“Cane or canne” is the weapon used in a West European martial art form known as Canne De Combat. This “weaponry” based combat form is said to have originated from France. Furthermore, in this style of fighting the practitioner basically uses a padded suit and fencing mask. In addition, this combat form was officially converted into a sport by Maurice Sarry in the 1970’s. The weapon used in this style of combat (i.e. a cane) is made from chestnut wood and is slightly tapered.
a. History/origin of the Canne De Combat:
According to the cultural history of France, Canne De Combat was developed during the early 19th century in the country as a form of self defense by the men belonging to the upper class (bourgeois) living in unsafe cities such as Paris. Furthermore, the origin of this form of weapon based combat form is closely linked to the development of the “Savate” as a boxing style. In addition, the popularity of both “Savate” and “Canne De Combat” grew rapidly within the French society until the beginning of World War I. In fact, due to the high causalities that the country suffered during this war the popularity of this combat form waned drastically. However, there were a few Savate clubs that continued to teach this weapon based martial art form even during the period between the two wars (i.e. World War I and II). It was eventually in the 1970’s that “Canne De Combat” was converted into a sport by Maurice Sarry.
b. Weapon used in the Canne De Combat:
The weapon used in this form of combat is a “cane” which is slightly tapered, and is made from chestnut wood. In addition, the cane is about 95 cm in length. Furthermore, there are two type of canes mainly used i.e. the green cane and the black cane. So while the green cane weighs 120 g the black cane weighs 100 g.
c. Technique involved in the Canne De Combat and training availability:
In terms of technique, a fighter essentially holds the cane in one hand and combats the opponent. However, a fighter can switch hands at anytime during the bout. Furthermore, strikes with the cane are either made horizontally or vertically. While moves such as “thrusting or stabbing” are strictly disallowed in this combat form. In addition, a duel is basically won on points since the lightness and the protective equipment used make “knockout” impossible. As for training centers/schools, there are a few available especially in France for those interested in learning this “weapon” based martial art form.
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