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.