How long a stick???

Discussion in 'Pekiti-Tirsia Kali' started by blindside, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. blindside

    blindside student

    It seems like most folks that I have run into in PTK train with a 29 inch stick, but it seems like many modern ginuntings and historical pinuti/talibon/binangon are 3-5 inches shorter.

    Is the 29 inch stick just the commonly available length? Or is there a reason for training with a practice weapon longer than the actual weapon?


  2. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Hmmm, I never thought of it before, but you might imagine having a stick whose length matches that of the sword(s) you intend to use. If your art has a lot of different swords...that's a lot of different sticks!
  3. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Stick/sword length

    So many swords, so little time...

    I always thought of a Pekiti stick as measuring 27" - but that's just for me. There are various ways of measuring to determine a stick length that's right for your body size. One way is to measure from your armpit to your cupped fingers with a few sticks until you find one that fits that length, e.g.

    One reason that historical FMA swords and their modern copies are somewhat shorter is that, well, people's arms might have tended, on average, to be a little shorter back then...

    Then again I had a student who, although a few inches shorter than me, had arms that were quite a few inches longer than mine. I always had to mentally and physically adjust, quickly, when we worked out together, since his stick always ended up a little closer than I thought it would.


    Steve Lamade
  4. Danny T

    Danny T New Member

    Interesting question. How long a stick?

    At the advanced levels one should train with what length weapon one uses and the length and weight of the weapon will determine how it will be utilized. At the lower levels I would say one is learning many different aspects within the same movements and time. This is one of the golden treasures of Pekiti training.

    I have repeatedly worn the markings of Tuhon McGrath’s 34 inch stick as well as his shorter 30 inch stick. He is partial to the 34 inch. I have also been around GT Gaje’s 28-30 as well as his 33-34 inch sticks. Most people I run into these days seem to have a 28-29 inch stick. So what is the reason of the different length sticks?

    As to the 28-29 inch probably due to that is what is most available.

    In my training of Pekiti, I was taught to measure a “Training stick” from the armpit to the first knuckle from the tip of the index finger. (a training stick is not a fighting stick!!) In my case that is approx 31 inches. Remember this is a training stick. With that in mind what am I training? How is the stick held? At the very end of the stick or choked up approx a hand width from the end? If from the end of the stick then why the longer length? If from a choked up position, Why? Pekiti’s training integrates through out all of the weapons categories. So the practitioner is learning about the short pakal positioning as well as the longer sword positioning all within the same movements. Therefore my 31 inch training stick incorporates a 27 inch sword or stick as well as a 3 – 4 inch pakal blade. Also the longer stick held in a choked up position allows the beginner practitioner to have better stick balance for control until they have strengthened the wrist and fingers for holding and manipulating the weapon at the higher levels. When one gets to the segung labo training there is a great deal of pakal training here but all with much a longer weapon than a pakal held blade. Again I would ask why? There is far more within the training method than is obvious.

    Just some food for thought.

    Danny Terrell
  5. mronkain

    mronkain New Member

    I'm taught similar measuring, which gives me the measure of 78 cm (approx. 31"). Because of the trouble of getting sticks of correct length, I usually use sticks between 75 and (~29.5" - 31.5") 80 cm. I have sticks of different lenghts, diameter, weight & material, however, to try the things with different wariations. I also have a flat stick (garote) and training swords (and live ones). But in training I use 31" stick most of the times.

    This is in quite a contrast to some of my earlier experienses in B.I.F.F. Escrima, where we used 60 cm (23.6") sticks and even to Inosanto Kali where we were taught to use approx. 70 cm (27.6") sticks. Also the strikes in B.I.F.F. were different, they were more meant for impact weapons, as the strikes in Inosanto Kali and PTK were more of a slashing sort.

    I don't mean to say this is always the case, but this is the diffence in how I was taught them (and how I perceived it).

    In my experience, larger and heavier weapons in training hone the body mechanics, you learn to use your whole body in a right way more easily. After you learn that, you have no trouble switching to smaller and lighter weapons.

    - Marko
  6. Jack Latorre

    Jack Latorre Siyam

    When measuring and comparing stick length and blade length, it is probably important to remember that:
    A) Filipinos are generally shorter than their caucasian counterparts, so the Filipino "cubit" may somewhat shorter than what we may expect in the West. With personal blade lengths traditionally determined by human body length standards, it's no wonder than there are so many different blade length available among different Filipino blade types (or even within one one particular Filipino blade type).
    B) Although the PTI standard of stick measurement is from armpit to tip of finger and rattan can be easily custom cut to suit that length, forging a sword to varying custom lengths for different customers is a tricky thing.
    C) Some Filipino blades are designed to do different things...a panabas will be used differently than a ginunting, partially due to the vastly different blade lengths.

    Jack A. Latorre
  7. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    Welcome aboard Jack!

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