The Mighty Sjambok

For the money, this has to be about the most effective and underrated Self-defense weapon ever. Once again, I missed out when the animal hide Sjamboks were being imported in very limited quantities by Cold Steel, Inc., so I ordered the next best thing when I found out the leather ones were not available. I have not ordered James Loriega’s book, "Scourge of The Dark Continent: The Martial Use of The Sjambok" yet. I remember having some exchanges with him on James Keating’s old Riddle of Steel Forum and he and James Keating had some great ideas on the Sjambok. Mr. Loriega had some very interesting and viable ideas on using the Sjambok with two hands as a semi-flexible weapon in extreme close quarters. Thanks to him for giving me the heads up on that. I believe it was James Keating who addressed one person who said something to the effect; "It’s a pretty cool weapon and effective, but you can’t carry the thing concealed..." To which there were several responses and I believe it was James Keating who suggested that a person warm up the plastic Sjambok and either feed it through the belt loops and carry it that way, or warm it up and run it up one sleeve, across the shoulders and down the other. In that way, the Sjambok would not only be concealed, but fast on the draw. I’ve tried it; it is extremely fast if you want to carry one. Cold Steel’s literature on the Sjambok lists the leather as HippoHide. I have heard that they are more likely to be made from Rhino hide...and have heard Elephant hide has also been used. The modern renditions are plastic. And before all of you people who hate Glock handguns start rolling your eyes in disgust, let me clear something up for you... These things, plastic or not, will light you on fire. Trust me. I figured I would play with them, they would break, and then I

On Cold Steel’s video. you see. If you obtain one of these plastic terrors. I can only speak for the 36 inch model. to say the least. the pain would be blinding. vines. 1." you see Lynn Thompson and another Gentleman wailing on a dummy in the form of a man. "Proof. 41 and 54 inches.not a sign of breaking.. the first thing you need to do after you open the package is roll up your pants leg to expose your calf and give it a glancing blow at about 15% of the power you could muster. leather Sjamboks. red. focus mitts.not a split. 36. Thompson attacks a cardboard human silhouette... The ridges on it are about as user friendly as thumbtacks sticking out of the handle... I want to get a few more of the 36 inch models and a few of the 54 inch models eventually. which I would imagine is to illustrate how accurate you can become with one of them. red welt. the mere fact he can go through that cardboard with one of these things is frightening.not a crack. Well. The plastic Sjamboks from Cold Steel come in three lengths.. While you are not going to behead or amputate limbs. splitting [exploding] an aluminum soft-drink can.. even branches.would move onward in my attempt at finding some real. and busting an egg.. You now have a raised.. . It hurts like hell and it is quite obvious if you really got hit with one from someone that meant to do you harm. I have two of them. after about 6 years of whacking heavy bags. nylon sleeve." Yeah? So would thumbtacks sticking out. At one point in the video. The Cold Steel Synthetic Sjambok comes with an absolutely horrible. they enhance the grip. "Well. You’re going to notice two things immediately. they’re still uncomfortable. Very impressive.... 2.

the first thing you want to do is rip those ridged sleeves off the handle. Begin a simple spiral wrap of the handle area. Pull the Cord through until it has reached the limit of its travel [the other end is knotted] and then. You can then create a lanyard and you can slip your thumb through and with the Sjambok hanging with the lanyard across the back of your hand. 1.. Run the Cord through the original lanyard hole now. where you want the cord wrapped handle to end. swing the Sjambok . pull it as tightly as you can and then knot it on the other side to prevent it from slipping. you can certainly wrap the handle in an extended turks-head knot tightly with some ParaCord [550 Cord or 3mm Kernmantle Cord]. Drill another hole further up the Sjambok. 4. as hard as you can. You want to keep holes where the Sjambok is thick. Do not drill it so far up that it weakens the Sjambok. pull it taught.. All the way down the length of the shaft until you reach the other hole you drilled. With your drill and a 1/8th inch drill bit. MOD-2: After ripping the ridges off.Modifications So. Run the end of the Cord through this hole. MOD-1: If you are proficient with seamanship marlinspiking. 6. 7. tie a knot to prevent the Cord from slipping. Tie a knot in the end of the Cord so the knot is larger than the hole you drilled. Run the Cord through the hole furthest from the butt end of the Sjambok. 8. drill one hole about one half inch from the lanyard hole in the Sjambok. and modify it. 9. 5. Using a blunt Dental Pick or a Marlinspike. 3. have your drill handy and some ParaCord [550 Cord or 3mm Kernmantle Cord]. 2. You can use a drill bit smaller than 1/8 in diameter if you wish to thread the ParaCord through with a straightened coat hanger or other improvised tool. Knot the end and then burn it.

