanted something along the lines you describe.... and since my last formal baton training was with ASP baton, those kind of measurements were my parameters.

I came up with a short section of solid fiberglass rod in the 1/2" tapering up to 3/4" range in the same dimensions as the standard ASP, then added a six inch foam grip (the kind you find on fishing rods). The result was very satisfactory, the weight similar, and the material almost unbreakable (by any force I'm able to exert). The best news is that I've never needed it....

hso
February 27, 2012, 11:42 AM
tip of my middle finger to the tip of my elbow

That's the way to measure the ideal short stick in some stick styles.

I'd be careful about oak as a material of choice since it doesn't take the same abuse that hickory will to side loading.

Carl Levitian
February 27, 2012, 03:04 PM
Short sticks are wonderfully handy to have around. Less length means less to get hung up on in tight quarters, easy to slip up a jacket sleeve as mentioned. An innocent piece of mop handle or cut off ash shovel handle can deliver snap strikes to vulnerable body parts with speed and accuracy. I once watched our scout master take down a large bully with a piece of broomstick. When it was over, the bully was bleeding from head and face wounds, and had some broken fingers. I wouldn't have thought a foot and a half of broomstick would have done that kind of damage, but I guess it's not the tool, it's how the tool is used.

Carl.

Nematocyst
February 27, 2012, 04:59 PM
Lemay, sounds like an innovative tool. How was the weight with the fiberglass, compared to, say an ASP or a hardwood? I haven't handled an ASP, though I've been eyeing trying to acquire one when the budget allows it. (The last couple of years has not seen any fat in the bank account.)

Hso, that's very interesting (measurement). It was after realizing how good the length felt to me - and I mean a substantial difference from the other lengths - that I realized that little tidbit. I was intrigued by it.

And yes, fully agree about the oak. I see these as prototypes. I've been using oak dowel because that's what available cheap at hardware stores. But what I really want to do soon is get a professional woodworker friend to turn me a few using ash or something harder. (He can get any wood on Earth.) He can also do a better job with the grips than I can.

PS: do you like hickory more than ash? Baseball bats are ash, so seems would make great sticks, too.

Carl, that's an interesting story. I like the term "snap strike", too. And yes, how the tool is used is what matters. I truly enjoy studying various techniques from various styles and adding them to McCann's teachings.

Nematocyst
February 27, 2012, 05:03 PM
And, I want to pick up one of these (http://www.batons.com/mp_straight.html) in an 18". No breakage/splinter issue there. :D

PS: I just noticed that the Monadnocks are 1.25". Darn. That feels too big for me. I like 1" diameter. (Smaller hands.)

Owen Sparks
February 27, 2012, 05:26 PM
Short sticks have the advantage of being easy to conceal and easy to swing in close quarters. The disadvantage is that they are more difficult to block with in the unlikely event of a stick on stick attack. My experience with short sticks is that they need a substantial amount of mass to be effective with circular strikes to make up for the fact that you can not generate the kind of speed that you can with an arm length stick. One common way around this problem is to use a short club rather than a stick. Clubs have their own unique disadvantages though. One is that they are designed to be held only by the lighter end and grabbing the wrong end dramatically changes the balance and handling qualities. The other is that they look like weapons and can cause you all sorts of legal problems in some states. My solution is to carry an arm length stick and use two handed techniques in close until proper distance can be restored.

hso
February 27, 2012, 05:30 PM
Go to the farmer's co-op and look for hickory sorting sticks. Think hickory stock can without the crook. There's no need to get one turned unless you want something heavier made from hornbeam.

Meridian Blades
February 27, 2012, 08:02 PM
Nema
If you cant find the hickory, I would also recommend Osage. Light orange when first cut and mellows to a dark brown. Very hard and should be readily available, as well as inexpensive. Some folks burn a design with a torch and then sand as desired. Its also known as Bois D'Arc.

"Harder and stronger than even white oak, Osage orange was once cut for railroad ties. While other woods for ties lasted but a few years, Osage orange served for 20! And many a Midwestern farm still has fence posts of the wood in place after a century. Because of Osage orange's hardness and durability, it often was used for wagon wheels. Highly decay-resistant, it was even laid as paving blocks. Sanded smooth and oiled, Osage orange beats all others for cutting boards that will stand up to a blade."

Nematocyst
February 27, 2012, 08:40 PM
Great advice, MB. I've read of Osage orange before, but had forgotten that.

And I like the idea of a stick that will outlast me by a century. Muchas gracias.

Owen Sparks
February 27, 2012, 09:22 PM
My walking stick is made from Osage orange, so is my arm length stick.

lemaymiami
February 28, 2012, 08:20 AM
I've never compared an ASP side by side with what I came up with but the fiberglass rod (I've been building my own fishing rods for years and only used solid fiberglass for the heaviest commercial wire line rods) feels like the same weight I trained with when I carried the ASP...

The observation that a short stick is at a disadvantage against an opponent with a longer stick, club, bat, etc. is a valid one. However used with two hands to block strikes then counter attack your opponents hands - it can be very effective. Nothing like a strike to the hand holding an impact weapon to put your opponent out of action. That's something you learn the hard way in any kind of baton training using a live opponent (even in slow mode, even when they're wearing a Red Man suit).

Remember, it's the indian - not the arrow. On the street in a real defensive situation nothing beats sudden violent aggressive action delivered with no warning at all... You want your opponent surprised, shocked, and either on the ground or retreating at full speed. You won't like the alternative.

hso
February 28, 2012, 09:02 AM
We get caught up in the idea that Thing 1 is inadequate compared to larger/stronger/faster Thing 2 when we talk about defensive tools at times. When we're discussing self defense we're not dealing with duels or sparring or competition, but what can we have with us all the time to use as a defensive tool if we're forced to defend ourselves against an attacker (and an attacker that isn't usually equipped with a dedicated weapon of similar kind). That can mean compromises since the ideal defensive tool is a purpose built weapon optimized for attack and defense and we usually won't be carrying such around with us as an every day carry. Whether the short stick you carry is an ASP that has compromises to make it highly portable or a piece of wood of particular length and weight that has compromises to permit you to carry it unobtrusively it is better than NO tool at all. You should always work to optimize the defensive qualities of what you carry, but that has to be balanced against issues of portability, concealability, utility and legality so you can have it with you in the first place when you have to use it.

I'm trained in escrima, but I don't carry short sticks around with me. I carry a cane instead (or cane umbrella) because it conceals in plain sight and is legal anywhere I go. It is not as portable as a short stick so it is itself a compromise.

Nematocyst
February 28, 2012, 11:51 AM
This is already an excellent discussion with fine ideas and opinions being offered.

Exactly what I had in mind. Thanks. Please continue.

Nem

Hamilton Felix
February 28, 2012, 12:15 PM
OK, you got me curious. ;) I just pulled my tape measure from my pocket, shoved my elbow against the desk, put the tape against the desk and measured, The tip of my middle finder came 19 inches from the desk. Is that my "ideal" short stick length?

Where do Maglites come in? I'm old enough to recall the Kel-lite combination baton and C-cell flashlight. I sometimes refer to the 3-D Maglites on my wife's and my nightstands as "the handy bludgeon size." Like lemaymiami, my wife is a former LEO who likes the ASP baton. It's pretty darned silly that most jurisdictions make that little tubular metal device a forbidden item, while we can wear our guns legally. But that's reality. I'm more and more interested in weapons that don't appear to be weapons, be it a Cold Steel City Stick cane or a flashlight or....???? Hmm.. maybe I'll go research Maglight dimensions...:rolleyes:

I'm a native of the great Pacific NorthWET. I can't help wondering about using yew for a stick. I know where there's an unusually large yew tree. Not that we have a shortage of suitable materials; I'm a country boy, living close to a logging town hardware store that stocks plenty of tool handles. Wood lathes are hardly uncommon...

crazyjennyblack
February 28, 2012, 01:54 PM
What about a nice tire iron? I got the opportunity to defend myself from a vicious dog that attacked me in my driveway once - it worked quite well!

The only i can see wrong with it is that it's a tad too long and pretty heavy.

ThorinNNY
February 28, 2012, 02:09 PM
Hello there JennyBlack.A tire iron would certainly be effective.Unfortunately,I suspect it would attract a lot of unwelcome attention if you carry it openly while stroll down Main street.
A cane or walking stick isn`t likely to arouse suspicion. People tend to assume you need it.
I use a cane from neccessity.I have nerve damage in one of my legs. The cane help keep me from stumbling and helps with balance. Mine is 1 I/8 inches in diameter & heavy, but you could probably find something suited to your own tastes.
I`ve seen dainty, ornate canes I assume were meant for a lady`s use. I suggest you aboid the folding and telescopic tubular canes. Theyr`e flimsy & would probably bend or break if you had to use `em for S.D.

Owen Sparks
February 28, 2012, 04:05 PM
The traditional way to measure for the longer "medium" stick is from your arm pit to the tip of your middle finger. For the average American who stands just short of 6 feet, that usually is somewhere around 28 inches.

BTW, the distance from your elbow to your middle finger (roughly 18 inches) is called a cubit, and the distance between finger-tip to finger-tip with arms outstretched is called a span or league and should be roughly equal to your height. (proper staff length) These old world measurements are often used in some of the more traditional martial arts to determine proper weapon length.

Carl Levitian
February 29, 2012, 10:27 AM
Where a short stick totally rules is in close range situations. You don't ever swing a short stick, it's not a club. The short stick is used for parrying and deflecting, not blocking. It's used for very fast snap strikes from chest level to vulnerable areas like hands and eyes. Speed is what makes the short stick work to create an opening to retreat from the area. Or an opening to inflict crippling damage so the attacker is unable to continue the assault.

Too many people think first of a stick as a club. This in itself negates the best use of a stick as a block and thrust weapon. A light short stick that makes a poor club may well be a great defense weapon when used with snap strikes and thrusts.

Owen Sparks
February 29, 2012, 11:35 AM
Carl, discribe what you mean by "snap strikes".

Carl Levitian
February 29, 2012, 02:14 PM
The snap strike is a technique taught to us way back in the 1950's when we were 12 and 13 year old boy scouts. Our scout master was an old retired marine, and after an incident where one of our scouts was assaulted outside of a country store in the middle of nowhere, Mr. Van taught us how to use a short light stick for defense. He'd used a piece of broomstick on this big redneck kind of guy who had slapped one of his 12 year old scouts, and even though the guy was wy bigger than our scout master, it was over in about one minute. Mr. Van had used what he'd called snap strikes on the guy, and had broken bones in the guys hand and tore open his face, and had the guy laying in the parking lot whimpering.

He taught it to us this way. You take a piece of inch or slightly bigger broom stick, mop handle, tree branch, whatever, and you have it in what he called the guard position right handed, in kind of a reverse boxers stance, right foot forward if your right handed, with the stick horizontal across your chest kind of ready. When you strike, you don't swing the stick like your going to club it, but instead you snap out with it at your target, striking with the very end of the stick into the target with a whipping of the wrist. This is done very fast, each time the stick comes back to the guard position ready to lash out again immediately at the same or other target. Like fencing, the wrist action is important. I've practiced this on a raw chicken hanging in a mesh bag, and I'm always surprised at how many bones get broken and chicken torn open. It's all about the speed at the end of the stick hits at. Or you can practice with a hard rubber ball hanging on a string, and practice hitting a target moving toward you. Kind of like playing stickball in the alley when I was a kid.

The short light, fast handling stick is like what the rattan stick martial arts guys do. You're hitting vital targets like hands and face with a very fast moving impact that snaps back ready to strike again before the target recovers from the first impact. You combine this with footwork like in fencing to keep a certain distance that is optimum for you to strike from, unless the attacker wishes to run off.

Size is important. The stick that works best for me is, the distance from the inside of my elbow to fingertips. This is just short enough to stick up the sleeve of a jacket. A one inch ash or hickory stick in this size can be very effective.

You snap out a strike and instantly back into guard position. You hit, retreat, hit retreat, all with a wrist action that never lets you hang out there exposed. After a little practice, you can snap out a strike almost too fast to see in time enough for them to block. You aim for hands holding any weapon to break the small bones in the hand. Any hit that connects with a hand or wrist is going to break something. Unable to hold a knife or club, you've kind of disarmed your attacker. A strike for the eyes will take out the vision in one if it's a hit, and that's more than most street punks will be able to deal with. A quick blow under the chin may well take out his ability to breath if the damage crushes the trachea. A fast blow to the ear area, especially just under will hit the mastoid gland, and the pain will be really intense. If it hits the ear, you may inflict balance problems on your attacker. But most of all, you keep up a rain of very fast repeat strikes that put the attacker on the defensive and does real damage with the hits.

If you get an opening, you can grab the other end of the stick, and use a two handed end on thrust into an exposed area. Throat, stomach. A 15 inch stick is long enough for that. Most of all, this is not going to be breaking a shoulder, alarm, or leg. It's not supposed to. This not a club. It's just going right for very easy to damage areas with a fast light handling stick that can be improvised almost anywhere. A broom stick, towel rack pulled off a wall, rung stomped out of a wood chair, piece of tree branch cut off with a pocket knife.

The whole key is speed, and the snap back to guard position to strike again immediately. I don't know if I've described it decently enough so you know what I'm talking about. I know that I'll never ever forget watching our our scoutmaster take down that big guy with the piece of broomstick that day. Mr.Van didn't just put him down, he destroyed him in about a minute or less. Everywhere he hit the guy in the face, there was a bloody gash, and when the police cuffed the guy with his hands in front of him, it didn't take a X-ray tech to see his hand had at least some broken fingers that were at odd angles.

Try it, it works.

Carl.

glistam
February 29, 2012, 03:38 PM
You should work with an illustrator some time, Carl, unless this is already published somewhere. I'd be interested in seeing more detail, because it sounds pretty solid reasoning.

