Cane Self-Defense Tournament helps raise awareness
The annual Cane Armageddon tournament took place on Saturday, May 20 in New Hartford under the supervision of Headmaster Eric Stalloch.
The cane, which some think of as a crutch or a sign of weakness and immobility, was proven to be anything but that.
The men and women who competed ranged in age from 30 to 74 and demonstrated how the cane can easily break wood and be used to defend oneself if need be.
The cane is the only self-defense tool that you can legally take with you anywhere, even on an airplane, according to the announcement by event organizers.
The men and women of the American Eagle Cane Style of martial arts demonstrated martial arts moves in their katas that have been practiced over the last 300 years in eastern cultures with canes, umbrellas and walking staffs.
In the division for self-defense, multiple attackers charged at the students only to find themselves put down and out by the fast movements of the trained cane martial artists.
‘S’ was the letter of the day and stood for safety as precautions were taken to safeguard the attackers and the audience from flying wood from the powerful board breaks during the breaking division.
The competition was intense and enthusiastic, officials said, leaving the judges with many difficult decisions. The judges for this event included Clifford Crandall Jr., of Utica; Eric Stalloch, of Syracuse; and Lynn Jesse of Bedford, New Hampshire.
This annual event, which is hosted by the American Martial Arts Institute at 8382 Seneca Turnpike, New Hartford, helps bring community members of all ages together to view the competition and enjoy the festivities.
People from ages five to 95 plus came to watch, learn and have fun.
For those 12 and younger, there was a bouncy house, cookies, ice cream and face painting.
“The weather was perfect and the cane students were at their best. As a traditional martial arts school, the growth of our students is entwined with the growth of our community, and we look forward to making next year’s Cane Armageddon even bigger,” said Stalloch.
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