Deliberate blows administered to various body parts, using a rod or cane.
The use of a rod like pole, usually made of thin pliable wood such as Birch or Rattan, so it doesn't break when being used. Repeated blows are struck against the buttocks, over the palm of the hand, soles of the feet.
The force of the blows in BDSM play is generally mild, compared to actual Disciplinary or Judicial application.
Caning is still used in Malaysia and Singapore.
Mainly used as a discipline measure for difficult students, though boys received the penalty more than female. In some areas, using caning on females were prohibited.
Generally, caning is also called 'The English Vice' as many outside of England, believed that the British achieved sexual gratification from such punishments.
While used as a Judicial Punishment, it is generally considered as a 'juvenile' form of corporal punishment. Though used for disciplinary means, it was widely used in schools, replacing birching in the 19th Century.
Birching is more of the striking of blows on one's bare bottom. To appease convention, caning replaced Birching. Hence its association as a 'British Vice'. Many believed that the ritual was more erotic in nature, than punitive, at least for those witnessing the punishment.
An expert at caning, can inflict more pain, even when administered through several layers of clothing, hence it preference over 'birching'.
Generally a person is bent over a log or chair, their clothes are lowered, exposing their bare buttocks, and the person strikes the bare buttocks repeatedly.
In proper Impact Play, the force of the blows are not overly harsh, and can be quite mild, however it is the repeated striking that creates the pain. This repeated blows can create bruising.
Various tools are used, such as a riding crop, birch rod, dowel, and other thin but pliable wooden poles.
Practice (Associated Acts): In some circles, extreme caning, is usually found in sadomasochistic activity, where limits are pushed, for the sheer pleasure of seeing a person in pain, or in experiencing pain.
Caning against the soles of the feet, can leave a person unable to walk for days, or even permanently, if applied incorrectly, or to severely. In fact, it was a common method of torture by many nations, such as Japan during WWII, and many Latin American Dictatorial Regimes.
Noteworthy: East London has a yearly event, called the Night of Cane. This is a national celebration of the art of Caning, as was predominant in English Schools.
Modern times have used 'caning' as a form of corporal punishment for wayward children. Most 'caning' is a hard strike on the open palm or knuckle of the youth. The number of blows is generally minimal.