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  1. #1
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    Default IMPACT WEAPONS YESTERDAY AND TODAY

    SAP.jpg

    I recall what could now be considered "yesteryear". Our uniform pants had what was called a "Sap Pocket". It was intended to carry - wait for it - a sap. This was the first line of less than lethal for most. And most carried something like a 415 Gonzales. It was an 11" piece of something hard wrapped in black leather. And when in the sap pocket it was inches form the casual hand. Many times I saw older deputies and slightly built officers, who probably would have never done well in a fist fight, snap the sap out across a thug's face and drop him him.

    This exemplified the concept of justified preemption, and overwhelming (albeit limited) force.

    As the years progressed the sap gave way to "Mace", and then "OC", and today to the Taser. All fine tools but all with limits and failure rates. The sap pocket remained and I put away my sap but bought a Maglite C Cell (six cell light) that was about the same length and used it in the same way as a Sap. You see, while carrying and hitting someone with a sap was no longer authorized by policy, doing the same with a Maglite was simply something that arose out of exigency. I carried my Maglite-Sap that way for years until I left the service...and used it with great effect.

    Often we get inquiries here about a Suarez Impact Weapon. I will tell you that there is a fond place in my heart for impact weapons and confess to have "sapped" many more bad guys than I can recall. But today in 2019, I doubt there is a place for realistic carry and use of an impact weapon by PCs (Private Citizens). Even LEOs rarely use them these days due to the inevitable video being recorded and the specter of Rodney King.

    And, in my research and discussions, I believe that they tend to drift into the realm of deadly weapon, just like a blade or a firearm. As well, the rules of engagement as exemplified by the Flowchart we use to teach these things tend to corroborate the matter. If you hit someone hard in the head with a sap (anywhere else is a waste of time) there is always a solid risk they will die. Same as if you stabbed or cut them. And even if they did not, I suspect the investigation would require justification of that level of force.

    If you are a strong person, when would you use a sap? When threatened by an equally strong person? Can you justify the gray area? And it is a very grey area, but not if you use body weapons or simply use a weapon of opportunity. And if you are not a strong person there is always the factor of disparity of force for you isn't there? Moreover, a sap swung by an 80 year old grandmother is not going to have the same effect as a sap swung by a 40 year old weightlifter.

    At the end of the day there is a price for everything we carry with us. And when it comes to impact weapons for the PC of 2019, the question of that price is usually too much to bother with. Truly if you have need for a sap, you have need for a deadly weapon, and if you have need for that, why bother with a sap?

    Thoughts?
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    I tend to agree. If the law was such that it recognized impact weapons as less lethal, there would be a good argument.

    I like impact weapons. I like that you can scale how hard you hit someone; there are situations where violence is not wanted (as opposed to legally justified) but you don’t want to kill the other guy. You can hit someone 50%...can’t do that with a bullet or a blade.
    But legally it just doesn’t fly.

    Another justification...I remember a discussion with Dave Sauer. He wasn’t an advocate of impact weapons...if you’re justified to use them, you’re justified to use a knife (and of course a gun but that’s not what we were talking about). And he was right. However, I would counter that thinking. If for whatever reason you didn’t want to shoot the other guy but needed to put him down, a sap to the head will do it NOW. It takes time to bleed out.

    But again, legal justification just doesn’t support it. I like saps but I don’t own one and can’t see carrying it if I did.

    I see a sap or a baton as a proactive weapon, not a reactive one. In my imagination, a sap is for nefarious purposes.

    A cane on the other hand, that I can see as a useful reactive tool. Not a bad thing to learn how to use when you’re young so that you have some skill when you’re old.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

  3. #3
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    A cane has use. But let's be serious...unless you actually need it, are you really going to carry it around with you? I think its unlikely. Soon it becomes a pain in the ass to haul around and inevitably you will forget it somewhere. And if you did actually need it, then there is a disparity of force issue with everyone, thus the need for less than lethal is sort of not there.

    But if you did choose cane, I would avoid all the "cane master" twitsy turny pain compliance bull crap and learn to smash heads with it. More baseball bokken style than anything else.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  4. #4
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    Western WA
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    Yes, totally agree on the cane. Unless you actually NEED a cane, they are a pain in the ass. I can only imagine it in some kind of NPE situations, court and such.

    Agreed also on smashing heads. I don’t believe in pain compliance...the people who are susceptible aren’t a threat to begin with.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    With the mountains of knowledge on the danger of blunt force trauma to the head and how great bodily injury can justify a deadly response impact weapons are pretty neutered. I'd rather carry a battle axe instead.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    I carry a lightweight ASP baton clipped to my strong side, folder on the other side. Many in TX can rejoice, a bill is on gov. Desk to legalize knuckles and clubs.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Lower Golden State
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorkface View Post
    With the mountains of knowledge on the danger of blunt force trauma to the head and how great bodily injury can justify a deadly response impact weapons are pretty neutered. I'd rather carry a battle axe instead.
    Beautiful...My ancestors, and I dare say yours, would be proud!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    2,922
    Saps have been verboten in my agency for twenty years or longer, as have sap gloves.

    Most of my duty trousers have sap pockets on each side, but my SL-20L goes into a ring. Reaching for a flashlight a dozen times a day tends to hardwire your response when, say, someone pops out of a closet in front of you with a pair of scissors.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    517
    I wear stiff soled shoes or boots for this reason. I do a lot of hiking and love backpacking and footwear matters. Luckily good outdoor footwear is stiff enought it fills both roles well and matches the outdoor casual clothing I tend to wear.
    For shoes I've found of all things, the North Face Ultra 110gtx is a good option and boots I like Asolo and Danner. Danner has a better rubber compound for daily use and on tile or polished concrete is less slippy.
    For better dress I've found the Double-H western boots that have the "Ice" sole to offer nonslip and a stable step across most surfaces. Not ideal for kicking but it's better than most dress shoes.
    Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every action must be done with love.

    “Adversity introduces a man to himself.”

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharkey View Post
    I carry a lightweight ASP baton clipped to my strong side, folder on the other side. Many in TX can rejoice, a bill is on gov. Desk to legalize knuckles and clubs.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
    Yeah...I know...but from my POV, with what I wrote, the salient question is "why bother"?

    If I missed something I am willing to change my mind.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

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