There is an interesting parallel to the snap strike I use in historical fencing (HEMA). I use an 16" belaying pin as a off-hand weapon, and we use full size 2-4 pound blunt steel swords. Despite what a lot of people assume, that little stick will stop a sword. The most common is a beat parry against a thrust or vertical cut, where you whip the belaying pin against the foible and snap it right back to ready. It sends the sword blade flying way off course, and a few times has resulted in a full disarm. Even a beat parry against the forte is a jarring hit most opponents are not prepared for. If I did it to someone's unprotected hand, it would shatter the bones easily.

Carl Levitian
February 29, 2012, 03:59 PM
glistam, we can do better than an illustrator. If you're anywhere in the part of Maryland I can get to, and you have a video camera, I'll meet up with you and demonstrate. You can film it, and maybe put it on here if they want. If you want, have someone with a rubber knife attack, and I'll demonstrate with a rolled up newspaper how to strike and hands and face. Heck, I'll even supply the raw chicken to show how damaging a small stick can be when used right.

Carl.

Nematocyst
February 29, 2012, 07:55 PM
The whole key is speed, and the snap back to guard position to strike again immediately.
I don't know if I've described it decently enough so you know what I'm talking about.

Yes, you did. Exquisitely.

Yes to a video of this. Strongly endorse that idea. If I had money, I'd fund it.

But alas, I'm near broke. (That will probably change in the next few months, but not yet.)

For me, snap strike is related to the same technique I learned in my early 20's in racketball.

I was a mediocre racketball player in my college class. My instructor/coach was a jerk. I was not good at the game, but instead of teaching me what to do better, he used me to teach other students what NOT to do. I sucked, and squeaked by with a C in the class.

But I LOVED the game, so kept playing and practicing after the class.

One day, I was waiting for a court, and watching a guy practicing his shots. He was beyond amazing. I'd never seen anyone hit a ball that hard, that accurately, "killing" the ball against the front wall, low everytime.

He saw me watching and said, "come on in, let's play a game". I did, and he slaughtered me 21/0. After that, I told him my story. Turns out he was a nationally ranked racketball player. He spent half an hour showing me how to do fore hand and back hand strikes.

The key - the KEY - was wrist snap. Arm swing is not what accelerates the ball to blazing speed. It's the wrist snap in combo with the arm swing. There's also the element of stepping into the strike (which I still employ in my stick work - stay out of range, then step in as you swing and snap the wrist at the appropriate point when arm is fully extended toward your opponent's hand, wrist, arm, ribs, knee, neck, head ... and ...

<best Batman special effects sound> KAAAPPPOWWWW!!!

Bounce off the body part that was hit with a reverse stroke to another body part, and attacker does not continue long.

Kelly McCann illustrates the idea nicely here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGgaQ07D09Y).

Note he goes after an attacking right arm, then immediately reverses the blow to the inner left thigh. Badda boom.

Wrist snap. It's all about wrist snap.

Nematocyst
March 6, 2012, 08:42 PM
Most days, I carry the 18" in my extra large fanny pack by MountainSmith (http://www.altrec.com/images/shop/detail/swatches/MSM/21092.51899_e.jpg) (shoulder strap removed). Sticks out a bit on the right side angled up, but that's a good thing because I can simply reach back, grasp it and pull it out. The 20" was too long, the 16" was a bit too short.

But the 20" was perfect length for carrying on my full day pack (http://www.gregorypacks.com/products/mens/technical/28/z35) which I wear when grocery shopping, running errands on my bike to carry stuff, or on longer day hikes. It fits down inside the side straps on the right side resting in the water bottle holder; the end sticks up over my right shoulder so I can reach back over my shoulder with my right hand and draw it. But the 18" was too short to do that; not high enough to allow me to grab it like that.

So today, I picked up a piece of 1.25" PVC pipe and cut a 6" piece. I'm going to devise a way to block it half way down the tube so that my 18" stick will fit into it as it - the PVC 'holster' - rides in the water bottle pocket such that the stick sits up an extra 2 - 3" so I can grab it easier.

I love projects like this.
_____

Today, I spent about 10 minutes trying to convince a friend who lives in Washington DC
that she should carry a SD stick and read McCann's combatives book.

She wasn't impressed. She's a bit on the politically fluffy side.

But at least I tried.

Nematocyst
March 7, 2012, 08:04 PM
I'm going to devise a way to block it half way down the tube so that my 18" stick will fit into it as it - the PVC 'holster' - rides in the water bottle pocket such that the stick sits up an extra 2 - 3" so I can grab it easier.Found a simple solution at the nearby Dollar Store:
a rubber ball that was part of a "jack" set (as in ball and jax like I used to play as a kid).

The ball is rubber and about 1" in diameter.
Squeezes into the PVC with a tight fit, holds tight,
and is adjustable. Elevates the stick to a perfect height.

Bingo.

hso
March 7, 2012, 08:32 PM
Very cool!

Nematocyst
March 7, 2012, 10:00 PM
:)

Simple is good, no?

hso
March 7, 2012, 10:31 PM
Always.

bubba in ca
March 7, 2012, 10:32 PM
years ago I played with Maglites and found the 3 c cell to be the perfect combination of size, weight, and grip size for me. I bought a pair and still have them--one behind my truck seat and one on the night stand. Never had to use one for defensive use, but they have the right feel--light enough to be fast but heavy enough to do some damage.

They usually aren`t in stores but you can get them online for under twenty bucks. Try Amazon. I`m going to pick up another pair for the cabin and a backup. I put a $15 led bulb in the one in the truck for general emergency use, but the other works just fine with the original bulb.

Carl Levitian
March 8, 2012, 10:28 AM
"Simple is good, no?"

Simple is great! The problem in todays world is too many people over think and over complicate things.

K.I.S.S. A phrase to liv by.

Carl.

Nematocyst
March 20, 2012, 08:27 PM
Ok, let's review.

Never go to a knife fight without a stick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGgaQ07D09Y

Owen Sparks
March 20, 2012, 10:36 PM
A knife can beat a stick ONLY if the knife fighter manages to get in close and tie up the stick fighter where he does not have room to swing and thrust. This usually comes down to who moves first in a surprise attack. If a man with a concealed knife can get within several yards of you the advantage is his if he moves first. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS! Just having a stick is not enough.

Owen Sparks
March 20, 2012, 10:41 PM
Let me add this:

A knife vs. a stick is like a pistol vs. a rifle. The advantage is with the rifleman ONLY if he knows that he is about to be in a gun fight. Otherwise it just comes down to who attacks first.

Nematocyst
March 21, 2012, 10:48 PM
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS! Just having a stick is not enough.I agree, Owen.

And I think we both agree that applies to all weapons.

I still prefer my stick to any of my knives as a SD weapon. I like the range. I can get to my stick faster than I could my revolver. It rides in my pack - fanny or day - and is inches from my right hand and not even concealed, not obstructed by clothing.

Of course, against a gun, it's useless. Cest la vie.

Having said that, I fully agree that situational awareness is primary regardless of your weapon. These days, I'm constantly on the alert. I must look like a bobble head doll with a swivel head to most people. That's especially true when I pass someone on the street. I look at them as they pass, and turn my head to follow them.

And if said passing person is the only one around (as in not on a busy street in daylight), my hand is ON my stick as they pass. Sometimes, I just carry it in my hand. I've not even drawn a glance from police passing by. Maine is a different planet in that regard. Cops here have bigger fish to fry, and know dogs run free on occasion. As an older person, I tell people it's "my dog stick". Some know that it's for 2- and 4-legged dogs.

You couldn't get away with that in NYC or SF, but I don't live there. I live in the urban boonies just south of the northern most traffic light on the east coast. Things are different here.

Owen Sparks
March 21, 2012, 11:17 PM
Of course, against a gun, it's useless.

Not exactly. in a home invasion, school or a work place shooting you can hide just inside an open doorway with your stick cocked overhead and clobber anyone coming in faster than they can turn and get a gun pointed at you. This is because it takes longer to react than to act. It is especially easy if all they have is a handgun as most people tend to lead with it exposing their arm as an easy target. All you really have to do is lay in wait and ambush the bad guy as you have the drop on him as well as the element of surprise because he does not know you are there.

Nematocyst
March 21, 2012, 11:21 PM
Revision. Of course, against a gun, a stick is useless except in situations involving a home invasion, school or a work place shooting where you can hide just inside an open doorway with your stick cocked overhead and clobber anyone coming in faster than they can turn and get a gun pointed at you.

Nematocyst
April 26, 2012, 04:50 PM
The topic is short sticks.

Opinions?

Nematocyst
April 26, 2012, 05:04 PM
Sticks.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=163480&stc=1&d=1335474259

JShirley
April 27, 2012, 09:04 AM
A knife vs. a stick is like a pistol vs. a rifle. The advantage is with the rifleman ONLY if he knows that he is about to be in a gun fight. Otherwise it just comes down to who attacks first.


That comparison doesn't actually illustrate what you think it does.

A rifle has range on the handgun, and it's easier to use effectively. Similarly, a stick has range on a knife, and it's easier both to use, and to use effectively. Further, it's easier for one good blow from a rifle or LARGE/long stick to stop a threat than it is for a handgun or a knife.

Another way to describe the situation would be to say that knives and handguns take considerably more skill to use effectively than sticks and rifles. And users with identical skills will always mean the rifle and the stick will win, unless the range is allowed to get very close.

John

Owen Sparks
April 27, 2012, 11:03 AM
Well said John. The only thing I would add is the exception that in very close confines like inside your car or a bathroom stall, a short stick or handgun has the advantage whereas a long stick like a sniper rifle would be totaly useless because you simply would not have room to wield it.

JShirley
April 27, 2012, 01:33 PM
Agreed. :)

hso
April 27, 2012, 09:06 PM
The tighter the space the more limited the options if you're trying to use a tool suited to swinging.

You can use a longer stick in a tight space, but you're badly constrained (in more ways than one). Punyo/Hammer strikes are all that are available to you with a bigger stick in a tighter space and you're at risk of entangling the hunk of lumber.

A small stick won't let you get the swing of a big stick, but if your constrained by space or being tangled up you have more options for strikes.

Bikewer
April 28, 2012, 04:17 PM
I had Dan Inosanto's excellent book on the Filipino martial arts some time back, and in these various styles he speaks of training methods and techniques to handle situations varying from open spaces to very congested ones.
The FMA generally are good platforms for any sort of weapons usage, as the essential part of all the styles is to teach principals rather than specific technique so that they can be used for a wide variety of weapons.

In terms of sticks, you can go for the traditional heavy truncheon or "billly club" style, or the various lighter-faster weapons like the rattan often used by FMA folks.
Personally, I favor the lighter-faster approach.

Nematocyst
April 28, 2012, 08:38 PM
Inosanto was/is one of the masters.

Being a smaller man, I started liking the lighter-faster approach.

Now, I'm leaning toward the heavier, shorter approach with my 18".

But having said that, it's all about what works for you,
as determined empirically through lots of testing various lengths and weights.

JN01
April 28, 2012, 08:44 PM
Aside from the aforementioned back pack, how does one carry a short stick? Too long for a pocket. Walk around with it in hand?

Nematocyst
April 28, 2012, 08:46 PM
JN, I carry my 16" (and sometimes even my 18") in my fanny pack.
In winter (and we have serious winters here), it's up my left sleeve.

Nematocyst
April 28, 2012, 08:49 PM
And the 5" kubotan rides in the right cargo pocket of my Carhartts
with that bit of paracord to pull it out quickly.

Deltaboy
April 28, 2012, 09:01 PM
Cool ID's Guys.

Carl Levitian
April 28, 2012, 09:04 PM
"Aside from the aforementioned back pack, how does one carry a short stick? Too long for a pocket. Walk around with it in hand?"


How inventive are ya?:D

Cut some material from the leg of the next pair of jeans you throw out. Sew a tube just long enough to hold the stick, and sew or safety pin it inside of a jacket on the left for a right handed person. Or just stick it inside the waistband of your pants just behind the hip with the stick point forward under a jacket. Some denim jackets have good size pockets inside, and that works fine in a pinch.

There are logistical problems to carrying them, which of course is done away with by carrying a walking stick/cane of course. But I tend to keep some stashed in places where my cane would be too cramped, like in my car. I have a cut off part of a shovel handle stuck under the seat so I can have a stick if jumped getting out of my car before I can bring my big stick into play.

Carl.

Nematocyst
April 28, 2012, 09:17 PM
Where's that 'like' button?

Owen Sparks
April 29, 2012, 01:53 AM
Short clubs are designed to compensate for lack of swing speed by putting most of the mass out on the striking end.

One way to get away with carrying a stick that is shorter than a walking cane is to disguise it as something else or find one that serves another purpose that can double as a weapon. For example, you can carry a hickory axe handle in your car as long as you have the axe head on the seat beside it. You can have a length of steel pipe as long as you have a few other plumbing supplies like elbows and tees to go with it. I have a steering wheel locking bar called "The Club" and the thin half is solid steel rod but is just about perfect to serve as a short heavy stick. If you buy one be sure to get the longer truck model. It will still work in your car just fine. Another "tool" I have is a giant screw driver about 16" long. It weighs over a pound and the shaft is about half an inch in diamiter. Anybody know of any law against carrying a screw driver?

Carl Levitian
April 29, 2012, 06:26 AM
Short sticks are not used as clubs. They are a fast strike tool used against and to break the small bones in the hands, and as a thrust tool,and as a blocker against a knife or other weapon in an incoming hand. The advantage is that they are very light, and can be carried in the inside pocket of a jacket with no problem at all, and can be improvised from almost anything and discarded if need be. A chair rung, piece of broom stick, tree branch, tool handle like a hammer handle. Heck, I see walkers and joggers carrying a short stick all the time for anti dog use. They carry openly in the hand. No law against it.

JN01
April 29, 2012, 03:27 PM
How inventive are ya?

