Hand conditioning

ElfTengu

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I am looking for any hints on hand conditioning that work in the short term to toughen up palms and finger pads so that rattan doesn't keep taking the skin off.

I don't have the softest hands, being a factory worker, keen gardener and martial artist in another style for 25 years, but whilst Japanese oak weapons have never caused me any problem, I am having trouble with rattan.

I know that long term practice is the main solution, but any tips other than the usual rubbing in of surgical spirit to avoid looking like a thrash metal drummer would be gratefully received, thanks.
 

Buka

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You might consider wearing gloves. If not, if there is a local Chinatown nearby, go to an herb shop and inquire about some Dit Da Jow. It's a skin toughener. But some forms of it smell really bad.
 

Carol

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Elf, I'm a bit concerned when you mention the rattan is tearing up your hands. It doesn't usually do that. Are you trying to grip the rattan over a node? Are the sticks you are using starting to fray? A traditional Filipino exercise to toughen up the hands are to fill small canvas sacks with mung beans and dropping the hand on the sack of beans. But I'm wondering if there is something amiss that is making your hands get cut up?
 

jks9199

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Elf, I'm a bit concerned when you mention the rattan is tearing up your hands. It doesn't usually do that. Are you trying to grip the rattan over a node? Are the sticks you are using starting to fray? A traditional Filipino exercise to toughen up the hands are to fill small canvas sacks with mung beans and dropping the hand on the sack of beans. But I'm wondering if there is something amiss that is making your hands get cut up?
Thanks, Carol. I was wondering the same thing, because my experience with rattan is that sticks in good shape don't tear you up. Bamboo will, if it's not sanded or if it's starting to come apart. And I've seen badly frayed rattan do a number on someone's hands... But the quick solution there is electrical tape! Long term? New sticks, of good rattan, not cheap stuff from Pier One or the like.

Maybe the OP can try taping the sticks?

I had one more thought... Is he actually talking about blisters from the various spins and movements of the stick, rather than the stick itself tearing up the hands?
 

geezer

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Like JKS9199 and Carol, I wonder why someone with reasonably tough skin is having a lot of trouble with this. Is it your sticks, as suggested above, your grip or technique, or are you just some kind of insane fanatic who trains too much? LOL

Seriously though, I occasionally have had some blisters or cracking and bleeding callouses, but usually for an obvious reason. For example, for a while i was using some longer but skinnier sticks that were harder to grip. Another time, I was "cramming" to get in shape for a seminar I was planning to attend after a long layoff. Or, there was the time I attended a seminar that stressed a lot of hard, "short power" training in a sweat-box studio with broken air conditioning and temperatures well over 100%. My hands were so sweaty, the sticks kept slipping around and were really tough to grip.

My solutions are pretty much the same as mentioned before. Work till your hand just begins to get sore, then quit for the day or put on a glove before you get blisters.If your hands get sweaty you can wear a terry-cloth wrist-band and, if necessary, use a bit of gymnasts chalk to improve your grip. Also, keep a small towel tucked into your waistband or belt to dry your hands. Finally, if your stick is frayed or rough, tape it. A sharp utility knife can also be used to clean up the splintery edges around the nodes or joints. Good luck.
 
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ElfTengu

ElfTengu

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Thanks all, it was during a seminar and following a lot of full power full speed drills when I noticed a big chunk out of my palm. The instructor's comment was (good humouredly) that I obviously wasn't practicing enough, which is probably true, but now I can't practice at all without covering my hands or the sticks, neither of which I want to do as I would rather have the conditioning than look to a workaround. And yes, it is probably poor technique too, but I have only been doing this kind of stickwork a year as part of a larger JKD concepts syllabus.
 

MJS

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I am looking for any hints on hand conditioning that work in the short term to toughen up palms and finger pads so that rattan doesn't keep taking the skin off.

I don't have the softest hands, being a factory worker, keen gardener and martial artist in another style for 25 years, but whilst Japanese oak weapons have never caused me any problem, I am having trouble with rattan.

I know that long term practice is the main solution, but any tips other than the usual rubbing in of surgical spirit to avoid looking like a thrash metal drummer would be gratefully received, thanks.

