James over at hellinahandbasket just posted his investigations into cane durability. This was something spurred by one of my postings, and it’s great that he sought to check this stuff out. Thanx, James!
It should be noted that James was looking at general durability for whacking someone with a cane. For many people, this is probably all they would do with a cane, using it to strike people in an untrained manner. Don’t get me wrong, there’s certainly nothing wrong with this. My personal goals are slightly different, being able to use a cane for locking, throwing, trapping, and other such things in addition to striking (my background in Kuk Sool and Kali give me many options). Nevertheless, if a cane can’t take a good whack against a tree, it’s doubtful it would be useful in any other way.
If you are going for a cane to just strike someone about the head and shoulders with, I would recommend a lighter cane. Yes more mass (at the same velocity) would yield more force upon impact, but more mass also means more momentum to have to bring to a stop, which you may well need to do to strike again especially if your first one missed. But exactly how heavy the cane should be depends 100% upon you, the way you’ll use the cane, and your strength and ability. Make sure you check this out and don’t settle on a cane until you find one that you can properly wield to suit your goals.
The lucite cane surprised me. But if it works, it works. I would want to feel it for heft and grip before I bought and/or settled on it, but the durability was nice to see. I wonder how easily you can trim the cane for a walking fit, or if it can be ordered to size.
On the other hand, the lack of durability in the rattan cane surprised me. I’ve used rattan staffs in Kuk Sool and we’ve struck each other at full force, no harm. I use rattan sticks in my kali practice, and we strike full force, no harm. I’ve struck the trees in my yard with these sticks, no harm. So I can only assume that it’s not rattan, but perhaps the construction of that particular cane.
In the end, James is right: some cane is better than no cane. Even those purely medical canes are better than nothing (tho they are certainly bottom of the list). But do you need to go out and spend big bucks on some specialty martial arts cane? Probably not. There is advantage there as they are certainly purpose-built (especially when looking at a training cane to ensure the “mouth” of the crook is wide enough to minimize chances of injury to a training partner), but they certainly aren’t a hard-fast requirement. I would also encourage anyone that opts to use a cane for self-defense to get some sort of training with it and to practice with it.
Thanx again, James!