Club (weapon)
A club is among the simplest of all weapons. A club is essentially a short staff, or stick, usually made of wood, and wielded as a weapon since prehistoric times.

Most clubs are small enough to be swung in one hand although two-handed variants are known. Various kinds of clubs are used in martial arts
Martial arts
Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development....

 and other specialized fields, including the law-enforcement baton. The military mace is a more sophisticated descendant of the club, typically made of metal and featuring a spiked, knobbed or flanged head attached to a haft.

The wounds inflicted by a club are generally known as bludgeoning or blunt-force trauma
Blunt trauma
In medical terminology, blunt trauma, blunt injury, non-penetrating trauma or blunt force trauma refers to a type of physical trauma caused to a body part, either by impact, injury or physical attack; the latter usually being referred to as blunt force trauma...


Law enforcement

The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 forces and their predecessors have traditionally favored the use, whenever possible, of less-lethal weapon
Less-lethal weapon
Non-lethal weapons, also called less-lethal weapons, less-than-lethal weapons, non-deadly weapons, compliance weapons, or pain-inducing weapons are weapons intended to be less likely to kill a living target than are conventional weapons...

s than guns or blades to impose public order or to subdue and apprehend law-breakers. Until recent times, when alternatives such as tasers and capsicum spray became available, this category of policing weapon has generally been filled by some form of wooden club variously termed a truncheon, baton, nightstick or lathi
Lathi means stick and also refers to an Indian martial art based on cane-fighting. The word is used in Hindi, Bengali and various other Indian languages. The lathi typically measures 6 to and may be tipped with metal. It commonly used as a crowd control device by the Indian Police and other South...


Conversely, criminals have been known to arm themselves with an array of homemade and often easily concealed bashing implements known colloquially as blackjacks, "saps" or coshes.

In addition, Shaolin monks and members of other religious orders around the world have employed cudgels from time to time as defensive weapons.

Some types

Although perhaps the simplest of all weapons there are many varieties of club, including:
  • Aklys – The Aklys
    The aklys was a Roman javelin measuring approximately 2 m. in length, thrown with the aid of a leather strap or amentum...

     is a club with an integrated leather thong, used to return it to the hand after snapping it at an opponent. Its origin is unclear.
  • Baseball and T-ball bats – The baseball bat
    Baseball bat
    A baseball bat is a smooth wooden or metal club used in the game of baseball to hit the ball after the ball is thrown by the pitcher. It is no more than 2.75 inches in diameter at the thickest part and no more than 42 inches in length. It typically weighs no more than 33 ounces , but it...

     is often used as an improvised weapon, much like the pickaxe handle. In countries where baseball is not commonly played, baseball bats are often first thought of as weapons, and in Poland, baseball bats have been made illegal to possess without a licence. Tee ball
    Tee Ball
    Tee Ball or T-Ball is a sport based on baseball and is intended as an introduction for children to develop baseball skills and have fun. The name Tee Ball is a registered trademark while T-Ball is the generic name, although many sources use Tee Ball as a generic title.- Description :In T-Ball, the...

     bats are also used in this manner. Their smaller size and lighter weight make the bat easier to handle in one hand than a baseball bat.
  • Cudgel – A stout stick carried by peasants during the Middle Ages. It functioned as a walking staff and a weapon for both self defence and in wartime. Regiments of Clubmen
    Clubmen were bands of vigilantes during the English Civil War who tried to protect their localities against the worst excesses of the respective armies of both sides in the war...

     were raised as late as the English Civil War. The cudgel is also known as the Singlestick
    Singlestick, also known as cudgels, refers to both a martial art that uses a wooden stick as well as the weapon used in the art. It began as a way of training soldiers in the use of swords such as the sabre...

  • Crowbar- The crowbar
    Crowbar (tool)
    A crowbar, a wrecking bar, pry bar, or prybar, or sometimes a prise bar or prisebar, and more informally a jimmy, jimmy bar, jemmy or gooseneck is a tool consisting of a metal bar with a single curved end and flattened points, often with a small fissure on one or both ends for removing nails...

     is a commonly used improvised weapon, although some examples are too large to be wielded with a single hand, and therefore should be classified as staves.
  • Flashlight
    A flashlight is a hand-held electric-powered light source. Usually the light source is a small incandescent lightbulb or light-emitting diode...