Cut some material from the leg of the next pair of jeans you throw out. Sew a tube just long enough to hold the stick, and sew or safety pin it inside of a jacket on the left for a right handed person. Or just stick it inside the waistband of your pants just behind the hip with the stick point forward under a jacket. Some denim jackets have good size pockets inside, and that works fine in a pinch.

There are logistical problems to carrying them, which of course is done away with by carrying a walking stick/cane of course. But I tend to keep some stashed in places where my cane would be too cramped, like in my car. I have a cut off part of a shovel handle stuck under the seat so I can have a stick if jumped getting out of my car before I can bring my big stick into play.

Carl.

Interesting ideas. I like the concept of the short (18" range) stick. Ohio law prohibits me from carrying anything to use as a weapon other than a handgun (with a permit). I will soon be relocating to Wisconsin, however, where knives and billy clubs are allowed in addition to pistols.

I do have a cane, but as others have noted, a short stick would be easier to use in close quarters. I also like the idea of having it handy but not in the way, if I can come up with a method of keeping it on my person while easily accessible.

This thread is great food for thought.

stickwhistler
April 29, 2012, 03:36 PM
I do have a cane, but as others have noted, a short stick would be easier to use in close quarters. I also like the idea of having it handy but not in the way, if I can come up with a method of keeping it on my person while easily accessible.

Why not a stick in two pieces i.e. screw together (like a pool cue).
That way it would be a stick/cane when you needed it to be,
or two short sticks when appropriate, to be kept in your jacket/coat 'pocket'.

Nematocyst
April 29, 2012, 04:41 PM
Heck, I see walkers and joggers carrying a short stick all the time for anti dog use. Carl, that's my main reason for carrying my stick. Seriously.

I've been attacked repeatedly by dogs in my life, starting at age 8 - which altered my relationship to dogs forever - but twice since then.

I was confronted - though not attacked - about two months by a young German Shepard in a local park. The owner was walking both his large dogs off leash in total violation of local laws. The Shepard saw me at the top of a hill, got his hackles up and ran up the hill at me growling, the man owner trying to call it back to no avail. I have no idea why the dog had that reaction. I was simply standing looking over the city. I had said nothing and wasn't even looking at the dogs or their owner.

When the dog got within 30' of me, I pulled my 18" stick out of my fanny pack (either it or my day pack always go with me if I leave the house with canteen, layers and rain jacket at least). I held it up visibly and spoke sternly to the dog: "No!" Repeatedly. The dog stopped in it's tracks. Continued to bark and growl.

When people ask me about why I carry a stick, which is infrequent, I answer, "It's my dog stick, because I walk or bike every where (I own no vehicle right now), and I've been attacked or confronted several times in my life."

Of course, some dogs have only two legs and walk upright.
So, if pressed, I'm prepared to use it to defend myself from attack by a two-legger.

Police have clearly and repeatedly seen my stick on my pack - including an officer that walked right past me on the side walk near the police station - and they've never said anything or even looked twice.

R H Clark
April 29, 2012, 05:17 PM
Ok guys,no disrespect intended.I can see using a short small dia. stick to discourage a dog but don't see it as an effective defense tool.I guess it all depends on how bad your attacker wants to hurt you.

Have any of you actually used one to stop a determined attack? A lot of things look real good in sparing practice but don't work exactly the same in real life.I mean your sparing partner isn't actually trying to kill you.

I would agree that anything is better than nothing but I have to think that some of you are putting too much confidence in a short stick. Please don't be offended.

Nematocyst
April 29, 2012, 06:01 PM
No offense taken, RH. Reasonable questions. We always need to evaluate.

Here's my thoughts about sticks. I'm a small guy (1) and have always carried sticks (2). Even though I carry an EDC knife (Spyderco Manix 2), I trust my stick far more than the knife, and if given a choice between it and the knife for defense, I'll take the stick every time. Give me the range please.

I've not used a stick to stop an attack (other than my hands in the past), but have learned enough about those attacks in my decades that I'm relatively confident that I could do it better with my sticks (18" or 5" kubotan) than with my bare hands or a knife.

Is my revolver better? Sure. But a similar issue applies: speed of deployment. I'd not walk on a dark street in my town with my revolver in hand, but I do so often with my stick.

Is the stick perfect? No way. Not even close. But what is?

I belong to the any tool is better than no tool club. At least I'm very familiar with my stick, which goes every where with me, and I practice basic strikes with it every day.

For what it's worth. I don't suggest it's right for all. It's not. Just my choice for edc.

Nematocyst
April 29, 2012, 06:41 PM
Forgot to mention another reason I like my stick.

With it, I can fake a high strike to the head, neck or ribs,
but at the last msec, can divert that strike really low to a knee.
(I'm very quick because I'm a dancer to fast music.)

A stick to a knee will be more devastating than a Bas Rutten low kick.

R H Clark
April 29, 2012, 09:42 PM
Well maby I'm just getting slower,or smarter as I age.I would have had more confidence in a short stick and my speed 20 years ago.As I get older,I have learned that I'm not nearly as good as I thought I was just a few years back.

I would agree you may be fairly effective against a folding knife,provided you see the knife before it is in you.Now days I always carry a Kahr P380 in a front pocket holster.I can put my hand in my pocket fairly fast and can keep it there on a long dark walk to the truck.

I can see part of your ease of carry arguement.My P380 gets carried more than my Glock 36 even though it isn't as effective.

I would just hate to see some of you guys put too much faith in a lesser weapon because of an over inflated confidence in training.I would certinly rather train with my weapon of choice than not, but most attacks are a surprise and don't allow for fancy maneuvers.Personally if I am knocked down and someone is on top of me trying to cut me or bash my head in,I would rather shoot them than try to hit them with a stick.

Owen Sparks
April 29, 2012, 11:52 PM
Ever try to draw, point and fire a concealed pistol while someone is on top of you? Handguns are like sticks in that they are distance weapons.

R H Clark
April 30, 2012, 01:20 AM
I don't have to draw it to shoot it.Would you really just as soon have a small stick in that situation?

Carl Levitian
April 30, 2012, 07:31 AM
"Well maby I'm just getting slower,or smarter as I age.I would have had more confidence in a short stick and my speed 20 years ago.As I get older,I have learned that I'm not nearly as good as I thought I was just a few years back.

I would agree you may be fairly effective against a folding knife,provided you see the knife before it is in you.Now days I always carry a Kahr P380 in a front pocket holster.I can put my hand in my pocket fairly fast and can keep it there on a long dark walk to the truck.

I can see part of your ease of carry arguement.My P380 gets carried more than my Glock 36 even though it isn't as effective.

I would just hate to see some of you guys put too much faith in a lesser weapon because of an over inflated confidence in training.I would certinly rather train with my weapon of choice than not, but most attacks are a surprise and don't allow for fancy maneuvers.Personally if I am knocked down and someone is on top of me trying to cut me or bash my head in,I would rather shoot them than try to hit them with a stick."

The Zimmerman case is a very good example of just why it may be a bad idea to shoot someone even if he's on top of you, if he's unarmed. It's called having other options than shooting. Would he be in trouble if he'd broken some bones in Martins hands or collar bone? Collar bones break amazingly easy, and takes that person out of action. When the fight goes to ground, it's time to get dirty.

I'll be honest, my main interest in non firearm weapons is that I live in Maryland. CCW is not option for me. But even if it were, I'd still want other options available to me for many reasons. Sure, a Kahr in the pocket is a nice thing, but in the end it may not be worth it if you make a mistake. The man in Florida is going to be broke for a couple of decades to come because he shot an unarmed man and there are questions. The contributions will not cover it all. Then, even if you squeak by in the criminal trial, there's the civil unlawful death suit, and still more legal fees for years to come. Law firms don't come cheap. So far, I was not in danger of a suit or charges the two times I used my stick on a low life who was not armed, but tried a strong atrm robbery. I went home each night after talking to the police and slept like a baby.

Then there's the travel issue.

Being retired, my better half and I are spending our kids inheritance by taking the trips we've always wanted to. Rome, Karen wanted to see the Cistene Chapel ceiling and I wanted to tour the collosium. Then it was fun riding around London in the two decker busses, and doing the tourist thing at the British Museum and bed and breakfast inns out in the country driving around the Cotswolds and seeing Stonehenge on the way back to London. It was Europe, but I was not unarmed. This next year we plan on going to Paris and then touring some countryside. Unfortunately one can't carry a gun on a European vacation. But a stick/cane can go anywhere. And if need be, a short stick can be fabricated from almost anything. When I was in the army, we had a course in improvised weapons. Some of the examples they gave us of a short stick was a lower rung kicked or stomped out of a wood chair, a towel rack pulled off a wall, a broom leaned against a wall and stomped on, mop bucket wringer handle unscrewed, a stout length of tree branch. For a strike weapon against sensitive targets, any end on hard object can be used. A tightly rolled up magazine, Sharpie marking pen, or my favorite, the AA mini mag flashlight.

If someone was on top of me, and that someone was an unarmed person, I'd really rather have my AA mini mag for some strikes to the collar bone, elbow, eye socket, ear/temple/mastoid gland, family jewels, kidney punches, than shoot him. I'd even rather have s small sharp knife to make a few strategic cuts. You don't have to outfight they guy, just be mean and underhanded enough to really hurt him. That means having something right there already in your hand when the bad stuff hits the fan. You can't walk around with a gun in your hand, but who's gonna say jack about a pen, carpenters pencil, or a mini mag, or a short stick?

Even if the impossible happened, and Maryland passed a CCW law, I'd still go with and practice with my non forearm weapons just to give me the non lethal options. It's a heck of a lot less headache to beat the ever loving dog stuff out of a punk trying to rob you than shoot him. And you'll go on with your life with no problems or lawyers fees.

Sometimes a gun is not the right solution to a problem. This is why cops carry a stick.

But your most important tool is the lump of gray stuff between your ears. Use your head to use options. Life will be easier.

Carl.

Brian Williams
April 30, 2012, 08:34 AM
Nem, Just how big is that fanny pack to conceal an 18 inch stick?
My lg fanny pack will hold a 12" stick and my sm one will hold a wallet and cell phone, a pair of 2 piece chopsticks and an Opinel 6 and I am 210lbs.

R H Clark
April 30, 2012, 08:35 AM
IMHO the Zimmerman case is a unique example.We could argue the merrits of it but would wind up way off subject.I will only say that I would not have made some of his choices which left him open to prosecution.

I can see the short stick as useful, but to me, only when a gun isn't an option.I would hate to use a gun on anyone but in a real life and death situation,I would be very glad to have one.

Owen Sparks
April 30, 2012, 11:11 AM
The advantageof a stick is that you can almost always have it near by in places like your job where you may not be able to carry a gun or have a weapon of any kind. For example,
there is a heavy 1" diamiter chrome plated steel pipe in the coat rack by the door just a few feet away from my desk. I can have it out and in my hands in just seconds and yes, I practice with it when no one is around.

Carl Levitian
April 30, 2012, 11:24 AM
"IMHO the Zimmerman case is a unique example.We could argue the merrits of it but would wind up way off subject.I will only say that I would not have made some of his choices which left him open to prosecution.

I can see the short stick as useful, but to me, only when a gun isn't an option.I would hate to use a gun on anyone but in a real life and death situation,I would be very glad to have one."

And who gets to make that decision of it being life or death? I'll tell you who, a jury of 12 cheese heads who may or may not like you because of THEIR own beliefs and politics that may not go along with what you believe. Anytime an armed person shoots an unarmed person, the doo-doo is going to get severe. Just no way around it in this political correct world we find ourselves living in.

Unless there is a huge visible disparity of force, like a very elderly person shoots an intruder, or a person of smaller stature shoots someone that looks like Swartzeneger, you're coming from behind in court. And it will go to court. I'm not sure that is a good thing with a liberal jury. Go ahead and carry gun, but have some less than lethal options and tools on standby just in case.

The Zimmerman case is very similar to what we are talking about. Shoot an unarmed strong arm robber and legions of his family will be on the news at 6, telling the world what good boy he was. And yo all have o go hire a lawyer and there goes your retirement play money. Yet smack him a good one in the temple with the butt end of a mini mag, and nobody is ever gonna hear about it except for the arresting officers that book him.

Carl.

R H Clark
April 30, 2012, 12:31 PM
I wish you well Carl but I am concerned that you may be killed by your reluctance to use enough force.I am also concerned that some feel that their training will make up for choosing a lesser weapon.I'm not saying deadly force is always necessary but I do want that option to protect myself and my family.

By all means train with anything and everything but I want to leave all my options available.

Owen Sparks
April 30, 2012, 12:48 PM
Suppose Zimmerman had been carrying a stick or cane of some sort?

If Martin did attack him like he claimed he could have whacked Martin on the forearm or knee and put an end to it without ever drawing his pistol. After all, that is what the police do. They carry a night stick, PR 24 or collapsible baton of some sort and only use their pistols as a last resort. If Zimmerman had used a stick as his first option we probably would never have heard of either of them.
The problem with carrying a pistol alone is that it does not give you that less than lethal option. It is like that old saying:

“When your only tool is a hammer every problem looks like a nail.”

A stick is almost always non-lethal as long as you stay off the head. Some of us are big advocates of carrying a stick or cane but that does not mean leaving your pistol at home. If you do have to draw your pistol a stick in the other hand will give you another layer of defense that will keep the bad guy at a distance and buy you more time to draw. This could mean the difference between life and death if the bad guy has a knife. A stick in hand is MUCH faster than a concealed handgun in a holster.

ArfinGreebly
April 30, 2012, 01:26 PM
I suppose a discussion of this particular configuration is better suited to S&T, but it seems to me that if you've been sucker punched (as, indeed, I myself have been) you may find yourself laid out on the ground having had no opportunity to deploy a stick of any length.

It could well be that all you have left is access to a pocket.

In the Martin/Zimmerman case, one of the posited scenarios is that the initiating action was a sucker punch.

