A Fencers Practical Companion

A Fencers Practical Companion

In our time the word fencing has been associated with an olympic sport and an antiquated historical Martial Art both of which, in the modern world of martial arts, are considered relatively impractical for self defense purposes. The word “fencing”, in the broadest and, in my mind, the best sense, applies to the use of many weapons of which the sword is just one. Bruce Lee would include the fist as one too but in terms of a system that employs a device for the purpose the walking stick/cane would be another that comes to mind. To the uninitiated the word fencing, used in association with the walking stick/cane. elicits a feeling of no confidence more often placing more confidence in systems specifically referencing the stick/cane as a practical defensive weapon for example: Bartitsu, or Single Stick. These systems emphasize striking most often with a swinging or clubbing motion, close combat, and hand to hand techniques to disarm or subdue ones opponent. No one could dispute the great value in these methods, however its wrong to under estimate the efficacy of the thrust even with a blunt weapon for its stopping power at distance before the fight becomes a wrestling match, however, for this one needs training in distance, timing, and point control. Most of the wooden, metal, and even synthetic material sticks/canes available are only suitable for this clubbing motion generally lacking the design and balance to make the thrust a preferable technique to clubbing. The distance and tempo that are principles of all martial arts are principles that fencing emphasizes very well and are principles that many who are learning to fight with the stick/cane tend not to emphasize with due diligence. The truth is that fencing is the root from which all western stick/cane fighting systems stem.

Bakhyt Abdiculove, a 3 time world cup champion for the Soviet Union in foil fencing and a fantastic Modern Rapierist once said to me, “A good fencer can fence with broom.”  Unlike many of the sticks/canes out on the market, that may as well be broomsticks given their design, and “sword canes” which are illegal to carry, many of them being far from practical. The Raven model Black Swift Stick is specifically created for martial arts use, made of solid fiberglass it is light and virtually indestructible. The Ravens design incorporates an elegant 75% taper from its knob handle to the point which allows one to more accurately place it as a fencer might. Elegant, discrete, and always deployed. The Raven is legal to carry, even on an airplane, making it an excellent option for anyone interested in a practical self defense devise for stick/cane martial arts systems and the effective disciplines of point control, tempo and distance a fencer is trained for.

A Fencers Practical Companion


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