From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
Pugil sticks are heavily padded training weapons used by the UNSC. A pugil stick generally consists of a wooden or metal pole capped by foam on either end. Some may also be made with integrated handguards. Winning at pugil bouts has as much to do with speed and agility as striking power.
The Colonial Militia trainees of First and Second Platoon were required to take part in pugil bouts as part of their Colonial Militia Training. Combatants in the Colonial Militia pugil bouts wore mouth guards, helmets, and protective shoulder pads. The two combatants stood on a beam a half meter above a pit of sand, and the first person to knock their opponent off the beam was the winner.
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