Cane Drill


By Craig Gemeiner

Once a basic skill has been understood then a number of skill-challenging drills can be introduced to develope specific attributes .

The following drill is extremely easy for the instructor to facilitate but challenging for the student to perform. Timing, distance, perception, footwork and speed in kicking are all developed. 

At the Gemeiner academy we practise a number of cane drills either as a warm up or cool down. The drill presented below is a favourite with us as it was traditionally taught by instructors of Defense dans la Rue. The equipment required will simply be a thin cane or stick measuring 1 metre in length.

Lets first read how Defense dans la Rue instructor Joseph Renaud described this drill in 1912-

“Here is an exercise that is not very well known, but will improve the speed and precision of your ‘coup de pied bas’. Your teacher or friend will hold a cane at 90 degrees to the floor at a good distance for your ‘coup de pied bas’. Suddenly he touches the end of the cane on the floor and leaves it one or two seconds while you deliver your ‘coup de pied bas’. The exercise can be made more difficult by being irregular when placing the cane on the floor or by making it quicker and using feints.The instructor can make you extend the kick out longer by positioning the cane further away from you. Sometime we will have to kick low in a single time action such as when the opponent , after delivering high line feints, places his foot on the floor in preparation for a chasse. The above exercise will prepare you well”.

Cane drill- ‘coup de pied bas’


 Picture-1  La canne instructor & senior Savate student Richard B comes en guard ready to begin the drill


 Picture-2 The end of the cane is placed on the floor directly in front of Richard. He responds by shooting out a stationary ‘coup de pied bas’, as rapidly as possible.


Picture-3 Richard returns back to the en guard position.


 Picture-4  To develop ‘en marchent’ attacks the end of the cane is placed further away from Richard. Quickly stepping forward with the lead leg Richard gains ground in preparation for another  ‘coup de pied bas’.


Picture-5 Now at the proper distance Richard delivers his ‘coup de pied bas’ .

Vary the drill by double taping at a single distance, this forces the person to redouble his kicking attack. Make sure that after ever kick the student returns to their original starting postion prior to the next attack. Include feints , this will force the student to react only when the cane has been placed on the floor.


%d bloggers like this: