Home Forums Krav Maga Worldwide Forums Law Enforcement & Military Ineffectiveness of the ASP baton

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    Hey everyone. I train at SDI in Fremont and work for South San Francisco PD. One of our Captains heard from an attorney in SoCAl that ASP baton strikes are ineffective, and the attorney is having to defend the number of strikes an officer has to make during lawsuits. I am looking for information anyone has on this subject. I know this is not really a Krav Maga subject, but I am worried my department may not allow the use of the ASP and force me to carry a wooden baton.


    Freddy C


    If someone is using a large number of strikes with an asp then they either have no self control or are not trying to be effective. With the small diameter and strength of the metal any blow with it is gonna do some damage, which is why when you go through the cert course they are so anal about strike targets and that you must continually tell the adversary to get back or down. The only benefit that I could see to the wooden baton would be if it was longer, but thats just me.



    I must respectfully disagree with prekarious. There are 2 events that speek volumes on multiple baton/ASP strikes. The 1st is the White Castle in Cincinnatti incident. 4 officers used several baton strikes and even more jabs with the baton end on a person who was very large, very strong and very high on drugs. These officers showed great restraint by not purposely striking any vital areas. One even tried a chin lock and arm bar with the baton as a pain compliance technique. Unfortunately, the offender died but the officers did everything by the book. The 2nd incident happened at my department. A person who was drunk eluded officers during a vehicle pursuit. The offender was found about 10 minutes later after he crashed in another part of town. When our officers arrived on-scene his vehicle was stuck on a fire hydrant but that did not stop him from putting the vehicle back in gear and attempting to run our officers over. Fortunately he could not get the car off the hydrant. The vehicle doors were locked so the officers used their ASPs and broke out several windows. The offender was pepper-sprayed several times with no affect. Since the vehicle was still running and in gear the officers could not just reach in and pull him out. The officers used several asp strikes and jabs to the offenders arm, shoulder and upper back just to get him to let go of the steering wheel and then he decided to fight some more. I have seen the pictures of the bruising to the offenders back, arms and shoulders. While it looked nasty, he suffered no long-term or internal damage because the officers used restraint in delivering the strikes to the prefered target areas. To someone who is not EDP or abused some intoxicating substance, one or two baton strikes to a prefered area will make a difference. However there are some extreme circumstance where you will need to go above and beyond that.


    Thanks for the comments!

    My immediate reaction was similar to prekarious. Officers are likely not properly trained in effective use of their ASP. Being a DT instructor, I always have felt an ASP is an effective impact weapon with proper training. Unfortunately, as in most all departments nowadays, shortages in budget have lead to cuts in training time.

    Dugfoot made some great points also regarding the ineffectiveness of less-than-lethal techniques on intoxicated suspects. The captain who brang this to my attention is under the impression (based on the conversation with a lawyer..that should have been a clue!!) that a single wooden baton strike is more effective than several ASP strikes. Has anyone had any personal past experiences with using both a wooden baton and the ASP? I would like to hear your opinion on the differences. I have always carried only an ASP.

    Keep the comments coming! I am gather all this info to present at an upcoming staff meeting.



    I have been on the street for five years in a pretty busy lower end city and I have never used my ASP for anything other than climbing fences, waking up drunks or knocking on doors. It seems that it’s never convenient when needed and I always end up hands on.
    Now that our PD has gone Taser, for about the past 3 or 4 years, hardly anybody gets stuck. It seems that the Taser is deployed, very effectively I might add, in many situations where previously an ASP would have been used.


    Our department is supposedly going to get tne Taser also. I think we are just waiting for the bad publicity to die down a bit. I also have found myself hands on rather than thumping someone with the ASP, but unfortunatley, most the officers I work with are not comfortable going hands on unless they have too. Its to bad, because I have seen guys go to the impact weapon when it really wasn’t necessary.


    Dugfoot. I do agree with you on the intox cases. In these circumstances not too many weapons at all would be effective unless trying to seriously maim or kill. I was mainly comparing the ASP to a wooden baton. I know which one I would rather have in my possession.


    I am assuming the the wooden baton being mentioned is the PR-24 or similiar device. We had to qualify with the use of the PR-24 when I was in the academy and the only thing I liked it for was crowd control. To me they are extremely bulky and the officers have to worry about putting them into their belt holders when exiting the vehicle. I have not tried groundfighting with one stuck in my belt but I have with an ASP-style baton and I can move on the ground. Unfortunately the PR-24 has had some bad press also. I have seen many video’s where the PR-24 was used and there seems to be a propensity to use 2 hands and swing it like a baseball bat, i.e. Rodney King. The flip side is that friends of mine that work in the state corrections system have learned to use them well for such things as prisoner control, cell extractions, weapons disarms, etc. It’s a tool that works well for them. Before I came to law enforcement I trained on my own with the tonfa and I liked it very much. But as far as what’s on my duty belt, I have a Manadock (sp?) colapsable baton and I prefer it. I like this discussion. It helps me to think outside my own personal box.


    Don’t think I’ve seen the manadocks so don’t know about them.

    I do know the newer asp’s have the locking button that keeps the baton extended no matter how hard you thrust. Like’d that feature.

