Can I use Clubbells for Persian Yoga?
I often get asked if Persian Yoga can be practiced using metal clubs, or Clubbells, instead of Meel.
Before I answer that question let's step back and examine the intent and purpose of the Clubbell and contrast it with that of the Meel.
The Clubbell is to my knowledge the first metal club (there are now many other brands) that was pioneered in the West by Mr. Scott Sonnon. On his websites he makes reference to the Zurkhaneh and the Clubbells 'Middle Eastern' origins. So it may be safe to infer that Meel has had a part to play in the design and development of metal clubs.
This however is where the similarities end!
The Clubbell is a cylindrical metal weight that is shaped like a club. Being metallic the Clubbell is dimensionally smaller compared to the same weight Meel due to difference in density.
These two factors, size and shape, have significant implications on their use and efficacy. Particularly when it comes to using Clubbells for swinging.
The Clubbell has its core of mass closer to the body, smaller radius, hence when swung circularly, assuming a constant time (i.e. the 4 count beat of the drum) it covers a lesser distance (circumference = 2 pi x radius) with less speed (speed = angular velocity x radius):
Hence there’s less acceleration (acceleration = speed / time)
Hence less force is required (Force = mass x acceleration)
And less work is done (Work = Force x Distance)
WIth less Kinetic Energy (Kinetic Energy = 0.5 x mass x speed squared)
I’m no physicist so if you see any errors please let me know.
A greater radius results in a greater velocity which in turn requires four times greater Kinetic Energy than simply increasing the mass.
Another noteworthy factor is that the most Clubbell users tend to opt for heavier, more massive Clubbells. I know from my own experience that the small size of the lighter Clubbells make them quite easy to maneuver and less challenging/satisfying to train with. This greater mass exerts greater tensile force (Force = mass x acceleration) on the connective tissues (ligaments, tendons, fascia, muscles) that support the weight during the swing phase.
So it may be intuitively understood that using massive Clubbels exposes the connective tissues to these extreme forces, which coupled with the aging process, can be deleterious to long term shoulder and rotator cuff health. The shoulder is a shallow and sensitive joint and is particularly vulnerable if the swing is not executed with 100% perfect form. This is true in case of any type of club.
Meel in Persian means mace replacement. Think of it as a Bokken used for mace combat training. It has been designed for swinging in mind and with the objective to deliver sustainable long-term results. Not simply used as a weight it is used for developing a range of skills, beyond just the strength to lift it, required to manage handling various handheld weapons like maces, axes, hammers, lances etc.
The wooden Meel, being relatively much larger dimensionally compared to the Clubbell, has the core of its weight concentrated further away from the body’s center of mass. And the bottom heavy teardrop shaped Meel creates a greater pendulum effect which lends itself perfectly for more graceful swinging and rhythmic circular movements.
Furthermore, as discussed above, the lesser comparative mass of Meel (than those used in weights and Clubbells training) results in less direct force being applied at the joint level; while simultaneously requiring greater work and Kinetic Energy...work harder and smarter!
I’m not even going to get started on the subtly but significantly more enjoyable, and beneficial, properties of handling warm organic wood versus cold steel.
But the bottom line is that of course you can use Clubbells for Persian Yoga. You can do anything you put your mind to!
Does this make the Clubbell better or worse than the Meel in your opinion? Please feel free to share your experience in the comment section below.
For more benefits of Meel swinging see this post.
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