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Canes/walking sticks.

Discussion in 'Personal Security Devices & Self-Defense' started by jackknife, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    I realize that they may well have gone out of style when Queen Victoria died, but does anyone here carrry a walking stick for self defence?

    For many years now, I have carried a stout Irish blackthorn stick, but perhaps the grey chin whiskers let me get away with it more easiely than a young man in his 30's. I can only wonder if more men started to carry a walking stick, would they come back in fashion? I can't think of a better self defence item outside of a firearm, its always there in your hand ready to go, leagel everyplace as I've walked right onto airliners with mine, and they give alot more reach that a knife. Not to mention they make a interesting collection.
     
  2. scríbhneoir
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    scríbhneoir Uber Prepared
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    Here is another thread on the Irish Blackthorn Walking stick and self defense.

    Here is another oldie but goodie thread as well, and this one lists places to buy them (so that you can add to your collection).

    I have been interested in acquiring one for a few years. I've seen some in the Victorian Trading Co.'s catalogs, and I like the Blackthorns very much.
     
  3. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    Thank you for the links, sir. Interesting reading.

    There's nothing like a good stick in hand when things look dicy.
     
  4. PocketWad

    PocketWad Loaded Pockets

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    I wonder what the statistics are regarding assaults on people who carry canes or walking sticks. I'll bet they're significantly lower than the general population.

    Bruce Tegner's out-of-print book Stick Fighting: Self-Defense is worth reading, if you can get your hands on a copy through Amazon. Unlike most of the literature devoted to self-defense with the cane, this book is very practical.

    A DVD I recommend is Sang H. Kim's Joong Bong Fundamentals. The Joong Bong is a 28-inch stick that's about an inch in diameter. Although the DVD comes from a martial arts perspective, the basic strikes are practical for self-defense, and would apply to any cane or walking stick. Also, a 28-inch stick is a good length to keep in the home, as it can be wielded in a fairly small space. It'll also fit easily behind the seat of your truck.
     
  5. parnass

    parnass Loaded Pockets

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    Not sure about that. Most people I see carrying canes or walking sticks require them for mobility, so they may be viewed by thugs as more vulnerable than other folks.
     
  6. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    Very interesting angle on that. Or since mostly "older" people need the support, can it be the thugs are targeting old folks the way wolves will take out the old and feeble?

    When I first got partly disabled by a construction accident while on active service in the army engineers, and medically discharged from the army, I was 30 years old. I used an irish blackthorn for the sake of vanity, I didn't want to carry an "old fogy" cane. Nobody every gave me any grief. BUT, over the past 10 years when my chin whiskers have went from salt and pepper to all salt, I've had to bring up my blackthorn twice in a guard posotion from my old pugil stick days in the army. Each time the punk backed off when it looked like a fight was going to happen with someone who was not as old and feeble as he/they thought. But they did back off.

    Now I wonder if the stick makes them think easy prey, or at 66 I've entered a target age where the wolves are circling?
     
  7. PocketWad

    PocketWad Loaded Pockets

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    When I checked my local sex-offender registry, it seemed to me that the overwhelming majority of crimes were against children. It made me wonder whether there are more pedaphiles than there are rapists who prefer adult women, or whether children are simply easier victims. Maybe someone can chime in with the lowdown.

    But back to sticks.... I'd love a blackthorn walking stick, but I fear it just wouldn't look right. I'm 45. There's a bit of gray in my hair, but no hint in my movement that I would need a cane. I fear a cane would look out of place, though I must admit, when I see someone in their 30s walking with a cane, I just assume they've sprained something, or torn something, or whatever. Many of the elderly I see with canes can barely move, let alone walk. Such people look very vulnerable to me, even though they're carrying what could be a very effective weapon.

    I think if I had a blackthorn walking stick and were approached by a mugger holding a knife, I might be less likely to surrender my wallet. I might even be less likely to surrender my wallet to someone holding a gun. Not sure if this is a good thing. I'll have to think about it.
     
  8. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    I'm inclined to believe that criminals are just like wolves or any other preditors. They are looking for a quick easy target that is no threat to themselves. They are cowards by nature. A child does not offer the same possable threat of resistance as a adult woman. An old person on a cane does not offer threat of resistance as a healthy younger adult.

    That said, I don't think you would look as out of place with a blackthorn as you may think. One, like you said, when you see someone younger with a cane you think maybe sports injury. At 45 you may have pushed it a bit too hard in a hot handball game. People are not as observant as one may think. Exept for criminals. They will look and think one of a couple of things. One; he looks kind of young to be on a stick, and that does not look like a normal cane. Two; heck, thats not a cane, he's carrying a head knocker and it looks like he can give us some trouble. The hell with it, lets find some old fogy.

