Countering Short Stick Defenses Against the Bat

First of all, let me say that if I had a short stick, or were unarmed (as James points out), I would do pretty much the same techniques as Master Porter. What I would like to discuss here are counters that the baseball bat proponent can use.

If we look at the counters, we see an assumption that a bat attack consists of

1) Wind Up

2) Swing

3) Recover

4) Swing, etc.

There is also the assumption that the baseball bat wielder has no offense at close range.

Note that in the first technique, the short stick proponent moves in on the wind up. If you have non-telegraphic strikes, there is no wind up for the opponent to close in on. If you properly maintain distance, your opponent must close a considerable distance in order to jam you. The faster your strike, through a lighter weapon (Try 17 ounces) and non-telegraphic, explosive strikes, the harder it is for the opponent to jam you.

The “recover” portion of the bat attack (as in swing, recover, swing, recover) represents the offbeat. Master Porter merges with a horizontal strike and strikes on the offbeat by jamming his opponent at the recovery phase. (I should also point out that merging is a technique prefered by long stick stylist GM Estalilla of Kabaroan.)

But suppose that I strike on the offbeat. Suppose I swing, kick, swing, kick, etc.; the opponent who leaps in on the offbeat must contend with a kick. Or, as I swing I can let go with one hand and hit with that hand, or stiffarm, so this pattern resembles swing, hit/stiffarm, swing, etc.

Furthermore, if I can hit powerfully at close range, I negate jamming techniques. On an opponent in close I can hit with a butt end strike, I can slam, I can go into a fan strike, I can hip check, or I can do an “ankle buster.” The more options I have in close, and the more I develop these options through practice at contact range, the harder it is to shut me down by jamming.

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2 Responses to “Countering Short Stick Defenses Against the Bat”

  1. I see it not so much as assumption as observation. The majority of people pick up a baseball bat with two hands and do large power swings, after all that is the way they see the baseball pros use a bat. Some will pick it up one-handed and generally choke up on the grip to balance the weight.

    True, in the hands of a trained martial artist (especially one versed in FMA) the baseball bat is a deadly weapon not to be underestimated.

    Kicking and swinging is not a new thing to anyone but a beginning martial artists. We train for multiple attacks from various weapons of the body and not just what the body is holding.

    Yesterday I showed up a bit late to class and walked in to find the instructor and a student in a double hand grip and talking about how hitting the hand could mean that the weight of the stick still carries through. How is that for timing 😉

    Once I saw a guest 5th degree black belt use a single hand to block an empty hand strike at the inside elbow and use the other hand to strike the neck at the same time. I was hugely uncomfortable with this because, while I understood the benefit of a simultaneous block/strike, it had no universality in that if the same guy was holding a bottle or knife the block would have just folded the arm as the weight of the object carried through and likely hitting me anyway.

    Darrin mentions hip checking and that is what we do on a fairly regular basis in class, we spoke yesterday that we see too many people using sticks like we used wood swords as kids: clack, clack, clack. If you slam your body into someone they become off balanced and few people train against it. When I speak of jamming it not only means using the hands but also the body.

  2. James,

    That was a point that GM Estalilla often made to me, that blocks to opponent’s strike must take into account momentum, especially when he wields a weapon.

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