The Cane: Street Techniques (DVD)
Cane Masters 32 minutes $39.95
http://www.canemasters.com/ 1-800-422-CANE (2263)
In the last issue of ÆGIS we discussed use of canes by protective specialists as an alternative to impact weapons, or as tools for deadly force. At that writing we had not received the instructional materials offered by Cane Masters. We have now looked at their DVD, The Cane: Street Techniques, which shows a variety of cane techniques that might be used in a deadly force confrontation. The techniques shown are gross motor skills, which means they can be learned quickly by the average person, and retained for a long time with minimal practice.
The Cane: Street Techniques is worth getting if you plan to carry a cane professionally as an alternative to an impact weapon, and want to develop skills in using it as a lethal weapon in desperate circumstances. If you have the time, it is to your benefit to practice all the techniques shown. You could also pick a subset of techniques to master, and have at least those at your disposal.
In law enforcement the impact weapon is one choice among many for moving up and back down the force continuum. Impact weapons are used to strike large muscle masses. We do not strike to the head in law enforcement, and by striking large muscle masses we avoid breaking bones, because the impact weapon is intended to be used as an intermediate force weapon, not a deadly force weapon, and hitting the head and breaking bones both constitute deadly force. It is obvious that a cane or walking stick can also be used to strike major muscle masses, using the exact same techniques as we use in law enforcement. In this use we feel that a heavier cane such as a blackthorn is the appropriate choice.
In law enforcement we have other tools – our gun – when we need to use deadly force.
In protective services, where we are not acting under color of law, it is not legally possible to carry a gun in most jurisdictions. More important than that, our goal is to avoid danger, not respond to it, and having a gun might make someone feel inclined to confront a danger, rather than flee from it. Finally, it is a truism that if (through poor planning or bad luck) you need a gun it is probably too late to use it. Because of these factors, we do not generally carry guns when providing protective services. Nonetheless, there may be circumstances where deadly force is needed, in which no gun is available, and where it is not too late to take actions. In these cases a cane, used as a deadly weapon, might work
The cane techniques taught in this video – as in virtually all non-law enforcement training in use of sticks – do not teach the cane as a longer impact weapon to be used on large muscle masses. Rather, the techniques shown are used to break bones, crack skulls, and otherwise cause mechanical damage to stop an aggressor who is trying to cause you or those under your care death or grave bodily harm. The response for which this video trains is appropriate, as its target audience – from our perspective the professionals we address here – is unlikely to have a gun at hand when a situation escalates to one of deadly force, which is the only situation in which these techniques should be used.
There are repeated warning throughout the DVD as to the potential for causing death or grave bodily harm inherent in use of these techniques. As with use of all emergency safety tools from guns down through personal defense sprays and soft empty hand control, these concerns should be in the forefront of your mind until the techniques are actually needed, at which time they should be cast aside.