Yeah, ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is about the bat. Not that flying mammal, or the derisive term used for a mother-in-law in anger…the All-American baseball bat. This wonderful piece of sporting equipment is very effective in defending yourself in addition to hitting one over the fence in center field. I know, I know, naysayers, you surely can’t carry a bat around with you wherever you travel….yada, yada. Seriously, there are several reasons to “tote” this everyday self-defense item around with you. Let’s cover them.
For those of you who wish to know, my baseball bat of choice is an aluminum “T-ball” bat, a 24” job that sits directly next to my leg and within the groove of my vehicle’s front seat. I recommend aluminum over wood for several reasons. Firstly, there’s no danger of the bat splitting at the handle or breaking apart: it is sturdily-constructed. Secondly, it will not rot or deteriorate…and the aluminum bat will not rust. Thirdly, they’re pretty cheap: you can lay your hands on one in a used sporting goods store or thrift store for between $5 to $10.
It is not just for beating someone up. The bat can also be used to bust out of the vehicle if it’s trapped and you can’t open the door. Just bust out the window with the bat, and get out. How about hiking around? You can use that bat to keep an animal at bay if need be. The point is, you may also have to protect yourself without a signature, such as the sound of a gunshot. The bat is a lot quieter in this regard.
It is also a weapon that gives you some defensive distance. Muggers coming in, a pair of them armed with switchblades? If they are after me, I’ll show them how to dance with that bat in a manner they never viewed on “Star Search.” That bat gives you the distance to strike without exposing yourself to some goon who wishes to come in close.
In the following video, the demonstrators use a baton, but the same defense movements can be used with a bat.
5 Ways You Can Practice With the Bat For Self-Defense
Once again, if you don’t train with it, there’s no point in toting it with you. Another thing: even if you’re trained, it won’t do you any good unless you act. The finest equipment in the world won’t do you a bit of good if you can’t employ it. You need to practice a few things. Here are a few tips:
Find the perfect length and weight for you: I prefer that 24-incher, because I can swing it with one hand or with both. I prefer both, as I can mete out more punishment with both. Heft it and swing it. Once again, it will take some getting used to.
Old tires: Perfect to practice on with your strokes using an aluminum bat. You can hang the tire from a rope, or suspend it on a post. Whatever way is best. I recommend this because the tire can take a good beating. Your heavy bag is for your hands and feet, not for the baseball bat.
Your vital areas on an opponent (really everything, but your points of focus) are the lower legs, the arms, the neck, and of course, the head. Practice striking these areas.
Learn to “butt stroke” with the bat: holding the pommel/handle as a “pivot” point, choke up from the “fat” end, and strike with this “fat” part…akin to the “butt stroke” of a rifle butt. Targets here include the groin, the neck (calling for a “side” stroke of sorts), and the face or the side of the head. Keep this point clearly in mind: this will mean you will have to sacrifice your safe distance to get inside. USE THIS ONE TO FINISH HIM OFF! When you’re pretty sure you have him, this should be a finishing move. Either that or a “coup de grace,” such as under the “family jewels” in a stroke designed to end the fight immediately.
Use strokes to enable you to keep your distance and keep your attacker at bay. The bat works great on a pack of dogs or a pack of hoodlums.
Practice and training will be your keys on this. You must know that bat as if it is a part of you to maximize your effectiveness. I briefly mentioned the bat in an article on improvised weapons, and I return to a point I made there. Throw a baseball glove and ball in the back seat with you when you’re in a very “legally unfriendly” state or area, such as New York City or in California. This way you can cover if they give you a hard time.
Want practice? You can also go to a batting cage. Yes, that’s right! Hitting baseballs is fun, and it helps you to develop good hand-eye coordination. Do that for an hour or two and it’s also a good workout. You need every advantage you can give yourself. Fight that good fight, and try out that bat. Remember, if you’re being mugged, it’s one strike and you’re out. You want to get a “hit” your first time at bat, so practice up and turn a sporting good into a tool that you may be able to use to save your life. JJ out!
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.
Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.
Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.
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