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Defend Yourself With Your Walking Stick

Why? I don’t need to answer that. You already know – to Survive!

But why a walking stick? If you’re a big tough guy, 4th Dan Black Belt in karate or other martial art, you don’t (really) need a walking stick to defend yourself. Unless your big interest is in fact stick fighting, sutekki-shin-jutsu. When you would always carry one, as I do, for the fun (and the Hell!) of it. I’m never without my Stick and my Dog. (What about my wife?)

But what if you are a young athletic cyclist or road runner? This is a bit more (much more!) difficult. Obviously you can’t lug a walking stick around. A kara-tetsu, now that’s different, sensible and practical. So a stick is not for you, m’Love. My advice here is breathe more oxygen, hold on to your karatetsu and run even faster. Make sure you can outpace that mugger.

Now you football kickers, rugby smash-downers, tennis hitters, here’s your chance to walk through a park without fear! Without trembling as you walk past those bushes. (Am I exaggerating? Of course I am!). I KNOW you don’t need a walking stick to defend yourselves. You could just spit and knock a mugger over. We all know that.

But – a weapon in your hand is better than Willie in your …

Muggers, robbers and drunken yobs are everywhere. No matter how good, tough and quick you are, there’s always some-one (or some-many) better. If you are of a some-what martial nature, a stick is both fun and utilitarian. My feeling is that a whack! on a nose can solve many arguments.

But now we come to legal issues. You must have a watertight excuse for carrying that stick. You can’t tell the Police “I just happened to have it with me and when that b-----d looked at me I felt mentally injured, so I chased after him and changed his mind-set for him” Not Allowed! Jail! If you run away – Good Boy! If you chase him, you are participating in a FIGHT – Bad Boy!

(I’m not saying that I myself necessarily agree with that. But that is most certainly the legal view.)

SO – you must have a valid legal justification for having a stout stick on board. And you have! You are most definitely a keen athletic (big tough!) sportsman. “At training yesterday, M’Lud, I fell over and strained my ankle. God it hurt! So I just HAD to use a stick to help me get about”. Don’t for heaven’s sake say to the magistrate that it helped you sit down and drink nine pints in the Pub! Looks bad.

Seriously, make sure you have a valid excuse for bringing that stick along with you. Like a sporting injury – to your FOOT, not your brains!

If you are a more middle-aged ‘sportsman’ - draughts, TV, sun bathing on the beach type – again make sure you have a valid legally-sound reason for having a walking stick with you. Of course, you’re much safer legally than the youngsters, but you must still be absolutely secure. If you intend (sensibly) to carry a walking stick as a self defence weapon, have some kind of medically verifiable health excuse. Like a previous heart attack? No, not to that extreme – unless of course it happens to be true. You need some minor leg, knee or ankle injury. NOT a headache!

How do you get one? Easy, you buy it. You buy a documented entry in your medical notes. But how? Go along to the Club Physiotherapist (free and friendly) or to a private physio (not free, but as you could be a future customer, very friendly and very sympathetic!) and say that you hurt your (leg, knee, foot) last month and it’s still bothering you. What advice could he give?

You want him (for your £20) to slap on some gunge, give it a ten-minute massage and ‘see how it goes’. At which point you ask him “Would a walking stick help?” He will say ‘Yes’. If he doesn’t, press the issue to get him to agree. This is important. This is your future legal survival.

Now, if ever you belt a mugger on the nose, you have a valid verifiable reason for carrying your walking stick, and the Police could not ‘do you’ for using an offensive weapon, nor could the (swollen nose’d) mugger sue you for punitive damages.

PS If you do indeed need to use a walking stick to help you get about, use it in the hand opposite to your bad leg. Injured left foot – stick in the right hand.

Submitted by:

John Roberts-James

John Roberts-James is a Black Belt 4th Dan, Senior Coach and author of "Sutekki-shin-jutsu: Modern Walking Stick Techniques" and "Karatetsu-jutsu". He directs the Alternative Therapy Clinic in Darlington and ALWAYS carries a walking stick. http://www.personalprotectionpublications.co.uk




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