The collapsible baton is a versatile tool that combines effectiveness with ease of carry. Long a staple of law enforcement gear, the collapsible baton has developed a dedicated following among defense minded civilians as well. Here’s what you need to know about this often overlooked defensive device.
Please note that this article is written for information purposes only. The author does not condone nor endorse the use of force except in cases of lawful self defense.
- Quality: Found at flea markets and souvenir shops everywhere, the market is inundated with cheap knock off batons made in the People’s Republic of Crapola that are notorious for breaking at the most inopportune times. If you are considering purchasing a collapsible baton, buy one made by a reputable manufacturer. Having used several types of collapsible batons both professionally and personally, I’ve found that ASP makes the best while Schrade makes the most affordable, yet serviceable batons.
- Effectiveness: Employed correctly, the collapsible baton is extremely effective as a defensive weapon. The blunt force trauma created by a baton tends to incapacitate very quickly; something knives only rarely do. Unlike pepper spray, a couple of well placed baton strikes will incapacitate an attacker regardless of how intoxicated or enraged he might be. A meth fiend might not care that you just broke his leg but he won’t have much luck chasing you.
- Other Advantages: Batons are simple to use and can be employed effectively even by novices with a little practice. While batons can used to apply lethal force, as long as one avoids chokes and direct strikes to the head, the baton can be used to incapacitate an assailant long enough to escape without crossing the line into excessive force. Collapsible batons are small and light enough to carry in a pocket or purse yet deploy almost instantly and strike hard enough to break bones. The baton works not only as a striking tool but as a grappling tool as well. A properly trained defender can use the baton to facilitate a variety of joint locks, throws and other grappling techniques.
- Disadvantages: Unlike pepper spray or tasers, batons require the defender to engage the assailant in close quarters. While this may seem distasteful to some, it must be remembered that violence is a social phenomenon and typically occurs at social distances. Likewise, a defender without proper training may be at a disadvantage if the attacker engages them at contact distance. A hesitant defender runs the risk of having the weapon used against them if they do not commit to the defense quickly enough. It must also be remembered that the possession, carry and use of collapsible batons is regulated in many jurisdictions and the defender must comply with all applicable laws if they want to avoid problems with the local police.
Compact. Portable. Economical. Effective and easy to use. The collapsible baton is a great choice for the defense minded civilian.