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  1. variance is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/23/2008 5:27pm


     Style: EF UM A

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Padded Stick Comparison

    As we all know, regular live rattan sparring is difficult to maintain on a long-term basis without fun visits to the doctor and making up entertaining reasons for the welts, bruises and broken bones.

    My favorite being, claiming domestic abuse from the girlfriend.

    Yet at the same time. sparring live rattan with WEKAF armor feels restricting, is pretty damn hot and cumbersome.

    This is where padded sticks come in.

    I have acquired SMAK sticks, Actionflex, 3 different models of Got Stick? (from allthingsfilipino & pappy dog @ bloodsport.com) along with a pair of lameco sticks, and cheapo century sticks.

    The only thing I don't actually have as I post this are the SMAK sticks which came while I was at work and the post office closed early so I gotta wait til the morning to pick em up.

    The ATF Got Stick? ones just came and I'm hyped about them
    so I wanted to start with a preview about these sticks before I spend time doing the full writeup (with photos)

    I don't want to declare a winner of the comparison early.. but unless the SMAK sticks end up being as firm while reducing the pain quotient a tiny bit.
    I'd say ATF / Bloodsport has the best value for the money.

    The main distinguishing thing about the allthingfilipino.com / bloodsport.com padded sticks are they use replaceable rattan cores (sourced from pappy dog).
    if you break it, you can simply remove the rattan core and slide in another one.

    I'm not aware of whether actionflex or SMAK is easily replaceable.
    Most reports i've read seem to indicate no, due to the use of a foam filled core for the flexstick, and high impact nylon core for the SMAK)

    I'll rate the pain scales by marking 0 = Standard Actionflex.
    Honestly, actionflexes are only a couple notches above pillows.
    and 10 = Live Rattan.

    All three models of the Got Sticks rate around a 5 - 7. depending on what your pain sensitivity is. extreme power shots could leave minor bruises/welts but not much more than that. The pain is a stinging kind of pain to where its good enough to let you go full force.

    The behaviour of these is very much like rattan. (rattan core after all).
    zero flex. Im VERY happy about this. It means blocks and deflections are worth a damn where action flex would bend and slip and i'd still get hit.
    also the weight is more substantial.

    Three Models of ATF Got Stick?

    Model: PS28c

    Price: 39.95
    Material: Rattan Core, some kind of padding(heavy canvas tube?), the sleeve is some kind of cotton that feels quite durable. the handle is rubber. the punyo is much shorter than the actionflex which some may or may not like.

    Model: PS28n.01
    Price: 22.46
    Material: ATF's version of the lameco stick(meaning no specific handle) with the exception that it uses a rattan core that is easily replaced. Uses Nylon for the sleeve and probably the same kind of padding as the other models.


    Model: PS28n.02
    Price: 34.95
    Material: Identical to PS28c except for the sleeve which is ballistic nylon instead of the cotton sleeve used in the PS28c. the cotton sleeve has a more rough texture whereas the ps28n.02 has a smooth nylon texture.
    price and sleeve appear to be the primary difference.

    there was one model coming out this month or next month I didn't order that is supposed to be called the "KIL stick" in colloboration with
    "Pappy Dog" Nick papadakis from Kombat Instruments and allthingsfilipino.
    I guess the main difference is the KIL logo on it instead of ATF. it also uses Nick's rattan core and is 30" instead of 28"


    As for the others.. I gotta take pics and all that and a more detailed writeup as well as how they stand up in sparring tonight and tomorrow.

    I'll do the full writeup of all of them either later tonight or tomorrow morning as Im off to training.
    Last edited by variance; 4/23/2008 5:29pm at .
  2. selfcritical is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/23/2008 11:08pm


     Style: Pekiti, ARMA, other stuff

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Have you used Lameco as well? That's usually my standard for "padded stick that acts like a real stick"
  3. selfcritical is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/24/2008 12:12am


     Style: Pekiti, ARMA, other stuff

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The worst part with the actionflex is that the injury prevention isn't consistent. Eventually the things bust open, and then the plastic end will cut someone or jack someone's knuckles, because you wear minmial equipment when using actionflex. I have one hella swole knuckle and several cuts on my leg from just this week of the damn things busting. Had I been using a more consistent stick, I would have geared up appropriately.
  4. variance is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/24/2008 1:28am


     Style: EF UM A

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by selfcritical
    Have you used Lameco as well? That's usually my standard for "padded stick that acts like a real stick"
    I have handled them and used them a couple of times. there's like 4 of them at my gym.
    imho they are kinda hard to hold onto. when you do hold onto it tight. it feels like its a group of rods like a hexagon shape. and the cloth is kinda lose around the core.

    i think ATF's version of the lameco responds better because it has a rattan core.
    i also felt more confident gripping it than I do the lameco. it felt less slippery.
    I'm going to bring them with me to austin even though i probably won't be using them.
    you can try em out to get a feel for them there.

    in my correspondance with the ATF guys. they mentioned that the .02 and the .01 design were modeled after lameco designed sticks with the difference being serviceable rattan cores and a different sheath as opposed to the cotton canvas like material used in the lameco C and the normal lameco stick.



    actually let me just quote them.

    Quote Originally Posted by ATF
    The PS28N.01 was based off of the Lameco stick
    that I used in the past. It has no handle, per se, but we added a velcro
    latch at the bottom allowing you to replace the rattan core as needed.
    Aside from rattan, it can also fit some of the more "synthetic" materials
    available but I still prefer rattan. It is padded from top to bottom for
    the entire length of the 28" stick.

