Input on using a cane for self defense?

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by geezer, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. Brian King

    Brian King Master of Arts

    • Supporting Member
    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    405
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Bellevue, Washington USA
    @geezer
    Geezer, Somebody with limited mobility due to age, illnesses, or injuries has more to face than just their mobility issues. There will likely be a greater fear of falling and greater fear of injury. Many martial students also have fear/reluctance of hurting another human. To swing a fist at someone can be difficult but to swing a stick can be even more so. I am sure with your experience in training the stick you have seen the reluctance manifested in targeting drills and such. With these issues in mind with along with the topic of “using a cane for self defense” a few quick thoughts have come to mind. You already know how to teach targeting, and which targets they might wish to hit to incapacitate or disable their attacker(s) and can certainly teach someone to hit hard and break things. That said, whacking a bag and especially being the one holding the bag can help deliver some confidence.

    Just as important or maybe even more so, would be teaching the students how to fall relatively safely and how to get up. An interesting drill for you and your whole class to do that helps teach how to fall while injured and how to possibly get up while injured (this drill will give you tons of empathy to those with injuries or loss of mobility and give you some very good feedback on how to teach these important skills) Have all students take a Jo or Bo sized stick and shove it down their pant leg or tie it ankle and belt. Once the stick is in place – fall, repeatedly. Fall onto stomach, fall onto ‘free’ side, fall onto stick side (yes it might produce stick on bone at least once…this is good) and fall onto back. Practice some forward and backward rolls. Of course, after each fall you must get up but try to get up differently each time for the exploration. Then pair up. One partner has the stick limitation and the other partner trips him up, pushes him down, steps into the space the partner needs to get up or fall, etc. The one with limitations is not fighting back, but rather enjoying the exploration of falling and getting up with a partner that is getting in the way and helping the exploration of unexpected choices and chaos.

    So, the person with the cane is in a self defense scenario and has taken out the attacker’s knee, groin, or throat and is able to limp off into the sunset, awesome. But what if instead of that they slip, fall, or are knocked down…now what. Hopefully they kept their wits and their cane. The cane can be used as a stiff and tough frame/shield. A drill to play with would have your students partner up with one getting a stick and the other getting a stomp and kick attitude. The one on the ground must keep both hands on their cane but can move their body how ever they want but they must stay on the ground for this drill. The other partner is allowed to circle, jump, skip, yell, whatever they want as they approach the prone partner and kick at them (make f’n contact, if the students wish or the prone student is new to contact the kicks can be solid pushes rather than strikes) The prone student will quickly learn to use the stick to frame (one end in the ground works very well and is strong) and lightly parry the kick and then be able to counter by levering or simply let the end stick the kicker as they pass by or over. The kickers will want to start out a bit slower and steadier or at least they will want to after catching a surprise stick end. Have them for sake of the drill walk up to the prone partner and without stopping walk right over their partner if able. Then walk up and without changing pace change the walk to a stomping stomp type of walk, then walking up and kicking but without stopping and aiming. The idea is to learn how to target something/someone on the ground with a kick without having to stop or change pace. One is learning how to parry, and counter while grounded with a cane and the other should be learning distancing, commitment to the attack, and how to protect vulnerable targets during the offensive movements.

    For those that must use the cane it is important to learn how to hold onto the cane. Partnered push-ups, sit-ups and squats where the partners must each somehow together hold the cane while doing various exercises is an interesting and useful teaching tool. As is partnered falling and getting up – again having to both keep hold of the cane while performing these movements.

    Finally, prior to the end of class have the students partner up and using the cane one gives the other a nice rub down/massage using the cane to rub the leg and arm muscles of the other. The cane can hurt but like most things can also relieve and heal.

    Perhaps these ideas will feed your imagination and give you your own ideas and explorations. Helping someone cope with a little less fear, to explore the limiting and the frightful in a safe environment is a good thing.


    Good luck

    Brian
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    5,960
    Likes Received:
    2,153
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Brian, unfortunately we can only pick one rating icon, otherwise I would have picked informative, like, and agree. Thanks for the thoughtful and useful input!

    Interestingly, my little group has a couple of gnarly old guys who wouldn't hesitate a moment before whacking an attacker with a stick as hard as they can.

    One is a roofer in his mid sixties who has really gimpy knees do to years in his trade, some falls off ladders, and a few rough landings sky-diving. He still does roofs, with just one assistant, in Phoenix, in the summer. Also, his knuckles have huge "ram's horns" from doing hard, old-school TKD training in his youth.

    The best thing about that guy is that since he can't run very fast, anybody foolish enough to attack him has a chance to get away alive!
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Blackstaff

    Blackstaff White Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Just wanted to pop by to say thanks, I know it's been a minute. Will definitely be looking through these posts further.

    I see some of you asked about things a disabled or more enfeebled person could do with a cane, as opposed to someone who is more physically able. Thank you for that.
     
  4. Hanshi

    Hanshi Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    Virginia
    I'll be watching the videos you posted later as I'm under time constraints at present. I'm a martial arts teacher but am retired. I am also disabled and have to use a cane outside of the house or when not in buildings. The cane I use is simply a shortened shepherd's staff cut from its 6 foot length to the correct size. It is made of oak with a flat rubber tip. I've trained with the cane and at least mostly agree with your approach. I couldn't swing it around if my life depended on doing so. Rheumatoid arthritis have weakened my hands too much. But I can do strikes, locks and blocks. My training, including the traditional Okinawan/Japanese, is basically "environmental" and consists of everyday items as well as firearms and blades. Being physically disabled sucks and majorly affects what one can do in any confrontation. I don't even walk so well now. So yes, most of what passes for defensive cane work on the videos available is worse than useless for someone with heavy limitations. I look forward to watching your posted videos asap.
     
    • Like Like x 2

Share This Page