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Pool Cues, Beer Bottles and Baseball Bats: Animal's Guide to Improvised Weapons for Self-defense Paperback – May 1990

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Product details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Paladin Press,U.S. (May 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873645456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873645454
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,184,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Red Dawg paused over his beer and fixed his supposed-to-be-blue (more often than not blood-shot) eyes on me in macho disbelief. Read the first page
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By Charles TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Mar 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book about how to use everyday items as improvised weapons.

I should point out that using weapons in violence is very serious and should only be used in extreme stations, even a humble brick can cause massive injury and get you thrown in jail for a long time.

Most of the book is devoted to pole and short stick style weapons.
Advice on how to hold poles and the pros and cons of different grips are covered

The author recommends learning western sword fighting to learn how to use stick style weapons.

There are brief discussions of blackjacks, punch rings, gauntlets, knuckle dusters, studded wristbands, anything that can be thrown and flexible weapons like ropes/chains/monkey balls.

There is a excellent weapons classification system based on range, type/use and construction.

The vitally important advice to keep an eye on what is in or near your opponent's hands is pointed out.

This book is predominantly pole and stick focused and is not going to make anybody a expert on weapons, it does however have a lot of good advice and is worth a read if you're new to the subject.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A wonderfuly informative book from a great fighter 20 May 2000
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This was the first of Marc "Animal" MacYoung's books I read and still one of my favorites. Improvised Weaponry is a terribly under-studied field. This isn't ancient Japan or the old West, we can't walk around with a katana or Colt six shooter on our hips. Many people just cannot carry weapons on a routine biases (Weapons are forbidden on the Navy ship I work and live on for instance) so the art of improvising weapons quickly in a crisis is an extremely handy skill. On another note this book introduced me to the wonderful and always practical writings of ex-street fighter Marc "Animal" MacYoung. Although not a how-to book so much as a book on comman sense and stradegy. Animal's books are easy to read, incrediably funny, touching in parts, and though provoking. Personnaly I think this comes from the very human nature of the author. Like it our not (And Animal if your reading this I hope you take this the right way) Animal is not unique. He's good yes, but there's a guy just like him in half the bars between New York and LA. Animal is not some martial arts guru who has spend every waking nano-second of his life perfecting his art. He fights to live he dosen't live to fight.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Blunt, Honest, and to the Point. Score Another One for Animal! 25 Oct 2006
By Shawn Kovacich - Published on
Format: Paperback
Being the author of several books on the martial arts and fighting, I am always looking for books of exceptional quality to add to my library. If I have a book in my library, it's definitely worth owning. One such book is Marc "Animal" MacYoung's, "Pool Cues, Beer Bottles, and Baseball Bats."

As you may well know from my previous reviews of Marc's books, one of the things that I absolutely love about his style of writing, is his no-holds barred direct approach to getting his point across. There is never any sugarcoating or politically correct terminology is his books. He simply tells it like it is, whether you like it or not. Marc's method of writing reminds me of the comical rants of George Carlin. You may be offended by what he says, but by golly it's the truth. And yes, sometimes the truth hurts.

Once again, Marc gives you a no-holds barred look at the reality of fighting and surviving on the street. This book focuses on the most common types of weapons you are likely to encounter during an altercation on the street. For the most part, Marc leaves out the two most common ones, guns and knives. The reason for this is because these two are deserving of book all of their own. One of which I know Marc has addressed, as that particular book is on my "To Do" list.

In the preface, Marc discusses the intent of his book, which is for you the reader to use the knowledge contained within to keep yourself safe and out of trouble. It is not intended nor implied for you to go out and start causing it. As I was making notes to do this review, it occurred to me that what Marc and others like him are trying to teach you is similar to what the late Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin was trying to teach all of us that watched him work with animals.

First, that these are wild animals (violent and unpredictable individuals) and need to be treated with respect. Secondly, if you know the "ins and outs" (what to look for when dealing with this type of person) of the animal, then you will be able to identify and avoid a possible dangerous confrontation.

This last part is strictly Marc's and others like him, and is not Irwin's by any stretch of the imagination.

And finally, when unable to avoid a confrontation, what options you have to inflict as much damage upon your opponent as you can while sustaining minimal damage to yourself.

