Review of Master Ed Martin’s
“The Cane”
By: Master John Enger

I’m not a new student to the use of the cane as a self-defense weapon and have been certified, “ranked” by level if you will as an “Instructor” by a few schools in this unique “implement” as Master Martin describes it. So, I think I have a good “grip” (no pun intended here!) on what Master Martin has to say about the cane and its use to protect yourself from the varied attacks that are taking place all over the United States by human animals with seared consciences walking the streets of our beautiful country who prey on the those minding their own business. Citizens must understand they need to take back their right to defend themselves and stop living in fear.

For those of you who think the cane is a medical implement, used only for the elderly, injured or handicapped. You are going to be more than enlightened by the time you are finished viewing this DVD with Master Martin who has applied the principles of Ninjutsu to the cane for self-defense purposes.      

Master Martin poses a very good question: “Why do we study self-defense”? I suppose everyone has their particular reason and that’s okay. But I did find his answer very intriguing --- “To make us responsibly free.”  I like that answer. It’s a short and very powerful statement. Master Martin explains this through a true story he relates – the “Story of Larry”. You will find that this story “epitomizes what martial art really is and what self-defense truly is.” Master Martin states that how Larry handled the situation is “the highest form of self-defense.” I agree Master Martin!      

In this training DVD Master Martin states that “any technique you can do with a hanbo, you can do with a cane.” He adds…….. “One difference – the cane is a hanbo with an attitude!”

Master Martin adds some background of the cane as it applies to today’s world and a bit of wise legal comments that are a very good addition. Because the cane is recognized as a “medical implement” it can go with you anywhere.

I will cut right to the chase at this juncture and tell you that I started to count the techniques Master Martin began showing and found myself very engaged in the techniques rather than continuing the count --- there are many, many techniques not only shown, but discussed as to why and how they work. The techniques were all very simple to perform…….. no magic!  I’m personally not at all enamored with fancy stuff (although techniques of that sort are awesome to watch, they are most often times more for crowd demonstration and choreographed scenes and worthless as self-defense techniques!). It must be simple, quick and effective or it’s not worth my time.

You will find defense scenarios against punches, kicks, hand grabs, collar grabs, cane grabs, bear hugs (front/rear), chokes (front/rear), knife attacks and much more. Master Martin also does a wonderful presentation on the use of the cane against multiple attackers – not often seen in this type of training.

This is a solid, basic course on the fundamental use of the cane for self-defense purposes. Nothing magical presented. It’s all about understanding the implement (cane) and knowledge of how to move your body (the key to the techniques). Master Martin covers the topic of balance and just how little it takes to remove someone’s balance from them as well as using the cane to “trap and control” your attacker – you will be amazed at just how little movement it will take on your part to successfully and effectively deploy these techniques.

Master Martin also talks quite candidly on the proper selection of a cane for self-defense purposes. Subtle differences in the standard or average cane, but will make a world of difference when using it for self-defense.

As I always do, I spent time practicing the techniques presented in the DVD. I was able to get three other of martial arts students together and we spent an entire afternoon practicing the techniques. There was not one technique that I or any of my students found that would be ineffective as shown in this DVD. The principles of Ninjutsu that have been applied to the cane for self-defense by Master Martin were unique in many ways to other cane “systems” out there.

I want to make sure I point out that no cane technique, whatever system one may be using for self-defense are “guaranteed” to work for everyone. Why? Quite simply, for some there will be certain very limiting physical conditions caused by age, disease or injury that will make some or many techniques useless. However, every good instructor should make adjustments for each of these types of students by finding the techniques (and it’s very possible that there may only be a few…… which is certainly better than none!) to deploy self-defense measures irrespective of those physical limitations. 

So, what is my overall opinion on this training DVD? I give it a solid “A”.  If you purchase this DVD you are actually receiving training on the hanbo as well – not a bad deal!  

Master Martin: “If someone is trying to hurt you, that person(s) has given up their rights of human consideration – at least to the level they are trying to hurt you.”                       

Again, if you are looking to obtain a solid self defense course of study on the use of the cane – this is it! I highly recommend you consider purchasing “The Cane” by Master Ed Martin. By practicing the techniques demonstrated in this DVD on a regular basis, you will develop the muscle memory required to deploy potentially life saving self-dense tactics without much thought.