only about 2mm deep. However. that’s why they are used. that much is true. This would be vicious in close as "skull-crusher pommel. I have also considered taking a very sharp pocketknife and flattening two side of the handle area to wrap the handle ala’ Strider Knives. you would weaken the Sjambok. I would not limit my own options and blame an inanimate object for the sins or crimes of bad people who use them for evil purposes... creating areas where the Cord can be gripped and not slip along the length of the spiral wrap. You have a straight whip that is connected to your skeletal system. Another idea was to screw a semi-pointed bolt into the butt of the weapon and use epoxy to secure it.. I have heard people say. When it comes right down to it. The Sjambok might be a "symbol of violence" in parts of Africa. The parallel is with firearms. look at how they are used in South Africa by ‘Riot Police. This literally locks the Sjambok in place." A Demonized Tool Before we get into the actual use of this type of whip. is merely an inanimate object to me. The Sjambok has an absolutely horrible . I reject the idea that good people should disregard a potentially life-saving tool because some people use it for extremely violent purposes elsewhere. If too much material is removed. But you would have to be very careful not to remove too much material from this area..up into the hand for use. Of course some bad people use firearms! They’re effective. This would probably give the best feel of all. You would also have to drill another hole as well. however. I have toyed with the idea of taking a round file and very lightly. "I could never own one. like any other type of weapon. The Sjambok. It is rock solid.’" I have no concerns with that. I think I have to say something here.

The populace does as well. I do not care to delve into this mindset personally. however. this is symbolism over substance and I believe that demonizing inanimate objects for the actions of human beings carries with it the potential for greater harm to society. Like the steel in gun or knife. The Basic Concept of Movement . It is a dead end street. The way I approach the Defensive/Offensive use of the Sjambok is very simple.. there are actually "Sjambok Injury. but rubber hoses would take its place instantly. it is the avenue of "compassion and understanding" and of bowing to demonization of inanimate objects that have no good or evil in the plastic or leather that they are constructed of. it is neutral. In some areas of Africa. To me. a very awesome. Everything you need to know to be brutally effective is contained in the Filipino Martial Arts. What looks like a plastic piece of garbage.. the leather or plastic of a Sjambok is indifferent. The use of the Sjambok is that widespread and it is that dangerous on the person targeted. You see. There are stories online of "Sjambok Vigilantes" and countless stories of Sjamboks being used by civilians as well the Government. Patient Management Protocols" listed from hospitals in Africa. powerful.reputation. they are literally used to torture people. The Sjambok is so prevalent today. That’s not good. Only deliberate indifference. the Sjambok could even be banned. So. That’s also a side issue and has absolutely nothing to do with what we are talking about now. is indeed. fast and accurate weapon. I understand the negative aspects of the Sjambok and I understand why some people get worked up over it and do not want to be associated with it. I add more. What is often buried in all of the "Human Rights" reports is the fact that not only "Riot Police" and other Governmental Agencies use them.

