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Q & A: Cane Defense Edition

Hi Steve

I do a good amount of walking-early morning and evening and thought about getting a walking stick. Would you have any ideas for basic self defense with a walking stick/kali stick?

As always , I appreciate and trust your advice.


I know a little about using a stick for striking. Using a cane is a good idea for older men. It's a time honored practice for elderly men especially.

I am self-taught. I used to swing lightweight Indian clubs and many of the moves are the same as Kali. It's pretty straightforward stuff: jabbing or stabbing with a stick is extremely effective, so are figure-eights.

I'm sure that there must be tons of free info on YouTube regarding this.

I like the character in The Walking Dead who uses a staff to dispatch the zombies: It's practical -- and most importantly -- it's legal.

An umbrella, rolled newspaper, cane, or tree branch can make a good, improvised weapon.

For years, when I lived in Philly, I used to carry a telescoping baton made of steel. You'd simply flick it and it would extend from its handle, tripling in length. There are two different models, the one I had was a heavy steel spring-housed within an 8-inch steel handle called the Asp -- it really would hurt to get hit with it.

My favorite easily-improvised weapon is a golf ball within a sock...or even a common plastic shopping bag.

I actually carry one on most flights; it goes right through security. I simply tied and knotted a plastic shopping bag around a found golf ball; it would knock someone kooky if struck in the head with the proper angle. It can also be used to strike a knife-wielding hand in order to make the person drop it.

Against a knife, any long range weapon longer than the knife is a big advantage.