Beer Steins as Weapons

Traditional German Weapon

In Germany during Oktoberfest there has been a rash of assaults with beer steins. 32 assaults, in fact.

And not just any beer steins –we’re talking about one-liter beer steins. In eight cases the beer stein has broken. In many other cases, someone’s skull was fractured. In the words of one German police officer, “…every hit is potentially fatal. In our institute, we have just performed an autopsy on someone who got a beer stein to the head.”

A beer stein is not designed as a weapon. It’s designed as a utility.

A beer stein does not handle like a rattan stick, so we must ask to what extent FMA techniques can be applied to the beer stein. Can you do an x block? Can you do a wing block? Can you do an abaniko strike? Can you do sinawali if you have two beer steins? Can you do hubud-lubud (trapping hands) with it?

If you can do any of these techniques with a beer stein, do they make sense? Would they be effective, powerful techniques?

Can you do this strike with a beer stein?

Try this block with a beer stein.

Would this wingblock work with a mug?

What if we thought of direct techniques that a person could learn and use with a hammer, beer stein, coffee mug, tire iron, and so on? Such a style would be simpler, because we would have to cut out the more complex techniques.

I suppose the disadvantages are that there would be fewer, easier techniques, and so DVD sales would drop. After all, who’s going to buy “The Death Master Series: Coffee Mug Basics, Vol I, Coffee Mug Counter Tactics, Vol. II, Advanced Coffee Mug, Vol III”?

Maybe it would help if I called it “Baso ng Kamatayan,” and talked about how ancient Filipinos in Mindanao made tuba steins from hand-blown glass.

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6 Responses to “Beer Steins as Weapons”

  1. I was talking today with a fellow martial artists and he commented about all the guys trying to make their own styles. How does that differ from us with our jujutsu/FMA/Jeet Kune Do background? I find people who try to make their own style try to invent new techniques just to justify their difference from the other styles; where as we seek what is common to all styles.

    I can attack on all the same angles as I do with a stick but at a closer range. With a stick I have four “ranges” (for lack of a better word) based on the stricking surface. I of course can’t grapple with the glass but I can use it to strike while I grapple with my arms. A beer stein has three striking surfaces: top, bottom, and front on.

    I control the weapon, the weapon doesn’t control me. Give a person a stick and often all they can think about is hitting with the stick disregarding all their other natural weapons.

  2. I keep looking at that TACT photo and can’t help but think how wrong it is. The guy on the left is not commiting to the swing, it’s all arm movement and no body movement, too flat footed and no power.

    The guy on the right has his alive hand to far back and has little in the way of a follow up. I can tell that he thinks his job is done just by blocking the stick but he will always be one step behind in that photo because he needs to check that hand if even for a second as he follows up with a strike of his own. I use that block too (if your stick points up then block up, it it is pointing down then block down; it’s quicker than bringing your stick to the opposite way it is pointing. We call the directions heaven and earth, of simply floor/down and ceiling/up). A check hand is not always needed but this block is weaker against a power strike and a check is needed here to stop his elbow or ribs from getting smashed.

  3. jimmyfatwing Says:

    Those things are heavy….a good friend of mine who’s an Escrima instructor used to train with various implements such as bar stools, logs, mops etc.

    Goes back to understanding the core concepts I think – angles, body mechanics, power etc….and some common sense!

  4. “Maybe it would help if I called it “Baso ng Kamatayan,” and talked about how ancient Filipinos in Mindanao made tuba steins from hand-blown glass.”

    You can sell just about anything to some American martial artists if you can claim some ancient Asian connection.

  5. You are missing the point.

    The point is that students and teachers of modern self-defence teach how to use improvised weapons. We would be failing our students if we only taught them how to use a Yari when there are no Yari’s to be found in most areas.

  6. I believe this is related to my art of Hydrojitsu.

    Hydrojitsu uses plastic water bottles as weapons. What you want is a small “gatorade” type bottle made out of heavy plastic. These won’t crumple or break easily like the thinner plastic bottles will.

    Basically, you want to use the bottle like a club. A full bottle hits pretty hard, and can be carried anywhere in the world without attracting the wrong kind of attention.

    A full water bottle also makes a good thrown weapon. Even empty, the bottle can be used to block and thrust, though clubbing is obviously much less effective.

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