Law enforcement systems of using the collapsible baton (aka expandable baton, ASP) are more concerned with liability than effectiveness, so they are not a good basis for learning effective stick technique. Although some martial artists have taken sound stick tactics and expressed them with the collapsible baton, their systems typically fall short because they do not understand the subtleties of carrying and deploying batons from concealment. Kelly McCann’s system is purely reality based and focuses not only on techniques designed to really work on the street, but techniques that have been proven to work in real-world situations around the globe.

Like all Paladin™-produced videos featuring Kelly McCann, I did the primary camerawork for this video and complemented it with a fixed overhead camera (the best second cameraman I ever had). Using the style established with the Combatives series, this allowed me to move around the action as it occurred and show the gritty detail of every technique.

Kelly’s system of using the collapsible baton is an outgrowth of the fundamental stick fighting concepts he introduced in the Combatives series. In addition to reinforcing the same basic concepts, he also discusses the major types of collapsible batons on the market and the advantages and disadvantages of each, the use of the baton in the closed position (like a Kubotan or yawara stick) and even the use of the baton in a variety of groundfighting and grappling situations. Everything that Kelly presents is geared toward plainclothes security personnel, deep-cover operatives or civilians—all of whom would be carrying the baton concealed and probably in conjunction with other weapons.

In stark contrast to the typical law enforcement baton system that color codes the body’s targets to discourage strikes to vulnerable areas, Kelly’s system is a hardcore, results-oriented, street-proven system. It’s knowledge you shouldn’t be without.

Michael D. Janich