USA Today describes a “new world of self-defense for seniors” taught by Mark Shuey, founder of Cane Masters, a Lake Tahoe, Nv.-based company that manufactures custom canes. Shuey, a tae kwon do and hapkido expert, created an exercise and self-defense program for seniors using their canes, called Cane-Fu. He advises that seniors strike attackers in the knee, shin or elbow.
“A lot of people don’t realize that you could stop many attacks just by knowing how to swing a cane,” Shuey says. “A lot of people say it’s just a stick, but it’s a great tool to learn to use.” There are about 3,500 Cane Masters International Association students nationwide who are learning Cane-Fu; the sponsoring groups pay about $7 to $10 per participant per class. “The cane is one hell of a nasty tool, and if you don’t teach someone right, you could hurt people,” Shuey says. “I want to help people, not teach them to do something they shouldn’t do.” Shuey says any kind of cane will work for Cane-Fu – including aluminum or pine.