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Cane Fu - Senior Self Defense

Updated on January 29, 2012

Cane Self-Defense

Cane-Fu Fighting


I remember hearing a story in the neighborhood when I was younger.  The old man around the corner was on his way to the neighborhood Mom and Pop store when he was attacked by some young kids.  The kids thought he was an easy target because he walked with a cane and he was slow moving kind of slumped over as he shuffled along.  However those kids got the surprise of their lives when the old man started beating their asses with his cane.  Word was that he didn’t stop with the beatings until the kids fled.  The old man had some minor injuries but he was not as sore and battered as the kids.  The old man was pretty proud of his self and was constantly reliving the story and each time the number of kids grew and each time the damage that was done became much more than the original story.  The neighbors were just happy that he was ok and able to protect himself.

That old man was using self defense and a method of Cane Fu.  What is Cane Fu or Cane Fighting? It is a newer form of self defense and martial arts techniques for the elderly.  Anyone with a cane can utilize the skills needed for Cane Fighting.  Cane Fu teaches a person how to use their cane to protect themselves and the Cane Fu classes are helping seniors across the country to get fit while teaching them how to defend themselves with something that they use on a daily basis. 

There are many groups cropping up around the country teaching seniors the art of Cane Fu.  The classes and teachers are going to Senior Citizen Community or Rest Homes and teaching them how to protect themselves.  Being able to protect themselves is important and being able to use something that they already have in their possession makes it that much easier.  In these self defense classes seniors are taught how to use their canes for protection with several simple moves.  Making strikes and blows to the head and the groin of the attacker.  Since most canes have a curved top it is also possible to wrap the cane around the attackers’ neck, leg or arm.  A cane is the only self defense weapon that is legal and can be taken anywhere even on the airplane. 

Of course not all seniors are strong enough to do different moves or to necessarily overtake an assailant but knowing Cane Fu and Cane Fighting gives any senior the ability to get out of a situation or possibly stop a situation from happening in the first place.  Learning Cane Fu has helped many seniors obtain the self esteem and security that they need to walk tall and feel comfortable that they could protect themselves if someone did in fact attack them.    

With a cane there are many different things that a person can do to hurt their attacker; hitting different areas of the body and using different parts of the cane.


Basic Cane Fu moves:


  1. Jab – Taking the hook of the cane in one hand and grabbing the shaft of the cane with the other hand a person can jab the cane into the stomach, face, groin or chest of their assailant.
  2. Hook – The hook of the cane can be used around the wrist, leg or neck of the assailant.  Once the hook is around the body part of the attacker the cane can be maneuvered in different ways to hurt the attacker; with a simple tug or twist.
  3. Smack – Just repeatedly hitting the leg, the groin or other body parts of the assailant over and over again is enough to cause pain and can possibly scare the attacker away.  This works very well especially with very heavy canes in the right area. 


Seniors can also use the cane to stretch and exercise so that they become more flexible and are able to move the cane more easily.  Doing exercises and stretching with the cane also makes them more familiar with using the cane in different motions.    

Seniors are not taking these classes or lessons to become masters because that is something that would take years of study.  Seniors are learning the basic moves to be able to protect themselves against attackers and getting fit in the mean time. Some seniors might not ever come into a situation where they would need the cane for their protection but the knowledge that they gain from these Cane Fu sessions is immeasurable.  

Seniors are not exempt from being attacked and some feel that they are easy targets especially if they are seen walking with a cane. But looks can be deceiving if that senior knows how to use his/her cane for self defense.  The attacker will certainly be taken by surprise when the cane flies at them.



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    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 6 years ago from West Coast

      Bobcat - I think the confidence is most important and the cane helps to reinforce that. Thank you so much for your story and insight.

    • profile image

      Bobcat 6 years ago

      Follow-up: you can't run. You might as well stand and fight.

    • profile image

      Bobcat 6 years ago

      I spent 40 years in gyms, and competed in powerlifting. I practice a small number of cane moves. I've never had to use them on the street. The confidence that strength and a few basic cane moves gives you deters would-be attackers. So I get to walk in dark places without problems. So can you. A good cane can stop a knife attack and beat the attacker to the ground in a second or two, so that s/he won't get up without help.