I'm not sure how you guard against that with a stick, unless you draw it in advance, and I'm unclear whether that would be seen as escalation.

glistam
April 30, 2012, 01:58 PM
I think that's more a "right tool for the job." I have seen several cases where a knife (which is also deadly force) was used by a knocked-prone defender against an unarmed attacker, and it was seen in justified in both of them. There's probably more than few LEO cases like that too (knocked down, shot the guy on top of him)

In those cases though there was no question as to provocation or unneeded confrontation.

Owen Sparks
April 30, 2012, 02:49 PM
A stick in hand does not need to be drawn.

Nematocyst
May 1, 2012, 12:10 AM
Nem, Just how big is that fanny pack to conceal an 18 inch stick?


Brian, I've carried a large Mountain Smith similar to this one (http://www.mountainsmith.com/products.asp?productId=318&categoryId=49&subCategoryId=0&subCategory2Id=0) for a decade or more; it's literally the smallest 'pack' I walk out the door with. (If not it, then my 35L Gregory day pack, which carries a bigger stick.) I can pack a rain jacket or fleece jacket, my water bottle, first aid kit, a snack and my stick. It swallows my 16" with only 2" sticking out for me to grab. With my 18", about 4" stick out. But again, it's never raised an eyebrow in this town. But again, I live in Maine, not Boston or NYC or SF. Things are different here.

I suppose a discussion of this particular configuration is better suited to S&T, but it seems to me that if you've been sucker punched (as, indeed, I myself have been) you may find yourself laid out on the ground having had no opportunity to deploy a stick of any length.

Arf, I agree that there's no magic bullet to take care of every situation.
No gun, knife, stick, martial art, sword or howitzer is perfect. All we can do is the best we can.

Like others here, I'm not advocating sticks over guns. It's just another tool in my kit, and in many cases, I think I'll do better with it than my revolver. In other cases, the revolver would get the call. In other cases, I'll just die. Ce la vi.

alaskanativeson
May 1, 2012, 02:06 AM
...Have any of you actually used one to stop a determined attack? A lot of things look real good in sparing practice but don't work exactly the same in real life.I mean your sparing partner isn't actually trying to kill you...

Read my post HERE (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=8124260#post8124260). Having a tool, any tool, depends on how you use it. I'm close to 50, I was mid 40's when that happened. WAY out of shape still in spite of all the changes (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7766269#post7766269). No one's going to mistake me for an athlete. No one's going to mistake me for a fighter. However, unfortunately for him, one guy DID mistake me for a victim. Have a tool, have the knowledge to apply it effectively, and don't hesitate when you need to do booth.

Owen Sparks
May 1, 2012, 04:01 PM
I worked as a bouncer and had to use my pool cue butt half several times but I never hit anyone in the head with it. I once tried to break up a dog fight with a 26" length of rattan with absolutly NO results. That is when I realized that light weight sticks are useless against a determined opponant.

bubba in ca
May 1, 2012, 06:41 PM
Many years ago I experimented with Maglights and concluded that the proper compromise of convenience, speed, and heft was the 3 c cell. I just checked the one by the side of my bed--it is just shy of 11 inches. The d cells are a little too heavy for me and they do not fit my hands well.

glistam
May 1, 2012, 06:58 PM
A 3C (10 7/8"), not a 4C (12 13/16")?

Owen Sparks
May 1, 2012, 10:05 PM
I was issued a 3 cell when I was a bouncer. It had plenty of heft. Someone stole it off my table so I started using the butt half of a pool cue after that.

Nematocyst
May 1, 2012, 11:01 PM
I once tried to break up a dog fight with a 26" length of rattan with absolutly NO results.
That is when I realized that light weight sticks are useless against a determined opponant.
Which is why I use hardwood instead of rattan.

Of course, I'd place my odds with Dan Inosanto v you with rattan.

Owen Sparks
May 1, 2012, 11:25 PM
Weight is a critical component in transfer of energy. What would happen if you tried to drive a nail with a light weight hammer made of aluminum? No matter how fast you could swing it, it would not work very well. Neither will an impact weapon made of light weight material like rattan. Look at implements or corporal punishment as an example. They are designed to cause pain but not serious damage. Things like whips and cat-o-nine tails are very light and very fast. They cause a lot of stinging pain on the surface of the skin but lack the inertia for the energy to penetrate beyond the surface and cause deep muscle trauma or break bones. Pain alone will not stop a determined attacker. It takes blunt force trauma to penetrate beyond the surface and cause structural damage and that requires MASS.

Use the heaviest stick that you can handle.

Edited in:
Please understand that the above applies to CIRCULAR strikes only. The weight of a stick used for straight thrusts is inconsequential if you properly put the weight of your body behind it. A pound of stick more or less will not make any real difference with your 200 pound body attached.

Nematocyst
May 2, 2012, 07:21 PM
Well said, Owen.

Bikewer
May 5, 2012, 02:56 PM
To some degree, it depends what you target. A lot of strikes in FMA are to hands and such along with the "de-fanging the snake" ideology. The light, fast strike to these areas will break bones...
On the other hand, in my rather long police career, I've seen any number of subjects struck with various sorts of "heavy" impact weapons to little effect. Blows to the top of the head (typical for under-trained individuals) often glance off to one side or the other and produce vicious-looking but non-disabling cuts and lots of blood.
Drunken (or other chemically-impaired) individuals do not respond often to mere pain. Blows to the knee or pressure points or whatever that would make a sober person curl up and cry will go unnoticed.
In these cases, you need a lot of horsepower, properly delivered. Something along the lines of an elbow smash to the side of the head.
Or a Taser.....

Deltaboy
May 6, 2012, 09:49 PM
Proper blows to the knee do enough damage to make even doped or drunks fall to the floor. When you blow out the MCL or ACL the knee gives way under the load.

Go watch CC with the Yankees on ESPN he folded up like a dish rag.

Bored1
May 7, 2012, 10:36 PM
Thanks to everyone for all the information. Been thinking about looking into sticks, but honestly didn't have any ideas of where to even start. Thsi has helped @ ton, with too much information to digest now, but a great starting point.

Nematocyst
May 7, 2012, 11:46 PM
Proper blows to the knee do enough damage to make even doped or drunks fall to the floor.

Example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjWx9Zq2zNo&feature=related): kicks to the knee in MMA aka 'low kick'. Brings down big guys.

Watch the low kick at 3:09 and 3:37.

And that's with a foot, not a hard, fast moving stick.

Owen Sparks
May 7, 2012, 11:57 PM
Watch college football. Guys get carried off the field with knee injuries all the time.

Deltaboy
May 8, 2012, 07:54 PM
Mindset has a lot to do with everything we discuss here. YOU have to be willing to do damage up to deadly force to protect yourself or others.

My Street survival course instuctor took people to the floor with a AA mini-mag light.

Personally I have used from a cross pen to a section of dowel rod to get out of jams and walk away. A hard wood stick 14-20 inchs will do just about anything YOU'RE willing to do with it to another human being. As I have told my daughter you have to have a mean switch that you can flip on in a instant with no pity for your opponent.

Scout Dork
May 8, 2012, 09:21 PM
Finally orders some kali sticks. Started two months ago, Kali, tues/thru and kick boxing, mon/weds. All depends on my schedule. I've taken the last weeks off due to hurt back, just as the instructor told us that we were going to do more hands on knife fighting. Wish I would have done this 10 years ago, when I was younger and stronger.

Nematocyst
May 8, 2012, 10:19 PM
My next short stick will be a 1" x 18" piece of this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hymenaea_courbaril).

Janka hardness (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test) 2350, well above oak, ash, and hickory.

Report to come in a couple of weeks.

Owen Sparks
May 9, 2012, 12:02 AM
Hardness alone is not the best measure of a fighting stick.

With a few exceptions, very hard wood tends to be brittle and crack when subjected to impact. The best woods for impact use have a degree of flexability that allows them to give a little bit. Almost nothing is as hard as cocobola. It is so dense that it will sink in water yet if you clack two cocobola sticks together very hard one will break. Osage orange though is like trying to break a pice of spring steel.

I have never had any experience with janka. Maybe it is an exception. If it will withstand several full power blows to the trunk of an oak tree it will do just fine against any human target. Let us know how it turns out.

Nematocyst
May 9, 2012, 10:22 PM
Janka is the scale; jatoba is the wood.

In my query to the vendor, who is an experienced wood person, I asked explicitly,
which of your woods will do best when hitting something like a baseball bat?

Jatoba was the unequivocal response.

It's not expensive, so we'll find out how it does.

Owen Sparks
May 10, 2012, 10:38 AM
I may want a piece. Do you have any idea what the specific gravity of jatoba is?

Nematocyst
May 10, 2012, 10:59 AM
Here's some specs on jatoba from here (http://www.woodboo.com/jatoba_wbt.htm).
They may help those more knowledgeable about wood (than me)
predict the suitability of this wood for this purpose.

Janka hardness: 2350
Specific gravity: .91
Bending Strength: 21020psi
Shearing strength: 2470psi
Weight: 56 lbs/ft(3)
Crushing Strength: 1880psi
Static Bending: 11900psi
Tangential Shrinkage: 8.5%
Radial Shrinkage: 4.5%
Volumetric Shrinkage: 12.7%

hso
May 10, 2012, 11:20 AM
These are the critical factors
Bending Strength: 21,020psi
Shearing strength: 2,470psi
Crushing Strength: 1,880psi
Static Bending: 11,900psi

Specific gravity usually correlates to strength, but strength with, across and at an angle to grain can be different and some dense woods are brittle.

Look at these sources to compare to more common woods like hickory. http://www.woodbin.com/ref/wood/strength_table.htm http://www.hardwoodinfo.com/articles/view/pro/24/267

Owen Sparks
May 10, 2012, 11:43 AM
Exotic hard wood can be VERY expensive, but since all we need is a single dowell of 2 or 3 feet long cost is not really a factor. My ideal stick would be 28" long, no wider than 1" in diamiter and still weigh a full pound. So far Cocobola is the only thing that I have found with that much mass but they will break during blocking drills. Osage orange is wonderfull but needs to be close to 1 1/2" in diamiter to get the weight up to a pound. That may be fine for most of you but I have short fingers and need a slim stick to get a proper grip snap on my strikes. Also, the smaller the diamiter sticks concentrate the energy of the blow on a smaller area and make them much more effective, all else being equal.

Carl Levitian
May 10, 2012, 12:04 PM
Try hornbeam if you have any growing in your area. It's tough as all heck and has a close twisted grain that is very break resistant. A 7/8th to 1 inch hornbeam will shatter a coconut with no trouble. It takes several months to cure down a cool basement, but it's well worth the weight.

Carl.

Madcap_Magician
May 10, 2012, 12:08 PM
Why not just phenolic resins? A lot more expensive, I'll grant you, but a 7/8" G10 rod is pretty wicked.

P.B.Walsh
May 10, 2012, 12:43 PM
Wow, G10 rods are expensive, but they are basically invulnerable to anything! I priced a 1"x4' rod, cost $130;

http://www.professionalplastics.com/G-10FR4ROD

hso
May 10, 2012, 02:04 PM
As John has advised, look at micarta for an equal, but cheaper, option.

Madcap_Magician
May 10, 2012, 04:21 PM
I think micarta is highly dependent on the original material used. You can make homemade micarta out of blue jeans, canvas, paper, or just about anything else. The paper micarta polishes up the nicest, but I believe denim and canvas micarta are the strongest. Mechanically, I think G10 is stronger, but it may not be by enough to notice.

Owen Sparks
May 10, 2012, 04:28 PM
What does a 1" micarta rod weigh per foot?

Nematocyst
May 10, 2012, 05:56 PM
I'd eventually like a phenolic (when the budget allows) and one or more micarta.

Did I forget to mention that I collect sticks like some collect guns?

Deltaboy
May 11, 2012, 10:36 PM
Oak or Hickory work will as long as you get them in 7/8 or up. I going to find some Hornbeam.

Owen Sparks
May 11, 2012, 11:02 PM
Anyone have any experience with blackjack oak? It is more flexable than other varieties. my experience with red oak has been dissapointing as it tends to break with the grain. I have plenty of blackjack on my property.

Dirty Bob
May 12, 2012, 11:38 PM
Re the short stick and charging opponent: the short stick held in two hands can also be used for a two-hand horizontal strike, in which the middle of the stick hits the charging opponent. The defender can get his full weight behind the strike. Applied to the face/neck, it could be fatal. I have seen this one used, and it was very effective.

The ready position that's been described doesn't look like much to someone without knowledge of sticks, and a "little" stick may not look very effective to a big guy.

Although Bruce Tegner (1929–1985) is not in vogue, his stick book (Stick Fighting: Self-Defense) was actually pretty darned good.

For one (brief) treatise on short stick, I recommend John Styers' Cold Steel. It can probably be obtained via interlibrary loan, with the help of your local librarian.

It has a single chapter on the stick, but it's very good. He focused on a 22-inch stick and emphasized close quarters. The ready position is left foot forward, with the stick in the right, and with only a few inches protruding from the thumb side of the hand. At ready the r. hand is relaxed and the stick hangs down, not looking "ready" at all. The method used hard, driving punches with the short end of the stick, as well as two-hand smashes with the middle of the stick.

Styers also showed the method for a stick choke from behind. This is a lethal technique for combat use, not a self-defense technique. He also showed some strikes with the stick in a more conventional grip.

The short stick is every bit as effective as others have stated, if the user knows what s/he is doing. Like any other defensive tool, the wielder is more important than the instrument.

Regards,
Dirty Bob

Nematocyst
May 13, 2012, 11:27 AM
Interesting technique, Bob - that two handed 'take down' defense.
As a smaller person, I'm not interested in grappling with a large attacker.

I've practiced strikes against that, but the two-handed version sounds reasonable.

In a way, it's a modification of this basic technique by Bill Fairbairn; instead of striking up, one strikes down.

