View Full Version : The Cane

Rich Lucibella
October 23, 1998, 02:13 PM
OK, let me see if I can't help stir things up here. I've been the beneficiary of EW courses with Kevin McClung of Mad Dog Tactical ( http://www.mdenterprise.com/ ) and I currently train with Forum Member, Hilton, in Dog Brothers, Filipino, and various other styles of armed and unarmed conflict resolution.

I was introduced to the concept of the cane as a practical CQB weapon by Kevin McClung. As Kevin pointed out, a decent cane, purchased at any yard or tag sale, can make a rather formidable weapon in the right hands...better than a "Tactical Folder"; perhaps superior to a fixed blade fighter.

I did some research after the seminar and found a company called CaneMasters that makes hickory and oak fighting canes. These are indistinguishable from the common therapeutic cane, except for a wider crook, semi-sharpened hook and pattern for a hand grip. I now own 3 of these...think I'm hooked?

I've since taken up one on one lessons in use of the cane with a Kung Fu Master. Though, I'm hardly more proficient than I would be with a 32oz Louisville Slugger, I "endeavor to persevere". I highly recommend this item for occasions when a firearm or suitable edged weapon is not available...eg: travel to foreign countries like Ca, NY, MA, NJ. The cane is innocuous looking and requires no feigned "limp" to remain so. Once you get used to it in your hand, it becomes virtually unnoticed by the public.

I recently carried a custom combat cane on a trip to Las Vegas. While airport security repeatedly challenged, measured, discussed and eventually returned my large Sebenza, they never gave the cane a second glance. Neither did the hotel or casino personnel. This is a weapon worth considering.

Mark Shuey from CaneMasters may be reached at http://www.canemasters.com/ . If you're lucky enough to talk to him personally, tell him I said hello and invite him to drop by.

Rich Lucibella

October 23, 1998, 02:38 PM
I think the fighting cane can be a formidable weapon, indeed, in the right hands. I have no practical knowledge of them, but its worthy of a closer look. I am rather proficiant with the Katana, having taken Kenjutsi for 2 1/2 years (just scratching the surface) and am thinking of getting a sword cane since that would be more familiar to me. I realize though, that a sword cane probably wouldnt pass the scrutiny of some security personnel while flying. In that case your choice would be the better. Incidentally, have you ever seen "The Killer Elite" with James Caan? Some good cane action in that. I thought I read somewhere that he acctually attended a Dojo somewhere to learn proper technique, but I may be wrong.
Take care,

October 23, 1998, 02:40 PM
Now this looks like something I have to look into.

Thanks for the heads up Rich!

Rich Lucibella
October 23, 1998, 02:53 PM
Hope you don't mind the familiarity....can't tell if that's an "0" or an "o". Indeed I remember the movie (with James Caan, Robert Duval and Mako). My recollection was that the style was Korean Hwa Rang Do, though I won't swear to this. The Japanese and Chinese also have cane styles. (CaneMasters offers a fairly good video training set...to the extent that video training can be termed "good". The style is Japanese)

I seem to recall that one of the Billy Jack movies also featured a Korean practitioner (Joo Bang Lee? He Il Cho?), with some great cane fighting sequences.

October 23, 1998, 03:31 PM
Besides the hook part, I done see how that is an advantage over an ASP baton. ASPs are collapsable, you can even carry them concealed untill needed. And I have never seen an ASP break. But I have seen ASPs break other things! http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/smile.gif

October 23, 1998, 03:44 PM

Have you created a mount for the cane on your motorcycles yet, and are you bringing them this weekend? http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/wink.gif

Looking forward to it.


Rich Lucibella
October 23, 1998, 04:10 PM
ASP's are not legal for carry everywhere. As you point out, the ASP has no sharp hook, which can be really neat at grappling distances. ASP's require a split second to deploy. The cane is already in your hand. Regarding breakage, Clint Eastwood said it best: "Nothing like a good piece of hickory".

I'm not extolling the virtues of the cane *over* the ASP Baton, mind you. I only offer it up as one more tactical alternative in an increasingly hoplophobic world.

