The Cane as a Weapon

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by Jason Couch, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    So when any one asks, it's not a weapon. It's a "gentleman's walkingstick" or you have an old knee injury that occasionally acts up, or you have a "sinus thing" that you're concerned may affect your ballance."

    I know a few Brits who do this and have no problems whatsoever.

    Because that's not a true statement. When I can, I prefer a firearm (because it's a superior weapon). However, there are huge numbers of places where a pocket knife, to say nothing of a firearm is not legal in the U.S. Start with New York and work your way out from there.

    I'm sorry but your conclusion is just not accurate. The cane is a very practical tool.

    Again, this is simply not true.

    Peace favor your sword,

    [edit - corrected mal-fomed quote tags]
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  2. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    However, you can apply for a permit to carry a concealed firearm within New York. So it is not illegal if you have a permit (getting one may be alittle challenging for the average joe I would expect).

    The Bear.
  3. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    I'm sorry, but that is splitting hairs. The fact is that the statement "you can just carry a gun" is just not true. New York, Chicago, any Federal property, Air Ports, pretty much all of freaking California, Washington DC, etc.

    I'm hoping taht it's simply that your basing your statement on innacurate hear-say and media portrayals. It's a common misconception among europeans, I've found.

    Peace favor your sword,
  4. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Kirk compared to the UK where unless you have a police uniform and a firearms certificate or work for MI5 your on to plums to legally carry a firearm. We cannot even apply to carry a concealed firearm. So from our persective that really isn't splitting hairs.
    You cannot carry a weapon in the UK period. It is illegal! Everything you carry must have a legitimate civilian use. If not, you are committing an offence just by possessing it.

    The Bear.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  5. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    I've been hit more times than I can count.

    I actively study two cane systems, and one sword system. I've studied Jo as well and worked on methods of integrating Jo with Hutton's "Great Stick." And that's not including Quarterstaff.

    I've gotten "stick hickies" and thrusts to the face, body, and groin. I've done the practice and the body work.

    I don't want to be rude, but you are simply wrong in your assertion. The mechanics and strategies, though similar, are markedly different in very important ways.

    Peace favor your sword,
  6. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    So you are saying that a swordsman cannot use a cane as an effective weapon?

    The Bear
  7. Damien Alexander

    Damien Alexander New Member

  8. IronDragon

    IronDragon Banned Banned

    So then you can carry a cane, it is used as a crutch/support and can also be used as a weapon should the need arise.
    I could not use a sword as a cane and get away with calling it that, it wouldn't sell.
    But a cane, is still legal, is versatile and is useful where other weapons may not be tolerated.
  9. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

  10. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    I don't dispute this.

    I doubt it will surprise you to find that I have friends in the firearms advocacy movement there in England. Though they are envious of the far greater firearms rights U.S. citizens often have, they also know that there are, indeed, large areas where carrying a firearm is simply not an option. Heck, iirc, there is a total land area greater than the English Isle in the U.S. where it's not generally legal to carry a firearm for self defense. Again, as I said, I've found this is a common misconception of the U.S. by europeans.

    I don't dispute this.

    Peace favor your sword,
  11. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Indeed, however when prosecution unveils no medical reasons for you requiring a cane and the fact that you have training in cane martial arts, don't be too surprised by the response of the jury of your peers.
    I carry my swords to and from class but I wouldn't use them unless I really thought it was curtains for the old bear and the self perservation clause comes into effect.

    The thing I'm trying to get across is the myth that the cane is some kind of universal legal weapon where it isn't. I think it's irresponsible to market it as such.

    The Bear.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  12. IronDragon

    IronDragon Banned Banned

    Perhaps, they would have an extremely difficult time proving I don't need a cane though, how can they verify I don't need it for a knee I blew out once or an ankle I broke and have arthritis in on occasion, or perhaps I twisted my hip or this or that and am having difficulty.....

    On the other hand, if I do boxing, I'm pretty much screwed as I have no reason to use a fist for a medical purpose, same goes with pretty much any and every martial art.

    It is a double edged sword, but the cane is a tougher one to prove as long as I'm not see doing 720 spin flying kicks and brain bashes with it.
  13. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    I'm saying exactly what I said.

    Though there are similarities between the two, there are also important fundamental differences. For most effective use, you simply don't use a bludgeoning weapon the way you use a cutting weapon, nor vice versa.

    To the extent that you can use a cane the way you use a sword, you can also use a sword the way you use a cane. But in either case, you are ignoring the strengths of the weapon and trying to "shoe-horn" in a less effective method.

    Like I said, there are important FUNDAMENTAL differences.

    Peace favor your sword,
  14. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    How is that any different from how the jury would see it if you used a cane? Asside from the fact that people don't look at you funny when you carry a cane, that is.

    I don't think anyone is suggesting using a cane when "Lethal Force or Grave Bodily Injury" isn't justified. It is, after all, a club.

    Peace favor your sword,
  15. Damien Alexander

    Damien Alexander New Member

    Good thing I chose london,huh?

    I used a FLUTE as a weapon to defend myself against 5 guys.
    It was a home made shakuhachi flute out of high impact plastic.

