The Cane For Self Defense


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silenthunder
March 2, 2008, 12:32 PM
I have been a student of the cane for just over two years. I carry a 37" long hickory cane virtually on a daily basis.
The cane has an unfortunate stigma as to disability; however in practiced hands it becomes an invaluable self defense tool, having the same or superior potential to a riot baton. (Superior owing to the fact that my cane has a crooked handle, where a riot baton does not.)
First off, it's legal, everywhere.
Secondly, it's already "drawn" and available for immediate use. It has proven to have much more deterrent potential than a concealed weapon. Third, practicing cane technique is an excellent form of physical exercise.

There is no doubt that each and every individual has their own preference as to what they carry for self defense. The hickory cane has been my choice for two years and it has proven itself to be a close ally in my desire to remain safe as I traverse urban areas known for crime and criminal activity.

Just my two cents.

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Pax Jordana
March 2, 2008, 01:33 PM
Welcome to THR!

What style do you practice? Having thought about a cane myself, I'm thinking it has applications in fencing, maybe short staff, even into kendo or some manner of broadsword style besides those 'dedicated cane arts'.

I used to think there was a stigma too. Until I met a man who'd been powerlifting for years, who at the time was shortly to exit his 40's. He walked with a cane, said it took the weight off his knee. Guy could clean & jerk like nobody's business - wrap up that knee and go, go, go.

People get hurt all the time, in all sorts of situations. You don't have to be old and infirm to need/want/carry one.

-PJ (250 bench/400 squat/525 DL :rolleyes:)

coelacanth
March 2, 2008, 02:05 PM
and perhaps the most interesting forum around these parts. A good length of hickory stick is an inordinately useful thing to have around. I use one as my shotgun cleaning rod, another as a longbow and my grandmother's handcarved crochet hooks (hickory-of course) make a fearsome set of yawara. I may have to break down and get myself a cane like you describe now that I'm getting junk mail from AARP ( grin ). Like PJ, I'm interested to know what type of techniques you practice.

silenthunder
March 4, 2008, 02:17 AM
Thanks for your responses.
Although I've had some MA and stick training, the cane, for me, is an extremely intuitive instrument.
I have a "body bag" in the garage and I spend time everyday wailing on it.
If it feels comfortable and it will work for me, I practice it.

It has been my experience that a smart man avoids a fight if he can. It has become very apparent to me that the most value I get from my cane is in the deterrence aspect. The thugs would rather find an easier target than someone carrying a stick.

You can spend an appreciable amount of money on various videos. I have a few that I got for pointers when I first got my cane, but by and far the simple act of practicing has been of more value to me.

Shawnee
March 4, 2008, 02:25 AM
Hi ST....

Very interesting, ST. How about posting a pic of your favorite cane(s) ? Where does one buy such things at decent prices and how much should a person expect to pay ?

If you were to recommend just one reasonably priced book or video - what would it be and where would you buy it ?

What practice routine do you use ?


:cool:

zxcvbob
March 4, 2008, 02:38 AM
It has been my experience that a smart man avoids a fight if he can. It has become very apparent to me that the most value I get from my cane is in the deterrence aspect. The thugs would rather find an easier target than someone carrying a stick.

That's interesting. I'd have thought they would be attracted by it, thinking you were weak or injured.

silenthunder
March 4, 2008, 02:46 AM
https://www.ruralking.com/store/default.aspx

You can go to this site and get a decent hickory cane for less than $10.00. Just type hickory cane into the product search box. When it arrives you'll have to purchase a rubber tip for the end. On the other hand you can go to either of the entities mentioned below and get a cane for self defense at an appreciably higher price.

I have one from Cane Masters, one from Rural King and a Cold Steel City Stick.

If you want a video, I can suggest Cane Masters or Goru Shorei, both have good programs. If you desire a book, you might consider Googling The Falcon Cane System.

There are decent videos by Gordon Oster, as well as Ted Truscott

That being said, videos and books run a very poor second to personal instruction from a qualified martial arts teacher.

As to the procedure that I use during my practice. I practice various strikes, foot work, and aerobics

I also practice qi gong in my spare time.

silenthunder
March 4, 2008, 02:51 AM
zxcvbob, your observation is just what I thought at first.

Valkman
March 4, 2008, 03:18 AM
I have a Cane Masters cane and it's a sweet weapon if needed for that. I for sure would not want to get bonked on the head with it. :)

Shawnee
March 4, 2008, 03:37 AM
ON the Cane Masters site there are canes that they say are "just for walking". What do they lack that the canes for "defense" have ?

How does one arrive at the right length (given that one needs the cane for walking) ?


