“Speak softly and carry a big stick” is a famous quote from Teddy Roosevelt, who was not only the 26th President of the United States but was also the first American to earn his Brown Belt in Kodokan Judo. President Roosevelt earned his Brown Belt from Yoshitsugu Yamashita (1865–1935), the pioneer who brought Judo to the United States from Japan. The famous quote is a shortening of an African proverb which says: “Speak softly and carry a big stick and you will go far.”
As far as sticks go the COLD STEEL IRISH BLACKTHORN WALKING STICK is definitely big. It would measure up to President Roosevelt’s requirements. The Blackthorn bush is found throughout Ireland and the British Isles. It has been prized for centuries as a material for premium walking sticks. The original Blackthorn sticks were 2 to 4 foot long Irish SHILLELAGHS (the national weapon of Ireland). In expert hands the shillelagh was so fearsome that during the final occupation of Ireland, the English outlawed it. To get around the law, the Irish turned the shillelagh into a 3-foot walking stick. The English didn’t’t want to appear unreasonable by outlawing walking sticks too, so the Irish kept their modified shillelaghs and the world gained a beautiful and functional walking stick known simply as the Blackthorn.
I love this walking stick. It’s made of dense solid injected molded polypropylene. It’s part walking stick and part baseball bat. It’s light enough to use as an everyday walking stick and stout enough to be a very effective personal protection tool. The “thorn” knobs that are on the shaft of the stick ergonomically lock the stick very firmly in your hand, as do the small “pimples” that are all over the stick. The huge top of the stick would most definitely break bones or knock someone out if swung with enough vigor.
If you’ve had any training in a stick fighting method, you’ll definitely appreciate the construction and functionality of the Cold Steel Irish Blackthorn Walking Stick. For under USD $40.00 it’s a real steal.