WALKING-STICK DEFENCE July 30 1917

You may from time to time have asked yourself "Whatever would I do if I were to ankle past a suspicios bohunk and be ambushed and robbed of my hard-earned dollars?" Today, the "Encyclopædia Obscura" will answer that query. Ever vigilant, we will print some highlights from E.W. Barton-Wright's article by the catchy name "Self-defence with a Walking-stick: The Different Methods of Defending Oneself with a Walking-Stick or Umbrella when Attacked under Unequal Conditions". You can read the article in its entirety by accessing this "hyper-link", but we understand that a gentleman or housewife of these modern and busy times may wish a trunkated version. Is not this "Inter-Network" a wonderful thing?

So sit back with cup of something vile and bitter that no doubt is good for body and mind, and we guarantee that by the end of this article you will be able to fight like a Chinaman. But of course one of greater physical stature and without the Asian affliction of narrowed field of view, and thus far more prepared for close combat. Watch out, Peking! "LOL"!

But let us not get caught up in jest and applesauce, but instead have a look at the origin of this article. "Self-defence with a Walking-stick: The Different Methods of Defending Oneself with a Walking-Stick or Umbrella when Attacked under Unequal Conditions" was first printed in Pearson's Magazine in January of 1901. Barton-Wright, the author, had studied the art of self-defence while observing the Japanese, and upon his return to western shores he developed this particular technique. Onto lesson the first.

The Guard by Distance - How to Avoid any Risk of being Hit on the Fingers, Arm, or Body by Retiring out of the Hitting Range of your Adversary, but at the same time Keeping Him within the Hitting Range of your Own Stick.

Imagine you are walking down a dim street in the evening's dying hours when you are suddenly bushwacked by a jigaboo bent from coofin varnish! It could be wise to keep him at a distance, so hop from one foot to the other while keeping your walking stick at the ready. When he attempts to strike you, get out of the way and land the plum of your cane squarely on his head to knock him off his fence and send him running home. That's right, Jim, go chase yourself!

Another Way to Avoid being Hit by Retiring out of Range of your Adversary's Stick.

Unlike the "The Guard by Distance - How to Avoid any Risk of being Hit on the Fingers, Arm, or Body by Retiring out of the Hitting Range of your Adversary, but at the same time Keeping Him within the Hitting Range of your Own Stick." technique, this stance involves tilting your head forward to invite your adversary to attempt to hit it. When he does, swiftly get out of the way and deliver a crippling blow to his wrist. "Ha ha!" It would appear someone will have to forfeit the bridge tournament come September!

Double-handed Stick-play - Showing the Best Way to Handle with Two Hands a Stick which is too Heavy to Manipulate Quickly with One Hand, when Attacked by a Man Armed with a Light Stick.

But more factors enter into the equation! Imagine your opponent has a light stick while you are burdened by the weight of your finest Sunday cane. Obviously, he will be able to whip you like a Spaniard before you can successfully muster up enough velicity to shatter his ribcage.

Still, all is not lost. Firstly, "make yourself big" as a cat would. Hold your cane in both ends as to confuse your opponent. He will now have no idea which side to attack you from, as you are in a position to use whichever end of the cane you should wish. Barton-Wright explains the next step in the process thus:

"The blow is delivered thus -- you slide your right hand quietly off the right-hand end of the stick, and bring it back again, holding the stick with the thumb on the side nearest your face. Then, using your left hand as a pivot, you slide your right hand up to your left with a circular motion, thus delivering a strong side blow at your adversary's face."

I was hoping you would understand what he was talking about. Personally, I am at a loss, but then again I do no own a heavy stick and neither should you, apparently.

How to Defend Yourself, without Running any Risk of being Hurt, if you are carrying only a Small Switch in your Hand, and are Threatened by a Man with a very Strong Stick.

But what if the tables were turned and your opponent came at you with a heavy cane (or even a club!) while all you had was an unreliable stick best suited for short walks? This is where all those dancing lessons the wife dragged you off to pay off. Attack your foe high to prompt him to parry, and then grab him by the collar and trip him with a simple jig! This will cause him to assume an involuntary split position, and if this is your lucky day his scrotum might even split open so the dirty Polack is rendered unable to procreate.

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A very Safe Way to Disable a Boxer who Attempts to Rush You when You are Armed with a Stick.

Adversaries like common thugs and kikes are one thing, professional boxers are another altogether! If you are to happen upon a professional boxer, the best manouver would be to swing out of the way to avoid his explosive fist and exploit the newly won distance by stabbing him in his black boxer heart. This will also work against boxer vampires, provided your cane does not have too thick a layer of lacquer

How to Defend Yourself with a Stick against the most Dangerous Kick of an Expert Kicker.

If an Expert Kicker (or "savater" or "foot-boxer" even) were to try to use his most Dangerous Kick against you, time is of the essence! An expert kicker is a most ferocious creature, and if he gets himself lathered up sufficiently, he can best the wildest Bengal tiger with time to spare to catch the streetcar back.

When the expert kicker attempts to kick you, stop his speeding foot with your cane, and while he is all baffled up, strike him hard in the ankle as to break it. There you go. You might want to mind your own potatoes in the future, expert kicker! Or should I say "gimp"? "Ah haha"!

And there you have it! You should now be able to defend yourself against just about every manner of creature there is, provided you have your cane with you. And whilst steam engines and telephones and electric appliances are bringing us into a glittering future where hair can be dried in seconds and croquette hoops are unbendable, one thing is certain: you will never see the Man of the House leave his home without his cane by his side.

- Jakob Sandvik