Stick Fighting For Self-Defense, by Bruce Tegnér. Published in 1982 by the Thor Publishing Company. Very extensively illustrated with photographs.

This book is one of Tegnér's best. In fact all of Bruce Tegnér's works on PRACTICAL SELF-DEFENSE are excellent.

This book is one of Tegnér's best. In fact all of Bruce Tegnér's works on PRACTICAL SELF-DEFENSE are excellent.

THE late Bruce Tegnér, as I wrote in Manuals On Mayhem in the 1980’s, was a most unappreciated and unfortunately maligned martial arts innovator. Well ahead of his time, Tegnér sought to dispel the widely touted nonsense that so many in the martial arts were eagerly propagating. He practicalized self-defense. And although we have a few strong points of disagreement with certain aspects of Bruce Tegnér’s doctrine, he is one of the very few people in the martial arts who we never knew personally, yet wish we did have the pleasure of knowing. (You might have guessed that William Fairbairn and Pat O’Neill are two others whose contributions in the field of close combat we revere and credit with teaching us much, as well as contributing to our own System’s development, and who we wish we had met and known personally!).

Tegnér wrote some of the most sensible works on practical self-defense ever to be penned in English. This is recognized today. Sadly, it was not recognized amongst the majority of so-called “martial arts experts” during Bruce Tegnér’s lifetime.

Stick Fighting For Self-Defense is one of Tegner’s best works. It is a sensible, practical, realistic self-instruction book that is, in our view, a Classic. It is a most interesting book on stick fighting in part because it is ambitious in its scope. Tegnér describes methods of using various types of sticks: the walking stick, cane, yawara hand stick, lengthy pole, and improvised stick-like weapons. Some of the techniques are a bit questionable because they are somewhat complex. However, the majority of the skills are quite doable and learnable by physically average readers who will practice.

There is excellent instruction for blind persons in how to use a stick. We ourself have trained blind people, and one of our blind students routed two lumps of street filth by using his cane combatively.

Tegnér goes into instruction for wheelchair-bound persons, and we applaud his efforts to address the needs of persons in this situation. However, here we must take exception to his advocacy of the stick, and we insist that wheelchair-bound individuals ought almost always to rely upon firearms for their defense. A stick is not, in our opinion, likely to be effectively wielded against one or more determined predators by someone confined to a wheelchair. A reliable handgun can be reliable for the wheelchair-bound person, and he has every right to avail himself of this option. Frankly, we believe that anyone who physically attempts to violate a wheelchair-bound person deserves to be shot.

And this — the matter of firearms as practical weapons for all of us — is one of the issues about which we take strong exception to Tegnér’s position. Bruce Tegnér definitely opposed firearms (and knives) for self-defense. We strongly advocate these weapons.

Interestingly, Tegnér favors the stick because it is a “non lethal” weapon. We favor it because it offers the potential for lethality! It is handy when your firearm may not be available. The reader may agree with Tegnér or with our self. He may adjust the manner in which he employs that which is described in this book to suit either position.

A later edition of Tegnér’s stick fighting book presents the subject as being essentially a sport, with application for defense being secondary. We see no point or purpose to this “later edition”, and we strongly urge anyone with a serious interest in combatives and self-defense to obtain a copy of the first edition which is Stick Fighting For Self-Defense. You can find copies advertised for sale on eBay and elsewhere on line.

A fine book. Highly recommended.