    The PS28N.02 has a 5" rubber handle at the bottom and also uses a rattan
    core for optimal weight, feel and balance. It was based off of the PS28C
    which was designed by my colleague from Lameco SOG, Guro Hospecio "Bud"
    Balani, Jr. Immediately following the handle is 23" of padding.

    Quote Originally Posted by selfcritical
    The worst part with the actionflex is that the injury prevention isn't consistent. Eventually the things bust open, and then the plastic end will cut someone or jack someone's knuckles, because you wear minmial equipment when using actionflex. I have one hella swole knuckle and several cuts on my leg from just this week of the damn things busting. Had I been using a more consistent stick, I would have geared up appropriately.
    wow. i haven't actually managed to break my two actionflex sticks yet.. (i don't want to throw away 90 bucks) but they are getting more and more bendy as time goes on.

    and the ATF guy actually kind of explained reason for this to me as well.
    he was amazingly generous with regards to his opinion the competitions equipment. (at least with actionflex... i'd be a bit more candid.)

    He appears to respect them quite a bit. but not enough to not take them to task for what he sees as flaws. I dont have the smak sticks yet so I can't say on whether i agree with his assessment or not. I do like the detailed explanations though.


    Quote Originally Posted by ATF
    Dana Abbot from ActionFlex actually makes a pretty good padded stick. I was introduced to his product from Professor Ireneo Olavides from Eskrima De Campo JDC-IO back in 2001/2002. Dana uses a flexible siphon core filled with foam spray. He then relies on the padding to make it stiff but after it wears down, it starts to get too flexible. The nylon sleeve could have been thicker as well because once that rips, the foam starts to fall out and then you're pretty much sparring with rubber antennas. But he still makes a good product... just not my cup of tea. I couldn't tell you how many times I successfully blocked a strike but still got hit due to its flexibility.

    Winston Tamasin from SmakStiks followed Dana's design but used a high impact nylon core. He, too, makes a good product and uses a quality sleeve but I have seen it fray after repeated use. Nylon of that material should only be used for backpacks and luggage. I saw his product for the first time back in 2005 at the WorldFMA Expo in Anaheim and Master Rey Galang began using his product exclusively in his Bakbakan Tournaments. Again, a good product... just not my cup of tea.

    After I release my product, both ActionFlex and SmakStiks made changes to their products by getting rid of the wrapped handle and substituting it with a grip. Go figure! Maybe I need to start using High Impact Nylon Cores for the PS28N.01 but then it would be too whippy because the weight is evenly distributed from the top to the bottom.
    Last edited by variance; 4/24/2008 1:38am at .
  5. poidog is offline
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    Competition Team Tag...yes?

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    Posted On:
    4/24/2008 1:40am

    supporting member
     Style: FMA, DBMA, MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Just my $.02, but the SMAK sticks aren't going to WOW you over the rattan core Got Stick?s. My preference is for the Got Sticks for padded sparring, but I like the SMAK sticks if I'm trying to convince a newbie to step out for some hard contact sparring. I find the SMAKs are a little less intimidating than a rattan core padded stick.

    Aloha, Poi
    Kuha'o - Kela - Koa
  6. selfcritical is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/24/2008 9:16am


     Style: Pekiti, ARMA, other stuff

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by poidog
    Just my $.02, but the SMAK sticks aren't going to WOW you over the rattan core Got Stick?s. My preference is for the Got Sticks for padded sparring, but I like the SMAK sticks if I'm trying to convince a newbie to step out for some hard contact sparring. I find the SMAKs are a little less intimidating than a rattan core padded stick.

    Aloha, Poi

    I'll have to try those out then, as my Lameco replacements. I like that with the Smak sticks you can pretty much grab them, some racketball goggles, and you're ready to go with no helmet or gloves.
  7. BudoMonkey is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/24/2008 9:44am


     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Those cheapo century escrima break constantly.
  8. selfcritical is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/24/2008 10:03am


     Style: Pekiti, ARMA, other stuff

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by poidog
    Just my $.02, but the SMAK sticks aren't going to WOW you over the rattan core Got Stick?s. My preference is for the Got Sticks for padded sparring, but I like the SMAK sticks if I'm trying to convince a newbie to step out for some hard contact sparring. I find the SMAKs are a little less intimidating than a rattan core padded stick.

    Aloha, Poi
    Are the Got Stick?'s hard enough to rock someone in headgear?
  9. variance is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/24/2008 2:16pm


     Style: EF UM A

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by selfcritical
    Are the Got Stick?'s hard enough to rock someone in headgear?
    when you hit two got'sticks together with good amount of force it clacks togehter like rattan.

    hitting someone in the WEKAF helmet from the side or top with a good powershot should shake them up a little bit. thats what it felt like when i tried it out last night.

    not sure about rocking someone.. no one wanted to spar with the new sticks last night. lol they preferred actionflex.

    hopefully hte SMAK will be a better compromise then the actionflex. SMAK for unwilling/new people and the Got Stick? for my serious training.. and Live Rattan when I'm drunk and high.

    sorry the write-up still isn't done. have to go pick up the smaksticks right now and trying to take more pictures of all of them.

    as for them replacing your lamecos. I think they have a sale on their version of the lameco right now at $22 for one.
    Im thinking of getting a second one for your TKA tournament see if they'd be acceptable instead of lameco.
    Last edited by variance; 4/24/2008 2:19pm at .
  10. variance is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/24/2008 2:59pm


     Style: EF UM A

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    :sigh: ok. the package the the post office wasn't my smak sticks.
    it was a pair of pumas i got off of ebay from europe.

    supposedly it was shipped last tuesday... i guess ill give it to the end of the week before i complain.
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