Walking Cane.

Discussion in 'Misc. Stick Arts' started by arnisador, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Tonight at class we did the hooked walking cane (not the straight walking cane of Savate or Baritsu, as indicated in the current issue of JAMA, Vol. 14 No. 4, but one with a curved handle). As a one-time change-of-pace, it was fun. But as a rule, I find that most people who added the walking cane to their arts (e.g., those in the Korean martial arts) did so as a way of marketing martial arts to the elderly despite the fact that they didn't teach Tai Chi. I know of no case of an elderly person using martial arts techniques and a hooked walking cane to defeat an aggressor; and in my experience, most who teach the hooked cane focus on techniques that use its hook rather than its range. The latter seems to me the more important advantage of the device. I also feel that many who teach it don't appreciate that some of the locks and hooks they're using have the potential to cause serious training injries, such as the repeated neck throws.

    I think an FMA practitioner should periodically play with a cane, an axe handle, a flashlight, a broomstick, a rolled-up magazine, etc., to gain familiarity with the stick-like implement. But I am suspicious of those who market cane training to the elderly. Is this training based on firm ground? Is it clearly valuable? I am not yet fully convinced.
  2. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member


    I think that walking cane training, whether straight or hooked has a lot of value. Certainly more elderly people use walking canes but I feel like you that probably not alot of them are going to use them for defense or are going to learn to use them for defense. I just teach it as one more tool to use and really it is treated the same as all blunt tools. You are exactly right in that the length of the cane and using that length is far more important than the locking techniques. However having the ability to use the locking and trapping techniques can be a big advantage if the distance is closed. When I do teach elderly groups of people I definately teach them the value of the cane starting with striking using the length and then the locking aspects as well. However, I like you do not think it should be solely marketed as a martial skill for the elderly but as a skill that every martial practitioner should learn.

    Brian R. VanCise
  3. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Walking stick (cane)

    Tuhon William McGrath has a walking stick video that accompanies his classes on walking stick; I find that it works quite well with a heavy crook cane.

    Rick Faye also has a walking stick video; although I haven't seen it, I've been told that it's influenced by his training with Tuhon McGrath and Danny Inosanto.

    One of my teachers, Bill Schettino, has a cane curriculum that includes the use of the cane as a single hand weapon, a two-hand weapon (both hands at one end), and hand at each end (pugil stick fashion). With respect to pugil stick technique, significant use is made of the crook to hit, and the end of the crook to hook and gouge.

    It is worth noting that if the end is re-cut on a bevel to form a "fish hook" angle, it catches the opponent more easily and more painfully, in my opinion.


    Steve Lamade
  4. Marvin Diem

    Marvin Diem New Member

    Any recomendations on a sturdy self-defense cane?
  5. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Inexpensive canes

    Cane Masters canes are pretty heavy, and the ones made from hickory are durable. However, they're a bit expensive. The "unfinished" one on the top of the following URL is relatively inexpensive ($25):


    I got mine at a county fair for $5. Local woodworkers who know how to steam-bend wood are probably your best source.


    Steve Lamade
  6. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Hey Marvin,

    For practice I just go with rattan canes most of the time. You can
    find hooked ones at any drugstore selling canes or at the big
    martial art supplier like Century of AWMA. For straght canes to
    practice with I just cut a three foot piece of rattan and place
    a rubber chair stopper on it and walla, I have a straight cane to
    work with. If I use Heavy wood then I like a nice hickory cane
    and their are several people out there with good products but
    some can be pretty expensive. I usually use Ed Martins canes
    because they are not to expensive, you can fine them here
    on his website at: http://northampton1.com/dojo/links/ ! His
    canes are price right and last a long, long time.

    Brian R. VanCise
  7. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    I am sorry the above link to Ed Martin's Homepage is not
    working he must be in the middle of some sort of
    reorganization. When I get the new link I will post it.