    I admit I may have felt a bit different, if at age 30 I did not have a severe injury to my right ankle that was gong to be long lasting in effect. But then we have to ask ourselves a practical qestion. Do we care what others may think if we feel the need to defend ourselves in these P.C. times. I have lived in a place where there is no chance of a CCW, and I doubt there will be in my life. Yet I am not about to walk the streets unarmed just because some bleeding heart politicians feel an armed citizen is a threat. So I carry a stick and some pepper spray and hope for the best. In the 36 years I've been carrying a blackthorn I've twice used it too defend myself. both times itactually never came to blows because of the cowardly nature of criminals. In one case the punk backed off when I had it cocked back for a good two handed swing and I told him " Come one step closer and I'm going to break both your knees!" he obviously felt his kitchen knife was not up to open combat.

    Given the advantages of the stick being so under the radar that you can walk onto an airliner or into a courthouse with one, and the fact that it is always in hand, I feel a stout walking stick is one of the best defence items you can carry. I've taken to heart the old Maasai proverb "Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far.

    The Maasai have a rich history of stick fighting, and being as they defend their cattle herds against thieves as well as lions and wild dogs, that says alot. And then again, there's my familys Irish heritage, so my choice of blackthorn.
     
  9. PocketWad

    PocketWad Loaded Pockets

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    Jackknife, was the kid trying to rob you...?

    Given the practicality of walking sticks and canes for self-defense ... their ability to generate incredible speed and power ... their ability to significantly increase the user's reach ... their "invisibility," as well as our ability to carry them virtually anywhere ... I'm kind of surprised this thread hasn't generated more interest.
     
  10. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, the kid had what looked like a cheap kitchen paring knife. I told him I was going to break both his kneecaps if he didn't get the h--l out of my way. I believe I used some very harsh language on him. He believed me. I had the stick cocked back ready to start swinging in my old alley stickball style.

    Yes, I too am surprised that few people carry or show interest in a walking stick. I guess they think thier one hand tactical knife is better. :shrug:

    On the other hand, if more people got into them, the invisability factor may go away. I've found out in life when something gets popular it gets ruined. Now I can walk right into the courthouse and nobody gives it a second thought.
     
  11. PocketWad

    PocketWad Loaded Pockets

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    Apparently it was quite common, around the turn of the century in Europe, to carry a walking stick for fashion and for self-defense:

    http://ejmas.com/jnc/jncart_vigny_0500.htm

    I live in a fairly quiet part of New England, but any street can be mean. I'm always surprised when I hear that a woman was attacked while out walking alone at night--surprised that she did not have some sort of weapon with her (out walking alone at night, when most attacks are likely to occur). If my wife goes walking through town during the day she carries a Cold Steel Mini Koga.

    There are so many simple "sticks" a woman (or man) could carry while out walking at night that would go a long way toward stopping an attack. If not a cane or walking stick, then an umbrella. Even a collapsible umbrella could be wielded with great effect. I've always thought those reflective driveway markers they sell at places like Home Depot--simply a length of reflective fiberglass rod--would deliver a nasty stinging blow (and carrying something reflective isn't a bad idea when you're out walking at night anyway). A light, flexible switch cut from a tree would open flesh with little effort. A 36-inch hardwood dowel, 5/8-inch in diameter, that you could get at any hardware or craft store or Wal-Mart for less than two bucks would be about as good as a walking stick or cane. Even in the most repressive jurisdictions, there's really no need for anyone to be defenseless while walking the streets at night.

    I always carry some sort of impact weapon--most often a Travel Wrench/Impact Kerambit. Sometimes a Cold Steel Mini Koga. Sometimes a Kubotan, and sometimes a Comtech Stinger. When I get on an airplane I always have a sturdy pen. I keep one of the LED Mini Maglites in my truck. Also, behind the seat of my truck, is a 28-inch length of hardwood dowel. (I wonder sometimes if I'm being paranoid, but I prefer to think of it as having options.)

    For a number of reasons, I don't much like the idea of using a knife or a gun to defend myself on the street. Also, if I had to face someone with a knife, I'd feel more confident having a 28- to 36-inch stick in my hand than I would having a knife.

    Jackknife, this thread has convinced me that I need some sort of walking stick, if for no other reason than to carry with me while out walking at night. I like the idea of blackthorn with a metal tip. I see there are plenty of sources for the Irish imports on the internet, but I think I'll check the local antiques stores first.

    Yes, let's not ruin this. I live in Massachusetts, which never misses a chance either for restrictions or revenue. I could see the halfwits at the State House wanting to pass legislation requiring you to be licensed to carry a walking stick.
     
  12. PocketWad

    PocketWad Loaded Pockets

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  13. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    I had the good fortune to have worked with a man from Kenya, that had imigrated to the U.S. He was Maasai, and he had and tought me some very interesting techiques for use of a stick. Even though he is a strongly built young man, I noticed that when he goes out in public, he always has a stick with him, but he makes it look so innocent. I feel very sorry for he would who pick on this young Maasai from Kenya now a U.S. citizen and computer repair tech.
     