Many thanks ! :cool:

silenthunder
March 4, 2008, 03:53 AM
The defensive canes from Cane Masters have the "bird's head" on the end of the crook which results in a somewhat sharpened point on the crook. They also may or may not have certain carving in the shaft of ridges called "shark's teeth" for various and sundry purposes when coming into contact with the flesh of an adversary. There are also various grips running from just below the crook to the entire length of the cane. A defensive cane also tends to have a wider crook for grabbing various body parts.

The strength of hickory wood is in direct proportion to the length of the wood grain

On measuring the cane, measure from the floor to the most prominent bone on the outside of your wrist for length.

coelacanth
March 4, 2008, 12:23 PM
Thanks!

hso
March 4, 2008, 12:39 PM
silenthunder,

We're big fans of canes here and have had a lot of threads on their application, selection and use. Good to see another fan of the stick.

Shawnee,

You can google "fitting a cane" or search this forum. There's a thread where I posted the information. The short answer is stand straight, drop you hands to your side and measure from the upper part of your wrist to the floor. Better to have a little extra since cutting more stick back on is much more difficult than cutting too little off. ;)

Stock/cattle canes can be had from farmer's co ops and farm supplies for around $10. You can order them from Lehman's (http://www.lehmans.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=61&itemType=PRODUCT&iProductID=61) as well.

Patrick_Henry
March 4, 2008, 12:59 PM
I might just have to look at a cane for urban purposes... I always carry a nice stick when I go hiking for just such reasons, but never really paid much heed to the cane, you have at least gotten me to take a second look.

SeanSw
March 4, 2008, 02:09 PM
The way my spine is twisting I'll be due for a cane before my time. When that day comes I will probably commission someone to create an "art nouveau" cane head. Something nice, like the bronze casting of a swans head. Or a very elaborate ball pein hammer. A well oiled ash or hickory would do nicely, but lignum vitae would be so much classier. Lest we overlook the fine variety of hardwood rootball canes :D

Have a look at this website for other options http://www.bobsticks.co.uk/

DFW1911
March 4, 2008, 02:35 PM
You may also want to try:

http://www.brazos-walking-sticks.com/

I received one of their maple canes as a gift and am very impressed with it.

Plus, anything I can do to help out another Texan-owned business!

Thanks,
DFW1911

Brian Dale
March 4, 2008, 07:38 PM
Welcome to The High Road, silenthunder.

I bought a stock cane last week for $9 at the local farm supply store. It's useful when I'm walking on snow and ice.

Timthinker
March 4, 2008, 09:52 PM
If I am not mistaken, the art of La Canne, defending oneself with a walking stick, originated in the 19th century when gentlemen often carried canes. The use of brass or silver head pieces on these canes was more than ornamental. It added extra weight to this impact device. Consider this some relevant historical information.


Timthinker

conw
March 4, 2008, 11:01 PM
This is kind of a "strategic" look at the cane, but I think it really draws unwanted attention if you're younger (<55) and don't look like you need it.

The people I've seen walking with a cane, or carrying it, who looked like they didn't need it caught my eye and kept it.

It's kind of obvious why you're carrying it, to anyone who might care, if you don't need it.

Although it may just be an affectation, it still draws attention. It's a really cool idea if you look like a stereotypical cane carrier, but draws too much attention IMO otherwise. Both because of the fact it's clearly a bludgeoning weapon, and it seems affectatious

my 2c.

Moonclip
March 4, 2008, 11:09 PM
I use my shillelagh as a walking cane when my back flares up but usually when this occurs I'm in no shape for a fight!

BullfrogKen
March 5, 2008, 03:44 AM
These things have really gone up in price since we ordered them (any metal products have gone up), but about 5 years ago the NTI Team placed a bulk order for these canes.

Made by the West Georgia Golf Company (http://www.wgagolf.com/index.cfm?rqstnm=tmpg&strngvr1=WCI4016P) the Bridges Walking Companion has gone places no weapon is allowed. Walked right through metal detectors with it. Buzzing of course, but I was not asked to surrender it.

They're made from either aluminum or titanium shafts, your choice. And have some rather nice solid brass handles. hso, if enough people were interested here, they'll go for a group purchase. The prices go down significantly.

iratollah
March 5, 2008, 03:49 AM
I regularly carry a walking stick. Either a Cold Steel walking stick, or sometimes a Burger swordcane. The swordcane however isn't legal in my area, so I prefer the plain old walking stick.

Burger MkIV - superior craftsmanship, top of the line. Integral collar with invisible seam so it doesn't scream 'Sword Cane'.
http://www.swordcane.com/markpics/mk4_small.jpg

Does it look strategic or out of place on a guy my age? You bet. But I believe that it gives the BG reason to consider someone else.

