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Spartacus Maximus
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
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Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:47 pm    Post subject: Weapons for elderly masters Reply with quote

Aging affects everyone and no matter how strong and healthy one might be there comes a time when skills may not be enough. In a recent discussion with my instructor he mentioned that he was considering carrying some kind of defensive weapon in a few years because of his age.

It is very hard to imagine why he would need anything other than his hands, feet and decades of daily training. He may not be what he used to be, but even at nearly 70 and a 9th dan, I pitty whoever is foolish enough to attack him.

More puzzling is the fact that besides the odd blade, weapons are very rare where he resides and usually are improvised objects(firearms and knives are illegal). What kind of defensive weapon might be ideal for an old man to carry?

Any ideas?
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JR 137
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Joined: 10 May 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A cane.
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Spartacus Maximus
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, a cane is probably the most obvious choice. Canes can also have all sorts of surprises from weights to blades. From what I could gather, something lighter and less cumbersome than a cane would be preferable.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I triple the notion...a cane. If not a cane, an umbrella!



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Bulltahr
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Joined: 08 Mar 2015
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Location: NEW ZEALAND
Styles: Shotokan, Seido Juku

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carry the morning paper with him when he goes out if it's thick enough...............................
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Spartacus Maximus
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Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great ideas. Does anyone else know of any old or elderly (as in over 70) martial arts experts who carry some kind of defensive weapon despite still being more than capable to defend themselves at their age?

It still seems like sort of an odd idea for an exceptionally skilled, strong and healthy person to carry anything at all. Is it because at that age, decades of daily training can no longer be relied upon?
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JR 137
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it's that. They're a lot wiser/smarter and most likely fight smarter, meaning not relying on speed and strength as much as us young whippersnappers do.

Due to nature, a 70 year old will not be as strong nor as fast as someone in their prime. Reaction time and endurance will also lag. Of course there are exceptions. But nature is nature, and no one is getting younger.

I'd also suspect an elderly person is far more likely to be targeted by opportunists. If you were a crackhead, would you go after a 20something, or an old man?
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Montana
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Location: Formerly Kalispell, Montana, now Spokane, WA
Styles: Shorin Ryu Matsumura Kenpo & Kobudo

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just a youngster at 62, but on a recent trip to Seattle, and having arthritis in both knees and a bad back, I took along a "bull" cane that I've had and trained with for years.

They are hard to find sometimes..usually in a farm and ranch type of store, but they are indestructable ratton and about an inch thick. Wonderful and legal weapon to carry openly in my opinion.
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Spartacus Maximus
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Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Historical accounts of reknowned masters mention several masters who carried something for personal defense. Given the cultural and historical context of these stories there are not so many that would be advisable for anyone to emulate.

Besides the very versatile stick or cane, I have known at least of two elderly experts who carried a folding iron fan. The only disadvantage of such an item is probably the weight. Unlike a cane, it can easily be concealed or stored in a pocket.
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DWx
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
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Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto the cane. It's normal to carry, even useful to carry for a senior and there are even programmes out there dedicated on its use by elders for self defense such as Cane-Fu:
http://www.canemasters.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=51

If you want a historical link, could look to Bartitsu, the Victorian martial art of Sherlock Holmes which heavily relies on a cane: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartitsu
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