Received some questions on the pole eBook. Since they are good questions I will write a reply here instead.
The first question is how to choose the weight of a pole?
There’s no exact science here. I wish there was for example if you are X height, Y weight then you buy a pole in the A-B kg, C-D length range.
Generally we choose a pole by feel. For example, if I go to a shop and I see a pole I am interested to buy I would play with it for a while to feel its balance.
You wouldn’t want to buy a pole that you cannot control without a lot of effort. This is because if your body is not up to handling a heavy pole you run the risk of injuring yourself as you strain your muscles and body to control the pole.
However, a pole that is too light would be OK if you just want to practice the movements. For power training a too light pole would not be useful.
You would want to pick a pole that has good balance and heavy enough to challenge you to use the correct biomechanics to manipulate. This is one reason why I would teach a weapon only after the student has learned emptyhand movements because by then he would have a better understand of what biomechanics are from studying movements such as Play Pipa which can translate across to using the pole.
But seriously I never really picked my poles. Some of my poles come as they are. Yet, for some I just bought them and used a wood planer like the one in the video below to trim off the excess wood.
The rattan poles that I have came from a local furniture shop. I just told them to make me a 6 foot pole. For the diameter I used my hand to show them the diameter required – they made an estimate based on what they saw.
I know, its awfully un-scientific and inexact. Well, if ever I figure out how to select a pole exactly you will be the first to read it here.
In the meantime, there are some videos on the internet on choosing a pole – in this case a Bo that is used in Japanese martial arts practice :-
If you are game enough to make your own poles try watching the videos below :-