Recommend Equipment

Tools of the Trade

 RATTAN KIL/ Kombat Instruments Limited

This is the website of Nick "Pappy Dog" Papadakis  who is essentially the armorer for the Dog Brothers Martial Arts Association. These are the highest quality rattan sticks and staves I have come across, and they come in a wide variety of lengths and diameters to suit different styles and practitioner preference. Rattan is the best option for training as it is cheaper and more durable than expensive and (oftentimes exotic) hardwoods, which can break or chip during training. You also don't need to worry as much about shattering bones like you might with something like a guava stick or a kamagong garote....which they also sell. Rattan makes a pleasant smokey smell and can burn up with hard and fast drilling. They also sell protective gear for full contact stick fighting such as modified (saber) fencing masks, padded gloves and forearm protection. Racquetball or other protective glasses are also very strongly encouraged as extra eye protection during edged weapons drilling. 


Napassorn "Nok" Hodges makes the best training knives for hard contact, high pressure sparring. You can go damn hard with these without having to worry about breaking a rib, significant soft tissue injury,  or an accidental impalement, which is always a lingering possibility with  metallic or wooden training tools. Nok also makes wooden (read non-magnetic/ferrous) self defense tools. 


It is widely accepted in the edged weapons training community that it is best practice to train with what you carry...or as close to it as possible. These best approximate the weight, shape, look, and feel of many common blade designs and shapes. These are great for drilling exercises. Not at all recommended for sparring due to an increased potential for significant injury, especially secondary to thrusting and stabbing type motions. 

TAK KNIVES (PLASTIC) offer a variety of plastic training knives. They also offer AKU STRIKE knives, which light up and make noise when they make contact, upping the ante for any type of edged weapons sparring. AKU STRIKES are a friendly and more accessible alternative to SHOCKNIFE trainers, which are generally limited (like Simulation) for LEO/MIL groups. We are neither, so we get what we get and we don't throw a fit.  



There is a wide variety of Thai Boxing equipment out there. Everyone has their own personal taste and style that they want to evoke. This being said, some of the best boxing gloves on the market are going to be Cleto Reyes. 16 oz to 14 oz are both good sizes for our intents and purposes. Mexican style hand wraps with a thumb loop are also the club preference. I also personally really like Hayabusa's Kanpeki line of boxing gloves and shin pads. These are fairly pricey, and an entry level option may be something a bit cheaper. Shop around, see what you like. I also have a number of different brands from locally made (now defunct) AirMonkey gear, soft padded shin guards, Fairfax, as well as the Kanpeki that you can play with to see what fits you best, For bag gloves and pad work, I really love Everest 4308 speed bag gloves. You can get used to hitting with less padding on your knuckles and there is a metal bar in the palm to help stabilize your grip. These are cheap and can be found for around 25 USD. Not appropriate for boxing with another person. 

Other  essentials are:


-you can find these at any sporting goods store....

I do, however, like which has options ranging from 20.00 for a basic model to over 100 USD for a premium dentally molded high impact mouthguard.


shock doctor also makes exceptional groin protection. Another premium option would be Lo-Bloo, which also offer superior groin protection for female fighters. 




I personally carry a spyderco Endura w/ an Emerson wave or a Spyderco P'kal if I am carrying a folder. If you train with me, you will undoubtedly understand why very quickly. 

Both of these knives are fairly utilitarian, with the Endura being the less menacing and more practical option. Knives are tools, the more aggressive it looks, the worse off you will likely be if you have to use one as a weapon. This is one reason why I tend to (for the most part) eschew karambits in my everyday carry. That being said, they are an important fixture in SE Asian martial arts, and we do train in their use. Both the Endura and the P'kal are very suited to reverse edged methodologies. The P'kal was designed by Craig Douglas (Southnarc) and is a truly formidable and insidious weapon. These can be picked up on the spyderco site, or likely cheaper from eBay or amazon. 


If you want to spring the money on a piece of art which you will always number one suggestion would be Gavin Coleman at Ironside Edgeworks in South Africa. He is a master craftsman and is on the literal cutting edge of killing cutlery. This is the knife you pass down for generations. He take his idea of a knife as a "divine companion" seriously. options start at 250.00 USD/R2500.00 with 85USD extra for a training blade. I cannot recommend this gentleman's work enough. He runs a one man show, so there is a wait, but it is worth it. You are commissioning a custom work of art. 


There are people who still, believe it or not, use swords. The official sword of the Filipino Force Recon Marines (pekiti tirsia practitioners) is the Ginunting. This is a bird's beak shaped short sword which can often be seen carried alongside a carbine. Ron Kosakowski offers a huge variety of Filipino (and other) swords, including the fearsome ginning. For a sword hand forged by a retired Force Recon Marine and top PTK fighter, is the place to go. 2nd Lt. Manuel S. Prado, Jr. was the Chief Master Instructor of the Philippine Marine Martial Arts Program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police. 18" options start around the 600.00 mark.