Owen Sparks
May 13, 2012, 12:27 PM
The reason I prefer a medium or arm length stick (about 28 inches) is that it allows you a striking range outside an opponants reach, even if he has a knife. Rather than close the distiance where I have to grapple and use two hand thrusting techniques, I prefer to sidestep and circle the opponant and make him play my game. I think of myself as a bull fighter rather than the bull. As long as I can keep the bad guy out on the end of my stick there is really nothing he can do. You only have to maintain this distance a few seconds, just long enough to deliver a few solid strikes. Dirty Bob is right, once the opponant closes the sistance circular strikes are out and you have to use various thrusting techniques that are dependant on the weight of your body behind the stick but if you will be alert you may never have to resort to close range stick fighting.

sm
May 13, 2012, 12:43 PM
Nem,
Good thread, and I appreciate all the great replies.

Being the Southern Boy I am, I am partial to a short, hickory axe handle. Just come up with mentors passing forward as they did.
Proven.

Nematocyst
May 13, 2012, 04:16 PM
Good to see you here, SM. Thanks for dropping by. Glad you're finding value here.

And yeah, having grown up in Me'omphis, I can relate. ;)

Dirty Bob
May 13, 2012, 10:25 PM
Nematocyst: The two-handed "bar thrust" was used against a guy with a practice knife (me) in the ice-pick grip for a downward stab. I screamed and leaped at the student. I had done this in class several times before. This usually resulted in a deer-in-the-headlights gaze and maybe a panicked attempt to back straight up -- with a result of a "fatality" for the student. This young man, however, kept his head and did a horizontal, two-handed block ... to my nose. It stopped me COLD. Blood went everywhere, but no lasting harm was done. It was a great learning experience for all concerned.

There are those out there who think the stick is useless in close. I hope they never have to test their ideas against a stick fighter who has trained for close quarters.

Folks, this thread has been a real joy to read, and the posts have been excellent. Thank you!

sm: I always enjoy your posts and hope you have more to share on this subject.

All my best,
Dirty Bob

Nematocyst
May 13, 2012, 10:36 PM
Bob, you added nicely to the quality of posts here
with your narrative of the "bar thrust". Thanks.

...a stick fighter who has trained for close quarters.
Funny you write that. I vacillate every night at bed time about
which stick to put under my pillow: the 16" or the 18".

The 16" is better in close quarters, but the 18" just feels more right.

Of course, this from a man whose revolvers are still in storage on the west coast.
(Don't ask, please. It's a long, hard, heart-breaking story I'd rather forget.)

But I feel totally safe with my sticks.

I'm sure SM can add some stories, too, if he should choose to.

hso
May 13, 2012, 10:45 PM
Horizontal two hand stick thrust is taught to LEOs and COs as well as crowd control. My ASP instructor taught it to us and my first escrima instructor taught some additional horizontal techniques (of course he was a CO also).

Nematocyst
May 13, 2012, 11:05 PM
What's a 'CO'?

ArfinGreebly
May 13, 2012, 11:11 PM
Corrections Officer.

hso
May 13, 2012, 11:13 PM
Correct, officer.;)

My favorite teacher was a CO that worked extraction in Max. He'd made a life long study of violent criminals and the ways of hurting/killing.

Nematocyst
May 13, 2012, 11:17 PM
Ah.

Deltaboy
May 14, 2012, 10:18 AM
CO and Excons who have gone straight are great vaults of knowledge sometimes.
I learned what the man called Prison yard knife or shive fighting in College from a Excon who need tutoring in US History. IMO we both got a good trade out of the deal. He is a Lawyer today and what he taught me got me out of a jam one time.

Another point for me is I prefer a rounded end on my short sticks aka like a broom or mop handle. It consentrates the energy to a smaller area.

Nematocyst
May 14, 2012, 11:47 AM
I prefer a rounded end on my short sticks aka like a broom or mop handle. It consentrates the energy to a smaller area.

Interesting point... so to speak. That's an angle <sorry; couldn't resist> we haven't talked about yet.

P.B.Walsh
May 14, 2012, 12:22 PM
Ever think of this?

http://www.museumreplicas.com/p-553-flat-ended-butt-cap.aspx

Could be more durable that a wooden end.

Owen Sparks
May 14, 2012, 01:59 PM
I like a minimal ball handle on my canes. The traditional crook or derby handle is not very practical for thrusting. I also like a handle that is reasonably light so that the balance point of the cane is not thrown too far off the center. That way it will swing and handle the same no matter which end you hold it by. A solid metal ball will shift the center of gravity so far towards the rear that it will handle like a club if you have to grab it by the wrong end.

For a short stick a straight rod with no taper will balance perfectly. Another advantage is that things like rods, dowels, pipes and tubes are such common everyday shapes that it will not look like a weapon if you happen to have one in your car or nearby at work. Sometimes it is easier to disguise a weapon than to conceal it.

Nematocyst
May 14, 2012, 02:51 PM
I gotta agree with Owen, PBW. Those caps look interesting, but where as my stick never gets a second look, even from police (so far at least), I think adding something like that would garner a second look. And I like the symmetry of a plain stick: I want to use it from either end and have it feel the same.

Deltaboy
May 14, 2012, 02:51 PM
Ever think of this?

http://www.museumreplicas.com/p-553-flat-ended-butt-cap.aspx

Could be more durable that a wooden end.
It would cause you to fall on hard surfaces like concrete , tile floors etc. For a Farm cane only it would be alright.

Madcap_Magician
May 14, 2012, 02:56 PM
Another point for me is I prefer a rounded end on my short sticks aka like a broom or mop handle. It consentrates the energy to a smaller area.

Very true. I have a pair of short hickory escrima sticks like this. On the other hand, with a squared end, you can get a tearing/cutting effect with strikes.

Deltaboy
May 14, 2012, 04:14 PM
Your correct so the next one I make will be rounded on 1 end and squared on the other.

hso
May 14, 2012, 04:40 PM
P.B.Walsh,

The objective is to carry a useful self defense tool without drawing attention. Putting such caps on a stick, rod, cane or staff would draw attention to it that no one wants.

P.B.Walsh
May 14, 2012, 07:05 PM
Hmm I have not thought about that the cap would bring attention to a stick, thanks for pointing that out.

Anyhoo, great thread, wish I could figure out a way to conceal a stick.....

Owen Sparks
May 14, 2012, 08:55 PM
If you have to use a short stick in a conventional two hand grip and you manage to create enough space for a one handed circular strike, a balanced stick will allow you to use either hand and it will feel exactly the same. An end heavy club will not. Ever try to use a baseball bat by the wrong end? I like a balanced stick for ANY length.

hso
May 14, 2012, 09:58 PM
Conceal it in plain sight.

P.B.Walsh
May 14, 2012, 11:07 PM
How? Not like I can walk around Alabama in a coat year round?

hso
May 15, 2012, 12:15 AM
A camera monopod makes a remarkable stick when fully collapsed.

An umbrella, a baseball power stick, a pool cue, ...use your imagination to find what fits into your life.

alaskanativeson
May 15, 2012, 01:00 AM
Carry a decorative cane. Want it to fit in? Wear a top hat and a tux. When you pass someone, ask if they've seen Ginger strolling around anywhere. ;-)

seeker_two
May 15, 2012, 06:40 AM
hso: A hearty second on the umbrella. While not great for powerful swings, most golf umbrellas have tips that work great for thrusts.

Owen Sparks
May 15, 2012, 10:03 AM
Some company makes a "combat umbrela" which is just a regular umbrella with a strong heavy shaft. All you really need is a sturdy walking stick that has some heft to it.

ArfinGreebly
May 15, 2012, 10:25 AM
The umbrella in question: Unbreakable Umbrella (http://www.real-self-defense.com/unbreakable-umbrella.html).

Two styles: hook handle and knob handle.

I have the hook handle.

It's a very sturdy umbrella.

I have not yet encountered a rabid watermelon or a predatory heavy bag (see the videos), but if I do, I'm certainly prepared.

hso
May 15, 2012, 10:30 AM
I have the same umbrella, but there are walking cane umbrellas that are far less expensive that should do well also.

Of course canes and umbrellas are longer than the short sticks that are the topic, but the idea is that you can look for "sticks" that fit your real life much of the time.

Owen Sparks
May 15, 2012, 10:59 AM
An umbrella may look out of place on a sunny day, especially in the dry months of late Summer. They are also not coverede by the ADA the way walking sticks are. Another option for disguised carry is a two piece pool cue in a sheath. The heavy butt half is the weapon, the thin end is just a prop. I carried mine slung over one shoulder like a sword scabbard the last time I went to downtown Memphis.

Nematocyst
May 15, 2012, 10:38 PM
The last time I went to downtown Memphis was around 20 years ago.

I grew up there, but will never go there again.

I like it here better.

Umbrellas. Never been a fan. Rather have a rain coat.
My current ones range from less than a lb that can be
stuffed into a light day pack to stay dry during errands,
to a full on mountaineering experiences
(serious mountains above treeline).

I feel the same about my sticks:
lean, mean, repels both water and bone.

Speaking of water, I stood on the banks of
one of Maine's largest rivers today and practiced
how to repel a take down/grapple artist with an 18" stick .

It's all about putting your hands wide enough so that
when you strike down at a head or neck, it hits one of those.

seeker_two
May 17, 2012, 06:11 AM
Owen: I've seen a lot of people with umbrellas on sunny days, esp. in Texas. They're quite popular at outdoor sporting events as portable shade. And ADA will cover it if you state that you have a skin condition that makes you sensitive to sunlight.

Just another tool in the toolbox....

Deltaboy
May 17, 2012, 06:48 PM
Short sticks work good, we have used them to run off vagrants and drunks who showed up our Construction Sites.

sm
May 19, 2012, 06:30 PM
I learned very very young the usefulness of umbrellas, even being a Southern Boy, having been born and raised in the Deep South...

Then,
I learned the usefulness of these small, very small, "retractable" and "most portable" umbrellas.

Keep in mind a lot of what I come up with, and mentored with, deals with "blending in" and, basically using "everyday common stuff" most folks are prone to use.

Somebody once said and says again from time to time:
The world is my tool box, I am the weapon...

Think out of the box...

Owen Sparks
May 19, 2012, 06:38 PM
I wonder if you could replace the typical hollow aluminum shaft of an umbrela with a solid steel rod. That would give it enough mass without drawing undue attention.

Deltaboy
May 19, 2012, 07:03 PM
It would be good to go if you can.

Nematocyst
May 19, 2012, 09:36 PM
Interesting ideas. Steel sticks that double for rain and sun protection.

Owen Sparks
May 19, 2012, 11:34 PM
A disguised weapon can be better than a concealed one. Straight cylinders are such common articles in our every day lives that it is easy to have a stick within reach that looks like something else. For example, at work I swapped out the light weight hollow aluminum coat hanger rod for a steel pipe. I did not tell anyone either. If bad comes to worse I can get to it in seconds. If it ever goes to court it will look totaly spontanious as if I just grabbed it up. I also practice a good bit with it when no one is around.

Deltaboy
May 20, 2012, 06:02 PM
One inch Steel gas pipe is one bad mamma jama if it over 12 inchs long and you can swing or thrust it. I have my late mother in laws break down cane I am going to make solid with some all thread and JB Weld.

Good move Owen it will last forever indoors and will do either job with ease.

bikerdoc
May 20, 2012, 06:43 PM
And ADA will cover it if you state that you have a skin condition that makes you sensitive to sunlight.


Many common BP, cadiac, and cholesteral meds incease sun sensitivity, and if you read the accompanied info sheet warn you out this hazzard.

Deltaboy
May 22, 2012, 11:23 AM
Yep Federal Medical Privacy Laws and the ADA makes it pert near impossible for a LEO to bother you about your cane or umbrella. Short sticks leave the door slightly open but not much.

Owen Sparks
May 22, 2012, 04:50 PM
As long as a short stick serves some other legitimate function you can usually get away with having it in your vehicle. One of my favorites is a 2 piece pool cue in a carrying case. As I stated in an earlier post I walked all over downtown Memphis with it and no one noticed. Even if they had there are several pool halls and bars with pool tables on or near Beal street that I could have been going to.

Nematocyst
May 22, 2012, 06:33 PM
As long as a short stick serves some other legitimate function you can usually get away with having it...

Ok, this is truth. I'm not joking here.

My 18" serves multiple functions:

* monopod for my cell camera. Cell cams suck, mine even more so. Focus is very poor. The more I can stabilize it, the better quality image. I can rest my cell on my stick sitting on top of a rock (see below) or fence or something similar and markedly increase the quality of my image. Yes, I am prepared to demonstrate this to an officer, and the results will be significant (in terms of image quality. Oh, by the way, I'm a semi-pro photographer with years of experience and images to prove it. The one attached is from my cell with no monopod use; just a snapshot.).

* I'm a long time rock climber and student of geology (since 4th grade). I spend a LOT of time on rock formations, climbing up and down; here, there are granite and shale and slate outcrops that are really big. The slate and shale are very sharp, often uplifted by geologic forces so that they point vertically, and are often literally in a stream bed, so are wet. A fall on those can result in serious injury. At 60, when climbing up a steep grade, or negotiating those beds in a stream, I use my stick for balance, as a third leg. Yes, going up a steep grade, an 18" is superior to a 36". Going down a steep grade, as rock climbers know, one turns around and climbs down; I use the stick to hook rocks as an anchor. If one grips it low enough, it's more rigid than a hand and prevents cutting on the sharp rock. The ends of my stick show signs of wear from grinding on the rocks.

If I lived in Boston or NYC, that would not fly. But I do not, purposefully. Again, I live in a small city embedded in rural Maine.

As it happens, my stick also serves to protect me against mean dogs owned by people who do not follow leash laws.

Some of the dogs are two-legged.

That's my story. I'm sticking to it.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=164887&stc=1&d=1337727198

Nematocyst
May 26, 2012, 11:29 PM
Like I was sayin', I like my 18".

