Expandable Baton Technique and Best Practices
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Expandable Baton Technique and Best Practices

Aug 10, 2011 : Rob Pincus
With this expandable baton, you can feel the kinetic surge as this baton snaps to attention. Even the sound of opening it commands attention. Rob Pincus discusses the use of an expandable and how to effectively use the baton in a defensive situation.
Expandable Baton Technique and Best Practices
Rob Pinkus here for CopsPlus and SWAT magazine. Today we're going to be talking about expandable batons. When I first got started in law enforcement as a reserve deputy, Monadnock had already established itself as the go-to leader when it came to side handle batons or straight batons for subject control or even personal defense. Of course today there are many names in the industry, many names in the field and many quality products out there that are available to you. This particular product is made by Monadnock and it's their Classic Friction Lock Expandable Baton. It's available in several sizes that are appropriate for on-duty use or even personal defense in many areas. Many people choose to carry an expandable baton as an intermediate level of force between unarmed and the use of a firearm, or in place of a firearm in places where they can't actually carry one for personal or family offense in a public environment.

When you carry an expandable baton, of course on duty you're carrying it inside of some type of a breakaway holder or a sheath that requires you to pull the baton up before deployment. If you're carrying it for personal defense, it may be in a back pocket, it may be in one of those sheaths, it may be in some type of a case or holder that mounts it horizontally or just tucked into your waistline underneath the pullover. Either way, if you want to use it to its maximum potential, you're probably going to deploy it or expand it when you remove it from wherever you're carrying it before you actually use it against that person who's trying to hurt you or against that combative subject that you're actually going to try to control.

Let's talk about how that deployment is best done. When we come up out of that sheath, out of the pocket where we break out of our holder, what we don't want to do is flail the baton far out from our body. When we flail the baton far out from our body, we get into a lot of trouble real quick. First and foremost, we might not actually get the baton fully expanded the way that we want to because of objects in our environment. Very rarely are we just standing in the middle of an open parking lot with no one else around us, no vehicles, no people, and of course the combative subject himself may be coming on top of us as we deploy the stick in that environment could foul the draw, could foul the deployment or the expansion of that baton and keep us from being able to use it the way that we actually intend to and the way that we train to use it.

In a worst case scenario, we might even strike someone that we don't mean to when we're deploying the baton if we do it wildly including that partner that may be standing right behind us. If we think of that bag as a potential partner, when I deploy this baton, if I were to flail it out as I expand it, I could actually strike the person behind me who's supposed to be helping me as I'm thinking about getting ready to fend myself from this person here who's actually much closer when I flail this baton wildly.

Now I'm going to close, let's take a look at how we would actually like to deploy the expandable baton whenever possible. We want to come up out of our sheath, breakaway holder, pocket, wherever we're carrying it, and keep the baton very close to us. We can actually deploy the baton parallel with our leg and not need any extra clearance than we've already got with the bulk of our shoulders or our vest or whatever else we have on our person. If we keep the deployment of the expandable baton within that cylinder that we're already taking up in our world, we're not likely to bump into walls, cars, or other people. So when I come up, I'm simply going to rotate my wrist quickly and snap in a downward motion, expand the baton right here next to my leg as parallel with my leg as possible. That gets me my full expansion.

Now we want to bring the baton up as close to our body as we can and set it right here in our chamber. The chamber, the ready area keeps the base of the baton very close to our shoulder. What this allows us to do is actually use this as a shield now, putting the baton up in front of us, holding it canted off to the side so that it will deflect any close-coming attack. It allows us to quickly sweep it in front of us to block an attack coming from another side or of course it allows us to be prepared to strike as efficiently as possible.

When we think about striking with a baton of course, we're not thinking about striking to the head which could be lethal, we're thinking about striking to the upper arms, to the front of the arms, to the hands if someone's trying to hurt us or they have some type of a tool that we're trying to disable their ability to use, or possibly striking down low to the legs again to disable, to cause distraction, so that we can then take control of that subject or escape in a personal defense situation, possibly also using this is an intermediate gap to go to another type of defensive tool such as a taser or maybe even a firearm if we are in this situation we realize that our threat is actually lethal.

By keeping the baton in close to our body, keeping the base of it in close to our shoulder, we make it very unlikely for someone to be able to get in between us and the baton. If they get in between us and the baton, it's very hard for us to use it, certainly for us to use its full potential. We want to keep it in very close. What this is going to allow us to do then is to generate power from our hips and arm extension and shoulder rotation so as we come around, we can come around and generate a lot of force and a lot of speed at the end of the baton without needing to come way back here. If I come way back here, it gives this person much more time to realize what's going to happen, gives them the opportunity to interfere with this swing, block my arm, block the movement of the stick, or even come in and hurt me before I get to put this out in front of me as some type of shield.

On the other hand if I'm right here with the baton and I strike this way, right away, this baton is now forming a block, this baton is now forming a shield for me when someone comes in to attack, it's much less likely they're going to be able to hurt me, they're going to run right into this flat metal surface as they come forward and of course if they don't get their block up, if they shield themselves, if they decide to take their attack back, which is exactly what I want, I'm now going to come in, strike them in their upper arms, strike them in their forearm or possibly if they come up high, strike them in their torso, again trying to cause some distractions and disablements so that I can take control of the situation. Again, I deploy down parallel to my leg, I bring the baton up very close to my body chamber, rotate, and strike.

I could of course do the same thing down low. I could come up here, get into my chamber, decide to strike for the leg as I'm covering up here, come down and strike. All of this happens very close to the body. When you use a baton and control of combative subject, you don't want to flail out wide and let them interrupt it. Take full advantage of your opportunity to strike from within and of course if you need to strike straight out, you can also use the base of this baton as your striking surface and not need any rotation whatsoever, just simply come forward and strike here. That's not nearly as much power, but that is a lot more impact than simply shoving someone to push them away. We might even use that attack to create space so that we can rechamber, come in, and get our full power strike. The Monadnock Classic Friction Lock Baton is a great option for on-duty use or personal defense but if you do have one of these, make sure you train to use it as efficiently and properly as possible.


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