Weapons come in all shapes and sizes. From the finality of a firearm to the concealability of a razor-sharp knife to the irritating burning of pepper spray and everything in between, the choice of weapons for self-defense today is seemingly endless. Today we will dive deep into how you can defend yourself with just a stick.
However, with all the elaborate choices, one weapon may not even be considered part of the mix of viable options, and that’s a simple stick. This weapon is a two-foot-long wooden shaft that can be used for offensive and defensive purposes. What makes it both unique and effective is its vast applications during a physical conflict while remaining non-intimidating to the aggressor. This weapon can be quickly dismissed as a viable threat by a foe, and that would be the biggest mistake he could make.
Here, with a stick in hand, we’ll explain how and why a simple stick can aid in defense, be an effective shield from many handheld weapons, and go on the offensive and deliver a barrage of damaging strikes to an attacker to make them wish they choose another seemingly defenseless target.
For simplicity’s sake, the term stick only refers to a wooden shaft ranging from eighteen to twenty-four inches long. Other types of defensive sticks, like an extendable batons, tonfa, and automatic telescopic batons, can fall under the stick category. However, here we’ll take a focused approach with the simple wooden stick. Trust me. When I’m done, you’ll have more than practical info to make a stick your preferred weapon of choice.
On the surface, it may seem like any wooden stick will do for self-defense applications. Well, in some cases, yes. A mop or broom handle can do the job if you’re in a pinch and away from your primary stick. However, your carry-everywhere stick should be much more durable and “made” for your particular grip. The material of choice should be solid hardwood like Oak or Cocobolo or manufactured polypropylene, with all varieties being super tough and will definitely “leave a mark” on an attacker.
Furthermore, to maximize your striking power, the thickness or diameter of the shaft should allow your hand to fully secure the stick while not being too thick to become cumbersome or too thin to be endangered of snapping while striking or when applying a joint lock (yes, a stick can aid in this department, too.)
For defensive purposes, a stick can aid in fending off other handheld weapons such as a knife, stun gun, or another club-like weapon, as well as keeping an unarmed attacker at bay. In the hands of an experienced practitioner, the stick can hit with pinpoint accuracy and strike the attacker’s hand or forearm, forcing them to drop their weapon or, at the very least, deliver intense pain from the strike to make their hand less effective for gripping or even using their weapon.
Before moving to effective offensive techniques with the stick, proper stick use when striking must be understood. The stick should never be used as a club-like weapon, whereas a person draws the weapon back with their arm (think of a tennis swing) and delivers the strike in a large circular arc. This is incorrect on several levels. First, it leaves your body unprotected from any type of attack moving directly at you.
Second, the time it takes the stick to travel from behind you to your target is far too long (yes, fractions of seconds count) and finally, the power delivered using “all arm” is far less impactful than quick, snaps of the stick to your assailant’s vital areas (more on that next.) So, always keep the weapon in front of your body and be protected from incoming attacks while delivering a barrage of crippling strikes.
Once attacked and you provide the needed defensive moves, it’s time to go on the offensive. You’re explosive use of the stick will either hurt the attacker so they will stop their advance, or they will (if they are smart) run away from the scene and wonder why they messed with you in the first place. Offensive striking needs to be both accurate and energy filled. In reality, the only area of the stick that should make contact with an attacker’s body is the tip of the stick, primarily the corner where the shaft meets the tip.
Concentrating energy at this point will deliver intense pinpoint pain where it counts, and where it counts is an attacker’s vital areas. Vital areas are his eyes, nose, throat, temples, groin, and to a lesser extent, his elbows and knees. These are your target areas, and striking these will allow you to overcome larger, more powerful foes. Hitting heavily muscled or fat-covered body parts will not only be ineffective initially but may also make your foe angrier and more intense, and that you don’t need. However, a cartilage-smashing nose strike, followed by a groin shot, and topped off with two lightning-fast temple shots will definitely slow down, if not stop nearly anyone.
When your strikes slow down your foe, and you can get closer without the danger of a counterattack, you can use the stick for locking joints or applying a choke if needed. The stick is a solid piece of material, making it a great lever for tightening and locking joints like the elbow or knee. Additionally, suppose you slide the stick under your attacker’s chin. In that case, you can apply a respiratory or vascular choke, depending on his body positioning. These are advanced techniques with the stick, but with proper practice, they can be done, which leads us into….
Although the weapon discussed here is a simple stick, its associated techniques are complex. Yes, anyone can pick up a stick and start swinging it around, and yes, by sheer laws of probability, they may hit their target, but their luck will only last for a while. To become proficient and naturally use a stick as a weapon, you must get some training and practice regularly. Martial arts under such names as Kali, Arnis, and Escrima, or self-defense classes that involve stick-fighting, are all excellent places to train.
Offense, defense, weapon disarms, proper striking, and body placement will all be covered in these classes, which all can be applied to real-life, on-the-street scenarios. So, grab a stick, get some proper training, and you’ll be ready to defend yourself using what many people, no doubt, underestimate, and that will be their undoing.