Tokushu Keibo: The Telescopic Baton
Part 1: Simple clubs go high-tech.
The club has been a weapon since the beginning of time. But with modern materials and manufacturing techniques, it goes high tech as the telescopic baton. click for large image
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Improving the Stick
• Part 2: Modern Weaponry
• Part 3: Basic Operation
• Part 4: Traditional Techniques

People have been hitting each other with sticks since, well, since there has been people on the planet. Not much has changed in stick fighting for centuries; perhaps technique has evolved into fighting arts like escrima or kobudo, but the implement itself remains a simple stick.

This has changed with the advent of the telescopic baton. Introduced in Japan in the 1960s, the "tokushu keibo" or telescopic baton makes a baton-sized stick easier to carry, whether openly as on a police officer's belt or lawfully concealed. Early models suffered from poor materials and construction, and weren't as reliable as a simple length of turned hickory, or a molded plastic tonfa.

In the 1980s, custom firearm maker Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP) introduced a telescopic baton using firearm metals and methods. The Wisconsin company's product became so popular that the term "ASP" is often used instead of "telescopic baton," much as the word "Kleenex" is used instead of "facial tissue."

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