Physical Training Aug 2003
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Using the French Cane for Fitness

Copyright © Frederic Morin 2003. All rights reserved.

The cane is a weapon which is used in a combat sport that calls on a wide spectrum of movements and complete mobilization of the muscles of the body. The techniques of this sport can serve as a basis for fitness training.

General Principles:

The French “canne d’arme” (or walking stick) is a wooden (chestnut) stick 95 cm long, with a diameter of 1.5 cm at the tip and 1.8 cm at the base. For this type of exercise, relatively light canes (100 and 150 grams) are preferred.

For each movement, note the following principles:

Before a session, begin with a warm-up involving the muscles of the entire body, and then proceed to a warm-up of specific areas (e.g. the wrists, by making flourishes with the cane, moving the cane behind the back, etc.).

During a fitness session, it is advisable to use a metronome so that you can measure the number of beats per minute.

Start with repetitive series of exercises in order to familiarize yourself with the weapon. The usual progression is to combine the various moves and impact areas, and add leaps, voltes, etc.

The French cane is associated with six movements: “brisé”, “latéral extérieur”, “latéral croisé”, “enlevé”, “croisé tête” and “croisé jambe”.

It is important to set various sequences, connected by preserving the same rhythm and while taking care to respect all the points above.

The first series will run through each movement described above and should take at least 30 to 45 seconds. The full session should last 10 to 15 minutes. Finish by stretching the arms and shoulders, and wind down for 5 to 10 minutes.

This kind of exercise, because of its intensity and variety of the movements, offers some insight into handling the French cane in the context of an atypical and rhythmic cardio-athletic workout.

imm09: beginning of "enlevé"

imm07: beginning of "brisé" - step 1

imm08 : beginning of "brisé" - step 2

imm10 imm11
imm10-11: end of a "brisé" (see the arm in prolongement of the canne)

imm17 imm18
imm17 - 18: fenges ("fentes" in french)

imm19 imm 15
imm19-15 : "latéral extérieur" armed

imm20 :beginning of a "croisé tête"

imm 14
imm14: end of a "croisé tête"

imm 12
imm12: "latéral croisé" armed

imm22: "latéral croisé" armed with a jump

Frederic Morin is French instructor of cane and baton – Manager of ASCA Paris FRANCE. For more information go to

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Physical Training Aug 2003