Aside from maintaining enough distance to not get hit, closing the distance against a blunt weapon is the best option. Moving into a clinch removes most of the advantages for the weapon.
Conversely, stepping away keeps you at the effective range which is very bad. The victim here was slow to respond and took a lot of damage, but ended up in a better position toward the end of the video where it ends without a satisfying conclusion. The aggressor even threw away the stick when he realised that it may now be used against him.
The victim is stabbed repeatedly. He used everything he had to defend himself: punches, kicks and throws, and attempted two eye gouges and two groin strikes.
None were effective -the assailant moved his head away when eye gouges attempted and blocked kicks to groin.
It should also be noted that although the victim was stabbed many times, he was still capable of fighting and managed to escape – neither person was incapacitated, and both were capable of continuing the fight.
Seeing police in retreat, the crowd mistakes this for a lack of will to fight. Once a police officer falls and has their gun taken, his colleagues return and now have a justification for use of deadly force.
The black male leans forward, revealing his intention to attack as his posture has shifted to load up the punch. The white male immediately clinches and falls to the ground, pulling the other with him. He is obviously very confident on the ground and does not mind which position he initially ends up in, as long as it is on the ground.
The black male grabs the other in a head lock, which is a terrible idea against an experienced grappler as it allows them to take the back.
Others intervene for a second but the fight eventually ends with the white male threatening to destroy the leg of the black male, which is not a hollow threat as he is holding a heel hook.
The man holding the baton made some errors:
- Allowed his opponent to close the distance when he had a tool which needs more range.
- Range can be managed by movement – he’s completely stationary.
- Flat posture, straight back, very likely standing with knees locked straight, does not appear to be in any kind of stance which would prepare him to respond in the split second required to move, defend or attack. His opponent constantly adjusts.
- Allowed opponent to grip his wrist. Difficult to swing baton effectively when grappling starts. The grip even from this position may allow opponent to stay off-centre when the baton swing comes.
- Furtive glance made by opponent is a huge warning sign. He has already decided to attack at this point and is looking for witnesses, other enemies or allies which may factor in to his decision to go ahead.
- Even if he decided to use the baton, it’s a poor weapon. Law enforcement use this as a method of pain compliance, and often need to move to other methods when it fails. Striking the legs is unlikely to instantly shatter kneecaps unless you’re very lucky/unlucky to hit that spot. You’re only starting the fight, not ending it. Swinging to the head would be a different matter.
- Compare the above (pain compliance) to the punches thrown to the head (incapacitation).
Baton man seems to think intimidation is enough to keep him safe. The baton is like some kind of force field, everything else can be ignored.
From this position, when would he decide to use it? Once the fighting starts? Too late, too close. When the man fails to step back? This may be considered unjustified assault. Baton man then made a threat to seriously harm, which prompted an aggressive response. He put himself in a situation which is very difficult to win.
While watching this video of workers at the Pendlebury Colliery, North England in 1901, I noticed a little scuffle in the last few seconds. Two workers make a few animated gestures with their arms, one raising his hat in the air. He then bumps the other with his shoulder as he is walking away. The other man doesn’t respond, so he slaps him in the back of the head and it kicks off. A few punches are exchanged before they clinch and stumble into the crowd. A bystander kicks an item they have dropped. The video cuts forward a short time and they are still punching, then cuts again and the two men are gone. A group of males walk from the left of the frame, perhaps they have just finished breaking it up? We will never know how it ended.
I then realised that this may be the first actual street fight ever recorded on film. Worth noting for that fact alone.
Rather than reaching for the knife when it is drawn as many people tend to do, this security guard punches the man, and as they go to the ground he and controls the hand holding the knife. He extends the hand away from the body which prevents the man from reaching for it with the other hand. Bystanders step in and assist. Excellent instincts.