The Pandemic has made finding locations qualified cane instructors and locations offering in-person training difficult and often impossible. For those who carry walking canes and are interested in self-defense remote training over ZOOM may be a solution.
Watching a Grand Master perform an advanced cane technique makes it appear seductively graceful, elegant, and straightforward. Replicating it later in training, however, is more complicated. This point is especially true for new caners who attempt to bypass learning the rudiments of cane self-defense. Instead of patiently learning the basics, they want to go straight to the advanced level. Unfortunately, the result of such hastiness is predictable, and disappointment abounds.
I was possibly (definitely) guilty of making the same mistake many years ago when I began cane training. I still remember my initial motivation to duplicate the GM's movements. I also now realize the foolishness of my first efforts. I liken it to someone wanting to become an author and write a book without first learning good grammar. While a well-written book is the sum of thousands of words, each word must be presented using proper grammar and arranged in a predetermined sequence to tell a good story. The same analogy works for caning.
Years of experience have taught me that duplicating a complex sequence of cane movements is nearly impossible unless you first master each movement's skills. A complicated cane moment well presented is the aggregation of multiple individual techniques and executed with the proper timing and cadence. However, watching the cane sequence once, or even many times in person, doesn't mean that you can perform it, or even remember it. Your mind's eye can only capture and retain so many details. Fortunately, there is now a practical solution.
Remote training sessions over ZOOM solve a multitude of problems. Now, not only do you receive live feedback throughout the session, but you also receive a recorded video showing everything that took place, and that is when the magic takes place. With a recorded session, you can analyze the complex movement frame-by-frame and reconstruct the necessary techniques to learn.
I had the most learning success when I studied each action (or sequence) at least four times and from four different perspectives, looking separately at the actions of the GM's feet, body, cane, and timing. I prioritized footwork first, then body position, cane movement, and finally, the sequence's timing or cadence. With ZOOM, you can accomplish all of this and later use the recording to train anywhere you may be! In many instances, the recorded session may be better than training in person, as the video becomes a constant teaching companion and for later reference.
Whether you are just beginning or a master, the same strategy for learning and advancing works. Using the techniques outlined here, I was finally able to duplicate one of the Grand Master's most intriguing (and complicated) movements, a fluid 360-degree spin using double mini-canes. All of this took place simultaneously while maintaining the proper rhythm and flow. Once I finally "got it," it was like a light bulb turned on. This one technique, alone, is a key "building block" that enables an entirely new series of more advanced movements. It's the same great feeling that I've had at many steps in my training when you can finally perform a technique correctly and "make it yours." All of the hours of practice do pay off and more so when you master the basics first! Training over ZOOM can help you accomplish that.
Please contact Keith Melton at 1-800-422 CANE (2263) to schedule a free 30-minute Cane Consultation call to answer any questions about selecting a walking cane for mobility and personal protection.