IS THE BASEBALL BAT A GOOD WEAPON?
And not just Americans have used the bat as a weapon –because of a surge of crime in Great Britain, British citizens recognized the baseball bat as an effective home defense weapon in a country where few people can legally own guns. Unfortunately, British hooligans also began arming themselves with baseball bats, too.
I also know that my teacher, Modified Tapado GM Vasquez, regards the baseball bat as a very serious threat, even though he is not worried in the least about the types of sticks that are so common in the Filipino martial arts.
Even though I had played baseball as a boy, the baseball bat felt uncomfortable when I picked it up and regarded it as a weapon. You may feel the same way, especially if you train in the martial arts. But I know, and I think all of us instinctively can sense, that a guy swinging a 28-inch stick with one hand is at a huge disadvantage against someone like Alex Rodriguez swinging a baseball bat with both hands.
In time, as I trained with the baseball bat I began to see its advantages as a weapon. Here are a few:
1) A Baseball Bat Has Stopping Power. Filipino martial artist Al Cuizon has a saying, “Can you drop a rabid dog with one strike?” If you can’t stop a dog with one strike, what makes you think you can drop an adult male weighing several times more, especially if he is on drugs? I think that we would all agree that if you had to stop someone cold, even a crazed assailant on drugs, a baseball bat can do the job.
2) A Baseball Bat Is a Two-Handed Weapon. A baseball bat is designed to be wielded with two hands, resulting in greater power. I realized that part of my discomfort with the baseball bat was because I had exclusively trained with sticks rather than clubs, and I was used to gripping sticks with just one hand.
3) The Bat Hits Harder in Close. This seems counterintuitive –after all, everybody knows the counter to a baseball bat is to move in close, inside its power zone. But because the bat has its weight concentrated at one end, that end can hit harder with less windup. In tight quarters, you can snap the heavy end into someone’s face and hit harder than if the weight of the bat were evenly distributed throughout the bat’s length.