View Poll Results: Fingernails for MAs...good, bad or indifferent?

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  • It's no big deal, keep them short for your training partner's safety.

    63 75.90%
  • I cut them, but it's a big deal to me. I miss my nails *sigh*

    3 3.61%
  • Nails are a weapon, why would you cut them?

    7 8.43%
  • Other...

    10 12.05%
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Thread: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

  1. #1
    mj-hi-yah's Avatar
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    Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    Should women who train in martial arts be permitted to have long nails? How many of you ladies manage to keep your fingernails long? Is it a good idea for self defense, or is it a detriment? If they are short is it to protect your training partners?
    "To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one's own in the midst of abundance." - Buddha

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    Erg! Re: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    My mom and I always try to remember to keep our nails cut. We've had accidents before of bumping our hands/fingers into our partners faces, but it's always worse to be scratched. More than once my mom forgot to cut her nails or had just cut them so they were a little sharp and accidentally jabbed me in the face! Ouch! It's especially dangerous to have long or sharp nails if you get to close to your partner's eyes. Also, we are either the only or 2 of the very few females in the class and it's embarrassing if we accidentally scratch somebody. We also don't like the feel and inconvinience of long nails anyway, so we prefer to keep them short.

    Robyn
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    Re: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Opal Dragon
    My mom and I always try to remember to keep our nails cut. We've had accidents before of bumping our hands/fingers into our partners faces, but it's always worse to be scratched. More than once my mom forgot to cut her nails or had just cut them so they were a little sharp and accidentally jabbed me in the face! Ouch! It's especially dangerous to have long or sharp nails if you get to close to your partner's eyes. Also, we are either the only or 2 of the very few females in the class and it's embarrassing if we accidentally scratch somebody. We also don't like the feel and inconvenience of long nails anyway, so we prefer to keep them short.

    Robyn
    Oh I understand how you feel about accidentally cutting someone. I have always kept my nails short for training, but even with shorter nails, or as you say freshly cut ones, you can scratch someone. That happened one time recently and I felt so bad. I do miss my nails though! I still get manicures sometimes, but no more long pretty nails. On the flip side, I don't get asked to scratch backs much anymore This can become an annoying byproduct of having nails...
    "To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one's own in the midst of abundance." - Buddha

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    Re: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    Also, as the ladies that grapple can probably attest, getting fingernails caught and pulled in gi sucks...bigtime...

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    Re: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    Quote Originally Posted by bignick
    Also, as the ladies that grapple can probably attest, getting fingernails caught and pulled in gi sucks...bigtime...
    Good point bignick! Sometimes it's more painful to have a nail broken then any damage you might do to someone else, especially with enhanced nails.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    Quote Originally Posted by bignick
    Also, as the ladies that grapple can probably attest, getting fingernails caught and pulled in gi sucks...bigtime...
    I don't grapple in a gi but I have had my fingernails get stuck in tshirts and it hurts like the dickens. I don't keep mine long but it doesn't take much to get it caught. I also have bent my nails back when they were just a little long. I try very hard to keep them short to avoid pain for myself as well as accidentally scratching someone else.
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    Eternal Beginner is offline Banned User
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    Re: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    I've never been a "girly-girl" so I have always kept my nails short. Now that I train I never get them get even a little long. With grappling it is just considerate to keep all nails (toes included!) short.

  8. #8
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    Re: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    Quote Originally Posted by bignick
    Also, as the ladies that grapple can probably attest, getting fingernails caught and pulled in gi sucks...bigtime...
    Grappling is generally hard on the body and fingernails simply compound the little injuries. We do no-gi grappling so fingernails getting caught is not an issue, but inadvertent and sometimes large scratches are almost inevitable if someone has any length of nail at all.

    Not uncommon for me to go home and look in the mirror to see a huge scratch on my face, bleh!
    jacqueline

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  9. #9
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    Re: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    To me it depends upon the person and the art.

    As Nick pointed out those that will be striking and or grappling in a way that could bend or break a nail then cut them short, but a nice coating of polish keeps the strong, so you do nto get the short bends.

    If a woman is just looking for basic self defense and not looking to be the BEST, and this is where most I have seen start out, (* they get addicted later *), I tell them to keep them and how to use them, how to use knife hands and hammer fists versus straight punches. Instead of rolling the fingers in if you fold them flat you can still get an ok hammer fist. Also both of these techniques fall into the gross motor skill set. As does the slap and or grab and dig. It is something that if you have, you should know how to compensate, and use well. Pro's and Con's.

    MJ, I did not vote
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  10. #10
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    Re: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Parsons
    To me it depends upon the person and the art.

    As Nick pointed out those that will be striking and or grappling in a way that could bend or break a nail then cut them short, but a nice coating of polish keeps the strong, so you do not get the short bends.

    If a woman is just looking for basic self defense and not looking to be the BEST, and this is where most I have seen start out, (* they get addicted later *), I tell them to keep them and how to use them, how to use knife hands and hammer fists versus straight punches. Instead of rolling the fingers in if you fold them flat you can still get an ok hammer fist. Also both of these techniques fall into the gross motor skill set. As does the slap and or grab and dig. It is something that if you have, you should know how to compensate, and use well. Pro's and Con's.
    I agree with this Rich. Most women who begin training are not willing to give up their nails from the start. Keeping them shorter is at least a compromise. I do think that any serious martial artist will come to the realization that nails are best kept short for the safety of your partners. If any instructors are lurking here...what do you teach in terms of nails and self defense to women?

    MJ, I did not vote
    LOL Rich I put in other as a choice for you
    "To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one's own in the midst of abundance." - Buddha

    "Even monkeys fall from trees." - Unknown

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    Re: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    Kajumom that is an unfortunate side effect for you with grappling...scratches on the face are the worst! I should say that I got scratched once in my school by one of the guys who keeps his nails rather long. It applies to the men too.
    "To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one's own in the midst of abundance." - Buddha

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    Re: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    Quote Originally Posted by mj-hi-yah
    I do think that any serious martial artist will come to the realization that nails are best kept short for the safety of your partners.
    Yes, please! Don't forget the toenails too, especially if you kick or grapple!

  13. #13
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    Re: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    I was in manicuring school a VERY long time ago and wore glamour-length acrylics. My boyfriend (later married the idiot) and I were wrestling around and the corner of my thumbnail got caught in a fold of his denim jeans and as I tried to circle out of the hold, my artificial thumbnail twisted. This resulted in a diagonal break and a triangular shard that dug down into my fingernail bed and gouged out a good section of my thumb. I still shudder just thinking about it.

    No more nails. DNA can be extracted from a TINY source of biological material - even a skin tag on a hair. I can do more serious damage if I can dig my fingerTIPS into the flesh and ripping than trying to slice someone up with my nails.

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    Re: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    Quote Originally Posted by mj-hi-yah
    How many of you ladies manage to keep your fingernails long?
    I thought the poll was for the Ladies, not neanderthals and gorillas like me
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    Re: Fingernails, good, bad or indifferent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Parsons
    I thought the poll was for the Ladies, not neanderthals and gorillas like me
    LOL apes is my word, and if you have an opinion about nails, you are in! Do you get manicures? Some guys do...

    A couple of you mentioned toenails...I agree, unless you wear karate shoes when you work out, long toenails are hazardous and none too attractive I might add!

    Shesulsa you are a woman of many talents! That's a good point about the DNA...unless your attacker is bald, go for some hair! Also, that's interesting about using your fingertips! Good ideas!
    "To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one's own in the midst of abundance." - Buddha

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