Walking sticks or canes to aid in stability and balance while walking have been used for centuries. Nowadays, they are most often an attribute of those who need them because of their age or health. However, it should be remembered that over the centuries, this item has also often served as a defence tool. In Europe, at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, several self-defence systems using the cane as a weapon were developed. Examples of such systems include the French “La Canne de Combat”, which is closely associated with savate techniques, or the British “Bartitsu”, in which the cane fighting skills are augmented by boxing, savate, fencing and judo techniques.
Today, canes are used mostly by seniors, being a natural self-defence tool for this group. Although they are not hidden, they neither attract attention nor arouse suspicion. Additionally, a person walking with a cane often seems to be an “easy target” for an attacker. An individual armed with a cane and properly trained to use it can cope with a stronger opponent, if the threat is noticed in due time.
A person who knows the basic self-defence techniques and ways to keep an opponent at the proper distance as well as understands how to use a cane in dangerous situations can handle even several opponents, who will surely be very surprised by this person’s skills.
The most common walking stick on the street is a cane with a rounded handle. Some of the cane fighting techniques are based on this shape. Such a design allows to hook the opponent’s legs or neck or to apply levers.
Canes of this shape often have a hidden blade, which makes it possible to use them like a sword. Thus, the weapon can be even more versatile and dangerous.
Sometimes, the handle of the cane is made of metal, which allows for pain inflicting attacks with a reverse grip.
Some canes feature a small protrusion e.g. an eagle's beak on the metal handle. When hitting an opponent with a cane of this shape, the impact force can be concentrated on a small point, thus making the attack even more effective. Additionally, such weapons often have a hidden blade.
A metal ball handle walking stick, resembling a club, is also perfect for self-defence.
The Irish “Shillelagh” walking stick is also club-shaped. Shillelaghs are traditionally made from oak wood. The polished knob can be made of a root, which makes it even more resistant to cracking during combat.
This walking stick has multiple small points where the impact force is concentrated.
A stun gun walking stick is a combination of tradition and innovation. This fully functional walking stick is equipped with an electric stun gun that can incapacitate an attacker for a long time.