Nails

A place to share ideas, concerns, questions, and thoughts about women and the martial arts.

Moderator: Megan Lieff

Nails

Postby Shana Moore » Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:02 pm

For the most part, this is directed at our female karateka. :wink:

Nails...long or short or business length?
Do you ever do manicures/pedicures?

I hope we all agree that keeping nails (fingers and toes) trimmed and clean is just a matter of safety and hygiene. It's a courtesy to your partners and a comfort to yourself.

That said, I'm aware that there is a wide variety in how many women keep thier nails as they train.

I've found I keep my nails shorter than I used to because a proper fist is uncomfortable for me with nails that are too long. I do still do manicures and pedicures (by me or ocassionally the professionals), but I make sure to tell them not to remove the callouses on the balls of my feet (interesting looks :roll: :P ). It's a slight change, but not huge.

Just curious about the rest of you ladies out there?

Men are welcome to comment as well, but you'll have to share what colour polish you prefer. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Live True, Laugh often
Shana
User avatar
Shana Moore
 
Posts: 621
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:42 pm
Location: Virginia

Postby harlan » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:51 pm

Pedicures and such are not part of my lifestyle, but I keep the nails short ever since I slashed my teacher's throat. 8O
harlan
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:10 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Postby Shana Moore » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:04 pm

harlan wrote:Pedicures and such are not part of my lifestyle, but I keep the nails short ever since I slashed my teacher's throat. 8O

umm...YOIKES...I'm hoping damage wasn't TOO great! GULP!

pedis aren't a big part of my lifestyle either...mb 1-2x/yr. Was NOICE when @ was pregnant though when extended contact with toes was uncomfortable & a bit comical...
Live True, Laugh often
Shana
User avatar
Shana Moore
 
Posts: 621
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:42 pm
Location: Virginia

Postby Chris McKaskell » Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:03 pm

One of the fellows I train with keeps his nails short enough to make a fist, but long enough to use -- a few months ago he got a little too close to my face during a drill and gave me a really good cut.

I must admit I was impressed -- yes, it was accidental, but it was also entirely effortless!! 8O
Chris
Chris McKaskell
 
Posts: 585
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 4:43 pm
Location: London, Ontario

Postby Jake Steinmann » Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:55 pm

Chris McKaskell wrote:One of the fellows I train with keeps his nails short enough to make a fist, but long enough to use -- a few months ago he got a little too close to my face during a drill and gave me a really good cut.

I must admit I was impressed -- yes, it was accidental, but it was also entirely effortless!! 8O


Impressive, maybe, but unhygienic and gross as hell.
User avatar
Jake Steinmann
 
Posts: 1184
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Newton, MA

Postby chef » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:04 pm

I was told by my sensei that I was a contradicton of sorts, in that part of me is very competitive and loves functioning in more of a man's world with my karate and weight lifting...and part of me is very feminine in that I love wearing skirts, jewelry, etc. He thought that was very different from most women he has had as students in karate.

I do love long nails and the fun of crazy painted nail colors and such....BUT, they are dangerous in a karate class for you as well as others. If you have ever let you nails grow a little longer and had them snagged to the point of ripping off to the quick, you will be conscientious and wary ofhaving them long in class. It is 'most' painful!

Since Uechi is an in-close fighting style with a lot of palm heels and hand strikes, long nails are dangerous in partner drills. Gouges to eyes are possible and it is easy to scratch another when grabbing, which Uechi excels at.

Bottom line: longer nails are not practical, safe, or healthy in a karate class and toenails are even worse for carrying all kinds of bacteria to share with others.

I think, from a hygiene stand-point, cut nails should be a rule in class, as much as I love long nails.

I believe the same thing about jewelry, be it earrings, necklaces, or that sexy belly-button ring many young women like wearing. Trying getting one of those pulled out, Yikes!

Another thing, be wary of where you get your pedicures & manicures. There are so many little shops out there now. I have know a couple of people that have picked up toe & anil fungus at places like this, where they do not change the water enough or sterilize the equipment thoroughly before using it on customers. It takes forever to get rid of something like that, once you get it...and it is gross looking.

Regards,
Vicki
"Cry in the dojo, laugh in the battlefield"
User avatar
chef
 
Posts: 1746
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2002 6:01 am
Location: State of Confusion

Postby Chris McKaskell » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:42 pm

Jake Steinmann wrote:
Chris McKaskell wrote:One of the fellows I train with keeps his nails short enough to make a fist, but long enough to use -- a few months ago he got a little too close to my face during a drill and gave me a really good cut.

I must admit I was impressed -- yes, it was accidental, but it was also entirely effortless!! 8O


Impressive, maybe, but unhygienic and gross as hell.


Totally agree. Gross buckets.
Chris
Chris McKaskell
 
Posts: 585
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 4:43 pm
Location: London, Ontario

Postby Chris McKaskell » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:59 pm

chef wrote:
...
Bottom line: longer nails are not practical, safe, or healthy in a karate class and toenails are even worse for carrying all kinds of bacteria to share with others.

I think, from a hygiene stand-point, cut nails should be a rule in class, as much as I love long nails.

...


Yes, agreed, but what if nails are part of your overall self defense plan and SD is the reason you train?

I've been working with this fellow for three plus years now and this was our first mishap.

Meanwhile, I've had my eyes accidentally poked way more often by much less fearsome people with far blunter fingers -- and that's a serious source of infection too.

