Wrapping Sticks?

Discussion in 'General' started by arnisador, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    My post on Burning Rattan got me thinking...I used to burn my sticks over an open flame (well, actually Mr. Hartman did it for me, I think), mostly because it looked cool, then I'd wrap them barbershop-pole style with electrical tape--a candy cane effect that helped preserve the live of the sticks, but could be annoying when the tape gave out at some point and started to come off and you had to re-wrap it.

    Over the years I've lost the habit of wrapping them with tape (and of burning them). Of course they fray and need to be replaced eventually, but then, so do the wrapped sticks, and with the candy-cane wrapping I didn't see a huge difference in lifespan of the sticks.

    I see many people whose sticks are wrapped so thickly with electrical tape that they're essentially padded--you can only tell it's rattan on the inside by looking at the ends. I don't like the feel of these sticks. The padding creates a bounciness that doesn't feel right.

    I know some people use tape to mark off where they should hold the stick to get the right amount of punyo, or to mark where they should be striking to be sure they're not hitting with the belly of the stick. I see the value in this as a training aid, but I don't do it.

    So, I just use plain rattan these days. What are people's thoughts on the value of wrapping sticks?
  2. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    I've worked with naked rattan (raw and cured/burnt) as well as wrapped sticks to varying degrees.

    My stick wrapping was with sport/hockey tape because the cloth grip wasn't as slick as electrical tape.

    Here's my take on it.

    Work with all of them. Purposely use really 'bendy' imperfect sticks. Wrap them, re-wrap them......do it all. Why? My logic is this: I train for self defense. The rattan stick is a metaphorical weapon that represents 'sword' or 'tire iron' or 'fry pan' or what every happens to be on hand. Because of that, you must train your ability to 'feel' how you must change your tool use to fit the tool at hand.

    Wrapped sticks (especially heavily wrapped ones) tend to bind on each other when they come into contact, learn to adjust to it. Same with unwrapped sticks that will 'bounce' more than wrapped sticks. Same with short, long, bent, heavy, thin, thick....

    Train adaptability by forcing yourself to do it.

    I remember a student was at a seminar and needed to replace a stick when his blew out. He asked me to help him pick it out. I gave him one that had a huge (near 40 degree) bend about 2/3's way into it and was about 2" thick all the way through. He thought I was nuts, but by the end of the day, he had figured out how to make it work. When he picked up a more standard rattan, he flew with it.
  3. JPR

    JPR New Member

    When a stick frays, I wrap it. I usually keep it until the fray turns into a failure. Most often I use duc tape. It does change the feel of the bounce, it also increases the heft / weight of the stick. I'm not sure how important the bounce is. With the tape I get twice the life out of a stick. That is more or less why I do it.

  4. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Member

    I'm with Jerry on this one. In addition, I learned arnis in a school where classes could have upwards of 20 people at any given time. And if nothing else, your taping job helped you discern your sticks from everyone else's sticks.
  5. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I always write my initials on one butt end on each stick (with a marker) for that reason!
  6. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    You pretty much listed its useage. From saving frailed sticks, to reference marking, for better grip (anti-slip), lessen vibration. and preventing blisters[​IMG]! The latter being a natural process in hand conditioning.

    I would stick with raw rattan because you simply don't have the option or convenience in a real situation and should condition yourself to use whatever, whenever. Now here is where I contradict myself:nixweiss:...I do like some sort of grip tape on my fighting sticks so that when I thrust someone my hand doesn't run up the stick.

