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The American Eagle Cane Style is a traditional martial art for adult men and women who seek to improve quality of life. Students train with a walking cane and learn self-defense techniques, katas, basic forms, strikes, partner drills, and more.

On Saturday, July 16, 2022, the American Martial Arts Institute hosted its second annual cane competition "Cane Armageddon."

The tournament began with opening remarks from Headmaster Eric Stalloch, the 10th Dan and head for the American Eagle Cane Style, and a introduction to the days events by Grandmaster Clifford C. Crandall, Jr., the founder and head of the American Martial Arts Institute, and 10th Degree for the American Eagle Style (empty hand martial art).

The American Eagle Cane Style was founded by Grandmaster Crandall, Headmaster Stalloch, and Master Lynn Jessee. The three founders judged the three tournament divisions. The weather was beautiful and the entire competition was held outside in the school's parking lot.

The first division was katas. Katas (also called "forms") are a series of moves that fight off multiple imaginary attackers. They assist the student in establishing a foundation for growth within the style as the forms challenge the balance between mind and body, power and flow, and their relationship to timing. The katas incorporate directional changes, stances, techniques, breathing, and a variety of other essential aspects. The American Eagle Cane Style has numerous traditional katas, documented in the style's textbook, including Basic Kata, Reflection 1 through 5, Natural Walk, Anvil, Autumn Wind, Valley, Briar Patch, Old man with a Cane and others. There were two divisions this year: white belt through purple belt and brown belt through black belt ranks.

The competition continued with the breaking division. Competitors had the option to break boards, concrete blocks, or bricks to demonstrate the power of the cane and their skill in its use. A variety of techniques were demonstrated including breaks on boards supported between two blocks, free standing boards, clamped boards, hand-held boards, power breaks, and more. In addition, the competitors could execute up to four individual breaks with points awarded for each successful break, the complexity of the break, and the overall presentation of the break and skill demonstrated. The competitor had to choose between two methods of demonstration. Option A was to present up to four individual breaks. Option B was to do up to four breaks in a combination that represented blocks or strikes in application to a self defense scenario. For example: if two attackers were defended against by blocking the arm, striking the attacker's knee and then turning to strike the second attacker in the head, then the breaks would represent these impacts against boards in a constant flow. It was an exciting demonstration for the spectators, judges, and students alike.

Following an exciting demonstration of skill from all of the competitors in breaking Grandmaster Crandall made a special presentation. Victor Chambers, a first degre black belt student of the American Eagle Style (empty hand), was present in the crowd to observe the competition and support the students. Grandmaster Crandall called him out of the crowd and presented him with his black top, making him a staff member and instructor in training for the American Eagle Style. Read More About the Presentation HERE.

In addition, Headmaster Stalloch performed a meditation demonstration for the crowd by walking barefoot thorugh a tray of broken glass and then breaking two stacks of concrete simultaneously while standing in the glass. He then made some remarks to the crowd about the potential of the martial arts to help an individual to strengthen their mind, commenting that the same skill that allowed him to take control of the break allows the cane students to take control the cane as an extension of their mind and body.

The final division of the day was self-defense. Students used their training canes with a partner. Similar to the breaking division, competitors could demonstrate their skill by two different methods. Option A was three individual techniques. Option B was three different attackers in a constant flow approximating an actual attack scenario. The most important factor was safety for the partners, students, and spectators. Mats were used, and at times partners wore padded safety equipment. Key to the judging was concern and appropriate power demonstrated toward the partners. Competitors could choose to demonstrate against grabs, punches, kicks, knives, hand guns, long guns, sticks, and other common methods of assault. All training implements were rubber or padded replicas.

The day ended with awarding plaques for first and second place for each division, and another special presentation.

In the American Eagle Cane Style, first degree black belt may request to be assistant instructors. If accepted into the program, they wear a special patch on their right sleeve. These individuals may assist with teaching classes and also participate in regular classes with the other white top students. Assistant instructors can request to become fully certified instructors for the style. If accepted, they wear a black top and no longer training in regular classes. Instead, they are now instructors for the style who continue their training directly under Headmaster Stalloch. We are pleased to announce that Maria Quintal was presented with her black top for the American Eagle Cane Style. [click here for full article details]

The day was a lot of fun and it was clear that it built camaraderie for the students. Next year's cane competition will be held in June or July 2023.

American Eagle Cane Style classes are offered weekly at the American Martial Arts Institute for men and women ages 18 and older.


KATA DIVISION: White through Purple Belts

1st Place: Greg Mitchell

2nd Place: Jonathan Mota

KATA DIVISION: Brown through Black Belts

1st Place: Maria Quintal

2nd Place: Kay Silvestri

BREAKING DIVISION: White through Purple Belts

1st Place: Mike Schermerhorn

2nd Place: Margie Hanna

BREAKING DIVISION: Brown through Black Belts

1st Place: Kay Silvestri

2nd Place: Tim Cumings

SELF DEFENSE DIVISION: White through Purple Belts

1st Place: Margie Hanna

2nd Place: Greg Mitchell

SELF DEFENSE DIVISION: Brown through Black Belts

1st Place: Kay Silvestri

2nd Place: Peter Hotvedt


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