Designing new sparring equipment

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts' started by BahadZubu, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. BahadZubu

    BahadZubu Valued Member

    Hello all.

    I am in a position to contact a factory to start making padded sticks for sparring. I used to use smak sticks and thought they were pretty good. Unfortunately they have gone out of business. My club now uses the action flex sticks made by century. However, a problem we keep running into is that the ends blow out quite easily. Rendering the stick very limp on the top end and exposing the thin PVC pipe within. This is something I hope to mitigate on my new design of a padded stick. So, does anyone have any suggestions for how to make a better padded stick? Suggestions for improvement? This is not a venture I wish to make money off of (as there is no real money to be made) simply just looking for a better padded stick for sparring. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


  2. Guitar Nado

    Guitar Nado Valued Member

    Have you thought about a cloth covering over the stick, something like this?:

    When I did Kali a while back, my instructor had sort of a padded cloth bag that you could put the stick in to be basically the same as what is in the above link. I thought it was pretty cool. You could use a regular stick inside it I think. I thought it was made by Lameco, but all they have they have on their site is the one above.
  3. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    High strength rubber, lightened with holes which are then filled with plastic for more rigidity and lightening. Solid core of non-fragmentable material mushroomed at both ends so it won't puncture the rubber, and then encase that whole thing in the same kind of foam.
  4. BahadZubu

    BahadZubu Valued Member

    Interesting idea, but I can't imagine it would be suited to sparring with no armour as the rattan core would just be way too hard. At that point might as well just use a thin version of the real thing.
  5. BahadZubu

    BahadZubu Valued Member

    Great ideas. Any idea for what specific type of material at each end? It also sounds like your speaking from having made such a thing before. Is that the case? just curious.
  6. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    Never made anything like this just taking a bunch of engineering courses so I have the relevant skills.

    The rubber would depend on what you can get commercially and what your manufacturer can cast. I don't have any specific material I can quote but you'd want something close to or just a bit lighter than tire rubber so you can keep the rigidity and allow flex. Keep in mind the plastic filled holes will reduce weight and make it not hit so hard.

    For the plastic filler ABS should work fine but it won't really matter. The stress will be on the rubber.

    For foam, use what they use for foam dipped sparring gear. It's light and absorbs enough force.

    Keep in mind these may still leave welts. Anything rigid enough to be usable as a stick and not break will have enough mass to hurt some. And you need that to replicate the weight of a real stick. My design should help that some but there's no way around it until carbon nanotubes become commercially viable.

    Give me a couple hours and I'll draw up a rough design for you.
  7. BahadZubu

    BahadZubu Valued Member

    I would be very grateful for anything you could draw up. Thanks! Yes, I realise a padded stick of any sort is going to be able to do some damage (Just like the smak sticks and century sticks) but looking for a durable padded stick that isn't really heavy. Thanks again!
  8. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    This should help. I'd be happy to be involved in developing it (especially since I had to leave out some key design elements in the rough sketch) and royalties would be more than welcome.

    It's a system of vertebrae with a tempered carbon steel radial support cast inside rubber, then jacketed in foam, and wrapped in vinyl. It should allow some flex on the thrust, some on strikes, and stay rigid enough to manipulate the stick for disarms, swings, etc.

    You'll cast the rubber around the vertebrae and the steel rod all in one shot.


    Photobucket scaled it down but you should get the idea. PM me and we can talk further.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  9. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

  10. BahadZubu

    BahadZubu Valued Member

    Thanks man. But actually got a friend to draw a mock up. He said steel would not be bendable enough.Better to use Nylon core in PVC.
  11. BahadZubu

    BahadZubu Valued Member

  12. BahadZubu

    BahadZubu Valued Member

    But I will definitely send you a couple free of charge if it all works out. Thanks!
  13. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    We make something we call 'matchsticks'.

    A regular 28" thin rattan with pipe lagging over the last few inches of the stick, and it takes the stick up to about 30-31".

    This gives you more rigidity and the option to strike with a reasonably padded stick. Works well for stick sparring and clinch/corto. A little bit to unwieldy for stickgrappling, but "any training drill is an abstraction".
  14. BahadZubu

    BahadZubu Valued Member

    Thanks for the input. I have put this endeavor on hold because I don't have the money to self fund and realised I am completely ignorant regarding pretty much anything even slightly mechanical. ...Like I don't know what pipe lagging is....but I like the idea of having thin rattan encased in something. How does it compare to smak sticks? Just curious.

  15. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    Way cheaper and more durable :)

    And because they are cheaper and more durable, you'll go harder and have more fun ;)

    Pipe lagging is the foam insulation you put around water pipes to help prevent them from freezing in the winter (so not something you tend to find in the PI ;) ). You just use duck tape to attach it to the stick and it ends up looking like a giant matchstick (hence the name).

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