The real lesson I draw from it is...I gotta find better ways to protect my face during exchanges!!! :)
Chris
Chris McKaskell
 
Posts: 585
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 4:43 pm
Location: London, Ontario

Postby chef » Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:23 pm

The one good thing about nails, especially for a woman who does not know martial arts, she can defend her self with those nails and rake an attackers eyes or gouge them out. If she does that, she can collect DNA under her finger nails and hurt him good.

Gross but effective!

Vicki
"Cry in the dojo, laugh in the battlefield"
User avatar
chef
 
Posts: 1746
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2002 6:01 am
Location: State of Confusion

Postby CANDANeh » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:05 pm

Yes, agreed, but what if nails are part of your overall self defense plan and SD is the reason you train?


Understandable. BUT. Even very short nails will produce the desired effect with applied pressure (more pressure than you would use with a training partner). The pads of the finger tips will compress enough to produce our "claws". Also if you take into account the downward pull i.e. on the victims face the angle of your fingers further arm your stinging weaponry.
Note Seichin kata. The double wrist grabs I often preform differently, it can be a viscous rake to a very sensitive area of the face.

Cats keep their claws in during play...I will not play with a partner who will not do likewise.
:wink:
The one good thing about nails, especially for a woman who does not know martial arts, she can defend her self with those nails and rake an attackers eyes or gouge them out. If she does that, she can collect DNA under her finger nails and hurt him good.

Gross but effective!


To make the decision to damage someones eyes in a highly stressful situation is I think rare. By the time the decision is made (assuming the defender is capable of potentially removing someones sight forever) little time is left to aim for those tiny targets. Drawing down the forehead as you sink your body which is stronger than using the arm alone and keeps the proper angle with the fingers CURLED facing down not straight towards the target to peel off some flesh (likely will miss going into the eyes) and completing the scratches below the eye sockets will produce pain that closes those pretty blues (try it gently on yourself). Again look at seichin
Léo
User avatar
CANDANeh
 
Posts: 1449
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 6:01 am
Location: Jeddore

Postby Jake Steinmann » Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:39 pm

Chris McKaskell wrote:
chef wrote:
Yes, agreed, but what if nails are part of your overall self defense plan and SD is the reason you train?


Then as far as I'm concerned, you can train with someone else. I have no interest in risking my vision, a MRSA infection, or generally being sliced to ribbons because you feel the need to maintain your nails as some sort of Kung Fu movie like weapon.
User avatar
Jake Steinmann
 
Posts: 1184
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Newton, MA

Not my style (having gotten mrsa after knee surgery YUCK)

Postby robb buckland » Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:08 pm

:lol: As far as polish goes hmmm.......I have to agree that nails are a phenominal " built in defence " buuuut because we do so much grabing its a liability as a teacher.Ya don't want to cut the consumer in the class ! :oops: :oops:
FEARS Ltd
"Art meets Reality"
www.fearsltd.com
User avatar
robb buckland
 
Posts: 1198
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:18 pm
Location: Wells Beach , Me.

Postby Chris McKaskell » Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:24 pm

Jake Steinmann wrote:
Chris McKaskell wrote:
chef wrote:
Yes, agreed, but what if nails are part of your overall self defense plan and SD is the reason you train?


Then as far as I'm concerned, you can train with someone else. I have no interest in risking my vision, a MRSA infection, or generally being sliced to ribbons because you feel the need to maintain your nails as some sort of Kung Fu movie like weapon.


Hey Jake, I was speaking hypothetically -- the guy who cut me actually maintains his nails to use for guitar playing - I just re-read my first post and realized I was unclear about this -- I mean, he's certainly aware of the martial possiblilities of long nails, but I don't think that's his primary motivation.

Sorry, didn't mean to mislead anyone.

But I have met a handful of people over the years - mostly women, who do keep their nails long both as a vanity and as a weapon.

Mostly it never comes up.

In the places you train are there clear rules on this sort of thing?
Chris
Chris McKaskell
 
Posts: 585
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 4:43 pm
Location: London, Ontario

Postby Shana Moore » Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:32 pm

Chris McKaskell wrote:
Yes, agreed, but what if nails are part of your overall self defense plan and SD is the reason you train?


Chris,
I'm glad you had a positive take away from the experience, but I tend to agree with Leo that the claws should be padded during play and the natural trimmed nails can be dangerous when utilized properly.

My biggest question is that long nails can be as much a liability as an aid, and they can be a hygiene issue in training. Have you ever ripped a nail to the quick? It's HURTS. That seems like a strong likelihood in any true grappling and fighting.

I think it's an intersting strategy, I'm just not sure it's the best one.
Live True, Laugh often
Shana
User avatar
Shana Moore
 
Posts: 621
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:42 pm
Location: Virginia

Postby Jake Steinmann » Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:50 pm

Chris McKaskell wrote:
Hey Jake, I was speaking hypothetically -- the guy who cut me actually maintains his nails to use for guitar playing - I just re-read my first post and realized I was unclear about this -- I mean, he's certainly aware of the martial possiblilities of long nails, but I don't think that's his primary motivation.

Sorry, didn't mean to mislead anyone.

But I have met a handful of people over the years - mostly women, who do keep their nails long both as a vanity and as a weapon.

Mostly it never comes up.

In the places you train are there clear rules on this sort of thing?


At Sityodtong, we're pretty clear about the need to keep nails trimmed, yes. People can get cut up pretty badly during clinch work, or by long toenails during sparring.

Which is not to say that everyone always follows these rules, but we're pretty vigilant about it.
User avatar
Jake Steinmann
 
Posts: 1184
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Newton, MA

Next

Return to Women and the Martial Arts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 4 guests