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A club (also known as cudgel, baton, truncheon, night stick, sap and bludgeon) is among the simplest of all weapons. A club is essentially a short staff, or stick, usually made of wood, and wielded as a weapon.

Typically, a club is small enough to be wielded in one hand. Clubs that need both hands to wield are called quarterstaffs in English. Various kinds of clubs are used in martial arts and other specialized fields, including the law enforcement baton.

The wounds inflicted by a club are generally known as bludgeoning or blunt-force trauma injuries.

Contents

Law enforcement

Police forces have traditionally favored the use of less-lethal weapons.

Until recent times this has generally been some form of wooden club: truncheons, batons, night sticks and lathi. Also Shaolin Monks used cudgels as their first weapons.

Types

Although perhaps the simplest of all weapons there are many variations, including:

  • Aklys - The Aklys is a club with an integrated leather thong, used to return it to the hand after snapping it at an opponent. Its origin is unclear.
  • Baseball and T-ball bats - The baseball bat is often used as an improvised weapon, much like the pickaxe handle. In countries where baseball is not commonly played, baseball bats are often first thought of as weapons, and in Poland, baseball bats have been made illegal to possess without a license[citation needed]. Tee ball bats are also used in this manner. Their smaller size and lighter weight make the bat easier to handle in one hand than a baseball bat.
  • Cudgel - A stout stick carried by peasants during the Middle Ages. It functioned as a walking staff and a weapon for both self defence and in wartime. Regiments of Clubmen were raised as late as the English Civil War. The cudgel is also known as the Singlestick.
  • Gunstock - The wooden stocks of firearms introduced during the European colonization of the Americas were reportedly re-used by First Nations as improvised weapons; however, other sources claim that the club was an indigenous weapon before European contact, and acquired the term "gunstock" from the similarity of its shape. Regardless, the gunstock is an essential part of firearms, but it was stylized as a war club made famous by the Native American Indians as the Gunstock War Club. The Coldsteel company, famous for their knives, has their own interpretation of a Gunstock War Club. Another more modern idea of this kind of war club would be the combat skill of bayonet usage. Even without a knife or blade type attachment, the rifle's body itself is use for CQC (Close Quarters Combat).
  • Jitte - One of the more distinctive weapons of the samurai police (Keisatsu-Kan) was the Jitte (or Jutte). Basically an iron truncheon, the Jitte was popular because it could parry the slash of a razor-sharp sword and disarm an assailant without serious injury. Essentially a defensive or restraining weapon, the length of the Jitte requires the user to get extremely close to those being apprehended. A single hook or fork, called a Kagi, on the side near the handle allowed the Jitte to be used for trapping or even breaking the blades of edged weapons, as well as for jabbing and striking. The Kagi could also be used to entangle the clothes or fingers of an opponent. Thus, feudal Japanese police used the Jitte to disarm and arrest subjects without serious bloodshed. Eventually, the Jitte also came to be considered a symbol of official status.[1]
  • Knobkierrie A Knobkierrie, occasionally spelled knopkierie or knobkerry, is a strong, short wooden club with a heavy rounded knob or head on one end, traditionally used by Southern African ethnic groups including the Zulu, as a weapon in warfare and the chase. The word Knobkierrie derives from the Dutch knop (knob or button), and the Bushman and Hottentot kerrie or kirri (stick).The weapon is employed at close quarters, or as a missile, and in time of peace may serve as a walking-stick. The head, or knob, is often ornately carved with faces or shapes that have symbolic meaning. The knobkierrie itself serves this function in the crest of the 2000 new federal coat of Arms of South Africa.The name has been extended to similar weapons used by the natives of Australia, the Pacific islands and other places.
  • Life Preserver (sometimes hyphenated Life-preserver), a club intended for self-defense. Mentioned in Gilbert and Sullivan (e.g. The Pirates of Penzance) and several Sherlock Holmes stories.[2]
  • Mace - A mace is a metal club with a heavy head on the end, designed to deliver very powerful blows. The head of a mace may also have small studs forged into it. The mace is often confused with the spiked morning star.
  • Pickaxe handle - Pickaxes were common tools in the United States in the early 20th century, and replacement handles were widely available. Strong and heavy, they make a formidable club and have often been used as club weapons. Pickaxe handles were handed out by segregationist Lester Maddox to the white patrons of his Pickrick Restaurant to keep that establishment from being "integrated".
  • Rungu - A rungu (Swahili, plural marungu) is a wooden throwing club or baton bearing special symbolism and significance in certain East African tribal cultures. It is especially associated with Maasai morans (male warriors) who have traditionally used it in warfare and for hunting.
  • Slapjack - This is a variation of the blackjack. It consists of a longer strap which lets it be used flail-type, and can be used as a club or for trapping techniques as seen in the use of nunchaku and other flexible weapons. The slapjack became illegal for United States police officers to carry in the early 1980s.[citation needed]
  • Sally rod - A Sally rod is a long, thin wooden stick, generally made from willow (Latin Salix), and used chiefly in the past in Ireland as a disciplinary implement, but also sometimes used like a club (without the fencing-like technique of stick fighting) in fights and brawls. In Japan this type of stick is called the handbo meaning half stick, and in FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) it is called the Eskrima or escrima stick, often made from Rattan.
  • Shillelagh - A shillelagh is a wooden club or cudgel, typically made from a stout knotty stick with a large knob on the end, that is associated with Ireland in folklore.
  • Telescopic - Telescopic batons are rigid batons that are capable of collapsing to a shorter length for greater portability and concealability. They are illegal in the UK and some other countries. In Hungary these weapons are named "vipera" ("viper") and though officially illegal, they were reported as being repeatedly used by riot police units.
  • Kanabō - A large metal club historically from Japan

References

External links

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Simple English

File:Antonio Pollaiuolo
Herakles and the Hydra, Antonio del Pollaiolo, 15th century

[[File:|thumb|A baton, as it is used by police forces]] A club (also known as cudgel, baton, truncheon, night stick, and bludgeon) is a weapon mainly used to hit someone or something. A club is a short staff, or stick, usually made of wood, and used as a weapon.

A club can be used in one or two hands, but it is usually used in one hand. Clubs that need both hands to be used are called quarterstaffs in English. Many kinds of clubs are used in martial arts and other fields, including the law enforcement baton.

The wounds caused by a club are known as bludgeoning or blunt-force trauma injuries. In the United States clubs are not as popular as the taser.


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