  14. peacefuljeffrey

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    I have a strong feeling that what would happen then is that they'd be BANNED! :rant:

    As for your taking your walking stick on an airliner, I have often wondered what would happen if I did attempt that. I am 36 years old, reasonably fit (but out of condition) and healthy. I guess I could fake a slight limp and make up a story about some athletic injury, yeah? The killer irony is that I could probably do that (and scream age discrimination if they picked on me for it and challenged the need for it) but they would arrest me if I tried to board a flight with a 5.5" stick made of aluminum on my keychain. What a buncha dopes! :rolleyes:

    Seriously. If I just wanted to board a plane with a walking stick -- say my Cold Steel "African Walking Stick" (which is made of polypropylene, before you get any ideas based on the name or manufacturer) -- what would they have to say? Do they tend to ask if you have an infirmity? If your stick has no concealed sword or other such spike, do they get picky about what kind of stick you're carrying? (The Cold Steel A.W.S. has a faceted knob at the top. I could see them construing it as a weapon... :( )

    Sigh...
     
  15. peacefuljeffrey

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    You're kidding, right?

    There are plenty of repressive jurisdictions that shamelessly do argue exactly the contrary.



    I agree about the knife -- a person trying to use a knife for self defense, who is not heavily trained in doing so, could get himself badly hurt.
    I do not see, however, what your compunctions about having a gun for street defense would be. Too effective?? :shrug:
     
  16. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    I think in these days of P.C. you could walk righ past TSA security with a walking stick. Picking on you abpout your stick is treading very close to the Americans With Disabilities Act, and discrimination. Tell them its a sports injury, no one is going to question it. I was just past my 30th birthday when I had my constrution accident in the service, while serving in the Army Engineers. I was medically discharged and given a 50% disabled status. I've been on a walking stick ever since. Even when I was in my 30's, I never had anyone question my need for a stick, and I never would use a "old Fogy" cane. I only have a very slight limp most times, and on a good day when I take me morning Naproxan I hardly have a limp at all till afternoon. The last time I flew was last summer, and we went to Key West for my better halfs cousins reunion, and I carried a stout blackthorn right past TSA. I think with the increasing number of injured veterns comming into our society from Iraq, you're going to see more young guys walking around screwed up. Every time I go down to the V.A. hospital where I am an outpatient and get my medical care, I see more and more young guys. Damm shame.

    BUT!

    I think something like a Cold Steel black polywhatever will set off the suspision radar. It's too something, and they ain't dumb. I'm sure they know about Cold Steel. I'D say get yourself a nice natural wood stick, like a blackthorn or one from Canemasters. Its a little lower profile. Of course the did X-ray my stick, and the security only made comment that it was a nice stick.

    Stay away from black implements.
     
  17. PocketWad

    PocketWad Loaded Pockets

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    To ban all the everyday items--canes, umbrellas, small flashlights, etc.--that a person might carry to defend himself would be impracticable.

    A person who is heavily trained in using a knife could get himself hurt as well.

    Pulling a gun to defend yourself is no guarantee of anything. Not a few police officers--presumably trained professionals--have been shot with their own weapons.

    Mainly, I don't want to kill anyone. So yes, if used properly, a gun is "too effective" for me in that it doesn't offer options.
     
  18. JMV

    JMV Loaded Pockets

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    For anyone interested, www.mendowood.com has excellent walking sticks in several styles, including blackthorne. They are constructed of steel pipe filled with a hardwood dowel, two coats of epoxy, and three coats of finish with a turned wood head (multiple types of wood and head styles). I doubt they would pass airport security, but they are great for local carry. I currently have one with another on the way. BTW, I'm mid 40s, and healthy and have never been questioned or even had anyone look askance at me while carrying it.
     
  19. lcranston

    lcranston Loaded Pockets

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    I carry canes or a walking stick umbrella on occasion. I use a cold steel cane with a skull head that I put GID material in the eyes for night walks around the neighborhood. When I am traveling by air, I use a walking cane. When I am going to local attractions (Disney, Sea World/Bush Gardens), I generally carry a walking stick umbrella (as opposed to a cane, mostly because it rains often). No one has ever given me any problems.


    http://www.canemasters.com/

    http://www.real-self-defense.com/umbrella.html
     
  20. hso

    hso Loaded Pockets

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    I carried my Canemaster cane with me to Kuwait and back and the only comment was, "Sir we need you to put your cane through the x-ray, do you need any help though the arch?". I've carried it on flights all over the US. As long as you don't do something stupid like getting a poser cane with a sword or flask in it you'll be fine flying with a cane. http://www.canemasters.com/index.php/hickory-class-cane-p-7/