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.