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Old January 19, 2002, 12:00 AM   #1
Anthony
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Bullwhip: Viable Street Weapon??

Hello Everyone,

Looking at the Texas Penal Code on "Prohibited Weapons" it struck me that a bullwhip was neither mentioned nor described in any of the categories.

Put aside the Indiana Jones and Zorro jokes for a moment, and tell me how viable you think a bullwhip in trained hands would be against single or multiple BGs when you don't want to shoot them for whatever reason.

Does anyone already carry one?

What is a good source for top quality bullwhips?

- Anthony
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Old January 19, 2002, 12:14 AM   #2
C.R.Sam
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As an offensive weapon it would be marginal at best.

As a defensive weapon it would be worse than worthless. In the time it takes to deploy a whip, the bad guys could skin and tan you.

Sam
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Old January 19, 2002, 12:44 AM   #3
Anthony
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Sam,

With all due respect, I must disagree.

If one was properly schooled in the whip as a weapon, had the apparatus to quickly deploy it from, and practiced a bit I believe the whip could be a very viable weapon. Granted, a bit unconventional, but very effective in trained hands.

Other opinions?

- Anthony
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Old January 19, 2002, 01:10 AM   #4
kwill
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My BS detector is going off big time

I have a collection of nice bullwhips and was trained how to use them by my Granddad and Great Granddad. I am also a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and Korean weapons, and I'm a pretty fair pistolero, for what all that is worth. You might get one good lick in with a bullwhip, which is going to **** the guy off and he will rush in. You will then be in a grappling match. Even the first good lick is doubtful; range is hyper-critical--a few inches--maybe 1 inch--either way and you do NO damage. Bull whips are made to make noise, not to inflict damage. I hope you're joking.
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Old January 19, 2002, 01:28 AM   #5
Anthony
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Actually, I'm not and I don't appreciate your smart alec attitude or answer.

If I knew the answer I wouldn't have posted the question.

If simple questions are becoming "BS" then this board is in serious trouble.

If you can't contribute in a civil and polite manner then please don't respond to this thread at all.

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Old January 19, 2002, 02:09 AM   #6
kwill
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Sorry, no offense intended. The question just didn't pass my straight face test. My answer was direct, maybe a bit blunt, but I doubt I've damaged the viability of this forum.

When I was a small boy I practiced with my whip all the time and thought I was invulnerable. One day a friend of my brother's had had enough of my Zorro act. He picked up a rake, caught the whip on the next crack, then rushed in and beat the tar out of me. Even doing a "doublecrack" (whip cracks on forehand and backhand), there is at least a .5 second delay for recovery. That's plenty of time to move inside the whip's range rendering it useless. IOW, you don't even need the rake.
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Old January 19, 2002, 02:13 AM   #7
striderteen
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Against projectile weapons, no way. Unless you're Indiana Jones, of course.

Against bladed weapons, its a matter of skill. Slashing with the whip doesn't cause much damage -- although it may be painful/impressive enough to scare off a casual attacker -- but if you're good you can use the whip to grab and disarm.

Unfortunately, you really have to fall under the category of "insanely good" to make a bullwhip an effective weapon.
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Old January 19, 2002, 03:06 AM   #8
boris_01
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We use a whip all of the time in dog training. Not to beat the dog, but rather to accustom the dog to loud noises and to stimulate his drive in the bite work. The whip we use is not a bull whip, but rather a padded stick with the cord about 1ft 1/2 - 2ft long. I know it is not a bull whip. But using even the short version I know that it would not make a good defense weapon. I am fairly adept at popping this whip. But too often you WILL catch yourself with it. And MAN IT HURTS. And I could be wrong, but was'nt the whip used more as a punishing type of torture than as an actual weapon?
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Old January 19, 2002, 06:01 AM   #9
Mort
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Not my first choice or my tenth, but I've dabbled in the area.

