So, I've been doing Kali for almost exactly a year now. (Just one night a week, and class is just an hour)
Most of the stick striking is fairly straight, for want of a better word. Not a lot of Redondo or Abanico striking.
Today I went to a Modern Arnis seminar, and there was a whole lot of those strikes, and a lot of "combative twirling" exercises, with a view to building up combinations, and facilitating shadow boxing type solo-practice.
By the end of the day, both hands are covered in blisters.
TL;DR - didn't twirl, now do twirl, Hands fucked
So, 3 questions...
1: Am I likely to be doing something wrong technically to cause these (I kept a moderate-firm grip with the whole palm, not just twisting between thumb and index)
2. How do I sensibly condition my hands for this? Obviously the best way is probably just "Train More". But, from your experience, do I train until the blisters form - rest until healed - repeat? Do I train through the blisters, and try to keep them clean?
3. Is conditioning my hands by whatever means recommended going to cause any long term problems (Carpel tunnel, arthritis, etc)?
I don't get to train enough classes each week because of home commitments and other arts etc, so some heavy solo work of the sort I learned today will do me the world of good.
PERMALOST if you're out there, I imagine the Indian clubs would give you a great perspective on this?
I've dealt with blisters from training before in my experience the best thing was to take it a little easy and lighten up on my grip and power to make it through class. At home you might take a break from training until you heal up. I would think it is horrible for you to ignore your blisters and continue training at the same pace. You'll callus up after a while.
Also, when i'm doing any kind of twirling or flicking techniques that rely less of power and more on speed and a whipping effect, I will sometimes loosen up the grip with my thumb and index finger to give the stick a greater range of motion. Of course that gripping technique can cause your index knuckle (ridge hand) will blister too.
I've dealt with that before. If I'm gonna be practicing a long time (class is usually 2 hours, and I sometimes get there early or stay late) I wear a pair of tactical gloves. They eliminate blisters and provide a little protection for when a stick dings the back of the hand. We do a stick twirling warmup where one of the common errors is opening the hand except for the index finger and thumb. All the fingers should grip the stick (except for if you're doing like jspeedy said- that's okay too).
You need the blisters to form callus properly, especially on your thumb base.
You're probably gripping too hard -- but, but -- you're going to get blisters no matter what.
I do nothing to avoid them, save taping them when the break. I like'em for the callus and well, they make me feel all serious and stuff.
Gloves are for pussies :-)
I might also suggest a stick with a larger diameter. I find with a thinner stick, there's too much gap between my optimal grip and the stick - too much wiggle-room, as it were.
Thanks Guys & Gals. All good advice.
The stick thickness is certainly likely too, as my hands are very large.
I'm looking forward to getting more time in with these solo exercises :-)
Good point, i'm rather lanky and I prefer a slightly larger diameter stick. The guy I train with is a short gymnast and he likes thinner sticks.
Originally Posted by Chili Pepper
As mentioned by JKDChick, I find newbs want to squeeze the stick to much, you have to learn when to grip hard and when to relax. A relaxed grip when appropriate will save your hands. It sounds easy, you grip on impacts and relax other times you still want to grip hard enough that if you get surprised you don't loose the stick. I like to do "marathon" style training sessions where you have to learn how to conserve your grip or your forearm will gas and you won't be able to continue.
I use a larger heavier stick (Cold Steel escrima stick) which cut down on my blisters & strengthened my wrists. For the blisters when I got them I would use dit da jow & wrap them for the night. By morning,they usually dried up......
Originally Posted by Ignorami
For any that are just on your fingers, medical tape might help until your callouses get hard. That's what I used for judo for a while.
I would suggest putting in more hours... also, the blisters should have formed earlier in your training. Maybe you need to hit harder to induce it? If you want it to callus faster, I would strongly recommend getting a tire and doing your combinations on it full force. Not only will it build up your calluses but your power generation, stick recoil control, timing sensitivity and endurance will improve! Of course, those other things are just minor details compared to being able to hold the stick longer.
Though that was only have kidding, I do seriously recommend getting a tire for tirework. You will benefit greatly from it. Also, your hands will peal terribly. I remember I was teaching one of my training buddies how to hit a tire - the first time he did it half his palm pealed about 1.5 hours after we were hitting the tire. Of course, it may be because of how soft your hands get from wearing boxing gloves.