The Problem with Cane Techniques

Many martial artists are looking for effective cane/walking stick techniques, yet finding efficient, no-nonsense techniques isn’t easy. I think there are several reasons for the shortage of powerful walking stick techniques.

I Guess 1 Out of 4 Ain't Bad.

1.  Some of the techniques out there are pure garbage. There are more bad techniques with the cane than with any other weapon. Don’t kid yourself if you’re planning on wading into an opponent in full fist-thrashing mode, hooking his neck, spinning, and throwing him to the ground. The fancy armlock techniques are no match for right and left hooks to the head. One group even sells sticks with nodes so you can rub them against the opponent!

2. Some of the old WWII vintage styles have some solid techniques, but the martial arts world has evolved considerably since then. I feel that these styles overemphasize close range techniques over long range techniques. What is needed is for intelligent, dedicated practitioners to help modernize and improve these systems.

Old School Fairbairn

For example, Tapado is a relatively new stick fighting system (even though some say it is based in an older Oido system). After studying with the late founder GM Mamar, GM Vasquez improved the art, so that it evolved even further. It is no disrespect to the old masters or to the validity of their teaching to advance the art.

3. The Vigny techniques are based on a light cane (reed) which is more of a light whip than a heavier bat. These techniques are effective for a lighter weapon, but ill-suited to a heavier weapon (such as the stance with the stick held in the right hand over the head, the tip pointed forward at the opponent. Try that with a bat.

Try This with a Bat

4. Most of the Filipino Martial artists who do the stick approach it from a short-stick perspective. A long stick is governed by an entirely different set of principles, and attempts to treat the walking stick as a “long short stick” are doomed to be ineffective. Some “long stick” styles are merely using longer rattan sticks –in my opinion the big stick must be more substantial than a rattan stick with a few extra inches. Even many of the Filipino long stick stylists are rooted in one-handed techniques, perhaps because of an emphasis on sword or blade technique.

A Long Stick, But Not a Big Stick.

My aim is perhaps unique, to take the sophistication of the Filipino long stick systems and merge them with old school stick/bayonet combat and heavier weapons, like the bat.


One Response to “The Problem with Cane Techniques”

  1. James Sy Jr. Says:

    Good points. More power.

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