Excerpted from Art of the Steel Telescoping Baton by Hei Long
Among the nine different types of Tie Gun (steel telescoping batons) there are some subtle and some substantial differences.
Regarding the spring body batons, I definitely advise against using these batons because the spring action prevents delivering a solid strike or counterstrike, but more so because it cannot be effectively used as a blocking instrument.
The study and practice of Tie Gun Lian Shi relies on using the baton as a blocking instrument as well as a striking instrument, and as you will learn in Chapter Four, often your first block is itself your first counterstrike. This alone renders the spring body batons useless in Tie Gun Lian Shi.
The chrome body batons are practical, but as previously noted, the small handles limit your grip options and have the potential to be slippery because of the texture and composition of the rubber.
The spring loaded chrome baton mimicking the Manji Sai would be more practical if the facing directions of the prongs were reversed. If I’m going to trap a weapon I want it on the outside of my arm where I would have more options to redirect it as opposed to the inside where my options would be very limited, and again, the release lever interferes with the grip.
Of the three sizes of solid body black steel batons, I prefer the longest of the three for reach purposes, not only for striking and counterstriking, but for having a wider range of blocking area to use. If you choose one of the three solid body black steel batons keep this very important factor in mind when it comes to training.
If you train with a 9”/26” Tie Gun and carry the 6.75”/16” for self defense you may find yourself in trouble if you are forced to use it. The shorter stick will have neither the blocking radius nor striking range of the 9”/26” which means you will come up short on one action or the other…or both. Whatever the size stick you train with that is the size you want to carry. Do not train with one size and carry another.