Plastic Training Bat
Lately I have been training with an Easton Pro Stix plastic baseball bat. (Available here, although you should be able to buy it for less.) The salesman at the sporting goods store recommended it, and it’s been a solid bat.
The first guys I ever saw train with plastic bats were GM Giron’s Bahala Na Club (See here.). It allowed them to practice the larga mano drills with a greater degree of safety.
I’ve been using a plastic bat because I don’t want to destroy my punching bag. If you are training indoors, sparring, or doing hitting drills with a partner, a plastic bat allows for a greater margin of safety.
However, I am careful to include practice with heavier weapons, because I believe too many FMA practitioners train with light weapons, while their “fighting sticks” are much heavier. I believe training light but trying to fight heavy can lead to disaster.
I’ve been surprised at the very solid strikes I can land on the bag with a plastic bat, and I have to wonder if it doesn’t hit as hard as a rattan stick. I have considered the plastic bat as an emergency, worst-case weapon. My strategy would be to hit from a distance, and disorient the opponent with blows to the head, and follow through with knee strikes to create more serious damage. This is similar to the fighting strategy of a rolled up newspaper or umbrella.