Archive for the Videos Category

Real Life Combat: Staff vs. Hammer

Posted in Commentary, Real Life Combat, Videos with tags , , on January 3, 2011 by bigstickcombat

Robber (on left) wields stick in bat grip. The clerk has a hammer.

A robber with a staff-length stick can be seen robbing a store here. My estimate is that the stick is a least 6 feet long.

The clerk counters with a hammer, but unfortunately, he’s totally ineffective.

A couple of points:

1)  While bat grip can be very powerful, the staff is too long to wield it effectively with bat grip (i.e., gripping the staff with both hands at one end like a baseball bat).

Tapado uses a short staff that is about 4 feet in length. I feel this is the maximum length for effective use of bat grip. The problem for the robber is that the clerk is well outside his reaction range –in other words, by the time the robber can deliver the end of the stick to the target, the clerk has plenty of time to evade.

The clerk doesn’t even have to evade the strike completely: Simply by moving in two feet, he is well inside the power zone at the tip of the stick. The length of the stick is simply too slow for bat grip.

My thinking in Big Stick Combat is to shorten the striking radius. My intent is to hit as hard as the 4 foot short staff, while moving in a tighter radius and thereby being able to blast someone with the end of the stick before he can see it coming and counter.

The robber needs to change his grip –say to the Dragon Pole method, in order to tighten his striking radius and pull off multiple strike combinations.

2)  I don’t know why the clerk raises the hammer. Perhaps it is a threatening gesture. Raising the hammer puts stress on his arm. He might as well just rest the hammer on his shoulder.

Every time the robber moves to strike, the clerk snaps the hammer forward –What the #@$!? The correct move is either forward, to get inside the stick’s power zone, or upward to block or parry –possibly both.

3)  As the robber starts to climb over the counter, the clerk moves to go over the counter and out the door at the other end. This is a smart chess move. If the clerk leaves, the robber may not be able to get the money.

4)  The clerk’s opportunity is at 1:03, when the robber clambers over the counter. At that point he can’t strike with the stick/staff, and is crouched, only with his head potentially right in front of a hammer. This is the point for the clerk to burst forward and blast the robber.

5)  The robber and clerk are toe-to-toe. At this point the clerk with the hammer should totally blast him. This is part of my reasoning for opting for the shorter (36 inch) stick –I have better options in close if it comes to that. Up close, the hammer will hit harder and tighter than the 6 foot staff.

Unfortunately, the clerk is just some guy without any training or skill trying to do his best in the circumstances. Training doesn’t make you immortal, but you certainly ought to be able to crush a guy with a 6 foot staff in this situation.


Real Life Combat: Pizzeria Robber Gets Whacked

Posted in Real Life Combat, Videos, Weapons with tags , , on December 7, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Pizza Peel

Video Capture of an Employee Belting a Robber with a Pizza Peel

Reader Kevin sent in the following story.

A man at a pizza restaurant defeated an armed robber with a “giant spatula,” which in actuality is a pizza peel. The man knocked the gun out of the robber’s hand, beat him again, and then tackled the robber as he tried to flee.

You can see the video here, as well as a view of a pizza peel. One pizzeria employee comments:

“I know at the place I worked at the metal peel was pretty sharp on the edges because of pulling pizzas out of the oven and the “filing” of the metal. He probably could have cut the guys hand off if he hit him the right way.”

Of all of the impromptu, real life weapons I have catalogued, a pizza peel never occurred to me. But this is a good example of a semi-impromptu weapon. If you are the owner of a pizza place, or even a long-term employee, it makes sense not only to work with a quality, efficient tool, but also one that can serve as a weapon if need be. 

A Solid Metal, High Quality Pizza Peel: Could It Save Your Butt?

The pizza peel also follows the pattern I have observed, that almost no real-life weapon handles like a stick –especially a rattan stick. The pizza peel would work very well with Big Stick Combat techniques, or long stick techniques as practiced by GM Estalilla, Giron larga mano stylists, Amo Guro Blackgrave, Josh Morale, etc.


Pizza Peel: A Two-Handed Weapon

How to Stop the Tackler –Crossface

Posted in American Arts, Technique, Videos with tags , , , , , , , on November 30, 2010 by bigstickcombat

I asked my nephew James, the champion wrestler, what his primary defense is against the opponent who shoots. He replied the cross face, which he demonstrates here.

