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Let’s begin with this road rage confrontation in its entirety, seen in the video above. White Sweater gets out of the car and grabs a bat from the trunk. He shouts at the driver, but it’s not until White Sweater smashes the headlight with his bat that Blue comes out of the car. What ensues is an unarmed versus bat encounter. White Sweater swings the bat, but Blue leans back. The bat misses and White Sweater is twisted up. Before he can recover, Blue lands a right straight that lays him out cold.
Blue will now engage the second actor, Green, and eventually choke him out after a scramble. Throughout this entire encounter White Sweater is out cold–he doesn’t even twitch.
Below I have a slo-mo replay of the critical White Sweater bat versus unarmed Blue fight
At first I thought the video was staged because Blue’s counter is absolutely perfect. Blue is untouched and White Sweater is annihilated with a single punch.
Here is my video analysis of this crucial encounter, with very serious implications for anyone wanting to use the cane, long stick, or bat for self-defense.
1. Your training should not be fencing, where two guys have identical weapons. Your training should be long stick vs. unarmed, long stick vs. club, and long stick vs. knife.
2. Get a long, light bat. 36 inches is the ideal. This means your opponent has a longer gap to bridge.
3. Expect the obvious. If you have a long weapon, the opponent will try to get you to commit and miss. Expect him to close and grab.
4. Maintain a mobile stance. Feet should stay shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Unlike the light stick, you need to plant your feet to strike with the long stick or bat, but do not sink into a deep stance. You need to be able to move out of range or to his back. He’s trying to rush in; if your feet are stuck it makes it easy for him.
5. If you’re tied up, let go of the bat. It seems like an obvious solution, but many guys are so focused on the weapon that they don’t see the possibility–or necessity–of letting go. There are also grappling encounters where the opponent gets a grip on the bat, and letting go of the weapon is the correct response.
6. Do NOT telegraph. White Sweater cocks the bat, twisting backward to get extra torque, but this signals to Blue that the strike is coming. The struggle of mastering the big stick is to be powerful yet fast with a long, heavy weapon. You must always go straight line, shortest distance. To compete against shorter, lighter weapons or the unarmed opponent you must be ruthlessly economical. You cannot afford telegraphing, windups, or any unnecessary movements.
7. Confront the opponent head on. Part of being economical is standing in a square stance. In the confrontation White Sweater stands sideways with the bat over his right shoulder. He must swing 270 degrees to his intended target, even more with that anticipatory wind-up. Standing square to your opponent, your weapon arc travels 180 degrees. 90 degrees may not seem like much, but it’s the difference between blasting the opponent and sleeping in the shrubbery.