Sunday, April 5, 2015

Axe-Handle Fighting: A Crash Course

     Several years ago, I picked up a 28-inch axe handle. It didn't have an axe head on the end, just the handle itself. With an open mind at the moment, it just felt amazing in my hand. What ergonomics! The perfectly, slightly curved handle, the diameter, and shaped like a fatter sword still with an edge to it. The flattened end where the axe head fits was an amazing striking surface. 

     The axe handle is a tool specially built through the ages for striking and hardened for pressure and duress. It is manufactured to withstand a lot of hard- impact beating.

     The round Filipino training stick, in my hand routinely since 1986, was also about 28 inches long, but I asked myself:

     “Why must I use this round stick?” 

     "Why am I not using this more perfect axe handle?

     Why? Was it politics? Or mindlessness? Social pressure? Tradition? Why? I began to convert the stick basics and training methods from the ages of martial stick doctrine over to the axe handle. Keeping some of it. Dropping much of it. My same old story. No dogma. No hero worship. No uniforms. No politics. Just do the best thing with the best thing.

     People say, "Well, when do you have an axe handle handy?"

     Well, more times or as many times as a Filipino training stick is handy. Think about it. The trick, of course, is to get the 28-inch handle. Lumber yards and stores commonly carry longer ones up to 36 inches. Maybe that size would be okay if you were a professional basketball player. And people mistakenly get the bigger, thicker,  pick handle to train with. Usually too big. The thinner 28-incher,  the same size as the common Filipino stick, is best for most people. In my hunt, this 28-inch size usually is found on the internet.

     The goal for me is to keep the one-handed grip's full potential (with two-handed grip optional but not mandatory) and make applications to and from police baton and the overall, general "stick" work. In this one-hour training video I shot, learn these axe-handle tactics, exercises, skills, and combat scenarios:

 - Single-hand grip strikes
 - Double-hand grip strikes
 - Blocking
 - Retention
 - How to train
 - Introduction to grappling
 - handle versus unarmed.
 - handle versus any and all other sticks
 - handle versus knife
 - handle versus some gun threats like countering quick draws
 - ....and much more.

Axe-Handle Fighting: A Crash Course

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