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Review: Nap. David Guillory's Custom Sticks

Everyone knows Rattan sticks have a tendency to eventually blow out. The question is: how long will your set last you? Do you find yourself buying sticks once every month or two? If so, how about changing that to once every six months to a year or even longer! This is an independent review. I have not been paid to write this review, nor has it been requested.

When I first received my sticks from Maestro Nap. David Guillory, I'll never forget the moment. As soon as I held them in my hands, I found that they were just right in weight, neither too heavy nor too light. Though I will say they are a bit heavier than another set I had purchased from another party, they are almost like steel. It's simple to see they were fire-hardened in the correct way.

Another important aspect I noticed when holding the sticks in my hands is that David knows how to select equal-weighted sticks. Both are identical in feel and weight. A perfect matching set.

The appearance of the sticks is great! Rather than sanding the joints down completely level, David beautifully tapered them, which I do believe will provide added strength on the nodes themselves. Anyone who has an understanding of geometry as I do will know that a taper is like the triangle. The triangle is known as one of the strongest geometrical structures known, and the ancient Egyptians knew this all to well. After all, the pyramids are still standing. With the tapers David performs on the nodes, rather than flat-filing, it adds much more strength.

The skin is left on David's sticks, and you can see the visible lines which run from one end of the stick to the other. This really does a lot for assisting in the grip of the sticks, and the strength of the entire stick as well.

The sticks haven't shown any dimples where they've been smacked together at all! And a couple of times they've already been whacked pretty hard. Not a single sign of give in the fire-hardened skins of these sticks.

The sticks are a little small in diameter, but don't let that fool you. They more than make up for that in the solidity. I measured the diameter of both sticks and they are right at .85 of an inch - just .15 less than a full inch. Although this is the case, I must say that David carefully matches the sticks for equal weight and diameter.

The key with providing any product to the public is consistency. Same weight, same quality, always. Finding sources today who are willing to make this additional effort is rare. David provides a consistency that resembles a factory... yet he does this in his spare time from his home.

In my carefully thought-out opinion, I don't believe you can do any better in making your stick selection than to go with David's products. I am a happy recipient of his artfully crafted instruments, and I'm sure you will be too.

Contact him here on FMA if you would like to talk with him about how he fashions them. You will be amazed. Simply search the members list for Maestro Nap. David Guillory. I'm sure he will be happy to visit with you.



Addendum: Above, I know I said the sticks should last up to a year of extremely heavy use. However, as I just got the sticks, I'm not honestly sure if that's the longest they'll last! According to David's statement on his own website at (look under the clickable tab at top labeled "Rattan Sticks!"), he makes them with the same method as Supreme Master Sam C. Tendencia, and that many of Sam's sticks have been known to have lasted twenty years and still going strong. With this statement in mind, perhaps your sticks could last for many, many years beyond what I mentioned above. For me to discover for myself, I guarantee they will be used heavily.

Views: 74

Comment by Michael D. Blackgrave on March 1, 2010 at 10:36am
Nice write up..I to am a a fan of Nap's'em..solid as can be and like you I have seen 0 wear and tare....gonna be getting more real soon....
Comment by Black Swan Tactical on March 24, 2010 at 7:53am

Rattan sticks only last long if you do not work out hard. Depending on the quality of the workout and the stick, I can go through a rattan stick a day. If your sticks are lasting a year, you are not working out hard enough. What I would say is that sticks may last a long time if you are doing warm-ups and learning techniques with them, but if you do hard physical training with a partner you should be swinging hard enough to smell the rattan burn and break up within a month or so....and if not both you and your partner need to swing much harder, just make sure you maintain the strike pattern and targets. You would be developing the memory for the tactic but not the knowledge of what it means to be in stick / machete combat.

Unfortunately I do not own a rattan forest and a fire-glazing / prep business. ;-)

Talk to you,
Comment by xxxxxxxxx on March 24, 2010 at 10:07am
Perhaps you should put your money were your mouth is! I would be willing to make a pair or two for you. I know there is only a handful of people out there that know how to temper rattan like we do at A.R.N.I.S Tendencia!
David G
Comment by Randy G. Pizarro on March 24, 2010 at 12:38pm
Maestro Nap,

My friend you learned your craft well, Master Sam loves the last set you made for him.

I will back up the statement made that "a properly made rattan stick will last over 20years." That does not come from me but from the Supreme Master himself. I know for fact because my brother and I were there and were also trained personally by Master Sam on how to properly make a perfect rattan stick. In fact ck out our website there is a couple of recent photos of Master Sam lecturing about how to make a perfect rattan stick.
As far as "going through a rattan stick in a day" I will say anything is possible. But I literally used the same set of sticks that Master Sam made for me for 20+ years. (my nephew now uses those same sticks)
A side note:
(Master Samson Tendencia is a WW2 veteran, Medal of Bravery in combat, Hand picked by Gen. Douglas MacArthur to teach the Phillipine Guerilla and Army Rangers his Bolo and stick techniques.)
I personally had the honor of practicing with this man for 20 years and I never remembered him recommending that I or anyone else needlessly beat the sticks together. Sam stressed that it was "perfect technique not force" that is what Master Sam used in battle. I believe his statement is much more accurate.

Train hard and train to perfect

Randy Pizarro
ARNIS Tendencia TM
Comment by terry joven on March 24, 2010 at 4:05pm
I'm interested in buying a set. Left a message for Maestro Nap! Can't wait to get me a pair to try out!!


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