- 1 The walking stick or walking stick in self-defense.
- 2 History and Use
- 3 Defense Features
- 4 The guard with the stick
- 5 Attacks with the stick
- 6 Defending with the stick
- 7 Advantages and disadvantages with the walking stick
- 8 The artisans builders of walking sticks
- 9 The walking stick in general has several advantages:
- 11 Note that there are several possibilities for the tip:
- 12 The 9 walking stick techniques you absolutely need to know and learn:
- 14 Conclusions
The walking stick or walking stick in self-defense.
The walking stick in self-defense or self-defense walking stick is something that has crossed the centuries experimenting with ancient forms and traditions, from the classic walking stick with curved handle to sticks built thinking of them as tools to offend.
The nobility in the past roamed the streets of the cities with the stick but not because they were lame or just to have an aesthetic ornament!
The walking stick was their instrument inserted into a real self-defense system.
The walking stick was one of the personal defense tools used by nobles in the past because in addition to being an ornamental object it was an effective defense tool if necessary, and often the apple was with heavy and blunt shapes if not even hiding a stiletto.
The walking stick has been used as a defense tool in many cultures through the centuries. The use of the stick as a weapon of defense has ancient roots and has taken different forms depending on the eras and cultures.
History and Use
- Medieval and Renaissance Europe: During the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Europe, sticks were often used by wayfarers and pilgrims as a means of defense against brigands. Their use as a weapon was not only reserved for travel, but also on the streets of cities.
- Victorian: In the Victorian period, walking sticks were a common fashion accessory for men. And as you rightly pointed out, many of these sticks had heavy knobs or hid sharp blades, turning them into hidden weapons.
- Bartitsu Reeds: In the early twentieth century, a martial art form called Bartitsu emerged in England. Founded by Edward William Barton-Wright, this form combined boxing, judo, and walking stick defense. Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is described as a Bartitsu practitioner in some of his stories.
- Versatility: A stick can be used for both striking and parrying, making it a very versatile weapon. It can be used to keep an aggressor at a distance, to parry blows or to strike with power.
- Legal: Unlike other weapons, the walking stick is generally legal to carry in public in many countries, as long as it is not blatantly modified to be used as a weapon.
- Unexpected: Because many people don’t consider a walking stick to be a weapon, an attacker may underestimate a person carrying one, offering the user an element of surprise.
However, as with any self-defense tool, it is essential to have adequate training on the correct and safe use of the walking stick as a weapon. And of course, it is always best to avoid dangerous situations whenever possible.
The guard with the stick
Stick guard positions are defensive postures that prepare the user to parry, hit, or perform other defense techniques.
The choice of guard position may depend on the specific fighting style or the specific situation.
Here are some common guard positions used in stick combat:
- High Guard:
- The stick is held horizontally above the head with both hands. This position offers protection against direct blows to the head and prepares the user for powerful vertical blows.
- Media Guard:
- The stick is held horizontally in front of the body, at chest or shoulder level, with both hands. This position offers general protection and allows quick horizontal and vertical blows.
- Low Guard:
- The stick is held horizontally in front of the legs or hips with both hands. This position protects the lower body and prepares the user to strike upwards or parry low blows.
- Side Guard:
- One hand holds the stick close to the pommel while the other hand holds the opposite end, with the stick positioned sideways along one arm. This position allows a quick extension to hit or parry.
- Prolonged Guard:
- With one hand near the apple and the other towards the middle of the staff, extend the staff towards the opponent, almost like a spear. This position keeps the aggressor at a distance and prepares for push shots.
- Reverse Guard:
- Holding the stick with the pommel facing down and the opposite end facing upwards, the stick extends outwards from the opposite side of the body. This position can surprise an opponent and allows unusual shots and parries.
When adopting a guard position, it is essential to maintain a correct posture, with the knees slightly bent and the weight of the body equally distributed on the feet. Mobility is key: be ready to move, change guard or adapt depending on the actions of the opponent.
As always, it is crucial to receive proper training from a qualified instructor to properly master these techniques.
Attacks with the stick
Here is a list of some basic attacks with a brief explanation:
- Horizontal stroke:
- A lashing attack performed from side to side, often aimed at the head, neck or torso of the opponent.
- Vertical Shot:
- A powerful blow performed from top to bottom, often aimed at the opponent’s head or shoulders.
- Thrust or push:
- A tip move where the end of the staff is pushed directly towards the opponent, similar to a sword slur. It can target areas such as the stomach, chest or face.
- Ascending Stroke:
- A lashing blow performed from the bottom up, often aimed at the opponent’s chin or torso.