    John J
  7. Sheldon Bedell

    Sheldon Bedell New Member

    I don't tape or wrap my sticks unless the fray. If my hands get sweaty and the stick slips a little I have to adjust my grip but that is what is most likely to happen in a real confrontation (unless you live in the fridged north). It is not to often you will pick upp something in the street that is wrapped.
  8. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    But...you do live in the frigid North, don't you? :D

    I feel plain rattan is more realistic...yet, I also see the argument that you won't have rattan either, so it isn't clear that it is any more realistic.
  9. sames

    sames New Member

    What about all the electrical tape wrapping I see? That has got to be slippery. I usually go with hocky tape and only do that when the stick frays to get a little extra life out of it. I prefer the feel of the wood.
  10. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I never had a problem with slipperiness from the electrical tape, but then, I didn't wrap the whole stick--I just did the candy cane wrap. So, I still had stick to grab.
  11. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    Did you notice any extended life because of this habit? I don't bother now.
  12. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Not worth mentioning. I stopped for that reason. The fraying of the tape was an extra thing that had to be repaired. I did like the look of the wrapped stick though.
  13. bart

    bart New Member

    Stick wrapping

    Hey There,

    I am a big advocate of stick wrapping. I usually do one small wrap in the center of the stick for identification or just a piece of tape somewhere on the top two thirds of the stick. As the stick wears down I wrap the part that's fraying and parts that are about to fray.

    In regular practice sticks I'm careful not to tape the last quarter inch of the stick so that the fibers of the rattan can flex and not crunch or snap. The tape literally just holds the rattan fibers in a bundle until enough of them fail. In sparring sticks I cover the frayed ends loosely so that no dust from the "paintbrush" gets in peoples eyes during strikes to the face mask. I wear contact lenses and the little bits of rattan fibers can get pretty painful and hard to get out of the eye.

    I don't tape the but portion of the stick or the part that I grab. In practice the stickum from the tape was annoying and would tear my callouses off during striking practice, especially during hitting the tires and sinawali practice with a partner. What I usually do though is look for a stick with a natural grip or short node for the punyo.

    During intense practice my sticks tend to last no more than a month and often much less. Sparring sticks last usually only a session or two if they don't get taped. Of course there are some sticks that just endure and some that break right away.

    I'd always assumed that the taping of sticks in the candy cane fashion was more for visual effect than durability. Does anyone have any experience in whether it actually does provide more longetivity?
  14. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    I love to wrap sticks after they begin fraying. I have literally
    hundreds of these sticks just laying around for extra training
    whenever I or my students need them. I do not like electrical
    tape because it can become slippery, that is why I use cloth
    Hockey tape. However all hockey tape is not made the same
    so I use the Renfro brand. Do I like unwrapped rattan best, you bet.
    However, I am not going to waste any stick so wrapping them
    is the best solution for me when they start to fray. This has
    worked for me for a long, long time and I am never hurting for
    sticks to work with!

    Brian R. VanCise
  15. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Member

    I used to use hockey tape. Good grip. And it always promoted callous development for me (after that horrible blistering of course). But I've got a handful of sticks from when I first started arnis, back in 1990 thereabouts. And the hockey tape seems to have degraded and bled glue. So now you can't touch the bloody things without feeling like you've just dipped your hand in adhesive.

    Of course, I could just replace the hockey tape every decade or so. :)
  16. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Oh yeah, I hate picking up those 'sticky' sticks. When the adhesive has spread or whatever it is--I know just what you mean.
  17. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Member

    Makes disarming me more difficult though.


    Unless the other guy clues in and takes my whole arm.
  18. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    I know what you mean about the adhesive but I enjoy that
    adhesive feeling to. I look at it as just another tool to train
    with, something a little different. Clothe, adhesive, electrical
    tape, rattan, kamagong, ASP, etc. Just something a little different
    to pick up and work with. If I need to use my skills and all that
    is available is something sticky, wrapped, steel etc, hopefully I
    will not be affected one bit because of training constantly with
    different tools. Just my 2 cents.
  19. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

    I tape my sticks. I like it, the feel and the weight and the FIT in my palm, ..., .

    I do miss the rattan "burning" smell, but I am willing to give that up for durability and proper grip diameter for me.
  20. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Are there any restrictions on this or other modfications to the basic stick in Balintawak (from the dueling aspect of it)? Did people have to use 'regulation' sticks in contest? Or is it OK to cork your bat if you want?

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