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Polynesian Slings (Read 7070 times)
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Re: Polynesian Slings
Reply #15 - Mar 28th, 2006 at 9:17am
 
"Iron Palm".  Yes.  It is an interesting idea.  Some iron palmists decide to break the fingers in their hands so they will heal back stronger than before.  The first step is actually not to hit things - you start by lifting weights with your hands to build up the muscles, not just in your arms, but the hands too.  This gives you greater control, so you can relax the muscles and therefore - this being the theory - feel less pain.  Then you crush fairly hard  beans in a bag with your hands, in whatever style, and use that later as a warm up after all the beans are crushed and you've moved on to wood and eventually iron.  The hitting is not only "good" for the hands - it should increase your pain threshold overall also, so that the pain based pressure points don't work.  Also, it is important that you have an "Iron Palm liniment."  Basically, this is a solution that you soothe your hands with after you've been hitting things.  I plan to give this a go, using willow bark and some other herbs, but I'm not in a hurry. Besides, I have some important exams soon, and I don't want broken fingers in an exam.

 The sling in the first link doesn't look like it's been braided.  I'm sure it has - in fact, I know it has - but it looks twisted.  In any case, I love these simple slings... Especially knowing they come from Hawaii.  Seems to bring a bit of Pacific cheer every time you make and use one.
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Re: Polynesian Slings
Reply #16 - Mar 28th, 2006 at 2:03pm
 
It seems obvious that the polynesian sling as shown was used for the slower casts associated with short to midrange accuracy exercise.  I can't fathom what that bead would do to my index finger after a distance launch.   This is the reason I make my leather release tabs so small,  I've found that below a certain mass, they will not bounce back and bruise the index finger of my sling hand.


Regarding the Iron Palm technique.....I'm almost surprised that anyone still devotes themselves to it.  Speaking from experience....it's a fool's gambit, which severely detracts from the finer dexterity necessary for many a much more productive hobby and comes back to bite you later on.  I'm 'only' 38 and wish I'd never even heard of the  high kick, shishinken, shi-tanken, or the iron palm.

Somewhat ironic, it is, that some wish to earn the tiger's paw and end up later in life only being able to use their hands as paws, due to the inherent damage to the finer circulation in the digits,  crippling arthritis being foremost among them.

The truth in fact, is that the iron palm, like so many other ego induced defeatist strategies, has been proven time and again, to provide very little bang for the buck, so to speak.  


This is not to say that some of the legends afforded it, are not based in fact.  Just that such facts are, in the greater sense, trivial ones.


In our modern era,  practicing the art of leaning forward with one's head between the knees so that a lightning strike might enter the derriere and pass down the legs to the ground and miss the vital organs, would prove a more productive defense strategy and more likely to prove necessary than braving the 'thousand needles' torture of simply typing at the keyboard as a result of preparing for a moment that, should it ever come, would hardly prove satisfying.

Besides, no matter how punitive a measure is taken to 'harden' the hands and fingers......they won't come close to the stone resolve of a simple Yawara or Kubotan key chain, one's elbow, or any number of other more sensible tools for blunt force striking, than the, by comparison, delicate components that make up two of our most useful appendages.


English,  I implore you to pass on the iron palm.  Let's face it, Your ego can never be as large as mine once was.   And that is the dubious essence of the Iron Palm.


Peace,


TS


P.S.  How weird is this.....above when I typed "Shi-tanken" without a hyphen....an automatic "cuss check" must have activated because the word was consistently modified to read:  "Nutsanken".  Only after I hyphenated it, did it read correctly.  lol
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« Last Edit: Mar 29th, 2006 at 9:10am by Yahweh Bless you in Yeshua »  

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Re: Polynesian Slings
Reply #17 - Mar 28th, 2006 at 4:18pm
 
Let me come back to the sling again!

The polynesian sling in the first link is amazing. Its simplicity reminds me on the typical balearic slings as well as the open pouch.
I started slinging with a sling of that type braided of 6 flax strings with an open pouch. It worked well. The balearic slings usually don't have a bead (as far as I know). Braiding a longer one I once decided not to cut the off the release end which had become a little bit too long. Instead I formed a knot like that polynesian bead. The advantage of such heavier release end seems to be that it would not wrap around itself or hamper the projectile. Especially lighter projectiles like tennis balls can easily be distracted when the released end looses rapidly its momentum.
The advantage of a knot is that it will not hurt the slinger as a wooden bead might do.

Does anybody know exactly the material the polynesian sling is made of? Somebody mentionned coconut fibre. This material is a little bit stiffer than flax, so I suppose it would not wrap around itself so easily as my flax slings do, especially the longer ones.

By the way, the open pouch does not require ammunition of a normed size. One can use any usual sling ammunition if it's only big enough for not slipping through the pouch. However, normed ammunition is better for acuracy. For protection of the pouch I sew leather around the cords. That avoids the slipping of ammunition, too.
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Re: Polynesian Slings
Reply #18 - Mar 29th, 2006 at 2:16am
 
(Sorry, funda_iucunda)
  Yeah, it seems like I should not proceed with this idea.  Iron Palm does sound slightly stupid, I suppose.  And besides, when would I need more strength in my hand than I already have?  Against boards.  And as Bruce Lee says, (lol), "Boards don't punch back."
 
  Back to slings:  it could be that the fibres are Olona fibres.  This is a plant with a fibrous bark, like that of nettles or fireweed, but growing about 7 feet in height.  Or indeed, sennit coconut fibres, "coir", is also a definite possibility.  But considering Olona was once used as currency in Hawaii, and that it was specially grown in plantations, Olona does look quite likely.  Then again, the coconut is called the "the tree of life" in most Polynesian cultures.  Could be either.  Looks like coir to me, though.
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Re: Polynesian Slings
Reply #19 - Mar 29th, 2006 at 2:55am
 
According to the Bishop Museum, the slings are made of coconut fiber.
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Re: Polynesian Slings
Reply #20 - Mar 29th, 2006 at 12:37pm
 
Coconut fibres it is.
  You know, I want to do my PhD at the university of Hawaii.  Good Chinese department.  Can't beat the location.
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Re: Polynesian Slings
Reply #21 - Mar 29th, 2006 at 1:15pm
 
My youngest sister lives in Kahului, Maui.  She (perhaps unintentionally) rubs it in my face with practically every email!  I'm this close to flying out and starting a beach hut business.....

I think I'll call it:  "Maui Haole's Slings and things".


English, I hope you'll stop by the hut to sling a coconut!


Seriously though,  I hope you get to do your PHD (Piled Higher and Deeper...lol) at UH....someone here should be so fortunate as to investigate the new facility going up at Kapolei on west O'ahu!


TS
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« Last Edit: Mar 30th, 2006 at 5:42pm by Yahweh Bless you in Yeshua »  

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