- Diagonal shot:
- A blow performed in a diagonal movement, from the bottom to an opposite upper corner or vice versa.
- Spinning stroke or mill:
- The stick is spun in a circular motion to gain momentum before striking. It can also act as a diversion or to defend against multiple attacks.
- Blow with the pommel:
- Using the stick knob (the top or the “handle”), a direct blow is performed, similar to a fist. This can be particularly effective if the pommel is heavy or blunt.
- Double shot:
- A combination of two quick shots, for example, a horizontal shot followed immediately by a vertical shot.
- Using the weight of the stick and the strength of the body, a powerful blow is performed from top to bottom, often aiming to crush the opponent’s guard or strike directly.
- A movement aimed at deceiving the opponent, making him believe that he is about to launch an attack in one direction, and then quickly strike in another direction.
- Sweep or sgambetto:
- Using the stick close to the ground, you aim at the opponent’s ankles or feet in an attempt to make him trip or fall. This technique can be particularly effective when the opponent is moving or off-balanced.
- Parade and counterattack:
- After parrying or blocking an opponent’s attack with the stick, a counterattack immediately follows. This requires timing and coordination to take advantage of the opening created by the parade.
- Enveloping shot:
- The stick is used to wrap or trap an opponent’s limb, such as an arm or leg, allowing the user to control or unbalance the opponent.
- If the opponent has a weapon, the stick can be used to disarm him. This often involves the use of levers and control techniques to force the opponent to release his weapon.
- Remote attack:
- Using the full length of the staff, you perform a long-range attack, keeping your distance from the opponent. This can be useful against unarmed opponents or to keep a safe distance.
- Sudden blow:
- A quick and unexpected attack, often executed from above, from a low guard position or from a blind angle of the opponent’s vision.
- Body block:
- In addition to using the stick to block, you can use your body (arms, legs, or trunk) to block the attack and then hit with the stick in a fluid motion.
- Strangulation with the stick:
- In extreme situations, the stick can be used to perform a strangulation technique, wrapping the stick around the opponent’s neck and applying pressure.
- Joint manipulation:
- Using the stick as a lever, you aim to manipulate or twist the opponent’s joints, causing pain and possibly immobilizing him.
- Combined shot:
- A series of consecutive attacks, often combining different types of blows in a fluid sequence to confuse and overwhelm the opponent.
Each technique and attack has its own specific application and its effectiveness varies depending on the situation and the opponent.
The key is practice and experience to know when and how to use each technique.
And, as always, training and education by an experienced professional is essential.
Remember, the key to performing these attacks correctly is practice and constant training under the guidance of an experienced instructor.
In addition to the techniques themselves, it is crucial to develop timing, distance, balance and understanding of combat dynamics.
Defending with the stick
Defense with a stick is not only about using the stick offensively to attack, but also about using the stick to protect yourself from potential attacks.
Here are some basic defense techniques when using a stick:
- Using the stick to block or deflect an incoming attack. This can be done with horizontal, vertical or diagonal movements, depending on the direction of the opponent’s attack.
- Distance and control:
- Use the length of the stick to keep an opponent at a distance, preventing them from coming into direct contact with you.
- After blocking or parrying an attack, use the stick to strike quickly in response.
- Using the staff as a lever or entrapment tool to force an armed opponent to drop or release his weapon.
- Leverage and controls:
- Using the stick to trap or control the opponent’s limbs. This may include movements that twist or bend the opposing joints into uncomfortable or painful positions.
- Defense against multiple attacks:
- Using the stick to create a barrier or wall, quickly parrying and attacking multiple opponents.
- Defend against long-range attacks:
- When facing an opponent with a long-range weapon, such as another stick weapon or perhaps a whip, use the stick to parry or deflect the attack and quickly close the distance.
- Defense against ground attacks:
- If you get knocked down, the stick can be used as a barrier between you and your opponent, or as a tool to help you get back on your feet quickly.
- Defense against grips or grabs:
- If an opponent tries to grab you or grab your staff, use lever and twist techniques to free you.
- Defense against blunt weapons:
- When facing an opponent armed with a blunt weapon, such as another stick or mace, it is essential to use the stick to parry attacks and find an opening for a counterattack.
- Defense against sharp weapons:
- When facing an opponent with a sharp weapon, such as a knife, it is crucial to keep your distance and use the stick to keep the sharp weapon away from you. Avoid letting your stick be cut or compromised.
- Instead of blocking or parrying an attack, it is sometimes more effective to move quickly out of its trajectory. The cane can help you maintain balance while moving quickly, and reposition yourself in an advantageous position.
