Eskrimador supplies is a great place to get Fma kit from in the UK. Apart from my cold steel sticks, I get all mine from there.
The main advantage is that Pat O'Malley who runs it is a big name in stick fighting himself. As such, he knows his product.
The rattan sticks from Blitz are awful IMO. The wax-wood ones they sell are fine if you like that material.
As for the cold steel ones, I had to cut mine down to 28", and they are still very heavy. I mostly use those for solo work. Overall, they were too expensive to justify with that limited use. They'll last forever, so I may change my mind about that if my solo work ever gets any level of focus.
I have to say I'm pretty impressed with the pair of 28s and 32s I got from them.
I went with the medium weight/thickness option for my first pairs, but I'm now considering some heavier ones for training and lighter ones for fighting under British low armour rules.
I don't know a great deal about it, but low armour over here seems to be mainly Arnis alliance rules, which is padded stick isn't it?
Or is 'British low armour rules' a rule set?
Sometimes Pappy sells "factory seconds" he calls "Ugly sticks" in bulk for cheap!
Originally Posted by Fuzzy
They aren't pretty. They aren't matched. They are rattan though, and they work just fine. I order a pack a few years ago and our school had extras for days!
I used to make sticks out of hardwood dowels. My favorite stick I own today started life as a broomstick. It's got a hard ass shelac on it and has lasted me YEARS.
The downsid of using really hard wood though is that it beats up on the rattan sticks pretty bad. So there is an issue of "rudeness" though I've never had anybody call me out because their rattan suffered a shorter lifespan. I don't think anyone even noticed.
For dowells I reccomend Minwax "paste finising wax" as a treatment. Impregnates and protects the wood but retains it's natural texture. Also dries REALLY fast. Cures over night but you could use your stick within a few minutes of application.
Stay away from waxwood dowells. It is too soft and the bruised areas begin to shed millions of micoscopic splinters. I found the stuff to be a real pain in the ass to work with.
Yeah its this: http://www.wekafgb.com/rules_regulat...mour_rules.asp
Originally Posted by Ignorami
Here's a vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sobAhs1c4rA (guy in orange shorts is my instructor)
In the interests of full disclosure I'm still an FMA noob and have only competed in full-armour and even that only at the club level.
This was always our move back in South Africa, I find the rattan is much easier on the hands in terms of shock absorbtion.
Originally Posted by Mr. Machette
Thanks for the other info man, I'll definitely keep it in mind for when my current sticks wear out.
As a hobby/occasional side job, I make custom walking sticks, with compass or glass inlays etc. It involves sawing, sanding, curing, staining, woodburning, finishing etc, and I've tried making some fighting sticks as a side project, using hardwood sticks I find such as eucalyptus. Here's some tonfas I made for my training group when we were preparing for a mixed weapons tournament:
These actually have held up pretty well against baston strikes etc.
If you happen to have good, solid trees in your area, and you like hiking around, maybe keep your eye open for good sticks. Cut them the length you want, taper the corners so there's no sharp edges, sand/stain etc and you're done. I like to finish with a clear coat similar to the one Mr Machete posted. When you try them out, have your partner use one too, so that your hardwood sticks don't eat their rattan ones, and be mindful that wood can shatter/break in ways that are more problematic than rattan.
If I could figure out how to attach a photo, I would show you the sticks I make.
I've found this to be true as well. Nothing works for training quite like the real deal. The stringy, spongy cellular straucture of rattan makes it really unique for shock absorbtion, weight and longevity.
Originally Posted by Fuzzy
Those are really cool Permalost!
I used to have a habit of collecting various random sticks as a kid, but they're a lot easier to find in suburban South Africa than in North West London :P