Mace, Part 2 – The “Slosh Effect”

Something New In Mace and Dynamic Resistance Training

For the last 1,000 years or so, the Mace has usually been a two-piece implement consisting of a handle and a head – in short, a stick and a stone. In the earliest drawings, and later in photographs, it is obvious that in the Wrestling Gyms (Akara’s) of India, the handle of the Mace was made of wood, and this was usually bamboo. With the industrial age, the Mace has been manufactured in steel shops and foundries. The wooden handle has been replaced by a steel pole that can be welded to the head of the Mace, affording greater strength and safety (avoiding the possibility of a cement or stone head coming off the wood handle).

This development, while making Mace training far safer, also made it obvious that the old style wooded handle (especially bamboo) Maces had a slight “sway” and flexibility that the welded, steel Maces with their stiff one-piece construction no longer had. This trade-off of strength for safety left many “traditionalist’ feeling that something was missing. Kind of like the parallel bars made of steel on most schoolyard playgrounds compared to the wooden parallel bars used in collegiate and Olympic competition.

Now, for the first time in the history of Mace Training comes a Mace that combines the safety of one-piece, welded steel construction with the feel of sway and flexibility of wooded handles – a Mace with a loadable head that also offers progressive resistance. There have been Maces with a loadable head for a few years already, and other products where people used sand, dirt, steel BB’s, or lead shot, but now there are loadable head Maces that can be filled with water.

The advantage and possibilities are incredible. Water is, first of all, a very available and inexpensive loading ingredient. Dirt and sand are almost as cheap and plentiful, but Maces loaded with sand or metal lack the feeling of loading with water, which is best described as “trembling instability.” There is nothing that will prepare even the most advanced and experienced Mace lifter for this “Slosh Effect”. It may sound like a cliché, but picking up a water-filled Mace is like grabbing a dragon by the tail.

The real key to making the “Slosh Effect” happen is to only partially fill with water. ¾ seems to work best. Complete loading will increase resistance, but the load will be less “trembling” and less “sloshing.” It is the overcoming of this sloshing instability that is so challenging and beneficial, as you are forced to control the water that never really quits moving and the resistance and torque are continually shifting. Not all resistance is the same, and 10 pounds of solid iron is NOT the same as 10 pounds of moving, unstable liquid, and the qualities that are developed trying to control the liquid will serve the athlete, the housewife, the laborer, and anyone who wants overhead rotational strength

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