Beginner in self defense using cane want suggestions

Alan0354

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I have been practicing self defense with a cane for about 2 1/2 months only mainly because of all the attack on older Asians lately. A cane is the most inconspicuous for a 68 years old senior like me. I mainly use my experience from Kick Boxing I practiced long time ago and watching some instruction videos and youtubes to filter out what I consider useful. My goal is mainly self defense, not learning any particular style. I recorded a short video what I have been practicing so far, please make suggestions what I need to work on and watch out.


I am using a 11oz rattan stick with skin in the video. I notice my footwork is slow, I think it's because of the old age. I wonder whether I should increase the weight of the cane. Since I am slow on the feet, a little slower on the cane might not be as critical. A heavier cane will give me more stopping power.
Thanks
 
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jobo

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I have been practicing self defense with a cane for about 2 1/2 months only mainly because of all the attack on older Asians lately. A cane is the most inconspicuous for a 68 years old senior like me. I mainly use my experience from Kick Boxing I practiced long time ago and watching some instruction videos and youtubes to filter out what I consider useful. My goal is mainly self defense, not learning any particular style. I recorded a short video what I have been practicing so far, please make suggestions what I need to work on and watch out.


I am using a 11oz rattan stick with skin in the video. I notice my footwork is slow, I think it's because of the old age. I wonder whether I should increase the weight of the cane. Since I am slow on the feet, a little slower on the cane might not be as critical. A heavier cane will give me more stopping power.
Thanks
stop twirling it like a cheer leader and practice hitting things
 
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Alan0354

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stop twirling it like a cheer leader and practice hitting things
Thanks

Still too much? I thought I should at least put some in. I usually practice with a little heavier sticks I don't twirl as much( too heavy for that). I thought I supposed to show at least doing a little as this is FMA!!!

You mean hitting bags? Yes, I do that also as part of the practice. I even have sticks that wrapped with rubber foam to protect the heavy bags from being damage and do rounds on the bags. Yes, hitting bags is a totally different thing, just like kicking and punching, nothing can substitute actually hitting something.
 

Christopher Adamchek

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basic active attacks - check
without large expanse youll need a hidden thrust, a block/parry or two, and a few simple hook controls
 

jobo

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Thanks

Still too much? I thought I should at least put some in. I usually practice with a little heavier sticks I don't twirl as much( too heavy for that). I thought I supposed to show at least doing a little as this is FMA!!!

You mean hitting bags? Yes, I do that also as part of the practice. I even have sticks that wrapped with rubber foam to protect the heavy bags from being damage and do rounds on the bags. Yes, hitting bags is a totally different thing, just like kicking and punching, nothing can substitute actually hitting something.
ambush,,,, practice swinging it from an at rest position hanging down at the side and taking their head off, it coming wide probably at the limit of their sideways visionn, your almost certainly going to catch them by suprise,you may only get one go before they take it off you, make it count
 

RagingBull

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I have been practicing self defense with a cane for about 2 1/2 months only mainly because of all the attack on older Asians lately. A cane is the most inconspicuous for a 68 years old senior like me. I mainly use my experience from Kick Boxing I practiced long time ago and watching some instruction videos and youtubes to filter out what I consider useful. My goal is mainly self defense, not learning any particular style. I recorded a short video what I have been practicing so far, please make suggestions what I need to work on and watch out.


I am using a 11oz rattan stick with skin in the video. I notice my footwork is slow, I think it's because of the old age. I wonder whether I should increase the weight of the cane. Since I am slow on the feet, a little slower on the cane might not be as critical. A heavier cane will give me more stopping power.
Thanks
Look up Emin if you have a school near you or latosa escrima. simple & direct. no BS spinning sticks & fancy stuff.
 

Tony Dismukes

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For a couple of months worth of being self taught, you're not doing badly, but there are definitely some things I would suggest you change up.

1) Your strikes are essentially what would be called a "moulinet" in saber practice. You'll also see it in single-stick practice, but since single-stick was largely a training tool for saber & backsword fighting that's understandable. You're spinning the stick in circles or figure eights primarily from your wrist and forearm. This can be effective in sword work because a long blade can inflict considerable damage without requiring massive power. However a stick or cane will be much less effective with this sort of strike. There is a place in stick fighting for lighter twirly strikes like that, but they are very much a secondary technique for after you learn to deliver power strikes which can reliably inflict knockout power.

I would recommend you start out with two basic strikes.