- Use the environment:
- Use your surroundings to your advantage. This could mean using the stick to help you jump over obstacles or to move to positions that offer cover or tactical advantage.
- 360-degree defense:
- Be aware of attacks coming from all directions and use the stick to parry and counterattack effectively. This requires great spatial awareness and the ability to move the stick quickly and accurately.
- Entrapment and immobilization:
- Use the stick to trap your opponent against a solid surface or between the stick and your body. This can prevent further movements and give the opportunity to neutralize the threat.
- Low defense and foot parries:
- Against targeted attacks on the legs or feet, use the stick to block and divert, protecting vital areas such as the knees.
- Block the view:
- Position the stick in such a way as to obstruct the opponent’s view, creating momentary confusion and giving the opportunity to perform an effective attack or defense.
- Breathing techniques and energy conservation:
- During a combat situation, it is crucial to stay calm and focused. Controlled breathing can help you stay calm and ensure that your movements are effective and accurate.
- Feints and diversions:
- Create the illusion of an attack or movement in one direction, and then quickly change tactics. This can disorient an opponent and create an opening.
- Integration with other techniques:
- Integrate stick defense techniques with other martial arts or self-defense techniques you may be familiar with, such as kicks, punches, or fighting techniques.
It is crucial to remember that while the stick can be an effective defense tool, it is only a tool.
The real effectiveness comes from the person who uses it.
Regular training, practice and deep understanding of techniques and tactics are essential to use the stick effectively in a defensive situation, safety should always be the main priority: if it is possible, avoiding physical confrontation is always the best choice.
Always remember that the key to effective defense is awareness, training, and constant practice.
As always, if possible, the best form of defense is to avoid a dangerous or conflictual situation in the first place.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have to defend yourself, it is essential to have a deep understanding of the techniques and have practiced under the guidance of a qualified instructor.
Advantages and disadvantages with the walking stick
Using a stick as a self-defense tool has a number of advantages and disadvantages, which depend on the situation, the formation of the individual and the specific characteristics of the stick used.
Here is a list of the main pros and cons:
- Distance: The stick offers greater range than many other self-defense weapons, allowing the user to maintain a safe distance.
- Versatility: Can be used for a variety of techniques, including shots, parries, levers, and entrapments.
- Non-lethal: Although it can cause serious damage, a stick is basically a non-lethal weapon, which can be preferable in many legal and moral situations.
- Legal in many places: Unlike many weapons, a walking stick is often legal to carry in many places since it can be considered a mobility aid or accessory rather than a weapon.
- Visual deterrent: The mere presence of a stick can often deter a potential attacker.
- Multiple use: In addition to self-defense, it can be used as a support tool for walking or as an accessory.
- Cumbersome: Carrying a cane with you can be uncomfortable or cumbersome in some situations.
- Requires training: To be effectively used as a self-defense tool, regular training and practice is required.
- Potential for disarmament: If an adversary is close enough and has adequate training, they may be able to disarm the user.
- Limited in confined spaces: In tight or crowded places, the effectiveness of the stick may be limited due to lack of space to move.
- It may not be enough against lethal weapons: Against an opponent armed with a knife or firearm, a stick may not offer adequate defense.
- Perception: In some situations, carrying a cane may make the individual perceive as a threat or may attract unwanted attention.
- Collateral damage: If not used properly, there is the potential to damage property or injure innocents.
In conclusion, while a cane offers numerous advantages as a self-defense tool, it also has some limitations. The key to maximizing the effectiveness of a stick in a defensive situation is to have proper training and understand when and how to use it appropriately.
The artisans builders of walking sticks
Even today there are artisans who build traditional sticks handcrafted by customizing them not only from an aesthetic point of view but also inserting stiletti, blunt shapes, etc. to be used as a personal defense tool.
This post is not meant to dwell too much on the history of the stick but is built to provide some ideas about its use for personal defense, instructions with various defense techniques based on walking stick.
Most martial arts do not take into account the walking stick while being something very common not only in Italy and of course a tool that is also legally transportable.
A walking stick with a curved handle has multiple advantages and also used as a weapon in martial arts.
The walking stick in general has several advantages:
The walking stick, when used as a defense tool, offers a diverse range of techniques due to its structure and shape.
Let’s see in detail some of the advantages you mentioned:
Specific advantages of the walking stick:
- Tip: The tip of the stick can be used for stocking and pushing, working almost like a sword or spear. A sharp or sturdy tip can cause significant damage, especially if targeted at vital points.
