Canne De Combat

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by slipthejab, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    MAP these days has a pretty healthy group of WMA practitioners that post regularly. That's a great thing. So here's one more thread that hopefully those in the know can shed some light on... yes I could do all the research and Google-fu myself... but I'd rather get some opinions from those at MAP.

    Here's a vid I came across... very acrobatic style. Lots of flair. Many of the lower stances remind me of (crazy enough) Badminton. What I found most impressive in the clip was the person in a wheel chair going at it! Niiiice.

    [ame=""]YouTube- jonnathan dudreuil[/ame]

    and here's more:

    [ame=""]YouTube- escrime a la canne --- competition[/ame]

    So my questions would be for those at MAP in the know...

    1) where does this come from historically?

    2) did it originate in a bladed style?

    3) how widespread is it today?

    4) are all the techniques useful for work with a blade?

    5) how similar to FMA's is it?

    6) anyone ever get to see it live?

    7) extra points for anyone that can point out the link between Canne De Combat and barbershop quartets! :hat:

    Attached Files:

  2. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Another pretty cool vintage clip showing some training. Very interesting. Not too often I say that about French men wearing silky underwear outside of their tights. :p

    [ame=""]YouTube- Roger LaFond method of canne, baton and french boxing[/ame]

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  3. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Sorry slip, canne isn't my bag.

    The Bear.
  4. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    I expected as much Bear. :p
  5. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    Dueling Saber. Very stylized now.

    Gaining popularity. Especially the more fighting oriented canne de armes.

    Only if you're suicidal. That said, there are a fair number that seem to cross over. But, as much (maybe more) than modern sport fencing, it needs to be adapted to the intended environment.


    The pics you post here are not canned de combat. They are la canne Vigny, a style of canne de armes developed by Pierre Vigny. These pics are from Pearson's articles by E.W. Barton-Wright promoting his "new style of self defense" he called Bartitsu. It was a fusion of JuJitsu, Boxing, Savate, wrestling, and la canne (Vigny).

    Vigny (and therefore Barton-Wright) believed that the popular sportish canne de combat of the times wasn't effective for self defense and so he developed his own, modified, style which is represented in these sequences.

    The straw Boater hats were simply popular at the time, as was the long tailed suit: marks of a gentleman.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  6. boards

    boards Its all in the reflexes!

    I'm not much on the history of it but:

    1) Duh France:woo:. Anyway it became popular with gentlemen during the 19th century when they started to wear canes as a fashion item. It was usually taught alongside Savate and Baton Francais (Baton most likely came from the countryside).

    2) I'm not sure on this one, but given that gentlemen used it, presumably fencers (sabreurs) influenced its style.

    3) Its popular in France, Northern Italy and parts of Spain (along with Savate). I believe there is a fair number in England, and I have seen it here in Australia but I don't think it is overly popular here.

    4) There is canne for comp and canne for defence. Obviously defence is focused on defence and contains locks and disarms and less acrobatic manouvers.

    5) No idea.

    6) In Italy yes, I dont know if there are many differences between the countries. Flair is important and points are awarded for it. The bloke I spoke to said most people teach the comp style and aren't particularly interested in combat applications. The sticks are purposely lightened to make for more speed.

    7) Got nothing.
  7. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I'm not really an authority on savate or la canne. (And by "really" I mean "at all.") So I'm going to stick to question 5, concerning similarity to FMA. And, of course, it's a tough one to answer because of the generic nature of the term "FMA."

    There are lots of different styles of FMA, each of which emphasize things like range and correlation between stick and sword differently. This is just a general impression, but it looks to me like the competitive la canne is using the stick as a stand-in for the duelling sword. The hits didn't look very committed, and they wouldn't particularly need to be if they were simulating a blade. Where they would if they were genuinely an impact weapon.

    That said, if la canne rose out of the need of gentlemen to defend themselves using a walking stick rather than a real sword, then presumably some la canne is more heavily impact based. And what I saw in the sport video was the result of it being played for points, rather than a reflection of blade versus impact weapon.

    Long range in FMA (known as "largo mano" or simply "largo") does resemble la canne in so far that the empty hand will have less involvement at that range. At closer ranges, it would be trapping and checking. But this far out, it just needs to avoid being a target itself. Which raises my next point. At largo, eskrimadors would typically be targetting the extremeties. The opponent's weapon hand, lead knee, etc. It looked to me like the targets were more central here, so that the opponent's attacking hand was evaded and not attacked itself.

    The emphasis on flow was very similar to FMA. Though you don't typically see the stances and spinning in FMA that you saw in the comp video.

    And, of course, there are a lot of parries derived from Western fencing evident in both. Personally, I'm a big believer in the influence of Western fencing on FMA. And la canne is quite clearly also derived from fencing. So there are certainly technical similarities there.

    As far as the competition format itself, there are several for FMA. I competed under WEKAF rules, which were similar to this la canne comp in that rounds were continuous. There was no break when a hit landed. Points were accumulated. Other FMA formats differ.

    All that said, I really enjoy seeing la canne.

  8. boards

    boards Its all in the reflexes!

    One thing that has occasionally crossed my mind is the use of dropping onto the heel with the front foot out. It's got some similarities to what you can see in wushu forms.
    So did this stance come from a weapon style where you drop under a strike and hit out with your own weapon? Given that most old styles of martial arts use the same or similar movements for empty hands and weapons it would make sense.
  9. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

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