First is the "caveman" - a downward diagonal strike from right to left. Start with your right foot forward and the stick cocked over your right shoulder then pivot your hips and lead foot like you were delivering a lead hook from boxing as you use your entire body to pull the stick in a full arc down and across your body. The hand holding the stick will end up close to your left hip, and you have the option to use your left hand to catch your right wrist to arrest the momentum. You also have the option of starting with a left foot lead and then stepping forward to deliver the strike in the same way. The key is that you are using your entire body to deliver the strike with the maximum power. This is essentially the most natural, instinctive way that even an untrained person might swing a stick if they were really trying to hurt someone. Even so, this "instinctive" approach can be refined with lots of repetition to increase your speed, power, balance, accuracy, and non-telegraphic delivery. (Down the line you can also learn how to let this strike naturally flow into a recovery arc which leads to follow up strikes, but for now just focus on developing a strike which could reliably damage or deter a tough aggressive adversary with a high-pain tolerance.)

The second is just the reverse strike coming upwards diagonally from left to right. After you've delivered your caveman strike, twist your hips back the other direction and use your whole body to bring your stick back up through the same path it came down. If you used your left hand to catch your right wrist on the downwards swing, you can now use it to push off and give your swing a little more oomph. You should end up in the same position you started your caveman strike, with the stick cocked over your right shoulder.

If you can consistently deliver solid speed and power with those two strikes, then you've already developed a lot of self-defense potential against an untrained attacker. Next I'd recommend working on a forehand and backhand horizontal strike, using pretty much the same body dynamics. Only once you know that you have reliable knockout power in those four strikes would I move on to twirls, jabs, and fancier strikes.

2) You are frequently ending your downward left-to-right diagonal strikes with your cane extended out to your right and low. There are techniques you can use from this position, but it's really not ideal for stick fighting. When you do get to the point of practicing the downward left-to-right diagonal strike, allow the momentum to carry your stick in an arc all the way up to your right shoulder, where it will be cocked and ready for the caveman strike.

3) I wouldn't worry too much about your footwork speed at the moment. I would recommend that you work on your footwork angles. Try to cut 45 degree angles both forward and backwards.

There's a lot more I could help you with in person, but the suggestions above are things you can work on solo and hopefully see some results.
 
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Alan0354

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Thanks Tony

Thanks for the detail instruction. I practiced this morning on what you suggested. Starting from left or right shoulder, cut diagonally down( with right hand). When cut from left shoulder down, I try to recover the cane back to right shoulder. Then reverse from lower and swing diagonally up ( like reverse the down cut). The reverse is HARD. The hand is in strange position and is hard to swing hard. Took me a while to get a little smoother.

I have to try swing from low to high on a heavy bag, I worry the stick might fly off when I hit something. Today is not the bag hitting day as I have to give the heavy bag a day off!!! I worry the stick might break the bags. I already put foam rubber tubes over the canes to hit the bag, but it's still quite harsh. So I limit to hitting bags twice a week only. The picture show 2) and 4) are padded. 2) is lighter for single hand strike and 4 is heavier for two hand strikes.
Canes.jpg


I usually use a heavier cane and don't do as much twirling as in the video. But I never practice like you suggested. I am going to practice your suggestions for say a month and see what happens.

Thanks

 
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Alan0354

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ambush,,,, practice swinging it from an at rest position hanging down at the side and taking their head off, it coming wide probably at the limit of their sideways visionn, your almost certainly going to catch them by suprise,you may only get one go before they take it off you, make it count
Thanks

I practiced swing from rest position hanging down. It's NOT easy. I got a little better, still have a long way to go. Feels very unnatural to swing from that position. But I know it's important to strike like that. So I just keep practicing.

Thanks
 

geezer

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watch @ 8:45 how he strikes... Pfoom..Pfoom power
Raging - Had no idea that you were a fellow member of the Pfoom! club. GM Rene was my teacher back in the 80s -90s. Later trained a little bit with Emin too. I teach a little escrima here in Arizona and you are entirely right.

First thing Alan needs to train is power generation. Grab the cane with two hands and learn to drop his weight into the strike. Then build some "short power".
 
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geezer

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basic active attacks - check
without large expanse youll need a hidden thrust, a block/parry or two, and a few simple hook controls
For self-defense, I'd leave out the hook controls.

1. The best thing about the crook (if your cane has one) is how it aids weapon retention.
2. The second thing is that if you swing it holding the straight end (regardless of number 1 above), it adds weight and augments impact.
3. The worst thing is to try and use the crook to grapple and lock.

