Light-Based Weapons
Part 4: Impact techniques.
The other method of using a flashlight in combat is to hit people with it. Lots of cops have resorted to using their heavy Maglite flashlights as a baton when necessary. The small lights, like the SureFire, lend themselves more to hand-load striking--reinforcing the closed fist. click for large image


 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Laser Dazzlers
• Part 2: High-power Flashlights
• Part 3: Blinding Techniques
• Part 4: Impact Techniques
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I train using a simple Mini-Maglite as a kubaton--the diameter and length are similar, and the pressure-point strikes and wrist-bone pain compliance moves work the same.

The ends of the more stubby SureFire models don't project from the fist as much, and so these lights are more usable as light weapons than impact weapons. Still, the girth of the SureFire types make a satisfying heft in the fist, much like the proverbial "roll of quarters".

Streamlight, another law enforcement-oriented flashlight company, recently introduced their Batonlite, designed to be used in kubaton mode as well as a flashlight. Samples weren't available at the time of this writing, but the concept seems to be quite valid.

Need a Light?

I think everyone should carry a flashlight whenever they go out at night. Whether in the darkest alleys of the city or in a moonlit forest, being able to light up your path--or a shadowy individual--is strategically important. Identifying threats well before they can reach you physically gives you a reaction time edge. Having a flashlight beam strong enough to temporarily disorient someone gives you even more time to react.

Carrying a flashlight during the day isn't a bad idea either. I was working in a windowless office in Silicon Valley during the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989--the disaster that collapsed the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The quake knocked out the power and sent my file cabinet and bookcase tumbling--I had to scramble over years of junk to get out--in the dark. Since then, I am never without a flashlight on my person.

High-intensity flashlights make sense as a low-impact tool in a martial artists arsenal. Their power, combined with ease of carry, makes them a necessary addition to your gear when venturing out at night. Without one, encountering an assailant could knock your lights out--forever.


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