Saturday, February 25, 2006

Blunt-force armed attacks - clubs

Another interesting read by James LaFond of the Violence Project - this time, a study of club attacks on unarmed subjects.

The key point: "If you have never been in a clubbing attack—more precisely known as a blunt-force encounter, you should consider yourself lucky. My research has shown that approximately 45 percent of all violent incidents involve an unarmed striking attack and/or the use of a blunt weapon. It has also shown that approximately 44 percent of armed encounters involve the use of a blunt weapon. Those statistics reveal that blunt-force strikes are the single most common means of armed and unarmed aggression."

The rest of the article is a Q & A format. Points to keep in mind:

  • The ear area—especially when struck with a horizontal blow—and the back of
    the head are the most damaging locations.
  • Most clubbing attacks are diagonal strikes aimed at the left side of the defender’s head, with the temple being the approximate aiming point. The overhead down stroke is the least common method. Martial artists tend to train against down strokes, thrusts, rising blows and horizontal strokes. All four angles of attack are rare in the real world.
  • Easily concealed clubs—such as saps, blackjacks and whip-sticks—are perhaps
    the most deadly weapons of all.They are often used by members of violent groups and always injure the target person, who is incapacitated 47 percent of the time and killed 27 percent. Only 7 percent of the people who use such weapons end up facing criminal or civil charges.
  • Clubs inflict fatal injuries 13 percent of the time, compared to 12 percent for edged weapons and firearms, which are more likely to be used to threaten.
    Heavy blunt objects are the most lethal at 14 percent.
  • Knockout rates are as follows: clubs—50 percent, sticks— 24 percent, blades and shanks—19 percent, firearms—19 percent, and common articles—6 percent.
  • While the majority of knifers, muggers, brawlers and sucker punchers attack as individuals, the majority of those armed with sticks, stones, bats and pickup trucks act as a member of a group. Also, while most knifers and gunmen— and many sucker punchers—are smaller than their victims, the majority of stick, club and heavy-object wielders are actually larger than their victims. In many cases, the club is not even necessary; it amounts to overkill for the group or individual involved.
  • What are the most effective defenses against a blunt-weapon attack?
    Most defenses are not successful. Indeed, the club user has, in most cases, so stacked the odds against the defender that only chance and extreme levels of response from very capable fighters have been successful. The most effective defense against punch-outs and stabbings was shown to be grappling. But against aggressive groups, the only successful grappling defenses have been poor-leverage throws by extremely powerful men. Taking the fight to the ground when facing a group has, in almost every documented instance, resulted in a group stomping.
  • The majority of successful defenses against blunt weapons by normal-sized people have involved the display of a firearm or edged weapon or the use of a better blunt weapon.
  • Running away sounds like a good idea.

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