Make Your Own Quarterstaff

Posted in Miscellaneous, Training, Training Equipment, Weapons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2014 by chencenter

QuarterstaffIntroducing the newest weapon to my armory, the English Quarterstaff.  I don’t know how this fine weapon eluded me for so many years, but thanks to a fencing student of mine, I’ve found a new training tool.  Pictured here, in the lovely arms of my wife Jenny, is the might beast itself… a weapon constructed for no more than $12 USD.

Before I proceed, Jenny wants me to apologize for the mess in the background.  But you, my friends know – how could I possibly have the chance to fold clothes AND construct a weapon of such beauty?  The answer had to be, “The staff comes first.”

For those that aren’t familiar, wikipedia defines the Quarter staff as such:

A quarterstaff (plural quarterstaves), also short staff or simply staff is a traditional European pole weapon and a technique of stick fighting, especially as in use in England during the Early Modern period.

The term is generally accepted to refer to a shaft of hardwood from 6 to 9 feet (1.8 to 2.7 m) long, sometimes with a metal tip, ferrule, or spike at one or both ends. The term “short staff” compares this to the “long staff” based on the pike with a length in excess of 11 to 12 feet (3.4 to 3.7 m).

HOW TO MAKE ONE YOURSELF

quarterstaffIt started with a trip to Lowes Home Improvement, where I picked up an 8′ dowel rod 1 and 1/4th inches thick (made of poplar).  The price of this was only $7.50.  My next trip was over the the Dollar General, whereby I purchased one double-pack of household sponges and one black oven mitt.  As you might be able to work out yourself, this turn out to be $2.12.  My final stop was Michael’s, just next door in the ol’ shopping center.  Michael’s is a craft store and one in which I was only after one particular item – twine rope ($2.43).

When you get home and lay out all your supplies, the simplicity of the task is likely to smack you right in the face.

A few optional items that I used (that you may want to use yourself) were duct tape, a rubber chair end (1 & 1/4inch) and a walnut-color wood stain [again, going for more of an "antique-y" look].

  • After staining the wood and allowing it to dry, I taped the sponges to the end of the staff.  This gave it a soft, round, end, with quite a bit of cushion to it.
  • Then I positioned the black, oven mitt to the end (pushing the thumb inside-out) and tightly taping the lower half of the mitt to the staff.
  • Since the tape is rather “modern” and unattractive to look at, I meticulously wrapped the twine rope around the lower portion of the mitt.  This was a time-consuming process (approx. 45min – 1 hour) and obviously could be omitted if one wished.
  • Lastly, I applied a rubber chair end/stopper to the end of the staff.  I figured that if the staff was ever to be dropped or handled roughly, this would minimize splitting and damaging of the staff’s aesthetic.

THE PERFECT WORK-OUT

Needless-to-say, this quick and inexpensive project produced a superb training tool.  After only one hour of practice, my arms were killing me.  I’d be surprised to find a martial art weapon that works the arms and core like pole weapon training.

Good luck in the construction of your own! Please let me know if you have any questions or comments below.

MICHAEL JOYCE

WSFENCING.INFO

 

 

Women’s Self-Defense, Miss USA and Feminists

Posted in News, Safety, Self-Defense, Tae Kwon Do, Violence, Women's Self-Defense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2014 by chencenter

GTS GAP “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows,” as Rocky Balboa eloquently said in the movie Rocky 6.  Bad things happen to bad people – some people call that ‘karma’ – and sometimes (more times then we’d like to think about) bad things happen to good people.  Violent things.

My wife and I recently saw a post, whereby people across the Twittersphere belittled the new Miss USA, Nevada’s Nia Sanchez’s remarks on women’s safety.

Such remarks of :

  • “Why not teach men not to rape?”
  • “…Like teaching women self-defense is the answer?”
  • “… she just reinforced victim-blaming rape culture to millions of viewers”
  • “…self-defense.  A ridiculous idea.”

When you hear these remarks, how do you feel, and what solution would be practical and/or the most beneficial?  Now I imagine we can all take Rocky’s quote above as truth, can’t we?  And with that being understood, how might someone (anyone) protect themselves at all? Even strong, confident women get battered, harassed, sexually assaulted in this country.  Many women get involved with the wrong men, some find themselves at the wrong place at the wrong time, and even some women assault/abuse men [which the media doesn't write about as they should].