Bear in mind that this is a skill well past the point of "diminishing returns", but many arts teach flexible weapons, one of which could be a whip. I'm not talking about a 12' bullwhip or stockwhip--those are for making really loud noises--more like a 3' quirt or 4' snake.

Most things that apply to the whip apply to a lot of really bendy things, like bicycle chains.

Couple of things:

Latigo y daga: Filipino methods of using a short whip in one hand and a blade in the other. In a hand-to-hand context (of course, contexts are fluid and you never know what will happen next), you can cover different ranges in this fashion. Guy either retreats--in which case, great--or charges, in which case your blade comes into play.

As far as deployment speed, all the supersonic cracks are best ignored--as Sam pointed out, cracking a whip is slow. But keeping a short whip in constant motion--sinawali weaving patterns, figure-8, double-o, redondo (these are some of the names I learned for techniques practiced by a hundred cultures)--this can be very fast and present a "wall" that, again, the bad guy must flee or charge.

At the closest range the short whip becomes a garrote, a two-handed weapon. It takes plenty of skill to make sure that it's your garrote and not his garrote.

Here's an article by James Keating. He has studied this, and all things martial, way more than I have.

In conclusion, utterly impractical, and thus entertaining to consider.

Last edited by Mort; January 21, 2002 at 09:07 PM.
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Old January 19, 2002, 06:13 AM   #10
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If you used a bullwhip against me in a streetfight, You might raise a welt, even draw some blood... and then I would stomp a mudhole in your ass and walk it dry. Seriously. There are too many other viable defensive AND offensive weapons available for folks to waste much time in trying to get proficent with this one. Just my opinion of course, but I have seen more than my share of busted heads and hands over the last 15 years.


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Old January 19, 2002, 11:21 AM   #11
C.R.Sam
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Nuther try. Serious, not smart alec.

Question was re bullwhip. Against one or multiple bad guys.

Kwill made very viable point in first post. Distance is critical. Different whips for different distances.

Even with a leg wrap takedown, distance is critical; and requires side cast

Movie whip work where the whip wielder takes the gun out of the bad guys hand is done with both parties at known distances and both parties have worked together and practiced the gig.

Rapid deployment for initial strike is problematic.

Successive strikes bout as fast as fly casting. Multiple bad guys would present extreme problem.

If you were good enough to have a chance against a single armed person, then the law would probably consider the useage of the whip as use of deadly force.

Carry of whip ready for rapid deployment would probably require that you walk around with the whip trailed behind you. And even then you would have to proceed in a straight line. If you turn with whip trailed, whip has to be redeployed behind you before it can be rapidly and accurately used again.

Last I saw, bullwhips available from Sheplers. Good prices and different lengths.

Sam
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Old January 19, 2002, 02:52 PM   #12
Dennis Hoffmeyer
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Here in Central/South florida the cowboys have used whips for over 300 years to work cattle. It was originally used by the Spanish. Whips are sold at all tack and western stores, some can cost more that a good rifle ($300+).

An experienced cowboy "cracker" can place the whip cracker--the end which makes the noise- an inch or two off the cow's nose. However, in order to do this it requires one full rotation of the handle in order to get some momentum(sp?). The time required in order to get an accurate pop is too long to be an effective weapon. Unless you can keep the BG at the full extended length of the whip it would be useless-- a better idea woulf be a riding crop
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Old January 19, 2002, 05:28 PM   #13
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It depends on what the bad guys are armered with, I would not think a whip would be my first or second choice of weapons
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Old January 21, 2002, 10:18 AM   #14
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Even if you WERE Indiana Jones... Remember, he carried a revolver as well.
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Old January 21, 2002, 12:40 PM   #15
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Doesn't Zorro sport a rapier?

Anyway, I'm sure that a bullwhip in an expert's hands will be as formidable as any weapon---even against a mightier one. Success in confrontation is determined by the expert's degree of expertise as compared to his antagonist's.
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Last edited by Rickmeister; January 22, 2002 at 08:24 AM.
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Old January 21, 2002, 01:04 PM   #16
CMichael
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Like all other weapons it depends how well the user can use it.

