Self Defense Using a Stick or Cane

An untrained armed person has an advantage over an untrained unarmed person.

In any society, the ability to defend one's self has been essential for survival. We pass laws to punish those who transgress personal safety but that does not help the one who has been violated. It can only discourage further transgressions. To what degree they are discouraged is debatable.

One of the more effective, legal and socially acceptable weapons available to anyone is a simple cane or walking stick. I'm going discuss self-defense using a cane with a curved handle that is about waist high. A short walking stick will apply as well.

If a cane is to be used as a weapon, select one that has a comfortable weight and feels strong. The ultra lights or strangely shaped will not be addressed in this document. Only the most basic moves will be mentioned and the attempt is to give you and "edge" not make you a trained killer.

Consider the basic moves that can be made with a cane. There are two: a strike and a jab. Needless to say, there are many variations within the basics possible but, for self-defense, simple is better. Also consider that self-defense implies preventing damage to you and yours so that you can escape from the threat. It does not mean reducing the offender to a puddle of mush. While this may be satisfying it is unlikely and probably illegal. Defending one's self is frowned on it today's society so be very cautious about using "excessive" force.

First, we'll consider meeting an assailant, one on one, and he as no weapon. If you are walking, it is likely that the cane will be in your right hand with the tip on the ground. If you are accosted from the front, by placing your left hand about eight inches below your right hand, which is on the curve of the handle, with a scissor like motion, you can whip the tip of the cane upwards to strike a hand reaching for you or that is exposed and threatening you. Attempt to strike with the part of the cane a few inches below the tip and try to strike the joint of the wrist.

The scissor motion will move the tip of the cane at high velocity, and no matter where it strikes, it will hurt and possibly break bones. Pain is a distraction to your opponent and may offer sufficient time for escape. Broken bones are more than a mere distraction and can only work to your benefit.

When attempting an escape, be cautious of turning your back on an assailant. Raise your cane across your chest, holding it is a loose comfortable grip or with a rifle like grip, point it at your opponent (a position that permits forceful jabs) and cautiously back away. DON'T trip over something behind you!

The preceding move has a very natural follow through that can be considered. Slide the left hand towards the tip of the cane and raise the left hand and arm. This will put you in a position to strike to the head or clavicle region.

From this position, bringing the right hand back to the ear will place the cane in a position for thrust at any target of opportunity.

Various grips can be used and the moves flow easily from one to the other. The same series is effective against an opponent who is attempting an underhand thrust or low slash with a knife.

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