And I may have forgotten to mention this.
I'm a drummer. So 'stick' also refers to making rhythms (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvpYqPxb2mg&feature=related).

JimStC
May 27, 2012, 04:00 PM
Nem,
Another great thread. Read the entire thread since it is 95 degrees outside and I don't like hot that hot. What an education. Sincere thanks to all contributors. Truly took me out of the mental self defense box I have existed in for years.
Jim

Nematocyst
May 27, 2012, 07:57 PM
Great to know you found value here, Jim. Thanks for your kind words and your pm.

Deltaboy
June 4, 2012, 10:28 PM
I took a couple of 18 inch broom handles and worked a fence post over for some fun and a nice upper body workout.

Nematocyst
June 4, 2012, 11:42 PM
Right?!

Deltaboy
June 9, 2012, 09:39 PM
I found a short ax handle the other day someone had throw out after they broke the head off. I reshaped the broken end with a rasp and I have a hickory 20 inch long handle that I can take walking when my leg is playing nice and I don't want to carry my canes.

Nematocyst
June 9, 2012, 10:32 PM
Delta, that sounds like a great use for a broken handle.

taraquian
June 10, 2012, 05:20 PM
Here's what I used for years:
http://i1079.photobucket.com/albums/w511/taraquian/100_0466.jpg
They are tomahawk handles, I used to run a Mountain Man program for the Boy Scouts and once they had a chip I had to stop using them on the 'hawks, so I had an abundance of them. They are Ash and I personally prefer the shape to round sticks.

These had been in my garage for years, I haven't thought of stick fighting in years, thanks for the thread!

Nematocyst
June 10, 2012, 06:21 PM
Taraquian, that's a great idea. Ash = good.

What are their lengths?

Deltaboy
June 10, 2012, 08:31 PM
Delta, that sounds like a great use for a broken handle.
Thanks I am using it for walking until I can score a good old hatchet head at some Junk store to a can put on the end of it.

taraquian
June 11, 2012, 08:05 PM
The 'hawk handles ae 19" long. They are about 4 bucks at a trading post and they also make them in hickory. I don't know if they are a better shape or just felt natural to me because I threw hawks so much, but the pair in the picture are almost 15 years old and have seen 'use', so they are STOUT.

Nematocyst
June 19, 2012, 09:51 PM
Must check out the hawk handles. Thanks, Taraquian.

After packing all day for a camping trip,
I stumbled on this video by Mike Janich (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff-QhTWBKIk)
with fine advice about how to use sticks in SD.
___________

Will be mostly in the North Woods for the next ten days.

Have knife, have stick, will travel. :)

hso
June 19, 2012, 11:43 PM
Nem,

Michael Janich is one of the best trainers in stick and knife you can train with. His seminars are well worth the time and money.

Nematocyst
June 20, 2012, 10:32 AM
Hso, that's a strong recommendation coming from you.

I'm definitely going to check out more of Michael's videos when I return,
and see if he's got any seminars scheduled in the NE in the coming year. If cash allows ...

I'll be offline until after June 30.

Owen Sparks
June 20, 2012, 11:31 AM
From what I saw in video clip Michael Janich knows what he is talking about. It sounds alot like what we teach as the two primairy targets, the opponants front hand and knee.

Deltaboy
June 20, 2012, 10:39 PM
The little SE Asia style I have seen attacks the arms then the head and face.

hso
June 20, 2012, 10:44 PM
Owen,

Michael Janich assuredly knows what he's talking about. Defanging the snake is a classic in FMA that anyone could pick up, but Michael has had countless experts attend his classes and they constantly praise his training.

sidheshooter
June 21, 2012, 02:55 AM
I am no expert, but I can personally vouch for Janich. I will be going back for more in the fall; he's that good.

JimStC
June 26, 2012, 07:48 PM
This thread has motivated me to start working with sticks. Just dropped a locust tree that was serving as a back stop on my rifle range. Trunk will be used for firewood this winter.
Been cutting off limbs and finishing them with my BK 7. I have already finished four sticks ranging from 6" circumference to 3". Length is 14" to 20". I have worked on the handles to reduce their size relative to the end. I also have one I have squared the ends. Sanding by hand and using flooring glue for cracks in the wood. I sand that after it sets up.
A couple of observations:
Locust is a great wood.
The BK 7 is the best tool I own. I can prep a limb for sanding quickly. By that I mean removing all bark and sub bark. The balance of that knife is made to have a job. I have used a D2 as well. No comparison, but of course two different intended purposes.
More to come as I learn more

Owen Sparks
June 26, 2012, 11:29 PM
I am working on my first locust cane right now. It has been properly seasoned for a year and after plaining and sanding it exhibits no cracks. It is a little lighter than I had hoped so it will have to be relitivley thick to mantain the weight of one pound which is the minimal suitable for a fighting stick. All it needs now is a ball handle and a rubber tip. It will be interesting to see how it holds up in a clash test againat an osage orange stick.

JimStC
June 27, 2012, 09:01 AM
Owen,
I hadn't thought of curing the wood. I just cut branches from a locust that I basically shot down over a several month period on my rifle range. So, the tree was alive.
Should I not seal the wood when I am finished with some of the finer work and let it cure? I have many more nice branches I haven't harvested yet. When curing should the bark be off?
My cracks, mostly are surface and I can sand them out. The ones that are deeper don't seen to be a structural threat. I have thought of using an epoxy mix, but have been using flooring glue. It hardens nicely, dries clear and sands well.
I have some osage orange I am going to buy on Ebay. Next project......

Jim

Owen Sparks
June 27, 2012, 11:06 AM
Jim,

Wood for fighting canes and sticks should be harvested during the coldest time of the year when the sap is low. The ends should be sealed immediately in the field and the bark left intact throughout the drying process. They should be stored in a cool dry place (but not freezing) where they can dry out and cure SLOWLY to avoid cracks and splitting. A hairline crack is all it takes to weaken a piece of wood enough to cause it to shatter under impact. Drying time varies but one of the best ways to tell if a stick has dried properly is to record its green weight on a tag and tie it to the stick. As the stick dries it loses weight. When the stick stops losing weight it will be time to strip the bark and finish it.

P.B.Walsh
June 27, 2012, 11:34 AM
Owen, how would you do that to bamboo?

Owen Sparks
June 27, 2012, 12:03 PM
Owen, how would you do that to bamboo?

I have no idea as bamboo does not grow in my part of the World.

From what little I do know about bamboo, it is hollow and therefore far too light to be suitable as an impact weapon without adding some sort of weight to the end.

Edited in:
Let me add this, bamboo is often used as a PRACTICE weapon in many Aisian martial arts precisely because it is light and less likely to cause serious injury in case of an accident. It is also used as a handle for spears and other things but by itself it just does not carry enough mass to make an effective weapon.

JimStC
June 27, 2012, 12:21 PM
Thank you Owen.

P.B.Walsh
June 27, 2012, 04:47 PM
Hmm, might need to find a different defensive stick..... just hate to chop off a good limb of a tree.

JimStC
June 27, 2012, 05:22 PM
PB,
No tree huggers here. We burn wood in a stove from Oct-Apr. Saves on electricity. We harvest wood on my place every year and let it cure for the next winter. City folks may not get that but trees are a renewable source of energy. With the cost of electricity it is foolish not to use renewable resources. Of course if you want to pay my electric bill.........

Jim

Flintknapper
June 27, 2012, 05:27 PM
Defanging the snake is a classic in FMA

Precisely...and is taught early on as a principle. Also, attacking ANYTHING that comes within a prescribed distance (generally an imaginary box 2' wide and projecting 2' in front of you). As long as it is not something feigned.

Otherwise we always taught "first come, first served", but an opportunity to defang the snake...being more desirable.

P.B.Walsh
June 27, 2012, 05:58 PM
Yea, if you know me, I am the opposite of a tree hugger, but I do value their beauty. Personally, if I could, I'd rather live in a wooded area, maybe one day after college!

I'll take a second look at a few limbs in the back, my grandmother would kill me if I took down a whole tree.....

Edit to add: This thread has shed a spotlight on an area of defense that I rarely thought of, now I intentionally LOOK for possible limbs to use! Great thread!

JimStC
June 27, 2012, 06:10 PM
PB, I have hundreds of trees on my property. They are an integral part of our life. We have been without electricity due to ice storms for several days. I fire up the generator for the water well. We really need water for livestock and flushing the toilet. The alternative really stinks:D.
Anyway, I did not mean to be critical. When you live in a rural area you use what you have when needed. There is no way in my lifetime that we will clear my place of trees. I even sell the cottonwood trees for pallets and we still have plenty. Been doing this for 15 years and the trees keep growing. Actually, as we thin out the woods, the remaining trees do quite well.
Sorry if I sounded like I was preaching,
Jim

P.B.Walsh
June 27, 2012, 06:42 PM
Na, I am with you, you have a neat situation where you live, I am a bit envious!

Sorry if it seemed as if I were offended, I was surely not. :)

Steel Talon
June 28, 2012, 12:17 AM
Many years ago (70's), I made a short baton (Police Billy)complete with "hand grenade " style handle and thong from an Iron Wood root I dug up. I cured it for several months, and then went to work on it with the lathe.It was one of the most beautiful and durable peices I ever made. I carried it when I was assigned to the jail.

Iron wood is very hard to work with, and the get a good piece to turn it needs to be a root. digging, finding and cutting it loose was a pain. Of course it was during a time of battery powered hand tools were not around. lol

P.B.Walsh
June 28, 2012, 12:42 AM
So, are roots stronger than limbs?

Edit to question: what does the cureing do to the wood?

Oh just got a 1.25 cubit limb, pretty heavy and dense feel to it, we'll see how it goes!

Owen Sparks
June 28, 2012, 12:08 PM
Cureing or seasoning simply means to allow the wood to dry properly so that it does not crack and weaken. Unless you have access to a proper lumber kiln this takes time.

Steel Talon
June 29, 2012, 01:20 AM
So, are roots stronger than limbs?
When it comes to Az Iron wood the libs tend not to be thick enough to use for many projects or fit on my lathe at that time. However the root system on the older Iron Wood specimens are plenty thick and long enough. But are a pain to dig.lol.

Owen explained the curing.

P.B.Walsh
June 29, 2012, 01:25 AM
Thank for the help, went to work on a limb today for a walking stick (~53"). And a pound, pound an a half "fighting" stick thats roughly 23".

Looking forward to the results!

JimStC
June 29, 2012, 04:02 AM
I was reading about wood density and came across Mulberry. Those are almost a nuisance because of the berries staining anything they touch. Mine are near the house. Well, now they have a stay of execution as the wood got good reviews.
This winter I will be harvesting a few branches, like 30-40:D
Jim

Owen Sparks
June 29, 2012, 10:09 AM
The qualities to look for in a fighting stick are density and flexibility.

Some hard woods are too brittle and some flexible woods are just too light.

You need something that can withstand repeated impact without cracking yet carries enough mass to transfer energy deep into the target.

P.B.Walsh
June 29, 2012, 11:45 AM
Good point Owen, I did actually give a section of the limb that I was not going to use (awkward curve shape) about 20-30 really good hits on a tree and it only started cracking about hit 25ish. Even then it was hard to crack in two!

I figure if I have to use it 20+ times on something/one, I need to run the opposite direction! Overall I am impressed by it thus far.

JimStC
June 29, 2012, 11:53 AM
Owen,
Do you have an opinion on Mulberry? The article I was reading compared it to a "poor man's" osage orange. I didn't quite buy that.....

PB,
What type of wood are you using?

Jim

P.B.Walsh
June 29, 2012, 05:05 PM
I have no clue, not to great at identifing trees.....

Some characteristics are: thin bark, easy to strip off; the wood under the bark is smooth. This limb is from a very small tree/sappling. The wood was moderately difficult to chop though. Oh and the wood under the bark is an off white, kinda like a tanned elephant tusk.

A smaller section is from a "Bradford Pear Tree", the wood has decent weight and feels quite dense.

Mabey ya'll could help me on the one with the description.

Owen Sparks
June 29, 2012, 07:07 PM
I have not tried Mulberry though I know where a tree is. I used to climb it to pick the berries when I was a kid. The problem we all have is that right now, in the heat of Summer is the worst time to harvest wood as it is in the middle of the growth cycle and the sap is high. Wood intended for anything except the fire place should be harvested in the dead of winter when the sap is low to keep cracking to a minimum.

A wood I am curious about is black jack oak. It is very springy like osage. It is very dense and burns hot. I am planning on cutting some small trees on my property to make a quarterstaff but not until after Christmas.

Steel Talon
July 1, 2012, 04:44 PM
Mulberry is hard and solid. (Think Field Hockey Sticks) You can find plenty of long straight peices. Trimming Mulberry does not hurt it in fact it can make them thrive. Crotch peices make excellent thumpers.

Owen Sparks
July 1, 2012, 05:34 PM
How heavy is Mulberry? I have heard that it is used for lacross sticks so I assume it is fairly light to avoid injuries. A fighting stick needs strength and weight.

JimStC
July 1, 2012, 06:05 PM
Go here: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/weigt-wood-d_821.html

Compare mulberry to black locust and osage orange.... interesting

Owen Sparks
July 1, 2012, 09:22 PM
If Mulberry will stand up to repeated impact it seems like it might be suitable. As I understand it, Mulberry is a cousin of Osage Orange which makes a fantastic fighting stick.

Nematocyst
July 2, 2012, 03:05 PM
As I understand it, Mulberry is a cousin of Osage Orange
which makes a fantastic fighting stick.

Interesting. Both are members of the plant family Moraceae (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moraceae).
(I had to look that up; I'm a biologist, but not a botanist.)
_________

Just returned from ten very wet days in the wilds. :eek:

(Yes, one of my short sticks went on hikes and stood guard at the tent door every night,
because there was access by car to the camping area and you never know
who'll show up in a primitive campground known to be a local party spot. :scrutiny:

Good to see this thread still kicking.

