Batter Up

Defending against an attacker with a bat!

I was watching a gangster movie recently, and it showed a person getting attacked with a bat. Take that back, they were getting beat by a bat, and it was brutal. Why is it that we see more stabbings and slashing on the big screen, but rarely see people getting “thudded” with a bat?

There is nothing nice about being assaulted with a knife, and it isn’t glamorous in the least, regardless of how it is presented in the movies. However, the “thud” of a bat hitting the face or bones is many times much more chilling. We might have been de-sensitized by the bloody gore on TV and in the movies, but the reality of getting hit with a long, solid impact weapon that you need to use two hands with like a bat, pipe or crowbar makes almost anyone cringe.

Defending against something like that, isn’t a joke either. As cringe worthy as it is, there are some “chinks” in the armor that we can exploit, and take any assailant hurling this type of weapon out of commission.
The strength someone has with a bat is obviously their power, but it is uncontrolled power. Instead of poking and prodding, using the length as the weapon’s positive attribute, most people grip it like a baseball slugger and swing away.

In order to take an attacker down using this weapon, the goal is to stay out of the “home run” range, where the top or last three to four inches of the weapon could strike you. Therefore, staying outside of the “batters” range is smart, but we can’t subdue him in this far outside range, which means we need to move in.

Moving inside “boxing range” is the key to using our own “heavy artillery” such as elbows, knees and head butts to render the opponent unconscious.

It mainly comes down to the timing. We want to wait until the “swing” passes the 50% mark, and where the attacker actually has to slow down, in order to load up another strike. Getting inside their boxing range, allows them to be off balance, off center and completely vulnerable to strikes as their hands are tied up holding the bat.

Therefore, there are three quick steps you want to take if someone attacks you with a bat. First, keep your distance and let them swing. Next, when the bat passes through the 50% mark, make your entry. Bum rush in close as quick as you can into close quarters. Lastly, use a barrage of elbows, knees and head butts, but here is the secret: Make sure you “lock up” on the person, grabbing their neck or arms while launching your counter attack.

You could do everything correctly up until that point, but if you don’t keep that person in a close range, you’ll be a second away from that attacker backing up and being in their “home run” range once again. Isolating the attacker by holding onto their neck will not only accomplish this, but also keep their face close and controlled for a number of counter strikes.

Remember, there is not a superior weapon, only a superior practitioner which knows the pros and cons of each range and weapon. The person wielding the bat has range and power, so in order to combat that we must move inside their swinging range by using proper timing to take them out.

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