I've been using a cane since last summer. Last autumn I wrote a series of articles of what I was learning about it.
Most of the materials I could find on cane-handling were about martial uses... how it was used by European gentleman in the 19th century, hapkido, American hardwood cane techniques, police sticks, whatever I could find on Amazon. Usually they would start with power strokes to take out bony areas. I was appalled by all the headshots in European techniques, and only recently realized they used much lighter sticks than the oak and hickory I had tried by that point.
But how often have you been attacked? And of those times, how often were you at a walking position, three to six feet from someone, when you suddenly decided to break their collarbone? Those introductory power strokes don't make much sense from a real defensive strategy... easy and fun to learn in a room, and perhaps even emotionally gratifying to practice, but in the real world you'll be trying to defuse violence, and talk or walk out of it, and any need for contact will likely start within the three-foot zone. What will you have done before letting them enter that three-foot zone?
I'm looking at a row of three dozen cane video recordings, and I can't think of a single one that shows someone holding and walking with the stick in the real world, how they handle it in the supermarket, how they use it to stay safe in foot traffic and in intersections.
That's my big revelation after letting this immersion stew for awhile... the current materials don't show much about how to use the cane to protect against the minor dangers of daily life, focusing solely on defending against the (statistically rare) aggressive criminal. Joint locks are fascinating to study, and power strokes and combos exhilarating to practice, but really, I'd just be happy if I could keep people from trying to walk right through me, and reduce the odds that a car will endanger me. Those are the more realistic risks each day.
There's another type of defense too, and that's defense against injury. Strengthening, toning, and flexibility are big ways to protect against accident. This is another subject which is under-represented in the literature.
I love the feeling of confidence of being able to protect against attackers. But I'm really studying ways to protect against the negligent. And it's just as important to study ways to improve the self, defending against time and chance. The cane literature out there focuses on only one sphere of these three.
I've been thinking about doing some video, but that's a big, big project, with a lot of startup costs. But now I see so many people each day with canes, and few of them seem comfortable with having a stick, much less happy to be favored with such an extra limb. But the cane is so much fun, and makes sense on so many levels, I've got to figure a way to spread the word....