I use a walking stick (straight cane) from time to time when I injure myself (feet, ankles, knees, hips, you name it) and have to get around on the ice. I also use it when I walk around the park with the kiddo (it's a handy tool to poke at things) or walk to the store (handy for carrying grocery bags). It's an old bo that cracked at a weak spot, cut down to 37", with a copper end cap. Though I use it like a hanbo (where my training lies), the principle is the same. Oddly enough though, one time when I actually needed it, someone questioned my right to have it. I had a big guy roll into my ankle at a rugby match. I brought my stick to help me hobble to the bar for the drink-up afterwards.
Limping along, the doorman told me I'd have to leave it with him. I looked down at my swollen ankle, then back at him. I asked if he'd like to help me hobble around inside. He let me keep it, just admonishing me not to swing it around.
I am interested in Western cane techniques to add to the fencing aspect of the weapon. Good stuff.