Do you know that batons and nightsticks are good self defense weapons? Do you know you can protect yourself without using a gun?
When I was much younger, I used to wonder why police and army officers carry batons and nightsticks. Back then, I thought guns are the only reasonable weapons that they should carry. I couldn’t just comprehend how an officer would control people with a mere stick.
- What happened to guns and other better weapons?
- What if someone attacked them with a gun?
- What if they came across criminals that are smarter and could stand them in a physical combat?
Those were the questions I used to ask myself. But because I couldn’t find someone to give me convincing answers, I concluded that any military officer that goes about wielding nothing but a baton or nightstick is a joker, who could be easily attacked and overpowered.
For many years, I carried this erroneous thought in me, even into adulthood. I would laugh whenever I sighted baton-carrying officers, wondering why they chose to play a game of dice with their lives. And at some point, I lost confidence in the security arrangements at gatherings where I saw security officers carrying only these useless “stick.”
How my mindset changed
I stumbled upon a long-lost friend, whose desk was always beside mine throughout our college days. We were very close friends back then, but we lost contact as soon as we left college.
John (that’s my friend’ name) had undergone military training and is now a police officer. I caught sight of him at a function while he was on duty alongside other police officers. He called me first, and I was surprised to see him. Everyone present at the scene could guess that we must have lost contact for a very long time, from the way we hugged each other and exchanged greetings.
Of course, he was in uniform, and he was carrying the same old “stick” I hated seeing with police officers who I always felt should carry better weapons.
At a point during our lengthy discussion, after he narrated how and why he joined the military, I sought to know why police officers believe so much in those batons and nightsticks. I told him how I always felt that they are useless weapons. “If they are useless, you won’t see very many officers carrying them around”, he replied, with a faint smile.
Then I asked him to tell me how these “sticks” are used. With his explanation, he was able to convince me that batons and nightsticks are not mere sticks and are not as useless as I had thought. Now, let me explain when and how to use a baton or a nightstick, based on what I learned from John:
Military officers carry batons and nightsticks to control harmless civilians in gatherings and assemblies. If violent crimes are anticipated, advanced weapons such as guns are carried instead. So, officers know what to carry and when there’s no risking of life here (as I used to think).
Batons and nightsticks are less expensive than advanced and more lethal weapons such as guns and tasers. They require no ammunition and no special skills. And because they are more likely to cause lasting or fatal injuries, batons are more commonly used for forced compliance than many other less-lethal weapons.
How to Use Police Batons and Nightsticks
- Remove the baton or nightstick from its casing, if it has one.
- Expand it to your desired length, if it’s an expandable one.
- Move closer to the assailant while you are maintaining a firm grip on the baton (lest the assailant dispossesses you of it).
- Give the assailant a last warning.
- If the assailant fails to comply, strike him/her hard on the arm or legs. Target parts of the body such as the mid-thigh, the front of the shin (directly on the bony area), back of the hand or fingers. Avoid hitting the assailant on the head unless your life is threatened.
- As soon as you have weakened the assailant, escape from the scene if self defense was your motive. But if you are a military officer, arrest the assailant and use your handcuffs.
Aside attacking an assailant, batons and nightsticks are used to block oncoming blows or kicks. To achieve this, you may have to hold the baton with two hands at both ends (John demonstrated this). So, if the assailant is ready to engage you in a combat, you may have to block before hitting.
So, batons and nightsticks are not meant for military officers only. You can also purchase one for self-defense purposes. The expandable ones are easiest to conceal and are adjustable to any length you prefer.
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