Thought you'd never ask! Actually, all it takes is three 6" bungies and one length of foam pipe insulation from Home Depot. The insulation sheath and cane can be attached to the saddle back top rack in seconds. After that, you slide it out (like a sword), when you get off, and slide it back in before you get on. Had it with me constantly during a 2 week bike trip to MN and ND in August.

As this weekend's trip will be in Free America, I'll opt for the Glock 29. If the unthinkable happens, I'd prefer to back you up with that http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/smile.gif. I may have been born at nite, but not last nite!

[This message has been edited by Rich Lucibella (edited 10-23-98).]

October 23, 1998, 05:34 PM
It's supposed to be 01paw( one paw), but I inadvertantly pushed the "oh" instead of the zero and, well, just been to lazy to change it and its kinda stuck. I dont mind the familiarity at all. You can call me 'Paw, 01paw, whatever. Just please dont call me ol'paw(as in old paw-common mistake considering my typing snafu) before my time http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/smile.gif I think I'll check out those sites you listed. Sounds like an interesting art.

October 23, 1998, 07:45 PM
Hello, gentlemen. Rich, Blues, good to see you. I can say that Bujinkan budo- which primarily focuses on "low observability" weapons and tactics- teaches the 3 foot stick or "hanbo" almost immediately. I feel that a straight stick is a little more versatile, but the cane is undeniably more covert.

Kodiac, while it is true that ASP batons are more size-efficient, that is a mixed blessing when the chips are down. 35 inches beats 21 or 26, and while the ASP is indeed more compact, the cane will be in your hand, and thus, more accessible.

October 24, 1998, 08:42 PM
The cane has been the choice of the homeless for years and why not? They get them free from the armory, aka: Health Department. Gee doc, my leg is hurting and I can't put much weight on it. Thankfully, unlike Col. Applegate (bless his soul and may he RIP), they don't know how to use it and with a PR24 and a .45, you'll always have the advantage.

Rich Lucibella
October 24, 1998, 09:57 PM
Welcome again(?) Mr. Spectre. Don't be a stranger...you're needed!

October 25, 1998, 04:05 AM
Rich, do those canes come in Polymer with night sites and an armourers course ? Are they single/ double or DAO? Sorry, couldn't resist... http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/smile.gif...HS (Gordon)

Rich Lucibella
October 25, 1998, 08:57 AM
No, but mine has a small thermonuclear device embedded in the tip http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/wink.gif.

October 25, 1998, 12:01 PM
Thermonuclear device on the tip? WHERE DO I GET ONE?!? (Big bang, big bang)

October 30, 1998, 12:30 AM

An additional advantage (besides length, legality, and faster reaction time) of the cane over an ASP is leverage. The expandable baton is utilized one-handed. A cane or 3-foot stick can be wielded with two hands, and a LOT more power- and accuracy under stress- can be had.

Rob Pincus
October 30, 1998, 01:56 AM
Back in the day I used to practice techniques using what we called a Jo staff, similar to a Bo, but about half the length. I have continued to work with Escrima sticks, which are probably a little shorter than the canes. I checked out the canemasters site and I just can't get used to the thought of that hook. I will expect a good demostration when we all get together (sooner than later, I hope), okay Rich???

Meanwhile, this conversation is really re-kindling my interest in carrying a cane (straight one, at least for now...) I just cannot see myself getting away with walking around with a cane, unless I am also wearing a top hat and/or limping. Survival Rule number one is "don't get noticed, no one will bother you". I just can't imagine walking through the mall with a cane without at least dragging a leg a little bit to explain it.

To me it would be like walking around with one of those Mini-Golfcart-Oxygen rigs, just in case I needed to blow something up. And If I did that, I would feel a need to wheeze and cough I guess. http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/wink.gif

October 30, 1998, 10:01 AM
I think I could go for a cane now...
Ouch, limp, ouch...

Rich Lucibella
October 30, 1998, 10:21 AM
Wish I was as proficient with the hook as I should be. I haven't taken full advantage of the 1 on 1 training offered by a local Kung Fu master. I hope to pick it up again soon. Currently, I'm training with Hilton in various styles, including Filipino stick arts. I would tend to use the cane in line with that training. However, you can use your imagination to see the hooks advantage at grappling distances.