A pencil can be a deadly weapon if the person knows how to use it properly.

Michael
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Old January 21, 2002, 11:29 PM   #17
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I think someone would take it from you and strangle you with it. I know I would.
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Old January 22, 2002, 02:46 PM   #18
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Just something to think about - How many times do you think you could swing a whip around to do ANY technique before someone rushes you?
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Old January 22, 2002, 05:41 PM   #19
kwill
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Beating a dead horse...

I know how to use one and I would rather be armed with soap on a rope. I don't think it's prohibited by the Texas Penal Code either.
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Old January 23, 2002, 02:47 PM   #20
Correia
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I grew up on a farm, and we used whips to herd the cows (the ignorant ones anway). But if we had a serious problem (i.e. mad bull, cow who doesn't want you to take its calf) out came a pipe or a chain. Preferably a pipe. (Boy if PETA reads this I'm toast).

Whips sting, but sting ain't the best thing against 2000 lbs. of angry hamburger. A good pipe to the nose however will work wonders.
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Old January 24, 2002, 05:21 AM   #21
nualle
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Granted that my practice with a bullwhip has been minimal, this is what I think: the whip would be mostly useful as pre-fight intimidation. If the BGs facing you have long enough attention spans (and are far enough away) to be impressed by a few good cracks of the whip, you might win the fight by averting it.

Once a fight is begun in earnest, I can't see the whip being very useful. Chances are if you make contact with anyone with it...
A) You might raise a flesh wound, which enrages the receiver (who is necessarily within a fairly small radius of you already). Even if you whing the guy's eye, in the heat of the fight, that may be more a distraction to him than a stopping wound.
or
B) You might wrap the whip around the BG's limb(s). In the latter case, even if you've taken the BG down (got both legs), you've lost further use of your weapon (unless you invest time you probably haven't got in getting your whip back). Now, unless you've got backup, you're SOL if there are more BGs and/or the first one refuses to stay down.
or
C) In the 1:1,000,000 case, you might wrap the whip around a BG's neck. Since cast and pull (my terms -- I have no formal training on the whip) are natural motions in using the whip, you might kill the BG on the pull. You're still SOL if there are more BGs. Furthermore, if you're that good with the weapon, you'll have a hard time defending yourself in the second half of the fight -- the part in the courtroom.

Personally, I'd rather have a 9mm. Lacking that, a nice bo staff or walking stick.
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Old January 24, 2002, 10:07 AM   #22
Anthony
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Thanks for all the useful responses.

If the bullwhip isn't that viable as a weapon, could it possibly be viable as a tool for survival?

- Anthony
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Old January 25, 2002, 09:47 PM   #23
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If memory serves, in one of the Little House on the Prairie books I think it was Farmer Boy, a school teacher uses a bull whip on a group of two or three bullies that had severly beat the previous teacher.

How true that story was I can't say, not to mention it has been over a decade since I read the story myself.
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Old January 25, 2002, 10:25 PM   #24
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If true, Glamdring, I suspect there was more intimidation factor than useful weapon.


kwill, thanks for the input from someone who is knowlegeable. THat's what makes this forum great. (I especially enjoyed the soap-on-a-rope line!)

One of the other things is the tone we try to maintain. I gently suggest you accept the correction regarding the tone of your first post.

And welcome to TFL!
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Old January 26, 2002, 01:59 AM   #25
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I'll try and I hope this doesn't sound too defensive but I still maintain I was blunt but honest and tried to provide some useful information based on actual experience. At least I didn't talk about stomping a mudhole in someone's ass. Anthony says he wouldn't have posted the question if he knew the answer. Yet when the first response comes back negative, he jumps in with strong opinion about how viable a weapon it would be. That's not exactly intellectually rigorous.

Now we're on to survival! OK, exactly what do you have in mind? The only useful application I can think of is breaking the whip down for cordage. Why not just carry some decent rope or cord?
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