If you are an older guy training for self-defense, remember that your attacker is likely younger, bigger, stronger and more accustomed to violence than you are. Swinging a cane properly (with real force) gives you distance and deterrence. IMO, getting in close and trying to use hook controls is ill-considered against a stronger opponent. He may well just take your weapon away and use it on you.

...but then my thinking has been unduly influenced by the likes of GM Latosa, Brady Brazil, Emin Boztepe, and DTE GM Martin Torres. ;)
 
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Alan0354

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Raging - Had no idea that you were a fellow member of the Pfoom! club. GM Rene was my teacher back in the 80s -90s. Later trained a little bit with Emin too. I teach a little escrima here in Arizona and you are entirely right.

First thing Alan need to train is power generation. Grab the cane with two hands and learn to drop his weight into the strike. Then build some "short power".
Thanks

I do practice with two hands. Actually because I have capal tunnel on my right hand( I had surgery on my left already), I actually spend equal time on right, left and both hands. I afraid I need surgery on my right hand sooner or later. My right hand will be disabled for a few months. So I need to practice with left hand also. I only use right hand in my video. My left hand is not as good.

I am splitting equal time between left, right and both hands. Same as in hitting the heavy bags.
 
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Alan0354

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For self-defense, I'd leave out the hook controls.

1. The best thing about the crook (if your can has one) is how it aids weapon retention.
2. The second thing is that if you swing it holding the straight end (regardless of number 1 above), it adds weight and augments impact.
3. The worst thing is to try and use the crook to grapple and lock.

If you are an older guy training for self-defense, remember that your attacker is likely younger, bigger, stronger and more accustomed to violence than you are. Swinging a cane properly (with real force) gives you distance and deterrence. IMO, getting in close and trying to use hook controls is ill-considered against a stronger opponent. He may well just take your weapon away and use it on you.

...but then my thinking has been unduly influenced by the likes of GM Latosa, Brady Brazil, Emin Boztepe, and DTE GM Martin Torres. ;)
I agree totally, I skip all the hook, block and all that. I just laugh those off. I did enough Tae Kwon Do and Kick boxing and sparing to know, Unless you fight someone that is a whole lot worst in skill than you, you likely don't have time to react to an attack to block, step out of the way and all that fancy stuff. This is particular true if I am practice alone, I have no one to practice the timing. More importantly, I am slow also from old age.

That's what I was talking about watching youtube, when I see demo to use the hook to hook, grab and all that, I just fast forward. Too many people like to talk and make up all the fancy move that is absolutely useless in real life.

I do spend time practicing stepping back, side to side after I strike to avoid counter attack. When I practice, I usually don't twirl the cane around like in the video. I actually use a lighter cane to do the video thinking that since this is FMA that use a lot of twirling, I should put it in. When I use a heavier cane, I don't twirl.

Yes, I turn the cane around for two hand strike also.

Thanks
 
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geezer

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Alan, read and re-read Tony's post above. He really knows his stuff. Like he said, learn a powerful #1 or "Caveman" strike and a #2 or "Reverse". To that I would add a #3 and #4 or horizontal strikes (like swinging a bat) which you can direct at your opponent's legs.

Finally I'd add a low and high double handed thrust. Here are so miscellaneous videos that I thought were better than average:

1. Michael Janich with a few self defense ideas:

2. James Lafond, a really eccentric, contrarian guy with a really common-sense view of how to use a cane. Also, he's old and fat like me:
 
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Alan0354

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I have problem with reverse strike, first from left slashing down to the right side, then reverse coming up from left to the right side. This is the same idea from Jobo to hold the stick with right hand with the stick pointing to the ground( just like you walk with it), then swing up from that position. I just cannot generate force. I tried this on the kicking bag, I can't even make a pop coming from lower right swinging up to the left!!! Any pointers for me?

Slashing from right down to left and reverse the swing from lower left back to upper right is doable, not as hard as I want, but at least I can strike. But the first strike from cane resting position pointing on the ground is about the most important move to surprise the attacker. I just don't know how to hit hard.

BTW, I do practice horizontal swing from left or right to the leg all the time, I missed a lot of my movement in my video. I also practice two hand poking like the video by Geezer in post #17. My question is whether it has the same stopping power as swinging the stick.

I know I have a thread on my canes, I am currently carrying 2) in the picture. It might look thin, actually it is 13.5oz make of very stiff material. It is the Cold Steel City Stick. Problem is it is not good for two hand. 1) is the rattan, it's only 11oz, but as you suggested, I can turn it around and hold the end with two hand and strike hard. 3) is 17oz, it's a little heavy for single hand. I am working up to it, I am not there yet on 17oz. For two hands, it's perfect.