Regarding the walking stick style cane, I believe this attracts far more attention and would might result in a stop at an airport or in certain jusisdictions.

I got comfortable carrying the cane without any feigned limp after taking it to a busy mall on a shopping trip. Nobody gave it a second glance, including the armed security at the jewelry store. YMMV

October 30, 1998, 01:21 PM
Rob, some friends and i have a cane that's made out of a pool cue and has a 2 ball on it. one buddy takes his to the VA with him when he goes. i've taken mine to a mall, and while i felt a little uncomfortable an conspicious, nobody paid any attention to it.
but as the ol' sayin' goes YMMV! http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/wink.gif

October 30, 1998, 05:59 PM
Cold Steel has made some wickedly effective canes. Their "Purple Heart" cane is gorgeous, and has a rounded head, not a crook. I like it. One can quickly and easily make a cane with a support grip, and can even make it look civilized with an hour's work. http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/smile.gif

October 31, 1998, 01:20 AM
Apart from the thermo nuculear tipped cane, how 'bout a .410 version ? SUPRISE !...grin, nudge http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/wink.gif...HS

Rob Pincus
October 31, 1998, 01:29 AM
there is a very cool .45 calibre civil war era cane in an antique shop in Nashville, the guy wants a lot of Dough for it though. It is very high quality, and has a little fold out trigger.

Rich Lucibella
October 31, 1998, 09:28 AM
If you're gonna carry a firearm, carry a firearm and leave the cane at home. If you can't carry a firearm, you'd hardly want one concealed in the cane.

I've seen some of gun canes and sword canes...neat items but, IMHO, novelty interest only.

Rob Pincus
October 31, 1998, 12:26 PM
oh, definitely, I wouldn't want a civil war era firearm for self defense either!

October 31, 1998, 02:18 PM
I have to agree that the cane can be a great weapon. Some years ago I blew my knee out at work and had to hobble around for quite some time. I hate crutches so I had a family friend ,who made canes as a hobby, make me up a custom cane. It`s made of hickory,has a slight twist to it so that it actually fits the contour of my leg a bit for support and has a large semi flat topped knob at the top carved to fit my hand. The bottom is capped with a crutch tip for stability. It was made out of a single piece that fit the bill. It`s very sturdy,pretty,and once scared off a fellow intent on picking a fight with me in a mall parking lot. You guys are getting me in the mood to break it out again and practice a few moves. http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/smile.gif Marcus

Lance Gothic
October 25, 2000, 12:26 AM
The Dec. 2000 issue of Black Belt Magazine has an article,(Pg. 82-86), regarding cane use. It highlights the site - www.canemasters.com. (http://www.canemasters.com.)
My apologies if I missed it but you didn't mention the scene in BILLY JACK using the cane defense. We must remember that these items are tools of our craft. And we must master their use lest we become like the bad carpenters whom blame their tools.
Royal regards to one and all.

October 25, 2000, 12:08 PM
I found out last month that the recurrance of a hip injury from a car accident 18 years ago is going to require me to schlep a cane around again (at least until the hip gets bad enough to require replacement - lucky me). Other than my new ability to pre-board aircraft ("Cripple coming through!"), this thread is the first good thing I've seen to come out of the new injury.

Thanks so much for the info!

October 25, 2000, 06:49 PM
I started playin with sticks n blades in the 40s, never let go. Uncle Sam paid for some deadly schoolin with them later. I USE a cane nowadays but used one for years.

Have learned to use a sacrificial cane when doin handgun drills or IDPA stuff. All kinds of bad things can happen to your cane when drawin on a pop up target.

For any level of dress, a cane is quite appropriate. It can be first strike lethal and fits in at federal buildings.

Sam...I used vertical mount on bikes, just like baton holder.