In the first chapter, Marc talks about the vital importance of awareness not only of your surroundings, but also of yourself. He teaches you some of the subtle and not-so-subtle cues that people tend to give off when preparing to attack. He also goes into patterns of trouble, which are a series of events that seem to always follow one after another on a one way course to trouble. With you usually right in the middle of it. One of the ways to avoid these things is to be aware of it. Hence, the lesson to be learned in this section, taking the time to work on your awareness.

The next chapter deals with long range weapons you are likely to encounter. Things such as pool cues, staffs or poles, shovels, etc. The remaining chapters in this book are broken down into various sections that focus on a wide variety of weapons, such as swords, sticks. Marc also goes into quite a bit of detail on impact weapons such as; wrist pins, brass knuckles, rings, saps, etc. Marc even has a chapter dealing with flexible weapons such as chains and ropes. As with all of his books, and this one is no exception, Marc gives you a real good understanding of the principles behind the techniques that he discusses and demonstrates in his books.

Marc's final chapter in this book deals with diversions and distractions that you are likely to encounter during a street altercation. Some of them are obvious, while others are not so obvious. As Marc is fond of saying (and completely right) awareness is the key to survival. Buy Marc's books, read them, study them, learn from them, and then use that knowledge to stay safe and live longer.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Realistic and practical advice 1 Nov 2006
By Lodge2 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good book on using improvised weapons for self defense. On the positive side, MacYoung appears to have a wide range of experience and speaks with an air of authenticity. Buried deep in his stories and use of slang, you will find a person who has combined some formal training with street smarts and the school of hard knocks to create a very realistic view of the world and how to survive in difficult situations. For most people, those situations will never have the opportunity to present themselves because they will avoid the venue. For those who choose to frequent biker bars, rowdy night clubs and pool halls, this book will have more value.

Realistic and practical advice that can have applications in any environment. Exploring the self defense potential of common items is a great exercise and can keep you from getting locked into the mindset that if you are not "armed" then you are defenseless. It's a message that needs a wider audience, unfortunately due to the tone of his writing; this book will not appeal to that larger group.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding and comprehensive 13 Jun 2007
By L. A. Kane - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A comprehensive look at improvised weapons you might encounter on the street such as beer bottles, pool cues, baseball bats, brass knuckles, fighting rings, saps, chains, shovels, bricks, and the like. Even hairbrushes and orange juice, two of the more unusual things the author has actually been assaulted with, are covered along with solid principles of how to spot, utilize, and defend yourself from these potentially deadly objects. Importantly, the book also delves into awareness, covering in depth some of the subtle and not-so-subtle cues that people tend to give when preparing to attack as well as patterns of trouble, diversions, distractions, and other things to look out for.

The author is the real deal. Growing up on gang-infested streets not only gave MacYoung his street name "Animal," but also extensive firsthand experience about what does and does not work for self-defense. Over the years, he has held a number of dangerous occupations including director of a correctional institute, bodyguard, and bouncer. He was first shot at when he was 15 years old and has since survived multiple attempts on his life, including professional contracts. He has studied a variety of martial arts since childhood, teaching experience-based self-defense to police, military, civilians, and martial artists around the world. Clearly a guy worth listening to.

Lawrence Kane
Author of Blinded by the Night, among other titles
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
On improvised weapons and awareness 8 July 2004
By Seppo Vesala - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book concentrates on using improvised weapons for self defence. The author divides virtually everything you can use into four categories, and devotes a chapter for each weapon type. MacYoung starts with the basics, explaining also the physics and principles behind every weapon category.
The text is very easy to read, and there are several stories from real life used to spice up the text. As with all books by MacYoung, there is lots of humour in the text. This time, however, the stories and humour is less macho, compared to other books by MacYoung I have read. The text is richly illustrated, with very clear line drawings, making it very easy to understand what the author is saying.
I think you don't need much experience with martial arts to fully understand the techniques and principles presented in the book. That's unlike most similar books I have read, but then the techniques presented here are very basic, with very little nuances. In addition to the techniques, the book teaches you to continuously look for "self defence potential" of each item you run across. That not only teaches you to spot the best items for self defence, it increases your total awareness of your surroundings, as well.
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