Your discussion brings to mind a few thoughts. As Robb stated, nails are not-gender specific. Your point is well taken regarding grooming (toe nails can be a problem as well). Additionally, your post begs the question of distancing in kumite (and bunkai, for that matter.) (Which has been discussed quite a bit before on other forums) It seems that many agree (and some may not) that we can display, demonstrate/show our technique at full speed without making contact with the powered up strikes. (I know we've all been taught that from day one, but we seem to slip into habits) In this way, a missed block will not result in injury to our partner, but will still demonstrate the application of proper technique, control, and power. In fact, your "point of impact" might be a couple of inches away from the "known target". This in no way will make your technique "weak", but will make it much safer. I have seen and experienced kumite, two-person drills, bunkai that have been painful and quite dangerous. We must remember, I believe, that we are "partners" demonstrating technique, power, focus, and control using the full range of our Uechi art. Too often I have seen these drills become strictly "hard" exercises, ignoring the "soft" aspect to the art. Also, I have seen women and smaller statured men who have taken an unnecessary pounding when partnered with physically larger men, who still apply these "muscled up" hard blocks and strikes and don't adjust for the height and physical capabilities of their partners, resulting in punches to the nose and other hard contact injuries. If the distancing is correct, it seems to me to be much safer and enjoyable for both partners. Dont' misunderstand, I am a big proponent of vigorous body conditioning, and have posted about this subject before. This is a separate subject, however. I realize that I got off on a tangent here, and strayed away from the grooming issue, but it seemed to relate.