Types of Canes for Personal Defense

Every once in awhile I’ll get an email or a comment via social media in regard to my “Recommendation” of a cane as a personal defense tool. There is a fair history of me discussing the option on the internet or providing technique information via video or articles from the past decade or so. During the Valhalla Training Center era, I had the opportunity to study the use of the cane under Tom Forman, who had dedicated a significant amount of time to finding the most practical and efficient techniques for real world defensive scenarios amidst the plethora of traditional ‘martial arts’ cane information and adapting some fundamental straight stick work to the situation as well. His “Executive Cane Defense” program actually supplies the vast majority of the information that I have ever shared on the topic of a cane for personal defense.

The three most common questions/comments I get, and my responses, are as follows:

#1 “Thanks for discussing cane defense. I have **insert disability** and I must use a cane all the time. I feel much better knowing what to do!”

– While this is a great type of response to any information that an instructor puts out, I am always quick to follow up with two things. First, just because you’ve watched a video or read an article on cane defense, doesn’t mean you should instantly ‘feel better.’ You’ve got to practice to actually use the techniques! Second, especially if the comment is made publicly: The cane is NOT just a viable defensive option for people who need a cane for their everyday mobility.

#2 “Do you really carry a cane for personal defense?” or some version of “Do you fake a limp while you are carrying a cane for defensive use?”

–The answers are “yes” and “no.” I have carried a cane quite often with the intention of having it as a personal defense tool when I’ve been in environments where no other tool was an option; on airplanes, while traveling internationally and in major cities where I cannot carry a gun, for example. The hooked wooden cane is an outstanding “go anywhere” tool. But, no, you do not have to fake a limp while you are carrying it. In fact, there may be some significant deterrent effect of an able bodied person confidently striding through the streets with a three-foot stick in their hand.

#3 “What? Carry a cane for personal defense?? No thanks! I’ll stick to my **insert preferred firearm**!”

–Well, these commenters have clearly missed the point. My advocacy for the consideration of the cane as a personal defense option is certainly not to the exclusion of a firearm or other, arguably easier to use and more valuable in a worst-case-scenario, tool.

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40 Responses to “Types of Canes for Personal Defense”
    • Jim Healy

      My preference would be made from Balderberry, Oak, or Ash. Some other type of flexible hardwood would be sufficient.

  1. professorcbt

    I am glad that you have selected this device. After over 44 years of martial arts and combat training and instruction, I have resorted to carrying a cane from time to time due to arthritic conditions that don’t allow me to move like I used to. It has been a great improvised weapon for centuries. Keep spreading the word Rob!

  2. Gene814

    I’ve had several people recommend canes or full length umbrellas as a defensive tool. Good video.

  3. Gordon

    A couple of years ago I was disabled, I found the cane to help a lot for walking. I’m now an instructor at a senior center for defensive use of a cane.

  4. Dennis

    Where is the rest of the cane video?
    I am very interested in the cane as I am in my senior yrs and realize I need all the help I can get.

  5. James

    I really wanted to view the entire video. After the 5:03 minute mark, it asked if I wanted to become a member. I am already a member and I was logged in to the site. I spent some time searching for the video but every one I found ended in the same place. So that was useless to me. And I do not need to view that advertisement for the Springfield Armory XDS anymore. I would think that a Gold Member could avoid all the advertisements, especially the same one over and over.

  6. Curt Lohman

    I am unable to view the important part. Is there no real benefit to my being a premium member?

  7. Mark

    Ticket 28028 How about the canes from cold steel, TDI that are the same shape as the wooden cane used here?

  8. James R Eckman Sr.

    Although I am interested in the video. I myself use what’s called a super cane. And me personally being from the military I find it very very useful for close quarter defense if somebody was to come on me quickly. If you have any questions about it or would like to know more about the super cane. Please email me. I am not a spokesman for the company and I had a hard time finding it to begin with. I just happened to see somebody with one when I needed a good cane and ordered one direct from the manufacturer.

  9. Tom

    As many have already noted, this video as presented here is obviously incomplete. PDN representatives have responded by telling us that this is all there is — meaning that Rob wrote, filmed, and released a deliberately incomplete and deliberately deceptive video just to push sales. That approach is why I will never become a “member” of this scam.

  10. Tim

    I am 68 but very fit even thiugh I have had a knee replaced. I have had martial arts training but only to Blue Belt in Kung-fu. The cane defense will help me a lot.

  11. Gideon Rockwell

    I do have a disability that requires the use of a cane. When daily use of a cane became a necessity I turned to a company whose edged weapons I have carried for years Cold Steel and bought one of their Irish Blackthorn Walking Sticks and one of their African Walking sticks. I was trained in long baton tactics in the career I retired from and found that though larger diameter than my baton they lend themselves to most of the tactics and they are made of the same material, so they are almost indestructible. I also get many compliments on how nice they look. And I go everywhere armed with a firearm but still it nice to have a non-lethal option at hand.

  12. Fred

    I have used a special cane my Grandfather used. Inside is concealed a weapon when used properly can wound or kill – depending on your intent. It IS NOT a firearm and it was made in Germany during the Third Reich’s era. To say here what it is would defeat its purpose. I feel quite safe in using it as a cane, a baton, or its concealed purpose. Canes look so innocent that the TSA probably would not inspect it. As a Senior, my cane has never been suspected for anything else except what it looks like.

    • Customer Service

      Hi Brian. There are much different techniques that would be employed for a cane that contained a hidden sword (specifically deploying it) and are beyond the scope of this video.
      Deryck-Personal Defense Network