La canne de combat (combat cane) is a French combat sport based on the use of a cane, a medium-length walking stick. It is visually quite original, very quick and athletic. It is also somewhat difficult to really understand from the outside, as the rules shape much of the action. This post provides a brief history and describes the main rules of the sport.
Martial training generally comes together with initial fears and occasional pain. Some training methods point out fear as a pedagogical helper. They will use the fear of pain as a motivator to not get hit. They will use unsafe gear and say that the fear of accident increases the realism of the practice and help make the student focus. I personally disagree with these methods and would not fancy studying in such environments, for the reasons outlined in this post.
This post explores the notion of speed in our sources, starting with the explicit admonitions to be quick, the reasons one needs to be quick, and then details the distortions to martial moves that are brought by low-speed work. I believe this information is important to keep in mind when discussing training methodology.
As I’ve exposed in a previous post the term HEMA does not come with a good description of the goals or an exact prescription of the approach. The study of historical European martial arts can use a variety of methods, and depending on the goals of the student the activity can take different forms. There does not have to be a universal agreement on that, at some point it’s just different strokes for different people. The rest of this post is just a clarification of my personal views on these topics.
I will write quite a lot about HEMA in these pages. What is it? It stands for Historical European Martial Arts. Read on for a more developed definition and some observations…