October 25, 2000, 07:38 PM
When growing up in Hawaii, my grandpa took me to River Street when I was little..he'd visit all his old Chinatown cronies and introduced me to a side of Chinese life that I had not known. The bad thing was River Street was also the hangout for the pool hustlers, the street thugs, prostitutes, and the guys that came looking for things that you couldn't get on the "good" side.
One of my uncles told me of an incident that he had seen where my grandpa was waiting for the bus with his cane in hand. Three sailors thought they'd make fun of the ol'Chinaman. He ignored them until one of them tried to take his cane away from him. The ambulance had to take two of them away and the rest didn't remember too much except that old man kept "using that cane."
Some of you may remember that in a previous thread, I had mentioned that my grandfather had come to Hawaii with Sun-Yat Sen. My grandfather was one of the bodyguards for President Sun Yat Sen, one of the leaders who tried to introduce democracy to China before the communist takeover.
Anyway, my understanding is that in order to be a bodyguard, you had to beat all comers in combat....armed or unarmed, and the one left standing becomes one of the bodyguards.
Even at 77 years old and 80 pounds soaking wet, my grandfather easily beat my brother who had taken 8 years of martial arts.
So, yes, in the right hands a cane can be a very effective weapon. I am 52 and a cane sounds like a good tool to help me walk.

October 25, 2000, 07:52 PM
My Kali instructor teaches cane techniques occasionally (I'm lucky enough to be his primary demo target). Downright scary what can be done with it.

I bought one at the local drugstore for $10 (tax exempt!), cheap enough to break or lose with no concern (unlike combat canes for over $100). There's no reason to think it's for any reason other than a cane. The CaneMasters cane, while excellently made for combat (thick oak, larger hook, grips, etc.), looks a little suspicious, and has the "CaneMasters" yin-yang logo - the wrong people may wonder at the wrong times.

Even as an apparently healthy 30something with no visible reason to carry it, I've carried it through airport security checks with the greatest of ease.

The only downside for a defensive cane is that people you know take sudden interest in your presumed pains and disabilities - you ARE walking with a cane! Last person who asked (ran into my boss at the airport) got "I'm eccentric" with a "don't ask" look.

I'm considering getting a swagger stick to carry instead - lacks the advantage of the hook, but looks more stylish instead of blaring "handicapped!"

Danger Dave
October 28, 2000, 10:40 PM
A cane, I believe, is one of the last completely practical weapons you can learn. You can carry it anywhere - to the mall, through the airport, into other countries - without attracting attention. Most of us - due to injuries or debilitation (like arthritis) will eventually need something to help us remain mobile at some point in our lives. Why not learn how to use it?

BTW, the guy who did the stunts in Billy Jack was Bong Soo Han, a Hapkido master. He was also in Kentucky Fried Movie.

Jody Hudson
October 29, 2000, 12:23 AM
As I have had severe back and pelvic problems for years I decided to get a good blackthorn cane (now several) and some lessons.
http://www.irishproducts.com/blackthorn.htm http://www.irishusa.com/clubs/ http://www.classiccanes.co.uk/ http://www.irishtartans.com/sticks.html
and it's hard to beat Cold Steel's Special Products where several sticks are featured. http://www.ltspecpro.com/index.html
My favorite is thier Blackthorn: http://www.ltspecpro.com/91bts.html

Be well,

Talk is cheap; Free Speech is NOT.

October 29, 2000, 09:55 PM
i own a custom made, straigh cane made from ash wood. its very thick, almost an inch and a half, and it has a copper tip on the bottom and a leather wrapped grip, that is so wrapped to use it as a baton.
its one tough mother
i use it as a cane because of some knee problems i have, but it has come in really handy once, a friend and i were out on halloween taking the friend little brother trick or treating and 5 guys came up and started beating on my friend, i ran over there and two of them took off when they saw the cane, which i held as a baton, and the other three decided they could take me.
none of them armed, one came at my from the side in a head down football type rush and i used the large, round object on top of his body as a target. he took off once he stood up.
then the other two came at me togather one of them getting it in the stomach tip first and then across the shoulders and to the back of the knees.
then my friend stepped is and the last guy took a swing at him. the cane made contact with the guys arm and it made a very sickening noise when the bone broke a came thru his skin. nice compound fracture if i do say so myself.
and then he took off.
i wanst ever touched but my friend lwas black and blue for a couple days.

canes are great weapons. i love mine.
i think everyone should have one. or two.

Nevada Fitch
October 29, 2000, 10:14 PM
Well, I hope the anti's and the Democrates don't get wind of this. They will all want us to get some kind of identification card to carry one of these.