My question is whether the 11oz rattan cane have enough stopping power, this, I can have option of turn it around and use two hands. The place is out of stock, when they have new shipment, I can ask them to pick an even bigger and heavier one like 12 to 13oz after cutting it down.

Here is my 3 favorite canes:

My 3 sticks.jpg


Notice I almost cut the hook completely off, there goes to show I never care to even think about hooking and all that. I just want to cut as much weight off as possible.

I was told with the given weight, the thinner the stick, the better as it create more pressure as the contact area is smaller and do more damage. That's why I choose the 2) as the main cane so far as it's 13.5oz, quite heavy and only 3/4" diameter.

Thanks
 

Tony Dismukes

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I have problem with reverse strike, first from left slashing down to the right side, then reverse coming up from left to the right side. This is the same idea from Jobo to hold the stick with right hand with the stick pointing to the ground( just like you walk with it), then swing up from that position. I just cannot generate force. I tried this on the kicking bag, I can't even make a pop coming from lower right swinging up to the left!!! Any pointers for me?

Slashing from right down to left and reverse the swing from lower left back to upper right is doable, not as hard as I want, but at least I can strike. But the first strike from cane resting position pointing on the ground is about the most important move to surprise the attacker. I just don't know how to hit hard.
First, let's make sure you're starting from the correct position for the upwards backhand diagonal strike. This is not the same as starting with the stick on the ground - that's a much trickier position to generate power from.

After you've completed your initial right-handed caveman strike, your right hand should be in the general vicinity of your left hip - perhaps a little higher depending on your proportions. You may have your right wrist cupped against your left palm. The tip of the stick should be pointing upwards and slightly backwards. Your hips should be rotated to the left and your front foot should be pivoted to the left, as if you had just thrown a lead hook. Your body should feel somewhat like a coiled spring - lots of potential energy ready to be released. To use that energy, drive off your left leg to uncoil your body and pivot your hips (and your front foot) back to the front. It should feel somewhat like throwing a rear cross or reverse punch as a follow up to a hook. In fact, you can even use your left hand in a palm strike motion to help throw your stick arm along its way. Don't aim for the surface of your target - you're swinging the stick all the way back up to your starting position cocked on your right shoulder.

Give that a try and if you're still having problems then post another video and we can try to troubleshoot any issues.
 

Blackstaff

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I have been practicing self defense with a cane for about 2 1/2 months only mainly because of all the attack on older Asians lately. A cane is the most inconspicuous for a 68 years old senior like me. I mainly use my experience from Kick Boxing I practiced long time ago and watching some instruction videos and youtubes to filter out what I consider useful. My goal is mainly self defense, not learning any particular style. I recorded a short video what I have been practicing so far, please make suggestions what I need to work on and watch out.


I am using a 11oz rattan stick with skin in the video. I notice my footwork is slow, I think it's because of the old age. I wonder whether I should increase the weight of the cane. Since I am slow on the feet, a little slower on the cane might not be as critical. A heavier cane will give me more stopping power.
Thanks

I happened across this thread, and I think you already have tons of great advice here, much of it I'd have given myself as a disabled cane user.

I occasionally use twirls as warmups and to keep joints limber, but I don't personally like it at all for any kind of defense as you could drop it or it could get taken away relatively easily, etc etc. I mostly practice with those basic strikes (up and down) that have been mentioned previously.

There are some pretty nice videos here. Most cane stuff I find is for abled and strong people who just happen to want to use the cane but could just as easily toss it no problem. It is difficult, but not impossible, to find people who produce instruction for people who train with a cane who.... need a cane. I get why that is, and I am happy the cane is sort of experiencing a surge in popularity (or so it seems, but this could be my confirmation bias due to my own interests and searches) but I think a lot of that is that the cane is innocuous, and people are looking for this sort of "take anywhere" force multiplier. I enjoy training with a cane, but sometimes I can't help but wonder how I'd feel about it if I was a person who didn't actually need a cane just to move about daily. I don't think I'd do it. But I'm biased a bit by my need for a cane, and I barely remember what it was like to not need one since aged 16.

Training with a cane on your own is hard (IMHO) because it can be difficult to prepare for situations where you might use it or someone else might grab it. I applaud you for taking this initiative and I hope you find it rewarding.
 
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