Carolina Wraith
July 2, 2012, 03:10 PM
I thought ash was one of the best woods, since they use it to make Louisville Sluggers. Pardon this question, but why a wood stick instead of a good old asp?:confused:

JimStC
July 2, 2012, 03:26 PM
I will be cutting a bunch of Mulberry branches this winter. I'll ship to any of the stick thread participants. You pay the shipping. Let me know anytime before the end of the year.
I'll get some diameter measurements and let you know what is available.

Jim

JimStC
July 2, 2012, 03:33 PM
CW,
I have an ASP. My take on your question is that it is a matter of liability. If I am out with my ASP on my belt, I may be looking for trouble in a jury's eyes.
On the other hand if I have my "innocent" anti-dog stick it is a little less clear as to my intent.
Don't get me wrong as I am a life long CCW and am willing to assume the risk of that liability. Just my thinking through your question
Plus, making sticks from wood grown on my place has a definite draw for me.
Welcome to THR,

Jim

Carolina Wraith
July 2, 2012, 03:38 PM
Thanks a lot. I thought it might be something like that. Asps seem to be a lot more effective, but I see the wisdom in what you are saying. Sad it's come to that, that we have to expect scrutiny for self-defense.

JimStC
July 2, 2012, 03:41 PM
Hopefully some others will add their opinions.

Owen Sparks
July 2, 2012, 04:16 PM
History always repeats itself.

Ever notice how many of the traditional martial arts weapons are outlandish and exotic looking? This is not because it made them more effective, but because they evolved from common farming implements. When Okinawa became part of Japan the Satsuma samurai clan made it illegal for peasants to own or carry arms. As a result, they were defenseless and developed a fighting system around their traditional farming implements that they could get away with carrying.

As the Constitution has been largely usurped we find ourselves in much the same situation where only the governing class is allowed to possess weapons. We must improvise as the Okinawans and other subjugated people have always done and learn how to adapt non-forbidden items into tools of self-defense.

I posted a while back about carrying a two piece pool cue slung over my shoulder all over down town Memphis. There is no law against carrying a pool cue and no one could prove that I was not on the way to one of the many bars in the area that have pool tables. Of course the thin half was just a prop as was the blue chalk cubes in the side pouch. The weapon is the heavy end. If I ever did have to use it in self-defense it would look better in court than if I had used an Asp.

An Asp is a purpose built weapon that shows premeditation. A pool cue serves another function. If heaven forbid I did get have to use it the cue as a weapon, it would appear that I used it spontaneously without malice of forethought because I just happened to have it in my hand and was on the way to the pool hall when I was attacked. BTW, it stays on the front seat of my car all the time as I am always on the way to the pool hall.

hso
July 2, 2012, 04:35 PM
why a wood stick instead of a good old asp

An ASP is a convenience compromise for a solid baton. It sacrifices weight and rigidity and strength for the collapsible trait making it compact and easy to carry all the time. It is in all other ways inferior as a defensive tool.

Wood provides all the things an ASP sacrifices, but a solid baton isn't as portable or concealable in most people's day to day activities.

I'm trained to use an ASP and hold an ASP card and I'm trained in escrima. I would pick a stick over a collapsible baton any day of the week if I had a choice in a real self defense situation.

Owen Sparks
July 2, 2012, 08:16 PM
If you get caught with an Asp in many places you could be charged with carrying a concealed weapon. A simple stick is easier to get by with as long as it serves some other purpose.

Carolina Wraith
July 2, 2012, 08:54 PM
Makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the answers.

Steel Talon
July 2, 2012, 10:19 PM
If you get caught with an Asp in many places you could be charged with carrying a concealed weapon. A simple stick is easier to get by with as long as it serves some other purpose.


Wise words..... Just for those who carry a baseball bat in their vehicles. It's best to also have some balls and a mitt present too. To provide the correct camoflauge

Nematocyst
July 3, 2012, 12:47 AM
I hope to own an ASP someday. Under the proper conditions, I'm sure it's a fine tool.

I want a Monadnock, also. One of these (http://www.batons.com/mp_straight.html) in an 18", please.

But for and EDC dog stick, gimme wood. I'd prefer Osage or Hornbeam, but ash is nice.
I'm using oak currently, mainly because it's available to me in dowel form for use as a prototype.
(I'm "on the road", and have few tools (all simple hand) or a workshop, and money is tight.)

Yes, I understand that oak will splinter if swung against an object too hard.

But that's a little like .38 spl v .45 ACP. IME, it's more about technique. One thing I've learned about sticks (for 50 years): you don't need to hit with the power of a home run to hurt and stop an attack. Hit bone - ulna, radius, sternum, clavicle, ribs ... and it will have an effect.

Stick placement, stick placement, stick placement.

And be quick about it, and flexible.
Don't telegraph where the next strike will go.
High? Low? Arm? Ribs? Knee? Thigh? Neck?

Answer: it depends on what comes my way.

Weapon in a hand? I'll try to break a wrist.

Foot in a kick? I'll try to break an ankle.

Take down attempt? Look out neck, two handed stick coming down ....

Steel Talon
July 3, 2012, 02:42 AM
Since we are discussing the ability/difficulty to conceal short sticks, then I would suggest that you make a simple Yawara from a 6-8 inch length of dowel and incorporate it into your training.

When I was a young man and started my journey into Jujitsu I was fortunate to be taught to use the Yawara in concert. Ultimately in CQB my ideal position is to control opponents movements, transition myself behind opponent, finish,cast him away and exit quickly. So I counter attack with open hands and maintain at least one hand in contact at all times to direct my force application until I cast or get casted.

a Yawara is a simple force multiplier that assists quickly in grabs locks and joint devastation.

Remember as with any Self-defence item the Yawara is limited, and is best used by a trained person. But in the absence of anything it is very powerful force multiplier.

It's a fist load, a jabber, since it protrudes an inch on either side of the closed fist its a devastating hammer striker to the face, orbitals, soft tissues throat pressure points,and a joint striker such as if your daughter was grabbed by the wrist a hammer strike to the wrist and hand bones could quickly force a release.

Of course with my daughters they would turn an attackers face and eyeballs into hamburgar meat sauce until they could make immediate escape. They know how to fight to save themselves and to maime an attacker that would force an ER visit.

JShirley
July 3, 2012, 03:18 AM
Mini-Maglite-sized 2-cell light has the advantages of a Yarawa but doesn't look like you're carrying around a piece of dowel. Plus you can use it frequently for light.

John

Owen Sparks
July 3, 2012, 03:00 PM
I posted this a few days ago on the thread about brass knuckles:

A short, heavy 5" stick can be every bit as effective as brass knuckles if you know how to use it as a strike enhancer. It will concentrate the power of your strike on a very small hard surface. You can butt it into the heel of your palm just like a short knife and use it in the same stabbing/thrusting motion. Actually a short stick is better because it will be easier to release if you need to use your hand as something other than a club. Best of all it can double as something else that is perfectly legal to have in your pocket like a flashlight. The main limitation to strike enhancers is that they do not make you a better puncher, they just make your punches better. If you are not already a pretty good boxer these things have very limited value. You have to be able to reliably land a punch with your body behind it and that requires a good bit of training. In the hands of a trained boxer or a Karate black belt short sticks are a fearsome weapon. In the hands of your wife or girlfriend, not so much.

Deltaboy
July 5, 2012, 11:51 AM
Another vote for the 2aa mini mag light.

Dirty Bob
July 5, 2012, 07:46 PM
I carried a 2AA Mini MagLite all over western Europe, through lots of secure zones in places like the Louvre, and no one ever looked twice at it. It's a flashlight: a useful item to have if the power goes out and you have to find your way out. Even had someone demanded to hold it while I was inside, it's not an expensive piece of kit like some of the "tactical" pens that folks are buying.

These same places probably would have stopped me for the smallest of the Swiss Army knives. :confused:

The other stick substitute to travel with is a cane. Much of the western world is now so PC that it may actually be illegal for them to ask about it! ;)

All my best,
Dirty Bob

JimStC
July 5, 2012, 08:07 PM
...........

Owen Sparks
July 5, 2012, 11:08 PM
You are good to go anyway Jim.

You do not need a prescription, a written excuse from a doctor or even a good reason to carry a cane. Whatever the reason it is CONFIDENTIAL MEDICAL INFORMATION and by law no one can inquire into the reason for your "disability" nor can they discriminate against you for carrying a walking cane anymore than they could if it were a wheel chair. They must accomidate you under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Nematocyst
July 5, 2012, 11:29 PM
Jim, since you're into Randall knives,
let me guide you to a better stick (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcH0ww_Jbfg). :scrutiny:

Ogreon
July 5, 2012, 11:33 PM
An Asp is a purpose built weapon that shows premeditation. A pool cue serves another function. If heaven forbid I did get have to use it the cue as a weapon, it would appear that I used it spontaneously without malice of forethought because I just happened to have it in my hand and was on the way to the pool hall when I was attacked. BTW, it stays on the front seat of my car all the time as I am always on the way to the pool hall.

As long as you're "not hustling people strange to you
Even if you do got a two-piece custom-made pool cue."

Nematocyst
July 5, 2012, 11:39 PM
^ A poet walks amongst us.

Dirty Bob
July 5, 2012, 11:40 PM
You don't need to limp, because of your old back/hip/knee/ankle/whatever injury. It flares up when you're tired or on your feet too long, so you carry a cane. Canes are also carried by people trying to avoid re-injuring something that's healing. I should have carried one when I sprained my ankle. The slip during a monsoon downpour several weeks later resulted in a re-injury that was far worse than the first sprain.

This is medical info, so it's private and none of anybody's durned business! I've carried a rattan crook-top onto an airliner. After it was x-rayed to make sure it wasn't some hidden weapon, I was treated with caution, in spite of no limp:

"Sir, do you need the cane to reach your seat?"

The secret isn't limping. It's carrying the cane enough to make it a natural extension of you. You walk with it in a natural gait, so people assume that it's part of your daily life and don't ask questions. It doesn't hurt to have a simple story, just in case, but you'll probably never need it if you're relaxed and natural about carrying the cane.

Regards,
Dirty Bob

Nematocyst
July 5, 2012, 11:49 PM
^ Bingo.

Nematocyst
July 5, 2012, 11:53 PM
And by the way, I guess "short stick" is now partially redefined to cane length,
even though I hope we continue to discuss mainly those less than 24"
in this thread, realizing that many of the same principles apply
if one 'chokes up' on the longer sticks.

Dirty Bob
July 6, 2012, 01:36 AM
Short stick techniques can easily apply to a cane! If you're gripping near the top of the cane, the end above your hand can be used in a forward or rising strike, regardless of the length of the stick, especially if it's a cane like Cold Steel's City Stick.

Many of the two-handed techniques could be very similar, regardless of stick length.

I think the short stick is good to learn, as so many objects are similar in size/weight. Two of my favorites are a long socket handle or a heavy sharpening steel. In a wooden stick, I'd go for a piece of hickory, about 1-1/8" in diameter and 22-24" in length. I favor thrusting and two-handed techniques, as they don't rely on the weight of the stick for effectiveness.

But if I have a flashlight or a cane or a chair leg or the short stick that was my "towel rack" in King Hall at Navy OCS, that's what I'll use.

Best wishes,
Dirty Bob

JimStC
July 6, 2012, 07:08 AM
....................

Nematocyst
July 6, 2012, 09:59 AM
Jim, it's OK with me. I think some 'drift' is good. It lets us compare short sticks with longer walking sticks.

In my view, there's definitely a difference in their uses for SD, meaning techniques, even though there's some overlap. Seems the transition happens right about 28" where 'baton' and kali work (on the shorter end) becomes Irish stick fighting (a la Glenn Doyle, which interests me a lot) and canefoo (which I find less interest in; I prefer straight sticks to canes).

hso
July 6, 2012, 11:10 AM
I guess "short stick" is now partially redefined to cane length,

No, that's called "thread drift" or "hijacking a thread" not "evolving language". ;)

A short stick is not a cane and the guys pushing that topic simply need to point to the cane thread and not hijack yours. We might need a Jo/Bo/staff thread some day, like we have a cane thread and this short stick thread, but they're fundamentally different and warrant different discussions.

Carl Levitian
July 6, 2012, 01:44 PM
If I'm gonna carry something as long as a cane, then I'm carrying a cane. But to me, a short stick is something about as long as from my elbow to my fingers that I can conceal. A 14 inch stick is fast handling for those snap strikes to hands and wrists.

Carl.

Owen Sparks
July 6, 2012, 02:33 PM
The thing about a cane is that you can LEGALLY cary it anywhere, where as carrying a concealed short stick can get you locked up in many places. I personaly prefer a medium arm length stick of about 28", but have had to adapt to a cane that is about 8" longer than I would prefer because I can always have it with me. We have to settle for what is practical. If I did have to hit a bad guy with my 'walking cane' it would look a lot better in court than if I had used a concealed purpose built weapon of some sort. If you do carry a shorter stick it better be something that serves another purpose and you better have a good reason to be carrying it at the time. See my above story about walking around in downtown Memphis with a 2 piece pool cue.

Dirty Bob
July 6, 2012, 04:18 PM
I agree that a cane is a second choice for me as well, compared to a straight stick of about 22-24". The stick is faster and can be used with the element of surprise. I'm also not crazy about the crook top: to me, it removes a striking end.

Does anyone have any other "sticks" that can travel in plain sight? The pool cue idea is the best I've heard so far, but I'd want to go to my local Fast Eddie's frequently enough to be recognized, in case my story was checked.

I do keep a 2-C MagLite (modded to use CR-123A lithium batteries) in the car, but I consider it closer to a yawara than a true stick.

I apologize for any thread drift: that was not my intention.

