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French Cane Fighting Is a Relatively Crazy Sport

I happened across this 2003 clip of French cane fighting and while there weren’t any direct shot fatalities in this clip that would be convenient to make a GIF from, it nevertheless sent me down a minor wormhole to learn more about the sport. Wikipedia describes the rules as follows (bold mine):

The cane is held with one hand but the player can change it from hand to hand during the bout. Strokes are made either horizontally or downward, thrusting or stabbing blows being prohibited. The scoring zones are the calves, the torso and the head.

To count, all strokes must be with the cane, and low blows must have a lunging movement. The bout is won on points, the lightness of the cane and the protective clothing making a knockout impossible. Points are scored for style, according to the correctness of body positions during fighting. Contact with prohibited areas such as the arms are penalized. It is thus possible to win a match without landing a blow on one’s adversary, if he or she accumulates penalties.

If this sport happened in America and somebody won without ever playing any offense, people would be so heated.

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