    – Large metal flashlights such as Maglites, can make a very effective improvised club. As they are not specifically classed as weapons, they are often carried for self defence by security guards, bouncers and civilians, especially in countries where carrying weapons is restricted.
  • Gunstock war club
    Gunstock war club
    The gunstock club or gun stock war club is an indigenous weapon used by Native Americans, named for its similar appearance to the wooden stocks of muskets and rifles of the time...

    – The wooden stocks of firearms introduced during the European colonization of the Americas
    European colonization of the Americas
    The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492. The first Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement in present day Newfoundland...

     were reportedly re-used by First Nations
    First Nations
    First Nations is a term that collectively refers to various Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are neither Inuit nor Métis. There are currently over 630 recognised First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The...

     as improvised weapons; however, other sources claim that the club was an indigenous weapon before European contact, and acquired the term "gunstock" from the similarity of its shape. Regardless, the gunstock
    Stock (firearm)
    A stock, also known as a buttstock or shoulder stock, is a part of a rifle or other firearm, to which the barrel and firing mechanism are attached, that is held against one's shoulder when firing the gun. Stocks are also found on crossbows though a crossbow stock is more properly referred to as a...

     is an essential part of firearms, but it was stylized as a war club made famous by the Native American Indians as the Gunstock War Club
    Gunstock war club
    The gunstock club or gun stock war club is an indigenous weapon used by Native Americans, named for its similar appearance to the wooden stocks of muskets and rifles of the time...

    . The Cold steel
    Cold Steel
    Cold Steel is a Ventura, California-based maker of knives, swords and other edged weapons and tools. Cold Steel was founded in 1980 by company president, Lynn C. Thompson...

     company, famous for their knives, has their own interpretation of a Gunstock War Club. Another more modern idea of this kind of war club would be the combat skill of bayonet
    A bayonet is a knife, dagger, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit in, on, over or underneath the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar weapon, effectively turning the gun into a spear...

     usage. Even without a knife or blade type attachment, the rifle's body itself is of use for CQC (Close Quarters Combat).
  • Jutte – One of the more distinctive weapons of the samurai
    is the term for the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany a person in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau...

     police (dōshin) was the Jutte. Basically an iron rod, the Jutte was popular because it could parry the slash of a sword and disarm an assailant without serious injury. Essentially a defensive or restraining weapon, the length of the Jutte requires the user to get extremely close to those being apprehended. A single hook or fork, called a Kagi, on the side near the handle allowed the Jutte to be used for trapping or even breaking the blades of edged weapons, as well as for jabbing and striking. The Kagi could also be used to entangle the clothes or fingers of an opponent. Thus, feudal Japanese police used the jutte to disarm and arrest subjects without serious bloodshed. Eventually, the Jutte also came to be considered a symbol of official status.
  • Kanabō (nyoibo, konsaibo, tetsubō, ararebo). – Various types of different sized Japanese clubs made of wood and or iron, usually with iron spikes or studs.
  • Knobkierrie, occasionally spelled knopkierie or knobkerry, is a strong, short wooden club with a heavy rounded knob or head on one end, traditionally used by Southern Africa
    Southern Africa
    Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

    n ethnic groups including the Zulu, as a weapon in warfare and the chase. The word Knobkierrie derives from the Dutch
    Dutch language
    Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

     knop (knob or button), and the Bushman and Hottentot
    Khoisan languages
    The Khoisan languages are the click languages of Africa which do not belong to other language families. They include languages indigenous to southern and eastern Africa, though some, such as the Khoi languages, appear to have moved to their current locations not long before the Bantu expansion...

     kerrie or kirri (stick).The weapon is employed at close quarters, or as a missile, and in time of peace may serve as a walking-stick. The head, or knob, is often ornately carved with faces or shapes that have symbolic meaning. The knobkierrie itself serves this function in the crest of the coat of Arms of South Africa
    Coat of arms of South Africa
    The present coat of arms of South Africa was introducedon Freedom Day April 27, 2000. It replaced the earlier national arms, which had been in use since 1910. The motto ǃke e: ǀxarra ǁke is written in the Khoisan language of the ǀXam people and translates literally to "diverse people unite"...