October 29, 2000, 10:26 PM
Sorry to be a wet blanket on the canefest.
In Tx, there is an anticlub law. Driving around with a shorty baseball bat can get you in trouble.

If you do use the cane in a questionable situation, it will come up that you have no physical disability and have significant training in the martial arts with such weapons.

Thus, it is clear you carried it as a weapon and you might be in difficulty.

Similarly if you are challenged by the police and they look into your cane, you might be in trouble. Whether other states do this, I don't know.

Thus, it sounds cool but check with local folks in the know.

Art Eatman
October 30, 2000, 02:46 AM
Enoch, how's anybody gonna know you've had training--unless you tell them?

If you have a standard medical-type cane, I really doubt anybody will automatically equate it to a weapon--if your demeanor or behavior is not hostile.

Jerry Robinette, of Austin, taught unarmed self-defense and stick fighting. One of his clients was a lady who had arthritis. The severity was a "come and go" sort; sometimes a wheelchair, sometimes not. By the time he had passed on some knowledge to her, woe be unto the Gomer who gave her a hard time! But sometimes she could walk fairly normally--and who's to know?

In the car, carry a cane and one of those black elastic "support" belts. If anybody ever questions, the story is that nerve-pinches occasionally happen...For me, it's true.

:), Art

Danger Dave
October 30, 2000, 08:28 AM
I'm not worried about it being considered a weapon - I have a mild case of arthritis, so it's a walking cane, too. It's not a weapon until I try to strike someone with it, and if I need to do that, I'm in fear for my life.

I'd rather face a trial-by-jury than trust the mercy of a gang of thugs.

But that's me. Make your own decisions.

October 30, 2000, 08:44 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rich Lucibella:

I seem to recall that one of the Billy Jack movies also featured a Korean practitioner (Joo Bang Lee? He Il Cho?), with some great cane fighting sequences.



I think it was "The Trial of Billy Jack" and the Korean Master may have been Bong Soo Han (sp?). Anyways, it was a long time ago but I clearly remember the cane sequences, they were good.

Black Belt Magazine had a good article on cane techniques in the July 2000 issue.

I have a knee problem which has curtailed my jujitsu studies so I am looking at Canemasters very closely, for many of the reason already covered by others.

Molon Labe

October 30, 2000, 08:48 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Danger Dave:

BTW, the guy who did the stunts in Billy Jack was Bong Soo Han, a Hapkido master. He was also in Kentucky Fried Movie.[/quote]


Did not see your message before I posted my reply to Rich. But I am glad to see that my memory was better than I thought!


October 31, 2000, 03:02 PM
Art, my point was that if you arrested and the use of your cane as a weapon was questionable, your lack of disability and martial arts training could be used against you by a zealous prosecutor.

Art Eatman
October 31, 2000, 07:43 PM
Enoch, I follow your point and agree about what a zealous prosecutor *could* do. Again, who's to know of your training, unless you're quite public about it? And, "occasional" need is legit. Again, I'm coming from the "good guy" direction; I assume you or I would not offer gratuitous violence.

That's the problem with an international forum like this one, of course. There are so many different jurisdictions, with so many different laws, not to mention attitudes on the part of enforcement personnel. Heck, compare Texas' cities with its rural areas!

Regards, Art

November 1, 2000, 02:19 PM
In Regards to EnochGale's caution, he is quite correct. I am a provisional instructor in Kali and after my instructor saw the CaneMaster's cane the first thing he said was that it "could be used against me" because it was specifically designed as a martial arts weapon, especially the pointed crook. A normal cane has no such thing so no problem. I have a solution to this in that a student of mine carved a very nice dragon as part of the crook, with a pointed snout at the end, making it "purely ornamental". The Canemaster's canes are nice, but very heavy and hence slower if you are used to practicing a stick art like kali. It seems to me they were meant for more brute force in blocking and retaliation. (the lighter cane is my personal preference) All in all, I would still rather take a chance on a jury after I survived an encounter rather than have no weapon at all in this day and age. In the end, it is ultimately up to how the political climate is at the time of the incident. Remember, in the eyes of the public and thanks to movies, martial artists can dodge bullets and can take on armies of thugs without being the worse for wear. Using a weapon against people with your knowledge just isn't fair!