US Army Combatives

5-12 Three Foot Stick


Since a stick can be found almost anywhere, a soldier should know its uses as a field-expedient weapon. The stick is a versatile weapon; its capability ranges from simple prisoner control to lethal combat.

  • a. Use a stick about 3 feet long and grip it by placing it in the vee formed between the thumb and index finger, as in a handshake. It may also be grasped by two hands and used in an unlimited number of techniques. The stick is not held at the end, but at a comfortable distance from the butt end.
  • b. When striking with the stick, achieve maximum power by using the entire body weight behind each blow. The desired point of contact of the weapon is the last 2 inches at the tip of the stick. The primary targets for striking with the stick are the vital body points in Chapter 4. Effective striking points are usually the wrist, hand, knees, and other bony protuberances. Soft targets include the side of the neck, jugular notch, solar plexus, and various nerve motor points. Attack soft targets by striking or thrusting the tip of the stick into the area. Three basic methods of striking are—
  • (1) Thrusting. Grip the stick with both hands and thrust straight into a target with the full body mass behind it.
  • (2) Whipping. Hold the stick in one hand and whip it in a circular motion; use the whole body mass in motion to generate power.
  • (3) Snapping. Snap the stick in short, shocking blows, again with the body mass behind each strike.

c. When the attacker thrusts with a knife to the stomach of the defender with a low No. 5 angle of attack, the defender moves off the line of attack to the outside and strikes vigorously downward onto the attacking wrist, hand, or arm (Figure 5-60, Step 1).

The defender then moves forward, thrusts the tip of the stick into the jugular notch of the attacker (Figure 5-60, Step 2) , and drives him to the ground with his body weight—not his upper body strength (Figure 5-60, Step 3).

d. When using a three-foot stick against a rifle with fixed bayonet, the defender grasps the stick with two hands, one at each end, as the attacker thrusts forward to the chest (Figure 5-61, Step 1).

He steps off the line of attack to the outside and redirects the weapon with the stick (Figure 5-61, Step 2).

He then strikes forward with the forearm into the attacker’s throat (Figure 5-61, Step 3). The force of the two body weights coming together is devastating. The attacker’s neck is trapped in the notch formed by the stick and the defender’s forearm.

Using the free end of the stick as a lever, the defender steps back and uses his body weight to drive the attacker to the ground. The leverage provided by the stick against the neck creates a tremendous choke with the forearm, and the attacker loses control completely (Figure 5-61, Step 4).

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