"+.all descriptions are for the right hand." The basic striking angles can be picked up from anyone with any experience in the Filipino Arts and you should seek those people out. or.. . 1 by lines #3 and #4. you will develop some degree of skill. draw the angles right onto the target and slowly trace them over and over. That goes for any quality instructional videotape. Do not execute the movements like a robot or like you would see in a hard art like Karate with "One-Two" movements. take heed and do what they say." type of swatting movement. They put it on the tape for a reason. If you stick with it. and both speed and power will develop. "x" superimposed over an addition symbol. Pay attention to the body mechanics involved. stomach to chest level. pay attention to the Instructors. Fluidity is true speed.. be fluid. Pick up speed slowly.First of all. let’s deal with the Filipino Stick Movements that you can use with the Sjambok. A horizontal line. If that is not possible due to your location. Meaning. you have a multiplication symbol or. head or neck. When you strike from right to left and you return. if someone like James Keating or Kelly Worden takes the time to put it on one of their videotapes where time is critical. These are just generalizations. illustrated in Fig. cardboard silhouette and using a yardstick and permanent marker. They know more than you do if you are a Beginner. your palm will rotate from palm up [forehand] to palm down [backhand] on the return. this is sometimes referred to as banda banda. Everyone should be familiar with the basic striking angles. Do not be lazy when you do this movement side to side. Basically. the #3 and #4 line can be performed high. then the low line from belt level down. knife or Sjambok and simply use a "swish-swish. The knees are a low-line target as well. middle and low. Do not be lazy and simply reach out with stick. purchase a few quality videotapes and then use a life-size.

I use a combination of abanico and reversa. The best one with the Sjambok is to be chambered for a #2 strike. for right handed people] will face right. very fast and incredibly deceptive. If you are lazy. From the attacker’s view. they form a Figure "8. It is very. After you memorize them all and you have a natural. This will lead to the most proficient performance possible. and the levels at which they can be performed on. Coming down on the #6 line. It would be impossible to put into words what you can do with these angles. or "fanning." The #7 and #8 lines are the upwards diagonal lines. Do not neglect the rotation of the wrist/palm. An infinity symbol is a better descriptor of both of these actions for some people. he is probably going to expect the weapon to come from the line the chambering "hints" at. Sometimes. You do not want to be predictable. If the person has any idea whatsoever of "chambering" and what that might hint at. the diagonal lines are referred to as rompida. done fluidly. it is a Figure "8" in reverse. The Advanced Concept of Movement One of the most effective opening movements with a Sjambok is abanico. and it will be too late. reversa is striking from reverse lines. he . begin to mix the angles up. which is a back-handed strike where your right hand is chambered for that #2 and your right hand is near your left pectoral muscle. Performed fluidly." This is a quick one-quarter to one-half [in some cases more] rotation of the wrist and palm. you will not learn this properly. Instead of striking the #2 angle. The Sjambok would be over the left shoulder. The #1 and #2 lines are downward diagonals. a fanning motion. And he is going to instantly try to address that if he sees as much as a flinch. your thumb will basically be pointed towards the ground and your palm [again.Coming up on the #9 line in the illustration. fluid feel to them. one following the other. you strike#1 in a very fast manner using abanico. your thumb will be up and your palm will be facing to the left.

if you strike#1. you can repeat that several times. you just have to want it badly enough. This is precisely what you want to have." you are going to hit the opposite side. your right elbow goes high instantly and you strike a #2 angle. There are many different types of abanico as well. The next thing to explore is multiple. It will open your eyes instantly as to how brutally effective this can be. The Sjambok is more deceptive than the stick. Your progression might be a bit slower. from a relatively very small movement of the wrist. very fast..thinks. Centrifugal Force and Multiple Strikes are effortless once these movements are mastered. and the Sjambok will be over the right shoulder. Instead of cutting downwards on that angle. You want the person hit before they can realize it and respond to it. Redondo is a circle that repeats. By all means. get some hands on training if any is available in your area. The other thing to consider is. and you can do them very fast. striking it. . The same effect as above will happen. and “He is going to try to hit me on the right side of my face. lightning fast strikes using the Sjambok. Once you are practiced in this method of striking. the tip of the Sjambok will be on the target. The second one is to be chambered for a #1 angle strike.. The right hand is chambered back in the general vicinity of the right pectoral.. you might stumble and fall in your search. etc. accurate and powerful. The Sjambok is flexible and the forces generated through the fanning movements are great. Then you want to hit them multiple times with the more powerful follow-up strikes before they can recover from the initial shock being hit. But know that with an eye towards detail and perseverance. this leads to non-telegraphic movement. again. taking from the Filipino Martial Arts. you can learn how to do this from other materials. it is almost a certainty that the Sjambok will land. and I suggest you purchase an excellent book and video on the subject to explore it. but you can learn. Redondo can be on any angle. in abanico and reversa.

