The Dog Brothers sticks are supplied by Kombat Instruments, Ltd. Thread poster pappydog is Pappy Dog, owner/operator of Kombat Instruments, Ltd. I highly recommend the KIL sticks - they are the only sticks I use to train/fight with (note link in my sig).
Originally Posted by jspeedy
I've been buying KIL sticks exclusively since my first order near 10 years ago. Many of my sticks have lasted 5+ years of hard training. My 'go to' stick - "Poidog's Gathering Club" - has lasted 6 Gatherings of hard fights so far. It has broken bones, concussed through the heavy masks, survived heavy contact and broken lesser sticks.
I've seen Pappy's process in producing these sticks and you'll be hard pressed to find better craftsmanship or better customer service. All the Dog Brothers fight with KIL sticks, and most non DBs usually switch over upon exposure to his product. KIL sticks are available in a wide variety of lengths and thicknesses, you'll be able to find what you need. If you do need a custom size, just email Pappy and I'm sure he'll be able to work with you.
Just a heads up.
I'm not a practitioner of FMA but I have been very pleased with my Crafty Dog sticks from the DB webstore. They have heft and are thicker than a lot of other sticks, which makes for powerful strikes and less slippage. You can also use them against wooden longsword wasters when sparring without worrying about them breaking. What more can you ask for?
I don't want to crap on anyone's livelihood here but my first pair from KIL shredded pretty fast in training (as in, the very first class I used them). My second pair lasted a couple of months which was much better but was still not what I would consider really good longevity from rattan sticks. Leslie Buck from Kali Gear (where I bought my first pair) was good enough to refund my price since they shredded so quickly despite my protests that it was not necessary for him to do so. Good guy and he has me as a customer for a long time after that kind of service. I have heard a great deal of good reviews on KIL sticks but mine have shredded faster than I would have expected. I probably just had some bad luck.
I feel bad providing a bad review when some of the guys who run the company are posting in this thread but I feel like I ought to provide an honest opinion based on my experiences. Sorry if i'm annoying you guys.
Having said that, I would check out Simon's sticks here at: http://www.escrimakaliarnis.com/ His sticks are by far the toughest sticks I have found and his prices are quite good. If you have a specific size, thickness, or need for your sticks, just shoot him an e-mail and he will respond in short order. Good guy all around. He also hangs out quite a bit on FMAtalk if you want to look for him there. In the interest of full disclosure, I am in no way affiliated with this company or this product. In fact, I have never met the man other than on forums similar to this one.
Good luck finding good sticks to train with. Enjoy the FMA!
I should add in all fairness that I would highly recommend the KIL sticks for fighting or sparring as they are perfect in size, weight, and balance. I have just had bad luck with them in practice I guess.
I have shopped at, and had good results with, products from these two vendors:
(Kali Gear also have sweet stick bags that make hauling all your training gear much easier)
(I know someone mentioned KIL already, but I figured another shout would not hurt anything)
Another resource to check out is seminars in your area, a lot of times instructors bring spare sticks and training blades with them to sell to interested parties. I'm not saying it will always happen, or that the gear will be worth a ****, but it IS an option.
thank you again to everyone
Hello everyone, I've been slowly getting through your website suggestions. I am probably going to start with Frank's website to get my feet wet with the stick work. I will certainly keep the other sites in mind.
Another question for you gentlemen: Is there a particular place that is recommended for getting ironwood (kamagong?) sticks. So far the sites that have been posted have had some options, but once again, I see a wide variety in prices (from $27-$65). What is considered the "standard price"?
There really isn't a standard price for ironwood and you are right, it does fluctuate widely depending on where you go. Much of that is due to the cosmetic aspect of the sticks. Ironwood tends to vary a bit in its pattern and some of the prettier ones are more desirable so people will spend more on them.
Originally Posted by spamurai13
I ended up getting my hardwood sticks (Giho rather than Kamagong) from Kali gear but there are multiple places you could go. Simon at eskrimakaliarnis.com has great sticks and will certainly take care of you. Also, I have always had great service from Leslie Buck at kaligear.com. In addition, you could simply get a north American hardwood and probably save yourself some money and end up with just as good of a set of sticks in the process. There is nothing magical about Filipino hardwood so I wouldn't worry about that so much. If you treat them properly, a good set of hardwoods will last you virtually forever so the initial price isn't that big of a deal in the long run unless you are really getting hosed in the process.
Rattan is pretty much superior to any hardwood for stickfighting purposes because of its structure. Hardwoods can crack and break since the grain usually doesn’t run the length of the stick. Rattan just kinda gets fiberous on the outside after abuse. I’ve also read some bad reviews on the Cold Steel black sticks, about them having air pockets in the material that cause them to crack and break. I’ve got some great hardwood sticks, but I just do solo practice with them (my favorite’s a blackthorne shillelagh with a rounded, polished head).
Anecdote: a few years ago, I was sparring in the park, with a short bokken vs one of those Dog Brothers rattan sticks (used to do this regularly, but haven’t in a few years). After an exchange, my partner noticed that a piece of my bokken had snapped off- there was a triangular wedge about three inches long that broke off the tip. It was small enough that we might not have noticed it, but it broke at such an angle that it made the tip sharp like a vampire killing stake. It’s a good thing he noticed and I didn’t rush in for a thrust/stab because it would have caused serious damage. That’s when I was really sold on rattan.
I like the Dog Brothers sticks. I even picked up a long staff at the last gathering at the merch table. They’re stout and solid, but I think they’re a bit much for sparring with. Maybe I’m just kind of a wuss, but I’d rather have a smaller diameter stick for sparring others. For the FMA group I started training with, I’ll probably get some of those cheaper bulk rattan ones, since I’m bigger than most people there and they tend to use sticks a little smaller than the DBMA ones. I’m not sure about the ones bloodsport.com sells, but I know that they don’t sell crap.
I'd never use kamagong in a stick-to-stick fight. It's friggin brittle. I know that I've told this story here before at some point, but back in about '91, some of the Stockton GMs put on a tournament where they tried using kamagong (hardcore, and all that). The first set of fighters broke 3 sticks. The second match broke another 1. The third match broke the last two kamagong sticks, and they switched to rattan.
At this time, my clubmates and I had just purchased a bunch of kamagong, and were confident that our stuff was the real deal and from a good supplier. Nevertheless, we felt it only a good idea to test the sticks out. We verified that almost any moderate to heavy stick-to-stick would break the kamagong. Stick to hardshell helmets broke them as well.
I wouldn't ever rely on kamagong in a stickfight. For home defense against someone not wearing body armor or carrying a stick?... Maybe.
Also note that when kamagong breaks, it is a catastrphic break. Sharp chunks will go flying. Rattan doesn't do this. It just becomes a whip.