Impact Tool Retention and
Weapon Disarms

Impact tool retention and weapon disarms are probably the two most overlooked areas of professional use of force training. Yet being able to maintain control of any of your own tools (or weapons) and being able to remove the subject's armaments are critical survival skills. Today's professionals are more and more "weapons dependent" and team or partner dependent.

News flash; being able to count on your team or partner is one thing but dependency, on anyone or anything, is never good. When it comes to keeping control of your own tools of the trade or nullifying the subject's edge the only one you'd better be 'depending' on is you. Why? Because too many times you will be all you've got!

Murphy's Law prevails. Life happens...and when everyone else is totally tied up, or you simply have to work alone, that's when you're going to need these skills. Don't get me wrong! I wouldn't be here to write this if others hadn't been there for me. There are several people to whom I literally owe my life. Still most of the time I had to do the job myself! I never actually expected it to be otherwise.

Most training departments offer a couple of techniques that are useful but are given neither the time nor the budget to ensure competency. In general, this is even more true of weapon disarms. I don't see departmental budgets changing their emphasis on this area any time soon. So, even in terms of learning these tactics, you're basically on your own.

Unfortunately most of the martial arts instructors who would gladly offer to teach you this stuff have never had to actually use this material on the street.The dojo techniques most of them offer will only work in the club or the movies. In real life it'll get you killed! However there are a few out there who have the requisite skills and/or background and they can teach you various, practical and effective retention and disarm tactics.

You'll know it's good material if it is simple to learn, remember, do, and involves only gross motor skills. It must get you 'off line' and compromise your subject immediately. Regardless of whether it is a retention or a disarm technique it should leave you in complete control of the weapon. It should also set you up for an immediate follow up/follow through.

Your impact tool itself is a marvelous piece of equipment. Simple and effective (most of the time). In skilled hands it is capable of disarming a variety of subjects when they are armed with any number of weapons or improvised 'weapons'. It is also your best instrument to use to ensure your baton retention.

Anytime someone tries to take control of any piece of your equipment, you should know how to use that same item to manage it's retention. (I've had subjects try to take my keys and I used those keys to subdue them.) I have a different background than most people. I've been taught (since I was six years old)to understand the attributes of everything in my environment. If you are going to be in harm's way, I respectfully suggest that it is incumbent upon you to, at the least, learn how to use each piece of your equipment to ensure it's retention.

Take the time to master just three or four each of retention and weapon disarms techniques. Don't try to learn dozens. Just get really, really good at a few. Try to make them the few you are realistically likely to need. Otherwise you won't keep practicing. Practice is important. Physical skills are perishable. You have to work at them to keep them.

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