. it is also not merely horizontal or vertical. This might be extremely difficult to envision. If you are chambered for a #1 strike. but it does not follow the same circle over and over. be a Malaysian Spitting Cobra. one can imagine and look at wonder with regard to the speed and the precision with which this can be carried out. the Mongoose is the most dangerous to the continued health of a deadly Cobra.almost going into redondo. it can come back and the same thing can be done back-handed. When confronted with a Mongoose. When the Sjambok reaches Zero Pressure. the limit of its travel. the Sjambok over your right shoulder and held in the right hand." The florette could from the angle #1 chambering. face or neck. that generate centrifugal force and also leads to multiple hits on target. the strikes are circular. strike the side of the face.Florette.. Next to Man. Let’s say.. . You could then strike the other side of the head. and then you could repeat the knife hand strike again. The Mongoose The Mongoose strikes incredibly fast.. and you have witnessed the power and speed that can be generated. the knife hand. If you can picture this. be a Mongoose. Perhaps he takes a slash at air just to give you the idea he "means business. Considering a Mongoose can kill a Cobra. the side of the face again.. this should be a good example of florette in action. that is redondo. but once you have seen it.. for example. two or more. it is quite the eye-opener. "the flower." this is a series of strikes. an attacker has presented a knife. The florette in motion is almost like a Cowboy’s Lariat. it is usually done on a medium to high line. When confronted with a Cobra. perhaps the attacker’s other hand as it comes up to guard and protect. however. It is a flurry. but they are of different size.

your right arm lifts. This could be a repeated redondo or a flurry backhanded using florette. this will seem unnatural at first. and if unsuccessful in making that hit. This is an absolutely horrendous strike if it lands. The Sjambok’s tip will probably be touching the ground. waiting for the perfect moment in time.trying to create an opening. the palm turns to face the ground for an instant. horizontal or downward diagonal strike. When the right hand reaches shoulder height. The Cobra is swift and deadly.. having your wrist twisted like this. This is unleashing the coil spring. and some Cobras continue to move.. trying for a hit. The rotation continues to the point the palm is facing up and the spin of the Sjambok turns into an upward diagonal. The back of your right hand will be against the outside of your thigh. centrifugal force on a stick or a Sjambok. the back and outside of your own leg. in slow motion. leads to whipping. but flexibility as well. this is the movement: If the Sjambok was a sinuous razor blade." With the Sjambok in your right hand. The Cobra And more accurately. Your palm will be facing directly behind you. the wrist/palm begins to rotate. You must not only focus on grip strength. you would be cutting yourself. and the thumb faces forward. Sometimes. it is a coiled spring and once unleashed. And it has to be practiced to the point it is 100% fluid and lightning fast. the right hand still has the palm facing rearward and the thumb oriented to the ground. you hold it low. The Cobra’s head seems to float. a Spitting Cobra.Here is something I consider to be a "Mongoose Tactic. that is where they get their . This is torque. The return stroke would instantly follow backhanded. the Cobra harasses the Mongoose. The Cobra moves.

If someone has a weapon and they are advancing.. etc." The Cobras that spit venom are incredibly nasty reptiles.. in The Book of Five Rings. When faced with someone who patiently waits. "When you are even with an opponent.fluid feeling. and the tip of the Sjambok. please realize.] Miyamoto Musashi wrote in the Water Scroll. if you are in a non-lethal force situation. you are not going to be able to legally walk away from striking someone in the face or eyes with a Sjambok. When faced with the attacker who harasses. .and in that alive feeling they have. hold back and do not fall for the feints. People fear having their eyes struck. When you can get your opponent to shrink away. "Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread. they are very deceptive. This is why you have to have role reversal in many aspects of combat. You constantly want to target the eyes of the attacker. It is not an easy thing to do. harass him. he will try to get both his face and body out of the way. [Further. keeping it out of the line of fire from the attacker. This is what you want to be with a Sjambok... When you have the intention of stabbing your opponent in the face. That is NOT to say that you ignore the weapon hand of the adversary if he leaves it out there for you to strike. The Mongoose tends to wait for a fatal mistake from its enemy. do what you have to do.use your intelligence. you want to harass the facial area and make them fear for the safety of their eyes. and rightly so. the Cobra tries to create the mistake and then capitalize on it. you want it to dance and taunt the attacker.. We’re talking about maiming here. Don’t explode someone’s eye because they called you a name or shoved you. Lightly moving your hand.. it is essential to keep thinking of stabbing him in the face with the tip of your sword in the intervals between the opponent’s sword blows and your own sword blows. Remember the old saying.

