L3 – 11.5 Strikes


Primary strike areas are defined as attacking limbs and/or large muscle groups. Examples of attacking limbs include but are not limited to: arms, hands, legs, feet, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings. Strikes delivered to the head, neck, and spine are considered deadly force.

A fight is a dynamic, ever-changing encounter, and an officer is not expected to predict the subject’s movements. Unless deadly force is applicable, it is the responsibility of the officer to aim their strikes toward attacking limbs and large muscle groups and away from the head, neck, and spine. If while aiming for an appropriate target area results in inadvertent strikes to the head, neck, or spine due to the subject’s movement, the officer is justified in their use of force but will be required to articulate their actions.

I    Legs

When delivering strikes to the legs, the security officer should aim at the meaty portion of the legs such as the thigh or calf. Strikes to these areas will temporarily disable the individual and rarely will cause any broken bones.

If the security officer is in front of or behind the individual, then strikes are usually applied to the thigh. The thigh can be struck on the outside (Figure 11.7, left), inside (Figure 11.7, right), front, or rear of the thigh, all of which should cause the individual to fall to the ground.

Strikes can also be delivered to the calf muscle if that target should present itself (Figure 11.8).

When delivering a strike, the security officer should hit the individual with sufficient force in order to stop the aggression and to prevent possible injury from multiple strikes. While striking, the security officer should step into the strike, in order to maximize effectiveness. Anytime a strike is delivered, the security officer should immediately return to the defensive stance in preparation of delivering more strikes if needed.

If the security officer needs to move from one side of the individual to the other while striking, the baton should be placed under the support arm in preparation of a back hand strike. The back hand strike is delivered to the opposite side of the appendage that was struck while the security officer is moving back to the defensive stance.

If the individual is still standing after delivering a power strike and is no longer a threat, the security officer can lessen his use of force by using an arm-bar control technique to ground the subject. This is done by turning the baton in the grip so that it lays parallel to the forearm of the security officer. The security officer then performs the arm-bar grounding technique using the baton instead of his wrist.

The use of a baton does not affect all subjects the same, and a security officer must always be prepared to transition to another use of force option.

Figure 11.7: Left: Striking the outside of the leg. Right: Striking the inside of the leg.

Figure 11.8: Striking the calf