Letter Re: Walking Sticks for Self Defense

Dear Editor:
That sidearm on your hip may have a lot of admirable qualities, but so long as rule of law is still in effect here in the US, there are some places you simply can’t take it. On a plane, for example, or into a Post Office (which is where folks tend to “go postal”).

Further, even if you are armed, there still could be a problem with an attacker who is relatively close. Several sources assert that, at 21 feet an armed, fast-moving attacker could close the gap and fatally assault you with a knife, sword, or blunt instrument before you could deploy your holstered pistol.

But what if you could have a lethal self-defense weapon in your hands at all times, carry it anywhere, and no one would so much as raise an eyebrow? You can. The humble cane or walking stick will suit your purposes just fine.

A cane extends your reach to keep an attacker at well more than arm’s length. It’s always at hand; there is no delay in bringing it into action. A cane can trip, entangle limbs, strangle, poke, abrade, break and crush. It can also block and parry strikes from an opponent. Like a Star Trek phaser, a cane’s power is adjustable from a warning tap to bone-breaking force to a lethal blow.

The simple physics of a cane multiplies your force. Swing a cane and its middle travels faster than your hand, and the tip of the cane travels faster still. Scott Rorebeck, who wrote two excellent articles on “The Dark Side of the Stick” for The Backwoodsman magazine (March/April 2003 and May/June 2004) recounts how he saw a deer that had its legs broken by an encounter with a car. He dispatched instantly with a single blow from a walking stick. Even a brush from the speeding tip of a cane can rip open skin or tear a jugular vein.

I walk frequently with a cane or walking stick and have never been questioned or prevented from bringing it anywhere.

For some quick lessons on what to do, check out The “Walking Stick” Method of Self Defense, by H.G. Lang and Bartitsu.org. Also, do a web search on “stick fighting.” Regards, – J.E.

JWR Adds: Readers may find that my 2006 SurvivalBlog article on Canes, Walking Sticks, and Umbrellas for Street Self Defense has some useful tips, legal provisos, and links.