    .The name has been extended to similar weapons used by the natives of Australia, the Pacific islands and other places.
  • Life Preserver (sometimes hyphenated Life-preserver), a short, often weighted club intended for self-defense. Mentioned in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance
    The Pirates of Penzance
    The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. The opera's official premiere was at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City on 31 December 1879, where the show was well received by both audiences...

    and several Sherlock Holmes
    Sherlock Holmes
    Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

  • Mace – A mace is a metal club with a heavy head on the end, designed to deliver very powerful blows. The head of a mace may also have small studs forged into it. The mace is often confused with the spiked morning star
    Morning star (weapon)
    The term morning star is used to describe medieval club-like weapons which included one or more spikes. Each used, to varying degrees, a combination of blunt-force and puncture attack to kill or wound the enemy.- Design :...

  • Mere – a mere
    Mere (weapon)
    The mere is a type of short, broad-bladed club , usually made from Nephrite jade . A mere is one of the traditional, close combat, one-handed weapons of the indigenous Māori, of New Zealand. A mere could be used to split a skull open.- Form :The Mere is a spatulate, leaf shaped, form of short club...

     is a type of short, broad-bladed club (patu
    A patu is a generic term for a club or pounder used by the Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. The word patu in the Māori language means to strike, hit, beat, or subdue. .- Weapons :...

    ), usually made from Nephrite jade (Pounamu or greenstone). A mere is one of the traditional, close combat
    Close combat
    *Close combat is a generic term for both Close Quarters Battle and Hand to hand combat.*Mêlée generally refers to disorganized close combat.*CQB is an acronym for Close Quarters Battle, such as that which occurs in urban warfare....

    , one-handed weapon
    A weapon, arm, or armament is a tool or instrument used with the aim of causing damage or harm to living beings or artificial structures or systems...

    s of the indigenous Māori, of New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

    . The designed use of the mere for forward striking thrusts is an unusual characteristic of Maori patu, where in other parts of the world, clubs are generally wielded with an ax-like downward blow.
  • Nulla-nulla - a short, curved hardwood club, used as a hunting weapon and in tribal in-fighting, by the Aboriginal people of Australia.
  • Pickaxe handlePickaxe
    A pickaxe or pick is a hand tool with a hard head attached perpendicular to the handle.Some people make the distinction that a pickaxe has a head with a pointed end and a flat end, and a pick has both ends pointed, or only one end; but most people use the words to mean the same thing.The head is...

    s were common tools in the United States in the early 20th century, and replacement handles were widely available. Strong and heavy, they make a formidable club and have often been used as club weapons. Pickaxe handles were handed out by segregationist Lester Maddox
    Lester Maddox
    Lester Garfield Maddox was an American politician who was the 75th Governor of the U.S. state of Georgia from 1967 to 1971....

     to the white patrons of his Pickrick Restaurant to keep that establishment from being "integrated". In the British Army
    British Army
    The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

     pickaxe handles are or were officially used as guards' batons.
  • Rungu – A rungu
    Rungu (weapon)
    For the Zambian tribe , see Rungu A rungu is a wooden throwing club or baton bearing special symbolism and significance in certain East African tribal cultures. It is especially associated with Maasai morans who have traditionally used it in warfare and for hunting...

    Swahili language
    Swahili or Kiswahili is a Bantu language spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Mozambique Channel coastline from northern Kenya to northern Mozambique, including the Comoro Islands. It is also spoken by ethnic minority groups in Somalia...