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

      Charles, Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate your insight. I could not agree with you more. They are some elderly that would not be able to protect themselves with only a cane without working on some practical techniques. My thought is more on empowering the elderly whatever that might take.

    • Charles E Davis profile image

      Charles E Davis 7 years ago from New England

      Walking canes have been used for self defense since the 18th Century and the Cane took over from the sword as an essential part of the European gentleman's wardrobe. In addition to its value as a decorative accessory and walking aid, the Cane is a powerful self-defense tool. There have been fighting arts for years including Hapkido Cane, Whiskey stick dancing and various Philippine stick arts.

      There is an explosion of walking Cane defense video’s on the market now. Highly trained martial artists demonstrate various techniques using Combat Canes, Hapkido Canes, and Defensive Canes. Lately I have been seeing Cane Fu. There are many excellent Kung Fu styles around that require years of training to be truly effective. I have to wonder if adding a cane to the moves makes it easier for the average person to defend them selves. It does open the door for more variations of Cane defense. How about ”Praying Mantis Cane” ,” Shoto cane”, How about “Tae Cane Do” accompanied by a picture of a flying sidekick by a cane holding martial artist?

      I guess my point is, How practical is this mindset for the average person that may be older, have an injury and doesn’t have years of martial arts training.

      My recommendation would be to learn basic and practical techniques. Like moving to the side to avoid the attack, perhaps with simple blocks. This should followed by basic strikes using both hands on your cane. Repeating simple attacks from different angles should be effective. Also Jabs, pokes and simple hooking moves. Practicing these simple moves over and over again builds muscle memory. You will likely be able to execute these moves in a pinch. Save “Dragon whips his Tail with a Cane” for later.

      P.S. I carry a doctor,s script for a cane (Just in case)

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you BenjaminB - I think this is a great way to give seniors that extra needed security. I remember hearing about an elderly neighbor fending off would be attackers with his cane. Works well!

    • profile image

      BenjaminB 7 years ago

      Take away the rounded handle of a cane and this kind of fighting style has been around for thousands of years as different forms of stick fighting. To this day some cultures still use it as a means of festival type fighting gatherings often used to determine mates. Great idea some one came up with to market it as old people self defense though.

      My grandpa was a master and I don't believe he ever had to take a class for it,lol. Good hub here Triplet Mom,I enjoyed it :)

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

      Thanks Passinitalong!! I think its a great name for a wonderful and much needed idea.

    • PassinItAlong profile image

      PassinItAlong 7 years ago

      Cane Fu. Now that is an interesting name for this method of self defense. Thanks for the help.

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 8 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you Captain Chris!!

    • captainchris profile image

      captainchris 8 years ago

      Great ifno!!

      I really like reading through all of this kind of stuff. And it is so nice when I learn some things too which I did from you hub page3.

      Thanks for the great tip!!

    • selfdefenseclique profile image

      selfdefenseclique 8 years ago from Lake Park, Florida

      Great!This is the right hub by which i will know about self defense easily. The above information given by you is very interesting and the links are great and helpful. Even you have portrayed self defense through cane in a really new and dynamic style.

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 9 years ago from West Coast

      David - Those are very good suggestions. Its better to be well informed and prepared before an attack happens although that is not always the case.

    • David Harvey profile image

      David Harvey 9 years ago from Sydney Australia

      A very nice article and the first video was good. I would just like to suggest that anyone using a cane for self defense make damn sure that they don't have the stick taken off them by an attacker. And it would be a very good idea to actually practise the moves in some classes, preferably with more than one 'attacker' - so you get used to the idea of always turning to check your sides and back. (I also like the idea about getting a note from the doctor. That is a great tip!)

      Here are a few more self-defense suggestions for you:

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 9 years ago from West Coast

      Cris - So am I. I think its a great thing!!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Hey TM

      Now I'm looking forward to the twilight years with less fear! :D

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 9 years ago from West Coast

      Lisa HW - Thank you. I think Cane Fu is a wonderful idea and truly needed.