    My penalty?

    A handshake and a "well done" from the police for fighting back.
    When I enquired about the cane; they said it would have made no difference.
    Because the law does state; you are allowed to use WHATEVER is at hand, be it a cane, FLUTE or an umbrella of any kind.

    And considering I have 4 blackbelts,I am 6'1 and weigh 245lbs(17.5 stn)
    and strong as an ox at the age of 41 and do full contact stick fighting for fun; I still do not consider myself invincible and recognise the fact that I do need an an eaqualizer at times.
    The event I just described happend last month, the first time in 4 years I have been in a confrontation.

    Some of you may not need it or do not agree with me.
    I do not care. I am speaking from personal experience and not everyone is "lucky" enough to go unscathed for thier entire life.
    And considering my chosen proffesion,I must know the law as well.
    So I know what I am talking about.

    You CAN be arrested for using ANY object as a weapon and that includes bad breath for some.
    BUT; the law is getting smarter as we grow older.
    They are not hammering you for what you say,but how you say it and they take a lot more into consideration than just the black & white of the law.

  16. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Your medical records can be summoned by the court.

    I think we all have heard enough tales of MA'ist getting shafted by the courts to know the answer to that one.

    Proof is convincing the people on that jury. If they disagree with your version of events the weapons thing is going to add ALOT to your sentence.

    Bottomline, you want to carry a weapon, good for you, I hope it doesn't haunt you. Remember there are kids reading this and them thinking its legal to walk around with a cane when it's alot more complicated than that.

    The Bear.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  17. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    I've heard this suggested before but never knew of anyone who'd actually done it.

    Did you make the flute yourself or someone else?

    Peace favor yoru sword,
  18. IronDragon

    IronDragon Banned Banned

    And what I stated will be verified, thus I am vindicated
  19. Jason Couch

    Jason Couch New Member

    Polar Bear-

    I'm afraid I disagree with some of your points. First, there was never a license required to carry a cane in Britain of which I'm aware (see next paragraph). Depending on the social class, it was as mandatory a fashion accessory as a top hat. Lower social classes used rougher walking sticks rather than polished canes, but it was still extremely common. Heck, there are still umbrella/cane stands in many homes today.

    "Isaac Bickerstaff" did write a satirical bit on licensing cane carriers, but "Bickerstaff" was a group of writers (which may have included Jonathan Swift) who were criticizing current fashion, not trying court cases. "Bickerstaff" was an earlier version of today's catty fashion critics such as Mr. Blackwell.

    As far as weapons laws, everything depends on jurisdiction. The broadest safe statement you can probably make is to act like a reasonable person when defending yourself.

    Many jurisdictions have a catch-all provision in weapons statutes banning certain weapons as well as "any weapon carried with the intent to injure another person." The only statutes I've seen in the US that ban canes are aimed at "loaded canes" and "sword canes." A cane carried as a fashion accessory or a medical device is a tough prosecution to make stick if you are defending yourself or just walking about with a cane. The general ability to carry a cane is unquestioned, it just confuses the issue to discuss what someone could be charged with under any circumstances and what they would have to prove to a jury.

    If you set out with the intent to kill someone with your cane, there are all kinds of laws you could be prosecuted under that have no bearing on generally carrying a cane. For example, assault with deadly weapons statutes could apply, but again that goes to the circumstances of the case; I've read a case where someone was charged with assault with a deadly weapon for trying to bean someone with a potted plant.
  20. chrisamendola

    chrisamendola Valued Member

    Bear and All,

    I have been following this post with great concern today, when I really shouldn't be, and have been struggling to respond. Kirk Lawson, gentleman, scholar and good guy, has done a great job in expressing a lot of the specific points I was struggling to put into words.

    I was dumbfounded, and disappointed, by what I can't help but think of an unfair prejudice on your part Bear. As someone who came to the Western Martial Arts with a specific interest in stick(cane)-fighting methods, what I might call civilian self-defense, and combative sports, I find you mapping your personal interests on, and defining the whole of Western Martial Arts pursuits by, your own view to be plain unfair.

    I feel that "Western Martial Arts" is much broader than Historical European Swordsmanship, and that topics which are not HES are significant in their own right.
    I feel that "Western Martial Arts" is a broad topic of study concerning activities that are much older that Italian and German Longsword, such as boxing and wrestling, and activities occurring at the moment, e.g. military combatives. There are many significant areas of study in the WMA world.

    Perhaps you have never had an ignorant smart-alec ask what was the point of "playing with swords" to you, so you don't get my position. If you have, then maybe you'll get my point.

    After 25 years of active participation in the Eastern Martial Arts, both in "classical" schools and full-contact competition, the sort of prejudice you are expressing was the norm in my experience, so maybe I am hyper-sensitive, but this hasn't been my general experience in the Western Martial Arts, so I get a bit more surprised by it. The whole, "what I do is the only thing that counts" attitude is so counter to what I think the Western MA is about.

    Oh, well, sorry for the rant, I don't want to throw gas on a flame, but seems like I needed to speak-up for myself.

    Many Thanks,
    -Chris Amendola

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