A utopian society is a fictitious one. 

When Nia Sanchez, a fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, answered the pageant’s question regarding sexual assaults on college campus, many people (apparently) where shocked.  However, I believe she knew that “Sunshine and Rainbows” (although it’s what most pageant-goes might like to hear) was an honest and practical answer to a serious problem.

What was your take on this?

ON A SIDE-NOTE

Quote Instagram GTSJenny and I never try to “scare” women into taking our classes… but the truth is, you’ll likely never feel the need to prepare yourself for violence unless you are at least “a little scared.”

Is that where many of us self-defense instructors are going wrong?

I don’t believe we should have to, but men and women should, I believe, take the initiative to learn just in case the unspeakable happens.  And like we always say at our OutFoxxed Program, “If you can’t take it with us, please take it somewhere… and take it soon. You’re never too young or too old to learn.”

A VIDEO FROM KELINA COWELL / URBAN WARRIORS ACADEMY

RELATED ARTICLE:

WHY WOMEN DON’T TAKE SELF-DEFENSE BUT SHOULD

- MICHAEL JOYCE

OutFoxxed Program.  W-S, North Carolina

 

 

Kubotan Sale – Only the next 72 Hours!

Posted in OFFERS, Products, Self-Defense, Women's Self-Defense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2014 by Combative Corner

shark 72hour saleDear Readers,

It is very seldom that we promote product or make any sort of endorsement.  However, as the designer of the Isurus Keychain (and CombativeCorner founder) I wanted to let you,  my extended martial family, know about this 72 Hour Sale that I started on my online store.

Starting today, June 10th and going till Thursday,… I’ll be selling these babies at a steal [as they normally sell for $12]

You won’t get ripped off in shipping either.  Shipping within the U.S. is only $2  (additional fee for international)

Keep you and your family safe this summer and get something that’s inexpensive, easy to access, and that will last forever!

Email me at outfoxxedprogram@gmail.com if you have any questions.

*Please limit each purchase to 10 per individual.  If you are a group and would like more, please contact me beforehand.

Thank you.

Coach Michael Joyce

Superb Demonstration of Silat & Arnis

Posted in Arnis, Silat, Training, Weapons with tags , , , , , , on June 6, 2014 by Combative Corner

Evan Tai owns a kick boxing gym in Hong Kong and occasionally trains with Silat expert Maul Mornie (when he’s in HK).  Obviously, after viewing these clips you’ll be able to see the caliber of martial artist this young man is [Tai].  Enjoy!

CombativeCorner.Com

*Evan Tai’s YouTube Channel : Eskrimamate

Where The Renergy Came From

Posted in Uncategorized on June 6, 2014 by Combative Corner

A Word From O’Sensei

Posted in Aikido with tags , , , , , , , on March 29, 2014 by Combative Corner

Robert Lara Sensei 001“In our techniques we enter completely into, blend totally with, and control firmly an attack. Strength resides where one’s ki is concentrated and stable; confusion and maliciousness arise when ki stagnates.”
Morihei Ueshiba O’Sensei

(植芝 盛平 , December 14, 1883 – April 26, 1969)

Can Modern Students Rise To The Challenge?

Posted in Taijiquan, Training with tags , , , , , , , on March 14, 2014 by Combative Corner

David Gaffney SingaporeI saw the new year in in Singapore, a place with a great martial arts vibe. Whenever I’m there I usually take the chance to drop into the Tong Lian martial arts book and equipment store in Bras Basah. While browsing through some of the books in the store I came across the following quotation from the famous Taiwanese internal martial artist Wang Shujin: “Follow the rules honestly: do not doubt, do not cheat. All these rules come from our ancestors. I did not invent them; I am simply transmitting them”. It made me think of Ma Hong, a well-known student of Chen Zhaokui, who passed away earlier this month. He kept copious notes of his years training with Chen Zhaokui, which he documented in a number of books. These were a great reference tool that we turned to in writing our own books. Like Wang Shujin, Ma was adamant that his role was to pass on the knowledge that had been passed down to him.

In the last few years we have lost some of the greatest of the older generation of Taijiquan masters – Feng Zhiqiang, Wang Peisheng, Ma Yeuhliang, Yang Wenhu to name a few. These teachers all learned first hand from an older generation in the slow, painstaking way that characterises traditional Taijiquan.

