To me it looks like you (both) are accepting too close a range for your initial engagement. Generally if the other guy can hit your hand without moving his feet then you are too close, you want to be just out of this range. This seemed to show up more in the double stick than the single.
Second what Fuzzy said about fighting out of a side chamber, it really limits your attacks.
The range thing could be down to ring size, you're also made to start with sticks touching.
Originally Posted by blindside
Instead of leaving my other stick underneath my lead elbow like a sinawali snapshot, I like to move it back and present the point to them, with the lead hand chambered to threaten a forehand shot (if you can get them to fixate on it, its a good opportunity to thrust with the other). You can still use the lower hand for checking sinawali style with just a little adjustment, plus now you've got a protective spike pointing at the other guy, and you can step in and attack with a fleche if they're habitually striking once and backing off.
Alternatively, I like the lead hand chambered for a witik, and the back one chambered with the tip up ready for a forehand. It looks kinda like a boxer's guard with sticks. In either of my preferred guards, there is a credible hit available from either arm, not just 1 with the other one for backup.
(I'm torn between replying too much and looking like I'm not listening, and replying too little and seeming ungrateful.)
Regarding distance and hand striking, I imagine the competition's no-gloves rule is going to have a big impact on that dynamic. In which direction, I've no clue.
As for the chambering, I've no idea where that came from this time, as last time I had an almost exclusively open-sticks guard. Felt natural though, I do remember that.
Sparring again tomorrow. We compared bruises mid-week, and we were both a fucking mess, so we're going to try to focus more on speed than power this time.
Check out my awesome Eskrima t-shirt in the vid tho. It's Animal from the Muppets, but with eskrima sticks instead if drum sticks. I'll be the coolest dressed loser at the comp.