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Stick Fighting is a generic term for martial arts which utilize simple long slender, blunt, hand-held, generally wooden 'sticks' for fighting such as a staff, cane, walking stick, baton or similar.

Some techniques can also be used with a sturdy umbrella or even a sword in its scabbard, but thicker and/or heavier blunt weapons such as clubs or the mace are outside the scope of 'stick fighting' (since they cannot be wielded with such precision, so sheer force of impact is more important) as are more formed weapons such as the taiaha.

Although many systems are defensive combat techniques, intended for use if attacked whilst lightly armed, others such as kendo (a Japanese discipline using a bamboo 'sword', the shinai) were developed as safe training methods for dangerous weapons. Whatever their history, many lend themselves to being treated as sports.

In addition to martial arts specifically devoted to stick fighting, certain other disciplines include it, either in its own right, as in kung fu (various variations are part of the traditional Chinese weapons, or merely as part of a polyvalent training including other weapons and/or bare hand fighting, e.g. using the Kettukari (staff), Cheruvadi or Muchan (a shorter, also straight stick) and otta (curved stick) in Kerala's Kalarippayattu tradition, where these wooden weapons serve as preliminary training before practice of the more dangerous metal weapons.

References

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