Can we say that Taijiquan is in such good hands today? How many teachers stress the realities of real Taijiquan and how many students are prepared to  go down the traditional route. Traditional Taijiquan has many sayings that point to this complexity:  “Don’t go outside the gate for ten years”….”Three years small success, five years medium success, ten years great success”…..”One days practice, one days skill”…..”Treat 10 years as if it were one day” etc etc…

David Gaffney ChinaI was in Tiantan park in 1998 killing a few days before we traveled to Henan. We walked through the park in the early morning looking at the different Taijiquan and Qigong players. What I was looking for really was any interesting Chen Taijiquan, but what arrested my attention was an old Wu style practitioner. At that time there were lots of groups, some being quite large. Zhang Baosheng was training with one student. As we watched it was immediately obvious that this was high quality Taijiquan. When he finished his routine he came over to chat and we arranged to do some training with him over the next few days.

Zhang was a student of the aforementioned Wang Peisheng, who he described as simply the “best Taijiquan teacher in the world”! Zhang believed that there was too much emphasis upon different styles of Taijiquan. To him what was important was understanding the correct method and then being able to apply it practically. For example talking of the merits of different styles pushing hands he simply concluded that “It doesn’t matter who is doing what style, the one who is still standing up at the end is doing it correctly”. Zhang described the tortuous early years of training fundamentals with his own teacher – everyday for the first few years having to do several hours standing before beginning any form training. At seventy-three years old he was still very strong doing one legged squats while holding the other leg above his head – as a warm up.

Close to Zhang’s patch in the park a large group trained in one of the modern simplified forms of Taijiquan. With accompanying music and many of the students chatting casually to each other as the leader set the pace, it was little more than a nice social way to begin the day. His one student, on the other hand was serious and disciplined. When we commented on this Zhang said that unfortunately that was the way it was now – “young people in China are not interested in the old ways”. While he felt an obligation to pass on what he himself had been taught, he sadly concluded that the authentic Taijiquan was in real danger of becoming extinct. When we we visited him again in 2005 or 2006 he was in the same place – still training and still looking great. Now in his eighties, and now alone – Zhang’s sole student had left to find work.
Contrast the above approach with Jet Li’s new Taiji Zen project, a high-profile modern example of Taijiquan in the “internet age”. Prospective learners are wooed with the possibility of achieving a 9th Duan grade in as little as 3 years. And to validate their “achievement” at each level they receive a certificate signed by Jet Li himself! Forget the fact that Jet Li is a wushu guy who did a little Taiji on the side, the difference in approach could hardly be more striking. But sadly it seems that this is what people want today. I’ve touched on this phenomena in previous blogs with the explosion of short and simplified Taijiquan forms and fast track instructor courses. If that’s what people want that’s what they want, but don’t anyone kid themselves that they will get any of the often mentioned benefits of Taijiquan. The traditional art is a lifetime process of constant introspective refinement. Traditional skills are hard earned. An individual is said to have “good gongfu”, whether it be in Taijiquan or any other pursuit, when it is clear to a skilled observer that they have put three elements into their discipline: The first is that they have studied for an extended period of time; the second is that they have worked very hard or “eaten bitter”; and the third is that they have exhibited yongxin – literally “using their heart” – more than just working hard, they have given it their full, deep and unwavering concentration.
Wang ShujinI’ll leave the last word on whether this fast track type of Taijiquan can give results anything like the old ways to Wang Shujin. Talking about the merits of slowly and meticulously training the fundamentals of Taijiquan (in this case the likelihood of gaining high skills without seriously training standing): “You must practice Post Standing (Zhan Zhuang). No matter which Chinese martial art you study, Post Standing is considered fundamental practice. In ancient times, students had to practice standing for one or two years before they were allowed to learn any forms. That is why each generation produced outstanding martial artists. Society and people’s way of thinking have changed, making adapting to these requirements difficult…If you skip the fundamentals, your form will remain undeveloped and you will be ridiculed by experts”.
- David Gaffney
Talking Chen with David Gaffney
Originally titled: “Can Modern Students Cope with Traditional Methods?”
Reposted with Permission.
Original posting Jan. 6, 2014
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,384 other followers

%d bloggers like this: