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‘Cane Master’ Mark Shuey an Incline Village Fixture

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Photo Credit Jaimie Edwards

How does a triple black belt with multple world title trophies get into the cane making business? Mark Shuey, an Incline resident, mixes his business with pleasure by handcrafting canes into martial arts masterpieces. Shuey sells these custom canes in his Cane Masters shop located in the Christmas Tree Village.

Not only can you sport a cane with style, but Shuey also provides martial arts classes where students learn to use their canes for self-defense purposes.

Shuey moved to Incline Village in 1977 and began teaching Hong Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do, and Hapkido through IVGID in 1979. After giving his practice to his son a few years later he picked up the cane and has won 12 first-place world titles since.

“I am known around the world about the cane,” he says. “I am the cane master.”

Shuey took an interest in this practice when he visited his brother in Palm Springs and three women over the age of 65 were attacked and two of them had canes.

“My brother says it happens every weekend there, so I started looking into it,” Shuey said. “I learned 10 different techniques with the cane through my third-degree black belt training in Hapkido and that’s where I got introduced to the cane.”

Shuey began doing his research and realized there was no “system on a cane.” He found his niche.

Not only did he find a new use for the cane itself, but he also came up with other systems to help elders use their canes for defense.

“I started teaching self-defense, mainly to seniors,” Shuey said. “But they weren’t strong enough to handle them, so I had to come up with an exercise and rehabilitation practice as well, which then gave me a complete system called the American Cane System.”

Within the American Cane System Shuey has Cane Fu, Cane Chi, and Cane Ja. Each has a different focus, from rehabilitation to self-defense.

These cane and martial art weapon combinations are allowed anywhere because they are medical devices, according to Shuey. Little do people know, that same cane can go “250 miles per hour in a half-a-second’s time,” he said.

The biggest negative for the Cane Master himself is that the hardest customers to sell a cane too are seniors because they think having a cane “makes them look old,” he said.

He says the canes can serve as a “conversation piece,” and can be customized through his shop.

In the back of the Cane Masters store is his wood shop, where custom canes are created. Anyone can special order a cane consisting of their favorite animal head on the top, gold, silver, or any other special requests.

His goal is to inspire people to want to carry the cane.

A standard cane costs $20-$30, Shuey says. If a customer wants a handcrafted cane it can cost as much as $600, if the customer wants silver or gold incorporated in the design.

Cane Masters holds classes for all age groups to practice self-defense with a cane, and Shuey provides his clientele with a martial arts experience that is meant to give them reassurance they can protect themselves.

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The student news site of Sierra Nevada College
‘Cane Master’ Mark Shuey an Incline Village Fixture