Pioneer Chicken Jitsu

Years ago I was a fry cook at Pioneer Chicken in Madera, California. The franchise was right across the street from the county jail, and the first thing many inmates did after being released was to come to Pioneer Chicken.

One night we did have a lady at her table talking out loud to herself, and occasionally when I went out back at night I would be startled by bums rummaging through the dumpster. I suppose I’m lucky there were never any problems.

But as I look back I remember we used to stir the deep fryers with an axe handle. Every so often we stirred up the fryers with an ax handle and skimmed the cracklings that sank to the bottom, because if you didn’t remove them they would burn and taint the oil. So an example of a semi-impromptu weapon would be an ax handle.

As I have thought about it, I find that real impromptu weapons tend to be clubs (like an ax handle) or stabbing weapons, like an ice pick or a pencil. True knives are less common –for instance a pair of scissors can stab, but really won’t cut like a knife.

And of all of the improvised/emergency weapons you’re likely to find, almost nothing resembles a 28 inch rattan stick. Another implication of these facts is that your knife system should reflect more thrusting than cutting.


4 Responses to “Pioneer Chicken Jitsu”

  1. A dull knife is always a hard piece of steel; if you have a pointy knife (as opposed to a upswept skinner blade) you will be able to do damage with the thrust no matter how dull the edge is.

    Also, leather jackets or thick winter clothes hampers a lot of the “defang the snake” techniques to the wrists or arms. Canada is not a country where we wear only our FMA logo t-shirts year round 😉

  2. James,

    I’ve also wondered how applicable many of the short stick styles are, based on short, light sticks, speed, multiple strikes, abaniko strikes, etc., are in a cold weather environment like Michigan.

    What are the implications for the person doing the striking and the opponent if both are bundled up against the cold?

  3. Implications? Hampered mobility due to wearing extra thick layers, a decrease in fine motor skills if one is not dressed warm enough, slippery footing due to ice, slow movement due to deep snow, and a need for more force to counter the padding of of winter clothing.

    The head and hands are still viable targets in the winter with a stick, and grappling is still possable (that is to say, my ground fighting is YOU going to the ground and NOT me).

    The truth of it all is that in the winter I am not walking around the city holding a 28″ stick, nor a baseball bat, not a modified Big Stick Combat baseball bat. At most I’d have a cane, but I don’t physically need to use one yet. In defense I’ll be using my Japanese jujutsu skills but we train so that many techniques can be done with either with or without a stick.

  4. James,

    In those snowy conditions conditions your “big stick” just might be a snow shovel, or an ice scraper.

    I think that the application of the big stick more closely mirrors the situation you describe, as well as the stressful conditions of combat –lack of dexterity and fine muscle coordination, a corresponding increase in gross movement strength.

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