    , plural marungu) is a wooden throwing club or baton bearing special symbolism and significance in certain East African
    East African
    East African may refer to:*Any person or object of, or pertaining to, East Africa*East African Airlines, an airline based in Kampala, Uganda*East African Safari Air, a now defunct airline based in Kenya*The EastAfrican, a weekly newspaper in East Africa...

     tribal cultures. It is especially associated with Maasai morans (male warriors) who have traditionally used it in warfare and for hunting.
  • Slapjack
    Slapjack (weapon)
    The slapjack is a batting weapon which may be used in self-defense or other forms of hand-to-hand combat. It typically consists of a flat profile outer skin containing a hard weight material that may be swung at any part of an opponent's body in order to inflict injury.The outer sack of a slapjack...

    – This is a variation of the blackjack. It consists of a longer strap which lets it be used flail
    Flail (weapon)
    The flail is a hand weapon derived from the agricultural tool.The handle is attached to the striking part of a weapon by a flexible chain or cord...

    -type, and can be used as a club or for trapping techniques as seen in the use of nunchaku
    is a traditional Okinawan weapon consisting of two sticks connected at their ends with a short chain or rope.-Etymology:The Japanese word nunchaku is the Kun'yomi reading of the Kanji term for a traditional Chinese two section staff....

     and other flexible weapons. The slapjack became illegal for United States police officers to carry in the early 1980s.
  • Sally rod – A Sally rod
    Switch (rod)
    A switch is a flexible rod, typically used for corporal punishment of the birching type, called switching after it, especially when using a single branch: multiple branches are rather called a rod, a less flexible single rod is rather called a cane, an inflexible one a stick; a paddle is broader...

     is a long, thin wooden stick, generally made from willow
    Willows, sallows, and osiers form the genus Salix, around 400 species of deciduous trees and shrubs, found primarily on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere...

     (Latin Salix), and used chiefly in the past in Ireland as a disciplinary implement, but also sometimes used like a club (without the fencing-like technique of stick fighting
    Stick fighting
    Stick fighting is a generic term for martial arts which use simple long slender, blunt, hand-held, generally wooden 'sticks' for fighting such as a staff, cane, walking stick, baton or similar....

    ) in fights and brawls. In Japan this type of stick is called the handbo
    The hanbō is a staff used in martial arts. Traditionally, the hanbō was approximately three shaku or about long, half the length of the usual staff, the rokushakubō . Diameter was...

     meaning half stick, and in FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) it is called the Eskrima
    Eskrima is the umbrella term for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines, which emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives and other bladed weapons, and various improvised weapons...

     or escrima stick, often made from Rattan
    Rattan is the name for the roughly 600 species of palms in the tribe Calameae, native to tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australasia.- Structure :...

  • Shillelagh – A shillelagh
    Shillelagh (club)
    A shillelagh is a wooden walking stick and club or cudgel, typically made from a stout knotty stick with a large knob at the top, that is associated with Ireland and Irish folklore.- Construction :...

     is a wooden club or cudgel, typically made from a stout knotty stick with a large knob on the end, that is associated with Ireland in folklore.
  • Telescopic – Telescopic batons are rigid batons that are capable of collapsing to a shorter length for greater portability and concealability. They are illegal in England and some other countries. In Hungary these weapons are named "vipera" ("viper") and though officially illegal, they were reported as being repeatedly used by riot police units.


Image:Jutte 5.JPG|Japanese Jutte with an iron shaft "boshin" and an iron hook "kagi", the handle "tuska" is wrapped with cord and it has an iron end piece "kan" which swivels.
Image:Kanabo tetsubo.jpg|Antique Japanese wood club ararebo which is small kanabo type weapon.
Image:Tetsubo.JPG| Small Japanese Tetsubo
The club was used in feudal Japan as a weapon. Other related weapons of this type are the nyoibo, konsaibo, , ararebo.-Description:...

, an iron club with a leather grip.
Image:Assorted shillelagh.JPG|Various assorted Shillelagh (club)
Shillelagh (club)
A shillelagh is a wooden walking stick and club or cudgel, typically made from a stout knotty stick with a large knob at the top, that is associated with Ireland and Irish folklore.- Construction :...


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