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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15 Responses to “Types of Canes for Personal Defense”
  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.

    • Customer Service

      Hi James. This video is in fact 5:03. We do appreciate your feedback on this and I will forward your comments on to the proper department. Your comments are important to us and they help with the development of our online video streaming community.
      Jean-PDN Video Membership

      • stan

        I agree — I’m also a Gold member…and wanted to see the entire video. The “chat” people referred me to purchase 2 products in the store. 🙁