I totally agree, in real sparring and more in real fight, you only use very few effective moves. Less is more, practicing them over and over until it's natural.I was on line looking through stick sparring and they really only do about 2 or three things. And proficiency seems to be how well you can time them and game the other guy.
I found very few stick fighting with two hands, that's one of the problem also. It's very different from single hand stick. I am too old to join a class, also I don't know of anywhere that teaches sticks with two hands. So I pretty much using my experience in TKD/kickboxing I learn back in the days to guide me. I know stick fight with two hands is completely different from Katana sword fight, so that's not my option either.
It's hard to learn timing if I don't have anyone to practice with. I asked my neighbor that is into Kung fu, but he doesn't want to do it. There is very few FMA school, I really don't want to learn any Chinese style ( even I am a Chinese) because I deem them too fancy and have no real life use. So I think my best bet is to learn how to hit as fast as I can and hit as hard as I can.
I believe in less is more, the simpler that better. So far, I only practice 4 strikes, two high and two low. Then thrusting (poking) with the tip of the cane from both sides. That's it. Just like I practice jab and reverse punch, simple front kicks, step kick to the knee and low round house kick to the leg. That's it. I only practice how to hit hard and move smoothly. None of those fancy blocking and fancy moves.
Hell, look at all those fancy moves on blocking and all then you look at the MMA and Boxing, they defend punching by simple head movement and parrying. You try to use those fancy defense, you'll get KO before you can even raise your hands. Why even spend one second learning those fancy stuffs. Hit hard, move away!!!
Makes me laugh when I saw those videos that taught using the hook of the cane to trap the arms, hook the neck and all those fancy moves. Total waste of time to even try those. Maybe good for in the movies.