    Everyone is going to have their own preferences on any equipment they may use. Whichever they are most proficient with will usually be the one that they like the most. PROPER training is where the difference is made. You can tell anyone to swing a stick and it will make them an expert with it but then they just get hurt by someone who actually knows what they are doing.

    Just for reference, I’m military not LE. Shouldn’t make too much of a difference but there would naturally be differing views.


    In my experience I didn’t have much success with the ASP, the TASER a whole different story. I believe the ASP has its place as a multi-use tool, as mentioned before, but as an impact weapon, I haven’t had success with it. An individual can weather a couple of strikes and close in with you causing a clinch situation, whereas with the TASEr that’s usually not the case. Just my 2 cents.


    I’m glad to see so many participating in this discussion. I’m also glad to see it cover the whole gamut of the Force training division, LE, corrections and military. Hopefully we’ll have more dicussions like this. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.



    here in the Met Police (UK), we use ASPs, and when i train people on a refresher basis, i am amazed how poor their technique is, thus implying that either A) their training was inadequate, or B) they aren’t used to hitting people with hardened steel bars.

    Actually, I find it to be C) both.

    Their initial training was rushed through at the training college, as we are a l-a-r-g-e force (30,000 officers for the whole of London). As they are only assessed on the ASP once every 12 months, their instances of use are very low until actually needed. Then, when they actually use it, people are just not properly conditioned to hitting other people with sticks. It’s not in human nature.

    I try to get around this by training with heavy overload when they come to me to be re-assessed. I get the class to form a ‘boxing ring’ with strike pads, and then i get them one-by-one to train with me in the middle of the ring, myself with strike pad, them with padded training ASP. Each person gets 45-60 seconds, and i give them a range of four different strikes to perform as i continually hassle them and make them keep moving, talking, and concentrating on their technique.

    The result is, approximately 18 exhausted students, 1 very exhausted instructor, and a group of people who realise that their technique is, on everage, quite poor, and weak in stregnth, too. this makes them practise harder, and generally concentrate on the job in hand when the situation arises. so far, i have trained 1652 students from july to December, and 1651 enjoyed themselves whilst learning. even the 3 who broke their wrists enjoyed it.

    in the next block of training from Jan to June, i can be a bit more ‘krav-like’ in my approach, with a more free-fighting attitude, so i can obviously say, i’m looking forward to that.

    Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone. Stay safe out there.

    Foxy (officer safety a priority since 1997)
    Police Constable 116CW, Met Police, London, UK.


    When I did military law enforcement duty from 2000-2003, we did some ASP training in the academy. But at my department, we had to get certified training in the PR-24 first. ASP training is optional but you had to provide your own ASP in order to conduct training and be able to carry one. Personally, I preferred the PR-24 and did not take a followup course on the ASP. Although a little more complicated, it’s more versatlie and has much better retention capability. However, the ASP, I can load in my hand to throw a punch. I’ve never used my baton for real although I had it with me at all times when on patrol or on watch. The one I had was a more compact version of the PR-24. According to our guidelines, the baton is #5 on the use of force ladder behind #4 physical contact (hard hand), #3 physical contact (soft hand), #2 verbal commands, and #1 presence. After the baton goes #6 pepper spray and #7 lethal/deadly force.


    ASP Ineffectiveness

    Having been involved with LE Training as a certified instructor in both Arrest/Control, Self Defense, and Baton for the past 7 years, I’ve discovered that the ASP IS INEFFECTIVE as a real defensive weapon for LE.

    I say this because time and time again, no matter how big or strong the user is, the ASP has NEVER registered any readings close to that of the wooden straight baton. The typical straight baton has ALWAYS registered higher PSI readings on measurements taken by impact measurement devices time and time again. Also, the testimony of those who’ve had actual stick-time with the two will agree.

    I don’t want to hold a physics classs here, but through my experience all the ASP has been capable of doing in pissing off the subject and not having any affect at all, either when they’re hyped up or not. If you want a simple test, try hitting a baseball with each and you’ll see what I mean.

    The ASP is better than nothing and I see it as an alternative for undercover work or as a secondary weapon. I’d venture to guess it has it’s place, but I wouldn’t endorse it for my uniforms as a primary weapon if it were up to me.



    I am a Defense & Arrest Inst. as well as a Taser Inst. in Wisc. We are allowed to strike to the knee or elbow in this state to disable the joint. If the joint isn’t disabled then the ASP can be not as effective. If it hits the muscle of the leg it may cause pain. Those who are drunk or on drugs may not feel the pain. That is a problem.

    The other problem is that when the officer is using the ASP, they simply start depending on that tool and focus on a certain area. They fail to realize that they have an empty hand and movement that can be used to defend themselves. In our redman practice with our officers, I simply take one strike and rush the officer. They have to protect themselves with movement and the empty hand. Many fail to do so because they are concentrating on the baton and the leg.

    The Taser overrides the central nervous system. It does not rely on pain compliance. It doesn’t matter how big or drugged the person is, it knocks them on their ass with no fight. That also depends on the probes landing properly. We are constantly using the Taser and our constant offending citizens realize that they will not fight against the Taser.

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