I've gotten some blisters, torn skin from the sticks. Usually doesnt matter if I'm on a smooth part or rough spot on the stick...the simple fact that its rubbing in the same spot, usually is enough to cause some irritation.

I've found that taping or putting on a bandaid doesnt work. I went out and bought a pair of weight lifting gloves. During the last Arnis camp I was at, I started off without them, and ended up not wearing them at all. Guess I was lucky this year. LOL.
 

billc

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Tape helps. Electrical tape is nice. Duct tape can start to get sticky on the edges. The type of process in the preperation of the stick may have made them "sticky" and that may have been what caused the friction. Anyone out there have different processes to prep rattan?
 

Zenjael

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The hand conditioning I do is to know one's limit. I use a rolling pin on my shins and forearms, and strike my forearms against each other and shins. I jab a stone 30 times a day with my index finger, and spear hand, and 15 times the blade of both hands, and 30 times a day the palms. I began with makiwara, using leather, and then used one with cloth. Eventually I began to use solid wood, and in time, brick. I've found however that the brick I've been using is now prone to chipping harshly, or breaking entirely, and I don't quite like the idea of replacing my fireplace. I've since switched, this week actually, to using half of a 1 inch slab of cinderblock I first broke when I was 15. I'll do elbow and wrist strikes about the same amount as I do palm. I do not condition my knuckles outside the push-ups I do, always on them. I don't like to punch, though I take pride in my speed concerning them. I've since come to consider that a ball of joints probably isn't the best thing to strike with, when I can do equal to more damage with my palm, so I've focused on conditioning, and strengthening that instead over the last half year.

My goal is to be able to put a dent in the tree outside my house with a palm strike. In about a month I'll start striking it. By 2013 to have strengthened my finger enough to puncture a can. And keep going from there.

Pacing yourself is what is important. Seeing little pinpricks under your skin is a good sign you are pushing yourself forward, and growing stronger. But ripping your hand open, openly bleeding, is far, far too far- you've undone the majority of the work you've worked hard to rebuild. It is not just the bones we strengthen, but our muscles, and tendons, and skin. The very tissue itself, wherever you work on, long term, will come to be phenomenally stronger.

I finger being broken in half it'll be considerably more difficult to damage over time. So I'm happy I've finally found something to condition with.
 

puunui

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I jab a stone 30 times a day with my index finger, and spear hand, and 15 times the blade of both hands, and 30 times a day the palms.

I heard this is damaging to the eyes as well.
 

Zenjael

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Really? I've never heard that before, but regardless I've switched to a slab of concrete one foot by one foot aprox. Im not too worried about my eyesight when I effectively spar legally blind without my glasses.
 

elder999

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Really? I've never heard that before, but regardless I've switched to a slab of concrete one foot by one foot aprox. Im not too worried about my eyesight when I effectively spar legally blind without my glasses.

Meridians which either start or end on the nail points are the Lungs, Small Intestines, Large Intestines, Percardium, Heart, EYES and Triple Burner(this covers the whole chest region from thorax to Pubic bone area). There are several other points namely points right on the tips of each finger on the hands (and thumb too). Conditioning the fingertips improperly can lead to vision loss and impotence.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Meridians which either start or end on the nail points are the Lungs, Small Intestines, Large Intestines, Percardium, Heart, EYES and Triple Burner(this covers the whole chest region from thorax to Pubic bone area). There are several other points namely points right on the tips of each finger on the hands (and thumb too). Conditioning the fingertips improperly can lead to vision loss and impotence.

It's true. I've been wearing glasses for years since I started poking stones, and I've had to endure painful electrolysis for my hirsute volar side of my hands.
 

thekuntawman

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the best way to keep the skin from breaking is to practice with power more often. there is no short cut, but if you practice with power each time you train, soon they will go away. but not because the skin is tough, but because your grip got stronger. and each time you change to a different size/kind of stick or weapons, the hand has to go through that change, of getting used to the shape and size and weight of the wepon. everyone has it, but usually in about 2 months or so, it stops.
 
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