notes on how to fight (with bats, shinbones and other things)
I’d seen my father give hundreds of beatings with a baseball bat, but Dominic taught me how to really use one. There is an art to everything. You think you just grab a bat and start swinging? It doesn’t work like that, bro. I mean, give a normal person a bat and give me a bat, and we’ll see who does what.
You don’t swing for the fences when you fight with a bat. I approach you carrying my bat pointed down so it matches my leg. You might not even notice it. When I come close, I bring my bat up, grip it in both hands, and swing it low at your knee. If I hit you near the knee with any force, I will put you on the ground. I don’t care if you’re a guy who weighs four hundred pounds. A bat to the knee will drop Superman, and when you’re on the ground, I own you.
When you’re bat-fighting, as soon as you get your guy on the ground, you need to reverse your grip on the bat. Put your strong hand near the end of the handle and your weaker hand below it. Point the bat down like you’re grinding herbs in a mortar and pestle. You’re going to pump the bat up and down on the person underneath it. Focus on taking out the knees, elbows, and hands. After that they ain’t running nowhere, bro. Now you can take your time cracking their ribs, busting their balls—anything you want. When you got a bat, you’re king.
If you don’t have a bat, no matter what the other guy is doing, focus on his weak points. Take away his legs by kicking his knees. Take away his eyes by sticking him with your fingers or something sharp like a broken bottle. Work on his shins. Shins are very sensitive, and you can hurt a person real bad on his shins. The shinbone is the strongest bone in the body, but the front edge is tender if you stomp it.
Even though I just said the fronts of a person’s shins are sensitive, when I kick people in the balls, I will use my own shinbone. My shin hits with more force than my foot, and my shinbone won’t hurt me because I’m kicking balls, which are soft. You can break someone’s balls with your shinbone. When you’re fighting, look for every opportunity to hurt the other guy’s eyes and knees and shins. And no matter what, always be kicking his balls.
Use gravity when you fight. Punch down, not up. When I’m fighting, I always beat down, and I always stab down if I have a knife. I do not stab up, I do not stab straight. I always stab down.
- Jon Roberts, American Desperado: My Life — From Mafia Soldier to Cocaine Cowboy to Secret Government Asset