We square off and I (on the right) prepare to go for a double leg tackle.


I shoot for the outside of James' lead leg. Note how his arm drops to counter.

James' forearm comes up across my face.

James sprawls, throwing his legs back and placing his weight on me (by lowering his hips). It's hard for me to counter, even if I drive or get both arms on one leg, because he is twisting my head in the other direction.

This video shows the basics of the crossface and sprawl.

Remember, in Bruce Lee’s fighting stance, he kept his lead right arm low, with the elbow resting on his hip. Could this be useful against the shooting opponent?

In this video (at the very end of the clip) a wrestler uses a crossface like the aikido entering throw irimi nage, at least as practiced by Steven Seagal, who uses it to great effect.

Steven Seagal Performs Irimi Nage


Sammy Franco Baseball Bat Defense

Posted in American Arts, Videos with tags , on November 3, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Sammy Franco has a video on baseball bat defense here. (You can buy it here.)

Does anyone have this? Although I haven’t seen the whole video, what is visible in the clip looks solid. I do, though, have misgivings about the two-handed stick blocks.

The disarm he uses would be one that the long stick practitioner should learn to counter. My solution is to  drop your weight and the pommel toward the ground, or get the second hand off of the bat so both hands aren’t locked up.

In several scenes the defender can be seen holding both hands up in a high guard, which is vital if countering a baseball bat.

Ong Bak 3!

Posted in Resources and Product Reviews, Videos with tags , , on October 31, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Ong Bak 3 is coming out, starring Tony Jaa.

Watch the trailer here.

Although his movies (filmed in Thai) are uneven, Tony Jaa is an incredible martial artist who delivers bone-crunching raw Muay Thai power.

The first Ong Bak is one of my favorite martial arts movies.

In fact, Tony Jaa performs aspects of the Thai art that are older than the sport of Muay Thai.  For example there is a lot of spear action in the upcoming movie.

Tony Jaa in Action

The Back-Up Knife

Posted in American Arts, Technique, Videos, Weapons with tags , , , , on October 29, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Spyderco Wave Endura

Reader Sir James sent me the following e-mail:

Hi Darrin,

I was laying on the couch watching Hurt Locker and there is a scene where one solider is sitting on top of another in the mount and the one on the bottom pulls out a knife. This caused me to pull out my knife (Lone Wolf T2) which has a point down orientation and required a fair bit of manipularion to open from my prone position.

Now I know that a point up orientation is better for self-defence from when I used to carry a regular Spyderco Endura, and that got me to thinking about my newer Spyderco Waved Endura. A folding knife with a Waved feature opens (with a slight bit of practice) as you draw the knife out of your pocket because the hook catches onto the corner of the pocket. If not done right, it can lead to an open but not locked knife but that is where the practice comes in.

So for a folding knife to use from being on the ground I’d recommend a knife with a Waved feature.

In order of speed:

1. A fixed blade in a no-snap kydex sheath.

2. A locking folder with a Waved feature.

3. A locking (one handed) folder with a blade up orientation.

4. A locking (one handed) folder with a blade down orientation [This being the least desireable.]

Opening Directly from the Pocket

In reviewing the latest Dog Brothers video many fighters carry a back-up knife that they pull after the opponent has closed. In my correspondence with reader Tommy, we are both in agreement that the back-up knife is a serious option for the long stick stylist.

The question is, do you want to surprise a closing, grappling opponent with your blade, or should you make your blade visible to deter him from closing?

In my opinion, the real purpose of the knife in the espada y daga method is to keep the opponent from closing. The old “grab the stick” technique employed by so many masters becomes harder when a knife is involved. Rushing somebody with a stick and a knife no longer sounds like such a good idea.

Gathering of the Pack 2010

Posted in American Arts, Videos with tags , , , on October 23, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Dog Brothers Gathering 2010

Check out the video here. In the latest Dog Brothers video we see many fighters carrying a blade, and once combat closes to grappling range, blades come out. I think this is a compelling argument to being able to hit someone hard enough that you can drop them, stun them, or immobilize the (i.e. shot to the knee) before they can close and cut you.

Note the interesting two-handed strike at 1:30.

Several interesting exchanges occur when fighters are so focused on the weapon, whether sticks or knives, that an opponent’s kick gets in and hits huge.

Note Guro Crafty’s stick in the photo.