So the Social Justice Cupcakes fancy themselves Social Justice Warriors these days, and they’ve started carrying baseball bats around campus. So here are some thoughts on self defense against baseball bats.
The nice thing is that there’s carry-over – learn to deal with baseball bats and anything that causes impact trauma and is swung at you can usually be treated the same way.
With baseball bats (and chairs and tyre irons and crowbars and chains) there’s one danger area and 2 safe areas. The danger area involves your body being the correct distance away from the BG so that the part of the weapon with the biggest momentum is going to hit you. This usually means the end of the baseball bat. A chair may be slightly different because its centre of mass is different, but the rule of thumb is that the danger area is to be where he wants you to stand so he can hit you the hardest.
The safe areas? Be too far away to hit, or be too close to hit hard.
If you back away from a swing and he misses, then yay, you didn’t get hit.
If you step closer and he hits you with his arm instead of the bat, then there’s a whole lot less damage being done. His arm is moving slower than if he were punching, and he’s delivering force in the wrong direction to damage you.
Here’s what that looks like
The tricky part
The difficult part is knowing when the dude is going to swing at you. In the 1st video we can see the guy baulking a couple times with the bat, lifting it up as if to hit, pulling it back as if to swing. He could hit you like that, but it’s less likely. The more likely thing is that he’ll do a weight transfer before trying to hit you.
First of all he might make space between you. Where he was up in your face to begin with, maybe he backs off a bit so that he can swing at you (instinctively people know they need a certain distance to hit hardest).
He might move his body so that he can take a step towards you while swinging. Watch someone hitting baseballs – they step into a hit. Either they step forward with a foot, or they put their hips into it. Try to image the opposite – playing baseball without being able to move your feet or hips – and you’ll get the idea.
Another one is lifting your body up. If you want to hit something below you, then you lift your body up so that you can drop your weight into the shot.
HOWEVER, as the natural instinct is usually to flinch away from danger (like a swinging bat), unless you practise, a lot, then instead of stepping out of range or stepping into him, you’re more likely to freeze in place and tense up, i.e. keep standing exactly where he can do the most damage. So please, if at all possible, get a friend and practise, because, for me at least, it feels very unnatural to step into the person swing the dangerous object at you, and I have to fight the urge to flinch in place every time.
The easy part
The easy part is this – if you’re confronted by someone with a baseball bat – leave.
If you have to start watching his movements to judge the best time to step in close and drop him, then you either have the justification to run away, or you have the justification to hit him pre-emptively.
Watch the guy in the first video when he’s baulking, making little movements with the bat to make the other guy think he’s about to hit. Why are you waiting for him to swing before stepping in and dropping him? Are you waiting to see if your political argument convinces him and he converts to your side?
There are 3 tactics you can use against someone with a baseball bat.
1 – Walk away. Remember the part of self defense where there’s a requirement that you withdraw if you can. And not self-esteem based “can withdraw”, physically, can you get out of there? If you stay there waiting for a justification to hit him, or to continue your political “debate”, then it’s not self defense if it turns physical, it was a straight up bar-fight monkey dance, just dressed up in clothes of “it was a political debate”. It was about as political as this is Minnie Mouse
2 – Hit the guy. Unless the guy is standing there, and the bat is down by his side, in a lose grip, or maybe he’s leaning on it like walking stick (i.e. you’re having a conversation with someone who incidentally has a baseball bat) then why are you waiting to judge when he’s going to hit you?
If somebody is yelling at you or otherwise demonstrating an increasing level of aggression towards you ( e.g. he started off with confronting you and physically interrupting your walk, then he raised his voice, then stepped even closer to physically intimidate you, then the bat started getting waved around to supplement the arm gestures etc.) and they are also holding a weapon, then hit them for crying out loud. What are you waiting for, a written invitation?
Q – At what point do you hit him?
A – When you can articulate to yourself that their aggression is increasing with no signs of slowing down, and that you can’t escape.
Please note that if you voluntarily attended a “rally” and things turned violent, then you’re going to have a heck of a time successfully claiming self defense.
3 – Calm things down. If some SJW dude with a bat is spouting “political” stuff at you and getting more and more angry at you (with a bat no less), did you try talking him down? How do you do that you ask? How about saying something like “You know, I hate to admit it, but you might have a point”? Or looking thoughtful and going quite? Or just apologising and leaving?
Now if he’s just screaming obscenities at you then saying “I agree, Bernie Sanders is a great man” might not help, but apologising and trying to leave can go a long way to calming things down and to justifying why you hit him if he follows you.
What’s that, you don’t want to say something like “You’re right, I agree” to this asshole? It’s too hard? Hurts too much to imagine rolling over and playing doormat? Fine, but then realise it’s not self defense, because you’re there to “make your point”. And never forget there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually win and not get beaten to death with a baseball bat. I understand the perspective of at some point you need to draw a line and that maybe these people are looking for someone to put them in place. But don’t bullshit yourself about you standing there being self defense, and beware the possible consequences.