1. Q: Do you recommend sanding the rattan skins
off the sticks? A: No. That would be like taking a
turtle out of his protective shell. Our sticks are tough and take
some pretty good abuse. Sticks without skins will not last long.
2. Q: Are your rattan sticks finished with
gloss? A: I carry the plain and finished varieties.
Many FMA practitioners like to leave the skins natural. A finish will
prevent you from smelling the burn of the sticks during a hard workout. If
you would like to buy finished sticks, see the striped sticks on this
3. Q: Are rattan sticks perfectly straight?
A: No. Rattan is a vine that is straightened with heat.
Rattan nodes can be shaped differently, even cut from the same stalk.
Rattan is grown, not milled or turned on a lathe. If you want
perfectly straight sticks, I highly recommend the hickory sticks or one of
the exotic hardwoods. Looking down the barrel of most rattan will
show some normal curvature, but it really doesn't change your training.
(In intense training it is hard to see the sticks at all.)
4. Q: I'm new to this type of training,
would more expensive sticks be easier for me to start with? A:
That is a personal call. My answer is no. Expensive rattan
doesn't make you a better martial artist any more than wearing Nike Air
Jordan's make you a better basketball player. If you were to observe
training in the Philippines, you'd see sticks like these rather than the
polyurethane, "happy meal" variety you see in some US studios
today. Newcomers tend to gravitate towards appearances while most
look for density, hardness, and the ability to withstand heavy training.