We were recently in Guatemala and one evening a group of four churros decided to pay attention to others once they saw my stick. Years ago, wife and I would come out from the theatre and the winos would be sitting on my car. When I finally started carrying a walking stick, as I would approach the car and lift the stick onto my shoulder it was like Moses parting the Red Sea, the bums would scatter.

I find the stick quite fashionable, you can legally carry it onto the airplane when you travel, and it's intimidating to the ne'er-do-wells.

Brian Dale
March 5, 2008, 03:57 AM
No sword cane for me, thanks; not my style. I also don't try to intimidate "ne'er-do-wells." I just remain uninteresting, nod, and we go our separate ways.

Pax Jordana
March 5, 2008, 11:59 AM
I think it really draws unwanted attention if you're younger (<55) and don't look like you need it.

Remember when you first started carrying, and you felt exposed? You need to sell it first, so that others around you will buy it! What's not looking like you need it?? Check youtube, you'll see lots of otherwise fit looking folks getting themselves into all manner of things that may require a cane (in addition to months of rehab, ahem).

This is obviously gonna be another agree to disagree topic, which is cool, because this is the high road. I'm just saying that on the street, a stick in capable hands is an awfully formidable weapon, and probably the biggest one you'll see that isn't a gun.

The only caveat I can think of is that, while still within your rights to carry one furdaheluvit, if you somehow end up going to trial on an assault/SD incident you'll have a harder time disproving the offensive weapon allegation (an obvious one for a prosecutor to make) without some manner of medical history - that's if you're a young guy. "Traction/Balance" doesn't stand up as well as "a history of degenerative joint disease" or even "I got clipped really hard playing football and was out the rest of the season"..

zxcvbob
March 5, 2008, 12:13 PM
Made by the West Georgia Golf Company the Bridges Walking Companion has gone places no weapon is allowed. Walked right through metal detectors with it. Buzzing of course, but I was not asked to surrender it.

Is it strong enough? Looks kind of slender...

BullfrogKen
March 5, 2008, 04:52 PM
zxcvbob said: Is it strong enough? Looks kind of slender...

Strong enough for what? I wouldn't advise you straddle it across two chairs and stand on it. But if you'll notice who it is that produces these, it's a golf club manufacturer. Golf clubs are pretty slender, too. But you've got to try to break one to break it.

Of the 40+ that were ordered 5 years ago, I know of none that have broken. And these weren't being bought by old people who have bad hips. These have been used in cane training, and struck sparring dummies full force. About the only damage that has occurred to mine is a couple tiny spots where the paint flecked off a bit.

They're pretty darn stout.

zxcvbob
March 5, 2008, 05:31 PM
...and struck sparring dummies full force.

That would be strong enough then. Thanks.

Penman
March 8, 2008, 12:28 AM
In 1984 we went to the LA Olympics. I got a straight grained oak 2x2 and had a wood worker friend draw knife it down to a stout walking stick. I finished it with linseed oil, added a crutch tip, and practiced baton techniques. Carried it through the venues with no problems.

GunTech
March 8, 2008, 01:03 AM
I made quite a number of 'fighting' canes for people in the past. I like cocobolo and African blackwood. Both are dense and strong - far stronger than the best oak. They are both attractive as well.

Be advised that you'll have much better luck working these hardwoods with metal working tools.

GunTech
March 8, 2008, 01:06 AM
Burger MkIV - superior craftsmanship, top of the line. Integral collar with invisible seam so it doesn't scream 'Sword Cane'.


His work is impeccable (I thought it was Dave, but apparently it's Barry), but how many want to/can pay the $1200 or thereabouts he charges for his top of the line? Although it looks like some of his models are much more affordable ($350-900)

Fans of sword canes should definitely check out his new web site:

http://www.swordcane.com/burger_swords_home.htm

LAK
March 9, 2008, 08:51 AM
Check out iron bamboo and look at;

http://www.brazos-walking-sticks.com/category/iron_bamboo_cane.html?first=1

Also see "GIFTS" and "walking sticks" at;

http://www.yucatanbamboo.com/

FSCJedi
March 10, 2008, 04:35 AM
I'm going to be 27 in June and I've been walking with a cane due to a knee injury for almost a full year now. I don't see me getting rid of it any time in the near future. I'm about to fly home on leave and hope I don't get any grief for having my cane with me. Lucky for me I've got a military medical profile that states I can use the cane to walk and I have a noticeable limp when I don't use the cane.

roo_ster
March 13, 2008, 04:02 PM
After a bad jump and worse surgery in the Army, I used a cane for some months.

Ten years on, I think I could pull it off, no problem.

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