there are various advantages of which you can avail yourself to win.’ This should be cultivated in the course of practicing martial arts. Buggy Whip to Bull Whip. She is now in the hospital.. As I write this. Since this weapon is in the realm of the whip and not in the prohibited category so often shoved down our collective throats by the fools running this country into the ground.. I hear in the background noise coming from the living room. Practicality Does the Sjambok really have a place in the arsenal of the serious Student of Self-defense? Or is this merely a "toy" for those that like weapons? I think only the most diehard advocate of the Sjambok would take the suggestions of Keating and Loriega as to concealment and carry.." a blinder.. It’s a concept. not a Commandment. It could literally be you spitting into the eyes to gain the advantage. Therefore it is imperative not to forget about the tactic of ‘stabbing the really does not matter. Like the Crook-head Cane. Pepper Spray that you have in your other hand. With a . you have already won. I do not consider that to be "extremist. it can be a welcome companion on your walks. In some environments.C. The Spitting Cobra’s projectile venom might be the tip of the Sjambok directed at the eyes. scraping up some earth to kick into the face of the attacker. Use your imagination. as soon as the opponent tries to get out of the way. I would think it is legal anywhere a regular whip is." Metsubushi "Crushing the eyes. Or it might be the can of 10% O.or possibly a SureFire Flashlight." You decide what is best for you.. In the midst of battle.. a story of a woman in my State who broke up a fight between two dogs. That is fine. You should work this out thoroughly. it could be your shoe.

00 Spyderco folder to back up the piece of plastic." Now.. you have something at your disposal to defend yourself with effectively. I don’t know and do not advise you to say that either. it is against people as well. In fact." If pressed. in a lot of State Parks.simple piece of plastic and a $45. act accordingly. What about camping and hiking? How about fishing? Remember. she may have not ended up in the hospital.. "Just a piece of plastic. can go a long way towards your safety. what is that and what are you carrying it for?" You could honestly respond. and quite a few fatalities from same. the Sjambok is known as a snake-killer. or even two of each around the tent or campfire are basically going to be a non-issue in most areas. say. catalog offers quite a selection of weapons for the camper to be used in areas that are oppressive when it comes to weapons. These are things that will not be questioned in most areas. "Hey. Backed up with even the most innocuous folders. one cannot carry anything but the most utilitarian of knives. The Mandatory Warning and Disclaimer . I cannot outrun a dog. That’s another use. A small shovel and hatchet. Unfortunately. I thought I should have something while walking in case one comes after me. Inc. The Sjambok is not only potent against snakes. "Well. I’m merely giving food for thought here. You know your area. There are so many dog attacks in this country. but I think most would shake their head and tell you to stay out of trouble. two Spyderco Enduras. I would imagine that if a Police Officer did ask you. Something so simple as the Cold Steel copy of the Spetsnaz Shovel or a Tomahawk. there are a lot of dog attacks. the Officer might think you’re a nut. and "fighters" are a no-no in many areas just as firearms are. the Cold Steel. I’m not second guessing her at all.

remember. It’s common sense. you should have high quality eye protection. your eyes cannot be replaced.This is a standard for everything I write.00 and you should scoff.they are for the people who make "Experts" look like novices. I do not advocate ANYTHING. For one thing. $50. any time you train with weapons. I will NOT list them here.. Please be careful if you do anything on your own. Everything you read is here for the purpose of informing people. If a set of good safety glasses costs you $50. Be smart and not the guy moaning lowly in the Emergency Room waiting for the Doctor. from knives to firearms. You will hear of other modifications that can be done to Bull Whips. I am not responsible if you blow your eye out of socket with a Sjambok. Drb:Nick Babiera .00 to save your eyes is such a small cost. Do not attempt to do these things. They are that dangerous. This is for information purposes only. Coach Whips and Sjamboks if you look hard enough... I advocate NOTHING. I’m talking about people who operate on an almost Supernatural level of skill with flexible weapons like Whips..

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