      Frogy - I bet hitting anywhere and swinging the cane around could do some damage, especially if that cane was heavy!!

      Captain - Thank you very much. I love your rendition of the song!!

    • The Captain profile image

      The Captain 9 years ago from The Carribean

      "Everybody was cane-fu-fight-ting; there canes were fast as,la,la,la) That was a great song.

      I have tried to fight "cane fu," but everytime I lift my cane up I fall over.

      Fun hub and well presented!

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 9 years ago from Central United States of America

      Jab, hook and smack - wow!  That's good to know.  But I'd probably just HIT ANYWHERE I could.  Guess I should go to that training so I'll be ready.  Thanks for your hub.

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 9 years ago from Massachusetts

      What an excellent Hub. I wouldn't have thought much about "Cane fu", but there's good sense in it. (Of course, people who carry the cane but don't really need it can always get themselves one of those little straw hats and do a hat and cane dance when the mood strikes - another use for a cane. :) )

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 9 years ago from West Coast

      Wow Jack - Great story. I like a happy ending too. Nothing like trying to pick on the "defenseless" guess they learned their lesson the hard way.

    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 9 years ago from The Midwest

      W.E Fairbairn was one of the deadliest men to have ever lived. He knew more and faster ways to kill people than any person before. He lived to 85 and there's a story told about how he was out for a walk, just a very old man shuffling down the street with his cane.

      He was accosted by several young men who thought they could have their way with such a helpless target, and when Fairbairn was finished with them there was barely enough of them left to shovel into the cop car.

      I love a happy ending to a story...

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 9 years ago from West Coast

      MH - Thank you very much. Since writing this I have heard of more and more senior citizens defending themselves with their canes. I find it very interesting.

    • MotherHubber profile image

      MotherHubber 9 years ago from Southern California

      Triplet, LMAO! I know this is a serious ("real") topic, but I just couldn't stop laughing the whole time I was reading it. I am still smiling as I type this. My parents are ageing baby boomers, and I will send them your Hub so they can feel better about what is to come. Nice work! Loved it!

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 9 years ago from West Coast

      G-Ma - I am glad that you like. Sounds like you use your cane for everything that is great. Now just add protection to your list. Hopefully you won't need to use it for that purpose but it is there in case you do!!

      Jack - Lol!! At least you have the documented proof once you beat ass!!

      Teresa - So do I. They work perfectly and aren't illegal what could be better?

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      I truly need my cane.....

    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 9 years ago from The Midwest

      While I was at the doc's office for something else I told him I wanted a prescription for a cane. I said that I had a trick knee that acted up now and then and when it did I wanted to use the cane. He said that I didn't need a prescription, I could just buy one at a store. I explained that I wanted it to write the cane off my taxes. He gave it to me and I've been carrying it in my wallet for years.


      Because now I have the ability to carry a cane ONLY when I feel it's necessary without the government questioning it.

      "Mr. Burton, you normally don't carry a cane but this time you used one to beat three innocent young boys into a pulp when they just wanted to have some fun with you. Were you looking for trouble by carrying the cane."

      "No sir, Mr. District Attorney, as you can see here from my medical record it says my knee acts up now and then. That happened to be one of the times it was acting up so I used a cane. Prove it wasn't."

      It gives me the unquestionable right under the law to carry it at anytime I feel it is important, without having to justify it to anyone.

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Dang! i gotta get me a cane!

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      You are something else...I walk with a cane and I actually use it for many the stores when I can't reach something, when I'm on the tractor mower I use the curved part to pull the heavy hoses around..when I drop something and it rolls under a chair or a place I can't reach I use to retrieve the item...

      I am so happy you made this Hub...I have not thought about it as a weapon and I will go to the site that was on the 3rd video...also had not thought about using it for exercise...but I do use 3 lb. weights everyday...but now I can use my cane when not at home

      Actually I have 2 canes one for work and one for when I go out in public (it was a Christmas gift) and that one has flowers painted on it....THANK YOU so much...for this hub...when I first read the title I laughed and thought it would be funny...Love you G-Ma :O) Hugs


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