Mind Your Elders (or They May Whack You With a Cane)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 35% of Americans over 65 are considered physically fit. Many people don’t realize the countless benefits of exercise, including how it helps:  reduce the risk of many diseases; stave off depression; manage stress; and keep our minds sharp. In some instances, exercise can even lower the risk of falls and improve peace of mind, particularly for seniors with canes.

Relying on a cane was once considered a sign of an aging, weakened body. Today, some seniors are finding empowerment through their canes by using them for both exercise and self-defense, through a technique known as “Cane Fu.”

Cane Fu is a form of martial arts, that provides seniors who use canes with a way to exercise, gain better balance, and learn self-defense. At Cane Fu classes, seniors are taught to walk tall and not to look like victims. They’re taught to avoid conflict, but also to feel secure that they have a cane at their side.

Mark Shuey, who created Cane Fu, is a 65-year-old martial arts expert who is trained in all manners of fighting techniques. Ten years ago, he noticed his elderly father refusing to use his cane because of the stigma it created. Around that time, he learned that several elderly people near his brother’s house in Florida were robbed while carrying their canes.  This inspired Shuey to invent his specialized martial arts program for seniors.

Today, there are more than 300 instructors around the world teaching Cane Fu. Not all Cane Fu students are senior citizens, but it’s still most popular among seniors.

According to Cane Fu veteran Barbara Fender, “This is an opportunity for us to be able to take care of ourselves. With the cane, I feel safe.”

Watch a recent video about Cane Fu.

At the Fairfax and Fredericksburg Elder Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. (, we are excited to share exercise techniques, such as Cane Fu, and how they promote good health, well-being, and peace of mind. Our firm is dedicated to helping protect seniors and individuals with special needs by preserving dignity, quality of life, and financial security. If you have not done Long-Term Care Planning, Estate Planning, or Incapacity Planning (or had your Planning documents reviewed in the past several years), or if you have a loved one who is nearing the need for long-term care or already receiving long-term care, call us at our Virginia Elder Law Fairfax office at 703-691-1888 or at our Virginia Elder Law Fredericksburg office at 540-479-1435 to make an appointment for a consultation.


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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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