    Brian R. VanCise
  8. Sheldon Bedell

    Sheldon Bedell New Member

    Ii think it depends onwhat you call "old". If a person in their 50's is disabled he/she may be able to efend with a cane, however if the person is in their 70's they nay not be able to do much no matter how much training they have.
    Much of the hooked training is well beyond the ability of a 70 year old to preform with any strength or precission.
  9. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Yes, I agree. If they haven't trained for most of their lives, while starting training will help, it can only do so much. A 50 year old is a different matter.
  10. Sheldon Bedell

    Sheldon Bedell New Member

    lol being well above the 50 mark I agree but then I have practiced a few years.
    I see people in the nuseing home I work at who in their mid 60's might get some use out of training but the ones I see on the street who are in their 70's or older I doubt that they would be helped much if they trained the rest of their lives
  11. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    There are always exceptions to every rule. I have a student
    who is slightly over 80 years old and he moves and acts like
    a very young sixty year old. He has strength and knows how
    to move his weight to apply techniques. Certainly in the right
    circumstances he would have an opportunity to make something
    work. I also know people in their fifties who would not be able to
    make the training work given their attributes and physical and mentl skills.
    So there are many variables in place and we as teachers need to
    just do our best to help people out to the best of their abilities.

    Brian R. VanCise
  12. Sheldon Bedell

    Sheldon Bedell New Member

    that is what it is supposed to be all about.

    Glad to hear you have a student in his eighties. You should post a picture of the gentelman as inspiration for all the young folks
  13. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    I'll see what I can do about the picture. Yes he is definately
    an inspiration and an enthusiastic martial practitioner.

    Brian R. VanCise
  14. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Member

    I knew a bando practitioner in his 20s who specialized in the cane. He'd fallen off a mountain some years earlier and done some pretty profound damage to his feet. At the time I knew him, he could walk without the cane. But generally kept it with him because it had, through necessity and training, become such an extension.
  15. Sheldon Bedell

    Sheldon Bedell New Member

    The cane has become popularised (sp) in the last decade and you can see many people doing fancy cane forms and techniques these days. However most of the forms are useless to the avarage peson as a self defence and way beyond what most people over 60 could use for self defence. Did I say more flash than practicality?
    That being said I feel the came is a most over looked part of training. Most of us use short sticks (inder 3 foot) or knives. But we do not often walk down the street with these sticks and hardly ever withthe knife drawn. The cane is there in your hand already when you walk with it and be it decrotive and fancy or plain it is a weapon that has many uses.
    Why we do not practice more withit is beyond me except that the arts we practice where developed for other weapons

    sorry folks for any spelling mistakes today
  16. Kenpodoc

    Kenpodoc New Member

    I think that you underestimate a lot of 70 year olds. A lot of the farmers around here could whup the average suburban 20 year old empty handed and a cane would just add to the injury.

  17. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    It's always dangerous to generalize! But when I think of those who carry a cane because they need one, I do wonder how much martial utility it would have for them.
  18. Kenpodoc

    Kenpodoc New Member

    You're thinking of the frail elderly. There are a large number of otherwise robust people with bad hips or legs fror whom a cane enhances mobility.

  19. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Yes, I am thinking of a certain case. You're right of course that there are others who are disabled but still strong.

    Is there a good example of someone using a cane for self-defense? I don't recall such a story in the news. It would be great to have a clear example!
  20. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Walking Cane

    My memory's hazy - but I think that there is a story in Dan Inosanto's book about an elderly eskrimador (Max Seriamento?) taking on a couple of guys in a park with a cane.

    Then there's the story of Sijo Emperado taking out a large jerk in a supermarket who was harrassing him - but I think the guy got a thumb in the eye for his trouble. The story goes that Sijo was using a walker at the time due to his heart condition - and the judge dismissed the case due to the fact that he looked frail and elderly...

    As the saying goes, "Don't poke the bear."


    Steve Lamade

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