rom the military to civilians and even the police-- knife, gun and stick fighting is often taught unrealistically. Based on the brutal, bloody, forensic homicide research of former detective John Perkins plus Perkins' over 100 seriously violent arrests, this comprehensive 4 part DVD series separates film fantasy from forensic fact and dojo delusions from real combat.

PART 3 of the Guided Chaos Weapons Series: CANE VS. KNIFE

Cane vs Knife
Drill: Cane Alignment for Accurate Striking
Drill: Spearing with the Cane
 • Drill: Cane/Heavy Bags
 • Drill: "The Gauntlet"
 • Cane Fighting from the Ground vs. Knife
 • Drill: Cane fighting From the Ground
 • Drill: Cane vs. Multiple Attackers in Close Quarters

by Ari Kandel 4th degree GC
I've just watched the new Guided Chaos Weapons Series DVD, "Cane vs. Knife".
This video is very special in that it teaches a LOT more than simply how to use a cane to defend against an attacker with a knife, yet paradoxically, the concepts and movements that it does teach are very few and fairly simple and basic. This makes the DVD and the cane VERY powerful training aids.
The video begins with explanation and demonstrations of the advantages of the cane as a weapon (always legal, always in your hand, stand-off range, stopping power, etc.), and its advantages over other stick-type weapons. John Perkins also dispels some myths regarding how best to use the cane as a weapon. For a variety of demonstrably critical reasons, John dismisses methods that utilize long swings, twirling, and hooking maneuvers with the crook of a crook-top cane. John doesn't even bother to address such nonsense as using the cane as a lever for joint locking and similarly complicated maneuvers, which are nearly impossible to purposefully pull off under real violent conditions.
What we're left with is very simple yet very powerful, adaptable and effective: short, sharp thrusts and hits at all angles, backed up by the footwork and body mechanics necessary to make those movements effective in any situation and environment.
The training methods John presents are ingeniously simple yet very powerful. They typify the biofeedback principles inherent in most of the Guided Chaos training drills. While the first drill shown teaches the proper body mechanics required for achieving powerful short hits with the cane at any angle, it is also an excellent exercise for improving your balance, body unity, dropping power and footwork for hitting with or without weapons. The drills that follow simply up the ante, presenting greater challenges to force the body to adapt and abide by the principles in any situation.
The video goes on to address applying the cane to situations involving groundfighting, multiple attackers and confined spaces and/or environmental obstacles. All of the lessons involving the cane are also useful for combat without a weapon.
Throughout the video, you get to see students of various skill levels go through the drills and receive correction from John. This is very useful, as it can effectively reduce mistakes in your own training, as opposed to just watching a drill being done correctly and remaining unaware of possible pitfalls.
It's important to note that the methods shown on this video are only the most basic, beginning elements of Guided Chaos cane fighting. It is analogous to John Perkins' basic unarmed Close Combat training compared to the full unarmed Guided Chaos system. Basic and simple, yet extremely effective on its own with only a bit of committed training. A perfect base to build further skills on.
The cane is unique in being the most decisively effective weapon that is universally legal to carry everywhere--provided you know how to use it. This DVD will teach you how to use it very well, and will also help improve your understanding and execution of all combative movement.

I wanted to get this message out to the practitioners of Guided Chaos concerning the reality of fighting in general but I will use the example of what I call Combat Cane Fighting to make my point.

A few years back my very close friend and colleague won a very high level full contact stick fighting championship. (I have not gotten his permission to give his name at this time). What was of primary interest to me is this:  He was fully capable of performing all sorts of fantastic choreography (forms) with double kali sticks. He is a master martial artist with decades of experience in a number of arts. He trained personally with world renowned masters. His description of what it took to win after hours of grueling competition of full contact stick fighting was this:

"I basically was able to strike with one stick over and over again like an animal and
through sheer adrenaline and stamina won. Not one fancy technique helped anyone to win."

Let's look at this more closely.

In a real life and death frenzy-filled fight there is no real time for calculated moves.
Sometimes, as a police officer, there is some time to plan because most of the time you
are called to respond to whatever crisis is happening. This is where some planning can be of importance. Once the monkey gets caught in the blender all bets, however, are off. We are primarily concerned with what happens at the point of impact, so to speak.

All the preamble that leads to the split second high speed contact of the fight is not
as important as having built within you the highest degree of survival attributes.
Balance, timing, sensitivity, pre-cortical visual ability, to name a few.

It would seem to make sense that the best way to develop skill as a fighter is to mimic
what has been reported to happen in some actual altercations. This is a step in the right
direction. Now imagine how things would change if you trained with some scenario based concepts and were able to tap into a reservoir of abilities that most people don't ever develop. I know some development happens just by acting out scenarios but imagine if you developed balance that a ballet master would be envious of. Now as you step in and out of range of a stick or other weapon you would have enhanced your ability to move in paths at a higher rate of speed with more power. So if you just played Punch and Judy games with your sticks you would fare better for a real fight than if you twirled both sticks in a display that would almost equal a little baton twirling girl's abilities.

I can see your face right now. How dare you compare the swift, twirling, propeller-like motions that we can do with our sticks with that of a baton twirler! I am not saying that a baton twirler can stick fight. I am only saying that it takes so much time to learn to twirl the baton or the sticks that your best development of internal qualities gets lost. There is only so much good that a kata can bring a person.

I was at a Fu Jow Pai tournament many years ago in Manhattan. It was a full contact
match. During the intermission a man gave a beautiful display of the spear. He basically
was a spear twirler. My good friend said to me something like "Wow look at that spear
move!" I instantly said without thinking that the spear which is made of bamboo would
shatter if I stuck my hand out and hit the shaft. Five seconds later the spear hit the back curtain and shattered. I think that this was not lost on my friend.

The reality of self defense using a stick dictates that you use the heaviest, strongest material possible that that can do the most damage while being easily and quickly wielded. This obviates many lighter materials commonly used in various martial arts in favor of dense woods and steel (such as you would find in a specially made walking cane--which is also legal to carry).

Training with such a stick to adapt to the inherent chaos of real violence dictates a non-regimented training methodology focused on laws of physics and adaptability over patterned techniques.

Imagine jumping from one wobble board to another placed haphazardly and
simultaneously Drop-striking full force against pads moving all over the place. This is
an example of what is needed to develop real life fight preparation.

Now imagine doing it in dark conditions. Now imagine someone pushing you off balance while you move from one board to another gradually picking up the pace and mixing the attacks from one place to another without warning. This is step one in the dynamic training methodology for stick fighting. This is all after first learning how to hit in general.

This is what Guided Chaos training is all about. No memorization, just movement and
drills to enhance your abilities to train like the above method describes. Start slooowwwly and develop speed gradually without memorized forms.

I hope this makes sense to you.

 All the best, JP