- Long rod: This part of the stick offers a number of advantages:
- Blows: It can be used to inflict blunt blows to various parts of the body.
- Blocks: The long rod can be used to ward off attacks, especially from other blunt weapons.
- Joint levers: With the appropriate formation, the long rod can be used to apply levers against the opponent’s joints, controlling or immobilizing him.
- Hook Handle: This particular design has multiple applications:
- Entrapment: Can trap limbs or even weapons, allowing the user to disarm or control the opponent.
- Choking: With the appropriate formation, the hook can be placed around an opponent’s neck, creating a lever that can choke or control.
- Hook: The hook can be used to hook and destabilize an opponent, perhaps by pulling his legs from under or by hooking his neck or arm and pulling or twisting.
- Hook modifications: As you mentioned, some versions of the walking stick have modifications to their hook to make it more effective as a defense tool. A blunt tip can make it more blunt and therefore more harmful when used to hook or hit.
These advantages, coupled with its harmless appearance as a simple walking stick, make this tool a popular option for self-defense, especially for those who want a means of defense that doesn’t immediately look threatening.
Of course, and I want to repeat it, as with any weapon or defense tool, training and practice are essential to use it effectively and safely.
Note that there are several possibilities for the tip:
- Traditional wooden tip.
- Or the tip of the stick is from a rubber cap and under hides the blunt stick or a tip to increase its drilling ability in tip attacks.
- Caps are commercially available with a system at the bottom to extract a curved tip only when needed through the tip of the shoe.
The stick on the side of the handle if curved as I told you also has the advantage and function of being able to use it to hook, unbalance, to use it to trap or suffocate an attacker.
The 9 walking stick techniques you absolutely need to know and learn:
- Basic stick attacks and parries: This is the basis of stick training. It includes learning direct hits, such as vertical and horizontal strikes, and how to block and parry enemy attacks using the stick as a shield or to deflect blows.
- Defend with a stick from an opponent who grabs you or grabs the stick: In this technique, you learn to free yourself from an opponent’s grip on your stick or to prevent the opponent from taking control of your staff. This may involve twisting, levers, or strategic shifts.
- Knife Attack Stick Defense: When you face an attacker armed with a knife, you learn how to use the stick to defend yourself from sharp attacks. These techniques often involve quick movements to deflect or block the knife while protecting yourself.
- Arm bar with fist attack stick: This technique involves manipulating the opponent’s limb using the stick to apply a lever on his elbow or wrist joint after blocking or deflecting a punch.
- Stick defense from a fist attack: You will learn how to use the stick to block or deflect an opponent’s punch and, at the same time, respond with a counterattack or disarming technique.
- Using the hook stick in a self-defense situation: The stick with a hook at the end can be used to hook the opponent’s body, allowing you to control its position and disable it.
- Using the stick of point and cutting and cutting and pointing as in fencing: These techniques involve attack and defense movements with the stick that simulate movements similar to those of fencing. You can learn to hit accurately and defend yourself effectively.
- Using the stick to unbalance or project an attacker: You will learn how to use the stick to apply levers or force against the opponent, causing him to lose his balance or even throw him to the ground.
- Rotation of the stick to hit the genitals: This technique is an extreme self-defense option, used when you are in a situation of serious danger. It involves using the stick to hit the attacker’s vulnerable area.
Importantly, these techniques require proper training and regular practice with a qualified instructor. The main goal of walking stick defense techniques is personal protection and neutralization of the threat without causing excessive damage.
My advice is to buy a classic walking stick and initially do the techniques that you practice with the stick with the walking stick and retrace all the techniques using this object of common use.
It is a fundamental phase to then approach the necessary technical readjustments and also the technical insertion to take advantage of the characteristic shape of the handle!
A valuable tip is to start with a classic walking stick to acquire basic skills.
You can practice cane techniques with a walking stick, retracing all the various techniques using this common object.
It is highly recommended to try stick fighting techniques with the walking stick, also involving your training partner in different situations.
This can include controlled sparring , exercises on material such as gums or logs, and the practice of sumbrada, which is a series of choreographed movements in which you learn to react effectively to different situations.
This phase is crucial to gain a solid understanding of the basic techniques and dynamics of the walking stick.
Once you have mastered these skills, you can then move on to the most advanced technical adaptations and the strategic use of the curved stick handle, making the most of its unique characteristics.
Remember that consistent practice, guidance from an experienced instructor, and attention to safety are essential elements to effectively progress in the use of the walking stick as a self-defense tool.
Train with the walking stick!
Street Fight Mentality!