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Showing 1-10 of 40 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 44 reviews
on October 14, 2014
First it looks old and noy very slick, I did not like it at all at first sight. But if you really read it with care you will find ONE OF THE BEST self defense manuals in the market!

FIRST: It explains the guard on the old bartitsu cane photos, with your hand holding the stick raised behind your head. It looks ineffective but in reality is probably the best position if you have a cane or a stick.

SECOND: Addresses the fact that you do not have a sharp sword, so the fencing guards with your stick in front are mainly an invitation to have it grabbed, yes there are techniques to deal with that, but the chances are that you would have to end wrestling for control of your stick. If you have a sharp sword the damage that it can do and the fact that if you try to wrestle it from your adversary will cut your hands acts as a deterrent that does not apply to a stick.

THIRD: Deals with the fact that for a stick the main targets are the head, including of course the face, and the hands, yes all body is a target but if you hit a really strong man with a stick the damage will probably not disable him, and a solid hit will give him the opportunity to get hold of your stick. Also and this is the flip side of the real targets for a stick it put a lot of emphasis on the protection of your own hands and head.

FOURTH: This is very important most of the manual for the use of the stick are grounded on oriental martial arts, they might be really good, but they are not designed for the walking stick-cane, and many are made by martial artists from scratch and some times the techniques might not be as effective as they appear, also many of the techniques require hyperfit people and many people with canes are not in that category.

FIFTH: I have several very well made and beautiful canes, they are too heavy! With this system you can get results from a humble and very cheap aluminum orthopedic cane, or from a dirty cheap stick!

It will need a lot of close study, but if you persevere and do the exercises (they require a good deal of effort and time, and they can be very difficult at the beginning ) you will have a a very effective method of self defense, and a very nice way of passing the time when you walk with your stick. It is an old fashioned "constitutional" that will exercise the arms as well as the legs when you walk, and of course the exercises ahoild be done with both hands.


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on July 12, 2013
Not everyone will find the book interesting but if you are in to self-defense and like to use a walking stick while hiking or strolling in the park this book offers great insight to protect yourself against man or beast. A stick is a great tool and person that knows how to use a stick a confident person.
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on May 8, 2011
This is an excellent book and provides value along three fronts and comes with a careful caveat. I am rating this a 4/5 stars primarily from the poor printing of the volume I received. I had viewed another volume a friend had purchased and did not have the same challenges. Specifically the cover felt like the ink had raised fibers in the cover and was not as crisp as I would have preferred for a brand new book. Second, some of the pictures within the text seemed to have experienced some kind of paper or plate shift and there were odd highlights in the pictures. This did not interfere with the material nor my consumption of it, but it was unpleasant.

First value, this text is part of the legacy of Mr. Pierre Vigny a very famous in his day french martial artist who devised a system of self defense using one's walking cane. As part of his legacy in the Western Martial Arts it is a requisite read to recapture the full value of what Mr. Vigny offered. Other useful sources would be the Bartitsu Compendium volumes that cover stick fighting as well as the US Defense Manual from WW II that covers cane/stick fighting techniques derived from "Judo". I put that in quotes as several scholarly articles suggest that the Judo cross germination actually came from Mr. Vigny while working with E. W. Barton the founder of Bartitsu.

Second value, this is a lightweight yet very well written introductory to basic techniques to keep one's self safe. The original audience was for the Indian Police Forces by which they could train recruits to defend themselves while on their beat. The author assumes that the value of his techniques are readily understood and he also assumes that one has some martial experience. Throughout the text there is vigorous encouragement to "continue to explore". There is a certain amount of hyperbole commiserate with the day-and-age in which this was written. That said, the documentary/evidentiary nature of the first section of the text dealing with those providing praise for the author's techniques, suggests strongly that this was--and perhaps remains--a compelling method of self defense.

Third value, it is possible to learn from this text. Unlike many martial arts texts that try to break down techniques into every micro-managed step to try and illuminate the technique, leaving one so befuddled as to ponder which end of the stick is the business end, this text actually succeeds because of its terseness. There is not a lot of time spent describing foot work, but the pictures make it very clear what kind of foot work is being used. The author's apt description of a boxer's stance is immensely helpful in this regard as well.

I did find the author's description of the stick work in the second part of the book a bit confusing. But working with a dowel in one hand and the text in the other, it quickly became clear where my errors originated.

To date I have only tinkered with these techniques in the privacy of my backyard with a good friend, and we have both been left with a profound sense of encouragement. We are--sad to say--getting on in years, so something that works within our physique, provides sound exercise, and lends itself to defense is quite attractive.
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on December 30, 2015
I came across the notion of "walking stick se;f-defense" in a Will Thomas mystery and was intrtigued by the method. The text here is not without merit: the directions are easy to follow and the photographs are clear in illustrating the form and position of the body (and stick.) That said, walking sticks are painfully out of style, and while an umbrella could be used in its stead, the forms aren't terribly practicable. Additionally, the product itself is a bit flimsy - it is a reproduction of a text originally produced in the 1920s, and it shows. An interesting side-show, but not something I would take too seriously.
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on June 7, 2014
Considering we live in a completely different culture than this book was written for it has excellent information. He concentrates on stick to stick defense rather than the typical empty handed or knife or gun wielding attacker we will normally experience in our culture. Nevertheless, it is a good book. Following his ways and practicing as he recommends will go a long way for anyone wanting to learn stick defense.
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on June 5, 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It provides great advice as well as a look back in history. You will see that while some techniques and stances in the book have evolved, the theory and advice behind them largely are the same. My only knock on the book and it may be because it's a kindle version is the figures are at times far from the descriptions. A solid edit or maybe smaller pictures with the text would engage the reader and enhance the book.
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on January 25, 2016
In today's world a walking stick is a great equalizer. This book has very practical techniques that one can easily learn and for most of the techniques you don't need a training partner. I believe for anyone wanting to use the walking stick or cane for self protection this is a very good first book. I have 49 years of martial arts and have trained in the orient for 8 years so I found this little gem to be a very good addition to my training.
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on February 10, 2013
Having trained and taught cane fighting as well as other stick arts, I found that the training was much to rigid. There was no flow, just a collection of techniques. Certainly adequate against someone who had no training, but very likely a different result against someone trained on any of the stick arts.
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on April 20, 2017
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on March 1, 2016
This book was written a long time ago by a Captain of Police but the moves it teaches and the British wit are timeless. Anybody who has a walking stick can learn these moves and the book will move a victim to a defender within a few days. This concept has been around a while but this books takes a timeless series of techniques and turns them in to something that anybody can do.
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