All my best,
Dirty Bob

Owen Sparks
July 6, 2012, 04:52 PM
Wearing a pool cue case over your shoulder only works when you are on foot and within walking distance of some place that has pool tables. In my previous post I was in the downtown tourist area of Memphis where Beal street is literally blocked off at night. Everyone is on foot and walking from place to place. I carried that stick in several bars and even a restaurant without anyone giving it a second glance because it was not out of place there. If questioned, I had a perfectly legitimate reason for carrying it and no one could prove that I was not going to play pool with it later on after dinner. In fact I actually did shoot a couple of games with it that night.

You could not drive some place like the corner convenience store and walk in with a cased pool cue and still have a plausible reason to be carrying it, unless of course there was a pool table at the bar next door. That is why I always carry my walking cane in the vehicle along with my pool cue. Do I prefer the shorter stick? Usually, it just takes more room to swing and is not always practical indoors but it sure beats NOTHING and I have learned to adapt it to situations that might be better suited for a short stick because I simply can’t take my shorter stick (or shotgun, or 1911 or 6.8 AR) everywhere.

Nematocyst
July 6, 2012, 05:10 PM
As I've mentioned before in this thread, I go everywhere - everywhere - with a short stick either strapped to my day pack (18" or 20" stick) or large (440 cu in) fanny pack (16" or 18" stick). The latter sticks out of the fanny pack by 2" or 4", respectively, on the right side where I can access it quickly, and they're never really "concealed". I've walked right by police officers on the street multiple times and never raised an eyebrow. People in convenience and grocery stores (and other businesses) see them, but rarely question.

When someone does question, I tell them the truth. I carry them for three reasons, in order of priority:

1) it's a dog stick, because I've been attacked multiple times in my life by dogs, as recently as February. (When I pulled my stick then and waved it in front of me, it stopped an aggressive advance by a German shepherd.) Leash laws are poorly enforced here, not only on our local trail system but on city streets. Calling 911 is not an option. Of course, some dogs are 2-legged, but I don't have to mention that.

2) it serves as a monopod support for my cell cam; standing the stick on end on a fence post or large rock then stabilizing the cam on top of it significantly improves my shots. (I'm a photographer from way back, and with a better camera, use either a tripod or monopod for 75% of my shots.)

3) they serve as a little stabilizer stick when I'm climbing on slate along our river banks, which as a naturalist and hiker I do often. Slate is extremely sharp, so having my stick to hook behind a sheet of it when I'm climbing up the bank offers a safer hand hold. There are scars and scratches on my stick to proof that use. See the image in post 149 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=8177893&highlight=slate#post8177893) as an example.

Now, admittedly, I live in a small city in Maine. Could I get away with that in Boston, NYC or SF, or even down in Portland? No, probably not. But things are different here. Stephen King lives in Maine. That should tell you something.

Carl Levitian
July 6, 2012, 06:01 PM
So no matter how you cut it, it all keeps coming back to carrying a cane. The best weapon in plain sight.

Nematocyst
July 6, 2012, 06:07 PM
Right. Glad we've established that.

But this thread is about short sticks,
not canes, so what'er'ya gonna do?

Dirty Bob
July 6, 2012, 07:41 PM
I'd forgotten the monopod idea. I could put a cane tip on one end (or not) and a threaded ferrule on the other for a camera. I often have a camera with me.

I see people carrying sticks/golf clubs/etc. around here when walking for exercise. We not only have occasional dogs running loose, but also fairly large numbers of deer. I've even encountered them in my front yard and in my garage (door was open while I was working there, and the deer poked her head in to take a look).

-------------------------------------

On another issue, which cross section do you prefer?

Round is traditional, and low profile. It works and requires the least work, if you're making a stick.

Octagonal is pretty high profile, but it looks cool and feels good in the hands for some of us. It (in theory) hits harder, because of the shallow corners of the stick. A challenge to make, although not all that hard for any decent woodworker.

Oval offers a blend of the properties of the other two. It hits like a narrower stick. It can also be used to make sure that you strike in line with the grain, rather than against it (like with a baseball bat). It can be subtle and may not be apparent to someone until they grasp the stick. Some of us think it feels better in the hand than a round stick. Finally, it isn't hard to do: just start with a slightly larger stick, and "flatten" two sides a bit.

I leave the ends of my sticks flat, breaking the corner just a little bit, but not rounding them, as this makes it look like a purpose-built baton.

Regards,
Dirty Bob

Steel Talon
July 6, 2012, 11:51 PM
As long as you're "not hustling people strange to you
Even if you do got a two-piece custom-made pool cue."

Dont hustle Willie McCoy aka Slim..

Owen Sparks
July 7, 2012, 12:57 AM
Let’s get one thing straight. A cane is not always the best weapon, but it is the best weapon that you can always have.
Anything shorter may arouse suspicion or get you charged with carrying a concealed weapon if you use it in self-defense. Of course this is highly dependent on where you live and other extenuating circumstances.

Fighting sticks are just like firearms in that they are highly specialized and fit certain niches. Is a handgun better weapon than a scoped rifle? That would all depend if the bad guy were 300 yards away or had just jumped in the front seat of your car with you. In the cramped confines of your car a handgun would be the best choice as you could not even get a rifle turned. At 300 yards a handgun would be next to useless against an opponent armed with a rifle. If you did not know what sort of trouble might come your way you would probably seek the best compromise and you might choose some sort of short carbine like the M-4. It is powerful enough to take out targets at several hundred yards yet short and handy enough to be maneuverable indoors and in close quarters.

Choosing a fighting stick is like choosing a gun in that we must make compromises. The reason most of us use the long walking cane is the same reason most of us have to use long barreled rifles. Short sticks like short barrel rifles, come with potential legal problems.

But suppose for a moment that the law is not a consideration. What length is really best? The answer is "It depends." Are you expecting to have to defend yourself outdoors in an open field or parking lot? In that case the longer the better. You would be well served by a staff of some sort. Do you expect trouble in the close confines of a crowded bar? For that you might need something short and heavy like an old time police billy club that you could hide under your coat. The best all-around compromise, like the carbine is somewhere in between.

JShirley
July 7, 2012, 06:59 AM
Anything shorter may arouse suspicion or get you charged with carrying a concealed weapon if you use it in self-defense

I think we partially agree, but you're leaving out the kubaton/yarawa envelope, when filled with reasonable tools. I always have a small flashlight or a water bottle with me. Now, I have no use for "sticks" longer than a flashlight and shorter than a cane. Those are just asking to be arrested, IMO. I'm pretty sure many LEO would look more askance on someone carrying a 2' stick than they would a concealed firearm, regardless of the weapon laws.

John

Nematocyst
July 7, 2012, 09:48 AM
Just to be clear, guys, in the OP, I defined "short stick" for the purposes of this thread in this way:

For the purpose of this thread, let's define short stick as
any straight rod of wood, metal or plastic (including phenolics)
ranging from (roughly) 14" to 24" (mas o menos) ...

Canes and walking sticks have their place; I own 3 of the latter, and sometimes carry one of them, mostly hiking and in winter. Kubotans (etc) have their place; I own two and always carry one.

But short sticks have their place, too, and I always carry one, though not concealed.

If a dog attacks me, or a person attacks me with a fist (meaning they intend to break bones in my body or cause a life threatening concussion) or knife, I'm going to do my best to make them stop the attack. If that means breaking a bone, as suggested by Kelly McCann in this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGgaQ07D09Y), then so be it. I'll deal with the legalities later, just like I'd have to with a firearm or knife.

I'll add that I have no criminal record; worst thing on my record is a speeding ticket. I have numerous personal and professional contacts that can vouch - under oath if necessary - for my physically, non-aggressive being - I may argue intellectually with assertion, but when it comes to physical altercation, I'll walk away if possible, fighting as a last resort, just like Mr. McCann recommends.

Deltaboy
July 7, 2012, 10:48 AM
True Nematocyst. On good days I like to take a mile long walk and I carry my salvaged 18 inch ax handle with me. I have tested it and the oval shape makes a nice dent in things you wack with it.

Deltaboy
July 7, 2012, 10:53 AM
The thing about a cane is that you can LEGALLY cary it anywhere, where as carrying a concealed short stick can get you locked up in many places. I personaly prefer a medium arm length stick of about 28", but have had to adapt to a cane that is about 8" longer than I would prefer because I can always have it with me. We have to settle for what is practical. If I did have to hit a bad guy with my 'walking cane' it would look a lot better in court than if I had used a concealed purpose built weapon of some sort. If you do carry a shorter stick it better be something that serves another purpose and you better have a good reason to be carrying it at the time. See my above story about walking around in downtown Memphis with a 2 piece pool cue.
I have used and seen used Pool Cues in my younger days at the Pool Halls in the Delta of Ark and Western Mississippi. 2 pieced in a case never raised any eyebrow with the LEO's I meet back then unless one of them liked playing pool and they wanted to see it. I had a nice one made in Canada.

My uncle taught me to do leg sweeps with a follow up Thrust or slap to the side of the head.

Nematocyst
July 7, 2012, 11:38 AM
Just for the record, I edited (for clarity, not meaning) my post 236 substantially after Deltaboy posted 237 and 238. Mainly writing this so D'boy doesn't miss the clarification, but also just to keep things on the (pool) table. :)

Owen Sparks
July 7, 2012, 12:19 PM
I think we partially agree, but you're leaving out the kubaton/yarawa envelope, when filled with reasonable tools. I always have a small flashlight or a water bottle with me.

If you are a trained pugilist that is a good choice. The limitation for MOST people is that they just really don’t know how to box.

One of my standard demonstrations for teaching the importance of movement in
self-defense class is to pick some beginner and put an oversized pair of boxing gloves on him. I then put my hands behind my back and invite him to take a few swings at me. It is EASY to duck, dodge and weave against someone with no training because they ‘telegraph’ their punches and they are easy to see coming. As long as I have enough room I can usually keep from getting touched until the person swinging starts to get tired. Now would it really make a difference if he had a pair of brass knuckles or yawara sticks instead of boxing gloves? Like I said earlier post, yarawa sticks don’t make you a better puncher, they just make your punches better. You still have to be able to land punches accurately and reliably before any strike enhancer will help.

JimStC
July 7, 2012, 03:51 PM
John, re post #235. That is significant food for thought. Sort of like the comment I made regarding carrying an ASP. I hadn't thought of sticks from that perspective. Perhaps the lesson is: have something that also has a non-combative purpose......

Jim

JShirley
July 7, 2012, 03:54 PM
Yeah. I like dual-purpose things. :) Since I like lights and water, it works pretty well.

Owen, I do take your point. If you're being attacked, though, the person is coming to you...or you're safe. ;)

John

geologist
July 7, 2012, 04:53 PM
I didn't read the entire thread so apologies if this has already been posted.

Angel Cabales is a proponent of the shorter stick ie. 21"-24". Generally the measure from wrist to armpit.

His system is called Serrada Escrima.

JimStC
July 7, 2012, 05:10 PM
Geo,
Your comments are appreciated,

Jim

Deltaboy
July 7, 2012, 06:00 PM
You can take that 2 piece cue stick and use the big end to smash and the tapered end to slash. Apply Escrima or any other stick fighting techs and your set.

As we all have shared short as 6 inchs or a full sized canes they will work if you study them and practice what you have read or been taught.

Owen Sparks
July 7, 2012, 06:57 PM
I always prefer a balanced stick with the center of gravity right in the middle. Even though the butt half of a pool cue is tapered and slightly too long, it is well worth adapting to because it is something that I can actually have with me, just like we have to adapt to the extranious length of a walking cane.

Nematocyst
July 7, 2012, 08:03 PM
Angel Cabales is a proponent of the shorter stick ie. 21"-24". Generally the measure from wrist to armpit.

His system is called Serrada Escrima.

I just did a little searching and reading. Very interesting, Geo. Thanks.

Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSXvDAM2XNU) is an older "video" (looks like reel to reel remastered) of the master, though I'm not sure which one he is. (Could probably figure it out with study; I'm guessing the person on the left based on the fluidity of his moves.)

Here is Angel's Disciples site (http://www.angelsdisciples.net/).

Here is a controversial book (http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Cabales-Serrada-Escrima-Series/dp/0804831815) (see reviews) about Angel Cabales style.

Owen Sparks
July 7, 2012, 09:41 PM
Interesting videos, but the chances against you getting in a real stick on stick self-defense situation against a skilled criminal assailant are astronomical. I prefer to focus on the 99.9% probability that even if the bad guy has a stick he will not know much beyond how to hit. Case in point, I live near a city with a day time population of about 100,000 and there are probably not 50 people here capable of blocking and trapping with a stick and I KNOW MOST ALL OF THEM. Highly trained martial artists are disciplined people that will NOT be out mugging folks and initiating aggression against peaceful strangers. If you will just learn the basics of how to hit and move it will put you way ahead of at least 999 out of a thousand potential criminal assailants. The stick against stick interaction is fun but should not be the focus of your training because it will never happen outside of class.

Nematocyst
July 7, 2012, 09:59 PM
Owen, I very much agree, and didn't mean to imply by posting the link to the video means that I'm concerned about stick-on-stick. In the Philippines, it's an issue, but not where I live. (Especially where I live; Escrima is not taught within 100 mi of here at least.)

My interest in that video and other escrima/kali/arni videos is in basic strikes and blocks that could be used against knives or hands, and the way Angel manipulated and used the space.

Owen Sparks
July 7, 2012, 10:43 PM
Any opportunity to train with a stick is good. My point is that we should not get so caught up in the sporting aspects of stick fighting that really amount to a voluntary duel between martial artists using very light pieced of rattan. That sort of thing is not going to happen in the Wall-Mart parking lot. Some thug with a knife demanding your wallet is a thousand times more likely. You need to train to hit hard with the heaviest stick that you can handle to end the threat. Ever handle a fencing foil? it feels like a car antena in your hand compaired to a real sword. That is what rattan feels like after training with a solid piece of osage, hickory or a steel pipe.

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