Historic and Practice

“Canne de Combat” or “Canne d’Arme” , or French cane (French stick fighting) is one of the rare French fight sports. Some even speak of French martial art, even if the codification as a sport does not allow this name officially.

Nowadays we distinguish two different practices of the Canne de Combat: the Canne de Combat for competition, the self-defense (especially with the method « Lafond », the « artistic » cane). The Canne de Combat for competition is discipline associated to the Federation of French Boxing.

The historic of this sport is linked to the French boxing and especially to the usage of the cane by the bourgeois of the 19th century who knew how to defend themselves with a cane. Some of these gentlemen mastered close combat, French or English Boxing, for feet and arms fight, and, for blows at greater distance, the cane with handles.

The cane was, in the hands of the city men, what the stick was in the hands of farm men. In fact, cane and staff always had a very close destiny, in all the countries of the world!
The techniques of Canne d’Arme, which we are talking about, were updated by Maurice Sarry, at the end of the years 1970. He has codified this sport as he wanted to rehabilitate the cane.
Even if in the beginning of the last century, the cane is very used in France (Cf. the famous show “Les Brigades du Tigre”) and the Europeans countries (as well as in India), after the first World War, the practice tends to disappear.

In same way, the staff, taught to the French and American army, as well as the techniques of bayonets, disappears progressively in the same period.

We must not however reduce the history of the cane and stick to this period. Men had always used this tools, which became fearsome weapons in any the countries of the world!

Today, the Canne de Combat of competition, is practiced by a thousand of “cannistes”, just as the French staff, by some hundreds of “bâtonniers” or “bâtonnistes”, children and adults as well.

Frederic Morin